Closed RP Trial by Fire

This RP is currently closed.

Reyn

Sleepyhead
Staff member

NINE TAILS INC
SOURCE: 0A0715 "FOLLOWER"
RECIPIENT: E0A029 "SHIBA"

DECRYPTION KEY: ••••••

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

TITLE: Special Request: "Trial by Fire"

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 "PHOENIX": a metahuman vigilante, attributed to the murder of over four-dozen individuals, some of whom I had a personal relationship with- though, let it be known, this is not a request borne solely from grief. I have received some information about her which, though I am unable to share, has lead me to the conclusion that she must be eliminated as soon as possible, lest she get too close to the last of my companions.

She has become more aggressive, as of late. I need you to eliminate her.

There was a robbery, recently, in which Phoenix 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.

Phoenix is a metahuman, as previously stated. Her powers appear to be heat-based; her body, and the atmosphere around it, can be heated in excess of 150 Fahrenheit. Her physicality appears to be abnormal. I recommend killing her quickly and stealthily, rather than engaging in combat directly, but enter the encounter prepared for a fight, regardless. An insulated suit, some sort of physical barrier, and a projectile weapon 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 heat-resistant bodycam to an anonymous location, and I expect you to wear it every second you spend with Phoenix, 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"

SOURCE: 0A0715 "FOLLOWER"
RECIPIENT: E0A029 "SHIBA"

DECRYPTION KEY: ••••••

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

TITLE: Special Request: "Trial by Fire"

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 "PHOENIX": a metahuman vigilante, attributed to the murder of over four-dozen individuals, some of whom I had a personal relationship with- though, let it be known, this is not a request borne solely from grief. I have received some information about her which, though I am unable to share, has lead me to the conclusion that she must be eliminated as soon as possible, lest she get too close to the last of my companions.

She has become more aggressive, as of late. I need you to eliminate her.

There was a robbery, recently, in which Phoenix 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.

Phoenix is a metahuman, as previously stated. Her powers appear to be heat-based; her body, and the atmosphere around it, can be heated in excess of 150 Fahrenheit. Her physicality appears to be abnormal. I recommend killing her quickly and stealthily, rather than engaging in combat directly, but enter the encounter prepared for a fight, regardless. An insulated suit, some sort of physical barrier, and a projectile weapon 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 heat-resistant bodycam to an anonymous location, and I expect you to wear it every second you spend with Phoenix, 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"
 
Last edited:

Sam was enjoying one of her rare days off. She didn’t take a lot of days off from the gym, but when she did, she liked to go and do things, preferably with Todd. But Todd was working that day, so she was by herself. Schenley Park was a nice part of the city, though fairly empty on a Monday in the early afternoon in the dead of winter. Despite the cold temperature and the thin layer of snow on the ground, Sam wasn’t cold. Sam never got cold. To keep up pretenses, she was wearing a turtlenecked sweater and a green plaid coat over her red, armored bodysuit. Her backpack bounced against her shoulders as she moved. She was walking down one of the many trails that traveled through the park, and she couldn’t help herself.

She was thinking about Todd.

There was a faint smile on her face as she walked, She had finally figured everything out, and she was just waiting for the right time to tell him she knew he was a wendigo. She had to figure out how she was going to tell him, much less when. She didn’t want him to be scared of her when she told him. She also didn’t want him to flee her, to leave her behind in the fear that she would kill him, or that he would eat her. This had to be done just right so that nothing went wrong.

Not only did she was that whole mess to deal with, but Sam had also unwittingly gotten herself involved in the Slasher case with Basilica. Or rather, she had fed Basilica bad information and had been kindly told to fuck off and let her handle it. She felt there was a good chance she could weasel her way into the investigation again though. She needed to protect Todd, even at the expense of herself and whatever this weird relationship she had with Basilica was. It wasn’t necessarily friendship. It was… something.

And Basilica wasn’t even all there was to contend with. Nat was also in this mix. He had no idea who Todd actually was, much less that he was an active vigilante and even much less that he was a cannibal. The cannibal who apparently he had caught eating. God, no wonder Todd didn’t want Nat finding out, if that was the first thing Nat got to experience. Sam hadn’t even seen him yet, eating, but Nat had. Nat had a reason to be afraid.

