|Scene Title||Build A Bear Gone Wrong|
|Synopsis||The Torchwood gang was out for some shopping and found something not only strange… but so very wrong.|
//Midtown North is the heart of Manhattan's business community. With its lines of skyscrapers and its sidewalks full of people jockeying for position like cars cruising down Fifth Avenue, the area typifies big city hustle and bustle. Rockefeller Center with its skating rink, statue of Atlas, the oversized Christmas tree, and lines of tourist buses out in front makes up Midtown's centerpiece.
Here and on nearby blocks are clusters of corporate headquarters, including giants of the entertainment and communications industries from CBS to GE to Time-Warner, as well as landmarks like Radio City Music Hall, Saks Fifth Avenue, the Museum of Modern Art, the Pierpont Morgan Library, the midtown branch of the International Center of Photography, and the main branch of the New York Public Library (the one with the lions out front). It's an area in perpetual motion, whose streets are forever being flooded by waves of people pouring up and out of the subways and in and out of office buildings, without ever seeming to stop.//
Wednesday evenings aren't the most busy time of the week in Midtown. They're still a lot of people, but it's nothing like it'd be during the weekend. It's where the small group finds itself, on a bit of a shopping trip for the new base. Sure, people have brought in this and that, but it's a more coordinated effort to make the place more homey. Well, as homey as a sekrit superhero headquarters can get. Alright, so not everyone's delighted to be here doing this, but there they all are. They've kind of passed by the shops now and are trying to decide where to go next. Yes, there have been some purchases, but it's more turned into casual chatting and window shopping.
Marius is mainly working as muscle on this trip, letting the girls make the shopping list, and just carrying what he is told, he seems to be in a relatively good mood this evening sharing a look with Rufus.
Rufus Scrivner falls into the category of Wishing He Were Somewhere Else. He walks along the sidewalks with the rest of the merry little band of aspiring superheroes, carrying a few bags and making himself useful by playing packhorse with Marius. He hasn't had /too/ many suggestions as to what they should purchase, never having done this sort of thing before, but he's not hesitated to voice any thoughts or concerns when they crop up. Glancing up and into a window, as he passes, he says very quietly to the man beside him, "Well, it could be worse. They could decide they need /shoes/ now."
Vette is having a grand old time trying to shop, but as things get more chatty and casual she gets more chatty and casual too. As it happens she's admitted she's about to get a lot more busy soon. She started college just a few days ago, so a book bag full of books is slung over her back. She managed to get decent financial aid, quit her job as a poodle washer, and tested out as many classes as she can. Her new major? Physics.
Simone is walking along beside Vette and, having developed a fairly definitive opinion of fashion and furnishing throughout her extended educational tenure, is certainly settling in as one of the masterminds of this little excursion. She is readily distracted, however, by the discussion of Vette's new endeavor.
Dee likes to shop, and she's not embarrassed to admit it. Fortunately, she's also pretty discriminating. She's picked up a few things along the way, though nothing overwhelmingly heavy fortunately for the men. A lot of it this trip has been some small tools she needs for fine and technical work. Sure she has her own, but she needs stuff to keep there. As a testament to her sharp senses, she smiles to the girls and says "You know what we need next? To find some really nice shoes."
Fortunately, it seems to be a calm evening in the city. No explosions or large creatures with sharp, pointy teeth. There's no screaming in terror and stampeding, crushing innocents underfoot in a mad dash to get away from danger. Really, how long can that last? Not all that long, as it turns out. There's no explosion yet, or visible creatures with sharp, pointy teeth, but there is, quite suddenly and only a couple blocks away, screaming and stampeding. What is it? Nothing good, obviously. If only there were heroes nearby. Oh, wait!
Marius looks at Rufus and the others, as he hears the screams, "Well at least we get something fun to do……" He grins a little and begins organizing his parcels.
