Our adventure continues apace from PART ONE!
The Christmas Caper
A City of Heroes FanFic
The vans traveled the entire width of Skyway City, then crossed passed through another war wall into the depressed residential zone of Kings Row. Again, they continued to travel west, picking up a third van along the way. Eventually, they crossed into Independence Port and headed north. They crossed the bridge over the Baumtown channel and pulled up to one of the hundreds of nondescript warehouses that dotted the port area. The fenced-in warehouse had a single guard shack manned by two civilian guards. Maddy saw Cho appear on a building a block away, then she floated closer to hear what the guards were saying.
“…not showing any more deliveries today,” the one guard was saying. He was looking down at his clipboard. “In fact, it says here everything’s packed and ready for delivery to the hospitals and orphanage this weekend.”
“That’s correct,” the driver of the first van replied. “But we received some last minute donations, and the trucks here are the only ones that still have any room in them.”
“Well, all right then,” he waved to the other guard inside the shack to open the gate. “Just pull around to the side door, and I’ll unlock it for you.” The guard started to wave the vans through, then paused. “Say, aren’t these passenger vans? How are you carrying any gifts in…”
Two shots fired out of the driver’s window, striking the guard in the chest. As the guard fell backwards, a burst of fire shattered the windshield and tore into the guard shack. The van quickly accelerated through the now-open gate, followed by the other two vehicles. Maddy flew into action, hurling bolts of ice from fingers into the windows of the first van. The windows shattered and yelps of surprise came from inside. All three vehicles slid to a halt and six Wolf Spiders leapt from each vehicle along with two men in coveralls. Bullets and purple energy beams began spraying the air in Maddy’s general direction. With a wave of her hands, a sudden blizzard sprung up around the vans. The swirling winds and snow reduced visibility in the immediate area to almost nothing, and the extreme cold slowed the movements of the spider thugs. Several more bolts of ice flew from hands, peppering her opponents.
In a green and blue flare of light, Cholma appeared on the ground slightly behind and to the right of Maddy. He waved both his hands out towards the Arachnos soldiers and golden swirls of light swarmed around the black-clad troops, followed by similar golden swirls around Maddy and Cho. The “Fulcrum Shift” power instantly weakened the soldiers and strengthened Maddy and Cholma at the same time.
“All right!” yelled Maddy. “Now let’s do some damage!” A bolt of purple energy struck her a glancing blow and she angrily turned and gestured at the man who had fired on her: instantly, he was frozen in a block of ice. She then landed and spread her hands above the ground. An expanding circle of ice appeared on the ground. She stepped back and leapt lightly into the air again, hovering just a few feet off the ground.
Cholma targeted the next closest foe and flung his arm out. The resulting telekinetic blast sent the Wolf Spider flying backwards, where he slammed into the side of a van. Quickly choosing another opponent, he gestured again and this time the man slumped to the ground, snoring loudly. Cholma spotted another Spider running towards him, but as the man got close he stepped onto Maddy’s ice slick and flipped onto to his back, sliding across the ground to Cholma’s feet. Drawing the powers of the Sands of Mu he’d been gifted with a year before, Cho pounded the man with a flurry of punches, his fists moving too fast to see. The Spider collapsed, unconscious.
Within minutes, the battle was over with only minor injuries for the two heroes. As Maddy set about placing the medical teleporters on the unconscious Spiders, Cholma went to check on the guards. When activated, the medical teleporters would transport criminals to a special infirmary at Paragon City’s Penitentiary, unlike the emergency teleport devices the heroes wore, which would send them to the nearest hospital. The transport system was one of the key weapons in the war against super-powered criminals in Paragon City. As a result, the infrastructure supporting it was often a favored attack tactic by different villain groups.
Cholma knelt next to the guard inside the shattered shack. He had several cuts from flying glass, but didn’t appear to have been hit by any of the bullets. He was groggy and mostly incoherent, indicating a possible concussion from hitting his head as he dove for cover. Cholma ran over to the guard who was shot and was relieved to see the man was wearing a Kevlar vest. He was unconscious and would no doubt have some bruising from the kinetic force of the bullets, but he was alive.
As the last of the criminals vanished from the parking lot, the heroes lifted the two guards and took them to the hospital on the south end of the bridge. Cholma called Detective Selnum on Peregrine Island and filled him in with recent events.
“…so you’ll need to get some new guards over to the warehouse right away, and let the Marines know someone tried to snatch their toys.” A nurse handed him a clipboard and he quickly signed his name next to Maddy’s on the admittance form. He handed it back to the young lady while listening to the Detective. He hung up the call and gave Maddy a grim look. “Looks like we got more work to do today.”
“Oh? What’s up?”
“Detective Selnum says he’s heard reports of attacks on two other warehouses here in IP. He suggested we go talk to Detective Davids at the police precinct here.”
The sun was setting as the two quickly traveled down to the police station by the Kings Row entrance and met Detective Davids in the parking lot. “I’m glad you could make it,” Davids said grimly. “Selnum called me and said he was sending some help my way. I could sure use it.”
“What can you tell us?” Maddy asked. “Are there more Spiders that need squashing?” She sounded eager.
“You’re absolutely right, Miss Jones, absolutely right.” Detective Davids handed his clipboard to Maddy. “The Marines who run the ‘Toys For Tots’ charity leased three warehouses this year to hold all the toys they’ve collected. All three were attacked by Arachnos today, and unfortunately, the guards at the other two sites were killed. The attack you thwarted was the smallest of the three. The attackers commandeered the already loaded semi-trucks and drove off with them. Security camera footage confirms they were Arachnos troops at both locations.” He pointed towards the clipboard in Maddy’s hands. “I’ve had my people trying to track these trucks since the first attack this morning, and it appears they all went to a freighter docked here at Pier 126-C. The Port logs show this as a bulk cargo freighter that arrived from England three nights ago, and is supposed to depart tomorrow at five A.M. The surveillance photos weren’t showing anything unusual until about an hour ago. We had a definite spotting of one of those Crab Soldiers.” Crab Soldiers were heavily armored troops that had four mechanical arms grafted on to their back. They hovered over the soldier’s head and shoulders, firing deadly darts of red energy. “I had heard rumors that Lord Recluse was planning to disrupt the holidays here in Paragon City, but stealing toys from kids? That seems low even for Arachnos. I need you guys to head over to that ship and arrest any Arachnos you find and recover the toys!”
Continued in Part Three!