1965-08-24 - Sol Rojo: Harlem in Flames - A Homecoming
Summary: "One way to gain the wrath of the devil is to break his stuff." - Robbie Reyes, the Ghost Rider
Related: None
Theme Song: None
loki kai dead-girl robbie reno 

Sirens. Sirens rang out over Harlem as the night sky was alight in flames.

This was not the homecoming Kai expected nor wanted.
This was not the sort of image one conjures up to see friends and teammates.
This was to the sort of image of downtown one wanted to imagine on any place trying to be a nice neighborhood. Various ethnic neighborhoods in the boroughs had a hard enough time as it was without the evils of men trying to prey on it.

It was the evils of those met going after things personal to the Rider's host: the homes and family of Robbie Reyes. In total 14 homes and 9 businesses, many attached to one another, stood vandalized and/or on fire. The front window of Pop's place ate a brick and took fire damage through it looks like an effort to put the fires out were overall mostly successful. The worst of it was Rico Reyes' pawn shop which was still burning. The bodega had people trying to get down out of the second and third floors above it, and the buildings were a mess almost to the Cigar Factory. The bar had the advantage of fire walls and a parking lot between the buildings at least.

A chorus of ghosts were crying out in fear and dismay beseeching Dead Girl for help seeing they were being heard.
It was not going to be a quiet night in Harlem tonight.
Maybe not for a while.

There's a sound Kai hasn't heard in awhile. Nothing says Midgard like wailing sirens. Of course he runs toward the flames, not away. Harlem is one of his adopted places, despite him being white as milk. He has family here. To that end, he heads for Pop's, but when he sees the people above the bodega trying to get down, he runs up to them instead. Sadly, Elves are not fireproof. He's tough, though, and he's strong. He finds a dumpster and starts shoving it under the window. Hells bells, he only just got back, and there's no rest for the wicked.

It was the noise of the Dead that always got to Dead Girl. How loud they could be when they realized someone could hear them- and so, she was drawn to Harlem as they begged her for help. Help to protect those they loved- those places they were attached to. She couldn't help them all, but she could be there- it would have to be enough.

She flew through the sky at the pace of a particularly fast sprint- maybe twenty or thirty miles per hour. Luckily, going as the crow flies is a quick way to get from one place to another in Manhattan. And when you didn't have to worry about physical walls getting in your way, well, the going was all the faster.

Dead GIrl lands near the same fires as Kai. She's not fire proof, either, but she's not afraid of a good burning.

After all, she doesn't need to breath. She's quick to jump into the flames, unprotected, toward those people in the high-rise above the Bodega. "Come on! You guys gotta get out of here, this place is burning up!" Way to go, Captain Obvious!

She'll do what she can to help those people- to catch and guide them towards Kai's safety-dumpster.

Loki is not exactly a member of this little crew, but there is some inspiration for him to not let them suffer too badly. Its just a matter of reputation. When he appears, it is on a rooftop, looking down at the mess as he tries to determine just what he can do without being seen.

One way to gain the wrath of the devil is to break his stuff.

…and that's exactly what this evil has brought upon themselves. Robbie Reyes was still in Hell at the moment, having depowered from being the Ghost Rider. His hair was much longer…and his beard was extremely thick. His classic leather jacket was torn in multiple areas, and his jeans were ripped (but somehow quite stylish). Boots looked worn and well-used.

If Reno or Dead Girl or Kai were anywhere near it, Robbie's car seemed to….turn itself on. As if it was in preparation of it's owner. That engine could wake a neighborhood. But as Robbie Reyes sensed that something terrible was happening? Well….

He ignited into burning flames, becoming the Ghost Rider once again, flesh burning off of his face like the embers from burning paper. Only revealing the skeleton drenched in Hellfire that happened to be wearing Robbie's clothes.

Then? A fiery portal seems to open in Harlem, right in the midst of the chaos.

The portal of fire seemed top get a lot of attention from those closest by who went diving for cover. Two Latinos in their thirties backed away making the sign of the cross and holding up their hands pleasing with the Rider "We don't want any trouble, they came and did this, Mother of God helps us." the were scared and trying to back away slowly. Whatever their crimes were in this life it wasn't arson and assault.

At the Bodega the inside was a hazard as shelves collapsed in their structural integrity making for a fine tripping hazard. There was a stair in the back that went up to the upper floors and also a fire escape that didn't quite reach down. Kai moving the dumpster was going to help close that gap. Moving with Dead Girl in rapid fire Spanish was the ghost of a man making a gesture of something about two feet wide? Maybe he was saying we could make a good brisket or a rotisserie turkey and then have something to eat waiting for the cops and fire department maybe? This was not the time for a luau. Then the sound came. He was worried for the safety of a child, and from the age of the ghost, possibly his, or related to him somehow.

