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Supercape

Santa Claws and his Slay Bells (IC)

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22nd December

"Breaking News brought to you LIVE by Amy Feng, WCZA Channel 7" screamed Amy Feng on the television.

"Santa is in town. Repeat. Santa is in town. Riding a huge rocket powered sled, a giant santa claus is thudering across Freedom City dropping presents on the streets. Except these aren't the kind of presents you want to open kids... stink bombs, flash bangs, all nasty and potentially harmful. Santa has a bad idea of practical jokes... here he comes again..."

The TV camera swooped up to see the blurred image of a giant santa streak down to Amy Feng and the Road. At that point, a horrible screeching sound of bells emitted, fortunately the TV could not convey the worst of the sound, for it clearly had a terrible impact on Ms. Feng, who started bleeding from her nose and ears, and passed out from the pain.

"HO HO HO" came the booming voice, as Santa leant out of his sleigh to snatch up Ms. Feng.

"MERRY CHRISTMAS, FREEDOM CITY! HO HO HO!"

Elsewhere...

Rene deSaens didn't usually watch TV, but he had to catch this. He had strolled past a wine bar and decided on a mdeiocre glass of claret that afternoon. Everyone was craning their heads to the screen, and much as he despised the rubbish on TV, he was curious enough to look.

Thats odd he thought that's not the Santa I recognise...

The TV showed some AEGIS agents on the scene, trying to defuse the parcels that had landed. "Call up Victory" shouted one after consulting his earpiece "Santa is heading to the North Pole!"

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The call that came over Victory's comm was....unusual, to say the least. Santa causing a reign of terror in the city? Come now. Victory has to stop mid-flight just to double check that he heard correctly.

"Are you kidding me? There's no w-"

He's cut off, as his gaze down at the city catches a fast red object moving above the city. He had to take a second to check that all his visuals were working correctly. They were just fine. He sighed, and went back on the comm.

"I....I think I have a visual, dispatch. Pursuing target."

Victory closes his eyes and shakes his head, before rocketing down towards his target.

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Rene rushed outside, curing the fact his joints were no longer as supple as they used to be. Not bad for two hundred years old, though, he conceded.

He was not far from the scene of the commotion, and managed to catch a view of Santa and his Sleigh streaking across the city, northwards by his estimation. The speed was incredible, and accelerating all the time.

If he was using his aged eyes, he would probably have missed it, but the view was important, and he could see it using his mind's eye, the vision imprinting itself directly to his brain in a mystic psychic fashion, as one would see an impressionistic painting of the scene.

What was more extraordinary was the sight of a streak of metal and rocket that veered after Santa, at equally incredible velocities.

Rene ran towards a gift shop, and started to rummage through the postcards, looking for one of the north pole.

Wish I had wrapped up warmer. I'm too old for this...

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This target's moving pretty fast, Victory thinks. The first priority would be to stop its movement. Looking at its location above the streets of the city, he decideds that blowing it up might be too risky, with those explosives its carrying. Instead, he'd have to try something else.

Rocketing next to the sleigh, he gets a good look at its build. seeing that the thing was built with two seats, yet only one was occupied, he uses the open space to his advantage. Quickly shifting to maneuverability mode, victory swings around, landing with a big THOOM! from his feet, on the passenger's side.

"Halt! Bring this vehicle to an immediate stop and surrender....whatever you are!"

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Meanwhile...

Rene found what he was looking for. A christmas card with an actual picture of the North Pole on. He wasn't a thief by nature, but he was in no mood to wait to pay. He threw a bill to the saleslady, noting that she wasn't paying attention anyway, glued as she was to the TV screen.

Rene took out his magic brush, and held onto the postcard, drawing in his arcane energies and concentrating his mind and artistic talents.

Wait... he paused. There was no reason to know for certain that was where they were headed, or even if they would get there... it seemed that he AEGIS agent, victory was hot on the tails of "Santa"... whoever that might be.

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After he landed, Victory took a swing at his strange foe, the jets and servos in his arm all working together to try and land a big punch right into the thing's face. However, his weight having been added to the sleigh, along with his swinging motion, caused it to be a bit unbalanced, and threw his swing off, giving it the chance to duck as he was forced to re-adjust.

