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The maniacal toy easily swatted the box away, then cackled loudly, and soon he began to rummage around in a massive box, pulling out defective toys that would explode if they landed. “Hey, catch!” He shouted, lobbing the explosive toys at him, but when he missed, the Mantis got to see the explosions from each one making contact with a surface. “How’s this for a little bang for your buck?!” It shouted, and after a moment, it finally ran out of explosive surprises. But one ended up breaking some power lines on the wall, which had landed in a large puddle of water. And the fuse box was still active, just turned off. As soon as the wires get torn in half by the small explosive, it gave Vic an idea, since no amount of physical power was doing anything to the killer Mad Jack, then maybe electricity would do the trick
Landing on the lid, The Mantis makes a move to begin hammering the top, but is soon launched from his position in to the rafters. He lands on an higher level catwalk with a grunt and but is quickly back on his feet. Vic figured that Jack would have more abilities in his repertoire than a simple spring-loaded lid.
[b “I ain't your buddy, pal! The names 'The Mantis'.”] Vic responded back to the metallic marauder. He was about to goad Mad Jack in doing something until he mentioned laser tag. Jack's red eye suddenly got a lot brighter and scary. [b “Wait, wha-”] And immediately, The Mantis hits the deck as a high powered energy beam shears through the concrete floor and cuts the metallic catwalk he was on in half. He looks down at the red hot line in the metal that was where he was just standing and barely has enough time to shudder.
He drops back down to the ground, the perception weapon cutting through more materials as Jack no doubt tries to vaporize The Mantis. They were in what looked like it used to be the manufacturing line in the factory, so there were conveyor belts, machinery, and other things that made up this part of the warehouse. But nothing that was particularly good to use cover. If only he had a mirror or something! The best he could do was bound over a crate and huck it at Mad Jack's face. He needed to buy some time so he could figure out a weakness!
Before the hero could do anything, Mad Jack retreated into his box, the lid closing right as he landed on top of it, and almost immediately, the lid sprung open, flinging the hero off, and Jack popped out again. “Iim surprised you even know my name! And it’s Mad Jack to you buddy boy!” He said, laughing. He used his springy arms to lift himself off the floor and moved his box quickly so the hero couldn’t do much of anything to him. “Let’s see how good you are at laser tag!” He shouted, and his right eye began to emit a high powered beam, which carved into the floor.
[b “Must've been a lucky guess!”] Vic exclaims as he leaps backwards to avoid the hulking monstrosity's hand. A mega-killing machine in the bowels of an abandoned toy factory should've been what he thought of first as a trap. Luckily enough, Vic's superhuman agility and reflexes granted him enough response time for him not to get squashed like the insect he was dressed as.
He gained enough distance where he could survey the mechanical monster in front of him and what else was around them. Mostly the monster though. These last two days had been jammed packed with new experiences. Today alone was where The Mantis finally came to comic book level proportions as a superhero. First he fought a sorcerer after an ancient relic in a museum, and now he was hear, fighting a giant mad Jack-in-the-box. He hoped he didn't peak too soon in his career as a superhero... Maybe it was time he started collecting some devices for his capers, though.
[b “Playtime's over, Jack!”] The Mantis shouts, augmented with a superhero point. [b “You're going back in the toy box!”] And with that, he advanced, zig-zagging as to make himself a more difficult target, and when he finally saw his chance, he doves in for a powerful flying kick.
The large box shuddered and the lid flew open, and out sprang he giant mechanical Mad Jack, who laughed maniacally when he saw the hero. Every inch of the robotic toy looked worn and old, the cloth decaying and showing the inner workings of the massive monstrosity. “Well well, look what we have here!” He said, his voice like a distorted Daffy Duck mixed with Donald Duck. His right eye glowing red and he could tell that this toy wasn’t meant for kids, it was a killer product, quite literally. “It’s playtime!” The toy shouted, and swung a massive mechanical hand at him.
Vic found himself a corner pretty quickly, plastering himself to a wall, as he pulled out the device he nabbed from Fury. The Director probably wouldn't notice for a while, but Vic's little stumble was actually a play and he was able to snatch what looked like baby between a smart phone and a calculator. And what luck, it was unlocked! Fury probably didn't expect the thing to bee pick-pocketed from him. Good for Vic, bad for Fury, but probably bad for Vic in the long run, but he'd worry about that later. The Mantis had some crazy magic villain to track down before they were able to get away.
[center [i ***]]
The day turned in to night, but it escaped Vic's notice as he scoured Fury's device for clues. It seemed that these people weren't exactly on SHIELD's radar, but he figured that might've been exactly what their villain was trying to do. Vic felt that sceptres power, he knew the destructive force it had in his hands, and he's not even magic! He couldn't imagine what would happen if the thing fell in to that sorcerer's hands... So he counted himself lucky Anubis disobeyed orders and SHIELD showed up in response.
