Four Thugs, Two Mutants, One Awkward Conversation
Roleplaying Log: Four Thugs, Two Mutants, One Awkward Conversation
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Danielle Moonstar steps into Mutant Town and finds Rictor in a spot of trouble. Help ensues as does awkwardness when she reveals she's an AoS.

Other Characters Referenced:
IC Date: January 13, 2019
IC Location:
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 14 Jan 2019 03:17
Rating & Warnings:
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

It would usually make perfect sense to find Julio Richter aka Rictor at Shakedown during business hours. But today is an unusual day. He's off on errands today, leaving the assistant manager in charge. There was the visit to the bank, the meeting with suppliers and the visit to the new mutant-owned microbrewery that has been supplying the club with some product.

Rictor only lives a few blocks from the club in a third-floor walk-up that looks more run-down outside than it is inside. There's no immediate sign of the mutant, but there are sounds from around the corner in the alleyway - of grunts and shouts, of feet scraping on pavement. And a sudden vibration of the ground that sends a shockwave out for half a block. Someone shouts, "Grab his hands!"


For Danielle Moonstar her visit to Mutant Town is more organizational versus recreational.

She's here in the most subtlest of roles; to talk to those mutants who might talk to someone like her.

An agent of SHIELD.

Rarely does Moonstar enjoy this part of her duties, but today it seems so much worse. Her actual step foots feel weighed down by so much. Her expression matches that sense of heaviness as she walks down the sidewalk, completely lost with her own internal thoughts.

Thankfully, however, before she can get too deep within her own head the ground shakes. That pulls her attention back outward as her gaze sharpens, her brown eyes look around herself. She's near Shakedown, having intended to speak to the owner Julio Richter, but now it looks like trouble is afoot.

The shout of 'grab his hands' brings her head around to the alleyway. Soon enough she's jogging for that particular corner of the neighborhood and while she could spring around the corner and shout 'stop in the name of the law', she's lost that particular crazy edge many years ago.

First thing she does is edge around enough to peer within, to get the lay of the land and see what's going on.


There's a bag of groceries on the ground, cans and produce strewn about. Four men have descended on one. The one in question has each arm restrained by a man. A third stands near the mouth of the alleyway, looking for anyone who might approach. But he's doing a poor job because he keeps looking back behind him.

The fourth man steps up to the restrained one, then takes a swing to hit Rictor in the gut.

Rictor lets out a choked exhale. There's blood on his face from a blow to the head. There's defiance in his eyes. "You're going to make me hurt you," he says, but there's something about the calmness of those words that makes it not sound like an empty threat. "And then this neighbourhood will hurt you."

The lead man, let's call him Punchy, cracks his knuckles and rolls his neck. "This neighbourhood doesn't belong to you just 'cause a bunch of you live here."


Dani's expression tightens at what she sees.

Isn't this how it always is.

And while she could once more jump in and shout SHIELD, hands up, she doesn't. Instead she goes for the one being a poor look-out. Quickly and quietly, the Cheyenne woman comes up from behind and slams a hand outward. It might look like she's going to kidney punch him from behind, but in reality just before her hand connects a dagger of magenta energy coalesces into her hand to psionically shiv the man.

It'll act like a taser, if you will. Disconnect all his synapsis while he relives his worst nightmares. Hopefully he has many.

It's at this point that Moonstar finally calls out her credentials, "Step away from the man and puts your hands up."

And she says that without even pulling any sort of weaponry. She just stands there defiantly, even as she spares a quick look to Rictor. Silently asking 'you ok?'


Bad Lookout, aka BL, goes down in a cry of pain that alerts his fellows just before Dani makes her presence known. Right Arm Thug (aka Rat) pulls out a blade and presses it up against Rictor's chin. "Stay back or I cut him." Cut him more, apparently, because a tiny rivulet of blood arcs down the blade from where the point presses into his skin.

Rictor looks surprisingly calm. He doesn't struggle in the men's grip. "I have this under control," he says with a look to Dani. "Don't get yourself hurt."

The leader chuckles and pulls out a gun that he points at Dani. "You should listen to him. This isn't your concern. I don't think you want our attention."

What happens next starts with a feeling. It's a low vibration like a bass note held with a slight vibratto. Ears start to feel full. There is the very strong sense that energy is building up.

