COTC #1: Burn

April 04, 2015:

The Black Canary tracks down Azar Al-Sareef; an information broker and black market dealer who may know the true identity of her mother's killer. She loses control and Spider-Man arrives just in time to prevent her from making a big mistake. Part 1 in the Cry of the Canary story line.

New York City

An abandoned warehouse in New York City.


NPCs: Azar Al-Sareef and Mercenaries


Mood Music: Ellie Goulding - Burn

Fade In…

It was a late night in New York City and there was no end of problems to be solved by the heroes and no short of people to save as usual. Spidey had caught word from one of his street contacts that a foreign man named Azar Al-Sareef; a black market dealer and broker with ties to an older generation of villains would be in town to meet an 'old contact' of his.

For a man such as Al-Sareef, his contacts could have meant any number of the world's most wanted individuals. Villains like the sort a young Peter Parker may have seen on television when he was just a kid.

The kind of villains the old Justice Society of America fought: The Sizzler, The Dominator, Manic Mailboy and a number of other costumed menaces who may have been as deadly as they were comical in some cases. They were from a day before metahuman powers dominated the news, but that didn't make them any less deadly; or any less wanted for their crimes.

An abandoned warehouse serves as the location of the meet and when Spider-Man arrives, he finds that the guards outside have been taken down with an assortment of martial arts moves; none of them men dead but some of them in critical condition.

Someone had beat him here.

The name 'Manic Mailboy' gives Spider-Man such a tickle. He can't help it. The entire way to the warehouse, he's swinging along and singing at the top of his lungs a parody of the old Bangles song. "He's just another Manic Mailboy! Ooh-oh-ooh! I wish it would hail, Roy! Ooh-oh-ooh! 'Cause then we'd sail! Joy!" And so on. It's not a good parody by any stretch of the imagination, but it keeps him happy.

Of course, he quiets by the time he reaches the warehouse. He wouldn't want to alert the crooks within. He frowns briefly behind his mask when he sees that the outside guards are already down, but hey, plenty of other heroes have contacts in New York. Maybe he's going to be teaming up with Daredevil again. He slips in through an upper story window and starts hunting for Azar Al-Sareef.

The interior of the warehouse is a similar scene to the outside except the entire place has been trashed; it was like a miniature warzone. There are thugs lying on the ground unconscious; some from physical blows and others from what were obviously gunshot wounds, any thug with one of those is not far from an assault or automatic style weapon.

One of the support structures of the warehouse is twisted and crumpled, obviously the sign of some kind of sonic weapon or super strength.

In the far corner of the warehouse, a fire had started to burn as a portable generator and gas tank had been ignited and it was currently spreading up the frame towards the roof.

"Don't lie to me!" A woman's voice yells, it has a beautiful musical quality to it despite the obvious anger in it.

It's not hard for Spider-Man to spot that voice, a woman dressed in mostly black with shocking blonde hair. She was holding a man with a goatee and a dark complexion against a wall and beating him senseless.

The man with several teeth knocked out, /laughed/ despite the torture being inflicted upon him, "Ahhh yes. I see the fire in your eyes. Tell me, did your mother have that fire in her eyes as Crimson Torch killed her?"

Another blow against the man, so hard that he is almost knocked unconscious, Dinah glaring, "WHERE IS HE?" Blow after blow begins to be rained upon the man, tears streaming down Dinah's cheeks as she loses control.

"Hey! HEY!" Spider-Man announces his presence with this interjection, and by dropping from the ceiling to grab the blonde woman's arms and try to hold her back. "I'm sure the guy deserves a lot of what you're dishin' out, but you keep this up and it's not gonna be just him gettin' jail time, Blondie. Take a breath! You aren't a killer!" He assumes. He doesn't know her. He sort of recognizes her, but doesn't KNOW her. But he can definitely see that she's getting overwhelmed by emotion, not really in control.

He glances at Al-Sareef, though. And just to make sure the man doesn't exacerbate the problem he gags him with a mouthful of webbing. "Also, you shut up."

Dinah let go of Al-Sareef and the man dropped like a sack of potatoes now that he was no longer being held up by the woman, who looked much younger than she was. Spidey may have known her as Black Canary, the same name as an older hero who belonged to the Justice Society of America. It would definitely explain her presence here, but it couldn't be the SAME Black Canary unless she was like Captain America's equivalent with the whole not-aging stuff.

