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IMPACT

 

Grant gapes with stupefied shock as his blow strikes Wordsmith's chest with a terrific, reverberating force... and then stops dead. The weightless mass of his shield, normally more than enough to take out whatever it was he wanted knocked around, has failed to even budge the man. It was practically inconceivable that someone be so durable -- it was like stepping on Grant's toes, and that stung even worse than anything else so far. "I don't care who you are," grumbles Grant. The ball of force around his hands grows larger and then shrinks back, condensing. "I don't care what you're made of." He knits his fingers together and steps back, preparing himself. "You put people in danger, and I'm taking you down." He huffs a breath, swings his clenched fists in a vicious hammer-blow, and smashes Wordsmith in the side of the head with all the force of a speeding truck.

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Chimera

 

Chimera was still staring in disbelief when Wordsmith finally fell. All tree of them had given it their all and the man had seemingly just shrugged them off. Part of her was glad the others had arrived, even as another part of her cringed at the total failure she’d been.

Finally turning her attention away from the fallen villain, she glanced around.

“Has anyone seen Ghost? Or the other one?”

She asked trying not to sound worried.

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GM

 

Wordsmith stood still for a moment, still unmoving, but despite his mask, his eyes seemed completely blank after the blow, like he was not quite there anymore.

 

Then, even so slowly, he started falling backwards, before finally hitting the ground, his entire body collapsing from the force of the blows and being unable to do anything to even stop his own fall.

 

For the moment, everything was silent around the three heroes on the street.

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GHOST

 

Moments after Chimera had asked about Ghost's whereabouts, Cheat Code appeared from out of the ground, being thrown out of the ground, before falling down on the pavement again, utterly unconscious, solid once again.

 

Ghost floated out of the ground next to him a second later.

 

"So, how're you guys doing? This guy doesn't wanna fight anymore."

 

He glanced over at Wordsmith, stopping for a second. 

 

"Guess you figured out how to shut Wordsmith up."

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Grimalkin

 

"Yeah, it just took us a while," said Grimalkin as she slumped forward, resting her butt on a nearby car. "Who'da thunk a guy with such a goofy-ass shtick would be so tough?" She shook her head and held up a tiny fist. "Good hustle out there, people, good hustle! Let's hit the showers!"

Edited by Heritage
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IMPACT

 

Grant heaves a heavy breath and allows the bludgeoning field surrounding his hands to smooth back up his arms and over his body, after which he adjusts the sleeves of his jacket and turns to look at the others. His gaze is somewhat sheepish, and close attention reveals he prefers to look more at the nose, or at the space between the eyes, than at their eyes themselves. "I've never had to hit someone that hard before," he admits. "That guy could really take a beating." His voice is deeper than it should be, gruffer, and one suspects he might be putting on a bit of a show. "That was awesome though, wasn't it?" He punches the air, one fist after the other. "That was my first 'mask-fight' and my first team-up. I can't believe it!" He smiles, then forces his features smooth again. "Uh, my name's 'Impact,' by the way. Who're you guys?"

Edited by Sophistemon
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GHOST

 

Ghost grimaced under his mask, not that it really showed. Grimalkin might recognize it, but they had been spending some time patrolling together lately.

 

"Really? People still don't recognize me?" He somehow sounded both annoyed and resigned to the fact at the same time. "I'm Ghost, and these guys... Yeah, I don't know the guy in brown, the other guy's Wordsmith, and you really wanna try to gag him in case he wakes up, alright?"

 

He poked a bit at Cheat Code with his foot, just to make sure he was still down. "So... you guys got here first. Any idea why these two were fighting like that? I mean, Wordsmith's one of my bad guys, and this guy... didn't really seem like a hero or anything, y'know."

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Chimera

 

Chimera tried to hide her slight jump as Cheat Code pops up out of the ground. She relaxes when Ghost follows him and joins them. She smirks behind her mask at his indignity as he introduces himself.

 

“To be fair, he does look a little young to know who’s who.”

He said trying to defender the younger hero, glancing over at Impact.

