Lunch Time Interrupt

July 15, 2016:

It takes some doing but Nick and Brin try to get lunch and meet up with friends. Sure… that happens

New York


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

Nick and Brin are both busy individually. Nicks got Rescue to run and Brin… well she's got X-Red work to do. And then there's the trouble with Brins stalker they're investigating.

Today though, they've taken sometime to get lunch in Manhattan and they've let some friends know that they'll be there.

"Really, Nick." Brin glances up at her friend as they approach the cafe they'd chosen "Not just nominated but selected for Hottest Heroes publicity shoot. The funds from the calendar will go to Habitat for Humanity. This year it's the beach and bikinis. I …" he knows her, he knows what she's going to say "… really don't want to do it." She'd much rather build the damn houses herself. And yes, she might well throttle a team mate for nominating her.

For those that got the message, there's a table reserved in her name - outside. The two mutants are a little early and they're taking their time to get there.

Jes sits at the table fiddling with a menu and frowning thoughtfully but pauses to listen when she catches Brin's voice. The native woman is dressed casualy but with more care than usual. A sleeveless halter top style summer dress in shades forest green, there's a silver dragon hoop in one ear and her pendulum necklace dangingly from her neck. A leather belt and boots that hide her daggers complete the look.
"Why not?" She asks as the two approach. "You'll look awesome in a bikini. You've got nothing to worry about and it's for a good cause. I never really understood the whole point of bathing suits myself but..I've got to admit some of them look pretty good on a woman."

Pepper Potts got the invitation as well and arrives within earshot just in time to hear Jesana's comment about bathing suits. "Hello, everyone. Who's dreading going swimsuit shopping?" She seems unusually interested in the topic, considering she's almost never been seen dressed any more casually than jeans and a t-shirt.

"Brinley." Nick volunteers looking a combination of sympathetic and amused. He knows exactly how reserved the young Indian woman is and also how likely that she really will look pretty good in whatever she puts on.

"Good afternoon Miss Potts. Nice to see you again. Come join us will you? Brin's going to order as soon as she remembers that she's hungry."

There's only a handful that understand Brins reticence on the matter. She's … support personnel. She prefers the background. The less attention, the better. This is so far out of her comfort zone, it's not funny. Then again, that's probably why her team mate did it. She'll still strangle him.

"Uh, hello Pepper. Hello Jes. and just …" Brin blushes furiously and then Nick answers. That will do for now.

"Hungry. Yes. Right." she knows Nick is amused, she can sense it. Downfall of being an empath. Taking up a menu and passing one to Pepper, she peruses it "Are you having steak, Nick?" as opposed to Tofu. "I think I'll have a steak sandwich with the lot." Yeah, she's hungry. "How are you two?"

The breeze picks up a little and a scent wafts across their area. Nick will recognise it immediately, Jes won't. It's human but there's a trace of chemicals mixed with it.

Pepper Potts accepts the menu with a smile. She's amused too, but she's polite enough to not poke too much fun about it. "Hm. The steak sandwich does sound tempting, but there is no way I could eat a whole one by myself." Being a numb-nosed normal human, she doesn't notice anything as the breeze picks up. Except maybe a passing taxi's exhaust carrying a hint of burned oil. Ugh.

"Lady Pepper!" Smiling, Jesana jumps up to hug Pepper and pull out chairs for her and Brin. She'd do the same for Nick but has noticed guys tend to get..weird over that sort of thing, instead she kisses the top of his head as he sits. Sometimes she really wishes she'd been taught normal girl stuff.
She can scent Brin's emotions, without looking at her to read her body language and is amused too but better at hiding her emotions when she's calm and Jes always tries to be calm around Brin. "I"ve heard with stuff like that its supposed to help picturing everyone in their underwear but.. I never understood that either." Jes admits. "And I'm…" Jes falters. She tries not to lie to her friends. "Well enough for now." Jes is aware of many scents, her human nose isn't quite as good as coyote's but its still far better than most. She smells the human but there's a lot of people nearby and she doesn't recognize any threat yet.

