GeneSpliced Menegarie

August 16, 2016:

Someones genetically engineered menegarie gets out and starts rampaging in Morningside Heights

Morning Side Heights - New York


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

There is a little known but highly lucrative industry in exotic pets. A lot of them are, you know, just animals from parts of the world that are hard to get to. Of course they tend to be large or otherwise dangerous. If they weren't people would have bred them and sold them as pets long ago. Sometimes they're endangered to boot.

There is an even less known subset of this industry that deals in genetically engineered animals. Which sounds far fetched but government labs are able to clone people, cybernetics is a thing, mutants wield the powers of their genetic heritage and aliens walk among us. Engineering a sheep to baa in a pleasing tone and have teal fur isn't that hard if someone has the right equipment and knowhow.

Of course for the exotic animals industry it usually isn't anything quite so prosaic. A lot of 'designer' pets are based off mythological animals. Needless to say these tend to be highly dangerous, but the prestiege of being able to show of a coatl or a hippogriff or a basilisk (not knowing that many of these actually exist and simply aren't dumb enough to get caught) is too much for some of the stupidly rich to ignore.

So what happens when they get out?

At present, Morningside heights cordoned off. Why? Someone's private fantasy zoo got out of hand and is running amuck on the streets. An owlbear, two thracian (carnivorous) horses, a cockatrice and a pair of coatl are moving through the neighborhood. They're frightened and they're not at all happy. This is odd enough that the SHIELD's special WAND unit has been called in just in case any of them are the real thing. Which is silly. There's no such thing as an owl bear.

Rescue has been called in too. They seem to have a… wildlife expert and an empath?

May should have quashed that 'Weird Ass Nasty Division' moniker the moment it appeared. Now this is what's she's having to deal with. Having brought a tactical team along, she tasks them with making sure that all civilians are cleared and the frightened animals are funnelled to a single street. It would just be easier to have the critters all in one place. Of course, it's getting the civilians clear that takes top priority, so the tac team might not catch up right away.

"Rescue unit, this is May. I'm at the south end of the Heights. Do you have a visual on the animals?"

As the Rescue Ambulance wings its way across New York, Brin glances at her companions. "I'm an Empath, not an animal whisperer." She insists for what must be the hundreth time on the flight. "Sure, I know how to try and settle feral mutants, but …" she shakes her head. Who knows maybe this will be fun.

Dressed in a Rescue Flight Suit, hair pulled back into a tight ponytail, the small empath takes up one of the sonic pistols "At the least I might be able to use my shields to corrall them."

Pausing for a moment, listening to her earpiece, Brin nods once "May, this is Mana, we've a visual on some of them at least. The Coatl and Owl Bear are heading our way."

It's not long before the Ambulance sets down and the Rescue team can disembark.

Lin Li is a wildlife expert, yes. She also loves animals, wherever she goes they are always her friends, they and plantkind both. And so much easier for her to communicate with. The mutant is excited at the prospect of meeting new friends and eager to get to them before any trigger happy police or other people.
As they arrive, her excitement quickly fades to puzzlement and then disquiet. Something is wrong with these animals. Very very wrong. Once she actually lays eyes on them it will be easy to understand what they are dealing with. At the moment all she can tell is that they aren't 'right' to her mind. She doesn't understand why people would do this kind of thing, make these poor mixed beasts that are so confused. It should never have happened. Lin often doesn't understand why people do the things they do however. This though is a particularly unforgivable crime in her eyes. "LIn will help Brin.. whispers needed.." She trails off and shakes her head, starting to look angry as they disembark. Who would do this?? Why??

The Ambulance sets Brin and Lin down near May and then takes off again with Nick at the door 'gun' - a device that is merely a much larger version of the sonic projectors that Brinley and Lin are carrying and a slightly smaller version of the pair slung under the vehicle.

This is Wolf Cub. Rescue One will help herd them. Sort of like they do with cattle these days. Ever seen a helicopter herd cattle? It's glorious.

At the moment while the animals aren't on all the same street they are at least headed in vaguely the same direction. That was - astonishingly - the easy part. The harder task is getting the relativly wealthy Manhattanites out of their homes and away from the danger, which means there are still civillians being moved out when the sound of Rescue One's engines flaring echoes a couple of blocks away and the sound of beating hooves begins to draw close.

Then they round the corner. Two horses, both with iridescent black fur that gets sort of pearlescent in the light. Kind of like a thin oil slick, really. They've got to be twenty hands high at least and they're moving fast. Their hooves are so hard they're striking sparks off the pavement and, oh yes, they have sharp fangs in their maws. Because Thracian horses eat meat. Lots of it.

They're headed right for May and company. And yes, that tac team is still busy.

