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Geez3r

Chaos in the Streets (IC)

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It is not long after Atlas' announcement that the city streets are packed full of panicked citizens trying to flee the city. But the traffic backs up almost immediately, leaving many people to flee on foot. Amidst all the chaos and fear, the criminal element of Freedom grows bold. Store fronts are smashed in as wide scale looting starts to grip the streets. Small riots are starting to break out. If the heroes don't intervene quickly, there could be 2 wars happening in the city.

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Robin walked down the streets of the North End, heading quickly for the Interstate 6 bridge between Lantern Hill and Hanover. It was one of the main roads out of the city, and she could only imagine the panic as a few million Freedonians all tried to run out the same way. It would be utter chaos, and she could only hope that her magic would be of some effect.

Not that it wasn't already. She marched along surrounded by an illusory cordon of police, and as she moved through the thickening crowds her eyes darted left and right. There, a couple of looters were winding up to pitch a rock through a window; she gestured in their direction and sent out a whisper of will, and the two men dropped their implements to sit on the sidewalk, talking quietly. There, a couple were screaming at each other, strapping what appeared to be an entire dining set to the top of their station wagon; the sorceress gestured again and the two adults suddenly grew quiet, taking turns to talk and listening to each other.

Through the rapidly-growing dark of a city without lights, Robin Cross's progress could be tracked by little bubbles of sanity and calm.

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As soon as the announcement cut off and the power went out, Stesha knew she had to act quickly. She worked downtown, and it was only moments before the yelling in the street began. Quickly stepping through the bouquet she was working on and into her apartment, she changed into her costume, then headed for the streets. The surface streets were too crowded to move through as people began spilling from dark buildings in panic, so she teleported herself to a rooftop garden in the center of downtown. It was then that she saw the scope of the problems they were going to be dealing with. She couldn't do anything one on one, or even one on ten, that would have any effect. She needed to think bigger.

Closing her eyes, Stesha reached down mentally into the soil of the city she'd spent the last year tending. She knew the plants of this city now, and they knew her, were eager to respond to her. Concentrating hard, she began setting flowers to bloom everywhere, all over, as far as her reach extended. Bright yellow flowers began springing to life, exuding a weakened version of the pollen she used to stun criminals. It wouldn't put anyone to sleep, but it would make them feel calmer, less inclined to crime. And, she hoped, if they were heroes intent on saving the day, it wouldn't dissuade them at all.

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Stesha Madison heard a familiar voice echo inside her head as a familiar face, or rather, a familiar lack of a face, appeared momentarily in front of her. She knew from her limited experience that the sight and the sound were for her and her alone.

Fleur, this is The Scarab. I see you are handling crowd control. If you can reach my Lair under your own power or through one of our mutual acquaintances, then consider the infirmary, holding cells, teleporters, and any other resources to be at your disposal. But please try to employ all possible discretion in their use. And if you require my assistance, I will be at the Raymond plant, attempting to restore power to the city.

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In a flash of light, an angel appeared in the sky over the rioting people, glowing with the brightness of the day about his garments and gleaming, Heaven-forged armor. In a booming voice, Freedom Angel hefted high the flaming sword of truth and shouted:

"CITIZENS OF FREEDOM! WILT THOU SO DISCARD THE LEGACY OF THE CENTURION!? THOU HAST STOOD BEFORE FALSE GOD AND OVERLORD OF ENTROPY; THOU HAST STOOD BEFORE GRUE AND DEVIL AND MAN! WILT THOU ALLOW YOUR GOOD AND TRUE SOULS TO BE CORRUPTED BY THE TERROR OF A FALSE GOD IN FALSE FLESH?"" He drove the sword in his hand downward suddenly, cleaving through the air with a flash of brilliant light. "I SAY THEE NAY!"

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For all intents and purposes, Zephyr was in a thousand different places at once. She darted back and forth through the rioting crowds in the streets, desperately trying to stamp out each burning trail of gunpowder before the flames hit the keg.

A carjacker pulled a family of four out of their sedan at gunpoint, then mounted the curb and hit the gas, threatening to plow through anyone unlucky enough to be on the sidewalk. In the blink of an eye, the car fell down to the ground with a CRUNCH! as all four tires popped off and rolled away, the lugnuts still spinning where they hit the concrete.

