Date Night Ruined

Summary:
November 10, 2014: Arthur and Mera go to a surface restaurant to sample some chowder, and various elements ruin dinner. For everyone.

Small town, upstate New Jersey


Characters

NPCs

  • None

Mood Music:
[*none]


Early November is apparently the best time for Arthur and Mera to visit the surface world, as the majority of the surfacers find the coastlines to be less than appealing. Or something like that. Whatever the case may be, Mera is not at all perturbed by the greatly reduced numbers of surfacers she has to end up dealing with, and the increasingly cold weather is not even close to being bothersome to her.

Under the pretense of wanting to learn about this surfacer food item known as 'chowder', Mera has dragged her husband away from their home city and to one of the small coastal towns that dot the intervening space between the huge (and filthy) city centers of Gotham and New York.

"Why is it again that surfacers insist on ruining perfectly good food by submerging it in overheated liquid?"

-

Aquaman grins slightly, "I feel I should point out we cook a great deal of our food over volcanic vents and moletn lava… where the water isn't precisely chilly." he points out, "And, just as an aside I feel it's only correct to point out that this," he waves a hand at the food in question, "isn't remotely the best chowder to be had. Remember, I grew up in Maine, where we do this sort of cooking right." he puffs his chest a bit and gives a proud nod. Surface people, even Arthur, have odd geologicaly based pride issues, food and it's preperation seems to be one of the sticking points.

-

Mera looks at the small buildings a short walk in from the water line. "I don't know Maine. Is it close enough to reach easily? And why would the 'chowder' be different there from here?" Yeah. Zero concept of regional pride.

-

Aquaman chuckles, "Maine is a state in the US, the northern most along the eastern seaboard, roughly a thousand miles that way," he points, "give or take a bit." he hand wobbles, "And the food is different for a number of reasons. That far north the species of clams are different and the preperation is different, from the types of spices used to the cooking methods, both of which significanly alter the flavor of the chowder. Every state in the US has a few signature dishes, and inside those state there are counties that battle for bragging rights over the best food, and within those counties there are towns that compete, and within those towns there are even individual families or chefs who rival one another on the culinary battle ground." he eyes Mera, "I have to be honest, the one thing I miss about the surface world is the unbelievable variety of food. Atlantis, for all it's wonder, couldn't make a decent burger to save itself from a second sinking… don't tell anyone I said that."

-

Mera listens to Arthur's explanation without interrupting once, though her expression goes from vaguely understanding, to mildly confused, to less and less comprehending, to frustration from lack of comprehension. So, she latches on to just one part of it to try and get further details. "Burger. That is … large mammal flesh?"

-

Aquaman smirks, "Yes, it is the flesh of a large mammal." he says, "Remind me to introduce you to a cow at some point, preferably somewhere not near a slaughter yard." that last part was more to himself then to her. "They are a large animal, it eats grass, is very slow, doesn't do much but walk around and make a 'moo'ing noise. Really, they are very stupid animals, however they are useful as a food source. Kind of like a slower more useless tuna."

-

Mera makes a face at Arthur. "A slower, more useless tuna?" She shakes her head. Clearly, that's really, really useless. "But I would like to see a school of these 'cow' mammals at some point. If just to say that I have." She walks toward one of the buildings along the beach at random, not at all sure which one will be offering the chowder she's in search of. That one is completely dark, so likely not. That one has a loud, hairy little thing making a horrid yapping sound at them. Likely not as well.

-

Aquaman holds up a finger to correct her, "Herd. They are called a 'herd' when in a group." He watches Mera begin to eyeball houses on the beach and he chuckles, "Those are private living quarters love, you're looking for a resturant. They're much like Atlantean food service, brightly colored signage, usually well lit, and often they have a great many people in or around them." he motions her over, "If you pause and take a moment to focus you can find one easily enough. You can smell them, hear them. The sounds, the scents, are different up here but not so much that you shouldn't be able to pick up what you're looking for. Large group of people, likely music, the smell of fire or something roasting, the clink of glasses or silverwear on plates…"

-

Mera looks from Arthur to the residences and back, inwardly glad she doesn't have to deal with that yapping little creature. Tucking her hair behind one ear, she takes a moment to locate a restaurant the way her husband describes. The smell of the ocean, tainted by the presence of the surfacers. The smell of the buildings and vehicles and other such large objects around them. The… Mera's eyebrows draw together briefly as she catches a scent she recognizes: cooking oil, charring animal flesh, and that yeasty smell. Beer. Turning to try and locate the sources of those scents, she spots a building a bit further back from the beach that better fits Arthur's description. Brightly light, with the sounds of many voices and the clinking and clattering of metallic and other objects. "There?"

