2019-12-07 - It Gets Better Than This


A few of the residents and supporters of Mutant Town encounter one another at a food kitchen, and then deal with an attack by unknown forces.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sat Dec 7 00:00:00 2019
Location: Mutant Town, NYC

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Theme Song



Once a day, come rain or shine, the Pride comes to one of the food kitchens in Mutant Town. They trade off around the few kitchens that are about. Only they know which one they will visit on a given day. The first clue of their choice is when members start appearing, taking up jobs. They sweep. They mop. They clean tables, dishes. Homeless of Mutant Town just coming in and taking up efforts to help out. They ask for nothing in return.

Then, out on the streets, things change. Groups move out of the alleyways, disappearing from sight. They reappear elsewhere, converging in dribs and drabs at the food kitchen of that day. They line up in an orderly fashion, with none of the fighting some might expect. The oldest, the youngest, the weakest are at the head of the line. And they all wait patiently until they are told it is time.

Then they come streaming in, just as orderly as before. They take their food, they offer thanks, and they move to one of the seats. No one bothers anyone else.

There is one, however, who never comes inside. She appears some time while the others are starting inside. Sometimes, she is on a rooftop across the way. Sometimes in an alleyway. Other times, she actually comes over and gets in line after everyone else is inside. But this homeless vet - given her military surplus attire, everyone assumes she is a veteran - never comes inside. But some time during the meal, one of the first to finish will get up, come back around into line, and wait patiently before asking for a new plate, mentioning only, "It's for Hunter." And then they take that plate out and hand it to the vet before disappearing back inside to join their friends.

Of course, this particular pattern has been noticed, and some people plan by it. Which is why Lexi comes wandering down the street, whistling to herself as she carts a quartet of large paper bags with faint grease stains leaking through them, held aloft behind her by a pair of four tendrils sprouting from her sides as she turns the corner, then make sa beeline over towards said vet, the scent of fresh pierogis rising from three of the bags. The other has…well, cat food. It's how Lexi usually finds Hunter. She looks for the swarm of cats everywhere.

Mutant Town being what it is, those present in and around the food kitchen run the gamut from those with obvious, visible mutations to those who can, at least outwardly, pass for baseline human. Rebecca Gadison is one of the latter, but in the months since she first arrived here back in the summer, she's been doing her best to fit in. One way in which she's been doing this is to volunteer at this particular kitchen, not far from the old tenement where she now lives, at least a couple of times a week. At the moment, she's by the entrance, just finishing mopping up the results of someone's spilled tray.

Yes, that is the other clue to this vet's identity: a small 'herd' of milling feral cats. They move here and there around the vet, never more than half a block or so away., with no apparent order. That is until that tray comes out to her. They they all come milling closer and closer, hoping for their own portions.

The vet watches Lexi approach, and nods towards the mauve mutant girl. "Take. Inside." she offers, gesturing towards the door. The fresh peirgis should be shared while still fresh, after all. But she won't turn down the cat food, if offered. She will instead distribute it. Peace amongst feline- kind.

Lexi mmms and sets down the cat foot bag by the vet. "Right, right…here…" she says, grabbing a handful first that she sets by the vet, before carrying them inside then promptly almost tripping over Becca as she's not looking where she's going. 'ACK!" A quick hop to the side and a tendril plant and somehow she manages to right herself, skipping over the mess. "Sorry! Hi, I didn't see you!"

Becca had been more focused on cleaning up the last of the mess on the floor than she was on anything else, and so isn't aware of Lexi until the very last second, either. "Whoa!" she exclaims, as she dodges the collision — by leaning back and away at a gravity-defying angle, and somehow holding there instead of falling over backwards. "Sorry, didn' see you comin'," she says apologetically, the Texas accent and diction coming across stronger when she's stressed.

Enter one Laynia Sergeievna Petrovna, her car - a black with yellow accents 2007 Mini Cooper which has been tended very carefully indeed - pulls up and parks in a side alley, not like there's all that much competition for parking here. The Russian woman exits the vehicle, and then goes to the hatch and opens it up. Not being shy about using her powers here, she fashions a wheeled cart of Darkforce, and starts unloading canned goods and other parcels onto the thing. Eyes of cinnamon peer about the area, and she offers nods of greeting and smiles to anyone she knows - which seems to be a lot of the folks around!

She's a little surprised to see Hunter, and almost intervenes to stop the near collision until Becca and Lexi sort it out, precariously.

"Privyet—hello." She says with a wave, and continues unloading the supplies onto the cart - which seems utterly unimpressed by the weight of what is being stacked on the construct.

As soon as Laynia arrives, homeless folk come out of the kitchen and down the alley to help her unload the car, each one of them nodding, and all of them calling her by her codename respectfully.

