The Firefly's Dilemma

Log Info

Title: The Firefly's Dilemma
Emitter: Rhombus
Characters: Felis, Maelstrom, Revenant
NPCs: Inferno, Myrmidon
Place: Financial District, Cove City, MD
Time: Mid-Afternoon, July 11th, 2010
Summary: A protest in front of the BP offices in Cove City is interrupted by a rocket strike. Mercenaries attempt to take advantage of the chaos, but don't count on two things: the emergence of a previously-untapped neohuman, and some meddling kids.

Oil Spill Protest

Downtown Cove City, a protest has formed outside a local office of BP. Several hundred people have gathered and are peacefully though very LOUDLY protesting, and they're making it VERY tough to get into the parking garage with their picket lines.

Early evening, just after four PM on the east coast, and there's a rather large and loud protest rally being held in front of the local BP offices here in Cove City, this is causing all sorts of issues, including traffic being rerouted with barricades. There's at least four or five hundred people with signs forming picket lines, and though they aren't being violent, they ARE being obstructive and very loud. Across the street can be found a number of financial institutions, including the Federal Reserve. The weather is warm, just over ninety, and there's plenty of humidity though the sea breezes make it more tolerable than they would be otherwise.

"It /is/ going to rain later, so I'm just being prepared," is Summer's lighthearted defense of the old-fashioned umbrella she's carrying, along with the shoulder-satchel. She and Jon are heading to the mall after she withdrew some cash from the bank — this being the only place with a branch of her hometown bank. She's dressed for shopping and the weather, and the assumption that any indoor mall will be air-conditioned, in a light camisole top layered over a tanktop, and jeans.

She pauses, glancing over towards the protest as they round a corner and the noise hits them. Her expression darkens slightly. "I flew over the spill once," she asides quietly. "And it's so much worse than you'd imagine."

Out in human form is Jon. She grins a bit at Summer. "Nah, you don't carry an umbrella to stay dry. You carry it to keep it from raining. It's one of those luck things, if you're prepared for something, it won't happen." She's got her t-shirt and shorts on, both a bit large for her frame, and a University of Tennessee baseball cap on. She winces at the sound of the protest, glad to not be experiencing it with feline hearing. "Man, too bad there's not more folks with like, control petrochemical powers or something."

A figure is over there, perched on a building over across the street from the demonstration. Timothy has absolutely no issue with people using their democratic right to assemble. He does, however, have a cynical nature. Such demonstrations are prone to … trouble. Sometimes neohuman trouble. He's dressed in his Revenant outfit, and feeling quite uncomfortable at the fact. He's used to night runs, not daylight. In spite of this, he's well-hidden under an overhang on the roof, a pair of binoculars with non-reflective lenses in one hand as he watches. "Let's hope idiots on either side of the divide don't start causing problems. Or worse, someone just trying to spark chaos." He shakes his head.

It is perhaps prophetic that Jon mentions bringing the umbrella to prevent things, even as Revenant is out in the bright of day, alas, things go very south all the same. Two events occur pretty much simultaneously, though Jon is caught off guard. First, there's a high pitched whine and a rocket blasts down from above, hitting the BP building with titanic force. The strike seems rather surgical, it literally flies through a window and explodes in the core of the building. Glass and masonry shower down as the windows on the thirtieth floor burst, smoke and flames jetting out as the top of the building, ten more floors at least, starts to list, an settles with deceptively stately speed.

The other event, one less noticable by far, but caught out of the corner of both Summer and Revenant's eyes a group of five figures shimmer into sight for a moment, before fading once more and heading into the Federal Reserve. They appeared to be wearing tactical armor, and carrying mil-spec or greater weaponry. Oh my!

"Can you imagine what someone with petrochemical powers would be called? Sludge? Oilslick? Or, god, worse, 'Slick'," Summer notes, her expression lightening at this somewhat ridiculous train of thought. "And I carry and umbrella because it /is/ going to rain. There's a front building out on the ocean, you can taste it in the air." The corners of her eyes crinkle with amusement. "Trust the weather girl."

