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Quiet Crimes (IC)

Agent A

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The hiss of cable sliding out and the thunk of steel on stone were the only sounds in the night, as the masked adventurer known as the Drifter fired his grapple gun towards the rooftops of Greenbank. Finding his mark around a stone ornament, he pressed a button on the side of the grapple, speeding towards the roof as the cable retracted. After a few seconds, he grabbed the ledge with his free hand, hanging about 20 stories up from street level. He pulled himself onto the roof a little gracelessly, finding his feet on the roof before turning to look over the streets and to briefly catch his breath.

It had been a quiet night, as he had moved from rooftop to alleyway. There was something going on somewhere, of course, there always was, but nothing of the loud variety; no robberies, no muggings, nothing that he could jump in to stop. Still, these streets were far from safe to walk at night, and things could always happen quickly. He would patrol for another hour, then go look in the train-yard; there was almost always something happening there, and rarely was it legal. Something must be wrong with me, man. I'm starting to hope I find something. Carter enjoyed what he did, you couldn't do this if you didn't. But there was a thin line between liking to do the right thing, and liking the fighting. He tried to stay firmly on the former side of the line, but it was hard sometimes. It was hard not to derive satisfaction when some of the criminals he had seen got comeuppance, especially when it came from him.

Carter rubbed his forehead, laughing to himself. "Now I'm getting philosophical. And talking to myself. I fit right in with this business after all." Regaining his focus, Carter walked towards the opposite edge of the building, looking over the other edge for another point to grapple to as he looked to continue his patrol through the streets of Freedom City. There were better times for thinking over the human condition or whatever he wanted to do; the after-patrol shower where he tried to ignore how sore he was was one of his favorites. For now, focus was key.

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It was never a good idea to walk Greenbank at night. It was like stuffing your wetsuite with chum before jumping into a shark tank especially if you were a woman. Danger aside, her earlier visit proved a waste, she got a tip that they were hiring in the area, what the tipper failed to mention was that it was a job in prostitution. A phone call, some very late police officers and a broken chair plus a lot of duct tape later she had taken out a surprised pimp, and his two enforcers with more or less without securing anything more then a few bruises. Maybe she should of asked the cops for a ride, but then again she really couldn't of said she apprehended them. In costume she didn't exactly look like a good guy, and she didn't have enough rep to avoid being taken in for questioning, dispite their willingness to work with heros in the cities they always wanted to cross check to make sure someone is who they say they are, which is a bit complicated for an unknown.

So walking around in the middle of the night with her purse on her shoulder in a pair of worn sneakers that didn't make a single tap on the sidewalk as she moved. As such, she was almost instantly alerted when the sound of feet started to reach her ears. Though not turning to meet them she did let out a sigh and look at her watch. She was only a few blocks until she completely out of the area, yet somehow she had managed to attract some random muggers. Well it wouldn't hurt to pull some of these guys off the street, turning down the alley she started to look for something she could use.

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Even so far up, the sound of pounding footsteps reached The Drifter's ears as he looked down into the alley below him. From his vantage point, he could see the woman as she turned into the alley, and he sighed mentally; from his vantage, she had only trapped herself in the alley. Luckily, he was in the area before anything could happen. He fired his gun around one of the gargoyle statues, before jumping over the edge of the roof. He had practiced this move more than once, and it was a handy way to fast rope down a building. He braced with his feet against the building, before allowing himself to hang free. Finally, he held down the trigger, releasing more wire as he lowered down into the alley.

About 10 or 15 feet up from street level, Drifter stopped his momentum, hanging above the alley. As the muggers turned into the alley, he recalled the hook, and as the cord began to retract he fell the rest of the way to the ground, behind the men. His baton snapped open, and Drifter gave it a slightly flashy twirl as he straightened up from the crouch he fell into. Dropping into his "hero voice", a slightly gravelly voice he affected in the mask, he spoke to draw the attention of the muggers. "Gentlemen. I'm sure your mothers taught you something about treating women with respect, right? No? Dropping into his usual fighting stance, he readied his baton for a fight. "Right, let's get this over with quickly. You clowns always choose the hard way."

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It was a three man cell, not a bed stradegy as far as mugging goes because that leaves two to gang up on a victum, and one to watch for any likely passerbyers who might want to help. Two of the guys were barely larger then herself, plus there was another one just under six foot who probably held down a gym membership. All of them had knives, and at least one of them was clutching his coat like he was packing, either way though it was standard street scum looking for a quick buck. Carrie had already discarded her bag farther down the alley, but had yet to turn around she wanted them to think she was surprised, that she was confused and had made a wrong turn. Guys like these were only really dangerous when backed into a corner, when they thought they had the advantage they tended to ease up and let their guard down. She listened as the got closer and got ready to turn with a shocked look on her face when she heard some guy drop into an alley and spout some line about chivilary before openly challenging them. This was gonna suck.

