2019-05-01 - Hunting A Grasshopper


Three X-Women meet a speedster in trouble.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Wed May 1 03:02:11 2019
Location: Upper West Side

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Theme Song



There are some things that are just worth going cross town to find. The best stores, the best events, or in this case, the best foodtrucks. One that's been getting some word of mouth just started opening its…well, not doors, but parking itself on the Upper West Side…Gramma's Smoking Meatvan. There's a variety of good old-fashioned Southern BBQ involved, but also customized hamburgers…in particular, Gramma's Smoke Mountain Pride, a 1/2 pound burger with your choice of toppings, with bacon baked into the patty along with a special blend of herbs and spices. Perfect for someone who's got a teenage appetite! Or who really likes takehome boxes and having several meals in one.
Today, the Meatvan is parked just outside of Hell's Kitchen (which isn't nearly as bad as its reputation used to be), where passing office workers and laborers can pull into a parking lot nearby or just walk up. Or, if you happen to not have transportation (or can't fly at least), the bus stop is just down the block, making it really easy to hop off to get food and hop back on to go back to Westchester. The food truck is doing a brisk business, but you've managed to avoid the worst of the lunch and dinner rush.

This also might be because it's nearing evening and it's been raining off and on, though currently it's just overcast with a bit of a brisk breeze now and again.

Noriko had taken the bus. Hey, it was a lot slower than running, but her running tended to attract unwanted attention at times. Plus, this made taking the bus /back/ a little more plausible. And after the tales she'd heard of this burger, she probably wasn't going to watn to run back. Especially not in the rain. Making her way to the head of the line, the blue haired teen exchanges cash, before stepping to the side to await glory in food form.

Rahne Sinclair quite literally eats like a wolf. She has, on occasion, feasted on extremely fresh venison. It's not the perfect food, admittedly — it gives her gas when she returns to human form — but presumably Gramma's burgers contain no venison, so that's okay.

She urges on her fellow X-people as they approach the food truck. It's not so busy as it would've been earlier, but there are still a lot of people about, and Rahne is hungry. Shifting from human form to wolf form burns a lot of calories just in the transformation. The wolf, too, is always hungry, and always telling her it is hungry. "Com'on!" she urges. "If ye're any slower they're gonna be out o' food! Down t' the last crumb that woo'n't feed a Who mouse!"

Admittedly, she's mostly saying this because Nori and Cessily are in front of her.

"Oh, relax, Rahne. You -always- say that, and you -always- get a full plate," Cessily says, her spirits good enough. She half-smiles, looking back at her favorite wolf-girl, "Will it make you feel better if I let you go ahead of me?" It's not like Cessily is going to get much anyways. Maybe a burger, to fit in, if anything. "I'd tell you to open up your own foodtruck, but you'd just eat all the profits beteen you and Piotr," she jokes, in friendly fashion.

The older dark-skinned woman behind the counter chuckles and grins, wrinkles worn deep in her face. "Oh, I do love a girl who appreciates a good meal!" she chuckles. "Well let's see here….you look like you've had a good appetite on ya, what can gramma getcha t'day?" She winks a bit at Cessily. "And you're welcome to bring your other friend next time then, you kids need to keep up yer energy!" And her profits!

"Relax, I'm only getting /one/ burger. Cess is right." Noriko sticks her tongue out at Rahne, grinning even wider. "And burgers are just what I need to keep my energy up." She nods almost imperceptably to the other two at the powers related joke. "Although, Your hairnet budget might be a bit problematic."

"I'm nae so dumb as t' eat m' own profits," Rahne says. "Best not even t' try such a thing. An' nobody wants t' get lunch at a Scottish food truck besides! What would I serve? Haggis-on-a-stick?!" When it's her turn to order, she orders TWO burgers, with almost all the fixings. No ontions. "A full plate," she informs Cessily after thanking Gramma, "is always two bites from bein' empty. Ol' Scottish proverb." And Rahne grew up in an orphanage until she was just barely thirteen. Olivia Twist. 'Please, sir, can I have summore?'

