Pop A Rahzi?

Summary:
September 21, 2014: Cameron gets swarmed by paparazzi. Rowan and Mera decide to help out! Uh-oh.

The Windward Pier, Senre Ville, Metropolis

Senre Ville serves as Metropolis's resort area. This neighborhood offers a
wide range of recreational activities such as fishing, swimming, and sailing.
This area also has beachfront resort hotels that offer legalized gambling,
and expansive as well as diverse amusement parks.

Another thing Senre is renown for is the artists alley, where galleries line
the streets in storefronts while the artists themselves live behind in
comfortable "alley shacks", spanning outward to more expensive homes that
were rebuilt after the hurricane, leaving this area a newer vision of what
Tealboro refuses to fully conform to.


Characters

NPCs

  • <Name of NPC or "None">

*Various paparazzi


Mood Music:
[! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQlImg2bm28]


Cameron Tenoaks is a hero in Metropolis. Her identity as Columbia is not a secret by any means, and sometimes her fame draws crowds to her, despite her efforts at maintaining a low profile. The bright orange hair, plus her mom sometimes calling the media, plus the occasional life-saving effort make it kind of difficult for her to simply hide away. Thus it is a big thing for her to be able to go fishing in Senre Ville on a day off. The day is a beautiful cloudless afternoon with blue skies.

She never catches anything, but that's not the point. It's the chance to get away from people, have some quiet time to think, and play with the tackle box some.

What she doesn't realize today is that her ever-concerned mother has once again 'done her a favor' by dropping the word to a few paparazzi that Columbia is fishing in a certain area…

What started as an isolated one or two person thing is starting to turn into a media feeding frenzy as the roiling mob of photographers, bloggers, interviewers and reporters descends on her position.

To Cameron's credit, she's so into the 'zen' of the 'reel' that she hasn't noticed her impending peril yet…

***

Rowan has been flying. Or as Mera likes to put it 'swimming through the air.' He's got four lovely, feathered wings and looks rather angelic. Or would were it not for the the fact that he's got a rather serpentine grace as he flies. He's currently in the air over the Metropolis shore, looking down rather curiously at what seems to be a mob descending on a particuar pier for… absolutely no reason he can discern.

***

Mera isn't flying. She's underwater nearby, as this place is just … cleaner. It's her husband's schtick to 'commune' with the fish, so she's just here for the relative peace and quiet. And because Rowan wanted to get some air time.

She surfaces within eye-shot of the shore, mostly to see what the Blue is doing, but the growing crowd on shore gets her attention. She didn't realize that surfacers had schooling tendencies.

***

"Columbia! Is it true that you and Magneto are seeing each other?" "Do you like exposing yourself when you're saving the day?" "Why don't you endorse one of the major lines out of Metropolis?"

Those are just a smattering of the questions that the gibbering crowd is putting forth, as cameras and booms are raised, flashes go off, and most normal sane folks start to clear out. No need to get trampled under this circus.

The fire-haired woman carefully sets her rod in a holder and face-palms, rubbing the bridge of her nose. While it would be so tempting to turn and roar at these people, they're just trying to do their jobs, just like she does hers. And she can't fault them for drawing all sorts of weird conclusions based on her brief heroic adventuring career. She was really hoping that what happened in Mtown would have stayed in Mtown, but apparently that wasn't the case.

Oh, right. Saving those ships and the people with the cargo container.

The statuesque woman slumps a little bit, even as the mob starts to coalesce around her, barely giving her any room to move, even as the pace of the questions picks up and the flashes start going off more…

Some sort of surfacer torture ritual?

***

Rowan recognizes cutting and trapping tactics when she sees them. That woman doesn't seem to like the flashing things, nor the shouting much of which sounds quite aggressive. Come to think of it, that's the woman Kida accused of having no soul, isn't it? Is it possible the other surfacers think the same?

The Blue isn't a 'damsels in distress' type, to be clear. But he can't just hover and watch some poor person get… light… pummeled? Well, mobbed to death or psychological pain. So he swoops down and without a word grabs Cameron's arm and yanks her skyward. There's a nice rooftop not too far, near the water. Maybe Queen Mera will give the mob a good soaking when he's clear. He knows that she's about.

***

Mera frowns as she recognizes the coral-haired woman being surrounded by the others like a pod or orca homing in on a shark. Disappearing under the water again, she moves closer, preparing to douse EVERYONE with enough water to make them leave the woman alone. And if a simple downpour won't do it, she'll up the stakes and start hitting them harder.

Sure enough, even though it wasn't planned, the moment Rowan pulls Cameron clear, everyone left behind gets the equivalent of buckets of water dumped over their heads.

