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Fear and Lizards in Las Freedom


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ZAP! The stolen handbag crashed to the ground as Vinnie was struck from behind by a stunning bolt of electricity. "Hey, kiddo," said the green clad cape as he sauntered up behind the stunned crook. "You're in the presence of a superhero, show a little more respect than lying in the mud." Vinnie tried to stammer an apology as he was picked up by the collar and dragged up to eye level. Over the cape's shoulder he could see Carl and Marko unconscious, knocked out by the same weird gadget that'd hit him. "Now, I want you to go sit with your friend while I call in Freedom's Finest. Behave, and you might get a lollipop. Fight back like they did, and... well, it won't go well for you." Vinnie was thrown to the side as the cape picked up the bag and went to leave the alley. "I'm just going to give that poor woman her purse back. Don't go running, that metal thing glued to your collar is a tracer. Sure, you could take off your shirt, but then I'm just going to ask for the topless man running around."

Vinnie looked down. While he'd been stunned, the young hero had stuck it on there. "Ok, I'll stay here, just... d-don't shock me again." He was surprised to hear a laugh.

"You're lucky. I'm not the scariest person walking the night. Heck, I'm a pansy." The laugh faded away as the Geckoman disappeared around the corner, a spring in his step.

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"Freedom PD, this is Geckoman. Requesting pick-up in Midtown," said Geckoman into his commlink, waving off an apology with a wink and smile as he rattled off the street. "Cool, thanks Bill. Tell 'em to bring me a doughnut."

He stood and watched the exit to the alleyway for a few minutes, reclined against a wall. When the squad car pulled up, he gave a little wave. "Just down that alley, fellas. Two unconscious, one decided he didn't like the idea of getting beaten up." The cops quickly went to work, cuffing the crooks and sitting them in the back of the squad car after reading their rights.

"Thanks, sir," said one officer. "Although really, we wasted a trip. On the way out, Giordano mentioned he needed to speak to you. He's at the station if you want to drop by." Geckoman rolled his eyes.

"Ok, tell him I'll be by soon. Later, fellas." He watched the car drive away, pulling out a small remote from his belt. Pressing a button, a large green oval-shaped craft flew in and hovered just in front of him. "Sucks. The man doesn't ask for simple things. Will need Starbucks."

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Lieutenant Richard Giordano was having a rough night. He'd had drunks, thugs, gangs, even a couple of mobster types brought in. Then the squealer had come in, with word of this. And the Raven was busy, so he'd had to call in the second best thing. Geckoman. The kid meant well, heck, he wasn't half bad. He just wasn't the Raven and he just. Didn't. Shut. Up.

"So, Detective G. You look busy with your bundle of paperwork, so not gonna waste your time. What'd you need me for, cos I guess it's going to be something weird, it's always these things the specialists are too busy to make time for," he was saying, reclined in the chair in front of his desk, huge coffee cup in one hand, doughnut in the other. "Like that time with the cow-" "OK," said Giordano loudly, cutting the teen hero off. "You know we've got snitches. They tell us stuff, we let them off a bit lighter. Not ideal, but we deal with it." Geckoman leaned forward in his chair, showering crumbs onto a report.

Giordano struggled to keep his temper. Why did he need to get his life saved by him? "Apparently some creepy guy's been recruiting toughs. Not too notable in this city, but it adds up with some things."

"Fear-Master escaped last week," said the portly Lieutenant, thumping the table in frustration. "And the snitch seemed scared as hell. Never saw the guy's face, just heard a 'scary voice' and saw a white mask in shadows. Supervillains," he tutted, rolling his eyes.

"Wait, why didn't I hear about this?" said Geckoman quizzically, raising an eyebrow. "Well, kid, we don't want people scared. That's what Blume wants, we ain't gonna give it to him on a silver platter." He reached into a drawer and pulled out a sheet of paper. "Here's a couple of gangs who apparently were too scared of him, and screw any reward. Don't blame 'em. Find him, 'cos he's up to something and we don't want it."

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For a kid clad in bright green and yellow, Geckoman somehow managed to stay hidden as he scuttled along the side of the cheap Fens dive bar. Frequented by some skinheads calling themselves 'White Cobras'. Tough guys. Scared of a Freddy Krueger rip-off. He crawled up and onto the roof, to peer from above into the manager's office. Then he pushed off with his feet, spinning around to crash through the window, and come up with his feet on the roof of the dingy grey room.

