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An abandoned warehouse in Kingston

11:30PM, August 18th, 2020

 

The Raven and Bowman families had been in Freedom City for generations. Beyond working together in the Freedom League or chance meetings, there had been little coordinated effort between what might perhaps be the city's two most well known sources of unpowered heroes. Both families had recently expanded. New, young heroes in training. Both the newest Arrow and Nevermore would attend Claremont Academy soon. At headmistress' Summers suggestion, the fourth Bowman and the third Raven had arranged a playdate for the fourth Arrow and the second Nevermore. It was a simple job. One where the experienced heroes would be able to keep their sidekicks safe with little issue. It would serve as a simple training exercise. Nothing serious, a weapons deal going down in an abandoned warehouse in Kingston, far away from the Doomforge. 

 

It would all be very simple and easy. Maybe a few stray bullets at worst. No civilians to keep safe, just the other heroes. 

 

What could go wrong?

 

The group of heroes were positioned on the roof of a nearby building with a clear vantage point of the supposedly abandoned warehouse. It was all concrete and glass, several ways inside. It was supposed to be empty, but of course it wasn't. The four heroes could see lights moving around inside. 

 

The Bowman kneeled by the edge of the roof, holding a pair of binoculars to his eyes. "I count at least 12 people in there. There's probably more, staying away from the windows." He lowered the binoculars, then looked back over his shoulders at the rest of the heroes. "How do you want to do this?"

Edited by RocketLord
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Raven simply looked toward the warehouse as if reading a drive-by menu. His cowl's eyepieces magnified things more than enough without needing external binoculars. Instead, he made notes on a computer display on the inside of one of his suit's forearms.

 

"Hm. Seems like we need to divide and conquer. Come in from multiple angles."


He paused, then looked toward Nevermore. His expression was stoic, and to his apprentice, he was nothing but a stern teacher. To the more experienced Bowman, he seemed a bit...mischevious?
 

"What do you think, Nevermore? What are the best angles of attack and approach? How should we keep them from grouping up and concentrating their fire on one of us?"

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Nevermore II

 

Nevermore stood by Raven, adjusting a few things on his gauntlet while he surveyed the scene. His lips were curled into a slight smirk, just the side of his mouth. He looked around, making calculations, mapping out the area. GPS of the surroundings.

 

"Divide and conquer sounds right, boss." He seemed to think about it for a moment, then pointed. "Stick to the shadows for as long as possible, take them down one by one. The longer we can keep anyone from alerting the others, the better." There was a jovial tone to his voice. "We need either Bowman or Arrow up top, by skylight. There's a big open space that should be filled with containers down there, so that can give us a vantage point." He brought up a few more maps and pictures of the building. "There's broken windows on all sides of the building. It should be easy enough to get inside without making any noise." He paused for a moment, looking up at the others. "Make sure to try and take them out one by one, don't target the groups until we absolutely have to, and back each other up." He looked over to Arrow, a light grin on his lips. "Anything you wanna add?"

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Arrow IV

 

Arrow returned Nevermore's grin with a roll of her eyes. Without saying a word, the young heroine retrieved a pair of seemingly normal looking sunglasses from her utility belt and swiftly slipped them on, her domino mask linking up with the new eyewear without a fuss. With a single tap of her finger, the glasses came alive and developed a green-tint and pop-up display that made it all easier to see what was going around the nearby warehouse. After a few seconds of doing her own observations and analysis, Olivia finally saw fit to look Nevermore's way again.

 

"A lot actually," she tells him in a clipped Mid-Atlantic accent that barely avoids sounding disparaging. "If Bowman is right then there's likely more than a dozen dullard malefactors in there. If that's the case them splitting up three ways when we have such a disadvantage seems pretty injudicious since it could easily get us in the very situation we want to inflict on them. But I don't think the divide and conquer is completely the wrong approach," she says with a shrug that seems to be trying to convey mild kudos but just comes across as condescending. "Instead of either Bowman or I taking the skylight, both of us can stake out here and form a sniper's nest wait while you and Raven motivate the aforementioned malefactors to come out of their little warehouse and right into our sights." She waved a hand indicting the both of them without really looking at them. "You seem adamant to go in there and try the stealth approach. Fine by me, but things would go smoother and faster if you acted as a set-up for our ambush out here. Concentrated fire won't be a problem if the idiots are both running in the dark and too busy running scared from the dynamic duo that is you and Raven." 

