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Dr Archeville

The Trial of Captain Knievel!

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Date: March 25th, 2009 (a Wednesday)

A chilly date: high of only 50 (five degrees below average), though with clear skies all day.

Justice may be blind, but the People are not. For months the man known as Captain Knievel had been terrorizing Freedom City, but now he had finally been caught... but even apparently unrepentant villains get their day in court. And this court was quickly becoming a media circus, in no small part because the news broadcast images of Knievel's masked and unmasked faces, and his unmasked face was that of rich superstar bodybuilder Taylor Rogers.

The assorted crimes Knievel/Rogers was accused of -- including aggravated assault, hate crime, and terrorism -- were enough to warrant a trial in the federal court, in the handsome neo-Classical building newly rebuilt near Freedom Plaza. Presiding would be Judge Thomas Nakamura, a fairly young judge (in Federal Judge terms; he was in his mid-40s) who'd seen precedent-setting cases involving superheroes and super-powered criminals. The defense attorney suggested was not sure if this would work in their favor or against it: Nakamura is an ambitious man, with his eye on the U.S. Supreme Court, so he enjoyed playing to the media almost as much as Knievel himself.

But two days separated the arrest and the trial, and much prep work had to be done.

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A lot of things happened really fast that day. First thing that was done when Captain Knievel was brought in for questioning. That's when one of the police officers noticed who he was. (They had taken his sunglasses away before the mugshot).

"Hey, aren't you Taylor Rog...."

*DECK*

Leveling the police officer with a punch to the face was The Captain's only response.

Needless to say, it did not take long for a police station full of Police officers and some swat team members to subdue him, tired and beat up as he already was. As he was struggling against the multitude of officers, the only thing out of his mouth was, "I want my @%ing attorney!"

------

A few hours later, Taylor was in his cell. His head was slumped down and his big arms rested on his shoulders.

A man approached him dressed in a nice suit. He looked sharp with his white shirt, red tie, and blue suit jacket. His hair was even slicked back. Captain Knievel liked the way he looked and was satisfied with who they had sent him...

"Mr. Rogers? I am your attor...."

...But he needed to let the man know he was in charge...

The man was caught off guard as Captain Knievel seized the front of his shirt through the bars of his cell. "You will not call me by that name. You will refer to me only as The Captain!" His eyes had just the right amount of crazy in them..."Do I make myself clear?"

"Yes, Captain! Now if you could release me, we should be talking about your case..."

-------

"Judge Nakamura?"

"Yes?"

"Hello! Ace Wright, attorney at law. I am defending Captain Knievel in the upcoming trial..."

"Oh, yes, of course. You mean Taylor Rogers."

"Actually, sir, I mean The Captain. I have here his insanity plea." The lawyer handed over a piece of paper to the judge...

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He noted the news as he usually did. It seems the Captain's real name was revealed and that the trial was going to be a fast one. Dark Star made sure to get the time and date for the trial. While he wasn't a witness for the various crimes, he had been there for the man's arrest. It was his civic responsibility to be there at the trial.

He flew down to the DA's office before hand. He didn't want his appearance to detract from the trial but he wanted the attorneys to know he'd be there. He spoke with the man for a few minutes before heading out once more. He would be there for the trial, just hidden unless called for. At least that was his plan.

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Eric Micheals also made an appearance at the trial. He of course had not been present for any of the Captain's escapades *cough* but never the less had a stake in the proceedings. The Captain had assaulted Dr. Archeville, who Eric had a vested interest in. It was his duty to ensure that the one who attempted to damage the assets of his company were brough to justice. He also wanted the opprotunity to speak with Dr. Archeville breifly, and appologize for not attending his latest lecture.

Funnily enough, Malice was also at the trial, though incogneto. He had studied a bit about legal proceedings, but there would likely be a great insight into a trial that has yet to take place, but one that he would be greatly interested in; his own. Furthermore, the Captain was not likely to take this lying down. If he thought for a moment that he could escape, he would assuredly do so. If there were somehow to be a great commotion while he was trying to make his escape, he just might succeed, and that would be a tragedy.

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Arrowhawk had the time and date of the trial, and the location. The Captain would undoubtably make a break for it, and he'd shown before that he was a tenacious man. He could easily manage to escape if nobody was around to stop him.

Thus it was that a man in dark clothing and a mask was perched on the opposite building, keeping an eye and ear out for any action. His civilian identity had little connection to Knieval, and his presence would be suspicious. But Arrowhawk staking out a recent collar... not so suspicious.

