2020-05-21 - Don't Try The Salad


A flora monster crashed the evening at a local restaurant.

Log Info:

Storyteller: {$storyteller}
Date: May 21st, 2020
Location: {$location}

Related Logs


Theme Song



It's a lovely spring night and out on the porch of the Cafe Scarletti, a quaint little Italian restaurant tucked into the edge of Queens and Brooklyn, someone's on a date. Well, multiple people are on a date, but one particular table hosts a young woman and a young man, the latter in a leather jacket and jeans, his blond hair tamed with gel, and a glass of wine in his hand.

"I think this was a good call, dunno about you," he says to the young woman across the table and lifts his glass at her. "To you, bella baby." This is Richard, but we'll call him Rick for now. There's garlic bread on the table, but no food ordered yet.

It's a cute scene, but let's be honest here: nothing stays calm for long in this city. About one block over, there's the sound of a scuffle breaking out. It starts quietly, but then there's the sound of a trash can being thrown. And then the sound of a dumpster being thrown — and this is loud enough to carry, believe you-me. It hits a parked car on the end of the block as well, setting the car alarm to WAILING.

And there skirts a figure with silvery-white hair at a very brisk run, his knee-length long-coat billowing behind him and arms just working away. Combat boots keep up a steady, fast pace as he tries desperately to keep one step ahead of what has to be the biggest, ugliest collection of living ghillie-suit ever seen. It's alive, whatever it is, and it smells very…very…bad. He tries to make it across the street, but whatever this supernatural baddie is, it sends out a wriggling swath of appendage and smacks the poor guy dead in the back. There he goes, through the air…

…and SMASHES through the table belong to Rick and his date. Rick spills his wine all over himself, to say the least, and yells a few choice things even as the table smash-ee groooooans in pain. Lena will recognize this particular person, that's for sure.

Lena Snart was…trying to be different. She was trying to be something more than herself and had been for awhile. Would Mel be happy with her? Did it matter? Rick was…nice. Nice was a good word for it. A bit tiny for her tastes but not everyone was Mick. No one could ever be Mick. "Still too early for me to call it." She murmurs, eyeing the glass of wine he's holding and reaching for her own upon request for a toast. The fact that it was to her only presses a reserved smile to her dark lips.

It's over shortly after as a pale-haired handsome bastard crashes in. Lena blinks, holding her glass aside and staring down at the area that use to be a table. "Ambrose?" She murmurs before allowing the glass to fall and taking a knee. "Hey. Hey!" She calls to him, one hand reaching for his arm as the other goes for the front his jacket. "Ambrose, you awake?" Pale eyes up, she looks toward Rick. "You might wanna beat it, pretty."

There are multiple people here for a date; and there is one other person here who you'd think was on a date, or at least looks like she should be on a date, but apparently is not on a date. Gwen is sitting at a table for two, wearing some of her better jeans, cropped t-shirt, and one of those denim jackets that costs a whole bunch extra so you can get it half ripped to shreds before anyone's even done it the courtesy of wearing it. Set before her is a plate of pasta (chicken and mushrooms in alfredo sauce over a bed of penne) and a tall glass of what's probably coca cola. However, instead of having an excited and animated conversation with a date, there's an empty chair. She's got her cell out and the screen illumates her face as she's busy eating with one hand, and texting with the other.

'I dunno, he isn't here,' complains one text, followed in group chat by a chorus of 'OMG' and 'What a douchebag' and so forth. The young blond smirks, switches over to Pokemon Go, catches a Wild Squirtle (which takes six pokeballs, what a champion), and flips back to her texts. 'Nope, no appology,' she answers, which sets off a quick debate about wether he's a jerk, had a car accident, or got abducted by aliens.

Something in the back of Gwen's brain starts buzzing, and she feels her skin goosebump; she looks up just in time to see the table not quite beside hers get rudely interupted by an airborn personage, who more or less wrecks his way through everything. 'Gotta go, weirdness happening', she calmly texts to her friends, and tucks the phone away in her pocket. She grabs a backpack she had resting by her feet, bringing her plate with her and hurriedly polishing off most of it. "Uhm, check please," she asks, waving to the nearest server, who totally doesn't notice.

