Smilex and Silly String

September 05, 2015:

The Joker sets a trap for The Low Fat Bat Substitute

New York


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

The Triskelion. Home to SHIELD. Home to one of the most elite counter intelligence and counter terrorism agencies on the planet. Home to the woman whom the Joker has decided is funny.

That's not a good thing.

Actually attacking the Triskelion is suicide. But there are other ways to get the attention of the Low Fat Bat Substitute. One of them is the one that the Joker has chosen tonight. Several bombs explode on the street about a block away from the Tri coating the whole area in… silly string. It's fairly strong silly string though. Strong enough that when the cops show up their cars get stuck in it. And then the cops get stuck. Which leaves the Joker free to waltz on down and spray them all off with Smilex. The news starts filming pretty promptly. Yeah, he's not attacking the Tri but he's right in SHIELD's backyard, shooting at news helicopters and practically daring the Low Fat Bat to do soemthing about it.

Simmons is packing, quickly. Collecting everything she has to combat Smilex… she knows that May will be contacting her soon and telling her where to meet her - she'll be ready. The labcoat and safety goggles are replaced with her SHIELD field kit, body armour et al.

Cutting her eyes to the news reports, she wonders how much longer she has to get ready.

Melinda May appears at the doorway to Simmons lab, as predicted. And she sets a full-covering set of headgear on one of the tables. It's not the AIM beekeeper type thing, more resembling a winter combat balaclava and goggles. "WHen you're ready, Simmons.

Low Fat Bat Substitute. All the bat flavor, none of the bat carbs? GOing to your bat waist? Lunair tries not to think about it. But she's likely in the area, probably checking in to let people know she hasn't been carted off by HYDRA or Nazis or metahuman bounty hunters or SRD again. Life is a bit rough. And she tries not to think about that. But she's seeing… silly string everywhere? Bwah? Hmm. Well, she's not sure she can just pull a flamethrower.

Visiting the Trisk can wait. It's time for Non-Copyright Infringing Power Armor (Because lawyers are scary) and getting a hold on the situation.

The Joker is cackling madly and the news coverage is about to get a bit more distant because he's shooting an RPG at one of them which does make all of them withdraw… quite… a bit. No footage is worth a confrontation with that particular madman. The police barricade is about to be abandoned. There's forty or so clowns picking their way through the silly stringed street, shooting at the police and smashing up storefronts to take anything that isn't bolted down. And what they're loading it into?

A hovercraft of course. Stolen.

Jemma's ready by the time that May gets there and she grabs the headgear that's placed on the table. "Ready, Agent May." She's aerosal delivery solutions that /may/ neutralise the Smilex, as well as other ways to administer it for those they encounter.

Following May, she lugs her field cases (plural, yes) - she's going prepared this time.

Melinda May takes one of the cases away from Simmons to carry herself, and leads them out of the building where they meet up with the SHIELD main strike teams already gearing up there. HAZMAT level combat gear all around, because they learned from May's previous encounters with this lunatic. She sets the case down next to Jemma and starts claiming her own gear from a junior agent that had clearly been waiting. "Tell the snipers that if they get a kill shot on the clown, they should take it." She's SO done with the Joker.

One might argue that the recent political coverage is an antidote to Smilex in that it tends to make people barfing and hopping mad. Or spewing the verbal equivalent. Hard to say, and it seems a bit cruel. Lunair's never really sure. But after being gassed at least twice by the Purifiers and friends, she's smart enough to seal her power armor these days and make sure there's air scrubbers and what have you. Paranoia pays in her line of work.

She's taking to the air easily enough. "Oh god, it's a clown." Clowns and hospitals in general give Lunair the woogies ever since the Great Silent Hilling 2014. Deep breath. Wait, "YOU HAVE A HOVERCRAFT?!" Pause. "… is it full of eels?" Is she - talking to him? She totally is. For now. Although, she backs her words with an alarmingly large laser cannon that looks like she ripped it off a freaking giant robot.

The air scrubbers are probably a good idea because Joker's people are lighting off party favors. Which are belching purple and green smoke. Which mare or may not be just smoke. It's probably not a good idea to breath it in and find out.

The Joker looks up to Lunair in her totally not copyright infringing armor. "Who are you? Iron Girl? Tin Woman? I hope you have an original name, the tendency of everyone to go copycatting and side kicking really grinds my gears." He's armed. Of course. With a knife and a gun. That gun happens to be a one shot break open grenade launcher but there you go.

SHIELD lockdown forces are already deploying as May and Jemma take off. And they may be able to hear the conversation between Lunair and the Joker from their observation teams already in place. It won't take them long to get t here.

"Of course I had a hovercraft. Well, the Marines had it. But now I do." Oh dear. That one's going on the list of charges. And it's getting loaded up with valuables. "So, you just dropping in? I don't know how you silly capes do these things in this city. Ah hell, let's just get started shall we? Boys. Rock and roll!"

That's about when Lunair might notice someone's aiming a shoulder fired SAM at her.

