15570/Checking Out The Talent Pool

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Checking Out The Talent Pool
Date of Scene: 07 September 2023
Location: St. Molly's, Lowtown
Synopsis: When investigating a potential location for his Fight Club, The Juggernaut must once again deal with the wiles of The Daughter of Satan. All's fair in business.
Cast of Characters: Juggernaut, Satana

Juggernaut has posed:
Madripoor is not without its dives, bars, casinos, underground ventures and other assorted things.

It's Madripoor. It's literally why one comes here after all. Naturally Hightown provides a certain degree of sophisticated entertainment. Lowtown, on the other hand? Well..sophistication is not -quite- the word to use here but..it's a different sort of intensity for sure...and it attracts just the right sort of crowd. The type of crowd for whom metahuman brawling behind reinforced walls within a large arena space is juuuuust the sort of thing to tickle their fancy.

It's not that unusual for there to be a fight club mind you. In fact there are likely many such places, but this one has attracted the attention of those with greater then human capabilities. Within the sunken and reinforced battle pit, two massive mutant bruisiers duke it out to the roar of the crowd. One swinging fists enflamed with energies. The other a stoney rocky hide that looks able to take shotgun shells as if they were wet tissue. Those with suits and ties and cocktail dresses make up the crowd along side the rough and dirty. Money is exchanged. Bets are made and Madripoor's underworld economy thrives on. The room sometimes shakes with the impact of their blows and the discharges of the energy. Sometimes simply from the roar of the crowds. Business as usual.

Near the rear of the bar looms a monstrous presence dominating a table all to himself. Even at his most human he has more in common with a wrecking ball than he does a man and his sharp blue-eyed gaze fixate upon the battle arena with certain disappointment... The audience is impressed by the dueling meatheads. He is not. Cyttorak is unfulfilled and Cain Marko's soul resonates with certain irredeemable boredom. Instead he sits there, taking heavy rumbling breathes that cause the sinew of his chest to creak like stretching leather and his inhumanly muscled and immense body to slowly inflate and relax as he drums his fingers on the concrete table infront of him. Pressing indentions into it with his casual dismissive acts.
Satana has posed:
It's always nice to stretch your wings, metaphorically or even physically. And while in Boston or New York this would tend to cause loads of second looks with glances askance, in Madripoor, in a bar devoted to metahuman fighting, Satana can take her native form and just be assumed to be some kind of weird mutant.

So she does.

The basic form is there. She's proud of her foundational shape and tends to stick to it unless working on very specific purposes: tall, curvy redhead with amber eyes that occasionally show the pinpricks of Hellfire within. But now she's also sporting curling ram's horns out the side of her head, corkscrewing out a good six inches on either side, and naturally the bat wings, folded on her back, or occasionally flapping as part of some kind of body language like others move their hands and arms around.

She likes what she sees too, in this den of sin and iniquity. A lot of targets she can savour the taste of when she strikes.

And naturally, a lot of chaos she can sow by getting, say, rivals interested in her.

Then her eyes fall on an 'old friend' and she grins. This could be fun.

"Why hello there, Get of Cyttorak," Satana says, greeting Cain. "Fancy meeting you in a place like this. Will you be fighting? Do tell me if you will be. I need to put down some serious bets."
Juggernaut has posed:
By the time Satana has found him, Cain's body langauge has shifted somewhat in reflection of the idle disapproval within him. He leans back, spreading one colossal arm along the length of the reinforced bench he's claimed and with his other, he's raised to cup his head against a massive hand..deciding to transfer his drumming fingers from now cracked table to the side of his head where his finger taps, taps, taps, as if counting something down restlessly.

To the credit of his current efforts of restraint..when Satana speaks he actually doesn't move.. He neither looks her way nor reacts abruptly or suddenly and instead seems to weather her words and her familiar voice like a true champ. He continues tapping the side of his skull and then finally speaks, drawling out his deep voice in an annoyed rumbling gravelly tenor that practically embodies the term 'thin ice' as in terms of her.

