To Catch A Thief

January 04, 2016:

A jewelry heist is bungled thanks to mutant gangs starting a fight.

New York

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Rescue, Inc is one of those little known but often felt companies. You know, the guys who respond when the regular fire and police departments are stuck and civilians are in the line of fire. The company run by the mutant werewolf. Those guys.

For all that his job is to help people and render medical aid, Nicholas Gleason aka 'Wolf Cub' certainly finds himself in a lot of 'tactical' situations. Contrary to what one might expect those aren't exclusively in M-Town, but the higher incidence of people with the ability to make police and fire departments hesitate to go in combined with the hot button draw of 'OMG Mutatns!' does mean he gets a fair few calls there each week. This one had been a simple robbery at a jewelery store until a pair of rival mutant gangs had arrived to start duking it out on the main drag where the clubs and nicer shops are, leaving people trapped or scattering for cover.

The flying ambulance is hovering just out of the way is Nick fires his sonic pistol again. Say what you will about the SRD, they had nice toys. He'd say it's too bad they're kaput now but it's really not. In any case that's another gang member down. The only three left are currently exchanging powered blasts, fire flying one way, generic energy the other. The street is a lot worse for wear but… at least no one's died yet…


Don't ask Brin about the SRD. The normally, very reserved, brunette mutant might have some very sharp words to say. Dressed in her Rescue coveralls, she takes up position, next to Nick, at the open door of the air ambulance, a glowing green and gold bow in her hands. Nocking an arrow and taking aim, an arrow takes flight, aiming for one of the three … preferably a thigh, knee or arm …

"I can try to drop a Shield over one of them …" the words spoken loud enough to be heard over the noise.


Lunair really doesn't like the SRD, either. But she is also possessing a highly illegal power, and has shot more than a few of them. They also were less than amused by her SRD Strip 'n Dance shenanigans. So yes, Lunair DOES keep her head down. For her part, though, she's being politely non-lethal around those who object to her 'explode and shoot everything into a smoldering crater, go home for tiramisu' approach.

Instead, one gang member is going to find himself twerking and dancing to Beyonce.

Lunair is really a terrible person, really.


Of all the bad hands she had been dealt, this has to be the worse yet. It was meant to be a simple in-and-out at a jewelry store on behalf of a client. Hell, she wasn't even supposed to clean the place out, just take one particlar locket so that the store owner would 'owe' the locket's owner because it was 'lost'. That's it. At some point the alarms had been tripped and now there were rival gangs brawling in front of the place, with Rescue, Inc. throwing themselves into the mix.

As Morianna rises up to peek at the street from behind the cashier's desk, keeping her profile low as not to be noticed, she considers that maybe there's something more than luck at play here. Also that sonic pistols look terribly painful. At least the gang members are being taken with non-lethal force.


Oliver Queen didn't make the trip down to Mutant Town very often and the time's he did was usually for business reasons. His car however had been stopped due to the disruption taking place and the running in the opposite direction had been enough for him to get out of the stylish Honda Civic he drives to jog down the street towards the mess. Afterall inquiring minds want to know what is going on. Sidestepping an opposite direction runner, Ollie finds himself standing not far off from the remnants of the gang fight, head tilted at the display and brow furrowed slightly as his hands clench then unclench rapidly.


Nick signals to the pilot to get them a bit closer and picks up the riot shield he often uses off the rack. Ah good old Stark engineering. Between Pepper, Tony and Lydia they've really given Rescue the tools to do a rather dicey job. "Let's go Brin." A rope is lowered and Nick motions to the other mutant. Clip up. They're headed down. Fastroping is often a military technique and Nick didn't learn it there. But it's the best way to get from hover-ambulance to the ground without exposing anyone unnecessarily.

As one of the energy throwing thugs starts to call out to all the single ladies (at least Lunair can't make them sing) the other two suddenly realize that this isn't a two party fight anymore. One of them makes a break for the loot in the shop while the other singles out Oliver at random and rips the door off a nearby car to chuck at him. Because the dancing mutant gang member is his fault. Clearly.


