2012-05-13: Admitting Defeat


Eris_icon.jpg Tabitha_icon.jpg

Summary: Tabitha and Eris get into an argument that nearly causes several civilian casualties.

Log Title: Admitting Defeat

Rating: R

NYC - Hell's Kitchen

The rough neighborhood in Midtown West New York known as Hell's Kitchen almost has a darker tone to it. Once you step into this neighborhood the city takes on a different feel, the buildings are shorter but everything feels darker. There is real grit to this part of town where many of the New York City criminals see to make their home.

The city is very busy today. The fact that it is 80 degrees has just about everyone outdoors doing something and enjoying the fine weather. Most of the activity is closer to Broadway, but as you move west toward the river activity decreases. Over here on 11th Ave, there are fewer people and things are a bit quieter. This probably has to do with the fact that there is almost nothing to do over here. There are a few warehouses and some residential buildings, but most of the shops and restaurants are closer to the subways.

A woman steps out of a particularly abandoned looking building. She is dressed for the weather in a green tank top and black skirt, her tall boots clicking loudly as she walks. The woman has quite a few bandages on her arms and legs and appears to have some bruising under her sunglasses. She glances around quickly before moving in the direction of the river.

Going out for a walk along the river doesn't seem to be a unique idea, today; though it is pretty sparse, there is one other person doing exactly the same thing, and of notable appearance. Tabitha Jones, the rat girl, is out and about. She's dressed in a baggy pair of cargos, and has a hoody loosely tied around her waist, left to flop about her right leg so as not to hinder her tail. A tight blue tank-top encompasses her chest with the word 'BARNES' emblazoned across her chest , leaving her belly bare; and her motorcycle must be parked somewhere, as she's still wearing leather driving gloves. She casually boots a stone out of her way as she walks; she's not moving particularly fast, and has her cellphone out, checking the screen every few steps. Eventually she stops and commences gazing about, looking this way and that, and paying close attention to otherwise rather banal features; a rock, a concrete structure that used to be for sewage drainage, a bush, and so forth.

Eris continues walking toward the river, noticing the rat girl as she appears. The woman stops and seems to consider this person for a moment before proceeding, but continues on after deciding that she is not someone that she knows. Eris stops a few yards away from the teen to answer her phone, speaking in Japanese into it before looking annoyed and hanging up. She continues forward as though she is going to pass by this other girl uneventfully.

Tabitha's ear flicks as she hears the Japanese, and she looks up, gazing at Eris for a long moment. Her lips tighten, and for a moment it seems like she's going to just stare the other woman down; but in the end, she looks back at her cell phone. She does not, however, move out of the way; she simply continues to stand there in the middle of the path, ultimately gazing up into the bushes. She looks back down at her cellphone, then back at the bushes; she scratches the back of her head with one hand and humms softly. All the while, the ear facing towards Eris is slowly swiveling around, visibly tracking the apparently annoyed woman's movements as she approaches.

Eris slows down as she approaches the rat girl. Why is this other person not moving off the path? This is annoying to her. She glances at the bushes and stops next to Tabitha, looking back at the rat girl for a long moment. Nope. Doesn't look familiar. Then again Eris runs into so many people it is possible she has met before. "Is that bush particularly interesting?" She looks at it again. "You're a ways out of Mutant Town. You might want to get back there before some filthy human ape decides to exterminate you."

Tabitha looks up sharply as she's addressed, and hunhs? She shrugs, and turns back to the bush. "No, it's just a bush." She holds up her phone, and there's a soft ca-CLICK as she takes a picture of it, and slips her phone into a pocket on her cargoes. "You're also a ways out of mutant town," she points out as she turns to face Eris completely. "I'm not really worried about ordinary people. Some are pretty nice, and I'm pretty sure they'd object to being called filthy apes, though."

Eris glances at the bush again and shrugs. "Yes well…Do I know you?" She looks at the girl again. "No I don't think so…Yet you seem to know me. I suppose that's not so uncommon." She shrugs again, "But anyway, I don't LOOK like a mutant, whereas you do. And the humans…I wouldn't trust them." She smiles, "Object? The object to many things that I do to them. But it doesn't really matter. Does an ant object to a boot? Who cares."

