|Bedknobs and Stoolfaces|
|What: A drug deal between a Dominican street gang and a pack of living furniture (?!?) goes awry thanks to the Tick, Boom-Boom, Balor and Lifeguard. Although, really, there's no way that was going WELL.|
It has not been an ideal day for Los Hijos de la Noche.
First of all, Kingdom, the gang's leader, couldn't come to tonight's buy, his mother having fallen ill. Jhonny, his lieutenant, had a bad temper and an over-sized opinion of himself, so nobody liked him in charge. And they were a couple of kilos short on tonight's deal, several bags having been broken by their biggest problem, the one that had followed them around all day: The Giant Freak in the Mexican Hat.
He'd shown up around noon, pushing into the group as they hung out on a corner. Seven feet tall, manifestly blue all over, he wore a giant sombrero and a silent movie black mustache prop. "Ho La, Meegos! Soy yo Juan Valdez Mexicano! I'd like to join your gang and/or club. I am not here to send you to jail!" he said.
And so it had gone. They ignored him, he came along. They screamed at him, he smiled vacantly. They shot him and he thought it was an initiation (it also didn't seem to hurt him at all). Through it all, he just sidled alongside them. And now it was time for the meet, in the parking lot behind an out of business Sparky's Furniture Extravaganza. Three large black SUVs sat waiting: the buyers. Eight Hijos, all heavily armed. And one Tick, trying to keep the stolen kilos of illicit narcotic under his hat, only to find his antenna pushing them out, "Stay cool, Tick, stay cool. They suspect nothing!" he said aloud in a booming voice.
It was a pretty normal day for Tabitha Smith. She'd borrowed her neighbor Stephanardo's (or, at least that's what she called him) giant, red bicycle, and had managed to ride it without touching the handlebars for the last four blocks. She was dressed up in a giant jalapeno pepper costume, as well, because it was on sale at the dollar store, along with the Flava Flav-esque, giant gold medallion that jangled around her neck.
"WOOOOO!" Tabitha squealed, waving her arms around. Was she gonna do it? She was gonna do it! Do what? She was gonna stand up on the bicycle seat! "Yeah, yeah!!" She made a slick little maneuver, throwing her hands on the seat, and pushing her legs upward. She was doing it! And it was at that moment that Tabitha Smith, age eighteen, felt truly alive for a long four seconds before crashing the bike headlong into one of the black SUVs parked along the road.
Tabitha managed to, by some miracle, jump on top of the roof, only bruising her knee. "Ughh," she mumbled, getting her bearings and sitting up, "Who put this stupid car here?!"
Ah, yes, out-of-business stores are good places for illicit rendezvous. They /also/ happen to be semi-frequent haunts for ghosts, or at least semi-frequent /rumored/ haunts for ghosts. Which would be why Balor is in the area, seated on the step of a building a short distance from said meetup. In a foul mood--due largely to the fact that in his experience ghosts tend to become active and noticeable quite a bit later than this and he could have gotten in some quality gaming time on his home consoles for a good few hours yet if he hadn't been sent over here--he's getting in some quality gaming time with a handheld console, paying no attention whatsoever to the drug deal that's setting up nearby. /Pointedly/ paying no attention. He figures he's got a few hours still before he really has to work, and he is /not/ going to let some petty little thing like massive gang warfare interrupt his quest to claim dominion over the galaxy.
Lifeguard is a tourist of the States currently. A map folded up in hand as she gleans at the stores she passes. She does pass the out-of-business store just as she sees a woman on a bicycle go by then a bit of crashing noise that follows. No doubt she hurries along to see if the woman is not damaged. As she nears the vehicles she gets a slight sense of foreboding but nothing that triggers her for the moment.
Still rather wintry, she is wearing a very warm microfiber jacket and the rest of the winter apparel; gloves, scarf and now a hat. Her pants are dark in color which are bulky to suggest thermals underneath. Thick moonboots are on her feet the ones that are waterproof. She doesn't move too quickly in her winter wear but enough that she just sees Tabitha on top of the vehicle standing about 20 feet from the SUV.
