Handle the Truth

February 22, 2016:

Spider Woman learns that Shift isn't lying about her employers, The Section. The truth ain't pretty.

Secret Army Installation outside Metropolis


NPCs: U.S. Army 'The Section' soldiers, and Rachel.



Mood Music: Don't Wanna Fight by Alabama Shakes

Fade In…

Having let the others go, Julia exercises her own judgement and keeps the one person she thinks of as the important prisoner of the group. Of course, by now her handlers have other soldiers closing in on the room. When they reach the hole in the wall, she lifts a hand, "Please stay put. We are trying to have a conversation here." And she looks back your way, "So, you are going to tell me everything huh? What is your name?" she starts. "Are you even a citizen of the United States?"


A casual glance is given toward the hole in the wall. When he turns back, the Ghanaian fixes himself upon Julia.

"Shift," he answers. Code name for code name, after all. "I am a Resident Alien." He folds his gloved hands and maintains his deadpan stare.


Lifting a hand to point an index finger upwards… shaking it back and forth, Julia tsk tsk tsks… "But you said you would tell me everything. And now -you- are holding back? I suppose I will just have no choice but to suggest that they hermetically seal the base so you can't smoke your way out."


"Kwabena Odame." The words are spoken with intent, and a touch of annoyance. "Are you aware of how complicated such a procedure is?" he asks. "Dis base doesn't have de resources. Please." He gestures with both hands. "Stop wasting my time and ask your questions."


"Fair enough. That was a bluff. Good call." offers Julia as she leans back, still cocky and smug. "So.. mister Odame, what was your objective in.. committing several felonies… to start with, Impersonating an Officer of the United States Military?" She pauses and adds, "Were you seeking data to steal? Trying to sabotage the facility?"


"I was seeking to confirm rumors," Kwabena answers. "Which I did. Pahhaps you'd be intahrested in learning what I've discovered?" A subtle smile forms across his face. "Something tells me you wouldn't be happy to know what's really going on, here."

Interestingly, he doesn't acknowledge her accusations. If she knew him, she'd know that he's done far worse.


Shaking her head, Julia remarks, "I wager that I am not cleared to have such knowledge. I don't have need to know. So how about someone get me a tablet with this man's dossier?" she asks to the guards in the hole. The request is relayed up the line and she looks back your way, "I'm not here to listen to whatever fiction you are planning to use to make me think you are somehow justified in your criminal activities. I am just asking for you to confess to said activities fully. Also.. who were you planning to give your information to?" she asks.


At this point, Kwabena leans forward, hands clasped together. Silver eyes remain fixed upon Julia, lips pressed into a thin line. He waits for a long while, giving the soldiers time to work through the red tape.

"I plan to give my information to a valuable resource. One that is interested in determining just how far dese opahrations have gone toward further raping de U.S. Constitution." A brief pause. "Undah Executive Directive 51, your employers have funded questionable mercenary opahrations designed to silence innocent people who are exercising dere right to free speech, and de freedom to conduct business howevah dey please." He lifts a hand, gesturing that she should allow him to finish, even though he spares not a moment in his words.

"Mercenary ops which, I'll add, have close ties to such terrorist organizations as HYDRA. SIGMA." The Ghanaian leans back, arms crossing over his chest. "So, you can sit dere and pretend dat you are doing de right thing, dat you are protecting National Security; but what you're really doing is further enabling dese people to strip away liberties, destroy lives, take lives, simply because some fucking Washington Suit doesn't like what words came out of someone's mouth."

At this point, a tablet is offered to Julia. It contains an entire dossier on one Kwabena Odame, code named 'Shift'.

Of course, 99.7 of the file has been officially redacted by SHIELD, including whether or not Kwabena is alive or dead. The face, though… it's a dead ringer.


Leaning forward even as you do so, listening as you speak.. Julia doesn't even bother to try to stop you from saying your piece. But when you finish, and she gets the tablet.. she holds it up to match it to your face and smirks. She then sets it down and lifts her hands to begin clapping slowly, "Quite a performance." she states, "How long did you practice that in front of a mirror? You knew that you'd be speaking to me today, but let me tell you…." She leans forward and the smirk leaves her face. "I may be blonde, but I was -not- born yesterday you self absorbed terrorist."

