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Protecting Rook City

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The Girl With N...
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Protecting Rook City

Inspired by an episode of a Shmatman cartoon.

-----

Chapter 1: Maia's Maladies

"Sorry, Maia, but you've got twelve broken bones," Legacy reminded the Wraith as he gently held her in her hospital bed. "It'd be irresponsible of me to let you go to Rook City in this condition."

Maia tried her best to push past Paul's hands, but it would have been a futile effort if she were healthy, let alone with two broken ribs, a broken arm, broken legs and a broken collarbone.

"Nick's coming as fast as he can, but he won't be here for two days," he continued. "For now, just think of it as a vacation."

"Crime doesn't take vacations," Maia growled.

"I'm sure Slim and Amanda can handle it," Meredith spoke up from her side of the room. She wasn't the only one there; Devra, Vanessa and Pete were all visiting, hoping to cheer the injured vigilante up. They were failing. 

"The Wraith is a symbol," Maia insisted. "If she isn't there to protect Rook City, then... urgh..."

She drifted off to sleep as the medical bot administered the anaesthetic. 

"...Let's give her some privacy," Vanessa offered. The others complied, heading out of the room.

-----

Two seconds later, Meredith burst into Maia's room, opening her wardrobe.

"Like you said, Maia, the Wraith is a symbol," she murmured. "So if Rook City needs a Wraith..." 

She grinned as she found one of the crimefighter's spare costumes, and bolted to the exit.

-----

"Now, let me see," Vanessa mused as she began snooping around Maia's room. "My vision told me the spare was..."

Opening a drawer, she found one of the spare Wraith costumes. In spite of her stoicism, she felt a smile creeping onto her face.

"If Rook City needs a Wraith..." she thought aloud, before warping herself to Rook City.

-----

"This way, Mr. Chomps!" Devra commanded her friend as she opened the door. "And keep a grip of that flashlight!"

The tiny raptor complied, shining a light into Maia's wardrobe. Devra searched intently until...

"Aha!" she yelled, before shushing herself. "...Aha." She held the costume up so she could see it better.

"Well, Mr. Chomps, if Rook City needs a Wraith..."

The raptor bot motioned to the door, as if to encourage Devra to head to the teleporter.

-----

Pete whistled as he got his laundry out of the washing machine. T-shirt? Check. Jeans? Check. The Wraith's costume? Check.

...Wait a minute. The Wraith's costume?

"How did that get in here?" Pete wondered aloud. "I guess I mixed up my and Maia's laundry. Whoops! Wait... Maia said Rook City needs a Wraith. So maybe she gave me this so that..."

Pete grinned a little as he examined the costume. Well, who was he to argue with the Wraith?

To be continued...

Christopher
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Oh my goodness; I love this.


"Your goodness must have some edge to it — else it is none."
 - Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Girl With N...
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Chapter 2: Meredith's Mask

"Are you sure about doing this hit here?" the Muscle asked nervously, his eyes darting back and forth. He was counting the street lamps nearby, all of which acted to expose the criminals in Timm Avenue. 

"Relax," the Contract reassured him. "From what I heard, the Wraith's out of commission. Right now, we run this town even more than usual. Still..." He raised his custom-built pistol, the hired guns behind him also preparing their weapons. "As they say, never hurts to be prepared."

"Right... right," the Muscle replied, his usual cruel smirk creeping onto his face. "Then let's waste this $#*!."

At his command, the Organisation goons began to advance on the run-down home of Tony Taurus, opening fire with their tommy guns.

Not a single bullet hit the house.

"What the..." the Muscle managed to get out before he was blindsided.

"Surrender, criminal scum!" a sinister voice called from the darkness. 

"It... it can't be!" the Contract protested. "Our intel was perfect! You're not supposed to be here!"

"Is that so?" the voice responded mockingly. "This is a city of shadow. I am a being of shadow. This is my domain! For I am... the Wraith!"

