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Hi! I am Tim.

... That is all.

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March 2nd, Unknown Time
Unknown location, Hub City

The room is dark. No light to be found, except some seeping under the door. It's cold, and not just any type of cold. The type of slightly-below-room-temperature cold that, given enough time, freezes you to the bone. Typical for the midwest this time of year, but there HAS to be an AC blowing somewhere...

Footsteps can be heard approaching the door, and after a few clacks of locks opening, the door opens, the light illuminating the room slightly. A lone figure sits in a chair in the middle of the room, and two more figures enter. One of them flicks the light switch with a click, fully lighting up the room.

Leo Cash, unmasked and shirtless, sits in the aforementioned chair, hands and feet bound to it, looking quite beaten and battered. His mask, as well as his other possessions, lie upon a table against the far wall. His bowstring is broken, and his camera is smashed.

One of the two men who just entered, thin and lanky, closes the door, locking it behind him. He speaks up:

"Well. Here we are again. Let's see how this plays out."

Him and his much more brute-like companion (here on referred to as "Lanky" and "Burly", respectively) approach Leo. Lanky rubs his arms.

"Whew, is it chilly in here... How are you feeling, guy?"

Arsenal looked up at the man, tired.


"Cool, cool. You gonna talk now?"

"... Nah, I'm good."

"Ah. I see. Maybe you just need to soften up a bit. Take your time."

He signals to Burly and walks over to the table, inspecting the gear for clues. Burly walks over and cracks his knuckles, giving a large punch to Leo's face. Then another to his gut. Then another. Then another. After a good amount of punches, Burly takes a moment to rest his fists, talking to his punching bag.

"Come on. We know you're that internet guy, we're not stupid. But how'd you track us, huh? Who sent you?"

Leo lurches over in his seat, coughing.

"... It... It was..."

Burly grabs him by the hair, and Lanky looks over expectantly as they hear this. Burly holds Leo's head up.

"Yeah?! Who was it?!"

"... Your mother. We're real worried about ya. Please come back home."

Lanky gives a sigh and a facepalm, and Burly lets Leo's head drop. He rolls a shoulder.

"... Well. Back to it."

Another punch hits Leo's face.

Record Scratch
Freeze Frame

Yup, that's me. You're probably wondering: "Arsenal! How'd you get into this situation?!" Well, let me tell you. It all started about a week ago...

February 22nd, 8:00 PM
Downtown, Hub City

I'd been handling some street crime the first day I got here, but I'd stumbled upon various bits of information pointing to some larger organized crime. Shipping manifests, notes, multiple scared goons begging for me not to hurt them- all adding up. Led me to this place Downtown, Hub City Realty.
Seemed legit at first, but with the amount of traffic that place gets? I had to investigate.

Arsenal leaps over the side of the building, landing on the rooftop of the adjacent one with a roll, seamlessly transitioning into a sneak as he moved to the ledge. The Realty office was just across the street. Removing his camera from his chest, he looked at the electronic screen and zoomed it in at the building.

"Alright, boys and girls, let's see what we got here..."

The place was strangely lively, with delivery men coming through the service entrance on one side, a man guarding the side door on the other, and a group of fine-dressed men entering right through the front door. Looking through the windows, there were still a few employees working, but the rest of the people inside looked a lot more dangerous than normal security guards...

He'd spotted a small balcony which appeared to be an outdoor smoking area on the second floor. That's his way in. Putting the camera back on his chest, he readied a rope arrow, aimed for the balcony, and let the arrow fly. It stuck itself in the wall just above the door. After tieing the rope around a nearby AC unit, he tightened it and double checked it.

"All right, let's do this."

After getting a running start, he jumped onto the makeshift zipline, using his bow as a handle. He near-silently zipped across the empty streets, right above the guards, and onto the balcony, landing with barely a sound. Trying the door, he found it unlocked. Probably didn't expect an intruder entering through here. He stepped inside to the dark break room, quietly.

I'd done my fair share of recon, and I was pretty confident that I'd be able to slip in, find out what was going on, and get out without being spotted. But, at the time, I assumed that this place was, at worst, a front for some shady dealings done by some shady guys that'd probably die all the same with a few well-placed arrows.

In hindsight, this could not have been a bigger underestimate.

Arsenal, finding nothing of note in the break room, stealthily made his way into the similarly unlit hallway. Had to find the main office, oh where could it be...

"And the packages?"

"Two retrieved so far."

"Disappointing. Yet not entirely unexpected considering some of the ... talent."

That sounds nefarious. Our hooded hero followed the voices to the door of what must be the main office, the door slightly ajar, allowing him to peek in and listen to the ensuing conversation...
With the battle over, Hawke quickly spun Aether around in his hand, getting the blood off it, as he wiped away what was left with his palm. More of a reflex than an action, really. He'd helped the noble girl to release her urges a small amount in a slightly more productive way: "productive" being "not attacking him", but hey, it was a start.

It wasn't enough, though, and he could tell. After that brief moment of pure bloodlust, she was only barely in control of herself. Enough so that she could warn him. Hawke knew what she was feeling. The rush was like no other.

"... I understand."

