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Claremont Academy

March 9th, 2020

Afternoon, after class

 

Aside from Casanova and Stinger's grudges, things seemed to have calmed down considerably since the fight between New Young Freedom and the group of young heroes in October. New Young Freedom had resumed their patrols in December and, so far, they seemed to stay on the straight and narrow path.

 

Well, things between the two groups had been mostly calm. A week or so before, Muirne, Luke's girlfriend, had been teamed with Sebastian for a project. Soon after, she had started talking about how maybe Sebastian wasn't that bad, that Luke and the others should try to give him another chance...

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Muirne didn't know what Luke wasn't getting. Sebastian had been perfectly kind to her despite her initial poor impression based on Eira and Luke's opinions at the Valentine's party.

 

"Honestly Luke, he's not as bad as you've been saying! What makes him so apparently unredeemable?" She glared up at her boyfriend in frustration. She knew Luke was a good person and so was Sebastian so why did they have to hate each other? "If you'd both just give each other a chance you could both be good friends I'm sure of it!"

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"Can't a boy who is dating a gorgeous girl be at least a little jealous?" Luke teased playfully. Although to be completely honest, much likely he was, at least a little. In fact, he hadn't enjoyed the idea of the two working together from the start, but then again, there was nothing he could do about it and he did trust her anyway, but still...

 

"And sure, I know... Second chances and all." He lowered his eyes a little. "I guess he would deserve one too." Yeah right? After all it would be very hypocritical of him not to grant Cas the benefit of the doubt (regardless on how punchable his smirk was), sure what he had done with the whole Young Freedom debacle was sick, but then again could the guy that used his powers to run a teenage gang claim actual moral superiority? Besides, having learned that Cas actual background wasn't so different from his own, the young man had sometimes found himself sympathizing with him (a tiny bit, at least). Yeah.

 

"Still, I mean, you should have seen him with those people at the park. Or like... With Zach on our first day, he tried to make him into his personal valet with his powers. Just he has that way of messing with people heads like it is nothing." Speaking of that... What if he was trying to do that with Muirne too? That would definitely be sick and extremely punchable. "What did he do to give you such a good impression?"

Edited by Nerdzul
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Muirne gave a light chuckle at Luke's comment about being jealous, and smiled when he agreed that Sebastian deserved a second chance. She knew that like would understand, he was good like that. "That's all I'm asking for Fýrdraca." Her smile weakened a bit when he started talking about things happening at the park or on the first day. She reached out and gently took Luke's hand.

 

"I don't know what it was like, I want there, but the guy you've talked about... I didn't see anything like that from him when we worked together. Maybe something you said during or after really got through to him?"

 

She cocked her head as Luke paused before asking what Sebastian did to leave such a good impression. Her expression wavered for the barest moment before she just smiled at Luke again.

 

"He was respectful and polite despite me being initially a bit rude and cold. He did his fair share of the work and tried to talk and be nice. In the end we talked and I find that he wasn't this awful creature I had envisioned but someone who I could be friends with, and I think you could be friends with too." She smiled up at Luke after her spiel. She hoped Luke would understand and give Sebastian a chance, he was such a great person, she didn't want her boyfriend to miss out on what she knew could be a wonderful friendship!

Edited by Kaede Kimura
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The young man chuckled back, taking her hand into his own. “I love when you call me that.” He grinned as he leaned in to steal a kiss.

Now Seb wasn’t exactly the subject he was willing to tackle when on a walk with his girl to be honest… But then again, he needed to know if had done something to Muirne.

 

Didn’t know that I was so convincing.” He teased. Casanova wasn’t exactly listening to him though, with the whole, passed out and tied up to a three thing that was going on thanks to Chaz. Yeah, must be something else right? “Maybe Ms. Summer managed to scare him good.” He grinned. Again, people could change. Not that fast though nor so completely though. Something fishy was going on wasn’t it?

 

Respectful and polite?” Were they speaking of the same person? Was it mind control again? Or just an act perhaps? He had to investigate this.

 

Hey, wait, sounds to me that he hittin’ on you, you know?” He chuckled going back to teasing again, although there was definitely more a hint of irritation in his voice. “I mean I would understand him, but…

Edited by Nerdzul
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GM

 

"Muirne!" 

