Previously on Blessed Inversion SWAT…
First, he was let go from RajTEK. Next, he’s threatened with having his children taken from him. Now, he finds out Gabe might not even be his son. With his life spiraling out of control, Steven Kessler does what he does best. Fight crime. After gaining the tenuous loyalty of the leader of the Italian Gang, Richard Kent, they begin their move on the next gang. The Irish Gang located in Bronze Plains…
-Leader of the Italian Gang
On one hand, having Wend as back up is good for me if things go south. On the other, he’s far from the stealthiest guy around. Even then I wonder… “Last time to back out Wend.” I offer one more time. After what he’s been through with the Inhibitors* I can’t in good conscience just pull him into another fight. Even if he thinks he’s ready. Wendell nods and stays metal as I told him. Worry about his mental state after. Not like I could make him go home if I tried.
I’ve gone to Ardan’s Tavern a few times over the years. It’s usually busy and there’s two entrances. The front door and the back leading into a small parking lot. Staff was about a dozen at a time normally. Given everyone is on edge I’m expecting more. We’ll need to be careful so the civilians stay safe. Especially if their leader, Balor, was here. This would be easy if I still could count on the Doc…but I’ll make due. “Follow my lead.” I say before gliding onto the roof of Ardan’s Tavern. Wend does as I expected and follows me. He tries to land quietly but he manages to shake the building when he touches down. No time to worry about it. I send the top half of Aranea into the ground beneath us. Making sure there’s just enough of the eyes visible so I can see the room without being discovered. I find a fairly small kitchen with 5 workers. One door leading to the front, another out back, and the last to the basement. “Could he be in the basement?” Whatever, there are three places to hit. I recall Aranea and turn to Wendell. “I’m going. I need you to watch the back door. If anyone tries to leave, stop them.” Wendell gives me a nod and I climb off the roof. The doors locked but I’m strong enough to break the knob and enter. I walk into the kitchen and scan the room. Making sure they see me so I can get a reaction.
“Aww shit!” One of the chefs blurts out. Quickly reaching for a knife and ignoring his stove. Three of the others follow shortly behind. The last runs out through the front. I let him go on purpose. Once they know I’m after them, the higher-ups will take it as a challenge and make it easy to find them. More importantly, him making a scene gives the civilians a chance to get off the premises.
“I’m going to ask this only once, where’s Balor?”
“Wait, you’re one of us?” Didn’t take him long to notice my accent. “Come on Spider, we’re on the same team.” He hopes he can sway me. Probably thinks I haven’t hounded them because of this. I just had bigger threats to deal with.
“If we’re on the same team then answer the question.” I counter.
“Go fuck yourself Spider!” One particularly brave Chef responds. I web his knife, pull it back to me, and throw it into his left shoulder. “AGH!” he cries.
It takes me one good leap to go across the room and tackle him. He won’t be getting up for a while. Three people left to deal with. One of the remaining chefs lunges at me with his knife. I catch his arm before the blade can even reach me. “Dumb move.” I tighten my grip, break his wrist, and kick him through the kitchen door into the bar. I step out into the room and the remaining six people clear out. They don’t want any of what I have to offer. “Now…” I walk over to the downed gangster and step on his broken wrist. Slowly applying pressure. “Where is he?” he grits his teeth and strains to endure the pain. His breathing fast and heavy as veins pulsated on his neck and head. Tears barely being contained through it all. “I’ll-” I get cut off by the sounds of gunshots coming from the back of Ardan’s Tavern. I loosen up the pressure and look back towards the sound. After a few minutes it stops and the chef I let go flies through the wall. Knocking over a table when he finally comes to a stop. Wendell follows close behind. “Good work.” I turn back to the poor remaining gangster. “Looks like you’re on your own. Feel like talking now?
“Fuck you.” he remained defiant. If Wendell weren’t here I’d use more extreme methods.
Seeing his unwillingness to cooperate, Titan steps up to the criminal and lifts him up high in the air by his collarbone with one hand. An intimidating scowl covering his metallic face. While SWAT-Spider came here to continue his mission and blow off much-needed steam, it seems the young Inversion had similar plans himself. With a simple turn, he throws the man over the bar and into the wall. Tearing the counter apart with ease as he pursues his target. Lifting the helpless man up against the wall once more. Part of SWAT-Spider was impressed by what Titan could do. But at the same time, the look in his metallic eyes gave him pause. He was far too casual and calm about all this. Was it just an act? Was he even more damaged by his time with the Inhibitors than originally thought? Was this always here and coming along just brought it out of him? There was much he and the Inhibitors didn’t actually know about Wendell, so anything was possible. But what could SWAT-Spider even do about it? Showing weakness now would make coming here pointless beyond rampant violence. SWAT-Spider had to use the opportunity…
“You don’t know my friend, Titan, do you? As you can tell, he’s much stronger than I am. Hate to think what he’d do if you got him in a bad mood.” I play along with Titan and hope for the best.
“I ain’t telling you Verts anything!” He insults us. I heard people began using Verts as a slur against Inversions. Didn’t realize it was a real thing till now. Titan clearly had experience with it and didn’t take it kindly, crushing the man’s collarbone. He screams even louder than the guy I stabbed earlier.
