Raining, Cats, and Dogs

Log Info

Title: Raining, Cats, and Dogs
Emitter: Ellipse
Characters: Jonathan, Noir, Winter
NPCs: Alchemy, Atmosphere
Place: Cove City Museum, Cove City, MD
Time: 8/7/2010, mid-day
Summary: Trouble at the Cove City Museum when two squabbling villains (Alchemy and Atmosphere) attempt to steal ancient obsidian mirrors and encounter Jonathan, Ian and Winter. When it rains, it pours.

On Saturday afternoon, the Cove City History Museum is densely packed with curious tourists and locals alike. It's the opening day of the Treasures of Mesoamerica exhibit, a traveling show famous for its handful of genuine mystic artifacts. And all care has been taken: those that activate by touch are behind thick plate glass, including a sacrificial knife. The four obsidian mirrors are placed facing away from each other, negating their ability. Overall, unless the arcane is your obsession, the other artifacts are far more interesting: elaborate jewelry, ancient carvings, native calendars. There's even a stand serving (questionably?) authentic food, an exception to the museum's usual ban of eating on the premises.

It's hardly surprising that Jonathan would come to see this exhibit. For one, she's a history buff, even if she'd normally would be more interested in the exhibit in another hall about some of the War of 1812 artifacts. But when you combine her interest in history with a very understandable interest in the supernatural and arcane, well, she's been drawn here like a moth to flame. She's out in human form for the moment, no sense drawing excessive attention. She's looking at one of the mirrors thoughtfully, examining it and her reflection in th eblack stone.

Normally one wouldn't call Ian Stoker the most academic of sorts. Okay, he wasn't a straight A, or B student, he did like his occasional learnin'… he just happened to like music, his girlfriend, sleep, hanging out, doing chores, music, and numerous other tasks aside from the schoolwork thing. There was one notable exception however: History. Or mainly, training to glean what little he could from the sources available to him. So far nothing has come close to giving a satisfactory answer to the nature of the Beast, and to what had become Noir inside him, but he wasn't keen on just giving up. It mean occasional jaunts to places like this. Oh, sure it was probably could to end up with nothing, and yet at worst it was a day of not working right? Wasn't quite his scene really, but decked in a bowling-tee that proudly proclaimed "Sgt. Pepper Demoted Me" on the back and a pair of loose dark blue jeans, at least Stoker wasn't standing out like a sore thumb either.

Winter: Not An Historian. Or a museum-goer in general. He got in free, or the next best thing, by dint of a student ID card. It's a brand new student ID card. It's a brand new notebook he carries, too. A brand new pen. To judge by body language, he is either new to this museum, new to the city, perhaps even new to anything academia at all. He keeps to the edges of corridors, hands shoved into pockets, the notebook shoved under an arm and tucked against his side. He scowls as he wanders, his heart not really set on any particular exhibit. 'Take notes; write a report,' the assignment said. An assessment. A test, and school hasn't even started. He mutters a curse under his breath, earning a disapproving look from a clerk/cashier at a little stand dedicated to the sale of novelties revolving around the exhibit: glossy photos and postcards of Mexican tourist spots, a book on the Aztec pantheon, paperweights that are miniaturized versions of those gigantic basalt heads the Olmecs seemed to like, replicas of the Dresden codex, and more.
"Popol Vuh?" he mutters, ignoring the warning look. "Wasn't that a cartoon show in the 80's?"

A swirl of - snow? - rises from near the knife case. It clears to reveal a costumed figure, wearing pale blue with cloud bursts which appear to seep off the costume onto his skin. He's broad-shouldered, albiet somewhat slight of height, with light brown hair.
He gestures, and a massive translucent dome appears, filling the hall and blocking the exits, trapping startled museum-goers - including the three Steranko students - inside. Within this half sphere, it begins to rain, a slow, uncomfortable drizzle. The museum alarms howl as rain splatters into some of the motion-sensored exhibits.
"Everyone remain calm," he says. "We'll just take what we came for and be on our way."
"As if it's that simple," a woman's voice says in a fluid, sarcastic soprano. She saunters forward, an exaggerated bump-sway of hips. At first glance, it might be easy to think she's wearing nothing - but a second (saner) study shows the skin-tight costume's seams and the faint demarcation between mercury-hued skin and the silver suit. Her hair is the sometimes-black of highly polishd hematite.
She lays a hand on one of the mirrors. It shrinks under her touch, folding up on itself until it looks like … a paperclip. She promptly tucks this into one of the suit's pockets.
"Hmm," she says. "Guess it is."

