The gang members on both sides didn't seem to know what to do after her surprise entrance. Before anyone could react another figure appeared and with inhuman speed was suddenly beside her. Wildheart controlled her surprise with effort, it wasn't often anyone could startle her, and glanced at him sidelong.
A man, she guessed around her own age, he was clearly more than human. His scent was...interesting, there was definitely something reptilian about him. If she wasn't in the middle of a dangerous situation she would have had a lot of questions for him. She'd never met anyone else even remotely like her.
She smiled slightly at his words and was about to respond when she caught a familiar scent...Knight. She would recognise his scent anywhere, he always seemed to smell of blood and death. Seconds later one of the gang members fell with a blade in his chest and then another. Ashlyn knew they were dead, she could smell the blood. She felt rage well up inside her, a combination of righteous anger and animal savagery, and she clenched her fists. She spoke coldly and very precisely struggling to get the words out around the anger.
“I don't know who you are.” She directed her words to Sam. “But your presence is welcome.”
The gang members had recovered from their shock and were prepping their guns to retaliate. She glared at Knight.
“I will subdue these misguided idiots.” She gestured at the gangs. “Then I will deal with you.”
With that she sprinted forward wading into the spiders with fists and feet.
Knight watched from the fire escape, watching the fight ensue and only aiding with the expert throw of several kunai, each reaching their target expertly. While he had not completed his training, he remained one of the most deadly in his order and it showed. His precision and strength were his greatest skills. And as a result, another Hell Fire felt the darkness envelop him as the dagger impaled the base of his skull. His death was swift.
“I am doing this city a favor. They are a plague on the people here. I am the cure.”
His voice was echoed and distorted by the mask, resonating in the alleyway to the point it could be felt in the core and bones of those present. With the death of the couple Hellfires, the gangs were thrown into a state of panic and began to draw their guns. Samuel could only make a cursory glance at the assailant before he retreated back into the darkness. This mysterious executor of death effortlessly ended the lives of several of the gang members. It was a skill he admittedly thought was impressive, though such callous plucking of potential flowers he found in bad taste. Samuel wanted to track the bloodthirsty fiend down, but the fight he and the lady where in took precedence. Fortunately she seemed to be on the same page as she began to charge the Spiders. He decided to follow suit and charged the Hellfires to cover her back. Samuel charged the tensions in his legs, not as much as last time but to just enough to give him a burst of speed to right, swinging him around to attempt a throat jab upon the rightmost foe, taking advantage of their confused and panicked state and target their flanks. He still didn’t intend to kill them if he could avoid it. Beat the stuffing out of them sure, but he still restrained himself.
The spiders were no match for Wildheart. They could fight, surviving in La Vida had ensured that, but against someone like her they were woefully outmatched. With her enhanced speed and reflexes she was able to move around them and avoid their blows easily. She used quick, efficient movements aiming to put them down with as little effort as possible. A jab to the throat followed by a low sweep of a leg sent the first to the floor and a swift kick to the head ensured he was out of the fight. This close they couldn't use their guns and instead had blades or knuckle dusters. She caught a wrist with a blade aimed at her chest and twisted sharply. Before the man could react she then headbutted him hard. He went down. A third tried to grapple her and she used his momentum to flip him over her shoulder and then a sharp blow stopped him cold. The last backed away,realising he was alone, and then turned to run. She grabbed him and and slammed his head into a nearby car. She took a moment, ensuring they were all alive and not seriously hurt, before checking on the others. The mysterious vigilante had things well in hand and she could see he would have dealt with them in minutes.
Confident the gang situation here was under control, for the moment, she scanned the area looking for Knight. The street was dark with only one working streetlight, but that was enough for her to see clearly. He blended in well with the darkness around him but with her sight and sense of smell she pinpointed him to a nearby building. He crouched on the fire escape watching the scene. Evidence of his handiwork lay amongst the unconscious, blood pooling from their fatal wounds. She walked across the street so that she was beneath the fire escape and looked up.
