A Mess in Mutant Town

Characters: Lexi Nemo (Tendril), Klavdiya Vasiliev (Okhotnik), Clea Strange
Rated: PG-13
Summary: Somehow, a magical entity, a troll, is awakened in Mutant Town near a construction site and goes on a rampage. A mysterious tiger tries to protect the people. A sorceress appears and lends her aid, and a certain mauve mutant do-gooder tries to help as well.
OOC Date: 2017-11-10
IC Date: 2017-11-10
Where: Mutant Town

There have been stories, through the last few years, a handful of incidents, where a giant tiger was seen confronting some dangerous threat. Sometimes, the tiger was alone. A few times, the tiger was joined by some other hero. But never has the tiger stayed around, and only twice has anyone managed to get a photograph, however grainy or blurred, of the tiger.
Two minutes ago, that changed.
Two minutes ago, someone posted an Instagram picture of a huge tiger, engaged in ferocious battle against a towering figure, perhaps fourteen feet tall, humanoid but definitely not human, wielding pieces of shattered building as weapons, including a full I-beam.
No one seems to care that the people most at risk in this confrontation are a group of homeless, scrambling to get away from an alleyway that passes beneath one of the elevated train platforms and bridges. None, perhaps, except the tigress herself.

Clea generally has no interest in the intarweb tubez, but the fourteen foot tall creature fighting something is something to be reported. That sort of news travels fast, spread both by the people of the city and other whispers in the shadows.
So, flipping the sign on her curiosity shop's door to 'Closed', the white-haired sorceress slipped on her heavy purple woolen coat and hat and set out to see about this thing. What luck, a taxi just happened by at exactly the right moment and let her off just in sight of the towering monstrosity.

The scene where Clea is let off by the taxi is a mess. The tiger is still present, bounding back and forth, off this building and that rubble pile and that other shattered car, taking swipes, barreling into the backs of giant knees. Round and round the cat goes, keeping the gigantic creature occupied, off-balance, and focused on her, not on anyone else.
Not even on the cops who have long since arrived and cordoned off the area, trying to establish containment. Their bullets do nothing, but none of them dare to fire on the cat. Even to terrified humans, it is obvious: the tiger fights to protect.
Thrice already the tiger has taken terrible, bone-crushing, body-shattering hits that have thrown her away by dozens of feet.
And each time, it was to block the troll from an innocent bystander.
The cat cannot help it. Those shots hurt, and she is slowing down. She has not given up; anything but that. But she hurts. Her body has not had time enough to heal the wounds entirely. And they are mighty enough that even her prodigious body cannot merely shrug them off.

Lexi was in the process of buying a new phone. Again. She tends to go through them fairly often due to damage on her various 'adventures', but she's sort of gotten used to it. She's in the process of comparing models when the TV switches to 'breaking news'…and she sees the tiger and the troll. And recognizes where it is. "…damn." she mutters, returning the phones to their positions (they're wired down anyway) and bolts out the door, startling the security guard who starts to yell at her…but then, she doesn't beep, so. Then it's a quick ten block run in the direction of the right…which the police sirens and distant crashing suggests more precisely where the fight currently is. "'scuse me, comin' through, outta th' way!" she calls out, then flips out her tendrils, taking to the air as she starts to swing from lamp poses to get over the crowd. "Hey, it's SPIDERM…wait…"

"My." Clea says, impressed with the size of the combatants. "How interesting." she says to herself as she calmly passes the officers' cordon by. "Good day, gentlemen." she says as she moves through.
She stops a healthy distance from the battle itself and looks up at the creature, pausing a moment to weave a quick charm to make herself understood despite any language barrier. "Halloo! What do you want?"

The huge behemoth of a creature bellows, unintelligble to anyone else present. But Clea can make out the words, shouting-distorted as they may be, as the creature takes another swing at the tiger, the orange and black and white-furred creature leaping away at the last moment, bounding off of the attacker's chest to stagger it back, then bounding away to another location.
"My bridge!" the creature shouts. "My bridge! Noisy manlings go away!"
Unable to understand the creature's cries anymore than anyone else, the tigress lands on the ground at the mouth of an alleyway, bracing herself, and roars. It is a shiveringly terrible cry, one that awakens atavastic horrors in the minds of all the humans who hear it. It is a cry even a troll understands and respects.
Yet no one else but Clea can hear the mystical translation of that cry: "My people! You will not hurt my people! Leave them alone!"

