Put Some Respeck On My Name

October 02, 2018:

Volt had better put some respeck on Juggernaut's name! Or he'll be persistent in trying to have a heart to heart with the criminal thug. Whichever comes first!

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

*

Mutant Town has had some serious problems with the demon invasion. Authorities already tended to avoid the area; this hasn't much improved things. But on the upswing, the mutants residing there have either been evacuated or defended, courtesy of the X-Men. And in between, they've been more liberal with their powers when it comes to repelling the invaders from what little they have. In an ironic way, Mutant Town isn't in the worst position.

The surrounding area, however, is in more disarray. The demons that have been rebuffed from Mutant Town don't always continue pushing. Some disperse and add to the occupation of the Lower Manhattan area. It's a veritable hellscape, the specialists in the area greatly outnumbered. All it takes is one bad flank, and another checkpoint goes down.

It's a flank-in-the-making that Volt intends to intercept now. The electrically-charged mutant dashes across a rooftop and springs to the next, taking advantage of the tightly-packed skyline, and keeping track of a small flock of over-sized 'avians'. Tattered black feathers cling to sinewy wings, ending in an eyeless dome and serrated beak. Four legs ending in a trio of taloned toes dangle as they flap and screech their way towards the next checkpoint.

*

That's the nice thing about post apocalyptic settings and places in turmoil and under siege. There's no shortage of massive items to use as weapons and thrown objects..and you won't even necessarily get in trouble for it!

This is proven by the sudden arrival of a city bus, hurtling through the air, tumbling end over end as it clears the heights of the local buildings and hurtles higher and higher with no sign of slowing, towards the flock of 'avians'. Metal twistigg and the air around it distorting from the force of the throw.

The source: One red armored behemoth, densely packed with engorged outragous muscle proportions, literally the size of a house and domed with a signature helmet. Juggernaut.

He leans forward, committing fully to the pose resulting from his spear like toss, and then he straighten back up and shields his eyes against the glare of the Infernal tainted sun to watch as the bus bares down on its target. In truth, he's not trying to help out Mutant Town or save anyone. He just wanted to throw a bus at some demon birds.

*

Boots pat against the concrete roofing, and spring to the next! Here, Volt lands in a sidelong slide, right hand against the roof beneath, and left hand poised high. Electricity begins to crackle in the open palm.

FWOOM-squawk!

Nothing left but a few black feathers wafting in the open air.

Volt blinks a couple times, then turns his head to regard the bus soaring into the distance.

"Hey!," he shouts from his perch. Propping a foot on the ledge, he leans over the street below. "You ganked my kill! Killstealer!"

He spots the culprit, hunched in obvious 'just threw something huge' position, and immediately recognizes him. "/You/!"

*

Immense hands clap together, dusting themselves off and then resting o the hips of the behemoth as he looks up, satisfied, at the handiwork caused by his quick… 'intervention'.

"That was..easy….wha..huh?"

Volt's shouting gets his attention easy enough and the giant man turns and then tilts backwards, leaning more and more until he gets a good look at the top of the building and the shouting costumed hero.

"What th'hell?? Is that how you idiots say -Thank You-??" he booms back. More then willing to get engaged in a shouting match and the force of his voice rattling the few windows that remain. "Come down here, twerp, and say that t'my face!!"

*

"I would, but you'd have to turn around and bend over for me to get at it!," Volt shouts back.

He can't beat Juggernaut at a contest of volume. Or strength. Actually, the X-Men were pretty clear about how much everyone should stay away from him. But sass is something Volt just can't restrain. And even then, one might question the wisdom of shouting back and forth in the middle of an apocalypse.

"What are you doing here, anyway!? Are you actually trying to /help/!?" Hhe'll afford him that chance. Heck, hope springs eternal. He doubts it, of course, but having Juggernaut running wild on demons would probably be effective. Maybe not for the city's infrastructure, but today's problems for today.

*

It might be a hard lesson to learn though. Certainly there are stories and fables about taunting the lion. The bear. The dragon..

