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|Operator|| Those who answer the call for help arrive from a warpgate in a park across the street from where the call originated.The First Bank of Old Donk is a historical landmark. Wrought from handsome brown bricks in an architectural style vaguely similar to medieval European castles, the flag of New Donk hangs from a flag pole outside. But it does not flutter in the breeze. Rather, it sits limply on the ground, having been lowered by a small red imp in a black suit.
A parade of similarly dressed imps go in and out of the bank, carrying out massive sacks bursting with gold coins, blue coins, red coins, and even stranger artefacts like shining stars, glowing moons, and tiny suns. All the sacks go into rows of trucks, overseen by a young girl in a red suit and pencil skirt, and a more important red imp (you can tell he's more important thanks to his sunglasses).
"And that's all of it Treasurer Ashley!" "Ugh, good. Once we drop this off, I can finally go home." The young girl yawns and slowly floats into one of the trucks, which begins driving off, leading the procession. The bank tellers come out of the doors to watch them leave in dismay. Evidentially, they probably shouldn't have taken that money.
DK shows up right as the last truck starts to leave. Without even asking (how would he when he doesn't talk?) he scoops up the arriving Elites in his arms and leaps dramatically to land on the back of said truck. They now cruise along the streets, as swarms of imps pour out of the front doors like it were a clown car, flying up to confront them. "Hey! This ain't a taxi service! Get outta here!" "Whoa, that's the big monkey that's been makin' a ruckus!" "Ya think we'll get a raise if we take him out?"
The idea of a pay grade increase is all it takes to make the imps descend upon the party with pitchforks.
|Liza Grier||<J-IC-Scene> Liza Grier says, "I have unfortunate news that it's the treasurer's job to rob everyone of their money."
<J-IC-Scene> Liza Grier says, "However if it's that goddamn Senator again, I'm on it."
At the scene:
"Please, someone tell me what the fuck is with the Senator and all of his lackeys either being mad degenerates or literal children." Liza groans. "Couldn't he just have a normal psychopath and a swarm of officer-of-the-law thugs start stealing people's money like everyone else?" The suits are, all told, remarkably fashionable for goose stepping goons, especially given their grody little minion demeanor. "And what the fuck are *these* things? Weren't we stuck with robots before?" she thinks to add.
Getting the DK softball special up to the back of the truck saves her a little effort and propellant. She's already decked out in the menacing elite hardsuit she's been using here since day one, so there's no preparations that need to be made. Her boots clunk-clunk as they magnetically anchor themselves to the top of the truck. "Shit they're everywhere. We're going fast enough for plenty of wind, and any missed shots just mean spraying into streets full of civilians. Real pity because I hate the way they look."
Liza, thus, does not acquire any kind of firearm. Instead, she stands her ground, powersuited hands outstretched, braced irremovably in place by her magnetic EVA boots, and receives each charging imp with the weirdly appropriate majesty of space krav-maga; once a niche martial art on Earth devised to quickly and efficiently deal with untrained attackers, demand for being able to beat up trained attackers who have no clue what they're doing anyways had, for some reason, exploded exponentially once people started living in space stations en mass, blossoming into the beautiful flower that is currently magboot suplexing and jaw cracking today.
|Tina Natsumi||Once again, New Donk City is in trouble, and Tina's arrived after only a little bit of prodding from people calling for help. Also, someone getting cut off on the radio usually isn't a good sign, and she's determined to find out just how the Treasurer of al people is...
Doing What's expected? Sort of, but in a much too blatant sort of way. She only looks a little uncomfortable as she arrives at the bank, jogging over to catch up with DK as that truck pulls out. "Too fast... Dang it. Maybe I can take out a tire from here, but if it crashes..."
She hesitates, but luckily for Tina, DK makes things easier as the ape opts to yeet himself and the crew onto the truck! "Maybe he's just tryin' to make the kids self-starters! Heh... Wait. Wait. No. Things ain't THAT screwed up normally, are they?" She asks Liza with a laugh, although it's one of those 'haha you ARE joking, right?' sorts of laughs that quickly trails off with a knowing sigh. Regardless, she whips out her cell phone for her usual Persona-summoning selfie pose while the recording light turns on.
