2019-08-08 - Run Rabbit Run


Showing the Ghosts in the Zone one of the memorials gets interrupted

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Thu Aug 8 05:12:36 2019
Location: The Disaster Zone

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Theme Song



Brooklyn isn't nearly as nice as it used to be. It doesn't help that the southern tip of it is still severely damaged from the 'Blitz' years back and that it is directly across the river from some of the worst, most desolate parts of New York. The parts rendered nearly uninhabitable by the destruction wrought by the sentinels.

Here, in one of the nicer areas, there is a memorial to all those who died. It's a stele. A tall polished stone slab with the names of the fallen or missing inscribed on it. It's very well lit and well cared for. A bit understated but… almost nice that way.

It's late at night at the moment and this part of Brooklyn is a ghost town. Prince T'Challa of Wakanda is standing near the memorial, which is in a small triangular park. He seems to be considering it carefully - and he is. But he's also listening carefully because he's sure he just heard something that was out of place. A series of barks - almost like dog barks - but patterned in a way that suggests a somewhat higher level of communication than is customary with canines.

Jimmy Baxter stands right next to the slab, a somber look on his face. He holds his hand near the stone, helping him to go line by line with the list of names, to remember each one. He whispers them to himself, too, as if to recite them to someone standing just beside him. Or perhaps to recite them to the piece of stone he carries in his pocket, brought from the Disaster Zone. If those spirits are meant to haunt the stones of that place, then hey, maybe carrying it with him will help them to come along and see that they're remembered. For the moment, memorial has his attention; if he hears the barks, then he doesn't notice anything unusual about them.

Venom isn't the type of creature to spin webs, but he's close. Nonetheless, he's lying in wait in his own fashion. Ink-tinted as they are, Venom mingled with the darkness, nestled deep in the high limbs of a tree overlooking this portion of the park. Having terrorized a few muggers earlier in the night, they are feeling content enough with their lot, almost snoozing.

But they aren't quite asleep. Not yet. And the arrival of these figures that don't look like civilians, no no, they carry themselves as something more than normal, and there's that funny little fellow they saw when they fought the wolfmen…

In that dark pocket in the tree, a long, slithering tongue slips from Venom's jaws and slathers over the sharpstick fangs crookedly set in the monster's mouth. Yes. You have their attention.

Avery has been coming here with a fair frequency, commiting names to memory in her copious spare time, tonight finds her doing so once more - and, oh, Happy Day, some people she knows are present too! It always feels disrespectful to her to come here on foot, sweating from a run, so this is one those few places she has a 'tag' on, and can teleport to from - literally - anywhere.

There's no rush of displaced air, no pop, no flash of light - she literally got dressed in her best clothes, and just Walked the Space Between Breaths…and was here.

A smile, and then she walks over to where T'Challa and Mari and Jimmy all stand, she DOES take a moment en route, as they don't know her actual identity, to don her 'costume' - a dime store Domino mask! Yes, she's SECRET! "Hello to you, gentles all."

Mari is dressed in her mustard and black costume, standing not far from the Wakandan prince as he waits.

She's heard the sounds in the distance and she's … alert. Not on edge, but definitely alert. Things happen in the disaster zone, after all. "Hello Jimmy. Zeal." She can't see Venom, or sense them, so there's that.

Jimmy is not alone. He may have known that, or he may have suspected it, but he is not. Ghostly figures begin to appear behind him, each of them looking at the monument. "So this is where they remember us…" One of them says.

Us. Yes. These are the echoes of those who died in the Blitz, or shortly thereafter as a result of it. Jimmy had promised to bring them here.

"Hello Zeal. Hello Jimmy." The ebon skinned man says, hands folded behind his back. "I can see that you are playing guide. Psychopomp, perhaps?"

There's that barking again. Three short barks, and a differently pitched one. Then a pause and the same pattern again. This time it's closer. And then… WHUFF.

To the others it sounds different, but Venom will recognize the frequency of the 'bark weapon' that gave him such trouble last time. It's not directed at him and it's distant, but it's like hearing gunshots. Unmistakable.

The others may not know what that was. Well… Jimmy might.

