|When Giant Ants Attack!|
|What: Giant ants attack, and it's up to Rain, Laser, and the Phantom to stop them! While Lois Lane screams and nearly gets splatted.|
It's mid-afternoon, and Metropolis is humming along like normal. The low crime rates, the high tech, clean cars, the happy people - there's a reason Metro has been experience a huge influx of new residences. It's a great place to live! Especially today. The sun is out after a noon-time thunder storm which broke the east coast humidity, and the air absolutely sparkles. Could this day get any more perfect?
Aloke sure doesn't think so. He promised Lois Lane that paperwork from his interview with her, and honestly, with the art professor's computer skills, compared to his new abilities, it's faster to just fly the copy to her himself. And this time, he gets the timing better. He sets up a time to meet Lois, and leaves just a few minutes early, so he won't have to wander around looking for her again. He was so embarrassed! When he finally approaches the roof of the Daily Planet, he slows, and comes to a landing right near Lois, his ordinary street clothes flapping in the wind. He really needs some tights!
"Nice to see you again, Ms. Lane. Thanks again for meeting with me, and for that article. It give me hope that there are some in media with heart after all." It's such a beautiful day too. The kind of day where bluebirds land on kindly old men's shoulders and twitter away happily. What could possibly go wrong?
Lois made sure to get up to the roof EARLY this time. Silly Laser lights moving at, well, light speed. Her violet eyes dance as she sees the normal looking man flying toward her. A chuckle drifts free. "My pleasure, Mr. Suresh. Or Laser? You really should think about some tights," she quips at him, before her smile goes prideful. "My pleasure, Mr. Suresh, but don't thank me yet. It's not fully written yet. What did you manage to get for me? NYPD's a little reluctant to hand over info to a Metropolis paper."
A grand city, Metropolis. The kind of place most people want to live. The kind of place the Phantom doesn't get to very often. On the other hand, he was in the area anyway, dealing with carjackers. He'd ridden Hero after the pair and got them to stop with the classic "jump on the roof of the car and sock the driver through the window" technique. Works every time.
At the moment, he's standing next to Hero with Devil standing next to him, telling the police officer everything. "...you'll find the unfortunate woman about four blocks back that way," he says, turning to motion back down the street. "I'm sure she'll be pleased that her assailants didn't manage to get too far. And without a mark on the car, either." That's said with a grin; the old Buick is a beaut. He'd really have hated if the carjackers had scratched the thing. He also ignores the way the police officer, and pedestrians for that matter, stare at Devil. Not many people see wolves this close, but Devil is used to the attention, so just looks up to the officer pleasantly.
Rain is down below. What the heck is she even doing here? This place is positively mind boggling. But a lot of things are anymore, and it feels strange not to have the shadowy sections with masses of homeless sorts where she melds in a lot better. Regardless, with SUN and such, her hat at least keeps the sun off her face, even if she gets a few odd looks. Lost LARPer maybe? Goth katana kid? Stage coach robber? Who knows? Although, after awhile, Rain looks sweatier than a houseplant at a pyromaniac's convention. She takes the jacket off, revealing the frilly shirt of PIRATE POWEEEEEEEER (More frills=more power). Trundling along, she seems to be looking for a snow cone vendor or - is that... Phantom ? And Devil! WOLFIE! She smiles and meanders over, waiting until he's done with the officer. And as a bonus, the pigeons here don't carry knives or shoot fire.
The Metro police officer seems to be riding the delicate balance of appreciation and being stared at by a /wolf/. He gets Phantom's statement as quickly as possible, mumbles something about city's leash law, but doesn't really seem interested in pursuing the issue any further as he hurries down the street to take the lady's statement as well.
Meanwhile, up on the roof, Laser beams at Lois' use of his 'stage name', almost a little sheepishly, but he can't really hide it. He /likes/ his new powers. He reaches into his jacket and produces a photocopy of a NYPD incident report. "Well, I found this. This is a copy of the actual document on file at NYPD. And since that's my signature at the bottom, I believe I'm entitled to share this with whomever I like." He grins, his trademark Polite Rebelliousness showing through.
Gosh, what a pretty day.
"Your file, your call, Mr. Suresh. Thank you. I'm sure I can flesh this out and get it in for tomorrow's deadline. Don't know how long that might take without a good push, but the story'll be in, at the very least," Lois says to him, violet eyes scanning the report with the ease of someone who reads police reports often.
