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GM

 

Friday, December 17th

7PM

Riverside

The Benedict Sans Office Tower

25th Floor

 

The Benedict Sans Officer Tower was a newer addition to the Riverside skyline. It towered over its neighbors as an collection of office floors. Importers liked its proximity to the river and as did start up tech firms like to distinguish themselves from their Hanover counterparts.

 

Representatives from numerous technological and import companies, both local and from outside the city, gathered for a pre-holiday party at the offices of Dumass and Prude Imports. The offices occupy most of the 25th floor. Networking and deal-making was done under the veil of festive cheer. Everyone knew the party was a thinly disguised ploy at gaining favor with key companies.

Everything was going fine. Champagne flowed, hors d’oeuvres were nibbled, and schmoozing abound through out the large room where the party was being held.

Offices lined two walls of the party room, while floor to ceiling widows encompassed the exterior wall, overlooking the courtyard and offering a magnificent view of the river in the distance.

 

Suddenly, gunfire pierces the evening cheer as armed goons dressed in black stand aside from the open doors of the party room. Five men, one a large man with a thick red mustache and bear paws for hands, another scrawny man with large fly-like wings, bug eyes and arms. A bald, heavyset man in wrestling pants and a long grey/black hair man with glowing eyes flanked them. Finally, another man, obviously younger then the others stood to one side, with a drawn out nose and mouth that gave him a shark like resemblance to match the sharp white teeth his grin shows off.

 

The red-haired man steps forward and spoke up.

“Listen here ya prissy, walking checkbooks. This here’s a robbery, you’re gonna cough up whatcha got while we rummage through your offices for pretties, or I’ll know why.”

 

“Now see here!”

An older man in a expensive suit steps forward from the terrified guests. Mr. Russell Dumass. The co-owner of Dumass and Pride Imports and the man hosting the party.

“You would do well to leave before you face trouble.”

Mr. Dumass glanced over at large, suited man with an earpiece and nodded. As if on cue the man and several others around the room draw pistols on the intruders.

 

The party crashers laugh as the armed guards aim there weapons at them in return. The black clad goons aimed small assault rifles and the tension in the room thickened until the red-haired man raised a bear paw of a hand and the goons relaxed some.

 

What happened next was swift and vicious. Four of the men moved with purpose while the one with glowing eyes simply watched. The guards quickly fell under the assault of the villains. Some knock unconscious while others were less fortunate. With the shark faced man being the least restrained. The man he took a bite out of bled profusely and this seemed to only drive him into a frenzy. The other villains only watched as the shark man bite the man over and over until in a rage he picked the bloodied guard up like a rag doll and tossed him through one of the floor to ceiling widows to have him land in a blood mess in the building’s courtyard 25 floors below.

 

The speed and ferocity of the attack cowed any further resistance in the crowd as they began to comply with the men and their goons. Satchel carrying goons began to move through the crowd as the villains regrouped. They spoke in hushed tones before splitting up. The bald villain in wrestling pants and boots took several goons and left the party room as the bear-handed man turned his attention to Mr. Dumass.

“You.”

He commanded.

“Your office, now.”

The frighten businessman followed the command and lead the villain into his office. The villain closing the door behind him for privacy.

The remaining three villains watched the goons moving through the party guests like vultures waiting on their next meal.

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Leon

 

A small group of teenage heroes were heading to a pre-holiday party in a Riverside warehouse Leon had found a flyer for. Leon was trying not it chuckle as he neared the end of needlessly long joke about a young boy asking about a purple turtle.

“… so the kid asked the judge, “Judge sir, what’s a purple turtle?” And the judge slams his gavel and tells the kid “That’s it, 50 years in prison”…”

It’s about here, the small group of teens are passing a tall office building with a nice courtyard.

“…so the kid spends the next 50 years behind bars. When he’s finally released, he runs out into the street, happy as can be when suddenly…”

 

The teens never get to hear the end of the joke as the sound the sound of breaking glass 25 floors up reaches their ears, followed by the messy sound of a body and broken glass hitting the ground in the courtyard of the building they’re passing.

 

“What the f*ck was that?”

Leon’s head snaps around at the sound, his eyes darting around is search of the source.

