1964-12-08 - Honey, I Cursed a Snowman
Summary: DANGEROUS SNOWMAN EVENT. Will be brave and certain enough to face down a renegade on home turf? It's New York's first big snowfall of the season, if you count maybe four to six inches as a big snowfall. Someone found an old hat, used some old carroty tech from the stone age of 1943, and now everything has gone wrong. Valerie Dixon wouldn't stop singing Frosty the Snowman so many times with different verses, so her brother, Frankie, lost his temper. Now it's not safe for anyone else to get near a slice of Brooklyn without losing an eye and a nose and their coal buttons to rocket-propelled fury. Saying I'm sorry isn't good enough. "Mom, Franklin cursed my snowman" isn't gonna fix anything either. Christmas carols have come to life, and they mean /business/.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
stephanie-brown tigra felix wanda 

The Prospect Park Parade Ground is hard to miss in Brooklyn. One, it's adjacent to the enormous botanic gardens. It even features a fake Greek temple and lots of fields that local youths sprawl over during better weather as they dream of varsity teams and the big leagues. On a snowy day like this, they should be out in droves, kicking up the white stuff gathered in a few inches of depth. There should be natural lines dividing kids of different ethnic groups and nationalities, streets and neighbourhoods, forts being constructed with speed and alacrity that even the US Army would gaze in speculative wonder upon. A row of snowmen might await decoration with all the castoff clothes that some happy homeless person will don later in the evening when little Gus and Susie and Louise have scuttled off to bed.

Unfortunately not today. The half-built fortresses are abandoned. No snow angels here, more like casualties of falls and footprints stamped into the crust by a galumphing herd of children running away. They do, too, because there are blast craters in white pockmarked on walls, on Coney Island Avenue, on the Parkside Avenue drive that leads to a metro station. Refuge for pedestrians means running away. All except two, hidden on the roof of that ugly fake temple.

"I hate you," Valerie snarls. "We can't ever have anything nice. You. Wreck. Everything!" Her imperious little ten year old voice doesn't get far.

"I said I was sorry!" snaps her brother, thirteen.

Stephanie Brown is more a night owl than a day lily. In her dark purple costume she'd stand out like a sore thumb. But Brooklyn is next door to her home in Queens, and while she'd stand out in purple… well, she stands out less, at least, in white. The young woman is wearing a puffy white parka with a hood drawn up over her head, a white scarf that is wrapped securely around her mouth and nose, and, the best she could manage on short notice, a pair of paint-stained grey pants that she snagged off a neighbor's clothesline.

She approaches Prospect Park from an oblique angle, set apart from fleeing crowds only by the direction of her travel. She stays low, moves quickly across the white and driven (and occasionally yellow where stray dogs have been) snow as she silently moves toward the temple. Get the kids out of the way ASAP, and try to figure out what the heck is going on. That's the plan.

Blast craters. Fel was just old enough to suffer through the end of the war in the Pacific, and did his miserable, frozen time in Korea. He knows what those craters mean. The detective has come out of the subway station. Civilians run away from trouble, but it's a cop's job to run towards it. It's been a long time since he was patrol, and this is hardly his beat, but….needs must.

The pistol's still at his hip, not drawn, as he crunches his way down to what seems to be the original source of the explosions.

They're not exactly the Lines of Torres Vedras, but then this isn't exactly Portugal. There's something going on here, Tigra's empathic senses make that plain even without focusing on it. People are scared, panicking, and that's brought here here. She crouches briefly at the edge of the parade ground. "Well, at least it's not Jotunheim. Warmed by that reassuring thought she sets off across the snowy fields.

Within that snowy acreage are tracks, broad and wide. Stamped footprints, too, make for a rather clear trail wherever small folk roam. Maybe even a sled route or two. But the oddly clear field is studded by those snowy berms and a very distinctly large, lumpen shape. No way to avoid that, it's seven feet tall and developed from three snowballs streaked by grass, dirt, and a few rocks. The other snowmen in the vicinity, and by vicinity one can assume two acres, are equally composed of grandiose ambitions and smaller scale engineering marvels, two to four feet on the whole. The abundance of snow is peculiarly high, considering the surrounding streets had two inches. Still, do as one will.

The other snowmen, too, have comically unfinished expressions. But not that one out there, oh no. He's patrolling in sloughed up lines, spraying a bit of snow in his wake, like some bizarre turtleboat.

"Mom is going to so ground you for the rest of your life. And I'll get your allowance as a fee," mutters Valerie.

