Skyhooked

April 17, 2014:

Superman calls for help finding the four-year-old daughter of one of Chloe Sullivan's friends, and there's Hell in the way.

Suicide Slum - Metropolis

Outside an abandoned flat in the middle of Metropolis' least shiny and most un-pristine district. Criminals and poverty are in their usual partnership in this aptly named place.

Characters

NPCs: Chloe Sullivan - a friend of Clark Kent, Amber Kellison - a kidnapped four-year-old girl, Skyhook - formerly Dr. Aleister Hook, and Blaze - a demoness.

Mentions:

Mood Music: [*http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-uYvW9DDXRc Nox Arcana - Lost In The Darkness]


Fade In…

I have also seen children successfully surmounting the effects of an evil inheritance. That is due to purity being an inherent attribute of the soul. — Gandhi

London
1883

The footsteps tap against the cobblestone street and can be heard in between his heavy breath. The moonlight reflection of a puddle explodes as his foot smashes through the water, but he pays no attention to the dampness.

Behind the running man, a mob of angry townspeople chase with pitchforks, swords, spears, and flaming torches. There are men of all ages with anger in their eyes, desperate to catch the man. There is no mistaking what they mean to do to him.

Hook darts to the left down an abandoned alleyway. It's a shortcut and he knows it, but they probably know it too.

*

He hides in the confession room of the Church, which is ironic given the circumstances, but it offers him only temporary solace. Within moments the townspeople rip the door open and yank him outwards and onto the altar.

They string him up by the legs in between punches to the face, the groin, and anywhere else they can get a shot in. Using rope meant to hang Hook, they instead string him up by his feet and pull him upwards on the cross, foot over head.

"BURN HIM!" exclaims one of the townspeople, and they do, by setting fire to the church.

* * *

Metropolis, DE
Last Week

"Mom! I just want a drink of water!"

Alice Stevenson looks down at her pair of boys, 3 and 5, and smiles softly. "You don't want a drink of water," she says casually. "You boys want to stall. Now, get under your covers, close your eyes, and before you know it, the morning will come."

The older boy frumps a bit and wears a pouty face, but it's clear he'll comply. "I love you, boys." She kills the light and closes the door softly.

About four hours later, Stevenson and her husband wake to the terrible screams of their children. They race down the hallway in stocking feet, sliding while they get their footing. Stevenson's husband, Rob, is first to the door, but as he bursts through the opening, he knows he's too late. An open window, and the cool spring breeze blowing the curtains.

The boys are gone.

* * *

Metropolis
Tonight

"Clark, you've got to help." Chloe Sullivan looks distraught, and it makes sense. A friend of hers, Jason Kellison, has just had his six year old girl taken from their home. Not knowing where to turn after notifying the police, he went to social media. That led Chloe behind her computer screens.

It was a case she'd been working on for the past few weeks, and now it hit a little too close to home. Chloe went to the only person she knew who could solve this situation and quickly. She'd spent a lot of time at the Kellison family's house and she got to know little Amber well. A delightful girl with blonde hair and bright blue eyes. She's only in the first grade.

The problem is he couldn't really do what he once could anymore.

Clark nods, even though she can't see him via the earpiece. "Don't worry Chloe, I'm on it. But I'm going to need you to put in a call via all the normal channels, and some of the non-normal channels." He shrugs into his suit, which feels odd and heavy to him these days.

"Any hero you can think of, any way you can think of, get them all to Metropolis to the rendezvous point. With luck, we'll be able to get there before anything happens to Amber."

* * *

Suicide Slum
Metropolis
Tonight

Heroes begin to gather, some recognize each other but some do not. The less secretive ones will arrive out in front of the flat in question: 73209 Rikens Street, Suicide Slum.

Above sits what seems like an abandoned flat that either housed a business of some sort or was an expansive apartment. Either way it's seen better days and from the screams inside, it seems that whatever's going on in there is no good, no good at all.

