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Wait, Who's Saving Who Here? (IC)

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The Fens. Sunday, November 15th, 2010. 9:30 pm.

There was a rustling in the alley behind the Fantasy Adult Bookstore and Novelty Gallery; behind a row of dumpsters, an old woman was putting together her cardboard home for the night. To keep out the cold, she wore several sweaters, two coats and a filthy Elmo knit hat. All her belongings were stuffed into a pair of plastic garbage bags that she dragged behind her, and she moved stiffly, like she'd known a life full of pain.

A little ways down the alley, a pack of about ten teenage boys were sharing a stolen bottle of Jack Daniels. The oldest one, with his hair plastered with product, indicate the homeless woman with a jerk of his chin.

"You see that crazy old bat? I seen her in this alley a few times this week, and sometimes on the street hitin' up the rich f***s on Braodway." He flashed a feral grin as he shook his head. "No way she already drank all that money away. C'mon guys; it'll be both fun and educational!"

The other boys laughed as the followed him up the alley, grabbing shattered pieces of shipping pallets of the ground as they went, swing them back and forth like golf clubs and baseball bats. One of the younger boys waved his hand in front of his face when they got within ten feet of her.

"Aww, dude, she smells like piss!"

"Shut up, a-hole!" The leader cleared his throat and spoke with mock-politeness. "I'm sorry, miss? Ma'am? Ma-damn? I’m afraid we have to talk to you about how much you f***in' stink."

The old woman stared up blankly from inside her cardboard refuge, shaking with fear...

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The city lights of the Fens screamed by as Push cranked his bike faster and faster, his coat and scarf billowing behind him as he went roaring down the city streets like a Polaris missile straight for the Waterfront. He'd gotten bloody sidetracked by that walking deadman, and if he didn't hurry, odds are he'd miss whatever was going down there. His eyes almost had tunnel vision as he rounded a street corner, running lights in his haste. Not that it mattered in the Fens, hardly anyone drove here anyway. Besides, he'd cut his eyeteeth driving this thing on the gridlocked streets of Gear City, weaving through traffic here was a piece of cake. So focused was he that he almost missed the pack of thugs advancing on an old woman in an alleyway carrying weaponry. Almost.

His head spun around, and he screeched the bike to a halt, nearly flipping him over the handlebars. Quinn stared at the alley he'd roared by, then back down the street, then back at the alley. Scratch could be right there waiting for him...damnit, where were those flamboyant capes when you needed them? He watched the sky in vain for a few seconds, before cursing and cranking the bike up once more, spinning around in a bootlegger reverse. The back wheel screeching, he juked the bike forward and aimed at the alley, turning it neat as you please to roar down the thin alleyway, relishing the look on the thugs' faces as they realized he was aiming straight for the pack. A second, the clasps were undone, two seconds, the familiar weight of his custom-made warhammer was in his hands, three seconds, he'd shoved a whole pile of juice into the hammer, and four seconds, he'd gone right by the old woman and slammed the weighty end of the hammer into the gut of the jerk who'd insulted the woman, the oldest one with the hair gunk. The thug's look of surprise lasted approximately two seconds before he went spiraling away, slamming into a wall and landing in a heap. Push, however, kept going, barreling through the gang and screeching to a halt at the end of the alleyway, calmly stepping off his bike, slinging the warhammer on his shoulder, and fixing the rest with a cold stare.

"Right. I'm in a bad mood, and you punks just made it a whole lot worse." He cracked his neck, eyeing the old woman and motioning for her to clear off. The thugs, meanwhile, started clutching their weapons and advancing slowly.

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The pack of thugs were just about to pound on the helpless old lady, when a guy in a trench coat and fedora rode smack into the middle of pack, knocking Captain Hair Gel for a loop with some sort of polo mallet.

"Right. I'm in a bad mood, and you punks just made it a whole lot worse."

Beneath layers of age and glamour, Grimalkin rolled her eyes at the newcomers arrival.

Some nights this town drives me crazy...

In a flash, the old woman swung a leg out to trip the nearest punk, did a kip up to her feet and slashed the pants right off of another juvie, exposing his boxers to the cold night air; it looked like he might need to replace them, too.

"You just had to be a do-gooder, didn't ya?" :roll:

The woman leaped in the air and executed a perfect butterfly kick right into Boxer Boy's face; as she took flight, all the stained and patched-up clothes melted away into the night, leaving a lovely and limber young woman in skin-tight leather standing defiantly in the middle of the alley with the thug at her feet. Her ears were pointed like a cat's, and wicked claws tipped each of her fingers.

"I have this, Mister Scarf 'n' Hat; find you own kids to play with, alright?"

