Really Big Trouble in Little Chinatown

October 24, 2018:

Volt finds demons in Chinatown and calls in reinforcements. Results are mixed.

Chinatown

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

There's a crackle of static, then a woman's voice crosses the comm line. "Volt? This is Fairchild. I'm reading your position near Williamsburg. I'm on… Houston, just north of you. Hang on, I'll be flying by in a minute."

Sure enough, a League Javelin banks against the skyline and heads towards Volt's position. It hovers for a moment and a rappelling line deploys, allowing Caitlin to slither down it with no tools except the sturdy cable running through her gauntleted hand. She's wearing a grey bodysuit with mismatched armor attached to it, along with a slingpack and bandoliers of strange equipment— a paintball gun, ampules of water, even knives and brass knuckles engraved with holy iconography. Her hair's pulled back in a tight fighting braid and rolled into a bun at the base of her neck, and she unlimbers a machine gun from her shoulders as she moves towards Drake's position.

"Hey Volt," she says, flashing a wan but friendly smile that's a little dimmer than her typical megawatt grin. Seems fatigue's getting to her as much as anyone else. "Glad you called. What's the situation?" she inquires, moving to rest a knee on the roof's edge next to where he's perched.

*

"Flying?" Caitlin can fly? That's just not fair! But when he spots the flying vehicle, however, he blinks. Wait, is that company property, or her own neat toy? Could he get one of those? How awesome would that be? He wouldn't have to sit like a snuggly papoose any time he and Spoiler go somewhere. Not that that's /bad/, per se, but spare a man his dignity!

Recalling from the last time he'd seen her around these things, it looks a bit like she's souped up her arsenal. And after Spoiler went around splashing water on the infernals yesterday, he's pretty sure most if not all of it are religious in nature. Whatever gets the job done, right? And when she lands, she's met with a wry grin of his own. "Fancy entrance."

Turning, a green gloved finger begins pointing to each hazard as he explains. "We've got killer bugs, looks like. You remember the Mummy? Brandon Fraser? The scarabs? I think it's kind'a like that." To the armored humanoid, "We've got the Shogun Megalord over there. I can't tell if he's in charge of the bugs, or they just like the smell of his feet. Super strong, no idea what the armor's made of." And lastly, to the rippling crimson-scaled behemoth, "Aaand we have snakezilla. It's a snake that's huge. I've not seen it do anything a snake that size wouldn't."

*

Caitlin laughs at Drake's compliment. "Would be fancier if I didn't have to thumb a ride across town. I envy the people who can just fly wherever they wanna go. It'd save me a fortune on cabs." She considers the situation below and sucks her teeth, thinking.

"Good movie. Hated the remake. Uh, okay, let's see. The little scrubs don't look too tough, but there are a lot of 'em. Big guy's a problem, with that armor. Snek is snek, just a big one." She unlimbers the paintball gun, checks the gas charge, and offers it to Volt. "Holy water ampules. About a hundred and fifty rounds. It's a military grade paintball gun, so be careful where you aim it— it can really hurt a civilian if they're within ten feet or so."

She considers the situation, hand under her chin and elbow balancing on her knee. "Okay let's ignore the snake for now. What if I break open one of the fire hydrants and get some water flowing? That should give you enough coverage to electrocute the little demons, and then I can lay down some heavy fire with this." She pats her machine gun, a heavy belt-fed weapon she clearly borrowed from the local National Guard. "It's loaded with consecrated ammunition. Seems to be working real well against the demon types. We just have to drop them fast enough the snake can't come over and create a third fighting front. What do you think?"

*

"I think four pupils are the most terrifying thing ever," replies Volt sarcastically. No, the remake was garbage. Poor franchise. The teen then shakes his head. "I'm real hesitant to cause property damage, even if it'll amp my powers. I can explain more later. But odds are I can fry the little tykes fine without it. Assuming they don't fly, or they don't get split up. That dude," he nods towards the rampaging "Megalord", "is gonna be the problem for me. But if you can keep'em off me long enough to make sure I've got the little ones, we should be good."

