1877/They Came at Night!

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They Came at Night!
Date of Scene: 17 August 2017
Location: Manhattan
Synopsis: A group of strange beings make themselves known for 'First Contact'.
Thanks to: Iron Fist
Cast of Characters: Iron Fist, Traci 13, Stargirl, Sublime, Spider-Woman (Drew)
Tinyplot: The Key

Iron Fist has posed:
Night has just fallen on Salem Center, but there is still a quiet bustle along its downtown streets, in its cafes and restaurants. This is a place where any kind of bustle is typically just that, quiet. The flashy battles and invasions so often seen in nearby New York City just aren't the kinds of things that happen here, and residents prefer it that way. They /move/ here for that reason. So, it seems in keeping with that tradition that their arrival was not with a bang, but with a slow burn.

It began in the woods nearby. Three hulking figures emerging from the treeline in a slow and steady path toward town. They moved through dark suburban streets, past million-dollar homes where families sat eating dinner or watching television, dogs barking as they passed. They strode through busier streets on the edge of the downtown district, forcing cars to pull over. That's when the first calls were made.

When they eventually made it into the busier districts, they brought with them slowly approaching police vehicles blaring warnings from their megaphones. "Stop right there! Hands on your heads!" But these massive creatures, seemingly made from the forest they came from, didn't stop or seem to hear. Still now, they don't stop. And in the distance: City Hall.

Traci 13 has posed:
    Well. It wasn't -her- city. But it was -a- city. And, while Traci was hardly Superman, or Zatanna, she -was- a hero. Or at least, had a hero's spirit within her. Traci had been visiting a friend, when she'd walked out onto the street to the news, and the cries for help, and the fear. So, naturally, with iguana in hand (or, more appropriately, riding on her head), Traci 13 begins to trek over towards the hubaloo, all the while talking -- to nobody? "I don't know, Leroy. You'll find out as soon as I do." There's a pause, "I don't know. Figure something out. We always do, don't we?"

Stargirl has posed:
There's a light in the darkness - a golden glow. As it gets stronger, it's clear that there's a girl inside. She's blonde, dressed in stars and red, white and blue. She's standing on a long golden staff, surrounded by a golden nimbus... possibly a forcefield. She's coming in the direction of City Hall. She slows as she nears the police cordon.

Sublime has posed:
    The other blonde currently making her way down the street as she exits Harry's is...very not a hero. For one, she does not have a staff or costume. Or an inguana. For another...she's a bit inebriated from the careful way she's making her way down the street. And the way it takes her a bit to belatedly realize there are police cars and loudspeakers. Rachel blinks a bit owlishly as she stops, staring at the oncoming three...things?

    "...damn...someone spiked m'drink..." she mutters, rubbing her eyes.

Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
"Yeah, I dunno. I'm at a gas station." Jessica Drew is saying into her cellphone, the device propped between shoulder and ear as she sticks the nozzle of the gas dispensor into the tank of her motorcycle, a sign warning against cellphone use literally right infront of her face, "I dunno. Some Podunk little place north of the city, I think. It's like Suburbian purgatory, I've seen twelve Mini Vans already and I've only been here 10 minutes."

The nozzle is squeezed, and the gasoline begins to gush from nozzle into tank. "Yeah, I'll probably get a coffee, then I'll be in the city in, I dunno, 30 minutes?" she says, "40? 20? Depends how fast I go." She still hasn't noticed the shambling treemen, yet.

Iron Fist has posed:
The creatures are about eight feet tall, their bulk seemingly composed of wood, moss, vines, and other plant parts that shift and bend organically with their movements. Several more steps are made on their path to city hall, but the glowing light that is Stargirl stops all three of them. They make no move to attack, but seem, for the first time, to take in their surroundings.

Several people on the streets huddle in fear, while others make a run for it. Still more watch through the windows of different establishments flanking the street. Behind the creatures, the police cars roll to a stop and several uniformed men and women step out of them, levelling their firearms.

The lead creature turns to glance over his shoulder, speaking in an indecipherable language that mixes what seem to be words with the sound of grinding debris.

Just outside of that part of town, at the gas station, there's obvious movement in the treeline just behind the attached convenience store, which offers most of the illumination in the surrounding area. Loud footsteps, branches snapping. Animals scurrying underfoot.