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Push, to his credit, didn't bat an eye at the transformation, even whistling appreciatively as she transformed into the rather nice-looking shape that caved that poor thug's nose in. Whipping his hand in the direction of the gangers, a kinetic blast shot forward, warping the air, and caught another one of the thugs in mid-stride, rather unceremoniously crumpling him to the ground as he felt the force just slightly below that of speeding car connect with his torso. No need for fatalities, after all. The others looked confused and disoriented, having been struck at from both sides now. They were beginning to rally, however, and Push readied his hammer in case they tried to make a break for it. Of course, nobody said he couldn't enjoy a little snark, particularly if this cat-woman's "ambush" (as it was looking to be) had just distracted him when he was in a hurry.

"The only ones who had this were the guys who had you surrounded and outnumbered, Miss Skintight Leather. I just saved that well-toned ass of yours, perhaps a thank-you is in order?"

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"The only ones who had this were the guys who had you surrounded and outnumbered, Miss Skintight Leather. I just saved that well-toned ass of yours, perhaps a thank-you is in order?"

Grimalkin's jaw dropped and her eyes got big.

"Excuse me? Look here, Great and Powerful Trenchcoat, I was luring them into a trap; it's called a strategy, doofus."

She turned to the nearest thug and did...something horrific with her face involving pus, veins and maggots.

"Gimme a kiss, you big hunk o' man, you!" :twisted: :wth:

The guy screamed, turned and ran straight into the wall behind him, knocking himself out cold. Her face once again pretty as a picture, she stood like a matador and did a little flourish.

"See? It's all about finesse!"

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"Heh, I wouldn't kiss that face on a bet! And you completely forgot style!" Push laughed, and with a flourish pegged one thug right between the legs with a kinetic bolt. Except this time the force was akin to him having struck with a sledgehammer. The robber's eyes crossed, his mouth moving silently as his hands reached down, and he crumpled to the ground, whimpering. Quinn made an extravagant motion, bowing towards her as two more thugs tried to whack him with their ersatz weapons. The clubs seemed to slow the second they reached a few inches away from his back, just tapping the coat as they reached the apex of the strike. The two thugs stared at it, mystified, as Push looked at them and simply shrugged.

"Finesse is all well and good, but overconfidence can be a killer, kitten. Always be prepared." His voice was lazy, way out of place with the situation, acting as if he was lecturing her. Taking a moment, he turned his head to look with a bored face at the two crooks, who by now had dropped their weapons.

"You still here?"

The speed with which they ran was quite prodigious.

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"Finesse is all well and good, but overconfidence can be a killer, kitten. Always be prepared." His voice was lazy, way out of place with the situation, acting as if he was lecturing her. Taking a moment, he turned his head to look with a bored face at the two crooks, who by now had dropped their weapons.

"You still here?"

Grim laughed outloud; this guy was a fun fightbuddy, but she refused to be outshone by the new guy. Adopting a defiant pose, she shot Scarfboy a withering look.

"Hey, I'm no kitten, alright? I'm a fricken' cat, man!"

And with that, she dropped to all fours and turned into a lean and nasty black panther! The huge cat leaped towards the last of the goons and growled in a threatening manner; their eyes got so big it was almost cartoony.

"Holy crap, screw this!"

They ran down the alley, slipping and sliding as went; meanwhile, the panther fell on its side and reverted back to her human form, rolling around on the ground laughing.

"Ah-haha! Oh man, that was classic! I love this game!"

She surpressed her mirth for a moment and offered the newcomer a crisp salute.

"I'm Grimalkin, by the way; welcome to jungle, baby!" :D

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Push nearly doubled-over, slapping his leg and laughing as the two nearly soiled their drawers running for the hills. Standing and wiping a tear from one eye, he slung his warhammer back over his shoulders. He liked this firebrand, never met anyone like her back in GC. And the fact that she was a) easy on the eyes, and B) a literal catgirl didn't hurt either. Quinn shook his head to clear out the rather interesting mental images and extended his hand.

"You call this fun and games? The name's Push, and you're welcome."

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"You call this fun and games? The name's Push, and you're welcome."

Push was able to easily lift the petite heroine to her feet, though surprisingly she had a grip like iron.

"Howdy, Push, thanks for the hand up. And don't you normally say 'you're welcome' when the person actually needed help?" She placed a slender finger on her lip and looked comedically thoughtful for a second. "Y'know, I'm just not feeling the 'helpless female' thing today; I think I could have taken on twice that many guys, handed their butts to them, and sung the 'Magdalena Hagdalena' song at the same time." She nodded sagely. "In fact, I did that last week. In Sumatra."

She couldn't keep a straight face any longer, and a wide grin spread across it. "Seriously, though, thanks. That was fun." She rocked back on her heels and tugged at her suspenders, which she conjured up just for the effect. "So, I haven't seen you beating up people before; are you newly arrived to our fair shores?"