Juggernaut makes this potentially clear by slamming a foot into the ground, stomping so hard that the entire area rocks. The building sways slightly and cracks sunder the streets in a rumble of strength that only the likes of The Hulk could casually do. He points a huge arm up at Volt and bellows, "What'd you -say- punk?? I don't know wh the hell you are but you aint even on the -D- list where heroes are concerned to give you th'right to sass and throw insults at me. I'll stuff you into a trash compactor! You wanna try that -again-??"

He menacingly approaches the side of the building Volt is on, arms swelling with a grinding flex and fingers twitching. It's only acknowledgement of Volt's inquiry tht slows him up a touch.

"I'm doing what I -want- to do. This is -my- town. You think I want these critters playin' Gremlin with it?"

*

It's the worst kind of feeding into Volt's instincts, this goading him to continue. So many options flash through his mind, so many retorts - but they're all slowed by the rumble of the building. He quickly jolts back from the edge of the building and widens his stance to increase stability. Once it seems to mellow, his head pops up from the corner of the rooftop again.

The whole setup is giving Volt flashbacks to King Arthur and the French. But he wouldn't take it in that direction. Probably.

"Okay, that's a good movie reference. I'll give you that. Did you see where they're coming from? What's directing'em!?"

*

"Huh." Even Juggernaut can't help but chuckle inwardly at Volt getting the reference. And here he thought the guy was an idiot.

"No." he says, "Everywhere. Nowhere. Who knows. I thought about trackin' down one of the local mystic-freaks after a mob of 'em attacked the other day..but who cares.. Smash 'em until they all go away."

He considers Volt and the building, and comes to a stop part way in the streets while looking up at the hero. "..What's the problem? No 'real' heroes out here doin' their job and putting a stop to this? Not like the X-geeks don't know nothin' about magic. Or The Avengers. They dealt with it before. Or you playin' idiot newbie solo hero or vigilante or whatever?"

*

"Okay, let's you never have a Yelp account," chides Volt. That snap assessment of the situation was biting! And not a little bit of it wasn't demeaning in some way! "I'm as real as they get, Juggo. Volt." He bobs a pair of fingers in the most lackidaisical wave-salute possible. "I don't need backup for these ugly cronenbergs. It's sweet that you worry, though," he teases.

He doesn't intend to talk about the X-Men and what they know or don't know by yelling from a rooftop. So he's already surveying the surrounding area for a quick and easy way down. That is, when something might catch Juggernaut's attention. Small rifts begin to tear in open space, with pulpy red limbs reaching out to grab onto the asphalt of the road. A full man-sized creature soon emerges, traveling on all fours, with inwardly-curving bonespikes jutting along its back. No eyes on its smoothly-domed head, but it has a gaping mouth with jagged teeth on display. Soon, several more begin pouring out, creeping towards Juggernaut.

*

Oh yeah. Juggernaut's good with the biting remarks and sarcasm. If it wasn't clear before that he sees Volt as beneath him: "Yeah, listen. I don't need a knock off Spiderman so cut it the quips. The names JUGGERNAUT. You gotta earn your stripes, 'boy'. ANd I'm more then you..or -ANYONE- can handle.."

Well unless you're a teleporter with freaking universal tier range but that's another fireside story..

Juggernaut's -intention- was to make a move to put the fear of God into Volt ..but the timely arrival of the demons attracts his attention and he turns, adjusting his small house sized form until he's facing the creatures dead on.

"So what're you waitin' on -hero-?" he chides at Volt, "Come down here and -do- somethin'!"

*

"Okay, okay! Jugglenuts! Fine! I hear you!," Volt replies, pretending to have misheard. Being called a knock-off Spider-man is actually a little flattering. He thinks the webhead is pretty cool. The prospect of running into him like this even puts a bit of a smile on his face. He even finds a nice little piece of architecture jutting from the corner of the building, which will serve his purposes nicely. In short order, a grappling device is taken from his belt, fired, and clamped onto the building. It's at that point he looks down to see the situation unfolding.

