Monkey Madness Weapons Deal

Characters: Voodoo, Starfire
Rated: PG-13 for violence
Summary: Monsieur Mallah and The Brain have arranged a weapons deal for alien tech from off-world, but that gets interrupted as two heroines appear.
OOC Date: 2017-12-30 through 2018-01-01
IC Date: 2017-12-30
Where: Somewhere in Pennsylvannia

Rumors on the streets of 'good stuff' and massive high-tech arms sales soon to take place have drawn the attention of at least one erstwhile heroine. Voodoo picked up the rumors while doing her usual thing at a high-end strip club. She suspected the deal for alien weapons tech might relate to Daemonite activities, so she delved deeper - thank you, telepathy - and come the right hour of the right night, she suited up and flew her hoverbike out to the location in question, all to set up and hide herself and the bike, watching for all of this to take place in hopes she can track the arms back to Daemonite operations and disrupt their efforts.

Too bad there are no Daenonites down there.

For those who actually can fly around in space, finding this deal is perhaps a simpler thing, as one could visually spot the otherwise radar-shielded spacecraft as it plunged down into Earth's atmosphere, circled the globe, and descended for a landing out near the intersection of three major highways somewhere in Pennsylvannia. It is at that point that a collection of twelve big rigs opened their doors, and a collection of crude exoframes and forklifts are being deployed to unload the spacecraft's cargo as quickly as possible.

Oh. And a brain in a floating technological housing is floating out of one of the trailers, along with a huge gorilla with a beret on its head and an autocanon mounted to its arm and strapped to its back is moving out to flank that antigravity unit.

It seems Monsieur Mallah and The Brain are running this show.


Starfire wasn't looking for trouble. She was just surprised and curious to see a ship entering Earth's atmosphere: there aren't a lot of those, at least as far as she's noticed. The way it circled around the planet, the ship looked like it might have been lost, so she decided to follow it down and see if anyone needed directions.

Starfire descends from the sky in a blaze of orange; the slowest-falling meteorite ever seen on Earth.


Huddled where she is, Voodoo watches the scene as it unfolds below. No Daemonites; she has checked. And no one down there is thinking of the Daemonites, either. So that means she has no real reason to interfere.

Y'know, except for, like, supervillains offloading alien weapons to be distributed around the world and used against heroes.

Heroes like her friends.

Damnit!

Then Voodoo spots something overhad. Sadly, just about the same moment Voodoo spots Kori's con trail overhead, so do some of the folks working 'security' for the villains down below. And unlike Voodoo, who is just staring at the pretty glowing woman in the air and thinking 'wouldn't it be cool to fly like that', these guys decide to use some of those alien weapons, and they open fire.

Oh crap.


And dodging!

Starfire burns through the air is a dizzying series of asymmetrical loops and whorls to avoid the blasts fired at her. "I must have misapprehended their motives," she mutters to herself (in English; the habit is setting in) as she considers her options. Landing and taking cover behind either the ship or the truckomobiles would cut down on the fire she's drawing as the smugglers would be reluctant to damage their means of escape, but it would also get rid of her big advantage of mobility and leave her open to pincer attacks. Best to stay in the air.

Thoughts of her own mobility lead to an idea, though.

Starfire pirouettes in the air as she soars backward at about thirty miles per hour, her fists turning green as plasma fills her palms, which she begins hurling at the automotive trucks' tires. She aims for all the wheels on one side, in a driverside/passengerside sense, not just to destroy too many tires to allow the vehicles to drive away but also to make sure the vehicles are tilted to the sides, ready to be tipped over if necessary.


Bad guys are firing on Starfire. Y'know, Voodoo would have been only too happy to leave her and let all of this go. OK. Only mostly. But damnit, now they're firing on Starfire.

That is not OK!

Voodoo readies her blaster, and the extra power packs in the web belt over her costume. She limbers her blade in the scabbard mounted on her back, and then she charges down the hill, zigging and zagging against the grade as she takes aim and opens fire on the guys firing on Starfire.

Granted, Voodoo's blaster is no capital ship weapon. It's just about the equal of the ones those criminal types are using to fire on her golden-glowing alien friend. And she's not necessarily the best shot ever born, though she's not incompetent and she has decent targeting assist. But generally she's going more for weight of fire thrown downrange rather than accuracy. In short: covering fire.

Voodoo's efforts have the benefit of distracting a lot of Starfire's attackers. Some just try dodging the shots and still try to get beads on Starfire. But about half of them end up splitting their fire, turning to try to take out the crazy woman in purple and yellow who is running down the side of a hill shooting at them.

