"Hey, are you free at any point today? Something... happened at the station, and I figured I should tell you -don't worry, Psyclone hasn't escaped yet, jeez- so when you're up for it, let me know." his phone said, from Frederick. "Speak of the devil." Theodore said aloud, almost laughing as it happened. "Free as a bird. The usual pub in... an hour or so?" Theodore texted back. He was more than tired of all these doctors and their pocking and their prodding. He was checking himself out before his mind threw in the towel.
"I'll be in touch Crick." Theodore said to the still present superhero as he worked his way out of the bed, still a little sore from the flesh wounds. "likewise, I hope you get me what info you can as soon as possible; I suspect it's gonna come in handy." he said.
Aldric - facing no further resistance - stepped into the interrogation room and closed the door behind him. He turned to Psyclone, smiled the way only lawyers and psychopaths could, and spoke up. "Monsieur Psyclone? I represent Wolfram, Hart, and Fey and I can assure you that we're going to do everything in our power to get you out of this... predicament" he said, his thick accent obvious. He had little doubt the villain would have an idea of who he was. "I apologize for the delay; there were many preparations needed for your case."
From there, he waited until the lights of the recording devices in the room went out; attorney-client privileged was VERY important after all.
The Crick raised an eyebrow from behind his helmet at Loveless's remark to his phone. Seems like someone just got something good. The Crick knew Loveless was up to the task and at that moment, was especially glad to have someone like him as an ally. In fact, it seemed like the Crick had a lot of allies lately. He grinned as Loveless worked his way out of the hospital bed and leaned in to help Loveless balance himself.
"I'll be in touch Crick. Likewise, I hope you get me what info you can as soon as possible; I suspect it's gonna come in handy."
"Same to you, Loveless. I'll figure out what I can." The Crick said, about turn and go, before watching the obviously slightly strained Loveless prepare himself for a long day of work. "Hey, uh, in case things get...out of hand, while you're investigating, I want you to have this."
Terry handed Loveless the the small cylindrical metal wrack with four green disks and a laser sight on the side of the rack..
"Point the laser sight, throw the rack, run in the opposite direction of what you pointed at." The Crick said slowly, trying not to oversell this suitless version of his fiddler launcher.
"Point, throw, run. I know you're not much for 'physical conflict', but I'd rather you held onto this...and honestly, this is probably safer than a taser." He chuckled slightly before quickly turning away from Loveless instinctively entering a slightly jogging-like series of hops away from Loveless.
"Get back to you soon Loveless, I got a lot of people on hold to answer!"
The Crick was out of the hospital and bounding across buildings in no time, playing back what his suit had recorded from Loveless's broadcast and the fight with Psyclone at the festival. He listened to Psyclone ramble on, the obvious signs of a plan that had fallen apart, and the angst of some angry little man with way too much power.
"I...really don't like this guy." He said to himself, ricocheting of a water tower and over a building, noting the spastic and self-destructive tendencies of the villain. Terry wondered how he'd ended up here, who he'd been before Psyclone. But only for a moment. Something caught The Crick's attention.
"I'm not just a weather guy, I make things spin! That's all it was, I could make things spin! But then I was taken, molded, forced to choose. To choose a choice I never had! The rest of my mates wanted to be heroes after what they'd done to us! Why?! Why heroes? Why not just forget it all? Simple. They let the ones who trained us into their heads. They were shown their abilities and at some point, it was ingrained in them that they had to make a choice! That's what happens here. We're all lead to believe there's a side baby! Of course, we can say it's "our side." But at our core, every villain and hero has been subconsciously...shaped. By many things of course, many things our own choice, but right now I gotta focus on the main foe in front of us."
About a minute later, Loveless summed up Psyclone's views as something related to destroying the media as some 'cultural warrior.' Which sounded appropriate. But something seemed off too The Crick. Underneath the maniacal and warped view was genuine pain and anger focused on something bigger than new outlets.
And a tiny hint of truth, he supposed.
Terry re-winded the clip to a line right after Psyclone's rant.
"Every heroic deed. Every villainous act. All of it, broadcast every day. On every screen."
"Over exposure...just like Psyclone's attacks. He probably aware of them...or maybe it's one big coincidence that happens to line up with the ramblings of an egotistic paranoid." The Crick landed and shook his head. He fast forwarded through his suits own footage, noting his preference to Coil. He quickly thought back to her rise to notoriety.
"Both of them appeared to the media on the same day...maybe he's jealous?"
Terry felt a vibration and stared at his communicator. He had a message from Unicorn, the communicators saving any messages if in standby mode. She was a hero Terry's father apparently recognized and knew. He didn't have any memory of any unicorns or pegasi back in the day, but his dad said that Terry would for sure remember them. His father must've wanted it to be some sort of surprise. He clicked the listen button.
"Crick, this is 'Unicorn', or as you might have heard from your old man, Leviathan. You gotta minute to talk about this team your putting together?"
Oh, Leviathan...Terry thought calmly. A second later, it finally hit him.
Terry had never replied to a faster, his fingers dancing across the communicator.:
"MEET ME. NOW. PLS AND THNK U."-CRK
Psyclone watched what he assumed was his lawyer walk into the room. He tried to get a feel for the guy, but to Psyclone he just looked like...an average run of the mill suit. Nothing special about him. Nothing he could focus on at least. Then he opened his mouth.
"Monsieur Psyclone? I represent Wolfram, Hart, and Fey and I can assure you that we're going to do everything in our power to get you out of this... predicament" The thick french accident sent a quick jolt to his brain.
"Took ya long enough." Psyclone adjusted himself in his seat.
"I apologize for the delay; there were many preparations needed for your case."
"Don't sweat it, somethin' tells me we've got a pretty long case ahead of us. Who knows, we might even find have to deal with a few surprise charges."
Psyclone grinned at the grey man.
After a short exchange between her and Crick, Karen got up "Be back in a bit, gotta talk to a guy about a team" she said as she transformed and left.
As Karen flew into and through the city, she felt something that gave her reason to stop, and have a look around. She searched for a few minutes, but the feeling was faint to begin with so she lost it just as quickly as she'd felt it. With no reason to hang around she resumed flying toward Cricks location.
"Hey" She said as she floated down to the young hero, landing a few feet away before walking over and extending a hand for them to shake "Before we get into the 'team building discussion', just giving you a heads up. I though I felt a demonic presence on the way here, I'm not 100% certain since it vanished shortly after I picked it up, but you should be aware none the less." Karen said giving a look back in the direction she'd felt the presence. "I'm a look into it more after we finish here. Anyway, I'm here now, what did you want to talk about that we couldn't over the communicator?'
"Is it a requirement for heroes in this town to look like walking jokes?"
Tess couldn't help but hear this remark from behind her, bringing an unconscious smirk to her face, she turned around and began to respond before she could think better of it. He was a bit taller than her, though not enough that she didn't think she could act somewhat intimidating.
"Excuse me?" she said "Do you have some sort of problem with heroes? If so please I'd like to hear it, I'm always looking for ways to improve my service of protecting people like you and your friend there from the villains out for your blood."
Not the best hero speech, but oh well. I think I scared his friend though, that's not good, heroes are supposed to be ridiculous not scary.
"Is it a requirement for heroes in this town to look like walking jokes?"
"She's right there Tim, she might hear you," George whispered back, but too late as the heroine seemed to be intent on showing Tim up or something. George found himself trying to hide behind Tim as she started to argue with him.
"C-come on," he said "Let's just all forget about th-this and go back to waiting to be seated."
Tim what are you doing? This isn't good...
"She's right there Tim, she might hear you,"
Tim just shrugged, it didn't matter if she did. It was just a silly hero either way, and everyone knew they didn't actually dare do something against a civilian. He waived to Rias, who was working behind the register.
Wow, how many jobs does she have?
She had to be overworked by now. He opened his mouth to say hi and introduce George, but then the hero spoke.
"Excuse me? Do you have some sort of problem with heroes? If so please I'd like to hear it, I'm always looking for ways to improve my service of protecting people like you and your friend there from the villains out for your blood."
George got startled by her, and started hiding behind Tim. It was odd having someone hide behind him for protection, normally it was the other way around.
"C-come on. Let's just all forget about th-this and go back to waiting to be seated."
