Contemplation

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Contemplation

Post  The Nightwalker on Sat May 02, 2009 11:34 pm

The tallish man in white moved somewhat smoothly down one of the filthy streets, watching carefully for any signs of crime; anyone standing where they shouldn't be or selling things they shouldn't sell or looking at him in a funny way. It left a bitter taste in his mouth to remember that he actually cared for this city, that he protected its citizens every single night. And how did they repay him? By behaving like prostitutes, like thieves, like drunkards. He was particularly glad at that thought that he carried so much weaponry on his person.

He wasn't cleansing the city. That wasn't how he saw it. He was simply weeding out the bad from the good so the good could thrive and flourish. The frustrating part was that the bad often contaminated the good before he could get to it, and all his work ever seemed to amount to was nothing. Crime rates rose, suspicious deaths rose, murders rose, education dropped, health dropped. It was easy to blame the Government. He blamed the protectors of that Government. The police force, obviously. If they were so good at their job, he wouldn't have to come out at night and leave a bloody mess in the gutter for the boys in blue to identify in the morning. He'd be sitting at home, safe from crime and terror. But as it were, even homes weren't safe anymore, and indeed, The Nightwalker never did return there. Sighing deeply, he strode ahead of a homeless man in his fifties scrounging for spare change off the passers-by.

"I don't give to charity-cases," he growled neutrally. Then, he heard a click behind him. He was being mugged. Sucking air in through his teeth, he gave a soft laugh and reached for the revolver hidden in his right sleeve.
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Re: Contemplation

Post  The Brazen Bull on Sat May 02, 2009 11:47 pm

The Brazen Bull crouched on a fire escape, deep in the baddest part of town. The slums. Home. He was glad to be out of that damned HQ armory, with all its procedural forms, and clipboards, and manuals. God, that was like all the work of being back on the force without the benifits of rough interogations and chasing down scum.

His helm clicked softly against his mouth guard as he stood up. Down bellow, he saw a man in a white suit. Some one drawing up behind him. Didn't look like a meeting between friends. Brazen Bull threw himself over the railing of the fire escape, grabbing the ladder with one hand. He should get over there before things turned ugly.
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Re: Contemplation

Post  The Nightwalker on Sat May 02, 2009 11:59 pm

Andrew used to be the kind of man who would have dropped his gun and actually reasoned with men like this, trying to appeal to whatever good side he used to think that they had. Age had made him wise, however. He knew that such men didn't have a good side. Of course they didn't. Blackened through and through. Why else would they sit and wait in dark alleys just to mug a few cents and some pocket lint from a man in a cheap white suit?

So that he could have the upper hand, he spun quickly and battered the man in the face with the butt of his revolver, causing him to cry out and drop his weapon. Just as swiftly, he brought the handle back into his gloved hand and aimed the barrel at the unscrupulous 'gentleman's' head, a cruel grin on his face. He had taken a risk, he could have been shot dead, and at point-blank range, but he had chosen to take the risk, and it worked. He had won.

"P-please!" started the all-too-expected begging; the pathetic creature seemed to forget his gun was at his feet and all he really had to do was lift it, aim and fire. "I-I-I can't afford to feed my darling wife!"

"And yet you can afford a gun?" the vigilante hissed mockingly, pressing the revolver into the man's forehead. If he truly cared enough to 'feed his wife' he would have never spent money on a gun in the first place, or else have sold it. Blackened. Soullless. Scum. Just scum. He should pull the trigger. It would certainly shut the guy up, if nothing else.
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Re: Contemplation

Post  The Brazen Bull on Sun May 03, 2009 12:06 am

Brazen Bull's eyes widened as he watched the scene unfold. He was running toward the man in white and the would-be mugger, but his suit--as it was designed to do--made no noise. "Hey!" he shouted. It looked like the old man in white was going to blow the mugger's brains right out. Maybe he was just scaring him? Brazen Bull couldn't tell. It was safest to just get between it. He reached the man and the mugger. "I can take this man from here, sir. Are you injured in anyway?" He'd been watching--he'd seen he wasn't. He still asked it. Seemed like the least awkward transition.
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Re: Contemplation

Post  The Nightwalker on Sun May 03, 2009 12:20 am

His intention had been to kill the disgusting creature, and make sure it was dead. Maybe with a few shots. Like removing a cancer. Just cut it out. Destroy it and make sure it cannot come back. But then he charged in, and The Nightwalker knew fine well who he was. Everyone knew who he was. The media had been all over it as of late; cameramen and photographers staying up all night in cold gutters to catch glimpses, tv reporters giving excited, gushing stories about the so-called 'Crusaders'. Giving him an indignant glare up and down, he slipped the revolver back into his sleeve. He was not happy at having been interrupted.