Spinning to face Spider-Man she stared at him accusingly, "What do you know about me?" She had heard of Spider-Man, who had not. He was on TV, billboards and despite some calling him a menace, he was what she considered to be one of the new generation of 'flamboyant heroes'.

The fire was continuing to spread in the background, illuminating Dinah as she stood in a combat stance with one foot forward and the other back.

"Not much," Spidey concedes, "but I do know your mom was a hero. And I have to assume, seeing as you took her name, you probably want to do more or less the same." He nods toward the man who's collapsed to the floor. "And no matter what he's hiding, no matter what he knows that you need to know, I know she wouldn't want you killing him to get that information. Now, how about you help me drag the gangsters out where they won't be burned to a crisp and we'll see about how we can get the knowledge you need?"

Dinah settled from her combat stance and entered a more relaxed posture, if Parker knew much about fighting he could see that this woman was a lethal weapon with little more than her hands just by her movements without any kind of superpowers.

She probably would have lost control if not for Spider-Man and left a burning warehouse full of bodies behind. It was the kind of thing she had trained to do.

She was a killer. It was hard to avoid it.

The positive mention of her mother had brought her back though. Her mother would not have wanted this, "No, she wouldn't have." Her mother also wouldn't have wanted her to fight an idealistic young hero either.

Al-Sareef has fallen unconscious, likely into a coma.

Dinah knows her limits though and begins to drag out some of the thugs closest to the fire.

Spider-Man breaks a wooden office chair, webs up a stretcher and transfers Al-Sareef onto it. Then he webs the man into place and carries him outside. If he wakes up, he'll find it hard to get away. Once this is done he goes back in to retrieve more of the man's gang. And when these are brought outside, he webs them up, too. He sort of figures they'll want to inform the police of the presence of all these criminals once the job is done.

And once the job IS done, Spidey notes to Canary, "I dunno about you, but I figure I'm not wanted here once the police are on the way." He gestures toward a nearby building, from which one could watch the police in action and step in if anything gets out of hand. "If you want to talk, I'll be up there."

The police do arrive in typical timely NYPD fashion, although given events around the city it's not as big of a response as might have been expected. Paramedics and fire units also arrive and begin to put out the blaze.

Dinah had been reluctant to go up to the rooftop and at the moment was incredibly angry.

Stepping up behind Spider-Man she watches the police take Al-Sareef away and says accusingly, "You ruined my only chance to question him. They'll put him away so securely I'm never going to get find him."

"I stopped you from killing a man," replies Spider-Man. "Sorry. Not sorry. Considering how he passed out two seconds after I stopped you from hitting him again, you weren't getting that information anyway." He pauses for a moment. "Also, I'm not the one who set the place on fire and left unconscious people outside for anybody to see. And without a doctor, you wouldn't be getting any more information from the guy anyway. There's gotta be somebody else you can talk to, Canary."

Dinah's arms are crossed over her chest and she continues to stare at Spider-Man, "That's the first lead I've had in years and I've been looking a very long time." She looked away from the wall-crawler towards the police, possibly considering a snatch and grab but in her heart there was no way she would ever harm a police officer to do it, "Thanks you." Likely for stopping her from taking all of those lives. There wouldn't be a spider-man to bring her back to reality around every time though.

Perhaps not, but there was one this time. "You're welcome," he replies. A good bit younger than she is, but not really a kid, even if he is an idealist. "So what is it you're looking for?" he asks. "I'm sure I don't know anything, but… I mean, two heads, better than one. All that stuff."

"I'm looking for my mother's killer. It's hard to find someone the rest of the world thinks is dead after twenty years." Dinah slumped her shoulders and removed a grappling hook from her belt preparing to leap off the roof-top, "If you ever find any information on The Crimson Torch, try to pass it on my way."

"Will do," says Spidey. "And if you ever need a hand…" Or somebody to stop you from killing a bunch of guys, he thinks, but does not say. "Feel free to get in touch. I'm not all that hard to find." There are only so many people swinging on cobwebs around New York, after all.

"I'll keep that in mind Webhead. I suppose I could shout your name from a rooftop or something." Dinah smiled and wiped the runny mascara from her cheeks, if the rumors were true she was pretty sure Spiderman would hear a sonic scream in NYC especially if she was close-by, "I'm a little harder to find but I'm sure I'll see you around."

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