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This is a Stick Up (IC)

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Captain Knievel and a few of his newly hired goons looked on at the 7-11 gas station across the street. He had managed to put together a small team of thugs to help him pull off a small robbery. He probably could have done the job himself. But using a bigger team meant that it might draw more people to his side.

The group of thugs crossed the street, they all slipped ski masks over their heads, including Captain Knievel. Captain Knievel and his four thugs entered the convenience store quickly. Two of his thugs ran to the back of the store while the other two covered the two corners at the front of the store. They each used their pistols to take out a security camera.

Captain Knievel simply stood in front of the cash register and placed his hands on his hips. "Alright. Open 'er up and lets see the green. This is a stick up!"

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Jack of all Blades somersaulted through the air, landing in a crouch on the roof of the building next to the one he had leapt from moments before. Standing, he took in the flickering neon lights of the Fens' lurid establishments. His nightly patrol had taken him well away from his usual haunts in the West End, and he had to admit to himself that it wasn't entirely by accident. He'd been extending his patrols gradually for months now, unable to shake the feeling that there might be someone in trouble just one block further. Maybe he'd even been moving towards Central Freedom for a chance at 'the big time'. When is came down to it, however, the simple fact was that Jack was restless and spoiling for a fight, and the Fens were just the place to stir up a few dance partners.

A running jump took him to the penultimate buidling of the block, looking down to the adjacent 7-11 just as a massive blond man is a steel-festooned combat suit led a group of masked thugs into the gas station. A rakish grin spread across the hero's face. Next best thing to home delivery, he thought to himself. Sliding down the side of the store he was perched upon, Jack paused as he reached its neon sign. Besides informing him in no uncertain terms that there were ladies inside, it provided a source of electricity. With a thought he pulled energy through power connection into his outstretched hand, where it crackled to life as a sustained lightning bolt in the form of a rapier. Completing his decent, Jack hid the light of his sword in the folds of his great coat, and made his way stealthily across the darkened alley between the buildings to where the the first of the masked men stood guard.

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Moments earlier!

"Alright! I can handle things in here." Captain Knievel said as he watched the cashier put the money from the register into the sack.

"You four go watch outside. And make sure you let me know if there's trouble." He turned to address the cashier as his minions moved to stand outside the store. "You move one inch towards that alarm," he said, fixing the adrenaline cannon on the cashier, "And you're toast. Along with the rest of this store!"

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The first thug turned as he felt a sudden tap on his shoulder, leading with his pistol. A casual swipe of Jack's electrical sword reduced the barrel end of the weapon to useless slag. Launching himself forward, Jack slammed his palm into the other man's face, using all of his weight to drive the thugs head into the unyielding pavement and send his own feet straight up into the air. Pushing off in the same movement, the hero's coat billowed as he backflipped through the air, planting both feet into the second masked guard just as he was turning around. Another crackling swipe disposed to the groaning man's firearm.

The tinkling of the door's bell sounded as the remaining pair of toughs exited the convenience store to find Jack of all Blades standing over their fallen comrades. The young swashbuckler shook his head disapprovingly. "Geez, I thought maybe it was just a cute couple thing, but you all really showed up to the robbery wearing the same mask. How embarrassing for you! Well, we can fix that." The lightning rapier sliced through the stunned thugs' pistols on the way to the right criminal's mask, where it quickly sliced a simple spade shape on the man's forehead. As the cut fabric fell away, Jack favoured the robbers with a satisfied nod. "Oh, it's you. What a diva!" There was an awkward silence as the toughs stood rigid. "This is where you run away really fast," Jack suggested in a stage whisper. The pair scrambled to do so, nearly tripping over their fallen teammates.

Once they were out of the way, Jack swung the door open and sauntered into the gas station. "Y'know, it feels like a cliché," he called as he walked toward the counter, "but apparently you really can't find good help these days." He paused as he got a better look at the heavily muscled blond. "Hey, I know you," Jack remarked, gesturing with his blade. "You're whatshisface, Sergent McEvil or whatever, right? What, you still trying to pay off your legal fees?"

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"You know I was just going to say the same thing?" Captain Knievel responded to the "good help" comment. "And the name's Knievel. Captain Knievel!" With that he grabbed the cashier by the shirt and threw him at the new comer who had ruined his night out!

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Captain Knievel watched the newcomer catch the cashier and dump him safely on the ground. I was banking on you doing that. That little heroic stunt is going to cost you... Captain Knievel used this chance to slam his Adrenaline Cannon into one of it's sub settings.

"This place is starting to heat up!" Captain Knievel roared as he shot a blast of fire at his new opponent. Captain Knievel then dashed so that he was behind one of the counters full of merchandise.

