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Your Day In Court [IC]

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Freedom City Municipal Courthouse

November 2, 2013

10:32 PM


Technically speaking, Joe Macayle was out today to deal with jury duty. His bosses were understanding, especially when he presented the form to them. Of course, they hadn't stopped to check to see how specific the form was. And while Joe was at the courthouse today, it wasn't to be in the jury box. 


Instead, he was in costume, waiting on one of the benches outside of the main rooms. Cannonade, as the DA's office knew him, had been called to testify. He was a bit familiar with the process by now - his first big incident on the streets had resulted in him being called back to court six months later, to offer testimony that helped to put Mister Motley behind bars. This time, however, the trial had been accelerated. Cannonade didn't need a law degree to know a case like this didn't usually go to trial in three months. Given everything that was going on, the defense would likely want to take all the time in the world to prepare their case.


He scanned the court room, waiting for the others to show up. He knew he wasn't the only one called to trial...

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Lucy still had a little thrill whenever she entered a courthouse it was the one place where she felt completely at home.Even though she enjoyed being a hero she wished she could spend more time here, doing the job that got her here on the first place. She had represented people here, but nowhere near enough or the kind of cases she’d always wanted to do.

And she looked in some way’s like a lawyer, her suit’s cut might be a little out of date but it fitted in quite well with everyone else here. In fact the only thing that marked her out as in anyway unusual were the dark pit’s of her eyes.


She gave Cannonade a bright smile of recognition as she took her seat.

Edited by TiffanyKorta
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The Hound had scrubbed, or scruffed up, as best he could. He had combed his air, put on a sensible tie and shirt, and shaved. He had done the best he could, which meant he looked clean and less rumpled than normal. 


The Mess was never going to fit into polite society, and given his short squat frame, finding clothes that fitted him was generally futile. There was no such thing as a shirt for a 5' man with a chest size nearly as wide and arms as thick as a leg. So, he had to do with a pullover and slacks. 


"Look, it ain't disprectin' the court or nuthin'" he said, red faced and apologetic. "I just ain't got the threads. I mean the clothes. I can't afford no fancy tailor" he said to the officials. Of course, scruffy as he was, there was no reply to that - it was the truth. 


He still smarted from the situation as he sat down beside his partner. 


"Damn fancy pen pushers and their damn fancy ties" he muttered under his breath. 

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As much as Erick was inclined to want to wear business attire to a court date, it would have been awkward to put it on over the armored layers of his costume.  Which led to him appearing in full costume, sans weaponry, preferring not one to sacrifice personal security for appearances sake.  Despite the decision, he could feel the inner socialite in himself protesting the entire way.


Giving a slight wave towards the others, Foreshadow elected to stand when he walked by.   The costumed investigator knew the moment he sat down he would begin frantically tapping his feet.  Normally opting to not testify this would be Foreshadow's first court date, at least in uniform.  The last time Erick stepped foot into the courthouse it was to testify against the arsonist that burned his old life away.  


Looking around at the more formally dressed witnesses he couldn't help but consider if leaving behind the suit was the right decision.  Hopefully juries loved capes half as much as he did.

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Cannonade gave a wave to Foreshadow and the others as they all came together. Before anyone could really strike up much conversation, however, two other, familiar presences joined the group - Prosecutor Waterston, with steel-gray hair and a look that said he'd been doing this for decades, and 1st Assistant Prosecutor Hennessey, who walked behind with utter confidence. They'd prepped the others for testimony several times over, but even then, they looked a bit dissatisfied. 


"We aim to get at least one of you on the stand today," said Waterston. "Depending on the length of questioning from the defense, we might be able to get all of you on."


"Hey," said Cannonade. "Not the first time at the rodeo. Though this is the first time I was told I can't call the creep by his name..." 


Hennessey shook her head. "Hangman claims he's covered under Ingersoll," she said. "That he was doing a public service to the community as an actor outside of the state, and thus, has protection of identity."


"What?" Cannonade didn't fully parse the legalese, but he knew enough to know that was the same law that allowed him to testify without giving his real name. "Who the hell thought that was a good idea?" 


