2019-08-01 - An Unlikely Duo


The Punisher and Mr. Fantastic create an unlikely duo against a gang of thugs.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Thu Aug 1 18:04:50 2019
Location: Mama Iffie's

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Theme Song



It was not all too uncommon for local restaurants and eateries to have their specials. The specials that bring in all of the money mostly due to them not selling them every day. Aside from the main menu items, the specials are reasonably priced, unless some fish element was added to the food in place of the basic meat.

There are taco Tuesdays, Wing Wednesdays, but at Mama Iffies? Thursday is Jamaican day. 'Yamaica..' As she pronounces it; the menu consists of a variety of down home Jamaican foods straight from the island. Jerk Egg rolls and a few different american made combos were added to the list to give those ordering a sense of comfort.

It was almost like a festival. The restaurant was full enough for it to be that time of the night, while not every booth was full, the money was slowly running in. Ifede was there, taking care of those who came up to the register, punching in a few orders while the waitresses mingled with the tiny crowd.

Cook was in the back cooking, singing along to the songs that blasted on the radio, which really wasn't offensive to the ears by way of swear words or sexual nature. It was just good fun for him, and he always minded because kids usually came in for a sweet treat.

"Cook!" Ifede calls out. "Two orders of dat jerk'n'nere! Chi-kan only. No sides. Add extra chi-kan cause the baby look like she need the meat!" And then she laughs along with the customer, ushering them along to the side to wait.

Susan, Ben and Johnny are all busy with things tonight. And, being in one of those rare periods between projects where he has nothing in particular to be doing, Reed decided to go out and try a new restaurant. He had heard good things about Mama Iffie's from somebody or another at some point. Maybe Ben? Whoever it was, the leader of the Fantastic Four enters wearing normal street clothes, a nice enough if faintly nerdy button up shirt and slacks. He stops for a moment to take in the ambiance of the place, head twisting this way and that. Assuming he's suppossed to wait for a server, he takes a place towards the front and waits, a small smile stretching his lips.

Restaurants aren't usually Frank Castle's style. Maybe once, when he had a family and wasn't the vengeful madman the papers make him out to be these days. Nah, now he's more of a grab-a-sandwich-n-go guy. That's still his plan, but due to the recent string of incidents with some local thugs trying to shake down the neighborhood for protection money, he has a pit stop before dinner.

Tugging the door open, Frank steps in wearing fairly regular clothes. Dark and well-worn jeans and a gray hoodie pulled up over his head. Once inside, he reaches up and shoves the hood down to the back of his neck to reveal his close-cut black hair. His hands stuff into the hoodie pockets as he glances around, his face chiseled and free from expression. Frank's eyes scan the room just to get the layout and then his eyes fall upon Ifede as she helps her customers with an overt amount of joy. If anyone was looking closely enough, they might see one corner of his mouth every-so-slightly tug upwards in the faintest hints of a grin. But it doesn't last.

Stepping over towards the counter, Frank takes his appropriate place in line behind anyone else that may be ordering some food. He'll stand and wait patiently until it's his turn. "I don't want to bother you, ma'am, but I was hoping you could answer a few questions." His eyes focus on Ifede as he speaks, "Been hearing that a group of punks have been stirring up trouble in the area trying to get some protection money." He leans forward against the counter, folding his arms over one another and resting against his elbows so he can get a little closer and speak quietly, "Anything you can tell me about them?"

"Need a seat?" The young waittress who approaches Reed asks. She wasn't really that tall, just shy of 5ft but had a look as if she'd charm you to death with one of her stories. From her waistbelt she pulls out a booklet, and a tiny little paper menu just in case Reed would like to stand in line in preparation of his order. Nevermind that there's a big backboard that has the prices; the paper was for those who usually venture the world bravely without glasses. "So today our specials are Jamaican cuisine! But if you want to stick with the regular menu items, I do have to recommend the smothered items. Chicken, pork chops, steak. All made in house with your choice of sides. But don't get a meat for a side dish, Mama Iffie will throw you out back." She was serious about this.. by the way.

Iffie serves the next customer; her hand outstretched for the cash, constantly on the move with a hip bump to bring the drawer to close. The customer stand behind the other young lady, who strikes up a conversation just to pass the time. Everyone seemed friendly, until they're not. There are a few shady types in the corner, but they were regulars, only there to charge their phones and mind their business.

