2020-07-10 - Don't Annoy The Natives


Mari's efforts in the DZ are interrupted

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Fri Jul 10 02:11:30 2020
Location: The Disaster Zone

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Theme Song



The Disaster Zone is … a mess. Still. Despite the work that's been done, there's still so much to do and there's still those who refuse to move to safer and better places.

Mari McCabe along with others has been working to make conditions better in parts of the Zone, providing aid rebuilding as they can. It seems like a never ending project. Today the ex-model is down in the Disaster Zone, visiting part of the project that's been ongoing for months. As usual there's trucks and trestle tables set out - with an assortment of personal care and clothing for the residents. And people to help hand that stuff out and check on the residents.

Dressed in jeans and T-Shirt with an african type print on it, the ex-model is keeping a low profile. She and T'Challa have agreed that this project should be the focus, not their involvement, but it's impossible to not draw some attention of course.

To the side, several feet away, a work crew is putting the final touches on a refurbished building. This will provided much needed homes to some of the residents - and these might even have running water. A workman can be seen fitting off the telecommunications to the building.

Not wishing to upset the civilians present, the Hunter is keeping her distance, positioned on the rooftop of a ruin nearby. The only real signs of her presence are a clowder of wild cats of domesticated breeds milling around the rooftop and a few ledges of said building, and the very occassional glimpse of her head when she decides to poke it up to change sightlines and angles on the gathering below. She continues to keep watch in the event of danger, like the Hounds, the cybermercs, or anyone trying to kidnap the people. Granted, her perspective is largely for the mutants, but she judges not: endanger the civilians, and she shall act accordingly.

Avery is in her street clothes for this, helping with handing out the personal care items. One of the first things she did though on arrival was to wipe her other 'site memory' in the DZ in favor of her current location in case there's trouble. One never knows what is going to happen, she is also wearing her BatFamily Comm, though the thing just looks like a bluetooth headset.

Dressed in mildly distressed jeans, and a black t-shirt about a size too big that has block letters in grey that read 'SURELY NOT EVERYONE WAS KUNG FU FIGHTING' on front.

She's a slim girl, but wiry, and stronger than she looks. A sweet smile for everyone she gets to help as she hands over their care package or clothing. Hazel eyes are intent, alert, and friendly. Brown hair is gathered in the back in a simple pony tail today, and her trainers are battered, but comfy, with a Hello Kitty patch over a hole in one.

It's probably all but inevitable that with a celebrity like Mari McCabe around, there will be photographers around as well. To his credit, though, Peter Parker isn't focusing as heavily on the ex-model as some people would expect - his focus is, in fact, the recovery work, outreach and construction alike.

In fact, if anybody spends enough time watching Peter work, it seems like he's taking as few shots of identifiable people as possible - and frequently asking permission before he takes a photo where somebody *would* be identifiable. Some gangs get awfully touchy about people either doing good deeds, or benefiting from same, on their territory … or what they want to think of as "their" territory.

He's taken a good couple of photos of the new building being finished up, too. None of the interior, much as he'd like to; if he gets the chance to tour things once the crews are done and the building is safe for civilians to enter, that might be another thing. But no, Peter's staying outside, in an understated outfit white T-shirt, light gray slacks, and a photographer's vest to help carry extra film, batteries, etc.

(Yes, Peter avails himself of *actual film* for photography work. He's old-school that way. Not to say he *can't* do digital, but film still has its advantages even now …)

A small, starved looking thing was sitting off to the side, a faded grey pancho over its form, including a hood over head to hide its face. It wore tore up jeans with old tennis shoes, black in color. The entire thing was covered in dirt and mud. It sat crouched, knees up to its chest.

It head moved around, like it was scanning the place, sometimes getting up to move to a different area. It is weird though, sometimes the shadows seem thicker around him, or a purple glint can be seen beneath the hood, but a blink takes it away. The homeless person gets up, moving to a different spot, sitting down again as the head looks about, slowly looking about.

Mari notices the photographer, though she doesn't recognise him. and makes her way towards him with a smile on her face. "Thank you for coming down here and covering this." She says. "The exposure for the work is always appreciated and if you need any information, let me know?"