The homeless vet on the sidewalk does not approach, but does offer a slight nod towards the Russian woman. Meanwhile she just pays attention to Lexi and the normal-seeming woman who defies gravity. Silently, of course.

Once she is given the cat food, Diya starts serving out little piles, making sounds at each of the cats, then pouring out food fore ach one individually in his or her own spot. The milling slows and then stops, as the cats get what they want, and seem to settle comfortably around the homeless vet without complaint. They're fetting fed, what do they have to complain about?

Lexi sees Becca leaning to where she is going to apparently fall (even though it's not the case) and reflexively flicks out a tendril to slide behind her back to support her, reeling her back up right. "Totally my fault…" she says, flashing a grin that shows off slightly elongated canines. "Yer new, haven't seen ya before…?" The mauve hands off her pierogi bags to another worker passing by before the retract into her purplish skin, leaving swirls of darker purple behind. She then catches some movement out of the corner of her eye and turns her head, raising a brow. "Oh, hey Laynia! Droppin' stuff off to?"

That tendril meant to support Becca from falling will find itself able to do that with zero effort, since — somehow — the pretty blonde isn't actually falling. And likewise, even as Lexi tries to help Becca to return upright, she'll find that the Texan girl is somehow already doing that under her own power.

"Think we both kinda messed up there, but no harm done, so…?" Becca shrugs as she's trailing off there, before offering a hand and saying, "I'm Becca, Becca Gadison. Nice t'meet ya."

Laynia greets each person who comes out to help by their mutant names, and she has a fair amount of 'stuff', the back seats were folded down to make the entire back of the car storage. "Thank you, my friends." She says to those helping out. On the cart are several 'sleeves' of assorted canned vegies, a bag full of spices, and a fifty pound bag of rice, which will be the last thing loaded. It is actually pretty surprising just how much fits in the rather small car!

Diya's nod is returned, her own head inclined respectfully deep, hey, the woman is the honcho for The Pride! She deserves it.

A grin over to Lexi. "Da! I have been very busy with work, so I have been absent, thought I should make up for said lack with goods and services." A sagenod, cinnamon eyes warm. "Is American way, yes?" She does offer the pretty Texan a friendly smile too, if Lexi and Diya accept her, she's clearly okay.

The sorting of and feeding of the cats does catch her attention, definitely noted but not commented on.

Once the cart is loaded she tries to push it, but one of the stronger fellows, he's about six-six, with marbled skin not unlike a gila monster's - he just tsks, waggles a big hand at her. "I got thisssss, Miss Darksssstar." Yes, lizard tongue and all, slit pupils. "Thank you, Scales." He even has a tail — definitely not a 'can pass'.

Relieved of the cart, she just concentrates on it to let them get it to the kitchen before she approaches the group. "Hello Lexi, hello Hunter." And then smiles to Becca. "Hello, Miss Gadison, I am Darkstar." At present her eyes are solid black as she sustains her concentration…which might be a tad off-putting. The woman is currently wearing sturdy boots, sturdy jeans and a flannel top worn untucked with a black turtleneck underneath. Not exactly a fashion plate, but very practical.

Once all of the cats are seen to, Hunter closes up the container of food and tucks it away behind herself, then crouches against the wall, eating through the food she was brought for herself. As always, she stays where she is, watching and observing everything and everyone around her, a trait of hypervigilence that is normal for her, and others in her condition. Laconic as always, she doesn't speak unless ehe has an absolute need, and she has none right now. But there's no way she's not tuned in to everyone.

The others are used to the air of tightly-leashed violence and lethal danger that surrounds Hunter, but it may be a very new thing for Becca. There is just something about this woman that instincts and hindbrain insist should be avoided.

Golden eyes slit as Lexi reaches out to take the offers hand, her own grip firm but not too strong. Delicate, like she's used to being careful. "Lexi….mm, Becca's a nice name." the foxish young woman notes ears perking forwards slightly. "Yer a long way from home from th' accent. Welcome." She releases the hand her own going to her hips. "I was comin' over ta make sure ya had enough food for all th' Pride sorts today. And pierogis." She shrugs. "It's kinda my thing…well, kinda a story, but eh, get into that another time." She peers at Laynia. "Wow, ya got all that in that tiny little car? I'm suprised ya could breath afterwords, pressed up the steering wheel like that." she teases.

But her head shifts a bit more, so she's keeping Diya n her peripheral vision, her left ear flicking slightly towards Diya as she feeds the cats.

Becca doesn't stare or otherwise react visibly to those all-black eyes — While she's not a long-time or lifetime resident of Mutant Town, she's been here long enough now to have learned to avoid such reactions. And besides, someone with odd monochrome eyes isn't even in the top 10 weird things she's seen today, around here. And for what it's worth, since she came out specifically to do her volunteer shift at the food kitchen, she's pretty dressed-down practical herself with what she's wearing — a thick flannel shirt in a blue-green plaid pattern, unbuttoned over a navy blue tee and a pair of nicely-fitting faded blue jeans and a black pair of comfy, utilitarian shoes suitable for spending a lot of time on one's feet.