"Oh NO! That girl...er, senreeda! Her poor face! SOMEBODY GET SOME ICE!" Juan Valdez Mexicano shouts. No one pays him any attention, although a few of the Hijos start to lift their guns, the crashing girl hitting their jumpy nerves before Jhonny holds up a hand, urging caution. Tabitha is just starting to push up when all three SUVs have their doors open at the same time. The rear two seem to have faceless thugs. Faceless, in this case, is a literal description, each of them sporting a rounded, polished wooden sphere jutting out made of well-polished wood. They wear dark suits and glovs, the rest of their bodies hidden. From the SUV Tabitha landed on, two more knob-heads and two others. One is a woman clad in a lush, red coat of dyed fur, over-dramatically sweeping behind her, her black hair piled atop her head and held in place with gold bangles. Her expression: arrogant, supercilious, condescending...er, other bad things a snooty person would look like. And then there's the Boss.
He's smaller than the rest, probably five feet at the shoulder and his pinstriped suit is of a much finer quality, a spill of crimson at his pocket, white gloved hands, one sporting a thick cigar. All of this is completely overshadowed by the fact that his head appears to be a small footstool, four legged, pale wood. It seems to be giving a challenging stare...if a stool could, indeed, be said to stare.
"What the living f***?!?" Jhonny shouts, causing Tick to clap a hand over his mouth, accidentally knocking his mustache half off.
Tabitha, still on top of the middle of the three SUVs, lets out the littlest 'eep' from the sudden appearance of faceless people, and such. She craned her gaze from one side, and then to the other. And then does that again. And then a third time. "Heh, heh, heh..." she laughs nervously, "Sup dudes!"
Tabitha quickly yoinks herself up into standing position, still on the car, and splays her hands, quickly shaking them like jazz hands. "Who wants tacos?!"
Focus and concentration...focus, and concentration. That's what Balor's aiming for right now. Ignore the noises and the sounds of potentially crazy things happening, just keep on playing the game. He's right at the boss battle, after all. He can't afford to be distracted. "Nach dul i gceist..." Even so, he can't help but finally take a momentary glance over. Okay...bunch of SUVs, obvious drug deal, crazy girl in a jalapeno costume for some very likely annoyingly stupid reason, crashed giant red bike...and a bunch of thugs that have geometric shapes or pieces of furniture instead of faces. For a few moments, Balor stares at the scene in actual surprise. He's actually surprised that he /is/ surprised. He's a god, after all. It takes quite a bit to surprise him.
And his supernatural vision...
"****," he mutters, eloquently, and pauses his game, closing the console and tucking it in his pocket. With a sigh, he starts to walk over towards the gathered gangs, fists clenched, a scowl on his face. He's so obviously peeved it might actually be intimidating in and of itself if he weren't so very short. "What the **** is so **** importan' y'hafta **** up my gamin' time with all this ****in' noise, you ******es?" he calls, then points at the stool-headed man. "An' /you/. Stop existin'. You're givin' me a ****in' headache just tryin' t'figure you out."
Heather Cameron aka Lifeguard blinks several times as she sees what comes out of the SUVs. Her danger sense is triggered for a couple of minutes until Balor comes near. She smirks slightly, "Now this is the States I've watched. Gun-toting types and a foul-mouthed..." She leans her head to the side to view Balor, "Gutsy... Boy? Yeah, sounds like the States to me." She chuckles slightly, "I hope this isn't some sort of movie set or prank." Her danger sense is simmering and stewing at this point. The muscles on her body slightly tense up though.
She looks to Tabitha, "You surely interrupted something there, mate. And set the whole stage a-light." an edge to her voice even though her words are said comically. Her accent is undeniably Australian.
The Tick's eyes narrow as the villains exit their SUVs, his antenna finally dropping the sombrero hopelessly behind him, leaving a key of cocaine laying atop his over-sided skull. The Hijos have forgotten him, between the criminals and the pepper girl. At the tacos comment, one of the Hijos shouts angrily, "Hey, that's Mexican! We're Dominicans! I don't appreciate your ignoran--OOF!" until Jhonny clips in the back of the head. Freaks or not, money's money. Then the Irish kid starts yelling and there's an Australian girl intervening. The Knobheads open their suit jackets, and, as they do, four balusters, struts usually found in staircases, slot up out of their chests. The stool sneers in a cultured voice, "Newelmen, eliminate the riff raff and collect our ill gains. Ottoman, deal with this boy and his babysitter. And -I- shall deal with the sales girl," he says, turning to face Tabitha.
