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Claremont Academy

October 15th, 2020

5:00 PM


Sebastian Shields had not been happy about the events of the day that he had returned to Claremont after the summer. No, the way everyone had acted, like he was not better than him? It was simply not acceptable. He had been busy, since then. If the newly enrolled students wouldn't give him the respect that he deserved, then he would teach them why they should respect him. He would be better than all of them. All he needed was a team.


Eddie Fell was the logical choice. Of course Sebastian needed Chump. Any good team needed some muscles, and Eddie was loyal. He wouldn't even need a nudge to help.


Charlene Hart had been by Sebastian's side for a while. The two had often been seen together, at least ever since he had convinced her to go to prom with him. He had helped her, he had calmed her down. She was loyal, would never disobey him. Toxin got to be the second member of the team, her mere touch would be enough to stop anyone from messing with him.


Sebastian quickly decided that he didn't need more boys for his team. No, Chump was quite enough. Melanie Cutter was a good choice. No powers, but she had extensive training and she was a killer with that bladed whip. He even liked her codename, Stinger, even if the redhead would probably challenge him a bit more than he would like, but that was fine. Sebastian would enjoy convincing her otherwise.


Finally, the team needed some legitimacy, so of course he made friends with Cassie Dugan. Having the vice-principal's daughter on the team would open doors, and she filled in the much needed spot of a flier. She didn't really want to do it, but she did like the attention it would get her. Bluebird probably wouldn't cause too much trouble for Sebastian.


So, his team had been set, and on October 1st, Sebastian made a big show out of presenting his group to everyone. Of course, no one else needed to do anything anymore. After all, they were the new big team at Claremont: The New Young Freedom.


They had been busy in the few weeks after that, breaking curfew, fighting bad guys and punks. Not really any super villains or anything like that, and of course they did it in secret. Not like anyone would tell on them, that would just get others in trouble too.


But... there were rumors. Maybe they had beaten up some kids for just causing a bit of trouble. Maybe the kids had not really done anything really bad, at least not something that deserved that? Maybe it was just a rumor. After all, they were heroes, right?


Maybe not everyone trusted Casanova.

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Nevermore II


"Hey, Luke, can you meet outside the library? Bring Shift if you can find 'em?"


"Zach, I'm looking into something and I could use some backup, how about bringing that armor of yours and meet me outside the library?"


"Hey, Bow-for-brains, it's me. We met at that thing in the warehouse, remember? How would you like to kick a self-righteous prick's ass? Can you meet outside the library, I got a couple of other people coming?"


Charlie looked down at his phone for a moment after the last call, then up at the sky. He had overheard Casanova and his New Young Freedom crew talking earlier today. They were gonna find someone to fight tonight, and, well, Charlie really didn't like their tone. He wasn't an angel by any means, neither were any of the friends he had just called, but... well, he wasn't going to be able to do much all on his own if they were really up to no good. Besides, Luke, Zach and Pol had met Casanova too. 


There was no way he wasn't up to some kind of trouble.



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Arrow IV


Bow-for-brains? Really?


Olivia couldn't help but roll her eyes as she read the Nevermore's text. This was so beneath her it was almost laughable. Sure, she had worked with Charlie, and sure he wasn't entirely unskilled, but that hardly meant that she was now his lapdog coming to his aid whenever he called. The fact that he somehow got a hold of her number also bugged her. Olivia pegged the blame on her mentor being overly helpful but she didn't rule out the possibility that Forever-dull used some tech-wizardry to get it. If it was the latter case the debutante had all sorts of terrible reprisals in mind for the intrusion but she filed that issue for later.  Right now she was still weighting her options.


The teen hero liked to think of herself an excellent detective but she didn't have to be Enola Holmes to know that the 'self-righteous prick' Charlie was talking about was almost certainly Sebastian Shields. Who else could it be? The pigheaded idiot had the subtly of an ox on PCP and the ego of a third world dictator. Olivia certainly wasn't a fan of the man or his pretensions even before his eye-rolling showcase of his so-called superteam, but that didn't mean she was particularly motivated to take him down a peg. Then again it wasn't as if she had anything particularly compelling to do right now. Currently she was suffering the presence and idle chatter of two hangers-on that she had managed to recruit into her Claremont posse. They were boring as all Hell and constantly asked questions about her family and money but they also did whatever she said so she tolerated them as much as she was able. Even still, if the choice was between cutting down Sebastian Shields and answering another inane question about one of her Porsches...


