Gem Activated

October 12, 2014: An overgrown Absorbing Man takes a brisk run down Broadway after absorbing the powers of a volatile magical artifact, leaving a host of strange phenomena in his wake.

NYC, Broadway



  • Absorbing Man
  • A dog

Mood Music:


Miles Wentworth paid top dollar to give his priceless collection of oddities and curios a home: a brownstone nestled beside a bank on a corner of the financial district. With precisely controlled conditions, a state of the art security system, night watch, and an indecent interior design budget, it would be hard to imagine a more luxurious place for one man's accumulation of stuff to live.

The smoldering path of ruin that begins at one of the side walls and winds all the way through the building and stops at a crushed display case deep within might have a negative impact on its resale value, though. Alarms and emergency lights blaring and shining within fill the street near that makeshift entrance with an echo of the red-tinged cacophony within, and the intermittent sounds of snapped wood, shattering glass, abject panic, and brutish rage filtering out have served to paint an awful and disjointed picture of the situation inside.

The culprit - one Carl "Crusher" Creel - doesn't seem terribly concerned with the beleaguered night watchman hanging off of his red brick body as he contemplates the object in the smash case marking the end of his destructive trail. It's a gem; that much is obvious. But it's the size of a small melon, its surface is covered with grid of raised square, and it fills the room around it with a muted but persistent light reminiscent of the setting sun.

Screw taking it back to the guy that hired him for peanuts; he'd probably be rich if he could find the right person to fence this thing to.

Security guards and alarms might not have done anything to stop the Absorbing Man, but both served a very important purpose in the tense opening moments of his break-in: alerting Wentworth's newest security measures to the situation; a sharp, "You, with the ball: step back from the priceless artifact with your hands up!" interrupts the felon's thoughts as they finally arrive. It's quickly followed by, "You, in the uniform: let go'a the super burglar, find a safe place," that is tinged with sympathy for the guard's plight. Both orders come from Luke Cage as he sprints and hurdles his way down the path to Creel.

"Whaddya— " Creel snaps his head up to glare at the approaching wave of fresh security forces. "— I got two— " Half a beat passes as his eyes flick towards the ball and chain dangling from his right hand, and then his expression twists even further. "'s mine, ya friggin'— nngh— " His eyes are moving between the opposition to the crystal as he considers a completely different set of options, now, but— it doesn't take long for him to make up his mind. When in doubt…

"Hggh— " he grunts as his left hand dips into the remnants of the display case and closes around the crystal. "— ggrrrrAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGH…!"

To his credit, the poor watchman has the good sense to untangle his body from Creel's and run like hell while he screams— and changes.

Amber crystal inches along Creel's fingers, up his forearm, and onwards; the light shining within the gemstone itself dims, but the Absorbing Man's shifting form seems to have inherited it. Luke stops a few feet away from the display, uncertain of how to proceed— especially when Creel's already mountainous body begins to grow even taller; in a matter of seconds, his head is crashing through the roof.

"Uh," Luke exhales, looking towards his nearest fellow Hero for Hire, as he cracks his knuckles, "aight, so— I got a plan, but it ain't fanc— "

As focused as he is on figuring out how to put down a 10— 15— 20 foot man, Luke doesn't catch the intensifying glare around Creel's crystallized hand, nor the blurry black shape that emerges from it and promptly races through the hole in the roof; it isn't until it slows down enough to reveal itself as a large bird-like creature with a few too many wings that he notices the shape all— and at that point, it's already closing its talons around his shoulders so that it can fly through an undamaged portion of the roof with him in tow.


A man several stories tall, partially composed of radiant crystal, and screaming his goddamn head off is charging down Broadway. He's allowing a similarly massive ball and chain - half crystal, half metal - to bounce haphazardly behind him and contribute to the trail of craters and crushed cars stretching out behind him, and as if that isn't bad enough, rippling distortions and arcing lights rage around his left arm and pectoral - the crystal parts - periodically, heralding the emergence of strange visitors and other phenomena from beyond.

Flowers bloom in some of the craters trailing the Absorbing Man, thanks to the shower of swiftly maturing seeds that fell during one of the events. Small groups of squat, green-skinned goblins with sharp claws and cookware armor took to looting stores and harassing pedestrians after crawling out of the sewers where the ball and chain was briefly dragged. A roughly humanoid blob of water rose from was left of a hydrant Creel stomped flat in passing, and seems to just be 'standing' in place, watching the show; the actual threat and severity of these phenomena seems to vary somewhat, but their origin point is dangerous enough on his own without adding such unpredictably variable elements into the mix.