Beat.

"And snek is snek. We just have to be quick about it."

Finally, Volt looks at the paintball gun offered to him, and his stylishly-pointy eyemask crinkles a little in confusion. "I've never-.. I mean, I.. okay." He takes it awkwardly, and just as awkwardly tries to tuck it into his utility belt. No, he's not used to working with firearms. He's walking artillery, after all. Cheeks a little rosy in the certainty that he /must/ look stupid, he clears his throat. "We good to go? Lemme lay down a blanket so you don't get rushed by the ankle-biters, 'kay?"

In the distance, a car is carelessly tossed into the air from blunt impact with the snake. And then a rickshaw.

*

"Normally I'd agree with you, but—" Caitlin gestures at the rampaging critters. "What's gonna be worse for property values long term? Some electrical damage or rampaging demons?"

She looks around, then points to the edge of the roof. "Okay. When you see the floodwaters, hit 'em. Don't worry about zapping me if you have to, I'm a little more confident in my ability to eat some electrical discharge than I am getting gnawed on by land-piranha demons."

With two quick steps, she's on the edge of the roof, and then just drops off the third-story ledge to the ground below. A short scramble and she's moving, showing no ill effects from the drop, and finds a fire hydrant on a street corner not far away. With her bare hand she unscrews the faucet lid facing the armored bulk and the hordelings, then twists the top nut and summons up a gushing deluge of hundreds of gallons of water that flies down the street and thoroughly irrigates the shambling monster and its minions.

She takes a few steps back to get clear of the spray of water, rests the machine gun against her hips, and starts shooting. Normally a military marksman would use controlled bursts of a half a dozen rounds at a time, to fight recoil and keep the bullets on target. They'd shoot from a locking pinion or a prone position and a bipod to help stabilize the weapon. Caitlin shoots from the hip with no visible issue managing the recoil, laying down a steady stream of bullets with a *BAMBAMBAM* and stitching them into a tight bundle of demon-flesh on the big one's upper thorax.

*

Volt's expression sours. She didn't get it! And he's not a taser! He's not even an electric chair! He's a force of nature on a planet made up of electricity! Alright, that might be a /little/ far yet - he's still improving. But it's not far off! He's not so confident she can withstand the blanket force of his electrical blasts. And since these are literal monsters, he's not been holding back on it! Alas, there's no countering to the argument as she's already lept away to act.

"Aii.."

As Caitlin opens fire on the one dubbed Megalord, pockmarks - perhaps comedically branded with religious symbols - begin appearing over what little exposed flesh there is. The armoring is chipped and chiseled, each shot resulting in a small flicker of flame of religiously-imbued ammunition impacts infernal defensewear. The helmeted creature begins thundering towards her, and the denizens of athropodical demons all divert course to skitter in a cacophany of billions of claw-tipped legs.

All Volt can do is wait. And when the water spray happens, he takes his turn. Grappling device is plucked from his belt, and he hops off, firing the hook against the corner of the building in a smooth, fluid motion. Feet land against the side of the building, and he 'trots' down the span as the zipline extends. Most of the way down, he springs from the building and disengages the hook, letting himself airborne. Left hand raises, a corona of crackling brilliant blue energy already surrounding the glove. The teen hits the ground just at the edge of the pooling water, crouched on one knee. The sizzling palm strikes the asphalt of the road just before the water, careful not to actually make contact with it. But the discharge from his hand spreads like wildfire, as if /igniting/ with the water to create high arches of electricity in a full, writhing haze of destruction. The air distorts and fills with horrible snaps and buzzing, as if nature itself is afflicted with feedback, and the smaller creatures caught in its wake seize up - and explode. No withering, no dusting; full anatomical bursts in the wake of overwhelming energy and trauma. Water interacts with Volt's powers in horrifyingly destructive ways, when in abundance.