"Whaddya want?" His deep voice inquires before, after a pause, "And quite calling me 'Get' of Cyttorak. I don't know what that means and I don't much like it.."

There's another pause before he finally answers her actual question. "..Dunno yet. Maybe I'll punch a guy. Maybe not.."

The two fighters in the ring continue going at it. Oblivious to the giant red-head and the demonic red-head's observations.
Satana has posed:
Satana perches at the edge of a chair next to Juggernaut, facing him, though she does occasionally turn to catch what's happening in the ring. The winner may be her meal if he's brutal enough, after all.

"You know in the Whoreson's book that so many mortals pretend to read, those long boring bits of Sheba begat Jonah begat John begat Josephus begat ...? That's what 'get' means here. Offspring. And I know it's not literally true, but spiritually you are his offspring, no?" She shrugs lightly. "But if you'd prefer not to be called that, what would you prefer to be called?"

She very carefully doesn't ask 'what would you prefer I call you'. She's canny that way.

"I can't help but feel that we got off on the wrong footing. Both you and I enjoy chaos. We go about it differently, but the end result, the end goal is the same. I'd like to propose a ... truce." Satana smiles. "I think we could do far more damage together than separated and feuding."
Juggernaut has posed:
"Got off on the wrong foot.."

Cain moves finally, lowering his colossal arm and shifting his great body. The seat grinds beneath his movements and he bears his gaze down heavily upon Satana. His expression sets into a deep frown, causing his jutting hairy jaw to portrude like a boulder sewn under his flesh.

"..You teleported me t'hell. One of 'em at least."

His eyes squint slightly as he considers her words and then rolls his eyes slightly at the whole of it. "Man you really commit to your 'bit' don't you.."

His deep voice fades again as his attention returns to the ring. "We aint after the same things, sister. The type of stuff you seem like you wanna traffic in don't really have the sorta payoff I'm looking for.."

He pauses once more before gesturing with a massive hand. His sinew moving with a dismissive gesture as he waves the whole thing off. "..Ferget it. You're too much trouble for me to deal with at this point.. Not like I'm trying to pancake you, yeah?"
Satana has posed:
"Oh, dearest, I think you completely misunderstand me. I simply adore your brand of chaos. The violence. The destruction. It positively makes me quiver where it counts."

That thing that just leaped into your mind? That dirtiest possible interpretation of what she just said. Yes, that's what she meant.

"The only reason we had our little tiff was that I needed something on that ship before you went in to destroy it all. If I hadn't needed anything, I would have gleefully watched, or even assisted, you in your desire to destroy it." She smiles in a way that could be interpreted by someone prickly as condescendingly. "And besides, you should appreciate **which** Hell I sent you to. I sent you into Mephisto's domain. He's a rival of mine, and I unleashed the g... ah... offspring of Cyttorak in the heart of the domain of someone I despise. Surely you should appreciate the poetry there!"

She pouts.

"And you seem to forget I also retrieved you so you could continue your mission after I got my book. You're not being fair in your characterization of that little tiff."

Gaslighting is defined as "the use of psychological manipulation to undermine a person's faith in their own judgment, memory, or sanity". This definition brought up for no particular reason. No siree!
Juggernaut has posed:
"I aint his offspring either. Not that he's any worse then my actual dad. Real piece of work that."

Cain shakes his head and seems to settle his full attention on Satana now. "..You got all wrong lady. I aint out causin..what..destruction for its own sake. I guess that's what Cyttorak would get his rocks off on but I was just doin' a job and I'm not someone that takes 'No' or 'Please wait' for an answer. Way I saw it..your little item was just in the wrong place at the wrong time but lucky you..I fell for that little teleportation trick and you got your way. Fine. Don't do it again."

He waves it all off again, "..And I didn't forget nothin'. You didn't do me any favor. I've been 'exiled' extra dimensional places before and made it back. I been worse places then hell. So it's good for your sake, more then mine, that you got me back. So fine."