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GM

"HO HO HO" laughed Santa "MERRY CHRISTMAS, ONE AND ALL"

Behind him, Amy screamed.

For all his rotund size, Santa was fast, blindingly fast, and ducked under Victory's telegraphed swing. From his hand extended five razor sharp metal claws.

"MERRY CHRISTMAS.... FROM SANTA CLAWS!" laughed the screaming large red man, who proceeded to slash at Victory. However, the Sleigh was becoming increasingly unstable now it had two large men fighting in it, and his swipe was also off target, thanks to a sudden yaw of the sleigh.

Amy screamed again.

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Victory had to make sure to disorient the thing first. There wasn't much room to move, so he had to make due. Moving his upper body about, he quickly accelerated the movement of his upper body to make rapid circles, causing lots and lots of visual static. He used to do some boxing before the accident, so his upper body knows quite well hos to move and confuse. Add that in with his super human speed, and that's a recipe for trouble!

And it works! His rapid movement made it difficult to tell exactly where his hit was coming from, as opposed to the big telegraphed hit from before. And, suddenly, a HUGE blow connects with his foe's jaw,a thunderous noise that's only buffered by the speed they were moving at.

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GM

Santa's head was knocked clean off his body. Well, not quite off. It bobbed up and down on a spring connected to the main rotund body, before emitting a high frequency beeping noise.

"HO HO HO, HAPPY NEW YEAR!" Said the smiling, immobile face, as electric sparks whizzed from what was plainly a robotic body.

Before either Victory or Amy could react, the body gave a hiss of thick smoke, and exploded in their faces. Fortunately it was not a massive explosion, and the Victories armour was more than sufficient to bear the brunt of the force. However, Amy was not so lucky, and was knocked clean out of her chair, spinning off to the snowy wastes of Canada below, screaming as she fell.

The robot Santa was obviously destroyed, and the Sleigh damaged, but it carried on at full speed, heading north, a stream of smoke behind it as it began to wobble even more ferociously.

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Rene ran into the nearest clothing store. He had no idea what was happening to Santa or Victory, but he had a strong inclination that it was going to lead to the north pole. At least, that was where the Sleigh had been headed.

And that was were he would be headed too, but first things first, he needed some more sturdy clothing. It was pretty cold above the arctic circle. He had ventured above it for fifty years, at least.

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Robot. Big surprise there. Although now is the question of who made it. However, Victory didn't have time to wonder about that right now. As the robot exploded, it shook the entire sleigh. Victory got his hands up in time to brace himself against the blast, although a scream from behind him lets victory know that he's not the only one still here! Looking back, he sees the reporter fall from the back of the sleigh. He had to stop the sleigh, but saving an innocent is always priority.

He jets off, his rockets roaring to make it in time to save the woman. Sweeping down, he is about to ask if she's okay, just to see that she's quite disoriented. He'll have her back to safety in a moment anyway. And indeed it did not take long at all. Within seconds, the woman would find herself back in the city, placed down near the police. Victory gives them a nod.

"I'll be right back."

And off he jets again, tracing his course. The sleigh had made lots of progress since then, but Victory was far faster. Kicking the rockets up to their maximum speed, he is able to catch up to the sleigh. But as he got close, he saw what looked like a Christmas present come at him! Seeing what they did back in the city, he quickly shifted in his course, causing it to miss him completely. And once it was gone, he lands back on the sleigh, and tries to figure out what sort of controls this thing may have...

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As Victory sat down in the Sleigh, which was now yawing, rolling, and belching smoke, whilst still flying at full speed, he took the reins, only to realise that there were no controls on the sleigh. A monitor (now cracked), some speakers and lights were present, but no controls of any description!

As if to emphasise the point, the screen flickered to life. It was slightly damaged, the picture and sound quality both poor, but the features of a young bespectacled boy could be made out. None other than Toy Boy!

"Curse you, Victory! All I wanted was to spread some fun and games in Freedom City over Christmas! why should Santa get all the fun! Now I will have to start again! oh, whats that sound? why! I do believe its my slay bells!"

Toy Boy grinned impishly and held up a remote control, theatrically pressing a big red button. At his command, the bells of the sleigh started ringing at a horrible and powerful pitch, one which resonated directly with Victories nervous system!