As Frank approaches, one eyebrow shoots up from Ifede. He seemd a little rugged, but not too worse for wear.

"How can I help ya?" She asks.. but the man, polite as he was, didn't waste no time. She says nothing after the fact, nodding her head, her hand lifting to snap her fingers towards another server to take her spot. "Eat with me and I'll tell ya. Nothing I want to talk about in front of customers. Pick a spot and I'll be dere."

Reed looked Frank over when he enters, a single brow raising slightly. Hmm. Something about the man tickled his memory, but he wasn't sure what. He doesn't say anything though. Just listens as he begins to speak to Iffie. He shifts himself to the side to let Frank talk to her more freely, absently noting how similar the gravelly voice was in some ways to his best friend. This man seems to have a similar street vibe to him as well, though the air of violence about him feels… darker, somehow. Then he's distracted by the approach of the waitress. He smiles at her. "Ah, yes. Thank you, Ma'am." The gray-templed scientist takes the paper menu from her. He glances at it for a second to see if it's different from the blackboard in any way.

"Hmm. Well, since it's Jamaican day I suppose I'll go with that. The special? It smells very stimulating in here. I'm looking forward to my meal." He can't help continueing to listen to Frank, an ear twitching in his direction. He had not heard about the protection racket being pulled on the place. But then, that's not the sort of thing he or his friends tended to deal with. They weren't strictly superheros, after all.

When Iffie snaps to get another server's attention to cover for her, Frank stands upright and steps aside to get out of the way of the other customers in line. He offers the woman a single nod before turning and looking around for a vacant table that is hopefully not in the middle of the room.

Spotting a booth against a wall, Frank heads in that direction. It's not a corner booth, but it'll have to do. On his way to the table, he steps by Reed and offers the man a polite-enough nod, "'scuse me." Once he reaches the table he turns and sits so that his back faces the rear of the restaurant and he can get a good view of the front. Once settled, he stuffs his hands into his hoodie pockets again and relaxes against the back of the booth while he waits for Iffie to join him. He couldn't help but notice Reed's interest in his conversation, so he keeps a watchful eye on the man. Have they met somewhere before? He sure as hell doesn't look like the criminal type, but then again you can't judge a book by its cover.

"Well, what are you going for? I mean, are you going to stand in line or are you going to take a seat?" The waittress says. She was surely accosting him, looking him up and down, and looking around the room to see if there was actually any place for him to take. "You know? You look miiiiighty familiar.." She says of Reed now, leaning in close to get a good look at his features, her nose scrunching up as she gives a loud smack of her lips.

Once the server takes over for Ifede, she turns towards the delivery window to retrieve two of the bags, then walks from around the counter to give the orders to the two customers who waited and chatted. "Come on back soon, 'ere? And bring ye' homework Tiffy, Cook wan' me to tell ya he ain't forgot." She nods her head, then gives the other customer a pat on the back. As they leave, she approaches the booth to settle in, not too close, but not far away so that Frank couldn't hear.

Back to the waitress, who kind of lingers near Reed. "Oh, so one time I was working at a gas station. Really -big- dude walked in, red hair, all curly and stuff. And he was wearing this trench coat. Immediately put me in the mind of the Undertaker. But my dumb ass was all.. 'You look like Triple H!'" She laughed a little. "He got mad and was like.. 'Undertaker!' And I was like.. 'Well, is you him?' He didn't say anything so I was like.. look, 'Is you is or is you ain't?'" The waittress laughs, then shakes her head.

"I think I'll take a seat, if you have one available." Reed glances after Frank and Ifede when they retreat. When she comments on his appearance, his lips twitch. "I'm afraid I have one of those faces. I hear that constantly." He smiles at her warmly. "Thank you." Then she starts with her story. He laughs politely at the story. "I see. Well, I'm sure that was embaressing." He doesn't actually know who either of those people are, however. He's not quite the professional wrestling sort. Maybe Ben would have known. Or Johnny. His eyes shift back towards Ifede and Frank.

