Ooze on First

February 11, 2016:

Nightwing, Fairchild and Superman deal with a giant ooze named Daryl.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\ None.]


Fade In…

"Goooooo my creation, surely you are strong enough to …I …. no!" says the scientist that decided to set loose a strange, bright red ooze creature, on a sidewalk. The ooze creature did not ooze it's ooze-pods towards the desired direction of the Hall of Justice, but instead has moved sideways and has rolled into an alley, picking up the bits of newspaper, some old crate, some bottles. It leaves an extremely sticky patch of red goop behind it as it moves, and bits of newspaper get stuck fast in it. Soon, it's onto the hood of a parked car, and starts to chew on it. (Chew is a loose term; it's consuming it ooze-style), and then starts on a parking meter, growing in size.

"No, left, left, I ….really?" the scientist says, watching the ooze go completely the 'wrong way' and start to destroy the side of a coffee shop, ripping the outdoor seating apart. A big table is stuck to it's back, and two large table umbrellas roll crazily from it's upper 'shoulder' area. The scientist, annoyed, makes some notes, and disappears into the night, while a car alarm starts to scream bloody murder and passing cars start to notice the thing, swerving. Screams begin.

Caitlin's sitting in the Justice League Headquarters, using one of the common room terminals. She's dragged over one of the sturdier chairs and is slouched back lazily in it, watching video tape of a particularly brawling sort of battle featuring a few of the League's bigger bruisers. She slurps on her milkshake noisily, the straw scraping the bottom of the cup, and has a plate of butter and cheese covered popcorn sitting on her belly. She eats absently, eyes flickering across the screen wide-eyed as Wonder Woman punts an evil-looking alien into low orbit and Superman wrestles with some kind of anti-Hawkman.

Dick Grayson is not in the Justice League personally, although he knows people who have been. He's been taking a little time out of Gotham, although not too far, as he still has a few irons in the fire. And pigs. Definitely pigs.

He was just regular Dick Grayson, though, looking through a used bookstore and listening to his WaynePod when he heard some sort of noise outside and then the sight of people running away from the direction of the slime. Oh. Well, that's probably bad. Dick ducks into the bathroom of the store, the old man behind the counter having fallen asleep on a copy of War & Peace, so he doesn't particularly notice when his only customer comes back out in full Nightwing costume. Dick does leave a few paperbacks on the counter - hopefully he doesn't die horribly so he can come back and get those later.

The bloody red blob starts to look less like a giant cherry slush ball and more like somebody's idea of disgusting object vomit — if that person had eaten said cherry slushie, a lamp-post, a pile of newspapers, most of a table and four bent chairs, part of a sidewalk rail, a sign to 'please put your tray tables inside', and some other interesting items deeper inside the blob, no doubt. It oozes across the side of the coffee shop's window, leaving both umbrellas stuck to the ceiling in the hyper-sticky goop.

The press is eagerly on the scene, and starts getting their eye-witness coverage up and running. News vans park, and a mix of police arrive on their heels, trying to control the general population away from the problem: the usual monster control sequence. The blob, meanwhile, finds a postal box appetizing, and slams it flat, sending letters flying everywhere, which mostly stick to the surface of the thing in an interesting mosaic pattern.

A brief, to-the-point message is sent from Superman to the JLA — is anyone available to see what awful package is left on their doorstep?

Caitlin glances around at a *bzzt* noise. "Hello?"

Not hearing anyone, she sighs theatrically and gets up, reaching for her phone and tapping on the 'JLA Alert' button. She digs out her earpiece and tilts her head to the side, wedging the little earbud in, and listens to the security system relaying the message to her.

"Oh crapsack," she mutters. She peers around. "Am… am I seriously the only one here right now?" she asks, sounding a bit dubious. She moves at a quick trot to the security center, and identifies herself with the palm scanner and retinal exam. "Uh… wow, giant blog attacking a Starbucks, huh? Okay, that's kind of weird."