Rufus draws in a deep, long breath, rolling his eyes heavenwards. He's about to open his mouth to say something more when those screams also reach him, and he turns his head sharply in their direction. "That… does not sound good." He looks quickly around as well, shoving most of the gear he'd been carrying into one arm. Then with a glance to the ladies, he darts forward and takes off running towards the sound, trusting they'll follow or run with him. As he runs, he reaches up to slim case he carries across his back, easing it open so he can draw his sword in a heartbeat.
Vette drops her stuff and expends a brief moment of shaping to sink it into the concrete. Let's see someone steal her purchases now! Ha! Then she takes off running with the rest of the group, scarlet hair flying like a flag.
Simone is cut off mid-sentence by the screams, tilting her head to focus her senses in that direction to see if she can pick up anything else. Let Rufus and Vette run on ahead if they wish, Simone follows at a more controlled jog. And while she's following she reaches into her jacket pockets and fumbles with the two clips there, trying to decide which one she'll need. If any.
Dee turns briefly towards Marius, and feigns a hurt look. "This wasn't fun? Hmph." She is otherwise businesslike though, and hurries towards the screaming as well. "You know, we still need to get Marius the appropriate coat…" she calls to the rest as they rush towards the apparent danger.
Of course, that means they're running straight into the oncoming crowd. Sure, people scattered in all directions, but some inevitably are coming their way. Each will have to handle that in their own interesting ways, but in Dee's case she simply relies on her agility to weave through them and continue towards the source of the trouble.
Marius doesn't even pause he blows My Eyes Are up here, and takes off into the sky, finding a nearby ledge to leave his package well put into he flys over the crowd toward whatever it is.
Rufus very nearly goes flying up into the air, but he doesn't have Marius' nifty talent for making people forget him. So instead, like Dee, he's left ducking and weaving through the crowd, running faster and faster. "Marius!" he yells. "What is it? What do you see from up there?" He's still carrying his packages, but he's also looking for someplace good to ditch his armful.
Vette is using her own agility to weave her through the crowd. Of course, Vette, being Vette, spends every moment going, "Excuse me, pardon me, pardon me, I beg your pardon, I'm /so sorry/…" She's /polite/ when she's trying to save the day.
And she takes Ru's packages. O_o
Simone follows Dee's lead, dodging and weaving her way through the oncoming stampede as well. She doesn't have Dee's agility, but then again she doesn't have to -lead- the way, either. She's not very big, and while she automatically tries to follow Dee's back she uses her Telescopic Senses to try and sift through the screaming to discern something about the source.
There is quite the area cleared now, making it very easy to see that there's something dead center in the side street. Cars have been abandoned or are honking incessantly, but even all those look to have been shoved back from what is apparently the danger that's driven people running and screaming. It's hard to see from a distance without sharpened senses of some sort, but right there, sitting unmoving on the asphalt, is… a stuffed animal. A brown bear, to be specific. It looks a great deal like one of those Build-a-Bears, complete with an adorable heart attached to its chest. This causes Dee to skid to a stop, and wrinkle her forehead. "Ummm…"
Marius frowns, seeing the bear, he scans the area…looking for any other sign of danger.
Rufus huffs out a quiet 'thank you' to Vette when she takes his packages for him, freeing him up to draw his sword at last. He swings it about in a broad arc and skids to a halt before the mighty, awesome power of the …. "….. What the bloody …" he says, before he blinks and looks around. That can't be right. There's got to be something else, perhaps something /invisible./
Vette pauses to inter those packages too, and then frowns. "I've stepped into an episode of My Life: According to Seasame Street gone mad. What the hell?"
Simone comes onto the scene last, glancing about warily. Around the bear, behind it. She doesn't approach it, however, and asks of the others. "Does anyone else think there's something more to this than what we're seeing?"
Dee just looks at the adorable bear sitting there in the middle of the road. No one else is in sight, including in the windows and storefronts around them. "Ummm…" she repeats, then apparently has a similar thought to Rufus'. She starts carefully scanning what's around them for anything a little less obvious than the teddy bear. "There kind of has to be, doesn't there?" she replies to Simone.
