Curiousity and Cats

June 13, 2015:

Kitty and Betsy run into Peter Parker in Times Square while Tigra catches their attention on the rooftops. (new Tigra player)

Times Square


NPCs: None.


Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

Times Square is abuzz with activity this time of day, albeit not as brightly as endured through the dark of night. That's not to say it's not lit up, just that in daylight hours, its impressiveness is restricted to the confines of the crowds and massive billboards that please seniors and kindergarteners alike. Those in-between, however, are substantially less taken with the bright lights, particularly if they aren't of the tourist variety.

Peter Parker, despite being a local, certainly looks like a tourist. With his large, rather complicated-looking, camera in-hand, Pete has a nearly bewildered expression as he focuses the lens on one of the higher buildings. Whatever he's taking a photo of doesn't seem to be in any of the other tourists' purview, particularly as he slowly focuses in on a fire escape—blackened from a blaze on a day before.

Maybe he's one of those whack jobs who follows arson and other crime? Or maybe he's just casing the joint? Whatever the case, no one else hones in on what he's so rapt with.

Around him, folks push against Pete, but the twenty-something remains rather firmly in place. Not too shabby for such a wiry looking fellow.

Kitty and Betsy arrive in Time Square with a purpose - mostly to cross it in order to get to a restaurant on the other side. Though they may be considered tourists as they don't live in New York City proper, Kitty certainly wouldn't think of herself as such. The only time she'd come to the pedestrian clogged area is if there was a reason for her to be here and if that reason did not involve her being on the streets for too long. The urge to phase through everyone and walk a faster speed just becomes far too great.

Being jostled one way and then the other certainly isn't helping the growing desire to do so. It's only when she accidentally elbows a man with a camera that she pauses. "Sorry, sorry," she tells Peter quickly, almost muttering it until she takes a second glance at him. "Oh! Peter! Peter Parker." She can't help a surprised look given to Betsy, explaining, "He's a reporter, er, photographer. Photojournalist?"

It may end up that Peter spots something else through the camera lens, for the rooftop in question happens to have someone literally sniffing around up there. First it might come from a glimpse of a striped tail at a corner of the viewfinder, then a claw-tipped hand resting against the edge of the roof.

Tigra, in the midst of a rooftop excursion through Times Square, has noticed the burnt area and gone to investigate. One never knows when a clue of some kind may be left behind, even if what's being checked out was accidental. Perhaps she should have read the newspaper this morning. Whatever the case, there's definitely someone different up there.

Betsy, unlike Kitty, moves with a poised and assured grace, through a travelling bubble of personal space about 3' wide with her at the center. Words like 'regal' and 'Ice Queen' come to mind when one sees her cool, inscrutable Asian features. Elizabeth Braddock had, for a little while, been one of the most famous women in the world in 2013. Now built like a brick house, at over 6' tall and with striking Asiatic features, she's just doubled down on personal presence. There are lots of gawkers but no one dares push into her personal space.

Still, she's not a total bitch- she does notice Kitty floundering a bit and slows down minutely, clearly walking along with the younger woman. "I'm glad you drove all the way down here, Kitty," Betsy says after an awkward moment of searching for something to say. "I think you'll like my new apartment, it's very-" and then Kitty blindsides Peter, and Betsy reflexively makes a grab for her friend's elbow to steady her. At the word 'reporter', Betsy's eyes narrow. "Not a celebrity chaser, I hope," she mutters in her eloquent British tonals. Like many royals, she has some deep-seated resentment for the paparazzi.

Something captures Pete's attention, prompting him to focus the lens a little more closely on the spot. He murmurs quietly to himself, "What… is… th—" but this time thanks to the combination of attention elsewhere and getting jostled by a woman who knows his name. The sound of his name further piques his attention, and the camera lowers as Peter turns to face Kitty.

His eyebrows draw together, his lips crack into a toothy, albeit, sheepish, grin, and a single dimple forms on his right cheek. "Hey!" Nearly mocking himself, he asks, "Kitty, right?" Like he'd forget. His cheeks flush a light pink and he notes,Yeah, photojournalist, maybe. On a good day. When Jamison isn't breathing down my neck and promoting pandering to — " in the corner of his eye, that same fire escape beckons his attention, prompting him to turn back away from the women. This actually elicits an apology towards them, not that his eyes peel away from the fire escape, "Sorry. I — that was rude." His lips quirk and he squints to bring his target into focus. "Did you see that?"