Jimmy has his own way of sensing Venom's presence, particularly with that feeling of being watched. He shuffles his feet; he fidgets; and he scratches the back of his neck. But it's the kind of feeling that could just be nothing, could just be paranoia or some part of the ghosts' presence, and so he brushes it off while he reads the monument.

The greetings, however, make him lift his chin. He smiles around at those who met the ghosts with him before. "Oh, I'm no psychopomp. I just… have pockets. And this isn't so far from the Zone, so I thought it the best place." He turns from the stone to smile at the spirits. "Yes. This is one of them. Others are farther away. There are websites, too. One of them, I swear, is like something from out of the 90s. Even automatically plays a song when the page loads. I can show you that, if you—"

Then comes the special-pitched bark, and his head turns about. He's encountered those barks more than once, and he groans. "Not them again." He takes the stone from his pocket and looks to the ghosts. "Can you still reach here, if I go? Others might need me." Those wolfmen never mean anything good.

Venom does indeed recognize the sound. Part of them is wary at the sound. Another part is angry. Vengeance versus survival, two very primal insincts that guide much of Venom's psychological ecosystem.

He doesn't see any ghosts and wouldn't give a damn about them if they did.

They move along the length of the limbs positioning themselves towards the direction from which the barks seem to come. If they are going to get furry visitors, well…they might find something very bad falling out of the trees.

"Greetings Heavensent, Miss McCabe, King T'Challa." Zeal's good cheer and energy levels seem to be as zealously sustained as ever. She is dressed nicer than the last time, though, in a black overcoat and an actual dress! Also black, because, well—haunted memorial!

She looks up at the sounds of dogs and whoomphs and such. "That…does not augur well." She's fairly bright, looking to Jimmy as he and no doubt Mari as well will, recognizes the sound. "Enemies, I presume?" The kid reaches her hand into…nothingness…and pulls back with a pair of fighting batons, handy trick that!

The barking has Mari looking in that direction and then glancing at T'Challa. "That's not normal." She murmurs to the dark skinned man. "They're communicating in code. That last one …" She shakes her head as Jimmy speaks with the Ghosts and calls the spirit of wolf to her, the glowing silhouette forming behind her back.

She'll listen, at least, to see if she can get anything more. Unlike others here, she's not be exposed to that bark-boxes, so it's a new experience.

"You can call me Vixen when I'm dressed like this, Zeal." Mari winks at the young woman, even though she's somewhat distracted with the goings on.

The Wakandan chuckles. "Prince T'Challa. Well, King, but only the King of certain things." King is technically correct. King of the Necropolis. But not Wakanda and he does tend to go by Prince instead. At the sound of the 'whuff', the Lord of the Dead turns to peer. He doesn't recognize the sound.

"I am not sure. It doesn't sound like it belongs does it?"

It does not and there's soon a very good view of what is making that racket.

A man - a relatively normal looking man at least at a distance - comes tearing out of one of the alleys at a dead sprint. Behind him is a wolf-like being loping on an all fours ape like run and two much more sinuous feline mutants. Both of the felines have gleaming tails that appear to be made of metal.

He's making RIGHT for the stele at the center of the memorial. Yeah. They're about to have really, really nasty company.

"You know them?" That's a question to Jimmy, just before they make contact.

Jimmy nods gravely to Avery. "I'm just going off sound, but if it's what I've dealt with before, it's not good news. Big wolf-man hybrids, enforcers for a group kidnapping and experimenting on mutants. We recently attacked one lab and liberated the captives there, but…" Well, there's more where that came from. And he's not saying who 'we' are; even what he's said is probably enough to get his allies frowning at him.

Not that there's time to answer questions, not with the group coming into view. He curses under his breath and changes, just as they've seen before. "Go For The Voice Box." At least, that's good advice for the wolf; the cats, he's less sure of.

Either way, he sets the stone down, and leaps into action. His wings flex and he soars, going right for the wolf. One arm holds in front of him, covered by a glowing shield which he calls into being.

Venom holds their place for the moment, although there's definitely a tensing in the monster. Still, they want to preserve their stealth and so they remain still, outside of perhaps a few sinuous flickers of symbiote around the nearby limbs. Meanwhile, in Venom's bisected mind:

<You're going to let us loose this time, aren't you, Eddie?>
(Rip 'em up.)


