Big Bada Boom

February 15, 2018:

Barda attempts to move into her new apartment. Rocket and Groot buy Peter Quill a non-birthday present. Nothing goes as planned.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Peter Quill

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Moving day.

Or something like it. After months in an apartment on the west side, Barda will finally have gotten into a place much closer to Oracle, and even closer to the gym that was floored by her offer to teach a self defense class a few times a week. They've even begun marketing it as 'Barda's Corner', a section set aside just for her and her students. But first comes first: Moving into the apartment itself. It's a not very big, but it is rent controlled, a four story building that she will have just finished moving the last box into.

That is when someone or something decides that her first day in her new apartment is not going to be part of the quiet life she so enjoyed while not on one of her adventures with Scott. Brick and mortar and drywall explode inward, and as heightened as Barda's reflexes are, the metal hand that comes for her is at least as fast, metal fingers wrapping around her neck from behind to wrench her from the floor and toss her, bodily, to the street below.

Whatever it is, it is not small. Few beings on this world could say they have to look down at Barda, but this is one of them. After a cursory glance inside her apartment, the great creature turns, it's movements agile in a way almost frightening, landing in a kneeling crouch before her.

As it rises, it speaks, it's voice an echo of gravel across metal, bubbling forth from a digitized core. "Non-terrestrial energy source detected."

Yes.

It wants her Motherbox.

One moment, Barda was standing in the middle of her apartmentthe first home that had ever been herscontemplating the bittersweet nature of the new life that she was building for herself, and the next moment she was flying through the air. If someone had been watching from a window above, they might have spied a momentary smile on the ex-Fury's lips.

A bike messenger passing in the street below caught the brunt of Barda's impact. The woman screamed as she went down, one tire and a lower leg crumpling beneath Big Barda's massive momentum. Despite the seriousness of the metal monster's demand, he was a secondary concern. Barda leapt to her feet, spilling masonry dust from her winter coat and long black hair.

"GET OUT OF THE STREET!" She screams, on her way to pick up the mauled bike messenger.

In hindsight, this was all just one big stupid idea.

Lots of grand adventures and fond memories are birthed from stupid ideas, so often what kicks off the unstoppable momentum to the fulfillment of something grand or something very foolish. It's like the tiny snowball lobbed down a snowy hillside, the little spark of flame that happens to find its way onto some tinder. In this case the instigator had been equally small, the suggestion equally random. It had started with a television show, or maybe a movie. Something with a party and lots of funny pointed hats and presents.

A demand was made.

An argument produced.

A tantrum was thrown.

And then after a bit of rinse and repeat, it had been decided that it's perfectly fair to want to celebrate an unbirthday since you couldn't remember your own. Stuff like that was beyond the concept at such a point for one, not at all remembered by the other, and hell if they knew when Peter Quill was born, not to mention Terran months and time tables. That's another weird thing.

But we digress.

The endeavor has led to this very spot, this very moment where a very raccoon-like creature who will chew off your face if you call him such, can be seen hauling with not a little bit of effort, a wagon of sorts. If you wanted a proper party, birthday or un-, then you obviously needed an awesome gift. Once again, it sounded good on paper, but Rocket had neglected to factor in that the usual muscle of the group is currently little less than one foot tall and absolutely no help at all.

"Yeah, I know this'll blow Quill's socks off but a lotta good it'll do us if we can't get the thing back!" the small Guardian growls as he digs his heels into the pavement, hauling what looks to be an old cabinet-style arcade machine. He's amazed they'd even managed to get out the door of the building, or rather he managed. That's because a certain someone thinks he's cute hitching a ride on the screen of the currently inert machine. "You are absolutely no help at all! You could at least pretend to push!" Rocket stops, dropping the handle of the wagon to rest both fists at either side of his hips as he glares at his friend. "This puts a dent in the ice cream plan you kno-"

"GET OUT OF THE STREET!"

The raccoonoid whirls around, and it's probably funny that he only does so at the shout and not say, the sound of screaming and crashing. It's like that's normal for them otherwise.

Rocket sighs. "Aw hell, what now?"

The cabinet rocks and sways with every movement and every bit of effort on Rocket's part, leaving the wannabe window stick-on to bump and sway along with him.