The creatures crawl ever-closer to Juggernaut, funneling in formation. What danger they might pose the mountain of a man is still yet to be seen.

Volt drops from his perch, the zipline rapidly lowering him down to the sidewalk. The clamp releases, the cord recoils, and the device slots back into place. Without another word, Volt trots forward with an eager look. As he closes the distance, his right hand raises. Electricity gathers quickly in his palm. And once he comes to a stop on the other side of the street from Juggernaut, that palm plants against the asphalt. Brilliant blue arcs of electricity web over the cracked pavement, covering the space spanning just before Juggernaut and the rifts. The demons caught are enveloped in the surge, twitching, spasming, and ultimaately darkening to brown husks. The electrical current abruptly cuts, and the several figures drop - only to wither away into dust.

*

The crimson's behemoth's response is swift. Brutal and intentional. No sooner has the surge finished are both of his hands hurtling around, palms open and then clapping together to create a thunderous *KA-THOOOOOM* that blows windows out, rips the ground apart in an expanding shockwave and shakes several city blocks from the force of the thunderous applause.

The shockave expands out from him with breakneck speed. A trick Hulk may have trademarked but Juggernaut, one of the strongest beings in existence, has well become practiced at using. The force wave rips away from him, billowing over the husks of the demons and any that may remain upright and also, not distinguishing ally from foe, as it bears down onto Volt like the rushing wall shockwave of an explosion.

"Good job. Twerp." he rumbles, grinning trollishly.

*

Volt might've been about to say something. Maybe it would've been witty. Maybe it would've been smug. Maybe it would've been charitable. Maybe he would've held his tongue for once. The world will never know, because as soon as he drew the next breath, the air itself fought back.

Volt is blasted off his feet and sent flying back, only to land in a pile of mercifully bagged-up garbage. There he remains, sprawled breathlessly in the heap, his brain trying to sort out what just happened. When Juggernaut gives his compliment, a discarded pail tumbles from its perch to lightly clank against Volt's skull.

"G-.. go, team..," Volt manages dazedly.

*

Juggernaut's approach is felt more then seen as a result. A steady earthquake that gets worse and worse and likely doesn't do much for what Volt is feeling right now.

"Time for a lesson, punk." he rumbles with all the bass voiced menace of a school yard bully with unlimited strength.

A gnarled and muscled hand looms over Volt, casting his whole body in shadow before reaching down to attempt to curl tree trunk like fingers about him and lift him up.

"Mebee I'll be nice though." he offers, "I mean, what would my anger management therapist say?"

There is -some- hesitation though as he considers and then adds, "Electricity powers, huh? Hmm.."

*

Drake Riley can't will his nervous system to cooperate again that quickly. Even as the shadow of the colossus (har) menaces over him. In short order, he's wrapped up in a meaty paw and lifted. Well, /this/ is an uncomfortable situation. He could create an electrical current - an all-or-nothing - but that's risky in this position. Moreso if his 'all' didn't get the needed results and left him even /more/ vulnerable.

The masked teen blinks owlishly at the first rhetorical question. "Goosfraba?"

He attempts to wriggle, and pauses at the second rhetorical question. "Yep. Volt," he reminds. "Truth in advertising."

*

"listen, kid. You're kind of a nobody and I don't really want to squash you into a red stain. I mean..I could throw you into orbit right now or just flick your head off with a finger flick but I'm actually -not- a killer..despite what some might say. But I'mma need you to start showin' some respect when you're around me."

He pinches Volt's head between two fingers as he speaks. Which is probably an unusual sight or feeling. To have massive meat walls pressing in on you with all the comfort of having your skull in a vice even though it looks like the brute is just brushing Volt's head with his digits. At least it's a close up view of his..uh.finger prints?

"You aint earned the right to insult my looks or call me Juggo or whatever. I mean, all heroes think they're clever with the insults but at least they can..you know..get away from me. You can't even do that. Y'kinda need an army to even slow me down. I just..can't stress enough how different we are in power level. Ant vs Godzilla, that help?"

He increases the pressure ever so slightly. "We got a deal?"

