2020-04-09 - A Lamentable Lack of Flamethrowers


Chance encounter turns into freak attack by impossible bug swarm.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Thu Apr 9 05:53:22 2020
Location: Washington Square Park

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Theme Song



It is a bit later in the day, just before 10PM in the Big Apple, and the night is clear and about fifty degrees. Having just gotten done with a small speaking engagement in which he discussed some fairly abstruse mathematical concepts, Hank is engaging in one of his favorite pastimes - eating while people watching. Even at this time of the night the park is busy, there's a lot of functions going on in the environs, and proximity to New York University makes this a favorite spot for college kids, and in his case speakers, both.

Seated on a park bench, near the fountain, Hank is munching on a very meaty looking sub. Dressed in a tailored grey suit and a sharp fedora, he's the very model of a well dressed gentleman as he relaxes and enjoys the night air.

Martin too was at the university, but not for math. No, math isn't his strong suit. And looking anything but a proper gentleman, he's in a tshirt and jeans. Getting on his phone too, as he spots a certain blue, furry man in a very nice suit. "..Hank?" Called out from a short distance away. "Were you at the same medical conference?" For he sure didn't see you. If encouraged, he'll join Hank near the bench. "Sorry to interrupt."

Jesana on the other hand is dressed more like an Indian stripper in a brief fringed white leather skirt and top. She's wearing more silver and turqoise jewelry than clothes. Hell, she's wearing more weapons than clothes! A well made bow and quiver are slung over her back and she's got a machete there too. Daggers on both hips and ankles. The ornate silver sticks tucked into the bun holding her long hair out of the way end in far sharper points than any mere decoration should. Intent on the scent she's tracking, she doesn't notice Hank at first. Not until she hears someone call out his name does she look over and see.

Her hurried pace slows and the native american scans her surroundings, then closes her eyes and focuses. "Damn. Lost it again." Sighing in frustration she gives up her quarry for now and moves towards the two men, an easy smile on her face. "Heyla! How the hell are you, Hank?" She's sure he remembers her though they've met just the once. Her eyes go over the man next to him. "Hi there." Oh he's kinda cute this new guy. "I'm Jesana. Nice to meet you." She drops her quiver, the bow, and the machete. Then sprawls on the grass in front of the pair.

Hank blinks as he's hailed by a familiar voice. "Doctor Almer, how good to see you? Alas, no, I missed out on that due to a prior commitment. I'd love to review your notes though." Hank smiles. "I was speaking, actually…math. Very dry stuff for most." He does indeed invite the man to join him, moving a paper bag with several more sandwiches aside. "Have a sub, if you're peckish." He offers to the man, polite is polite.

The white clad Indian Princess definitely draws the eye, actually is probably drawing a bunch of eyes. "Hello again, Jesana, allow me to introduce my colleague Doctor Martin Almer. Docator Almer, Jesana…as she's stated." A nod to the weapons. "On the warpath, are we?" He asks the girl.

Martin does have a travel coffee in hand, and he's about to take a sip when Jesana appears. The funniest thing about this is that she's not even remotely close to the weirdest thing he's seen as a New York ER doctor who's been working here for twenty years. (Nicest thing he's seen in a while though.) Still, he does pause at her and then kind of just move on mentally. Eh. Another day in New York. He's already talking to a blue man in a suit. "Hey, I'm Martin." Offered back for her pleasant greeting. To Hank he will nod and eases himself down to the bench. "Thanks, but we had a good dinner." Smiling to assure it's totally okay. "Warpath, eh?" That would explain a few things. Like the weapons. Not much else. "I'm not sure I should ask truth be told."

Jesana covers a grin at Martin's comment and then shrugs a bit at Hank. "I'm not sure yet. It depends on what I find when I find them. I've been working, well, am working in the disaster zone right now. I hired some old soldiers I owed a favor to to guard my group for a few days so I could have some time off.

She grins a bit. Yes, this is what she's doing in her time off. Hunting, something. She can't really let loose in any other way until she gets that bastard merc in control of hassling those innocent people and that job is gonna take some planning. So hunting it was. "What're you guys up to? Park isn't always safe at…" She looks at Hank and then laughs. "Never mind. I reckon you're fine." Martin draws her attention a bit but he's got that soldier look she's familiar with and after looking him over she nods. He's probably able to handle himself just fine.

