1964-02-21 - Following the Frozen Path
Summary: TNT (Troublemaker, Ne'er-do-well and Tree) go hunting harlots on a chilly Winter's day.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
tommy hope star-lord groot 


Divide and conquer, the Sorceress Supreme said. The Scarlet Warlock has far too many appraising looks from young ladies of respectable means, while Mina searches for one of the escaped vampire wenches rather than face down his own frame getting wolf whistles from appreciative figures. The family is mostly off the main drag, meaning they are a stone's throw from the shore and not quite on the chilly sidewalk. Still, there are a helpful number of young men prowling around in their land yachts and pedestrian traffic bumps up every time a train comes into the station. One just departed a few minutes ago, giving reason for "Bettina" - Busty, by a better name - to go prowling after a delicious snack. There's no immediate sign of Saffron, "Chesty" by any other name. At least not in the admixture of people immediately, but how hard is it to really find a 17th-century prostitute falling out of a cropped leather vest and a ruffled skirt? You'd be surprised.

*

Tommy — or Tabby, as the case is currently — was fine with the idea of divide and conquer. The platinum-haired speedster was the best choice for covering a bunch of ground in a hurry — at least, covering the ground and actually seeing who's where. Billy might be able to beat her hands down for actual distance travelled in a particular time by… say… teleporting to Mars or something along those lines, but that would leave everything in between their arrival point and the red planet unsearched.

Tabby, on foot? That's a different story all together. She runs the streets but gets a good look all the faces (or at least the backs of the heads) she passes while doing so. She searches just like whenever he's searching for someone or something he knows… or believes… is in the city. Street by street, up and down, running at ridiculous speeds.

*

Brighton Beach in the afternoon sparkles under the winter sun. Traffic bustles in a string of land yacht cars parked along the main drag — Brighton Beach Avenue — with its collection of laundromats and dry cleaners, record shops, electronic repair places, and cafes with names like 'Little Odessa' and 'Tirana Cafe.' Gentlemen in the slickest outfits, dark hair glistening and swaggers to catch the eye of lovely ladies, throng in many of these places. They choke the platform of the train, while the steel web of overhead tracks make it feel rather dim in places. Alleys meander off to the waterfront, and industrial and commercial cares collide savagely. It's the perfect place for a pretty young woman in an unseasonably tight sleeveless leather vest and ruffled skirt to ply her favourite wares: sucking face with a shy businessman sort in an alcove between a block of brick buildings and the street behind them. Poor guy doesn't know what hit him, but he's not complaining as she loosens his tie and murmurs sweet nothings to the smell of Russian tea. Awnings and a pair of bear statues carved from wood make a nice screen for Saffron and her commuter victim, but he's not complaining. When she discards him, it's onto a typical metal bistro seat, licked in frost.

*

There is not a lot that masks the unreality that there is a large tree standing on a street corner, not artistically placed by the whim of a landscape designer, but waiting for the light to change to be able to cross the street. This oddity isn't helped when the tree turns to his companion with a frown upon his face and notes in a grave tone. "I am Groot." The comment is accompanied by a gesture, towards one of the trees that was placed there on the whim of a landscape architect, which is the only one on the block that seems to have acquired frost. It is underwhelmed by this acquistion.

*

Quill is standing on the street-corner next to Groot, eating a hot dog. Man, he's missed the street-side food of Earth, and it's hard to beat the stuff you can get off of a card in NYC. He takes a bite, pausing to wipe a bit of mustard from the corner of his mouth as he looks up at Groot when the tree-man gestures at the less-manly-tree which has acquired a rather incongruous coating of frost. He regards it in silence while chewing for a moment, then swallows and comments, almost laconically, "That ain't right."

*

Of course, searching each and every place that she can run into, even at the speeds that /she/ travels at… can take some time. Which is why she doesn't arrive on the scene in that little bistro until after the deed is done and the body is waiting to be discovered. When she does get there, well, the immediate reaction is to go get backup. Why? Well, the Doc wouldn't have called them /all/ in if it had been something one or two people could handle alone, right? So zoom! Back out she goes.

