2019-08-15 - A Fist Full of Dollars


The storm queen and the Jade Giant take on accountants up to no good. Sound simple? That's just the tip of the iceberg.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Thu Aug 15 22:27:45 2019
Location: {$location}

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Summer means many things in New York. The Big Apple becomes the baked apple, a soggy humid concoction. Few would find it perfectly enjoyable to endure, but 'few' doesn't include Ororo. The woman stretches out her arms to the convection currents lifted off buildings that spent hours smoldering in the sun, all that pavement and steel and glass serving to create a landscape suitable for hawks to stoop. Side benefits in the urban jungle may be few and far between.

After dusk falls, not everyone remembers to look up. The peregrines return to their nests, heads tucked under their wings, bellies full of rat-meat and mouse. Strobing lights occasionally flash around the latest club, the hottest party, rooftop venues in high demand. Most aren't looking for someone in black making figure-eights around the smattering of cloud cover while the heavy moon peers down on the waterfront, Jupiter prominently glowing underneath it.

But this isn't peace. Peace doesn't come with the shrill strobing sirens echoing down an urban canyon. It doesn't originate from shouts below her circuit, nor the occasional shadowy figure departing from a semi-derelict tower under construction.

The being known as the Incredible Hulk doesn't find a lot to enjoy in life. He tends to be… moody, at the best of times. It doesn't help that he only occasionally is able to stay free of mental confinement for more than minutes at a time. Like now. Wearing a ragged pair of pants, the less than jolly green giant is moving from rooftop to rooftop in manhattan, relatively stealthily. For him anyway. There's a loud thump whenever his big feet hit a rooftop, but not hard enough to crater anything. Then he'll take a few running steps before leaping to the next. Or one several buildings over, in many cases.

He does look up at times, but not right now. He's also not looking for trouble, or anything other than some peace and relative quiet by himself. That never seems to last long for him, though. Landing a final time, his head cocks to the side when he hears shouting froming from the partially built, seemingly later abandoned building below. You have to wonder what happenned. Sudden financial troubles? The person in charge was arrested? Supervillain attack made it somehow unusable? It could be so many things in this town. A scowl crosses his features as he turns away from the tower, intending to continue on. But then he hesitates, glancing at it again. Old habits surfacing in his mind, his cowl deepening. He lets out a huff through his nostrils, fists briefly clenching. Maybe he could at least take a look, and see what's going on…

A dull shadow runs over a polished, empty glass wall that by day hosts legions of the city's office workers. Ororo turns another smooth curve, carefully navigating her way on the warm upwelling of air. Careful to avoid any collisions, she threads the needle. Manhattan has a dense concentration of skyscrapers like no other place stateside, though a few megapolises might have styled the care she uses to fly. The aerobatics might be lost on anyone other than an occasional drunken party-girl or boy looking up, or… say, a green giant. She's small, by comparison to the structures surrounding her, though on the ground she stands among the taller side of the spectrum. The radiating noises below aren't quite enough to attract her attention off the bat, not with the wind rushing through her cloud of white hair pulled back with a black metal headband.

Shouting on the ground, down there, involves a black sedan and a few people running around a small subterranean parking garage. The door is open on the passenger's side, a woman holding up a phone accusingly. Two gentlemen in suits look like the castoffs from an accounting agency burning the candle at both ends, though there's a spilled banker's box and at least one shadow lurking around the edges of the parkade ramp.

It's only reasonable that the lights burning into the dim alley are enough to capture Ororo's eye. She slows in her figure-eights, hovering in place. Supervillain attack seems less likely than financial troubles, some kind of relationship trouble gone to a head. When the Hulk peers down, he might well hear the voices escalating, the angry accusations.

He doesn't have superhuman hearing, but the Hulk still has pretty sharp ears. He listens to the voices down below, crouching on the edge of the roof. He's much easier to see than Ororo. Not wearing much clothes, and his skin a color that tends to stand out in urban environments. But that's only if somebody looks up. Or is looking down from even higher up. They're clearly focused on one another at the moment. He tries to make out what exactly is happening before interveneing. But it seems more and more likely this is going to lead to violence. And while they're criminals, he probably shouldn't let them just shoot one another. He snorts again softly in annoyance, then tenses up his muscles before leaping. Pretty much a short hop for him, off the side of the building and down to land at the entrance to the underground parking garage. He doesn't try to be quiet this time, and there's an audible sound of impact, some light cracking of the pavement beneath his huge feet. He slowly straightens up afterwards, and considers the argueing people. This is usually around when people start shooting at him. Or running.

