Closed RP Nerves of Steel

This RP is currently closed.

Reyn

Sleepyhead
Staff member

NINE TAILS INC
SOURCE: 0A0715 "FOLLOWER"
RECIPIENT: E06329 "KITSUNE"

DECRYPTION KEY: ••••••

MESSAGE TYPE: TEXT
MESSAGE DATE: 12/29/2023
MESSAGE ORIGIN: UNKNOWN
ATTACHMENTS: NONE

TITLE: Special Request: "Nerves of Steel"

The prestige your company holds is not to be underestimated, though I suppose such a fact is not lost on you. You do not fail; or, if you do, then you do not allow it to be known. Commendable. Teamwork is one of your strong suits, but it comes with a flaw; the profits must be split two ways. Hence, I have sent this request through a private channel to you, and only you. I believe you are capable of filling my request for me- though, do not take this as any sort of external pressure. I mean it genuinely. I have observed your skills, even without your colleague, and you have impressed me enough to trust you with a task of as much interest as grave importance.

The target goes by "WOLF": a metahuman vigilante, who, though anonymous, I have reason to believe comes from a particularly noteworthy background- though, let it be known, this is not a request borne solely from envy. I have received some information about him which, though I am unable to share, has lead me to the conclusion that he must be eliminated as soon as possible, lest the scale of his violence increase any further than it already has.

He has become more aggressive, as of late. I need you to eliminate him.

There was a robbery, recently, in which Wolf and an accomplice were implicated. It was a violent crime, and the target was a man I know quite well. He was lucky to escape with his life- though, only barely. If you need, I can send the CCTV footage of the incident, though I trust you'll take my word for it. Rest assured, I have not contacted the police, and I will not be contacting them about you, either. I want this to be sorted out as quickly and as quietly as possible, as I fear this may be the first link in a chain of violence, or the start of a pattern which will eventually swallow the entirety of Pittsburgh.

Wolf is a metahuman, as previously stated. His powers appear to involve metal- the ability to shape, control, and weaponise any he comes in contact with. His physicality appears to be abnormal. I recommend engaging in combat directly, rather than attempting stealth, but there's no need to make yourself obvious, regardless. A rigid, stab-proof suit, made of an alternative material, as well as non-metal weapons would be my recommendations- but you're the expert here. Bring what you think will let you stay alive.

Completion of the job will earn you 573~P, which will be sent anonymously through your requested channels- however, there will be an extra condition that needs to be fulfilled. I will be sending a shatter-resistant bodycam to an anonymous location, and I expect you to wear it every second you spend with Wolf, so I can monitor your progress.

No funds will be given until the camera is active- but, once it is, I will stick to my word.

- "FOLLOWER"
 
Silhouetted against the night sky, crouched atop a building a few floors taller than the one he watched, Nat imagined how he looked from below and smiled beneath his mask at the thought of some passerby noting the sudden addition of some anthropomorphic gargoyle to the Pittsburgh skyline. It was unlikely anyone one would see him, the natural tendency for one to keep their eyes ahead of them as much camouflage for the vigilante as the depths of the night. Still, though, he considered how he would appear and shifted his position slightly, kneeling with an elbow upon his knee to mimic a common position for the statues he would hoped to be assumed as.



He had spent weeks visiting this rooftop; weeks studying the movements of the men in the building across the alleyway. It was a familiar place, the opening to the side of the building the very one Two-Shot Ace had attempted his escape through. Of course Nat was only there because of its familiarity; his first attempt to take the arms dealer off of the streets had gone awry that night. Adrian had been released due to technicalities, most prominent of which revolved around the very nature of Nat’s vigilante work.



Initially it had seemed all would be well; Ace had been knocked cold when his car slammed into the light pole across the way, and of course when the police arrived to the scene of the accident they had found the weapons in the trunk of that car. Adrian himself had made a mess of his initial explanation and been carted off to holding while his car and everything inside was collected. Nat had hoped that would be the end of it and Adrian would be sentenced for his crimes. Instead the man had returned home less than a week later, and had been back on the streets with his wares almost as soon.



It was going to take a different approach, though Nat had difficulty in figuring out exactly what that approach might be. The man’s guns were as dangerous as any meta, and Nat had little intention of letting them litter the city he called home while he struggled to figure out a plan. That was how it began; these nightly vigilances. He had watched hundreds of guns change hands in that time, and without a plan to remove the source Nat found himself instead playing catch-up. Each face was noted, followed, and relieved of their new purchase before the sun would rise. Some nights that only meant a few people had to be threatened, or in the worst case fought. Other nights it could be a lot worse.



This had been a quiet night, though. Usually by sundown Two-Shot had seen at least a few different customers, but it was already well into the night and the only traffic to the alley had been a few stray cats and one very drunk old man in such desperate need of relief that he had chosen a dumpster directly beneath Nat for the job. Adrian could be heard occasionally from the other building, a testament to the man’s lung power if nothing else as he berated what men had returned to his side after the fiasco of masks that had nearly seen him imprisoned.