…but time is of the essence and finding the family isn't as easy as finding /other/ familiar faces who are standing on street-corners. "Starlo! Groot!" the girl calls as she skids to a stop a few feet away. Teenaged girl with platinum hair, clad in a halter top, short shorts and converse shoes? Well. The platinum hair and quick feet might be familiar, at least. If not the Jersey-borne accent. "Look, ah, you guys busy? I could use a hand with somethin' cold and angry." Granted, Tabby doesn't know that they're anything /too/ special other than the obviousness of Groot… but anyone cool enough to hang out with the World's Coolest Tree has to have something going for him, right?

*

Ice coats the struts supporting the overhead rail lines. Condensation fogs up storefront windowpanes, and at least one girl trying to wear a short polyester dress complains bitterly to her friends, "It is too cold! It was only supposed to be in the forties today." No one sees fit to lend her their coat, eye rolling at the fashionista who punted logic to the wind. One of them ends up squealing in horror at a tree, a moving tree, and they hold hands and run right out into traffic in defiance of the crosswalk half a block away. Horns honk. However, traffic isn't moving at a pace other than leisurely, the better to show off whitewall tires and shiny chrome. Steam rises into the air from heating systems all around the block. An annoyed patron pokes his head out from one of those electronics repair shops and scowls. "Damn weirdos. No one wants you bringing your trouble here! Now where's Jarek gotten off to…."

The wench walks with a smug look on her lips down the street, knowing just the right way to saunter to attract attention. Not too fast, of course, they have to see the wares on display, not too slow. The swish of her patterned skirt gets plenty of looks, and a grumbled 'hussy' now and then. But largely the response is positive, and she measures up potential marks surfing by in their cars.

*

Groot is many Worlds' Coolest Tree, it's true. His attention turns at his name. It's a rare enough thing in the city, in spite of his vocalizations. He looks at the girl. Down. Up. Back down. Humans /do/ all look vaguely similar, but he's having trouble placing all of the clues on which one /this/ is. "I am Groot?"

In either case, she knew him by name, and is asking for help and he nods and leans in a little. "I am Groot." He asks. Cars and honking aren't so much in his awareness, and people screaming and running from him basically means that it's a day that ends in Y. It's not easy being a giant walking tree in NYC.

*

Quill has taken another bite of hot dog while staring contemplatively at the frost-rimed tree, just as the rather scantily-clad young woman walks right up to them, and addresses the pair as if she knows them. Well, sort of- in the way a telephone advertiser attempts to get your name right and almost manages it. He chews slowly as he looks at Tabby- perhaps just a little /too/ long to be entirely polite, then swallows and clears his throat. He gives a sideways glance up at Groot.

Then he absently smooths back his hair, which is too short to really need it. "Excuse me, young lady," He says, "It seems like you're familiar with my arboreal friend here, but I don't think we've met. The name's Peter Quill, but my friends mostly call me Quill, and it just so happens that 'cold and angry' is my specialty." I mean, have you met Gamora? He adjusts the collar of his brown overcoat. "But uh.. unless you mean this tree here," He points at the non-Groot tree, "More specifics would probably help."

*

She's about to respond to Groot when she can't help but feel eyes on her. Eyes on her in the kind of way that she's felt before, but different. Different how? Green eyes dart around at super-fast speeds for /just/ a moment before. "Yo, yo! You, with the hair." As opposed to the one with the branches, "Eyes up here, capiche? Don't make me mess up your face." Pause. Grin. "I've always wanted to be on the other side of that. They're great, ain't they? " Cough. "But no, I don't mean the big guy."

