1964-07-16 - Cast a Shadow
Summary: Three heroes. Ten burglars. Does the fun never stop? Or is it going to get…spoiled?
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
kwabena roy stephanie-brown 

It's a dark night in the city.

Not for any real reason, but because most of the street lights seem to be out, right here. Nobody hangs around, it's dark and that tends to bring out the lowlifes, but another street light goes out down the block to completely darken this section. The coincidence isn't one; it's accompanied by the sound of a silenced pistol, and a person jogging back from that location toward a van.

That can't possibly be suspicious, no not at all.

Not more than a block away, a pair of taxi cabs sit parked illegally. Immigrants tend to flock together in this town, and Kwabena has found another fellow from the Gold Coast to hang out with. And, what do you know? He is as black as Kwabena, and also drives a cab for AAA Taxi!

The pair are smoking cigarettes and chatting rapidly in their native tongue, when the last light goes out, partially darkening the corner they're parked at. The fellow gestures to get Kwabena's attention, then nods his head toward the extinguished street light.

Some more rapid dialogue, but quieter now. Kwabena shakes his head and flicks his cigarette to ash it, before producing a hipflask and offering it to his counterpart. No super-enhanced auditory powers, here. The one odd thing that certainly makes Kwabena stand out amongst other African immigrants… he's wearing shades, at night. That won't even be considered uncool for forty more years.

Harper's already made himself part of the shadows. He's positioned well; stray headlights won't illuminate him from his rooftop perch, and no glare can give away his position. He's even silhouetted against a natural point on the wall, so as to not be caught against the reflection of light from the clouds overhead.

Behind his black domino mask, he scowls at the bark of a suppressor; an uncommon enough tool, and very illegal in New York. That sound alone suggests there's something afoot, and he waits with his bow in his left hand and an arrow nocked in readiness, tracking the runner's motion as the fellow jogs to the van.

Fingertips caress the fletching of his arrow as he considers a draw, gauging hte distance to the van's rear tires.

One thing passes in front of the moon. It appears to be a person, but it's gone so fast that none of the thugs spot it. Which is lucky, because passing in front of the one remaining light source is probably the dumbest thing that could be done right now. Probably visible to the taxi below, if they look up for a moment. If not, not her loss. The sharp eyes of the Arrow, however, clearly spot her in the sky.

Said person, camouflaged to fit in with the shadows, ends up on a rooftop over the van. Creeps up to the edge, and looks down over the side. Pretty quiet, not drawing attention to herself. Yes, her, though the mask that covers her entire head isn't giving away any details.

The crowd below, given no reason to panic and no red-and-blues to tell them the cops have arrived, continue what they're doing. Which is to back the van up, nice and easy, to the back entrance of a warehouse. They're not doing much wrong yet, and vandalism is a minor offense.

The presence of such stealthy folk continues to go unnnoticed by the cabbies, who share the hipflask for a hearty swig each. Kwabena's counterpart, however, is thoroughly distracted when a lady of the night comes into view, walking down the opposing sidewalk. Kwabena smirks ruefully as the other African catcalls, and shakes his head with humor drawn across his face. He berates the other driver for a moment, still speaking a foreign tongue, before clapping the driver on his shoulder and gesturing across the street. Then, he calls out in broken English, "Hey! Lady! Dis man will give you low fare!"

Roy doesn't miss the shadow's arrival; a flickering of motion that bounds over the rooftop. He's a hunter waiting in ambush; the newcomer is stalking her prey. In the jungle or the city, it's always easier for a predator to focus overmuch on her quarry.

Besides. Roy isn't a threat. Yet.

None of this looks 'good', though— the presence of a dim pair of lanterns to illuminate the work, muttered, low voices; a legit operation would have union workers bitching about the late hours, lights shattering the darkness, doors clanging open.

This is entirely too furitive.

The sound of a catcall gets his attention for a moment, then he's back zeroed on the task at hand.

Darkness is clearly needed for this. It was the first thing noticed by everyone who showed up, and as eyes adapt you see the warehouse doors slide upward, opened from within. No need for snapping the locks, someone was waiting inside. And a muffled laugh is the only sound, as men come out of the truck and dash into the building.