Gwen fishes a couple of twenties out of her wallet, tosses them on the table, then picks up her drink and drains it before putting the glass on top of the bills. "Everyone.. okay here?" she inquires, meandering towards the crashed individual.

Hanako was decidedly -not- on a date. She'd hardly been in the country for long enough to meet people, and she'd barely had much in the way of free time lately. But a girl's gotta eat, and why wouldn't one enjoy a little Italian food in New York when they finally got the chance? The place smelt -so- good when she went walking by.

Wrapped in jeans and a bright blue T-Shirt emblazoned with the logo of a certain Kryptonian she absolutely picked up at the airport beneath a rather plain hoodie jacket, the young Japanese woman was making her way over towards the counter with a her finger tapping her chin. Coffee was good, food was fancy. What a way to spend the da-

Then someone was crashing into tables hard enough to have the young woman jumping and giving a little startled cry that other people likely mirrored!

Others rushed over immediately…Hanako was a little slower, sort of drifting nearer and looking back and forth. She'd missed it: How the heck did that happen?

Rick is completely in agreement with Lena. He at least has the wherewithal to put down some money as well, though it's on the lifted tray of a nearby server frozen in shock to see not only the sudden table-smasher, but the continued approach of the giant living creation of kudzu. It's at least twenty-five feet tall, broad as a car is long, with glowing purple eyes (four of them) within its viney head.

Most of the other patrons now scoot back their chairs, ditching steaming plates of stromboli and spaghetti and fetticini and bread sticks — not the bread sticks!!! A few of them yell and one guy literally shrieks as the giant viney humanoid takes a moment to stop in the street and smash the hell out of a taxi's hood as it screeches to a sudden halt, laying on its horn.

Uttering another rusty groan, the silver-haired individual — indeed, Ambrose — sits up on one elbow and puts his other hand to his temple, looking very, very dizzy. "Ohhhhh…bloody god, that hurrrrt…" he slurs, blinking owlishly. There's a British accent, but this too is mushy with what appears to be acute head trauma. "No'm, let me get my feet beneath me and I shall deal with…with…" He squints at the giant viney creature now yowling at the top of its lungs in some spitting screech. "…when did it split into three?"

There's only one creature, Ambrose.

And it's really irritated. Another car is slapped at, but with a protest of wheels and a sharp turn, the driver avoids the creature. Now people have cleared out of the cafe porch — at least, the ones not interested in brawling with the living greenery.

Lena Snart takes a moment to watch after Rick for a second later. He left cash - that's sweet of him. Then a cute blonde is checking in on them? Blinking, she eyes Gwen and nods. "He'll be fine. I was wondering what fresh hell he would bring to me." Lena knew the man with pale hair. As he tries to sit up, she rests her hand on his chest. "Easy…" She tells Ambrose before moving toward her side bag and digging into it. "Everyone should get out of here! If anyone knows a Supe, give them a call!" Sweeping back up with an oddly shaped gun of sorts, the girl pulls the trigger and fires off a brilliantly bright white-blue light.

It was in a sheet, a field of sorts, blinding and chilling. But this thing was..huge. "That'll slow it down! For now!" A glance back. "Get the fuck out!"

"That was one heck of a flying trick," Gwen points out. "Are you—" She stops as there is, now, a monster. A big monster, all viney and eyebally and stuff, busy smashing perfectly good taxis and whatnot. Because of course the cabby laid on the horn at a jaywalking abomination, this is New York, isn't it?

"Get out of here, …Call 911, right, got it," Gwen acknowledges, and then promptly turns around to make a break for it, running straight into the restaurant. She rushes straight for the lady's room; it's one of those single-occupant washrooms, fortunately.

Unfortunately, some guy in a suit is busy trying to get into it, probably to use as a hiding place. "Excuse me!" shouts Gwen, as she ducks under the guy's arm, skids into the washroom, and yanks the door shut behind her, leaving the angrily protesting man who's now out a hiding spot outside — though he doesn't stick around for long, choosing to take his chances running away.