Cessily orders one burger for herself, also without oninos. And all the rest of the fixings. She thanks 'gramma' and then says, "Well, now you can make at least a determination if these are better than Harry's burgers," once they're out of hearing range from gramma's truck. She's too nice to say it in front of the nice old lady whose probably just trying to feed her family.

She looks over at Noriko, "I thought my cell phone was what you used to keep your energy up," she jokes back.

Four delicious giant burgers! Just a hint of grease to them from the bacon, the scent wafting out as Gramma piles the plates for the three girls to grab, giving Rahne a thoughful look as she chuckles. "Hah, my Warren always said, th' redheads need the extra energy ta keep that temper going…" she teases, chuckling. "Enjoy now!" She bustles over to get to the next customer. There's some folding tables and chairs set up near the truck for people to sit and eat, with ketchup and mustard and BBQ sauce to slather on as needed. Also big trashcans for people to dump their trash when they're done.

Above, a helicopter comes rumbling overhead…flying fairly low. Doesn't look like a news chopper, it's too big. And painted a dark green color, but not olive green like you'd expect for an army bird.

"Thanks! And I will!" Nori shoves her change in the tip jar, accepting her plate and moving over to the tables. Ketchup, Mustard, Barbeque sauce… This is going to be delicious. "And nah, I've been trying to cut LiPo out of my diet. People kept yelling at me." She sticks her tongue out at Cess, and is just about to take a massive bite out of her burger when the chopper blitzes overhead. She just barely manages to save the work of culinary art. "…What an asshole." Nomf.

Rahne bites into her first burger before she even reaches the table. No mustard, no ketchup, a touch of barbecue sauce, but that bite consumes fully a quarter of the huge burger. Her eyes go to the sky at the sound of the helicopter and she draws her food closer to herself as she sits, glaring at the sky with bright green eyes. She says something with her mouth full, then swallows and repeats. "If tha' chopper interrupts m' lunch I'm not helpin' the pilor."

Cessily's burger somehow is placed next to Rahne's burgers, and … forgotten about(?) as she, too, cranes her neck up to the helicopter. "Helicopters mean one of two things. Someone is really stupid rich and is trying to show off, or somewhere someone's escaped from prison." She's half-joking, of course.

The flyover draws an unlady like remark from Gramma as napkins go flying on the downdraft, but then the chopper seems to rising up, starting a slow orbit of the area, moving off. That by itself would be weird. The other odd thing is the pair of pest control trucks that pull up at either end of the block. The sides reads "HI-V - Taking Aim at Pests!" with a cartoony green bug of some sort. To cap it off, they've got a giant version of said bug on top of the truck that wobbles as they brake.

And then the backs open and two squads of pest control types, wearing black rain slickers over their clothes, step out. Two of each have sprayers. Two others have some sort of handheld tablet they're typing on. They begin spreading out , moving to blend into the crowds in the area, making a show of spraying some of the doorways of closed stores in the area.

Two go walking past, one talking on his…cell headset? "Yeah, we're here. No sign of our little grasshopper yet….no, we're ready. Just keep pushing this way." Then they're out of earshot as they head across the parking lot, moving towards an alley there. To lurk. PERFECTLY innocent pest control.

"…I've got a bad feeling about this. Does anyone else have a bad feeling about this? And those guys have some pretty weird vibes." Noriko nods in the direction of the Totally not Spooks, before taking another bite of her burger and trying to concentrate. Heeeere, tablet and phone batteries… …Hopefully she just gets those ones. A few signs on nearby buildings might flicker a bit too.

"Ye know," Rahne observes as she polishes off the first burger, "tha's a bad name fer a comp'ny. I know it says 'High Vee'…" She pronounces the words carefully so it's clear what she's saying. "But it sure as not looks an awful lot like 'Aitch Eye Vee.'" Nose wrinkles in distaste. "I got a bad feelin' I'm not gonna get to finish m' lunch," she says, grabbing the other burger and shoving as much as she can into her mouth.

