Deathstroke's Student

March 28, 2016:

Melody finally pays a visit to Kathman… who has been dead for a long time.

Kathman's.. well, some fucked up building.

Characters

NPCs: Officer Jesters

Mentions: Shift, Not-Zatanna, Steve Rogers, Not-Jericho

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

It was close to 7'o-clock when whatever version or form that Banner/Joe was in received a call. Melody was back in town for a little bit after a jaunt to the Carribean and to Hell respectively. Even though time moved oddly there, it only seemed as if she were gone for a day or two. And she was abusing the fact that if she wanted to go to another place, all she had to do was ask nicely and she was on a stepping disk to her desired destination.

This time, after K'Nert drops her off at home, she felt the need to just hang out. Hang with a familiar face and visit another to drop a few papers off of the legal variety, deeds to her house and a living will, and just a general will. For some reason, she was just getting her affairs in order, not to mention there were properties that she attempted to buy across the states that she needed advice on.

Thankfully, where she was meeting him was only a block or two away from Kathman's; Melody waiting outside with a big bag of double cheeseburgers with extra slop while she herself had a supersized diet coke from the 7-11. Her bike was parked in front of her, but since she figured walking might burn a few calories, she leaves it parked. There was a wonder of who she was going to get this time. Joe, Hulk, or Bruce. Either was just fine with her.

Mostly.


Joe Fixit doesn't know if she'd be happy to see him, but he shows up anyway. He felt kinda bad about the first time he manifested around her, when he was still all pissed off and stuck in Banner's scrawny ass body. Ugh, just the thought of bein' stuck in that spinly little frame. Sick.

He shows up in a wifebeater and his trousers, a pair of suspenders holding them in place and a porkpie hat on top of his head. He draws on a cigar as thick as a baby's arm as he wanders up, his slate-grey flesh drawing attention. An old woman stands agape, staring at him as he gets out of a tiny hatchback that barely fits him, the front seat removed entirely so he has room.

"What's you lookin' at? Go suck a sour persimmon, sister," he says. He spots Melody and makes his way over, his oversized shoes clomping until he arrives, "Sorry, I know you were prob'ly hopin' fer Banner, but he's had the fatigue o' late. He's got one o' them high-strung dispositions."


That.. was new.

It was something trying to fit Hulk into a car but then you get Joe who could actually fit in a car though without the seat. That alone had her laughing, a lot, it wasn't a belly laugh but it was enough to make her eyes burn and her breath catch as she tries to inhale. At least someone was a little happy.

The laughter was made worse as the old woman looks aghast, quickly ushering away as best as she could, Melody shaking her head as she takes the moment to gain her composure with a few breaths and a quick sip of her soda. "I wasn't hoping for anything. I think I lost that privilege." Blunt. She holds up the bag of cheeseburgers, offering it up to..

"Wait.. Joe right? I think you said your name was Joe.. I got you some cheeseburgers. There should be nine in there. With some chili-cheese fries at the bottom." So it was clear she was expecting a variation, though.. as she said.. she wasn't hoping for anything. "Anyways, I want you to come with me to meet a friend of mine."


Joe Fixit raises an eyebrow, but takes the bag of chow. He holds it up, large, donkey-ish nostrils flaring, "Well, ya definitely now how to speak my language, dollface, I'll give ya dat," he says. "Yup, Joe Fixit. 'cause I solve problems, see, even if I do it wit' more breakin' than fixin'. Fixin' is just a whaddyacallit…technical term," he says. The accent is pure dimestore gangster, straight out of an old time Jimmy Cagney movie.

He reaches in and scoops out a couple of burgers, starting to unwrap 'em while tucking his cigar in his pocket, snuffing it in his fingers. "Is this the kinda friend I need t'mash into a fine paste? Cause, if yer lookin' fer me to do a hit for ya, it's gonna take more'n even chili-cheese can offer…although I'm sure we could come t'some sort o' arrangement."


"Well, it was a lucky guess. At least two of you are always hungry. The other probably would have eaten it later after he had gotten high enough." Bruce, that's Bruce. "That's a real nice name actually. Joe Fixit." She turns now, beginning to walk down the street as she sips upon her soda. "No no no, he's actually my lawyer. Well, mine and Shift's. Though, I'd like to say it's mostly mine because I'm sure he didn't have to deal with late night phone calls and me crying for hours on end while he tried to talk me down from the ledge."