Olivia sighed as she pocketed her phone and got up from the table. Without so much as a sideway glance to her two companions she made up some excuse for her leaving and promptly made her way to the library. The uptown teen was above this sort of thing, sure, but she wasn't immunity to boredom either.


She arrived at the library relatively quickly but not before making a stop at her dorm room. While she didn't bother to bring along her costume she did bring along her bow, quiver and utility belt and had them primed and ready for whatever hopefully interesting nonsense Charlie had in mind.


"Well, loser," she quipped with her trademark sardonicism and Mid-Atlantic accent. "I have arrived and made your day just a little more exquisite. I hope you plan on returning the favor by having something interesting for me to do."

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On the first day of school, Sebastian made quite an impression on Shift, and it was not a good one. Subsequent rumors and the showy appearance of his hand-picked team had done nothing to improve their opinion of the boy. So when word reached the robot that hinted at some sort of comeuppance for the arrogant mind control, Shift was eager to join in.


Wearing a darker version of a Claremont uniform and a more intimidating take on their blond male form, the shapeshifter arrived at the library with a determined look on his face.


"I am here."

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There was no way in the world that Luke would let that douche hog all the spotlight wasn’t it? The new big team at Claremont? Really? Casanova needed to be taken down a peg, or two. Not that he was doing that because he was jealous or something, obviously. His motivations were purely altruistic, of course. Sebastian and his friends were for sure going to cause trouble and he couldn’t allow that. And if he had fun stopping him, well so be it.


Now he had no idea about what Charlie had in mind of course, but the fact that he had heard that the New Young Freedom were going to be out looking for trouble that evening couldn’t have been a coincidence right?


So there he was. In his school uniform (with the sleeves removed), ready for troubles. 


What’s up people?” He saluted his friends and threw a glance at Arrow. Now the two hadn’t exactly met yet, but she had that ‘trust fund girl’ vibe that didn’t exactly sit that well with the young man. Whatever.


So what’s the plan?” He tossed at Charlie.

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Few people had cause to distrust Casanova more than Zach and when the mind controlling menace had revealed his new team to the whole school it'd given the young investigator all the motivation he'd needed to dig up as much dirt as he could. What he found unsettled him more than he'd like to let on. If what evidence suggested was true than Casanova needed nothing less than to be thrown behind bars. The rumors that began swirling around didn't do anything to shake Zach of this idea so it was something of a happy coincidence when Charlie asked for his help. A quick trip to his room was all he needed to pick up the his armor, the modified backpack to carry it in, and the good ol' fashioned manilla folder holding physical copies of the information he'd pulled together so far.

Rounding the corner to the library made Zach feel a bit under dressed for the occasion. With both Pol and Luke looking ready for a rough powered gym class and the new Rich Preppy Girl looking like her outfit cost as much as his armor did. Either way his denim jeans, black hoodie, and black t-shirt with a Graffiti-inspired stylized Interceptors graphic absolutely did not seem to fit either mood. Zipping up his hoodie he stepped forward to makes his presence known.

"Well I think our crowd makes this a bit more than just 'looking into' something. Hey everyone. I'm not late am I?"

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Nevermore II


"Everyone, meet Arrow. She is, of course, way better than the rest of us." Charlie motioned with a hand and a grin.


He looked Pol and Luke over briefly, then the others that were dressed a bit more casually, at least.


"Happy you're all here, so... I'm sure you all heard about Casanova and his little New Young Freedom crew, right?" he crossed his arms while he spoke. Of course they had. How could they not? "So, I've been looking at what they've been up to, and it just doesnt really add up. They're out in Bayview almost every night, and they run into trouble every time they go out? That's... well, that's just really improbable." As in, that didn't even happen every time he had gone to the Fens or Southside with the Raven. Way too many night patrols were just boring with nothing happening or anything like that. Not that he had to bring that up right now. 