Suiting up with the gear provided and then fits some cannisters to the systems "Aerosol delivery system, Agent May. It should neutralise the effects of the gas he's letting off." She'll stay by the system to operate it.

Overhearing the conversation between the Joker and Lunair, the biochem glances at May. Seems like they may need to move quickly.

Melinda May simply nods to Jemma and takes off toward the epicenter of the mess at a run. "Leeds, take down that SAM!" She's barking orders at one of the already deployed snipers, even though the people in the SHIELD operations center were already doing so. That kind of ordinance in the middle of Manhattan is NEVER good. For her own part, May doesn't slow down until she has to to avoid the silly string. And she's making good use of her ICER as she goes, taking down anyone and everyone who crosses her path, clown and Smilex-infected people alike.

Don't worry! Dueling explosives launchers is a fun game for the entire family. Lunair pauses. "Huh? I'm not a sidekick." Pause. She seems genuinely puzzled. "Trying to think of a name, actually," She just admits with a shrug. Is Lunair crazy? Potentially. Being trained and created by HYDRA probably does awful things to the psyche. Though, she ponders US Marines in a hovercraft. Is it more a hoorahcraft? She'll have to ask about it later.

"… kay." Aaaand someone's aiming a shoulder fired SAM at her. She was about to play Laser Cannon Vs SAM, but she can FEEL the disapproving look from here. Well, the sniper probably beats her to it. WELL THEN.

"Your block party is boring." A shrug and burlesque bombs fall out of the sky. It's dubsteppin' time, too.

Because you know what the best way to liven up a block party is? Make the clowns strip. Lunair does not get SAM'd but she does discover a tactical deficiency in her bomb. Apparently stripping does not preclude using weaponry if you can work it into the act. And some do, tossing out smilex cannisters which start adding a dash of fun ot the air. Not all the clowns are down. Some of them are shooting. At agents they can see, at May and Jemma and especially at Lunair. Bullets bounce off the carriage of the vehicle the two agents are riding in and already there are reports of men down with wounds and smilex poisoning.

The Joker turns and grins to Lunair. "Party hard." And then he raises that grenade launcher and lets it rip.

Jemma /hates/ being shot at and flinches as the bullets bounce off the vehicle…. but that doesn't stop her operating the system to distribute the neutralising agent as they move through the crowds.

She'll trust May and the other agents to protect her - but she /does/ have an ICER pistol strapped to her waist.

Melinda May is leaving a wake of fallen bodies for Jemma and the followup group to deal with, but she's making a beeline for the lead clown — the one that was mouthing off at Lunair who decided that maybe she was better off helping extricate people from silly-string-trapped cars. Stopping before actually getting up in Joker's face, she quickly switches out from the ICER to the 1911 pistol that Partisan made for her and takes a shot at the lunatic's head. It's a pistol. It's still a goodly distance away. She's not a sniper. Her chances aren't good, but she's going to take it before he realizes she's there.

The Joker turns as May arrives. He's standing atop a heap of ruined cars that were kind of smashed together when his silly string bombs went off and there's something in his hand that looks like a big ball of rubber bands. Two guesses what it is. First one doesn't count. He hurls it like a baseball at May before her shot… maybe hits? He tumbless off the pile and disappears from view.

Clowns are all around. Some of them still shooting. Jemma's got her hands full. Fortunately the still fighting SHIELD agents have gathered the wounded in a triage area that is not immediately under fire. Unfortunately several of them have been dosed with smilex and some of their fellows have to restrain them lest they do something unfortunate. Like get shot. Or turn on their friends.

What moves faster? Baseball-thrown object, or a bullet? Well, that obvious. However, May can't just dodge to one side as easily as usual considering all the silly string about. She tries to get clear of the ball of rubber bands (?) and at least manages to not get hit center-mass. But the thing still manages to hit her on the shoulder. Whatever it is.

Moving out of the vehicle to the sheltered triage area, Jemma sets off a cannister with the antidote - it belches grey 'smoke' over the area hopefully clearing a good number of the affected agents.

With a handful of hypodermic injectors and vial of the neutralising agent, she approaches the more senior of the restrained agents to adminster it intravenously. The ongoing gunfire doesn't help her at all - and she flinches as another barrage sounds near them and turns to get an update on the security of the area. To walk straight into the arms of another affected agent.

Not all the agents react to the neutralizing agent equally and this is because the Joker has been utilizing multiple versions of the Smilex compound each with slightly different effects. Jemma finds herself tangled up with an agent that the others are trying to restrain but seems to have gained hyperadrenaline levels of strength. And who decides that Jemma needs a big, friendly, possibly rip cracking, suffocating hug.

The ball explodes on May's shoulder. Into a tangle of silly string. Which goes everywhere. And sticks to everything. Including May.

That's when the Joker reappears. He's hurt. Bullet to the shoulder. But he's grinning. Is it just May or does this stuff smell funny? Then she sees he's got a lighter. He's about twenty feet away now and he drops it right onto a tangle of 'string'.

