The Sprawls of Chicago are rarely … settled. They’re generally a lawless place or, more correctly, a place where the law rarely ventures and when they do, it’s with great reluctance.
Today, in the North Sprawl, it’s no exception. A group of Purifiers have ventured into it and have been protesting in an area that’s heavily populated by Morlocks.
Protesting, vehemently, and not exactly non-violently – though not lethally yet. Some of the Morlocks, led by a feline named Monica and a rock-like mutant called Rocky have taken to the streets to … eject these protestors.
It turned bad.
Jericho Trent arrived when he caught the alert. Not that it went up on the news. The Sprawls aren’t covered in quite the same way. But he has watches set up via what surveilance exists. His arrival – being that it’s daylight and there’s a lot of sky clutter to take attention away from his glowing yellow wings – may have gone unnoticed.
The protest has since turned into a street brawl and it does not seem t obe going the Morlocks way.
And that’s when he makes an entrance that’s a lot harder to see. In the middle of the scrum a glowing, semi transparent blue wolf thing lands, lizard tail whipping out to help it balance. That’s… fairly sure to get some attention.
Given Jericho’s arrival is also in the Morlock part of the Sprawl, he’s less likely to draw attention than usual. Which he doesn’t.
The arrival of the glowing blue wolf with a lizard tail has the rioting crowd falling back a bit. But not for long. The Purifiers rally quickly, falling on him and the Morlocks around him. The Morlocks – some fall on him and the rest of the Purifiers. There’s no guns at the moment, a lot of clubs and bats – and claws and teeth – but how long will that be for?
Crouched, in a corner where two buildings meet is a small brindle wolf-woman wearing a sweater that hangs from her lean frame. She’s not fighting, if anything she’s trying to get the hell out of there but has been caught by the crowd that forms.
As Jericho lands and the crowd surges again, a wave of fear rolls out over the area.
The reaction … is not good.
Putting more fear into people who are already afraid doesn’t usually do anything productive. In the actual event they just fight harder and more angrily since that’s ALREADY their reaction to being afraid.
“Stand down you -” Something hits him hard enough to feel, which means it was probably one of the mutants. The humans would have to break out ordinance for that most likely. Jericho turns and just backhands the offener into his friends and starts to lay into the people around him. Not exactly solving the problem except by putting people down much faster than they were doing it to themselves…
That’s until he sees a mutant get grabbed from the street. Someone unfortunate enough to be bolting for cover after having stumbled onto the small riot. She – for it is a she – is hauled into a group that starts to savagely kick and beat her. It… she might not make it if left to herself.
That’s when Rocky, Monica and the small she-werewolf hiding toward the back hear an enraged bellow and Brinely… Brinley can taste anger. So intense. More than she has likely ever felt before.
Even Morlocks who don’t usually fight are caught up in the empathic broadcast. They were already fighting to try and get out of there, but now … they turn and fall upon whoever they can. The blue wolf thing, the Purifiers. It doesn’t matter.
The mutant girl cries out, in fear and then in pain as she’s in the sea of bodies.
The anger, when it comes, breaks what tenuous hold Brin has over her shields. Her lips pull back, exposing her fangs, her ears lay flat against her head and her hackles rise. Wings form on her back, lifting the wolf-woman up before she //dives// into a group of purifiers in front of her, near Jericho. Anyone watching will see the flash of a glowing sword as she lays about with her wild abandoned.
Rocky and Monica have similar responses – Monica screaming out in rage as she plunges into the frey. Rocky’s response is much … deeper and he just pounds the pavement, lifting a piece to slam at whoever’s near him.
“NO!” Jericho snarls at the top of his lungs. He sweeps the area around him with his tail (He might accidentally get poor Brinley there) and then covers the ten foot distance between him and the downed woman in a single leap. The next several moments are a demonstration of military combat precision writ large as he efficiently, brutally disables most of the woman’s attackers.
Most of them.
The final one gets slammed down into the street and the transformed hacker starts to pound down with his fists over and over. Spikes start to grow out of his power field’s back. His claws lengthen. His jaws become more powerful. He gets generally… bulkier.
“ENOUGH!” Leaving the last of the womans’ attackers bloodied in the street he rounds on Rocky, tearing a lamp post out. Brin will see him go right for the stony mutant… a path which happens to go right through her. His intent is clear, though. This fight ends now and the field belongs to him. Any who defy that… suffer the consequences.