“Your so called cure only brings more chaos not less.” She snapped, her anger still close to the surface. “What you do makes you no better than them.” She jerked her head at the bodies. “I will not tolerate a murderer running amok in the city. I am going to bring you to the police to answer for what you have done.” She smiled then, a savage smile showing her anger and her determination.
“Now are you going to come down here or do I have to come get you?”
Knight gave a brief smile, watching the fight take place. He was marginally impressed with the skill they showed. They lacked the proper discipline that came from a tortured, regimined upbringing. Needless to say, the threat was empty. Baseless. He was near invincible without his training, and near unstoppable with it. He wasn’t afraid of a girl who talked to birds, or some random passerby. But alas, within moments he swung himself down towards the others. He had one simple thing he needed taken care of.
“Tell you what… I’ll give you a single shot. Make it count.”
And there he stood, only a couple feet away from Wildheart with his hands in his pockets, mocking her. Waiting.
Samuel had just taken down the last of the gang members and looked to see the warrior lady took care of her ruffians around the same time with equally little effort. Man, she’s pretty AND kicks ass? Seems like my kind of woman! He thought to himself. Before he could spend too much time admiring her though, the killer appeared almost without warning mere feet from his ally. He issued a challenge targeted towards her with the utmost cockiness and bravado, leaving himself completely defenseless. Samuel knew for damn sure no one would leave themselves so open to attack, ESPECIALLY against metas unless they were either completely sure of themselves or had a serious ace up their sleeves. He was no ametuer either, though he seemed fixated on her, he still kept a half cautious eye towards him. Whoever this warrior was, he was damn good. Samuel stuck his tongue out to catch and memorize his scent should he need to be tracked down. Despite the foreboding nature of this strange malefactor, Samuel smiled, licked his lips and decided to humor him.
“Alright, you caught my interest. I’ll play your little game.”
He tried to take the killer’s attention away from the lady. He sidestepped just a little to the right so that when he fired he wouldn’t hit the lady by mistake. Samuel decided to bust out his trusty blowgun. He loaded the blowgun with his secret weapon, a dart tipped in a powerful neurotoxin, a few drops of which could paralyze an average built man in a matter of seconds. He had used his fangs to paralyze the majority of the hellfires, a fact he knew the killer knew since he was watching. This was just a ploy to see what kind of tricks this mysterious foe possessed. Samuel took his time, aimed, and fired, aiming right between the eyes.
It was almost amusing as the dart collapsed in on itself before falling to the ground with a crunch. Of course, the poor man had no idea about Knight’s natural ability. How could he? Regardless, Knight wasn’t focused on him. He had a job to do, and he was going to get it done.
Wildheart took the bait and lunged, though not straight on as he initially expected. She sidestepped at the last moment in the same direction Knight moved to dodge. Animal instincts and keen perception suited her well. Wildheart moved in to grasp the back of Knight’s arm, twisting it and kicking at his leg. For most individuals, this would have been incredibly painful and would have shattered a bone or two. To Knight… this was just childsplay. It hurt, of course, but Wildheart’s foot would have stung from an attempt at brute force. Knight, for his part, was not going to stay immobile long.
“You want to take me to the police… of course. But they’ll never keep me long.”
With a swift use of precise force, Knight twisted himself out of Wildheart’s grip, but she was not one to hold back. She was intent on subduing him, and her abilities made her more agile than the trained ninja. It was like a wrestling match of sorts. She was not one to try and pull the same mistake more than once. It was amusing.
“If you let the cops take me, then I’ll kill them. Their deaths would be your causing.”
“Their deaths would be your fault, denying otherwise makes you a coward.” She snapped striking at his face which he dodged.
The two danced with expert precision. Knight almost immediately recognized the fighting style. Krav Maga, a primitive if not barbaric style, was made somehow graceful by her swift movements. She struck faster than most Knight had fought, but it would take more force to hurt him. And so, suddenly, Knight stopped moving in reaction. He had done what he needed to. With a sudden twist and turn, a slight pop burst out from Knight’s right arm. He was right where she wanted him. But Knight still spoke.
