Flerken for Sale!

January 09, 2017:

Kara goes to the pet store to check on getting things for her new puppy, and runs into Carol Danvers dealing with a question of interspecies relationships and justice.

Midtown Metropolis Pet Store

None to speak of.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Chewie the Flerken Queen!

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Metropolis may be the Home of the S as far as the world concerned, but the inheritors of the Legacy of El aren't the only heroes about. Captain Marvel lives and works here too, thanks to Carol Danvers' job as an editor at the Daily Planet. This afternoon, however, Captain Marvel is … in the pet store. Yes, she's in costume. In the pet store. With a large cat in her arms. "Listen. I understand you didn't know. I'm not blaming you. But you can't keep them. And you absolutely cannot sell them. They're not pets! They're not even cats! They're flerken."

It doesn't look like the pet store clerk is buying what she's trying to sell, as it were. But there's a substantial cage full of tiny kittens who all look a lot like the one in Carol's arms right now, milling all over one another. And the cage says they're for sale.


Fortunately enough for one barer of said 'S', even they got a little time off here and there. It was few and far between, but it still happened. Currently out of costume and in her civillian attire, Kara Zor-El walks her way down the street, hands in the pocket of her slightly-too-puffy winter jacket while she reaches the door of the pet shop.

She had a new gift, one that had made her as giddy as a child when she'd recieved it, but now the small corgi puppy currently lingering in her appartment needs toys, food, and a whole bunch of other things she's not certain of. Pulling the list she'd scribbled down out of her pocket she nearly walks headlong into where Carol is standing in full costume.

"Excuse me," she begins. "I was wondering if you could help me with…oh…" her eyes actually catch sight of whom it was she bumped into with a start. "What's going on?"


"Listen, you may be some kind of cape or something," the clerk starts, addressing Captain Marvel respectfully, but disagreeably, "but that doesn't give you the right to —"

Kara bumps into Carol, and the heroine oofs slightly and turns, cat in her arms, to regard the shorter blonde. Recognition flares, but she says nothing about that. "Sorry for being in the way." she offers. "I'm just having a discussion about interspecies relationships with this gentleman."

Carol looks up at the clerk, raising one gloved hand with one finger upright. "Why don't we put a pin in this for a moment. You can help this young lady, and we can continue." That said, she steps back a moment.

The clerk looks flustered and a bit upset that Carol isn't just going away, but he gathers himself and addresses Kara. "Good afternoon, Miss. How can I help you today?" Meanwhile, the caged pile of apparent kittens mew adorably while milling and climbing over one another, several trying to reach the new person they can now smell more than see closeby.


"Interspecies re-…okay," Kara blinks slowly, looking at the woman and then the cat in her arms. There's a quirk of a smile, perhaps a little humor in the realisation that Carol might not have realised the context her words could be taken for in a pet shop.

Anyway! Back to business, Kara's eyes do shift over the cage full of kittens for a moment and she tries to think back to what knowledge the Kryptonian science council had on Flerken. Probably more then she remembers, but they -did- look like cats…

"Oh uh, I was looking to get a few things for a new puppy? A lead, bowl, a bit of food, things like that?" she begins, pushing the list towards the man.


Carol stands and watches, petting the larger cat in her arms as she observes.

The clerk nods, warming to the subject and starting with a tiny bit of a smile. "Alright. Why don't we look at things?" He accepts the list, glances through it, and then heads around the counter to take Kara to the shelves and help find the items she wants to choose to fill her needs. "What size puppy do you have? What breed? That will help to figure out sizing and dietary requirements." he offers.

"Alright, Chewy. Now, you tell them we're going to handle this. They're just to behave, and we'll get them food and safety soon enough. No tentacles, you hear me?" Carol whispers to the 'cat' in her arms.


Explanations would be sought, but later. For now Kara's content to speak with the clerk and bumble through her new pet ownership. Carol would see her attempting to mime the size of the small puppy while she explains what little she knows. The girl had Kryptonian educations into sciences that humans had never heard of and knew quite a bit about alien biology, but she'd never been a canine breeder. After the clerk bounds off, happy with his impending sale, to grab several items and price them at the blonde's request she turns towards the other woman, tilting her head and mouthing a silent; "What's going on?" Carol's way.