The Megalord is staggered in his charge, but shows profound resilience. Between the chips torn into his armor, the blistering marks gathering in his hide, and the muscles in his frame seizing and tearing, he refuses to yield any more than a pause in his advance. Zealotry is lethal among the abyssal.

Volt ceases the stream of electricity, letting the layer of collected water on the street simmer to a low boil, rapidly cooling and harmless to all but bare flesh, but trippy to behold. The field of wild electrical mayhem dissipates at last, and Volt's attention turns quickly to try and spot Caitlin. He /really/ hopes she wasn't in all that.

*

Caitlin's true to her word, and stays well back from the spray of water and the electrical discharge arcing the air around it. It's with a mechanical engineer's profound appreciation for how easy it is to get your fingers across two exposed wires and recieve a nasty jolt for your troubles; at least, Caitlin's skin seems to be inherently quite a bit more resistant than most of the material around her, particularly with the water flowing.

Jaw set and stony-faced, she backs up a few paces as the lumbering monster roars and staggers towards her. She holds down that field of fire until she's etching deep craters in the demon's face, blasting out chunks of demonic gore that vaporize into a fine ash moments after splattering on the ground. There's only so much she can do though, and when the first box of ammunition runs dry, Caitlin drops the machine gun on the ground.

Instead of calling for a retreat, though, she runs forward with a bewildering acceleration. Faster than any sprinter at the Olympics, faster than most prey animals even— just a pell-mell sprint that closes the twenty meter gap in a fraction of a second. She lunges for the big beastie and hauls back to punch it. The light glimmers on her knuckleguards for a moment. Silver, engraved into the shape of a crucifix, marks the otherwise plain metal, and she hauls back and punches the monster in the gut with enough force to derail a speeding cargo train.

*

Volt is pleased that she kept out of the veritable death-field. He doesn't know the full nadir of her durability, immortality, or whatever she has going for her, but he does know that most people would've been microwaved in that. So that's one less stressor for him to worry about. He doesn't even mind that she's moving on ahead. Heck, that's what she does, right?

The lumbering Megalord lashes out with gauntleted fists as she closes in, but she goes low while he goes high. The force of her hit capitalizes on the buffering her bullets already worn into his armor. It caves and crumples, but the demon doesn't fly back. His momentum carries him forward, the force of his attack enough to create a light blast of air in its wake, even whiffing overhead. But it's that forward push meeting the impact of her blow that ultimately undoes him, causing his caving armor to pinch and, perhaps gruesomely, sever the creature inside in half. The two pieces fly past Caitlin to land several feet behind her.

"Gross." Volt lifts to his full height again, peering at the bisected beast as it dissolves into nothing. The armor rapidly oxidizes and rusts. But things are quiet; no more skittering big-piranhas, no more hulk.

Suddenly, the colossal head of the serpent rises from behind a row of buildings, its slitted eyes affixed to the two interlopers. Its mouth gapes in a wide hiss - accompanied with a gout of searing flame. Of course it isn't just a snake. It's a fire-breathing snake.

*

Caitlin shields her face from the worse of the demonic ichor; fortunately, it turns into smoking ash almost instantly, particularly where it contacts the parts of her armor and clothing that have been given whatever passes for a holy oil bath.

Still. "Iiiick," Caitlin complains, wiping the worst of the gore from her face. She looks up just in time to see the snake rising above the roofline, and her green eyes go wide. "Oh, cheese and crackers," she whimpers under her breath, and steps back a few inadvertent paces. "That's a biggun. Uh, Volt, suggestions? Beyond hosing it down with holy water, I mean," Caitlin suggests. "I don't even know where to punch a snake for it to work."

*

The serpent begins to wind around the buildings, weaving closer, easily pushing several more cars onto their sides. It's clearly fixated on the two diminutive individuals by comparison, long, oddly-segmented tongue flicking out to taste the air.