"Do I look injured to you?" he snarled, stretching out his arms as though it would indicate that everything was fine. Although, everything wasn't fine. Andrew, as a matter of fact, felt entirely humiliated. More than twenty years he'd been doing this and some young costume-wearing muscle-bound wrecking ball "saves" him from a pathetic mugger. Someone who by all rights and means should no longer have had a head. Had the Brazen Bull been just a millisecond later in reaching them, the evil thing would have been decorating the alleyway.
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Re: Contemplation

Post  The Brazen Bull on Sun May 03, 2009 12:27 am

Brazen Bull narrowed his eyes, just barely visible through the shadows of his helm. "No sir," he said through gritted teeth. He didn't like this guy's tone of voice. He grabbed ahold of the mugger's shoulder, squeezing harder than he ought to have. "Do you have a conceal and carry liscence, sir?" he said, spitting his words. Usually he wouldn't have asked. He wasn't a police officer anymore, after all. But the way that guy had snarled at him. Well, he wasn't going to let that go.
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Re: Contemplation

Post  The Nightwalker on Sun May 03, 2009 12:36 am

He laughed then, a sort of cynical chuckle that was barely audible in the dank, dirty alley.

"I wasn't aware you were a police officer. Is that official dress?"

He gestured towards the burly man's outfit, the kind of thing Andrew found utterly ridiculous. Why did people have to dress in such bizarre attire to go out and fight crime? A simple suit had always worked for him. Some would have said that it was a sign of his aging that he didn't understand "young people" and their needs and wants. Those people would then have been whacked around the head with a pistol for suggesting that he was old. Fifty years old. That wasn't all that old. He wasn't in need of a zimmer frame just yet and his mind was as sharp as ever. He put it down to age discrimination that everyone seemed to adore the young, brutish heroes. With a slow shake of his head, he folded his arms.

"At least what I do does this city some good. I'm just removing the poison. Call me what you want, but I'm this city's antidote."
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Re: Contemplation

Post  The Brazen Bull on Sun May 03, 2009 12:46 am

"Yeah, whatever," mumbled the Brazen Bull. God, this guy was like Blue Sunday: completely insane. He reached into his belt for some zip ties to bind the mugger's hands. "You're avoiding the question. It's illegal to carry a concealed firearm without a proper liscence."
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Re: Contemplation

Post  The Nightwalker on Sun May 03, 2009 1:14 am

The older man smirked, his dark eyes focusing on the younger man with resolve. He could have chosen to walk, just get out of there. Maybe the kid would have given chase, which, to The Nightwalker, would have been an awful mistake on the Bull's part. He gave that same cold chuckle and adjusted his gloves.

"And if I said I didn't have one, you'd take me in, too, right?" The urge was to move closer, to a good interrogational distance, but he didn't. "Of course you would. Maybe it's my realism. Maybe it's my tone of voice." He knew the kid didn't like him. Was it really so hard to accept that someone with more experence wasn't willing to compromise? He turned away; his entire right side facing the pair, he played absently with the barrel of the revolver in his left sleeve. He then made a faint 'tsk' sound. "I never got in your way, when you were out performing your heroics. When you were trying to help the city. Even though..." He glared at the still-living mugger, a large, bloody bruise on his temple from being whacked with the revolver. "...I probably should have stepped in."
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Re: Contemplation

Post  The Brazen Bull on Sun May 03, 2009 1:29 am

The Brazen Bull snorted, and the sound echoed around in his face mask. "Nah, I wouldn't take you in," he said. "I don't waste my time apprehending the elderly." There was venom in his voice--he meant to wound. He jerked the mugger by the arm and, with a rough, "Come on, you" started down the street. A beggar looked at him but dared not raise his filthy hands to ask for change. Brazen Bull reached into his belt and pulled out a couple of wrinkled dollars which he held out to him anyway. He was feeling generous--feeling superior.
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Re: Contemplation

Post  The Nightwalker on Sun May 03, 2009 1:55 am

The Nightwalker rolled his eyes. He had anticipated such ridicule. But then, children always thought that anyone older than them were elderly. It was just a pity that the wretched Bull liked to resort to playground teasing and dragged miscreants to teacher to punish. It was also a pity that the younger heroes had no respect at all for those who knew better than them. Shaking his head, he turned heel and continued down the alley in the direction he had been going in the first place. Before he was so rudely interrupted by the over-compensating bovine bouncer. As best he could, he waved the thought from his mind. He wouldn't dwell on it. Instead, he shifted his attention onto the city and the immoral hoards that infected it so heavily. One scumbag had been forcibly taken from his grasp, but he was sure there would be a few more tonight that wouldn't be so lucky. The revolver in his left hand was slipped promptly back into his sleeve. Evil was cowardly and wouldn't show its face if it knew it didn't have the upper hand.
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Re: Contemplation

Post  The Brazen Bull on Sun May 03, 2009 2:13 am

The police station was some ways away, and Brazen Bull had a bad feeling about that guy in white. Concealed weapons meant that he was up to something. Of course, he might have just had it for protection, but Brazen Bull didn't think so. Not with that sort of attitude.

