|What: While searching for more of the strange flyers that The Outsiders have been encountering, Spider-Girl meets someone new.|
The Lower East Side looks a hell of a lot different to the young woman from a generation into the future. Rachel Summers has been scoping out Manhattan and the rest of the planet as best she can since her abrupt arrival in this time and place a few days ago. Her movements are calm and measured as she navigates her way through the crowd. Pokerface on at all times, she's also a bit wary, as if expecting someone to sneak up behind her at the drop of a hat, but she hides it to most of the norms around her. Muttering about the technology of the day being so terribly outdated, she looks into a storefront's display on the outskirts of Chinatown, sniffing once as the delightful aromas of proper Chinese food causes her stomach to growl.
The Lower East Side looks perfectly normal to one temporally-local Spider-Girl, however, so at least it has that going for it. While normally, the black-clad webhead would be webswinging to get around, today is... different. Today, she's moving slowly, through alleys and across rooftops, so that she can actually pay attention to her surroundings.
Across the street from where Rachel is, Spider-Girl drops into an alleyway -- in plain sight if she or anyone else should look her way -- to investigate a bunch of flyers taped up to the side of the building. ...sort of. Rather than looking directly, she yanks out her phone and snaps a picture, then turns away to study the photo rather than look at the papers directly.
New Yorkers, right?
Or surveillance operatives.
Rachel glances around with seeming distinterest and just caught that odd behavior. What the...? She cautiously edges her way through the crowd, masking her telepathic footprint the way she was taught a long time ago, keeping her thoughts to herself but holding open a slim outgoing tendril of psionic sniffing, keeping tabs on the general mood of the passersby in case something suddenly changes. Unlike the other, she actually looks at the flyers intently for just a second or two and then leans casually against the dirty wall of the alley, a ways away from Spider-Girl. "That's weird, what's your thingy do that you can't see with your own two eyes?" she asks aloud, pitching her voice just enough to make it over the general noise of the busy street.
Spider-Girl is so intent on studying the photo on her phone that she forgets to be startled -- at least initially. "/Somebody/ is posting these weird flyers all over the city that make people crazy-paranoid if they read them," she explains distractedly, squinting beneath her mask as she pinch-and-drags on her phone's screen to zoom in. "I think they're a telepath, they keep sending angry mobs at costumed peo--"
Spider-Girl's head whips up and she peers towards Rachel, /finally/ realizing that she got snuck up on. Granted, she has no Spider Sense, and the nice lady doesn't /seem/ to be a danger anyway, but, still. She coughs sheepishly. "...sorry. It's a thing," she summarises lamely, tucking the phone back into her glove. "No flyers here, thank goodness."
Rachel Summers smirks lopsidedly as she remains parked where she is, arms folded as if to show she's not a threat, more like idly curious, but at the mention of a telepath and apparent possible mind control, /that/ has her attention. "None of the bad flyers, then... and they can't get you if you look at an image of them?" she queries, assessing the odd photo-taking behavior in newer light. "Are they limited to a particular part of town or anything? Any pattern anyone might've noticed?" And still, she hasn't offered up a name or anything more polite, her questions more pointed now that there's a potential for danger brewing.
"I honestly don't know if just taking a picture helps," Spider-Girl admits, rubbing the back of her head. "But I /know/ looking right at them sucks, so... may as well try, right? Though it doesn't seem to be as strong an effect if the author's not around, you just get kind of anxious instead of... you know." She gestures with both hands. "Torch and pitchfork-happy." She wanders over to prop up the wall next to Rachel, apparently quite content to carry on a conversation about this with nary a raised eyebrow. "I know it's happened in... Grant Park was first. Then a neighborhood in queens." /Her/ neighborhood. Where she, unmasked, became the target of a very angry mob of neighbors. Not. Pleasant. She's still a little jittery over it. "Then a place in Chinatown."
Rachel Summers glances over at the other for a moment, catching a whiff of that unease through simple observation of body language. "I take it the cops have not a freakin' clue what's going on with it... a bit red parallel for 'em, I s'pose, since you mentioned telepaths there." She rubs the back of one ear passingly. "Bit casual about that... but this is New York, folks with tights and capes is the norm anymore, mm?" It wasn't that way by her time, but it must still be here. "Name's Rachel, by the way." Since she's in civvie attire, such that it is.
