Sunday in the Park with Demons

April 27, 2018:

Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson go jogging in the park and find themselves having to deal with a lost child. Meanwhile, M'Baku continues his own ominous hunt, looking for aid from his gorilla god. But things all around are not what they seem!

Central Park

Characters

NPCs: Two demons masquerading as people

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

A hiss of laughter wheezes through lipless teeth as a shadowy figure moves beside another, "Fine fine…there he is." The voice says in a soft whisper as the chattering of chitinous plates move against each other along a tree. A snap as a claw closes and then a feminine though large voice speaks, "Yes…he's perfect. He is no sage but…he is the best they have to offer today. That's what they say. He's the peek of human perfection…perfect for me." Another snap and crack and then there's the sound almost as if something large were changing clothes.

The odd cracking of bone follows and finally a woman steps out wearing a pair of jeans, sneakers and a blouse, holding the hand of a young girl who wears a cute little sundress. The woman looks down at teh child and says, "Remember…I get him…and then we both get what we want. He'll not ignore our actions.

What they are looking at becomes clear in the distance even as the woman slips away and the young girl starts jogging ahead. Steve Rogers, Captain America, is jogging along his usual route and from what can be seen the young girl will go right into his path. She appears to be sobbing. A girl no older than the age of 8 crying as she moves, "Mommy?!" She cries out, "Mommy!" She then whimpers more.

In the distance, a simian form perks up as his hairs stand on end. He tilts his head to the side and hten looks into the distance toward Central Park, "What…? Hmm…" The voice of Sun Wukong speaks to himself.

In the shadows of the park underbrush, M'Baku squats, his head bowed low.

"Great Gorilla God, why have you fallen silent? Am I not on the hunt you charged me with?" M'Baku inhales deeply as he stares at the ground. "I am not yet tainted with the technological hedonism of this place. I have not forgotten my kinsmen who were brought here, so far from home…"

The Wakandan waits a long moment and then exhales slowly through his nose, his nostrils flaring. "So be it. I will show you my worth. Your blood still runs through me."

M'Baku stands and lumbers out of the brush, some distance from the sobbing girl - although not so far that he does not notice her. "Feh," he mutters. "At home she would already be expected to serve in defense of the Jabari-lands…"

Yesterday:

"Everyone's going to have to pick up the slack," the SHIELD handler states as he looks over all the gathered. "Coulsan's loss will be felt by everyone. But we have a responsibility. And we owe those who fought and died to get us here nothing less than our best and then some."
Captain America passes by the briefing room slowly, a certain name causing him to hesitate at the door. At the talk of picking up the slack, everyone looks to Rogers and he feels the weight on his shoulders increase.

Now:
It's unclear when Steve Rogers decided when he needed to go for a run. All he knew was that while it was still dark outside, the Man Out of Time decided to do some running rather than lay there and stare at the ceiling. As if unknowingly demonstrating the words spoken of him, Steve's been running for hours but is only now starting to get the beginnings of fatigue. His white t-shirt is coated with sweat, the proud letters of USA stamped on the front in simple black. His black running shorts are loose and come to just above the knee, the First Avenger not trendy enough to consider basketball shorts. The shoes are the nicest thing, a gift from Nike that has a nice artistic expression of red, white, and blue. Even outside of the uniform, the Super Soldier sticks out like a sore thumb at times like this.

However, despite his super strength and endurance, his heart is all too human. "Is something wrong?" he inquires, stopping as he moves closer toward the girl in question. His blue eyes look around, perhaps for the mother or perhaps due to some part of him a little wary. "Do you remember where you last saw her?"
The question is put on pause as Rogers takes in the Wakandan, clearly confused by the man's arrival. "Do you know what's going on?" he inquires with uncertainty.

Sam Wilson is one of those individuals that doesn't give up. Even when he won't be able to keep up. Which is why he's doing that thing where he's running as alongside of Steve Rogers as he can. That's what he does. He stays at Steve Rogers side for as long as possible. Until he gets lapped by him. Again. And again. And again.

