2020-01-18 - Truck Stop


Anon stops a stolen truck of Frost International devices. Emma makes contact.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sat Jan 18 05:38:17 2020
Location: Lower East Side

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Celerity has been out late again. Sometimes, on the occasion she has a bit of spare cash, she puts on a wig and other bits of disguise and comes out to Priscilla's club, just for fun. Fun which she keeps concealed from everyone else who knows her. She's finished her visit for the night, and she's heading out to make her way back home. If all's gone well, Temperance hasn't even noticed she was gone…

But then comes the sound of sirens, police cars rushing past in front of her, in pursuit of a hijacked truck of Frost International's latest consumer gadgets.

Well, so much for going straight home. A few seconds later, Anon rushes out of a nearby alleyway, handily catching up with the police and getting a feel for the situation.

Emma is not really the sort to be out and about as a crime fighter, she's really not a heroine, not as such. So, she is present, in her own right as an interested party during the chase. Some few blocks away she is monitoring the action with a police captain in one of their command centers. Eyes of blue are severe as they watch the the various dash-cams as the chase unfolds.

After a moment she settles down in a seat apparently irritated and NOT wanting to be talked to for a bit, as she ejects her astral self and follows up close and personal.

Anon has absolutely no idea about the astral form following her. As Emma comes closer, she can feel the mix of emotions cycling through the speedster's head at (of course) super-speed. Quick, off-the-cuff velocity calculations; plans for how to stop the truck without anyone getting hurt, raised and rejected in turn; anxiety, the nerves of a girl who still doesn't believe she belongs in costume.

Then she tries her first gambit: she swipes a knife from a bystander (sorry bystander) and goes right for one of the truck's wheels. Not enough to send it careening off into a dangerous crash, but it should slow it down, right?

Fortunately Emma's speed in astral form is sufficient to keep up with the speedster. Gently she monitors the girls thoughts, the touch as gentle as strands of gossamer, her touch virtuosity itself.

Impressed with the speed the girl /thinks/ at, Emma has to actually store and replay things for later, for right now she skims the gist of what's going and even that is taxing.

Which is frankly fascinating.

A soft voice in the back of Anon's head. «Uncouple the trailer from the cab…that will end the chase quickly, the goods might be damaged, but it will probably be safer than letting the chase go on.»

Anon jumps when she hears the voice, whirling around to look behind her and finding nobody there. Normally, people can't talk to her when she's going at this speed, not unless she comes up alongside a car. With the surprise, she barely keeps her footing, but she's not going to trip just from that. Learning balance has been a priority since she started getting this kind of momentum behind her.

With that touch on her mind, Emma can hear Anon's response — albeit in a jumbled way. «Oh great, now I'm hearing voices. I really have cracked. It was only a matter of time, wasn't it? This is a bad idea, this was always a bad idea—» But the negative self-talk is just habit, and doesn't actually slow her down any. She's heard the idea, and it's a good idea. She goes back onto the pavement long enough to set the knife down safely. When she ramps up again, she slides in between cab and trailer, and starts pulling at latches to get it unhitched.

«Easy…no, you are not imagining things.» That voice? ABSOLUTELY crystal clear, no distortion, no background noise, crisp, clean, pure. «Apologies for startling you, young lady.» Emma watches with approval as the girl acts -despite- her concerns. Once the truck cab and trailer are decoupled they separate, and the trailer hits with a sparks throwing thud as it careens to a stop after hitting the ground and the sliding a ways. the CAB actually surges forward a bit after that, load lightened.

«Well done. Now, which do you think would be more effective - taking out some tires, breaking an axel, or engaging the cab tilt?"

There actually is another voice in her head. That should bring a sense of relief, because it means she's not going crazy. Instead, it brings a fresh surge of panic. What if this voice is paying close enough attention to learn her Secret? She at least manages to avoid the 'don't think about a purple elephant' problem, instead putting her attention fully on the task at hand. If she's thinking about stopping the cab, she won't think about her identity.

Instead, she breaks each potential solution down. «Damaging the wheels, I'd need to take a few out to slow it to a stop. And each one would make it more erratic, too. It isn't just a question of effectiveness, but stopping the car safely. Wheels are out. Breaking an axel would take power away from a wheel pair all at once, so they'd stop contributing to the speed, but it wouldn't be like slamming the breaks. Tilting the cab, that'd leave the driver staring right at the road, not seeing where he's going — could do something impulsive by reflex, cause a crash, and a lot of harm. Again, not safe. Breaking the axels is the best bet.»

All that analysis passes in about the same time as it would take a normal runner to finish taking a step.

Anon looks down at her arm, wincing as she forms her hand into a fist. «This will suck.»

Because then she has to get to the axels. She zooms closer, then skids under the truck, going almost onto her back. That part hurts, but it's not the worst. The worst is striking, with full momentum, into each axel as she passes underneath it. Her body can dish out that force, but it's not built to take it. She cries out on the third one, as something gives way — a torn ligament, a dislocated wrist? Whatever it is, it hurts.