For the moment, at least by the time anyone else may happen to look in the direction of the fire escape, whatever's up there is out of view. Tigra's ducked behind a smokestack or a similar object of some kind, crouched to more closely inspect something that's caught her attention. Just a case of bad timing. Poor Peter.

Betsy cranes her neck to look where Peter's pointing, even going so far as to squint slightly and shade her eyes. Super-vision is hardly one of her talents, though. Seeing nothing more than steam vents and fans, she looks at Kitty and lifts one dusky shoulder in a shrug. Her purple-back hair shimmers as she shakes her head negative at the other woman, then gives Peter a look of confusion. "I'm not… what are you looking at?" she asks him in a tone of bafflement.

The question prompts the young man to arch a single eyebrow. Instinctively, Peter lifts the camera back to his eye so he can hone in more on the fire escape. "I…" he begins only to allow his head to cock to the side inquisitively. "I don't know." It's something to settle on rather than to be sure of. With a faint twitch of his lips, he offers, "The fire escape. I saw… something." He frowns lightly, allowing good humour to drain some from his face. "The building," his head tilts towards the building yonder, "was set ablaze a few days ago. Not a lot of clues from what we've heard on our end. I'm just taking some photos from afar." Pause. "For work," obviously. Why else would ordinary Peter Parker have any interest in a theoretical crime scene?

The steadying hand helps Kitty not bounce back into even more tourists and she gives the purple haired woman a grateful smile. Then, she's responding to Peter. "Yeah, Kitty! Nice to see you again. I've seen a few of the pictures you've taken in the papers." At the interruption, the woman blinks and looks over toward where Peter is pointing. She studies the building, tilting her head just slightly, glancing over at Betsy to catch her look before looking back up toward the roof. "I don't see anything," she tells him, though it sounds like she's giving him the benefit of the doubt. "What did you think you see? It could have been a shadow of a cloud or something." At the mention of the building, she nods. "Ah, gotcha. I mean, could be insurance fraud. A space like that has got to cost a fortune."

And then, they /will/ see what Peter was focused on, if their attention is still directed toward the rooftop. A larger structure up there, probably an electrical box or air conditioning unit of some kind, is the place as a figure leaps atop it to crouch and cast her gaze toward the streets below. Tigra's hands rest against the surface, same as her feet, and it leaves her tail to weave and wave behind her. Peter may spot the details first thanks to his lens, but there's orange and white, black stripes, definitely part of her and not a costume.

The camera remains firmly in place. "That! Did you see that?!" Pete lowers the camera and looks over his shoulder towards Psylocke and Kitty. "Someone is up there. A very cat-like someone." He notes. "I'm guessing it isn't the police force…"

"Oh! I saw it!" Kitty exclaims, pointing right where Peter is holding his camera. "You're right! There is," then a pause, "Is that a tail?" She blinks, studying the figure better. Though they're too far away to get any other sort of identifiers, a tail is a pretty big one. For a moment, she's worried, but from here, she's pretty sure the figure is not blue. She knows one or two people with tails, but they're both blue. If it's not them, who is it? "Can you zoom in? It may be someone returning to the scene of the crime!"

Definitely not blue, and surely not an 'it!' Tigra squints toward the right, then the left, rubbing at an ear that's mostly hidden beneath a full head of hair, then she begins to lick the back of the same hand a few times. If she was involved with any sort of crime, she's being pretty casual about it. At a sound of some kind, her focus snaps to one side then down toward the street, and she vaults away from the rooftop and over the edge of the building. A suicide dive, if not for her swinging around in a flip to dig claws into the bricks lining the upper area, which then follows with her stepping over to use the fire escape so she might peer more closely at some of the charred bits the fire left behind.

Peter raises the camera again, "Definitely a tail," he agrees as his jaw tightens. His head cants to the side and he arches his eyebrows at Kitty. "Well. Someone should probably check on that." But Peter Parker is just Peter Parker, prompting the photojournalist to clear his throat. "I'll… see if I can find a pay phone to call the poise." Because obviously Pete doesn't have a cellphone like a normal person. He takes a few steps backwards and seems to disappear into the crowd.