Rat and Lefty look at each other, confused as the vibration starts to rattle him. "Fuck! They said if we held his hands he couldn't do his thing!" Lefty lets go and starts to bolt off, which leaves Rictor's arm free.

The mutant takes his opening. Normally his ability manifests with halos of energy around his hands, but he can also just produce tremors with his body as the epicentre. He moves from the blade, cutting his cheek as he reaches up to grab the man's wrist. There's a burst of energy and a momentary halo before the man is thrown back and bounces hard off the stone wall.

Meanwhile, Leader Larry swings his weapon for Rictor, finger seconds away from pulling the trigger.


Whether he has it under control or not, Dani doesn't budge. Instead, she just cocks an eyebrow at Rictor, before her gaze swings over to those that still surround him (and her).

"I'm capable of handling lots of attention, even the distasteful and stupid kind." Which obviously she means *them* and while she was just about to say something more, or perhaps do something more that vibration is felt. So is the pressure upon her eardrums. A quick look flicks over to Rictor, but Dani keeps the majority of her attention on the little gang.

Which is good, as Leader Larry swings that gun toward Rictor. That brings an immediate response from Danielle Moonstar. A bow of pure magenta energy and its corresponding psychic arrow manifests with but a thought. Then that arrow is sent hurtling through the air (silently) and over to Leader Larry. It wants to bury right into his torso and should it hit the attack will once again act much like a telepathic taser.

Knocking a person out to relive their most feared thoughts.


Now that Rictor is unencumbered by thugs (and their BO) he's able to fully activate his powers. He's standing, knees slightly bent, hands into fists, halos of energy circling each hand. The low frequency hum remains in the air. Somewhere down the way, a dog howls, followed by another.

Animals can sense earthquakes, after all.

He's preparing to toss a blast at the man with the gun. It would've been too late to avoid the trigger pull, but fortunately for him, the energy arrow does its job and hits the man cetre mass. His finger twitches and the gun fires, but on an irregular angle which sends the bullet ricocheting against the ground before burying in a trashcan. Then the man lets out a yelp of distress before crumpling to the ground.

Rat groans and tries to pick himself up from where he bounced off the wall, but gives up and sinks back down again. He's got a pretty solid head wound from the looks of things, and maybe a broken rib or two.


The howls of the dogs is heard and Moonstar can't help but have a moment of sympathetic thought for the distressed animals.

But then she refocuses upon the task at hand, and a glare is focused upon the men that are down and littered around the two mutants. Finally, the black-haired woman says, "The neighborhood belongs to its people." Obviously referring to an earlier statement from the would-be gang of haters.

The energy bow disseminates with a flash of light and once that's done, Moonstar steps towards Rictor. "You ok?"


"Yeah, I'm okay," says Rictor as he dabs at the scratch to his face and the small wound to his throat. Luckily, Rat didn't hit any major arteries. The bleeding isn't bad. It probably looks worse than it is. He looks at the downed men. "Bold to come at me in the middle of Mutant Town. With one gun and a few knives. I clearly need to work on my rep." He chuckles, then moves to his downed groceries with clear pain in his movement. He starts to gather up the dropped food.

"Who are you, anyway? I don't think I've seen you around." Then he spares a glance to the men that Dani downed. "Do we need to worry about them waking up anytime soon?"


His answer about his well-being earns a nod from the woman, then a critical look at the wounds upon his face, and throat. "I don't think you'll need stitches." She hazards, before she glances at the downed men again. "You know them? Who are they?" She automatically asks, but then when Rictor starts to gather up the dropped food, Moonstar likewise helps.

If something needs wiped off she does her best to wipe it free of alleyway grime. His question of just who she is brings her gaze back over to Rictor, "Danielle Moonstar." She states plainly enough, "Agent of SHIELD."

She waits a moment for his reaction before she answers that last question of his. A look is sent over to the two men who are currently living out their most feared thoughts. "Nah. It'll be a couple of hours before they wake up. I'll call it in so they're picked up too."


Rictor awkwardly bends down to pick up a can of black beans. Some of it is salvageable. The container of ground beef has a tear in the plastic. Some of the tomatoes are squished. The celery can probably be cleaned off. The bread, milk, and canned goods all seem relatively unscathed apart from a little grime. The paper bag is too torn to gather everything up, so he sighs as he looks at the mess. "I'll have to go up to my place to get a bag or a bin." He seems relatively casual about the fact that he just got jumped outside of his home.

