January 3rd 08:00 EST
New York City, New York - Farmer's Boulevard Spirits
Morning traffic in New York always tended to work one into a mood, even if road rage wasn't exactly a normal tendency. For Donovan Breen though, it was inspiring
. Both hands gripped the steering wheel of the 32 foot box-truck, knuckles turning white as he resisted the urge to at the very least shout at the stupid fuck who just cut him off- "Watch where the fuck yer going stupid fuckin' tosser!" There it was, his fist shaking out the window as a honk sounded in return and the driver in question gave him the single-finger salute. Now he could feel his blood pounding, a slight twitch to his eyes as he took in a deep breath and tried to ignore his brothers arguing in the back of the truck. That had been going on for the last hour
and honestly he had just about had enough, tempted to pull the truck over and shoot both of them. Yet they had a job to do, and unfortunately this job needed Angus' rather unique skill set.
The brother in question was sitting there in what little room was available, cigar in mouth and open bottle of whiskey on the floorboards next to him. Once Donovan might have been concerned about his brother's decision to smoke while he worked, but long ago he decided that if God were to take him from him in that way, he would just hope not to be next to him. Of the three, while he may have been the least likely to be suspected of some kind of violence at first glance, he just so happened to be nearing the top of the FBI's watchlist due to his so-called shenanigans. Angus was only being watched
at the moment because he was merely suspected
of having a role in a dozen bank robberies over the last decade, all involving thermite or explosives of some kind. Regardless of his supposed involvement in major crimes, he was likely the smartest Irishman most would meet, even if that's not saying much for some, and he did
know what he was doing.
Next to him and scratching at the mess he called a beard was the other Breen, Patrick. Compared to Angus he might as well have been a rock for all he had rattling around in his head, but each of the brothers had a purpose and they rarely did a job without one of the others around. And if there was one thing that he knew how to do and did well, it was act as the muscle. He was probably the only one of the brothers to have an actual warrant out for his arrest as well. It was well deserved of course, he had very nearly beaten that police officer to death, and that wasn't even touching the six armed robbery charges, the fourteen assaults and the three actual
murders. If Donovan didn't know any better he might think that the youngest brother actually enjoyed it.
"Look Paddy, I'm just saying that with a skirt like that I bet she keeps it nice and smooth. Like a feckin slip and slide if you get my drift."
"Oh I git yer drift alright, but ye cannae tell me that there's not the slightest possibility of her being an absolute freak."
All the while as they argued over the personal hygiene choices of prominent female heroes, Angus was tinkering with the job in his lap. The job of course being the warhead to a rocket. A rather large
rocket at that, being the almost sixty-five pound ammunition for the launcher taking up most of the space within the truck. Donovan was probably the lucky one for this, and considering he was the boss of the local branch of the Irish Mafia, he banked this one on "Executive Privilege." Horseshit as both younger brothers called it, but he wasn't about to be set ablaze because he depended on Angus' "Ingenuity" as he liked to say. Really all the youngest of the Breen's was, was an overly patriotic kid for a country he wasn't even born in and trying to prove himself to a bunch of wankers overseas. In truth it was their grandfather and father who were the real hardasses of the family, the former serving in the last world war, and the latter taking it to the brits for the homeland.
It was part of how they were able to get their hands on this kind of hardware, shipped overseas in pieces and reassembled earlier in the week for the job that would put them back on the map. Yes, this would cement the Breen name in NYC history, and that thought alone was enough to settle not just his doubts on how crispy he might be once that big bastard launched, but also kept him calm enough until finally they pulled up to the spot. Farmer's Boulevard Spirits, a regular stop for the legitimate side of their gang. Of course, they had already done a delivery two days ago and weren't due for two more, but no one would be paying attention enough to really notice so slight a detail as that… Except perhaps for the real reason why they were here. Just down the street facing the back of the truck was the local Chinese Hand laundromat, and one of their main distribution centers for drugs and cash. Donovan could almost smell the sweet scent of charred heroin and burning cash now…
"Now the fast one though, oh man she's got the thighs to die for. Yeah sure she's not rocking the skirt and bare legs anymore, but even if you put pants on cake it's still cake
"Yer a damn loon Angus, she'll give yer dick rugburn, and that's if the lass would even touch yer dumbass. Now that Sol on the other hand…"
"I'm the loon? I'm the loon?! Fer feck's sake Paddy, she'd crush you without even trying!"