 

Luke and Muirne recognized the voice instantly. Of course they did. It was Sebastian Shields, Casanova.

 

He was dressed in his usual nice clothes, still sporting a bandage over his nose that Nevermore had broken during the fight. Sebastian smiled as he saw Muirne... and Luke.

 

"And Luke! Look, I am so sorry about everything! I don't know what I was thinking!" He moved in closer, putting a hand on Luke's shoulder and smiling fondly at him. "You and your friends really showed me how wrong we were!"

 

Sebastian turned back to Muirne and placed his hands in his pockets. "I am terribly sorry, but I'll have to borrow Muirne for a few hours! I got the feedback on the assignment, and we'll have to redo parts of it!"

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Muirne smiled brightly after the kiss, holding Luke's hand tightly. His teasing comment about being convincing brought a light chuckle from her.

 

"I've found that you can be very convincing." She pulled herself closer to him as he made the comment about Síþwíf1 Summers setting him straight. "I'd like to think it was you, personally. You're a great guy Luke and modesty is nice, but you're allowed to take credit."

 

She looked up quickly at Luke's comment about Sebastian hitting on her, a blush forming across her cheeks when he said he'd understand. "Luke!" She said plaintively, "He was just being nice! Besides, you know you're the only one for me." She leaned into his arm for a moment of quiet before they heard Sebastian calling for her.

 

Quickly she straightened as the boy came into view. "Hey Sebastian!" She grinned at at Luke as the boy apologized, gesturing as if to say 'See? I told you.'

 

She sighed slightly at the return to schoolwork, but she couldn't exactly ignore her schooling. "Sorry Luke, duty calls." She gave the dragon a quick peck on the cheek before hurrying after Casanova.

 

1 A Noblewoman or Lady

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"I am?" Luke smiled fondly as he held his girl into his arms. "Then I should put this gift of persuasion to a good use." He chuckled. "Me, you, after class, we fly away, go someplace fun? What do you think?" He suggested.

 

"Well, if you put it that way." He chuckled again. Yeah, that said, he was still pretty skeptical of how Cas had managed to turn a leaf and completely reinvent himself so much. There must have been some sort of trick. Although, who knew right? Muirne seemed so taken and barring mind control or any other trick on Sebastian's part he trusted her judgement.

 

"What?" He smirked.

 

"I know. As you are for me." His smile softened, tension draining away from him as for a while the two just basked in the moment. He was about to lean in for another kiss, when suddenly Seb burst on the scene. Speak of the devil... 

 

"Hello man." He winced. Come on Luke don't be a frekin' hypocrite. 

 

"You know? I'm freakin' glad to hear that." He forced a smile and a few kind words, again, he had to believe that someone like Casanova could change. "If you need anything let me know ok?" He ruffled the hair on the back of his neck.

 

His smile definitely died a bit when Cas illustrated the reason for his interruption. Oh. Come on! 

 

"See you soon then." He saluted them, reserving a soft smile to Muirne as she left.

 

When they were gone, Luke found himself alone in the middle of an empty hallway. There was no reason to be worried wasn't it? Well, his girlfriend had just darted away chasing a guy whose battle name was actually Casanova though. No way! He trusted Muirne. But what about Cas mind tricks? Well, she was a freakin' superhero, she could take care of herself (perhaps more than Luke himself to be honest). And yet. He had seen him get into Zach's head with ease, it just took a few words to turn him into his personal butler, what about an entire afternoon spent together? Then again there was always the chance that Sebastian truly was a changed man. Yeah? Right? If only, out of pragmatism, not to get kicked out of school. Still. This was a bit sudden wasn't it? Yeah. Suspicious. Maybe he was just overthinking it, or maybe...

 

Screw it! He needed to know if anything was going on.

 

It would not take much. Just a quick look, just in case...

 

Edited by Nerdzul
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GM

 

"Thank you, I will," Sebastian responded to Luke, smirking slightly as he turned away.