Very approachable, the ex-model is as she looks around. "Maybe I could I introduce you to some of our volunteers? Without them, none of this would be possible." With practiced ease, Mari guides Peter in Avery's direction, pausing as the line of people collecting things moves along.

"Thank you …" one little girl is saying to Avery and smiling shyly. "I like Hello Kitty …" yes, she noticed the patch.

They aren't far from the child huddling against the wall or the work man finishing their work.

Mari starts to step away to collect the child, seperating herself from Avery and Peter for the moment.

From Hunters viewpoint, she can see the people moving around and see the small group approaching the workman - one raises a club and brings it down on his head while three others push past and circle Mari, training guns on her. "We can't have you messing with our business down here …" They say.

There is little warning, but it is enough: the club raises, and seconds later a long barrel pokes over the roofline. "Hssst." Hunter hisses, and the clowder of cats all scatter away, as she takes aim. In sharp succession, three high-velocity rounds slam into the ground at the feet of the advancing group.

The Hunter doesn't usually go for warning shots, but she would rather not be party to generating news coverage, especially photographs, of snipers operating in the city. That would tend to cause more trouble than this is worth, even with lives on the line. But she needs to give them pause enough to get her opening to get up close and deal with this in person.

After the shots land, the whip-cracks of their firing finally washes over the area.

"Who does not like Hello Kitty?" Avery says with an impish grin that dimples her cheeks. She tweaks the nose of the little girl then, and slips a couple energy bars into the pile, her personal stock - and does it with artful stealth, she's got pretty quick hands, this unremarkable looking young woman.

Eyes of hazel do notice the photog and of course the famous model and heroine Mari McCabe, the Vixen. The thinner waif with the dark shadows, that draws a faint frown, but not one of anger - one of concern.

The anger comes when the thugs beat down one of the workers, and then gunmen surround the model. The sniper shots? She actually can track the bullets as they move through the air, thankfully not at anyone.

Her first thought is for the little girl, and so she she hops over the table, and hides the girl under it. "Stay here, little one. My word is given, you shall be safe, but do not move." She shows nothing but confidence as she says and does this, then raises a finger to her lips. "Shhh!" A saucy wink, and then she looks up, and her expression goes /hard/ as steel. She moves rather purposefully towards the gunmen, eyes shifting rapidly about the area, but watching where they aim. "Such brave braw men, beating those weaker than themselves. Such courage. Well, try /me/, mm? Am I not small and weak? Are you not brave and strong? I should be about your speed…" Hopefully this will distract them, and when Mari makes a move, Avery will too. She's not sure who the sniper is, but so far they seem to be on the side of the angels. That's enough.

Peter smiles, offering a handshake to Mari as she walks up to meet him; if she deflects it, he remains unruffled. "The DZ kinda needs all the help it can get, PR included," he observes. "If you've got volunteers who want their names and faces out there, just point me at them."

Oh hey, a familiar face. "Hey Avery," he greets her with a grin and another handshake, even as his spider-sense perks up - not from Avery, of course, but … something else. Outwardly, it only shows as his grin flickers. "Anything particular catching your eye to…"

Ah great. He doesn't even need his instinct for danger to realize those bad guys are bad news - and not just because Hunter went and changed the weather forecast to 'partly bullet-y with a chance of afternoon showers'. She's in no danger of being photographed, either; Peter has more important fish to fry.

Or rather, somebody he knows *very well* does.

It's reasonable enough for a random photographer to bolt away from the trouble when things happen, right? Peter raises his camera to catch a shot - one quickly-snapped photo - of the goons (or are they mooks?) closing in on Mari, if they're still doing that. Then he simply runs, pre-emptively ducking and weaving before vanishing into a less-well-kept building, getting out of sight ASAP. It'd be easier to swap out of his street clothes in a hurry if he'd been wearing long sleeves, but in *this* weather? Little too hard to excuse …

The dirty thing mainly watched for now, those close could see a small frown, it lifts its head fully though as the thugs come, his attention turned away from the model and conversation. He goes to stand when they surround her, then jumps as the sniper goes off. Were they aiming for her?

