Purifying some purifiers

June 04, 2015:

Local Purifiers and their sympathizers are plotting mischief, but three heroes thwart their plans.

Lower Manhattan - New York City

The southern end of the island of Manhattan is the seat of Wall Street and City Hall. Bounded by the Hudson on the west, the East River on the east, and the harbor to the south, it's a veritable mosaic of smaller, storied neighborhoods that fill in the patchwork south of 14th street. From the arts-friendly, boutique-laden, gentrified areas of Greenwich Village, SoHo, and TriBeCa, to the tenement dwelling, immigrant-filled, working class districts in the Lower East Side, Bowery, Little Italy, Lower Manhattan is one of the most diverse places in the city. Just about anything can be found here, and often is.


NPCs: Local Purifiers, allies to their cause


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

Betsy Braddock is on the hunt. It's evening- the time for predators. The time for shadows. Her dark leotard and dusky skin blend in with the burgeoning night while she races across rooftops, running with long legs that propel her along with a steady, silent flickering of motion. She vaults from one close roof to another and takes off without missing a beat, face stony and set.

Abruptly she cuts across a roof and leaps over an alley, landing against the side of a building like a cat and grabbing a ledge with her gloved fingers for purchase. She hangs by one hand, thirty feet above the dim lighting that illuminate the little paved area between two buildings, and with an effortless control of sinewy muscle, pulls herself to a low squat.

Below, in a space between buildings perhaps a third the size of a basketball court, a dozen men and women are meeting. Most have the look of being blue-collar workers, though one or two more well-heeled individuals are part of the congregation. A handful of tough and dangerous looking individuals wearing black and carrying weapons on their belts stand around the perimeter, keeping a watch out for interlopers.

A man is speaking to them in low tones of quiet emphasis, but against the low background murmur of Manhattan his words resonate down the alley in both directions.

"You've all seen them," the man says, sounding angry. "On the streets. In our faces with their powers, with their superiority complexes. They walk around with these weapons in their bodies and then have the gall to demand that we give them all these rights and protections- give them license to kill and maim and destroy our home!" A low murmur sweeps through the little crowd. "The Purifiers are going to take the US back from these mutant freaks," he says harshly. "And we need your help to do it."

The door to one of the shops opens, and a young man steps onto the sidewalk. In his early-to-mid-twenties, he wears jeans, scuffed tennis-shoes, a dark gray tee-shirt that hangs loosely from his slender frame, and a tweed flat-top cap. He has three cardboard shoe-boxes under one arm. With the other hand, he holds the door open and looks behind him, waiting for another to emerge.

Some of the group in the nearby alley, feeling the surge of adrenaline that often fuels vigilantes, begin to chant, "Purify! Purify! Purify!" The young man frowns and looks back into the shop. «“Bluebird, choose 'debit' and enter my PIN. I hear trouble brewing.”» He beckons for her to hurry and he glances down the street, toward that alley.

In the store a woman at the counter does what was suggested and soon she emerges from the door the man is holding open for her. She is a golden haired woman dressed in khaki capris pants, white peasant shirt decorated with embroidery emerges. A light breeze seems to move around her when she steps out. Her long golden curly tresses have been tame and forced into a braid and then bound up with golden clasps. Around her neck she wears a heavy gold torque and matching gold armbands grace her biceps. In her left hand she carries a reusable shopping bag and in her hand is an apple. She nods her head and quickly steps out. On to the street She turns her head to look down the alley way. "In pocket." She says in heavily accented English that is slow and careful. She then switches to archaic dialect of a dying language. «“What do they shout, it sounds like mob gathering, ready to burn alive a prisoner of war.”»

At the irksome sound of that chant, Betsy scowls. It's a pretty expression, though no one would probably have the guts to tell her that to her face while she's genuinely irritated. The lean, panther-like ninja drops down ten feet to another ledge, smeared against the wall like a grease stain.

One hand goes to the small of her back and she pulls out a cell phone. The screen emits almost no light- just enough for her to see the camera's image- and she takes a burst array of photographs, recording the scene. It takes her just a few moments to get good pictures of all the faces and then she tucks the phone away at the small of her back, in a little pouch that's not visible to anyone not particularly looking for it. The little flood of light from Joshua and Lynwen's position captures her attention briefly and she narrows her eyes at the movement down the alley from her position.

