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Mutants & Masterminds: The Indigo Children - Chapter 3: The Coming Storm


jameson (ST)

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Dom walked down into the subway tunnel, trepidation at the idea of meeting with others like himself was understandable. Trepidation at meeting others like Master Raphael was something else entirely. Not for the first time he wondered if he'd fallen into some kind of strange dream, the very idea of walking, talking, thinking mutant animals was almost an affront to his sanity. Up ahead he saw the light of the sensei's home and found his steps quickening, it took only moments to round the corner into the abandoned subway station.

He was apparently not the first to arrive, he heard voices as he walked up the steps to the center platform. He found the old turtle speaking to a pair of kids who looked like they were still in high school and kangaroo. There was a pizza box on the short table in the center and another sat next to Raphael, Dom could see anchovies on that one.

OOC: Setup is as is, Dom's first meeting with the rest of you, Tigers come in at your discretion.

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"Oy," Wally grouses as he carefully flicks an errant bit of pepperoni off his slice of New York's Finest Pizza. "When you order a pizza half-vegetarian, you'd think they'd realize that means half the pizza with no meat."

He's just about to start eating when he spies Dom coming in and freezes for a second, slice of pizza held just in front of his mouth.

"Uh..." Wally quickly lowers the pizza slice and tries to imitate a 'normal kangaroo'...a task complicated by his 'I Love The Big Apple' t-shirt and the sunglasses propped up on his forehead. He also spoils it by hissing, 'psst,' and pointing at Dom once he has Raphael's attention.

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Ramani and Cole were chasing each other making use of the vast underground area. Cole was on the run while Ramani tailed him as fast as she could – goal of the game was to pounce him and keep him pinned without hurting him. The two Tigers were obviously having fun.

Cole was aiming for the Lair knowing that Ramani would have a harder time tracking him there and he could move there with more ease than she could. The large tigress had still problems adjusting to 'normal living' areas.

Coming around the corner Cole took advantage of his familiarity with the area and general knowledge of ‘object physics’ which Ramani simply lacked. He managed to stop around a support column extending his claws to give him a better grip and thus enabling him to pivot on the spot. Ramani overshot her pounce and landed claws extended on her fours right in front of the new arrival. Cole smiled and came around after her his sentence cut off when he saw Dom, “Hey Ramani, you…”

Ramani slowly rose to her full height a quiet snarl escaping her mouth which slowly exposed long viciously sharp looking fangs. The large tigress could’ve been considered attractive – if someone was into large cats but right now she looked more intimidating than anything else. Her claws were half extended and the muscles under her fur twitched in anticipation. Cole could tell that Ramani switched from play mode to kill mode in a matter of seconds.

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Penny had turned to see the new guy there, and a second later she saw Ramani and the problem. "Ramani!" she yelped, and ran toward her. Without much warning, she flopped across the tiger, looping her arms around her neck. "How are you?" she grinned, though everyone but the tigress could tell she was tense and not at all in a friendly mood.

Like most people who weren't around animals much, Penny never thought that a 'friendly' animal might turn on her before realizing it was her.

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Click to reveal..


Penny felt how the muscles under Ramani’s fur shifted and tensed and then the large Tigress set herself in motion turning around her axis and growling furiously at Penny. Savage eyes glared at Penny while Ramani opened her mouth ready to go for the killing bite aiming for Penny’s throat while she took advantage of her larger size and heavier built.

In a matter of an eyeblink Ramani was on top of Penny, paws with extended claws on the young girls shoulders and her fangs locked around Penny’s throat followed by an angry growl. Ramani’s tail lashed to the sides and she fought her instincts to bite. Penny felt Ramani’s claws slowly piercing her delicate skin and the weight of the large tigress started to hurt on her chest making breathing hard.

Every resemblance of civilised behaviour was gone replaced by pure primal instincts of survival. Ramani was pissed and it showed. Her ears were turned back and her eyes practically glowed with an intense fury. The she-tiger snarled through her nostrils and reinforced her pin on the young girl. The air was electrified with savage intensity. There was a deadly tiger in the room and she had a victim locked in her jaws.
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Randy had been behind Penny; he'd been reaching to pull her back, just because he'd never trusted Ramani enough to let her be close to Penny when she was like this. "Cole!" he shouted, seeing the bigger male. "Get her off!"

As Ramani had her instinctive reaction, Penny had her own. Teeth against her throat brought out a savage response in the young woman, one she'd never expected was there. No one save the two teen girls locked in mortal combat felt what happened; they only heard Penny yell, "Get off!"

