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Cat and Mouse (IC)


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The Fens, Freedom City, New Jersey
Thursday, December 26, 2013
10:40 PM

The day after Christmas, a light layer of snow still lay over much of Freedom City. The holiday light still glittered in the nighttime skyline of the city. Down in the Fens, the festive atmosphere was considerably more lacking. Out on the southeast section of the Fens that jutted out into the South River, large sections stood black and shadowy under the bright lights of the city.

Foreshadow was currently crouched on a rooftop in one such shadowy block of that section of the Fens. While most of the city was still recovering from the day before, the city’s criminal element was not quite so complacent.

Tonight however, Foreshadow had a particular agenda. Over the last month, the cowled crimefighter had heard rumors of a new group moving into parts of Southside. There had been some violent confrontations with some of the existing criminal element. But so far Foreshadow had been able to learn very little.

But then an hour ago, he had had one of his premonitions and knew that he should come to this part of town. Unfortunately, he was not completely sure what he was waiting for.

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Foreshadow's eyes scanned the area down below.  A normal person might have taken the day after the holidays to unwind.  But of course a normal person also wouldn't have chosen to peer from the top of the roof in the first place to follow up on their latest muddled vision thanks to the gift of foresight.  Normalcy was overrated.  


The rooftops was where Erick felt most comfortably.  Even if the company he kept in the Fens wasn't known for being warm and welcoming.  The hooded acrobat had enough merriment to go around.   More than ready to bring a season's beatings, once he figured out what the business at hand with the new group trying to muscle their way into the Fens was.  It was almost paradoxical how much knowing what could possibly come to pass left him wondering what would come to pass.


It didn't help that it was the worst time of the year for a stakeout.  Snow did not make for the most ideal cover for a man dressed in dark attire.  Even when flying through the night sky,  he'd be a little less concealed than any other night in the Fens.  The environment was of little detriment to his balance.  But that little detriment could go a long way on a bad night.  Luckily the environmental downsides were a two way street and Erick could count on criminals facing their own challenges in getting around unseen.  So even if he didn't fully know what they were planning yet, it would only be a matter of time.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The spot Foreshadow had chosen to perch while he waited provided some protection against the chilling winds that were blowing about, but not completely.  But the cold helped keep him alert, as he peered into the dark and shadowy section of the Fens....waiting for something to happen.


He had been in place about twenty minutes when he spotted the dark shape of a boat moving up the river and towards an old warehouse that jutted out over water.  It was hard to make out exactly how big the boat was, but it was some sort of power boat and was certainly large enough to be carrying a variety of illicit goods.  It was certainly far too late at night for it to be any sort of normal delivery, never mind the fact that it was operating without any running lights. 

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Winter meant a lot of things for a city as far North as Freedom City.  Not least of which being how dark the night could be outside of the luminescent glow from street lamps and assorted holiday decorations.  The idea of floating around in the dark was just the very definition of reckless if someone had good intention.  Even if there was a viable reason as to why the vessel would dare trek with no running lights during the heat of night.  A situation that begged looking into sight unseen.


Slinking away from the rooftop silently, Foreshadow would proceed to make his way for the warehouse which seemed as if it could possibly be the boat's destination.  His eyes peeled out attentively all the while for anything that could stand out.  Preferring not to be caught off guard as he attempted to move alongside the river's path.  Weapons, drugs, or something worse it didn't matter what the boat was carrying.  The costumed acrobat would put a stop to it.

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Moving carefully over the rooftops, Foreshadow began to trail the boat as it slowly made its way along the dark waters of the South River. A couple of times the dark costumed hero had to check his foot due to slippery conditions, but he generally was able to move without too much trouble.

A few minutes later, Foreshadow landed on the roof of a building next to the warehouse that the boat had disappeared underneath, only a fifteen foot alleyway separating the two rooftops.

Looking out in the darkness, Foreshadow was able to make out a trio of men moving along the roof of the warehouse. It was hard to tell for certain at this distance in the darkness, but they appeared to be armed.

But even as he regarded the men, Foreshadow's gaze noted something odd on both the warehouse rooftop and some of the surrounding roofs. There were a number of large dark rectangular shapes set up along the edges of the rooftops that appeared out of place. Glancing to his left, he saw there were a pair further along the rooftop he was on as well.

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Foreshadow set out to silently make his way towards the nearby rectangular shapes on the roof he was on.  His curiosity driving him to uncover what the obscured shapes were.  A spring in his step as he moved about the area.  I doubt they decided to set up the world's weirdest smokestacks here.  Let's see what naughty things the local architects have been up to.