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The air shimmers for a moment over the courthouse as The Vestige once again enters this plane of existence.

It seems that they have caught the avatar of chaos and subjecting them to their heathen judicial processes. That will not do. The more he is out here and causing mayhem means more time for me to do things unmolested. He must be freed.

He then blinks out of existence and appears unseen inside the courtroom. Floating up to the ceiling, he waits and plans for the opportune moment to break the Captain free.

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Ace had been keeping a low profile before his official homecoming but still kept his ear to the ground. He had heard about the menace this self styled 'captain' had made of himself and was gladened to hear he had been captured. He was less pleased to hear that rather than the usual secure courts used for super-villians the Judge had opted for hte less secure media circus route. He resolved to ensure he was in the gallery in case any trouble started.

Thus Ace entered the court under an illusion to observe and if neccisary act. A quick call to a buddy at the ledger set him up with a press pass so he was fairly close to the action, such as it was, as he settled in and scaned the room for familiar faces.

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Elena checked her reflection in the mirror as she and her friend exited the locker room. There were obvious dark circles under her eyes. Sofia laughed. "I can't believe you of all people agreed to a 6 A.M. tee-time." Elena sighed. "Neither can I. But I don't need to tell you how important this is."

The two Latina women made their way to a shaded table outside the restaurant/bar of the exclusive North Bay Country Club, where they rejoined their companions from the morning's game. The two Caucasian gentlemen, one dark-haired, one sandy-blonde, and both in their late 30s to early 40s, stood up upon their arrival. The four nodded to each other and shook hands for the second time that day.

"Mrs. Cruz, Ms. Guerrero."

"Mr. O'Connor, Mr. Durgan, a pleasure to see you again."

"I took the liberty of ordering you some coffee. Sorry we had to do this so early, but my schedule's packed, what with all this Captain Knieval nonsense."

"It's not every day one gets invited to play golf with the Mayor and District Attorney of Freedom City. And that's actually the matter I wanted to discuss."

Michael O'Connor nodded to Sofia Cruz. "Well, it's not every morning one gets invited to have coffee with the C.E.O. of the Rhodes Foundation, either. You've got some pretty powerful friends, Ms. Guerrero, I'll give you that."

"Am I to understand you'll be trying the case yourself, then, Mr. Durgan?"

Daniel Durgan ran a hand through his sandy-blonde hair and straightened his shirt. "Well, it deserves special attention. It's an important case."

Michael laughed. "And a high-profile one. The kind that could pave the way to the governor's mansion."

Daniel chuckled as he sipped his coffee. "I wouldn't dream of cutting in front of you in line, Michael."

"That's all we need. You, Thomas, and this Rogers psychopath, all competing to see who can ham it up for the cameras the most. The courtroom floor might give out under the weight of those egos." Michael's smile disappeared. "Jokes aside, he's right. This is an important case. The kind that can make or break the public's confidence, their morale. The kind that can define an entire administration."

"I know. That's why I want in."

Both men's eyes nearly doubled in size. Daniel spat his coffee back into the cup.

"Ms. Guerrero..."

Sofia held up her hand. "No. Stop. Hear her out." She turned to Elena and nodded.

"I'm sure you checked my background as soon as you agreed to this meeting. So you know that I've only ever tried one case in the three years since I passed the Bar. And you know that I lost. You may have even heard that I've been doing some consulting here and there to occupy my idle hands between charity parties."

"What you don't realize is just how good I am at what I do." Elena reached down into her purse, extracted an envelope, and tossed it onto the table. "Go ahead and open it. Quickly, before someone thinks we're bribing you. Those are my references. Clients from all walks of life, from the boardrooms to the back alleys. Call them. Email them. They'll all tell you the same thing: 'I wouldn't have won that case without her.' "

Sofia chimed in. "She's been doing pro-bono work for Nelson & Bannerly since last fall. Their success rate has shot up 25%. They even won a class-action lawsuit against a subsidiary of Grant Conglomerates. When was the last time anyone went up against Grant and won?"

Daniel looked back and forth between Elena and Michael a few times. Michael looked him in the eye and nodded. Daniel turned to Elena. "Alright. Fair enough. You're in. What exactly did you have in mind?"