That said, she leans back and picks up the tablet once more. She skims through it slowly… taking the opportunity to have her face briefly hidden from you while thinking about how to reply. But her studious reverie is ended when her psi-vibration sense picks up on a quick movement from just behind the soldiers in the hole. A specialist soldier with an experimental plasma weapon that… they -believe- should be effective, even against one with such an unstable molecular structure as you… it fires Ionized Bioplasma… (that technobabble enough for you?!)

But she recognizes the motion as an attack and… in the blink of an eye, she psi-web's your chest and whips you forward just in time to make the blast miss. She also uses that motion to pull her out of her chair and she ends up standing in the hole… the plasma has just burned another hole in the far side of the room… and her hands are on her hips. "Soldier. Stand dow…" she begins, and the rest of the squad behind the guy aim her way as one of them says, "You are a civilian. Clear the line of fire, or we will fire -through- you." This.. stuns her speechless. (Something you may not have thought possible)


"No," Kwabena answers. "I didn't." His calculated demeanor seems to deflate, just a little.

Seeing the movement from the corner of his eye, Shift's expression ices over, and he vaults to his feet, throwing a chair to the floor with the motion. "Sto-" he starts to say, but the word is cut off when he's yanked from his feet and sent forward. He catches himself on the table, then spins around to face the squad as they fill the room.

"You will not!" he shouts. Then, the Ghanaian closes his eyes and takes a deep breath, grinding his teeth. He bends his mind against his body, and there is a brief transformation into smoke… smoke, which soon erupts into a fire of white, burning plasma.

He's positioned between Julia and the soldiers.

"Stand down," comes an electric voice. "I don't want to hurt any of you."


"You heard the Captain. Fight fire with fire." mutters the heavy gunner… and then all of them are starting to open fire.

Julia… can't really move forward to engage them because.. WHITE PLASMA CLOUD! But.. she is evasive as all get out. But… here's the issue. She leaps for the ceiling, and their file on her is -exensive-. They know about her routine, about her abilities… and more.

The blasters the others have are electrical disruption weapons. When they pass through your plasma body… they strike the metal ceiling and Julia gets a jolt through her costume and feet. She goes stiff for a moment before she turns off her clinging power and falls to land on the floor… a bit singed.

"What in the hell are you…" she begins, but then a voice comes over a speaker. "Spider-Woman. You should have taken him out, or at least silenced him. But you will stand down this instant, or Rachel will be the next guest in one of our cells."

-That-.. makes her stiffen, and you see something you may not have seen before… if you are looking Julia's way.. fear…


The electrical material is difficult to capture or deflect. One or two of them, Shift is able to absorb into his altered state, but the others bring a visible grimace to the energy beams that constitute a face. He spins around to witness Julia falling to the floor, then pivots back around to face the soldiers.

The loudspeaker interrupts his next move. In fact, it seems to bring a momentary pause to the entire scene. Kwabena is looking toward Julia again, and he can see that look in her eyes.

The Ghanaian's memory flashes to Kenya. It flashes to a room full of frightened children, frightened because of the things that had been done to them. Such a recent memory, one that he still hasn't managed to burn away into the distant corners of his dark mind. There just hasn't been enough time, nor enough whiskey, yet.

He's not going to give Julia the chance to stand down.

With an electric snarl, Shift vaults himself at them. The brilliant cloud of white energy becomes something of a blur, dashing from soldier to soldier. Weapons are snatched, melted, their energy cells overheating and erupting. The explosions, each of them, are drawn into the cloud of energy, vaulting it on to the next soldier and the next weapon. The men collapse, one by one, clutching their hands where third degree burns have seared into the tissue and burnt bone. They'll be maimed, to be certain, but also, they will be alive.

They're a few levels down, so, the escape will be difficult. Regardless, the ball of energy hits the ceiling, burning it away until a hole is left, globules of molten metal and cement dripping in its wake. Then, the white energy dissipates, absorbed back into the man clad in gunmetal gray. His chest heaves with heavy breaths, but regardless, he sticks a gloved hand down through the hole.


At this point, Julia has one thought, one objective. She has forgotten about the guy impersonating a Colonel. She has forgotten about anything and everything that does not involve getting her home to make sure her little girl is safe.

Your surging into motion breaks her out of her fear-induced reverie… and something more is in her head, her eyes, in the snarl she now wears as her only expression…
Anyone who has ever threatened a child within earshot of that child's mother… ends up as the target of that mother's rage and pure protective instincts. When that mother is strong enough to throw cars at you… things get out of hand, FAST.

Without thinking, she moves.. she follows your progress in an agile bounding manner. She avoids any melted metal areas, psi-webs propelling her along.

