2019-11-04 - We've Got To Stop Meeting Like This


Voodoo is ambushed tracking a Dire Wraith; Ms. Marvel and Anon assist.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Mon Nov 4 00:00:00 2019
Location: Upper West Side

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Not being at all a reader, and in many ways functionally illiterate, the figure in gold-accented purple has no idea that there's apparently a big book signing that just finished at the store over yonder. What she does know is that while minding her own business and giving her new sister - and that still gives her chills, really - a ride out to Columbia for an interview, she spotted one of Them.

Dire wraiths. Foul. Disgustingly evil. Perfectly disguised. But Voodoo can see the Truth, piercing all veils.

What has followed is a bit of a mess. She's reasonably sure that this dire wraith has to be working with the one that got away in Jersey City a week ago. Because as soon as she gave chase and was spotted, she got drawn into a trap. This time the alleyway she flew down - thank you, hoverbike! - erupted into painfully bright, staggeringly loud explosions of light and sound, followed by actual grenades.

Voodoo has managed to drag herself over to the wall of the alley, savaged by shrapnel and smoking from blaster wounds. For the moment, she has lost sight and telepathic awareness of her target. But her empathy has given her a direct bead on two squads of heavily harmed men boiling into the alley from each end, apparently hired by the wraiths just on the chance to take her out.

Yet again, the alien-hunting assassin is hampered by being less than entirely wiling to slaughter non-possessed humans.


Celerity does a lot of deliveries to and from Central Park; it's just easier for someone like her to do it, rather than someone who has to rely on a car. That's what brought her out to the Upper West Side at this time. The delivery's done and dusted, she's looking for the next…

And then comes the explosion. The shock of it still makes her freeze up for a subjective moment, but objectively, she's gone before most others could blink. Back into an alleyway, quickly changing, and then a golden blur rushes out to find the source. Along the way, she first encounters a group of heavily-armed men flooding into an alleyway.

She may not know the whole situation, but she does know it's usually safe to side against the people blowing things up and wielding lots of guns. So on her way into the alley, she fires off a couple of punches, enough to at least knock people off-balance… and then she finds the single target. Just one woman, in purple. Jeez.

The blur resolves into a young woman, standing by Voodoo's side. "Are you okay?" Her gaze flicks about, watching the men approaching. Jeez, that's a lot of guns.

Kamala had the misfortune of having just had a bad night. While she herself wasn't plastered all over an electronic billboard, she's still feeling the guilt that someone else was because.. some creep wanted to call her out. And then she didn't even get the autograph that she wanted. Clutching her bookbag to her, the young woman was heading for the bus stop to catch the ride back to Jersey City.

Pistachio ice cream, binging 'Enaaya' and maybe a good cry are warranted tonight. It's a good thing she wasn't wearing her ear-buds, or she would have missed out on the noise of a weapon discharging from a nearby alley.

She can't ignore it. She knows she can't. She slips around the corner, pulling off her coat and sweater, exposing the makeshift costume beneath as she pulls on her mask. She really needs a better way to suit up. Her clothes are shoved into the bag and she's coming into the alley behind the two men. Noticing the young woman in purple - the one she'd seen in Jersey City a few night ago, and she blanches for a moment. But knowing that she needs help.. she reacts.

"EMBIGGEN!" She slings her arms foward, and her hands ball into fists the size of small cars as she aims at the back of the man on the leeway side of the alley that she was on. "It's a school night, don't you know?!"

The pods, or squads, of armed men at each end of the alley number a half dozen each, and every one of them is wearing decent high-end body armor and carrying military-grade and better weaponry.

Life is not fair.

Anon's punches do disrupt the order of one squad, but they recover relatively quickly. Granted, that's still slow-motion to Anon, but it's too fast for anyone else to quite take advantage of the opening.

The woman in purple is clawing her way back up to a standing position as her body struggles to put itself back together; she got shredded by those grenades, and is a bloody mess right now. "Will … be." she grimaces in response to Anon, as she pulls up her blaster and gets ready to deal with … yes, that is a lot of guns.

Then Ms. Marvel's giant fists slam into some of the men from the other end, hammering them into the wall. This forces their compatriots to turn to regard the threat, their weapons turning with their eyes and shoulders; this does leave an opening for the two women in the alley, if they can manage to take advantage.

With a deep, cough-inducing breath Voodoo assumes some measure of control and lets her thoughts out, touching the mind of that girl she met a week ago. Her attempt to slip her thought into Anon's mind likely skittered right off, but she did try. <" All normal huamns. Well armed, armored, and well paid to try to kill me. But what you see, what you get. ">

That said, Voodoo turns and starts opening fire on the goons Anon blew through moments ago, taking the chance since the other crew have turned to face and deal with Ms. Marvel.

