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Revision as of 20:02, 12 June 2019

In Which A Very Fancy Frying Pan Is Repurposed, Under Some Duress
Dramatis Personae

Anole, Bug, Marrow, Taylor

2019-06-01


"We saw some dudes!"

Location

<MOR> Welcome to the Freakshow


Wider and more spacious than many of the surrounding nooks and niches, this chill cavern is the central hub of the Morlock's underground network. With tunnels branching off in many directions, it takes a while to learn to navigate from here to where you want to go, but there's generally plenty of more experienced people around to teach newcomers the ins and outs of the pathways. Here, though, is a safe place to come and relax, for what value of relaxation can be found among moss-covered walls and the occasional stagnant puddles on the floor. There's been furniture brought in, a mismatched assortment of crates, mattresses with busted springs, a few broken and subsequently repaired chairs, a folding table in a corner. Shelves along a wall hold entertainment; books, a smattering of board and card games, sometimes snacks. There's even electricity, wiring none too safe and visible in places where the wall has been broken open; the naked light bulbs flicker often and the lone outlet has had so many power strips attached it is undoubtedly a fire hazard.

Marrow's not been having the best day. People have been coming to her all day reporting odd things in the sewers. Signs people have been poking around outside of the usual city department of sewage checks. And when odd things happen in the Morlocks domain she has to restrict her intake of narcotics and that makes her cranky.

And no-one likes it when Marrow gets cranky. Not even Marrow.

So she's taken up residence on one of the less unpleasant makeshift couches (made from a mattress cut into sections and resting against stolen boards from a construction site) and is currently holding court. Sticking pins into a map of the sewers and occasionally pausing to inhale from a single tulip joint that she's been stretching out for the last hour.

This isn't the most encouraging situation to be approaching Marrow under. But still, for the safety of the tunnels sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. Taylor may have had a preemptive hit of his own blunt before wandering over here, the harsh scorched earthy smell of cheap weed clinging to his clothes (today, tattered jeans and a vivid purple tee shirt reading FLEXIN' MY COMPLEXION in gold capital letters) as he approaches the Sewer Knight's makeshift court. The healing stumps of his arms are growing longer daily -- some of the smaller ones almost back to their regular length, though the larger are still truncated, waxy-skinned, twitching at intervals not entirely under his control. One slim arm is coiled around a can of Mountain Dew. At first he doesn't say anything. Just examines the map a long quiet moment. Then reaches out with a skinny black tendril of arm to tap one unpinned place upon it.

Having armed himself with a mighty shield (his plain brown clipboard) to operate almost like a security blanket as he trails a little way behind Taylor. It also has the secondary function of just being a clipboard, with paper clipped in and a pen tied to the ring in white twine. His nervous energy is audible, his body buzzing with sounds not unlike one might hear standing beneath a freshly flowering tree, some of his bugs swirling around him in the air. Bug stops up closer to the map, looking at the pins on the map in a kind of admiration for the visualization. When Taylor taps the map, he is knocked out of the distracted state and he just blurts out, "We saw some dudes!"

There is a long pause.

Marrow glares at Taylor and Bug, then takes a very long inhale of smoke. Holds it for a moment. Then blows a smoke ring into the air.

"Your faces say I'm going to need a fuckin' drink..." she finally states, leaning over the side of the seat to snatch up a bottle of some sort of Morlock rot gut. Technically some sort of bathtub vodka but strong enough to run a generator in a pinch.

"What sort of dudes?" She wonders, gesturing at the map. "And where?"

Taylor winces just a little but nods along with Bug's announcement. He takes a gulp from his soda and traces a small X near where he's just tapped on the map. "Somewhere under Delancey about here. So what had happened was, Bug and Nessie had met me up top cuz of we was doing rounds through the gardens to grab some food and we had just been thinking, you know, what would it take to grow mushrooms down here? And we turn the corner just a ways past Bowery Station and there's these two dudes in like, full on tactical gear. Guns and armor and all the shit. And this dude says he's a federal agent and that we're trespassing."

