Pushing Metahuman

May 21, 2015:

A peaceful rally against the metahuman scanner turns out not to be

New York


NPCs: None.


Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

The news of the K-Squads Meta-scanners has not been greeted with, shall we say, universal approbation. And there's a rally today against 'invasive policing' in Prospect Park attended by a number of mutants and more mundane activists who are always concerned about this kind of thing. After all, the activist thinks, if they can do it to one group…

There's a fairly significant police presence about which is prudently keeping its distance. Thankfully it's unlikely to get too violent, as this is the NYPD and not the NYSRD (which has a bad rep in the mutant community) or the K-Squad itself.

Bobby's watching from a distance, mostly here to make sure that things stay on an even keel. It's a fairly big crowd, upwards of a six or seven hundred, which always draws a bit of concern. Probably about a third of them are mutants.

Brinleys by Bobby's side, he tapped her on his way out and suggested she come along. Leaning against a tree, arms folded across her chest, hair pulled up in a ponytail wearing jeans and a button shirt she looks quite normal. "What's your take on the mood?" the brunette lets her mind reach out, touching the emotions as she speaks.

In fairness, sometimes one group leads to another. No one is marrying box turtles yet, except other box turtles though. Even if mutants are an obvious group for monitoring, other groups can cause the police consternation. Lunair is curious, seeing what's going on in the park. And maybe she's trying to keep an eye on things. She's dressing more normally from her usual frillmonster get up. Also, she's stopping by to get a fountain drink here or there. Mmm, drink.

Janet is very tiny, wasp sized, sitting on a tree limb above all of the X-Reds she spotted in the crowd. They seem likely to be here to keep the peace and not stir up anything. Heroes and all. So she is hanging out near them for the moment.

Pepper Potts is NOT an activist. She's got quite enough on her plate already. She IS, however, stuck in traffic because of this rally. She agrees with the reasons for the protest, but she knows that SI's partners and investors would very likely not care one bit why she's late to a meeting she called. Thus, in an attempt to do an end run around the gridlock, she tells her driver that she'll get a cab on the other side of the mess and disembarks. The area might be crazy busy, but at least it's not so bad that she's stuck in one place like the car is. And, she can improvise. Walking as briskly as possible, she resorts to hopping up onto and walking along a low brick wall at one point to get around a group of protestors.

"Probably not as insightful as yours." Bobby grins to Brinley. "They seem calm enough though. If… passionate." There's some chanting going on. Bobby hates activist chanting. No matter how worthy the cause (and he supports this one) it always winds up sounding kind of dumb. Indeed, the emotional energy of the crowd is buzzing, as Brinley can tell quite will. And then… well then there's a shift. A subtle spark. Someone starts to stand out. Someone upset. Someone, indeed, rather angry.

Lunair and Janet have a better angle. Someone's pushing his way to the front of the crowd. A young man. He's not an obvious mutant, if he is one at all. Dark enough to be hispanic or perhaps mixed descent. Short hair. Maybe in his mid twienties, like many here.

Pepper can feel the buzz of the crowd kind of… shift, as someone steps in front. She, however, does not have a good view.

"Heads up" Brinley pushes herself upright, frowning as she focusses on that change. "Someone's upset … and… this might be ugly." Still not moving from their position, she tries to pin point it. "Want me to go high?"

Huh. What's up with that dude? Lunair seems puzzled as a guy pushes his way to the front. The shift in the crowd is puzzling and quietly concerning. She sips her drink and frowns. Is that Pepper? An energetic wave over! She watches now, concerned.

Janet van Dyne notes down to the X-Red "I'll go take a look." and she pushes off from the branch, buzzing by Bobby and Brinley who may not have known she was there, and then zipping along up in the air above the crowd.

Pepper Potts pauses as she feels something shift, a bit like Fenris' usual aura of 'I will eat you with ketchup' but in more of a 'this rally is about to become a riot' sort of way. She pauses, still standing on the low brick wall and looks around, but doesn't see anything immediately. Well, other than Lunair waving hello. She waves back to her. Hello, lady!

Brinley feels a push from somewhere out front of the crowd and people's emotional state begin to go from 'passionate' to 'upset.' Bobby and Brin and Janet are far back enough that they're not affected, but Pepper and Lunair might feel something. The crowd starts murmuring angrily. "Are we going to stand for the police invading our privacy while they claim to keep us safe?" The man at the front shouts. The crowd watches him, still buzzing.