-

Aquaman nods his head and smiles warmly, "The skills you possessed as my assassin," he grins wider as he uses the now familiar barb between them, "serve you just as well on the surface even if the execution of them is slightly modified." he starts walking towards the beachside eatery, "Come on, lets get some food in you before you stab me." the man knows his wife, and hungry wife isn't happy wife.

-

Mera narrows her eyes at Arthur even though she knows he likes to poke at her teasingly that way. Luckily for him, the mention of food is enough of a distraction to keep her from retaliating. For the moment anyway. She starts toward the cheery establishment, further studying their environs as they go, and now starts to wonder… "These lights on the buildings, there seem to be more of them here than other places I've visited. Is that regional as well?" Very specifically regional, if that's the case. She doesn't remember seeing anything like them around Rowan's surface residence.

-

Aquaman grins more openly at this, "No… no this is a very nearly global phenominon. Not entirely mind you, but certainly over the majority of the Western world and it spreads as far east as Asia. The lights on the buildings are seasonal, not regional, though I think that they start the season a little earlier every year…" he seems to consider that for a long moment then shakes his head, "Whatever the case, they are in public acknowledgement of the largest celebratory holiday on the surface, and frankly, my favorite as well."

-

Mera ohs faintly as she pauses by one house whose decorations are particularly eye-catching in shades of surfacer autumnal orange and brown, the Halloween jack-o-lantern replaced with a still fresh-looking and uncarved pumpkin. "That… it smells like it could be a food item. Why is it sitting out here? Does it require time to be ready for eating?"

-

Aquaman shakes his head, "This is an odd time for decorations, namely, there are three holidays in as many months and while one of them, the one latest in the year, is clearly the largest, the other two have their own distinct traditions as well. Halloween is… complicated, but it mostly is an excuse to dress up in costumes and good naturedly scare and prank people. Thanksgiving is a holiday… well it's also complicated, it's past is bloody and violent, but it's present is mostly about gathering with family for a large shared meal in understanding that there are things we should all be thankful for. The pumpkins, the large orange gordes there, are carved into faces for Halloween and hollowed out, lit inside by a candle so they glow. For the rest of the Fall they are merely placed around decoratively… they are technically eatible, but only just. It's rare one makes anything of real culinary value from them… except pie. They make a decent pie. Everything else you ever get that's 'pumpking flavored' is really flavored with a spice called nutmeg instead, it's a sales tactic that's harmless."

-

Mera looks at Arthur with a faint frown, then studies the gourd for a moment longer before stepping back to his side to continue on. "Well, a tradition of shared meal and thankfulness seems possibly worth exploring. Though… is pie somewhat like that funnel cake object?" She didn't like the funnel cake, or rather, she didn't like the overly sweet toppings that went on the funnel cake.

-

Aquaman nods his head, "The origins of the holiday are dark and disturbing, but the modern tradition has evolved to something worth while." he agrees, "I have every intention of making a similar festival in Atlantis in time, I think the people could deal with a day dedicated to reminding them that not everything is fear and preperation for war. And yes, it is a little like funnel cake, but only in that it is a dessert food."

-

Mera nods as well to that. "I agree. A positive reminder is too rare anymore." Dessert food. Usually cloying and overly sweet, she's discovered. "Perhaps we can plan it to coincide with the kelp harvests?" Yup, the brain is running now. Though, she's still hungry.

-

Aquaman nods his head, "It may be a good time. I think there should be an event, something good, that incites the holiday however, rather then just the random whims of the King, something to make it clear that it is not just a holiday copied from the surface, but one all our own."

