Description: Carmine Kolodzik answers what seems to be a routine call, but it turns out a mysterious (and breathtakingly handsome) man has straight up killed a bunch of Mad Gears in their own drug warehouse. Who is he? Who does he work for? Does he have any manners at all? Only the last of these questions are answered (no).
They want absolute oversight.
They are larger than you'd think and less friendly than you'd hope. They have fingers in nearly everything. Their beating heart is a parasite on the pulse of the world economy. They greatly dislike any wall upon which they cannot get a hold.
Belger, underworld kingpin of Metro City, will not bow his head to them, which upsets them. They can see no sign of their ancient enemies behind him, no cross and sword. Does he think he can stand? Is he not aware? It's time to start kicking his nest.
Send the boots.
The top few floors of the 49th Ave Paradise apartment building is nothing less than a drug warehouse, a major distribution point of one of Mad Gear's many illicit, interlocking business ventures. The walls on this top floor are mostly gutted out, tables orderly arranged where workers package, sort, and label all manner of substances to place in the body. The police are - generally - aware, but a combination of bribes and extremely heavy guard makes it ill-advised to do anything about. More comfortable to just leave it.
But, the right combination of dispatcher and cop both trying to do the right thing can result in someone going where he probably should not have. Across the street, an old man with no idea of what lies in the other apartment has called in several noise complaints and strange, flashing lights. He worries it may be an electrical issue. There could be a fire.
Carmine Kolodzik is just the right cop, and his dispatcher is just the right dispatcher, tonight. Or perhaps it's just that Carmine doesn't know any better. He's not aware of the bribes, winks, and nods that have led to the Paradise Apartments being entirely overlooked; indeed, he may not be aware of the enterprise at all. As far as he's aware, this is just a wellness check on behalf of an elderly man.
In, out, five minutes. At the very least, that's Carmine's expectation, if not outright his hope.
He takes the stairs; he's in good health, and accordingly, makes it to the top in short order. Taking a moment to compose himself and straighten out his tie, (today's tie: all business -- jet black,) Detective Kolodzik heads cautiously toward the door of the room emitting the lights.
His approach is calm, crisp. He has no gun with him; he doesn't think he needs it. As far as he knows, this might just be someone watching a bad sci-fi film too loud for the comfort of an octogenarian. "This is Detective Carmine Kolodzik, Metro City P-D," he calls out, making his presence known. He manages to sound steady -- even if he's not /feeling/ steady.
The lights are all gone, but that's not going to stop Carmine, a good man, from his quest up the stairs and into the door. Opening it is the worst thing he's ever done in his life.
The first thing to notice is the smell - the paired stink of ozone and blood. The orderly tables in the gutted complex are pushed everywhere, illegal materials scattered around, knives and guns littering the floor along with their wielders. There isn't /much/ blood - mostly that which has leaked from the mouths and noses of the fatally battered Mad Gears - and there's no mistaking their affiliation. There is dead silence, save for a drip, drip, drip of something... somewhere. The air feels... full. Like the aura of sweaters just out of the wash.
When Carmine calls out, he hears, quite clearly, "Shit," from the left. There's a lone silhouette standing near the window, a man of average build, the cherry-red tip of a cigarette in his hand. He lifts it to his mouth. "I figured you guys were supposed to ignore alla this... shit." The red dot gestures vaguely, and a car passes, providing enough light to give the general impression of a well-dressed blonde man, incredibly out of place in this nightmare.
On the one hand -- these are Mad Gear. These are scum, and Carmine knows it; he's grown up watching the city fall to them, and seeing many of them dead prompts a visceral reaction of, 'Good,' before Carmine's natural empathy kicks in and he begins to wonder how many of these guys were just desperate. He only gets a moment to contemplate the bodies, though -- hearing that sound gets his attention /right/ quick.
Drawing his gaze up to the silhouette, he says, again, "Metro City PD," belaboring the words a little less than when he'd first come in. He knows the stranger heard him earlier; now it's something for /him/ to draw on, something to protect himself. He takes a deep breath in through his mouth, letting it out slowly, centering himself.
"You're coming in to answer a few questions about what happened here," he says, his tone indicating that he won't leave without the mysterious figure... or a great many bruises.
The mystery assailant says, "Nah."