 

Her explanation said and done, the archer looked towards her mentor with a cocky grin of her own, fully expecting his support and praise for the plan. 

 

 

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GM

 

Bowman raised an eyebrow at Raven, as if to say "See what I have to deal with?", before he turned to his apprentice with a sigh.

 

"So, you want to use your allies as bait?" His tone made his disapproval quite clear. "There's 4 of us, there's at least 12 of them. I know how fast you are with that bow, but we're not going to take them down before they can return fire, especially not if we have to make sure we don't hit Raven or Nevermore." He paused for a moment to gauge Arrow's response, before continuing. "Your plan got merit. It could work if it was just the two of us, but we got more options today. You can't always expect to get a clear vantage point and have targets lining up."

 

"This is about working together. Not using your own people to get you better targets." He lightly flicked his bowstring to punctuate the last point. "What do you think, Raven? Any holes in your sidekick's plan you wanna poke at?"

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Raven just shrugged at Bowman's eyebrow. He listened as the arrow-slinger worked to carefully correct his apprentice.

 

"I'm a bit biased, but I think I prefer the approach Nevermore and yourself are offering. Our armor's good but I'm not sure this is a good 'bait' situation. The only thing I'd add would be a question whether either of you can toss down some smoke or the like to help give a bit more visual division between the enemy groups."

 

He pushed a couple of buttons on his gauntlet, consulting the display a bit more, and rather obviously waited for input from the apprentices. 

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Nevermore II

 

"I've got plenty of darkness bombs for cover, boss," Charlie responded quickly, running a hand over his utility belt as he spoke to make sure he still had them. Would be perfect if he'd forgotten to pack them for the day after a line like that, right?

 

He looked over at Arrow, frowning slightly. "That's cold, wanting to use us for setup like that." He shook his head, his tone being more playful than annoyed. "Wanna see who takes down more bad guys?" There was a clear challenge to his voice, while he fiddled a bit with one of his gauntlets. 

 

Charlie really didn't have a lot of experience with other heroes his age. Not aside from Callie, at least, but that was kind of different. This was new. This was exciting.

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Arrow IV

 

Arrow's cocky grin turned into a frown as she heard her mentor deconstruct her plan. It was hardly the first time that Bowman had a disagreement with her totally logical and well-thought out ideas, but it was first time he had done with an audience of onlookers around. It was frustrating, but Arrow kept her cool and stopped herself from  making half-a-dozen counterarguments that would have had the four of them debating tactics and strategics all night while the goon squad below offloaded their cargo.

 

Plus, it wasn't exactly impossible that she might have been off about this plan in the first place. Unlikely, of course, but it could happen.

 

She said as much to Bowman. I see your point. Maybe the bait plan is a bit... presumptive when it comes to how likely we could pull it off without someone getting hurt." The admission tasted like gravel in her mouth, but her mind quickly moved on from that to Charlie's obvious challenge to her. 

 

"I'm not sure," she says nonchalantly, readying her bow as she matched Nevermore's sly challenge with her own. "This is hardly the time for games. Plus, I wouldn't want to embarrass you."

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GM

 

"Great. I'll take overwatch, then." 

 

Bowman raised his bow, took aim at the roof and let his arrow fly, a line connected to the arrow. The arrow hit its mark on the roof. Once the line was tight, he swung his bow over it, and gave Arrow one last look. "Play nice, kid." Pushing off from the roof, he slid down the line towards their target, quickly getting into position at the window, bow and arrow in hand.

 

Which left the Raven in charge of both sidekicks, it seemed.

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"Focus on the fight, not takedown tallies."