"I won't interact directly with anyone but you and your people. I watch, I listen, and I provide insight. Jury Selection. Cross-Examination. Every lawyer knows the law. I know people. They can't lie to me. They can't distract me. And with Ace Wright representing The Captain, you'll need all the help you can get."

"And what kind of compensation are you looking for? The city budget is stretched pretty thin this year..."

Elena laughed. "Compensation? Mr. Durgan, the only thing I want more than to see this bastard locked up is to flush the key down the toilet myself. I'll do it for free."

Daniel grinned. "You know, I never would've believed you're a first-time golfer. You were a natural out there."

"Well, as it turns out, I'm secretly a superhero. I made the ball go into the hole with my mind."

The two men laughed. The women did not.

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Captain Knievel and Ace Wright sat in a small 10x10 room in the courthouse making some last minute preparations for the trial...

"So did you look it up? Can we actually do that thing that we talked about?"

"Yes, Captain, it is a legal move. Now I suggest that we call him to the stand as soon as..."

"No!" Captain Knievel slammed a fist into the cheap metal table they had been given to help arrange their affairs. He left a slight dent in the surface of the table. Ace jumped, and a few papers went scattering onto the floor. The Captain raised his hands (as they were both shackled together) and pointed a finger at Ace "Above anything else, THIS particular issue I must insist should be done my way. Now here is what you are going to do..."

---

A short time later, Captain Knievel was being escorted to the courtroom by two bailiffs, his hands still shackled together. Having been stripped of his uniform, his armor, and his Adrenaline Cannon, Captain Knievel was dressed in his best suit. The bailiffs led him into the court room and sat him down at the defendant's table along with Ace Wright.

The day had finally come. He was in a courtroom and he was being put on trial for all of the things he loved to do. He had a wide eyed expression on his face complete with a huge smile that made him look like a lunatic. In truth, he was just really excited.

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"All rise," one of the burly bailiffs announced as the judge entered. "The honorable Judge Thomas Nakamura presiding."

The judge cast a cool eye over the assembled peoples, most of whom were here for two reasons: to see justice be dispensed, and to possible see a metahuman brawl. Even if there were no superpowered shenanigans in the court, Nakamura would make sure the trial was memorable.

He leaned into the microphone at his bench, his voice low and even. The device was barely necessary: his was a voice that did not need to be amplified to draw one's attention. "Let the record show that on this date, March the 25th, 2009, the trial of Taylor 'Captain Knievel' Rogers v. Freedom City begins. Mr. Prosecutor, your opening statement?"

Daniel Durgan rose, "your honor," he turned to the jury, "ladies and gentlemen of the jury, you know that I would not be here, personally handling this case, if I did not feel it was a critical situation. We will show you how dangerous that man," he turned and pointed to Knievel, "has been to Freedom City, both its people and its property, over the past several months." He lowered his hand and turned to address both judge and jury as best he could, "his numerous reckless acts have caused millions of dollars in property damage and sent dozens of people to the hospital, some of whom have had their lives irrevocably altered. In addition, we shall also show that his wanton cruelty and callous disregard for life is not completely random, but that he has shown a marked prejudice against metahumans."

Gasps and murmurs rippled through both the jury and audience as Durgan sat.

Nakamura had been writing something as Durgan spoke, "the Defense may make their opening statement."

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"Hey man! It's not my fault!" The Captain yelled, standing from his seat, "Those FREAKS deserve everything they GET!"

This of course resulted in a huge uproar. After the bailiffs rushed Captain Knievel to make sure that he would stay put, and the crowd settled down, and the judge was done banging his gavel there was order in the court once more.

"Mr. Wright! You must contain your client!" The judge intoned, "Now, your opening statement. And I would prefer it without any further outbursts."

"Captain, if you flip like that again, this trial is not going to last very long for you," Ace tried to placate the captain under his breath as he stood, "Now please give me a chance to defend you. Lord knows I am going to need every advantage I can get in this case."

Ace stood, walked around the defendant's table and stood in the center of the courtroom. All eyes were upon him as he began his speech, "Your honor, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, my client IS a dangerous man. Lord knows I have gone through more than a few undershirts because sitting next to him has caused me to sweat so much." This raised a few chuckles from general assembly.

"'The Captain', as he prefers to be called IS a danger to Freedom City. Over the past several months he has caused more than his fair share of explosions and property damage. He has caused damage to office buildings, bill boards, streets FULL of traffic and more. He has caused the City of Freedom a great deal in totaled police cruisers alone! His apparent wanton disregard for the lives of others has put many in danger, and many more in hospitals. And it is true as you yourselves have seen he does hate meta humans. The prosecution would have you believe that this man has planned all of this out and thought all of these actions through. The claim that all of this destruction is the work of a man in full control of himself."