She seems about to say more when the *shoonk* of the rocket's impact prompts screams and shrieks from passerby and protestors alike. "Oh…" Her eyes widen in a brief moment of hesitation, hands white-knuckling upon the umbrella before she snaps it open and sweeps it in an arc before her, gathering air between the umbrella's spines. "/Run/!" she calls, both to protestors and Jon, sweeping the gathered winds towards the building and sending glass shards back against the building, rather than upon the people below.

Blissfully unaware of the chaos about to descend upon them, Jon looks over at Summer, a question in her eyes about the weather. She's struck briefly dumb by the shockwave of the missile impact, and stares wide-eyed at the damage to the building. "Did…did…" she tries to form a coherent thought, then blinks cluelessly at Summer. Finally, though, she gets in motion, heading for cover and reaching inside herself to shift to powered form.

"Sometimes, I wish my cynicism would be wrong," Revenant says with a slight shake of his head. He slips deftly to his feet, binoculars sliding into their pocket. He idly says, "Least there's other's here." His gaze falls upon Jonathan and Summer. "Gis, call Jonathan's phone." There's a pause as he pulls out his grapnel. Ring. Ring. Ring. Jonathan's phone is ringing. When the phone's answered, Jonathan hears Revenant's voice: "Jonathan, some people with heavy military ordinance are breaking into the Federal Reserve. The attack on the riot is a distraction. Tell Summer, I don't know if she noticed. I'm going in." Yes, he knows Summer's name. Scary! He lifts his grapnel and it streaks towards a nearby building. He swings along the rope towards the Federal Reserve, landing casually near where the figures appeared, heading into the building.

The surgical missile strike did the damage they intended, and it caused a problem that they hadn't intended! That floor, that carefully chosen floor was home to their Data Center — but that isn't what went wrong. Nope, that floor /also/ housed their R&D department, or part of it anyway, and the explosion ripped through their most secure labs. Oil eating bacteria as well as chemicals designed to break down petrochemicals all mix into an exotic new compound. But the new substance would not have had any affect by itself. What was not expected was the presence of doctor Amelia Edwards in the lab, working feverishly to find a solution to the Gulf oil spill. The woman herself was quite normal, save for one thing — latent neohuman potential that the chemical effluvium sparked, even as the explosion ripped through the area. Screaming, Doctor Edwards' flesh burned with chemical burns, exascerbated by the fire suppression system, and the new substance created in the furnace like conditions of the once secure labs.

Even at street level her voice can be heard, a scream torn from her that shatters more windows even as the core of the building goes up in an eye searing blast of heat and fire. The top ten stories of the building literally flash burn as a being of fire and fury stands, panting for breath as she feels her new found power. ~Rage.~ This is a thought. ~~RAGE!~~ Louder, painfully loud. ~~ALL WILL — BURN!~~

Inside the building, blissfully unaware of the new menace they had a hand in creating, the five man strike team moves with clinical precision down into the basement of the building, small shaped charges blowing out the locks on the door as they head underground. The heck? There's a vault, yes, but it is not down there. WHat could they be after?

"Oh, that's /so/ not good…" Summer's calculating the probable issues here, the space between her eyebrows creasing in worry as she tallies them up: civilians, unknown problem crying about RAGE, and, as yet unknown, the strike team. "Jon? Can you get civilians out? I'll… I'll figure /something/ out." She uses the open umbrella as a mask of sorts, shielding her face from view as she pulls up winds around her. Her hair whips around her in a halo of gold as she heads aloft, pausing so-briefly above the crowds. "I think the time for peaceful demonstration is a bit later— /get out of here/ before there's more trouble." Summer glances upwards to the flames and gulps.