Tim grinned, feeling his blood getting warmer. He normally didn't start a fight outside his goo-suit of magnificence, but this was too fun to ignore. Besides, what better way to show off to Tom's friend? And Rias, obviously. Besides, he had to act like an evil mastermind, and they didn't always fight. Sometimes they played elaborate mind-games, and while Tim was very well aware of that he wasn't really a genius, he still knew a little about that kind.
Besides, no one's getting hurt, it's just harmless fun.
"Don't worry," he told George, though his eyes was kept on the hero. "I'm sure she wouldn't beat up someone with bandages and casts everywhere. I mean, that wouldn't be very heroic, would it?" his expression mocked her briefly, not letting Rias or George notice it. If either of them did, he certainly didn't realize.
"Either way, it was just my opinion, and if you're done scaring my friend, I'd appreciate it if you let us eat." He grabbed George's hand, and walked over to the counted that Rias was standing behind.
"I'd like some toasted bread eggs and bacon. Oh, and a glass of milkshake. Make it vanilla." Making room for George to step up beside him, he showed off the other.
"Oh, by the way, this is George, I've adopted him," he joked. "Nah, he's one of Tom's friends, but we're hanging out right now because Tom's not home. George, this is Rias, whom I'm sure you've at least heard of before."
Rias just 'watched' the exchange between Tim and the hero. She had her own two cents on the matter, but she was on the clock so she let it go and just took the order of the, rather vapid sounding, girl in front of her, and moved along to Tim and his friend.
"Oh, by the way, this is George, I've adopted him," he joked. "Nah, he's one of Tom's friends, but we're hanging out right now because Tom's not home. George, this is Rias, whom I'm sure you've at least heard of before."
Rias extended her hand to shake George's over the register, as she did a pair of crimson hands materialized and finished inputting the order for her "Hello George, I'd ask if your keeping Tim out of trouble but since he looks like he got hit by a bus ..." she said eying the bandages a bit. "So, what happen to you?" she asked, her tone more concerned then it'd been in her greeting to George, while those same crimson hands from before started making Tim his milkshake.
Frederick sat waiting in the bar, a cup of coffee in his hand -he wasn't entirely sure he wanted to start drinking yet and the bar didn't serve tea- looking at his clock every now and then. It wasn't that Theodore tended to be late, but Frederick had the habit of turning up early. The bar was a small place, mostly serving some snacks and beers during the day, then the stronger stuff later. You could, if you wanted, order whatever you wanted when you wanted, but not a lot of people started drinking heavily during a weekday. Frederick sat, letting his hand phase through the cup and back as he thought about just how much Theodore should know.
I wonder if I should...
he pushed his thoughts away, as Theodore came through the door, rather obviously still suffering from the injuries. The journalist turned a few heads when he entered, though those who frequented the place paid no attention to him. Frederick waited for him to sit down with the remote table Frederick had chosen, before speaking.
"Hi, I see they let you walk out freely," he joked, smirking, though his smile quickly faded. "I hope you understand that anything I'm about to tell you is between us. I would love to give you some juicy details for your show, but at this point it'd complicate a lot, so I'd prefer it if this conversation was never mentioned." He took a sip of his coffee, waiting for the other to give him a reply and giving Theodore the chance to get a cup of coffee, or even a drink. Ensuring that no one was listening in, the judge continued.
"Okay. Here's the thing. I had a private chat with your friend Psyclone. He was... rather eager to talk, including expressing a rather strong intent to get back on you. I attempted to get as much out of him as possible, and he kept talking about a school for people like him, where they apparently pressured the kids into becoming stronger, and... well, other things happened. Anyways, he's really angry with you, if he gets out, you won't be safe. I can only hope that I managed to make myself a target instead, since I'm--- well, I've always regarded myself as more durable than you," Frederick joked, and leaned back, a wry smile back on his lips.
"Anyways, that's the short version. If you're personally interested in details about it, I'll give them to you, but only because you're involved in this chaos."
"Either way, it was just my opinion, and if you're done scaring my friend, I'd appreciate it if you let us eat."
Tess barely managed to rein herself in, the idiot was clearly just taunting her but he was right it wasn't heroic of her to be antagonizing civilians. She forced a cheery smile and nodded.
"I'm sorry I didn't mean to frighten either of you," she said with mock sincerity "enjoy your meal."
With that she went back to silently waiting, soon finding herself seated and perusing the meal options before her. Shouldn't order anything too fancy, but still lets see what my hero discount can get me.
"Nah, he's one of Tom's friends, but we're hanging out right now because Tom's not home. George, this is Rias, whom I'm sure you've at least heard of before."
"Uh hi," he said, still surprised Tim's handling of the heroine had gone so well, he didn't want to say anything but both of them had been kind of rude to each other.
"Yeah I think I heard of you," he said to Rias, trying to remember where he'd seen her "Loveless's show right? Oh yeah, I remember Tom had an article about you that I think I read..."
In spite of knowing that he had read Tom's article and had watched at least part of her interview on Loveless's show George could not for the life of him remember much about her. Why does this always happen? I meet someone new and get nervous... Maybe I should just focus on ordering.
"Oh um, I'll have some waffles and OJ," he said after a moment of silence "thanks."
"That sounds good, I'll find something more fitting to wear too,"
Yes, please do, Daniel thought as he listened.
"But yeah, thanks, I'm free tonight. When does it work for you?"
"I expect to be back at the hotel by six, and I'm moments from my meeting so I have to cut this short, but I hope to see you there, Mr. Hamilton," the demon said, not lending his full attention to the man at this point as he anticipated Sirius's arrival. With that, he ended the call and continued about his business which was, at the moment, absolutely nothing. Suddenly he felt an odd sensation at the top of his head. It was discomforting to say in the least, a sort of hot itch. He looked at the direction it should be coming from he just caught a swift blur that was quickly hidden from view by the tall buildings. Just a bird, Daniels supposed, though for all he saw of it, it may as well have been the tail end of a flying whale. Then just as quickly as the sensation came, it had left. The phenomenon was a literal head scratcher. He simply shrugged it off and continued his walk, his mind now occupied with the thoughts of finding another mark. Though he was content with just one target in his sight for now. It was likely going to be a time-consuming endeavor as well, but thanks to his immortality he could afford to play the long game. Now with the artist put on the back burner, Daniel considered how he was to find his bastard son. A runaway from a foster home, probably not the brightest kid considering his level of education. Living the inner city life most probably, getting by with whatever work he can find and stuck with a cheap dump of an apartment. The demon nodded to himself knowingly, The kid's likely an alcoholic, too...
Way across town from Daniel, tough no all that far from his assumptions, Jack was waking up much earlier than his usual afternoon hour. This was due to him going to bed considerably earlier, though not of his own volition. It was largely a result of the copious amounts of alcohol he had consumed the night before, evidence of which was scattered around his room in the form of bottles of whisky that was a higher quality than he was used to. He had his earnings from the previous week to thank for that. Fortunately for him, his merciful youth prevented him from a terrible hangover. All he had to deal with that morning was a magnified exhaustion and a stomach that was just a little more sour than it should be. As much as he hated the fact that he was awake at this hour, trying to go back to sleep would just be an exercise in futility. Though he wasn't committed to getting up just yet, so he kept his eyes shut tight and lied there on his mattress in protest. It was sure to be a slow morning.
"I'm sorry I didn't mean to frighten either of you. Enjoy your meal."
"Thank you," Tim replied, still grinning. The heroine seemed to have reeled herself in, which was a pity. "I hope I didn't hurt your pride too much." With that, he turned back to George and Rias, who was talking in the background. He almost wanted to tell them to pay attention to his "fight" with the heroine, though that would be a little too much. Besides, what if they thought he was being a jerk?
"Hello George, I'd ask if your keeping Tim out of trouble but since he looks like he got hit by a bus ..."
Not too far off.
Tim remarked in his mind. At least if you looked away from the fact that it had actually been because of a crazy, winged super-hero lady, then it sort of was like being hit by a bus.
"So, what happen to you?"
"I got hit by a bus," Tim replied, clearly joking. "Nah, I got involved in something yesterday, the whole hero versus villain thing in that festival, apparently, bystanders get hurt. Who'd know that? I'm fine, though, just look," he said, trying to stretch his still functioning arm, but instead quickly pulling it back as he felt a sharp pain somewhere in his body.
Ouch. I think I'll refrain from doing that again.