The manager, a small, greasy-looking man yelled in fear, before looking with some scorn at the kid in green spandex. "Whaddya want kid, you even of drinking age?" Geckoman laughed as he let himself drop to the floor. "You really concerned about that? Hah, my ass. You let 'em in and then rip 'em off. Now, what I want is the Cobra leader, not cheap beer."

"Really? They don't need no capes in their affairs. HUGO!" A huge brute holding a baseball bat burst into the room. "Escort this... kid... from the building." Geckoman just grinned and tilted his head.

"Cute couple." He sidestepped a powerful blow, shock knuckles folding from his zappers into gently buzzing knuckledusters. "Y'know, it's nice to see love blossom in your business." Hugo grunted and swung his fist at Geckoman...

... who wasn't there, instead having dropped to a crouch and punched the giant in the knee, quickly springing up to smash the shock knuckles into Hugo's stomach. The combined force of the strike, the jump and the high voltage sent the unfortunate tough crashing into the back wall. "Ok, Mr Tough Guy," sighed Geckoman. "You want to talk? See, as you can tell, I like to talk, and sooner you do, sooner you don't have me in your office going blah blah blah blah while taking down your hired muscle. Oh, stop looking shocked, it's Freedom City, expect these things. At least I'm not Raven. Another night, it might be her working the case, not me. She's nasty, I'll generally ask a question then get snarky, then resort to violence."

The club owner just nodded dumbfoundedly. "I'll... erm... call him up."

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"Look, man! I dun't know about no Fear-Master!" The gang leader was constantly eyeing Hugo's unconscious form nervously.

"Ok, Ok, maybe I was too specific, not everyone is well-versed in criminal lore. Including, apparently, criminals. Who knew?" Geckoman turned to the gang leader. "Guy needed to hire you for some work, maybe not too specific on the details. Yet you said no, cos he was scary. Not to be ashamed, that is his whole gimmick, should really be good. Hell, for not hiring on, you did the smart thing. Darkened rooms, white hockey mask? Ring, ring, tiny bells!"

After the usual :? look given after a Gecko-rant, the Cobra thought, fingers tracing the white snake tattoo on his neck. "Yeah, we did have a guy like that last week. Money after job, no questions asked. Thing is, man, we don't know where is he is! We said no! Why hassle me!?" Geckoman thudded the table, hard. "How did he contact you?"

"Slim Ricky, ex-Marine. Apparently the pension wasn't good enough, so he works for the big-time crooks. Selling out the Marines, the asshole." The green detective had already moved towards the window, and perched on the ledge. "Says the cheap thug. Where can I reach him?"

"Dino's, three blocks away. Now, c'mon, leave us alone after this, what did we do to you?" To this, Geckoman looked contemplative. "Made me need to resist making jokes about Whitesnake. Seriously, White Cobras?" As the tough drew up angrily, the kid leapt from the sill, laughing merrily.

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Geckoman strode straight past the bouncer at Dino's and into the bar. The place was slightly classier than the last joint, but full of nasty-looking types. A grey-haired biker with a vicious scar on his face. A barman with steely, glaring eyes. Shady men in corners playing poker and whispering.

"Get me Slim Ricky! And a virgin daiquiri!" declared Geckoman. I am so getting knifed. Again. It hurts. Always. Ick. The muttering suddenly ceased as a whole room of criminal scum looked at Geckoman and went for their knives, pistols and coshes. "Seriously, guys. Get me him, and no trouble. Why do I always have this issue! Everyone picks fights in these places! All I want is Ricky. And possibly the drink."

The barman glared. "Get out of here, cape." He spat on the floor as he came from around the bar, shotgun in hand. "You're just some kid. Go get a grown-up, maybe we'll talk."

"Blah, blah. Listen, all of you lower your guns. I'll just leave, and get suggested 'grown-ups'. More 'capes'. You want that?"

The barman just laughed. "Kid, they're not going to listen to an idiot rookie like you. Don't mess with us. I'll just-" He fell silent as the scarred biker raised a hand. "No. You can tell he ain't listening." He spun, grabbing a bulky object from under his table and raising at Geckoman.