Now and then, some awful curse or another manages to cut through the sounds of civilians, car alarms, and carnage as Luke Cage struggles to avoid becoming lunch for an alien bird somewhere above the island.

With or without emergency calls, the spectacle is visible from some distance away; fire engines and ambulances are already en route to deal with the destruction he's leaving behind, but it'll take more than a few brave emergency responders to get Creel himself under control— and, perhaps, to deal with the strangeness infecting the island in his wake.

The rampaging crystalline man was not exactly something that surprises Keith. Part and parcel of being who he is, and being affiliated with certain powers, is that he often finds himself crossing the strangest of predicaments. The effects that the crystal giants was leaving in his wake reeked of Chaos magic, or of something similar. Keith sighs and is one of the few people not running and screaming for their lives. "So much for taking in a show…" he mutters and reaches for his trusty hand mirror.

"We're All Mad Here!"

A minute later, Vorpal is running in the air, across platforms that appear and disappear in his wake as he heads towards the twenty foot jewel man. He didn't want to transform until he was certain he was safe from the Circle Oroboros… but this kind of emergency took precedent over everything else.

Besides, someone had to represent the Titans in crises like these, right?

He runs as fast as he can, trying to gain some altitude as well so that he is above the creature, trying to stay undetected- for now.

What's the single best way to break into a collection of precious artifacts being endlessly protected by state of the art security systems?

Simple. Let someone else do the breaking and entering first.

There's a lot of very valuable items to be had in the Brownstone building. Someone else, someone with a whole lot of money, knew about this. Now, so does Domino. As the towering Crystal Crusher Creel thunders down the street, conveniently drawing an awful lot of attention his way, Domino slips inside of the ruined building and simply helps herself. First what the client had been after, then a few little somethings for herself. "Yoink."

It's just this easy. She's ready to turn heel and leave (and maybe take a few more things on her way out the hole in the wall) when unexpected resistance is encountered. Goblins! (Goblins..?) A matched set of pistols are hauled out and aimed at two separate targets, the albino holding her ground. "Back off, creepies. These are not your shinies."

Lunair was not expecting pecs of crystal. Not really. But life, this planet, is full of odd things like this. She is likely somewhere near Luke, in her armor and peering out from behind it's visor. "Uhm. It's not going to go gentl— " Wait, did a bird just take Luke? It's the closest animal Lunair can think of. "HEY! Hey! You put that man down! We're not living up to the stereotypes! Those are BAD!" Time to go after it. With a laser cannon. Of course she does. And then there's Creel. Ehm. This is bad. And all of the odd critters.

She steps aside from a plant. "Oops, pardon me. Nice foliage!" Wave to a flower. Now she has to figure out how to catch up. Maybe - her scooter? Hmmm. She slings one of her cat staves over her shoulder, laser gun over the other and - yup, that's a purple scooter.

Well Danny was working with Luke of course, and as Luke starts his plan, Danny just mentions his own, "Uhm he's just a crystal guy, why can't you just smash him?" Heroes For Hire, no fancy plans here! Of course that all goes out the window when Creel grows rather large and a giant bird creature shows up, "Okay maybe we will need a change of plans?" Once that thought is said Danny starts to contemplate things, and just says screw it, he runs after Creel, the day Luke can't handle a bird creature is the day Danny has to find a new partner!

Well Danny is chasing the giant man, okay he really should have traded with his partner on this one, and his thinking of the things that he can do against the guy. Of course during this time, he stops to help out some civilians caught in the crossfire. And then resumes the chase, well at least the guy is moving slow enough that a foot chase is easy!

Finally catching up to the guy, Danny does the only thing he knows how to do, fancy Martial Arts! He leaps and just tries to Kick the back of the guy. Hey it's worth a shot! Plus maybe this'll guy the guys attention, or something. At least keep him in one place until help arrives.

The Absorbing Man is too busy screaming and running to be on the look out for platforming felines. The screams don't really suggest pain, though; if anything, he sounds equal parts thrilled and frightened as he barrels through Manhattan.

The air around him shudders as one of Vorpal's platforms disappears a short ways behind him, and following a sharp flare from within the transformed segments of his body, the tiger-striped Titan would probably catch the fluttering, buzzing rhythm of insects as they emerge from Creel's pec. Sensitive as his ears are, they may also pick up on something else from the midst of the swarm: voices, dozens of them.