Unless he needed sympathy, of course. He wondered if Rias would give him any if so, perhaps something to pursue in a possible attempt to get her to join the evil side?
"Oh um, I'll have some waffles and OJ. Thanks."
George suddenly speaking again sort of startled Tim, he hadn't noticed it, but the man had suddenly gone quiet. Then again, Tim wasn't used to being around people who didn't speak a lot. He wondered if it was weird for someone like him to just all of a sudden be introduced to someone.
Perhaps I should have asked. And Rias is a pretty girl too...
To some people, that apparently made a difference. At least that was what happened in all the movies. To him, someone's appearance didn't really matter much, they were still just people.
Either way, perhaps I should've thought it through a bit.
Nudging the other, he pointed towards a nearby table. "Let's sit down, else the people in line won't be able to get their food," he told George, and turned to Rias for a brief moment.
"It was nice seeing you, we should hang out some time! Just don't expect me to do my own stunts or anything for a couple of weeks," he snickered, and waited for George to sit down before taking a seat himself. He then looked around, leaning forward, his voice lowered a bit.
"I don't want to assume anything, but I didn't put you in an uncomfortable position, right?" he asked. "I mean, you seem a little shy..." he trailed off, unsure of what else to say. There was something about the other that made him feel like he should be a bit more aware of what he said.
"Anyways, thanks for showing me this place, it's pretty conveniently placed, don'tcha think?"
"I expect to be back at the hotel by six, and I'm moments from my meeting so I have to cut this short, but I hope to see you there, Mr. Hamilton,"
"Of course. I'll see you then. Thanks for your time," Sirius replied, and hung up. He looked at his clock, it was still a fair amount of time before that. Then again, if he was going to shower and pick his clothes and all that, he could look into doing that. Besides, it had to be evening in Scotland now, and he wanted to tell his father about this. It wasn't so much that his dad tried to push him towards being successful as it would probably make the man happy.
Perhaps he'll even have some advice on what I should say.
He sat down on a nearby bench -one that seemed to have been "secured against those less fortunate"- and called his father.
"Hi, Sirius. Is something wrong?" his father asked. "You don't normally call twice a day. I was just about to go to bed."
"Really? Now?" His father chuckled.
"Yeah, I've been up all night working on a new project for work, I did mention earlier when you called, right?" Sirius smiled, even if his father couldn't see it. Perhaps it was an odd habit, making himself smile when on the phone with someone, but he was well aware of that he was already rather weird.
"Yeah, I think you did. Sorry, I forgot."
"That's fine, I can stay up a bit longer. What did you want to talk about?" Sirius looked towards the card.
"Someone told me they're interested in my art, his name is Daniel Luxe. I'm supposed to meet him at this really nice place later today."
"That's great." He could hear that his father was happy for him, though it sounded like there was a bit of worry as well. "Just be careful, okay? Don't do anything you wouldn't want to do, this isn't the only chance you'll get and all that. You have a good head on your shoulders and actual skill, but you tend to give people the benefit of doubt, and some people simply can't be trusted."
"I'll be careful, thanks dad," he replied. His father had a point, though, he wasn't sure just how someone as rich as Daniel could benefit from screwing over an artist.
"You're welcome," his father yawned, and added; "I'm proud of you, Sirius. Don't worry about anything, you'll do just fine." Sirius decided against mentioning that he wasn't really able to be worried -his father knew well enough already- and instead spoke.
"I'll talk to you later then. Good night."
"Good luck," his father said, and hung up. Sirius got up, no longer in a mood to finish his drawing, while it was good that his father was doing well, he still felt a bit... off. Instead, he started walking home.
Rias punched in Georges order as another pair of hands materialized to get his Orange Juice, with both sets of hands arriving to deliver their drinks at about the same time.
"It was nice seeing you, we should hang out some time! Just don't expect me to do my own stunts or anything for a couple of weeks,"
Rias snickered "You and I both know my 'stunts' would be way better" she said, giving a grin "Was good to meet you George, and try to keep Tim out of trouble eh?" she added as the pair walked off to find a seat, and the next customer came up to place an order.
The Crick watched the hero descend, her wings gliding across the air as she landed and walked over to him. He bounded over slightly taking the outstretched hand and shaking it gently. He couldn't believe whose hand he was shaking. He listened intently as she spoke of demons, but was still in slight awe, memories of him and his brother on the couch watching news reports filling his head. He had never been happier to have a helmet than at this moment.
"Anyway, I'm here now, what did you want to talk about that we couldn't over the communicator?"
"Well, wow, uh...first off, it's an honor. Really it is! I'm so sorry I didn't recognize you earlier, your powers seem a lot different now. But you're Leviathan! The way you used to freeze things and fight with ice and-"
The Crick stopped himself and collected himself before he had a chance to spill his fanboy-ish nature.
"I'm just really glad to finally meet you. And I suppose I wanted to talk to you about joining the team but right now I'm working on something else. Psyclone."
The Crick took a moment to figure give her the short version.
"Something is...different about him. A source of mine claims that the footage of Psyclone's attacks are being bought up by low level companies and sold for essentially no price, which just isn't good business. It's almost as if someone wants to give Psyclone maximum media exposure. Which coincides with my next issue, a source of mine on the police has taken note of an unknown individuals questioning superhumans, particularly searching for those with clearly destructive powers. I don't want to jump to conclusions, but I'm starting to see a connection here and I need help covering some ground. Between investigating and assembling this team, I'm starting to get kinda swamped. My father figured I should get some help and advice from someone still in the hero business so...here we are."
Karen couldn't help but smile a little as the young hero gushed over her past accomplishments. She was never really one to seek out such praise, or even go out of her way to make fans, but it was still nice to hear and met fans now and again. The fact this fan was now a hero them selves, even if they where a second generation hero, pleased her even more.
soon enough though he composed him self and started talking about his investigation of Psyclone, and some of the more shady behind the scenes goings on involving the footage of the attacks. "I don't have those Ice Powers any more is why." she said, though the expression on her face said she was thinking about something. "The same battle that almost killed me, and resulted in my decade long disappearance, also ended up destroying the source of my Ice powers. I was a 'Magical Girl' after all back then, our powers aren't really 'ours' to begin with. These new powers, thankfully, won't have that problem." She said to fill the silence that would have just hung there as she thought.
"This contact, of yours. If they are already investigating then have him keep you up to date, but let them handle it for now. Firstly, the more people involved the easier it is to get found out, and if all the dummy company's are involved it would probably be best to give these people as little reason to think some one is on to them as possible. But more important then finding out why they're doing it." Karen said, finally starting on the subject at hand. "If I had to guess, I'd say they could be looking for some one to elevate, in the public eye anyway, to the status of the old villains, like Cracker jack, Dr Mechano, or The Circle of Thorns or even Ruination. Though as to why some one would want to I couldn't say, maybe we'll be able to find out if your guy finds anything out."
Karen put her hand on his shoulder "As for what you should do between patrols and checking in on your man to make sure he's not in trouble. Focus on building the team. It's not the kind of thing you just 'do', a central command would be nice but ultimately optional and up to you. More important, in my mind anyway, is the people on your team and reliable communication between them, and strange as it might sound, differing views and approaches on how to do a job. Just because you don't approve of, say, the vigilant that can and does, kill thugs and mafia to get the job done, doesn't inherently void what his skills or knowledge as useful for a case your working. But above all else, make sure you trust the people on your team, because the lives of the whole team, and likely civilians, will depend on it."
Karen took her hand off his shoulder "Anyway, if you need my help with ether, gimme a ring, I'm ok with being the 'old one' on the team." she said with a smirk
The Crick listened to her own theories on Psyclone's news coverage. The idea that someone was interested in trying to get him to the same recognition of older maniacal and destructive villains was an interesting one, that perhaps he'd need to look into. Her advice on the team also lead to some thinking. He was gonna have to finally start putting this thing together in terms of letting thew ones he trusted in on certain things...but who did he really trust? He had basic faith in all of them as heroes but as people, he couldn't help but feel a slight waver. Nevertheless, he appreciated the advice from her.
"Anyway, if you need my help with ether, gimme a ring, I'm ok with being the 'old one' on the team."
Terry grinned from under his helmet. Actually getting a chance to talk to Leviathan, or as she now called herself, Unicorn was like meeting a cool aunt who isn't actually you aunt but is so cool they might as well be...oh and can freaking fly. That's just awesome.
