Howl at the Moon

Summary:
January 7, 2015: The Rider rides in Gotham…

Howl at the Moon

Some random dive bar in Gotham


Characters

NPCs

  • A Bartender
  • Lori
  • Susie
  • An old couple
  • Three Goons from the Switchblade gang

Mood Music:
[*<http://insert.video.or.music.link.here>]


After that brief and minor training session back at the Tin Roof, Melody just needed to plain ol' get away for a while. She was being crabby at best, and always, almost always felt that she was being held back from doing something greater. What she didn't see was? These people cared about her well being, actually cared. They didn't want her to go out, get hurt, or possibly dead. To them, she was rare and precious cargo, something delicate and fragile. They would teach her, but she had to be patient. Patience, wasn't her virtue.

HARDCORE GAMING WAS!

But she'll never tell!

So she hit the dirt, two of her best girlfriends in Selina Kyle's employ in tow, all three of them walking arm and arm while the two? Dressed to the nines, tight jeans, fur coats, heels and decorative tops. Hair, makeup, ravishing. And Melody? Baggy cargo jeans, regular Nine Inch Nails shirt, hair in a ponytail, no make up, a coat to make anyone jealous with how warm she is.

Their plan? They were going to force Melody to open up. If she were to be a thief you regrettably have to deal with people. And not in the buy and sell capacity as she usually would. So, they were going to get her drunk. Get her laid. Probably even get her high off the best marijuana money could buy. Either way, she was going to have some goddamned fun. And they were going to do it in Howl At The Moon.

As the three women enter, it was clear that Melody was out of place. There was no blood on these two that were innocent. A john gets rough with the women, they often times had to defend themselves to get the men to back off. That's all. Petty thievery, self defense, Melody and her bank robbing from afar? While they were criminals, they were pussy cats compared to those like Two Face and the Joker. And Melody's met him. He made her cry.

The girls make their way to the bar while Melody hung in the back, and with a frown, they veer off into parts unknown in the bar, looking for their own fun time off the books, cause a girl just has to have that. Fun.

As Melody sat down, the tender draws up her usual. Virgin island ice tea with a splash of honey. The two drinks were taken to the table and Melody pays, avoiding eye contact the entire time. Damn, she looks like a real drag, compared to her friendlies that she came in with.

Even though Melody's guards don't fully awaken the Rider, Dan can feel him stir beneath the surface, a great white beneath the whitecaps, the very tip of the fin showing on the surface. Someone looking closely might even see momentary pinpricks of crimson in the center of his pupil, just barely, before the Rider quiets anew. While these two were no innocents, neither did they call to the Spirit of Vengeance for punishment.

Melody's just cute, although clearly nervous. Since the 'bartender fills her order without instruction, he taps the bar and calls him over, "Yo, what's the deal with the chick there? She looks kinda, like, freaked out or somethin'. She in trouble?" he says.

Dan isn't exactly a white knight, but he's a sucker for a girl in trouble nonetheless. Isn't everybody?

The tap gains the bartenders attention, and with a glance over his shoulder, he gives Dan a nod.

"You need anything else, Melly?" The man asks, and with a shake of her head, he moves off to leave her to sip her tea like a proper english gent-.. wait a minute.

Rounding the bar again, the man leans his hands upon the top, his chin lifting in greeting and a quick glance given to Melody. "Oh her? She always looks like that." It's true, Melody always has a nervous air about her, usually covered by the fact that she talks too much. "Think she's one of the Tin Roof girls. From what I know she works there. I mean, they're a pretty shady bunch from what they're wheeling and dealing but I hardly ever see her out on the floor. Usually sitting at the bar and what not. Shit, for all I know she probably /is/ in trouble. You gotta watch out for them girls though. Hear through the grapevine they're pretty ruthless if you cross them."

He gets another beer ready for Dan just in case it was needed, then goes off on his own to clean the glasses. Melody shifts a little to the side, drawing her phone from her pocket to idly play a little video game of her own creation.
Dan Ketch takes the beer with a nod of thanks. Yup, he should probably just leave well enough alone, have his beer, maybe play a game of pool and see if he can pick up a nice, safe Jersey girl looking to get a little strange in the big city. No point in messing with the Tin Roof or any of the shady characters around it, no need to stick his neck out trying to find out if the nervous girl is nervous 'cause that's just who she is or 'cause she's got something to worry about. He also wonders if the two girls with her are her friends or her minders, sent there to make sure she doesn't run off.