"Derp?" Jon says as she catches the swirl of snow out of the corner of an eye. She turns for a better look, and then continues to turn, following the line of the dome. "Aww hell," she says softly. Not this kinda thing again. Her jaw then goes a bit slack at the sight of that woman, eyes lingering on those hips, and then widening at the first glance. They go back to normal, with a brief flash of disappointment, at realizing the woman's dressed. On the other hand, it is a fine looking result. Jon's own form shifts and shimmers as she shifts to feline. A flick of a claw opens a hole in her shorts for her tail. "'fraid it won't be that simple," she drawls.

It just so happens that one Ian Stoker was not the luckiest feller in the world. Case in point? A nice lazy Saturday out has suddenly become… wet. And a heist. "Here we go again, I'm chasing my tail around the sun," Stoker murmurs largely to himself, stuffing hands into pocket as he watches the dome covers all exits. Now, logic and common sense would dictate that a good little soldier would do nothing and let them have the pieces. After all, that's the best shot of people not getting hurt. Only, if anyone thought that Ian had either logic or common sense hadn't met the boy.
One hand slowly raises from pocket, bringing a crumpled cigarette with it. Normally not a smoker, Ian did make exceptions. After good food - After good conversations, and a few other good afters. And, of course, when he figured imminent pain was about to happen. There's one step backwards, and another as the filter is put on lip, until he is flush with a display. And further back does he walk, until he is but a sihlouette behind a displayed. And only then do two glowing embers form.
Huh? (Type "help" for help.)

Winter: Not A Sentry. It takes him a few long moments to realize there's something amiss; he was actually looking at a book. It's the clerk's wide-eyed expression, the sudden intake of breath, that brings the surly teen's gaze back to her. He snaps the book closed and tosses it down, puzzled and agitated. Indignant.
"What did I do n—"
But he cuts himself off, follows her gaze, looks over his shoulder, turns. Oh. Even then it takes him a few /more/ seconds to realize it's a theft. Then a showdown. Then something of a… petting zoo?
"Huh? A shapeshif…" But wait, Winter. Look, look: a woman wearing nothing! Or close enough to nothing. "Aww hell," he echoes Jonathan. He just adds a little something to it, smiling. "Aww hell yeah."

The woman pauses, hand flared on her hip. "Oh, dear," she snips, "it's a kitten." Silver-strobed lashes flutter at her companion then. "Can I keep it?"
"As long as you keep it far away from me," he replies drily.
The oppressive drizzle continues as museum-goers huddle together, pulling back and away from the remaining three mirrors. No one (else) seems eager to get in the pair's way.
"Is that really the best this crowd has to offer?" He sounds vaguely disappointed. "Well - let's get to work."

Her fur's starting to get slicked by the rain, and the less said about her t-shirt, the better right now. Jon's tail lashes with growing irritation as she's mocked. "This kitty's got claws," she snarls, flashing hers before dashing forward, sandled feet slapping the slick floor. Practically a blur, striped arms lash out, grabbing at the…well dressed woman, getting a hold of her and quickly converting it into a lock. "Better give up now," she advises with bravado.

The silver-skinned woman twists, a surprised hiss escaping her. "Give up? But we've only just begun," she says.
The man turns his head. "If you weren't the other woman in that particular pose, I think I'd be enjoying the show right now," he comments.
"You're such a bastard, Atmosphere." She says this with a nigh-lethal dose of sweetness. She's almost immobilized by that grip - but almost gives her enough room to stretch out the fingers of one hand, a brushing contact with thin air … which becomes not so thin, thickening into a pea-soup miasma around Jonathan and leaving her coughing. It's not enough to weaken the feline's hold, however.