"She wouldn't! If I clean it up she will never even know," Frankie tells his sister. He peers over the roof. Both of them are flat against it, probably cold, but in pale enough snowsuits that match — thanks, Ma! — they'd never know. "I'll pay you a whole buck to be quiet."

"No way!"

<Dear Diary,

<I feel like 'Attack of the Mutant Killer Snowman' is probably 20 years ahead of its time.>

Stephanie can't help but notice the snowman patrolling the park. Thankfully, he's large enough to observe from some distance. She works her way across the grounds, keeping an eye on the creature and, too, noting the approach of Tigra, who she recognizes, and Felix, who she does not. Let them, for the moment, deal with the snow monster. She moves to the temple and mounts it with her grappler, intent on getting to the kids.

It's been some weird few years as a cop in New York City. But this is one of the weirder things he's seen. Felix works on creeping up on it. Puzzled, as yet - but that pattern doesn't look good. Let it be some magician's game, rather than a threat. Even with that hope, though, he's trying to keep out of its sight as he approaches.

A snowman. A living, or at least, a moving snowman. "I'd almost rather be in Jotunheim," Tigra grumbles to herself. Sure, it's colder, and the frost giants are -mean- but there's a certain…dignity in fighting them. Fighting a snowman? Not exactly going to be one for the Avengers Annals, she thinks to herself. Right, then. If this is like the song, then maybe getting the hat will put an end to this. She crouches down and tries to sneak in closer. Orange isn't exactly the best color to blend in with snow, but the stripes help. A little. Maybe.

|ROLL| Wanda +rolls 1d20 for: 15

The kids on the roof are on a slant, clinging with their feet wedged against the gutter. Easy when they haven't got an overhang of ice making footing treacherous. They aren't going to be moving very fast without suction cups on their mittens and boots, but Frankie startles at the sight of a grappler showing up.

Valerie scoots sideways and says, "Hey! This is our safe perch. You can't be up here, it's gonna see you!"

The snowman does not care about that so much as the pipsqueak noise. The big body rotates opposite one another, the top ball going opposite of the middle one, the bottom staying still. It carries something that looks like an impressive twig. Hey, they have their broomsticks, don't they? A thick bound collection of wood. It lifts that up to its shoulder as much as it has one. The first salvo is nearly silent. Really, it is.

Until very, very large snowballs blast out in rapid order at the temple. Hey, that is where the noise is loudest, and it cannot pick up on the orange woman being quiet versus the kids who are not. One of those big spheres splats down near Stephanie with force enough to send shingles flying off the building. Architectural hazards, oh no!

"Maybe if you hadn't shouted," Stephanie says, voice pitched low, but diving to the side so as not to be crushed by the incoming snowball. "I'm trying to get you two out of here, alright? Clearly this isn't the best place to be!" She points at the spot where the grappler line leads down to the ground, even as she frees another gadget from her belt, eyes taking in the snowman. "Go!" she insists, and then moves to the edge, toward the snowman now, and seeks a safe way down.

He's spotted the kids, by sheer dint of having Full Metal Frosty open up on them with what looks like a snow bazooka. Apparently the better part of valor is distraction, because rather than have the snow golem bracket them, he steps out into the trampled field, and whistles at it - the kind of piercing note that needs a pair of fingers for volume.

Tigra pauses briefly, glancing upwards at the sound of…crap. Children. Someone's up there helping them, though. Good thing, 'cause it's got a fully automatic…bundle of sticks. "Where's a lucifer when you need one," she says softly, then hisses as softly at the sharply whistled note, slightly painful to her sensitive hearing. This might open up an opportunity though. Hoping that Frosty will be distracted by children and whistler, she dashes forward, wanting to leap and knock off his old silk hat.

|ROLL| Wanda +rolls 1d20 for: 19

Talking back to tweens goes about as well as can be expected. Tongue stuck out, Valerie manages annoyance quite well. Frankie is cowering behind his sister comparatively, shrinking back from all the exploding snowballs and chunks of stone in the way.

"This isn't supposed to be happen," he mutters, plugging in and copping out when someone else can deal with Frosty McNasty. He looks down really uneasily at the snow and then tries to find some way to slither down the rope. Taller than Val, he squeezes his way down and yelps in fear when he faceplants a snowdrift up against the pillar. It's slippery.

