Joie de Vivre (pt.1)

Summary:
March 04, 2014: Catwoman and Domino have a run in with Gambit during Mardi Gras.

New Orleans, Louisiana

French Quarter during Mardi Gras.


Characters

NPCs

  • Arnold Schwarzheimer

Mood Music:


The rocketing mad mirth filled and riotous streets of New Orleans during Mardi Gras resembles the carnival it is meant to. Older families and residents have already been celebrating for the past week and a half, balls, events, entertainments of all kinds now it's down to the final days of Mardi Gras where the tourists begin to pour in and settle in brief escape for their own libations. It's day one and the vultures are out in the form of street magicians, entertainers of all kinds, masqued and covered from head to toe in filigree (several that is all they are wearing), it's a gamut of who shows from college students to vacationing politicians and even some celebrities, action star Arnold Schwarzheimer, televisions Winged Avenger Brian Vane and the bands Autobahn and Jhonny Zhivago.

The crowded elbow to elbow packed roads of the French Quarter hide the bases of Victorian, French and Spanish architectural styles. Most of it refurbished due to previous floods, fires and countless other forms of damage. This is New Orleans after all - it's known that not only can the residents get dangerous so does the environment itself. The multitude of colors looks as though someone broke a child's kaleidoscope open and spilled it's guts all along the street ways the noise can only be described as roaring and thunderous with undertones of chaotic jazz here and there, the scents are heavy with Southern food scents (just before lent this is a big time for many to just drink and gorge themselves, great dishes are one of the important factors of Mardi Gras) . It is celebration at it's finest and it's just the first "celebrated" night. At least by the tourist and now those who make a living off of this wonderful event, legal and otherwise (most of it otherwise).

Some time has passed since Domino's left the northeastern area. Normally in a rush to complete a contract, she's taken her time and covered her trail with an almost obsessive level of detail. With this much on the line, she can't afford to cut corners (though she can afford to do just about anything else she desires after the drop is made.)

Really, what better time and place to make the trade than during Mardi Gras? There's way too many people and way too much activity for anyone to keep track of a small metal cylinder measuring a mere five inches at its longest span.

Hands wrapped in fingerless gloves remain tucked deep within volumous trench pockets as she drifts through the crowd, dark purple shades masking much of her eyes, and very little of her spot. GPS coordinates are about the only way she can safely find where she needs to be in a crowd this active and dense, she walks with a purposeful stride in a way that not so gently nudges some other people out of her way.

The last guy that wanted to hand her beads wound up getting laid out in the street. Her hand still stung from that one. She doesn't mind.

Carts, baubles, costumes, Milk Bars… Literally. But this is home for someone like Selina. The baubles, all of the shine, glitz, glamour - be it worn or sold it is all for the naked eye to assess and appraise value…

En masque.

There is the major bonus, cloak and dagger where no one needs to know you or has to, you come and go with the rest of the flashing and dancing lights over the shadows. From one particular shadow over a French Flat that runs loft rentals over the top Selina emerges from and into the streets. Costumed, but not like Gotham.

Sandal heeled feet wrap and twine lacing in an ancient fashion up her bare legs, gold bedecked in black gems. The dress itself seems made of syringes and shining beads, a network of netting hanging in and Egyptian style fall from the bad of low slung waist wrapping that only leads up into the V shape of more beads, mesh and body paint of a golden tone to match the highlights and rich feel of ancient times. A long black wid bearing gold and black beaded plaits hangs over her shoulders and down her back, the straight across bangs cutting a frame across the rest of the mask in effigy of Bast that covers half of her face.

In any other place this may have drawn attention, but here it fit, she fit, and Selina felt at home in the masquerade of Mardi Gras, a smile splitting over black and gold painted lips when she plucks up a beverage, brushing against a stranger and simultaneously acquiring a simple taste, a touch, and a Rolex.

Celebration, drink, music and food. Who could ask for more? Mardi Gras is where it's at in regards to these. Domino and Selina as are fit right in. Their distinctive looks with and without trying were almost made for the scene. Not to mention they both walk that line of neutrality and felonious activity. Trained eyes also inform them they're not alone in such practices, only the foolish go to Mardi Gras without their personal belongings very secure.