Kitty gasps when the woman takes a dive, reaching out a hand to grab onto Betsy. She only lets go when the figure flips onto the fire escape safely. "Huh." She looks toward the other mutant with a raised eyebrow. Then, she nods at Peter. "Yeah, definitely." Laughing, she shakes her head at him. "You don't have a cellphone? Where are you going to find a pay phone around here?" With the prevalence of smartphones, they've all but disappeared, but she doesn't stop him from going. It means she can check it out herself.

Eyes still focused on the building, Kitty calls out behind her, "I'm just going to go take a closer look!" However, by the time she's turned around, he's gone. "Huh," she repeats. Weaving through the crowd, she makes her way to the burned building, ducking into a darkened, solitary corner. Then, pulling Betsy along if she wishes to go, she phases right through the wall.

If Tigra's showing off, and it looks like that's exactly the case, either she must know somebody's watching her or she's just doing it because she can. A few more seconds of closer inspection follows, then the feline figure descends further, story by story, using the ladders the more mundane way as she gets closer to the alley below.

From inside, Kitty looks this way and that. The structure doesn't seem too unstable, but she also doesn't want to push her luck. It's easy to ensure falling debris doesn't hit her, but it would be a bit of a pain to have to find a place to step out of it where people weren't staring. It's dark and the mutant pulls out her phone and turns it to flashlight mode in order to get a better idea of what she's dealing with. "Well. It's certainly a burned building. But, I don't see the tailed lady anywhere. She may still be outside."

As she reaches the ground in the alley, Tigra's attention shifts toward a bit of motion out of the corner of an eye. Just a foot, a leg, but the angle is all wrong. "Hnnf. That shouldn't be possible," she mutters to herself, and seconds later she's at the spot against the wall where Kitty and Psylocke phased through it. Sniffsniff. "Fresh scents, too." Hands find her hips, tail darting side to side as she attempts to figure this little mystery out, staring at the wall. Some cats /do/ that sort of thing, staring at walls and the like.

From inside the building, Kitty turns around a few times, checking to ensure that she didn't miss anything. But, once it's clear that there is no one else there, she sighs and turns off the cellphone light. Moving back to the wall, she holds her breath for a moment and then starts to move out back into the alleyway again, a bit further down the alleyway than where she entered. It only takes a quick moment of catching the orange fur and brown hair before she realizes that someone else is there. Whups! Instinctively, she steps right back into the buildingto hide.

Movement to her right, and Tigra's attention darts back toward Kitty and Psylocke beginning to reappear only for them to spot each other. "Hey..stop!" the feline blurts, rushing immediately to grab at and miss the phased woman, now out of sight again on the other side of the wall. "What are you doing here?" she might be heard to demand from outside, a hand pressed to the wall in search of a secret way through it. Of course, Kitty didn't need that to go inside or out.

Betsy blinks at Kitty, hearing someone's voice, and disengages from the phase-shifting mutant. She walks over to the locked window and quite calmly opens it, then rests her hands on the windowsill and peers at Tigra with a vaguely curious expression in her cool amethyst eyes.

"Yes?" she asks in a premptory British accent, as if Tigra had just been knocking on her front door in the wee hours. Even in a grey maxidress, she carries an intimidating sort of presence about her.

"Crap," Kitty looks over at Betsy and frowns. She can hear Tigra on the other side of the wall calling out. That'll only serve to bring more people over and then they'll find the pair of them inside of a burned possible crime scene. Being insubstantial, they're not leaving any sort of footprints or otherwise disturbing anything, but people coming to investigate will just make everything worse. "Double crap," she sighs, then smirks at Betsy's response. "We could try and come out on the other side?"

Tigra's tail swishes side to side, then she faces the opening window as soon as the sound of it being unlocked is heard. Presence or not, the cat-woman doesn't look as if it's working on her as she moves a couple steps closer, standing so she might catch a glimpse of the other one inside. "You don't happen to know anything about the fire here, do you? Sneaking around inside looks a little suspicious, don't you think?'d you do the wall thing, anyway?" That's more for Kitty than Psylocke.

"Yes, we may as well. One moment," she tells Tigra. Betsy closes and re-locks the window and moves to Kitty, putting a hand on the girl's shoulder, and the two of them walk out into the alleyway to face Tigra, phasing through the wall like ghosts.

"I don't know anything about a fire except for the ash," Betsy says honestly. "In point of fact we were looking for /you/. What interest do you have in this situation? Why are you skulking around like a thief?" she inquires, resting her hands on her hips and shifting her weight over her left foot.

