|Marvel: In the Beginning...|
It's a hot and steam night in New York City, it's clear out but the weather threaten by tomorrow that there will be afternoon rain storms and it feels like it. There's energy in the air along with the humidity. Sure the upper Manhattan is one of New York's well wealthier areas, but that doesn't mean that Chelsea is a melting pot of people. On hot summer nights like this Melting pots like to boil over, so Captain America finds himself sitting on the roof of a building watching the neighborhood. He looks over to Hell's kitchen wondering if it will start there.
Flying over Chelsea, the young man known as Kinetic seems to be in a rather bored mood. It's an improvement over the rotten state he was in earlier due to malfunctioning scooter but still not 'good'. In a freshly washed uniform, he's unaware of what may or may not happen tonight as he slowly approaches Captain America's perch. Of course he doesn't know Cap is there yet.
Mortimer Toynbee is hanging upside down, hand and feet over a flagpole sticking out of a building. His tongue flicks from time to time, testing the air. It doesn't do him any good, he's not like a snake. But it looks cool, and the warm air is nice. However, watching angry people is even more nice. After the little stunt he pulled with the backpack bomb at the Friends of Humanity rally, people are on edge, eager to snipe and snap at each other. Toad may not quite know it, but he's played a classic part of a political game - instilling fear into the hearts of New Yorkers, and likely the country at large.
Down upon the streets, people hold signs and shout. Shout things like if mutants can throw around bombs, then there's no safety! The police didn't do anything. It took more freaks to chase away that horrible mutant! Emotions are rising with the heat and humidity. And Toad's delighting in viewing these people getting close to eating each other alive. A frown settles on Captain America's face. He watches the demonstration begin. This needed to be stopped before this getts any worse. He unwields his shield and with a few steps backs up and takes off on a run bounding off the side of the building. He lands on a gargle bounces off to hit the flag pole next to Toads then slowls as a fall and hits the ground in front of the Crowd. He raises his free hand, "Hear me, people of New York! This is not the way!"
When the surface thoughts from the starting demonstration hit him, Kinetic falters in the air and grumbles a few unpleasant things. Once he focuses enough to block them out, the teen looks around. Spotting the people, he frowns and heads their way. "Someone better not be throwing bombs at this one..." he sighs. Then he catches the movement. The man with the shield in that costume. Completely missing Toad for now, Kinetic's jaw drops and he stares down at Cap addressing the crowd. "Oh man..." he whispers, mood improving steadily.
A lot of the tension seems to lift at the sight of the golden age super hero that helped win World War Two. "Hey, look! Captain America!" "He's here! Yay!" And cheers start to fill the streets. People are clapping, whistling, and the Captain gets what could be considered a hero's welcome.
However, its for all the wrong reasons. "You can help us!" one declares. "Yeah! Those freaks showed us what they're made of! Now its our turn!" "Tell the President to send mutants away!" and other requests to the political and heroic icon of a century.
Toad, however, freaks out when the Captain slides down the flagpole next to the one he's lurking on, and scrambles, tongue lashing to get ahold of the flag and hide himself in it, making it look tangled.
Captain America's voice calls out, "NO." He says clearly, "Mutant American's are Americans. Just because they're different doesn't means that should be treated any different than the rest of America. This nation was built on Freedom and Repression. Please return to your homes and don't go down this path. The terrorist that used that bomb will be arrested and have his day in court. There will be justice. Do not take this out on the innocent." The Sentinel of Liberty standing there looking his most commanding and patriotic.
When he hears the crowd calling to Cap, Kinetic feels anger and actual fear rise in him. He looks nervously towards Captain America as he floats down closer to the rally. He's visible to the crowd and the other hero. When the Sentinel of Liberty answers as he does, Kinetic grins. Those words fill him with joy.
Another part of the crowd parts...as She-Hulk jogs into the area. She blinks. "Who threw a riot and didn't invite me?" she inquires of everyone in general, making her way towards Captain America. She's just too late to realize there's a mutant in the flag. Yup. Oblivious to anything other than the stupid protesters.