Time for a deep breath before… "Long story short there's these flying alien hookers from like, medieval times running through the streets of New York sucking people dry like," She holds up a finger, vanishes for all of a second, and returns with the latest victim of the wench — still chilled from the initial attack. "…this. So if cold and angry is your specialty, you /might/ wanna grab the biggest gun, or club, or, uh, lighter you've got and follow me before you end up a Petesicle." A pause, a long glance to Groot offered by the 5'2" girl. "Hey, big guy. Mind if I climb up there since I've actually /seen/ the chick we're lookin' for?" At least she /asked/ before doing. That's rare with this one (or any speedster, really)"

*

The victim in question is a dark-haired male, about twenty-nine, the sort of aspiring businessman who probably works in insurance somewhere in Brooklyn with dreams of the financial district. He is absolutely cold to the touch, like he fell asleep in a snow dune. Still, he has a pulse, if sluggish, and his mouth is a bit blue, worrisome on the whole. His tie is loosened, but nothing is missing. Well, unless he had a wrist watch or a tie tack.

*

Groot listens and there might be a soft snort from him as someone actually reminds Quill on where he should be looking, which is generally exactly not where he's looking. There is a quietly confused rumble at just a couple things Tabby's said, questions for another time, clearly.

Groot leans in a little to offer to look more closely at the victim, and touch him lightly, surprisingly gentle for a giant tree, really. "I am Groot." He notes, gravely, and then crouches a bit in answer to Tabby's question. "I am Groot?" There's some sort of question for her, his branches coming down to offer her little stepping spots on his hands. Once she's climbed him, he grows, lifting her high enough to see over the crowd.

*

ROLL: Hope +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 46

*

Quill has the good grace to actually blush, if only a little bit, when he gets called on checking out the girl who has comes up to them seeking help. "Look, maybe you should dress more appropriately for the season if you-" He starts to say, defensively, when she says 'they're great, ain't they' and he cuts off, blinking in confusion (and also agreement.)

But then the story is being related, complete with visual aid in the form of the actual victim who appears seemingly out of nowhere to be presented to them. "The hookers fly?" He finally asks, brows drawing together, before commenting in an aside to Groot, "Reminds me of that time on that asteroid mining base where I.. well, you remember." Then he looks back to Tabby, "Don't worry. Angry hookers are also a specialty of mine." He pulls back his coat, revealing the twin pistols (space pistols) holstered on either hip. "I'm good, lead on."

And then she climbs up Groot, and he rolls his eyes slightly. "Girls always like the tree-dude. I need a better wingman." But he is looking around attentively, nonetheless. Flying space-hookers is no joke.

*

The street is somewhat busy, but no one stands out in the commotion on Brighton Beach Avenue. Traffic, yes, and people complaining about the cold clot the sidewalk and pitted avenue. There are no busty, dark-haired women plying their wares for the unsuspecting. Space hookers should stand out like a giant tree in an immigrant enclave, though Groot gets all the fuss. There may even be a blurry photo taken as Tabby in short shorts rides in his branches and Quill clearly has the good sense to eat a hot dog. Disturbances aren't easy to measure, but presumably Tabby can direct the trio to where the unconscious man was dumped on the ground. Or whatever Tabby did with him. What did Tabby do with him?

*

Meanwhile, some other poor soul distracted by the great buoyancy of orbs in a tightly laced space discovers the joys of them, promptly before falling face first into them. The girlish giggle follows, as Saffron murmurs, "Oh, stop! Boys. You are very bad." Never mind her English is terrible. Their English is terrible. Some things need no translation.

*

Victory! Help obtained, not to mention the opportunity to use a moving tree as a mighty steed… cross /that/ one off the old bucket list! "Thanks, chum." Tabby offers, reaching out for those stepping spots in order to climb up and find herself the appropriate perch around Groot's shoulder. Then, platinum hair is pulled back behind her head — she should've grabbed a rubber band or something — and a hand hops over her eyes as she tries to scan out over the crowd.