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Neko had been following Leon's joke as best she could, wondering if this was the sort of thing she could tell Danica later. When the glass crashed open, though, she cocked her head and listened to the long fall from above. She was by the side of the body almost as soon as it fell, her wide yellow eyes staring down at the twitching wreck of a man. He is dead. There was nothing here she hadn't seen before. With a blank expression on her face, her magical 'disguise' fell away, revealing her eats flat against her head, her tail curled around her legs as she stared up at the building. She concentrated; and suddenly in every dark corner of the building above a cat watched and waited, its eyes and ears telling its maker down below everything that went on. 

 

By her side, Owain knelt down by the corpse, his face fallen and his voice a low murmur as he whispered, "Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis. Animae eorum et omnium fidelium defunctorum per misericordiam Dei requiescant in pace. Amen,"  he stood up, his fists raised, missing his sword back at the dojo. This had been supposed to be a safe evening. "A beast has been upon him. Not - not a wolf, or a lion, or a dragon..." He hesitated, then pressed on, "there is something up there." 

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Artificer

 

Heroditus was also struggling to follow along with Leon's story, though for different reasons.  There are purple sea-turtles in the depths -- at least, they appear purple, to eyes that can see in the wine-dark depths -- but I did not know the Surfacers were aware of them.

 

He was about to ask Leon a question, when the shattering glass and crashing body drew everyone's attention.  He saw Neko & Owain were attending to the body, so he looked up, trying to find where it had come from.  "There!," he pointed, then quickly began rummaging through his bandolier of pouches.  "Ah, I do not think I have an aescender on me.  Can one of you get us up there?"

 

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Luke was about to tease his friend about the length of the joke a body crashed down from the 25th story window very visibly startled him.

 

"What the hell? F-" He threw a glance toward the unfortunate victim and lowered his eyes, that was definitely not a way for someone to celebrate Christmas wasn't it? He nodded approvingly at Owain murmuring a prayer for the dead, now, he was not a religious guy himself, but that certainly couldn't hurt right? Himself, unfortunately perhaps despite his young age, he had seen death, but that didn't mean that he had grown accustomed or desensitized to it.

 

Truth was though, they could do nothing for the victim, not now at least, but maybe they did get the chance to help out if anyone was still in danger. 

 

"A what?" He replied to Heroditus. Now he didn't exactly know what an ascender was, but at least he could figure out what it was supposed to do.

 

"Ahh ok... I can bring us all up there, but we might need a way to hide us... " He threw a glance toward Neko, reminding her performance while she was playing hide and seek with Owain. "I  mean I'm not exactly subtle ..." He ruffled the hair on the back of his neck, understatement of the century.

 

Edited by Nerdzul
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Shooting Star

 

When Alice had decided to let Paper, Nightscale and Outrider know who she was after fighting Aaron and his new team it was for the purpose of coordinating as heroes and to make them even after she'd seen Nightscale and Outrider's faces. Having a team to call on could be useful, the only other person she'd worked with was Archer, and for all that he was good, he was still one person.

 

Imagine her surprise when Paper- Leon, she reminded herself- called her up and invited her to a party. At first she'd thought it was too go undercover for something, then she thought it was maybe a team building exercise or some kind of code that he just didn't realize she didn't know. She'd asked for details, and as they talked she came to a conclusion: He was actually just inviting her to a party. In a warehouse.

 

After a great deal of thinking and debating with herself, she decided that there couldn't be much harm in it. It'd be like going out for drinks with coworkers or something. Right?

 

So here she was, with three people she didn't know, listening to Leon tell his joke wearing a black Rammstein t-shirt that was closer to a short dress on her (It was a hand me down from Aaron) with a pair of blue jeans that were ripped at the knees and some black flats. The dress her parents saw her leave in was safely stored on The Moon.

 

That is, she was listening until the cadaver hit the pavement. Air hissed between her teeth as she took a half step to interpose herself between the source of the noise and the others. Concrete cracked beneath her feet as her weight settled slightly and she pulled herself up slightly. She didn't really want to reveal her ID to three strangers, but given that the other girl, Neko she thought her name was, just turned into a cat girl she was pretty sure they were heroes too. With a sigh she ripped some metal off of a nearby stop sign and moulded it to cover her face, poking holes for her eyes. Her identity so protected, she spoke up.

