"You all come near our Pa again, though, I'll feed you to the fucking zombies myself." (CW: Violence.)
<NYC> Freshkills Park West - Staten Island
The largest landfill in the five boroughs for over half a century, Fresh Kills is now a decade into the ambitious 30-year project transforming it into an immense recreational park. The West Park section, (formerly the West /Mound/) is slated to become a 9/11 memorial of impressive patriotic solemnity, but at present it is still mostly just hillsides littered with debris from the twin towers of the World Trade Center.
Down in one of the parking lots built to accommodate construction equipment, trucks, and work crews, seven motorcycles have gathered in a loose semicircle around a single gleaming Harley-Davidson. The riders have dismounted and stand in a smaller semicircle around one man. Most of them are white men who look to be in their 20s or 30s, and all wear black leather cuts with plain white crosses on the back.
"...in light of your successfully showing courage in the face of the mutant terror," one of the men in the semicircle intones, "we have deemed you worthy of full membership and privileges in the Purifiers. As God and your fellow Americans are your witness, do you swear to keep our blessed homeland pure from the mutant stain?"
"I do," replies the man at the center.
"Will you stand strong against these monsters, whatever their disguises, and drive them from our communities?"
"I do -- I mean I /will/."
A few of the other men snicker, though most try to cover it with quiet coughs or throat-clearing.
There's a low humming behind one of the nearer hillocks. A quiet thwp! thwp!, a soft whoosh. A tiny blue shark perched up atop a mangled steel girder, chin propped in one clawed hand and a toothy grin on his face. Shane is dressed in heavy black jeans, heavy boots laced liberally with metal accent, dark button-down with his MMMC cut over it (his rank patch unassumingly reads "Treasurer"), slim black cuffs at his wrists. "Yo, hey, not that I want to interrupt this really touching ceremony --"
"-- I know, weddings get me teary too." B is leaning up against the metal that hir brother perches on. Ze is far brighter than f, hir twin -- silvery leggings tucked into tall stompy boots, a purple and black plaid skirt over top, hir cut (in addition to hir "Pack Member" rank patch ze has one reading "Dog of War" under her 1%er insignia) worn over a rainbow sweatshirt and a purple tee that says "Sometimes you have to be a little bit naughty", cuffs on hir own wrists similar to Shane's but somewhat chunkier. "Do you think they've gotten to the 'speak now or forever hold your peace' part yet?"
Nick lifts his muzzle to scent the air as he comes up from behind the shark twins, ears twitching. He looks as though he has just stepped out of a power metal album cover: a creature half wolf and half man wearing a black t-shirt with multicolored line art in abstract zoomorphic geometric shapes beneath a still-shiny MMMC cut (his patch reads "Prospect", and the skull on the back is distinctly canine, with a wrench and a spanner crossed underneath), heavy-duty blue jeans, and no shoes. He stands only a hair under six foot now, and his wiry frame has filled out considerably, though it is hard to tell how much of that bulk is his luxuriant winter coat and how much the hard muscle underneath. "Wait," his voice is low and gruff, "what mutant terror? Were we supposed to be in /disguise/?" His hands flex, heavy black claws gleaming in the sunlight, as his lip curls back in a wolfish grin.
"Mutant /stain/," Taylor corrects cheerfully. One limber arm draped over Nick's shoulders, /he/ looks like he's crawled out of some Lovecraftian horror; his cut (also shiny, new and largely free of insignia outside the Mutant Mongrels top rocker and the PROSPECT patch) tailored to allow free movement of all his many limbs. He wears it over a Black Lives Matter hoodie, the "I" in Lives and the word Matter both hilit red in contrast to the rest of the white text. "Which, I mean, go figure, probably a serious problem if you been used to your moms cleaning up after you and suddenly you gotta figure how to wash your own damn sheets?" The longest of his arms are wound around his torso, the bony pair crossed loosely over his broad chest. "Oh, fuck, look at us keeping /on/ like we got no home training -- por favor," he sweeps an arm out to the assembled Purifiers, "finish up your I-dos."
The leader -- or officiant -- of the Purifiers had been glancing at an actual paper cheat sheet for his next lines, but looks up started Shane speaks. The rest of the Purifers do the same, uttering incoherent offended noises. One of them finally blurts out, "What the hell are you doing here?" Then, almost as an afterthought, "/Freaks!/"
This earns him a sharp look from the leader, whose own contribution is calmer, though his voice booms loud. "This is a private ceremony." He nods at his men, some of whom head to their bikes at once, others are slower on the uptake. "And you...critters have picked the wrong party to crash."
The Purifiers pull clubs, wrenches, various weapons improvised and otherwise from their bikes. Only the one who being sworn in seems hesitant. "Don't worry, newfag," says one of his fellows, "the /real/ freakish lookin' ones don't usually have actual powers."