Gaslighting is indeed a skill unto itself.

It works better on those less stubborn and set in their ways then Citizen Cain Marko.
Satana has posed:
"Huh. I thought usually Cyttorak's Chosen would be more in alignment with his tastes. This is actually fascinating to me."

Satana tilts her head. "You intrigue me even more. I'm glad we've become friends. As enemies we'd just be wasting our respective energies. You'd kill my bodies. I'd waste time getting back to the mortal plane in a new body. Then I'd take my revenge on you and you'd waste time and energy coming back nursing a desire for revenge and ..."

She spreads her arms helplessly.

"So wasteful. I'm happy we're friends now."

Her eyes stray to the pit.

"They're taking too long. That's one advantage if you go in there. The fight will be thrilling and end quickly."
Juggernaut has posed:
"I didn't say a thing about being -friends-!" protests Cain, sitting up slightly and leaning over to look at Satana, "You're the sorta trouble Ic and do without, lady..."

To her comments though.. He's forced to consider. His relationship to Cyttorak is..contentious at best. He's all at once his most powerful avatar and yet the one that bucks the 'reins' the most...to the point of having even challenged and fought him in his own realm. There have been times when he's accepted the role of 'champion' but most of the time..

"I'm my own man. Don't nobody just order me around." he explains. Or attempts to at least. "Yeah sure, Cyttorak is all about destruction but I decide the what, when, where and why..and right now I'm all about gettin' paid and gettin' even and proving to the world who and what I am if there's any doubt..."

As he speaks, the fight does indeed come to an end. The flame wielding giant landing a final solid blow that sends a fireball erupting and the stoney mutant tumbling to the ground in an earth shaking impact. The arena shakes and cheers go up as 'The Infernum' is declared the winner. Boo's also raise up. A chorus of roars as money is lost and gained.

Cain's attention flickers that way but he still doesn't seem fully motivated..yet.

"..Right now I'm just scoping things out for a potential..business venture.." he adds, eyes drifting over the ring.
Satana has posed:
"I should probably fight him now, what do you think?" Satana says. "Or would it be considered ... cheating?"

Of course Cain doesn't know how she'd fight.

"Perhaps I should just take him in the change room. He'll be so tasty wherever I take him, however."

She shakes her head and turns her attention back to Cain. "Feeding off of you could be interesting, but I suspect it would be ... more than I could cope with safely. I'd have to release the Basilisk and ... nobody wants that. Least of all me."

Her eyes slide up and down Cain in a way that would leave most people feeling vaguely filthy. "If you're going to fight, though ... let me get some bets in first?"
Juggernaut has posed:
Cain emits a rumbling sigh at her look and then just looks away and frowns.

"I guess you can't help it." he finally concludes before reaching up and rubbing his nose with the back of his massive hand. "You're a piece of work, y'know that?"

He finally slowly rises, leaning forward and towering up bit by bit by bit. A mountain range rising up out of the sea of the crowd of onlookers and betters.

"Do what you want." he finally says, "But if I'm gonna buy this place I kinda need folk....alive..and not you messin' around with them just for kicks. Aint you worried about getting caught?"
Satana has posed:
"Oh! You want to BUY the place!" Satana seems genuinely surprised at this. "I thought you were going to negotiate some kind of payout for a fight. Buying, now, that's ... different of course."

She looks around, pursing her lips as she assesses the joint.

"It's not a bad investment," she says, looking back at Cain. "I own a small chain of strip clubs that I use for hunting grounds. You might have heard of them? The Happy Hetaerae. All of them are slovenly dumps filled to the brim with the worst of human vermin. Exactly my type!"

She looks around again. "This has similar vibes, though the central sin is rage, not lust. All very delicious, however."

Again she regards Cain. "Do you need a partner? I'd be fine even as junior partner. Somehow I think you'd do a rage-oriented pool of sinners to perfection."

