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Avenger Assembled

The Story Of Tonight (IC)

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Hyperactive's escape worked - the two assassins weren't prepared for his maneuver and, injured or not, he was still fast enough to run beyond the range of normal human vision. Even so, it was clear this was all coming down to a matter of seconds. Luckily, Hyperactive wasn't the only fast one here. A one-two punch from Mannequin put down the spotter, disarming him with one blow across his staff and then smashing him against the car, knocking him down and out for a few fateful seconds. On the other side of the car, suitably hidden and with time to slap another bolt in place, Riley rolled into action. He'd been in battles like this before - desperate fights against deadly enemies, he just had to make sure he didn't fight this one the same way. 

 

Woodsman snapped out from behind the smashed-in car and shot the sniper in the back from a crouching kneel - a neatly placed shot between her shoulder blades that lodged in but didn't quite penetrate her armor. He'd seen the flexible armor-plating shrug off bolts before, even at close range, but this time he hadn't loaded a bladed arrow. The bolt lodged, internal chemicals mixing as hair-thin panes of glass broke and a binary explosive was born - and a sudden concussion hit! Blasted forward, she hit the wall opposite the alley with a loud crunch. Not hesitating now that she was hurt, she dropped her staff, the bladed instrument hissing and sparking before it too went up in a sudden, too-bright explosion. By the time the heroes could see again, one of their targets was missing. 

 

The other one wasn't, though. Keeping cover in case the sniper was lurking somewhere, Woodsman called to his superpowered allies, pointing to the form of the man Mannequin had taken out, still bleeding from cuts that any - from cuts that probably were going to need stitches. "Somebody better tie that guy up," he said, unhooking the cuffs from his belt and sliding them across the pavement. 

 

 

 

 

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Hyperactive slumped up against the car and started going over his wounds. He'd hurt real bad in a few hours, but all in all he would be ok. Hadn't been the first grenade he'd had lobbed at him. It had been the first one that got him that way. 

 

"Wow it's been a long time since I've been the one anyone decided to shoot at." He said out loud. "I think though we might have lost our lead on that corporate espionage Mannequin." 

 

"I appreciate the help, I'm Hyperactive by the way." Hyperactive said to the archer as he rolled out his ankles and shoulders. That fall had not been fun, and he couldn't help but be grateful Doctor Orion wasn't there to comment on his sloppy form.  "Well I can give the car a check, see if there's any clues and when this clown wakes up maybe he'll be open to talking." 

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Mannequin raised himself from the dropped Spotter and followed Hyperactive's lead in doing stretches after the battle. It didn't really have a point due to not having any muscles or ligaments but more so out of habit from before his transformation. This was actually one of the first real fights against other unique people he had been in and despite how his allies fared that managed to pull out a win in the end and that's all that really mattered.

 

Hyperactive went off again for what seemed like the millionth time doing what he did best which just left him alone with the Archer. Not wanting to constantly call some random guy by what they did Mannequin went over and did his best to "stare" down at the Archer and do a friendly wave snapping his hand left to right like a metronome.

Edited by Vorik

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"Woodsman," grunted Riley in reply, his face in shadow thanks to his poncho's hood. It was nice, even after that damn fight, to be acknowledged by other heroes. That sort of thing didn't happen a whole lot to the wiry archer, not even where he came from. Except for this weirdo, he thought, shooting a look up at Mannequin. What the hell? He kept his thoughts to himself, though, not wanting to have another whole thing. When there was no gunfire from up above, he slid his way out from behind the car and put the would-be assassin in handcuffs, tying them tight, so it hurt. (You had to be careful of circulation when you did that but Woodsman was always careful.) 


Searching the car didn't give Hyperactive much - but then that could be a clue in and of itself. The car was a rental from an agency by the airport, and weapons enough had been stored in the trunk to suggest that the two assassins had come armed for significant metahuman opposition. If the heroic trio hadn't intervened, they could have done considerably more damage. He found what must have been fake IDs - it somehow seemed unlikely that the sniper and her partner had been born with the names of "Jane and John Smith." 


Gradually, the spotter began stirring, recovering from the sound thrashing he'd gotten at the hands of the heroes. Trusting his more articulate colleagues to perform the interrogation, Woodsman took this opportunity to remove a hatchet and whetstone from his belt and began the slow, just-loud-enough scraping that meant he was sharpening the former with the latter. "Mornin'." 

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As soon as the restraints were on, a lot tighter than he was used to seeing, Hyperactive leaned the Spotter up against the van. Hyperactive let himself slump down across from where he had leaned the spotter up. Good Cop then.

