M-Town Hustle

Summary:
June 2 2014: M-Town nightlife takes a sinister turn for Scott and Nancy.

M-Town

District X or the more popular coined Mutant Town is a crowded, poor neighborhood with a high crime rate. It hosts the largest mutant population in all of New York City and perhaps even the United States. District X is situated in Alphabet City, Manhattan or what is called the Middle East Side and from all outward appearances is little more than a ghetto but there is more to it than that especially with the burgeoning mutant numbers because with those numbers comes community and subculture, a subculture unique to those who host an X-Gene and their enthusiasts.

Despite being a "ghetto" the burrough of District X is rife with mutant-owned or oriented businesses of all variety. All manner of fashion designers, inventors, artists, musicians along with the drug dealers, mutant gangs, criminals and prostitutes call M-Town home. If a person wants that authentic "mutant" feel they come to their ethnic enclave; M-Town, despite the obvious dangers.


Characters

NPCs

  • 'Police' Officers

Mood Music:
[*]


Scott Summers frequents this place often. Mutant Town is a mixture of stereotypes. On one side, humans fear the area down here-fear the way people look, how they interact, what powers they have. The truth is that most powers aren't even all that impressive. Some are cosmetic, some are only slightly utilitarian. The other stereotype is that Mutant Town is some hotbed of 'true' Mutant culture. If poverty and struggle are a culture, then maybe that would be correct, but it's no different than any other down and out part of any city in America.

Scott frequents this place often because it's a chance for him to volunteer. His military strategy isn't really going to do much help, so he offers another one of his skills, repairing cars for the price of parts. He and a couple of other friends he knows banded together to do an on-call service for people down in M-Town and this is his night. Currently he's right off the main drag on a side street, working on some brakes.


Nancy O'Neal is in tow of her best friend. Again. She is rolling her eyes as he is tugging her along by the hand. "You're going to love this place, Nyan-cat! It's the hottest place to eat in all of New York right now! All the waiters and waitress are like different colors and stuff and some have feathers and it's just so *fabulous*!" Her friend is so stereotypically gay that it's almost comedic. He's tall, buff and wears pink. He uses the effette hand gestures and the over the top lilt when he speaks. And he doesn't let Nancy's grumping affect him at all. But when he finally tells her where they are going, she stops, halting her friend sharply. "Paul… I can't go in there." "Nan, I know you don't like supers, but these aren't supers! They are just mutants trying to make a living. No huge egos. I promise." Nancy shakes her head, trying to pull away. She was relucant before, but now she's down right resisting. "No Paul. That's not why. It's complicated, alright. Why do you have to be shoving equality for all down my throat with everything we do?" She can't tell him the real reason she won't go any deeper into M-town. As it is, she starts to worry. What if someone in her field needs their power to just *live*.


On the main drag approaching an intersection, Nan and Paul can hear a woman's terrified scream. It's coming from a side street just about half a block ahead. And she sounds really scared. Scott can hear it to, and he's a better view, should he be in a position to look up. A young lady with green skin and red eyes is being pulled into a white, unmarked van by a couple of men in suits. Well, that's no doubt the intention anyway. There seems to be a bit of an issue with the pulling part. She can't be more than a hundred and twenty pounds tops, but she's giving two very fit looking men a hell of a time.


It doesn't take Scott long to act. He's out from under the ground and to his feet before the wrench he's using even finishes clanging on the ground. He hasn't gotten his visor, but he does have his military training and his aikido. Two out of three aint bad. He begins to book it towards the scream, wishing he'd have worn different shoes.


Nancy O'Neal and Paul both look in the direction of the scream. Paul turns to start leaving but sees the look on Nancy's face and looks even more panicked. "No. Nancy! No! What has gotten into you lately! This is not the New York way of doing things! You just walk away and be glad it's not you! You… Nancy! No! You're not a super hero! Let them do the saving!!" He has to yell this last bit after her retreating back because Nancy is running towards the screams. Paul is pacing in one spot, running his hands through his hair and muttering to himself that his best friend has suddenly gone off the deep end.


A third man has gotten out of the passengers door of the van, also in a suit, and is trying to help the other two shove the girl in. She's got a lot of fight, though. She won't go easily. Nancy and Scott are both approaching rapidly from different directions and should arrive at roughly the same time. The street is starting to react, though sparse as the foot traffic is it's mostly just people staring at either Scott or Nancy as the sprint by.
Scott can see, as he approaches, that the Van licence plate appears to be an NYPD one. Certainly, it's not a regular New York plate.


"Hey!" Scott yells, trying to catch the men by surprise. "What's going on here?" He doesn't just go in fists flying, despite his instincts telling him to. But he definitely puts himself within arm's distance.