Foreshadow didn't care about dealing with the armed patrol.  Not yet at least, there was no reason to draw undue attention to himself before he had some answers.  The hooded acrobat wasn't about to leave his wits about him.  His hands ready to shoot out for an armament if it turned out he could not make it to the rectangular shapes undeterred.  Which at the moment did not seem to be the case.


His breath coming out as a visible vapor with each step further reminding the hooded acrobat just exactly what time of year it was.  Still he was Russian by blood, and complaining about the cold would just be embarrassing.  So instead he chose to focus solely on the task at hand.

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The men over on the rooftop appeared oblivious to Foreshadow's presence, so he was easily able to make his way over towards the nearest of the out of place objects.  But they did appear to be a bit on edge and looking around for something.


As he drew close, he saw that it was some sort of scaffolding that was set up on the rooftop, designed to hold up four powerful flood lights.  The lights were angled so that they would shine over onto the rooftop where the three men were standing.


Glancing over at the other similar shapes he could make out on other buildings, there were enough flood lights to make the rooftop of the warehouse as bright as day.

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Foreshadow was now more curious than before.  The distance between buildings was something Foreshadow felt that he could easily scale.  Especially now that the warehouse warranted more investigation in to.  Smiling the costumed acrobat would position himself for a running start flying through the air his legs bent forward toward his chest with his arms pumping down.  Noting if he were less flexible he would have been in an inordinate amount of pain as he performed one of the basic leaps in gymnastics.  Intending to plant his palms on the nearby roof upon landing so that he could roll through the motion on the landing and soften any impact taking a page out of basic parkour.

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Foreshadow was easily able to clear the gap between the two buildings, landing on the rooftop of the old warehouse and rolling back up to his feet even as he was already moving towards a shadowy area from which to observe whether the men on the rooftop had heard him.  But as he did so, the floodlights on the other nearby buildings flipped one, bathing the warehouse rooftop in bright light.


The costumed crime fighter was able to roll away, avoiding the suddenly blinding light from the floodlights.  But the suddenly light also eliminated the shadows and darkness he had been initially relying on to conceal him.


The three men on the rooftop proved to all be wearing goggles that protected them from the bright light, and were scanning the rooftop.

One spotted Foreshadow, yelling out to the others.  "Hey, he's over here!"

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Foreshadow didn't hesitate once he knew they were alerted to his presence.  Reaching for his utility belt he'd begin throwing a series of projectiles towards the first goggle wearing miscreant he saw.  The costumed acrobat's discs slammed into him one dull edge after another.  Before the watchguard has both his weapon and person flung.  Showing no sign of movement it was clear he had been taken out of commission.  "And for his next trick he's going to make a couple of bozos disappear."


Foreshadow smiled as he readied himself for another assault.  The quicker he took them out, the sooner he could get out of sight before someone else was alerted to his presence.  If that option wasn't already too late.  One thing was certain.  The welcoming committee on the warehouse was a good an invitation for Foreshadow as any to investigate the Warehouse further.

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As the first man went down with ease, Foreshadow heard the other two move to where they had an clear view of him.  There was a loud gunshot from one of the two, as the man fired a shotgun at the costumed vigilante.  However, even with the increased spread of the shotgun pellets, the man's aim was so far off that the blast completely missed Foreshadow, who could hear pellets impacting on some of the ventilation ducts up on the roof.


Then there was the rapid echo of automatic weapons fire as the other fired a burst from a sub-machinegun, but also failed to hit his intended target.

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Foreshadow started performing a series of aerial cartwheel reaching for the the throwing discs on his utility belt in the middle of the motion.  When he moved to continue the assault the costumed vigilante would begin throwing a series of discs one after the other.  Using the acrobatic flurry to rain down his ranged assault on the thugs and take them out of commission as soon as possible.  Unfortunately that was not how things went down.


He was able to hit the first of his targets well enough.  But the guard was actually able to brace himself against the impact as Foreshadow seemed to somehow manage to only hit the hardest parts of the watchguard's body.  His display with the other guard was far less satisfying.  Missing fair and wide and only managing to hit against a scattered assortment on the roof.  None of which contained his actual target.  It was fantastic just how ludicrously awful his aim was thanks during the course of throwing while flying through the air.


That was not impressive.  No sir.  Alright, save the flash for some substance.