-

Mera goes quiet for a moment, agreeing with Arthur's assessment of forming that new holiday for their home city. They finally reach the restaurant and as much as Mera has been trying to learn about the surfacers, she's a bit hesitant to step into that building filled with them. Then she notices the currently empty patio with tables and looks at her husband. "Would we be allowed to eat out here?" It seems like the answer would be no, considering all of the surfacers are inside the building.

-

Aquaman nods his head, "We would." he says as he moves over to take a seat at a table, the trident comes off of his back to lean against the table's edge as he tests the chair… it's wrought iron and so holds his surprising weight and he nods. "To them it is cold out here, so while the patio is open few will choose to dine here." he explains. Honestly, he's never much understood the cold or how people are effected by it, he's never been cold in his entire life, but his father explained the concept to him and taught him to recognize the signs.

-

It's not good African food, but a bowl of chowder does hit the spot during this weather. Though she doesn't need it, Storm wears a winter coat for appearances sake. Her hands are in the pockets and she heads to this lovely little out of the way place she discovered a few years back. She notices the pair on the patio and it's hard not to notice that they are not local. "Good evening. Shall I let the staff know that you are eating out here?"

-

You have to love this weather.

Just outide of the highway route, at the end of the semi-quiet road - seemed to stretch for miles when in all reality it is hardly the length of a football field. But a gray broken road eaten to the horizon of a dark and grey that is prone with the onset of winter.

At the end a lighter clicks, the metal lid flicked back and the flame the only illumination at the end of natures maw where even the cold wind did not blow it out.

Risen to the end of a cigarette the black gloved hand that pinches the 'cork' end rests just before the pout of vitae huen lips. Twice the flame dances back, reflections from the rim of glasses, though beyond the frames those frigid blue eyes set the perfect theme for the plume of smoke and condensed breath - flowing in the direction of turned attention and the stretch of road leading to the diner.

"Well, Hans…" A pause as that accented Russian voice croons motherborne upon the air, ominous to a near empty cradle of civilization. "Time to practice…"

One hand rises while the other brings the smouldering cigarette back to her lips, silently from the road beyond cloaked trucks roll up, filtering down from the hills beside shadows move in stealthed array while bursting past a man on a motorcycle rips down the center of the road, heeding no speed laws and leaving behind him a befitting trail of liquid…

-

And they say that the Joker doesn't play well with others. He absolutely does, provided he gets to burn things down or blow things up. He'd been appraised through unusual channels that a certain lady would be making an entrence tonight and it'd be really appreciated if he'd show her a big Gotham welcome. This is not Gotham per se, but he'll do his best. Because, hey, why not? Does the Joker need a reason for anything? He does not. Now whether or not he keeps his word…

Hist the moment he's just eating. He's not in his trademark purple suit, but he does have his trademark green hair and the staff keep eyeing the green haired guy in the three piece suit who is quietly, sort of creepily enjoying chowder out on the veranda and watching… everyone.

-

Mera ohs and nods to Arthur, inwardly a bit glad at the answer. She also gingerly settles into one of the wrought iron chairs, though straightens to her feet again abruptly when the surfacer woman with the white hair and coat addresses them. Does she work for the restaurant? Mera has no way to know for sure, so she's erring on the side of wariness.

-

Aquaman chuckles, "No, I don't think that will be nessicary." he says to Storm, "The clothing generally catches an eye in short order." he's festooned in gray stone, gold armor, and is carrying a six foot tall golden impliment clearly designed for stabbing people. Plus, he's kindasortabutnotreally famous. Oh. And Mera's hawt. All things being equal, it's prolly mostly Mera that gets the non-badge kind of attention.

-

A hint of a smile spreads on Ororo's lips and she nods. "I would not be at all surprised that your outfits gain you a lot of attention. Do enjoy your meal and try the chowder here. It is lovely and they are well known for it." Yes, Arthur is famous, but Storm is being polite enough not to bring that up.

-

There is a storm brewing, enough to rustle the red tips of fur that tease just around the pale facade, brushing along her jawline and dipping down in the dual weave over long leather coat to trim and insulate the edges. As if the beast left dead for this coat still gave its blood to it to keep it /fresh/.

