1963-10-31 - Pokey the Porcupine mostly takes his time


Summary: Some villain thinks it's a good idea to rob a bank and he gets totally butt whipped!
Related: NONE —]
Theme Song: Pokey the Porcupine
beni llew tchalla olivercheng rogue steve 

5:47 PM

The police have been talking a lot recently about copycat crimes—we know a lot about this phenomenon today, but back in the days of our heroes, such a thing was not quite as normal. In any event, after the large heist of a bank that led to the Brotherhood making off with thousands and thousands of dollars, banks (and superheroes of the land) are much more vigilant.

For those who monitor police bands, have look outs, or are otherwise snooping for an ability to save the world (or at least the neighborhood. Or at least a bank) an alarm is triggered at Werther's First Mortgage and Bank.

There has yet to be an emergency call, and there have yet to be any persons running from the building.


"No more banshees, I promise."

A thin young man walks down the street next to his seeing-eye dog, a black Labrador, having a quiet (semi-one-sided) conversation with his trusty hound. "Yes, yes… it hurt my ears — my brain — too. Oh, good Lord." The blind man and his dog stop just a handful of yards down the street from the bank, taking it easy.

"One more errand, I promise. I just have to stop by the bank, and then we're off-duty for the rest of the day." Good thing too; SHIELD has been working this poor agent rather hard the last few days.


The Wildenstein Mansion perches on the edges of 78th Street and its tony neighbours host a number of fancy dress parties for people who would never deign to knock on a stranger's door. The young woman emerging from the building, wrapped up in a long cloak, might be one of those invitation-holders. Ribbons secure a lovely Venetian papier-mache mask to her face, and she alights upon the sidewalk at a rather purposeful clip south. For all the world, Scarlett could be out for a walk getting here to there without the added cost of a cab. The crisp air and dampness do not diminish her stride, anyways, nor the way she zigzags across the road at varied intersections.

Her stride sets her to overtake the thin fellow and his dog, though she utters an apology upon closing. "Pardon me."


A sleek black limousine has been idling across the street from the bank, minding its own business. The squat chauffeur standing watch over it, if one peers until the shiny brim of the black cap, is not of average appearance. It looks rather gray and almost stony. The pointed ears are tucked under the cap, the fangs hidden under closed lips. It stands, armed only with an umbrella in case of rain, waiting for its mistress.

The mistress — Beni will do, if you wish to address her — is in the bank, on the arm of a tall, handsome young man of clearly Asian decent. She is hard to miss, wrapped as she is in a cloud of toffee-colored fur and glittering with diamonds to make that limousine look like a whimsical purchase.

They are — or were — in the bank on business, opening a safety deposit box when their plans were rudely interrupted by a commotion not quite visible from their seats in the manager's office.

Beni exhales irritably. "Criminals have simply no sense of timing these days, Oliver," she says, taking up her handbag. "I think we may need to rescue the manager to finish this transaction." Please. Rob banks on your own time. Not Beni's.


Not one for the celebration of holidays that have no meaning to her people, T'Challa is not in a costume wandering the streets, headed to a party or trying to gather candy. No, instead the young Black Panther is in her costume on the rooftops, scouting about for more trouble like that which has plagued the people of Manhattan for weeks. She has no other way to really notice trouble in the making, but at this hour, a car idling on the street near a bank is suspicious. Banks keep 'banker's hours', hence the expression. So the black-shrouded heroine ambles closer to check things out, straining her heightened and even technologically enhanced senses to pick up what she can of what may be going on nearby, and within the bank. It could be important, though admittedly vampires and shadow demons don't drive cars.


That handsome gentleman on Beni's arm gives her a downright plaintive look at the very notion of intervening. "Do I have to?" Oliver asks, his shoulders slumping an almost comical amount. Still, he does cast a wary look towards the door to the office they're safely(?) hidden within. "We could probably just wait it out, you know."

But that might not be quite as much fun, and Oliver knows it. Still. Until Beni gives him an actual, firm directive to do otherwise… he's staying put.



Coming through a the door to the back room, right near the vault, comes a man in a three piece suit with an old timey monocle that goes flying away from the eye. Bank workers will recognize him as Yancy Witherspoon, one of the upper echelon managers of the establishment. Worse, from where he came there is a woman's blood thickening scream!

