1964-10-07 - Junkyard Dogs
Summary: Hope and Kamala investigate some wrong-doing.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
hope kamala 

It's been a busy week for Kamala Khan. Between telling Gwen and Mary Jane that she can't be the bass player for the Mary Janes, and the whole no contact from her Inhuman cousins has the young woman concerned. But one thing is happening locally that also has her worried as she called up Hope. It was a pretty simple request. 'Can you meet me in Jersey City? There's something weird going on here.' she asks, and if Hope agreed, she'd ask her to meet her at a salvage yard just outside the city limits.

Turning down a friend in need of help isn't something Hope has in her. So when Kamala calls, she's quick to agree, pausing at the mansion long enough to pick up a gun and a knife before promptly catching a bus and a train to Jersey City. Just because she's at the mansion doesn't mean she actually has her own transportation. She figures it out well enough though, flipping up the collar of her coat as she approaches the junkyard.

Kamala hasn't gone into the junkyard yet. Noticing Hope's approach, the young woman raises her hand in greetings - and probably doesn't even realize that Hope is packing as she steps up to give her a quick hug. "Thanks for coming. There's been like.. strange lights and noises from here. The police haven't bothered to check, but a couple of teens from school came by a few days ago, and they haven't been back to class yet."

"Disappearing kids is definitely a universal sign of something not being right," Hope agrees, returning the hug before she sticks her hands back into her pockets, giving the junkyard a speculative look. "Do you know anything else about the place? Who owns it, how long they've owned it? Anyone here during the day, during normal business hours?"

"I .. really haven't investigated." Kamala looks down for a moment as she's already stepping behind a dumpster and taking off her tunic to expose the bukini beneath - it's not like she wants to change out in the open, but she hasn't figured this all out yet. Obviously. The girl slips on her domino masks and frowns. "..I guess I should have looked into all that first, huh?"

Hope smiles faintly, lifting one shoulder in a shrug. "It helps," she admits, half turning away to give Kamala some privacy as she looks the place over herself. Checking the fence, security, any cameras. Listening for dogs, or guards. "It's all right, though. I'm not sure how much of that information is readily available in this time anyhow. And if there are missing kids in there, they might not have long enough to wait for us to find out either."

|ROLL| Hope +rolls 1d20 for: 7

No cameras. And oddly, not even a junkyard dog to speak of. It seems the place was deserted for the most part - the piles near the outside of the junkyard fence are disogranized and a messay array, as expected. Depending on how much Hope knows about junkyards, she may notice that the crane that moves around the piles is actually missing.

Finishing her changing, Kamala tucks her clothes into her bag and grins. "Well, I thought you might be tired of the boring things, and could totally help me with this. I mean. Probably not very exciting, but who knows, right?" she asks. "So. Do you want to just go through the gate, or over the fence?" So, this might be Kamala's first mission.

"It's…pretty quiet," Hope murmurs, giving the area one more good look. "It doesn't look like there's anyone here, so we might as well take the easy way in and go through the gate. No sense in hurting ourselves climbing fences if we don't have to." She checks the small of her back, again at her calf, then nods to herself before stepping forward. "All right. So. When you move through a place and you're not sure of the safety, you want to move quietly. Keep to perimeters, and follow a grid pattern where you can. Try to get a look around corners before you move forward, and make sure the space is clear before you move to the next area."

Oooh, we're getting lessons, and Kamala is an eager student before she nods. "Right, so.. no kicking down the gates and going 'Avengers Assemble'. Right." she says teasingly. There's a grin over at Hope before she goes serious. The gate is unlocked, if not open, Kamala the first one moving through before sulking behind one of the piles of metal. "Looks like a scene from 'Alas, Babylon'.. is this what the future sorta looks like?" she asks Hope. Though she doesn't realize that may not be an appropriate question.

"Parts of it, yeah," Hope answers, rueful. "Except the trash is more everywhere, and the paths are less clear." She steps carefully, feet rolling across the ground in silence as she stays near the edges of the stacks where she can see most of what's around her without worrying what's at her back.

"Sounds terrible. I know it's bad. We can all try to fix it.." Kamala starts to say as she glances towards the future mutant. As they get deeper into the junkyard, the piles seem more picked through, and throughly assembled into neat organized groups. An OCD junkman? Perhaps. There's a small rattle from amongst the ruined metal, a skitter of a rat running out from one of the piles.