 

Sebastian and Muirne walked in silence, with Sebastian leading the way into the library building, past the librarian that didn't even look up from her work. They moved further, past stacks of books and shelves, moving into a private room and closed their door. It would be difficult for Luke to follow, but if he was fast, there was a window outside.

 

Melanie Cutter was waiting inside, leaning against a wall with her arms crossed, her cowboy hat resting on the top of her head. The room was small, without a lot of space, with a small oval table in the middle.

 

"Took ya long enough." She sounded impatient. "What's it gonna be, then?

 

Casanova smiled, turning to look at Muirne. "Melanie's right, y'know. It's about time you gave us answer, my dear. Are you ready to join New Young Freedom?"

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Muirne hummed happily as she walked alongside Sebastian. It looked like Luke was coming around to giving him a chance and she knew that they'd get along great. And if Luke gave him another chance then she knew that others like Zach and Charlie would too. She spent the walk in her own head, focused on Luke and Sebastian and how the future was looking.

 

There was a moments hesitation before she stepped into the room, giving Melanie a quick wave. She gave the pair a bright smile as they asked whether or not she'd be joining the super team. "Of course! I'd love to work with you guys."

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It looked like no one had noticed him. Like a freakin' ninja. The young man had navigated the halls as inconspicuously as he could, now, there was no way he could join them inside the room, unfortunately, without being found out, but he could always try his best to overhear what was going on right? Yeah. Hopefully it would be enough to figure out if Seb was using his powers on Muirne.

 

Luke had to restrain himself from swearing when he heard Cas’s offer. Wait! Wha-? Muirne joining in with them? No way! They were… Crap! Now sure, maybe they really had changed and there was nothing wrong about it (except the fact that his girlfriend will be hanging out a lot with the New Young Freedom, obviously), but what if they got her into trouble too? No biggie, she is gonna say no… Right?

 

Wrong! Damn!

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GM

 

"I am so happy to hear you say that." Sebastian was all smiles. Behind him, Melanie rolled her eyes. 

 

"You should join us tonight, then. Melanie has heard some rumors about some villains trying to steal something from the Hunter Museum up near Liberty Park. Something about some mystical gem or something on display. It was boring, I didn't really listen to the details. But, we will be staking the place out. You should join us then!"

 

Melanie rolled her eyes again.

 

Luke overheard everything, of course. Then Melanie turned towards him. He wouldn't have long to hide, but perhaps that would be the perfect cue for him to get in touch with some friends.

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Sure Seb and company deserved the benefit of the doubt, but then again… yeah… He needed to talk with Murine about this. Although, he already imagined that the conversation wasn’t going to be a fun. Maybe she will bring out the subject… Besides, joining a superhero team didn’t sound like such a bad idea, right? And it was not like Luke could make a similar offer to her, for now at least.

 

So happy to hear that?! He couldn’t believe it. And yet… Damn if he wanted to punch that smirk out of Cas face. For now though, he could only vent his frustration against the nearby wall. Not the smartest plan, in hindsight.

 

Yeah time to scram.

 

Tonight. Hunter Museum. Fine.

 

Now hopefully he would have a chance to talk to Muirne before that. That said, he would also have to get in touch with some of his friends, just in case.

 

Need to talk with you guys. I think Cas is plottin’ something again.

 

He typed quickly on his phone.

 

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Nevermore II

 

Charlie was up in a tree, a book in his hands, when his phone buzzed. Reaching into his pocket, he absentmindedly pulled it out, his eyes still on the book before slowly turning to look at it.

 

Group chat, then. Luke, Olivia, Zach. And... Shields was up to something. Of course he was. 

 

Charlie had kept an eye on Shields ever since their last trouble, but honestly, he hadn't really spotted New Young Freedom doing anything bad. Nothing worse than other students, at least. No mind control, no nothing that he had noticed.

 

Still, he trusted Luke's judgement so far. He sent out a quick message to everyone

 

Meet behind dorms in 10?

 

Then, he audibly closed his book and called out to the tall woman sitting under the tree.

 

"Hey, El? Wanna get into some trouble?"