The thing gulps as the shadows begin to close around him, almost like he was gathering them up, consuming him. As they did the scrawny person began to get bigger, and bigger, purple lines out lying the body, like etched in. The clothes rip as it continues to grow. Weak lights begin to flicker before it stands to full height, and lets out an ethereal, cat like wail as it continued to grow, and expand, flickers of light becoming great, smoldering purple fire balls. Showing a giant cat skull. What ever it was, it seemed close to done with its growth spurt, and it looked upset, the etchings on it smoldering a dark purple color.

The warning shots cause a couple of the thugs to turn and fire in the direction of Hunter. Vaguely. They can't know exactly where she is, but they've an idea of the direction - and that's bad. Stray bullets flying around is never a good thing, but two take cover and keep sending shots in her direction.

She should know what they're doing - getting her to mark her own position. Question is … why?

There's no time for Mari to acknowledge that Peter knows Avery, though that comes as something of surprise. A pleasant one, make no mistake.

These thugs though, are not. "Are you really sure you want to be doing this?" Mari asks, cool as a cucumber eyeing the weapons trained on her. "Do you remember what happened to the last of your group that tried something like this?"

"Don't be smart lady, you don't have the Panther with you now."

That just makes Mari smirk. "No, I don't, do I?"

One thug just looks at Avery as she gets mouthy and swings the barrel of their weapon at her face. "Shuddup bitch. You'll regret helping out here …" and a second reaches for the child she's sheltering, intent on 'throwing' the girl to the wall.

Peter finds himself followed by another gun wielding thug. "You ain't going anywhere, kid." They say, rounding the corner he just passed…

The flickering lights and catlike wail has others, including Mari, stopping and staring. "What the fuck …" one thug exclaims, grabbing Mari by the arm and jerking her to him - at the same time trying to grab that foxheaded pendant from her throat. "Tell it to stop …"

Two of the thugs open fire on the creature. Pistols barked bullets in the things direction.

The catlike wail is followed by a full-throated roar, quite like something straight out of terrifying nature documentaries, thundering against the reflective surfaces of building walls, as if laying claim by fury alone to the concrete jungle of these rebuilding ruins.

Then a lone figure leaps over the wall, taking a shot to the chest as the body falls all the way to the ground … and lands in a roll, then springs over eighty feet in a bounding arc before landing again near the two shooters who took cover. Blood runs from the shoulder wound, and yet the unkempt and threadbare homeless woman seems to show it no mind whatsoever. "Leave. Or die." She has warned these idiots once. If they fail to heed, Hunter will feast this day!

See, now that's more like it, some of the pressure is off of Mari, and ooh, TWO thugs have turned their attention to Avery. Excellent! Mouthy? Definitely. Doesn't mean she's easy prey though, not even a little. With an insultingly casual looking ease she ducks under the pistol attempting to whip her, and then punches at the side of the man's kneecap. Without any break in the flow, she continues turning and as the other man is reaching for the little girl she hooks one of her arms under one that is reaching for the girl, twists, and heaves with a grunt of effort. The thug ends up ass over teakettle slamming into the pavement and then Avery steps back, a pair of extendable batons snapped out of…apparently thin air as she plants herself between the youngling and harm.

Eyes go wide though at the appearance of the shadow monster. Stance shifted so she's able to defend against attacks from that quarter as well. She sighs, not wanting to reveal her identity, but she just might have to if this escalates further - so far Mari, she, the photographer and oh…hey, Hunter are all embroiled in this tiff, or is it more of a kerfuffle?

The interior of the building into which Peter fled isn't terribly well-lit. There's no electricity in there, for one thing, and he was heading in on the decidedly shadowy side - which would be a critical tactical blunder for most people, but Peter isn't most people.

*thwip* *thwip*

"Amazing. Every word of what you just said was completely wrong," a voice says from the shadows above the gun-toting thug, whose fist is now webbed up nice and snug and isn't going anywhere. So, for good measure, is the thug's mouth. "I'm absolutely going somewhere," continues the voice's owner, "and I haven't been a kid in years. Oh, and 'ain't' is *not* proper grammar, but we'll set that aside."

