2020-04-16 - Punched Into Next Week


A Street Fair goes horribly horribly wrong.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Thu Apr 16 23:03:35 2020
Location: Lower East Side

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Theme Song



There's a bright festival air in Lower East Side today. The Chamber of Commerce and local business owners have decided to put on a fair. The 'main' street is blocked off, there's amusements for the kiddies, food carts line the pavement along with stalls showcasing the wares of the local businesses.

There's also a band playing.

To one side, just in front of Dales Delicatessen, the President of the Chamber of Commerce taps on a microphone. "Hello, everyone! Thank you for coming. It's great to see such a good turn out to todays little soiree. If I can get your attention for a few minutes, we'll get the stuffy part of the day done with …"

To the side, Dale Buchanon stands. Local business owner but also a prominent mutant supporter. That might be because he's a mutant himself - and doesn't hide it.

Isis Marik wasn't planning on being here but she had *really* wanted ice cream today. So it is, the slim blue eyed woman with cats ears, in a black jacket piped with hot pink is watching the goings on from somewhere off to the side.

Not here for a party, Brandon's watching from one of the roofs. With all the disruptions lately, and an armed attacked by anti-mutant idiots, he suspects there's likely to be another incident here centered on, or at least provoked by, Dale Buchanon. Bigots never like a successful minority. He did get a soft pretzel and is almost done with it as he keeps an eye on the street.

Along the walls lining the festival, a feminine form in black crawls hand over foot. Trailing her, a drone that matches the black of her form-fitting costume, emblazoned with the same white spider emblem that stretches across her torso.

Its high time Spider-Girl made a public appearance outside of East Harlem.

The youngster leaps from the building, spiraling through the air only to grasp upon a metal post that supports a traffic signal with one hand; she spins around the post, spinning a webline of brilliant rainbow colors that spreads across the street. The webline captures the opposing post, and only then does she drop to the ground with a little cry of joy.

Sometimes, people need a little joy during tough times!

For all that Hisako tends to be very dedicated and diligent about her 'work' - as a graduate student, and as an intern at RESCUE - she does have her 'play' side as well, like any well-balanced individual should. So when she heard about the community fair being put on by the Chamber of Commerce, she had reasons why she wanted to attend the festivities - and Mr. Buchanon's sponsorship was just one of them.

She's already made a quick look around the stalls and food carts, just an initial reconnaisance - figuring out where to spend her money, most likely - and is among the crowd waiting for the Chamber's president to give his opening address. The Japanese girl is dressed fairly casually today, in a beige T-shirt and moderately snug blue jeans, with actual sneakers on her feet; a tote bag with the words "Two Sticks and a Skein" printed on the side hangs from her left shoulder, the bag itself tucked under her arm to help keep it from slipping down. And wouldn't you know, one of the stalls has similar bags for sale …

As Spider-Girl leaps across the street above, the movement catches Hisako's eye, and she looks up, smiling and waving to the arachnid-themed superhero as Spider-Girl comes in for her landing. Maybe Anya will recognize her from that incident (or that series of them) a few months back?

Unaware of Brandon's presence, Hank was actually Hisako's ride to the fair. His car parked a couple blocks away…but they're both young, and the walk wasn't exactly a chore. Eyes of yellow take in the fair, and then he shrugs and decides. "Why not."

Hank himself is dressed in blue khaki's and a black t-shirt with 'Less than Three' on the chest in yellow text. His feet enclosed by size twenty sneakers of somewhat exotic design.

Ambling along he's managed to get himself a huge cotton candy, and moves up to Hisako's side just in time for Spider-Girl's appearance. "Ah yes, a fine heroine, Spider-Girl." A grin. "Colorful too." Hank also offers her a greeting wave.

The rest of the crowd mostly settles down as the prattles on about the important of community and support local business. It's all very much boilerplate material for those who know things go. For those that don't - it's boring.

"And now, I give you Dale Buchanon. A staunch and avid supporter of the local community here. Not just business but Dale has made a study of outreach to our mutant population …"

Isis wanders over to Hank and Hisako, barely paying attention to the speech. She's a cat. There's sunshine and ooooohhhh … a piece of lint to play with. "Hi Hank, Hisako… who's your friend?" She peers at Spider-Girl and then waves to Brandon.

"Oh no …" Isis tugs on Hisako's and Hanks sleeves. Brandon won't miss her or see the urgent, almost panicked actions she's taken.

And … it happens almost without warning. One moment, Dale is walking up to microphone next to the president and then… BOOM … the noise is deafening and there's bit of debris showering everywhere. Brandons instincts aren't bad he might notice that the damage is very contained. Just the stage and areas near where Dale *had* been standing is destroyed and affected. Not withstanding the debris that's showered everywhere.