"… I thought I'd be a bit more prepared before I did this for the first time…"

Entirely at odds with the unfolding chaos, the cheerful sound of the A-team theme can be heard, because that's Jon's current ring tone. She snatches it out of her pocket and glances at it, then frowns a bit at seeing who it is, answering. "Make it fas—" she starts to answer. "Okay, got it," she says into the phone, hanging up to put it away. "Summer! There's some dudes going into the Fed. Tim's going after 'em." And then things get worse. Much worse. "Aw hell," she says. "Move, move, move!" she starts yelling at the crowd, trying to get them moving and out of the way.

"Revenant…" says a voice on his transponder. Tilting his head to the side to listen as he's updated on what's going on outside. You have to love areas with a shitload of security cameras. "You're fucking kidding me." He declares. A pause. "Shit." He considers, "Let's hope they can deal with it." His voice comes from Jonathan's phone. Who turned on its speaker? ~You two are busy out there. I'll deal with the people inside if I can, and come out to help.~ He pauses, and adds, ~Jonathan, there's a small package in my bike, it's on the frame. It's about the size of a small pack, and is underneath the seat in the rear. Don't take the one on top, that has explosives.~ Scary. ~Take it and throw the cannisters inside it at the creature. They aren't designed for long-distance throwing, so you'll have to be close to it.~ This taken care of, he leaps forward, and a small object is thrown. It looks like a stylized gray-black skull. As it hits the ground near the group of men, it explodes, creating a shockwave that sends them flying — four of them collapse, leaving one man still standing, unhurt by the blast as he got out of the way in time. "I don't know what you're doing, and I don't care. You could have hurt someone. Surrender now. Or I will make this painful. And trust me, you don't want that."

The last of the infiltration team turns towards Revenant, his voice distorted by the helmet he's wearing. "Don't know who you are, either…so that puts us on an even footing. I give you credit for your skills, but…I'm not the one who's going to be in imminent pain, buddy." His backpack is doffed and thrown at Rev, even as he dives to the side, pressing a button atop a small cylinder held in his left hand. The result — all the explosives in the man's bag go up at once, with two effects - first, they blow up, second, they take down a good third of the wall to reveal a bricked over stairwell descending into the earth. The stairs look to be hewn from the living rock, and are smoother than the best industrial techniques currently available could explain. The INTENDED effect - blowing up the Revenant, fails utterly.

"Then go help him! I think I can handle this." The weather-controller is faced with a human-turned-elemental, and her eyes widen slightly behind the shielding umbrella. "Or maybe not, but …" This last is in more of a murmur, followed by a gulp from Summer. "Stop! Please!" The wreck and ruin of the fire suppression systems: noted. She remains hovering a few feet out from the building, a faintly-distorting shield of air around her whipping at the flames and crumbling masonry, uncertain for a moment until the winds bring her snatches of the conversation from Revenant's bike. "Well, then. Condense the fighting. Okay, how do I do this…"

There's only a scant second of thought before she sweeps the umbrella around again, a ripple of visible air spreading in an arc from her and knocking Inferno back some feet and /off/ her feet. "Please, stop." Her actions may be at odds with her words, but this is nothing new when it comes to teenagers. "I don't know what happened but we'll try to find you help if we can…"

Didn't she hang up her phone, Jon briefly wonders before recognizing the voice in it. "Little busy," she says back towards her phone. "Race you," she says, starting to grin. "Whoever beats their problem first buys the pizza." And then with that incentive, she runs all out to the bike, pulling up the seat, barely remembering to check her adrenaline fueled strength, lest she rip it off. Ahh, there it is—no, wait, that's the explosives. Next one down, there we go. Taking the canisters out, she heads back towards the confrontation. "I'm backing you up," she calls to Summer. "Do it again, get her off the building!" While waiting for that, she sees a hydrant nearby and steps over to it, wrenching off the large cap on it, and then using it to aim the torrent of water that gushes out of it. She arcs it up at the flaming woman, the water hitting and instantly turning to steam, but not without a scream of pain from her. Oh, and of course, Jon is getting soaked in the process. Make your own jokes here.