Joshua holds the door until Lynwen has exited the store. « That's close enough,» he answers, still speaking in Welsh. «They're chanting 'Purify.' Unless I miss my guess, they're plotting some mischief that would not be favorable to our friends. I don't know whether we can stop them, but I say that we should try.» He looks at the boxes under his arm, and explains. «I'll leave these with the clerk. If necessary, we'll return and collect them tomorrow. We have other shopping to do.»

«"Are you certain?"» The woman asks. She looks over her shoulder at the clerk. «"Why do you not go and do it, I will wade in and test the water in the pond first?"» She goes she puts the bag over her shoulder and then takes a few steps away from where he is near the door and towards the allay way. «They may just become silent as cricket during the rise of the sun, if they see me, which is not a bad idea, Sunstone.» A few more steps are taken towards the alley.

Betsy leaps from the wall, finally, the chants and the presence of weapons spurring her to action. She plummets almost fifty feet and lands with a deliberate *thump* behind the man inciting the crowd to near-riot.

"If you have an issue with mutants, I suggest you take it up in a more public forum," Psylocke says, cooly, ignoring the guns being trained on her and the gasps of shock and fear from the crowd. "If you have an issue with me, personally… well." She examines her $200 manicure, nails a glossy purple. "I'm more than willing to accomodate a vigorous debate," she offers in an elegantly cultured English accent.

Joshua shakes his head. "Give me a moment," he answers in English. He opens the door and beckons to the clerk, asks her to hold their purchases until they return. He hands her the three boxes and she closes the door. Then he looks to Lynwen. "We'll go together." He adds in Welsh, «"It's easy to hate enemies that you can't ses."» When the noise in the alley rises, he looks to Lynwen. «"We should stop them if we can, before noise turns to blows."» he urges in Welsh. The soles of his tennis shoes glow briefly with a faint blue-white light. Grabbing her hand, he leads her along the street toward the alley. He adds, in a strong British accent, "If they have someone already, we don't want to be too late."

He arrives at the moment when one of the hoodlums brandishes a large baseball bat and snarls, "Oh? We'll debate what happened to your pretty face I use this on it!" Several of his cohorts cheer their support and raises their fists into the air.

"Leave her alone!" Joshua calls to them. "What has she done to you?"

A nod of her head is offered to Joshua and she waits for him. When he takes her hand and elads her into the Ally she nods her head. Following Lynwen comes to a halt when they reach lynch mob, she is careful to keep her back to the open alley. Her moss green eyes seem to be taking everything in. She appears to be waiting at the moment. A wind picks up and seems to swirl around them sending garbage dancing in the wind. A plastic bag full of holes but still able to take flight seems to find its way to one of the weapons and it land on it. The blonde just watches for the time being as she waits.

Betsy doesn't even wait for the man to finish speaking. The moment he gets within a few feet of her, she steps forward in a blur and her wedge heeled boot slashes up and slaps the man across the jaw. It hits him hard, dropping him like a poleaxed ox, and immediately silences everyone standing nearby.

"I'm very fond of my pretty face, thank you," Betsy says primly. She looks to Joshua when he joins the charge, hands clasped loosely behind her back in a posture of supreme confidence and poise. "I'm still willing to make this a civil discussion, of course."

Joshua looks to the young woman, to the once threatening mob, and then to the unconscious man now sprawling on the ground. He pulls his cell phone from his pocket and offers it to Lynwen. "Call the police, but be ready in case they aren't here before trouble hits." Then he starts slowly down the alley. The faint blue-white glow on the soles of his shoes becomes visible in the dark corridor. "Your … friend is still breathing. She could have killed him. She didn't." He nods to Betsy. "I think that you should fear him more. He could not show restraint or discipline. So, what will you choose?"

Taking the cell phone from Joshua Lynwen nods her head. She stares at the phone and then him. The blond turns her head and tilts it to the side. There are the sounds of raven wings beating in the air and then the blond is gone. She just disappears as if she was never there, the phone falls to the ground along with the shopping bag, leaving the two to deal with the purifiers together.

