Make it Mean Something
Roleplaying Log: Make it Mean Something
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Quake and "Ricochet" do a little sparring with a little talking.

Other Characters Referenced: Frenzy
IC Date: June 29, 2019
IC Location: Metropolis Area
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 29 Jun 2019 18:41
Rating & Warnings: PG
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

As promised, Gwen didn't ask Daisy for a confession for several days. They just spent time together, at least such as they could afford between the strains of their new identities. Gwen, for her part, feels confident in her new abilities and paraphenalia, and has been spending a goodly amount of time combing thrift shops looking for stuff she could turn into a new costume; last night, she came home with a leather jacket too big for her, a black thing with unnecessary belts and buckles that she was unduly excited about. "I'm probably gonna have to cut my bangs for my new identity, so I need something to send the message," she joked cheerfully.

Last night, Gwen proposed a little training session together. "Just something to see what we can each do," she explained, before adding lightly, "And while we're doing that, you can tell me what's been on your mind. If it's as bad as you act like, maybe it's best we talk it out while already beating each other up."

***

More time has gone by and more time has been spent staring at the various monitors in the back of her van. Quake has really been trying to make some further headway on learning about the Brotherhood but for as much as they had let her in they sure aren't giving her anything to work with. It's been frustrating, as the growing pile of power-crushed cans from energy drinks can attest to. At first she had been too distracted to clean them up but now it's become something of a monument of her failure, destined to grow larger until one day it achieves sentience.

Gwen's new look, particularly with the jacket, is grounds for reconnecting with reality. The smirk which followed was worthy of a postcard. "Really embracing that whole shadowy underground look, huh? I like it."

Then comes the offer to train and her expression flatlines. The last time they had attempted something like this Daisy had been mind controlled and had effectively tried to -kill- Gwen. Maybe the possession had passed but in its place is a much stronger grasp of her own power, then focused and amplified by the LexCorp gauntlets. At least Gwen's a tough one. With built in danger sense. It should be okay, right?

Would the -city- be alright?

"You're totally gonna kick my ass up until I start leveling the city," she teases in a level voice.

A quiet part of the city is selected, no sense causing collateral damage or ending up on the evening news, then on go the gauntlets. En garde.

***

Gwen is too modest to admit Daisy is probably right… or at least would be, if Gwen was still able to use her webs and wall-crawling (though Gwen doesn't know it, people with spider powers beating up people with vibration powers is a longstanding tradition). As it stands, when her superpower currently consists of throwing rubber balls at someone who can make shockwaves, she doesn't think much of her chances.

Gwen is ready in her Ricochet outfit, which currently consists of a half-facemask made from her spider-lenses, some blue spandex, and her new jacket, into which Gwen has sewn makeshift holsters along the arms. These force her to draw by crossing her arms, and crossing her arms before a throw, she discovered during one of her training sessions with Dr. Harmon, really increases her accuracy. It's almost like throwing a long-range punch.

"Okay, so, let me know if I start doing moves that make me look like s— uh, like someone I shouldn't look like," she amends lamely. With that request made, her hands whiz to her draws and she pulls the yellow rubber discs, flinging one at Daisy, albeit not as hard as she could. It's just training, after all.

***

It's kind of funny in retrospect. Daisy had been so worried about Gwen getting caught up in the middle of this double agent stunt that they've gone to great lengths to give the Spider a whole new secret identity and powerset, and yet… Daisy is still herself. Now with more eye shadow and rivethead goth adornments. She's made absolutely no effort to come up with a costume or anything to cover her face. All she went with is yet another change of name.

The gradual change from Spider-Woman to Ricochet may have been witnessed but to see this new identity in full working order is kind of striking. She might take longer to ponder what all had gone into bringing them to this moment if she didn't have a thrown disc to contend with. Up come her hands to shield her face but a quick vibrational pop easily flicks the solid mass of rubber up and out of her way.

"Just don't do that 'heels to asscheeks' thing with your legs when you jump."

Lacking the ability to accurately fling anything physical back in Gwen's direction she instead tosses a vibrational wave back, causing some leaves and smaller branches to shake free of the closest tree.

***

"It's so hard not to!" Gwen exclaims, with a little laugh that doesn't really hide her embarrassment. She's already tumbling aside when the blast comes her way, cartwheeling one-handed while tossing her other disc (there are four left on her sleeves; Gwen is not consciously aware that she picked a load of six because she associates six bullets with her dad's service weapon, or that emulating him makes her feel less guilty about the lawbreaking she's apt to do as Ricochet) at Daisy. Despite her new code name, this shot, like the last one, is a straight throw. She'll ease Daisy into the more confusing bounces she can do.

"So, what have you been not talking to me about?"

***

It's beneficial to be 'attacked' by the exact same projectile more than once. As they come flying toward Quake she has more of an opportunity to 'connect' with the feeling of the material and its density. Having this sense of familiarity in what she's working with (or against) provides opportunities to do more than simply flick it away or bust it apart with her power's form of a sledgehammer strike.

