2019-07-28 - Hashtag AngelBombed


Betty Brant spies a figure in the sky, and investigates.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sun Jul 28 02:32:37 2019
Location: Hell's Kitchen

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Things were…working out. At least she thinks so, so far. Right? Giving a shake of her head, the writer rolls her shoulders and adjusted the side bag strap hanging across her torso. Clad in work out gear, she reaches up and gives a tug at her hair, tightening the tie and brushing strands of hair back and away from her face, tendrils slicked down by sweat. Things were good…why was she so nervous? Inhale, exhale, she feels her pulse as she stands with a throng of people, paused and waiting at a crosswalk.

Irratic. Her face twists up before her fingers pull away from her throat and her hand is allowed to linger by her side. People move, she moves along with them. "Christ," she mutters to herself, her hazel-eyes rolling up and toward the sky. "Maybe I should go back to church…"

It has been a while since she went to church. And certain signs encourage her towards that line of thinking.

Or at least, that's one interpretation of her thinking that, and then seeing that shining figure in the sky. Humanoid, but glowing like a nightlight and with wings spread out above and behind him. He's just visible down an alleyway, lifting parcels from street level and up to an open window.

Nobody else seems to have noticed him. Or at least, they're not reacting. It could just be New Yorkers being jaded.

Betty Brant blinks. And blinks again, she looks at the people around her and then back toward that glimmering brillance. Maybe it was light pollution? She was a jaded sort herself. She'd seen heroes, monsters, gods…but this was uncanny. She parts her lips to speak up, but people kept moving. It was New York, of course they kept moving. Swallowing, she eyes the alley path and then makes her way in that direction. A light jog, a faster walk, maybe she could find him.

Down, then up, a window? Her brows furrow and knit before she moves around the building's front to see what it actually was.

Some people don't even look up from their phones as they're walking; others just focus on where they're going. But even those who have their eyes up don't respond to the winged figure's presence. It's like he's invisible, but that can't be right. She can see him just fine. The building, once she's close enough to see, turns out to be a homeless shelter — the city has a lot of those, but still never enough, it seems like. The figure doesn't seem to have noticed her attention, either, still going back and forth with his delivery.

Betty Brant thins her lips and considers the building. Her brows shift and with a kick in her step, she circles back around the building to the window. She watches again, seeing that glowing figure move in, and out, in and out. She had options here - go in the front door and ask, or…

Shifting her bag back and against her spine, she moves up the metal stairs of the fire escape, her objective being the window.

The glowing figure really is taking much longer than he should need to: there's a pile of wrapped-up bags on the alleyway floor, and he lifts them one at a time rather than in big armfuls. What's up with that?

He's also intent on his work, on sending that whatever-it-is through the open window. He doesn't notice her as she's coming up the fire escape. Not until she's right there at the window with him.

Then he sees her, and freezes up, glowing eyes wide. After a moment of surprise, he draws back. Weightless, he floats through the air, then twists and starts flying away, as fast as most cars. And without needing to worry about traffic.

But he doesn't just disappear. She's seen him, and apparently, he just can't 'hide' well enough to avoid her.

"Wait! I…" It was no use, he, it, was already gone. Shuddering a sigh, she looks at the open window and down toward the bags on the ground below. Chewing at her lower lip, she slinks back down and gathers up the bags. Unlike him, she goes for the 'one pass is all you need' method, lacing the handles down her forearms. Back up the steps she goes, passing the goods inside, or at least putting them where they won't be ruined.

Back home, and a shower later, her mind doesn't clear from that golden figure she's looked into the eyes of. Was it another god? Helios perhaps? Something else? With a shake of her head, she plops down on her sofa and drags up her laptop. Screen up, power on, she gets to work. SEARCH - ANGEL OF NEW YORK.

When she tries it, she finds the bags pretty darn heavy — all loaded up with blankets, socks, and warm clothing, as well as reusable water bottles. Someone's stocking up for winter, and well ahead of time, it seems. Still, the bags are light enough that she can manage at least two at once. So why did he minimise it like that?

Once she's at home and has the full power of the internet at her disposal, she can start on his trail. Looks like it's not just her own eyes that can see him: social media sites have a couple of warring tags between '#AngelOfNY' and '#AngelBomb', as the figure shows up in the background of otherwise-innocuous photographs, all over New York. It seems particularly common around the Disaster Zone and its surrounds — including one time he was seen working with Morning Glory and a magic-wielding SHIELD agent, rescuing people from a collapsing building.

Some wine, fruit, maybe some pizza later, she keeps digging up whatever she can. Social media is powerful…and then sometimes just a lie. She works for the Bugle, after all, sensationalism is a valid thing in sales. Ripping a strawberry off its top, she chews and shaking her head, digging more so into the tags and their origins. Ok, so prossibly a good guy. Hopefully it wasn't a mask.

She knew a few things now - she had a lead. At least she wasn't crazy and knew others saw him. Next step? Questions. Tomorrow, it's back to the shelter.

