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[Turf Wars] A Cry for Help

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February 12, 2009

Freedom City, one of the greatest cities upon the Earth, home to both heroes and villains, often forgets that within its borders are ordinary people. Those people struggle to perform their daily lives while beings of greater power than themselves roam the city flaunting their superior capabilities.

The gangs, once controllers of the small areas find themselves harried by the heroes that disrupt their business, villains that try to use them as pawns in their larger schemes. Now it's time for them to take back the streets!


The night was dark, Clouds blocked the light from the moon and stars above the city. It was the perfect night for a gathering.

"Hey, what's all this mess about? Why they calling us all here?" asked the young man wearing the colors of the Brootherhood. His hairless head glistened with sweat as he took a drag on his cigarette. "I mean we've been hitting the streets a lot these past few months and I've got to know what this is all about."

His comapnion, another skinless figure shrugged his shoulders. "Who knows. All I know is that with those new fellas joining up and taking the drug has given us more than enough street credit to make me feel better. Let's just get inside and find out what's going on."

The two gang members walked into the derilict building.

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February 19th, 2009

Scarab II

Freedom City had changed much since the last time Scarab had been apart of the world. With Centurion gone, the city had fallen into the hands of the heroes that came after. All of this, the new Scarab had determined once she had regained her old lair, as well as her abilities.

The Freedom League had been busy dealing with the large scale dangers that the world faced. That left the streets unprotected from the gangs and other crime committed by normal people. Freedom City's finest, were well trained, but even they were unprepared for the sudden rising crime rates within the Southside area.

Scarab II had responded to various incidents within the area and knew how dangerous things had become. Tonight, her premotion powers allowed her a glimpse of the future. A future that had the streets paved in blood. It all seemed to start within Southside at a derilict building.

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Arrowhawk

With the information that Lenny had given him as a starting point, Arrowhawk manged to turn up a bit of information using his contacts within Southside.

The Skinheads had been becoming bolder and bolder int heir dealings with the people of Southside. They had even begun to show a number of their members with the red tinted skin that showed their increase use of the Powerhouse' drugs. From what he could learn, it seemed that the gang was beginning to start somethign major. They had attempted to steal some very dangerous substance, but for what purpose was still unknown. Luckily, someone else had beat them to it. They did manage to make off with the designs and prototype that Monty made for them. though nothing was heard about that item in recent days.

Now, his information had brought him to a derilict building.

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Ignis

Freedom City was still new to Ignis. His time at the Academy was proving to be interesting. His friends at the school had given him more insight to the ways of humans. At night, he continued his studies, patrolling the streets of the city. Occasionally, he would come across those that needed his help, which he gladly gave.

Tonight, his wonderings had brought him further from the school than he usually ventured. Something had drawn him deeper into the Southside area of the city until he faced a derilict building.

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Elena sat lotus-style on the stone floor of her practice room, deep below the streets of Freedom City. Dozens of gigantic cubes of rock lay on the ground before her. She breathed slowly and deeply, attempting to clear the thoughts (her own and those of others) from her mind, like waving a flock of birds away from a tree. She reached out with her mind, and lifted one of the massive stones with a pair of imaginary hands. She held it in the air for a few moments, then stacked it on top of another block. Then she lifted the pair, held it, and stacked them upon a third block. She repeated this progression until the stack became too heavy to lift. Then she dismantled it, and began again. Waterfalls of sweat dripped down her face and neck as she strained to move the stones, but her body was otherwise motionless.

Her mind was assaulted by a vision as she was lifting a new stone. She saw Freedom City flooded in crimson. Blood poured like rainwater around and over the bodies that littered the street. The distraction caused her to lose her grip on the stone, but she caught it again right before it hit the ground.

She diverted her attention to this new development, but slowly and cautiously, like opening her eyes in the face of a bright light. Gradually, more details came into focus. A building somewhere in the city. A building that had seen better days. She memorized the look of it, then sent her mind out of her body, wandering throught the city until she found its match. Southside, she thought. Street crime has been increasing dramatically in that neighborhood. The gangs are getting bolder. And restless.