Emma can feel the pain the girl feels, and since she got injured doing HER a service, she tamps the pain down to tolerable levels - removing it entirely would be bad, and dangerous, but there's no reason the girl's suffering can't be mitigated so she can still function. Once Anon emerges from under the vehicle, the successful shattering of all three axles ends the chase precipitously as the tires are decoupled from the drive train, and two of them actually go spinning off to hit a mailbox and a dumpster respectively and the cab of the truck screeches to a halt, sparks flying and pavement chewed up as it crashes to the ground and slams into a parked car.

«I can hold the block until you can get treatment, if you wish to avoid the police, I'd run now, you've done well. There's a free clinic three blocks up, turn right, go another two blocks and it will be on the left hand side.»

The pain is there… and then suppressed, in a flash. That makes the hair on the back of Anon's neck stand up. It feels unnatural, to do something like that and not hurt from it, or at least not much. It goes against all her (relatively little) experience of heroism. «No clinic, not until I've had a look for myself,» she thinks. «YouTube has all sorts of tutorials.» She does, however, start running. «Who are you?» There are layers to the question. Curiosity; confusion; and more than a bit of wariness. This is someone who's been inside her head and demonstrated at least some ability to mess with her — to implant thoughts, to manipulate senses.

«I know some first aid, but you'd be better advised to go the clinic, young lady.» Young lady not 'Celerity', either this woman has not looked, cannot look, or is simply omitting anything she's gleaned. It is slightly hopeful, right? If nothing else it shows the woman is polite. «I am the White Queen.» Hey! Celerity it keeping her name secret, Emma can too!

«White Queen? Like… from Hellfire?» That leans the scale more towards worry. The Hellfire Club is a villainous group, to the best of her knowledge, and there's one of them in her mind right then and there.

«Yes.» A simple admission, but no sense of menace, no sense of pride. Just facts. «You are right to be concerned, little mutant. A telepath is not to be taken lightly, even one of limited power.» The qualifier is fairly strong evidence that the White Queen is not one of moderate power. «I can only say I have not done anything but offer you the best advice I had to give, I have not delved deeper than your surface thoughts, and I suppressed your pain, nothing more. You will have to decide if these actions have meaning, or if I am tricking you somehow.»

An open admission of guilt. Not hiding, not trying to offer justifications or say how she's misunderstood. That openness… that gets Anon sitting up and paying attention better than anything else the White Queen could have tried. She stops on a street corner, eyes closed. This may be a bad idea, and it could easily turn around and bite her, but…

«I'll trust you.» She turns and makes her way towards the clinic.

Emma is a lot of things, but she's is not proud of her past mistakes. But see, that's the thing, she's trying to make them STAY past, and not repeat them. Not easy. Habit, impetus, momentum, inertia — all very hard things to overcome. But Emma Frost is anything but lacking in will. ANYTHING but.

A sense of approval, and then Emma guides Celerity to the clinic. While she's at it she also arranges a wire transfer to the clinic to help them stay afloat, because, why not? «Doctor Mattias Reins is the one you want, he is aware of your need for secrecy. He will not betray your secrets, nor will he file awkward paperwork.»

Anon holds her wrist in her opposite hand, wincing at what remains of the pain — even if that relative lack still makes her frown. It feels wrong to have this kind of damage and not feel it. «I appreciate this. But why are you helping me?»

She enters the clinic, the only person in costume. Feeling that fact, she blushes as she walks up. "I need to speak with Doctor Reins." She projects more confidence than she feels. It's easier, when she's in costume. She isn't 'herself' when she's like this.

«I'm a mutant too, we need to stick together. The world is a dangerous place, doubly so for women, and double again for mutants.» That absurdly crisp, unnaturally clear voice adds. «And you needed guidance.» Emma is after all a teacher, it is one of her driving passions since she was a child. A faint sigh. «I must go now, if you ever need me you can go to the Hellfire Club, and ask to see the White Queen. They will ask you for a passphrase, the passphrase is 'truck stop'.» Relavent at least?

Anon sits in a chair in the waiting room, holding her wrist carefully. Saying she needs guidance, that brings a reflexive flash of pride out of Anon. Not something that she responds to immediately; she's used to quelling her pride, to keeping her head down. But it's something the psychic can notice. «Alright. Maybe I'll see you. Maybe not.» She doesn't seem like she's in any hurry to go to the Hellfire Club, but she'll probably remember the password either way. It's just too amusingly relevant.

In short order the good doctor Reins will seek Anon out, and exactly as promised treats her injuries without any awkward questions, or paperwork. Say what you will, The White Queen did deliver on her promises, every one.

Back at the police station Emma rises then, and finishes the ridiculous amounts of paperwork needed for /her/ side of things.

So not fair.

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