Jonas is out trying to clear his head. He's jaunting across rooftops, wearing a long sleeved shirt and no coat because of the heat, he jogs steadily along and clears a short gap with ease, when he hears a familiar voice, declaring something about Mutants.. If it isn't old Captain America, Bastion of the American Way.. He pauses, on a rooftop, leaning over to watch the crowd as it reacts to Cap's little speach. Of course, no one mentions that mutants /saved/ that crowd, or that they chased the terrorist through New York. Noooo.
Hawkeye grimaces a bit as Manhattan traffic get worse than even usual. To the point he's having trouble navigating even on his motorcycle. Well luckily he's got other means of travel too. A quick turn to get off the street and a down an alley to park the car, then up a fire escape to the rooftops. Then he's running, jumping, and swinigng on cable arrows, trying to get closer to the scene of whatever's gathering the crowd to find out what's going on. As he stands on the corner of the roof, looking over the edge down at the crowd and Cap, he blinks a bit in surprise.... this could turn bad quickly, but Cap does have a silver tongue to him sometimes. But just in case, Hawkeye slips a Tear gas arrow out of his quiver to hold in his hand in case it gets needed.
When the Captain says his piece, the American people can't help but be filled with inspiration. Memories of past occurrences - the Civil Rights movement, the push for gays to marry and its spotty success, even women's suffrage. However... two thirds of that happened decades ago. A number of people thank the Captain for putting some sense into them and are on their way. But there's still a goodly number of rotten apples, crying for justice. "Those people could've been killed!" one declares. "Doesn't that mean anything to you? And it was all that sick mutie's fault!" "Yeah! And those people who followed him were in cahoots too!"
There's a reaction at the sight of another costumed hero, and even greater reaction when the She-Hulk arrives. The expected happens - known celebrities of a sort are mingling in New York! Larger than life characters! People clamor, gather, and start asking questions. Enough cell phone cameras click to make someone go nuts.
Peeking his head from his flag-cocoon, Toad overlooks the goings-on. Some people have left, some people are staying... and more heroes. People are distracted. Crap. Did he bring any kinds of surprises this time? Captain America calls out, "Are you too blame for the actions of the unibomber? No! Are you to blame for the actions of McVey? No. They're human and Americans that used explosives. Mutants are people just like you and me, the actions of one do not mean they are the actions of all! Go home and count yourself lucky to be born American, where we are free." He says looking up to Kinetic and then over to She-Hulk. He doesn't know mutants stopped the Toad last time.
"Whoa!" Kinetic exclaims suddenly, a bit annoyed. "It's one thing to call me all those usual insults but I was so -NOT- working with that slimy little punk that threw the bomb and they could have been killed but weren't because I stopped the bomb," Kinetic finally speaks up, calling down to the crowd he's a few feet overhead. He's not yet noticed Toad or Hawkeye and isn't aware that Cap's noticed him. He blinks when he notices She-Hulk and ends up staring at her as well. "Wow..."
She-Hulk blows a kiss to a guy who's staring at her breasts, then she comes up next to Cap. "So...this little gathering is an exercise of your First Amendment rights. I *hope* you aren't planning on, I don't know, hate speech or violence." Her tone sounds almost amused. Almost.
Hawkeye hasn't spotted Toad, his attention on Kinetic at the moment. Who is that guy? Well homework time again it seems. he has been slacking off a bit on studying those reports. but he doesn't seem to be much of a threat in Cap. Oh and there's Tall Green and Beautiful close at hand for backup smashy smashy if needbe. He decides to quit concentrating on Kinetic and start scanning the crowd from his vantage point instead. But who ever thinks to look up a flagpole?
The mutant on the rooftop frowns down upon the crowd, as Kinetic speaks up. "And for the record, we were trying to /catch/ the jerk." he shouts out, his voice booming from the rooftop as he steps up, boldly making a stand. "You can say what you like, but some of us try to help. Even the ones who wouldn't help us. Even the ones who attack and firebomb mutants. Because whether you deserve it or not, we're trying to protect you." he announces angrily at the crowd, shouting loudly.
Tensions rise once more as the costumed Kinetic and Jonas start yelling at the people. They start yelling back. "Yeah, right! Got any proof!?" they snipe and shout. However, more are dispersing as the Cap does his diplomatic thing. But there's still a few stragglers, people asking for autographs, and genuinely hateful people still around. "You can't send us home, Captain. This is public grounds and we're allowed to be here and protest!"