"We all know why they're doing this!" He keeps going. "They're afraid. Afraid that the PEOPLE are going to get powers they finally can't control. They're afraid that we'll be embraced. So they have to shut us down." More angry murmuring.

"Oh. That's not good. Brin what's going on? Get eyes if you can. I'm headed up there. On foot. No need to draw more attention than I need to."

Brin glances up as Janet speaks and smiles faintly before blanching as the push is felt. "Someone's manipulating the crowd…." A moments concentration and large green and gold wings, made of energy, appear on the young womans back. Taking the opposite side of the crowd, Mana tries to pinpoint where the push came from.

Lunair is aware on some level, even if her facial expression gives her the appearance of being totally lost and confused. Or neutral. Something is off and odd. Embraced? They're mutants, not vampires! She'd have to be their moms to give them powers and that thought alone gives her a headache. She's not likely to have Skaar's kid at least. As far as she KNOWS, at any rate. Nevertheless, things are getting prickly. She smiles to Pepper, concerned and looks to and after her. If things get hairy…

Wasp stays pretty high above the crowd getting her better look. When she feels the twist on her emotions, or rather when she feels herself start to get angry as well… she flies up higher with a very concerned expression.

Pepper Potts actually shivers slightly as the Fenris-like sensation goes from 'maybe a riot about to happen' to 'these people are IN MY WAY'. That is bad. Very bad. She has no reason at all to be annoyed by this rally. Logically, it's not like they are doing this JUST to make her late. She frowns faintly, forcefully dismisses that strangely misplaced anger, then steps down off of the brick wall to approach Lunair. "I think things are about to turn ugly here," she tells the young woman in a tense voice. "We should probably get clear."

Wasp and Brinley have a very good view of people starting to get restless. Oddly, that PUSH isn't coming from the man out front. It's coming from somewhere in the middle of the crowd. There. The one spot of stillness as people start to get agitated. An older man, standing with his head bowed.

Another push of anger goes out. "WE ARE THE PEOPLE! AND WE CAN'T BE CONTROLLED OR CONTAINED!" The man out front is screaming now and the crowd seems on the edge of violence. All it needs is a spark.

"Woah…" Bobby's voice comes over the X-Com. "I felt that… Brin, Wasp, tell me you have something. This is going to get out of hand." He's approaching someone who looks fami- "Lunair? PEPPER?!" Panic time.

Brinley snarls as the wave of anger washes over her… throwing her back to just after her Paragon days. With extreme effort the woman with the energy wings, focusses her thoughts "I felt it, Bobby." Her voice is tight under the strain of her control. "In the middle. Older guy, head down. I'm going in." Maybe her judgement is slightly impaired…

Letting her wings guide her in, Brinley's going to try and land directly behind the guy…

Okay, that's a little bit odd. Lunair feels vaguely grumpy. "Hi!" She returns to Bobby. She stays near Pepper, nodding. "Yeah, people are getting angry. Let me know if you need protection," She murmurs. Lunair is going to keep to where she is and avoid the Grumps. She's going to watch for people, and stay by Pepper. Maybe she's debating dubstep vs Twerker mentally.

Wasp doesn't have a comm for X-Red, she should have Hank work on a comm that can tap into other teams in proximity or some such. No worry there right. At the buffet of emotions she curses, a very unladylike noise, and then she spirals quite a bit higher to keep overwatch and get clear. She can ZZt someone from this height…

Pepper Potts almost visibly bristles as gets even more irrationally angry. Sadly, the only one she can take it out on at the moment is Lunair. "No. We're leaving. Now." She even dares to grab the younger woman by the arm to pull her away from the rally area. And then Bobby's sounding all startled at seeing them, and she looks at him with angry narrowed eyes. "Mr. Drake, please stay out of my way." And if he does, and if Lunair allows, she's dragging the kid with her away from the gathered crowd as fast as the current population of the park will permit. And without running. Running is undignified, even if she IS angry enough to yell at someone.

The man up front, the man who had been yelling, narrows his eyes. "What? Are you on THEIR side?" He points to the NYPD cordon a ways off that looks like it's in the process of radioing for backup. "You want to see JACKBOOTS on the doors of innocent families? You wanna see CONCENTRATION CAMPS? You SCARED of what the people can do?" He turns to the crowd. "THEY'RE THE ONES WHO SHOULD BE SCARED!!" The front rows of the incipient mob roar. "DO YOU WANNA SHOW THEM WHY?!"

As one the crowd roars again.

