2045-12-18 From Russia With Love

From X-Factor

From Russia With Love
Date Posted 2015/12/18
Location The Sloppy Pony - Mutant Town
Participants Kade, Talya
NPCs Andrei, Kitty Konstantinova
Summary The Bad Russians come calling on The Sloppy Pony. It ends in fire and dragons.
Plot Ruskie Business
Scene GM Roz
There used to be glass in the heavy old frame of the door, but now several boards serve to keep the vermin out -- or, do they? You made it in.

An old hitching post greets patrons along the wall by the door, right next to a broken old jukebox that's just for show. The room itself is narrow and long, with mismatched chairs crowded around a couple (literally, two) small tables and a few crates dispersed elsewhere to sit on, but mostly it's all dancefloor, baby. The bar itself must be original, because despite it's dilapidated condition it's actually fairly well-kitted. There's a couple beers on tap, even. A sink, with shoddy plumbing, but it's a sink, coupled with a fridge whose light is always flickering, but keeps bottles icy cold. Thanks to the kid behind the bar, the collection of poisons to pick from is growing, too.

There's a dartboard at the back, with darts available from the bar staff upon request, and tacks to pin up your choice of photograph to toss at. Right next to it is the door leading upstairs to the proprietor's office/living quarters, pockmarcked by stray dart-holes. The peeling paint and mold seeping through the ceiling are barely even noticeable in the dim light from the hanging, singular string bulbs around the place. Less so after a drink or three, so bottoms up!

It is a fall evening. The weather is cold and crisp.

It is late. It is, in fact, actually so late that the bar has closed up for the evening. That's how late it is. (In NYC? Bars close /very/ late.) But Kade got word from certain ex-connections that certain asshole Russians had become /very/ pushy about their harassment, and Talya ended up as an XFSer available to help keep a surveilling eye out. Right now, the bar is dark. It's not super exciting, to be honest.

Kade is seated at a corner table, by the window. With a somewhat martyred look about him. The Sloppy Pony tends to inspire martyred expressions in Kade Caruthers. There's a glass in front of him filled with tonic water. He's had it all night. Pretending to drink. Why he's still bothering to drink, now that everyone else is gone, it's unclear. It's possible he just likes props.

Talya is seated with him and has her glass with a tiny bit left of a virgin vodka cranberry or some such, and she looks just bored. Her fingers keep twitching around the glass like she's thinking of illusions, but forestalling herself because she might need the energy later. "It was tonight, specifically, you were worried about something happening?"

"That's what the owner said. But she's not super-high on reliability, so who the hell knows?" Kade sips his tonic water. Looking regretful about its lack of alcohol. "Hopefully this'll stay quiet. Stake-outs tend to be seriously boring. Except when they aren't. Anyway. Remember the plan." Such as the 'plan' is. "Anyone shows up and starts doing anything actionably illegal, call Nine-One-One quick as you can." That is 'the plan' as he worked it out. It's not a very extensive plan.

Talya nods. She actually looks pretty serious about the plan, her inexperience with this sort of stake-out showing clearly. "Got it," she says. Given nothing better to do, she relaxes into a more sardonic tone. "I'll repeat it to myself since it's hard to remember."

Well, Kade /was/ an actor. He and Talya aren't bored for much longer, though, before two figures pass by the windows in the darkness outside the bar. Or -- not pass by entirely, because then they're lingering need the door. A man and a woman, the former with long dark hair, the latter with similarly dark hair that's twisted up. Kitty is recognizable from images and description, bundled up in a coat with a fur-lined collar, but the whippet-lean man is not one that's had images passed around as of yet. He might fit a description, though.

It's not a brick they throw through the window, shattering glass. After a sound of ripping metal, it's a goddamn mailbox.

Kade offers Talya a little wry smile, at her sarcasm. Then returns to sipping his prop tonic water and watching the window...which at least means he sees the approaching Russians and might have time to scramble the hell away from it. "Back to the bar!" he shouts, as he's standing and rushing in that direction himself. One hand going up, protectively, to his neck as he does so. He's had some bad experiences with flying glass to his neck lately.

Talya does as ordered, quick-like. For all her smart talk earlier, it's only when she's back there that she remembers The Plan. "Destroying property's illegal," she mutters, before she puts the call through. Her sword-fighty sort of instincts help her out that she at least instinctively tries to draw her stinger next.

