|EVENT: OUTSIDERS: Quiddity 02|
|What: The Outsiders go out to try and find clues as to the source of the panic that recently threatened Wildcat Jr. and Spider-Girl.|
All aboard who're coming aboard and all that. The Outsiders are on the move -- this is their second official foray together. The last one was a little bit exciting. Hopefully this fact-finding mission will be somewhat more... well, boring, in an informative way. They're meeting up at Columbus Park where Sam first encountered the weird mob behaviour.
The park area is still subdued when they arrive. Yellow police tape flutters from trees and posts, broken glass litters the ground, some windows are boarded up on Mulberry Street. There are no musicians in the park and only half the tables for chess and Chinese checkers are occupied. There are a few children at the playground and a handful of pedestrians. Scraps of paper blow through in the cold fall wind.
Spider-Girl is nervous. Just because the place is a ghost town /now/ doesn't mean that what happened before, both here and in her neighborhood, won't happen again. Despite her injured shoulder, she's arriving via her usual method, releasing a line of webbing at the top of a swing and landing lightly on a rooftop overlooking the park. She frowns, creeping forward to survey the area as best she can from her chosen perch, and slips a hand up to turn on her comm.
|"I wish I knew what we were looking for,"| Spider-Girl admits, settling into a crouch on the edge of the roof.
"... depressing," comments Aura in that particular way that people talk who've come out the other side of sarcasm into the realm of 'I don't even know anymore'. She touches down on the roof-edge next to Anya, her hair swirling weightlessly above her for a moment as she applies her 'air brakes'. Subtle she is not. One hand gets planted firmly on her hip; she splays the fingers of the other out to her side, flexing her hand a couple of times as she surveys the abandoned riot. And then she looks over at the children in the playground, squinting. "Obvious attack vector. Beware backwards baseball caps and pink sneakers with lights in them. You might get jam on your outfit. Or snot."
Laura is, unsurprisingly, hot on Anya's heels when she arrives, having understood that it's very important that this time they stick together for support. No lone-wolfing this time. She's dressed, not in her jumpsuit, but in a pair of black jeans and a tanktop, with an equipment harness settled over them and a faded gold-colored zip-up hoodie thrown over the whole affair. The jumpsuit just got roughed up too much to wear. She shrugs at the commentary, keeping her eyes peeled and scenting the air.
Having picked up on the others mood and following them out, Jynn watches around them. He heard of a few rumors but now that he is walking and looking around at the police tape, he shakes his head. "So whats going on?" he asks to Anya. Looking to the others, Jynn just for the most part keeps close with the group for now.
Sam lands on top of the apartment building where he and Bobby took the werecat. |"We're looking for anything out of place. I don't mean like a rich guy in a black hat wandering around. It's more low key. I'm going to go down and walk the way I was coming when I was here with..."| Can't use names, right. |"...my date."| There. That'll do.
After a moment more to observe, he drops down on the black crater he left when he took off last time. |"We were going this way. The target was coming at us. Most of the mob came from down these side streets."| He's a little nervous himself, but mostly because so many other people got hurt last time.
There's really nothing out of the ordinary. A lot of trash. Sam starts picking up random papers and crumpling them up to throw in the garbage as he walks. People who see him land are backing off, not coming at him.
Spider-Girl grins sidelong at Aura. "You joke, but kids fight dirtier than /any/ supervillain I've ever fought. And if a telepath sends those kids at us looking for blood? We're gonna have some problems unless you can safely corral them or help get us all the heck out of here."
Spider-Girl nods to Laura and Jynn, and steps off the rooftop to walk her way down to street-level. Time to investigate. |"Somebody's been sending angry mobs after people with powers,"| she explains to Jynn, using the comm so Sam knows it's Update Time. |"It happened here first, Cannonball and his date had to rescue the guy. Then to me, this morning."| She drops onto the ground and starts pacing into the park, peering around attentively. |"So we're looking for commonalities. Trying to figure out what's happening, and why -- criminy, this is a lot of litter,"| she grumbles, reaching down to snatch up some of the paper. Ugh. What IS this garbage?