The makeshift stage is quite unstable and there's a bunch of kids in its shadows. They'll need to be saved or they'll be squished like bugs. There's got to be a eight or nine kids and that stage is heavy and big. Well, what's left of it.

Without warning, the stage explodes. Brandon's been in this position before. The force of the explosion, the noise, the shrapnel, the rain of debris. And he freezes, taken back to another time and another explosion.

Spotting the wave, Spider-Girl rushes over to Hisako and goes in for a big hug. "It's so good to see you!" she says, and is turning toward Hank with a huge grin on her face. "You too, big time."

She's about you introduce herself to Isis, when the woman's change in demeanor draws a frown to Spider-Girl's face.

Dampers in her mask muffle the sound of the explosion, sparing her from the damage it might have done to her ears. "Mierde!" she curses, and waves her left hand in the air, as if texting to the air. In truth, she's tapping commands into her spider-costume's technology, sending a command to her spider-drone to engage surveillance mode.

The spider-drone zooms up into the air and begins scanning the area for signs of odd movement; such as, people who aren't either moving in a panic or rushing toward ground zero. It's also engaging IR and EM sensors, looking for other signs of dangerous technology.

Without missing a beat, Spider-Girl vaults into the air with all the strength she can muster, leaving marks in the pavement beneath her feet. Thirty feet up, her arms fling to either side, sending black weblines toward opposing buildings. They catch and go taut, causing her to bounce in the air as if mounted to a giant rubber band. She, as well, is in surveillance mode, watching the feed from Arana the Spider-Drone upon the HUD built into her mask's eyes.

Hisako smiles, hugging Spider-Girl back, "Haven't even seen you since the Morlun thing, how've you been doing?" Her smile is more restrained as she remembers what Spider-Girl personally lost due to Morlun … maybe she shouldn't have brought that up in the first place. Still, she'd rather pay attention to Anya than to the CoC's President. She smiles to Isis as well, favoring the feline mutant with a polite bow (she doesn't assume anyone's the hugging type until proven otherwise). "This is Spider-Girl, one of New York's many active heroes." She looks in the direction of Isis's wave, starting to follow suit in a gestured greeting to Brandon -


Hisako does *not* have noise-cancelling ear-gear, and the sudden blast prompts her to leap clear of Isis, Anya, and Hank, her armor forming about her. "What - ?!"

Part of her wonders if any of that showering debris used to be part of a human body. Most of her *emphatically* does not want to know … and even as she's trying to shuffle priorities, she realizes that the stage, or at least part of it, shows signs of not staying up on its own. At least she can do something about *that*; Hisako's armor grows in size as she makes her way between, then *over* other people, calling out as she goes, "Make a path please, and then get out of harm's way!!"

For a young woman whose power is to project a super-strong, variably-large psychokinetic exoskeleton, supporting the stage is easy - she just enlarges her armor to the necessary size and props it up, hooking her armor's fingers under the stage's edge so that it won't fall. Hisako herself simply hovers within her armor's torso, her own fingers hooked the same way her armor's fingers are, arms and legs 'bracing' herself in the same posture as her larger projection.

No matter how long she can support the damaged stage, somebody had better get the children out of harm's way, and the quicker, the better.

"Hello Isis." Hank greets the cat girl as she approaches. Generosity itself, he offers her some of his cotton candy, blue of course. "That is Spider-Girl." And when Hisako bows to Isis, he snorts. "She's fine with hugs, and scritches both." He's about to go further when the explosion rocks the stage, and looks to have consumed the pro-mutant speaker. "Shaped charge?" He muses even as he lopes towards the stage, hands used as well, moving with astonishing speed for a burly guy. He moves right after Hisako, sliding beneath her massive exoskeletal energy legs as she lifts the stage and holds. Once on the other side he very gently soothes the kids as best as he can, and then gets them to safety toot-sweet if he can.

"Isis…please…we need things calm…"

When Brandon stills, so does Isis. The others are going to have to take care of this. Isis manages to grab Brandons arm, her eyes bright as she fights the fear, terror? she's getting from him. For the moment, that fear is broadcast to all around them. Now, the panic is even more so. It takes an effort of will for Isis to control that and pull up calm and reassurance instead.

Brandon will get the bulk of that. The others around? Well, they're still panicking … oops. Sorry, that's just Hisako's and Hanks job just a little harder. They can see the remains of the charges. They'll be able to retrieve them for sure. But first, that stage is tipping precariously and groaning.