Really, you know, a whistle should not attract an angry frosty. But it does. He swivels the bundle of sticks on Felix and unleashes another plump barrage of potato-sized missiles one after the other. He has good aim. Snowballs at Felix are spat out, and then the snowman swings it sideways at Tigra. She can pounce the big old monster, swiping his hat, but he still intends to turn her into a snow tiger.

Steph doesn't feel too bad for the kid who faceplanted. She doesn't understand everything that's going on here, but she understands that these kids are not entirely innocent here. For now, there's a need to deal with a giant snowman, and it seems to her she has the right tool for the job. She follow's Tigra's lead, racing toward Frosty as she flips a switch on her homemade gear.

Can of Aqua Net: check.
Lighter: check.

The makeshift flamethrower flickers, and then orange flames are spraying out at the snowman. This seems like a good move, yes?

<Dear Diary,

<If I am crushed by a giant killer snowman, don't let my dad find out.>

|ROLL| Stephanie Brown +rolls 1d20 for: 11

The cop…..is not there when the snowballs arrive. A blink of time, and he's somewhere else. Not teleportation, though - for there's a trail in the snow, and the fall of a hastily churned up roostertail. The bundle of sticks is a ranged weapon….and now he's zig-zagging his way in towards the snowman, still moving at blurring speed.

Tigra leaps for the old silk hat. The height is no obstacle for her, but getting pumelled by high velocity snowballs, that -hurts!- She cries out in pain, but she's already in the air, and they're not enough to push her off course. Claws snatch at the hat, yanking it away as she dives past, hits the ground and rolls, cursing softly to herself at the frozen flak.

|ROLL| Felix +rolls 1d20 for: 5

Goodbye hat! It flops on the ground, giving off a musty attic smell. The snowman does not look very pleased about the man hanging off his gun and he somehow mows up more snow into a variety of pellets shot at high speed with all the rage of winter incarnate. These pepper Felix and Tigra's vague direction. Vague because it's a snowman. How well do you see from button eyes? Not so well. Frosty merely shoots whatever is there in front of him. But how fast can he shake off the cop clinging to his special bundled wood cording broom-hell weapon? The answer is not very, but he holds onto it rather twiggily. If that is not a word, it should be.

Fire, however, and fire on a spray can seems like a good idea. Stephanie melts the side of Frosty all the way down, dripping water, and those grooved glass marbles in his mouth sink into an unfriendly crescent. 8^(

"Dad is going to beat you!" cries Valerie, hauling off her brother.

"Dad's never even home!"

"Then I'll beat you! Shut that stupid thing off!"

Steph is not staying in one place — the last thing she needs is for the snowman to get a bead on her. "Get out of here," she shouts over one shoulder at the arguing children. "For the love of Pete, a giant freaking snowman is wrecking the park!" But even as she yells at them, she's continuing to run around the snowman, trying to keep behind it and continue to melt it. It's not THAT big. She tries to train the fire on the arm holding the broom that seems to be the source of the snowball cannonade.

"And it's his big dumb stupidhead fault!" Valerie shouts back.

The other cops are going to laugh at him. But….this is completel ludicrous. Fel lets go of the gun, darts back….not without being hit more than once. The kids' responses sink in, though….and now he's heading for them. Someone has some questions to ask.

Yes! Got the hat! That should—okay. The song lied. Someone lied through song! Hate when people do that! Seeing that Frosty's aim is not that great once she's got some distance, and seeing Stephanie taking fire to him, she dances back and waves her arms. "Hey, Frosty, over here! Your mother, uhm, wears something ugly! And unflattering!" Note to self, look up snowman equivalent to combat boots.

All Frankie wants to do is get the hell out of dodge. He doesn't need Stephanie telling him to do that, but he keeps slipping and falling in his dash. Valerie is half dragging him even though she is littler. Anger does a lot.

The melting snowman flails around, half his face melting and the button eye falling off. There goes his grimace onto the ground, oh no. The big base ball takes the longest tinme to fade away, sadly.

Eventually, Steph knows, she's going to run out of hairspray or lighter fluid. But until she does, she keeps after the snowman, spraying him with fire until her flamethrower breaks down or the snowman is a puddle.

She's got a spare lighter, of coursse, but she doesn't carry multiple cans of hairspray with her. She so rarely needs this particular tool.

"I want that grappler back!" she shouts after the kids.

