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Under The Australian Sun (IC)


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Sydney, Australia

Observation Gallery of the Sydney Tower

3rd of November 2014, 1300


The directions given had asked the various heroes who had answered the call to make their way here- to the headquarters of the Australian Superhero Network- or at least, the central coordination center.  One of the sections available to the public, the tower provided a prime viewing location for the vast majority of Sydney, on this slightly cool Spring day.  They gathered some attention, standing in costume, but not as much as they might have six months ago- superheroes going in and out of Sydney Tower on business wasn't a rare sight anymore, not since March, and probably would continue for a while.  


After a few minutes, the three heroes heard the sound of a wheelchair against the floor of the observation deck's floor, as a young-looking woman with brown hair, hazel eyes and light skin pulled up besides them.  "Corona, Rift, and... Queenie?  I'm Catherine Fields.  I'd like to welcome you to Sydney, although I'd wish it were in much better circumstances.  Would you like to come with me?"

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Corona almost hadn't accepted the invitation. She hadn't been expecting it, delivered as it was directly to her from something that looked like a pigeon who had just finished a particularly bloody meal, and she wasn't sure if her superiors at OOPS would agree with her getting this involved with the culture and history of a planet she was supposed to be watching. Though of course she was already acting as a superhero locally in Freedom City; branching out a bit to help elsewhere on the planet couldn't markedly increase her footprint, could it?

That, and she did some searching for the sorts of crimes Redback was known for, and she now had a burning desire to haul him up in front of a magistrate.

She had flown in a couple of days ago, and Anya Corazon had spent the time taking in Sydney's culture and clime. It was a pleasant city to be in just at the moment, and Corona had the headpiece of her armor folded back and away, letting her hair blow in the salt air. She still had her scarlet face-mask on, and when the representative of the Network called them she turned without a word and followed the woman into the building.

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Riff quite liked Australia. His fans there were pleasant, there was plenty to see and do there and the shows he did there on tour never ended in disaster. Though that said he was not expecting the local Superhero scene to take much interest in him until he got a message about some guy called Redback. He did not know much about the man, but apparently he did manage to actually kill a superhero. If they needed his help bringing in someone that dangerous, he was more than happy to help.


And so Warren found himself standing and waiting, dressed in his coat and mask with his guitar in its case  with a few other heroes he did not recall meeting before. He nodded to Catherine as he followed after her. "So, whats going on? The message I got was a little light on details."

Edited by Darksider42
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Emily had her invitation relayed to her by her sister, which left her with very little time to pack up. Thankfully, Stenford Arms had a small subsidiary in Australia and Jane had already arranged for a company jet to fly her there. Some days, she wondered if she was her sister or her secretary.


Arriving at the Sydney Tower, Emily slipped into the room as quietly as possible.


"Uhm... Sorry for being late. I'm Mechanized. I received the invitation a little late and it's been a pain to clear my battlesuit through customs with so little warning."


She noticed the Anya, and smiled to her. "Hello, Corona. Nice to see you here. Ms Fields, a pleasure to meet you."

Edited by souffle_girl
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Maybelle was in Aussieland on a kind of a vacation. A daycation, if you would. A day, maybe a day and a night. She’d flown part of the way herself, and hitched a ride on a passing airliner or three for the rest. It was a longer trip than she thought it’d have been. Getting across the continental US wasn’t really a hassle. It was all that darn ocean. But she’d made it. Visited a few of the locally recommended restaurants. And now she was here, maybe having to stretch out her daycation to an actual vacation. You stop one police chase. Help put out one brush fire. Talk one suicidal person down off a bridge. Save one stranded ferry.

…okay, maybe she’d been doing as much superheroing as eating. And maybe she’d started stretching her daycation longer before today. But…people got in trouble. She couldn’t just, you know, stand aside and do nothing. Not that she was bitter. It had been a fun trip. Just she was getting a little homesick and ready to head back out to sea when the ASN called her hotel.

