Rachel Goldman (Sublime)
*Metropolis, a few blocks from Union Station*
*It’s a quarter after 10 PM and most of the usual commuters have already gone home to their families- only those burning the midnight oil on a deadline, medical and service industry shift workers, and those who probably should know better are on the streets and not tucked away inside a car or a warm building. During the day, Union Station is not just a transit hub; it’s a landmark of the city, the first real experience of Metropolis that many are met with as they get out of the trains that have brought them in from not just the suburbs, but the rest of the country. But at night? There’s another element that has begun to start marking off its territory.*
*A few poorly-lit streets by the train station isn’t enough to scare me. I might not have been born in the city, but I know enough not to go making eye contact or to acknowledge the occasional, “Hey, miss…can you spare…” whether it’s for money, a joint, or worse. You don’t stop. You just keep walking as if you’ve got headphones on, whether or not you actually do…which, at this time of night, it’s probably better that you don’t, that is, unless you want to lose them, or your phone for that matter.*
*But, that’s it…with my blonde hair, it’s kind of hard to -not- get attention sometimes. There’s all these assumptions, but it’s a fucking hair color… assumptions that I’m sure that the group of three guys who are starting to follow me, are probably making right now. They’ve got hoodies on, so it’s hard to tell exactly how old they are, but they’re probably younger than I am…maybe even teenagers, because teenagers love doing stupid shit. I’ve got a purse, so this might just be your average attempted mugging… or at least they’ll think it is.*
Tara Markov (Terra)
Tara had come to adore Union Station during her short time in the city of tomorrow. It had all the elements she needed to make a killing in her current choice of trade, petty theft. Not the most glamorous of professions but she had been warned more then once through the years to stay off the grid, and she did not want to see her advisor angry. With so many coming and going and most just trying to do so as quickly as possible it was easy enough to bump a shoulder, grab a wallet or a phone and fade away into the crowd.
Tara excelled at this.
Bumping a young waitress who only moments ago had stepped off a train. The poor girl had been frantically texting someone every moment since she had placed on a foot on the platform and barely registered the impact, she paid even less mind as Tara snatched up a wad of cash from the floor that had tumbled from the girls purse.
Shit maybe she should start waiting tables, oh right no grid.
Smiling and apologizing Tara hands her a compact that had also slid out which the girl snatche back in a huff before hurrying off and again texting the entire way.
“If that’s Tinder don’t fuck’em the first time out…”
Smirking wide Tara exits the main station and makes her way to a side street and a safer spot to count her latest haul. Glancing up from her spot she caters sight of Sublime, and then the following trio coming up behind. She tries to convince herself she doesn’t care and goes back to counting.
Rachel Goldman (Sublime)
I’d like to think that I’m the captain of my own destiny, but I’m not. I’ve never been. That hardly makes me a push-over though. Even when I was just a kid I learned that there was no point just in crying over shit. You had to either shut up or do something about it. I was a do-er, not whiner. Even now, I know that I’m tethered to a leash that will keep me from just taking off and heading to climb Mt. Everest or hiking through the Amazon. Big Brother’s watching. So, there’s no point in complaining, because they know everything…and well, it’s not really so bad. It’s not like someone put a gun to my head…well, at least not yet, and even then, that person will have to contend with what I’ve become.*
*That said, I’m in Metropolis on business, even if I haven’t gotten all the details yet. I’m not suited up; the only thing ‘iconic’ about me would be my hair tacked up in the Japanese pins just to get it out of the way. I’m in boots, leggings, and a thin, cropped sweater over an open trench. It’s not that cold.*
*The guys are still behind me, their pace getting a little quicker, if anything. There’s someone else, a girl….and it looks like she’s got a handful of money. She’s not going to have it for long if she doesn’t take care. I can handle myself, and if I were more of the boo-hoo woe-is-me type, I’d bemoan that I’d led those toughs behind me to her.*
*It’s just about that time when one of the guys motions to the two others, having spotted Tara. Apparently, they decide that they can get two for the price of one. One’s broken off from the group behind me…*
“Hand it over, sister.” *Says the guy, approaching Tara with a knife drawn.*
*I can hear what the hooded thug has said and I’ll stop, even though he’s addressed her, and not me. I shouldn’t be getting involved.*
“You, too, blondie. Let’s have that purse.” *Shouts one of the ones behind me. There’s probably another knife or two involved, but I haven’t turned around, so who’s to say for sure. But BLONDIE? Really?*
“Fuck off.” *Is all that I’ll say as I’ll turn around. And no, the purse isn’t going anywhere.*
Tara Marko (Terra)
Oh for fucks sake…”
Tara said loudly her frustration timed a little to perfectly to a low rumble beneath the feet of those gathered nearest to her, it had to be the trains. Folding the wad and tucking it inside her leather jackets inner pocket she pushes off the wall she had been leaning against and takes a few slow steps closer to the approaching men.
