Not Your Parents' Oldsmobile

January 19, 2019:

Demonically possessed car has a grill to settle with Dario. Cassie and Caitlin interrupt it's revved up hate with some car smashing of their own. Seriously, though, that was mostly Caitlin, with a lot of swearing by Cassie.

Queens

Characters

NPCs: Dario, the cat

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Log Commenced: 19-Jan-19 12:33AM EST

*

Queens, a great and wonderful place filled with variety and different cultures of all kinds. In the midst of the evening there's but a clamoring of languages, and … a lot of them are screaming. There's some oldsmobile going down the road, and there's screaming coming from the car, lights and fire underneath of the vehilce, as it is bouncing the front end up and down off the ground like shocks and lifts have gone completely bonkers. There's a family of people inside, screaming and holding onto the car itself.

Then… it runs into another car, and starts to rock left and right over the vehicle, climbing on top of the smaller Prius that is in front of it. And then… the Prius starts to light up, revving… who's ever heard a Prius REV? And as the oldsmobile finishes that awkward climb, the Prius starts flaring some soft blue flame from underneath of it, and peels out… well, let's be clear. It's a Prius peeling out, and even powered by whatever demonic forces just imbued it… it still is a Prius. So it lightly accelerates onto the sidewalk as people start running for their lives. The Prius currently has no passengers.

*

"Holy smokes!"

That is, among the cavalcade of screams and curses, the most *mild* reaction to the mighty Prius as it … roars towards Caitlin, swerving violently down the road.

The ginger maiden's wearing jeans and a turtle-neck shirt. She's dressed appropriately for the mild New York midwinter, and aside from a purse on her shoulder she's not carrying anything with her. Just one more innocent bystander!

Except her reaction to the Prius charging her is to drop into a football lineman's stance, getting her weight low and feet apart. On reflection, one might recognize it for a wrestler's position, in fact. She lunges forward at the last moment and hits the Prius right in the radiator with her shoulder, and then *lifts* the front wheels of the vehicle off the ground without much effort. Caitlin looks around then drops the front end on a bollard with a *crunch* of concrete and steel, leaving the front-wheel drive vehicle to whir and 'roar' impotently.

"What the heck?" she asks no one in particular. The strange flames and light are definitely Not Factory Standard. With the revving of the Oldsmobile, Caitlin dismisses the stuck Prius and charges after the big old sedan, flowing seamlessly through traffic with surprising speed!

*

As the super strong Caitlin decimates the Prius - as any Red Head should - the oldsmobile is still plowing down the line. And it almost reacts like it… sees, or hears Caitlin. Once she's headed in its direction it starts bouncing and driving, fast. Moving up on two wheels and scorching the sides of cafes and buildings as it drives on the sidewalk, then swerves violently back into the midst of traffic, crashing into a few other cars. The flames are enough to shatter windows, the wheels grip the ground so tight there's actual damage to the asphalt as it starts to peel out.

And up, a block or so, in front of the speeding oldsmobile is… a orange Tabby crossing the street. He's just walking across like he owns the place, maybe too small to be seen just yet… and he doesn't even seem to notice the gothic woman who's running from a quarter block or so away. She's tossed down her gym bag and is running in that small skirt as fast as her legs can take her, recklessly towards the traffic that's managing to avoid the kitty for now. That oldsmobile though seems to be practically gunning its way.

And to Caitlin's credit, the car is at least unable to 'convert' any more vehicles while it's driving crazily down the street, but it is going faster than an Oldsmobile should be able.

*

Caitlin's not some super-perceptive monk, but she's alert in a crisis. It's not hard to spot the cat in the middle of the intersection or the (familiar) woman scurrying towards the creature. Her green eyes go wide and she leans forward until she's almost parallel to the ground, running with so much force that her shoes are cracking and tearing up chunks of asphalt behind her. She's going fast enough to pace a motorcycle splitting the lanes, and vaults two cars with a smooth leap to close the gap.

Kitty. Girl. Killer car. Traffic. Everything arrives at the same moment and there's a screeching of exhaust and fan belts as the Oldsmobile fairly leaps the last dozen feet towards Cassie and her cat.

Then it goes up, and *keeps* going up, rear end coming off the ground then the front wheels as well. Caitlin scrambles her feet to arrest all that two-plus tons of forward momentum, shoulders and legs straining with effort. She vaults Cassie, car and all, and rushes the Oldsmobile at a heavy steel post that is meant to keep vehicles from taking the corner too closely. She slams the front end into the post with enough force to bend it over and smash the Olds' front end. THe car screeches and whines, gears crying and hydraulic fluid spewing.