She emerges from the hole and says, "This way." as she starts bounding down the hall to her left, "Thirty meters from here is a lift shaft to the surface. It has an armored shutter, but if you can do that trick -one- more time.. we can get out of here."

She whips a hand out and a web attaches to the lift door.. her hand moving to pull it open and revealing the shaft beyond. "We go up six levels through here." she adds as she ducks into the shaft and starts ascending.


Quick footsteps carry Shift in Spider-Woman's wake. "Won't be a problem," he answers, though this time, his body doesn't burst into white flame. It takes a lot out of him, and it does its own unique form of damage; there's now an indeterminate level of potentially toxic material in his body, absorbed by the bio-energy that he'd transformed into. Steel, concrete, and all of the materials therein that the human body typically doesn't metabolize.

The Ghanaian hangs back until Spider-Woman has managed the lift door. He leaps into the shaft, disregarding the chasm that opens below, and transforms into a black cloud mid-leap. The smoke bounces off the opposing wall, and begins a rapid climb up the shaft, passing by the dim utility lights that line each level.

The smoke takes a few precious seconds to slip through a small crack in the armored shutter's jointwork. A few more seconds pass, before the sound of metal straining against itself precludes the bending of the shutter in on itself. It bends once, twice, then, with a loud bang, the shutter is rendered into pieces, falling into the elevator shaft below.

A stream of daylight fills the escape route, with Shift blocking a portion of it from above. Where the skin of his head is exposed, chunks of super-solid material meld back into flesh and bone once more, paired with a unique crackling sound. He stands and turns about, pulling the mask down to stretch it over his face. Alarms ring from multiple guard towers, and there's movement; jeeps and soldiers closing in from three directions. There's one exposed way out of the compound, about 150 meters northwest toward a tall, wire fence.


Following, Spider-Woman comes out of the shaft feet first, arcing through the air and landing in a spread legged crouch with one hand on the ground. It's one of her signature poses to be honest, if she realized she had those maybe…

Either way, she doesn't hesitate. When faced with soldiers armed with firearms, the safest place is in the middle of them. She can't turn into smoke or plasma or metal. What she -can- do, is react faster than any of the soldiers. So as they begin firing… she is already moving and twisting through the air before a pair of webs snatch at the group… discombobulating their efforts. Even so.. with her landing in their midst and going to work kicking one soldier, a hand yoinking a gun out of another's hand and throwing it at a third soldier… it is still only a matter of time before she has even -her- reflexes overwhelmed…


Upon the exposed lower half of Shift's face, a smirk forms.

Short-lived, though.

He's not quite as graceful as Spider-Woman. He is, however, impervious to bullets. He takes to the group of soliders next to Spider-Woman, running right through their gunfire and disarming them, one after the other. The soldiers are left with non-lethal injuries, mostly to the knees and arms.

This isn't going anywhere, fast.

Shift comes around one soldier, pulling the grunt into a headlock and wrapping a leg around the soldier's firing arm. A free hand comes up to smack against the side of his face, where a small, nano-transmitter has been knit into the unstable-weave of his mask.

"Storm -" A pause, the sounds of struggle going out over the Avengers comm. "Need a littah help -" The sound of a punch "Some covah, hurry!"

Along that exposed northwest escape route, a pair of tanks roll in. Demands are shouted from their loudspeakers, a muffled cacophony of words that blend in with the sirens and the sounds of fighting. Shift grunts and throws the soldier to the ground, and for a moment, he finds himself back to back with Spider-Woman.

"Don't worry!" he tells her, before throwing a haymaker at an incoming grunt. "We'll get out of dis mess!" He reaches back and links arms with her, then vaults her up over his head a moment before a barrage of semi-automatic weapons fire punches through where she would have been, peppering him with little tufts of black smoke.


Sure, things look bleak there for a minute. Will Shift and Spider-Woman survive? Will they be overtaken by the forces of evil (or at least private military contractors)? Will Shift leave Spider-Woman enhanced with a delicious smoky aroma like you get from real home cooking? And why are those tanks starting to lurch and tip over?

Well, that last one has an easy answer. It's because Storm is here, generating a wind that can be felt by all and sundry on the battlefield. "No need for haste, Shift," the goddess informs her ally over his comm. "This situation will be well in hand soon enough." The winds scatter men like bowling pins. Shift and Spider-Woman might want to grab onto something. Especially the one of them who sticks to things.