The sharpness of the conversation turns in two different directions: the angry woman, the gentlemen fighting among themselves in lower tones. Her shrillness is merely an act of trying to pull their focus to her, and moreover the phone she carries. She hurls it down onto the ground, the screen cracking, still bright. The conversation rapidly descends into a hushed pause, fraught with trouble, with disdain and anger.

When the Hulk lands, it's a great deal more loud and interruptive, a footnote that hauls their focus away. The older of the two men gapes, while the other grabbing the coat by the lapels tries to use that time to push his opponent to the car. It's only then they might as well all take in what they are actually dealing with. Screaming begins shortly thereafter and the woman in her heels turns tail, hands in the air. Her stumbling steps grow smooth when she kicks off her heels. The other two, they're left to do ten things at once, none well. None accurate, anyway. "Mathilde!" cries the older one, choking. "Run! Your life isn't—"

"Shut up, Edwin," hisses the other, as though they might hide from the Hulk by standing still. That doesn't even work for bears. Ororo's still up there, plummeting quickly, trying to take in the situation. Fighting men, giant, this is not a fair equation.

The Hulk ignores the fleeing woman, focusing on the men still there. He starts to walk forward slowly, his ponderous steps clearly audible. His green eyes fixed on the pair of possible criminals as he draws closer. "Gonna explain what you all are getting worked up about?" The words a rough rumble of sound. Human enough, just on a different scale. His eyes shift to the spilled banker's box, then the pair of them. "Drugs? Weapons? People?" It's really not fair. The two of them have about as much chance as an ant would against a human. Not that he's being overly violent so far. He does eventually reach out when he draws nearer, grabbing the one that's not Edwin by the shirt and lifting him off the ground. "I suggest you talk." He hasn't noticed the descending weather goddess yet. The man he's holding looks like a child in his grasp, and probably isn't the happiest right at the moment.

The woman skids and slips on the sidewalk. She catches herself, grabbing for the back of a bench marking the bus-stop. It's an uncomfortable feature: stumbling, scraping up her stocking feet, and running on. Bruises and scratches will be there as a testament to her unfortunate night, but she careens into the main street screetching like a polecat with a tail on fire.

Trouble still brews between the two men in plain sight, the third loitering back and flat to the wall of the parkade. Rolling metal doors might protect him if they were bound to go down, but no doubt the green giant could rip them like tissue paper. It's hard to see him lurking near the fire escape, someone all in black and grey. The spilled box and its papers on the ground are stirred up, flickering around in a dustdevil without a natural source, since Ororo has to keep herself aloft somehow. She watches it all, eyes white and empty as the lunar orb overhead, and inhales when the Hulk snatches up Not-Edwin — Chad, that's an appropriate name, as the swinging security tag inside his coat reads. Edwin is pale, while Chad is going red in the face.

"What the hell are you?" What, not who. "None of your business. It's private —"

"We're licensed, privately licensed!" Edwin stammers out.

"What am I. What I am, is annoyed and hungry." Hulk glances over at Edwin, and snorts a little. "So you're here, in the middle of the night, meeting in an abandoned parking garage for official business, huh?" He looks back to Chad, and begins to absently pat at him feeling for any sort of weapon. That hand probably feels unnervingly large and warm. "I think you can see why I have trouble believeing you. Now, you can solve one of my two problems for me. Which one is it gonna be? Annoyed, or hungry?" He hefts the man higher in the air. It was lucky that one of his more rationaal personas was in charge tonight. Though, if it was the more savage Hulk, he might have ignore them entirely. Or started smashing without bothering to say anything. Eventually, he notices the odd errant dustdevil. His eyes fixing on the funnel of wind, then panning upwards into the sky. Spotting the white-haired woman floating up there, his brows twitch. "Hunh. And now we got somebody with powers showing up. This night gets better and better, don't it?" He still hasn't noticed the one lurking to the side. Who may or may not be with the others.

Hungry. That's enough for Chad to try to wriggle his way free, against the instinctive screaming of the lizard brain that he should hold very, very still and not invite any sort of trouble whatsoever. His mouth isn't listening. There isn't any weapon he carries other than a skinny little mobile phone and a rather fancy wallet thick with bills, but the trouble lies in the various paperwork spilled out on the ground and the car itself.

"Annoyed! It was a late shift— Mathilde has been carrying on, it's nothing." That pile of paper gets a pointed look, side-eyed. Chad strains to look cool and isn't doing well. "Please. It's not your worry. It's all after-hours work, just that. Client stuff. Really!"