"What is this place?"
"Did the shaman lead us astray?!"
"Look! Up there, the giant running on air! What is that— ?"
"I don't know! I don't— "

And with that, the better part of the swarm - a mixture of flies, locusts, bees, and other pests, each ridden by a tiny red humanoid wielding tiny spears and bows that are sharp enough to at least sting, if not actually threaten human-sized prey - breaks off to close in on Vorpal; the others separate to spread throughout the rest of the city, adding to the chaos. A few even make it down to the storage facility, where Domino is facing off with a couple of goblins.

"No!" one of those goblins insists, stamping her little foot. "We're the ones who swam all the way here for this swag! We— aah!" First the defiant goblin, and then her partner shriek as they're beset by tiny arrows, and a tiny spear darts towards Domino too. The mouthy one sprints right at Domino, and despite the panic, there's some sense that she, too, would like to take advantage of the situation judging from the way that she brandishes her nasty little claws and similarly sharp teeth along the way.

Meanwhile, Lunair is waving to a flower, and the flower— waves back. At least, given a moment to sprout a few feet further out of its hole and unfurl a leaf, it does; nevermind that it's probably waving at the scooter-riding gunwoman's back by that point. Luke and the bird are circling the area surrounding Creel's rampage without straying too much further towards the rest of the island; this, at least, might make catching up to it somewhat easier for Lunair. By now, he's managed to work an arm free so that he can punch the bird-thing in the head now and again, but it seems remarkably resilient to his abuse.

Iron Fist manages to catch up with Creel and deliver a soaring kick to the crystalline Crusher's back. There's plenty of flesh left for Danny's kick to slam into, but at this size, and with whatever's happening to him— happening, this - as expected - doesn't really hurt, it just draws his attention. On the upside, though, he does stop running a second after he's struck, and a moment after that, he stops screaming, too; his eyes remaing big, bulging, and crazed.

"WHAT?!" Creel bellows as he then whirls around to look for whoever just hit him in the back; the ball and chain whips through the air overhead and only just scrapes past nearby buildings without obliterating them outright. The sheer volume of his voice still blows the windows out of the structures around him, though.

Vorpal's eyes widen when he hears those tiny voices. Oh crap— fortunately, there are more ways than one to skin a cat, and Vorpal skins himself— or rather, seems to split into twelve different vorpals, all running on platforms in the air in completely different directions.

None of those, however, is the real one. The real Cheshire uses the same power of illusion to become invisible himself. He sees Iron Fist attacking the gigantic crystal man, and for the moment this will have to do, as Vorpal now has to find a way to get the swarm together so it can be neutralized.

"As if you could possibly ever best me, tiny creatures! Catch me, if you can!" all twelve illusions call out at once and they cease their random movement to head in one specific direction, all of them: a spot that's just big enough for a purple bell construct to drop and hopefully encase them for now…

God, he hated bugs…

Blink. "-Yes!-" Domino counters, as if it's the most logical argument in the world. Hers! Claimed! "There's plenty to go around, just go in and-Ow!" There's thin armor covering most of the albino, strong enough to turn away most tiny airborne spears. The back of her hands, however… Blue eyes go wide as she stares at something vaguely proportionate to a toothpick now sticking out of the back of her hand.

She doesn't have long to contemplate why she's got a sandwich skewer in her skin before one of the goblins bumrushes her. Stop, drop, and shift weight with a leg out to the side to trip the critter up! She can understand them talking so maybe she doesn't need to go straight for the ten millimeter solution.

Besides this, trying to floor the goblin causes her attention to go elsewhere across the room. Toward a very fancy looking gem that appears to be putting out some light…

(Do. Want.)

"'Scuse me, kiddies." Flicking the tiny spear away, Dom rushes after the peculiar gem which had escaped her notice before. It should fetch a good price somewhere!

Awww. Flower waves back. Lunair looks happy. "Bye! I'll come back for you," She promises. If she can, anyway. Lunair's got a bird to bother. And then help Iron Fist administer the Boot to the Head! She is unaware of Domino and the Battle for the Swag. She'd be impressed probably. And poor Vorpal. O poor Vorpal.

Lunair is on her way though! Scooter and all! "I really wish I could fly," Siiiiigh. And not in the Sting way, either. She's really got to catch up. At least Luke seems to be punching the bird like it's a viva pinata. Full of everything awesome. It's time for Duck Hunt 3D. Leveling the laser gun at the bird, she's going to take a potshot at it.

