They Grow Up Too Fast

February 06, 2017:

Flash visits Tattoo and introduces her to Wonder Woman.

Area 81 - Hell's Gate, Metropolis

"Slums may well be breeding grounds of crime, but the suburbs outside of here are incubators of apathy and delerium."

Welcome to the Suicide Slums, also known as Southside and The Simon Project. This area is the dark recess of Metropolis, where every corner you take can likely be your last, and the glimmer of hope that glistens off the skyscrapers ceases.

The high rises here are in shambles and disrepair, the markets seem shadier, pretty much verging on that of Black Markets, and the malice is a palpable feeling in the air, if not coming from the looks of the local residents.

Those that benefit from this neighborhood are the ones who can make money from nothing, or come from nothing and seek to have that glimmer on the other side of the pipe-lain wall. Prostitution, gambling, drug dealing, criminalizing - all of this is where most start and never find their way up and out, and if they do, it is likely running the business they started at or heading the gang they ran with, though tales are told of those that have
broken free.

Streets bear potholes, newspapers roll across the roads like tumbleweeds and an old lady dumps trash from the upper story of her flat to splash into the dark alley below where a stray cat growls and runs from it all, even the rapid fire of bullets.

Characters

NPCs: NuGene Affected

Mentions:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

When Barry told Diana he could find Kida quickly, he wasn't kidding. The red blur makes his way from New York to Metropolis within a matter of minutes, since he didn't want to break the sound barrier, he kept just below it, streaking around Gotham purposefully on the beltway instead of cutting through it. He's taken Batman's warning to heart and doesn't want to upset the belfry as it were. As he hits Metropolis, he slides through Hell's Gate and cuts down a few alleyways, streaking about as he ends up a half-block away from the shop that he and Stephanie broke down at when they first came across the young woman that helped him - and he in turn ended up helping her when the neighborhood was hit with a Mist attack.

The scarlet speedster vibrates with speed as he comes to a halt, and comes down quickly back to a normal pace, the tri-polymer suit of red and yellow trim standing out as he moves towards the shop. As he does so, he reaches up and taps his comm unit. "Wonder Woman? Flash. I'm heading into the shop to say hello. Should have brought cookies or something." he finds himself admitting in afterthought. "I'd probably eaten them on the way though." With that, he turns his attention to the garage.

Kida had finally decided, after the issue with Barry andSteph, to take an abandoned shop and make it her own.

But it is not in the Slums, it is watching over Hell's Gate for a reason. Considering in the Slum's she can take over whatever abandoned she desires as long as no one else lives within the hovel.

Here… She paid rent, but the expense is worth it, as she oversees where this worlds "Overlords" take those from the Slums', cocooned.

Rain mixed with sleet falls from the skies, wanting to be snow in the bitter cold but failing. The tanned skinned woman emerges from the garage witha crowbar over her shoulder, hair flowing likefeather rustled in the flux of weather, beads clicking a cadence against the inevitable.

Shop-top with a toen name-patch space is worn, leaving her exposed from plexus to hips where those baggy and stained jeans crumple over boots of patch-work poverty cover her feet.

But hazel eyes open against the winter-weather of the East Coast to look upon the isle known as Hell's Gate. Apokolips, Apocalypse…. Both have the same meaning to her, and reclaimed people "not theirs".

The Flash's appearance only draws eyes to open to slits through the frozen rain that trickles along defined features and feather-light lashes. "Eat what?" The accented voice of an antiquated language gaps the distance between…

Diana knows where Flash is, simply because of the Watchtower. On the comms, she replies, "I doubt I can find sufficient cookies, at this point. However, I can join you anytime. Perhaps, however, you should make sure your tattooed friend won't bolt the moment I appear." For her, getting there will take as few seconds as for Flash, in this case, since she can fly at nearly half the speed of light. And, being in the Watchtower, she's only a ziptube away from Metropolis.

And now that he's come to a halt, Barry is /shivering/. Go away, winter. Spring needs to come. Stupid groundhog. The shivering serves to try to warm him as he looks around, and when he hears the voice, he glances over at Kida. "Uh. Cookies. For you. Was going to bring them, but yeah, I'm a terrible delivery person, especially when it comes to food." he admits with a little color that isn't from the cold.

"Hi. Flash. Remember me? There were these soldiers trying to take some coccoons and I helped out? Fun times all around? Except not really. Anyway.." he rubs the back of his head as he considers Kida, hearing Diana in his ear as he nods to it. "I've asked some friends for help with what's going on down here, and I know, it's not something that's usually a good thing, judging by how people see me.. but, she's good people. And you may have seen her on television a few times. Wonder Woman? She is really interested in meeting you. If you want, she can be here in a few minutes. Or you know.. we can go see her. Or I could go get some Big Belly Burgers and set up a nice meal for us to sit around and chat. You like yours all the way?"

