|Marvel: In the Beginning...|
Lower Manhattan - New York CityEdit
Manhattan, the best known of New York's many boroughs to the point where it is immediately what most people imagine when they hear the city's name. By daylight, it's an island of greys, browns and reds, manmade canyons of glass, steel and stone criss-crossing for miles and miles over the island's surface, broken up by only the occasional lake of green. By night, it glows with thousands of thousands of electric lights, cutting into the night and banishing the dark.
However, Lower Manhattan is far from homogenous, from the posh and stately Upper East Side to the brick buildings of the East Village, to the most famous intersection in the world, Time Square. Every area is an island with its own unique culture and history, written in the buildings as well as the people.
Standing out from the surrounding buildings is the Baxter Building, world famous home of the Fantastic Four, on the corner of 42nd and Madison. Standing out equally well is the large, flat campus of the Empire State University, breaking up the skyline. Lower Manhattan is also home to Stark Industries and the culture mecca of the theatrical world, Broadway.
- Captain America
- Stark Industries <SI>
- Central Park - New York City <N>
- Brooklyn - New York City <SW>
- Fifth Avenue - New York City <SE>
- Queens - New York City <E>
Captain America stands 6'2" and has a large broad muscular build. His face is hidden behind a dark blue cowl with a white capital "A" in the middle of his forehead. To each side of the "A" on the side of his head is a tiny white wing jutting out of the side of his head. Beneath the wings, holes have been cut to reveal his ears. Eye holes have been cut into the cowl. The eye hole reveals his white skin underneath; a pair of blonde eyelashes; and his eyes. His eyes are the palest baby blue, looking like the summer sky on a cloudless day. The mouth of the cowl reveals the end of a broad nose, a pair of full lips, and a strong chin.
He wares a dark blue short sleeve shirt of scale mail that matches his cowl completely. In the center of his chest (and his back) is a large white five point star. Beneath his chest and to his waist the shirt turns into alternating stripes of red and white that encircles him. Out from beneath his short sleeves of his armor runs a pair of white long sleeves of his under shirt and disappear mid fore arm into a pair of red flowing long cuffed gloves.
Around Captain America's waist is a brown leather belt with a series of pouches hanging around the belt. He wears a pair of pants that are the same color as the rest of his uniform. At mid calf the pants disappear into a pair of red buccaneer style boots, with the wide cuff and the soft soles.
There are few crowds in which this woman would not stand out. For one thing, she is well, well over six feet tall, perhaps even closer to seven, and in proportion to that is built like a (female) professional wrestler, muscular and full-bodied. Absolutely no fashion model twigginess here. For another, she is green. Her skin is a rich, smooth emerald, an unnatural color that could be either attractive or just too exotic, depending on your point of view. A surprisingly feminine face is framed by a long flow of slightly curly, raven hair that falls all the way down to her waist, her eyes are almost as black, set beneath arching brows. Color-corrected to normal, she would be a striking beauty, and even allowing for being green, she has an exotic loveliness.
Right now, a lot of that green skin is being shown. Her costume consists of a purple leotard that covers only her torso and breasts, and is scooped rather low behind. A second part to it, white, encircles her neck and drops down to a point over her breasts, also partially covering her shoulders. Her arms and legs are mostly bare, her feet and shins covered in white boots and her forearms enwrapped in purple bracers, although her hands are still left free.
Tall for a woman, this young lady stands just shy of six feet when in flats, and has a mature enough look and curves most would take her for her late teens, just under twenty years of age. She has a long, full mane of lustrous raven black hair which tumbles smoothly down to frame her face, over her shoulders and down to mid-back. Her face is a natural oval with high cheekbones, full lips, a narrow pert nose and raven dark sculpted eyebrows over deep crystal blue eyes framed by long dark eyelashes. Her neck is gracefully slim, shoulders broad but natural for her height, lending balance to her toned and trim unfairly hourglass figure. When she speaks, it is a warm, cultured soprano tone with clean diction. To be honest, this young woman is gorgeous, the sort of looks one would associate with (non-anorexic) supermodels and actresses. Say, isn't she familiar? Currently this young woman is dressed casually in a tightly fitted scarlet red t-shirt with a low but still modest scoop neckline, long enough it could almost tuck in but isn't, perhaps flashing only a hint of skin on her tummy as she moves. She wears a pair of hip-hugger designer blue denim jeans with beadwork along the outer seams, on both back pockets, echoed in the loose, decoration-only beaded leather belt slung through the loops. She's wearing a pair of modestly heeled open-toe mules in scarlet red on her feet. A small black leather backpack rides one shoulder, with an obvious iPhone in a pouch mounted on the strap.