And the one who can stick to things generally needs things to -stick- to. Fortunately, she is able to psi-thwip out a web to anchor her to a nearby building. Dirt doesn't hold up very well.. she found that out her second day on the job.

Either way, she hauls herself in towards the building and looks towards the approaching Mutant. "This would be your backup?" she asks Shift as she reaches the wall and clings to it sideways. "Color me impressed." she adds, webs being used to tangle up flying soldiers here and there to prevent broken necks. After all, most of them are just good people who think they're doing the right thing… like she was and did.


A few stray tufts of black smoke are caught up in the wind and go soaring. Shift scowls at that; this explains why he's always eating, always working out, always trying to keep weight on. What he doesn't burn through ends up a little glob of flesh somewhere. It's fairly gross, let's not think about it too much.

With a ripping sound, the Ghanaian's skin goes super-solid once more, patches of matte obsidian forming all over his body. Then, he actually shrinks in size, for his molecular density is becoming compacted. He shrinks until he's a whopping four feet in height, his mass increased to the point where the pavement gives way beneath and he sinks down half a foot into the ground.

Still, Ororo's winds are enough to move tanks. Though virtually statuesque, Shift begins moving backward, tearing up pavement and leaving a pathway in his wake. "Dammit," he curses under his breath, then turns his neck toward Julia. "Well, it's a young relationship," he quips. "Still got to work out some few kinks."


The huge gusts of wind only last a moment or two — that's all the time it takes to make one tank tip over onto its side and into the other tank. Soldiers are scattered hither and yon, some webbed, some just skidded in the dirt like something out of a Looney Tunes cartoon.

Storm gracefully lets herself drop from the sky and lands next to Tiny Shift, looking from him to Spider-Woman. "My apologies," she says. "You looked like you were in need of something drastic. Shall we leave?"

Ororo says it so casually, like she's picking them up from junior college. She looks around, her cerulean cat's-eyes scanning to see if any of the soldiers are fool enough to try shooting again.


The soldiers are stunned senseless at this point. They may be soldiers, trained to fight on no matter what, but there is onlyso much they can handle when the very elements turn against them.

Spider-Womani launches herself closer, landing in her spread-legged crouch before straightening. She looks down and sees that she has a few flesh wounds… bleeding but just surface cuts, nothing serious. "I'm game for getting out of here. I.." she blinks and then shakes her head, "I have somewhere to be!" She announces as she bursts into a running motion that is fast… faster than the tanks generally can move, and as fast as -some- cars go on streets. But then she leaps and accelerates further with pulls on weblines she uses to swing off. She has a daughter to reach… now!


Kwabena unseats himself from the hole in the ground. He's still growing back to his normal size when Spider-Woman lands, and suddenly vaults away. He has a hand oustretched toward her, but it just hangs there for a second before dropping. "Yes," he tells Storm, before turning to look at her, the mask concealing his silver eyes. "Let's get de hell out of here, quickly."

Because they just screwed up an Army Base. It's lucky for them this is the kind of operation that doesn't want to try attention from pretty much anyone, or else they'd be in big, big trouble.


Storm grabs hold of Kwabena's arm, and lifts him into the air casually. It's not that she's that strong — it's that the wind picks up underneath them, buffeting them upward like an invisible hand carrying their bodies.

"Friend of yours?" Ororo asks, as Spider-Woman's escape can be observed in bird's-eye view.


It's less of an escape, so much as a frantic push to move absolutely as fast as she can… Spider-Woman is desperate. She's pushing herself beyond her normal limits. Blood flows from her cuts, and her muscles bunch and pull… push.. leaping and bounding at a speed that could be considered break-neck.
It's… not difficult to tell that she can do nothing -but- move right now. Well, move and visualize all of the terrible things that could be happening at home… to her daughter who has already -been- threatened…


For a few moments, Shift's lips are sealed. See, he's trying not to lose his lunch. He's absorbed a lot of toxic materials for one; for another, his particular form of 'flight' involved transformations from human to smoke. This is altogether unnatural.

"Unclear," the Ghanaian finally answers, once his head stops spinning. "She's wounded," he continues. "And going aftah someone. I… think it may be her daughtah." He knows that look. It's not a look reserved for a best friend or a lover.

"Keep on her, Ororo," he suggests. "She may yet need our help."

At long last, ego be damned, the mercenary reaches with his free hand to grab hold of Storm's forearm. It's not that he's afraid of falling. Its just a bit unsettling to fly like this, when he was already queasy to begin with.