"I can corral them safely, but I'd have to stay there. They're out for blood and then somebody stops them from doing what they want? They could hurt each other. And even if I hate kids, I don't Hunger Games hate them," the purple-haired space-partier says, floating down from the roof slowly, pacing Spider-Girl's descent. Then Aura's got her hand up at her ear, feeling slightly silly (why now is any different, the world may never know). |"Isn't there always conspicuous litter after a riot? I mean-- broken windows, disturbed desk jockeys... or whatever..."| She follows into the park, but lags behind, taking the rear and extending her extra sense, distracting herself from the conversation as her attention goes out to filter the magnetic fields for anything out of the ordinary. Or approaching fast. |"What target?"|
Laura pauses, first at the edge of the roof and then when she drops to the sidewalk, sniffing the air and peering. What she's picking up is setting her hackles up. |"Someone's done a lot of writing. Weird. People smell scared. And people were panicking, but that's old. And there was blood,"| she reports. |"I don't like this very much. There's days of scent here."|
Thankful for getting an update as to whats going on, he watches as Anya drops down to the ground. Jynn having kept to street level but where the others are capable of monitoring him, he walks along the street keeping to some of the shadowed areas of the street, but as he sees Anya, he moves over to wehre she is. |"Well I will help where I can. I don't like the fact that kids are being used against their will."| he says into his comm. |"Sorry about your date being runied Cannonball. But hopefully we can stop whats going on."|
Sam stuffs the papers he's holding into a trash can. |"People were scared. Not just angry, so I'm not surprised. What... writing?"| He takes a look around. Sure enough, there are all kinds of posters with some weirdness on them. |"Wait. It looks like the same person wrote a lot of this."| He looks at the back. |"By *hand*. That's creepy."|
Many of the fliers have been torn down, that's what's blowing around the streets. The writing on these is so small in places the words are almost crawling to find breathing room. Some of the words stand out in large letters. LIAR. FREAK. OUTSIDER. EVIL. LURKING. From the tape and the torn paper left on the lamp posts it looks like this neighborhood was plastered in them. And, sure enough, a good number of them have actually been written out by hand, not simply copied.
|"Not just kids,"| Spider-Girl asides to Jynn, even as she frowns at the comm and flips the paper she's picked up over to check it. She blinks beneath her mask and stops dead in her tracks, very slowly tilting her head to the side.
|"...these fliers were at my building,"| Spider-Girl says quietly, blinking and quickly looking around. |"Most people were just throwing them away, but the people who read them were getting really shifty -- /I/ read one."| And... started getting really anxious. Kind of like she can feel the edge of now. |"DON'T READ THEM,"| she says firmly, hurriedly crumpling the paper up. NO. WORDS BAD. NO READ-Y BAD WORDS.
|"What? Why not--?"| Aura asks, finally setting her feet on the ground, hair settling down again; she pauses mid-motion in the act of picking up one of the posters, and quite without meaning to, she lets her eyes fall to the scrawled words. |"Oh my god. Oh my god. /Why didn't you tell me they were all about me?!"|
Yes. Yes. She's lifting off the ground again, hands curled into fists, hovering in a gradually increasing fight-or-flight mess of body language; her voice raises. "I didn't kill her. I didn't kill her! Are you ALL working for my father?!"
Laura is not too far from Spider-Girl and seems less and less interested in straying far from her the longer the group is in the area. She shifts from foot to foot, eyes habitually scanning the streets, and especially the rooftops and alleys. |"Um. What happens if we do?"| Then she lets her eyes roll up towards Aura. |"Oh. Erm."| She glances at the others uneasily. She really couldn't help reading one, considering she can see them clearly like a block away without particular effort.
Sam is still picking up fliers but he's looking at the backs of them for some reason. Some of them he folds and puts in his pocket, others he crumples and stuffs in the garbage can. |"Doesn't look like copying them helps... but we'll try a text scanner back in the control room."| He's watching part of his team flip out and he shakes his head. |"Aura, it's a trick. Focus on something else. Look at the sky."| Sam is calm, even though he's feeling a little edgy now -- it's mostly concern for the others. |"We're safe, it's just someone else's mutation or magic doing this, and they're not here right now."|
The words that stand out on the pages are ugly and they echo in the heads of any who read them. And it's not simply the words the eyes see that echo, it's as though a little voice has piped up somewhere. "You lie to everyone." "They know." "Two-faced liar." "You're the devil." "YOU are the real danger." It's possible to block it out with some effort but it's nagging until one's focused on something else long enough.
