Eagle Time

Full Version: Masks 2
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Ken does want to see Sam bully some cactus.
Sam proceeded to harvest some prickly pears, coming back, peeling them, sharply avoiding thorns, no doubt using his reflexes to multitask like this.

"Right so I'm an idiot, I'd need a pan or somethin' to roast these, and they're mostly juice and pulp anyhow, so anyone who wants some sweet, juicy cactus, step right up!"

He gave the smoldering remnant of the doobie between his lips a little puff.

"This ain't the strongest stuff but damn did I need something to take the edge off the, uh... I mean, it's nice to... WHO WANTS DE-PRICKLED PRICKLY PEAR?"
Esen nods at Finn's words.

"Yeah, I get that. Right now I'm just too tired to think about it all. Maybe eventually it'll catch up to me but right now the conflicting feelings of having saved the world and having not been able to do anything to save those people are pounding like a subway train into the side of my head."

She takes a sip and looks at Siren.

"Psychic bullshit you isn't you, so uh. Hi, nice to meetya, sorry I tried to kill you a little bit."
Ken helps himself to some cactus. He frowns, vaguely disappointed.

"Tastes like green beans."
"Pard, this stuff is sweet, yer vape has yer tastebuds off."
Siren is a little overwhelmed by all the people being nice to her? She really thought she’d be in space jail by now??

She raises her fingers awkwardly to Esen and Finn in a nervous wave. “Hi there. I, um, I’m...”

“I’m so sorry I tried to kill you. I really, really didn’t mean it. Sorry.”

“Thanks for saving me. Thanks for everything. I’m glad... at least a few heroes made it to the future.”

She’d really like to change out of her spooky robes, but asking her near-murder victims if they’ve got any sweatpants lying around feels a little crass.
Esen rummages around in her bag. She usually keeps a some spare clothes in there for changing (good for throwing off pursuit. And also for not smelling like sweat constantly).

"Here, you look like you need something to wear that isn't all spooky and wet."

She pulls out a t-shirt and some sweatpants.

"Might be a bit big on you, sorry bout that."
"Eh, come off it - what's a little murder 'tween mates, aye?" Finn gives her best smile and a thumbs up.

"Yer doin' fine, lass. Yer a hero through and through. Meant what I said about havin' a decent number of yer comics, by the by - they're good. Managed to avoid most of the real bad underwater tropes, pretty well written. I could lend 'em to ye sometime, if yer interested?"
Sam would awkwardly cut up prickly pear fruit and hang about giving people slightly-awkward pep-talks until the group started to clear out. He gives Hackerman a business card, "Call me if you need anyone out-gunned, Pard," and departs with his cohorts.

He ALSO gives Maria back her bag and forty-six knives. Not the gramma candy, though. He keeps that.
Siren smiles weakly. "They musta used a lot of creative license. Maybe sometime, thanks." She wasn't sure if she was actually gonna read though to be honest - the name "Siren" wasn't brimmig with positive connotations for her just now - but it was a nice offer. She's just... not really sure what to do next. So maybe she'll try to be Yasmine instead of Siren for a while.

She's gonna go put on the clothes, rolling up the sleeves and cuffs where necessary. and try to get some of the gunk out of her hair. Then she'll go rejoin the group at the campfire and sit on a rock at the edge of the circle, pulling up her knees. "So, uh. What... what happened? I kind of remember... it's been thirty years, right? Where is everyone?"

(That'll be directed mostly at Theraea, Nimue and Esen, since they seem not interested in sending her to space jail.)
Whoops, Sam also gives Siren a business card, offering to put her up with some folks he loosely knows in any of the major Texas megacities if she wants.

If she seems concerned about him holding a grudge over the whole "nearly killing him with a trident" thing, he deflects it by saying he didn't hold a grudge against the last four people to assault him with nautical-themed weaponry, and he wasn't about to start now.
"I'm actually pretty new to Earth," Theraea said, drinking some coffee she managed to retrieve from her wrecked home. "Um, as I understand it, those corporations took over after Entity Prime - um - God visited everyone, and everything has been bad ever since then? There's still a lot of the old, um... the old heroes around, though! Mostly avoiding the corporations, of course."

Siiiip. Theraea's mouth was still terrifying, and she still didn't use it to talk. "So... um, you aren't alone! I think everyone's got your back."
Nocturne, La Chat, and Lady Light all stepped in to reaffirm that as well. They didn't hold any of what happened in Rainwalk against her. That was all Thiotza’ma's doing.

Eventually, after a fair bit of partying by a few members of the group, everybody did have to get going home. Goodbyes were said, hugs were had, and everybody cleared out on the provided dropships.

All in a day's work, it seemed like...