There is a scuff as he turns, approaching Carmine unhurriedly. As he nears, he seems to... illuminate. Tiny yellow lights spark into being along his exposed hand and face, the other left in his pocket, and lamps that he draws near flicker into fitful, brief life, revealing the handsome man and his sharp fashion sense in full. His left hand slides out of his pants pocket, apparently unconcerned for the thought that most cops just start firing at that point.
He snaps open his cigarette case, revealing several black sticks with gold leaf filtering. He holds it out to Carmine in a clear offer. "/That's/ certainly not happening. I hope your options are open. I hate doin' business with someone who ain't willing to bend a little bit." He sneers around his own cigarette, an ugly, cold expression.
The whirling yellow lights around the mystery man, coupled with his reaching into his pants pocket, gets Carmine on edge. He knows the situation could explode at any moment, and his relative newness leaves him jumpy, especially given the amount of time he /hasn't/ spent just walking the beat. By the time the mystery man finishes reaching for his cigarette case, he's already committed to the thought of having to solve this with violence.
The offer goes unheeded, and Carmine takes a few steps forward. "Sorry, sir -- you're coming with me. We're /not/ putting up with a gang war on these streets." And just like that, Detective Kolodzik is upon the slightly shorter blond, reaching for him with both hands. The bodies, and the unexpectedness of Carmine's arrival, paint a pretty clear picture for the young detective...
COMBATSYS: Carmine has started a fight here.
COMBATSYS: Alan has joined the fight here.
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Alan 0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0 Carmine
COMBATSYS: Carmine successfully hits Alan with Cleaning Up.
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Alan 0/-------/----===|=------\-------\0 Carmine
Once he's got his hands on the stranger, Carmine brings his knee up with one, two, three -- /four/ strikes to the chest, trying to give the mystery man enough to worry about without actually rendering him unable to talk. Once he's gotten his licks in, he hurls him to one side, muscles still tense.
This is it -- a real fight... or at least, it has the gut feeling he'd expect from one.
The cigarettes go flying away in an arc, the case flying up into the air as Carmine grabs him and starts driving knees in. The 'full' feeling to the air intensifies just a little bit with each blow. The man is sent away to the side.
He turns in the air, a carefully blank expression on his face, and kicks off a ceiling support as he comes near. He all but sizzles through the air, snatching his case, turning and landing on his feet.
The lamps, one to each table, start coming one in an ever-widening radius. The lights flicker, but there are enough of them to light the battle well, and the carnage. The stranger takes the one cigarette left in the case out and tucks it behind his ear before shoving it back in his pocket. "Each one 'a those costs about $50, you know." The yellow lights resolve more clearly into electricity, crackling about him so strongly as to come through his clothes. He fixes his sunglasses before looking over his shoulder, running a finger down the bolt of hair hanging to the side of his face.
"You fucked up, kid. This could'a been a quick payday."
Carmine sees him wind up for a punch - but he's not even /facing the right way/ - twist on his heel and swing. There is a snap and a sizzle and the mysterious man's fist is coming at his jaw and then he's /behind/ him, leaving crackling lightning in his wake. "Fuckin' cops. They're gonna bitch me out back at the office for this one."
COMBATSYS: Carmine fails to counter Storm Front from Alan with Undertow.
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Alan 0/-------/--=====|=====--\-------\0 Carmine
Having put the stranger a good few inches away from him, Carmine mutters, "I'm not going to take whatever dirty money you've got," rooting himself and getting ready to grab that incoming strike. He can guess how this is going to go, and for a moment, it seems like it should be easy -- he's so far, and his maneuver's so telegr --
-- oh. Carmine is eating a lot of shit. Whoops.
The fist catches Carmine dead-on in the mouth, ejecting his first molar; the lightning, though -- that's the worst part, coursing through Carmine's entire body and leaving him in agony.
Groaning wordlessly as he pulls himself up off the floor, the detective clenches his fists, saying, quietly, "Okay -- that didn't go so great..." with a wince. It looks like he's got every intention of continuing the fight, though...
"Sure didn't," the mysterious man responds mockingly, turning on the balls of one foot and just... /going/ in front of Carmine. He moves fast, /too/ fast. His knee comes up gently to 'help' push Carmine up.
His hands thread into his belt, a series of loops snapping open as the man puts on eight heavy steel rings, squaring off on Carmine like he's a punching bag. "Would'a been a cool thousand." He fakes another jab to Carmine's face, fist blurring, leaving a little puff of electricity in the air. "Cleanest money you ever fuckin' saw. Perfectly legit paper trail. This ain't no bullshit eastern european man with a car wash amateur hour assfuck-fest."
