One Froggy Evening

Log Info

Title: One Froggy Evening
Emitter: Jack
Characters: Claire , Ferris and Synapse
NPCs: The Croak & His Amphibian Army
Place: Cover City
Time: Late Afternoon 5-26-2010
Summary: While out and about on errands, three students are surprised by an army of Frogs and the failed hero known as The Croak

It's somewhere in the late afternoon in Cove City. A bit on the
muggy side, which promises harsher weather later on, but for now
it's only partly cloudy out with a wind moving between tall
buildings on the city streets. Early commuters are heading to and
from various bus stops, there's one guy with a hot dog cart mopping
his face off with a napkin, under the blue-and-yellow umbrella,
while another has a small table set up selling CDs that are legit,
no, honest.
Cabs and Sedans play an almost Tetris-like game of getting to the
curb for passengers or parking, or getting out onto the road again.
There are stores still open; a Chinese-run convenience store, a
small pet shop, a place for custom framing, and at least one Duane
reade drugstore lines the street, among others.

The Hot dog stand vendor is currently being accosted by a kid in a
jumpsuit and a labcoat who looks as though he hasn't seen daylight
in -months-. Well, for values of 'accosted' that mean 'Skinny kid
slapped money down on the stand and ordered 10 dogs with everything
and is apparently planning to eat them all right here and now.' So
it's not really accosted at all, just kind of confused. And a
little disturbed by how fast the kid is eating.

Ferris was out jogging — he turned in two term papers and took a
physics exam today, and he needed some mindless activity. Needed to
get away from campus for a little while. Spotting the CD vendor,
and bushido having little to say on the subject of pirated music,
he's stopped to inspect the wares. "You do not have any of Utada
Hikaru's music, do you?" the tall Asian youth asks curiously. "Or,
perhaps, Fall Out Boy?"

Claire is exiting the little Chinese grocery store, waving
the the wizzened old lady behind the counter. She nods her head and
says, "Xie Xie," in a really bad accent. It's really all she knows
of Chinese and that's from seeing too many Shaw Bros. films when
she was into Kung-Fu movies three years ago. As she exists the
store, a plastic bag in one hand, she opens the black parasol in
the other to protect her pale skin from the feeble rays of the
partly cloudy sky. She's given up on her jeans today and is wearing
her halter and a short, frilly red skirt with a line of black lace
around the hem as well as black and white striped stockings
reaching from her platform shoes to mid-thigh.

The hot dog vendor just gives Synapse the hairy eyeball, but seeing
the money, and seeing that it is in fact enough for what the short
young man in the weird jacket has asked for, starts to dole out the
hot dogs with everything, one at a time. Each one is lovingly
lifted from the water used to keep them warm, en-buned, given the
works, and handed off. "Would you like a drink with it, too?"

The short guy peddling CDs looks up at the tall Ferris, giving him
a 'what the f-' look when he mentions Utada Hikaru. However, his
mouth splits into a grin when the latter is mentioned. "Yeah, got
that, some All-American Rejects, too…"

The older woman behind the counter gives Claire a chuckle along
with a wave as she exits the convenience store, and things seem
relatively normal…

"What day is it?" Beat. "Nevermind. Yes, I should probably drink
something. Uh…nothing with caffeine. Caffeine is bad. The last
time I had caffeine everything was monkeys for a week and that's no
way for everything to be, right? Right." The kid rubs his face.
"So, uh. Anyway. Yes."

Ferris sort of figured that Utada would be out of reach, but one
must make do where one can. J-Pop is hard to come by in the US,
except for iTunes. However, he can drop a few bucks on FOB, and
maybe the Rejects if it's an album he doesn't already have. He's
distracted, though, by a sound, glancing up and around. His eyes
fix on a sewer grate next to the vendor's table, focus there. To
the vendor he says, "I will take these." Frogs? He definitely hears
frogs. He forks over a few bucks for the CDs. "You may wish to
close up early," he adds quietly. "Call it a hunch." He starts
walking slowly away, crouches down by the grate to peer in.

Claire stops where she is and gets out of the flow of
pedestrian traffic. She cocks her head to one side, causing her
pigtails to bounce a bit and furrows her brow. Opening her eyes
wide, she takes a deep breath and just stares off into space. Her
eyes get a very unfocused, vacant look. To a casual observer she
might look stoned out of her mind or just like a complete and utter
airhead having a moment. Her lips though purse and turn sligtly
downwards into a frown. She just keeps staring into space though,
making no other movement aside from shifting her weight from one
foot to the other.