Okay the kick got the guys attention. But of course Danny should have thought about this one a little more. "Uhm, would stop in the name of the law work?" Danny asks the guy. But he has stopped at least that is the good thing. Well when all else fails there is always plan B.

Not expecting the guy to actually listen to him. Danny charges his name sake, the Iron Fist, and well just does another leaping blow at Creel. Of course this one may be aimed just a little lower than the last one. It's aimed right at the guys stomach this time, just above his crotch.

Well of course if that doesn't work, Danny will really need to switch with Luke. Big Guy is definitely more of Luke's kinda fight that Danny. "Maybe I can bribe the guy, he has to like money, everyone likes money!"

The hunters are tenacious little things, and that's ultimately what dooms them: when one Vorpal becomes twelve, they are all too eager to chase the images every which way, even when their diverging paths all begin to run towards one particular spot. It isn't until they find themselves encaged in violent that they begin to consider the possibility that, perhaps, their prey is even more formidable than his great size and bestial features indicated.

That lesson sinking in doesn't stop them from buzzing and shrieking in agitation from the confines of the bell, though; it'll probably take a while for the wound to their collective pride to heal.

"Bugs!" the less aggressive goblin shrieks as he runs around in circles and flails his sauce pot/helmet above his head. "They're everywhere, they— ow!" An arrow skewers the lobe of his floppy, pointed ear, leaving him with some soreness and a rustic rustic accessory; before he knows it, he's stumbling over his own feet and landing squarely on his face.

Hopefully, he won't have to worry about infections later, because those hunting arrows were probably not sterilized before use.

The other goblin also ends up sprawled on her face; sheer greed and determination mean that she's back on her feet a whole lot quicker than her partner is, but stubby legs and a headstart mean that she doesn't have much luck in catching up with Domino now. The best she can do is hurl a piece of gently haunted china after Domino before stamping her foot again, then turning around to help her partner; the dish softly and soulfully wails the whole way.

"Woah!" Luke hollers as laser fire sizzles past his body and lands a square hit on the bird's chest. He flicks his eyes down at himself, and then at ground for the source of the shooter— and then at the bird, because after managing to flap its many wings a few more times, it suddenly loses a troubling amount of altitude and lists towards the side Luke's dangling from. Fortuitously, this does cause it to loosen its talons from Luke's wrist— enough that he's able to wriggle it free, too. Less fortunately, he's still a really, really long way up.

"Goddamnit," Luke mutters as he squints down at the ground, searching for a spot relatively free of people and things before prying himself free. Unbreakable skin should make the fall more or less safe, but it still won't be particularly pleasant.

Meanwhile, the Iron Fist meets the Crystal Stomach and the collision is accompanied by flares of clashing golden and amber light from the two mystical forces. Cracks spread across the parts of Creel that have become gem-like, and the giant staggers backwards a couple of steps before crashing to his butt in the middle of the street, eyes filled with shock. The light pouring from his body settles shortly after impact, but the strands chi flickering around Danny's fist not only persist, they seem to be drawn into Creel— into the cracks.

As Iron Fist's Chi is drawn into the Absorbing Man's body, the formerly inching crystal surface begins to race across his skin, consuming it inch by inch at dramatic speeds. Moreover, his inner glow is beginning to manifest again, along with the rippling distortions that herald the appearance of something new. Nothing emerges - yet, at least - but shortly after the glowing and ripple begins, the ground beneath him begins to tremble and the roar of something great and terrible sounds from within his gut.

The tremors shake the storage facility where Domino is, too— and she'd also be in prime position to see the gem that started this all suddenly beginning to give off bursts of golden and amber light.

Dropping to the ground and becoming visible as he does so, Vorpal stands by Iron Fist's side and just… stares at what is going on.

"Um… Fist. I haven't quite encountered something like this before, but from the qualityof the special effects, I guess it is my duty to warn you that if anyone who comes out of there asks you if you are a god, that you most emphatically say 'yes.'"

Kitchenware isn't supposed to wail as it gets thrown through the air. This is Domino's first hint that something isn't quite right. Her reaction is to swing an arm back around in order to try and get a shot at the incoming -thing,- though instead of a clear shot the back of her hand smashes the thrown piece of decorated glass. On one side, her head is safe from the impact! On the other side, it's yet another injury to her hand. (Ow!)