"Armory must be here…" Brin recognises the dancing man and suppresses a smirk. Dismissing her bow, holding a hand out to Nick, she's soon descending with him … very happy to get her feet on the ground.

"You know, if it wasn't for that damn shield, Nick, I would just fly down…" but she's had enough encounters to know just how squishy she is. And Nicks riot-shield is … very large.

Seeing the door being thrown at Oliver, Brin winces "That's Oliver … " without really thinking, a glowing green and gold shield appears, hopefully between Ollie and that car door …


Armory is indeed here. The power armored girl lands nearby. "Hiiiiiiii." All the single ladies, single ladies~ Then a blink as there's a car door flying at a guy. Right then. Brin has that on lockdown.

Then some dude is running into the store after some loot. "Hey uh, stop!" She goes in after him, perhaps unaware of the Morianna in the wilds. "I mean it, or else it's going to be super embarrassing." Really. She has what look like lacey hand grenades. Oh dear god. There's going to be tassels and burlesque if he doesn't surrender.


Of course they would charge into the jewelry store! Of course. While everyone is fighting outside Morianna is looking for an escape. Maybe she could go into the vents? But that plan is cut short because now she desperately needs to deal with these thugs before they notice her — or attract people who will. Little does she know that Armory is charging right her way.

After peeking out around the counter one last time, she raises her hand and focuses on the psyche of the thugs charging in. Her psychic powers aren't nearly so developed as some mutants, so forcing them to change their behavior is out of the question. But she can trick them. Figments and apparitions take shape behind the counter, 'rising' to a stand so that they're clearly seen by the advancing thugs. The illusion consists of four SWAT or SRD-looking fellows clad in tactical gear from head to toe with sleek rifles trained on the thugs. "FREEZE!" she wills one to say as they raise their weapons in unison. Of course they can't actually fire, but maybe the thugs will bolt before they notice that.


The shield appears in front of Oliver but not before he realizes the flying door is going to hit him. It's a shame really because he would have rather just let the shield help him out, rather he's already mid air backflipping out of the way. Lots of business trust fund children are agile, nothing to see with that. Once he realizes the door has stopped however, a glance is given towards the man running into the store and well, a smart man would stand still or hide.

Oliver pursues in after the street thug shortly after Lunair does, sliding in through the door and calling out towards those within as he enters, "I believe the Season Sales are over with."


The appearance of 'police' confuses the thug who had started to make a grab for everything that might be to hand before making an escape. Including, ahem, a certain locket. He turns just as Oliver charges in behind him, singles out the man he thinks is the least likely to be able to stop him and just bull rushes him, not noticing She of the Dancing Gun standing just outside, nor indeed the two flight suited mutants touching down. Nick's got his riot shield and sonic pistol out again but he may not need them if Oliver, Morianna and Lunair put this last thug in his place…


Sheltering behind Nicks riot-shield, using the big Wolfman for cover as well, Brin watches Ollie backflip and her eyebrows rise. But there's something coming from the jewelery store that gets her attention.

"Really strong emotions in there, Nick." He'll know what that means. She's an empath … a low level one … and to pick up one set of emotions in this type of scene … "Whoever it is, they're annoyed." Which is interesting, given she'd be expecting fear or anger, not irritation.


"H-hey! That… really was a better quip," Sigh. Lunair isn't good at this heroing thing. But she does defer to the new, strange person's quip powers. For her part, though, she seems to go with it and chucks the lacey hand grenade at the thug. It's a burlesque bomb. People caught in its area will find their clothes transformed into burlesque costumes, and doing burlesque routines. The thug is probably going to get tassles of some sort. It's - well, Lunair should probably stick to just murdering people, really. She doesn't notice Morianna yet, but she is looking after the stranger and dealing with the thug.

Her brain can only handle so much, and less so if she sees officers out of nowhere.