The bear… sits there on the road, the poor thing perhaps abandoned by its child. Or, maybe it ate its child. It's New York. Who can tell?
Marius frowns and lands a few feet from the bear, waving for the others to stay back, as he approaches it.
As if Rufus would let Marius approach alone. He eyes the other man with a faint scowl, edging forward a few steps to circle around it from the other direction, hanging back only a few feet. "It's just a bear," he says, peering at Marius. "A toy." The real threat has to be somewhere else, but he's not seeing it.
Well for God's sake don't look to Vette to find anything invisible. This is the woman who didn't notice an explosion once. She reaches down to pick up the toy, having followed behind the two guys and being the impulsive person she is.
Simone makes her decision when Marius approaches the bear, and draws a clip from her left jacket pocket. Reaching to the medallion about her throat, she pulls it away and is holding a Lee-Enfield rifle with a beautiful stock and silvered metalworks. Slapping the clip into the rifle, she works the bolt to chamber a round and sights in… on the little, stuffed bear. Simone has to side-step a little to keep a clear shot without endangering Marius or Vette.
There's always someone who picks up the innocent-looking toy, isn't there. On this team, it's Vette. Dee is certainly not going near the thing until she's sure it doesn't bite. Fortunately for Vette, it doesn't. Yet. Inside the red heart on the bear's tummy are the words 'Hug me!'. Awww… So sweet. Maybe it's one of those bears that will say something when you squeeze it?
Marius waches as Vette moves forward to pick it up, he is watching her, and it very carefully.
Sword in hand, Rufus slowly lowers the blade till the tip rests against the ground. He stares at Vette and all of this caution that he, personally, finds completely unwarranted. Well, no. Vette is not showing caution at all. He eyes her and the bear for a second, shakes his head, then turns his attention outwards again, walking about in a circle and searching for any signs of huge damage. /Something/ made people flee and scream.
Vette shrugs and squeezes the bear with her hand the way someone might in a toy store to check it out. "I'm just not seeing any big threat here," she announces. "It's a Justice Teddy Bear?"
Simone takes another careful side-step, sighting in the bear that Vette is picking up. "Careful, Vette." she offers softly. "I don't want to shoot you, even by accident." In the back of her mind she makes a mental note to watch the red-head more closely in the future. Who slipped and let her loose near potentially dangerous toys, anyway?
Indeed, the bear does speak! Isn't that just darling. It's in sweet little voice comes the words "I could just eat you up!" And then… it tries. Simone was right to be concerned as the thing starts to grow fast, though it never stops looking like an innocent teddy bear. Apart from the mouth. The mouth which opens and shows sharp, pointy teeth that are also growing rapidly. It strikes quickly, trying to bite Vette's face.
The moment the bear starts to act in a decidedly unstuffed bearish fashion, Dee is hopping back a bit and taking a few knives in hand for the dealing with this thing.
Marius pops his glowing shield and tries to slide it between Vette and the bear.
"Vette!" Rufus bellows. In an instant he's darting forward, his skin taking on a slick, metallic sheen as the ichor in his blood wells up to the surface and hardens into a coating of armour. He goes leaping up into the air, violently drawing back his sword and aiming a hard stab, angling downwards, through the back of its neck and towards its big, stuffed heart.
Vette—quite obviously, drops the bear with a start and falls back onto her butt in a lovely, not so graceful dodge. She fumbles for her gun. "Um. Whoops."
"Damn…" mutters Simone as things become exciting and dangerous. Well at least she's had the bear locked in her sights for a little while now, although it was much smaller then. Timing timing timing, and Simone squeezes off a shot. <Crack!> She tries for a head-shot on the bear and immediately works the bolt to jack the next round into the chamber.