While the Phantom is finishing giving his report to the police officer, Devil's ears suddenly prick, and he starts sniffing the air. He'd recognize that scent anywhere. Getting to his feet he turns and heads straight for Rain at a trot, a slow but friendly wag to his tail and a canine grin on his muzzle. Naturally, he aims right for her hand, to get scritchings. She's a good scritcher, and he's an attention-hound when he's not "on-duty".
"So that's everything?" asks the Phantom of the officer, and when the young man says it is and hurries off, the costumed one chuckles. Ah, well. He's a good one; the Phantom is a good judge of character, so he won't hold the reticence about being around Devil against him. "One of these days we'll--" he says as he looks down to Devil, cutting himself off when he sees that the wolf isn't /there/. Arching a brow, he turns and--ah, he should have known. Another grin and he takes Hero's reins to lead her over toward Rain and Devil.
"I should have known the mutt would wander off when you're around," he says with a pleased smile. He's genuinely happy to see the young woman. "Let me guess, surprise meetings are another thing you can manage with your bag of tricks?" That bit of humor is given with a lift of both brows, as he extends his hand to her for one of his firm handshakes.
To be fair, one tends to be polite when you never know who shoots eye lasers. Or worse. Rain grins, as Devil's ears perk and he heads her way. She bends a little to hold her hand out and give him some scritches. She's such an enabler, for shame. But what a cute nose! Cute earses! She happily obliges, smiling faintly. She looks up as the cop wanders off.
"Sorry," She looks apologetic for a moment. "I'm totally enabling him right now..." But humanity has a weakness for fuzzy critters and Rain is no exception. "How are you? Busy as usual?" She peers over towards the cops going away. A pause at his question. She goes quiet, thinking. "Um. No. That would be an interesting one. I felt like exploring today. It feels different here." She looks around. Then a smile and she accepts his hand and handshake. She's awkward, as always, but a quieter sort of awkward at least.
There are even fuzzy animals about! People on horseback, wolves getting quality scritches, and traffic moving about normally. That is, until very softly at first, more felt than heard, a rumble begins. Those on the ground, and sensitive to Things, would notice it first, probably the wolf and horse before anyone, but within a few seconds of the sounds becoming actually audible, the fire hydrant across the street from the Daily Planet, and coincidentally, Rain and the Phantom, bends, and then with the sound of tearing metal, breaks off, and shoots across the street to embed itself in the Daily's facade. The sidewalk around the hydrant has buckled, and collapsed amid the arcing jet of water, leaving a hole about ten feet across.
Emerging from that hole are a number of ants. Ants? you say. Yes indeed. Ants. Ants the size of Great Danes, carrying crates that look to be proportionally heavy to what an ant that size could carry. Crates which bear the crest of the Metropolis Gold Depository. Hey, those ants are stealing the gold! Wait, why would ants want gold?
Up above, on the roof, the rumble and hydrant-pop are eventually heard, as the Planet sways gently, as it's meant to do in the case of high winds or earthquake. Laser's eyes go wide, and glow brightly as he checks to make sure Lois is alright. "Holy crow, what was that?"
Being just a reporter, with her nose in a police report, Lois is clueless up until the point the Planet building sways. In her three inch heels, she stumbles, hands reaching out to steady herself on whatever it is she can steady herself upon. Unfortunately for the Danger Magnet that is Lois Lane, this means the rooftop edge and with the swaying building and her desire to keep that report safe, down she goes. Cue the classic Lois Lane Scream of Super Hero Summoning. She falls a full story before she plops into a window washer's cart. The sudden extra weight causes a line to snap, and Lois is sent sliding off the edge where she catches onto a bar and shrieks again.
Damn it. There goes another shoe!
"You can say that again," says the Phantom rather agreeably, looking around a moment before looking back to Rain. Definitely a lot different than Manhattan, where people ignore you or Gotham, where even the pigeons are armed." A beat as he reaches up to rub Hero's jaw, then he says, "And I'm not much busier--" Devil and hero suddenly get his attention. Hero starts whinnying and jerking, trying to get herself and the Phantom out of there, and Devil's hackles raise. He starts nudging against Rain, to get her to move, though he keeps his eyes on the source of the disturbance.