Edwin isn't actually restrained, and he uses it as a smart diversion. Look, over there! A CAT! In which case, he chooses now to run. Seizing the door open, he fumbles the handle a few times and manages to wrench the door open, even as he might be having a heart attack. He throws himself in right as Ororo floats over the roof, her arms crossed over her chest and her white hair thrown around her in a troubled nimbus. Her head tilts a fraction over the rustling.

"It was a fine night to start with," she observes. How it ends?

Hulk eventually looks at Chad, then over at the pile of paperwork. He shakes his head and grunts. "Right." He makes his way over to the fallen paperwork, bendging down to scoop it up in a big hand and scanning the top sheet. "So you're not doing some off the books dealing after hours that your bosses wouldn't approve of, huh? That's why you chose to deal in cash, here, in the middle of the night." He tosses him absently aside. "Whatever. It's not like I really care that much about white collar stuff." He drops the papers, then turns back towards Ororo. "I don't know you. Which one are you?" His thick arms crossing over his massive chest. He doesn't seem to worried about the floating woman. Whether that's unfounded confidence is hard to say without knowing who exactly he is and what all he's capable of.

Chad stares, the whites of his eyes showing more than they should. Power meetings with the suits upstairs in one of those glass towers, a moneyed mecca, doesn't help him facing down with a true monster. A horror beyond those of Mammon in the temple pursuing coin. He has the taste of a New York accent, metallic and formed. "You crazy? They monitor everything. It's /finance./" He's explaining this too rapidly, though the shattered remnants of the cracked phone, papers, and the car shifted into movement suggests trouble.

Edwin refuses to be involved, hitting the gas and careening out of the alley. The intersection isn't more than fifty yards off, enough he can peel out if need be. Sweating and afraid, he certainly has no qualms about putting traffic at risk to get himself free of trouble. Blame a man for getting the hell out of dodge, the cowardly accountant financier isn't putting himself at risk.

Chad hisses as the papers are scattered around. He swears at losing his companion, too, since that puts too much on him dealing with this. The skulking figure remains hidden in the stairwell, trying to stalk his way back up, out of sight. Better there; white collar crime it is, for the most part, the seeds of trouble to pick up later.

"Which one?" Ororo tilts her head. "I'm called Storm." That much seems appropriate as she is left hanging in place until she hits the ground, no longer suspended. The burn in her blue eyes fades out, her pupils returning after a blink. "There was some kind of altercation here? Do you need…" What /does/ the Hulk need? "Escorting him inside?"

The Hulk looks down at the terrified Chad. Does he lift, bro? "Storm, huh. I've heard worse names. And nah. If you want to take him in, go ahead. Something like this isn't worth the trouble of dealing with the cops. I just came down here 'cause it seemed like one of them might start shooting at the other or something." He studies the tall but still considerably shorter than him woman in front of him. His lips curve into a smirk. "Well. You're a lot better looking than most of the people that end up interrupting me, I'll give you that." His green eyes narrow a little. "What're you doing here, anyway?"

Just a word on the lips, just a noun in action. Ororo's not wearing any obvious costume, no signs of her affiliation anywhere too evident. Not unless someone looks close, the way the belt wraps around her waist forming a subtle x, but that's common enough for the garments. Her expression changes to contemplative as she watches the interplay of the men, then gestures to Chad. "Take the gift he gives you. Leave now, while you can." That subtle glance to the parking garage cameras is hardly visible, but she sees them all the same, and the mess on the ground just adds to the rest of it. Someone had better pick that up.

When she stoops, the financier hisses a noise of strangled discomfort. It halts her for a moment, and she looks at the boxes, then back to the Hulk. "These papers you will not need then." Evidently not. Chad might rush for the box, but that's about the best he can do. Nothing worse than that for now, but the dangers are more of an angry regulator than an assassin. For now. A hint of a smile lifts her lips, but not much of one. Better weighted than the smirk, anyway. "I was out for an evening stroll and saw something out of the ordinary down here. Can you say the same?"

Hulk watches the man go with some amount of amusement, then turns back to the white-haired woman. "Hmmm. Pretty much that. Enjoying my time free." Whatever that means. He taps an enormous foot as he looks down at her. "So do you float over New York a lot? I'll have to start looking up more." He flashes a grin at her. "Be seeing you around, Stormy." He crouches down, and then effortlessly leaps up into the air, arching over a nearby building and disappearing into the distance.

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