Groot likes the ride; from his 'seat,' he gets to have the time of his life. It'd be even more fun if Rocket isn't complaining in his general direction. "I am Groot!" he shouts back, the end of his sentence abruptly cut off once the wagon is dropped down with little fanfare.

He bumps his head against the screen. And that smarts.

The plant scowls, sliding a bit, getting ready to throw down right when the yell drops on both of them. Groot blinks, making an equally confused noise as he glances in the direction of where it's coming from.

The great metal man towers over them all, fifteen feet or more of black-grey destruction, burning eyes looking to Barda and then back to the two new life forms that do not fit human parameters. "Locomotive plant specimen and unidentified bipedal rodent. Non-priority targets."

Then, comes that hand again. It reaches for Barda's leg, pulling her far from the person she means to help with a sudden tug and hurling her back towards the building, using her as a projectile, one that will send brick raining down on the two companions who only meant to buy their friend a non-birthday present.

Just wait till Atli asks for hers.

Each brick tumbles like a meteor guided by fate, slamming to the left of the cart, then to the right, and one very near Rocket's little, clawed feet. But none, miraculously, impact Peter's present, and other than a layer of mortar dust settling over it, the Pac-Man machine is still right as rain.

Even as the building releases it's hold on Barda, it's walls old and ill-equipped to hold large women, Omnux is stepping towards her. "Enhanced durability and survivability confirmed. Adapting."

The giant robot's left arm forms into a long stabbing instrument, easily extending it's arm another few feet to nearly scrape the ground as it stalks forward.

Barda has her hands on the bike, she's almost disentangled the poor cyclist from it—AND "CURSE YOU!" The ex-Fury bellows as the robot grabs her and once again tosses her through the air like a children's toy. She's fast enough to let go of the civ and the bike, but the poor woman is still in the street! Help her! Barda smashes into the building with a grunt and the TCHSHTCHK of brick pulverizing to dust.

The "non-priority targets" might be able to see Bardamomentarily hanging in her body-shaped depression on the side of the apartment buildingreach for something on her belt before she leaps toward the giant robot with a roar. Her eyes are wild, her hair a mane of gnarls and mortar dust. In one fist, she clutches mega-rod, which transforms into an axe before their very eyes.

Rocket looks confusedly at the large metal figure. "What the heck is that?" he mutters, knowing full well that Groot won't be able to provide an answer to that. His brow twitches, red-brown eyes narrowing. "-hey, hey, hey! I am not a rodent!" he growls, and then has to abruptly duck his head as the metal thing begins to swing around the woman he'd chucked outside earlier as a shot put.

"…." He cracks open an eye at the brick that's landed so close to his foot, then looks back up again with renewed urgency. "These fools're gonna wreck our present! Groot, move the thing before they- oh, right." Rocket facepalms and then shakes his head, moving to apply his shoulder to the arcade box to try shoving it back towards the doorway. He pulls out a blaster from his side holster as he does so, scowling as he eyes the two above. Save the civvie? Wha? He's got priorities here!!

If only Groot knew. If he did, he would have provided a pretty good answer for all of…this.

Unfortunately, that isn't the case. Groot is still staring at the scene, head tilting to one side as the lady goes flying and bricks and a bike go elsewhere. Well, they can't do anything for the civilian and Barda, but those bricks are coming pretty close to where they are. Too close.

…THE PRESENT!!

"I am Groot!!" the little thing cries, scrambling to his feet. He's half-shaken off of the cabinet, landing roughly before scampering around to the other side of the wagon. Grabbing onto the edges, his arms stretch as he tries to pull with all of his might. "I am GROOT!"

That bladed arm goes diving in, a blow meant to skewer Barda and end this conflict before it ever really begins, but the great metal creature cannot match her prowess, it's combat protocols basic, genetic, simple enough to get by against most enemies. Here it faces expertise that it cannot comprehend. It costs the robot dearly, axe sinking into it's chest with an awkward THUNK and a grinding of it's scales against the blade.

With a stagger-step, a great foot crashes RIGHT DOWN NEXT TO ROCKET, sending cracks spiraling out in the pavement to streak beneath his Racoonian feet. Almost in slow motion, Groot's pulling pays dividends, one wheel of the wagon awkwardly running over Omnux's foot, tilting the entire arcade cabinet dangerously until finally that monumental effort pulls the wagon completely over the foot.