His eyes constantly moving back and forth between Reed and Ifede, Frank just sits at his booth with a mild grimace on his face. Or is that just his face in general? When Iffie finally manages to make it over to the table and have a seat, by the time she is seated Frank has moved up towards the edge of his seat and is resting his forearms against the table and is leaning against them.

Giving the restaurant another quick scan to make sure no one is obviously trying to listen to their conversation, he finally rests his gaze on her again, "So what can you tell me about these guys?" His weight shifts in his seat as he looks anxious. He looks like he's not comfortable sitting still for very long. That or he doesn't like feeling exposed, as he keeps looking over his shoulder at regular intervals and scanning everyone at the tables nearby.

"Well, yeah. You're probably a movie star from one of them Lifetime TV shows." The waittress comments towards Reed, and as she comments, she scans the room briefly to spy Reed a seat. "Over here!" She states, waving him over to place him right next to Ifede and Frank. She doesn't wait for him to take a seat, she was already talking again. "It's wrasslin'. Old time stuff. I don't know who them new folks are. Totally stopped watching that shit when Kurt Angle won the belt and I thought that was a cheat." She waves off the thought with a shake of her head. "Anyways, you go ahead here and get settled, Imma grab a cup of coffee for Mama and her lil' friend."

Yes, she called Frank 'lil'.

As she speeds off, she gives Ifede a little nod and disappears in the back, the line was steadily dwindling, the door was constantly opening and closing, quite possibly too much that would give Frank pause.

Ifede glances over towards Reed with a smile, and a double take, a grimace, and she's back onto Frank.

"Don't know em." It almost sounded like a dead end, but there was more to it. "But the odder night, tree guys came in, maybe four. Guns drawn. Me anna friend were here counting the books, thought it was a robbery but I rememba when I first moved in, nice young man approached about security."

Ifede sniffs at this, not really lowering her tone, but keeping it conversational. Reed would at least be close enough to hear.

"Say no thanks. Guy explained that e're store here in Harlem has at least some sorts of security and them wanted to be the first to offer it ta' me for a price. Say no. Got my own security and he gone. Week after opening, tree guys. Guns drawn.."

If Frank takes a closer look, he'd at least see that no shots were fired into the wall, no fresh plaster blotted anywhere, but the door to the restaruant looks missplaced. Newer than the foundation it sits on. "Chase 'em off, but they promise to be back. Ain't too much fussed about finding out who the lead is, but you come 'ere, and now I be wanting to know."

Mostly cause black women are nosy!

That guy looks highstrung. Like he might go off at any moment. While he doesn't think it's too likely, Reed does make sure to keep an eye on Frank just in case. He does his best to be subtle about it however. He also has quite good hearing…and the ear facing the window enlarges a bit to let him hear better. It makes him look slightly lopsided, but unless somebody was watching as it happenned, it would be easy to miss. He nods his head to the waitress. "Thank you, Miss." A pause. "I'll take a coffee as well." It IS possible that Mama Iffie recognizes him. He's rather famous, after all. Though usually people expect to see him with one or more of his family members. There's more than one tallish, gray-templed white guy in New York after all.

As Reed is seated at the table adjacent to theirs, Frank bows his head and closes his eyes briefly and falls silent. It looks for a moment as if he's having an inner dialogue with the universe itself for always being such a pain in his damn ass. 'Nothing's easy is it, you son of a bitch?' he thinks to himself before he finally opens his eyes and looks straight at Reed. He doesn't know the man, but he clearly has an interest in Frank and their conversation. Fuckin' nosy people. His stare is intense and almost dares Reed to say or do anything, but he's not here to stare people down. He's here for information.

Finally he returns his attention to Ifede and he pushes his lips together as he goes over the scenario she mentioned. "Definitely trying to push their racket on the street," he mutters, his eyes shifting from side to side as the wheels spin in his head. "Nothing unique about any of 'em? Didn't give you any names or say anything else?"

What's probably a rarity for Frank, when Reed catches his eye and the vigilante stares at him, his gaze is unwavering. No hints of fear in them. He smiles slightly back at him, inclining his head a little. Then he glances towards the kitchen. Afterwards, he makes sure not to actually look towards the two of them talking, drawing a phone from his pocket and glancing at the screen. It would take a very keen eye, and a knowledge of electronics, to note that something is odd about the model of the phone. Mostly because Reed built it himself. He taps out a message to somebody, then returns it to his pocket. If he WAS secretly the leader of the group of racketeers, that might explain his slightly odd behaviour. Or maybe he's just nosy.