Perhaps someone should have seen it coming. They were inside, and it was raining. And there were cats. So why not?
There's a blur of motion that comes from the display, going straight towards Atmosphere without any sense of slowing down. In fact it goes straight into the villain before running the two into a nearby wall. There's a trimmer, and a cloud of dust that takes its time to clear. Y'know for dramatic effect. But when it clears, stands a nine foot tall creature in all back, slightly hunched as it gazes at Atmosphere and then Alchemy and back.
"..s'fuck with super powered robbers thinking they're witty? Seriously. Go to college. The writer's strike is over, you ain't gettin' the job," Noir growls, inhuman voice seemingly at odds with the words coming out of the muzzle.

While the clerk behind him belatedly, frantically, begins to try and save the books from the damaging rain, Winter simply watches, smiling the stupid smile of a young man quite distracted. It has nothing to do with the rain. That, he literally shrugs off. Nor is he thinking 'Oh shit people are in danger' or 'Oh shit that priceless artifact is in danger' or 'Oh shit I should at least help the woman behind me' but 'Hey… she's hot. I could go for a little molten metal.' Probably even less eloquent. Eventually, however, he'll realize 'Oh shit I can't do my project,' followed by a decision of 'I guess I should do something.' So he does something.
'Something' consists of yelling. "Hey, Snowcone!" He advances a few steps, raising a forefinger to point at Atmosphere. "You are clearly out of your league, dipshit. Back off before the menagerie mauls you, and it's nothing compared to what /I/ can do. Get lost. I've got a project to do."
Maybe it even has to do with those mirrors, since he goes out of his way to protect them, a violent and sweeping gesture ripping water from the air and transmuting it to ice, crackling loudly as it freezes about the remaining trio of obsidian mirrors, encasing them behind a(nother) protective layer.
What, you thought he'd attack the quicksilver chick over there? And miss watching her roll around in that get-up? Pff.

"Ah, now the tables are turned," the woman crows. "Man's best friend strikes."
"Seriously, Alchemy - focus," Atmosphere says, his voice strained as he pivot-steps away from the wall, the continual rain tamping down the dust.
"Oh, you're one to talk," she sneers.
Atmosphere remains calm, eyes moving slowly, warily, between Noir and Winter - though his final response to the latter is a faint, condescending smile.
"If you can shut her up, you're welcome to," he says. A frown crosses his brow as the mirrors ice over, but he shrugs and focuses on the feline currently restraining his companion. The faint smell of static grows in the air, centering around him. A sharp gesture is all it takes to lash lightning from his hand, multiple forks focused with brute force on Jonathan.
Singed fur, twitching muscles - the result is very unpleasant, leaving the feline heavily battered.
Atmosphere leaves Alchemy to free herself and whirls on the more immediate threat, but the second discharge of lightning does nothing more than sizzle past Noir.

Alright, Jon's not alone! Things are looking up! She absently shfits her hold on Alchemy, then frowns at an odd smell. A light cough, and then another, stronger cough, and then a proper chest rattling one. "What did you do?" she snarls hoarsely, as she fights for breath. She tightens her grip on the woman reflexively. Unfortunately, coughing keeps her from adding more witticisms as Ian makes his dramatic entrance. Eyes narrow a bit at Atmosphere, and then…
With a cry of pain, Jon's shocked away from the woman, muscles spasming, fur standing on end and singing, stripes almost looking like lightning bolts from the dancing shadows. She staggers back away from the woman, coughing from the smell of her own burnt fur and the miasma. Somehow, she manages to shrug it off and lurch forward again, grabbing at Alchemy again. "Don't give me an excuse to smash you against the wall," she growls hoarsely.

"Don't …" Alchemy hisses back, her voice low as she twists, double-jointed bends and turns in an attempt to slip free. "… muss my hair," she concludes, even as her efforts fail.
"And you!" she takes the effort to snap across the room. "You're useless."