Volt backtracks, the eyemask conformed around the shape of his eyes widening to accommodate the expression on his face. At first, he seems at a loss. Then she mentions hosing it down. He glances to his side and plucks out the paintball gun. Eyes lift again to the snake.

"Uh.." He takes a breath and squares his stance. The gun is raised and chambered as best he, lacking practice or training, can manage. "You ever play House of the Dead?"

*

"I'm more of a World of Warcraft girl," Caitlin admits, backing up a half a pace. Realizing she's retreating, she sets her jaw and plants her feet firmly into the ground. Hips swivel a little to get her weight low and centered, squaring up with the snake like a wrestler preparing to tackle an opponent.

"You've got about a hundred and fifty rounds of holy water ammo in that. I'm out of belt-fed ammunition down here. All I've got is a few water balloons and my gauntlets, so if you've got a game plan, I'm totally accepting suggestions!" she says, voice going high and tight in urgency as the snake slithers closer.

*

The serpent seems to've decided that the posturing is an invitation! Its head slants forward, jaw gaping to project a stream of flame upon mutant and meta alike. It gushes over the street, across the ashen remains of the devilry already destroyed, and unless they move, them as well!

Naturally, Volt leaps aside to duck into an alleyway. He waits until the fiery burst subsides, then pokes his head around the corner. "First! You okay!? Second! Uh!" He scans the surroundings. The nearby hydrant has already been used, and though the ground is wet, the serpent isn't touching it. It also might not be enough to bring it down efficiently. Maybe if the snake was soaked…

"I might be able to gum up the works and give you a chance to get closer!"

He isn't sure what she'd do at that point, though!

*

Cait ducks and covers her head, and a female form wrapped in flames lunges sideways and smashes into the puddle of water. Caitlin rolls back and forth until the unholy fire is squelched, and gets to her feet looking a little singed but more mad than anything.

"Gah, -fire-! You know what kind of split ends that gives?!" she demands of the snake, irrationally. Her braid seems more or less intact, though the very tips of her hair are smouldering just a little. She casts around, then picks up the nearest projectile and hurls it at the snake like a fastball.

Said projectile is a midsize sedan, an older one made of good old fashioned American steel with bumpers instead of crumple zones.

*

Volt blinks at Caitlin. Alright, so the fire isn't that big of a deal for her. Maybe he'd be better off just staying out of her way? Letting her do her thing?

The sedan sails, the comparative size of the vehicle growing smaller and smaller as it nears the head of the serpent. In a flash, the vehicle is snapped into its fangs. Its head jerks to toss the vehicle aside. Colossal snake is not so easily felled by a single hucked machine. And the aforementioned machine crashes into a road somewhere beyond a couple rows of buildings.

Glowing amber eyes affix on Caitlin then. It slick, scaly underside slides against the asphalt, creating a terrible grinding sound as it winds closer to her. To them both, but it's the redhead who's secured its attention, head elevated at a towering height.

*

"Uh."

Caitlin takes a few steps back, eyes widening in alarm. "Okay, that thing is a /lot/ stronger than I thought," she admits. She exhales heavily. "Well, okay then. Plan A is still Plan A."

"Fairchild broadcasting in the wild, any JLA assets in the area, I could use some support on my location," Caitlin says. "Uh, /urgently/ need support. Am fighting a giant snake. Anyone with some experience as a herpetologist would be welcome."

She takes a deep breath, then breaks into a sprint /towards/ the beastie, hands clenching into fists. When in doubt, throw punches, and Caitlin can stand there slugging it out with the best of them.

"Hope you've got an idea, Volt," she mutters under her breath.

*

Volt hears the call and crinkles the bridge of his angular mask. So she can't take it? And then she's charging towards it. "What the crap, Caitlin!?," Volt shouts after her. Did she just not hear what he was saying? The flabbergasted tone would probably communicate more than a glance back might. He can only hope to fix this before it goes completely sideways on them both.