There are lots of ways to get kidnapped, and not all of 'em are easy to notice.

"Put 'er drinks on my tab," he says to the 'tender, which seems pointless since Dan barely has two hundred bucks to his name, total, and has already probably spent twenty five of it on beer tonight and he hasn't even eaten. But fuck it.

The bartender stops cleaning his glass and gives him a look. Allright! The money that he had probably gotten from Melody was taken from the register and walked towards her table, and with a lean in, he whispers to the girl and gestures over towards Dan.

And when Melody sees him? Holy. Cow. She blushes.

The girls, they remain watching from afar, the two men that they found and immediately allured ignoring the young woman and the tender, attempting to feed drinks to them and gush about how pretty they are but the girls? From Tin Roof? They know the game and how to play it without a drop of liquor touching their lips. They were just that good. And mindful.

Dan Ketch can't help but give the girl a crooked grin and, finally, he pushes off from his stool and makes his way over, grabbing a chair and straddling it in reverse in the way that cool dudes have been doing since they started hanging out in soda shops and doing chickee races down in the bottoms. Or something like that.

Regardless, he dangles his beer from his hand at the neck, "Call me crazy, but your friends seem like kinda fast company for you. No offense to the ladies, o' course, it's just I see a lot o' women 'round here that seem to know the lay of the land pretty well. You seem like you're a little fresh off the boat, y'know? Still got the waves in ya," he says.

"Dan Ketch. Hope you don't mind me gettin' all impulsive and buyin' your drinks. It's easier to pay for a pretty girl's drink in advance and ask forgiveness than it is to ask permission first."

Oh god, he grinned at her! Melody turns her head almost immediately, her caramel cheeks burning a bright red as she tries to stare at a wall, then towards him, and then towards the wall again. By the time Dan reaches her table? Her drink was already gone, and her glass was set off towards the left as her hand reaches for the other, phone soon left upon the table as he sits. Oh.. he's a bad boy.. Those types were Melody's bread and butter. He looked like he walked the walk and talked the talk, and no hint of anything absurd in him either. All human, all bad, all good looking and..

"Oh!" She pipes up, lost in her thoughts so much that she really didn't understand his wording about boats and waves, but she did know that those two women were way, way out of her league.

"I don't mind. Thank you." She murmurs politely, keeping her gaze away as she gives a little nod to her two friends, who wave and make kissy noises behind Dan's back. "Yeah. They're my friends. They wanted me to get out and get some air for a while." She sighs, wistfully of course. "They're really pretty, I know. Way out of my league." Wait. Dan called her pretty.. ohmigosh..
Dan Ketch snorts and shakes his head, 'I think you're underestimatin' your league, if I'm bein' honest. They slap on a nice coat o' paint, I ain't gonna argue with that. But, to a con-o-sewers eye," he says, mangling the word completely, "it's easy to tell who's got a good engine underneath the hood. I like the way you go vroom," he says.

"So, you're kind of a homebody type normally? Stay home, watch TV, kick up your feet. Probably got a cat, huh?" he teases, lighting another cigarette and blowing a plume of smoke at the ceiling.

"I bet you even got a fluffy pink bathrobe and some bunny slippers."

"They… they do more than that.." Though, her quiet words were probably lost with a little giggle-snort that she manages to produce. He so butchered that word, but she wasn't inclined to correct him. She didn't want to chase off a guy as handsome as him in one sitting, and she's an expert at doing that.

Though as he picks her apart, that little laugh dies down, her eyes going wide just a little. The drink that she held, it was immediately let go, her hands drawing from the table to hide underneath and clasp together as such. "I do." She mumbles quietly, gaze lowering and glancing away. "I mean, there's really nothing wrong with staying home and watching television. You don't get into much trouble that way." And believe you me, each day outside was a day that she'd be getting into trouble.
Dan Ketch holds up a hand, "I'm sorry if that sounded…I dunno, bad? Seriously, more people's be better off stayin' home an' watching TV. I, for one, would definitely be a better person and prob'ly happier if I spent more time just sacked out on the couch and watchin' a game or some old movie. Instead, I'm out on my bike, prowlin' around, or hangin' out in dens of ill repute like this and lookin' to corrupt girls like you," he says.