"I figured I'd track them a bit, see what they're up to tonight... you guys want in?"

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Olivia took note of the others as they joined their little gathering, doing so with barely concealed disappointment. It was just as she feared. Instead of bringing in people of decent reputation or a legacy like Veronica Danger or the Katastroff, Charlie brought some freshmen randos with nothing to their names. It was typical really, but the It Girl didn't complain. It was unbecoming of a Lord for one and two there was always the off-chance the three might surprise her with their competence, though she doubted it. 


When Charlie actually got the meeting started, Olivia rolled her eyes at his backhanded dig, but piqued up when he mentioned the nightly activities of Sebastian's group.  The possibility of that moron Sebastian being able to find action every time he hit Freedom City's less than glamorous neighborhoods was laughably slim. Even Bowman and herself sometimes ended up on a patrol with nothing to do but shot at distant billboards. Something was afoot here and Olivia said as much to Charlie and his merry band of misfits.


"Sebastian Shields is a clod with the charm of a bloated tick high on A Negative and the intellect to match. Improbable doesn't even begin to describe the chances of him and his groupies' actually being able to track down crime let alone survive it," she mocked drily, still incredulous that Sebastian even had the nerve to break Summers' curfew.


Olivia was on the verge of leaving the library right then, seeing this whole thing as a lark at best and waste of her time at worst but then she remembered a bit more about Sebastian's powers. She went into detective mood. "Shields is a psychic, no? Well, if was incompetent poser desperate for attention who also happened to have mind control powers than maybe I'd use what few gifts I do have to make some trouble in lieu of actually having to find it." 


Olivia shrugged causally. "It's just a theory, but the only way we'd be able to find out for sure is if we catch him in the act, so..." The rich teen sighed as she realized she was earnestly interested now. "I guess that means I'm in."

Edited by Cubismo
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Nevermore II


"Just what I was thinking," Charlie pointed at Oliva's theory. "Casanova's already proven that he isn't shy about using his powers on anyone, so I wouldn't say that's something he wouldn't do. Isn't that right, Zach?" He looked to the sonic teen with a mix of a question and a statement in his voice. Except for Olivia, they had all seen what Casanova had done, after all.


"Sneaking out past Summers' curfew isn't that easy, but if Casanova's crew can do it, then we can do it too. Its gotta be a school tradition at this point, doesn't it?"

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"Nice to meet you Arrow. Shields wouldn't just use his powers to get attention." there was no mirth in Zachs voice as he reached into his bag and pulled out the manilla folder he'd filled earlier. Still if Arrow was going to help them out better to keep everyone on the same level when it came to information. "Day one when everyone moved in he used his power on me. Well everyone here really. Just because he didn't want to move all of his bags himself."

After handing the folder to Arrow or whoever else in the group would take it he continued on. "More than just someone who wants fame and attention he's a liar. He doesn't come from any rich or influential family. The opposite really. He's a kid playing at stardom and always has some money pouring in from 'places'. Were I to make an educated guess I would say that he uses his 'silver tongue' to convince people he deserves their money more than him. I'm obviously biased though. Also for someone who tries to hide as much as he does he puts a lot of revealing info on the net. You'd be surprised how much info you can dig out of his social media. Haven't had the time to find out more about his team though I kinda got distracted by other stuff this week."

Feeling a bit sheepish at only having information on casanova he let the folder pass hands before speaking up again when charlie mentioned slipping out past curfew. "Stinger and Bluebird are probably the ones that get their team in and out so easily. They'd probably lead us to the spot they use to get in or out, then we can plug that hole on top of everything else we'll be doing."

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‘Way better than the rest of us.’ The sentence did make Luke raise an eyebrow, sure it was meant sarcastically, but still Charlie’s choice of world did give him an idea of what kind of person she was… He could give Arrow the benefit of the doubt, for now, she was Charlie’s friend after all right? Trust fund or not. “Hey.” He saluted her with a nod and a smile.