 

"You've got a lot of guns in there. I think I counted at least twenty violations of those magazine capacity laws. Not to mention the fact that you've got a couple counts of assault here and definitely conspiracy to commit murder on at least one charge. Oh and forging state documents, Nice touch with old fashioned Louisiana easy forgery." He let that sink in. "Now I like to help people." He hoped that response the spotter just gave was a scoff. It meant that this guy thought he could play Hyperactive. He held his hands up. "I know I know good ol' hero. But I want to help you. Unlike your partner who I think made it pretty clear that she wasn't coming back to help you." A slight pause to let that one sink in. "But in order to help you, I need you to cooperate. How about something easy like your name? Or who you came to kill?" 

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"I have no name," hissed the spotter, looking from Woodsman to Hyperactive as if he seriously thought the former might do him harm, then sliding just a touch closer towards the speedster. His face bulged red, his eyes bugged out as he hissed his words through clenched teeth at the heroes. "I am a servant of the One Eye, and I have acted in His sacred name. Why not tell you? We came to take the Vision's eye and tonight we nearly did. If we fail, what does it matter? Another will come and blind the servants of the False God." 

 

"Welp, he's crazy," opined Woodsman, putting away his sharpening stone and twirling his hatchet in his free hand. "Maybe if we beat him harder, he'll start making more sense." 

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"Funny, you and I seem to have similar responsibilities. You seem a fair bit more zealous in stamping out false gods, but that's why I have my powers too. At least in part." Hyperactive said, all true and any connection to the guy you were trying to get information out of. "So you came for a Visionary." Someone from Vision, either Dr. Horridan or a colleague. "Who is the false god? Why are they false?" He smiled. "Any other names of the one eyed god it seems I'm about to go anger? Maybe I'll be lucky and their already mad."

Edited by Kolohehonu

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Mannequin would sigh if he still had lungs. It just seems that heroes these days are just not that friendly. Whether it be Hyperactive constantly leaving you mid sentence or Woodsman trying to play the all dark and mysterious they left a lot to be desired in allies when it came to making plans. For example we never said a word to each other on how we would deal with the captive. Would we be civil or rough, friendly or aggressive? In the end it looks like some good old grilling for information.

 

Mannequin was never great at asking the right questions but he has come to realize in the recent months since his change that he is very effective at getting people to talk by staring at them long enough. With that Mannequin elongated his limbs to appear as dominating and overpowering as possible and tried his best to look very imposing down at the captive while standing behind the other two heroes. Just for some extra effect he adopted several twitches hoping to make himself appear less human than normal.

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"The Eye sees you. It sees your technology and knows it blinds you to the Light. Only when the false Vision ends will you truly be able to see." The spotter glared up at Mannequin. "When the Light comes, all technological abominations will be swept away in its-" 

 

"Hang on a second," said Woodsman, his brow furrowing. He gestured at the bound criminal with his free hand, careful to hold the hatchet securely in the other. "You came here inna car! You threw boomerangs a'tus and your partner had a freakin' assault rifle!" He seemed more annoyed by the hypocrisy than the violence. 

 

"Necessary sacrifices," spat the spotter. "And she was nothing but a mercenary, selling her soul for filthy lucre. I am the Eye's Fist. You _will_ hear from me again - and so will the Vision."

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"So y'all are what, evil Amish? You don't really care who has the tech, but the tech itself then? Is the false visionary Dr. Van Raalte? Your car is from the airport, so I'd guess you sabotaged the Socotran's as well. A perfect set up." Hyperactive folded his arms. "I wanted to talk to Van Raalte anyways." He said as he finally stood up. He glanced over at Mannequin before moving over to him. He trusted that Woodsman could keep an eye on the Eye's Fist. 

 

"Well anyone else besides you from Vision here tonight?" He asked quietly. He really hoped Mannequin could speak, it would be very awkward if he couldn't. "We should make sure they're safe, and then I think we need to have a chat with Dr. Van Raalte. Either he can lead us to the thieves that've angered the evil Amish or he's behind it all. Then we can put whoever it is safely away in a nice well guarded cell and give the Horridan's the peace they deserve."

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Of course Mannequin thought, it just had to be an evil Amish cult with some weird thing for eyes. Why couldn't it of been a standard evil villain who shows up causes some damage and then gets arrested. Atleast that way its just a one and done. Now though it seems there is a whole cult of people to take care of and since they are cultists they are also crazy. Dealing with crazy people is always much more tricky than the run of a mill henchman on a paycheck, you can understand them at least. This is going to be a long day it seems.

 

Horridan waited while the Speedster stood there waiting for a reply. one second, two seconds, a whole three seconds have passed and the speedster was still there, no disappearing in a woosh of air or talking over anyone. He was just standing there. Could this finally be a time where he could actually talk to the Speedster? Or would it end with yet another disappointing woosh. Mannequin decided to take the chance.

