Wrong Place, Wrong Time

March 21, 2017:

A random act of violence cuts through the streets of Manhattan. One life is lost, and though the life lost belongs to a would-be murder, the impact is felt.

Midtown Manhattan - New York City

Situated between 14th and 59th Streets, Midtown Manhattan is *the* tourist
destination in New York City. It is also the largest central business
district in America. Most of the tallest skyscrapers in the city can be
found here, from the Empire State and Chrysler Buildings to Stark Tower and
the Baxter Building. It's also home to Times Square, Broadway, and Fifth
Avenue.

In the day, the traffic is non-stop. In the evening, bright neon lights
light up the street such that it looks as if the sun simply doesn't set on
the city. But, then, there's a reason New York is called The City that Never
Sleeps. This, right here, is it.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

It's midday and time for lunch. Most of the office personal near the Triskelion and the United Nations building are our to lunch. It's the literal lunch rush. And Darcy texted a buddy, Mattias, to meet her for lunch while grabbing the 'new guy' (to her) to join her. And her other friend from SHIELD's WAND Division. Because, reasons.

And lunch.

But mostly reasons.

She's walking on the sidewalk, still in her PT gear, a tank top that's not at all happy about being stretched to her size up top, and a pair of SHIELD biking shorts, which are really little more than tight booty shorts over torn fishnets. Her hair's in low Dorothy braids just behind her ears, and she's got a SHIELD hoodie on. And she's wearing skates. Because Darcy's PT is to skate the track instead of run it. She's half walking and half rolling down the sidewalk amid her friend and two work buddies.

"… place has the best fuckin' dogs, I swear to Jesus," Darcy's saying, flipping to roll backwards in front of her three friends, glancing behind herself every so often and using the reflections off the windows around her to not run into anyone. (Hopefully.)

*

Lara had been inside of the Black Cocoon that she had notoriously contructed inside of an empty office in the WAND office-plex within the Trisk. She had been working on her map of the world for a few days now and whenever someone peaked inside they would be quite certain that she was a legitimate crazy person based on the scribblings / drawings and notes strewn about the black drapes that were hung-up all across the office's interior.

Darcy had pulled Lara out of the shell now, and she was walking not too far behind the Skater-girl, her nose in a book that she was reading while walking, looking up now and then to make sure that Darcy hadn't vanished on her. "Please don't fall…" Lara said, which was becoming somewhat of a running gag between the two of them after their first meeting. She drew in a breath and slowly exhaled it, her eyes sparing a moment to look around the city… it was actually rather nice out today. Huh. And then she looked back down at her book.

*

Dragged out from Westchester for the day, Mattias Larssen is still a fish out of water when it comes to the Big Apple. Still feeling the constant dwarfing by just how large the city is and how the buildings seem to swallow people whole, he's still walking and gawking, occasionally, at the sights. It's New York, one is often torn between having to choose whether to look at a scantily clad woman OR the craziest person you've ever seen in your life, and apparently now, Darcy Lewis has the upper hand…and might be a little bit of both.

"If you don't let me pay this time, I might push you down the hill." Mattias looks to Darcy's face, making a mockery of a war-face at her. Like her, he's gone comfortable, in a black tank top with inkless arms that scream I HAVEN'T EATEN A CARB IN A YEAR and a pair of old, weathered blue jeans that scream I HAVEN'T GONE TO A MALL IN A YEAR. He tucks a lock of blonde hair behind his ear and glances from Darcy, to Lara, then back again, while double-checking the wallet in his back pocket. "Or, you know, I haven't been able to spend any of my own ACTUAL money, yet, so I'd like to buy, this time, if that's would be okay." He finishes in his clipped, Swedish accent.

*

Far overhead in the depths of the wild blue yonder Superman flies home from a secret overseas mission. His destination? Metropolis, his home from home, his private protectorate!

Feeling the drain from a hard fought battle the man of steel rests his feet on the top of the UN building, draped behind his back its the American flag unfurled in all its glory as his cape gracefully floats along in the wind.

Striking a heroic pose Superman waits and watches while absorbing the light of the suns rays on what could possibly be the nicest day of the year!