The people out in the main part of the building are now privy to what the worker who tripped the alarm was seeing. This place is under some sort of emergency. It's probably a robber of some sort, though it could be something worse.

Abruptly, the loud rumble of a Harley Davidson motorcycle destroys any desire Captain America would have for subtlety. He kills the engine and bounds in through the front door, skipping several stone steps at a time and opens the door with his mighty shield in the other hand.


Llew — the blind man with his dog — immediately recognises the woman who had just bumped into him, if only by his dog's reaction.

At first.

The perfume is next, and the voice… Llew starts humming, and while nothing visible happens, he is finally able to 'see' Scarlett… although he gives credit to his dog.

"Capital! Good boy, Hunter. I say…" and he raises his voice, still in a sing-song, melodious tone. "It has been a while, hasn't it? Hell's Kitchen? Corner of… oh, dashed if I've forgotten. Quite the night, wot?"

It is at that moment that Llew hears the 'CRASH!' and all thoughts of conversation fly from his mind. The scream that follows, instantly has the blind man diving to the side — reflex — in a manner uncommonly graceful for someone with impaired vision.

"I say…"


The neroli might be a signature for Scarlett, despite the mask and cloak. She has the look of a noblewoman running off to join Carnevale on the canals, with an equal level of concern and blase regard painted on her face as she turns towards the shattering sound right before it pierces the night. Sequentially all else descends into chaos around the bank. "Eighty-fifth and East Drive," she murmurs to Llew before he takes off.

"A cracking bad time, you might say. This way." Her pace accelerates in spite of high heels, though being able to defy gravity is purely unsporting. Hopefully the SHIELD agent does not mind her outpacing him, potentially, at least putting herself between any outgoing danger and the Brit. Her orientation angles towards the feminine scream, as good a beacon as any.


"We could simply sit here but then someone might be killed and you know how tedious they are about that kind of thing here," Beni says almost languidly. She rises with the dignity of a queen and takes Oliver's arm before she sweeps toward the door. "I really should have checked the tea leaves this morning, Ollie. Come. Let us see if we can't streamline this entire process." That doesn't mean stopping the crime, just getting it over with.

Beni, arm in arm with Oliver, emerges on the second floor walkway that affords a view of the lobby below and access all the way around to the offices that line the second floor — just in time to see Captain America come bounding in, radiant with justice. "Oh, bugger," Beni mutters. "It's the law." So much for popping down to hustle the entrepreneurs out and smooth over the ruffled feathers of the civilians below.


A motorcycle and a star-spangled hero busting through a door. That's confirmation of trouble within. Being a bank, there are no easy ground-floor rear entrances; that would be ludicrous. However, there are offices in the building's upper floors, and windows. Who could possibly get to those? Why, a Black Panther could, that's who. The black-shrouded figure scales down the wall from the roof, uses vibranium claws to slice open a hole in a window, reaches inside, opens it, and she rolls in. Then it's time to find her way to the stairs and down. Perhaps she can help disarm this situation before anyone gets hurt. She can at least try.


Alas, his employer does have a point. In a familiar motion, Oliver offers his arm to Beni just in time for her to take it, and he follows alongside her as she abandons the relative safety of the manager's office for the bank proper. With her, he steps up to the railing and peers downstairs, his eyebrows arched high even before Captain America bursts onto the scene.

That makes Oliver smile, leaning over to murmur in Beni's ear. "Not the law. Capes. This might be fun after all," he tells her quietly, practically bouncing on his toes.


Fools Rush In, isn't that what that song talks about?

Steve makes his first mistake in his return to superheroing; he lowers his guard as he tries to figure out exactly what's taking place. In the meantime, three ultra sharp quills jut out from the back room and strike him in the side. Normally his mail would prevent such a thing, but these are so thin and sharp they slide right through.

Steve grunts as he turns away, injured. Though they're not deep, it'll take him a moment to get them out of his body.

Meanwhile, something is shifting back there. It looks as though it might be some sort of walking hairy beast, but as it comes closer to the entrance, the brown figure looks like it is covered in hundreds of similar quills to those that stick out of Captain America's side.

The figure slowly moves out, and almost seems curled somehow.


