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The Fens, Freedom City, New Jersey
April 5, 2016, 9:25 PM 

It was a typical Tuesday night in Freedom City.  While the full nightlife of downtown and other areas around the city were not at the levels they achieved over the weekend, the restaurants and some other venues were still doing good business. 

But in the southeastern corner of the city know as the Fens the streets were a lot more dark and deserted.  While the waterfront bars and adult bookstores that tended to littler the area were open, they were far from crowded.  Those that lived in the area tended to remain inside come nightfall, inside the often rundown, low rent buildings that made up most of the Fens.   

While the FCPD had been trying to step up efforts to patrol the Fens and "clean it up," there was still a fair bit of crime in its shadow alleys and streets.  As such, it was not uncommon for some of the city's costumed heroes to be out patrolling the Fens. 

Indeed, the desire to try to help the troubled area had brought three separate heroes to the dark rooftops and alleys of the Fens this evening. 

Cassidy Bauer, also known as Bonfire, lived in the Fens, so he saw the crime and difficult conditions that the area suffered from on a daily basis. 

James White, aka Quantum Shift, was a newcomer to this dimension, having arrived from an alternate Earth.  But that did not stop him from using the abilities he had gained from alien experimentation to try to help the people of his adopted new home. 

Jason Draco was a Freedom City native, although he grown up in North Bay, the part of Freedom City as geographically and economically opposite the Fens as possible.  Having been away from Freedom City for seven years, Jason found the Fens little better than it had been when he had last read about it.  Now, as Eternal Dragon, he could possible make at least some small difference that might change that. 

All three were moving through the shadows of the Fens when the shrill sound of police sirens echoed over other noises of the city.  Not long after, a loud *BOOM* reverberated through the air, rattling windows as it seemed to echo from the edge of the area that bordered the Theater District. 

 

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On this so far unspectacular day, Cassidy Bauer was walking down a small street, looking out for anything that required his attention. He wasn’t in costume, technically, but since he had left all of his clothes, safe his underwear, at home and was actually using a smoke illusion to not appear naked, quickly becoming Bonfire was no problem. All it needed was a quick thought, and his head was engulfed by smoke. So far April had been a pretty uninteresting month. All patrols hadn’t offered anything, fire security also took a temporary rise, or at least so it felt, and the internet didn’t offer any leads either. Fortunately, March was busy enough for there to be money left over, but after 5 days of patrolling around the safer areas of the city, maybe it was time to head home, the Fens. There usually was something going on there at least. And that remained true on this day! Not too long after heading out there was the somewhat familiar sound of sirens, and then the also somewhat familiar sound of an explosion, probably? Finally, a chance for some action. And if the police was already involved it probably was something bigger than the average patrol haul. Sometimes bigger booms were in fact better.

 

Well, time to get moving. If they’re packing this much firepower this could actually get a bit messy.

 

And so Cassidy Bauer quickly disappeared into an alley and seconds later a cloud of smoke rose upwards, before turning towards the perceived source of the explosion and flying closer. Always on the lookout for the police. They probably had a better idea what was going on here and information usually was a good idea, especially if something able to create explosions of that scale was around. Sure, bullets were useless against smoke, but an explosion? Still rather dangerous. At this point Cass just hoped it was a one-time thing, a bomb or a gas-vent leaking or something.  

 

Edited by olopi

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So far, the day had gone like normal for the displaced resident from the alternate Earth. Well, as normal as things could be when you were currently living on an version of your home planet where super-powered individuals were an everyday occurrence. Get up, get dressed, wash, eat breakfast, then get to his job. Grab a lunch break while reading the local newspaper. Work for a couple more hours and, if business was slow, take some time and go on patrol or make some meal runs. Hey, protecting an entire city was a tough job and, as amazing as many of this city's Heroes were, everybody needed a good meal to keep themselves fueled.

 

After closing up for the evening, the young man had made his way down to the part of the city known as the Fens. From the rumors he had overheard, that place was usually a hive of trouble so he couldn't just stand by and do nothing. He may've been given these powers originally to be a weapon of mass destruction...but he alone would decide how to use it, and right now...there were people who needed his help.