Tabitha blinks a couple of times, and perks an eyebrow as she stares at Eris. "…Right," she replies, dryly. "Yes, we've met, and I would have thought you'd remember. Most people don't forget me. Or at least not the way I look, thanks for pointing it out." She pulls her cellphone back out of her pocket, and taps at the screen a few times before holding it up, and repeating the ca-CLICK as she rather casually snaps off a picture of… well, of Eris. "You can't hide from me, though. I know things." The rat girl thumbs something else on the screen of her phone, and slips it back into the same pocket as before. "You were pretty psycho last time, too. …You're gonna grow a Hitler-stache if you keep at it."

Eris frowns as the photo is taken. "Oh, have we met before? You do realize that you aren't the only mutant in the city who looks like…Well like an animal human hybrid, don't you? With my line of work I see many of our kind all the time." She glances at the girl's shirt. "I'm sure your school has plenty of photographs of me on file. No need to add another." And in response to acting like Hitler? "Hitler was after his own species. WE are not of his species."

"Big fucking difference," Tabitha replies. "Actually, Hitler didn't think of it that way, he figured his race were Aryans, and that Jews were a lesser race. Just like you think that mutants are somehow that much more awesome and regular humans are a lesser race… and the genetic difference between us is about the same as the difference between a regular human and a chimpanzee, anyway. Which is like practically nothing." She pauses, and shrugs her shoulders lightly. "Aren't you, like, worried that someone is gonna totally kick your ass if you go around talking about 'dirty human apes' all the time like that?"

Eris smirks. "The difference between a human and a chimpanzee. Yes. So Chimpanzees are humans because they're so close genetically? Is this your logic? I view humans as they are. Lower than us evolutionarily. And yes, we are so much more awesome because we can do things that no human could ever imagine doing." She shrugs, "And most of my problems come from humans with…Mutant Envy. They want to be us so they craft ways of simulating our powers. But none of them have killed me yet. I'm very hard to hurt, you see."

"So am I," replies Tabitha. "I know what youre powers are, they were fun to play with for a week after I met you last time." She shakes her head slowly. "I'm not saying chimps and humans are the same, just pointing out that the difference between us and regular humans isn't that great. We're still humans, woman." She pauses. "Even if I don't entirely look like one," she mumbles, very quietly. "Anyway. Sure, I don't like it when I walk into a convenience store and get ordered back out a la shotgun, and sure, I could probably take that shotgun off the guy and feed it to him, but all that does is reinforce the idea that mutants are nasty baby-eating monsters. Kinda like what you're doing, like, every time you say something."
You aren't carrying anything.

Eris quirks an eyebrow. "You can imitate the powers of mutants you come into contact with? Very interesting." The woman takes a step back in case Tabitha decides to try doing something to use her powers again. "So rather than showing the human his place, you run away and scurry down a sewer?" She smirks, "Do you think the first humans would have survived if they'd run and hid from everything that threatened them? Maybe. But many of those giant predators that used to kill humans were hunted to extinction by the human's higher intellect. So why shouldn't the humans be pushed aside so that we can advance?"

"Oh, you mean like lions, tigers, and bears? Oh my? Yeah, they're totally extinct, all wiped out my Man's superior intellect back in prehistoric times." She snorts loudly. "Did I say I run and hide? Hardly. I just go spend my money somewhere else, and it's that loser's fucking loss." She takes a step forwards, casually following the other mutant in her retreat. "Anyway, your intellect clearly isn't that much higher than the average human's. You are *actually* more like one of the physically impressive but mentally somewhat dorky predators that you were talking about humans besting just now. Anyway, the answer is simple; because we don't need to. There'd be no reason for us to do so, and we'd be worse off without 'em. …I'll let you think that through while I stand here, I've got all day."

Eris just smiles at the girl. "Oh the predators around today? Small in comparison. You do know we used to have lions and tigers and hyenas on this continent, right? No longer. And you don't see any predators in this city unless they're behind bars." She stops backing up now, though she watches the girl closely. "You think the humans care if you don't spend your money at their store? What do they care? You go live in your separate society where you will never have equal rights, and I'll work toward making mutants the dominant force in our government. So that we can rule over them like they deserve."

"That he doesn't care isn't the point," she counts. "It's whether or not I care that matters. And in the end, I don't. I could get uptight about people discriminating against me for being a mutant, or I could get uptight about them discriminating against me for being gay, either way, it's only my heart rate that's going up, so why bother?" She plants a hand on her hip, and her eyes narrow. "Do you really think that's going to work? That's not going to work. If it were that simple I'm sure Magneto would have done it by now. Hell, there's plenty of mutants who would stop you, never mind ordinary humans. How are you planning on effecting political change, anyway, other than running around running your mouth?"