A taxi? Well, yeah. Simon Williams, Wonder Man (trademark pending) is not from Metropolis. He has no idea how to get to Rikens Street, but by overpaying a man who does, he arrives, and pays the price for his convenience: the cabbie explains to him on the entire drive why Simon's last movie couldn't have come out the way it did. Nod at the nice man. Don't punch.
He steps out of the cab, red jacket and black tee with stylized red W on it marking him as a guy with fashion sense from the previous century, and the retro red-lensed sunglasses don't improve the impression. As the driver escapes, he looks around, wondering if he will know who the heroes are.

Another nasty situation. Second in under a week, the first being the hostage situation she helped take care of in NYC. Huntress doesn't like this. She's been waiting outside, ducked into a small, shadow-concealed recess for what feels like hours, the waiting made to seem like it drags on with every scream she's made to endure. While she's not moving yet she's by no means idle; the vigilante spends the time checking over her crossbow, bolts and her collapsable staff, making sure everything's in there place and that the pistols she also comes armed with are secured firmly in the holsters that are strapped to her thighs.

The cab gets her to look up from her self-inspection and a brow slowly arches, her expression cautious.

Mimic has an email address he's not afraid to give out to the police or to those who need it. Since he has a healthy respect for the skills of hackers, and the NSA, he never checks it from home. In this case, home is the US. Let them trace his access to Melbourne or London or Rio. So he's not hard to get a hold of, the only question is if he responds. Missing children? No question. Having googled the address and gotten a street view, he ports in to a nearby roof that's unlikely to be occupied and then to the street. His yellow and blue costume is hard to miss.

The Shadowspire investigation wasn't quite bearing fruit for Roy Harper. Whatever it was, it was bigger than New York City.

And then came an anonymous tip. Whatever it was, requesting Arsenal, it contained enough buzzwords and information for Roy to grab his superhero gear, and run off.

After all, if Lian had been kidnapped, Roy would move heaven and earth to find her. So why not help others?

Well Iron Fist heard the call of course. Hey he is pretty easy to find, considering he runs a place called Heroes for Hire, you all know the motto, 'No Job is too big, and no fee is too big!'. But of course they have a tendency to do pro bono work, cause well he's already a billionaire dang it. And well the Billionaire makes the trek from New York to Metropolis in style, and that is a private plane. Once there, well his business manager made transportation to the place where he was told to go to. He makes a mental note, buy some buildings in Metropolis, never know when he'll have to come here again and need easier ways to travel around, and well he does keep all his buildings connected with secret tunnels and stuff.

But once the limo gets there, the man climbs out, in full superhero garb. Of course for him that is the green t-shirt with the dragon symbol, the green pants, yellow mask and belt. And of course the freaking YELLOW BOOTIES! But well once there he just stands around outside of the place he was instructed to go to.

"Have no fear, y'all," Superman's adolescent clone proclaims as he descends onto the street before the flat. "The Man'o Steel's on the case!" The smartphone he used to find his way here - a gift from a store owner who was grateful to have only ''half'' of his store ruined by a supervillain, thanks to the clone - is surreptitiously tucked into the red and blue fanny pack secured to his waist as he lands. Rather than charging in to investigate the screams, however, he lingers outside to fix his hair by carefully combing fingers back through it and willing the strands back into place—purely to give any other heroes who may be coming a chance to catch up and be debriefed, of course, and not because he's concerned that there may be cameras on the scene.

Simon and the cab that brought him here get a lingering look of bewildered amusement before the clone slides a hand back to rub the back of his head and tentatively admits, "Kiiiinda thought this team-up'd be a little — y'know, bigger? There were mad retweets, it — eh. Whatev—" Mimic's unexpected appearance stops him briefly, and Iron Fist's stylish approach shifts his mood entirely, disappointment fading in favor of a cocky grin.

"''That's'' what I'm talkin' about; 'sup, dudes?" He jerks a thumb back towards the flat. "You ready to go kick some ass?"

* * * *

London
1883

As the church burns and Aleister Hook burns along with it, his cries for mercy are heard. From the flames a demonic figure emerges. Anything, Hook explains. He'll do anything to survive. The demon obliges and shows him mercy that the rest of London surely wouldn't.

* * * *

Suicide Slum
Metropolis

From the shadows of an alleyway, Superman emerges with a nod towards Wonder Man. That's the second time in as many days that the Man of Steel has appeared in this manner, as opposed to his normal flight. "Thanks for coming." He gives nods of recognition to the other heroes who show up in front of the flat as well.