It had started off as a typical Thursday morning on Wall Street with buying, selling, and insider trading. Though that had changed all about 10:30, just when things usually get good. A good 20 men stormed the building wearing the Green and yellow masked uniforms of HYDRA agents, shooting as they go leading into a general disarray and chaos. That was at 10:30 now it's noon. Hostages on the ground and HYDRA agents set up in key places. The NYC police department's got almost all of Wall street blocked off, news reporters from every major media outlet has set up and is reporting on the scene. Meanwhile the entire nation is waiting on bated breath for the next move in the chess game being set up. The odd part are the citizens of New York are showing up behind the barricades some wanting to do anything to keep another terrorist attack in their city turn to a tragedy and others are actually hoping the HYDRA agents will do away with the lying scum destroying the nation and their pocket books.
If there is one thing the big green one does not feel ready for...its this. Approaching the barricades, She-Hulk's normal smile has faded. She might even be frowning a little. With hostages in the way, she can't simply go in smashing, after all. And she's *not* a trained negotiator. For now she stays back a little, listening to what is going on and glaring at somebody who comments about feeding all of the stockbrokers and lawyers to HYDRA. Ahem.
Positioned pretty anonymously amongst the crowd along the barricades, a raven-haired teenager - she looks around 18 or so - leans back against the supporting hand of the older gentleman at her side, who is whispering intently. "We shouldn't be here. There's nothing we can do."
With a soft sigh, the young woman responds simply, softly, "Yes, there is. I just have to figure out how to tell someone what they need to know. And then ... give them the opening to do what has to be done." All of this terrifies her. But Andrea cannot bring herself to do nothing.
Andrea concentrates on the details of the scene and people inside, gathering the sorts of information the movies tell her negotiators and tactical teams thrive on and would be seeking, but could never get the way that she can, with the detail she can. She even starts noting serial numbers on the equipment the terrorists are using. "Jerry. Get my sketchbook out of my backpack. I have a plan."
The clock goes to 12:05 and all across the city all the tv and the big screen in Time Square goes black for a moment and then reappears to a picture of a green haired woman wearing a green leather costume and green lipstick. Her hair covering her right eye she says coolly to the camera, "Citizens of New York, no citizens of America. We have brought your stock market to a screeching holt, but don't think us evil. We are doing what your own government is unable or unwilling to do, we are cutting out a cancer of this great nation. It is time you stood up and joined us into turning this land into the land it was meant to be and turn your back on the government and wealthy elite. Stand with HYDRA. Hail HYDRA." Then the screen goes black. It was a lie, it was HYDRA of course it was a lie. It kept people busy while two blocks over another group of agents raided a couple of private stockpiles of bearer bounds.
Captain America stood in a SHIELD Helicopter above the scene, it was hidden with the media copters. A frown on his face as he surveyed the scene below. He didn't see or hear Madam Hydra but one of the agent standing next to him wearing a head set looks to Captain America and says, "Madam Hydra just broadcasted her manifest to the world. They're going to cut the cancer out, what ever that means and it's somehow going to be whole sale slaughter if it's HYDRA."
Near both She-Hulk and Andrea, they can hear on police radios from the near by riot cops. "All police forces pull back and keep the crowds away. We have orders to let somebody else handle this."
Sounds as if they intend to kill the hostages anyway. But there is a somebody else who will be handling it? She-Hulk strides towards the barricade. A few people part in front of her. One doesn't...but she steps around the man neatly. Not like she can't see over him anyway. Some heads turn, distracted from HYDRA by the arrival of the Hulk, female version. However, there is absolutely nothing of the rampaging beast about her manner. As much as she wants to start smashing HYDRA goons...
Andrea works quickly, sketching out everything she can perceive inside. She can 'hear' what everyone is saying if she concentrates, paying attention in there instead of out here. She adds every element she can to her sketch, as quickly as possible. And then she scrawls across the top:
'Be ready. Everything will go dark and silent in five minutes. May only be able to hold it for 90 seconds.'
Then, as She-Hulk moves forward, one of those bodies moving back and away stuffs a large sheet of heavy rag sketchbook paper into her hand.