 

She turns and looks across to Impact and Grimalkin.

“I’m Chimera.”

She introduces herself.

“And, ah, thanks for the help.”

She added as she rubbed the back of her head in embarrassment.

 

Chimera looks back at Ghost shaking her head.

“Sorry, they were already fighting when I finally caught up to them. Neither was very talkative.”

She paused and shot Wordsmith’s unconscious body a glare.

“I mean, neither wanted to explain themselves.”

She corrected herself.

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Grimalkin

 

Grim chuckled at the lack of recognition from the young hero. "Yeah, I haven't been a big deal since like 2010; I keep going in and out of style." 

 

She waved cheerfully. 

 

"I'm Grimalkin, the Mistress of Mystery! Nice to meetcha."

 

When Ghost mentioned the danger Wordsmith still posed, she drew a circle in the air with her finger, and both fallen villains were soon wrapped up in thick hemp rope, with a gag covering Wordsmith's mouth.

 

"This kid looks like a young up-and-comer," she said while pointing at Cheat Code. "Whereas anyone on your s### list-" And here she pointed at Ghost with a teasing smile. "Is probably what, mid-to-late 50s? How did they even know each other?"

 

Edited by Heritage
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IMPACT

 

That word, "young," rankles Grant a little bit. He can feel himself flush, and looks down at the villains in an attempt to hide it. "I dunno," he answers. His voice is even gruffer, almost a parody of grim, gritty heroes. "I was on patrol, and I heard them going at it." He leaves out that he'd been heading to the corner store for milk when he'd gotten involved, and then remembers that he still needs to stop there on his way home. "I couldn't let them shoot the place up, or... whatever that guy does." He kicks at Wordsmith, hard enough to hurt. "Anyway, it's ni... good to meet you. Teaming up was awesome!" He doesn't know what a chimera is, nor a grimalkin, but a 'ghost' he can understand. "Your powers are rad, man. How'd you go through the ground like that? Can you feel it when you're down there?" Then, he turns to Chimera. "And that thing you did with your hands! The, uh, claws?" His own field flashes over his digits, enchasing them in similar scything blades of pearlescent force. "So, so cool." In his excitement, his tough-guy voice starts to slip, and the teenager shines through. "And, uh, Grimalkin! How'd you learn to move like that?"

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GHOST

 

"Ouch. Really... Ouch." Ghost replied to Grim, but with a slight smile hidden behind his mask. He shook his head at Chimera's defense of Impact, but eh, didn't matter. They were both kids. He remembered the last time he'd helped Chimera. He was about to say something, when Impact went to kick Wordsmith.

 

"Hey!" He stepped in front, putting himself between Impact and Wordsmith. "No need to kick anyone when they're down!" Freaking hot head kids... Wordsmith was a pain, but that was just unnecessary. "It's a slippery slope, kid."

 

The goggles on Ghost's mask glowed as he stared at Impact, but his expression was, of course, hidden behind his mask and goggles.

 

"So. They were fighting." Casper had his own ideas about why they had been fighting, but he hadn't seen anything. Without taking his eyes off Impact, he pointed at Chimera. "So, why do bad guys fight? C'mon, kids."

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Chimera 

 

Chimera resisted a tiny jump when Ghost suddenly pointed at her. But something about his tone triggered her inner college student, and she responded as if being quizzed by one of her professors.

“Um, it could be a several possibilities. Territorial dispute, differing ideologies, or they could have been after the same thing.”

She thought for moment.

“Or one could already have something the other wants.”

She looked back up at Ghost hoping she had answered correctly. She really wanted to make a better impression then the first time she met the older hero.

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IMPACT

 

Grant stops, eyes Ghost up and down, and then takes a step back. His hands go up, palms out. "I hear you," he says. Honestly, he feels the slippery slope was in not reminding people like Wordsmith that there were consequences for tearing up a city street in some stupid mask-fight. After what happened to Lee, Grant wasn't at all forgiving of people who put others in danger to settle their scores. That said, he wasn't going to square up with Ghost over it -- especially not without knowing the extent of what the other man could do. Ghost could reach through concrete; could he reach through Impact's TK field? So, instead, Grant nods in response to Chimera's attempted answer. "It could have been some sick game," he adds. "You saw how tough Wordsmith was, right? Could the other guy's bullets have hurt him? Maybe they were just goofin' off, and didn't care who they hurt in the way."

