The Smell is Napalm

February 17, 2018:

Miss Moreau is having a minor vacation after a bit of terrorizing Gotham. The Hunter Astrea and Firefly meet Moreau, and the trio have a very odd conversation.

Mutant Town

Characters

NPCs: Snipe

Mentions: Batman

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

It's been a long few days for the White Roses, what with partying, threatening the entire GCPD with death, and performing actual acts of terrorism. Also there was a bit of a Bat problem that's landed a few members in jail or various stages of dead. Thus, Miss Moreau and her more trusted subordinates have decided to let the heat die down and take a well deserved vacation.

Thus, here we are in Mutant Town. Where you can find people literally on fire, or lightning, or scales or super strength…well, unless you're a plain jane human, it's hard to not find a place for yourself in this dangerous bit of town if you happen to be some sort of outcast or other variety of freak.

Miss Moreau has taken up residence at a streetside cafe and bar. Fancy, gentrifying type place that still has enough charm and local respect that someone like her doesn't even get batted eyes. She's dressed in a cute black lolita number that ends half-way above the knees, with matching striped stockings. Cane rested against a table as a car, and then a very fast mutant zips on by. Passing wind tossles her glorious brown locks as she leans back in her chair, lounging dangerously as the chair is tipped on only two legs. Speaking of, her own are laid into the lap of a dark haired, tanned woman in a white suit, slicked back hair shining in the noon NYC sun. She indulges her Boss, calloused hands giving a proper foot massage.

A good one, judging by how Moreau nearly falls over once or twice. Her hands are occupied by a violin, belting out a rather skilled rendition of one of Bach's numbers. The heavily tattooed woman is drawing looks, less for said body art and more for the beautiful music and decadence she's currently exuding.

"Mmm, what a beautiful day Snipe! Ahh, this town is just so lovely. Hey, maybe we should stay a few more days. You could use a break."

Grunt. A wiggle of dark fingers. "Wouldn't say no, Boss! Ooh, think we can go to a spa? We could both use a cut, a massage, and a pedicure."

Smile. "You come up with the best plans, my sweet!"

*

The White Roses hadn't gone unnoticed in Gotham's underworld. There were murmurs of a new gang that threatened Gotham City's status quo, and to most mobsters, that meant a new freak in town. To Firefly, however, that meant a new apostle to meet, and exchange the word of God with. And his God just happened to be the tinders between the buildings when the dead and desecrated structures of Gotham rose up in towering infernos. His angels were inside the fires wrought by his works, and he wanted to meet Miss Moreau on the general principle of preaching the Good Word.

A man walked through Mutant Town, wearing a leather jacket and an off-white cashmere turtleneck, with brown pants and lowtop sneakers. His hands were in his pockets, black hair messy and shorn backwards, with shocks of white through his widow's peak brow. His eyebrows were heavy, and his eyes were gloomy psychotic, with a tight jaw that flexed as others passed by him. It was Garfield "Firefly" Lynns, moving towards Miss Moreau's table.

As he moved his glance to the woman, he pulled his hands out of his pockets, fingers curled in tight rows. His mouth curled into a grin, as he pulled put a pack of cigarette and slipped one into his mouth with gentle thuggishness. "Hi there, lady. I hear you've been lighting up the town."

He slides his pack away and lights his cigarette with a metal lighter that looks more like a military welding torch than a standard Bic, inhaling as his eye squints shut.

"The name's Firefly. Friends call me Garfield."

*

Walking through the streets of Mutant Town, Astrea might be the most human thing here though she's hardly so anymore. She walks along the area in her odd outfit doing a normal day's work, at least normal for her anyway. She found work as a delivery person in an area where people aren't normally…well, normal. She drops off her package at the very cafe that Moreau is at but she stops as she gets the signature.