"Hello to you too Jesana." Nick chuckles. "Alright, yes I think I am going to have the st-"

Nick trails off and starts to sniff the air curiously. He looks about slowly, scanning the crowd, ears suddenly erect and twitching.

"Brinley…" His tone has become low and gruff and vaguely warning. There's something he distinctly doesn't like.

"We can share one if you like, Pepper." Truth is Brin could totally eat an entire steak sandwich on her own. Whether she or not is another matter. "Thank you Jes. And uh … I've seen 'Berto in hi…." nope she's not going to finish that. Then again, Berto's fairly well known, so they might get the gist.

It's Nick change in posture that gets her attention first. "What is it?" She stills, watching him and lets her mind reach out. "He's here…."

As the pair of mutants watch, a man appears across the green space, walking resolutely, but not quickly, towards them. Pepper might remember him from a photo Brin showed her a while ago. What's strange about him is the collar around his neck and something resembling a small bluetooth device on his temple.

Jes will get the scent now - he's conflicted. Fighting something. He might not be a threat - yet - but the potential is there.

"Uh, Nick. We should go…" the brunette is already standing.

Jes raises a brow in amusement. "In his…" She trails off as Nick's reaction clues her in there's something wrong and she knocks her napkin to the ground and leans down to pick it up, using the movement to cover her quick searching glances around the area to see if she can spot a threat. This is probably going to be interesting. She really really hopes she can resist the Void-Creature's urges to kill whatever it is. (She refuses to acknowledge that cold, relentless asshole as a god) She doesn't wanna be all violent in front of Lady Pepper. Besides, she's figured out how to trick it for the time being and hopefully its satisfied enough to shut up.
As she watches the man something seems off though. She can read human's scents and body language very very well. "Something is wrong with him. He's fighting himself, or something else." She frowns. Is he the danger? Madness can have that effect on humans sometimes, madness or telepathy or magical influence. The voices of the gods.. she's grown all too familiar with such things lately. "Who is he?" Jes doesn't stand yet, she doesn't want to draw attention to them.

Pepper also quickly picks up on the change in Nick's demeanor. Maybe she learned it from paying attention to a certain wolf-diety? She sits a little straighter, and when all of the others focus on the man who somehow seems very faintly familiar to her, she studies him for a second. The collar is … odd. The device on his temple looks like a bluet—crap. She hastily pulls her phone from her bag and after tapping the screen three times quickly speaks to it in soft but quick voice. "JARVIS, track any unusual bluetooth signals within fifty yards of me. Find who or what it's talking to, send me the information, and the block it."

"Processing, Miss Potts," the AI's voice returns equally softly.

Nick stands slowly. He's not sure if there's going to be a problem here but he is sure that there have frequently been problems when Alberte shows up.

"Be ready to run if you have to. Brin, let's go. Come on." He takes Brin by the arm and starts to move perpendicular to Alberte's line.

"A former Paragon." Brin murmurs to Pepper and Jes "One of Nicks and my teammates. He and I … were close. But he died in our last mission." Both the women know a little of her background and that it messed her up. How much they know about Nick, who can say. "His name is Alberte." Her voice catches a little on that. There is absolutely no argument from the brunette as Nick takes her and guides her.

There are two bluetooth signals within fifty yards of you, Miss Potts. JARVIS is quick. One to your left and one to your right. So … not in front of her. Whatever that is on Alberte's forehead, it's not a bluetooth transceiver. I am picking up a radio signal in front of you. It's not any of the commercial ones. There's a clue.

As Nick moves Alberte turns to follow. Clearly, he's there for those two.

Miss Potts, I'm detecting another transmission. JARVIS adds at the same time Alberte stops and twitches.

"Run, Brin. Run now…" Albertes voice is hoarse as he calls out. There's a distinct /tang/ of chemicals in the air for those with good noses (not so much Brin and Pepper), his scent changes to something more menacing and he starts after the departing mutants at a run.

Pepper Potts watches in concern, but even as she does her free hand digs into her bag again and this time brandishes a small taser — one of the touch the person to zap them kind. She offers it to Jesana. "Jes, stop that man. Tase him on the neck. Go. JARVIS, can you block those signals?" She knows that there's really only so much he can do from her phone and maybe her tablet in her bag, but she's got to at least try.