She has a bad feeling about more than that, of course, but priorities, man.

Cessily gets up, suggesting to Noriko, "It is an awful lot to look for one grasshopper. Must be really big. Let's go find out. I've never seen a giant grasshopper before."

She cranes her neck at Rahne, "Better eat quick, then catch up, I don't want you complaiing about not getting any food." And she leaves her burger for her friend as a measure of compensation. But, Cessily is already headed towards that alley, and she begins to sing, "Blackbird singing in the dead of niiiiiiight, take these broken wings and learn to fly — all your life, you were only waiting for this moment to arrive …"

There's a sudden curse from the man holding the tablet in the alley smacks it. "…goddamn junk. Why can't we get the new models?" he mutters. "Ah, HQ, we're having technical difficultues." He pauses. "…hello? Oh goddammit!" he mutters as his buddy frowns. "…mine's dead too…" The first frowns. "…the hell? I told you to charge the damned thing!" The man with the sprayer mmphs and responds acidedly. "Yes, I charged mine, what did you do with yours, hide it under your pillow for the frickin' tooth fairy??" Needless to say, they're now distracted and don't notice Cessily getting closer.

Remember those occasional brisk breezes? They're still popping up occasionally, blowing between the buildings.

Then there's a sudden WHOOOSH in the alley as loose debris blows down it and suddenly there's a girl standing in the middle of the alley, panting heavily. She's wearing a tightfitting green bodysuit with golden lightning bolts down the sides, and a matching lightning bolt cutout that forms a triangle down the middle of her chest, showing off practically alabaster skin. Also the metal gauntlets on her hands that look like they were made to be called 'murder gloves' pretty much. Considering each finger has a little blade at the tip, and there's what looks like a broken keypad on top of the right one. Her green eyes widen as she sees the two guys waiting for her, lips parting as she starts to backpedal, then trips over a loose box, falling over…then there's a crash and another blur and she's slightly back down the alley in a blur before she reappears, staggering. She looks exhausted.

The two guys at the alley start to turn towards the noise, though Cessily is in a position to see the girl past them.

Noriko rapidly devours the rest of her burger, before shoving her hands in her pockets to hopefully hide the flickers of blue sparks playing around her fingers, and the fact that the displays on her gauntlets are now reading fuller… Tossing her trash, she gets up to follow Cess. …Just in time for the new arrival. …Who is totally a Cape. …Aaaaand she's running from the mooks. "Hey, Dead batteries suck, huh?"

Rahne mutters under her breath, remaining portion of burger still in her hand. She grabs the plate and whatnot as well, then follows after Cessily, dropping the trash into the bin along the way. Fortunately her mouth is about to get much larger. Her belly, too.

As she comes up behind Cessily she's larger, her hair shorter. Her face is covered in short red fur. And she's got a short muzzle. And pointy ears. And she's feeding the last of her meal into her mouth. "If I get indigestion, I'm blamin' you lot," she informs the men. "Could ye possibly try this new thing called 'subtlety'?"

"Hi!" Cessily shouts this down the alley, and actually waves to the exhausted girl at the end of the alleyway. One might think she's a bit batty, because she sounds like she's greeting an old friend, or maybe a super friendly person lost in a desolate street and too chipper to be afraid while she asks for directions.

She seems oblivious to the two men.

"I'm Mercury. This is Surge, and Wolfsbane. You really look like you could use a burger. Want one? I think mine's still back at the table!"

The silver skinned girl starts simply walking down the alley, still acting like the goonsquad isn't there, holding out her hand towards the frightened 'grasshopper'. "We're friends. C'mon."