"Sorry if that was kind of blunt, I just ain't real good at being subtle, ya dig? I barely made it through school. I've got a lousy half-ass job fixing bikes under the table 'cause I don't have the official bullshit forms done, even though I'm a better mechanic than every other trade school fuck they got. And…" he thinks about the Rider, of course, and his cop sister laying in a hospital bed breathing through a tube, "Yeah. Probably should stay home more," he says, unable to quite hide the quick burst of wistful regret in his blue eyes. Barbara being in that coma is his fault and he's never going to forgive himself for it, no matter how many bad guys the Rider burns.

Melody didn't know quite what to say. But as he speaks, she listens, her hands slowly returning to the table as a sign of comfort, and after a moment? Back to her tea. She sips idly, her head tilting a little towards the side. The way he goes off on a rant, it nearly has her searching, her eyes growing vacant and darkening visibly, there were tiny little flash of lights that begin within her hands and..

"Melody! Stop it!" Lori, one of the girls calls out. Do not show your cards to strangers, they'd always say.

She snaps out of it, her brows raising, a deep breath taken as her chest slightly heave. "I.. well. Hm." Shit. She was at a loss. So she counters with her own truth instead. "They thought it would be a good idea for me to get out and have a one night stand since my boyfriend is probably missing and may have left me all together because he couldn't deal with me anymore because I'm a drug addicted hinderance to him, even though it really wasn't even my fault, I was kidnapped and taken advantage of by two assassin type dudes and he probably was left to care for me because he felt guilty." A pause, and.. yeah. They don't call her Rant for nothing.

"But now I'm all better since I kicked the habit by sheer force of will and now I'm just… here…" That got heavy. She always makes it heavy.
Dan Ketch probably should have noticed the light handshow, but, honestly, is kind of oblivious. Some superheroes are detectives or trained mines, sharp and crafted. Dan wasn't as dumb as he thought he was, but he was far more focused on Melody's face than her hands. He takes a drag on his smoke as she talks, although he raises a hand to the other woman, not knowing what she's chiding Melody about, "Chill, mama bird, I ain't gonna hurt her," he says.

After Melody's story, though, he has his eyebrows raised. That…was not what he was expecting. Not that he couldn't tell a story just as bad, but he knew better. The less people who connected him to the Rider, the better. He still wasn't sure if it wasn't just a matter of time before the Spirit killed somebody - and "It wasn't me, it was the demon possessing me" probably wasn't a good defense.

"Well…that sounds kinda shitty of him, to run out on you for somethin' that ain't even your fault. Don't mean he's a bad guy, good guys do shitty things sometimes, especially when girls are involved. Especially if it's all mushy an' stuff, which I'm guessin' it was,' he says.

"As for the one night…" he says, and he considers. He's done that plenty of times, "I can't say you wouldn't have fun, 'cause you would and I think so would I. But I ain't quite as sure they're right about what you need. Seems maybe you need somebody more interested in listenin' to you than goin' out to chase their own piece o' dangle,' he says, nodding to the girls flirtatious behavior.

"Yeah, chill mama bird!" Melody calls out, adding in a bit of a laugh and a wave to let her know that she'd stop. She was fine, she wasn't going to go digging. At least not yet.

"I don't know. I probably wouldn't deal with me either though." She frowns a little at herself, then shrugs, taking a sip of her tea. "He was a good guy, yeah. Just caught up in a bad thing, we both were. I want to say it is what it is and.." Yeah, it was mushy.

She puts her tea down, then leans forward to reach for his beer if he lets her. If she does have it? She'd take a quick swig of it and hands it back, the look upon her face mildly strained but.. "And I take it as you being the type to not listen? I mean, it's okay if you're not. It's been a while, since I've actually talked to someone and laying my bags on the table probably doesn't.. look nice?" She didn't know how to frame it. But..

"Either way. I'm Melody Kenway." She holds her hand out for him to shake, her grip would be light and barely there.
Dan Ketch lets her take a sip on his beer, a grin on his face as she does so. It's like a kid snatching a sip, mischievous and cute, even when she makes a little face at the taste of it. He takes her hand to shake, his own strong and a little rough, although not unpleasant, just the hand of a man who has to put his hands to use.

"Didn't say that. Guy I used to be? Yeah, I didn't listen to nobody. Not girls, not my priest, not my teachers, not my Mom, not my sister, not anybody," he says. "Didn't really work out good for me. So, I'm tryin' to be better. Which isn't the same as actually bein' better yet. I still go the same old urges, just tryin' to remember not to always give into 'em," he says, his blue eyes a bit intense as he meets her gaze.

