After Awhile, Crocodile

March 05, 2018:

Two heroes come upon a strange robber - strange even by New York standards.
GMed by Valkyrie

Hell's Kitchen

Characters

NPCs: A scaly Ravager (from spaaace)

Mentions: Spider-Gwen

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

*

There's a lot of petty crime in Hell's Kitchen. Even with the number of heroes out fighting the good fight, there's always pickpockets, robberies and whatnot. It's not possible to police - or vigilante - it all. The random, unconnected, nonviolent crimes aren't high on anyone's priority list, but there's been a string lately that seem to have a connection. First, it was a small thrift store where the electronics section was tossed over. Then, it was one of those multiple-carrier cell phone shops. Then, the electronics section of a small department store was hit. In each case, the alarm was somehow deactivated and there were deep gouges in the wall or in the door.
Sensing a pattern? Still, it was just robberies until the latest one. The security guard had his throat ripped out by something with claws like an animal.
It just so happens that the heroes are in the neighbourhood as an alarm bleats in irritation for half a second before being choked off. It's a little after 10 at night on a small side street that just happens to house a pawn shop that - you guessed it - specializes in electronics. The door to the shop is slightly ajar, and there are deep gouge marks in the doorframe.

*

Even that half-a-second bleep is enough to catch the attention of one Hell's Kitchen hero, who has slowly built a reputation for having an ear to the ground and an almost preternatural sense of which block, address, and apartment number crime will strike. Which is to say it's just minutes after that alarm is cut short that red boots make a hard landing on the sidewalk outside the plaza. They're red boots, as is the rest of the Devil of Hell's Kitchen's sleek, state of the art getup — a return to high-tech form after six months of regression to his mail-order ninja suit.

He's here in all his red-suited, jaw-clenched, horn-helmed glory, and he's stalking towards the entrance, senses fixed on whatever he can see, hear, smell, hell, even somehow taste may be happening inside.

*

It's been awhile since she really took a good romp through Hell's Kitchen.

Though Hell's Kitchen has it's own host of heroes, for a time, this is where Silk called 'home' — the wayward girl that stayed with Jessica Jones, in her civilian identity— and she has something of a soft spot for swinging by damn near every time she's taking her turn on a web-line patrol of Manhattan. Her purpose here is two-fold: Yes, to patrol, but she needs to stop by Jessica's later and see if the PI is in.

Cindy's senses are … unique. To her, this end of town is particularly noisy; her extrasensory danger senses being keyed and attuned to a slightly different wavelength than just 'danger.' She picks up impressions — almost empathic noise — and it can usually point her toward some real trouble. That, or keep her busy enough to get blindsided by D-list supervillains with jetpacks. It's a mixed blessing.

Silk's webbing is silent to some, but likely the tension of her weight on the line and the swoosh through the air gives her away to the man in red. She hits the rooftop lightly enough, scooting to the edge and looking over the side at the street adjacent first, then over the next side, and so on. Where was it coming from? Where's the —

— Oh hi Matt.

*

Whatever is in there smells weird as fuck - not to put too fine a point on it. It has the warm, earthy scent of a living being, but nothing the Devil has smelled before - and the sounds of movement suggests someone bipedal. The scent itself is slightly sour, slightly ionized. It's nothing that someone without supersenses would pick out too clearly, but to superhuman olfactory receptors, it's very bizarre.
Unlike the last stop, the store does not have a security guard. That means there's no fear or distress to pick up on - and whoever is in there does not read like anything native to Hell's Kitchen.

It doesn't take supersenses to hear the sound of movement further into the pawn shop as the heroes approach the doorway. Something gets knocked onto the floor, something else gets thrown. It's dark, but for the hero who lives in perpetual darkness, that's no real impediment. There is a heat signature, but it too is…wackadoo. It's there, it's registering, but barely - and only when the figure moves. Either they're wearing something that covers up their body heat, or whatever they are can regulate to match their surroundings.
Fortunately for both heroes, they're going to get the first move. After three successful robberies, the culprit has grown confident that they won't be interrupted.

*

Fortunately or unfortunately, the Devil of Hell's Kitchen has encountered enough Weird Shit (TM) in his year and change as a vigilante that he's largely inured to the hackle-raising effects of 'something new.' Fortunate because it loosens him up in the face of the unknown and potentially supernatural… and unfortunate because it makes him even less cautious. Which is all to say that no alien sounds, smells, or other more ineffable impressions will deter him from walking closer to that door.

What will give the 'Man Without Fear' some pause is stealthy but still detectable arrival of his counterpart on the roof above him. She sweeps in on her webbing and peers out over the edge of the rooftop at him, and he looks back up. He's never seen her before, but he was been hit with something enough like one of the tendrils that carried her over — and the memory of tha tmessy incident seems enough to tip him off to what she is.