The briefing from Jimmy is heeded, Zeal is many things — impulsive for one, but she's not an idiot! And then the monsters make their appearance. "Armored Lycan and two Fellcats? I have never encountered such before, they do not favor armor or weaponry…at least not those from…" She trails off, and then smiles. "Forgive me."

Zeal lives up to her name, charging towards one of the 'Fellcats', her goal to fully engage its attention with a double wrap of her batons to the nose, and then to skip between just behind it and kick for good measure.

Mari alerts as the man comes barrelling towards them. "Behind me T'Challa, we'll need your spear but I'd rather avoid an international incident if you are harmed." She says to the man as she moves in front of him.

Not Prince or King, just T'Challa. Irreverant woman she is.

With the wolf spirit already on her, the womans nails form sharp claws even as she calls the spirit of a silver backed ape to her. Ferocious like a wolf and strong.

"What voice boxes?" She can't see anything like that at the moment. "Zeal, get the man to safety if you can." Hopefully the young womans teleporting will let her move others.

The slight flickers of Venom limbs get the briefest of attention - she was probably seeing things, wasn't she?

"Never mind then …" Mari sighs as Zeal lives up to her name and whaps the incoming 'cats'. Mari heads to the runner, keeping herself between the incoming and T'Challa as much as she can - safety first, and all of that.

Her board will be so pleased.!

"Yibambe!" T'Challa shouts as several more ghosts materialize. Unlike the others these are not New Yorkers clad in modern clothing. These are ghosts from another place and time, armed with shields and short African spears. They form a solid line as the Prince himself summons a shield and spear into his hands. Two of the ghosts grab the fleeing man and pull him behind the line.

"Keep him safe at all costs." The Prince snaps as he breaks into a run toward the mutants.

Jimmy's first clue that something has changed is a silvery gleam on the werewolf's throat. It has no voice box. What it DOES have is a metal throat. Someone has implanted the sonic weapon into the creature and it unleashes at Jimmy as he comes down, rearing up to great him with claws and fangs.

Avery's strike sends the cat thing stumbling and the kick for good measure means that it goes sprawling. It WAS probably a slight mistake to get behind it though as half a second later blades come out of both ends of the tail and the downed feline man whips and swings them at the teleporting heroine.

Mari's finds herself lept on. The cat she's fighting has the same bladed tail but also metallic claws and it tries to rip into her like the squishy little human it looks like.

All of which leaves Venom UTTERLY free to act. The werewolf is the closest but he has his pick of targets that are completely unaware of him.

Jimmy, at first, brushed off Mari's comment about the voice box; surely she just hadn't seen it yet, right? But as he flies in, he sees the truth of the matter, and gets a brief second to think 'oh hell' before the sonic blast. But rather than try to evade, he reshapes his shield, making it more of a wedge to let the sound wash over it without taking the full brunt, and powers through. Seeing how the wolf rears up, he takes a sudden dive. A sword appears in his hand just before he finishes the arc, turning to sweep it across the wolf's rear legs.

Venom has no problem doing the convenient thing and striking at the werewolf first. The symbiotic creature leaps from above, trailing spinnerets and tendrils of inky blackness, sharp tipped and lashing like knives, a dozen of which drive right into the back of the werewolf, trying to impale it as Venom aims its massive jaws to try and chomp down on the back of its neck.

Normally, Venom might say something pithy but, if it's successful, it's going to be too busy chewing, trying to burrow its way right through the throat of the animal from the back, tongue like a drillbit as it pursues its target.

"Sorry Vixen!" Zeal calls out. "Monsters to fi—" Yeah, she sees the Venom. What's a bit unfortunate is that the distraction comes JUST as the 'Fellcat' strikes. What is VERY fortunate is that the girl's reflexes are almost literally single-synapse. She can the bladed attack coming, almost as if were a fugue state, or moving in slow motion. Unable to completely avoid the strikes, she does flicker, like a living strobe so that one misses entirely, but the other cuts her along the side of her ribs as she turns almost faster than the eye can see trying to avoid it, and not quite succeeding.

She hits teh ground with an /oomph/, and the cat's tail-blade is painted in crimson.