 

Mannequin's voice was anything but normal. It came off a mixture of beeps and buzzes forming syllables that were still easy to understand but left none of the emotion in the words. "No one else besides me. I agree that we should talk to Dr. Van Raalte. Regardless of whether or not he is behind it all he should have some answers. You took quite a fall back there. Will you be alright, or do you need some medical attention? I happen to know a few thing on how to patch people up."

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"Will be totally honest I was afraid you were gonna Morse code your answer to me." Hyperactive said. He definitely wasn't sure where that sound came from. It also sounded like some kind of computer was reproducing typed words. "As far as that fall. Yeah it hurt, not the worst fall I've ever had though. I'll be ok soon, but yeah we should probably address some of these." He hoped the ribs were just bruised, he hadn't heard them break. 

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Wow they actually thought I just couldn't talk at all. I mean sure I don't have a mouth but they never really gave me a chance until now. At least now they probably know not to just run before I can talk to them. "Since I got here every time I have tried to speak you would run away before I could get anything out. It is very rude of you." Mannequin wages a finger at him to show disapproval. "Also don't talk much anyways. People seem to find my voice unsettling to say the least. Believe it or not people find me to be creepy. Not sure why though." He said while trying to scrap the back of his head.

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"Stupid guy says he hates tech but comes here with super-tech," Woodsman was muttering as he went over the squirming cultist for other weapons, devices, or lock-picking mechanisms - he didn't find much, but he felt better for doing it. "You know technology is how we're all still alive, right?" He normally wasn't this talkative after a fight - but he normally wasn't this annoyed. 

 

The arrival of the authorities broke up the tete-a-tete of heroes, Woodsman taking this opportunity to loosen the handcuffs (so he wouldn't get lectured when he got back to school) and to for once be the guy who got to talk to the cops first. For a couple minutes, anyway - by the time the spotter was being loaded into the back of the STAR Squad van that had arrived at the scene of metahuman combat, Woodsman had slunk back into the shadows to let Hyperactive and Mannequin talk to the cops about what had happened. He took this opportunity to shoot a quick text back to the school as part of his hourly check-in. 

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"Alright thank you officers. We're happy to help." Hyperactive grinned. He handed the seething spotter off and smiled. 

 

"Alright Mannequin wanna see if we can find Dr. Van Raalte?" He asked as the cops drove off. "Hey and let's try to stay cordial-" that sounded like the right word. "- at least until we know how involved he was in getting his hands on your friend Dr. Horridan's tech." The last thing he needed was for Mannequin to scare Van Raalte out of his mind before they got the information they needed. 

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Mannequin nodded and gave a thumbs up. Hopefully now we will finally get some answers about this crazy cult and furthermore those who stole my tech. This might turn out to be a good day indeed.

 

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"Woodsman?" Hyperactive asked. Where in the world had he gone? "Are you going to come with us while we talk to Dr. Van Raalte?" He asked still looking around. It was nice to have back up. 

 

"Hey so sorry but I'm going to run in there and make sure we don't get shot by security coming in." He said and went into the convention center at hypersonic speed. He took in the convention center, and saw that there wasn't really any response yet. "Look we put the Threat down, just help keep everyone calm. Thank you." He went back out to the other two. "Well we shouldn't be shot at. Though the way Tonight has gone-" he rolled his neck out "we still might." 

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Riley had fit in well in the tech expo - albeit being darker and younger than most of the attendees. Woodsman, with his crossbow and poncho, was a more awkward fit - he wound up sticking close to the other heroes and not saying much as they tracked down Dr. Van Raalte. It was very bright on the hall floor, with few of the visible shadows he liked. The Dutch-American scientist had stayed on the scene during the super-battle, staying close to the small coterie of uniformed security guards on the convention floor, albeit having the sense to move off the stage to stand on the floor at its base rather than actually occupy the wooden platform. "My friends, it is the heroes from outside!" declared van Raalte at the sight of the trio, leading the remaining convention guests in a round of applause for the heroes. Woodsman didn't so much shrink as he hunched down a little, ducking inside his hood. 

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The applause was always appreciated, but Hyperactive was bummed that he didn't really have time to bask in the glory. The assassin was too fast for that to be a possibility.

 

The heroes had still been some ways away, perhaps thirty feet when Van Raalte had made his declaration. Hyperactive waited until the doctor had finished before looking at Mannequin.

 

"hey I know this annoys you, sorry need to prove a point." He said quietly before sprinting at and past Dr. Van Raalte. "Hello doctor, as much as I'm sure you'd like to finish your presentation, every second we spend our target gets further away. Speed is of the essence. We believe you may have been one of the targets of tonight's attack. My colleagues and I would like to ask you a few questions privately." 

