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Raveled

Shark Week: Ghost Sharks! (IC)

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"Not now or ever!" added El Heraldo, bursting out of the mystic bonds with an explosion of mingled green and yellow light, rising to his feet, catching up the Banner and hurling himself into the now stumbling and unfocused sorcerer of the Serpent People, striking the vicious mage with his shoulder like a flying, patriotic battering ram!

Rebounding from his foe and skidding to a halt on the floor, the powerfully-built teen doffed his feathered hat and bowed to Glow with a sprightly flourish, "If you would do the honors, Glow!"

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"How could I possibly say no?" Glow quipped as Heraldo set her the task of landing a final blow (with considerable flourish). There were no outlandish acrobatics or feints as she sized up the villain, the room filling with eerie green reflections as she gathered her power.

With Iapetus still staggering from the impact of Heraldo's shoulder he made a perfect target, and a powerful surge of mental energy caught him squarely in the chest as Glow unleashed her attack.

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Iapetus reeled back from the repeated blows, bleeding from cuts in his under-robes. He held up his scaly arms to shield his head, cowering back from the assault. "Hssss. Ssstop! I... I sssurender." He ground his teeth together, spitting out the words. "You may have driven off my companion, you may have defeated me thisss day... but you ssshall sssee. You may have the children today, but blood will out. One day... they will return to usss, of their own free will!"

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"Maybe, but it will be with a new light in their eyes, a knowledge that a world beyond the dark abyss, above the bitter gnawing at old wounds and slinking in the mud that you would chain them to, exists. They won't bow to you or be cowed so easily as their brethren have been, they'll carry the light of Freedom back home, if they ever decide of their own free will to return to their kin. Swear you will leave Todd Hayden and everyone else who were your agents be for the rest of their days, and get you gone from here!" Heraldo demanded, pointing imperiously at the Serpent Man magician, his Banner fluttering in a nonexistent breeze with all magnificence. Turning to Glow he added more quietly "Great job, Glow! Sorry for dropping the ball back there in the tank, and for being so short with you." he whisked around and glared at Iapetus "Swear it, begone, and never return if you value your life!"

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Glow did a double-take at Heraldo. "You want to let him go? What are you nuts?" she asked, giving her friend a bit of a strange look. "No way, they don't get to assault the city and get away with it that easily!"

She turned on the sorcerer. "But he's right, if the young ones want to return once they're old enough to make their own decisions so be it. But that'll be their call, not yours. You'll probably be in jail still."

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That was a troublingly good point.

"I think it would be best to let him leave. If we let him go, he'll at least be mad at us" Heraldo explained quickly to Glow "If we imprison him we'll get the Serpent People mad at everyone in the city. Well, even more. Besides, if we pants this goon they'll probably send another even tougher guy for revenge" he glared at the sorcerer "but if we let you go, you'll only come back to avenge yourself personally."

He shrugged "But you are right: he's done a great deal of evil, and ought to be punished for it. I think he should be let go so he can clear his scum out of Freedom City and go back to his people, suffer their shame at such a spectacular failure. I'll call the police to come get these guys since you don't think that's such a good idea." he said, darting up into the air and flying off for where he had last seen a payphone, discreetly checking the change he had in his pocket and sighing in quiet relief that he had enough.

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The hero of Puerto Rico made the call and soon the police arrived with their specially prepared vehicles. Iapetus and the remaining cloned soldiers were easily herded up and locked away, carted off to Blackstone and points incarcerated. Once the dust cleared the two Claremonters were left alone, as the light slowly drained from the sky. Somewhere Tethys was no doubt slipping back into the water and paddling off, but for now it was quiet. They could sit and relax, drink in their success, and pointedly not think about the paper they needed to write on their trip to the Aquarium.

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