"If only I could be so lucky…"
Donovan's shout was accompanied by the banging of his fist against the plywood separator between the cab and the cargo area, turning back to stare at his idiot brothers. "Truck's parked, so git yer shite together."
Meanwhile, just down the road with quite a bit less swearing, vulgarity and Irishness the Triad was doing business as usual. Above were the residents of the local neighborhood making nice with Madam Mao as she did the normal routine of giving out her 'sagely' advice and checking in with her neighbors. Never mind that one of them was a local hero, who the Madam was quite aware of and always did her best to appear as the doting elder that she played part-time as. It wasn't entirely an act though, as Robert Mao knew quite well and as did many of the local Triad members. The Madam as they called her, considered most of the gang as part of her extended family and that meant that any time one of them was in trouble she would be there to do her part. It also meant that they were subject to her full wrath if they happened to screw something up for the "family", but no one really paid too much mind to that.
At least Robert didn't, and once more as he went over the current business of the day his thoughts turned to matters of family. His own, that is. He took the stairs from the basement, handing off his clipboard with today's numbers on it and informed the crew he would be taking a quick break for a smoke. Madam Mao hated smoking, said it was a westerner thing and that it rotted his spirit just as it did his lungs, and as much as she was probably right he just couldn't kick the habit.
"I'm going out front for a smoke Mother."
His comment drew an exasperated sigh from the old woman, turning away from the pink-haired hero as she was about to go into another tirade against him, but seemed to think better of it. Maybe it was that she felt it wouldn't have any effect, or maybe she didn't want to seem like a bitter old crone from the far east hating the country she lived in to Sol. Robert made no fuss over it just as his mother didn't, resting a hand on her shoulder and promising to return in just a moment.
"My son, Robert." She said once he was out the front door, bell at the top ringing. "More American than some Americans, and certainly speaks English better than some of those kids I've heard running around in the afternoon. Says to me that he wants to leave New York, can you believe that? Married this Kansas girl who always talks about how much she loves the countryside. Sweet thing, works as a nurse in one of the hospitals, you know the type, one of the ones who does it for
those in need."
As she spoke, coming up beside Sol and taking a lean against the counter, some discussion was underway down below in the basement. Mostly in the way of what product was being moved where, and some of those places most certainly not
being Triad territory. With the relative quiet of some of the larger gangs of the city, the Triad had been rumored to be making moves, just the same as those moves were also rumored to be well and truly stirring the shit in New York. Sooner or later one of the others would have had enough, and raised voices down below made it seem like not only was the Triad prepared for such an eventuality, but that they were working towards it. Of course, most people in the laundromat couldn't hear over the machines constantly running, only one might be able to and the Madam stood beside her continuing on about her son.
"Robert, my dear son Robert, confided in me that he actually wants to leave the family business entirely and start a restaurant out west." Nothing too out of the ordinary for a family of immigrants from China- "Tells me that he can't stand our food and wants to fry chicken." Oh.
The son in question currently stood out front, quite unaware of his mother decrying his choices, but thinking of them nonetheless. He had been saving for a good few years now, worked on his credit applications and felt it wouldn't be too long before he would be able to say goodbye to the city and head west. A long draw warmed his body against the cool January air, the cloud of steam rising from his lips as he held the cigarette there for a moment and remained pensive. His thoughts were interrupted by the trundle of a large box truck working its way down the road towards the intersection. This time of morning it wasn't unusual of course, most businesses were receiving their deliveries and had already been open for a couple hours if not getting ready to do so. What struck the man was to whom the truck belonged. As it passed by he got a glimpse of the driver, an irishman who seemed like he took eight or nine punches too many in the last pub-brawl.