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El had her eyes closed, and she was snoring softly, her muscular arms behind her head. Try as she might to enjoy the great American classics, the day was far too comfortable to read Steinbeck without taking a little nap. She had spent much of her last week alternating between working on Painkiller in the school's extensive mechanic shop and the library. After wandering in on a hot day, she rarely found herself out of it!

 

6 hours ago, RocketLord said:

"Hey, El? Wanna get into some trouble?"

 

"Hrmmmm," she groaned, stretching her arms over her head, her slim copy of The Grapes of Wrath falling to her lap. "You know the answer is always a yes, Charlie. What kind of trouble are we talking? And who are we bringing along for an alibi?" she said with a devilish grin. 

 

El had enjoyed spending more time with Charlie. After their hang-out at the mall (now that was what that was called!), the two of them had been spending more time together. It was nice to get to know her friends at Claremont. 

Edited by Lone_Star
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Muirne's smile was brittle as she nodded in agreement with Sebastian's plan. She wasn't happy at the idea of being near a mystical anything, but she knew that they'd look out for her. Casanova and the others were great like that. She could trust them.

 

She started when she heard something hit the wall, but whatever it was was gone by the time she reached the window. Something's wrong. Muirne ignored Aoife as she commented. She'd been saying that a lot. Muirne didn't know why.

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After the last fight against Shields Zach had done his best to put as much distance between himself and the mind controlling menace to society as he could. He didn't like shields in the least and at this point figured that was probably going to be the state of things unless Shields went out of their way to make amends. A prospect Zach figured was about as likely as suddenly being appointed as CEO of Archetech before summer break. Technically possible but with chances that were infinitely approaching zero.

Still times were good! He'd done some digging into oddities around the city, found some money trails that were super suspect and only got more so when they would terminate with no explanation. He was even sure he was on the heels of some black hat hacker who kept removing vital pieces of the puzzle before he could access them. He probably wouldn't admit it but it was a really fun game of cat and mouse! He just needed a little bit more to see the whole picture and
 

And his cell chirped out a notification. Reading it Zach couldn't help but sigh. Of Course Shields was going to pull something stupid. Texting quickly Zach replied as he slipped his Armor into an empty backpack.
 

"This is going to be a thing isn't it? See you there."
 

This was going to turn into a fight he just knew it.

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Arrow IV 

 

Olivia was in the middle of thoroughly (and surprisingly patiently) explaining to one of her regrettably denser friends why their favorite influencer was a grifter hocking a crap product that would turn her green when her phone started to blow up. A cursory look at the messages from Luke and Charlie made her scrunched up her nose as if she had just messed something foul. 

 

"Sorry K. I have to take this. We'll finish this chit-chat later. Try not to do or buy anything stupid while I'm gone, ok."

 

Leaving the hall she was in and going into an empty class room, Olivia gave the texts another look as she thought of how to react to the invite. Several less than flattering or helpful words and phrases immediately came to her mind, but she decided to begrudgingly hold her venom. At least for now. 

 

After the whole incident with Shield's embarrassing New Freedom League she had started to develop something of a professional respect for Charlie and his band of friends. Said respect was small admittedly, but it was more than she had for the most of the students of Claremont. With that being the case she finally deighed to text the group chat back . 

 

You do all know that Summers is going to wipe out a scourge if she finds out we went after that idiot Shields again, yes? 

 

She paused, wondering is she should leave it that and go back to rescuing Karen from her own bad decisions. She sighed.

 

This better be worth my time or I'm ratting the whole of you out.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

That was a mess wasn’t it? No way that Casanova had heroic motives, right? And if he did, wouldn’t that make him look like a jealous idiot? Well... Now it wouldn’t harm anyone to check out what his actual plans were about.


And if everything went smoothly they could just go their merry ways and whatever. Intervene just if Muirne was in trouble (assuming that she needed help, after all he had seen her kick plenty of ass). Yeah they can do that. Still… It felt a bit dishonest… 

 

Quote

Hey! 😍 

I was wonderin... 

Does my Fair Lady wants to hang out with her own personal dragon tonight 😎

 

He texted Muirne. Unwilling to admit that he knew about the whole deal with Cas, for now at least...