Ace Wright approached the jury benches. "I say that is the most ridiculous accusation they have made today! Captain Knievel clearly does not think these things through. These actions are clearly not the actions of a level headed man. I will prove today that the actions taken by Captain Knievel over the past few months are in fact the work of a crazed madman." Ace Wright looked around the courtroom to observe the reactions of the crowd. "I see many people nodding. They think as well as I do, that Captain Knievel is crazy! He is a lunatic! And as such, he does not deserve to be locked up for the rest of his life, he needs our help. He should not go to prison. He should be sent to a mental hospital!"

Ace let this statement sink in for a second before continuing. "Today I will prevent evidence that will prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that Captain Knievel has all of the classic characteristics of a man that is clinically insane. This will of course prove that he deserves the best mental rehibilitation efforts this city can provide for him!" Ace was pleased with his delivery, "Thank you ladies and gentleman." and he returned to his seat, whispering to Captain Knievel, "The stage is set."

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Elena half-whispered, half-muttered under her breath after Wright concluded his opening statement. "Right. criminally insane. Not in control of his own actions. That's why he set up and maintained an entire secret identity separate from his public antics. That's why he tried so hard not to get caught. Because he wasn't in control of himself."

"Does he honestly think that's going to work? Is that his master plan? To convince the jury that being an inconsiderate jerk equals insanity?"

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The prosecution brings in their first witness, Officer Vinnie Grigori, who'd had numerous run-ins with Knievel (and sported several minor facial lacerations and bruises to prove it). He was present at Knievel's assault on Precinct 13 on February 16th (he was the first one Knievel attacked and KO'd), was one of the responders to his assault of a winged Metahuman woman on March 12th, and was also a responder to the destructive Midtown antics Knievel, Malice, and an unidentified Metahuman were involved in on March 22nd (it was his police car that Knievel landed on). He was not present to arrest Knievel after his dealings with Dr. Archeville at HIT, but he was one of the officers who helped book Knievel.

After answering the prosecution's questions -- which consisted mainly of retelling those events -- the defense was allowed to cross-examine him.

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The following cross examination that occurred was pretty routine. Thankfully, Captain Knievel remained relatively calm and did not hinder the proceedings too much.

Questions were asked of the detective that were altogether unremarkable. The defense was not one of shooting stars, but it got the job done. Ace Wright questioned the detective as to the seeming motivations of Captain Knievel. It became clear that he was not qualified to make speculations as to the mental capacities of the Villain since he was not an expert in the field. He simply had the unfortunate role of being a repeated bystander to Knievel's destructive acts.

No progress was established towards the mental capacities of Captain Knievel during these proceedings. The prosecution still seemed to be barking up the wrong tree as far as the defense was concerned. It was clear that Captain Knievel was a danger. The topic up for debate was whether or not he was truly in control...

"Yea! And I would do it again if you get in my way! Was Captain Knievel's most recent outburst.

"So Officer Grigori, is it clear to you that Captain Knievel is a danger to this society?

"Yes"

"And is it your official, expert opinion that Captain Knievel is possessed of all the proper mental faculties of a normally functioning member of society?

"Well... I... No, sir..."

"No more questions, your honor."

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Ace carefully followed the procedings, Knievels defense was to be expected, it was the norm for psychos to try and use their mental state as an excuse for their behavior. The defense attourny was good he played to the theatrics well, just enough outbursts to make clear that the fellow was not sane, no questions of pertanence followed by a pointless one that would resound with a jury unfamiliar with the diference between the common and legal deffinitions of insanity.

Hope fully the prosecution stepped up the game a bit as on the sensationalism scale they were falling ever behind even as the evidence of Knievels crimes mounted. He had seen this play out in many ways over the years and it seemd that rather then actually get his client off Mr. Wright was hoping for an easy escape from a mental institution. Ace made note to free up some funds for an anonymous donation for security should he succeed.

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Dark Star was concealed in the back, just simply observing the proceedings. IT wasn't like he had any need to be here but he felt morally obliged to be in case he was needed as a witness during the arresting event. An unlikley event, but still, his sense of responsibility was compelling. So, he simply observed and listened to the news via radio...