It's another day in New York and Mari is playing hookey. Well, sort of. She's decided to walk to her next meeting. It's a brisk pace the woman sets, even in the heels that she's wearing, and there's a projection coming from the arm of her jacket.

"I can't do that meeting, Lisa…" She's saying "… but I can do Monday at 10am." A pause "Yes, I know it's the board but they are *my* board and I can't meet with them until them."

The dark skinned woman stops by the sprawled Jesana and glances down at the woman. "Alright Lisa. Tell them I'll speak to them at 10am on Monday." It's rather firm but that's broken by the smile she offers Jes "Jesana. Not stalking me today, I hope." It's said with amusement before looking at the other two with the same smile.

"Hello, I'm Mari McCabe." She says to Hank and Martin "I won't interrupt your get together. I thought I should say hello to Jesana though."

Hank doesn't even ask, he simply tosses Jesa one of his sandwiches of meaty mcmeatiness, with extra meat.

"Well, I'm sure who or whatever you're hunting will be very sorry when you catch him, her or it, Jesana." Martin's refusal is accepted, and he nods. "Of course. Seemed impolite not to offer."

As Mari arrives, Hank looks over to her, and inclines his head, and tips his fedora in polite greeting. "Of McCabe Industries? A pleasure, Miss McCabe…Hank McCoy, I see you already know Jesana, and this is my colleague Doctor Martin Almer."

Introductions made, he smiles rather toothily, every syllable uttered with exacting and loving enunciation in rich bass tones. (VERY different from the Mighty Mighty Boss Tones!).

Near by, but out of sight for the moment, a small beetle…well, large for a beetle, but small compared to a person, watches from the shelter of a bush. The thing studies the people there while the wind carries it's scent away from them.

Hank continues. "Not interrupting, dear lady, we're merely enjoying the night air and each other's company, surely you'd be welcome to join, if your own schedule permits."

"Thanks." To Hank for the offer. It's been a good twenty years for Martin, so some of that soldier might have worn off. Still, he's not exactly defenseless. Just mostly. "Me? I just got out of a medical thing over at the university." Nodding back in that direction. "Saw big blue here in his awesome suit and came to say hello." Hank looks good too! Martin waves at the woman who joins. Yep, this is so New York. "You're not interruption. Jesana here just came over and sprawled. I'd make a feeding the pigeon reference, since this is a park, but I might get slapped and that would be bad. Or worse." Since Jesana is laying where the pigeons would be getting fed. And she is well, well armed. "Oh, and I'm Martin. I know Hank." Motioning to the blue one.

Jesana looks over at Mari's voice, blinks at the projection. That kinda tech is so beyond her. She could do an illusion that looked like that but it'd be magic and not an actual, communication with someone. Sometimes, she feels so fucking old. She remembers when the telephone first started to be a thing and now there's this. The native american lets out a bemused sigh but then grins and winks at Mari. "Not today, no." She catches the sandwhich and thanks Hank, tearing the wrapper open and eagerly biting into it. She can always eat!

As she eats she listens and scans the surroundings out of habit. It is after dark and you can't be too careful. She tends to draw trouble like flowers draw bees. Her eyes go back to Hank and shine aprreciation. She doesn't say anything, doesn't have to. He knows exactly what she thinks of him in that suit. "I'm lucky tonight. Three best looking people in the park and I'm enjoying their company." The demigod grins. Then she laughs at Martin's remark. "More like the 'yote getting fed." He has no idea what she is. Hank knows, and Mari too. Thanks to that meddling Bast. Cats! Ugh.

The projection on Mari's arm, the group can see its a calendar, shuts down as the dark skinned woman stands there. They might recognise her as a world famous model, as well as the super hero 'Vixen' - Mari doesn't conceal that identity. "McCabe Industries. That's me." She confirms to Hank. The projection seems to have been coming from the sleeve of her jacket - the only jewellery she's wearing is the fox-headed pendant at her throat and the small band of beads at her wrist.