Bug picks up the pen that is dangling from his clipboard to start drawing circles on the paper to get the ink going. "Yeah, helmets and it was fancy gear and everything. Serious serious." He chews on his lip and glances towards Taylor. "One of them had gotten hurt from a trap, which... um, at least it made them not follow us." He gestures up and around with the pen, probably gesturing to the insects orbiting around him. "I made sure."

Marrow hrms at the map, adding a few more pins before taking a gulp of the booze. "Said they were Feds huh? Normal Feds wouldn't be in the sewers without someone from the City to guide them. Liability insurance or some shit. You see anyone like that?" she traces her finger between some of the points on the map. "Looks a lot more like the fuckers are hunting for us."

"And yeah sure you can grow mushrooms. But you'll need a fuck load of water to rinse the shit off before you can get high off 'em."

"I only saw the two of 'em. The one who pulled the gun on us first and the one who got himself trapped. The thing is --" Taylor hesitates. His arm curls tighter around the can of Mountain Dew. "I think they were looking for us. Specific. Or --" He shrugs one shoulder, shifting uncomfortably. "I heard 'em thinking oh, that one's the barista. When they saw me. And I heard something about a shield making it their business. They were getting real twitchy with the gun or I would have listened longer."

"Yeah, I kinda. Scattered just a little, and I only saw two too," confirms Bug helpfully. He looks towards Taylor, the corners of his mouth turning down in concern, "Creepy that they know your job. And recognize you like that... um. I don't really get why some weird agent guys would care about a shield or anything but... the one that Anole got... is probably the fanciest shield we've got."

"Fanciest. Shield," Marrow repeats, as if checking she's not much more wasted than she thought. "Did someone rip off a rich guy or something? Steal some kinda antique that should be in a museum?"

She takes another long pull on the liquor bottle.

Then for good measure she takes another inhale of smoke too.

"Know if we've still got it? Maybe if you dump it someplace public they'll back off?"

"It was unnerving," Taylor agrees with Bug. "I don't do shit but sling coffee, government agents spying on me would be --" He shudders. "I don't know if the dude is /rich/, but it's his fancy -- old timey Army thing that --" Taylor fumbles for an explanation, ultimately just settling for a loud and firm mental POKE off across the hall in Anole's direction. << YO. Anole. You still got that shield thing? Come here. >> Though after some thought he reconsiders: "The guy is famous, so he's /probably/ rich. And in the military. Maybe he sent the feds to get his shit back."

<< Uhh it's down there! We were using it to cook -- >> There's a scrambling shortly after Taylor's mental call. A skinny lizard skittering out of a niche high up on the wall, making his way head-first down it. Somewhere along the way his long tongue stretches out, whapping against a large dishlike platter that's been sitting atop the long since cooled remnants of a trashcan-fire grill. There's a few lingering scraps of God knows what meat charred in it, still. The thing has long since blackened, between soot and food scraps, but the outlines of its concentric circle and star pattern are still visible through the smokestain accumulating on its convex side. Anole still has the dirty disc hanging from his mouth as he hops off the wall to land near the others and ask a muffled, "Oo wamph thith?"

"Oh, yeah, he's old timey, right? Like an antique himself. He probably got lots of interest in his bank account from when he was-" Bug pauses. << Do dead guys- >> The thought interrupting his speech is in turn interrupted by Anole's sudden presence. If it is possible for his large segmented eyes to get any bigger, they seem to on the sight of the shield. "This patriotism pan's seen better days," he opines in a low voice, holding out his hands to offer to take it from Anole's tongue. "I bet it cleans up okay...."

"You don't think it's radioactive or some shit?" Marrow wonders, looking blankly at the dirty slab of metal. "Some kinda leftover bomb? That'd explain why the Feds are trying to find it on the quiet. Avoid a panic." She rolls her head back to stare at the ceiling and lets out of a sigh.

"So. Anyone got any bright ideas on how we unfuck this situation? Think if we bury it we can threaten some kinda reward money? Or do we just throw through the window of a police station and hope they forget any of you exist?"

"Maybe. It went through a whole war." Taylor eyes the filthy shield dubiously. "It's definitely radioactive for us, seeing as he clearly wants it back enough to send men with guns in after it." There's only a little bristle in his voice. "Some federal agents came snooping around down here," he adds for Anole's benefit, "and we think they're looking for the shield. I have some friends who are friends with this guy. Maybe if I get one of them to give it back to him he can call off the attack dogs?"