[Moving you all back to PMs!]
Outskirts of Los Angeles
September 4th, 2053


The crises really never stopped coming.

This one had started pretty explosively, as giant mega-skyscraper sized trees erupted out of the ground in major cities across the world. Everywhere from New York to Beijing to Cairo to Tokyo had been hit by these calamitous bits of foliage, and with them came toxic pollen that mutated the animals and people within. Those that were mutated lost their minds, becoming horrifying zombies hellbent on tearing apart the unmutated. In addition, there were reports of underwater megakaiju tearing apart ships and emerging onto land.

The largest of these trees was in Los Angeles, which Emily had helpfully pinpointed as the focal point of this crisis. Standing several times higher than the largest man-made building, this new tree had rapidly warped flora and fauna alike, turning the city into a battleground of man-eating plants and ravenous mutated animals. Candy and the Demon had done their best to fight the crisis, but had been forced back time and time again but impossible odds.

Now they were waiting on the city's outskirts as reinforcements arrived.

***

Several dropships touched down on a dry hill a few miles from the edge of Megacity Los Angeles. The blighted tree was visible in the distance, looming high above the city's walls and buildings. Candy and the Demon were waiting for them along with a scraggly band of ten resistance soldiers. They were all that was left of the city's resistance cell, having fought their way tooth-and-nail out of the murderous metropolis.

From the dropships emerged the heroes Nimue, Orla, Aura, Hackerman, Harpwn, Gullgirl, Folly, Bloodsport, and Lady Light (descriptions of NPCs in the spoiler).

The land between their landing site and the city was constantly shifting and warping, as if the very ground was alive and looking to tear them apart. In addition, a dense web of living and murderous foliage had come to shroud the skyscrapers of LA, making an aerial insertion impossible. The only real option was an overland assault, but the wisdom of that was up for debate.

"Put these on," the Demon said, putting a sack on the ground and pulling out enchanted gas masks. "There's a lot of mutagenic pollen in the city. These'll keep you safe."

SpoilerShow
Nimue emerges from her dropship with a relatively new get-up -- new to everyone but Orla, that is. Her armor is less... refined, less protective, and less custom-made than what she once wore, but she doesn't look like she's got much mourning to do over it. The sword which crosses her back is somewhat thicker than the old one, and the spear that accompanies it is a nice new addition. She's also clearly been training a decent bit - she's grown leaner and more toned since last time.

She tries to keep herself steely and casual-looking behind her domino mask, but there's no hiding the wince that crosses her face upon seeing the Demon. She thought she'd steeled herself for Lizzy's return to her life, but now that she's actually there, she can't stop a couple of the stitches she'd sewn across her emotions from popping.

Still, this is no time for drama, hurt feelings, or personal issues. There's a world to save.

She accepts the gas mask and offers a nod to her fellow heroes. "Nice t'see you, Aura. Been a while. Lady Light, hope you've been treatin' yourself right-- and Orla! Long time no see." She offers the girl a grin and a wink. "Good t'meet the rest of you, and good t'meet you again to those I already met but never really got in it with. Right, t'business: We got any idea what the connection between these trees and the giant monsters is?"
A subtle humming fills the air, and a pitch black line draws itself horizontally through the air, ten feet up and about six feet across. Space distorts around the line as it extends downward to the ground, forming a large, nearly two-dimensional doorway, and the humming increases in volume as someone steps through! The door evaporates as quickly as it appeared, and left standing there is everyone's favorite nine-foot moth lady, Theraea.

Well. "Everyone's favorite" is dubious, but she's here.

She's still rocking her altered color scheme from the last major crisis, a lot more purple and black than before, but what's new is the suit of gleaming plate armor she wears, obviously enchanted and perfectly fitted to her unorthodox anatomy. Her usual array of alien technology is present (save for the extradimensional cube she used to live in before some misfortune with an Abyss Meteor), and she looks as cheery as ever.

She stands staring up at the giant tree, antennae buzzing now and then. "Wow, that's... Huh. I thought Earth would be getting a break by now. Good thing I didn't leave yet."
A look of small relief came over Candy when she saw new and old super friends hop out of the airship, only given away by a slight drop in her shoulders. She walked over to them but it seemed she was a bit jumpy. She was keeping her eyes more on the ground then making eye contact.

"You guys don't even know how happy I am to see all of you." She said, with a noticeable rasp in her voice. It seemed pretty raw at the moment.

That wasn't the only thing haggard about her. Her hair and eye color have turned into the greens and grays and browns of the place adapting to a sort of camo. Her suit was also this way, but it was a bit more damaged, the colors not being to keep hold for very long before glitching. In fact all of her equipment seems worse for wear and some of it has been replaced with more enchantments. She has a few bandages on her and medigel applications but it seems nothing has affected her mobility.