"As you say, Stoolface," the red-suited woman, apparently the Ottoman says, starting to stride towards Balor and Lifeguard...
Tabitha Smith, soon realizing she had a crowd to work, begins to dance around the roof of the car, her red converse sneakers squeaking along with each step.
"Cha-cha-cha!" she chants furiously. Then she busts out one of her classic breakdance moves, getting on her back and spinning around several times, legs extended. In seconds, she's back on her feet, her hands open. "Annnnnd done!" she announces proudly, followed by a smug, self-congratulatory series of bows. "Been working on THAT one for a couple weeks now," she said, pointing to herself.
Getting nervous about what to say next, she was happy to see the strange potty-mouthed child approaching, getting the groups attention. Tabitha gives Balor a momentary inquisitive look, followed quickly by a strange, knowing smile. "Okay..." Tabitha began, her voice sounding perky, mixed with a hint of sarcastic condemnation, addressing the gathered group while gesturing over to Balor. "Who forgot to leash up their chihuahua?"
Balor glares with his visible eye, which fortunately for all concerned is not the Evil one. "The boy an' his babysitter. Chihuahua. ****in' cute." He turns his glare towards the woman approaching him, and smiles humorlessly.
"Afternoon, lass. My name's Balor of the Evil Eye...an' I'll be your death god for today, sure. I ain' in the mood for all this ****, but y'ain' insulted me yet, so this is your last chance t'walk away before I rip y'into separate parts, tie 'em in a big knotty club, an' beat that stool-headed *** t'death with 'em. Maybe the pepper girl too. Ain' decided." He looks casual, but a trained eye would be able to tell he's very much ready to move at a moment's notice. They might also notice the slight wisps of blood-red mist leaking out from beneath his eyepatch.
The danger sense that was simmering is now boiling. Heather frowns slightly, "A small insult shouldn't earn too much violence. Those with guns and issuing body threats... Well those are the ones that seem to be dangerous, mate." said to Balor. She isn't joking anymore but waiting for the violence to occur so she can react to it quickly.
To Tabitha: "Talented moves but not sure you want to stay up there much longer when they want to play 'Catch the Bullets'. You may be salsa very soon." She still has her distance from the cars and people.
The Newelmen's chests seem to explode, those balusters starting to erupt sharp wooden spikes at a rapid speed, razor sharp and bound to sting, as Jhonny can attest when one gets him in his tattoo of Selena Gomez. *Ah, what the hell are you ****s waiting for, shoot, SHOOT!" But Jhonny's hold on the gang is not so strong and they quickly bolt, some of them falling from spikes hitting them in the back and legs. All but one. Standing tall, proud, is Juan Valdez Mexicano.
The Tick. Last Hijo standing.
"STOOLFACE! I thought I detected your lemon-fresh scent! But a perfect varnish won't protect you, villain! For the Tick is about to bring a hard rain of Justice! And Justice isn't just a downpour, but a monsoon and it's gonna pour and pour and pour! No evil picnics! No time by your wicked pool! And water damage, leaking right through, reminding you, forever and forever, that there is a stain on you that can never be wiped away! NOT EVEN WITH PINE-SOL!"
Stoolface turns to Tabitha, looking up at her from below, a surely condescending tone coming from his...stool. "Come down from there quietly, girl. If you behave yourself, I might even take you home and find you something more becoming to wear...tell me: do you have a history of hemorrhoids?"
The Ottoman, meanwhile, gestures wildly towards the old furniture store, the glass exploding outwards as a cavalcadw of dinette sets, love seats, coatracks, chaise lounges and pool tables start to march out, one of the sofas hurtling ende over end in the air towards Balor and Lifeguard, "The Ottoman fears no god, little man! For mine is the power to control...furniture ITSELF!" she says, eyes bulging.
"You think that's slick?" Tabitha calls over to Heather, preparing to show off even more moves. But her undoubtedly stunning display was interrupted before it could even begin, by Stoolface. But Tabitha wasn't mad, in fact, she kinda liked the guy. In a wisk of a blink of a flip of an eye-hole, she had skittered down the side of the SUV and was standing next to Stoolface, her arms wrapped around his shoulders. "Aww!" she said, moving her fingers to pantomime pinching his cheeks. She would've done it, too, if had figured out where his cheeks were...exactly. She squeezed him tighter, and attempted to give him a little kiss on his cheek ('THERE IT IS!'). "You know, mang, this might just be the start of a beautiful seating arrangement," Tabitha said with a smile.
