Iron Fang Strikes

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Iron Fang Strikes

Post  Iron Fang on Mon May 11, 2009 4:21 am

It was twilight in the suburbs. Red-orange light hung over the buildings and trees, making the dust glisten in the air. Beyond the little houses and their peaked roofs, Aurora City made a lovely silhouette before the dying sun. The only real beauty the city had was in being viewed from afar, Iron Fang had always thought. He thought so again as he crouched beneath a tree in a grassy park, in full costume.

The streets were growing quiet, though it wasn't quite dark. A sound arroused his attention. He looked around the tree cautiously and spotted a jogger, headphones in her ears, approaching a water fountain. Grinning to himself and keeping low, the villain made his way toward her. The jogger bent over the water fountain, and began to drink. Like a deer at a stream, thought Iron Fang, unaware of its looming fate. As the woman straightened up, he was upon her. He grabbed her around the chest and she struggled, but she could not shake him. Her earphones fell out as she continued to try and get him off, but her efforts were useless. She felt the cold metal claws at her throat and ceased her struggling. "Well, hello, doll," whispered Iron Fang in her ear.
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Re: Iron Fang Strikes

Post  The Soul Mender on Thu May 14, 2009 11:05 pm

Richard trudged along the quiet road, not really caring where he was going. He had too much to think about to even look around after what had happened in the Financial District. When he'd emerged from the rubble he'd headed to his apartment, a dreary but safe enough spot between towering skyscrapers that looked terribly vulnerable after the bombing. He'd cleaned up, dropped off what remained of his suitcase and the supplies inside, then headed out into the city, putting one foot in front of the other endlessly as he allowed his mind to fade into rhythmic oblivion. While he was still north of the river, he knew, he could not give his position any more precisely than that, a fact that failed to bother his troubled brain.

And yet fate had no intention of letting him brood silently for long; his trained ears picked up the sound of a scuffle, and he paused, listening. The struggling continued for a moment, but then everything went deadly quiet. Richard swore inwardly, wishing for the second time that his staff was at his side, but he had no such good fortune. He still had his pheromone canisters and his martial skill, and could only hope that this was nothing more sinister than a simple mugging. He crept toward where the noise had come from, staying low to the ground, and analyzed the situation: a man dressed in a red and grey costume was holding something unseen to a woman's throat near a drinking fountain.

That made things tricky; the man clearly wasn't an average criminal, and might have special talents that weren't made evident by a cursory examination. His precise intentions were unknown, and if Richard rushed him and was seen or otherwise made him feel uncomfortable he might kill the woman, which was the worst possible ending to the situation. To make matters even trickier, Richard wasn't in costume; if he went ballistic and unleashed everything he had, there was a good chance whoever it was would be able to track him down and trash him when he least expected it. This was a problem he would have to approach with the greatest possible caution. Therefore he maneuvered around the pair and stepped out in front of them, in plain sight and with his hands open on either side of his torso.

"I hope this isn't what it looks like, because I don't think any of us want to get hurt. Why don't we all ease up, take a couple of steps back, and forget about this? We all get angry sometimes, I know, but this will just lead to nasty circumstances that nobody wants to go through. Let's be reasonable and, very slowly, back off before anyone does something rash, ok?"

That was when Richard saw the man's claws, and realized that everything was probably about to get a lot more complicated...

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Re: Iron Fang Strikes

Post  Iron Fang on Fri May 15, 2009 1:58 am

"Angry?" sneered Iron Fang. "Who's angry? You angry, there, doll?"

He pressed his razor-like claws against the woman's neck and she shook her head soundlessly, tears welling up in her eyes. Iron Fang laughed. "I didn't think so," he said, returning his gaze to Richard. He narrowed his eyes. "Now, run along, boy scout. I'm in a bad mood and I like to watch people like you bleed and die."
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Re: Iron Fang Strikes

Post  The Soul Mender on Fri May 15, 2009 2:42 am

"And everybody has bad moods, but yours isn't going to get any better if you hurt anyone."