"Judge Wolf thought it would be a grand idea to establish new case law," said Waterston, "and to, while he was at it, clear up the ambiguities left over from the Moore Act and bring the three-ring circus to town." 

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"Lovely, we get to be the test run case to establish precedent.  No pressure.  Still, the idea of clearing through the mud of Moore sounds like a step in a positive direction."  Not that the words step in a positive direction or Moore act often found themselves paired together.  Unless one was a lawyer invested in cases related to property crimes.  Although Erick suspected the real estate market most likely profited as well.  He did have to wonder how this conversation would have gone then.  If but for the grace of a law they'd all be considered just as guilty as the man they were trying to put away.  If not moreso.
"Is there anything we should be expecting that we don't know about the case.  Not to be stickler since I've never stood behind the stand.  But it would suck if all this prep work was moot because the other side manipulated things to make the bad guy come out favorably."  Not that 'bad guy' would be a technical term by any means.  But the costumed investigator wasn't about to adopt legal jargon into his conversational repertoire.  It made the job feel way too stiff.

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The Hound scratched his unshaven jaw, wishing he had remembered to drag a blunt razor over it, as was his habit once or twice a week. He had an urge for caffeine and nicotine, but could sate neither. 


"What a crock" he muttered, more audibly this time. "Look, I don't like standing up in court. Heck, I don't like standing up, full stop. Ducking is more my style. It helps avoid bullets. Or streaming bolts of plasma, or lightning bolts. Whatever supervillians like throwing about in Freedom City. As if bullets weren't bad enough..." he shuddered. He had been shot once or twice, and didn't much like the experience.


"So I gotta gets up there and show my ugly mug for the world, as a P.I, whilst Mr. Evil gets to hide behind a mask. That's just real special, that is!" he complained. 


"Don't worry, I gots yer back!" chuckled the Mess at his partners distress. 


"We gets to put away the bad guy, end of story!" he concluded, slamming one bludgeon fist into a spade like palm of his other hand. 

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Lucy was in her element with all this talk of legal process, whilst she often helped people out with cases in court she hadn’t tried a case of this size. She had been reading up on Superhuman law but so much had been added since she had helped found the whole thing.

“I thought defendant’s couldn’t be tried without revealing their identity? Unless they use Moore’s vigilante law but doesn’t that mean that they admit some ampunt of guilt. Especially as they were usually enacted in absentia...“

She gave a grin and a little shrug


“Sorry I used to do this for a living, you could say I helped write the book on all this. I promise not try a second guess you, I’m not going to try and take over your job.â€

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"Ingersoll was designed to have exceptions for prosecution," said Hennessey. "The problem is that, thanks to the Moore Era, there are a lot of unexploded landmines when it comes to what 'fault' means. Moore had enough judges in his pocket that vengeful prosecution was a growth industry."


"FORCE Ops was one of the few interests in town in those days," said Waterston. "I was a law clerk when word came in that Archer had been brought in for questioning. Every phone rang off the hook for two hours straight as Moore tried to find someone with the balls to try the whole team under RICO. Aggravated assault, breaking and entering, racketeering, manslaughter -- I'm surprised they didn't get charge with loitering. He beat the charges, and no one wanted to try one of Moore's 'social experiments' again, but it still left an impact."


"Yeah, but there's gotta be a difference between that and murder," said Cannonade. "So we've gotta deal with this because the mayor was an asshole thirty years ago?"


"Welcome to life under precedent." Waterston looked at Cannonade. "And I believe you're up first. Remember, even if you speak in the heat of the moment --'


"Yeah, yeah, I know, it'll be excluded. Guess I just gotta watch my tongue..."

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Transcript from The State of New Jersey v. Hangman:


CANNONADE, called as a witness on behalf of the State, testifies as follows:



Q: Directing your attention to the evening of August 2nd, 2013. What were you doing then?

A: I was on patrol. Kinda my usual Friday night thing, if there's nothing good on.