Being bullrushed, Oliver takes a step back and when the mutant approaches goes to do the fun little somersault over someone as they run underneath you trick. The one that people have seen dozens of time in order to get the bullish mutant out of the store and himself out of harms way. Trying to do so in more than one way as he needs to avoid the burlybomb as well.


Just as that 'grenade' pops into the room Morianna pulls her head back and takes shelter behind the counter anew. Her apparitions flicker out of existence but not, perhaps, before they've been spotted by Armory and Ollie. The counter shields her from most of the burlesque bomb's effects but her hands, which were still perched on the edge of the counter, catch the outer edges. For a few moments a pair of lace-gloved hands flutter and sway in a classic 'jazz hands' style before Morianna manages to pull them beneath the counter and tuck them between her knees to stifle the movements. Exasperated, she tries to peek out again at the thug who pilfered locket, huffing a frustrated sound under her breath. Of all the rotten luck!


Nick pulls up short as the thug rushes under Ollie's back flip. He's about to zap the guy when he starts… gettin' down with his bad self. His outfit seems transformed. And then he starts to take his shirt off…

And then Nick does zap him, throwing him against the wall and knocking him out, his ill gotten loot going every which way.

"People have had enough trauma for one evening." He grumbles as he holsters the sidearm and slings his shield. "Everyone okay? Brin, see to Lunair and… uh, Oliver did you say?" As in 'Twist'?

"I'll check inside."


With the thug taking his shirt off, Brin blushes … she's known for that! Thankfully Nick takes action there. Heading towards Lunair and Ollie, picking her way over the scattered loot, she glances back to the Wolfman "Yes, Oliver Queen." who has some moves, it seems.

"Lunair, Oliver, are you ok?" she murmurs to the pair, but her attention seems to be caught again. "There's someone else in here … " she can sense it and stares at the counter "Over there… Hello, are you ok? We won't hurt you. I'm Mana, from X-Red and uh, today, Rescue."


Lunair tries not to giggle. "Hi! Sorry. And nice to meet you, Mr. Oliver," Lunair offers. "Um. Well, guess I'm outed," A wry tone of voice at that. Lunair doesn't seem bothered. "I really need to think of a new code name anyway." She shrugs. Lunair rolls with it.

And then a pause at the lacee gloved hands. "Wow, nice gloves. Hi!"


Maybe she's just been cocky and overconfident, but it isn't until the scene has settled down that Morianna gets sincerely frightened. Which is certain to be odd for Brin, since you would think the prospect of rescue would reassure any normal person. Unforuntately, Morianna isn't a normal person, and she's certainly not dressed normal enough to pass it off. Her outfit is classic villain-chic, and she's wearing a domino mask that looks like what an aspiring villain would pick out.

When Brin calls out to her she huddles back under the counter and bites her bottom lip. There's no way out, but she still has an ace or two up her sleeve. Her invisibility will be indefinite so long as she stays mostly still, so as long as they don't have any sort of non-visual sensing like scent, or empathy, or heat vision, she should be alright. What are the odds that her 'rescue' crew has any of those? Right?


Oliver is a few paces off, his foot tapping a bit obnoxiously within the rather unnecessarily french looking loafers he is in. Dangit, the bomb caught him just a bit. He glances over at the voice asking if Oliver is ok and blinking he recognized Brin. A small smile touches his lips. "Yes, I'm fine. Just wrong place and the wrong time. What in the world was going on here?" The innocent look on his face well rehearsed.


He's about to try and say something else when another person greets him nearby and he turns to look at Lunair, eyebrow quirking up a bit in a confused manner. "Hello? Have we met?" He is surprised that she seems to know his name, and… well there's a lot to be surprsied by.


Nick will leave Brin to explain how it's a jewelry hiest gone horribly wrong. He's looking for injured. He's used to doing so by scent, indeed that's one of the things that made him so good at what he did in the Chicago Fire Department. Sniff. Sniff. Sniffsniffsniffsniff. There's someone back here.

