2019-09-11 - Waffling Around Part I


Part I: The mysterious Waffle Burger food truck strikes…

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Wed Sep 11 01:50:24 2019
Location: The Disaster Zone

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Theme Song



The Disaster Zone. Ben Reilly has made far too many jokes linking the place to his various life woes and… will likely make another. Perched atop the crumbled remains of what once was a Blockbuster Video. Or was it a Hollywood Video? Honestly, it's probably neither but the crimson clad individual posted up, waaaay up, has already made up his mind on the matter.

It's the matter of Big Denny's Waffle Burger truck that has Ben much more concerned. After returning to the city following a little vacation of sorts, Ben found the reviews hard to resist. Being told by a haggard vagrant with a glowing eye and a foul mouthed cat about the questionable disappearances? Well, Yelp can't beat that. So he's back in the suit. Scanning the pocked and desolate streets. The rubble. The cordoned zones of… "Wait. Is… is that?"

The soothing, ice cream truck jingle to the tune of a 50 Cent classic is hard to ignore. The white food truck navigating the battered asphalt as it roams from re-construction site to re-construction site. In the drivers seat, a wild eyed old woman grips the wheel with bone white knuckles and a sneer of disdain.

The Disaster Zone is a place few willingly visit. It's not the equivalent of Ellis Island or the tip of Manhattan where gawkers crane their necks and risk a year's worth of chiropractic bills abutting their health insurance trying to take in a jagged skyline. No famed "A" on a tower or a "Four" splashed over some kind of glass monolith here. Only the remnants of Then. The moment as iconic to them as the death of JFK fifty some-odd years prior, when those who were old enough recall the moment when the UN ceased to stand for peace and instead embodied terror, violence, old world ideals smashed by postmodern insecurities.

No wonder she's here. She, the child of the revolution and embodiment of the culture clash that inevitably tore apart the Pax Americana, stalks the debris field. A few small metal pieces jingle from her belt. A pin for a long-gone diner; the battered likeness of Lady Liberty on a souvenir coin; a string of electrical wire looped and folded around in an infinity knot. She carries a skeleton key in her hand, turning it over and over. On her own, this would be a strange place for an auburn-haired young woman without an escort. Deadly, even. But deadly things often wear innocuous faces, sometimes beautiful… not that Wanda would ever claim the three adjectives in proximity to her. She taps the key, and walks lightly between the slivers of shadow and accumulated dust.

Somewhere in the distance, the wan thrum of an engine lifts above the white noise, the lonely lamentations of a radio being broadcast from the depths. «This is Radio Free NYC, streaming live to you from our little pit on the edge of Doomsday…»

Seven languages, seven different takes. It could be recorded. Is that the fabled Waffle Burger truck? Second to none in its market, with a huge Scooby sammich that four could share for the next three days. She stops near a precipice, overshadowed by a smashed doorway, glass and wood long gone. Her hand shades her face as she orients on the sound, eyes nearly closed. Nearly, not quite, seeking a source. She doesn't pick up Ben in that sweep unless he really tries to make noise. This is something else. The cadence of the engine is right. A target, that which she turns on. But it might make her one too.

An exile from so many dimensions, lives and realities, Ben Reilly feels at home nowhere. His mail may be delivered to a fixd address but the man himself is far from it. At least here in this blasted wasteland he feels… at ease? No, no. In place? He can't describe it. Maybe it's the taint of powerful magics calling to his own weird aura. A disaster calling to an abomination. Mortar crumbles as Scarlet Spider descends. Climbing downward, slow and steady as he watches his target. His current curiousity

Shocks squeek and groan as the food truck takes sharp, sudden turns to avoid the worst of these forgotten potholes. Finally coming to a stop, the radio still loudly declaring their presence. Their defiance. The side hatch goes up, the e-brake stomped. It's time to make some food… but for who? Only a line woman and some spandex wearing lunatic are anywhere to be seen.

Which is strange considering the following this particular truck has had over the years… but a streak of missing persons? Well, that's just bad for business. Five negative reviews. Five missing people. Gone without a trace. Authorities unable to link the disappearances to the truck or its owners, the mystery lingers.


A web line anchored, a scarlet clad arachnid-based hero swings high above to a closer perch. Navy blue hoodie fluttering and snapping noisily in the wind.

His weird aura sings. Hers is simply weird, humming with the resonance of the harmony of the spheres, a melody too difficult to pluck from a single orchestral movement, a single instrument at play. Wanda might be disrupting the torn threads by a colossal battle too terrible to be caught by the cameras, other than the aftermath and freeze frames.

Exploration of the zone has been a long time coming. This might be the whole world for some people, but the globe-trotting witch treats it as another site, another ruin. None of the reverence brought by the past, none of the disdain of familiarity. She steps out from that overhang and eases her way along the rubble-strewn path too narrow to be called a road, using cover instinctively. She isn't standing tall and strutting her stuff, too obvious. Neither is she hunkering and dashing for the nearest sewer entrance or hole in a wall concealed by a patch of debris, slapped together for a temporary degree of protection. Concealed and not fully, she alternates between a rushed path and a slowed one, scenting the air in a way. Her powers are largely latent save the ones always operative: the Sight. It feeds her data at an intuitive level, leaving her highly cautious when the truck navigates a battered, pockmarked stretch of concrete and tarmac not quite filled in. The years have given rubble and trash a headstart, proof nature will eventually consume anything mankind makes. Humanity is impermanent, a planet is immortal. A loud squeal begets a siren call.

Who might come out? The clutch of mutants too poor and too disarming to make it outside the zone? A clean-cut businessman with a faint smell of offal and just too many teeth in that smile, muttering about Crowley? There's another distortion to the radio broadcast and a chipper voice takes over with a 50s-style jingle, «And now dinner will be served hot and quick. No more waiting in line or scrounging through cans in your bunkers! Let's have it for the diner on wheels, reasonably priced meals for the fortunate few…»

Someone is watching. Someone is taking measure of loss like Ben. It's not the girl who eases out and slouches Bethlehem-ward, headed to that lone woman. Well, if someone is going to make herself a target, might as well take advantage of it. She turns those grave, wide eyes on the truck, tentative in her approach. Perhaps awe-inspired, it's possible. One footstep, another. It slows as though she expects the truck to dissipate or someone to knock her from her feet.

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