"Wait. Captain America is trying to kill me over this?" Anole relinquishes the soiled (and now somewhat slobbery) shield readily to Bug. His eyes have gotten huge and wide. "He could've just asked for it back!"

"That woulda been the mature thing to do," Bug agrees with Anole, putting his clipboard on the ground, propped up by his shoe, and using part of his sweater's sleeve to rub some of Anole's slobber to see how well it cleans, and his shoulders relax slightly. "I was gonna say that we know where he probably goes to church, so we could bring it to him there, but... if you got friends who can help that's probably safer."

"Providing it's him who wants it," Marrow points out. "Seems like some sort of magical goddamn'd wartime mutant old guy would be more hands on. Shit I know I'd be down here cracking skulls rather than letting a bunch of dipshit Feds fuck it up."

"You didn't find a secret compartment with old timey secrets inside?" She pauses half a second before shaking her head adding. "No that's a stupid question, you'd have said if you did right?"

"Hey, on the plus side, Captain America wants to kill you is a great story to tell later," Taylor tells Anole. "On the downside, it's a great story to tell later -- if you survive." He's a lot more vehement about his firm assertion: "He's not a mutant. He's just a juiced up flatscan." He lets out a heavy breath, eying the shield. "But one who the government loves. I don't know if he's the one who wants the shield back, but I'm not about to hunt down more of the dudes with the guns to ask them who they're working for. Even if it isn't him, at least he might know."

Anole's eyes just get bigger and bigger. His feet have started to fade into the filthy dinge-grey colour of the floor. "Can your friends ask him to. Not. Do the killing of -- um, me?" The thought of secret compartments has clearly never occurred to him. Marrow's question has him eyeing the shield in Bug's hands more intently, leaning close to peer at it. Run his fingers over it. "I wasn't trying to be any kind of spy!" His toes wiggle against the ground. "I wasn't honestly trying to steal it at all, it just. Happened."

Bug assists in the shield inspection, turning it over so that both he and Anole may see it at more angles. "Be nice if the government loved me so much. I could get frozen too. I sleep a lot in the winter anyway," grumbles Bug, more to himself than anyone. He brightens when he continues, though: "At least if the guns guys find out he got it back, then they'll know not to bother you for it! I dunno about Captain America. He seemed against you getting killed before, though."

"It's not painted gold?" Marrow throws out another wild and unlikely suggestion. "Because I sure as shit can't see anything else about it worth killing for.... 'Cept smuggled Nazi gold."

She pauses long enough for the checking to prove it's indeed not even slightly made up of gold. Then scowls at it with disappointment when it turns out to just be plain looking metal with paint under the dirt.

"Well, it's your goddamn prize. Means you get final say in how you get rid of it. We talking our way out of this or just dumping it?" She finally offers the bottle around. "You give it back to the old guy and we're shit outta luck if he's got no pull with the people who want it. We try sell it... Could just get ourselves busted. Or we drop it somewhere even the Feds won't be able to miss it and hope to hell they forget about us afterwards... Like...You still got that glue gun?" She tilts her head and mimes something with her joint that might be Anole webswinging. "Maybe stick it on the side of the.." She snaps her fingers. "Federal Hall? Big fancy building, lots of columns'. Fed central."

"If it was gold woulda torn Anole's tongue straight off, trying to carry it like that." Taylor takes the offered booze from Marrow, some stump-arms twitching with the swallow he takes before offering it to the others. "Maybe we can still. Hold onto it for just a minute? I could ask someone who knows him if he got any sway to call the feds off before we let it go. And if not --" Several of his limbs shrug. "Give it back through a police station window and pray, I guess."

Anole's now eying the shield like it maybe is in fact radioactive. "I don't want to bring some kind of creepy government fight down here. He did try to stop the cops shooting me once," he agrees hesitantly with Bug. "I think talking first. But if they keep coming --" His face scrunches up. He takes a small gulp from the bottle, winces visibly, shudders before passing it on. "Hopefully that thing's strong enough to stop bullets."