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Lone Star

Sting Operation (IC)

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Mad Dog's powerful Harley roared along the streets of The Fens. It was only a few nights ago that an informant he interrogated gave him the location of a major Zoom manufacturing plant. It was in a building only a few miles away: an abandoned warehouse, where the drug was being made. He knew for a fact that there would be men guarding the warehouse, but he wasn't nervous. His Marine stealth training and incredible strength made him more than a match for men with guns. He parked his bike in a back alley, and locked it down so choppers wouldn't steal the bike's tires.

He stayed in the back alleys, making a quiet approach to the factory. It was safely far enough from it that they wouldn't hear his bike coming. He walked at an even pace, knowing that he had all the time he needed. As far as he knew, his guest appearance wouldn't be expected.

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The King of Suits smoothly swung on his grapple line from the decaying theater's molding roof onto the crumbling billboard advertising "Magic Lash", a condiment whose manufacturer had been under the cold eye of OSHA for suspected use of lead in its ingredients. He had been told by a friend of his about a suspicious factory, the workers at which had proven deeply reticent about what they made there, complete with threats against the safety of the friend when she had begun to pry around the place. Determined to get to the bottom of this new mystery, Marceau jumped down into an alley within sight of the street the factory was on, and began to make his stealthy way towards it, certain he could get in there without fear of being spotted.

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Mad Dog heard footsteps behind him, and he turned around, fists at the ready. "Who the hell is that?" he said, trying to keep his voice down. "Show yourself!" He turned around quickly, and saw a caped figure with a red and white costume. He lowered his fists. "Oh. Well, I assume you're not here to kill me. If you are, then don't try to sneak up on an ex-Marine." Gregory wasn't technically an ex-Marine, but it generally let people know what they were up against. "If you aren't, then greetings! I'm Mad Dog."

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The King of Suits blinked in surprise. He hadn't seen the heavy-set man with the leather jacket until the man had stirred and spoken. I wonder if this is the best way I can operate, he wondered.

Aloud he said, more softly than he usually did, "Hello, I go by the King of Suits. I'm here to try and figure out what's going on in there" he pointed to the factory, which would have been rude if he hadn't used his whole hand to do it. "If you're in this area, might I assume we've a similar goal? I'd be deeply thankful for the help" he was cautiously optimistic of this being a good idea.

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Mad Dog nearly sighed in relief- it was good to have some help. "Yeah, I had heard about the Zoom manufacturing that's been going on there too. I was actually going to run a raid on the place tonight. Yeah, I think if you're up for it, we can work together on this thing." He approached the man, and held out his hand. "I'm glad I'm not the only vigilante who works the late nights around here. Like I said, I'm Mad Dog. How exactly do you make a strategy for a raid like this? I really don't know what to expect, but as you can probably tell, I'm pretty good at making myself not seen."

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"Well Mad Dog" came the crisp, unhurried reply, "I think it would be best for us to sneak into the back door and make absolutely sure of our suspicions before acting on them. What do you think? I'd like to avoid any nasty accidents"

Shaking the other man's hand warmly he glanced over Mad Dog's shoulder at the factory "With that kind of construction my guess is that there'll be a lot of places to just sneak in through the windows. Your thoughts?"

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Mad Dog nodded sagely. "Yeah, it'd be pretty damn awkward if we burst into an abandoned factory that's, you know, still abandoned. I imagine we'll find something, though. So let's mosey on over there, if that'd be good. I think we'll know better when we can have a good look."

-------

The two heroes walked in the pitch black of the night, the moon high above their heads. After about ten minutes or so, they reached the factory. It stood high above them, and sure enough, guards stood at the first floor entrance. The guard's arms were as thick as Christmas hams, and their barrel chests stood out prominently. It was clear that they were no ordinary men.

"Crap! They're either superhuman, or they've got that Max stuff that's been going around. Either way, it won't be as easy as a strong left to the jaw. Any ideas?"

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"Well" offered the King of Suits cautiously "If you're agreeable to it, perhaps I could attack from above them while you provide an aggressive distraction. What I'm thinking of is that you might draw their attention to you, and should they leave their posts to attack you, I'll try to temporarily blind and deafen them with these flash/bangs I have"

A quick look back at the guards confirmed to Marceau their vigilance.

"Should that prove ineffective I could toss a smoke bomb at their feet, and we could then use that respite to ambush them when they try to get out of the smoke" he shrugged a little.

" Of course, that's just thinking about fighting them, which you did say was inadvisable, so I suggest in that vein a distraction done by myself to draw them from their posts while you slip in through a back door or a window or something. We'll hammer out the details after a quick recon if you think either of those might work"

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"Hmm. Well, I'm thinking we try to take out as many of these guys as we can before they notice us. So ninja tactics would probably work for the best. And if they do find us, and they raise the alarm, well, I'm sure we can improvise at that point. As long as we take out the muscleheads standing at the front first, the rest of them should be a piece of cake. Still..."