He walked down the sidewalk, hood up so as to not attract attention to himself and...well, being in this form helped keep him human. Just when he turned another corner though, police sirens wailed not far away making him stop...and then suddenly stumble as a loud explosion briefly shook the ground under his feet, "What the?!" Deciding this was a time to act and not stand around debating with himself, the man disappeared into a nearby alley and let his powers go to work. His entire body became covered in black with insectoid armour. A pair of optic lenses styled like a bug's were where his human eyes once were. Taking a running leap, he cleared several stories and landed on the roof of the building before taking off at high speeds towards the source of the noise.

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Jason had been in a meeting with a possible new addition to Draco Enterprises until about 8:30 PM. Currently, he was grabbing a cup of coffee and talking to some of the locals about what he could do to improve the situation for all of them. With his massive inheritance of course, not as Eternal Dragon. That would require a whole different crowd to talk to. Jason heard the explosion in the distance and excused himself from talking to Martha, a current resident of a run-down apartment building. Jason was considering purchasing the property and giving it a face-lift. Anyways, Jason quickly climbed to the rooftops, found a significantly darkened section of the roof and changed into his costume.

 

Jason was using his Dragon Spirit to speed himself along to his destination.  He needed to get there quickly or things could turn sour, considering the explosion was audible from this far away. Good thing one of the abilities afforded to him from his training in the Himalayas was enhanced speed. Along the way, Jason surveyed the area to see if there were people running away from the explosion. That would show if this was anywhere near a populated area and how much was affected.

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Using their various forms of movement, all three heroes headed toward the sound of the explosion as quickly as they could.  Jason did not see any sign of people running from the area, the streets being mostly deserted. 

Soon all three arrived at a section of the block where a faint trail of smoke drifted up into the air.  Several police cars were pulled up outside of a bank, which had a hole blasted in one of its walls from which the smoke rose.  A couple of figures were faintly visible inside the bank, when suddenly a jet of flame shot out from the hole in the wall to strike one of the police cars.  The police officers that had been behind the car looking over the hood ducked down behind it as flames washed overhead. 

The jet of flame was followed quickly by a bolt of lightning, which shot out and struck another police car, blasting a hole in the side and sending to the police officer behind it scampering away as electricity arched across the surface of the vehicle.  The last police car present was hit by a blast of ice, which encased one side in a thick layer of ice, the police officers behind ducking down as well.

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Oh boy, energy controllers. This was one of the less favourable situations for sure, since they, for one, actually were able to get through the smoke and injure Bonfire. Also, considering they were holding their own against the police just fine, this wasn’t the time for talking. Which just meant it was time to make it go down quickly, take out whoever’s the biggest threat ASAP. Simple enough.

 

Fire probably wasn’t too big a danger for now, but the other two? Not a lot of fun should they stay around.  At this point trying to get one of them to faint using smoke was probably not the best idea, the other two would just focus on him even more than they would already. So it came down to simply creating a lot of hot smoke around everyone and hoping that’d at least do something. Easy enough, Cass had done this at least a dozen times before, by now he was able to shape it well enough to avoid high levels of collateral damage.

 

So he activated his personal smoke-shield and started focusing on the area around the Ice controller, shaping out an area that if possible would hit all three opponents while avoiding any civilians and then just going straight up into the sky should there be too much smoke. And then, smoke. A layer of smoke formed on the ground, before quickly shooting upwards shortly after.

 

Edited by olopi

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"Crap, need to get down there quickly!" Jason said a little louder than he intended. But he didn't want anybody getting hurt on his watch. Jason jumped down from the roof and made it fairly easily. He looked over and saw a gray misty creature using some sort of smoke attack on these three thugs. "Better help him out. Don't think he wants a three on one situation". Jason began focusing his ki into his arm. He felt pulses of energy begin to go through his body as he summoned up his Dragon Claw. Jason singled out the thug who had been spraying Lightning before and decided that he might enjoy a  ball of fiery ki to the face. Taking the stance he normally did when about to throw his Flame out, Jason aimed carefully (knowing they probably still didn't notice him) and chucked the ball of ki at the electric thug's face.

Edited by geniusostrich

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As the first two heroes on the scene got a better look at the three figures that had unleashed the barrage of energy attacks, they saw what appeared to be three men in regular clothes and a ski mask, wearing what looked like oversized technological gauntlets on each hand that appeared to be the source of their powers.  But the heroes wasted little time trying to stop the powered criminals. 