Toad eyes the opposition. There's a lot of heroes. She-Hulk is the biggest... in all the right places, too. Maybe she can help him out. Perhaps now's the opportune moment. The American flag unfurls, and a figure drops, sailing through the air. A tongue extends from an open mouth, covered in a slick of slime. He hits the ground behind She-Hulk and Captain America, his tongue swinging to lash around She-Hulk's thigh, trying to slather in a dose of his mind-altering venom. Tongue slipping back into his mouth, the crouched mutant leaps, sailing through the air for... the closest available thing to grab.
Expectedly, people freak out and start to panic.
Captain America sighs as the two young heroes make their feelings known. He agrees with them but he needs to start teaching a class at ESU for superhero's defusing hostile situations without problems. Though at the arrival of Toad, the hero looks up with a slight look of surprise. He moves to roll out of the way and comes up in a defensive position between the crowd and Toad. The shield slipping from his hand in a hard throw towards the mutant villain.
"How about the fact that I...ya know...stopped the bomb!" Kinetic snaps back. He jumps when he hears Jonas, sighing slightly. That's not the way to go about things in his eyes. Of course the appearance of Toad has him jumping. "Look out!" he calls to She-Hulk, flying towards the other heroes to try to be of help.
Jonas sees the flag unfurl, and for a second, he is stunned into stillness, watching like it's slomo, as the freaky little jerk who attacked the crowd the first time! Now he's attacking She Hulk.. Oh, that's not good.. Kinetic's shout and Cap's decisive movement spur Jonas into action, he leaps over the edge of the building, flipping over in midair and landing with a THUD which makes him crouch from the force that his field doesn't quite fully absorb. He's really got to work on that landing. He straightens and starts towards the stage at a run, jumping over people if he has to, not yet bothering with his powers.
Fortunately, Jen's invulnerable. Right? Right? She blinks for a moment...then turns emerald eyes on Captain America. "What did he do?" Okay, he was hiding, but she didn't see him do anything wrong, and...well...right now, taking Toad's side seems to be the right thing to do. Which could mean that the Avengers are in *real* trouble here. Not that she's attacked anyone yet.
Hawkeye blinks in surprise as Toad seems to leap out of nowhere at Cap and She-Hulk. His bow is up and the arrow in his hands noched as a matter of reflex. He takes aim and... Toad's hopping gives him cover behind the heroes for a moment. Dashing along the edge of the rooftop as Toad's tongue lashes out at She-Hulk, Hawkeye thinks he sees his opening... in more ways than one. The string comes back and the tear gas arrow starts its flight, aimed right for Toad's open mouth. That might teach him to be more careful where he sticks his tongue from now on!
The heroes are quick to defend their compatriot! Especially after Toad licked her thigh. Yuck city! However, a shield in the ribs and then an exploding arrow in the face is a double-whammy of pain and assault on the poor mutant. Sure, he's a wanted man, and is guilty of a number of crimes, but... all he did this time was give She-Hulk some tongue.
Once again, folks. Ewww.
Yelping out in pain - primarily because a little pyrotechnics are needed when the gas goes off, he scrambles and leaps, blinded, eyes stinging and watering. He hits a streetlight with a clang, denting it some, and holding on for dear life. He can't see, his ribs hurt (even if he's not really harmed), and he's confused. Unfortunately for She-Hulk and Captain America, the tear gas bomb went off where they were too!
The shield comes bouncing back at him, Captain America's hand comes up to his hand. That's when his eyes begin to water and he goes to hold his breath. This would help human and mutant relations. He goes scrambling towards open air tears streaming down his eyes. Then finally the gas fills his lungs and up comes his dinner.
All the chaos has Kinetic at a loss as to what to do. The sudden arrow makes him yelp and shield his eyes. When there's no flashbang, he jumps. All the tear gas has him flustered so he starts to telekinetically move it high into the air. Since he's focused on this, he can't go after Toad or check on Cap. "Oh man, not good..."
Tear gas? That affects her too! Choking, tears streaming down her face...she actually tries to move towards Toad, to try and shield him from further attack, but given she can't see very well, she almost walks INTO the street lamp he's clinging to. Good job she didn't...it would never survive the experience!