Eris seems to ignore the earlier part of the rant. "Magneto? He's too soft. He seems to think that eventually he'll be able to convince the mutants who oppose him to join his side. I don't think that's going to happen. Mostly because these places like Barnes and…Whatever that other one is…They teach mutants to "protect" the humans. What a waste of time. Knock out the high officials, get mutants into high office, take over and make the world a better place for our species." She shrugs again and holds out a hand. "Mutants get in my way?" A sword materializes in that hand, "I cut them down like the humans." Eris steps back again and points the blade at Tabitha, "So what'll it be? Going to stand in my way? Or would you rather help advance our species?"

Tabitha thrusts her hands in her pockets, and watches the sword materialize in Eris' hand. Her ears flatten against her head and her tail flicks, but otherwise she doesn't change her stance. "I'm not about to go around killing people," she replies, "Not for any purpose." Her eyes narrow a little further. "Except self-defense, of course… or to protect my girl." She eyes the sword, and then returns her gaze to Eris. "You can't kill me," she pronounces, "So I wouldn't bother trying. Total waste of time. If I were you, I'd keep walking, and I'll get back to what I was doing."

Eris smiles, "Can't kill you? That's interesting. I assume that you're talking about how you can take my powers, yes?" The woman's body begins turning to diamond. "The last boy I met with that ability needed to touch me in order to take my powers. I found it had to be skin contact…My diamond form doesn't count. The expression on his facer was one of confusion when I picked his head up off the cement."

Tabitha just shrugs her shoulders. "Oh," she replies, deadpan. "OKay, than, genius. I see you're got it all figured out." She perks an eyebrow, watching the woman in front of her transforming her skin into diamond; her hands remain neatly thrust into her pockets. "I ain't changin' my mind," she adds. "So my suggestion still stands. Go bother somebody else, and I'll get back to what I was doing."

Eris looks a bit disappointed. "Oh why do you have to be so irritating? Now you've built it all up. You can't stand in front of me and say "Oh you can't kill me!" and not have me try. That would be so anticlimactic." The woman jumps back suddenly and hurls the diamond sword directly at the rat-girl's chest.

Once the sword is in motion, tumbling end over end through the air on a rapid course towards Tabitha's vital organs, the rat girl just… stands there, at least for the first half a second. As the hurtling blade nears, she finally moves, edging over to the side just slightly; her hands snap up, leaving her pockets and snatching ahold of the hilt of the sword. The rat girl spins around, whirling to preserve the momentum of the sword as she simply… redirects it, bringing it around in a half circle before launching it through the air, sending it straight back towards Eris, with as much force as she can muster.

Eris had continued backing up slightly as the sword was flying. She spins suddenly, a ruby throwing star the size of a ceiling fan suddenly in one of her hands. Eris hesitates for a moment as she sees the sword coming back toward her, doing nothing as it strikes her. The sword shatters upon impact, turning instantly into glittering dust as the star blade is hurled at the Rat Girl.

Tabitha hunches forwards as the throwing star comes at her; her brow furrows, and she shifts her feet. Ultimately, she leans over to one side, twisting her torso to allow the throwing star to sail straight past her before straightening up. "Way too slow," she comments, thrusting her hands back into her pockets. "Got anything faster? Like a gun maybe? I know that'd be so totally homo sapiens, to use a gun, and I'm sure a high and mighty mutant like you wouldn't stoop to such a thing. But your powers don't seem to be doing the trick, chicky-poo."

The star sails way down the street and into the intersection of the next cross street, where it promptly strikes the side of a moving car and causes a nasty three car accident. "Woops. Maybe you should have taken that one. Hope there were no babies in those cars." She doesn't actually sound that concerned…At all. Eris must figure that she is far enough away to decrystalize. She reaches behind her back and pulls a pistol out, which she promptly and nonchalantly fires at the girl. "Guns? I use them. Comes with my line of work, you see."

