A Night in the Swamp

March 7th, 2015: Ivy finds a little criminal transaction right at her doorstep. She dislikes uninvited guests

<The Reservoir>

Swamp south of the Gotham reservoir



  • Ned Brown, unlucky thug and his thug friends
  • Mr. Simons, lucky would-be thief that escapes alive

Mood Music:

It is well past midnight and the swamp south of the reservoir is quiet and cold. It has been a hellish winter, and slush and patches of ice cover the ground. Most of the wildlife is dead or hibernating, so the city predators consider it safe ground. For instance, the trio of men with lanterns moving quickly through the undergrowth, heavy boots stomping ice and moss. Most of the other small plants frozen dry, dead until the spring wakes them up.
These men carry powerful flashlights, as the cloudy sky won’t even allow moonlight to lighten the Gotham night. Every so often, one of them checks a cellphone GPS, murmuring something to the others. Eventually they reach their destination, the remains of a shed, abandoned after the earthquake. A fourth man is waiting there. Old, covered in layers of coats, he has been chain-smocking for almost an hour.

Ivy didn't need to keep radios and other electronic things around to know that someone was making a shady deal on /her/ playground. The earth told the story, weighed and tested the boots that walked on her, the trees.. the life in this area was not dead due to the winter, they only slept and were awoken with need as the foreign presence disturbed them for just a moment.
And those men were in the house, the dilapidated house that was soon to be hers, the small shed which was going to be turned with a touch of a hand cinderella style into an abode made fit for the queen.
"I do not like this." She tells the green around her, dead or not. They can still hear her. "And inside of my house. In my backyard. Hand me my bow." Only, Ivy did not have a bow, she had whips that were attached to her hips and were soon drawn from their warm, warm place. Whips, made of vines. "But we won't go just yet. We need to see what they're doing and if it's worth them dying for."

The older man hears the trio coming. Hard not to, they are very noisy. He calls them in whispers. “Here, here… are you Brown? I told you to come alone.” The other three, mutter among themselves. “About time,” one of them steps forward. “I am Ned Brown, you got the stuff?” He speaks louder, unafraid of who could hear. No one can possibly be here this late, right? “You got the cash?” Whispers the older man. He seems more cautious.
The other two men remain a few yards from Ned and the old man, suddenly quiet and more focused, the flashlight pointing down. Ned shows a large envelope, assuring the old man it is full of five hundred dollar bills. But he wants to see the gems first.

"Listen." Ivy mutters, crouching down upon the branch where she stood, her feet weren't bare, and it was a wonder that she could actually keep her balance upon the branch without falling off. "Observe."
There's an old creaking inside the shed, the tiny vines growing just enough to coil along the rooftops, her own head turning so that she could hear what the vines hear.
"Money." She murmurs, standing to her full height as the branch lowers with a crack and a snap, allowing her to slide down onto another series of branches, Tarzan style.

The men watching look up, one of them pointing the flashlight to Ivy’s tree. But the other just chuckles. “Must have been an owl, about the only thing still hunting here.” Ned and the old man keep arguing. Finally the old man pulls a silk cloth and shows Ned it keeps gems inside, quickly folding and pulling it away, into his pocket.
Ned nods, stepping back, and tosses the envelope to the ground, in front of the other man. The old man crunches to pick it up and Neds pulls a handgun with his other hand, aiming to the old man’s head. A creepy smile in his lip. “Good night, Mr. Simons.”

A vine suddenly drops down from the ceiling, fattening as it extends it's reach towards the man with the gun. The gun hand is soon wrapped around, coiled and tugged upward to lift him from his feet, leaving him there at arms length to be dangled.
No blood on her floors.
Another vine strikes out to grab the other hand of the man to stop him from attacking completely, while the others remain untouched, at least for now. For the bell tolls and is answered with a push open of the door, the green suede clad woman, who remains cloaked in peacoat stylistics leans against the doorway, whip-vines hung from both hands as she lets out a sigh.
"I know thieves. I know fences. I know how exchanges work. And really, I could care less if you were about to shoot this man to keep said money and whatever is in that bag. I really, could care less."
She leans from the doorway, a dangerous sway to her hips as her heels click hard against the ground, her wrists coming into play to twirl the vines, the living weapons squealing in delight at being handled by their natured Mistress. "But I do not like blood on my lawn." Well, blood that she didn't draw out herself.

