|Marvel: In the Beginning...|
Book exchange time! Jeremy has left Lily a message that he'd be the Bronx and he wanted to return her books. He's currently waiting for her at a small park, little more than a square of green with a few chairs set up, and some nice trees to provide shade. Unfortunately there is still a good bit of trash about, and not far from the area, are several condemned buildings, getting ready to be demolished.
Lily was not all that happy about having to be in The City. Especially not alone. She would probably be forgiven that paranoia, given past events. But Jeremy hadn't been able to make it to Salem, and so here she was, book bag full of books in hand, hood up as she headed for the little park where Jeremy said he'd be waiting. At least the area is comfortingly on the less-than-crushingly inhabited end of the spectrum.
Jeremy is as usual all covered up, head to foot in his usual baggy clothing. It does seem cleaner than usual as if it'd been washed recently. When the girl gets near he raises a hand up in a wave. "Hey.." he greets. "How's it goin'? got yer books here.. thanks again.."
"It's been ok." Lily says with a smile. "How've things been on your end?" She wanted to know, then waggled the bookbag. "And I've got the next round." She says.
Jeremy woos with a grin as he hands over the other books. He's always very careful with them and she's never gotten one back in worse condition than it was given. "Eh.. doin' okay I guess... " he says lowly. "People are confusin'..." he says. "But I guess that's par for the course huh?"
"Tell me about it." Lily says. "Like, right now, we've got this girl we're trying to help. I can't figure out if she's simple, crazy, or a brainwashed amnesiac. She is, though, hands down the strangest person I've ever met."
Jeremy tilts his head at this and grins. ".. yea.. I know some one kinda like that.. at least the crazy part.." he half chuckles. He's about to say something else when they see some people strolling through the park. They appear to be bee lining for the two on the bench, wandering in a slow but loping pace. They don't look good either. Their dress says it all.. thugs.. gang bangers. Jeremy stands up. "We should find some place else to hang..."
Lily goes on alert only a half second or so behind Jeremy. " ... yeah. C'mon, let's go." Even the books get left as Lily starts to backpedal away from the toughs.
One of the thugs holds up a hand, "Yo, where you two goin'.. come on back, we want to talk with you..." Jeremy isn't afraid, but he doesn't want trouble. Trouble causes more trouble, and the next thing you know you've got even more trouble. Unfortunately it appears that trouble is not to be denied this afternoon.. Lily is never going to want to leave the house again. "Hey man, keep on walking if you wannabe dead.. yo' choice.." and the thug pulls a stolen glock out of his waist band. His buddies laugh.
Lily starts to grab at Jeremy's shirt, swiveling to put him between her and the thugs out of habit ... she can't fight her way out of a wet paper bag, and she knows it. The gun, though, makes her shriek and try to disappear behind him entirely, looking wildly around for anything resembling cover.
Jeremy growls lowly. "Run fer the building.. go!" he shouts as he turns to stand ground, to at least give Lily a chance to get away. "Hey where's your little friend goin'?! " and the man, who's been tasked with shooting a 'civilian' to gain his gang stripes, aims the weapon. He fires but Jeremy jumps into the line of fire, ensuring it doesn't strike the fleeing girl. He snarls and swears loudly, his hand going to his left chest. "Wooo! you got yo'rself a big o' bum! " one of the thugs friends cackles. But they have no idea what they've just done. "Jus' leave us alone... " he snarls. One of the other 7 gang bangers laughs. "Or what, boy? what you gunna do? what's the matter with you anyways? You all ooogly under that hood?"
Lily doesn't question. She just bolts for the hills, shrieking and diving towards a tree when the gun barks. "Jeremy!" She skids to a stop behind one of the biggest trees, far enough away to get a head start if the thugs come after her again, but close enough to maybe do something if she can just /think/ of something to do.
One of the thugs urs "Hey why ain't that $#@! fallin' over.. " But the first fellow raises up his gun, not truly thinking about the hows or whys. He cocks the gun. "Take yer hoo--" and he doesn't get any further in his demand when the mutant lurches. The tiger's fist hits the teen hard, sending the bang ganger rolling across the park as if he'd just been hit by a speeding car. There are paniced shouts by the others as they realize their target isn't likely human. "Shoot that muther$#@! " screeches one of the other thugs, and points his own gun and begins to fire.
And there is nothing Lily can do ... not against a guy with a gun. So all she can do is hide behind the tree, fist in her mouth, watching with horrified eyes.
Jeremy snarls "Get to the buildin'! " as another few blasts come his way. He dives to the side, some how managing to dodge several of the bullets. As he darts and leaps his hood falls back and the men shout, seeing their foe's face. Bang Bang Bang!! the sounds echo, but no one here is going to come to their rescue, the people here see nothing, know nothing. Jeremy yelps as hot lead rips through flesh and fur. Ignoring the burning sharp pain the feral charges forward, grabbing hold of one of the thugs arm. He forces it up and then too far back, making something snap. Two of the other thugs start to run away.