For a stuffed animal, this thing is very fast. While it doesn't latch itself onto Vette's face, it does nip her hand when she drops it. It's really hard to get between Vette and the bear with her having been actually hold it, but Marius' shield does help to keep it from latching on better. Rufus' leap takes him right towards it, but at the speed it's growing he ends up spearing it down through its lower back. Simone, having been preparing more carefully for this possibility, manages to shoot it in the head. From the exit wound comes… some stuffing. Dee sends a knife into what turns out to be the thing's leg, but it just sticks in as though it were, well, a stuffed animal. A growly, sharp-toothed, stuffed animal from hell. It keeps growing, and it Rufus wants to keep hold of his blade he's going to end up in the air as it rises quickly.
Marius reaches out for the knife Dee put in it, pulling it down, he tries to rip a hole in said leg, then he dives into the open, and rapidly growing hole, flying into what he hopes is a sea of stuffing.
Up, up, up he goes then. Rufus yanks his sword free and then goes running up the back of the teddy bear of doom, skin gleaming and teeth gritted. He calls forth his own powers over flight to get him up higher and higher, and raising his sword again, he shoots upwards with a roar and a hack-n-slash manoeuvre on the neck of the bear.
Bitten, Vette just frowns. Then she scoots back. Seeing that shooting and stabbing is only producing stuffing, she pulls out a compact mirror instead. This, she angles at the sun, and angles at the back of the bear's head. If she can get a tiny flame going she can bolster the fire and burn it—but it may take some time. Hopefully if that's the solution the others can keep the bear busy long enough!
Simone mutters something less intelligible when her shot produces nothing more than stuffing. The spent casing pings onto the asphalt as she sights in again. "Wait a sec… does that thing have a heart somewhere? We've gotta find it's weak spot."
Dee's knife was pretty sharp, and it sunk in to the hilt. Marius does manage to tear a whole in its leg, though it isn't as large a hole as he might have wanted. He can get in with some effort, given there is a LOT of stuffing. White, fluffy, innocent-looking teddy bear stuffing that is forced out of the thing as Marius forces his way in. The bear is still growing, and it's now three stories tall. This might possibly account for the screaming and panic earlier. Rufus rides the bear upwards, and then continues upwards on his own to strike again. He does cut into the stuffed neck, and his blade goes pretty deep, but it's harder than one might imagine to slice through stuffing. He's got a very good start, though. Meanwhile, the bear is rampaging some, crunching on cars and flailing to break windows.
When Simone asks about a weak spot, Dee suggests "Maybe whatever made it talk? Maybe?" Cause, who knows? She does look a bit both boggles and amused as Marius cuts his way in, not sure what to do just yet. Until Vette works the mirror angle. With a smirk, Dee goes into her satchel and then tosses Vette and lighter. "Try that?"
Marius kicks in the air jordans to propell him in and up pushing his way through the fluff, he goes looking for the things tiny velvette heart to kiss it with love.
Struggling with his sword, now waaaay up high in the air - good thing Rufus does not have a height phobia - the man struggles to keep cutting at the cloth of this bear's head. "Damn it!" he snarls. Saw saw saw. God, how he loves New York.
"Thanks!" Vette catches the lighter neatly. She flips it open to get the flame. Since the bear's so big…there's not much chance of hitting her fellow scions. She puts her hand to the flame and then WOOOOOSH! She shoots a jet of it at the bear. "If someone asks you if you're a God, Vette," she mutters in disgust, "You say YES!"
Simone sights in the bear once again, zeroing in on its heart right about the time that Marius dives into the fluff. Echo the chorus of damns, now. She can't very well shoot the thing while Marius is inside. A change of plan is due, it seems. Lowering her aim, Simone cracks off another shot at the leg Dee just knifed, ejects the shell and aims again. If she can't kill it outright, at least maybe she can maim the thing so it can't walk around.
Simone has disconnected.
