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Approaching Tremors (IC)


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Wednesday, June 19th, 2019, 8:39 PM


Mona missed the West End. This was her old stomping ground. She knew the place like the back of her hand. Friends, family, neighbors. Memories. The riot of life made her smile: the smells from the restaurants, kind words in dozens of languages, the old cobblestone side streets, the "newly" planted trees now soaring above the row houses and shops. Despite all that Freedom City had experienced, the core character of the neighborhood remained.


But the West End wasn't perfect. Not by a long shot. Heroes were still needed. Which meant this particular evening, Fulcrum decided to do something she hadn't done in years: patrol. Or more specifically, patrol here. So as the lights blinked out in the businesses, and tired West Enders hurried home, Fulcrum jogged through the streets.


Oh, sure, she could fly, but jogging was more fun, and pun intended, kept her grounded. She was in costume though. She was "on the clock" as it were. Thus a giant in a white bodysuit with gold wristbands, belt, and anklets passed under the street lights of a quieting West End. Except of course for a rhythmic thud, thud, thud of her 600+ pounds hitting the pavement.

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To say that Sophie could tell there was something coming was a understatement. She could here it coming, even feel it coming her senses giving her a good indication of the direction of the vibrations of something rather large moving along the ground. While she wasn't generally one to try to stop a larger enemy she was at least up for slowing them down for someone else to handle them. Taking off at a good clip through a ally way to try and get ahead of it, but actually over rating the speed of... what ever it was, coming to a skidding stop as she popped out of a ally about 30 feet in front of Mona as she was jogging.


She figured out pretty quick that who ever this was most likely wasn't a rampaging monster, out in public clearly no destruction. But she was half worried that she was about to get run over by some one six times her size. She looked like she might be just over a hundred pounds. With what looked like a armored wet suit on complete with equipment belts and a quiver on her back and bow in her hand, looking more like some one's teenage sidekick then a hero in her own right. Quickly jumping to get out of Mona's way, with a rather surprised sounding.


"Oh no, Excuse me Mademoiselle!"

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Fulcrum skidded to a halt well short of 30 feet. Rather light on her feet for her size. She stood there blinking momentarily, brows raised in surprise. Then she looked around the empty streets and back to Rossignol.


"Excuse me as well, madam. We nearly had quite the crash." The response was diplomatic but kindly. "If I may ask, where are you headed to in such a hurry?"


Her eyes scanned the streets more carefully. "Fire?"


The big woman was obviously assessing this new person. Perhaps not so much sizing up as for tells of intent. As for herself, she seemed relaxed and curious about this new person.

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The black Domino mask she had on did a poor job of hiding her face, and not any better at hiding a blush of embarrassment.
"to be honest I zought you where ze fire."

"but you don't seam to be a rahmpageeng mahnstair."


She stopped to put the bow away the hole thing folding up to a smaller size at the flip of a bottom.

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Fulcrum chuckled and knelt down. The action seemed habitual and brought her to more-or-less eye level to Rossignol.


"Sorry, I didn't mean to embarrass you. Honestly, I was wondering if there was a fire. West End has had its share of fires, suspicious or otherwise, over the years."


She tapped her chin in thought for a moment. Turning her attention presently, a large hand was offered in greeting.


"And no, I'm not a rampaging monster. Although I can understand your concern. My name is Fulcrum, but most people here call me Mona."


The name may have sounded familiar. Fulcrum was a local heroine out of West End. Worked solo and as a member of The Interceptors, the native team of the neighborhood. Though she dropped off the radar several years back. Some say due to focus on her career as an artist (given a secret identity was impractical) or her advocacy for Terminus-baby rights.


At Rossignol's bow trick, she nodded. "Impressive!"

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She shook the hand when it was offered, and gave a nod to the compliment about the bow.

"Fulcrum, hmm ze name sounds fahmeeliar. maybe I read about you een older news? maybe you are local? I just stahrted patrolling ze area myself. my grahndmahthair use to operahte een ze area decahdes ago."


She seamed to slow down her talking a little maybe worried about her accent. "


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"A pleasure to meet you."


Left unspoken was question of her name. But she didn't pry. Heroes had many and varied motivations.


"I am. I started here back in 2009. Although I've been more of a... traveler... since 2014 or so. Ran with the Interceptors out of here. Good people."


She pondered whether to direct Rossignol to a certain self-defense school in the neighborhood. Given the tensions between her and the core Interceptors over the last years, she put that thought aside for the moment. Instead she turned back to Rossignol and focused on her last sentence.


"Operated in the area? Is your grandmother a heroine? What is her name? Now you're piqued my interest," she said while sporting a big smile.

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"oh yes, she wass Rossignol, I'm Rossignol by ze way, how rude of me. she was een freedahm city back een ze wahr... wahrld wahr two zat iz."

She motioned out to the city. "my mother ahnd father where both heroes ahlso, but not here. so far all I have done ees beat up muggers and armed rabbers. But you said you where part of a team at one point?"