A trio of robbers in ski masks, with shotguns and baseball bats, run out of a convenience store, bag of cash in-hand. A second later, all three of them lay slumped down back-to-back against a lamp post outside the store. Their masks are rolled up to their eyebrows, exposing bruised and bloodied faces. Their hands are bound behind them with plastic zip-ties. The cashier stands up to see the bag of money from the register sitting on the counter, and feels his own wallet thrust back into his pocket. Then he notices the cooler doors swinging open, and most of the bottled water vanished from the shelves. He does not realize that it now rests in the hands of rescue workers distributing it several blocks away.

A looter hurled a brick at a shop window. It stopped in mid-air an inch from its intended destination, then flew back at the culprit's head.

Zephyr's jaw dropped open and her eyes grew wide as saucers when Heyzel made his proclamation. She stopped dead in her tracks, finally slowing down enough to be seen by the people around her for a few moments as she just stared up at him. "Holy farking sprak."

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As Robin kept marching to the bridge, she realized with a start that she wasn't having to calm people half as much. And, of course, the spores rising from the ground and raining off the sides of buildings was a clue; the sorceress slowed and looked around, noticing how calmly everyone was going through their evacuations. Deciding that rioting wasn't likely to break out after all, Robin dismissed her illusory guard and started looking around for a police cordon. The authorities should know how she could best help, after all.

So it happened that she was in the middle of the street when a centurion, complete with flaming sword and feathered wings, appeared over the streets and started marshaling the citizens. She could only stare, jaw on the ground. "Holy sh*t," she muttered, not consciously aware of the blasphemy.

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Eve raised a questioning eyebrow at her brother. --What was that?-- she asked, referring to Atlas' announcement. Looking down from the heights of the Martel Building overlooking the heart of Freedom City's downtown area, Eve could see the immediate effects of the announcement. The visual effect was akin to kicking over an anthill, and from this vantage point that's what the people below looked like.

"Trouble, Eve. That was trouble."

--Can I help?-- the telepath inquired, turning back to look at Nicholas as she heard the sounds of his armor sealing. The armored form of Paladin nodded once. "I will drop you off below. I know you don't know your way around the city yet, so stick to the city center. Do what you do best, calm the citizens, disable any threats to their safety."

--Where will you be?--

Paladin clenched his armored fist, a blade of azure energy flickering into being. "Doing what I do best."

Scant moments later, Sage watched her brother fly off for a second before sprinting off into the chaos.

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While the heroes move quickly and quickly defuse much of the situation, however there's things going on that don't get resolved quite as easily. Firstly, there are a few guys who were getting ready to chuck some molitov cocktails at a store front, but decided better with the heroes' intervention. But one of them can't seem to put the flame out and is now in danger of exploding all over him. Further down the street, it looks like a few people wanted to ride out the bad times with the ultimate high and had managed to get their hands on some pretty bad drugs. Blitzed out of their minds, their car's weaving in and out of traffic and up onto the side walk; it's only a matter of time before they hit someone. There's also a jumper from one of the sky scrapers; he was too far away to hear Freedom Angel, and too high to be affected by the pollen quite yet. Lastly there are a pair of kids, a boy and a girl, neither of which look older than 5, hugging each other by the side of the road, clearly separated from their parents.

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Further down the street, it looks like a few people wanted to ride out the bad times with the ultimate high and had managed to get their hands on some pretty bad drugs. Blitzed out of their minds, their car's weaving in and out of traffic and up onto the sidewalk; it's only a matter of time before they hit someone.

Aw hell no. Zephyr shook her head at the intoxicated drivers, and took off running toward the out-of-control automobile. To onlookers, she was a blue-&-orange streak for a second, and then she'd just disappeared. Weaving in and out of traffic, dodging cars and pedestrians with equal agility and alacrity, Zephyr caught up to the runaway car and literally ran circles around it. With each pass, she popped the hubcaps off of each wheel, then twisted a lugnut off each one, one at a time. Finally, when she'd managed to clear the right spot, she gave each tire a kick in rapid succession. As far as the passengers, or anyone else could see, all four wheels suddenly just spun off the car simultaneously, dropping it to the pavement. It landed with a *CRASH!* Zephyr appeared next to the driver. She smacked him across the face. "WHATSA MATTA WIT'CHU?!" She reached over his lap while he was disoriented, grabbed the key, and bent it in half, snapping it off in the ignition. "You trying to kill someone?!"