"Jumping from a roof onto a fire escape in Times Square is also a little suspicious!" Kitty replies. "It caught our attention. We thought you were trying to get in." And so they followed. As soon as Betsy's hand is on her shoulder, she moves them through the wall and out onto the other side. "We didn't even know that this place had been burned until just now." As for how she's managing to walk through walls, she shrugs her shoulders a bit, not answering the question immediately.

A good detective pays attention to what's said, but also what's not said. There's a bit of both going on for Tigra to think about, and she steps back to lean casually against the opposite wall in the alley, folding her arms in front of her, crossing her legs as well. "And you found me, or I found you. Do I look like someone who's going to run off with a bunch of stuff, or even go around setting fires? I'm not a big fan of singeing my fur." The tail tip twitches as she says this.

"I was keeping to the rooftops on my way through. It's easier than dealing with a bunch of eyes and hands in a crowd when you look like I do," the feline adds with a grin. "I smelled that there was a fire so I looked around for any clues. Maybe we just happened to be checking out the same thing at the same time."

"Fair enough," Betsy concedes, pursing her dark-cherry lips in thought. "Our curiousity was aroused at your care for stealth, but I can understand the desire for anonymity," she says thoughtfully. "I'm hardly an investigator, though. This does seem a matter best left for the local authorities, doesn't it?" she inquires with an arched eyebrow, absently pulling her hair back from a bare shoulder and tugging it into place behind her neck again.

"Well, Peter went to go call the cops," Kitty reminds Betsy, looking back at the crowd. She hasn't seen him return, but then he might not have heard that she was going to go investigate. Either that or he decided to make a run for it. Both scenarios are possible. Putting her attention back on Betsy and Tigra, she watches them, letting Tigra answer the question.

"Who?" Tigra asks initially of Kitty when another person is mentioned, then she rolls a shoulder in a brief shrug and turns back to consider Betsy quietly. "Sneaking around quietly is kind of my thing, and I've had a little experience looking over crime scenes. I'm not bad at picking up on things others miss, but nothing I saw stood out to me yet one way or the other. Might've been an accident, might've been more. I'm guessing others have already checked it all out."

"Mhm." It's the noise Betsy tends to make when she knows people are expecting her to say something and she's too polite to stare at them expectantly.

She reaches into the purse slung over her shoulder and digs out her cell phone, unlocking it with a tap of her thumb, then looks at Tigra. "I think we're in the same line of work," she says, wiggling the high-end sPhone at the woman. A glimpse of a secure SHIELD operating system can be seen on the screen. "Call me Psylocke. What's your phone number?" she asks in a premptory fashion. "We should text. I'm also on Facebook, if you've got a professional profile."

Tigra squints at the peek she gets of the screen and she takes on a mildly guarded expression, pushing away from the wall to stand all on her own instead of leaning against something. "Actually, do they give you cards or something? Maybe I'll text you later. And..professional? I've got one of those, but I wouldn't say it's professional. It's under Tigra." Should Betsy look, the default image is mostly a headshot of the tigress wearing a surprised look along with a feather toy in her mouth, as if she was caught in the act by a 'friend.'

At the word 'card', Betsy's eyebrows go up, then furrow. She looks to Kitty as if unsure if she'd heard Tigra correctly, fingers flying across the screen surface. "I… it's the twenty-first century," she points out to Tigra. "I'm Facebook friends with Prince Harry. Even the Royal Family uses it, and they're the least progressive people in the European Union."

A friend request goes out to Tigra's page, along with a quick IM with Betsy's 'professional' phone number. "At any rate, text me, IM me, call me… I always have my phone on me," she explains. "It was a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Tigra. Come along, dear," she says to Kitty, tugging her along. "We can still make our reservation time."

Tigra holds up her hands, showing that she's lacking a purse or enough space to really carry a phone right now with the outfit she wears. It's more than what some may have seen her in before, but still not considered much. "Call me old-fashioned, I guess," she remarks, before adding, "I'll take a look when I'm back at my place. Yes, yes, a pleasure." That guarded way about her is maintained, a quick last glance had for both of the other women, then she finishes with a "See you around." That said, a simple leap leads her back up the fire escape to the rooftop of the adjacent building, where she heads on to do who knows what.

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