2011-07-28: Beatdown


Heather_icon.jpg Shane_icon.jpg Tabitha_icon.jpg Mason_icon.jpg

Summary: Mason tries to confront the girls being controlled by Mindbender.

Date: July 28, 2011.

Log Title: Beatdown

Rating: PG

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.

Heather moves at a relatively slow pace through Hell's Kitchen, every once in awhile playing on her tape recorder, "I am Heather Brown, codename: Timeslip." The message carries no particular tone, and seems to be a relatively worn part of her selections. She seems to be kind of exploring, nervously glancing around every once in awhile, though her eyes are obscured by dark goggles.

SHANE AND TABITHA see: Shane and Tabitha have been assigned a mission to find some of the men who are helping Brady and 'convince them' to do otherwise. They are being led, this time, by Timeslip, who seems quite intent on checking everything out in their surroundings and mumbling to herself once and again.

Mason has been depressed. He's been angry, he's been sad. Shane has been kidnapped and Giea has died in the same month. There's nothing he can do for Giea, but for Shane, he hopes that it's different. She's out there somewhere. One teenage pop star can do little to find the missing students of Xavier's, but that's why he has money! He hired a private eye, someone with the skills he lacks. Now the blond teen star is hoping that his expense pays off, because word has it that one of the students has been spotted in Hell's Kitchen.

Unfortunately for Mason, Hell's Kitchen isn't the best place for him to be. He's nowhere near as rough as most of the characters here. He's chosen his team uniform for his garb tonight, mainly because it includes a mask that hides his identity. Behind a fierce looking green cowl that lets his hair free, his eyes dart around the street. An open green and black jacket exposes his chest, and the tights of green and black pants gives way to bare feet on the pavement. Then he hears it…a tape recorder? Where was it? He glances behind himself, "Where…?"

Tabitha is following behind Heather, though the rat girl is keeping her distance for the time being; skulking about in the shadows, and sticking to the back alleys. She keeps good pace though, and always seems to manage to meet up with Heather and Shane once more. One person who tries to stop her in an alleyway, in spite of his thuggish appearance, finds himself dropped with a bleeding nose and his hands clutched to his groin, before Tabitha carries on, eventually poking her head out to catch sight of her fellows once more.

"Who are you *talking* to," Shane hisses between her teeth as she slinks behind Heather. Dressed in a stolen hoodie and sweatpants, her habitual paranoia and practiced unobtrusiveness has served her better than usual, in this world of monsters and madness. A lock of mousey brown hair falls in front of her face as she glances in as many direction as possible, searching for imminent danger. "And *where* is Patches?"

Heather glances backwards towards Shane and then lifts her goggles to merely roll her eyes, not saying anything in response. She continues her moving and playing the message on the tape a few times more. Her eyes flick around when the tape recorder picks up Mason's voice, and she plays the message louder.

SHANE and TABITHA see: "I assume she is in the alleys, keeping to the dark. Why, I don't know. And I'm talking to the voices. You can't hear them… they're mine," replies Timeslip, like that is a totally normal thing, before continuing and mumbling. After a couple more moments of that she adds, "Isn't it a shame that we're all we have?"

Mason listens to the voices following the tape recorder, and he carefully tries to pick out the location. Should be just around this corner, such is how it sounds. The pop star comes up to the corner of the street, and looks left around the edge of the brick. With only the street light to guide his eyes, he spots… two of the three figures. Tabitha is too far back for him to see her in the dark. "Heather?" Mason asks hesitantly. She's the only person he knows that uses a tape recorder, but it's too dark for him to be certain of Heather or Shane's identity. He, however, is in the light of the street lamp.

Patches ducks behind a dumpster as she spots Mason in the streetlight, and peeks around the corner of the metal bin to watch. She waits until she thinks she has a good moment, and scurries forwards, darting through the darkness to hide once more behind a metal garbage can; and then again, now using a carboard box as cover. She hovers there, perhaps five feet behind Shane and Heather. The rat takes a quick look over her shoulder, checking to see if there is anyone sneaking up behind them; her ears perk up as she listens, and she turns her attention back to what is happening in front of her.

"Probably because this is the kinda place, Iunno, you'd find *monsters?*" Shane grumbles, jamming her hands into the kangaroo pocket of her hoodie. "Maybe for *you* it's a shame," she says after a moment, sotto voce, "but *anything's* better'n nothing." She attempts to avoid a puddle of light, backsplash from the windows above, and mostly manages… but the toe of her right boot, rather distinctive to anyone who'd known her at Xavier's, is visible for a heartbeat. "…Won't matter anyway. Couple more like this, world's back to normal, right?"