Tabtiha looks hurriedly over her shoulder at the accident, then back at Eris, just in time to see her raising the gun. This time, she doesn't move; the rat girl stays standing exactly where she is, and takes the bullet square in the chest. It strikes her with a resounding… 'plink', leaving a hole in her shirt, and the girl just standing there, as her own body swiftly transforms into diamond. "You owe me a new shirt," she replies, as she holds up her hands to look at them. "Neat stuff. By the way, I don't need to touch you to copy you." Tabitha holds out her hands, and a ruby sword the size of a lamp post materializes in her grasp; she leaps forwards, crossing the distance between her and Eris in a series of swift bounds, before whirling the blade through the air in a fierce arc at the other woman's midsection.

Eris frowns when she sees the girl turn into diamond, returning to the form herself. She does not move to block the girl's attack, but she does raise a hand to the blade as the sword comes up to her. She simply flicks the sword right as it is about to impact her, causing the top half of the blade to disintegrate into dust and leaving Tabitha with a hilt. "Hmmm…" She had meant to break the entire sword. "So you can copy my powers. That's nice. You haven't had a lifetime to practice them." Eris stomps the ground and there is a terrifying cracking noise from the building beside them. Massive diamond spines erupt out of the wall and shoot out toward Tabitha.

Tabitha leaps forwards, not moving as quickly as she did before now that she's dragging around several hundred pounds of diamond body instead of flesh and blood, but she's still no slouch; she dives past Eris and out of the way of the spikes, rolling across the ground and coming up in a crouch. She pounds her fist on the ground, and a similar cracking sound erupts from around Eris, before a small forest of spikes shoot upwards; none of them aimed at the woman, but rather creating a wall of spires around her, all made of ruby and sapphire and the like. "You realize this is pointless, right?" the rat girl declares as she straightens. "I told you, total waste of time."

Eris stops for a moment to examine the spines. "No…" She smiles. "Not pointless. Your gems are structurally weaker than mine." She knocks on the spines to listen to their resonance. "That means that you can't hurt me…And I can't hurt you unless you give up. But you do have a major weakness. One that I lack." The woman turns toward the motor accident as an ambulance arrives at the scene. She begins to move toward the street, the spines Tabitha had created breaking as Eris walks. "Your love of the humans. How many must I kill before you will give up this fight I wonder?"

Tabitha's jaw drops, and she falters for a moment. Her eyes dart back and forth between Eris, and the crash scene not far off. The mutant's mind turns things over for a few precious seconds, before she whips the phone back out of her pocket. She slaps her hand against the ground once again, and a veritable jungle of spikes burst through the ground, the walls of the building, even the river, as Tabitha puts everything she's got into slowing Eris' advance on the civilians. Meanwhile, with her other hand, she dials the phone; ultimately discovering that she has to drop the diamond form to do so. "This is Patches," she speaks, holding the phone up to her ear. "Track my phone," she adds, speaking hurriedly as she backs away a step, "I'm in combat with a crystalline mutant who's attacking civilians! I need help, hurry!"

Eris stops for a moment as the spines begin erupting. She holds out a hand in front of her and the crystals break as she comes within a few feet of them. Behind her the spines raise back up, attempting to slow the girl behind her. Eris assumes Tabitha will be able to break the spines or move them out of her way, but Eris's crystals are harder. She glances over her shoulder. "Calling for help? Can they get here before I reach the end of the block?" The woman spins again and another giant star is launched toward the street, this time aimed at the ambulance.

Push through the spikes, Tabitha does, after slipping her phone back into her pocket. She smashes through them as best she can; when the throwing star is hurled, she can do absolutely nothing, but watch it sail into the side of the ambulance. Hopefully the paramedics were all outside of the vehicle, helping the victims of the previous accident. Where the hell are the police, anyway? is the though that passes through the rat girl's mind, as she works to catch up with Eris. Ultimately, she drops to a half-crouch, and there's a loud rumble before a long, blunted crystal spire erupts from the ground, directly beneath her feet. She rides it up and over Eris' forest of spikes, and leaps off it once it has carried her as far as she can manage; she enjoys the momentum through the air until the last moment, whereupon she transforms back into diamond, hurtling downwards with her arms outstretched, howling a battle-yell as she tries to tackle her opponent.

There are more sirens and some panicked screams as the star hits the ambulance. It seems the police have shown up after all. "Oh shit! It's Envy!" Bullets fly down the street toward the woman but they bounce off her diamond body. When Tabitha lands on top of her, Eris is knocked to the ground with a heavy clanking noise. She is unable to lift the other girl off of her, but a few crystal spires rise up out of the ground beneath her to lift the woman to a standing position again. She glances behind her and snaps her fingers, causing all of the crystal within 20 feet to shatter into dust, pulling the remnants near her to creates a small wall around Tabitha so that she can continue moving toward the street. A flick of the wrist later one of the officers is down, a large crystal spike sticking out of his stomach.