In a sudden blur of motion, Meredith stood before the Organisation. While her usual style was to run in and deal with a problem, she couldn't deny... Maia's intimidation tactics were a hell of a lot more fun.

"...You're not the Wraith," the Muscle piped up, climbing his way off the ground. "The Wraith has black hair."

"I, uh..." Meredith stumbled a little in her response. "How could you know? For I am... the Wraith! A being of shadow!"

"You already said that, %&?!," the underboss retorted. "I don't buy that $#!* for one second. I've seen the Wraith. And you aren't her."

"Oh, yeah?" the would-be Wraith snapped back, her voice not-so-subtly losing its sinister edge. "Would anyone except the Wraith have this eyepiece?" She lowered the infrared eyepiece over her left eye and glared menacingly.

"She's got a point," the Contract noted. He was met with a punch to the face from the Muscle.

"Listen, wannabe..." the Muscle threatened. "I don't think you know what you're up against. So we gotta teach you a lesson, right? Ice the &*!?#!"

On cue, the hired guns opened fire. Meredith smirked. Her time to shine. Lowering the second of her infrared eyepieces to form a makeshift version of her standard goggles, she leisurely watched the bullets fly towards her. In this situation, Maia would probably drop a smoke bomb to get out of the way, but where was the fun in that? Slowly - well, slowly for her - she plucked the bullets from the air, one by one, faster than the eye could see, before stepping back to where she was when they opened fire.

As the Contract and the Muscle stared in shock, she scowled at them from behind her mask. Oh yeah, definitely Wraith-like.

"Did you forget?" Meredith growled in her best imitation of Maia. "I am the Wraith. You cannot hurt me. Whereas I..."

She tossed a grappling hook to the side of the gang, giving them just enough time to register it missing them before she tangled them in the rope that trailed behind it, restraining all of them in one fell swoop.

"...I can most certainly hurt you," she finished.

Hooking the grappling hook through a loop in a fence to restrain the crooks, she smiled. This wasn't so hard. In fact, the city probably needed only one more look around before she was done for the night. Tearing up the side of a nearby building, she looked from the rooftop to see what was going on.

The Pike Industrial Complex was on fire, seven police cars and three ambulances were parked outside City Hall, and on the horizon, she could barely see a grotesque figure tossing a smaller one into the air on a rooftop. Not to mention, of course, the gunshots that usually filled the night air in Rook City.

At once, Meredith's face fell. It was honestly more than a little despairing to see just how little she'd actually accomplished so far.

"Jeez..." she murmured to herself. "How the hell does Maia do it?"

To be continued...

Phantom5613
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If this doesn't end with Legacy wearing a Wraith suit too, I will sorely be disappointed. ;P

Great work so far, looking forward to more. :)

The Girl With N...
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In which things continue to go extremely badly for every vigilante in Rook City.

-----

Chapter 3: Vanessa's Veil

Vanessa shimmered into existence on a roof in Rook City's warehouse district, on the water's edge. It wasn't the first time she'd been there. The warehouse, officially belonging to a shipping subdivision of Montgomery Industries, was the Wraith's main base from which she monitored smuggling through the Rook City port, and she had worked with Vanessa there once to deal with the Operative's latest move. A vision had told her she would need to visit it again at some point, and now seemed as good a time as ever to fulfil her own prophecy.

The docks seemed relatively quiet this evening. In fact, as far as nearby psychic energy went, the most Vanessa could feel was a dull irritation from the fish in the water, probably as a result of the waste dumped in on a regular basis. Without warning, however, she suddenly became of an overwhelming sense of malice lurking under the water. She leapt from the building and slowly floated to the shore, not sure exactly what to expect, but nevertheless assuming a combat stance.

"Surrender, villain!" she called, trying to emulate the vigilante's voice. "Or face your defeat at the hands of the Wraith!"

A hulking figure burst from the water, landing on the docks with enough force to almost shatter the concrete beams. Vanessa flinched, taking a step backwards involuntarily. An animalistic sniff came from the figure as it began trudging forward.