And then she smiles a beatific smile.

"And no, I can't help it. If I don't feed at least once every two weeks, ... I've mentioned Basilisk. Pray you never meet him. He'd be a handful even for you. Without feeding, I'm too weak to contain him. People die. Many people die." And this is a problem for a Queen of Hell because...? "And they die without me getting their souls." Ah, there we go. "But getting caught isn't an issue. It's hard to produce a body when it's been taken to Hell, now, isn't it?"

Again she looks around, eyes falling on the one she was thinking of as prey.

"If you buy the place, professional courtesy: I won't consume any souls without your express permission."

Nobody said anything, of course, of the streets and alleys outside of the place...
Juggernaut has posed:
"That sounds like a challenge. Aint nobody I pray to not meet." responds Cain. "Didn't you call me the 'Get of Cyttorak'? Maybe you need a reminder of what that means eh?"

Quick to claim the power but quick to dismiss any of the restraints and leashes that may come with it.

Cain seems intrigued actually. The idea of any sort of fight that could test him is of interest. He assumes he'd win though. HE always assumes he'd win. Any time those losers like Thor or Hulk got him..it was extenuating circumstances. To overpower him. Inconcievable.

"More to the point.." he says again, "Yeah. I'm thinking of setting up a joint... Getting some better tech in. Some contacts. Setting up a place for the real heavy hitters to be able to throw hands and make some cash..."

He turns his attention to the fighting pit where The Infernum roars and parades around as the money is counted and the announcer hypes him up.
rCain rolls his neck slightly, insanely thick muscle there flaring and veins the size of garden hoses standing out on his exposed monstrous arms as he tightens them.. A creaking sound occurs again, sinew grinding against itself and straining his shirt. The Godzilla emblazoned tee-shirt straining and stretching against his expanding mass.

"I dunno if I need a partner like you though, no offense. I don't need someone like Strange sniffin' around. I'm already walkin' atomic bomb of magical energy. I get into cohoots with you? Sounds like trouble.."

HE begins stepping towards the ring slowly now, expecting her to follow.
Satana has posed:
She follows along to continue the conversation, seemingly not reading Cain's intent. Instead Satana continues talking.

"I was thinking more in terms of I give you some seed capital. I am terribly wealthy, you understand. Avarice being one of the deadly sins and I'm a fan of them all. Lust is just ... more equal than the others. I believe you, of all people, could make a very profitable venture of wrath with a huge side of hubris. And with some added seed capital you could make a truly stupendous place.

Something in the way she's walking alongside him and talking is reminiscent of a pair of cartoon dogs: with Cain as the bulldog of the pair.

"I can keep hands-off in the actual operations so we don't bring Stephen's interest into the thing."

Wait, she's on first-name basis?!

"And if there's fighters who cause you too much grief ... well ..." Her smile is now predatory and shows her true nature: evil. "Disposal is a speciality of mine."
Juggernaut has posed:
Money. Money talks.

Cain pauses near the edge of the ring. The booking agents look on nervously at the giant. Somehow swollen to nearly ten feet tall, garments stretching impossibly across his frame but not giving way by some act of Cyttorak's magic exerted upon the behemoth. We wouldn't want anything unmodest, at least pants down after all.

Well Satana might.

Looming stomach and chest over all else, the crowds have parted to let the behemoth as the ring managers issue challenges for any in the crowds to take on the meta champion.

"PUt this all on me." he rumbles to the bookie, pulling out an envelop full of cash before setting it onto the table.

"You think I dont' got contacts that can make bodies diappear? Man. FIrst Deadpool and now you. Everybody wants in on this. Still..seed capital aint a bad idea...." he drawls, not completely dismissing it. SHe hasn't made the deal yet but he's at least not just blwoing her completely off now.

