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Chumpsteady

Nockin on Iron (IC)

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Jessica prowled the rooftops. This was her first official patrol. Ever since she saved the lady a few days ago, she planned this whole thing. The Fens seemed like the perfect place to start. You'd always here on the news how some criminal activity was going down. It was like wretched hive of scum and villainy. Jessica hopped from roof top to roof top, making sure not to be seen by any one. It was mostly quiet. Which is really a good thing if you think about it. No crime? Awesome. Wait, what was that noise? Jessica peered down. No, Nock peered down. It would be time to start using that name.

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Angel zoomed through the sky on her flying surfboard, weaving awkwardly. Divine had left her, the mob had rejected her, and the Freedom League had tried to do an intervention about her drinking. "Nosy Ca'n Thunder!" she yelled at no one in particular. "I hate you so much!" She caught sight of a blue and white figure in the sky and cussed, hurling a blast of energy that made Thunder curl and burn. She laughed in a thoroughly unpleasant way. "Oh, I see you brought friends! Well then!" Down below, people were screaming, and for good reason: Angel was blowing up the banners the neighborhood was flying to honor the anniversary of the foundation of the Freedom League, banners hanging on the side of crowded apartment buildings! With a nasty look in her eye, she closed in on the giant cloth Johnny Rocket, muttering some vile remarks about his sexuality.

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Jessica leveled out half a mile above the city, police chatter in one ear and her grandfather's voice in the other. "You should keep a weather eye on the sky and the clouds."

Jessica snorted. "Grandpa, I'd bet this suit against a lightning blast. I'm not worried about getting fried."

"That's not the point. Right now you're a just-about invisible dot against the sky. If you fly in front of a cloud though, you'll be a dark spot on a bright background, perfectly outlined for an attack!"

Jessica peered at the ground, the suit's visual enhancements making the street appear as if it was only a few feet in front of her instead of 3000 feet. "I don't think there's any AA guns in Freedom City, Grandpa. But I'll keep that in mind." A ping sounded in her other ear suddenly, and a warning appeared on her visor. The police were calling a code 5-78 in the Fens: a superpowered individual on a rampage. She didn't waste time telling Malcolm, he'd have seen it on his own display anyway. Instead, she banked into a turn and sped north.

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Is that who I think it is? Nock thought as she saw the carnage. The Angel? Well THIS will make the tabloids in the morning. But now I have to stop her. This could be bad. She could knock Angel off the flying surfboard and make her a stain on the pavement. Then again, she was terrorizing people! Nock took steady aim, lining up her shot at the mad hero. Letting the arrow fly towards the target.

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"Ow!" The arrow sliced along Angel's wrist, drawing blood as she looked around wildly. "Who did that! I've got blasts and bubble gum here, and I'm all out of bubble gum!" Drunk and not paying much attention, she fired off a volley of blasts at nearby rooftops. "C'mon, I'll take you all on!"

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Jessica's suit automatically back-tracked the metal-tipped arrow back to its point of origin. Apparently it had come from... A girl, not much older than Jessica herself, with a freaking bow. "That's pretty impressive," she muttered, even as he suit tracked the angry woman's flight on her hoverboard.

Safe in his apartment, Malcolm squinted at the display from the Ironclad suit. Something was tickling in his brain about this figure, and even while he watched the fight he brought up a new window and started searching.

Floating above the city, Jessica's powersuit had finally calculated an optimal firing solution on the weaving Angel. She brought her arms together and released a paired blast from her sonic cannons; with luck, it would catch her attention and she could lead the drunkard away from the festivities.

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Nock staggered back as the blast hit the building. Woah. Not cool. Then again, she did shoot first. Then again, she got Angel away from the people. Then again, she should stop thinking and do something. Then a shot from nowhere came towards them. It looked like it was supposed to hit Angel. But it did not. Great, reinforcements. Letting out a sharp whistle, she chided the surfing bird, "Up here!" She ducked behind the rubble, maybe she would hit it and fall off, so they could meet face to face. Shooting at a flying target is dangerous anyway.

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"Oh hey! I see you now!" Angel lost sight of Nock entirely and focused on Ironclad. "I'mma kick your butt!" The heroines had gotten Angel's attention away from the crowd, but that wasn't necessarily a good thing. She hurled a blast of energy at Ironclad, a bizarrely well-aimed shot that punched right through her armor and into her fragile body!

