Logs:AYR - Tune In, Drop Out

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AYR - Tune In, Drop Out


Characters: Roland, Gray, Seven, and Marcus - Rafael as ST
Date: 2020-07-09
Summary: An impromptu street party outside of Bottoms Up gets an unusual infusion of Beach Boys music and fabric-muffled homeless thieves... what's going on here?
Disclaimers: Mild body horror (involving eyes) occurs, and a single act of abrupt and graphic violence.

The sun has gone down, the street lights have gone on, but there's no silence and peace on the streets of New Orleans... at least not this particular street.

This is because someone's decided to line up a bunch of cars on this particular block outside a particular strip club and hold some sort of contest involving which vehicle has the best sound-system. The neon of underlighting glares off asphalt, and the air is filled with both raucous music and the laughter of the people gathering in the street to enjoy the presumably-impromptu street party. This is New Orleans. Things like this happen sometimes.

A food truck selling southern-style fried chicken is tucked into a parking lot attracting the hungry, and someone's broken out a cooler full of popsicles that they're selling for a buck a pop, and probably making a hell of a profit off it. In general, it seems like a good-natured sort of night, and most of the street isn't even drunk! Yet.

Roland emerges from Bottoms Up, squinting in annoyance at the window-rattling bass as he walks toward the food truck. He's wearing a bright red-and-green Hawaiian shirt with alligators, unbuttoned and left untucked, and a white wifebeater beneath. He is wearing skin-tight black leather pants, tucked into a pair of scuffed jungle combat boots.

Glancing aside at his companion as he approaches the fried-chicken truck, he says "These guys better have chicken and waffles. Or I'm bouncing this whole fucking show off the block. Period. End of. I want waffles." He reaches up, adjusting a pair of red-tinted aviators, pushing them further down his nose. As though he were short-sighted and needed a bit of help. "Nice pants, by the way."

As fantabulously good luck would have it, Gray is not a member of the glitter, thong and peach body spray brigade this evening. But really, her 'casual' attire is only a step adjacent. A night off for the tattooed blonde - from dancing, anyway - involves a simple ensemble of a slightly too-small white vest top and equally teensy leopard print hotpants, trimmed in hot pink. They show off the tanned expanse of her long legs without any hint of decorum. Though she's elected to shove on a pair of battered Converse rather than her towering platform heels and her near-white tresses are swept up into a high bun, tendrils escaping to carelessly frame her face and throat. Padding nonchalantly alongside her boss-slash-partner, hands shoved in the back pockets of her 'pants', she takes in the buzzing activity on the street outside the club with an unperturbed air, relenting to a broad grin when Ro grouses about it. "Hey, look on the bright side. Few beers in them and they won't be able to resist takin' a peek at the goodies. Word of mouth is so important, right?" Her accent isn't Southern. And it bears the rasp of a smoker, though not unpleasantly so.

Alas, it's at this precise moment that her companion chooses to ogle her goodies. Not that she were exactly concealing them. Rising onto tiptoe as they approach the van, the blonde performs a dainty pirouette, then some semblance of a curtsey in response to the sort-of compliment, before leaning in to nudge at his bicep with her shoulder, white teeth flashing in a mischievous leer up toward him. "Thanks, sweetie. Gimme a buck. I want a popsicle and I left all my singles in my other bra."

Marcus is out tonight checking out the car show and enjoying himself a Popsicle from the street vendor. The scarred faced youth wears a simple t-shirt, jeans and a pair of running shows. As he moves through the crowd he keeps his gaze moving, always on the lookout to see if anyone would make an easy mark to get their phone, wallet or anything of value taken.

A few obvious targets are spotted but he refrains from picking any pockets just yet. Instead he makes his way towards the food truck where his spent stick is tossed in the trash. A few napkins are used to wipe his hands and face as he spots Roland and Gray, the pair getting a polite upnod of his head in way of greeting before Marcus looks at the menu to see if there is anything he wants to order.

