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Cyroa

Gettings the goods (IC)

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Recently, those who kept their ear to the ground for criminal deals had heard someone was looking for some ‘big’ guns and explosives, well beyond the normal assault weapons kind of thing the mafia or other organized crime would try for. This was a good deal bigger.

And someone had been providing samples to whet those appetites. A couple high tech ‘blaster’ weapons had been seen and heard of but so far, there didn’t seem to be any floating around the street. Whoever was looking to unload these energy weapons (and hopefully not something bigger!) was going to radically destabilize the underworld and bring a new level of destruction to crime.

But to date, these ‘somebodies’ were being rather careful as to the where and when of any such deals. The various criminal elements that one would normally check seemed to have no idea what was going on. The buyer and sellers were not your ordinary criminals it seemed. The best anyone could do was give a possible direction of ‘in Greenbank maybe, over in the West End’. Definitely not the most specific of leads. But better than nothing…

And for two Claremont students who liked to hang out on the rough areas of town after dark, they were just lucky enough to be in the right place…

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"You see," said Edge confidently as he bit into the poutine burger he'd bought at the French-Canadian deli just down the block, "this stuff may look weird, but it's pretty good." As a life-long Freedom City native, he'd taken the new arrival Breakdown out for a little evening stroll in a bad neighborhood several stories up. Between Edge's deft hand with his grappling gun and Breakdown's many modes of getting about, they'd been traveling in style for the last couple of hours. But they were still teenage boys, which had meant getting some takeout. Shopping in costume was always an adventure, but the more people who got to know the two boys as the heroes they were, the easier their lives would be in the field. He was eating casually on a warehouse rooftop, looking generally unworried about a fall.

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"Naa, man," Breakdown replied, while floating listlessly by, "Pastrami is where it's at."

He enjoyed the freedom his costume had granted him. Not that he ever really hid his powers, but now he had a reason to use them, and the freedom to do so. He never imagined that these reasons would involve getting take out at a deli late at night.

"So do you usually just hang out and eat while you're keeping the streets clean?"

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It was rare that Ace couldn't trace down a rumor to its source and even rarer that the most he could turn up was a neighborhood or possibly two. He had canvased the place by day once already to get the layout and now wandered the streets at night hoping to stir up more info on the who where and how of these exotic weapons that were soon to be plauging the streets.

His illusory guise of the night was that of a small time hood looking to score in his small time way, fit with the scene and certainly wouldn't garner much attention as he peered in windows and skylights for signs of where this stuff was coming from.

He stuck mostly to the shadows out of habit more than anything else and crept along from warehouse to warehouse looking for anything out of place. This was the long slow process the TV and movies always refered to as 'canvasing' the area. Ace had been around long enough to know its more accurate to call it a waste of time in the feeble hope of getting lucky.

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Grimalkin is happy to be sent ahead by the team as a scout; she'd never been the best at front line combat anyway, and the same skills that made her possibly the world's greatest shoplifter back in the day were also excellent for being sneaky in more law-abiding ways.

Slipping unseen through the streets of Greenbank, she is suddenly assaulted by a stench so foul, so ungodly, that she must seek out its source, and if need be lay it to rest, quite possibly for the second time. She quickly traces it to a nearby building, specifically the roof; the old cast iron fire escape is right out, since she gets queasy even looking at it, which combined with the mysterious smell nearly makes her toss her cookies. Instead the young shapeshifter adopts the Goblin's form and silently clambers up the side of the building, until she reaches the summit, where she climbs forward to find-

"So do you usually just hang out and eat while you're keeping the streets clean?"

Two young guys having a snack; from their outfits, they look like heroes, or more likely hero wannabes. Seeing they pose no real threat, she sheds her more terrifying form while still remaining unseen.

God, how I hate poseurs. :roll:

One of them is eating a delightful-smelling pastrami sandwich, while the other...is holding the abomination, a nightmare made flesh. The sight of someone holding that thing, and from the look of it consuming it for sustenance, proves to be too much for the young heroine; unbidden, her voice floats out into the night.

"Oh my god, that is gross!"

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Duskstalker had heard of the rumored weapons deals and their supposed link with the Greenbank area and fearing the repercussions should criminals manage to get their hands on the tech the rumors spoke of he headed to the West End arriving there just after the sun had dipped below the horizon.