Starfire's efforts eventually manage to cripple - and tilt - several of the trucks. There are twelve of them, so it'll be a bit before she can manage them all, but they aren't moving right now, so they can't dodge, and she's more than good enough in power and accuracy to accomplish what she's after.

Unfortunately, that makes her firing and flight patterns predictable. Which is how and why the giant gorilla - Monsieur Mallah - is able - with The Brain's help - to take aim and unleash that autocanon minigun, hurling literally hundreds - nearly thousands - of mid-caliber rounds at hypersonic speeds right into the path of the alien warrioress, right where she's about to try to be to take out the next few wheels.


"X'hal!" Starfire gasps (the ejaculations still come in her own language) as she spots the tracer-like contrails of the bullets being fired at her. She's pretty sure she can withstand human ballistic weapons fire, but the danger isn't worth the payoff. She decides to revisit that idea of taking cover behind the truckomobiles, dropping down, forcing Mallah to have to go around… or no, with his strength, it's more likely he'd just jump atop a truck. Let's make that an unappealing choice, then. As she dives feet first to the Earth, Starfire's luminous eyes ignite, and green fire flashes visibly beneath the trucks' trailers as her head turns in a sweeping arc. She glares the rubber right off the wheels, each one exploding with a sound like professional mortar fireworks; each truck's axles scream as one by one, each vehicle tilts ponderously to one side.

Let's see a gorilla weighing hundreds of pounds jump atop one of those without falling.


Monsieur Mallah can't just spring up atop the truck and then fire down at Starfire; the surface of that roof is too slick, tilted at a bad angle, and there's no purchase for his powerful rear paws. But Mallah is smart - far smarter than a mere gorilla has any right to be - and knows that. Which is why he launches himself up and uses his free hand to seize the far - and upper - edge of that tilted roof, holding himself in place as he hauls that minigun over the edge and fires down towards Starfire.

Voodoo leaps and tumbles, rolling under one bit of cover and another as the incoming fire from The Brain's minions thickens up. She keeps firing back as much as she can, but now that they're concentrating their fire she can't quite get many blasts in edgewise. As it is, she's already healing up from two blasts that got through despite all of her efforts. So instead she hunkers down for a bit and concentrates, trying to prepare herself to project some telepathic interference. Spread out, it's not going to be enough to take them down, but if she can make them wobbly, she can make some serious progress forward.


The sound of the impact atop the truck comes half a second before Monsieur Mallah can flip over, find his balance, aim, and start firing. Starfire, on the other hand, needs only look at the gorilla to fire at him with her eyes, and balanced on one hand as he is, he's really a sitting duck. Starfire yells in inarticulate triumph as the dual beams blast him full in the gut.

Never bring a gun to an eyebeam fight.

No time to congratulate herself on the victory, though. There are still humans with firearms to deal with. The ape will need at least a few seconds to recover from the impact, the burns, and the landing after getting blasted off the roof: Starfire means to put them to good use, soaring low to the ground, fists first, around the back of the truck toward the first smuggler she sees (a group would be better but she'll take what she can get), her body a battering ram.


Monsieur Mallah's shots mostly fly pretty wide, as he is blasted in the face and upper chest even as he is bringing his gun's barrels to bear on his target. He goes tumbling, windmilling, off the roof of the truck and lands hard against the side of another trailer, then tumbles down, still smoking from burnt fur as he shakes his head, his beret long since lost, and tries to get back on balance to resume his attack.

The Brain has taken firm control of the situation, communicating instantly with the security forces he had arranged. The doors of the spaceship are closing as its engines go from a low-end standby and ramp up towards full power for takeoff. Meanwhile, the security teams split into four teams, with two of them angling away from and around Voodoo's position of cover to catch her in a nasty crossfire, and the other two sweep out wide, trying to get bead on the glowing alien woman.

Teach team is a pair of twos, distributed and moving almost back to back as they sweep over their areas of concern, covering one another smartly. They may be criminals, but these are highly paid professional mercenaries with extensive military training - relatively - and they are being very well guided by a beyond-genius intellect.

What Starfire sees first as she comes out from behind the truck where she'd taken cover is one of those teams of four in careful coordination, covering one another. She gets her shot at the first one she spots, and it's not hard to spot the presence of the others. But even as she is firing on one, first one and then another of the other three are turning and firing on her, using some of the very alien weapon hardware they were unloading, blasting repeatedly at the Tamaranean.

Voodoo finally gets herself ready, and then she unleashes a blast of psychic energy, hammering at the minds of the humans in the area. The one benefit she has is that her one ally isn't human; by concentrating on only hitting the humans, Kori should be safe, beyond feeling a dull pressure behind the eyes. The humans, however, will start staggering, a bit blinded and definitely distracted. Even better, this seems to affect The Brain as well.

