Ally or Enemy?

June 08, 2015:

Jesana meets with John and Pepper and a stranger appears seek info on HYDRA

A little Italian Bistro

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Pepper Potts says, "Well, he needs to be in that place sooner rather than later. I heard on the news about the water treatment plant a day or so ago. That green-haired madman is now wreaking havoc in Manhattan." Pepper and Constantine are sitting on the open-air patio of a little Italian bistro, food on the table between them but neither appear to be eating at the moment."

There's a sudden growl off to the side. Jes had been looking for John and she can usually find who she's looking for. "I want to kill that freak. Seriously!" She blinks in surprise and covers her mouth. "Sorry I didn't mean to interupt." She eyes their lunch and blinks again. "Um. I can find you later." Jes smiles at John and then looks Pepper over. "I'm glad you're out of the hospital!"

John reaches for his jacket pocket for a silvery cigarette wallet, digging out a smoke and flaring it to crisp life with a snap of his brass Zippo. "Trust me, luv. In the grand scheme of things, he'll be paid back a thousand times over for every hurt he's ever inflicted," he asssures Pepper.

Abruptly, Jesana appears, and John jumps. "Blimey, luv! Don't sneak up on me like that!" he scolds Jesana, though he can't suppress an affectionate smile. "You'll give me a heart attack. How do you know Pepper?" he asks, looking from the coyote shapeshifter to the redhead.
Pepper also startles at the sudden growl and just as quickly winces, her hand going to her shoulder as if of its own accord. "Uh, hi, Jesana." It takes her a moment to recover, but now she's starting to smile a cheshire cat smile at Constantine. She knows something you don't know.
"Sorry!" Jes ducks her head and kisses John's cheek. "I forget how quiet I can be. I met Lady Pepper with Zee. She comes to visit us at Shadowcrest sometimes." Jes looks down at her feet for a moment and then back at Pepper. "I'm sorry I couldn't between you in time. That crazy woman came out of no where and got in the way. I would have been fast enough if not for that."

"All's forgiven, luv," John grins, kissing Jesana's cheek in return. He scoots a chair out for her, lounging indolently in his own seat with an ankle tossed over his knee. "I didn't know you and Zee were acquainted, Pepper," John remarks, looking to the redhead with a wary expression as she offers that cheshire smile.

Pepper Potts drops the cheshire smile again the instant Jesana gives away how she and Pepper know each other, and she reaches for her tea again. Ugh. It's already gone cold. "Yes. We met… I don't remember exactly, but she's a good friend." And the only reason the Pepper doesn't run screaming the other way anytime magic is mentioned in her presence.

Jes looks a little a puzzled but she smiles and blushes every so slightly at being called a good friend. She admires and is in awe of Pepper. "How is your friend? She held up really well." Jes's eyes narrow. She's a lot of time the past few days trying to figure out what she could have done differently and not coming up with anything. "I wish I had been able to do better." She leans over and pat's John's cheek. "You or Zee would have been a lot better there than I was."

"Can't be everywhere, luv," John tells Jesana, but he smiles despite himself at her touch. "As much of a evil bastard as this Joker nutter is, he's just a man. Any sodding jerk with decent aim could kill him if he had a mind. But I need to be on alert for these bloody Darque followers. Don't want to be caught with my pants down while they're hunting." He drags heavily on his handrolled cigarette, ignoring the muttered looks and foul gazes given him by the other members of the diner patio. He eats another french fry, without much enthusiasm.
"She's… keeping busy with her business," Pepper replies to Jesana when she asks about Babs. It's kind of a non-answer, but the best she can offer at this moment. John's commend about 'Darque', whatever that is, earns him a glance, but not much more. "Jesana, would you like something while we're here?" She's pretty much done eating, but that doesn't mean she'll dispense with niceties.

Jes is frowning at John's lack of appetite when she notices the looks people are giving him. She looks down for a moment and when her head raises there's a wild dangerous look on her face. She stares at everyone looking over at them, an aura of incipient violence about her and its only a matter of moments before those people find something new to look at. One of them even gets up and hurries away. Jes settles back and grins with satisfaction. The bit of coyote she let surface fades away. "I just had some ra-uh..ravioli!." Yeah that sounds better than rabbits right?

Dress up in Little Italy. Speaking of something else to look at, if any should glance out toward the street they will see a figure in all black, a metal rebreather pulled over the woman's face, chitinous armor menacing and otherwordly. Behind her is a gaggle of children that the adults have not thought to pull away, and a crowd of good souls who study this stranger with the appropriate amount of suspicion. One already has a cellphone out in their hands, speaking into it rapidly.

