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by Danny Dyer

Faction: Hero
Archetype: Blaster
Specialty: Archery
The Obsidian Arrow
     Donnia Marks walked down the dark street when a hand grabbed her and yanked her into an alley. The Hellion pulled her close and laughed at her frightened expression. He began teasing her with his knife. He reached as if to stab her, but instead cut the handle of her purse. He made a break for it and stopped all of a sudden. As he fell down, Donnia noticed an arrow was stuck in the thief's heart. A dark figure slowly levitated down to the dead man. Donnia thought her luck couldn't get any worse, now she was being attacked by a super villain! He reached down for her purse then turned to her. As he walked forward she almost cried out in fear. When he raised his hand she feared he would strike her down but instead, he gave her her purse. She opened her eyes to say thanks but the mysterious hero had disappeared. That is the way of The Obsidian Arrow.

Faction: Villain
Archetype: Stalker
Specialty: Assassination
The Ruby Blade
     Donnia Marks walked through the streets once more. It had been a week since her mugging and being saved by that mysterious hero. She almost laughed when another Hellion tried to take her new purse. She stopped laughing when he told her he was a good friend of the Hellion who died mugging her. He cut her wrist and she fell on the ground in pain. He laughed, kicked her, than ran out of the alley with her new purse. He jerked to the side and cried out in pain. Donnia opened her eyes and saw what she though was yet another silent savior. He picked up her purse then started moving towards her. She smiled and stood up to greet him but when she looked into his eyes, she didn't see the kindness she saw in the hero. She saw a cold hate-filled look there and she started to run away. He teleported in front of her with his sword pointed straight out. Donnia ran right into it. The killer watched her shocked expression as he yanked out his sword and she fell to the ground. He turned to walk away but then had an evil idea. He grabbed a black arrow from a slit on his cape and put it into the sword wound. It was time to have some real fun.

Gotta keep moving. Can’t stop now they're right behind me. The Obsidian Arrow flew low through the alleys. Then rising to the rooftops to hide behind air vents as his much faster pursuers passed him overhead. For some reason he was being chased by Longbow!
     I need to get over to my contact and see what this is all about he thought. He jumped down and ran into the sewer entrance. He looked around and made sure there were no Vahzilok to try to take him apart... again. He kept running trying to ignore the disgusting water. He found the right grate and climbed up. A quick run through a back-alley and he found he who needed to see...

     As The Obsidian Arrow dove into the sewers, he didn't notice a dark figure smirking from a nearby rooftop.
    "It looks like my plan is working excellently. I'll let these Longbow fools wear him out and then he will feel my blade."
     He heard the flap of a cape and made himself invisible. When he saw it was a Longbow Scrapper he decided one less pursuer wouldn't matter. He walked through a shadowy hole and landed atop the do-gooder. He drove him towards the ground and leapt off just before the hero hit the ground. He heard a loud crunch and was satisfied... for now.

Technically his contact found him. A knife pressed up against his throat, Obsidian tossed the weapons wielder over his shoulder into a pile of trash cans.
     "Stan what are you doing?" the hero asked.
     "Oh come on OA you know how dangerous it is out here. Super villains are everywhere these day and, let's face it, you don't look a whole lot like a hero."
     Arrow shrugged and asked, "I need you to tell me who planted that arrow."
     "How come they're coming after you? That coulda been anyone's arrow," Stan asked.
     "Apparently you haven't seen my arrows up close." he pulled an arrowhead out of a pouch on his belt and pressed on the sides. When he did the shaft sprung out. The whole arrow was black with a slight almost metallic shine. "All of my arrows are made out of obsidian. I get a steady supply from a provider off shore. He has no idea why I'm buying it and he doesn't ask. I don't normally have time to retrieve the arrows so the cops have plenty of them stashed in their evidence room."
     "So did you do it?"
     "What do you think?"
     "Your right. Ok so what do you need?”
     " I need names. Give me every possible lead you have."

     What can I say? It's just too easy. I thought maybe I'd take down just one then try to find where Obsidian was headed. Blade stuck his katana out into the street and watched a Longbow speedster run straight through it. He actually went a whole seven blocks before the top half slip off. The bottom stopped four blocks after that.
     Another flyer? He teleported into the air, sword pointed up and impaled the unfortunate fighter. It's like stabbin' fish in a barrel! He watched the body fall and wondered how these morons could ever enter a supposedly elite group of heroes.
     Back to business, he figured. He set off to find his prey. But not before putting an endurance sapper on a teleporters back.