As May had no idea what sorts of critters she'd be up against here, she brought a weirder than usual variety of 'weaponry' today. First and foremost, ropes of a few varieties. These look like particularly dangerous on both ends horses, so if she tries to lasso one, she'll have to be extra careful. Eschewing the usual Western roping techniques, she's knotted one end of the first rope to make it a sort of meteor hammer type mindset, and plans to try and snare one of the two horses. Fingers crossed.

"Because they can…" Brin answers Lin in a resigned tone. "Don't think on that now, though. Let's just get these under control first."

"Agent May." the Empath greets the Agent and starts moving, turning the corner to just stop and stare at the horses. "Good lord, they're enormous…" It's almost a reflexive action - a glowing green and gold shield appears between them and the horses until she realises what Mays going to try and do.

The shield flickers and disappears as she rolls to the side, clear of the stampeding horses. Coming up onto a knee, the empath focusses, sending waves of calming emotion towards the carnivores. That might work right?

Lin eyes the approaching things. They are not horses. They are nothing like the noble and lovely creature she met earlier.. no, these are abominations. Riddled with problems down to their very genes and despite all her considerable power, Lin doesn't think she can heal these poor beasts. Not even if she spent months trying.. she is not a god and she can't remake an animal from the DNA on up. Humans should not be trying either.
Her gun is slung across her chest but not held at the ready, she hasn't quite forgotten it but now isn't the time to use it. There are dogs and birds around and it will bother them. They already want to help her, loud shrieks and howls and angry barks split the air but Lin won't allow animal to fight animal and for the moment they stay back and the mutant strides into the middle of the street to face the racing horsethings, reaching out with her mind in an effort to calm and slow, then stop them. She isn't sure they will listen. They are angry and hungry and she could try to compel but that concept is forgein to her. Her friends only ever require her asking a thing for it to be done and often they already know what she wants.
Undecided yet if she should be trying to kill the strange creatures or capture them, Lin is at least providing a distraction for her teammates and focusing the horses attention on herself. She can also fly out of the way quickly if necessary.. if she remembers to do so. The mutant is very focused on trying to reign them in mentally…

Twenty hands and several hundred pounds of stampeding not-horse flesh is a lot. At a full gallop even if May were to snare one it'd be an open question of what she'd do with it. Fortunately that's a question that she doesn't have to answer because the twin efforts of Brinley and Lin… well they don't exactly stop them but they do confuse them. The horses check…

And then May snares the front legs of one of them.

This makes the other bolt right at Lin and there may not be time to do much about that because up the street in the other direction Nick's managed to herd the Coatl. They're like pythons with wings. Twelve to fifteen feet long, a good foot around and crackling with some kind of electric-eel like bio electric charge.

Brin doesn't really want to kill the animals. Not if they avoid it. They're coming into being wasn't their fault. Hoping Lin can manage the one horse coming at the her, Brin squares off against the winged serpents.

Has she mentioned how much she hates snakes?

Letting them draw closer, her glowing green and gold shield comes into play, encompasses them, trying to slow them down. That bio electric might give her construct a slight buzz but that should be alright.

Of course, what she's going to do next might be the issue, but slowing the things is her objective.

Lin's mental focus is split between trying to stop the remaining horse, keeping the dogs and birds back and wondering what the hell manner of monster is coming up behind her. The horse is going to hit her, no time to move! She needs it to stop or she'll be run over. Angry at the necessity of what she's about to do, the rage helps her to do it, makes it easier than it might otherwise be and Lin reaches out to stop the horses heart. Her power is meant for healing, it hurts her badly to do this, even if it's the best choice for the creature in the end.. when that's the case she does things differently.
Someone will pay for this later.. For now there are more of them to stop and Lin turns with tear-streaked cheeks and a soft moan of distress to face the Coatl. "Oh. friendpoop." The mutant gasps her version of a curse. There's a sudden and rapid explosion of plant growth from beneath the street and vines and weeds burst up through the asphalt, reaching for the Coatl. Damage to the road is better than damage to the people, right?

The horse that May did not snare goes down like a sack of grain. Okay it goes down like a hundred sacks of grain but it does go down, skidding to a halt just short of Lin.

And it's a good thing too. Since there's flying electric pythons coming up the street. One literally bounces off Brinley's shield, passing a little shock as it does. It runs into a light pole and knocks itself unconscious. The other winds up grabbed by suddenly explosive creeper vines and dragged down to the street.

Well that's four. Where are the other t-

"AAAAAAAAAH!" That's a man's scream and it came from the apartment just to their left. There's a ROAAAAAR that follows it and a crash.

And then a shockingly menacing hoot.

No points for guessing where the owlbear went. That sounded like the third floor.

"Owwww…" that shock was worse than the Empath had expected and it takes her a moment to recover. Just in time to hear that strangled cry and the subsequent noises. "Going up, I suppose."