"This is the most ****in' stupid day I've had since..." Balor mutters, and stops himself, thinking a moment, as the furniture hurls towards him and Lifeguard. "...huh. Ain' never experienced somethin' stupider, so I guess..." He leans aside from the hurtling couch, grabs it as it passes, swings it around, and hurls it back towards the Ottoman at high velocity. "...this /is/ the stupidest day I've ever ****in' had." He spares a slight glance for the giant blue-clad Tick, and another for Tabitha. A long sigh. "/And/ I'm surrounded by ****in' morons. In the old days, I would'a just wiped out this entire block for bein' irritatin'. /Really/ startin' t'miss those days." A pause, and he looks back at Lifeguard for a moment. "No offense, lass. Y'don' seem cripplin'ly insane."
"Well glad the beach is my furniture. Bloody hell hard to find in the States though especially on this East coast. Can't even call that sand on the beaches. No, the beaches of Australia have the best sands. In my opinion." Heather does notice the furniture coming at her and her body responds accordingly. Her form shimmers slightly to where her molecules have shifted to allow the furniture to go through her as if she were Shadowcat. "Mate, the day I'm insane is the day I throw in my lifeguard towel. I have to keep my head on straight at all times." She sighs, "I hope I didn't walk into some smoke that's causing me to hallucinate. This is bizarre even for me. I've taught an alien to surf which was way cooler than this is."
The Tick begins to charge through the pelting of giant splinters, many hitting him in the chest and face, "SPOOOOOOOOOOOO-ACKKKK!" he cries, one spike hitting his tonsils mid-battle cry. Spitting the offending timber out, the Tick makes a gesture of rolling up cuffs he doesn't have, "That's it! You already spiked my new pals AND destroyed my artfully constructed disguise. Juan Valdez Mexicano's reputation is in tatters!" Another spike hits him in the eye. He just screams inarticulately and leaps into the Newelmen, an angry blue fist starting to shatter their wooden frames as he clutches his face with the other. "It's...all...fun and...games..until... SOMEONE PUTS AN EYE OUT! This is what happens when you don't wear goggles in shop class!"
Stoolface seems to preen under Tabitha's attention, a chuffing noise coming from somewhere in the general region of his left front face-leg "I'm pleased to find someone who can finally appreciate the fine grain of my visage, even if you are dressed as an ethnically stereotypical regional foodstuff. Quickly, let us forget this havoc and abscond back to my mansion! I have caviar, champagne...and lots of different cushions for you to try..."
The couch passes right through Lifeguard, even as Balor grasps the couch and whips it at Ottoman. She manages to partially deflect it with a swipe of her hand but still takes a cushioned arm to the temple, driving her groggily to a knee, 'DESTROY THEM!" she screams at her army of discount, second hand and slightly irregular soldiers.
Tabitha was about to agree with Stoolface, but she happened to notice fighting nearby. Every now and then, that sort of thing does catch her attention, and she thinks that maybe this crew is full of big meanies.
"I'd love to sit all over your cushions my man, but then I wouldn't be able to..." Tabitha pauses for a split second to turn her face over to the non-existent studio audience in her head, giving 'them' a wry smirk. Turning back, to Ftoolface, she shouts, "KICK YOU IN THE FACE!" -- and then, with that, she does just that, smacking the ball of her foot against the bottom of his wooden head.
Balor actually gives a sympathetic wince at the sight of Tick getting a spike in the eye. Yeah, he's been through something like that. Didn't turn out quite as well for him. But then, there's an army of furniture headed his way, and he shakes his head. "Fine. If it's gettin' crazy, might as well make it fun too.
C'mere." With that, he grabs a reasonably solid-looking chair that was trying, rather unsuccessfully, to charge into him and bowl him over. Hefting it into the air, he strides forward into the mass of furniture, and goes to work. A smashed table here. A cabinet sent flying there. Multiple loveseats and couches broken to pieces in a row. Standing lamps knocked down like bowling pins. It all reminds him of this one particular video game series...except that he feels a lot less idiotic when he's sending soldiers from the Three Kingdoms flying through the air instead of, well, poorly-made furniture. "Lass, y'wanna beat the **** outta furniture-control girl for me? I don' much feel like it. She's too pathetic, sure," he says, looking back at Lifeguard. A very large dresser looms above him from behind and tries to jump him...Balor doesn't even look as he smacks it aside with the chair, shattering the weaponized seating even as his foe is felled. He shrugs, and picks up the shattered remains of the dresser, going back to work with /that/.