From the room Loki could see multiple targets and also the risk of unsafe fire escapes, and also persons having trouble dragging bodies out who were wounded. The city was a mess. The Reyes Family Pawn shop was a graffiti target and the front window ate a Molotov cocktail that was consuming the building, as smoke came from the living area above too. Like the bodega the first floor entry was a blocking hazard.

Kai climbs onto the dumpster to held people down. From the second floor, that's easy enough, but from the third, people need to make a leap of faith. When he speaks, they hear Spanish, so at least he speaks the lingo, even if he is cheating. "I'll catch you! Jump! One at a time!" He looks so diminutive, just a slip of a thing, and he's asking people to jump into his arms? The unlikely truth is he can actually catch people and bear their weight. From the dumpster, it's an easy enough jump to the ground.

Physical things didn't really get in Dead GIrl's way- and she followed the ghost up and towards where-ever that kid might be. "Nino?" she asks, one of only a few spanish words she knew- she did grow up in California, after all.

"Aki?" She wonders next, pointing- following the directions until she'd find the kid.

The fires, for now, don't bother Dead Girl- she's not actually physical, having shunted herself into the Astral Plane.. she exists in some strange halfway place anyways. It was easy to lean to one side.

"I'm coming!" Dead Girl shouts, searching for that child as if her life depended on it.

Loki casts a brief spell to make himself look like a scraggly old man, and then darts down the hallway to go grab a pile of injured. He knows how to protect their fragil little bodies, and can seemingly carry far more weight than a normal old man ever could hope to.

Walking through the portal is the Ghost Rider in all his hellish, demonic glory.

Silver, bladed chain in hand, he drags the blazing chain behind him, though whips it in a manner that the chain itself wraps around his torso diagonally. The Rider didn't seem to be pleased or pleaded with at all…or was even in the mood for such.

The Rider growls a demonic, ungodly sound that basically screams 'Get. The. Fuck. Out. Before. I. Skin. You. And. Your. Dog. Alive.'

The Rider clearly wasn't quite happy. But he seems to turn his head as chaos seems to be erupting. He's gone for the better half of a year and these perras think they can wreck his turf?

Bull. Shit.

Thus does the Rider simply walk down the street, looking both ways as if to terrify the evils doing these actions….hands ablaze with Hellfire just waiting to be unleashed.

The men fleeing the Rider got as far away from him as possible and went to mourn the loss of their business elsewhere while trying to get aarden hose to try and put out the flower shop. For Robbie and the Rider though? Something deliberately was out to fuck with him directly or indirectly. the edges of the Rider's vision glowing red seeing the indiscretions all over. This really was the sort of thing you do to draw the Rider right out of hell; ruin his people. Which begged the question of all the people in the street where were his people?

Two entrances down where the old man was making his way to blending in with the locals No-Es-Loki could find something to affect right away. At the building nearby, single story, had part of the roof cave in pinning an older man to the floor, leg crushed. He looked up to him and said, "Help, it's crushed. I can't move the damn wall. Those kids came up in here like the devil's in em!"

At the Bodega Dead Girl was playing hot and cold with the man who was able to guide her to a woman unconscious and a small child crying and squirming quietly in his crib. They would for certain need help getting out. From the third floor Ms. Guzman was calling down, Kai, bless you, I'm going to send the us down. My sister-in-Law in on the floor below with the baby!" She couldn't see Dead Girl was there, but she knows neighbor scone elf well enough to take the 8 year old and say "Baby jump, he will catch you like he did that puppy. Go!"

"I'll get them," Kai calls back. First, though, he holds out his arms to catch the eight year-old first. It's a scary trip down for a kid, at gravity's mercy. Kai catches the child up in his arms. "There we are, you're okay," he says, then he helps the kid off the dumpster onto the ground. Next, the fourteen year old. Meanwhile, he yells to the second floor window, "Can you get to the window? I've got you!" Not knowing that Dead Girl is in there or that the sister-in-law is unconscious.

"Whoops." Dead Girl says, looking to Ghost Guy- "Familia?" she wonders, as she reaches down to rather easily hoist the unconsious woman over her shoulder, pulling to grab the baby up into her arm. "I gotchya, don't you worry none." she says as she looks towards the window, then back down the firey hall-way. "That way is probably dangerous." she says to herself, as she leans over to give the poor, frightened child a little kiss to the forehead. "It's okay, really. I'm a nice Dead Girl. Bonita!" she offers with as happy a tone as she can while she starts out the window- carrying unconsicious lady and baby with her the whole way.

