(2014-07-16) Ants in the Pantry
Ants in the Pantry
Summary: Giant antes erupt from a cafe. A handful of heroes push them back.
Date: 2014-07-16
Related: N/A
NPCs: None
Scene Runner: Hawkgirl
Social/Plot: Plot

Hawkgirl has taken time to leave the Helicarrier and see more of this New York City that human broadcast signals seem to be so fond of. It's late evening, a few clouds in the sky, but the moon is still large enough to cast a decent light, along with the lights from the city itself. A winged shadow patrols from above, much as she does around Metropolis.

Cessily Kincaid isn't exactly a party animal, but she does enjoying a night out, and since she has some extra cash thanks to her part-time job, she decided to come to New York a bit. She may be a mutant, with powers that give her much resilience, but still Gotham isn't the best place for a 'safe night out', so New York it is. Plus the local bars and food joints know her, from her time in school, here. And, right now, she is currently heading to one of her favorite cafe shops in the area, hoping the owner still remembers her. How could he not?

A young female walks slowly below the patrolling Hawkgirl, Katheryn. She hasn't the freedom to fly, instead she can only gaze in wonder up at the moon lit sky, and marvel at the slight image of a single wing silhouetted so briefly there. She swallows, sighs softly and crosses the busy road, her green dress fluttering about her legs, her firey red hair flowing behind her in twin pigtails tipped with green butterfly tips. As she steps onto the opposite corner, she glances around the other pedestrian traffic to a cafe, and with a small nod to herself, begins a relaxed walk towards it.

Tony would call himself "Mr. Saturday Night" but let's face it, Tony is "Mr. Every Night" — so it happens that he is dressed for a night out on the town. Button down silk shirt, open at the collar, trousers, and shoes that are ready to party all night. He rolls solo tonight, no security, no entourage as he makes his way around Lower Manhattan.

The cafe seems to be the center of attention, only it's not only for the good. From inside the cafe, screams from customers ring out as people begin to pour out of the place. inside, two giant ants are ravaging the inside of the cafe. Perhaps someone left sugar on the floor?

Hawkgirl hears the screams and swoops down, making her way to the now-broken glass door that was the entrance to the cafe. She has no communicator, no backup. She wields her mace and presses a button, electrifying it. "Judging from the reaction of the patrons, you're not wanted here." She says to the two beasts, not entirely unsure as to if they're native to Earth or not.

Cessily Kincaid was lost in her thoughts, remembering times of years past as she would spend some time down here. But when the patrons of a nearby cafe shop start screaming and running from the place as if the Mefisto himself was at their heels, it brings her out of her reverie harder than a brick to the face, "What the..?" she blinks, but breaks into a sprint to the place, reaching in time to see Hawkgirl and… two giant ants. "What the hell?" she blinks, wondering for a moment if she's being punk'ed. No bugs can be that big!

Katheryn cants her head slightly and blinks, almost instantly noticing the screams and running people, while it should be obvious, it's easy to misjudge things at this time of night! /Intense/ curiosity overcomes her, she ducks between two running patrons, slips around between a bin and a lightpost, then goes suddenly still upon seeing not only two giant ants, but Hawkgirl, then the metal woman appear. Swallowing, she finds herself taking a step back, realizing she should really be one of those running, except she doesn't. "Is… there anyone else inside?" She yells, her Australian accent quite obvious even amongst the screams.

Tony Stark really happens upon the bug infestation on accident; there's a schwarma place up here he's been dying to try and thought maybe something to eat before the night to soak up the alcohol might lessen the effect on him later. Looks like tonight was /not/ the night he'd get to do that. "Terminex isn't gonna cover that, I don't think. JARVIS - what do we have on deck?" he says, with his phone in the breast pocket of the shirt.

"I have Heartbreaker prepared and ready for deployment sir," a dry British voice responds from his phone, "I can have it on station in less than three minutes."

"Make it happen, JARVIS. I'll start crowd control."

Tony sighs, "A guy can't even go to the club anymore," he says to himself, before dashing in and starting to wrangle the crowd away from the attacking insects.

Currently the ants are just making a general racket, as if they're trying to find a way to escape the establishment and into the populace. There doesn't seem to be any form of advanced intelligence, just typical ant behavior, only larger. They see the entrance and make their way for it, not really noticing a winged redhead and a metallic female.

Hawkgirl raises her mace. As the first ant approaches, she cracks it upside the head with the mace. It staggers, turns back. As it turns, its large carapace knocks over Shayera, knocking her off her footing. The second one comes up, heading for Mercury. Currently, the only two occupants in the cafe are Cessily and Hawkgirl, however the ant's havoc seems to be making the building unstable. Residents live in the upstairs apartments. More screams and calls for evacuation come from them.

