1964-02-24 - Crunch Time
Summary: Don't mess with a lady praying mantis.
Related: N/A
Theme Song: None
vx ne ford hope 


Ford waved off Alan as he locked the doors to the garage office. It had been a busy past couple of days. Word of Ford's 'rescue' the young 16 year old from working for a mob chop shop and subsequently convincing his boss to give the boy a job under his instruction had spread on Ford's little corner of the city. People were calling him a genuine hero… a title he rankled under and quelled whenever he heard someone mentioning it. Still, folks had brought by all sorts of thank yous for looking out for a younger member of the block, and he was frankly at a loss of what to do with it all.

While the garage was closed technically, Ford kept the workshop door raised and the radio playing loud enough to be heard from the street clearly. At the moment, he stood staring at the bench full of plates of homemade cookies, prepped dinners, a few new (if slightly useless to him) tools, and other small gifts folks had stopped by with. What in the world was he going to do with all of this stuff?


The first sign of trouble, if trouble can be defined as a rather tall firecracker with red hair, comes from an adjacent rooftop. Flypaper and chipped bricks tend to discourage pigeons and squatters. A three-storey brownstone weighed down by the years ends up as the personal jungle gym for her, a rather anonymous figure in a baggy coat and comfortable flat shoes with her worn-out jeans. She tumbles over a metal box, jumping across the fan unit to land into a tumble. Someone might see red shoes in the air, probably less of her upright. Hope rolls off her shoulder and keeps moving, momentum carrying her to the beveled edge of the building. Hands both strike the worn brick, and a solid kick brings both her feet around in a swiveled pivot, allowing her to drop right off the side if she wants.

Clearly, she wants. Narrow windows with thin ledges never intended for the purpose help to break her fall as she descends, leaping from gap to gap, her heels catching them as she springs her way down like a complete nutter. Because no one in this day and age does such bizarre things except, say, Spider-Man. The miraculous Menace wears jammies, though, and this one doesn't. Grabbing a metal post, she swings on that to direct herself towards the rooftop of the lower building, and then comes dropping down, landing two-footed with a distinct thump. No reindeer, too late for them, but it does rather sound like that with the light patter of hooves or something.


VX is not the kind of guy to go and check out local 'heroes' after all he had been called a hero plenty of times himself. And he knew that the truth was extremely overated, especiaally with all of the bodies he dropped in the process. But even if he doesn't want to check out the place he still finds himself in the vicinity, his motorcycle engine roaring as he tears through the streets. Sometimes you need a little freedom and if nothing else that is what his motorcycle represents to him. Freedom.


Ne herself isn't exactly going to go visiting the garage any time soon. Cookies aside, she has no car nor ability to drive. Whatever reputation Ford might be gaining? It hadn't reached her ears beyond 'that one guy who interupted a race'. It doesn't mean much to her.

Mutant town on the other hand? It ment plenty. Right now Ne was in her twin-tailed 'normal' disguise, but that doesnt make the woman any less odd as she walks with her parasol open over her shoulder. Protection from weather that isnt even there. So far? She seems unaware of Hope's presence.


Ford sighed as he placed his hands on his hips, tilting his head at these rewards. His mind was more worried about how he was going to handle what the mob would do to make him pay… and as soon as he started to think it, he heard the patter of feet on the roof! And not too far behind it, a motorcycle revving its engines. Nobody around here owned a motorcycle… so who did that belong to?

"Great. They're already coming back to bite me…" he mused, before striding outside to look up on the rooftop and see just who exactly was up there!

As it turned out, Hope was not the only one making use of the rooftops. "Well well well~ Finally found my All American Beefcake~ How have you been doing, sweetheart? Didnja miss me?" Ford's eyes went half-lidded as he looked at the curious cross of a woman and a praying mantis balancing on the lightpost across from his garage. "You're… uh, what was it again? Missus… Manatee?"

"Miss Mantis to you! And I'm hurt, sunshine. I spent so much time polishing my claws and brushing my hair for you~" Ford simply folded his arms, shaking his head. "Usually, that's my line… not that I'm complaining about a woman showing some assertion. I'm guessing you're here because of the chop shop?"


The girl springs back up and jaunts across the roof, slowing only a little to watch what goes on at ground level. Fancy people down there milling about in East Village, which by definition embodies the lower part of the middle class and working class, keep her attention for a few moments. Pulling her knit hat lower in a vain effort to hide her flaming hair, Hope prowls in a circle. She needs to keep up as much momentum as she possibly can, especially if she intends to scale any of the buildings. The rattle of a motorcycle engine has her frozen for just a moment, dropping into a crouch to determine what that is. Weird girl, maybe, except her blazing emerald gaze narrows. She might be ready to spring off.

That's before she spies the mantis woman, and every about how female mantises eat the heads of their mates hastens her to sidle away before they notice she happens to be there. Right over to the edge, down to ground level.


His engine continues to roar, in fact it grows louder as he accelerates and draws closer to the chop shop. He really isn't thinking of doing to much today, riding is how he clears his head. So all he is really concentrating on was the speedometer and the road infront of him. At least until he spots that rather distinctive and familiar parasol.

He slows down as he swerves towards the curb, his engine still loud rumbbles to almost a standstill. He pulls off his helmet as his bike putters along at a walking speed beside the rather small woman. "You know it seems like I can't get out for five minutes these days without running into you. Don't know if I am stalking you or if you are deliberatly putting yourself where I am going to be."


Ne hasn't seen the Mantis woman before, so to her? It's just some woman on the roof talking to that other guy she'd ran into with Julie. Her head tilts with curiousity, one added to with the arrival of Hope. Does noone just walk anymore?

The arrival of the bike and another familier face has her blinking, an 'innocent' shrug of her shoulders as she twirls her umbrella. Who me?


"You left quite a mess for us to clean up… Ma Gnucci is /not/ happy with you. That's on top of showing up her little boy at that street race. You're making a dangerous enemy, Beefcake."

"Sorry. Eddie should learn to drive better, and I tried to settle things reasonable at the shop."

Miss Mantis smirked, bringing up a clawed hand to stroke along the mandibles extending from her cheeks, the insect wings on her back extending and lifting her off her thin, bug-like legs as she took to hovering in the air. "Technically, I'm not supposed to be here… but bringing in your head should score me some serious brownie points… not that I care to impress those Italian gutter skunks. But the influence it brings is all too tempting a reward. What's say I give you the last kiss you'll ever get~?" Ford shifted his weight and tilted his head to the other side. "You are all too welcome to try, honey."

At his provcation, Miss Mantis's claws extend into much larger, arm length scythes, body tensed up and ready to charge down on him. But at the last second, her sight seems to lock onto another target… and it's evidently one she cannot resist. "YOU!" She shrieked in a hissy fit, before diving right for Hope as she landed. "You leave my man alone! This is between us!!!"


"People these days," replies the redhead from her corner, fully prepared to launch herself nicely down onto the sidewalk and mosey on as the mood takes her. That's right up until the point the green, chitinous woman decides to hover up in the air talking about kisses and claws, and apparently 'you' means her. The redhead swivels with some built-in sense for danger, and the difference in a mutated creature or alien's physique with hers becomes all the more apparent when she performs one hell of a backbend to avoid a claw slamming into her.

That might just send her toppling over the side of the warehouse, but better than taking a very hard, pointed claw to the ribcage. Her other reaction is nearly immediate; jump away, and draw a gun at speeds no one quite has the right to do, pointing it in a wordless defense on anything that wants to pounce. It wasn't there a second ago, and now it is, even if she's dropping ten feet. Awkward, but so be it, she knows how to break a fall at least.

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