She shook his hand in return, then quickly withdrew her own. She didn't treat him like he was gross, but normally, she would have hugged him upon introduction of names. She was awkward that way, and possibly overly friendly. It may have been another reason as to why those women followed her to begin with.

"You're trying. That's more than anyone can say about other people." His gaze made her uncomfortable, but not in a horrible way. She shifts her weight briefly, gaze towards the table. And then she gets an idea, it could be particularly bad, or good, and even though she wasn't a good judge of character, she figured him to be a decent man all together.

"Do you want to help me with something? I'll pay you if necessary?" If all else fails, she could probably taser him if he breaks bad.
Dan Ketch considers for a moment, taking a long sip of his beer. Yeah, definitely something going on here although, being himself, he didn't have much clue. She does seem like a strange type for the Tin Roof, now that he thinks about it. He figured she must be somebody there's kid sister - maybe she was. Probably best she didn't hug him right off anyway. Dan doesn't exactly come from a touchy feely type of environment.

"Only reason you'd need to pay me is if I'm fixin' your car. Other'n that, I don't mind helpin' out where it's deserved. So tell me."

Melody smiles as she snags her phone from the top of the table, then slips down from the chair to.. wait for it.. uncomfortably and rather awkwardly press the boundaries by hanging an arm upon his shoulder. She was attempting to be forward, put on a show even though she was horrible at it, her hip cocking as she offers up the prettiest smile she could muster.

"Can we leave? Just pretend until we're out the door to make it seem like we're going somewhere private." She wanted to save face, and probably brag about it in the morning. Brag about nothing happening, that is. "They're going to rag on me if I let you walk away, and I don't like that. It hurts my feelings."
Dan Ketch grins and laces his arm with hers. He didn't mind getting touchy feely, mind you, it's just that it had a different context, one that usually involved the back of a car and some steamed up windows. He throws a fifty down for the bartender, waving off change, and walks to the door with Melody.

"Whatever you want. Although you shouldn't let those girls hurt yer feelins. They ain't no better than anybody and prob'ly worse than some." he says. He smells of a mixture of motor oil, cologne and…something else. Almost like charcoal. Strange.

Charcoal? That smelled like barbeque to her. And the smell of him made her actually quite hungry. While she didn't consider him a friend just yet, she could possibly see herself wanting to eat whenever he was near. And with her nanite infested body? She could consume a lot to boost her energy.

With his arms laced around hers, she leans her head against him as if they were a young couple, first in love. "They're my friends." She says honestly and quietly. "I know it's all in the name of joking and fun, but I'm always going to be alone whether they're not." She sounded sad, but tries her best to perk up.

And since she was hungry? She was going to get something to eat. She allowed him to lead, then gives a glance back towards the woman as they give excited, yet serious nods of their heads. They also commit his face to memory, if Melody returns to the Tin Roof damaged and harmed? They would go looking for him.
Dan Ketch doesn't exactly swim with friends himself. Most of those he'd called friends were hoodlums, in and out of juvie and jail, scumbags. Just like he'd been, for a while. Until he got woken up, the hard way. It'd nearly gotten him and his sister killed.

"Friends take care of each other, last I checked. Just 'cause somebody hangs out with you doesn't make 'em yer friend," he says, but there's no point arguing about it. She was a grown woman (he hoped, he didn't check IDs).

"Why don't you tell me how I can help you out?" he says, "You wanna walk or go somewhere else?" he asks. He looks at a vintage-looking motorcycle, flames painted along the black and with a strange-looking medallion at the center of the handlebars.

Melody was safe with him. But, if, for some reason, the Tin Roof girls decided to come shake him down anyway? God help them.

Once they were outside and clear from the sight of the girls, Melody carefully releases him. She didn't want to hang on when she didn't need to, even though he was a great source of warmth. She was a grown woman though! Even if she didn't act it sometimes, mostly due to impulsiveness and general shyness. But that was neither here nor there.. wait a minute, yes it was!

Impulsiveness!

"Well. Since you asked. I am hungry and wouldn't mind a ride to get something to eat. I mainly live in New York, I have my own house there. But since I work here in Gotham I rarely go home or actually leave work so.." To be clear? She didn't know where all the good spots were.