What'd she do with the previous victim? Well, he's currently chilling out — literally — on the ground in front of the little group. Even while eyes are searching, mouth keeps going. Tabby never really stops talking. "Dress appropriately for the season? Hey, anything that gets all eyes on me /is/ appropriate, Peteypie, and /yes,/ the hookers fly. You should've been there when they— hold up a second, smile!" the speedster is nothing if not photogenic and photo-friendly, flashing a peace sign at the camera and posing her best atop Groot. Why? Because she /can./

"Well, you know, nevermind. I found /him/ thattaway," she points, leaning over a bit to make sure Groot can see where she's pointing, "I bet we'll see her if we go in that direction. Or just follow the trail of frozen johns on the way."

*

The suspicious alleyway, as mentioned, is flanked by a pair of large wooden bears. Dingy awnings hang over the windows of a corner cafe of sorts. In the summer this might be a handsome little terrace, and the break between the buildings probably has bistro chairs all the way down instead of just two or three clustered in a corner. Groot may find the particular space very narrow and a tight squeeze, as it's not intended to be very wide. On the other hand, the view of the shingles and tar paper on the rooftops reveals lots of fire code violations. The next street back has a number of squashed residential flats among businesses, and it's here the ice keeps on spreading. What, whores spreading hoar frost do leave a trail, even if the temperature is warm enough to make that melt pretty fast. It's easy to find because Peter, at least, is at pretty heavy risk of wiping out if he doesn't watch his footing.

*

The disruption of muttering pedestrians and rubber-neckers in the street helps too, though predictably, someone shouts: "There's a girl riding a tree!" In Ukrainian, but the tone conveys so much disbelief.

*

ROLL: Tommy +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 21

*

ROLL: Groot +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 27

*

ROLL: Star-Lord +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 85

*

"I am /Groot/." Is Groot's reply to Quill at the comment about wingmen, and the three word phrase conveys so very much, to those who grok the nuances and meanings within it. So very much. A huff and Groot turns to lumber off in the direction that Tabby's pointed, trying to keep his shoudlers still such that the girl gets a moderately smooth ride. Mostly. He's a fairly obedient steed, pausing when she asks for a pause, although the smile? Not exactly what /others/ might call much of a smile, more something out of a horror novel, truthfully.

Groot grunts softly as they travel, looking at various trees and plants along the way, displeased and unimpressed sounds, even a growl that doesn't inspire warm fuzzies about his opinion on urban landscaping.

Groot pauses at the entrance to the alleyway, looking more in line with the bears than with his companions. "I am Groot?"

*

Quill trails after Groot and his passenger.. letting out a faint curse as he nearly slips on the ice-slick pavement at the mouth of the alleyway, even with his tough and sturdy space-boots. His hand is extended to brace him agaisnt the wall, and in doing so he glances down the street.. pausing and taking a slightly longer look as something rather pleasant, but still obviously incongruous catches his attention.

"Hey, so what do these hookers look like, more specifically?" He asks up towards tabby, jerking his thumb down the street towards a crowded-looking cafe a block or so away, on the corner. "'Cause a girl wearin' even less than you, which is as I already expressed, not exactly the normal fashion for this time of year, just went into that cafe." Trust Quill to spot a scantily-clad girl through a crowd from half a street away.

He doesn't seem bothered by people snapping picture- he /is/ the famous Star-Lord, after all, even if usually when someone wants to take his picture it's for a mugshot. At least he's finished his hotdog now, and tossed the paper tray it was in into a convinient garvage can as he directs Groot and Tabby's attention towards the cafe.

*

The lovely cafe in question… isn't very lovely. Ironic given it's next to a beauty supply store promisingly called 'Happy Gorgeous' and carpet place upstairs in the three-story brick row of businesses. Half the signs in here are in Russian or other Cyrillic languages, but the red sign hanging over the corner cafe is most unlikely: "Havana."

Right, Cafe Havana in the middle of Little Odessa. The glass-fronted wood door is completely fogged up, and figures move around inside. It's probably the exact sort of place where Grandpa goes to smoke and drink from a samovar all day long. It feels tired just to look at it. But there are a pair of people playing chess in the front table, or they were. Maybe because their jaws are on the floor.