***

A few things happen nearly simultaneously. Cameron is yanked upwards without warning. As if abhorring the vacuum, the mob folds in on the tiny spot that was left by the statuesque yet reserved heroine. Then the wall of water splashes down atop the pile of people, leaving a bunch of them pressed up against railings and the like and a few of them knocked down, with most of them sputtering and some of the electronic equipment arcing and sparking. That's a good thing, right?

Meanwhile, Cameron's first reaction is to yelp in surprise at being lifted skywards. She wasn't expecting that and since there was no indication or warning of who or what it was, she attempts to take control of whoever has the grip on her, attempting to reach back and tap a few pressure points along the arm to release the grip on her. If she's successful, she'll tumble to a rolling stop on the rooftop and spin on the balls of her feet…

And then stops cold when she sees it is Wing-Mode Rowan (get your action figures today!).

"…"

***

Rowan rather drops Cameron instead of releasing her gently thanks to the pressure points. He alights, shaking his arm to get it to stop tingling as he silently watches the coral haired one. He has a lot of questions himself. They start with 'Why do the surfacers think you're soulless?' and go from there. Fortunately, unlike many, he has the wit to not ask them.

***

Mera can't swim through the air like Rowan can, so she's stuck down in the water glaring at the paparazzi and glancing toward where Rowan and Cameron retreated to. « Is she unharmed? »

***

The pier, first, then.

Some of the paparazzi stand up and shake themselves off, attempting to recover their equipment. Others look over to the water and attempt to take photos with non-functioning cameras of the glaring Mera. And some of that arcing and sparking equipment earlier? It's proceeding to the 'fire' mode of water/electronics not meshing properly. There is much grey magic smoke emanating from some of it, and the pier is starting to get sparks on it.

The OTHER paparazzi that aren't doing either water-staring or de-watering are watching the confrontation on the roof with Rowan and Cameron, and cursing their own lack of appropriate equipment.

Meanwhile, on the roof, Cameron shakes her head and shifts to a martial stance.

"What. The. Heck."

She seems fine, if a bit… upset.

***

«Yes, your majesty, but perhaps a bit disoriented from whatever was being used on her? Some kind of surfacer mental manipulation perhaps? I was unaware such technology was in use on this world.» Rowan holds both hands up in a placating gesture. "They looked like trouble. Have the flashing lights perhaps disoriented you? I mean you no harm."

***

« I am glad that she is all right. And I do not know what these surfacers are or are not capable of. » Mera sees some of the paparazzi turning their attention toward her. Yeah, that's going to work out well for them. This time, instead of giving them (and the pier) another instant-dousing, she makes something akin to six water tentacles rise up on either side of the pier, as if reaching for the surfacers there. Those who don't turn and run fast enough will get a second dousing similar to an ice bucket challenge (without the ice part), but still nothing that would actually injure them.

***

Cameron closes the distance given the placating gesture from the Blue. Her body language is all about restraint, calm, even though her facial expression is a strange mix of frustration and horror when she sees the fiasco unfolding down on the pier. When she gets close to Rowan, her right hand comes up to attempt a slap of the back of the guy's head, enough to knock some sense into him, not enough to kill him, not enough to even bruise.

Yep. For the viewing audience at home, if that works, that would be a famous procedural leader's 'recalibration' method.

"That's the media right there. You became part of the story. Congrats." Indeed, at least one camera flash caught the interactions between Rowan and Cameron…

The folks on the pier — some flee, some stand their ground trying to get their cameras work, and some toss their arms up in surrender while hollering "SAVE US, COLUMBIA!"

Yep, a bunch of them get doused once more. Hey, plus side, no more magic smoke from the equipment, though it does sizzle a bit menacingly.

***

Rowan blinks. The Gibbs slap, he is not familiar. "I… um… news?" The news media kind of isn't a thing on earth 81 so it's activities here on 626 are an utter mystery to the Blue. "Who are these 'media' and why would I be part of their 'story.'"

***

Mera puts herself directly underneath the pier so the surfacers who haven't already fled can't see her without putting themselves in a position to get pulled into the water. She has a brief (and likely angry) conversation with Arthur, then share what she's learned with Rowen. « The parasites! These surfacers earn their incomes by preying on the public notoriety of others! Their light-emitting items are their methods of capturing images. » As if in response to her ire, the waves around the pier start splashing up higher, risking knocking anything not tied down off and into the water.

***

"Because they have a job to ask questions. You just broke their stuff AND yanked me. Be glad I'm not Mom." Indeed, if Maria Tenoaks had been the one yanked, Rowan's arm might have been broken in a few places as a 'character building exercise'. "This means now they want to know all about you."

While Cameron explains that much, the crowd is beginning to panic as the factors are starting to pile up, and a good chunk of folks are swept into the water, even as there are cries from some of them that they can't swim.

Meanwhile, the pier itself is beginning to sway back and forth a little bit with the wave action. It wasn't designed for angry local wave action. Broad stuff like a hurricane storm surge, fine, but focused repetitive motion?