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Grimalkin 

 

"One other possibility, or maybe more of a related one to one of the ones you guys mentioned, is they were working together but had a falling out. Bad boys aren't usually very good at playing together, any alliances tend to be very short lived as a result."

 

Grim wasn't too keen on Impact kicking the unconscious Wordsmith either, but declined to comment on it rather than dog piling the poor kid. She knew from personal experience how easy it was to push a young person away.

Edited by Heritage
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IMPACT

 

At Grimalkin's announcement, Grant's eyes widen behind his mask. "So, you mean they might've been working together on something? That means somebody could still be in trouble somewhere!" He looks back toward where the two villains were fighting, and squints to see down the length of street. "Should we go check it out? See where they came from?" Suddenly, he drops into a crouch next to Wordsmith and leans toward the man. "Hey! What was that all about? Where'd you guys come from, huh?"

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GHOST

 

Casper shrugged. If he knew the answer to his question, he didn't let on. 

 

"They might've worked together. Dunno what trench coat guy here would do, but Wordsmith's not really a team player. His powers are kinda, y'know..." He gestured towards Wordsmith, who was, thankfully, still out cold.

 

Seeing Impact leaning in to ask Wordsmith questions, Casper shook his head. "He's still sleeping, kid. Besides, you don't want to hear him talk when he wakes up."

 

Ghost looked back on the path where the two had fought, mostly towards the rooftop. "Following their path's a pretty good idea, but what do you want to do about these guys? Don't want them waking up and causing more trouble." 

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Grimalkin

 

"Well we should probably call the cops, right? I mean, hopefully they heard all the ruckus and are on their way, but we can give them a heads up on the who, what, where and why."

 

 Grim drew a small circle in the air with her finger, and reached into it until her arm disappeared up to the elbow, leaving empty space at the end. She then pulled out a smartphone in a well-armored case and speed dialed someone.

 

"Hi, Detective Colby? Yeah, it's your favorite super-pest!...Yeah yeah, long time no see! Listen, me and a few friends have bagged a couple no-goods in the Fens. We...yeah yeah, the shooter and another a######...No, they're both out and restrained. I'll text you the address and some pics...Yeah, no problem...Oh, really?....Yeah, that would be awesome!...Okay, cool...Yep, just let me know the place and time...Alright...Alright, you too....Bye."

 

The changeling then proceeded to take pictures of both unconscious foes and some of the property damage. "Colby's an old friend. We haven't talked in a while, so we're going to do lunch and catch up."

 

She paused to look to the other heroes nearby, holding up her phone.

 

"Hey, you guys wanna do a 'super selfie' with the perps to send to the cops? Appearance is optional."

Edited by Heritage
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Chimera

 

Chimera grimaced, she hadn’t considered the two could have been working together prior to their fight. She certainly didn’t like the idea that the two had just been ‘goofin off’, like Impact had suggested. She chuckled as Impact tried to question the unconscious Wordsmith.

 

“Agreed, I don’t think I want to hear anything out of his mouth. We’d be better off questioning the other one.”

She glanced over at Grimalkin and gestured at Wordsmith.

“Speaking of which, how long will the gag last? I saw you conjure it from thin air.”

She asked out of curiosity.

 

Chimera looked back at Ghost, looking thoughtful for a moment.

“I had to chase them to catch up. I think they came from that direction.”

She offered pointing back the way she’d came. At Grim’s mention of calling the cops Chimera gives her own head a little knock.

“Of course, I should have thought of that.”

She chided herself, then watched as the other woman reached through some kind of portal and withdrew a phone. She found herself chuckling again as she listened to the conversation. Though when Grim began taking pictures of the damage Chimera guiltily glanced back at the poor car.