His other hand snaps out into Carmine's chest, twisting, pushing up. Electricity continues to crackle in, trailing bright behind his rings. "Maybe we could'a worked out something further. We ain't gotta be enemies. We're both after the same fucking thing!" His hand pulls back and the other comes in for the side of Carmine's head in a sharp snap. "That's what I hate the most about you fuckin' cops! You're so god damn short-sighted!"
COMBATSYS: Carmine blocks Alan's Hook Punch.
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Alan 0/-------/-======|=======\-------\0 Carmine
Throwing his hands up in hopes of blocking, Carmine correctly identifies the jab as a feint; his defense stays rock-solid as that electric blow comes in -- but Alan's raw power renders much of that defense irrelevant. All it means is that it's his arms instead of his chest and subsequently jaw that get busted; he's reeling almost immediately.
Taking a moment to breathe in and out, nice and even, Carmine watches the stranger intently, trying to find an opening -- but his skills just aren't up to the task, or at least, not yet. "It doesn't matter how clean you make that kind of money or what kind of connections you've got," he says, unyielding. "It's still dirty."
Stepping forward, he decides to test the boxer's lower-body game with a big, sweeping roundhouse to the chest. Maybe he's only got good upper-body game, he thinks -- and the big shots are probably better than getting outpaced by sheer punishing offense... if perhaps not by much.
COMBATSYS: Alan dodges Carmine's Heavy Kick.
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Alan 0/-------/-======|=======\-------\0 Carmine
The figure just hops up onto Carmine's boot.
It's something the younger man has probably never seen happen in person before. The blonde man sneers contemptuously at the oncoming kick, bends his knees, and leaps several feet in the air. Shoes more expensive than everything in Carmine's closet come down gently on his uniform slacks.
He backflips off of Carmine's leg to land on a table littered with little bags of cocaine, a cloud of the drug puffing outward. He sniffs the air experimentally and frowns begrudgingly. "This ain't top tier, but it's at least for grown adults." He flicks his spent cigarette away, plucking the other from behind his ear and lighting it with a snap of his fingers. He takes a deep drag, visibly relaxing.
With his muscles disengaging, something internal does as well, and the chi flowing through him suddenly redoubles. Every lamp on the floor burns bright white, the contents of the table beneath him whipping up and atomizing into nothingness, yellow and white electricity coursing through his body along the beat of his blood. He exhales a thick cloud of smoke. "Must be nice to think the world is so fuckin' simple. Crime and punishment. Black and white. Square pegs and round holes. Sorry to be your first triangle."
Power courses around him as he watches Carmine, waiting to see what the cop is going to do.
COMBATSYS: Alan gathers his will.
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Alan 1/----===/=======|=======\-------\0 Carmine
The waves of energy rolling off of Carmine's opponent are intimidating, to be sure -- but more than that, it's the /relaxation/ that puts Carmine ill at ease. The fact that the stranger doesn't seem /scared/ is something to be worried about; he's outclassed, evidently, but even so... well, he's sure committed to the course of action now! Besides -- he got that one good hit... surely he can get two more. That's all you need -- a few good hits.
With that in mind, Carmine decides to do something that he will probably both regret later and reprimand himself for! His gaze turns to the table and bags, considering it thoughtfully. It's a big table -- the second he goes for it, his intent will become acutely clear. The stranger will have nothing but time to react.
... but maybe he won't react /right/. That's what Carmine's counting on as he reaches out for the table, grabs it by two legs, and just God damn swings it, saying nothing. He won't convince the stranger of anything philosophically, that's for sure... it looks like fighting is the only thing he'll actually understand.
COMBATSYS: Alan dodges Carmine's Huge Random Weapon.
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Alan 1/-------/=======|=======\-------\1 Carmine
Carmine probably notices something is wrong with the weight of the table as soon as he hauls on it. The weight on it shifts, and it goes without saying that it passes through where the blonde man was standing, his form fragmenting into stray energies. An... afterimage?! That's /possible?!/
At the end of the swing, the table suddenly rips itself out of Carmine's hands, dropping back to the ground. The man /rode/ it, balancing on the damn thing as it arced through the air. Now he's dashing across it, closing in with Carmine, he crouches down, electricity spiralling in his right hand--
He comes up in an uppercut with a crack of thunder, lifting straight off the ground as power then floods into his left. "Final--!"