Once they're out on the fire escape she looks back- then down, working her way towards the first floor with both in hand. Her hair is on fire, but she really doesn't seem to notice, even as her skin starts to burn a bit. Who knew zombies were so inflamable! When KAi yells up she yells back, "Hi Kaaaaai~"

Loki moves towards the trapped man and presses upwards on the pinned section, to free him. He reaches down in the same action and grabs hold of the fellow's shirt, to drag him clear before he sets it back down. "What kids are responsible for all this destruction?" he asks in a gruff voice. Totally sounds like he should have called them whipper snappers.

The Ghost Rider kept moving, knowing full well that something…someone was luring him from Hell. But what really sets off the Ghost Rider, especially the Spirit of Vengeance's host? He sees Uncle Rico's business and home still ablaze. Those eyes look like the molten river of the Lake of Fire as he bursts forward, moving to the door to kick it open if it wasn't already. Those heavy steps may signify that if anyone was inside, they could call for help.

But the Rider also drew his handy Hellfire Shotgun, the sawed off weapon prepared to give the evils there a reason to…well, not. This seems to take the entirety of Robbie's concentration.

Though he also tries to sense for souls that could be unconscious or even trapped.

|ROLL| Robbie +rolls 1d20 for: 13

At the Bodega:
Kai can get a visual on Dead Girl! Teamwork!!
First the 8 year old went sailing and was caught by Kai as they implored "My brother next, Mama it's okay! I'm ok!" and once out of the way the 14 year old after insisting mom go first eventually hopped out of the window trying to fall in such a way he didn't windmill and make catching him impossible for Ninja elf. Ms. Guzman was all that was left and she was carefully getting out on the fire escape.

On the Second Floor:
The baby was scared but stopped crying and was reduced to hiccups and holding onto DG's clothes. Some people are good with kids in a panic and it helped the toddler. Mom was dead weight but she was breathing. With care DG could toss someone out for Kai to catch and hop down with the other. The building creaked but so far it was all smoke damage up here.

At Tio Rico's Pawn Shop:
There was someone inside. It wasn't a good pull but it was familiar and it was well known to him as family; at least to Robbie. T= What was almost more curious was in the graffiti that was there a few things stood out, not the least of which was a gang tag, and the same gang tag his little cousin had tattooed inside his left forearm. Sol Rojo, or 'Red Sun'.

So they were back, and the man No-es-Loki was helping confirmed as much when he told him that gang of vandals came and did this, laughing. What it didn't explain, noted by both Loki and Robbie looking around there, was why was there a Null sigil in with the graffiti? No really why were there glyphs of power being tagged by what was effectively a street gang?

"DG!" Kai says. "What are you doing here?" He sounds mostly delighted, though also concerned. Inside a burning building isn't a great place to hang out. But here's here to catch whoever needs caught, and he chats while he rescues. "We got back just last night. It was an amazing trip. So groovy. Did you know you're smoldering, luv?"

Dead Girl hurries down the fire escape, getting to where there was the bit of space between her and Kai- she unholders the unconscious woman- still smiling and babbling to the toddler, "Oooh! You're a pretty baby, aren't you!" Such a chipper sound, even with all the chaos. "I'll come and visit for Dia De Los Muerte, eh? It'll be fun. Candy skulls are the best!"

Sure, they were probably Porto Rican- but where Dead Girl was from it was Mexican or nothing!

She holds on tight to the unconscious woman's arm as she dangles her down for Kai to get in position for. "CAn you get her?" she shouts down, "Yeah, it's my new look, it's on fire!" She teases back, as she dangles the woman without very much effort. It turned out that Dead Girls are quite a bit stronger than they look. "I'll jump down with this little guy after!"

Robbie looks then a moment as he keeps looking, what the shit?! Power glyphs associated with a gang sign? what the hell? Though eventually, he looks a moment to the soul he managed to detect, and thus went over to find the fellow…that beared the same gang tag as his cousin.

They Sol Rojo was back…only scared off because Robbie and other terrifying heroes watched the streets.

But regardless, Robbie tries to absorb the flames inside Uncle Rico's place, trying to douse the flames. Why? Because fight fire with fire. But the real question was…

Here's hoping this was Reno he just sensed. So regardless of how much flames are absorbed/removed, Robbie investigates.

The sirens from the NYFD became wondrously loud as several trucks pulled up and hooked up to hydrants to start helping.