Her gaze goes around the room to fall on to Miss Moreau and she stares for a long moment before taking the tiny clipboard away from the person who signed it and sliding it into her jacket. She walks toward Moreau and Garfield, peering at him, too. She looks him over before looking then to Moreau and saying, "Who are you?" She then hears Garfield and looks at him before look back to Moreau. Her eyes squinting there as her Irish brogue breaks through a little harder, "Ya ain't like da rest of those roamin' these streets…"

*

Being firmly in the crosshairs of Bats and law enforcement, most people would be worried or adopt actual caution in their work even this far away from home. This is 100% pure gotham weirdo running in Moreau's veins, and so as Garfield takes up a smoke near her and introduces himself? She very reluctantly daps aside Snipe's hands, toes find lightly heeled black flats, and she hops up with a prim little motion.

Cue a proper curtsey as she takes a moment to sniff the air. Meanwhile, Snipe is giving an appraising once over on the smoking man, one hand casually resting somewhat near the butt of a pretty sizable handcannon that she's not at all hiding. Not really a threat, just a warning. Her eyes say it all.

'Touch the Boss and I'll blow you away'. She joined not long after Moreau did, and the pair are a well oiled team after years of chaos and thievery.

"Oh dear, we're caught sweet Snipe! What ever shall we do!?" Hands snapping to her cheeks in faux worry. Then she gives a saccarine giggle, and offers a hand, currently ungloved, over to Firefly. "I do so try to make sure that my beautiful home and those within it know their place on the food chain, Mister Garfield! You obviously know who I am, but manners! Miss Moreau, at your service! It's a pleasure! And this lovely darling is Snipe."

Snipe casts a big, goofy grin. "Hey guy! Nice lighter ya got there, hit me up, huh?" She offers something rolled up for a light.

Moreau pauses, and considers. "Care to join us? We /love/ making new friends! And something about you smells very interesting, at the risk of being rude."

Sniff sniff. Something, or rather someone catches Moreau's nose and less common senses. Even before she says something, Astrea draws her attention. And it remains there, tongue wetting lips in a motion that's a little too predator to be good. There's a hunger in this woman, and it shows in almost every motion for those with a sense of such things.

"Oh /my/! Such a sweet scent you have, Miss! What is /your/ name, hmmmmmm?" She makes a 'come hither' motion to the hunter. Another curtsey, then a clap. "Food and drinks, waitress! Anything my new friends want!" She adds joyfully before pulling out her former chair and motioning vaguely.

"You can call me Miss Moreau. Or Sophia, but only if you buy me dinner first!" Teases the odd duck of a criminal. Snipe is off to bully people out of their seats so that everyone can have one at this table!

*

"That's napalm," Garfield replies curtly. "The smell is napalm." He takes Miss Moreau's hand, as if an English gentleman, and licks the fingers as if they were a popsicle, with a brief stroke, before releasing the gentle grip. He moves to sit at the table, without any further reference to what he just did.

"Hiya, Snipe," he says over to the sidekick, lighting her blandishment with his lighter, the tall flame coming out and flickering as he provides the heat.

Garfield looks at the waitress, raising his right hand, cigarette in place, and signalling, "I'll take a cheeseburger, well done, with mushrooms. And a can of Budweiser."

He makes himself comfortable, looking at Astrea with a cocky grin. "I'm just like every other guy in this hard town, looking for something in the wrong place and finding it in a spark."

*

A look to Garfield and then she looks over at Moreau. The woman adjusts her outfit slightly to make it easier to settle into a seat at the table. She glances at Snipe briefly before saying, "I am Astrea." She nods her head as she shifts in her spot and then states, "And what do you mean I smell?" She glances to the side, "I do not know what you are getting at but I sense something about you." She nods he rhead, "That is not normal." SHe then looks over at Garfield.

"As for you, I do not. However, if you use fire then you obviously are hunting something." She nods her head and then glances over at the waitress, "I will have a cheeseburger as well." She nods her head, "With bacon." SHe then licks her lips and pulls her scarf down to reveal a young face, "I do not know what you sense but I assure you, I am a hunter and do not take kindly to the harm of others. Please request your lackey to stop harassing people."