People don't generally react well to be surprised, muggers are no different. Though Carrie did want them at some point to realize that they weren't as in control as the situation as they thought they were, this guy made them jump, and by jump, she meant her. The nearest mugger grabbed her by the neck and pulled her in front of him as a human shield pressing the cold metal of the blade against her arterie daring to cut it. The other two turned promptly to face and charge the guy if he tried anything funny. Neither of them was paying any attention to there now hostage looked straight over at the masked 'hero' and started rolling her eyes.

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Carter looked over the group as they went for their weapons, and one grabbed the woman and pulled her into a grab, placing the knife to her throat. Carter loomed up to his full height, staring down the group of men. They were apparently smart enough to know going for a hostage was a good ploy, but they still looked pretty dumb. "Alright boys, let me lay this one out for you nice and simple-like. I'll use small words you can understand. I know you've heard of me, and you know what I can do. Now, if you hurt that woman, I want you to imagine what exactly I'm going to do to you when I'm mad."

The words obviously had an impact on the three men. The one on the right, apparently of less stern stuff than his friends, took one look at the two others, looked back to Drifter, and broke into a run.(1d20=8), dashing past the masked hero. Carter let him by; the safety of the hostage was more important. The other two looked at each other afterward. Though they were shaken by his threat, held (1d20=10) firm(1d20=12) enough not to run immediately. Carter looked between the two of them, waiting to see what they would do next.

(OOC: Using the Criminal Template in the Core Rulebook, replacing the guns with two knives. All failed the DC13 will check. Thug 1 failed by 5 and flees. The two remaining are Shaken; -2 to attacks, saves, and checks)

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Ohhhh, so scary.

Carrie watched quietly as the new player made the muggers quake in their boots, one so much so that they gained a life of there own and took him straight out the alley. Apparently they recognized him. He seemed like a hero, but he wasn't nearly as bright as the incity heros, given that was probably the reason he was in Greenbank in the first place. As much as the heroes try to clean up the city, this was not the place where caped crusaders and heroic legacy lived.

The one holder her loosened his grip at the threat, and taking the window she slid her arm under his, grabbed his wrist and with a twist dislodged the knife from his grasp. He didn't have very much time to process as elbow collided smashed into his face. Sliding under his shoulder she twisted the former knife hand behind his back and swiftly kneed him into the groin before jamming (1d20+1) herself into his back to pull him (1d20) into the ground. The other one heard the outside cry of his partner and turned towards her and made a charge.

((Recalculated, got 19 on the attack roll for Carrie, and six for the mook grapple meaning she successfully takes him and knocks him out.))

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((We're calling these guys minions. Taking 10 on my attack roll))

Carter didn't have time to be surprised as the seeming victim moved to take her attacker out, smashing him into the ground hard. Reaching into a pouch on the side of his pack, Carter drew a rather large, polished stone. Taking aim quickly, he caught the attacker in the side as he turned, causing the man to pause in his tracks, before crumpling to the ground in pain and passing out(1d20+1=19). Carter looked between the two men, before reaching into his pack for his bolas. They would serve as a makeshift rope until the police arrived.

Turning to the woman, she seemed to be unharmed. He wasn't going to insult her with asking as such. "Those were some moves, lady. You should be the one doing this heroing business." Carter moved to tie up the men, confiscating their knives. He would make an anonymous dropoff at the police precinct later. "That said, this isn't a good neighborhood to be walking around in at night. Well, duh, I'm sure you know that. Sorry." Taking out his grapple gun again, Carter gestured towards it. "It's not a limo, but I can give you a ride home if you want."

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Walking away from unconcious left behinds of a failed mugging attempted she gave a once over the guy who came to 'rescue' her. He was a full head taller and dressed in what one would expect for an amatuer militant. She gave him a half smile as she looked over at the two unconcious muggers who probably would of targeted another unlucky victum had she not come around,

"Who to say I'm not."

Shrugging her shoulders she looked over at the grapple gun and then up into the obscured face only hidden by a well placed bandana,

"I don't think anybody would have a limo out here, heck you'd be hard pressed to find a car not on bricks so I guess you're offer is as good as any."

Taking a few steps back she grabbed her purse and securely fastened it around her shoulder before walking back to him and checking if her shoes were on good and tight. Walking closer she said,

"Try not to go too fast, I might get a bit woisy."