Well, that roar certainly gets Lexi's attention as she scrambles up the side of a building then begins leaping from rooftop to rooftop, until she's overlooking the construction hard. And the scene there. Needless to say, the MSWAT sniper who's currently setting up on the roof is suprised. "…HEY!' Lexi sweatdrops and quickly vaults to grab a power line running towards the site, then pulls herself up on and runs catlike along the cable to where it's attached to the construction office.

Clea winces at the roar, but luckily she's not even a bit human. Still, the tiger is something to be respected. Best not to annoy it just yet. She takes a moment to slip off her coat and hat, handing it to a random person, who accepts it without even really noticing or seeming to care that they've been asked to hold a perfect stranger's things. Underneath, Clea is dressed in purple tights printed with white circles here and there tuckerd into slim shin-high silvery boots, and a black tunic with silver trim.
"Poor creature. I am Clea." she calls, amplifying her voice. "Can we speak, O troll of this bridge?"

What could - what should - have been another exchange of blows between troll and tiger instead halts, a bit dazedly and confusedly, as the troll stops, mid-swing, and sways on an injured, weakened leg to ace the mighty-voiced sorceress. It does not lower the I-beam it has taken up from the construction site, but it is not swinging it at anyone or anything right this moment, either.
"What you want, wizard?!" the troll declares. It sounds like so much frothing-mouthed blubbering and shouting to everyone else, but it translates for Clea.
Seeing her opponent turn away and pause, the tigress holds her ground, hunched and tucked, determined but not attacking. She will wait, until she cannot. Why is the creature not attacking?
Nearby, Clea might be able to sense a magical aura. Something came through here, earlier today. Something that pulsed with power. Something that perhaps awakened a stone-frozen troll to a state from which it could be awakened by mortal hands. Or mortal noise.

Lexi lands, then crouches, taking in the odd scene. She's…not sure precisely what's going on, but the fight seems to be paused? She instead sniffs the air turning her head back and forth for any sign of fresh blood that might indicate someone injured on the site…though the tiger has probably contributed to that problem, making it difficult to pinpoint someone….wait…

Lexi stills, nostrils flaring. This scent is…familiar? Predator…big cat….where has she…

"I want peace." Clea says, stepping closer to the troll… not that she has to go far to be in I beam-swinging range. She holds her hands up to show that she isn't carrying any weapons, though the troll knows she's not likely to fight it that way. "I know the men are noisy, and this is YOUR bridge… but this is not like the old days, my friend. They are always noisy, rushing around in their hurry-hurry lives. It would be better if you would consider letting me help you sleep again, to dream your sweet stoney dreams."

There is blood here, to be sure, though not nearly as much of it as one might expect given the magnitude of the threat. Most of the blood here is that of the troll, having been sliced at repeatedly by the tiger in its fast-moving and aggressive defense.
But there is other blood.
Much of what remains is human blood, shed by those who have been injured by falling rocks, or tripping, or fast-thrown chips of masonry or metal. None of it is heart's blood, the deep-pumping flow of a life ebbing away. But there's a good bit of it out there.
But one blood scent is different from the others. Because it is still moving. The tiger's blood is in the air, where Lexi's enhanced nose can pick it up. Pick it up, and remember something that smelled similar. There's no way to be sure. But it certainly evokes that thought, that memory.
That feeling.
The troll roars out its frustration, while the bystanders and the tiger look on. "Manlings be quiet! Leave my bridge alone! Pay the tolls, and leave me alone!" the troll cries. It is enough, probably, to convince Clea that the troll had no idea what has caused him to awaken like this, here and now. He didn't do it of his own free will. And he has no idea what to do now, but to do as ancient tradition and instinct demand.
Oh. And the sirens? He's eying those cars with intent, glancing around looking for rocks to throw at the noisy things.