Not as much Monsieur Mallah. That's unfortunate.


Starfire plows into the gunman fists first, doubling him over nearly in half by the impact, his body turned into an arrowhead and hers, the shaft. The air escapes his body in a sickening rush, but Starfire's anger is stoked now: she doesn't care about the pain of this man who was firing on her and her friend when all she was trying to do was give directions to lost travelers! Her flight trajectory curves upward in a parabolic arc to avoid more fire from the gunmen and to make sure the man nearly impaled on her fists is still in her grasp when she slows down enough to hurl a new projectile at Mallah: not a starbolt, but a gunman weighing nearly two hundred pounds, flung down from a height of twenty feet. He's going to feel that. Starfire can only hope for the gunman's sake that Mallah is soft enough to break his fall.

In the meantime, she has other problems: a spaceship trying to lift off and a series of laser blasts being aimed at her. Two birds with one stone: Starfire plummets again to land behind the spaceship. If she's lucky, some trigger-happy fool will hit the craft. Either way, she'll have bought a few seconds to find the repulsors or thrusters or whatever kind of drive this ship has and punch them furiously, machine gun style.


Unfortunately for the gunman that Starfire managed to nail, Monsieur Mallah is already climbing to his feet, and when he is hurled towards the gorilla, he is quite literally torn apart into a spray of blood, tissue and shattered bone as the minigun ends him in spectacular fashion. As soon as Kori throws the gunman away, she is subject to the fire of the rest of his team, and they aren't just going to miss. Except, of course, they aren't really tuned in right now, as they're still recovering from Voodoo's psychic blast.

Voodoo climbs to her feet as the human gunmen are put temporarily out of commission, and she opens fire, blasting every last one she can see as quickly as possible, trying to buy Starfire time to do … whatever it is she's doing.

With the gunmen largely disabled, at least for the moment, Kori's only problem while she's looking for propulsion systems on the spaceship would be Mallah and the torrent of copper-jacketed rounds that minigun is spewing like lead rain at hypersonic speeds. Even the spaceship shies away from those shots.

There do appear to be large glowing pods mounted to each stabilization wing, and two more mounted along the length of the main fuselage, though initial punches do not a whole lot more than deform the super-dense composite alloys of the framework. Repeated blows continue that deformation, and eventually Kori can manage to breach the shell around one of the units and get to the glowing guts of the gravitic lenses of the propulsion unit. But that's quite the focused KABOOM when they go off.


There's a certain joythe closest to irony Starfire ever getsin using the spaceship as a shield and forcing Monsieur Mallah to have to choose how much damage he's willing to risk doing to it while she jackhammers the wings. The explosion is bad news: it doesn't hurt her (at least not too badly), but it sets her ears ringing, making her suddenly much less aware of her surroundings; and possibly worse, it throws her back forty feet in the air, well clear of the craft, well into the open for Mallah to fire at.

All she can do is fly quickly and loopily (this latter made easier by the disorientation of her temporary deafness) to dodge shots while she waits for her head to clear until she can spot Mallah… ah, there he is.

Glare.

Hey, is that spaceship going to land, or crash? Where is it…


The spacecraft is lifted off the ground in a wildly imbalanced liftoff as one of the gravitic propulsion pods on one of the wings is detonated, but the ship's pilot is good, and while the ship is wild, it doesn't have to bite air solidly to stay aloft; it manages to wobble out of seeming control but does not fall out of the air, instead finally starting to gain altitude and eventually straighten out, launching towards the edge of the atmosphere.

With Starfire launched backwards, that puts Kori into Mallah's clear line of fire once more, and he does not waste it. The human gunmen are coming back to themselves, as Mallah turns and roars, the belt-fed autocanon shredding the air with those hypersonic copper-jacketed slugs, trying to quite literally tear Kori apart by sawing her to pieces with the hundreds and thousands of rounds thrown downrange.

Voodoo keeps firing, blasting one after another of the gunmen, snapping out one depleted energy pod and slamming in the next as she takes them out before they can regain their orientation and ready themselves to fire, whether at her or at Kori.

Then The Brain turns his hovering housing and it opens up, revealing a rotary-magazine weapon which fires, the grenade hitting the ground as Pris leaps away, the ground exploding in a torrent of stone and flame.


Kori's glare, when she manages it in the midst of the raging storm of Mallah's canon, interrupts that fire as the pair of starbolts from her eyes are launched into the gorilla with impressive fury. He was already crisp-edged and smoking, and he's most definitely not in better shape now.