Heather turns towards Mason as he becomes close enough to be visible before she lowers her goggles. She plays on her tape recorder, "There are two possibilities: You are here to kill me or you are here to help. I have no way of determining which. Therefore, should you approach, I will have to aggress. I apologize for any inconvenience. Calculate your odds carefully."

SHANE and TABITHA see: "Normal for you, I assume. I escaped tranformation in a different way. Perhaps this is a self that will be destroyed upon the time this problem is solved? This is an issue of reality manipulation, it seems," replies Heather, raising her brow slightly. "I will continue to exist in another form in the restored universe, though, which is as much a reassurance as I expect from reality at this stage of my life." Patches and Shane both see a man standing in the light, fully human, which likely means that he is involved.

"What?" Mason queries, confusion in his voice. His eye spots Shane's boot. "Shane! You're here! I'm here to help! I'm not your enemy. It's me, Ma — uh, Geo." He catches himself about to use his name. In costume, supposed to go by codename. "Quick, let's get you back to the mansion. That P.I. was the best money I ever spent. Come on," he motions them to come to him, though careful not to approach. He's not ignorant of what happened to Emma.

Patches abruptly springs out from her hiding space, and dashes forwards the short few steps to where Shane and Heather are standing. "Get away from them!" she snarls, as she skids to a stop beside the pair and drops down to a low crouch. In her wake, the pavement cracks and splits open, giving way to a cloud of sand that coalesces into a pair of large, feral looking… sand rats. The rats come to a halt to either side of Tabitha, and snarl soundlessly at Mason in turn.

"Fffff*uck,*" Shane blurts, darting back a couple steps behind a trash can… dangerous she may be when angry, but at heart less than full of fight, Shane stares at the unchanged person in the lamplight. "How'd they find us?! She said we wouldn't have to deal with anyone 'til we got there!" Biting her words off, she shakes her head quickly. "….Hell with it. What do we do, Hea—Timeslip."

Heather continues to stand her ground and then nods a few times, "Good, you are clearly calculating. If you mean to do me harm, I would suggest you run away now. Or else I will break your jaw. I will shatter it." She puts her tape recorder down to her side and seems to wait.

SHANE and TABITHA see: Timeslip stands her ground and says to the person, "We only mean you harm if you do not cooperate. Either leave and do not interfere, or help us. If you choose neither, you will find yourself alone in a universe of pain." She turns her head towards Shane and says, more quietly, "If this person doesn't leave, we fight. I don't know if they have powers…" She looks up towards Patches at that.

"Oh jeez! That is a big rat!" Mason stumbles backward, taking a less casual stance, now a bit more prepared for action. "Heather, I'm not here to hurt you, I already said that," Mason frowns. "Come on, let's get you both back there, and rat, stay back, these are my friends, and you can go tell that rat Mindbender that he can't have them."

Shane closes her eyes for a moment, and lets out a deep breath. Pushing herself off the wall, she moves to stand at Heather's side, fists clenched. "…You gonna say somethin' already? Or do we come down like a ton of bricks?" Her hands — *only* her hands, strangely, start to flush, then glow, already much brighter than her usual level of critical mass… and then stays, the energy held in check for now.

Tabitha springs to her feet, and tilts her head to one side until the vertebrae crack. "Don't worry," she says, glancing aside towards Shane. "I'll make sure he doesn't hurt you." The two sand rats range forwards, moving to take up the space between the girls and Mason. They snarl and hiss, sand particles grating against each other to create the noise as they approach, and bare their sandy teeth. "I know Kung Fu," she mentions. "Factor that into your calculations." She flicks her gaze towards Heather, and simply gives a nod. "He does," she murmurs.

It starts to dawn on Mason that Shane and Heather can't hear him, and he looks around frantically. He needs to communicate. He can't talk to them, but he needs to let them know he is on their side. His left hand comes out, arm extended toward them while his finger points straight down. There is a vibration under the group's feet, and between Mason and the other three, the word "FRIEND" starts to be roughly etched into the concrete slab as his toe drags the letters through the stone. He bends down and pats the word, looking up at them while making a shooing gesture toward the rat. "Come on, Shane, it's me. I know that you still hate me probably, but I'm your friend. I'm trying to make things right."

With a shake of her head, Heather says, "Do not aggress her. I know that she is worth protecting even if I personally have no idea what she's thinking right now." The girl takes a combatative stance and says, "Because she has engaged, you have to run, or I will fight, once again I apologize. I cannot determine falsity from reality presently." Her edges seem to start to blur as she enhances her speed.
You page, "The man says, "Tough luck. 'cause you three ain't getting out of here with your skins intact." Timeslip shakes her head and seems to take a fighting stance, raising her eyebrows, "You're going to be unconscious if you do not reconsider. Last chance."" to Shane and Tabitha.