Then there's the matter of the gem which caught her attention. It's turning into an amber-hued disco ball. Oh, and the ground is trembling! This proves to be enough for her to hesitate before blindly reaching out to claim it as her own. Is it safe to touch..? Should she shoot it, instead?

The goblins are the only ones that seem to have any idea of what might be going on here. They also talk. Sooo… Turning back to face the would-be opponents, she haphazardly points one of her scary large pistols toward the glowing gem and asks "Is this thing safe?"

(Ah, screw it.)

Away goes the gun before she darts out and snags the gem with her hand. Boldly rushing into a potentially dangerous situation is what she does!

Oh no. The bird is - "Damn you, gravity!" Crap. Lunair only thought like, halfway through that plan. Damn you, underdeveloped teenage front lobes! She's watching Luke and the bird for a moment. Then - is that rumbling noises? Lunair looks over in that direction, concerned. "That does not sound like a boot to the head." She's a Captain now. Captain Obvious. Ahem. Nevertheless, she's watching the bird and Luke for a moment. A scooter is faster than on foot, right?

Well okay that has never happened before when he used the Iron Fist. Danny is shocked when well he can't turn off the fist, and the energy is being drained into the gem guy. "Oh this is bad." He says, of course thanks to that he realizes something about the Gem?

And then it's when he hears the roar and the sounds from the portal that he realizes something else. "SOMEONE FIGURE OUT HOW TO CLOSE THE PORTAL!" He yells out. Okay he's trying to turn off the Chi, that's not working though.

The last thing that they need right now is Shou-Lou the Undying coming to the middle of New York City. Of course this is just raising a lot more questions in Iron Fist's mind. Like if he killed the dragon once before to get his abilities, how the heck is he alive?

But questions like that can wait. Right now the important thing is closing the damn portal. Which Danny isn't in position to do, plus he must have slept in during Magical Gem Class at K'un-Lun.

There is a break in the roaring, but it's replaced by a hungry *FWOOSH* that grows in intensity until a column of fire shoots up from Creel's crystallized abdomen; it probably won't catch Iron Fist or Vorpal, provided that they don't suddenly decide to start crawling all over the Absorbing Man, though.

The conduit of chi flowing between Iron Fist and the felon is causing radiant 'veins' of the stuff to spread throughout the crystallized parts of his body— which is most of it, now; just about everything save for his head has hardened, and the mineralization wave is approaching Creel's chin. "Get it— get it offa me!" he screams, thrashing in place; at least his voice has settled to a less glass-threatening level, even if his panicking is doing a number on the street and sidewalk. "I can see— "

Another roar sounds, and then the Absorbing Man's inner glow recedes as a great, red eye opens within his body to stare up at Vorpal and Iron Fist; it narrows rather hatefully as its pupil rolls towards the latter.

"— I can see somethin' comin'— wait— "

Meanwhile, at the storage facility…

"I— don't— know," the pluckier of the goblins shrieks as she's tossed around by the quaking earth, "but— it's— shiny!"

Domino grabs the gem, and— the ground keeps on quaking. The object itself continues to emit pulses of light into the room too, with the dueling swaths of gold and amber within almost seeming to dance around and even embrace one another before disentangling for another clash; however, holding it also sends the mercenary's perceptions— elsewhere.

At first, she can see a great, red dragon coiled in the cavernous confines of its underground layer and seemingly staring directly - balefully - towards her as fire leaks from its jaws. Despite its bulk, it is also slithering towards her, and as it close in, its jaws part—

— and then the scene shifts and she's staring down what seems to be a medium sized dog as it lopes towards her along a path in what seems to be a fishing village. It is a little mangy, but it doesn't breathe fire or have multiple heads or anything, so there's that. The creature leaps towards the mercenary as soon as it's close enough to make the jump, but even if she stays put, there won't be any impact. The pastoral surroundings don't last much longer past that either; darkness creeps in from the corners of her perception until the village is gone leaving nothing— and then, a blink later, the facility.

The crystal is still glowing, but the tremors begin to settle right about then.

Back at the Absorbing Man, the flow of chi suddenly breaks; Danny might need a good night's rest or two, but whatever effect Creel's crystallized body was having on him seems to have abated, and this is accompanied by the fading of those yellow veins throughout his body. The crystallization itself lingers, but it'll probably fade— eventually. Hopefully.