Richard thought hard; the man was clearly a psychopath, and probably a killer. No amount of reason would help the situation, and he regretted trying conventional criminology tactics. The man couldn't be persuaded away, so he would have to be taunted off, a risk that would have to be taken in order to preserve innocent lives. One day in the city, the psychologist thought bitterly, and he'd already seen a terrorist attack and run headlong into a villainous killer; Aurora had problems, that was crystal clear. He stepped forward, pointing at his chest and painting an imaginary target on it, a mocking grin on his face.

"Then again, maybe it would feel better, hurting a 'boy scout' like me. But you want me gone; I guess you don't have the guts to take on someone with a little muscle, do you? You prey on people like her, some innocent woman with no training or power, because you're too afraid to take on anyone stronger. I've been here seven hours and already I can see why heroes like Glint run the city; they're not afraid to take on whoever threatens them, but you, you wait like a nice little dog for the scraps, attacking those who don't even fight back.

So no, I don't think I'll run along. I'll sit here and laugh, because the oh-so-powerful and terrible criminals around here are scared of pedestrians who happen to ask what they're doing some time in the evening. You're not man enough to drop your little catch and make some feeble attempt to pound me down, so I'll be perfectly safe until I hear the sirens and you run away like a frightened toy spaniel, yelping with your tail between your legs."


He'd overdone it intentionally; the angrier the crazy criminal got, the more likely he was to forget the woman and rush Richard than to break his captive's neck before doing so. Of course, it also meant that he was in for a hell of a fight; he'd seen the man enjoying himself before, and if he was as excitable as he looked he would be a terror to behold when he was pissed off, in spite of his tormentor's brave words...

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Re: Iron Fang Strikes

Post  Iron Fang on Fri May 15, 2009 3:10 am

It was the worst possible thing Richard could have said. Iron Fang snarled and clenched his fingers, and his nails sliced into the woman's throat, cutting into the trachea like hedge clippers through garden hose. The woman made a choking sound, and blood bubbled out of her throat. Then, like she was trash, Iron Fang cast her away. She slammed against the water fountain and fell to the ground, drowning in her own blood.

He stepped toward Richard, still snarling. "I am going to fucking slice your tongue up into sashimi and just leave it in your mouth like that," he said. "That way every fuckin' day you can wake up, and feel it flap around in there, and remember the stupidest fuckin' thing you ever did."
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Re: Iron Fang Strikes

Post  Ember on Fri May 15, 2009 3:30 am

Ember walked along the sidewalk, trying to walk as briskly as possible. She just wanted to get home, it had been a long day. The terrorist attack was buzzing on the news everywhere and it was making her furious. She wanted to hunt down the terrorist herself and put a end to his or her miserable life. She gritted her teeth at the thought of all the civilians dying because of one person's decision. It wasn't like her to be so tense but if you were about to burst into flames I'm sure you would be too.

She wasn't wearing her costume. She did, however, have her mask that only covered her eyes to somewhat protect her identity. Just incase she came across a criminal of some sort. It was deep inside her purse that was slung across her shoulder. She also had a gun in the purse, but it didn't have a silencer on the other hand. Silencers were very handy but Ember forgot to put one on the gun this morning. You, of course, could never be too careful.

Ember continued to walk, but stopped once she saw a woman in a pool of blood about five yards away. She watched the two men and without making a sound grabbed her mask out of her purse and put it on. She then reached for the gun too for protection. If Richard needed her help she would be there.
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Re: Iron Fang Strikes

Post  The Soul Mender on Fri May 15, 2009 4:25 am

Richard had made a serious miscalculation; he had perhaps a minute before the woman was dead, and even then chances were good she wouldn't survive. It was little consolation that she would likely have been murdered anyway, for his purpose in the city was not to fight but to save, and thus far he hadn't done so well at that. He cared little that his foe had become angry, because he could feel anger of his own welling up, anger at the senseless injustice of everything he had witnessed and his own failure to prevent it. And while when those who are angry by nature get angry it is fearsome, it is far more dreadful when those who are naturally calm are set upon by rage.

"You made a grave mistake by harming that woman, far graver than any mistake I have made, and I will see you pay for it one blow at a time. You have succeeded in making me angry, and you will find that my cold rage is far superior to your senseless, uncontrolled furor. Come, then, and dice my tongue if you dare, coward; by killing her, you have only proven my point to be true."