"I'll keep that in mind. Oh, and one other thing. You've met Coil before, right? Yeah, I think you and her were fighting Psyclone during his first attack...I'm kinda wondering if I should let her in on this. I mean, Psyclone seems slightly interested in her for some reason or another and he seems to be the first villain she ever thought. Think she might have some valuable insight into all of this?"
"Don't sweat it, somethin' tells me we've got a pretty long case ahead of us. Who knows, we might even find have to deal with a few surprise charges." Psyclone said, earning a small smile from Aldric. "Speaking of surprises, to cover the costs of your case, we had to use some of your legal assets." he said, hinting at the man how the escape plan was going to work. Given how little they knew about each other, there was really only one asset he could be talking about. "It should be used in oh..." Aldric added, looking down at his watch. "6 minutes et 37 seconds.". By this point, the cameras and recording devices were off so there wasn't much need to be coy.
"So for your legal defense, you may prefer to use a sword, but they say the pen is mightier." he offered, holding out the box of pens. He offered Psyclone a few for his "amusement", but held the rest in his hand. He looked down at his watch, waited for the time to tick down to 6 minutes and 8 seconds, then clicked all the pens a once. Each pen began to beep softly and blink. From there, he began tossing the pens in different directions - some into each corner, some toward the one way window, but most into the soft ceiling tiles where they stuck - with an extraordinary amount of precision. Each "pen" had a purpose.
From there, he stood up, wiped off his suit, and spoke again. "As long as you cooperate with the legal system, I'm sure you'll be free as a bird in no time, though you may want to... take care for the duration of the proceedings." he said. "until the trial, I wish you well." he finished before making his way out of the door. As he closed the door, he turned around and added "Au revoir Monsieur Psyclone. Au revoir"
From there, he checked his watch - 5 minute and 16 seconds - and made his way out, tipping his hat to all the fine officers as he went. While walking out, he couldn't help but begin to whistle "La Marseillaise" as he went. He knew it wasn't original by any means, but it was certainly fitting. He also had just about enough time to finish it as well.
He made it out of the building and across the street with 18 seconds to spare. He turned around, brought his hands into the air, kept whistling, and put an eye on his watch. As the song came to it's final notes he dropped his hands, stopped his whistling, and watched as the police station went up in a conflagration of fire, smoke, and explosive force. Not a minute later, Psyclone's "asset" dropped down from above the clouds to finish his escape. As for Aldric, he quietly made his way off into the chaos of the post-explosion afternoon."
Theodore entered the bar with a bit of a limp. It was to be expected and it wasn't really painful, but it was annoying. The limp drew attention, being a "tv personality" kept that attention, and with his recent injury that attention was more significant than usual. He had to shake a few hands and promise he was "taking it easy" to multiple people before he could make his way over to Fredrick. Fortunately, the bartender knew him well enough that if he was here with Fredrick it was likely either personal, business, or both and that he'd like a little peace. As such, one he'd finally made it over to his old friend, things quieted down quickly. The barista DID interrupt once with a some well-needed coffee.
Then, said old friend started to speak. "...Anyways, that's the short version. If you're personally interested in details about it, I'll give them to you, but only because you're involved in this chaos." Theodore listened closely as he spoke, taking in and filing away all the information. He even "recorded it" (with a mosaic and voice change over Fredrick) for his own personal records, in case he needed to think it over again later.
However, then came the difficult part. On the one hand, he needed to know what the psychopath had said for his investigation, but on the other Fredrick was telling him this in confidence. It wouldn't be right to take advantage without some disclosure. "Fredrick; I want to know everything he said - particularly about the recent attacks - but I must be honest. I'm quietly working with a superhero investigating Psyclone's recent activities. There's been some... irregularities for a few weeks. There's nothing solid yet, but the basic idea is that someone may have hired Psyclone to make the attacks for reasons yet unknown. As such, anything you tell me will - if relevant - be shared with said superhero, though I'll leave your name off the record regardless. I'd like to hear anything you know, but I understand if you don't want to say anymore."
It was about that point his phone began to buzz and he heard sirens blare to life in the distance. "... why is there never a quiet afternoon in this city?"
"... expecting a 4 to 8% decrease in stock value following the announcement, followed by a swift increase in value by 10 to 15% by the close of business day." Mina said to the room full of investors. It was all very basic stuff. Important, but basic. They wanted to know how their money was being used and she was required to tell them so long as it didn't interfere with the business as a whole. There were a few questions - as always - but, again, nothing too concerning. That said, Mina's heart wasn't in it today. She was waiting for Aldric to make his move so she could begin her moves. After all, she couldn't prepare for something like this ahead of time on the books without drawing attention.
It was about three quarters of the way through the meeting when it finally happened. There was a rumbling that shook the city and from the highrise, the bright fiery light of the explosion was obvious, even from a mile and a half away. The investors quickly made their way to the windows to see what was going on and several people began making panicked calls to loved ones to make sure they were alright.
"Everyone!" Mina said, drawing their attention. "For your own safety, please calmly make your way down and out of the building; the meeting is adjourned until we can ensure everyone is safe. Meeting notes will be sent upon request." The others in the room seemed to understand the concern and listened to her. Mina however remained in the tower, surveying the goings on. She received a text from Aldric letting her know everything was moving ahead. With this confirmation it was his work, she began putting her pieces in play to take control of the situation. After all, as a respectable corporate citizen, she had a civic duty to help the police.
Karen shrugged "Can't hurt to ask her about it I guess." Karen replied, though she couldn't help but smile at the excitement Crick was trying to hide, she could tell he was trying to keep it under wraps. It's was cute, but beyond that, he impressed her a bit, fan-boying aside, Crick seemed like he had a good head on his shoulders.
She was about to say a bit more when a building exploded, "Never a dull moment eh? See ya there." she said with another shrug then took off toward the building.
With her line cleared out and the other line back down to manageable levels for one person Rias started helping take orders out to people, like she usually did, her job title seem like it was 'floater' more then anything else. She'd feel over worked if she didn't have the super powers to help her out.
It's was all pretty typical for the day, till an explosion was clearly hear in the distance, and a bit of rumbling was felt in the floor. Rias sighed internally and started making sure everyone remained calm.
"Fredrick; I want to know everything he said - particularly about the recent attacks - but I must be honest. I'm quietly working with a superhero investigating Psyclone's recent activities. There's been some... irregularities for a few weeks. There's nothing solid yet, but the basic idea is that someone may have hired Psyclone to make the attacks for reasons yet unknown. As such, anything you tell me will - if relevant - be shared with said superhero, though I'll leave your name off the record regardless. I'd like to hear anything you know, but I understand if you don't want to say anymore."
"I know you do, I just..." Frederick tilted his head. It was clear that he wasn't sure just what to do. If Theodore wanted everything Psyclone had said, Frederick could tell him. However, there would likely be questions about just why Frederick had asked about it, and why he hadn't thrown in the towel.
"It's sort of a long story."
I should tell him. About the Specter too.
He was already breaking his supposed silence, if he could trust Theodore with information no one should have access too, he could just as well mention that. Especially if they were to work together, with Crick's set up. He was about to open his mouth when he heard the sirens.
"... why is there never a quiet afternoon in this city?"
"It's full of life," Frederick replied, sarcastically. "Utterly charming, don't you agree?" He then looked to the phone, hoping that Theodore would ignore it for a couple of minutes.
"Hopefully it can wait, though. I've made a decision, I'll tell you. And honestly, I don't mind you telling the Crick. He's a good kid," Frederick continued, before reaching into his bag, grabbing the masks. "Besides, you're not the only one who's working together with him," he muttered, pulling the masks up for the slightest second, so that Theodore could barely see them.
"You see, I'm the Specter. I hope you understand why I've been hesitant to mention it before. Anyways..." he started telling Theodore about what Psyclone had talked about, the threats, and the school. Anything he shouldn't be mentioning, and especially not to a member of the press.
He deserves to know it. Laws be damned.
"So, that's it. Feel free to tell Crick, though don't tell him about the whole Specter thing, I've already got him calling me on my private phone, and that's more than enough. Any questions?" He smirked, not sure how Theodore would react to that whole thing. Hopefully he would regard the Psyclone information as more important.
Well, that's it.
Now I've told 2 people about who I am.
If Theodore would even believe it, of course. Then again, with the masks shown and what Frederick had told him, it sounded almost believable.