Caitlin reaches up and twists the drivetrain into a pretzel with one hand. There's a *hurk* and the car's diabolic internals seize, then rip themselves apart.

With a grunt she tosses the car on its roof, out of the way, and looks at Cassie with concern. "Hey, oh my gosh! Are you okay?"

*

LOG EDIT :DELETE PREVIOUS

*

Caitlin's not some super-perceptive monk, but she's alert in a crisis. It's not hard to spot the cat in the middle of the intersection or the (familiar) woman scurrying towards the creature. Her green eyes go wide and she leans forward until she's almost parallel to the ground, running with so much force that her shoes are cracking and tearing up chunks of asphalt behind her. She's going fast enough to pace a motorcycle splitting the lanes, and vaults two cars with a smooth leap to close the gap.

Kitty. Girl. Killer car. Traffic. Everything arrives at the same moment and there's a screeching of exhaust and fan belts as the Oldsmobile fairly leaps the last dozen feet towards Cassie and her cat.

Then it goes up, and *keeps* going up, rear end coming off the ground then the front wheels as well. Caitlin scrambles her feet to arrest all that two-plus tons of forward momentum, shoulders and legs straining with effort. She vaults Cassie, car and all, and averts catastrophe by keeping the nose of the occupied vehicle from slamming into a brick wall. The car screeches and roars angriyl but with the wheels up, there's not much it can do.

Caitlin reaches up and twists the drivetrain into a pretzel with one hand. There's a *hurk* and the car's diabolic internals seize, then rip themselves apart.

For good measure she casually kicks a front wheel into a hard angle so the car can, at best, go in circles afterwards, then with an apologetic wince she removes the driver's side door and offers a hand to the occupants inside. "It's okay, you're safe," she assures them. She looks over her shoulder to Cassie, concern on her face. "Gosh, are you okay?"

*

The gothic woman is running, seeing Dario, running. And he's so blaise about the whole traffic thing. He's walking, it's his god damn road. And then he stops to lick the ground. Why? Cause he's a fucking cat that's why! And he takes a moment, then cleans between his own claws for a moment, before realizing he needs to groom his whole mangey body, and starts at it… in the middle of the road.

That's when all things come to an end. Cassie is leaping in the air, shock on her face, diving into the road, and grabbing up Dario, and wrapping her body around him, curling up in a ball and scraping herself up along the asphalt as she comes to a stop back toward the oldmobile. Cat scratching and clawing at her, mewwing, and she's just holding him bracing for the impact.

There's… no… impact. She's, alive? She's… alive, and didn't die, or get hurt? Well, not overly badly anyhow. And Dario is scratching to hell the corsetted top she's wearing. And that's when she hears people getting out of the oldsmobile and running away screaming from the car. Parents grabbing their kids, who are old enough to run on their own, but they grab them anyhow and run. The car is puffing and wheezing smoke, and fire, for just a few more minutes before it gasps out a dying breathe, and seems to calm back to a regularly destroyed car instead of something possessed.

Standing up slowly, Cassie is looking over at Caitlin, and blinking some, and looking at the car, then to Caitlin, then to the car, then to Caitlin, then to the car, and then to Caitlin. "Did… you do that?" And it's a weird sight as she stands up a cat clawing and ripping at her clothes, her exposed shoulders and slashing at her chin, and she's standing there, smiling suddenly, "Dammmmmmmn, you've got brawn as well as boobs?" She starts to move closer to the car to kind of inspect it, and looking over the front, "You fucked this car like a donkey after it's fallen into the Grand Canyon." She whistles a little bit, and then gives a hard combat booted kick to the car which doesn't do anything of notice. "Whew. Well, fuck, never let me make you mad. Holy shit though, I mean…" She starts walking back a few feet on the road, seeing the footsteps in the ground. Tons of cars are stopped, honking, some busted up from the oldsmobile hitting them, "Wow. You are some kind of jacked up…" Claw mark slashes now really make her look like she's been cutting herself all over her shoulders and neck, though the scratches on her legs still have little bits of blood but the scratches seem mostly gone.

*

Caitlin frowns at Cassie when she makes a crack about her decolletage. For being built like a B-52 nose art bombshell, she's dressed very modestly and seems a little irked when Cassie makes a casual comment about her body. Also, clearly the girl was born with a stick up her butt, because the swearing seems to earn Cassie no favors either (again).