Upon arriving there he began to fly over the blocks to see if there was anyone acting suspiciously. Spotting two teenage boys eating deli sandwiches one on the warehouse roof the other just floating in the air near the other, Duskstalker began a slow spiral down to where they were.

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"Everyone's gotta eat and go to the bathroom. Even superheroes on patrol." Edge said to Eddie with a shrug. "And swinging around on a grappling line burns more calories than flying or jumping around." He dabbed at his mouth with a napkin, enjoying the delicious taste of his ethnic treat. It was loaded with calories, to be sure, but luckily he didn't need to worry about stuff like that. "That warehouse down the block, with the black roof? They don't lock their upper stories, so later we can swing in there and...Gah!"

When the mysterious voice came from nowhere, Edge jumped as if he'd been hit by lightning, almost dropping his half-eaten sandwich before belatedly righting himself. "Hey, who said that?" He set his sandwich down carefully on its wrapper, looking around and seeing nothing at all.

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"Ahh!" Breakdown yelped at the sound of the voice. He was startled enough that he lost concentration on his music and promptly plumeted the 2-3 feet to the roof. "I have no clue!" He responded, clutching tightly to the holiness that was his pastrami sandwich. "But it's not getting my sandwich!"

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Phantom, as usual, was doing that irritating thing where she tracked Grim based off her unique magical and dimensional signature. Which meant that she ported into the center of the boys, rising up out of the roof of the warehouse between the kids, cloak billowing as she looked around for Grim and instead saw two teenage boys. For Grim in the shadows, the expression of surprise followed by the nose wrinkling at the sandwiches was probably priceless. Phantom recovered quickly, floating up between the boys and drifting around the roof's surface to find Grim.

"Why would I want your sandwich?" She asked, almost absently, as her voice echoed hollowly.

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"Why would I want your sandwich?"

Aw, man! Just when she was getting ready to play with these guys' heads, Phantom has to show up and go all copycat.

Oh well, might as well play nice.

The pretty young shapeshifter appears on the rooftop in a swirl of mist, hands jauntily on hips.

"Alright, you crazy kids, what are you doin' out on school night? And don't try and tell me you're doin' this for extra credit!"

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Edge jumped again when Phantom showed up, but settled down a little bit when Grimalkin showed her face. When he could actually see and hear these two ladies, they weren't so scary. "It's summertime," he replied politely to Grimalkin, "so Breakdown and I don't have any morning classes." He looked Grimalkin up and down, a skeptical look in his eyes. She's like eighteen. Maybe she's just well-preserved. "We're out here because we're superheroes. This is Breakdown," he said, pointing to Eddie, "and my name is Edge." He carefully wrapped up the remaining third of his huge, sloppy sandwich and slipped it into the space in his grapple gun holster, and gave an expectant look to Phantom and Grimalkin.

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"Breakdown, here."

The finale of Collective Soul's Disciplined Breakdown projected audibly from Breakdown.

"Welcome all to my disciplined breakdown

Breakdown reality

Breakdown my ability to get it back

Breakdown honesty

Breakdown now deliver me

From all this madness and all this agony"

"...And like the man says. No classes tomorrow, I can sleep in all I want...." He turned to Edge and remarked, "Dude. You have got to find a better place for that thing. One day you are going to reach down looking for that grapple gun of yours, and all your gonna come up with is a nice meaty handful of sandwich. Then I am going to have to come and save your ass when you fall off a building!" Breakdown rebuked his companion with a smile.

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Grim thoughtfully strokes her chin in a somewhat exaggerated fashion. "Ah yes, 'summer break': I'm sure I would have remembered that if I hadn't dropped out after freshman year..."

She throws up her hands in an easy shrug.

"Oh well, need to work on that GED this fall. So, teenage superheroes! That's kinda cool, though I have to ask the obvious question: do your parents know you're out gallivanting about at all hours, and keeping disgusting sandwich-like objects in your utility belt? Seriously, that is messed up."

Then she turns her attention to Breakdown. "And you, Pastrami! That's cool what you did with the music there." She points at her ear and shakes her head in wonder. "The acoustics or whatever were awesome, especially the bass."

Remembering her manners, she looks over her shoulder at her fellow Knight and looks a touch embarrassed. "Oh, sorry, this is Phantom; she seems to follow me around a lot." She leans forward and offers a conspiratorial wink. "I think she's gotta 'thing' for me, if you know what I mean." ;)

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Phantom gave Grim a quelling scowl that lacked the heat of anything but vague irritation and reluctant amusement, "You stopped. If I am serving as 'back up' I do very little good if I don't come find you. You COULD have been in a battle, not finding teenage boys that are doing some sort of ill-concieved stake-out with snacks."