Upbeat almost hip hop sounding instrumental blares out any noise near both Selina and Domino as they damn near cross paths down the road the cathedral and St. Charles street break away in to more crowded rainbow vomit hued and people smothered pathways. It truly is a wondrous distraction.

Remy LeBeau is at home here. This is his element, his home and he's never one to miss Mardi Gras; a king's cake in one hand and a beads in the other (taken from the heap of them around his neck) the man is leaned against an old Greek revival era pillar that is street level and assisting it's cloned brothers in holding aloft a temporary outside bar and stage with live band. Drunken revelers almost spilling over the sides to the crammed roads below. They don't care, they're all enraptured and this is a time to live.

Anyone with a purpose is usually going to get the most unwanted attention and Domino has had it. For almost two blocks now. Those tailing her are experts in their craft of stealth and acquisition. Whether she has spotted them or not once the crowd compacts these local professionals have done the same and blended; it's the circle ahead that may cause some traffic jams for Domino as the crowd parts to reveal a large, square jawed obnoxiously muscled man with shades on and a tank top showing off those rippling biceps framed by veins upon veins. "Look owt! I see a goddess." The movie star, Arnold Shwarzheimer is zero'd in on Selina and by default barreling towards her and Domino.
"Git owt of my whey!" If that isn't attention…

It's usually best to assume that someone's trailing Dom. It's usually true! The last time she had been down this way ended up in a bloodbath and a couple of torched buildings, she's not expecting anyone to have forgotten about that situation so easily. That she's also now in possession of something very dangerous, and with a price tag coupled with six zeroes to the left of the decimal point, it's a total sucker bet. She's not alone, she won't ever be alone. All she can do is attempt to disappear into the crowd.

Until she's on a collision course with an Austrian tree trunk masquerading as a movie star. Some people are just born to be bulldozers.

On the upside, a bipedal bulldozer like that is -just- the sort of distraction she needs with her pursuers. Without a word she sidesteps (twice) to get out of the huge man's sights, already picturing the scenario unfolding around her like a bowling ball going for a row of pins. However…

(Goddess?)

Curiosity does happen to get the better of her, which is stupid and careless, but everything happens for a reason. With her, that's often several reasons. Either way, now she's looking for this 'goddess,' herself.

Nails done to bejeweled points tap like claws over the surface of her plastic flute of 'bubbly', knocking it back the tiny faux multicolored gems at the bottom leave a sparkle in a trail towards stained lips. Pity they were fake, but then again maybe not, Selina would find herself rich but inebriated to become such.

Acquired feline grace weaves her through the bodies that grow in density the closer she gets to the music, which makes things that much easier for the woman. A bump here, a grinding body there, chests only covered in gaudy plastic of both the male and female variety - vulnerable to the slight of hand that has her snaring, ducking, weaving as she goes through tourists personal belongings and tucks away value to discard the rest…

All fun and games until you become the target of a man who looks like he ate her movie counterpart and spit him out in Hollywood celebrating Creole festivities.

If the ears of that masque could fold back it would emphasize the inaudible hiss that comes from between lips that peel back and flash teeth while kohl lined eyes widen at his approach. One heeled step backwards in a less graceful pedal, followed by another she is brushing along side Domino, the unintended contact making her spin to not trample the other woman with her fumbling retreat, grace interrupted by the 'every woman for herself' escape technique. This leaves her standing with her back pressed against a large dancing male that resembles a bedazzled and painted techno-viking and staring forward while glancing apologetically at Domino… The wallet in her hand tossed to the ground.

Remy's chewing pauses as the observer he has a great vantage of what is going on and can even play out the events before they happen. "Ut-oh." He murmurs before kicking away from the post and slipping through the gathered crowd around the two lovely women and the foreign man-muscle-mountain.

"Yew!" That is you. Not the tree. His accent is pretty thick since this alternate timeline of the man is younger and not a governator. "Whats the name of my goddess?" Two men who are dressed casual begin to shove back the crowd, making that visible ring around Domino and Selina larger. Bodyguards that look tiny next to their ward and employer.

A man with a makeshift gypsy like head wrapping sidesteps around the man and leans in closer to Domino, his hand raking out as if to catch her wrist but instead tangles upon the top of the object she is carrying. His companion already edging up to the other side of them.