Caitlin reaches for Cassie's upper arm to offer her a gentle but steadying hand. "Listen, sit down over here a minute, okay?" she says, focusing on trying to help the clearly shocked young woman. "You sound like you're gonna go into shock. Is this… Dario?" she says, trying to remember the cat's name. She offers him a palm to sniff at, respecting the cat's cat-itude before doing something as gauche as offering to pet him. "He's a very handsome boy," she croons approvingly.

*

With the grab, Cassie is moving along with Caitlin and is looking at the much taller, much, clearly, stronger woman. And Cassie walks, "Hey hey, I can walk on my own two feet, damnit." And she gets out of the street, and where ever Caitlin is having them sit. Dario, for his part, seems to respond to the redhead rather kindly. Turning and getting a bit more comfortable in the iron grip that Cassie's had him in, and reaching up his head nose straight into the air, and sniffing at the hand, before starting to purr.

"God damnit Dario, he's never like this…" And the kitty is purring and rubbing his face up against the palm that's being sniffed, and then letting himself get pet by the other woman. And Cassie audibly grumbles, "You mangey flirt." She looks up to Caitlin, and seems a bit pissed, now, and she lets her resting bitch face show up. "Asshole…" Shaking her head a little, now just being a human carrier of the cat king Dario, "I am -not- in fact in shock. It isn't the first time a demonically possessed car tried to kill me. Hell, it isn't even the first oldsmobile demonically possessed car that tried to kill me. Someone probably just found the necronomicon again and has it shoved up their ass somewhere, ripping their intestines all over the place to summon more daedites." And she is kind of angry looking, but more annoyed, as her cat seems to purr louder to keep any attention he can from Caitlin.

*

"I'm sure you're fine, we're just being safe," Caitlin tells Cassie as reassuringly as she can. Once Cassie's at least not standing in the middle of the street, she releases the other woman's arm apologetically— and then focuses on giving Dario a ridiculous amount of loving affection, gleefully happy as the mangy tabby starts purring outrageously and leaning into it.

"Looks like you got hit with some flying glass," Caitlin warns Cassie. She touches a slash in the shirt, frowning at it. "Doesn't look too bad though. Really light and shallow. I'd get some antiseptic on it, though."

"This uh… happens a lot, huh?" she asks, uncertainly. A hand gestures at the car. "Pretty sure that's not some glitchy software updated. Too old for a computer. It's demon-magic then, and it's the… someone's trying to summon daedites?" she asks. There's a pregnant pause.

"Are… daedites demonic… cars?"

*

"I… I am fine, and jesus fucking christ, Dario." Cassie rolls her eyes as she hears and feels the craziness of a cat gone super cute and purry and rumbling. He's even moving to get his head and neck stretched so far out there he has to be held and balanced by Cassie else he'd fall. She holds onto him of course, despite everything, since well, it's clear that cats rule the world.

"I think he's got such a hard on for you right now. I mostly throw him places, and yell. So… he's cheating on me. For sure. Right now. Fucker, that he is… playing the cool, cute cat after slashy slashy." A grumble until Caitlin kind of touches her shirt, that's torn a bit, not that there was terribly much there to begin with, but it did cover her stomach decently and now there's a gash in it? "Shit. This was like 10 dollars, at the thrift store. Ahhhghgh." And she stops when you offer to put Antiseptic on her wound… "Um, you… uh… don't, really, have to, if you, uhhhhh, don't want to. Um." She glances around though, "Hey, um, before, we uh, do anything like that or talk too long. Could we like, move? I think, cops will be here soon and they really hate goths. I -swear- I'll explain everything I know about daedites. Deal?"

*

Caitlin frowns at Cassie's wounds, but it's a professional sort of experssion. Cassie's startled reaction is lost on her as she checks her over for any serious injuries the redhead missed. She's got the same demeanour one sees on paramedics, calm and going through the numbers in her head.

"Hmm? Oh, okay," she says, glancing over her shoulder. "Tell you what, lemme check on this family and I'll catch up to you, okay?" she tells Cassie. Clearly she understands why the woman might want to beat feet. "I'll meet you at the Starbucks around the corner in like, ten minutes?" she offers. Dario gets another quick ear rubbing, and then Caitlin moves over to the family to block Cassie's exeunt stage left and probably to give a statement to the cops, who are not far away.

*

Dario looooooves the ear scritch. And as soon as Caitlin's back is turned, he's slashing and hissing at Cassie as she gets up and starts to move away. When she grabs her gym bag, she dumps a ton of cat treats into the thing and then stuffs Dario inside. Of course, she'd agreed to meeting at a Starbucks. So, horrible… of a place. It's like a nightmare.