The old man called Mr. Simons recoils in terror, suddenly very pale. There is a lone gunshot, but the vine has pulled Ned's aim too high already, and the man yells in surprise and fear. "Kill her! Kill her!"
The remaining two men move swiftly, aiming to Ivy with flashlight and handguns. Before they have a chance to shoot a white shadow falls on them, knocking one down and kicking the second into the swamp. The ice shatter and the man shrieks, losing his gun and flailing clumsily before realizing the water barely two feet deep.
It has gotten much darker with the flashlights lost on the ground, but Fantomex stands over an unconscious thug, his own handguns out and aiming at Ivy and Ned. "Bonsoir," he greets. "I will agree with the lady. No blood on the ground tonight, oui?" He has a rather strong French accent. "But no quick movements… of men, women or plants, s'il vous plait."

Just as they were about to shoot, Ivy strafes to the left, a lone whip attempting to strike out to hit one but.. he's gone. Out into the swamp water, where the man flails and looks rather stupid at his realization. "Oh?"
Ivy starts, ready to take a step forward until a man in white stands in the others stead, over the one who had fallen and is knocked out upon the floor. What a connundrum, it was. The man was quick, and French.
Ivy now hates the French.
"Well look-it here." She states, drawing her hands up slowly, thumbs curled around the handle of her vine-whips, her other fingers wiggling a brief hello. "A masked vigilante." There was ire in her voice. "Let me guess. You were sent by the bat."

“Sacre bleu. Non!” Replies Fantomex. “I am no vigilant, mademoiselle, I am a thief.”
Meanwhile Ned is struggling with the vines, trying to free his hands. “Help me out… oh… fuck.” He glances to see one of the thugs… dead? He can’t see in the dark. The other seems to be getting out of the water and trying to move behind Fantomex, crawling. He is not very stealthy.
The old man slinks slowly towards the envelope. No one is paying attention to him, right?

Catwoman came in late, but she came in with enough time to cast her own ambitious move. Arms fall and metal flashes, a gesture towards the envelope and something uncurls from around her neck, leaping to the ground and melding with the shadows. If the man reaches for it the hairless feline will lash out to bite his hand and steal off with it, disappearing into the shadows with nothing more then that eerie reflective gaze flickering where it holds vigil.
The man crawling for Fantomex suddenly makes a gurglingg choking noise, his crawling body jerked into a prone arch as the black strap around his neck holds tension into the shadows where silver heels flash and carry a crascendo over the ground, the darkness releasing the svelte felinesque figure into the lighting while she winds her hand around the whip, making it tighter and tighter upon Fantomex's attempted assaulter until his eyes begin to bulge from their sockets.
"I did not catch it all, but I do not like my /friends/ fighting. Makes a girl all torn inside." Catwoman's voice calls out rather calmly as the goggles lenses flick from red of heat sensitivity to that of clear.

"A thief?" Fuck. "You all are an annoying lot." The man up top struggles, being slowly wound higher and away from the man in white. More vines drop from the ceiling, as Ivy gives a slow smile towards Fantomex, her head tilting just a touch. "They have their own mind.."
The man above screams and cries, all the while something moves in the shadows..
Ivy uses this opportunity to skip forward, the low dip bringing her legs to form into a bow stance, her whip striking out to snatch and grab the envelope to bring it close to her feet. Once that shadow makes itself known, Ivy snatches up the envelope with a slight scowl upon her face, wiggling said envelope against her cheek to tickle..
"Friends?" A pause. "This French mutherfucker is your friend?"
Did we mention that Ivy now hates the French?

Fantomex calmly returns his guns to the hip holsters, not even looking at the thug that was so clumsily trying to ambush him. He would have been kinder with him that Catwoman. “Fancy meeting you here, chere,” he says to the feline thief.
Then he nods to Ivy. “Friends and partners. Although I didn’t expect to see her tonight. At least not here.”
Miraculously (for him) the old man called Simons is still alive, unbound and no one is aiming a gun at him. So he recoils quickly and tries to make a run for it. Fantomex is letting him go.

Lips purse and a soft clicking tsk passes while Catwoman shakes her head slowly, every step forward making the man within her whips hold lose more breath and once she is standing over him her heel presses to his arched back, just beween his up-lifted shoulders. When hisstruggle and choking finally stops she knows he is unconcious and drops him, the whip falling free and recoiled back within clawed grip with the slow rotation of wrist.
Passing beside Fantomex she offers him a sidelong glance and a small upward curl of her lips. "It is Gotham. My history is widespread beyond just East End. As are my friends."
Closing the gap between herself and Ivy now she leans in and it seems almost contoured herself just outside of touch of the verde womans own curvature. "Awe do not be so sour, Ivy. Mais ils sont tellement sensuelle…" She utters the french words with those lips barely touching the contour of Ivy's jaw, stopping just before the shell of her ear with a devilish smile held so lazily in place.
No contact made, and that still retained Catwoman slowly retracts from that close lean, uncaring of the retreat being beaten. "Now, what did I miss?" She inquires, pslowly striding to place herself between the two.

