2012-03-28: Robbing The Hood


Echo_icon.jpg Fiona_icon.jpg Tabitha_icon.jpg

Summary: A fight in Hell's Kitchen. Business as usual, really.

Date: March 28, 2012

Log Title: Robbing the Hood

Rating: PG-13

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.

It's night time, either before or after Fiona's nightly lessons with Donna. (Likely before, given how tired she'd be after an actual training session.) The girl is walking down the street looking like her normal gothy teenage self, and also, someone that probably shouldn't be out in this area this late at night at /all./ She's wearing a black skirt that ends a few inches above the knees, her normal chunky black combat boots, and a black tank top in contrast to her pale skin. Dangling out of one hand is a bag with a couple of submarine sandwiches in it, which she is in the process of making it back to Donna's place with.

The dull yellow-orange light from a sodium-vapor street lamp flickers and dies only to relight itself a few seconds later. It seems to suck the color from the landscape, making it appear starker than it might be by moonlight alone. From a dark and dirty alley between two red brick buildings, a clamor erupts, sounds of trash cans banging, breaking glass, and indistinct shouting. It is suspicious in this part of the neighborhood only in that it sounds less like a stumbling junkie or simple mugging and more like a full performance of the dance troupe, Stomp, only with less sensible aesthetics and rhythm. The street falls suddenly quiet. As the street lamp flickers back to life, the partial hull of a broken beer bottle rolls noisily from the alley to clink into the gutter.

The squeal of tires splits the air, just as the color-sapping streetlight buzzes back into life. Two vehicles come ripping up the road; one, a beat up looking, matte-black Pontiac GTO, with an engine that can be heard to tick unhealthily. The other, a large pick-up truck, that's been lifted and modified with very large oversize tires. The latter overtakes the former on the wrong side of the road, before pulling over aggressively, forcing the old muscle car to park just under that same streetlight, again with a squeal of tires. From the car emerges a young rat girl, one Tabitha Jones; she's clad in a baggy set of cargos and a tight black tank-top that leaves her belly bare. As she emerges, she ties a hoodie off around her waist, and calmly watches as two men, each built with arms as muscular as most people's legs, emerge from the truck, more or less looking like they mean business.

If Fiona is startled by the sudden clattering in the alleyway, to which she jumps back uncertainly, taking a basic fighting stance, then she's positively /bewildered/ by the sudden appearance of the vehicles and Tabitha randomly hopping out of the car. "Tabs!" she shouts, looking rather worried. "Tabitha! Are you okay?" she gasps out as she draws nearing to the other girl. She peeks out from behind her (sort of) at the two large men. "They don't look too happy…"

A person steps out of the alley, rumpled but unhurried. They are dressed entirely in black save a shirt underneath their black jacket, an indistinct hue in the colored light from the street lamp. Taking a moment to doff their hat and smooth back their hair, it's revealed to be a woman, blandly expressionless as she straightens her coat and begins to remove bills from a wallet. The chain is still attached to it, as is a small swatch of blue denim. Tossing the wallet carelessly over her shoulder and back into the alley, she repeats the process with another wallet, emptying and discarding it, then another before tucking the wad of money into her jacket. With her hat down and shadows obscuring her face above the nose, she could be looking at the two men or the two girls. Either way, a sliver of a smile curls up the corner of her mouth.

"No, they aren't happy," Tabitha replies, glancing over her shoulder at Fiona. "They're jerkoffs." As if to prove it, the two men swagger purposefully up to stand in front of Tabitha, over whom they tower by several inches. "Lousy bitch," one of them spits, before reaching out to plant his hand on Tabitha's shoulder and shove her backwards, hard. "Why don't you learn to fucking drive!" While Tabitha takes an admirably well controlled step back, probably bumping into Fiona, the other one pipes up. "Yeah, mutie bitch," he chimes in, oh so creatively. "Want a broken head?" Tabitha, meanwhile, stands her ground; she pulls a pair of leather gloves out from her cargos, and calmly tugs them tight over her fingers. A glance is spared over her shoulder, and she notes the presence of Echo, but quickly turns her attention back to the two men. "Put that hand on me again," she advises, "And you might not get it back."

"Tabitha, I don't…" Fiona glances over at Echo, and her casually dusting off of multiple wallets, raising an eyebrow. Both of them in fact! "Tabitha, I don't think this is a good idea. I think we should leave. My place is right near here and it's safe…" she trails off, watching as the two men step forward. As she's bumped into by Tabitha, she takes a couple steps back. She's not exactly shaking in her boots or anything, but she sees very little good coming out of this situation.