Continuing the rool, Zeal braces one hand to the ground, and the other to her side. "Certes an they be /fast/!" Yes, she actually sounds pleased, as if the challenge makes this so much better.

So much for avoiding an international incident, Mari doesn't have time to give T'Challa a look as she's pounced on. She might look like a squishy human - but right she's not and she's a scrapper when it comes to a fight. Growling as the cat digs cruel claws into her, she rolls and punches out with the strength of the ape. Something crunches as her fist hits but she's not finished yet.

One more silhouette joins the others - a rhinocerous. And just in time to catch the bladed tail to her thigh.

"Stop that." The dark skinned woman growls again, risking a grab of the tail with her ungloved hands, trying to swing the nasty feline like a hammer toss.

Mari … is going to be a little cut up. Literally.

The werewolf is tough. Part of that is just it's mutant physiology but part of it is the rather insane healing factor it seems to possess. Jimmy's blade hobbles it and Venom drops like a demon to rip and tear into it's back and it IS working but this thing SHOULD be dead right now. The reason it isn't is it's flesh, muscle and organs keep regrowing even as blade and fang and claw and… tongue… cut into it. It reaches back to try to peel Venom off. Jimmy it does not have time to deal with which means now he's the one with free reign.

That one's gonna take another minute or two to put down.

Avery is rounded on by her victim who does indeed have the same reverbium claws. Rather than attacking directly with them, though, it drags them along the pavement producing a shockwave that blasts out toward the teleporting woman. Venom and Jimmy may catch some of that as well. A challenge? Yes, this will be that.

T'Challa smacks the feline on the nose and it turns on him only for Mari to grab it's tail and swing. Yes that will cut it's hands but it gives the Wakandan prince a chance to bat it around like a tetherball.

A really noisy, yowly one.

Oh. So what Jimmy sensed before… y-yeah, that was Venom. Again, Jimmy thanks all the heavens above that the symbiotic pair at least seems to be on their side. He watches for a few seconds of morbid fascination as Venom tears into it, and yet it just keeps on going, keeps on surviving. Yet, he remembers how it went the first time. He trusts Venom to handle this one, too. A quick glance around finds Mari playing Mario to one cat's Bowser, the Wakandan ghosts hopefully still shielding the target, and Zeal bleeding while the other feline comes up an—

He takes a glancing blow from the shockwave, enough to send him spinning in the air. After a forced counter-spin to recover, he decides on his target. It starts with a swing of his arm, throwing his sword right at the feline, before he pops into the air to come at her from above.

Venom doesn't seem to be disturbed by the way the werewolf holds up. Regeneration makes something hard to kill, makes it keep standing when you tear into it. Which is all terrible if you're shooting or slicing or trying to blow something up.

But if you're Venom, if you're biting and chewing and god damn eating the thing, well, this is just a buffet. THis is just more meat. And if he wants to get what he wants, if he wants to drop this damn thing, he's just going to have to eat harder and faster. But there's nothing Venom is better at than eating.

The monster's jaws open up preternaturally wide, straining like an anaconda swallowing its prey, and now it's engulfed the back of the werewolf's head as well, fangs scraping and trying to crack open that inhuman lupine skull like a raw egg, getting at the yolk of its brain. And the tongue extends, hollowing out, delving, exploring, trying to punch its way out the other side, perhaps popping out one of the wolf's eyes and then trying to snake around and re-enter through the matching socket.

This is heroism, right?

The shockwave she did not expect! Zeal leaps up and backwards into a flip…literally winking out of sight to reappear at what seems the exact same moment about six or seven meters above the 'Fellcat'. Side damp with her own blood still the heroine tucks into a compact ball, letting that falling distance give her some considerable momentum…which she is happy to impart through her batons to the back back of the thing, aiming for shattered vertebrae!

And then once more vanishing, her orientation reversed to have her continue falling — UP.

A Rhinoceros' skin is really, really, tough but it's not tougher than the blades of that tail. Mari whimpers and growls as T'Challa bats it around. For those with the senses, the smell of blood fills the air, her thigh and her hands aren't great - better than they could be but still, not great.

"Can't hold it much longer." The woman tells T'Challa as rounds again, aiming for the most solid thing she can find - the stele. She's going to try and knock this cats head against the monument.