At least she had Connor in all of this. Connor, who knew everything and was there for both of them and wanted them to succeed. Connor, who would be by her side no matter what happened. Who she could rely on to help her find Todd again if Todd fled. Who she trusted almost as fully as she trusted Todd. God, if it weren’t for Connor, she didn’t know if she ever would have figured it out. If it weren’t for Connor, Sam would be all alone in the knowing, and she wouldn’t know if she was crazy or not.

Sam had so much on her mind. So many people, so many friends, so much going on. She tucked her long, sleek curls up into a messy bun at the back of her head. A few coils fell free and bounced as she walked. They trailed down to her waist and twisted in the still and cold air. Her boots crunched over the snow as she continued to move, lost in thought.​
 

The email goes to their spam folder. Luckily, Spork likes to listen to spam emails when they’re bored, and they’re often bored. Normally they’d tattle to Mari right away, but she’s been so busy with projects lately that they haven’t gotten to do hardly anything. They really could not care less about the details, except for one large flaw.

They have no way to track this ‘Phoenix’ down.


“Maaaaari! I wanna fight a hero.” Spork drapes themself across her shoulders, careful to keep their hands tight against her collarbone rather than letting them dangle. They learned their lesson the last several times she accidentally caught their fingers in whatever she’s working on.

That doesn’t stop them from leaning over her head when her movements pause, blonde hair hanging down dangerously close to machinery. They grin, a terrible sharp grin that promises even more of a ruckus if their desires aren’t met. “Make me heatproof gloves. Or no- make my gauntlets better. And heatproof. Did I mention that?”

Their grin becomes larger, somehow, and their sunglasses threaten to fall off their face. “Help me fight Phoenix and I’ll buy you the Good screwdrivers or whatever. Oh. I’m gonna need you to track her down, too.”

“Thank youuuuu.” They unwind from her and beat a hasty retreat before she can ask too many questions, or worse, drag them into helping.


Shiba -- nope, no, they still can’t quite think of themself with the silly nickname -- Spork has been waiting in the back of the car forever. They’re all kitted out in their merc outfit (plus cool new gloves!), so they can’t wait outside the car, and it’s slowly driving them stir-crazy. The driver won’t even indulge their attempts to play 20 Questions. One of those professional types. They’re leaving a FOUR STAR REVIEW.

Beep. Target in range. Oh thank god. They practically break the door down trying to get it open, and then they hear the distinctive click of the locks unlocking. Slowly, they orient their head towards the driver’s seat. Then, calmly, they open the door and climb out.

There’s some satisfaction in slamming the door shut, and then they’re off like a shot.

“Oh right. Button. Button.” They’d done their best to map out the cool little camera they got, adding their own braille stickers and memorizing the locations of the buttons. It’s currently clipped to their collar, and they stop in place and fumble for a moment to switch it on. Stupid gloves. Can’t feel the braille.

Once they’re relatively certain it’s on, they start paying attention to their surroundings again.

T-02, 5 feet, 12 o’clock. Whoops. Whipping their arm up, they point at the target. “Fiiight!”

Classic. Wait, how do they usually start these things? Well, usually there’s a door they kick down, actually, but -

Augh, no getting distracted! They waste no time in throwing the first punch, aimed where the face would be on most people.

 

Sam didn’t register the word until it was almost too late, lost in thought as she was. She turned toward the sound and saw a– what was that? A dog mask? Before she could fully process anything, a small sound slipped from her lips. “Huh?”

The fist changed course slightly and came straight down toward her face. She barely had enough time to realize that she was about to be punched to turn her face to the side. She tanked the hit, stumbling backward. Jesus, that was a hit. She rubbed her face as she gasped for a breath. Her mouth tasted like iron, so she spat and saw blood. She ran her tongue along her teeth– which were fine– and then along the side of her mouth. There, a deep cut from her teeth in the side of her mouth.

She reached up and pulled her bag around. She quickly unzipped it and pulled her hammer out, the one that Nat had made for her, with the spiked side and the smooth side. She swung it up, grabbed the handle, and threw her bag to the side. She dropped into a fighting stance, swaying back and forth on her feet as she kept her body moving. “What the fuck was that?”
 

Their fist connects solidly, and Spork dances back a step. They’ll give the birdie a moment to gather her wits. There’s no fun in attacking her without a retaliation, after all.

T-02, armed, hammer. They grin, keeping their fists up.

“That was my fist! Thought you could figure that out on your own, but maybe you need another demonstration!” They throw their fist forward again, aiming a little lower and lunging forward with the attack.