First Bonfire's smoke attack washed over the three criminals, injuring the one that had fired the bolt of electricity.  The other two criminals managed to avoid damage from the attack. 

Eternal Dragon leapt into action next, executing an incredible acrobatic flip off the rooftop he had been on and into the street.  He also hit the lighting wielding criminal with a ki blast, the attack injuring the man further, but he still remained on his feet. 

The criminal that had fired the blast of ice at a police car reacted first to the attack from two superpowered crimefighters.  "We got trouble."  He shouted over his shoulder, as he moved away from his two companions, appearing to try to create space to avoid the possibility of getting caught in another single smoke attack like before.  At the same time, he sent a blast of ice up at Bonfire's smoky form, the freezing cold attack hitting the hero. 

The fire wielding criminal moved out away from the hole in the wall a short distance as well, sending another blast of flame at the already burning cop car, intensifying the flames already present.  The increased heat caused the cops behind the car to move a short distance away and take other cover. 

The lightning wielding criminal focused on Eternal Dragon, the last crime fighter to hurt him as he sent a bolt of electricity at the martial arts hero and hitting him squarely.

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Cold. So cold. The shield of smoke and fire seemed to at least take care of the actual damaging part of the ice, but it still meant everything around Bonfire now was rather cold. This was bad. Outgunned, Outnumbered, and the enemies had the advantage element wise. Well, it was time to get a bit creative. Maybe if he’d create an opening the police would be able to act. As long as they could somehow deal with the fire-controller, but Mr. Icy over there was a lot more of a threat at the moment.

 

“Hey, Ice Guy. Ski masks, really? At least try being a bit creative. You’ve got these fancy gauntlets and all, and you don’t even incorporate them into your costume? Make masks or something, maybe get sleeveless shirts. Do you want to be known as those guys that robbed a place, or do you want to be known as The Gauntlet Gang? Just a suggestion, that name, but I think it fits. Seriously, you have superpowers, do something with your attire. Ski masks are something the generic minion wears, not something befitting of somebody able to control the Elements!”

 

“Oh, and before I forget it, hey, Lightning Person! Don’t turn your back on me just because you’re fighting somebody else! I can easily hit you still”

 

And so, a slowly moving cloud of dark smoke flew out towards the lightning controller in combat with the fellow Hero, before dissolving right before it would’ve hit. Maybe this would allow his fellow hero to get a surprising hit it.  

 

Edited by olopi

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" Alright, good.  My opponent is off balance, let's take advantage of that," Jason thought to himself. "Keep your guard up, even when you're blind!" Jason said as he summoned up the True Dragon Claw. Taking careful aim, the Claw began to go true towards the blinded mook. Until the smoke got close enough to Jason's eyes as well. "Crap!" Jason said, reeling back from the irritation forming in his eyes. "Thanks for helping me out but try to use something less liable to blind me as well next time." Jason said, getting back into combat position after rubbing his eyes clean.

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The man wearing in the gauntlets with the ice powers appeared confused by Bonfire's comments, looking over at the smoke man as he tried to follow what was being said.  "What?....we hadn't thought of that….but what would the boss say?"  He got so wrapped up in considering the idea that he did not make any attacks. 

The ski-masked man with the fire gauntlets did not let himself get so distracted.  "Aww shut your yap!"  He shouted as he sent a fire blast at Bonfire, which the smoky figure easily avoided. 

The Lightning wielder took a half step back from Eternal Dragon after getting briefly distracted.  He smirked and fired another lighting blast at the martial artist, who easily dodged aside.

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Well, that actually worked. Partially. Ice-guy didn’t attack, and apparently these robbers had some kind of boss. Sure, all of the robbers were still standing mostly uninjured, but at least there was a quick opening thanks to Bonfire’s fasttalking. What now, then?

 

Cover. Considering his partial immunity taking cover behind a burning car wasn’t quite as terrible of an idea as it was for everyone else. Still not a good one, but probably better than floating around in the open. So the cloud of smoke quickly floated behind cover, quickly thought about what to do, and sent a small burst of smoke moving towards the Ice-Thug.

 

A simple plan, hit him with the burst and then focus on creating more smoke and having it travel down his throat. Essentially, suffocate him. Only until he was unconscious. Sure, it wasn’t that heroic, but those people who’s lives Bonfire had saved by doing the same thing two weeks ago certainly didn’t feel like complaining. The plan had it’s flaws, sure, but if it worked that’d be the biggest threat removed. Now the blast just had to hit and Bonfire had to not get interrupted.