Mad Dog looked at the roof. "Think you can get up to the roof? It would probably be good to assess what else we've got against us."

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With a flourish, the Kingof Suits drew out his grapple gun and aimed it at the roof of the factory, only to stop and ask "Should we set up a system of signals, so I can let you know what I find without having to come back here and go back and forth? I think it would help speed up the investigation, but your call. Also, it would help to know what precisely I'm looking for"

Out of habit he began to neatly roll his beard through a series of metal rings he took from his fingers under his gloves, watching attentively for Mad Dog's response.

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Mad Dog held out a fist. "Show me your fist if the building is completely empty." A finger extended: his index finger. "One if there's only a few guys." His middle finger stuck out with the index. "Two fingers if we're completely outnumbered." "And, uh. Three if you're being shot at. I didn't think this whole signal system through." He brought his hand back down and slicked back his hair from behind his hockey mask, and grinned behind it. "The simpler, the better though, eh?" He started to adjust his leather jacket, buckling the collar of it. "Oh...how do I look?"

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"Closed fist for empty, one finger for a few, two fingers if we're completely outnumbered, and three if I'm under attack" repeated the King of Suits, carefully aiming the grapple gun at the factory rooftop. At Mad Dog's comment on not having thpught the system through he turned back, saying earnestly "This sort of a situation will probably not require more than a few fingers, so it's not like the crudeness of the signals will really matter. You look great by the way," he added, "very imposing"

With that, the grapple line was launched, and the King shot onto the factory roof, landing lightly in a crouch to keep from making much noise. Creeping over to the nearest skylight, he peered through, trying to make out clearly what lay below him.

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The King of Suits peered down into the factory, and saw about ten men, heavily armed, and two young men wearing suits. They were guarding what appeared to be large white packages- pure Zoom, no doubt. The armed men patrolled the catwalks that were around the second and third stories. They did not notice the King of Suits. One of the men in the suits was talking to the other one, and they both were smoking expensive cigars.

Mad Dog stood on the opposite rooftop, waiting for the King's response.

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Twelve, two of them not obviously dangerous, thought Marceau to himself. He crept to the edge of the roof he had come from and raised his left hand with two fingers upright on it. He then made a beckoning motion to Mad Dog below.

He wondered if he ought to send over his grapple gun..

Shrugging the thought off, he set about searching for access points available to him on the roof, wondering all the while why there were skylights on so many buildings in Freedom. After his quick reconnaissance, he went to the edge of the roof to keep a watch out for Mad Dog in case he had any more orders.

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Mad Dog took a few steps back, and readied himself for the jump. He leapt forward, his strong legs lifting him off the roof. Mad Dog landed neatly, rolling and in moments was dusting his jacket off. So what do we have here, King of Suits?" He peered over, and had a look inside the building.

"Uh, crap. Well, at least the guys with guns won't be too bad. Want to lead, or should I?" he said with a sly grin.

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The King of Suits stepped aside politely from the skylight and began taking a bundle of small pellets from pouches on his belt. "If you'd like, I can jump down there and make a commotion to draw the attention and fire of the fellows below, while you come down after I've drawn their attention and sneak down to secure the fellows in the suits. I'll put down a smoke screen for you when I jump down to cover your entry, sound good to you?" he weighed the pellets in his hand, wondering if he ought to find a better way to fight crime than he currently used.

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Mad Dog nodded. Sounds fine to me, good sir. Whenever you're ready, I'm good to go. I think if we catch the strongmen off guard, I'll be able to get in the advantage I need." Mad Dog tied his hockey mask tighter around his head, and cracked his neck. "Besides, it's been a while since I've been in a good fight. I imagine we'll be able to take 'em. If not, then I have a backup plan. Don't worry, my friend. We'll come out of this alive. Besides, we're superheroes. What are guns to us?"

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Smiling uncomfortably at the "What are guns to us?" declaration, Marceau slid outone of the panels of the skylight and prepared for what increasingly seemed to him a terrible idea. I really ought to hash out the details of..no. Let's get started. A more complicated plan probably wouldn't even function in a situation like this anyway. Turning to Mad Dog he added "Strike from behind if you can, there's no need to fight these fellows head-on after all"

With that he jumped down onto the catwalk below, a thunderous shout coming from the dark figure as he fell: "BEWARE! I HAVE COME FOR YOU!" and the King of Suits threw a smoke bomb at his feet when he landed, a wave of smoke billowing from the catwalk, with only his grim, echoing laughter letting the gunmen know exactly where he was. He was also crouched against the floor, and crawling away to a ventilation shaft while his merriment crashed and boomed through the factory.

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Three of the quicker gunmen fired their heavy submachine guns into the smoke, but their shots evaded the King of Suits. The men shouted orders at the others, and the entire factory began to move at once. The two young men in suits immediately stopped their conversation, and hid in a back room. From the corner of his eye, the King could see them calling someone. The fight was on, and the men clicked ammunition into their guns.

