2020-02-14 - Have You Seen Hastings?


Chris returns to active duty and finds out some of the goings on in the Zone

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Fri Feb 14 22:07:57 2020
Location: The Disaster Zone

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Theme Song



The Disaster Zone is a … disaster. Some work has started on fixing it but it's slow and the administration of the city isn't moving particularly fast on repatriating the lost and disenfranchised that live there.

A group of the cities business people have taken it on themselves to do something though. Not withstanding the redtape that exists in City Hall, there is much to be done to help those who live there.

Which is why Mari McCabe, ex Fashion Model and now CEO of McCabe Industries - also known as Vixen, is down in the zone handing out blankets and toiletries from the back of a truck along with some others, mostly from SHIELD today. Some of the SHIELD personnel are scouting buildings, there's been rumours of organised crime taking root here.

What a surprise.

Sometime during the summer, Chris had suffered a bit of a setback. Something in the Datasong had changed and it had become strangely more intense for a while, to the point where he took leave of the Young Avengers and returned to the West Coast to spend some time with those who had first helped him when he was younger. However, he wanted to return to school, to his family, and with the start of the winter semester, he had returned to New York City. He was still no closer to learning what the strange Datasong meant or how to interpret it, but he was once more in control, functional, and this time he returned to the Avengers and SHIELD with the intent to continue to help, and to find what help he could in return.

And so, Chris finds himself once more in the Disaster Zone, with the SHIELD contingent, helping with distributing goods to the people who might need them and keeping an eye out for any trouble that might arise. He's quiet, keeps mostly to himself since his return only a little over a month ago, but always seems willing to help out. He hefts another box of blankets handed down from the back of the trucks and takes it to one side, opening it carefully with a box cutter and then taking the blankets out to add to the table where the others are stacked.

"Uh, excuse me, Miss McCabe? Vixen?" one of the SHIELD agents calls the ex models attention "And you, Powell, I need some help over here, if you will."

Mari looks and offers a smile, excusing herself from the task she's engaged in. "What is it, Agent Hastings? And Hi, I'm Mari." She introduces herself to Chris as the join the Agent over by one of the tumble down buildings.

It's still standing, even if it's ramshackle, and there are clearly people living in here. It's like that throughout the zone. "I was hoping, Ms McMabe …"

"Mari…" the dark skinned woman corrects.

"… uh yes, Mari… if you would help us shift that beam. We wouldn't normally ask but between you and Powell here … it will be a snap. We're trying to make room for better beds."

Mari smiles again and looks at Chris, as the glowing spirit silhouette of a … rhinocerous beetle … appears on her shoulder.

Interesting choice.

Chris glances up from where he was headed back to the truck for another load when the agent calls for his attention. He looks over toward the building and says, "Sure. What do you need?" He begins to make his way over and gives Mari a smile as they go. "Hey," he says. "Chris. Nice to meet you."

He looks over toward the beam that the agent points out and then quickly surveys the are around it and nods his head, "Okay, yeah. I can help with that." One hand comes up to rest over the sweater he has on, somewhere over his chest, and in a moment there's a flicker and a shift, and where there was a 5'9" twenty-something, a six-foot tall armored being with a metallic avian mask and retracted wings stands. He gives a nod to Mari and begins to head over toward the beam.

"Give the word whenever you're ready," says the strange dual-toned voice that is Chris' mixed with that of Razor.

"Oh. Nice." Mari's eyes shine as they move to the beam. She's in jeans, hikers, hoodie and coat - with the exception of the spirit beetle on her shoulder, she looks … almost … like a normal woman.

Bending to pick the end of the beam up, Mari nods "On three. One, two, three …" She lifts without straining. When Chris has his side raised, the ex-mdoel cants her head "There's a pile of debris outside that they'll be removing, lets take it there." It's going to be interesting getting the beam around and through the door. "Are you Chris, in that guise? Or do they call you something else?"

