Punching the Clock with Grace

Characters: Grace Choi Delta Betsy Braddock
Rated: R
Summary: Grace Choi is hired to oversee the unloading of some cargo at Fort Hob's, only to come under attack by AIM soldiers hoping to steal the tech inside. Luckily, she is aided by Betsy Braddock, and Delta…or is she?
OOC Date: Thu Mar 15 20:13:57 2018
IC Date: Thu Mar 15 20:13:57 2018
Where: Fort Hob's Park - Business District - New Troy - Metropolis

It's twilight on the docks…not quite night, not quite day, and with the overcast weather and the snow flurries, it might as well be night. The wind howls amid the various dock cranes. Most captains have decided tomorrow is a good enough time to start unloading cargo, after the snowstorm has paused.

One, however, the Pingu Princess, is unloading, due to its cargo being…well, valuable. And its owner wanting it off the ship and in his warehouse ASAP. Because of that, a few dock workers are getting triple time tonight and are suffering through the terrible weather while they move a selection of boxes off the ship. All are labeled "Genuine MacGuffin Parts." No doubt they are both important and valuable! Whatever they actually may be.

One such worker, though not a dock worker, is Grace Choi. The woman — the very, very large red-headed asian (made so by both height, and muscletone) with the short, rough-cropped pixie-cut flaming hair has her arms crossed, and she's presently leaning against one of the docking posts, watching things getting offloaded. As one hauler makes a comment about how she should be helping she counters back mildly, "Ain't being paid to haul crates. That's on you. I'm just here because your boss saw me toss the Rhino out of my bar when he refused to pay the tab."

A thousand feet up or so, flitting in and out of the cloud layer, Delta hovers and observes the boat below. Yeah, those crates look about like the manifest she'd hacked said, but she couldn't just drop in right now. Every good heist needs a distraction, and if somebody started something she could drop in, 'help out' a bit, and then make off with a few crates before anyone noticed. Kick a few butts of the really bad guys, and get the parts Dire wanted. Should be simple enough… But of course, when Capes were involved, it was never simple.

Why IS a fashionable woman in a slim-line black coat with a thin blue stripe on the inside of the lapel, tight dark-violet leggings, and calf-high leather boots here on the docks?

"Oh for the love of God," Betsy mutters to herself, pushing buttons on her phone, which has decided seemingly of its own accord to seize, devour, and expend its entire battery charge in a splurging gush of celebrating life, and/or mining DoomCoins for Latverian organized crime. "And I'm lost. Haven't been lost in five years."

Betsy looks up at the gray, gray sky. "It's been much longer than -" Betsy stops short, narrowing her eyes.

The flying person - no, Betsy thinks, I shouldn't just alarm them with my thoughts. Just watch them. For now, at least.

The worker grumbles a bit at Grace but moves on with poor grace. The weather certainly isn't keeping tempers even at this point, certainly. And cold fingers make for fumblefingers, as it happens. As one of the crates is being swung off the ship, the operator's hand fumbles slightly against the lever, causing it to jerk to a halt, right when a powerful gust of wind slams into it, the box creaking as it starts to topple over. The workers scatter in all directions as it threatens to crush several of them.

"Idiots," mutters Grace, mostly to herself. But, they're paying her DAMN good money to be here, and it's only a one-time gig. The amazonian looking woman by stature pushes herself off her 'comfortable' perch in the bitter weather and she moves over towards the box that everyone else is scattering from.
Whatever is in that particular box might be enough to crush a man, or several, but Grace manages to steady it like it was just an oversized box of styrofoam packing pellets instead.
Louder, she tells the guy on the controls, "I've got it. Give it some slack, Einstein." Her tone with the man is as scornful as the words spoken, the weather isn't making her anymore cheerful than anyone else. But, at least she's helping out.
Once she gets the slack, she hefts the crate towards the forklift, setting it neatly onto the next truck to take it into the warehouse, then dusts her hands off.
Then she calls up as she dusts off her hands, "Try and pay attention, will ya?"

Delta cotinues in her holding pattern, switching to IR. Let's see… A few dockworkers, someone holding a freshly dead cell phone, and… Whoah. Okay, she's definitely a cape. Or at least a metahuman. Looks like Enhanced Strength at least. She flicks through the spectrum, getting a few pictures for the files. Always good to know who you're up against, after-all.