A horrified look plasters over Anon's face when she sees more detail of the bloody mess made of Voodoo, though she tries not to linger on it. Kamala provides two welcome distractions: the slamming of embiggened fists, and the call about it being a school night. That makes Anon whine like a distressed puppy. "Don't remind me!"

The speedster doesn't have any special defences against telepathy. The thought may feel like it comes in slow motion compared to hers, but it still comes in. It leaves her wincing, fingers on her temples; she's never heard telepathy before. "Jeez, what'd you do to piss them off?" She sweeps her gaze around.

Voodoo's blasting at one group; Ms. Marvel is punching the other. Aiming to avoid friendly-fire concerns, Anon dashes towards the latter. She harries them from the side, herding them into a tighter group so those huge fists have an easier time slamming a lot all at once.

"Stretchy powers, don't fail me now…" As the goons start to fire, Kamala's body twists and contorts. She stretches and grows, elongating as if her whole body is made of silly putty and not a single bone exists in her as she swings out one arm, sliding it between a pair of men, then sweeps them aside as she gets Voodoo's message. She frowns a little in thought.

"I know, I have like so many term papers due.." Oh the mutual grumblings of girls on a school night that don't have time to do homework. «I don't know if you can hear my thoughts…» she's trying that whole thought projection thing to Voodoo, but she's looking around as she's stretching up a wall.

«Herd them in, I think I can cage them!»

There's a look at the two metal fire escapes that frame the buildings, heading up either side of the brick lanscape.. of course, that moment changes when a bullet manages to punch through the girl's shoulder and she gives a sharp cry of pain, her body twisting wildly for a moment as she loses control of her thoughts and powers and her body flails helplessly.

Not terribly concerned with school even when she was ostensibly in it, Voodoo doesn't really identify with the concerns of the younger women, but she understands it is real to them and does not make fun. She is a hard and cold, professional alien-hunting stripper ninja. But she is also a dyed-in-the-wool empath, and the feelings of others are as real to her as her own. <" 'll try to get you two out of here as soon as possible. "> she promises, a bit arrogantly. But she means to try!

For the moment, Voodoo unleashes as many blasts into the oncoming targets as she can as quickly as possible. If she keeps this up, her blaster is going to overheat and shut down. But she is currently one firing against six; she doesn't have a huge number of options.

Anon manages to push and shove various gunmen into one another, and that allows her to keep them off-balance, allowing Ms. Marvel to shove them around more easily and reduce their firing accuracy.

Sadly, it doesn't make them completely hopeless. They do eventually tag Kamala. And Voodoo knows how much that hurts. <" Hey, speedy? Get her out of the way to let her recover, OK? I should be able to last a minute or so … "> Voodoo sends to Anon and Ms. Marvel, trying hard to exercise that control and restraint Emma has been drilling into her.

That said, Voodoo dives from one side of the alley and rolls to the other, coming up blasting at the group aiming at Anon and Ms. Marvel, giving the other group her back … even as she tries her best to broaden her focus … and then project her own pain back at the goons behind her. See? Aren't shrapnel wounds fun?!

Anon hears that cry from Ms. Marvel, and her eyes go wide. She'd thought a stretchy, morphing body like that wouldn't have a problem with guns. Guns are only bad if they tag your organs, right? And Ms. Marvel moved like she didn't have any. Nor any bones. Just after the cry is done, Anon rushes above the group, running along the wall to get to her. At first, it's just defence, slapping bullets out of the way to kep them from pressing the advantage. But then she hears Voodoo's order, and pulls Kamala from the alley floor and up along a wall to a rooftop. Close enough to the action that she can join in after a breather; far enough that the humans can't get to her.

But she can't leave Voodoo alone forever. And then… oooh boy, this plan will either work great, or totally suck for Anon. She sees the squad grouping up behind Voodoo, just across the alley…

…and she leaps, launching herself like a rocket to land in the group's middle and strike the ground. She cries out from the pain of impact — a sprained wrist is the best she can hope from from her fist hitting the ground at those speeds — but the same force ripples outwards to hit the already-pained group.

If Voodoo is a true empath, she would know that the chances of Kamala running away are nil. She's committed, and she's going to help when and where she can. Even as Pris is turning her back on one group, the elastic young woman flattens herself down for a moment. Sure she's wounded. Sure, she's hurting. And then Anon is trying to yank her away. "Ack!" she yelps, pulled backwards and onto the rooftop.

Breather? There's no time for a breather. Closing her eyes, drawing up her mettle, the young woman steadires herself and just as Anon is hitting the middle of the group, Kamala launches herself from the roof. And as she descends on the end of the alley, she balls herself up. And grows. And grows. Until she's a lot like a multi-colored boulder from Indiana Jones that's rolling down tha alley, crushing all in it's path as the determined heroine calls out. "Wrecking ball, coming through!"