"Three coffees!"

Ifede watches Frank carefully. There was a moment where she had thought to put protections of good feelings around the place, but that would be a violation to a person and well.. she wasn't cool with that. But it was a little troubling, for as the attention was back on her, she gives a little shake of her head.

"Try to push. Fail. Retailiation come soon I know. But, til I make enough of de money to get proper security around dis place.." The shop itself was pretty much a sitting duck.

More questions come, and Ifede shakes her head again. "Nah, no answer no more question til you tell me what interest we got?" She means he, but still!

"Ya come in here in the deep parts of 'arlem, lookin' a little scruffy and angry. May come to pick a fight or get dead or somethin'. Askin' me all the questions and.. no get me wrong, Mama Iffie ain't got'a problem tellin' a soul what's what and who's who. So you got to answer too, yeah? Who you be and why you be lookin' inta all this stuff. Folks say last time a white man came 'round the hard parts of Harlem he don't walk out like the rest."

At the end of that, the waittress returns, tray upon her hand which houses all the coffee that was and wasn't asked for. One cup was spared for Reed, the side of sugar and fresh cream already upon the table. The two were given towards Frank and Ifede, who smiles brightly. "Order will be right up!"

Even though Ifede, Frank, and Reed didn't order a damn thing. This place was strange..

Sitting and having a conversation isn't Frank's style. He looks a little too antsy to be sitting here idly chatting with someone, especially when he's after very particular information. But his problem isn't with the woman sitting across from him. It isn't even with the nosy guy sitting at the table next to them. Which reminds him. Frank turns and looks at Reed again to see that he's now safely busy with his phone. Good.

His eyes return to Ifede and he opens him mouth to say something to her when the server stops by with the cups of coffee. He pauses and looks down at the coffee and then nods at the waitress, a bit of frustration beginning to wear on his features. He assumes the waitress isn't talking to him when she mentions an order coming up. Instead he returns to the matter at hand.

Leaning forward more, Frank says, "Let's just say I'll be your new security. And I work for free." He leans back again, "So anything you can tell me about where I might find these people or when they might be back would help us both out, yeah?"

Hmm. Was it that bad of a neighborhood? Or at least that non-white of one. Reed hadn't really noticed coming in. Though on thinking back, he had perhaps been given the occasional odd look from people. Maybe one or two hostile ones. He nods his head to the waitress when she brings the coffe, "Thank you." Then he adds some cream and sugar before sipping, closing his eyes. He is listening though. So this man is some sort of vigilante? Hmm. It would be slightly hypocritical of him to protest that. Though normal people doing that kind of thing seems less common these days. Maybe he's secretly a mutant or something of the sort?

It was suspicious, Ifede had every right to be. She doesn't answer right away, only shifting herself to the side so that the entire shop could come into her view. Sugar was added to her coffee and a bit of cream, which causes her to sip and think quietly.

"One of the men called himself Ray-Ray." She states. "The other ones I cannot remember. Not like they rung me bell but it was a bit of a shock." Ifede looks behind her, seeing the side of Reed, then turns back as if she saw nothing at all. "Seemed like a well oiled operation, though clear they weren't used to getting hit." She nearly cracks up at that. "Idiots."

The surface of a neighborhood could be quiet, but it was clear that something was going on. People did stare at Reed and often times Frank for being in there, new faces, and them being protective of their own selves. Then there are the places where it's clear the neighborhood could use some help, yet shockingly enough this is where the people come together the most.

"Food!" The waittress shouts, appearing out of nowhere. Ifede had a simple bowl of seasoned greens with pork belly bits, Frank given mac n cheese, fried chicken, mashed potatos with gravy. Reed was offered the Jamaican pleasures; jerk chicken, shredded cabbage, plantains and a side of rice.

"MAMA!" The cook shouts from the back. "WE COLD OUT OF CHICKEN!"

A collective 'aww' is heard from the people in line, who begin to move and shuffle off. Even some of the patrons were done with their food, saw fit to leave because the timing itself was just right. Or it bode ill.