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Just outside the factory, two heavily muscled men were guarding the wrought-iron entrance. Mad Dog attached the grappling cable at the top of the building, and slowly slid down. As he hit the ground, one of them men turned around. "Who the hell are you?" Mad Dog thrust his fist forward, but the man dodged the blow, and returned with a powerful punch. Mad Dog ducked the blow, and his fist left a huge dent in the door.

"Woah, looks like you've been eating your spinach!" he said, hiding the fact that sweat was pouring down his brow.

"Shut up, you leather freak. We're gonna show you new worlds of pain."

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Ducking against the cold metal of the catwalk, Marceau crept forward as the bullets whizzed past him, burying themselves in the walls, ricocheting dangerously near the firing enforcers and bouncing off to the ground below. The few that clanged and rang with deathly knells against the hard walkway however, were a more immediate worry to the King. While he could concievably keep in the same general area and keep the gunmen firing at the smoking mass, he was all too aware that his present state allowed no cover and had no tactical viability. Thus, he took a deep breath and began again his deep and monstrous laughter, aiming to keep the men shooting in vain at where they believed him to be while he crawled into a ventilation shaft he had seen nearby when he landed. His plan was that once within that place he could rapidly drop to the ground level and get at the Zoom packages through the thugs, his grapple gun featuring heavily in the equation.

he wondered desperately what had happened to Mad Dog, as he had heard the dull 'whunk' of the heavyweighter's strike against the wall outside. "With any luck, he won't have to worry about the pack of meatheads with guns when he gets in" he muttered to himself, forcing his head clear and his senses alert as he went quickly for the grate.

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The men paused for a moment, looking around. "Where the hell did he go?" One of them asked. One of the men in the suits grabbed a microphone, and shouted into it "I don't care if he's hidden. This whole operation might sink if you morons don't find him. Now look for him!" The gunmen spread out, holding their heavy submachine guns at their sides. The stealthy King was safely hidden, for now. The ventilation shaft he was in led down safely to the bottom stories.

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One of the strong men cracked his ham-sized knuckles. "We're gonna take off your head and use it to scrub our toilets. You don't know who yer messin with." The other one chuckled in a deep rumbling voice, and cracked his neck.

"Please, don't flatter yourself. I think you're the one who doesn't know who they're messing with. Ah, the cops have arrived." The strong men turned around. "Wha? Where?" and as they turned back, Mad Dog had seemingly vanished into thin air. The men looked at each other in unison. "Uh-oh." the second one said.

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Dropping down the ventilation shaft and landing neatly on his feet, Marceau took in at a glance where the armed thugs had placed themselves, and instantly took two boomerangs from their sleeves in the underside of his cape which he flung at the forearms of the two thugs closest to him, grumbling slightly at the one flung from his right hand, which sailed neatly over the limb he had intended to strike.

He sprang out of the shaft, met by a hail of gunfire that completely missed him due to equal parts luck, the rattled nerves of the gunmen, and the King of Suit's own agility.

Jumping behind a support pillar, he drew out two other boomerangs and, jumping out and aiming at the heads of the gunmen, let them fly.

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By sheer chance, the gunmen managed to duck out of the way of the flying boomerangs, and the room returned fire on the King of Suits. The men were notably shaken, and they knew they were probably going down. The men in the room shouted to them from the PA system. "Why isn't he dead yet?!"

Mad Dog leapt in a predatory way out of the shadows, and his flying kick collided with the head of one of the strongmen. He held his head and staggered back, his ear puffed up and bleeding. "Goddamn this bastard hits hard." he said, standing back a little bit. His friend screamed a battle cry and launched his earth-shattering fist at him, but Mad Dog nimbly dodged out of the way. "Really, guys. The only person you're hurting is yourself."

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The King of Suits felt the impact of one of the gunmen's bullets slam into his shoulder. Staggered, he nonetheless managed to get to cover behind some support pillars holding a particularly confusing array of catwalks above the floor.

As he dove to cover, he let fly with a boomerang, though he knew even as it left his fingers that it was unlikely to hit anyone. He trusted it would at least be another thing the gunmen had to be wary of.

Meanwhile, the boomerangs he had flung seconds before came spiraling back towards the gunmen that had just managed to avoid them.

As he heard the shots ringing around him, one thought came back into his mind time after time as he contemplated what he needed to do: what's happening with Mad Dog?

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The two boomerangs spun back around, and the two thugs looked behind them a moment too late. The speedy projectiles hit the back of their heads, and they were immediately out cold, falling on the steel catwalks. Frantically running around, the gunman whom the King disarmed was searching for his weapon. The last three, still determined to kill the King of Suits, opened fire, although they knew there wouldn't be much of a chance against an opponent like him.

Mad Dog leapt at the injured strongman, his gloved fist speeding towards him. He managed to dodge out of the way at the last moment, leaving Mad Dog open to an attack by his friend. "Stop moving around, asshole!" he said as he whiffed his punch. Mad Dog saw the punch coming a mile away and threw up an imaginary red cape. "Ole, toro!"

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