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West End, Freedom City, New Jersey
Monday, March 30, 2015; 10:21 PM

The West End had its share of restaurants, bars and other night spots. But on a Monday night, the crowds were starting to get a bit thin at this time of night, the streets and sidewalks less crowded. The more secluded and dark streets could prove to be an opportunity for some of the cities criminals, able to operate in the dark and away from too many prying eyes.

Of course, any environment that attracted criminals also tended to attract some of the cities many costumed heroes. While most had made their way to the safety and seclusion of home, those costumed crime fighters took to the dark rooftops. Tonight was no different, as four separate heroes had all made their individual ways into a section of the West End, moving by rooftop, or through dark alleys.

Thus far, the night had been rather uneventful, looking to possibly be one of those quiet nights where nothing took place. But that changed suddenly, as the faint sound of a police siren sounded in the distance. In moments, a dark sedan sped around a corner of an intersection, almost swerving into another car as it made a wide turn. Just a short distance behind, a police cruiser whipped around the corner as well, fast in pursuit of the sedan.

And the vehicles raced down the next block, a man leaned out the passenger window of the sedan and a gunshot rang through the air as he took a shot at the police car….

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Even moreso than his strength or agility, some of Wildcat's best assets were centred in his head.  Take, for instance, police sirens.  Normally audible at a fair distance for just about anyone, he could make out the sound clearly from blocks away, and could even filter out the distracting echoes off the flat faces of buildings to get a precise direction.  Gunfire added itself to the equation as he bounded and ran his way across the rooftops on an intercept course, his keen eyes now picking out the flashing strobes of the police car's red-and-blues.

 

Dropping into the alleyway between buildings as he saw the police car and its running prey careen around a corner, he scooped up a hunk of broken wine bottle perhaps three inches across from the gutter.  Darting out of the shadows as the car roared by, he flicked the wicked-edged glass out at the blurring circle of the car's front driver-side tire.

 

Unfortunately, the curved nature of the piece of glass threw his aim off just a hair, and rather than perforating the rubber of the tire it instead vanished between tire and fender, a crunching bang indicating it had impacted somewhere on the underside of the car.  He whirled to follow the car's passage, cursing at himself for missing his shot.

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Charlie was relaxing on the rooftops after swinging across town. He wanted to check out the action in a new neighborhood, after months of patrolling midtown. Since his girlfriend, Jane, was out with her book club again, it seemed like a good chance to have a look at the West End. But it had been a slow night and he was starting to think he'd wasted his time coming out here, when he heard the sirens.
 
He stepped up and got ready, waiting. Sure enough, racing around the corner, came a car with a police cruiser in close pursuit. With a flip of his wrist the whip came out, streaking across the steet. The blue-clad form of Coiled Lightning followed, swinging down from the roof, holding his fedora to his head.
 
Perfectly timed, Coiled Lightning came to rest on top of the lead car, kneeling carefully to maintain his balance. "You'd better put that thing away before someone gets hurt." He called out to the men in the car, before looking over the side of the car and cracking his whip against the gunman's wrist. With a shout of pain the gunman let go and the gun went flying.

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Skaere’s evening hadn’t been all that exciting. So far it was just a couple of thugs that needed to learn a lesson in manners…. and how not to mess with an almost 7 foot tall Werewolf. She’d lost track of how many idiots had come after her with a knife since she started her nightly routine. It boggled her mind. Were they blind? Did they not see her ten very sharp claws? What was their little pocket knife going to do against her?

She was pondering the latest batch of idiocy when sound of sirens perked her hears. In an instant she was on her feet, jumping across rooftops until she could look over the edge to see the street below. She saw the car and it’s reckless path, no regard for whomever got in it's way.

Maybe it was time for some good old fashioned chicken?

The werewolf leapt from the rooftop and landed solidly in the street. Her snarled jaw aimed at the car as she let out a guttural growl. It seemed the werewolf wasn't the only one intent on stopping the car but Skaere was set on her task and moving now would be a missed opportunity. So she braced herself, counting on her advanced healing to help with any damage she might take.

The impact of the car jolted her back, her muscles straining beneath blonde and white fur as her claws dug into the front bumper of the car. Crunching metal and snarles melted together and at the end Skaere's glowing green eyes stared manacingly over the hood of the car. "Try and run through me and I'll tear through this car like it was made of paper." The dual, animalistic tone in her voice made Skaere sound feral and added weight to her warning.