Elena floated out into her Lair and grabbed a quick shower and change of clothes. Then her costume unfolded and molded itself around her as she soared up and out into Freedom City, flying invisibly toward the building that would become a staging ground for future suffering and carnage if left unchecked.

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This place... there was something about it... just what was it? Ignis couldn't tell, at least not right away. Should he look around? No, not yet... or should he... The question burned in his mind as he thought it over. Just what should he do? What do the Humans do in this situation? Of course, that indecision would be his downfall, as he stood there just waiting and thinking if he wanted to investigate or not.

Eventually, he decided to go ahead with it, looking around for a semi-secluded spot. Or at least one he could sit at for a while. Either way, he sat there and closed his eyes, focusing on nothing in particular, only to keel over. At least, in this world. His investigation involved a little bit of subtle jiggery-pokery. Even after shifting to the Astral Plane, Ignis paused, taking a breath... This was the first time he had done this since his arrival on Earth. He held that for a second. In. Out. In. Out. In. And he was off, heading through the walls to see just what he could see.

Of course, his huge, unconscious body wasn't exactly all that hidden, so who knows what'd happen to that.

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The Arrowhawk stood in the darkness watching the derelict building for signs of life. Skinheads using Powerhouse pharmaceuticals. Attempting to steal a dangerous substance, although they'd been beaten to it.

And I've been led here. And the building looks empty. But I've been wrong before... His dark figure crouched low, sneaking through the shadows silently and easily. He pulled his cape tight around him, to stop it dragging on walls and to make him a more uniform mass of shadow. Stopping at the front door, he paused leaning against a wall and looked around for a window to peer through.

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The Scarab floated silently and invisibly down onto the roof of another warehouse, across the street from the building she had seen in the visions of blood and death. She crouched down behind one of the ventilation fixtures, blocking her line of sight to the building. Then she dropped her "cloak," shifting her concentration away from clouding the minds of observers and instead toward expanding her senses. She pushed her eyes and ears outside her physical body, and canvassed the building, inside and out. Time to make a list of who's been naughty and who's been nice.

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Eventually, he decided to go ahead with it, looking around for a semi-secluded spot. Or at least one he could sit at for a while. Either way, he sat there and closed his eyes, focusing on nothing in particular, only to keel over. At least, in this world. His investigation involved a little bit of subtle jiggery-pokery. Even after shifting to the Astral Plane, Ignis paused, taking a breath... This was the first time he had done this since his arrival on Earth. He held that for a second. In. Out. In. Out. In. And he was off, heading through the walls to see just what he could see.

Of course, his huge, unconscious body wasn't exactly all that hidden, so who knows what'd happen to that.

Earth's astral plane was slightly different than he expected. Mystical energy flowed about like currents of air, neither of which affected the Cantonian in his present form. The building that had drawn his attention looked slightly different when viewed. A darkness surrounded the building and it looked even more decrepit than in teh normal world.

Ignis moved carefully towards the building and easily passed through the walls.

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The Arrowhawk stood in the darkness watching the derelict building for signs of life. Skinheads using Powerhouse pharmaceuticals. Attempting to steal a dangerous substance, although they'd been beaten to it.

And I've been led here. And the building looks empty. But I've been wrong before... His dark figure crouched low, sneaking through the shadows silently and easily. He pulled his cape tight around him, to stop it dragging on walls and to make him a more uniform mass of shadow. Stopping at the front door, he paused leaning against a wall and looked around for a window to peer through.

The streets around the building were empty of people, which in all honesty was normal for this part of the night. The hero looked up and saw that clouds still covered most of the night sky, providing him with even more cover. Standing against the building, Arrowhawk could see that it was a run down four storied building that was once an office building. The tenants had been driven off a long time ago by the Skinheads. His information so far had placed the building as one of the major meeting points of the gang.

A few feet away from the door, there was a slightly boarded window. Specks of light could be seen coming through the gaps and it was easy enough for the trained hero to reachit and peer inside.