"Y'all know the drill, folks. Time for an All-American beatdown to bring this bank robbery to a stand still!" As a pair of imps charge into Tina, they're halted by the emergence of a chunky red, white, and blue robot thing that materializes right in front of her. It eats their pitchfork stabs right to the face and everything else, but there's not even a scratch on that mighty steel.
"You're gonna have to do better than that, lil' guys!" She taunts as the Persona tilts back briefly, arms lifting upwards almost like it's losing its balance from the initial whacks. Instead of teetering off, however, Uncle Sam instead jerks forward and swings its arms down, aiming to smash the imps and the roof of the truck in one heavy-handed maneuver.
|Maricel Thorne|| When Maricel saunters through the warpgate, it's with a distinctly blase and disinterested look about her. Her labcoat is spattered with fresh blood, but the way it's concentrated around her sleeves and hem suggest the operating room rather than the gladiatorial arena. The sheer amount and bizarre forms of wealth being piled into those trucks only catches her eye in an abstract way, like how one might marvel at the number of stars in the sky. "Grubby little monsters," she answers Liza, her veiled look of disgust indicating she disapproves of their 'design'. "Though, it occurs to me. Maybe-"
Maricel emits an inarticulate noise of surprise, indignity, and resentment at being scooped up and deposited atop the trucks, cutting herself off mid-sentence. She hasn't even had time to smooth out her labcoat by the time a pitchfork embeds itself in her ribcage. Punctures at 7th, 5th, and 3rd right intercostal spaces. Open pneumothorax, pericardium intact. Mechanism of injury: that red little bastard. Triage status: green.
She dispatches with that one imp in casual fashion: her injury briefly becomes a neon-staticky portal, a tendril of skinless red meat the size of her entire body reaches out from it and yanks the foreign object out of her torso, and then smacks him into the far distance with the side of the pitchfork like it's doing a tennis serve before menacing the rest of the horde to stay back.
Maricel-the-humanoid is already focusing on other things as Maricel-the-meatmonster takes its revenge: she raises her hands as if conducting a symphony, and every radio in the procession of cars blares static briefly before switching to the kind of driving synth-beat music you'd hear in a proper bank-robbing game. That done, she contorts into her right hand into a claw-like gesture, wreathing it in that same static again- followed, a second later, by the lead car adopting a similar aura. "I can *solve* that problem, Liza," she says with a terribly cheery tone. "Hold tight, if you would."
The front axle of the lead car is abruptly wrenched into a pretzel-like shape. With any luck, the resulting pileup will bring the entire procession to a shrieking halt.
|Operator|| These imps, while being snappy dressers, aren't really much for fighting. The one that manages to run Maricel through actually seems shocked. "Oh no, I am SO SOR-" is all they say before they get meatslapped off the truck. They dissipate in a cloud of sulphurous smoke, banished back to whence they came. Thereby once again removing any moral qualms about dealing with them as harshly as possible!
Not that Liza has any such qualms. She smashes through the crowd with all the brutal efficiency she's developed. These imps somehow managed to be less co-ordinated than the crew of an average space station, making them easy pickings. "Whoa! Cool robot!" one says as it stabs Uncle Sam, only to be sent flying and vanishing also. The imps swarm the Persona, not out of any tactical sense, but because cool robot. Easy pickings for DK to send flying with one big megaton punch.
And then suddenly Maricel wrenches the front truck's tire.
It slumps, a hideous shrieking filling the air as metal grinds against the road. It slows down, and the truck behind it doesn't slow fast enough, slamming into the back. Coins and stars spill out as the trucks bump into each other, carriages popping open from the impact.
Up front, that young woman climbs out, looking annoyed. "UGH! You just can't make this any easier, can you?" She walks over to one of those stars and picks it up. Her hair goes white, then starts cascading with all the colors of the rainbow as she raises a staff aloft. "By Paratrooper feather and sprig of heather, gravity I sever!" And then all the trucks sprout wings and begin to fly.