About forty-five seconds later the washroom door opens, and Spider-Woman emerges, wearing a totally differently colored backpack from the one Gwen had (or maybe just the same one inside out). "Alright!" she announces, walking back out onto the porch. "I heard there was a monster?"

Monsters, plant monsters rampaging through the city and trashing the place. There was a tasteless joke even Hanako could make about her first week in New York greeting her with such a sight but…it was kinda lost when Lena turns to yell orders at them just as she was drawing nearer to check on Ambrose like any good curious bystander.

That and she pulled some sight of glowing blue ice laser gun from under her jacket? That was -so cool-!

Oh, right, she should be running! A glance to Gwen repeating the very same thought, she too was fleeing…right into the other washroom. It wasn't bad to use the wheelchair bathroom if were using it to change swiftly for stopping a rampaging monster, right?

Beneath the crack of the door, one might actually witness the flare of swirling lights before the young woman emerges from the bathroom. Her hair was unpinned, her outfit had been replaced with an armored skirt that made her look like a combat-ready Japanese Red Riding Hood surrounded by faint lights.

No great introductions or words for the less practiced no-name heroine, instead she simply rushes forwards and throws her hands forwards, releasing a crackling bolt of energy from her gloved hands towards the huge creature.

The viney creature is immediately thrown back a good number of rumbling steps. Just enough mass to dent the pavement as it retreats, leaving shallow potholes, and it writhes and flails as hyper-cold air as well as lashing energy slams into it. Plant matter shrivels either way, leaving it scalded and frostbitten alike, and now all four bright purple eyes narrow on the cafe patio.

Ambrose is now up to rested on one hip, still squinting and clutching at his temple. "Yes, there is a ruddy monster…!" he calls in Spider-Woman's general direction. "Someone…do something about it, my skull is still healing closed." With another groan, he at least manages to pull himself up to a wobbly stand by gripping at a nearby upturned table's tilted side.

With another slithering roar, the plant monster then brings up both arms to attempt to smash at the patio's occupants!

"No! Not the cops! Supes! I said if you knew a Supe!" Cops couldn't do much…There's not much that Lena notices when both Spidey and Shock Girl turn up on the scene. She steps around and stands over Ambrose in a protective manner. With the gun still glowing and blazing out, she glances to either side of herself, settling on Spidey. "If you're going in, say so! This gun will slow you down, too, and I don't think you want that."

Taking a breath, she pulls up a different gun all together, one of white silver with some mercury azure liquid filling its containers. "Dropping Jadis in three. Vic is going up next. Stay OUT of its beam. You'll freeze solid. Ready? Three!" Cold cries out before lowering the cold gun and leveling the other. As soon as its substance fires out, the very air turns crystaline and chills. Snow flecks and frost spread as the beam coats the offending arms. "Red!" She calls to Hanako, "Blind that thing! Give Spidey an opening!"

Spider-Woman takes a moment; Classy Lady and Red Riding Hood are busy blasting at the beast, so she has a moment. She stretches one leg, then the other, and her arms for good measure. She's just about to charge forwards, when Lena is asking her a question.

"…If I'm 'going in'?" she parrots back. "Well, I mean, I was planning on punching it, that's generally what we Spiders do. So as long as that's the 'going in' you meant, then sure. I wasn't planning on getting eaten by it or anything though, that would be too much 'in'. I guess we'll see what happens."

Gwen starts forwards, after that; as she runs past Hanako, she shouts "I'm going in!" to her as well, just in case anything was unclear. She vaults over a table, using it to gain some height; similarly she jumps off the top of the railing around the porch, and fires a webline at the building across the street. She gives a sharp tug, gaining momentum and aiming a solid kick for the beast's head.

Hey, if nothing else, hopefully it gets some attention. "Hey, big… buy… man-plant thing," she yells, "Eyes on me buddy! Over here. That's right, all four eyes, lots of Spider here to look at. I'm cute. Check me out and stop smashing thing."

Multiple attacks, this was about as close to a 'team' as Hanako had ever worked with. But given she could still count the amount of times she'd really used her powers in a fight on her fingers that wasn't really saying much. There's a gnalance towards Ambrose and his call about broken skulls, but he was still talking, so she'd worry about the monster instead.