As comical as it is, Rachel gets a glove-clad hand offered her way as casually as can be. "Spider-Girl, nice to meetcha." Spider-Girl flashes a smile before she nods, and the way she rolls her eyes is noticable even with the mask obscuring them. "The police try, but... this is a bit above their paygrade. Some friends and I are going around town to clean up the flyers and try to keep people out of trouble 'til we can find whoever is spreading them and get them to knock it off. Whoever it is has been at this a while, though," she notes, her expression darkening. "Lots of old flyers, and those ones were... I dunno. Sloppier. They've gotten better at it."
"The police would be smart to leave this kinda thing to the folks who know how to handle this best," Rachel answers, shaking the other's hand with a vague expression of consideration, as if she's wondering where she might have heard the name before or something. But then she shakes that off to consider the present. "Well, the best way to fool someone is to trick 'em into gawking at something they don't suspect is bad, like idiots clicking on every little link in old-school emails or that ancient social site a billion years ago or something. People keep lettin' grandmaw on the web without teaching her how to use it, that's how viruses get out and then they turn into this gigantic raging nightmare for the nerds to go blue obtuse all over," she adds with a shrug. "Same basic principle, only this is really old time."
"They /are/ going kind of old school with the paper handouts," Spider-Girl admits, suddenly looking thoughtful. "Maybe looking at photos really is safe. They could cause a /lot/ more widespread havoc if they posted this stuff on the internet, and that seems to be the basic goal." Food for thought. Yeegh.
Spider-Girl thinks a moment, frowning, before she digs her phone back out and goes quickly flipping through the saved photos. She tilts the screen to let Rachel see. It is not, actually, a flyer, but a plain text file. "We converted them so we could actually read them without going nuts," she explains. The words are a jumble of accusations. LIAR. EVIL. MASK. "We've found hundreds of the damn things. Almost all done by hand."
Rachel Summers peers at the text file like someone who might need glasses. Then she reaches into her pocket and pulls out her own phone and tabs a button. Without so much as a by your leave, a perfect copy of the text file is nabbed and displayed on the larger screen. "Liar liar, pants on fire," she says as she examines the words carefully with all the analytic skills her dad taught her once upon a future. "Evil... evil people /in/ masks? Or evil being done to them..." That doesn't go over well with the redhead. "I've been down that road before," she remarks worriedly. "It's not a pretty one..."
Spider-Girl is a pretty tech-savvy kid, so while she doesn't know what the heck kind of phone that /is/, she knows what is important about it: "Oh, cool. That's useful," she says brightly, tucking her own phone away again. "Whoever this is doesn't seem to be very fond of people in masks. They had a mob about ready to beat me half to death before a friend bailed me out," she grumbles, absently reaching up to rub at her upper arm, where her stitches were. "Same at the other sites, just different targets. And I wasn't even in my mask at the time," she says, throwing up her hands in exasperation. "Noone respects a secret identity anymore, it's horrible."
"Most people never did, actually," Rachel answers with a shrug as she considers what she's reading, her frows furrowed as she thinks swiftly. "No one ever really got the distinction between wearing a mask to protect your family from retaliation versus wearing one to hide who you were so the good guys couldn't ID you and lock you up. Well, other than the folks /wearing/ the masks, that is," she adds as almost an afterthought. "This keeps up, they'll probably start riling up regular folks against anyone in a mask." She glances casually over at Spider-Girl. "You okay?"
"Lots of people being riled up lately," Spider-Girl says unhappily, running a hand over her face. "The anti-registration protest in Central Park was a /disaster/... hm?" She lowers her hand and tilts her head inquisitively. "I'm okay. Just. I'm not used to the detective thing," she confesses. "I'm more accustomed to the 'come across mugging, beat mugger up, brag on Twitter' flavor of thrilling heroics. Things have been getting much... bigger. I'm still getting used to it."
"Twitter?" the redhead asks, momentarily bewildered. "Oh. That." Her tone is dismissive, as if the other had just mentioned Myspace or something equally ancient. "I didn't hear about the protest... what happened?" she then queries, acting a little less indolent and a bit more worried, but in the controlled sense of someone who's actually capable of doing something with whatever information she's about to get.
Spider-Girl gestures at Rachel's phone. GOOGLE IT, GIRL. "It /was/ going great, with the mayor coming out against it and everything. Then some powered jerks came and attacked the place," she sighs. "I wasn't there for it, but it was... less than good. Like, dead cops less-than-good."