One torch shines down the street, in the direction of the sounds, but is slapped down quickly. They'd clearly rather not draw attention, not even to investigate the sound.

And someone on the rooftop moves away from the edge, vanishing from view, but not to hide. She soon finds what she's looking for; the fuse box, where she starts looking for switches and controls. Lighting controls, to be specific. Where a grin spreads as she finds a lovely way to spoil someone's day.

And suddenly the warehouse's lights all come up at once, illuminating the scene. Of ten burly men, all loading up electronics and getting ready to put them onto a truck. One drops a television, shouting an alarm.

Kind of unnecessarily, to be honest, with the girl in purple on the rooftop visible for an instant before ducking once more.

The sudden burst of illumination draws Kwabena's head around like the recoiling of a rubber band. He takes a drag from his smoke, then utters a curse in his native language. "Go on, go on," he tells the other cab driver. "Get out of here. You no need police giving you shit. Go!"

"What about you, Kwabena?"

"Get de fuck on, go!"

The other cabbie grumbles, gets in his cab, and peels off without much more complaint. Meanwhile, Kwabena is pulling the collar of his jacket a bit higher upon his neck, then begins creeping down the sidewalk toward the warehouse in question. The shades still rest perched upon his nose, and when he comes to the corner of the block, he sneaks a glimpse from behind brick.

A scowl forms on his face, and he mutters throatily to himself. "Fucking Irish."

Roy grins a little. Just to himself.

It's kind of impossible not to see what's happened here; the lithe, purple-clad figure just turned the screws all the way on the guys robbing the electronics shop. It's New York; that little shop is someone's livelihood. Maybe for a generation or two of residents. Someone's home is probably right above it.

And the brazen thugs in their van look almost /upset/ that someone's blown their cover.

Might as well go all-out; Roy nocks a flashbang arrow and flicks it into the middle of their little assembly. Predators, these criminals are, sure— and criminals react almost universally to prey that suddenly turns on them, with a flash, smoke, a concussive *BANG*—

—they usually react with fear.

The thugs can't see anyone attacking…yet. Their eyes are still blinded by the sudden shift in light levels, whoever did that didn't give them time to cover their eyes with sunglasses or anything nice like that. Dirty tricks, so as Kwabena approaches he's made very glad for his own.

The sunglasses I mean, since a flash-bang ends up dilating the eyes of everyone who wasn't ready for it, and actual screaming comes from a couple of them. One runs into the building, while two actually fall out of the loading bay right into view.

Someone inside grabs something heavy and lobs it out; having no idea where to throw it, the beer refrigerator skids to a stop nowhere near anyone, but from the way it flew it's got something inside. Of course no hero would stop for a cold one in this situation.

At least one hero is crazy enough to jump off of the roof into the midst of the thugs, sweep one of their legs sending him to the ground, and start hitting people. Female, dressed in purple and darker purple, full face mask. New face, no style to her hits but she's clearly hitting hard enough to hurt.

However she won't be in the clear long, as the thugs rub their eyes.

The dark skinned cabbie knows full well the difficulties that come with the Big Apple; Roy is more correct than he may realize. Kwabena knows the owner of that shop. Jewish, managed to escape the Third Reich and set up shop here.

The big flash bang has him recoiling for a moment, but it also tells him that either someone else is here, or that vacuum tube just went kablooey. Thank goodness for sunglasses at night. Either way, he comes bursting from his own cover, pounding feet across the asphalt and headed toward the first asshole he can find.

Lips peel back to give way to a slight snarl. Kwabena may have more tricks up his sleeve than anyone may realize, but there's only one he can truly muster. Not easily visible is how his arms undergo a strange transformation; skin, meat and bone adopting a molecular structure much more like reinforced iron. It doesn't take a great deal of grace to come upon one of those temporarily blinded thugs, but the swing of his arm bends the poor bastard's elbow in a direction it's not supposed to go, exposing a sliver of bone that pokes through the skin with a gruesome *CRACK!*

Roy snorts in shocked disbelief at their sudden aggression. He's comfortably at range; working from shadows, with elevation and near-silent weaponry.

Though, Kwabena's trick gets an impressed eyebrow. He hits the guy infinitely harder than any punch should allow; there's a rigidity to his flesh that belies that strange modification to his internal structure.