*

Moreau shivers. Briefly, she considers drawing her sword and cutting the brave man's throat. Then her whims shift, and she smiles instead. A giggle. She decides that she likes Firefly. For how long, who knows, but there is opportunity here. Besides, the napalm comment has her brows soar just a bit.

"Fire! How uncommon. Do you use that in your…work, Mister Garfield? People like us, well, we /really/ need to network. Only way to survive I've found." There's an offer somewhere in there.

"Or at least maybe we can get to know one another. Over tea and work." A blunt, sledgehammer of an offer in the air. Welcome to possibly one of the least subtle villains of Gotham this side of Harley Quinzel.

The burgers, mushrooms and bacon both, are soon being made. A big ol' glass of Bud is put down. From the tap too. The tips that Moreau and her crew have been lavishing on this outdoor cafe has made the owners look the other way from various bits of random larcony or other thuggish bullying of less monied customers. No one's dead. In M-town, that is considered a good day.

Astrea earns herself another short laugh. "I think, Miss Astrea, there are three moments in a life that are the most beautiful. The first, being the moment of birth where a new soul is laid bare and innocent to the world." One finger.

"The last, being the moment where that life is finally snuffed out, potential lost and grieving lovers howling in agony over them." A second finger in her counting.

And then she leans over the table sporting a cheshire grin. "The second one is when a cub finally begins to open her eyes, to truly see as she should. You'll get there, just when you are meant to little one. Promise! Do not worry so, alright?" Sightless eye winks, as if she's sharing a secret that Firefly isn't privy to.

Then she leans back. She doesn't answer the hunter. Snipe does that for her. "Who's a lackey, you cosplaying nerd!? Your hat's atrocious by the wa…oi, gimme back that chair kid!" Before she can rain more insults, Snipe and a five year old are soon having the world's most stupid tug-of-war over a chair. The kid looks like he's winning.

*

"Pyrotechnics, limpets, symtex, projected napalm, blister agent, white phosphorous, fragmentation grenades, shaped putty, all that," Firefly lists off, before his beer arrives and he lifts it up with his left hand, taking a smooth draught from the glass. There's a savage grace to his mannerisms, not caring a bit about how he's seen and managing to be perfectly clean and precise about his table manners. There's an energy to him that's almost magical in nature, but qualifies on neither woman's occult senses. It's pure psychotic ecstasy.

"I can hook you up with my brokers, if you need materials. I'm mostly looking for work. I have a message to spread, you see." He takes another drag on his cigarette, setting the glass of beer down and lifting his burger to his face.

"I'm a prophet, I do the work of the Lord," he explains, as if his burger is a microphone, before sinking his teeth in. Salty mushrooms and Budweiser over a nice, fatty beef patty, his ultimate pleasure. The only way he can enjoy food with the amount of flammable chemistry he's slowly inhaled over his decades as an arsonist.

*

A solid slow blink comes to Astrea as she then looks over at Snipe. She stares, "I've 'eard these terms before and I know they insult." She pushes up and with her left hand a weapon whips up. Her pistol aimed right at Snipe and she states, "Leave the kid alone." She nods her head, "Unless wish to know with finality that this is real." She then glances over at Moreau briefly, "Keep your pets in check."

Even as she keeps the gun trained on Snipe, she hmms at Firefly, "I have priests afore. Propohets and priests just like you." She nods her head, "They sought to spread their word and in the end…people died." She keeps her weapon trained on snipe but her right hand hovers on the hammer at her side, "I don't know what word you spread but if it involves fire you must be a part of the hunt."

*

Clap clap clap go dainty hands as Firefly lists his array of explodey skills! "My my! A proper sapper…that /is/ the term right? Of a man. I like it! You know, dear Lampyridae, it just so happens that my beautiful strumpet of a bomb expert…Well, let's just say that her love for speed and explosives left the poor girl in roughly twenty-two non-contiguous portions. Terrible mess, still can't get the stain out of the workbench no matter how much 409 we rub in! I could use a friend of your nature." Then she taps her chin thoughtfully.