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Although Foreshadow had failed to hit one of his intended targets, and the other had managed to avoid taking any damage, the near miss and glancing blow still had an effect on the two men.  As one of Foreshadow's disks deflected of the man holding the shotgun, there was another loud gunshot as he fired once more.  But his aim was off even more than before, disrupted by the slight stinging of the deflected hit.


The second man had dove to one side as a disk had just missed him.  When he quickly swung his sub machinegun back at the dark clad vigilante, he rattled off another burst before fully correcting his aim, and the shots impacted along the rooftop half a dozen feet away from Foreshadow.

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Foreshadow stood still this time as he took aim yet again.  This time settling for a less extravagant display as he fired off three throwing discs.  The first two were thrown with perfectly telegraphed trajectory that even in the dark the gunman had no issue avoiding the path of the eye shaped discs.  Unfortunately Foreshadow had thrown them as such predicting how his opponent would react and opening up his guard so that the third throwing disc could take a curved path and strike him directly against the temple.  There was a groan, followed by a loud thud as the man slumped over motionless.  


And then there was one.  Gotta remember to have some smack talk.   Foreshadow placed his gloves over his hands before taunting out teasingly.  His knee jerk reaction when not running around with his legs was after all to run his mouth in combat.  "You could save us both the trouble by hitting yourself.  Well actually you might miss still.  Don't bother then."  Yup that's good role modeling, ell the person with the instrument of death he has bad aim.  Put me on a box of wheaties.

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The last remaining thug on the rooftop seemed a bit angered by the dark clad cowl's comments, and his weapon seemed to steady slightly as he once again took aim at Foreshadow. There was another rapid burst of automatic weapon fire, and Foreshadow had only just rolled to the side in time, just enough to throw off the man's aim. But he could hear the crack of the passing bullets, warning him that he had cut that particular dodge a bit close.

The man let out a muttered curse as he backed a bit further away from the cowl. Of course, that he was likely not nearly far enough away.

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With two guards beaten the last was sure to drop easily.  At least that was the mindset as Foreshadow leapt forward flipping his body in the air Foreshadow took what he assumed to be the most viable opportunity available at the remaining guard before further attention was attracted to the sound of gunfire.  Unfortunately, Foreshadow did not have as clear of a shot as he initially believed.  Three throwing discs slipped out from his fingers.  And three throwing discs completely missed their mark.  Sailing under the cover of darkness it was the sound of them crashing against the opposite end of the warehouse roof that cemented how bad of a shot it was.


With the standard Erick held himself to, he clearly wasn't happy with a missed opportunity to capitalize on the reduced number of opposition.  Fights were messy and the suit's inlays wouldn't stop a bullet from hurting.  And hurting badly to be exact.

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As Foreshadow flipped through the air, the last remaining thug tried to track his movement, but was too slow to fully follow the agile vigilante.  It was only by sheer luck that the man was not hit by Foreshadow's attacks, as the crime fighter uncharacteristically dropped a few disks and then threw the remaining ones well off their mark.


The thug finished spinning around, swinging the hand holding the sub-machinegun in front of him and firing another burst.  But once again he failed to fully adjust his aim, and the bullets all passed harmlessly over Foreshadow, who was down in a crouch after coming to a halt.


As the flash of the weapon faded, the thug realized he had once again failed to hit the vigilante.  He then turned on the spot and ran across the rooftop to a roof access door some thirty feet away, just reaching the door...

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"Oh no you don't."  Foreshadow chased after the fleeing thug.  He knew if he let the opportunity to take the criminal down slip from his fingers there was a chance he could alert others to his presence.  As confident as Foreshadow was about his ability to take on whatever came his way.  He wasn't about to lose the element of surprise if it could be helped.  During his mad dash for the watchman Foreshadow once more reached for his throwing discs throwing them with pinpoint accuracy this time.


The Access door would not prove to provide sanctuary for the mook as he was struck in the back of the neck not once, but twice by the throwing discs released from the psychic investigator's gloves.  A sly smile forming on Foreshadow's lips as the thug slumped over on the access door.  "Alright, I wouldn't rate that performance a perfect ten.  A solid six.  But all is well that ends well."

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As the last watchman goes down, Foreshadow finds himself now alone on the rooftop.  The flood lights were still glaring from all sides, making the space as bright as day.  Even as the dark clad vigilante commented about the slight difficulty he had in quickly dealing with them, his sixth sense started to pull at him, warning him of some impending danger.