"Nice t'meet you, too," the blonde says to Laynia, before replying to Lexi. "Thank you. An' yeah, I'm not from 'round here, but you got that already," she says, with a grin and a laugh. "I know it's subtle-like, but…"

It's about then that the feeling coming from Hunter's direction gets through to her, and she notices Lexi giving some attention in that direction as well. Her smile vanishing, Becca asks, "Is everythin' all right, um, over there?"

Definitely used to the air of menace from Diya, well, as used to gut level fear and flight instinctive responses as one can get, Laynia doesn't show any discomfort she (definitely!) feels. "I know, right? Is amazing how much space my tiny little car can make with seats folded down." A laugh at the breathing comment, and she nods. "Was a bit crowded, da." Fingers brush through her pixie cut of nearly white hair. "Ooh…pierogis? That is MUCH nicer than what I brought." Not that staple supplies are going to be looked at askance.

"Oh, if you are more comfortable you may call me Laynia, Becca. Is custom here to take name that is descriptive, so I go by my codename of Darkstar most of the time here." Laynia's plaid is in yellow and black, primarily. Clearly she's fond of the combo. Her grin widens, and then her body language shifts quite a bit, looking a bit more relaxed as she drawls in a spot on Southern drawl, instead of the Muscovite accent she'd been sporting. "Don'you worry about a thing, honey. We all are very acceptin' of new people, so long as they do their bit, mm?"

A grin as she reverts to her native accent. "Do not worry about the 'feel', is normal for Hunter, you will know should she be /angry/, believe me."

The Hunter glances up as the 'new girl' asks if everything is alright. She shrugs her shoulders. "No threats yet." That's the sum of her contribution to the conversation. But she does eat every tiny bit of the food on her tray. Then she sets down the tray and plasticware and stands once more, still keeping an eye on things. She glances towards Lexi, Becca and Laynia, offering a little nod as her hand lifts to touch her own chest. "Hunter'. The woman's words are mush-mouthed and very few and far between. But that's her normal. Most of the time.

Lexi is (to no suprise of those who know her) the least dressed up and layered of those present, currently wearing a loose athletic shirt over cut off jean shorts cut high enough to show the pockets, despite the cooler weather. This gives her a lot of skin to use her tendrils from, after all, and she's never been particulaly ashamed of showing some skin. She prefers to flaunt it as much as she flaunts her mutant looks at times. "Yeah, got it…" she says cheerfully. "Nothin' wrong with it, New York's where all sorts come." She shrugs her shoulders then studies that empty plate Hunter sets down before she tsks and walks over to rummage in a pocket and pull out a smaller bag of pierogis apparently just for hunter that double the food she just ate. Like she's used to it. "Don't gush now Hottie, yer gonna make th' new girl blush or somethin'." she notes wryly.

"Folks should be called what they want t'be," Becca replies to Laynia, or Darkstar, with a nod. "That sounded more like Georgia than Texas, though," she adds, recovering a bit of her cheer. To Hunter, she mirrors the woman's greeting, a bit awkwardly and self-consciously aping the gesture at her own chest as she says, "Becca."

Solid black eyes remain dark for a bit yet, she wants to be sure the staff have time to unload thing. Laynia smiles to the Hunter, she is however careful not to bare any teeth, some gut instinct makes her feel that bared teeth might be bad in the vet's case. Actually, that makes her consider the cats, her affinity for them, and the sighting of a huge tiger a couple weeks back…

She says nothing about her thoughts of course.

Lexi's relative undress doesn't phase Darkstar in the slightest, she's clearly seen it before. "A regular melting pot, da?" She says in response to the purple cutie-mutie. And she can't help but snicker a wee bit when she teases the Hunter.

To Rebecca. "Oh, either is fine with me, they're both who I am, people hereabouts tend to favor Darkstar, but you can use whatever you wish, Becca. I won't mind and will respond to either since I know you know both names."

Laynia is clearly not too bothered by the cold either, though perhaps being symbiotically linked to a dimension of darkness, bitter cold and madness might have /something/ to do with it.

Hunter lifts amber-backed green eyes to Lexi and a growl echoes from her, something impossibly deep for her size. "Hate. Name." she offers to the purple-skinned mutant girl, apparently not amused. BUt she doesn't throw away the extra food when it is provided.

Instead Hunter crouches down, giving an odd little 'blurrt' of sound to one of the cats who nosed over to investigate. The cat sits and looks up at Hunter, wonderingly, and she crouches back down, tearing off a bit and offering it to the cat by dropping it in front of her. A little 'ssst' to the others, and then she tears off more little bits and drops one on each of the diminished piles of kibble she laid out earlier. Having given away nearly half of the food, she then pulls out a combat knife and spears one, nibbling at it from the blade directly.