Hope stills at the sound, holding an arm out to stop Kamala before she recognizes the source. "It looks like someone's been through here," she murmurs. "Which is interesting, because from the outside, it doesn't look like anyone's actually keeping track of things here. No one at the gate, no dogs, no guards. No signs with hours, even. So if it's empty…" She nods toward one stack. "This shouldn't all be so…organized."

|ROLL| Kamala +rolls 1d20 for: 7

|ROLL| Hope +rolls 1d20 for: 7

|ROLL| Kamala +rolls 1d20 for: 10

The piles are indeed too neat and organized. And it was Hope that picked up on it, not Kamala. As the rat skitters across the yard, there's a sudden loud skittering-skree and a makeshift trap drops down, capturing the rat within. "You did not think I noticed you, did you?" comes the voice. The pile of wreckage shifts and moves, exposing a robot made of various parts, car and otherwise as sitting at the controls is a.. well, to call him a man is being generous. He's vaguely man shaped. But his head? His head is that of a giant cockatoo, while his arms are the wings. "I am Thomas Ava Edison, but you can call me.. THE INVENTOR."

In a blink of an eye, Hope has a handgun out and aimed at the creature controlling the robot, hands and eyes steady. "See, even for me, that's weird," she asides to Kamala without looking away. "Nice to meet you, Inventor," she calls back to the robot bird. "We're looking for some kids that disappeared around here in the last couple days. Any chance you've seen them too?"

"Oh? Those kids? They were here smoking pot and just doing nothing, so I convinced them to do something worthwhile with their lives." the Inventor offers, as Kamala blinks at Hope and side-eyes. "Are we making him monologue? That. Is. So. Cool." she murmurs quietly, trying to hide a squee as the Inventor continues. "…as I was saying, they have a better use!" Turning around the robot that stands at almost nine feet tall, there's a chamber on the back, where on the of the teens is floating currently in some type of translucent glue, with diodes attached around his body. "You see, his natural body heat powers my machine!"

"Well, you know. Sometimes they're smart enough not to share, but if you don't ask, they don't tell," Hope murmurs aside to Kamala, quirking a brow as the mad bird goes on about his scheme. Her expression hardens, though, when she sees the teen trapped in the pod on his back. "All due respect, Inventor, but you know you can't just use people as batteries. Even if they're just a bunch of kids smoking pot. So…how about you let them go, we leave, and we can all move on with our lives?"

"Noo, that's not a good idea. Their unique physiology is what makes my machines run properly." the Inventor explains as he straightens his double-breasted vest. "And they volunteered anyway, so there's nothing you can do about it!" he says with a slightly haughty air as his plummage stands up a little. "I just convinced them that they are not doing anything better with their lives, so I gave them purpose and reason."

Kamala frowns. "I don't think they agreed to be batteries or something like that.." the girl says, straightening up as she tries to make herself look taller. Even if she can really make herself bigger.

"I doubt they did," Hope agrees with Kamala. "That, or you didn't exactly tell them about the fine print. What sort of unique physiology?" she asks, still keeping the gun steady and aimed, her back to one of the larger trash piles. Might as well get a little bit more monologue out of it, right?

Remember that rat from earlier? As close as Hope is to it, she can see through it's eyes and has some semblance of control over it. Though she's not the only one. "Those that were born with that extraneous gene, or course. With me, they lose that unwanted ability that they do not wish to have and instead, they get to rest peacefully while I drain that extra power away.." Along with, you know, their life, but that's the fine print for you.

"Perhaps I could do the same for you? Is there something that you don't want? Something that makes you feel.. unwanted. Unneeded? Perhaps you should consider joining us?"

"Trust me on this one," Hope smirks. "That would definitely be biting off more than you can chew." She lowers the gun, holstering it at the small of her back and holding up her hands as if to show she has no other weapons. A patent lie, but no sense in holding the gun until her hands start to shake. "I'm going to go out on a limb and say these probably aren't the first kids you've snagged, yeah?"

"When do we punch him?" Kamala asks Hope, a frown on her face as she listens to the conversation and her expression darkens at Hope's question as she glances between Hope and the bird boy.

"You mean assisted. I do not take anyone that does not want to be taken. The dredges of society. Those that are otherwise useless to the world, no? It is a service I provide!" he says, preening himself for a moment before he considers the girls. "I do hope you're not planning an attack. I would hate to release my machines upon you to protect myself and my projects."

Hope flicks a glance toward Kamala when the inventor mentions robots, telling: when he finishes telling us about what we need to defend against. "Hey, I put my weapon down," she points out, smiling faintly. "I'm just trying to find out how good our odds are, really. I mean, if these are the first kids you've taken, then hey, maybe it was just luck the first time. On the other hand, if you've got, say, a whole room full of kids under a pile of trash or something, then I know we're in bug trouble here, majorly outgunned."