The Phantom is on alert instantly; Hero and Devil both don't do this sort of thing without cause, and he's looking around, trying to see what Devil and Hero sense--when suddenly the fire hydrant explodes. Without thinking, the Phantom goes to grab Rain by the lapels and take her into a crouch, protecting her with his body.
Devil growls at the humongous ants that come pouring out, lowering himself a little, as Hero starts whinnying louder, to get her rider the heck out of here.
Hee. Rain smiles up to the Phantom and nods. She seems happy to see him and the critters. There's a pause as Devil's hackle's rise. She looks to the wolf and lets herself get nudged a bit. "Hey, it's o--" Whoa nelly. Her eyes widen a bit as the fire hydrant explodes. She eeps as she's grabbed by the lapels and suddenly crouching. "... we're gonna need a big can of Raid," She blushes as he protects her though. But she's distracted. Giant. ANTS. The scream, if she can hear such, makes her hesitate.
And so begins the Running and the Screaming. Pedestrians are every which way. Cars slam into each and are abandoned, making more pedestrians competing in the Running and the Screaming games. And all the while, water sprays two-stories high, soaking the street and surrounding area.
As the heroes on the ground start to get a closer look at these ants, the perceptive ones may notice that the antennae of each ant sport an almost constant spark of blue electricity flowing in the gap between each pair. In general, the ants are dark red in color, exhibit the classic exoskeletal nature, and only about half of the ten or so that are visible so far are actually carrying crates. The others are threatening passersby, or shoving cars out of the way, and generally making a path for the stealers of the gold. While apparently very organized, they are not very careful in this task however, and people are getting knocked around and injured left and right.
"Lois!" When Laser sees Lois go over the edge, he zips into full speed. This is unfortunate. Laser never travels at his full speed because of the damage it does to his street clothes. Even having only travelled the short distance to Lois, he has blown right out of his jacket, the tatters of which are now drifting gently down to the street. His shirt is ruined as well, though the strips are still on him, and his jeans faired the best, becoming simple fringed cutoffs. Stylin, Laser.
Laser comes to a stop, hovering next to Lois. "Hang on to me!" he calls to her over all the commotion (and her screaming). Getting a grip on her, like a good solid hug, the remarkably average-sized man berates himself for not hitting the gym more. This sort of thing is /bound/ to happen! He might not be able to take them far, but he can at least lower the both of them to the ground. They descend perhaps a bit faster than would be ideal, especially with Lois half barefoot, but they can at least avoid any broken bones. They find themselves on the sidewalk, right near Rain and the Phantom. Laser pants and puts his hands on his knees from the effort. No offense Lois! He's just scrawny.
No need to ask Lois to hang on twice! As soon as Laser has his arms around her, the reporter drops both arms about her rescuer. Seems as if the reporter's used to being flown about, for she holds her own body weight with her arms, and gets her body pressed in tight to minimize wind sheer and up-skirt shots. This while looking down and what the heck, are those ANTS?! Once set upon the ground, Lois wastes no time, patting Laser on the back.
"Rest later. I didn't see Big, Blue, and Super, so you're it buddy. Look lively," Lois says to the tatters street clothes hero, violet eyes on the ants across the street.
Slowly, Phantom rises to his feet, keeping a hand on Rain's shoulder protectively but otherwise not really stopping her from standing up, either. "...holy cow," he mutters at the sight of the ants, but then his attention is caught by the man holding the woman and floating to the ground. He gives them a quick once-over; the man seems fine, and the woman seems to be a civilian. Alright.
"Rain and you, sir, I'm going to create a distraction. Do what you can to stop the workers while I try to distract the guardians, there," he says to Rain and Laser, then looks to Lois. "Ma'am," he starts as he beckons Hero over, "Hero here will take you to safety; she won't take you far, but she'll keep you out of danger." With that, he looks to Devil. "Make sure she gets to safety," he tells the wolf, then turns to race off right at the ants. A part of him doesn't really mean to take charge without asking like that, but this isn't a situation where they can really afford to spend time sitting around seeing who can do what and what they should do.
While Devil looks up at Lois expectantly, the Phantom pulls out his gun and fires--though not at the ants directly. At their feet and at the crates, the former to make them skitter, the latter to make the boxes' contents spill everywhere. It might just be enough to disturb the heck out of them and hopefully make their guards come after him--thus giving the others an opportunity to end this before someone gets hurt.