Lexi has no idea what's being said…as far as she can tell, she's only catching Clea's side of the conversation, faintly, then roaring from both othe other parties. But she can tell an attempt at a negotiation being done when she sees it. And that scent…that's familiar. Her eyes widen suddenly. Hunter! She might be hurt, is her first thought. Her second is: wait…am I smelling the cat? Does she have a tiger? That's really cool! Her third actual action is to slip quietly off the trailer and into the construction site itself, stealthly making her way closer to the scent. She's not sure…but if Hunter was hurt, and that's not Hunter, she could be lying wounded and in need of help…and best to sneak her away while the other woman keeps the massive creature's attention if so.

"They will never be quiet." Clea laments. "They are trying to make your bridge better. They need your strength, though. They need you to be part of the bridge again to keep it mighty and safe for all to trod. This is man's world now, dear troll. Your tolls will have to be the knowledge that you are keeping your bridge safe in your slumber. Will you let me help you, will you sleep quietly or shall I have to do it against your will?"

It takes effort for Clea to make her pleas compelling enough to really grab the attention of the troll, so distracted and upset is it by all of the noise and bustle and activity all about. But with effort - and magic - she can get its attention, get it to focus, get it to block out enough of the madness to hear her, truly hear her and take in her message. It is angry and upset; it does not want to just yield to the manlings. Her efforts and attention keep it from attacking the noisy police cars and their sirens. And slowly, slowly, he starts to calm down. To get more still. And finally to relent, considering this sleep thing.
Tendril's search for the scent of blood and the scent of 'Hunter' will lead her … around through the construction site, to the alleyway. She can inch her way through, and find the freshest source of those two scents … crouched, angrily, up on a promontory of rubble, watching over the troll and the sorceress, tail lashing back and forth, staring with intent, ready to fight if she must. But bleeding from her wounds. That has to be one hurtin' tigress.
And yes. This close, even Lex can't make that mistake: it's a tigress, not a tiger. A gigantic Siberian tigress. That smells like 'Hunter'.
Eventually, Clea can guide the troll back to its bridge, and get it to crouch down. The ritual takes longer than a mere wave of the hands, but is not something that takes hours or days. Twenty minutes or so at most, and finally the gigantic fey is transformed back to its elemental essence. She can still feel the power of its presence, but it is slow, and still, and no longer agitated or pulsing. The ritual's magic will work its way deeper over time, until the troll is as firmly asleep as once it had been.
But there is still the question of who or what caused it to awaken earlier?

The troll asleep finally, there remains one potential combatant to see to. Clea returns to the scene of the battle to look for the great tiger again. "There you are, my pretty." she says soothingly. Though it seems mad, she crosses the space to stand just inside paw-swipe range, holding out a hand to the beast, palm up.

As Clea draws close, she will find that the tigress is … not quite so angry, now. But hurting. Oh, yes, hurting. She is no longer actively bleeding; twenty minutes is enough that her wounds have sealed over at this point. But she still has broken ribs, one leg has a broken bone, and she has a concussion. Her tail is also bruised.
And how is that fair?! She has a BRUISED TAIL!
But the tigress is still standing on the promontory of rubble, watching over the alleyway. Her only angry cry is when the police officers tried to get closer to her and the alley. They backed off, and she stopped growling and swiping, and just stood there, panting.
Pretty? The tigress lifts emerald eyes with am amber backlight to regard the white-haired sorceress. That soft, soothing voice is welcomed. Ears tilt towards that voice. She doesn't swipe. She doesn't run away. She just watches.
She isn't 'talking' so much, either, but Clea can pretty quickly determine that the translation spell is still in effect. If the cat starts communicating, she will get the message.

Clea smiles, but she doesn't bare her teeth. "You're hurt, aren't you?" she asks the tiger, though this is somewhat a rhetorical question. "May I help you?" she wonders. "Will you let me?"