Lena's instruction (and another gun!) earn a nod, a quick and far less confident "Okay!" before another bolt of energy arcs and flies towards the viney glowing-eyed creature's face. It was like a video-game right? Aim for the bright 'weak spot'!

Easier in theory however, when Gwen goes swinging and rushing towards the face of the vine creature. Her constant 'stream' of energy falters, instead breaking to a series of bolts.

The plant creature's arms are frozen solid just as they begin their descent towards the patio group of protectors! Thick vines creak and groan as their cellular structure begins to degrade.

And then, the kick to the FACE!

The creature wails as two of its four eyes are suddenly blinded by the assault. It tries to swat at Spider-Woman, but alas: its arms are plant-sicles. All it does is angrily whiff her a few times by a good number of feet, leaving behind shimmering trails of ice crystals and glimmering bits of frozen vine. Slaps of energy shot now in lieu of continued voltage distract it more and leave charred pieces of leaf falling down like black snow. It grunts with each impact and begins to stagger in place.

Ambrose shakes his head where he now stands behind Lena and blinks a few times, clearly entirely mended by the way he aims a scowl at the creature.

"And you thought you would gad about as if the city would allow it! Wrong, sir, wrong!!!" he yells loudly at the thing.

"You're explaining this to me later. You also owe me dinner." Lena somewhat growls toward Ambrose. He was on his feet, that's what mattered. "Keep it up!" She barks out to the other women in the line of heroism. As Vic gives a shudder and shake, she ceases the attack and shifts position. A run closer, she fires off once more - this time aiming for the creature's legs. Jadis in hand, she aims for the monster's upper body, its torso and arms specifically. "Keep out of the beam!" She calls to Spider-Woman. "You'll slow down!" Comes the warning once more. Is that what that gun did? Well, she was aiming to hinder the beast's movement. "Arms and legs are weak! Break them! Take it down!"

Why-why was she being a leader?

Spider-Woman jumps backwards, landing on the wall of the building behind her, where she sticks. "Just another day in New York," she muses, "Monster running around all nimbly-bimbly, thinks it can do whatever. HEY! Guess what?!" She leaps off the building, executing a summersault mid-air and bringing the heel of her foot down hard on one shoulder, like an axe. As she lands she siezes hold of the same arm, twisting as she pulls on it, and throwing her whole body into tearing it loose.

With arm in hand, she takes a step and whirls around. "Take this, Grendel!" she yells, swinging the arm at the creature's legs and hammering it hard in the knee, before diving behind it and giving it a similar clobbering to the same joint on the other leg.

"Hit it!" she yells to the other two women; she swings the arm around once more, bringing it up hard to connect with the chin, before she abandons the weapon and jumps out of the way. "Hey, Red! Hit it in the face! GO FOR THE EYEBALLS!"

What in the world is a Grendel? Hanako could ponder it later when she wasn't getting shouted at by heroes, or 'villains' doing the hero thing. Crackling energy bolts continue to pummel the creature as she aimed for the spot she'd been instructed, but when Spider-Woman repeats the calls there's a little noise of desperate frustration for the magician in the 'combat skirt'.


Another bolt, she brings her hands together for a moment and lets the energy coalesce into a brilliantly glowing spear before steping forward and grunting as she 'throws' the shaped burning energy like it had actual weight. Thankfully her power guided it, because without that she'd probably have missed!

Needless to say, the behemoth creation of angry vines can't withstand the combined might of everything thrown at it. Between being beaten by its own arm, frozen from chest to proverbial spine through by wicked ice, and the sudden insertion of an energy spear into one of its remaining two eyes, the Vine-del is down for the count.

Creaking like a falling tree, it slooooowly collapses to one side in a rumbling impact to the middle of the street. Quiet descends on the area with the rapidity of an altercation suddenly ceasing.

"Oh yes, very good indeed." This is Ambrose, saying it with a pleased purr, as he then fearlessly strides towards the rapidly-evaporating mass of plant-life. It completely disappears from the pavement, leaving behind what appears to be an egg-sized faintly-glowing sphere. This, he picks up with black-gloved hands and tosses once before pocketing it. "The dratted thing decided it would attempt to take what did not belong to it," explains the Englishman crisply as he walks back over to the gathering of three heroines. "And well done, the lot of you. I am impressed." His smile slowly appears, dimpling now in some form of satisfaction. As he looks between them all, it may be apparent there's a lingering carmine-bright glow to his pupils within his blue eyes.