"Hello? Hello, Rescue. Call out if you can talk. I'm coming." And he is. Right for Morianna…


A pair of lace-gloved hands poke out from beneath the counter in a gesture of surrender. They've stopped doing jazz hands, at least. Morianna doesn't have anywhere to run and none of her tricks are likely to work against this group. "Don't start shooting. I'm coming out, alright?" There's enough fear and apprehension in her voice that it doesn't take Brin's empathy to sense it. Soon a crown of crimson-dyed hair peeks up over the edge of the counter, followed by the woman standing to her full height. After a heartbeat of uncertainty she adopts a crooked, uncertain snicker and says, "So, hey! You're here to save me right?"


"They're scared, Nick." Brin murmurs as she watches her friend look for injured. "I can sense it." It's confusing, to be sure. But when you've been traumatised like Brin has, a fear response to being rescued may actually make sense.

"So it seems." She replies to Oliver, grinning just a little at his foot tapping. "Uh, Lunair, do you think you can reverse the burlesque effect?" She'll leave Lunair to explain how they know each other.

Attention back to Ollie, "It's a burglary and then a gang fight broke out… " she sighs "It's M-Town, these things happen … "


"…" A blink at Ollie. "She just said your name," Lunair points to Brinley. "Also I remember you from when they showed off some metahuman detecting stuff. Course, then a robot tried to kill me so it's really kind of fuzzy." A beat. "A lot of things try to kill me," She explains cheerfully. "Miss Mana is a friend slash work associate. And yeah." Lunair will dismiss the rest of the burlesque weapons, ending the effect. "Sorry about that. People seem unhappy when I start in with the railgun."

This said as if railgunning people just kind of happens, much like you water a plant. Oh, just rail gunning some bad guys then having bbq with my bff. Yup. That's Lunair. She is in power armor, her face hidden by a snap down black visor a la Metal Gear.


Oliver's foot stops moving and he sighs a bit in relief at that as his shoes return to normal. He looks between Lunair and Brinley not sure what to make of either and the expression on his face reflecting that. "Well. You know, riots and gang fights do tend to happen I suppose. I … left my car back in the mess I probably should go get it and make sure it doesn't get towed."


Once standing completely, Morianna takes a few side-steps to emerge from behind the couner. Her blue eyes sweep the area to take stock of her exit routes and, maybe, spot where that locket went flying when the thug was taken down. Her hands stay upraised whether they're burlesquified or not. "I'd rather take some fancy gloves than a railgun to the face," she suggests to Armor with a dry tone and a hitch of one shoulder. "Besides, I kinda like them. They're so elegant."


The locket is right by, as luck would have it, Oliver's foot. "If you're sure, Oliver? Are you hurt? We could give you a checkover." He's a Physician's Assistant, certified, licenced and all that. Of course some folks prefer not to have a sweaty werewolf doing their medwork but most of Nick's patients don't complain. Mostly they can't but that's besides the point.

The appearance of Moriana gets a look. As do the gloves. "Do you work here?" Nick suddenly seems just a bit suspicioous….


"Don't look at me like that…" Brin murmurs with a slight smile to Oliver "You know I work for X-Red." Perhaps he didn't realise she was a mutant. All their other interactions had been … fairly normal. Unusual for Brin, to be sure.

"I got your text this morning." there's the blush again "If I hadn't been on shift with Rescue, I would have responded." Then Ollies trying to leave "If you're sure… " she sounds uncertain.

"Yes… " she says slowly "X-Red doesn't use lethal methods …" she confirms for Lunair. "I prefer your dubstep gun though." She blushes a lot less at it's effects.

Unfortunately for Lunair and Ollie, Morianna is getting most of Brins attention. What she's sensing, isn't what she'd expect at all. "The gloves are rather elegant. I'm Brin, aka Mana from X-Red."


Lunair is puzzled. Fellow doesn't seem to talk much. "I see. Thanks," Lunair offers to Morianna. Then a look back to Oliver. "Um. Sorry. I guess I scare you. I get that sometimes." She just - leaves it at that. "Good luck getting your car," A wave. At any rate, most of her cheeriness seems to have evaporated. It's old memories coming back. People can always pick up on a predator. Never forget that.