Still slow and unhurried, not even winded, the woman in black casually walks closer, heavy boot soles making soft crunching and grinding noises on the dirty concrete. The smile is still there. Hands at her sides, she paces ever closer and stops about three meters behind Tabitha and Fiona. "Excuse me," says the woman, her tone dry and deadpan. She only continues when it's clear she has the attention of at least the two men if not the two girls. "Give me your money."

This keeps getting better and better. Tabitha perks an eyebrow upwards, as one of her ears swivels to face backwards, and keep a… well, keep a listen on Echo. The two men pause in their advance on the rat girl, and after a jaw-dropping moment, burst out laughing. "Sure thing, you can suck our dicks after we're done here and then we'll give you some money," the bigger of the two declares. "Fiona," Tabitha murmurs while this is going on, "I need what's in my car and I'm not leaving it. Just get back, this might get—" Anything Tabitha's about to say is cut off, as the larger man steps forwards and swings a wild haymaker towards her face. The rat girl ducks under it, then jumps to the side to avoid an uppercut; then it's duck again, duck, sidestep, reposition, and sidestep. After allowing the man to miss again, the swift rat snaps her right hand upwards, pummeling her fist into the man's kidney; the action is followed by a kick that starts at the hip and drives her foot into his other kidney, and the maneuver is finished off by taking hold of his wrist, then gripping his forearm just so, as Tabitha uses her body as a fulcrum to fling the man over her shoulder and through the air, to a hard landing at Echo's feet.

Fiona quickly ducks behind the car as fists start flying, keeping one of her purple eyes on Echo and the other one the fight that's going on. As much as she can, anyway! "That's right! Get 'im Tabs!" she cheers her friend on; for whatever reason she doesn't seem to be helping out that much with those magic powers of hers…

The woman in black doesn't even move, though the slight side-to-side movement of her head indicates that she's following the action. The bill of her cap dips downwards as one of the toughs lands in a heap at her feet. She crouches slowly, one hand extended toward him. "You misunderstand me," she says coolly, wrapping the hand around his throat directly underneath his jaw. "It wasn't a request." The woman straightens, hauling the man up to his feet and then completely off the ground. Lifting him into the air as if he were nothing, she allows his own body weight do the choking for her.

The thug, finding himself hoisted up in the air, lifts both hands to grab at Echo's fingers and try to pry them off his throat. It doesn't seem to be working. His legs kick in the air in sudden panic, while he continues to claw at Echo's arm and fingers, and choked attempts to speak gurgle out of his throat. It probably isn't too hard to discern where his money is, though; there's a big, heavy silver chain leading into one of his pockets. Meanwhile, Tabitha seems to be responding well to Fiona's cheering, and levels a swift kick at the second man's knee, not waiting for him to attack her first. The man yelps, and drops down towards the ground; the rat girl catches him half-way, and executes a similar maneuver as before, except this time she throws him straight at the side of the truck he came out of. He hits the side of the vehicle with a resounding clang; and after a moment's pause, he gets up and hobbles his way back towards the driver's door.

"Hey… y-you're not gonna kill him, are you?" Fiona blinks wide-eyed at Echo, now that the /first/ altercation is pretty much over, "You should put 'im down," she suggests, trying to diffuse the situation while still trying to also maintain a safe distance. "I mean I know they're a couple of douches, but that's no cause to kill anybody…" she chides. As much as she WOULD like to give them a swift kick in the arse! "Then we can all just have a good evening free of blood and guts and felonies! It'll be fine!"

Desperate fingers clawing at her hand, they don't even seem to draw blood from the woman in black. "I'll put him down." Twisting at the waist and suddenly putting her legs into the motion, she whips the man one-handed at the truck as well. First there is a ripping sound, then a sickening crunch and the rattle of pellets of safety glass showering the street from the broken passenger side window. True to her word, she did put him down: half in and half out, headfirst through the side window. Swinging gently like a pendulum in her other hand, another wallet on a chain complete with a ripped belt loop still attached.

The still conscious man pulls his buddy into the truck rather unceremoniously, before putting his foot down on the gas and peeling rubber to get out of there. As the truck rockets away down the street, Tabitha produces a cellphone from one of her pockets; she tosses it through the air towards Fiona, and it's a good thing it's in a protective case, in case Fiona turns out not to have any catching ability. "Fiona, stay back," the rat girl advises. "If anything happens hit the quick-dial marked 'emergency', tell the operator who you are, where we are, and what's happening." After passing this instruction, the rat girl takes a measured step towards Echo, and lifts one hand to point at her. "That was not necessary," she declares. "I had them under control, and certainly wasn't going to hurt them that bad. That was way out of line."