Jes's eyes widen. She'd forgotten the JarvisMan usually is with Pepper. The demigod's eyes get even bigger. Oh god she hopes he didn't tell Pepper about certain hard to explain pictures she's taken with her phone. He doesn't look at that stuff, right? Her battle of wills with her latest tattoo is…really not something she wants to explain. She should really get an actual camera for this stuff, only it won't remind her to come pick it up if she's left it behind after shifting. Or be nearly so sturdy.
Blushing, Jes eyes the man with a frown judging the distance. She didn't bring her gun, too dangerous right now if she doesn't actually need it and hadn't expected too. She listens to Brin's explanation without moving but the wild, angry, animal aura she'd been surpressing starts to leak out at her friend's distress. When Jes stands there's a dagger in her palm but she pauses just short of throwing it at the man's throat. He told Brinley to run.. then whatever is going on, it seems against his will. Damn. Fine. Jes tucks the knife back into her boot then jumps after the man. "Keep that, there might be more." She tells Pepper. She's a good boxer and weighs almost five hundred pounds now. She can't even jump directly onto the guy without risking squashing something vital.

Nick snarls. They haven't gotten more than twenty feet. They're still in the cafe. "Run!" He snarls, giving Brin a shove as he turns to snatch up a wrought iron table that must weigh a couple hundred pounds and hurls it like a disqus at the approaching Alberte. He throws it hard. Alberte was a friend.

Nick has no idea who this is.

"Nick, come with me…" They can't be sure it's just Brin that Alberte wants … although he's fixated on her each time they've encountered him. She starts running though. Maybe she can draw his attention for Nick to … do that.

I will attempt to, Miss Potts JARVIS sounds so inflappable. One moment, please.

Jes jump takes her nearly to Alberte, just a step more and he'll be in reach. Which is when the wrought iron coffee table hits him fair in the torso, sending him stumbling. But doesn't knock him down. That … should have. Recovering, very slowly, he still follows Brin … anything else seems a distraction.

As all this has been happening, a van pulls up on the other side of the park, unmarked of course, and a people dressed in black uniforms pile out. "Recover the speciman." A male voice sounds out "Don't let him get away again." They're coming in the direction that Brins running to.

Miss Potts. There's a group of strangers approaching your position. I divine their intent as nefarious. Shall I scan the number plate of the vehicle they're using?

Jes is a little slower in her thinking than usual. She has to filter out all the dark urgings and less frequently now, Set's voice, from her own thoughts. She's already chasing the man by the time it registers that JARVIS said two signals and that Lady Pepper is far from helpless and probably has more than one taser if she offered one to Jes, she's really smart. But.. two signals? What if the other one is behind her.. Her mind knows Pepper can handle this threat her animal instincts are telling her to go back and defend her lady friend. The dark voice is urging her to rip the strangers head off his shoulders. ..and maybe a few more people as well, actually she could.. The table flying at the guy, and her since she's behind him now snaps Jes out of it.
"Shiiiit!" She leaps aside before it hits her and stares as the guy keeps going. What the fuck. She's pretty sure this isn't the man's fault. Maybe if JARVIS blocks the signal he can stop? Or if she can get a look at that device.. maybe rip it free? Or is it attached in a way that will kill him? She's starting to go back towards killing the man again just to insure her friends safety. Her hearing let's her pick up JARVIS's voice and Jes turns in the direction she heard the van screech up from. "Brin! Not that way!" Jes leaps after Alberte again. She's gonna flatten the bastard. If he dies, he dies. She did kill someone this way before accidently but if that table didn't do him in.. then he's probably gonna survive. If she can get the string in her boot around one of his hands and ankles, that'll occupy him. You can't one run with one hand and leg tied together and magical bindings aren't easy to remove.
Then she can deal with whoever the hell is in the van. Probably in a much more violent manner… she's getting angry and the voice wants her to kill.. the thing is she wants to kill. That's why its so different from Set and so much harder to ignore. All the things it urges her are things she wants at least in part, to do. Of course the way this is going they aren't going to be regular humans or mutants either.