"Ah, what I wouldn't give to have Lois beside me on such a perfect day." Superman speaks into the wind, standing stoically, a bright smile across his chiseled features so white it's almost unnatural, not a single hair out of place on his head. "I'll have to take a few photographs when I get the chance, come up with some excuse why I was out this way…"

*

Well. That was a surprise. Chased leads, hours of effort put in, money overspent trying everything… and nothing to show for it. Oh, that's not what surprised him. It's that, for once, Eddie Brock isn't feeling the world out from under him because of it. Hell, something must be different over in Metropolis. A big leaguer saying he's okay? Someone giving him her number? Yeah. Things have changed.

Not only on the surface either. Smiling brightly Eddie looks both ways before making a move across the road… hey. There's a point. Where has he ended up? Wow. No wonder he's hungry. He must've walked clear across town! Then again he's been a lot more hungry a lot more often lately. More mouths to feed, so to speak, but, in this brave new world where he's not bottom of the pile any more… there's a solution to all his problems. A place nearby does a mean dog. That'll do nicely.

*

The small gathering of work buddies makes its way down the sidewalk towards the promise of food. Trailing behind them by just enough distance to still be considered 'group member' is a woman who… really doesn't fit in with them. At all. The red-headed, blue-eyed SHIELD member follows at a slight distance, with a curiously long and lanky stride.

From behind or from the left side, Isa Reichert is a pretty enough woman. Her hair is long, just past the small of her back, and a vibrant auburn red worn down and loose. About five foot seven and a dozen pounds shy of a hundred fifty, her build is that of someone who's used to getting into (and out of) the occasional scrap.

She looks closer to forty than thirty, with the timeless looks of a classic beauty; aside from the lines beneath her eyes. Strong From the left side, she's the kind of person who might still be able to turn the occasional head; eyes clear and brittle blue as a winter's afternoon.

From the right side, it's a different story. The right side of her face is a ruin. Burn scarring ravages her face from her chin, along the jawline, and up to her forehead; it follows the side of her neck, disappearing into her collar. Her right hand likewise bears the pale, mottled scarring. A dove-grey patch rests over where her right eye should be, and there is no eyebrow on that side.

Whatever happened to her, it was no household accident.

Her clothing is pretty simple and casual; a white short-sleeved shirt tucked into dark blue jeans, belted at the waist, over faded and scuffed combat boots. Over the shirt she wears an old, vintage-looking bomber jacket that still bears faded Russian service patches.

*

—DRAMA!—-

And what would New York City be without its share of CRAZIES?

Seemingly, from out of nowhere, two unmarked police cars WOOOP with flashing lights. A civilian-grade Hummer sports utility vehicle roars ahead of the two police cars, making a bee-line towards the UN building and all kinds of unsuspecting pedestrian traffic. One man cracks open the back of the hummer with an assault rifle and begins taking potshots at the police cars. The echo of the assault rifle rounds off of the concrete and buildings is deafening.

The Hummer swerves, crunching sideways into a row of parked cars, screeches, and continues straight for cross-walk traffic.

To make matters worse, the rear-hanging spare tire, which is only just smaller than a river-quality inner tube and three times as heavy, dislodges and begins to bounce towards the sidewalk where Darcy, Mattias, Lara, and others are.

BOING. BOUNCE. BOING.

RAT-A-BOP POP POP!

POLICE SIREN SOUNDS.

SCREAMING.

Crazy people, for sure.


*

Darcy's response to Lara is to stick her tongue out and turn a foot so she's skating more or less sidewise.

"I'm only a clutz in normal shoes," quips the derby queen, slowing down to roll between Lara and Mattias, then behind and reaching out to grab his belt so his steps can drag her along.

"Sure. You buy this time, I'll get next. I like this arrangement. Payday's next week, after all. I'm a little tapped until I get reimbursed for all the HOLY SHIT BALLS!"

Darcy's curse is because there are suddenly police and gunfire and this is no place for non-combat WAND asset or random civilian Baz-look-alike-Darcy-befriended! Darcy reaches out for Lara's belt with her right hand and when she's grabbed hold, she tries to yank both Mattias and Lara backwards behind her. It's a motion not unlike a belt-whip in derby. Jammer clining to a Blocker, being drug along, sees a hole and yanks herself past her Blocker, thereby stealing all of her teammate's momentum. But with her 'teammates' on foot, Darcy hopes it'll either knock them backwards and clear of bouncing tire while sending herself forward so she can curl up into a ball to do as she was trained to do on the mean mean bank and flat tracks of Culver's Calavera team: Body Block the Tire.