"Who lets an assault rifle into a pub!?" "GET HIM!"

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The gunfire started immediately, Geckoman barely dodging two bullets as he was caught off guard. However, the third shot caught him in the shoulder, sheer luck causing the following two shots to miss as he staggered back.

However, Geckoman had no time to retaliate as five toughs with knives closed in. With no room to dodge, he resorted to rolling with the assault, sliding blades off Kevlar and ignoring any minor nicks as they closed up swiftly. Seeing no way to win a straight-up fight, the teen jumped straight up, firing a grapple line to swing up and kick out one of the two lights. The room plunged into dimness as one strip light tried to fill the whole bar, and failed.

The biker, known as Slim Ricky (due to his bulky frame), hefted his assault rifle and aimed at where the light had just gone out. The barrage of shots missed as Geckoman scrabbled along the ceiling, watching the thugs circle Rick to defend him from an assault in the dark. However, his momentary sense of satisfaction faded as two pistols found their mark, one softened by his costume, the other punching deep into his stomach. OUCH! Forcing himself to move, the other light was promptly kicked out. Infravision, don't fail me now.

A stream of assault rifle shells shredded the roof just inches from Geckoman's head as Rick fired wildly. He can't see me properly. I can see him. "C'mon, Rick! Thought you were ex-Marine! Where's your aim?" Stifling a laugh at Rick's swearing, Geckoman fired a bolt of energy at the criminal, knocking him flat on his back. Still shouting obscenities at the superhero in the dark, Rick got to his feet as his men kept firing. Despite the constant sound of gunfire, no more shots found their mark. "What's the matter, guys? Not eat enough carrots?"

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His moment of cockiness was brief. A lucky shot hit him square in the gut, sending him falling to the floor. With a thud, he landed among the knife-wielding toughs, feeling two knives pierce his flesh among all the fumbling in the dark. Forcing his head up, he saw the thugs backing off as Rick aimed the gun at him. Ah well... it's been good, fellas! There were gunshots. Then stabbing, agonising pain as it all blacked out.

Geckoman awoke tied to a chair in a darkened room. He coughed, spitting out teeth and blood. "Ah, you're awake. You already know who I am, just as I know who you are and that you were after me." A white mask appeared in the blackness. "Stupid child. You think I'd let you run around and figure out my plans? Slim Rick was a good find. Cash keeps him loyal. His experience makes him invaluable."

"Well, those Army boys do get lonely on the front lines," managed Geckoman, trying to avoid looking Fear-Master in the eye. Well, I'm not dead. For now. I find the villain, then he kills me. That's how it works. He gloats, then tortures me to death. "Guess it's that hard for you to find a date, you need a hire guys, huh?" Fear-Master just laughed in the kid's face.

"Amusing. Even alone in the dark, helpless and tied up, you fight back. For nothing, I might add." C'mon, keep him talking. TRY! "Well, it wouldn't be for nothing if I knew what it was? Hell, you kill me and succeed, who's left to know the glory of your plan? You? C'mon, is that honestly as satisfying knowing someone else knew your plan, and still failed?"

Geckoman started fighting his bonds, seeing that look in Fear-Master's eye. Monologue. I can escape these goddamn ropes!

"You see, through my genius, I found the exact frequency of sound needed to produce fear. Now, my only real limit is range. If I hijack a radio station, however... well, how much of the city falls under my influence? Even a few seconds is enough. A few minutes, when I seize the station... well, they may be affected permanently. The wonder is? Controlling the building, anyone who tries to stop me will be confronted with my fear weaponry broadcast on the building's speakers! Fool-proof! And the one person who had even begun to track me down? Tied... up..."

Geckoman stood up from the chair, ropes falling off him.

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"Clever child. Clever." Geckoman went to lunge forward, but Fear-Master lifted his gauntlet. "No. You won't escape due to tricking me. I'm not an idiot. And you're just as vulnerable to me as anyone else, costume or not." A high-pitched sound started ringing through Geckoman's ears. His vision blurred as shapes started appearing and voices started whispering.

"SEE? YOU ARE NOTHING TO ME? NOTHING!" boomed Fear-Master's deep, demonic voice as the hellfire blazed in his eyes and his face loomed to fill all of Geckoman's vision.