Traci 13 has posed:
    "Alright, Leroy. Let's --," and then Traci is moving up behind the cop cars, and slipping past them, quickly, before one of them can grab her, without looking back. She looks back to the police, "Don't worry about me. You keep everyone else safe. I'm okay," she promises.
    "--okay, Leroy. So, teleportation spell? Ready."
    She sets the iguana down, and ... murmurs something herself, and suddenly, ... it isn't an iguana standing there. But rather, it's a two-story iguana, who resembles a dragon, more than anything else. But, the massively spell-enhanced familiar seems fairly docile, presently. Traci pats his leg, and then looks to the treemen, "Figures. I really need to learn a translation spell. Alright. Here goes nothing."
    She tries a friendly wave at the treemen. "Hi. I'm Traci 13."

Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
"Hold on, I think something might be going on. I hear a lot of sirens. Are there any Soccer Mom themed villain gangs or anything out there?" Jessica Drew asks, craning her neck just a little to peer over in the direction of the cops, and their loudspeakers.

The nozzle is let go, and returned to the pump as she reaches to zip her jacket up, and pull her glasses down over her eyes. "Yeah, I'll call you back." She says, stepping off from the motorcycle, and the pumps, with a quick glance cast in the direction of the treeline as her keen ears pick up the crunching of feet.

Stargirl has posed:
    "Please stop." Stargirl says, holds her arms out wide. She collects her staff into a hand, but still she floats there in the sky. "I don't know if you can understand me, but you are causing a panic. What do you want?" she asks. She increases the brightness of her forcefield, hoping she looks impressive.

Sublime has posed:
    Rachel watches fairly bemusedly. Where most of the passerbys are more wisely running for the hills oar peering out from cover, she's just....standing there. And then there's a giant iguana."

    "Okay, thish ish shome -really- good shtuff..." she mutters to herself, blinking at the scene as she wobbles a bit, then puts out a hand to steady herself against a light post...which goes through the light post as she nearly falls over.

    "Oops!" she says with a faint drunken giggle, then straightens up, wiggling her fingers through the post. "Right...gotta shtop that..." she says sagely to herself, before turning her gaze back on the odd group forming out in the middle of the street.

Iron Fist has posed:
If the lumbering plant men weren't enough to send some of the suburbanites running, the giant iguana does the trick. It even surprises the three creatures, who seem to discuss the lizard in their own peculiar tongue. Very soon, the street clears out, leaving the group (odd, indeed) alone among the the single-story establishments, with the largish city hall in the background.

Eventually, the lead plant man turns toward Stargirl and seems to try out a few sounds before speaking in slow, accented English. "Want," it starts. "Want to meet." Behind it, one of the other creatures turns to give a lazy wave to Traci 13.

Back by the gas station, Jessica drew may spot two red lights among the trees, moving in tandem with sound of crunching footsteps.

Traci 13 has posed:
    Traci breathes a rather large sigh of relief. "Good. You speak our tongue, too." Mental note: Visit Doctor Strange and look up walking treemen in his library, Traci.
    She looks up at Stargirl, smliing towards the other girl even as she lingers at Leroy. She tells the immense lizard, "They're okay. Let's just keep the police from harming them, okay?"
    And, with that, mindful of his tail, the oversized iguana takes a few steps back, and then slightly turns sideways, making it extremely difficult for the cops to line up any sort of shots. A buffer. But, it doesn't stop the authorities from -hearing- what's going on.
    "What do you want to meet about? And, who do you want to meet?" Fair enough questions, afterall.
    She watches Stargirl, glad for the more showy heroine's arrival, and help clearly. She gives a quick grin to the treeman who waved at her, but her eyes soon fixate back on the 'leader'.
    "If we can help, we will gladly do so."

Stargirl has posed:
Courtney drifts closer to the iguana/dragon and the police there. "We'll handle this." she calls down. "Thank you for responding so quickly." she tells the gathered members of Salem Center's Finest. "We'll talk to it first, and if we need your firepower, we'll shout, okay?" Still, she's ready to put up a field to block bullets if any of the police get trigger-happy.

Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
Off the top of a parked Mercedes, vaulting off the edge of the canopy covering the pumps, then onto the rooftop of the gas station goes Jessica Drew, the red eyes from the treeline having not gone unnoticed, and a little button is pressed on her sunglasses to expand them into a fancy mask of sorts as she moves along the edge of the rooftop to attempt to parallel the creatures in the trees, who, also, seem to be made of trees.

Sublime has posed:
    As things don't appear to be immediately causing havoc, and while Stargirl and Traci are facing off agains the odd creatures...Rachel lets out a faint hiccup, then wanders over to the huge iguana, on the same side as the other two girls, before she reaches out to pet it a bit, then sort of leans against it, snuggling. "Awww...good...iguala...igua...lizzzard...." she murmurs, rubbing his scales. She turns around and leans against him comfortable as she watches, blinking a bit at the plant creatures. "Wow, ish like...mulch ate shomeone an' kept goin'...."

    Yup. She's helping!

