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Gunsmoke and Mirrors - IC

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Smoke and Mirrors Abandoned Casino 



La Puma Negra and Nightscale 


Once as glamorous and luxurious as the other casinos in the renowned Freedom City Boardwalk, the Smoke and Mirrors have been abandoned for ages. In fact, Nightscale couldn't remember a time when the large lot hadn't been left to disrepair. It's halls only occasionally disturbed by Southside teens testing their bravado, Luke himself having spent 'almost' an entire night there in his younger years, struggling to put up a mask of courage while twitching at every moving shadows and unexpected creek in the dark.  Where once music boomed, spectacles reigned, fortunes were won and lost now only silence and rats reigned and it had been so for year.


Not that night though. Something... well something had changed. Nightscale had been warned by his friends that unmarked vans now frequently stopped at the casino in the wee hours in the morning for mysterious deliveries and that new locks had been installed at the windows and doors, the place now the province of some unknown buyer. Now perhaps there was nothing sinester going on, maybe someone was just planning a grand reopening in secret, but even at his young age Luke had been a superhero for long enough to grow at least a bit suspicious and besides, it was not like that taking a look wouldn't hurt. 


Perhaps in a rare bout of foresight, or maybe just due to the memories of that frightful nocturne exploration a few years before, the Southside Dragon had decided that not to go alone, instead asking Carmen to join him in this mission, and so there they were, on a rooftop nearby studying the darkened building from above, planning their next moves. 


Mirror Knight 


The two teenagers from Claremont however were not alone, as another hero stalked the streets. Mr Jonathan Rorrim had been drawn to the Smoke and Mirrors, not by rumors and mysterious dealing though, it was something more primal, a dimensional disturbance of sort that he had registered at the site, one that at the same time was unknown and yet dreadfully familiar. He could not tell how, but he was certain of a presence hiding within the bowel of the building, one bearing a nefarious intent.


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Mirror Knight


A glint of light darted through the dark streets of southside, bounding between the planes of glass and scattering along the surface of stagnant puddles pooled in the road as mirror knight made his way silently through the city like a silver knife cutting through the darkness, making its way to the Smoke and mirrors Casino.


Something just wasn't right about that place, dimensional ripples aside, perhaps it was his deeply superstitious nature but he could feel the pit in his stomach being drawn back and away, like some kind of tether trying to pull him back elastically away from the site however, now he was a superhero he didn't have the luxury of passing the buck on these things anymore, certainly not when the fearsome aura of this dark place repelled him so personally.


coalescing back into humanoid form from the scattering of a large puddle in the parking lot he took a moment to look over the front of the place and gather his nerve, his cape, made up of dozens of segmented mirror pieces clattering quietly in the low chill wind like chimes.


"no time like the present." he mumbled to himself at last as he made his way over towards the front of the building, turning himself into a living reflection as he went and stepping through the front doors as if they weren't even there.

Edited by Exaccus
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La Puma Negra "Carmen"

Prompted by a chance to escape campus for a little bit, Carmen had decided to join her fellow student Luke in staking out a long-abandoned Casino for what he believed to be suspicious activities. Not that she really cared for the stakeout, laying on her back wearing one of the school's letterman varsity jackets to keep her comfortably warm in the colder weather, and the matching color leotard that gave her a free range of movement that she desired. She'd look up from her resting position into the night sky, hands in her jacket pockets before looking over towards Luke.


"How long are we going to be out tonight. I have a track meet practice tomorrow," she says somewhat unapprovingly to her compatriot. The feline young woman honestly didn't care much for the practice as well, but she wouldn't say that, "Is this what you call a first? Esto es más aburrido de lo que pensaba. (This is more boring than I thought)"

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"That depends, criminals aren't always punctual you know." Luke chuckled, turning for a moment to face Carmen. "Don't worry this is not gonna be borin'" Well... Maybe? It was not Nightscale first stakeout and to be honest, if nothing happened, those kind of things weren't exactly exciting. "Not too boring at least." He grinned.


"The ass kicking should be startin' soon." He added playfully and prophetically perhaps as the teens' attention was soon drawn to a guy who had just materialized in the middle of the parking lot. 


"See..." He smirked, pointing at the fellow who had just appeared.


He gave a bit of a disappointed look though, when the guy just passed through the door not unlike a ghost. "Well... I guess we are gonna have to find another way in..."  

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As Mirror Knight stepped inside, the eerie atmosphere of an abandoned place welcomed him at first. The entrance opened into a vast room covered in dust, once hosting a myriad of glowing and ringing machines, now quiet and deprived of power, plenty of the original gambling devices still remained, covered in blankets, dividing the room in a sort of spectral maze of decaying machinery. On his left was a bar as well as the booths were the croupiers exchanged real cash for colorful plastic chips. A large, ornate stairway lead upward toward a second floor while an half broken sign indicated that a theater to the right as well as a dance floor not long after.