Something goes THUMP and Betsy jumps visibly.

Swiftly she approaches. I should call the police, Betsy Braddock thinks. Or the emergency services. Or Brian, or the United Nations, OH WAIT, she curses inwardly, I can't, because THE PHONE'S BATTERY DIED!

Someone's shouting out, though. They're cooperating. Not a mass disaster. Betsy sags in relief.

And mentally she reaches towards one of the fleeing dockworkers, whose mind she interrogates with silent grace, purely to check that things were, in fact, alright and OK. It's more of a surface glance than a deep probe. Whether others can see it is another matter.

Also, she just walked into the clear light of a street lamp, which is probably weird in its own right.

It's not hard to read him for Betsy. The dockworker in question is….moving to take a smoke break. He has a cigarette. He has a lighter. He is moving with purpose away from the near disaster. So he's not here when the guys in the bee suits show up. They only pay him to let them know when there's valuable tech cargo, after all…not to be around when they actually try to TAKE it. So…yeah. Cigarette. Several blocks that way should be good, he figures.

Those are some clear imagines of a guy in a yellow beekeeper type AIM suit giving him the money though.

Which would probably explain why Delta can see two newer looking cargo containers unfolding to release a couple platoons of AIM troopers, as with a rumble a pair of large, gorilla-like robots follow behind them.

"Thanks beautiful…" the foreman says. "Woulda been a mess if….eh…?" He looks over then turns a bit white as he sees the armed AIM types headed their way. "Fuck! Everybody out! OUT OUT OUT!" Because they are so not paid to defend the cargo.

That's Grace's job.

It is Grace's job. And, anyone watching her features can, immediately, note the combined exasperation along with the sheer annoyance that crosses over her features. As if she simply couldn't monologue inside her own head quietly, she instead asks herself, "Why the hell can't any of these sidejobs just, for goddamn once, be easy? Hell."
Unfortunately, she can't throw the cargo at them, because that's what she's being paid to protect.
She hasn't yet spotted either the flying person, or the mind-reading purple-ninja-assassin standing under the lighted area. She has a bit going on, right now. So, dressed in a pair of soaking wet cargo pants, boots she probably got from an army surplus store, and a tanktop that's soaked to the bone she simply crosses her tatooed arms after walking over towards the now-abandoned forklift, and tells the AIM crew, "Tell you what. You leave now, and I won't make all of you quadropalegics."

Oh hey! THERE'S the action! Grinning inside her helmet, Delta rolls, limbs spreading out in an X as she guides herself down towards the deck with arm movements and adjustments from her anti-grav system. She lands with a clang, force field flaring with brilliant light that fades to reveal a black armored figure.
She rises to her feet, the recessed beam emitters in the forearms of her armor starting to glow. "Get the civilians out of here!" she shouts, voice rendered somewhat electronic by her helmet, as she fires twin beams of golden energy into the chest of the closest Gorillabot.

He's on smoko, leave him alone, Betsy thinks with a nod, and then he imagines beekeepers.


One might be a coincidence, she thinks. Two, a conspiracy of apiarists. Three? No. She has an idea of these people.

People shout about civilians. Betsy places a hand to the side of her head and sidles out of the street light, before a voice reaches forwards…

Into the minds of the workers! Most of the workers. 'Come this way,' she thinks, the thought accompanied by a rippling sense of — 'go this way'. Towards the street. Towards the city. Towards the great metropole of New York! And freedom! And rats! No, Betsy tells herself, don't think about the rats right now.

"Oh for Christ's sake," Betsy says when she sees the gorillabots. Towards Grace and Delta flies a thought: 'Can you handle them? Excuse me, I was just passing by but these look harsh. When I say them I mean the gorillas -'

'Ah there you go' this as Delta shoots at a robot.

The AIM troopers run up and slow a bit because. Well. Let's face it. They're not the most discplined of troops. "Holy shit is she ripped…" one whispers to another, who is fumbling with his helmet a bit. "Wait, I'm getting pics…for, uh, later…" They all seem perfectly content to let someone go first. Like, well, maybe Gorillabot #2, which knuckles into the area, then eyes Grace with reddish optics, before a pair of large barrels unlock from its back and swing over its shoulder. One of the troopers who's hanging back and who seems to have a slightly fancier suit says. "Stand aside, or face the fury of the RUMPSHAKER CANNON! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!" The guns do manage to charge menacingly.