He paused. He should follow him. But what to do with the mugger in the mean time? The police station was too far away--he'd have lost that old guy before he could get back. He could just leave the mugger there and call the police--there was a phone booth at the corner--but suppose he got the ties off before the police came?

Only one thing to be done about that. The Brazen Bull drew back one of his legs and made a powerful kick, aiming to hit the man's shin with his own, armoured shin, with the intent of breaking the man's leg. The sound of splintering bone hadn't bothered him since he was a kid and he accedently broke his own arm falling down. Without pause, he dragged the battered mugger to the phone booth, made the call, secured him to the booth, and then set off the way he'd just come to shadow the man in the white suit.
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Re: Contemplation

Post  The Nightwalker on Sun May 03, 2009 2:28 am

It was a warm, uncomfortable prickle on the back of his neck. Some called it intuition, others paranoia. He called it "probably being followed". Electing not to bother turning round, he kept moving, hearing sounds up ahead. Had they been soft, pleasant sounds of normal conversation, his speed wouldn't have picked up as it did, but it sounded like some kind of altercation, and as he approached the source, the clink of metal and harsh thud of said metal to flesh became more than apparent. Sure enough, as he got close enough to the action, he found a burly looking guy towering over a bloodied pulp of a man, cowering as he begged the brute not to hit him again with the pipe. He heard growlings about money and drugs, and decided that neither man deserved to live, but taking out the larger one would leave behind the lesser of two evils. Knowing he had to make a qucik decision or the smaller one was probably as good as dead, he wondered briefly whether to move on and, as mother used to say, let nature take its course. He made the mistake then of stepping in without his revolver raised, and received a heavy blow to the face. He let out a cry and stumbled back, waving his arm frantically to allow the revolver to slip into his hand. Unable to see, he fired at least three shots angrily in the direction of the brute, humiliated once more. It wasn't as though he had never made a mistake before, but he knew that precocious Bull must be following him. It wasn't paranoia. It just wasn't.
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Re: Contemplation

Post  The Brazen Bull on Sun May 03, 2009 1:10 pm

The Brazen Bull, delayed by his call to the police, was a good deal behind the Nightwalker. He saw him get hit, and heard the shots fired. "Dammit," he said, picking up his speed. He was more concerned if the old guy was okay than if he'd killed the brute with the pipe--it was just fine to kill someone who was a threat. It was killing them when they no longer were that Brazen Bull had a problem with.

He was getting closer to them, but he wasn't close enough to be of any help if any more blows were exchanged. Right about now, he was regretting that he didn't carry any sort of projectiles.
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Re: Contemplation

Post  The Nightwalker on Sun May 03, 2009 2:13 pm

There was a stillness in the alley then. Unable to see properly after the blow to the face, Andrew warily stepped back, unsure whether it was a bluff. He had known stunts like that to be pulled before; play dead, then jump the unsuspecting vigilante. A warm liquid pooled in the curve below his right eye and he knew he was bleeding. He just couldn't figure out from where. Closing his right eyes, he managed to focus his left, and saw the larger man sprawled on the grime-saturated ground, most definitely dead, at least one of the bullets having found his neck. With utter distaste, he spat on the ground next to the brute, a hand up at his eye, trying to find the source of the bleed. This pause had, unfortunately, been his second mistake that night. While he tried to stop the bleeding, which he discovered came from his actual eye socket, another large figure snuck up behind him and punched him harshly in the back of the head. Rage flowing freely, he turned the revolver to this unexpected arrival and click! Out of bullets.

The Nightwalker cursed audibly, moving back into the dead end as he unsuccessfully tried to move his left hand revolver into his hand. He could just feel the barrel in his palm; if his fingers could just grip it...