It was a face most of the local Triad were familiar with, that of Donovan Breen the head of the local Irish Mafia. What he was doing here this early in the morning was anyone's guess, but already Robert was feeling a little suspicious as the truck made the turn down the road facing the laundromat and pulled up in front of the local liquor store. A slow puff of the cigarette in his mouth accompanied his thoughts, working on what kind of angle could possibly be had. There was the logo of the 'legitimate' shipping company for the mafia, a rather vulgar interpretation of irish folklore depicting a leprechaun riding something called a butfor. After a few moments he simply shook his head and dismissed the thoughts, returning to those of his future culinary pursuits.
He didn't have long, as before half of the cigarette was gone the door to the truck opened and the vague outline of a large mechanism within could be seen with two men operating it in the confined space of the cargo area. It was almost comical in a sense, so much stuffed in that truck that there was barely room to move, and he would have laughed if he wasn't confused as to what it was they had managed to smuggle into town this time. If he had been a little more familiar with such things, he might have recognized the distinct shape of eight rockets sitting in the rack, steadily lining up with the glass front of the laundromat he was smoking in front of. Then came the bright flash of fire against the back of the truck, one by one each of those rockets firing and screaming down the street. In slow motion the cigarette fell from his lips, eyes going wide as he watched the cluster of eight powering towards him and the laundromat. There was no time for any sort of warning, all he could do was watch as a yellow-painted warhead passed right by his face and punched through the glass.
Almost as soon as it did it hit the back of the laundromat, landing in an open front-load dryer and detonating with enough force alone to bring the building down. The bow-wave of explosive force shattered the windows of the store, sending glass shrapnel ahead of the flame, and launching Robert Mao off his feet and across the street. Then came the explosions and the world screamed back into full motion as the laundromat went up in flames, as did the two businesses on either side, and burying the basement with everyone inside.
January 2nd, 12:05 PM (EST)
North of Atlanta, Georgia - Side of US Highway
Chaos did truly work in mysterious ways, or at least that was what she thought at first. It had been ten years since she lost pretty much everything she knew except her powers and the League, and they were better at saving people from physical danger than emotional as she found. Sure, for a bit she held out hope. There had been people coming in along both coasts from Central City, claiming to have escaped the destruction, and each time she had been there expecting… What could she really have expected? Every tale of heroes told about how they had to make sacrifices, and in those early years she thought she could be the exception. So it was that eventually, though she put on the same smile, she steadily lost hope. To the point where when someone showed up out of nowhere on the back of a friend, as cold a friendship as it was at this point, she doubted.
Doubt was what put her sister on the bench as she worked through every little possibility. She had gained a sense for chaotic magic over the years, and though it was nothing close to that of a proper demon or mage, this girl had a feeling of it about her that she couldn't shake. Not to mention the sheer coincidence of showing up just after being confronted by the spooky german. Next thing she expected Duncan to turn into a werewolf or something, maybe make an off-color joke about peaches and finding her in… Okay, she might have set herself up for that one and really couldn't fault anyone for that. Still, it felt weird and then… Then it got weirder.
She watched as all of a sudden her sister's hands started to vibrate, then energy sparked from them all around her. Being what she was, she knew what speed-force looked like and could see it coursing through the girl's body. Quite suddenly she remembered what her first time was like, ending up almost two counties over and more than a little confused as to what actually happened. Verra started to reach out, trying to get a warning out but found herself once again too slow as she had taken too much time thinking things through to act. With the quickness of a speedster just manifesting, the girl went from the bench and forward a dozen meters within the blink of an eye for any normal person. Then… Then she stopped quite suddenly, with the assistance of a brick wall."Hey! Language."
Verra was quick to scowl and point at Champ, finger wagging in his direction as she heard his curse and sighed. While the canuckistani could be rather endearing at times, difficult to reason with at others, and of course there was the whole thing with their last conversation… He had not once lied to her or anyone she knew of. Truly a boyscout. An alien one, but still a boyscout. She sighed again and pressed her palm to her forehead, fingers running through her vibrant red locks as she thought about it. If there was anyone left who knew her and her sister, it would have been him considering the connection they had before all this went down. So that meant… Well, first before she got hopeful, the girl had just knocked herself out cold with her first dose of speedforce. Everything else could wait until she was awake and aware."Okay. So, that's Lexi then. We uh… Should probably get her to a place less public and sort things out, people are staring."