There's still another intruder to contend with, though: a medium-sized dog with leaps from Creel's belly as the chi connection breaks; it is a little mangy, but— see above about the lack of fire-breathing/multiple heads. It does, however, seem intent on tackling the first person it notices and assaulting them with slobbering affection; hopefully, Vorpal is up to the challenge.

Luke is in what's left of a wig shop with a long, blonde mop seated awkwardly atop his shaven head as he groggily picks himself up from what's left of what was probably a very nice display. The bird that tried to eat him is laying in the street a few buildings down, trying and failing to work its many wings and pick itself up off of the ground. When Lunair arrives, he leans heavily against the half a table still standing beside him and flashes her a thumbs up to let her know he's alright.

And then he notices the blonde hair in front of his eyes, hastily snatches it free, and tosses it behind himself with a scowl.

"Everything cool?" he wonders as he moves towards her.

At first, Vorpal is ready to enter End Of The World mode when the column of fire appears, and all the special effects that follow soon after. But he is immensely relieved at how things go down, until-
"OH GOD, GET IT OFF!" Slobber. Dog drool. Dog. The Titan flails as he gets attacked by dog love- he's never been a dog person, and never will be. "Fist— can you- augh, no!" He starts trying to trot away from the dog. Never run away from a dog. It attracts its attention. "AUGH!"

This will most likely end up on youtube, to Vorpal's dismay.! It's too late to simply let go so Domino hangs on for a ride of the most peculiar, and fortunately not very lengthy, variety. A quick escape from a reality or two (or three…) and she snaps back to the present so abruptly that she stumbles and falls backward across the rubble-strewn floor. She doesn't drop the gem, however. Just herself.

"This is not the kind of shiny you want..!" she blurts out. "Look elsewhere! This..oh man, there's the headrush…" she groans while reaching her other hand up to the side of her face. Great, now she's got this thing in her hand and she doesn't know what to do with it. She's kind of afraid to do -anything- with it! Either way, the goblins? So not getting it. Nope! Not happening.

There had been a lot of commotion outside, maybe she can find some answers out that way… All she has to do is follow the path of ruin which Creel had so thoughtfully provided. It shouldn't be long before the other powered sorts come into view. She already knows Lunair, at the very least. Oh, and the dog. She knows the dog. "So, uh..anyone know what this is and-or what the heck to do about it? 'Cause I don't want it." Way more trouble than it's worth.

Lunair will have to check on her flower buddy later. For now, there seems to be bigger problems afoot. Her eyes widen as she catches up to Luke. "Hi there!" Pause. "I don't think blonde works for you," She offers helpfully. Then, she looks to the bird and back to Luke. While she has problems showing emotion, this is not one of those times. Confusion, concern and a headshake communicate a definitive 'No sir'. It's no sir in HD even.

"Iron Fist punched the big guy and weird stuff is happening. The bird is over there trying to get back up. I should finish it off, maybe, but we don't have time to play. Did you want to take my scooter over there? Or I can take you over there. To the big guy," She offers. And then there's Domino.

"Hi!" As if, you know, Domino popping out of nowhere is totally normal. "I have no clue! Angry birds are the worst though."

Eventually the chi draining stops, yay for that one! However Danny is just rather weak thanks to that. And for a moment he collapses to the ground, but just for a moment, as he realizes there is a higher priority right now.

Once he realizes that he starts to drag himself back to the feet, "Need— to— find— source," is all he can manage to say, in his best Shatner like speaking way. Hey, important things, how to figure out how something tied to K'un-Lun ended up on Earth. Since well as far as Danny knows there are only a few that have left that place. And none brought anything like that with them.

But hey that sounds like a job for Heroes for Hire, he'll have to arrange to pay for them to help him investigate this. Or well find someone who is really good at investigating things to help them out with it. Sadly he didn't hear Domino, so well can't take her up on the offer of taking the gem off her hands.

"Yeah, I figured," Luke grumbles as he and Lunair leave the store. Thanks to the talons and the landing his shirt is in yellow rags hanging from his body, but he doesn't seem to be limping or bleeding or anything. Creel isn't terrible far from them, and once he sees that the villain is on his back instead of stomping around, he allows himself a low exhale of relief; just when his thoughts are beginning to turn towards checking up on the other oddities he witnessed while he and the bird were doing laps over the island, though, Lunair is calling out to Domino.

Domino, who's carrying the crystal that started this whole mess, for some reason.