"And how are your patrols of the Disaster Zone going? Black Panther and I being kept busy but I have a few minutes before I have to meet my dinner date."

"Definitely not a pigeon, Doctor Almer. It's a pleasure to meet the two of you. Dare I ask are you are you a doctor of medicine or a phD?"

The beetle isn't noticed of course. It's not meant to be. From Mari it gets the scent of woman and … magic.

"Very kind, just because I look like a savage beast doesn't mean I have to /act/ like one." Hank says with a grin to Martin. "Of course…I admit, I might have a bit of clotheshorse tendency exacerbated by old fashioned tastes." A wink. "I even have a Zoot Suit in my closet." Along with a Star Fleet uniform! Or two.

When he realizes that the projection was emanating from Mari's /clothes/, and his gaze narrows speculatively. "That's quite impressive…I, forgive me, I'm somewhat well acquainted with holographic systems, I am curious…what are you using to focus and emit the images we just saw?" Yes, fascinated Hank is fascinated.

Jesana is as direct as ever, it would seem. Hank can't help but smile at her rather direct statement, even if he's a little less than used to being looked at as she does. "No, definitely not a pigeon. Though I'd hazard a guess that smacking is on the menu, Martin."

Off under that bush, the beetle shifts as another bug joins it, this one a banana spider, it too watches from under the bushes, blending in will, and both standing side by side with perfect calm.

"Feeding the wildlife just the same." Martin grins, amused at it all. "Coyotes are cuter than pigeons anyway." Not that he can imagine pigeons tasting all that good.
Mari knows Black Panther? Wow. He'll just take all this in, for it's well beyond his ken. And no, he doesn't notice the insect. Not at all. "I'm an ER surgeon. Specialize in trauma." For which he is proud of.
There's laughter at Hank, "I don't even have a good suit, so you are one up on me there." For those who joined, he's wearing a plain tshirt in black and jeans. Totally not dressed up. And he barely knows tech at all, so what everyone else has is simply incredible to the man. Not something he'd ever dreamed of experiencing personally.

Jesana beams at Martin. Of course she's cuter than a pigeon! And no, no, those overgrown rats with wings do *not* taste good. At all. "A healer. That's good work." She nods respectfully. Jesana glances down at what she's wearing, or not wearing and rolls her eyes. "Next time I'm in the underworld I'm having *words* with whoever did this and making some actual clothes. Not that is bad but geeze. Try blending into a crowd like this. I gotta spend time and energy putting on a damned illusion or just stay shifted."

Realizing Martin won't know what she's talking about Jesana explains, "I turn into a coyote." She rarely tells people more than that. Hank was an exception. Mari and T'Challa only know the truth because of Bast. Jesana looks around again, she doesn't see the insects just has a faint feeling of unease, as if she's being watched but she is! Damned outfit. So she dismisses the feeling.

As she had stopped, Mari had sent a message to T'Challa, telling him she was going to be a little late. He can track her location and might just decide to change the location of their date…. Or meet her.

Yes, Vixen knows Black Panther, they work together.

"If you need new clothing, drop by the shop front and I'll see what I can do for you." It won't be charity but if Jes can't pay, Mari is sure there's an arrangement they can come to.

"An ER Surgeon. That must keep you busy. Have you been in New York long?"

Hanks question about the panel on her jacket has Mari smiling. "Oh, that's the new fabric I created. It has a weave that incorporates the fibres into the fabric. The patent was recently approved."

"Definitely cuter, non-toxic as well, so there's that." Pigeon shite is /nasty/ stuff, the guys that clean it off rooftops? Yeah, full hazmat suits are needed. NO joke there. A warm rumble of laughter. "And she'd definitely wild."

Mari is also known to be a super heroine in her own right, the Vixen. Oh, and a supermodel too. Lot of hats for Miss McCabe!

Hank laughs again as Martin mentions the lack of suits. "Oh, well, not for everyone, to be sure. Though if you ever want one I know a good tailor or two."