Cessily Kincaid has to really wonder just HOW those giant ants got inside the cafe shop since they're bigger than the doors. Heck, how they even got THIS FAR into New York without raising any warnings! But the girl doesn't have time to ponder such questions as she has one of the ants rush at her. Her eyes widen, but brings both her hands high above her head, and clasps both together. Then her hands morph together into a single, big ball of metal, which she then brings down hard on the huge ant's head, hoping to knock it down.

Amidst the chaos of fleeing people, breaking class and screaching traffic, young Katheryn finds herself fighting with her own wish to flee and desire to help… In this moment, she notices the dark haired man attempting to assist those trying to escape.

She clenches her fists, adreniline courses through her, and rather suddenly she bolts… and disappears. A large delivery truck parked in a loading zone suddenly roars to life, its heavy double tires smoke and its whole frame groans as it does the mother of all burnouts, swinging its rear end around to hit the side of the cafe… right below the escape ladders, offering an easy path for one trying to make it to the first floor of terrified occupants.

Two minutes, thirty seconds later, because JARVIS is just that good…

There is a streak coming in that grows larger, as does the whine of propulsion, that seems to be closing in on where Tony is. Seconds later, Iron Man (or at least a version of him) lands in the familiar three point stance, then stands to it's full height. It holds its arms out, and the whole front of the armor retracts into the back. Tony, having lined up with the armor, mimics the gesture and steps back. The armor closes around him and activates, eyes glowing blue as does the central arc reactor powering it.

"Alright, let's go to work."

Iron Man kicks off the ground and flies into the air, already targeting one of the visible ants and starting to get its attention with blasts from his palms.

The ant that Cessily knocked to the ground is unconscious. The problem with hive minds, is that one knows when the other is out, so the first turns back and charges in Cessily's direction.

Hawkgirl regains her footing. "We're too confined in here, and they're doing too much structural damage. Perhaps if we let them out into the street?" She suggest to Cessily, though by no means is she a leader. She runs behind the ant that's charging.

People are continuing to pour out of the upper levels of the building. Some become trapped as the structure begins to become unstable and rubble begins to fall.

Cessily Kincaid figures that letting them out has its drawbacks. Namely, everyone is still there! Plus, if one good hit on the head was enough to down one of the ants, the remaining one should go down if hit in a similar way, is it not? "People are still outside!" she replies to Hawkgirl while still keeping her attention on the charging ant as she raises her hands-turned-big-mace, and then swings it down hard toward the ant's head. Worked before, should work again, right?

The truck in place, Katheryn finds herself standing in front of it, then running towards it, jumping onto the bonnet, then up onto the box at the back. She grabs the spring loaded fire escape ladder and wrenches it down, only to call above her, "It's safe this way, use the fire escapes!" Looking over her shoulder, she glances up to see Iron Man, the sight bringing a grin to her lips even as the wind blows against her dress. "Yeah, go get 'em!"

Iron Man sees that the damage to the structure is getting substantial. He flies up to top of the building and starts evacuating as many people as he can, getting them to safety away from the ants before flying back up and repeating the process.
The ants are growing in intelligence due to experience, if not from increased size. This one barely dodges the blow and tries to retaliate, attempting to knock Cessily out of the way in order to escape.

Hawkgirl attempts to beat one of its legs off with her mace, so far having no luck. Unfortunately the bugs were not grown by magic.

Coming from behind the building, another ant makes it out onto the street, causing even further panic from the escaping people, as some of the escape routes are now no longer viable. The new ant sees the truck as a threat and heads in its direction.

Cessily Kincaid misses her attack. She wasn't expecting that! "What—!?" but whatever she was going to say is interrupted as the ant swings around and hits Cessily with her abdomen, launching the girl against the back wall and making her grunt a bit, her back 'splattering' a bit from the force of the hit, "Damn it, these bugs are getting smarter, it seems… Watch out." she says to Hawkgirl as she pushes herself off the wall, reforming the back of her body, pulling her liquid self back to her.

Katheryn's green eyes drop down from the skies as Iron Man flies out of view above the building, her gaze lands directly onto the giant ant that moves towards her. Six legs stomping across bituman towards the girl's perch on the large white truck… She stares at it for a long moment, swallows, and once more disappears from view.

The truck once more roars to life, its high beams flash on and smoke rips from the back wheels. The attempt at a rescue turns into an attack as several tons of truck head to ram the giant insect.

After knocking Cessily out of the way, it heads for the exit, making it;s escape from the old building, smashing through the glass entrance. An utterance escapes from Shayera, possibly something that doesn't come from Earth as she follows the ant out the door.

The second ant stops short as the vehicle now heads in its direction. It doesn't know what else to do at the moment besides to rise up on it;s back four feet and to use it's front two to swat at the truck.

Iron Man gets people trying to escape from the top floors down to the ground. Pulling up a schematic of the building via the AI, he looks to see that the building took damage to a load bearing wall. It's gonna come down, it's just a matter of when. "I hate it when I'm not dressed for the occasion. I shoulda hauled out Igor for this." he mutters, flying into the building and seeing the damaged wall. "Let's hope we can handle the tonnage, JARVIS." he says, settling himself in with his arms up, acting a joist to ensure the rest of the people can escape before the building collapses.