Rain will stand too, though does does seem to appreciate the hand resting on her shoulder. And a Phantom right there. She looks to him and frowns. "Just be careful. I'd be really said if you got pincered to death." And she totally would be. Really sad. Either way, it's ant blastin' time! She shifts back her shirt to get to her twin pistols. Rain has TWO guns. Though, she opted out of the wand club because a twelve inch wand will earn you no end of jokes. But she's not shooting, not yet. She's opting to use her relics to focus and stir up a breeze. Like a horrible kindergartener discovering a magnifying glass, she'll try to use a gust of wind to flip an ant over on his back, so he's nice and easy to hit. Wait. Or was that turtles and old people? Whichever.
Crackcrackcrack, the Phantom's gun shots ring out, eliciting shrieks from people all around. Fortunately, the police are still mobilizing a response, and the few on scene already are either focused on getting civvies to safety, or are familiar enough with the Phantom to not need to worry about it. Focusing on that smaller worker ant, his first couple shots easily weaken the clasps on the crate of gold on its back. His further shots succeed in severing two of the ant's front-right-hand legs, causing it to stumble under it's great weight! As it crashes into the ground, the impact causes the crate to shatter completely, spilling Styrofoam and gold bullion all over the street.
As the smaller ant struggles to stand missing a significant percentage of legs, two very big guardian ants turn to face the Phantom. Success! Everything the Phantom ever wanted. As they turn, the arcs of electricity between their antennae brighten, and make a crackling sound as they intensify. Their heads follow the Phantom's running movement, and just as the crackling sound crests in volume, Rain's wind stirs up and flips one of the guardians tracking the Phantom into its partner! The one left standing stumbles from the weight of the impact, and the bolt of electricity it sends from its antennae goes wide, arcing into a nearby car as the Phantom runs past, near enough to smell the ozone. Electricity grounds out through the puddles of water all around as the waterline continues to spray.
"Holy crap!" Laser yells as he shoots into the air, about thirty feet above the street. A couple of the other guardians track him as well, and fire their antning bolts at him, which he is just barely able to avoid. Swooping around, he makes a finger-gun with each hand and fires continuous beams at the two tracking him. The beams lock on to their heads, and for a second, it looks like the bright beams of light won't do anything to them, but after another heart beat, they punch through and reach concrete on the other side.
"Nooo," comes an anguished cry from back over by the hole in the ground. "My GOLD!" A burly man has emerged from the hole behind the ants. He has crafted armor from an ant carapace into a rough man-shape, including a hollowed out ant head for a helmet. It's antennae are not sparking at all. But he does have some kind of computer device strapped to him though, giving him an electronic cuff that covers most of his left forearm. He taps something on the device and screams like a madman at the ants. "Kill them, my babies! KILL THEM ALL!" Even the worker ants come about at this command, swinging their heads back and forth to see the attackers.
With the wolf whining at her and the horse being told to take her away Lois does what Lois does best. "Oh, I don't think so," is quipped in reply, her other shoe taken off. She does, however, move to duck behind something, but the reporter is staying near the scene and pulling out her trusty sPhone. Time to snap some pictures. Dammit! Where's Jimmy when you /really/ need him?
...at least he's proving to be a very effective distraction. When he realizes what that sound might mean, the Phantom leaps out of the way just as the one fires that weird lightning-bolt-thing. He rolls and comes up running again. "Jeeze Louise," he mutters, then puts it out of his mind. No time to really worry about it, though. He'll run right to the nearest guardian as he shoves his gun back in its holster. He'll purposefully get close enough to let it try and snap at him, but mainly so he can use that one's head as a stepping stool, to launch himself up and over. A somersault, then he aims for the next guardian, to bring his feet down right on it and squish it.
As for Devil, when the woman blows him off, he emits a soft groan, but dutifully follows her to her hiding spot. He'll sit right by her, too, focused on the others dealing with the ants.
Yeow! Rain's eyes widen at the ant trying to zot the Phantom. She looks relieved as the Phantom does not actually zot and - is he trying to step on a giant ant? He is. He's really freaking riding a giant and and going to step on it. One eye is wide, the other a little narrowed in a goggled sort of expression. And she thought college was surreal. Well. No time to think about it. She shakes her urge to watch the Bug Stomp Rodeo and quietly unholsters her two pistols. For now, she'll try shooting one of the ones nearby, and stay a bit away from Lois' hiding spot. Wouldn't want to draw attention! Shoot right between um... the eyes? Antenna? Tough choice.