"No— Shit!" Tabitha hammers at the crystal wall around her, likewise shattering it, albeit not as fast as Eris is able to accomplish. The rat girl continues charging after Eris, gathering shard about herself as well, ultimately constructing a large, sapphire mallet, mounted on the end of a haft twice as long as Tabitha is tall. She whirls the weapon around, spinning it in a full circle to gather momentum and raising it up in the air, ultimately bringing it down with a loud yell of exertion, all aimed to come down hard on Eris from behind with as much force as Tabitha can summon up.

Eris hurls another spike at the remaining officer, striking him in the chest. She hears the yell, but doesn't need to. She can detect minerals around her and is well aware of the large amount of crystal coming toward her at this moment. She does underestimate how long it will take her to react, however, getting knocked to the ground again with a loud clanking noise. Tabitha's hammer cracks as it strikes Envy, but holds together for the moment. The crowd cheers and the paramedics try to pull the officers out of the way. From her place on the ground, Eris reaches a hand out toward the street. She is quite close now. There is a cracking noise and a great spine comes out of the ground under the ambulance, impaling the vehicle.

Cracked or not, Tabitha isn't done with her weapon. She lifts it up, and spins around as she whirls the hammer, bringing it around again in a full circle across the ground. Perhaps just as Eris is starting to get up, the hammer connects with her again, striking her in the mid-section with a resounding clang and sending the woman flying several feet down the pavement. The hammer comes apart after striking her, dissolving into a shower of blue shards that clatter noisily to the ground. Tabitha isn't done yet; she runs forwards, launching herself through the air at Eris; and upon landing, whether she's on top of the other mutant or not, she brings a ring of spires up through the ground. "Enough!" she shouts. "Fine! You win. I give up. You're definitely more badass than I am."

Eris had landed on her back, Tabitha on top as the spires came up around them. The woman laughs. "Ah. That's all I wanted. Well…I suppose not, but it'll do for now." The spires around her crack, but do not break yet. "And besides, I'm sure you can sense the difference in your structural makeup compared to mine? If we actually fought your body would break before mine. And a word to the wise? Don't break while in that body. It's a bad idea."

Tabitha pants softly, and remains where she is, kneeling on top of Eris and not moving. "Great," she replies. "I'll keep that in mind. Yeah, I know my crystals are weaker." She makes a grab at Eris, trying to snatch at her arms, seeking something to restrain. "Can't let you leave," she declares. "Might be able to beat me… maybe I've admitted that… but I don't trust you to just walk away." All the while, more spires erupt, as Tabitha hurriedly seeks to replace the damaged, cracking ones; she biases the wall to be thicker between the scuffle and the civilians and the wounded cops, doing her best to shield them from harm while she's at it.

Eris laughs at the girl on top of her. "LET me leave? My dear, just because you're on top of me does not mean you are in control. I wouldn't be surprised if I couldn't shatter you like I can shatter your pathetic crystals." The spires around them suddenly shatter violently, causing the crowd to scream. A series of new spires ride up under Eris, raising the two to a standing position again. Eris holds up a hand between the two girls and materializes a long crystal rod, pushing the two women apart. "I promise not to hurt your precious humans here and now if you just turn around and walk away. But if you try to "restrain" me again I promise they will all die."

Tabitha finds herself lifted up off the ground, and then shoved back away from Eris; and she has little choice but to retreat, even as she creates a massive sword in one hand, and a shield in the other. She pants softly, holding the shield up between herself and Eris, while the other mutant makes her threats. She considers for a moment, before looking over her shoulder at the assembled crowd. "All of you run!" she shouts at them. "RUN! RUN NOW!" Without waiting to see if they follow instructions or not, Tabitha turns to face her opponent once more. "Fine," she replies, the strain of the situation weighing heavily in her voice. "I'll turn around and walk away. But not until the innocents are out of the way." She glances at the sword in her hand, and drops it to the ground with a loud clang. She hunches down behind her shield, and peers over the top of it at Eris. "Go ahead and pound on me if you want. I won't fight back. Just hit me, and not them."