Anyone looking near the sewer grille is rewarded after a moment of
the appearance of a small frog, about as big as one's thumb,
hopping up out of the spaces between the grill bars to land on the
sidewalk. Ribbit. This frog is then joined by a small, orange-ish
friend. Ribbit ribbit. Then two more. Ribbit ribbit. Then some
more… And more… They erupt from the sewer grill, from the sewer
cap in the middle of the street that explodes upward, from the fire
hydrants and pipes that emit no water somehow. They come from the
east, from the west, and even some of the frogs drop from above,
but they all seem to be converging on one place…the pet store.
"Yes, yes," a thick, watery voice calls up from below, before a
figure shoots up from the open manhole, jumping high enough to
cling to the side of a high lamp-post. It's a guy with sallow skin,
large yellow eyes, and dressed in something that might have been a
bright green costume, but is tattered with sewer water and rough
living. "Go," he says, pointing to the shop. "Your brothers and
sisters, my children, are the prisoners of those who would see them
for their own gain. It is freedom they want, and you shall give it
to them. For now, they will join the family of THE CROAK!!!" It's
said in that kind of tone that, if this were a comic book, his name
would have all kinda of bold lettering in his own personal logo
font. It's that kind of speech. Two more frogs do appear as well,
coming from the manhole just as THE CROAK!!! does. Where the other,
smaller frogs seem to have coalesced into a hopping wave heading
towards the door to the shop, this pair of croakers are about the
size of large dogs, covered in slick green skin, lower jaws bulging
with croaking…

Synapse looks regretfully at his last two hot dogs, and just…jams
them both into his mouth at once before pulling his goggles down
over his eyes. He mutters, "Mrphl hrg hrink!" (Which probably
translates to "Hold the drink!" and then blurs into motion, leaving
his labcoat drifting empty down to the ground. Half a second later,
he returns. "And, uh. You may want to take cover." This advice is
probably unnecessary, really.

"Told you," Ferris says to the CD salesman — who is likely staring
in shock or screaming and running, and thus ignoring his customer.
He rises, stepping back from the grate, and turns, bringing his
wrists together, crossed, and metal begins to flow outward from the
bracers he wears. A katana fills one hand, a bow the other, and his
body is quickly clad in a samurai's armor. Bushido does not take
such things as secret identities into consideration.

Claire's eyes finally blink and she shakes her head a bit
to get her senses back where they belong. Rolling her eyes a
little, she finds a milk crate discarded from the Chinese grocery
and takes a step onto it. There is no way in the Nine Hells of
Neptune she is getting her new boots covered in frog slime. She's
still got her parasol held over her head as well and doesn't seem
overly surprised, more annoyed than anything.

The leading edge of the swarm of frogs is suddenly scattered to the
four winds, as a green and black blur zips through it, scooping
frogs up and tossing them aside. "God, it's worse than the time
Jimmy got the cloning vats at home stuck on 'full production' and
dumped his pet turtle in." A pause. "On the upside the biology lab
should be supplied for -years- when we're done."


Seeing Synapse attack the wave of smaller frogs seems to send The
Croak into a bit of a rage. His yellowed eyes narrow, and he leaps
down for a moment, shrieking as the young speedster speaks of bio
lab. "You DARE!??!" His neck seems to bulge of its own accord, and
The Croak spits out a greenish-yellow glob of some liquid-ish
substance, which does hit Synapse, but the Venom Spit does not seem
to affect Alan's systems, which The Croak notices with Dismay as he
jumps back, high up to his lamp-post perch.

"There are better ways to fight for animal rights," says the steel
samurai, releasing the sword that is in his right hand. It vanishes
into nothing as he raises the bow and takes aim at the man hanging
from the lamppost. He's trying to hit something non-vital — arms,
legs. Of course, with the distance and the speed at which he's
attempting to take aim, the arrow flies wide and vanishes as it
passes its target.

The two dog-sized frogs, at some unspoken command from The Croak,
advance on the heroes engaging their master and their thousand tiny
brothers. Long, purple tongues lash out at both Bushi and Synapse,
wrapping around their bodies with lightning speed, even for the
speedster. Still, Synapse is able to soon escape the binding
tongue, but Bushi is still wrapped up in the elongated appendage.
In the meantime, the sheer volume of frogs makes it to the pet
shop, crashing through the door and windows by sheer force of
numbers, and shouts and breaking glass inside come from the pet

Claire stands there on her appropriated milk crate, just shading
herself with her parasol and watching the boys fight with the
frogs. She smirks a little, shaking her head. Her gaze follows the
Croak as he leaps up to the lamp post and gets pelted by
projectiles. She narrows her eyes and lifts her hand with the
groceries to her head, touching her index finger to her temple and
just staring right into the crazed man's head.