The HYDRA agents guarding the doors weren't expecting a green haired beauty to beating on them. That's actually a lie but they would expect Madam Hydra not the Jade Giantess. As they raise their machine guns to shoot at She-Hulk as she crosses the barricade. A large metal disk with a star on it comes raining from the sky knocking the gun out of the one HYDRA agent She-Hulks hand and then bouncing off the ground and flying towards the head of the other HYDRA agent beaming him before flying toward the skyward. Moment's later the shield is caught by a falling Captain America. He in the area between the entrance and She-Hulk and says, "That felt good, its been a long long time." There is a pause as people stop to look. There had been rumors of Captain America being found in the ice about half a year ago. But since then nothing so who is this guy wearing Captain America's costume. He turns to look at She-Hulk, "Probably best we get inside as quick as can and get the hostages out." Then he turns and goes charging toward the door his shield raised to protect him form gun fire. The sounds of machine gun fire would be starting any moment. That would leave Andrea a lot to work on her big plan with the black out for sure.
She-Hulk glances over. Five minutes? They don't have five minutes...not with the shooting starting. But as she charges after Captain America. "Stall. Five minutes, power goes out." If he asks how she knows...well. She's still holding the note. Whoever handed it to her in the press, and she didn't see who, was likely a mutant, not desiring any credit for this. She seems determined to make herself as big a target as possible. Any bullet that hits *her* isn't going to be hitting anyone else. Of course, her own reputation is uncertain. Given the other Hulk's tendencies...can she be trusted?
Not nearly as shocked and surprised as everyone else by the seeming sudden appearance of the Sentinel of Liberty, Andrea is too busy trying to mentally prepare, keeping an 'eye' out on the exact time. She gave her word. She's going to try. Please, please let it be in time! She grips her hand tightly around Jerry's, drawing on the stability of his presence despite his fear, as she takes a deep breath.
Exactly on the mark she promised, despite that it is ten minutes after high noon on a spring day, there is ... utter darkness. Every iota of visible light in the area is sucked away and into a teenaged girl. All sound. Scraps of electricity - most computers and electronic devices will give unseen, unheard low-battery warnings. And radio communications goes blank. Utterly dead. Silence and darkness reign. She has given the heroes the information they need on where every last single HYDRA trooper is, what they're carrying. Boobytraps they have set. Plans they have made or discussed aloud. And the locations of the hostages. Now it is up to the heroes to use that information and save lives.
And up to a frightened teenaged girl to suck in all the energy she can for as long as she can hold it. God, this is going to hurt.
If Steve knew this Andrea would be getting some type of metal out of this play. But everything goes black and the scene is dark. Captain America had been expecting a power outage not a complete black out. He calls out to She-Hulk, "I think the lights just went out." Then he continues to toward the door. Sure he probably shouldn't trust the female hulk but he did trust Namor, that guy had issues and still does. Inside the building which is completely black and dark, so not much if anything can be seen. The hundreds of traders are being held hostage on the floor of the exchange with about 20 men around the room set up with machine guns. But that before the black out and the sounds of two super heroes heading their way cause general choas and distress. Now the HYDRA agents are pointing their guns at anything making an noise or they see coming their way.
Two blocks over the other teams are dead in the water from looting. They didn't see the black out coming.
She-Hulk hadn't quite been expecting that either. But she did read the paper first, at least. "They're all on the floor, according to our friend. About twenty." With surprising grace for a being her size, she moves inside, although she is letting Captain America go first. Not because he's got an invulnerable shield, just because she doesn't want to push past him in a confined space.
The Sensational She-Hulk had told him about where the HYDRA agents were then there was a black out. Cap made a mental note to learn about She-Hulk having more powers than originally thought, not knowing it was the work of the Astonishing Andrea. So out of the darkness he came for the HYDRA agents, each one usually caught in surprise as they see a shield coming for their face at the last minute. He was hoping the She-Hulk was having as much luck as him with her targets. He had three men down and he hadn't even broke a sweat.
She-Hulk will clear it up later. She's not having too much of a problem with the Hydrans...well, except pulling her strength enough not to accidentally kill somebody. It's not easy, you know. One of them empties a good part of his clip into her, then drops the gun when she Just Keeps Coming. And then he's on the ground, and she keeps moving. She knows she doesn't have much time before whoever this is runs out of steam.