Once inside though she's grimacing and trying to grin to people, not buying anything. For a long long time, and her legs have some trailing blood marks on them from where she got scratched up by the ground, her boots have a few new scuffs, her skirt is torn a few inches up the side, and her top is does seem to have some roughed up parts that have torn open from road, and debris, and a little bit of cat.

The family is fine, just huddled a distance away and very thankful for the cops and ambulance that arrives. Depending on the 'statement' that Caitlin gives she'll likely receive a very friendly wow-look-at-this-bodacious-amazon-woman-talking-to-me kind of report taking, or a wow-look-at-this-crazy-hot-chick-who-is-definitely-crazy-demon-car-what? type report. Either way Cassie will be sitting in a booth, her bag next to her, Dario inside of the bag munching on treats, and avoiding getting stuck by the nails in her bat, all while she stares at people as they go past her.

*

Caitlin's life is vastly simplified when she flashes a Justice League ID card at the cop, which helps somewhat with keeping his eyes front and center and focusing on the facts. The statement she gives is short, meticulously accurate, and leaves no details out. Painfully honest, this one.

Once her statement's given and EMS is on site, Caitlin excuses herself and follows after Cassie's wake. She peers in the window of the building and a look of relief crosses her face when she sees Cassie sitting in a booth. The redhead goes inside and heads to the table, giving Cassie a wide berth on approach so she doesn't just appear in her proximity. "Gosh, I'm glad you're here," she tells Cassie. "Thanks for sticking around. Do you want some coffee, or a doughnut or something?" she offers the girl. Caitlin wiggles a thumb over her shoulder. "My treat, I'm starving and I need a snack," she explains, as if she's to blame.

*

Sitting there and waiting, is not Cassie's best suit. So, by the time Caitlin has come by, Cassie has opened a few of the sugar packets sitting on the table and downed them. She's also made a small pyramid out of cup lids and cup holder cardboard pieces. When Caitlin speaks up though, Cassie just arm hits the entire pyramid out of the way, and off to the side, and she wonders, "Huh? Oh, uh, coffee? Sure. I just…" She pads herself down, and then frowns a little bit, "Are you sure? I mean, these places are really expensive. I could just…" Looking around, "Take that guy's he seems done, and just leaving what remains."

And with a nod of her head, and a somewhat rather small childish almost shrug of her shoudlers, "Sure, if you want to… I'll get whatever you ware having. Just, don't, spend too much okay?"

*

Caitlin pauses, giving Cassie a strange look. It'd be hard to explain the weird deja vu Caitlin's experiencing— not wanting to be a bother, desperately hungry and unwilling to let someone spend money. The look turns into a reassuring smile before it can be taken wrong, and Caitlin shakes her head. The ponytail of her red hair dances across her back. "Don't worry. I promise I won't break the bank," she assures the other woman.

She's only gone a few minutes, and returns with two large lattes, some flavorings, and a large deli sandwich for each of them. Starbucks or not, it's a proper New York coffeeshop in that it doesn't screw around when it comes to food on a bread roll.

"I haven't eaten in a few hours, I'm gonna pass right out if I don't eat soon," Caitlin tells Cassie, apologizing again to set the other girl at ease. She seats herself and puts her purse on the window side of the booth, and busies herself with getting her drink and meal all set up.

"So. Daedites. Demonic things, right?" she asks Cassie, prompting her with the question and a flickering of her green eyes.

*

Just grabbing the deli sandwich, Cassie is taking a bit bite of it, and chewing noisily, at least she keeps her mouth over the table. And she's taking another bite, before she just instinctively takes out a few pieces of the meat, unzips the gym bag a bit, and pushes it through the hole, "Ow!" And she pulls her hand back, a small gash now on her index finger, "Fuckin' cat." And then she looks up, "I eat, he eats. Kind of our deal. He eats, I eat. He's typically the bread winner."

And she's taking another bite, and mmmmming, and sighing, smiling around the sandwich. "Oh my god, you do not know how long it's been since I've had a fucking sandwich -not- covered in trash." Taking in a deep breath, she sighs out some and takes another bite. Lingering a moment on the sandwich before blinking a few times, "What? Oh, yeah. Daedites. Just…" She kind of waves a hand dismissing the idea, "Demons who possess people or things, usually summoned cause someone got ahold of the Necronomicon. Some book, powerful spells, sent me back in time once…" Like another day at the park, "You know, Daedites."

*

Caitlin listens attentively, and a smile crosses her face in spite of herself. Not at the slash of claws, but the way Cassie cares for Dario so clearly. She offers the other woman a sliver of her turkey meat as well so there's enough to go around. "You two are lucky to have each other," she tells Cassie.