Upon regrouping, Hawke had caught the tail-end of the conversation. Another maniac from The Pyre. He'd heard one was here, but he wasn't expecting to ever meet him. Great. Well, it's better than nothing. What choice did he have but to play along?

"My name is Gabriel Hawke. I was a high-security prisoner here. I met this merry band of misfits not too long ago."
February 14th, 10:45
Downtown, Central City

Just as Arsenal had pressed the button, he'd felt something press aginst his cheek for the briefest of moments, and the camera flashed. He turned to look at Velocity, but she was gone, the charged air being the only sign she was there in the first place. Lightning traveled across the horizon: she's just as fast as they say.

Descending from the air was a small index card, flipping rapidly, trying to keep itself afloat as it hovered in front of his face. Arsenal snatched it from the air. The edges were singed, but he could clearly make out the note:

- Next time call first, we'll make a date of it~ V.

His heart stopped for a moment as he slowly flipped the card around. Sure enough, there was a phone number handwritten on the other side. Leo was more a little excited.





As he went to immediately go put the number into his phone, he'd noticed the picture. It was him, posing normally, and Velocity next to him, giving the camera that wink she was so well known for. Leo's face got almost as red as his mask. She's even faster than they say.

He quickly saved the number to his phone, and gently put the card into one of his vest's pockets. Picking up his bow and putting away his phone, he ran across the rooftops, filled with newfound energy.

February 14th, 11:30
Central City

Opening the lock, Leo opened the door to his motel room, carrying in his duffle bag and throwing it to the side. He closed the door, locked it, bolted it, and put the chain in. He made sure the blinds on the window were shut, and that drapes covered that. Never can be too prepared.

After making sure his room was secure, Leo plopped down on the bed, staring up at the ceiling with a sigh. After a moment, he got out his phone and updated his status on social media.

"You guys would never believe who I ran into after the stream.

No pun intended."

After looking at the picture again for a moment, Leo uploaded it, attaching it to his post, and sent the thing. Not a minute passed, and it hit over 500 likes. I guess getting cozy with the big heroes are what people wanna see.

... Well, he wouldn't mind getting cozy with Velocity, but I mean, who wouldn't?

Thinking of Velocity, Leo sat back up in his bed, stretching and yawning. Better do this now before he gets too tired and forgets. He gets up, grabs his notebook from his belongings, and heads over to the desk, opening up to a fresh page. He writes the topic of consideration at the top of the page:


He begins thinking up potential methods. Slippery substances, a two-part arrow, quick-drying liquid adhesive... He doesn't enjoy thinking of hurting her, but he needs an arrow for every situation. Before he can even see her again, he needs an arrow for her. He already has that EMP arrow for that Lightning Bug lady, so it's cool for them to hang out again.

Leo stops writing for a second, and grins when thinking about meeting Velocity again. That'll be a good time.


Valentine's Day

Hawke stared back at Macy, knowing the look in her eyes. It was the same look his superior officer had that day. It was the same look Hawke himself most certainly had at one point in his life. When that look is around, things don't usually end well. Hopefully, this would end quickly.

But in the meantime, Hawke had to deal with keeping the noble girl controlled, but satisfied.

"You want blood? Stick with me."

Hawke gestured for her to follow, and rushed the two magic users, avoiding the group. Too much blood to be spilled there. Seems like these two were trying to cast a spell.

"Oh no you don't!"

Hawke made two quick, powerful slashes at their arms, hoping to sever a hand, or at least a few fingers. Magic's pretty intricate, and most spells require some form of fine input.

And hopefully, the noble girl followed him.
Febuary 14th, 10:40
Downtown, Central City

oh my god she watches the stream


Arsenal internally shrieked in hype.

He was actually quite surprised that she also had a vlog. And a normal one at that. He'd figured that she was really busy doing hero stuff. Thinking about it, super speed isn't exactly the most time-consuming power to use. She HAD to have had a job, what to eat and all that. She probably eats a lot and never have to worry about it, with her power probably taking a lot of energy. He'd started to wonder if she worked out, or if her thighs were just naturally fit due to all the running, when she'd started talking about the downsides of being a hero and how you don't get paid.

"Oh, yeah! Unless you're like me, am I right?"

I pay a different toll...

"But really, I get it. You're obviously really busy trying to balance normal life with hero-work. I should probably get going so you can do that..."

Arsenal perked up for a second and pulled out his phone.

"Oh! Before I forget, can I get a selfie?! If it's not too much to ask!"
Great. Can't really use Aether in this smoke. Don't wanna risk hitting the others.

Just then, he remembered his other weapons. He unsheathed the Guard Blade from his belt. The blade's enchantment shimmers in the smoke, giving Hawke some idea of where he's going. Knowing these guys would be wielding makeshift weapons, Hawke devised a simple rule to discern friend from foe: If they're wearing white and don't look feminine, they're bad.

Putting this theory to the test, he approaches one figure dressed in white and just slashes before even looking, the enchantment cutting the man in two. Yeah, that was a prisoner, enough evidence. Hawke goes from one figure to the next, slashing the inmates into smaller pieces, passing my the small noble and the magic shouting lady. He hadn't seen the Foxboy or the other quiet noble in the smoke, so he'd hoped that was a good thing.