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The driver looks back over at Zephyr, about 8 kinds of cross eyed. "Hey, hey, hey. Pretty lady." you can smell the booze on his breath, along with pot smoke. "Have I ever told you that... I'm gonna throw up." The driver promptly heaves outside the window, Zephyr easily getting out of the way in time. The other druggies try and flee the scene, but it looks like the ground is a little too level for them to comprehend and they mostly wind up tripping over their own feet. All except for one, a guy passed out on the floor in the back is wondering why they stopped all of a sudden, and who peed on his pants.

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Oh, the poor things, Sage thought as she caught sight of the two children. The pale-haired telepath took a quick look around, to see if there were any adults who appears as though they were searching for someone, but nothing was stood out to her. Sage was reasonably sure she'd recognize the frightened, panicked look on a parents face when their child had gone missing. She had seen the same look on her own parents face when she got lost in the woods outside their chateau when she was… Sage shook her head, clearing her thoughts and focusing on the task at head.

Dashing over to the side of the two children, with her hands out to the side, palms open so as to not frighten them, Sage gently made contact with their minds, invoking a sense of calm. Stopping a pace away, the diminutive acrobat crouched, so that her eyes were level with the two kids sitting on the curb. A small smile was on her face, as she raised a snow white eyebrow and gently whispered into their minds, --Hello, my name is Sage. Who are you?-- Sage glanced over her shoulder, taking stock of the immediate area before looking back at the children, --And may I help you?--

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Sussing out what was happening at ground level, the angel of Freedom flew towards the jumper on the high ledge with great speed: stopping in front of him so that he could catch him if he went forward, and so that he'd start backwards, if anything, if he was surprised. "Hello, my friend," he said simply, offering his hand to the frightened man on the rooftop. "Come with me."

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Robin strode through the crowds, staff tapping on the ground as she glanced from side to side. Most folks seemed fairly calm and collected, dealing with the problem better than she'd expected. However, a crashing of glass grabbed at her and she whipped her head around, quickly focusing on a would-be looter whose arm was engulfed in fire. Swearing in Greek, she sprinted towards him and mentally thumbed through her options. As often was the case, the simplest was the best; she dropped her staff on the ground and shrugged out of her thick leather coat, whipping it around and man's flaming arm. She wrapped the leather tight around the limb, patting it and feeling for hot spots. "Real dumb thing to do," she muttered. "A half-brick not dramatic enough for you? Need to light up the night?"

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"We're not apposta' talk to strangas."

"Mikey shush! That's rude!"

"Nuh uh! You shush! Mommy said we shouldn't be talking to strangers."

"But momma said super hero people are an excp- expecta - special. And she's a super hero lady. You are a super hero lady aren't you super hero lady? Tell him your a super hero lady."

"Your're a super hero lady?! Can you take me fwying?! Pwease~!"

"No fair! I was gonna ask her!"

It appears Sage's calming effect also made the children forget about their problems for the moment. Which doesn't exactly help things along when you're trying to get information out of them.

Across Freedom's skyline, the jumper did indeed jump back from the edge when Freedom Angel appeared. "Oh my lordie." he gasped grasping his chest. "Wait! You- you're an angel! That must mean I died! You're taking me to heaven! Yes, I'll go with you, gladly." he beamed as he took Freedom Angel's hand.

Back on the streets, Robin dealt quickly with the flame in the looter's hand. "Yeah, guess I kind of lost it." as he rubbed the back of his head sheepishly. "Don't know what came over me. Say... uh.... don't suppose we could just ya know, not mention this to the cops? Please? I promise I'll be on the straight and narrow from now on."