The laughter is cut off as the particle beam shoots past and punches through the chest of the second Gorillabot, which staggers from the impact, sprawling back with a tremendous CRASH into the stack of shipping containers next to it as it tries to catch itself. "…?" The AIM commander eyes Delta. "Okay. New plan. SHOOT HER FIRST." THe troopers all raise their weapons to point at Delta.

Save for the two on the end, who catch a glimpse of Betsy as her siren call cause all the workers to pelt past her to safety. "Hey who's she?" "I dunno, stun her! For, uh, a prisoner!" And the two raise their rifles towards Betsy.
And then chaos erupts as they all start shooting.

"God Dammit," Grace snarls as one of the Gorillabots light up with fire from on high. Her eyes briefly glance up to see Delta's position and then trek back to the remaining Gorillabot. Her night is now officially ruined, she's wagering. And only two things are really going to make it better, and there isn't any booze in the immediate vicinity. So, her arms are unwinding, grabbing the frame of the forklift because she /wasn't/ hired to protect that, just the damn cargo, and the forklift is turned into a flying piece of artillery headed straight for the remaining Gorillabot.
That doesn't mean that Grace is standing still. She's already running. And, running fast. All seven feet of her, and if the other AIM members can't -hear- the sick snapping of bones as the amazonian literally twists the closest AIM members arm back in a way that only children do with action figures, they sure as hell can see it. It seems Grace might be willing to go through with her threat, unlike most 'capes'.

Delta leans forward, forcefield flaring brilliant white again as it soaks the energy blasts. She dives to the side to get Grace clear of the field of fire (Even if she's as tough as she looks, it'd probably hurt), and switches to wide spread on her particle beams, hosing down the crowd. "Look, you're already minions. Do you HAVE to fulfill EVERY stereotype and be stupid and sexist as well? And was that a butt cannon or something?"

Betsy hears people look towards her and she raises her eyes to gaze at the AIMsmen as their weapons come up. Her eyes widen. She gasps theatrically.

"Unh—!!" she cries out, and falls like a heap of fashionable garbage, slumping against a nearby trash can of sorts, and disturbing a rat who emerges with a pizza crust in its mouth. The rat flees off.

The rat is ornament.

For Betsy Braddock - known to some as PSYLOCKE - has not fallen so easily! An illusion rests on the two men who have come towards her. The trash receptacle is now, in their vision, the fallen form of the violet-haired maven of style. The weight and mass should be about right, and they can imagine whatever other details would suit.

And where did Betsy HERSELF go?

She threw herself to the side, rolled, and inchwormed in among several of the fallen and broken crates. Well, this is going splendidly, she thinks as she manually pulls in her leg that did get nicked by a stun bolt. Raising it up within the confines of her little nook of cover, she admires herself, but mostly for practical reasons. Can't run on this, she thinks to herself further. They should use this for dentistry.

Betsy can hear things breaking. Things may in some cases be people.

'A what cannon?' she telepaths towards Grace and, perhaps less successfully, Delta.

The Gorillabot's Rumpshaker powers up….then it's fielding a forklift as it gets knocked backwards, staggering as it catches it, its chest slightly dented from the impact, before it drops it. The AIM Commander says. "H-hey! Stop that! SHOOT HER YOU IDIOTS!" And then he ducks as Delta opens fire on the crowd, several AIM types going down as they get hit by the bolts, crumpling. There's more panicked screaming from the guy with the broken arm, of course, before he faints. As the other Gorilla bot pushes itself up, sparking and smoking from the hole on the right side of its chest slightly, the two AIM types run right over to where 'Betsy' is. "WE got her!" "Uh, so we take her prisoner now, right?" "Did you bring the cuffs?" "Why would I bring the cuffs, we were robbing the plact, not kidnapping?" "But I thought you liked them." "…NOT on the job!"

Betsy is currently safe, it seems.

"Jesus," Grace snarls again, "Can't a girl get some privacy in her head around here? Some kind of Gorilla war machine, if you have to know," she tells Psylocke. Or Delta. Whoever it is in her head, she doesn't know.
One thing Grace isn't entirely repentant on, is violence. She fights dirty, and she fights to win, and that's why she takes the other arm of the man she's currently working over and throws him, hard, into two of the still-standing bodies of the AIM insurgents, and then she's running straight towards one of those Gorillabots, as they're the real danger.
Grace takes a running jump, and lets her fist fly straight into the 'open wound' on the one bot, securing herself by grabbing onto whatever inner-components she can, and with her other arm attempting to literally peel it open like a can of sardines.