Today, Maybelle looked a heck of a lot more like some random civilian than a powerful superhero, which would explain Cat’s confusion. No mask, tan vest over light blue shirt, and tan slacks don’t exactly scream mighty savior of the people, after all. “Yep, that’s me. Queenie. Never really saw the point of the whole mask and costume thing myself.†With a glance at her compatriots, she added “Just a personal thing, though. You guys look real nice.†Her Southern accent was gentle, but definitely noticeable. She jerked a thumb at Riff. “Like the man said, the message was a little vague. I’m always up for some saving folks and boppin’ bad guys over the head. Just dunno which it is yet.â€

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Catherine smiled as the heroes all introduced herself.  "It's a pleasure to meet all of you."  Turning the wheelchair she was on around, she headed towards a central lift, which opened as she approached.  "Yes, Redback.  I'll give you the brief as we head down."


After the heroes filed in the lift, Catherine pressed a button on her wheelchair, and the lift doors closed- before the lift started heading downwards.  "It's not a long trip down, but it gives me time to start this up."  The Australian superheroine pressed another button on her wheelchair arm, projecting a hologram of a figure in black armor, with red detailing and four mechanical limbs.  "Redback.  Loooves his spider motifs.  He's the leader of the Redback Gang- not exactly an original name, no, but they're... competent.  Competent enough to take down the first Cloudrunner, at least, although that was a sorry chain of events all around."


She sighed.  "Anyway.  We've gotten info that he's planning some sort of smuggling operation, and it's something big- we're not sure of the specifics, unfortunately.  And we still have to deal with the aftereffects of that asshole- sorry, I mean Newman.  So, we're currently understaffed and having to deal with a whole lot of crises, which is why we sent out the call for some backup."


Catherine paused, waiting for any questions.  

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“Hmm.†Queenie tilted her head thoughfully. “Taking down a hero good enough that someone else wanted the name after he died is impressive, no doubt about it. Thing is, there’s different kinds of impressive. There’s getting a good review on your cooking at your family barbecue, and getting a good review on your food from the harshest critic in Paris.â€

At a bunch of blank looks, she fidgeted in place. “I mean…in the Liberty League back in the Seventies there was the Raven, The Scarab, and the Centurion. One was just human, one had real power, and the other was, well…the Centurion. Takes a bit more force as you go up the line, and uh…†She’d put her foot in her mouth on this one, for sure, and looked very uncomfortable about it. “I mean…I’m just a chef from South Carolina, not some super detective or whatever. I don’t know anything about Cloudrunner or any of your heroes. I don’t even know why y’all called lil ol’ me instead of, I don’t know, Velocity or some other big leaguer and I’ll just shut up nowâ€. She had the look of someone trying their absolute hardest to disappear.

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"Takin' down any member of something like the Freedom League's a mark of trouble," Corona said. Even she recognized the power and skill of Earth's premier superhero team. "If you don't have an idea of what Redback's bringin' in," she said to Catherine, "how about the where? Or the who he's dealin' with?" With smugglers, it was always possible to run down the operation from the other end, after all. "If none of that's on tap, then I guess there's always roundin' up the usual suspects and sweatin' 'em."

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Riff cringed as he listened to Queenie. "I know you are new and everything but...Don't make that comparison again please." Comparing murder with impressing food critics did not sit well with the Guitar Genius. "League or not, anyone that can kill a superhero is dangerous."


Taking a moment to compose himself Riff studied the hologram of Redback as he absorbed what information he got about this villain. "Getting the feeling we are going to throw down with this guy. You know what this guys suit can do? the mechanical arms might be intimidating but I'm pretty sure there is a bit more to it after all." He did not strike Riff as a particularly creative guy if he named his group that. Either that or he had a massive ego. He could never tell when it came to supervillains.

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Emily studied the man's hologram in detail, and couldn't help to feel a bit in awe.


"Taking down a superhero is no easy feat. And it looks like he could have some nasty tricks up that suit's sleeves. Does he have any power beyond what his suit gives him? And what can you tell us about this gang of his? Any piece of intel that can give us an edge against them is precious. Associates, presumed bases of operation, M. O, available resources... But I guess we'll get a better briefing wherever we're heading now, right?"