Iron Fist has posed:
As the heroines, police officers, giant iguana, and Rachel take stances around them, the three plant beings in downtown Salem Center form an outward-facing ring, a defensive posture, and who can blame them? Just as the police are playing it safe by keeping their weapons trained on the beings, so are they by making sure they can see everything around them.

The leader turns to Traci 13 and considers her questions for a moment, or so it seems. Then, he gives a violent cough, expunging a clump of dirt onto the ground. His response, it seems, is a look of shame.

Another of the plant beings answers instead, in the same slow way. "We. H'ylthri." As it speaks, its hand is placed on its chest, and it gives almost a bow to the woman.

On the outskirts, a spot in the forest next to the gas station where Jessica Drew is posted opens up, and another massive being emerges. Whether or not it sees the woman on the roof is unclear, though it does shamble around to the opposite side of the building without even an upward glance. The sound of the door opening can be heard, then a scream from the solitary employee inside.

Traci 13 has posed:
    Leroy looks down at Rachel with a maw that's big enough to swallow her, quite possibly whole. Huge eyes rotate in their sockets to watch her, but he seems passive enough, the scales cool to the touch.
    "H'ylthri," repeats Traci, with perfect pronunciation. It happens, when you learn several magical languages. You pick up a few things. Like how the -slightest- change of inflection of tone can really screw up a spell. "Is that what you call yourselves, or," she looks to the 'leader', "Are you ill? Sick?"
    If she hears the scream, presently, she might believe it's just someone spotting the treemen, or Leroy.

Stargirl has posed:
Stargirl hears the scream and lifts up a bit higher over the scene, hoping she can see. But, she stays on station, wanting to be here in case things go pear-shaped.

Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
"That's no Soccer Mom." Comes from the lips of Jessica Drew as she moves along the edge of the gas station roof in parallel to the big creature. The scream from the suprised store employee causes her to pipe up a bit louder, "Hey, Big Guy." She calls, "Isn't it a bit early for Arbor Day? The forest's back that way." She thumbs in the direction the tree-man emerged from as she walks along the narrow ledge at the edge of the gas station's roof.

Sublime has posed:
    A blond head pops out from behind the iquana tail back towards the direction of the scream, as Rachel blinks a bit, before she walks through Leeroy to get to the other side. There's a joke in there, but really, she phases right through rather than try and manuver back around the huge familiar as she tries to see what's going on.

Iron Fist has posed:
The leader of the plant creatures shudders visibly, then reaches out with a foot to sweep some of the dirt it expeled closer to it. The gesture seems polite, as if it's cleaning up its own mess.

"Yes," the other creature tells Traci 13, offering a simple nod along with the answer, which seems to fit all questions asked of it. "Please," it follows up, stretching out its long arm, which is criss-crossed with pulsing vegetation. It's hand, closed into what resembles a fist, seems to be offering something. "A gift. For you." Both the leader and the third being, who is watching with a quiet intensity, do the same, making an offer to Stargirl and Rachel (or the iguana?) as well.

Jessica, from her spot on the roof, will hear the grumbling language of these plant people, followed by a very human sob and the cocking of a firearm.

Traci 13 has posed:
    Traci looks back to Leroy, who, gently, but insistantly, moves his leg to nudge Rachel towards the gifting hand of the treefolk, then, she takes a hesitant step forwards with a sharp exhale of breath. She nods, "I am not sure what we can do. But, we will try to help," she promises, at least willing to try. She holds her small hands out for - well, whatever the gift is. And, prepared for something - well, plant-ish. Maybe even wet. And unaware of any dangers of anything going, in fact, pear shaped. Or worse, as she wonders how she suddenly got herself into this mess just a little too late.

Stargirl has posed:
Stargirl changes her focus, to the tree-men about to give Traci something. She means to project a forcefield on the other young woman should things get even stranger than they already are, especially if they attack the mage. "We thank you." she says. "What kind of gift?"

Sublime has posed:
    She of the short attention span turns back as she's nudged, letting out a little mmphs as she staggers forward a little, before she walks a bit closer to the third one who's offering the gift, tilting her head. She glances over at Traci, a little uncertainty, but reaches out obediently.

    "....hmmm....thanks?" she says slowly, then holds out her hands, copying Traci as she glances over at her. "For the shtuff...thingee...whatever?"

Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
Down from the roof jumps Jessica Drew, grabbing onto the edge of the building to swing down in the direction that she heard that door opening, and the gun cocking, "Woah! Slow down turbo!" She exclaims, "I don't think your Saturday Night Special is going to stop Paul Bunyons Arch Nemesis here!" She says, in her 'best' let's defuse the situation voice she's got, which, admittedly, isn't one of her finest skillsets.