Psyclone listened to the slick French man drop hints at the escape plan, alluding to the one gift he'd been looking forward to using on a rainy day. He sat silently, grinning as Aldric placed the pens in various corners of the room and in the ceiling. Explosives. He could handle explosives. There were bound to a couple causalities. Tons of debris. Tons of fun to be had. Finished, Aldric stood up, readied himself and made his way for the door.
"Au revoir Monsieur Psyclone. Au revoir"
"Arriva fuckin' dirchi," Psyclone said, with a mad grin on his face.
As he sat there, waiting, he began to wonder how this escape would exactly end for him. If Al and his boss had truly put work into his "asset" then he probably had a chance of getting it out of here with in tact. He could play it safe, create some cloud clover, and be gone before any hero capable of catching him had a chance to arrive.
He could do what he should've done awhile ago.
And hit the city with all he had.
He quickly spun his gas mask onto his face and unhooked the handcuffs, standing up. The explosion rocked the room, but Pysclone only jostled slightly as he took the flying debris and formed a rotating sphere around himself. As things died down, he dispersed the sphere and looking up watching as his "ride" descended from the clouds.
The blimp rocked had a slightly mostly yellow coloring to it, with thick black lines stretching across it, leading to parts of tornado warnings similar to those on his costume. The texture of the balloon itself seemed rough, designed to seemingly handle basic projectiles and plating to handle a few explosive blasts. The cabin stretched along the bottom of the blimp, the middle of it being a circular with a series of strange, rounded ports.
Psyclone formed a vortext around himself and shot up to the cabin, quickly letting himself in and manning the controls. The blimp was mostly automated, so flying wasn't that much of a big deal. What Psyclone was really interested in were the counter measures.
A ring of flame throwers around, not necessarily for crowd control, but more of keeping any flying heroes at bay and simply looking awesome. Strange tesla coil like spires for sending out glorious looking streaks of electricity and possibly for frying more metallic based heroes, as well as anyone unlucky enough to be near anything metal. A series of tornado sirens.
Cause they were cool.
But the most powerful weapon of all was in the center of the room, the circular section of the cabin made of explosive proof glass. stood up from the controls, and looked around, noting the rounded ports outside the cabin. He began rotating the air inside port, his fist tightening, before opening his palm and the port shoot out pressurized air and tear a massive hole through the cloud cover, the shockwave shaking across the town.
The most powerful weapon on the blimp was Psyclone himself, with the help of the these nozzle-like air cannons.
He pointed them at the ground and grinned.
The Crick was bounding across rooftops, following Unicorn towards the explosion. He started checking police scanners and realized the explosion had come from the police station.
The one currently holding Psyclone. The Crick barely had time really consider what this meant before being shaken by the sudden shockwave and staring up at the now cloud free sky. Psyclone had acquired some serious firepower and was showing off.
The Crick looked up and Unicorn, and yelled, "Have I told you you how much I really don't like this guy?"
"Anyways, thanks for showing me this place, it's pretty conveniently placed, don'tcha think?"
"Y-yeah, definitely," George agreed, "I come here fairly often, usually by myself though."
"Was good to meet you George, and try to keep Tim out of trouble eh?"
"Not sure I can," George said, a weak joke but a joke all the same. He wondered how Tim and Tom had met Rias, probably though one of Tom's superhero fan sites or something, she had powers after all but she wasn't a hero. Part of him wondered if that was ok, shouldn't empowered people try to use their powers for the betterment of others? At the same time though it was her life and he could hardly judge her, not like he had any experience with having powers, in fact he was sure he'd be a terrible hero-
Sirens could be heard in the distance and the rumbling of an explosion, George felt a sudden urge to get up and go see what was going on. He turned to Tim before he realized he'd stood up.
"W-what's going on?" he said "was that a bomb?"
And here I was enjoying my breakfast. She thought to herself, standing up as she heard the sirens and the rumbling and walking outside to investigate. If this is Mina setting something up for me then she could have called first. No that's not likely, though it could be involved in a scheme of hers regardless. Fuck.
She started moving towards the explosion, first at a brisk walk and then at a run, her suit moving with her to speed her along. Being a hero sucks, why can't I just run away from the explosion? Man if I wasn't out patrolling in uniform I'd definitely do that.
"Was that an explosion?" Tom asked no one in particular, racing out into the street. He knew that it was, he had heard it and he could now hear the sirens. It's go time then, at least Tim isn't likely to intervene this time. Hopefully he's safe from all this.
He raced into the nearest alleyway he could find, ducking behind a dumpster to hide from view and transforming into the mighty SIR AWESOME! Part of him worried that if there was an explosion there could be fire, but he knew he had to rescue whoever he could regardless, and that if a villain was responsible he had to find them and stop them.
"Y-yeah, definitely. I come here fairly often, usually by myself though."
"Oh?" Tim asked. "You mean you don't often hang with people?" he asked, then realized it might be a bit insensitive, especially since George seemed like a very nice person, so people not wanting to be friends with him shouldn't be a problem.
I wonder what it's like being like that.
Tim thought, and examined George again, when the other looked away.
Stuttering and being quiet and such. It's kinda... yeah.
his mind trailed off, and sat back up, more alert on the conversation around him.
"Was good to meet you George, and try to keep Tim out of trouble eh?"
"Not sure I can."
"Hey, I'm not that bad, am I?" Tim asked, laughing. "I didn't mean to end up like this, you know. It was an accident." He brought his free hand up to the old wound that would definitely become a scar. He had called that an accident too.
Hopefully none of the other stuff will decide to stick around, I would actually like to be able to move around freely.
Bones couldn't like, grow the wrong way, right? Nah, that couldn't be very likely. "I'm just a bit unlucky. Besides, I'm sure there's ways you could---"
Rumbling, likely after an explosion rather than an earthquake, and then sirens. George stood up, alerted, before turning to Tim.
"W-what's going on? was that a bomb?"
"Whatever it was, it's better for us to stay inside. I'm sure plenty of people will be going there to check it out, and the last they'll need is us being two more people in the endless crowd that will gather around," he remarked, clearly not caring too much about what was going on there.
"Come on, sit down," he then continued, impatiently. He wasn't sure why he was feeling this impatient, perhaps it was the hunger. "Please? Our food'll probably get here soon."
Sirius hadn't been walking for long when he saw the explosion. Because he saw it, even was close enough to read the text on the police station. Then, the earth was shaking, and the clouds opened up to reveal a blimp.
Now really didn't work. He had to get to his apartment, and shower, and prepare for the thing with Daniel Luxe. Showing up with even more bandages would be a bad idea, he would look irresponsible. Besides, all the way up there...
He thought, as he left, heading straight for his apartment complex. Sirius didn't feel anything, yet he knew what he was doing was wrong. He should be helping people, yet he had something else going on, he had to prepare.
I'm sorry, but I don't think I can do anything about that.
Sirius knew that he was being selfish. But for once, for just today, he would not only be a normal person, but act like one. When he got inside, he sighed.
I hope no one gets hurt because of me.
The Shadow Rider arose from his bed some time after waking, not much happier than he would have been at any earlier point however. He'd just finally resolved it was about time to get off his ass. He got dressed, cleaned up, and glided out the window and to the neighboring apartment as was routine. By this point it was reflex to pull out a cigarette and light up. And, unfortunately for Jack's peace of mind, something else that seemed to be routine was getting scolded second-hand by the mother of the kid he had encountered not so long ago.
"My mom says that stuff is bad for you," said the boy, pointing at the cigarette.
"Yeah?" Jack took a long, tired drag and narrowed his eyes at the kid. "Know what else is bad for ya? Not mindin' your own business."
"Why are you always so mean?"
"Because I never ate my vegetables."
"I don't think that's right."
"Eatin' vegetables? No, it ain't right. Child abuse is what it is."
"No, that's not what I meant! You're so dumb."
"Hey, you ask a stupid question, you get a stupid answer."
"Why don't you go be mean somewhere else?"
"Smartest thing you said all morn-" Jack began before being interrupted by the low rumble of a distance shock wave. "The hell?"
"What is that?" Asked the kid.
"No idea, pal."
"Not the thunder, I mean that," the kid said, pointing towards the opening clouds. There was a large black and yellow airship breaching the underside of the clouds, hanging right over the city.