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Push gave his best shot at a cryptic smile, though it really only reached his eyes since the majority of his face was covered by the scarf. The suspenders caused a bit of a quirk in his eyebrow, but other than that, the look remained the same.

"You could say that. Been around the block a few times here and there, but aye, first time in Freedom City. And that's not the first time I've heard of a woman boasting taking on twice her number...but the context was a little different. And the tune playing was a bit less religious. And it wasn't across the Pacific."

He laughed, leaning back on the bike with a mock-curious look.

"Tell me, are all the women here as feisty and reckless and all the men here thuggish and cowardly? If this is going to happen with regularity, I might begin to feel a tad inadequate." The mirth in his tone fairly bubbled up, and he was hard-pressed not to laugh again at the looks on those idiots' faces when they saw her change into a panther.

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"Tell me, are all the women here as feisty and reckless and all the men here thuggish and cowardly? If this is going to happen with regularity, I might begin to feel a tad inadequate."

Grim folded her arms and leaned back; she should have fallen over, but a glitter-encrusted purple girls' bicycle (complete with sparkly princess handlebar streamers!), appeared out of nowhere to hold her up in an obvious parody of Push's stance.

"Just the ones who fight crime. S'alright, champ, you'll do fine here as long as you follow my lead, and for God’s sake save up some money to buy a real costume. A scarf? Honestly!"

She grinned and gave him a friendly wink, but then her tone became grave.

"Now I'm gonna let your little joke about my virtue or lack there of slide this time, on account of your impressive use of a polo mallet as a melee weapon, but there is one thing I cannot abide." She stepped closer towards him, a scornful look in her eye as she shook her head in disgust. "How can you not know the 'Magdalena Hagdalena' song? What, your parents never sent you to summer camp? Were you raised in a box?"

The shapeshifter conjured up a jump-rope and got to work, expertly flipping the rope around as she faithfully chanted the childhood favorite, her boots tapping out the rhythm; the sight was both charming and completely surreal.

"Magdalena Hagdalena Hoopensteiner Wallendiner Hogan Logan Bogan was her name!"

With a final flourish, she brought her impromptu performance to a close, dramatically dropping down on one knee like a Janet Jackson background dancer.

"That jazz!" :D

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Push did the only thing possible under the circumstances. He facepalmed.

"Grim, if you sang that song while fighting, you wouldn't need to even flash your claws. The sound'd scare 'em away!"

Still, he took time to admire the athleticism of her work with the jump-rope, and the position she landed in. Purely from an artistic standpoint, of course. Art appreciation was a great hobby of his. That, and the fact that the shapeshifting and bike-summoning had damned impressed him. She clearly had some major magical mojo behind her, and what was it they said about great power in small packages? He clapped slowly as she finished, his voice a drawl.

"How can you not know the 'Magdalena Hagdalena' song? What, your parents never sent you to summer camp? Were you raised in a box?"

"Worse, much worse. I used to live in Gear City."

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"Worse, much worse. I used to live in Gear City."

At the mention of 'The Hub of America' aka 'America's Armpit', Grim winced sympathetically.

"Eesh! Well if you survived a night in Gear City in that get-up, clearly you're a better crimefighter than I suspected...or else just really good at hiding."

She paused to sniff the night air a few times, then jerked a thumb in the direction of the terrified punks.

"Hey, do you want to track those guys down and have more fun with them? I can tell you from personal experience that human wee-wee is one of the easiest scents to follow; it's like, a series of giant neon signs pointing the way."

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Push took one look down the alleyway, checked his watch, and cursed under his breath.

"Much as I'd love to, I can't. Got buisness Waterfront-side. And I'm already frakkin' late...you go have fun, kitten, but play nice!"

The ersatz hero wiggled his finger in her direction and threw a leg over his bike, revving the engine and grinning as the patchwork piece of tech he and Mike managed to cobble together roared with no small enthusiasm. Never failed to make him smile, and it was one of his happier reminders of home.

"Grimalkin, was it? Scary name for a little girl."Push winked impishly as he gunned the engine, laughing as he roared by.

"Keep your eyes to the skies, maybe we'll meet again sometime!"

The bike roared around a corner, disappearing into the lights of the city streets with his scarf and coat whipping behind him, Grimalkin able to catch a glimpse of a laughing face beneath the hat as he vanished.

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"Much as I'd love to, I can't. Got buisness Waterfront-side. And I'm already frakkin' late...you go have fun, kitten, but play nice!"

Grim laughed and cupped her hands around her mouth as she playfully mocked him.

"Wimp! Wimp!" ;)

"Grimalkin, was it? Scary name for a little girl."

"They don't come much scarier, and don't you forget it!" She waved good-bye as he roared off into the night, slowly shaking her head in admiration. "His greatest superpower? Riding a motorcycle with that damn hat on his head."

With a sigh, she turned and began to trot after the departed lowlifes, looking forward to having herself a bit more fun.

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