The motorcyclist did his job, unnoticed it seems in passing down the road and in front of the cafe, weaving off and breaking the path of liquid at the other end of the block he pops a 'U' turn and watching while in reverse the black visor reflects…

Back from wence he came the Baroness stands there with her cigarette, taking that final drag that crackles before the glasses, sparking into a flame of green, a noxious poison before her lips - dancing upward before it is dropped upon the starting path of gasoline, sparking that long line of spill down the road in a low path, slithering like a sepent in the 'crete borne grass just before it jups upward and forms a wall down the middle of the road, blocking way from one side to the next and the few that had exited a shoppe scream and run back within.

From the other side of the flame the armored men who came from the shadows step through, unphased by the extreme heat, but the tips of 5 of the mens weapons now spark to life.

Flamethrowers blasting out a show that backdrafts in and wilts leftover dried leaves to instant ash.

"This is what I call clearing a path."

-

The Joker very carefully lays aside his soup spoon, looking at the other, rather pristine bits of tableware before him. After a moment he selects a the butter knife and the regular spoon and stands up. "Excuse me?" He says to one of the passing staff as he jams the spoon into their tie, twists so tht it gets wrapped about and begins to haul the poor man toward the fire. "There's a customer up here who needs your attention." He cackles softly, his grin going from sedate to manic in an instnat.

-

Mera looks at Storm for a moment before her eyes turn toward Arthur. He's completely at ease, so she follows his cue and moves to settle into her chair again. Of course, because the Fates are cruel, cruel beings, the moment she does so, there's a strange WHOOSH sound from the far side of the building along with an abrupt increase in the amount of light coming from that direction. She leans as if to try and get a look, not really understanding what those two indicators mean, but that's when the green-haired Surfacer starts to threaten another man nearby. Okay, that she knows how to react to. And, the green-haired man is delaying her chance at sampling 'chowder'. Hungry Mera is Grumpy Mera. Grumpy Mera does not take kindly to ANYTHING disruptive.

As her green eyes glare at the Joker, the contents of about three water glasses nearby all leap up out of their containers and slam into the green-haired man's head and torso with a good bit of force: about on par with a water balloon thrown by a professional baseball pitcher.

-

Aquaman's head snaps towards the flames as they woosh to life and he reaches out, plucking up the trident that was leaning against the table, "Mera," he says, his face stren and no longer pleasent and jovial, "see to the patrons, get the people to-" he stops as she splashes a guy and he shrugs, "nevermind." he assumes she's got the resturant under control, "Join me when the area is clear of civilians." he says and then with a pair of steps gets out from beneath the awning of the patio and leaps towards the fire. He's not Superman, but he can do a pretty decent 'single bound' when needed.

-

As the sound of sudden flame whooshes to life, Storm turns her head in that direction. She undoes her coat and removes it, draping it over one of the patio chairs. While she is weather proof, she's not fire proof and she only makes a teacher's wage. She slowly rises into the air, her arms extended, to get a better vantage of the fire and who started it.

-

There does not have to be rhyme or reason. But there is. A very direct one when it comes to Baroness, digital scroll appearing like a feed on a faded screen over her glasses, a quick readout, a quick message and then a glance to 'Hans' and he is moving forward, the truck that came from behind slowly rolling down the street, one on each side of that risen wall of burning flame.

Baroness is left standing like a silhouette at the end of the road, behind her once the trucks have cleared the monsterous mechanical beast whirrs up to stand at her side. Four legged, its back height reaching just above the curve of leather clad hip that it presses its weight 'adoringly' into. Yes, machines can show l'amour, and venomous serpents don't always eat their unabandoned 'babies'. Her hand coming down to press gloved digits along the massive head filled with carnivorous canines.

Aquaman lands within reach, two of the armored men bearing flame throwers pausing, just enough to step into a formation that allows them to 'cross streams' when the flame throwers hiss and them loudly pour forth that flame, a cloud of it bursting forth enough to make the synthetic fibers of the cafes awnings wither and recoil before they melt.

Storm in the air brings out one further revealation. But just one. Thecanvas covering upon one of the trucks crumples, like a magicians curtain call, only revealing the jacking swivel of sound pivoting the 50 cal around and upward, aiming the armor piercing rounds towards the woman.