Maybe it's because his headache is gone now. The gem is nice to have back too.

Lena Snart lowers her guns. Watching the somewhat beautiful display of a plant giant turning to flora, she blinks and considers the trio for a moment. Looking over one gun while putting the other away (Jadis is put away), she studies it and makes a soft 'tsk' noise behind her teeth. "Still a bit too dangerous. I need to deal with this." The glimmer of something pretty causes her brow to quirk. To take or not to take…With a look toward Spider-Lady and Pika-hood, she gives them a passive nod and turns to walk away. The job was done.

For Ambrose, she offers him a 'V' symbol, her fingers facing him. Ah, insults in a different culture. Next time she'll probably bite her thumb at him.

The 'V' insult is something that Gwen entirely misses. Well, she sees it, she just has no idea what it means. So, the Spider-Woman just ignores that one for now, not wanting to seem silly.

"Oooh, that's shiny," she proclaims, as she walks up behind Ambrose while he's busy collecting the glowing sphere. She leans around from behind, almost invading personal space but not quite; the eyes of her mask narrow as she oggles the gem, at least until it gets put away.

"So what is it?" she inquires. "I mean, I'm guessing it's some sort of magical gem? Must be magic. Science doesn't do silly things like that. Gem of plant animation? Mystic Jewel of Steroid-Ridden Petunia Summoning? Periapt of Angry Treant?" She steps back, and plants her hands on her hips. "Is that thing safe to keep in your pocket? I mean, it's not going to irradiate you anywhere… important… is it?"

As she's busy asking questions, the Spider-Woman pauses to look over her shoulder, and pop Hanako a thumbs up. "Nice shot, by the way!"

The 'V' is simply confusing for the Japanese girl who wasn't exactly read up on British insults. There's simply a blink, a tilt of her head and then a hesitant step towards the shrivelling husk and the eager Englishman who was retrieving the orb-thingy. Lena was already retreating, earning a nervous sort of half-wave of farewell that she rethinks only after she'd completed it and then Hanako was looking bak to the masked spider and her questions with a soft little 'mmm' of agreement.

Finally speaking, her own English was perfect, but not unburdened by accent. "Will there be more? That thing is it's…heart, yes?"

Offered the symbol of parted fingers, Ambrose shoots Lena a Bane-gleaming look full of censorious, lofted brow — and then proceeds to sniff dismissively.

"Yes, well, as you will, Miss Cold." He uses her vigilante title in order to preserve her privacy in the end. Gwen garners his attention next and his smile returns, though not as strongly and certainly not as conniving. There's still some coyness, that hasn't gone away.

"It is indeed a magical gem that will not influence me in any matter. If anything, it is silent while on my person." Because his own aura counter-acts the need for brushfire wild growth it instills in the holder.

He then glances to the young woman of Asian descent. "Mmm…in a way, perhaps its heart. It belongs elsewhere and I am tasked to remove it from the city. This is no place for it to grow, not here — and not in any of the parks, before any of you suggest it."

Again, the Englishman looks between 'Red' and this spider-suited woman. "As you may be able to tell, the impertinent chit and I know one another. Whom, may I ask, are you?" 'You' as in Gwen and Hanako both.

"Ahh, so it's a Petried Plant Heart, then. Excellent, I'll make sure to add one to a treasure haul next time I'm running a D&D campaign." Gwen takes a step back from Ambrose, and waves to Lena as she makes her departure. "I'm glad to hear it won't be causing any more growth." She rests her hands on her hips, and glances back and forth between Ambrose and Hanako.

"I'm" she gets that far and a loud "Beep-badda-Bleep" issues from her phone. "I'm Sp" she tries again before "Bee-Beep-badda-Beep-badda-Bleep" comes from the phone once again. "…Excuse me," she grumbles, pulling out her phone that goes off a couple more times as texts are practically falling over each other to get into her phone.