Brin's hot approach clears a ring and the older man, maybe in his fifties, turns to look up. "Ah. X-Man. You shouldn't be here you know. It could get… dangerous." He focuses more on Brinley. Directly. But this time what he sends is hopelessness and despair.

And then he throws out his hand and sends out a telekinetic blast.

That one bit of violence sets the crowd off. Anyone identified as different is instantly a target. Bobby throws up a wall around Pepper and Lunair. Well. A half wall. He doesn't get it all before some one grabs at him and then he's got much, much bigger problems.

Already identified as one of 'them' people lunge at Pepper from in front (where they're blocked) and behind. Janet has a lovely view of it all starting to go to hell as the 'speaker' and several of the mob charge at the man who just dared challenge them.

Brinley cries out in despair, memories from the incident fresh in her mind and she's thrown backwards, tumbling through the air as the blast hits her. Landing with a heavy thud in a knot of people behind her, the brunette metahuman tries to clear her head and regain her feet.

Lunair is being hauled along by Pepper. Her eyes widen a bit. "I haveto help manage the crowd," She's being dragged and is loathe to struggle too hard against the Pep. But then, people are trying to grab at Pepper now and Brinley. "No - ack!" If Pepper consents to it, Lunair will cover her in power armor. "Stop you guys! She's not bad!" Lunair is trying and will try to make her way to Brinley, but protecting Pepper may slow her considerably.

Wasp … can contain the crowd one way but she hates doing that. "Mental note. Get hank to make pym particle grenades to minimize mobs.. minimize.. hah….." she looks around then decides to go for the problem. She fires a Wasp Sting directly down at the problem causer from directly above. ZZZT

Pepper Potts stops abruptly as an ice wall appears in her way, and just as she's turning to give Bobby a piece of her (angry) mind, the crowd rush at her and Lunair. She only has time for her eyes to go wide before people are grabbing at her, and she loses contact with Lunair in the process. Yeah, power armor would be very nice right this moment.

Someone tries to grab Pepper's hair. No one is being gentle. There's a great deal of screaming and punching and kicking. Lunair too is the target of the crowd's ire and Bobby has //completely vanished from view. No wait there he is. He just froze someone's feet and knocked them over, and is in the process of pushing people back with small walls of ice but doing this without hurting anyone is hard.

Especially because he wants to hurt them.

Janet's shock staggers the troublemaker, which may give Brinley time to recover. Sirens start screaming, but it'll be a moment before anyone gets there. The telepath starts casting out, looking for Janet's mind instead of her body (which he can't see). "I know you're out there…"

Brin pulls herself upright, kicking the person behind who's tried to grab her, the brunette is still not thinking clearly. It takes a moment for her to find the telepath again and then she's running head long at him… no powers in use, just a physical attack to tackle and try and overpowering him. She's angry enough that this just might work.

If there's one thing she's learned, many with powers forget there are other ways to be hurt and taken out.

Oh crap. This has gone from bad to worse. Lunair will cover herself and Pepper in sleek power armor so they're safe from most pummeling. She reaches again for Pepper, not too bothered by the ice wall. Bobby has awesome ice control. He wouldn't stalagmite anyone senselessly. Lunair will try to push people away by hand. She really doesn't want to escalate, despite a burning urge for violence inside. "Why am I so ANGRY!?" Like those BIRDS?!

Well Janet is really hoping Brin manages to distract sir psychopath, I mean sir telepath there. She pivots and gets in lower back a ways behind them both. Hopefully he isn't radiating the amp now that everyone has been cut loose and he is zapped up and maybe tackles. She will raise a tiny tiny fist and ZZZZT The guy from behind.. she hopes to not ZZT Brin in the same flare.

Pepper Potts takes a few hits and a really painful hair-pulling before she's covered in armor thanks to Lunair. It takes her a second to recover from the shock, and then she's trying to convey to the young weapons and armor-creator, "Make the sleep, Lunair!" as she's trying to shove them away as well. She … might not be as gentle about it as she could.

Bobby creates a three quarter dome around him as folks lunge at him. He's holding his side. Being non-lethal sucks sometimes. And he's bleeding. A lot.

"I kind of hate my life right now."

The crowd is indeed feeling confused. As Brinley tackles the man down and Janet zzts him - again - his loses focus. He hasn't quite lost consciousness yet but hte people still fighting look a lot less certain about why they're doing it.

Brin lands hard as she tackles the older man, fortunately avoiding Janets zzts'…. drawing back her hand, she closes her fist and brings it down hard against the side of his jaw. "Owww…. that hurt." If the first hit doesn't do it… she'll hit him again.