Strategy has gone out the window, at least in any higher sense of the word. Starfire is operating on pure desire now. She wants to help Priscilla, and she wants to deny her enemies what they want: that means Monkey and the Brain don't get to pick their targets. While Mallah is staggered and burning, Starfire plunges down toward the Brain's odd, pillar-like body, flinging starbolt after starbolt from her hand as she dives into close combat range, while she yells at Priscilla (without naming her, as not to give away anyone's identity), "You take the furry one!"


Voodoo drags herself up to a seated position, her legs less than entirely functional given the shrapnel and burn damage they've taken. That will fix itself, but not instantly. "Got it!" she calls out, raspy-voiced, and shakes her head, then turns towards Mallah, lashing out at his mind as she raises her blaster, locking him up in place as she concentrates on only one target, not a horde all spread out, and then lifts the reticule and fires, blasting the gorilla's backpack, exploding the rounds waiting there, then explodes the gun itself. Now, at least if she loses her hold, Mallah can't just tear poor Kori apart.

"You will not win!" The Brain shouts, voice projected by that mechanical casing. The canon fires at Starfire, more of those explosive shells, even as she charges, dives, and starts tearing the thing apart. "No! Curse you! Damn you, you'll kill me!"


Starfire doesn't stop, she doesn't pause… but she does redirect. She seizes the barrels of the Brain's cannons and squeezes them. She's not strong enough to bend them, not with her bare hands, but she can deform the barrels enough to make firing a terrible idea. That done, she grips the glass casing housing the Brain's… well, brain; and, with unexpected tenderness, lowers her forehead to it. "I will not kill you," she promises in a heartfelt murmur. "What you have done here today is terrible, but I see what has been done to your life. I am so sorry. It must be awful to endure."


Voodoo keeps holding Mallah in place, sweating, grunting as she maintains the effort. Thankfully her healing ability doesn't require concentration or thought, and her legs are getting better moment by moment.

"Damn you." the romboticized voice of The Brain murmurs at Starfire. "They ruined my life. They have to pay." Of course, Brain doesn't have tear ducts anymore. There's no way to really express all of his rage or sadness. But hearing it in his voice, Mallah snarls and twists, trying to break free of Voodoo's grasp.

Unfortunately, the spaceship has escaped. Most of their cargo is down here, of course, and they likely didn't get the money they were after. But they did get away, damaged though they may be.

Maybe SHIELD, or SWORD, or the Justice Defenders will catch them?


Starfire hears that snarl, and intuition fires. She releases the Brain's pillar (she still can't quite think of it as a body) and turns slowly in the air to face Mallah, one hand raised in gentle warding. "Your heart is very full of him, isn't it?" she asks, quietly, not threateningly. She assumes he can understand her. There's no other reason he would have been wearing a hat. This robot doesn't strike her as the kind of being to dress its pets in costumes.


"He can't sign. Not while I'm holding him. But I can read what he's trying to sign." Voodoo explains. "He's … wow, he's angry. Very upset. He thinks you're torturing Brain." Unsteady and wobbling, the purple-glad heroine struggles up to her feet, and then moves over towards Starfire. "I can't hold him like this forever. I think I should just knock him out." But Pris is an empath; she can feel their emotions, and she won't ignore them, or make fun of them. That's not in her.

"Can you finish with Brain's weapons? Then we can put Brain with him. That might calm him down enough I can knock him out without swiss-cheesing his brain." Voodoo inquires.


Again gently, Starfire grips the Brain's pillar and lifts it. It's not heavy, at least by her standards. She floats over to where Mallah is paralyzed, and sets the Brain before him… but not facing him. "I will not harm your friend," she promises Mallah, looking him in the eyes, "but I must be certain he cannot harm me in turn. Rest easy, furry friend." She pauses before resuming her assault on the Brain's body. "I regret that we had to be enemies. I understand well the desire for vengeance against those who have taken from you."

Starfire's final attack on the Brain's weapons systems are efficient and, under the circumstances, as compassionate as possible. When done, she looks Mallah in the eyes. "You must sleep now. It is my oath that you are given the best healing before you waken, furry warrior."


Voodoo awaits her chance, and then finally she shoves all of her remaining psychic strength into a blast at Mallah's brain, shutting him down, putting him to sleep into unconsciousness. The huge gorilla collapses into a massive heap. The pillar of Brain's case floats over to make contact with Mallah, and those huge arms close around that pillar.

Voodoo wobbles a bit. "Starfire, can you help me out? We need to get these guys hobbled before we call the authorities, so they don't get away. I have zipties, but I'm not going to be rapidly mobile for a little bit." A pause, and then she offers, "By the way, I'm really glad you turn out to be so bulletproof. I was dreading that."