"Okay, he's got it handled," Roy mutters, and focuses on Stephanie.

She's good.

Well, no, he amends. She fights with a lot of spirit and enthusiasm, but that and a buck will get you a cup of coffee. The thugs will only be 'easy targets' for so much longer; once the banger wears off, they'll be fighting at full capacity.

Roy flicks a blunted arrowhead at one crook who looks like he's getting close to being upright. It smacks into his kidney and the man drops to the ground, screaming incoherently in pain and clutching at his back as he bends like the bow in Roy's hands.

It's about twenty seconds before the thugs are able to fight back, but by that time two or three of them aren't in any shape to do that. The purple girl looks like she'd like to take credit for it, but really she's doing more pain than actual damage. A kidney shot on one guy actually drops him, and another thug takes off to hide in the building somewhere, but Kwabena's abilities are the real threat.

"Wasn't expecting to have help," the girl says as she jumps over a thrown stereo, showing off some acrobatic skill, but she has to duck and roll to avoid another guy who's trying to take her head off. "Mind if I go get the ones inside? This is…whoops! Not where I shine." Some of them came armed, and a crowbar is as dangerous as a gun at close range.

"Somebodies do sommat!" says one of the guys near the truck. And one with the silenced pistol remembers that he has it, and aims at the back of Kwabena's head. The man who's doing real damage, about to get a shortened lifespan.

The man with the busted arm ends up kicked in the chest, sending him down, coughing up blood. Kwabena spins around to find his next victim, only to come face to face, albeit briefly, with the girl in purple. "Go on," he tells her with his heavy accent. "I will handah -" He turns back around and brings his arm down on the shoulder of a fellow that was coming at him with a bat. (Ironic.) "- dis!" The last word is paired with another horrible crack and a cry of agony.

The bat clatters to the ground, the thug holding his right arm like raw spaghetti.

Unfortunately, Kwabena can't see the man taking aim at the back of his head. The silenced pistol pops, and the back of Kwabena's head let's loose a tuft of black smoke when the bullet cracks the skin. His sunglasses become shattered, and a nice little hole on his face swirls in a vortex of black smoke as the bullet continues course, pelting into the van nearby.

Skin, bone and brain reform, leaving Kwabena momentarily dizzied. The sunglasses dangle precariously for a moment, revealing eyes of human shape but a lightly glowing silver, reminding one of something feline.

The African spins around drunkenly (and, apparently, bulletproof), glowering at the man who shot him. "Son of a… bitch!" he shouts. "Do you have any idea how… how…" Not so good with English here. "Does not tickle!"

Roy blinks in shock at the man… who… survived a bullet to the head?

That's a new one, and the archer makes a mental note of it. The sort of threat that a street-faring vigilante should be aware of; it's not like all the fighters-in-tights are always on the up and up. Or even on the right side of common morality, let alone the law.

Still. The guy with the gun has time to stare at Kwabena, dumbfounded, and looks down at his gun. Then an arrow appears out of his neck, at a sharp downward angle and disappearing deep into his chest until only a handspan of fletching is visible.

He gurgles, staggers, and falls over backwards with blood pouring from the severe wound.

Roy nocks another arrow and watches the fight, the beat and lull; the surge of motion. The girl's fighting the crowbar pretty well, and that's a risky shot to deal with someone up close, particularly as she seems halfway competent.

Roy instead looses the arrow and hits a man square in the calf, pinning his leg to the wood of the loading dock with a meaty *thud*.

"Huh," the girl says in response to seeing Kwabena's head go all poofey-like. She gives her head a little shake, then ducks under someone's crowbar and gets a meat-eye view of the arrow imbedding itself in his calf.

"Aaaalright, I'm going to just do this now," she says as she takes the opportunity to vault over a stack of boxes and get into the shadows again.

A guy with an improvised club goes after her, but stops as he realizes that she's not where she should be, and comes back out looking for a way OUT of this fight! Eyes wide, the last couple of foes seem more interested in fleeing than fighting.

One even drops to the ground, crying. Not the ringleader one would assume. That would be the last guy, the one who leaps from the edge of the loading bay into the truck, guns it, and starts speeding toward Roy.