She glanced over the two boys with glowing white eyes before glancing around the warehouse roof and lifted her fingertips to begin forming arcane sigils to cast some sort of spell, "Might as well check again. I don't suppose you two have seen anything odd?"

It was amazing how Phantom could ask that, shimmering out of existance and standing next to Grim, without the slightest tone of irony.

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Hearing faint trails of music from a nearby warehouse Ace peered up in the direction the sound was coming from. Despite the relitive darkness the siloette was clearly that of Phantom and at least a few others. Perhaps she had turned up something usefull. It looked as if she was questioning whoever she had found so he thought it best he step in as pants wetting fear was sometimes effective but not exactly the most subtle method of infromation gathering.

He quickly dropped his illusion and instead hid himself entirely as he mounted the fire escape and climbed up to the roof. 'Note to self, see if they have perfected those rocket boots Rachel was taling about' he thought as he reached the top. He quickly took in the scene recognizing Grim but the other two young Heroes were as yet unknown to him.

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"I know... That's what I said," Blurted Breakdown, gesturing dramatically in Edge's direction.

"Phantom huh? Special connection huh?" Breakdown cocked an eyebrow. Damn... He shugged, "I can dig that, and don't worry, I won't get in the way." He smiled a knowing smile. "And Phantom explains the Ghosty-ness, but I still don't think I know your name..."

"I'm glad you like the music, It's just one of my many talents, if you know what I mean." He strolled forward digging something out of his pocket as he went. He handed a small card to the newcomer. "Here."

JUKE

Professional DJ

Millennium: Wednesday Nights 9pm - 1am

Free Pass

As the girl read the card, Breakdown took another bite out of his Pastrami sandwich. A look of eager bliss crossed his face.

"My Bologna has a first name.

It's O-S-C-A-R.

My Bologna has a last name.

It's M-A-Y-E-R..."

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At the news something was actually happening out here in what Edge had thought would be a quiet neighborhood, he felt a frisson of mostly excitement and a little bit of fear. "We haven't seen anything yet," he said as he shot a cautious look around the rooftop. "Breakdown and I have both been keeping an eye out." He stood up, peering around with curiosity on what could be seen of his face. "You just happened to catch us while we were taking a break."

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Grim nods with appreciation as she reads Breakdown's card.

"Very cool. I'll have to hear you spin someday"

She tucks it into a pocket that appears on her hip.

"Oh, I'm sorry, it's Grimalkin, or just Grim. And here...is my card." She flicks her hand out and a business card blinks into existence between her index and middle fingers.

GRIMALKIN, Esq.

Buttkicking, wisecracking, decent cook. Ask for me by name!

As soon as he finishes reading it, it disappears a puff of mist. "Sorry, I only have the one." ;)

"We haven't seen anything yet,"

"Breakdown and I have both been keeping an eye out."

"You just happened to catch us while we were taking a break."

The pint-sized heroine shakes her head and smiles.

"Yeah, sure, whatever :roll: We could use a few more sets of eyes on this one, as long as you can guarantee your parents won't sue us if you die or anything."

Suddenly she cocks her head to one side, then spins on her heel.

"Ace! What are you doing here?" She quickly crosses the distance in between and gives the veteran adventurer a crushing hug.

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Ace had let his sensory clouding effect fade upon realizing there were no hostiles up here and wasn't overly surprised Grim was the first to take note of his arrival. The crushing hug on the other hand was a bit surprising though if rumors to be believed, and the rumors Ace was tuned into usually were, she was the mercurial sort from whom the unexpected was the best one could expect.

"What can I say, I get around." He responded to Grimalkin with a grin as she released him. "Phantom," He greeted the ephemeral heroine with a smile "Is this a social call or has our little arms ring dipped into broader waters?" HE was unaccusomed to Phantom stirring herself to investigate non-dimensional activities, of course of late tehre ahad been enough of those to keep anyone busy.

He strode up the boys next "Hi, Captain Ace Danger." He greeted them with a firm handshake each in turn. "I've never understood the Canuck fascination with gravy covered everything myself but to each his own I say." He said with a glance to the sandwich that had been so much a conversation starter.