The next disc to come her way gets flicked back at Gwen. It isn't a direct shot, her aim is still way off, but the disc effectively reverses its direction mid-flight. It's a start though, and one which has Daisy grinning enough to be noticed.

A grin which is there and gone when Gwen presses about this hidden secret.

"Look, Rico, I just— Dammit. I think I hurt a lot of people, okay? Maybe ..more than hurt. It's -really- not something that I want to talk about."

***

Gwen (or maybe she should start thinking of herself as Ricochet) is pretty sure she can catch the disc flying back at her, but not sure enough she wants to risk taking the thing to the chest. Not the way her spider-sense is buzzing. She flings herself backward like Neo dodging bullets, and when the disc is past, she rolls backward and up with a push of her palms. "Did I ever tell you about the time I killed my best friend?" she asks, forcing herself to stay calm as she rises, drawing and throwing in the same motion. One last headfirst throw, then the ricochets start.

***

As a distraction Gwen couldn't possibly have done any better. Daisy's expression goes utterly blank with a "Wait what?" at the confession right around when disc number three takes flight in her direction. She almost doesn't react fast enough to avoid getting smacked, head ducking and forearms darting upward with a quick flinch just in time for the disc to strike the gauntlets and bounce harmlessly off to the side.

"Yah I'm -pretty sure you didn't!-" is called back in protest as she looks around for something that could be flung back at the rebranded Gwen. What she finds nearby is ..a rock. About the size of a golf ball. It's given a little bounce in a palm as if gauging its mass before she winds up and gives it a throw with a power boost back at Gwen.

"How the hell can you be so chipper all the time?"

***

Ricochet leaps to the side away from the incoming rock, bouncing off her toes in confusing little hops that take her indirectly closer to the discs she's lost so far. The exertion also distorts her voice enough to hide how hard it is for her to say, "When I first got my powers, I felt like a whole new person, above it all. I put on a mask so I wouldn't have to be me, so I wouldn't have to look myself in the face. I wasn't a hero, I was a bully. And my friend, Peter… he learned from my example." The ellipsis doesn't quite hide the lump in her throat.

Gwen darts to the ground to pick up a discarded disc, letting Daisy try to zap her while she talks. "He wanted to be like me, so he made a mutagenic serum that turned him into a giant lizardman. He attacked our prom to get back at the kids who bullied him, and I charged in fists first because why should I ever have to think that the rampaging villain is a person too? Why should I think about whether I'm hurting someone? Why should I stop to think that maybe the beating I inflict on the monster will carry over to the boy when he reverts?" she asks bitterly, flinging a disc at the earth and letting the angle of the rebound take it to Daisy. "I didn't know it was him because I didn't stop to ask what I was doing, so I beat my best friend to death with my bare hands because he was trying to be a thoughtless monster like I was being. I'm a murderer, Quake."

***

It's a lot to take in. More so while trying to avoid getting pelted with discs while also trying to not lose sight of Ricochet. Every time that Daisy starts to feel like her life is screwed up Gwen comes forth with something of an anti-reality check because stuff like that -doesn't happen to normal people.- This is the sort of conversation they should be having over a bottle of wine, or a couple tubs of assorted ice cream.

"Okay..-you- didn't make that mutagenic stuff. -You- didn't give it to him, and -you- didn't make him go crazy and start attacking people At A School. Sure, okay, maybe you had gotten a little carried away but you saved way more lives than you ended, Ric. Look, it sucks and I'm sorry but—yah!"

The next disc being bounced at her ends up getting -slammed- down into the ground before leaping up into the heavens as though it had just been teleported back to the rubber disc mothership.

"Just ..just take a minute to think of like -half- of all villain origin stories out there. The desire for power, the complete lack of personal responsibility and the total disregard for consequences. Maybe you're a murderer, maybe he was your best friend but you're also a damn hero. He -was- your best friend until he became something else but that was all on him. That was NOT your fault."

***

Gwen should be letting Daisy attack more, but screw it, she'll learn on her own to go on the offensive or not. Gwen keeps hoping around, bouncing discs off surfaces, retrieving deflected discs as the combat allows, and continues, "It's not about fault, Quake. It's about responsibility. He made himself a monster, fine, but he still died in my arms, with his blood on my knuckles, telling me he only ever wanted to be like me. So I have to do what I do because if I don't, he died for nothing."

Gwen does not say 'hint hint.'

***

Quake is absolutely holding back. Maybe she's worried about injuring Gwen. Ooor maybe she's waiting for the tricky 'Ricochet' to get where Daisy wants her to be. Gwen's a fast target but when she goes to retrieve those discs?

The clear morning air ripples away from those gauntlets in a focused cone aimed directly at where Ricochet is going to land to retrieve another lost projectile. Lacking the webslingers to carry her out of harm's way there's only one place for her to go and that will result in her being tossed right off of her feet and out toward the trees.

"Yah? And does that same justification remain valid after I dropped an entire building on top of dozens of workers just because I was told to?"

