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EternalPhoenix

Barbecue Beatdown

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October 20, 2018. Belleville, Illinois. BEAST Craft BBQ Co. 1 PM.

 

Mona Simms loved a good meal. She did a lot of running, and she was technically still a teenager; so her caloric intake was truly heroic. In days past, her twin brother Mickey would be here as well, but recently they’d begun branching out from each other. Thus she was consuming a truly massive amount of barbecue (pork, beans, slaw, etc) on her own. This did not bother the tiny young woman, not one bit. And she thought she’d pay this time. After all, she had done some work for…who was it again? Some tech firm? Eh, whatever, she had some cash. Might as well spend it, right? Plus dining and dashing was much less cool when you were doing a full meal rather than a small snack. She was growing as a person. Maybe.

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Which came first? The chicken or the egg. Tanya was naturally curious, but once she found out an incantation that could put her anywhere within the continental United States? Freedom City. Emerald City. That creepy little town in between. She could be a hero all over. But she could also go travelling. She kept a 'jurisdiction'. Only places where she could speak the language. And Canada, which spoke more English than she thought. But today, she was not in their neighbor to the north.

 

At suggestion of one of her band mates, she was in Illinois. Beast Craft BBQ. She loved pig. It was her favorite food group. Cow second. Chicken third. Plants, well, she had to stay balanced. Walking in the whole place seemed to freeze and stare.  A demonoid woman had walked into their establishment. She's been through this before. Don't make any sudden movements. Pull in your wings. Smile. Speak when spoken to. Act like you got some sense. She was still shaking off the dizziness from the 'trip' here, but it would soon subside.

 

As she walked to the counter, she saw that ribs were on special today. Nothing like a good deal on meat. She rested her tongue just inside her lips as she looked at the menu. The cashier, like the rest of the place, was waiting quietly with baited breath for her to do something. She smiled and leaned forward, anchoring herself on the counter, "I need two stacks of your beef ribs. And a Fat Pug." Her voice was gentle and welcoming, trying not to set off a riot in the place. The cashier nodded and sent back the order, writing a receipt. They didn't utter any words.

 

Now all she had to do was wait. She went to a table. One table over was a girl about her age(?) chowing down gluttonously. That stack of food looked delicious. But it was quickly getting smaller.  Not that she would gawk. OK, she would totally gawk, but in a nonsuspicious way.

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Mona was the only person in the place who didn’t have some level of anxiety that a literal demon (or as close as any civilian had ever seen) had just walked in. And ordered. And got a table. She’d gone toe to toe with Omegadrones some months earlier, and after that whole…invasion…she was just less impressed by people who looked vaguely evil. The gawking, however, was a little annoying. “What’s a matter? Never seen a person eat before?” She wasn’t…aggressive, but not…not aggressive? Assertive, yeah that was the word. Mona was going for assertive. Gotta be assertive with the demonic, especially when you’re pocket sized. Or so was her line of thought…such as it was.

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So, Tanya was not good at looking but not looking. She absent-mindedly shook her head in response to the rhetorical question. "Oh," she smiled, "I mean, I'm just in awe of your food," she paused looking for a word, "consumption?" Wincing, "ok, that sounded silly. But I mean no harm," she said trying to calm the short stack. "Here," she said walking over to her table and sitting down, "since you're the only one that seems to be capable of talking." She reached out a hand, "I'm Tanya."

 

She didn't expect the girl to greet her kindly, but might as well go all out and try to make an acquaintance. "Well, when I do the heroic work," she said boastfully, "they call me Hell Girl." Her voice seemed to echo on her heroic moniker. Impactful. Like it meant something to her.

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Mona simply shrugged. “You got wings and a tail. And you know, the legs. S’weird, but I can deal.” She had a secret identity, however technically. “Probably called the cops or somethin’. One sec.” Mona put down her fork and suddenly wasn’t there anymore. The irony of displaying obvious superpowers yet not saying a word about being a superhero was completely lost on her. Outside, a pair of cops were getting out of their car. “Cool response time.” Mona had changed into her Pacer outfit between her table and the front door. “Don’t worry guys. Everything’s under control in there. She just wants some ‘cue. She’s got money, too. I’m Pacer. A superhero. Kay bye.” Then, just as instantly, she was back in seat (costume gone). “Sorry, bathroom break. Anyway, can’t blame them for being scared.”

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Tanya's looked confused as Mona disappeared. She didn't doubt that someone would have called the cops. It could have been worse. They could have called the church. It had happened before. It was the reason she wouldn't go back to Tacoma anymore. And now there was some superhero talking to the cops, she almost vanished right then and there, but the short lady in the costume. Tanya could put two and two together. Pacer, as it were, cooled everything down, supposedly. Tanya smiled. If it weren't for the uneasy air of the new place, she'd explain herself. She felt stifled. But such was life as her.