Luckily Lois is able to find an old Buick to hide behind. Sturdy. Solid. Recently carjacked. Sorry lady. But at least it serves Lois' purposes for now! We'll check in here in a minute.
The ants, and Terminex, apparently their master, all seem surprised by the purple man's charge. Caught off guard, the springboard ant is only /just able/ to move his sparking antennae into the Phantom's path. His boot is seared, but no actual electricity is delivered. Close call! The Phantom's landing pad is not so lucky, it seems. His momentum carries solidly onto the other guardian, smashing it's thorax under his feet, covering his boots in goo. Goo! It's head is still twitching, but the arc welder on it's head has been reduced to just a pair of sparklers.
Meanwhile, Phantom's spring board ant has turned in indignation, intending to restore it's lost honor by mauling the Phantom with its mandibles. The plan is ruined by a sudden blamblamblam. Ok, so it wasn't technically the loud noise that cause the ant's death, but it /was/ the noisy bullets Rain just fired. Same result. It's head explodes in a sparking mess, right behind the Phantom. More goo. Also, when it explodes, it provides a powerful concussive force, possibly pushing the Phantom off balance, and also blows out most of the car windows in the street, showing glass down onto Lois.
Laser, still hovering over head cheers his encouragement! He's never met the purple wonder before, but he definitely met that girl packing iron down there, and both of them were kicking ass and taking names. Four big guardian ants were down! Laser sights down his finger-ray-guns again, bringing the last guardian, and one of the workers into view. Pew, and pew. And yes, he blows on his fingers afterward.
Our heroes are faced with one worker ant missing two legs, literally buried under a ton of bricks. Ok, so they're gold bricks, so what? They're still bricks. Anyway, they are ALSO facing Terminex, the man with the plan, and a device that allows him to mutate and control giant ants! Funny enough - turns out it's not just ants. Apparently he spies what he wants and points his fist at it, reaching for a button on his wrist array. A green beam shoots out and hits what was originally a normal mosquito, but is now a horrifying, dog sized, flying monster. Laser makes a noise, up in the air. It's not a happy noise. It also could not be broadcast on prime time television.
Behind the Buick, Lois brings her arms up, police report acting as a bit of a shield, against the glass bits showering down upon her. When the wolf grabs the back of her blazer and begins the pull, however, the reporter pulls a move she saw someone else pull: slip out of jacket! Sadly, Robin's /way/ cooler at it than Lois is, especially since Lois is still trying to keep a death grip on her police report. Thus, the Daily Planet Report ends up all but face-planting on the sidewalk, turned on her hip, playing at tug of war against the wolf.
"Let go, you horrible, flea-bitten..." Lois no like dogs, apparently. She even bats at it with the police report, but not so hard as to damage the paper.
At least she's out of the way of the glass. Devil isn't so lucky; he got showered with it, and more than a few stick in his pelt. A good few shards made it through the fur thanks to the force of the blast and have embedded themselves within his flesh. He whines softly after letting Lois' coat go, not exactly liking being smacked by someone he saved, and shaking himself to try and get the glass out. Naturally, it doesn't work.
The Phantom gets shoved right over from the force of the explosion, and it's all he can do to roll safely while keeping his head protected. When the blast fades and he can get to his feet, he dusts himself off and looks at the apparent master of these unfortunate creatures. And he's enslaved another one. From what he's seen so far, he thinks he might be the best shot--at least, with bullets that don't make everything explode. Whipping out his gun, he takes careful aim at the man, taking the time to line up his shot--then BLAM! He's aiming right at that wrist-array. He'll probably take out the man's wrist as a whole, but somehow the Phantom doesn't feel too bad about that.
Aww, poor Devil. But Rain is a huge sucker for fuzzy things. Rain is nearly knocked off her feet by the explosion, flailing. So much for that western suave. Mysterious gunslinger actually kind of a spazz. She can see it all in the headlines now. But yeah, it's girly scream time. "Hate mosquitoes. They're nature's little douchebags." And they are, really. What purpose do they serve beyond spreading disease, irritating people and picking off the herd? None. Jerks. Laser gets a faintly impressed look. An amused one at the pewpew. Why not? But either way, Rain decides to pick off the mosquito if she can. She's opting to use ordinary gunfire for now, as her magic is sort of -slow-.