Eris scoffs at the other mutant. "Pathetic. If only you saw my side of things you could be quite useful. Well…Perhaps someday you'll wake up. I'll leave you alive just in case." The woman walks past Tabitha, moving in the opposite direction from the scene where the civilians are fleeing. The sound of sirens can be heard approaching, it seems more medical and police units are arriving on the scene. Eris calls out over her shoulder, "Oh, you may want to get out of here. The humans don't care if you were trying to save their worthless lives, they will still try to kill you."

The rat girl watches Eris make her way past, and shoots a glance upwards. "Where's the damned helicopter?" she mumbles. She shifts her gaze back to Eris, and keeps the shield up between her and the mutant supremecist. "I'm staying," she pronounces. "If I get tossed in jail it'll get sorted. They won't be able to kill me even if they do try." The rat girl takes a step back. "Thanks for the advice just the same, but no. I'm on the right side of the law and I'm not going to change that by running."

Eris waves a hand over her head, not looking back. "Alright then, have fun. And there are such worse things than death…But I'm sure you'll see that soon enough." Eris re-enters the warehouse that she came out of originally. When more police show up later on a search of the building will turn up nothing useful.

This leaves Tabitha alone, as the police show up in droves; the rat girl drops the shield, and turns to face them, still in crystalline form — just in case. "That's Envy!" one of them shouts, as a SWAT team arranges themselves into firing positions.
"No I'm not!" Tabitha shouts back. "I'm Tabitha Jones, I—"
Tabitha doesn't get any further, as her voice is cut off by the sound of rapid gunfire. The SWAT team open fire on her in unison, and aside from the rapid staccato of sub-machine guns, the only sound is the steady plink-plink of bullets ricocheting off of Tabitha's diamond body; the rat girl stands still and takes it, ignoring the multitude of holes appearing in her clothing and the untimely destruction of another phone, as she bows her head and waits for the assault to finish.

One of the officers holds up a hand for his men to cease firing. "Stop! It's useless, she's made of diamond. Hold position and evacuate the area. Jones! See if we can get the Avengers on the line. McGuinness! Get the mayor on the phone. See if we can get air support from the National Guard!" The police hunker down behind riot shields and section off the area to keep civilians away.

Tabitha sighs heavily as the bullets finally stop ricocheting off of her. She holds up her hands in the air, and raises her voice, shouting once more to be heard. "Guys!" she yells, "I'm not Envy!" She keeps her hands up in the air, and holds her ground, not moving an inch. "My name is Tabitha Jones, my codename is Patches, and I'm on your side!" She pauses, watching the men hunkering down and shooing away civilians. "You don't need the National Guard," she grumbles. "You're just going to tear the place up worse."

There seems to be some disagreement among the police. "Of COURSE she's Envy. Look at those spines. And she's made of goddamn DIAMONDS! Who else would it be?" But one of the downed officers confirms that there were two diamond women fighting with each other. "TWO Envys? This is too much." And then over the loudspeaker, "If you ARE on our side, please walk toward us with your arms in the air. We'll need you to make a statement."

Tabitha pauses briefly, before complying with the instruction. She keeps her arms up in the air as she walks, and partway there she allows herself to transform out of being diamond and return to flesh and blood. "I'm going to need to get back to Barnes," she replies, as she nears the line of police. "But if you want to take me in to the station first, I'll cooperate fully. I'm not going to hurt anyone, and I'll give a statement," she offers, in her most reassuring tone of voice.

The police seem to relax when they see that this woman is of course NOT Envy. "Barnes? Alright. But we will need to bring you in. Call off the guard, but keep trying to get ahold of the Avengers. The real Envy is out there somewhere." The officers will take Tabitha in to the station and question her heavily for several hours before a teacher from Barnes comes to pick her up. The police seem a bit confused by it, but they do eventually agree to release the rat girl into the custody of a small talking Raccoon.

By the time Tabitha is released from the police station, she's tired, hungry, thirsty, and in dire need of a change of clothes, being as how hers are really more a collection of bullet holes by this point than any actual cloth. She's fortunate enough that the teacher stops at a convenience store on the way back to Barnes, allowing the rat girl to pick up a soda and a sandwich from the much astonished Korean shop owner. Of course, when she gets back to Barnes, she has another treat in store for her; several hours of debriefing. Sleep proves to be a long way off for the hapless rat girl.

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