"Ah, but it's appropriate!" Lexi points out. "I mean, it's a perfectly good shortening of your name to use as a nickname!" Which Lexi is. Despite growls from Hunter. "Also, that food is for /you/, because ya never eat enough. Don't make me break out the lasagna next ime." she notes.

Seeing Lexi teasing Miss Foreboding Aura also helps put Becca at ease, despite the sense of dread still emanating from the woman. "It does seem t'draw people from all over, here, yeah," she agrees, nodding. As she's watching Lexi, she can't help but comment, "You dress like I do in the summertime. I'm still tryin' to get used to how cold it gets here, compared to where I grew up. Aren't you a li'l… chilly?"

Clearly Lexi is very much intimidated by the Hunter's growl, yup, can't you see her cowering? Laynia manages by dint of heroic effort not to laugh outright at the girl's utter unconcern. She has a bit more survival instinct and a bit less surety that Hunter would take her amusement well. Of course…Hunter can likely /smell/ the woman's emotional state pretty well considering how acute her senses are even in her human form, or as Catseye would call it 'smoothskin'.

"Oh, lasagna…that sounds good. I should learn to make that sometime, perhaps I will surf the internet and see if I can find a recipe that appeals, perhaps using the Google."

Yeah, Laynia is still playing catchup after her forty year nap it seems, still, doing a LOT better then a few months ago! "This? This is not cold. You should try winter in Moscow, or further north. THAT is cold." Laynia says with a grin.

Hunter does not respond with words to Lexi's taunting and teasing, she just glares at her and goes back to eating. Clearly she does not appreciate the nickname, or the teasing, or the humor. Yet despite her ferocious and deadly aura, she takes no action against Lexi. It would seem clear that she could, if she wished. But she says nothing more, does nothing. Not even cuffing Lexi upside the back of her silver-tendriled skull.

This could be because Lexi stays wisely out of range of cuffs when using said nickname! Or, you know, that she can get away with stuff that would get cuffs from other people. "Who, me? Or her?" Lexi asks Becca, glancing over. "Oh, yeah, she's Russian, they don't feel cold, the vodka keeps it bay." she notes wryly. "I just don't mind it as much as others…it gets kinda hard to use my tendrils if I got too much on…" she says, holding out an arm as slim tendrils curl around her forearms, waving as if in a gentle breeze, before retracting again.

"That is a very cool power," Becca comments to Lexi, as she watches the little demonstration. "An hey, if you don't mind the cold and it gives you an excuse to dress sexy, well, I wish I could do that." She's grinning as she says that, and gives a quick laugh. "Me, I do stuff with gravity, but you prob'ly kinda guessed somethin' like that when I didn't fall over." As she's talking, she slowly hovers up a couple of inches off the ground.

Hunter just grinds her teeth in between bites of peirogis. She doesn't say anything else. Doesn't try to explain who she is, what she is, what she can do. Maybe she figures since the other two know, someone will explain her to the new girl? Or maybe she's just being her usual laconic, unspeaking self. How droll.

"Oh yes, the vodka is key." Laynia replies with a smirk. "At least if you /have/ some, many Russian fighter jocks in remote locations have been known to drink jet fuel." And that's the truth, that's a real thing. A real /bad/ thing. Laynia nods along with Lexi's explanation. "Whereas I am Darkforce manipulator - bound to realm of darkness and cold, it doesn't bother me much regardless." A grin. "Though my physical costume, that is reinforced for the cold."

She studies the floating Becca, and nods. "Gravity is interesting power, primal force."

The terse silence from Hunter however, that draws a mildly concerned look from the (other) Russian expat. Sadly, she doesn't know about the shifting, all she knows is that Hunter is keen of senses, and physically powerful.

"Exactly!" Lexi points out to Becca. "If ya got it, might as well flaunt it." And give her petite side, her curves do tend to stand out a bit more than most, by perspective if nothing else! "Huh, ya both got pretty cool abilities, yeah….she admits, folding her arms thoughfully. "Is that why ya came ta the Big Apple Becca, wanted ta find a place to put your abilities to use?" she wonders.

Becca smoothly sets back down on her feet, and says to Laynia, "Yeah, I've worked out ways t'make good use of it. I'm sure there's stuff I haven't thought of, but…?" She shrugs.

To Lexi, she answers, "Well, and to get away from things goin' wrong at home, or what used t'be home, I guess now. I wanted to be somewhere I wouldn't be judged or looked down on for what I am, y'know?"

Or hunted. Enslaved. Experimented on. Something about Becca's tale causes an uptick in the tension from Hunter. She says nothing, but there are signs, changes including the fact that her cats abandon their spots and scamper away, spreading out rapidly to get away. Their feline mistress is not happy, and they react to that instinctively.