Synapse gets up close to the frog that just slimed him, and fires a
series of rapid punches right in its froggy face. Unfortunately,
they're entirely ineffectual! He sighs, and blurs, adjusting
something in his reinforced gloves. "Obviously I should have field
tested this design -first-."

The Croak growls as the arrow from the Yumi goes flying past. It
was close, however, and he turns his baleful gaze to the armored
Samurai, enwrapped in his minion's tongue. "Now we've got you!" he
says, and does a rebounding leap, kicking the held Ferris in the
chest and bounging back up to his perch. "Ow ow ow my FOOT!" he
cries. "No fair!"

Entrapped by a frog's tongue, Ferris is particularly glad that his
armor is… well, slime-proof. He casts a withering look at the
Croak as he twists free, and then grips the katana that… wasn't
there an instant ago in both hands (the bow, of course, vanishes
into nothing). "You should not strike if you are unwilling to
accept the possibility of being hurt in return," he informs the
Croak, and then stabs at the giant frog with the sword, piercing
the creature's slimy hide.

The frog Ferris hits is hurting, but not down for the count, as he
and his giant brother mount a leaping counterattack against the boy
heroes. They slam into both Bushi and Synapse, but there seems to
be about toughness between the two of them that they are barely
bruised by the big frog's attacks. The Horde, in the meantime, is
wreaking havoc inside the pet shop, as employees and patrons slip
and slide trying to get out, engulfed by a wave of tiny frogs.
Everything inside is being broken, and some of the animals
inside…hamsters, small birds, escape through the front door.

Claire begins to chuckle as she steps off her milk crate and walks
out onto the sidewalk. She lowers her parasol and looks up at The
Croak, her laughter getting louder as she does so. "Frogs?
Seriously? Frogs?" She says, a wicked, cruel smile on her face.
"Calvin Markham, you're such a loser you have to use frogs as your
weapons? You just couldn't hack it as a hero. Mommy was so mean,"
she mock pouts, closing her parasol and resting her hands on the
handle, the point driven into the ground, "Boooo Hoooo, Mommy
doesn't love me unless I'm a hero and I suck so bad at that I'll go
live in the sewer and hang out with -reptiles-." Yeah, she knows
frogs are amphibians but if this guy is anything like most
'experts' he'll get pissed off from the error. "And what a
hypocrite. Seriously, these are your 'children'? You want to
liberate and defend them? Then why the hell are you using them as
weapons? Half your babies are dead and the others seriously
wounded. You know what using a living shield makes you? A coward.
You're a coward and a failure. I can see why your Mom hates you."
She sneers and waves. "You're so pathetic, why don't you just off
yourself and save the criminal justice system the trouble. Or do
you really want to have every -serious- threat laugh at you?"

Synapse finishes making adjustments to his suit, and then…it's
like a tornado hits. A green and black tornado. With fists and big
feet. The already injured from Bushi faces suddenly has its eyes
roll back into its head, making a pathetic little 'croak' before
passing out. The swarm of frogs invading the bookstore are simply
knocked out like someone just tossed dynamite into their pond.

Oddly enough, the frog he was right in front of is almost unscathed
when Synapse finally reappears. "Ha! Secondary field test
successful!" And then he's taking out a little notebook to jot all
this down. Oy.

The words from the parasol-wielding young woman ring again and
again in The Croak's ears as she verbally peels him like a ripe
grapefruit. His lower-lip trembles, and his voice cracks as he
tries to respond. "You…NO!" he howls, and careens down to the
ground, landing in a crouch, his tongue lashing out at Claire, but
not coming close. Whatever she said really hit him to the core.

Finding that…the large frog is all alone in the world, with its'
brother on the ground twitching and its' smaller bretheren
scattered to the four winds, whatever commands it was given are
obeyed without question as its tongue lashes out once more, trying
to entangle the speedster Synapse once more. However, Synapse is
just too fast for it.

Ferris is not about to allow the villain simply go after an unarmed
girl — and, to boot, one that he recognizes from school. He
doesn't know Claire, but he knows of her, anyway. And so he
abandons the fight against the remaining giant frog (the speedster
seems to have that battle well in hand at this point) and
interposes himself between the Croak and the freshman. "No," he
says, swinging his katana so it presses against his enemy's chest.
"I will not allow you to attack an unarmed girl. I challenge you,
'Croak'." He even manages to put most of the bold lettering into
his inflection. "Prove her wrong! Show that you have the courage to
fight an armed man! Show that you have -some- honor!"