The place however, was not just a an abandoned temple of greed and excess, there were traces in the dust someone had been there not too long before, a day or two at most perhaps. Someone have been both to the theater and the bar. 




As for La Puma Negra and Nightscale, they inspected the building from outside, the door was locked and so where the windows on the first floor, all the locks seemed new, nothing that an application of super strength could not deal with though, albeit, not exactly silently. On the second floor, the situation was the same, but perhaps, with an attentive eye they could more easily catch an opening there... 

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"Ass kicking? We are on roof, and nothing is happening," Carmen responds to Luke as she continued to lay on her back, bored out of her mind. Maybe it was that cattish short attention span in effect, having only been out there for little over an hour. A bag of open chips and a nondescript soda were positioned just a little beside her as one hand draped lazily over the side of the building.


She nearly fell off the side as he pointed out the activity, waking her up from dozing off as she hurriedly rushed over, "Well fire breath, looks like we got someone," she responds, peering through the night with her cat like eyes, surprised to see the man, or what appeared to be one, go through the door like a ghost.


Making their way down, having obviously decided to follow the strange figure inside the abandoned Casino, "Now, how do we get in hotshot?"

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The ghost of rattling reels ringing in his ears Jonathan makes haste to follow the dust to the theatre, the pit in his stomach growing more and more as he disturbs the dust with a second set of foot prints moving in parallel to those before him, hairs standing up on the back of his neck as he went, something about this was wrong, extremely and excessively wrong, his halted breath feeling uncomfortable on his face as his featureless silver armor glinted in the rays of moonlight pouring through whatever gaps it could find.

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Inside the Casino

Mirror Knight 




As Mirror Knight began navigating the abandoned casino he quickly realized that he was being watched, there were no human eyes hiding in the darkness though, but a couple of cameras freshly placed around the room and far from inactive unlike the army of slot machines that crowded the place. As he progressed toward the theater he kept finding traces in the dusty carpets on the floor, something pretty heavy had been dragged along the way.


The same unnatural pull that had drawn him toward the building was growing stronger as he entered the corridor leading to his destination, as his gaze shifted to the walls of the corridor it glanced over someething that looked like a sign, spray painted on the colorful wallpaper. An arrow and a series of bright letters "WELCOME". Finally a door blocked his path. In the background he could feel a faint music playing, one he had already somewhere, perhaps that fateful night... 


Edited by Nerdzul
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"Well fire breath, looks like we got someone,"


"Indeed and it's freakin' ghost on the loose. How is it for your first stake out?" Luke gave Carmen a playful 'I told you so' grin. Now, he wasn't exactly sure that the guy was involved though, from what little he had learned about the current operation, it was pretty secretive and the newcomer well, not so much...


"Now, how do we get in hotshot?"


As the two Claremonters studied the building they easily noticed that while barred from access by common thieves and potential squatters it was by far not a fortress, one of the lower floor windows was locked, but the walls surrounding it was in such a state of disrepair that it would take little more than the application of their enhanced strength to tear it away. .


There were more opportunities on the second floor as well, an open window on a balcony by the side of the building and a crack in the walls that could easily be enlarged enough for them to fit in, with little effort. Finally, while all the other entrances were locked, forcefulness or craftiness on their part could open even the main entrance or any of the side doors if they wanted to. 


"Easily..." Luke pointed toward the building. "Lady's choice?" He grinned.

Edited by Nerdzul
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"Fine, looks like tonight will be worth missing some sleep tonight, fantasma estúpido (stupid ghost)," she says in response.


Carmen had rolled her eyes, looking up and towards the open window up top on a balcony. She'd point towards it before quickly leaping up a distance and attempting to scale the rest with her enhanced ability, "Are you coming? This should be easier than other alternatives, unless we can suddenly move through the front door like our ghost friend," she says down to him as she attempts the climb. Whatever was going to happen it was surely going to be interesting, and her cat like curiosity was starting to get the best of her now.

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This....this was all too similar...Jonathan Felt the panic building in his mind and the bile rising in his throat, his stomach painfully cramping and clenching and his limbs starting to stiffen and lock in place.


Freezing like a deer in the headlights of an oncoming truck here would be a deadly mistake. he closed his eyes for a moment and focused on his breathing, then opening them again he examined the room, there were doors he could pass through without disturbing, there were decrepit walls he could probably blast his way through even if they were in good repair, he could escape if he needed too.


the concrete that had filled his body and begun to harden ebbed away, not entirely but enough for him to have command of himself again.