While the clerk is off, Carol inches closer to the counter, and Kara can hear certain hyperharmonics coming from the 'cat' towards the 'kittens', and back again. They're not really audible to normal humans, but they are definitely communicating.

"Apparently one of the transports that came in had a batch of flerken in stasis." Carol explains. "Some idjit decided to sell them to the pet store as kittens, and the pet store is trying to sell them. I've already had to chase down three they'd already sold. I need to get them back, and then get them somewhere safe." There. Clear as mud, right?

"How're you today?" Carol inquires.


Simple enough, being an alien herself does tend to make Kara a little more accepting of the weirdness that is often visited upon the world from the stars after all. Glancing back towards the clerk, she turns her attention down now to the kittens with a frown on her lips. "They're a sentient species, right? That'd be like selling off a bunch of children…" Lips pulled into a frown, Kara bends at the knees to come level with the cage, elbows resting on her knees for a second. "Where are you going to put them if you manage to round them all up? That's a lot of cat-aliens to look after."


"They are, yes." Carol answers, nodding. She's scritching Chewy, who is still apparently explaining things to the kittens, if the hypersonics are to be believed. "And yes, it would be. Which is why I'm stepping in. I'm willing to reimburse the pet store their original purchase price, figuring I'll get it back out of the hide of the idiot who sold them. But they want their much higher sale price, and I'm not going to do that." Carol is badly honest, and she won't brook people's crap. "Given I'm the enslaved biped of the only adult Flerken on the planet, I'll have to take them in until I can find and make other arrangements. Given how hunted they are out there in the Black, I suspect I may end up talking to your cousin about establishing a habitat 'up north'."


A nod, 'Up North' was the solution her mind had come to, but there was still the problem of actually getting the 'cats'. 'Supergirl' might be a popular heroine, but it wasn't exactly a paying gig and she hardly wanted to go stealing a bunch of cats either. "Maybe if we told them they were stolen…or had a disease?" she offers hesitantly. "I don't exactly have the cash to go buying a crate of kittens either." Not every superhero had a secret fortune, especially those that were still a 'student' to the rest of the world.


Captain Marvel grins. "No worries. He doesn't want to believe me that they're sentient. But I have a plan." She's clearly pleased to be talking with Kara, and doesn't mind the questions at all. It's nice to be able to express the situation to someone else, who isn't invested in resisting, and is looking instead for potential solutions.

The clerk returns about now with Kara's things, and summons her to the counter as he starts ringing things up. "Would you like a carrier, Miss? Or just a bag for your items?" he inquires.

It's at about this point that Carol leans down and whispers to Chewy. "OK, fuzzball. Tell them it's time for gymnastics. Remember the word I showed you earlier? Get them laid out in that shape on the cage floor. That should convince him."

The hypersonics continue for a while, and Kara can see the kittens wriggling and scrambling about, rearranging themselves, untangling as they assemble like a marching band, lying to and fro across the cage floor, squirming into place until they spell out H E L P for all to see.


Kara is brought back to reality and her 'act' as the clerk returns, shaking her head. "Oh a bag will be fine," she says lightly already digging for her walet when Carol comes out with talk of a plan. The Kryptonian was expecting a distraction, maybe even a fire to make them evacuate if Carol was feeling particularly 'hard' about it, but she turns to pay for her goods and then takes a moment to sling her wrist through the plastic like she were planning to leave. When she turns back? The 'plan' is in effect.

With her back to the seller, the blonde actually smiles at Carol nodding her understanding, then she decides to add her own little assistance. "Oh my god!" she gasps loudly, pointing at the 'cats' in her staged shock horror. "What is wrong with those cats?"


The clerk finishes rining up Kara, takes her money, makes change, and bags her items, handing them over. He was hoping to make another sale on the carrier, but such is life. He's ready to watch Kara walk out the door, wishing Carol would just go the Hell away, when Kara calls his attention back to the 'kittens'.