SMACK! Mari slams the cat into the stele and it cracks. The ghosts let out an unearthly moan but do not (yet) turn violent. They don't seem to like the monument being damaged though. The cat thing is out, however. It won't be fighting anymore.

Jimmy's sword is MUCH more effective on the feline. Especially one that can't move as it's in the air. There's a meaty crack as it gets hit by both sword and batons and when it does finally hit the ground again it doesn't move. Likely still alive but in very, very bad shape. Out of the fight for sure.

Venom's state is a lot messier. His decision to 'eat harder' is definitely the right call but goodness is it horrific for… well really everyone but Venom. There is eventually however a satisfying crack as the throat is crushed and a moment after that the struggles stop.

Which just leaves the original victim surrounded by ghosts and not a little bit terrified. He's crouched up into a ball so he doesn't have to look at anything.

"I think you can drop it now, Mari. I do not think it will be fighting us more." T'Challa says.

Jimmy lets out a breath, relieved but a bit cold, when he hears that crack on the second feline. It's not dead, but it's damned close. And as much work as he tries to put into paying attention to everything but what Venom's doing, he's not generally cool with lethal force. This time, at least, it's clearly been necessary. The sword winks out of existence like a light with its switch turned off, and he turns back to the group of ghosts. "My Apologies. I Will Call For Repairs As Soon As Possible." It'd be nice to ask there to be just one problem at a time, but that just ain't happening. He walks past the ghost line, and towards the target. As he approaches, he drops the glow, again appearing… well, as normal as he can. "Are you alright, mister…?" And then after this, there'll be first aid for the others. He can heal from that hit he'd taken from the cat's sonic attack, but the other heroes don't all have healing powers.

Venom tosses the werewolf's carcass off to the side, its monstrous tongue slurping over its face, clearing up the gelatinuous detritus of the bestial enemy's cerebral cortex. Venom straightens up, cracking the vertebrae in their neck and finally taking in the others around them. Until they let out a bit of a burp.

"Sorry. We always overindulge at an All-You-Can-Eat," the monster chuckles, "Don't worry, we're quite satiated. For now. These things had already earned our wrath some time ago. The puny one there remembers. He was there," they say, gesturing towards Jimmy in their scratchy, record-scratch voice.

Zeal arches her back until the point where her upwards fall is about to become a proper fall once more, and then she steps between to land next to the vanquished foes. "Oh, that was a most rousing battle, challenging foes…I name you boon companions, all." She pauses then, looking at the nightmare fuel that is Venom, her smile and glee fading, but only for a moment. The fact that the creature speaks, and seems relatively…okay, he's still creepy, but nobody else is attacking, she'll give him the benefit of the doubt.

For now.

She moves to check her allies, still holding her injured side, but hey, others first!

Mari trembles as the feline is knocked out, letting the body hit the ground with a thwump.

"We will repair your monument. Use gold to the line cracks… remind us how precious your lives really were." She says, her voice shaking, to the spirits. She's not let go yet, it's a little difficult too. That tail has sliced her hands and they're frozen.

"Trying to, T'Challa." she manages to sound brighter as she her fingers manage to unfurl and let the tail go.

"Is everyone else ok? Zeal, you are not, come over her and let me look at you…" Now she sees the mess that Venom has made and she pales. "Well, I'm glad I didn't eat before coming out." That's just gross. "I don't believe we've had the pleasure?" She's trying so hard to be flippant - not an easy task with the Symbioate right there.

T'Challa comes on over to try to pry her fingers open. It's odd that she can't let go. He's never known her to freeze like that before. The Wakandan ghosts fade away now that the danger has passed leaving just the runner.

"Boon companions? How very kind." The Prince chuckles, looking at the mutant. "And you are?"

"J-jas…" Ahem. He clears his throat. "Jason." When he speaks, small fangs are obvious. Another somewhat animalistic mutant. Makes sense, that's who these werewolves have targeted before.

"Sorry they just came and chased me. I knew if I disappeared I'd probably wind up like them and… and… did he just eat them?"

He's pointing to Venom who is standing next to a partly eaten carcass and DID just burp.

