|EVENT: OUTSIDERS: Quiddity 01|
|What: The Outsiders meet to discuss the weirdness that's been going on in NYC following: |
It's a sunny afternoon and there's some SRS BZNS on the table in the Outsiders Den. After having to rescue Anya from a mob, Sam called for anyone available to come down to the Den. Two rounds of something causing mobs to chase down mutant-types is not something Sam's about to let go even if the news hasn't covered it at all.
So, thanks to Twitter and text message, everyone's got the message and Sam's waiting in the Den with pizza, soda, and all the online news about the incidents he could find. He's even asked his Twitter followers for information - he has them now, thanks to Anya - but there's a lot of information to sort out. There's a couple couches down in the Den now, a low table... it's almost like people live here now.
Spider-Girl is... not herself. She's tucked into the corner of one of the couches and keeping her head down, quiet and withdrawn and paler than normal. The fresh bandaging visible through the tear in her uniform's shoulder is likely part of why. She has her phone in her hands but isn't actually paying any attention to it.
Laura's flopped out in a lazy and haphazard sprawl on the couch, stretched out on her back with one foot up on the arm and the other dangling off the front. She is, at least, barefoot, having probably had it indicated to her at some point that dirty boots shouldn't be on the couch. Her head is pillowed on Spider-Girl's leg to prop it up as a sort of silent company, and her thumbs tap away on a smartphone. What she's finding for herself to spend so much time messing with the thing for is anyone's guess. She certainly isn't the social media type.
"I still don't get the appeal," the be-masked and stylishly underdressed Aura's saying as she comes in, blanked-out mask eyes on the smartphone in her hands. Apparently magnetism lets you wander around without looking where you're going, and not bump into anything. "I mean, so I made an account, and I followed things with moderately relevant names, and all they ever transmit is complete crap. It's worse than a bad DJ's five-second samples!"
Voice isn't /quite/ heated, more like a combination of baffled and annoyed. She waves the phone around, finally looking up to see who she's actually talking at, and stops in her tracks, dismay flooding into her expression. "What the hell happened? Seriously." Of /course/ she was at the Rave.
The blue alien has arrived. He's rescued a coke from the fridge, and finds a place to settle down near the couch, on a chair of his own. He pops the top and occasionally tips it up in a pantomime of drinking, even though he's just dissolving it telepathically. The pantomime makes it less weird for everyone else, is all. But with everyone quiet and chill, he won't be the one to break it. He values meditation, after all. And then Aura comes in. He cocks his head, watching her, looking to the others, because they haven't met, but she obviously belongs here.
Spoiler got her hands on a purple backpack - albeit one with 'GOTHAM HIGH' stencilled on the top flap in blocky gold letters - to go with her t-shirt, cargo pants and domino mask. It's occupying the seat at the table next to her while she rests her head on the table and lazily watches and listens to the rest of her teammates. There's a plate piled high with pieces of crust from four or five slices of pizza right in front of her, and several empty cans of soda scattered around that.
"I /like/ some of that crap," she half-heartedly protests with a grimace.
"It's like information dumpster diving," Sam says absently. He's reading through said dumpster on his laptop and finally eating a piece of pizza that made its way into his mouth. He's not sure how it got there for the first bite but as soon as that was done, he was hungry. "You have to look for the good stuff. And you have to be smarter than I am, I think, but I'm doing okay. I found some photos. Is this all of us?" He stops and looks around the room. "Guess so. Do you wanna start, SG? Or me?"
Spider-Girl looks up when Aura asks the question, and it actually gets a laugh out of her. It's a tired one, but it /is/ a laugh. "I can manage," she asides towards Sam, before drawing in a deep breath and centering her thoughts. OKAY. Briefing time. She can do this. Totally.
"There's some kind of... some kind of /bullshit/ going on out there," Spider-Girl states bluntly, in her most professional and heroic tone. She gestures between herself and Sam. "He encountered it first, the other day. I did this morning. Angry mobs of people coming out of /nowhere/, targeting... well, me, in my case. Someone else, in his. Makin' people paranoid. Angry. Violent. He thinks it's a telepath being a problem, and I think that fits," she admits, scratching the side of her head. "I remember getting really paranoid out of nowhere, and then there were all these people trying to tear my head off. I wasn't even in costume. They weren't after Spider-Girl, they were after /me/."