And then he gapes.

"Alright." Carol offers, as she steps forward. "Now, I trust that the flerken and I have made our point? They are not kittens. They are not pets. They are children of a sentient species. And whether you like it or not, slavery is illegal."

The clerk coughs and splutters, but then Carol just leans in a bit closer, letting a glow come over her eyes. "I already told you: I am willing to buy you out, at the price you paid. Not one penny more. Then you are free and clear, no harm, no foul. I take it out of the hide of the moron who sold them to you, an unsuspecting innocent. And I see the adorable fuzzy aliens to somewhere safe and appropriate. Do we have a deal?"

Chewy chooses this moment to rise up to her full height in Carol's arms and hiss at the clerk forcefully. No tentacles; she promised her biped. But she is making very sure to make her point. Carol is not in this alone.


Kara trusts Carol has this under control, the scene before them wasn't exactly unconvincing, but the blonde girl can't help but add a little on the pile. She was still a younger heroine after all, often this calling was still fun to her. Besides, this was pretty funny…

"Aliens? Slavery?" she continues in her horrified bystander act. "Maybe we should call the police, or the government? I mean…they'll shut everything down and put everyone in a lab…" she begins, continuing her play-acting. She looks to the poor clerk whom is probably wishing he hadn't come into work today. "Unless the hero can deal with them? They could be dangerous!"


The clerk coughs and splutters and tries to resist, but then he just crumbles. With Kara piling on, there's just no way he can hold out. "Alright, alright! You pay me what we paid for them, they're yours. But nothing but them and the cage. No toys. Nothing. The rest is on you."

Carol nods. "Good deal. Chewy, talk to them. Thank them for their help, and let them know we'll be moving." she offers, putting her cat on top of the cage to chat with the wee little flerken, while she reaches into her belt and extracts an Avengers ID card. "Swipe this for the price. But I'll warn you: try to overcharge me and I'll sick a herd of lawyers on you, with more of them than there are kittens in that cage. Understood?"

Harassed and harrangqued, the poor clerk gives up, gets his money, and surrenders the flerken. At which point Carol gathers up the cage, with Chewie on top.

"Miss, would you mind very much opening the door for me?" Carol asks Kara, a twinkle of merriment in her eyes.


Kara seems happy to follow along. Perhaps, if he wasn't so rattled by the experience, the clerk might even notice that the woman who'd been so terrified of the alien cats seems perfectly fine when it comes to walking and opening the door for the cage to be carried out. She might even be smiling!

When they're finally through the door however, that's when she can't help it any longer. A giggle errupts from her lips, another and another until she's forced to clamp a hand over her lips or else be seen and heard to be laughing out loud like a crazy person in the middle of the street. "That was amazing," she snickers. "Not what I expected when I went to get puppy chow."


Carol grins at Kara and offers a wink as she watches her laughing brightly. "Well, lucky puppy to have a person who is so quick on her feet and adapts so well. Bet you love having him around." She doesn't say why she thinks that, but it's clear she means what she says. "Chewy and I both want to thank you for your help. It made things easier, ratcheting up a bit more social pressure on the guy. It kept me from having to get mean, and I appreciate it." The adult flerken meows at Carol and nods her head affirmatively.


Carol's not wrong, but Kara doesn't quite catch on to the reasons she might think that. Right now she's trying to supress further giggles and simply nodding at the other woman before looking to the cat. "If anyone can see what it might be like to have to deal with having others of your people so rare and easily mistaken for something they're not…" she trails off. A little bit of a somber souring of her joy before she shakes her head and adjusts the bag of her own purchases she was carrying on her arm. "But I'm glad I could help either way."


"I'm glad, too. You have fun with your new puppy. I'll see you again soon, I'm sure." Carol offers, with a smile. "Hold on, Chewie. Riding that cage won't be quite as stable as my arms. But we should be fine, and I'll take it slow. Give me a hiss if things get out of hand or we need to land." And with that, Carol nods to Kara and then lifts off, a golden glow surrounding her and the cage.

One can almost imagine her saying something like 'up, up and away'.

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