He lifts his chin in greeting, but declines to shout a hello — instead opting to point to his own chest, then the door. An indication of his next move, just before he makes to execute.

*

For her part, Silk just waves to Matt's raised chin, looking way too cheerful for this scenario. But she gets the gesture — him, inside.

With a snap of her wrist and setting two anchor points, Cindy descends upside-down on a web-line. The silk slips loose from her index fingers in a smooth flow until she stops— with a light bob— right next to Daredevil, long dark hair dangerously close to hitting a Manhattan street. Flipping over and touching down, she steps quickly and quietly to the side, hurrying to a position where she can provide some cover.

At closer range, the webbing smells different. Less chemical glue, more… real. Her suit gives off the same kind of smell.

"Okay, you totally kick their face in," she whispers, "and I'll stick them to the wall. We can rock paper scissors for who writes the embarassing note about them for the police."

*

In the time it takes the two heroes to converse, the figure inside has gone silent and their heat signature has dropped out of Daredevil's senses. There's still the occasional flicker here or there, but it's rather like (and pardon the visual analogy) squinting at a shadow in a semi-dark room to tell whether it is lamp or monster.
The layout of the pawn shop doesn't help. The shop is long, with narrow aisles piled high with all manner of stuff. Supersenses click in as a hand raises from the corner left. A beam of light shoots across the room, momentarily illuminating the dark space and exploding door frame and wall just above their heads. "Stay back and move on," comes a gravelly voice from the shadow. Although it sounds like it's coming out of a parched throat, there's something feminine about the vocal quality.

*

"You can write the note," comes the wry and raspy reply of the man in red to this spider-woman. (How many of spider-women are actually out there, he wonders.) He bends down to take his two batons from the holster at his calf and fix them together into his billy-club. Whatever this is, it's not normal, and that hints at the need for something beyond street-brawling fisticuffs.

That's a suspicion that's borne out by what happens next. They're slipping through the door, and a laser-bolt is blasting the doorframe and wall, while a feminine but slightly off voice is warning both of the would-be do-gooders away. Warnings never worked all that well with Matt Murdock, however. Sure, he ducks from the blast, but as soon as that's done he's making a silent, crouching run down the aisle, using the room's darkness and its cluttered interior to his benefit as he makes for the corner from which that shot first fired.

Alright, Jane. You promised me this goddamn suit could stand up to lasers. Let's test that theory.

*

As they start to slip in, Cindy cannot help but add, "That suit is awesome, by the way."

Silk-senses start to tingle, and her body moves instinctively; even with it a warning shot, she's still moving to stay low and duck behind one of the shelves in the oddly long store, shifting her weight to scuttle across the floor in an even, balanced maneuver. That shot came from the back.

"I know a pawn shop buys pretty much anything but there's not much of a market for a laser pistol!" Silk calls, squinting in the darkness and keeping her hackles raised. Breaking into a dead run, she acts somewhere between instinct, following the light source, rolling the dice to attack — by snapping up her hand and flinging two dense gobs of less-gooey, more-heavy webbing in the direction of the shooter.

"Best I can do is ten dollars!"

*

The shot came from the back, but the person who pulled the trigger knows enough to move from the origin point as quickly as possible. Matt gets the warning sound of metal snapping into place to his left and a good few long strides from the origin point of the blaster. Then, inch-long metal claws like tire spikes swipe out at his hamstring with force that would make Luke Cage blink twice.
Another laser beam cuts through the air towards Silk's webbing, incinerating the first glob. The second hits and slams the weapon back against the wall and coincidentally, right on to one of those flat toggle light switches. The flourescent bulbs just behind the pawn counter flicker slowly to life and bring illumination back to the room.
So Silk at least, gets a good look at their attacker. She - and it does seem to be a she - has scraggly black hair, yellow eyes and green skin with alligator-like scales. Her slightly pointed ears are full of silver piercings, and she's dressed in head-to-toe off-white leathers with a long duster with flame sigil on each shoulder. When she roars in frustration, it's with an animalistic sound that reveals metal-covered pointed teeth. She snaps her other hand, so now both hands have long, sharp metal claws in a kind of exoskeleton over her fingers.

*

That suit is awesome, by the way, says the spider-woman, and one of Daredevil's lips curl into a lop-sided smirk. "Thanks," he murmurs before diving in the direction of their strange assailant. "It's new." This one is a lot friendlier than the last one, he thinks.

But then he's thinking about other things, like the sound of metal and the rush of wind and vibration in the air caused by the swipe of that claw towards his hamstring. Luke Cage, with his unbreakable skin, can withstand blows that would shatter concrete. Matt Murdock — super-armor or no super-armor — cannot. And for all that he joked about stress tests with Jane, all of his instincts in a situation like this tell him one thing: Don't even get hit.