*

Sadly, Tabby is all guesses when it comes to that particular three word phrase, and she almost certainly misses the mark when she agrees that, "Alright, alright. If we track down and stop the crazy space hooker, /I'll/ be your wingman. Wingwoman. Chick magnet. Whatever." Because that can't go badly at all, right? Riiiight.

Of course, being up here… and out here in this weather… when carrying around cold stiffs and chasing a chilly trail? Leads to being, well, cold. As Quill mentioned, she isn't wearing nearly as much as maybe she should be in times like this, and staying /still/ has made that problem worse, so cue the uncomfortable squirming.

What do they look like? "Kinda human looking. Giant racks. Ancient-times clothing, you know, like steampunk, kinda." Maybe he doesn't know. Was Steampunk a thing in the 60s? Tabby may be remembering it from her present-past. "…but it sounds like you got your eyes on a winner, and I ain't just talkin' about me."

The man shouting in Ukrainian? Gets Tabby's best well-practiced grin and a wave — she's a showoff, what can she say? — before hopping down to the ground with all the grace of a falling rock but still managing to land on her feet after a little last-second manuvering, and that grin is flashed back to her, well, backup. Partners? Co-stars? They'll argue over billing later. "I'll head in and see if she's there, you fellas meet me there." And /zoom./ She's gone in a blur, and inside the Havana before anyone can bat an eye.

*

Groot leans over at Quill's indication towards a specific cafe, having learned to utterly trust in his ability to spot half naked women at any distance. It's a gift. Truly. He's ignoring picture taking at this point, possibly eternally grateful that it is not the era of cellphone cameras and snapchat, as the only one who is not delightedly mugging for the paparazzi.

Groot settles back to his usual city size when Tabby jumps off him and turns to head towards the Havana at a more civilized pace, trusting in Quill to come along with him.

*

For those who saunter at wingman speeds, it takes a minute to get over to the Havana.

It's a lifetime in Tabby terms. She'll find the rime of ice on the door handle, breaking off in her now cold and wet hand. Inside the business is rocking, given the place is aligned into a constellation of tables in the front, all occupied. The narrow, skinny kitchen is half visible, taking up the right hand side of the building. The left is taken up by vinyl booths, crooked tables laden in teapots and plates. The counter where the kitchen is ought to have stools, but there are plenty of folks chatting there at their leisure, and young people playing chess or cards. A back exit of some kind opens into the washrooms and the street. One would expect a wench to stand out, but the population density is comparable to Monaco. And if Tabby stands on a chair, maybe she can see the woman sitting on a fellow's lap, chatting in animated terms with a circle of others who happen to be really interested in her assets.

*

"I'm not sure the sort of chick you'd magnet would be the sort that'd do me any good," Quill notes somewhat distractedly to Tabby, but before any more can be explored in that direction, she has hopped down off of Groot and sped off, quite literally, to check out the cafe. He blinks a few times, then asides to Groot, the ever-present straight-man, "You know I like my women fast, but that's ridiculous."

He seems happy to approach the cafe at a more reasonable pace, though, subtly adjusting the fall of his coat and letting his hand stray underneath it in order to rest lightly on the hilt of one of his futuristic-looking pistols, though he doesn't actually draw it, not wanting to cause any more of a commotion than Groot causes just by existing. "Wait here." He tells Groot, because a 7-foot tree-man in an already overcrowded city diner seems like a poor idea. Then the follows Tabby inside.

*

ROLL: Hope +rolls 1d20 for a result of: 1

*

Stand on a chair? Well, that's not a bad idea.

…but Tabby Shepherd is the King (Queen?) of Bad Ideas, not of /good/ ideas. So whereas getting a little high-ground would be the smart thing to do, she focuses on a bottle of some dark-colored liquid labelled in a language that she doesn't understand (most of them) and lets those molecules start speeding up.

"SHOOTER, HIT THE DECK!" shrieks the girl — remaining standing herself even as the bottle explodes in a pretty, noisy *pop* . No, it's not enough to become taller than everyone else with the aid of furniture. Better that everyone /else/ make themselves shorter than she is. Hail to the Queen, baby.