"...You are no Wraith," it growled. "I know her scent." Vanessa was genuinely surprised - the only monster she knew from Rook City was the Plague Rat, and it certainly couldn't talk. Her question was answered a moment later as the figure stepped into the light, revealing it to be Bugbear.

"Then... then what am I?" Vanessa retorted, trying her hardest to conceal her fear. Even for someone as strong as her, Bugbear was a terrifyingly scary threat.

"Dinner," Bugbear snarled back mockingly. With savage ferocity, he lunged forwards, claws outstretched and fangs bared. Vanessa leapt back in a desperate attempt to avoid the villain, firing a stun bolt from her glove as she did so.

The bolt completely missed, of course. Vanessa wasn't really used to aiming.

Bugbear managed to grab hold of his opponent's leg, lifting her off the ground with a predatory smirk.

"Your time is up," he declared, raising his other claw to gut her where she stood. Suddenly, he howled in pain, dropping his foe to clutch at his head. Vanessa levitated herself to her feet.

"Don't lecture me about time," she quietly replied, lifting herself and Bugbear off the ground and into the air. To her shock, the monster flailed an arm out, smacking her onto the roof she was originally watching over from. She managed to catch herself and land gracefully, but the same could not be said for Bugbear, who crashed onto the roof with a loud thud.

"You only increase my hunger, false Wraith," he grinned, relocating his shoulder as he stood up. "I think this city will be enough to sate it. What say you?"

"I say you're not going to hurt anyone," Vanessa tersely responded. She flicked her cape back - a very Wraith-esque move, if she said so herself - and allowed the arsenal of projectiles stored in the costume to float freely beside her. Bugbear was a walking natural disaster; to stop him, she would need everything she had, psychic or physical.

Back on his feet, Bugbear charged her, managing to flip her into the air. As Vanessa launched throwing knife after throwing knife at the monster, all she could think was...

"How on earth does Maia manage to do this sort of thing?"

To be continued...

The Girl With N...
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Chapter 4: Devra's Disguise

"Move it, move it, move it!" the Deputy barked, unusually alert and commanding. "The Barber's still in there!"

Rook City's police force is probably the most corrupt in the United States. Callous, on the take, and completely lacking in any sense of restraint. There is, however, one way to mobilise them effectively: threaten their paycheck. Several dozen cops, all with a shotgun levelled at the door to City Hall, were carefully lined up, in what was probably the most they'd ever had to use their police training. It wasn't long before the first of several ambulances arrived, tending to the wounded who had fled the building as quickly as they could.

A shadowy figure dropped next to the Deputy with a clank.

"Listen, Slim Shady, I'm busy here," the man replied with a sigh. "Some kinda nutjob's broken into City Hall, and the Mayor's still in there. We can do your little Q&A some other..."

He trailed off. He'd finally turned to look at the Wraith, and noticed that... she was a robot. 

"CONTINUE, CITIZEN OF ROOK CITY," it proclaimed in a harsh metallic voice. "I, THE CRIMEFIGHTER THE WRAITH, WILL SNEAKILY SOLVE THE PROBLEM." The Deputy tried his best to reply.

"I, uh... guh?"

"GUH INDEED, CITIZEN OF ROOK CITY. I WILL SNEAK INSIDE AND SOLVE THE PROBLEM WITH MY HAIRDRYER OF POWER."

As it spoke, the robot lifted up a glinting metal hairdryer, blasting a grappling hook from it to swing into the building. The Deputy stared at the empty spot where it had been standing, watching as a decidedly more human Wraith hurried over to its spot.

"Okay, okay..." she panted. "I'm... not good at the stealth thing... Did you see the Wraith? Was she as cool as ever?"

The Deputy nodded wordlessly.

"Great! Great..." the new Wraith sighed. "I'm, uh... I'm her..." She grasped for an explanation. "I'm her sidekick! Unit... uh, not Unity. I'm not Unity. I'm... Uni...corn. Yeah, Unicorn!" She struck a pose. "The sidekick of the Wraith, Unicorn! I bet the Wraith is kicking about fifty kinds of butt in there!"