Rachel Summers was googling it, but like a good field commander, likes getting a first-hand account from someone who was actually there. Or not, as the case may be. And when the dead cops were mentioned... she says a rather unprintable word. "This is why people /want/ registration, the idiots who can't keep their powers to themselves... they just shot all the powered types in the foot with that one, good job," she mutters sarcastically. Still, she's keeping it on the downlow, pointedly choosing her pronouns to keep her own membership in that club quiet. "It'll get messy real fast," she adds warningly.
"Right?! The worst part is, they did it on purpose," Spider-Girl says irritably. "Who even /does/ that? Why would you /want/ that when you've got powers yourself? It's just so... so..." Well, whatever it is, it is stupid enough that she actually resorts to a brief, rapid string of spanish to more fully express it.
Rachel Summers doesn't make a point of dipping into someone's mind to learn their language (too often), but she knows the spate o' spanish isn't very nice words. "The sort of people would do that are the ones who either want to cause chaos for chaos' sake, or the ones who deliberately want to upset the applecart to on some bigger plan, perhaps being a power behind a throne sorta dealio or go all orange sphere on it." She lets out a long sigh. "You'd think people would be cooler about these things, but noooooooo. Mom always said it never happened overnight."
Spider-Girl finally, /finally/, twigs to some of the odd lingo. "Orange sphere?" she asks curiously, her brow furrowing. Maybe it's from a game or novel or something. She folds her arms and shifts against the wall so she can sort of perch on it, feet planted flat against it and her body crouched, but held upright for conversation. "...I suppose one could argue that if powered folks and normal humans had a major throw-down, the odds would be in the powered folks' favor," she admits, and going by her expression, she feels bad for even /thinking/ it. "So maybe that's the end-game? Only... mildly terrifying..."
Rachel Summers doesn't show any aversion to seeing someone perch on the wall like that, and actually doesn't even bat an eye. "You'd think that... but it probably wouldn't work out that way... If you've read accounts of the Holocaust a good... I dunno, several decades ago," she says quietly, pensively, fumbling for a figure for the date and blanking on it, thus coming up with the vague terminology, "it sounds a little bit like it. But the end result might be the same. Only this sounds worse, cos it's not just one group of people going after everyone different, it's setting two groups against each other and waiting to see who wins and then possibly sweeping after everyone's good and weakened. Good battle plan. Stinks for everyone else."
"Lots of troublemakers needing to be punched in the head, basically," Spider-Girl says with a decisive nod. She's just. Not gonna think about all of that too much right now, or what would happen if the guys from the protest teamed up with the author of the flyers, or...
"WELL. I better get back to my hunt!" Spider-Girl says abruptly, offering Rachel her hand again. "If you see any of those flyers, let me know. The underscore Spider underscore Girl on Twitter, just at me, I'll see it."
Rachel Summers thumbs a quick query to her tablet. Twitter? WTF. The answer gets back to her, and she quickly scans the assessment. "Right... Um... I'll at ya," she replies, her voice sounding a little bit uncertain about the use of a preposition as a verb, but what the hell. It's as bad as saying someone just put an 8-track in. "Nice to meet ya," she adds with a handshake. "Take it easy out there... and if you got mangled, no crime in taking some downtime to heal up, rather than get back out there if you're not 100% and get beat up worse." Good easy morale-boosting speech there. One of her dad's favorites, in fact.
Spider-Girl returns the shake and can't help but laugh. "Sure, it's easy to /say/ that... much harder to actually do. Still, it is nice to be reminded once in a while." She smiles cheerfully as she extended her arm and, with a *thwip*, fires a line of webbing from her wrist at a rooftop across the street. Rachel's been fine with her weirdness so far, she's not feeling too worried. "Nice meeting you too. If you ever get into the cape biz, look me up," she adds, before she springs from the wall and yanks hard on her line to carry herself up and out of the alley.
Over her shoulder, Spider-Girl shouts, "We'll have a team-up! It'll be great!"
Rachel Summers watches the amazing Spider-Girl make a pretty damned cool exit, but then, when her gaze returns to normal people's levels, there is a distinct displeasure about her features. Not quite breaking her poker face, but she's definitely not happy about learning what she just learned. "I can't let it end up the same way again," she murmurs to herself and continues on her recon mission.