Since these people weren't recognized as a threat yet, the information Vic could gleam was very sparing. However, after adding in his own information that he had procured and some more research, he was able to track down where these people were possibly hiding out!
Before long, The Mantis was in front of the abandoned toy factory. [b “Twilight Toys.”] He read aloud. The place looked like it hadn't been up and running for years, but considering the chain to the gate was busted and there were recent scuff marks from vehicles, Vic figured it had perhaps been re-purposed with evil intentions. He wasn't sure if they were expecting him either, because it seemed liker nobody was home. No lights, no sounds, nothing. This very well could be a trap...
The Mantis sneaks in, the interior of the abandoned toy factor cold, motionless, and dark. The darkness wasn't an issues for The Mantis. Ever since he had been permanently enhanced, he could see in the dark and hear a lot better. The hearing part of being hear was what was messing with Vic. It didn't sound like there was anyone around. Just the wind, creaking of old metal and machinery, and his own quiet breaths. He was about to chock this up to a 'bust' until he came across a peculiar looking giant box. [b “What the hell is this supposed to be?”] He asks himself, placing a hand on the box. Perhaps it was a clue...
Or a trap.
Along the outskirts of town was a massive abandoned toy factory that used to bear the name of Twilight Toys, but inside, a large group were trying to repair a massive nightmarish looking jack-in-the-box, known only as Mad Jack, a robotic toy built specifically to kill anyone who got in its way. “How long until the trap is ready?!” The cloaked figure hissed at the men. “It shouldn’t be too long from now...all that we need to do is get it to turn on and then have it hide in the box.” One of the men replied, plugging a USB cable into a port built into Mad Jack’s torso. Before too long, the hacker managed to activate the massive monstrosity of a toy, which immediately retreated to the confines of its box, it’s springs creaking loudly, and the lid closed loudly on the box, meaning the trap was set.
It didn't seem like whoever they were fighting was a great warrior. It looked like they relied on their raw power stemming from their magical abilities to fight. Which was all well and good, but Vic being the experienced fighter he was and Anubis being an agent of SHIELD, it seemed like the two were overwhelming them. They probably hadn't expected either of them to be here in the day time and hoped their magic would be enough to get them in and out. Which begged a certain question...
The cloaked figure landed on their back and quickly took stock of where they landed relative to their more skilled counterparts. However, it seemed fortune favoured them at last as they landed in a heap. Their eyes travel to not to far away and a golden sceptre catches their eye.
Vic was quick enough to realize that it looked like that was the item their mysterious villain was after, and quickly made a break for it. Magic bolts were cast his way as the villain made their way towards the sceptre as well. They both made it at the same time, Vic's hand being the first to grab the sceptre. In response, the villains hand comes up to fire a magical bolt of energy, and on nothing but reflexes and adrenaline, Vic's hand comes up to block with the sceptre. The item glowed in response to the magic, and without enough time to register what it was, there was a large flash and Vic was suddenly in a hole in a wall across the room. The sceptre rested unharmed in the centre of the room, the villain after it nowhere to be seen.
After the explosion, the place was an utter mess, items everywhere, the exhibit trashed, a big ass hole in the ceiling. With a groan, Vic pulls himself out of the way, touching his nose, some blood dibbling out. His breathing sounded weird and without any hesitation, he snaps it back in to place, feeling the red painful line on the bridge. He picks up the sceptre and walks it over to Anubis, holding it out for him to take. It was gold with blue and silver filigree, and hummed with ominous power. [b “I think you should hold on to this.”]
“No, I think [i I] should hold on to it.” A voice from behind them says. Turning, Vic sees a man with a dark complexion, eye patch, and an angry expression on his face. Through the hole in the roof, many people in military grade suits began descending and accompanying the man. He could also hear some kind of heavy aircraft overhead suddenly, but it was probably because the ringing in his ears stopped.
[b “I don't believe we've met.”] Vic responds, making a show of not simply handing the sceptre over. The man walks forward and holds his hand out for the sceptre.
“Nick Fury, Director of SHIELD.” And just like that, Vic hands him the sceptre. “And you are?”
[b “A concerned citizen.”] Vic says gruffly and Fury just takes that in stride, pushing passed the man.
“What the hell did you think you were doing?” Fury raises his voice at Anubis. “You disobeyed my direct orders so you could come here and do what? Trash a museum with civilians and let the bad guy get away? I told you that you were too inexperienced and something like this would happen! Get back on the ship. You need more training and you need to respect my authority! And you,” He turns and points at Vic. “You need to forget what you saw here today and go home.” And with that, Fury begins to walk back towards his squad.