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Catherine gave Queenie a flat look as the doors opened.  "She took his name because he was her mentor and gave her his powers before he died."


As she wheeled herself out of the lift... the only way to describe the room was a tech geek's heaven.  Several screens lined the walls, all muted and on various news channels- ABC News 24, CNN, Sky News Australia... and in the center of the room, a desk with a bunch of computer monitors- and no chair.  A walker stood next to the desk, and sitting and looking at one of the screens was a young-looking woman with dark skin and sandy-blond hair.  "As far as powers... Sandra, you ever spotted any?"


The young woman turned.  "Not really, no.  He's done some pretty extreme physical stunts, but that could well be the suit.  He's good at sneaking around, whatever his powers are... as far as his gang goes, it's one of the big ones- he's got operations in every city on the East Coast.  And..."


Sandra sighed.  "Interrogating any of the gang members- super or otherwise- doesn't get you far.  They're... too loyal.  Heck, I don't think Redback Gang was his idea, best info we've got is that it was thought up by one of his lieutenants- as a sign of respect."  She almost spat out the last word.  


Catherine nodded.  "Yeah.  He looks out for his people, even if that's the only compliment you can give him.  Anyway, significant members of the gang... he's got a couple more Super-Powered people working for him.  One spellcaster- real name unknown, code name Linewalker.  Female, very, very good with teleport spells from what we've seen and just as good at... poking the right spot.  Not sure how to describe this, but she's more than once poked a mystically active spot and caused a side-effect that we've had to deal with, which gives them time to get away when they have to.  Heck, she's all about keeping people off-balance, physically and psychologically."


"Finally, there's Monument.  Real name, again, unknown."  Catherine reduced the image of Redback, and brought up another figure... about twice the size of Redback.  He seemed to be made of metal, and... sometimes, the term 'built like a tank' seemed inappropriate.  Not today.  "Thanks.  Um.  Utter powerhouse, but smart.  This guy, we have the least idea about, but what little we know indicates that the suit was built by him."


The pair waited for any questions.  

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Corona examined the information as it came up. "If this Redback's coming into town," she said, reasoning aloud, "then he's likely to try and hook up with them once he's around." She glanced at the pair of presenters. "It sounds like they're pretty unstoppable altogether, so we should try and hit them before that. If we can put at least one of them in cuffs, we stand a much better chance against Redback when he shows up."

She pointed at Monument. "If Linewalker's a teleporter, then capturing her is going to be a real challenge. What about the big guy, have any leads on him?"

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Nice work, McQueen. Really made a good impression there. On the other hand, that gosh darn wannabe Parisian jackenape craps on everyone’s best work. Nothing’s good enough for that little… Maybelle sighed quietly. “I’m sorry. I’ll let the folk with who know more than how to work a kitchen do the thinking. I don’t know much of nothing else but that. But on the bright side, if anyone needs a snack while we’re working I can whip something up in a flash.†She flashed a radiant grin and patted the small backpack on her back. “Never leave home without it. Well, Freedom, anyway. About Redback and his crew…just point me at the one that needs a McQueen style makeover.†She wandered over to the monitors and just started watching one. While floating to keep it at eye level.
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Emily felt like a child in a toy store, and had to keep herself from being distracted by all the tech goodies.


"OK, so we have a supervillain with an unknown powers extent, a gang of very loyal followers, a teleporter, and a powerhouse type with brains. An extremely dangerous combination. I can help with Monument, give him a matching opponent while people with more mobility take care of the others.

How exactly do we plan to track these guys down? And is there a way to take them on one at a time?"

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  • 3 weeks later...

"Well thats some impressive tech..." Riff drifted off as he noted Monument's armor. He did admit, he was a bit intimidated by it. Of course the fact he faced down worse at least reduced whatever fear factor he felt. "Anyway. Probably should take down their spellslinger first if we get the chance. You know, between fighting the several tons of of mobile steel and servos along with Creepy Crawler here." He said with a nod to the image of Redback. He really did not have much else to impute beyond that for the moment. He waited to see what else Catherine and Sandra had to add to the whole discussion.

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