Glowtown is Leo’s fucking jam. There are a lot of places in town where people don’t mess with Leo on general principle, okay, pretty much all of town, but that’s because they’re afraid of his crazy and his well known penchant for making the best murder devices in several hundred miles. Glowtown doesn’t mess with Leo out of respect. One creator to another, this part of town is rife with those who make a living bringing things into being, and Leo’s a celebrity here. Well. As much of a celebrity as hard men and women who’re perpetually covered in grease, soot, and minor wounds can ever stomach to allow to exist.
This is why Leo can do things no sane person generally would, though the sane part may have a part in explaining why Leo is currently walking, very carefully, very gingerly, down the middle of the road holding a brass and iron and glass cylinder about a foot and a half tall and as big around as a decent hat. Like for instance the bowler perched atop Leo’s head.
It’s been days since Megana has left the Restorium, or Ted’s side, for even a second. She still doesn’t really want to be away but he’d insisted she take a break and stretch her legs, since she actually can. One of the healers told the Shifter something that gave her an idea of a gift for her Guardian that might be especially nice right now and something he’s more likely to be open to at the moment. She just needs some help with it. Scientific or Wizardry help.
It might seem rather careless for a seemingly young pregnant woman to just wander the streets of Glowtown but no one’s tried to bother her yet. Back when she’d lived in Vesper it had been a semi regular occurrence for her to show up with some minion and pit them against whatever gang or asshole was currently making a nuisance out of themselves. She did it for fun just as often as she did it for hire. Today though, the Shifter is looking for someone for a reason that has nothing to do with violence. When Megana spots Leo she pauses in what has been a fruitless search so far to watch. “What’re you doing?” And why is he moving so very carefully?
Leo doesn’t take his eyes off of his passenger, nor does he slow or stop any, “Trying very hard not to die horribly.” he says in an even tone, the sort of tone of voice one might use to convince a bear to let you sloooowly walk away. “Also breathing, walking, thinking about the material stress points of various architectural design properties, occasionally blinking, and prolly pumping blood and digestive juices. Just to name a few. Honestly I’m not keeping strict count.”
Megana blinks. That’s both more and less detailed of an answer than she’d expected. “Uhm.” Her eyes are drawn to the cylinder. “Okay. I guess I’m doing some of that too. Thinking about different things but the rest.. well. I wasn’t specifically trying not to die horribly at this moment but if I’m standing this close to you then maybe I am now? I don’t know what that is.”
For some reason she also doesn’t seem to be very alarmed by the thought but that could just be unawareness of the danger. Or unexpectedness. Glowtown isn’t exactly Safetown but the middle of the street is usually alright. Usually. Or it had been. It’s been awhile since she frequented this area. A few years actually.
Leo nods his head, “As you are currently well within the blast radius, you are in fact also trying very hard not to die screaming. Welcome to the club. I make cookies on Tuesdays. They have bits of mint in them.” that did not sound sarcastic. It sounded overly calm and careful. Which makes it hard to tell if he’s still just being careful, or if he actually is part of a ‘Trying Very Hard Not To Die Screaming/Horribly Club’ that may or may not have meetings with mint cookies on Tuesdays.
He steps gingerly over a pot hole, being careful not to jostle the big cylinder in his hands, moving it sloooowly. Though the motion does show something inside the container move just the slightest bit, tilt a little, which clues Meg in that it’s holding some sort of liquid. A viscous liquid, but a liquid all the same. “You’ll have to be more specific, I assume there’s a great deal you don’t know and if you wish to discuss what it is you don’t know in any meaningful manner, you’ll have to narrow the field considerably. Otherwise I’m going to assume you mean that you don’t know what bowler hats are and I will have to break down an indepth explanation about the habits and creation of the habidashery and it’s related industries and practices.” It’s usually about hats with Leo. So much so that he’s apparently decorated the brim of his own hat with a wee green oragami frog that is perched there as if surveying the world from a King’s perch.
Megana’s expression brightens. “Cookies?” She can’t cook to save her life and has been forbidden from even trying anymore. “Cookies are awesome. The trying not die part is alright too I reckon. Shit happens, y’know? I never thought about a club for it but then I’m usually not bothered by all the almost dyin’. Unless it happens to Teddy. Then I’m bothered. But me, well. It’s just part of being a Shifter.” It’s also part of having a very damaged soul, and then losing it altogether but that is a much longer story. She may not be giving her best “I’m totally normal and sane impression” at the moment.