The girls win moxie points! The two men are so suprised to be confronted by a girl with sparking gauntlets and a werewolf woman that they temporarily just gape for a moment, especially when Cessily walks right by them to address the freaked out girl in the alley. The girl looks between the two groups, and then takes a step closer to Cessily, panting. "Hah…you…you should…hah…hah…"

"…the HELL?!" the man with the tablet says, his hand scrabbling under his slicker as he backs into the wall, while the other man with the sprayer blinks and backs up warily, bringing up the sprayer to point. Mostly at Rahne. "…more of 'em. Bonus!" He grins. "Here puppy puppy puppy…stay riiiiight there!"

A spray of the trigger and what looks a lot like a thicker version of silly string shoots towards Rahne and Nori.

Then suddenly is pointing towards the opposite wall as the guy yelps as he's jerked around, the material hardening like cement almost immediatley when it hits the air, the girl in green gripping his arm. "R-run!" the girl stammers.

"Okay, looks like you guys need a charge." Signs and lights flicker and dim a little as Nori pulls more power. The lone goon gets a bolt to the chest calibrated to 'brutal taser' strength. The one that's holding Green though… "Mercury, that one's yours. Thanks for the assist, Green! Get clear of them!" She turns, ready to provide cover in case of reinforcements.

Rahne considers this for a moment. The speed of the girl. The material that… well, she was in the process of dodging anyway, but it's certainly preferable that it didn't hit her all the same. "I was gonna ask if one o' ye boys'd like to try to be just a tetch more polite," she observes. "But nae, I s'pose not." After all, Nori's already zapped one of them, and the other… well, he doesn't seem likely to fight too much right now. Not with a speedster holding him in place. She turns back toward the mouth of the alley to make sure nobody's going to sneak up on them.

Cessily smiles, warmly, at Carin. "Like I said. We're friends. If you need something to eat? Maybe someplace warm. We got you, girl." her voice is genuine, and utterly friendly.

At least, while she's talking to Carin.

When she turns her head to address the man that Carin is holding, the one not twitching on the ground? Her demeanor changes. "You should be ashamed of yourself. Hunting someone like that?" Her right arm suddenly turns into a wicked looking sycthe. "Like you might cut them down like a blade of grass, like they were just a grasshopper?" Silver eyes lift. She doesn't look upset. She doesn't wave the scythe at the man. It's meaning should be enough.

"Someday, someone is going to pound some sense into you." Her left hand turns into a wicked looking end of a mace, spikes included as the organic mercury flows.

"Now. Get your loser friend. Take your big bigotted butt, and get out of here. And if we ever see you again, or hear about you hunting down anyone who is special? You're going on the naughty list."

The tablet goon manages to pull what looks like some sort of weird sci-fi pistol! Right before the taser bolt hits him in the chest, causing him to jerk and twitch, eyes rolling back in his head as well as the smell of frying electronics! The gun drops out of his hand as he crumples, his slicker riding up to show some sort of advanced body armor underneath.

The girl in green can throw off aim…but she doesn't seem to have the strength to prevent him from jerking away from, warily looking at Cessily, his eyes widening. "Holy shit!" He promptly drops the sprayer. AIM Troopers much preferring to shoot people with snazzy science weapons from hiding over facing off three to one odds.

But it's in his contract or something that he has to add. "You're not going to get away with her…we've got the area swarmed with troopers. You don't even know who she is. You give her to us, we just forget we saw you, huh? She's….proprietary!" he blusters.

The girl sways on her feet a bit as she stumbles back from the two troopers, her chest still heaving. She definitely prefers the muchh nicer werewolf and shocky girl. Her eyes widen a bit at Cessily creating metallic weapons like that, a flicker of suprise. There's a look of just desperate hope on her face now, though at the guy's words she gets a pissed off look. "I do NOT belong to you jerks!" From Rahne's perspective, thus far none of the other hunters have noticed the altercation in the alley…though that chopper is circling back and will be overhead shortly.

