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Brimstone and Bullet Casings (IC)


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@RocketLord@Nerdzul

 

GM

 

Saturday the 20th of February, 2021

 

Supernatural goings on were not uncommon in Freedom City, and neither were gangs. The combination was a bit more rare though, especially when the supernatural goings were demons fighting alongside gangsters. With their fiendish assistance the Cardinal Rats rapidly pushed the other gangs out, driving them off of their ground by bullet and by claw. It didn't take long to draw attention from outside.
 

As one of the latest in a line of Ravens, Charlie kept his ears to the ground, making it hardly surprising when he heard of the situation in Southside. For Luke Landers the matter was brought to his attention via a more personal avenue as earlier that day one of his old friends had called him about this new gang running them off their turf backed up by shrieking fiends. As these thugs and their demonic posse ran amok in the neighbourhood the question was simple.

What were the heroes going to do about it?

Edited by Kaede Kimura
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Nevermore II

 

Charlie did his homework. Of course, not just the homework that they assigned at Claremont, but trying to keep up with whatever was going down in the city. Alek had taught him all that, and being at hero school didn't mean he shouldn't keep up with his other work.

 

Or try to make it all work together.

 

So, Usher's in Kingston. Some kinda demonic gang in Southside that no one seemed to deal with. Part of him wanted to get in touch with Alek about it, but on the other hand... Nah. He could do this without him. He could need some muscle, though, and he had the perfect idea for that.

 

Grabbing his phone, he sent a quick text to Luke: Yo, you up for looking into some trouble in Southside? followed by a little bird emoji.

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"I-They we- whe- were freaking d-emons man...  Please- We barely got out- Please! We are in troubles. Lou. For old times sake..." 

 

The voice message was already worrying enough, but Luke could sense the despair in the terrified, stuttering voice of Ian, one of his former friends. He hadn't been able to hear more from him since then. Sure the two weren't exactly in speaking term anymore, different life choices and all... But there was no way in the world he was gonna abandon him and the rest of the gang to freakin' demons (or anything else to be honest, criminals or not, he had grown up with these guys and nothing was ever gonna change that). 

 

Besides Hellbeasts? In his neighborhood. There was no way that was gonna fly. Ever. He was gonna punch them back to where they came from, one by one if he had to.

 

So there he was, already headed home. Dashing down the streets from Claremont at breakneck speed. A message. Maybe Ian again. Nop. Chaz (better known as Nevermore). He thought about ignoring it, but then again, he could definitely use some help. 

 

Already there man...

I mean, my little 'bro goes to school here.

I need to take this

can use some help though :)

 

 

 

 

Edited by Nerdzul
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Nevermore II

 

Charlie grinned at the message. Yeah, alright, Luke was in, and already on his way. He should've figured that Luke would already be there. If it was anything he had any connection to, then yeah, he would've gone already.

 

OMW

 

Backpack slung over his shoulder, he was heading towards the garages while sorting through the contacts on his phone. Who else, then? They didn't really know what was going on exactly, and Luke was pretty much anything but stealthy. Sure, he had that covered, but someone a bit more subtle than Luke would probably be a good idea. 

 

Muirne

 

Charlie grinned again. He was sure Luke would appreciate if he brought Muirne along.

 

Me and Luke could use some help

Meet me by the gate and we'll go meet him?

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Shadowborne

Muirne checked her phone, then sprung into action. She figured that Charlie meant that him and Luke needed superhero help, she piled her armour and gear into a bag before rushing out the door. They'd need to stop for her to change into the armour, but it wouldn't put them any later than if she put it on now since they'd be leaving later in that case. It didn't take long to reach the gate with Charlie. "Hey, what do you need?"

Edited by Kaede Kimura
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GM

 

At Luke's pace it didn't take long to run to Southside. The area was not significantly changed from what he knew, but for the reek of sulphur now in his nose. He'd been able to smell it very slightly from beyond the neighbourhood due to his sensitive nose, but now it hung thick in the air alongside a pervasive feeling of dread. At the edges of the neighbourhood the old gang tags still remained, but quickly they were replaced, painted over with a crude rat head. Waiting for the others he got the feeling that he was being watched.

 

Charlie and Muirne didn't make quite as good a time as Luke did, lacking his speed on foot, but it still wasn't a long distance between the school and their destination. They too noticed the smell and the gang symbols on their way to meet up with the dragon. In the time that the trio took to meet up the sun had begun setting, and glowing eyes seemed to peer from the shadows.

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To Charlie, Luke replied just with a thumb up emote and an ‘Wait you there’.and then went back on his way.

 

Luke was almost short on breath when he got on the scene. He had dashed head first into the problem, but truth was, he hadn’t had any idea about what to expect. Or what the hell exactly was going on. Demons don’t usually help gangsters just because they are feeling nice.  