If anything that sense of being watched is intensifying, and Mari might well feel it too, since /she/ is the focus. At another bush, still downwind from the gathering of mutants, demigod and mystic heroine several more bugs take heed - one a four inch centipede, another a scorpion, and finally a cicada. All perfectly still, side by side under cover.

Hank smiles brilliantly at that admission. "Oh my stars and garters, that's wonderful. Is it available on the market yet? I know several people who would adore such things." A solemn nod. "Myself included."

"I sure try." Martin smiles back of doing good work. While he decides not to comment on her outfit, he does give, "Oh." About turning into a coyote. He believes, yes, but doesn't have any clue what to say about it. "Okay. ..Does that hurt?" Sorry, asking before thinking there.
The man snorts at Hank. "If I wanted a suit I'd have one. I am so not comfortable in the things." More choice than not having the means or what have you.
Mari is nodded to. "Born and raised here. Certainly does.. and busy enough that I only just recently seem to have started making friends who stand out." Amused, he glances to Hank. "Mostly keep my head down and work. You don't see much of the world when you work in the ER. Unless the world comes visiting." But most don't exactly seem be in any condition to chat while he's working on them. That he's between jobs goes unsaid. Hopefully not for long! The material talk kind of goes over his head. Sure he knows the words, but without having a basis in tech, he's a bit lost.

"Oh it's not that. I have clothes, it's just, this is the only thing I have currently that can change forms with me. It's better than starkers. Sorta." She laughs. "Thank you though, Mari." Jesana smiles. After thinking about it for a few moments she decides she might just do that anyway. Having a few things that match with current fashions isn't a bad idea and Mari's shop should do better than the haridresser fella who lives on her street.

She blinks a bit at Mari talking about making fabric. She can make leather, and sew. Make fabric? That can do, whatever the hell it was doing? That's impressive. Jes looks pleased by Hank's description. She hasn't stopped scanning the area even if she dismissed the feeling. As she looks, she answers Martin. "For me? No. I'm not a Were. Not cursed. It's just an instant transformation."

T'Challa has seen Mari's text and Mari's location. Being in a park it is not difficult to get to. He simply has to park the car. That takes a bit more time and talent. Well, it is New York after all. He arrives just in time to catch snatches of conversation.

He pauses at the edge of it and waves. Lets see. That's, one, two, three people he knows and one he does not. "Impromtu business conference?"

"Ah well, the world has been a topsy turvy place in recent times and with the Disaster Zone, it doesn't surprise me you're meeting more of … us." No, Mari's not a mutant but she is definitely one of the strange ones. That's when T'Challa shows up and she beams.

"T'Challa, you came to meet me?" Mari presses a kiss to the Wakandan's cheek. "Not really, I saw Jesana and thought to check on her. Then I made some new friends. This is Hank McCoy and Doctor Martin Almer." beat "This T'Challa of Wakanda. T'Challa, Hank was asking about the tablet in sleeve."

"I've been making exclusive designs that incorporate it, yes however, I hope to things in place shortly that it will be available in a more affordable product."

There's a nod as Jesana and Martin share their answers, but she's slightly distracted … the glowing of silhouette of a bear appearing behind her. "Something … feels off." She scents the air with the bears keen senses, turning unerringly to where the beetles are sitting.

Rising, Hank was about to greet T'Challa when Vixen summons her bear, and he looks about. Seeing where Mari is looking he turns yellow eyes that direction. A soft oddly inflected voice comes from numerous spots around the group, one voice, made of clacks and clicks, whistling hisses, but all at the same time. ~We have been discovered.~

Out from under bushes, drains and pipes, and a few in trees…an large amount of insects and other creepy crawlies emerge.

The creatures look fairly normal save all have eyes that glow blue, and little flickers of blue and black threaded through out their shells, carapace and hairs. There's beetles of many varieties, most from South America, Africa and Australia. There's Ants. Spiders…jumping, wolf and even tarantulas. Several types of scorpions. Praying mantises. Even roaches and trilobytes! It like someone animated the contents of a very large entomology collection.

And then they flow inwards, Hank starts to growl but then goes absolutely stiff, eyes wild with terror as he falls, paralyzed.