Delta gives the group of yellow suited goons a bit more particle beam, before diving forward, charging the commander, presumably the one shouting the orders. Wrapping her arms around his chest under his arms, the recessed anti-grav emitters in her back plate glow blue-violet, and she shoots skyward, taking yellow suit with her. The world plunges into gray as they ascent through the clouds, before they pop into the moonlight above. "Okay, Mister Beekeeper. If I recognize the uniforms, you're with AIM. What're you up to here? And no funny ideas, unless you want to take the express elevator down." She shakes her head a bit. …Weird. It was like she heard something, but almost… not quite? Strange. Very strange.

'I'm terribly sorry,' Betsy replies to Grace with some of her own - but only some. 'I'm only reading what you think back if it helps.' She isn't interfering with the savage fisting going on there, tucking her leg up instead and breathing out.

Then she sees Delta swoop up and into the sky. 'You know her? If she's going to drop whoever that is, I hope she aims for the river.'

Being pinned down, if temporarily forgotten, Betsy has few other avenues to reach out, and so her own abilities reach out with ruthless vigor to grasp at Mr. Beekeeper's mid-air mind. With the pressure comes the bloom of violet energy in front of her face, the characteristic butterfly which she attempts to partly conceal by burying her face into a crevice in the boxes. No splinters, at least.

One 'limb' of the butterfly emerges from the side of the crate even so, like geometry clipping in a video game. Such is life.

A fair-sized group of several troopers go tumbling to the ground with a second shriek as the trooper with the broken arm abruptly become a missile scattering his compatriots. This at least makes the fire towards her lessen up as Grace leaps for the gorillabot, slamming into its chest and the useful hole already started in its chest as she starts to rip it open. The ape gets a good chunk of its armor ripped off, then does what apes do naturally…which is try to beat its fists against its chests. And Grace.

The AIM commander lets out a yelp as he's grabbed and lifted into the air, and well, the two are rapidly out of sight. Except for the first Gorillabot, which is still following its last order as its Rumpshaker Cannon (tm) charges up as she tracks thenm up and up and uuuuup…yeah, he's probably gonna fire shortly. Apparently friendly fire is on for this mission.
The two troopers after Betsty prod and poke at the garbage before starting to drag 'Betsy' back towards the group, at which point another one come srunning around the corner to put her back to the storage box she's now hiding behind. Then turns her helmet towards the pair. "….what the hell are you two doing?" she wants to know. "We got a prisoner!" the first one crows, waving…well, a very confused rat in a cuff. The other trooper just stares a bit. "…did you get dropped on your head as a kid or something?"

Meanwhile, in the air, the commander squirms. "Y-you think you can intimidate me with…uh, oh fuck we're high up please don't drop meeeeeee!" he babbles. "Ah, we were supposed to get the boxes they're full of robotics parts, high end ones! The Macguffin Corporation makes the best components for all our villainous tech needs!" Because of course they do.

Grace gets slammed a few times with Gorillabot arms, enough strength, most likely, to kill a normal person. But, the woman is not anywhere near normal. Still, she's pounded enough, and she's torn off enough that she slackens her grip to fall down, onto the hard surface below and lay there, catching her breath for a moment or two, "Look, I don't know -you-, why the hell would I know -her-?" Grace's answer comes with her award-winning personality and charm.
Then Grace rolls away, gets onto one knee, and leverages to a half-stance and like a football player lunges to the Gorillabots leg she's in contest with. And, from that position, she twists lurching upwards, and she begins to pull up, and back, while her feet peddle behind her and begin into a quick-motion circular spin.
Gorillabot is going for a ride. "Catch," Grace calls, and releases the spinning 'bot. IF her aim is dead on, it's going to crash and hurtle into the bot shooting at Delta. If not? Well, it'll end up at the bottom of the ocean, and probably short circuit with as much circuitry as she opened up on it.