Unfortunately, Lily ... doesn't quite realize what's going on either. And in any case, she's a bit too pole-axed to move, even if she wanted to. At least she has the presence of mind to not try to rush to Jeremy while the thugs are still right there ... but that's as far as her good sense seems to stretch just now.
What follows are more sounds of chaos, and that alone is enough to make one's stomach queezy.. but watching it? It's worse than any hack and slash movie. The mutant has slumped to all fours now and his tail is lashing. There is something different in how he moves, in his expression. A wildness. A madness. Four of the gang members are holding their ground, shooting. They think their guns will save them. Guns are power in the hood. But the feral leaps, zigs in and out, and one by one takes down the down. The screams are loud, full of terror and anger. Hands and heads litter the brown grass covered ground. A remaining thug runs, shooting as he does so in Lily's direction.
Lily swallows hard and somehow manages not to lose the contents of her stomach at the slaughter. By the end of it, she's more than a little shaky, and well beyond terrified. Fortunately, the bullet hits the tree, not her, and she shrieks again, somewhat belatedly, when the tree's bark explodes outward from the site of impact.
Jeremy snarls as the man runs and shoots. He pounces and lands hard on the thug's shoulders. Fury is unleashed and the man isn't simply killed like a tiger might take out prey, instead he's mauled until he's utterly ripped to shreds. The feline like creature's ears swivel. Some one else is around. His tail lashes as he focuses in on the fish scaled girl behind the tree. His fur bristles and he growls lowly. He takes a step forward, stalking towards her.
Lily 'eeeps' quietly when Jeremy starts stalking towards her. "Jeremy? Jeremy?" When he gets a bit too close for comfort, she starts edging away from him.
Jeremy growls loudly and accelerates his pace towards the female. He darts to the side, cutting her off from running in the 'wrong' direction. She needs to be protected.. that he remembers. With a hiss and a growl he begins to herd her towards the abandoned hotel across the street.
"Jeremy!" This time Lily's voice is more strident, more afraid. But she's not about to challenge him, backing away from him ... though she does attempt to 'get away' a couple times as he herds her. She does, though, stay /facing/ him, some shred of knowledge telling her that turning her back might be a Very Bad Idea.
Jeremy growls, bloodied faced, whiskers fanned out and ears back. He nips at her, and even pushes her with head or shoulder to get her across the asphalt. He speaks not, only making the sounds some animal might.
The first nip gets a reflexive, completely unthinking slap and an "Ow! Jeremy, stop that! You're hurting me! Jeremy?" Lily is, sadly, still trying to /talk/ to Jeremy, which clearly isn't working. But she still gives way, and, eventually, they make it to the building.
The slap nearly gets her hand bit off. The tiger doesn't take kindly to being struck. It's only her quick steps and further acceptance of his herding that keeps her from being bodily drug into the lobby. The hotel is half gutted, one side of it nearly torn down. The other side is still upright and more stable. He urges her towards some stairs, aiming to take her to safer higher ground. As he walks his limp becomes more noticeable, in fact the golden fur is stained red and his clothes are like wise bloodied. Outside the bodies of the young men lay quietly. The hail of gunfire hasn't brought forth any calls to 911. No one wants to get involved.
Lily is beginning to get the message here. Play nice and everything will be fine. Doesn't stop her from trying to talk to him, and as she gets herded up the stairs, she finally notices the limp. "Ohmygod, Jeremy ... you're hurt. We've got to get you ... " She frowns. WHERE can he be taken? No hospital would take him, not like this ... and she can't get a hold of the mansion. Dammit! Well ... maybe one of the suites has water, or something? It's a faint hope, but worth a try. At the second floor landing, she attempts to veer towards one of the still-existing rooms.
Jeremy is huffing loudly by the time they get to the room. The adrenaline rush is wearing off leaving behind pain and exhaustion. He growls if she tries to get too close and he flops down in front of the door, guarding it.. so no one can come in or get out. The water has been shut off unfortunately so the fish girl only gets a bit of rusty water out of the sink and tub faucets.
Damn and double-damn. Rusty water is not good to use on wounds. All Lily can do is work her way as close as Jeremy will allow. "Oh, Jeremy. Talk to me, huh? You're kinda scaring me a little." Ok, that one's a big fat hairy. Saying she's scared is like saying the Amazon is a river. It's the truth, but is completely misses the /scale/ of it. Jeremy growls loudly, lifting his head off his crossed arms when she gets too close. His ears fold back and his tail lashes. He's utterly lost, his mind eclipsed by the more primitive feral self. He bares his fangs, his muzzle wrinkling. Once she's backed off he gives a half hearted lick to his stained hand before he just sets his chin upon the carpeted floor. So tired! His eyes however remain open, focused on the girl. As he lays there she can see something pushing up out of the wounds on his shoulder. A silvery nub eventually pops out and falls to the ground with a soft plop.
"Oh, Jeremy. I'm not going to hurt you. Silly boy." Lily's voice is gently scolding, and, despite the fear, slightly cajoling. Not quite a 'sweet talk the animal' voice, but a fair approximation.
The night continues thusly, the girl trying to talk to the feral, wake him from his strange trance. Unfortunately for Lily it's going to be a very long night.