In this, however, they have earned Omnux's attention, his hand going to that axe to pull it free, while his other shifts back to a fist to SLAM down on top of Barda's head.

He is not nearly as strong as she, but still hits like someone were throwing a tank at her, all the while STARING at Rocket. That's right. Omnux blames THE RODENT for what has happened to it's foot!

"Threat re-assessment eminent. Energy weapon present on Rodent's person."

THUNK. Barda grins, baring a mouthful of glittering white teeth as she comes down on the monster's chest, feet planted to its anthropomorphic belly for leverage. She holds onto her ax as if it were a handle to keep her steady as the robot staggers, merely waiting for enough stability to tug her weapon free and flip gracefully away. It was not to be.

Omnux's fist meets Barda's open hand, but she isn't fast enough to keep it from colliding with her head, too. CRUNCH. Big Barda's hand is mangled, but perhaps, so is the robot's fist as she squeezes it in her fingers. She goes limp, her other hand still wrapped around the handle of her ax.

"Threat re-assessment eminent."

Finally, Barda loses her grip on her weapon and falls to the ground between the robot's legs with a loud THUD.

A hop back only barely keeps Rocket from tripping as the tall metal fiend lands so close beside him, and as the ground is practically shattered by its foot, the raccoonoid finds himself staring. Well, flark.

Groot's efforts go unnoticed for a moment, but that's because he can't see his pal from this end of the wagon. Rocket's too busy watching the woman attack, or get attacked, and as she drops and once again Omnux intones judgment, he looks up, nose wrinkling.

"…think I'm gonna need my bigger gun."

That's all he says before he raises his weapon and pulls the trigger, practically point blank, but that's the way he likes it.

There's considerable force packed into the blaster that while could be held single-handedly, Rocket braces with both. A blue-ringed pulse blast proven to blow automobiles off their wheels. He's tested it. In the parking lot. At the Triskelion. …people were not happy.

SUCCESS. It's like that one song. He's halfway there! But the weight of the wagon lightens for all of two seconds before it comes back in full force, almost running Groot over in the process.

Someone should have told him going over a giant foot was a bad idea. Not like he would've listened, but hey. It was a learning experience.

And as Rocket goes for his big gun, Groot realizes that the wagon is only halfway off of the metal foot. "I am Groot," he mutters under a breath, feeling unflappable as he goes back to pulling at it. That cabinet is precious and needs to be protected at all costs!

…Priorities really should go toward all of the violence, but his mind, it is very one-track. That's why Rocket is there!! His friend is great at stuff like this!

Indeed, Groot's friend IS great at stuff like this. The blast echoes down the street with a shockwave of power, sending goosebumps across any civilians who happen to have stopped to watch this terrible battle, energy rippling forth to rip into metal scales and superstructure, forcing Omnux to drop that axe so that it sticks in the pavement nearby Barda, another stagger as half it's face is blasted clean off.

As it turns to look back at Rocket, it's face is curling back together, knitting new scales over the molten mess Rocket's blast left in it's wake. With a sound much like a complaint, the great metal man leans in to direct a massive fist towards Rocket, apparently having forgotten about Barda as it's threat assessment shifts. "Adaptation commencing."

Meanwhile, Groot will have all the success in the world in pulling that car along. So much success. TO MUCH SUCCESS. It begins to roll towards the car. Just down hill enough that the pull becomes a 'you're not pulling me, i'm chasing YOU!'.

Barda's Motherbox will speak to her then, in a language none of the others will understand, ominous and all powerful, it forces Omnux to turn it's head a little to far to look down at the giant of a woman, as if Omnux may have understood it.

With the robot staggered back by Rocket's gunshot blast, Barda rises unsteadily on her feet. No tech from Apokolips must fall into this creature's hands! She closes the distance to her ax, every step more sure than the last, thumb sliding over a switch as she takes hold of the handle. The weapon transforms again, returning to the form of the mega-rod.

PING PING PING

Barda turns, aiming the rod up at the robot's massive torso. "SHOOT IT AGAIN!"

An energy beam fires from the mega-rod, straight at Omnux.

It's hard to babysit when you've got a GIANT METAL SOMETHING-OR-OTHER trying to kill you! Rocket's teethy grin vanishes once Omnux starts to literally pull himself back together. "What the glarfin' hell?! That's cheating!"