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The Scarab floated silently and invisibly down onto the roof of another warehouse, across the street from the building she had seen in the visions of blood and death. She crouched down behind one of the ventilation fixtures, blocking her line of sight to the building. Then she dropped her "cloak," shifting her concentration away from clouding the minds of observers and instead toward expanding her senses. She pushed her eyes and ears outside her physical body, and canvassed the building, inside and out. Time to make a list of who's been naughty and who's been nice.

The rooftop was damp either from the chill of the night or the cooling of steam coming from the ventilation. It only took the hero a short time before she had sent her sense flying away and around the area.

The street was basically empty of pedestrians but that was expected at such a late hour. The building she was present on had a few people inside. From the look of things they seemed mostly to be homeless or drunks.

A slight distance away, her senses caught sight of a large grey wolf like humanoid with a tatoo around its right eye slumped against the wall. The creature was obviously not human and yet its chest moved rhytmically as it breath though there was no other signs that it was aware of its surroundings.

Scarab continued her search of the area and spotted another figure near the entrance of the building. This one was a human male, tall and broad-shouldered. His face, covered by a domino mask with red lenses, was hidden beneath a black hood and cloak. A glimpse of a quiver and bow tucked under the cloak at the moment caught Scarab's eye as well as the silhouette of a flying hawk on his white T-shirt, a stark contrast to his otherwise dark garb. Teh masked man moved sleathly toa nearby window and began to peer inside.

Her inspection of the outside of the building complete, Scarab sent her senses into the building.

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Each of the heroes look into the building in their own way.

Everyone

Just in sight there is a large room that at one time must have been a confrence room. Sitting on crates or oil cans, can be seen five hairless men. The men were lounging relaxing as if waiting for someone. A few crush cans of beer littered the ground and smoke from a joint being passed around filled the room. Near each man was some kind of weapon: a baseball bat, a lead pipe, 2 submachine guns, and one gun like weapon that looked like it came straight from Daedalus' workshop.

A doorway, just beyond the men, allowed the sight of stairs that lead up further into the building.

Ignis and Scarab only

The men talk quietly amongst themselves as they passed the joint around.

The largest of the men took the joint and slowly took a drag. "And I'm tellin' ya this is going to be the bomb!" He waved the joint around as he spoke, emphasizing his words. "Last four days has brought us four more of those suped up fellas. Ya add those numbers with the new weapons for us normal blokes and ya got yerself a force to be feared!"

The speaker passed the joint to the next man and lowered his hand to the strange futuristic weapon at his side.

"Don't know 'bout tha rest of yas but those red skinned dudes give me the whillies! It just ain't natural, man! Those blokes take a lot to take down and I know some of them have a few screws loose up there in their noggins. That have to if they agreed to take that mess."

The joint moved on to the next man who added his own words of wisdom to the discussion. "Hey, as long as they mess with me, I'm cool with 'em. It's when they decide to get all uppity that I've gots to put my foot down. Turn 'round and show 'em that they ain't sh---." His voice stopped in mid sentence as he began to look around the room carefully.

"Hey, either this stuff is really strong or I'm sure somebody's watching us."

Two more men blinked in surprise as a voice was put to their own thoughts. Slowly, the three alerted men reached for their weapons and stood up.

"What cha talkin' 'bout, man?" said the large man. "Ain't nobody watching us."

"Man this is Southside! There's tons of those freaks out here! You know as well as I do that if it isn't Foreshadow messing up our thing, it's that damn Nightrival! You sit on your ass all you like, but I'm gonna get ready for one of those freaks to bust in here."

Understanding the truth of the man's words, the remaining two men stood, grabbing their weapons as well.

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The Scarab shifted her attention toward the masked archer and initiated mental contact. Careful. We just lost the element of surprise. The skinheads know they're being watched, and they're moving to investigate. I'll see if I can divert their attention, so you can still get the drop on them.

With that, The Scarab floated up off of the roof, soaring down to the ground level of the opposite building. She focused on a nearby lamp post, locking onto it with a pair of giant invisible and intangible hands which then pulled it up out of the asphalt. She gestured toward the front of the skinheads' headquarters, and sent her improvised projectile spinning toward and through it.