As the teleporter fell to his death The Obsidian Arrow was flying to a very bad part of town. Now in Paragon City there isn't really a good side of town either. It's just that this place was worse than the rest. Why? Because it was the home of the Black Spade, a club where almost every villain hung out. From lowly Hellions to the back rooms where Malta members made deals with the Knives of Artemis. A hero could easily get killed in there. Good thing Arrow wasn't going in as a hero.
A Skull walked in and sat down at the bar. He didn't seem very comfortable in the hard mask and kept tugging on it like it didn't fit right.
The man he had sat down next to was a Joseph Mariche. An Underboss with the Family who had some connections to the Rogue Isles. Rumor was that his cousin's best friend was Emil Marcone. Whether this is true or not, Mariche knew a lot about the going-ons of the villains in the city.
The Skull whispered the password "Statesman wets the bed" into Mariche's ear doing his best not to laugh at how this crook deals with getting whaled on by the hero.
Joseph looked at him and yanked off the Death's Head mask showing a face he recognized all too well.
"What the hell are you doing? We don't like you goody-goodies here!"
He gave me the wrong password! I’m gonna have to remember to pay Stan back.
"I need information. And if you don't give it to me I'd be happy to tell Nemesis who's been giving Black Scorpion information on his armor improvements."
Joseph gulped and after a few seconds of thinking said, "You play dirty you know that?"
Obsidian smirked and asked, "Someone framed me for the death of a woman last night. One who I had saved the night before that. I want to know who, why, and where can I find him."
"Bu-bu-but that guy would chop me to pieces!"
"Not my problem" he said with a shrug. And as he did so he pulled out a grenade-tipped arrow.
"Are you insane? You'll blow the whole joint to pieces!"
Obsidian started to pull on the ring on the grenade and Joseph finally cracked.
"Wait! Wait hold on.... there's no need to go all suicidal. I'll.... I'll tell you what you want to know. This guy is classified as a Stalker. A sneaky guy who specializes in, literally, stabbing you in the back. He has a red sword hard as a rock. Some say it's actually carved from rubies. If that's true, whoever he is, he must be loaded."
"Thanks," Obsidian said. He handed Joseph the rubber grenade and walked out doing his best not to laugh at the stream of courses coming from Joseph's mouth.

The Black Spade. I'm impressed, thought The Ruby Blade. He hadn't thought his prey would start off with such a good lead. And his instincts told him who gave the hero his information. He figured if the hero was smart he'd check his supergroup's base for information on the wealthy people in Paragon City and the Rogue Isles. He saw him activate a teleporter on his arm and figured his guess was correct. He also saw a man walking out of the club. Blade took out a small, blood-red dagger. He concentrated on the man's chest and threw. He heard the thud and the man's surprised gasp from across the street. Satisfied, Blade went to his own lair so he could see the files Obsidian was checking and plan his next move.

The Obsidian Arrow found what he needed. He ran up to the Base Portal.
Once inside the Buttkickers of the Fantastic base he quickly turned on his Cloaking Device. Ok this could get difficult. Good thing I watched Johnny test the security system. He flew over the infrared sensors and took extreme caution around the turrets.
When he finally came to everybody's bedrooms he got nervous. He stopped to listen, trying to tell if anyone was awake. He heard snoring. Loud snoring. Ok, I know Jack's asleep. He listened harder and heard what sounded like a fire. Ok BB's doing target practice. Good. He needs it. Figuring that noise would cover his footsteps he crept on through. At the kitchen he say Johnny Velocity scarfing down all the food in the fridge. So that’s who ate my pizza!
He kept moving and found what he needed. The Super Computer. He turned on the computer and typed in the Supergroup password. He was in and had access to all of the files he'd need. Only problem was.... he had no idea where, or how, to begin. He was about to randomly start pressing buttons when he heard someone say, "Don't move." Obsidian put his hands up and turned around seeing Hyper-Man standing with his arm aimed straight at him. His arm was coursing with energy ready to launch a blast that would blow a hole through him.
"I don't want to believe that you killed that woman. I don't want to, but I will shoot if you try to make a break for it. And trust me. I don't miss that easy."
"Ok just calm down Hyp. Look me in the eye. I did not kill her."
"Alright. If you say you didn't then I'll believe you. Now, what exactly are you doing to my computer?"
"I wanna find the guy who did kill her. Problem is... I don’t have a clue to what I'm doing."
"Move over"
Hyper-Man typed rapidly on the computer pulling up 3 programs. One with a list of all the data on the murder case, one with a search program for Paragon City residents, and another for the Rogue Isles.
"Ok what do you know?" Hyper asked.
"Not much, just that he's classified as a Stalker and has a sword made out of ruby."
Hyper-Man whistled as he typed in a few things on each search. "Experts thought the wound on the woman looked like a sword wound not an arrow, but the police were all too happy to believe you were the murderer."
"For the Rogue Isles there’s no records on a RICH sword wielder. Plenty in Paragon City. If this was made out of a ruby though...."
Hyper typed in a few more searches then hit another button. A sheet of names began to print.
"These are jewelers who have the skill and the materials to make something like a sword from something as expensive as rubies."
"Why can't you look up what they've sold in the last few years? Be nice if we could narrow it down"
"You really think they're gonna want heroes or villains to see they've worked with a suspicious person?" When Hyper didn't get an answer he turned around. "Arrow?"
He was gone.