THis is going to hurt. and Bruise. Definitely going to bruise. At minimum!

Dammit..> Darcy left her helmet back at HQ.

*

Lara looked over to Mattias and she smiled when he offered to pay for Darcy. "Its going to devolve into one of those debates is it?" She asked, an amused expression on upon her face. "I look forward to see which of you wins." Its then that Lara looked back toward Eddie (whom she didn't know) "We're Darcy's posse, aren't we?" She asked. "Or is that 'Entourage'?" This was said to both Eddie and to Isa (the pilot who'd picked Lara and a few other agents up off of the Atlantic ocean the other night after their boat had been attacked by black market pirates).

The young British archaeologist didn't notice Superman up in the sky, basking in the sunrays like a happy house cat. She DID, however, look to the sounds of the chaos that suddenly erupted and she saw the out of control tire headed for them. But, Darcy had just used her belt to gain extra speed on her skates and rush ahead?

"Watch out!" She shouted, but Darcy had gotten too far ahead for her to catch up with the other woman in time to do anything more than offer a lame verbal warning!

*

"I'm going to win until she lays down that she's got a better job than I do." Mattias, smirks, stuffing the chained wallet back into place. "I knew this guy back in Gothenburg who was in love with Ice Cube, I should call him and let him know I've joined a gaa-awha!" Mattias is unceremoniously YOINKED by Darcy, stuttering on his footing as he gets his arms and elbows up in one of those 'please dear god don't let me elbow a boob' postures.

Somehow, he probably does, there's a lot of elbow swinging in the midst of it all.

HOWEVER, once Mattias sees the gigantic tire bounding their way, he lifts his arm up and around Darcy's face, sort-of twisting around her hips to get in front of her to outstretch his hands and…

…the whole crew skiiiiiiids back as Mattias catches the tire, holding it with outstretched hands. His toes dig into the grass as they're shoved back, but the tall Swede manages to stop it…with strength most folks don't have.

*

Prior to this point, the pilot had been content to stare off into space and zone out, paying only cursory attention to the conversation in front of her. Mostly, this has proven a good opportunity to study her coworkers, and see what sorts of people they are, but she seems distracted.

The others might have noticed how her single eye hasn't stopped on the crowd around them, scanning every face, looking to every figure to see what they're doing and whether they're a threat. In fact, there's the faintest sheen of sweat on the pilot's forehead.

Nervous…? So it would seem. A little.

"Entourage. Definitely entourage," she replies, blandly, to Lara. "'Posse' maybe imply more… lawlessness, da? More rebel. What is it you American say. Cowboshit!"

The instant the sound of gunfire rips through the open spaces, the pilot is nowhere to be seen, because she's thrown herself flat on the ground like any sensible person would do. Bullets very notably do /not/ bounce off of her.

Once it's clear that the gunfire is not actually being aimed for beans, Isa pushes herself up from the pavement with a low 'whuff' from having the breath knocked out of her seconds before, glancing to be sure that none of the others have been /shot/ or anything unpleasant like that.

*

"Maybe I could convince her I got th-" Stopped mid sentence, by the sounds in the streets bellow, superman leaps into action. Diving down from the roof of the UN building he travels faster then a speeding bullet.

Mere inches from the glass of the building he follows the curve using it to his advantage. Just before hitting the hard ground Superman swoops back upwards traveling across the water and right towards the rocketing rickety road-hog.

Eyes glowing bright red superman starts to use his heat vision on the oncoming tire, only to find it's been taken care of by the quick thinking of Mattias. "Good thinking there Sir." A light salute with his hand as his cape flows back over his shoulder for a moment. "Excuse me ladies, and gentlemen, I'm just passing through" The BOOM of hypersonic travel follows behind him as he gives a broad smile of pure white teeth, pausing but an instant before planting his feet in the ground on the spot.

Using his brute strength Superman roots himself to the spot, hands outstretched and ready for the oncoming Humvee. Positioned right in the path of the oncoming car he has peculiarly perfect positioning for a particularly impressive catch of the car.

The moment it looks as if it's about to run over the man of steel he uses fast reflexes, and a sure grip, to pass the vehicle over-head. Tires squeal, gunfire rings out as his muscles ripple at the force of the car trying to carry on its way. His feet sink down into the walkway as he hoists it high in place allowing it not an inch to move.