[ooc: feel free to control the NPCs; just as long as I don't die]
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Re: Contemplation

Post  The Brazen Bull on Sun May 03, 2009 5:40 pm

The Brazen Bull was running a full sprint, and his powerful breaths were echoing from within his mask as he exerted himself, making him sound like an angry animal. He reached them, and threw a running punch at the Nightwalker's assailant--just as much a sucker punch as the man's own blow had been--striking him in the cheek. There was a crunch; the man staggered for a moment, but did not go down. He wheeled on the Brazen Bull, who raised his arms to guard himself. He hoped that the old guy wasn't going to chance a shot at the thug with him on the other side. After all, he was pretty fast for a man of his size, but certainly not fast enough to avoid a bullet, should one come rocketing out of this man's body. He could only hope that the man in white would aim for the thug's head--a good chance it'd stop the bullet, and if it didn't it'd at least slow it down and probably render it mostly harmless against his helm. Probably.
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Re: Contemplation

Post  The Nightwalker on Sun May 03, 2009 8:39 pm

The first thing that entered his mind was the strangely triumphant confirmation that he had been followed by that 'hero'. He put it down to experience of being shadowed by various types of people - enemies now dead, police officers, would-be muggers - that he could invariably tell that someone was on his tail. It was only when the large man who'd punched him didn't lumber towards him aggressively, and instead had turned to face the Bull who had been trailing the man in white. Momentarily, he was victim to his own rage, and his first instinct was to draw a pistol and fire recklessly in the direction of the lout, but then he realised that doing so, he could inadvertently harm (or worse, kill) the do-gooder behind him. Spitting a curse under his breath, he wrenched the pipe up from who he assumed was the guy's dead accomplice and, sneaking up behind him as silently as possible while he was distracted, he swung the pipe in a quick arched movement to crack the brute beteen the shoulders. It didn't seem to do much to him but cause him to roar in an animalistic way and turn the top half of his body to face Andrew, who had the pipe raised to strike again. Swiftly, he whacked his opponent in the face, or at least, he thought it might be his face. With his vision impaired, it was more likely the shoulder. In case the guy came any closer, he got his pistol at the ready and aimed it vaguely at the assailant's head, though he still couldn't shoot. He couldn't see the Bull through the blood and streetlights, and despite his presence being entirely unwelcome, he didn't want to hurt the innocent.
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Re: Contemplation

Post  The Brazen Bull on Mon May 04, 2009 1:15 am

The Brazen Bull internally sighed in relief--both that the Nightwalker didn't shoot in his direction, and that he was well enough to still have fight in him. While the lurching thug was distracted, Brazen Bull dropped down on one knee, only to lunge at the man, headbutting him in the stomach. The horns on his helm were not merely aesthetic, as this movement made obvious--indeed, they were there with the same intent as on a real bull's head. They were there to gore.

The horns entered the thug and he screamed agony. Confused by the pain that was adding up on him, and by the attack from both sides, he punched wildly, and thrashed about. The Brazen Bull's horns had missed any vital organs and one had, instead, struck bone--a vertebra in the man's spine. The horn was stuck. The helm was stuck. The thug thrashed around, throwing a few punches which landed soundly on the back of the Brazen Bull's neck, wrenching the vigilante's head around with every movement.
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Re: Contemplation

Post  The Nightwalker on Mon May 04, 2009 1:47 am

The Nightwalker observed (with his uninjured left eye) the action unfold and as soon as the violent stranger ended up impaled on the suddenly functional costume of the Bull, he wondered if shooting the creature would be such a good idea. He'd heard that having dead things attached to you wasn't exactly a pleasant experience, and it couldn't be good for the heroic image to be wandering around with a deceased criminal hanging from your head. The wonder was fleeting, however, and seeing his chance, he held his pistol to the thrashing goon's head.

"Consider it a mercy killing," he growled, pressing the barrel into the back of the guy's head, and it wasn't without difficulty. This one was quite obviously intent on doing himself some serious damage, the way he was twisting around on the horns. As though trying to rip himself to shreds. On that thought, he pulled the trigger. Then, as though the entire ordeal had been nothing more than a walk in the park, he put the pistol back where it belonged and then got to work trying to help wrench the thug off of the Bull's horns. As he did so, he could feel that the blood was slowing from his facial injury. He hoped that meant it was nothing serious. He wouldn't call it 'scared', merely concerned. If he were to continue helping the city, he would need to continue living.
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Re: Contemplation

Post  The Brazen Bull on Mon May 04, 2009 2:09 am

The Brazen Bull, now covered in blood and brains, pulled his head free of his helm. His mouth mask would keep his identity from anyone who didn't already know him. And this old guy certainly wasn't any one he knew. He pulled the helmet free from the man's body, thankful that the Nightwalker had already done most of the work in that regard. He didn't like touching or moving dead bodies. It made him feel like a bad person.