Edited by olopi

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Eternal Dragon was starting to lose a little focus. The hit earlier took a little out of him and the inability to hit these grunts was frustrating. So he summoned his Claw up once again to attempt to land a hit. And missed. The thug must have gotten lucky. "You know, today is not my day," Jason said. Jason attempted to focus and try to land the hit again. And missed. The frustration was really starting to build up. "It's really, really not my day". Jason took a deep breath while avoiding attacks and tried to focus for his next hit.

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The thug wearing the ice gauntlets managed to dodge aside the smoke that Bonfire had sent to try to choke him out.  The crook smirked at the smoky figure.  "What?  No more snappy comments?"  He called out.  "Let's see how you handle some cold!"  With that he sent a blast of ice at the hero, which Bonfire was just barely able to avoid. 

With the police falling back to leave things to the two heroes, the crook with the fire gauntlets turned his attention to the opponents his companions were facing.  With Eternal Dragon in melee with the lighting wielder, the fire thug did not want to risk hitting his friend.  So instead he turned to Bonfire, sending a blast of flame into the air.  Once again Bonfire was just able to avoid the attack.

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While the fire wielding thug was focused on Bonfire, and disappointed he had missed the crime fighter, he failed to note a shadow that passed over the dim streets, as a mid-sized car came sailing through the air to slam into the thug.  The forcefield surrounding the thug flickered from the impact, saving the man from being outright killed, but he was still sent flying backward, slamming into an undamaged section of the bank's wall about fifteen feet away. 

This second impact caused no further harm to the thug, who dropped down onto the ground, dazed, but not too badly hurt for the moment.

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With a peculiar twang to the spatial dimensions, an arm appeared. 

 

Then another. 

 

The curious thing about the arms was they were both a hundred feet long, and just about two feet long. At the same time. 

 

Another twang, and they contracted, bringing with them a cannonball attached to the other end. 

 

This cannonball may have weighed a ton, but he was actually a man, to whom those strange arms belonged. 

 

"Its warp time!" declared the man, who was surely the most ridiculous looking superhero of all time. Not five feet tall, except for arguably his girth, and possessed of a sarcastic slapped face that was devoid of any square jaw or chiselled cheekbones. His jowls rumbled magnificently, however. 

 

Doctor Warp had arrived. 

 

He gave a curt, ungainly bow to Bonfire and Eternal Dragon, and a little mock salute. "Sorry for the speeding car, officers! Don't give me a ticket!" he chuckled, clapping his hands excitedly. 

Edited by Supercape

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While the goon wielding the lightning gauntlets had been focused on Eternal Dragon, the car slamming into one of his companions had certainly drawn his attention.  As Dr. Warp made his appearance, the tech wielding crook could only look at the newcomer in shock.

"A car?  You coulda killed him!"  He finally yelled out, paying little heed to Eternal Dragon now, as he raised on of his overlarge gauntlets and fired a bolt of electricity at the short, fat hero.  However, despite untypical appearance, Dr. Warp was much quicker on his feet than one would expect, and he deftly dodged the blast, which blew a chunk out of the pavement further down the block.

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"Lightning?" retorted Dr Warp.

 

"It could have killed me!" he explained. 

 

"Honestly, the hypocrisy! That car was barely travelling at 50 miles per hour! Lightning is much faster. Why, I do believe it travels...at the speed of light!" he mocked, doing a little tap dance and explaining velocity with his hands. 

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And the cavalry had arrived. This is what Bonfire had hoped would happen at some point, but it certainly was quicker and more ... over the top, than he expected. Well, no reason to complain about backup! And hey, this could work out to his favour. He was in a rather comfortable position right now, the newcomer had certainly gotten the attention of his enemies. Maybe this would allow Bonfire to try and do the thing he tried before again, take out the Ice-Controller by suffocating him. Then again, trying to do it again was the most obvious move and probably what his opponent expected. Maybe it was time to do the simplest thing.

 

Hey, talking is cool and all, but keep your focus on the battle! Were still fighting here!"