She picks up the broadcast microphone and clears her throat, hesitantly, then speaks into it.

"Uhh… hi? This is um… Cait- this is Fairchild, I'm at the headquarters," she says, a bit nervously. "The emergency feed says some kind of blob monster is loose a few blocks from here. I can run there in a minute or so, but is anyone on patrol and can get to the scene?"

A beat. "Over?"

Dick Grayson comes around the corner and finds the slime going to town and just kind of cocks his head at it. Huh. That…was not what he expected to find when he followed the commotion he heard. He slows and puts away his escrima sticks, slowly making his way closer to get a better view. He definitely can neither punch nor kick that.

He at least does a little bit of basic work to try and get teh space clear, "Hey, folks, see if we can pull back here, we don't know whwat that things going to do - for all we know, it's made of napalm and about to explode, so maybe we should give it its space, huh?' he says.

"What do you think it is? Do you think it will come this way?" the onlookers want to know from Nightwing, glad to see him, eager for answers. "Can you defeat it?" Some are willing to follow his lead, and others are trying to take selfies with the blob in the background.

The blob begins to cross the street. A reckless character in a car tries to speed around it instead of stopping, but gets hit sideways by the blob as it rolls, and is now stuck, trapped, inside his car, on the back of the blob as it moves across the street to the other Starbucks just across the way. Maybe it likes coffee. Or tables, at any rate. It doesn't seem 'aware' that there is a car with special human treats inside it stuck to it: or at least doesn't care. The man is yelling and waving at his windows but the blob only seems to move more aggressively at the coffee shop. It also becomes apparent to anyone looking in the car that it isn't just the single man inside: there's at least one other person in the car as well, unless he has more than two arms.

"I'm not, but I'll come meet you there shortly," comes the answer from Superman to Fairchild, from what sounds like a noisy place, and an obvious attempt to speak in just… general terms in a hushed voice.

Additionally, of note: one of the people near Nightwing taking a selfie has some of the strange red ooze on his sleeve and hand. Odd.

"Rrrrroger! I guess, um… I'm on my way?"

Caitlin peels off her shirt and tosses it aside, revealing her uniform of unstable molecules beneath it. She wiggles out of her jeans, too, and sets them aside, and tentatively pokes at her initials embossed below her collarbone. The uniform twitches and then starts climbing along her body, and in moments it goes from a brief leotard to a body-covering suit in purple and green.

Caitlin breaks into a jog until she's on the city street, then leans forward and starts running full-out, as fast as she can. Which considering her sheer strength, is nothing to sneeze at. She's going as fast as a motorcycle, and aided by dint of being able to just vault over traffic snarls in her way.

She travels five blocks in a little over a minute and a half, and lands in the middle of the intersection to watch the blob creeping around.

"What the heck…" she mutters. "Anyone got a buttload of paper towels?"
Dick Grayson tries to reassure the onlookers as best he can, but, admittedly, this is a little outside of his usual experience. He notices the guy with the ooze on his sleeve, though and tries to sidle up to him as casually as he can. Caitlin's arrival gets a little bit of relief, as he's not the only hero on the job at the moment.

"Your guess is as good as mine, "he calls out to the Amazonian redhead, "But I think maybe this guy might have an idea," he says, reaching out and snatching at the guy's arm, "Seems like he managed to have some close contact - maybe too close to be coincidental."

Said guy finished his selfie and then stared at Nightwing with shock. He's easy to grab onto, and is somewhat overweight and out of shape, so it isn't like he'll put up resistance. "…Bwwwwwa? How did you…?" The man says, in a way that suggests he's impressed. And, of course, confirming his own guilt.

The blob continues to pick up tables and objects in front of the coffee shop, and then suddenly, for no apparent reason, starts to pulse and vibrate, which makes many of the onlookers scream and run. The warning was brief, and then it shivers, and in a geyser, parts of red ooze burst from it in all directions, and the car on it's back goes careening high in the air….!