Betsy arches an imperious eyebrow at the crowd of Purifiers and their would-be adherents, coiled as a snake and regal as a Corinthian column. "I think it's time for you all to leave," she informs the civilians, who immediately scatter. The Purifiers proper look at Joshua in fear as the glowing man proceeds down the alleyway, and several of them lose their nerve between Psylocke and Joshua's composure, dropping their guns and running. It leaves two pale-faced guards to back up between Joshua, Psylocke, and the man inciting the riots- who looks ready to panic and bolt, himself.

Joshua watches when the mob begins to disperse. He looks at the assortment of weapons now littering the ground, and guesses, "The police might want these for fingerprints, in case any of the … good citizens are suspects in other confrontations." Then he looks to the woman. "I hope that they didn't harm you, miss," he offers. The sound of huge, beating wings attracts his attention. He looks toward the street in time to see Lynwen disappear in a flash of light, as if a hole opened to swallow her, and then disappeared. He looks to the woman again. "I must be mad!" He exclaims. "Did you see that?"

"I saw it. One moment," Betsy says, forestalling Joshua's questions. She moves to the two men and extends a single gloved finger, pointing between them at the orator. "You. You're coming with me to answer some questions. You two," she says, looking at the men, "can either start running or stay in my way." She looks meaningfully at the unconscious man on the ground, then arches a speculative eye at the two remaining guards, waiting for their move.

When the challenge comes, bullies are often cowards. The pair follow that rule and back away from Betsy toward the street. When they are close almost out of the alley, they turn and bolt past where Lynwen's purse and the cell phone fell. Joshua follows them, but stops to scoop up the purse and the phone. Then he eyes the ringleader. "If I were you, I should consider cooperating. You are outnumbered." He glances to the woman. "I doubt that she called the police before she disappeared. I'll do that unless you've … made some arrangements."

"If you would, sir." Betsy almost curtseys at Joshua, a smoothly controlled gesture, and moves to the man, who backs away with a hoarse scream of fear. Betsy smacks his hands aside as he flails and touches his brow. His eyes roll up into his head and he crumples to the ground in a heap.

"Have them send their SHIELD liasion, too, please," Betsy requests of Joshua in frostily polite tones. "This man is likely highly involved with the Purifier gang. He'll need proper interrogation."

Joshua inclines his head to the woman, and then watches while she 'incapacitates' the remaining villain. "Well done!" he congratulates her. Then he nods his head and pulls a small headset from a pocket while shoving the phone into his other pocket. "With pleasure," he agrees. HeHe paces while placing the call, although he is careful to avoid disturbing the firearms that the would-be attackers dropped. When he has given as much information as possible to the officer at the other end, he returns and nods. "They're on their way, miss," he assures. He looks at the unconscious men and sighs. "I wish that people like this would learn. There are real enemies out there, meaning to real harm."

"These /are/ real enemies," Betsy assures Joshua. "Many of them are violent criminals looking for employment, or sociopaths seeking some kind of validation or ideology to pursue. To be honest, many of them would be in some gang or another- racist, xenophobic, specist, or just violence in general."

She nudges the man with a wedge-heeled boot, then looks at Joshua again. "I don't want to be here when the police show up," she informs him with that haughty demeanour. "I hope I can rely on some discretion from you in being vague about my presence? I don't want to show my hand to the Purifiers quite yet." She glances at him, then bobs her head in something like an aborted curtsey. "Call me Betsy," she suggests. "I'll leave a message for you at the store you came from, tomorrow. I think we should stay in touch." She backs away a pace, then turns and jogs into the shadows on silent feet, vanishing without any more than a skittering sound of papers whirling in her wake.

"I agree. Many of them doubtless have criminal records, which is why I suggest keeping their weapons where they are, for prints and other examinations," Joshua explains. When she mentions her wish to be absent, he inclines his head. "I'll handloe the police, miss. Some secrets should remain secret. Even they know that." He raises his hand with his first tow fingers extended, and gives her a salute. "I'll look forward to it. I'll ask at the shop tomorrow. Until then, be on your way before they arrive." Then he turns his back so that she can slip into the shadows whence she came.

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