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angrydurf

A Case of Mistaken Identity IC

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After the near disastrous encounter with Darkstar and Stesha Jack moved through the void for a short time to figure out where to look next. First thing he had to find out was exactly when it was. Luckily he had a good disguise that few to none would question shaking down informants for the 'word on the street'. Thus he stepped out of the void on the roof of a small apartment complex on the Westside of freedom looking for a likely target. His earlier encounter and relative inexperience with field work left him not putting his all into hiding but he cut an imposing figure where he lurked on the roof.

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The sound of a clearing throat came from behind the dramatic silhouette. Further back on the same roof, the dashing figure of Jack of all Blades stood, arms folded over his royal blue greatcoat, a smirk playing under his crimson bandanna mask. "So that's how you do the disappearing act, Commodore Broodmeister," the swashbuckler called over. The magic about the other man carried the tangy taste of pine needles to his energy sense; not what he'd come to expect from Avenger, but it wasn't like the West End native was an expert on vampires. "Getting the wife to 'port you around? Cop out, man, seriously." Jack shook his head in mock disapproval.

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'Avenger' whirled to face the man who was speaking dark eyes hard behind the mask. Another hero just what he needed and lucky him he seemed to know Avenger. Of course that meant he wasn't immediately making with the grabbing because he saw through the disguise so it wasn't all bad.

"Have ways. None of your concern." he replied in the gravely avenger voice, matching his fathers own tone would be difficult but this was almost trivial to duplicate. "Need information." he added gaze sliding over the swashbuckler appraisingly.

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"Charming as ever, tall, dark and brooding," Jack of all Blades drawled, leaning nonchalantly against a television antennae. His eyes narrowed almost imperceptibly behind the holes in his bandanna mask and his smirk turned a few degrees frostier. "Gotta say, you've got some nerve asking me for information after the last stunt you pulled. You're the guy who's 'got ways of finding these things out', right?" The swashbuckler wiggled his fingers in the air, affecting exaggerated awe.

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'Avenger' stifled a sigh, what was with these people didn't they work together? HE really wished he'd payed more attention in history class as he couldn't for the life of him remember who this guy was and his parents had sure as heck never mentioned him.

He looked up to meet Jack of All Blades eyes, "I do." he replied coldly, "Your Turf I go to you." he said simply assuming if he hadn't heard about the guy he must be a low end local or something. "Been quiet?" he asked hoping to get the man talking so he could pick out something other than that apparently this was a time when his father had worse social skills than Jack did as a teen.

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The swashbuckler's eyebrows lifted up above his mask at the shadowy figure's polite request. A snap of his wrist deposited his lighter into his hand, and in one fluid movement he pulled a line of fire into a flickering rapier and took a defensive step back. The warm glow of the blade bathed the rooftop in dull light as Jack of all Blades returned the lighter to his coat. "Alright, the real Avenger would have called me an immature cretin like at least twice by now," he announced warily, "so who the artificial fruit filling are you?"

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'Damn it what the hell was up with this town.' Jack wondered to himself as the sword formed in Jacks hand, with a flick of his wrist the shimmering blue green light of his shields enveloped the false Avenger and he raised his hands defensively. "A friend of the family." he said grimly this was not the way he wanted to start out wherever he had ended up. "The disguise a convenience in my gathering of information about recent events." he added coolly.

He stood to his full height looming slightly in characteristic Avenger fashion, "Now put that thing away before someone gets hurt." he demanded.

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Jack of all Blades chuckled lightly. "Well, that does sound more like the Broodmeister, but now you're confusing how I act." Placing his free hand to the side of his mouth, he stage whispered, "Hint: I react poorly to being told what to do." The swordsman shrugged, abandoning his fighting stance but keeping the blade lit in his hand. "It's a character flaw, I'm working on it. Look, you're not exactly wining a ton of points with the little game of dress up, but ask away. Maybe I can still help, regardless."

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'Avenger' relaxed slightly but didn't dispel his protections. He paused trying to figure out what he might be able to from the other man, the plan to threaten some thug until they spilled about what the date was was pretty much right out at this point.

"Theres been some anomalous mystic signatures popping up around town. Have you seen anything out of the ordinary around here?" he asked point blank, he didn't know if there was any others that had been shunted back in time but if there were he'd need to find them and this was as good a time as any to start looking.

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With a doubtful look at the mysterious figure, Jack of all Blades closed his eyes for a moment and concentrated on extending the reach of his metamagi senses, probing for anything out of place. Not finding anything, he looked back at his rooftop companion. "Yeah, either it's something I can't sense or you're pulling my leg, Scrappy Doo," he drawled. "The only 'anomalous mystic signature' around here would be you. Wanna tell me what's really up? 'Cause I'm seriously not going to just leave you alone."

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"You wouldn't believe me if I told you." the mysterious man replied. He looked out over the rooftops for a few moments then back to Jack of All Blades, "If there aren't any other near here I'll have to look elsewhere I suppose." he finally said with a shrug, "This was really just a shot in the dark."

He paused studying the man for a moment longer, "You are trained in the arts?" he eventually inquires.

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Jack of all Blades snorted, amused. "Cha, art of being awesome," he replied. "Let's just say the nose knows, in a sense. See what I did there?" He moved the flickering blade in his hand to cast orange light toward the inquisitive figure. "I buy the friend of the family line, if only 'cause you knew enough to get the look down, but the enigmatic thing gets old fast. Do I need to get the real Avenger over here, or are you going to spill the beans?" The swordsman didn't actually have any way to quickly contact the vampire, but hopefully the other man wouldn't know that.