But at least one or two stragglers manage to squeeze in through the leaving crowd, it wasn't as if the place was closing soon, but around this hour, it was getting slow.

Ifede continues, "They wore masks, can tell you what the first'un looks like, but the rest, no clue. Now, who is you? How can Mama call you less you gonna sleep here on the booth?" That.. seemed to be funny, cause she cracked up with laughter from the image, and even clapped loudly during.

"Ray-Ray," Frank repeats to himself, his eyes lowering to the table. Committing the name to memory. He's not heard of any 'Ray-Ray' but he won't forget it. It's something he can use to get started. A name in his book is worth plenty. Ray-Ray. When she describes how well put-together the operation seemed to be, his eyes return to lookk at her. They know what they're doing. Good. At least that usually means they won't go much further than property damage. Only rookies jump the gun and actually kill people. Professionals know that just giving the appearance of being homicidal is enough to get what they want.

When the food arrives, Frank is about to raise his hand in protest when he sees what's on the plate. "Holy shit," he says as he takes in the sight and the scent of the food. His hands rest against the table on either side of the plate and he just looks at it with a mixture of surprise and amazement. Looking across the table at Ifede, "Thanks."

He wastes no time and starts to dig into the food. No more words for the moment as he's busy tearing into the chicken and washing it down with potatoes and gravy. Finally, after a solid minute of eating, he stops shoveling more down so he can chew what he's got. "Don't worry about it. I'll be around."

Reed nods his ehad to the waitress when she comes and says, "Thank you. It looks wonderful." He sniffs the food briefly. There were good cooks in the Baxter Building, but not a lot of Jamaican food was made there.It was a nice change of pace. He begisn to dig in, eating quickly but thoroughly chewing each bite. Not that he has to worry about anything sticking in his throat. He could probably swallow a whole watermelon if he wanted to. It would just look and feel strange. He's also made note of what's said about the racketeers. Again, not what his family tends to deal with. But good to know. Maybe he'l pass it on to somebody who does handle that sort of thing. He has no idea how competent this gruff man might be at his job. Or whether he'd use methods Reed would approve of. Definetly not in the latter.

Ifede takes careful bite of her greens, then reaches over to the pepper shaker to dab a few sprinkles onto her food. "Aight." She says, more americanized now. "Can't help but wonder if you purposely not telling me ya' name cause you think this man back here listening." She glances over her shoulder at Reed, then smiles towards him. He looks to be enjoying his food. Then it's back to Frank. It was clear that he doesn't operate in the most.. normal of means, and soon, if she were psychic, she would form a hive mind with Mr. Richards and start to think.

Was he a mutant? Or something else..

But, to toy just a touch, she does hook her arm upon the back of the booth, leaving her food alone for now. It was Reed she was targetting, and with a clear of her throat, she grins at the well groomed man.

"What'dye think, eh?" She says. "Think this here man up for d'job?"

Movement around the cafeteria seemed to slow, save for a few of the bussers cleaning off the tables and talking amongst themselves. Tips were gatered and shoved in their aprons, there was a laugh here and there.. and three waittresses all surrounding each other whispering. They seem to be looking towards Reed; one manages to giggle while the other who held a conversation with him looks completely shocked and embarrassed.

It seemed that someone knew who he was!

But before any of the girls could act upon it, one stares at the window with a frown. "What the hell.." She murmurs.. and not too soon after, a large brick is hurled through the front window of the shop! The girls scream and dance out of the way, their fingers splayed and hands waving, Cook stopping his work mid-fry to swear loudly as Ifede nearly jumps out of the booth.

Outside, the screech of tires could be heard, but it's anyones guess. Is someone coming or is the culprits leaving?

"Frank," is all he's willing to give up. Whether it's due to him wanting to maintain some level of secrecy or that he's just too busy enjoying the food that she's given him is anyone's guess. He forks up a heap of mac 'n cheese and puts his silverware down to rest his wrists against the edge of the table while he takes a moment and sits back to enjoy the food. It looks like the poor man hasn't enjoyed a home cooked meal in years.