Kind of realizing he's the ugly duckling here, Martin is a bit poleaxed as another famous, very important, and gorgeous person shows up. He decides to drink his coffee. Yep. Coffee good. Sorry, Jesana, he doesn't reply about the changing not hurting thing, but the man totally doesn't mean to be rude. And when introduced, he will rise to his feet and offer a hand. Hopefully he doesn't offend. "Hey." Offered pleasantly. "It's a pleasure to meet you."
Greetings can barely be made however when that weird speech occurs. Martin is completely baffled as he looks around and finds they are being swarmed? What the?! His own eyes wide, Martin drops his coffee and kind of dives for Hank, putting hands on him to try and see if there's anything he can do.

Jesana gives T'Challa a smile and then sits straighter, chewing the last of the sandwich Hank gave her and hastily swallowing. "You feel it too? Shit." She still hasn't seen anything. Of course she's not looking for bugs. Doesn't even cross her mind, why would it? It's definitely not whatever she'd been hunting earlier. That thing requires darkness, and cover, far more than is available in this park even at night. Jes looks where Mari has turned but doesn't see anything. If something jumps out of that damn bush and she's missed it hiding in there she's gonna be embarrassed. Hunting is what she does, dammit. It's not easy for something to escape her notice. She will move to protect Martin if needed. He's the one most likely to be in danger she figures and then is proven wrong! "What the fuck." Jes mutters when something speaks she's on her feet to catch Hank and gently lower him to the bench before anyone can even blink. None of these bugs should be able to pierce her skin so she isn't worried for herself.

She's used to weird shit but this.. this is..new. Jes just stares for a moment. Then she growls. "Leave. These are mine!" A gust of wind blows toward the insects. It's not entirely a bluff. Whatever is behind this might not want her all up in their junk and she's gonna be if any of her friends are hurt. She doesn't have many, she takes care of the ones she does. What exactly she's gonna do about it if they don't leave is a good question though. It doesn't escape her notice that Martin is doing *something* but it's not her focus at the moment. Hopefully it helps Hank. Maybe he's afraid of bugs? Or did one of the fuckers bite him!? She will KILL them!

T'Challa knows a thing or two about insect swarms. He is after all from Africa. Home of the terror that is the army ant. And he knows the futility of trying to fight them with anything other than a flame thrower. Or, in a pinch, a lighter and a can of hairspray.

"Run." He says calmly but quite firmly. "Mari, help the gentleman pick up Doctor McCoy if you would. Jesana. We need a way out. Now."

Because no, they're not going to stay to fight this. It's time to go. Quickly.

He left his flame thrower at home, sadly.

"We can't find this… " Mari agrees. She doesn't pale and doesn't panic - but it does worry her. "We need to get you out here." Vixen is T'Challa's protector - a role she took on her herself and a promise she made to Bast when they last spoke.

Of course, if Mari knew T'Challa's secret, she'd likely be less worried about him.

Calling a glowing silhouette of a rhinocerous beetle that perches on her shoulder, Mari stoops to lift Hank. It's effortless. "How's he doing, Doc?" She asks, making sure that Martin can access Hank to check on him.

"Anytime now, Jesana. That would be good."

She doesn't have a flame thrower either.

The mismatched swarm - creatures that /never/ would swarm together, ever, seems focused more on Mari, than Hank. As for Hank, yes…Martin can feel him struggling to fight some sort of mental influence…in fact, with his healing gifts he can actually feel it is not really mental, so much as if some outside agency is disrupting the electro-chemical processes in his body, specifically targeting his motor nerves. Still…there's a pattern to it…

A number grasshoppers and jumping spiders leap for Mari, but not to attack her, they seem intent on eating her /clothes/. What the hell is going on here? It is like something out of the worst film vaults in Japan's anime closet.

There are also several of the tatterdemalion swarm taking little bites out of Hank, samples…and then running or flying off at whatever speed they can manage, it isn't a serious risk to the guy, and many of them leap off of his body when Vixen picks the big blue and muscle locked Hank up without effort.