 

"I can fly us up, my flight's silent too, although some of you are probably going to be pretty uncomfortable. I don't have anything other than my arms, so if anyone lacks super strength or something else to keep them in place I can hold onto two of you, everyone else would have to just hold on." She wasn't thrilled at the idea of the people hanging onto her, especially when it was potentially the case that they could all be teenage boys, but duty calls.

 

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GM

 

Far above, a multitude of small eyes watched from dark corners. Neko could see most of the floors above were empty. Just the one held the large gathering of guests. She could see the armed men moving around like bandits of old, collecting wallets and jewelry, as three men watched. The bug man, the shark man, and the one with the glowing eyes.

 

In the hall a pair of eyes catches another large bald man in wrestling pants get into the elevator with a handful of armed men

 

In a separate office a pair of yellow eyes watch from above on darken shelf. A large man with a red mustache and bear claws is intimidating at an older man in a suit as he rambles nervously.

“I’m serious, I don’t know where it is in the vault. That was my parter James’ responsibility.”

The larger man with a hefty red mustache towers over him.

“We already had a talk with your partner and he ain’t saying much anymore. So you better figure it out.”

The older man raises his hands in a placating gesture.

“M-maybe there’s something in his office that’s says where it is.”

The red haired man seems to back off a little and nods the man towards the door.

 

In a similarly furnished office across the room another set of eyes shows Neko two teens. A lean girl with short red hair peeks between drawn curtains, watching the larger room as a dirty blonde haired boy rummages through the desk. Neither are dressed for the party.

 

————————

 

Below, in the courtyard, the teens gather around the body as they try to figure out the best way up. They can easily spot the light from one of the floors as the other floors are dark.

Anyone looking around can spot a man in a security uniform at a large desk in the lobby beyond the glass front of the office building. He doesn’t seem to have noticed what’s happening outside.

Edited by Spacefurry
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Leon

 

Leon quickly joined the others by the body. At Owain’s remarks to the wounds had to take the other boys word for it since he couldn’t bring himself to look too closely. It was his first this close to an actual dead body. He did his best to compose himself. 

He glanced up at the tiny broken window so many floors up that Artificer pointed out.

“Hmm. This is bad.”

He said as he pulled out his phone and punching in 911. It rung only twice before it connected. Leon stepped away from the body as he spoke into the phone.

“Hello. I’d need to report a dead body.”

He paused, obviously listening to the operator.

“He fell out of a window.”

Another phase before he angrily replied.

“What? No this isn’t a prank. Where?”

Leon glanced back at the building for a moment to get the address, before giving the operator the information.

“Anything else?”

He glanced at the body.

“It looks like something attacked him before he fell.”

He paused then looked at the others.

“Ya, sure. We’ll stay put and wait ‘til they get here.”

Leon ended the call.

 

Leon looked around at the others with a smirk.

“Sounds to me, like we all agree we should ‘wait’ inside.”

His smirk quickly disappears and he looks at Nightscale.

“I don’t know if she can hide big you, but that’d be a helluva entrance.”

He chuckled and looked to Shooting Star.

“Quiet could work too if you can carry us, I can make a sling to hold us. But We need to know what’s up there.”

He glanced at the body again, not knowing about Neko’s eyes inside. 

“I know I don’t want any surprises.”

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“I don’t know if she can hide big you, but that’d be a helluva entrance.”

 

"There is only a way to find out." Luke grinned. Sure Shooting Star's offer was tempting, but he did feel like he could stretch his wings a little and besides, he did want to show off his dragon side to Neko and Owain anyway. 

 

He stretched his arms as his body began to shift, a faint golden light burned in his chest as flows of an obsidian-like substance enveloped his skin, his muscles and frame growing massively, as his wings emerged from his back a crown of crests and horns adorned his now serpentine head and went down his on his neck. Soon, the boy was no longer there, replaced instead with a bus-sized black-scaled winged lizard, with golden crests and solid gold eyes. 

 

He stretched his wings and gave his friends a satisfied smile before turning to face Neko and Owain. "So... you think you can hide me?"