***

Daisy's trap is too perfect, because it's not a trap at all. There's nothing devious about it: it's just the only way this fight can go, when Ricochet has to keep retrieving her weapons. Worse, Daisy knows Gwen's speed and how fast she can reverse course or bounce out of the way, so the widened beam she can't dodge is… yeah. Gwen tumbles along the ground (she briefly considers using her spider-powers to stick to the floor, but the way these vibes are rattling her teeth, she'd rather just get knocked out of the area of effect) until she fetches up against a tree and has to listen to Daisy's argument.

"It's not about justifying anything," she explains, catching her breath before painfully rising back up onto her feet. Gwen doesn't let a beating keep her down. "It's about responsibility."

Gwen stands still, making no effort to attack. She just says quietly, "You did what you did, and nothing you do can take it back. The only thing you can do is make it mean something."

***

Daisy's arms go down, then her guard follows. Shoulders hang with a distant sigh. Gwen's back to her feet so she knows the secret spider is okay. It'd take a lot more than a little disruption of the air to keep her down.

"Okay, seriously? -Write a book.- You just have an answer, or..a reason, or ..anything to fire back with to -every single situation- and it's infuriating as hell." There's a pause before she admits "And it's..also really helpful."

Would SHIELD feel the same way about it once all of this is over? Like Gwen said, it can't be taken back. All she can do is push forward.

Though first she still can't help but ask "You okay?"

***

There's a wry smile audible in Gwen's voice even through her mask as she asks, "You kidding me? I can't write. You should see the songs I wrote, except you never will because there isn't enough alcohol on Earth." She bounces on her toes a little bit, shaking the contusions out of her arms, or at least the tenderness of her injuries. "Yeah, I'm okay. I have to be. That's also how I'm so chipper. I could spend the rest of my life beating myself up… and yeah, okay, I probably will… but I have to be better than that, or he died for nothing."

***

"Start with audio," Quake suggests with a slight grin. "You're well practiced at the whole talking thing."

With both of them effectively having come to a standstill she takes the opportunity to close the gap and walk over while Gwen is sorting herself out.

"Not to boast but I was a bit more concerned about shaking the chip out of you with that hit. It was kind of a cheap shot. As for beating yourself up, you need to stop doing that. That's my job now."

Off to the side there's a soft *thump* as the one disc that had been launched into the stratosphere finally drops back down into the dirt.

"No kidding, I'm gonna start carrying around a recorder for every time you start talking."

***

Gwen swipes her hand out in a reaping gesture and catches the disc on the rebound. She stows it back in her sleeve holster, pauses like she means to go collect the other discs, then shakes her head at the idea. This isn't the time to put distance between herself and Daisy. She steps forward instead and embraces her.

"So what do we do next about the Brotherhood?" she asks.

***

It's another fleeting moment. Aren't they all, though? Daisy rests her forehead against Gwen's and breathes out an "I don't know. The only time I'm not in the dark is when they want to pull me along to cause more trouble. Even then I'm only given the basics. I don't know if I'm gonna be able to do this, G. It's not like a file server I can hack into. I keep wondering if it's worth sticking around."

***

Gwen, or Ricochet, or whoever she is right now, nods. "Do you think they even know the greater organization?" she asks. "If it's like a crime family, then yeah, they have a central authority, but if it's a terrorist organization, they might just operate in local cells."

***

"I'm not really sure," Daisy admits. "But this lady I've been working with, Frenzy? She was one of the two who had attacked the helicarrier. She was behind the recruitment drive in Metropolis and she acts like an authority figure. She's probably my best bet for getting anywhere. Buuut I have no idea where she is or what she's doing until I get the call to meet her somewhere."

Both hands lightly squeeze Ricochet's shoulders. "If all of the Division couldn't get anywhere with these guys why did I feel so confident that I would be able to? I'm way out of my league."

***

"Maybe we don't get the whole organization," Gwen suggests reluctantly. "Maybe we just get this one cell. I know you're afraid of how powerful Frenzy is, but we have a couple of pretty powerful friends we could call in too if we needed to. Maybe they can even knock the info you need out of her?"

***

The idea is such a simple one and yet it had never before occurred to Quake that it might be the best option. Maybe she could lead SHIELD directly to Frenzy? They make a business out of gathering intel from any available source, why not give them the opportunity to do what they're best at?

"So all that I'd have to do is convince a force of nature to meet me at an ambush point while coordinating with an organization which I barely have any contact with left. That..sounds way easier than it would actually be. Maybe there's some good locations around the city though, might be worth checking into it."

***

Gwen nods. "You know Frenzy better than I do, and whether she'd take a meeting from you rather than demand a meeting on her own… but maybe this is how you cash in the cred from dropping a building on someone. Or you ask her to start giving you more info, because if you're just going to be doing mass destruction without knowing why, you could do that on your own and at least not be subject to domestic terrorism charges."

***

"Yah, I reeeeally hope that last part doesn't make it onto my record," Daisy groans.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License