Marius swims upwards through the fluff, getting out of the leg just in time for Simone to start shooting it in an attempt to cripple the thing. More fluff blasts out of the bear, and it does seem to slow down its attempt to start moving. It's little arms wave around and knock into things, proving much stronger than fabric and fluff should be. Meanwhile, as Rufus continues to saw his way through the bear's neck, its artificial fur catches on fire thanks to Vette's efforts. Dee still looks a little baffled, but hurries to the bear's other leg to start sawing at it with another knife. As she makes the hole bigger, she starts pulling fluff out as well as she can. The bear is not ignorant of what's being done to it, of course. It starts to, uh, mosh, nodding its head fiercely to try to dislodge the man sawing at its neck. That gets funnier the further in Rufus gets, because each downward movement causes the head to tip off the body some. Those on the ground aren't immune either, as it stomps around. This is not good for Dee, who has to hang on to it with her knife. It's also going to stomp Vette, given she's so near, unless she moves quickly.
Marius uses his solar shield to light the way as he begins shredding the stuffing in side, looking for a pilots compartment, or power cell, or glowing doorway, or hidden imp running the whole thing.
Rufus nearly goes flying off and nearly loses his sword. He snatches out his left hand to catch on the fabric, and for a moment he clings to the teddy bear like a spider. Snarling, he reaches up and keeps ripping his way through, and when the smell of smoke reaches him, he looks down at the burninating going on. From this angle, he can't see Vette though, but worry for her keeps him moving nearly frantically.
Vette rolls with widened eyes, and she avoids getting stomped—but she does manage to roll through things she'd rather not think about. She clutches the lighter, takes a deep breath, and aims higher, this time at Teddy's back torso. WOoooosh! Hearts afire, baby!
Marius might be starting to get a little warmer in there, what with the fire on the outside of the bear. It seems to have stopped at four stories tall, which is a pretty big stuffed animal. It's hard to really see any of the others from the various vantage points, to be certain everyone's alright. There doesn't seem to be a pilot's compartment or anything like that, so far as Marius has found so far. He's only at about solar plexus level though, so there's still more bear to dig through. There is a bit of light upwards though, where Rufus has been trying to sever the head from the body. Meanwhile, the ladies are all doing their share of damage, each in their own way. Simone and Dee have managed to cause it to stagger, and plenty of dark smoke is coming off the dark fur as more and more of the bear catches fire. It's a pretty ugly sight, by now.
Marius keeps heading up trying to avoid the flames, he has drawn his gun now, and begins shooting bolts of light from inside the creature attempting to put holes in it.
Bang bang! Holy crap. Rufus pulls back for a second, arms windmilling as this little bullet of light goes whizzing up inches past his face. "FOREST!" he bellows. "You damned near shot my face off!" He sweeps off to one side and keeps sawing through that head, working his way slowly around to the face.
Now that the bear is on fire, Vette focuses on making it a little bit more on fire. "Oh my. Marius is /in/ the flaming bear," she says, comprehension dawning. She calls, "Marius! I am setting the bear on fire!" Just in case /he/ might be having a miss-the-explosion day. Hey—it could happen.
Marius certainly puts holes in the flaming bear. Oh, look! Stuffing! That's flammable, too! And how's the oxygen level inside that bear? Dropping more now. It could be worse, though. He could have actually shot Rufus, who after expressing his displeasure gets much closer to actually removing the bear's head. Meanwhile, Simone and Dee's progress somewhat mimics Rufus', since they have a smaller area to get through. Soon, it's toppling. Both its head from its shoulders, and its body from its legs. Whee! Marius gets a ride downwards. At least he'll land on something soft. On something burning fiercely now, but soft.
Marius attempts to make his way back out fo the bear as it falls attempting to break free.
The world pitches forward, and then Rufus shoots upwards. A streak of silver in a suit, carrying a longsword. He looks down at the falling body of the bear, quickly glancing around to make sure the ladies are all right. He's sure Forest is fine; the guy is more than capable of taking care of himself. Then he soars down until his feet touch the ground, and he darts forward away from the burning stuffing, looking for Vette.