Titan takes a deep breath and prepares to move in again, but I put my arm out to stop him. Hoping like hell he doesn’t just go through me. My Danger Sense goes off which means I need to act fast. “You brought this on yourself.” I grab him by his collar and lift him off the ground once more. But something tackles me by the waist and I drop him. Falling to the floor and phasing through it. Crashing into the hard concrete of the storage basement below. “Nghhh…” I got sloppy again. So focused on Wendell I didn’t even consider someone else was here. Someone who could apparently go invisible and phase. Doesn’t take Wendell long to punch through the floor and come after me. Amidst the smoke from his dramatic entrance, I see the outline of a woman. “I can see you. No use hiding.” I say as Wendell helps me to my feet.
I hear a sigh before she becomes translucent. Just enough to see her but not enough to get a perfect picture. She had straight white hair and wore a white hooded shroud. A sterling white bustier over a matching belt, tight white pants, and small heeled boots. Her eyes covered by white lensed aviator shades. It was a sleek costume with subtle impressions of padding you could barely make out. She stood confidently and ready for a fight. “Pretty bold attacking people in broad daylight.”
I don’t know who she is but it’s clear she thinks we’re the bad guys. “I know how this looks, but they had it coming.”
“Course it is, you were just having a friendly chat.” she scoffs running towards us.
“Leave this to me Titan.” I order before firing my webs at her. As expected, she phases through it. Diving down and phasing into the floor in the process. Like a dolphin, she returns up through the floor in front of me with an uppercut. I step back to avoid it but don’t have enough time to dodge the spin kick that used her rising momentum. Hitting me on the left side of my ribs. I power through the pain and fire my Taser Webs this time.
“AUGH!” She cries out. She wasn’t ready to be hit mid-phase and collapses to the floor becoming fully visible. She’s still conscious but there won’t be any getting away. I fire off more Taser Webs to stick her to the floor and make sure she doesn’t get away.
“Those guys we attacked? They’re part of the Walsh Family, the Irish Gang. We were trying to find their boss Balor when you showed up.” She continues to try and free herself unsuccessfully. Pretty clear she still doesn’t trust us. “You don’t have to like us, just know we’re on the same side.” I undo the webs and take a step back. She stands up but keeps giving us a dirty look. “I’m SWAT-Spider and this is Titan. You?”
She waits a moment before responding. “Evanescence, the Ghost of Bronze Plains.”
“Never heard of you.” The names long winded but at least it’s memorable.
“I’m new.” I’m not sure if I’m glad or bothered by how many newbies are around thanks to Black Ice. This is just asking for trouble… “I think I heard your name before. Some muggers thought we were working with ‘the Spider’. They practically pissed themselves. Wasn’t sure you were actually real.”
“Good, that’s how I always planned it. So…you’re a hero?”
“Did the costume give it away?” she sasses me.
“Anyone can put a costume on. But if you really are a hero, just keep an eye out for me. I can’t be everywhere at once and this city’s a big place.”
“How generous of you.” Didn’t need to be a genius to tell she was rolling her eyes. “I was going to do this whether you gave me permission or not.”
“That’s fine, I’m not huge on team-ups anyway.” I reply before noticing something. “Where did you get that costume?”
“Some guy named Jojo made it for me. He’s making suits for any Inversion that catches his eye.” Evanescence explained. Haven’t heard of him either but it’s worth looking into.
“Thanks.” I extend my hand to Evanescence who shakes it. After letting go I look around, grab some stray papers, and write my number out in webs before handing it to her. “I don’t do team-ups but you never know when the extra pair of hands will be useful.”
“If you wanted my number that badly…” she tears off a piece of the paper, drags her finger across the surface, and uses her phasing powers to cut out her number before handing it back. “…You just had to ask.” She turns to leave before looking back at me. “Don’t make me regret it.” she turns invisible once more and disappears.
That was unexpected, to say the least…By the time Wend and I return to the main floor the gangs already cleared out. The mission was a bust but at least I made one less place to check for the time being. They won’t be coming back anytime soon. I head up to the roof before making a call to Kent. “Kent, I need some intel. What do you know about the someone called Evanescence?”
“Yeah, call her the Ghost of Bronze Plains. She’s been working with some new crew. Think they were called the Specters?”
“And you didn’t think to bring this up before now?”
“Hey, you never asked me about em. There’s too many new guys popping up. First White Shadow and Waverider then the Khonshu Squadron and now the Specters? Don’t know how one place can get so many Inversions.” he stammers annoyed before realizing what he’s just done. “A-anyway, not a lotta sightings by the big players. Aside from White Shadow, most of the newbies aren’t worth thinking about. Oh, and Biohazard brought the story. Thanks for asking by the way.” he slips in passive aggressively.
“The fact we’re talking now meant everything worked out. Good work on that.”
“Just doing my job.” he sighs.
“I have one more question for you. Apparently, there’s an Inversion named Jojo. Hear anything about them?”
“Besides him being a fruit? Guy’s some big fashion icon or something overseas. He moves around a lot but keeps heading back to Gunma Inc. since coming to Silver Plains. Not sure why though.”
“Thanks, I’ll check it out.” Lucky us. Shouldn’t be too hard to find this guy. The gangs can wait. The last thing I want is Wendell following me around only in tattered sweatpants. Not exactly good for hiding his identity or decencies sake. “Change of plans Wend, we’re going to see about getting you a proper costume made.”