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Bad Habit


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The West End of freedom. Not really a bad stretch of town. "Good thing, too. I'm kinda tired." Breakdown said to himself from his perch on top of a building.

It was night time. And he was watching the cars go by and just generally making sure nothing too villainous went down.

He stood up from his perch at the edge of a building. "Maybe I should just call it a night..."

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Not far away, underneath a burnt out light pole, sits a parked car. The sedan, while not a high-end vehicle, looks to be a new model and appears to be in good shape from what little ambient light does reach it.

A slim figure, cloaked in the shadows of the night, stands beside the car doing something to the door. Perhaps the figure is unlocking it, although the motion of the silhouette seems wrong. Upon closer observation, the figure might be trying to force its way past the lock instead of using a key.

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"Hah! I knew if I stuck around long enough, something would come up!" Breakdown cheered himself in his head for his persistence. "Guess I'm getting better at this hero thing."

He quickly swooped down off the building to land on the sidewalk on the opposite side of the car the figure was trying to break into. He was surprised to see that it was a young girl, probably younger than he was. He didn't let it phase him, though. "Hey! What are you doing to that car?"

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Stinger tries to pop the lock on the car door quickly, but she discovers she’ll need more time to get it open than she first hoped.

After the interloper announces himself, the plain-clothed teenager looks back over her shoulder and across the street at him. It’s only a brief look to access the situation.

The attractive, blue-eyed girl silently turns her attention back to picking the lock, ignoring the boy for the moment. She’ll have it in a couple of minutes if he minds his own business like most of the populace does. If he persists, she’ll deal with him then.

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"Hey! Get away from that car, you!" Breakdown quickly leaped over the car to land on the other side of the girl. He now had the girl cornered between himself and the car. "You can't just break into a car when you don't own it." Breakdown started to lay a restraining hand on the girl's shoulder to stop her from breaking into the car.

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The attractive, plain-clothes girl slips over to the side, saying, "Hey! Hands off, Creep!"

Still beside the car, but no longer directly between him and it, Stinger bluffs, "It’s my car, jerk! I lost my keys! Now shove off before I call the cops!†She reaches into the front pocket of her jeans as if reaching for a cellphone.

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"Hmmph!" Breakdown folded his arms. He didn't believe a word this girl said. "You're a terrible liar. I don't think this is your car at all!"

Breakdown was kind of at a loss. This was the first time he had ever caught someone in the act of trying to steal ... well... anything, really. Now what the hell am I supposed to do? He thought to himself.

"Alright, You're coming with me!"

Damnit. I really need to invest in some handcuffs He thought.

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Called on her bluff, Stinger’s options seem limited: flee or fight.

A little smirk appears on her face. The agile teen hops up onto the roof of the sedan, gaining high ground as she does, and spins around once. Half way though her spin, a purple energy whip suddenly forms in her hand. She whirls it and lashes out at the chest of the boy who wouldn’t stay out of her business. The air crackles as the whip strikes at the do-gooder-in-training.

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"Woah!" Breakdown yelped as the whip made contact with his chest. Luckily, somehow, it didn't hurt.

"Well fine! Be that way!" Breakdown called out as he began to swing to his own music. He quickly did a few dance steps in place. It was easy to see that he was trying to throw off his opponent, because as soon as the dance steps were over, he thrust his palm out) into the air to try and throw the girl off of the car.

"Give it up, girl. You can't out-dance me!"

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When the interloper breaks into a dance, Stinger isn’t fooled. She realizes her opponent is looking for an opening.

Unfortunately, knowing an attack is coming isn’t the same as reacting fast enough to get out of the way. The vibrations from his palm strike motion looks to hit her squarely in her chest, but she turns at the last moment so that the energy waves slide off of her.

With backspin, she twirls and brings down another lash of her whip at the dancing hero, but she loses her balanceâ€â€letting out a "Woah!" as she doesâ€â€and misses wildly.

To recovering her balance, she does a back flip off the car, putting it between her and her opponent, and then she makes a break for it down the sidewalk to put 30 feet between them.

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"Oh no you don't!" Breakdown yelled out and he took off after her. He sprinted down the sidewalk as the drum solo that signaled the beginning of Van Halen's "Hot for Teacher" Rang out through his ears.

He pulled off a hood slide to get across the care and then tore off down the sidewalk after the girl. In seconds he was on top of her. He lept in the air and delivered a flying punch to her back trying to knock her off her feet. "Gotcha!" He yelled as his punch connected. He didn't like having to put the beat down on a girl, but she WAS trying to steal that car...

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The teen hero is on Stinger quickly as she tries to make a break for it. Although she tries to evade his punch, he manages to lay the smack down on her before she can do anything about it.

His super-punch smacks into her just as she thinks about turning around to face him and knocks her flying through the air many dozens of feet down the street. Although she tries to roll with the blow, she ends up face down in the grass beside the sidewalk some 250 feet away from her opponent. Clearly the inexperienced thief is out of her league against the confident teen hero.The sheer distance between them might buy her a little timeâ€â€maybe.

Stunned and staggered by the powerful blow, it's all she can do to clear the cobwebs before he’s on her again.

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Breakdown was in fact on her before she could do much about it. He jogged up to the rut she had carved in the grass. Kneeling down next to the girl he had just hammered (regrettably) he spoke.

"Sorry about that. Guess I don't know my own strength sometimes. So - What's it gonna be? Are you gonna come quietly? Or do I have to rough you up some more?"

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Holding her back where Breakdown laid into her, Stinger slowly rises. Although she tries to be tough, the pain makes her eyes water up anyway.

She’d been roughed up plenty of times before back when she was living with her father, but it’s been a year since she got out of his reach. She doesn't like remembering those times.