"I was thinking something nice and greasy. I eat all the fancy stuff at the Tin Roof. My mom always said that if you put two chefs together, you always want to eat the food of the guy with a dirty apron cause he's putting his foot in it." She nods, proud at herself for remembering that line. And now she wanted to stick to it.

"I'm talking, next level type grease. Thick cheeseburgers with extra slop, slab of ribs and.. I just want something filling."

They called themselves the Speed Razors. A gang of six, they grew up in one of Gotham's worst neighborhoods, dropped out of school early, and became masters of the switchblade and the subtle art of mugging. Not exactly career aspirations, but they'd done pretty well and, so far, hadn't gotten into trouble with any of the local pointy eared vigilantes.

Boy, did they pick the wrong night to have their luck turn sour.

They'd dragged the old people out of their car, stopping it in the street when they got lost and then pulling them out by their hair. They were in their sixties, obviously too rich for the neighborhood and totally lost.

When the old woman stumbled pulling out her purse, one of the Razors lashed out, slicing open her husband's cheek, sending a spatter of crimson blood against the wall. Innocent blood.

Dan's about to help Melody jump on his bike when he feels it. It's like a plucked string on a guitar, vibrations running through him and he shudders as the hell within him starts to roil, "Oh god…Ah, dammit," he shivers.

"Melody…just…stay safe. I'm sorry, I didn't think…" he gasps, and then there's a groan as flames seem to erupt from the back of his neck, running up over the back of his skull and consuming his flesh as they go, making that barbecue smell far more intense, "Don't…look him in the eyes!" he manages before his mouth is dissolved.

The motorcycle bursts into flame, hellfire wrapping around the wheels and licking the world around it like a hungry animal.

Slowly, the Ghost Rider rises from where Dan Ketch kneeled. His voice is dissonant, harsh, with the harmony of a thousand screams underneath its deep tones. Slowly, the skull turns, pinpricks of crimson in its sockets as it regards Melody.

"Innocent blood has been spilled. The Spirit of Vengeance rises again."

The reach of her hand is stopped with his words. She immediately draws back, frowning a just a touch as if that reach had done something wrong. "Dan?" She asks.. and.. something happens. Something that she thought could never happen in a million years.

"Dan! What's wrong!" She screams out, rushing to his side to try to lay hand upon his back, but the flames lash out and lick at her flesh, which burns soft palms and causes her to rear back and step away in pain.

What. The. Frick!

She watches in horror as he transforms, her eyes unable to be peeled away from the sight as those footsteps drag back until she's pressed against the wall of the Howl. She heeds the last warning and.. unable to look away, she stares right into the last minute, as it's head was just turning to her direction.

The sounds were horrifying, so much that she has to fight herself to cover her ears. It speaks to her and she nearly crouches, knees knocking together as her chest slowly begins to heave. Someone was going to die, she bets. Stay calm Melody, stay calm Melody, you've seen worse.. you've seen worse, she thought to herself, over and over and over again..
Down the street, the laughing punks drag the pair out into the street again, throwing the old woman over the hood of the car. The things they have planned for her are unspeakable, already, but not hard to discern as one of them takes a trademark switchblade to the back of her dress, one of the others shoving her husband's head down against the hood of the car, "Now you gonna watch, ya mouthy bitch. Ain't like you givin' 'er what she needs anymore anyway, is it, Grandpa? No use lettin' a fine ass like that go to waste, huh?" he says, smacking and taunting the old accountant.

The Rider spares no more attention for Melody Kentway, moving easily to leap onto its cycle and take off, immediately spinning and turning, the front wheel raising in the air as it starts to race towards the scumbags.

There's a metallic clink as his mystic chain unlatches from its moorings, spinning around him, writhing like a wild serpent as he swings it above his head and charges down the street.

The Razor on the old man only as a moment to scream, "WHAT THE FU—?!?" before the chain wraps around his throat, the Rider speeding past, leaving a trail of hellfire as he drags the man in his wake before coming to a sudden stop, snapping the chain to come loose of that throat and fling the mugger into a wall.

The sound of his spine snapping echoes down the street. The Rider turns its head back towards the other Razors, who stare in abject horror.

"Come, murderers. Your punishment awaits in flames," he snarls, spinning his bike and starting to charge back at them.

Melody could barely nearly stand as the rider takes off, her gaze soon following the trail of flames, her body soon turning into that direction with a scramble and a stagger of feet. Her mind was on full record at the moment, adrenaline, and all things dangerous pushing her to record this event. Was she going to tell Catwoman about the new player in town? Hell yes. She had to. If Catwoman had killed someone then.. no. She was sure that she wouldn't see this figure again. When things like this happen? People tend to play the avoidance game.