She smirks a little, then glances up.. up.. way up towards Joe. "Like your other half did but.." She shrugs her shoulders, then takes a long drag of her coke. "So no, no smushing. He's the good kind. Bit mouthy like you."


Joe Fixit hmmmmmmms, chewing on his burgers, grinding them properly with his massive teeth, "I gotta tell ya, I ain't usually much fer shysters," he says. "Buncha mooks just readin' little rules in stupid little books, made by fat fucks up in Washington or whatever the capitol o' this ratbag state is…thinkin' they're real smart, but books ain' twhere smarts come from. Banner learned that - he's super book smart, but dumb as fuck on everyting else," he says.

"But sure, why not, I ain't got nothin' better t'do. Cap'n Underpants ain't givin' me no calls right now. So let's go see us a lawya."


"He's a shyster. But, at least he's a friendly shyster." Melody stops, waiting to cross the street, then tugs the big guy along. Which, looks really weird. A miget sized person dragging a very, overly sized grey man across the street. How she even pulls him is a miracle. In fact, she doesn't pull him. He was already walking, she probably just used him to brace over the gust of wind. Once they hit the block of Kathman's, the entire scene looks odd. Police Tape roped off the entirety of the building, the top blown off as the building itself looked caved in. There wasn't anyone nearby, but it was clear that something bad has happened.

Melody's heart sank. Even as she pulled out her phone to dial Kathman's number, she was sure that she wouldn't get a ring. Or an answer. Just a dialtone saying that this customer wasn't available, the usual spiel one would hear when a phone was either delayed or cut off.

She blanked out, even as she walked towards the tape and ducked underneath it, the door to the office bent in ways that she couldn't even describe, the sound groaning and creaking as she pushes it open with a show of force. Dust falls from the ceiling before she enters, her hands soon tucked within her pockets as she moves towards the center of the damaged room. And she was silent.

Silent everlasting.. until..

"….well."


Joe Fixit snorts, looking around, "Huh," he says. One of the cops looks at him askance and Joe casually just does a shooing motion in his direction. The cop thinks about making a fuss about it, but decides to go with the better part of valor and goes back to crowd control.
Joe isn't exactly sympathetic, following along behind her, his head brushing the ceiling a bit, "Looks like yer lawyer got himself some enemies," he says.


"You don't say.." Melody murmurs quietly as she scans the room, her hand lifting to close her eyes to bite back whatever tears that were attempting to come, her nanites working for that brief moment to set out a glow upon her skin as those eyes open again.

It was a projection, the row of lights shining from her eyes that feature bits and pieces from her memory. Where the walls were burnt, the over-screen showed the same old walls as if they were never burned and broken. There was even a woman walking past, who disappears like a shadow in the night. Each inch of the office was looked at, the overlay of the old present, among the brown liquid that remains encrusted within the floor and taped off outlines that display the bodies that were present.

She couldn't tell who was who. Maybe some were customers. Maybe not.

"Joe.." She says quietly. "I need you to talk to the cop. I have to go back into the office there."

Calm. Eerily calm. Though Bruce and Joe would know why. Thank Deathstroke for the exposure, and her time in hell. She was still a cryer though, cause she sniffed and blinked back the projection with a wipe away at her eyes and a move forward.


Yeah, unfortunately, Joe is probably the least sympathetic of the three of them. Bruce is cold, but has common decency and doesn't want his friend to feel bad. Hulk has all the fear and unhappiness, so he would respond to her like she was a cute kitten meme and try to soothe her. Joe's all appetite - for violence, for fun, for sex, all the repressed fun shit that Banner put away that couldn't fit in Green's childish head.

He isn't fond o' dames cryin', but it ain't like it's his fault.

Still, he's been asked to provide cover and never let it be said he left someone hangin' when they needed distraction on a job. "Hey, you, blue boy, c'mere," he says, crooking a finger. "You may'a heard o' this fella called Cap'n America, right? Well, jus' so happens, he an' I are close personal colleagues. Tight as packed fudge. An' I'd be happy ta personally recommend you to him, as a favor to a friend. But I really need t'find out what's happenin' here, so why don't you gimme the skinny an' I'll drop a text on the shield-slinger, see if he can send ya an autographed glossy or a colorin' book fer yer kid?"