Heather sighs softly, "I can stay in this form all day but I see this won't end until I knock..." She points at Ottoman. "Yeah, right mate. I'll get to it." She runs towards the Ottoman in her phased out form. When she nears the 'thing' she gives a hard punch to the Ottoman's face. However Heather's fist is no longer phased but it looks as if Midas himself touched her hand. It is golden. "Bloody hell." She curses in her own way as she hears The Tick's words. "You need help over there?" The flying furniture is the first priority for her.
Tabitha, proud of her kicking skills, leans against the nearby SUV, slips on a pair of sunglasses while nobody was noticing, and poses there, trying to act like a mysterious drifter. Quickly adopting a generic metered drawl, she addresses The Tick. "I 'member the time back in Pesquera de Duero. Neck-deep 'n beanbags 'n coat-racks, save my lil' lava lamp to guide mah way that sturry night. 'Round the corner: bang, showdown. Surrounded by a baker's dozen of benches, each spittin' mah name, fixin' to polish me one last time. Still can't believe I made it outta that one alive."
Tabitha stands up straight, and walks over to The Tick with a proud swagger. "Names Boom-Boom. Cause I don't be takin' no guff... from, uh, from no criminal intentioneds."
Tick turns the Newelmen into...damn, I did NOT have a pun prepared for this. My bad. Anyway, he smashes them up pretty darn good, just kind of wailing freeform, no technique, just raw power. Soon, he's breathing hard, panting, bent over,
"Oh...oh gosh...I think...I think that tenth...that tenth Taco Con Carne Excellente Supremo Con Queso Mucho....woo, I think it's, um..." He turns his head slowly towards Boom-Boom as she gives her bit of speech, nodding along with her spiel, "Howdy, there pardne...Commo my lama The Tick. I'm...um..a superhero...OH GOD," he says, slapping a hand ovr his mouth as his cheeks puff out for a moment...then a long, hard swallow...and then surrender as he promptly turns and vomits El Taco Bandito all over the presumably unconscious Stoolface.
Balor makes quick work of the furniture army, it's second rate nature being the reason it's out of business. Of course, about halfway through, the fun stops as Lifeguard's golden punch knocks the Ottoman straight out, making the rest of the Bedknobs and Broomsticks crowd return to docile inanimate-ness.
Problem solved. Good job, League of Strangers. Bask in the joy of seeing Justice...oh, you're leaving already...I actually still had a couple of paragraphs on the fuckle hand of Lady Justice...oh, I see...can you get the tickets changed? Well, all right, then. Bye, everybody!!!
Well, he managed to have some fun bashing the ever-loving crud out of a bunch of pieces of furniture, anyway. Balor sighs a little as the furniture army finally comes to a stop, and looks about at the chaotic mess he and the others have left. There doesn't appear to be /quite/ enough destruction, so he shrugs, smashes up several more fallen pieces of furniture, then breaks his dresser-club into several dozen pieces with his bare hands. Dusting himself off a bit, he turns to look at the Tick, about to comment on his fighting style, when the vomit gives him pause. A long pause. Finally, without a word, he turns around and decides to /utterly/ ignore the fact that anything over in that direction even exists, to maintain some level of dignity, and walks back over to stand by Lifeguard instead, looking down at the Ottoman. Another long pause. "Nice punch, lass," he finally manages.
"Now no matter where I go vomiting is always gross." Heather's nose wrinkles. "And that just tells me never to eat whatever he ate." The sound she would no anywhere. Her attention turns to Balor. "I see none of the furniture you liked at all. Not cushiony?" She smirks then shakes out her hand which now has turned to normal as does the rest of her form. "Thank you. I have a knack for handling dangerous situations. I do prefer a good rescue instead. Yet..." She thumbs to the Tick, "Seemed to handle himself just fine. Save for the vomiting." Again, her nose wrinkles.