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The car filled with red smoke, and suddenly there was a well-dressed undead gentleman sitting in the back seat between two no doubt very surprised baddies.

 

Phantasmo the UNLIVING let out a wild laugh. "THE CURTAIN RISES AS THE SHOWMAN TAKES THE STAGE! WHAT LUCK TO FIND WILLING VOLUNTEERS!  I AM PHANTASMO....THE UNLIVING! EEEEEEEEEEYYYAAAAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAA!" he crowed, just for that added bit of scaring the bejeezus out of them. "NOW WHAT TO DO?! FIRE AT ME AND YOU RISK HITTING EACH OTHER! SHOOT AT HER AND YOU RISK DEATH! QUITE A CONUNDRUM, HMMM?! HHEEEEEHEHEHAHAHAAHAAAAHAHAHA!"

 

Phantasmo put an arm around the shoulders of the two men in the back and said in a much more conversational, friendly tone (but still doing the whole VOice Of The Legion Thing). "D'you know, I think you should stop the car, lads. She looks like she means business."

 

This was hella fun, he had to admit. He gave a cheerful wink through the windshield at Skaere and mouthed "Always give 'em a good show, duckie!" 

Edited by MisterShoebox

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The four men sitting in the car had been momentarily shocked by the sudden appearance of large furry form of Skaere, who promptly had brought their car to a halt and created a bit of a dent in the front grill. With the sudden appearance of the undead magician, they had clearly began to panic.

The two men in the back clearly considered Phantasmo's words, as they had pistols in hand, but hesitated to use them. Instead, they both pulled free of the arms Phantasmo had draped over their shoulders and exited the car, both starting to run in opposite directions.

The now unarmed passenger in the front and the driver both glanced back at Phantasmo a brief moment, then looked back out the front at Skaere and then they too exited the car, the engine still running. Once outside, they began to scatter as well.

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On more solid footing now that it was a foot chase, Wildcat bounded forward and easily overtook the goon that had bailed out of the driver's side rear seat.  He lashed out with a foot at the man's legs and connected, but not very well -- the goon merely stumbled, but kept his feet.  Wildcat snarled in frustration, but there was little he could do about it while he recovered from his attempt.

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As Coiled Lightning was preparing to deal with the rest of the of the thugs in the car, the car smashed in to werewolf that leaped in front of it. The blue-clad hero made a desperate attempt to maintain his footing but tumbled off the roof, past the werewolf and rolled across the pavement, knocking his head on the ground in the process. Luckily he managed to keep a firm grip on his whip.
 
Scraped up and woozy he could do little but watch as he saw the other heroes appearing out of the woodwork. Only in Freedom City does a car chase earn this effective a response.

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Skaere's face contorted. An expression that would have been a raised eyebrow crossed her features, though on her currently wolf like face it looked.... warped. Still, the huff of a laugh that puffed out her cheeks was unmistakable. As was the way her ears perked as she looked at Phantasmo. This one was interesting.



Skaere looked left and looked right, smiling a toothy grin as the men took off. "It's always so much more fun when they run." Picking the front passenger as her prey, she dislodged her claws from car. It was easy enough for her to make chase, catching up with him in a few short moments. She didn’t halt her momentum, in fact, she used it to power to strike, lashing out at the man. Only he retained enough of his wits to look back at just the right moment, he managed to duck, stumbling in the process. It made her strike go too high, made her arm swing through the open air and pulled a deep growl from her throat. She took a few more steps and pivoted on the spot, turning back toward him as those eyes glowed with a piercing almost neon green in the dull light of the street lamps. There was distance between them, but Skaere had her sights on her prey and it was his move.

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By some miracle, the various thugs that were pursued by the heroes that had showed up to stop them managed to withstand the attempts to bring them down.   

The thug who managed to just avoid a solid hit from Skaere apparently did not wish to push his luck against the huge furry figure that had just managed to stop their car dead in its tracks.  Instead, the man continued sprinting off toward the nearest alleyway.  Although how he thought he could outrun the werewolf was not entirely clear. 

The thug who had kept his footing when Wildcat tried to trip him decided to try to fight back before continuing to flee.  A wild backhanded swing managed to catch Wildcat slightly by surprise, but he managed to roll with the hit enough that it did not cause too much damage.  By the time Wildcat had righted himself once more, the thug had moved about ten yards away down the street.

The other two thugs continued running off in the directions they had gone, even as the police car that had been pursuing them came to a screeching halt behind the now unmoving getaway car.