Yes, at close range, Terminex's hand never stood a chance. The Phantom's heavy caliber round rips through his computer and wrist, to exit the other side. The computer dies in a shower of sparks, and Termie hugs his wrist to his chest, moaning. "Get them, GET them..." but the fight has mostly gone out of him at this point. Getting shot hurts! A LOT. The ants as such, not a hostile species away from an actual mound, turn docile, and begin to poke around dumbly for pheromone trails to follow home. They begin to crawl around on cars, exploring. Two of them are still carrying crates of gold, they're just not going anywhere particular at the moment.
The mosquito on the other hand, has always existed to suck blood. Until recently, it was hampered in that mission by having a very small stomach. Suddenly, it was big, and ravenous, and the last command it received was to attack that delicious looking Indian-American floating up in the air there. With a shockingly loud buzz, it arrows towards the man.
Things were going so well. Laser is still new to all of this, but from up here in the air, the ants look sort of normal again, and he's Away From it All. He's been taking out far-away-ants left and right, easy peasy! Until things suddenly get real. When the big ant's head explodes, he doesn't really get any debris, but the noise, and the glass shattering all key in to one single fact - Aloke Suresh was never trained for this. It rushes back to him. <What am I even doing out here? I'm just a divorced art teacher playing at superhero... This is madness!> Aloke freezes, hovering in the air, suddenly terrified of the battle raging below. The calm, finger-shooting Laser is gone, replaced with Aloke, staring down the barrel of a Mozzie '45.
Lucky for Aloke, Rain is on the job. It takes three shots, the thing is moving so fast, but the third one finally takes it down, sending the thing spinning to splat on the pavement below. Aloke takes a shuddering breath, and his eyes refocus on the hear and now. He offers Rain a weak smile, and a thumbs up by way of a thank you.
Free from the dog, Lois pushes herself up only to find herself face to face with a giant ant. She does what any red-blooded tough-as-nails American girl would do: Lois shrieks like a little girl, pulls her report into her chest, and backs AWAY from the bug, slinking along the side of the car. Three steps are taken, and the mosquito bomb drops right behind her, nearly denting that sweet Buick. Lois bumps right into it, and shrieks again. Disney Princess surrounded by uggy buggies! Help!
So taken up by the glass that refuses to be shaken out, Devil doesn't immediately notice the reporter getting to her feet. Her scream, however, is rather a clue, and he focuses on her again, ears pricking. When the giant mosquito lands in a heap behind her, he growls at it and races forward to attack it--only to find it's dead. Well, that was easy. He looks up to the reporter and studies her, as if trying to figure out how to get her to stop freaking out.
The moment the wrist device explodes, the Phantom is running, holstering his weapon as he races to the jerk who started all of this. He leaps a worker ant as he goes, content to leave it alone for the moment. "Leave the workers alone!" he shouts as he runs. "They're harmless now!" He's had to kill one of these innocent creatures to save more lives, and he's not happy about that--but he won't do it when they aren't attacking anyone. He'll race right at the man--and without stopping, go to sock the jerk right in the jaw with his right hand--the one with the Bad Mark ring on it. The concoction of berry juices the ring is often dipped into will mean an indelible skull mark will be left on the man's face, if he connects, marking him forever as a man who crossed the Phantom.
Poor doggy. Poor Lois. Rain looks relieved as the ants start looking chill and meandering. Well, that's good. And the mosquito - such as she is, is now an ex mosquito, pining for warm campgrounds full of people in shorts. There's relief as it splats just before making Aloke into a Slurpee. Phew. She smiles back and waves a hand. Carefully. She's holding guns and is not Yosemite Sam. And flailing guns is bad. She's hardly trained herself, but being homeless awhile, hanging out with magical beings and such - it'll sort of adjust one to it. There's a pause. "What should we do about the bugs?" She asks, perhaps noticing that the Phantom is about to punch the dude into next week, though she's approaching carefully. There's also an apologetic look to Lois. "Oh. Um. Sorry. It's dead." Honest.
That dumb, docile ant's antennae perk around at Lois' scream, and it trundles off of the car and onto the sidewalk, nosing around to try and find a scent to follow home, and seems to have found a liking for Lois' perfume. It's not sure what to do about the wolf following her around, but it's really too dumb to think through the process, or dangers. But on the bright side: Hey, Lois, that ant with a crate full of gold on it wants to follow you home!