Upon learning what zipties are, Starfire regards the offered slips of plastic dubiously before deciding, "I have a preferable alternative." She shoots a troubled glance at Pris's legs, but this isn't the time to waste, so she flies over to the nearest truck and, with a grunt, rips off its rear axle. She glares the wheel rims off it, then ignites her fists with starbolts, letting the plasma soften the metal enough to make it more malleable, only holding the heat for a few seconds. She still grunts with the effort of bending the long pole into something like a coil, into which she slides Mallah's forearms, locking him in an embrace with the Brain before tightening the metal with louder groans (it's much harder when the metal is cool, not because she isn't strong enough but because she really doesn't want the metal to break). This task takes a solid four minutes, but by the time it's done, industrial cutting tools will be required to free Monsieur Mallah. He's going nowhere.

That done, Starfire drifts over to Voodoo. "Are your legs better, friend? Do you still require assistance constraining the fallen?"


The zipties were for the normal humans. Voodoo watches, quite impressed, as Kori manages to rip apart one of the trucks and then turn its axle into a Mallah-cage. Very impressed.

"I would like all the help I can get to get it done quickly." Voodoo offers Kori, as she moves to get started. She is at this point using a piece of fallen debris as a can as she hobbles off to get started. Give her another ten minutes or so, and she'll start molting away the ruined flesh. Already she's doing far better than any normal human would be in these circumstances, even with medical assistance.

"So. What brought you to this party?" Voodoo inquires. They've never much managed to actually talk, in all of their encounters thus far.


"Sit, sit," Starfire insists in the matronly, commanding tones of someone who has absolutely no medical training but is pretty sure some TLC will fix the problem. She takes the zipties and wafts from person to person, restraining their wrists (when she comes across the remains of the man Mallah killed, her eyes ignite and she finds her sympathy for his plight suddenly very, very far away, to the point that she has to swallow down an urge to go kick him). After a thick moment of silence while that violent urge is forced to pass, she answers, "It was the most accidental of circumstances. I observed that ship entering the orbit of Earth, and from its behavior I thought perhaps its pilot was lost. I wished to offer my navigatory assistance. It is terrible to be lost on an entire planet."


"Hah." Pris offers, apparently amused by the idea of Kori following the ship to offer navigational assistance only to find the arms deal. And they opened fire on her to draw her into stopping them. Had they let Kori go, they could have gotten away with this; Pris wouldn't have fired a shot if the Tamaranean hadn't been endangered.

Voodoo can also feel those powerful emotions; Kori is quite a radiant high in that regard, nearly all the time. "I'm glad you happened by. And that you aren't hurt worse than you are." Pris offers supportively. "I'm going to go ahead and call the authorities." Of course, Voodoo will likely be leaving before they can get here. But she's going to call them anyway.

"I know we haven't exactly been chatty, before. But you're pretty darned good. I just wanted to say that, and make sure you heard it." Pris offers.


"Thank you, Voodoo," Starfire returns, pleased if not flattered: she knows she's good. Drifting over to Voodoo through the air, with her knees bent so she's actually a bit lower to the ground than if she was standing up, she offers Voodoo a hand to help her rise. "I am sorry you are so often hurt when we meet. It is not fortunate at all."


The dusky-skinned purple-clad heroine shrugs a bit. "Well, I heal quick. It's not a huge deal, honestly. And I take the chances I do because I believe I can survive, even though I know it's risky and going to hurt." Voodoo does the ballsy, crazy stuff because she believes she's likely to make it through despite the agony. And she wants to help.

"I don't want to make a rude assumption, but my impression has been that you're pretty new to Earth." Voodoo comments to Starfire. "I'm no mega-genius or anything, but if you ever need a hand, help finding something, need a place to stay, whatever, I'd be happy to help out as best I can." Not that Voodoo's resources are very impressive. But isn't it often those who have the least who are the most willing to give of it to someone else in need?


"Oh, I am most new," Starfire agrees cheerfully as she helps Voodoo rise. "Many of your Earth ways are strange to me." Voodoo might pick up that Starfire said 'your Earth ways' rather than 'your human ways;' Starfire isn't a mega-genius either, but she's not a dummy. "But there is little I require assistance with on this planet. You need not concern yourself with such things. Instead, it would be much more pleasant to me to simply know you better, Voodoo."


"Well, I'd be happy to get to know you better, Starfire." Voodoo offers, a smile audible in her voice even if it can't show through the mask she wears. She accepts the help and stands, walking easily beside the taller woman; it's not often Pris is shorter than other women, so this is new for her.