Brins actually a bit bloody. The claws on one hand drip with blood as she’s raked and clawed at those on her offhand. The glowing blade, a psychic construct, drips too and several humans and mutants near her groan. She’s knocked flying though, as Jericho’s tail hits her – she’s not very big after all.
All the while, the anger and the fear of the mob and Jericho are fed back as a broadcast. This isn’t helping. Not her, not the crowd and certainly not the Hacker – but Brins brain is just one big ol’ echo chamber.
Scrambling to her feet, golden eyes nearly glowing, she watches as the Hacker bears down on her with that lamp post – not realising he’s going to go through her.
She throws her arms up over her head, the psychic blade flickering out of existence and Jericho is assaulted again – this time with fear. So.much.fear. From the small, thin, wolf-woman in front of him.
Jericho hurls the lamp post like a javelin at the space just above Rocky, shattering the concrate in his hands before the hacker turns around and bellows at the purifiers behind him. Then the fear hits again. This time with double the intensity. Brin can feel the soldier’s reaction to the fear. More anger. It flares brightly, like a beacon in the maelstrom of emotions.
The others… they probably start to run at this point. The emotional manipulation and the seemingly unbeatable blue wolf thing… that’s not something anyone here is in the right frame of mind to take on.
Which should leave Brin and the hacker quickly alone.
Fear is a wonderful motivator sometimes and with the blue werewolf putting everything down around him, they flee. Quickly. There’s likely more injuries from that as well. Someone grabs the downed girl and carries her to safety.
Rocky stares at the shattered concrete and grabs Monica who’s yowling in fury and fear, dragging her off down the street, putting his body between the Hacker and the feline.
Jericho’s anger, the way he bellows, the glowing blue wolf … has Brin curling in on herself and whimpering. He can still the feel the fear rolling off her, he can see she’s covered in blood, he can hear the whimpers as she trembles in front of him. But she can’t move …
The blue werewolf thing turns back toward Brinley and looks down at her. It takes several long mintues before the empath can feel the hacker’s emotions… not reign in. They remain just as intense as ever but it seems like he gains some manner of outward control over them.
The power fields fade and it’s a human man who lightly drops to his feet. His eyes are still a bit wide and wild. His heart is still hammering and that rage still burns in his chest, but he crouches down over the whimpering woman and speaks quietly.
“Hey. I’m not going to hurt you.”
Several long minutes that the empath crouches there, head covered with her arms, trembling in fear for her life. She’s paralysed – feeding from his emotion and hers.
It’s the easing of his emotions that gives Brin some breathing space to build a makeshift mind shield. It’s far from perfect and it leaks – but it works, for the most part. The fear stops rolling out and her arms lower, golden eyes turning up to look at the grey eyed man.
She doesn’t speak for a long moment. He might wonder if she can, she takes so long. “Believe … you …” swallow “… you … hurt?” He wouldn’t know that her speech is broken because she’s straining to maintain that shield she just built.
“Not badly no.” He says, offering a hand down. “Are you hurt?” She might be. She looks it, but it’s hard for him to tell how much of the blood on her is, well, hers.
“You should probably get indoors. They might be back.” If they’re stupid or determined but they’re purifiers who came to Milwaukee so… they might be.
Those golden eyes stare at the hand as it’s offered, following the length of it up to his face again. “Were … a … wolf…” slowly, she takes it and rolls to her feet. She’s tiny and so thin, he might think she doesn’t eat.
“Not … physically … hurt.” She looks at the blood covering her and wrinkles her nose. “Inside… yes. Live … not … far … from … here.” She pauses and looks up again “They’ll… be back. War … starting.” She starts walking then, limping slightly and favouring her shoulder a little before stopping and looking back at the man.
“Strong… emotions. You … be … ok?”
“I just borrow the look.” Jericho is about the furthest thing from a werewolf, but the form, well that’s effective for a lot of things as he just demonstrated.
Strong emotions. Brinley isn’t the first person to tell Jericho that. He’s known people who liked it. And he’s known people who really didn’t. “Yeah, I’ll be alright.”
The traces under the hacker’s shirt shimmer yellow and the feathered holo-wings appear on his back.
“If they’re back, I may be as well.” If he’s not busy elsewhere. With that, and a beat of wings, he’s off into the sky.