"Anyway, you guys need help with clean up or should I depart before the usual authorities turn up?" She will depart if no one asks after her.


"They are, aren't they? I'm Morianna, from… well, M-Town, I guess." She clucks her tongue and then probes the inside of her cheek with that muscle. Shifting from one foot to the other, she eyes the smashed-in windows just beyond the small group of armed rescuers. She could make it out but whether or not she could escape is another story. They have fast-response vehicles so if they really wanted to, they could make her life pretty miserable. After crinkling her nose she settles her gaze onto the werewolf. "I saw the thugs causing trouble and thought I could help. Then it just got me in deep when the other group showed up." It's a lie, but it's not too far from the truth to be horrendously obvious.


Oliver looks at Brin when she is blushing, a small red touches his cheeks before he shakes his head, "You're working and need to focus. And I'm definitely not working, or doing anything really productive for that matter." His words trail off though when he looks at Lunair and his head shakes. "Not scare, just caught off guard is all. That is something I should be used to in M-Town I suppose…" That's when he trails off catching some of Morianna's conversation, brow furrowing but he says nothing instead letting the Rescue folks do it


"Ah." Nick flicks an ear. He's not a detective so he just shrugs. "Well why don't you come on outside and we can look you over. I imagine you must be a bit traumatized. Police will be along shortly. Uh, Lunair you can stay if you like. Unless you don't want to. You haven't done anything illegal."

The werewolf looks up at Ollie. Yeah he caught that. But again he's not really sure what to make of it. Story… could add up? Maybe?


"Hello Morianna…" Brin gets the edge of the emotions, but she's not a lie detector. If it's close to the truth, the emotions will match that. "… are you injured? Helping out in a situation like this, here, could be dangerous." the brunette admonishes just a little. "But it's good to see there's still people who will help."

If Brin doesn't believe that's the case, you'd never tell. But she's making a note to get the security footage from the store, at any rate.

Olivers answer gets a quizzicle look. Productive can be in the eye of the beholder and he just got back! "We'd like the help, Lunair, but I understand if you want to go." Not all X-Men like to be out in public.


"So I noticed," Morianna replies, her tone rather dry. At last she lowers her hands and wraps her arms around herself, rubbing at each of her arms. "No, I'm not injured. When the other gang turned up they focused on eachother. So I just, uh, hid. Then you all showed up, and…" With a flick of her wrist she dismisses the subject. A few steps are taken forward when she spots the locket on the ground at Oliver's foot. She draws nearer until her toes are just shy of the thing, and then inclines her head to the group. "Mana and… What did the rest of you say your names were?"


Blink. Blink. Lunair looks puzzled. "We're glad you're okay." A shrug at Oliver. "That's fine. I can help. And nothing at all? You seem kind of sad." A grunt. She'll help with clean up then. "I'm sometimes Armory."


Oliver blinks as he looks at Lunair, "I don't know if I'm /sad/. This just isn't my scene or something I work well in, you know, a crisis sort of deal." He smiles though at the Brinley before turning to look at Morianna. "My name is Oliver." And he cuts it off there, not offering a last name to go with it. "The wrong place at the wrong time sort of guy." His foot starts tapping again, falling over the locket now.


Nick's name tape on his flight suit says 'Wolf Cub'. "You can call me Nick if you want. Or uh, this." He points at the name tape. As he's talking three more flying ambulances land and several armed paramedics get out to start seeing to the wounded from the dustup.

The werewolf looks over at Oliver as he starts to foot tap again. He hasn't noticed the locket but he has noticed the rhythm. "Brin, get me a sedative. Clear bottle in the drug locker."

He'll give Ollie a dose if he wants it. Not even enough to make him sleepy. Just enough to calm that restless leg syndrome.

"Are you alright Morianna? Didn't get caught by Lunair's dance feaver?" He glances to Lunair. "She didn't did she?"