 

"Lightning-Man, weve had this before! Focus on your enemies! I'm standing around here, and youre letting your guard down! Dont just smalltalk, defend yourself! Look, I could easily hit you right now! Im probably not going to, but you get the idea. Dont give your opponents an opening like this! Defend thineself or something, because who knows, maybe I will actually attack you anyways!

 

This time he created a bit of smoke below the Lightning controller, but didnt follow through again, instead smoking out the area around the Fire-Controlle and extending it outwards, it was time to capitalize on this opening!  Hopefully having fire-abilites did not grant him any protection towards smoke and heat.

Edited by olopi

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And now it's time to get a little payback. The fake smoke burst was a nice plan and it did open up the lightning controller for a solid hit. "Hey, Sparks!" Eternal Dragon said as he charged his claw once again. "He never said it was just him you needed to worry about." The claw smashed into the Lightning Thug's face right after he said that. The impact sent the thug flying through the wall behind him. And then he got up again. "Oh, come on!" ED said as he prepared to finish off the Lightning Thug.

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Doctor Warp squinted, and looked behind him, at the chunk of pavement that had been blasted out by the lightning bolt. 

 

"That's a public hazard!" he declared, spinning on a heel. His arm stretched out, or rather, the universe contracted around his arm, and he had the chunk of pavement in his hand. His grip was like a vice, crunching into the concrete. 

 

"You'll swing for that! We can't have just anyone throwing arcs of lightning..." he said, grumpily. He did a little motion with his other hand, demonstrating the mechanics of a pendulum. 

 

Up and over when his arm, several dozen feet in an arc overhead. 

 

Crunch!

 

His arm landed a foot away from the Lightning thugs feet, the pavement he had gripped exploding into dust and chips which covered the lightning man. Whilst it might induce a cough and ruin the cut of ones suit, that was all. 

 

"Your head's too small!" complained Doctor Warp. "Tiny target area!"

 

He gave a wink at Eternal Dragon and Bonfire. 

 

"Don't them him in the head! No vital organs!" he said, indicating the three thugs in various states of consciousness. 

Edited by Supercape

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Although Dr. Warp's latest attack missed the already battered lightning wielding thug, he and the ice gauntlet thug were both on the ropes.  Neither was currently able to act, as they had both been dazed by various attacks.  But they were still conscious, at least for the moment.

But even as the three heroes focused on the two gauntlet wielding thugs, three other men in ski masks and dark clothes appeared at the hole in the wall of the bank.  But none of them were wearing oversized gauntlets on their hands, instead, they were carrying pistols in one hand, the other holding large sacks that were over one shoulder. 

The three glanced at the scene around them, seeing their powered companions apparently losing to the gathered heroes.  So they started running off down the sidewalk away from the battle…

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Well, that had worked a fair bit better than imagined. One down, two about to be down. No longer outnumbered. All and all, this situation started to look better by the second. Bonfire was about ready to try and finish the remaining two thugs, when more appeared. And they ran away. Well, that wasn’t so nice now, was it? These didn’t look like they were too much of a threat to him, so the cloud of smoke left it’s cover and flew over to the sidewalk the three thugs were running away on. Maybe he would be able to take them out quickly enough so the fellow crimefighters could keep dealing with the two more dangerous individuals.

 

“Hey guys, don’t just run away! We’re not done yet! Don’t let your buddies get all the fun! What’cha got in those bags?“

 

The three thugs by now probably had an idea what Bonfire’s powers were, but that didn’t stop him from summoning another cloud of smoke on the ground and having it shoot up, it seemed like the most reasonably thing to do when chasing multiple people.

 

 

 

Edited by olopi

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Alright, one is down. Sparks was looking pretty woozy from the beating the three heroes had given him. Eternal Dragon decided to take advantage of that. "Hey, over here!" Jason yelled at the thug. As he began to charge up a new electricity blast, ED used the charged up Claw he had saved up. The punch landed true and the thug's legs turned to jelly from the punch.

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As Eternal Dragon finished off the lightning wielding thug, the one with the ice gauntlets began to clear his head from Bonfire's last attack.  Glancing around him, he noted that both his gauntlet wielding companions were down, and that the three other thugs that had been trying to escape with the loot from the bank were down as well.  Looking back at the nearby heroes, he raise d his gauntleted hands up above his head.


"Okay, I give up!"  He replied. 

At that moment, a van that had been parked down the street began pulling away at high speed....

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