Krav Magna is not a tournament fighting style, with showy moves to impress judges, nor is it a tradition, with bowing and gestures of respect before attacks; it is fighting, pure, simple, and deadly. It transitions fluidly between attack and defense, block and evade to kick and punch, in a brutally effective train of motions that leaves the practitioner, like the eye of the storm, perfectly calm in the midst of the battle. But Richard was not calm, he was desperate and angry, and he allowed these things to take the tranquil eye and twist it into a tempest without beginning or end. The costume added nothing to the fight, and it thus didn't matter that it was absent; if there was to be retaliation against Richard, it would come over the next few minutes.

Without bothering to take up a combat stance, the well-trained psychologist charged his murderous enemy, moving at full tilt with his head down as though ready to ram it into his target's ribcage. Instead, just before he came into range, he dropped low and allowed himself to slide beneath and slightly around Gorski (though he did not know this name), aiming a kick at the back of his knee in the hopes of tripping him while he passed. He arrived just behind the drinking fountain, pressing two fingers to the woman's blood-covered throat. She was still gurgling and coughing, exacerbating the problem, and Richard could think of only one thing to buy him time to bring down the villain who had brought her to death's door. He produced his canister of knockout pheromones and put them to work on her, stopping the thrashing.

He doubted they would work on his opponent, for the man was undoubtedly physically tough and resilient to all but the strongest of chemical agents. His goal, then, would be to use his skills to keep the psychopath on him and defeat him as soon as possible; it was still unlikely that the jogger would survive, but not entirely impossible provided someone put pressure on her to produce a clot soon enough. But Richard could not afford to focus on her at that moment, for whether or not he had tripped his foe he had run out of extra time. He swung around the water fountain and struck out with both legs, aiming for Gorski's chest and hoping to push him back with a concentrated blow.

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Re: Iron Fang Strikes

Post  Iron Fang on Fri May 15, 2009 5:21 am

The blow to the back of his knee made Iron Fang stumble forward. He righted himself without falling completely down, however, scraping the sidewalk with his claws, leaving it marred. Ivan Gorski had never been formally trained in any fighting style. He'd always been the sort to strike out from the darkness. However, in prison it was necessary that he learn to defend himself. He'd learnt to brawl, and he'd gotten pretty good at it. And, with each of his fingers sheathed in a knife, this was enough to make him a dangerous enemy.

As Richard's kick came toward him, Iron Fang dropped to the ground, out of the way of it. He hadn't been expecting the man to be trained. A stupid oversight, he now realized. Of course the man was one of them. Of course. One of those... Crusaders.

The thought filled him with more rage, and he sprang up from the ground and lunged at Richard, swinging his claws like a wildcat.
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Re: Iron Fang Strikes

Post  The Soul Mender on Fri May 15, 2009 1:55 pm

Gorski's claws, the brute of a man behind them becoming steadily angrier, scythed toward Richard's head, poised to decapitate him or rip his face to shreds. Not desiring either possibility, the latter did a half-flip backwards, landing on his hands in the springy grass and simultaneously bringing a foot up in a strike at his foe's chin before tucking and rolling back to his feet. This time he took up his combat stance, his left side facing Gorski, his feet relatively wide apart and his fists raised. It was clear that this wasn't going to be easy, for despite all his muscular bulk his opponent was able to evade at least some of his blows.

Perhaps a psychological victory could still be attained; at the moment, rage fed Gorski's strength, but there had to be a breaking point, a time when he'd get too sloppy and leave an opening from which he could not recover. Having made enough mistakes already, Richard was reluctant to try it, but time was of the essence. Unless backup arrived, and he wasn't bothering to look given the situation, everything depended on him. Even should the jogger die, which was looking likelier by the second, he had a responsibility to bring her murderer down and to justice before anyone else suffered the same fate. So, he tried it.

"Sloppy, sloppy. No wonder I've never even heard of you; you're just a generic statistic on the list of serial killings, without the skill to become anything more."