Anya's drones pick up movement towards the back of the crowd. Someone is leaving - slipping away. Anya and Brandon will see them from where they are stands. Where everyone else is panicked and scared, that man … seems rather calm doesn't he?

Brandon doesn't respond to Isis. She can't be sure he even knows she's there. Instead, she loses her grip as he transforms to energy before reforming into a suit of power armor. His eyes are fixed on the man oh so calmly leaving the scene and then he leaps off the roof, the jets in his 'boots' blasting to send directly him toward the man.

The wave of panic crashes over Hisako's mind, and her armor wavers - not in structure or solidity, but in color, blue lashing amidst the yellow as she fights against that surge of terror. But she grits her teeth, physically as well as mentally, and focuses on the task that she *must* perform: supporting the stage and not letting it collapse as long as there are people in harm's way.

There are quite a few too many of those, she thinks - and not enough people working to get children, or anyone *else* for that matter, out of danger. "Spider-Girl!" she calls out. "Any help you can give would be welcome! Beast, keep moving!" She'd *really* like Brandon's assistance on that as well, but apparently he's got somewhere more important to be … or maybe someone who needs to be apprehended. Armor didn't see that casually-strolling figure, though.

Fortunately, there hadn't been time for Anya to angst over Morlun. Unfortunately, her introduction to Isis was understandably cut short.

Bouncing as she is, Spider-Girl is briefly stricken by the broadcast panic; in her mind, she's flashing back to the apartment in Spanish Harlem, staring wide eyed as Morlun crushed her uncle's skull between his hands, like a grape.

She freezes, and nearly slips from the web she's made. The changed equilibrium snaps her out of it, and she catches herself with a quiet gasp as reality sets back in. It almost distracts her from seeing the figure that Arana has noticed and focused upon in her mask.


"Gotcha," she says, and shakes her head to clear it of the vicious memory; pushing it back into the dark corners of her mind, where she will always regret that it wasn't her who slit his ugly throat.

"Keep at it, Armor!" she cries, and fires weblines at a diagonal angle to each side of herself. The weblines catch and pull her backward, and then she releases them. Like a stone fired by a slingshot, she is sent soaring at breakneck speed toward the presumed bomber, coming alongside Brandon as she arcs through the air. Her head turns to him, and she nods her head before firing another webline at an adjacent building, using the momentum to swing even harder in pursuit of the escaping assailant.

Hank will do his best to control the fear, fortunately, he has been trained to shield his mind — and has a great deal of willpower and practice, it takes effort but he can blunt the effect. He'll get the kids out of harm's reach, and he'll wedge his body between them and any danger, shielding them with a living barrier.

"Keep it up, Armor, almost…there…"

Regardless of the personal price he might pay, he -will not- suffer any children to be harmed, not if he can help it.

The mutants need to work on their mental shields! Isis chief amongst them. As she gets control of herself, her hand slides from 'Sarges' arm and she watches him go. In an instance, she chasing too. Her catlike reflexes letting her leap easily over cars and walls … she's not as fast as him, but she's close.

Brandon lands on the ground, just in front of the runner … walker. The guy looks at the energy construct and sneers. "I had hoped we'd get more of you." Anya follows close behind, landing just ahead of Isis and in time to hear that. She'll also see the pistol as it swings up and fires at Sarge.

Hank and Armor, with the assist from Anya, manage to stabilise the stage and get the people clear. There's a lot of sobbing and stuttered thanks as Paramedics start to arrive. They'll be free to follow the others … now. It's not hard to find them - Isis is perched on a wall at the moment - her black and pink jacket with the 'Hello Isis' logo ever so clear.

She may not possess the Spider-Sense, but what Spider-Girl does have is the lightning reflexes of a human spider. She's still in the classic three-point-stance when her wrist flips, and a black webline shoots forth, aimed at the pistol.

The gun is yanked free; she isn't sure if it affected the assailant's aim or not, but she makes sure to send it flying toward a wall, where the gun ends up splattered in webbing to be later collected for evidence.

"Your second amendment has been yanked," she quips.

There's no verbal answer to the man's sneer. Ignoring the pistol completely, whether it fires or not, whether it hits him or not, Brandon straight-arms the man hard. Hard enough to send him flying backwards. Hard enough to break ribs, maybe his sternum.

In Armor's defense, she had too many things to focus on too quickly to focus on shoring up her mental defenses - and she wasn't expecting an *assassination* at the festival; she might have come in something closer to 'work clothes' if she had. Or she might have just come in uniform, and never mind subtlety - it's not like she would've been the only obvious superhero in attendance.