Q: Do you commonly pass by Andreyko Street?

A: It's one of my stops. You get a good view of the river some nights. 

Q: Were you keeping a watch on 163 Andreyko Street?

A: Nah, it was a quiet place. There was talk of some activity in the area, but it usually stayed on the streets. Not in the buildings. 

Q: Describe for the court what you witnessed. 

A: I was taking a moment to myself when I heard the glass breaking. I went towards the trouble and found Mr. Alvarez hanging out of the building by a part you really don't wanna be hanging by. 

Q: Did you see anyone leaving the scene?

A: Yeah, a guy in a cloak and a death's head mask. Hangman.

Q: Do you see the individual you call Hangman?

A: Yeah, he's right next to his attorney. (Indicating)

MS. WALTERS: The record can indicate that he identified my client as Hangman. 

THE COURT: So noted.

Q: You're certain the man at the table is the individual known as Hangman?

A: Those costumes don't come mass order, do they? We all got a good look at him - me, Revenant, Foreshadow, Bloody Mess, The Hound... bet Alvarez was surprised, though. You think you know a guy --

MS. WALTERS: Objection, move to strike. 

THE COURT: Sustained. The jury will disregard that last statement. Mr. Waterston, make sure your witness is reminded of the conditions of this trial.

Q: You're certain that it was Hangman who put Mr. Alvarez's life at risk?

A: He was fleeing the scene seconds after it all went down. And hey, with a name like that, who else is gonna use that gimmick?

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Andreyko Street

August 2nd, 2013

9:06 PM


It was fairly cool in this part of City Center. The breeze from the river helped to cut through the hazy night air, bringing down the temperature by a few degrees. Cannonade usually made sure to patrol areas like this in the summer months. That was one of the perils as wearing a jacket as part of your costume. He'd tried out an Atomweave model a few months back, but that had somehow been heavier. Something about layering the materials to make it look like an actual flight jacket. 


Below, it was just another Friday night, which was something Cannonade could get used to. Friends and couples walked the street below, sharing casual conversation and enjoying another night on the town. While Cannonade's nighttime hobby was far from normal, it was good to look down and see the people of Freedom take advantage of something nice and simple.


Of course, that was when the glass broke and the screaming started. 


Cannonade landed on the street, trying to scan for the source of distress. He found it quickly - a tattooed man, dressed in jeans and an A-shirt, was hanging from a broken window, a noose around his neck. His hands were clutching around the noose - he was still alive. But if that rope didn't get off him, it wouldn't be for long...

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Freddy "Bloody Mess" Furlong and Harry "The Hound" Hound were driving in the beat up old chevvy that somehow, despite the knocks and age, defied time and rust to keep on moving. 


They had just seen a pretty awful B Movie. 


"The Gunbusters II?" spluttered the Hound, clenching the wheel of the Chevvy in vexation. "What a waste of my hard earned dollars! Where do they dig up this screen writers? I could drag a monkey off a street and get him to type a better script? What the hell do these guys do? Snort a barrel load of cocaine, throw some random cool words into a hat and pull them out? Nazis? Aliens? Buddy Cops?" he shouted to the world. 


"And where the hell do these actor's come from? I have seen sawmills that are less wooden..." he seethed. 


"Relax, buddy" said the Mess, sucking on a magnificently huge bucket of coke and straw that was almost a tall as he was. 


"It's just good old fashioned action" he explained with a shrug and a smile. 


"Action? Action?" replied the Mess full of indignation. 


"If I wanted action, I would..."


They were interrupted by the screams as the handing man swung into view from the street. 


The Mess through his coke out of the window. 


"Get a load of this..." he said, clenching his teeth in concern and excitement, and answering his partner's question. 

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Foreshadow was jumping from rooftop to rooftop gleefully taking in the night air.  Every leap felt more freeing than the last.  It was rare the opportunity came about that he could truly just enjoy himself with an acrobatic run through the city.  The Fens, no the Southside in General always had more than enough matters calling for his attention.  In fact there were probably at least three possible low end operations that he knew of going on this very night.  But they would all have to wait.  He was in the middle of appreciating the city's beauty as only someone sprawling through the urban playground could.