Shaking off her trip, and writhing from the soaking, Inferno is surrounded by a fiery aura as she takes flight, the top of the building already on fire. "You want me down? Very well." And then to Summer. "Help? I need no help. I /am the solution/. ALL. WILL. BURN!" Yeah, she's taken a little trip down Insanity Lane at the intersection of Mad from Pain Avenue. Arms spread wide, she streaks down to some 30' over the street, and then hurls a blast of fire at Jonathan. Well, more like 'quintessence of heat', but the air ignites along its path, so fire seems adequate enough a description. The nimble cat girl is hit, but manages to escape any serious harm from the attack, though it is a close thing.

Up close now you can see her flesh is nothing more than char, cracks of fire showing through it, she's CONSTANTLY being burned, and healing — a never ending cycle of pain. Oy!

Considering the other man's stance, Revenant's smile is cold. "Doesn't look so easy, does it? Sometimes, you just have to realize when you're… out-classed." With this, he darts to the side as if to attack from there, before suddenly lifting his other arm. A soft hiss can be heard, as a dart is released from the cuff on his wrist. It streaks towards the other man. In spite of the other man managing to avoid the brunt of the quick movements, the dart lands right in the man's neck, and he suddenly finds himself woozy. Revenant poinst out, "I'll let you surrender at any time."

"Surrender? No, I don't think so." The Myrmidon reaches into a pouch at his side and hurls a flah-bang at Revenant. Even after that he dives down the revealed stairwell, running at a surprisingly swift pace and apparently not at all bothered by the darkness. He doesn't seem to be too badly affected by the dart, though still woozy, definitely.

"Riiight then." Faced with her first supervillain (hurricanes do not count) Summer isn't entirely sure what to do. Instead, the weather-controller hears Jon's call and nods, a brief flash of her face — all worried expression and a bit of a wince — visible as she brings the umbrella up, and then sweeps it downwards. This time, a veritable /gale/ answers its mistress' call, whipping the flames around Inferno into a blaze… and also sending her flying through the shattered window and into a lamp-post.

"Oh god, I'm sorry!" That wince? It's not going away, especially as Inferno wobbles a bit dazedly against the lamp-post. No, Summer's /not/ used to combat yet.

"Hang in there, Maelstrom," Jon calls towards Summer. "Can't help her until we get her under control." The cat girl has seen the pain that the woman has to be in, and while she's hardly experienced, has had a couple fights more under her belt. When Summer staggers the woman against a lamp post, Jon dashes forward, letting loose with one of Revenant's canisters.

Shrieking in agony as the foam causes actual bits of her to flake off, Inferno looks up from hands and knees. "Not nearly as sorry as you're GOING TO BE!" With a roar answered by the stream of fire she launches at Summer, Inferno's expression is a rictus of agony. The bolt goes wide, slagging the front of the BP building and singing the heroine en passant.

The two figures trade attacks. Revenant's eyes never leave the other man, hands outstretched, ready to attack, to fight. Even as the fellow turns to run down the starewell, Revenant's eyes open wide enough to be seen in his cowl, as he glances slightly past the man, where his men are. "Shit…" The implication, of course, is that the fellow's men are recovering…

… even as the man glances towards his men, Revenant strikes! He whips his hand forward, and another dart emerges with a hiss. This time it hits him right on target, and the man's vision goes totally wobbly, as everything starts swimming before his eyes. He can barely stand, and he can do well to /walk/! Again, Revenant says, inexorably, "Surrender!" as he runs after him!