However, just when he was about to pass Vic, Vic stumbles in to Fury before righting himself. [b “Sorry, sorry. I think I need a medic.”] He says, and Fury gives him a pointed look before leaving with his agents.
What an asshole.
Anubis shrugged and got to work, using his natural agility to work his way in and out of the exhibits while dodging the bolts of electricity. “You must be very determined to steal something sacred from Egypt!” He said, and his jackal managed to bite the figure on the ass, making the figure yell in pain, and allowing Anubis to rebound off a wall and kick the figure in the back, knocking him down once more, but he knew that it wouldn’t be over until they had actually knocked the mysterious hooded intruder or cold.
As the waves of people left in a hurry, it became quite apparent to the floating being that one of these things was not like the other. Their eyes level on Vic who smirks slightly in return. [+red “You should be running.”] The cloaked figure said to him.
[b “I don't like bullies.”] He simply stated, and the being snarled, hurling a bolt of energy his way, which Vic dodged with ease. Perhaps the villain had expected a more docile person, and not one who was a superhuman or a superhero. More magical bolts are sent his way, and he's able to dodge them, but after a furious yell, one of them lands near him and explodes with kinetic energy, sending him spiralling. Despite that, Vic is up immediately, hopping on the balls of his feet, hands up and ready.
Right when he was about to go on the offensive, a familiar face joins the fray, stepping beside him. [+red “You!”] The cloaked villain exclaims. To be honest, Vic was a little surprised to see him as well, but the company didn't go unappreciated. Anubis would be an exceptionally helpful ally here, especially against those magical blasts.
Using Anubis' arrival as a distraction, Vic moves, the resulting retaliation from the figure being sloppy and off-base, missing him by a land slide. He ducks, weaves, rolls, and uses exhibits as cover before leaping inhumanly high and long, and kicking the villain square in the stomach, sending them flying through a tall glass case.
[b “I wish that were it.”] He says to himself, but he knew it wasn't. The figure let out another roar of anger and rose from the rubble, shooting magical bolts at both Vic and Anubis.
Anubis had already arrived back at the helicarrier by the time everything had happened, but he was sitting in his quarters, which was lined with sandstone and the floor coated in a layer of sand as he sighed, his jackal lying on the sand, sleeping peacefully, but the encounter at the museum bothered him, because no ordinary criminal would just want it taken for themselves...no, someone powerful must have wanted the relics, which made him open his eyes and look at the sandstone lined walled. [i If i we’re allowed, I would go and see if I couldn’t find ot who wanted the items, and why...] he thought, but he was only allowed to leave when given permission by Nicolas Fury. [i To hell with it!] he thought, and he whistled, and within moments, Ruhak was at his side. After finding their way to the ground below, Anubis and Ruhak immediately hurried to the museum, and as they stepped inside, they saw a man about to square off with some type of being that was floating, and he immediately sided with Vic, not knowing he was actually Mantis
[i Interesting.] Vic thinks to himself when Anubis speaks about his origins and his name. He doubted that Anubis could be his real name, more likely a code name, but that was often the case and used to protect the persons identity. Vic himself was obviously no stranger to that concept, especially considering how he dressed and what he called himself.
[b “I'm called 'The Mantis'.”] Vic replies diligently. [b “I'm surprised a SHIELD agent is here dealing with low-level intruders like these.”] Although he wasn't exactly surprised that Anubis was an agent himself, especially because of his powers. It must be quite the exciting life.
However, before Vic could inquire about anything else, flashing lights began to shine through the windows accompanied by the sounds of sirens. It seemed that his initial thought about the police being called was right, and that meant it was time for him to leave. He was known for some of his exploits, but the police still didn't take kindly to vigilantes, especially those who wore masks or had super powers. He wasn't an agent of SHIELD either, so it was probable he'd be brought in for questioning and his identity would be compromised.
[b “Well, its been a pleasure, Anubis, but I have to go. Good luck with your new job.”] And with that, The Mantis fled the scene... At least for the moment.
[b “Is this what they refer to as returning to the scene of the crime?”] Vic mumbles to himself. He stood in front of the museum the afternoon after the heist, and surprisingly enough, the place was still open to the public, albeit except the room Anubis and The Mantis had their dance party in. That was appropriately cordoned off. Usually he wasn't one for returning to the scene of the crime, but Vic also wanted to check a few things out, afterall, he didn't get to look at the exhibit while he was here last night. Despite being in costume then, Vic still took precautions for his identity, at least for the moment. And minimally. He didn't exactly disguise himself, but he wore a baseball cap to be a little inconspicuous and less likely to be taken in to account. Although, some that [i should] be taken in to account is the brochures. They said that the items from Egypt would be here for another two weeks, but it was announced and posted at the entrance that today would be the last day you were able to view the Egyptian relics.
