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Cutting off the Supply (IC)


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Friday, November 15th, 2013

Southside

10:32 PM

The cool November air felt like an early greeting from the forthcoming winter. The waxing gibbous moon overlooking the dark sky was difficult to make out under the cover of a menagerie of thick clouds. If the effulgent lights reflecting from the casinos and various businesses North of the banks of the South River were a symbol of change and prosperity. Then the rigid buildings that have supported multiple generations of families South of that very same river represented perseverance and longevity like nowhere else.

Only in the Southside did wealth and poverty truly find themselves standing side by side. With many of the area's affluent neighborhoods paired with those neighborhoods unfortunate to be stricken with rampant crime and misfortune. Outwardly one could be excused for thinking the Southside hasn't changed at all in decades. The mob's influence was as strong as ever, and the perpetual corruption continued to counteract any efforts to improve the situation. But the denizens of the Southside knew better. The heroic efforts of costumed crimefighters who patrolled the area continued to make their streets safer every day providing a magnitude of comfort for those who needed it. And fear for those who needed that even more.

Rumours of a new underground designer drug operation had been brewing in the air for days now.  There has even been talk of shipments leaving Port Regal for international waters.  The distribution has led to increased gang activity as of late with talk of the occasional group of thugs loading up and starting a commotion in unsuspecting areas of the community.  Despite all the publicity not a single trace of the source of the drugs distribution could be found.  The situation was slowly turning the district into a volatile hotbed for crime and chaos, more so than usual.  

Edited by HG Morrison
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Foreshadow's rooftop patrol was leading the former gymnast through all his usual haunts when looking for trouble.  By his account it had been a quiet night and if the Southside was actually a quiet part of the city Erick might have actually considered this a good sign for things to come.  As it were the situation left Erick more than a little wary especially with all the talk as of late of things being so tense.  If there were more quiet nights he wouldn't have had to suit up in the first place.  Aside from the fact that flying through the urban jungle and beating up wrongdoers was also quite fun.  

 

Perched over a solemn rooftop Foreshadow's blue eyes narrowed as they scanned the landscape below.  Hoping to luck out and catch sight of something worth looking into.  Not that Foreshadow was hoping anyone was in actual danger, that'd be horrible of course.  But he knew better than to let criminal gossip idle for too long.  With every passing second already leaving the impression of a missed eternity for the costumed acrobat.

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The world was an immensely enormous place. Of course, during his two years as a student in Claremont Academy, Serge had his fair share of learning just how much that was true. But ever since he graduated, it felt to him as if the world had suddenly expanded to exponential proportions, and a feeling of directionlessness had been haunting him for the better part of the summer. Still, his grades in physics, mathematics, and computer science were plenty more than high enough to warrant him an entrance in the Hanover Institute of Technology, so at least, he had a general idea of where to go to from now on, in regards to his civilian life, at least.

 

As for his superhero carreer, he was currently having his hands full patrolling the streets of Southside. Word on the street did not paint a pretty picture for the area, as aside from the obvious dangers of rampant drug trade, it appeared as things were progressingly deteriorating to a full-blown gang war. Needless to say, such a threat took high priority, and Net Fly was one of the many heroes who had taken the call and pulled double-shifts in Southside. Serge, of course, was unsure where to begin searching, but he knew that if you look hard enough, you are bound to find yourself a head or two that need bashing.

 

Landing on the rooftop of a building near Letterman and Adams, the young hero inspected the area from atop, anxiously gripping his fists, in equal parts of anticipation and fear. Oh, man, it's been five days, and still no sign of criminal activity? There's no way that not even a random theft wouldn't have occured by now... If I didn't know any better, I could have sworn that any criminal element this part of the city may have had, somehow saw the error of its ways and decided to turn a new leaf...

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A harsh shimmer in the alley's chill air was the sole warning before the man appeared. A swift gust of air blew around him, lifting his brown-white cape and several loose pieces of nearby trash for a moment, before settling. He raised his cowled head, sniffing the air and grimacing "Geh, that's some flavour all right. 'Least it ain't as bad as it could be. Could be home." he murmured, sliding yellow-lensed goggles into place and checking the note in his free left hand for a second before setting off down the alley, his bi-coloured costume blending oddly with the stark yellow light of the street lamps and dull gray of concrete.