"I'm sure you've guessed I'm not exactly 'normal' for being around Earth." Voodoo begins. "I'm actually a multi-racial hybrid, both in the fact I'm not all human, and in the sources of my human DNA. I also have Kherubim - Kheran, specifically - and Daemonite heritage. That's why I can see them when they're possessing others, and helps me when I try to eject them from someone they're riding. "I'm not familiar with your species."


Starfire nods along at these explanations as if they mean something to her, but she doesn't really need to grasp the specifics. Her parents came from different places, and her grandparents did too. Got it. "I am Tamaranean," she explains. "I prefer not to talk about it, if you are pleased. May we instead talk of not what you are, but who you are, Voodoo? What are your pleasures and your passions? What are the things which to you are important?"


Voodoo nods. Tamaranean. Not a race she's heard of, but she'll do some research. She'd like to know more. "Hey, we all have things we'd rather not discuss. No biggie." she offers the towering golden woman. "My pleasures and passions? Mmm. Have to admit, not many people ask me that." She is clearly considering the right answer to that question, something that will somehow encapsulate the things that make her so difficult to understand to others. "I love music and dancing. I love people. I love stopping the bad guys. And I hate bullies."


Starfire's eyebrows raise in surprise. "No? How does it happen that people of Earth come to know one another, if not by asking what they care for?"


Voodoo chuckles and shrugs. "Honestly? Most humans never engage with others enough to give much of a damn. A lot do, and those are the ones I most want to help, myself. But even so, most don't ask. They watch and listen, but rarely do they pry by asking. They're usually afraid to make the other person nervous."


Starfire lands on her heels and follows Voodoo wherever she's leading; to her mode of transportation, Starfire assumes. "I see," she lies. "If that is the way of your planet, then should I apologize for asking?"


Voodoo chuckles and shakes her head. "Not at all." She does indeed lead to the hillside and then starts tacking her way up, zigging and zagging against the slope, just as she came down it earlier. "But you asked, so I thought I'd tell you. Like I said, I like people, so I don't mind explaining things if I can."


Starfire nods. "I see. It is pleasing that the question does not cause you the upset." She watches Voodoo climb the hill on her injured-looking legs, tsks, and lifts off the ground to whoosh up behind Voodoo and scoop her up without permission, arms under Voodoo's shoulders and knees like a groom carrying a bride. "Please to indicate when we have reached the destination," she explains as she drifts up over the hill.


Voodoo snorts and shakes her head. "I can walk, you know." she protests to Kori, but without any heat. Instead, she just waits until they reach the top of the hill, and then she points to a scrubby growth to one side, behind which is a small dip and within which then lies the hoverbike she rode out here. "We're going up here."

Once back on the ground, Voodoo taps a few controls, warms the bike up and gets it floating again, then preps to depart, as she puts her weapons away in the saddlebags. "So. What are you passionate about? Seems like you're passionate about almost everything. Especially fighting."


"You can. But you aren't," Starfire points out, accurately, given Voodoo's position cradled in her arms. By the bike, she sets Voodoo down, watching with mild curiosity as Voodoo starts the bike up. Hm. So that's how you prime this thing. Old-fashioned, but the system is similar enough to be familiar. She even bets the throttle is…

"I'm sorry, you were—oh, what am I passionate about?" Starfire is taken aback. "I had not considered that someone might ask me this. Um. I enjoy traveling, exploring new planets, dancing. I do not enjoy fighting, but I do enjoy very much dispensation of the justice, and the protection of those who could not protect for themselves. I care most of the all about my family."


"Alright." Pris offers without complaint. She thinks Starfire gets quite passionate about fighting, justice or no, when she's in the mist of everything. But pointing that out would just be poking at someone who is trying to do good, and without a good reason. It would accomplish nothing, and antagonize a good person.

"Family, hunh?" Pris murmurs. Somehow, that doesn't sound quite right given she doesn't even want to talk about her species. But she's not going to argue. "Some of us aren't quite that lucky." she offers a tad louder. "But I can respect it. And dispensing justice? Most good folks can get behind that." Pris included.

Pris mounts the bike, and pats the back seat. "If you want to ride, feel free. Or you can fly. Not a talent I have. But I want out of here before the authorities show up."


"I will ride with you," Starfire determines without hesitation. "In that way, if something happens, I will already be near you to lift you from the danger." She apparently still feels bad about the number of wounds Voodoo takes per meeting with Starfire (and she's keeping to herself that another reason to ride Pris's bike is serve as a shield from the back). She climbs onto the seat, her height sufficient she kind of has to pin her legs to the outside of Priscilla's rather than try to follow the backs of the human-ish woman's, and wraps her arms around Voodoo's waist. Her skin is still feverishly hot. "Where do we go?"