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Jack set the cashier down just in time to shift out of the path of a blistering column of fire. He gritted his teeth as the hot air assaulted his senses. "Dirty pool, Lucretia!" he called out as the terrified civilian fled out the door. The swashbuckler stepped further into the store, following Knievel down the aisle and closing to just short of melee range. "I'd heard you were afraid of metas, but come on!" Jack taunted with a scornful grin. He beckoned the big man forward but shifted his weight to leap out of the way of any attack.

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"Hah!" Captain Knievel laughed off his opponent's attempts to discourage him. "Please! I eat meta humans for breakfast!"

Captain Knievel guessed that his opponent needed more room to fight than he did. He hoped that he had guessed right. The small area in the store isle would hamper his enemy, he hoped. "Now hold still while I take that smart ass of yours and shove it up you're ass!"

Captain Knievel lashed out with his whip to wrap up his opponent. The laser whip began to wrap around his opponents neck and upper body. It constricted him painfully! "Let's see you open that smart ass mouth now!"

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"You're going to shove my ass... up my ass?" Jack asked, deadpan. "I don't think that's antomi-hkk!" The hero had thought he'd avoided the glowing tendril, but at the last second it snapped out and encircled him. Struggling did nothing against the crippling strength of the energy whip, and it took everything Jack had to keep it from strangling him on the spot.

Energy whip... he thought dimly. Usually when he formed his blades he just skimmed an imperceptible amount from an available source, using his own abilities to coax it into enough power to suit his needs. If he could reach out to Knievel's bizarre gauntlet and pull as much energy as he could from the device, however, he just might have a chance against the weakened whip. It was a long shot, but the only plan he had.

As the villain jeered, Jack raised his empty hand, waving to get Knievel's attention. Slowly and deliberately he produced a gesture which made his opinion of the Captain's trash talk crystal clear. With the blond man so distracted, Jack let the electrical sword in his other hand crackle out of existence and used every drop of power he could muster to connect to the energy in the cannon and pull.

He felt the connection for a brief moment and mentally cheered. Then, almost without a thought, Knievel flicked his arm away, and the link was abruptly severed. Jack's expression fell. "Well... nertz..." he sputtered.

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"Hey now! I won't have such ass-hattery here!" Captain Knievel tightened his grip as best he could, grabbing the laser whip with his other hand and securing it. It's tendrils now encircled Jack's legs, making it exceedingly difficult to move.

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"Y'say... 'ass'... t'm'ch," Jack croaked as the whip tightened painfully. "W'ss tha'... 'bout...?" Further comments were cut short as the air was forced painfully from his lungs. Jack's mind and vision crackled with white noise.

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"Oh I'll show you what it's all about!" Captain Knievel was feeling cocky. It was his first week back above ground. He hadn't spent all that time training underground just to tie all his enemies up and watch them squirm. He wanted this to feel good!

Captain Knievel let the rope retract and and switched the settings on his Adrenaline Cannon once again. "Looks like you really like energy, pal. Why don't you try this on for size?" Captain Knievel rushed forward and slammed a fist crackling with electricity into Jack's face.

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Jack was barely aware of the punch, only noticing numbly that unconsciousness was threatening to close in around him. He dimly recognized the coppery taste of blood as it trickled out the corner of his mouth, then the sudden jolt of colliding with the store window followed quickly by the pavement outside. He struggled to his feet, lampposts creating bright blurs in eyes that refused to focus.

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Captain Knievel quickly scooped up his bag of cash as he walked out through the broken store window. "You know what? I'm gonna be nice for once." Captain Knievel smiled as he threw the sack over his shoulder.

The broken glass crunched under his feet as he approached Jack. "You let me get what I came for, AND you scared off my goons, so now I don't have to pay them. Thanks." Captain Knievel turned his back yet another one of the cities super heroes. He wasn't ready to put his plans into action just yet. "You're beat. Run home with your tail between your legs. Quick, before I change my mind!"

Once he was out of sight of Jack, Captain Knievel pressed a few buttons on his watch. He winked out of time and space for a split second just as police cars began arriving on the scene.

Once back inside his base, Captain Knievel dropped the sack full of money and reclined in a chair. "Ahhh! Job well done!"

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As Knievel faded into the distance, Jack wavered back and forth on his feet, raising a shaky finger in the villain's direction. "Yeah, y' bett' run," he slurred, then promptly collapsed on the ground.

An uncertain amount of time later, the swashbuckler sat up with a groan, head pounding. That could have gone better, he reflected, wiping his bloody mouth with the back of his hand. Rising stiffly to his feet, Jack of all Blades began to stagger back towards the West End. He'd become lazy, he realized, made overconfident by his easy victories over petty crooks and thugs. Knievel might be a musclebound lummox with atrocious bantering technique, but he'd trained himself to the peak of human conditioning, and learned to use his weapon to devastating effect. If Jack wanted to be more than a neighbourhood watch member in a silly outfit, he'd have to follow suit. "I'ma go all Inigo Montoya on him next time," the swordsman muttered aloud. After a long pause, he added, "Really shoulda picked up some aspirin while I was at the gas station..."

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