"{Is someone--}" Kitty starts to say in Russian, catching the bolt of movement within the bar before she's close enough to step through the shattered glass. The man follows close behind, his gaze sharp and almost over-focused, his intensity just a touch too much.

"{Yes,}" he replies, a wolfish smile spreading, and his gaze sharpens on the bar. "{I think so.}" In English, he says, "Come out, come out, wherever you are," his voice mockingly lilted and accented. "{We only want to talk.}"

Kade nods hastily to Talya and mouths, '9-1-1 now, 9-1-1- now.' Even as she's already on top of it. He gives her another little nod. This one all, 'Good job.' He settles his hand on the Stinger at his belt, and eases himself forward. "Stay behind me," he says to Talya. He approaches not the door, but the very broken window. "You start all conversations with mail boxes aimed at a fellow's head?"

Phone call done, Talya considers Kade, her weapon in her hands, but pointed down. She does stay behind him, but she does follow. "It's not very polite," she said. One might wonder why she bothers, but then someone who knows her might notice how very accentless her English is. Not listening in on private conversations here, nope.

"I was not aiming the mailbox at your head," Kitty insists with a curve of a smile as she watches Kade approach. It's only a single step before he feels something start to bubble in that inner heat that is the core of his power. It suddenly boils, wild and manic, spilling out of him. The Russian man watches him, gaze fixed. "{Do you remember which he is?}" he wonders to Kitty in Russian.

Kade does feel it. That boiling sensation. In a way out of his control, that he hasn't felt in years. "Fuck." It's breathed with no small measure of mounting panic. "Fucking amplifier..." And then he tries to jump out of the bar through that broken window. Heedless of the shards of broken glass that are probably all around it.

"What--?" Talya jerks forward half a step, to try to see what's outside the window, probably on the assumption he's going /to/ something, not away. Then his words penetrate. She levels her Stinger at the Russian man. "Stop it."

The man smiles. "I can't." Kitty glances at Talya, and then lifts a hand and flicks it. The Stinger jerks with surprising power out of her grip to skid across the floor. "{Get him,}" she snaps at her partner, and the man strides out of the broken window after Kade. The pressure of the heat under Kade's skin is too much: it has to burst.

It /will/ burst. All of Kade's desperate internal attempts to get it under control are for naught. His panic doesn't recede once he's clear of the bar, and out in the streets with the Russians. He tries to wrap his arms around himself, to perhaps contain whatever comes out, but he can't stop it. Though he does let out a soft, panting "Heh" when he sees the Russian following him. "You want me? Come get me, motherfucker."

An illusion of Talya lunges after the man, while the real one, concealed, goes for the Stinger. Talya has to make a choice, as always, so the illusion can be felt if bumped into, but makes no sound in its footfalls.

The air around Kade /hisses/. It superheats around him with astounding quickness, causing the Russian who steps after him to actually wheel back a stride or two. The edges of Kade's clothes begin to crisp and burn, and tiny flames actually start to appear across the fabric. The Russian man curses low under his breath and begins reaching under his coat for something.

The illusion Talya creates is infinitely more real and also not: there /are/, in fact, the sound of footfalls, enough that Kitty lifts a table to fling it at the fake Talya with telekinetic force. The Stinger is there on the floor, almost in reach, but Talya's portals suddenly begin to open around her with a spontaneous burgeoning of power.

Kade lunges at the Russian man. Trying to give him a bear hug. A very hot bear hug. If this energy's going to go somewhere, /that/ guy is the place Kade wants it to go.

Talya freezes. She makes a sound in her throat, sounding much younger than she is for a second. If she doesn't move, she can't fall through a portal. If she doesn't /move/... her concentration is broken far too much to keep up the fake version of herself or her concealment, in normal circumstances.

<FS3> Opposed Roll -- Kade=Reaction+Reaction Vs Andrei=6
<	Kade: Good Success (2 8 8 4 1 2)          
Andrei: Success (6 5 5 2 2 8 3 4)
<		Net Result: Kade wins - Marginal Victory

The heat is beginning to seep inside the bar itself with how far it's emanating from Kade, leaving the temperature suddenly sweltering. And of course, with Andrei -- okay, it's Andrei, let's all just say it -- so close to Kade, the heat is nearly unbearable. Which is why he's trying to pull back suddenly when Kade darts forward to crush him in a superheated embrace. The touch only lasts moments before he slithers out of the other man's grip, but the heat is enough to burn through the Russian's coat and the skin underneath before he breaks free. "{Get rid of him!}" he yells back at Kitty, his eyes wide and manic. He tugs the gun out from under his now-ruined coat.