For Ramani, the yell was accompanied by burst of energy that raked over the tigress. She felt herself start to go limp...

Click to reveal..
Ramani, Fortitude DC 18 vs a Stun power. grin
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Click to reveal..


The energy engulfed Ramani for a moment and her eyes suddenly became dilated. Then her body went limp and the tension eased out of her body. Whatever just happened the she-tiger was dazed or stunned for a moment and gave Penny the chance to escape from her deadly embrace.

God only knew how Ramani would respond when she ‘woke up’ again…
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There was a half second of stunned silence as the situation spiraled out of control so dramatically that Dom, Randy, Cole and Wally had no chance to react. Penny unleashed some sort of energy from her hands into the mutant tigress at the speed of thought. Ramani's muscles barely had time to begin to go limp before Raphael was up from his lotus position and moving in a blur of motion. His left hand, three green fingers, spotted with age, grabbed the tiger by the loose skin at the back of her neck and hauled her off Penny with a remarkable strength that instantly washed away the image of the wizened old sensei. With his right hand he jabbed Ramani repeatedly over her body. Nerves were pinched and twisted, chi was bound in blocked flows and circular pools where it should have been in strong lines.

The moment ended and as each of the others took a breath and began to react Raphael released Ramani who toppled to the floor in a limp heap. "She is unharmed," he said turning to Cole, "but you should have known better than to lead her towards my home like this. It was lucky, and remarkable, that Penny was able to stay Ramani from dealing a deathblow." He turned to Dom, "My apologies to you Dominic, I had not expected such an eventful first visit for you." Before returning to his seat he leaned over Ramani and said, "You will regain movement in a few moments, and you will control yourself. You are not a beast, rise above those baser instincts." With that he stuck her a few more times, helped Penny to her feet and returned to his pizza and beer.

OOC: Ramani gets 1 HP, by GM Fiat she utterly fails her Fort save vs Raph's paralyzing Atemi technique. He reversed the effect but it will take 1 minute to recover your mobility.

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Cole kneels down, "my apologies sensei." He looked to Penny. "Sorry, I didn't think she'd do something like that. Clearly I have the much work left to do. Are you ok?"

He lowers his head to near Ramani's. "How many times have I warned you that at least here in the lair, claws and attacks are not the first response to every situation?" There was alot of disappointment in his voice, and guilt.

He drew himself up to his full height and then turned to the necomer, his tail twitching slightly behind him. He offered Dom a paw, which while flexible, didn't have an opposable thumb like a person's hand.

"Considering you're here, and not in some trap somewhere, and nobody's kncoked you out cold, I'd go out on a limb and say you're a friend."

He smiles, barely showing any of his pearly white sharp teeth.

"My name is Cole," he gestures to Ramani, "That's Ramani, she's still abit instinctual in her responses to new things."

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Wally stared at Ramani, as if he'd never before considered her capable of that kind of lashing out. Then he stared at Raphael.

"I can't decide which of you two is more frightening at this moment," he opines...then takes a bite of his pizza and lifts the half-eaten crust as if to toast Dom.

"Guess you're one of us then. C'mon up here and pull up a chair. Pizza's getting cold. I'm Wally, by the way."

Naturally he speaks in a thick Australian accent.

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Ramani wailed trying to move. She felt miserable being both knocked over by Raphael and by Penny’s psychic blast. Her eyes looked up at Cole struggling between justifying her reaction and feeling sorry for almost killing Penny – playing with him had her run more on instincts than she normally would. Breathing heavily she sighed and remained lying there unable to move for a minute or two.

“I’m sorry…”, she croaked at Penny. It seemed getting a better relationship to the young girl was really difficult for her. And she liked her so much, she just couldn’t understand why Randy was just a friend. Ramani’s eyes reflected an unusual sadness and she simply waited defeated by her sensei and her instincts. Would she ever be able to be like Cole or the others? She doubted it… and she was afraid she could be like them one day because that would mean giving up her heritage.

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"Are you ok?" Randy asked worriedly as Raphael pulled her up; before she could answer he'd grabbed her in a hug. Penny could feel mutant tiger saliva on her neck and she shuddered. "Penny?"

"Yeah! Yeah, I'm fine," she whispered. Randy just hugged her tighter, his expression that look of relief that you only get when you've just seen someone you care about in mortal danger.

"What did you do?" he whispered.

"Later," she said, pulling back from him. He let her go, reluctantly. Turning, she smiled shakily at Cole, rubbing at her neck. "Um, it's ok," she said, not sure if it was. She repeated that to Ramani, again not sure if she was telling the total truth.