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On more solid footing now that it was a foot chase, Wildcat bounded forward and easily overtook the goon that had bailed out of the driver's side rear seat.  He lashed out with a foot at the man's legs and connected, but not very well -- the goon merely stumbled, but kept his feet.  Wildcat snarled in frustration, but there was little he could do about it while he recovered from his attempt.

Phantasmo grinned as he spotted the fleeing man that Wildcat had attempted to clobber. "Dear me, duckie!" he said conversationally to the younger hero as he approached him. "Wouldn't want to be hit by you, eh? That was quite a punch! Anyway, hope you don't mind if I intervene, mate - just can't let a good chase go unchased!"

With that, the zombie 'ported again so he was in front of the fleeing thug. "DON'T LEAVE NOW, THE SHOW'S JUST STARTED!" He crowed as he gave a flourish of a sleeve. A multi-colored stream of scarves shot out from his sleeves and wrapped themselves around the man. The magical zombie laughed and pulled him closer, so they were face-to-face. "BOO!" Corny, yeah, but he thought it was hilarious. 

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The return kick from the thug caught Wildcat on the upper thigh, and only landed there instead of somewhere even more critical due to a desperate twist on his part at the last moment.  The kick still hurt, however, and it truly added injury to insult in the wake of his own failed attempt to slow the man.

He barely even heard the cheesily-garbed man as he prattled on, then vanished to wrap up the man who had struck back at him.  Who had hit him.  Who had dared to hurt him.

A bubbling growl rose up in Wildcat's throat, and he sprang effortlessly in a standing thirty foot leap with an outraged screech that brought him slamming down with both fists in the middle of the enscarved man's back, hammering with bruising force as the thug was pitifully unable to avoid the attack, not with the added encumbrance of Phantasmo's magics.

How dare he?  He was going to tear this pezzo di merda apart with his bare hands!

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Coiled Lightning watched the chaos around him as the heroes dispersed the thugs and then began to track them down. Not wanting to be left out of the excitement, he flicked the tip of his whip up to a nearby building and lept into the air after a fleeing criminal.

Letting go mid-air, he grabbed the thug's arm as he landed. He twisted it around back until he could reach around his chest to hold him secure. "You can't be leaving so soon, buddy. The boys in blue are on their way and they're so excited to see you."

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"Hey! Where are you going?" Skaere started laughing, her green eyes glowing brightly when her prey did not just give up. 

Though she wouldn't call it much of a chase. It took only moments for the werewolf to cover the space between them, taking a moment to give the poor guy the chance to be afraid. "Sorry dude. This is going to hurt." A few quick steps ahead and the werewolf swiveled around, bringing the back of her hand back to practically slap the poor guy unconscious. Better a bruised face than a broken arm she supposed. 

Skaere didn't miss a step though, she doubled back toward the car to see if any others still needed to be chased down.

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With half of the thugs down, the remaining two did not seem to have much will to try and continue fighting.  The one that had not been engaged yet by any of the heroes continued to run, disappearing into the darkness of an alleyway down the block. 

The man that Coiled Lightning had tackled tried to struggle, nearly managing to break free from the hero's grasp.  But in the end, Coiled managed to maintain his leverage and keep the man pinned to the ground. 

Back near the car the criminals had been driving, the police officers had exited their car, hands on their sidearms as they eyed Skaere nervously. 

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Phantasmo spotted the man fleeing the scene and 'ported within shooting range. "COME ON, DON'T LEAVE YET! THE CURTAIN HAS YET TO FALL! EEEEYYYAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAAA!" he boomed. 

The zombie conjured up one of his cards and tossed it expertly, aiming for the man's belt. Said belt was severed!...but alas, the man was now holding up his pants with one hand while running. Phantasmo looked bemused and rubbed his chin.

 "...Odd. Usually the removal of one's belt causes at least a bit of hesitation...determined bugger, I must admit." 

Edited by MisterShoebox

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Things might have gone poorly for the man who had hit Wildcat, now that he was bound and down, if it wasn't for the fact that one of his companions was still in full flight.  The 'pursue prey' instinct kicked in, and with a snarl the savage-minded hero bounded in pursuit.

Despite the head start and the gloomy conditions of the alleyway, the goon had little chance of escaping his hunter and there was a meaty thump and a cry from between the buildings.  And a few moments later Wildcat emerged again, this time dragging the unconscious gunman behind him by one leg as he rejoined the scene of flashing lights, police, heroes, and criminals.