"We can give you all the info we can. I hate to say it though but it isn't much. The foliage and fauna only get worse as we got closer to the tree and any drones or reconnaissance I sent in only got destroyed. This is real bad guys."
Some guy walked up out of the hills behind...... the hill behind LA. Dressed in dusty leather, mid twenties, dark skin and a rude little smile, literally just some dude. Stumbled and jumped were more accurate descriptions, given the seismic issues surrounding the wall, but he didn't seem much bothered by it. No Drama, no angst, nothing but the confidence to just walk in on this.

"HEY! You guys heading in for a little slash n burn or- oh you look like shit- tappin' out?" He asked, offering Punished Candy a cigarette from his jacket pocket.
Orla popped out of the ship. Puberty alone could DEFINITELY not alone explain the rapid change in her since the last time she'd met a bunch of heroes at once. An extra foot and a bit. Muscles, lithe, a build that screamed elegant swift power, that fit the set of gleaming amazonian armour, the short sword at her hip, a spear that caught the light with magic and craftsmanship and a bronze-coloured shield over an arm. It was slightly off by the still chipper face. Despite the life behind it, there was a small, youthful smile still behind the mass of freckles and ginger frizz as she looked to Nimue, away from all the... off, world's kinda messed up.

"Good to see you again so soon Nimue. Shame about the context."

She gave a wider grin and enthusiastic wave at the others, especially those familiar from about a year or so ago, which was a good amount of them. Wow, good job guys surviving this dangerous career.
Hackerman comes in. His clothes are a platonic ideal between punk and schlubby. His physical appearance looks the same, being a pale-skinned and bleach-haired supersoldier meant he has a timeless, almost static quality to him. However, his mien was more confident and perhaps a little more arrogant. He also had a flamethrower.

He wasn't good at firearms but he just like having a flamethrower.

Polybius peels behind him. It was obvious she was a new model but a bunch of non-environmental-friendly vinyl stickers aged her appearance immensely.

She also had tiny flamethrowers.

"Hello, gamers." Hackerman greets, he takes a mask. "I guess we're together for one last salvo? Against plantkind, that is."
"Good to see you too, Nimue!" Lady Light said, sounding like she was smiling as she gave her an excited wave. "And Orla! And Aura! And Hackerman! And Theraea! And...it's just great to see all of you again! I wish it were under better circumstances, but we're going to get through this."

Gullgirl gave Theraea a friendly nod, while Harpwn took a look at Ken's aesthetic.

"Dude. LOVE the style," he said, as a variety of hologram pogging faces exploded out of his armor. He strummed his harp and the word "A E S T H E T I C" popped up between them.

Meanwhile, Folly simply crossed her arms and waited patiently while Bloodsport sat down on a rock and started sharpening his weapons.

The Demon glanced back at the city, then at the group again.

"So aerial insertion isn't an option anymore. The tree and the foliage are just too dangerous from the air. I've seen them destroy helicopters, drones, and whatever else with acidic pollen. Lady Light and Gullgirl might be able to survive it, but our resistance dropships wouldn't and I'd prefer not to send anybody off alone. We'll need to go overland, and either bust part of the wall down or go through the sewers," the Demon told them. "There's a whole lot of mutants in there, and just about all of them will want to rip us to shreds. Make any preparations you need, and if any of you want some particular enchanted gear feel free to ask. I have some supplies, and I work quick."
Theraea approached the rest of the group, giving everyone a big wave. A very big wave.

"Good to see you all! Um, even those of you I haven't met?" Theraea took a glance at the leather jacket guy. Who even is that? "So, um, this looks bad. I could... try to find some explosives to breach the wall, if we need that? It might be safer than taking the sewers. Um. Might be. Monster-filled tunnels don't usually go very well."

Theraea, in lieu of an enchanted mask, began adjusting her own personal protections to account for mutagenic spores and the like. There was no way a gas mask was fitting correctly over her face.
Orla glanced around, no one else gonna ask the question as she pulled on her mask.

"To check, because, we live in a world of monsters and magic and mutants already. These are tree-related monsters in the sewers trying to kill us, not like, native ones, right?" She sounded like she was trying very hard to be confident that her question wasn't stupid.
Candy blinks at the guy offering her a cigarette and holds up her hand. "Thank you for the offer, but I don't smoke. If you got some hard Liquor on you I would take that though. Because yeah, very much through the ringer and we haven't even really started yet."

She looks toward the group and nods. "I also vote for not sewers if that's possible."
"Yeah, Harpwn. My fellow cool dude! And yeah, I would vote for something that isn't sewers. Don't want to have a repeat of last time, eh?"
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