“How does the City of Tommorrow still have something so old school as muggers?”
Tara asks the group her disdain given no effort at being hidden.
The man in the lead steps closer still bringing his blade up to lift a tuft of Tara’s hair up to his nose which he smells a devilish grin appaearing across his face, apparently he liked the smell of dime store shampoo.
His free hand comes up as if he intended to perhaps grab an entire handful of her bleach blond locks. But just as he steps forward to improve his stance he finds his foot will not move, looking down the concrete itself has moved up and over his foot to hold him firm.
“Care to see how I get my rocks off?”
Now it was Tara’s turn to grin with evil intent.
Rachel Goldman (Sublime)
Reputation, reputation, reputation. Metropolis might be all shine on its exterior, but there’s dirt in the crevices where it’s harder to polish no matter how many spin-doctors are at work on the propaganda machine, and there’s probably a lot more here than in most places…but this doesn’t mean that all the grime has been completely eradicated. The righteous don’t stop to look for it, and if you’re not looking, it’s not ‘there’…but, maybe it is? These three men were certainly real at least. Maybe they’d been given the boot at some nice job a couple of weeks ago or maybe they’re just not-more-than-kids out for some excitement, or maybe they’re henchmen out on their own? It doesn’t matter….well, for now it doesn’t. They’re real, and they’re here, and that ‘reality’ gets all the more real when the distance closes between Tara and her attacker. It’s hellishly creepy.*
*This is the kind of thing that reminds me a little of that nut-job Threshold…except this guy? He’s not Threshold…not by a long-shot. There’s something at work, though, as the ground shifts and it’s taken hold of the guy. That girl, Tara, she’s controlling it somehow. I can’t waste too much time trying to figure out the hows and whys right now, because seeing their comrade immobilized has just egged on the other two.*
*One goes to try to free the guy trapped in the concrete, which is pretty dumb, because if Tara is controlling it, then he’s game for the same treatment.*
*The other comes toward me, and there is a knife involved.* “Stupid bitches…” *He mumbles, ready to try to slash at my face. Yes, go for the face against a pretty girl, dumbass, because you want to give me something to remember you by? Well, you’re not going to be so lucky…*
*There are a few ways of handling this. I can change the structure of my body from becoming invisible to a diamond-like hardness, and I can do this with the whole thing, or just individual parts. That’s one way…but that’s going to generate questions, especially when there’s someone else watching…a someone else, that I don’t need to be asking questions, because for all that I know… she might be on the same payroll that I am. So, I’m going to do this the -right- way. Sure it’s not the -flashy- way….but I think it’s going to end up the same way.*
*I’ve had years of martial arts training…this is part of what I was “doing” when other people were whining or dreaming, or just wasting their damned time. I’m faster than this street thug, and the few years that I’ve got on him, that’s nothing. I can snap his neck, but having a body to contend with is just going to create more paperwork. I just need for him to get a message.*
*My arm goes up and I’ll be able to grab onto the thug’s arm, and I’ll break it so fast that he’ll have no idea what’s happened apart from the pain, and the knife falling from his grip because he’s now clutching the broken arm with his good hand. I’ll kick that knife down the street, past where the others could make a play for it.*
“Now get the fuck out of here before either I call the cops or you wind up with a matching set.” *I said to the thug. “And take your friends with you.” *Well, if he -could- do that…*
“You doing ok?” *I’ll then shout out to the other girl.*
Tara Markov (Terra)
Tara very nearly snarls as the remaining thug moves to free the currently immobilized member of their group, her eyes take on an eerie yellow glow as she raises both her hands. It would be so easy to kill them both and even easier to dispose of the bodies into a hole so deep a man in China would be the first to find them.