It starts to dawn on Mason that Shane and Heather can't hear him, and he looks around frantically. He needs to communicate. He can't talk to them, but he needs to let them know he is on their side. His left hand comes out, arm extended toward them while his finger points straight down. There is a vibration under the group's feet, and between Mason and the other three, the word "FRIEND" starts to be roughly etched into the concrete slab as his toe drags the letters through the stone. He bends down and pats the word, looking up at them while making a shooing gesture toward the rat. "Come on, Shane, it's me. I know that you still hate me probably, but I'm your friend. I'm trying to make things right." His toe comes back, and dips into the concrete at the edge of the curb, just where the street meets the sidewalk. "Please…" he begs.

Tabitha steps forwards, though she is mindful of leaving the space directly between her and Shane open. "If you don't tuck tail and run by the time I reach you," she snaps, "You might not have to worry about Timeslip breaking your jaw, because I'm going to break both your arms." She cracks her knuckles, and then drops into a kung fu stance, just outside of Mason's reach. Her hand flips around, and she beckons in the 'come hither' gesture, as her tail lashes behind her. "Or, come show me what you've got," she hisses. The two sand-rats lope towards Mason, and split up to circle him in opposite directions, still hissing and snarling as well.'

Shane hangs back, still visibly screwing up her courage to take her shot. "…You can't *scare us,*" she calls, knuckles popping as her fists clench. "We know who you're working for! Tell your boss I beat him once, and I'm'a break my foot off in his ass when we get hold of him!" Sweat stands out on her forehead, as her eyes dart to Heather blurring, Tabitha ready for combat, and her sand constructs circling the unknown person. "…Or we'll just FedEx 'im your pieces. Either way, he'll know."

Heather seems a little bit confused at the shaking under the ground but she shakes her head, "I apologize." She dashes forward and attempts to give Mason her superspeed right hook. She's careful to make sure it's not a blow that would be deadly to kill a regular human, but it is still enough to make most people take pause or fall asleep.

SHANE and TABITHA see: The man merely laughs and causes the ground to shake underneath the group, and Timeslip shakes her head, "I had warned you." Her edges blur further before she zips in a straight line right for the unknown man.

It's Shane's words that sting the most, and drive home the critical nature of Mason's situation. His pleading stance turns a bit more defensive. He has come to save Shane and Heather, but who is going to save him? Does he run? Does he stay and fight to try to bring them back? What's the right course of action? With Tabitha's aggressiveness, the teen star resolves that she must some how be in control of the situation. Perhaps if he can only neutralize her…

His foot kicks upward, dragging a twenty pound chunk of concrete to thrust it at Tabitha. At the same time, however, Heather strikes with her own blow. Due to her closer range, Mason isn't able to get nearly the same level of torque, but his knee dragging twenty extra pounds of weight meets Heather as her fist comes in. The blockage between them means that he doesn't quite take the money shot as badly as he could have, but his own blow is hardly as decisive as he could hope. Heather's fist still manages to connect with his stone hard jaw. It's a good thing for Mason that he is denser than your average teenager. Still, it's enough to throw him off balance, and he lands on his butt backward, closer to the sand rats.

Patches shifts her stance, and shoots out her hands to catch Mason's kick and yank his foot out from under him; a manouver that would have worked if he hadn't redirected the attack to Heather. Instead she watches as he ends up on his back, and clicks her tongue, urging the sand rats forwards. Her hand reaches out to touch the lamppost, and her appearance takes on a metallic sheen as she absorbs the metal; the sand rats waste no time, diving in the moment Mason is off his feet, snarling and snapping and looking for soft flesh to savage.

With their unknown assailant knocked off-balance, Shane leaps into action… mostly. Not as agile as the other two girls, and moving in such a way that it's clear she's still in some pain, she still moves to take the fight to him. "Timeslip, BACK!" is all the warning her fellow hero gets, as she drops to the ground only a few feet from the divot left by Mason's concrete-weighted kick, and slams her hands to earth. The resulting explosion is thunderous, the powerful shockwave digging a five-foot blast crater in the heavy concrete, enough to batter mason's shins with half a ton of force — and the rest of him not much less than that.