Edited by Kolohehonu

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The trio of heroes wound up meeting with van Raalte in the control room of the convention, where a privacy screen gave them a little protection from the gaping eyes of the IT techs who kept all the electronics running for the electronics people. "Ach, I don't really know why anyone would to kill an old fellow like me," said van Raalte, raising his hands in bafflement. Miss Americana might have sent her lawyers after us, but we got that prototype finished for her on time. Made all the papers in Michigan, yah, and back in Amsterdam too." 

 

"What exactly you make for Miss Americana?" asked Woodsman suspiciously. Miss Americana wasn't one of the heroes on his 'list' - but she was certainly nobody to trifle with. 

 

"A telepresence prototype for the European market, it's the latest thing in high security presence. You, uh, boys want to see?" he asked, glancing at Mannequin in hesitation. 

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"Certainly." Hyperactive said. Well if it was a trap he could certainly let his new cohorts do the heavy hitting. He glanced at Mannequin, yeah this guy could back him up. "Dr. Van Raalte, I'll be honest, your company was already of interest to my colleagues and I. Based on what one of the assasins said we have reason to suspect that the two investigations are related."

 

"Are you familiar with Vision inc?" Hyperactive asked. He was a lot colder then talking with the spotter, he figured Van Raalte would comply without needing to be the carrot in front of the stick. Still the guy seemed extra cheerful, especially for a man who had just been informed that he might be the target of assasins. "You're rather calm for a man who has been told two trained killers, one of whom was a metahuman, are potentially after him." 

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"Oh, my boy, that is my secret!" said van Raaltle brightly. "Telepresence droids are the wave of the future for public appearances in settings full of dangerous people. Now none of you shock easily, do you? I don't want to give you a fright!" Woodsman tensed just a little at that, but said nothing as van Raatle rolled up his sleeve, exposing the forearms that his suitjacket had covered. Forearms that, on closer inspection, were clearly not human - hairless and a strange shade of pink, moving with too many joints underneath. With a wink, the grandfatherly scientist rolled up his 'other' sleeve - showing steel bones and actuators within. "I am actually back in Grand Rapids in my living room even as we speak! My wife's puddingbroodjes are delicious." 

 

"Well, that's one hell of a thing," said Woodsman with vaguely horrified fascination. Despite his own acute senses, he hadn't noticed anything different about the scientist. 

 

"And to answer your question, fellow, yes, I do know Vision," replied van Raalte, rolling both his sleeves back down. "We have done some business with them. It, ah, went poorly, but that's capitalism for you." 

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This...Was not something I was expecting to see when Raatle wanted to show us his new 'toy'. I was expecting some sort of force-field or something along those lines but to have a remote controlled droid that looks exactly like you was something else all together. When I was still broken I did consider taking this direction with my work but in the end it just didn't seem natural to me. Even though I am all but machine except my brain I am still me. If I were to just sit at home and remote control a droid then there would be nothing to feel. There would be no reason to get excited jumping from building to building or fighting criminals, no fear over dying. No, in the end it wouldn't ever really be me and that defeats the whole point of why I wanted to remake myself. Wish I could remember dealing with this guy in the past though but alas can't remember anything. I was never the guy working side by side with people, more of the working in the sweet silence of solitude type. 

 

Mannequin drew his head closer to Raatle to gesture showing interest. "Fascinating. I haven't seen an android look so lifelike before but that does beg the question. How realistic does it feel? Rather had trouble myself working on fine tuning sensory input to such a precise scale."

 

 

 

 

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"Yeah well that changes things. Poorly how?" Hyperactive said. He leaned over to Woodsman, "How can we be sure we're talking to Dr. Van Raalte? This fits Drone Master's MO. Cause panic and benefit from people paying to protect themselves. Well when she isn't suffering from her neurosis." 

 

"So Doctor. I see you're trying to cut in on Space X and Archetech down in Waco." Hyperactive leaned up against a wall, no need to put all the weight on a bow aching ankle. "Baylor's a good school but I don't think they're pumping out that many physicists and chemists." 

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"I have no senses other than visual and auditory," explained van Raalte, happy to show off his work for Mannequin. "And I cannot go beyond this ballroom and the corridors around it, or I move out of range of the on-site generator. But luckily no one thinks it is strange for an old man to move slowly and travel with helpers. As for Vision, we had some mutual talent scouting that went amiss. I suppose they think we stole _their_ man, but such is life." He hmmed. "Of course, that man from Vision, Mr. Swearingen, he left us on bad terms too. It was my fault," he admitted, "If you hear a man is leaving one company because he is a thief but nothing can be proven - you should assume he will steal from you too. An unpleasant lesson. As for Waco, we have a man at Baylor who gives us the names of promising young graduates, ah, Mr. Johnson, I believe." 

 

"Drone Master?" growled Woodsman curiously. He never did like admitting ignorance.

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