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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 lurk 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."

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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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