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Carter smiled under his mask slightly. "Seems like half the town is either doing the super-hero thing, or the super-villain thing; wouldn't surprise me if you were. I don't have the 'super' thing going for me, but someone has to watch these streets, right? But hey, if you know the Freedom League, ask them to hook me up sometime." Carter ran a hand over his hair, chuckling slightly. "But I'm sure you've got better things to do than hear me complain."

Carter looked around, looking for good points to grapple off of. If necessary, his claw could latch through brick, at the very least. The gun retracted quickly enough to move him at a good clip. He looked over the girl once, before slipping off his backpack and handing it to her. "Here, hold this. We'll do the piggy-back thing. I don't do the side-hug swing until after the first date." After she took it, he knelt down so that she could climb onto his back.

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"Sorry to disappoint you but I'm a nonaffiliate."

Slinging the pack onto her own she felt the unpleasant thump of the contents but didn't complain as she walked over behind him,

"I'm glad then, because that hug thing doesn't look all to comfortable."

With that, she hooked her arms around his neck and hung on with her legs around his. There might of been a stray thought to what this probably looked like to a passerbyer, given, no on in Greenbank gave a flying flip what happened in the deep dark allies, well no one but him.

"Just take me to the border of the Fens and I can follow Hugh Hefner's broadway back to my apartment."

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Carter snapped his fingers in an overblown imitation of disappointment, finishing up tying up the two with his bolas. "Well, guess I'm sticking to polishing up stones for now. Still, they work surprisingly well for something you can find on the ground." After she climbed onto his back, Carted straightened up, getting used to her weight. He figured if he kept it slow and low to the ground, there wouldn't be any trouble. He looked back to the thugs tied up on the ground. "Oh, right. You got a cell phone? We might have to stop by a pay phone real fast and call this one in. You put that one guy out for awhile. Hopefully the cops get here before his friend gets some nerve back. I never get tired of doing the angry cape act."

Waiting for her to respond, Carter aimed his grapple gun for the wall, bringing himself into the air. Unhooking and refiring the gun again, he fell into a swinging motion, making his way down the street. It wasn't as fast as a car, but it was much faster than running. He tried to keep himself steady. He figured that his passenger had had enough for one night, and didn't really feel like her getting sick on the back of his head, either.

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Straightening hersefl out to make sure she was comfortable, she said somewhat flatly,

"If I had a cell phone I probably would of called a cab hours ago, given, I'd have to find the on cabby in Freedom who has the stones to drive around Greenbank at night."

Heck, she might of tried that if she had a quarter for a pay phone. Those guys obviously had picked the wrong target because there was literately nothing on her of any street value.

She tried her best to keep her grip reasonably loose so she didn't strangle the life out of the local good samuaratin like so so many of her younger cousins she had played such a game with before, but she couldn't help being so uncomfortable being so high up. Maybe it was something she could never get used too, but at least she wasn't getting too nausciated. It didn't take very long before they were back on the street that started almost immediately with a shop postered to the brim with soft core pornography, yep, this was definitely the Fens.

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Carter smiled under his mask once more. "I'm batting well on the stupid questions. I'll lay off before you pull that move you pulled on McThug back there on me. I'm sore enough when I get home already." Spotting a payphone, he swung himself to a stop gently, allowing the gun's cord release to lower them to the ground softly. He crouched again to allow his passenger to get off of his back before standing up, walking over to the payphone. He punched in 911, reverting back to his normal voice as he spoke.

"Yeah, I'd like to report a mugging...6th and Park, in the alley...A cape jumped in and busted the guys up. They're still there, got knocked out pretty good. Their friend ran off, though...Yeah. Thanks." Turning back towards the woman, Carter indicated his grapple gun again. "You sure you're going to be ok? I can take you the rest of the way, if you want. Wouldn't be a problem."

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Stretching a bit to get out a bit of soreness caused by having to cling onto someones back she turned looked over him and gave him a shrug.

"There's no such thing as a stupid question, just stupid situations."

Looking at her watch she gave the guy a half smile as she looked down the street.

"As bad as it looks, the Fens aren't really that bad a neighborhood, cheap and sleezy maybe, but not dangerous. And as easy as a target I may seem to be, I believe I've already proven more then ready for myself."

Reaching into purse she pulled out a small note pad and a pencil, after jotting something down, she tore out the page and handed it to him.

"Go back to your neighborhood, where you're really needed, and if you really want to make sure I'm okay, wake me up tomorrow morning with a phone call, if I'm not there you can go ahead and play all chivilarious and worried."

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Carter adjusted his mask so that it sat squarely over his face. "I swing around in this looking for crimes to bust up. I think I'm pretty good when it comes to stupid situations, too. I run the stupid spectrum, pretty much." He looked around the neighborhood as she did. He worked the Fens sometimes, but usually didn't venture there much; like she said, it was deceptively quiet, especially compared to his own stomping grounds. Still, he felt bad about leaving her here, even if she asked and seemed much more capable of handling herself than she looked at first glance.