The tigress watches Clea carefully. As one might expect, Clea's scent is new to the gigantic cat. And new is generally something to be very careful about. But Clea is being gentle. Respectful. Quiet. Moving slowly. Telegraphing her intentions.
And this cat is not just huge; she's smart. Like, human smart.
The tigress nods. Yes, she is hurt. She considers carefully when asked about helping. She tilts her head to the side.
She rumbles, having no idea that this white-haired sorceress is going to understand her. ~''"How can you help me?"''~ the rumbles translate, for Clea.
The tigress turns her head, catching a scent, and watches something coming across a rooftop to the alleyway behind her. Towards the people she has been protecting. And Clea would know, instantly, that is exactly what the tigress has been doing this whole time: protecting those people, still holed up at the rear of that dead-end alley. And the rumbles change.
~''"Get away! Get away!"''~ the rumbles say, now, as she turns to stare into the alley, pained back legs tucking down, readying to spring forward and protect her people.

I can heal you." Clea says. "I have magic. Is there somewhere we can go, nearby? The authorities are likely getting nervous having such a magnificent creature in their streets." Likely the people around here likely think she is insane, speaking to a tiger. She turns as the tiger reacts to something in the alley.

Lexi halts at the sudden rumble, her golden eyes reflecting the light like a cat's back down the alley. "Um…I know a place nearby…where we can be off th' streets…" somes a familiar (to Hunter) voice. "Th' soup kitchen I work at isn't far an' I got a key.." She stays where she is rather than advancing further, not wanting to make the tigress feel she's boxed in or threatened.

The cat rumbles, still distressed. The scent, she figures out, is one she knows. One she doesn't believe will hurt her people. But she's in pain, she's not happy, she is pinned between two people, and this is tense.
Oh. And there are cops still aiming high-powered rifles in her direction. Oh, sure, they're half a mile or more away up on rooftops, and no one can see them. But the cat can. Oh yes, she can. And she is not happy.
Somewhere to go? The tiger considers the white-haired sorceress, and then the silvery-haired girl in the alley. Moving is going to hurt, but moving is going to hurt no matter what she does. She shakes her head, tossing it agitatedly, and then bounds down off her promontory of shattered stone and rebar, and lopes down the alleyway, towards Lexi.
With her adrenaline receded, it's easy to see the unsteady and pained movement in the tiger's broken leg, the rest of her legs struggling to take up the slack. The wheezing in her breathing, from the broken ribs. She coughs, and spits out some blood in the process. But she keeps going. Determined creature, she is.
When the tigress gets close to Lexi, she gives the girl the hairy tigress' eyeball of doom. There shall be a feline reckoning. But she does not bite, or swipe a paw. Then again, she needs three legs to balance for the lack of the broken one. So.

Clea collects her coat and hat from a passersby. "Thank you." she says, then follows after the cat to meet the mauve girl. "Good evening, young lady."

The girl in question is watching the tigress a bit worriedly, but turns her attention to Clea as the tall woman comes closer. "Um, hi there…I'm Lexi…it's just this way, not far." She waves the two after and leads them a couple blocks away (which is why she recognized the construction fight area), pulling out a key as she gets up to the door, then unlocks the double doors, pulling them open to make room for the huge cat and other visitor to follow. "We can talk in here…"

Pained and distressed, the tigress doesn't go far inside. She manages to get herself inside, and then finds a spot and lays down on the cold, hard concrete floor, ears laid back, panting. Her tail's tip barely flips as she lays there, watching the two women.
In spite of herself, the tigress trusts the mauve-colored girl not to hurt her intentionally, and to do her best to prevent any harm the other woman might intend. Yet her instincts - so strong, those instincts, so much stronger when she embraces the tiger than when she instead embraces the woman, the soldier - tell her that the white-haired sorceress means to help if she can.
If spells are used, it shouldn't be too hard to determine several things: the first of these is that the tigress is under the effects and is the product of a magical curse, passed through the blood: she is a weretigress, a therianthrope of great power.
Additionally, there is a catalog of her injuries to be found: soft tissue injuries are already well on their way to healing, but the bones are a problem. The leg is knitting itself together, but doing so wrong; it would need to be rebroken and then set properly, and given hours if not a couple of days to heal, even with her tremendous healing talents. And then there are the ribs. Nearly half her ribs are broken, and several are healing into terribly wrong positions, including one that is pressing into one of her lungs.