 

When Mona came back, Tanya smiled leaning her chin on her hands. "Oh you just missed it," she said facetiously, "Pacer came by and cleared my good name!" She laughed under her breath, straightening up. "Thank you," she said actually sincere this time. "Though, I do wonder i I'll ever get my food now."

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“Hey, neat.” Mona was nose deep in a rack of ribs. “That chick’s always following me around. S’the weirdest thing.” Her knowing smirk was hidden by barbecued meat. “If they don’t feed you we’ll put on my tab and you can pay me instead.” While this seemed generous on the outside (and it was, technically), going without food was one of the worst things Mona could imagine. Top ten, definitely. Behind literally everything the Terminus did back in July.

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GM

 

But, alas, it was not to be. Machine gun fire blasted in the doors and armed people stormed in. They were wearing vegetable themed armor and carrying vegetable themed weapons. Their obvious leader strode in, surprisingly female. She called out in a loud voice. “This den of greasy death will be shut down today! I, the Nutritionist, have come to save you from this insidious tyranny known as barbecue and deliver you into the welcoming freedom of fruits and vegetables!”

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Tanya was not looking forward to losing her hand as the tiny woman chowed down on her food. So she nodded at the suggestion, "sure thing. I've been sent here from a far off land. No, not Hell itself, but Brooklyn." She paused for a moment to let the unspoken jokes fly. To be fair, her home was in a nice part of the borough. "You ever been to one of the hero cities? Freedom? Emerald?" She smirked, "Bedlam?" And that's when the chaos broke out. Gun shots followed by... vegetable people?

 

Like everyone sensible, she ducked when the shots rang out, but the vegetable thugs were the tipping point. Standing up quickly, she pointed at the silly intruders, and shouted loudly, "Oi, this is a place of" And then the leader interrupted her. Of course they had a leader. Clad in the same silly costume. "Lady, I'm not sure what you're on right now, but it ain't sanity!"

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Mona didn’t care. She really, really didn’t care. She had delicious meat in her face, and this rendered all other concerns irrelevant. Until a member of the goon squad smashed her table. The delicious meat went flying. It wasn’t just her table, it was every table with food on it while some crazy woman ranted about healthy eating, fruits, and vegetables. She slowly lifted her eyes to the goon, who wore the most sanctimonious grin ever, and sighed. For Mona, the world froze in place. She changed clothes, and Pacer stood there instead. Then she punched every single member of the goon squad. All five. Extra hard. She casually stepped to the front door as if she’d just arrived, and time resumed its normal flow. Goons flew everywhere, and Mona seemed to have disappeared into thin air. “I step away for five minutes, and a crazy woman is going on a rampage.” She slapped her fist into her hand. “It’s okay, though. I haven’t gotten in my bad guy punching quota for the day anyway.”

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GM

 

The Nutritionist was crazy, not a fool. She knew she stood no chance against a fully fledged superhero in a straight fight. Why else was she in St. Louis, of all places? Of all the luck! Still, she could still make her getaway. “I’m not a pumpkin or a squash, hero! If you care about these ungrateful people and their death chow, then save them. If you can!” She threw a modified potato into the restaurant, which exploded into electricity. This shocked everyone there but Hell Girl unconscious immediately, and set some of the more flammably sauced dishes ablaze. The Nutritionist cackled with glee, and dived out a front window, intending to flee via her Nutri-Mobile.

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Chaos reigned in the form of vegetables blowing up things. And the tiny speedster knocking vegetables down. To be fair, this was not the weirdest thing Tanya had seen. Working with dark magics made her positively blasé about things like this. But no, she wasn't There was food on the line. Time to show these people she could be... dammit they were all knocked out by the crazy lady's whatever that thing was. Faster than average reaction time got her off the ground and into the air, avoiding the sparks.

 

"Stop right there, criminal scum," Hell Girl made her voice echo with loudness as she chased the crazy lady. Flying faster than the costumed woman could possibly run, she latched on to her. "Listen here," Hell Girl said licking the face of the costume, "you've convinced me. I'm going to eat healthy now. You look like such a delicious snack. Maybe I should start with you first."

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And now things were on fire. Should’ve punched her too, Mona. Even if climatic showdowns with the boss are more fun. She found a fire extinguisher and started spraying. “Go-oh, you’re already after her.” And creepily licking her. That was a thing. Yes. Okay, less gaping at the creepy demon person and crazy vegetable lady and more extinguishing burning meat before it becomes burning tables and a burning barbecue restaurant. If only fire extinguishers sprayed faster!

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GM

 

The Nutritionist visibly and audibly shuddered, but her comeback wasn’t bad at all. “Unfortunately, humans are as much red meat as the beef served here. Therefore I am not a healthy snack.” She booked it into the parking lot and into her vegetable themed car, the Nutri-Mobile. It ran on vegetable oil. She tossed a bunch of fliers (sustainably produced vegetable fibers, of course). “Take some information and educate yourself!” With that she puttered off in retreat. The Nutri-Mobile wasn’t, well, fast like a normal car would be, but it was a bit faster than Hell Girl’s wings could carry her.