He looked down at the paper she handed him, he smiled a bit under the mask once more. "Who says it's an act? Can't a guy just be a nice dude these days?" He folded the paper, slipping it into one of his pockets. "I'll do that. Is there a name I can call you there? I'm sure "hey, you" will get annoying real fast." He cocked his head to the side as he awaited an answer. He's have to use a pay phone; never knew with caller ID, and he wasn't quite free with his name to people he met in his hero guise. He doubted anyone cared enough about him to track him down, but it still payed to be safe. Still, he would make sure to check up on her nonetheless.

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Sliding the pad into her purse, she looked down the street then back at him.

"It's all about perception, you probably don't realize this, but most girls nowadays get the impression that any vaguely nice dude talking to her is trying to get into their pants, probably because a lot of the time they're absolutely right. So unless you're gay, get used to a healthy dose of skepticism even if the nice guy act isn't an act."

Looking up into his eyes she gave a soft sigh,

"Given, you probably don't know much about that, what are you late teens?"

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Carter laughed at her explanation. "Lady, if that was the plan, I wouldn't be hopping around the city wearing a mask at night. Or maybe I would, but it would be a lot more stylish that this one is. Besides, unless you got a thing for guys wearing bandanas all the time, I couldn't exactly lay down a proper mack-on even if I wanted to. I'm not Freedom League-big by a long shot, but there are some dudes who wouldn't mind seeing me gone." He didn't answer her question about his age, and tried not to give any read when she was dead-on about it. Once again, information was bad to give out when you went around messing up people's business.

Carter drew his grapple gun, talking aim for a nearby light post. He turned back towards the woman, looking over his shoulder. "Last chance at a name, or I'm just going to make one up. I'm going to make it really bad, too. I don't know what it'll be yet. I'm going to break out encyclopedias."

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She gave a slight snicker to that last bit, when she thought about entering the thing she herself broke out a couple of art books to see what she should call herself. Looking at her watch she gave a light sigh,

"Carrie, you can call me Carrie and I'll generally answer too it except some of the time."

She gave him a light wink as she started down the street lit by cheap neon from the local theatres. She stopped a few feet short and looked over her shoulder,

"Drifter, you might consider updating that costume when you have the chance, especially the mask, it'd be a bit to easy for some random dude to tear that bandana off your head."

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Carter flashed what would be a winning smile if it wasn't hidden under a mask. "So, Carrie. Sometimes. Works for me. I'm called a couple different things every now and again myself. I won't repeat most of them." He turned to aim again, but was interrupted before he could go, Carter laughed, not turning around. "Tell you what. You find someone who does costumes on the cheap, you let me know. You know where to find me, huh?" He gave a small wave. "Keep safe out there."

Firing the gun, Carter was up and swinging away, back towards the heart of Greenbank. He felt a little better about things than he had at the beginning of the night. Maybe he wasn't some big-name hero, or making all kinds of money, but someone needed to do the job, to break up the quiet crimes that the police and the big capes couldn't. Carter couldn't save the world, but if he could break up a drug ring, or bust some weapons smugglers, or even just stop a mugging, then maybe he did some good in the world.

The night was young. There would be something else for him to do; there always was.

****The next morning****

The walk to the temp agency wasn't far from his apartment, but Carter made sure to leave earlier than he usually did. On the way there, he ducked into a pay phone booth, pulling a crumpled piece of paper out of his pocket. Smoothing out the paper so that it could be read, he dialed the number, leaning against the glass as the phone rang...

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The walk home wasn't long, and she didn't get mugged again, she did however think that might be an interesting project. She didn't sew often, but maybe a mask would be too hard.

-The Next Morning

The phone rang loudly on it's cheap plastic holder and it made Carrie nearly fall off her work desk. Rubbing her eyes slowly, she wiped her mouth and looked over the pencil sketches she had scribbled on the back of some old papers from a previous job. A bit of them were wet confirmer her suspicisions that she has to work on sleeping with her mouth closed as she limped over to the impatient ringing of the telephone. Picking it up the phone she said in a sleepy monotone,

"Carrie here."

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Carter dropped into his "hero-voice" as he spoke into the phone. "Just keeping a promise I made last night. Have a good morning, Carrie." Hanging up the phone, Carter stepped out of the booth and joined the crowd of people walking towards their jobs, blending in quickly to the shifting group. He never did get much sleep, but he did feel a little better about it now than he when he woke up this morning. He'd be out there again tonight, just like he was every night. But sometimes, the smallest thing had a way of boosting your confidence.

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