Nancy O'Neal feels her jaw tightening as she grows angrier. She doesn't know when her anger turned into fuelling this sort of stupidity of recent heroics, but she'll figure that out later. As her anger grows, so too does the sphere of her influence, doubling its size. She was concerned about accidentally killing someone with her powers before, but right now, she just worries about a group of jerks hurting someone. She slides to a halt next to Scott, giving him a momentary glance of recognition. "I don't think she wants to go with you, bud."


"Stop. Resisting." One of the men finally produces a taser and uses it on the girl who cries out in pain. As she's shoved in she looks desperately at Scott and Nancy.

"Don't let me disappear…"

One of the suits turns to the new arrivals. "Nothing to see here. Just serving a warrant."

Something is… off. From where they stand Scott and Nancy can see two other women and three men, all obviously mutants, ziptied in the back of the van. The new arrival is getting the same treatment from another suit in the van and… is that a shotgun barrel they can see at being held on them? Whoever has it isn't quite in view.

The suit facing the two mutants produces a badge. "Move along." Yeah… something's off.


"I wanna see that badge," Scott says as he holds out his hand. Something seems off, but as a teacher he can't just haul off and punch a cop either. Not to mention he could likely get shot in the process. Worse, Scott knows that with Nancy close, his powers won't be a help either.


Nancy O'Neal looks at the people in the van, getting even angrier till her field is now at it's full size. Powers are fizzling out 30 feet around her, mutants looking at themselves in shock just as much as they are staring at the spectacle. She has the benefit of not being a teacher, and people don't often expect Goths to be model citizens, so it is hardly any surprise when she pipes up. "Tell me, is your ass jealous of the shit that just came out of your mouth?"


One of the suits is back in the van, leaving two out with Scott and Nancy. The one holding out his badge narrows his eyes at Scott and then flips the badge through the air at him. The other squares off with Nancy, his hand pulling his suit jacket back to reveal a holstered beretta. He grips it, but doesn't draw. Yet.


Much of what the Professor is all about came from the philosophy of Martin Luther King. Therefore, think first, fight last, Scott thinks to himself. He pulls out his cell phone, "What precinct are you with?" While it looks as though he's placing a phone call, he's taking a picture of the license plate. "What are the charges?"


Nancy O'Neal isn't dumb enough to attack a cop, or a guy who she is pretty sure faking the whole being a cop thing. She's not the smartest cookie and she knows it. Wouldn't want to kick an actual cop. She looks to the mutants in the van, checking to see if they are as alright as being tied up with zipties will allow them to be. "You okay in there?"


"We're a special task force from 13th Precinct." Holy crap, that's clear in Midtown Manhattan. "We're picking up these guys for DHS. They're wanted in connection with recent terrorist attacks. Are you done with my badge now, buddy? I've got to get these guys processed."

A man in his forties with what looks like metallic strands for her makes as if to answer Nancy. "Shut up!" The barrel swings on him before he can get a word out.

Small problem, Scott may notice if he has any background in law. According to the 'Non-Commandeering Doctrine' as established in several Supreme Court cases local and state resources cannot be co-opted to enforce federal laws…


Forget all that legal mumbojumbo. The barrel just swing on a dude for no other reason than he was about to speak. Once Scott sees that, he straight up throws a haymaker-knock out punch towards the side of the cops head, looking to pull the weapon for him if he connects and the guy falls.


Nancy O'Neal says, "Hey! That's police brutality, a**hole!" She pushes forward, making as if to pass the one with the Beretta in front of her. A bit of a dirty fighter, it really shouldn't come as any surprise that the maneuver to the side was actually just a feint as she goes to knee the Beretta guy in the groin. Hard. At least she didn't use her steel toes? "Yer ass is grass!"


Scott's suit half clears his weapon from the holster before the punch connects. Poleaxed, plain and simple. The weapon isn't hard to grab at all as it slips from his suddenly slack grip. Nancy's suit draws and shoots where she had been moments before he doubles over in shock and pain. "Punk!" He manages to gasp.

The three left in the van are having none of it. "GO! GO!" The van's tires squeal as the driver tries to put it in gear and peel out. It's almost enough to cover the sound of tires squealing about a block up the street…


Scott knows he shouldn't fire a gun here in the city, but he is pretty sure a crime is taking place. He begins firing the gun towards the van, trying to hit the tires. He also presses a code into his cellphone and somewhere in Westchester, the lights of the Blackbird come to life.


Nancy O'Neal is on the run and the door to the van is still open. Okay, it's a dumb idea. It's likely going to get her killed, but these suits are doing the one thing that she can't stand; acting as if they have the right to do whatever they want just because of who they are. Badge, terrorist, super. It doesn't matter. She runs as fast as she is able and tries to jump into the open door of the van.