Now, the rest of Terminex never stood a chance. He looks up, away from his wounded wrist, just in time for a Phantom knuckle sandwich. That ring is very definitely imprinted right onto Termi's cheek, right before his body goes limp, and he drops like a sack of potatoes, out for the count.
Laser drifts down to stand on the sidewalk next to the Phantom, looking over the knocked-out villain. He takes another shaky breath, nearly steady, nearly his old self again. "Wow, what a creep. Thanks for your help, sir." He turns to wave at Rain and Lois. "Hey you two! Looks like we're in the clear." He stops when Rain asks her very astute question. "Shoot, I dunno. I imagine the cops will have to put them down..." He shrugs, not sure what else to say.
First a dog, now an ant!? Lois doesn't see Rain's little wave, too busy freaking out about the ant! She sometimes gets ants in her apartment. Do not like them! They are stomped and sprayed with a vengence. This giant sugar ant looking thing? Yeah. Lois manages to get free of the mosquito, having to step toward Devil to do so, and she seeks to back away from the ant.
"Some help over here," calls out the reporter. Durn sweet perfumes! "Please!?"
Since the ant is just curious, Devil is obviously quite unsure what to do about it. It's not attacking, it's--not doing much of anything but following the reporter. The wolf looks over at the ant, then up at the reporter, then over to the ant. Cautiously he approaches the ant and barks at it, lightly nipping at it not to cause damage, but to let it focus on him for a moment--and create a small window for Lois to get around them both.
The Phantom looks down at the unconscious jerk, flexing his hand as he does so. Straight-up smacking someone is never exactly comfortable, no matter what you see in the movies. When Laser lands, he looks over to the man, and is about to respond when he hears Rain's question. "He might be right," he calls out, "but they might be able to be saved. There's not many of them left; let's see if we can herd them back down into the tunnel where they can be contained. Maybe they can be--put in a zoo or something." Not that he really endorses zoos, as such, but if the only alternative is killing them, he'll advocate it.
Yikes. Rain winces as the Phantom imprints his mark on the dude. All punchlike. She pauses as the ant starts to follow Lois. She kinda feels sorry for them both. It's not really the ant's fault, but on the other hand, he is an ant. She tries not to look amused at Devil and the Ant. She looks thoughtful. "Well, containing them might work. At least then they'd be put down humanely. Ant or not..." She figures fair's fair. And there is a reason Boxer's Knuckles are totally a thing. Owch. "Here buggy buggy?" Pause. "... I have some candy. Do ants like candy...?" She furrows her brows, and rubs the back of her head. She holsters her pistols and slips her shirt back over them. Well. She was going to eat this later, but why not? "Um, here buggy. Candy?" Right? She unwraps the candy bar and sets it down. Ants like chocolate right? Rain: Ant Herder Extraordinaire? At least it'd get it away from Lois.
The ant jerks and backs quickly away from the wolf, scraping against the wall hard enough that the ropes holding the crate on snap away. The crate slides slowly over to lean against the wall, and eventually clunks onto the ground as the ant continues to move away from all this commotion. It gets turned around, and in a glowing halo of scent and pheromone is a two-legged goddess offering it the holiest of holies: SUGAR! The ant trundles on, following Rain wherever she goes. It's not aggressive enough to just take it, but she definitely has its attention. Oh, and the other two as well. Have fun! Lucky for everyone's Hard Decisions fatigue, the one missing two legs has expired quietly on his own.
Laser nods, and then points at the ants following Rain. "Well, looks like we got that part taken care of!" He smiles broadly, pretty much himself again after being so shook up. He looks around too when he hears the sirens turning onto this street, and a number of officers getting out of their cars, looking pretty astounded.
"Hey," the officers say as they approach the scene, "That's the Phantom!" And another, "And the Laser!" Laser scowls. It's just 'Laser'. But he doesn't correct them. "And is that Lois Lane over there?" They're far enough away, and the scene is enough of a mess, that anyone else who wouldn't be crazy about being spotted could probably slip away pretty easy.
A breath is given as the ant moves away from her, and when her name is called out Lois pulls up that tough-as-nails exterior with a defiant lift of her chin. Of course, it's Lois Lane! Don't you guys see the Daily Planet building right behind her?! Moving out into the fray of the area, Lois trades phone for pen and clicks on the recording end, moving toward the heroes she doesn't know yet to see about getting names. If allowed, she'll try for a brief interview, before moving to collect information from the innocent bystanders. She knows the cops are going to want a statement from her, and if she can offer them some tidbits on which of the other civvies can give up the goods as well, they'll be more willing to give her something else she needs for a different story later.