 

Now he could understand her wanting to join a team. It would have been easier though if it wasn’t Cas’... That said it was not like he had an alternative to offer… Although he and his friends kinda was one right? Yeah. Whatever. His train of thought stopped once he got to their meeting spot behind the dorms. 

 

Hey.” He waved at his friends. “Nks’ by the way…” 

 

I bet that you wanna know why I called you here right? Well it’s the New Young Freedom… They are planning something new tonight, they are about to stop an heist to get some kind of magical gizmo from the Museum at Liberty Park.” He lowered his eyes.

 

I dunno it sounds kinda alright, but I mean it’s Cas and his gang… They must be up to something…” 

 

The young man ruffled the hair on the back of his neck. “Plus there was something else. Muirne is joining their team… I dunno how they got to her.” Some mind trick, probably.

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Nevermore II

 

Charlie had given El a quick response about the best kind of trouble, and that she'd get to meet the rest of the team, then. He was pretty sure she had met at least a few of them already, but hey, they could always do introductions later.

 

Giving Luke a quick wave, he waited for everyone to show up and... well, it seemed like the whole gang aside from Shift was here. Pretty good so far, then. His ideas for this little group might work out after all. Not that he was planning on sharing any of those ideas just yet.

 

"Wait, Muirne's hanging out with Shields now?" He really should've kept a closer eye on Shields, like they'd asked him to do, but... only so much he could do between classes, Grey Squad stuff, patrolling with the Raven, that whole thing with the Ushers and everything else... He was sure that Alek would get on his case about that later. Couldn't exactly let the others on all that, so instead, he grinned slightly. "You sure you're not just afraid he'll steal your girlfriend?" Yeah, no. This was much more serious. 

 

"Do you mean the Hunter Museum? I've been a few times. Security's alright, but not too tight. Haven't heard any rumors about any planned heists, but not like Raven knows verything." Or tells Charlie everything, for that matter.

 

He looked straight at Luke, his mischievous grin returning. "So, what do you want us to do about it, Nightscale?"

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On 4/4/2021 at 5:04 PM, Nerdzul said:

I bet that you wanna know why I called you here right? Well it’s the New Young Freedom… They are planning something new tonight, they are about to stop an heist to get some kind of magical gizmo from the Museum at Liberty Park.” He lowered his eyes.

 

I dunno it sounds kinda alright, but I mean it’s Cas and his gang… They must be up to something…” 

 

The young man ruffled the hair on the back of his neck. “Plus there was something else. Muirne is joining their team… I dunno how they got to her.” Some mind trick, probably.

 

El followed Charlie behind the dorms, wondering what this was about. She was always up for trouble, but this...this was a bit more serious. Though she hadn't been at the school for longer than a few months, she had already heard of New Young Freedom. A rather dubious bunch, or at least, that's what the rumors around campus would have her believe. She wasn't sure yet herself, not until she met them. But Luke seemed very concerned, and she wanted to hear him out.

 

"Muirne is joining their team? That is very strange. Are we assuming Casanova is mind-controlling her?" she said. "That does seem to be his 'thing'. I have seen him around campus, and his face is quite punchable." She paused for a moment, thinking about her words, what Danica would say. Something...more polite. People liked her, so maybe she should try to start acting nicer!

 

"But, we should at least look into it, in case that is not what's actually happening." El smiled, pleased with herself.

 

 

Edited by Lone_Star
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Olivia couldn't help but roll her eyes as Outrider stated the obvious. Pinching the bridge of her nose, she said, "Yes, actually investigating whether there's even an issue here would be super great." Her tone made it clear that she wasn't exactly impressed by what little evidence the group had gathered so far. Even so, she didn't plan on abandoning them. Not yet anyway.

 

"Ok, how about we do this? Murine and Shield's band of sour losers are staking out Hunter Museum in case a villain hits it, yes? Well, assuming that's actually true, how about set up a lookout of our own." Pulling out a device from her utility belt, Arrow only had to push a few buttons to display a 3D holographic blueprint of the museum she had already saved on it. "If he isn't a total idiot than there's several decent places that could be scoping the museum from without alerting  security. We can hit them all to see if he's there and stealthily monitor him and his groupies once we do. If find that he's up to something than we thrash them again. And in the very slim chance that are on the up-and-up we can bail them out if there's trouble."