Unseen, half-fallen into Jerry's arms, perspiring, Andrea mouths to herself as she continues to pull in a tremendous amount of ambient energy. "Thirty-one-thousand, thirty-one-one-thousand, thirty-two-one-thousand ..."
As Captain America comes out of the darkness for his fifth HYDRA agent. The man's ready for him and he goes to shoot Cap. The Star Spangled Avenger's shield coming up to knock away the rife. Then the HYDRA agent turns with a quick attack knocking away Cap's shield. The shield falls to the ground. Cap drops into a fighting stance as the HYDRA agent pulls a knife and goes lunging at Captain America. It seems that not all the HYDRA agents were scrubs agents. At the other sites the HYDRA teams go to make a run for it with their loot but find the power outage has caused the vaults to lock down. Some one's going to find a surprise and it's all Andrea's doing.
She-Hulk grabs one HYDRA Agent in one meaty hand, one in the other. WHACK. Both fall to the ground, dazed from the impact between their skulls, before she moves to another. This is almost *too* easy...but she has a feeling that the lights are going to come back on any second now...and then she'll have to be *really* fast.
Andrea holds into the energy, fingernails puncturing her palms as she struggles. Already nearing ninety seconds, she is loathe to let up, but she can feel it. Full to bursting with energy now, she almost has a pale glow around herself, or will as soon as she isn't absorbing all light around her. She holds it ... holds it ... and just as she reaches a count of one hundred seconds, she feels a whole new blackness closing in on her mind. Reflex forces her to let go, all the light and sound rushing back, radio frequencies suddenly working again, as the girl collapses. Electrical systems start getting full power again from their power sources, but many have already gone into fail safe lock down modes and will not stop that process. Holding for one-hundred seconds did a good bit of 'mess', but not all bad. She hopes. She isn't unconscious, but she's woozy and now fighting to hold in everything she absorbed. "Get us out of here." she mutters to Jerry, who does his best to comply, fighting to get out past the crowds packed tightly around the barricades.
The light and the sound come rushing back to scene. All that noise and light coming back probably would give more than a few people a lesson in what it feels like to be Daredevil. One of those schooled this day is Captain America as the distraction of the return of everything leaves Cap distracted as the HYDRA agent with the knife makes a slash at Cap's chest and drags the blade across the star on his chest. The scale mail deadens most of the destructive power but there's a red line across his chest where Cap starts to bleed and his armored damaged. Cap ignoring the wound drops to the ground rolling to where his shield is and then comes up throwing it at the HYDRA agent. There's a strange clanking sound as the shield strikes and the man drops to the ground. The remaining HYDRA agents on this side of the room have drawn close to each other and opening fire on Cap from behind the safety of a make shift barricade.
Across the room She-Hulk has problems of her own or does she have her problems. Guns not working 4 HYDRA agents have tried to sneak up and jump She-Hulk from behind as she drops the pair of agents. They might not survive this as the men go to grab the Jade Giantess.
In all the confusion and panic it's easy for Andrea and Jerry to slip out on the scene. The reports fighting over what to do and many of them blaming HYDRA for the blackout.
She-Hulk rars as they dogpile her...and then tries her best just to throw them off. She IS doing her best not to actually kill anyone. Put in the hospital, she doesn't care about so much...throwing her limbs outwards in her attempt to shed the men. At least the hostages are somewhat clear. She isn't aware of what's going on with Cap right now.
Somewhere a couple of blocks away, Andrea guides Jerry a bit closer to one of the HYDRA operation teams, just as they are about to finish overriding the now re-powered vault to get it back open. Gritting her teeth, she lets out a shimmering, shuddering wave of energy as the air bends around it. And inside the vault, the HYDRA agents are suddenly subjected to the brilliant flash and sudden, staggerng sound blast equivalent to a few military-grade flashbangs.
They may only notice later that their radios now smell of smoke, and are less than functional.
The hostages? Well the hostages are taking advantage of the heroes' distracting the HYDRA agents and are heading for the door in a rush. The terrorist had planned for NYC & Shield but there was no play book that had plans for Captain America that weren't 50 years or more out of date. Though that would be changing as the world know knows that the man is among the living or somebody in his costume is. Captain America goes flying over the side of the make shift gun nest the HYDRA agents had set up for him. A foot coming around to catch one in the jaw. A roll out of the way here and he comes up in an upper cut with another. Then bounces out of the way as a pair shoot each other. That not to say that anyone has a plan that succeeds in taking out a Hulk yet. The dog pile turns out not to be one of them. As men go flying across the room and go bouncing off walls. Did somebody say 6 months in traction? The remaining HYDRA agents go running for the exit themselves hoping to escape She-Hulk.