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Coiled Lightning held the struggling thug in place, turning his head to look at Wildcat. "Don't fight. If you manage to escape, I'm just going to have let that guy deal with you. I don't think you're going to enjoy that. Are you ready to play nice?"

He hadn't expected all these other heroes to show up to help with a simple police chase, but he appreciated the help. Even if it had sent him flying head over heels off a speeding car. "Did we catch everyone?" he asked the others, "Got a nice present all wrapped up for the police."

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The last conscious thug stopped struggling against Coiled Lightning as he realized that the hero was correct, even if he was able to get free, he was unlikely to get far.  He could move his head just enough to catch a glimpse of the wolf-thing that had stopped the car prowling around. 

More squad cars arrived as the police began gathering up the criminals from the assembled heroes.

"Thanks for the help."  One of the officers stated to the heroes.  "We caught up with these guys right as they were pulling away from a jewelry store they broke into."

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Wildcat's blood was still up, but beating on helpless or surrendered criminals in front of other heroes and the police likely wasn't the best of plans.

Hearing the cause behind the whole chase in the first place, he grunted and stalked lithely over to the half-demolished car, dropping the unconscious goon's leg in the process.  Leaning in through the open doors, he gave the car a cursory examination to find the loot in question, popping the trunk and checking there as well if necessary.  This wouldn't, couldn't, be 'his' heroic save, apparently, but anything else he could do to bump things up in his favour wouldn't be a bad thing -- and physically handing back stolen merchandise would be points to him.

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"Jewelry, eh?" said Coiled Lightning in a friendly voice as he dragged his prisoner to his feet to pass him off to police custody.

"Hoping to take a little something home to the lady, or just making a buck? Either way, it's a gutsy move in this town. Which one of you guys came up with this brilliant idea, anyway?" He gave the criminal a broad grin and looked around at the unconscious men, before pointing at the one who'd lost his belt. "Was it him? Never a good idea to let a man who can't keep his pants up plan your heists."

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Once Skaere realized that the police had arrived, she slowed her run to a normal walk. Standing as normally as she could, she hoped a more human posture would help the police feel less uncomfortable around her. Sure, the indeed guy didn't get a lot of looks but the werewolf did. Must be the ears.

 "There is one knocked out in the alley. He might have a concussion. " She spoke politely to the officers, giving the wary men a Wolfy bod before continuing back toward the car. She let the others talk to the police and instead decided to sniff around, literally. Her nose wasn't pressed to the ground or anything, but she was definitely checking for anything out of the ordinary.

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The only conscious crook remained silent as Coiled Lightning tried to goad him into talking, not trying to put up any sort of resistance as one of the police officers came over to cuff him.  For his part, the officer did not seem to be in a great hurry to move the crook into a squad car, apparently wanting to give Coiled Lightning as much of an opportunity to interrogate the criminal as possible. 

Looking into the back of the suspects' car, it only took Wildcat a moment to spot the small duffle bag that turned out to be stuffed with a number of smaller bags holding gems stones and expensive jewelry.  The search also turned up a book of matches from South River Storage and Shipping.

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"Maybe I offended him, officer." Coiled Lightning said to a policeman. "He might have planned all this and I just insulted his master plan. Either way, he's not talking to me."

He would have been happier with chatty criminals, but there probably wasn't much more information to be had. Cops had seen them flee the store, they'd probably find the loot in the car, pretty easy case. "Did they just break in and take the jewels? I hope nobody was in the store to get hurt. They were armed, a knocked a gun out of one of their hands a ways back"

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Ah-hah.  Grabbing at the bag, Wildcat grinned to himself for a moment.  Returning the stolen loot, classic superhero moment.  Scooping up the book of matches, he sniffed delicately at it to see if there were any scents on it besides that of any of the four thugs, then tossed it to the wolf who was also sniffing about.

"I'm guessing these are the jewels that were stolen, officer?" he asked loudly, hefting the duffel before tossing it to the closest policeman.  "Guess nobody told them that it's pretty damn stupid to try and get away with a smash and grab in this city."  He glanced at the totalled car, and then back to the wolf-man who had stopped it cold.  It wouldn't have occurred to him to try and stop a speeding car dead in its tracks like that, but now he wondered...could he, if he had to?

Well.  He'd damaged the car before fuzzy there had made the attempt -- he'd probably made it easier to stop in the first place...

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