"Friends. And Partners." Ivy stated blandly. There was a rise of jealousy in the air, a slight step taken back, still upon the defense as Catwoman trides closer. The grip upon the money tightens, her eyes narrowing into fine slits as the gentle touches that never seem to breach were felt and passed along..
The man still hangs within the air above, the slight sounds of bones nearing to snap, begging to give way beneath the pressure of the way the vines curl and twist around him, his screams? Ever present and muffled.
"I don't know what you just said but I do not like it." Ivy protests towards Catwoman, taking a few steps towards the scurrying away man, muttering beneath her breath. "Assholes on my lawn. That's what you missed."

Fantomex folds his arms, looking between both women, apparently very pleased with himself. “Not much, chere,” he explains to Catwoman. “A man stole some rubies from his employees, and thought this place was a good one for fencing them. Silly choice. The fence,” he glances at the screaming Ned, “was not such. Just a small time hoodlum that didn’t had the money and would have killed him.” The envelope only has a few folded newspaper pages to make bulk. Sorry, Ivy.

"They're so…sensual.." Catwoman says now as she walks around Fantomex, hips holding that sway, apparently very at home here between the two of them despite the tension on a thread. The shadows ripple low again and Amenti makes himself seen, the chill in the air not keeping the hairless Sphynx cat away for long, returning for warmth upon Catwoman's shoulder. A low protesting growl as the slender tail curls against her throat posessively, amber eyes flashing between the two.
"This is why I only work with the best. They know where not to trespass, and not to lie to their employer." Catwoman gestures to the envelope Ivy holds with one hand while the other is tracing fingers down the felines bare spine. A tilt of her head and her cheek presses against the cats, both sets of eyes closing with a content look upon features.
"Well, naw your lawn in more heavily manned." A small twitch of upper lip at that statement, she knows what Ivy does with the /leftovers/, and she does not have to agree, but to each their own in rallying troops. "But I came to check on you, ma fleur mortelle. Seems to be good timing before mon valeur and you tested eachother."
A flick of gaze between them as she plays over the French moreso.
"You said rubies?" Ever the thief.

With an uprisen heel placed to the mans backside, she kicks hard enough to send the scrambling and escaping man flying. Money or no, the envelope was soon tossed out after him with an expert flick of the wrist, only to turn to glance up towards her prize.
See, Ned would no longer be Ned. He would be a living network of flesh and green, made into something different, yet would be kept alive until her humble abode was erected within the area.
And Ned, whether he liked it or not, would find a new home with Ivy. Man servants, beware.
"More heavily manned indeed." Ivy spits back, matter o'factly, the whip-vines tossed aside to the floor, there would be no needing them for now. Even if they slithered like snakes with need to be used. "It's a shame really, that a little bit of white won't be added to the new collection of men that will be started.." A glance up, and down, and towards Fantomex.
Ivy hates the French.

Yes, the rubies the fleeing old man still has. Had. Fantomex pulls a black cloth from his coat pocket. “Got them while he waited. I consider saving his life was a fair exchange. Besides, the man was not a real thief, just a dishonest employee.”
Then he approaches Ivy, glancing back, up and down. “My apologies for intruding your home, mademoiselle,” he states with apparent good humor. If Ivy lets him, he will even take her hand and kiss it. Or almost, as he is wearing a mask over his face.

Catwoman grins, a small play upon lips as she watches the two exchange… pleasantries, though when Fantomex approaches Ivy her lips part as if to protest and then she seals them. Perhaps she will allow him, perhaps he will shift her foul mood… Perhaps they'll both end up hurting each other. Let's find out!
Glancing to the black bag though the smile becomes something more that of a giddy girl that just found a sale on her favorite Versace. If its under one thousand, it's a /steal/.
"Careful.." That one word said openly but not given a who that it is directed to.

It was probably to the both of them. The warning that was, for Ivy wasn't exactly wearing her gloves nor she felt comfortable with the touch of another person without those present. Misplaced anger could do something to a gal, such as unknowingly.. okay knowingly changing her bodies chemistry to make it so potent that it would slip beneath the mask. Most think that the skin was bad? Wait til she farts..
But ladies don't do that!
"Atch.." Ivy mutters, drawing her hand away, a shoulder pressed backwards as she slides her hand within her sleeve. "We shake on it." At least her sleeves were safe, and soon held out towards the man, still wary, of course.
"Now, don't get me wrong. I do not get jealous too often, but when I say I have friends they are officially tagged as mine." Her green eyes settle upon Selina now, eyes littered with amusement. "He said partner. Have you two danced the dance of the beast with two backs yet? Because if not.."
Waggle, waggle.