Meg does goes quiet again to listen to the talk about bowler hats and habidashery with interest. She did at least know it was a hat but the rest is sort of new info. It also causes her to take a closer look at it. Brown eyes widen at the frog. “Oh! Oh that is a frog! Is there a reason you have a frog on your hat?? It’s a cool hat but that fucking frog! I lost one around here. Well. I lost a frog..man. Kinda. Bout waist high, my waist high not yours, and he had these big bug eyes and was green and spindly and screamed a lot and went like-” She starts to raise her arms to flail but quickly stops, remembering the danger. “Uh. He flailed around a lot.” Of course she’s totally forgotten she was actually trying to ask about the liquid by now.
Leo bobs his head in a short nod, “Minion stopped by my shop couple days back, gave me the frog as a gift. I kept him. Mr. Ribbits and I are best friends now, such as one ever can be with me. Mostly he tolerates my weirdness and I tolerate the fact that he’s pretty much dead. He won’t even eat the flies I catch for him. That’s okay though, I’ll keep trying.” step. step. step. “Your frog doesn’t seem as cool as mine. Seems distracting and not at all okay with risking it’s life in potentially horrible ways. No offence. You should get a Mr. Ribbits of your own.” step. step.
This seems to make sense to Meg. Especially useful minions do bring gifts! She does blink a bit at the rest of the explanation but decides it’s not any crazier than say, usually preferring demons and monsters over humanity so.. The continued studying of Leo does have her realize another thing and she does a very restrained version of a cheer, pumping the fist not near Leo in the air extremely slowly and quietly whoohooing. She’s a lot rounder than he is, and curvier, even without the pregnancy weight she’s gaining she would be because thinness is not one of her things but, they are almost the same height!
“Yeahhh he wasn’t very useful. I just wanted to ask him some questions and he kept running away. I actually would have forgotten by now except I never met a talking walking frog before. I do have the Beastmen though. Those guys love me. There’s a ton of them, they don’t worry about possibly dying and do anything I ask. It’s just, they aren’t very smart and you kinda really have to keep an eye on them cause they get into *everything* but… They make good minions. And they’re pretty cute. I give the especially smarter or more wicked ones their own name.”
Leo hrms, “My minion is more… like a diet minion. Only met him the once and he has all these delusions of granduer…. or free will. I’m not entirely sure. Doesn’t matter, I’m pretty sure he’ll show up when I need him to stab something. People like me.” this is not true but then he’s prolly not the one to know, “Teddy for instance. Your whatever he is. Decent chap.” he’d strike a pose and do his ‘fire bros for life!’ thing, but impending doom is currently balanced in his hands so… No posing. Her little celebration goes unremarked for all of it’s careful exuberance.
“Your minion sounds kinda human. Some of them do have the free will thing. Not all of us though.” She sighs but then Megana’s eyes widen. People do not usually claim that Ted likes them. So she’s willing to believe that for now despite the fact she might not normally buy it. It also gives her a better guess at what the liquid might do. Possibly. “You know Teddy? Maybe he’s mentioned you but I’m not usually the best at remembering names. He’s my Guardian and.. my family. I know I seem to old to need a Guardian but I.. it’s complicated. Anyway if he likes you then you must be alright.”
The Shifter frowns as she remembers why she came to Glowtown in the first place. “Actually he’s why I’m here. I was looking for a shop or a person or something.. I want to get him a special present while he’s at the healers and I have some specific in mind but it needs to be really really really fireproof and I dunno if it’s possible.” Her person is usually immune to Ted’s pyromania as is his but their things.. a lot of them really are not. It makes life interesting anyway.
Leo stops walking and licks his lips once. “Huh.” he says before slooooooowly starting to lower the cylinder to the ground. “Yeah, I know Teddy. We killed stuff together a few times. He’s a dependable sort of chap. I like that. Makes him predictable. Good quality in other people.” He winces slightly when the metal makes a clink noise on the street, but then lets out a slow breath as nothing happens. “I said he likes me. I didn’t say he thought I was alright. We have an interesting friendship. Mostly I think I freak him out and part of him likes that. Ever wonder if there’s a little adrenaline junkie in your guardian? Cause I suspect there is.”