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I could try to force a window while they're occupied with you. After that I could easily slip in unnoticed. But in future, you might want to be more subtle with mind-probing, I felt you as soon as you tried. The Arrowhawk stood flat against the wall, waiting for sounds of a ruckus before he acted.

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Interesting... The Astral Plane here was vastly different from his home planet. But now wasn't the time for gawking. At least, not outside the building. In he went, looking over each of the men inside, only to have them seemingly pick up on... something. But what? Well, there's one way to find out, and that's poke about in each of their heads, one-by-one, to pick out the surface thoughts for anything useful, while doing his best to observe. Thankfully, being in another plane meant he could easily waltz in and look around, but even still, he kept his guard up, just in case. He's incorporeal, not invulnerable. Of course, the lamp-post colliding with the entrance startled him, resulting in another use of his mental abilities, this time a broadcast. Naturally avoiding the five men in the room that he can see, but only those five.

"Who is there? Identify yourself immediately, or I shall be forced to use my own abilities to subdue any threat or intentional hindrance you may cause to myself or others."

Probably not the best of ideas, but guaranteed to get to where it needs to go, amongst other places.

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Ignis manages to probe the surface thoughts of four of the men presnet and is able to get thoughts of being watched. Somehow, their senses had detected the presence of a watcher. Just as he had finished his probe, the sound of a nearby lamppost being ripped from the sidewalk across the street.

The noise was just enough that one of the men moved to the boarded window and peeked out to see what had caused the noise. His eyes went wide as he caught sight of Scarab, the moving lightpost, and Arrowhawk flat against the wall. The thug turned and yelled out, "We got supers!"

His words just cleared out, warning his companions when the lightpost piled through the main doorway. The noise was tremendous, waking up various people in the area as well as alerting the Skinheads within the building.

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Hellbound

The night was fairly boring. There were few people out on the street which was normal at this time of night. The recent rise of crime by the Skinheads had caused Hellbound to walk the streets in search of something to pound on. His search brought him to an area fairly run down. The choices in this area were even less than other parts of Southside and the hero was just about ready to head home when he caught the sounds of something ripping nearby followed soon by the should of something large crashing into a building.

The noise sounded as if it came just around the corner.

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Hellbound had just put a lit match to the fresh cigar clenched in his teeth. Talk about timing. He always had a tendency to lose the dog rockets in a good fight and the man's supplies were starting to run low. The one now merrily puffing away in his mouth was, more or less, living on borrowed time.

The city was being way too quiet lately. If it weren't for Superslams then he might think he was getting rusty, who'd have thought that with all these supervillains running around he'd have so much trouble scaring up a little action? There's wasn't a chance in hell that he was passing this one up.

Ripping, tearing and smashing? Someone was playing his song for sure. It sounded like more than just the boring old mugger-and-old-lady routine. As Hellbound calmly strode around the corner with a sly grin on his face, he wondered exactly who would be dumb enough to try tearing up his town without permission?

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"Nothing ever goes to plan," sighed Arrowhawk, whirling around and firing an arrow with a small explosive in it at the board. "All of you stand down!" shouted the vigilante as he went to follow up the shot by vaulting into the room.

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The Scarab smiled slightly under her mask as the lamppost tore open the wall of the skinhead hideout. She diverted a tiny amount of concentration toward her cape, forcing it to flutter behind her as if she was hovering in front of a heavy wind. It's important to make a solid first impression. No matter the audience, always make an entrance.

She hovered through the jagged hole, keeping an eye out for a counterattack from the skinheads. Top priority is the thug with the phaser. Gods only know what that thing can do.

"You boys are in a lot of trouble. The school board has decided to officially disband your little club. Come out, come out, wherever you are..."

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Hellbound comes around the corner to see a building under attack from two heroes that he has worked with before. He easily makes out Scarab II as she floats up with her cape spread wide and enters through the large hole that was made from a street lamp.

By a nearby boarded window, the biker can see Arrowhawk his bow ready as he pulls back unleashes an arrow that explodes when it hits the wooden boards covering the window. Dust and splinters fly everywhere from the explosion.