She nearly falls, her burned hands scraping against the ground, her feet pushing and kicking herself upright as she wipes her palms against her jeans. She had to will herself to heal, the nanites soon glowing all over her body in little tiny spots of explosions, trailing the way her veins line underneath her skin with blues and whites, all the while approaching /and/ watching the scene from a distance that was all too safe.
To their credit, the Razors run, run like hell. No brave stand or bullshit testosterone here - it's hard to maintain your tough guy posture in the face of a grinning, flaming skull that just snapped one of your childhood friend's like a twig.

One arm of the Rider's lashes out, and his chain seems to stretch and grow, like a living thing, wrapping itself around one, then two of the fleeing men, dragging them down.

His fist impacts with the back of the skull of another, his motorcycle roaring past as the man's body flips double to land on his face, his crown cracked and bleeding from where his skull splintered with the impact.

The remaining one is run down, caught under hellfire tires and left rolling and slapping at himself. Hellfire doesn't burn like the real thing - oh, it hurts, it hurts like nothing else, because it burns your soul mor than your flesh - the flesh actually doesn't take that much damage, because hellfire doesn't consume. You are meant to burn eternally, after all.

The Rider stops his bike and steps off, walking back towards the two men bound in chains.

Whilst the Rider was busy, Melody tried to be brave. There were tears running down her face, sure.. but in the absense of The Rider, who was currently dealing with the other two men, Melody stepped up to approach the woman with shakey hands and glowed skin. "Run.. please.." She quietly stammers out. She was ready to pee herself, thankfully the tea hadn't hit her bladder just yet.

She assists the old woman to her feet, as her husband soon takes over, wordlessly, and shakily ushering his chilled wife to the car as she babbles and cries out for mercy upon herself and her husband.

They were good people, they didn't want to die, they lived their life thus far and seen Gotham through the changing weathers.

The car was soon backed up with screeching tires, a quick turn and a scoot out of dodge, leaving Melody there to try to approach. This was stupid.. of course.. but her feet were pulling her closer to the Rider because she was worried about the man inside.

Her arms wrapped around her stomach as her bottom lip trembles, her feet dragging as they seemed all too heavy, it seemed she walked the same path.. standing near yet not too close to the felled men wrapped in chains. "A…are… are you goin.. going to .. kill them?" She stammers out, she was crying full on. But she didn't seem as if she were going to stop them.

She has a special place in her heart for old people, even if sometimes they were crotchety bastards. No one fucks with old people and children. She was hoping that they were killed that instant.
Ghost Rider had been entirely focused on his prey, the two men begging for mercy, chain binding their arms and ankles, leaving them helpless at the Rider's feet. Slowly, though, at being addressed, the Spirit of Vengeance turns its attention on Melody. No sins worth his notice, there - unclean, of course, but all humans were. And soft, in body and spirit. And something else…something not quite human. The Rider, however, is an incurious thing and cares only for its purpose.

It reaches down and lifts one man up by the throat, "These men are soaked to the bone in the blood of the innocent," it intones. "Killing would be a mercy. Instead, I offer punishment." he says.

The screaming man is pulled face to face with the Rider, gazing into the sockets of the skull. Whatever he sees there affects him almost immediately and his screams become harsh, his body thrashing and spasming, "NOOOOOOOO NOOOOOOOO I DIDN'T MEAN TO I'M SORRY MOM OH GOD IT HURTS IT HURTS SO MUCH OH GOD MAKE IT STOP ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!'

He's still screaming when the Rider tosses him aside, the chain unwinding from him like a python loosing prey. The last remaining Razor wriggles worms, looking over at Melody, "Lady, please, help me, I'm sorry, I'll never do anythign bad again, don't let him hurt me, please, I didn't mean to—" he says, tears running down his face even as the Rider seizes him by the hair.

Once the Spirit grips the first man, and he begins to scream, Melody looked away, assuming that he would be killed. But he wasn't. He was left a blubbering mess, and that surprised her. Once the Spirit turns it's attentions on her momentarily, keeps her eyes pressed to the remaining man, her arms slowly curling around her stomach as she slowly takes the approach as the Rider had done. She was close to the two now, even as the man begged, she felt a pain in her heart that she never knew that she could.