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Re: Iron Fang Strikes

Post  Iron Fang on Fri May 15, 2009 11:52 pm

"If I wanted you to hear about me, you would have," said Iron Fang. He didn't like this guy--he talked too much. Well, he'd talk a lot less with his tongue in ribbons, wouldn't he?

Iron Fang lurched foreward, swinging his arm in what looked to be a punch. However, because of the claws of his costume, he could not ball his hand into a fist. Instead, the knives on his fingers swung toward his opponent, in a sort of attempted stab.
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Re: Iron Fang Strikes

Post  Ember on Sat May 16, 2009 3:58 pm

Ember tried to silently walk closer to get a better shot. Both men were definitely experienced fighters by the looks of it. They were to damn fast making it hard for her to get a clear shot without shooting both of them. She had to get Iron Fang's attention in order to make a clean quick shot.

"Here kitty, kitty, kitty!" she shouted to Iron Fang.

She really should be serious at the time, because of all the chaos going around Aurora City. Being a smart ass helped her not lose her temper, and it was just fun. Hopefully her actions wouldn't get her injured or even killed.
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Re: Iron Fang Strikes

Post  The Soul Mender on Sat May 16, 2009 5:54 pm

Gorski's punch made Richard laugh for a moment; until he realized it wasn't a punch. His lazy twist to the side became more frenzied as he attempted to avoid the blades, but his overconfidence cost him, and they nicked his right shoulder. Three shallow wounds appeared beneath five rips in his shirt, but though he winced he did not break focus. He dropped low, swinging a foot at his opponent's legs like a mockery of the coffee-grinder while punching upward with this uninjured left arm. Wanting to get somewhat out of range whether he hit or not, he rolled over his right shoulder, wincing again, then tucked in his legs and flipped backwards, landing on top of the water fountain.

"Oh, the mystery man, are we? It's funny, still, that I haven't heard of you in the papers, isn't it. Usually if a criminal does something sick well enough, they put it in the papers regardless of whether or not they know his name. I know you do sick things, but I'm learning all the time that you don't do them well enough."

It was harder to talk big with the pain in his arm, but Richard did an admirable job of not letting it show. Though on the inside he was tired, angry, and worried, he projected an image of mocking indomitability; no matter what Gorski threw at him, he would still be there, and he would counterattack again and again and again until he took his opponent down. It was then that he heard a new voice, a woman's voice, and he knew that it couldn't be the jogger's. He focused on his opponent, but searched for the newcomer out of the corners of his eyes. Eventually he sighted a young woman holding a gun, and grimaced; she was going to get herself killed very quickly if she wasn't careful, especially if she kept up the taunting.

"We have guests, pathetic one. Play nice."

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Re: Iron Fang Strikes

Post  Iron Fang on Sat May 16, 2009 11:07 pm

Iron Fang managed to evade Richard's swinging leg, but was hit square in the jaw by his punch. He staggered back, some blood trickling out of his mouth from a cracked tooth. He wasn't listening to a single thing Richard said--or anything at all, really. All that was in his ears was the pounding of his own angry pulse. He lunged foreward and then threw up one of his lanky legs in a high kick, aimed at Richard's face. Oh, how dearly he'd like to shred the flesh right off that face.
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Re: Iron Fang Strikes

Post  The Soul Mender on Sun May 17, 2009 12:17 am

It finally occurred to Richard how much his hand hurt; Gorski had tough bones and thick skin. But it was a bad time to consider such things, for just when he'd been getting used to the blades his foe used his foot. Standing atop the water fountain for dramatic effect as he was, there was nowhere for him to dodge, so instead he pulled back his head and leapt away, allowing the attacking limb to push him into another backflip. It would leave a bruise, but he'd gained five feet of distance and a water fountain between them and still had an intact jaw, all of which were benefits.

It seemed that Gorski had been taunted to the breaking point, if not yet beyond, no longer even registering words. He was more likely to burn out at this rate of exertion, Richard reasoned, if he could just wear him down. He had a sinking, sick feeling that time was no longer of the essence, but didn't look to check; he would worry about his own guilt after he prevented anyone else, himself included, from getting killed. He decided he needed to make some sort of ranged strike, but without his staff he had no reach and couldn't keep Gorski at a distance. So he tried something unorthodox, scooping up a fist-sized rock from the grass and hurling it with all his might at his foe's head. At the very least, the necessary duck would buy him time, for his aim was good.