*

Oh, well, this is just getting worse by the moment, isn't it? Volt squirms and squiggles, but it ceases when his head is between the fingers. That's even worse. He hears what's being said, and it's not the first time a villain has demanded respect. Granted, this is the first time he's been at a complete disadvantage, however. Could he normally get away? He believes he could. He came in to assist. Was he suckered? That's how he sees it! It doesn't count!

Not that that matters right now, does it?

"Mnf!," is Volt's somewhat less-than-eloquent response, being buried within Juggernaut's fingers. "Mnf-nf-mn!" He's trying to say /something/, though.

*

The crimson giant just rolls his eyes. "Oh brother." Apparently either not buying Volt's inability to clearly communicate or just being unsympathetic to his plight. Either way, he loosens the pressure just enough for him to speak.

"I aint got all day punk. Yes or no. In case you forgot, there's a city bein' overrun with demons. Hurry up and tell me so I can either let you go or decide how much damage you can take before croakin'. I mighta said I aint a killer but youd' be surprised what you can live through.."

*

"Pfah!," sputters Volt once his head is released. The look he shoots Juggernaut is one of suspicion. "Yes - on the caveat that you'n I talk!" He squirms again. "Because it's a Hell of a thing to say you're not a killer, then go threatening someone like this.. over civility!" Beat. "Plus, come on!" His head tilt indicate the hand gripping him in the air. "This ain't cool."

*

"I already got a therapist." lies Juggernaut, though he grins at Drake..the smile like a great white shark grinning at a much smaller meal daring to hold a conversation with him.

"We aint got nothing to talk about and who cares if it's cool? There's action and consquence. You make the bear or tiger angry, don't go blaming it just cause you got wrecked. You shoulda known better then to make it angry in the first place. What, you think I'm some unknown D lister like you? What's next…finding where Wonder Woman lives and egging it?"

He pauses there as he was hired to wreck the embassy to Themeyscria. He then simply shrugs and roughly releases Volt and turns away from him to step back a few paces.

*

Volt gasps once he's released, dropping to a knee. He soon wobbles back up to his feet and refinds his balance. "You care!," he retorts. "And you should! Because I happen to believe you. Wouldn'a wasted my time on you if I didn't. Or came down here when I was totally fine up on the building." Fists plant to hips, the teen peering up at the domed helmet.

*

"Stick to slingin electrcity and stop tryin' to be a mind reader, kid." snaps Juggernaut, looking annoyed now. "I care about what? Who? You? Listen, I could have gotten to you. I was gonna -jump- up to you or knock the buildin' over. I just thought it was funnier to make you come down here to fight the demons."

He snorts, sounding dismissive though there is a hint of curiousity in his voice as he asks, "What's the point yer trying to make?"

*

"You care about being better than a murderer," replies Volt. He doesn't chase the rabbit down the trail of one-upmanship. He wants to! But he's trying to focus on that curiosity that's hooked the huge monsterfish. "I'm saying you care 'cuz there's more to ya than what you're putting out."

*

The brute frowns, and it's a dangerous looking one at first. But then he seems to settle down and become strangely..lucid? Mollified? It's certainly the most reserved expression he's had since this strange encounter begins. Well…going by his mouth and eyes at least. Much of his face is hidden in the shadows and depths of his helmet.

Then: "…Of course I am. Nobody cares about that though. Nobody wants to know. Or needs to know. I got baggage, opinions, likes and dislikes. Favorite shows, food..an opinion on mutant rights, womens rights… All sorts of things."

He waves a hand, "Few people -want- to be a murderer, kid. I'm a mercenary, alright? I take the pay and I do my job. People get hurt. Sometimes worse if it's collatoral. And when I swing, I don't always hold back because the person coming at me knows what they're getting into. I can't -afford- to hold back. And I love to fight and use my power. But the -desire- t'spill blood? That's something else. Something you should pray you never look into someones eyes and see…"

*

"And Gremlins," Volt posits. A little humanizing, if one could pardon the expression. But this level of relaxation, if it could be called that, is what he was shooting for. He cranes his neck to look up at him further. "There's more still," he accuses. "Seems to me that someone as strong as you doesn't /need/ to take jobs he doesn't want. Could do pretty much anything. That's the line, isn't it? You like to use your powers, and screw it, who /doesn't/, but you're not really into what you're doing."