What makes him tense up though, is her position and affiliation. He grunts. "In the neighbourhood to do a spot check, Agent Moonstar? Checking for unrest ahead of registration? Well…" he gestures with a can, "…you've certainly found that."


"I can help you carry it back." She offers, her arms already full with a portion of the food on the ground.

If she had a bag she'd offer it, but as it is she doesn't.

Though with his next reaction to just what she is, she likely wouldn't have been able to offer the bag to him. Not without some explanation.

His grunt and next words bring a shadow to her gaze, but as for words there's not many. The only thing she does say is, "Who were those men? Someone you knew?" She asks again, "Or just generalized riffraff? It seemed more personal than 'look mutant let's go beat up'."


"They've been sniffing around Shakedown the last few weeks," says Rictor with a shrug that causes his face to momentarily knot up in pain. "They weren't breaking any rules or harassing anyone, so I didn't have a reason to throw them out. Besides, throwing out humans simply for being humans is not a good look." He chuckles and shakes his head. "But I got the sense they were trying to size people up. Size me up, as it turns out. They must have known I wouldn't be in today by listening in."

He doesn't directly accept her offer, but nor does he turn it down or close the door in her face after he struggles with the key to the front door without dropping various cans and a carton of milk. "You were looking for me, yes? I thought I might hear from a SHIELD agent before too long." He shoulders open the door. It's with some stiffness that he climbs the narrow three flights of stairs up to his apartment.


His obvious stiffness and pain isn't missed by Dani, but for the moment she stays silent on it.

Instead she follows him with his food in her hands (and arms), listening to what he has to say.

"So some type of rival gang." Murmurs the Agent of SHIELD, even if that gang is comprised of humans. "And yes, I was looking for specifically for you. We just wanted to touch base to see how you were doing and how things were going." She states neutrally enough, before adding, "Though I suppose today was a good day to see just how 'well' it was going for you."

And finally, as he walks stiffly up those three flights of steps, with Dani not too far behind him, she asks, "What did you crack? Rib? Or something more? I can get you a ride to the hospital if needed."


Rictor chuckles and shakes his head. "A hospital. Ah, no, no. I don't do hospitals. Too many questions. Far too much money." He awkwardly gets the key in the door, nearly dropping his loose groceries a few times. He opens the door on a modest, worn around the edges, but neat space. It's a bachelor, but of a decent size for the city. His kitchen is just a little alcove that would only really fit one person trying to get anything done. His windows look out on the alleyway they were just in. He's actually made the space look relatively homey with a lot of earthtones and handmade items like blankets and unusual art pieces. There's the sense that if he had more money, he'd actually have a pretty tastefully appointed place.

"I've just had the wind knocked from me. I'll be fine." He starts offloading cans onto the counter. "Just put that stuff anywhere. It will all need a rinse in any case."

Then he goes into the kitchen and grabs a handful of paper towels to start gently scrubbing off the drying blood. "I don't know if they are a gang. But I suspect they lived here before mutants started coming. And they feel pushed out. I can understand that anger, but if we had been humans and not mutants I doubt their reaction would have been what it is."


When he juggles the food and the key almost Moonstar reaches out to take the key, but then she stops herself. It's the dropped food she goes to help pick up and then once she's invited in, she steps inside.

Where he indicates to put the food she does so, trying to neatly arrange it so it doesn't roll away again, and doesn't cause too much clutter.

"I can wash for you." She offers, even as she glances around the interior of the apartment, one part curiosity, two part automatic Agent response to new surroundings.

Her brown eyes return to Rictor, however, at his mention of human versus mutant reactions. Her head cants to the side as she considers how best to answer that. "Probably." She agrees and while there's an argument to be made that they're all human, those words don't leave Dani's lips. Not the time and place right now.

"I'd be careful for the next few days. Do you have security available for your club? If you can I'd definitely increase it."


Rictor smiles. It's a sad, tight sort of smile. There's still a little blood smeared on his face, but the wounds are truly revealed to be not that bad. He got lucky. The blade was clearly sharp. "I'm careful every day, agent. And yes, I have security. And I won't press charges against those men. It would only fire up them and their friends more and provoke them to attack again."

