7594/A Seemingly Random Encounter

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__NOCACHE__ 
A Seemingly Random Encounter
Date of Scene: 22 May 2019
Location: Somewhere in NYC
Synopsis: Leonardo and Alopex are looking for each other. The turtle finds the fox first.
Cast of Characters: Alopex, Leonardo


Alopex has posed:
    Night time has fallen over the Big Apple, and the tri-state area in general. As the clock started to come around to 10 PM, Alopex had wandered out from her current home for a few reasons. Her typical patrol is one, but to get some grub for herself and her new ... hmm. She wasn't sure what word to use. Student? Sidekick? Protege? eh, none of those felt right. Regardless of the word to use, the pair needed to eat and as a result, here Alopex goes, out on the town, for both their sakes.

    Currently, the arctic fox is perched on the edge of a rooftop, drinking some water out of a canteen as she takes a long look around. The sounds of the city are everywhere. People talking, cars traveling, horns honking, music blaring from here or there, the occasional siren is heard in the distance.. your typical city ambience. Her ears and nose are being focused on, trying to decide on just what to sate her appetite with today. "Mm, maybe chinese food tonight.."

Leonardo has posed:
Since the encounter at the Museum in Mutant Town some weeks back, Leonardo and the rest of the Turtles have been scarce. Even Raphael hasn't gone out for his secret night excursions quite as often, though Michelangelo has kept them well-stocked on pizza as usual. Donatello's been engrossed in his projects, and once Leonardo recovered from nearly getting run through by Shredder in defense of his brother and April, he's returned to his rigorous training regimen.

That means he's also returned to patrolling. There are questions surrounding some of the things that went on that night, and he's been in search of some answers he's been seeking. Silent as ever up top, utilizing the rooftops for cover, he's slowly expanded the range of his watch beyond the main ways into and out of the sewers closest to their lair.

Finally, a bite. A familiar-looking figure a few rooftops over, seemingly unaware of his presence. A silent approach, a perch taken not far away. His voice follows a few moments later, rough and gravelly:

"Alopex."

Alopex has posed:
    While the fox's ears perk up instantly, she doesn't make any other sudden movements. Instead, she just caps her canteen and then holds her arms out at her sides. Unarmed, is what she's hoping to show. She had heard Leonardo's voice enough in the museum that night, and in their previous encounters. She wasn't about to forget it.

    If he doesn't object when she stirs, the fox will slowly stand up, step back from the edge of the rooftop, and slowly turn around to look in the direction she heard the voice of. "I hope we can talk."

Leonardo has posed:
"That's up to you," Leonardo answers, after she makes with slow movements and a show of being unarmed. He adds with suspicion, "Anything in those wraps I'm going to find pulled on me, or am I going to end up surprised?" By the time she's facing him, she'll see he's already got a hand wrapped around the grip of a katana at his back, ready to draw it if necessary.

She'll find him crouched in the shadows of a billboard, that blue mask's tail trailing on a breeze. "What do we have to talk about? Shredder? The Foot? Did you know about April?"

Alopex has posed:
    "Nothing in the wraps, nothing actually on me, Leonardo. I left with .. very little," she points out as she regards the turtle once he's visible to her. With how suspicious he is, and the tone of voice, her ears dip and that tail has gone still. "I was on a project of my own, I had no clue about April," she informs, not even sure that she'll be believed.

    "I drew blood, you know. If you think I'm still with the Foot Clan after attacking him, drawing blood, and tearing out of there like I did... then I don't know how to convince you of anything else. I have information, sure, I have people that can vouch for me that are -not- in the clan. I can even tell you -why- if you must know." She's told the story twice recently, at this point it wouldn't bother her to go over it again.

Leonardo has posed:
Leonardo's hand lingers near the sword, his crouched stance one of readiness, preparation. It's not hard to imagine him leaping into action countless times before, blades reflecting in the light.

This time, he holds his position.

"You'll understand when I say I don't take anything to do with Shredder at face value these days. Not after Mutant Town and the Family. Not after everything else. All I know is we've faced you multiple times, and I know the way you fought, so what changed?" It's her chance to explain it all to him.

Alopex has posed:
    She can understand the distrust. She knew this is what she was in for once she left the Foot Clan. She doesn't respond at first, instead lowering down, sitting on her knees, hands in her lap. She -really- is at his mercy at this point, and if he wants to take advantage of it, so be it.

    "About a month ago, The Shredder decided to take me on a mission far, far to the north. It was to be some sort of initiation, a way to prove just how loyal I am to The Foot Clan. I was told to explore the remnants of a lab located near Fairbanks, Alaska, while he attended to ... other business. When I found the lab, I realized exactly what it was. It was the place I was changed. It was the place they experimented on me, exposed me to mutagen, and created the creature you see before you. ... The lab, however, was a ruin. It hadn't been used in years. Realizing this, I wandered outside."