*thwip thwip thwip*

A few more strategically placed strands of quickly-solidifying adhesive leave the thug's arms and legs anchored in place, and then the figure in tights of web-patterned red and solid blue scampers up a couple of floors, finding a good spot to plant a camera with a view of the plaza outside. He's worried enough about what's happening out there that he doesn't really WANT to take the extra time … but look, Spider-Man just doesn't use the ground floor exit if he can help it, y'know?

While the big shadowy monstrous figure certainly *seems* threatening, the remainder of the gun-toting thugs are a higher priority just by virtue of 'they were preying on the innocent' - and for Spidey's money, there's no telling that the shadow monster isn't another innocent underneath the weird purple miasma. Spider-Man wastes little time once he has his targets, swinging down on a nice long webline (possibly anchored to the shiny new building over yonder - hey, if it's convenient, it's convenient) and yoinking a thug off his feet, trying to disorient him too badly to keep pulling that trigger. "Guns *down*, fellas!!" Spider-Man yells. "These odds really *aren't* in your favor, in case you lost count!" He follows up by trying to simply deck the second goon who was shooting at Purple Clouds over yonder.

That worked a little better than the thugs had intended. They had not expected a homeless woman to take a shot and then confront them. Dumbfounded they look at each, jaws dropping slightly, back at the woman and then at each other before shrugging and turning back to her again.

One starts to fire and the other throws a knife. They … aren't a crack shot but the blade comes spinning for Hunter.

It's definitely a Kefuffle that Avery finds herself in. The thug she knee punches keens loudly but doesn't stop. He topples, heavily, towards Avery as she's slamming the other guy to the ground. Fingers trying to close around her scrawny neck. "You fucking bitch. Now you're going to die …"

The child cries out and huddles against Avery. The young superhero now has to wrangle her and the thugs.

"Fuck. It's Spider-Man." The thug who Spidey thwips and binds manages to grunt out. He's going to struggle for a bit to get free - but that's one less to worry about. The second thug stumbles, pistol flying wide - the guy squeezes the trigger anyway - Spider-Mans spider sense will be buzzing! That might affect the punch he throws at the other goon …

There's a glow behind Mari as the silhouette of a silver-backed ape appears. She lets herself get caught by the thug and then pivots like a dancer, throwing a fist into his face when she does. "You were saying?" She asks as blood flows freely from his face.

Spider-Man might get a glimpse at another silhouette - though it's going to be hard for him to tell … is that a spider, forming near Mari? Shimmering and flickering and then …. gone.

Faster than most eyes can follow, Hunter launches herself into the two idiot goons, not even bothering to smack aside the spinning blade as she drives her elbow into the side of the gunman with force enough to break stones, shattering multiple ribs brutally, and strips the gun from his hand before turning to fire it point-black into the back of his friend's head.

Morons. When a homeless person performs impossible feats of strength and speed and endurance in front of you, wearing threadbare military surplus attire … do not assume they don't know how to fight.

One word, bellowed loudly. "Surrender!"

To the tune of the Lucky Charms jingle: o/~ Here in the Disaster Zone, it's madly kerfufflicous!

Avery had hoped to break the knee, but…the angle was off, and she didn't get a sufficiently solid hit in. Drat! A moment to tap her comm, alerting her mentor that there's trouble, and sending pings to Oracle-Net with her location.

Unfortunately the child means that Avery can't rely on her preferred fighting techniques - mobility, swift movement, and so on. She takes a moment to smack the guy the threw to the ground with one baton, then the other, putting him out of commission. Then drops them as the falling guy grabs her 'scrawny' neck, and starts to choke. Were there no innocent to defend she might have fought the man trying to cut off her air supply, but…there is.

Eyes dangerous slits, she reaches a hand to rest it on the girl, then inhales…and they both vanish, reappearing some distance from where they were on exhale. This is probably not very pleasant for the girl, but a short jaunt like this is merely cold and disorienting, longer jumps lasting longer in The Space Between Breaths. She turns to the girl. "Hide, honey." And then she fixes her gaze on the thug, probably overbalanced, yeah…target acquired.