Chris easily hoists his end of the beam and rests it on his shoulder. He nods in agreement when she suggests taking it out to the pile of debris. "Okay, you go through the door first, I'm going to turn this way, and back up into that area, so we can get it through." He nods over his shoulder. They should be able to get it with a little careful edging back and then moving forward maneuver. Fortunately there aren't any corners to go around. That'd be a pain.

He starts to move, rotating slowly as he does to bring the beam back in an arc and allow Mari to have a straight walk over toward the door. "Darkhawk is my codename," he answers.

It's a little tight and they have to move around in parts to angle the beam so Mari can back out. "Well, this is cozy. No wonder Hastings wanted us to do it." The dark skinned woman is certainly in good spirits.

The debris pile is a about 20 feet away, and the pair have to navigate the detritus on the ground before hoisting it up and discarding it.

"Darkhawk. It suits. Is that your creation, the armour or is it something else? Excuse all the questions, I'm always too curious for my own good I'm told." She's examining what she can as they move.

"I haven't seen you around before. New to SHIELD?"

"Have you seen Hastings?" Chris asks, and though it's a little more difficult to tell in the suit, it's clear he's joking at the other agent's expense a little. "Not like he could lift it." He moves carefully, not rushing at all, making sure to avoid swinging the heavy beam around in a way that might accidentally clock someone with it.

When she asks about the armor, he shakes his head and says, "You can ask. Most people do. No, I didn't make it. It's uh, kind of alive. It's it's own thing. But we've bonded and work together." That's the easiest way he has of explaining it. He nods when she asks if he's new to SHIELD. "Yeah, I just got involved through the Avengers when I got back to New York in January. So.. I haven't met a whole lot of other SHIELD folks yet."

"I have, yes." Mari snorts. Honestly, this beam would have taken at least four people and there's just no room in that building to do so. It's still not easy for Mari and Chris and they have move carefully making the debris pile in minutes. "OK. We need to lift this up. When you're ready…"

The foxhead pendant at Mari's throat glows a little too - it has been since she called that beetle.

"The armour is living? That's … interesting. Maybe you'll tell me the story of how you came by it some day." She doesn't push but she does seem so very approachable.

"Oh, well. Welcome then. The SHIELD team are a good bunch of people. I've been wondering about someone who went there a few weeks ago, I don't suppose you've seen him? Darkdevil is his code name…"

She's been plenty busy in the last few weeks and will have to make a trip out to SHIELD to try and see him.

"Have you been briefed on the problems we're encountering here?"

"Okay, ready," Chris says when he is ready to lift. And when he feels her start to lift, he does so as well, navigating that beam into place while trying to also not create a debris avalanche. He gives her a small nod about maybe telling her its story someday, noncommittal at best, and expressionless since the mask has none.

"Thanks," he says, to the welcome, though. When she asks about Darkdevil, he shakes his head and says, "Haven't met him. But.. I'm new. So, I'm sure there's a bunch of people I haven't met yet. And no, not specifically. I mean, when I was out here before there was all kinds of crazy stuff in the Disaster Zone so.. I have some idea of what's out here, but not anything new in the last.. six months or more."

"Maybe you'll get to meet him. He's … different." Mari chuckles, hefting the beam and letting it go. It settles on the pile and doesn't collapse it.

"Thank you! Let's go grab a drink and then see what else there is to do." This is a good setup, the relief for the disaster zone. Whenever supplies come in, there's also a food line and people slowly flock to it to get a meal.

"As you can see, we're trying to make things better, though City Hall and its redtape is … annoying. More importantly, a group has set up operation and extended the tunnels from here down to Red Hook. We're not sure what they're bringing in, but they are bringing in something."

She sighs, letting the beetle on her shoulder fade - the pendant loosing its glow as well. "I'm not sure what's worse. That or the fact that the guy in charge has 'retained' and armed street gangs who are now using those weapons to extend their own operations. I mean, it's very enterprising, but the weapons aren't your usual sort of things … "

"Different?" Chris asks, and one can almost hear the raised eyebrow in the question despite the fact that the avian metallic mask has no expression at all. Once the beam is in place, he watches for a moment to make sure nothing starts to slide, then takes a step or two back.