Heather makes a squeaking sound after contacting and shakes her hand after contact makes her realize how hard Mason's jaw happens to be, and with her opposite hand she rubs her midsection lightly where she was hit. While it seems painful to her, she does not seem particularly phased. She stumbles back and when she hears what Shane has to say, her eyes go wide and indeed, she gets away with a great leap back, the speed of her legs launching her rather far before she lands.

SHANE and TABITHA see: Heather makes a squeaking sound after contacting the man's jaw and being hit. Upon Shane's warning, she leaps away, rolling when she contacts the ground again in a smooth transition back to standing.

Mason has one advantage in all of this. He is terrakinetic. As the sand rats dive at him, one latches onto his arm, drawing blood as the other one is slapped into oblivion with an open hand, disappating it into dust. Mason grits his teeth and slaps the second one to get it off of his right arm, sending it to the same fate as the first. "That's it, now I'm — "

That's as far as the sentence goes. Mason sees Shane dive and plunge her fist into the ground. His feet pick up, a slab of concrete to moderate the blast. It doesn't work very well. Instead of taking the blast full force, though, the slab acts as a launching platform, throwing Mason up and out into the street. He flips head over heels, and slams chest first and upside down into a car on the side of the street. The car alarm starts blaring as the pop star collapses to the ground off of the car. He's still conscious, but that might not necessarily be a great benefit to him at the moment. "I knew I should've paid better attention in the Danger Room sessions. It hurts so much less in there." He brings himself to his hands and knees, looking at the three girls. He then looks at the ground around him, as if trying to consider his next move.

Tabitha dives backwards as Shane unleashes her blast, rolling acrosst the ground and coming up in a crouch. "Good hit," she observes, as she stands up and dusts herself off. Her second sand rat is allowed to die with a quiet shriek, leaving behind a small pile of sand. The ground rumbles, and the concrete splits once more, as this time the very asphalt rises up, shattering into pebble-sized pieces to form two new rats. One of them leaps up atop the car Mason is leaning against, crumpling the rouch as it snarls down at him; the other circles around in front, hissing and snapping. Tabitha strides forwards, thrusting her hands in her pockets as she goes. "Now is a good time to think about giving up," she cautions.

Shane glances back as she drags herself to her feet, nodding at Heather to make sure the speedster is all right. Turning back, she glowers at Mason, staring at him impassively, without any of the recognition, positive or negative, that Shane would normally display toward the pop star. Moving forward more or less next to Tabitha, one of the girl's hands flares to life again. "That was a warning. Next one's goin' right for your face."

Heather raises her brows slightly at all that's happening, though she doesn't seem to process it all quite correctly by the motions of where she's looking and the expression on her face. "I would again suggest you run tonight. I'm sorry if you're a friend. But I will not risk the lives of these two."

SHANE and TABITHA see: Timslip raises her brows slightly at all that's happening, eyes trailing on all of the chaos that seems to be occuring. "I would again suggest you run tonight. We have nothing to take up with you for now… we have other pressing concerns and I hate to waste life, however vile."

The terrakinetic regards his opponents, two of which he has no desire to fight. He's ready to drop, and he's hardly landed a blow. He's out classed and out-gunned, but Shane and Heather are right there. He doesn't have the strength to run, nor the motivation. Mason instead curls into a ball, and wraps a piece of the road over top of him like a blanket for protection from any further blasts, encasing him fully. The pop star peers out from the cracks in the asphalt at the three. "I'm sorry, Shane," he mutters in a low voice. "I'm still a coward."

Tabitha snaps her fingers, and the two asphalt-rats bound to her side, crossing each other behind her back and coming to a stop facing in the same direction she is. "Err…. well, I guess that'll do," she observes, as Mason holes himself up. "Good enough, anyway, as long as he stays in there." She glances at Shane, and then to Heather. "Shall we get on with it, then?"

Shane grunts, staring at the bulge in the asphalt that once was their opponent. Some of the tension seems to leech from her shoulders, as the energy surrounding her hand is released with a vastly smaller shockwave, and the sound of an exploding M-80. "…Keep an eye on him, Patches," she mutters, eyes narrowing. "He tries anything funny, take 'im apart." With that, she backs towards the alley they'd come from, eyes locked on the asphalt bubble until she's well away from casual reach of most powers she's encountered, only then turning her back. "…Yeah… Let's get goin'."

Heather shakes her head and says, "I'm so sorry…" She takes a couple of steps off and starts wandering in the other direction, once again playing her message to nobody who will listen.

SHANE and TABITHA see: Timeslip shakes her head and says, "This suits me fine. We will likely see this one later, but now's not the time, we have a schedule to keep." She gestures to the others to follow and wanders off, resuming her mumbling and searching." to Tabitha and Shane.

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