Still too dizzied to do anything for the moment, Kwabena merely blinks his clearly not-quite-human eyes when an arrow, of all things, skewers his would-be-killer in the neck.

Kwabena spins back around, craning his neck upward in an attempt to see where the shot came from. He, also, is a bit paranoid, and with good reason. He's a mutant… and a negro. Makes sense why he wears sunglasses at night all of a sudden.

The African shakes his head rapidly to help clear it, then reaches down to snatch up the silenced pistol. With a grunt, he clenches it around the barrel, super-hardened fingers crushing it to a useless state. Then, he cranks his arm back and throws the gun with incredible accuracy toward one of the last thugs standing, aiming directly for the poor criminal's nose. This would be the one fleeing. Not so fast, Mick.

"Sweah to God," he mutters. "If I end up in stupid papah, it-"

Wait. Van, peeling out. Can't have that. Kwabena lurches, leaps, and tries to grab hold of the rear bumper. The transformation works its way down to his legs, and even while scrambling to maintain a hold, he plants his boots into the street and pushes. He doesn't have enhanced strength… but from the neck down, he's as solid and stiff as steel. Asphalt starts kicking up in two trails behind him, and yeah… it hurts like hell.

Roy grunts heavily, his legs flexing to absorb the impact of dropping off the fire escape— he keeps his arrow nocked to his bow, though, and lands in a low crouch in the middle of the alley. Good shadows, blind approach— he can pick off any stragglers as he walks closer to the fracas, fingers on the arrow—

—and then the van's headlights bloom, and he's blinded by them, flinging a hand up in front of his face. Reflex catches up a second later and he whips an arrow at the van's front windshield, but it misses the driver by inches, shattering glass into a spiderweb.

Roy jitters his feet, licking his lips in anticipation— he jukes right, then leaps left with a tremendous effort, trying to outmaneuver the van. He's only partially successful and the vehicle catches his hip, though fortunately Kwabena's slowing it down enough that it won't rip his leg off.

Still, Roy goes down into a pile of refuse, knocking over a stack of wood pallets and bouncing off them wit a grunt of pain. "Shit," he hisses, squirming as he tries to restore feeling to his momentarily numbed limb.

The truck goes out of the alley with tires screeching, trying to lose Kwabena and all the other heroes in a driver's fit of terror. Unfortunately fear does not allow for great driving decisions, and as it tries the first corner at high speed, the van turns on it's side.

Seat belts being an optional thing in the criminal world and at this time of history, the driver doesn't fare well, and anyone watching would wince at the view.

Back in the warehouse however, some shouts of fear come from that way as well. Just before someone's head gets jammed through a window, and then he hangs halfway in, halfway out. He, it's clearly not a girl in purple. Also because her laugh comes out just afterward. "Ha! Spoiled!"

Girl with no name uses the front door, waving back to the heroes as she takes off down the street. Clearly with no plans to hang about and chat, as the sound of the police's sirens FINALLY are audible. Someone called them from a landline inside the building. Gee, wonder who that could have been.

Kwabena yelps and lets go when the van turns over. His body tumbles end over end a couple of times, until he rams his hands into the pavement, turning up a bit more asphalt until he comes to a stop.

With an exhausted grunt, he drops his head to the pavement, taking a precious few seconds to just lie there. The sound of sirens though, that is like a shot of amphetamine straight to his carotid. His head flies up, and he scrambles to his feet, body already having softened back to its normal state. He catches a brief glimpse of the purple gal fleeing, before turning tail and running for his waiting taxi cab.

Roy's left leg isn't cooperating much; he manages to push his way to his feet, just in time to see Kwabena sprinting like mad away from the sound of the oncoming sirens.

"….figures," he mutters, sourly, rubbing his hip. He's not broken, but Roy won't be winning any hundred-meter dashes in the immediate future. He nocks an arrow to his bow and looops a thin cable to it, from his belt; it forms an effective grapnel, and the projectile flies skywards, *clanking* around a low rooftop edge. He tugs the cable box twice and little, massively powerful spring pulleys haul him upwards with a whirring scream of gears, zipping to the roof's edge. With a grunt of pain he hauls himself up and over, and like the other two vigilantes, he vanishes into the night, leaveing only a limping scrape and muttered oaths of pain in his wake.

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