 

Osprey had first stumbled onto the source of the mysterious smuggling ring a little over a week back. 'At least its source country, city and district, which is still a fair bit of ground' he reminded himself dourly, bypassing a small huddle of Freedonians getting home late via a studied use of his grapple gun and its application to a nearby roof ledge. Alden Richards had heard that Americans welcomed their super-powered guardians as warmly as the French did, but wasn't keen on trying his luck with that tonight. Pausing to get an idea of the unfamiliar city's layout, his lips twitched upwards unbidden as he remembered how easily the smugglers had panicked when he had mentioned, so casually it had almost sounded like an afterthought, that he "could always take you to Synapse..."

 

Vanguard's mentalist was a known quantity by now, and the thought of a psionic sifting through their very souls had the desired effect. 'Quite a few perks to being on a team, really.' Osprey mused as he took off at a brisk run in the direction his note had given him 'I've got mates who can help out when I'm stuck, get us places we couldn't go alone and it lets you tackle even bigger cases than you'd dream of elsewise.' The teleportation device they'd managed to get working again was also handy. There were times you didn't want to bother the others, small stuff like this for instance. A spot of international drug smuggling, nothing to get excited about. His boots scraped noisily on the last roof ledge and nearly made him swallow his tongue, but all was quiet, and he rappelled down to watch the streets below with eyes that pierced every shadow.

 

 

 

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The sound of glass shattering in the distance was unmistakable to all three of the males following up their respective investigations in the area.  It was soon followed by an ear shattering scream signifying someone was in trouble.  Nearby, just a short distance from the location of each of the heroes, a small mom and pop gas station was being robbed by three muscular men.  The elderly attendant was currently hunched over in fear as the largest robber was pointing his index finger at him extending the digit as if it were the muzzle of a firearm.  The other two robbers were busy barking commands to the frazzled attendant whom could barely concentrate enough to acknowledge the words being yelled to him.

 

Robberies of course weren't a rare sight for the area.  But it should be noted that the thieves had a very unusual demeanor about them.  Each breathing heavily the condensation visible under the cool night air.  Their eyes were visibly bloodshot even from the distance.  Although the Net Fly, Foreshadow, and Osprey approached the area from different directions it wasn't long before they all found themselves overlooking the crime in progress.

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Contrary to his first impulse, Osprey didn't stiffen when he saw the robbery, though the scream did freeze him for a perilous moment, instead he moved to oppose it. 'Got to stop them, get their attention and catch the bastards off-guard!' he thought, dashing across the street while reaching for the slender wires he carried in his belt, weighted at both ends like the bolas he had seen in innumerable old movies.

 

Leaping through the doorway, he shouted "Got you, ya bug-eyed sod!" as he let fly, which seemed to have the effect he'd been hoping! The man started but only looked up, and the mass of wires flashed as they started to tie him like a whirring spiderweb.

 

Dropping into a ready stance, Alden prepared himself for...whatever was about to happen. Most likely a fight. "Come and get me!" he shouted in brazen challenge, though internally he hoped they spooked first.

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Net Fly rushed at the scene taking place in the gas station, as soon as he was alerted to it. He opted to survey the situation first from up high, and make sure he knew what he was up against. From above, it was evident that the robbers meant business. Their lack of firearms did not puzzle him, and the fear their captives displayed while being held at, well, pointer finger-point, spoke volumes of the situation at hand; they saw something that had frightened them to submission. Deciding that he had seen enough, he flew with force heading straight towards the robber who was holding the elderly attendant, when, during midflight, he witnessed Osprey leaping into action at the same time. "Wha-" he mouthed just under his breath, midflight, unsure at first if the costumed man was a fellow hero or the robbers' associate/boss. Yeah, what are the odds of two random superheroes answering the same call... he thought, until he witnessed Osprey taunt the robbers. ... Riiight, Freedom City, of course! he mentally facepalmed himself for his own dismissiveness, and continued charging at the lone robber with full haste. "Don't mind if I get them first, friend." he told Osprey.