The tags just look like something people use to mark sightings. People take pictures for their own reasons — selfies, cityscapes, nice sunsets, whatever — and though they don't notice him when they're taking the shot, he still shows up in the picture afterwards. Whatever he does isn't invisibility.

Next day at the shelter, there's no sign of the glowing man — whether inside or outside. There's an administrator downstairs, a slightly perturbed look to her brow while she's running through a checklist. She gives Betty a smile as the reporter approaches. "Welcome. How can I help you?"

"Hello, thank you." She smiles softly, allowing anyone in that needs to be first. She waits, patient and then steps forward once addressed. "Hi, my name's Betty Brant and I was wondering if you could help me. I'm not sure you can, but…had to try, right?" She smiles again and steps aside. "I'm going to sound mad, but I suppose it's better to just be honest up front. I've been researching into the Angel of New York. Last night I saw him aiding this building. Do…you know anything about this? About him perhaps?"

|ROLL| Jimmy Baxter +rolls 2d6 for: 10

The administrator — Jane, according to the nametag — sets the clipboard down while she attends to Betty. "Betty Brant… you mean from the Daily Bugle?" She taps her lips with the end of her pen. "Is that where it all came from? We found some bags waiting in the office this morning, and I've spent most of the day running a checklist to make sure nothing got taken as well as left behind." She shakes her head. "I… can't say I know much about him. Mostly, I've heard from friends in the Disaster Zone. He sometimes shows up and helps with clearing or construction. Not fighting, like a lot of superheroes, but just… moving heavy loads."

Betty Brant nods at the recognition, allowing it to slide as she starts noting down what Jane is saying. Pen, notepad - old school. "I read about the Disaster Zone." She nods, still noting what the woman speaks of. "So you haven't seen him yourself? I hope the bags were alright last night. I…kinda spooked him and moved the rest up. If anything was damaged, I'll help replace it." Another scribble, a circle, she offers the woman another smile. "Is there anything else you might know or have seen yourself? I'll take your advice and visit the Zone after this."

Jane shakes her head. "Oh, no, the bags were fine! Thank you. We always appreciate donations, but there's no need for you to replace anything. I just wonder why he wouldn't bring them in the front." She shakes her head. "No, I haven't seen him. He showed up in the background of one of my sister's photos when she was visiting, but that's all. And, well…" She gives a self-depracating smile. "When we chat about him, sometimes the younger girls start wondering if he's single" Yeah, uh-huh, sure. Just the younger girls. We believe that, Jane. "but we just don't know anything about him. Sorry I can't be of more help."

Smirking, a dimple pressing into her cheek, she giggles and closes up her notepad, slipping it away into her purse. "Hey, Jane," She winks. "Go big or go home, right?" A lean in, she whispers, "If I find out, I'll let you know. Promise." A wink with the promise, she pulls back and offers a nod. "It's alright. You've helped a great deal. Thank you very much. Have an amazing day and if you guys need anything, we'll see about getting you a piece in the Bugle." With a smile and a wave, the woman exits with a clicking of her red heels.

Next stop - DZ.

"We would /really/ appreciate that," Jane says. "Awareness is important. Not everyone can actively come and help, I know. But if everyone knows we need it, then those who can help will know where to go. Good luck, Betty."

The Disaster Zone is like always: smashed, damaged, and still seemingly without any city-level plans for clearing and rebuilding it. A good number of the #AngelBombed photos are from the Disaster Zone, or nearby it — such as the Tolliver Free Clinic in neighbouring Mutant Town. There are plenty which have him seemingly coming or going from that area. Maybe the 'angel' is actually a mutant?

Writing for the shelter - check. Checking out the DZ, well, it was always humbling. Sighing, she looks around, her eyes trying to find that glowing figure from before. It was like ghost hunting in a way. Phone up, she levels it and takes pictures. One click here, another there, she swallows and moves around. Careful, she keeps up the views and then goes through the gallery.

"Angel," she calls out toward the sky, the site. "If you're here, I'm sorry I frightened you. I only wanted to talk."

|ROLL| Jimmy Baxter +rolls 2d6 for: 9

It doesn't seem like the angel's there today, or at least, not right now. She can't see the same glow as last night — though it must be harder to see in daylight anyway. The pictures come up clean, just showing the same things she'd seen with her eyes. Her call, if it's heard, goes unanswered…

But while she has her phone up to check the pictures, she gets a notification. A new hit on the AngelOfNY tag: a mugging which he's breaking up, just a few streets away. He may not be most known for the big, flashy fights, but he still defends when necessary.

Betty Brant blinks and looks at the address, the location. Phone down, she turns and runs. One lead to another, the rush and thrill of it causes a smile to settle on her lips. He was there, hopefully he'd still be there when she arrives. Protect and serve, save the innocent fo the city. This, in a way, was her chance, too.

It won't take her long to get there, but she's already seen how quickly he can turn and leave. That adds more stakes to the race, makes it a lead for her to literally chase down. One of the raw elements of journalism.

By the time she gets there, the fight's over. There are bruises and black eyes among some of the gang members, but they aren't knocked down and tied up. By the look of things, the fight was broken up by talking—

And there he is, still glowing, still floating awkwardly off the ground. Does he find walking uncomfortable, for some reason?