Then the hyper-alert Hunter bursts up to her feet. "Go. Warn Pride, now." she hisses, turning so that her burning eyes meet Lexi's.

Even as the veteran starts to sprint into the street, three vans come swiftly around a corner two blocks away, turning tightly but still scraping against a parked car before surging forward towards the food kitchen. Those with enough situational awareness will realize that the two vans should never have come around that corner together. Even so, the side doors slide back …

…and Hunter leaps out in front of the vans before they can close with the food kitchen, a pistol appearing in her hand from beneath her coat and exploding with tremendous force as she starts unloading shots into the drivers.

Just a second and a half later, both careening vans slam into Hunter going close to fifty miles per hour through her. Messily.

Laynia blinks when Hunter goes all tense, but she does not hesitate. The INSTANT she says to warn the Pride she shimmers, her form obscured a moment as a costume made of Darkforce appears around her - it is a curious thing, black, roiling a bit, white patterns forming a star at chest and brow. A step forward and she is in flight just in time to see the Hunter get splatted by the van. The invective she spews is very Russian, very scathing, and utterly fueled by rage.

She trusts to Lexi to do what is right, after all she knows the defense protocols better than Laynia. Instead, the Darkstar raises both hands overhead, a tremendous sphere of darkling energy? Matter? Regardless, darkness itself congeals between her hands, and then she he hurls it at one of the vans with /devastating/ effect. The sphere isn't even noticeably slowed by the metal as it punches completely through like a wrecking ball and flips the thing back a good twenty yards. Eyes blazing black, the woman is snarling and clearly more than happy to engage in more mayhem.

Lexi is…well. Let's talk about Lexi. She's not very good at following rules or regulations, or orders. She tends to do what she thinks is best.

And her first reaction when she sees Hunter get nailed by the vans is to let out a snarl, baring fangs as her tendrils snaps out like whips, her silvery hair rising up like an invisible breeze is rushing through it. "You /MOTHERFUCKERS/!" She grits her teeth and snaps out a tendril, snagging a startled Pride member. "Get everyone off the street now!" she orders, before setting the woman down to hurry off and grab the other PRide member and get them moving away from the fight, before with a whipcrack one of her tendrils shoots past at the other van as two others flick out to wind around lightpoles, squeezing down at the van as she attempts to jerk it over on its side with a grunt of effort, superhuman muscles flexing through the lengths.

Becca hasn't been in a lot of fights. She has been 'on patrol' with Anon, and learned a few things. One in particular, that comes screaming into her mind as she sees the vans oncoming, and the side doors opening: Protect the bystanders.

And so it is that the young blonde mutant, a look of concentration and defiance on her face, steps out in front of the food kitchen, onto the sidewalk — and with a rainbow flare of gravitic lensing, throws up a bubble of force that will prevent any gunfire from entering the front of the building, or harming anyone inside.

The first van thuds into Hunter with incredible mass and force, sickening crunches as the glass … only cracks a little. Anyone think that is odd? Or the way the hood and grill don't even deform a little bit? The vans are reinforced?!

Meanwhile, all of that momentum is translated into Hunter, and she is thrown aside like a shattered rag doll. It's a sickening mess. Her gunshots sadly did not do as much sa she likely hoped, as they seem only to have spalled the reinforced polymer windows.

Darkstar's attack does manage to core through one of the vans with devastating effect. The one guy inside the van who didn't lose a limb or something more vital manages to stumble out of the back of the van and brings up a shotgun … with a large disc mounted under it, then wheels around and starts firing at the mutants attacking the vans, and anyone else he can get a bead on.

Lexi's warning sends the older woman stumbling into the kitchen … silently. But her hands are flashing signs and signals, and chairs can be heard to fall over as the Pride scramble to follow pre-planned escape routes.

The vans are massive things, not easily moved by Lexi's effort. Quite a lot of gunfire erupts from the side of the van that wasn't cored out by Darkforce, splattering … against a gravitic shield, as Becca manages to save quite a few lives.

With the van's momentum, Lexi will find herself dragged along before she can finally topple the van, sending it skidding along on its side through the next intersection. Then shouts come from inside, as those in the van come boiling out, struggling to right themselves and get weapons ready to continue their murderous attack.

Floating above the fight, Laynia concentrates, a vice — LITERALLY a vice — of Darkforce forming and attempting to crush the remaining upright van and block the door to cut down on the gunfire, she is floating slowly towards where Hunter fell, eyes dripping with Darkforce, or…tears, perhaps? Maybe both, either way, her teeth are bared in a rictus of hate for the men who dared to launch this assault.

"You will rue this day, monsters." She grates out, form wreathed in darkling energies as she works on trying to turn a van into is rather large paperweight…full of meat.