Magic was indeed used, just a quick thing, no need to invoke any assistance. "Hmm." Clea says after a moment of this enhanced sensory information is processed. "As you may have guessed, she is hurting." Clea says to the silver-haired woman. "I am Clea. A pleasure to meet you." A look back to the tiger. "I can heal you with my magic, though it may be unpleasant. I would suggest that it is this or you should see a doctor." She tilts her head. "If you change, would your bones go back to normal, do you think?"

Lexi winces a bit at that question and what it implies. "…she's gonna be hungry. I can make somethin' up quick for her. There's some flank steaks in th' fridge, an' get some water in a bowl for her…." She turns to pad towards the kitchen. Because…wow, that sounds like she's really not wanting to be in the room watching the kitty be reinjured, but then again….she hesistates in the door, frowning, unsure if her help might be needed. She wouldn't be HAPPY about that, but if it helps….she's got the strength to rebreak bones fairly easily.

The tigress shies away, wincing back from Clea as she suggests trying to change. The tigress has no way she knows of to explain, not realizing that Clea's spell is so gently pervasive that her very body language is translated, adding her intent, her will, her thoughts and tiniest sounds to make words of meaning for the sorceress.
~''"No. The change twists and snaps everything, changing a twelve-foot, thousand pound tiger down to a less than six foot, less than two-hundred pound woman. The change hurts badly at the best of times; it would be unbearable agony with these injuries."''~
For someone not tuned into the spell's translations, what follows is shrinking back, big tigery mewls, coughs, protests and panting. It's not pretty. Poor kitty.

Clea nodded. "Very well." She closed her eyes a moment to weave a quick protective circle about herself… she has a bad feeling there may be some violence here in a moment. Better safe than sorry. She lifts her hands and they begin to glow. She reaches out with her power to the immense tiger. It's a warm feeling, she's starting at the tiger's tail. It shouldn't hurt overmuch, fixing that bruised tail, but as the warmth creeps further along towards that broken leg and closing up the wounds it may not feel so nice. The germs and ruined tissue are pushed out of the cuts, replaced quickly with fresh, clean flesh and blood. Why the discomfort? She's trying to use the tiger's body to do the work instead of just blatantly thumbing her nose at reality.

Lexi winces at the sounds, frowning deeply, but when Clea seems to be doing something all….sparkly…she disappears into the kitchen, quickly pilling up like fifteen pounds of flank steak on a plate, warming up each with a quick thirty second jaunt in the microwave, so it's not cold…lukewarm, but not cold. She snags the plate with her tendrils and gets a bowl, more grabbing some of the bottle water out of the fridge, a gallon jug of it, then carries it all out to set down carefully behind where Clea is working, so she's not interrupting, then startsfilling up the bowl.

The tigress doesn't mind the working on the tail. But when the magic reaches the leg and starts rebreaking bones to set them properly she snarls in rage and twitches, swiping, writhing; it's not like there's anything here to hold her back or contain her.
The only saving grace that Clea has is that she is behind the cat, completely out of position for swiping of clawed paws as big as her chest. The cat thrashes, of course, and she's capable of twisting around to bite behind her butt if she has to. But while she cannot stop herself from thrashing or crying out, she is intelligent; she is smart enough to know that Clea is not the enemy. Instinct compels her to attack, but intelligence compels her not to attack the person actually helping her.
Life as a ginormous tigger is complicated, damnit!

At the sudden thrashing, Lexi looks alarms, then sprouts several tendrils as she quickly but firmly troes to tie down those paws before one of the lashing claws strikes clean. She winces, bracing herself…she assumes she's going to get bit, likely. But she's strong enough, she thinks, to restraint he worst of the thrashing and attacks, long enough for whatever Clea is doing to hopefully work.

The tigress has a might that has never been measured, but she can propel those claws through armored steel plates. Suffice to say, Lexi finds herself getting whipped around a bit, but her efforts do restrain the worst of the thrashing, which turns out to be a good thing. It's enough that when she loses herself in the agony as the ribs are rebroken and set, she doesn't manage to get her head around to bite at Clea's hands, or her head.
The tigress twists and fights against those restraints … but she also heals. Sure enough, fed by the power of the magic, her body expels torn and ruined tissue, breaks and resets bones, and knits them together. Days of healing for the tigress - the equivalent of almost two months for a normal human or animal - done in just minutes. But by the time it is over, the tigress is panting in a whole different way, looking hollowed-out, emaciated, like she has been starved for that same period of time.