"Sure," he agrees, but since they're not inside the building this time, he nods toward the inside, "Going to go swap back. Even a straw doesn't help like this." He gestures at himself. "Hold that thought." And with that, he takes off into the air and zips off somewhere to change back. It's a couple of minutes before Chris comes strolling back down the street and rejoins her. "So, yeah.. red tape." He frowns, "Shit, really? The tunnels go all the way out there now? I mean, I knew there were a lot of tunnels, caves, collapsed infrastructure down there but.. didn't know someone was growing it." Then he squints. "What kind of weapons?"

Mari cants her head as Chris flies off. She's fascinated but not pushy. When the youth arrives she offers a can of soda, as she takes a sparking mineral water for herself. "Really. Steve is going to help us try and get a feel for the extent but the guy we managed to … interrogate … said they did." Us, she said that. She mustn't work alone.

"There is lots of collapsed infrastructure down there, but someone has been busy making more. Well, someone. The guys name is Ulyssey Klaue." Chris might not know of him, but there's a file in SHIELD. This guy isn't a nice person at all.

"Sonic weapons. Powerful enough to knock a person flying or collapse a wall. They have ballistic weapons as well, but the sonic ones are … worrisome because of how effective they are."

Christopher Powell takes the can of soda that he's offered and grins, cracking it open and taking a sip. "Thanks," He says as he looks around, taking stock of what's going on and what might need help. He doesn't make too many assumptions regarding "Us" and who that might entail, but seems to appreciate the information. "We ran into some folks with sonic weapons back when I was here last time.. but I never found out what happened to them in the end. They could also telekinetically throw huge chunks of concrete. That wasn't particularly fun, either. I'm not a fan of things that can knock me out of the air."

"That's more fair enough. I wonder if they were related …" Mari answers watching as the residents of the Zone come for food and supplies. ".. might have been. Though I get the impression Klaue has only been in town for a short while. He seems to have it in for the Black Panther and T'Challa." Yes, she's referring to them as separate people - she doesn't know they're one and the same. "And those two certainly have no love for him.

"We could always some extra hands patrolling down here if you find yourself at a loose end. The people who live here, they're not going to leave easily and they've become prey for the gangs and crime syndicates."

Chris takes another swig from his soda can as he listens, nodding a bit. "Probably someone or something else, entirely. Just reminded me of them a little." He nods slowly when she mentions Black Panther and T'Challa and says, "Yeah. Well, with a name like Claw, maybe he doesn't like other cats honing in on his territory in particular." He grins. Yeah, he's sure that joke's been made a hundred times but that's not going to stop him from making it again. "Yeah, I'm happy to patrol around the area. I mean, anyone who has stuck it out living in this area this long? No, they're not going to back out now unless it's by force and.. yeah.. that makes them targets."

"It really does." Mari agrees, snickering at the pun Chris just made. "He doesn't look much like a cat. The Panther does though. Klaue just looks like someone who is a grumpy old man." Somehow Mari doesn't think the villain would like that comparison.

"If you feel like patrolling and want some company, look me up. I'm down here most nights anyways." The woman hands over a card. It's her McCabe Industries one - Mari is publically known as Vixen. One of the few heroes who doesn't hide her identity.

"Shall we get back to it before Hastings finds something else that needs out attention?"

Chris chuckles at Klaue's apparent lack of catness and says, "Ah well. One can't have everything. Like an epic cat vs cat battle." He nods, though and takes the card that she hands out to him, reading it over, and then tucking it away in his pocket. "I don't have a card or anything, but if you're in touch with folks in SHIELD then, well, you can always reach me there." He nods and says "Yeah, let's get back to it. There's still plenty of stuff that needs doing."

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