"…Robotics parts, you say? And high end ones? Interesting. Very interesting." She tilts her head a bit to one side, pondering. "Okay, I'm done with you." She cuts the grav field and drops, although still hanging onto the hapless mook, quick upward thrust at the last second slowing her enough to deposit him harmlessly on top of a stack of containers at least four stories tall, before she shoots back off towards the fight. Her sensors were still reporting an active robot, and she was slightly allergic to heavy weapons. Upping the power a bit more on her beams, she tries to lock onto the Gorillabot's shoulder cannon and fire.

'She could be your team-mate or partner or whatever, I don't know,' Betsy replies to Grace, somewhat less Grace-iously. Her attention is turned upwards, even as the commander speaks and reveals his truth.

'Is this a put-on?' Betsy says, cryptically. To Grace, Betsy transmits with more clarity: 'These are robotics parts, for the… MacGuffin Corporation, which is probably fake. You aren't tracking a man named Arcade by any chance, are you?'

After this she stops bothering people with her mind. There's another 'hello! are you even there' towards Delta, and internally Betsy is frustrated for a transient moment. Is she a robot? Could be, in fact, she thinks. But the real problem is…

The illusion is fading.

Betsy peeks out from behind a box. Then there's a THUMP of the commander. Betsy's eyes turn towards his location and then with a tension of a straining mind, the illusion is shifted… a new one… the commander is Betsy! She must have gotten away somehow! The vision is extended to the third man (if man ye be, if you work for AIM) - Betsy does not push things further, lest she strain things. Her eyes are aching a little. She wants to keep watching.

Then to Grace, she shoots one final thought: 'Tell the gorilla 'Maximum Awesome.' It was apparently programmed by a literal child.'

The commander is dropped to the top of the boxes, picking himself up. "Hah! You think this will stop me?!?" he calls, shaking his head after Delta as she zooms off towards the first Gorillabot. "My gorillabots will destroy you with their RUMPSHAKER CA-" And then Delta's particle beam slices through the charged cannon just as it fires, which…well, drops the bass. In a BIG way, all throught battlefield as the docks swirls and bounce and generally make it really hard to do much of anything as several of the stacks of containers fall over with a crash, and most of the troopers are knocked off their feet.

Except the commander. 'HA! I still have the might of their mighty metal fists, which will-" And then the second Gorilla bot goes flying as Grace releases it, slams into the first and carries both of them, mostly in pieces, straight out into the harbor to short out impressively before they sink out of sight.

The commander lets his fist drop, then rallies! "Even with my robots….g-gone…" That might have been a muffled sob. "My loyal minions can still-"

"Hey, there she is!" says the confused trooper trying to figure out how he handcuffed a rat, looking up and pointing. "She's a cape! GET HER!"

And, well….numerous stun bolts intersect on the ranting commander at that point as he twitches and crumples. "…hate…you all….so….much….uuuuuuuh."

The trooper hiding behind the box, who apparently was in line for the commanders positions. "….you guys are in SUCH trouble! Let's get the hell out of here! RETREAT! RETREEEEEAT!' And the troopers who are still picking themselves up try to flee!

Grace winces as several of containers drop onto the ground, the sound they make is not pleasant, but she's in no mood to go chasing after the retreating AIM agents, but if any are hesitating she's cracking her knuckles, pointing to the shredded gorillas, the AIM agent with the arms that'll quite possibly never be useable again, and then pointing at them going, "Won't tell you a second time. -Leave-."
She's a 'Momma Bear' protecting her 'cubs'. Meaning, she likes her paycheck, and not one of these damn containers are getting stolen on her watch. She has a reputation to uphold.
Only when she's satisfied that all the goons are gone, or in full retreat does she look over at Delta, and, reluctantly remarking, "Thanks." Again, she dusts her hands off, "But you're not getting a cut of my pay. You want compensation, you talk to Harry. He'll be the short guy, cowering in the office inside the warehouse and whose probably watched all this one remote video."
A pause. "Where's the telepath?"

Delta's flightpath is disrupted by the sonic wave, the black armored woman wobbling in her flight, but managing to turn it into a tuck and roll. Picking up a discarded rifle and slinging it over her shoulder, she pulls two more gadgets from her waist, which turn out to be handles that stick firmly to two of the crates. One more device is removed from her belt too, but this one just gets tossed and caught in one hand.
"Well! That was fun. No worries about the help, and I pay myself. Well, I bring things to my boss, she pays me… You get the idea." Flipping to IR, Delta nods towards the fuzzy blob that should be Betsy. "She's over there. And I'm hearing helicopters, so I'll be taking my leave, along with my share of the spoils. Awkward questions, you know." She drops the device to the deck and takes two steps back, grabbing the crate handles. "Enjoy the cleanup!" The gadget at her feet disappears in a flash of blinding light, and Delta takes the opportunity to escape skyward with her plunder.