    If he doesn't move to pull one of his blades, Alopex takes a drink before she continues. "There was a forest behind the lab. As I wandered out there, I started to remember bits of my life before .. all this. I remembered being the primary hunter for my family. I remembered having to deal with other creatures that would either try to take the food I found or scavenge what we tried to hide for later. What I remembered most of all, however, was a bear. This massive, tyrant of a beast to me and my family. It would terrorize us from time to time, sometimes harassing us in our den for days, just trying to get at the scraps we had, if not one of us entirely. Still, I realized this was just the past. It was.. nice to have that clarity, to remember these things but it was just as I started to feel refreshed, maybe even whole because of my memory returning, that I smelled something."

        "Something was on fire."

Leonardo has posed:
Up to this point, Leonardo and the Turtles have primarily known Alopex as a dangerous adversary, one of Shredder's main servants. Bebop and Rocksteady were a threat, but they were unintelligent. Koya and Bludgeon are new to the game, relatively unknown aside from the fight in the Museum basement. Alopex has been an issue on more than one occasion. Leo knows just how quick she is, how good her training is.

So, for the time being, he listens. He listens as quietly as if he wasn't there at all, save the fact she can see him the whole way. He remains stone-still as she sips from the canteen, studying her words, her body language, everything about her. "I knew mutagen was involved. Continue." His lips barely even move as he prompts her to go on, now listening to the recounting of the forest, the lab, the memory of the bear's threat. His eyes narrow slightly, an equally minimal dip of his head encouraging her to keep talking once the fire is mentioned. There's only a small shifting of his weight where he remains.

Alopex has posed:
    "A fire in the snowy forests of Alaska aren't entirely common. Animals were running away from it as I was sprinting toward it, dropping to all fours at one point. If the forest was burning, the family I once had was in danger. Everything I ever -knew- in my previous life was in danger. When I got to the source, I came upon The Shredder and Foot Clan soldiers with flame throwers. At the same time, a number of timed bombs I had set in the lab exploded, destroying the facility my new life started in."

    "When I laid eyes on Oroku Saki, he told me that this initiation was a ritual that dated back centuries. I was to let go of my past so I could embrace my future with my 'true' family." She frowns. "He actually said he was -proud- of me. Even back then, I snapped at this, I lunged, I clawed, I bit, I slashed, and even then, I drew blood from him, but that was the first time. "I only remember a little of what I said in my rage. I was frustrated that I finally remembered my old life and he stole it away. He was actually -smiling- that I managed to injure him, but then he took off the 'gloves', drove me to the ground, and told me to never touch him again. And that's what I did, until that night in the museum. He had the gall to talk about family, how yours could never defeat his, when the Foot Clan was the furthest thing from a family that has ever existed. That's when I attacked him. That's when I touched him again, in a rage. And that was the moment I left the Foot Clan. After I attacked him, I dropped smoke and I left. I ran to their HQ, I grabbed what little I could, and I left. He would not tolerate a second attack."

    This is when she glances up. "And ever since, I have been working against him. I've been giving as much information about the Foot as I can to an FBI agent by the name of Cody Garrett. He's already started working with me to try and bring this corruption in the city to a close. I've met people from Gotham who have been drawn into the fight. I found another mutant that I took into my care that wants to defend this city. I have started to make a -real- family, Leonardo, with just these few people. If I can't prove myself to you, I would hope you speak to them, and they can convince you in my stead. ... I even have Cody's number and contact information if you want it. I'm sure your brother could look him up on the internet."

Leonardo has posed:
Still, the eldest of the turtles listens. But, the further along Alopex gets, the more disturbed his expression grows.

The fire. Shredder. The initiation. The retaliation. The threat.

Then, the Museum. April. Koya. Bludgeon. Shredder again. The infiltration. The rescue. The surprise. The confusion. The wound. The healing.

When the tale is finished and the name of the agent given, someone he didn't see by that point, Leonardo rises slowly and deliberately from his spot, hopping down to the main part of the roof so quietly he can barely be heard even by someone with Alopex's senses. Then, just as slowly, he reaches behind himself, removing not only his katanas but their sheathes as well, crouching, resting them at his feet, perfectly parallel to each other. He steps around them, not over them, and approaches the arctic fox, stopping within arm's length of her.

"I remember seeing you attack him now. Everything was a blur after that, but I remember now." He barely breathes, in or out, and his body language gives away someone who is fully in control of himself and his state of mind. He knows exactly what he's doing. He's leaving himself vulnerable to her, open to that surprise attack.

If it comes, it comes. If it doesn't, it doesn't. Either way, he'll have a significant answer.

Alopex has posed:
    The only movement Alopex makes is to open her eyes and glance up at the turtle of blue. The blades are removed, they're set down, and then the two end up in similar sitting positions. Rather than an ambush, assault, or some sort of underhanded attack, Alopex instead reaches for the canteen (that she's probably been seen drinking out of TWICE at this point) and offers it to Leo.