When Ifede looks at Reed and asks for his opinion about Frank helping out with security, however, the brief moment of relaxation fades and he seems to tense up a bit again. Not as much as before, but he's clearly not looking for any more attention. And then the sound of glass shattering rings through the restaurant. In an instant, Frank is out of the booth and on his feet. Ignoring the screams and the confusion, he sprints towards the door and bursts out onto the sidewalk, scanning the street for signs of who may have thrown it. The screeching tires have him looking for a car first and foremost. He needs a plate. Or at least a make and model.

Glancing over at the talking waitresses, Reed notices the looks he's getting. The shock on the one womans face tells him everything he needs to know. He sighs slightly, but smiles at them anyway. Turning in his seat, he looks at Mama Iffie for a moment before considering Frank. "I'm not sure. He certainly has an air of experience around him. Though he also seems high-strung." He shrugs one shoulder. "I take it that the police aren't inclined to do much in this particular neighborhood? Always a shame, that."

And then the brick comes through the window, the gray-templed scientist staring at it for a moment before he acts. He quickly stretches for the window, in a decidedly inhuman way. His clothes stretching with him, as he quickly sticks his upper half outside and looks around, resting his hands on the ground as his bottom half retracts to join him. There are only so many elastic people in New York, so anybody that didn't figure out who he was before probably does now.

Frank was too quick. With Ifede on her feet, ready to head towards the door, she caught a glimpse of torso which gives her pause. HEAVY PAUSE.

In fact, the girls who were screaming, screamed even more as they saw Reed stretch, but Cook.. poor man, immediately begin to wretch in the bucket sight unseen. But heard. Loudly.

The rest of the patrons were a little too afraid to go out of the front, others taking to banging on a door that refuses to open, a few flying through the kitchen and out of the back way, filtering into the alley to make their own escape. While Harlem could be close knit, it really wasn't -that- close, especially to a newcomer like Ifede.

The two stragglers remained behind however, one already making his way behind the counter while the other one quickly grabs Ifede's arm. He was strong, even though they were the same height, and he gives a solemn shake of his head with a lift of his jacket.

He was packing.

Outside, there were no cars getting away, two of them pulled up to block the streets in front of Mama Iffie's. The men filtered out of the car, five per.. while the driver hung back to allow the crew to do their work.

They didn't carry guns thankfully, but it was clear that they were going into Mama Iffie's to mess the place up. That was the second warning. But what stands in front of them where a stretched out Superhero (which is small potatoes to them) and Frank. And the odds look to be in the gangs favor.

"Lookit what the fuck we have here!" One of them says, as the others chime in with their remarks and insults. "You assholes sure you wanna jump on this train? Huh?"

Chains unfurled, bats smacked against hands, crowbars situated and ready. And a brick. One of the men had a brick.

"Fuck outta here before you get messed up!"

As the scene on the street unfolds and the patrons flee down the sidewalk, Frank notices an elongated torso come stretching out of the window just beside him. The sight catches him off guard and he stutter steps to the side and looks at Reed, "The fuck!" But then it hits him. He has seen this man before. And he isn't a criminal. Although the super power is still pretty damn off-putting. He nods in Reed's direction and then returns his attention to the forming posse of weapon-wielding thugs.

How is this going to go down? They aren't carrying firearms, but they have shit that can do damage. Frank has a few weapons on him, as always. He doesn't want to risk getting anyone else messed up, so he pulls out the knife he's had since joining the marines. He grips it so the blade is pointing down from his fist so he can hold it back against his forearm and swing it across as he punches. He doesn't reply to the thugs and instead starts to approach them, fingers tightly squeezing the grip of his knife, ready to spill blood as soon as he needs to.

Assessing the group of thugs, Reed raises his hands. "Gentlemen. There's no need to involve violence in this. Simply leave, and everything will be fine. Though I suggest that returning to this place at a later date would also be quite unwise. Better to turn your energies something more constructive." He doesn't seem intimidated by the various blunt weapons the thugs are wielding at them. He glances over his shoulder inside to make sure everything is alright in there, and notices the man behind the counter, and the one holding Iffie's arm. He frowns slightly at the sight, eyes shifting between them. It doesn't look like it's going to immedietly turn to violence, so he looks back towards the ones in front of them. He steps forward and past Frank, murmuring briefly to him, "Two inside. Covering the owner." Then he takes a stance closer to the thugs. "So. Can we settle this like rational beings?"