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For all the typical villain fist-shaking and gloating, something seemed odd about the plan. Why would the sleigh go right back to its base like that, especially with Victory hot on its tail? Not to mention that it just seemed too easy to take on the robot. Toy Boy must've wanted him to get on the sleigh. Try to bring him back to experiment on, no doubt.

Before he could retort with some sort of pun about a stocking full of justice, Victory's ears are assaulted with a sudden blasting frequency. Unable to make the appropriate adjustments in time to negate it, Victory's hands move up to clasp his ears, trying to block it out. He lets out a yell of pain, and drops down to one knee.

With the sleigh hurtling towards what can only be trouble, Victory worked quickly. Although he couldn't move, his systems were working with hurried pace to cancel the sound out. It took longer than he would've liked, but he eventually managed to cancel the effect out, shaking his head and standing up, seeing spots but otherwise fine.

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GM

Just as Victory shook off the sonic assault of the Slay Bells, the Sleigh started its descent. And it was not a pretty one. Smoke continued to belch forth, and there was the faintest smell of fire.

The speed of the sleigh was such that they had now reached the ice shelf of the Arctic. And there, as the Sleigh started its descent, was the barely visible white steel building that must surely serve as the headquarters of none other than Toy Boy.

Several Antenna poked out of the building, all white, probably radar deflectors. In combination with this, its geography, and its white colouration, one would have to be right next to it to spot it.

The Sleigh came to a skid and a halt outside the dome. Immediately, some service robots, no more than a foot high, came scuttling out to survey the damage, armed with tools and fir extinguishers - although the latter were hardly needed in the freezing cold.

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Meanwhile

Rene stood in the Middle of Freedom City Park dressed in two heavy overcoats, heavy boots, earmuffs, with two thick woolly jumpers over his normal clothes and a long scarf wrapped round his face and neck. His beret was tucked in his waistcoat. If he waited much longer he would faint from heat exhaustion or be taken for psychiatric examination.

He pulled out his paintbrush and the postcard. The thick gloves he wore didn't make it any easier, but nevertheless, he painted himself onto the picture. All the time, he visualised the form of Victory streaking forward after the Sleigh...

...and the blast of cold hit him in the eyes. Damn this was cold he cursed to himself, thankful he was dressed as warmly as he was. He would still have to find shelter, and quickly. All he could see was a giant white steel dome in front of him.

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With his senses clear, Victory caught the sight of the base he was heading towards. He didn't like the look of it, that's for sure. As he shook the effect off in time, he leaps off the sleigh and hovers in the sky, getting a good look at it. He couldn't go through the front, that's for sure. He'd have to sneak in through another entrance. He flits about, looking for anywhere to get in.

Unfortunately, he tendsto show up quite well on radar, so he wouldn't be surprised if Toy Boy could track him up in the sky like this. Taking the precaution, he lowers his altitude below radar levels. But while he descended, his infravision spotted someone else there. Human temperature. Not someone who should be here anyway. Finding it odd, he flies over to the figure, putting a stern hand on his shoulder. He speaks with an urgent tone, but keeps the volume of his voice down. "You! Civilian! What are you doing here?"

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Rene could barely see the figure that approached him, and no sooner had he spied the man amidst the falling snow than Victory had clamped his hand on his shoulder.

"Ow!" he exclaimed, turning to face Victory face on.

"Who are you?" he asked, dimly recalling some name and talk of a super cop, or something like that.

"And what are you doing here, may I ask? And why do you refer to me as Civilian? Does the North Pole have an Army? A Police Force? Hmm? Hmm? What would Rousseau say eh?"

He doesn't look dishonourable, but always find out before opening your mouth...

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Victory was sure he didn't grab him hard enough to actually hurt, but maybe he over-compensated for any slowdown in his joints from the cold? The old man seemed to respond rather quickly, he couldn't help but notice. It surprised him a little, but he kept his serious look on his face.

Victory raised the palm of his left hand up, and his holo-badge floated in the air.

"Special Agent Victory of AEGIS, Freedom City Division. I'm here pursuing a perp who posed a danger to innocents and police."