He looks up at Jimmy. "I, um, I think I'm okay yes? Just… um… scared shitless. Those things have been prowling around here for days. Though… there are less of them than there were. Used to always hear them in the Disaster Zone. Not so much anymore."

That might be satisfying for Jimmy.

Jimmy tries not to pat himself too heavily on the back. It's rather a serious situation. "One of them, yes. They… do that." He's heard the personal plural before, and dang it, Jimmy's going to respect pronouns. "You have no need to apologise, Jason. I'm glad we were able to help. Are you hurt anywhere? Do you have somewhere to go?"

He looks across to Mari and Zeal. "I'm fine, but you're not, Vixen. I always have a first aid kit in my bag; I'll help you both out." He chews his tongue, thinking over what Mari had said about fixing the monument. "That's a good idea. I think that's a Japanese thing, repairing with melted gold?"

Venom shakes like a dog, getting some of the errant blood spatter off. The rest just gets absorbed into the symbiote, devoured straight into the inhuman metabolism of the thing, more protein to fill its reserves.

"We are Venom," the beast says casually, looking warily at those remaining. They will probably withdraw quickly enough. Squishy types don't tend to want to socialize with them, in their experience, "You say there are more? We will find some of them. They hurt us, once. We do not tolerate things that hurt us."

As Vixen speaks to the Spirits, Avery nods. "And I have been memorizing your names, and researching your lives at the library." No, she's not figured out them intarwebz yet, but she's doing her best. She speaks to the air, head turning this way and that to be sure she's not accidentally rude and excludes someone.

She moves over next to Vixen, and as she does she digs out an energy bar, and devours the thing, clearly starving.

She's trying really hard not to look at the mess where Venom is, or the partially eaten 'Lycan'. The young mutant is offered a reassuring smile. "Fear not, Jas, these be heroes, you are safe." Yes, she didn't omit the inclusion of Venom!

A smile, somewhat shy to T'Challa as he thanks her. And then she looks up and grins, no lack of spunk there! She really IS rather zealous, isn't she?

She nods agreement at the mention of the use of gold in the repairs, and then she murmurs. "Venom." Okay, so Hevensent, T'Challa, Vixen, Venom and Zeal…now that's an odd mix! Also Jas, bonus.

Mari gives T'Challa a grateful look for the assistance. The blades had dug into hands and were painful. "Boon companions, hmmm? Are an Order of Knights now, Zeal?" She smiles, giving Jimmy a nod for his offer of assistance. She'll not refuse it. "See to Zeal first, she's hurt her leg."

As to the gold? Mari nods slowly "I believe so. It's a custom I've heard of many times and very appropriate here. I will be sure to fund the repair, personally." That's Mari McCabe, not McCabe Industries.

"You did well, Jason. You got away. Do you live here, in the Zone?" Probably. Mari notes the fangs and frowns. This really isn't good. "We can take you to the hospital to be looked at, if you like." beat "T'Challa, perhaps Gabrielle could assist with helping Jason, here."

"Venom. I'd say pleased to meet you but … well. Well done. I guess."

"Venom. Interesting name." T'Challa murmurs. "You have been researching our lives have you? Mine must have made for boring reading."

Yes T'Challa has been a king but there doesn't seem to be much of note that happened during his reign and the library (and internet) leaves out that whole King of the Dead part.

"There are more. Some in the disaster zone but like I said, not as many." Jason says. "There have been some in Brooklyn lately and I hear other places too. They're looking. Looking for people like me." He shudders.

"I uh, I don't have a place to go right now. I live here. I was at my apartment when they found me and I don't know if I want to go back."

The Wakandan prince looks to the others. Do they possibly have a solution to this?

The hospital as Mari suggests is a good idea.

"Gabrielle would likely help but I do not think we wish to make the man homeless right now."

Jimmy smiles at Avery. She is well on top of this 'remembering the dead' thing. Since Jason isn't injured, Jimmy grabs his bag and brings the first aid kit over to Zeal and Vixen, to get to work on at least basic treatment. "The hospital's a good idea, to start with. And while you're being seen, some of us can go to your apartment and see if they're still monitoring it. Either way, there's SHIELD — they've been helping people who were captured before. They know me there."

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