"I'm afraid I'm not really familiar with Daedites or the Necronomicon," she apologizes. "I know about the infernal demons from Limbo, and some of the Asgardian ones, and I'm familiar with some of the creatures of Tartarus," she explains. "But Daedites, that's a new one for me…" She bites her lip, then stares at something behind Cassie. In fact her eyes are going out of focus, and a light glimmers in her left eye. "Run search, 'Daedites', 'Necronomicon', highest probability match," she murmurs to no one in particular. Her left eye twitches and the lights disappear. "If it's magical stuff it might not be something I can look up online. The wizard types I've met all like to keep that stuff written down in asthma-inducing books. What can you tell me about them?"

*

Taking the turkey meat from Caitlin, Cassie stuffs it down, this time more quickly, into the small hole she's made for Dario so he doesn't suffocate and he can get at the food he's getting. "Lucky? Bullshit cat is fat. If he weren't such a great rat catcher I'd of ditched his stinky ass mouth long ago." She comments as she takes another bite of her sandwich. Any wounds she had at the accident are gone, but there's still small remains of blood where she was scratched, torn, or otherwise roughed up.

"Well, I mean, I just figured you are one of those supers, from the whole, Debbie does car crash thing. And, if -I- know about this shit? You probably did." And so Cassie grabs the latte and sniffs it a moment, and then looks at it, and she gives the coffee big eyes. "This stuff, any good?" She wonders to Caitlin, before she explains some. "Magic yeah. Or, dimensional energies. Not sure. Daedites are gross demons from the land of the dead. They possess regular people, stuff, like cars… knives, chainsaws, trees, apparently Ash's girlfriend got raped to death by a tree… or just ripped… he's hard to understand when he's talking." She shakes her head some at that, takes another bite of a sandwich and talks through it, "But the necroonommmicuhn, ish a buhk…" And she swallows food, "That is wrapped in human flesh, has a creepy face on the outside, but inside. Powerful spells. Raise the dead, travel in time, make your bombshell co-host fall madly in love with you, make mini violent versions of yourself, create an evil twin, you know… usual magic fucktoolery."

*

Caitlin eyes her sandwich, and perhaps for the first time in her life, decides NOT to finish it. Instead she nudges the other half towards Cassie. While the other woman talks, she listens with a focused awareness. She can't even be thirty, but Caitlin's got an unsually directed sort of awareness bearing down on the words Cassie offers.

"The coffee here's okay. It's not the best, but it's not a million bucks a cup and it's always *decent*, if not great."

"Okay. So, evil stuff, evil relics, evil demons, evil books, etc.," Caitlin acknowledges, nodding. "I can work with that. Uh… gosh. I'm not really sure even where to begin. I'm not much for the magical stuff. Where do they come from? Are they like, Hellions? Monsters from outer space? I'm assuming they're not some kinda nasty non-Euclidean monster from Beyond, 'cause I'm not feeling terribly insane or anything."

*

Cassie Hack takes a sip of her coffee, "Hey, that's pretty tastey. Sweet." And she sips some more, and then drinks a little more. She blinks a few times, and then laughs a little, "I'll be up for hours now. Gotta get back to my truck at some point… where ever I left it." And she kind of nods her head a long with Caitlin's words.

Looking down at the sandwich that has somehow gotten a bit closer to her, she squints a bit, and looks to Caitlin, "You uh, full? Got a model's stomach huh? Tiny little waist just squeezing that tummy, or… are you anorexic or something? I mean, that'd be super weird. Super strong super buxom heroine tosses food so as to stay thin? Would be a pretty weird headline."

Though it takes her a moment to tilt her head, and mentions, "Uh. They're daedites. Usually they possess someone, and then their eyes get all weird, and then they want to fuck something. And then kill it. I mean, they don't really seem like multi-dimensional, or aliens. Not that it's mutually exclusive, I almost got the bad end of a tentacle monster once or twice. Though neflords are pretty easy to spot, big testicle looking things, with tons of tentacles. I mean, they could please an entire cheerleader squad AND the school they belonged to, each." Sipping some more of her coffee, she kind of drinks it just a sip at a time. "Definitely not aliens. Dealt with a few of those. I guess, I'm not sure why you are asking? They are kind of like a demonic zombie, and you have to bash them in the head, a lot. Kind of like slashers, but they don't come back."

*

"I've got food at home?" Caitlin ventures, but it comes out pretty hollow sounding. She exhales. "I just… know how it feels to go a while between hot meals. I've got to eat a lot to keep my body weight, actually. This will tide me over until I get back to my condo. I've got plenty of food there, trust me." Her clothing definitely looks high-end, but she's not flashing the jewelry one would associate with an uptown Manhattan girl. With her Iowa accent, she comes across as successfully affluent rather than 'rich'.