"Lemme think about it." he rumbles and then ducks his massive frame down to begin squeezing through the door to the reinforced glassed off cage. His massive hand lifts up and actually presses the door frame upwards, warping it and widening it with his passage.
Satana has posed:
Satana makes a vague hand gesture and a hole opens in the air. From all angles it looks like a flat disc that's oriented perpendicularly to the onlooker, which makes it a bit of a mindfuck when people move and ... it doesn't. From the hole the smell of brimstone, the sensation of intense heat, and the screams of people seemingly encountering the worst that can ever befall a creature blast out. Into the hole she sticks her arm and roots around, pulling it back with a fistful of cash.

The hole vanishes, cutting the heat blast and the screams right off, leaving behind only the stench of Hell.

"Put all this on him too," Satana says to the bookie. She then hustles to keep up with Cain.

"Who are you fighting?" she asks.
Juggernaut has posed:
"If we're going to have anything to do with each other for business yer gonna have to figure out a safety box or a bank account or something so that each time you do anything it doesn't send customers running for their lives.."

Cain's tone is sardonic, mildly annoyed. Indeed those nearby are quite put off by Satana's antics. Getting a portal open is one thing. The screams, the heat, the disturbint distortion was something else.

"Bad for business." Cain rumbles and then to her question about who he's fighting. He shrugs. "Does it matter?"

The bit mutant, eight feet tall himself, looks on mildly wary as Cain steps in fully and turns to face him, back to Satana now. The huge red head takes a few slow steps forward and then sniffs, rubbing his nose once more almost boredly..

"Hey..just the first punch and lie down. I don't need the money. I'll even split it with you.." he offers 'Infernum'. "I'll even put one hand behind my back.."

He does just that and then raises his other arm, towering it overhead like a looming building and then bringing it down to a sleeve splitting flex. His bicep balloons, like a buick under his skin as he twists, flaring the muscle larger and using the gesture to rile the crowds up.

"You think I need a hand out!?" hisses Infernum, getting into a combat stance. "I've taken big blokes down before!"

Well maybe not quite that big.
Satana has posed:
Satana winces as Infernum mouths off. "Two points," she says as she moves out of the way of the fight, just picking something to lean against (seductively eye-catching, naturally: she is what she is). "One, know your enemy. Two, I know the Inferno. You're not of the Inferno. You'll need a new name after he's through with you."


"Like Subcinericius."

Any classics fans will probably choke on laughter as she calls "Infernum" the Latin word for "pancake".
Juggernaut has posed:

Cain turns his head slightly, still keeping his arm flexed but eyeing Satana from over his shoulder. "I didn't ask for a cheerleader. I'm tryin' to give this guy a chance and test out 'is resolve. Especially if I buy this place and it comes with some house figh--"

He's cut off by a loud *BOOOOOOOOM* and a sudden explosion of flame which erupts over his body. His entire torso disappears into a billowing fireball that rips upwards and then back down again, blasting away part of his jeans as well. Infernum's fist is planted squarely where Cain's chest would have been before the fireball blossomed, having unleashed a blow worthy of the likes of Rogue coupled with the flames asociated with the likes of Pyro.

It's a move he can only do once. But it usually settles all matches. "Your next." he says towards Satana.. only to frown as the flames begin to roil away and he sees his fist planted squarely into the exposed massive chest of Cain Marko who is standing there, unmoved. Lightly scorched but unharmed.

"Heeeeey.." rumbles Cain, grinning slowly, "Nice punch! Cute powers! I'm impressed!"

Infernum gapes, staring at Cain and just taking a fw steps backwards.. only for Cain's massive arm to flex even larger..and then come hurtling in like an incoming asteroid.

*TWHOOOOOM* ripples through the entire club. The reinforced walls distort from the shockwave and the earth lurches violently as his fist lands onto the fire-brute and sends him hurtling backwards away like a shell fired from a battleship.
Satana has posed:
Satana's eyes blaze briefly as she's caught up in emotion, her torso moving in that rhythm that signals ...


Yes, she's a succubus. And she's just supplied all onlookers with her O-face.