Martin is a bit wild-eyed over all this, but he keeps his head. No, this is not normal for the man. "There's something affecting his motor system.. I can't do much.. fast anyway. I need time." There's no stopping Mari from taking Hank. Martin will simply forget he ever had a coffee mug and hurry with her. If he can keep up anyway. (Hank's poor suit! It was so nice!) Will totally slap at insects on Hank, as well as himself, trying to remove them. Smack! He's going to have nightmares for months.

The urge to murder something is so strong that Jesana's eyes have changed from the usual dark brown to the lighter shade of her coyote self and she's growling in a way a human throat shouldn't be able to mimic. "I can.." But her moments hesitation, the need to fight distracts long enough for Mari to get ahold of Hank. Seeing that they are all moving off Jesana decides to go ahead and buy them some more time. "Go. I'll distract them." How..she grins. Too bad she's not drinking til she catches that merc. Alcochol would come in handy right now. She has a lighter but fat lot of good that will do. There's no time to risk trying to *Will* a flash fire and she couldn't be sure she wouldn't take out any people on accident. Well, she can run, almost forty miles per hour. So she moves, fast, stomping. She's not sure these are just actual bugs but she's freaking strong too. At least she ought to get their focus on her. "If I die in the middle of my other job on my night off I'm gonna be well and truly pissed!" She punctuates each word with a stomp. At least those guys she hired know to stay and do her job if she's doesn't immediately return. What? She knows herself, that's all. The odds of a fatal incident are always high.

As she realizes whats happening her rages focuses on the fleeing insects, in an attempt to simply will them into exploding. Chaos can do that for her sometimes, if she wants it bad enough, respond to her desire but just as often it does something else entirely. Or the complete opposite of what she intended. She's so mad she doesn't consider that just now. "Run run run!" She yells at the rest of them. A part of her wonders just how many times over the years she's done this, sacrificed herself for others. It's not that she's that selfless, she's actually pretty self absorbed, she has a temper though and the ability to keep returning to this world and thus.. it's happened a lot.

Well that is doing something. It isn't quite what T'Challa has in mind but the woman has already explained to him her relationship with mortality. She might be crazy, of course, but now is not the time to argue the point. "That way. My car is there, you can work on him in the bac. There will be enough room."

Because, you know. It's a larger car with a roomy back. T'Challa can drive himself and today he has but he also sometimes employs a driver because, well… prince.

Also he's quite quick, keeping up easily with Mari and Martin. They'll be at the car soon at this rate and then Martin can do his thing.

The bugs don't find it easy to get the bites out of Mari's clothing. That reverbium weave is reinforced - thanks to T'Challa's assistance. This line of clothing is not just 'smart clothing' but protective as well. "Get away from him." Mari growls as she carries the man.

"Stay close to me then, Doc and we'll get you the time that you need." Mari has complete faith in T'Challa getting them to his car and away. "Jesana, as soon as we're clear, you're to follow." This is why Mari is a good CEO, she knows when and how to give directions. What she doesn't do, is stop Jesana from trying to buy them time.

"Seek me at McCabe Industries or T'Challa at the Wakandan embassy."

She's not even panting, even carrying the rather heavy mutant.

At the speeds that Mari and T'challa can manage, they soon outpace most of the swarm. In fact some of the things trying (and failing) to bite through the smart clothing /have mounting pins/ through their bodies. Still, the group withdraws, save for the ultra enraged Jeaana. Several of the sample taker bugs do in fact explode, and a bit more energetically than Jesa might have anticipated, none of these things are very large after all, but the three that detonate do so with comparable results to a flash-bang!

Needless to say the other people in the park fled in absolute panic, except for one rather brave girl. She's climbed up onto the fountain and is filming with her iPhone.

Once the two primary targets are about a hundred yards from the ambush point…the swarm just…breaks off their attack.

Their synchronicity, utterly freakish and unnatural in every way possible.

As swiftly as it started, the attack ends.

They get to the car, and Jesana is unwounded, full or righteous fury and rage, and left with no targets and a lot of bug guts on her feet and between her toes. Eew. Actually, less guts than one might have expected.