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Neko cocked her head like a curious cat as she looked up at the building, her face hard to read. Bent on all fours with her tail lashing behind her, she looked more like a cat than Luke and Leon had ever seen. But something in her eyes wasn't cute at all. She took a moment to compose her thoughts into English, then said "Men. Guns. A...kojin, like this." She snapped her teeth in frustration. "They come!" 

 

"With respect, fellows, Neko's magic does not hide. But mine does." Owain stepped back and put his hands on Luke's scaly body, repressing the urge to shudder at the touch of draconic flesh. "You will have to touch the dragon if you wish to remain hidden," he told Alice before turning back to his dragon friend. Why did a boy with such a striking figure have to turn into something so fiendish? "Anweledig," he said, and abruptly Luke, Leon, and Owain vanished from the sight of any onlookers. 


Neko, still crouched like a big cat, suddenly hissed; and it wasn't pleasant. Behind them, the ground warped, bubbled, and out rose a gigantic flaming skeleton! It towered some ninety feet tall when it was done, clearly visible to all inside the building and for that matter anyone nearby, and then it shouted in a voice that roared like thunder: 

Dare ga watashi no niku o nusunda no?! 

 

Over the sound of the giant skeleton's roar, Neko scrabbled up onto Luke's flank and hung on for dear life as the skeleton extended a gigantic bony hand towards the building as if it sought to climb up and devour all who stood within. 

 

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Artificer

 

A Lot had happened fairly quickly.  One of the students mangled a stop sign into a mask (I hope that does not cause any traffic accidents), another turned into a dragon (or has he been a dragon posing as a human teen all this time?), then three of them vanished as a giant flaming skeleton appeared.  Okay, those last two I can at least wrap my mind around.

 

He finished cobbling together his device -- a leather and brass gauntlet with tuning forks at the end of each fingertip, each fork made of a different metal -- and made an impressive leap up, aiming to land on Nightscale's back... provided that Nightsclae had not moved too much since being turned invisible.  "It might be better," he said, trying to convince himself as much as the others, "for me to be the obvious target while everyone else goes in under Owain's concealment."  He made a gesture with is ungauntleted hand, and a field of silvery energy appeared around him.

 

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"Awesome." Nightscale nodded as he felt Owain's magic wash on his flesh, concealing the dragon's massive form from sight. "Hop on people." He offered, lowering his neck so that his friends could mount on his back.  

 

"Woah." He turned to face the flaming horror that Neko had seemingly conjured, flames already raising between his fangs as if to confront the monster, before he realized that it was a creation from his feline schoolmate. "Cool." He nodded as the fire in his throat die down. 

 

"Are you ready people?" He began to flap his wings. "Hold tight and Let's go!" Soon, they were in the air, circling the building, as Nighscale looked for a good place to get inside.

Edited by Nerdzul
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Paper

 

Paper watched as Nightscale grew and shifted form. He’d seen it before, but it was still impressive. Not that he was about to admit it.

He smirked and shook his head until Neko spoke up.

“Hmm?”

Paper didn’t know how she knew they had guns, but it was good to know. He turned to her.

“Can you see inside? How many men?”

He asked as he tried to remember was kojin meant, but he was drawing a blank. He shook his head and regarded Owain as the boy spoke up. As the two disappeared from sight he chuckled. He looked back at Shooting Star.

“Guess your off the hook.”

He joked until Neko’s illusion spawned.

“Holy…!”

Paper started as he looked up at it. The only thing he caught from its roar was something about stealing or something stolen? He couldn’t be sure, but it didn’t matter right now.

 

On 12/30/2021 at 11:31 PM, Dr Archeville said:

Artificer

 

"It might be better," he said, trying to convince himself as much as the others, "for me to be the obvious target while everyone else goes in under Owain's concealment."  He made a gesture with is ungauntleted hand, and a field of silvery energy appeared around him.

 

 

He nodded to Artificer.

“If you think you can handle it. Sounds like they’re armed.”

He looked back at Shooting Star and nodded towards the spot Nightscale sat invisible.

“Guess that’s the plan. Up to the window. Let Arty take point.”

He suggested to the group, using his nickname for Artificer.