She'll worry about hurting later. With food. A lot of food.

So the group behind Voodoo gets hit by a wave of sawing, bleeding pain; they may be hard professionals, but pain is pain, and they all stagger in response. Then Anon lands in the midst of them and the shockwave takes them down like bowling pins. They'll be striving to get back up, but it sure won't be instant.

Of course, Anon is now in the midst of the blast-wave of pain projection. That has to suck.

Voodoo is blasting away when suddenly someone shouts, "Wrecking ball, coming through!" and she dives to the side, plastering herself against the wall as Wreck It Marvel comes bouncing and rolling through, slamming the goons she'd been shooting around like bowling pins. Meaty, somewhat vulnerable bowling pins. Ow.

<" Can you tie up their shoelaces? Or get rid of their guns real quick? "> Voodoo questions towards Anon as she ends the pain wave, and instead marches forward to check on these men.

Anon's scream comes loud as pain compounds upon pain: the empathic blast from Priscilla along with her own agony as she clutches her arm to her chest. That's not a trick to pull off again any time soon. One eye squints shut behind her mask while she looks at Ms. Marvel… coming in exactly like a wrecking ball. That is… that is something.

The mental nudge from Voodoo snaps her back to reality. <Can try,> she replies through a haze; her wrist isn't any better just because Voodoo's stopped broadcasting the other pain. But she still has one hand, and she uses that to grab the guns one or two at a time and fling them across the alley, smashing into the wall. It piles them all up out of reach… and it probably destroyes a great number of them, too.

There's a lot of pain to go around, and after Marvel bounces and rumblerolls through the alley, she pops back into her normal shape as she holds her shoulder tightly, covered in the gunk and muck of the alley, blood from the men that were attacking.. and she looks herself over.

"..so going to need to soak.." she murmurs. "All the bath bombs." She looks back at the others, eyes wide in concern. "Did we.. did we get them all?"

"I think so." Voodoo offers, as she struggles to tie wrists together with her hands smeared with her own blood. She's being thorough but quick about it, not wanting this to get out of hand after everything everyone already sacrificed. "You two OK? I'm no healer .. but I can probably tamp down the pain for a while." Not something she has done for others before, but she has been learning a lot while working with Emma.

"They call me Voodoo, by the way." the woman in purple explains, as she keeps it up, nodding as the guns are gathered and tossed away out of reach, many breaking somewhat in the process.

This is twice she has run into the stretchy girl. This is getting to be a habit, damnit.

"I'll be fine," Anon says through gritted teeth. She can handle the pain, especially knowing how soon it'll pass. "I'm Anon. Speedy." Might have guessed that. She looks over the other two. "So you're psychic, huh. If I've met a psychic before, they've kept it quiet. And you're… stretchy. Clothes shopping must be weird for you."

"Just hungry." Mala admits quietly. She's always hungry. Moreso when she's hurt. "Hi. You told me your name." comes the response to Voodoo as the dusky skinned young woman tries to clean up a little, and winces slightly as she moves her shoulder. "…should be gone soon." she promises. And then to Anon. "You're like super fast. That was /amazing/." Then she mentions clothes, and there's a blush. "I ah.. make a lot of my own clothes?" At least they're loose and colorful.

Then back to Voodoo, and she finally manages. "I'm Ms. Marvel." As if her costume and colors didn't suggest the same. "….we've got to stop meeting like this, and under better circumstances." she points out with a nod.

Voodoo nods to Ms. Marvel. "Yeah. Stop meeting like this would be good. Hang on." She reaches into a pouch at her belt and pulls out a small foil-wrapped rectangle, which she offers to Kamala. "I'm guessing you need to eat to heal, like I do. Try this." She doesn't explain where she got a super-dense ultra-hydrated protein bar. But there it is. Of course, she could use one too, but that appears to be the only one she has.

"Appreciate the help. Both of you. Sorry for the injuries." She feels bad about it. But there's nothing she can do about it. Voodoo shrugs. "Sorry for the headaches. I try to keep the 'volume' down, but it's not easy." And it's really new to her. The purple-clad ninja looks up, concentrating, and then shakes her head. "Bastard got away. Again."

Anon ducks her chin, blushing at Kamala's praise. "Y-Yeah well you punched like three of them at once even before you bowled over the whole group. That was amazing." She looks Kamala up and down quickly, taking in the outfit. "That's cool. I just sort of modded mine from a swimsuit." Speaking of which, she shivers like her whole body's a high-speed vibrating motor. That keeps her warm.