A mail box, two newspaper stands and a fire hydrant explode in paper and water as the truck crashes through them, its tires still billowing out smoke as it still accelerates. It collides into the ant with enough force to instantly crush the cab, the ants swipe striking late, tearing a gash across the rear box that allows frozen meats to spill out onto the road. Momentum carries both and and truck into a building on the opposite side of the road in an attempt to crush the ant between whats left of the still accelerating truck and the solid building.

Cessily Kincaid shifts her shoulders before running outside. She hears the winged girl's curse but doesn't pay too much attention to it since she doesn't know the language. But she knows it was cursing! Cursing are always the first words of a new language you learn. She steps outside in time to see the ant and truck colliding, and she winces, "Ouch…" she says, watching as the two collide on the side of the building on the other side of the street. If her hitting the ant on the head took care of one giant ant, surely THAT must have taken the other out of commission, right? Cessily then turns around, again, and heads to Hawkgirl, running and using a dining chair as a stepping stone to jump up, hands again merging together in a big mace, "Hey, ugly!!" she calls out, hoping ot get its attention and bash its head in on her descending arc.

Iron Man settles in with the wall, placing his hands just so. Routing power from the weapons systems to the exoskeleton itself, he also locks the joints into place with a slight bend in his knees. He's in it for the long haul now, like it or not. "Let me know when the last person's been evacuated so I can get the hell out of here." he informs the AI, keeping an eye on the building through his HUD for structural changes and when it looks ready to come down.

The ant that was outside is knocked into the next building by the truck. Before it goes unconscious, it's able to reach into the truck and grab Katheryn, throwing her right into the cafe as if she were a fastball! Shayera sees what Cessily's plan is. She takes a moment and swoops up, and then jets down at breakneck speed, added the power of her Nth metal mace to that of Cessily's ultimately knocking it out. The last of the building's occupants have made it out safely, thanks to the intervention of the NYPD and FDNY.

Katheryn opens her eyes and breathes in a sharp gasp as she rather suddenly appears half draped across whats left of the box. She flicks her hair and looks left, then right, catching sight of the cafe moments before the large pincers of the dying ant grab hold of her waist, then with a heave and a wrench of her guts that steal all the air from her lungs, she's thrown.

The girl holds her arms out uselessly in front of her as she flies across the once busy road, her form landing with a crunch shoulder first right where the window used to be… she slides across the floor, breaking a chair and table, right towards Iron Man.

She never hits him however, the moment she comes close, she once more disappears into thin air.

Cessily Kincaid nods to Hawkgirl after the last ant is taken down, and she was about to say something when she looks up, "We might want to get out of this building, it could collapse at any moment!" she says, agitated that the thought didn't cross her mind until now, and then she breaks into a run. Having a building fall on her wouldn't kill her… or even hurt her… but it WOULD be mildly annoying.

"Sir, I'm reading that your systems have increased by seven hundred fifty percent. I am also detecting another presence within the system, but I can't locate the origin."

"You mean I'm being hacked?"

"No sir, more like possessed. Though all occupants of the building have been safely retrieved."

"Good, let's get the hell out of here. Tony exclaims, and tries to back out of the hole before flying out of the building, but finds his movements are a little..jerk. He knocks out another chunk of wall before he can extricate himself, not knowing what's causing the power boost or "possession".

For the second time, Katheryn opens her eyes, though this time only darkness comes. Her limbs feel sluggish and yet strangely absent, distant… and things seem to be happening well beyond her control. She feels herself moving and tries to stop, she feels herself changing direction and tries to correct, then she feels something insidious invading her mind… and she panics.

Iron Man would feel almost every system he has activate all at once, rockets, blasters, jets, everything firing at something close to full power, but in short, completely uncontrolled bursts. One advantage being he blows himself clear of the collapsing building, one disadvantage being he goes straight through the top of it!

Moments after being 'freed' from the potential collapse, the panic ends, and things suddenly go quiet as Jarvis is able to gain more control.

Cessily Kincaid did try to get out of the battered cafe shop before the building went down. She really did. But after Iron Man leaves the building with guns blazing, so to speak, all the structural damage makes the building collapse. All on top of the two remaining ants, and Cessily, the metallic girl ended up interred under the debris! But, after a few minutes, several trickles of metallic liquid start leaking from the wreckage and pooling together into a single pool, from which Cessily soon reforms, a-la Terminator 2. "Ugh… that wasn't pleasant. Like, at all." she grumbles, brushing her hands against her arms as if she totally was not crushed by a collapsing building.

After the building had fallen, all three ants have disappeared. No bodies, no proof besides the eyewitnesses and cellphone photos/video.

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