Terrified, Chris fled into the darkness. A spectral, grey vision of Liz stood before him. You didn't save me. All the legions of Hell, and you didn't save me. Demonic figures were tearing at her, ripping out her throat, her eyes, her guts. WHY DIDN'T YOU!? "Wasn't time... too many... Please..." They killed me. You let it happen. YOU MADE IT HAPPEN. "No... not true!" Tears in his eyes, he backed away and turned. She was still there. FAILURE.

Lunging into the darkness, trying to escape, Geckoman crashed through the window, ghosts screaming in his ears and phantom demons shredding his flesh as he plummetted into the night.

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Geckoman fired off a grapple line aimlessly, snagging on some object he couldn't see and crashing down into the asphalt. "DammitdammitdammitDAMMIT!" he shouted, feeling a rib crack. "Gotta... escape..." Do you now? He looked up to see Spellbound looking at him accusingly. You're not a superhero. You're a thief pretending to be one. You're worse than me. At least I don't lie about it. That's your problem. You lie so well, even you believe it. "Not true." She just smirked at him. That, and you're attracted to me. Liar, thief, unfaithful. No redeeming qualities. What good are you, Geckoboy?

Chris staggered to his feet. "Stop..." He swung hard at her face, but passed straight through, crashing to the floor again. FAILURE. "Please..."

He kept crawling on, and on, somehow finding himself falling down an embankment. Screw-up. Edge was standing there, features in a cruel, smirking mockery. C'mon, what exactly do you do for us? Fly us around? Crawl up walls? What do you have to offer? "Mark, c'mon, man, c'mon... don't do this..." He faded and was replaced with Phalanx. "Leave me alone." Hah, you thought my relationship was screwed up. Please, you can't even tell her you're Geckoman. Coward. Psyche walked up beside him. I've seen your mind, how clueless you are. We just humour you, Chris, why would we even need you? Then the demons descended again, ripping them apart in a swirl of grey mist.

Hands descended upon him, ripping into his flesh, gnawing at his bones. MORON! CLUELESS! FAILURE! FAILURE! FAILURE! The last thing Geckoman saw before the darkness was the G symbol being torn off his chest, exposing the blood and holes where the bullets had lodged.

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Geckoman woke at 5 AM, wired up to a heart monitor. It was racing much faster than normal. At least the hallucinations had stopped. Through gummy eyes, he looked down. His costume had been partially torn to allow the paramedics to remove all the bullets buried in his skin.

"Well, what happened to you?" said Lieutenant Giordano, looking tired beside the bed.

"Fear-Master got me with his stuff. The things I saw... oh god..." He tried to put his head in his hands, but both arms were wired up to things. "I tried to find the link between the gangs and him, but I got shot..." Geckoman gestured at the wounds across his chest. "A lot. Best I got, though, was Fear-Master's plan. Put all the radio stations on guard. He's going to hijack one and use it to broadcast some terror frequency. Hundreds of people... like I was last night. All their worst fears come to assault them. It'd be... pandemonium." He looked up at Giordano. "I need to go. There's... someone I need to talk to. About last night. Please."

Giordano just nodded. "I understand, kid. Just... don't push yourself. Just because you survived last night doesn't mean you can go back and do it again. Us cops, yeah, we don't have those fancy powers. But we can help. You don't got to prove yourself, OK?" Geckoman forced a smile at the Lieutenant.

"You're a good man, sir. Just... thanks."

"Forget it, kid. I still owe you. Just don't get mushy or I won't tell them to let you go. Just... rest up. He's not going to try anything until tonight."

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Chris swung in through his bedroom window and collapsed onto the bed. His whole body ached, especially where the bullets had been removed. His head pounded, and every time he closed his eyes he saw those nightmare visions calling to him. Hence why he'd gone home. Growing up in this house, it now felt safer to him than his dorms. The weary teenager smiled weakly when he saw his old teddy bear, Mr Snuggles. Bedraggled, missing an ear and an eye, he'd had it since preschool.

"Hey, little guy," he smiled, picking up the bear. "You wouldn't hurt me, would you?" That one glassy eye apparently said yes, since Chris hugged it tightly, tossed his goggles onto the floor and curled up with his childhood toy still in his arms.