"You three. Get down." The man says carefully to the waittresses. They weren't the ones to run to leave the shop, they were stuck there as collateral damage.

"Do what he says." Iffie says, calm, giving the women a reassuring nod. "Close your eyes if you have to."

The women do as they're told, and he proceeds to drag Iffie along towards the side, pushing her down into the booth, using his body to block her path should she try to run. "Ifede Babatunde." He says clearly, his eyes glancing out of the window at the two men. One was easily recognizable, and it gave him pause like it did the rest. The other? He was sure he was going to see that man on the news, beaten within the inch of his life.

"I was sent here to give you a second chance. All my employer wants is ten thousand a week. And all of this?" He gestures around.. stopping once he hears the bell of the register. "It'll stop."

The man behind the register looks up and grins, then begins to shovel money from their slots into his pocket. Cook was worse for the wear and alone, knowing damn well that at his age, he couldn't put up a good fight.

Outside though? It wasn't like a normal fight scene one would see on television. There was a lull in action, Reed was talking and Frank was approaching, and it was clear that the thugs were not going to listen to reason. They had their minds set, they had marching orders, and they were determined to do the job and reap the rewards. But the man with the brick took that distraction as an attempt to slide behind the dark vehicle, but one of his buddies pushes him forward. "Don't be a pussy." He grunts out. "HIT HIM!"

The brick goes flying towards Reed, which signals the other into moving. Instead of one at a time, it was like a swarm. Every man attempted to fit in where they could get in, sticks raised and swung, crowbars drawn back and swung low. Chains whipped and snapped.

It was a combat generated mess, really!

When Reed alerts him to the situation inside, Frank stops and turns to see one of the men shoving Ifede into the booth while the other starts looting the cash register. "Goddammit," he mutters to himself. Looking over at Reed, "You got these assholes?" He doesn't wait for an answer, knowing damn well that Stretch Armstrong an take on a few thugs.

Instead, Frank turns and starts to trudge rather heavily and quickly back into the restaurant. He shoves his knife back into the sheath as he starts walking towards the one who is blocking Ifede. He doesn't want to shoot the place up or gut the man and get blood all over the place. It'll be just as bad as the choas these guys would get up to if he wasn't here in the first place.

"Hey!" yells Frank as he quickens his pace, hoping to surprise the man and catch him just enough off guard that he'll be able to run up and pull the man off of Ifede and slam a right hook across the thug's jaw.

That's about how he expected things to go. But Reed had to at leat try and end it non-violently. "Of course." He doesn't bother dodging the brick thrown at him his flesh deforming slightly before it bounces off with no damage. Then he's moving. One arm extending out a good fifteen feet to the side, before sweeping along the ground at the goons. If they're not quick enough to jump over it, it will hopefully knock them off of their feet. Any blows from their weapons bounce off just as harmlessly. It's doubtful any of them are actually capable of causing him harm. So, this is probably going to be a fairly one-sided fight. His arm snaps out again after retracting, this time his hand expanding to monstrous proportions while he snatches at the one who was giving the other an order earlier. Lifting him off of the ground, he then swings him to the side, and slams him down hard onto the roof of one of the blocking cars. He knows what he's doing enough to avoid causing any permanent injury, but he's not going to be feeling very well or likely inclined to move for a while. Leaving him there, he retracts his arm again. "Giving up is still an option." His whole body extends this time, his torso in particular stretching out vastly to form something like a sheet. It looks like he's intending to just engulf the rest of them in his own body. That won't be nightmarish for them in the slightest.

"I am above all that." Ifede says, looking square onto the man. It was a quick adjustment of sight that has Ifede grinning. "Didn't dey tell you what happened when they were here?" She says quietly. "Da devil woman picked 'em up out of thin air and threw them out of the shop?" Ifede was no illusionist, but she does know a quick spell that just by thinking of one word in preparation to summon, her eyes would glow white. It was just a subtle shift, one that would take the man off guard..

..and further off guard as Frank's shout catches his attention! He staggers back, attempting to dodge any grasp, his hand slipping into his jacket pocket to retrieve his pistol. Depending on how close Frank had gotten, he may or may not be successful!