There's a pause.

"You don't owe me an explanation. But I know someone who's getting a bad rap usually wants someone who'll hear'em out. That used to be me. Still might be someday."

*

"It's not that simple. There's a reason for everything. There's family issues. There's obligations. There's..things owed and due. Some folk carry issues with them that aint resolved just by talking. You don't know me as a person and I don't give a damn what some neophyte hero who don't know his place thinks!"

Juggernaut's temper flares a little bit at that, disliking the digging and having, perhaps, allowed to much of his personal thoughts to be aired. "I got folk I can talk to, to blow off some personal steam and you're not one of them. I'm not alone out there. You ever think that there's just another side to the story? THat things aren't just black and white?"

*

Volt takes a breath, and exhales it in a puff of a sigh. "'Course I do. That's why I'm talkin' to you now." Ignoring those barbs, ignoring those insults. Staying focused! "If you don't wanna talk to me, that's fine. It's your bag. I'm not gonna Samwise you. But if you wanna get real and vent, I'm around. No crap, no judgment, no speeches."

There's a beat, and he turns his head slightly to peer up at him. There's a note to that look - something coy, perhaps impish.

"But come on. Don't take away the banter. That's what makes it fun."

*

"..You got some sorta death wish or something." grunts Juggernaut, not answering yay or nay to the banter comment.

"..What do -you- care about me venting and gettin' real. I'm not looking for a side kick..or a friend that's a wanna be hero." Yup the barbs keep coming. The guy is a professional bully after all. A certified pig-tail puller.

"I aint exactly got the best reputation for someone to want to be buddy, buddy with. You trying to get blacklisted before you can get off th'D List nad up to C Lister? What's yer angle, kid."

*

"I'm a guy in a costume jumping off buildings with a grappling hook. Let's not muddy this up with 'safety'," lilts Volt.

"And I /care/ because it /sucks/ to get stuck with no choice, for everyone to think one way of you, and not be heard. I'm not askin' to be a sidekick, or to go pick out curtains together. I'm just saying I'm someone on the other side of the fence who'll hear you. And if I'm being frank, I might not even be out here if more heroes would've done that when I needed'em to back home."

*

"Alright, fair." responds Juggernaut. At the end of the day he's not some mindless thug even if he is a social miscreant. "IF that's how you feel and what y'think then fine. But don't think it means I won't flatten you into the ground if you make me mad or get in my way. You might be a 'superhero'.." he air quotes that with his fingers and then turns as he continues, "But you got a long ways t'go junior. Yer not good at pickin' your battles and knowin' when you'r ein over your head. I could have just easily been in a bad mood and you'd be a broken mess, waitin' for the paramedics. Assuming they got to you given the state of the city…. So my advice to you is ..pick your battles better."

With that he starts walking off, making his way down the middle of the abandoned streets, imprints left in the ground and the earth shaking as he starts to take his leave..to go..somewhere.

*

Volt gives a satisfied smile at that conclusion. He's quite pleased with himself. Not all conflicts have to be resolved in fisticuffs. Certainly not when the other party's fists make up your full torso.

As Juggernaut turns and continues speaking, there's an internal pang. Oh god. He wants to speak. He wants to make a joke. To crack wise. His insides knot up. He knows if he does, he could undo all the progress made here. It's too rocky to joke just yet! He nips onto his bottom lip hard. Thankfully, the larger fellow begins to depart, and Volt needs only to keep it bottled for a little longer.

It is /so/ not natural to not say anything.

At last, whatever remarks would've been made are released with a gentle, "Hooo…," of relief. Gloved hands brace on knees for a moment, head hanging. And then in a flash, he's retrieved that grappling hook. It's aimed high, fired, and he's zipping off to the next rooftop.

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