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Emerald City, United States
Saturday, May 27, 2017
Afternoon
 
The sun beat down on Emerald City, reflecting off the Albian River in all shades of navy and cobalt and sapphire. It was the first wave of spring on the West Coast and the city was enjoying it. Families were playing out in Magic Hill Park or Elysian Forest. The campuses of Arcadia College and ECU were crowded with coeds studying or playing on the grass. The streets of Southern Shore were crowded with people enjoying the bright day.
 
Tona Baudin reclined in a chair outside a coffee shop, tight trousers and a tee giving her the chance to show off her definition. It wasn't just because she enjoyed the warmth as much as anyone and enjoyed showing off the results of her exercise. She finally had a chance to show off Emerald City to her girlfriend; Sam wasn't around nearly as much as Tona wished she was, but now that she was here Tona intended to make up for lost time.
 
"It's called Ghost Sightings," Tona said, frowning as she hunted for something on her phone, "but it's not all about ghosts. It's about a lot of stuff happening around town, like fishermen down the coast turning up monster-sized lobster shells or a rash of disappearances among the homeless. It's a really fun read and a good source of information. I just wish I could find the damn site on my phone..."
Edited by Raveled

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Not far from the coffee shop, Daniel Lee was sitting outside of a fairly new public library, on their fenced-in "reader's porch". A spill-proof thermos with still-warm tea kept him hydrated as he steadily devoured his way through the book in front of him.

 

Or rather, books. He had pair of dry-looking electrical engineering books he was glancing through for a few minutes at a time, before he would carefully set them down and switch to a thick, classic-looking novel. Some among the populace might find this odd goings-on for someone's day off, but for Daniel it was practically blissful. The weather was so perfect that he couldn't not be outside, and he was at that perfect place of alertness and eagerness for knowledge that reading through two completely different sorts of texts was not only not a challenge, but actively fun to him. 

 

Some people really do like the simple things in life. 

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"May I?" Sam leans over, and with a few taps, magically gets Tona's phone to do what she was trying to do, somehow.

 

"So... it's basically a tabloid?" she skims some headlines.  Definitely tabloid.  "I kinda hope it isn't legit.  People vanishing isn't exactly fun."

 

Today, Sam sports an excessively short pair of denim shorts and the baggiest green sweater, with a big, ruffly collar for no apparent reason.  As she goes back to her own seat and downloads the ap on her own phone, and continues browsing.  "If I find anything about a laseratops, I know it's a hoax."  She sips her coffee.

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"People disappearing is a thing that happens, Sam," Tona grumbled. "And laser-raptors or whatever wouldn't be the weirdest thing you or I have ever seen. Probably not even in the top ten." She scrolled quickly through the top headline but there was nothing that caught her eye there; mostly it was talking about weird encounters in the hills and forests around the town, and Tona already knew what that was about. "If something like this gives us a leg up, shouldn't we use it?"

 

Any further debate was stalled as a truck just in front of the store started honking, its horn strident and overpowering. It was an armored truck of the sort used to move money around, and directly in front of it was a white panel van. The traffic light was green but the van wasn't moving, and in fact Tona couldn't see a driver or passenger in the white van at all. Before anyone could investigate, the back of the van opened and there was a sudden flash of blue light. When the light faded, the front of the armored truck had been flattened against the ground like it was a clay model someone didn't like.

 

The sides of the van opened up and three people got out. Each one was wearing a dark pull-over, track pants, and colorful masks that could have been made in Jadetown. Each one was also armed with an elaborate, decorated weapon; one with a sword made to look like the blade was erupting into fire, another with a musket crafted to be a dragon's maw, and the last carrying a huge hammer with the head fashioned in the style of a falling meteor.

 

The civilians started screaming and moving away from the area while gun-demon and hammer-man stood on either side of the road. Meanwhile, the sword-user stalked to the back of the armored car and touched the blade of the sword to the door's locks. Sparks began spraying from the point of contact like it was a cutting torch!

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When the chaos started, Daniel sighed, finished his tea, and set his books to one side. He gazed longingly at the Jane Austen novel as he gently closed it.  

 

"That one was just getting good, too."