Sam is decked out in his old army sweatshirt. He's sweaty as hell too. Of course, though, he doesn't exactly know what's going on inside Steve's head but he's going to stay as quiet as possible because this is not about talking. It's about running. An then it's about stopping because there's something going on. He pulls up short and behind the Super Solider, taking a moment to catch his breath. And listens in to any info that might be getting tossed in their direction. He's definitely ready to help. Soon as he can catch his breath all the way.

The little girl jumps at the sound of the large man that is M'Baku. She looks at him carefully, moving quickly to beside Steve and slightly behind him if she can. She's shaking a little as she tries to move in close to Cap, the girl appears to be asian and looks up at him, "I saw her…umm…" She looks around confused, "It's so dark and we were walking and…I don't know and the man is scary and…" She begins to sob again as she points at M'Baku. She looks back at Sam and then looks back at M'Baku, definitely looking the part of a scared girl.

Meanwhile, Sun Wukong is already flying above Central Park, though only just arriving. His eyes scanning the area as he considers, "Now…I know I felt something off." He hmms and already his eyes begin to glow with the look of fire as he begins to look down at the park, looking for signs of any illusions, magic or otherwise.

Meanwhile, a woman is jogging through the park, frowning. The asian woman in a pair of jeans and a blouse spots the little girl with Steve Rogers and starts that way, "Lucy!" She calls out and then looks to Steve gratefully as she approaches only to pause at the sight of M'Baku, "Oh my…" She says and looks him over before she turns her gaze back to Steve, "Lucy, are you bothering…oh…my." She gasps and looks Steve over, "Are you…you can't be…Captain America, right?" She then looks to Sam and then looks to M'Baku, "I'm so glad you found her." She nods her head and looks quite grateful as she moves in to try to hug Steve.

His brow furrowing, M'Baku scowls at the girl and the man next to her. "At least you have the good sense to fear the mighty M'Baku, child!" He throws his head back and laughs, a sound that's more bark than laughter.

M'Baku pauses as the woman arrives, and he cocks his head at an angle. "Are the two of you such horrible parents that you have not trained your daughter in the art of the spear, at the very least? She will not fend off rivals very effectively, you know."

The Wakandan beats his chest with one fist. "You are lucky indeed that I am here! I can teach the little one to be a living weapon, a mighty predator. It might one day save your family."

A brief glance is given toward the girl as she claims that there are scary things and points to M'Baku. The Wakandan's reaction definitely gives her a reason for fear, that's for sure. As the woman moves in and announces herself, Cap finds there is at least a parental search off his plate. The woman's gratitude is about to be accepted, as Steve rarely turns down a 'thank you' hug; after all, it's important to be approachable in a day and age when most people thing the US government doesn't care. But the words of Man-Ape cause him to instantly take a step back as he sets the record straight rather than talking about how training your kid to kill a man with a spear is not always good parenting. "I'm Steve Rogers, it's true, but this isn't my child," he swiftly corrects. "That is not my wife. I'm not married."

Steve looks toward his jogging companion. While the man is grateful for the loyal friend at his side, there is now a very simple plea in his eyes:

DON'T TELL PEGGY.

Last time Cap accidently made it seem like he was dating someone else, she refused to hold his hand for like a week. It was a very sad week for Captain America.

Sam narrows his eyes in the moment. He doesn't like the random hugging that's going on in front of him. Especially since he's managed to spot something that doesn't look as on the up and up as it originally did. His eyes narrow on the woman and he immediately reaches out for Steve's shoulder in an attempt to pull him away from the hugger.

But then, though, Steve handles it personally and Sam just keeps a hand out at his friend's side because he's still not sure about all this. Not to mention the fact that M'Baku is just standing around being creepy as hell. It's too much at once.