Llew is more than happy to let Scarlett get ahead of him… the agent cannot really afford to blow his cover on something like this… So rather than run to keep up, he heads toward the mayhem with Hunter at his side, and stops near a bench.

Sitting down, he briefly contacts his superiors on his radio — small, concealed, very handy — and then… starts humming. Invisible to anyone without some kind of Sight or telepathy etc, Llew's astral-self manifests inside the bank, not far from Captain America. With little else coming to mind, the singing hypnotist immediately tries the 'power of suggestion' on the creature…

The suggestion of the hour: sleeeeep (please?).


Scarlett spares a look over her shoulder, but agent and dog ensconced on a bench is the best she can hope for. "Back in two shakes," she calls, and then flips the hood of her cloak over her telltale, fox-red braids. The doorway offers a secure place to slip through mostly unnoticed, one can hope, though she ducks around the lintel and flattens against the wall in a choreographed movement that hopefully deflects any possibility of pincushioning, punching or other hazards.

Taking her bearings gives an excellent view of Captain America, the victims taking cover, and those like her foolish enough to be drawn to the squall of an alarm rather than flee from it. The cover of a pillar supporting the roof gives a fine vantage after all, and she stares at the fuzzy brown creature approaching them.

"At least it's not an echidna." One must be grateful for the little things.


"Capes are a terrible idea," Beni protests. She's about to go on about how they get caught on things — she knew a few highwaymen who met bad ends thanks to capes and low-hanging branches — when the strange creature attacks and then meanders forth. A panicking teller bolts, trips over poor Yancy, and goes down on top of him — right in the path of that looming beast.

"That won't do," Beni says crisply. "Hold my purse." She hands it off without looking, as though this is an exchange they've made a hundred times, and then things become a little vague.

It would be difficult to tell exactly what happens for anyone not paying very close attention, but Yancy and the teller are gone in the next moment. A soft haze seems to have passed over where they were, just for the span of a heartbeat.

Beni reappears in the office, with both teller and poor Yancy, who looks a bit like a pincushion. He is, at least, breathing. The monocle is a loss.

"Look after him, dear," Beni orders the teller. "Everything is fine. You just need to look after the manager." Miraculously, there's no more screaming from the teller and she calmly does as she's told. "Then, the haziness is gone and Beni is stepping out of the office and taking her purse back from Oliver. Behind her, visible through the open door, Yancy and the teller are safely out of harm's way — and it all happened in just seconds.

"Do feel free to slow that thing down," she suggests. "Or whatever amuses you, dear."


To and then down the stairs the Black Panther goes, taking in the sight of all that is transpiring at ground level. She can see the Sentinel of Liberty, and trusts his shield to do a decent job of intercepting any more quills, far better than her own vibranium-weave enhanced suit. But he needs an opening to get those quills out of his gut, first, and that she can provide. Black Panther leaps off the stairs, bounces off a wall, to another wall, and then drops down behind the quill-bearing figure at close enough range that he's unlikely to miss her.

"Can anyone play?" comes an altered voice, with a noticeable but easily decypherible accent. Then Panther drops almost flat to the floor, sweeping her leg out to try to take out the quilled figure's legs, or at least force him to respond to her rather than pressing the attack on Steve. This could hurt.


It must be an exchange they've had before, because Oliver doesn't even look away from the commotion downstairs as he accepts Beni's purse. Without complaint, he tucks it under his arm and remains where he is, content to stay out of it himself. For now, at least.

Oh, Oliver reacts. When Captain America is wounded, he hisses quietly in sympathy, like a man watching a boxing match on the television. And as more would-be heroes arrive, he tilts his head to one side, smiling to himself. Yep. He's content to just watch.

When Beni rejoins him, Oliver passes her purse back without a word. But then she gives him a suggestion, and his expression, briefly, is pained. "Oh, all right," he sighs, moving to where he has a clearer view on the creature with the quills. Oliver narrows his eyes, extends one hand towards it… and does what he can to make the creature feel very, very heavy. Hopefully, the Black Panther won't be caught up in the sudden increase in gravity. He might feel bad.