Superman's arrival comes shortly after his clone, and he gives the younger version of himself a pursed lipped, resigned look. Beggars can't be choosers, Clark. And regardless of his feelings about how the boy operates, they need all the help they can get.

"Now, I know we're all going to have different plans going into this," Superman begins. "But I think-" His words are cut off by piercing screeches from above.

All of the pleasantries dissipate immediately as it is clear the heroes have been sensed, seen, or discovered en masse. Though those hiding remain so, those in the open will begin to see dark, robed figures soaring out of the windows of the abandoned building.

Small, about half the size of a human, the beings have a terrible screech and seem to be wearing dark cloaks. The circle hauntingly, before heading downward straight for the heroes!

The first one hits Superman directly in the chest, knocking Big Blue to the ground. But the beast stays upon him as the two struggle to gain the upper hand. Superman rolls around, face to face and catches a glimpse of the being under the hood: dead, white flesh hangs to the impossibly strong wraith. Red eyes glow ominously and large fangs jut from its hissing mouth. It's fierce and quick, and it's everything that the de-powered Superman can do to prevent himself from being overcome.

As Superman is attacked, so are the others out in the open. Each of the mighty, yet small, demons attempts to overpower their prey with an attack from above and look to strike a death blow with their fangs. They're thin, underneath the robes, thin, long and sinewy.

Wonder Man nods to Superman in return. The guy's still walking, that's troublesome. Still, he waits to hear the plan.
The quote from the old German says "No plan of battle ever survives contact with the enemy." But there wasn't even time to form a plan, and Simon is not about to let a pint-sized thing wearing a costume out of bad summer theatre hurt the Man of — WHOOF! He's knocked back by the one attacking him, and his reflexive return strike isn't pulled at all; it's knocked down the street like it had been hit by a cannon shot.
"Watch out for teeth!" he shouts, as he sprints over to grab at the one attacking Superman.

There will undoubtedly be a rush to get inside, making it kind of prudent to time one's own entry just right, especially when one uses weapons such as Huntress. The time is taken to swap out her pistols' AP rounds with 'rubber bullets', that out of something akin to respect for those who might try to uphold a no-kill policy. Only then when she is sure she's fine does the Italian woman make her way in.

A slow approach is made to make sure there are no guards to take care of before she ducks inside, cape swaying about her as she turns and twists.

Mimic studies the flat as soon as he arrives to get a feel for the situation. But then Superboy arrives and he just has to sigh. "You." His tone is resigned as he recognizes the kid. Shaking his head, he turns to look over the others that have gathered and takes a step back. "Simon?" He's deliberately avoided meeting this reality's version of Wonder Man but fortunately, Superman's arrival provides a good distraction. He nods a greeting but there's no time for more as they're attacked and he transforms to metal as one swoops down toward him. For good measure, he also bursts into flame and a raised arm sends a gout of fire upward which splits into smaller threads to form a net around it.

Superman. This was awesome. If a bit intimidating. For once, Roy doesn't quite snark in greeting, instead nodding respectfully. That's about all the time he has, as any questions he had is immediately cut off by an attack.

The bow comes out quickly, explosive arrow immediately fired as he demonstrates why he was once nicknamed 'Speedy'- quick to the draw, firing, aiming for the mouth of the one approaching him all too soon. Moving quickly for the nearest shelter he can find.

Hey cool Superman, maybe he can get him to join Heroes for Hire, imagine how much he can charge for his services? But well any hope of taking a moment to recruit the biggest gun out there as the demons attack. Demons are annoying but hey Danny has killed a dragon, it's something he likes to remind people of from time to time you know. But of course demons don't care if he killed a dragon, so well he doesn't even talk as the first one dives at him. Fun lesson, don't dive at a master of martial arts, it's very easy to turn your momentum against you. Which is exactly what Danny does, sending the one demon into a few of his friends. "HIIIIIIIIYA! Isn't that what I'm supposed to say? Bruce Lee said stuff like that in the movies I watched."

"I know, right? How lucky are you?" Superboy replies to Mimic with a smirk. Which Superman's unexpected appearance wipes right off of his face.