Martin nods and does his best to keep pace. He's really no means to fight a swarm, so he's not going to try. The man doesn't even look back. Doesn't want to trip over his own feet. Once at the car, he'll fumble his way, in, and immediately get to work on Hank. Stops the bleeding, then focuses in on that paralyzing effect. The other wounds can wait as they aren't life threatening. There are no special effects, just a red-head focused on Hank, and concentrating.

With no more obvious danger T'Challa does not immediately speed away. He wants to see if Jes will come join them. And then they ARE getting out of here. To some place a lot more secure. For the moment though he just starts the vehicle and lets Martin and Mari see to Hank who… still hasn't moved or said anything.

Jesana isn't one to follow orders but in this case she'll be along after them. Hank is her friend. The first she's made in New York and T"Challa and Mari are hopefully getting there. Martin's new but interesting she wants to make sure they're okay. As well as figure out what the fuck caused this so she can skin it alive while she glares into it's eyes! Angry demigod is angry. "Yes Ma'am!" Jes grunts, still stomping away. "Die you little shits, die!" Covered in exploded insect gore, snarling in rage and stomping bugs into the next plane of existence, Jes is unaware of the girl with the phone.

At last she stops and looks around, at least everyone else fled too. That's good. "Fuck. This is nasty. She wipes at herself and then gathers her bow and quiver, eyes the fountain, decides the bug guts are probably cleaner than the water in there and then tilts her head. "Really, kid? You're gonna end up on the news, one of those dumbasses that get killed taking elfies!" Probably she meant selfies. Jesana stalks out of view of the fountain, shifts to coyote and charges after the car. Maybe she can catch them at a traffic light. And there they are, she sifts back and jumps in. "I'll uh, pay to get this clean." She growls. Then turns to watch Martin with Hank. "Is he okay??"

Mari lays Hank in the back, and ushers Martin in after him. She'll join T'Challa and check on Jesana as the car pulls away. "Where do we take him, Doc?" She asks Martin. The hospital isn't far, after all.

She hadn't seen the girl on the fountain.

She gives T'Challa a sidelong look. What were those things? It's not a question she voices.

Fortunately Martin prevented the effect from completely paralyzing Hank, had he not Big Blue would have asphyxiated in short order. It does take a few more minutes, but yes, eventually he can speak again. "Thank you." His voice is a tinge hoarse. Eyes of yellow are wide. "Was anyone hurt?" He sits up, and rubs at his eyes. "Something invade my consciousness. I cannot describe it but my shields did /nothing/." That seems to bother him quite a bit. "Then I couldn't move or breathe." A sigh. "I almost couldn't breathe."

That girl? She actually flips Jesana off. Because: New Yorker.

Mari's smart clothing was actually somewhat tested by the attacks, it held up just fine, but that these tiny to middling sized bugs marked it up at all is pretty bad news.

And yes, some of these things were in fact dead, that much T'Challa would have sensed. Dead but not, but not undead. Which is damn weird.

Martin shakes his head about Hank being okay. "He's not breathing. I need to focus." Bluntly said, for all he doesn't mean to be rude. He also doesn't seem to be doing anything at all. Kind of leaves Mari hanging for a bit as he manually gets Hank breathing at least a little to buy him time. Means Hank kind of gasps now and then until he can regain control of himself. Martin helps Hank sit up, but really can't support his weight. "No hospital can deal with this." Given quickly to Mari, "I think it's tech. I can't tell for sure. There's a signal and it's fighting me. Any of that fancy tech able to scan for weird things?"

Jesana clasps Hank's shoulder, gently squeezing and letting out a breath she hadn't realized she was holding. Then she reaches over, grabs Martin and kisses the top of his head. "Thank you!" She murmurs fervently. If she'd seen the girl gesture she'dve laughed and replied in kind but Jes is focused on the car and the people in it now. She listens to Hank describe what happened to him and Martin's explanations and shudders. What the fuck was that? Aside from it being not natural she has no idea. She hadn't scented magic, hadn't noticed anyone that could be controlling them. It's true her senses are less keen in human guise but they're still a helluva lot better than most.

Settling back in her seat Jes tries to think. Some of those insects weren't even alive. She reaches down her top and pulls out a mounting pin. Stares. "What the hell is this?"