Fantomex tilts his head at the redhead avoidance of physical contact. He is wearing gloves, though. Also, he could weave some quick illusion if he felt real hostile intent. However, he has little idea of who is Poison Ivy. One of these days his lack of homework regarding Gotham metahuman community is going to hurt him.
See? He is taking her hand. And shrugging faintly. “A gentleman cannot tell.”

"Now, Ivy." Catwoman states, a single finger rising, that diamond edged claw flashing in the gesture that tics her finger back and forth with the tsk. "I do not ask about your own twinings." If anything even remotely began to go amiss with Fantomex, Catwoman was granted a gift from Ivy not long ago and his lesson would be learned, but not too fatally. Her pleasure in the moment though flashed to a daggers edge at the corners of her eyes. There's a respectful caution there, a knowing and deadly edge. Both women were of nature, but one could easily negate the other with one misstep.
Approaching Ivy and Fantomex her hand lowers from the feline who watches with a highly intelligent look, it almost seems human as if Catwoman and it's own bodies were reversed at times. Or they both deceive too much. A purring lilt emits from catwoman's lips as she props a hip upon a large vine protruding from the ground, stroking fingertips along it like she had her own cat. "And you know I do not take to ownership very well on a …permanent basis." Smirk.

Her hand through her coat was taken and held, her own fingers fighting against the fabric to provide a friendly curl. Most would reject this, seeing it as an insult, but this.. this to her was respect. And she returned the respect with a nod and a draw back of her hand. Slow of course. Pleased as punch.
"And he's a gentleman." She remarked kindly, her gaze flitting towards Selina as she lets out a little sigh. "I would. I will. The latest was magnificent. The way he screamed, how he cried.." There was a pause. "With joy of course. He's luckily still alive."
Unlike Tommy. Who was currently drooling in Arkham. That one was a big whoops.
"Woman." She finally states, drawing away from Fantomex to stride towards the opening, both arms reaching up to grasp along the edge of the door frame to lean herself outward, glancing left and right. A precaution, really. To make sure that those thugs had no one waiting for them. More so, Ned.

Fantomex would take what is offered, trusting his ability to read people to decipher Ivy motivations. But when the redhead looks away, he directs an inquiring glance to Catwoman. Because Ivy is feeling somewhat unhinged, to say it mildly. Very interesting for a man that is always drawn to dangerous women.
“My name is Fantomex,” he introduces himself. “You are Ivy, oui? Do you live here, Ivy? It seems cold and lonely. At least in winter.”

Catwoman gives a gallic shru towards Fantomex when he casts that look her way, though the small quirk to her lips does not leave. when her hands slowly descend from that shrug se grips her goggles and lifts them to perch atop her head.
"It is not lonely when you have your /beasts/ with you. Sometimes there is company you always keep, and it is enough." In saying as much her lean upon the large vine extends and slides out, languidly posing her upon the rippling limb, her own pliant contours filling its hold, quite comfortable there and almost intimate. Amenti uncurls from around her neck and lands a few paces away, stretching its own body in an arch only to curl up as well. Comfortable here.
"In Gotham you adapt to cold and lonely." With those words her tone lowers, almost a look of thought before her emerald gaze slides from Fantomex to Ivy.

There were no words from Ivy, none spared for Catwoman nor Fantomex, even though introductions were made and her name was already known, she still kept her gaze planted outside. There was a lean back, and forward, fingers clutching hard against the wood that snaps and breaks under the wake of her strength, the entire outline of the door broken and pushed outside as the look of anger and hurt turns upon Fantomex for his words.
"I like it this way." She snaps out, gaze falling upon Selina now. At least her friend understood her little bouts of anger, little bouts of anger that took her from one extreme to the next. "And you both disturb it so leave."
That was Ivy being nice and friendly folks!
She kind of sort of liked the French, now at least.

Fantomex looks at the vines and half-listens to the women. “I don’t want to adapt to that,” he admits. “But since it is Ivy’s home, I believe we should leave. I have some shiny pebbles to show you, chere. And the night is still young.” He offers Catwoman his arm so they can leave together. E.V.A. is waiting not far. It is warm in there.

"If you hang around, mon valeur… We adapt." They have already had this duscussion, but as Ivy sets to her usual mood changes Catwoman extends an arm for her Spynx cat to ascend back to place along the back of her shoulders and curled beneath her chin. Taking Fantomex's arm with her own she does not give Ivy room as they pass. Every step closing their gap as she brushes her lips lightly along the womans jaw, lingering them there even as they begin to turn black where stanied pillows of flesh touch upon green. "Fleur mortelle."
A silent show of understanding, a deeper meaning and acceptance even though she still insists on throwing the french words upon her 'pet name.'
"I do so love the color red against my complexion." Catwoman states, smiling to Fantomex as they head for EVA and leave Ivy's abode.

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