"Let's chill out on the barkin' and the teachin' kids how to be killers before they can drink a beer. This don't have to be that kind of party." Sam steps up to be alongside of Steve. "Lips sealed, Cap." Sam offers with a 'can use this information to his advantage' grin. "Welp. Now that everybody's safe and sound, the Captain and I should probably get back to our run. We've still got a few more miles to get in." See, that's the diplomaticness of trying to get the heck out of here. Before something gets weirder than M'Baku's barking.

"Why…couldn't you…just…" And then Sam Wilson will find he has something coming his way. A hand that is progressively changing into a pincer. A large one and one aimed right for a backhand to his chest with the force of a sledge hammer, "NO!" The woman screeches and it sounds almost hissed out though still feminine, "He's mine! MINE!" And as this is happening everyone will see the woman is changing.

Before everyone's eyes she's turning into something like a centaur, woman upper half with an animal lower half. Though not hardly a horse. Her lower half is that of a scorpion, a massive tail whipping out as her body elongates to nearly the size of a car as her hands become two large pincers that she attempts to use to snatch up Captain America as she calls, "You will be mine!" She declares all too possessively.

Meanwhile, the little girl is slipping off to the side and peering up at M'Baku with a scared little cautious look, "You will teach me to use a spear, Mister?" She asks and then her right hand comes out and it suddenly elongates at him with the wicked speed of an expert spear thrust as it turns into a long, clawed bone like arm, "Like this?" She asks in that innocent little voice that turns into a not so innocent giggle as her body, too, begins to elongate and change, the skeletal form becoming all too clear as her hair now sits happhazzardly on a ghoulish, skull like face, "DId I do good?" The now hissing, girlish voice coming out from teeth that are slowly loosing their lips.

Meanwhile, up above, a curse can be heard as not one, not two, but four Sun Wukong's land suddenly in the four cardinal directions, "Baigujing…and a scorpion demon? What are you doing here?!"

The skeleton's head tilts to the side as she glances at Sun Wukong, "OOOoooOO I knew the Monkey King couldn't resist our presence." She laughs a hideously laughter out of a decaying throat.

"You do not have to be so eager to announce your availability," M'Baku says to Captain America, one eyebrow rising slightly. "I am happily married myself. But I can take a compliment."

As Sam speaks, M'Baku sighs and shifts in his stance slightly, his feet positioned just a bit wider beneath his body than they had been. "Of course they must be a killer first. What kind of savage people would place its children in an inebriated state with no means of self-defense?" He shakes his head slowly. "I will be glad to be back in civilization. You all make my head hurt with your strange ways—"

Just then, the little girl turns into something monstrous.

M'Baku quickly hunches into a defensive posture and grits his teeth. "Alone in a land of horrors," he says quietly before loudly adding, "but at least I will face them!"

And just /then/, four Monkey Kings appear.

M'Baku's jaw goes slack and his posture relaxes somewhat. He blinks a few times. "You cannot be Ghekre…!" And then he's stabbed by the girl-monster's arm. M'Baku groans and stumbles backwards.

As Sam offers the sage advice of removing themselves from the situation, Rogers seems to take the hint and prepare himself to disengage when things swiftly escalate. The powerful sledge goes right for Wilson, but his friend just won't let that side. The forearm brings itself up ready to take the powerful blow with trained reflexes. Normally, Cap has the powerful shield with the star and stripes to absorb the impact. Now it's just flesh and bone and the demon might hear the satisfying sound of a fractured bone or two as Steve's body is unable to directly handle power of this magnitude. But save the faint sliding of his feet along the ground, Steve doesn't back down an inch, just keeping his body locked in the wake of the demonic assault.

Rogers has always had a small problem backing down, after all.

This soon becomes a Big Problem when the claws manifest fully and take advantage of the opening by the first blow. Soon Steve finds himself being grappled by the scorpion demon and his arms pinned to his side.

As M'Baku laments that he's alone and Sun Wukong makes his appearance, Steve might be tempted to offer a quip if he were the quipping sort. But instead, he just focus on channeling his strength to try and flex himself out of the vice-like grip with all the Perfect Pec Power he has.