Jonas is still a ways off when the tear gas goes off, and he spots where Toad went.. That slippery little jerk isn't getting away today! With a thunderous "BOOM!" he hurls himself out of the crowd, attempting to leap over the large form of She Hulk to just spear Toad off the light pole, and into a wall, not planning to hang onto him this time. He really should say something pithy, but he can't think of a single thing to say. "For Pony!" he mutters under his breath.
Hawkeye blinks in confusion as She Hulk seems to be siding with that... guy? Against Cap? What the heck? They couldn't be like... an item or something could they? I mean that coudl explain the tongue action but... that's like a really freaking PDA there. And while he might be out of the loop, Cap seems to always be up on the latests Intelligence and he didn't seem to like that guy one bit...Something's not right but he gets an idea as he sees Jonas going for the flying body check on Toad. A glue arrow is grabbed from his quiver and fired at the wall beyond Toad, arching it up over She Hulk's head to give a possible landing pad for the strange mutant to stick around in. Then Hawkeye steps backa bit to watch and see what's happening.
Toad is speared into the wall, complete with glue to stick into. Jonas is smart enough not to stay by him, and Toad's vision is (very) slowly starting to return. He can at least tell that he's stick to some kind of gooey substance. He groans. "This ain't even mine!" And he hocks up, spewing a mess of slime onto the glue. It starts to sizzle and bubble, corroding away at the glue. And if anyone's nearby, it smells just repulsive. But at least the mutant is trying. One villain against four heroes and one that's sort of on his side, for a little while. This isn't boding well.
Jonas bounces off the other mutant, as he hurls him at the wall, curling into a ball, almost all of his inertia stolen, between his shield and the transfer to Toad, he twists in midair, landing on his feet, almost catlike, in a crouch, as he blinks, and looks up at the wall. He doesn't recall it being covered in glue.. Still, not bad! "Oh, Ewww. Quit fighting, I'm sure the cops will get you out of the glue!" he says, ignoring the fact that She Hulk is behind him. She's a hero, after all. Surely she wouldn't do anything crazy like punch him into a wall.
Captain just stands there trying to get his senses back to him. He looks up beginning to gather his wits around him. "What the hell was that?" He calls out to She-Hulk, "She-Hulk, are you alright? Others?" Then he looks around and he calls out, "What are you doing She-Hulk. He's the terrorist."
Once the tear gas has been tossed up into the polluted air over New York City, Kinetic takes a moment to settle his own senses. He gives Cap a concerned look before attention turns to Toad. "Oh no...you're staying put!" he calls, reaching out to grab Toad with his telekineis so he can stick him to the wall with something the slime can't sizzle.
"What do you mean? He seems okay to me!" She's still between them, shielding Toad. Which might, of course, lead to some obvious suspicions. It's not like her to think before attacking the bad guy...but nothing Toad can do is going to get her to *attack* Cap.
Toad waits for the slime to sizzle away. He growls, getting his feet against the wall of the building. Can Kinetic's telekinesis resist the force of Toad's superhumanly strong legs? The mutant is free from the glue, but for now is held stationary. Captain America, "Yea and he just licked your thigh without your permission and put some type of mind whammy on you. I'd say that was smash worthy. That and he bombed a whole bunch of people. So he's not a good guy or somebody you want licking you."
Kinetic's telekinesis is indeed strong enough to withstand a kick from the toad. He does grunt slightly from the sudden strain though. Holding tight, he floats back into the air. "Hold still, slimeball," he says. "Are you okay, sir?" he calls to Cap, eyes still locked on Toad.
Jonas straightens and sighs, as he looks up, realizing the young TKer has the Toad restrained, he glances back at the two rather more famous crime fighters, and the chaos on the street. Most of the humans, even the crazy ones, have taken off, but still, no point not to watch for crazies, as he edges away from She Hulk, letting the Cap deal with her..
She-Hulk's eyes flash. "I don't *get* mind whammied. Let him go." She turns towards Kinetic, rounding on him, starting to raise her big fists. Fortunately, she's not actually close enough to him to be smashing him.