"Okay, So you've got a bunch of assholes with poor training and a helicopter. And there are three of us, plus the girl you were chasing. Mercury, see if you can get that door there open. I think I hear choppers. Anyone mind if I deal with the other guy?" She levels a 'finger gun' at the mook. "You know, unless he happens to have a sudden change of heart and tell them there's nothing here, in which case I would only just knock him out instead of leaving him feeling like he lost a fight with a bag of hammers."

"Have at it, Nori," Rahne replies. Her wolf ears are sharper than those of a human — and she knows that the helicopter will be passing overhead pretty soon. She is not exactly the best one for distance — her place is stealth and strength. Also claws. But…

"I'll lead 'em away," the girl says as shifts to wolf form. Her senses are at their sharpest in this form, and she's faster than in either of her other forms. Some might mistake her for a dog — a large one, but no larger than a good sized German Shepherd. And about the same shape. She races for the end of the alley, back the way they came, and, once in the open, leaps to knock one of the goons to the ground, and then races off toward Central Park. Easier to lose them there. And not much chance of them tagging her with their glue guns.

Cessily moves aside so Noriko can zap him without her accidentally getting any of the feedback. She moves to the door, reforming her arms into crowbars, which she uses to wrench the door apart after a bit of effort. Then, she tells Carin, and the others, "Come on. We'll get in here, and get to one of the safehouses for now." Because, well, a senior member will need to vet Carin, first, if nothing else.

"Hey, we're elite troopers, yo!" the trooper blusters, then erks a bit at the finger gun. "…uh…s-sure, I'll just…go over there and tell them there's nothing down the alley…" he says, edging towards the alley. Then yelps as Rahne goes shooting past and down the block to tackle two suprised troopers, who go sprawling with various curses, then scramble up, yelling on their headset. Definitely distracted…and the chopper changes course towards the park as the knocked down pair try to run after her! Of course, a wolf is a bit faster than a guy in tech armor…

The door lock pops easy…it's not exactly the best to begin with, allowing access to the old abandoned storefront beyond. Carin hesistates for a moment, then nods. "O-okay." She blurs, coming out of her speed inside the storefront as she clasps her hands nervously. But out of sight! There's more than enough time for the other two X-girls to get inside as well.

"Don't forget, I know what you look like!" Noriko gives him a particularly sadistic grin, before zooming inside herself in a flash of blue, careful to leave Cess plenty of clearance.

"So. As she said earlier. I'm Surge. We're with the X-Men. Kind of. We're still in training. But… You looked like you needed help, and they interrupted lunch, which makes them assholes. You okay?"

Speak for yerself, girlie. Rahne Sinclair is a full-fledged X-Woman. She races through the streets of the city, at one point leaping from the ground onto the hood of a car, to the roof of the next, and so on across the wide thoroughfare, leaving the agends of HI-V to play Frogger in her wake. By the time she gets to Central Park she's quite sure she's lost them, but, to be on the safe side, heads across the park to the Sheep Meadow to sit and wait a bit. Nobody'd expect to find a wolf in a sheep meadow.

"Don't worry," Cessily tells Carin. "Wolfsbane can take care of herself. She'll outrun, and outplay those goons. She knows this city like the back of her hand, and they won't catch her." Confidence, in her friend.

"We're part of a group of people that protect and help people like ourselves. Taking you somewhere safe. Where you can get some sleep. Something to eat. A bath. Relax. You can even leave, if you want, after. We just want to help. We'll talk more about that later."

She holds out her hand to Carin, "For now? Will you trust us?"

The pale redhead looks between Nori and Cessily, then focuses on the metal girl, before she carefully pulls off her right gauntlet, flexing her fingers, then gently takes the metal girl's hand. "Okay…I'm…I'm Carin." she says, wobbling a little on her feet as she steps closer, then stumbles a bit, leaning on Cessily for a moment before she straightens up. "Thank you…" she says softly. "They would have gotten me again…you saved me…"

And with the distractions, the young X-WOMEN can wisk their new friend away from her pursuers and to safety. For the moment, at least.

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