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Ironclad spun in the air, reeling from the attack while her suit's systems tried to compensate. Her mind was all a muddle; the only thing she could think was I've been shot, over and over again.

Malcolm watched through his link, clutching the edge of his desk so hard that his knuckles went through white and back to a splotchy red. "Jessica," he shouted into the link. "You have to break out of it! She's still out there, you have to take her out!"

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Apparently Nock's little distraction didn't work. Time to get more blatant. Setting down her bow and drawing her sword, she stood up. She did in time to see the reinforcements get blasted. Hard. Alright, gotta act fast. "Didn't you hear me? I'm over here!" She waved over the starlet, "I've got a something for you! Don't you want it?"

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"You better believe I've got somethin', sugar!" said Angel, ignoring the now-smoldering Ironclad as she turned on the archer again. "C'mon, hit me with your best shot!" She pointed right to the cut-out in her costume over her heart. "And then after I dodge it, I'm gonna come down there and make you eat those arrows, you..." She then began to swear, such curses as had never been heard before by Nock's ears.

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As Ironclad drifted through the air, the flight systems on the suit stuttered once, twice, then failed with a whine that went past hearing. The heroine hung in the air improbably for a moment, then gravity grabbed ahold and hauled her down the the pavement. She landed heavily, cracking the pavement as she bounced once before lying still.

In his apartment, Malcolm watched the fall with his heart suddenly in his throat. His hand whipped out and smacked a panic button, transmitting a call to the police and pin-pointing the location where Ironclad had come to rest.

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Not far away, two other heroes were just finishing up a much less dramatic mission. Wander stepped through Hellion's dimensional portal and back into Earth Prime, brushing her arms at the strange feeling of stepping between worlds. This attempted incursion hadn't amounted to much, a thief with a bagful of stolen technology looking for a low-tech world to buy his fancy weapons, but without many weapons of his own. Really it had hardly amounted to much more than taking his toys away and dropping him back on his world, but Erin was glad to have a chance to work with James at all these days. Now that he was graduated, it seemed like they saw even less of each other, which was too bad.

She was just about to suggest heading back to the school when her communicator chattered to life with news of a nearby distress call on the police band. A super-battle had gone bad, assistance was needed! With a quick look to James for confirmation, she acknowledged the beacon and let him teleport them both to the scene. It was easy to tell who the bad guy was, the drunken Paris Hiton wannabe on the flying surfboard was making quite a spectacle of herself. One powersuited figure was already on the ground, the other apparently injured but fighting on.

"I'll try and get a hit on her," Wander told Hellion quickly, "then you take her out with a blast. We don't want to give her a chance for any more casualties." She raced down the street and leapt into the air, opening her bat as she went. Her leap easily took her high enough to reach the drunken villain, whereupon Wander delivered a punishing blow straight to the woman's abdomen, then turned a sommersault over her own bat to aim herself feet-first for the ground.

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Wander's devastating punch made Angel bend over and throw up a considerable quantity of liquor, the former superheroine gagging and vomiting as she wheeled crazily around in the air. She was still strapped to her board, but she wasn't going anywhere except rocketing straight towards the roof where Nock was waiting!

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The girl just didn't listen! Nock called a challenge out to her twice! And now her reinforcement was probably dead! Wait, was she slurring? Was this just a drunken rampage? Good lord, another hero may have fell to their death because of this incident! She angrily went to pick up her bow. That girl was gonna pay for her actions. Before she could reach for her weapon of choice, a girl leaped up at the drunken Angel. More reinforcements? Three on one? No, she deserved her comeuppance. As Angel drunkenly stumbleflew towards her, Nock steadied her blade. When she got in line, Nock landed a slash directly where the starlet drew her heart. Don't ever call a shot for Nock. Ever.

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The sword-hilt hit the starlet right in the face, knocking her cold and pushing her out of the fight. But she was still on the move, thanks to her jet-powered board, and it was sending her hurtling towards the bold young archer at an incredible rate of speed as she made a loop in the sky! If no one did something soon, Angel and Nock were going to collide, and if that didn't happen, she'd surely hit the roof and cause a huge explosion!