Atop the head of the statue in Blyde Square The Ruby Blade watched his enemy leave the Base Portal. He looked like he knew where he needed to go. He was glad to know that the fight would be coming soon. He was ready to kill this most amusing prey. He left, but not before throwing a ticking bomb down to the heroes training with Valkyrie and getting an "important" mission from Positron.

"Geez. 16 different jewelers and I've got NOTHING!"
Obsidian Arrow sat down on the curb, in his civvies, wondering what to do. None of the jewelers made a sword, or sold enough rubies to anyone for them to make their own.
He was about to walk away when a shuriken hit the wall behind him. It had a note stuck to it. He took the note and read the message. It said 'Ready to end your pain?' He flipped the note over and saw an address.
He was ready.

A menacing figure slid back into the alley shadows. He had traps to set before the fight began. But first, he needed to pick up a special package from the Circle of Thorns.

"Well. This is the place. Time to teach this guy what happens when you mess with me."
The Obsidian Arrow opened the warehouse door revealing a large open space.
"At least he won't be able to hide."
All around him a deep, echoing voice said, "Wrong."
Obsidian noticed the voice was being amplified from a speaker system set up all over the warehouse. "Show yourself!"
When he didn’t get an answer he pulled out his bow, nocked several arrows, and fired one at each speaker, except one.
“That’ll help my headache,” he muttered.
He moved forward another arrow ready. He went several steps before stepping on a pad, setting off the first trap. A spike slammed up and The Obsidian Arrow lept to the side but scraped his leg.
The voice in the speakers chuckled at that, making Arrow so mad he almost took out the last speaker.
He got up and, limping, moved on. He needed to find where the assassin was hiding. Then he figured it out.
He grabbed a flash arrow and launched it up into the rafters, then quickly launched a second flaming arrow at his target.
As the flash arrow created a large bang, a target fell to the ground dazed, and the fire arrow set off the sprinkler system so that he wouldn't be able to super speed away without slipping and breaking his neck.
"Good, good," said Ruby. "But not good enough!"
He charged sword extended, then stopped moving, allowing himself to slide along the wet floor. Arrow dodged by a hair and kicked Blade in the back, sending him face first, to skip across the floor to the other end of the warehouse.
As the villain rose the hero nocked another arrow. Blade looked up, ready to attack again until he saw the arrow aimed straight at his heart. He raised his hands and said, "Now, now, no need for that." Then he waved his right hand, and suddenly, he was gone."
"Show yourself!" Obsidian said.
"Ok" he said as he plunged his sword deep into the hero’s chest. "Game Over."
All Arrow could do was fall to the ground. The Assassin Strike was so sudden he couldn't even reach his medi-porter. He was going to die...