"Brin will do, Morianna. Mana's my codename and I don't use it much." Seeing Ollie's agitation and hearing Nicks instruction, the small brunette hurries out to the ambulance. It doesn't take her long to return with the vial and some bottles of water to go around.

Touching Ollie on shoulder, she points to a chair "Sit Oliver. Let Nick help you."

Turning to Lunair, she offers a grateful smile "Thanks for helping… "

With all the clutter on the ground, Brins not noted the locket.


Morianna flutters her fingers in a mimicry of jazz hands to Ollie. "Just a bit." And while she's chatting things up with the small group of Heroes, she's also trying to hook the chain of that locket onto her boot - at least until Oliver all but steps on it. Damn. So much for that. Maybe she should just count her blessings and run. "So, um, thanks for the help but I don't think I'm injured. I should run along before anyone decides that I'm some big-time hero and comes after me. Turns out I'm not cut out for this." And then she carefully edges around the group, trying to back toward the entrance. There's a palpable sense of apprehension that has only grown, not abated, since she made her introductions to the Rescue crew.

"Only her hands, I guess. She was doing jazz hands," Lunair offers. She's helping move a chunk of cement and set it back down into the dirt. The power armor does seem to help. "I think he wants to go home," Lunair notes of Oliver. "I see." She hms. She isn't sure what to think about it. "Be well," She offers to Morianna. She nods her helmet to Brin.


Being told to sit, Oliver looks at Brin and shakes his head. "It's ok, really. Just a bit of excitement in an otherwise busy day. Nothing for me to take drugs over, promise." He says the last part with genuine softness in his eyes towards the woman before looking at the others. "Really, I'm quite fine. Just not used to these sorts of things is all. It'll give me somethign to tell the others at the country club tomorrow."


Well if he says he doesn't need it… he'll probably be okay. Whomever 'Oliver' is (Nick hasn't yet recognized the famed CEO of Queen Consolidated) he's damn fit. So… yeah. Lunair bombs wear off after a while right?

"Well if you all are sure then I'll get back to work. Thanks for your help, everyone." And with that he… turns his back to get back to work. Run or snatch, this may be Morianna's chance.


"Alright." Brin eyes Oliver carefully, blushing again before turning to look at Nick. "I'll check in when I finish my shift…" With Nick leaving, that's her cue too "It will be a few more hours." Maybe more … sometimes Rescue gets a little busy.

With a glance to Morianna, the X-Red smiles "If you need any help, I'm with X-Red. Our headquarters are out at the Airport and you can find us on the 'Net." The benefit of being a public mutant.


Lunair is going to help in the background. And really, the bombs do wear off after a bit. She doesn't pester Oliver, instead just waving a polite farewell to the man.


Oliver looks at the others and makes his way towards the doorway, stopping in it just momentarily before pausing to look back and speak. "It was nice meeting you all. Thank you for the rescue, I … was scared there for a minute I was about to become a statistic." He nods towards Lunair and Nick, not so much Morianna since she needed rescue to. His attention goes back to Brin momentarily before the man smiles cheekily and adds, "I knew the colors of the flowers I picked out were right. Totally match your blush." With that he turns and slips off towards wherever it is he parked his Honda Civic.


Morianna chooses that moment to 'fall' gracelessly right onto the locket. It's suspicious as hell, to be sure, but she's swift-fingered enough that she can curl her fingers about the trinket and stow it away when she rubs at her sore wrist. This isn't exactly a textbook job but, hey, as long as she gets away with her prize. "X-Red?" She pauses, then, looking up at Brin from her position on the ground. Something causes her to grow thoughtful as she studies Brin, biting the tip of her tongue. After a heartbeat she smiles and inclines her head, polite enough. "I'm sure we'll run into each other again. We probably run in similar circles. But, ah… It was nice meeting the lot of you. Right now I'm between places but maybe I'll swing by and see if you need an extra hire." And then she tries to scurry away before real police show up and start asking questions. That footage will be damning, but she's lucky to get out without a pair of cuffs.

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