Jack looked up, taking another drag as he watched its descent before guessing with a shrug, "The Badyear Blimp?"
"Please? Our food'll probably get here soon."
"I... yeah you're right," George started to sit down, but something felt like it was keeping him from doing so.
Come on! If you only knew you'd want to leave right now, people could be hurt, you could do something! Argh! I could seize control but then his friend might get suspicious, not sure I like him. He seems like trouble, ah it would be so easy, he wouldn't even remember it later... Not yet, but soon, first chance I get.
The hesitation vanished and George plopped down in his seat, that was weird... He shook it off though, after the festival he was just on edge, that explosion was way far off, they would be fine right?
"I... yeah you're right,"
"Yeah, I am," Tim replied, happy that George had decided not to run off. He was also happy about the fact that he could see someone carrying what they had ordered. "Oh look, that's our food right there."
At least that's one person who doesn't decide to run head-first into danger. Personally, I like being the danger more.
Making an effort to put the egg and bacon on the toast so that he would be able to eat all of it with one hand, Tim took a sip of his vanilla milkshake, then smiled, brightly as he took a bite of his food. And then another, because damn, he was hungry. Half-way into the first toast, he swallowed the food in his mouth, then spoke.
"So good, how's your food?" he asked George, and took another bite. He was quite pleased that George had come visiting -though the questions the guy had were a bit unsettling- because, if not, how would he be able to eat? He started drinking milkshake again.
Besides, he's sorta cute. I wonder...
As Tim realized something he should've realized a lot earlier, his eyes went wide and he managed to swallow his drink wrong, causing him to cough a whole lot. Face red from almost choking -and probably other stuff- Tim reached for a napkin, speaking as much as he could as he did.
"I'm fine, I'm-- cough, fine, d-don't worry," he muttered, not quite sure if he was looking like half a doofus, or a complete one. Not that he cared too much, but still.
The return trip through the sewer passages were just as filthy as they were when Vinzenz first walked through them--and perhaps a touch less fetid, but that might have been affected by the doctor's mood which had improved--though considerably more luminous. The hum of the power transformer went absent from the atmosphere and the industrial incandescence had been gradually replaced by natural light as the doctor neared the surface entrance. It seemed like no time at all to the man as he was too preoccupied with how best to improve his generator, now that he had the harbors renewed power supply at his disposal. It would certainly be better than pedaling on a bike for hours on end for a small amount of energy. And though the doctor had to admit it did wonders for his legs, having felt lighter on his feet since, it wasn't something he intended to make into a regular habit.
When his thoughts turned back to the present, Vinzenz was already in the warehouse once again. He looked at the shoddy collection of scrap and the dead husk of the generator, shaking his head and tutting and such poor working conditions. But determined to not let it get the better of him, he immediately set to work on drawing up schematics for his generator's new design. It would be much simpler with the most recent junkyard acquisitions. He managed to procure a welder whose condition was admittedly poor to the point of appearing dangerous. Most of his findings were in much better condition, fortunately. It actually surprised him what some people would just toss. He just wished he had a radio so that he could listen to some music while he worked.
"Have I told you you how much I really don't like this guy?"
Karen snickered "So long as you don't let it get personal" she said, then lifted up to make a run at the blimp only to be greeted by several flame throws trying to roast her, thus causing her to back off out of range. Her retreat to out side the flame throwers range, while annoying did little to stop her advance, if she could not attack directly, she would need to do so indirectly.
Her first thought was to just down the blimp, but that would case more collateral damage then she was interesting in being responsible for. Instead, she decided it was best to limit the blimps already limited mobility, to that end she formed both swords and threw two Golden Crescents at the fans the blimp used to steer and generally move in any direction.
"You see, I'm the Specter." Fredrick said, drawing a blank stare from Theodore. "The Specter... YOU'RE THE PH-" Theodore started to say before recognizing what a bad idea it would be to reveal a superhero identity in the middle of a crowded bar. Instead, he continued the statement, saying "-fffffantastic person who did... that... thing." Fortunately, between the sound of police and his quick change of wording, no real attention was drawn.
From there, Theodore shut up and just listened quietly; processing. For his part, Theodore never disbelieved Fredrick. He'd known the man too long to believe he'd make a joke like that. As Fredrick's monologue began to wind down, Theodore asked a handful of clarification questions - both about the Specter and his chat with Psyclone. Unlike before, Theodore kept his voice down. As questions were asked, if Fredrick decided not to answer Theodore didn't press him on it.
When it was all over, Theodore didn't even know what to think. It was true that he'd always "felt" something was different about Fredrick but the idea that he'd be a superhero never even crossed his mind. "So first off, your secret is safe with me; I'll take it with me to the grave. I know more then most how much good you've done over the years." he said, remembering the time The Specter had helped save the city bus or when he stopped those terrorists... those three times.
"On that note, let me be the first to thank you for all of it." he said, holding out his hand. Theodore always wanted to shake the Phantom of the Opera's hand; for ironic reasons mostly. Finally, when all that was over, Theodore had one last question. "So... do you prefer The Specter or The Spectre or The Phantom of the Opera or... you have a lot of names."
"I'm fine, I'm-- cough, fine, d-don't worry,"
"Um ok, if you're sure," George said, now staring down at his plate. He poked at the food a bit before he started eating, he would probably have to skip lunch to stay on his diet, not that it seemed to be working anyways.
"My foods good, how's yours?" he asked, somewhat awkwardly, making small talk had never been his strong suit. It didn't help that he had the strangest feeling that he needed to be somewhere else at the moment.
It doesn't feel like I have to pee or anything, I'm probably just nervous from that noise earlier, yeah that's it.
How the hell am I supposed to do anything about that? She wondered looking up at the blimp. Best case scenario she could hook onto it with one of her whips and climb aboard, but the flamethrowers plus the fact that she'd have to do so from the top of a building put an end to that line of thought. She could see some other heroes trying to fly up against it, the horny lady and the Crick from the look of things. Stupid, just like a hero to charge right on in. Who gave this asshat a blimp anyways? Probably Mina, which makes her even more insane than I thought.
Well maybe I can get the other's attention, if they can get me onboard I could take over the engines, or the flamethrowers, probably not the whole blimp but some of the important bits of it.
She pulled out the communicator the Crick had given her "Hey Coil here," she said "think you could give me a lift onto the blimp? If I can touch it I might be able to shut down some parts of it."
I wonder if I can jump high enough to grab on... Tom thought, then shook his head probably not, and those flamethrowers would go right through my armor. Man this sucks, how did this guy get loose? No matter, probably some henchmen helped him free, but they will all be defeated by Sir Awesome!
His inner monologue helped him get pumped up, but not to actually get aboard the blimp. But it seemed like someone else was flying against the thing, though he couldn't really tell who with all the buildings in the way. At least someone was fighting the villain, which left his role as helping civilians get away. Man this is just like that villain's first appearance, I have to help these people, but someday I'll get the chance to fight him and then he won't know what hit him.
It took a while to explain everything to Theodore, and through all of it, the other looked rather surprised and thoughtful, but for what it was worth, Theodore did not seem to disagree with what he was doing, nor doubt what he was saying. It made everything so much easier, because he didn't need to provide evidence for what he claimed.
"So first off, your secret is safe with me; I'll take it with me to the grave. I know more than most how much good you've done over the years."
"Of course you do," Frederick smirked, and leaned backwards, as he waited for Theodore to continue.
"On that note, let me be the first to thank you for all of it."
Theodore held his hand out, and Frederick raised his eyebrow, sitting back up.
Really? We're going through this?
He supposed someone like Theodore would want to thank him for the good things he had done, especially since the Specter tended to keep away from people, and generally could not actually shake anyone's hand. He felt a bit humbled by it, actually, not embarrassed, but certainly humbled.
"Oh right," he rubbed his neck, and took Theodore's hand. If Theodore hadn't known better, one could say he was almost sounding a bit uncomfortable. "It's not a big deal though, it was either that or haunting people, and I don't really have anyone I dislike enough to make their life a nightmare."
"So... do you prefer The Specter or The Spectre or The Phantom of the Opera or... you have a lot of names."
"I would have less if you stopped giving me new ones," Frederick replied, again with a joking tone. "But definitely the Specter. While the Phantom of the Opera is disturbingly close, I always feel like people expect me to make a performance out of it. While it would definitely be amusing, I don't think it would be very appropriate to have me make an entrance with a song. Ruins the element of surprise, and all that." He got up.