 

He was acting on impulse alone. It was always like this when anyone from his family or from the old ‘gang’ was involved. It was risky though, lead to mistakes, mistakes he could not afford. At least waiting for Chaz gave him some time to clear his mind. Take a deep breath. Re-evaluate things. He needed help. Truth is he was grateful that a friend was going to get there. But maybe… Yeah what if? He could call her… Yeah. Should have thought of that.

 

Hey

I think I need my kickass girl

Troubles in my neighbourhood

Spooky troubles.

Can you come?

 

Now exactly the kind of first date he had in mind after the party, but well...

 

The wind brought him the scent of sulfur as soon as he got within a few blocks. Damn. He clenched his fists, surveying the area for any sign of fires or other kinds of trouble, especially coming from the direction of his parents' trailer. The sun was setting. No way Gabbo is still at school by now. Damn. Would have been safer that way, if he had anything on to say on the matter his little 'bro should be as far away as he could from demons. Mom and dad would know what to do. Yeah, with demonic gangs around he was sure that they would have done their best to keep him out of troubles, the were 'in the known' after all about that kind of shit and yet...

 

At least he had remembered to put on his uniform. And a mask. No way he was gonna give the people behind the attack a connection to get to his family. 

Edited by Nerdzul
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Shadowborne

 

Muirne held tightly onto Charlie as he drove, the sun dipping lower towards the horizon. Motorbikes were a new method of transportation compared to more... Enclosed vehicles, and she wasn't quite sure she liked them. As they entered the neighborhood the stink of sulphur began to hang thick in the air, and she glared at the shadows as they stretched in the waning light. Feeling her phone vibrate she fumbled it out of her pocket, and quickly read the message. Did Luke not know they were coming? What exactly did he mean by 'spooky troubles'? She typed out a message, cursing under her breath as she messed up a few times.

 

Already on my way, Charlie messaged me. Did he not tell you?

See you soon.

 

Satisfied at her message she crammed her phone back into her pocket and picked up her pace, making sure to get her mask on just in case she didn't get the chance to get her armour on.

 

After a few more minutes the pair reached their friend, Muirne sliding off the back of the bike, waving to the dragon boy before following it up with a breathy "Hey Luke." Before she straightened, settling into a serious expression and stance. "What's the trouble?"

Edited by Kaede Kimura
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Nevermore II

 

By the time Muirne reached the gate, Charlie was already on his bike and in costume, motioning for her to get on. The Feather was fast and silent, racing throug the streets towards Southside. If Charlie had been by himself or any of the other Ravens, he would have taken his time, but this was different. Luke was already there, and well... couldn't leave his friend in trouble alone, could he now?

 

It wasn't long before they reached Luke, with Muirne slipping off the bike. Charlie just grinned as he looked between the two, leaning over the bike.

 

"Codenames." There was a laugh in his voice at the reminder. Honestly, he just wanted to hear Muirne say "Hey Nightscale" in the same tone.

 

Stepping off the bike, letting his cape fall behind him, he moved closer to the others. "Gangs and demons all over. Kinda weird, even for Southside."

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Luke shook his head when he saw Muirne's response, a smile on his lips. 

 

See you soon (kiss emote)

 

When she and Charlie found him, Luke was toying with a small coin, making it appear and disappear between his fingers as he walked in circles, his posture betraying a mix of tension and apprehension.

 

Some of that though, drained away when his friends got on the scene. "Hey..." Luke replied softly. "I'm happy that you are here. You know?" He continued, closing the distance between them, holding the redheaded girl gently in his arms for a moment or two, his gaze seeking comfort in the emerald pool of her eyes.

 

He shook his head as Chaz corrected her. "Yeah and even havin' you around ain't too bad either." He added, grinning and not before giving a playful nudge to his friend's shoulder.

 

"Not as much as you think..." Luke remarked. "I guess that they are accustomed to it, I mean one of the gangs had a dragon not long ago..." He chuckled, his smile this time didn't fully reach his eyes.

 

"But yeah, Ch- ehem - Never is right. It's one of the gangs, they are using demons now, started a war or something." He continued, seriously this time. "They went after some of my friends." He clenched his fists again. "I think they are fine, I hope, I mean Ian managed to call me, but I haven't heard from him or the others since. So I dunno if they are ok." He muttered a swear between his breaths. "Damn. We need to find them. Fast."

 

"I could feel the scent of sulfur from like ten blocks away... Plus these." He pointed at the tags on the walls. "They are new." Yeah, he tried to his best remember if he had already seen them anywhere though.

 

 

Edited by Nerdzul
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Shadowborne

 

Muirne tried to convey comfort and warmth through her eyes, seeing the worry in the way Luke held himself. She did have the decency to look sheepish when Charlie admonished her about the lack of codenames, but quickly recovered. "Right, sorry Nevermore." She bowed her head for a moment before lifting it again to listen in.