*

Yeah. The sights and sounds certainly show it. No matter how far he's wandered around… he's back home now. Another happy graduate of New York City's taxi schooling. Complete with a police escort. Okay! Okay. The gunfire's not as normal. It happens though. Yeah. The tyre? That's new. He doesn't ever remember anyone going the spare route in a high speed chase.

Just like he didn't get a chance to clear up the intercontinental confusion from the classy accented lady. Well, over in ye olde merry England they're all Lords and Ladies aren't they? Maybe. In any case it's under control. Way under control. Pulling a small digital recorder from his pocket he picks up some footage of the super catch and… is it a bird? Is it a plane? No! It's a story bigger and better than Spiderman! Let's see the kid scoop him on this one!

*

—DRAMA!—-

"GOD, Zeke! It's the cape!" The call sounds out from the driver of the Hummer seconds before the car crunches into the megahero's super-grip. With a loud pop, the airbags deploy, and the bearded driver bounces his favorite face off of the airbag.

A gun goes off, once, as four precious eggs inside of a hummer carton jostle about, lifted off of the ground into an overhand carry by Superman. As the car bounces, one rolls out of the rear window with his assault rifle, and he makes a running dash towards the sidewalk…

…in the exact direction of Mattias, Darcy, Isa, Eddie, and Lara.

Plainclothed police officers with badges swinging around their necks take chase, waving for pedestrians to drop to the ground and get out of the way, while barking the obvious commands to FREEZE! or GET DOWN ON THE GROUND! to the escaping bad guy.

The tire, caught by Mattias, bounces once in place against his kung-fu bear viking grip, then falls over onto its flat side.


*

Elbow to boob is not new. Happens ALL the time. Darcy notes it but moves past it. Other things are more important. Like tires. Tires that Mattias stiff-arms to the ground.

"Nice block," Darcy quips at Mattias, eyes following Superman's flight in and the way he lands and hefts teh car and then how a dude falls out and makes a break for it.

Well, Superman's got the car, Mattias is all stupid-strong and should be able to provide Lara and Isa some cover, no idea who other guy (Eddie) is. Darcy might as well try to give NYPD some backup like the good little SHIELD agent she is.

Plus, she's on wheels. Means she can out sprint a foot-cop.

"Cover them, Mat!" Darcy yells out as she pushes off in a run into a speed-skater's sprint, leaping over a purse here and a person there as she gives chase to Dude-Fell-Out-Of-HummVee. The plan? Sprint to his side, then body slam him into a wall. Sass Mastah's specialty! Poor Creepshow ended up three rows into Suicide Seating after a run in with the Sass-Truck Darcy Lewis, number 68iou1.

*

Lara witnessed the impressive block from Mattias and she sighed a very momentary bit of relief at it, she also witnessed Superman zip past and it dumbfounded her for a moment… Jonah had just texted her images of him meeting Superman a week ago or so, and there he was right here in Manhattan. "Amazing." She quietly whispered at the sight of it, having only ever seen a few videos online of the man-in-action. "He really wears that outfit…" She added to no-one-in-particular in a quiet whisper of a voice.

Back to the action though, Lara's book was stuffed into her hoodie's pocket and she pulled a gun out of the holster from inside the hoodie where it had been nestled up against her body in a holster.

The WAND agent went to the nearest cover, crouched and… waited for a moment where she felt confident in trying to help. She'd seen a lot of combat in her young years, but never inside of a city like Manhattan… that gave her much more to worry about in the way of harming innocents by accident.

*

Still on her hands and knees, Isa keeps her head tilted to study the gun-toting lunatics with her good eye. It doesn't look like they're heading for any particular target, so her guess would be alcohol or drugs. Maybe also insanity, she concedes, with a faint grimace, but that smacks too much of giving up responsibility for one's actions.

"Goddammit," comes the muffled growl from the Russian, heavily accented. Her voice sounds like she spent about twenty years too many drinking and smoking. "Friend of yours, survive being shot?" A thumb is jabbed in Darcy's direction, and the one-eyed pilot glares at Mattias. "Good way to get shot. You have gun? Something? Anything? Could maybe be useful here instead of cowering behind young man almost half my age."

She squints again to the Humvee and the escaped lunatic with a gun, scowling. "Wonder what chances are I can tackle that crazy asshole to ground. Oh, wait. Look like Miss Lewis; already on it." She looks to the Humvee again. "Can wait, maybe, until another one try to run."

Beat.