"Let's show 'em, boys!" cries the leader, and the Purifiers charge up the hill, hollering and swinging their weapons. The hill isn't all that steep, but the ground, being comprised heavily of broken concrete, is very uneven. Most of the Purifiers start flagging about half-way up. Three of them, more athletic than their fellows, reach the Mongrels in rapid succession. The first two go for the shark pups, one with a machete and the other a genuine NYPD-issued baton. The third swings his baseball bat wildly at Nick and Taylor both.
The next one up is hefting a longsword and seems to know how to use it. "Outta my way, Bill, I got the black one."
"Shit, Jamie," says Bill, laughing, though he does jump off to the side, "they could /all/ be black, how would we know?"
"And here I was hoping he was about to throw the bouquet." Shane keeps his perch atop the steel beam, his ridged brows lifting as he watches the Purifiers' charge up the hill.
"Y'all might want to include more workouts in your --" B's webbed fingers flutter toward the straggling mass of would-be bikers.
"What, like, biker LARPing?" Shane doesn't actually bother to /move/ when the vanguard of the Purifiers arrives. His legs swing lazily down off the twisted end of the girder.
B, on the other hand, moves with a singular speed. There are sheaths of metal unfolding themselves from her cuffs, gauntlets wrapping around her hands as she straightens from her post. She is ducking in toward the first two to arrive, swinging a metal-gloved fist fast and up straight toward Machete's groin. Her foot swipes out, cutting hard toward the back of Baton's knee.
"LARPing's probably as close as they're gonna get to being a /real/ club," Nick growls. He ducks under Bill's swing and uses the motion to coil up and launch himself at the man, bearing him down at his center of gravity like a football tackle with a lot more growling and teeth than average.
Taylor doesn't wait for Jamie to get all that near. Two of his arms whip outward; one just aimed in a hard strike to the sword-wielder's side, the other coiling around his sword arm. Jerking upward, hoisting high.
Machete's reflexes aren't as fast as B's, but they're fast enough to intercept her strike with his leg instead of his genitals. He still bellows in pain, and though she's too close to properly hack at he tries all the same, as like to catch her with the pommel as the blade itself.
Baton is not nearly so fast. His leg buckles and he goes down onto one knee -- right on top of a knot of twisted rebar, screaming and cursing.
Bill's swing misses both Nick and Taylor, and before he can recover his balance Nick slams him to the rubble-strewn ground, knocking the breath from him and the bat from his hand. "Oh shit oh /shit/ get it off me!"
Jamie manages to toss his sword to his off-hand just before Taylor seizes his dominant one and hacks -- only a little awkwardly -- at the limb coming at him from the side. The one coiled around his hand, though, he cannot escape, and it yanks him off his feet. “Mother/fucking/ tentacle freak!”
By now the stragglers have caught up, one of them wheezing so hard it seems unlikely he'd be much threat to anyone just yet. Another is easily six-foot-four and swinging a length of heavy-gauge chain, circling around to whip at Taylor's flank. The would-be initiate hesitates a moment before charging at Shane with a shiny new crowbar. The leader, bringing up the rear, stays back and watches the brawl, yelling words of encouragement.
As more Purifiers near Shane finally does deign to dismount from his perch. He hops neatly down off the beam, dropping into a swift and fluid motion alongside his twin. His kick aims higher where B has dropped low, striking toward the top of Machete's ribs.
B twists, quick, the pommel thudding down into her shoulder. Her metal-sheathed hand swipes up, clawing at the man's hand even as there is an accompanying *thwp*, a spray of sticky white shooting out from her wrist toward Machete's blade-hand -- to grab and yank hard, her other hand swiping claws straight for the side of the man's face.
Shane is moving on, already, teeth bared as he charged at the crowbar-wielding initiate with a snarl. The length of sticky webbing that precedes him is aimed straight for the crowbar, tugged down -- in kind of a sticky tangle toward the legs (and the knot of metal) of Baton on the ground.
Nick bares a whole lot of very sharp teeth at Baseball Bat, but settle for pummeling him with his fists instead--maybe not /much/ of a mercy, considering the man is lying on jagged broken concrete. His ears swivel to track the movements of other combatants around him, one flicking toward Chain as he circles around. "Taylor, behind you!" The warning comes with Baseball Bat's bat, flung end-over-end with far more strength than precision at the hulking Purifier.
Taylor's arm shakes, shakes harder, jerking the man held in it like a particularly angry stabby rag doll. Drops of thick blue blood spatter against the ground, leaking from the new yawning cuts in his rubbery skin. Nick's shouted warning earns a nod and a present -- with another shake he tosses the sword-wielding purifier down unceremoniously atop the one Nick already is pummeling.
There's a thin smile on his face as he spins toward the chain-carrying newcomer. From around his midsection his last and longest pair of arms are uncoiling -- and uncoiling, and uncoiling. One lifts almost lazily to intercept the swing of the heavy chain, let it land, coil back around it and slowly reel it in. "Who you think been practicing with these longer, yo?"