When the ant trudges off after the candy, Devil looks positively relieved. It's over, and that means he doesn't have to worry about protecting the reporter anymore. As she leaves, so does he, walking uneasily toward the Phantom. He looks like he wants nothing more than to go the heck home.
Speaking of the Phantom, right then, he doesn't care too much about being spotted. It's the ants he's worried about. They're innocent in all of this. "Officers!" he calls out as he approaches them--and sees the ant that Rain attracted. He'll jog over to it, bending over to slip an arm around it as he picks up the chocolate bar with his other hand. "Officers, you can just pick them up like this, so we can get them corralled and hopefully sent to a zoo or some such." He shows them how he's got his arm under the creature's abdomen between its legs, keeping well out of range of the thing's pincers or clawed feet. He'll also hand-feed the thing, breaking off a bit of the candy bar and trying to get the creature to take it.
See. Rain was somewhat thoughtful in sacrificing a snack. She's likely going to do her best to slip away. Being homeless (well, what passes for homeless legally. Again, LokiLand doesn't really count as an address to mortal legal offices, much as she seems to like her new home) and drawing police attention would likely go pretty badly. Either way, there's a little wave and she'll resume attempting Epic Apprentice Maneuver. It's just like the ninja one, except she has no smoke bomb, so um, run away!
Metro cops definitely know Lois, and don't approach her first. Sometimes bystanders tell her things that they 'forget' when the cops get around to them. As a matter of fact, bystanders are telling Lois all kinds of interesting things. The only problem is that most of the reports directly conflict with what Lois witnessed to be true herself. Most of the boys in blue fan out and start taking eye witness testimony as well though, while one man in a shirt and tie, wearing a badge that says 'Detective Breaker' clipped to his belt, approaches Laser and the Phantom, the two most colorful figures here. Laser in his tattered clothes and his eyes glowing like crazy. And the Phantom. Purple.
Speaking of Laser, he follows along as the Phantom heads off, and the detective picks his way through the wreckage. He does as the Phantom demonstrates, and leads one of the three over to where Purple is feeding one happy ant. When Laser gets his in the vicinity, he takes a moment to turn to the Phantom and extend his hand. He has no idea he met Kit the other day! "Hey, I'm Laser. Nice work, man."
In all of the hullabaloo, the scruffy, 'homeless' girl makes a clean getaway!
Annoyed at the conflicting stories, but smiling through it professionally, Lois thanks each 'eye witness' in turn. The only time that smile slips is when she encounters someone starting to bash on any of the heroes that were on the scene. With sharply narrowed eyes, Lois lays into the poor man the only way she knows how: with a very sharply worded question that leaves the man doubting both himself and his own take on things. Especially since he gave the Planet's premier investigative reporter his full name. Flicking a lock of hair over her shoulder as she turns away from him, Lois moves to find someone else to talk to.
"Detective Breaker, good to see you again," Lois calls out to the Detective, hoping to get in and spare the newblet hero.
When he's approached, the Phantom gives Laser an arched brow and a grin. Kind of has his hands full--literally. "Phantom," he says by way of introduction. "And your help was much appreciated. It was too close to these things getting out of control. Now we just have to get these things someplace where they'll be safe, with the help of the police, here." A nod toward the Detective--who's being sidetracked. He's about to go right to the man and see about getting his help on getting things more locked down when Devil ambles up to him, and he reaches down to scritch a single finger behind the wolf's ear. "It's okay, Devil; we'll get you taken care of soon." The wolf just groans softly as he eases to a sitting position.
All good! Rain might thank Lois sometime if they ever run into one another. Fortunately, cop dodging is an art and she's gone like the good donuts at work in minutes.
"Well, you got here-" awfully fast, is what the detective was about to say, more out of habit than real suspicion. But a glance up at the DP building, and he swallows the rest of his quip. No good looking like a dummy in front of the reporter he's been hitting on for years now. Not like she'd ever go out with him. Never hurts to try though! Breaker offers an expressive smile, and nods as Lois approaches, watching from a distance as some of the boys in blue get lessons on ant-husbandry from the boy in purple. "I suppose you saw the whole thing, Ms Lane?"