Imps from the other trucks recover and begin to drift over to clash with the intruders as the now-aerial convoy fly past Funky Kong's press helicopter. "Whoa there funky dudes, dudettes, and anyone in between. I seen a lot in my days, but I ain't ever seen winged trucks flying through the air with all y'all hard-earned cash! Luckily, my brother from another mother DK and his crew are on it. I'll keep y'all posted, from a closer seat than I would like."
|Tina Natsumi||Feeling enthused at even the imps recognizing the coolness of her Persona, Tina makes sure to get some extra lights shining down on the robot to really get it shining atop that bank truck she's standing on. The swarm of imps doesn't even diminish from her Persona's brilliance, and it gleams even brighter after DK punches the whole lot of them off the thing.
If anything, it's even shinier after that punch. It seems Tina's been practicing useless visual gimmicks since the last time she was here!
She winces at the sound of screeching metal, though, and has to hold on for dear life when the now white-haired woman turns the trucks into a flying convoy. "Whoa! That's not how turnin' off gravity works, missy! This is just..."
Tina trails off, getting distracted briefly by the wings on the trucks and trying to eyeball how big they are. "Are these even big enough to lift these things?! Or this just some kinda sight gag?" She leans into the Persona as more of those imps start piling on again, using it as a shield while taking pot shots at the imps with her revolver. While she does that, Uncle Sam takes their attacks head on and endures it all with its raw physical girth, flexing and posing despite being a robot and not someone with biceps or any sort of musculature.
That still doesn't her Persona from showboating, though, and it's all a precursor to the light show that follows. The lights coming off her Persona become terribly bright as the seconds pass, eventually culminating in a massive flash of light not unlike a firework detonating right on top of the Persona. It uses that flash as a distraction to get a pair of tommy guns out, then starts spinning around to fire those things in a storm of (technically not) bullets at the encroaching imps while Tina continues to catch it all on her camera.
|Maricel Thorne|| Maricel is visibly irritated, in a sort of detached way, by how much damage her body is presently accruing. She's also irritated by Ashley's blatant display of magic: "That's not scientific," she heckles from several cars back. "Learn psionics, you hack!"
The imps do a remarkable number on her unarmored body, neither as impeccably resilient as Grier or as constitutionally adamantine as Tina's robot. "Stop," she tells them in a grouchy tone of voice, trying to get some breathing room to patch herself up. "I said stop it, please. I'm trying to- just let me-"
Neon-staticky energy flares around her eyes and hands. A visible ripple of fuzzy chromatic aberration pulses outwards from her, 'attuning' the imps to her mind as if changing radio stations. When she roars "I SAID STOP," the intent of it is driven into their nervous systems- limbs seize, minds blank, eyes fuzz over with static. The ones closest get it worst; if any are going to resist being bent to her will, it'll be those further from the pulse's epicenter.
"Get her,", Maricel orders those under her sway, pointing a finger at Ashley. They retain enough discretion to fight back against their former comrades if they get in their way, but the good doctor isn't concerned with that. She uses the momentary reprieve to swipe a needle and thread over her gaping wounds, making the fine motions of suturing too quickly to be made out as anything but a blur, and then yank on the end of the thread dramatically with her teeth.
All at once, the injuries covering her body are zipped shut by the sutures going taut. She lets out a sigh, dabbing at the still-oozing blood from the former holes in her chest. "Much better. Thank you."
|Liza Grier|| "Name three places where they aren't." Liza replies to Tina, between arm bar-ing and elbow striking shitty obnoxious imp minions. "American would be the right style for defending a bank, but I'm not sure it's the right style for fighting a tyrannical government. Maybe halfsies on little people that look sort of like the devil?" Her contemplation is decidedly half-assed, between all the filter-muffled grunts and battle sounds she is otherwise occupied with voice acting. "Good taste." is all she has to say to Maricel. That, and "Already done."