So he doesn't. He fights, as always, as if he were five steps ahead of his opponent, not just dodging that scarily-strong swipe, but using the opportunity to vault into a spinning flip kick that hurls his own body with it. If it strikes true, that dark-haired, yellow-eyed face that Silk spies will catch the side of a red, shiny boot at its temple.

*

Hit the laser pistol *and* disarmed *and* turned the lights on? Natural 20!!

Silk's eyes go wide when the alligator-woman is revealed, staring at her outfit, the claws, the weapon, and the earrings. "Whoa. I mean — okay. I mean — are you secretly a pokemon? Asking for a friend."

She doesn't get long to admire or stand in awe of the strange gator-lady, as Matt comes flying out from the aisles with his mighty kick! Silk's no stranger to opportunistic attacks, spreading her fingers out. While the Man without Fear goes high, she goes low with a funnel-spray of webbing at the laser-wielding thief's legs, trying to anchor her to the floor before she pulls out more guns, lasers, or even bigger claws!

*

Either the Ravager wasn't expecting Matt to be that fast, or that brutal strength comes at the expense of agility. Either way, the boot hits true. It's a bit like hitting a punching bag that's secured both to the ceiling and to the floor. There's some give, but even a hard strike doesn't knock her down. "You talk about clothing when you should be fighting!" she roars as she swipes a brutal combination of strikes with claw hands out at Matt.
He's being distracting enough that she underestimates Silk's ability. Her feet are caught by the webbing. At first, she manages to break free, but then a half-step later, she just gets gummed up by additional webbing. She roars in frustration and flicks her hand. One of the claws dislodges from her exo-hand and goes singing towards Cindy so fast it makes a whistling sound as it cuts through the air.

*

The difficulty with a flip-kick like that is that it exchanges the force that comes with a full-body move for stability. There's no easy or graceful landing from that move, which most times shouldn't matter because if properly executed it will send your enemy sprawling along with you. Except this enemy is not just superhumanly strong and fast, it's exceptionally durable. The Ravager stays standing, while Daredevil takes a moment to regain his footing — and it's enough of a break in his equilibrium for one of her claw-strikes to find its mark, catching him at the left pectoral and sending him staggering back a few steps with its force.

A few steps, he thinks to himself. That should have sent me flying. And he feels neither welling blood of a fresh cut nor the cool air of exposed skin. The suit didn't break. Nice work, Dr. Foster.

But yes, the Ravager has a point. Enough about clothes. While the Ravager is straining against her sticky bonds and hurling projectile claws at Silk, Daredevil redoubles, sending that billy club singing swiftly through the air towards the soft and vulnerable points one would expect to find on a human — starting with the elbow of her upraised hand, and then the gut.

*

Funnel-webbing seems to do the trick after she lays it on a little thick, but the gator's reaction time and strength are higher than she anticipated. She's … strong! Really strong. And hopefully Matt doesn't land in the webbing torn and left in the Ravager's wake, either, that'd be a little bit of a sticky situation for him.

The claw being shot at her is a surprising thing; Silk's danger sense flaring up to warn her of the obvious danger headed her way. Her body twists and pulls into a tight horizontal spin, arms to her chest and the claw blazing right by as it hits the rack of goods and sundry behind her.

When she touches down— a three-point landing on the ceiling— the shoulder of her suit is split open, a lash of a cut across her collarbone to mid-bicep. Releasing the ceiling, Silk lands in a handspring, squatting down before lunging like a spring releasing tension. While Matt attacks from the front, Cindy whips around for a heel kick from behind, though flying in so close for a kick like that does leave her pretty open.

*

Sending a perfectly aimed billy club to a vulnerable spot should be met with the satisfaction of watching your enemy double over in pain. What Matt probably didn't expect was for both shots to just sort of…glance off like a kid throwing pebbles at someone wearing motorcycle leathers. They make a sort of strange hollow sound that suggests that either those leathers are more protective than they look, or she has some kind of exoskeleton. Or both. She gives him a half-narrow eyed look that seems to translate the word, Really? with all the enthusiasm of a disaffected teenager.
She swipes out wildly at Silk's leg, then drops down to raaaake claws through the webbing to free herself. With an animalistic shake, she bares pointy teeth at the pair of them, that almost…seems to have some humour to it. "Good fight. Nice try," snort. "Maybe we play again later." And then, there's a sharp slap to her wrist and Ravager disappears in a swirl of…teleportation? Whatever it is, it's precipitated with that sharp ionized smell that Matt smelled earlier. Then they're left with nothing but a busted up pawn shop.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License