…besides. If she remembers the time one of those things was snacking on her Uncle? A little thing like gunfire won't cause any interruption in her meal, and if she and said meal are the only other ones that /don't/ drop to the ground…

*

The appearance of a giant tree would be enough to start mutters running around the room in Russian, Polish, Belarusian. A common word repeated: "Leshy!"

Quite a number of words are considerably harsher, too. All that before a bottle of questionable sauce goes flying at the wall, or floor, or explodes into a ruckus.

Plenty of the occupants are survivors of the War, be it first or second. The younger know to drop, though there just isn't a lot of floor space to do that on. People duck down, and at least three people cover Saffron, pushing her under the table. Not for the reasons expected, either, but simply to protect her from the mad woman. Mutters and cries in the kitchen section lead to a lot of banging pans, and hissing hot oil.

*

Quill quickly realizes he was right to leave Groot waiting outside- not only is the crowd hostile, only seeing him through the window, but there'd also hardly be /room/ for him. Especially not when Tabby sets off a small explosion and starts shouting about a shooter, which leaves Quill standing awkwardly in the doorway, his hand on the hilt of a pistol under his coat, very obvious considering everyone else (other than Tabby) has just dropped to the floor.

"Oh, just great." He mutters.. and then shrugs. Well. When in Rome. Quickly (hopefully before anyone can get a good look at his actual face), his hand snaps up to press the button on the nearly-invisible technological doohicky behind his hear, and with a faint 'whoosh' his helmet unfolds, locking around his head. In a moment his face is obscured by the featureless metal mask-featureless, of course, except for the two overlarge, round, and glowing red eyes. In the same motion, with the fluid ease of long practice, he whips out the pistol his hand had been resting on, an almost half-moon shaped, obviously alien piece that is also obviously a gun, and points it out over the crowd.

The mask does nothing to obscure his voice, strangely, perhaps even amplifying it slightly as he calls out, "Alright /listen up/. This ain't my first holdup but I'm not here for your cash. We're looking for a girl. Short skirt, possibly dripping icicles. Hand her over and nobody has to get hurt."

*

Girl in a short skirt? The very notion earns a reproving /stare/ from a gentleman who probably stood in as Methuselah's younger brother. "You'd assault a lady?" Right, bring it, big boy. He probably chewed up and spat out Nazis for fun when they tried to steal his tractor.

*

The remainder of the restaurant staff and guests, however, are very much preoccupied with hiding. Hiding is safe. Hiding means they don't have to explain to Baba why they came home with holes in their mended shirt and got shot in the middle of Brighton Beach. Panic probably ensues the moment they all consider that an ambling tree is in their midst, that girl shot something, and Grandmother is going to have a fit. Those who can try to crawl out the back way, others start shouting and yelling in fear. Someone flings a bottle at the front window, maybe hoping that's a distraction or a way out. It's a very narrow place. Someone else starts pointing at Groot, another person points at the table where the party of six plus one vampire was, and then get a stern shouting for 'Do not help the robbers.'

*

Groot is outside. Groot is attracting /plenty/ of attention outside, and is listening to the antics going on inside. Which.. to be fair.. sound about on par with most of the antics of the GotG crew, so at least he's well familiar with chaos, pops, improv ill advised dialogue, and the need to wonder what /exactly/ the plan was. If there was a plan. He clearly should have been paying closer attention.

Groot leans down, to peer in the doorway directly behind where Peter is playing hostage situation and rumbles out a resonating. "I am Groot."

Subtle, but at least he's not Leshy by name. Exactly.

*

Nobody is playing hostage situation- this is about rescuing the populace from an unruly vampire. Star-Lord, takes a few steps forward as somebody points at the table where the people + vampire were, eyes narrowing and gun pointed. "Alright, if there's any space-hooker-vampires over there, will you kindly stand up so I can shoot you and we can all go home?" He pauses, then reaches over and bashes the cash register so it pops open, grabbing a handful of bills and stuffing them in a pocket. Hey, you gotta make it /look/ good, right? Otherwise they'd never buy it.