Yeah that seems like, a bit too much, I mean, even my neighborhood it ain’t that bad…” Well, small-scale crime actually went on pretty much every day, in Southside, but then again, not the kind that would attract a superhero team and actual media attention.


If he is doing that, it’s freaking sick, psycho material if you ask me.” Yep, mind control was already a pretty shitty thing to do in his books, but actually forcing people into crime so that he could look good solving them… That was messed up.


Of course I’m in, when do we kick his ass?” The young man clenched his fists, if it was only his own choice, he would have gone right there, right now. Then again, perhaps it was smarter to play this matter a bit more subtly. “Yeah ok…” Let’s catch him in the act.


Sneaking out can’t be too hard. I’m gonna have to slip into something more comfortable though.” He smirked. It was not as if he had been studying the school security for exactly that purpose himself... Not that all… Obviously…


The young man lowered his eyes however when Zach went on with the outcome of his research. Sounds familiar didn’t it? Himself, he used his fists and good old intimidation rather than mind control to get what he wanted, but it wasn’t that different… The young man uneasily shifted the balance on his feet, looking away from the rest of their team. “Yeah power can get to people heads can’t it?” He shrugged, first let’s stop him, then maybe they could see about sharing the lesson that life had taught Luke already.


"Yeah plug the hole of course..." He grinned, giving Zach a playful nudge on a shoulder. 


Anyway do you guys know any of the others in the team?

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From his first encounter with Sebastian, Pol has carried a deep dislike of the young man, but the robot was in no way prepared for the revelations his fellow students had turned up. "This boy is a menace! We need to expose his manipulations as soon as possible. For all we know, he's used his powers on the teachers here at Claremont, or even Mr. Summers herself!"


"I don't know anything about the other students, but getting out of school grounds should not prove to difficult for me, at least."


The millions of nanobots that composed his surfaced rippled, and the young robot collapsed into a pool of metalic sludge, before reforming into his male persona,a a goofy smile in his handsome face.


"Ive been practicing some new techniques."

Edited by Heritage
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Nevermore II


Charlie readily accepted the manilla folder, a slight smirk playing over his lips as he leafed through its contents. Yeah, alright. It pretty much fit with everything he had dug out himself, which was good. 


Everyone was in, then? Great. Going up against New Young Freedom on his own didn't sound like the best plan, but Charlie could work with this.


He glanced over at Pol, shaking his head briefly. "I'm pretty sure that he haven't gotten to Headmistress Summers. At least not yet." Other teachers? Maybe. But the rest here didn't know who Summers really was, after all.


"But alright. We got a plan, at least for now. Grab whatever you need, and we meet by the South wall. I've seen them heading in that direction, and if I'm right, Casanova and his crew are gonna go there today too."

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The group would gather in time to see the New Young Freedom gathered by the gate. They were in full costumes.


Casanova was in a crystal blue. White piping accentuated a slightly darker blue breastplate and armor on his arms and legs. His face was, of course, not hidden by anything. He wanted to be seen. He wanted to be recognized.


Chump was in a dark blue suit. It was almost black, his muscular arms left bare, the suit ending just under his neck otherwise. He wore fingerless gloves in the same color, with heavy black boots and a black domino mask. His dad's old police badge was affixed to the front of the suit.


Toxin wore her usual yellow hazmat suit. Her arms was crossed, she seemed impatient.


Bluebird's costume had a blue hood pulled up over her head, with long blue sleeves on her arms. She seemed to be wearing some kind of white armored suit that the sleeves and hood were directly attached to. She floated a foot or so above the ground, moving around near Casanova. Her lower face was masked with a white mask, leaving her eyes free.


Finally, Stinger made up the rear. Her costume was white with light brown stripes on the arms and legs, with cowboy boots and a cowboy hat. She wore a dark red bandana currently pulled under her mouth. She had a whip in her hand, slowly pulling at it while she waited.


Casanova was speaking to the guard at the gate, while Bluebird motioned towards the cameras with her right hand. Eventually, the guard stepped aside and the group moved off campus.