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"ACE DANGER!" Edge lit up as if a switch had been thrown, his eyes huge behind his goggles. Only good luck had kept his exclamation a stage whisper instead of the shout he'd wanted to make. He shook Ace's hand with a huge smile on his face. "Oh, man! It...it's an honor, sir!" He fumbled around on his belt for a moment, coming up with a fabric pen. "May I just say, sir, that I have been a fan ever since I first saw Danger in Africa when I was a kid? You really taught me a lot about why it's important not to exploit people." He offered the pen to Ace. "Will you sign my costume?"

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"Thanks!" Breakdown responded, "Guess now I know who to come to if his parents DO sue." he nodded at Edge.

Eddie was shocked to learn of Ace's Presence on the roof. He had no clue that anyone had been there. Then again he wasn't the most watchful person...

"Oh Crap! I forgot that I was supposed to be scanning the airwaves!" Breakdown began to turn his head a few different directions and pick up the various police and emergency services frequencies in the area, just in case.

Keeping one ear tuned to the radio he managed to have a conversation with the other. "Nice to meet you, Ace, I'm Breakdown. NOT Pastrami..." He gave Grim a joking sideways glance while he shook Ace's hand. He gave a Edge a strange look at his reaction. I know the guy's famous, but really...?

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Seeing the teenagers on the warehouse roof being joined by others seemingly out of thin air, one of them the famous Ace Danger, Duskstalker softly lands on the roof near them and walked up to the group and with a small cough to catch their attention introduced himself extending a hand to anyone willing to shake his, "Quite a group we have here, the name's Duskstalker by the way. I assume most of us are here following the rumors of high tech weapons being sold somewhere around the area."

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"Is this a social call or has our little arms ring dipped into broader waters?"

Grim untangles herself from Ace and brushes her hair out of her eyes."Looks like; you want to team up with the Knights on this one?" ;)

"May I just say, sir, that I have been a fan ever since I first saw Danger in Africa when I was a kid? You really taught me a lot about why it's important not to exploit people." He offered the pen to Ace. "Will you sign my costume?"

Edge's unabashed fanboy worship brings a smile to her face.

Now how come I don't get all worked up like that? I'm I such a jaded soul at the venerable age of twenty-one?

"Quite a group we have here, the name's Duskstalker by the way. I assume most of us are here following the rumors of high tech weapons being sold somewhere around the area."

"...And some of us are just eating sandwiches, but yeah, I think you're right. Nice to meet you, Dusk."

Grim looks around at the very large group of heroes now gathered up here, a concerned frown on her face.

"Um, should be maybe split up or pair off? I think we might be scaring away all the big fish with our little rooftop hero convention."

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"ACE DANGER!" Edge lit up as if a switch had been thrown, his eyes huge behind his goggles. Only good luck had kept his exclamation a stage whisper instead of the shout he'd wanted to make. He shook Ace's hand with a huge smile on his face. "Oh, man! It...it's an honor, sir!" He fumbled around on his belt for a moment, coming up with a fabric pen. "May I just say, sir, that I have been a fan ever since I first saw Danger in Africa when I was a kid? You really taught me a lot about why it's important not to exploit people." He offered the pen to Ace. "Will you sign my costume?"

Ace smiled at the youths enthusiasm, "Lets not get carried away there, you got a good look going there I wouldn't want to mar it with my chicken scratch." Ace grinned at the young man for a moment then pulled out one of his cards and signed the back, "But never let it be said I'd disapoint a fan." Ace said handing over the card to the teen hero.

"Um, should be maybe split up or pair off? I think we might be scaring away all the big fish with our little rooftop hero convention."

Ace turned to the broader assemblage, "Perhaps a pooling of information might be enlightening, I've got a couple possible leads but nothing firm." He looked expectantly to the older heroes to hear what had led them here so far.

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Breakdown sat and watched the big guns gather on the rooftop. People were talking about leads, arms dealing rings, and even the Knights were getting involved! Enough time spent around edge and anybody would know who they were...

Breakdown felt like he was beginning to catch edge's bug! "Oh wow... This is great!" An excited smile spread across his face. "I wish I had some leads for you, Ace but all I have got is the radio waves, and they have been pretty quite recently. Though that may be strange enough in an of itself...Usually there is at least something going on. Let's just hope this isn't the calm before the storm."

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