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Mona leaned against the nearest wall and continued. "World War II huh? I will have to look into her then. Does that make you Rossignol III?"


"Small-time capers are how most heroes start. It's standard, bread-and-butter work." She swept a hand in front her, indicating the neighborhood. "And as far as I'm concerned, just as important."


As if to emphasize the point, a silhouetted figure in a third-floor window waved down to them. Fulcrum pointed out the person to Rossignol before waving back.


"But I'm sure you already know that. Sounds like you have a good pedigree."


Silence reigned for a moment. Mona tapped her jaw in thought. Quietly, she addressed Rossignol's question.


"I was. The Interceptors are, as the name implies, a rapid-response team. A small team generally, with a rotating roster. They are still active as far as I know. If you're interested, I would ask around. You'll likely have a moonlight visit from Jack of All Blades or Jill O'Cure."

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"What drew you to the bow then? If I may ask."


As to the second point, her face turned more solemn. "I wish you the best in that regard then. That's way outside of my capability. Giant robots, sure. Organized crime? I'm clueless. I have a feeling though that organized crime is a much bigger problem than we know. Any luck so far?"


Her gaze turned again to the neighborhood. The early evening chill was settling, and the streets seemed unusually quiet in the twilight.


"And you've heard of Jack? Anything scandalous?" She shook her head. "I kid. I kid."


"Although he may know of underworld things...," she added after a moment.

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"et seams more versahtile zen ze sword. I mean I have a sword."


She tapped her hip not far from where she had put the folded up bow, the weapon she was indicating looking more like a Machete then a proper sword.


"I've made some prahgress hunteeng down ze weapons dealers en lantern hill, but I sink zey know same one es lookeeng now."

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Mona leaned sideways slightly to see the sword better. She nodded, obviously impressed. "Quite a blade. Practical and effective I imagine."


Straightening up, she added, "Do you have trick arrows? I mean you could hypothetically build all sorts of fun accessories!"


"A weapons dealer out there? Interesting..."


She was lost in thought a moment, watching the clouds drift slowly overhead.


"I would think them knowing someone is investigating would be good. In a sense. You could pick out their previous behaviors and movements, and hopefully, lure them into making a mistake. Again this is coming from someone whose secret fighting technique is 'punch them again'. But for what it's worth, I will help out any way I can."

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She gave a nod about the sword. "et's really more a tool zen a weapon ze way I use et, and I have a few special use arrows. mostly off ze self equipment I've taken apahrt and put back together as a arrow, flash bangs, tear gas stuff like zat."


She motioned with her hand to the near by shore line below lantern hill "yes, zere es same one trying to smuggle en pahrts, and pracure chemeecahls. put together I sink zey could make something very bad"

"but I dahn't sink et's ze local criminals trying to do et, I sink zey are just trying to make mahney by selleeng to who evair et es. zey also don't seam to sink ze weapons will be used en Freedam City."


"ze locals are easy to get ze drop on, but who evair es behind et es very.. umm how you say?"

"ruse? sly boots?" She seamed to actually get rather frustrated for a second before snapping her fingers and pointing at Fulcurm.


"sleeck zat's et. zey ahre very sleeck."


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Mona smiled warmly. "And that is why you are Rossignol III. Inventive and crafty."


Her mood darkened as Rossignol laid out the particulars.


"Very slick indeed. Sounds like someone with a lot of experience. They can use local underworld connections as proxies. That minimizes their exposure while still delivering the goods. The locals probably have no idea who they are really dealing with."


She started to add something, stopped, then spoke. "Unfortunately, I do not speak French. I speak German if that is at all helpful. Or at least not insulting."

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"Most likely no, I don't know zat ze locals would care to know who zey are dealing wiz. But it's a problem for me if nothzing else."


She jumped a little as a watch on her wrist went off.. "Oh.. I have class in a bit." She gave a glance over to the university just visible from where they where "I'm afraid I have to go. It was a pleasure to meet you."

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Mona glanced toward the university and nodded. "I understand. I wish you well in all of your endeavors. A pleasure to meet you too."


"Before you go," at that she pulled out her cellphone and turned the screen to Rossignol, "here is my contact information. Please let me know if you need anything, or just want to talk."


Knowing how private heroes can be, she didn't ask to trade contacts. If Rossignol was interested, she would make herself known.


"Good to have you here."

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She flipped her phone out and took a picture. "Ill enter it later today, Itz alwayz good to have options for backup, thank you."


She made her way back the way she came and in a bit, passed Mona now in civilian clothing but still clearly the same person, on what could best be described as a "Antique motorcycle" But would better bee called a Poorly treated museum piece left over from world war II. Giving her a wave as she went by.

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Mona couldn't help but break into a big smile as this totally random passerby waved at her. She waved back. Once the heroine was on her way, Mona tucked away her phone and looked around.


Her mood was a good one initially. Now though...there was a certain lightness to the moment. Happiness came in those moments.


"Swift journeys and safe flights. May we meet again soon," she muttered to herself.


With that the giantess jogged down the streets of her old stomping ground.

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