"Tsk! Do you not know the lesson of Schrodinger and his cat, child?" the Inventor says as he gestures about the yard at all of the junkpiles. "These can all be my minions, or they could all not be. You will not know until it is too late. Hence, you should just take my advice and leave here unless you are here to become one of my experiments? You and the dark one there, no."

Kamala frowns mightily. But she's trusting in Hope. She knows the girl is far more experienced than she is when it comes to these things, but she calls out. "Hey! You in the tube! You know.. you're not useless! you should come out of there!" You know, in case the guy inside the machine can hear her.

"No, I've had my fill of experiments, thanks. And tests. But I'm not really the sort who can just…leave some kids to power your machine. I mean, what if you were lying to me about them agreeing to it?" Hope points out, as if it's the most reasonable thing in the world. "That would just be irresponsible of me, you know? So how about you wake the kids up, we clear this whole misunderstanding up, and then we can go on our merry way?"

|ROLL| Hope +rolls 1d10 for: 10

"Teens these days. So disrespectful!" the bird man chirrups angrilly. "But if you want them to wake up! Very well!" Pressing a button on a small control panel inside of his jacket, the Inventor steps back, cackling in a birdish way. Really, this was Hope's plan? Kamala's looking worried, and more than a bit dubious as she steps backwards, making a pair of giant fists that start to glow with bioluscent energy.

Other piles start to move. Joining the rat powered boy are several - nine other piles of junk that come to life. Besides the rat powers, she can feel other powers coming into contact with her. "Hope.." Kamala mutters gently.

"Yeah, I hear you," Hope murmurs to Kamala, half turning to keep an eye on the moving piles around herself. "They're mutants," she says quietly. "I can feel them. But I've got no way of knowing if they're really with him, or if they're just under his influence. Which means we need to try to keep them alive. We can't just…take them out."

|ROLL| Kamala +rolls 1d20 for: 2

|ROLL| Kamala +rolls 1d20 for: 14

The powers that Hope can feel are minor. A little electrical redirection. The ability to create quills on the skin. Color changing.. really, there's ten mutants here, Hope has some leeway with what's available.

"Mutants, okay.." Kamala draws in a breath as the first one comes charging in, lumbering to take a swing at the costumed hero. The young woman bends backwards from the clumsy punch and the girl makes her hands really large to grab the robotic monster to hold it. "They don't seem to have the same want to be nice to us!"

"Well, you know. I didn't say it was going to be easy." Hope clambers up a pile of trash, soaking in the abilities and shuffling through them for what's of use. Color-changing…well, it'll help her blend in some, at least, even if it doesn't extend to her clothes. The electrical manipulation may be of more use. Carefully, she feels out the machinery around the inventor, using the eyes of the rats to keep track of what's around her.

"You have the best ideas for going out." Fine, so it was Kamala's idea, but still. The robot that Kamala's holding struggles in her grasp as another one comes rumbling up on her and swings around a large metal rob. Kamala's hit solidly and lets go of the first mech as she goes tumbling. "…ow." she winces as she feels the pain in her back from the hit and the girl pushes herself up with a heavy frown.

"I'm pretty sure you called me," Hope points out, pulling out her gun again. "Try to immobilize them," she calls back to the other girl. "Take out joints. They're less of a threat if they can't move." Meanwhile, she takes aim at the Inventor and his rig, trying to shoot out connections that let him draw power from his prisoners.

"You.. may have a point there." Kamala manages as she hears Hope's instructions. Trip them up? Okay, that she can do! Pulling herself up, she stretches out, wrapping an arm around one of the legs on a mech and yanking it hard to send it onto it's back. The mech flails, but there's still several more mechs to replace it.

The bullet bounces from the Inventor's machine and causes the bird to squawk angrilly. "You come into my home! Make comments about things you don't understand! And now you are shooting at me! What an imputent child you are!" he calls out as sends one of the mechs to try to stomp on Hope.

"Shockingly, not the first time I've heard that one," Hope smirks back at the Inventor, waiting for the mech to come closer before leaping onto its shoulders. Sentinels are something she's all too familiar with, so fighting robots? Not the worst threat she can think of.

"Hey! Get off of there!" the Inventor calls out as Hope gets on top of the mech. The teenager battery flails at the woman on it's shoulder. Kamala in the meantime, grabs one of the teenager tubes and yanks it from the machine with a rip of machinery. The tube comes out after a moment and the machine shuts down. "Hey, I think I've got this, Hope!" she calls out. "Weakpoint! Sever the cables!"