Which immediately goes up in flames and starts spreading.

Melinda May doesn't really notice the actual impact of the ball of silly string. But she DOES notice the moment it sticks to her and everything around her. And she curses in Cambodian probably loudly enough to carry over the comms. Her hand with the 1911 in it is stuck to her torso, but her other hand is still marginally able to move. She uses that small bit of freedom to pull one of her butterfly swords — wickedly sharp and coated in oil — to see if it's able to cut through the silly string. Because even if her current combat suit is proof against chemical agents, it can't produce oxygen or protect against fire.

"oooofffff" Jemma winces as the Agent squeezes her tight. Not the way she really visualised that happening and not with this agent! She's finding it hard to breath - thankfully, some of those not affected manage to peel the agent off Jemma and she jabs him with the hypodermic, steps back, draws her ICER pistol and …. shoots… poor man, he just wanted to cuddle!

"Agent May?" Simmons heard her swear in Cambodian… and the biochem looks to the next lucid agent "Find her and take me to her." What on earth the young woman thinks she can do, is anyones guess.

The Joker is cackling. He blows May a kiss and steps out of the line of sight again as her blade comes free. It will cut the silly string, but it takes a couple of hacks to get through the strands and there's a lot on her. And it's really sticky. The fire's spreading fast at this point and the clowns are pulling out. It's a danger to them as much as anyone else and their mischief has been managed.

Which leaves Jemma, seeing May a bit tied up and ready to be roasted alive. She might be able to cut her way out on her own before the fire gets her. But it's going to be a near thing.

Melinda May can't even get enough momentum behind her blade to throw it at the now retreating Joker, so she keeps trying to cut herself out of the silly string. The flames are getting closer, and fast. Maybe too fast. "Where are the fire supre…" she can't finish her question as the noxious smoke from the fire takes more of the oxygen out of the air her suit is filtering than she can afford to go without.

Grabbing the extinguisher from the vehicle she's in, Jemma doesn't think twice about what she's about to do! Hurtling at May as the fire creeps closer, Simmons knocks the pin out and hits the lever … spraying supressant foam over the flames.

Bad thing? She's not thought about what else is in the area.

The Joker seems to be long gone. And most of the clowns. Jemma douses the flames near May though they're rapidly spreading in other directions. They're going to need a fire department response here. Stat.

Jemma has lost some of her situational awareness though. As amply demonstrated when a large, muscular clown who did not run away shoves her to the ground and raises a baseball bat with barbed wire wrapped around it above his head.

Melinda May might be coughing and choking on the lack of oxygen, but she still has enough situational awareness to swing her only free arm at the clown attacking Jemma with as much force as she can manage. She doesn't try yelling at the SHIELD control people, they're already scrambling FDNY to get here as fast as possible, and their own people are trying to help where they can, concentrating to slowing or stopping any flames headed toward inhabited buildings in the area.

ACK!!!! Still enough awareness to allow Jemma to fumble at her waist and raises her ICER pistol as she falls backward, pressing the muzzle against the Clown's (musclar as he is!) chest and pulls the trigger… probably about the same time as May swings her arm…

The Clown gets clocked by May and goes down like a stack of bricks. It's possible Jemma also shot him. Hard to say and unless anyone wants to look, it's kind of moot. The immediate danger is past so it's time to get May untangled and away from the immediate vecinity of the flames. Already the fire department can be heard in the distance.

"Simmons." May is trying VERY much to not let on how severely the lack of oxygen is starting to affect her. "Jemma. Get up." She takes a few more swipes at the silly string holding her still, but her efforts are becoming less useful by the second.

Rolling to her knees the British born bio-chem sucks in several breaths. She's motified that she's been 'hugged' and then knocked to the ground… "Here Agent May." Pulling her field knife from a pocket, she starts sawing and cutting through the silly string that binds the senior agent.

Between Jemma and May they manage to get May free and back to an area where there is more air. NYFD is on scene by this point and dousing the flames though they seem ducedly hard to put out in some instances. Like those relighting candles. More of the Joker's humor. The clown himself seems long gone. He's had his fun. But what did he get out of it?

Well, where'd that hovercraft go?

She might resist, she might complain, she might even threaten to injure someone, but in the end, May can only let the medics hook her up to an oximeter and an oxygen mask over her face. Okay, so her lips were a rather unflattering shade of blue. They could have just left her mask on and let her be. But NO. She does try to snare Simmons to find out if they caught the damned clown, though she's pretty sure the answer is going to be 'no'.

Simmons is currently in a low, somewhat heated, discussion with an onsite co-ordinator, the expression on her face is … interesting. Turning her back to the agent, she makes her way to Agent May… to deliver the bad news… "Agent May, The Joker has managed to get away."

May closes her eyes for a second, muttering yet another choice phrase in another language. If there's anyone Filipino near enough to overhear, they might choke momentarily. She then pulls the mask off of her face despite the protests of the nearby medic. "The hovercraft. Military grade. Track it."

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