"Away from here. Make sure have no tails. Then, I have a place." Pris offers, as she gooses the bike to lift off, and then heads off overland, sweeping from one bit of overhead cover to the next in suitably paranoid fashion. She can feel Kori behind her, so hot and so very solid. Her legs are almost completely healed at this point.

"You know, everyone has their own talents." Voodoo comments. "You bounce bullets off your skin, and fly. You're super-strong. And you throw bolts of … I don't know what. That stuff is impressive." She drives on and shrugs. "I'm a bit less impressive. But I have talents, too." Best not to shapeshift into a Daemonite while driving. "Like telepathy. Speed. That stuff." She grins, audible in her voice. "Just try to remember: I'm not a civilian. I can take my lumps, OK?" Been a while since she had to train anyone else to let her do what she needs to do.

Since Maul. And Hadrian.


Starfire nods. The gesture is nearly lost, but for the feel of her chin dipping against Priscilla's shoulder, since Starfire's head is craned forward to try to hear over the rush of wind and the sound of the engines. "I understand that you can endure pain. I only prefer that you not have to," she explains.


If Pris could get a helmet on Kori, this would work so much better, given that they have Bluttooth audio connections. But with fire-hair, that's probably not a great plan. So they're making due, and it's messy. Pris continues to sweep from one bit of cover to the next until they've moved about fifteen miles from the location of the incident. Then they land, and Pris activates a few more controls, as real wheels descend and line up, and the anti-gravity systems retract and shut off. Now they're just another group of people on a motorcycle. Nothing to see here!

"I appreciate you prefer I don't endure pain I don't have to." Pris shouts to be heard over the wind and the roar of the engine. "I just don't want that to become me being a liability." She would rather head that off if she can. "Shouldn't be more than another half an hour, and we'll be to my place."


Starfire can take a hint. Not often, mind youwhat humans consider hints are so subtle by her standards as to be nearly invisiblebut the pointed change of the conversation doesn't slip her notice, this time. She just nods again and passes the time by humming to herself, a song that can't really be heard in the slipstream but can be felt in the vibration that passes down her chest. It's a very bass song, apparently.


Half an hour later, they've taken a highway into the heart of Gotham City, and pulled off and down an alleyway. She puts down the kickstand but leaves the engine running, as she swings her leg over, dismounts, and approaches the door to a garage dovetailed into the midst of this urban blight. The she unlocks the chains, rolls up the door, and then turns around to get back to the bike, riding it inside and then shutting off the engine.

"We're here." she comments, as she dismounts again and makes her way over to step through the door, rolls the door down, chains it up and locks it, then opens the people door to the side. Then she locks that up and comes through to rejoin Starfire. The place is grubby and messy, a hole in the wall mechanic's garage. The tools are old, messy, and most are rusted.

"It's not much. But it's something. Up the stairs is a bathroom, a small pad for crashing if you're tired." Pris offers. She peels her pants off, showing her unharmed legs, no sign of injury.


"Oh, no thank you. I am not tired." Starfire looks around curiously, wandering from place to place, occasionally touching things or even picking them up to look at them before setting them back down. She glances at Priscilla disrobing, but doesn't pay too much attention to it; just about everyone has legs, after all. Instead she wonders aloud, "Are you intending to use the room for bathing?"


"Probably, briefly. Clean the blood off my legs." Pris offers, with a shrug. "Mostly, I just figured this was a better place to sit still and talk, than being out in the middle of nowhere with the authorities inbound." She smiles. "You want anything to eat? Drink?" she inquires as she starts up those stairs carrying the pants; they'll need cleaning and darning.


"The water is a universal potable. I would like to drink that," Starfire offers politely. "I will locate it, and wait here until you have completed your rituals of ablution."

Starfire does indeed find a sink while Priscilla is washing. She does not think to look for a cup; she just figures Earth customs are strange. It takes some doing to get her mouth under the faucet, but it's easier when you can fly.


Pris comes out of the bathroom, legs clean, to spot an upside-down flying Tamaranean slurping water from the tiny sink in the combination kitchenette bedroom. "You know, there are glasses. They're not high class, but there are some." After that walks over, pulls out a cup from somewhere, and hands it to Kori. Then she lifts up the sleeping bag, pulls out a pair of jeans, and starts wiggling into them. Damn those things are tight.


"Oh… I… did not wish to… inconvenience you by dirtying them?" Starfire asks. She's not a good liar even before her ochre blush comes into play. "I'm glad your legs have healed. I hope your pants are salvageable."


"They should be. I'm not the best seamstress in the world, but I should be able to manage." Pris offers. Then she finally gets the jeans on, and flops down on top of the bed, watching the fire-haired woman.