“We follow up sneaky like. Well, as sneaky as an invisible dragon can be.”

He quipped as he found a perch on his roomie’s back. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

GM

 

Inside the lobby the visible security guard looked up in surprise as Neko’s illusion roared in rage. He snatches up a small automatic weapon from the counter and ran up to the glass doors. Looking out at the monstrous image in shock. He fumbled for a radio off his belt and spoke into it.

 

————-

 

Upstairs, Neko’s cats can see nearly everyone looked towards the widow at the cry of rage. The man with the glowing eyes answers a radio off his own belt. He looked at the bug-man and motioned to him.

The bug-man moved over to the broken window and looked down. At the sight of the illusion he quickly backed away.

“What in the hell is that?”

 

“What is it?”

The red-haired asked, pausing at the office door with the older man.

 

“A m-monster.” 

He replied as he continued to back away from the broken window. The shark-man looked nervously from him to the red-haired man.

 

“Then deal with it.”

The red-haired man growled and shoved the older man forward towards the office. The older man began to fumble through a key ring.

 

——-

 

Below in the courtyard Owain’s magic cloaked the group with ease. A plan seemingly in hand Nightscale carried the young heroes up into the air towards the broken widow as Neko’s illusion continued to effectively distract the villains.

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GM

 

Paper held onto Nightscale as the dragon climbed up into the night towards the upper floors. As the group flew closer, a number of black clad goons appear in the broken window. they level automatic weapons at the monstrous illusion and open fire uselessly. Nightscale easily avoiding any stray shots, being unseen by the men.

Edited by Spacefurry
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Nightscale grinned as he saw the goon aiming their guns at the air. Admittedly, Neko's illussion was a bit creepy, cat girl had some well developed imagination didn't she? Then again, he was glad that she was on their side.

 

Once he got on the right floor, his golden eyes surveyed the room, seeking hostages and villains, unfortunately neither were in his reach (and using dragonfire in the building was out of the question), so instead, still protected by Owain's veil, he leaned in, swiping his claws against the goons and sending four of them tumbling down on the floor. 

 

Satisfied with his work, the young dragon moved out of the line of fire, shifting to another window, so that his friends could jump in the action as well.

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GM

 

Within the large room a huge gathering of guests huddle together. The villains were spread around the room. Every was watching the broken widow. Gasps and cries of surprised erupted from the hostages when several of the armed goons we suddenly knocked flat by an unseen force.

“Quiet!”

The red-haired villain yelled, causing the cries to become whimpers. He motions to the shark man, who looks unsure.

“Me? Why me?”

He snarls through pointed teeth.

“Because you need to prove yourself still.”

The bug man replied with a smirk. The shark man simply glared at him but moved cautiously towards the window as the other three watched. 

Turning back to the older man with him he makes a fist and slams it into the door. The force snapping the wood holding the lock, letting it swing open. The red hair villain shoves the older man inside the office.

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Artificer

 

Artificer, standing astride an invisible dragon hovering just outside the window, appeared to rise into the air with both arms outstretched.  I really do need to finish work on that integrated aescender, he thought to himself.

 

He quickly surveyed the scene, but once he saw the shark-man, his course of action was clear.  "Hold, villain!  You face the Atlantean Artificer, and your vicious acts end now!"  He gestured towards the sharklike crook with his gauntleted hand, and the tiny tuning forks at each fingertip began to vibrate.  Waves of energy, invisible at first but resolving into waves of blue-green light, crashed into the young crook and began to wrap around him.  "You look like you would prefer to be swimming -- let's see if I can find you a nice fountain!"  Artificer then yanked his gauntleted hand back, hoping his invention had worked and he could pull the criminal out the window.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Something else came in through the window first. A gigantic skeletal hand plunged its way through the glass with a shower of broken glass and plastic that scattered everywhere, then wrapped its thick, bony fingers around someone; maybe one of the gunmen, it was all happening too fast. As the screaming, writhing man was dragged outside, the skeleton opened its gigantic mouth wide, giving everyone a chance to see its terrible intent. As the victim screamed "Kill me! Kill me!" the skeleton tossed him in its mouth and began to chew with a horrible, wet crunching sound that filled everyone who heard it with horror, blood and thicker things dripping down its teeth and onto its jaw. The worst part was that it had taken several 'bites' for the man to stop screaming. Neko watched blankly, coldly satisfied with her work when she heard the screaming of the gunmen inside, crouching low on the dragon's head. 