It's okay. Spider-Girl is not inclined to move too far away from Laura, either, though her motivation is perhaps a little different. Crumpled paper in one hand, she reaches over to loop her arm around Laura's shoulders -- not only to help ground /herself/ in the here and now, but hopefully, Laura as well. Just in case she needs it. "We'll be fine," she tells her quietly, and really, she's saying it for the both of them. Calm. Focus.
...of course, Aura is making it easy for Spider-Girl to focus on something other than her own unease. Confusion is much easier to take. She's torn between offering her reassurances and the fear that those reassurances would keep Aura from being able to fight through the paranoia, so she keeps her mouth shut, instead. Dangit. |"...this is really insidious, isn't it,"| she grumbles, casting a look across the park towards Sam. |"How do you even stop something like this?"|
It probably also doesn't help Aura's peace of mind that the sort of passers-by who'd been shying away from Sam now have a loud obvious source of 'worrisome'. But Sam's calm, clear voice *does* break through. |"That's easy enough for *you* to say--"| she starts nastily, whirling in the air to face in his direction, her hair doing more of that dramatic floaty thing. But that's as far as she gets, because she abruptly gets *furious*. |"Yeah. But *that* dude-- or chick, or ... whatever-- *they're* not safe."| And that, ladies and gentlemen, is *probably* the sort of thinking that turns crowds into mobs. The air around her starts to waver as she brings a hand up and splays her fingers at a lamp-post...
...and then she shuts her eyes and grimaces, *makes* herself descend-- her hair swings down, it's like a Miyazaki indicator of mood or something-- and she curls her arms around herself, body language going defensive and inward-focused. |"They're lucky they're not here. They are. I haven't lied to any of you. I haven't. *I won't*."| Breathe. Breathe. "The Rave," she mutters to herself. "The Knight. Revenge. No, no, bad. The Knight. Flying..."
As if flipouts never ever require apologies or even acknowledgement, Aura's voice comes over the comm, a little shaky but not angry. |"I guess 'faraday cage fascinators for everyone' isn't really very practical."|
Laura starts a little bit when Spider-Girl lays the arm across her shoulders, but she manages not to freak out or anything. It's probably a good thing the flyers aren't working as well on their own, since her claws slowly slide back into her hands as she realizes someone hasn't really made a grab for her. She fidgets, and eyes Spider-Girl sidelong. "You'd know if They were coming, right?"
Jynn for the most part is throwing away the fliers that he sees, when instructed not to read them he doesn't. From what he sees around him, and how now Aura is acting, it's not a good thing. Rubbing the back fo his head, the caramel skin male just seems to be scanning the area. It's TOO damn quiet out here, |""So what are we looking for precisely?""| he asks. It's when Aura turns to face towards Sam, that Jynn stops and looks up, she is new, not much about her he knows but the others are friends so he pretty much hopes the woman doesn't start anything, granted theres not much he can do from where he is, but still.
As Laura speaks to Spider-Girl, his attention shifts again and then he's moving to both women who are street level with him.
Sam shakes his head. |"What we need to look for is more of these fliers. All over the city. Look for them, not at them. We need to clean this up."| He looks to Aura. |"You good to help now? I'll go back to Spider-Girl's neighborhood to clean it up. The rest of you should look for more of these. We should mark each site on a map."|
Spider-Girl does not miss the fact that Laura's claws have to retract in the first place. /Calm/. /Fooooocus/. She gives her shoulders a reassuring squeeze. "If They were coming, we would know," she promises, keeping her voice low. The others don't need to hear this, not right now, when the papers might be making them jumpy. "Aura would feel their vehicles coming in fast and she would warn us."
|"Laura and I can pick up here if you guys wanna fan out,"| Spider-Girl suggests. She is not gonna leave Laura alone under these circumstances. Newp. Newwwwwwwp. |"What do you think, Cannonball -- parks and neighborhoods? Big population centers?"|
|"I'm good,"| Aura says, maybe a little shortly, but this is /very stressful/, okay? She straightens somewhat, but keeps her arms loosely folded across her stomach. |"Um. And that's great, CB, but did you just now suggest you going alone? I mean, obviously it doesn't affect you directly, but what if you run into whoever's doing this again? What if you get attacked again?"|
Laura nods at Spider-Girl's assurances, ignoring the little voice trying to poke holes in the logic. It's not like she can smell soldiers nearby or anything. |"I could scent them out, maybe,"| she suggests, but it doesn't sound like she's precisely eager to do it. |"Anywhere this is going on is bound to smell like here."| If she were a little bit more with it, she'd even point out she could probably work out the perpetrator's scent from multiple site comparisons.