"Do you know— " he starts to ask as he squint down at Lunair before just saying, "Scooter," and heading towards the thing to climb aboard, causing it to sink a couple inches. "Ayo!" he calls out to Domino; he wasn't quite close enough to hear the offer, but Lunair's familiarity does, at least, suggest the possibility that she's not a villain of some kind. Parlay is his goto for now, but his feet are braced on the ground in case he has to get up and go after her. Assuming that gets her attention, he'll tip his chin towards the crystal and adds, "Bet I know a guy who'd be real interested in gettin' his hands on that. Again…"

Vorpal, meanwhile— Vorpal seems to have made a new friend who interprets 'screams for help' and 'flailing' as 'playing'; the dog isn't so persistent as to try and keep Vorpal pinned down for licking, but the cat's attempts at cajoling it to leave him alone mostly just result in more affection until he actually twists free. At which point the dog trots after him for a few steps before bounding towards Iron Fist, tail wagging vigorously all the while.

Between bouts of enthusiastically licking the unconscious martial artist's face, it emits gleeful barks.

Creel isn't doing much better than Danny; he still seems to be conscious, kind of, but he isn't moving much. Or doing much more than groaning, mumbling about goblins and dragons, and gradually shrinking back down to normal size. At the rate he's going, it'll probably be somewhere in the realm of hours before he's back to his normal dimensions, but at least he isn't running anymore; the crystal parts of him still give off that original, amber glow, but it's subdued, now.

Back at the facility, the goblins are picking themselves up to return to the sewers from whence they came, drawn to them by something stronger than their thwarted lust for treasure. The bird will - if Lunair doesn't shoot it, anyway - eventually manage to take flight, spiralling up into the sky until it's simply gone, and the flowers will gradually recede into the ground until there's nothing in their makeshift homes but a few stray blades of grass. The few insects riders still buzzing around let their mounts lead them towards alleys heaped with garbage and the cracks through which the flowers retreated, never to be seen again.

Nothing else is emerging from Creel, and whatever else did come seems to have better places to be. There's still property damage galore, not to mention broken water mains, fires, and other, more mundane plights, but on the upside, Broadway has gotten a little less magical for the moment.

"Man, this place looks like Hell."

Huh,'s some guy coming over on a scooter. He's also not making threats. For extra bonus points, he's saying something which sounds an awful lot like the beginnings of a deal to someone like Domino. She stops and turns to look at the gem in her hand, then she looks back to Luke. "That so? As it turns out I'm willing to part with it for a very good price."

Can't blame her for trying, right? Okay, maybe you can. Still, everyone has bills to pay.

Maybe she isn't an obvious villain but she's probably not a hero, either. Heroes tend not to run around dressed in all black while loaded with guns and blades and other assorted items of unfriendliness. Still, she's no 20-foot-plus guy with a massive ball and chain!

Waitaminute, wasn't she just offering…? Lunair headtilts. She doesn't seem offended Domino got distracted by a deal. "It's a pretty one," She considers. "I guess if he doesn't want it, I could buy it, maybe." Chintap. She shakes her head to Luke. "I'm not sure. I saw our friend by the big guy. Here, it's probably faster without a passenger," She will give Luke the keys if he doesn't want to ride with her. She's not sure on these things sometimes. Lunair does not shoot the bird. She figures being zorched is probably lesson enough.

Also, sadly, Lunair's power IS a lot of guns and blades and explosives. And sometimes she wears all black because that's what's on sale and also she's often getting dirty. What?

Iron Fist is kinda passed out until the dog starts licking him. Well hey getting kissed by a dog is just enough to get a guy to wake up slightly, and he staggers to his feet. "Did I adopt a dog while I was asleep or something?" He mutters to himself. He starts to stagger, still trying to figure out what the heck has happened. But right now his memory is just fuzzy, he remembers Giants, and a walking plant, and the sounds of a dragon. Man maybe there was something funky in that tea he drank earlier, like what happened to the old ladies in Grandma's Boy.

"Aight," Luke evenly replies as he closes in on the merc, "how's about a hundred bucks and me not callin' the SRD with a tip about that lady with the cursed gem, black costume— " He takes a second to squint and look her up and down as he sits back on the scooter; riding with Lunair wouldn't have been a problem for him, apart from the issue of fitting them both on there.