It seemed they had not been drumming up enough business for his tastes, though Nat personally found the slackened pace a wonderful rest. Two-Shot was barely half the threat many of the others on Nat’s list posed, but somehow he had been the cause of the majority of Nat’s headaches since his release. That would end tonight, however. Nat had finally figured out a foolproof plan to have Adrian caught in the act by proper police, and have him removed the streets, and Nat’s concerns, as permanently as possible. At least this time he didn’t have to worry about Phoenix, and hopefully any other masks, interrupting his work.
 

Mari was no stranger to fielding contracts. Nine Tails, Inc. received all sorts of strange communications, both serious and illegible, various offers for various services. Her first headache was always sorting the legitimate from the fake, finding the real customers amongst the crowd of cheats, liars, and law enforcement phishermen. At the start, Follower seemed like just another herring, setting her up with flattery in order to lower her guard. Mari hadn’t lowered her guard in over a decade, and it would take more than some flattery to get her to drop it now. Spork had already tried.

However, when he followed through with the CCTV footage of said incident, Mari became more interested. A handful of metas fighting what appeared to be bank robbers. Perhaps they were interested in robbing the bank themself, or maybe they were actually vigilantes. Then again, maybe not. She thought as she watched one of them appear behind one of the robbers and end his life with a single shot. Mari pretended she didn’t mouth the words ‘Nothing personnel, kiddo’, as she knew Spork would have said.

She had an inkling about who this “Follower” was, but unfortunately her preliminary research into Lament hadn’t found much, just a lot of people discussing his music on various audiophile sites, people theorizing how he got the morbid sound effects, speculating about who he could have been at the Mythomane concert. It seemed that Kitsune and Shiba were among the few to actually meet the man himself.

Turning off from that point, Kitsune instead turned to researching this Wolf character. Ferrokinesis was an interesting power, one that unfortunately put her at a bit of a disadvantage. Her blades were definitely metal, and her guns had metal parts and components. Despite what Follower said, she believed her best approach would be stealth, keeping herself at a distance and not allowing him to get close enough to meddle with her.

Next was recon, and that was the simplest part. Simply search for all reported sightings of Wolf, plot them on a map of Pittsburgh, and she’d have a decent idea of his movements. Whether it was his patrol route or home base, it didn’t really matter. She could work with little. If she had enough time she would have substituted all her weaponry with plastic-based ones, but she didn’t have the time for proper testing to ensure their integrity.

Eventually, she found what she was looking for. Wolf had been active for a decent amount of time, but recently sightings had been clustered around a specific area, and if that wasn’t a pattern she could exploit, Kitsune wouldn’t have the reputation she did. She suited up simply enough, her usual outfit and knives, but she brought a back up weapon, a tucked away pistol. The other would be primarily modified for a rifle once she was in position.

So Kitsune lay perched on a rooftop, camera attached and activated, positioned so Follower could no doubt see that she was not following his suggestion. She was the professional, she would decide how to engage. She also had manipulated the feed so it was streaming to one of her servers, allowing her to maintain a copy of the footage. She would analyze it later. Her view shifted between buildings until she found a figure perched upon one. It could have been her target, but since you couldn’t step outside without tripping over a vigilante these days, Kitsune waited until he shifted, the moonlight glinting off a metal mask covering his face.

Bingo.

Kitsune squeezed the trigger, sending a beam of orange light directly at the target. She sat back up, blinking away the flash as her muscle memory kicked in, removing a part of the rifle and ejecting the spent cell. She tucked it into a pocket as she pulled out a fresh one, replacing it and slamming the cover back into place. She reset, looking back through the scope, prepared to take another shot. This was where things could get dangerous. He could run, he could charge her, she didn’t fully know his powers. Beneath the mask, Mariko Ito smiled to herself.

This was going to be fun.
 
He couldn’t say it was instinct that saved him. Vigilant though he was his focus was solely focused on Ace’s building. Perhaps retrospectively there might have been the flash of artificial light against a sniper’s scope, or some internal awareness of a set of eyes with the intent of death upon him. It really wasn’t as tangible as all of that, though. He had been focused on the movement within the building, anticipating the exit of one of Ace’s dealers and leaning forward when suddenly there was a flash of light.



He started, practically jumped in that instant, flailed arm catching a bolt of light that would have otherwise pierced his chest. The steel around his arm fell away red hot even as he fell from the ledge in distorted time. It was nowhere near enough time to react, and yet it was plenty as the steel at his waist coiled and shot toward the rapidly receding ledge. Steel punctured brick and spread even as Nat’s fall was slowed and the cable pulled tight from his momentum. Once the momentum was absorbed the cables rapidly retracted, much faster than mechanically possible, and launched Nat back toward the top of the building.



The speed of his ascent more than cleared the building, the cables snapped back seamlessly into his suit as he sailed above the buildings before gravity took hold of him again. He knew about where the shot had come from, and scanned the rooftops for his would-be assassin. Ace was a sniper, according to his military records Nat had gotten his hands on. Had the man realized he was being hunted by The Wolf and set a trap for him? It seemed wrong, felt off somehow. He had seen a lot of Ace’s guns, and none of them shot freaking lasers. This was above military spec, too advanced for Two-Shot to have gotten his hands on.



Plus, he realized at the flash of white and spark of orange, Two-Shot Ace didn’t wear a mask. Whoever they were, Nat had every intention of asking them personally as cables again coiled and sprang from his suit, latching onto the rooftops to catapult him toward the shooter like a slingshot.
 
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