"It's all just information gathering," Caitlin explains. She's getting better about ignoring Cassie's casual foul language, focusing on the details in front of her. "The more we know about Daedites the better equipped someone will be to deal with them. Once we figured out the demons from Limbo can't stand holy water and sanctified relics, we were really able to put the hurt on them," she explains. "So we need to try and understand what their goals are, attitudes, weaknesses, that kind of thing. From the sound of it they don't seem super organized. Just… hyperviolent and without much impulse control. So why are they trying to kill *you*?"

*

"Condo, oh, uh. That sounds, nice…" And Cassie looks down at the food, and then back to Caitlin, and she takes in a deep breath. She reaches out and grabs the food, but she starts wrapping it up with napkins from the table, and then setting it off to the side. Finishing her own sandwich before sipping some more coffee.

"Information gathering?" A small squint of her eyes. "Attractive woman, smart, super strong, looking to help… and you want to know about daedites?" Squinting harder she stares right at this Miss Iowa for a long moment before quirking her mouth to the side. "Have you ever worked for a company called Cuetotech? Or one of its subsidiaries by chance?" A still curious look, while she's sipping more coffee down, "You don't gotta understand shit about Daedites. You just need a separate fucking set of clothes, cause your first set is going to be covered in blood like your first time with a virgin. It's just that simple. Beat to death, again, and the person who was possessed goes with it. And at some point you find the book, say the crazy goobily words, and evil shit eating rapist demons go back to hell… or where ever else they came from."

There's a bit of a shrug at the last part, "I dunno. I'm just the unlucky one I guess…" She's silent for a moment, then, "Shit." And she hits the left over trash from her sandwich so it goes onto the ground spilling the few pieces that she didn't eat. "Mayyyybe they really fucking hate me? Huh? Aliens, dimensional fuckbeasts, assassins from another realm, undead psychopaths and their zooooo of undead pets?! Mayyyybe… one of them, any -one- of them, could finally finish their fucking job so I can rot in hell with them. THEN I could ask for you!?" She's practically screaming by this point and then she grips her hair with her fingers and digs her nails into her scalp as she holds her head, looking right at the table. Tense, muscles, what little her slender limbs have, almost pulsing with her increased heart rate.

*

"Hey. Hey." Caitlin's speaking quietly. Some people can project that command assertion that shuts a room down, but Caitlin's clearly got a maternal streak in her. She just speaks in calm, quiet tones until it seems like Cassie's downgraded from screaming to merely seething. She lifts a hand to the room in apology, waving off the other patrons without actually making any more of a statement than needed while Cassie gets it out of her system.

She pushes the coffee closer to Cassie. "Drink that, it'll help you. Caffeine's good for soothing adrenaline twitches," she murmurs. Catching a barista's eye, she requests another sandwich nonverbally and focuses back on Cassie.

"I'm trying to help," she reminds Cassie, her tone mild and without any rancor. "I know it's hard to talk about things like this. I'd like to help if I can. I'm pretty good at dealing with this sort of thing. If you'd rather not talk about it, though, I understand. I can help you get somewhere safe, at least for a couple nights, though. Place where the Daedites can't get to you," she offers.

*

Looking up, slowly, Cassie is breathing in and out, not in any kind of meditative way. More like in the way a serial killer breathes over the kitchen knife he's going to use to murder the family that is sleeping. Heavy, deep, almost drooling, but she digs her nails in tight into her skull, and then pulls away from her hair, leaning back… and folding her arms over her chest.

"Look, big bazooka lady. Better step back, cause people who help me? They die. Horrible deaths. I'm not afraid of any daedites, I'm not afraid of dying… not for me, anyway. I'm afraid for what happens to you, and them…" She traces a finger in the air, indicating the people in the cafe.

"You might be super strong, and pretty, and smart, and for fuck sake… you can lift a god damn car… which is bad ass, and all that. But there are things out there that will anally fuck you till you are blowing bloody snot boogers. You hear me? And someone has to fight them. Fucking hell knows I ain't the best at it. I just…"

She stops and looks over to her bag, "I ain't got much to lose." Sitting up a bit straighter, she grabs the coffee and sips more of it, now taking the cup off the table, putting both hands around it and holding it on her thighs when she's not drinking from it, "Besides, it takes a fucked up monster to find and kill a fucked up monster… nightmares. Daedites, they are a demon spawn of nightmares. Like neflords, the devourers, slashers… it's all the same shit, different day."