As some oolder gentleman calls him out on wanting to assault a lady, he makes a disinterested scoffing sound. "Sit down, grandpa. Half the ladies I know could break me in half, they're a lot scarier than you are and so, supposedly, is this space-hooker."

*

Well. That didn't exactly work out as planned. So it was time to play distraction; Tabby runs over to the man who tried to confront Quill, throwing her arms around him. "Mister, please! She ain't no lady, she's… she's… some kinda /monster!/ Look what she did to my /hair!/ I'm sposta be a brunette! She attacked my boyfriend and, and… it was horrible, it was like… she /froze/ him, right in front of me!"

Cue the fake waterworks and inconsolableness. Star-Lord at least has the guns. Tabby has… well, she can move really fast and make non-living things explode. The latter one doesn't really apply to /people,/ and the last time she tried to charge one of these things…

*
Groot is a terrifying, wondrous creature and cause for even louder shouts and stares. The mayhem is going to cost the Havana's owners for days. They have no awareness the hit to their bottom line. Shouts and frantic waving of arms start pointing through the back table where the six men and one whore, Saffron, is squashed under the table, and bodies. She really isn't visible off the bat because flesh on her is a great shield, and she has no reason to complain. One of the men hasn't got a qualm about getting up, hands in the air.

*

Coming inside is not going to be much of an option for Groot, but he certainly fills a doorway. There's a little nudge to Quill as it doesnt' quite look like anyone is offering up a 'space-hooker' just yet, and it appears that someone is going to have to go looking for her. Fortunately the shouting and pointing makes the hunting really easy. He's really very careful not to break anything, just keepign people from coming in, or leaving by this entrance. "I am groot."

*

Star-Lord advances towards that conspicuous table as people point towards it more demandingly, and as Groot backs him up from the doorway, giving the tree-man a nod. He'll stop any runners of the vampy sort, that's for sure. He has to pick his way over and around the fleeing people, but he manages to do so without letting the pointed gun waver overmuch, as his featureless, bug-eyed mask surveys the scene, relaying all sorts of interesting and relevant information to him through the built-in hud.. including the body temperature of the people under the table, one of which is noticably lower. In the 'should be dead' range.

Which is why he feels no qualms about pulling a person out of the way, then upending the table altogether, to free the people underneath to go scurry like bugs from under an overturned log. His pistols levels right at the chick with the way-too-low body-temp reading. "Alright, miss. Buffet's closed."

*

Hope has partially disconnected.

*

Saffron glares up at the bug-eyed man. "You are rude," she snaps, and the English would make the likes of Jonathan Swift feel right at home. Apply a heavy 17th century filter. "Right poxed donkey you are, taking your lot like I'm not quality. I has you know I am, and these gents were enjoying my fine company, they were. Look at you, crashing about like a great big ox." Her lip drags down in a pout, and the beauty spot under her eye — a heart — flicks black as she pulls herself up. She's not pale, this one, beautifully tanned with a wealth of dark brown hair styled into loose curls, with cleavage that… well. Inadequacy issues are natural for most women. Her pout deepens as she frowns at the pistol and she stands, all impressive five feet of her. "I'll earn a coin honestly elsewhere. Chips and bits, boys."

*

There have been so many people, mostly women, on so many planets who have uttered those words at some combination of Quill and Star-Lord, that it's really just part of the soundtrack that comes along when travelling with Quill. The spider plant that hangs in the window disagrees at least. She likes you, Quill!

Groot watches the pout, and the table flipping and lets a few people who are quite distinctly human and not their icy quarry leave, watching the 'conversation' that's going on with Ice Hooker and Star-Lord. "I am Groot?"

*

Quill, for a moment, stares at the woman. I mean, honestly its pretty hard to tell considering his face is hidden behind that glowy-eyed mask, but there's still something about the silent regard which says he appreciates the view. But only for a moment. "Uh huh. Look, I have it on good authority that you've been freezing people alive, or something," He casts a glance back towards Groot, "And also trees. I been away for a while but I'm fairly certain that's against the rules."