'Sorry baby had a thing come up with the guys' is one message, followed by 'be there in fifteeen'. She glares at it cockeyed, before tapping the screen a few times, adding a certain number to her block list and putting the phone on silent while she's at it.

"Sorry about that," she comments, tucking her phone away. "That's a potential boyfriend who's just landed himself in 'ex' territory before the first date. That's efficient, I guess." She shrugs. "Let's try that again. Hi, I'm Spider-Woman! Pleased to meet you both."

That made sense…sort of. Certainly it made about as much sense as anything magical did since her empowerment! There's a nod as Ambrose lays out his definiton of the orb, but Hanako is left to have a sudden flush-cheeked moment of panic when her name is asked for. She doesn't have a cool codename or awesome title to offer in responce. Where did people even learn to come up with that stuff anyway?

Hanako's mouth opens to answer, then Spider-Woman's little text-exchange offers a convenient little distraction-reprive.

"I am sorry about your date," she offers before glancing back towards the chaos of the restaurant, biting her lip. "Do…do you think we can still get a drink in there?" the battle-dressed girl questions lightly. "I was kind of wanting a coffee…"

"Ah, Spider-Woman…aptly named," the silver-haired Englishman decides as he looks Gwen over with not a hint of lecherous intent. "Well met indeed. It was serendipitous that you were in the area when this nonsense occurred." If Ambrose has noticed that Hanako offers no name, he doesn't address it again but for a quick, glinting side-glance.

"I am Lieutenant Atherton, Esquire." He places his gloved fist to his chest and bows at the waist in a manner long since lost to Queen Victoria's courts. "I am grateful for your assistance both: thank you." A nod to Gwen and Hanako. "As to the coffee…I rather doubt it." He frowns in the general direction of the restaurant, its staff only just now beginning to emerge and take account of what happened. "It may be more appropriate that we depart. I have no interest in speaking to the authorities on matters."

And lo, in the distance, the shrill rise of an approaching police car still a few blocks out. Ambrose looks in that direction and scowls. Damnit. Master-thieves NEVER get along well with cops.

Gwen grins under her mask; it's not visible of course, but the hand she lifts in salute is. "Pleased to meet you, Lieutenant Atherton! And a pleasure to go hunting big, err, plants with you." She tilts her head towards Hanako, and likewise resists commenting both about the lack of name and about how hard it can be to think up a code name sometimes. (Her code name pretty much provided itself, and she silently wonders if that was some sort of unfair advantage.)

"Yeah, coffee might be hard… the restaurant isn't likely to pass a health and safety inspection right now. Also the fact that the entire wait-staff has fled might be an issue. I—"

Gwen pauses as the sound of sirens is evident in the background, and she sighs. "And that'd be my cue to get going, anyway," she grumbles. "Lots of cops are cool, but some of 'em… don't like us Spiders. I'd rather just not chance it." Also, her Dad's a cop, but that's beside the point. "Been a pleasure. See you all next time!"

Perhaps 'Red' would just have to suffice for now? Hanako doesn't quite return the bow in full, but there's an instinctive bob of her head that was almost certainly a bow before she looks back to the fleeing Gwen and the rapidly departing Ambrose. For all her powers, Hanako couldn't fly or swing away on any webbing, but the free advice about meeting with the police was a good one. That and she didn't -really- have a mask on.

"It was nice to meet you both…and the cold lady too!"

It looked like simply 'running away' was going to be her approach!

A wise decision in the master-thief's books, how all scatter in their cardinal directions. After all, his own mantra is 'those who steal and run away live to steal another day'. A wry salute off his temple with two fingers is given to Spider-Woman and also to 'Red' before he turns and departs down the nearest alleyway.

The authorities arrive and are treated to a very, very confused rendition of events from staff and the few customers who hid inside the restaurant while it all went down. There was…a plant creature and…something about ice bolts? Lightning spears? One of the spider-people? …maybe there's ergot in the garlic bread.

Regardless, the evening falls with far more quiet than when it started.

And yes, the half-smushed taxi get towed away, its horn still blaring weakly in insult at that damned viney jaywalker.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License