He put the holo-badge "away", and moved his face in a bit closer. "What about you, civilian? Awful far out of the way from any cities. And quite a bit too cold, at that."

Although he couldn't help but wonder if there actually was some sort of police force for...well...Santa.

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Rene peered at Victory carefully, with more than just his eyes.

My Gods, the man is serious! he realised, with a mixture of shock and admiration. When you live to over two hundred years old, you get to have a certain flexible view on the law, but this guy was untouched by cynicism. He shrugged mentally. So much the better.

"Rene de Saens" he held out his hand. "Mystic Protector of Earth, Sorcerer of the Coil, Order of the Eight Thaum of Summeria, blah blah blah. Master painter, and I make a nice Souffle when I put my mind to it. You must come round. What was your name again? Victory. Good, I like optimism. "

He pointed at the dome. "My fate, it seems, is intertwined with yours. I came here on the trial of Santa, or rather, his imposter. Have you seen him?"

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While this was certainly a strange old man, he knew better than to doubt that someone has some manner of magic power when they manage to get themselves out this far. So there's likely something to his claims. "A souffle sounds good. I may take you up on that."

"But yes, I had already taken out the thing that was impersonating Santa. A robot, apparently. But it wasn't the real threat. Ever heard of Toy Boy? Awful name, but he is a danger. Seems this is his base here. I think his plan was to lure me on to the sleigh and bring me back for him to capture me. Probably wanted to steal the tech in my body. I tend to be a big target for perps like that."

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"I see" replied Rene "well, the Souffle may have to wait, Mon bon ami, at least until we can stop this Toy Boy of yours. I don't know if you saw what his 'presents' did in Freedom City... explosions, laughing gas, fireworks, all sorts. AEGIS have their hands full cleaning up the mess - no doubt part of his plan. "

He walked up to the steel dome and tapped it lightly. "I would imagine we are detected anyway" he noted, nodding towards a repair robot that trundled past on tracks. It was only a foot tall and no threat, but there were dozens of the things scooting around all over the base, all with cameras, and presumably other sensors too.

"So the first order of the day is getting in here before I freeze to death. I'm an old man you know!"

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"Yes, he rocketed off after grabbing that woman. I brought her back already, but the damage had been done."

As he looked the dome over, he ran a hand along it, gauging how thick it may be by tapping it with his finger.

"Well....we have two options. Hunt around for an entrance, which he probably would have guarded anyway, or...."

Victory removed his hand and "cracked" the knuckles, the sound of the pistons and gears powering up.

"...we make our own. What do you think?"

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"Excellent Idea" said Rene, shivering slightly "anything to be out of this damn weather. I forgot how cold it is in the Arctic"

He pointed to the dome, and with a flash of inspiration, brought up his brush. With a quick flurry, a black "X" appeared on the wall in thick ink.

"Take it away, sir!" he motioned, with an elaborate bow.

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The quick "X" put on the wall made Victory smirk a little, and uses it to line up his shot. Dusting his fist off with the other hand, he then pulls it back. The various machines and jets in his arm audibly begin to hear up, as he makes sure to get it good and ready to smash through. With a loud engine roar, the fist flies forward, smashing right into the titanium wall, leaving a gigantic dent in the wall.

He didn't expect the first one to get it done, but it was very close. Pulling back again, he prepares a second hit, which flies forward at a speed almost inperceptible. With a thunderous crash, the wall blasts wide open, and Victory dusts his fist off again, then takes a good look at the interior, his scanners assessing the inside of the building.

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"Its empty" said Rene, even before Victory had stuck his head through the hole. His mind could easily roam inside the building, viewing it in his own peculiar manner.

Nudging Victory out of the way, he clambered through the hole with some fuss "oh my aching bones" he groaned "my knees aren't built for this, you know...mind you, its nice to be out of the fiendish wind. Make sure that hole doesn't get too big, won't you?" he asked.

Looking around, the room itself was filled with Christmas presents like the ones on the Sleigh. He made very sure he didn't go near any of them. Innocuous piped Christmas music filled the room.

"Come in, come in" he said to Victory, pointing at the door at the end of the room. "It appears most of the activity is through there. Some kind of distribution and manufacturing facility. With... elves, if I am seeing right".

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