On cue, the rusted remnants of the robot Wraith was tossed out the window, landing in a fragmented heap. The Deputy - and the other cops - took the opportunity to run the heck away from City Hall. Devra gasped.

"Stealth Bot, nooooooo!" she mourned, before looking both ways. "...Guess I'm the Wraith now! But what kind of thing could have taken apart Stealthy like that?"

The front door of City Hall burst open, a wave of slime and muck washing from the office. In the entrance, a panicked Mayor Overbrook in her arms, with the nozzle of a poison cannon aimed squarely at his head, stood the walking environmental disaster, Professor Pollution.

"You!" she commanded, gesturing at Devra. "You've come to end my reign of toxic terror! Well, you, just like the fine first citizen here, will soon learn the power of poison at the perfidous hands of Professor Pollution!"

"Oh, yeah?" Devra retorted. "If you're gonna say mean things like that, maybe you should wash your mouth out! Get ready for the all-new, all-different Wraith!"

Before she could move, a surge of slime smacked her to the ground. She coughed and spluttered.

"...Okay, you're the worst."

With a wave of her hand, the remnants of the Stealth Bot rearranged themselves into a Raptor Bot. Devra picked herself up, smelling like a rancid tub of Greek yoghurt.

"When I beat you, I'm sending you my laundry bill!"

As she directed Mr. Chomps to charge Professor Pollution, only one thought was in her mind.

'I sooooooo wish Maia was here instead of me.'

To be continued...

The Girl With N...
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Now that exams are done, I can actually continue this. 

-----

Chapter 5: Pete's Performance

The Chairman sat, as always, in his isolated office. The master of the underworld knew it was only a matter of time before the Wraith confronted him in his office; he's been moving his product much more aggressively recently, and it was bound to have drawn attention to at least one of the costumes in Rook City. Any minute, the sunroof would gently click open, and the Wraith would gracefully drop in like a shadow. 

The sunroof shattered and Pete fell face-first onto the floor. He groaned as he slowly got to his feet. 

"Whoa... is that real mahogany?" he mused. "It's super hard! Uh... hi there, Chairman Pike!"

"...Who are you?" the crimelord asked. In his shock, it was just about all he could say. 

"Oh, right, right!" Pete excitedly replied, as if just remembering something important. He swished his cape back and forth. "I am... the Wraith!"

"No, you aren't," the Chairman bluntly countered. "The Wraith has a much more shapely figure, and doesn't talk like an idiot. You are, at best, a cosplayer."

"You know what cosplay is?" Pete asked, still maintaining his enthusiasm. "Just last week, my girlfriend and I went to a con as Conan and his girlfriend! Buuuut my loincloth wasn't tied up properly, and, well, that's a long story, so --"

"Shut up and get out," the Chairman interrupted, as terse as ever. He began to strike up a cigarette, only to have it snatched from his mouth.

"Whoa ho ho!" Pete chided. "These things are super bad for you! I keep trying to get my girlfriend to quit, but she says they make her look cool, so... Look, I'll just get rid of this."

Looking around, Pete spotted a window that could open and flicked the lit cigarette out of the office. By sheer luck, the cigarette tumbled through the air and happened to fall through a crack in the glass of a sunroof on the factory below. In a million-to-one shot, the cigarette landed in one of the vats, igniting it and setting off a chain reaction. Multiple explosions began to rock the industrial complex. 

"...Sorry," Pete quietly apologised. 

"I hate you," the Chairman candidly added. 

As the Pike Industrial Complex began to burn around them, Pete found himself asking a question.

'Man, what would Maia do in this situation? Hey, that could be a T-shirt! "WWMD?"'

Donner
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Hahahaha!  I love this one!


"Deja-fu? You've heard of that?"
- Lu Tze, Sweeper, Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett

liarliar
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Oh my God, Pete is a disaster area of a man, I love him :D