Staggering into a wall, the Myrmidon turns, his helmet removed as he pants for air. He's wearing a mask underneath, but man…he's definitely looking ill, what skin can be seen is slick with sweat. "Nice. A little heavy on the ketamine, but a very good cocktail, my compliments kid." And then he raises that left hand again, it is all he can do to do this, but he presses and holds the button, until the whole device goes dead. "There…now you have a choice, hero. You can take me in, if you'd like, or…you can defuse the bombs I have wired to the gas main under the street outside. You have thirty seconds…tick, tock, tick, tock…"

The flames veer off to some extent upon encountering the shield of winds around Summer, just enough to singe the ends of her hair slightly as she ducks. "Okay," she says flatly, "That's /enough/. I'm sorry for what happened to you but we're trying to /help/." The flatness in her voice slowly, over the course of those words, changes to anger. Her eyes turn stormy grey, and indeed, her prediction of rain is apt: it begins to patter down even beyond the effects of the breached fire hydrant. "/Stop/." She brings her free hand downwards, and a hammer-blow of air pushes down upon Inferno, then leaves a vacuum behind that makes her flame gutter and nearly die… before the air rushes back in. There's a wordless snarl from Summer as she snaps the umbrella shut, bringing /both/ hands downwards this time, accompanied by a rumble of thunder from above. To no avail.

Okay, the results of Jon's first attack were disturbing, to say the least, but like she said to Summer, they can't do anything for the woman until they can get her under control, and so gritting her teeth, she moves in with the second canister. "I'm sorry," she echoes Summer before unleashing her attack on the woman, the foam covering her, smothering her fire and draining her energy as well. The woman sways a moment, and then falls over, finally at peace, for now at least.

There's no choice here. Revenant could take this guy out. But doing so would lead to the loss of more lives.

And this is something he will not — /will not/ — allow. No one dies. Not on his watch. He gives the man a smirk, asking, "Ask yourself this. How's it feel to know that you had to run with your tail between your legs… from me?" He brushes past the man, moving closely in the tight confines of the tunnel and is running up the steps. Unnoticed, a tracer is tucked onto the man's back as he passse. "Gis, you know what to do." "Looking for anomalous signals. I'll lead you to them." "Good." And then he's running! As he does, he sends, ~Hey. Some guy down here placed bombs near the gas mains. Get people away from any manhole covers or sewers. That's where an explosion would emerge. I'm going to try to disarm the explosives.~ This is when he arrives…

"… shit. That was close," Revenant mutters as he flips a wire at the last moment, almost triggering the bomb. He pulls another wire, and the bomb flickers off. "Really damn close."

When Inferno falls, she dulls, dims…the fire buring her from within going out. For now. Her body is a wrack of charred tissue. All of it. From a medical standpoint she should be dead, the burns too severe, but…she lives. She breathes, albeit ragedly. As for the Myrmidon, he continues into the tunnels he uncovered, and then makes his way out from there to whatever nefarious purpose he had in mind all along. Of course, he's also carrying a tracer with him. For now…the day is mostly saved, though BP is out several million dollars of building, many of the protestors likely thinking it is justice to hurt the oil giant.

"What?" Summer snaps the umbrella open again, looking down at the ground (which she is hovering just over) as though it might betray them at any moment. "Most of the people're already out of here…" And this is when Inferno falls, thankfully; the rain that's begun hisses on her charred flesh, and Summer worriedly moves to check on the woman's vitals. "I'm glad /someone/ knew what to do," she asides to Jon. "Because I was guessing. Should we get up above the possible explosion?" She eyes Inferno dubiously. "I don't think we're supposed to move her…"

"This just gets better and better," Jon says to Timothy's warning. But at least they've got their problem down, for now. "Those canisters did the trick, I think," She says as she goes over to Inferno and Summer, pulling rain slicked bangs out of her eyes. "It'd be better to move her then let her get blown up," she says, but then pauses, able to hear Revenant. "Looks like that's not gonna happen, though."

~I got the bomb disarmed. A really nasty piece of work. Triple-blind with dual backup detonators. Really good piece of work. Whoever did this definitely knows what they're doing." He carefully rises to his feet. "I will leave this here, I don't want to move it. Someone will have to notify the authorities." After a few moments, he emerges from the street through a manhole cover.

Just as she's about to pick Inferno up, the news of the bombs' disarmament makes Summer stop. "Oh, thank goodness," she mutters, glancing sidelong at Jon. "I … yeah." She lets the winds around her fade gradually, landing lightly upon the pavement. "So do we … make our escape now?" she asks, gesturing with her umbrella to the ruins of the building and the unconscious ex-scientist, and the person emerging from a manhole-cov—

"… is that our mystery bomb-disarmer?" she asks, "Or someone who needs frying?"