This is going to be fun. It’s been ages since they had a proper fight. Mari’s enhancements are good, but they’re too good to be on an even playing field with normal humans. Before they really carry out their job, they want to see how much this Phoenix can take.

 

Sam saw the attack coming that time. That seemed to be intentional, though, given how their assailant had danced back and thrown their body into their punch. It gave her a moment to check their surroundings and ensure no one was there before she moved, faster than a person reasonably should. She ducked and weaved out of the way.

“You’ll have to bear with me, I’m a little slow! Why don’t we start over? You seem to know who I am if you’re attacking me, but I have nothing to call you!” Sam turned as she weaved under the blow intended for her face, turning on her heels until she fully faced the merc’s side.

Then, she swung, bringing the hammer up in an arc toward the merc’s shoulder. She swung hard, ready to hear a violent crack as it met skin and bone and crushed the latter. After all, that solid swing didn’t mean anything, in the long run. This was still a human, with human limitations. And Sam was stronger than regular humans. It was inevitable that this blow would cripple them, maybe even for life, if she didn’t pull it.

She didn’t pull it.​
 

She’s fast. Slippery, too. A low tone blares in their right ear like an alarm, and Spork throws their momentum into a forward roll, away from the incoming blow. The bracers on their legs augment their push, but they aren’t quite fast enough. The edge of her hammer catches the top of their shoulder, and though it doesn’t cut through their suit the force nearly knocks them off course.

Their laugh comes out as a blast of static as they spring back to their feet. “The name’s Shiba, don’t wear it out.”

Rolling their shoulder, they test the damage on the fly. Doesn’t seem like anything’s broken, but they’re sure to have a nice bruise to add to their collection. They’ll treasure it. It isn’t every day they get to fight a hero this strong. “I thought heroes were supposed to fight nice.”

They’re digging now, hoping to find a nice sore spot to prod. They circle her while they chat, keeping their face turned in her direction while they sneakily get the lay of the land.

 

Keeping her hammer raised, Sam slowly turned, keeping Shiba in her sight. This person was unidentifiable in gender or age. The mask covered all but the blonde hair, whose length gave no indication as to gender either. The voice modifier in their mask prevented Sam from making a good guess as to anything either. Guess it was going to be “them” in her mind, for the time being.

She took in their appearance. Gauntlets, and leg bracers, but they weren’t the normal kind of gear you might expect from a merc. They looked complicated, and they moved smoothly with their owner’s movements. She eyed them up and down and sighed. “Not a lot of people can evade me like that. I’ll give you props for that. Mind me asking what brought this on? As far as I’m aware, I haven’t done anything to provoke this. At least, not to anyone who could afford to hire a mercenary to beat the shit out of me.”

Sam started to step away, moving in tandem with Shiba, circling them as they circled her. She wasn’t about to be caught off guard again. She started to twirl her hammer in her hand like it was a baton as she moved, giving the appearance of someone far more at ease than she was. But she wasn’t about to give this person any reason to suspect she was shaken by this.

Instead, she spread her senses out. She felt through the earth the heartbeat of the merc, faint for the thick boots they both wore. Nothing else. There was no one else waiting for her behind a tree or a bush, at least not in the thirty-foot radius she knew her power was reliable up to. And as her eyes focused in past the merc’s head, she saw no one around them.

They had no back up.

Surely Sam could handle one merc, even if they were kitted out well. With that in mind, she licked her lips and then darted in, dropping down low as she approached them, hammer swinging for the knees of her opponent.​
 

“Oh, you’d be surprised. There’s a pretty penny for your head, you know.” Spork’s tone is conversational, and they don’t seem too bothered about the information they’re relaying. Almost casually, they flip the latch on a holster at their hip, drawing out a baton and flicking it out to its full length. “I’d say you’re pretty lucky, fire-bird. Not many mercs would get so close to your dangerous little mug, but I do enjoy a good shit-kicking.”

It’s a guess, but then again this confrontation does go against the “advice” they were given. As though anyone tells Spork how to kill someone. They only let Mari do that.

But god, they’re enjoying this. The adrenaline, the pumping of their heart, the electric feeling of being alive. When Miku beeps at them again, they’re ready. Rather than dodging, they put some faith in their armor and lash out hard with the baton. They prefer to use their fists, generally, but there’s something special about swinging their baton like a golf club, if the golf ball was someone’s ribs.