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Foreshadow leapt from the edge of the roof catching hold of lamppost and performing an acrobatic swing to land on the ground before making his way for the door.  There were two other capes simultaneously on the scene.  As much as Erick didn't mind playing with others he hadn't planned to immediately rule out reaching for his flash bangs to enter the fray.  This sounds like the set up to a bad mob joke.  How many cowl wearers does it take to stop a robbery?  Fine I'll bite, how's this for a punch line?  Pulling out a series of throwing discs from his utility belt, Foreshadow would release a volley towards one of the robbers in the rear of the one whom had drawn the attention of the other two heroes.  "So this is new.  The whole numbers not stacked against us starting out thing."

 

Foreshadow grinned as he prepared himself for whatever retaliation the crooks gave.  If they ran, they wouldn't get far.  If they fought they wouldn't last long.  Either way the sooner they helped out the scared shop owners the better.  The moment he caught sight of the elderly man's frightened reaction to an empty finger Foreshadow new better than to expect there not to be at least some surprise going into this.  Yet even with that the man who could see the future was still caught off guard by hitting the scene at the same time as the other two.

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The robber holding the attendant at fingerpoint found his arms suddenly and very forcefully bound tightly to his torso.  Try as he might he couldn't make any progress on freeing himself.  Not that it would be of concern for much longer as he found himself assaulted by Net Fly's relentless assault.  The first blow glanced by and even though the robber was still standing it was obvious his knees were buckling.  Then came the second and the third.  Eventually it was just a blur of fist until the tied up robber was brought to the ground.  His eyes rolling to the back of his head as he was knocked out cold.

 

Meanwhile the throwing discs released by Foreshadow found their target.  Unfortunately the sight of his partner in crime being taken out of the fight had given the second robber enough time to brace himself against the impact.  Using a nearby shelf as leverage as the metallic eye shaped discs slammed into his body.  His clothing suffered the worst of it, but all in all the robber was still completely unharmed.

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Seeing the two combat-ready heroes enter the fray with him, Net Fly relaxed his hands. He once again shot, this time, heading towards the two robbers who were left standing. Instead of bashing their heads in, however, he slipped by them, getting the frazzled attendant they were pestering up to this moment. "Sorry, sir." Grabbing him with a tackle, he shot towards the wall, bouncing with his feet off of it, and flying away from the station. "Civilian safety first." He explained to Osprey and Foreshadow. "Hope you two don't mind. I'll be back in a sec." With that, the grey costumed hero made his way towards a nearby rooftop. Letting the man down on the rooftop, he said, matter-o-factly. "Apologies for the inconvenience, sir. I'll make sure your coworker gets out unharmed as well. Feel free to call the police, in the meantime." Saluting him, he jumped off the roof, and headed back to the gas station.

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Alden smarted a little at not having thought of that first 'Of course, we need to keep people out of danger instead of just fighting, grh' his fingers twitched all but unnoticeably as he glanced back after the departing figure of Net Fly, then he turned back to the two who had been shouting orders and were currently still gathering their frayed wits for action.

 

All at once he launched forward, leaping across the floor and landing next to them in a crouch. With a sharp cry he lashed out with a kick aimed at the larger of the two's sternum(forcing back a hiss when he felt his foot being deflected) and used the momentum to dart backwards and place himself between the robbers and their intended victim. "If you would, Dark Eye!" He called over to Foreshadow.

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Erick grinned as it was pretty much clear that Net Fly had made his escape with their bystander.  All that was left to do was bring the goons a world of pain.  Running after Osprey, Foreshadow leapt forward using the other hero's shoulders as a base to vault off he would take to the air in a full acrobatic display.  Whilst still airborne he would force his leg out to force the heel of his boots into the robber's diaphragm.  It was an athletic display that completely lacked any basis in proper martial arts.  

 

The robber lurched forward the wind knocked right out of him as he felt his body rocked by the blow.  Despite being in the middle of interrupting a robbery the hooded hero's attention turned towards the ally whom had referred to him as Dark Eye.  "Seeing as we're about to be giving these guys a couple of black eyes.  Rather than calling me by my mask just go with Foreshadow.  Oh that's definitely right boys.  This is going to hurt."