Toad finally starts talking. "I-I didn't do anything!" he shouts, pleading. "I was just watching! I'm a mutant, duh! Of course I was hiding! Y'think its easy fer a guy like me to walk around town with my thumb up my arse like some of you!? I'm green! You get to fly around in your costume and I'm forced against glue!"
And on the subject of She-Hulk's thighs... "Sorry I did that without permission an' all, but who wouldn't want to get some of that? You forgive me, don't you, luv?" Things are getting bad in the area. Sure most of the people are running but there's one or two of the crowd staying to help with the capture of the mutant. One of these guys throws a Brick at the back of Cap's head by accident. The incident bad enough to knock the hero out cold. Yea that's real inspiring.
Jonas uhms, "Get him out of here, Kid!" he urges, trying to reason with She Hulk "Let's just calm down!" he tries, as he hears a thud, and sees Cap go down, "Oh crap." he mutters, moving over to check on Cap, momentarily distracted from helping with She Hulk.
"Shut it! You tried to kill all those people with that bomb!" Kinetic snaps at Toad, annoyed. She-Hulk gets a glance before Kinetic refocuses on Toad. When Cap goes down, Kinetic goes pale and his grip on Toad tightens accidentally to the point where it may get painful. He realizes he's doing it after a moment and loosens it. "Oh man..." he says, really not sure what to do now other than hold onto the villain.
"Of course I forgive you..." Eww. She's going to be showering long and hard after she gets over this...but then...Captain America goes down. You can use all the mind whammies you want...she suddenly changes course, rushes towards Cap. "I got him." She knows enough to check if he's safe to move before scooping him into her arms and moving him clear of the crowd, making sure any further missiles hit her. Poor Toad. Abandoned.
Toad groans out in pain, tears forming in his eyes at the crushing sensation from the telekinetic. "You think they wouldn't do the same to us? Oh, maybe not them...aaagh!" he groans, trying to fight against the pressure. "But I'm sure you know full well what these people are capable of when they want to erase something! I didn't kill them - I didn't even hurt them, they just got scared, the lot of cowards! You're the ones what chased after me! They need to be shown that... nnngh... we're the future! More of us are born every day... more of us... aah! More of us show up in schools or in the news all the time! We're coming into our own... and you want to live behind a mask?!"
"I said get him out of here, Kinetic! Take him to the cops or something! The crowd's crazy enough already." he says,standing stoicly in the path of another hucked brick. It hits him, and falls down, crashing to the ground. He claps his hands, making a threatening but harmless thunderclap in front of him, *CRAKOOM* to make the bolder members of the crowd back off. "Get him out of here."
Kinetic is silent for a moment, just staring at Toad. Eventually he sends a telekinetic slap at the man. "You didn't kill them because I stopped you. And so what if they're murderous bigots? Trying to kill them makes you no better. A latteral move, not evolution," he says. "And yeah, we show up in the news. It'd be better if it were for good things instead of criminal punks like you. And for your information, the mask is part of the superhero thing, not because I'm hiding being a mutant," he snaps. Jonas' yelling gets a slight grunt. "I thought you meant Cap..." he mutters. "C'mon. We're going to take you to the police," he says to Toad, dragging the villain into the air with his telekinesis and heading towards the nearest police station.
Toad squirms in the air. Without anything to press against, he's very well screwed. And he's too far away to be able to properly spit at Kinetic further. "Yet you still hide!" he snaps. "And evolution is adaptation! These people are holding us back! You have no idea of the atrocities they've already commited on mutants!" he screams. "And they work and build just to destroy each other! We're the future! We can build something better! They're scum! We're the next step!"
Jonas sighs as the Toad shouts, getting the crowd all worked up. Still, as Kinetic starts to sail away with the bad guy, Jonas decides sticking around isn't such a greaat idea, and turns, headed for an alleyway, leaping gracefully to grab a fire escape, and flipping his way up the narrow alleyway, running along swiftly.
"It's called a secret ID. It's a superhero thing," Kinetic snaps back. "And ya know what...-you're- holding us back. Idiots like you and them who think that we have to fight and fear one another," he says, speeding up his flight. "You're right, I don't know. And I don't care. Those people down there? They didn't do it. And I'm willing to bet there have been some mutants doing some horrible things to people too. Like you," he says, ignoring the rest of what Toad yells.