The slim silhouette turns away from the restaurant and toward the children, tilting her head as they babble questions, curiosity drawing them in like a cat.

"Tsst." John reaches up and tweaks the base of Jesana's neck when he sees her start to hackle at people, eyes darting around. Something's amiss. John has long learned to trust his instincts, and New York has a voice and a rhythm that a keen ear can pick up on.
"What the bloody hell-?" he asks, craning his neck to look at the shadowered figure, rising slowly. He reaches into his pocket for a length of thin, glittering chain that radiates magic, wrapping it around his left fist before he starts to cautiously walk towards the alien. "Stay here," he orders Pepper and Jesana, face hard set.
Pepper Potts frowns slightly at Jesana's starting to hackle at the other people nearby, but then John's up and going to… ow. She can't turn her head that far in that direction. "What's he doing, Jesana?"

Jes stares at his back for a few seconds in dismay but it quickly turns to a grin as she realizes she isn't compelled to obey. She does look over at Pepper though. Jes will dare a lot of things but giving Pepper orders isn't one of them. She's also pretty sure that Pepper will work to get help here faster and not try to fight that..but if she does she'll be smart about it. "Its some kind of person in some kind of armored suit by a bunch of children." Jes says as she gets up. "I have to help…the kids..and him." She gives John's back a worried look. "Be careful, please?" She calls to Pepper as she darts across the street.

Faora-Ul lowers herself to one knee, extending a gloved hand to one of the dark-haired children. The peers pester and cajole, and the bravest(or the one most easily swayed in the group) comes forward and reaches out as well with a bright smile. Whatever might have happened is cut short when a woman races forward and scoops the child into her arm, fearfully backing away from the armored alien.
Faora-Ul looks up, rising to her feet, and the rebreather hisses as it folds back into her suit. Short dark hair and regal features, light shimmering off a vector field that settles near the skin. She spots the motion past the crowd, the approaching Nighteyes and Constantine demanding her attention. Most drew away from her, but they are approaching her as fearlessly as the children had. "Greetings."

John is very possibly the poster boy for classic noire looks in comics. A tumbleweed blowing across the street wouldn't look out of place when backdropping the grim set of his jaw.
"Don't recognize you, luv," John says politely, cigarette emitting a steady stream of smoke from the corner of his mouth. "But you're giving the little ones a bit of a turn. You new in town?" he asks, his path maneuvering to a location that'd be largely free of bystanders.

Jes keeps behind him, doing the same thing and not wanting to be a distraction. Her eyes are darting around taking in the children, the bystanders and the fact this is a busy area in broad daylight and if she needs to shift..well that's going to be a really bad thing. Why aren't these people herding the children away? Jes makes a few ushering gestures towards anyone who looks like a parent. Maybe the suit person isn't dangerous but she doubts it. Who walks around in that kind of thing for clothing?

Meanwhile, Faora's suit is something straight out of a war movie. When the rebreather was on, she was the cold alien conquerer here for blood and dominion over earth. Now, even with her face exposed, there is a coldness in her smile that is perhaps more alarming than the metal she wears. "Yes." The way they move speaks clearly of their intentions, or their fear of her own, and the smile fades. Some of the adults finally find their will and step forward to pull the children away as well. A distant siren might spell trouble in the near future. "Are you afraid?" Fiora-Ul takes a step forward, and she is very much aware of the bubble of humanity that encloses her.

John /laughs/. "Luv, trust me when I say you can't do anything to scare me. I had that burned out of me a long, long time ago. At best I get a bit knackered. …or upset." He faces Faora with a resolute confidence, a sly, knowing grin on his face. It's the look of a man who knows he's not just fast on the draw, but backed up by a Delta Force team. "Why do you ask? Ought I be afraid?" he challenges, the wind tugging at the lapels of his duster. He digs a cigarette out of his pocket and lights up with a flame that seemingly burns from his thumbnail.

Jes isn't distracted, exactly but she is watching John with admiration and a grin. She's not afraid either, at least not for herself. She never is, that had been trained out of her years ago. "Finally." Jes mutters as people get the kids out of the way. Morons. She'd stopped counting the number of ways of stupid most of these city people are somewhere around 70 and that had just been during her first week here. Her eyes move to travel over the strange woman and her armor, looking for weak or exposed spots that she could bite and tear at.

"I do not care." Fiora admits, "It would seem that I have finally found someone who may have answers, instead of squeaks and averted eyes." The sirens continue to get louder, as the patrol unit turns onto the street, but she ignores it. "HYDRA. What do you know of them?" Well, that's a word you don't just share in casual conversation, and especially one they likely weren't expecting.
Her armor has the weak spots you usually place, the joints covered in a thinner mesh, knees seem especially vulnerable. Like anyone, take their knees out, and suddenly they don't seem nearly as scary.