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The unharmed robber's legs were shaking violently.  The sight of one man in a costume was enough to normally test the limits of criminal's bowels.  But three?!  He knew he needed to get out of there before it was too late.  With little avenue for escape he created a gun with his hand much like the robber who was holding the attendant at finger point.

 

Then it all happened in a blurry confusing flash.  Foreshadow and Osprey barely realized it as they shared a mental consensus that what amounted to a tree made out of light had sprung forth from the thief's hands.  The acrobatic Foreshadow was able to avoid the attack by flipping over one of the nearby shelves.  Osprey and the other crook weren't as lucky.  With the avian hero struck dead on he willed himself past the surge of electricity gritting through it and coming out on top.  The attack nowhere near enough to bring the now more motivated hero out of the fight.

 

The other crook's screams filled the gas station.  From the 'branches' of light more would begin to arc forth until everything else in the aisle was left a charred mess.  The metallic shelves were bent and twisted until it looked as if the shop had gained a set of crooked metallic teeth.  Ironically in the chaos the very register they were trying to rob was left destroyed.

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After jumping from the building, Net Fly allowed the Earth's gravity to give him an acceleration boost, before taking flight again, mere meters above the ground. As he closed in on the gas station, he witnessed the lightning sparks emanate from within, but he had little time to assess the damage. Taking advantage of the accumulated Momentum from the fall, Net Fly gathered the energy into his two hands. The energy took the form of sonic waves, circling his blue colored gloves, and as soon as the young hero spotted the two robbers, he targeted both of them, and threw his fists at them from a distance, letting two blasts of sonic energy escape his fists and travel towards the two criminals. Unfortunately, only one of the two blasts found its target, but now that he was here, Net Fly had more important things to worry about. "Hey, you two alright?" He asked the two crimefighters with concern. "Don't worry, I've got your backs now."

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The winged sentinel started at the wild-eyed man's sudden possession of a gun "Wait you f-grrrraauuuuughhhhh!"

 

Osprey froze in place for several seconds of pure agony, white-hot pain tearing through his body and leaving him speechless on the floor besides a low groan. Smoke drifted up from where small metal disks kept his white and brown cape and bodysuit connected, and his left hand spasmed several times. 'Well, this is not our night, old chum. But lying here won't make it any better. Or take that man down![/b' Then, with great speed and painful effort, he staggered back to his feet, teeth gritted and eyes glaring at his assailant, his trembling left arm gripped by his right hand at the elbow.

 

"Welcome to Freedom City, home o' every kind of crazy" he muttered, just barely loud enough for it to be heard.

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"I'm fine but I'd be lying if I didn't say the inmates think they run the asylum around these parts."  Foreshadow called out after overhearing both the winged heroes statement and the airborne one's.  "We just have to work a little harder in educating them in just how misinformed those poor saps are."  Foreshadow stepped forward before using the metallic barricade to aid in his momentum.  Flying through the air he would flip his body forward extending his right arm in midair to try and strike against the Robber whom had been taking an unrelenting amount of damage up to this point.  In an unfortunate act of leaping before looking his flashy display sailed clear of his target's head the Robber's glassed over expression not even acknowledging his turn of fortune.  Striking against what could once be considered a shelf instead.  The sound of the two metals clashing echoing in the now wrecked gas station.  "Okay, that looked better in my head."

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The still healthy Robber found himself even more frightened as Osprey stood anew.  Obviously hoping his lightning would have had more potent of an effect against the hero.  His mind rapidly switched from Fight to Flight mode.  His screams bellowed forth as he turned tail to run.  Heading out the back entrance which those under the gas station's employ usually use for loading up their products.  It was still unlocked as the elderly couple were a bit trusting even in a rough neighborhood.  There was absolutely no subterfuge evolved in his hasty retreat as he continued screaming along the entire way.  Not even considering the fact that they could easily catch up to him

 

Meanwhile, the partner in crime whom he had managed to badly injure with his surge of electricity was catching his breath.  Leaning against the shelf for support slowly adjusting to the grim fact that he was now grossly outnumbered.  Meekly raising his fist the remaining robber struggled to look as menacing as he could.  But it was simply a pitiful sight for the heroes in attendance.  Less so for the fact that they attempted to rob the gas station in the first place.