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He'd arranged to meet Liz in this little cafe in a half hour's time. Unfortunately, he'd had to show up early since regenerating such massive energy ate into his body's energy level and made him feel worse than he already did. Which is why, to the amazement of the owner, Chris had scarfed six sandwiches just to make himself feel marginally better than before.

"Hey, you sounded upset on the phone. What's wrong?" Liz had sat down in front of him. Chris looked up and tried to smile, but failed.

"I just... y'know, have you ever had a really bad night?"

"You're going to need to get more specific. What happened to you?" She looked at him with a concerned expression. "Were you out with Eddie? I mean, I know he's your friend, but you can say n-" Chris shook his head and cut her off.

"Not Eddie. Just... do you think I'm a screw-up? Honestly? Seriously, I'm not going to hold it against you." To his surprise, she just grabbed him by the shoulders, pulled him over the table and kissed him.

"You're not a screw-up. Anyone who says you are is an idiot, OK? You're funny, you're smart and right now, despite looking all mopey, really quite cute. I don't know what brought this on, but really, we're just dating. Unless we get engaged or something, you don't need to tell me anything?"

Wait, what? I don't? Is this a test? Crud. "Don't think I don't want to, it's just... y'know what, forget it. Waiter?"

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  • 2 weeks later...

It was later. The two sat on a bench overlooking Liberty Park. Daylight was fading and the sun was starting to go down. "Hey, remember our first date?" Liz leaned over and snuggled into Chris's shoulder.

"I'm not sure, Kenzie. Was that when you quite callously stole some poor girl's heart?" Chris grinned down at her. Christ, she is beautiful. And I don't know if I should tell her that tonight I may well die.

"Hello? Earth to Chris? You with us?" Dammit, inner monologue. You're a pain, sometimes.

"Yeah, I was just thinking about... well, stuff. Like... well, what we'd be like if we didn't meet."

"Jeez, you're morose today. I miss the old joking guy," said Liz with a concerned look on her face. "Chris, I don't know what's going on with you. But if it's about us, then-" "No, it's not. I love you to bits, it's just... I need to do something. Look, I'll call you tomorrow and hopefully I'll be in a better mood, K?"

"Sure, I need to go meet Dad in the parking lot, anyhow." She kissed him on the cheek, then stood up. "Just... make sure you cheer up, or at least open up to me. Misery doesn't suit you." And then she was gone.

Liz looked around cautiously as she dialed the number she'd been given. "OK. I'll help you stop Geckoman. Just tell me where I need to be and when."


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Slim Rick walked into the bathroom and walked up to the urinal. Unzipping, he went about his business, turning round to the sinks when done...

... to Geckoman slamming into his neck, slamming his head into the wall and holding what looked like an electrocuted knuckleduster to his neck. "Where's Fear-Master attacking? I didn't find out before I escaped your pathetic little trap, and I'm not making the same mistake. TALK!"

"Go to He-" Rick's retort was cut off by a brutal knee to the groin. "I'm done joking with you creeps. Ever seen your worst fears? Your boss made me see them, and now... well, his goons don't scare me. WHAT RADIO STATION?"

"WXLL... just... don't tell him I told you. Please." The supposedly tough ex-soldier looked up pleadingly at Geckoman.

Geckoman just shook his head and walked out of the bathroom.

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WXLL Headquarters

The police cordon extended around the whole building as the Pitchoo swooped down and landed in the street. "Ok, what's the situation, Giordano?" The portly lieutenant showed a schematic of the building.

"Five floors, with the transmitter on the roof. Several shady figures were seen entering the building before you called in. No officers have entered, despite us thinking there's hostages."

"Ok, I'm going in alone. No offence, guys, but I've lived through his fear weapons, so unless it's an emergency..." Geckoman looked into Giordano's eyes. "Well, you know the drill."

"Good luck, kid. We'll keep you posted on the comms." In response, Geckoman switched on his earpiece and nodded, turning and walking into the building. Fear-Master. A few goons. Get in, get the hostages, stop the transmission. This is Freedom's most popular news show. The late night broadcast... God, it'd be pandemonium.

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The lights were all out. The whole building had been plunged into darkness. Tentatively, Geckoman stepped forward into the pitch-black hallway, infravision kicking in. Don't let him get to you this quickly.