And so, Volt swings around the corner he was taking shelter behind and begins firing on the serpent creature's head. He doesn't really have a clear angle on what he's shooting at, and its head is angled low to track Caitlin as she charges. The spheres break, only a few finding their mark on the unsteady target, and not enough to distract the serpent.

The massive demon's head lowers, mouth agape with intent to outright bite the redhead! Like a cobra snapping at a mouse.

*

Caitlin braces at the last possible second and grabs for the snake's face. One foot braces the lower jaw and she holds the fangs away from her with her arms, bracing herself inside the snake's mouth so it can't actually bite her.

The snake's tongue lashes forward and wraps around her waist, tugging at her. Suddenly Caitlin goes from bracing the mouth open to fighting the snake swallowing her whole, which might test even her obdurate resistance to the demon.

"Volt!" she screams. "If you're gonna do something, do it -now-!" she shouts, and starts kicking at the flesh parts of the snake's mouth as it thrashes around with her between its jaws.

*

Volt looks to be at a veritable loss. If he shocks the snake, muscles will contract and the jaw may gain even more force. Or she could be shocked right along with it, which isn't really helping things either. What he'd originally intended to do went straight out the window when she charged ahead and took its attention, and now they're in a pretty horrible spot.

Perhaps even moreso, with Caitlin lodged right there in its open mouth. The deep recesses of the snake's throat glow an intense yellow-orange, suggesting something is coming. She could probably guess what that is.

Suddenly, something smacks and bursts against her back. It's one of those water canisters. Others begin to rain in, pelting the interior of the snake's mouth in what Volt really hopes is genuine holy water - as well as the redhead therein. But the softer flesh inside the serpent's mouth begins blistering under the continued barrage, until the serpent is attempting to spit Caitlin out.

*

Caitlin is flung from the snake's mouth as it spits and hisses in pain, and adds one of her larger holy water ampules. The snake screeches angrily and hocks her away— but Caitlin keeps a grip on the tongue. She slingshots around, hanging under the lower jaw, and grabs a heavy ridge of scale and bone just below the jawline.

She twists her body, sets her feet against the snake's thorax, and twists backwards violently. It's almost imposssible that someone could do so with such little leverage, but the snake's violent, panicked contortions prove to aid her. The creature's rippling length quivers, arcs over, and the entire beast goes up tail over head.

Caitlin suplexes the snake's upper third into the puddle of water behind her, and just for good measure hits it with a stunning roundhouse punch right in the sensitive tip of its nose.

"Hit it!" she shouts at Volt, and with a flexion of her powerful legs leaps a solid four stories into the air to land against the side of a building nearby.

*

The snake flips over. The full, colossal length of the snake whips up and lands wildly against the cityscape.

"Ohhhhsh-," Volt gulps before fleeing aside in hopes of clearing the gargantuan shadow's imminent landing. Other city blocks, being quite stationary, are not so fortunate. Architecture is crushed, warped, and obliterated under the immense weight and force of the collapsing near-kaiju.

Hellooo, collatoral damage.

But it's landed on a patch of moisture. It's not remotely the coverage Volt would be looking for for a solid amp on his powers, not after vaporizing so much of the water already in his last attack. But surely it's destroyed some other fire hydrants along the way. Every little bit helps. Especially if she's looking at him to single-handedly cook this thing. Half-buried in debris from the collapse, Volt struggles his way loose and affixes his attention on the miniscule segment of red serpent spanning before him - a fraction of a fragment of the great beast. His voice is low on the comms, but clear.

"If you have /anything/ that uses a heavy duty battery, get it to me. Now."

Both hands reach out, and electricity begins rushing into the snake like a river. The surrounding area comes alive in dancing brilliant blue light. His jaw sets and his stance deepens, the radiance of the ionic surge intensifying by the moment.

*

Caitlin drops to a dry patch of ground and rips open a car hood. The battery is torn loose with her bare hands and she tosses it to the rooftop near Volt. Then another. Then another. She crows with triumph at finding one of the massive battery packs that supports the heavy long-distance electric cars, and with a grunt tosses the five-hundred pound battery pack near Volt as well. She's at least got a good throwing arm; it doesn't land anywhere near him.