"Man's Best Friend? Once again - please find some original material, tall, shiny and slutty looking," Noir barks back in Alchemy's general direction. Not that his eyes once stray from his primary target. For now Jon would have to deal with that one on her own. But… "Huh, wall," Noir murmurs, before grabbing Atmosphere. Without so much as a pause, he lifts and hurls the seeming Weather Manipulator into the wall, growling lowly when the hard impact seems to do little to damage the villain. Without so much as a pause, he pulls him back before throwing him into a wall a second time… to no additional effect. "Museums make their wall with Jell-o, these days?" The werewolf pants out, a bit shorter in breath after the two heavy swings.

Condescending smiles, huh? Winter can do that: he smirks. "Wow. Animal abuse. Guess I'll have to call the ASPCA. Hitting it big in the criminal underground, aren't you."
Sweeping a hand on the table behind him, he collects water, and it freezes to his palm. He crumples it up into a snowball that's more the consistency of a rock. An ice ball. He tosses it up as he takes aim — held target but such close quarters kind of cancels out — and then launches it, a perfectly aimed fastball that hits square in the strike zone: it hits /just/ below the ribs, gouging painfully and making for a (briefly) sitting duck.
"How about you stop giving me ammo, and run along so we all get on with our lives, Weatherman?"
Oh, and a glance goes aside to the two female figures rolling around. Yeah. He's sitll not gonna put a halt to that.

Atmosphere winces when ice-shards cut through his defenses - and the rain stops, leaving a fine mist hovering over the exhibit hall. Good thing most of the artifacts are behind glass … "Jello is cheaper than stone," he observes. "And easier to replace."
There is no attempt to match his strength against the werewolf's grasp - the weather controller seems to know that chance is slim at best. Instead, he simply focuses, eyes turning inwards for a moment … another snap-crackle-flare of lightning … and he diffuses into mist, stepping calmly back out of Noir's hold.
As he does, the weather within the created dome overhead shifts yet again: pulsing, pounding sauna-in-summer humidity. It melts away the ice on one of the mirrors.

"Hey, y'all lemme know if you need a hand over there," Jon calls out over the shoulder of Alchemy. "I mean, I'm just over here being a Youtube sensation and all." She has another coughing fit, though, right after that bit of hubris, her grip starting to slip. Alchemy starts to wriggle free, which would be shown in slow motion on Youtube, before Jon's barely able to get a grip on her again. "Hey, yer caught. Keep that up and I'll end you." Too much Firefly last night.

"Are you enjoying this?" Alchemy inquires, her voice sour. "Because while I consider myself photogenic, this is not my best side." She returns to her original tactic, flexing her hands against the open air. The heat intensifies, trapping noxious fumes around Jon. The second dose is one dose too much, and it's all the feline can do to keep from wretching.
While Jonathan is thus distracted, Alchemy sumersaults free, hits the ground and … keeps going, as marble becomes water, allowing her to plunge into it, and just as suddenly turning to stone again as soon as she has passed. After having been wrestled into submission, the woman seems to have more sense than to stick around.

Noir feels the grip upon his target slip as the weather controller becomes insubstantial. All that the werewolf can do is snarl lowly, taloned fingers clenching and unclenching. "Hey you," Noir mutters lowly in Winter's general direction. "Any chance that snowball effect can be replicated with Mr. Misty over there?" He looks away again, just in time to watch the other villain knock Jonothon down and make her escape. But his attention is a more focused on the tiger-lass. At least for a moment until he turns back towards Atmosphere. He would have to help her in a moment.

Jerking his head aside, some of his hair plastered to his face, Winter frowns when his ice begins to melt. That wilting heat then starts to get to /him/, and he manages to look concerned for a sec. Oh, a few minutes will hardly kill him; he'll have to make sure he leaves the area relatively soon. Hell, he doesn't have too much reason to stick around, since Alchemy has beat feet. Or tiles. Or whatever the hell that was. He rushes over to the spot where she faded through solid ground, skidding to a halt there and peering at the floor.
"Christ, she has a /better/ side?" He's signing up for the rematch. Then he glances toward the… black… thing over there. "Not really." No apology offered. He just hasn't been able to hit intangible things with his ice before.
But! He figures Snowcone AKA Mr. Misty AKA Dipshit AKA Weatehrman AKA Atmosphere has to go corporeal or whatever to pick up a mirror, so… he'll go guard a mirror and look impressive. Yeah. Glare.