"Didn't wear bulletproof vest this morning," Isa deadpans.

Beat.

"Left gun at home too."

*

In a friendly voice the man of steel calls up to the cargo laying inside of the humvee held high above his head. He gives a slight grunt as he speaks holding it now with a single hand. "Gentlemen, do you know why I pulled you over?" He keeps the vehicle held high above his head as he floats slowly along keeping the men inside incentivized from making a little jump to freedom like the first one. "You were doing at least 65 in a 25 mile an hour zone." A light pause. "Along with the whole opening fire on a group of civilians, and resisting arrest. I'd write you a ticket, but.." He trails off, a light motion jostling the vehicle above him as he makes sure they're still alright in there.

*

Mattias is all blonde hair and gritted teeth as the wheel flops over. It's all happening so fast, and despite his strength, he's not actually a war veteran. All of this crazy all around him is new, so when he looks up to see SUPERMAN of all people giving him props for catching the tire, the Swede gawks for a second, then twists his lips into a sheepish grin.

People are yelling at him to…what? Like sound rushing after cresing out of the water of a pool, Mattias comes back to the present tense and scans about the chaos. Cover? Mattias looks quickly for something he can use to provide cover and TIRE comes back into the picture.

With a grunt, Mattias stoops down and picks the tire back up and gets into place on Isa's side, using it like a shield.

"I've never been shot, so I don't know!" Mattias yells out too loudly to be anything but honest. "Let's not find out today, okay?"

*

This is a shot and a half, Eddie thinks. Although the significance isn't missed on him. Superman's more a Metropolis man. Wonder what brought him out this way. Not that this reporter's complaining. Although, worth seeing if the local ace reporter there'd take a call from him. Superman's not quite his story so, maybe, someone else can make use of the footage.

Although that'll have to wait. There was a time people didn't run, or skate, towards the guy with a high powered assault weapon. Time was he was one of them. However… things change. Taking a cue from the speeding one he takes to his feet and, if nothing else, give the guy with a gun a easy target. Or what, at least, appears to be the same.

*

—DRAMA!—-

The footage Eddie is capturing is top notch now that so many bystanders have run into a nearby sandwich shop for cover. The digital record catches it all plain as day, including the curse words coming from inside of the Hummer (as well as the cops chasing one bad guy), that might have to be BLEEPED out later.

"+BEEP!+ put the +BEEP!+ing car down you +BEEP!++BEEP!++BEEP!+" POW! It's worth a shot, right? The driver of the car sticks his body halfway out of the edge of the car and leans down, trying to get a shot at the caped hero, which he does. The bullet bounces off of Supe's leg, and with a jostle, he is thrown back into the car.

The ricochet'ing bullet THWUNKS into Mattias' tire.

And the door on the other side opens. Another bearded redneck wearing a vintage HULKAMANIA shirt rolls out with a shotgun trailing behind him. Huffing and puffing, and jerking his jeans back up into place to cover his bared bum-crack, he bounds over a newspaper vending machine right into the path of Isa and Lara, and he's JUST about to lift that shotgun at poor, poor Eddie.

Darcy? Well. Darcy becomes part of one of the greatest dogpiles in all of NYPD history. The bad guy crunches into a wall and falls down, clipping her arm and tank top in the process, and all it takes is one split second of stoppage to allow the cops to catch up. It's a ballroom blitz of New Yorker, Italian, and Irish accents as badges, handcuffs, and rollerscates pile in to try to wrestle the guy and get a collar on him.


*

It's beautiful, that shoulder slam. Darcy leans into it, so she can drive him into the wall, use him to help stop the rest of her momentum. She's just starting to rock backwards so she can roll backwards and away from Slammed-Man, only for his Got-Slammed-Flail to grab her tank near her boob AND the sleeve of her hoodie AND part of arm.

What she does next is NOT allowed in regulation WFTDA: Darcy starts throwing punches as she's yanked down by Slammed-Man, only to get grabbed by NYPD, pulled off Slammed, and handcuffed right along with him. Because she might have elbowed a cop ….on accident.

*

Lara was keeping her breath as even as she could, but the chaos around here was making her heart pump inside her chest and a sheen of sweat form across her skin. She saw that Darcy in trouble, but it was too far off to get to in time.