As soon as something resembling a briefing starts, Laura makes two clicks of thumbs, sits up, and spins in place, ending up crosslegged and attentive on the couch, with the phone in her lap. Someone's trained her... strictly. She doesn't ask questions yet, either, waiting to hear more, but she does scowl.
"--/what/--" sputters Aura, /not/ not interrupting, because Laura's by far the more polite...? deferential? ...at least considerate. Then there's the unintentional visual comedy of the tall impossible-haired magnetokinetic talking while gesturing with one hand and absently trying to put her phone away with the other... when she doesn't have any pockets. "What were they saying? Were they accusing you of something or was it more like. Uh." Gesture-hand, waving vaguely in the air. "Quatermass and the Pit? Did you stay paranoid after they turned on you? Or did it stop once you were the designated target?" Abruptly she stops, shuts her mouth audibly. Pretends she's too cool to just have had an outburst. /Realizes what she's been doing with her phone./ ...clasps her hands behind her back.
Zen moves his chair over to the wall so he can take everyone in, but flips it around backwards, straddling it. He folds his arms across the back of the chair and rests his chin there too. |"Well, at least you weren't injured too badly. But yes, I'm eager to learn /how/ these people are being controlled. If it's a telepath, I'll be double annoyed. They make people fear people like me."|
Spoiler loosely wraps her arms around her aching tummy as she sits up and squints at the debriefing. She did sneak a peek at the new girl before settling on Anya, but the magnetokinetic and her phone seemed to be having something of a moment; focusing on freak acts of hatred and violence seemed /way/ better.
"Or else someone with, like, super-racism powers," she mutters to Zen. "That's... that's /possible/, right?"
"Yeah, I think that Governor Sometimes guy has them," Sam mutters. "If only someone could -prove- it." Seriously, who ditches their own kid? Sam has a few choice words to say about that -- and Ma would say 'em, too. "The other option is that someone's using some kind of tech to make people hate mutants and other 'different' people. I think we need to go back to both places and look, see if we can pick anything out."
"I don't think it stopped once I became the target," Spider-Girl replies to Aura, frowning and loosely curling her arms around herself. "But by then, I was kind of freaking out anyway. Which I do not normally do," she adds quickly, glancing askance at Laura. "It was just so /creepy/, and then they managed to screw up my stitches, and... I didn't really calm down all the way until we got back here," she admits, tipping her chin towards Sam.
Of course, then Sam mentions going /back/, and Spider-Girl's eyes slide right back to Laura. "As long as we don't go alone," she says reluctantly. "We need to back each other up. It's dangerous for everybody there, the mobs /and/ us." Potentially from both directions.
Laura listens, and her nose wrinkles in thought. Also her scowl deepens at Sam's mention of politics. Politics do not make sense to her. More like... anti-sense. Like it obliterates perfectly good sense in a mutual annihilation reaction and the energy released lays waste to the general vicinity. Which, some might say, means she understand politics better than most anyone.
Regardless, it's a distraction, and she peers at Anya. "Was anything else unusual?"
Folding herself into a tailor-style crosslegged perch on the edge of the couch opposite Anya's corner and trying not to in any way fall on Laura (because that would probably end as well as accidentally picking up an angry stoat /with your face/), Aura puts her knees on her elbows and her chin on her knuckles, still holding her phone. "The only problem with 'turning people against powered people' is how does anyone /tell/, if you look completely normal and aren't wearing a costume-shaped target or using your powers? Going on the theory it's a telepath, unless they've got a brain the size of the planet or they're John Travolta and going to die of a psychic cyst in a month, they'd need to be pretty close by in order to pick a target and then broadcast. And there'd be no sense in *also* making the /target/ paranoid unless the initial paranoia hit's part of the scan. Which at least might give us some kind of timeframe and range."
|"Yes, I agree with Cannonball,"| Zen says, thinking out loud, in everyone's heads.