Jon's looking pretty worse for wear, due to her soaked fur and clothes, but she's a whole lot better off than Inferno. "That's our bomb disarmer," she tells Summer hastily. "He's one of us. That's Revenant." She'd say more, but now that the excitement's over is more cautious about what names she uses. Jon sighs down at the unconscious woman. "This…kinda puts things in persepctive," she murmurs.

"Shit, the damage is severe. Medical science isn't my forte, but … they need extensive reworking," Revenant says, his voice deeper than his normal one. He uses a vox encoder. He bends down, "As she said, Revenant. Nice to meet you. You're Summer, right? From the school?" He keeps an eye on the records, shoot him. "Not much I can do for them…I'm afraid to even administer pain-killing drugs, whatever changed their system might react negatively…"

Oddly enough, this seems to upset him more than battling an evil mastermind did. He hates being unsure.

"Mm," says Summer in mild agreement, looking down at the fallen scientist. "I can… get us to a hospital quickly," she offers. "If that's necessary." She might not notice the lack of surety, but she does notice the upset. "I don't think any of us got hurt." Now that the fight's over and her temper's evened out, rather than spiking, she's not quite sure what to do either. "Is there somewhere we /should/ be taking her? I'm not sure of my range, but…"

Jonathan shrugs a little at Revenant. "Sure know more than I do, here," she says unhappily. "We could get her to a hospital, but after all this," she says, gesturing at the remnants of the building, "I'm sure there's cops and medics and everyone else a'plenty on their way. Should let 'em know how to put her back out, though."

"Paramedics won't be enough. She needs a good neohuman ward. It'd take them time to take her there. If you can do that, it'd be good. Keep the wind off her, so it doesn't cause more pain," Revenant says to Summer. "Any sort of pain or sudden environmental change could put her further into shock."

"But /where/? I'm not from around here." There's a plaintive note to Summer's voice, echoed by a rumble of thunder that makes her flap her hand irritably at the sky, despite the rain. "Give me an address and preferably an image and I can get us there without exposing her to altitude or wind." Nevertheless, she spins a cocoon of air around Inferno to protect her from the falling rain.

Get us there? Jon's tail gives a twitch at the sound of that, flicking a bit of water off it. "Haven't looked up any of those yet myself," she admits. "Hell, dunno where the nearest hospital is, for that matter." She looks to Revenant. He seems to know what's going on.

A slight shrug, "Closest is…" He names a place that's in Cove City, though his player has no clue as that's not been defined by staff yet. "Hopefully it can do something for her…it's over by…" He gives directions. Revenant nods, "I'll stay here to tell the police where the bomb is."

"Are you coming?" Summer asks of Jon, "Or should I do this and … try to BS my way through identity and all that fun stuff?" She doesn't seem all that comfortable with the idea, really, but her jaw's set at a particularly stubborn angle, and it's the Right Thing To Do. The storm rumbles again, and she sighs. "At least that'll make it easier."

"I can come," Jon tells Summer. "You can drop me off with her, and I'll bring her in to the ward, since I'm, well, kinda already in costume and all. You don't have to show your face there or anything, keep it safer for you." She glances up at the rumbling storm. "Oh you be quiet! I'm already soaked through."

Summer rests a hand gingerly upon the least-burnt part of Inferno's skin. "There might be a bit of a shock," she warns as the storm above grumbles. "Sorry about the storm. In advance." She takes a deep breath. "And you'll want to stand back," she adds to Revenant. "Normally I do this from the air." And, terse explanation (of sorts) done, there's an almighty *CRACK* of thunder and a brilliant flash, and a bit of a tingling shock, and the trio of accidental villain and two teenage hero(ines) are suddenly… elsewhere. On a roof painted with a giant H for a helicopter landing pad, with their ears ringing.

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