Melody crosses into the broken hallway, stepping over shards of wood and broken glass, a pillar had fallen through and a wall broke against the ground in a complete shatter. It looked like hell. The brown dried crisps of blood still stained the walls, handprints being dragged down as well as claw marks ands wipes. The smell was something else, it had her nose wrinkling as she finally makes her way into Kathman's office…

"Huh?!" The cop, Jesters motions. Pointing to himself, his hat immediately taken off as he hears just who the big guy was affiliated. "Oh man, -THE- Captain Rogers? Oh man oh wow!"

But he was nervous, he wanted to make a good impression so that his kids Cindy Lou and Horace could get -the- best that money could buy. A good ol' shield slinger and dollie all signed by the cap!

"Uh.. man.. I'd like to be on his detail, you know? Work for the guy. Whatever he needs. I'm a good shoe shine! Man, I can use the computer like nobody's business! And I got connects!"

He really did. Jesters uncle was on the force, uncle by marriage. A seargant who had his own unit.

Though? What happened there? It actually makes Jesters grow a little bit pale. "I.. I don't know. When we came here, people were saying that there were a bunch of dead people inside. They heard a bunch of growls and.. somehow that roof caved in. Like aliens or sommuch. One of the guys said that there was this beam of blue light that shot out and destroyed the ceiling. Whatever it was? Slaughtered everyone inside."

He looks around, then frowns. "Lost my ranks cause I threw up when I saw 'em. Ripped to shreds. You'd think some big ass animal came in there and tore 'em all up the way they were all open. Ain't never seen anything like it."


Joe Fixit considers, "Mighta been a big ass animal. I fought a few in my day. Hairy, stinky fuckers, all matted down and greasy. One of 'em's a chick, even, this gun-nut bitch, probably a friend o' Ellen, if ya know what I'm sayin'. I wonder…"

He gets up an' moves to wait outside for Melody, "Oh, almost fergot," he says. He gets out his cellphone and first snaps a picture of the cop's badge, to ge tthe number, and then puts an arm around the officer and snaps a selfie with him, furrowing his brow and making the world's craggiest duckface, "Say pizza pie!"

"I'll show this t'Cap, make sure he hears about ya. T'anks fer yer help, broseph," he says.


"Something." Jesters says. "We're still looking into it but got nothing." Jesters flips his hat within his hands, kneading the brim rather nervously. He didn't want to get sick again. "Yeah, I know what you mean. Lesbians, right? Am I right?" He cracks a little laugh, then looks almost shocked as his badge number was taken. Even moreso with the selfie. He didn't even have time to smile. But he does look sheet white as a ghost.

"Th..thanks.." He stammers out, putting his hat back on his head then turns away from the scene to allow Joe to finish his work.

Meanwhile inside? Melody found nothing. Just an outline of what looks to be various different parts of Kathman. At least she knows his outline. She's hugged him a lot. More times than she could count. His desk remained a shattered and bloody mess with pieces still missing, possibly taken in for fingerprinting and evidence. Even as her feet moves slightly over the rubble, kicking parts of it over.. a cold chill runs up her spine as she lets out a pained groan.

She couldn't find it. No sense in looking. Her goddamned USB drive wasn't even there.

"FUCK!" She finally shouts out, throwing a fist against the wall to shatter the rest of the foundation with breaks easily underneath her rage. "MUTHERFUCKING FUCK FUCK FUCK!" Tantrum galore, but she doesn't break anything, though her stomps do crack the wood underneath.


Joe Fixit shouts in after her, "You need me to destroy something for ya, chica?" He makes his way inside, since Jesters is his pal now, only taking care because he doesn't want to bring the roof down on their heads. He'd be fine, but it'd be a big mess and lotsa whining would ensue.

"Said somethin' like a wild animal 'sploded in here. You know anybody turns into wild animals? Cause I t'ink you do."


"No!"

She calls out, moving to the middle of the room as her internal wifi was accessed and she begins to play over what was on the internet. There were numerous articles, mostly about Kathman and those still seeking questions and tips on his death. A few people coming forward to say what a great guy Kathman was and how much he's helped them and a few people who claimed that he had kids and ripped them off. Nothing. Nothing.

And for good measure, she made sure that none of those articles mentioned Shift's death. It's a sad day when you have to search for that.

"I can only think of one person who knows Kathman. And that's Shift. But you said wild animal?" There were a few people she could think of. Not Jericho and Not Zee. Would they even go so far as to come here? The bad Jericho actually protected her. But the bad Zee? Not so much. But this doesn't look like her work. This was confusing.

"None of this matters though. We're going hunting. Time to put Slade's lessons to use."

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