"Hmmmmmm," the man with the selfie camera that Dick has captured says, and makes an effort to try to put someone else between him and the blob.

Caitlin gets a running start and moves fast, enough that she puts some stress on the asphalt under foot. "I got it! I got it!" she shouts, avoiding oozy blorples. She gets under the car's shadow and then hops up and catches the car in the air, and lands with a flexion of her knees to absorb the shock and turn it into a softer landing. She grunts and rolls the car off her shoulder so the wheels bounce on the ground. "Quick! Get out!" she shouts at the driver and passengers.
Dick Grayson takes the guy's arm and twists it behind his back in a hammerlock, sweeping the leg and shoving him down onto his face. He pins him hard, wrenching upwards so the guy can feel the tension as Dick remembers the lessons of the Batman, his voice pitched low and threatening as he whispers in the guy's ear.

"I don't have time to play games. Tell me what you know about that thing and tell it to me fast or you're going to be a very lonely, sad man without the use of his hands very quickly."

The passenger side door launches open and a man falls out, rolling once and scampering like mad to duck behind the nearest shelter. The other pushes his driver side door, and gets it open, only to try to jump out, but gets stuck. "Help!" he yelps at Caitlin, his hand stuck to the door with the oozey gloop, staring at her in terror, as globs of red ooze splatter all around them and on the car.

"Khhhh, waittt wait, okay okay! It's named Daryl,…. I brought it safely in icepacks in that …. but it's not going to fit anymore and you can't cool it without it, so…" The man jerks his head towards a red and white cooler near them, that he must have been carrying before deciding to get a picture to put on his Book of Faces online.

There's another arrival on the scene at high speed as promised—- one that deliberately intercepts the ooze that would have covered Nightwing's innocent people (and Nightwing and the scientist himself). The other people manage to flee without getting coated. And so, the new flier ends up … as a gross red-ooze covered roughly humanoid guy with cape hovering in the air near Nightwing and his interviewee. "Ugh. What do we know?" the new arrival calls to Caitlin, but Nightwing is easily in range to chime in too.
The blob isn't as big now, about the size of a motorcycle, but is working on fixing that.

"Uhh…." Caitlin eyes the fellow, and the door, then with her bare hands just rips the vehicle panel off, and with as much effort as a person might tear a sheet of cardboard, pulls away the interior paneling to which the fellow's stuck. He's still -stuck-, but at least he's not anchored to two tons of metal. "Okay, get outta here!"

She turns to examine the red stuff warily, shaking her head in confusion. "I don't know," she admits. "It's some giant of ooze. I don't think it's intelligent or nothin', it's just… sort of sticky and eating stuff. No one's screaming about it being caustic neither, but it's gotta be digesting stuff SOMEhow— if it's an acid, we need um… black ,or ammonia or something," Caitlin supplies. "If it's a base, we need vinegar. I think that'd neutralize it."
Dick Grayson calls out, "Cold! You have to make it cold!" he calls out to Caitlin and Superman. He quickly draws a ziptie, pulling the man's other arm around behind him and binding his wrists together, a bit painfully, then adding another to his ankles to make sure he can't hop up and run away while the heroes focus on the problem at hand.

"That guy apparently had it docile in a cooler of some sort before it got loose," he says. "Either of you happen to have a way to freeze it up fast?"

The man in the car does exactly what Caitlin suggests, taking the piece of paneling with him after gaping at her. Well, he will definitely have a story to talk about. Off he goes, safely.

The ooze has now picked up three tables and a bunch of stanchions in a cool mohawk. It's gaining size at a similar rate to before. Interestingly, a bunch of the objects rain down here and there: they don't appear to be scarred by acid, just stuck together in clumps.

"Cold? Got it. — I'll try to pin it with that. Fairchild, see if you can find either of those neutralizers to try?" Red-goop man doesn't land, but approaches the blob while still in the air, and unleashes a cone of freezing breath. The ooze crystalizes in places, pieces of things that were stuck nearby fall to the ground, but the ooze itself isn't stopped: just very slow, and starts to try to creep away from the source of the cold.