Tara though chooses a path of lesser evil and pulls one hand back a dislodged chuck of masonry from a nearby wall flying to then around her hand. She The does the same to the second.
Clenching her rapidly crumbling gauntlets she swings and knocks the free thug onto his back, then swings to her other hand into the immobilized mans stomach the makeshift weapons exploding into dust and bits of rock as she does. If Tara was at all concerned about being seen using her abilities she didn’t show it.
“I’m just dandy….”
Turning now to look at Rachel and then down to the still screaming man at her feet. Raising an eyebrow a small portion of what had been her gauntlets attaches to the mans mouth to quiet him.
“Do I need to worry about you too?”
Rachel Goldman (Sublime)
For fuck’s sake…yeah, it just got even more real, and I’m not even on the clock….well, not -yet- officially. So much for spending my first night in town at some trendy lounge with appetizers and a drink or two, because if the three street toughs didn’t turn over that apple cart… at least there’s not been any -major- damage done…well, no body bags needed so far.*
*I don’t even need to get out my phone when the guy with the broken arm decides he’s going to wuss out and leave his buddies because he doesn’t want to deal with Rock-Girl. She could probably make the others living gargoyles or dust in the wind if she so chooses….and that makes her dangerous.*
*On the clock…off the clock… hell, does it even matter? It’s not like I’m going to get paid overtime…and my morale? Well, it’s not the worst, not the best. I do my job when I’m on the clock. Do I go for extra credit? I don’t know… maybe I need to see what’s in it for me? Maybe not.*
“I don’t know…do you?” *I’ll take the smart-ass card right now. I’m not immediately recognizable to most of the general population even when I’m suited up, so I’m not worried that I’m being outed. I mean, hell, I didn’t use my powers, and anyone who has spent enough hours in a gym or dojo or could done what I just did.. Still, I’m not shaking in my boots literally or figuratively. I’m just going to see where this goes.*
Tara Markov (Terra)
It was right about then Tara realized just how stupid this display had been. Three thugs in an alleyway did not warrant the full on earth bender mode. But damned if it hadn’t felt great to cut losose again after so long. Looking down to her dusty fingers she flexes them a few times before looking back to Rachel.
“How about you just forget you saw that and we each hope we never see each other again?”
As she finished the question her fingers tightened into a fist and the feint yellow glow of her eyes brightens for a fraction of a section in an unspoken punctuation to the implied threat.
“I’m not interested in discussing alternative options.”
Rachel Goldman (Sublime)
At no point do I have one of those “Hello, my name is” stickers… with “Nowhere agent” written underneath it in a sharpie marker stuck anywhere on me. But either it’s like taking to like, because I don’t know -everyone- in the system, and that doesn’t mean that Rock-Girl isn’t part of it, but the way that she’s getting apprehensive leads me to believe that she’s not with us….*
*Part of me feels like there’s a challenge being issued…that Rock Girl thinks that she can intimidate me, or at least get me into some kind of a girl fight. Should I take the bait? It’s probably not a good idea, not because I’m scared… she can’t concrete me if she can’t see me, but it’s a question of motivation, and just -how- motivated I am. Do I do my job and try to beat the shit out of her into submission… or do I let it go? Or take some kind of middle ground. I’m kind of ticked off that I missed out on the promise of some tasty little things wrapped up in lettuce or fried in plum wine sauce….but do I take this out on her when she’s already had shit thrown her way tonight?*
“I don’t know… I’m not so good at forgetting.” *I said with just a shrug.* “I guess I’ll just have to take my chances.”
*So, I’m willing to let this drop…for now. Later, I can see what I can dig up in the Nowhere databases if there -is- one of us with powers like her that fits her description, and if she’s not there…well, maybe it’ll be time for me to have a conversation with the bosses, and see what’ll be offered. Is that bitchy? Maybe…but I’m not above seeing if I can get something for myself out of it on top of the whole making the world a safer place and all, blah, blah, blah.*
*So, I’ll back off slowly, and if Rock-Girl lets me go, then so be it… if not…well, then it’s on.*
END PART 1