Or at least that was the plan.  Until he heard that piercing scream ending all notions of continuing the parkour laden stroll.  Diving for lower ground, Foreshadow descended safely with the assistance of his grappling line.  His head frantically scanning the area to try and get a better view of where the source of the commotion was.  Before settling on the unforgettable image of the man struggling with a noose around his neck.


It was certainly cause for concern to say the least.

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Unlike a lot of Superheroes Lucy never bother to keep to a set patrol route. She liked to wander the city at random enjoying the different architecture and cultures. It did mean she also saw some of the seedier parts of the city, but where she could she tried to make thing better. Many gang’s in the city knew better than to try and tangle with a single white woman wandering the city seeming oblivious to what was going on around her.


That said she was actually in this part of the city to catch up with friend’s. Lucky they knew what she did so they would understand why she was going to be late.

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"That guy's gonna croak!" muttered the Mess, sticking his head out of the beat up Chevvy. 


"I gotta get up there...." he said to the Harry, cracking his neck and sucking in his stomach. 


"Oh God no...I hate this...I can't look...." whispered the Hound, putting a hand over his eyes. But despite his protestations, he peeled apart two fingers and watched anyway. 


It was the kind of thing you had to look at, even if it spun your stomach. 


The Mess started dribbling blood from his mouth, and slowly sucking his body in, faster, faster. His skin crinkled and withered away, his short squat form shrivelled until it looked like some horrible desiccated corpse. 


And the blood was vomited into his mouth. Forming a small, two foot high simulacrum of Harry, just made out of, and only out of, his supercharged blood. 


"Hey, you should try doing it" he shrugged. 

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It didn’t take long to Lucy to arrive at the scene of all the kerfuffle. Nor did it take long for her determine that someone was in serious trouble and needed help right now. Without thinking of her own health she rushed towards the building throwing herself up towards the hanging man. With her undead muscles it wasn’t any trouble to get the height needed. More troubling was the getting a solid enough handhold to be in any position to be able to help the man. She tried to dig her fingers into the building to try and get a solid enough hold.

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Erick was quick to act.  Sprinting towards where he macabre view of the man hanging overhead.  Of course his first instinct was to run towards the person in need.  Self-preservation had long since been scrubbed away from his natural reactions.  With the grapnel gun grasped tightly in hand Foreshadow would take close aim towards the building.  Hoping to scale the distance before it was too late.  At the very least it provided the opportunity to try and catch him if the noose didn't hold.  Although it was a pretty odd concept to picture a noose not holding being the positive in a situation so high up.

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"Goddamit to hell...another sucker with an empty wallet needing a helping hand..." cursed the Hound, who craned his neck to look up at the action. 


From the looks of him swinging from a rope, he could really do with a helping hand. Literally. He thought to himself, his irritation fading under the cold horror of the sight. 


He ducked down behind the wheel, and in an instant, was replaced by the mongrel shaggy dog that often lurked around the agency. 


"Woof bloody woof" he said in his gutteral human voice. 


He leapt out of the window, barking ferociously, to run to the building. 

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Cannonade was running for the roof when he saw someone burst from the rooftop access door of the man's building. He looked like trouble - clad in a thick black cloak, with a stocking over his face and a hempen rope bound around black pants. The strange man locked eyes with Cannonade before turning and running. 


Gee, wonder if he's involved? He ran, aiming to clear the roof and catch up with the strange man - but before he could, the man had the rope off of his waist and in his hands. He latched it onto an antenna on a building across the street, leapt from the apartment building, and... was gone. There was a blur of motion, swift as the wind, and he was gone from sight. As if he'd swung all the way out of reality. 