"Heeeeeeey," he drawls, turning towards the Man of Steel after giving himself a second to stop wincing. "It's — Super — man Classic." He starts to raise a hand for a wave, stops himself, then begins extending that hand—only to stop himself again in favor of just folding his arms over his chest and listening like he belongs. He even manages to throw in a solemn nod of agreement when the Kryptonian mentions their diverse plans, and he's just about to throw one of his own out before things begin to break down.

"Woah!" he exclaims when one of the deceptively strong demons tackles him to the ground. His tactile telekinetic field protects him from the impact, but - as he quickly learns when its fangs sink into his shoulder - it isn't much good against the creature itself. He howls in shock as blood flows readily into the creature's mouth, and after his first few attempts at dislodging it by tumbling around and flailing wildly at its body prove less than fruitful, he finally rolls onto his back again, grits his teeth to help him focus through the pain, and launches the creature a couple dozen feet straight up with the help of his telekinesis.

After giving himself a second to catch his breath, he kips up, nearly stumbles back down to the ground, then steadies himself and sputters, "What the hell was — did anyone see —" as his head swivels around. Since everyone else seems to be fighting, he swallows the rest of his surprise and just hurls himself straight up after his attacker; once he snags it, he makes a sharp turn to dive into the pile of demons that Iron Fist has created, hoping to crash amongst them and capitalize on the martial artist's careful strike by scattering them with the shockwave that his landing should generate.

Nightwing has already been inside and made his initial assessment of the place. It was…odd, to say the least. Antiquated…although why anywhere but a museum or the set of Mad-Men would be like this is a mystery unto itself. When Huntress appears inside the building as well, Nightwing acts on instinct and a batarang is tossed her way, intending to be more of a scare-tactic than to actually make contact with her body. The aim was just to her left. It's only when he catches sight of her, do his eyes narrow behind his mask and he offers a slightly surprised "Oh, it's you."

The sound of the fight reaches his ears and there's a bit of a scowl, "Are they trying to keep us out or push us inside, do you think?"

Huntress sneak-saunters into the building, and there's an eerie calm and quiet within the rickety, rusty building. Because of her perch, she seems to have gotten in undetected. In the foreground there's a large space which looks to have held an office at sometime. Moonlight spills in through the broken windows, shedding light upon old desks and chairs. In the four corners of the large room are four spiral staircases. Outside she can hear the sounds of the battle and the high pitched wails of the wraiths.

When Wonder Man pulls the demon off of Superman, it gives the Kryptonian time to reach back and deliver a punch to its face, sending it spinning. Superman pulls himself upwards and turns to the others. "We need to get inside as quick as possible!" As another tries to attack him, Superman gives a frustrated back-elbow to the face of his foe.

The fire that Mimic sends in the air seems to spook the wraiths, who scurry away from it, and wail even louder (if that's possible. A pair who doesn't fly away, instead head for Mimic's back, attempting to attack him from behind.

Roy sends an explosive arrow towards one of the demons, whose cloak immediately bursts into flames. It crashes upon the wet ground and tries to put the flames out to no avail. It lies there, burning alive, screaming.

Iron Fist makes quick work of the demons who attack him by turning them into a bowling ball and pin set. But even as the heroes battle along, it seems as though more and more coming. Are they some sort of diversion? They certainly seem to be trying to overwhelm them through sheer numbers.

KrackaTHOOOOM!

The shockwave that accompanies the Super Clone's downward descent can be heard for nearly a three mile radius. Every hobo, pimp, and prostitute begin to ask themselves and those around them in this part of the city…"What the hell was that?"

Demons go flying all different directions as the Clone stands in a small crater he created for himself.

"We must get inside!" Superman exclaims again, and this time makes a run-a run for the front doors.

Inside things are still quiet for Nightwing and Huntress. But then, a faint cry from a young girl's voice makes its way down the stairwell. "Please! Don't hurt me!"

The way is clear; Simon launches himself at the front door like a freight train. He knocks before going in. HARD. The door is off its hinges.