Storm carries Shift higher, but not too high. She's in a comfortable range that will screw with radar but not enable her and her fellow Avenger to be caught by enemies with nets on long poles. She shadows Spider-Woman, following the redhead in her scramble. It's easier in the open air.

"If it would make you more comfortable," Storm notes to Shift, "I can hold you under the armpits. Or you can climb on, piggyback."


It takes several minutes of travel through the city of New York… over from Jersey where the base was at. Spider-Woman crosses the bridge at high speed, and high altitude. Well above the traffic.

She reaches the buildings of Manhattan and arrows over the rooftops towards her own apartment building. She stops on the rooftop and crawls down the outside of the building to peer in through a window. Only when she sees inside does she let out the breath she'd been holding. Everything is fine for the moment. She got here before… and then a pair of Hummers rolls up down below.. disgorging another squad of soldiers. Soldiers specially trained and equipped to fight against the 'Mutant Menace' or.. well you know.



Shift pulls himself up and onto Ororo's back, tucking his legs against her and wrapping hands under her armpits. "For de record, dis does not make me more comfahtable," he notes.

As they track her to the apartment building, Kwabena keeps a watchful eye upon her progress. It doesn't take much to notice the SUVs as the pull in, disgorging soldiers dressed in black and grey. "Dose bastards," he seethes. "I'm dropping."

He trusts Storm to do what she will need to do. As for Kwabena, he's got a particularly unique way to approach this situation: from the sky. He leaps from Ororo's back, bending gracefully through the air to direct his fall. Once he's lined up, he tucks his arms and legs tightly together to himself, forming an aerodynamic bullet that increases his speed. The 'spandex' of his uniform only makes this better; there are no coattails or flappy fabrics to slow his fall.

When he strikes ground, the Ghanaian bursts into a cloud of smoke that goes in every direction. Four distinct columns rise from the smoke and force their way into four of the soldiers' mouths and noses, plunging into their lungs and cutting off their ability to breathe.


Storm's eyes tense just a bit as Shift climbs onto her back and settles into position. She has to think for a moment, on how to reply to the Ghanian. "So noted," Ororo says. "Rest assured, I can feel the source of your discomfort. Do not be ashamed. It happens."

Storm is chill like that — most of the time. Good for Shift, eh? Still, no wonder he's so eager to jump off of her.

Ororo swoops in low, herself. While Shift goes after the soldiers' throats, she aims for other soldiers' feet. Bolts of lightning erupt from her hands. She has no interest in jolting the soldiers so bad that they have heart attacks — but keeping them off kilter and, hopefully, panicked is good. It's like an Old West gunfighter trying to make a poor sucker dance. She's also aiming for the tires of the Hummers, hoping to strand these soldiers.


And… Spider-Woman is at the same time relieved, and pissed off beyond belief. She looks down and sees the attack beginning. Her eyes narrow and she sees red. So she drops off of the building and lands in the middle of the soldiers. Heedless of lightning or smoke… she psi-webs one of the melted-tire SUV's now… and bracing her feet by clinging to the ground.. she heaves with her superhuman muscles… the SUV lurching into motion as she pulls it to her hands and lifts it over her head.

Did I mention she is seeing red? What mother wouldn't lose her shit if they came for her 3 year old little girl? She turns then and hurls the SUV right towards three of the soldiers who… well, it looks like they are about to become graffiti on that wall behind them.


One by one, the choking soldiers drop to the ground and lose consciousness. This is one of Kwabena's signature moves - the Shift Choke - and he knows exactly how far to push without killing. The tendrils recoil once the men are down, collecting into a man-shaped cloud that is quickly replaced by flesh, bone, and gunmetal gray. However, he's too late to do anything about Spider-Woman's deadly move; the SUV is soaring over his head and headed for those soldiers.

"Stop!" he calls to her, and spins about to glare in the masked woman's direction. "What good will it do?" he growls, viciously. "Will you kill every one of dem?"

He's a killer. He knows this song and dance. This situation is spiraling rapidly out of control; he's got to trust Storm to prevent those three soldiers from becoming a smear of blood and guts.


Storm can be trusted with things like that. She flies in, grabbing the three soldiers in her arms in something like a torpedo tackle — she's not trying to pick them up, but rather, shove them out of the way! The SUV comes so close to pasting the four of them that it almost catches one of Storm's capes.