Lexi snarl, getting dragged as more tendrils snap out to grab onto other cars that she drags after her to slow herself before the van flips, before sthey all abruptly release, sending the mauve mutant forward like she was fired from a slingshot to smash into the ground, an arm lashing out as a tendril lengths ands swing at about hip level, trying to smash the soldiers spilling out of the van to the side with about a ton of force. "Ya brought your shit ta th' /wrong neighborhood/ assholes!"

Becca watches what's happening outside her 'bubble' with dismay, but for the moment, she has one job to do, and she will continue to do it. So long as there are still immediate threats out there to the people behind her, she will maintain her shield and keep them safe.

With both Darkstar and Whiplash laying into them, the gunmen honestly are not going to last long. They are simply normal men, if well armed and prepared. And once neutralized, there are no additional threats to the Pride or innocent civilians.

One van has been cored out, and there are three inside, one missing an arm and half his chest, another his head, the third a hole in his chest. The fourth is crushed to a messy paste. The second van is on its side, its four occupants beaten, slammed, choked and torn apart.

But had they succeeded in their attack, they could well have killed hundreds of innocents, and likely gotten away.

On the far sidewalk, the brooken and bloody form of Hunter lies cast off and forgotten, until with a sickening crunch and pop she manages to pull her shattered leg back into socket. Then push her crushed ribs outward, wheezing as bloody foam flecks her lips, and she inhales once more.

Yeah, Laynia is a former soldier and spy - she's not even faintly squeamish about extreme sanction, nope. She tries not to kill usually, but with automatic weapons and friends apparently getting pasted? Yeah, not really going to hold back much. Once the soldiers, the murderers, are dealt with she lands next to Diya's crushed and broken body, the dark costume fading a way and her cheeks rimed with frost.

So she is very much there when Diya starts to recover. "Bozhe moi! She is ALIVE!" Laynia looks to her car, then to Lexi and Becca. "In the back, under the floor, there is medical kit…"

Lexi hisses at the downed people, her eyes slit, before she stalks towards Hunter as she starts to heal. "Get it. We can't stay here. Police will be coming. I'll take ya ta one of our safe houses. Becca, they might have questions for ya if ya stick around, so offer's open to ya too." she notes, her tendrils carefully curling under Hunter to lift her up as she heals, switching to Russian. "<Shhhh. I'm here, Hunter. We'll get you someplace safe to heal…>"

Seeing the combat is over, Becca drops her shield, and instead moves to comply with Laynia's request — by looking to the Mini Cooper and focusing her mind. A moment later the car lifts smoothly upward until its tires are inches above the ground, and glides over to near the others, rotating as it moves, so that it comes smoothly to a stop and settles back down gently, the back facing Laynia. Hey, this is probably faster than hunting in a stranger's car for something she doesn't know the exact location of!

Hunter hisses in agony as Lexi lifts her up. But she does not argue, except for one word. One word in Russian. "< Gun. >"

The Pride have largely evacuated from the food kitchen, disappearing out of the side and back doors, scattering to safety and the four winds.

And then, in the distance, comes the sound of sirens.

With the sound of approaching sirens, Laynia looks thoughtful. "I can perhaps deal with the authorities." Because: SHIELD agent. She doesn't like the idea of abandoning the Hunter or Lexi, even Rebecca. "Everyone into the car, I will jump us to a place I know nearby, then we can get her to the safehouse." If the other ladies comply, she'll get behind the wheel and *gasp* fire up the engine without buckling up or anything! Once they're all aboard she guns the engine, and drives, a portal opening in front of the vehicle as they go. With a bit of a lurch they enter the Darkforce Dimension.

It is a hideous place of Darkness and cold. There's texture to the darkness, gradients to it, wisps of smoky tendrils rising, the air itself seeming to roil. Out of the corner of one's eyes can be seen flickers of movement, but nothing when you look straight on. The place /feels/ cold, dark, evil…and one can also hear whispers, though the words are too faint or too distorted to hear.

"Do not leave the vehicle." Laynia says, and to Hunter's senses, that voice of hers is doubled, and faintly out of synch, indeed, there's another her near by, another Laynia made of the same stuff of this realm, though…her hair is still long. Seeing things? Possibly.

A quick twitch of multiple tendrils and Hunter's gun (and several other that look interesting, including the disc shotgun that look interesting) get nabbed as she securely weaves a more comfortably cocoon to mimimize the strain on Hunter as she heals as she slips inside. "Oh, this'll be interesting…"

Having gone past the limits of her experience at about the moment when the vans came around the corner, Becca just follows the others' lead, and so now finds herself in a small car moving quickly through a bizarre and very unsettling otherwhere. She stares out the window, wide-eyed, and a shiver runs visibly through her.