Damn it! Huntress is almost hit despite Nightwing purposefully having aimed his throw wide, causing her to react instinctively. Her right hand goes swiftly to the gun strapped to her upper leg and is dawn on him but it dawns on her who he is and the weapon is as swiftly held up towards the ceiling so she won't accidentally shoot him. Yes, there are non lethal rounds but they still hurt like a sumbitch. "Yeah, it's me," she comments, voice tight.

The child's voice gets her to wheel around, now facing the direction it comes in, her expression tight. "Shit." Potty mouth! "Come on." She motions to her fellow Gothamite to join her. Safety in numbers.

Seeing the reaction to fire, Mimic increases the intensity of the flames emanating from him, sending little wisps of fire flickering outward. The two demons behind him shy away and seek other, easier, less pyrokinetic prey. "Inside," he agrees. *BLINK* Standing by the front doors, one arm smashes it into pieces before he sends another blast of fire at the large mass of demons.

The demon burning itself alive screaming? Roy just fixes it with an ice arrow afterwards. Of course, it's probably either going to catch a cold being frozen up in an ice cube straitjacket, or it's going to explode thanks to change in temperatures.

Not that it matters, as Roy is already closing into the building hurrying after Superman. "Coming, coming… and whatever the hell's going on, either someone set a trap for us with missing children, in which case I'll find him and stick a boot up his arse, or his intel SUCKS!"

Hah! who needs the super powered muscle arm of Heroes for Hire, when you have MARTIAL ARTS. He follows what Superman says and makes his way towards the place where he was told to go. Of course there are some demons attacking him, but he dispatches them with Martial Arts moves, such as the Thundering Donkey Punch and the Gibbs Smack! But eventually he makes his way to the building and gets safe inside. "So uhm, we charge extra for demon fighting."

Superboy takes a second to look around as plumes of pulverized asphalt dissipate from the air—both for cameras and signs of monsters still eager for a taste of Steel. Upon finding none of one and way too many of the other, his mouth turns into a disappointed frown and he soars out of his crater to head follow Superman's lead.

"Hell of a fight out there, am I right?" he remarks upon landing and stepping inside, the frown turning up into a fresh, confident grin as he crosses the threshold. He'll try to playfully elbow whoever's closest to him after delivering the line, but that cry wafting down from upstairs keeps him from trying to make much more small-talk than that—and does a pretty good job of getting rid of that grin, to boot. He just quietly, sheepishly chuckles to himself and glances between the stairs and the ground after that.

"Already there," is offered as Nightwing darts off towards the sound of the child's voice. At the base of the steps though, he pauses, a hand out as if to stay Huntress from going up. It might be the stairwell closest to the voice, but…it could be a trap. It could always be a trap. It took being tied up by the Joker and forced to escape from some bizarre contraptions after walking into traps. A finger goes to his lips and he points at one of the other staircases going up. She should go up one and he'll go up another.

Just in case.

The Huntress makes her way up the staircases just before the rest of the heroes begin to enter the building. She's able to find a place on the side as wraith after wraith swoop down the staircase and out into the main floor, eager to defend whatever it is going on upstairs.

Similarly, Nightwing goes up another staircase and finds a much similar scenario. The difference, however, is that Nightwing gets a glimpse of a harrowing scene. There, on an alter, is a young blonde girl who seems to be tied down. Above her is a much larger version of the wraiths, his long, scalpel-like finger floating over the girl's throat as he seems to be going through some sort of incantation.

Superman looks to Iron Fist and shakes his head. "I have a feeling this will get a lot worse before it gets better."

Mimic's attack incinerates those at the center of his strike immediately, while the others who are further from the epicenter catch on fire. In an eyeblink, Mimic turns to see more coming down the stairwell. Great. Out of the frying pan and into the fi…wait.

What's that?

In the middle of the floor, a large circle begins to glow red. It seems Iron Fists words about an extra charge could not have been overstated. This is beginning to look a bit more than many of the heroes thought it might be when they were first contacted. Light begins to crack and splinter from inside the circle, before a large red demon emerges from the portal. Wide arcing black and horns are the first things through the portal, while the demon herself is actually quite slight in appearance.

"Fools! You will pay for your intrusion!"

Superman looks to his young clone. "Superboy! Go! Get the girl!" he exclaims.

A wide arcing hand casts a spell upon the heroes, pushing a mighty force against their chests. Superman flies backwards, up and over an old filing cabinet, before smashing into the wall.