Edited by EternalPhoenix

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"No," Hell Girl bellowed as the crazy woman was getting away.  She could not fly fast as cars (yet). But what she could do was quite more easier. Demonic words flowed from her mouth, sounding like death with a singing voice. The car lifted into the air by two giant dark hands.One held the car aloft while the other opened the door, then both of them shook the car dumping the woman out on the street before smashing the weenie mobile to the ground. Hell Girl smiled at the destruction and looked to Pacer, "well," her voice echoed, "sitting duck for you."

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Pacer had, at last, put out the flaming meat. She wasn’t worry about the crazy woman escaping. Who could dodge someone as fast as Pacer for any real stretch of time? Nobody, that was who. Still, it was awful nice of Hell Girl to “set the table”, so to speak. “Kaythanxpunchintime!” For Pacer the world once again froze. She ran over to where the crazy woman had fallen, and started punching. She did not stop for some (relative) time. She called it One Million Punches, but in practice she ran out of steam around ten thousand or so. She downshifted, lowering the internal throttle to virtually nil. “Hey, do you know if mashed turnips are any good?” She spoke to Hell Girl, as crazy lady was too occupied with the after effects of a pummeling for conversation. Crazy lady’s armor looked like turnips.

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With another baleful intonation of demonic words, Hell Girl was standing next to the woman on the ground and Pacer. "Whew," she said with a sadistic grin, her tail unfurling from under her skirt. The brown fleshy appendage slapped against the turnip costume, "so, do you surrender?" The spade on the end of her tail poked The Nutritionist in the face, "I don't want you to surrender," her echoing voice said with an intoned threat, "but seeing as you are out numbered and look like you're about to pass out. It would be wise."

 

She looked to Pacer. "Ever heard the story about the turnip who left the garden? The got beet up. I'm sorry, that was corny." She laughed and then looked down to the woman on the ground. Her voice went from playful to deadly serious, "find better things to do with your life."

Edited by Heartbreaker

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GM

 

On one hand, the Nutritionist wanted to fight to the bitter end. On the other, she was clearly outclassed by both heroes. As evidenced by how easily they’d disposed of the Sugarfree Alliance, her precious Nutri-Mobile, and even her. She was in quite a bit of pain and wasn’t quite sure what had happened, but she’d definitely lost the fight. Or was about to. “I think I will stay down here for a while, if that’s agreeable to the both of you.” Jail couldn’t hold her forever, she did have other members of the Sugarfree Alliance available.

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Tanya breathed a sigh of relief that this was over in a blink. Still, food, specifically these ribs, was what she came here for. She sighed. "Good, good," her voice 'normalized'. "Thanks again," she looked to Pacer. Her tail went back under her skirt. Her wings folded behind her. She crossed her arms and shrugged, "I'm not expecting bad publicity. But Demonic Woman Beats Down Crazy Turnip Woman is gonna be buried in some print medium if it even gets on the social media networks." She smirked, thinking about some weird duo names, "hey, how fast can you run? Like I can be in Freedom or Emerald instantly. Bedlam if I really wanted."

 

She looked down to the downed villain, "did you know that hellflame cooks vegetables without heat," taunting her subdued enemy. "Oh right," her voice went normal again. "Citizens arrest. Gotta keep this legal."

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Pacer only smiled. “I’m fast enough to circle the world in under five minutes. So fast enough, yeah.” She disappeared from view for less than five seconds. When she reappeared, she had ice cream in a small bowl. Two of them, in fact. “Ice cream? I like to have ice cream after pummeling bad guys into the ground.” Yes, she paid for it…kind of. She left money and a quick note on the counter of the ice cream shop.

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It wasn't meat, but Tanya wasn't going to be rude to the person giving her free ice cream. Free is and forever will be the best price. "Thanks," she said poking into the ice cream with a finger and putting it in her mouth to taste, "mmm, mhm," she nodded. "So, is this the procedure for it all? The stories I've read are like 'villain does stuff, hero beats up villain, hero bounces off into the sunset'." Though the comics she read were more than that. She enjoyed the tales you had to show ID for. For various reasons. It was easy to write a beat-em-up, but the stuff beyond that was so interesting. She hoped to be in one of those one day. Or even a beat-em-up.

 

"If we can scarper away from this," she pointed to the lady on the ground, "I need sustenance. The ice cream is good though," she took a bite.

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GM

 

The police arrived soon after that and started hauling all the criminals off to jail while the two heroes watched. Then got kind of interrogated, as this wasn’t Freedom City. There was some paperwork, and a official statements made. Yada yada, and etcetera. All the mundane and boring things that kept criminals from getting out on technicalities. Fortunately, Pacer was familiar (if more bored with it than most heroes) with the procedures and soon enough it was over and the two heroes were standing on a street corner outside of the nearest police station. An officer had been kind enough to get Hell Girl a pulled pork sandwich during the process.

Edited by EternalPhoenix

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