Sam might already be on the move because he's been feeling like something hasn't been right since they stopped running. Sometimes, it's better to just not be in the way when crazy stuff goes down. Especially stuff that involves people pretty much turning into crazy creatures before his eyes. There's just too much going on. Always.

This is what he signed up for though and Sam Wilson's already spinning out of his current position to find himself in a position to plant his back to Steve's. As much as he can with all this chaos going on at once. "I knew we shoulda' just hit the gym. Now we gotta' kick some ass." Sam's already got his hands up as he slides right into some semblance of a fighter position. He's got to make sure he's ready to get Steve's back but also that he's ready to fight some crazy Centaur lady pincer fiend. Whatever.

"… and you're teachin' me that move later." Not that he'd be able to stop such powerful attacks but he can dream.

"Oh no!" THe scorpion lady reacts…in a way likely not expected. She pulls Steve to her chest as he tries to escape her vice like grip that is surprisingly not as painful as one might expect, "Did I hurt you? OH I am so sorry, you needn't worry…I will bring you back and you will be so happy." She laughs, "Or else…" She says wiht a crazy look and then she looks to Sam and attempts to whip that stinger right at him. She's powerful but not nearly as fast as the Skeleton. After attacking Sam, she'll whip the tale at one of the Wukong's.

Meanwhile, in the grip of a monster, Steve will realize that this thing's grip is powerful but, it is clear it isn't trying to crush him. Quite the opposite, it seems to want to take him with it and now has him held to its rather feminine chest. Luckily, it's still covered mostly in that blouse for the censor's sake. As he flexes it seems to have to fight with the grip to keep him held but not cut or crush him.

The girl grins wide as she finishes turning into what appears to be a skeleton but with arms and legs twice the length they should be, ending in vicious claws and a head that has human hair up on it, "Poor man…distracted and now dead." It yanks its claws back, assuming that it must have gotten a lethal blow on M'Baku, not realizing he isn't a normal man. Then the thing turns and sends a claw right for one of the Wukong's.

As for the monkey king? Well, he laughs and the one that was being attacked by the skeleton jumps up and over trying to slam a staff down on to the skeleton's leg but it dodges. Another rushes for the scorpion woman's right flank and calls out< "I got the right!" It looks to Sam, "You get the left!" It laughs a little even while another dodges a scorpion stinger while laughing with glee.

The last one walks calmly amid the chaos and first nods to M'Baku, "I don't know what Ghekre-followed by gurgling pain sound is but hi." He waves a simian hand and then stops before the Scorpion demon and says to Steve, "Congrats on the upcoming marriage to that…" He gestures at thee woman who hisses at Wukong, "I heard the honeymoon is to die for." He then whips out a huge staff and suddenly slams it down right on the wrist of the claw holding Steve, causing its grip to loosen just a little.

Landing on the ground with a 'thud', M'Baku groans and clutches his stomach with one hand. "Ahhhh," he manages to hiss. With his free hand, the Jabari tribesman grabs a clump of dirt and places it onto his wound.

M'Baku winces, rolling onto his knees as he slowly attempts to stand. "Hmmmm!" he intones through a clenched jaw, his eyes locking onto the skeleton.

"There … is a place … for the dead," he calls out between pained breaths, eventually standing tall. A patch of bloody mud obscures his wound. "It is not here. But I …" M'Baku looks around and frowns. "… /we/ … will send you there."

Then, M'Baku lumbers toward the creature while it is somewhat preoccupied with one of the Monkey Kings. He picks up speed and, clasping his hands together, attempts to smash into the creature with a swing of his arms. "THIS is Ghekre!" he calls, even as his momentarily-stopped wound begins to bleed again.

As it becomes clear to Steve that the strength differential is too vast to overcome, the Starspangled Man with a Plan waits. After all, if he truly was a target and 'held' in such esteem, perhaps she'll focus on him, allowing the others to do what they need to do. Normally he would try and distract as best he could, but it seems this 'Monkey King' is here and it seems to cause the battle's momentum to shift once more.