And inwardly? She know that she couldn't stop something like that. She didn't have the skill, the training, nor the will. She was actually crying right there but.. absense the blubbering mess. She was scared, and she couldn't breathe, but she felt she owed it to the man to at least respond.

Even as the Rider grips the mans hair, she reaches out to touch the poor mans face, her gaze shifting towards the left to the other who still cries and flails, then to the man who begs her for mercy. She could barely see. "D..d..do bett.. better next time.. okay..?" She says, falsely reassuring him.
Ghost Rider cocks his head. Humans and their compassion. So strange. There's a flicker, deep within the Rider, a memory buried deep. A woman underneath a clear sky. Grass grown long, blowing in the wind. A gallows.

And then its gone. It's always gone. Because it's not important. The Rider does not dwell on the past, whatever it is. Only on what is.

It wraps its chain now around the man's throat, lifting him up by it, the skin of his throat bruising as he's hefted to his feet. The Rider looks at Melody now, squarely.

"He is not worth your pity, girl with singing blood. He stinks of innocent blood." There's a flash and the chain channels raw hellfire into the boy, not much more than twenty one, his body jerking as the supernatural flame sears his soul, burning and burning until his eyes open wide and he screams, steam escaping from his mouth as the chain finally looses and lets him fall unconscious to the ground in a heap.

Leaving only the girl and the Rider, the Spirit's chain wrapping itself around him, criss-crossing his chest.

Melody couldn't watch, with her hands upon her chest she turns as the chains wrap around the mans neck. She even goes so far as to cover her ears until the screams die out, then turns right back around to see.. he was still alive. She didn't know if it was good or bad. She, inwardly, wished them death but took it back the instant that she thought it would really happen. Somewhere.. she was relieved.. somewhere, deep inside, she hoped that they'd change once they have gotten better.

The Spirit speaks to her, chilling her to the bone, but like the motor mouth she is, she had to reply. "I know.. but.. it made him feel better I hope." It really, really was a silly connotation, she had her ideals about the world, while she was a thief, hated some, loved others. She moved the way her wind blew and it made her feel like she was an okay person because of it.

With the two of them alone in a slightly ruined by fire street, she staggers close towards the Spirit, her arms stretched out, her awkward colors showing through to unleash a hug upon the man/Spirit before her. She didn't know what it was called, she just knew that Dan was inside and needed some way to let him know that she was alright.

Plus, she was a weird one. She hugged the personification of The Darkness once and got a pat on the shoulder from it. Ain't that sweet?

"Ca…can.. I ha…ah have D..d..Dan back ple..puh.." She couldn't even finish the words.
Ghost Rider cocks its head at her. That she hadn't run screaming was unusual enough in itself. The Rider, of course, cared not. The only ones who should fear him were those in need of punishment - and, if they didn't fear him, he would put fear in them through pain and suffering.

The Rider flexes its hands. It had intended to hunt, to go seeking more of the wicked, but…this innocent…he can feel Dan within him and knows that the boy will be angry if he hurts or upsets the girl. The Rider cares nothing for the boy, but it is easier when the host cooperates.

The Rider drops to its knees and slowly, the fire just douses, goes out, a skeleton in leathers until the flesh and meat start to crawl and knit together over those bones, a painful process that, while Dan no longer screams through, leaves him nonetheless panting and sweat-soaked, on his hands and knees in the street.

She closed her eyes tight, preparing for what ever pain may come, the grip she held upon the Rider was tight enough that it would cause a normal man to either blush or be suffocated. But that was fine. She lets go however as he drops to his knees, her body soon falling with, thanking goodness because she couldn't possibly stay upon her legs any longer.

And once he sinks into man, her hand reaches out to lightly grip both sides of his face, she was still aglow and.. that was fine, her emotions were running high and this was the one uncontrollable effect that she had. "Dan..?" She quietly says. "Look at me.. l..look!"
Dan Ketch struggles for a moment to breath. The Rider didn't breathe, not at alll, and it made him have to almost remember to do it when he came back to life. That's what it was, he felt. Like he died, over and over again, only to be resurrected, stitched back together. Right after, like now, it felt tenous, like his skin was stapled onto his flesh.

His blue eyes look up as the glowing girl touches him and he says, "Are you…an angel?" quite simply.

It's not some sort of joke or pick up, but a sincere question. Dan was a good Catholic boy - turning into a flaming skull monster makes you start thinking about heaven and hell.