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'Always with the calling Avenger this is worse then at home.' Jack Jr. silently complained, "I really would rather you not bother him." the masked man replied beleaguredly, "I'm really not certain what the repercussions might be." He added almost absentmindedly. If the man had no training chances were good he wouldn't be able to track his teleport but if he could really call in the real Avenger, Phantom would come as well and she certainly could. That limited his options more than he preferred.

"I do appreciate your concern but in truth such a call could have dire repercussions for this realm." he explained hauntingly, "It is best if we just go our separate ways."

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"'This realm'?" Jack asked, his tone amused. "What is it with you wizard types? Who talks like that? I swear, if you turn out to be an Alternate-Avenger from magic land or something..." The fencer trailed of with a beleaguered sigh. "Look, Scrappy, on a purely personal level, I would just as soon we got out of each others' hair. But you gotta admit you're pretty much the sketchiest sketch of Sketchtown, so it'd be pretty irresponsible of me to just let you flit about on your own."

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"We must concern ourselves with more than the temporal." he replied with a shrug, "With out care even simple workings can bring about unintended consequences." he waved his hand, "But I have the impression such is none of your concern."

"All I can safely say of my purpose here is that its revelation could have drastic consequences. I would prefer to avoid those until I am certain of them." he elaborated.

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"Ominous!" Jack of all Blades agreed, raising his eyebrows. Letting the fiery sword in his hand dissipate into the air, plunging the rooftop back into darkness punctuated only by the dim light from the street below, the fencer threw his arms up in the air for a languid stretch. "Weeeeell, I wouldn't want to cause an interdimensional paradox and explode the planet; it's where I keep all my stuff." Placing his hands on his hips, he turned back to the enigmatic figure. "But, since I can't just let you run around on your own all willy nilly, looks like you just lucked into some ruggedly handsome backup for the evening."

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"Yes it is." the false Avenger agreed with mild frustration. He considered the implications of allowing the man to follow or perhaps earning his trust sufficiently to discover what he needed to know. He nodded his assent to the Jack of All Blades assertion, "The first matter will be finding someone knowledgeable in the mystic arts who may know the information I need. Is the West End home to any such groups that you know of?" he asked knowing in his time the Yellow Kings had moved in but uncertain of the cities demographics whenever this was.

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At that moment, just a few feet away, the walls between the worlds bent open just a crack, disgorging forth Fleur de Joie, the green guardian of growing things, Dark Star, the cosmic champion of space, Phantom, the chosen of Heshem and guardian of the dimensions, and Avenger, the grim and gritty vigilante, on the same rooftop as Jack of all Blades and the strange man who'd been running around wearing Avenger's old mask. It was getting to be a very crowded night.

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Dark Star appeared with the other, hands sparkling with cosmic energy. He didn't particularly want this to devolve into violence but he was ready, just in case. "Let's try this again, shall we? Please do no resist, I do not want anyone to be hurt despite your reluctance to cooperate. Answer our questions and you will not be harmed." He nodded to Jack as he finished. "Hello there. How are you this evening Jack" he asked the swashbuckling energy swordsman though his eyes never left the Avenger copy.

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Phantom ghosted back from the group, silent and her cloak writhing along the ground in mute agitation. The hood cast her masked face into shadow as she examined Avenger with white glowing eyes. For those with the ability to sense such powers, Phantom quietly felt out the particulars of the powers embuing the false Avenger. After a few long moments, she spoke in a low voice. "How...?"

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"Ho boy..." JJ murmured as the quintet of heroes arrived. His eyes flashed to Jack of all Blades for a moment then back to the group he had been trying thus far to evade. Did the swordsman send a message somehow? Taking a small step backwards almost involuntarily he looked over the group considering his options. With all of them there escape was almost impossible. 'Avenger' cocked his head warily, "Ask." he said simply dropping back into the avenger voice and persona. Hands hanging lightly at his sides in a lazy predatory manner.

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Avenger stared his near-doppleganger down with intensity, his hands balling into fists as the arch-predator stared at his arch-rival. "Don't you talk to her that way," the words ground out, falling back on a pattern he didn't even know he had. Time to see if the other man there would fall into the same routine. Easiest way to catch a lie. As it happened, he found himself sounding a great deal like his own father. "Your purpose here?"

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"Look," Fleur said, smiling in a conciliatory way, "we know you're frightened, and that you don't feel like you have a lot of options right now. I'm sure you had a good reason for breaking into Avenger and Phantom's home, but it's still not acceptable behavior. Why don't you stand down and talk to us, and we'll get things sorted out, without anyone getting hurt or more upset. Don't you think you owe us a few explanations?"

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"S'alright, Twinkle Twinkle," Jack of all Blades greeted glibly, lacing his fingers behind his head. "Sprouts, Phantom, lovely as always. Broodmeister, I continue to be amazed that you have more fans than me. They're even doing look-alike contests now," he drawled with a nod toward the mysterious imposter. "Looks like you're busted, Scrappy," he added airily, watching the scene with a facade of detached amusement. "I'd listen to good cop, 'cause you sure don't want to deal with bad cop over there, amirite?"

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The false Avenger looked over the group and couldn't help but smile at Stesha, always the soft touch. He gave a small shake of his head to Jack of All Blades, "Not bad cop." he said flatly eyes shifting to Phantom warily, it was clear who he was concerned with of the group and it certainly wasn't Avenger. "Matters have become ... Complicated." he explained evasively. His posture still arched challengingly as he gazed at the group through the holes in his mask.

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