Vette stops setting the thing on fire on the grounds that it's already decapitated and burning. No need to engage in overkillthough her hands are still outstretched, waiting to finish the job a little moreif need be. She looks rather sheepishly at Rufus.
The bear lands on a couple of the cars it had shoved earlier, making a good mess out of them. Marius is pitched forward as he attempts to get out of the bear, and bumps something… somewhat firmer than stuffing. It's the (no longer) little voice box that Vette had activated. It seems to have been connected to the bear between the toy and the heart asking for a hug. Meanwhile, Dee starts to look a little concerned. "Think he's okay in there? Marius?" she calls towards the flaming pile of dissected stuffed animal.
Marius pulls one of his knives and tries to cut the voice box out, draging it out with him.
Rufus blinks at Vette, then smiles at her, the relief plain on his face. "You're all right," he murmurs. Then he looks away from her, watching Marius go after the voice box, and he steps forward while lifting his blade. If the guy has any trouble, he'll help cut it out.
"Those cars aren't," Vette mutters, redfaced. But she follows after Ru to help as well. "I hope their insurance covers…flaming bear. Next time I'll just—suggest tossing it into a containment unit or something." Now how is she going to make this up to the good citizens of NYC? Big task. Hoo boy.
Dee and Simone follow towards where the main part of the bear landed, weapons at the ready. They don't get too close though, as the thing is still thrashing around. The head, despite being parted from the body, is still gnashing its sharp teeth. It isn't really getting anywhere that way, though. Marius is able to separate the box from the bear with some effort, but the thrashing makes it hard to leave easily. Instead, Marius is hurled out along with his prize. It looks exactly like what the store uses to get the bears to say something, but much larger for the unnatural growth of the stuffed animal.
Marius pulls away from the flaming pile of stuffing and teeth, dragging his prize with him.
Rufus slowly approaches the thrashing bear, panting quietly for breath as he stares at it. "Isn't it bloody well dead yet?" he snaps, sounding pissy as Hell. "I have a dinner date and opera tickets for tonight! Die already, damn you!" He snarls as he walks forward, swinging about his blade. If he has to cut it all to pieces so someone can set them all on fire, then so be it.
Hopefully Marius can just smash the box and be done with it. Vette decides to keep burning pieces of bear after all, because it won't die. "I'm never getting any child I give birth to any sort of stuffed bear," she murmurs. "Never ever ever."
Dee mms, somewhat echoing Vette's sentiment. Meanwhile, Simone's lined up a shot at the voice box that Marius is dragging, prepared to blow it into small pieces. "Any reason to keep it intact?" Dee asks the others. Simone clearly doesn't think so. The bear burns and burns, all the holes and sawed off parts giving it ample fuel. Even still, its parts thrash about as well as they can. The body, still having arms, starts to try to crawl towards the group. Mostly Marcus, though.
Marius says, "Well only to study it, but if they are going to keep coming at me till we do, I think it's time to yell pull and let you have at it." he is ready to throw it."
Rufus vents all of his rage and fury on that bear, and when he notices the body creeping back towards the group, he darts over to intercept. Not that… he can do much to intercept, being so small in comparison. He turns around, and he shouts, "Destroy that thing!"
"Fry it!" Vette echos. "I'm sorry I ever touched it!" Maybe next time she won't suggest containing the bear at all. Maybe she'll suggest throwing the bear into a FURNACE.
Simone needs absolutely no more encouragement, and calls "Pull!" Once it's in the air, it's blasted into bits. The moment that happens, the rest of the bear stops moving, and starts to shrink again to its normal size. Some other things are still damaged and/or on fire of course, but on an average city street there's not usually all that much that burns easily. There's still lots of smoke, but now the cause of that smoke is stuffed animal sized. Dee just shakes her head a bit. "Man. When you think it can't get any weirder in New York, the city just works harder at it."
Dee GMed this one for us.