"— pale-ass skin, and funky spot over her eye. The one who just up and left her boy behind after their little trip to Broadway got outta hand…"

Everyone has bills to pay, it's true, but— 'everyone' includes Luke and the rest of Heroes for Hire, and there's a pretty good chance of their coffers taking a hit over this whole mess if the insurance people don't step up. In the worst case scenario budget Luke's drawing up in his head, there aren't a lot of funds left over to cover extortion; his 'offer' is mostly a bluff, but he could really do without having to come up with kind of money he'd imagine a woman willing to hold a dangerous artifact for ransom might otherwise ask for.

"Sec— " he then adds before standing up on the scooter to get a better look at the scene near Creel. "Yo, 'Fist!" he calls over to his partner who's being brought back to consciousness via Cute Pooch Resuscitation. "You good? You want me to give this guy a little tap or somethin'?" Given that Creel is unconsciouss, he question is mostly a formality; mostly, he is just sore at having spent most of the fight flying instead of punching the bad guy in his overgrown face.

Okay, so it's not an ideal offer. By any stretch. Yet, as the offer happens to get laid out Domino starts to smirk. The expression grows the longer Luke lays things out. (Left my boy behind at Broadway..? Hell, I don't even remember that one.) "That's how it's gonna be, huh."

She looks back to the gem in hand, lightly tosses and catches it, then looks back to Luke. (A hundred dollars should cover a fair chunk of the bar tab tonight, and it'll keep these guys from breathing down my neck later.)

"I did say a very good price. One Benny for one Gem. ..Mie." Because a trade is a trade, not a gift. She'll part with it for that amount.

It's not like she doesn't have plenty of other things to fence after this outing. And a contract to wrap up.

Lunair pauses. Huh. She tilts her head at Domino. "Thank you!" She's well mannered. "I'd probably offer a beer as part of it, but I'm not old enough for that. Sorry." A beat. Such is the hazard of a kindly soul who is not drinking age. Nevertheless, she'll go with Luke then, if it won't slow them down or tip them over. She'll make sure the scooter is nice and steady while Luke is standing. Lunair is pretty wealthy, but she's not exactly taking on tons of merc contracts anymore and seems to have fallen out of taking hits on people altogether. It's going to slow income flow a bit.

Either way, she's so working on being heroic. But this is hard. Really.

Iron Fist continues to stagger towards his partner. The Dog is following Danny as well, hey maybe someone that works for him needs a pet or something. Or else Danny will just have to adopt the dang dog. Maybe he can convince one of his new students to take care of him, there's an idea. Finally he does manager to stagger over to the trio, and just ends up leaning up Luna's scooter. He kinda mumbles to her, "Tell Luke to get the gem, I'll pay for it."

"Hundred bucks," Luke says, glancing towards Iron Fist and jerking a thumb towards Domino.

Some of the sirens further back along Broadway finally begin to approach Creel's down form; both police and paramedics are closing in, the former to take statements and latter to gawk at Creel briefly before eventually settling for trying to help Iron Fist while figuring out how they're going to transport a multi-story man— or, for that matter, where they'll transport him to. Maybe Ryker's has a gigantic hospital bed socked away somewhere…

"Thanks, by the way," he adds, looking to Lunair. "Damn bird got the drop on me." With that, he turns his attention back to Domino, and as he waits for the transaction to happen, he begrudgingly allows, "Good hustle, even if you picked a hell of a thing to hustle…" with a frown.

Hundred bucks. -Quickly.- Sirens mean bad things for Dom, more often than not. She'll take the green, thank you very much, then she'll grin back at Luke and offer a helpless sort of shrug. "What can I say? It was calling my name." Pulsing light, and all that.

With a smirk and a faux salute with the money pinned between two fingers, she starts to make her retreat.

Lunair doesn't seem upset Domino's a bit busy. She waves to the lady in black. "See you! And yeah, glowy stuff is totally like that." She can dig it. Kind of. One day, Lunair is going to die to a blinky mosquito zapper or something. Either way, she looks to Iron and nods. "He got it," She offers. "You should sit down." She moves off the scooter to let him, if the paramedics don't take him. Then a smile to Luke. "No problem. And yeah, that's usually how birds do. Don't feel bad about it. I don't think anyone expected giant freaking birds," She offers. Nevertheless, she'll let herself stay awhile. She cares about Iron Fist and the others, after all.

Even if her powers are more illegal than Donald Trump streaking throgh an MLP convention.

"Hey," Luke calls after the retreating merc, "you ever wanna make some cash for protectin' stuff instead'a stealin' it…"

He rattles off a phone number afterwards; with any luck, Domino'll hear it over the sirens.

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