A demon? REALLY a demon? Wonder Man is balanced and ready, right? Well, no, actually, he's busy looking around for the source of that scream he heard earlier. So the blast knocks him off his feet and back, but he rotates in mid-air (this is like doing a stunt for Baye's latest ninja lizard movie) and pushes off the wall, leaping at the demon with a punch ready. Maybe he can hit.

Huntress draws herself up short but it's easy to tell this is not sitting well with her. Not when there are children in danger, real or imaginary. Glancing at Nightwing, she raises a brow although that might be difficult to tell thanks to the design of her mask. "Alright. You take the lead." In other words, it's on him to decide when they go or if they stay put until an all-clear is given.

Roy Harper, archer extraordinaire, is caught by the spell harder than some of the others; he slams into a wall and is stunned.

Mimic follows the last of the heroes through the doorway, throwing up a wall of fire behind him to keep the demons out from at least one direction. The large demon's spell sends him not only into the wall but through it given his mass but the metal also keeps him from being hurt. Standing back up, he walks back to where he can see the demon. SNIKT Flaming claws of organic steel spring out of the backs of his hands as BLINK he ports behind it and attacks full throttle. Demons, like Brood, don't need him to hold back.

Okay this was unexpected, and once the guy moves to attack, well Danny is at the ready, and it doesn't help him at all. Hey he can totally avoid other moves with all his training, but he needs to see something in order to block or dodge. An invisible attack well that is just completely unfair. Once the attack is made it sends Danny into a nearby wall, stunning him for a moment.

"Superman!" the clone reflexively protests, spinning to face Clark as he points to his emblem with both hands for emphasis. "It's in the papers, damn," he adds in a slightly more even tone.

At least he hurries upstairs right after that—which, for him, means flying directly through the ceiling, as stairs are for people without awesome Kryptonian powers.

Unfortunately, since said powers don't include X-Ray Vision, he has to look for her the old-fashioned way once he's up there, if he didn't luck out on his first try. Which'll mean lots of running through the halls, looking for captive girls and slugging the occasional wraith before it can make it downstairs; whenever he finally encounters the frightful scene, if he isn't too late to stop the scalpel-bearing wraith from ending the girl's life, he'll lift off and zip towards him with every intention of knocking the deadly implement from its hand.

And then he'll start considering how to deal with of all the larger, presumably stronger versions of the creatures that can, illogically, cut through his tactile telekinetic field like water.

Nightwing was about to give Helena the 'go' when he hears commotion outside…and coming closer. Then, someone looking a lot like Superman bursts through the ceiling and goes to attack the wraith with the knife.

Tactics are changed on a dime and he calls to Huntress, "Cover me!" as he dives in to go get the girl. If Superboy wants to deal with the wraith, that is perfectly fine by him! He just wants that child out of there!

Iron Fist thumps against the wall painfully, but he's alright. More importantly, he seems to have been forgotten amongst the other commotion.

Wonder Man strikes out at Blaze with a mighty punch. As he approaches, her clawhand reaches back and begins to swirl with a purple magic. As the pair come together there is a massive explosion sending them both backwards and blowing out any remaining windows within the first floor.

While Wonder Man goes flying, Blaze remains standing. She's about to exclaim a dismissive comment to Wonder Man when her chest erupts with a trio of flaming claws. She screams in agony and her body tenses angrily. She cannot die, she is already dead, but she can feel pain intensely.

Above, Skyhook looks up from his incantations. Looking back down at the young girl, he begins talking quicker and with more intent, seemingly trying to hurry up and finish the spell, and turn this little girl into a new minion for himself.

Superclone rips through the space between Skyhook and himself post haste and barrels into the child snatching villain. The pair go over the alter and leave the girl laying there, still tied up as they tussle. Skyhook's hood comes back, revealing his own terrible fangs which he digs into Superclone's side!

Nightwing arrives just after and is easily able to untie the young girl. She reaches up to grasp him around his neck, pulling close to him with tears in her eyes. So shocked she cannot even speak.