"Thanks, Raphael," she said, as he sank back into his chair, and after a quick check to make sure she'd gotten everyone else, she turned to Dominic. "Hi," she said, offering him a shaking hand. "I'm Penny."

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Dom gawked in complete shock as the scene had unfolded. The girl, Penny was her name, Dom mused as he looked at her hand, had jumped on a tiger, nearly been decapitated, only to be saved by...a turtle. No matter that he had already met the Turtle. All this while a kangaroo ate pizza and another tiger...standing up introduced himself.

"Uh, hi." Dom said quietly, taking each hand just briefly while he glanced back with a cocked eyebrow at Ramani. "So I take it, this isn't the red line?"

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Cole looked at him and smiled, this time his big teeth showing. "Certainly not." he moved past him, heading for the Pizza, grabbing a slice from the meat-lover's side and practically inhaling it.

"You better hurry if you want some. Ramani and I can each eat a whole one."

He looked back to Ramani as she recovered from the hit. She had been warned, and part of the blame was his. He grabbed a slice for her and brought it to her. "Better eat it now before it gets cold. It isn't half as good cold or reheated."

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"No-o-o-o," Penny said shakily, "it's not usually like this. Ramani is my friend. I didn't think-" Penny broke off and turned, hurrying for the bathroom. Shock had finally fled, leaving only the shakes and the urge to release tension - in this case, through tears. She locked the door and sobbed out her terror. She was my friend! Why did she attack me?

Randy watched her go, then turned to Dominic. "Hey, I'm Randy," he said, holding out his hand. "Welcome to the z-, eh, madhouse. Have some pizza, make yourself at home."

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Ramani watched Penny dash for the bathroom and quickly followed but was too late to reach her in time. Her body still ached from sensei Raphael’s special move and she frowned as she got denied access to the bathroom.

“Penny…”, her guttural voice sounded weak and pleading. “I’m really sorry… I… I lost control – I followed my instincts and I…”, she tried to explain herself and felt tears in her eyes. This was all so confusing to her. She didn’t feel like she did something wrong – her instincts took over and her sense for territory was very very strong. Any unwelcomed or unannounced guests would always cause her to feel bad or awkward until she decided herself it was ok. But her rationality – what she had learned from Cole told her she did wrong. Very wrong. She almost hurt a friend, no even worse, she almost killed her.

The newcomer had caused a chain reaction in her and her playful chase with Cole had her already driven on instincts but this was no excuse. She felt miserable for what she had done.

“I didn’t mean to… I would never hurt you – really – I … “, she didn’t know what to say. What was the right word for this? She cared? She loved? Her thoughts raced and she slowly scratched on the door as she let herself down until she sat. She did look like a large cat now – a large cat that was denied access to someone she loved. Silent tears ran down her snout making her cerulean blue eyes sparkle sadly.

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Penny wasn't sure what to do; all she knew was that she was scared and upset. And she was scared and upset at Ramani. What if I hadn't done that? What if I had not been able to stop her so fast? Would her loss of control mean that she would have killed me?

After a moment, Randy sighed and said, "Ramani, come away from the door. She's just gonna need some time to calm down, ok? Hovering like that isn't going to help her."

Having done what he could, he glanced at Dom. "So what brings you down here anyway? You like meeting people in strangely hygienic sewers?"

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Ramani looked heartbroken at Randy and reluctantly moved away from the door. She found a place on one of the large couches and laid down there staring at the wall and ignoring everyone else. She felt like crying - it felt like when her mother died but she didn't know how to really cry.

The large tigress put one paw over her face/snout and wept quietly. She didn't want to hurt her friend, she never wanted that.

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Cole stopped eating and quietly made his way over to Ramani. He didn't nuzzle her or anything, he juststood behind her and gently massaged her shoulders with his pawlike hands, in a gesture that anyone in the room that owned a cat would have seen before, as his claws worked in and out, never peircing her skin, but working through her fur.

"It will be ok Ramani, it wasn't totally your fault. I'm to blame too." His voice was soft and consoling, he didn't figure it would help much, he had t try. And his chances at calming Penny down weren;t that good he figured.

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Dom put on his best smile and started walking slowly to the pizza, glancing at the tigers furtively out of the corner of his eye as he answered Randy.

"Sorry I caused a scene, all. But Raphael there invited me down, figured I might want to meet a few more of us 'like-minded' people. Plus, if I got all my ipod's in a row here, it seems there might be something connected to all the animal killings and...um...the rest of you in here, if you catch my drift. And really, who turns down an invitation from a man-sized old turtle who looks like he could blink and make me wet myself?"