And she's still not sure if what happened was, in fact, an assassination, or an act of terrorism, or simply a blatant and unsubtle public (and probably racist) murder for no better reason than 'because somebody figured they could'. Maybe the others can untangle that question - the 'whydunnit,' so to speak - if they can get answers out of the killer.

For now, though? The hard part, saving lives, seems to be 'done' for now: the children are safely away, the stage has been vacated, nobody else is anywhere that they'd get hurt by an uncontrolled collapse of the stage. Armor still focuses on making it a *controlled* collapse to the best of her ability: easing the structure down, supporting the pieces that would fall (her armor's shoulders, for instance, can also provide support and apply force as needed, just like a physically big and burly superhero could prop a thing up), and making sure that nothing breaks off or lands in any place that isn't *known* ahead of time: not just expected or anticipated, but controlled. That also has the side benefit of preserving the 'crime scene' on the stage as much as possible.

And as curious as Hisako is about the state of the stage, she focuses on following Isis - even scooping Hank up to carry him, if he seems so inclined.

Hank is not too proud to accept a lift from Armor, and he wants to get to the site as swiftly as can be. Once there he is caught up short by the casual punch to the bomber's chest. Scum or not, the man deserves a trial, and to spend the rest of his life in jail to suffer hopefully degradation upon humiliations galore.

Hank pushes off Hisako's armored shoulder in a leap, catching the man before he can impact anything and do irreparable harm. Oh, he can understand the rage, but. "Careful, Sarge…killing this man makes him a martyr, it is likely exactly what he wanted."

Once the man is caught, Hank makes sure he can breathe, and then looks to Anya. "Spider-Girl, some bindings, please?" He looks to Armor. "VERY good job with the stage." Sadly he can't offer Isis anything except one thing - he concentrates hard on his approval of her, of her courage. He's not empathic, nor a tepe but his mind is very strong. Hopefully she'll be able to sense it.

"He's not afraid…" Isis says quietly from her perch on the wall as the group congregates. "He's … full of hate." She shivers and a cold, hard light fills her eyes when Sarge punches him. "Punch him again, Sarge." But Hanks talking sense.

The man groans, thrown into a wall and yes, there's broken bones there. "You shouldn't be allowed to live, mutant scum." Anya might have a solution to shut him up in just a moment.

The police are arriving and one joins the group, looking around at each of them. "I understand we have you to thank for saving a lot of people. I'm Officer Kyrian. And thank you for apprehending this … person. We'll take him into custody but we'll need statements from all of you before you go."

Brandon's fists clench and he steps forward but stops as Hank speaks up. He's not convinced but when the cop arrives he looks over at the officer then just flies off. No statement from him.

Hank will actually, much as it pains him, make sure that the man survives until paramedics arrive. He will stay put to answer any questions from the police, he's a government contractor after all, her is sort of obliged to do such.

The hate speech spilling from the man's lips prompts an utterly venomous look from Hisako, although her armor remains steady and yellow, size not even quivering. "It is not your place to decide who lives or dies," she tells him, her words carefully and precisely enunciated. "And the only scum I see here isn't a mutant."

The arrival of the police *should* give her cause to relax, but she only shrinks her armor at OFficer Kyrian's approach; she doesn't fully *de*-armor until the … technically he's a suspect, right … until the *suspect* is cuffed and being led away. "Thank you for getting here as quickly as you did, Officer," she says with a bow of her head, her tone polite even if she's still somewhat stiff. "I didn't see much, but I'll tell you what I can."

And she does, when she gets the chance and her turn. She's hoping to salvage *some* enjoyment out of the fair, if possible … but the incident - whether it was an actual killing or not - has cast an utterly undeniable pall over the festival.

The bomb killed more than just one man, it would seem.

"Si, Senior," Spider-Girl answers, and begins wrapping the man up by his arms and legs, the webbing black as the anger that is in her heart. She's almost done, when another splat is derisively sent to the man's face, covering up his mouth and nose. "You have the right to remain silent," she says, then steps forward, a look of concern on his face, for she's cut off his ability to breathe.

For a moment, at least.

A hand rises and rips the webbing free from his nose, allowing him fresh air again. "And to breathe." She smiles sweetly at him, but the mask is covering the disgust in her eyes. "Sorry about that."

The sarcasm is strong with this one.

Office Kyrian manages to keep a straight face when Anya 'webs' the suspect up. He's none too gentle as he leads the man away. "Let's get you all seen to and we'll get some statements. Then you can be on your way."

Isis watches Sarge go and pulls out her phone, sending an email to the man.

She'll find him later to check in on him. Maybe she'll be able to track him. Mighty Hunter is she.

For now though, there's the remains of the fair to see to.

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