Eyes narrow to slits, tongue flitting in a snake-like manner. "And I love a professional at work. But I find myself far more interested on what, exactly, your message is? I've been in a message sending mood as of late, to badges and errant Chiroptera as it were. Tell me. What lays within your soul, sweet Firefly that you are so eager to show the world, hmmmmm?"

That gun is out, and a few things happen all at once. There's first a book in Moreau's lap. If anyone spares a look? Braille. She's not pretending, kids. Dainty fingers are gently touching the pages. Should anyone actually be able to read such notation?

Well, reading the spells of a madwoman probably isn't good for general sanity. Should her senses be keen enough, the scent of magic utterly reeks from the book to Astrea. And from the dainty mage.

Oh, and from the half-a-flock of ravens that alight upon the cloth covering providing shade up above them. All with snake tattoos. All with beady eyes suspiciously trained on the huntress below.

Also, Snipe is visibly preparing a tirade of insults for Astrea. The thing stopping her is that she's, in fact, bodily putting herself between pistol and kid. That is not normal goon behaviour.

"You're the ugly wench that's pulling a gun near a kid, not me! Come on, pull the trigger, nerd! Better kill me or I'll…"

Moreau clears her throat, and is /frowning/. All that bluster drains from the woman. She knows when her long time friend, lover, and Boss is not happy.

"I am going to shut up now. Uh. Sorry Miss Astrea. I am an idiot pleasedontfeedmetopigsBoss."

"We're trying to be quiet about things. Miss Astrea. Gun away, please. You're going to cause a scene. Or maybe one of the hungry hearts in this part of the town will decide you look tasty. Who knows!" A threat couched with a shrug. Wonderful.

At least Snipe isn't bullying kids now. Moreau mmm's thoughtfully. "People die every day, Miss Astrea. By priests, by warriors, by politicians…by hunters." Smirk. "Sheep are meant to be devoured by wolves. It is their purpose, their place. Mmm. What prey do you seek, good hunter?"

*

"There are angels in all of us, spirits yearning to be freed, ghosts and gods and faeries in the woods and God himself in the architecture that man's mathematical intuition erects upon the pinnacle of the image of the ken that we've been gifted," Firefly explains, seeming to not even notice the conflict.

"A witch is merely a sacrifice to see these fires, but I've never felt that a witch hunt should take a witch, rather than a criminal or police officer. All souls need to be freed," he says, smoking his cigarette and putting his burger down. "And although I reap very carefully, perhaps one day, Gotham City will know that their salvation is in the cast out children, and take us in again, so we may not hunger. They merely must witness the shapes inside the flames. I can see them, and I do their bidding."

Firefly puts his cigarette out on the table, thoughtlessly. "That's why I need work. I need a chance to bring the message of God to those that reject their outcasts into humble places, and out of their hearts. It's an act of _proof_."

*

A blink as she noties the changes around her and the woman states, "I've faced things far worse than you, Miss Moreau." She states, "Beasts that would topple buildings and wrench cries of anguis from even the strongest of men." She idly slides her gun down though and looks over at Moreau as it seems Snipe is standing down, "Lest you want your little birdy pals to get caught in a hail of bloody bullets, I'd recommend standing them down." SHe idly taps the blunderbus on her back and then blinks.

She turns her gaze to Firefly slowly, "What manner of beast are you that you'd think to burn people just to release something from within' 'em." She nods her head, "You're mad…" She nods her head and then blinks, "Don't dey have places for people like ya?" If she was afraid at all of Moreau, it's unclear though Moreau might be able to smell or sense that within both weapons, there's a bloody tinged magical smell. "As for what I hunt. I hunt beasts of those who have taken akin to the blood."