First things first, those cameras had to go, any information he volunteered was an advantage he offered freely to whoever was doing this.


raising his arm over his head and extending his pointer finger he moved it in a wide slow circle, after images form of various colours of light, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet and the original shining silver arm still attached to his socket, on the second circle they'd all fallen into place and so he unleashed a similtanious attack from all 8 at once, tiny flecks of dimensional matter and energy racing from the extended fingers towards the cameras, passing through the glass lenses harmlessly and shredding their way though the delicate electronics within as they pierced through and out the back of the surveilance devices casing.


now for the door before him with the ominous welcome sign.


he was clearly expected and whomever it was clearly had fairly intimate knowledge of him....how could he approach that?


hoping that they were now blinded to his actions in this room he opted to summon his own reflection as a tangible but invulnerable force to act upon the world, virtually indistinguishable from himself, he would send it through the door first to absorb whatever kind of trap may have laid in wait.


a sliver sheen spreading from his feet as mirror dimension matter coated the floor before him he looked down at his reflection, so serene in the dim lights and dusty environs and called it forth causing it to climb from the surface like it was clambering from its own tomb, whilst he took up position against the wall next to the door, he willed the mass of mirror energy given shape and purpose to open the door and pass beyond the threshold into whatever awaited beyond.

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La Puma Negra and Nightscale managed to easily jump their way up to the second floor. When Luke himself landed he felt the balcony creak a little under his weight, but fortunately it did not collapse, prompting the young man to wince. "Ok... " He looked around fro a few moment to see if anyone was watching. No one alive was, but then he caught glance of a different kind of observer. Cameras.


"They might know we are here." The young man ruffled the hair on the back of his neck. To late to cry over spilled milk though. 


"Let me go first..." He offered, now chivalry perhaps would have demanded otherwise, but well, this place had begun to smell like a trap and he was the senior student there. So yeah... Just in case. 

As they had both seen before the window offered little resistance. And the two easily sneaked inside. Luke's memory went back to that fateful night when, as a fourteen years old, he had done same, albeit not aware of carrying a dragon soul and with eyes unable to pierce into the darkness with the same ease. Still, he could do nothing, but feel a shiver down his spine. The room that waited them was a study of sort and from the look of it, one that had been recently used, the dust have been cleaned off and broken furniture replaced with luxurious Art Deco pieces that felt like they were straight from the twenties. The mahogany desk was pristine, with just a newspaper from that morning on top and there was a clear scent tobacco in the air, although there was no ash-tray or any other trace of its source. 


On one side, hanging on the wall, an old timey map of Southside hanged under a spotlight, with scribbled ink marks dividing the district into a bunch of separate regions. "That's weird..." Luke stepped closer to examine it. "I mean, looks like gang territories or somethin', but I can't recognize any of these..."  Weird.


The two were still examining the room. When suddenly they heard a crash coming from below them. Now they could not be sure, of course, but it felt like it was from the main hall. 


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Posted (edited)



The cameras of course were no match to Mirror Knight dimensional energies and soon he was confident that whoever was watching through them would be blind of what happened in the room. The door itself didn't offer much resistance either, not even a sinister creaking, in fact, it felt right it was almost like the hinges had been recently oiled.


The room within, the Smoke and Mirror Casino theater, shrouded in darkness until moments before, suddenly felt like it came to life, under the light of a massive crystal and glass chandelier that dominated the whole room from the ceiling above, one that felt  like it was the product of a broken mind as instead of providing an even illumination it bathed the room in distorted fractal shades. 


The seats, themselves, were not empty as they should have been, inhabited instead by what felt like featureless 'things', barely material reflections, of people that weren't fully there. They seemed not to pay attention to the newcomer however, focusing instead on the stage ahead of them.


The velvet curtains were open and the scene set, wooden replicas of everyday objects that again Jonathan felt disturbingly familiar, it was empty however. Like if it was waiting for him... 

Edited by Nerdzul
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Carmen's eyes would follow his, spotting the camera. Maybe if they were lucky no one was behind the screen, watching them, they were obviously though likely to be recorded as intruders into the building. She grimaced, not liking the implication of potentially being watched, especially so for getting in trouble if they were caught.


"How gentlemanly of you," she spoke, rolling her eyes as he proceeded to move ahead of her, not that she was going to complain much about it beyond that as she spoke in a hushed tone. At this point she herself was getting an odd feeling, made worse by the fact that she was able to pierce the darkened room with her eyesight, seeing a room that looked far from abandoned. It was as if they had been displaced in time, the smell of tobacco making her cringe in disgust from her sensitive nose, making a face.