She shakes her head. "Injuries'll be gone in like a day or two. It happens. But if you don't like meeting like this, maybe arrange meetings instead?" She pulls a phone from a pocket in her hood — a flip-top, burner phone, years out of date. "I keep a phone just for this… whole… thing." She means superheroism. "We could trade numbers?"

"Oh my gosh, I'm not taking your food, especially if it helps you!" Kamala protests, her hands over Pris's to getly push the bar back towards her. "I'll just raid the fridge when I get home." she promises, and then frowns. Whoever is attacking her keeps getting away, and Mala feels useless in all of that, because she's no tracker. Releasing the purple clad woman's hands, she shakes her head. "..it happends. I mean, sucks. But it happens. We're all okay. That's the important part, right?"

Then Anon speaks up, and she breaks into giggles. "…I uh, mine was a swimsuit too!" A burkini, for those in the know of the Muslim fashion. She looks the speedster over, and her cheeks darken. "You must get chilly sometimes.." she manages, and then smiles at her suggestion. "That's a great idea.." She reaches to take out her smartphone to trade digits, and smiles brightly at Anon. "Or you know, plan to meet up without the alien badguys sometime?'

Voodoo's burner phones … are smartphones. Go figure. Whatever! She pulls one out, and trades numbers. "Mine number changes kinda often. I'll try to text before I switch next time." She pushes the bar back at Kamala. "Hey. I have more back at my place. Take this, and eat it. It won't taste great, but you'll be able to heal before you get home and freak out your parents.

And then Voodoo stops stock still, staring at Ms. Marvel. How did she know? Crap! "Sorry. I really have to go. You two take care of yourselves." And then the purple-clad figure scampers right up the gosh-darned wall. A few seconds later, a flying motorcycle outlines briefly against the evening sky.

Anon glances over Kamala's costume again, eyebrow lifted. "And I thought my swimsuit was modest." Muslim fashion goes past even what her very conservative mother insists on. "And, um. A little chilly, but moving around keeps me warm." The attention to her costume draws that blush back into place. "I think it's better to be too cold, rather than risk overheating, or wear something with more drag. I need the speed."

She blinks at the little bit of information that Voodoo lets slip, giving her a squint. If she knows that much about Ms. Marvel, then how much does she know about Anon? She's still looking up into the sky as she responds to Ms. Marvel's suggestion. "Meet up without alien bad guys? You mean, like, go on patrol together?" It's like superheroic socialising just doesn't occur to her.

"I don't know if I could handle a patrol with you, you're /fast/." Kamala points out with a little laugh, glancing down at the bar left. Unfolding the foil carefully, she breaks it half and offers it to Anon. "It doesn't have to be patrol. Just hanging out. Or you know.. something." She beats around the bush with the best of them as she considers the bar and bites into it. It is pretty terrible, as Voodoo promised, but she's going to temper herself.

Then there's another blush. "I'd never wear this to the beach. I mean.. I don't even know how to swim." she admits quietly, slightly ashamed of that fact. Then she realizes that Anon might be cold. "I should let you go so you can get dressed and all, I mean, I don't know if you run around like that all the time or or.." she trails of lamely.

Anon waves off the offer with her good hand. "I had dinner already, and that'll do for me." Her healing factor doesn't come with the same ZOMG HUNGER as ms. Marvel and Voodoo. She tilts her head. "You don't? But, like… what if someone's drowning? Though I guess you could just stretch from the shore and scoop them up, huh." So at least in that scenario, Ms. Marvel doesn't need to know how to swim. Anon shakes her head. "I dress like this whenever I'm patrolling… I mean, this is my first Fall with it, but I can handle it." She checks her phone for the time, and winces. "But I do need to get going. It is a school night. I'll try to find some time for… hanging out." The thought of being in costume, and just 'hanging', seems odd to her; her interventions tend to be more… time-limited.

"Sure. Maybe we can like.. catch a movie or something sometime." Kamala is lame. So lame. But then Anon is excusing herself, and Mala nods, shushing her trap as she pulls in on herself, already the shoulder wound is healing quickly. "Oh my gosh, I so wasn't lying about homework, ammi will kill me if I don't pass geometry!" She watches Anon go for a moment, then starts to move to find her backpack and head back to the dorms to hide in the shower for a while.

"Or something," Anon agrees. To be honest, she's not terribly well-versed in hanging out at all, even without super-suits being involved. She grimaces at the reminder of homework. "And I have so much I'm behind on." Not going into detail about which subjects; even admitting she has school is the closest she's yet come to spilling identity beans.

And then, she's off like a shot, again turning into that golden blur that leaves a breeze in its wake. Albeit a blur that winces and lets out an 'ow' every now and then as the movement jars her wrist.

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