Pepper Potts is standing with her bag on her shoulder by this point. "Do it, JARVIS." Of course, seeing those people headed toward Brinley finally galvanizes her into action. Keeping her phone in hand, she takes off running after Brinley, to help her defend against those people.

Have you ever seen Stephanie Zimbalist sprint in high heels? Pepper can do that too. Thankfully she is wearing trousers today and not a pencil skirt.

Nick grabs Brin's arm and bolts. He doesn't need any more encouragement to come with her. He's not aware of the approaching people but he's going to be very shortly. Will Pepper and Jesana be okay?

He hopes so. They're not here for either of them after all, but the fact is he doesn't know. He doesn't have the ability to do anything about it right now either, though. If these people are who he thinks they are, they're in very real danger.

"We've got to help him, Nick." Brin resists the urge to glance over her shoulder, towed along by the much larger and faster mutant. It's a good thing he's insisted she go running with him most mornings - she has the vaguest hope of keeping up with him.

Jes leap has her catching Alberte, but he's moving fast. Alberte whips an arm round, backhanding her, shaking her off and continuing to move.

Nick can see them now, the six black uniformed people. Even their faces covered by tactical head gear. Impossible to tell by looking if they're male or female. "Don't worry about them, secure the speciman." Oh yes, they can hear that. Even Pepper if she's managed to catch them yet.

One of the figures aims something at Alberte and fires … when the projectile lands it 'explodes'. A high pitched squeal that is painful for Brin and Pepper and must be agonising for Nick and Jes, a big flash and a concussive blast… Uh, these guys aren't messing around.

Brin falls to the ground, still holding onto Nick. She's … out.

Pepper Potts had not QUITE caught up with Brinley and Nick yet — because even though she CAN run in heels, the other two had a good head start and are just plain faster. But then that explosion goes off and it knocks her to the ground as well. She's out as well, her phone clattering a few feet away from her hand.

Jesana is still baffled by her friends trying to flee isntead of staying to fight. She doesn't understand but she forgets that for most people, seeing someone back from the dead is.. at the very least disturbing. She's always seen ghosts and spirits, her new bonded is a necromancer and her dead adoptive father is a frequent companion. Usually Jes has no worry for her own safety but until she gets that charm made, she can't die. Or Walker will lose that bit of his soul she took. This knowledge makes her less effective than she usually is, she has to stop and think instead of acting fearlessly without care like normal.
She shakes off the backhand, tugs the string from her boot intending on leaping for Alberte again when she catches sight of the soldier-like group. She closes her eyes in time but the sound.. hurts. Badly. It's gonna take more than pain to stop her though and now she's incredibly pissed and her rage has a target. She points at one of them and summons her power, demanding that he catch on fire and asking the earth below the men (or women) to shake. Alberte isn't forgotten but she's not going to let them take him if she can help it. And since they just hurt Brin and Pepper. She'll kill the bastards if she can.

Nick lets out a harsh, high pitched whine and grabs Brin to keep her from falling. And then there's Pepper out too. How he doesn't go down with them is something of a miracle. He's got a ringing headache though, his ears are bleeding and he cannot hear a damn thing.

And he just broke. The werewolf lowers Brin to the ground and lets out a low growl. He steps toward the six, hunched over, moving with his hands as well as his feet. His ears are laid back, his fangs are bared.

Anyone who knows dog language knows that this is a last warning before someone gets bit.

Jes might not have a say in whether they take Alberte or not. Whatever that explosive was, it hasn't affected them. What did was the one that Jes targetted - they do indeed catch on fire…

One of the crew moves in and secures Alberte, dragging him back the way they came. A second drops and rolls their burning squad mate before dragging them back to van. The other three form a protective barrier - Jes and Nick have targets … but those uniformed bodies aren't attacking, they're retreating. They have what they came for it seems.

Miss Potts. JARVIS' voice comes from the phone that just skittered away I've located the details on that vehicle.