Claire rolls her eyes again as Ferris interposes himself between
her and The Cantankerous Croak. She shrugs, narrows her eyes and…
nothing happens. Getting a look of utter frustration on her face,
she just takes two steps back and reopens her parasol.

Putting away his notebook with a sigh as he steps out of the way of
the last frog's attack, Synapse unleashes a barrage of punches on
it to…no effect whatsoever." He eyes his gloves. "What the -hell
-." A pause. "Ahh. Slime in the works. Oy." He starts to shake his
hands off, moving them so quickly that they disappear.

Seeing the armored figure which done hurt his feet earlier step in
front of the girl just sends the Croak further into his maddened
rage, as he eschews his venom, and just tries to bludgeon the heck
out of Ferris with his elastic tongue. It's long, slimy, gross, and
while it hits it feels merely like the patter of a fly's wings to
Bushi. The Croak, so eloquent and crazy-focused earlier, is now
reduced to gibbering and swinging wildly, and badly.

The remaining frog focused on Synapse, and seems to have an idea of
where the speedster will be, as opposed to where he is, so Synapse
is attacked once again, the tongue lashing and holding him in
place, for now…

"I truly wish," says Ferris, as the tongue dances on his armor
ineffectually, "that I could believe you were answering my
challenge. A true follower of the Way of the Warrior should not
attack one so clearly mad, but nor can I allow you to vent your
fury on innocents. I am sorry." His sword swings low — aiming for
less vital areas, but attempting to hit spots that will prevent his

Claire shrugs a bit as she turns around, walking away from the
fight, her back to Ferris and The Croak!. She looks over her
shoulder, the one the Parasol is not resting on and grins a bit
evilly. "Pathetic." She gathers up that ball of disgust, revulsion,
anger, fear and self-doubt deep inside of herself and just throws
it at The Croak! sending all that negative feeling and pain right
into his soft, ungaurded brain. Feeling better, she walks to her
milk crate and gets back on top of it, watching the fight from a
safe distance.

Synapse struggles in the frog's tongue, blurring this way and that
to try to escape, but to no avail. "If you don't let me go right
now, I'm getting my -dissection kit-."

As for The Croak…all bark and no bite, as he rushes Ferris,
trying to pummel him through his armor with fists, and getting
absolutely nowhere with it.

Ferris sighs, shaking his head. "You are making a fool of
yourself," he tells the Croak as he aims his sword for the man's
legs again. It doesn't connect, given the way the villain is
flailing at him. "Relent. You may still preserve some semblance of
dignity if you give yourself up to the authorities."

The large frog, however, tries to lift the grappled Synapse with
its tongue to slam him against something solid and stone-ish, but
all he manages to do is nudge the speedster a few feet. Fierce.

Claire narrows her eyes again, sending another pulse of negativity
towards the world's most pathetic Neohuman criminal. Seriously,
Captain Ketchup and the Mustard Monster are scarier than this guy,
his 2nd Plague of Egypt and Linda Blair impressions.

Synapse's blurring to escape gets even faster- the end of the
frog's tongue is actually invisible now, shaking back and forth at
hypersonic speeds…and -it- lacks the protection Synapse has from
high speed movement. There's a faint smell of burned froggy tongue.
Oddly enough it smells a little like chicken.

While Ferris' words have logic, compassion, and just plain old
common sense, The Croak is having none of it. Snicker-snack goes
his hands against the armor, still totally ineffective.
It's…pretty pathetic, really.

Ferris utters yet another sigh behind the unmoving steel mask over
his face. "Suit yourself," he says, and this time he does not pull
the blow, but stabs cleanly, and, finally, takes down the criminal.
"All of this," he says, "over some pet frogs. I see a 'not guilty
by reason of insanity' plea on the horizon."

Released by the injured and fleeing giant frog, Synapse says, well,
several things. Of course, no one can understand them, because
they're all said at super-speed as he continues to vibrate in
place. Half a second later, he pitched over, unconscious. But then,
he's only two years old, it's probably naptime.

Claire hops down from her Milk Crate and walks over to
Ferris. "Thanks." She winks and spins her parasol over her
shoulder. "You're my hero." Snickering slightly and carrying her
small bag of Chinese groceries, she offers a little finger-wave to
Synapse and walks off back to school, her heels clicking on the
pavement. She'll leave the boys to clean up. They made the mess
after all.

Ferris raises a brow behind his mask, watching Claire go, smirks to
himself. "I suspect the police will handle the clean-up, mostly,
once we have the chance to turn our friend over to them." He
glances at Synapse. "Good work," he adds.

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