Kitty is a bit distracted by the sudden appearance of the portals around Talya. And the sudden appearance of a large, three-headed -- dragon?! -- that climbs through one of them. "Zmey Gorynych!" the Russian woman suddenly spits, absolutely fucking /baffled/, what the hell. Though unconnected, it's almost like there's a strange kismet between the radiating heat and the dragon when it roars and fire seems to start licking around them. Or maybe that's just the superheated air.

Kade reaches out to try and grab Andrei's arm, as the man pulls away. "Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck..." he murmurs, as the air around him continues to heat. All internal efforts to make it stop do absolutely nothing, so he continues to lean into it. By trying to lean into the Russian man who wants to shoot him. It's an intimate little struggle and he doesn't immediately see the dragon. Though the roar gets his attention, and prompts another, "Fuck."

Talya tries to create the illusion of a sword to menance the dragon with, who knows what will actually show up in her hand. She's too wide-eyed to believe she's calm, but she has a shocky sort of resolve to her body language. Of course there's a dragon. She jerks her gaze around, trying to find a safe path between portals. Or maybe move one riiiiight behind Kitty.

The problem with metal around superheated air is that metal gets /really hot/. Andrei no sooner draws the gun out than he's dropping it with his hand starkly red where it touched. The string of curses are now coming in a steady stream as he pulls back from Kade again. "{Kitty, we have to go now!}" he yells for his partner, and then he actually turns and starts to make a break for it. Mostly. Like, he doesn't want to totally run away entirely without her.

But Kitty is -- trapped. The sword is sharp and real in Talya's hand, more like a conjuring of true matter than an illusion, and it's actually /too/ big and /too/ heavy, and the dragon wheels forward to snap three sets of teeth at her, and its foul breath smells real. Kitty pulls another table from the ground to fling telekinetically at the beast, and one head wheels for her with a responding war. Kitty stumbles back, and the shifting pattern of portals twists behind her. It catches her. She falls. She's gone.

Kade does not try to stop fleeing Andrei. He's too busy trying, desperately, to stop himself from burning down the neighborhood. His arms claps around his own shoulders again as the fellow legs it, trying to direct some of that head inward, whatever good that'll do. His own powers are scarier to him than dragons at the moment. So freaking out about the dragons will have to be done later.

"{Oh, god,}" Talya whispers, despite the fact that some part of her tried to make that happen. But meanwhile, there's a dragon, and Talya's brain is too short-circuited to think about addressing it by doing anything about, you know, the amplifier. She drops the sword and tries to attract the dragon, dodge more nimbly to get it fallen into a portal as well.

Andrei turns, trying to find Kitty behind him. He can't. He hesitates one last moment, and then turns back and runs. It's barely another moment before Talya's portals close and the dragon disappears. It's only one moment more before the heat under Kade's skin begins to ebb. All is normal. Except for the somewhat trashed bar that's undergone so strange heat damage.

Kade collapses on the ground, exhausted, as the heat ebbs away to nothing. He is, literally, a spontaneous combustion machine. And he just expended a /lot/ of internal energy. He's only going to be able to sit there for a minute, panting. His head rolls toward Talya. "What the...was that a goddamn DRAGON?"

Talya sits down on the floor. Abruptly. She doesn't fall, mind you. Sits quick-like. "It shouldn't--stuff can't cross portals--" She presses fingertips to her temples. "Are now?"

"I'm fine..." Kade starts to say. Which is proven wrong as he tries to stand, and he falls back to his knees. Reaching a hand up to cradle his head. "I'm dizzy. But I will be fine. Help me up. I need to get home, and get to bed, and drink like a metric ton of Gatorade."

You have left Talya a compliment! Type +comps Talya to see it.

"Mom, come pick me up," Talya mutters to herself with edged humor. She gets to her feet, and does a bit of a better job of it, and makes her careful way over to Kade. "Did"

Talya has left you a compliment! Type +comps to see it.

Kade eyes the Pony's broken window, and slightly singed exertior around said window. "We did better than them. That's a particular kind of win."

"And now there's a random criminal in my realm." Talya shivers, then forces herself to help pull him up, get them leaning on each other. "If that actually...happened."

Kade is no longer over-heated. But he's not a small guy, and his leaning on Talya is heavy. "I don't think we're lucky enough for the 'this is all a dream' ending. Come on. Let's get out of here."

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