“I should probably leave a note…”

She trailed off before Grim suggested a selfie. 

Should they?

Was that something heroes normally did?

Chimera glanced up at Ghost, trying to gauge his reaction to the suggestion.

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  • 1 month later...

GM

 

"Hello, hello!" A man's voice calls out from above. Looking up, they see a man in a colorful green and red costume with a rather obvious Robin Hood motif, hood included. He wears a small black domino mask and he has a nicely trimmed black beard. In a moment, before he quickly makes his way down to the ground level, landing in front of the assembled heroes.

 

"There is no reason for all that, my friends! Thank you for taking care of these, how do you says, villains. Quite embarassing that they managed to elude me!" He has a heavy French accent. "I am the Hood, I work with A.E.G.I.S., and I should be able to handle this lot."

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Chimera 

 

The symbiote bristled as Chimera looked around in surprise at the sudden new voice, small spines sprouting in response. Spotting the green and red clad man Chimera looked at him curiously. She was suspicious and glanced around at the others to see if they recognized the man. When the man didn’t seem to be a threat the spines withdrew, smoothing back into the tendrils.

She watched as he made his way to the street. When he introduced himself she frowned. She didn’t recognized his name, but she had heard of A.E.G.I.S. before. She didn’t say anything and looked from Ghost to Grimalkin to see if either of them recognized him.

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  • 2 weeks later...

IMPACT

 

Grant mimics Chimera's response almost to a T, his shield going suddenly opaque is it layers on additional protection. Isn't AEGIS American? he wonders. What's with the accent? Like Jennifer, he looks quickly back and forth at the more established heroes before setting his eyes back on the Hood. They're narrow behind his mask. "Anybody know this guy?" he asks. Grant exhales, then draws a calming breath. He's still pumped up from the fight, still looking to lash out. He needs to settle himself down before he makes a mistake. This was a chance to look good in front of other heroes and the government. If he played his cards right... things might change for the better. His shield still up, his hands ready, he waits for something to happen.

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Grimalkin

 

At the appearance of the mysterious newcomer, the Mistress of Mystery frowned, and dropped her cellphone back into the pocket dimension she retrieved it from. She carefully looked 'Hood' up and down as she took a few steps closer.

 

"A.E.G.I.S., huh? Have you been following these clowns, or did you just happen to be in the neighborhood?"

 

She stroked her chin with a slender forefinger for a few moments, then abruptly switched to rapid-fire Parisian French; her accent, pronunciation and grammar were flawless.

 

<"I'm afraid you have me at a disadvantage, my friend! We don't often see federal agents looking into street crime. Are you based in the area?">

Edited by Heritage
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  • 4 weeks later...

GHOST

 

Ghost looks between the man, Grim, and the two kids... and the villains they've taken down. A.E.G.I.S. showing up makes sense, he guesses, but this seems a bit too small for them?

 

"Huh. You speak French?" he asks Grim, sounding genuinely surprised, before turning to the man. "Look, buddy, I got absolutely no idea what she just said, so: Who the hell are you? Haven't ever heard of you before."

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GM

 

The man in red and green smiles, and with a flourish, he takes Grimalkin's hand and kisses the back of it. <"Ah, you must be Grimalkin. I am an international agent, my lady. I go where I am told to go, and I fight the villains I am told to fight. All part of the job."> His response is in equally perfect Parisian French, then he stands up. 

 

"You may call me The Hood, my friend," he continues, directing his words at Ghost. "And you must be Ghost, no? And..." he pauses as he stops to look at the other two, shrugging with an apologetic expression. "I am afraid I do not know who you are."

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IMPACT

 

Grant looks the strange man up and down with a flick of his eyes. The language -- was that French? -- was all gibberish to him, but he didn't like it when the Christmas-colored weirdo shrugged about not knowing them. "I'm Impact," he says, and arcs a thumb at his chest. "She's..." he pauses, recollecting. "Chimera, right?" He looks at his new acquaintance and realizes it's now his turn to smile apologetically. "Are you here to arrest these guys? Take them to jail, or something?"

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