"She's got a numbed leg," Betsy says - with her mouth - from behind her crates.

"Excuse me?" she then says. "Spoils?" And with that she struggles upright, turning her attention - disheveled though it is - towards Delta. After this she rips forwards, and she says to Grace, with apparent heartfelt strength, "Dear God. The cheek of her, can you believe it?"

"Terribly sorry," she tells Grace then, pushing herself up towards the crates. "I was just passing by - shan't keep you if you've got paperwork to file. I think this was a stun-beam, not something worse…"

Since no one stops them (and Delta just provided a wonderful distraction) the AIM troopers flee into the night! Save the unconscious ones, the one with the broken arm, the ones that had boxes fall on them during the quake, and the commander, who is not only trapped on top of a tall stack of shipping containers but unconscious at the moment while he sobs in his dreams.

"Bitch," snarls Grace, grabbing one of the spare metal bits of Gorillabot parts, and, like a frisbee, hurtling it hard at Delta. Easy enough to dodge, but with enough force it'd probably kill a normal person, or wreck a robot if it collides. "That comes out of my bonus."
She looks back at Betsy, clearly irritated at Delta's 'cheek'. "Yeah. I can believe it. And she'd better hope I never catch up with her again." She makes a rather mean-looking fist, then she exhales, "Still, saved most of this shit, whatever it is."
As she waits for the reinforcements to arrive, secure the scene, she extends a hand to Betsy, "Grace. Nice to meet you, I suppose. Even if you did let yourself into my head without asking. Appreciate the distraction."

Betsy is momentarily piqued, but relents. She takes Grace's hand, smiling weakly again, and hoists herself upright - she wobbles a little and says, "You're quite welcome. I would have asked permission but I thought it was a bit of an emergency. As I said, I didn't even get your name - more or less just talking."

"So do you work for - McGuffin, then?"

"Those jerks? No. This is a one-time gig. This was an emergency delivery and they couldn't bring in their normal security team. It's my night off, and they made me a decent offer, a month's salary, to come act as security for the deilvery tonight. Usually I'm bouncing at Cheney's," Grace allows, moving over to right the upended containers with little enough effort. Just some loud clanging. "Used to working alone," she mentions, dryly, as if it were some kind of very half-assed apology for being so crude at Betsy earlier.
She sighs, "Now it's going to be a night of questions by the Boys in Black or Blue. Maybe both. Hell, don't suppose you have a six-pack on you?"

"My trainer said I shouldn't try for it, with my looks," Betsy answers immediately. "It'd be clashing."

She smiles a bit more authentically. "Cheney's? Where's that at, I assume it's in town."

"Yeah, mutant and meta-friendly bar, just outside downtown. You should drop by sometime," Grace offers. She looks towards Betsy, "Well, I'm going to go see if the chickenshits got any booze in a mini-fridge in their office. You're welcome to tag along. We're going to be here awhile anyways," she mentions, as helicopters start to land, and police cars, other vehicles with sirens begin to pour into the docks. "I hate answering questions," she mutters. "But, comes with the territory, I suppose."

"Oh, do you not want to?" Betsy asks, even as she watches the helicopters. "I mean it'd be good of you to, obviously. You might have your employers to think of, but /I/ don't plan to hang around." Her voice lifts a little from the imminence of the sirens. "You'd do me a bit of a favor, wouldn't you? Don't mention me?"

Grace shakes her head, and waves her hand all eerily like, "Jedi Mind Trick? Bitch," though this 'bitch' is said much more half-heartedly (and somewhat enviously). She shrugs, "No, I won't say anything. It's not like you can tell them anything different than I can." Grace doesn't have, apparently, much experience with telepaths to consider that Betsy probably read the AIM invaders minds.
"Go on. Scoot. Before I change my mind out of boredom."

Betsy laughs merrily. "Well, then," she says, raising a hand to wiggle her fingers, "Good luck, and I hope you get a bonus."

The mystical departure, unseen by cops, is somewhat hampered by Betsy limping heavily on her still-half-stunned leg.

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