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Nodding at Erin, he moved in time with her, knowing what was coming. James looked up as Angel came plummeting down. He was more than happy he didn't have to speak with her again. He gestured, opening up a small portal for the falling drunk socialite with delusions of adequacy to fall into. He shook his head in disgust as he sealed the portal up once she was inside. "Well, that was different," he muttered. He noticed the falling hero and moved over. Crouching down, he muttered a few mystical words for a healing spell to see about reviving Irconclad.

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James' hellish powers did Heaven's work as they revived Ironclad, leaving her blinking awake inside her battered armor as she looked up at her savior. Meanwhile, down on the streets, the people of the Fens had come out to cheer their heroes. "Hooray! They stopped the crazy drunk lady!" yelled a bedraggled panhandler. "People do care about the Fens!" yelled another. The crowd started cheering, bystanders running up to help the armored girl who'd been hurt in all the fighting. It was, all in all, a good day in the Fens. And they didn't get a lot of those.

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Ironclad was drowning in a deep black well, when a mighty presence reached down and grabbed her by the collar, hauling her up to wakefulness. She squinted even in the dimness of her helmet, as various system messages floated past her face. After a minute her eyes focused on the handsome, rugged face above her. She gave him a smile, a motion wasted from within her suit, and spoke. "Hey, there. You haven't seen a drunk woman on a hoverboard, have you?"

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James grinned down at her, nodded as she came to. "Rise and shine sunshine." He stood, offering his hand to help her up. "Actually, I have indeed. Wander," he nodded to Erin, "and that young lady there with the bow and sword finished knocking her senseless. I've got her tucked away nice and safe until we can drop her somewhere." Not where her money and family influence could get her off with a slap on the wrist of course. But that wasn't important at the moment. "You alright? I'm James. James Prophet. Though if you prefer the whole 'code name' thing, I also go by Hellion," he said with a shrug of one shoulder. He didn't really have a secret identity, or he didn't try to maintain one anyway. He looked over at the archer as well. "You ok? Any bruises?"

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Ironclad suppressed a groan as she got to her feet. The displays swam in front of her eyes for a moment, then her eyes focused on the neon-bright colors. Her fingers danced through the menus, reprogramming and refocusing internal systems. Her bracers and flight pack began vibrating and the motions slowly spread through her body, easing away the pain. She closed her eyes with a low moan, rolling her shoulders slightly as her skin contracted into goosebumps. "I'll be fine," she murmured. "Just fine."

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Nock stood watching the scene beelow. I looked like the good guys had won the day. Though she did wonder where Angel went. Also, how well the one in the metal suit was doing. She could beat the stoic retreat... or she could be nice and go say hi or something of the sort. Stoic or nice, stoic or nice. The prospect of partners won over the swift exit into the night. Sheathing her sword and bow, she grabbed a ladder and slid down to the bottom. Looking around she smiled warily, "Good evening citizens!" She was trying to affect a superhero voice It was huskier than normal, though you could tell it wasn't her normal voice. "Is everything alright?" She looked over to Ironclad with a wince, "That's quite a fall you took there! Thank you for your help in taking down that villain." She looks to the Hellion and Wander, "I assume you're taking the perpetrator to the proper authorities?"

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Wander sheathed her bad and looked over at the archer. "We'll see she gets where she belongs," she said, a wry half-smile on her face. "Which probably includes some jail and a lot of rehab, from the look of her. Thanks for taking her down." While James dealt with the injured hero in the metal suit, Erin began to jump around and assess the structural damage, taking down a few flagpoles and loose pieces of brick before they could fall on anyone. Most of the damage seemed to be cosmetic, and no civilians seemed more than bruised and scared, so it looked like a good day.

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Ironclad looked up as Nock slid down to the pavement. She straightened a bit, waving a hand through the air and cutting off the massaging vibrations. "I'll be fine," she said after a minute. "Pleased to make your acquaintance, everyone. I'm Ironclad."

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He turned away from the ironclad heroine with a shrug. If she didn't want to talk or be rude, that was her call. James gave a wry grin as the costumed archer descended. He was dressed in regular clothes and a long coat but then he seldom bothered with a secret identity anyway. He nodded. "I brought her around and took care of it. A little rest plus whatever gadgets are in the suit should handle the rest easily enough." He nodded to Erin as she cleaned up the rest. "Yeah, she'll get there," he said. Eventually. Need to take her toys first.. "Are you alright? Angel can be right pain." He pointed to Erin. "That's Wander. I'm James. James Prophet. Or Hellion if you prefer the fancy names."

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