Atmosphere nods once, satisfied, when Alchemy disappears. "It's a heck of a lot quieter here now," he murmurs. "Almost pleasant." It seems the snarling doesn't end when the pair are separated.
He assesses the scene with a quick glance and floats aloft on a local sirocco. He flits over to the melted mirror, taking the widest berth possible to avoid Winter - not that this gains him much distance even in the museum's vaulted hall.
The dome overhead explodes with a faint whiff of ozone, leaving only traces of lingering heat. Atmosphere drops, fading back into solid form and grabbing the mirror by the ancient frame - but it's too unwieldy for him to carry it off in the same move, and he seems to know it. He vises his hand on the mirror and sweeps out with the other, a darting bolt of lightning that entirely fails to connect with its intended target. Which might be Winter. Or might be that random bystander over there.

The moment Atmosphere solidifies, Noir is on the move again, shadowing the weather manipulator's actions at full speed. He pauses, muscles coiling until he attacks before running forward, and literally snatching it from Atmosphere's hands as if it took little effort at all. Then again, the creature was near 9-feet tall out of some vet's nightmare. "Next time you want a mirror do what everyone else does. Either go to auction with the other rich snobs for an ancient piece worth a good mint. Or y'know, go to target."

"Kinda have been," Jon tells Alchemy shamelessly. Unfortunately, things quickly go downhill for her as her opponent uses the growing heat to good advantage. Jon staggers back from her, world swimming as she fights to keep her stomach in place. She's leaning against a wall now, eyes wide and chest heaving as she pants, still struggling to get a hold of herself.

"You don't even have the stones to attack me," Winter observes, sounding somehow disappointed. He shakes his head, and then crouches, a hand to the ground. There is still rain-slick upon it, and from his palm radiates a creeping swath of ice. It catches Atmosphere underfoot (while he still has physical feet).
Now, it'd be humiliating enough, literally slipping up because you put water on the floor yourself, and it's been used against you. Winter likes to add injury to insult. The ice doesn't stop there. A miniature roller coaster helps the falling Atmosphere build up some speed, and then sends him spinning off and careening into a wall, where he is momentarily dazed.
"Bring skates, dumbass," he advises.

"Forecast suggests heat wave makes skates unnecessary," Atmosphere comments from his current prone position - with considerable composure, given the situation. He does not, however, stir.

"What, like rain indoors?" Winter asks with a snort.

"Forcast calls for…ARGH Bad puns stemming from powersets!" Noir's body shifts, and an oversized foot comes up and kicked Atmosphere hard enough to lift the Weather Manipulator into the air. Without so much as a pause, the werewolf's free hand comes down in a hammer to knock him right back to the ground as hard as he went up. "Now do us a favor and stay there until the police come. Or don't and I keep knockin' on ya. Either way, please shut the hell up or the next one's going on your jaw."

The ice recedes from whence it came, and Winter blows a little wispy condensation-steam from his fingertip. Then he stalks — no, /swaggers/ — over to the sore beset Snowcone AKA et al, hands curled into fists. 'Cause he's tough as nails, tough as they come, or so he'd like to think.
"Y'know what else crazy weather leads to?" He tenses to attack. Yeah. Attack a man already down. "Blackouts."
Boot meets head.

Staggering over behind a display, Jon can be heard making some unpleasant sounds. Finally, though, she straightens up, looking more or less in control of herself. She looks in time to see something puzzling, but by the time she reaches up to pull her drenched bangs out of her eyes for a better look, the moment's passed. She shakes her head a bit, and then steps over to join the others. "One out of two, guess that's not too bad." Doesn't sound like she entirely believes that, considering the other one, the one that got away, managed to get away from -her-.

And as Atmosphere takes the long nap, Noir takes a look about again to ensure there's no other dangers lurking. There's a long pause before the mirror is set down. Jon gets a nod, and Winter. Well there's a look given to him, as if to measure the boy for the first time. Whatever's decided, however is well hidden behind another nod. And then Noir moves again, quickly towards the nearest exit or dark room. Moments later - and after a trip to the bathroom to simulate the whole being soaking wet thing, a dripping Ian Stoker returns wiping off his shaggy hair. "We're down 16 per cent on the Meatloaf song, but I'll take it. And it'll give something for Cove City PD to play with at least."