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In her black and pink Arrow bodysuit, Olivia had been monitoring Shields and his brood of idiot groupies with the help of her super-shades, a rather useful piece of eye-wear that greatly enhanced her already sublime vision while at the same time being a rather chic accessory. With them she saw said group of fools walk right past one of Claremont's guards as if they were going on a field trip to the Claremont Zoo.


Chances were that Shields used his powers to get through the door, but the fact that a Claremont guard was weak-willed enough to let that happen gave the teen archer some second-hand embarrassment. Sighing in disapproval at the sight, she took off the shades and openly ruminated on the matter. "How Summers allows the security here to be so subpar is beyond me. It's no wonder this place was attacked by evil Christmas elves if weaklings like that are allowed to work here." 


With her totally-not-kvetching done, Olivia looked Charlie's way. "Whatever. I suppose the upshot is that this makes getting past them a trifle, though, I was hoping for something that approached a challenged." She sighed again, but became more serious as she went on. "Hopefully Summers will wise-up and sack the lackluster security here. Speaking of which," she pointed to one of Claremont's many cameras. "I doubt even Shields would be stupid enough to leave the cameras running while he made his sojourn into the city. Methinks Dugan used her powers to nullify them somehow, which means we can probably sneak past them as move out." Her gaze shifted to Charlie's assembled rabble with a skeptical look. "Think you kids can keep up with us? Or will Charlie and I have to play babysitter?"

Edited by Cubismo
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  • 2 weeks later...

Shift didn't particularly like Olivia's tone, though he agreed with her on several points. "To be fair, it would be hard to find a large number of security staff who could resist Sebastian's powers. It might be better if they were equipped with psi-blocking headgear."


As for the archer's final remark, the robot frowned and folded his arms across he chest. "Aren't you a kid, too?" Millions of nanobots rippled across the surface of his body, effectively erasing him from sight beyond a slight shimmer in the air. "Don't worry about me. I can keep up."

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Luke didn’t have a flashy costume, yet, at school, he used Claremont’s uniform, but then again, it wasn’t exactly appropriate for sneaking out and going undercover. So for that night he had simply picked up a black sweatpants and sneakers combo, a hoodie, with no sleeve the hood pulled up, and a bandana to cover his face leaving just his eyes. I definitely need to get something better… He wondered as he joined the group that had gathered close to the South wall, not that he had any idea how though. Perhaps I can ask Charlie or something…  


It was not like he really needed gadgets or body armor though, yet, it still made him feel like an amateur compared to Miss trust fund there.


He didn’t like Olivia’s tone though, she was right maybe, about the whole mind control thing being a security risk, but then again, it wasn’t the guard’s fault. “Come on they are just doing their job… And aren’t supposed to have to guard from students anyway.”


The camera being down would make things way easier wouldn’t it? “Guess we have to thank them for it.”


He rolled his eyes at Olivia’s words. Then he jumped on top of the south wall. Smirking (although unfortunately that could not be seen under the bandana) from his perch as he playfully gestured the others to keep up.

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Nevermore II


"Relax, O. They'll do fine." Charlie was perched on the top of a treebranch just above the others, his black cape pulled close around him leaving just his cowled face visible while he watched. 


The others were probably right. Casanova and Bluebird working their powers, getting out without being seen. He was about to open his mouth and mention that he would mention the security weaknesses to Ms. Summers, but stopped himself. They didn't know about that, after all. 


With Luke scaling the wall, he shook his head, before reaching aiming the grapple gun built into his gauntlet up, towards a nearby building. "I'd get off that perch before you set off any motion sensors, man." He let the grappling hook pull him in, over the building and, letting go, he landed on the other side, just in time to hide while Casanova's crew moved on ahead.


"They're heading for the park." He had waited for the others to join him. He could probably sneak up on them himself, but he didn't like Casanova's mind tricks, or being outnumbered. "C'mon, we gotta catch up before we lose them." 

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Like Charlie predicted, Casanova's Young Freedom team were heading towards a nearby park. A few people were out. Couples on midnight walks, people out for runs, some just hanging out doing whatever they were doing. None of them looked like they were causing any real trouble.