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"Heh, ain't that the truth?" Net Fly replied on Osprey's comment. Foreshadow's attempt was not met with success, but the young hero encouraged "Never mind that, just don't let up!" It was during that time that the electricity user decided to make his getaway. "Oh, no, you don't." Just barely catching glimpse of the retreating criminal, Net Fly crossed his arms together in front of his chest, and focused all of his sonic energy into the white chestpiece of his suit. "This is my strongest. Hope you've braced yourself." He calmly said, building up, and then unleashing a beam as large as a basket ball by removing his hands from infront the chestphone. The Sonic Beam traveled in a straight line, at the speed of sound, hitting the criminal on his back with great force, and pushing him straight into the door he so coveted. "Heh, don't let the door hit you." He snarked, although it was obvious from the thuding sound of the collision that the door caused the criminal the least amount of trouble.

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Snorting at Net Fly's joke, Osprey let himself pitch forward, just for a second. In that moment his cape swished forward and obscured the arm that had come off much the worse in the impromptu electrocution therapy, just for a second. But that was more than long enough. He'd done this before, Alden had been dealing with this kind of threat and challenge, and as part of the premier British team he was more than capable here.

 

In a flash of movement he hurled himself to the side, cape rushing upwards like two vast wings. throwing a weighted snare line that whizzed and hummed through the air! To his frustration though his arm had twinged and burned just as the line left his fingers, sending the weapon crashing into the wall with a metallic crash, the robber barely needing to duck. "Aren't you lucky?" he asked drily.

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With the thief distracted thanks to Osprey's timely blockade, Foreshadow looked to put him out of commission.  Moving up from the side he would toss his right escrima stick into the air before turning his body so as to drive the his left club hard as he could into the robber's liver.  This incited a physical response from the badly beaten robber who clutched his stomach in pain bending forward.  Catching the second one on it's way down, Foreshadow would finish the assault by striking the thief on his exposed forehead.  The principles of the attack were more reminiscent of what one would find in Savate than anything out of an actual Escrima repertoire.

 

Of course Erick hobbled together whatever worked for his mobile fighting style so such overlap was occasional.  And while it looked brutal, and the robber was definitely worse for the wear.  He was still standing.  Despite a look that wasn't altogether there, he showed no signs of being on his last legs.  Far tougher than any common crook had any business being.

Edited by HG Morrison
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The robber whom had his head slammed against the door was a muscular man by anyone's estimates.  Standing at a hulking six feet and two hundred forty pounds he was the last sort one would want to run into in a dark alleyway.  With his sinister glare he could cut an imposing figure anywhere he went.  It was an image that quickly and easily faded from sight as he turned into a bawling mess.  Crying about how he was sorry and didn't mean anything by it.  Tossing out a dozen different excuses about relatives that needed money for obscure operations.  And finally something that sounded like a kernel of truth in that he had never done anything like this before.

 

The remaining crook's labored breathing had gotten worse during the course of the tussle.  He hadn't so much as thrown a proper fist and yet he looked as if he had been dragged to hell and back.  Despite powering through their blows like a man possessed his body was in far worse condition than he let on.  The pallor of his skin had taken on a bluish tint with not an ounce of fresh sweat to be found.  Barely able to step forward the crook would clutch his heart whilst gasping out for help.  The track marks on his arm of increased alarm as he dropped to the ground.  His eyes rolling to the back of his head before he began convulsing on the ground.

 

The ragged looking thief's lips and fingers had become purple.  And on quick inspection he looked as if he had just dropped dead.  The three heroes knew better, people didn't just keel over.  But the fact that the police sirens still hadn't reached earshot meant they were currently responsible for the man whom had switched over from villain to victim in a matter of moments.

Edited by HG Morrison
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"Ughh, seriously..." Net Fly muttered, as he secured the whimpering thug by the door. Noticing the convulsing crook, he directed the criminal's gaze to his comrade, who was clutching his chest in pain. "See your friend over there? That's you in a few minutes, and I'm betting no one in here will have to lift a finger to make that happen. So, yeah, might wanna stick around; I don't know much about first aid in those cases, but at least I'd drop you off by a hospital, which is much more than you'd get if you skedaddled, hmmm? Just a thought."