Sweet Llew's singsong astral projection has an effect on THE PORCUPINE, but less than one might expect. Under the quills and armor and mechanical contraptions, the suit makes it difficult to hear things. At first, the coil comes a bit looser, revealing that underneath those quills is a mustard colored suit more similar to other costumed villains.

Yancy murmurs quietly as Beni drags him with several quills hanging out of him. Nevertheless, the man is safe now, as is the teller.

The Black Panther takes the Porcupine's legs out from under him with a mighty sweep of the leg. Stunned, and still flustered by Llew's projections, the robber is stuck for a moment. Is that because of Oliver's increasing gravity? Most likely.

Steve recovers enough to throw his shield, but as it gets closer to the PORCUPINE, it bends sharply down towards the enemy.


"I don't rather know how to describe this…" Llew says over his SHIELD-issue radio-com. "There's a bankrobbery in progress involving the star-spangled fellow and a giant porcupine…(the villain being the porcupine)… yes you heard me correctly…"

There is a pause.

"Why am I singing everything? My dear girl, this is the only way I can keep Mr. Porcupine from skewering your beloved Captain A-meerrr-ic-aaa…"


"Besides it makes for very entertaining audio-files for SHIELD's records department, wouldn't you agreeee? Oh bother this."

In the next moment, Llew's soul-self reaches inside the porcupine suit — manifesting a bit more visibly, if only for a moment — and attempts to 'mind-spike' (think of it as a 'migraine on purpose' technique) to the perpetrator within.


No point hanging back. Scarlett waits for an opening, and to say the Black Panther and Llew provide one would be understatement. As soon as the colonel mustard villain is knocked back, she darts in close to assure he will not be rising any time soon. Not if she has anything to say about it, going for that soft, vulnerable underbelly where she can keep him pinned immobile to the floor for others to finish him off.

In a race between Captain America's star-spangled shield and a masked redhead, who reaches the finish line first? Answer: the shield, almost in a photo finish?

Entering the gravity well causes her to wobble and slow, but she slams her gloved palms into the man's torso on opposite sides, trying to overbalance him and keep him squarely down. Even kneeling, Scarlett can exert inhuman levels of force to render an object immoveable, though she intentionally seeks not to break or harm the man's body. The spiny carapace is a whole other story. Besides, a stationary target proves much easier for others to target and subdue. Or maul to death in a cat fight.


"Well done, dear. I can't bear incompetence," Beni murmurs. "Or wasting my time." She watches the scene play out with a certain interest. Now that things are under control, she's willing to step back and let the heroes have at it.

"I'm going to have to cancel my manicure if that manager needs to go to the hospital," she notes, a bit sadly. "And I have a chip." She displays the tragedy on the first finger of her left hand. "If this town is like this, I'm going to have to start carrying a big stick — walking softly is so overrated."


T'Challa's intention of getting quickly out of the way is foiled as gravity suddenly increases, pressing her quite firmly into the floor. She is strong and resilient, and she can and does push herself away, but it's now slow and rather a less graceful movement than it would be normally. She spots the redhead who suddenly appears to help, and is rather curious as to what just happened to him. The thrown shield, she gets. But touch-unconscious? Interesting.


The brief glimpse of a ghostly figure near his target is enough to pique Oliver's curiosity, and disrupts his train of thought. As suddenly as the quilled thief had been rendered immobile, they are freed — which might have done them some more good before Llew, Rogue, the Black Panther, and Captain America's shield had all converged upon it. C'est la vie.

Oliver doesn't seem upset about having lost his concentration at all. In fact, he seems almost relieved. Beni can't say he didn't do as she suggested, and he doesn't have to continue trying anymore. Best possible outcome!


After Oliver let's go with his powers, the rest isn't pretty. You can imagine what things might be like when you consider the massive outnumbering and just the sheer powers of what Porc-i is up against. But let that be a lesson to you, Alexander Gentry (if that is your real name), this is the wrong city to be trying to rip off a bank!

The cops arrive shortly afterwards to handle a lot of the bureaucratic stuff like a) arresting b) booking and c) yellow tape marking. Luckily there is no chalk outlines to report. The money is safe, the people is safe, and we're one song better with Sweet Llew's rendition of everyone's favorite song about Porcupines. ( https://youtu.be/FLWf_SFWekM ). It's off to jail for you, buddy!

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