A couple of older teens, maybe 18 at most, two boys and a girl, were standing by a tree, kicking a ball between them.


Stinger pointed at the group and said something that was difficult to make out at a distance. Toxin looked at Casanova and shook her head, crossing her arms, but it Casanova put a hand on her shoulder and smiled, before saying something back, then turning towards the teens.

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Shift followed along, moving with surprising stealth despite his weight, just a ripple on the wind. When the group got closer, he strained to hear what they said, his unseen ears actually turning to better catch the sound.


"I don't like this," he whispered, his smooth synthetic voice tinged with concern. "I think they're about to hurt those kids."

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Olivia rolled eyes at Shift and Luke's excuses for the security team. Why some people made such excuses for incompetents never failed to amaze, but she allowed the disagreement to pass . She did grace Charlie with an actual verbal response though. "I guess we'll just have to see now won't we." With that said, she followed his suite and joined the junior dark crusader in launching herself off her perch and swinging to the other side of Claremont's security fence.


Landing safety, Olivia stealthily followed their quarry as they made their way. While fairly certain that she hadn't caught the attention of Shield and his band of sycophant, the young hero also couldn't make out what they were saying to each other either.

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Yeah right.” Luke ruffled the hair on the back of his neck, his eyes shifting away from Charlie for a moment. He really hadn’t thought of about it. Besides, he could have easily jumped on the other side already. Whatever…


He landed softly on the ground below, his fall broken by the quiet shadow of his wings. He dashed in the dark, trying his best to stay out of sight. For now, at least, it didn’t look like Sebastian or any of his cronies were going after him.


The young man clenched his fists as he listened to Shield’s words, any shred of sympathy he might have had for him melting away. He was gonna hurt these people wasn’t him? Frame them for something maybe and then... At least not all of the 'The New Young Freedom' looked like they were into it.


Calm down Luke, we need to catch them in the act. He was itching to stamp the smirk off Casanova’s face with his fists. If he acted now, he knew there was a risk that they they would walk scot-free and yet.

Edited by Nerdzul
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Nevermore II


"Yeah." Charlie replied to Shift. They were right. His normally affable demeanor had vanished. It was like a shadow had fallen over his face while he looked ahead. 


"This sucks, but we need some kind of proof." Words weren't enough, not even if they recorded them. They needed to actually see what was going on. "Everyone, get ready. If they touch those kids, we move in and stop them. We gotta be smart about this, we don't be able to do anything if Casanova gets us to attack each other, so he gotta be a priority. I got a few tricks to keep him busy, but I'll need you to keep the others off my back, alright?"


He was already reaching into his belt, pulling out a few small pellets in his left hand, while aiming for a nearby tree with the grappling hook on his right.


"How do you all feel about fighting in the dark?"

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While the group prepared, Shields didn't wait around. Despite, or maybe because of, Toxin's attempt at leaving the kids alone, he walked up to them and spoke. The group could hear him clearly now, as he spoke to the three teenagers.


"You're looking for trouble, aren't you?"


All three froze for just a second. Luke, Shift, Zach and Charlie would probably recognize how Zach had acted when Sebastian had mind controlled him.


"Look, over there?" Sebastian pointed to a nearby couple. "Go cause some trouble."


The three teens paused for a moment. Just a brief moment. Then they all moved, starting to run towards two men in the twenties that had been walking through the park, hand in hand.

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Luke witnessed the scene still seething with rage. He had to gather all of his willpower not to jump at Casanova’s throat before the Sebastian could perform his ‘magic’ on those unsuspecting kids. Come on. We need to get him in the act. Come on.


He turned briefly to Nevermore. ”Do you know if he needs to talk for his mind thingie to work? Maybe we can like silence him or somethin’... Dunno claw around his throat it works most times...” He suggested in whispers, it was risky though, plus he wasn’t sure that he was gonna be able to keep Shield quiet even if he jumped him… 


In the dark? No problem at all man.” He smirked.


"Hey guys... Someone has to stop those people and fast!" He pointed at the group of teens. Ready to jump into action.

Edited by Nerdzul
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