|"And Spider-Girl. We need to investigate, and we need to cover each other. Also, as our resident telepath, I'll do my best, but I should warn you,"| Zen looks down. |"I am far from the skill of my masters. I'll do what I can."|
He turns to Anya. |"Spider-Girl, do you remember at any point having the sensation of your head being 'too full' or busy, or out of your control?"| He nods and points at Aura then. |"I couldn't agree more, unless they have some device that can detect mutations. Do mutated humans show any kind of genetic similarities?"|
"I kinda thought racists weren't really big on, like... logic." Spoiler tries to actually twist around and look Aurawards as she addresses the Raver, but it is, apparently, too much effort; by the time she gets that last word out, she's leaning forward to rest her brow on the table. "Besides, if someone was /making/ all those people go nuts, why not just... make 'em all go nuts? Just because? Not like anyone's gonna be all 'oh hey what if this girl we're all trying to kill /isn't/ a mutant?!' mid-riot." After a beat, she adds, "At least, /I/ probably wouldn't," quietly.
After another she thinks to add: "--not that I'm a racist or anything, I'm just--if I /was/."
"I agree that it's something weird going on and whoever it is must be pretty strong to be able to pull it off," Sam thinks back, drumming his fingers on the table. "When it happened where I was, there were three of is literally right there together and the mob only focused on one of us. Said stuff about him being a liar and things like that. So I have to think it's more specific than just about us being mutants because this guy didn't even show his powers."
Sam closes up his laptop. "Yeah, I'm comfortable with going back to the first place to check it out, with anyone who wants to come. Nothing more has happened there and I'm going to guess whoever it is isn't going back to the same places."
"Mutants all share a gene, I think," Spider-Girl says, running a hand over her hair. "But I'm not a mutant, I'm... I dunno. Something else." A wizard did it. Literally. That is her origin story. She aims a wry smile towards Spoiler as she gets to her feet, lightly covering the tear in her costume with a hand. "I don't think anybody was thinking clearly when it happened except for whoever was pulling the strings. And even that, I question."
"X-gene," Laura supplies promptly. There are some things she knows, despite everything she's missing. But the scientists at the Project talked about mutation a lot, of course. And Laura's a good listener like that. "But there's all sorts of other people. Mutates, metahumans... other stuff." She shrugs a shoulder. "We don't have enough information. Guess we'll have to check it out some more. So we should have a plan for doing that."
|"Seems to me that all of these different types of humans have more in common than they do different. It's a bummer to see everyone so split on this issue."| Zen seems genuinely saddened, in tone, but also just in the subharmonics of his thoughts. His sadness comes across like an empathic sharing of sadness, in concept. Jeez, thanks for sharing, Zen.
|"But yeah, we should go check it out. I'd be down for that."|
Remaining quiet on the 'definition of mutant or whatever' topic, Aura unfolds gravity-defyingly gracefully and alights like a moonwalker. By the time this self-amused image enhancement project is completed, the conversation's progressed to the planning part, and she examines the back of her hand and grimaces. No handstamp. "I'm in anyway. Nothing else going on," she mutters, then flips her phone onto an unoccupied chair. "Plan a: find the jackhole who jacked up the crowds and punch his face in." She cracks her knuckles, the corner of the mouth that'd turned down turning up. "Contingency in case of us turning on each other: give Aura permission to restrain you all and have at least a belt buckle's worth of metal on you to make it easier. Because shit, if I got paranoid you were all out to get me? I would hold you /as far away from me as I could/."
"I dunno about all that," Spoiler warily murmurs of Aura's contingency plan. "If we /all/ start turning on each other..." Her brow is creased with worry, but she lets her concern go there--for now; more important things to worry about, like flash riot mobs.
"--well, let's just, uh, hope it doesn't come to that and... I dunno; do we--do we go back to the scene and, like, interview people? Do we just kind of--walk around and wait for people to start tryin' to stone us?"
"No." Sam shakes his head and pushes to his feet. "We retrace our steps for clues about what went wrong. Once we have those, we look for connections and we ask questions." And once they have answers, they'll decide what to do... Sam just hopes the answers are things they can handle.