Paul is watching all this in horror, screaming like a girl again. Once again, he's on his phone, giving a play by play to whoever he was talking to last time. "She just jumped into a moving van! You have to do something about this! She's gone nuts! She's acting like those heros she hates so much!"

Nancy's jump… well hey. It could have gone worse. She gets enough purchase on the open cargo door to not get left behind. Unfortantely there are three 'officers' in the back, one of whom has a loaded shotgun and none of whom are happy to see her. Think fast Nancy!

The process of hanging on may take a little bit of a bump when Scott gets the right rear tire. The van swerves as it takes a hard right at the intersection but the driver amazingly holds it enough to avoid crashing. He's determined, at least, to get away from the man with the gun.


The bump and veer as the van is shot actually saves Nancy's life as she and the people in the van are jostled. She desperately grasps for the first thing she can for purchase, grabbing the ankle of one of the suits in the van before she falls onto the pavement. She rolls to the curb, panting for breath as she wonders to herself what got into her.


Now that Nancy has gotten far enough away, Scott can feel his power returning. He knows he has only one shot at this, but along with his optic blast, his gift of geometrical awareness also returns. He removes his glasses with eyes closed and opens them as his gaze is down the street, tailing up towards the van, trying to take the axles and wheels out without injuring the cabin. Almost as soon as he takes aim, his eyes squeeze shut again and the glasses get put back on.


The van's rear axle is sheared completely off by Scott's optical blast and the vehicle goes sliding forward propelled by momentum alone into the next intersection. Nancy has a very clear view of what happens next as she tumbles off it with a suit in her grip. As soon as the van's nose clears the intersection a black Mercedes SUV rams right into it, spinning it about. Almost before it stops moving, the three remaining suits are out and running on foot, one off to the left, two to the right.


Nancy O'Neal sits up at the side of the street, looking over her shoulder at the van. She blinks as a beam of ruby light shoots out and destroys the tail end of the van, looking behind her as she starts to rise up to see where it came from. If that was that Scott guy, he's scary. Stay close to him whenever possible. The van crashes and she starts to run for it, ignoring the men that are running away and getting to the mutants inside. "Are you alright? Is anyone hurt?"


Scott, seeing that Nancy is going for the hostages, begins breaking after the three men in suits. If any information is to be gleaned from any of this, it most likely going to come from the men with the ties. He flat out sprints, hoping he'll be able to catch up to them, but he's not sure. They have a pretty good head start.

The boots he wears are more for fashion than for running, but not any worse than those worn by the men he's pursuing. If there was any point to all those laps he's run, he hopes it comes to fruition now. What could these men want? And if they're not cops, who are they?


There is, a man much close to Scott than the three fleeing ones: The one Nan pulled out of the van. He's just getting up from his tumble on the pavement as Scott starts running.

The mutants in the back are all shaken and a couple of them are bleeding from cuts sustained by knocking their heads against the walls of the van, but the impact was near the drivers compartment so it wasn't nearly as bad for them. Speaking of, Nan hears the squealing of tires. If she looks she's close enough to see the black SUV - which has no driver - back up and then run over the lone man who fled left… then back up over him again. From off to the right, where the other two fled both Nancy and Scott hear a very sharp BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRAAAP!


Nancy O'Neal looks over the mutants and nods her head. They seem to be alright. She's calming down and so her nullifying effect is shrinking around her to its usual size. She offers a hand. "Let's get you out of here. Who were those people. Have they been here before?" She is about to ask more when the SUV starts driving itself and running people over. Startled, she hops into the van and hopes she isn't a target too.


Out of the corner of his eye, Scott sees the man from earlier start getting up to get a move on. Forget the other ones, he's got someone who can talk right here. In a move that would make Lawrence Taylor smile, Scott buries a shoulder into the imposter, lifting with his legs as he tackles him, and drives him into the pavement.

In a heartbeat, Scott's on top of him and delivers a vicious punch to the face before even asking any questions. "Who are you?! What did you want with these people?"


The vehicle doesn't seem inclined to murder anyone else. In fact it's just sitting there now. Boring. Like a regular car. "T-thanks miss." The woman who they originally came for says. "We'd have all… people have been disappearing all over M-Town this last week. I thought for sure this was it for me."

Punch first, ask questions while punching. Go for it Scott. He has to wait a moment while his dazed quary shakes his head. "Not tellin' you nuthin' mutie."


"That a fact?" Scott says as he slams the back of the man's head against the pavement. "I'll give you another chance, and then I'll take you with me. I know people who will do a lot worse."


Nancy O'Neal looks uncomfortable for the thanks, getting out her swiss army knife to cut the other mutants free. "That other guy… he's more of a helping out sort. You let him know. That this is becoming a regular thing. 'k?" She starts getting out of the van. "I'm just glad yer all safe." She turns to run, catching up to her friend. It's now her turn to start pulling him. Away from this madness.