As Omnux delivers a swing directly at him, the small Guardian nimbly leaps up onto its arm to race along the metallic bridge. It felt really good putting one through the thing's face, maybe it'll work a second time!

"Ain't gotta tell me twice, lady!" he shouts, leaping up onto the metal giant's shoulder as it turns its head, and he brings the barrel of his gun to bear right at the thing's creepy face, a furry finger squeezing the trigger.

"Boom."

Don't worry, Groot can take care of himself. See? He's big enough to take care of one problem all on his own!

…But THIS IS NOT WHAT'S SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN.

At first, he thinks he's imagining the speed of the wheels picking up on their own. Then he sees that it actually is going faster than it should. And being in front of it? Not good. Not good at all.

His legs need to be longer. Much longer. Their shortness leads to him being almost run over like those cartoons he's watched, but he quickly clings onto the wagon cart. So being dragged is better than being flat, but not by much.

"—GROOoot!!"

All at once that blast from Barda hits the creature's back and forces it to arch, just as Rocket races up his arm. It's eyes flicker, as if unable to process what's happening to it. But indeed, that's all it's doing. Energy courses between scales to send it shaking and jerking in place, unable to move as Rocket takes aim.

Boom.

It is the last thing it hears before Rocket's blast utterly shatters it, it's many scales shimmering apart and cascading to the ground like someone pouring out a big pitcher of water. Except, it's just metal scales. Tons of metal scales. They scatter across the pavement every which way, and leave Rocket hanging in mid-air for a split second before gravity will take it's hold.

It is an almost happy accident that some of the vines the Grootling had been using to pull get caught in the wheels. He'll feel it all tighten on him as if seeking to pull him under, instead it just pulls him flat against the front of the wagon while his vines wrap and wrap, the car looming ominous in front of him.

SCREEEEEEEEECH,

Those vines bring the wheels to a stop with only inches to spare. But hey, at least Groot got the arcade machine to the car ALL BY HIMSELF.

A strange sound shimmers against the ground, and then those scales begin to pull together, five at a time, all rolling in the same direction, until they pile into a stormdrain to make an escape - and reassess the threats of this world that now include energy types it cannot adapt to, nor Rodents it can conquer.

Don't worry, Big Barda is there to catch Rocket when the robot suddenly disintegrates beneath him. Assuming he doesn't hop out of her arms first, she sets him down with all the dignity and respect befitting another sentient adult and has a quick look around to see if anyone else needs help. Someone else got the bike messenger out of the street. They're huddled on the sidewalk nearby. They can already hear sirens in the distance.

"Thank you. I am Barda. You aren't from around here, are you?" She says to Rocket as she peers back down at him.

Rocket was too busy gloating over the success of literally blowing this metal guy to bits that he doesn't quite realize where that leaves him until he's falling. And then he's not, but instead caught by the woman who'd been thrown around and still somehow managed to have shrugged it off.

It's like every other woman he meets around here is built like a tank or friends with someone who is. Terra's a weird, weird place.

Dusting himself once he's set on his feet, Rocket only brings his gun up as the metal scales start to move again, but they stream away before he can get a clear shot, because there's a whole lot and he's sure there will be much complaint if he let off stray shots with such reckless abandon.

"Eh, yer welcome. …ex-boyfriend?" he asks as he looks up at Barda, holstering his gun. "Nah, what tipped ya off on that? And…you wouldn't happen to be from Asgard or something, would you?" It's like that whole population was slowly migrating here. Well no, it's four Asgardians and a winged horse. Still, that's a lot in his book.

"You all right? What was that thing? Aside from downright rude! And it almost broke the present me an' Gr- Groot!"

Rocket looks around for the tiny twig, just realizing that he had no idea where Groot had gone off to.

GOOD NEWS: he's not dead.

EVEN BETTER NEWS: cabinet's in one piece!

BAD NEWS: he's sort of…stuck.

Although Groot is pleased with his accomplishment (and thoroughly relieved he didn't end up worse for wear), it slowly dawns on him that he can't easily untangle himself from the wagon. Which isn't cool because the car is literally right there in front of his face.

Little legs flail about helplessly as he tries to loosen his vines, grunting, grumbling, then steadily yowling at the top of his lungs.

That alone will carry off over the distance.

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