Scarab entered the building, her cape billowing out behind her. She turned right, ignoring the stairs that lead up and entered the room where the five men were standing scared and confused. She easily sent out her power to yank the strange weapon from the one man and watched as the two melee thugs moved away from her closer to the window where Arrowhawk was. The two men with the submachine guns opened fire upon Scarab ,but they were still shell shocked and the bullets either passed by harmlessly or bounced off of her protective field. Without his weapon, the man before Scarab attempted to grab for his weapon but the hero easily pulled the weapon further out of his reach.

Just then the world exploded as Arrowhawk's arrow exploded into the room. Dust and wood chips poured in, obstructing vision for a moment. The blast caught the two men by the window by surprise and they sprawled to the gorund as the concussive force overtook them. The only one in a position to see Arrowhawk's entrance was Scarab.

The bowman entered with an ease that was rare in unpowered men. The two gun weilders turned slightly to see Arrowhawk's form emerge from the settling dust and smoke. "Oh carp! It's Arrowhawk!" one of the men said as he recognized the hero.

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"Always fragging late to the fun..." Hellbound lamented. Still, he made it onto the scene before the action had ended. That had to count for something.

It wasn't tough to figure out what was going on. Heroes being heroic, villains being villainous. It was all pretty straightforward. The only thing left for him to do was catch up before he had to play clean-up. No way was he going to be stuck picking up the debris if all the gunmen were put down before he could lay into them.

Though he had no idea what they'd done to deserve the beating they were about to receive, he didn't hesitate anyway. Maybe they were bank robbers or fugitives or simple drug-dealers who'd been caught and decided to hold out for one last stand. However it came about, they were now shooting at the good guys and that meant only one thing.

It was time to party.

He charged at the building full force, the cigar in his mouth puffing along and leaving a trail of smoke like he was some ancient steam engine. Any shots that came his way were ignored under the assumption that they couldn't hurt him anyway. The young fighter then threw himself

at an unoccupied window in order to force his way into the building, hoping that the same impervious condition

would prevent him from being damaged by his own entrance.

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Hellbound ran towards the building, gaining speed as he went along. The hero was so intent on a boarded window near his location that he didn't see the crack in the street caused by Scarab's removal of the lamp post. His foot caught in the crack which caused him to mistime his leap. Hellbound smashed into the wall of the building, just right of the large opening that Scarab made with her impervished door opener. The tumble did nothing to the hero other than cause a slight bit of embarrassment.

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The Scarab snapped her index and middle fingers toward her, and the SciFi Gun flew through the air into her waiting hand. "If you can't play nice with your toys, Mommy will have to take them away until you've learned your lesson."

Then she concentrated her will upon one of the hairless miscreants toting a machinegun. HOW DO YOU THINK WE FOUND YOU SO QUICKLY? YOUR FRIEND SOLD YOU OUT. WHEN THIS IS OVER, YOU'LL ROT IN PRISON AND HE'LL WALK AWAY A FREE MAN. SHOW HIM A TRAITOR'S REWARD. BUT DON'T KILL HIM YET. THAT' S TOO QUICK. HE NEEDS TO SUFFER. JUST PUT A ROUND THROUGH HIS LEG FOR NOW. ENOUGH TO TAKE HIM DOWN. CAREFUL - AVOID THAT FEMORAL ARTERY. DON'T WANT HIM TO BLEED TO DEATH. A crude X-Ray superimposed itself over his friend's leg in his mind's eye. A glowing red line plotted the perfect trajectory a bullet could follow to incapacitate him without killing him. DO IT. SHOOT HIM.

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Scarab easily takes over the thug's mind who turns on his companion.

"Why'd you sell us out Man!" he yells as he fires into his companion's leg.

The two melee weapon thugs slowly got to their feet and they knew they were well over matched by the two heroes.

"Screw this!," the bat thug said as he attempted to charge pass Arrowhawk through the open window. His friend however decides to take a swipe at Arrowhawk instead. The blow fails to hit the hero, but it is just enough to allow his buddy to exit the building.

The last remaining thug decides to give up on trying to get his weapon back from Scarab and runs past her towards the stairs.

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