    "I appreciate the trust, even if it is a small amount, Leonardo. It will not be betrayed now, nor in the future," she offers, looking across the small space between the two. "I'm glad you remembered. Anger, rage, panic, pain, they can all cause memories to break for a while, but they come back eventually." She takes a deep breath, exhales slowly, and visibly relaxes. She wasn't going to attack, it didn't appear he was going to attack. This was a good first step, small, but very much first. "Thank you for listening."

Leonardo has posed:
Leonardo sits as he would if he was deep in meditation, a position he could hold for an undetermined length of time as it looks like it doesn't trouble him in any way. A hand goes up at some point. "This doesn't mean there's trust yet. This is a start, but I will have to speak with this agent friend of yours and get his side of the story. You can leave the Foot, and while that doesn't erase the past, I believe Shredder manipulated you and molded you into exactly what he wanted. That's what he does, and that's what he's doing with the kids he brings in."

The canteen is accepted, without one hand coming into contact with the other, and after he sips from it he offers it back. "I know you've been looking for us, but we are hard to find for a reason. I suggest you stop looking. If you want to speak to us, leave a note in the alley behind Rupert's Pizzeria. We'll find it. Give me a place to leave a note as well if we need to see you."

He gives her a chance to respond to this however she will, then he says, "I'll talk to my brothers and our father. I can't say how they'll react, but if you're sincere I believe they'll hear you out as I am now. What matters the most to me is putting an end to Shredder's plans, with or without your help."

Alopex has posed:
    "I found you, in a sense. I wouldn't have kept looking at this point," Alopex begins to reply as she accepts the canteen back. "It took at least a touch of trust to sit here with me, it is a start, that is all. I do not expect you to allow me to just walk into your lair after telling you my story. I know what I put you and your brothers through. I honestly expect a swift kick in the chin from Raphael, truth be told."

    She pauses, listening to the rest of Leo's response before she continues. "Ah, alright, I'll keep Rupert's in mind, then. As for me, there's a small convenience store over in Westchester at the intersection of Roberts and Elm. If you leave something on the roof there, I'll find it too." Another pause, more listening. "As for what he did... yes, I think.. there's more to what he's up to, and I'll answer any questions you ahve, Leonardo. No ambushes, nothing. If you want the location of the bases I know of, names, personel, anything.. just name it."

Leonardo has posed:
"I found you," Leonardo points out, and as far as he's concerned that's more true than Alopex finding him, or them. Unless, of course, she isn't talking about the here and now. It's true. he's given her enough trust to expose himself to her, whether he's prepared to retaliate with or without any weapons. She might still have spotted some shuriken loaded into his belt. "He might just try that, it's true," he says of Raph, a flicker of something at the edge of his mouth that suggests amusement coming and going.

Then, he undoes himself from the position he's taken, rising slowly. "Noted. We should speak again within a week. I may have my brothers with me next time, and if things go a certain way perhaps we can help each other in dealing with Shredder."

Alopex has posed:
    Once Leonardo rises, Alopex follows shortly after. She takes a step back before telling him, "I'm going to get something, it isn't a weapon," she insists as she tugs at one of her bracers before producing a sort of business card. It's all of Cody Garrett's contact information. "The agent I told you about," she explains. "As for my other friend, well, if you want to speak to her you'll have to speak to both of us. I think she recently escaped where she was mutated and she's still adjusting to everything. Agent Garrett and a woman from Gotham that goes by 'Huntress', as well as Wonder Woman and Red Robin are aware of her, but that's about all. Just ... let me know, then. If I don't hear from all of you, I completely understand, but I -will- be acting against The Shredder as well, one way or another."

Leonardo has posed:
Leonardo raises a brow after accepting the information for the FBI agent, which shows mainly as a lifting of that portion of his mask. "Is this friend also someone Shredder made?" he wonders, sounding a combination of concerned and suspicious. The Gotham names don't draw much of a reaction from him at this point, but there may be more he can find out about them over time. "We don't tend to show ourselves much if we can help it, but I've been starting to wonder how much longer that's going to work."

Alopex has posed:
    "Ah, no, no she was not. She had no idea who the Foot Clan was, or anything else relating to the Shredder. She's reluctant to talk about it right now. She was pretty traumatized by the lab she was in, and I have to admit I kind of remember my time in the lab too. It wasn't pleasant. Given some time to rest, relax, and recouperate, and then we'll see what else she may know, if she decides to talk about it."

Leonardo has posed:
"Tell her she has a kindred spirit in a sense," Leonardo says, figuring Alopex will understand. "Whether by mutagen or some other way, there are too many of us touched by these kinds of things. It's up to us to do something with who and what we are." He turns away from the white fox to retrieve his weapons and return them to their normal place at the back of his shell, glancing over a shoulder toward her. "We will see each other again. Until then, be careful. I know you are also ninja." He knows very well. Whatever her response, he fades into the shadows shortly thereafter, and will of course take care to find his way back home untracked.