The poor kids - the long arm of the law catches up to them, and bundles one under each arm. Both to get them the hell away that murderous Mr. Frost, and to ask them some hard questions. Like who their parents are. Felix has his sternest expression on, belied by the faintest twitch of one corner of that thin mouth.

|ROLL| Wanda +rolls 1d3 for: 2

The WHistler has the kids in hand, and under arm, and Frosty is getting quite the hot foot. Tigra's quite content to keep a safe distance and keep tryign to dsitract the melting snowman, trying to let Stephanie continue to werf flammen at it. "Yers I've been here," she says, "and I've seen crazy stuff. But this is a first. And hopefully a last."

A little longer and even the big ball is on fire, sort of, compacted and drooling back into a puddle on the dark earth and damp grass.

Stephanie regards the puddle and burning bits of grass and hot stone from behind her tightly tied white scarf, and within her puffy parka hood. To Tigra she notes, "That seemed almost anticlimactic."

"And I want a pony. Is it still coming?" Frankie stops to stand on a bench, staring from where he came. Valerie yanks on his arm.

"Come on, dumbhead. You caused enough trouble and there's an adult, come on." She knows where the trouble is. Oh yes, that's the canny one. Her tow-headed brother is simply a dolt. Their yelps are particularly loud when fully grown police officer man grabs them around the waists, or in Frankie's case, extra grappler rope he's tied around.

"It's all her fault, she's the one who did it and she totally made me!" he squalls.

"Start talking," Felix says, voice tight. "I'm Detective Ivanov, and you two are in a hell of a lot of trouble." A glance over his shoulder confirms that Frosty is down for the count. "First of all, first and last names. And your address." It's years before Miranda, after all.

"If it had got you with as many snowballs as it got me, you wouldn't feel that way," Tigra says to Stephanie wryly, as she gingerly rubs her flank. One of the many great things about having fur, though, is bruises don't show. She scoops up the hat and then gestures with her head in invitation to Stephanie. "Let's see if we can find out what happened," she says, turning towards…oh, a detective? Interesting.

It's years before Miranda and those are kids under fourteen. Under ten, in her case. Her eyes and nose wrinkled up, Valerie looks as though she's about to start a fight. Frankie flails his arms in an effort to get free. Who is scared of who, and who is the boss? Anyone with a brother or sister probably knows this exactly.

"I'mfrankiedixonthat'sallsir," he mumbles.

"Dunderhead, it's not gone yet, is it? Frosty the snooowman, turned a really angry rose, with a a railgun and rocketed-propelled snowballs out his nose, oh!"

Why is there pink snow? Why is the pink snow reforming?

"Froooooooosty the snowmaaaaaan, is kind of a jerk they say, he was big and fat and mean like that police guy, go away, hey!"

Yep. He's a snowman. And he's growing.

"I knew it," says Steph. "Okay. This calls for drastic measures." She breaks the nozzle off the Aqua Net rapidly, turns the flame on the modified lighter as high as she's able, and jams the base of the can into the reforming snowman. To Tigra: "Run." And then she follows her own advice, racing for Felix and the kids.

Someone is so going to end up in juvie. Fel's got them, and he's running. "Kid, you gotta shut that thing off," he says. "Someone's really gonna get hurt." There's the nearest precinct, but that's blocks away,and he's a burst speedster, isn't he? How is he ever going to explain this to anyone?

Mrrp? Tigra pauses and looks back to the…Once and Future Snowman? "Aww, nuts," she says softly, seeing things starting to pull back together. Maybe it's time to call for help. What's that, Doctor Strange? Oh, well there was this snowman…yes, a snowman…look it wasn't normal…no I -couldn't- handle it on my own… Yeah, let's not do that yet—oh. Okay. Demolitions. That might work. She dashes away faster than a Cadillac could handle in the snow.

There is a snowman. It takes less time than anyone would like for the snow — in pink — to reconstitute itself into a five foot tall fat snowman with a bundle of twigs. His face is made of a button. He has no mouth. No nose. He has his firepower back. His hat… well, that requires an arm, and fiddling with the gun to get the hat back on himself is going to take a bit.

"Stop doing thaaat!" Frankie cries.

Steph stops mid-stride. Where is the kaboom? There was supposed to be a… well, not earth-shattering, but certainly loudish kaboom. She turns back toward the snowman and groans. "New plan," she mutters. "New plan, new plan…" She needs one, certainly. She buttonhooks around the corner of the temple to reclaim her grappler. It's something, anyway. She feels her escrima sticks won't do a ton of good.