[b “An appropriate response.”] Vic mumbled to himself as he bumped shoulders with people in the crowd. It seems the clientele of the museum also went up; everyone wanted to see what the fuss was about and what was so important that people with guns tried to steal it the night prior. It was a good thing, Vic thought, since the more people, it meant that it was less likely that whoever was the mastermind behind the heist last night would be less likely to try again with so many civilians around. Or at least that's what Vic [i thought].
Finally bumping his way in to the infamous Egypt exhibit, Vic looks in to one of the display cases that had some ancient jewellery. As he marvelled at the items in front of him, a strange noise began to cut through the hustle and bustle of the crowd. Vic was about to chock it up to his imagination, but that was before the windows literally exploded!
Vic turns his back to the raining glass, covering a cowering civilian from the shards before turning back to see what had happened. Immediately Vic knew that something in this room had to be exceptionally important, considering there was a person in a big black cloak with glowing yellow eyes and hands, floating in to the building through one of the windows.
[+red “Leave this place!”] The shadowy figures magically garbled voice dictated. People began running and screaming for their lives at the command, and Vic simply pulls his ball cap down a little lower over his face, preparing himself for what was to come. This was definitely already the most interesting museum trip hes ever had.
“No...treasures from my homeland...” he said, and after the group of captive thugs were incapacitated, the sand immediately withdrew from where it was and flowed into the container that Anubis had been carrying. “May I ask who you might be?” He asked, and Ruhak came up to Anubis’ side, and sat down. After a moment, Anubis put the cork back in the opening of the container of sand, and he gave the jackal a gentle pat on the head, and said something in Egyptian to Ruhak, thanking the jackal. “And so you do not need to ask, my name is Anubis, one of the newest recruits for SHIELD.” He told the Mantis, and slowly rose to his feet.
It seemed his new ally wasn't as worried about being shot as he was. The Mantis get up provided some protection, but mostly protective padding to help enhance his already enhanced durability. As far as he knew, the suit and Vic weren't bullet proof and he didn't want to test otherwise. So instead, he rolled, slid, and jumped out of the way of gunfire, the shots lighting up the interior of the building like a Christmas rave. The guns themselves weren't silenced, they were deafening loud, probably brought more as a precaution than thinking that they would actually encounter someone like him or the boy. Either or, someone probably called the cops at least as a noise complaint.
Taking down the armed thugs wasn't as difficult as he thought it would be, especially not with the help of the boy. People were held in place by the sand, and if opportunity presented itself, he would take them down, but it seemed the boy had that handled.
For a split second, Vic actually thought that the jackal that joined the fray didn't know friend from foe. He turns to face the jackal, and sees it staring him down. Both of them had quick reflexes, and when the jackal jumped for him, he ducked it, but only for it to take down a thug that was sneaking up behind him. [b “Uhh... Good dog!”] Was all he could muster before jumping back in to the fray.
Soon enough, it seemed all the thugs had been taken care of, The Mantis dropping one of them once he was dealt with in his sleeper hold. He turns slightly to look at the boy, taking in his appearance and that of the jackal. The whole Egyptian motif and the mysterious Egyptian exhibit couldn't be a coincidence. Or it could be. [b “Family heirlooms?”] The Mantis asks jokingly to the boy.
From outside the museum, a mysterious figure watched as the two dispatched their men. They didn't think that something so meddlesome would happen, or so quickly. This heist was supposed to be an easy job, but it seemed more would need to be done if they were to obtain what they desired.
[+red “I should have thought you would get involved.”] The figure murmurs before disappearing in to the shadows.
The boy looked surprised at the sudden interference with his mission. But he didn’t stop, instead, the sand immediately swarmed to the nearest cluster of criminals, and they could neither see nor move from place as the sand held their feet down. As he used his powers, the jackal immediately latched onto a thug’s arm, making him drop his weapon. The boy walked to the man who was struggling with Ruhak, and immediately hit him in the face, sending him sprawling, but Anubis stayed calm and didn’t even make a single face, except for when the mysterious vigilante appeared. “Ruhak...aid the stranger.” He said, and working a moment, Ruhak was attacking some of the remaining crooks without mercy, occasionally tearing chunks out of their legs or arms. While everything was happening, Anubis slumped up against a wall, his energy depleted from using his powers to hold the criminals in place and to defend himself
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