He waves off her offer. "Don't be silly. It's just a bit of food."


"Good." She says at his mention of being careful and while his mention of not pressing charges garners a faint tuge of a frown to her lips, Moonstar simply nods.

She understands, no matter who she works for.

"If you like -" She says, "I can hang around the club for a few days. Make sure there isn't any further shenanigans." It's a sincere offer from the Agent, "I'll make sure to stay lowkey." And not shout her credentials at every opportunity.

As for the mention of food, the Agent looks at the slightly soiled foodstuffs. "It is, but it's food you needed, so it mean something."

She should really bring up more professionally related questions at this point, but she doesn't. Again, for Moonstar, the timing isn't right.


Rictor finishes washing off his face and moves out of the kitchen to sit at one of the stools pushed up to the pass-through. From their worn state, they look like old barstools, likely from Shakedown. "While I certainly won't bar you from my club as everyone is welcome, I wouldn't have you there in an official capacity, Agent. No offense, but I am not particularly fond of SHIELD. At least not now that you support policies that will harm many in the mutant and meta communities." He nods towards the alleyway. "You do realize those men felt free to attack me because of registration, yes?"


"It wouldn't be in any sort of official capacity." She says with the smallest amount of wry humor. SHIELD would definitely not sanction that sort of protection detail.

And while Rictor sits, Moonstar stays standing.

One he didn't ask and two it doesn't necessarily feel right to sit down.

His words bring a thin-lipped look to the woman's face, "Of course I realize this." But before she can let the anger show, Moonstar takes a breath. "No matter who I work for I'm a mutant as well. I understand what you and everyone who's different are up against every day."

"Whether people realize it or not I try to help every day in situations that I'm able to." She realizes she's trying to justify herself and her position and with a stifled sigh the Agent ends with. "Beyond what happened today, is there anything I can help you or anyone here with? SHIELD may support registration and all it entails, but we are still here to help everyone that needs it."


Rictor's eyebrows just arch up a little when she says she's a mutant. He suspected, but powers can come from so many places that he would never assume. Then his look softens a bit and he shakes his head slowly. "I have a long list of things this community needs from the government, but I don't believe you are in a position to deliver on any of them." Which sounds a bit harsh in words, but he says it in a way that suggests sadness rather than a condemnation.

He reaches out to swipe the top of a pair of cans with paper towel. "The truth is, while individual members of agencies, the police, and the government may care about what is happening here and to metas all over, it's not enough. So this community will protect itself, on its own. Because we need to."


"Ask for what you need and I'll see what I can do." The Cheyenne woman states, a resolute tone to her voice giving it an almost strident sound, "The worse I can say is no, but if you don't ask I can't try."

His next words causes the black-haired woman to shake her head, a gesture of both sadness, but also of denial. "We all need to protect ourselves, yes. That means everyone who's impacted by this. Whether in this community or not. What this place offers, sanctuary, refuge, a place to escape and hide, something of safety is all well and good, but what about the rest who aren't able to get here. Or can't. It's time we stop thinking of just the here and now and more toward the whole, otherwise it truly won't be enough."

She looks away now, gaze flicking over the interior of the apartment once more, and only after her attention is back upon the man does she end with, "I'll let you finish cleaning up here."


Rictor doesn't say no to her request, but nor does he affirm he'll prepare such a list. Nor does he argue with what she says, even if he might feel he wants to. After all, him being defensive might make her suspicious about his club's efforts to shuttle vulnerable metas and mutants out of the state ahead of registration. Better that she thinks he's only thinking of the immediate community.

"I appreciate your assistance, Agent. Although I do not plan on pressing charges, it would make me sleep easier if those men down there were to be escorted away if they are not already gone." He does also quite pointedly address her as Agent, which has the effect of keeping up a certain formality in their interaction - and a reminder of the power imbalance.


"Of course." She states at the mention of the insensate men that still lay within the alleyway. "I'll make sure to get them out of your hair."

And while she takes a step toward the door, she does pause for one moment to say, "Thank you for taking the time to talk to me, I do appreciate it."

With that said the Agent of SHIELD makes her way to the door and outside, intending to clean up the trash that currently litters the alleyway.

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