When the large hulking redneck with the shutgun appeared though, something inside the young archaeologist reverted to an old memory, of something similar… and it didn't sit well inside of her. So much so that she glanced at Isa and then back to the hulking menace with the buckshot weapon and she swiftly rose up, leveled her sidearm at his big and beefy midsection and she fired right at him before he could fire at them! Call it defending one's self, call it fear for her life as well as the life of co-workers and friends.. or call it PTSD from a troubled recent past, but Lara wasn't playing around and she intended a straight up death-double-tap to that man's chest cavity.

*

"Been shot before," the pilot grunts, gauging the distance between herself and the lunatics with narrowed eye. "Is incredibly unpleasant. Don't recommend. But knife woounds are worse. Getting stabbed is /bitch/."

The way she rattles this off suggests she's experienced both before, and has no desire to repeat the experience whatsoever. She does flinch slightly at the noise of the two sharp reports from Lara's gun, but her gaze never so much as wanders. She might be seeming to play it cool from the outside, but her heart is hammering against her ribs, and her single eye is wide, as though to take in every detail. Magically bullet-resistant she is /not/.

Isa's gaze flicks back over as Mattias rolls the tire into place beside her, setting the thing up like a poor man's riot shield. "Better than nothing," she sighs with a shake of her head. One hand reaches to her belt where, under her bomber and tucked at the small of her back, is /not/ what appears to be a Russian service pistol. There's nothing there. "Fuck me. Really did leave gun at home. Idiot."

"…Miss Lewis just get handcuffed?" Isa squints toward the crowd. "Is that her?" One scarred finger is pointed toward the definitely handcuffed Darcy Lewis. "Think we should help her?"

Five seconds of thought go into this.

"…Nyet. Probably fine on her own," Isa decides, glancing back to Mattias, though her voice is tense.

*

Standing tall and proud Supermans eyes glow bright red once again! Energy from the very sun itself collects in his eyes before beaming out a deep glowing crimson red! Cutting through both axles of the car as if they were little more the butter!

"Now, now this is no time for language like that!" Superman adopting a scolding tone of voice as he sets the car down. "There are children present." Leaning into the window the Man of Tomorrow grabs a firm hold onto the gun, right by the barrel, and with minimal effort bends it back on itself. "And if you can't play nice someone's going to take your toys away."

Quick use of Supermans heat vision seals the doors of the imobile mutilated metal motorcar, rendering them completely useless, on all sides but the one leading right to the man himself!

"Now, we can do this the easy way or the hard way." A patient expression crossing his face. "If you turn yourselves in right now I can personally recommend reduced sentencing for compliance." A light pause, speaking loud enough that everyone in the vicinity can hear trying to make things very clear. "With any luck you'll be rehabilitated and back on the streets in thirty years easy," A nod of his head, and a reassuring smile. "Twenty with good behavior."

*

He couldn't have seen it coming. He shouldn't have seen it coming. But, as Brock stops and turns to face the weapon raised at him, he did so fully aware of what was going on. Almost like he has eyes on the back of his head. Or… something. Speaking of something New York just wouldn't be the same without the endless supplies of trash that get dropped faster than they are cleared up. Not just the ones running around with guns either.

Although. Looks like the Lady's got it, and him, covered though as he draws and shoots. So he won't get to see how pumped up his fastball is and the soda can remains on the ground at his feet. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It's a freaking shotgun. Problem is it doesn't scare him. Not anymore. He's seen worse. Done worse. So he just smiles and stands. Guessing the man won't even see the shots fired his way coming.

*

"Been stabbed, been cut, been clubbed. Shot? Na." It's like a little Eastern-Bloc ruinion behind that tire, with Mattias holding it easily in place. He flinches just a little when the bullet snuffs into it, but holds firm. "Seriously, everyone in America but me has a gun. You left your gun at home? Would you believe I've never even shot one?" Mattias chatty-kathies his way through the excitement, doing his best to keep the scarred redhead from becoming a scarred deadhead.

Mattias looks back to where Darcy is beating on the bad guy's face, then getting dragged down by the other officers. For a split second? IMPRESSED. Mattias' lower lip buttons up, then falls when she's tackled.

"Fok, I can't." Mattias gripes and lowers his head. "I'm here on a student visa."

*

--DRAMA!--

Darcy is wrestled out of the dogpile by New York's fines, and just like the bad guy with the broken nose, the police go through the lightning fast work of rolling them face down onto the pavement, hand-cuffed, and out of harm's way while they assess the situation. One? Decades in jail is coming his way. The other? Darcy? Well they haven't gotten to her identification yet.