Ok, so…this wasn't like beinga mini-Frank at all. No guns, a hint of violence, and then…talking? Her gaze flutters to the group, the glowing figure - did they see what she was seeing? She consider the phone but leaves it in her pocket. For now, she was simply watching. Panting, catching her breath from the quick sprint in heels, she brushes her hair back and finally exhales. Steady. Calm.

She's wait, he was busy, and this was his show.

Two of the boys — seemingly the gangs' leaders — are sat down together, talking in hushed tones. Talking about territory? Or hopefully, something more like what kids should talk about together?

She hasn't said anything, but then the glowing figure turns his gaze in her direction. He can hear the same curiosity as before, hear it like the audible equivalent to the sight of her coming in close with a magnifying glass. He glides over to her, to hover beside while still looking towards the gang. "You Were There Last Night."

Betty Brant was in awe, honestly. It shows on her face as she watches and listens. It was worth a story, but right now this wasn't the time for it. Then he was there. Was it so bright? Blinding? Was it warm? He speaks to her, the sight of him was enough to make her dumbstruck and mute.

He was speaking…to her. Jumping, she huffs and brings herself back to the now. "Oh! Oh, y-yes, I was. I'm-I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to spook you I just…I don't know if it was chance or circumstance but I…I'd like to talk with you sometime. Doesn't have to be now, only when you'd like, if you want."

The figure is warmer than average — that's more than human body heat — but it doesn't feel like the hearthfire or sunlight that it otherwise resembles. Most of his skin is a comfortable glow, about as bright as lightning looks from a couple of miles away. His eyes are the uncomfortably-bright part, like a pair of searchlights. That may be part of why he keeps his eyes on the boys instead of glaring down at her.

He ducks his chin when he tastes her awe; maybe, just visible through the light, she'd see the more metaphorical glow of a blush. "What's Your Name?" Apparently, he hasn't recognised her. "And, Talk About What?"

"Betty." She murmurs as an afterthought, paying attention and keeping her eyes glued to his face. Then her voice allows itself some volume. "Betty Brant." It was just a name, her name, and without a hint of 'you should know it' on her tongue. Talk about? "Well…from what I understand, you're doing good by this city. People like you should be celebrated and seen for that. Anyone who does good by this city should be celebrated, if at least recognised, for what they're doing. I-I understand if it's more of a selfless thing but…give credit where it's due, right? Alert others, gain aid where it's needed. Like the shelter by my house…" Moistening her lips, she continues. "I wanted to talk about you."

|ROLL| Jimmy Baxter +rolls 1d100 for: 30

If he recognises it, it doesn't show; perhaps he gets his news from other sources. If this guy even gets news like a normal person. How do angels get news? I mean, he had to ask her name, so he's probably not a mind-reader or anything…

If he were on the ground, his feet would shuffle. Instead, they just kind of wave back and forth. "Not The Centre Of Attention," he says. "Can Talk, But… I Don't Want A Big Feature." Is he… shy? Yes, that's definitely shyness there. Not a big righteous 'I do this for selfless reasons' thing, but just 'nyeehhh get that camera outta my face'.

"That's fine." She agrees without pause or hesitation. There's no honey to it, no hard sell, the woman simply agrees. "I-do you use a phone? I can speak with you whereever you'd like. A place you know, my place." A pause, she thins her lips briefly. "Do you drink coffee? Tea?" The woman was trying. She was edging toward offering comfort more so than anything else. "I can give you my number if you'd rather." A pause, she offers the brilliant being a smile. "You don't have to be shy about doing good."

The glowing figure… pouts, his lips pursed as he looks at her out of the corner of his eye. "Shy About Everything." He knows it. It's just a simple fact of who he is. But, she has made a good point: a story like that could bring some attention not just to him, but to people who need it. Like that shelter, like the circumstances in the DZ.

So he nods his head. "Notebook? Pen? We'll Trade Numbers." It's probably best not to have the conversation then and there, but they'll need something to arrange it later.

Betty Brant finds herself staring once more. She listens, she smiles. Blinking, she gives a curious look, head canting before jolting back into reality. "Oh! Right…" Digging for her notepad, she scribbles down her name and number. She offers it to him, allowing him to do the same before ripping the paper in half so each could have the info they needed. "Call me when you'd like, ok? We'll do this however you'd like." Blinking, she looks down at the number. "What should I call you?"

|ROLL| Jimmy Baxter +rolls 1d100 for: 49

He takes the pad and scribbles his number down, his handwriting almost painstakingly neat. And left-handed, it turns out. When she tears the page, he takes his half and stashes it in a pocket. He'll probably transcribe it into his phone later on.

Speaking of which, she does need a contact name to put with his, doesn't she? He hears her — she can see how he faces towards her — but he still starts to lift off. "Heavensent," he says. The others are all focused on one another. There's an odd sensation for a second, as if he goes out of focus — no, like it becomes hard for her to focus on him. But she's already paying attention, and so the veil doesn't work. She still sees him, as he lifts off and heads away, back to… whatever else he's going to do.

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