Poor First Impressions

January 09, 2017:

Some bikers run afoul of Ribbon who in turn runs afoul of a strange, barely-vocal girl.

Mutant Town


NPCs: bikers



Mood Music: Susumu Hirasawa - Chaser

Fade In…

Trouble is always afoot somewhere. Bikers ride noisily down the street, disrupting traffic as they make off with their latest haul from whatever. Suitcases and dufflebags. There's a few gunshots to clear the area, and people, powered and not, scatter. Some of the bikes don't even seem to have riders.


It's not supposed to be noisy like this. It's supposed to be /normal/ amounts of noisy, like people rushing to get from one place to another. Like people meeting up with friends, or yelling at each other because there are too many people crammed into too little space. It's not supposed to involve stuff like this!!

Hikari Hataori just wanted to step out to the corner shop for some instant noodles and Red Bull, why is this happening?!

Diving out of the road, the lavender-haired girl rolls into a standing position, rotating her body on the focus of one heel to face the street. Flick! She makes a motion like flicking dirt off of her fingertips, and there are suddenly razor-thin wires of light criss-crossing the street at mid-tire height. They won't cut through steel - she's not concentrating hard enough, she doesn't want to kill anybody! - but they ought to be enough to slash through rubber treads and send the riders sailing over their handlebars into the street.


Bikes snap and flip as they hit the wires, twisting sideways. Some skid into that wire sideways. Gang members scream as they scramble to their feet, and one with his ankle cut down to the bone stays down. The bikes that can't run any more are abandoned to the street for now. Some run with their bags of loot, others help drag and carry the injured guy, and one girl in a hoodie and jacket jumps down with a brief squint. She has no trouble seeing the thin wires with those huge eyes of hers. She follows them back and locks vision with Ribbon. "Fhh…" she stutters, "Kh… Khaf." And then that girl disappears into thin air and there's the sound of metal sliding with the ominous KACHAK of a pump-action firearm.


She winces at the sight of blood and bone. Ribbon is still young - just nineteen - and she's had a soft life. For heaven's sake, she just wants to have her own design label!! Maybe that will be the end of it, even though they'll be getting away with some of the things they've probably stolen…?

Oh. Oh, no, it won't. She's heard that sound before.

She takes off running, half from sheer instinctual panic and half because she has a plan, sort of, maybe, one that might work? The lines crossing the street are already fizzling and she lets them vanish to focus all her attention on a long, flexible, whiplike ribbon. She can't see the girl, but she ought to be able to touch her… right?

She throws her arm out, the line trailing after in a widening arc to wrap around anything it comes in contact with.


Dust kicks up from the ground and some loose gravel scatters below the ribbon as Paint rolls underneath. A pebble gets caught in her hoodie, a single spec of visible stone moving through the air with her. But Ribbon running seems to have Paint breaking off her attack. She turns visible again, her skin and clothes look like she got dunked in several different tie dye vats and then played paintball and lost badly, and a gang tag graffitis the ground beneath her feet. She flips Ribbon the bird and then with a quick glance backward starts to walk off and try to rejoin her gang. Some members are coming back now to collect the bikes.


Hikari's eyesight is good, and the little pebble caught up in the other girl's hoodie is spied; it does take her a moment to realize that what she's seeing isn't 'a rock being scattered by invisible persons' but 'a rock carried by' etc etc. And by then, the strange girl has reappeared. Hikari is ready to go again, but she hesitates. That girl isn't pressing the attack. She's just…

Is she taking her gang and going home???

And flipping her off too, how rude!

"Get out of here and don't come back!" she yells at them, but doesn't move to stop them from taking their bikes. She wants them to leave quickly, after all…


The girl in the hoodie stops and spins on her heel. It takes her a few tries to start forcing her lips to make sounds, and every failure only makes her madder. "F'kaaaaaaaf!" she yells with difficulty, pushing her voice even when it breaks. The result isn't as intimidating as it could be due to the stutter, but Paint's pissed now, and she's entirely visible when she pulls the - yes that is a police shotgun - back into visiblity to sight down it. Her scream is emitting black smoke that glows faintly red and orange, and she's running back at Ribbon once more using the cloud as cover as it spreads and disperses.


That last shred of bravado might have been a tactical error.

Why is there smoke coming from her mouth WHY IS THERE SMOKE COMING FROM HER MOUTH

And what's wrong with her voice?

Hikari frowns, eyebrows furrowing, and whips her ribbon out again, running at an oblique angle. Gotta make herself a bad target, but she's not exactly a seasoned soldier, and don't shotguns make HUGE holes in things, and—!

The ribbon reaches for Paint's ankle like a living thing, looking to drag her feet right out from under her.


The smoke's a distraction while Paint goes invisible again. She's running to the side. The cloud also moves, partly sucked after her by the motions, partly billowing out from the wrong place, and partly blown forwards by the movements of her jacket. Her shotgun is held in one arm and the stream of smoke comes from an extended fingertip on the other arm far from her body now, a decoy. She fires at the twitching tip of the ribbon as it extends, making a mark in the ground. And then there's a clatter as the weapon falls… somewhere. The ribbon grabs the invisible, and no longer loaded, shotgun.


That's not fair, that's not fair, who just goes invisible like that?!

She's got something! It's… it's not the girl…

But, Hikari realizes as she prepares to throw the weapon away and suddenly changes her mind, now she has a bashing weapon.

It's just… kinda too bad that she doesn't have a target. Where did she go?! Hikari stands stock-still, body bent in a half-crouch, eyes frantically scanning the street for her opponent. The line whips back and forth anxiously, like a living thing, but can't find anyone to catch.


All's quiet until the ribbons sweep far out to the side or the back. And then Paint reappears right up in Ribbon's face, nose to nose, huge eyes wide and solid red. Something metal and cold and sharp - yep, that's pretty much a long kitchen knife with a plastic handle, stabs down into Ribbon's thigh and with a wordless roar Paint twists and snaps the blade off inside. Then headbutts with a crack of forehead against forehead, and even though the hit isn't bad enough to cause unconsciousness it's still lights out as Ribbon's pupils turn opaque.


Did… did she leave? Where did she go?! Hikari sweeps wide, feeling for the girl, she's got to be somewhere, she wouldn't have just left—

She didn't leave.

Hikari's eyes are a warm brown, and at such close range Paint will get to see them in shades that Hikari can't even conceive of. She'll see the faint pink of lip gloss as she opens her mouth to suck in a breath, the off-white of teeth as the knife sinks into Hikari's thigh with a wet rasp. A groan of agony is gray and rusty red, puke yellow threading through at the shock of the blade being snapped off against muscle and bone.

Her shriek of pain and shock is cut off, her own teeth sinking into her lip when her head is rocked back by blunt force trauma.

Hikari hits the pavement hard, keening, tears beginning to well up in her eyes. Why, why, why, she's going to die, she doesn't want to die, mother, she wants her mother!

Curling in on herself, Ribbon sobs, desperate to keep from being hurt any more. "No… no, go away, go away! Please! Please, I don't want to die—!"


With extreme … especially for her … patience, Paint struggles through her speech, punctuating with kicks of her steel-toed shoes as needed to keep Ribbon down. "Vvvh Vheeen…" She has to stop to take a breath because she wasted it all trying to spit that out, "F-ffhuu- auhhhKHH! KAAUUUFF," another breath, "M-muh-mhaihhh… t-.. tuyhhh T-t" That kick was just out of frustration. But she's knocking you back away from the direction her gang's retreating int. "tuh-huu-uhrrFFF!" Then her assault ends and Paint grabs the shotgun and heads back.

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