He crashes right back down in a gross parody of a haymaker, two enormous swings leaving slashes of sizzling chi in the air. "--Fuse!" Lamps start to burn out, bulbs shattering in a staccato rhythm.
COMBATSYS: Carmine fails to counter Final Fuse EX from Alan with Undertow.
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Alan 0/-------/=======|=======\=====--\1 Carmine
Once again, Carmine plants his shoulders and gets ready to grab that massive incoming blow. Glass rains down on him, dust sprinkling over his coat, and for an instant, he looks like a fighter with years of experience on the man he actually is. His hands come out to meet that oncoming uppercut --
-- and then the illusion of competence breaks, and Carmine's greenness gets the better of him. The uppercut lifts him clean up, and he's in turn slammed down by the haymaker. What few lightbulbs are left rain down on him.
... and yet... he stands right back up, fists clenched. It looks like he wants a little more.
The man stays down for a moment after the haymaker, collecting a couple of the cigarettes that fell to the ground. "Jesus shitting christ, kid, learn when to pack it in."
He's twenty feet away in the space of a breath, snapping the onyx cigarette case with its sapphire triangle open to replace the smokes within. "You got the jump on me, but now, well, now you're about to die. Maybe if you ran right off, after the good hit, I'd go, 'hey! fuck it!' It's dark, you wouldn't be able to reliably ID me, you don't even know what I'm doing this for. You've pushed the issue, now."
He takes another backstep, to the window, keeping distance, falling back into the shadows. "Now it's a matter of face. Man, a fuckin' cop, I hope nobody likes you."
At that moment, the boxer is backlit by red and blue, Carmine's having gone black causing notice back at the precinct. He sags. "Goddddd /damn/ it." A yellow sphere blooms in the palm of his right hand, about the size of a golf ball, and he pulls a smartphone out of his vest pocket with his left, tapping something and lifting it to his head.
"Hey toots. Yeah, it's handled. All peaced out. Cop showed up, though." Distractedly, he flicks his hand at Carmine, snapping his fingers. A bolt of lightning booms out across the distance. "Dealing with it. He's a black and white kind of guy. I'm gonna leave him blue."
The hand comes down with another fingersnap, a second bolt burning its way out.
The mysterious figure's brow furrows. "What? Why the fuck?"
COMBATSYS: Alan successfully hits Carmine with Lightning Strikes Twice.
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Alan 1/-----==/=======|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2 Carmine
Needless to say, Carmine sure as hell isn't ready for that thundersnap. His eyes widen as he sees that hand raise, and on reflex, he throws himself back, toward the door... but it's a projectile, which means that all throwing himself /back/ does is send him flying a half-second later.
The first snap gets him a good distance out of the room. The second, well... he's a good, /solid/ distance away at that point, totally thrown by the sheer force of the stranger's natural, energetic strength.
It is at this point that he starts crawling away; /now/ he doesn't want to press the issue... though he's pretty sure he's already made too many mistakes to walk away from this one, regardless. Then again -- maybe if he just starts crawling away until he can't crawl anymore... /maybe/ things'll turn out okay.
COMBATSYS: Carmine takes no action.
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COMBATSYS: Carmine can no longer fight.
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The man slowly pulls the phone from his ear as Carmine starts moving, grumbling 'Ciao-ciao' to himself sarcastically, and stuffs it in his pocket. "Hunh. Lucky, lucky. Someone's got their Eye on you." He smirks, and steps over to the window, opening it up. The sounds of sirens start flooding the area as he puts one foot on the sill.
"Guess you get to keep on makin' money. Don't be a disappointment next time, got it?"
The cops below don't really get a bead on what happens next. Guns were pulled and aimed at the open window, but nobody wanted to fire in case it was Carmine - the last thing they expected was for a man to hurl himself /out/ of the window, drop down onto a power line, and start sprinting down it at baffling speeds, raining sparks onto the street below.
Later witnesses claim he was whistling 'Ticket to Ride' to himself. Others argue that it was 'Paperback Writer'. Everyone's pretty sure it was something from the Beatles.
COMBATSYS: Alan has ended the fight here.
Groaning as he continues to crawl away, Carmine decides to take a second to appreciate the fact that, as near as he can tell from what he /hears/, the mystery man is headed right off in the opposite direction.
As the adrenaline fades, Carmine promptly stops hearing much of anything, on account of all the unconsciousness.
Log created on 00:58:35 10/30/2014 by Alan, and last modified on 04:16:34 10/30/2014.