Crack. Ow. He shakes his head and looks up at Scott defiantly. He hadn't seen how his van got taken apart just by Scott giving it a stern look. "Cops won't make me talk. Go ahead. Turn me over." He's clearly under the impression that Scott's some kind of detective.


Footsteps echo up from the alley. And someone whistling "Oh what a beautiful morning" from 'Oklahoma.' A man Scott may recognize from the bar where he met Nancy comes into view. Except there he wasn't holding a cut off AK.


Scott drops the imposter, still standing over him as Nancy's friend strolls down the alley. "Nice gun. Out for a stroll?" He doesn't trust Nancy farther than he could punt her, so friends of Nancy are suspect to boot.


Did he ever catch that guys name? The guy shrugs, his coat fluttering a bit behind him. "I was wondering why they lit off in such a hurry." He eyes the imposter and then looks back up at Scott. "Huh. Didn't take you for the Gotham City type. Punch first. Ask questions when no longer angry."


"Yeah, well, I'm a teacher not a cop." Scott raises an eyebrow slightly. "You have any idea who these guys were?" he asks.


"Well the guy you're using as a punching bag is named Shaun O'Connor. He's an ex-police officer. Got kicked off the force a few years back for excessive force. Go figure."

Footsteps come running back up the street and Nancy's friend quickly ducks back into the alley. The green skinned girl Scott had heard scream comes running around the corner, looking relieved when she sees Scott has the last guy in hand. "Hey…"


"Ironic," Scott says sarcastically. But as the friend turns to head back into the alleyway, he exclaims, "Hey! Wait!" His head turns, now back to the girl with green skin. He's standing awkwardly over a suit who may or may not be unconscious. "Hi. Are you alright?"


The slight glow of… something blue… maybe a cell phone screen, lets Scott know that Nancy's friend has only stepped out of the newcomer's line of sight.
"
Yeah. We all are, thanks to you and your friend. She said you were a… helping out type. You're not… with the cops are you?"


Scott shakes his head, "No, not a cop. Just a mutant who doesn't like his kind getting thrown into the back of paddy wagons. You have any ideas who guys were?" Scott imagines this goes a heck of a lot further than three mutants and a hate crime.


The girl pauses looking almost relieved that he isn't with the police. "I don't know who they are… but… there've been rumors. People have been disappearing at night. Just.. gone. I guess it's been about a week since this started. Maybe two. The police aren't any help. Most don't like coming down here to begin with. Look, I don't know you but… you're the first one I've seen actually able to do anything about this. Can you… will you… People here are scared. If anyone could get to the bottom of it…" She's unsure. And frightened, that much is clear.


Scott sighs and nods, "Look, I can't get to the bottom of it, but I know how to get into some contact with people who do. They'll be here. Tonight. We'll get to the bottom of this."


The girl smiles back at him. She's kinda pretty when she does that. "Thanks. And good luck. I think… I'm gonna get indoors now." With that she turns and heads back up the street.

Jericho steps out from the alley again. "Well, now you know what brings me here, anyway."


"Same thing that's going to bring a lot of people down here," Scott says as he looks towards Jericho. "Have you got any more information I don't?" Scott frowns and knows he's got to get this guy to a telepath. Stat.


It's a good thing Jericho's not a telepath 'cause he'd be recoiling at the notion. "Probably. A lot of it's just suspicion at this point though. I'm down here digging myself." He digs in his pocket and holds up what turns out to be a couple of thumb drives. One is wet with blood. "I can tell you that this is bigger than it looks. I'm fairly sure this goes beyond M-Town. Possibly way beyond New York." He shakes his head. "The only things I'm certain of are that people are disappearing and that I've heard the name Hydra in connection to this in very dark corners of cyberspace. The kind where you have to know people to get in."


"Hydra," Scott says with frustration. He steps over the man who has been taken hostage and looks at Jericho. "How long has this been going on?"


The hacker shrugs. "Dunno. That's part of what I'm trying to find out. Regardless of how long this has been going on, I'm positive that we're looking at something set in motion that's been planned for a long time." He doesn't say why he thinks that. One might almost think he has a thing about controlling the flow of information. Or maybe he just doesn't like explaining things.


Scott knows he must come back tonight. He doesn't want to leave this imposter behind, but at the same time, he cannot divulge his secret identity. He's perhaps taken too many steps already. Scott takes a final look at the hacker and then turns to go. Maybe he doesn't like explaining things either.


"Take care, Eye-Beams." He saw that apparently. "And watch your back. These folks have people everywhere." Jericho fades back into the alley and vanishes from sight.


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