Kida tilts her head, the droplets freezing before they fall from hair to skin, but she does not seem bothered despite exposure that leaves the skin riddled in ink for view. Metal coated in a sheen of ice drops from her shoulder to *tink* against the ground, the sheets of ice shedding to clatter on the broken pavement while she regards him.

"Xangala. But you eat too much." Too Fast. Kida regards him and then looks past him towards the island of Hell's Gate across, shaking her head as the crowbar coated in small slates of ice rebounds off a car's hood with a shattering sound.

"Hard to hunger when Yidgwaa 'Laanaa takes your friends." A wave of barren hand and her fingers curl in a "bring it" manner. She has no access to TV, his words fall on ignorant ears, but she gives him that iota of trust.

"Let her come, then. I need…" Pride in her pause, a swallow that works over exposed throat.
"Help."

'I need… help.'

That's all Barry needed to hear. There's a little smile. They can argue about cookies, and the lack of, later. For now, he reaches up and touches the thunderbolt on his ear.

'Diana, Flash. She's good for meeting. Dress warm. It's nipply.. I mean cold.. down here.'

'Nippy. I MEANT NIPPY.' Flash is turning bright red as his suit for god knows what reason.

Diana picks up some of the conversation, thanks to the comm Flash wears. Her head cants faintly at the woman's accent and strange words. She'll have to be on her diplomatic best, no doubt. She considers the dangers she's likely to face there and makes a decision to leave the shield and sword at home. The lasso is often enough, given her strength. Even against the dangers the nearby mists may pose. But, this meeting should be as non-threatening as possible, she suspects.

Then, she hears Flash's invitation and a wry smile touches her lips at his faux-pas. Graciously, she overlooks it. "I shall find a cloak," she tells him. "Just for you." Because, really, she doesn't feel the cold.

Thus, moments later, she can be seen descending from the inclement skies above, a red cape wrapped about her shoulders to offer some scant protection from the elements, the rest of her usual uniform unchanged, save for the absence of any weapons beyond her lasso and ever-present vambraces.

"Greetings," she says, a trifle formally, as she lands, even going to far as to offer a warrior's head-bow of greeting. "I am Diana of Themyscira. It is good to meet you."

When Flash seems to speak in more places then one her hazel eyes snap to-and-fro, but slowly descend with Diana's landing…

She had been yet another facelesss in crowdds before the Hall, she knows of Wonder Woman, and her steps away take her to seating denim clad ass upon the VW Beetle's hood where her crowbar had taken a meaningless headlight. Those eyes shift between Flash and Wonder Woman with silence and the flux along jaw-line that shows the ripple of sinew'd muscles there.

"Good?!" A wavering of hand upon the crowbar and it slaps upward toward an isle beyond - Hell's Gate where the DEO and Cadmus have made home.

No strike is intended, but the slap of wet ice meets the ground of the garages driveway while the woman can only lean upon her mechanisms before members of the JLA. But from a half-hooded garage door golden eyes reflect and the growls of her beasts omit.

"Nothing good comes from Yiid Tlagaay." Her tongue for Hell's Gate.
"He saw!" A sweep of crowbar to point towards Flash!

"They took the people. That's where they go." A sweep then to the Gate!

Good to meet…. Maybe?

Kida is feisty right now!

When Kida gets all forceful, the scarlet speedster finds himself between two feisty women who are both strong-willed. Holding up his hands defensively, the young man uhms. "Not good as in good people got taken. Just good that she's here to help and you need help." he reminds, as he swallows. Okay, there are better ways to die then caught in this paticular battle of wills. With Kida's comment on the Gate, he glances that way and turns his attention back to Diana.

"Unmarked soldiers." Flash fills in the blanks. "Maybe Cadmus, maybe DEO. Didn't get a chance to ask. Like I put in my report. I'm working already on a way to try to get to a way to help those affected.. it just may take a while." he glances sympathetically to Kida. "How are those we recovered doing?"

Diana raises her hands, palms forward to show them empty. "Peace," she says to Tattoo. She nods to Flash, to indicate him, but remains focussed on Tattoo. "As he said, it is good to meet you. The circumstances of our meeting are unfortunate. It is not good that people are being taken or harmed. I am here to help."

She regards Flash for a moment and nods again. "More likely DEO or mercenaries than Cadmus. The DEO is pulling Cadmus' strings in this. Oracle is working on trying to isolate and identify the men you encountered."