Coccooned, Hunter can see little, but can hear and smell much. More wet coughs wrack her body, as Russian words spill from her lips. "< Yes, Commissar. Stay. Smell the Darkness. The cold taint. >"

Fortunately the drive is a short one, up ahead one can see a pin point of light, and it grows as they drive through the madness and darkness all around them. That light turns out to be another portal, this facing a vacant lot on the edge of Mutant Town and the Disaster Zone. "We are almost there, do not worry." She shifts to Russian. "<Stay on point, Soldier. You are no good to anyone if you die.>

And then another /thump/, and the car immediately warms as they exit into that lot, and Laynia slews the vehicle around and drives it into a partially collapsed parking structure, and down into darkness. "SO…we are here. How far to the safehouse?"

She is climbing out, and opens the hatchback to get to the medical kit.

"<We're going someplace safe, Laynia is taking us. Hold on, almost there." Once the car stops, Lexi opens the door and slips out, carefully laying Hunter down. "…I don't think yer gonna need too much. Other than some new clothes for her, if ya got somethin' she can wear." She frowns, kneeling by Hunter. "…I think she can heal all of this, given a little time." She glances at Becca, then reaches out to pat her on the shoulder with a tendril. "Hey. It'll be okay."

Becca's still a little wide-eyed as she's getting out of the car, having no idea what that was that she just saw on the other side of the window glass, and not at all sure that she wants to. She actually jumps a bit at Lexi's touch, before catching herself. Glancing around, she asks, "Where are we?"

Hunter snarls in pain, and it is not the cry of an entirely human throat. "< Straighten! Align! >" she shouts in a pause between pained snarls. Then she twists, crying out in pain, and gives a wet, hacking bark of a cough, spewing up blood and ruined lung tissue. After that clears her throat she wheezes a bit, falls back down and lays pretty still. But her breathing has improved.

Laynia strips off her flannel shirt, it isn't much, but it is something, hell, she strips completely covering herself in Darkforce so they can get Diya out of the bloody ruins of her clothing. It isn't like normal cloth, but close enough, the roiling is a bit much but it will do in a pinch, she ends up in essentially a catsuit made of pseudo-energy matter created by her will.

The kit is opened, and she looks appalled when the woman hacks up tissue and gore. "I…do you think pain meds would be useful? If not, then let us work on cleaning her up and getting her changed."

A smile to Becca. "We are about a mile from where we were, still in New York, near disaster zone."

"Ah shit…" Lexi says, rubbing her face "Okay. Uh. WE're going to have to realign her bones so they heal properly, otherwise she'll have to break them again later. Can ya show me where ta do that? I can squeeze evenly to pull things back together for limbs, but I'm not good at ribs…" she admits, curling her tendrils around one of Hunter's obviously broken limb, then carefully twisting to realign it. She doesn't give her warning so she doesn't tense up and make it harder. "Pain meds can help after we get her healin' correctly…."

This part is definitely outside of Becca's experience. She looks a bit aghast as that bloody bit of lung is hacked up, turning away abruptly and trying not to be sick. If she was out of her depth before, she's halfway down the Mariana Trench now.

Laynia's answer to her question at least reassures her somewhat. After that ride through wherever the hell that was, she was half-expecting to be somewhere much further away, or much worse.

Hunter screams in pain as her limbs are, one by one, yanked, twisted and rearranged. Once that is done, she lies relatively still, her breathing better and her limbs no longer contorted.

The closest of the Pride safehouses to this location, once Lexi can get herself reoriented, is actually not Pride territory, but Morlock territory accessible from a tunnel that - at least the last time she checked - collapses only after reaching this partially collapsed parking structure, and accessible from its lowest level. The cache there includes bedding and supplies, including food and medical, for a group of ten for ten days. And given what Hunter has been worried about lately, chances are she may also have stashed weapons there.

Laynia very carefully helps with the alignment process, even going so far as to use her Darkforce to form splints and bracing…or to help Lexi straighten things out if needed. Once things are relatively stable, Laynia creates a rolling cart like those from an ambulance under Diya, lifting the woman up from the ground. "So…lead the way, Lexi." It is pretty plain that Becca is pretty new to the supers thing, she's not nearly hardened enough to be all that seasoned. Granted, Laynia was a bit taken aback by the blood and tissue expulsion.

Lexi sighs a bit, looking vaguely relieved when the last shrieks fade, before she carefully scoops up Hunter and leads the group into the storm sewers. "Ya might not know this, Becca, but for a while, when things were real bad durin' registration, th' Morlocks lived down here. Mutants that couldn't pass above ground, either cuz of their looks or their powers." she says, as she walks along, apparently effortlessly lifting Hunter in the process. "I grew up down here…long time ago." She frowns. "…after th' last bit of violence, th' Morlocks went deep…the ones that lived. Militia motherfuckers decided they were going to "cleanse" th' place."

She inhales, then lets out a breath, sniffing slightly, then turns, leading the group into the cache. "These days, it's Pride space. Backups 'n safehouses. So it doesn't happen again. Just cuz things are a bit better with MutantTown these days…lots of us don't forget, 'specially th' ones who lived through it last time."