 

There was a slight edge to the Raven's voice as he spoke. He didn't look at the two sidekicks as he gave that instruction; his gaze, filtered through lenses currently tinted dark blue while he held his hands palms-out, remained fixed on their target.

 

"Nevermore. We have Bowman on overwatch. Arrow, you, and I are going in. How should we proceed? Which entrance points, order of entrance? And what should we spend the first 15 seconds doing?"

 

His cowl's lenses blinked and turned to the more "regular" white.

 

"Arrow. What options for cover do you have in your quiver? What about area disruption?"

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Nevermore II

 

Nevermore whistled lightly at Bowman taking his leave, gliding across the bow. He perked up when the Raven spoke to him, still trying to make this a teaching moment. It was getting a bit tiresome, but what did he expect? This was Alek. He wanted to make sure that Charlie didn't get hurt, wanted to teach him to do all of this right, but he could do this. He didn't need to be babysit this badly.

 

"We stick close together for the entrance, watch each other's back. You got some kinda grappling arrow like that, Arrow?" He armed the grappling hook in his gauntlet, before continuing. "We move to the roof, there's a broken right there that we can enter, one by one. I'll go first, dropping blackout bombs if there's anyone there. No deep darkness, no bad guys. If we're alone, then Arrow, then the boss. Otherwise, boss goes in first, then Arrow so we can run interference and keep them at range." He waited a second to wait for approval, before continuing. "Start by securing the entrance, make sure there's no bad guys nearby, and nobody trying to sneak up on us. Then, figure out any potential patrol routes before we continue."

 

He raised his gauntlet and fired the grappling hook. His cap flowing behind him, he leapt from the roof, swinging towards the window in question, landing on the wall next to it, extending grapple claws in his boots and gloves to stick to the wall. He waited for a moment for the others to reach him, then snuck into the building.

 

From the outside, Arrow and the Raven saw no sign of any black out bombs being used.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Arrow IV

 

Arrow's eyes narrowed as she saw Nevermore infiltrate into the building. Bowman asked her to 'play nice' but she was finding that hard to do with the acute feeling of being showed up by Raven's sidekick gnawing at the back of her mind. Of course, such emotions were beneath her, which is exactly why Arrow pretended she didn't have them as she mechanically readied herself to follow right after him.  

 

Seeing that there wasn't any black smoke coming out of the window, Arrow quickly retrieved her grapple arrowhead from her utility belt and attached it to the headless shaft of one of her arrows. The archer got up from her position on the roof and fired the arrow at the nearby building, making sure that it landed exactly a few metres away from the window Nevermore just sneaked into. The result was the creation of a zip-line that Arrow promptly hooked herself into using her bow as a spool to immediately transport her to the other building.  After that it was only a matter of activating her costume's tractable gloves and soles to scale the building, take down the inconspicuous zip-line, and crawl into the window after Nevermore. 

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Raven nodded as Nevermore laid out the plan. When his apprentice finished, he smiled slightly.

 

"Good work. Let's go."

 

As Nevermore moved in, the Raven took several long strides back. As soon as it was clear there weren't smoke bombs active, he dashed for the edge of the roof and leapt off. As he went airborne, his arms whipped his cape out to the sides, and the sleek cloth went stiff like a hang glider. The dark vigilante soared through the air, almost like his namesake. He adjusted his trajectory, and even as Arrow was zip-lining down, he simply dove through the opening, his cape going slack as he tucked-and-rolled to a silent stop inside.

 

His eyepieces glowed green as he checked out their surroundings. 

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GM

 

Bowman was in position above.

 

Raven, Arrow and Nevermore entered through the window. No sound, no shouts, they seemed unnoticed. 

 

The room was almost completely empty. Some rubble, some old boxes. The remains of a table. It seemed like it had been an office, once. Now it was just deserted. Ahead, a door leading into the room stood open, moving slightly in the draft from the broken window. 

 

They could hear voices from up ahead, outside the room. There was a walkway outside, leading around the large open cargo space. A few men were moving around the walkways, but a larger group of maybe six or seven people were stationed under the light from the overhead window, talking in hushed, if slightly agitated, voices.