*

Caitlin *does* hold a hand up, wincing. "Okay, look, just… lemme clear the air here, okay?" she says. Hearing a little crack in her voice she exhales and touches the bridge of her nose, clearly regretting the firm tone.

"First, please stop swearing. I know, free country, free speech, I'm not gonna *make* you do anything. It just … makes me uncomfortable. Second, I … it's very nice of you to be so friendly," she says, struggling not to crack a small smile. "But I have a girlfriend."

"Third, please stop trying to tell me I can't fight Daedites. You can tell me not to help you— fine, that's your life and you're a grownup. Free country," she says, again. "But I've seen and— done things," she says, a muscle ticking in her jaw. "I've flown to the end of the universe and I've seen gods die. I've visited fifty alien planets. I can help you. But don't push me away just because you don't think you're worth the help."

*

"Stop… swearing?" Cassie questions a little, and then furrows her brow, "Am I swearing?" And she sips more coffee, "I have a girlfriend as well. Or sort of, maybe. I don't know, I killed her mom, and then she got all bitchy with me." A sigh and she uggs, taking in more coffee, and then she rolls her eyes.

"Sorry, you are just so… well, developed, and it's hard not to notice. Though, Vampi would be like the best …" She pause and sighs, "I'm sorry, listen to me talk about fucking bullshit now, when you are trying to be a golden saint of some kind." There's a shake of her head, "Besides, you aren't my type. Too clean, not enough fangs, or … well, I dunno. I don't even have time to masturbate, let alone …" A pause, "Oh, shit, I am swearing an ass ton. I'm sorry if that… is upsetting?"

But the last part gets to her a moment and she shakes her head, "You don't understand. At all. These things are killers, they are… around. Always. Some of them invade your dreams and make you play through their nightmares till they are bored with you, and then they make you kill yourself. Another one is super mega powerful, and burns the living shit out of people. Daedites are just the icing to the end of the world… that's what they want, summoning the greatest evil Earth has ever seen, and then tearing her nipples off. And trust me, that hurts. You can probably help, but you'll regret it, or die trying."

*

Caitlin exhales just a little but flashes a quick smile at Cassie, grateful for her effort. "Just a little, but thank you for trying," she says, expressing gratitude for the effort— successful or not. "I'm sorry for being stuck up."

She considers Cassie's words carefully, and shakes her head. "So… what, because it's scary I should just let them keep going until you maybe get killed? Then who's next?" she presses. "How many people die before I go 'gosh, this is bad, maybe I should do something?'" she adds, a bit rhetorically. "I've been through this before. I saw that the demons of Limbo did. I saw what the Justice League did to kick them to the curb." She hesitates, then leans forward conspiratorially.

"Also, if you've never hit a demon with a particle cannon, it's… really cathartic."

*

Leaning forward on the table a bit, Cassie mentions, "I don't even know what a particle cannon is…" And then Cassie sets the coffee back up on the table, and drinks some more of it as she watches Caitlin a moment. "See, you kicked limbo demon ass. That's… you… uh, nice, super… " She strains for a moment, "Fuck. It's really hard, how do you not use words like shit, fuck, cunt, dick, asshole, jerkwad scrotum basher, pussy rags or …" A pause, "Well, I ran out… but I mean, come on, try one with me?"

Cassie completely alters the conversation and she mouths, 'fuck', "Come on, say it? I mean, just… this one time. I -swear- I will not tell anyone. Including your girlfriend. Was that the mega hot blonde? I have a thing for blondes, especially ones who can take a crowbar and shove it through the gushy eye of a zombie and then have blood and brains splatter on her without a single squeal. Is she like that? I mean, I kind of like guys too, might call me bicurious, or sexual, or something. And then the other half of the time, I fucking hate even the idea of someone touching me, and would tear their hand off and shove it up their ass."

*

Caitlin waits until Cassie has to stop to breathe. Mentally she's just going to a happy place when the foulmouthed woman cuts loose after a full five seconds without swearing. Maybe it's a compulsion.

"No, Kara's just a good friend," Caitlin tells Cassie, shaking her head with a tolerant smile. "She's new to the country, too. English isn't her first language. So she struggles a bit with idioms and stuff. It's not that— I just don't *like* swearing," Caitlin explains, struggling a bit to explain. "It's just not how I was brought up."

"And… yes, she's … kinda like that," Caitlin says, trying to move past Cassie's visceral description. "She does a lot of hunting. So zombies … probably not something that'd upset her too much," she says, and her expression flickers to a fond and distant sort of happiness, does a lap around a wistful glance at the window, then focuses back on Cassie. "But it's ok to be who you are. The world'd be a little happier if some people stopped worrying about who's with who," she remarks. "And I think we can all use some space from time to time?"