At the Bodega:
Kai was able to catch Ms. Guzmen that was offering thanks to entirely the wrong pantheon of people here. TO her merit the first thing she did was get those boys wrangled away from the building and told them to go sit down in front of the Cigar Factory who had more people coming out to help. Say what one will about Harlem, but if you hit any one of these places the neighbours really show up in force and come together. The toddler was clinging to DeadGirl slowly catching fire. Given Kai's underlying strength that people underestimate it's reasoned if DeadGirl dropped the woman she was carrying Kai could catch her with little issue and then make teh jump easy enough one story to the dumpster that has definitely seen better days now.

In the Hardware store:
Loki was getting the rundown on Sol Rojo from the man that couldn't walk but was able to get him to safety and make sure that the damage to the leg wouldn't cause further complications before going and making sure the man's dog could get out. Speak not of this. This was surely not Loki's doing! Not the GOd of Mischief.

At Tio Rico's Pawn Shop:
That fire was hot and damaged much. As it was one of the earlier buildings hit it had time to get hot and spread far. Slowly, the flames of hell absorbed and drown the heat from the building, and while the glow was absolutely incandescent for a moment, it died in an orange nimbus leaving just the glow of heat and cinders behind.

Moving things towards his goal he could find upstairs Tio Rico laying on the ground looking like he was dragged to safety because some asshole barred the back door that was the attempted escape route. In the end the smoke inhalation did him no favours. On his chest was one very unconscious, beat up black bird. He wasn't moving, but Reno was smart and also knew he couldn't die if he was a crow as Loki helpfully helped him figure out. Birds also can't carry full side adults to safety and it looked like some hoodlums took teh business to uncle.

Yes, someone called the Rider up from hell.
They may not have meant to,
but they're about to be very sorry that they did.

Kai takes the unconscious woman, cradling her like a child in his arms. "Are these the last of them?" he asks Dead Girl. He leaps from the dumpster onto the street, barely putting a ripple in his stride as he carries the woman away from the fire and smoke. "I've got her!" he calls to Ms. Guzmen. "We've got them, they're safe." He studies the woman in his arms, frowning. She's breathing, so that's good, but she's still out. He feels naked without his healing artifact, but there are somethings he didn't leave Asgard with, and that's one of them. He has to rely on faith, whatever that is, that the woman will be okay.

Dead GIrl's got all the agility of an Olympic gymnist! Honestly, it's a little impressive to watch her make her way down a floor with a Hup! Toddler held lovingly in her arms, only to be handed off to Ms. Guzmen. "Bye, baby!" she offers, as she reaches up to put her hair out finally. Only a little bit of burnt flesh that's already healing up. Her hair growing back where it was lost. "I love that baby." she admits, "Beautiful eyes!" she offers, perhaps not the best time for throwing compliments, but that's Dead Girl for you.

She looks to what appears ot be dead space, "So, anyone else in there?" She wonders of whatever Ghost has been following her- "Is that everyone?"

Robbie sees Reno, and Ghost Rider turns back into Robbie Reyes. More rugged, but no less caring. He kneels down and picks up Crow Reno in his hands. "Reno? You there Primo?" Robbie says in a soft voice. He knows Reno isn't dead, but…that doesn't change that the ones who did this are going straight down.

But he takes that deep breath, looking at Tio Rico underneath him. He took a breath, then?

Unyielding rage.

The Rider stood up, those eyes blazing in Robbie's own as the transformation began anew, carrying Crow Reno in his hand and Tio Rico on the shoulder. He promptly kicks open the door and calls the Hellcharger, which pulls up and drifts to a stop, leavinga blazing trail behind it. and what does he do? He puts Tio and Reno inside. Keep them safe until he can come back and get them medical attention.

Meanwhile, he simply goes out to find the chaotic gangsters. It was time to hunt.

The Hellcharger pulled forward and accepted the unconscious man and one crumpled, unmoving bird carefully put inside. The car knew where it needed to go, and the Rider? The same.

DeadGirl could be scary as hell, but the Guzman family was grateful. A fireman came to take the sister-in-law from Kai with a earnest recognition, "Great work, anyone else inside?" It was Ms. Guzman that answered, "SI, si is everyone. You save my boys, and my family. Kai, M'am, I do not know what to say, I wish I could make it up to you." Hugs! Oh hugs were being given out. Knowing Ms. Guzman at some point a ton of bread too.

The block might be ruined, not everyone was going to walk away. Many lives were saved from being snuffed by the careless acts of an unruly mob.

The questions remained:
Who put them up to this?
What did they want?
What's with the Null glyph found in the graffiti?

This was not the homecoming the Defenders wanted,
but it was the homecoming they were getting.

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