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Raven took a moment to scope out the surroundings as-is. His head stopped as he took in the already-open door. His hands flashed a simple, silent signal of "wait" to Arrow and Nevermore, and he moved with care and precision across the floor. Even the trained ears of the vigilantes would struggle to pick up the sounds of his footsteps; in the noisier area filled with talking thugs, it wasn't even a contest. 

 

When he reached the door, Raven carefully caught it with one hand and eased it further open. He signaled the other two with him to move to the sides, out of immediate view. Finally, when the door was mostly open, he stopped; he reached of and took a piece of rubble, carefully placing it such that it wedged the door in place. 

 

Then, in a smooth set of motions, he pulled a pair of cylindrical components from his belt and plugged them into slightly recessed slots on his gloves. He flexed his fingers once, then nodded. Nevermore knew that his mentor had just activated the low-level stun feature of his suit, which ought to provide a nasty shock for any unwary criminal...

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Arrow IV

 

Seeing that Raven was rightfully giving her the go ahead to act, Arrow moved forward and past the older hero to get to the office door that separated all three of them from the wider building. Lightly pushing the mostly open door fully with the utmost caution, the teen hero slowly but surely opened it entirely until it was enough for her to actually take a shot.

 

Said shot would be targeted towards the goon was directly ahead her on the catwalk. Begrudgingly knowing that stealth was still their best option at this point, she decided to retrieve one her rarer attachments from her utility belt and apply to her selected arrow. The injector arrows may not have had as much punch as her taser arrows, but their fast-acting poison did tend to keep someone down for longer when they did manage to take hold. Arrow banked on that being the case here as she pulled back on her bowstring and launched the arrow right at the unsuspecting criminal. 

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GM

 

The arrow flew straight at the target, the injector digging into the criminal's arm. He raised his arm, looked at it once... and then fell to the floor like a bag of potatoes. 

 

He was heavy, but the injection did its work, and he was unconscious by the time he hit the floor.

 

Another guard took notice. "Huh?" The one to the North-East moved towards the fallen man, leaning down to check on him.

 

 

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Nevermore II

 

Nevermore dove forward, leaping past the small gap in the door that Arrow had left before taking her shot. One down, three to go on this floor, however many were left below. They needed to stop him before he caused any kind of alarm, or the whole part about beng sneaky was out of the window before it even began. He couldn't let that happen, could he? No, he really couldn't.

 

A particular ravenrang already found its way to his fingers, while he rolled forward into a kneeling position to hide behind the railing. Couldn't let the other guy see him just yet. Then, he threw the ravenrang, watching as it sent a shock through his target's body, stunning him for the moment.

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Raven let the "kids" go to work first. Arrow's shot was impeccable, and it appeared to have distracted one of the guards. Then Nevermore ensured that that gentleman was even less capable of raising the alarm than the others. That left a single target that was unaware of them....but still potentially dangerous. Raven moved without looking at the other two heroes; he trusted them to be professional right now. 

 

The dark detective of Freedom City moved like a living shadow, his cape sitting just so on his shoulders such that his figure was indistinct and obscured. His steps may as well have been upon open air, such was the lack of noise they made. He timed his approach so that he was directly behind the man, right up until the moment he stopped and made a 180 on his patrol route. The criminal guard had enough time to register surprise at the presence of the Raven directly in front of him.

 

Then the Raven's fist lashed out, striking at the man's chest, seeking to hit his diaphragm. To knock his breath away, prevent him from speaking, or crying out a warning. The fact that the hero's physical blow was backed up by a sudden surge of electrical current that would cause the thug's muscles to seize up even more was just icing on the proverbial cake. 

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GM

 

The man barely had time to let out a yelp before the dark night detective's blow. The Raven's strike was perfect. His aim true. On its own, the strike could have been enough to stop him. The shocking gauntlets only sealed the deal.

 

As soon as he was hit, he fell, dropping to the ground, unmoving.

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