"Thank you," he mumbled, rubbing his helm on his cape, to get off the blood oozing down it. He looked down as he spoke, flicking a chuck of brain off his shoulder pad. "You alright? I've got some antibacterial ointment and some bandages if you need them."
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Re: Contemplation

Post  The Nightwalker on Mon May 04, 2009 2:28 am

The vigilante nodded to acknowledge the words of thanks that the other man had uttered before returning his attentions to his bleeding eye socket, which seemed to still be dribbling blood. He figured it wasn't too bad but he would need a bandage and eye pad. Still, he couldn't accept help. Too proud for something like that, as foolish as his pride was. Staring down at his blood soaked right glove, he shook his head slowly.

"I'm fine," he lied, pressing the fingers of his right hand gently against his right eye in a bid to stop the bleeding completely. "Just a scrape."

Looking down at the two sprawling goons on the ground, in his peripheral vision he saw the man he'd come this way to save, scrunched up into a ball, looking utterly terrified and garbling nonsense. He turned back to the Bull.

"What do you normally do with these ones?" he asked in his usual low rumble, gesturing with his head towards the living bloodied wreck he imagined was a junkie who'd crossed the wrong dealer. Andrew would once have warned him to get straight, seek help. The Nightwalker made sure such a person never made the same mistake again. One way or another.
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Re: Contemplation

Post  The Brazen Bull on Mon May 04, 2009 2:37 am

Brazen Bull looked up, briefly, and then followed the gesture to the pathetic, balled up man. "Call an ambulance, if they're injured. Nothing if they're not," he answered, pulling on his blood-stained helm. If his size, reputation, and the fact he was named after a torture device wasn't enough to frighten criminals, all the blood smeared over him now certainly would do the trick. "This one looks like he is." He rubbed his hand across his breast plate, in an attempt to get rid of the blood. He accomplished nothing but to spread it around, and to get it all over his glove.
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Re: Contemplation

Post  The Nightwalker on Mon May 04, 2009 3:10 am

The Nightwalker didn't do much in the way of calling an ambulance. He couldn't; for starters, he didn't carry any means of communication and he certainly didn't carry change for payphones. Not that an ambulance could get into this narrow alley in the first place. Tutting and rolling his eye, he approached the injured younger man, a dangerous scowl on his face. The kid cowered even further back, an action he hadn't thought possible looking at his scrunched up position earlier. His lip curled in a snarl.

"Don't do that," he growled, referring to the younger man's apparently nasty habit of retreating at any sign of movement. Crouching slightly, he opened his bloodied eye and focused both as well as he could into the victim's wide, saucer-like eyes. "Get up. If you can. Now."

The kid scrabbled fiercely to get upright, though it was evident that he was suffering a bad leg and a broken arm from the way that he moved, and probably a couple of busted ribs from that breathing. Not that it mattered too much to Andrew. He'd managed to get the coward standing, which at the very least meant he wouldn't need to be carried.
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Re: Contemplation

Post  The Brazen Bull on Mon May 04, 2009 3:20 am

There were sirens sounding from somewhere not too far off. Probably the pay phone he'd handcuffed that mugger to. "Hm. Might not need to call an ambulance, after all," he said. "It sounds like the police have shown up. Maybe he can share an ambulance with that mugger from before. I'll go send the police this way."

He started off in the direction of the sirens, rubbing the back of his neck to get the soreness out of it. This day was disagreeing with him badly.
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Re: Contemplation

Post  The Nightwalker on Tue May 05, 2009 1:53 am

After a moment of hesitation, Andrew grabbed the kid by the collar, who started to babble nonsense again. Irritably, he shushed him in a few, sharp, strong words, before dragging him to the nearest lamppost. Andrew never dealt with police; there was no way he was waiting with this sniveling creature until they appeared. Besides, the force only seemed to have sympathy for the Crusaders, something that The Nightwalker was not. No, he was just a crazy older man in a white suit gunning people down for some kind of twisted form of justice to them. Undoing his tie, he wrapped the guy's arms around the pole and then tied them together at the wrists, so that he was stuck there. He wasn't sure just how badly the guy needed securing, but he didn't need him running around like a headless chicken and making himself worse.

"Stay there, stay calm," he ordered in a bark as he turned away, ready to head off in the opposite direction, away from the sirens. "Someone will come for you."

Before he walked away, however, he felt himself turn back to watch the Bull walking back towards the entrance to the alleyway.

"I suppose I'll see you," he called after him. It was by way of thanks, the older man too proud to admit that something bad could have happened to him had the Bull not stepped in. He was sure, however, that the young vigilante knew what he meant.
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