The men outside aren't having any luck either. In fact, it was like childs play. If anyone wasn't afraid of running away from the fight, they'd laugh. All because it was clearly humiliating.

When they thought they'd gang up on the duo, they were left with one. Slim pickings, until a few of them fell due to the swipe of the arm, and a few jumped and attempted to advance.

The brick that hit Reed? It bounced back and hit another guy in the face, which causes him to scream, turn.. and get swiped up! The other giving the command, wasn't paralyzed by the drop ontop of the roof, just wounded terribly and curled up into a ball of pain, while the driver cringed and sunk down into his seat.

In fact, the car started up, backed up.. and rammed right into a park car! The man atop of the roof fell off, then tries to stagger away. And as Reed begins to expand, a cacophony of swear words were heard! "SHOOT HIM! SHOO.. fuck this!" Three of them began to run to the left.. two towards the remaining and undamaged car. The few were on the ground, a little too afraid to move.

As Frank approaches the thug, he's close but not close enough to catch him before the gun is drawn. By the time the gun is pulled out, however, Frank is on the man. As the gun is leveled at Frank, he reaches out and in one smooth motion grabs the thug's wrist with one hand and disarms him with the other. He grips the pistol in his han and swings it at the thug's face in an effort to pistol whip him as hard as possible. He's going for breaking a nose or knocking out some teeth. No mercy, just quick and efficient punishment before he moves on to the next piece of shit behind the register.

The ones that are retreating end up being the target of the elongating man. His flattened body wrapping around them, sliding tighter until they're pinned inside. His head and arms extend, and Reed looks at the no doubt squirming bulge his body is now making, starting to rain blows down on it. It's kind of like when somebody drums on their belly. Only with oversized, too heavy fists and something is moving inside of said belly. At least at first. The pummeling hopefully takes the fight out of them, and then he's letting them loose, absently launching a quick blow to the side to catch the one he'd already slammed in the back of the head as he flees. "Contact the nearest police station, please. Yes, hello. This is Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four. I have a dozen men here who tried to strongarm Mama Iffie's diner into paying protection money. Mmhmm. All of them armed, two of them with guns. The two with guns are…" And he glances inside the diner, grabbing any thugs that try to run or get into the cars before they can get particularly far, giving them quick shakes or blows to the head then dropping them in a pile. He also gathers up the ones that are already passed out. "They should be taken care of shortly, I believe."

Well alright! If this were Frank auditioning to be her muscle, she was sold. The glow of her eyes dies down as she slides back into the booth, 'pretending' to be a helpless damsel in distress. Even a glance outside causes her to cringe.. and well.. become -very- mortified at what she was seeing. That.. that was unnatural!

Disarming the man was quick, he wasn't a militant, just a regular thug. This one was able to take a hit better than most, his head snapping back which causes him to reach up and grab his nose as it explodes. It was a near crumple to his fall, for with his hands guarding his nose, it doesn't stop his head from being beaten and nearly cracked open from the strength of Frank's rage.

But once done with, he crawls upon the floor, blinded by blood, which leaves handprints upon the ground as he slowly begins to crawl. He wasn't able to do much anymore.. nor was the man behind the counter.

For what he's looking at outside, it has him mortified, stuck still by fear. Which was made worse, because the angry man with -that- face was approaching!

Speaking of horror, the screams that were inside Reed's body were something that couldn't be heard from a horror movie. Squeals, shrieks, grown men singing soprano by their begging, all the while being thrashed and beaten with fists. Pretty sure someone had a heart attack inside, another lost parts of his soul and humor. For it was something they -never- thought they would experience!

As they all tumble out of Reed.. (EDITORS NOTE: Never thought I'd ever type that..) .. some were too stunned to crawl, others were knocked out cold bleeding from various parts. They'd wake up with headaches, sour stomaches, maybe a broken nose and bruised, but they'll live. Sadly.

Lucky.. or unlucky for the two that remained inside, they were snatched up and dropped upon the pile of the others. Both shaken until they were too boggled to think, and promptly knocked out. All Ifede could do was mouth.. 'What the fuck..' towards Frank, then slowly looks out the window to -stare- at Reed. Like.. what the shit was that?! Eesh! He's hired too!

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