Punch a lady? Well, if the role demands it, but this is real, not an acting gig, and this isn't a lady, and besides, Wonder Man has no patience for child abduction, especially by demons. He recovers and speeds back to the melee; with her held in place by flaming claws, he aims a roundhouse slam for her jaw. And if that fails to do the job, a second fist to the midsection.

Her crossbow is out of the question so it's the pistols Huntress uses, shooting at random. Might not be able to hurt any of the bad guys, perhaps but perhaps the sound of the weapons being shot and all that might prove to be the distraction Nightwing is relying on.

Anyone not shielded or otherwise protected will suffer bruises if they get hit but will not be harmed beyond some serious discoloration and perhaps soreness the next day.

Included among Wolverine's mutant powers that he's mimicked is the man's bestial nature. It's not as strong, of course, but that makes it easier to keep under control. Today? Mimic lets it loose. The claws leave faint trails of fire in the air as they slash at Blaze. The demon gets attacked without respite or pause as he tries to find out just what it'll take to drive it back to where it belongs.

That just sucked, Danny starts to get up after the invisible attack. "Anyone know what the heck hit me." He mutters to himself. Dammit, where is the super strong shield to hide behind dang it! Anyway Danny staggers back to his feet, and well just leans against the wall. Okay need time for the body to heal, chi do your thing!

"Thanks for the assist!" Superboy calls to Nightwing as he tussles with Skyhook. His attention is more on the occultist's scalpel hand than the gaunt villain himself; he notices the fangs, of course, but it's mostly sheer dumb luck and the confusion of jockeying for position with the monster that keeps him from being bitten.

That is, until the weapon is finally sent shooting out of Skyhook's hand like a bar of wet soap to end up embedded in a wall; as the clone twists around to make sure that the scalpel did, indeed, end up somewhere harmless, his side explodes in agony. All the shock and horror of moments ago rushes back to him as he looks down to see his blood coating the greedy wraith's mouth.

"Mother— " he tightly hisses; the rest of the word is drowned out by the THOOM that sounds when he thrusts a foot into Skyhook's face to send him hurtling through a wall, and - eventually - out of the house. "This costume's — nngh — already gotten messed up enough— " he continues to groan as he climbs back to his feet and starts running towards the hole(s) he's just made. He takes off once he's close enough to fly outside, intent on snagging Skyhook like he did that lesser wraith; this time, though, his goal is just to restrain him with something like a full nelson so that he can be rejoin the rest of the heroes with the villain in tow. "— you owe me — as soon as I can find a good tailor!"

As Blaze hangs there on Mimic's claws, Wonder Man smacks her viciously upon the jaw, sending her falling even further onto the flaming claws and sending her into an angry fury.

Meanwhile, as wraiths begin to descend upon Nightwing and the young girl, Helena begins firing shot that provide cover for the former Boy Wonder. It's not clear what damage they'll do, but they provide a good distraction.

Mimic continue to slice and dice the demon, who begins to glow brightly. Her color turns black as her screams get louder before she dissipates wildly, her voice still ringing in the heroes ears.

Superboy easily entangles Skyhook after the initial bite, incapacitating the beast. Now that Blaze and Skyhook are both out of commission, the wraiths get out while the getting is good. Those that aren't burned or injured in others ways, fly off into the night sky.

Superman rushes up to Nightwing and looks to him, "You found her!" The Man of Steel reaches for the girl and nods to the younger hero. "If it's alright by you, Nightwing, I'd like to take this young lady and get her back to her parents."

*

Skyhook gets fullnelsoned into the SWAT mobile as soon as the authorities arrive, but he's not heading for Strykers. No, instead the Metropolis police are having him transported to STAR Labs. Dr. Emil Hamilton is eagerly awaiting the visit from the child kidnapper who is aged over 150 years.

*

As dawn breaks the next day, a blonde haired woman gets out from her small, sporty vehicle and moves around to the passenger side. The minicooper door opens and Chloe Sullivan reaches down to pick Amber up out of the seat.

Sure, there's no child booster seat, and technically it's against the law, but when your best friend has lost his power set, direct flights across Metropolis are hard to come by. Chloe settled for driving slowly.

Chloe rushes across the pavement that leads up to the house and doesn't bother knocking. After a long night of screams, there's one more, but this time it is the joyful screaming of Amber's mother.

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