Son of a... Cannonade looked out on the city. He could have given what would likely be futile chase... or he could try and save the guy's life. He knew what choice to make. He dropped down off the roof, landing perfectly on the ledge next to the hanging man. It was starting to get crowded down there, but he figured he could lend a hand. He tried to get the leverage for a strike, then brought his hand down on the rope with a karate-like chop --


-- only to feel it bounce off. Whatever had been done to the rope, it was harder than steel. And the man was still wrestling against it, trying to get any air he could...

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Leaving a trail of blood behind him, the Mess slithered into action - moving at a remarkable pace, the little creature oozed on the sidewalk, and up the side of the building. 


"I got ya, mister!" he blubbered through bloody lips. 


Out of the corner of his eye, he spied the runner. 


Looks like a guilty man to me. Damn Perp - but I gotta save this guy...


The man was whipping away at a blistering speed. He would be hard to catch, even if he had the time and the energy. 


Reaching the struggling man, he leant out to take the weight off the man. Even in his dimunitive state, Bloody Mess was pretty strong. Of course, he was also messy...the mans legs oozed into Bloody Mess', and soon he was splattered with flecks of super powered blood!

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Once she made sure that she was secure in her position she dug her feet in and risked freeing a hand. She had planned to take the slack off of the rope and by the victim a some time, but the sudden arrival of Fred had provided the man some breathing room.

“Fancy meeting you here, did you enjoy the motion picture you and Harry went to see?â€

As she spoke she had an eye on the rope around his neck, it didn’t seem to be entirely natural in it’s behaviour.

“Try to keep him still I’m going to try and remove the rope.â€


She then tried to get her finger’s around the rope to hopefully remove the rope from around his neck.

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  • 2 weeks later...

"Gunbusters 2? It was awesome" grinned the Mess, his bloody lips curving into a grin as he recalled the ridiculous cheap knock off they had seen. 


"No it was a piece of..." woofed up the Hound from the street. He sholuldn't have heard at that distance. But some things just demanded to be heard. 


"Woof Woof, I'm a dog!" he snapped at curious bystanders, before shoving his nose to the air and inhaling deeply. Whoever, or whatever, the hangman was, he had shot off at some almighty speed, but with a bit of luck, he might have a scent...

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Foreshadow had finished silently scaling the building and promptly pulled out a miniature torch from a side holster on his person.  He took a moment to confirm that the rope itself was doing the choking.  Although he got a full enough view on his way up, it was still a weird enough concept to warrant a stare before firing up the miniature cutting torch.  The sound of the flame bursting forth was pre-empted by Erick inserting himself to the ongoing conversation with the other heroes on sight figuring it was an ice breaker and skipping the outright introductions.  "Well Gunbusters 2's production values are quite awful.  And the movie is as generic as can be.  But who goes into that sort of film expecting an instant classic?  Nice mindless entertainment that was worth the price of admission at least.  Saw it twice actually."  Foreshadow then prepared himself to try and weaken the tether enough to do his part in aiding in the rescue process.  The flames striking away at the rope but not burning nearly as effectively enough as he had expected.

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"Damn straight" replied the Mess with a bloody grin oozing from his bloody lips. If the wobbly congealed mass of blood he had become had anything that could be defined as lips. 


He grimaced inside. He should really look after this bozo...but...


But the Hangman was getting away...


That was wrong. A killer like that needed to be put down, and put away. 


And these bozo's looked like they could cut the man down. 


"I'm not letting that guy get away with it...." he shouted to the world, his mouth following unbidden where his slow brain had worked. 


"Or there will be more bodies hanging from rooftops!" he yelled, as his bloody form boiled and fizzed, exploding with energy. 


And then he was off! Bounding, leaping, and running, across buildings, rooftops, and the street, leaving a splodgy trail of blood behind him. 

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Now that Lucy had her hand’s upon the offending rope she could tell that it was somehow magically animated. Which made thing’s a lot more challenging if not impossible. Right now the main focus was to try and save the man from the rope.


Now that she had a grasp of the rope, despite it’s best effort’s, she possessed the best option to free the man. All she had to do now was pull the rope hard enough that it would break, though she had to be careful not to harm the man himself. The other heroes around her made this much easier, she didn't have to worry about the man falling.

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