"There we are." Clea says finally, the job seeming to be done. "Here, have something to eat." she offers. "And drink." and she motions towards the food and water Lexi has brought along for the hunter to enjoy.

Lexi grits her teeth, more tendrils shooting out form her back to anchor her to the supports holding up the room's roof, wincing as she's jerked back and forth, her boots skidding on the tiles as she tries to dig in, adjusting almost without thought to each motion to keep herself from falling over. When the tigress finally stops thrashing, she cautiously lets go, then sa Clea points out the food, uses two of her tendrils to slide the pile of meat and the water over near the tigress' head, carefully. "Yeah…eat this…"

Released from the tendrils, and from much of her own pain, the tigress gives a soft mewling sound. Then she leans over and rasps her broad, flat, sandpapery tongue against the tendrils, her way of apologizing for hurting Lexi, who was only trying to help.
The tigress stretches out, twisting, and then rolls over onto her belly, lapping eagerly at the water. Half of it disappears in short order. Then the flank steaks get the devouring treatment that only a starving carnivore can offer. She's not prissy about it either; even bones are gone in pretty short order, deadly-sounding crunches as they are shattered under her molars and then ground down and swallowed to fuel that mighty body. The rest of the water disappears almost as quickly, and the tigress lays back, rolling to her side and starting to groom herself, cleaning away the blood and viscera.
After she is cleaned up, the tigress turns herself to look at the white-haired sorceress curiously, head canted to the side. She chuffs, and the spell once again translates for Clea's benefit: ~''"Why would you help me?"''~ She knows why Lexi would, crazy mauve girl. But Clea is an unknown.

"Why?" Clea asks in return. "Why would I not? You have done the people a service. You were protecting those poor people from the troll." she continues. "One good deed deserves another, as they say." and she smiles. "Besides, this is my good deed for the day."

Lexi looks between the pair, then says. "Okay, ya can actually speak Tiger? Cuz that's a neat trick." she admits, honestly kinda wishing she could. "Um..is she okay now? All healed an' stuff? Yer a healer or somethin', right?" She crouches down, then sits, hugging her knees to her chest absently as she peers back at the Tigress. "And that was a troll? Like, a D&D troll or somethin'?"

The tigress looks intently between Clea and Lexi, and then back to the white-haired sorceress. She comes up to her paws and pads over to Clea, laying her big - it really is ginormous - head down on the woman's shoulder for a moment. Then she chuffs, brushing the ruff of her cheek against that shoulder and pads over to look at Lexi up close and very personally, checking her over, each tendril in turn, making sure she hasn't been hurt.
The translation of that chuff follows: ~''"And who are you?"''~

"I am Clea." she says to the tiger. "And who are you?" she asks. A smile for Lexi. "I wouldn't say that I can speak tiger, but I have a few tricks up my sleeve. A troll? Well, not so much a monster as a spirit. the poor dear was woken up by something. Something I shall have to look into, but I thought it more important to see that our friend here was taken care of."

There are some claw marks here and there on the tendrils, some with clotted blood on them. None are bleeding…they stopped suprisingly fast, in fact. She looks a bit unsure, though when she realizes the tigress is checking the tendrils, she holds them out for inspection. "It's not bad. Just scratches." Some deep scratches, however. "I'll be fine by tomorrow." She glances over to Clea and nods. "Thanks for helpin' her…she does lotsa good stuff for people 'round here."

The tigress nuzzles at the bloodied tendrils, bothered that she hurt Lexi; she tried not to,t hough she of course knows that with that pain, that she did no more damage is a miracle. Still, she feels badly that the woman who tried so hard to help her got hurt in the process.
After a bit, the tigress turns her head, growling out something towards Clea. ~''"Hunter, they call me. Okhotnik."''~ she answers.
That said, the tigress butts her head against Lexi's chest, and then pads over to the doors, shouldering them open as she bounds out into the night.

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