"And one out of four, they didn't do so bad either," Winter mutters. He gives the unconscious form of Snowcone-etc a sharp nudge with a booted toe, unkindly, then steps back. A vague wave goes to the shaggy thing lumbering away… a vague wave and a vague frown. Turning to find precipitation-saturated bystanders kind of staring at him, he scowls. "What. You're welcome."

People huddle, mutter, and nudge each other, but now that the immediate danger has passed, there's also digging for cameras, cellphones and other recording devices. Some smart aleck kid appears to have been filming the entire time and is now making wrap-up commentary for posterity. Sirens en route - internet threats now.

"Oh, great," Jon says, realizing they were being filmed. She tilts her head as she catches the sound of distant sirens. "Okay, constabulary's on the way. We oughta make ourselves scarce, guys," she says. "We got questions to get answers for, but we don't wanna be caught up giving answers to questions." She ponders a moment. "Y'know, that sounded a whole lot more zen in my head."

Winter considers this, and his scowl deepens. "Fuck. I'm never gonna get this project done." Hell, he even lost his notebook somewhere. He glances around for it, then mutters under his breath as he stalkingly makes his retreat, trusting a little intimidation factor to clear the way for him.

"Y'know with as much super-crime as there tends to be in this city, I don't see why they don't spring for instant teleporters for the 'blue or something. Must be cheaper than the perpetual rebuilding fee." Ian's fingers come to scratch against chin before his head tilts to the sound of distant sirens. Hands once again at pockets, he looks at the other from his position a few feet away before beginning a light saunter exit wise. "For the record, Jono, sounded plenty Zen. Problem be that Wet-T-Shirt never was invented in Confucious' day." And on that it was time to exit stage left.

"Catch me on Campus, I'll see if I can help," Jon says to Winter. She grins a bit at Ian's teleporter comment, then looks a bit pleased at his assessment of her zenness. And then looks down at herself, suddenly less pleased. At least she's wearing a bra these days. "-Wonderful-," she says in disgust, turning to leave as well. For the drenched cat, there is no dignity.


(Cove City Chronicle)

The Cove City Museum - and its brand-new traveling exhibit, Treasures of Mesoamerica - was attacked today by a pair of neohuman villains attempting to grab four obsidian mirrors … believed to be genuine mystic artifacts used in ancient ritual. Weather-controller Atmosphere encased the room in the rainy environment of one of his signature domes, while transformer Alchemy tapped one of the mirrors and shrunk it down to paper-clip size.

However, the villains got no further before three young heroes stepped up: Felis, Noir and an unknown ice controller. The feline maintained a tight lock on Alchemy despite assaults from both villains until she managed to free herself by summoning a choking gas. The transformer dove into the marble and disappeared.

A heat wave from Atmosphere melted the ice protecting another mirror from theft - however, Noir and the other neohuman managed to prevent him from hauling it away. Without his companion to back him up, Atmosphere dropped under their attacks.

"What's surprising about this," said CCPD detective Krista Carolli, "is seeing these two in the same *state*, much less the same building. I had reports forwarded from their usual hunting grounds, and they've never worked together before, despite having a full roster of mutual criminal cronies. Their only publicly recorded encounter ended in a snarling tiff. Heck, according to bystanders at the museum, that might've still ended up in a snarling tiff if there hadn't been heroes on hand."

Atmosphere has been unmasked as Chicago-based meteorologist Anton Mallory. The weather controller refused to provide any details as to the reason for the attempted theft. Given his frequent work for and with ecological extremists, police have begun their investigations there. Mallory's wife Linette has made a furious appearance on the scene, insisting on his immediate release on bail and threatening counter charges of brutality against the attackers.

Police attempted to confiscate cellphone recordings made on-scene, but at least one blurry video of drenched catgirl and villainness grappling has already made Youtube.

Regardless, museum officials relate that the three remaining mirrors are undamaged and will be returned to display, under increased security.

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