“Or you could kill me… snap my neck and leave me with the carrion flesh of those I slaughtered. Maybe then you’d understand… My actions were for the greater good.” His voice was slightly muffled as his face was jammed into the hard concrete.
“You're not interested in the greater good.” She said close to his ear. “I've known men like you before, men who disguise their enjoyment of violence and death behind so called moral ideas.” Her voice was still quiet but there was remembered anger and pain in her tone.
“Many of these gang members are only members because they feel they have no choice. They were raised amongst violence and safety for them means the gangs. But then you would know that if you were interested in more than getting your kicks.”
A small smile and spatter against the ground came from his lips.
“We all have a choice. They chose to hurt the citizens, they chose to kill others in the streets. Denying that makes you an idiot.”
It was almost as if on cue that the police had arrived, as Wildheart had Knight pinned to the ground. Two officers emerged from the car with their weapons drawn, approaching. Two more cars approached, and the cops surrounded them. One of the officers moved in close, replacing Wildheart’s force to handcuff the vigilante. She stepped back warily as the police moved in unsure how they would handle the situation. As a vigilante technically she was classed as a criminal yet they made no move to arrest her. Clearly they had decided that she was the lesser of the two evils. They trained their guns on the murderer, removing the throwing knives and chained sickle from him. The only two weapons he had on his person. They had removed his mask as well, the beautiful face of a madman revealed to the officers as they pulled him away.
Knight was remarkably compliant, stepping in time with the officers as they placed him in the back of the squad car, handcuffed. He looked out at Wildheart specifically, giving a small smile and a wink as the cars formed a small convoy to bring him to the station. Once they had left Wildheart allowed herself to relax, a little anyway as she wasn't about to relax completely around a stranger. She turned to the other man and nodded.
“Thank you, I appreciate your help. I'm sure you have questions about what just happened. I'm happy to explain if you want but not here. I do know somewhere safe but I need to check with...the owners. We're a group trying to help the city and I think we could use your help.”
She held out a small piece of paper with a phone number. “This is the number I use for this work. Call me if you're interested.” She gripped the fire escape then glanced back with a small smile. “I'm Wildheart by the way, maybe you've heard of me.”
She then crouched and then leaped to the fourth floor then again to the roof. Then she was just...gone… almost.
Samuel ran to the fire exit in order to block the killer’s escape should he attempt to run. Fortunately, though his defense proved unbelievable, the badass lady managed to hold him in place long enough for the police to arrive. Not wanting to give the police any more reason to suspect him of suspicious activity than he already has, he retracted his scales back beneath his skin, reassuming his human appearance. Once the cops unmasked him, he saw the face of a deranged fanatic, a man driven solely by dark impulses masquerading as a man of decency and justice. Such self-aggrandizing without an ounce of self-awareness sickened Samuel. He knew that this false prophet was far too tenacious and addicted to his carnage to consider abandoning his twisted mission. Nevertheless, Samuel was relieved to see the psychopath driven away into the darkness where his vile kind belong.
With the tensions of scene defusing, Samuel finally had a chance, albeit brief, to talk to the red-haired wonder. She introduced herself as Wildheart, a fitting name for a wild woman. Sam gave a warm smile to her. “It is an honor to meet you Wildheart. My name is Samuel, Sam for short. I’m happy to help others who share a similar longing for JUSTICE!” Sam exclaimed the last word with gusto. Wildheart explains that she works alongside a group of metas who are working in tandem to take out the trash on the streets. This of course is freakin’ awesome. Sam was DEFINATELY calling that number when he gets back home. If this group had more badass hot ladies like her, AND they hunger for justice, that sounded like a sweet deal to him.
Sam gave a gracious smile. “I look forward to meeting again under more pleasant circumstances. We saved who we could, and didn’t die ourselves. Every life saved is a victory. Until we meet again.”
He gives a small bow before Wildheart leaps up four stories up the building then to the roof within 2 leaps. “Hot damn.” Sam spoke with sincere amazement. He felt so much more comfortable knowing others with noble hearts and kind souls still carried the torch.