That is because she is, indeed, holding tight. The truck stopping so suddenly, and then being rear-ended so violently, is enough of a shocking lurch forward that someone would often suffer fractures or strainage from even slightly improper magboot placement, but Maricel might have an idea of why that's a non-issue, even as Liza audibly curses from being thrown foward, wobbling back upright again. "Good. That makes things much simpler." she says.
When Ashley dismounts the truck, that groaning edge to her synth-crackled voice returns, however. "And none of the goddamned kids have any sense of urgency. Or even self-preservation. What the hell is wrong with this city? The Senator had to find them *somewhere* right?" Talking to Ashley herself, though, Liza instead says "Hey, what exactly do you think you're doing? Aside from all that money being assured, what's the point of literally walking into the bank and physically taking all the . . . money? If you're working for the government here? Shitty as it is. What the hell does he need that for? Why the *bank* out of all the places you could just pull cash from? Seriously, what's your plan exactly? Forgetting for the moment that I'll take any opportunity to block that fatass from making any more money."
Funky is indeed right. Liza's already seen some real nonsense in New Donk City, but winged trucks is pushing the boundaries of common sense still further. It's ultimately fortunate she hadn't disengaged her magboots yet, because she quickly has to adjust to completely new g-forces."God fucking dammit just- Why don't *you* try making it easier?!" she yells over the wind now contending with a very un-aerodynamic vehicle. "Why is the kid magic?! What the hell does the star do?! Thorne? Any ideas?"
By now, at least, she's more than used to the imp routine. Their pitchforks don't even cause her shield to flare, when practiced and precise movements of 'completely robusting first day on the station violent idiots'. Her magboots clunk clunk clunk as she begins moving up the length of the truck, walking up a wild angle by briefly disengaging and reengaging the electromagnets as a former EVA tech would, and then even climbing over the edge to walk along the side. She punches through the window, and unlocks the door from the inside. "Okay, give me the damn wheel."
With her other hand, she gives Funky a distracted thumbs up. She is very, very tired of lost sassy children with superpowers giving her grief in this city when all she wanted to do was get on some straightforward political terrorism and start a jailbreak, but she seems to be trying to communicate 'it's all under control'.
|Operator|| Thankfully, all these imps are not ones with sunglasses, or the flash wouldn't have worked. But it does, stunning the horde long enough that Uncle Sam can tear into them with dual barrels of death! But these ones have learned from their fallen compatriots, flying serpentine even blinded to avoid the gunfire.
The young witch, now flying alongside the convoy on her wand, looks at Liza. "What I was told. Wario told me to take all the savings I could and bring it to his new pillar." She rolls her eyes. "You don't really know him well, do you? It's there, so he wants it. He wants it, so he takes it. You're making a big mistake if you ascribe any greater motivation than that to Wario." She seems to derive some bratty satisfaction from watching Liza get so annoyed by her spell, laughing as she clambers for the wheel. The imp driving has someone riding shotgun to menace her with a pitchfork, but DK follows her, grabbing the lone imp driver and yanking him through the seatbelt to dispel him.
"Psionics? Ugh, that's for nerds. Magic is for true outsiders, for lone souls," Ashley scoffs, now flying parallel to the aerial convoy upon her staff. She shudders as Maricel barks that distorted order. "What's wrong with your voi-HEY!" She looks taken aback as her own minions turn on her, raising one hand into the air as she shouts, "Raging storm and flickering flame, respond to by call, sear and maim!" A gigantic fireball appears above her head, shimmering the same rainbow hues as her hair as she hurls it at the truck.
"JUMP!" shouts Funky Kong from somewhere below as the incandescent flame threatens the entire vehicle and everyone on it.
|Maricel Thorne|| Maricel shades her eyes from the enormous fireball's glare with her forearm, squinting into the light to try and make out Ashley's form despite it. "Let me iiiintroduce you to the limitations of your art, you little jerk," she mutters. In a flash of chartreuse static, she disappears from the roof of the flying van as the fireball's thrown- and reappears right next to Ashley, standing on her wand too.
A python-sized tentacle of raw meat slithers out of a portal on Maricel's back, trying to wrap around Ashley's mouth like an impromptu gag. Once it's found constricting purchase- or failed to do so- Maricel cuts the tentacle loose with a scalpel, allowing it to continue muting the witch independently. She then daintily hops off of that perch, deploying her parasol with a fwoomp to slow her descent...
