Thinker Cup Cafe
Downtown Boston21st January, 2011
It had taken a massive amount of self-control to pull herself away from the base, given the events spiralling out of control in Dorchester. Her last received report placed the Covenant on-scene. Vulcan was itching to step up to the plate, but sending in any more Gladius reinforcements would ramp up the Protectorate response - if more weren’t already on the way to handle Sickle and his gang of misfits.
Still, it stuck in her throat to let him walk free.
That’s why she was here.
The cafe looked quaint from the outside, but otherwise unremarkable. It was the perfect place for a low-key meeting between parahumans, she noted. Was that intentional? This ‘Toxic Taint’ seemed as though she knew what she was doing, but that was an easy thing to fake, if you put your mind to it.
Whetstone glanced into a nearby car window to check she was presentable. She wore a simple suit, with a knee-length black skirt, white blouse and a heavier black business jacket to keep the winter cold at bay. Wrapped around her neck was a bright red scarf - the same one she wore in costume, but it looked like any other scarf, so wouldn’t cause a problem. Stylish, slim sunglasses hid her eye colour and shrouded her face while also providing protection from the low winter sun. Win win. Her shoulder-length, brown hair hung down rather than the way she wore it normally. Anything to make her a little less identifiable to the general public was a bonus.
Satisfied, she entered the cafe.
Within seconds, she very nearly walked back out. The entire room stunk of burnt coffee and people
. It was a sickly sweet, nauseating aroma that reminded her far too much of a faculty office. Nevertheless, she was here on business. Swallowing her disgust, a girl caught her eye at the back of the room. Crossing with purpose, she offered a hand to her.
“My contact, I presume? You know who I am. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”@Old Amsterdam
Gladius Border Territory
Dorchester21st January, 2011
Sidestep’s senses exploded with information as her head snapped towards the street. Something
was coming, and she sure as shit didn’t want to be here when it did. Kicking into gear, her fears were assured when her attacker yelled to run.
When an enemy tells you to run because of an ally, you do it, no questions asked.
She cleared the rooftop seconds before her previous position ceased to exist. Flipping off the ledge, she began to freefall. Using the single surviving chain, she wrapped it around a metal balcony and swinged closer to the ground. Curbstomp noticed her descent and used his power to give a platform to jump to.
Once she’d landed, he allowed the pillar to return to street level.
“Appreciated,” she said.
He shrugged. “Don’t mention it. We might wanna get out of here.”
Sidestep nodded. “Not getting paid enough for this shit.”
The two took off down a nearby alley.@Kiddo
Askaryan lightly chuckled. “That’s fine,” he said under his breath, “i’ll just enjoy the view.”
Pain flared up across the back of his leg, which he’d managed to forget about in the heat of combat. Adrenaline was already beginning to crash, though, and the knife wound hurt like hell. This chick was certainly handy with a knife. She’d be a good fit in Wonderland
, he thought with a half-serious snigger.
“Few streets away,” he said. “Address is on Raven Street. I expect it’ll be pretty busy with people setting up to come here. Might have left by the time we get there. Doesn’t really matter, either way. So, what’s say we get going before we get banged up?”@Lasrever
The woman with the glowing pink powers tilted her head. “Of course, sweetheart. I went to all the trouble of saving you just so I could have you all to myself.” Carefully moving her hand, she ruffled the young girl’s hair. “No, stupid. If we wanted you dead, all we had to do was watch. Attacking Pipeline was a ballsy move, kid, even without that rampaging brute in the way. Just… try exercise more self-preservation in the future.”
Beside her, the scruffier man scratched the back of his head. “So… who are we running interference against?”
Shrugging, the jester kept spinning his cane.
“Anyone bar the Wards, I think,” the woman said. “And try not to kill Sickle.”
He chuckled. “No promises. Well, let’s get to it.”
As if on cue, the jester clicked his fingers together and a hole opened in a nearby wall, tinged with orange energy. These two stepped through, and it snapped shut.
“Best stay behind the shield, kid. Things are gonna get fun.”@knifeman
Sickle thought, she looked like she might have been worth my time
. No. Focus
. That was right. He wasn’t done. Going through his mental checklist of stuff to do, he’d ticked off box one. Drive off Dragon. His intel hadn’t been lying. She was pretty unreal. Recruiting her could come later. Right now, he just needed her gone. It looked like she was retreating. With a bit of luck, she wouldn’t come back.
Number two. Ascertain the situation of the Wards. From his position, he could see Septima, Gestalt and Anomaly battling out the VTOL. He breathed a sigh of relief. Their new cape was one he’d heard about, but never seen in combat. Knight. She created frozen blocks of time, shaped into weapons and armour, and other useful tools. Not unlike himself, except with time, not blood. So that was Retribution’s daughter, huh?
Number three. Maintain the Wards safety by becoming the biggest threat on the field. This was a sticking point, though, as becoming the biggest target would then put him at odds with the people he was trying to protect. That being said, he could pull his punches. Goons wouldn’t. So. Time to get to work.
Coiling his arms around his body, he spun and launched both sickles at nearby goons, controlling the finer details of their movements manually. The first hit the neck of the Gladius member before spinning all the way around it, slicing it clean through. Blood spouted from the wound and ran down his body. The second dug into the goon’s heart, flooring him and making him bleed out.
Raising his hand, his four spears flung at Dragon leapt to his command above his head. One still had the screaming form of a Gladius soldier attached. Sickle grimly smiled under his mask, before using the other three spears to impale the man, clenching his fist and sending all four spear straight through his body. Blood rained down around him, the droplets stalling in mid air.
A disk of frozen time pinballed off Wonderland goons, sending them cartwheeling through the air. Sickle decided to play clay pigeons with them, impaling one mook with a spear each. Focusing on the droplets of blood in the air around him, he crystallized and hardened them, making a swarm of razor-sharp shards. With a click of his fingers, they began moving around him, getting faster and faster with every passing second.
One idiot decided to level a gun at him, but a single thought sent a flurry of shards through the man’s eyes and out the back of his head. With the shard storm catching the attention of pretty much everyone, he finally recalled his sickles, catching one in each hand.
“Alright!” he roared above the crowd. “I’m getting bored. I’ll give you to the count of five. Take the head start and run. It’ll make killing you that much more entertaining.”@Banana@PlatinumSkink
Pipeline, seeing Sickle’s entrance, used the time to hobble off down the street in the direction of the Wonderland base. He didn’t have time to waste, and didn’t want to kill him yet, anyway. He was such a good fighter in the Circus.