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"It's not a sewer, I don't live in a sewer! Damn kids, never listen ..." Raphael's voice trailed off into grumpy mutterings punctuated by the occasional gesture. As Dom started to talk to Randy, Raphael smiled, "I haven't done that in years, but yes I could if I do wanted."

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"Animal killings? Don't look at me, mate," Wally averred. "Vegetarian. Actually, more properly, herbivore."

He tapped the little beardlike tuft of fur under his chin. "But you may be looking for the same brute we are. Some creature's been swimmin' 'round the river, going in and out of the sewers. It's killed some of the smart mice that live down there."

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"Beyond the obvious?" Dom said, smiling at Cole as he gave him a once over. "Not much, but there's gotta be something there if you ask me."

He folded the slice of pie in half and took the front third in one bite, chewing it quickly and before any reasonable person could have masticated it, he swallowed.

"If there's smart mice in the sewers, we could pretty much kiss our asses goodbye if they ever got pissy. What is really more intriguing to myself," he said, his smile glittering with charm, "is the apparent firebug on the loose, took out my GF's school on Prom Night, seems to have been busy since...You guys know anything about that?"

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As Ozzie returned from his 'vacation' he found Wally was gone. He was hoping that he would be there so he could explain his reason for taking off so suddenly. A bit of soul searching had done him some good and he was now refocused on helping others like him. After doing a bit snooping it was apparent that Wally hadn't been gone to long. If he was out roaming the streets it could be while before he made it back. Best to get some help, let me give Cole a call his tracking ability will prove useful. Pulling open his phone Oz dials up Cole's number.

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Cole shook his head. "i've seen reports in the papers, but beyond that not really. Ramani and I and my parents have spent most of our time out at our place in the country. It's generally easier for her and I to blend in there. We got back into town for awhile about a week ago."

Just then his phone rang, and he answered it. "Hey Ozzie. Wally's gone? Yeah he's here in the Hide, just come here. You want to talk to him now?"

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Wally scratched his head, then shrugged. "Sorry, don't know anything about any arsonist..." Then his attention was distracted by something Cole said.

"Ozzie? Well that's a relief. Hadn't heard from him...I mean, he sometimes goes off on his own, and he can take care of himself, but...well, just glad he's all right."

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Penny came out of the bathroom, rubbing her eyes and sniffling. She didn't say anything to anyone; she just took her seat and started to eat her pizza. "Hey," Randy said. "You ok?"

Penny gave him a Girl Look, but said, "Yeah. I'm good." Her voice dared people to call her on it.

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Originally Posted By: Penny Mann
Penny came out of the bathroom, rubbing her eyes and sniffling. She didn't say anything to anyone; she just took her seat and started to eat her pizza. "Hey," Randy said. "You ok?"

Penny gave him a Girl Look, but said, "Yeah. I'm good." Her voice dared people to call her on it.


Ramani ignored most of the conversation and only perked up when she saw Penny return. She stood up from the couch and quietly came closer her eyes and ears showing how much she was sorry and regretted what just happened. She still felt bad about this 'accident' and she needed Penny to tell her it was ok.

"I'm sorry, Penny.", her voice sounded weak but less guttural than usual. Ramani tried really hard to sound as humanly possible as she could.
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If for nothing else, than to not seem rude, Dom kept quite at the mention of a humanoid platypus and kept eating his pizza. These guys obviously didn't know much about why the strange things were going on and seemed to be more dangerous to each other than anything else.

But maybe, just maybe, these guys would have a clue about the vans.

"Sooo, while we're waiting. Any of you guys know anything about the Boogieman Black Vans?"

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"I wouldn't exactly say that..per se...Let's just say that a very large Rat-man named Willard and his companion, Kris made it quite clear to run like you had a spastic colon if you saw one. Just curious, since they would probably be after you guys as well, if you knew anything more about them. The thoughts of sitting in some room with a bright light on me while they run tests or cut me open has me a little on edge."

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"Rat man, eh?" Wally asked, ears perking forward curiously. "Haven't met him yet. But you've got nothing to worry about. Seems like the black vans are just after guys like us. Remind me to tell you about the porcu-bear sometime! Now that was a close one!"

He laughs.

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After a short trip Ozzie makes his way down to the lair. Nothing had seemed to have changed from his absence, which was just the way he liked it. Following the voices of conversation that he hears Ozzie comes into the main room, just as Cole finishes.

"G'day everyone, good to see you all again. Sorry for barging in late an all."

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