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Eric was actually paying pretty close attention to the proceedings. It was true that if he found himself in Knievel's place, he would not be using his defense; anyone that bothered looking through his records would know that he was very methodical in his approach, and he didn't consider himself to be slightest bit insane, zealous maybe but not insane. What he was paying attention to however was how the questions were phrased, and when they were asked. It was really true, the delivery mattered much more than he thought it would.

In addition, Eric was curious as to why the trial had actually gone on so long. He had expected the Captain to have made his move by now. Maybe the Captain was confident in his defense. Eric couldn't see why though. He would still be locked up even if he won. Anyone can get shacked up in the wacko basket, but it takes a true genius to shoot a man in the face and get off scott free.

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The prosecutor next calls Dr. Grete Grubach, from the Providence Asylum. She had helped counsel the winged Metahuman woman he had attacked, and her testimony mainly focused on that. She also commented on the clear prejudice he has against Metahumans, based on comments he'd made to the woman he had assaulted ("The woman reported that he declared he was attacking her 'because she was a freak',"), comments he'd made when he crashed Dr. Archeville's lecture, and some of the bill boards he had set up around Freedom over the past several months.

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Next up was the defenses cross examination. An expert witness for the prosecution would be a great resource if they could just get her to say what they wanted.

"Dr. Grubach," Ace began, "Are you qualified to testify as to the mental state of your subjects and patients?"

"Yes, sir, I am qualified."

"You yourself testify that Captain Knievel exhibits an extreme hatred towards meta-humans, correct?"

"Yes, sir, I am."

"Are you aware that in some courts of law, extreme prejudice, sometimes referred to as racism, can be used as acceptable grounds and evidence towards an insanity plea?"

"I am aware that that is the case in some courts"

"Would you say that Captain Knievel exhibits what one might refer to as 'extreme prejudice,' or 'racism'?"

"I would say so, yes"

"Could this racism have had an adverse affect on The Captain's ability to judge the situation properly, or control himself and his actions accordingly?"

"No, I do not."

At this, Ace Wright frowned. "Doctor, I am not looking for a personal opinion on this matter. In fact I am not even looking for a conclusion. Therefore, Please allow me to rephrase the question: Is it at all possible that this racism affect Captain Knievel's judgment, even in the slightest?"

"Yes, his prejudices could be such that they impair some aspects of his judgment."

"No further questions, your honor."

Ace Wright turned and began to walk back to the defense table. While still standing he made a note on his legal pad. To anyone able to read it, it said: "Call opposing expert witness to reaffirm possibility of racism impairing judgment. Should conclude - resounding yes."

Once again, Captain Knievel found he could not sit idly by and all the court to have it's way of things. As the witness was stepping down from the witness box, he banged on the table rather loudly. "They deserve it! They deserve everything the get!" Captain Knievel yelled as Ace returned to his seat looking at least a little unnerved and keeping his space, "You can't comfort them! You can't give comfort to something whose existence in itself is WRONG!"

"ORDER! ORDER IN THE COURT!..."

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The passenger door opened and Rick hopped out, dropping the three feet to the ground and nearly running the last three feet, to the brick wall. He had stopped smelling the garbage truck months ago. He feverishly worked his zipper and began reliving himself on the side of the building.

"Oh man that is it. I was telling you guys the doctor found something right? A pulpit or something like that. In my prostate. Says thats why I gotta go to the bathroom six times a night I tell you it feels like I got a lead weight in there." he laughed. "He used two fingers too, ever feel what that is like. I mean I know you did right, Chuck." Finally he finished and zipped up his overalls and turned back to the truck. "Come on Chuck you know I'm playing. Is this-" He caught a glimpse of Chuck sprawled at foot of the open door before a fist hammered into into the bridge of his nose, snapping his head back and he blacked out....

Ronin zipped up his overalls. He looked at the name on the overalls, the one he had taken from the last man: Rick. Terrible name. He fitted on the ball cap over his mask. No one would mistake him for a sanitation worker, if they looked hard enough, but by then it wouldn't matter. "Wow if my high school guidance counselor could see me now." He climbed into the driver's seat. "Ok then. Why did it have to be stick? How does this work now?" He stepped on a pedal and tried to change gears and heard a large grinding of metal. "Damn. Ok wait, no problem this is why I pay taxes." Finally he sifted through his memories and remembered how to drive stick. "Now to go down to the mall pick up some girls..." he watched as reporters swarmed the Courthouse down the hill. "Right, mission first."