"Right!" Fiona nods, catching the phone and fumbling with it for a moment before she gets a good grip on it. Where did her sandwiches go? Oh. Over there. Smashed by a random douchebag truck. Sad. At any rate, it's been at LEAST a month since she's been involved in any crazy superhero antics! That must be a record. But it also makes her feel a little rusty and nervous. "Tabs, be really careful. Something seems really off about her."

The woman in black stares blankly back at Tabitha. Maybe. Her eyes are completely in shadow. The wallet chain in her left hand swings back and forth gently. Wordlessly, she extends her right hand, open and palm up.

"I'm not giving you any money." Tabitha comes to a stop just out of Echo's reach; her hands hover at her sides, though her stance certainly suggests she's had training, even if her prior performance wasn't an indicator. "In case it's not obvious, I'm a mutant. You'll find me significantly more dangerous than either of them." She inclines her head in the direction of the truck, now visible only as two red points off in the distance. She pauses, and sniffs the air lightly; and her eyes narrow. "Fiona, make that call, now. Tell them that Patches says we have a hostile, possibly augmented individual in Hell's Kitchen."

Fiona dials in on the phone how she was told to, chattering away into the device. "Who is this? This is me! I mean. Fiona. I mean. It's Patches. She says… there's a hostile, probably augmented woman here. I think. Yeah…" She stammers. "Tabitha, I think we should just run! If my teacher finds out about this she's gonna be soooo mad…" she glances upwards at a window on a somewhat nearby apartment building. A real shabby one. "There's also something I forgot to tell you…" she adds in a tiny little voice, barely above a whisper.

The woman's head tips back and slightly to the side, the angle of shadows altering just enough to bring one of her eyes into light. "Don't," she warns Fiona without turning her head to look at her. But as the words start to spill out across the cellular connection, the woman gives a surprisingly human sigh of frustration and disappointment. A soft whine emanates from seemingly nowhere, rising rapidly in pitch past the point of human, or even meta-human hearing, like the sound a muted television makes in a quiet room. It takes barely a second. The cell phone's reception changes rapidly in response. Three bars out of four, two, one. NO SIGNAL. "It seems to me," the woman says, indifferently looking away from Tabitha to start digging at the contents of the wallet. "That you're the hostile one."

"I got run off the road by two jerks who wanted to beat me up; I meant to send them on their way with a few bruises to teach 'em a lesson. You nearly killed one of them," Tabitha points out. She takes a couple of steps, to move herself in between the strange woman and Fiona. "And you're going around robbing people. Between the two of us, you're the one who's caused greater damage and committed crimes, so get down of your goddamn high horse." She crosses her arms beneath her breasts, and perks an eyebrow as she glares at Echo. "I'd suggest you get going back the way you came," she adds. "I won't follow. But any funny business towards Fiona or I, and I will hurt you. Fair warning."

"Taaabitha, the phone, it's not working!" Fiona informs her, firmly and insistently. Why isn't she stepping up and helping? That's really not like her. Not like her at all! "Tabs! Why don't we just go to my place? Neh?"

Eyes back fully in shadow, the woman's head lifts slowly after she tosses the empty wallet into the nearby alley. She's grinning. "You beat up the people who wanted to beat you up, and that's fair to you. I rob the people who wanted to rob me," the woman says, indicating the alley with a flick of her head. "And now it's a crime. You have lovely standards. Very equitable." Her stance changes, folding her arms in mimicry of Tabitha and shifting her weight casually to one foot. "So I shouldn't expect a thank you? Or do you want to beat me up?"

Tabitha perks an eyebrow upwards. "I didn't see what happened in the alley, so I won't comment," she replies, "But that guy didn't do anything to you. Maybe he *deserved* getting his ass kicked, but he didn't deserve what you did to him." She inclines her head, and drops her hands back to her sides, as she takes another step to keep herself between Fiona and Echo. "Thank you for what? I didn't need your help, you just screwed things up worse than they needed to be."

The woman in black pockets the small roll of green bills and drops her hands as well. "I see," she says impassively. Touching the brim of her cap with thumb and forefinger, she takes an exaggerated step backwards, turning on a boot heel with a gritty noise and starting to walk away.

Tabitha watches Echo commence her departure, and stands still for several seconds. Afterwards, she backsteps herself, and moves towards Fiona, all the while keeping her eye on the retreating woman. "Fiona? How's that call going?" The rat girl pauses, and sighs. "Twice in two nights, Tony Stark is gonna think I'm trying to have a field day or something."

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