"Noted!" Hope calls over to Kamala, trading out her gun for the knife in her boot to saw at the cable. "Sorry!" she shouts back to the Inventor. "Can't hear you. Sounds like cranky old bird-man." Yeah, she's a little bit mouthy.

"I'm not a bird!" the Inventor brrs as he calls out in response to the woman taunting him. "I am the genetic clone of Thomas Alva Edison! And superior to him!" The cockatiel's feathers ruffle slightly. He takes a hard swing towards Hope, willing to knock aside one of his own peons in order to try to get to the young woman.

The tube that Kamala opens and the girl stares down into it. "…you really wanted to be a battery?" she asks in confusion.

"…n-no!" the teenager says. "Then get out of here!" she snaps, as she's moving quickly to try to pull out another teen from their machine.

"I'm pretty sure we would have heard if Thomas Edison was a bird," Hope calls back, jumping back from the robot and pulling a tube free as she jumps to the ground. "I mean, that would be a big deal. Also, did you know he mostly copied other people? Underhanded crap. Instead of doing his own work. Did you borrow these robots from someone?" she asks, dashing toward the next robo-minion.

"I am NOT a bird!" Was that a squawk? That was totally a squawk as the Inventor starts to chase after Hope, but notices his gauges as Kamala frees another teenager. "..ah. Very smart. Distracting me while your friend attacks my machines. But it will be for naught!" Who the hell says naught anymore?

Kamala rips open one of the containers, reaching in to pull out the teenager within when her eyes suddenly get wide. Looking down, there's a piece of rebar sticking out of her side that one of the other robots has shoved into her from behind. She gives a sharp cry of pain, and a massive fist slams into the robot minion, sending it flying as she stumbles from the wreckage, her hand at her side.

"Kamala!" Hope exclaims, jaw setting angrily as she sees the damage done to her friend. "All right. Now you're in trouble, bird-brain," she growls at the Inventor, a spark of electricity in her eyes now. The power she's borrowing isn't much, but redirection is worth a try. Pulling from the apparatus that powers the villain, she pushes the electricity directly into his bird-head.

ZOT! The Inventor takes a full taser to the brain, and the birdman with the brain of Thomas Edision gives a sharp squawk as he falls over and gets all swirly eyed unconscious. With his demise and defeat, the other machines shut down around him, the doors opening to free the teenagers from it.

Kamala keeps her hands huge to cover her wound, even though it's hurting like hell and the girl's on the verge of tears. "…Hope." she says quietly. "Wasn't paying attention to my surroundings." Of course, she's going to chide herself.

"We were a little bit outnumbered," Hope points out as she rushes over, falling to her knees next to the other girl. "Where did they hit you? Let me see what's happened," she says with quiet intensity. "You're a shape-shifter, right? That means- that means you're moving your body around all the time, putting things right."

"Just a little? Schrodinger's cat can go back in it's box, thanks." Kamala nods a little and withdraws her hands. "The things I do for you." she murmurs playfully, before closing her eyes, and gasps softly. "It hurts." she says, as she starts to return to her baseline, Hope can tell the wound is already starting to quickly knit itself closed as she returns to what is considered her 'base' form.

"Well yeah, getting stabbed is supposed to hurt," Hope agrees, letting out a breath of relief as she sees the wound starting to knit back together. "That way it reminds you not to do it again. Damn, I really sound like Nathan," she mutters, falling back onto her heels and pushing a hand through her hair, heedless of the blood. "You did good though, Kamala. Figuring out how to disconnect the kids and get them free."

"Guess I need more training." Kamala murmurs. "You were the one that knocked him out, though!" she points out and gives a slight lean against Hope for a moment before pushing up a little. "..we should get going, I think. Police?" comes the next question. "And I'm suddenly really really hungry."

"I'm gonna guess that healing burns a lot of energy," Hope says, reaching an arm behind Kamala's shoulder to help her up. "So yeah, we should get you some food. And call the police, to make sure clean-up gets here. Let's get out of here, stop at a phone booth, and then stop at the nearest diner to get you something to eat. Sound good?"

There's a blush for who knows what reason before Kamala leans against the hold. "Yes, sounds great." she murmurs. "Phone. Food. Lots of food. All you can eat buffet?" she asks hopefully.

Hope laughs, standing up slowly so she can offer support. "Yeah, sure, if we can find one at this hour. With a stop to get you changed in between, too," she adds, slinging Kamala's arm over her shoulders as she starts to pick her way out of the junkyard. "Next time, I think I get to pick the activities."

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