"Talk about lame fashion," she'd speak, looking down at the newspaper on the desk, glancing over it to see what it said before hearing the crash from downstairs, "Looks like we aren't alone."



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Mirror Knight


Jonathan was all to familiar with the scene before him, it was burned into the back of his eyelids by the searing memories that blazed in the front of his brain when triggered like white hot iron spikes that penetrated his forehead and temples, a dull but penetrating ache that filled his heart and mind with flashes of blinding, terrifying light, the dry heat of fire and the revolting smell of burning flesh that turned an audience of over a hundred people into a scattering of ash and glassed flakes blown around by the flames of the burning theatre.


his fear and unease deepened and intensified as he made his way through the rows of chairs, some of the faces he knew, they'd been at the very front rows of his debut after all and he hadn't become so callous as to forget them.


"I see you know who i am." he said his voice an icy deadpan as he made his way to the centre of the stage.


"but in turn now i know who you are....murderer."  he seethed, the dense lump of negative emotions gathered in his stomach igniting into an intense almost primal rage.


"show yourself...." he hissed, his bile building in his throat.


"SHOW YOURSELF!" he boomed, his rage erupting like a volcano, his shimmering prismatic shield becoming less of a serene aurora and a jagged collection of impossibly thin and sharp rainbow shards that swirled chaotically around him, balls of dense dimensional energy coalescing in his hands, all the power he could muster at once ready to be loosed onto his tormentor.

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  • 2 weeks later...



Luke bowed his head slightly and grinned as he welcomed La Puma Negra in the room. 


"Yeah, it's like, we are in some kind of bad movie." Yeah, like one of those old detective stories that his dad liked to watch sometime. He ruffled the hair on the back of his neck, trying to remember if the place looked like that during his first exploration as a kid. Truth was though, back at the time, he was too busy gathering all of his courage to truly appreciate the décor.


As Carmen inspected the newspaper she could find mostly local news, but it seemed like whoever was reading it not long before, had focused their attention on a tiny piece, just a few lines long about the anniversary of a shootout that happened many decades before. 


"Maybe is our ghost friend..." The boy mused, as he dashed downstairs with Carmen. It wasn't hard to follow the source of the noise, in fact, the two teens could hear Jonathan's voice easily as they ran through the halls of the abandoned casino. Even with the cameras somehow turned off, they could not shake off the feeling that someone was watching them.


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"Murderer is such a  limited definition." A voice mused from the stage, but its source was somewhat concealed. "In fact..." The familiar voice echoed in the theater, seemingly coming from a different point on the stage.


"...you see, I am only balancing a cosmic equation." The man continued. "The symmetry of reality restored. You will see it my way, in time..." All the distorted figures in the crowd, stood up from their seats, their blank faces turned to Jonathan. "But let's not get ahead of ourselves..."




It was then that Nightscale and La Puma Negra got to the theater.  "Supervillain monologue up ahead..." The dragon boy quipped.

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"Except we're in it," Carmen says as she reads over the article in the newspaper. It increasingly felt like everything was off as she sniffed the air, moving to be closer towards Luke. Everything was starting to just creep her out, thinking that maybe going in was a bad idea. As they heard the nearby sound of activity, Puma and Nightscale dashed to find the source, the were-cat doing her best as she got closer to blend in near the shadows of the casino, approaching the theater that seemed to be their prime destination.


Puma would nod, keeping as quiet as a church mouse, or in her case a cat. She'd sneak forward, getting low as she could when entering. Seats would be used as cover, wanting to stay plainly out of sight, trying to see exactly just who was talking, "Ahora, ¿quién diablos está hablando el villano? Está el hombre fantasma, (Now, who the heck is the villain talking? There is the ghost man)"  she spoke quietly, melding into the darkness with her black coat of hair, peering through the darkness with her cat like eyes.

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in a moment of pure instinct and adrenalin mirror knight loosed the energy in his hands towards the sudden movement and sounds, the dense pulsating sphere of silvery opalescent quasi-matter ploughing through the seats and into the crowd of shrouded humanoid figures, flattening on impact with the floor with a gelatinous fluidity before bouncing upwards and detonating in a wave of light that shreaded and battered the surroundings, turning furniture to splinters and the flooring to scorched charcoal


"SHOW YOURSELF!"  he raged on, barely aware of the two teenagers arrival at all as he raised his hands to form another attack, this one considerably larger than the previous.


"MURDERER! MURDERER!" he screamed, voice now dry and hoarse before he settled on the two youngsters. 


"get out of here you two, theres a mass murderer hiding!" he said, his extreme distress subsiding for a moment as his whole body shook with sheer adrenalin, deep pain and directionless anger at the voice of his tormentor

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