Cameron launches herself into flight once more, to see if she can rescue some of the ones swept over the side… and see who is causing the agitation. She has a pretty good guess, but she doesn't have enough proof yet.

***

Rowan watches from the edge of the rooftop. "Why would I yank your mother?" He asks rather simply. "Is she also in trouble?" With that he dives into the water and begins to fling (actually fling) the now soaked paparazzi up onto the beach. It's fun, kind of like a game and he can do it with the haft of his spear. One two fling! One two fling!

***

Mera notices the pier over her head starting to move erratically and makes a concerted effort to calm the water again. However, the cries of people saying they can't swim are pretty much lost on her. She can't even fathom someone being unable to move about in water.

***

Mama said there'll be days like this… There'll be days like this my mama said..

As the pier stops shaking Cameron starts skimming along the surface of the water, looking for any flailing arms or bobbing heads to recover as many folks as possible without killing them.

Speaking of 'killing'… Rowan's method is definitely quicker, but some of the folks are landing on the beach with disturbing 'CRUNCH'ing sounds, like possibly bones being broken. Still, it is a lot speedier than Cameron's methodical approach.

When the folks near the surface are cleared to safety, she dives into the water, looking for other victims. She also keeps an eye out for anyone else in the area that might be involved with this…

***

The dragon warrior sill doesn't understand, clearly, but hey. Folks are out of the water if not uninjured. That's a good days work no? Most of them look… er, relatively okay. He's still not quite sure what's going on, save that spearing people probably isn't the correct response. Much as he wishes it were.

***

Mera heads toward shore, walking up the sand onto the beach toward the nearest paparazzi still there. She's … glowering. "Why were you attacking that woman? She was doing nothing that warranted violent retaliation. Answer me."

***

The paparazzi looks at Mera with a terrified countenance. He really doesn't have words for a coherent response. Could be an indication of guilt… or an indication of shock from all the trauma that he's been through. He does try scooting up a bit on his butt even as he cowers a bit.

Rowan has managed, with Cameron's help, to recover the remaining folks from the water.

Cameron comes whipping around the pier and throws herself into a foot-first skid near Mera, sand flying up into the air a bit as she picks herself up and dusts herself off.

"Mera, no. Eesh… stop… please."

Cameron's used to this being an annoyance. She doesn't want to see a war break out because of the idiots with the cameras.

***

Rowan has lighted on the beach now and is looking around curiously. It's probably that no one gets real close to him because unlike a certain attractive looking woman, Rowan does look like someone who will defend his personal space. That impression is entirely accurate and the first person to test it will get a trip back into the water by way of demonstration. Otherwise he looks rather blankly at questions tossed his way.

***

Mera does stop when Cameron puts herself in front of the paparazzi, though she's clearly confused, and still irritated. "You were under attack, and you wish me to stop?" Okay, your funeral. That doesn't keep Mera from giving her 'target' one more good glare. Just because.

***

No one tests Rowan's 'aura of command' by invading his personal space, though he does get asked some really odd questions, like 'How long have you and Columbia been an item?", "Do chicks really dig the wings?", and other various questions. Since he's blankly staring when they're asked, that just increases the number of questions he's fielding.

"Do your people have jesters, or court reporters or bards or something, you know, record keepers that ask hard questions?", Cameron inquires.

"This is why I don't like the fame. I'd much rather be saving lives than dealing with this… and you saw how they were. Mister Williams could handle it, me…" She shrugs helplessly.

There's blood in the water, the paparazzi can sense it much like a shark can, and they're eye-ing Cameron thoughtfully. One can almost SEE the stories they're thinking of, even without the pictures to go with. Probably something about trysts with Atlantean royalty. Or something.

***

Mera is just far enough away to miss Rowan's silent confusion. Luckily, no one's getting close enough to make the Blue feel threatened. So instead, she tilts her head at Cameron's question and vague non-explanation. "We have clerks, yes, but they know better than to be so unforgivably rude." She aims her last few words at the closest of the paparazzi, every bit of her ire clear on her face and in her voice. But, for now, that's all she does.

***

Cameron will nod to Mera and then make her way through the really annoying 'reporters' for the injured, healing the ones that are badly hurt.

"Mera, thanks for helping deal with that water issue. It really had some people scared and it was cool of you to help out despite the fact you don't like them."

Wait, what?

That seems to be the story that the paparazzi are taking up… some strange woman came by to stop some sort of aquatic attack on Columbia while she was fishing, and they happened to be along to witness if not record it.

It surely beats the alternative of being considered a criminal for assaulting random people out of the blue, as it were.

Cameron leans in close to whisper "Thank you."

Cameron's 'crowd' has started to filter around her once more, as she looks for a safe place to exit, buying Mera and Rowan some time to leave…


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