Faora looks at Jes, and her smile widens. That smile says, 'I know'. It also says, 'Try me.'
John snaps his fingers at Jesana, gesturing curtly for her to back away. His eyes never leave Faora. "They aren't terribly popular around this area, luv," John informs Faora, stll fingering the chain in his left pocket. "Why do you ask?" he inquires, shifting his weight a bit. He stays firmly focused on the alien woman, refusing to break eye contact with her.

Jes is indeed at John's side now. The mention of HYDRA brought out a snarl and a few leaping strides towards him. She's coiled and ready to attack but then stops and steps back. Only one step though. Her mind isn't clouded like when she's with Zee and its a lot easier to think. If this woman is an enemy of HYDRA then maybe she'll be an ally. "They are foul evil men who need to be wiped from the face of the earth before they destroy it all in their effort to remake things to their ideal."

"They are not well received where /I/ am from. Now, do you know anything or not?" Faora says, finally looking away from Jes and back to John. The cop car shrieks to a halt, sirens blaring, and the Kryptonian looks to the men in blue as they step out of the car with nervous expressions. "You do know them. What is your name, girl? You sound like Kara-El. Black and white, everything… fitting neatly in its box. Your friend does not agree. I can see it in his eyes."
"Hold right there!" The two police officers incoming step between Faora and her source of information, and her smile fades completely. "Move."

John hisses under his breath when the officers pull up. "Section 7 is covering this, boys," he says, producing a badge holder from his pocket and flashing it at the men. "Now, fall back fifty met- yards and give me a perimeter. Stand by," he orders, his tone sternly authoritative and absolutely believeable.
John exhales and looks back at Faora. "All right, luv, that's enough. You're scaring the bloody piss out of everyone here. You're big, you're scary, we all see that. And you've a bone to pick with HYDRA. I think we can accomodate you. Can we go somewhere more private to talk it over?"

Jes looks startled as the wind blows the woman's scent to her nose. Then she mentions Kara. "I. Am. Nothing Like Her!" The indian woman snarls and steps forward. THe cops arrival stop her for a moment. She doesn't want them to get hurt but she's also not their biggest fan since they kidnapped her. She's very glad John makes them go away. "I do not protect HYDRA. I hunt them. I kill them." She glares at the strange woman. "I am Coyote. Who are you, Alien stranger?"

Faora is given a choice. Indulge in senseless violence. Or receive the intel she is clearly invested in. That it even takes a second should be enough to warn insightful minds - that her armor does not only protect her skin, but is the proverbial color coating of the rattle snake: Strange; Beautiful; Deadly.
"Agreed." She looks to Coyote, and nods. "Good. Then we may yet come to terms. Children of El hide their brutality behind what they would call mercy. I appreciate that you are not so weak of character You may call me whatever you wish." Which is certainly not going to be something she regrets. "Now. Where are we going?" The rebreather hisses as it slides up, the black 'iron' mask leaving her faceless once more.

John looks around with a set of his jaw. Damnit. Options are few and far between. "Jes," he says, turning to the girl. "I need you to stay. Calm everyone down. And tell Zatanna where I went if…" he trails off, leaving it unsaid. Pulling the girl roughly to him, he kisses her, then breaks off and walks towards Faora.
"Just away from the rabble," he says, adopting a coolly British indifference. "I'll meet you on top of that building in three minutes," he says, nodding at a twelve-story building nearby. "See you in a trice."

Jes's eyes widen. She turns and gives the alien a hard look. "Do not harm him. He has nothing to do with HYDRA." Then she turns and stalks over to the cops and people gathering. One of her skills is the ability to lie so convincingly it might as well be truth. She doesn't do it often but here it will come in handy and she starts explaining they were rehearsing a scene for a movie, they didn't mean to alarm anyone.

"I am no Child of El either, girl." Faora's voice has lost all traces of its humanity, her soft lilting accent replaced by the inhuman vocalizer. She is not so crude as to spell out what that, on the surface simple but incredibly complex when examined, statement means. Imagination will fill in the rest.
Faora-Ul looks to the building in question, ignoring the lover's last kiss, and takes in a breath. Fwooooom! Where she was standing is empty, presumably abandoned for the rooftop liason with her unexpected new informant. He has three minutes.

John walks towards a door and knocks on it in a peculiar fashion, then opens it onto the interior of House. "Bloody hell, I hope this works," he mutters. Then she steps inside, and vanishes.

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