Joker has yet to get notice from the armored mercenaries, but from the woman on the roads end - attention is had.

-

The water strikes knock the Joker tail over teakettle, and he drags his victim with him. Those'll bruise in the morning. He hauls himself back up, hauling the hostage waiter up by his tie. It's got to be unpleasant. Snatching the reading glasses off a nearby elderly woman, he shoves them on his hostage's face. They dangle, askew as the Joker uses his hostage as a human shield against another set of water bolts. "You wouldn't hit a guy with glasses would you?"

-

Mera stands up immediately after Arthur does, tossing a quick affirmative thought (one laced with annoyance) back and then she's all but stalking toward the green-haired man who is so cowardly as to put the other between her and himself. "Spectacles are not an indication of weakness." And besides, the water that swatted the Joker a moment ago is now hardening like metal, trapping him as he stands. "Release him. Everyone else. You will stand from your tables calmly and you will exit this building toward the ocean in an orderly fashion. Now."

-

Mera stands up immediately after Arthur does, tossing a quick affirmative thought (one laced with annoyance) back and then she's all but stalking toward the green-haired man who is so cowardly as to put the other between her and himself. "Spectacles are not an indication of weakness." And besides, the water that swatted the Joker a moment ago is now hardening like metal, trapping him as he stands. "Release him. Everyone else. You will stay in your chairs and you will remain calm. Am I understood?" As she says that, every sink faucet in the restaurant starts gushing out water, and people trying to turn the water off again will get splashed for their efforts.

-

Aquaman merely narrows his eyes as the flames wash over him with a splattering of chemicals, "Seriously?" he says before a flick of his wrist sends the trident out in a glinting arc, attempting to scewer the business end of one of the flame throwers and aim it directly at the second man's face. The suits he imagine are fire retardent at the very least, but he's found suited up or not, most people tend not to be rational about napalm aimed at their eyes. "The ocean floor is home to more volcanic activity then the surface will ever see." he doesn't mention that while the fire isn't a great concern to him, the chemicals on his rather thirsty skin are making him taste pennies in his mouth. He's pretty sure that'll be an issue later once he's back at the palace and is trying not to vomit up something foul and polluted.

-

The clouds overhead build rapidly, thunder rolling in. Storm's glowing white eyes survey the ground below, and the rains start to fall heavy on the pavement. She is about to sweep her arm and let a gale force wind knock some flamethrower combatants to their feet when the weather witch notices something a little more pressing. With the swivelling 50 cal cannon on the back of the truck, Storm begins to take evasive maneuvers, lifting her arm to summon the lightning and then pointing where she wants it to go, which is directly down the muzzle of said gun.

-

Slowly the woman strolls down the road, the fire at one side, the large mechanical beast at the other that barbed tail lashing back and forth like a manticore's finest weapon, but just before she gets within normal view her image flickers off the chemical ripple omitted off the close dancing flames, changin her appearance, but only in minute ways.

Red headed and green eyed. The attire does not change however, though Ravage beside her now looks like a rather large German Shephard and wolf mix held on the end of a very refined and thin golden chain. Now she is closing distance between herself and the green haired man, reaching within the parted opening of her coat, pulling out a small black device and if Mera's water assault left a trail of water… Well…

Blood red lips peel back into a smil as she glances to joker. "Do carry on." The device sparks to life, literaly, the electrically charged tazer travelling a current inward towards the other woman.

Aquaman manages to speahead one of the men, the other catchin that swing for the head in his shoulder as he tries to dodge, sending him swivelling in a spiral of spewing flame, his body the center of gravity for it, though once he regains that sound roars even moreso, uncaring of downed comrade but more intent on the man before him. Stim packs. Like angel dust for the soldiers.

The lightning to the large 50 cal does one thing, it prolongs the inevitable and send the man manning the weapon flying back and off the truck int a sizzling pile of twitching meat. He'll need a moment…. Week. Given a moment though another man rushes to the gun and starts to rapidly fire off rounds while yelling. Apparently bad guys have friends and he just lost one.