The hummer squeaks and hisses with steam as it's welded and cut into a bad-guy holder. The two remaining jerks within yelp and cry out, terrified for a second that they might get laser-eyed, but with one bent gun, useless, and the other thinking the better of things, they relent to defeat.

"Okay!" The driver calls out to Superman, throwing his bent firearm out of the window and holding up his hands. "We give up! Seriously, don't…roll us into a ball or somethi-"

The driver shudders. The gunshots ring out.

Hulkamania goes down. The shots punch right through the front of his pro-wrestler tee shirt and the overweight, bearded man spins in place. He falls to the ground, lifeless, and the shotgun rattles and rolls to a stop right in front of Eddie.


*

Lara watched the Redneck man with the lowrise jeans and the shotgun take the shots and drop. She released a heavy gasp there-after and lowered her gun. She turned around to look at Eddie and then back to Isa. "Are we all good?" She asked them both. Lara's finger clutched the gun in her hands and she did a full 360-turn, eyeing everything around them. She ended on Darcy and she was just relieved to see that she was okay.

When Lara saw Superman, she lifted her gun up and put it back into her holster that was visible inside of her mostly unzipped hoodie next to the charcoal-shaded tanktop she wore over her torso. "What the hell is going on…" She finally asked, again to no one in particular.

*

"Been slashed, been stabbed, been shot. Have not been clubbed," Isa adds in a tone of mild interest, shifting her weight to remain crouched behind the tire. "Have had broken bone before. Was not pleasant."

If Mattias is chatty-kathying his way through the situation, so is the pilot, although it may stem less from abject terror and more from the fact that she can't /do/ anything, and appears to be woefully underprepared for the situation. Her hand itches to have her sidearm back in hand, and maybe to be beating the stuffing out of those hooligans. Okay, maybe there's a /little/ terror, because she's /not/ wearing a bulletproof vest.

But no. She's reduced to cowering behind a tire while this Swede half her age tries to keep her from going from redhead to deadhead. Which, admittedly, she is quite appreciative of. Not dying is pretty high on her list of priorities for the day. "I—"

A shotgun barks, and she sees the man stricken crumple in a heap, scowling and screwing her eye shut for a moment. That was not something she wanted to see happen. "Damn it."

By the time that winter-blue eye slides open, it looks up to Lara, blinking once or twice. Is she good? So far everything seems to be accounted for and nothing seems to be broken. "Da. Think so. Spasiba." Thanks. The pilot huffs a sigh. "Not coming to work without sidearm any more. Goddamn idiots."

*

Instantly superman's heart sinks at the sounds of gunshots, of the thud that follows. His free hand tightens its grip on the window frame of the car for a moment, bending it around his hand like putty. His expression goes pained, a sadness from within. Eyes close for just a moment, as he speeds up moving over towards the man on the ground.

"What did you do?" Superman asks loudly. He listens for a pulse, knelt down beside the criminal, doing his best to try and bring him back from the brink. A simple criminal, no one anyone would bat an eye at being gunned down, and yet with the expression on his face you'd think his best friend had just been shot.

Superman attempts to cauterize the wound, stop the bleeding, do something. He's doing everything he can, working through a thousand processes over the course of a few moments while the cogs in his head spin. X-ray vision to see through to his heart, blood already transferring to his hands.

It's not that he hadn't seen it all before, the bloodshed and death. It wasn't that he'd not been in far worse before, no it was that he'd been so distracted for that instant that he let it slip his mind there were other situations going on, that other people were still in danger. He tries to give the man CPR, to help kick-start his breathing, but it's not doing anything. "Come on.. live…"

*

"Much appreciated ma'am." Eddie calls over to Lara appreciation in his tone for the save then calls over to where there are hopefully cops left over. "Yo! Over here! Evidence." He says pointing to the shotgun and flipping out the recorder again to catch the ex hulk fan and Superman's vain efforts to save him. The guy's not innocent. So. Yeah. About that hotdog…

*

Mattias blinks. That last series of gunshots sounded awfully close. Close enough that he makes a hissing sound to try to hear over Isa and leans out from the other side of the tire to see Hulkamania bleeding out on the concrete. Mattias stares, features going flat even while Superman rushes over to begin life-saving efforts. Clearly, Mattias Larsson has never seen anyone die before, what with the way he's drawn to the event with a detached grade of stone-faced horror.