"Now, I'm sure you'd rather not miss whatever is going on out there as it sounds rather serious, so allow me to leave some money, go to the toilet and never come out again," he winked, making it clear what he was intending to do.
"I'm sure I'll see you there, though," he said, and left some money, before entering the bathroom, going into the ghost-form and making himself invisible before leaving through the wall.
"Um ok, if you're sure,"
Tim smiled, though he could feel that the red in his face wasn't going to disappear soon. He'd never actually seen himself blush, but if he looked anything like Tom had done when hanging with Rias and talking about skin-tight clothing, he had to look pretty silly.
I'm sure he'll think it's just the coughing.
He still felt oddly quiet, though. God, how had he not noticed? What would Tom say if Tim hit on his friend? What would George say if a guy hit on him? Tim could just go ahead, but George seemed like the kind of person you definitely could not just hit on willy nilly.
Clearly, I need a plan, a way to approach this. I'm supposed to be an evil mastermind, surely I can find out of the guy in front of me would... hm, this is going to take some time.
For now, he needed to retreat, if this was a movie, it would be simple to know what to do, but even Tim knew that real life could be more complicated than movies. Besides, he hardly watched romantic movies, so he didn't have much knowledge of what to do. Girls were more simple, less chance of everything becoming very awkward.
Hm, I wonder if Tom knows something.
He kept quiet, and was snapped out of his train of throughts when George spoke again.
"My foods good, how's yours?"
"It's good, do you want some?" he asked, though he didn't actually intend to give George any, seeing as he was nearly finished. "Speaking of which, I'm sure I'm keeping you from something, and I can get back home myself, so... how about I pay for this, and I'll see you later? My arm just started aching a bit, and there's a movie airing on one of the channels that I've wanted to watch, so, that's cool, right?"
I give that a 4/10 on the believability scale.
And everyone knew that it wasn't good before it was at least 7/10.
This wasn't working for him, it really was not. Sirius didn't like just sitting there, not at all. He had taken a shower, brushed his hair, and then turned on the TV as he waited for a frozen pizza he had bought a couple of days ago to get done.
"Huh, there's nothing about that incident yet." It would probably come up soon enough. Sirius closed his eyes, this was dull. The ghost had left the communication open, but if he didn't need it, borrowing some emotions would feel like intruding.
What if someone gets hurt?
What if he got hurt again, though? Sirius rubbed his forehead, thinking about it was giving him a headache. He got up, and went to the window. He could see the blimp from there, suddenly feeling the urge to paint the scene, and quickly getting his stuff, before setting it up as he noticed that someone was flying up to it.
I really should make sure to get that.
It didn't take long to get lost in the painting, all thoughts were pushed aside as the brush moved.
"So long as you don't let it get personal"
"As long as he doesn't kill my Uncle Ben or something, I think we're good."
He watched as Unicorn weaved to avoid the flames around the blimp and came back around again, aiming to glowing golden swords at the blimps propellers. Psyclone had seemingly noticed the glowing blades and forced a vortex against the side of the blimp, causing a sudden push. The Crick realized the villain had just barely dodged the arrows. A simple idea formed in his head.
"He may be powerful, but he's not omniscient," He said, just as he heard the chatter come over the communicator.
"Hey Coil here, think you could give me a lift onto the blimp? If I can touch it I might be able to shut down some parts of it."
"I'm gonna need Unicorn to distract him, but we can probably surprise him from the tail end of the blimp," The Crick looked up at the Unicorn. "I think his powers might add a bit or maneuverability into this thing, but if you can keep him occupied, Coil and I can get on board and take him down."
The Crick watched as the blimp began to steer itself towards the larger buildings, a series of smaller vortexes giving it a needed speed boost.
"Take him down fast, hopefully."
"Fuckin' shit, that was close..." Psyclone said as he accelerated the blimp. "I almost lost my...huh, fuck, didn't really think of a name for this thing."
Psyclone began to rev up the compression cannons around the blimp, air flowing through the nozzles, spinning, a compressing at a rapid rate. Between focusing on this, names bounced around in the villains head. The Super Cell? Nah. Doppler Doom? Nope. At last it him. He fired the cannons, the shock-wave along shattering the windows of various buildings. Buildings in the direct line of fire began to crumple, the air crushing and tearing at whatever was in it's path. It was like launching freight trains at buildings.
"I'll see what I can do to 'herd' him into a more favorable position for you then" Karen replied over the com as she flew in and out of flame thrower range. Her tactics form then on where simple, Lure Psyclone into a position that allowed Coil and Crick to board the ship unnoticed and shut it down, though she would still be actively trying to disable the blimp by cutting off the engines.
Aldric & Mina
Aldric stood on a roof far enough from the conflict to not be in any immediate danger but close enough to keep an eye on the battle. Well... "stood" was the wrong word. He was sitting in a padded lawn chair with a metal wine chiller bucket and a bottle of fine red wine. It was French... because he wouldn't drink it otherwise. In one hand he held a flute of the red liquid and in the other he held his burner phone in case someone rang. When it rang.
From where he was, he could make out three figures making an assault on the blimp. One was the Crick, another was Coil, and he thought the last was The Unicorn but he couldn't be sure. He considered giving Coil a call to warn her about the end game but decided against it. Mina had been explicit in keeping her in the dark about the events of the evening so she'd be just as surprised by the events as a "real" hero. After all, she couldn't just know what was going to happen or it could blow her cover.
Speaking of Mina, his phone began to vibrate. He didn't recognize the number, but that was nothing new. The pair basically communicated through single use burner phones. Just one of many precautions to keep the heroes from getting too close to the truth. Pressing a button on his Bluetooth, he spoke up. "Bonjour Mademoiselle" he said.
For her part, Mina was still in the office reading the news reports as they became available. As usual, new shell companies were buying up a large amounts of footage from all sources for future editing. She had to control the media side of things for her plan to work. For the moment, her plan still needed time to grow. At the same time, she was moving money from both personal and corporate accounts - all of it legitimate - to a new account she'd just finished setting up. It was already over $10 Million large. It would come in handy in the morning.
From there, she closed her computer ad made her way out of the office and up. At the same time, she decided to call her favorite "corporate spy". "Hello Aldric. Update?" she said, always on topic. Aldric just shook his head in disappointment on the other end. These business types were all business; no fun at all. "Everything is Tres Bien. Three heroes are on the attack; Crick, Coil, and Unicorn I believe. I suspect the Specter will arrive shortly if his M.O. is at all predictable and I suspect Dr. Loveless is either here or will be soon. Oh, there he is on a roof. You'd know better which heroes are around what with all the cameras and twitter feeds. As for Monsieur Psyclone, he's... well he'd Monsieur Psyclone; over-the-top and highly destructive. No one seems to know anything yet." he said.
As an afterthought, Aldric added "Let me know when to initiate "Project: Pink Slip" so I can start drinking my wine in the proper way.". Mina smiled on her end and answered. "Of course. I'll have real time information shortly." she said as she hopped into her personal helicopter and directed the pilot toward the explosion site. She began suiting up in the back. It was time to put things in order. After all, law and order were very good for business.
Theodore laughed at the reply. "Sadly, that one's not one of mine. Wish you would break out in song though." he added, his tone obviously jovial. When Fredrick made to leave, Theodore nodded. "See you... soon." he said, being discreet. From there, he added "Be safe." before heading out the door. He was serious about the last part; not only for Fredrick but for his sister's sake.
Theodore didn't have too much trouble covering the distance to the site of the events. The advantage of the Press is they were basically walking GPS units for when traffic was bad. They knew all the back roads even the locals didn't know. While moving, he looked up as much info on the events as he could. Theodore didn't go all the way to the site however. He could make out the blimp in the air so he knew a higher vantage point would be better. As such, he went for a roof top not far from the action. Once there, he had a good idea of what was going on so he started recording and reporting.
"This is Theodore Loveless with a special report live on the scene. Explosions rocked the Jefferson Police Station approximately ten minutes ago. Shortly thereafter, a large dirigible descended from the clouds and began firing upon the ground. The station in question had been holding the recently captured super-villain "Psyclone". Sources are unsure of Psyclone is the individual responsible, though rumors suggest a third party was involved. Heroes The Crick, The Unicorn, and Coil are on the scene. Other heroes are en-route. Local emergency services have been delayed by debris and traffic. It is unknown how many injured are in the burning station though locals and uninjured police are fighting the fire and helping the injured as able. More news as it becomes available." Theodore said while scrolling through video of each activity as it became known.