The clank of Phoenix’s hammer clashing with their shin guards is music to their ears, and they plough the dirt with their heels as they’re pushed a few inches back. They readjust their stance to prove they still can, grinning behind the blankness of their mask. “Is that all you’ve got, birdie?”

 

The baton hit her square in the ribs and knocked her off course. But her hammer collided with their shins– and did barely anything. Sam caught herself after a few tumbles, keeping herself on her feet. Her side screamed, and she could feel where two of her ribs had cracked again. Why was it always her ribs on her right side? Why did these things never hit her shoulder or her sternum or her ulna or radius?

She swallowed hard and pushed back to her feet, twirling her hammer in her hand like her ribs weren’t screaming in pain. She could still move, even if it hurt. She nodded her head as she absorbed the information. “So there’s a price on my head. Honestly, not the first time. I’m surprised someone took it up this time. Tell me, how much is the head of a Phoenix worth? What’s the going market price?”

How many people had she pissed off? Several human trafficking rings, and a couple of members of the local drug cartel, but were any of them big and bad enough to hire a merc to take her out? Sam didn’t think so. That didn't track. Not for these guys. But who had she pissed off enough lately to have a merc sent after–

Obsidian.

The thought hit her like a truck. Of course, it was Slate. Of course, he had figured out she was there. How he figured out she was in Pittsburgh, she didn’t know. As far as she knew, he was still in Philly. She’d have to look into this soon. If he was coming after her finally, it was time to start playing ball.

With that in her mind, Sam ran headlong at the merc, her hammer clutched tightly in her left hand. She pushed herself off the ground with her heat and spun, coming down from the sky with her hammer aimed to clip down on their shoulder.​
 

It’s clear from the exaggerated motion of Spork’s head that they’re rolling their eyes, ending in a little shake of the head. Their voice crackles through the vocal filter a moment later. “Ugh, I don’t even know, it’s all in fucking Crypto.”

They step out of the grooves they’ve carved in the dirt, settling into a ready stance across the clearing from her as she recovers from the hit. Almost as an afterthought, they check the camera still clipped to the collar of their jacket. It’s still there, as much as they can tell through their gauntlets. If it breaks they don’t get paid, but honestly they don’t even need the money, they just want a fun fight.

They wonder how their mysterious benefactor feels about them slandering their offered form of payment, then decide they don’t care. They have more pressing issues, namely the high beeping of Miku as Phoenix launches an assault from… above?

Well damn, nobody told Spork that Phoenix could fly. Maybe the name implies it but- oh fuck, blocking, blocking. They throw their arms up over their head, forearms crossed. The hammer comes down a moment later, like… a hammer. Hard, blunt, big surface area.

It's is off-center on their block, catching one arm more than the other; something in said arm creaks ominously, thisclose to splintering even with all the extra padding Mari forced into their jacket. They grit their teeth and shove it hard to the side, reaching out blindly with their other hand to grab at the handle of the hammer, or Phoenix’s arm, or something, intent on bringing her back to their level and personally re-introducing her to the ground.

 

The hammer hit, and Sam could feel the shockwave disperse through Shiba’s arms, and she felt it as it reverberated strongly through one in particular. It didn’t break, though. Whatever armor they were wearing was durable and dense. She’d have to get a good shot at their head, or maybe find a weak point in the armor.

Before she could formulate a plan, a hand wrapped around her upper arm and yanked. Sam had just enough time to throw her arms up around the back of her head as she was slammed down into the ground. The concrete path rose up to meet her, hard. She gasped in a breath and pushed herself back up the moment the hand was off her. Her armor, unlike Shiba’s, did nothing to disperse or absorb damage. So she stumbled back for a moment, then cleared her head and stared the merc down.

She sucked in a breath between her teeth as she made a split-second choice. Sam spun and threw her hammer at Shiba, letting it sail through the air toward their chest. The hammer was huge, and even if they caught it, it was going to suck. She quickly chased after it though, closing the few feet between them. She swung, her fist aiming for the taller fighter’s face. Hopefully, the hammer was enough of a distraction to get a good, clean punch in. Then she could reclaim her hammer and keep moving.

Getting them disoriented would be the best result. Then they could get to work with the hammer with speed instead of grace and break them down. Sam grit her teeth in preparation for the punch to land, deciding not to throw a quip out as the fight started to get more serious.​
 
Back
Top