She inquires, "If it’s not your car, why do you care anyway?" She rubs the place on her back where he struck her.

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Breakdown opened his mouth like he was about to say something. And then quickly shut it again. You know, I never actually bothered to ask my self that question...Why is it that I do what I do...I guess it just feels like the right thing to do? He thought to himself.

Finally he spoke, "Because it's not yours. You don't just take things that don't belong to you. And I am here to make sure of that." His face was stern, but not hostile. If this girl could see reason, maybe he could straighten her out.

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Blast it, he wasn't fast enough, still, if he was lucky (And stinger was intelligent) then Stinger will distract the man just enough for Mervyl to enter the fray unnoticed. While bold, he was no fool. He made no unnecessary movement or speech. He merely walked out in calculated steps, just within blast range of Stinger's assailent, behind and just off to the side so that he was within view of Stinger.

He then crossed his arms and seemingly waited. It was obvious that the boy's mind was at work, already putting together a precise plan to break his foe down... or help Stinger escape at the very least.

If Mervyl goes undetected, he will simply raise his Force Field.
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Stinger replies to the dancing hero. She says, "Why not? Might makes right doesn’t it? Those with power always use it to do what they want and take from others weaker than themselves. Politicians. Police. Parents. Everyone." She continues to rub her aching back with her hand.

She doesn’t notice the visor-wearing teenager when he first enters the scene, but even when he moves into position so that she can spot him, she doesn’t react. After all, she doesn’t recognize him. Maybe he’s just some guy that likes wearing sunglasses at night to try to appear cool. Whatever the case, she has more immediate concerns to deal with than some wandering stranger.

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"Politicians are slimy, police can be corrupt, and parents think they know whats best for you." This was not going to be a simple matter of I'm right and you're wrong. Breakdown knew how much he hated it when someone told him what to do..."That's far from everyone. What about us heroes. We protect people. That's gotta say something."

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Mervyl lowered his hood and removed his shades, revealing his white, pupil-less eyes and his hairless, browless scalp. His skull like face was now in full view. A the assailant continued to talk, Mervyl contemplated his options. Metal cars, engines intact. Lampposts. Water mains under the street. Oh yes, many options.

Easy Mervyl. You're here to save the girl, not to blow up the place like a two bit super villain.

Mervyl began walking towards the boy, Force Field in tact. "Just like a typical 'hero'. What, you expect people to bow down cause you call yourself a Hero? Forgive me if I don't humble myself to your presence."

He stopped mere feet from the two. "I'll give you a choice, 'Hero'. You can stay here and get embarassed, or you can run away and save a life: your own. Choose quickly, or I'll choose for you."

His Force field became visable and arcs of polarized, ionic molecules began to flicker all around him. This, along with his souless eyes, was often enough to cause even the bravest to falter.

Take 10 on Intimidate. So the DC is 22.
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Just as the stranger is approaching, Stinger answers the teen hero, "Glory. Fame. Thrills. Merchandising."

She turns to look at the stranger as he speaks up. His emaciated face and solid white eyes kinda creep her out, but the pain overrides her heebie-jeebies.

The blind guys looks to her like he’s not eaten for a week, if not longer. His words though were certain to draw the hero’s attention away from her. As the hero’s attention on her falters, she takes the opportunity to slowly start stepping back away from them both.

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CRAP! Backup! Breakdown thought to himself. This is not good!

Despite the fear beginning to grip him, he turned to face his new foe and dropped into a fighting stance. "You forgot one." He said to the girl, "HONOR!"

He threw his palm forward and projected a blast of sound waves at his new target.

Please don't let this be the worst mistake I have ever made...

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Mervyl didn't even blink as the blast splashed against the ionized air, the energy rippling infront of him in a crackling display of energy. His arms crossed infron of him as the energy disapated and he faked a yawn. He could've returned fire here, but he didn't... he had his full attention now, which should give Stinger a chance to get away. He pressed the adavantage.

"A fine display of energy, if such was your intention...." Mervyl brought up a hand, where he started to focus a magnetic pulse and shapit into a ball in his hand. "...are you finished yet? Can I show you _true_ power now?"

Normally, Mervyl isn't this chatty, but this time was different. It was all a part of the plan.

Another Intimidate attempt. This time it's DC 26 due to the -1 penalty from using it again.
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This guy has been watching way too much TV. It's obviously messing with his head too much. It's still kinda freaky though. Breakdown thought to himself. Come on man, pull it together! Think! What would edge do? Or River Rat? Suddenly he stopped. Thats it! My last attack didn't even phase this guy, but maybe I can force his hand...He must be here to back up the girl. Otherwise he would have just attacked me from the get go. He's trying to let her get away!

Breakdown stood up to his full height. His less than 6 foot figure wasn't all that intimidating... but it didn't have to be. Lets see what your true power says to this! He turned and ran...Straight after the girl! At the end of his dash he gave a little skip and let loose another blast of energy. If I can knock her out, this battle might go a little differently for me! he thought.

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Mervyl was stunned for a moment.

Did he...?

Did he just...?


Mervyl closed his fist around the Energy ball in his hand, causing his fist to glow lightly...

"...you dare..."

His Body began to glow as the ionically charged air around him began to crackle. It began to get slight warmer and at this point, Breadown would begin to smell the scent of burning air....

"...turn you back to ME!"


Mervyl outstretched his arms, sending a ripple of magnetic ions all around him. Cars were flipped over, lampposts flickered and some even snapped off their foundations. The water and gas mains underneath him rumbled in protest and everything around him, Beakdown included, was caught up in the shere force and heat of the blast. To say that Mervyl felt disrespected was an understatement.

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