Machete flashes a triumphant grin as the pommel of his weapon connects solidly with B's shoulder, but his expression shifts pretty quickly when Shane's kick thuds into his ribs and B's claws scrape along his hand. His howl of pain wavers in almost comical bewilderment when the spray of webbing catches his other hand. He flails his machete-wielding hand wildly, as much at B as just attempting to pull free, clutching his side with his other (bleeding) hand all the while.
Crowbar's new crowbar never gets to see action -- at least not at /his/ behest -- yanked from his hand before he has even completed the arc of his swing. Baton had just started to rise, gritting his teeth through the pain, when the crowbar cracks him in the side of the shin. "Jesus /Christ/!" he yelps, staggering again though he does not go down, this time, and turns his ire toward Shane. "I'm gonna beat your freak face in," he roars as he brings his baton down, aiming for Shane's spiny head.
Baseball Bat's head snaps back and forth beneath Nick's blows and the rubble beneath him, and is bleeding in fairly short order from the nose and various small but nasty-looking cuts. He doesn't get /much/ of a chance to recover while Nick is distracted by Chain, since Taylor sees fit to deposit a shrieking Jamie right on top of him. Jamie has somehow contrived to hang onto his sword in one white-knuckled hand, but his other arm (by which Taylor had been suspending him) looks kind of limp. He tries gamely to swing his sword at Nick, but is perhaps too dazed and in too much pain to do so with any skill or accuracy.
Chain's rapidly pinwheeling chain knocks the baseball bat from the air easily, and he laughs loudly and kind of artificially as the bat flies away. "Fetch!" he yells, then stares kind of blankly at Taylor. Then with surprise. Then with mounting dismay as the full /scale/ of those long, long limbs becomes apparent. The chain clatters to the ground, and the biker scrambles to retrieve it, though judging by his expression he does not seem sanguine about winning this particular tug of war.
B's lips have pulled back, too, though the sharp glint of her teeth seem far more like a grin than her brother's clenched expression does. Her shoulder twitches as if shaking off the thump; she flings the sticky webbing trapping the man's machete-hand back toward the rebar that Shane had been sitting on earlier, another spray shot out for good measure to keep it sealed there. Leaving Machete where he is, she turns and launches herself after Baton -- there's a glow from her boots, a quiet hum, a good deal more power in her leap than even her considerable strength would otherwise allow for. Her gauntleted claws are aimed somewhere just under the man's arm as he lifts it to strike at her brother.
-- who is, at the moment, ducking under the blow. It catches him in the back rather than the head with a whump against the heavy leather of his cut but /he/ is swiveling around and behind, a sharp hard stomp to the inside of the leg, claws raking and dragging down at one arm, timed with his sibling's thrusting strike to yank Baton off balance back toward the rebar he'd just recovered from.
Nick's ears prick up, then flatten back again as Jamie swings the sword at him. He pounces, quicker than the injured man, though the crossguard and base of the blade still thud into his side. Grabbing the Purifier by his cut (claws leaving gashes in the black leather), he slams their heads together with a dull crack.
Taylor's arm tightens, thick chain links rattling as he pulls his end closer. The other of his tentacles is snaking out, coiling in a slow spiraling cage around the legs of the Purifier he faces off with. The large sharp hooks that line it are curling outward. Inviting. "Your move, Nazi."
Jamie flails uselessly as Nick lifts him up. His eyes roll back the impact before he goes limp in the wolf boy's hands. Baseball Bat has managed to wriggle free from underneath them both, and only narrowly avoids the sword as it falls from Jamie's hand. Crowbar darts and help him to his feet before beating a hasty retreat.
Chain's uncertainty about the fight he has gotten himself into has risen to the level incoherent panic. He drops the chain and pounds at the tentacle encircling his ankles. As Taylor's group tightens, Chain's balance fails him and he topples unceremoniously onto his side, struggling to get free and pay no heed to the hooked end of the tentacle tearing through his jeans to cut open his calves.
Looking on, the leader seems to finally decide that they have had enough. "Brothers!" he cries, his sonorous voice not nearly so confident as before, though he is trying. "We're leaving! C'mon, let's get out of here!"
Those Purifiers /not/ in various states of grappled, webbed, or unconscious quickly obey, fleeing down the hill as fast as I can, with little regard for the terrain. Those left behind cry out -- those who are able to -- and try to follow. Only Jamie, out cold seems unperturbed.
B comes up alongside her brother. The flex of her metal claws is slow.
Shane just snorts. Slings an arm around her shoulders. "C'mon. You all come near our Pa again, though, I'll feed you to the fucking zombies myself."
B's huge black eyes don't leave the stuck and broken men remaining for a good long moment. She is quiet, though. For a time. Eventually her hand flexes again. Not to swipe at them, though she's near enough to. The gesture is followed in short order by a quiet hum; from beyond the hillocks and rubble two blue and silver hoverbikes have lifted themselves into the air, are gliding nearer. There's a very quick flutter of her gills as she turns back toward Taylor and Nick; the sharp flick of blood off her claws as she walks back toward her bike (incidentally splattered toward Chain's face where he's fallen) comes with a slight curl of lip. "Let's go home, Dogs."