A soft tension is always there, waiting for the moment where Steve's strength can be most used. Split seconds feel like minutes when one's life is decided in the blink of an eye. Despite the awkward position of having himself against the woman, Captain America doesn't falter, social faux pas ignored temporarily in light of not letting evil be victorious.

There is no response to the playful banter of the powerful warrior, only his staff strike. Once the blow is landed, Rogers will try and push out of the claws and leap back, trying to get himself temporarily out of melee in order to assess the situation if successful. After all, he is hearing the man from Wakanda roaring over the sounds of battle, so clearly there is more going on than just this scorpion woman's conflict. That and he needs to make sure that Wilson's alright since well, dealing with super powered people without your superpowers is kinda the worst.

Regardless of how it plays out, as long as he can speak, Steve's words remain the same as he speaks to the attackers. "You won't win. I suggest you surrender while you have the chance."

Training can only get someone so far and the fact that he's got enough training to know how to get the hell out of the way when being attacked by some weird ass stinger is enough to keep him alive. Sam's body is on the ground and rolling out of the way, popping back up onto one knee and looking as though he's trying to figure out some sort of plan. A plan that he's not really sure is going to work.

The sleeve of his sweatshirt gets raised a bit and fingers dance across a watch that doesn't exactly look like a watch. He grins just a bit, though, before he's standing up and tossing some banter into the fray as well. "I'd listen to him if I were you. Captain America usually only gives one warning."

Sam tosses a look over in the direction of M'Baku, as if sizing him up for more weapons than just that staff. After all, it seems like they may be in on this together. So working in tandem might be in order. He doesn't have to worry about working with Steve but this new personage is a definite wild card.

Sam doesn't press any attack choosing to play defense. For the moment, anyway.

Elsewhere…

A flock of red and silver colored drones start to light up, one after another.

THe bone creature is no where near as strong as the scorpion demon but it is fast. It winces, or what one might believe is a wince, when it dives out of the way of M'Baku's powerful slam. It rolls and gets up, shaking a little after that massive hit. It seems the thing is shaken and doesn't get to make a direct attack before hissing out, "I'll fight another day, Wukong! You won't always have friends!" It then starts to scramble away as fast as it can, which admittedly is quite fast given the thing already seems to be moving faster than most cars and getting faster with those long strides of its lengthy legs.

"Coward!" The scorpion demon calls out and then turns her gaze to Cap he escapes, "No! NO! NOOOO!" She screeches, "Mine!" She then starts thrashing. She seems like a child who lost her favorite toy and begins to string and claw and flail at everything, "NO!" She is going all over and even Wukong leaps back as those powerful strikes cause little dents into the earth. What she lacks in speed and finesse she makes up for in power.

That and if anyone looks, everywhere that stinger hits the ground sizzles and begins to blacken. Even droplets of it seem to be flying in the air, sizzling whereever they hit, "I will have the Captain of America! He will father my children!" She screeches out!

Wukong laughs as one of his own clones gets smashed and then poofs away in a cloud of smoke, "Oh…she's angry!" He laughs and looks to Steve Rogers, "Are you sure you don't wanna go with her? She seems to really like you." He then laughs again, leaps up, lands on a cloud and flies right for the flailing woman. His staff whips around and he smashes and breaks a leg causing her to screech out and whip around on him, sending him flying and then POOF, that clone is gone, too. Two more Wukong's stay on the outskirts, laughing away…about a 100 yards away, up a tree, a crunch of an apple can be heard and a monkey's tail flops down from the branch, "My, she's gettin' serious."

As the skeletal creature maneuvers away from him, M'Baku dives for its limbs.

He's not quite fast enough to reach it, and he manages to twist in the air so as to slam against the ground on his uninjured side, the breath escaping his lungs.