"Sticks and stones will break your bones, murderer. And in the courtroom, words will hurt you."

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Re: Iron Fang Strikes

Post  Ember on Sun May 17, 2009 3:18 pm

Ember still held her gun at shooting stance, unsure to shoot. Her temper was growing because of the confusion and being ignored. A part of her just wanted to just shoot the murder in the head so the world would be a better place. Another part of her wanted to fight, taunt and fight. Check mark for choice two.

She looked over at the jogger. She had to be dead, because she didn't look like she was, erm, breathing. Ember felt ashamed and furious with herself. She knew that she couldn't save the woman. Ember wasn't the medic type, she knew that she would have probably made it worse.

Terrorists, murderers, death everywhere. Ember's face turned red. She dropped the gun, because she didn't want to melt it with her fiery skin. She gritted her teeth with anger and allowed a ball of fire to pop out of her palm. She flung at Iron Fang, with hopes that it would burn his hair. Oh how watching the man run in circles because of his flaming hair brought a smile to Ember's face.

"Dodge that!" she shouted with her palms lighting on fire again.
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Re: Iron Fang Strikes

Post  Iron Fang on Sun May 17, 2009 5:07 pm

The villain started to lunge, but the rock Richard threw came hurtling at Iron Fang's face, and he had to pull out of his attack. Even so, it struck him in the collar bone, powerful hard, and a pain shot through his shoulder. He growled and made to attack again, when a fireball came passing behind him, so close it singed the fur on his costume. Iron Fang's eyes widened and he skidded to a stop, not quite sure what the heat had been. His eyes darted around.

A tree on fire near beside him.

A girl across from it on the other side.

Another fuckin' hero.

He growled. This was getting to be too much. The man knew how to fight, and the girl obviously had powers. Powers which--he observed the tree burning quickly--were going to burn the park down. As dearly as he would have loved to rip the man apart, he didn't fancy the idea of dealing with both of them. He spun around to the nearest clear route and began to run.
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Re: Iron Fang Strikes

Post  The Soul Mender on Sun May 17, 2009 7:06 pm

Triumph soared up within Richard like the spirit of an eagle as Gorski's attack failed thanks to his maneuvers; the big man was not as agile as he had been in the beginning, which probably meant that both combatants were suffering from exhaustion, but reinforcements were on the side of the law, and even a civilian might help in subduing a tiring villain. Then, a moment later, that triumph died as a fireball soared right past Gorski and impacted with a tree, turning it into a smoldering ruin and spreading chips of flaming bark over the grass like a sinister fourth of July. Now, Richard had two problems, and his foe had taken the moment he'd been distracted as his chance to escape.

Not far beyond the burning tree was a pond, reflecting the orange glow, and the psychologist knew what he had to do; after all, not far beyond the park, there were houses that might easily suffer burning into oblivion. He dashed across the grass, stamping on the flames that were catching there, and stopped a little short of his target. Bracing himself for the inevitable pain that would follow, he stepped back, then ran straight at the tree, leaping into the air and twisting to send both feet into the weakened trunk. With a great snap from the tree and a cry of pain from its attacker, the burning plant flew forward, bounced once, and landed in the pond, sending up a cloud of hissing steam as it turned and floated on the water.

Richard fell to the ground, his hips feeling like they had been forced up through his ribcage, and lay there a moment. Standing back up, he carefully stamped out the remaining flames, then took a deep breath. He did not doubt that his villainous target was now far beyond his reach, but he had prevented one tragedy despite causing another. There was no purpose in limping when both legs hurt equally, so he just gritted his teeth and walked back over to the jogger, checking her pulse again. There was no response beneath his fingers, and no more blood flowed from her wounds nor strangled gasps of air from her nose and mouth. She was dead, and nothing could be done.