 

Leaping through another window came another beast; a wolf at least four foot high at the shoulder, its fur grey and teeth sharp, its growl fierce as it charged at the now-terrified thugs. "What ho, villains!" called Owain, his human voice a strange contrast to the dire wolf he had made himself into. Laughing, he leaped at the slowest of the fleeing thugs and bit him on the leg. 

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Shooting Star

 

Alice had to admit that invisibility was a novel experience, and normally she would be marveling at the possibilities and considering what she could do, but it got trumped by the revelation that she had been heroing with an honest-to-god dragon. She had her hand on his side since apparently she needed to maintain contact, but she didn't exactly want to be weighing him down. She'd gotten heavier and stronger recently.

 

She was... Very unsettled watching the flaming skeleton eat a man as he screamed. She definitely wanted to find out which one had that power and maybe talk to them about what had happened.

 

She cut off her musing to focus on the situation and worry about Heroditus. Fingers crossed he was bulletproof.

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Paper

 

Paper winced as Neko’s illusion gruesomely devoured an illusionary man.

“Okay Neko, I think you can dial it back a bit.”

He called over to the cat girl.

“Your a little too

good with those and some of the hostages look old. Don’t wanna have any heart attacks.”

He smirked as he pulled out a handful of paper. Leveraging a perch on Nightscale’s back, Leon leapt for the broken window. Landing in a roll he came up in a half crouch and flung the sheets in his hand at the retreating goons. The papers balled themselves into small balls mid flight. All three went wide and Paper grunted in annoyance. There where to many hostages for a clear shot.

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GM

 

Inside the office the Teens hid under the desk, the only spot they could find in the room. They could only look at each other in confusion at the sounds coming from the main room, but had to keep silent as the large bear-handed man shoved the older man inside and shut the door before the commotion started to escalate.

 

——————

 

The goons running from the window where yelling and babbling incoherently as they reached the doors out to the hall. They paid no mind to the man with the glowing eyes as he uselessly ordered them to stop.

Those that had been standing guard over the tightened their grips on their guns but were frozen in fear but the horrific imagery.

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Grinning Nightscale surveyed the chaos inside. Well done team. Now unfortunately no one was in range of his claws anymore and he could not change back and jump in as Neko would suddenly found herself without a ride. Breathing fire was out of the question as well, with the hostages around.

 

Still, he did have a new trick up his sleeve. It was the Phantom herself that had taught him how to draw deeper into his natural reserve of supernatural power. Bright light flared powerfully into his massive golden eyes as his will surged in to try and overpower the mind of one the attending supervillains.

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GM

 

The bug guy shuts his eyes and looks away in time at the glare of Nightscale’s eyes, luckily avoiding the effect of the dragon’s power. Both he and the man with the glowing eyes manage to stand their ground against Neko’s intimidating illusion, though they seemed hesitant to act.

 

Hanging in the air the shark man stares down at the ground many stories below and decides not to struggle against the energy bonds holding him. He does shoot Artificer a hate filled glare and snarls at him.

”You’ll regret this you little fish.”

 

Inside the office the red-haired man gets aggravated at the noise from the main room. He yanks the door open and steps half out.

”What the hell is going on out here?”

He yells angrily as he looks around. Spotting Paper and wolf-Owain by the window and Artificer floating outside his irritation is readable on his face as he barks orders.

”Don’t just stand there, get them!”

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Shooting Star

 

Alice developed a grin as the leader presented himself, flying through the broken glass and shooting straight for the red-haired man who was barking orders.

 

She stopped instantly, which would have caused her cape to billow out in front of her, disguising her arm as her fist flew out in what was a textbook punch. Her smile grew as her fist sailed out and met his face despite the lack of her cape.

 

"It might be best to surrender buddy. You're rather outmatched."

 

It would probably be not effective if she was in her costume rather than a stop sign and old band shirt, but she'd make do with what she had.

Edited by Kaede Kimura
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