He waves his pistol, no doubt causing several people to dive for cover unintentionally, "And that little lass over there," Tabby, he's indicating, "Has requested my assistance in putting a stop to it, so I'm afraid I can't just let you wander off to go freeze people somewhere else."

*

She gets up, provided that Quill allows her to do so. She smooths her hands over her ridiculously short skirt, and raises her chin. Oh, she looks human, and mostly acts human. She isn't floating, in other words. "Trees? What do you mean, trees? It is not something I want to do. And I only offer them a little kiss now and then." Her breath huffs out. No fangs, gentlemen, only the look of a lush without a heart of gold being irritated. "Who is she? I will leave, or else, where will I go?"

*

"I am Groot." The tree in the doorway has comments to make on the fact that Saffron hasn't even /noticed/ the havoc she has wrought upon the plant life of the city. No one thinks of the trees, and their confusion about spring versus winter. The maples can't just put on a sweater!

Groot still hasn't entirely entered the cafe, he still wouldnt fit, even with people having fled the scene, so his commentary is all coming from the doorway. "I am Groot."

*

Star-Lord looks momentarily at a loss-fairly legitimately, as he hadn't actually considered what to /do/ with a space-hooker-vampire once you catch it. It's not like he has a convinient cell to throw her in, nor does he have any ins with the local police. Nor is he about to just shoot her. Maybe if she attacked him, but so far all she's done is snark and look stroppish.

Finally, his eyes alight upon the door to the walk-in freezer in the kitchen of the diner, glimpsed through the door to the kitchen. Aha! Poetic justice. He gestures with the gun. "C'mon. Over there." Assuming she complies, he pulls open the large, heavy door to the freezer, and pushes her in.. then slams it again, throwing the latch on the other side, locking her in. "There. You can.." He pauses, looking around, then sighing at the lakc of approving audience before finishing, "Chill out in there for a little while. At least until I figure out what Tabby wants to do with you." He glances back to the girl in the other room, who had asked for their help in the first place.

*

Tree, probably not interested in her. On the other hand, men… A little wiggly bounce follows as Saffron rocks on her heels. Her clothes ought to be tearing apart at this point, but somehow don't. Her lips part as Quill pushes her along into the freezer, and she's not exactly up to doing this whole lockstep thing. Her hand may land on his arm long enough to hint she's not a spindly little thing, balancing herself to avoid sliding. But there she goes, stuck in the Havana freezer. Her hands bang on the door. "You can't do this! They'll have a great run on me when I come out, and gentlemen, I get awful peaky when I'm cold!" This is probably not helping anyone's imagination out there. "I am afeared I will remember this!"

*

"Leshy would like some water?" peeps one of the few remaining people, a man about twenty-five, peering with goggled eyes over the counter. He has a rather heavy accent, but he pushes a glass full. Just in case.

*

Groot huffs softly as the girl is very appropriately shoved in the freezer and he folds his arms across his chest as he looms in the doorway. Filling the doorway. "I am groot." He comments in Star-Lord's direction. And then over to where Tabby is currently dealing wiht other things, and then back to Quill and Saffron. He does look over at the young man behind the counter and squints there, stretching a branch out, and out.. and out.. to claim the glass of water. "I am Groot." Introduction, or thanks, or both.

*

Quill regards the girl pounding on the other side of the door. He could feel the strength in her grip as she briefly touched his arm.. perhhaps grateful she didn't decide to try and fight any more fiercely than that. He simply shrugs at her through the door. "You do that, hun. You are no longer my problem." He turns then, walking back out into the main room of the restaurant, then out the door. He keeps his mask on because he really doesn't want the cops knocking on his hotel room door later asking why he robbed a cafe earlier.

As he passes Groot, he pats the tree-guy on the arm. "C'mon big guy, let's blow this pop stand and let Tabby sort out what to do with her vampire." He waits until they are safely away from the area before he removes the mask again.

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