Melody was glad. She didn't know him at all. Not one bit. But she gave everyone a chance, no matter what they had lingering in the deep. If she didn't? If she were a good girl on the good side of the law doing good things like getting married or getting another degree, she probably wouldn't have tolerated living at the Tin Roof. Though, if she had any sort of sense she probably wouldn't have asked to leave with Dan for burgers and grease either. Such was the way of her life, a weird way of her life.

She had to laugh though, her hand reaching up to wipe at her face with the back of her hand, even sniffling just a little as she says quietly.

"No. I'm just made all wrong." She smiles a little sadly, leaning in to hook her arm under his. She wasn't sure if she could stand or not but.. she was going to give it the college try. "Take me home with you?" She was going to make sure he was alright. And probably sneak out in the morning.
Dan Ketch manages to help push himself up. He's getting better at it, recovering. The Rider tore him apart and put him back together, but you got used to it after a while. At least he came back. He always feared there would be a day when the Rider just stayed. When Dan Ketch just became more and more a lingering voice, ignored in the back of the Rider's skull and forgotten by the world. He still had a lot of bad things to make up for and he needed more time, even if the Rider would take him ultimately.

He didn't know what would happen, really. He'd chosen none of this. he just dealt with it.

"You look…pretty good to me," he manages to grin, leaning slightly against Melody but trying to find his bearings, old fashioned enough to not want to have a girl support him down the street. "Yeah, okay," he says. He'd been prepared to keep her away from his little hole in the wall, but, frankly, he didn't have what it took. In New York it was his Mom's basement - here, it was a ratty motel room, the kind of place you pay for a week at a time in cash. Doesn't take long to get there on his bike.

Which he rides, Melody's concerns be damned. If anything, he seems more steady on wheels than on his feet, although he's not testing the speed limit.
The riding also kept him from having to talk. He wasn't sure yet how to explain what she'd seen. If he even could explain.

A little secret about Melody, even if she realizes it or not. She knows that even without the gifts she currently possesses, she's faster than the normal human. This also leads into strength, she could probably carry him, but does she try? No. She keeps herself minimal and low as possible, she never tests herself unless it had anything to do with computers or gaming. Such was her way and she was happy with her outcome.

"Do I?" She asks, trying her best to keep the conversation going, and once he departs from her and they hop on his ride, it was smooth sailing from there. He was alright.

And she was glad.

It didn't take long for them to reach the motel without incident, the room looked at as it was and brushed over since she had seen worse. Coat removed, shoes as well, at least the floors were clean enough for her to walk around barefoot.

There really was no talking about what had happened yet, during the ride, she could sense that shift to discomfort, so she lets it be, chittering about nothing at all over a glass of water, mentioning that she's wanting to order chinese and how she'd sit on the bed and watch infomercials until it was time to eat.

Even though it wasn't grease? She still loves good takeout.

Though, she really didn't realize that all of that excitement, fear, adrenaline would take it's toll. For as soon as she sat down the remote, and bunched up his jacket along with the pillow that she hugged, she was fast asleep, leaving him to his own devices.

For Dan's part, he settles in quickly, taking a shower to get off the stink of the Rider. She's out by the time he returns, curled up with his leathers and taking half of his bed.

He'd thought of having her in his bed tonight, but not exactly like this. Strangely, though, for as much as he'd been through, Dan wasn't tired. He always felt a bit jumpy after the Rider took over - exhausted yet, but like he was filled with something sharp, a bag of broken glass inside. If he slept right away, he'd have nightmares. He usually did anyway, but no reason to invite them.

He turns the TV to some old cop show reruns, letting them play softly as he smoked cigarettes, ate a couple of cold pieces of two day old pizza, drank a couple of beers. She slept through it all.

He didn't know what was going on with her. The lights under her skin - he could hardly judge, of course, but he hadn't expected that. Were the Tin Roofers going to come hunting, with her staying out all night? He hoped not, for their sake.

And he definitely pretended that he couldn't see through the Rider's eyes. That he hadn't seen the terror and horror the monster inflicted. That he didn't feel the jolt in his shoulder when a spiked fist caved in the back of a mugger's skull. No. He definitely wasn't going to think about that.

Dawn came and found him, at last, asleep, slits of gold through the blinds laying across his chest as he sits back in the chair, a cigarette gone to ash in the tray at his elbow.


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