His precognitive senses were fuzzy, but he knew he had to move, and the agile hero dove to one side as a gunshot rang out from another rooftop and he heard the loud *CRACK* of a bullet pass somewhat nearby as a sniper took a shot at him.

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Foreshadow quickly scanned the area.  His keen eye intuitively catching hold of the reflective gleam of the sniper positioned in the distance.  The safe play would have been to bolt for the door.  It was within reach and perhaps he could have made it before another shot got a chance to hit.  And if he were fearful of the idea of being shot it likely would have been the course of action the hooded acrobat would have taken.  But Foreshadow did not allow fear to steer the course of his ship.  Taking off into a dedicated sprint Foreshadow would begin to reach for his escrima sticks.  


Pressing the button on the respective stick that housed the grapnel end Foreshadow would get ready to push the sticks together come time to release the gas propelled swing line stored inside.  Dead set on taking out the sniper before exploring the area further so as to not have to run into another ambush come time to leave.  You don't have this much firepower running around unless you really have something to hide.  They better hope it was worth it.  Because I'm going to bring it all crumbling down tonight.

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The agile vigilante arched down below the level of the two opposite rooftops, carried through the dark air by the swing line contained in his escrima sticks. The sniper on the other rooftop had to stand up on the edge of the building, leaning forward some to try to get an angle on the costumed crime fighter.

Another gunshot echoed through the cold night air, but the sniper had failed to fully lead his target. Foreshadow heard the faint *CRACK* of the bullet, signaling that the shot had passed just behind him.

Looking up at the rooftop that was his destination, the crime fighter could see the sniper leaning over the edge of the roof.

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Foreshadow shot through the air onto the edge of the roof.  Extending his leg as he flew by to try and kick the sniper in midair.  The gunman in turn ducked beneath the oncoming foot letting acrobatic vigilante's momentum guide him past his target.  "Good eyes.  Now let's test that skull of yours."


Foreshadow smiled as he gripped his weapon.  Pressing the button to disengage it from grapnel mode and split back off into his trusty escrimas.  He wasn't about to dance around on a rooftop with a sniper too long.  There was work to be done, and the man in front of him was merely a distraction to that end.  Gripping onto his weapon firmly, Foreshadow readied himself to leap forward.  Making no secret of his intention to come for the sniper.  Hopefully without eating a bullet.

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As soon as Foreshadow passed over him, the sniper was back up and turning towards the dark clad crime fighter.  Now that he was closer, Foreshadow could see the man was armed with a Dragunov SVD sniper rifle.  Given the relatively close quarters the two were now engaged in, the sniper apparently decided his weapon was too unwieldy to try to continue shooting at Foreshadow.


Instead, he rushed forward, swinging his weapon up as he tried to slam the rifle butt into Foreshadow's face.  But the agile hero was ready, easily deflecting the attack aside with a double block using both escrima sticks.  The sniper stumbled forward a step or two as his attack was turned aside and his momentum carried him forward, but then he steadied himself and tried to turn back towards the costumed crime fighter to be ready for any counter attack.

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Foreshadow sailed through the air like a cat gracefully leaping toward its prey.  His leg shot out striking the sole of his boot against the side of the butt of the sniper's rifle.  The motion sending the firearm into the side of the man's head.  The force of which actually jilted the weapon into firing towards the open night air sending it right out of his unprepared hands.  Foreshadow then followed up the newfound opening with a series of precise strikes towards the Sniper before the rifle even touched the ground.  Two quick shots against his opponent's liver, a sweeping scythe kick to the side of his knee, and finally when the sniper buckled forward Foreshadow finished up by slamming the blunt weapons against the base of the sniper's cranium.  The sniper's body dropped hard onto the roof.


The flurry was brutal, quick, and efficient.  "I said I was going to test your skull.  Not my fault you didn't past the muster."  Leaning back ever so casually he exhaled in relief.  "Well then before I head back, since I'm already here I can take a little look around."  Barring the presence of any more Sniper's, Foreshadow looked at the firearm on the ground.  Actually firing the weapon was out of the question.  But using the scope to scan the area to make sure he didn't walk into another hail of gunfire on his return on the other hand.

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A quick glance around the rooftop reveled no other snipers or guards present.  But just as Foreshadow was picking up the Dragunov, he heard the sound of metal loading bay doors rolling up and the vehicle engines.


Moving back to the ledge where the sniper had been perched, he did not need the weapon's telescopic sight to see what was happening.  The large garage doors for the building where he had fought the three sentries had rolled up and three black vans were rolling out of the building and into the snow dusted streets.

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