Iron Fist has posed:
The plant people don't move an inch as Traci and Rachel approach them. Neither does the leader, in fact, who continues to offer an outstreched hand up toward Stargirl. When the two women accept, the plant people open their hands and drop a fistful of quinoa-sized seeds into their palms.

"From. Our people. To you," explains the most talkative of the group. As he does, all three drop to one knee and spread their arms, perhaps suggesting their culture is more distinguished than one might expect. Certainly moreso than the police expect, as they throw each other confused looks.

Then, three shots ring out, heard by all.

Jessica Drew will see them fired as well. When she drops to the ground, she'll see the shopkeeper levelling a pistol at the plant person, his hands shaking uncontrollably, through the open door. The plant person makes a defensive move, and the civilian opens fire. The shots send splinters and bits of plant matter in all directions. In response, pulsating vines and bendable wood extend across the floor and out to wrap around the young man's wrists, before the creature stumbles and falls.

Traci 13 has posed:
    Traci takes the seeds, carefully holding them so not one drops on the ground. They were at least something she'd mostly guessed at - something plant oriented. Traci looks at the seed given her, then she curtsies, which might - at least, to the people watching, might look odd for a girl in heavy boots, striped leggings, a mini-skirt and babydoll white shirt. Not something a teenage girl like that usually does.
    She has enough time to say, graciously, "Thank you," ... when she hears the shots ring out.
    At first, she glances behind herself, to view the police, wondering if they had, before her eyes strain to the shop. She has no idea what's going on.
    She just has a sinking feeling in her stomach, for some unexplained reason. She looks to the leader, asking, "Are ... there any others of you that came, that are not here?" She's -really- hoping not, and it's visible on her face. She gives a worried glance to Rachel, then to Stargirl, before looking back up to the leader.

Sublime has posed:
    Rachel catches the seeds carefully, lowering her hands to peer at them. "...huh. Thatsh....cool?" she says after a moment. It could have been worse than seeds! She carefully slides them into her purse, before she spins around at the gunshot, her slightly bemused expression sharpening as she tries to see where it came from.

    Not from the police, she thinks, before looking up at Courney, then Traci. "...so...that wasn't...someone shootin' cousin It or somethin', right?" she says, hopefully. "Cuz these guys seem alright!" She reaches back to pat the one nearest to her absently.

Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
"Are. You. Kidding." Jessica Drew says, staring at the civilian in disbelief for just a moment before she rushes inside the gas station building where the panicked civillian is and reaches to grab at the pistol he holds, and crush the barrel, her other hand reaching to try and pull the vines off of him, "What if that was a... really big trick or treater??" She says in a scolding voice, her gaze glancing out towards the fallen tree person a little as she deals with the panicked man.

Iron Fist has posed:
The three H'ylthri look as surprised as anyone else at the shots fired. The police are on it quickly, though, speaking into their radios and calling for backup in the direction the sounds came from. One squad car even packs up to head out there, perhaps because it's a quiet town and resources are thin.

The leader nods its head solemnly and answers simply, "Yes. There are others." It glances to the other two and stands, lowering its arm and opening his hand, which is empty despite never having had a chance to offer his 'gift.' "Please, let us go to him."

In the gas station, the downed H'ylthri wheezes as dirt pours from his wound. The civilian, on the other hand, apologizes over and over again as Jessica helps unwind the plants from him.

Traci 13 has posed:
    "Go," Traci says, as she summons a small bag into her hands which she then will carefully put the seeds into. They will be studied, later. Possibly planted, if she can figure out why they're considered a gift. But, she knows - or feels - these creatures are not here to harm them. Especially after her encounter with the Windiwyrm and Atlee. "We want to be friends, to help. Please remember that. Some people might be scared of you. Even as you are of us." She hopes the creatures - won't start a war over this possible debacle.
    She worries her lip, and looks to Stargirl, "God, I hope this isn't going to cause trouble," she says after the treemen leave the area. She is of no mind to stop, or lead the treemen anywhere, letting them instead go to their companion. Good faith, and all that. Apologies for a first meeting really, really mucked up.

Sublime has posed:
    Rachel huhs. "...well, fuck." she mutters, as she moves aside so the three can go to the injured one, then looks to Traci. "...so, what I just..hold onto these seed things or...." She rubs her face. "...gah...I am too fuckin' buzzed to deal with this."

    She rummages in her purse, then scrawls a number on a piece of paper and hands it to Traci, since she's...well, on the ground. "Here. Call me. I'm gonna go home." She pauses. "...unless I can ride your lizard home." she adds. She is willing to wait for a ride on a giant lizard!