Shortly before she's thrown to the floor (in fetching disarray ... she really can't help it!). And for once she doesn't even mind that she's not what everybody is looking at.

Because everybody is looking at what's just happened in the ring that isn't a succulent succubus making a scene. They're looking at the sudden projectile that was once king of this particular ring and how he's now partially embedded in the reinforced concrete walls.

Give the guy some credit for spirit. Broken. Bleeding. Conscious for maybe another fifteen seconds. He DOES bring up a wall of flame that runs across the ring like someone threw a match into a pool of gasoline. The whole ring erupts in the extreme plasma of this wall of flame. Behind Cain, Satana makes a desperate hand gesture, barely getting up a magical ward in time to keep from getting her physical body unpleasantly toasted. Cain, naturally, is immolated. Again. For approximately the same outcome, only more scorched clothing.
Juggernaut has posed:
The fates seem to be conspiring really hard here. Cain is caught in a difficult situation. He didn't want to reveal to them his -actual- identity. Some particularly in the know who are part of his community may have guessed but as far as anyone else knows he's just a really powerful gigantic meta. Maybe mutant. So going into armor was never on the agenda and when the flames rip across his civilian clothes he's got a split second decide on what he's going to do..

And he waits to long. His shirt is blasted away completely and his jeans are turned into tattered burning shreds that are quickly falling apart. If somebody wanted a peek - they got it - and ...

Well what do you expect? It's Juggernaut. He's bigger then the Hulk and in some far off other reality had a one night stand with She Hulk, quite literally dwarfing her at the time. What do -you- think the audience gets a look at before he attempts ineffectually to go for more modesty by crossing his legs and trying to manuever what remains of his pants.

"For god's sake! What the hell?!" he bellows, immediately blaming Satana for this. "You think this is funny?! Someone get me a towel!"

Or a curtain. Probably a curtain. At least Infernum is out like a light and the sight of it enough that audience members don't -dare- laugh.

"Uuh..the winner!" nervously shouts the announcer as his workers hurriedly grab sheets for the giant but are forced to wait for the flames to die down.
Satana has posed:
"I had nothing to do with this!" Satana says, getting to her feet and bristling at the injustice of the accusation. "I was as taken by surprise by it as you were!"

She pauses. Looks. Blinks.

"Pleasant as the surprise may have been..."

That sly smile. That lip licking. Yes. She's a succubus. WE GET THE MESSAGE!

"If, however, you promise to stop being such a boor, I'll clothe you."

She doesn't wait for the promise. Eldritch words drip from her poison tongue. Fingers and arms move in mysterious gestures. Grey fog envelopes Juggernaut and coalesces around him forming into a slightly too tight tee and a more too tight pair of jeans. Someone likes what's below his waist....

"You're welcome!"
Juggernaut has posed:
"You trying to turn me into some sorta male stripper?? Gimme that!"

Cain snatches the sheet up anyway. He wants nothing to do with Satana's 'gift' but he resists the urge to -be- a male stripper and just yank it all off. Nevermind that like most heroes and villains his armor -does- act as a skin suit in places, hugging his muscles tightly and framing them like a second skin as is the fashion..

It's the principle of it. Any look at his 'goods' is on his own terms.

"I'm leaving!" he declares, clearly not believing her protests of innocence and no longer interested in talking business or even collecting his winning. He storms out of the ring, walking through the reinforced walls and glass as if it were so much wet tissue, and thundering towards the locker rooms and backstage areas while wrapping the sheet around his waist, making it a basically barely adequate towel.
Satana has posed:
Satana giggles, actually giggles, at his exit before wending her way to the bookie.

"Ah ... I'm his agent. I'll be collecting both his and my winnings. I'll need two separate receipts."

The bookie really doesn't have much choice in this. Her mind-bending, will-sapping demonic heritage sees to that.

Cain will get his winnings. Eventually. She'll see to it. But first she'll enjoy rolling around on the cash in her hotel room with whoever she picks as her victim tonight.