As he was pretty sure he was finished with the inmates in the smoke, he'd heard the sounds of magic from the shielded part of the room. Time to make an entrance. Sheathing his guard blade, Hawke dragged Aether behind him, the sparks giving them some indication of where he was, running towards the barrier.

Hawke burst from the smoke, using his momentum to slash at the open air. Only the flashiest entrance to clear the area as he took stock of his surroundings.
Well, that didn't work out. Plan B it is then.

Hawke, not wasting any time, quickly rushes forward towards the leather-armor clad man just as he finished his war cry. Now, he wasn't sure if Aether was in good enough shape to get through the armor, but it could definitely slice through flesh and bone. With great killing intent, and the magical power of Momentum, Hawke put all his force to a great slash, hoping to cut the man in two straight down the middle.

Hopefully, that smoke bomb would help the others. Hawke couldn't risk fighting in that with Aether. While a normal sword might be intended for you and only you, Aether in Hawke's hands was more addressed "To whom it may concern".
10:35, February 14th
Downtown, Central City

Oh my god she knows my name

Don't freak out

Just act natural

"Well, really, I prefer rooftops less for the edgy atmosphere and more for the high-ground advantage. But yeah, the view's nice too."

Arsenal goes and sits on the edge of the roof as well, a pretty respectable distance away from the legendary hero, facing the other direction with his back to the streets.

"As for what I've been up to, just the usual. Streaming. Fighting bad guys. I'm actually on a cross-country tour right now! Decided to stop by and see if I could catch a glimpse of one of the greats!"

Leo facepalms internally.


He readjusts his harness out of nervousness.

"Of course, I manage to end the stream right as some crime happens, and right as you show up... Not to say crime is good, or that I didn't want you to show up! It's just... Like...
I mean... Y'know."

Just stop talking
10:30pm, Febuary 14th
Downtown, Central City

Moments after getting back onto the roof, Arsenal felt a large gust of wind behind him. With the feeling of electricity in the air, he already knew who it was. His heart stopped for a moment as he turned towards the source.

"Wow. Really knocked him out cold, huh."

It's Velocity.

Oh jeez.

Oh wow, she's actually here.

Shouldn't have ended the stream, DAMNIT!

Okay, just play it cool. Nice and casual-like.

"Uh, Yeah! It's one of my new arrows! Y'know, I sorta have a thing for making really cool arrows..."

That came out weird. Already messing up. Just roll with it. Change the subject.

"So, uh, I haven't really been able to catch you for the last couple of days, with the crime rate here being super low. Which is a good thing! ... But, y'know, not saying it's good like I didn't WANT to see you, just that, like... Sorry, I'm just a bit surprised. Kinda. A little."

This is a trainwreck.
Hawke, suffering from only minor burns, had walked at a more relaxed pace than the rest of the group, trying to formulate a strategy for escaping the place alive. With that magic-user so carelessly shouting at everything, he wasn't sure if they saw him as expendable or they were just extremely reckless. Maybe both. The noble girl was extremely adept at quick, methodical fighting. The Fox-Boy was deadly accurate with those needles and bolts. The little noble seemed to be the leader, and to Hawke seemed the most evened-out in terms of fighting ability.

More impotantly, he learned that while the bugs didn't show pain, they could be killed like anyone else. Enough damage to the body would kill them, but destroying the brain would just as well. As long as he had Aether, they wouldn't be too much of a problem.

Lost in his thoughts, he noticed that the group had exited the stairwell when they came upon the roadblock. A couple of guards taking the easy-way-out before the infection could take them. He gave them a small acknowledgement of respect. They were bad to him, but no man should have to go out like this.

Suddenly, he'd heard sounds of a struggle in the next room, followed by the sound of the small noble's voice: "If you two bit, no three bit prisoners were worth your weight in metal than you were in wits then you would yield to any being that doesn't jump you first that comes from the top of this tower!"

Great, trouble ahead, and it doesn't sound like the small one's in much of a mood. Looks like he'd better step in.

"I didn't grab my equipment again just for some fool who's been cooped up in this tower to use it as his own! Use your brains and keep yourself from getting killed by someone half your age old man."

"I couldn't agree more."

Hawke slowly walked out from the stairwell, his massive sword resting on his shoulder. The only language these people understand is intimidation. And nothing is more intimidating than a man with a really big sword... Well, except maybe a dragon. Or a werewolf. Or these bug things that've infested the prison. Anyway, back to being intimidating.

As Hawke approched, he spun his sword around in one hand as if it was nothing. Really show his power.

"If you cretins think you'll make me drop my sword and turn-tail, you're dead wrong. I've waited TOO LONG to use my sword again, and NOBODY'S going to take it from me again."

As soon as he reached the others, he pointed his sword at the large scarred man at the back. He grinned, and he could feel Aether itching for another battle. Looks like it's a win-win. He mocks the original threat:

"So allow me to answer your choice... With another choice: Either we walk past you, or we'll walk over you. What's it gonna be?"
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