Speaking louder the big man near shouts, "I must know your name! Give it to me." Assertive! Probably inebriated or just that enthralled by Selina's Egyptian Bast-esque look. The closer he gets the bigger he gets.

"What the hell—?"

Some situations are too unreal for the mind to immediately grasp. This is one of them! Is that big guy being serious about the whole goddess thing? (He -must- be referring to the golden cat…) The same one that just bumped into her, Selina earning herself a look from over the top of Dom's shades.

It isn't the albino's wallet that hits the grwait a damned second, that IS her wallet!

Then there's the guards. This situation isn't playing out like she had hoped it would, they caught up to her fast!

They still should have sent more than two.

The outcry about a lost wallet is just what she needs, even if it -is- hers. The guy going for the metal cylinder in her pocket is going to find her other hand flying toward his nose, aiming for knockback and stun, with emphasis on the stun. While the second man is fretting, she's going to introduce the combat tread of an armored boot to an accessible location on his person and try to send him toward the Cat Lady. If those claws are half as sharp as they appear to be, and her reaction time is as quick as it seems to be, she's expecting Man #2 to have ten new puncture wounds somewhere between the kidney and shoulder range.

Eight million dollars on the line… She'll sooner gun down innocents than part with her prize. Take out the two guards, take her wallet back, never leave the cylinder, and get lost in the crowd.

All at once, and the scene that was momentarily comedic starts to turn.. Rapidly, although aspects slow down just enough to get caught. Techno-Viking at Selina's back is backing away with the parting crowd, turning into a watcher while he still flexes and does the big-ass-robot-dansen-danse while Schwartzahulk closes in at the front making demands of an animal backed into a corner.

Understatement for Selina's predicament, more space consumed as the scuffle with Domino and the two becomes a blur in periphery and focused on just when one of the men come flailing into her direction. Distractions, and a meat shield served by her latest pick-pocketed victim.

She'll take that.

The man's unbalanced body is /caught/ though the means is very unfortunate. Those jewel encrusted claws hook and curve, fabric tearing at his back if she gets a good hold, fingers will curl in and form those 'hooks' that will anchor his skin into her grip much like a caught trout - turning and bracing her stance to attempt to throw that man towards Arnold.

"That's now how to speak to a lady!"

It all happens just that fast. Domino's fist catches the bandana sporting man in the nose and sends him backwards; a stumble turns in to him sprawling out on his backside. Apparently he 'tripped' over someone's extended ankle. The other man is forcibly thrust at Selina and releases a yelp followed by a loud hiss as his clothes shred along his back. His journey does not end there as he slaps into the chest of the action star and goes airborne, tossed above the man like a child granny shotting a basketball backwards. The crowds cheering becomes raucous, the words, "fight" even beginning to be chanted here and there.

Arny's bodyguards scramble to try and deflect some of the crowd who gets too wild while their employer now stands just before Domino and Selina, "Hello." Almost like some dumb kind giant stinking of rum, whiskey, booze, cologne and sweat he grins down upon them. "I only want your name, goddess. No need to fight over me ladies. Enough to go around." Arms lift and flex, one out one curled. Yep, peacocking' it.

Holy shit..! That big guy's as strong as he looks! (Thank god it isn't me he's obsessing over.) Up to a point..? Domino's still not 'the goddess,' who does turn out to be as sharp and quick as she had been counting on, but apparently she's now lumped into the fangirl category alongside the other woman. It's..stupid, but maybe she could use this to her advantage. Every situation is an opportunity in disguise.

"Go on, Kittycat," she taunts/teases Catwoman with a lopsided grin, making a point of tucking her wallet back into hiding with an exaggeratedly firm motion. "Don't leave the poor guy hanging."

As for Big and Full of Himself, she decides to press her luck. "I've been searching for a warrior strong enough to be deserving of my hand. Spare me from those that wish me harm!"

(Before I shoot them all and steal the first bottle of rum I can find.)

The closer you get the more you can tell the decorative beaded twine of her dress over one thigh is actually the wrapping hold of a whip, the handle melded with the belt and at her back, her hand going to it as Arnold closes in after pitching a grown man over his shoulder like a ragdoll. The gems upon her nails are stained a red with the discarded mans blood, ignored by Selina as she slowly starts to unfold from her posture of fight, the crosshair'd glare now shifting towards Domino as she shoves the wallet back with emphasis, a -catty- smirk offered her way with a bat of lashes. "I'm sure you understand.." Though the guard Domino seems to hold over herself there is /something/ of more worth then the wallet on her and the smirk grows.