As she made it to the roof and began to make her way off into the night, something sent a chill down her spine. A sound incredibly high-pitched and beyond piercing, something no human could hear, filled the air and echoed off the alleyways around her. A sonic emitter, of sorts… a single trump card in Knight’s deck. Something that could force someone like Wildheart to the ground in absolute pain. It wouldn’t keep her down long… just long enough.
The sound hit Wildheart like a physical blow, it was so loud that it felt as though her head was going to explode. She cried out in pain and fell to her knees hands pressed to her ears in a vain effort to block the noise. But the noise continued and she fell onto her side no longer able to do anything but whimper. One of her weaknesses was her inability to shut down the part of her mind that communicated with the animals around her. All she'd been able to do was learn to tune it out so that it became a constant background noise instead. Incapacitated as she was right then, she was unable to do even that and her mind was wide open. The animals out in the night were not only able to talk to her they could also receive her thoughts.
All animals in range received her pain and they reacted. If anyone had been watching they would have been astonished as hundreds of bats began flowing towards the roof. Rodents in the street below began scurrying up the fire escape in a stream and a variety of stray cats and dogs gathered in the street below. Though unable to actually help her they gathered around her in solidarity. Even though those in range were affected by the device they stayed where they were, many remembered her and felt a loyalty to her sensing the animal within. Wildheart didn't notice them having already passed out from the pain. Just as Sam started to resume his patrol he is hit with an intense screaming echoing within his snake blood, causing his body to shake uncontrollably. Simultaneously, he could smell the strange scent of bats and looked up to see a congregation of them. It was then that Sam remembered a similar feeling, albeit thousands of times gentler in comparison. It was the strange sensation he had when he first saw Wildheart, as if his primal animal instincts were taking over. It was then that Sam’s human half had finally understood what his snake half knew immediately; Wildheart was in danger.
Sam last remembered Wildheart hopping onto the rooftop. There was no way the bats and other animals assembling around the building the same time he got this mental alert was simple coincidence. Somehow, they must be sensing her distress as well since they weren’t acting aggressively. Now though was not the time for thinking! Sam busted out his scales once more, bends down as deeply and solidly as he could. After channeling his energy with the strength and desire to save his newly made ally into his legs, he zooms up the building, actually overshooting his jump by an extra story, just narrowly avoiding colliding with the bats as he lands solidly upon the rooftop. Good thing his legs were really good at absorbing the shockwaves, though Sam had to catch his breath as that was one of his greatest leaps. He had jumped onto three story tall buildings before, but this was a new personal record. Sometimes when the chips are down and someone needs your help, you find a way to break past your limits. After taking just a moment to breath and collect himself, he ran to Wildheart who laid unconscious. Sam checked around her to see she had been stabbed or had suffered from external wounds but that didn’t seem to be the case. Sam had no idea what had caused her to become unconsciousness and release her distress call other than some nebulous searing pain.
Sam couldn’t smell anyone nearby so it couldn’t have been the killer or anyone else, though he did suspect the killer had something to do with this. All Sam could hazard to guess was that whatever knocked her out was somewhere close. He had to get Wildheart out of here as soon as possible. He lifted her up on his back and secured her before looking around for the nearest even rooftop. Fortunately there was a three story apartment complex next door. Sam knew it was a gamble to hop across buildings with an unconscious passenger. One slip-up could result in both of them breaking their necks. However, whatever hit her could be in the building they were on. For all he knew, the assailant could be lying in wait for an ambush below them.
Despite the risks, Sam made his call, carefully calculated the distance and jumped, the bats trailing close behind. He landed successfully upon the rooftop. He retracted his scales and ran inside the complex carrying her on his shoulders, surprising the occupants. Upon explaining to them that she was hurt and in danger combined with the agency in his voice they were convinced to lend him help. The residents called 911 and an ambulance, giving him a slight sigh of relief. At the very least, someone was coming to help. All Sam had to do now was keep Wildheart safe until the ER showed up. He gently laid her on the guest bed and whispered to her. “Hold on just a little longer Wildheart, help is coming.”