The scientist looks cowed and resentful, mostly, and seems to be going nowhere, although he's mostly still interested in the show, it appears, and tries to get a good look at what's happing to to Daryl (the blob).

Caitlin starts casting around, thinking. "Thinking… thinking…" She looks at GoopMan as he violently chills the blob out, then gets a brainwave. "I've got it! Um… stall this for a minute, okay?"

She dashes into the Starbucks, and there's the sound of glass breaking and a few 'Heys!' echo out. Caitlin comes trotting out with the big, industrial ice machine in her arms, and trails an extension cord. She dumps the cooler out on the ground, emptying it, and picks up a gallon carafe of hot coffee. She pours it into the bin and the frost evaporates immediately. "Okay, now… some heat," she mutters, grabbing the bean roaster out and tossing it into the ice cooler. It immediately starts warming up the interior, making for a lovely insulated protective shell for any nearby oozes looking for shelter from GoopMan's ice breath.

"I'm gonna feel reaalllly stupid if this doesn't work," she asides to Dick in an abashed mutter, stepping well away from the ice machine.

Dick Grayson shrugs at Caitlin, "Hey, never know until you try. Anyway, it's pretty clear that the big guy's chilly breath is putting the fear of Jack Frost into this thing - now we just need you to corral," he says. He keeps an eye over his shoulder at the scientist on occasion, but just to make sure he's still docile. Let him watch Daryl and figure out his fate - they can sort out where this thing came from and what this guy has to do with it once it's stopped.
It's not extremely obvious at first what Caitlin intends with the machine, but once she gets it set up, more apparent. Got it. Superman adjusts his angle and stops cooling it to give it a chance to orient, and moves parallel, to breathe on it again, attempting to steer it. The objects stuck in it fall off now and then, which is clearly reducing it's size; it looks like removing more of the items would similarly reduce it. The warm spot Caitlin is offering seems to be as good as anywhere, although if it intends to try to eat the machine, hard to tell. But it's getting close, and is still pretty big.

Now that things are more under control, and ooze isn't clearly airborne, both news reporters and police are approaching on Nightwing's street side - there's less goo over there, besides, so it's easier to walk without getting shoes stuck in it.

"He had such promise," the scientist observes of Daryl.

Caitlin helps out as best she can— removing the largest, most massive objects, and trying to wipe slime off of her hands as she goes. It's gross, nasty work, but lingering near the heat source seems to naturally draw the slime from her pale skin and it creeps towards the relief from Superman's breath. Once the bulk of it is corralled, she starts turning the refridgerator unit on, and it starts cooling the slime off until there's little of the main body of the critter left.

"I still think we need to neutralize this residue somehow," she says dubiously. "But if it's not hurting anything…"

Dick Grayson looks down at the scientist, "Yeah, he was going to get a full scholarship to Harvard any day now," he mutters, shaking his head. Mad scientists, dude. He leaves the slime to the superhumans, though - somersault kicks don't seem like they'd add a lot to the situation as it is. As for reporters and police, he draws back if they get too close - Superman and the Justice League can do publicity, but Gotham heroes tend to be a bit more shy of the public eye.
"If only he went in the right direction," the scientist agrees sadly.

"Well done. I'll get it out of here," Superman says to Caitlin, now that the unit appears to be containing it. He gives Nightwing a curt appreciative nod — well, a gooey drippy red one anyway— aware that Nightwing probably wants to vanish into the shadows. And that's fine. "I'd agree it doesn't seem directly dangerous, but it was causing a lot of panic, and I'd rather learn more to be safe. It's bigger, meaner brother could appear tomorrow," Superman sighs. "I'll return shortly." He glides to the unit, and will take it high into very chilly temperatures, where it won't matter if it's plugged in anymore.

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