-

"Release him? Release him from this mortal coil? Or from something else?" The Joker grins manically, not letting go of his hostage. He produces a small paintball gun. One filled with LSD laced gas pellets. "Oh you want them to stay still do you?" Immediately he begins randomly firing into the restaurant. This stuff is fairly potent and in about thirty seconds most of the people here are having the worst trip of their lives. Some of them may even become violent.

-

Mera snarls — yes, snarls — as she lunges toward the Joker. Too late, though, as she has no idea what he's just lobbed at the rest of the restaurant's inhabitants. She's learning very quickly, though, as now the entire place is collapsing into complete chaos. However, before she can do anything about the looneygas, an electrical shock that would make moray eels green with envy hits her and she cries out in surprise and a good amount of pain. Any water she'd been controlling abruptly shoots out every which direction randomly with the force of a high-pressure hose.

-

Aquaman's eyes narrow, "Fine." he says as he rolls his wrist forcing the pinned flame thrower downward towards the pavement before he reaches out with his other hand. His fingers sink into the armored suit with a CRUNKLE of metal and he throws his arm wide, sending the flame spitting man in a low arc towards the water. It's not very /high/ so he hasn't far to fall, but it's not a slow toss either. If the man were flatter there's a good chance he'd skip like a stone a couple times. Arthur turns back to the no longer spiraling flame thrower and his hand tightens on the trident as he begins to walk purposefully towards him, "You interupted date night." states the King of the Seven Seas, "I happen to /like/ date night."

-

He had friends. They always have friends. Storm now has to fly in an erratic manner to prevent herself from being shot at, all the while sending a chilling arctic wind to encase the weapon in ice. The forming ice crackles and snaps as it forms shards climbing up from the bottom. She takes a deep breath, about to say something, but remembers her promise not to make flowery speeches against the enemy anymore. Apparently, it's gauche.

-

Wilhelm scream anyone? The man Aquaman sent sailing releases the equivalent as he flies up and over the wall of 'protective' flames and out into the ocean, skipping like a flat stone just before sinking like one in that heavy armor. His partner though is now being backed into a corner for… Interrupting wining and dining? Hard to tell if there is a caring expression behind the flat black mask, only interrupted by the protrusion of hises for modified breathing amongst the chemicals, smoke, and flame. The approach makes him quickly reach to his tac belt, the grenade wrenched free and thrown at Aquaman's feet, igniting in a blinding flash and a deafening explosion. Seemingly harmless if it was not for the fact that the flash and heat that come from it also ignite any nearby chemicals, if any remain on Aquaman at all. Last ditch effort as the flame gusts seem to be having no effect save poking the scaly-bear.

Mera's scream seems to sing out like a chorus amongt the enraged yells of the denizens of the cafe, a sidelong glance of chemical green eyes towards the Joker uptilt in an unformed smile as she steps within the cafe now, that long golden chain released, all the while that high powered tazer is toyed with between gloved fingertips, stroked over while she steps into the kitchen.

Storm is being fired upon wildly, the bullets hitting and splitering telephone poles, wires now whipping loose and free to spiral and arch like severed serpents, but at least the freeze ceases the gun, making the man curse, kick at it, hop it off as he likely severly stubs a toe and begins to unload the clips of his handguns at her while obscenities are being blurted forth. "Sie mutierten Hundin!!!"

-

The Joker grins and makes abreak for it as Meras concentration is shattered. He vaults over the railing on the Veranda and produces that butter knife, jamming it into a patron's back before he uses Aquamean's convenient bridge through teh fire. "Hee. Well, someone knows how to make an enterence." And with that, he gasses the machinegunner. Because do you know what a guy who just lost a friend and is shooting a heavy machinegun needs?

LSD.

-

Mera collapses still twitching a bit in reaction to the electrical shock, and every bit of unfrozen water for meters around is rippling in response as if there were a T-Rex stomping about nearby.

-

It is the words more then the bullets that get Storm's attention. Her voice is surprisingly loud considering the weather she is whipping up. Rain, wind, icy snow. Storm glares down at the man shooting at her. "Halten Sie Ihre Zunge, du elender K├Âter!" she replies, proving that German is not a barrier for her. The winds around her grow faster, a tornado forming around her like a blanket of safety. When she releases the gale force winds, the fires gutter out and enemies are thrown.


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