Leaving the terrified criminal with that, he then approached the convulsing thief. "Well, then... at least we managed to stop this before they caused any serious damage. So... you guys wouldn't know anything about treating him, would ya?" he asked Osprey and Foreshadow.

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Foreshadow crouched down next to their less than physically well kept crook.  The hooded acrobat's demeanor stayed completely calm as he addressed Net Fly's query.  "I could give a look.  Picked up enough first aid to get by every now and then.  But  even so our best bet will probably be putting him in the hands of actual medical professionals.  So calling for an ambulance would be nice."  Internally he lamented not having Graft within earshot, it seemed like the sort of thing he should have seen coming.  The robber was the very image of cyanosis.  The lack of color beyond shades of blue and violent in the robber's flesh gave it away, Foreshadow was merely running through conveniences by checking for the rise and fall of the man's chest as he noted any other symptoms he could try and narrow down the cause.  There was something odd about his pulse or practically lack there of, but Foreshadow was willing to try and turn his stun rod into a defibrillator if the need arose.

 

"He's undergoing Anoxia basically.  The convulsions are a sign of the rapid deoxygenation.  Or I suppose to be more frank they're a sign of just how severe it is.  Even if it was caused as a response to the the blunt trauma we inflicted there's absolutely no reason it should be happening this quickly.  Frankly, I don't know why he's out of oxygen.  I'll do what I can to make sure he gets first aid.  But, he needs actual medicine and equipment."

 

Creating a makeshift barrier mask with a sealed set of gloves from one of the shelves, Foreshadow would begin performing rescue breathing.  Continuing to exhausting effect until the robber's flesh gained a renewed pink tint.  His body was getting a proper amount oxygen again, albeit only through active assistance.  The treatment was an effective short-term solution, but Foreshadow couldn't do it forever.  The hooded acrobat hoped the other two had an idea for speeding up their chances of getting a proper first responder on the scene.

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Crouching next to the darkly-clad Foreshadow as he worked, Alden watched attentively as the other vigilante patched up their former enemy. "I don't, sorry kid" he said over his shoulder to Net Fly "not as much good at fixin' blokes as I am punching 'em." That was a definite sore spot for the avian avenger, as two of his closer acquaintances could make you better just by shining light on you for a few seconds or pulling out a medical bag.

 

Nodding slowly at Foreshadow's diagnosis, he got silently to his feet at the open question of what to do next, walked over to the phone near the cash register and dialed a quick three digits. Raising the receiver to his ear he waited a moment and then said shortly "Hello. Uh, both? Can I...oh good. Yes, this is around the corner of Letterman and Adams, small gas station. Please get here quickly, been an attempted robbery, and some of the robbers are in a bad way. Seem to be pow-I mean, supers, but it's backfired on 'em, one's losing oxygen fast. You'll be here that soon? Thank you" His expression grew weary at some unheard question "No, sorry, can't give my name" he added with an apologetic tone "I'm Osprey. Foreshadow and some other lad were on the scene as well, did a right...yes, sorry ma'am" he said hastily, embarrassed at a sharp reprimand "Will do ma'am, thank you ma'am, good night."

 

Putting the phone back down he shrugged at the others "They said an ambulance ought to get here soon, and some coppers will be with 'em. So," he calmly put a hand on the shoulder of the weeping would-be thief "I think some questions might be in order before Mr. Blue gets here, aye?"

Edited by Arichamus
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The snivelling robber dry swallowed as Osprey addressed him.  It was bad enough that the guy who blew him into a door was looming overhead.  But now, the hero he had struck with his surge of electricity.  And the Avian themed hero looked none too pleased either.  Looking back and forth between Net Fly and Osprey the robber slowly nodded his head.  "Talk.  I can talk.  Please, I'm so so sorry.  Things weren't supposed to get this out of hand.  Just let me go and I'll tell you everything you want.  Please, my moms can't know about this."

 

The would be criminal struggled to his knees as clasping both hands together begging for leniency.  His words came out all choked up but thus far he showed no signs of misleading them.  Obviously scared out of his mind after things went so horribly wrong during their stint at larceny.

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