Then, however, her head cants and her brows rise faintly. She looks to Tattoo. "You have survivors here?"

Kida's eyes shift between the two as the bodies of the massive wolves slink from beneath the garage doors to circle… Three

Kida makes four. Pack in Alpha, Beta, Omega, Pup. But which is which is not defined, they simply move out and remain circling and watching. "I have survivors. I am one. But which War?" A lift of chin in defiance and those eyes flash beneath blackened lashes, a storm laying within, but one defeated with the look to her beasts that seek their own grounds based on feral will.
Part and parcel..

"Check the Slums, we all know of your group, they will tell you." Kida steps back, then. Her head lightly bowing to cede… But what, exactly?

"I do not know of your Oracle, but please…"

She noted her askance for help had drawn their attention. "They do not honor rules!" And when Tattoo speaks the bow of head comes with the draw of a spear that sparks blue and becomes flame, the trio of wolves backing off with the plant of long pommel into the split concrete, sparking further life and a brighter glow to the Garage grounds.

"I know you mean Peace." A tilt of head and the woman smiles lightly.

"That's why I leave these people to you both."

A spark of arcs like off a bulb when touched everything they had seen is left empty, save where Tattoo had stood, as well as her "wolves" there is people, people Flash may even recognize staring at them with wide eyes. The sight of Flash and Wonder Woman making fear go to awe as a "veil" is lifted. The one Tattoo used to protect them.

This was not her war.
Don't try to fix what's not broken!

"Good doggies.. uh. I didn't bring Scooby Snacks." the Scarlet Speedster notices the wolves coming out and gets just a little nervous. He thought this talk was going really well. Maybe he was wrong. That is until she asks on Oracle.

"Oracle? She's like the best know it all ever." Flash says, just before Tattoo makes with the blue fireworks, and when she's gone, and there's the people that he had helped rescue.." he's looking immediately for one in particular. Noticing the mother, he zips over to her in a blur of motion. "You, you were the one with the child.. how is she?" he asks, worry pulling at the corners of his mouth and in his eyes.

The fireworks are a little alarming, and Wonder Woman takes half a step back in response. But wolves don't scare her. She can, after all, speak their language, and they don't seem to be displaying open agression. "«Peace.»" she says softly to them, speaking her own language because it is the one the Gods have given her to speak with the animals.

As Tattoo disappears, however, and the survivors are revealed, she steps forward more readily — though not nearly so speedily as Flash. She looks to him for an indication of how best to proceed, but as he attends to the mother, she approaches another survivor. "Here," she suggests to them all. "Let's retreat into the garage and out of the cold."

The mother steps back, and she shoves someone behind her, but that someone is the child, rapidly aged, and from it comes small vibrations… ones that shake the ground, but more on a SONAR level. But with Wonder Woman's ability and Flash's feeling, it is not unheard. The only thing they "see" is big mocha eyes from beneath an oversized hoody, her skin glistening like an amphibians'….

The mother tucks her nuchild against her hip while the other watching eyes seem to reflect a "difference", unsure, but slowly they move forward while the mother reached forward and grips both Wonder Woman and Flash's hands, smiling, despite the single missing tooth and the soot-and-bruise/stained skin of her face. The smile is what matters!

There's hope now, the child pausing as the mother shuffles into the garage, looking up at Flash and then Di. Clok and the crags of Red are gripped and the smile is enough! Still missing child teeth while adult teeth grow in to fill the gap, due to the animalistic aging process. No longer an infant. Nu…

But Di and Flash now have an adoring hand to hold to go into the Garage with, as well as silent (though LOUD) thanks given by these people!

"Diana…" Flash says as he looks to her, and then to the child that the mother brings forward. "A few days ago, when the Mists took him, this child was only a few months old." the speedster says with a darkening frown. "I.. I was hoping to find a way to help." he admits. Now he's too late. The damage is done. The child is lost, forced to .. whatever she is now. He closes his eyes tightly for a moment and feels the vibrations, trying to bring his emotions back into a check.

"…are you hungry? I can go get food." He glances to the Princess to get her permission. He's fast. He can make the delivery in a matter of minutes, depending on lines at the checkout. Of course, that will be it's own issue. "I won't even eat extra." he promises.

Diana can sense the vibrations as well. She looks at the child and her own compassion and concern shows clearly on her face. She nods to Flash as he suggests food. "Go," she tells him. "We'll fine for a few minutes."

She brings the pair into the warmth of the garage and finds them some place to sit, stripping off her cape to wrap it about the pair. "Can you tell me what happened?" she asks both — for all that the child may not respond.

(To Be Continued)

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