*

Watching Caitlin makes Cassie kind of laugh a little, sipping her coffee more. "Damn. Ya get all squirrelly when I swear then? That's fucking rad." And she looks around a moment, "You know, it's okay. I was born and raised in Wisconsin. True story that." With that she sips some more of her coffee before she offers, "I definitely changed. Not in any good ways, but still. Changed."

She spends a moment kind of looking off over her coffee, and then she looks back to Caitlin, "You sure you won't say 1 swear word? It can even be a tiny one, like damn. Or a body part, like cunt or dick. It's just like saying penis or vagina, but more character.

"And, about the other thing. It isn't that I don't think you could handle yourself. It's that you are already probably able to handle more. And these things… I … we have a connection. I find them, I read a story others pass over, and I know. Slasher. I go to the small hodunk town where Bobby fucks Susie despite her being his sister, and then the next day. Found, skinned alive and have a cross stabbed through their backs. Totally fucked up shit, but I find that bastard who killed them, and I kill it. And a few days, weeks, months, years later… I kill it again. People die. Normal people. My … I got no hope, darkness and death is the end of my road, it's hard to watch people… regular folks die. It ain't that you don't have it in you Miss Iowa, it's that the bright part of you, that squirms when I say fucking shit, that goes away."

*

"Not even one swear," Caitlin tells Cassie, but smiles when she says it.

"Okay. Like I said, I can't make you accept help," Caitlin tells Cassie, when her offer is rebuffed again. "You've got your own way to go and I'll respect that." She looks for her purse, then digs inside it. She's a neat freak. Everything's in *pockets* or properly organized and bundled away. She even uses little velcro zipties to keep USB chargers neatly coiled. A business card is produced from a slim stack, and she scribbles a few digits on the back of the card. "Here's the Justice League emergency line if you start feeling like things are getting outta control. The League's got some serious magical heavy hitters. Dr. Strange, or Zatanna, or even my friend Raven," Caitlin tells her. "And the Hall has a cafeteria and some spare rooms that are really heavily warded against paranormal stuff. Demons, ghosts, you name it. You can at least get a hot meal, and a good night's sleep there," she suggests. "Rest and re-arm, it's the best thing you can do to stay ahead of the bad guys." She offers the card to Cassie, between her fingertips.

*

Cassie Hack reaches out to take the card, the goth woman pauses when she grabs it. "Vlad and I, and Dario. We're all that remains of Hack Slash Inc, I mean, there's Cat and Pooch, but they've started their own investigations thing." And she pulls the card from you as she just stuffs it along her hip under her skirt, where it's held by the tightness of the material. Not at all 'organized'.

"Thanks for the offer. And it means a lot. And I'm sure that this Doctor guy and Zatanna person are fantastic at what they do." A small sighing chuckle, "And I would -really- love to get food, and sleep in a bed. I would. I might, who knows. It's hard. Even now, just… sitting here, talking. Someone's dying, being boiled alive, tortured in other ways. And, we're sitting here sipping coffee and eating sandwiches." Reaching out she grabs her gym bag, and Dario murmur mews a bit. She grabs up the extra sandwich, and the remaining coffee.

"Okay, nice to meet you again Caitlin. Dario sure as hell probably is in there right now wishing he was going home with you. But tough shit, right? I'll call or something so you have my number. I'm usually elbow deep in blood, so I can't always answer the phone."

*

Caitlin gathers her purse and gets to her feet. SHe's about to return Cassie's polite farewells, but hesitates and considers the other woman.

"Look, I'm gonna give you some advice I had to have drummed into my skull," she says, finally. "You can't save everyone. And the person you're gonna let down isn't the one who's suffering right now. It's the person you're too tired or cranky or hungry to focus on when crunch time hits. You can't go at a hundred and ten percent all the time. Trust me," she says, gently. "You'll burn out and then all the people you might have ever saved over the years end up paying for it."

"It was really nice to meet you too, Cassie. And, Dario," she says, craning her neck to smile down at the mangy tabby in the gym bag. "Be safe out there, okay? And honestly— if things get bad, *call*," she urges the other woman. "No one in the League's alive because they're a loner. Even Batman—" she glances over her shoulder, reflexively, "has allies."

"Anyway. Bye, Cassie." She wiggles her fingers in a very Midwestern sort of farewell and heads out the door, holding it briefly for Cassie before heading back towards Queens, and the block where Cassie had been first chasing Dario several days prior.

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