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With all the immediate threats taken care of, Stesha shrugged and began plucking up the drunk miscreants and the looters, securing them in flowers until order was restored and they could be turned over to the authorities. No sense in letting someone too drunk to walk straight stumble into more trouble while the city was in chaos! While she worked, she kept an eye out for more danger, but mostly people seemed subdued by the heroes' combined efforts.

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Robin eyed the man with the burned hand, looking between him and the store. It was obvious he wasn't telling her the whole story, but there were more important problems at hand. She whirling her coat dramatically, fanning out the tails and slipping it on her shoulders again, before snatching up her staff and waving it threateningly at him. She channeled just a touch of magical energy through the staff, just enough to light the very tip, underlighting her angular face. "There's more important things than you trashing this store," she said. "But the police are out in force. And I imagine they're going to be very short-tempered with any looters. Understand me?"

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Sage sighed and shook her head, --Sorry, but I'm not the flying type.-- Relaxing the calming effect she was creating Sage let her mind touch the surface thoughts of the young boy. --Tell me about your mother,-- she quietly asked the two children, --what her name is, what she looks like, and I will find take you to see her.--

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"Not yet," replied the angel, keeping all his attention focused on the man even as he made a landing on the sidewalk below. "Your time on this world has not yet ended." Despite the chaos around them, his wings were a protective shield as he embraced the jumper. "Live for yourself, for your city, and your people. The monsters who beset this place will fall, as do all forces of evil that lay hands upon the world of Man. Do you want to be one of the few who fled? Or one of the many who stayed, and did great things for their city?"

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The man with the former molotov sort of glares at Robin for a moment before sulking off, mumbling "Yeah whatever." under his breath. He pulled out the slightly charred rag from the mouth of the bottle, sniffed the booze contained within before taking a swig. Robin had sent him packing, and he wasn't exactly thrilled about it.

Elsewhere, Eve's investigation was... progression. "Mommy's pretty. And alll the clothes she's got are pretty too." and so forth. However, the children's minds are a bit more informative. They don't know her name, they just call her 'Mom' or 'Mommy'. She's about average height, bobbed red hair, thick framed glasses and slightly above the average weight. Now that Sage knows what to look for, she manages to pick out her out as she darts into a side alley with a heavy set man, your probings have identified as the children's dad. They do seem to be looking around though, but it looks like they're making sure anyone isn't watching them rather than looking for someone themselves.

Back on terra-firma, the jumper looks whistfully up at the sky as Freedom Angel poses his question. "I want to be the one that made an angel bleed!" shouts the man as his arm contorts into a blade, plunging it straight towards Freedom Angel's chest.

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Robin stared at the man storming off and ran to catch up with him, her staff in hand. "Hey, wait up a second." She grabbed his arm and pulled him to a halt. "There's all this chaos in the city -- we're being attacked by freaking aliens -- and your idea of your civic duty is to start a few fires? What'd that store ever do to you, anyway?"

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Freedom Angel felt a sharp pain as the sharpened limb skated past his shield and armor, cutting a deep gash along his arm. Anger swelled in his breast, hot and sharp, but he pushed it aside, finding justice and mercy underneath. "The commands of your alien masters force you to throw away the gift of mercy like so much trash." He shook his head, a halo of brilliant white light glowing around his body. "I mourn all the things the Unity has denied you, my friend. I pledge to do all I can to free you from the chains they have wrapped around your pure living soul!" And with that, he drew his flaming white sword and struck the Lancer across the face. "In the name of love, I will set you free!"

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The civilian gave Robin a strange cock-eyed look. "Listen toots, I ain't gotta take this from you. If we're being attacked why are you down here lecturin' me huh? Ain't you got nothing better to do? And I'll have you know, you ain't got no right to butt in to how a guy treats his store. Now if you'll excuse me, I got to go run for my life cuz I ain't got no powers to pull my butt out of the fire." says the guy as he turns away from Robin, unaware of what he just let slip.

The Grue attacker hissed as Freedom Angel's blade hit home, cutting a gash across its chest. "The Unity is one. We are closer than any family you could ever know."

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Robin kept up with the looter, smiling nastily. "So the city is invaded," she said, "and you decide to torch your store for the insurance money? Nice. I wonder if I should turn you into the cops now or wait until things calm down, or put you in a nice, safe jail cell right now?"

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