Things weren't looking good.
"I'll see what I can do to 'herd' him into a more favorable position for you then"
"Good," she said, "can you pick me up from my location?"
And now I sound like some sort of special agent or something. Great. Well at least if this works I might be able to show this idiot up. There's no value in just going around and hurting people, just gets the police and heroes after you. Far more profitable to just rob.
She was worried how much of a stretch it would be to control the blimp though, if she took over an engine it wouldn't be so hard, but she doubted she could stretch her powers over the entire blimp. Would probably hurt to try, two engines at most would be what I can control and that'd be pushing it. Maybe a small section of the blimp if I have to fight that idiot. Still two should be more than enough to wrest control from him. Failing that maybe take over a flamethrower or two to take out his AA.
"Speaking of which, I'm sure I'm keeping you from something, and I can get back home myself, so... how about I pay for this, and I'll see you later? My arm just started aching a bit, and there's a movie airing on one of the channels that I've wanted to watch, so, that's cool, right?"
"Uh, you don't have to," George said, "I can pay for my own food..."
Just take it, we need to get going for all we know things are already far out of control.
He couldn't shake the feeling that he did have something he needed to be doing though he had no idea what it was. I can't let him pay for everything, that'd be rude. I mean he did offer but still... I don't want him to think I'm greedy or something. But it is free food... Maybe just this once.
"I might have something to get done, I just..." he muttered mostly to himself "Yeah ok, I can pay you back later or something, yeah, thanks Tim. I'll see you later."
He'd no sooner stood up than the change happened, imperceptible to others except perhaps in a more purposeful walk as he left the restaurant and began making his way towards the explosion he'd heard earlier. He could already see some sort of dirigible in the distance. That is a problem, how am I going to get up to it? I can't even spit far enough to hit it, unless maybe if I get on top of a building...
Unlike the others, Frederick didn't spend time standing around, or even interacting with the others. As a matter of fact, he didn't reveal himself at all, only flew up towards the blimp. While he didn't completely know what was going on, he could piece some of it together, somehow Psyclone had escaped, and then gotten a weaponized Zeppelin.
He's definitely not working alone.
Had he been aware of that he would get out as he spoke to Frederick?
How did I not pick that up...
He cursed himself for his lack of attention, if he had kept an eye out, he would have been able to tell. For a hero, he was surprisingly useless sometimes, Frederick very well knew that he had been making a lot of mistakes as the Specter lately. As he noticed what Psyclone was doing, he realized that he didn't have much time to plan out some clever way to approach it, instead he grabbed the other, made his arms capable of interacting with the physical world again, and grabbed Psyclone, dragging him away from the cannons, and trying to hold him down.
"I'd lie still and give up if I were you," the Specter said. He knew very well that he wasn't strong enough to actually do much. "Because your life is pretty much over."
I'll see to that.
"Yeah ok, I can pay you back later or something, yeah, thanks Tim. I'll see you later."
Tim smiled brightly. "No problem," he said, before paying for the meal, watching George leave as he did. He looked to Rias.
"Looks like he was quite busy, don't you think so?" he said, face still red. "Perhaps he was just sticking around to be polite..." he trailed off for a bit. He felt like a mess, his insides were burning, and he smirked to Rias.
I really do need to work out a plan.
"Well, I'll see you later, it was nice meeting you again, Rias. You should totally call, so that we can hang out one of these days. Dunno if I've mentioned this, but I'm living with Tom at the moment, so... you know... just message either of us." He wondered if Rias had noticed that he was a little off, but he didn't ask her, instead almost ran out the door -well, as much as he could run with the bandages- and went back to Tom's apartment. Once there, he laid down on the couch, covering his face with the pillow, trying to get some of the heat off his face.
This wasn't supposed to happen.
When had it happened? And why hadn't he noticed? What would be the next step, according the movies? Would it be... yeah, he thought it would be that. That was the only way the bad-guy could get the girl -guy in this case-, according to movie logic. Well, either that or compete with the hero, but he doubted Tom had the same kind of... well, interest in George. Else the guys would already be dating, or so he figured.
He thought to himself.
Looks like I'll have to kidnap George soon.
Like a proper villain.
The demon was making his way through downtown when the commotion had started. He heard the shock wave which immediately directed his attention toward the huge airship above. His brow furrowed and the corners of his mouth turned down in supreme distaste as he took a good look at the bright yellow blimp, thinking, What mad sort of person could be the cause of that lurid monstrosity? Although he figured he'd known the kind of place Neutropolis was, given its reputation, but he didn't expect to see anything like the garish display he beheld at that moment.
Already, bystanders were running frantically, in any and every direction that didn't lead to the blimp. Daniel just looked on, curious to see exactly what the odd ship had in store. There already seemed to be some heroes attempting to bring it down, and he wondered if they could manage it without much collateral damage. That would certainly be an impressive feat, he thought, especially if they managed to avoid killing anybody with that thing. He didn't have much longer to dwell on that, it seemed, because there was another booming as cannons of some sort had unloaded into the skyscrapers, sending debris every which way. He narrowed his eyes at the shimmering side of the building above and saw that he was about to be torn to pulpy shreds from the several floors of shattered glass that fell. "Well," he muttered, taking note of his inconvenient placement, "sh-"
"-eisse! Stück scheisse bolzen!" Vinzenz shouted, in a fit of frustration. He was throwing all his weight into the wrench that was fixed upon an evidently uncooperative bolt. Sweat beaded on the man's brow as he alternated between pushing from one side and pulling from the other, doing all he could to remove it. It was a seemingly fruitless effort, but he was determined to prevail. He just couldn't figure out why it was so much more difficult to extract than it was to place. He was almost convinced it grew while it rested, but he knew it was an impossibility--there wasn't nearly enough heat to allow for that kind of expansion. Then it struck him. Heat. Of course, it would greatly uncomplicate the problem.
It took a few minutes of scrounging before he could locate his blowtorch, and he had done so with a triumphant, "Ha!" He put on his goggles and knelt beside the stuck bolt. "Sie vill not get see better of mich," he muttered with a mad grin as he readied the torch. Then he pressed the ignition button with a click! But nothing happened. He tried again. Click! Again, nothing had happened. Repeatedly, he continued to press the button, only growing increasingly more angry each time it failed to ignite. Finally, he yelled in frustration and threw the empty gas torch across the warehouse. It clanged against the corrugated iron, rebounding off the wall and rolling across the concrete. The doctor watched in indignation as, almost mockingly, it seemingly rolled for an eternity before coming to rest at the opposite end of the building. Clearly he would have to go off in search of another tank of gas for his torch, but as he observed through the bay-side opening, there was quite the disturbance going on within the city. It appeared he would have to wait before he could make his trip...
"I'd lie still and give up if I were you, because your life is pretty much over." The Specter said, as Psyclone merely shook his head.
Psyclone laughed, the grip the hero had on him was nothing but inconvenient. He turned his head back slightly to look at the hero. The Phantom of the Opera, oh, he'd been looking forward to meeting this guy. Psyclone then remembered something that happened at the fair, the disappearance of the sword. Seems like I've already met him. He's not a fuckin' ghost, but he will be soon enough... Psyclone's train of thought stopped as he realized how much fun he was gonna have.
"Astral Projection, huh? But your body is in there? Boy, that's real fuckin' interestin'! You know, I was just talking to a guy about this sorta thing..."
Psyclone began forming a vortex around himself, intensifying it gradually.
"Anyway, astral kids at my school didn't like me very much, especially when our teacher's let us have 'recess' and he had to sorta 'play rough. You couldn't really hurt them physically, you know?' Made fightin' them a real pain in the ass!"
Psyclone kicked a button on the control panel, opening on of the a few of the windows partially. A portion of the flames from the flamethrower were pulled in, creating a flaming vortex that began to tighten around
"So me and the other kids, sorta had to improvise!"
The Crick launched himself off a building, bounding down a set of walls before landing in font of Coil.
"Right now, Unicorn should have Psyclone's defenses occupied. If we come at him from the rear, we should be good...but, it's gonna take a lot of speed and a lot of height. Think you can hold on to me for that long?"