But the time spent on that little stunt costs her heavily. The fireball's blast radius catches her out, ashing the umbrella and scorching her skin. She plummets towards the ground in freefall, landing in an undignified heap on the asphalt far below. It's only after a couple seconds' pause that she peels herself up off the spiderweb-cracked ground, assessing the blossoming bruises and burns on her body with a distinct disdain.
|Tina Natsumi||Tina's expressions deadens somewhat as Ashley explains her actions, as though she's been sorely disappointed. "R... Really? That's... I mean, points for honesty, I guess. At least it's not gettin' all dressed up in bullshit..."
Her grimace intensifies briefly as she starts making connections between that and what Liza's been getting at. "'fraid I haven't done much research into that topic much, but I'll take yer word for it. Still, it can't be that..." She trails off again, just sighing and looking over at Maricel to hopefully get some semblance of anything less depressing.
Instead, she gets an eyeful of flying field surgery just happening right there. Tina sucks in a sharp breath through her teeth as she looks away almost immediately, almost looking glad to have the imps around to distract her along with Ashley showing her disdain for psionics.
"Wait, so what's this count as? Some kinda magic mind ghost robot from a brain forest and all." She asks of the doctor and the witch even as that fireball grows larger and comes right for the truck, only taking that threat to heart when Funky Kong actually warns them how to not die.
"... Jump? Jump where?!" Really, she's not sure where to jump. The truck is flying, after all, and Uncle Sam is very much the opposite of flight-capable. "Ah, screw it!" With few other options left, Tina just flings herself from the truck while narrowly somersaulting/awkwardly flipping away from the fireball's path, holding her arms and legs out as far as she can to mimic what she's seen in freefalling segments from video games.
She will still probably be screaming because going down fast is terrifying. Exhilarating, but also terrifying. As she and the mechanical Persona fall, though, she somehow manages to find herself on the Persona's back as it readies a giant-ish cannon on its shoulder. Energy gathers into the cannon quickly (likely because Tina doesn't have that much time for a dramatic charging sequence mid-fall), and it's unleashed just as quickly in the form of a scattering swarm of beams that curve all around Ashley, coming at her from so many angles that it looks nearly impossible to dodge them all!
... Except none of them are actually real in the first place. It's all a ruse, apparently, as her real gambit comes in the form of flinging that cannon right at Ashley really, REALLY hard. She's not about to try and obliterate this kid live on stream, after all.
|Liza Grier|| "You're really proud for someone who's talking about how they haven't had an independent thought." Liza grouses to Lost Sassy Child #3, Magic Boogaloo. She grabs the pitchfork and grunts with the effort of a brief yeet from the window, then gives DK a very enthusiastic thumbs up once he makes the driver cease to exist. "There's no greater motivation to anyone that rich or politically powerful; taking it because it's there is the mental rot they all have. With all his other civil servants having their own weird and wild plans on New Donk's dime and time though, I assumed you were another one of those too ambitious by half types with a big personality. My mistake, right?"
Supplying her own sass isn't really a shield against fireballs though. Having to remind herself that bratty children are exactly the kind of people that don't make sound tactical decisions, Liza yells over the whoosh and roar of gathering magical flame "You know this truck is still full of fuel right?! You're a little too close to be doing that don't you think?!"
The energy shield projector on her left wrist will have to be the actual protection from rainbow fire, flashing to life at just the right time for the glowing blue screen to clash against the garish explosion just as she jumps leaps from the side of the truck, her suit's personal shields flickering from the overflow of heat, briefly shutting down the wrist emitter to cool. She isn't worried about landing on her own; it's far from the first time she's jumped some stupid height away from something exploding. The inevitable key getting away is the issue.
As Liza falls, she grips the release seal of her helmet, and successfully tears it free. Breathing in deeply through her nose, she fixes her colourless eyes on Ashley through the tangle of of her wind-frenzied white hair, and then with little more than a reflexive 'hup', she extends her hand, grips the air, and twists with curled, quivering fingers.