A tear of regret and anger at himself rolled down his nose, but he shook it away. It had not been a good first day in Aurora City, but he was still alive, and not every metahuman he'd met had been evil. Richard used the water fountain to lever himself back to his feet, then looked around for the woman who'd thrown the fireball. She might have pursued Gorski, in which case he wished her luck, for he had no idea in which direction the villain had gone and thus could not aid her. If she had stayed, however, he needed to speak with her. He scanned the park, trying to figure out which event was the case.

"Hello? Is anyone still here?"

It was a pathetic way to start a conversation, especially while standing next to a corpse, but his mind wasn't working right.

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Re: Iron Fang Strikes

Post  Ember on Sun May 17, 2009 8:01 pm

"Dammit! I let him get away!" She threw up her arms with fury and tried to take a deep breath to calm down. The flames on her hands slowly extinguished. She put her arms back down looked at the other vigilante. "Yeah, I'm here." She grabbed the gun and dropped it in her purse.

She hoped that the hero wasn't going to ask her a million question to why she had a gun, or why she went around throwing fireballs at people. If he did this she would probably bitterly turn around and walk away just like what she did to the police. Except she kinda had to run, jump onto a building, and pray that no news-reporters caught her on camera.

She bit her lip when she looked at the jogger again. Blood. Everywhere. She turned her head away so she wouldn't have to look at the jogger's corpse. Her eyes couldn't tear up, sadly. She could never cry. It was like her tears evaporated because of her fiery skin.
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Re: Iron Fang Strikes

Post  The Soul Mender on Mon May 18, 2009 12:54 am

Richard looked at the young woman, her continued presence revealed to him. He stared into her eyes, trying not to let his anger and disappointment show. He needed to know exactly who she was; aside from Glint, she was the only metahuman he'd encountered that was truly "super", with abilities beyond the scope of what any normal person could ever hope to understand. That she exhibited a lack of control was worrying; it was more concerning, at least in the short term, that she had set the park on fire than that she had allowed for Gorski's escape. The Soul Mender would find him, given time, but he wouldn't always be around when fireballs started flying.

"I have two things to say: First, don't worry about him. In due time, somebody will find him, and he'll pay for what he's done. I damn well hope it's me. Second, watch where the flames are going. As far as I can tell, you have good intentions, and that would make it all the worse if you hurt somebody. I can't empathize with you; I don't have inherently destructive abilities like you do. Only you can figure out what you're going to do with them, and if you're not careful, nobody's going to end up caring what motivates you."

It was a severe talk to give to someone he didn't even know after less than a day in the city, but Richard hoped it would do some good, and meant every word he said. He didn't want to see the woman, or anyone else, in any more trouble than they were already experiencing. Taking his eyes away from hers, he bent down and eased the jogger's eyelids shut before hefting her onto his left shoulder. Though he winced as the extra weight came down on his injured legs, he remained steadily standing. He moved to walk away, then turned over his unobstructed shoulder to speak again.

"I'm no expert on any of this, but if you want to talk, look me up at 435 Lincoln Street in the Financial District. Apartment 202. I've got to get this woman to a morgue and figure out who her relations are, but when I'm done I'll be there if you need me. Stay safe."

With that he faced forward again and, carrying his grisly cargo, set out in the direction of the nearest police station, or hospital, whichever he came to first, the weight of the world pressing on his mind as heavily as the corpse pressed upon his body.

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Re: Iron Fang Strikes

Post  Ember on Mon May 18, 2009 1:38 am

Ember smirked, who the hell did this guy think he is? Her father? She rolled her eyes at his 'instructions'. She knew that her powers had some issues, she didn't need some random guy to go babbling on about them. It was a touchy subject to Ember. She just wanted to destroy something, anything. Maybe set a drug dealer on fire. It wasn't what most vigilantes would call justice, but it would be fun.

She snapped back into real life. She flung the purse on her shoulder, disgusted with herself. She would find that barbaric idea and stomp it dead. She decided to go home to change into full costume and try not to burn anything else. Ember gritted her teeth as she walked still irritated with the man. "Like I don't know my powers have issues, dude." She spoke fairly loud, hoping the vigilante would hear her.

She spotted some more joggers this time running up to the broken tree, wondering what was going on. Ember looked away from them and silently slipped her mask off when they weren't looking. She then stuffed the mask in her purse and continued to walk to her house.
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