Jes is having serious difficulites. The pain she can put aside, she's had a lifetime of training and practice and its nothing compared to having her soul flaied or set afire. No it's the struggle not to give in to the voices in her mind or her rage over her friends being hurt that is her real problem. Nick going to be reckless because he can't help it now, these stupid little shits have just screwed with his fragile mind. At least Brin is unconcious and not able to feeling extent of the animal rage the demigod is broadcasting to anything nearby with a lick of sense. If the blast wasn't enough to scare people… she's encouraging them to run just by being right now.
She snarls with rage, every single part of her wants to pursue. Normally she would. She'd teleport right into that van and take Alberte out then go back again and try to slaughter them all. But she can't.. she can't risk it. Maybe she could blow up the van but that would kill the innocent. "Then fucking do something! They knocked Pepper out! Track that van!" Jes screams as she grabs her daggers and flings them at the face of one of the men and summons fire again under a second. She grabs a chair rather than the table Nick threw and flings it at the third. It's taking every last bit of willpower she has not to appear behind them and try to rip them apart with her bare hands but she can't risk them having more weapons. She's so angry she hasn't realized that the fire she's called is green instead of the normal orange/red/yellow.

Pepper Potts isn't out for more than a moment, thankfully, stirring at about the same time that Jesana is yelling at JARVIS. She's nowhere near ready to hop back to her feet, though.

Nick is, at the moment, a wild animal, and wild animals are unpredictable. He rushes that barrier, snapping and snarling. This is no collie or even an angry rottweiler. At over six feet Nick Gleason is well over two hundred pounds solid muscle and when he gets moving he gets moving fast. He's like enough to bowl them over if they're foolish enough to stand in front of him. Then again that may be the plan.

The uniformed men back away slowly, two turning to run and get in the van. The one directly in front of Nick, simply isn't fast enough and the big brown pissed off were wolf sends him flying.

It's too late though. The van … is gone.

I am trying to, Miss Revae. JARVIS answers the frantic screams.

Brin rouses at about the same time as Pepper and groans… "Nick…" She can sense Jes' emotions, but she's already got a headache and a blood nose. "Jes, please try to calm. It's not helping. See to Pepper." Then she tries again. "Nick… "

It's occured to Jes that at least part of the time she tries summoning fire the candle simply explodes, if she can do that now.. on purpose.. only Nick is too close. Part of her hopes he kills the sons of bitches even as part of her doesn't. He'd probably feel bad. The demigod moves to Pepper's side. She's starting to calm a tiny bit seeing Pepper waking and mollified by the knowledge she has Alberte's and these men's scent. There isn't any place on the planet they can hide that she won't eventually find them. Unless they've got another realm or dimension to go to, she'll get them. She can be patient when it involves the hunt or revenge. And if it gives her time to come up with something a lot worse than death for them.. well.. Jesana grins evily.
Then Brin's talking and Jes shudders, and drops to her knees visibly working to pull all that anger back inside. A bit of blood has leaked from one her ears too but she gives no sign of noticing. "Calmcalmcalmcalm" Being so close to Pepper helps. It takes a few moments but Jes manages. Though..she's probably still giving the impression that something..or someone is going to die horribly later. Just, much more faintly. Jesana sighs and murmurs an apology to Pepper before tugging her dress over her head and shifting. She ducks low to the ground and all but belly crawls to approach Nick, whining softly, her ears and tail flattened in submission. If this doesn't work, it's gonna hurt. She does feel pain she just doesn't show it most of the time.

Brinley's groan brings Nick back a bit. He's still growly but he stops mindlessly attacking. Indeed he simply leaves off the one he sent flying and trots to Brin. He picks her up. Then he trots to Pepper. And picks her up. This might be awkward later but right now…

"Jes… that's not needed." Brin says groggily, not arguing when Nick picks her up. In this state of mind, it's no use arguing and they need to move as it is.

"JARVIS, Miss Potts will require a pick up please. At the location on her phone." The brunette won't say she was knocked out - Tony might get … concerned and do something. "So much for lunch."

"JARVIS did you get that license plate?"

Yes, Miss Myers, I did. Shall I send you the details?

"Yes, please." That's all anyones going to get from her for the moment. Nick can take them safety and when he's calmed down, she'll work out what just happened. Hopefully, Jes will follow.

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