 

Her blood ran cold as they both lay the situation down. Demons running meant magic, the last thing she wanted to face. She still couldn't watch shows and movies because they had mages in them. But she wasn't about to leave these people to be preyed upon by monsters. Taking a steadying breath she wrestled her fear down. "Okay, I need to get my armour on, so turn around." After giving them both a gimlet eye she quickly started pulling her gear on and kept talking. "So I assume we're to find Nightscale's friend first? So we can get more information? Do you know where they would be out do we have a way to track them?"

Edited by Kaede Kimura
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Nevermore II

 

"Eh, dragons are a dime a dozen, right? Demons are a whole different level, right?" Charlie countered to Luke, while he fiddled a bit with his gauntlet, giving the two lovebirds a second, before quickly turning around when Muirne asked. "Sure." 

 

He had researched things before he got in touch with either Luke or Muirne. It was just good practice. Don't go looking for trouble if you don't know what's going to happen. One of Alek's most useful lessons, in the long run. 

 

"The gang calls themselves the Cardinal Rats. Kinda new on the scene, always trying to different stuff to try to get an edge. They're not really good at it, but good at running away, so sounds like this might be their first win."

 

Charlie paused briefly, grinning. "So, if Nightscale's done peeking on you, then yeah, I think we should go find his friend and see what he knows."

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Luke smiled fondly as their gazes met. She.. Well Muirne being there made everything better already. He did use the occasion to use a quick kiss, but then again… They had work to do.

 

A chuckle escaped his lips when Miurne replied to their friend with his battle name. God if he agreed that it was irritating (as much as it was needed). 

 

Yeah the-…” He was about to reply solemnly, when the full meaning of Chaz’s words hit him. “Wait. A dime a dozen? That’s a low blow man.” He gave his friend another nudge, shaking his head. 

 

They are buffoons… I mean, they sucked more than we did.” He nodded. “But freaking demons? That’s a new low even from them.” Yeah, Southside didn’t need infernal terrors hanging around too.  “Besides, help from demons isn’t usually free.” Indeed, he wondered what did a band like the Rats had to offer to get freaking hellspawn to assist them. 

 

I wasn’t.” Luke replied hastily, although if his tone didn’t betray the lie already, the smirk on his lips surely did. 

Ok… Ian isn’t answering my calls, but I think I can still find him…” Assuming that the bond between them was still there at least. Luke took a deep breath and closed his eyes. “He is over there… Alone, or at least no one else of my old gang is with him.” He pointed ahead of them. “The others are. Damn. They are close to the Cardinals old territory, they might be in trouble.” Yeah, or doing something stupid like try and strike back at a gang that had actual demons. “I think I can lead us to them.

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Shadowborne

 

Muirne frowned as Luke and Charlie talked about what they were up against. She was pretty sure they could take on the gang, but she wasn't looking forward to it. "So one of the questions we want the answer to is where they got the demons then?" She nodded as Charlie suggested finding Luke's friend before spinning to glare at him as Charlie's accusation registered. He was facing away, but he also sounded guilty as he denied it. Regardless of whether he was actually guilty it was satisfying to watch the rock bounce off the top of his head, and she knew she couldn't hurt him even if she stabbed him with her spear.

 

"Okay, let's go help." She finished securing the head of her spear as she walked up to stand next to the boys.

Edited by Kaede Kimura
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Nevermore II

 

"Sure, have you seen the number of dragon guys running around? Its pretty common, y'know." Charlie grinned playfully back at Luke. "Now demons? That's much more exciting, don't you think?" 

 

"I don't really know too much about demons and such." His tone turned serious. "Its not the kind of thing the Raven usually deals with, but I know we gotta figure out how they got there, and hopefully be able to figure out how to get them to leave. Just kicking their asses probably won't be enough."

 

He stretched his arms above his head. "Lead the way, Nightie. I'll just do my thing." With a soft laugh, he disappeared into the shadows.

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GM

 

The trio set off deeper into the night, the smell of brimstone thick in their noses, fear seemed to cling to the streets like a film. Curtains were pulled, lights were off and the world was silent and still as if death had descended upon every house along with the Rat tag that adorned each wall and window. The oppressive aura did not halt the progress of the heroes through the streets, but something else might cause them .

 

A man with what was clearly one of the demons Ian had mentioned. It was five feet in height, covered in red scales and quills. It held one of the quills in it's hand while surveying the area as the man threatened a pair of teens. The creature growled and spun to face the heroes, catching the gang member's attention. He looked between Nightscale and Nevermore, before swearing and running. Meanwhile the demon quickly scampered up the nearest building, before turning back towards the heroes.