"Frankie, did you do this?" Felix demands. He's keeping to a mortal's pace, now. Saving his strength. Looking for a building that might be sturdy enough for refuge. But he's looking at Valerie, as he asks. God forbid he have to knock out a kid.

Tigra still has the hat, and she waves it at the snowman before moving away from Felix and the kids. "Want your hat? Over here!" That's right, no need to go after the kids. Go after the cat lady instead.

"Mayyyybe." Yeah, grow up kid. Frankie flails his hands. "She started it with the stupid singing! It won't stop! Your stupid singing!"

"Mother says it is inspired," answers Valerie in perfect little sister syndrome. "I just sang because he kept messing up my carols. I can't do anything, he did."

They're both easily enough stuffed in a building, the nearest thing being a …gas station. No lie. Otherwise it's into the zoo. There is a bank further up the way.

And what, there is Tigra with the hat? Well, the snowman has no part about that. He roll-runs after the catwoman. Stephanie's fire should have gone off. Where did it go? That big pile of twigs.

Grappler retrieved, Stephanie returns to the top of the temple. It's the best vantage around, and she figures the cat-woman can dodge a few volleys from the broomstick. She takes a position and spends a few moments lining up her shot.

Bank it is. "Frankie, you need to stop him," Fel's trying for calm, trying for authority, as he makes his way towards the door. "It's important. You're both old enough to know better, no matter what you use to stop or start this."

Ahha! Success! Tigra's got it chasing her now! Uhm, wait. The snowman's chasing her now. Better than the kids, but it's not like she has a plan to deal with it now. "Sing Silent Night!" she calls out towards detective and kids. At least it won't be about the snowman.

"I don't know how!" whines the boy. "It just happened! We got some clothes and that was it and he tried to shoot everyone and he's going to shoot us too. He's going to eat us. He's totally going to!" Whinging now becomes hysteria in about three seconds.

Frosty chases hard after Tigra, though he does not roll nearly so fast as her cat-installed legs do. On the other hand, the pink snowman — seriously, he is a nice rosy shade — gains a little mass by mowing down flat tracks.

"Um… Silent night!" Val crows. "Holy night! All is calm, all is… still night. Round young virrrrrgin, mother an' child, holy infant all tender and mild. SLEEEEEEEEEEP in heaven in peeeeeace! SLEEP in heavenly fleece!"

This is not the recommended use of a grappling gun made from a souped up retractable laundry line. Stephanie takes a deep breath, then fires her grappler, trying to snag the snowman's broom/bazooka and drag it away.

Fel is not above singing. If Silent Night helps, it helps….even as he crashes through the bank's doors, to the jaw-dropped surprise of the patrons.

|ROLL| Stephanie Brown +rolls 1d20 for: 16

Oh no, there is no more gun to be seized. No more broomgun! Off it goes in the grappling hook and now there is only a rolling monster chasing after Tigra. The children plowed into the bank among the respectable people in line doing their business might wonder why these madmen — child and cop — are singing, but it does the trick.

That, and Tigra holding onto the hat. It makes no sense that the snowman looks a bit woolly, but it crashes over on itself and rolls into three constituent balls.

Stephanie rapidly reels in the broom gun, takes it in hand without much hope that it will work for her. But the snowman seems to have fallen apart down there, and Tigra seems to be safe for the moment. She descends from her place on the tower and approaches the snowballs with the broom gun over her shoulder and her grappler in hand, warily.

Fel's all but skidded to a halt, setting the kids down, but keeping a hand for each of them. Looking for cover, should the monster show up at the door - nearest is a desk, unmanned at this hour.

There is no monster coming. The snow is lying there, the snow boulders where it fell over. The broom is just a broom bundled with sticks. No way to figure out how it shoots things, but at least they're no worse for wear. Discomfitted bank guests might wonder about the two kids scrambling to get up, Frankie pulling on his sister arm and clasping his hand with hers.

"Excuse me, are those your children?" asks some prim, proper lady. Her husband does the numbers. She clutches a big purse.

Stephanie is going to keep the broomstick, put it in her lair. When she gets a lair. For now, though, her work is done — and she starts back toward Queens on foot, the broomstick over her shoulder.

When she's out of sight of the park, the scarf is pulled away from her face and the grappler tucked under her coat. Just another blonde girl with a broomstick about town.

Felix turns on the lady and says, "Thank God, no." Then he's turning to the bewildered bank guard, and requesting that he call a certain number, which just happens to be the phone for the nearest police precinct. Valerie and Frankie will be remanded to their parents, with some very stern warnings.

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