"No, but the car was previously used by the Wakandan diplomatic service and it has a faraday cage I can activate to prevent bugs from transmitting." T'Challa says. He reaches over and presses a button. What? Wakanda may be 'known' to be a poor nation but this is pretty cheap jamming tech. Just something that blanks out and grounds electromagnetic signals. It was actually originally implemented of during the cold war to prevent diplomatic cars from being disabled if they were caught on the edge of a nuclear blast.

"Mari did we develop any apps that can check for signals, though?"

There's a short pause and… T'Challa just kind of chuckles. Well. Martin can tell Jes if that's distracting.

Weird yes. But insect ghosts are not really a thing so he has no way to ask them about it. Alas. "Any idea why we would be attacked by a bug swarm like that?"

"Fighting you?" Mari casts a look at Martin in query and considers T'Challa's question. "Let me check … Um. This one scans for radio frequencies." A display projects from the screen on her jacket and she activates something - before T'Challa turns the Faraday cage on. "There's something in the UHF range. It's recording it … we can get someone to analyse it." At least the car has some protection.

She's not sure where to take Hank, so she asks him directly "Where shall we take you, Hank? I know the car is nice and all, but it's not the safest place in the world." T'Challa's asking the right questions.

In fact there was another effect when the signal is cut - a bug stowed away in on the underside of Jesana's skirt /pops/, rather like someone lit a firecracker…and the smell of ozone, and some sparks fly too. When the Faraday cage is activated, the signal that Mari got a partial on, is also silenced and it is on a -very- exotic frequency, it is actually impressive she got that at all.

Definitely worth investigating.

Hank is rattled by Jesa's clasp and then sighs. "I suspect I'll want to go somewhere other than home, and the Institute is a long drive. If you could drop me at Turtle Bay that will be sufficient. I have quarters there I can use in a pinch."

Hank looks thoughtful. "I have never felt anything like that, honestly." A shake of his shaggy head. "As to why…they wanted something, something in my blood, I think…and something in your Smart Clothing, Mari."

There's a blink for that kiss, and then Martin laughs. A bit of an edge to that laugh, but he laughs just the same. It brings the man to smile. "I'm glad I could." And he's glad that's all he had to do. Once the car has blocked signals, Martin relaxes. Super appreciative of T'Challa for sure! Now he's really tired and hungry, but that all can wait. "Yes, there was an intelligence behind it. How it got such a hold over him? Damn if I know." As for where, he hesitates, "I kind of need my car. So I can get out before we go anywhere?" He parked it somewhere he can't have long term!

"I was hunting a maybe vampire when I saw Hank and Martin and then Mari. I have no freaking idea. I'm pretty sure I didn't draw them. That was.. I don't know what the hell that was." She's rarely at a total loss but this.. on the one hand its just the kind of chaos her presence can generate, on the other that thing had some sort of conciousness. It freaking spoke! That is definitely beyond her power scope. "They were taking pieces of him!" Jes growls. The faraday cage and app talk goes right by her. She figures they have it handled though.

Realizing that being stuck with her in a full on rage in a small space isn't likely to help Hank any, he can scent how well and truly pissed she is, and probably worry over him, which she'd rather he not know the depth of, the demigod settles down and closes her eyes, focusing on breathing until she's calm..well, calmer. God she needs a drink! When she finally finds that merc…he's going to suffer for her sobriety! "Motherfucker!" Jesana exclaims. It didn't hurt her but it's an effort not to throw her head through the roof of the car when she's startled. "Sorry." She mutters. Jes manages a grin for Martin. "Well, that was a memorable meeting anyway, huh?" It takes her a minute to remember that she walked to the park and doesn't really care where she ends up tonight so long as it isn't back there.

"As in like mosquitos or were they actually cutting off bits of him?" Because those are different matters. T'challa slides into the driver's seat and motions for everyone to get seated. Once everyone is he starts moving. There's no attack at present but there's also no reason to just stay here. Eventually SOMEONE is going to answer Mari and tell him where to go.

But if they're slow about it he's taking them through a Taco Bell drive through first.

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