He put the truck into gear as he came out of the alley the workers had parked in. He checked his rear view and saw that they were sill unconscious. No need to kill them, their lives sucked enough as it was. "Alright time for one last pick up."

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Elena leaned over to whisper in Durgan's ear. "By all accounts, Rogers is a bigoted thug and an adrenaline junkie with overdeveloped muscles where his brain should be. But he's also cunning like a hungry wolf. And I don't need to tell you about Ace Wright's reputation as a hot-shot. This inept "insanity" nonsense can't be their master plan. These histrionics must be a feint. I need to go look into something. I'll be back." She stood up and discretely exited the courtroom.

Once in the hall, she took off jogging. As soon as she got outside, she broke into as full a sprint as her high heeled dress shoes would allow. She raced across the street, to a restaurant/bar she knew was frequented by lawyers and city officials. A television hung above the bar, permanently tuned to CourtTV. The sound was off, but the television was close-captioned.

Perfect.

She ordered a single beer, then ensconced herself within a booth across the room, with a clear view of the television. She focused her attention on the young hot-shot defense attorney, Mr. Ace Wright. Let's see what else you have up your sleeve...

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She sees blood flowing down the stairs of the courthouse, which is on fire. She hears.... nothing. Nothing at all. She smells metal and sweat and gun oil and dust.

Visions of blood, death, and fire were all The Scarab needed to propel her into action. Damn. Public safety is the first priority. Convicting Knieval is a distant second.

First, she focused her mind on District Attorney Daniel Durgan. Her voice echoed in his mind. DURGAN! Get the judge to close this trial to the public, NOW! Knieval has a contingency plan, but it has nothing to do with legal precedents. No details yet. We can't move in or tip our hand until he does. But get the audience and the reporters out of there, before he turns them into hostages or victims.

Durgan had been scrawling notes on a legal pad. His pen began to move of its own volition, almost jumping out of his hand. He kept a firm grip on it, as it began drawing a symbol on the paper. An oval of some kind, bisected by two perpendicular lines. The horizontal line terminated where it intersected the vertical line, so the oval was divided into three sections rather than four.

An iconic depiction of an Egyptian scarab beetle.

Then she decoupled her senses from her body and began searching the courthouse and the surrounding area. She searched for bombs, secret weapon caches, snipers on rooftops, known supervillains in disguise - anything that might be used to aid Knieval's escape (or rampage).

Whenever she found a hero, especially one she recognized, she sent them a telepathic message as well. This is The Scarab. Knieval is planning an escape. No details yet, but he will leave a high body count on his way out the door. Stay alert, and be ready to move on my signal.

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Shortly after his rather unsettling paranormal experience, Mr. Durgan receives a text message on his phone, from Elena Guerrero.

"Rumor. CapK has surprise witness. Looking into it. Be ready for anything."

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Whenever she found a hero, especially one she recognized, she sent them a telepathic message as well. This is The Scarab. Knieval is planning an escape. No details yet, but he will leave a high body count on his way out the door. Stay alert, and be ready to move on my signal.

Arrowhawk recognised the Scarab's voice in his head. Oh, you know me... Always waiting. I feared this, which is why I turned up today. When he breaks free, contact me immediately and I'll try to cut him off before he exits the building. Arrowhawk out. He hoped Scarab would take the hint with the 'out' part. He usually disliked opening his mind to telepaths, but at least Scarab had unquestionably good intentions

He took his bow and moved closer to the edge, preparing his grapple line to drop down the side of the building. Then he scanned his own mind for all intel he had on Knieval. Monstrously strong, and fast to boot. He's tougher than me, but not quite as agile. Hopefully he won't have found a way to get that cannon into his escape attempt, so I can count that out. I just need to keep far enough away to stop him grabbing me and I should be able to fire away with impunity.

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As the prosecution questions their third witness -- a bicycle courier who'd been present at the destructive Midtown antics Knievel, Malice, and an unidentified Metahuman were involved in -- several people notice something.

Dark Star, Malice, Knievel, Vestige, and Scarab all notice that the courier keeps scratching his knees, elbows and ears, and fidgeting as if to scratch his back.

Knievel, Vestige and Scarab are in positions such that they notice (well, one camera is in a position such that it allows Scarab to notice) why he's scratching: he has lots of scaly patches on his skin. They're several shades redder than his surrounding skin.

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