"Have a seat, Starfire." Pris offers, gesturing to the other end of the sleeping bag on the platform, making her invitation clear. "I'm sorry we didn't hang around after the last fight. Patriot was really worried, and I wasn't exactly in much shape to argue with her when she threw me over her shoulders and ran off."


"Oh, uh, thank you," Starfire says in response to the offer, and sits down on the sleeping bag with no apparent concern for what her flaming hair might touch. It brushes against the fabric without causing so much as a sizzle. She makes a pretzel of her legs and nods her understanding. "I am glad she did. I hope you received the help you required."


"Food, water, sleep. My body takes care of the rest." Pris offers with a smile, gesturing again towards her legs. "Not sure what your experience is. But I thought I'd explain. 'Voodoo' is the name I use for who I am in the costume. When I'm fighting." She pauses, looking for understanding. "Outside the costume, every day, going through life, my name is Priscilla. Most call me Pris."


"Oh, you have a mask name? I am only Starfire," the Tamaranean explains. "It is pleasant to meet you, Pris."


"Pleasant to meet you, too, Starfire." Of course, at a minimum Pris is going to bet there's a Tamaranean translation for Starfire, but she won't ask. It doesn't matter that much. "So, what brought you to Earth?"


Starfire let her hands rest in the hollow where her lap might otherwise be. "Originally? It was only providence. I was passing by and noticed your artificial satellites, which implied a civilization, so I investigated." She smiles brightly. "Your planet is very cute. I enjoy it, so I try to return when I am nearby. What of you? What brought you here?"


"I was born and raised here." Pris answers, honestly. "A Kheran battlecruiser and a trio of Daemonite warships crashed here thousands of years ago. Their populations have been hiding out amongst the indigenous population, coming into conflict irregularly and usually secretly through the years. Which has included some hybrids. Like me."


Starfire nods wisely. "Ah, I see." She pauses, looking about for inspiration. "How is it you come to live in such a place as this?"


Pris motions to the walls around them. "This place? This is temporary. I don't stay anywhere for too terribly long." She shrugs her shoulders. "I'm renting this place from the owner. He can't run it anymore." Has something to do with being dead; she's renting it as much to help out his widow as to help out herself. She couldn't save him from the gang violence which claimed his life. But she comforted him in his final hours, and though she never admitted anything, she hunted down those responsible. His wife seemed to know that, and made a point of offering the place. "It's small, low-key, doesn't draw a lot of attention. You like it?" She's teasing, mostly. Good humor is essential to her sanity.


"I have no point of comparison. I have never been to an Earth home before." Starfire looks around again, eyes landing in random places and pausing briefly before moving to the next random thing, like a housefly flitting from spot to spot. "I suppose you must require these walls and ceilings. This part of your world seems cold."


Pris shrugs. "Our world has weather patterns. This is winter, so yeah, it's cold. Walls are important." Good fences make good neighbors, and walls keep out the cold and old in the heat; and in summer they do the reverse. "I'm guessing you'd prefer some place farther south, closer to the equator. It's warmer there. Like Florida."


"Oh, no, the cold does not trouble me. I am unharmed in the vacuum. It is… difficult to describe how I experience temperature." Starfire thinks for a moment. "Perhaps it is like… possessing a useless fact? I know the mating season of the bronthiel, yet this information is not relevant to me. It does not affect my experience."


Pris hrms softly, and shrugs. "It means a bit more to me. I'm not sure if I could survive vacuum without a suit. It might depend on what shape I could take and how quickly." She sips more water. "I don't get too negatively affected by normal temp rages, up or down. But I usually prefer warm if I can get it."


Starfire nods enthusiastically at that last. "As do I. Warmth is always preferable." She glances at the door, then back to Priscilla. "You say you do not stay long? Is it your intention to go to a warmer climate when you leave?"


Pris smiles. "I kinda move all over, really. My next gig is in Star City." Not that Kori will know where that is, or care much. But Pris mentions it anyway. "After that, I have one in New Orleans for two weeks, and then up to Chicago for almost a month. Like I said, I wander a lot."


Starfire thinks about that for a moment, and decides she can assume those names imply a meaningful distance between each. "You are migratory, then?"


"After a fashion." Pris answers, then she explains. "Doing what I do, taking out daemonites and dealing with villains, doesn't pay the bills. So I travel around a lot for jobs that do pay the bills. Also helps make sure I don't stay in one spot too long and allow the daemonites to find me. When that happens, a lot of innocent people get hurt."


"Ah, bills," Starfire agrees, latching onto the part of that she least understands, and nods. "The processes of ownership on this planet seem most adversarial. I do not envy you navigating them at the same time you must hide from your pursuers."

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