"I know there's history I don't know, that I want to know," Becca replies to Lexi, falling in next to her as the group moves. "I've heard a little, since I've been livin' up here, but I'd really like to hear more."

As before, Hunter doesn't say much of anything. She is quiet. She just lays there, breathing, as she is rolled or carried down into the depths of the ruined parking structure, and then into the tunnels that will lead to the cache and 'safe house'.

Few indeed know the whole history of what really happened in those years. The number that know and have lived to tell their tales are few and far between. But some of them … some of them are members of the Pride. Indeed, the reason the Pride is as protective as it is comes from them, flows from them. And their experiences inspired the woman who made them what they are today.

Imagine how they would feel if anyone told them that woman wasn't even a mutant.

"Lexi, put her on the gurney, please." Laynia asks, despite the little lady's desire to carry Diya. "Hottie will be more comfortable on it and you'll be better able to fight if there's an emergency." Laynia is very keen on getting things sorted out, and is very good at spinning things for the best results.

Becca's commentary is noted. "Oh, I too am not as well informed as I could be, though I have been researching." Laynia states with a nod. "There is much to be learned."

Laynia keeps the gurney moving by will alone, which is nice. As to Diya's lack of mutancy…Laynia doesn't know, and wouldn't tell if she did.

Lexi glances over to Becca, tilting her head, her silvery hair shivering a bit, shifting agains ther back, then back to Laynia. "…maybe I can tell you more of it. Later." she says after a moment. Because she does remember.

She really wishes she didn't, often. It still hurts.

She nods to Laynia, walking over to settle Hunter on the gurney as indicated. "She's been hurt before, though not this bad that I remember. But she should heal. She's going to be ravenous though, her body will use up a lot of energy."

And Lexi's experience would also say that Diya is going to want lots and lots and lots of protein. Go figure; she has to rebuild all of the flesh that just got ruined. Biophysics demands protein!

First, there's the grate at the bottom of the parking structure. Then a stroll down a storm drain that is visibly collapsed in the opposite direction and not in great shape in this one. Then there's a wall of iron bars with a door; Lexi is far too good of a thief to let a little thing like a locked door stop her. A short corridor with a few traps along the way - mostly warning bells sorts. And then a heavy steel door. It's just closed, not barred, though it can be from the inside.

And beyond that door is a space about twenty-by-twenty. There's a steel cabinet along one wall and two big steamer trunks. There's also an incinerator toilet, two big black gear gases … and a tiny refrigerator.

Replying to Lexi, Becca says, "If… If it's okay with you, I mean… I'd really like that." She's picked up on the tone there, and the body language, and realized that for Lexi, it wouldn't be stories so much as memories, that she might not enjoy sharing. "I… It's weird. T'suddenly find out you're… somethin' that some people are gonna hate you for. I mean, black kids, growin' up, they know they're black. Or Mexican kids. Or whatever. But to not know until you're 14 years old that you're a mutant… And yes, I know, I've gotten the lecture, I know I've got it better than a lot of us, because I can pass as regular human. But it doesn't change who and what I am."

Once they get to the bunker, Laynia will secure the door, and then looks to the other women. "If she will need food, I will teleport out and get some now that I know where this is I can return. Do not open the door, da?"

She looks to Rebecca then with some measure of sympathy. "Is not easy being a mutant, 'can pass' or not." Laynia knows this first hand. She doesn't really get the impression that Becca is all that interested in her history, however, and really, not all that inclined to speak of it right now anyway. "I will get food, can you think of other supplies?" She already plans on getting some military surplus fatigues for Diya when she goes, something in her size. She'll be going home first, though, to get her own clothing situation straightened out, she can't do much in Darkforce clothing!

Once they answer, Laynia opens a portal, and walks through. She'll be gone for a bit, returning in about an hour.

Lexi lets out an indelicate snort. "Mmm. I never had that. I always knew what I was. I looked like this from what I was born." she says, reaching up to tug a pointed ear idly. "So it's always been hated an' feared. Or weirdos who wanna walk on the wild side or somethin'." She wrinkles her nose cutely. "Kinda how Hunter an' I met, actually..um, not that she was the weirdo, but she did something about th' one who was, when I was younger." She shrugs her shoulders, folding her arms as her tendrils vanish back into her body. "An' yeah, it doesn't change it. It does make it easier…an' harder in some ways. Lotsa mutants will resent ya for bein' pretty an' powerful, when they don't have either."

She takes a seat in one of the mattresses on the floor, leaning back against the wall. "I mean…not sayin' it wasn't rough. It musta been a shock. I always knew what I was. So…puberty didn't change much. But for you…yeah, I guess…changed your world, right?"

Lexi Haze dropped Tendril Not a Tentacle.

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