The tannoy blared out a familiar, chilling voice. "Back for more, Geckoman? Run while you can. Oh, wait..." The security shutters in the main door slammed shut, sealing Geckoman off from the police. STUPID! "You can't stop me. It's too late." Then another voice sounded out of the darkness.

"You're through. Surrender yourself now, Geckothief, or we'll force you to." Oh, hell no. Not her too. "What happened to morally justifed, Spellbound? Now you're hanging around with loser-master, here, likely with him gawking at your ass. I'd at least creditted you with, I dunno, Chaotic Neutral. Turns out you're bad as him. I'm coming for you both. Think of me as a thief or a loser, what have you, but I'm Geckoman. Geckos cling to stuff, to the bitter end. Chop off parts of us, well, it regrows. Think on that, you pair of pathetic wannabes, while I come up there, trash your goons, then trash you."

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Geckoman walked into the elevator, quickly finding the camera and shooting it out. "Clever boy..." I know what you're going to do, Fear-Master. Don't think about getting one over.

He pushed out a panel in the roof, crawling swiftly to the top of the elevator. "Giordano, what floor are the studios?"

"The third." A quick grappling hook shot, and the elevator started moving up. "What idiot gets in an elevator?" Right on cue, it slammed to the floor, shattering and shredding beneath Geckoman as he dangled outside the third floor doors.

"Now, hopefully, they think I'm dead" he murmured to himself as he slowly, quietly, prised open the doors and snuck in. The lights were on in the central area, revealing five toughs, each guarding a hostage. One of them was seemingly being made to continue broadcasting the news, gun rattled threateningly when his voice quivered with fear.

Oh crap. I act once, the other four die.

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Geckoman crept through the shadows to one of the far-off cubicles. Luckily, he went unnoticed. I need a distraction enough to get rid of one, without alerting the others. Thus he knocked a coffee mug off a desk with a clatter, and scurried off into the shadows further back.

It worked. One of the goons worked his way over, toppling over when Geckoman smacked him in the head. Four now. This calls for speed.

He leapt into the main room, zappers clicking into place on each arm. With a flick, he shot from the left arm, downing one thug, pivoting and raising his right arm to down another. "Come on, guys, try harder," he quipped, twisting again to fire each arm at a separate target and down the last two hired goons.

Panting, but knowing he'd succeeded, Geckoman leaned onto a nearby desk. "Are you guys OK?"

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"Yeah, we are now," said the man speaking on the radio. "Thank you. But isn't Fear-Master still...?"

"Working on that one. Listen, can you shut off the music and get everyone to turn off the radio. Seriously, it's not good if you don't." The man nodded, and turned to the controls as Geckoman went around the hostages, checking if they were okay. "Not good. He's locked out the controls."

"What!?" Geckoman spun to look into a security camera behind him. "DAMMIT!"

"You seriously thought that would work? There's a console at the transmitter on the roof. You've come this far, why not come up and say hi to your girlfriend here?" "Hey, less of-" It cut off.

"Crud. Right, the doors are sealed and the lift's blown. Get hidden on this floor, since I know it's clear. The cops are trying to force entry, I think. You should be safe." With that, he turned and ran to the stairs.

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"Ah, you're persistent," greeted Fear-Master, standing at the transmitter. "You're too late. All it will take is one pull of this lever, and my plan goes into effect." He cackled, caressing a big red lever at the base of the set-up.

"Then why haven't you?" Geckoman stood, fists balled as he closed the door behind him with a slam. "Scared?" Fear-Master just laughed.

"I wanted to make you feel how powerless you are to stop it. You came all this way, and yet... not enough."

"Where's Spellbound? Doesn't she want in on humilating me?" Gravel crunched as she walked out behind him. "Ah. Irony."

"It's too late, Gecko-Boy, like he says. You're useless as always." Geckoman rolled his eyes and didn't bother turning. "Well, you make a cute couple. Let's start this wedding with a bang." He lunged forwards.

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An electrical blast made the controls explode as Geckoman's wrist twitched and the zapper fired. "NOOOOO!" roared Fear-Master, launching a soundburst from his gauntlet. Geckoman felt his stomach knot as a panic attack started, but ignored it, throwing himself aside to dodge the crackling lightning blast Spellbound hurled in his direction.