Just for good measure, she casts around, gauging the lay of the land and then slams her heel into the middle of the street two or three times. On the fourth impact the asphalt cracks and she hauls an entire water main out of the pavement, aiming it for the hulking beast so a deluge of water splashes across scaly surfaces.

She keeps an eye on Volt— timing it just right— and at the last possible second, turns and vaults as hard as she can to get clear of whatever he's about to do.

*

The disoriented snake continues writhing as it attempts to right itself, amidst the electricity searing into its side, spreading over its form and scorching over wetted areas. And when Caitlin opens a water main all over it, it only spreads. It's helping. But the creature isn't slowing down yet.

The batteries that land on a rooftop aren't useful to Volt. He can't ease off the pressure of the attack long enough to scale the building. But fortunately, that car battery - the heavy duty one - doesn't. That, he can get at. And he recognizes it immediately for what it is. Steady steps bring him closer to it while keeping his hands angled towards the serpent, and finally, he places a boot atop the battery.

Things escalate quickly. The brilliant, vibrant blue lightning loses all hue, turning to numerous, thick and ropy beams coiling and boring into the snake's hide. The area is illuminated in near-steady, pulsing light. Were anyone unfamiliar with Volt or his projections, they could be forgiven for assuming he's a photokinetic; but this is still electricity - leaps and bounds beyond what one might encounter in nature.

The colossal snake stiffens, infernal joints seized and locked as the soaked portions of its scales burst and implode like giant pustules, exposing soft innards through its frame. A determined cry rises from Volt's position as the battery wears out underfoot, but the energy outpour refuses to relent. The projections begin 'sawing' through the serpent's form, nearly bisecting it…

…before the electricity cuts off abruptly, plunging the surroundings in darkness.

The serpent heaves with each breath, barely moving.

Volt lies facedown in his little nook of Chinatown.

*

Caitlin vaults across the block, moving with a brachiation that would make a chimp envious. She grabs a fire escape, flips a full story upwards and lands on the roof next to Volt.

"Volt? Volt! C'mon kid, don't die on me," she says fervently. A medical readout device is adhered to his temple, and Caitlin carefully flips on him on his side with a practiced speed, protecting his neck and ensuring that he doesn't choke on his own tongue. She checks his pulse against her readouts and listens carefully for breathing, preparing to start administering CPR if necessary.

*

Volt is breathing, but it's shallow. The same could be said of his pulse. He's limp, rather like a costumed ragdoll; zero response to Caitlin's ministrations.

The serpent, meanwhile, seems to be struggling to recollect itself. Thick, boiling ochre pools around various blistering points along its long body, but the nearly-chopped segment has been cauterized.

*

"All right, we're bugging out," Caitlin mutters. She dials up the Javelin. "Echo Seven, this is Fairchild. I need medevac on my position— send down a backerboard and neck brace. Volt's unconscious, status indeterminate. Let's get him back to the Hall of Justice and evaluated at the medical tent."

A short distance away, the Javelin in question boosts to life and banks across the city with a low roar of engines as it nears their position.

*

Volt has absolutely nothing to offer in form of support or fuss! He's simply limp.

The more time the serpent has to recuperate, enormous gash of a wound notwithstanding, the more it seems to activate its muscles. It starts to slink forward, likely to like its wounds. Or try not to fall apart.

*

Caitlin's a fighter, but a good tactician. Pursue the snake and kill it, and she leaves Volt vulnerable. It's not even a tough decision for her. The Javelin flies overhead, hovering, and a stretcher with a backerboard dangles on a ropeline. She quickly but carefully ties Volt to it, then waves upwards for him to be hauled in. With her other equipment damaged or lost under the hulk of the snake, she shakes her head and leaps up to the Javelin herself, calling in the report even as the two of them are evacuated to safety.

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