Just as the HYDRA team makes there escape from the vault. They all pass out. Yip no ones got plans to counter Andrea yet. Though she would have made some allies and some enemies today if her deeds were known. She saved the day and all.
Into a veritable nest of cops. She-Hulk merely sort of prowls after them, herding them out into the blockade with an almost feral grin on her face. Easy fight, but she still enjoyed it. Although she would feel bad if she'd killed any of those guys. "And I haven't even damaged my hairdo," she comments. Which probably makes the Hydran thugs run faster. Or just surrender to the police.
Having done what she can, and let loose enough of the excess that she's not full to bursting with extra energy, Andrea leans on Jerry as they make their way to their car. They can sit quietly, in privacy, and wait for clearance to make their way out of the city.
"That was terribly risky, Andrea. Pulling all of that, you could have been hurt." Jerry offers.
"I couldn't just let those people die. I couldn't go in and free them myself. But I could help others to do so, and did. I can only hope it was enough." the teenager offers, with a little smile. Then she lays back, closes her eyes - what little effect that really has - and lets herself slump completely.
Training. Right. Got to get on that.
With She-Hulk herding the last of the HYDRA agents out the door and the others all well taking naps. It looks like the day is saved. Captain America stands there in the room making sure the last of the hostages make it out safely. He looks over at She-Hulk, "Next time, we can wait till a giant robot shows up? Nice use of the energy depletion. Though I could use a bit more of a warning next time."
The scene would be on the news before Andrea could get home.
She-Hulk shakes her head. "That wasn't me." She pulls the crumpled note out from where she put it during the blackout. Umm, given what she was wearing, there's only one place she could. Of course, plenty of...ahem...space. "It was whoever handed me this as I was coming through the crowd.
Andrea is tired enough that even in the midst of the city like this, for now ... she sleeps. Later, she will hear how things turned out. And later, there'll surely be another loving, doting parental lecture on taking foolish risks with herself, her safety and her health.
Captain America reaches out for the note, "Really? I was thinking you had a whole other set of powers. But that interesting must have been another Good Samaritan in the crowd. Thank you for your help, I had planned to do this alone." He goes to extend his hand to her, "I'm Captain America, It was nice to work with you."
"I wasn't exactly about to avoid the opportunity to show off," the woman admits. "The media's taken to calling me She-Hulk. It'll do." It's obvious, really. She's very, very female...and very, very green.
When Captain America gets a chance to look at the 'note', it is a very large sheet of high-rag-content sketchbook paper, clearly torn out of a spiral-bound sketchbook. What is on it is a detailed map of the stock exchange floors, with the location of every HYDRA operative, every trap, every sensor, and every hostage. Notations beside each include the serial numbers of their guns and radios. Patrol-patterns are marked out, and discussed fields of fire. And then there's the brief note at the top. 'Be read. Everything will go dark and silent in five minutes. May only be able to hold it for 90 seconds.' It is a flowing and elegant, precise hand given how rushed this must have been. But there is no signature. There might be skin cells, if he were to have this analyzed by a forensics team. Though some of those would also be gamma-irradiated and green now.
Captain America had noticed all those things about She-Hulk. Though he tries to be a gentleman and not be noticed. He looks at the paper in his hand, "Somebody not just got powers but an artist. They have talent too and some training. But if they don't wish to be known. I'm respecting their wishes until they try to hurt somebody." He hands the note back to She-Hulk, "Mind destroying that and don't let the authorities have it. I would... be asked too many questions about it." He laughs, "I was about to point to the back exit for a quiet escape. Though it sounds like you want to go bask in the media. I don't envy you Miss Hulk. I'm not ready to talk to the media just yet. Good fighting with you ma'am." There's something about the way the man sounds like he's from the past and Captain America knows about art supplies? Oh hey, the knocked out HYDRA agent that had gotten closest to hurting Captain America, he's gone.
She-Hulk puts the note back...where she had it before...before heading out front. Sure. She'll keep the press off of Captain America's back. Besides. Media attention is what she needs if she's going to be accepted as a hero, not a menace.