Ten pairs of feet come rushing up in varying shades of blue uniforms, undercover detectives, and all of them have guns out, held low, rushing in quickly to back up Superman and help to pacify the scene. One officer has his wrist to his shoulder and is making a call for an ambulance, rattling off the radio codes.

One cop sees the holster under Lara's arm and heads her way. "Miss?" His gun is low, and he's pointing to her. "Identification, please? Keep your hands out of your jacket."

"We think they were headed to the UN," One cop tells Superman as he fans out with other officers, surrounding the Kryptonian. Other move to Eddie, gloves already pulling on to gather evidence and shoo the bystanders out of the street where they can be tasked with giving statements.

And there, on the street, Superman can see through his vision the way the man's heart lurches out its final beat. The cooked, cauterized flesh stops the breathing, but the internal organs shut down…and there is one less Hulk Hogan fan on the third planet of this solar system.

*

Superman slowly comes back to a stand, his expression flat, as he starts to float above the ground. "He's dead." Are the only words he says, cold in his tone of voice. Without another word he floats off rather slowly, not waiting to answer questions, or even smile for the cameras. He just needs to think.

*

The Russian keeps herself low, just in case there might be any further report from firearms. Cautiously, she pokes her head around the tire, just in time to see the arrival of the cavalry in blue. As New York City police officers disperse throughout the scene to deal with people, Isa Reichert lurches to her feet, dusting herself off and keeping her eyes on as much of the surrounding crowd as she can.

Despite lunch, the red-headed pilot won't be staying long. No, she's very casually sidling for the nearest exit, before either anybody else there or the police notice her. Yup. Just slowly, slowly sidling away.

And pretty soon she's gone!

*

Lara nodded to the others, but specifically to Eddie she replied to. "I'm just glad I saw him in time to react." Thats about the time that she heard Superman's words and her dark brown eyes turned to regard in the man in blue and red. She started to walk toward him, her heavy hiking boots quietly playing off of the concrete.

"He was raising his shotgun to fire… I didn't even want to risk wasting time to order him not to shoot. I know he was going to shoot…" She shook her head side to side, her British accented voice was soft, but stern. "I've seen it in people's eyes before, the resolution to fire… I know when there is not going to be any reasoning."

When the Officer approached her, her hands went up to her sides, palms out.

"My identifaction is inside my jacket." She told him. "Its hooked onto my holster… I am an Agent with SHIELD. I just left Headquarters less than a half hour ago… we were simply headed to lunch…"

When Superman announced the death of the man, she looked back to him and appeared more somber. "I'm sorry." She told him. "But he made his choice…"

*

"… he did. And long before now was his mind made up." Eddie notes to Lara, "Oh and saving my life? Thank you for that. I've grown very attached to it." He adds. "Hey, buddy, you trying to pat me down or cop a feel?" He notes to one of the officers and to the terse reply he adds, "Yeah? Can I quote you on that?" He would shake his head but, with his hands on it… aint easy. Okay. He was taking to that a bit too well. Things have changed. He has changed. For better… or worse.

*

Cameras spill out onto the scene, capturing pictures of the upset, saddened titan floating up and away from the scene of a death. Doubtless, the pictures captured, even the ones from cell phones, will be gut-wrenching once focused in on the face of the hero.

It isn't long, either, before the street is marked off by over a dozen official vehicles, including a pair of ambulances, one that will soon be covered by a body in a sheet, bound for the morgue. Lara Croft is released to make a statement to the state-level law enforcement, one sure to be passed up to her government agency, and notebooks-a-plenty are flipped open to take statements from the other bystanders.

Mattias, holding back the disturbed feeling in his stomach, keeps a bold face through the long, drawn-out act of giving his own statement, often kept with arms wrapped around his shoulders and nodding off to the police officers while speaking with them. Eventually, he makes his way to a hot dog vendor. Two coney dogs, chilli, cheese, onions, and sodas. With a basket in his hands, he heads off to Darcy, because being tackled by cops usually ends up in an empty stomach.

Four angry men from out of nowhere. No rhyme, no reason. When the story breaks later, that's all it was. Four bad guys with a gripe against world politics, a target-rich environment of ambassadors leaving the UN, and plenty of innocent bystanders. Simple. Horrible. Random.

Lives were saved, but Superman couldn't save them all, that day.

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