Poor Bobby! Lunair looks worried. "H-hang on!" Pause. "Hey, can you zap that bleeding guy with this?" She asks Pepper, giving Pepper the MediGun. Someone who plays Team Fortress or TF2 might catch on that it's a healing gun. If Pep can zap Bobby with it… that'd be healy! Otherwise, it's time for glitter and sparkles because say hello to the pixie duster. She waves the adorable wand, creating clouds of sleepy goodness. Sleep, angry rioters, sleep.

This time Janet swaps it up. She can clearly see that Brinly is trying to knock the guy out. She expects him to probably lash out with TK. She also has even money on him to be looking for a mind intending to ZZT him and instead she zips in, focused on Brinly and pulls up at the last moment to try to deliver one hell of a goodnight tap to the back of the guy's head like a good old wasp-sized blackjack. Pow! There to help Brin with the villain of the hour.

Pepper Potts takes the strange weapon from Lunair, and while the weapon-maker doing her best Sandman imitation, she looks around, spots Bobby and hesitates. Lunair said to zap him. Please be the right thing to do. Please be the right thing to do. *zzzzat* What kind of sound effect DOES a medi-gun make? Pepper is clearly NOT familiar with Team Fortress. Whatever that is.

The punch knocks the telepath out. What to do with him… is a good question. Cops are coming though and it's a fairly safe bet the assembly will be told to disperse. It did just get a bit disorderly. Pepper is released and people seem to be staring at her. One of them has a knife… trying to figure out why he'd been trying to cut her out of the armor. It hadn't been working well.

Bobby seems to straighten up. And a lot of the ones Lunair dusts head right to the sandman's domian. "Pepper, you okay? Lunair? We should get out of here. BRINLEY?!"

"Here Bobby." With the telepath knocked out, Brinley's temper abating and she's feeling the effects of the last few minutes. Knuckles bruised and the skin breaking over them, the brunette pulls herself to her feet wincing. She's not going to check but she's sure she's going to be black and blue tomorrow.

Limping towards Bobby and the others, she looks grim. "Did you want to do something with him, Bobby or just leave him here. I vote we just go."

Pepper Potts also moves toward Bobby, stumbling a bit as the armor Lunair created for her disappears again. She looks about as bad as the others, her hair in complete disarray, her clothing disheveled, and at least one bruise already starting to show against the pale skin of her face. "What on earth…?" Oh, and so much for getting to that meeting. Just wonderful.

"Telepath, Pepper. Or an empath. Wanted the crowd to riot. Leave him Brin. The crowd'll be breaking up and we can't very well drag him off with all these people here." And 'officer, this man was controlling people's minds' just isn't going to fly. "Are you hurt bad?"

Mostly Brins hard won sanity has been damaged but she's not sharing that with anyone. "Bruised at least, but I'll get it checked out when we're safe." Looking at Pepper, Brin winces at the bruise "Can you walk Miss Potts? Our car is over this way." Come to think of it "Where's Dimitri, Miss Potts?"

"I…" Pepper touches her face with one hand and winces slightly, then says incongruously, "My scalp hurts." It's possible she's getting a bit shocky. "Dmitri?" She looks at Brinley confusedly. How does she know about Dm…oh. Metropolis. Right. …maybe? "He's, um…" She looks toward the street nearby, and the now even more snarled than before traffic, what with the emergency vehicles converging on the area and pushing civilian cars out of the way. "There. Somewhere."

Right well… she should come with them. Bobby's got that fairly decided. Also, he needs a bandage. He's still bleeding. "Okay, come on Pepper. Let's get clear and you can give him a call." He nods to Brinley and gets on one side of the now slightly shocked woman and takes her arm. "Lets go."

"You're hurt, Bobby?" Brin feels bad for noticing or asking. Casting a look at Bobby, Brin notes "This isn't going to help our case at all you know. We should be trying to spin this…"

Taking Peppers' other side, Brin wraps an arm around the womans waist. "It's alright, Miss Potts, we'll help you find him." and if worse comes to worse, they'll take Pepper back to Stark Tower and get her assistance.

Pepper Potts lets the others lead her off without protest. Which is… not like her normally. At least she knows both people and trusts Bobby at least a little. She looks at Brinley again, as if still trying to puzzle out where she knows the woman from. And how the woman knows Dmitrti. It was Metropolis, right? Maybe? She's just not sure now.

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