Glowing green and gold wings appear on her back and Brin lifts into the air. She'll go in through a window nearest the sound, and if it's not open? She'll bring that sonic blaster to bear - that should shatter the glass and give her an opening. And if the damn Owlbear is where she goes in? It'll get a sonic pulse as well, hopefully giving the small brunette time and space to work.

Lin flies after Brinley, worried about the people inside the building and the little animals she can feel that are terrified by the monster in their midst. She doesn't want to kill another one with her power, but doesn't know what kind of effect the elephant tranq injection she has tucked into her vest would have on this mixture of animals.
She's trying again to reach out for it's mind and soothe the raging beast but her gun is also up and ready. The walls should mostly protect the animals and people and she has to stop it if she can. At the very least the sound canon will disorient the owlbear and make it easier to send it into a deep sleep. Or maybe.. hibernation? if it is able to reach that state.

The window shatters and Brinley lands inside like a green and gold winged angel. Lin is right behind her, having to mind her antlers on the window frame. There's the sound of a panicked man just in the next room and they can see the shadow of the owlbear…

And then something screeches off to their left and the cockatrice - a bird that looks like a peacock got half eaten by a snake - lunges at them, pecking and clawing and flapping it's rather foul smelling wings.

"To the right." Brin knows Lin is right behind her "I'll try to calm the guy, if you think you can handle the OwlB—— argghhh" The cockatrice sends her into the wall, thud, a bloody gouge down her arm, the sleeve of the flight suit shredded from the talons.

She barely manages to get the sonic pistol up, aimed somewhat and fired … not able to focus her abilities for the next short while.

Lin growls and fires a blast at the cockatrice as well, still reaching for the owlbeast with her mind. She's used to splitting her focus on several at once at least. They are going to have to clean Brin's wound really well and watch it carefully from the smell of this beast and not for the first time does Lin wish her healing worked on people. The fact that it doesn't is one of the things that frequently causes the mutant to wonder if she really is one of them.
"Bad! Stop!" Lin snarls and fires once more at the Cockatrice to be sure of it, before darting up behind the owlbeast. She's going to shoot it too if its not calming down. It's a very unusual situation for Lin, that she can't simply ask an animal to stop. These aren't listening to her at all. The best she's managed is confusion. "Brin okay??" The Antlered woman bangs her antlers on the doorway and gets stuck for a moment, her shot going wide and hitting the poor man's window instead. "augh! Lin hate doors!"

The cockatrice lets out an almost offended squawk when it's hit the first time and a much more pitiful one when it's hit the second. The noise has already attracted the owlbear's attention and by the time Lin's running back it's already facing her. Brinley shoots it, rocking it back. The thing is scared, angry and confused all at once and something in it's mind is just telling it to go…

.. go to sleep. The bear thing looks at them and then just lays down and closes its eyes. It's going into hibernation.

Behind him is a man wrapped mostly in a shower curtain. He had clearly been, uh, interrupted when he'd ignored the order to evacuate.

"Brins ok." the small mutant grunts as she shoots the Cockatrice again - just to be sure.

As the Owl Bear sleeps, she looks at the man in the shower curtain. "Hello sir, Rescue Incorporated, here to escort you to safety." Pale and wan, trembling a little in pain, she still manages to smile a little and send a wave of reassuring emotion in his direction.

Thank goodness Nick knows how to deal with her when she overuses her abilities. The headache on this one is likely to be a killer.

"Would you care to dress quickly and come with us?"

Rescue, this is Mana. We have a evac at my location. What's the status on the menagerie?

Lin blushes badly upon seeing the man. It's not a reaction she'd have had before. Her new caretaker is a bit better at explaining the normal things one expects of a person. She finally has, if not an understanding of modesty then at least the knowledge that seeing someone naked by accident is a nono. They will probably be uncomfortable and embarrased and she should be too.
"Lin sorries! has to check you're okay!" She kneels to examine the man, trying to look everywhere but at what he's covering with the curtain. "Hurt anywhere??" Brown eyes are almost comicaly wide and Lin seems far more alarmed by the naked guy than she had been by hundreds of pounds of mad hungry horse charging her. Brin actually looks to have a much better handle on this situation than her, so Lin gets up out of the way, attempting to rush into the hall and check the cockatrice instead. Of course she forgets her antlers yet again and ends up bouncing back onto the floor and getting a very good view of what she'd just tried to avoid seeing. "ohnonosorryno!" the mutant gets on her hands and knees and scurries out of the apartment on all fours.

There's a whine of repulsor engines by the broken window that signals Rescue One's arrival. Right here Mana. Get him on board and we'll send him off to the hospital to get checked out with the other injured. There are a few. You and Nature Girl get back in h- did she just crawl out?

Oy. Well, once Brinley has Lin corraled they can be on their way. SHIELD has the cleanup on this one. And the NYPD.

At the very least, someone is looking at some hefty fines. Soon as they figure out whose these are.

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