And that's why Spider-Man likes to take guns out of the equation *before* he manhandles their hopefully-erstwhile wielders. The sound of that last(?) gunshot prompts an unseen wince as Spidey follows his instincts, mostly-reflexively twisting away from the bullet's path. And yes, having to dodge *does* tweak the path of his fist - what had been a carefully-aimed right hook to the chin winds up driving into the goon's shoulder instead, but Spidey quickly converts that into grabbing for a handful of the guy's shirt and THROWING him.

And then webbing the goon up in mid-air, spinning a cocoon that'll both restrain him, and absorb most of the impact upon landing. He didn't throw the goon all that far upwards, or all that fast. If he gets lucky with the landing and rolls for all he's worth, he *might* get away.

Depending on how the rest of the fight goes, at any rate. Spidey takes a moment, in the middle of webbing up Goon #2 (that'd be the one who got yoinked, not the one who got yeeted), to size up how his allies are doing: Mari is drawing on her powers (and he would NOT want to be in her opponent's shoes), the Hunter is holding her own, Avery just got out of Dodge with the little girl she'd been protecting, and …

Still not sure what to make of Purple Haze over there, but Spider-Man keeps alert for any *more* thugs who have yet to join the kerfuffle. Maybe the remainder will be smart enough to just stay out of this one, cut their losses and clear out.

… and maybe a certain eternally-irate editor will actually admit Spider-Man is a hero after all.

Yeah, Spidey's not holding his breath for that. If he can spare a clearer look at the - okay, not just a bunch of clouds … a shapeshifter, then? He gives the purple hulk-feline a curious look and a friendly little wave, then keeps alert for mooks he needs to help whomp on.

The shadow monster puts an arm up, screeching in pain as the bullets hit, causing puffs of shadows that are quickly absorbed back in as the bullets hit the ground. It wails before it looks at Spidy takes care of his attackers. It watches, head tilting before it hears the cry of a child. It looks up. Gets on all 4's, runs full steam at spider man. Jumping into his shadow and….vanishing?

It re-formings from the choky thug shadow. Grabbing the man's head with his own hand, wrapping around it and tossing the thug somewhere before wailing again. Then suddenly stopping, the sound of sniffing, is that food? The color of its lights turn to a light purple as it squats sniffing some more, suddenly distracted by the smell of…energy bars? It's head looking around for the mysterious scent, oblivious for now from the sudden distraction.

The two goons go down. One … dead with not much of his face left after that. Hunter … is sort of heavy and very, very, scary. The gunman just stammers, pinned under the woman as she bellows in their face.

Yeah, surrender. That sounds like a really good idea.

They aren't going to fight anymore.

Avery's abrupt disappearance buys her precious time. The guy is left with his hand squeezing air. If this wasn't so serious, it would be comical. Not so for the little one that Avery just teleported - she's left stammering and stuttering … until someone else pulls her to safety…

… just as the thug stumbles towards Avery. Not knowing she's there but trying desperately to get his balance. He doesn't. He sprawls on the ground at the young womans feet. Should be simple enough to tidy that one up, surely?

Spider-Man might find a word from Super Heroine gets his usually irate editor to admit that this once, at least, Spider-Man was a hero. OK. Maybe not but it's worth a try, right? The goons had not been prepared for the extra heroes about Mari and there are several now wrapped in webs and struggling. The blue and red clad heroes senses don't warn of more danger - but that spider silhouette forms behind Mari for a second again and then disappears. That … jangles his nerves just a bit but not a truly dangerous way.

Mari finishes her thug off. Thumping him soundly and knocking him out. "I'm calling the authorities." she says loudly enough. Those who may want to clear out, can. She knows how this goes. "You can find me at McCabe Industries later …" She wants to see them if she can. To thank them.

She's being very careful about that shadow monster right now. What the hell is it - they'll work that out but right now, her focus is on making sure these thugs are secure and the people safe.