M'Baku spits out something that must be a curse, based on its cadence, and he attempts to tend to the crude field-patching of his stab wound.

"Do not worry, Ghekre," he says quietly while gently assessing his injury. "I am not fooled by this clown aspect you have sent…I will heed your hidden wisdom."

As the skeleton girl-demon-whatever flees and the group seems to regroup in its own odd way, Steve hears M'Baku speak of Ghekre and the scorpion fiend speak of siring its children. "While America supports a variety of lifestyles the ability to choose, I'm more of a traditional values sort of man personally," he replies with a cooled tone toward Wukong, reaching into his jogging shorts pocket to withdraw… a Swiss Army Knife, the standard for Boy Scouts for over 50 years. But as he pulls out the blade, Cap realizes it might not be enough. Calmly, he uses his fingernail to push up a wedge in the side of the tool to withdraw his epic weapon! Which is some tweezers that he holds in his other hand. Equipped with a slightly dulled inch and a half blade and something that could barely remove a tick, Steve speaks toward Sam. "We got an ETA?" For what? It's unsure if Cap knows exactly what, but he must figure something is coming.

While Steve doesn't say anything directly toward the Warrior from Wakanda, should he look toward Cap, he'll get a nod to attempt to influence the powerful fighter toward the Steve, Sam, and (a bit away) Wukong…. clearly an attempt to make a unified front of some sort.

"About a minute."

Sam's not above staying as crouched and away from these stinger strikes that are hitting the ground. He knows when he can't do much of anything when it comes to super powered individuals. So he's staying out of the way and playing as much defense as possible.

Sam spins off something solid and tries o stay as behind cover as he possibly can. "… try not leave /something/ for 'em, okay?" Sam grins again and ducks back down behind his cover. He checks his 'watch' and the ETA Timer is scrolling at breakneck speeds.

The half-woman, half-scorpion thing screeches out one more time before finally calming down and looks back at her leg and then at her wrist before turning her gaze to the Wukong on her left and the Wukong on her right. She then looks at Steve and growls out, "You will be…my husband." She nods her head and her eye twitches, "Mark my words…you will be." She then licks her lips and takes a stuttering step back, "But if you won't come peacefully…" She looks then around and then sniffs the air, tastes with a tongue and eyes the nearby tree that Sam is ducked behind, "Then you will SUFFER!" She suddenly rushes toward the tree where Sam is, whipping back her tail and preparing to strike.

Meanwhile, the two Wukong that are left look to the Cap as he seems to speak about something coming and then they shrugs as they look at each other. One flies in toward the front of the lady and gets smashed away into a cloud of smoke. The other is about to attack but stops short thinking teh first one has it to say, "Clown!? I am the great sage! Equal to heaven!"

Off in the distance, another crunch as another bite is taken and a laugh, "You tell him…oh…uh oh." Then the figure hops down and lands on a cloud, "Looks like I might be needed after all." The real Wukong rolls his shoulders and begins to fly in.

M'Baku spends his time ignoring the counter-argument and half-crawls, half-drags himself in the direction of the skeleton. He makes it perhaps a dozen feet before he gives up the chase and slowly, wearily, pushes himself to his feet.

"Even though that is some sort of demon … I do not understand why these Americans are considered good mates. I have not forgotten their inability to train their children in warfare…" he sighs, coating his abdomen with dirt and dust.

And that's when the whole thing goes to pot for the Scorpion Demon. She is about to go for Steve again when Captain America gets out of the way just in time for piles of Sam's drones to come flying in. The sounds of the little guns on them going off is loud, even as they fly all around the Scorpion-taur and she screeches and flails. She begins to scramble back, leaning left and right as the drones go to work on her and she sobs, "No…no…" She then falls over and Wukong stops in his tracks. He whistles and then shrugs, "Neat." He then laughs and hops on to a cloud and floats over, "Well, seems things didn't quite go as planned for her." And then she begins to melt away before their very eyes, "Eww…"

For now, while questions remain, the day is saved.

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