The thunderous voice and peacock spread of arms and flexing ends that moment as one part of her upper lip rises to flash a canine in her slight tic of repulse.

"Just a name hm?" Selina says, that purr slowly coming into her tenor while she straightens and releases the hilt of her whip, moving to slide past while her eyes sweep over the crowd, catching a glimpse of Remy before the wave of 'fight' cheering bodies devour yet another one that is dismissed as an onlooker. "But you'll defeat the purpose of the mask. My friend there, though, she not only /adores/ you.." That word said with a purr. "But she needs your strong arms, and manly aide." Selina states drawing fingertips and claws down a bicep as she attempts to press past and just… Disappear…

"Friend?" The celebrity brute looks from Bast towards Domino. Perhaps the man didn't hear the rest of Selina's words or he just doesn't care and the point hasn't sunk in yet of /not interested/. "Don't worry strong arms for both. Rolph, Gunther make path." One arm for each woman as he grips them up and tosses them over a brawny shoulder. If they don't wriggle free of his grasp and escape (no easy feat!) he'll trudge them through the crowd behind his guards and to relative safety (at least from the throng and the Guild members following Domino around). If they escape he'll settle for just one. Besides he just wants to bring them back to his pad and impress them with stories of himself, his muscles, his wealth and his bad sense of humor.

The two who had been tailing Domino seem to be distracted by the figure of Remy stepping up on to a pile of shopping carts that were left there earlier in a bizarre artistic formation covered in glitter, gaudy baubles and various other hanging objects.
"Remy! You are not to be here." Shouts the one who had been vaulted; now upon his feet. The bandana has his attentions on Domino peeled away as well, "LeBeau! You in on dis? We gonna kill you."

"Laissez le bon temps roulez, Jachen, it is Mardi Gras after all." Remy LeBeau's trench coat flies open and he waves his arms out wide, "Shall we enjoy de festivities?" Domino all but forgotten by the two now as they begin to slam and bump their way through the crowd in a rush to get towards the exiled thief. Later on both Domino and Selena will find cards on their persons, a 10 spade for Dom and 6 of clubs for Selena written on each is ~The Chess and Checkers Club~.
Laughter and an acrobatic leap Gambit disappears from sight with the two who had been after Domino now in pursuit of her fellow mutant.

"So much for staying incognito," Dom quietly mutters to herself with a sigh. There's nothing subtle about their situation, right down to the fact that the Cat Lady is -hissing.- With -teeth!- (At least she's true to character, stick with what ya know.)

Then the other woman tries to ditch Dom with the big guy. If she can, she's going to nab Catwoman by a bicep before she can step away with a "Stick around for the grand finale, sister."

The gal tried to take her wallet. No way in -hell- she gets to walk in the middle of this. Definitely not after her remark, either! ('Manly aide,' my little white ass.)

As far as not letting Catsy get away goes, there's a (very large) 'helping' hand that goes to lift them both right off of their feet. "Hey—!" (Well, that's one way of getting out of trouble.)

The calling of the Cajun, and the responses to him labeling the man as Remy, draw her attention from her new vantage point. Curious… She'll have to do some more research on that mess, though she's still got a job to do. And a big drunk to escape from, at her earliest convenience.

A toothy grin gets passed back over to Catwoman. "Pretty sure this counts as a finale."

The second scuffle not centered around them serves as a good enough moment of hesitation for Selina that has Dom gripping her arm, Selina turning on her claws first only to have that arm intercepted by Arnold as he slings them both over his shoulder.

Startled as she is dangling over his back and trying to push her hands out now to avert her position and gaze from her dangling position over his backside. Oh guh-gawd. The look says all as she writhes like a cat in a trap for a slight moment and relents to the position, but not the view, averting her gaze to Domino.

"Is this your version of a finale, /sister/? I don't know you well enough for.. trois." Oh the sarcasm that drips from her lips with the attempted jest.

She noted Remy for the second time, this earning a quirked brow behind her mask. "At least your other pursuant have distractions. what to do about this one…"


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