Leo stands and ‘dusts’ his gloved hands off before turning to look at Meg, eyeing her up and down as if seeing her for the first time. “Oh.” he adds. “We should prolly start running really fast right now.” he sage nods, turns on his heel, and puts a single hand atop his head to hold his hat down, and then runs like his ass is on fire towards an old wreck of a building that was once some sort of large foundry or brick works, but has long since fallen into disrepair. Likely it was attacked at some point, as most of it’s walls are in various stages of collapse and most of its ceiling gave up the ghost a long while ago. “SHAKE A LEG LADY!!” he offers helpfully. From Meg’s close view, the orange fluid inside the casing seems to be starting to glow. And move. On it’s own. Agitatedly.
“Oh. My idea of alright is definitely not Teddy’s idea of alright, don’t worry. You are right though, he’s really dependable in regards to some things. People with his kind of power usually aren’t but it’s the… the “CyberKnight” stuff.” Megana spits the word CyberKnight as if it were the foulest curse imaginable. She waits until nothing terrible happens, at least so far, after Leo sets the thing down and then laughs softly.
“Adrenaline junkie? I think both me an him have that affliction. For sure. There’s worse things to have tho-” What?? run. Oh. Oh crap. Megana takes off after Leo, pretending Teddy and her favorite mystery meat sausage rolls are up ahead in that building. Because those are two of the three things that can always get her moving her chunky ass in a speedy manner. It’s maybe not faster than stopping to open a Rift to get away (at least for her) but, what if magic makes it go off faster?? Despite the exercise this turn of events is kinda fun. “Whoooo!” Meg cheers as she legs it towards an opening in the brick. If only she could dive inside! Maybe they can do this again in about six or seven months? If they’re alive then.
Leo is a bit ahead of her and is considerably more spry. And shockingly quick on his feet for a guy with little legs. A growing whine is beginning to mount behind them, and it seems to spur Leo on faster. He drops low as he nears a break in the wall, sliding beneath an exposed beam and thrusting out a gloved hand to grip the wall’s edge as he slide past in a cloud of dust, the sudden stoppage of momentum snapping him around so that he’s tucked up tight against the wall on the other side, “COVER!!” he bellows into his hand and out the crack in the wall, just in case someone maaaaaaay be passing by. Then he curls up a bit and pulls his hat down low over his ear.
Then snatches Mr. Ribbits off and stuffs him in the front shirt pocket before pulling the hat low once more and bracing…
Meg really wants to look behind her but knows better than that. Despite it making sense that he’s faster, Meg is heavier after all and not very athletic, although it’s something she’s slowly started to work on (no more riding Pony to the latrine outside of their camps for instance) she’s still impressed by the speed. Short legs are short legs.
At Leo’s yell of cover the Shifter mutters a hasty “Damn!” She really wants to see what happens! but ducks down behind a pile of rubble opposite the beam because attempting to crawl under it seems far to slow. Teddy’s gonna kill her if she lives! For sure this time.
BADA-PLOOP!! goes something on the other side of the wall, followed shortly by a soft spattering of PLOPs, PLIPs, and SPLATs. Some of them sound shockingly large, considering the contents of the jar weren’t /that/ expansive. And the rain of whatever goes on for some time before finally coming to an end. Leo, waiting a full ten seconds after the last PLOOP, sloooowly sticks his head out from behind cover, “Okay…” he says, eyeing the wreckage, “So. That just happened.” And so it did.
It being an explosion of… orange/yellow goop? Covering an area much larger then it’s volume should allow, are the contents of the case that Leo was carrying. Oddly enough these splatters aren’t splatters, they appear to be semispherecal in nature, like water droplets with extremely strong surface tension, but they also seem to be very sticky as some of these ball shaped round drops are sitting on vertical surfaces none the worse for wear, politely ignoring the pull of gravity in their entirety. The explosion seems to have covered the entire intersection and any building butting up against the streets, polka-dotting everything in sight with 3 dimensional orange spots. Leo sliiiides out from cover and very carefully avoids stepping on a cluster of gloops that size of mushrooms huddled in a bunch, and then gives a wide berth to a blob the size of a medium sized dog. “Did you get splatted?” he asks, looking around for a short pregnant lady curiously. If she died he’s totally going to just whistle innocently and leave like nothing happened.
In search of a gift for her injured Guardian Megana meets Leo. Will Glowtown, the Shifter and the Mad Scientist all survive the ensuing chaos??
April 29, 2410
Teddy Mercier, Kaji Haragami, Slaine McClellan