It's funny that she'd only just described this to Maricel yesterday. Ashley doesn't get to know that the third member of the crew is also psychic. Or at least, as she calls it, 'purple'. There's just the feeling of her body freezing up from the inside out. Like all of her muscles had suddenly clenched at once and refuse to let up; not entirely unlike being painlessly electrocuted, actually. Once Liza falls a certain distance, Ashley ends up being dragged with her as well. It's fortunate that, for being a literal child, that Liza is both going the extra mile to manually keep Ashley's blood circulating normally while keeping all of it in her paralyzing grip, and only dealing with half the amount of an adult.
|Operator|| Ashley pouts at Liza. "It's not just for him. He told me the jerks who come up to my mansion to try and buy it have all their money in banks. If I take all that money, they have nothing to offer, so they'll leave me alone. That's the only reason I joined in on all this."
The truck is consumed by prismatic fire, and predictably, explodes. Coins and stars and moons and suns are scattered by the force and fall upon the city. Ashley is terribly smug for a moment, only until Maricel appears besides her and gags her with a tentacle. The preteen looks for-real horrified and disgusted as she struggles with it, only to be paralyzed by a psionic assault. This leaves her wide-open for the hurled cannon, knocking her clean off her wand. Now everyone is in freefall.
Funky Kong swoops low in his helicoptor, one of the sliding doors open as he scoops Tina and Liza out of the air. They slam against the opposite door. It's painful, but better than hitting the asphalt at terminal velocity. Unfortunately, Maricel's teleport makes him lose track of her, so she has to eat that. DK manages to snag one of the landing struts on his way down, causing the vehicle to lurch, but thankfully not crash. "Y'all good back there? Kinda betraying my journalistic neutrality by helping, but I couldn't let you all go splat. Uh... 3 outta 4 ain't bad, right?"
The helicoptor touches down on the road as the flying trucks come crashing down, crumbling into scrap and spraying currencies everywhere. Ashley is slowly lowered by her sunglassses-clad imp, their little wings flapping desperately to bring the two safely to the ground. "Ugh, this sucks. Fine, here's your stupid key!" She throws it to DK who catches it with a big grin. "Whatever, this is all really stupid. Shouldn't have left the house. People aren't worth it. Red, let's go home." The imp hands Ashley her wand, and she mounts it to zoom off into the sky. She might be crying.
|Liza Grier|| "You've been had." Liza says to Ashley, upon tumbling together into the helicopter, thoroughly disrupting her focus. "Their money isn't actually in the bank. They gave their money to the bank, and the bank owes them exactly that much money. They're entitled to get the money from somewhere. It's why busting banks isn't even really a crime. It's also why it won't make a difference to anyone coming for your house."
She fastens her helmet back on with a hiss-click, venting the little bit of atmosphere caught inside to get all her hair to fit. "Not that I think a kid with a mansion is exactly in sympathetic straits. Have a little perspective." She has made a child cry today. But that's fine. The child is clearly of the magical bourgeoise and a bank got robbed. "Journalistic neutrality to the point of letting children die on camera is called 'The View From Nowhere', and righly despised. You did good, Funky."
As the truck showers the city below with spilled, exploded wealth, Liza adds "So, I'm taking those stars."
|Maricel Thorne|| Maricel's body, she notes, is distinctly deformed by the impact with the ground. Rather like a dented car after a parking lot accident, really. But she wreathes herself with that green staticky energy, and just like pouring hot water onto a dent-
-all of her bones pop neatly into their ideal configurations once more, with only "scuffed paint" to show for the injuries.
"You," she says, broadly, to the swarm of static-eyed imps that managed to survive. "Pick up these coins. Give them to the poor. Then- I don't know. Take the day off? What is it you people do." None of them seem to be in a fit mental state to answer the rhetorical question.
Then she casually teleports up to the 'copter and ambles over to Liza, hands in her pockets, making noises that a living body definitely should not be making with each step. "What do you want 'em for? I thought your hair was already white."