Spinning, he retaliated, missing by inches even as he shrugged off a second dose of the fear weaponry assailing his brain. "C'mon, Fear-Loser, you gotta try harder!" Again, he hurled himself to the side to shield his eyes from a blinding flash of light from Spellbound's wand.

"Spellbound, let's be honest. You're not really accurate." He blasted her in the chest, sending her flying onto her back. "THAT'S accuracy! Gaaaaah!" Fear-Master had hit him again, cold sweats running down his spine. Nonono. His vision swum slightly as the paralysing fear made his heart race. The screaming in his ears started again.

"See? In the end, your cockiness is just a mask for your fear!" spat Fear-Master, mask appearing as a demonic leer. Geckoman stood up straight, face pale and drawn.

"And you need to look behind you, asshole." As Fear-Master turned around, Spellbound shot to her feet. "So do you." Geckoman sidestepped the shot even as he ignored yet another blast of fear weaponry as Fear-Master turned back round...

... in a stance with no guard to it. The green-clad teen pounced forwards, crashing a shock knuckle onto Fear-Master's head. He dropped like a stone. "HAH! How do you like that!" Geckoman punched the air as he turned. The first blast set his nerves on fire, the second scorched his costume to the skin. He could see Spellbound's broom coming at them at high speed. This'll hurt.

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"Wow, fast-moving object. Good going, your awesome electric wand thing is clearly useless." Spellbound looked at him indignantly, then directed her broom to hit him at 1,000 MPH.

Feeling a rib shatter, Geckoman flew backwards as the broomstick smashed into him, cracking in the process. Plummeting from the building, he impacted hard on the cement. "Owwww...." he whined, as magnetic forces snatched at his wrists, and dragged him up the building. He felt a hard kick smash into the side of his face. Enough.

He sprung to his feet, ducking under Spellbound's punch and bringing a shock knuckle up into her stomach. She tumbled back and landed on the floor, clutching her stomach. "What happened to the forcefield?"

"Shut up... isn't it enough to take my things, without humiliating me?" She struggled to edge away as he knelt beside her, tossing away her wand. "What are you doing, jackass?"

"I'm concerned as to why a pretty girl takes up this crap." She didn't hide her blushing well. Well, Liz, you said I didn't need to tell you stuff... I'm just evil... "And I want to know how to get you to agree to stop."

"Just... give it back. I worked on it. It... means something. I worked on it to deal with my parents divorcing." Geckoman put his head in his hands. "Ok. I cave." He began stripping off his zappers. "Take 'em. I apologise."

He tossed them at her feet and walked away. "Hey! You don't get someone to bare their soul, then give them a token apology and walk off! GET BACK HERE!"

Geckoman turned at the edge of the building, sliding his feet to cling on the brick. "You're a crook. No offence, but I think I gave you enough sympathy. And I called you pretty. I'd be happy if I called me pretty." He slid down out of sight as the girl who he'd severely annoyed glared at him.

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He stopped halfway down. "Dammit," he said, as he saw the cops finally enter the building. Geckoman ran up the wall, pulling out the Pitchoo remote as he went.

"Come to make fun of me again? Is that it?" Geckoman stopped with a puzzled look on his face. "Nope. I'm going to harbour a known criminal from the police," he said, snapping out a grin as the Pitchoo landed. Slinging his hand around the protesting villain, he dragged her inside and set her in a chair, swiftly taking off.

"Well, way to go all Raven," sighed Giordano, as he watched Geckoman fly off leaving an unconscious supervillain lying for the cops to collect. "Ok, boys, tie him up and get rid of his loopy fear stuff."

"Where do you want dropped?" asked Geckoman, glancing over his shoulder at the girl. "Other side of town?"

She looked at him as if in a daze. "Yeah, that's fine." She glanced back at the picture stuck on the wall. It showed Liz and Chris pulling faces at a party they'd went to together. "Is that you and your girlfriend?"

Geckoman froze for a second. Well, what's the matter in telling someone your identity? It's not like she knows who Chris Kenzie is. "Yeah, that's my Lizzie."

Liz Lawlett in the Spellbound costume kept staring blankly at it. "You look happy."

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