 

With that, he simply slipped through the panicking crowds, seemingly just...disappearing. He moved around until he was in an isolated back alley corner; no cameras on the way, no witnesses. There, he changed, become not Daniel Lee, but Sun Walker, long-distant scion of Sun Wukong, the Monkey King. Shaking himself just a bit, the hair on the sides of his cheeks quivering in...not quite anticipation, but nervous energy, he casually ran up the side of the building, quickly arriving above the street where the armored car heist was taking place. With a deft leap assisted by his tail snagging a light pole, Sun Walker makes a three-point landing a few feet away.

 

"Pardon me, but none of that really belongs to you..." 

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Tona didn't react the way the rest of the street did when the truck exploded and figures in outlandish masks jumped out. While the rest of the people screamed or yelled she just sighed and set her phone down on the table, then thought better of it after a moment and made sure it was face-down. She stood and allowed the crowd to carry her away until she saw a convenient alleyway to duck down. There, a pair of bracers on either arm and a mask from her pocket was about all the work she did to change herself; if she didn't have her costume, she'd just have to stay hidden.
 
The archer quickly and ably climbed the building and crossed the roof, doing her best to stay low and move quietly. She crept up to the edge of the roofline and peeked over, watching the fuzzy man with a tail confront the men with the ornate weapons. While the one with the sword continued cutting away at the armored truck, the one with the meteor hammer stepped in front of the polite man. "Get out of here, Fuzzy Wuzzy. We're not here to hurt you. Just push off and I won't have to hurt you."

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Sun Walker blinks, and at the man's very direct attitude, he blinks again, and takes a half-step back.

 

"Ah. Now. See here...First. My name. It's not 'Fuzzy Wuzzy'. I am Sun Walker. Secondly. Threatening violence...that's not something that suggests you care whether you hurt people or not."

 

He glances back at the man cutting into the truck, and with his tail, gently points toward him.

 

"He really should stop; as I said, this isn't your truck. Ah. Please?"

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The sword man continued his job of cutting through the door locks. Hammer Guy kept blocking Sun Walker in. "Maybe it's mine, maybe it ain't. Just think of it like a really big ATM withdrawal. Stroller." He poked the monkey martial artist in the chest as if he was daring the smaller man to make any kind of move. "Like I said, step back and I won't have to turn you into a rug."

 

The man with the sword let out a cry of triumph as he finished cutting through the locks. He threw open the doors, as a sudden cerulean flash and ear-splitting bang rang out over the street. car alarms started going off as Sword covered his eyes, yelling with surprise and anger. "Who the hell was that? Who just hit me!"

 

Gun and Hammer moved toward the armored van, Gun jumping onto a car roof in order to get better sight lines. "Where did that come from? I don't see anything!"

 

On the roof, hidden by the lip of the decorations, Blue Jay considered her options. If this Sun Walker character continued to just stand around and talk she might have to spread out her shots and try to take down all three of them at once. Otherwise she might be able to focus them down one-by-one.

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Blue Jay rolled to a new position, crunching across the gravel roof. She popped up again, this time into a full firing stance. There was a bow of cerulean energy in her hands and she pulled back and loosed, again and again and again. The man with the gun was still the most obvious target so that's she was shot at, and a storm of arrows slammed into the man as he stood on the roof of the car. He gave a cry as it forced him back, the energy bolts exploding around him. His hand closed tighter to keep a grip on the weapon and there was a terrific thunderous crash as it fired, blowing a chunk out of a building's lintel.

 

On the street, the man with the blue mask and the hammer stared at the archer and the exploded lintel for a moment before turning to Sun Walker. "You! You two are working together, aren't you? Get out of my way, monkey brain!" He lifted up the hammer and brought it down, shattering the sidewalk but missing the simian hero.

Edited by Raveled

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"Now you are simply being rude and uncouth."

 

Sun Walker took a single step to one side, and the meteor hammer hit nothing but air. He sighed and shook his head.

 

"Besides, did you think that no one would contest your thievery? Why are criminals always so upset people oppose their base villainy? After all, how dare a simple citizen, or group of citizens, take a stand in their community?"

 

He took a couple of steps toward the large man, before suddenly the tail that had been coiled around his waist shot out like a viper.

 

"How dare we say 'nay' to violence and greed? And then you have the audacity to stoop to insults with shades of racism? For shame, good sir."

 

The large man tried to evade, but even as Sun Walker just stood there, his tail zigged and zagged through the air, before winding around the man's legs and whipping up to his arms, binding them together as well. He was practically hog-tied in a few eye-blinks.

 

"Perhaps you need to sit and think about what you've done."

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