"Do us all a favor, please — stay down." Ororo looks to Shift, who's containing Spider-Woman, she hopes. She also scans the battlefield from the ground position, seeking to provide Shift and his new pal with any cover they need.


Chest heaving with a combination of adrenaline and -almost- wracking sobs.. Spider-Woman's eyes lose a bit of their red tinge (figuratively).. since they are covered by large eye-shaped one way transparent mask bits… and people can't see her eyes from the outside, who would know if they -were- red, or orange, or red and white barber pole stripes for that matter?!

Either way, she takes a deep breath and… deflates. "I guess I should find someplace new to live." she mutters before looking to Shift. She doesn't -say- thank you, but.. the unspoken words may as well be heard between them. For the moment though, she stands there like a statue. Her control is delicate… it's one of those situations where, if she moves a -muscle-, she knows she might lose her shit all over again.


A breath of relief escapes when Ororo saves the soldiers. A beat later, and he's closing the distance, coming to a position that is just outside of a normal person's comfort zone. He doesn't want to crowd her, after all.

"I get it," he tells her, and leaves it at that. "We can find a place for you, for Rachel. But we have to go. Now. You can help us put an end to dis, to make it right, but not until she's safe."


Ororo doesn't move. For one, she's standing on one of the soldiers with one foot, casually establishing dominance like a lioness on the plain. She watches Shift, and then nods along with him, in case Julia is looking at her. Confirming what Shift has to say.

"While I do not wish to rush you," Ororo calls, "I would advise making a decision quickly. Before more of these men arrive. We will have a much harder time eluding them if they bring in air support." She glances down at the soldiers she's corralled. "No getting any ideas, now," she says in her imperious goddess tone, but with just a tiny bit of a smirk.


Her mind is racing.. Julia knows she needs to get her daughter to safety. But she also knows that Rachel has no idea about her alter ego. She doesn't want to terrify the girl… She looks to Shift and asks a favor that she can't really -believe- she's asking.

"I need your help. Apartment four fourteen…" she says, gesturing up at the building, "Can you sneak in… and grab the go-bag in the hall closet? I can't…." she gestures at her spandex outfit, complete with ripes and holes… and then just shrugs, "She can't find out -this- way…" she adds.


She doesn't even need to ask twice. "Back alley, forty five seconds," he says quickly. "You'll change behind de dumpstah, and go get her. Storm? Hail a cab."

Shift turns and leaps upward, transforming into smoke moments after leaving the ground. The cloud climbs the building quickly, and sneaks into the fourth floor. Forty-five seconds later, a bag falls into the alley, conveniently landing behind the dumpster. "Quickly," Shift whispers from a fire escape ladder three stories up, before turning a watchful eye to the streets for more troublesome vehicles.


Storm gives the soldiers a casual jolt — not enough to really damage them badly, but enough to keep their muscles sore for a good few minutes, and screw with their radios. She casually walks to the street and lifts her hand tohail a taxi.

Being a black woman in a cape with a mohawk, Storm is only just getting a cab to pull over when Spider-Woman has finished changing and Shift has finished pretending not to check her out while she's changing.


Indded, Spider-Woman changed over where indicated. It was a simple teeshirt and bluejeans combination with sneakers that was in the bag. At least she had a go-bag. So many people aren't prepared for things like that.

Then she gives Shift a quick smirk.. her wounds are healing already. They weren't serious after all… and she heals fast. Not Logan fast, but fast. She dashes inside and races up the stairs. Only a few minutes later, she emerges with a pair of suitcases. She had bags prepacked for her and Rachel it seems. Rachel is adorable in her flashing LED sneakers, and her purple unicorn decorated coat. "Where are we going mommy?" she asks as she holds Julia's hand.

She just looks to Shift and then Storm and smiles to you both. Then… "We're going someplace fun honey. You get to eat McDonald's for dinner tonight." she adds.. and Rachel jumps into the back of the cab with a gleeful giggle.


For the record? Shift wasn't watching. Even though she's right down there, he's more intent about keeping an eye out for more soldiers. Once she's done, he looks down to meet the smirk with a grin of his own, then leaps from the stairway and lands light footed upon the alley below.

"I should ask for yah numbah," he quips in passing, before joining storm on the street.

When Rachel and Julia arrive, he turns to look at them, mask down to expose his face. He smiles at the girl, feeling a brief moment of honest to goodness relief. It passes soon. They're not out of this yet.

He holds the door until Julia and her daughter are safe inside the cab, then hops in.

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