*

Miss Moreau finds herself in the very, very strange position of actually agreeing with Astrea. In the 'Firefly is a madman' camp. Pot, kettle, and some good old tossing of stones in glass houses may well apply here.

Moreau is too polite to toss the first stone. Clap clap.

"First of all, Mister Garfield, I simply want to state that my angelic essence is something that I would like to remain in my current meatsack as long as possible. …Or at least until I feast on the marrow of little Bats to my fill. And I have a home that I would much prefer to remain untoasted for a while."

The she perks up. "All that aside, what a /stirring/ desire my friend! Not my usual sort of aim, but who /doesn't/ love pouring gasoline on a flammable bit of kindling to feel the warmth flow into one's bones on a cold night? Or onto a tied up GCPD member. But I digress!"

Finger snap. "Let us bring the proof of angels, demons, God and the rage of the rejected to those money-soaked fools that take up the 'better' portion of Gotham, shall we? Now /that/ I would love to smell burning to the ground! You are hired, Mister Firefly. Bit of a party, and a bonfire sounds lovely!" Lord help Gotham, this is not what it needs. Astrea is a witness to the beginnings of horrible things.

She slips Firefly a business card. Beautiful, done in gold writing. And a hand-written number for a burner phone that acts as the Roses' business contact. So professional.

Astrea gets a blep of Moreau's tongue when she's going about threatening her pets, human and bird alike. "How rude, Miss Astrea! Dear /me/ you should work on your manners. Threatening violence to my beloved Snipe, and now my pretty little avians?" Eyes narrow dangerously. "You might make me cross at this rate, sweetling." There's an edge there. Snipe is facepalming, then flicks a straw at her Boss.

Sigh. She relents. "But you know, I actually believe you. Ah, do you have any of them? I will pay you a reasonable price if you have corralled such majesting beasts into a corner! I am an expert in dealing with things like that in less…mmm, bloody fashion that you seem to prefer. No that I mind! No!"

Her smile to Astrea is creepily approving of that magic blood. "Actually, I find that peculiar scent of yours most pleasing. What day you say we drop the guns, Miss Astrea. I assure you I can give you a most pleasant evening if you do!" Horrible offer number two made. Moreau is just full of terrible ideas.

*

"A beast, ma'am? I am no more a beast than I am a burden." Firefly slowly sips his beer, softly now, staring down the street at his vague reflection in a shop window. "A beast struck into a burden perhaps, become a black winged bird." He looks vaguely haunted, sweating faintly, as he sees shapes in the mirror, extorting him to light the building ablaze to banish the demons he feels welling up inside him. "There are places for us, but they are not the proper places. The proper place is rest, sweet rest, where one may find a hearty meal and a caring family. Not an asylum and certainly not the streets."

He takes the card from Moreau. "Thank you for joining the mission of Gotham. You will find that I am not alone. I will be your shaman. I will be your soul." Then, he takes a large bite of the burger before setting it down and walking off into the crowds.

*

Looking over at Firefly, Astrea blinks and her eyes slowly gaze back over at Moreau. SHe takes a step back from her and tilts her head, "Are ya daft?" She asks the woman as if the answer were obvious, "Ya think I'm gonna spend time with ya outside of putting ya down." She puts her pistol away and states, "Ya keep your damned burger and your bloody birds. Know what iffin' ya do something in my presence to harm the weak or innocent, I'll be puttin' a stop to ye." She then turns and herself walks away, "I have work to be attendin'." And she's gone, too.

*

Fingers wiggle at the leaving Firefly. Smiiiile. "Indeed. Too many people like us have no loving home to rest in. Ah! Should we not create one for them? A crusade, a pack made, good Firefly. Pleasant day, mmm?" Wink.

Astrea is met with silence at first. No, she doesn't speek until the woman is walking away. "You will find me harder to put down than most beasts, good hunter! Even your building shaking ones, methinks."

Pause. Paaaause. Blep!

*

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