 

She looked up from the display to the others to see if any of them had enough of a attention span to listen. "Does that sound to you all?"
 

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On 4/6/2021 at 4:17 AM, Lone_Star said:

"Muirne is joining their team? That is very strange. Are we assuming Casanova is mind-controlling her?" she said. "That does seem to be his 'thing'. I have seen him around campus, and his face is quite punchable." She paused for a moment, thinking about her words, what Danica would say. Something...more polite. People liked her, so maybe she should try to start acting nicer!

 

 

"Yeah that, or he is just feeding her some lies." Although Murine was too perceptive to just fall for that, the young man was convinced that there definitely must have been something more sinister.

 

On 4/5/2021 at 9:38 PM, RocketLord said:

"Wait, Muirne's hanging out with Shields now?" He really should've kept a closer eye on Shields, like they'd asked him to do, but... only so much he could do between classes, Grey Squad stuff, patrolling with the Raven, that whole thing with the Ushers and everything else... He was sure that Alek would get on his case about that later. Couldn't exactly let the others on all that, so instead, he grinned slightly. "You sure you're not just afraid he'll steal your girlfriend?" Yeah, no. This was much more serious. 

 

 

"Yeah no way." Luke replied, trying to show as much confidence as he could muster. Of course that was never going to happen. Impossible. Still, there was nothing wrong in being a bit careful right? Again, that guy was named Casanova, there were huge chances that he was not exactly a follower of the proper 'bro code... 

 

On 4/9/2021 at 1:50 AM, Cubismo said:

If he isn't a total idiot than there's several decent places that could be scoping the museum from without alerting  security. We can hit them all to see if he's there and stealthily monitor him and his groupies once we do. If find that he's up to something than we thrash them again. And in the very slim chance that are on the up-and-up we can bail them out if there's trouble."

 

"And yeah I haven't heard about anything at the museum either, but I mean, he could always make a few mind tricks and force some innocent to rob the place or somethin'" Yeah, although that would be repeating the same plan twice, one that they have already managed to thwart, there must be something else. 


"By the way guys I was thinkin' that Cas didn't have such a bad idea..." He lowered his eyes. "I mean, not the museum thingie." Or trying to get Muirne involved in his schemes. "More making a team, you know?

 

He nodded to Arrow, now maybe he didn't exactly like her 'better than though' kind of attitude, but admittedly she was right. "Yeah, that, plus, I think we would have to be discreet with this. I mean, in the super unlikely chance that they are genuinely trying to do good I don't want to get in the way." Plus he definitely didn't want to start a fight with his girlfriend or get her into some trouble if it turned out that it was just his jealousy speaking and not some machination from Sebastian.

 

Edited by Nerdzul
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Nevermore II

 

Charlie pointed to Oliva. "I'm with O. We stake 'em out, then either take 'em out or bail 'em out, whatever it'll end up being." If he was right about what Shields was up to and the reasosn that he hadn't been punished more severely in the first place, then they kind of had to do this, didn't they?

 

He broke out of his serious demeanor for a moment, grinning at El. "It was. He's probably still pissed at me about his nose, too."

 

Charlie wasn't gonna lie. He had been giving the whole team thing some thought. Something beyond just the squads that Claremont put them out. They couldn't be Young Freedom, but maybe they could be something else. "How about we go and get your girlfriend back before we get into putting together a whole thing, huh? Focus, man."

 

"So, we get to the museum, preferably before Shields' and his gang, we stake it out. Stay out of sight, best as we can. Don't engage unless we got to, alright? Everyone good with the plan?"

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GM

 

Later...

Liberty Park, the Hunter Museum of National History

 

The Hunter Museum was very much a classic, in every sense of the word. Classic architechture, classic exhibits... From the outside, it looked like a Greek temple. Inside, the first thing that greeted visitors were a giant tyrannosaurus rex skeleton replica. 

 

By the time the group arrived, it seemed like they were alone. The place was shut down for the night and New Young Freedom was nowhere to be seen. Not yet, at least.

 

They probably wouldn't have long. They would need to hide and find the gem.

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