Except that something happened no one in that warehouse had counted on.
There was a crash through the window and 8 people came into the warehouse. Hyper-Man, Jack Power, Violet Tigress, Java Juggernaut, Chris Lancelot, Burning Brawler, Johnny Velocity, and Otsob were the rescue team. When they saw their friend on the ground surrounded by a pool of blood there was fire in their eyes. Brawler surged with angry, heat turning the water on the floor to steam.
"It's a good thing I prepared for such unfair odds." Blade pulled out a blood-red gem with a streak of white through the center.
"Ooooh shiny. What are you gonna do? Chuck it at me? I'd be out of the way in a snap," challenged Johnny.
"No... Oh man this isn't good. That's Red Orichalcum. It'll make him from a mortal to a god!" said Burning.
"God or not I can take him," said Jack.
“Really?” the villain said, and hit Jack with an uppercut, knocking him up out of the window the team had come in through.
"You shouldnt've done that,” Chris warned. Just as he said that Jack came leaping through the window and brought both hands down on the villains head.
Blade didn't even flinch.
"Told you. A god," said BB.
Hyper decided they needed to act fast. "Ok everyone, attack at once. Hit him with your best."
They all rushed in Burning, Hyper, and Java using their Novas and Jack, Chris, and Otsob taking a stomp-clap combo while Violet and Johnny rushed in clawing with vicious speed.
He took it all with hardly a scratch. He lifted his foot and stomped it on the ground making a crater in the floor, and knocking everyone flying. Some recovered through flight and others, like Violet, landed with cat-like reflexes.
They all stood in his way but he had a specific target. He wanted the girl. He knocked everyone else aside, then shoved Violet down onto the floor.
He bent down with an evil look in his eye. She cringed from his horrible gaze but before he could do anything to her a super-charged fist broke his nose… There stood Java his eyes crackling with hate.
"Get... AWAY FROM HER!!!!! He screamed in rage and hammered Ruby with his fists crackling with purple and blue lightning. He smashed his fists in the villains face and, to everyone’s surprise, Blade was bleeding.
The only one who wasn't staring at Java’s rage-filled assault was Otsob. He ran over to Obsidian Arrow and hurriedly gave him a reviving pill.
Arrow coughed blood for a minute but nodded his thanks. When he stopped he noticed Java and said, "Whoa. What's up with him?"
He didn't get an answer because Otsob rushed in to help Java before Blade recovered. They all rushed in. Fire raged, fists smashed, energy and electricity crackled.
Arrow got up and pulled up his bow. He had a special arrow just for this. He had it enchanted by Numina, one of the few who believed he was framed. He pulled the arrow as far back as he could, then let it fly.
It whizzed through the air with blue sparks flying and struck the villain on the side. But it didn’t stop. It went completely through and the Stalker howled in rage.
He whirled around, fists out, to knock everyone away.
No one fell.
 “Wha-what have you done?”
“Just made this game a little more interesting.”
Ruby growled and waved his hand in a wide arc, and only Burning Brawler realized he was casting a spell, but before he could warn the others, it took affect.
This was not an offensive spell though; it showed the person what they wanted the most. It was meant to distract the enemy in tough situations.
Hyper-Man was walking along the street, and he wasn’t trapped inside his suit. No one was staring or cowering, no villains jumping him just because he was a hero.
Jack was watching the news at the base; they just announced that the Tsoo had finally disbanded.
Violet was playing with the world’s largest ball of yarn.
Java had in front of him, a cup of the best coffee in the world, one that appealed to every positive taste bud on the human tongue, and even Kheldian squid, tongue.
Jack wasn’t the only one watching the news back at the base. Chris was there to and just barely heard the next news report over Jack’s cheering. The newscaster announced that there had been a large crime bust breaking down the biggest of the bad. The major players in the Rogue Isles, Paragon City, and all the dictators who sought war for profit, had gathered together to make foolproof plans for world domination (and think to themselves how to stab each other in the back.) But an elite Strike Team of heroes assaulted the meeting and took everyone prisoner, or was killed. The money in all of the meeting’s member’s bank accounts was used to help the poor, ending world hunger. The only hero casualty was Wonder-Woman, the reporter said, and was not available for a comment.
Burning Brawler was in a gigantic library, filled with books of power and lore.
Johnny Velocity had a pizza, but not just any pizza. It was so big it took him 5 seconds to super-speed across.
Otsob was standing in a Council base that was in flames. The leaders of the Council at his feet, blood pooling around them, his father avenged.
What Obsidian Arrow saw wasn’t an illusion though, what he saw was real. He grabbed the sharpest arrow in his quiver, and pulled it further back than he has ever been able to before. He saw his target The Ruby Blade who was laughing in hysterics as Johnny ate his own cape, Jack cheering at an invisible TV, Java’s drooling, and Vi rolling Hyper around.
Blade went to look at Arrow to figure out his fantasy, but it suddenly became very clear. It became very clear when he had an arrow through his head. Then nothing was clear, and finally it all went black…

Three weeks later, Hyper’s scratch wounds were cleared up and Jack came out of denial that the Tsoo were still around. Violet gave up on re-making that yarn ball, but Java still cried at night for that cup of coffee. Chris drew up many plans to assassinate Wonder-Woman but decided it wouldn’t be very heroic to any of the fanbois who keep asking him out, JV had his cape repaired, but wouldn’t tell the Tailor how it got shredded in the first place, and Otsob searched harder than he normally did for much longer than three weeks for the Council leaders, wanting to fulfill his illusion. He came close, but instead of their death’s they were sent to the Ziggurat only to be broken out a month after that.
The Obsidian Arrow was free to roam the streets without being chased 2 weeks after the fight. When the police searched the warehouse the body was gone but the sword was left behind. After the investigation was closed, the ‘Kickers took it as a trophy and hung it in the vault.
The sword mysteriously disappeared a week later…
The End?

Nemesis 2

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