Hunter turns and stares balefully into the eyes of the gunman whose ribs she has shattered, as she shreds his gun to parts with her bare hands, then stuffs the parts in her pockets. "Hunter watches." she declares, and then turns and sweeps the area once more, making sure everyone is safe. She crouches to check the pulse of the worker who was knocked out, and then gestures to one of his friends, pointing towards him imperiously. Seconds later she is jogging at very nearly blurring speeds across the pavement, and then LEAPS up to grab a fourth-story window. Two more bounds up the side of the building, and Hunter is back to her perch.

Ninety seconds later she can be seen bounding from rooftop to rooftop, off into the depths of the Disaster Zone … on a course that might just swing near the newly established Horizon Academy.


When the thug falls at her feet, Avery hits him twice, the blows very precise as they render him unconscious, only then does she look to the little girl, not because she didn't care but because the thug needed to be a no longer active threat. Not privy to the spider flickering in and out, she looks to the girl, and offers a smile - only to realize someone else has her in hand, it seems.

Well, if Peter didn't know Avery had powers before, he surely does now. And Mari also. And Rory. And a bunch of other witnesses, Batwoman is going to /kill/ her!

Oh, and there's the shadow monster - looking more hungry than dangerous, definitely, for all it is scary looking it doessn't seem to be a threat. Swallowing once, she moves towards it with hands outstretched showing she's unarmed (her batons still on the ground near it). "We mean you no harm, do you need aid?"

Normally, a big unknown thing charging straight at you would get anyone to react defensively. And Spider-Man does react, lowering his center of gravity just a bit and bracing for a fast start in whichever direction seems most useful - but that's it. Just a reflexive preparation, but no follow-through.

For one simple reason: he can tell the 'shadow monster' isn't *attacking* … and given how it dives into his shadow instead of following through on a spider-flattening charge, he anticipated correctly.

Spidey takes a moment to look around further, partly seeing where Purple Shadows wound up - oh, there it (he, she?) is - and partly making sure everyone else is okay. Goons, for the most part, included; sure, they're bad guys who had no compunctions about brandishing lethal weaponry, but Spider-Man does his best to make sure the bad guys survive to learn not to keep committing crimes. There's at least one who won't have a chance to tread the straight and narrow … which is technically one too many, but given that's a part of the fight that Spider-Man didn't even get to …

He's got other things to worry about. "Ms. McCabe?" he calls out to the supermodel-turned-superhero. "There's one more thug inside that building," he gestures at the correct building. "I cut him off before he could catch up with that photographer; I'll go let him know the coast is clear."

Spidey gives Mari one more lingering look - what *was* with those spiders, shadows appearing the same way she tapped into other animals for her powers? - then does his part to get all the trash in one place. "Nice threat display," he comments to the purple shadow-walker; if he/she/it is relatively friendly by now, Spidey even offers a brief fist-bump, after demonstrating the principles of it with Avery. "Nice work in a pinch, there," he says to her.

The shadow thing keeps on sniffing, head going high, then towards the ground, its head whips around towards Avery, mouth opening like its about to hiss, but stops as it notices it doing something weird. Instead it turns fully towards her, jaw clanking together at it stares. The runes flickering a light purple, the fire ball eyes decreasing in size as it stares at her, head tilting this way and that. Head moving closer to sniff her, seeming very curious as a hand goes to the ground to sniff lower then her head, almost like it was searching. It quickly looks over to spider man, its head going back and tilting as it stares at the vivid colors as it straightens up, staring before going back to stare at the fist which it backs away from, then goes forwards to sniff, perhaps food is in the hand?

"There is? And it's Mari, please. Do you need any help back there?" Mari has her phone out, watching that purple creature carefully and ziptieing the thugs before checking on the others.

Briefly, the silhouette of a wolf forms behind her and the dark skinned woman scents the air where Hunter has been. Once she has the womans scent, the wolf fades along with the ape, leaving just Mari. A little bruised but rather exhilarated.

"Police will be here in about twenty minutes." For now, she'll leave Avery to deal with the purple shadow. There's others that need attention as well.

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