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Nevermore II

 

"I'll stop the runner."

 

Taking aim for a second, Nevermore fired a line towards the running gangster's legs and... yeah, that wasn't gonna hit anyway. He should focus, here.

 

Aiming towards a building, he fired a grappling line instead, quickly letting it pull him in and sending him swinging past the running wannabe gangster, landing in front of him.

 

"C'mon, no need to run, buddy. We just wanna talk."

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Shadowborne

Muirne looked over to the gangster that Charlie was pursuing and decided that the demon was probably the more pressing issue. Running from the shadows past Luke she threw her spear, watching with satisfaction as it flew true through the air. And then in disappointment as it slid off the creature's scales without leaving a mark to come clattering to the ground. That wasn't the desired outcome...

Edited by Kaede Kimura
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It was a great idea not to announce their presence wasn’t it? Especially as they walked through enemy territory. Remain out of sight. Stick to the shadows. Walk quietly. So yeah, Luke tried to do that, but truth was, he could tell he wasn’t exactly doing a good job at it. Perhaps he was too on edge, seeing the infernal influence coating the neighborhood, his neighborhood with an eerie otherworldly vibe. He was not in fact that surprised when the demonic horror saw him.

 

His first impulse was to dash at the running gangster, after all he and his people were the one guilty from bringing literal hell to the streets that his little ‘bro used to go to school…  Chaz was already on it though and, well, the demon itself was the real threat wasn’t it?

 

The young man dashed in, releasing his monstrous side as he ran toward the creature, echoes of his claws surrounding his fists, he jumped toward the creature, planning to put his own weight into the strike, but unfortunately, the monster was too agile (or at least that was what the young hero choose to think) and easily dodged the strike.

 

Luke landed a few feet away, his fist raised in a guarding position. His eyes locked on the demon, defiantly.

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GM

 

The demon sneered at its attempted attackers while the gangster ran back from Nevermore and into a nearby alley, pulling out his phone. The heroes could hear him shouting, "There are heroes here man! Three of 'em!" He followed it up with a litany of cursing as it sounded like he ran into something before telling whoever was on the other end the street they were on. The demon by contrast showed a little more spine, casting it's quill at Shadowborne. The projectile shrieked through the air, embedding itself into the ground as the heroine dodged.

 

The teens the man had been hassling called their thanks to the trio before running off towards home.

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Nevermore II

 

Figures, he'd go running. Not even try to throw a punch or anything like that. 

 

With the guy pulling up a phone and shouting into it, Charlie placed a hand on the side of his cowl. Yeah, alright, he could see the phone here, the network aaaand... there we go, turned off the phone before the guy could get any details out. This meant a time limit, but on the other hand, it could work in their favor...

 

He'd share the idea with the others in a bit. First, the guy he'd been chasing.

 

Cape wrapped around him, Nevermore casually followed the gangster into the alley, keeping his distance for now. "How about you stop running? You're not gonna get away if I don't want you to, buddy."

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Shadowborne

 

Muirne quickly grabbed her fallen spear and threw it again, wincing as the demon swung to the side, easily evading the spear.

 

Annoyed, she turned to Luke. "Have you got any ideas to get him off the wall, Nightscale?"

Edited by Kaede Kimura
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GM

 

The demon mimicked a laugh as it dodged Muirne's spear, although the sound came out like a grunting screech from it's fanged maw. It reached to it's back and seized one of it's many spines. There was an awful sucking sound as it pulled free, and a small line of red mucus lead from it's back to it's spine.

 

Baring it's teeth in another horrifying grin it cast the spine at Muirne again, barely skimming the projectile off her shield as it shrieked through the air.

Edited by Kaede Kimura
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Luke nodded. "I'm on it." He waited for the hellspwan to throw a salvo of stinger and jumped on top of the building, summoning his wings, to help the ascent. When he finally reached the top he used them to generate a powerful burst of wind, planning to send the creature down toward the streets, but the monster proved to be surprisingly fast and merely dodged out of the way.  


The young man cursed between breaths and glared at the demon. At least now they were on the same level. "I'm coming for you next." He added. Although, admittedly, given his performance during the confrontation, there wasn't much of a chance that the creature would consider it a credible threat... 

 

For a few moments he studied the monster, wondering if maybe he could tackle him down the hard way, after all a short fall couldn't really hurt him.

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GM

The gangster stared at his phone for a few moments before spinning to face Nevermore as he spoke. "Hey fuck you! Coming in here like you're hot shit! The Cardinal Rats own Southside now and there ain't shit you two can do to stop em!" As if to punctuate his hysterical screaming the man drew a switchblade and charged Charlie, swinging it wildly to no effect as he swung it way out of measure. He screamed like a man possessed as he swung the knife in front of Charlie's face until after several failed attempts he stopped, panting.

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