Nodding his head to the orders given. Jynn looks over to Spider-Girl and Laura and from what it looks like those two will be teamed up, which puts him on his own which honestly isn't a bad thing. |"Sure."| is all he says as he turns and starts to goes off in a different direction. To him this is all a bit strange, but have that new feeling to it as well. |"I will report back anything I find."| he says to them all and quickly he moves off heading west. Looking around for fliers and collecting what he can. A few rampent thoughts stray to his mind but shaking them from hsi head, Jynn finds what he can though trying to keep from reading them due to the warnings of the others.
|"In areas we know are already affected, we should be fine on our own. In new areas that we locate, we shouldn't go in alone,"| Sam says. |"Just report on the location and try and stay clear of things. Some people seem more affected than others. We'll clear out areas together if we can. If you do see something happening and you can locate the target, don't risk yourself but try and get them clear of the area. It seems to break the spell or whatever."|
Sam takes out his phone and pulls up Twitter. |"SG, can you ask your fans to send you pics or locations of these things if they see them?"|
|"I can do that,"| Spider-Girl confirms for Sam, already fishing her phone out to do just that. May as well do it sooner rather than later.
the_spider_girl: If you see any creepy flyers posted around that give you the screaming heebies, @ ME AND @SMASHBROTHER ASAP. #NotADrill #DoNotReadThem #IAmSuperSerialAboutThis
And people question the usefulness of Twitter. Spider-Girl tucks the phone back into her glove and offers Laura a reassuring smile. "You can walk me home when we're done to get a whiff of where I got into trouble, see if you smell anything familiar," she suggests, starting to wander the park and scoop up more discarded fliers from the ground. Crumple crumple. Noooo reading. Nosir. |"Cannonball will be okay. His shields are good and sturdy, and he can be /really/ fast when he needs to be."| Like, say, when she texts him in a panic from across town.
|"Okay,"| says Aura, clearly still not comfortable, but at least less worried-- and she looks less worried still when Sam explains the parameters, even as Jynn's making like a tree. And. Uh. Leaving. |"Okay. Maybe I can get an air raid siren ringtone..."| she adds, half to herself, hand still at her ear. |"See you lot later."| Now it's /her/ turn to blow this popsicle stand.
Laura's lips become a firm line as she nods at Spider-Girl, and gets on about scooping up fliers blindly. After a few, she starts to crumple them into an ever-growing ball. Not exactly what she had in mind when people started talking all about this heroing thing. <OOC> Spider-Girl says, "You can use your claws to stab the garbage and shuffle it into a sack, if you want" <OOC> Aura tee hee hee. Now I'm imagining Laura as the cartoon cat (Heathcliff? Tom?) getting KP and peeling potatoes with his claws while muttering dire things.
It would take some time but he knows he will be able to cover ground quickly, maybe not as fast as the others but he can. |"Roger that Cannonball."| He calls in, Jynn does manage to find a few in a alley, folding them up and placing them into his pockets in his jeans, he continues on. |"Do we really want to have Spider-Girls fans looking for these things. No offense, but if we are trying to not have others get all weirded out, the less we have looking for them the better right?"| he asks.
|"Better they have someone to tell,"| Sam says. |"What are they going to do, go to the cops and say "this sign makes my tummy icky?". And then the cops get paranoid and they're in danger, too, affected by it. If we can't clear this up soon, I have someone I can ask for help. But I'd rather not draw attention to mutant stuff right now. Let's just clean up and track down who's doing this."|
Sam doesn't really feel comfortable not telling certain people about it but that would mean drawing attention to the Outsiders and he can't do that. He's fine with his identity but guarding so many others' secrets... it wears. |"Let's keep in touch. I'm going to head for SG's area now."| In the truck. The less flying, the better.
Sighing a little bit, |"Alright."| is all Jynn replies back. Figuring he better head up the area where he's staying with his aunt at. He doesn't think there is much up there, due to the area, but still one can never be too sure and this will take some time as due to them cleaning and getting fliers to collect. Jynn continues on his original path, though taking great pains not to take short cuts just because he doesn't want to miss anything.
The Outsiders scatter to do neighborhood cleanup. That's what they're good at, though: picking up the bits and pieces that might not warrant the big guns. And, they have a Twitter Army. Whoever's pulling this dangerous prank doesn't have long before someone tracks them down.