Seven just happens to be wandering down the street at this time. It's nighttime, therefore she's left watching over of certain yoga mats of doom to other parties. The young woman had been enjoying the solitude of the quiet streets... until others decide it's time to party. Although she doesn't particularly like crowds, it's something she's grown used to with her newly discovered vampirism. Even if only of the psychic variety. So, instead of finding another path to follow, the mortal sees it as a feeding opportunity. Dressed in a simple hoodie and shorts with sneakers, all muted colors, the mortal easily blends in with the the crowd. A sip here, a sip there, nothing too obvious to draw attention her way.

The 'Cluck Truck' does in fact (and fortunately for the impromptu party) offer waffles to go with its chicken! Alternately, fries or biscuits, but as every Tom, Dick, and Harry knows - waffles are the best thing to pair with fried chicken since someone invented breading and hot sauce.

The feeling on the street is fairly upbeat for the moment, with joking braggadocio about peoples' cars being tossed back and forth across the street and the sound of a half-dozen different genres of music blending into an aharmonic chaos that's distinct to these sort of street parties. Nobody's turned away from the organic chaos that is the street right now, and there's no overt trouble - although there may be some pickpocketing going on, and the Bluray discs in the box that one guy is selling are absolutely stolen merchandise.

At least until there's a moment of sqwalking feedback from a number of car speakers that have been modified for volume and bass, that leaves everyone on the street wincing.

"I guess that's true. Good for business. God knows what they'll think when they see Johnny doing the helicopter on-stage, but that can be fun too." A quick grin -- wicked, amused -- at the notion. And then Gray is curtseying, turning in the air beside him, asking for money. Roland's attention lingers on that pirhouette. Really, his baby blues linger for far longer than they ought to -- he even slows his stride, letting her get ahead of him. "What? Oh. Sure." He reaches into his back pocket, tugs out his wallet. "What do I get for twenty?" Dangling the dirty bill between his thumb and forefinger, he adds "I haven't gotten your take from tonight yet. I don't have any smaller change."

Marcus's upnod is returned casually enough, but Roland doesn't allow himself to come within arm's length of the scarred young man.

It's not that he suspects the poor boy of anything in particular, but you don't come to own a strip club without recognizing a few tells. He lays a hand on Gray's tricep lightly, drawing her toward him as he gazes at the menu. The twenty comes to rest on her shoulder. "See? Chicken and waffles, just like mama used to make." Seven's presence in the crowd, her small draining of passers-by, goes entirely unnoticed by Roland. The gray hoodie acts as incredible camouflage, at least for now. He might have detected something, might have sensed the woman feeding, were it not for that Godawful 'sqwalk!' Roland grimaces, shaking his head. "What the fuck, man? That shouldn't happen. Some asshole kid's messing with the frequencies."

"A twenty?" Turning to walk backward in order to hold Ro's gaze and smirk at him, hands still in pockets, Gray arches a brow. "..about thirty seconds of whatever the fuck you want." She's kidding, Probably. There's a sense of easy camraderie between the pair, betrayed by the familiar way in which she turns, falling back into stride beside the club owner and snaking a bare arm around his waist. A sharp eye might observe, with her change in posture, the hint of something in the small of her back, beneath the fabric of her top. But they'd have to be looking pretty close.

And she doesn't even grab for the filthy bill, either. Such ladylike, much wow.

Flashing a cheerful wink in Marcus' direction as she catches that upnod, her own pale blue eyes drifting absently thereafter in the direction of the lined-up vehicles in half-light and neon, the tattooed blonde sways her hips a little to the current bass heartbeat of the street; approval in her expression. Ro might not like it, but she seems entertained by the sheer number of bodies congregated outside her home and workplace. "I should get a car.." she remarks, in an aside that seems to require no real answer. Popsicles come first anyway. Priorities, man. Their arrival at the food truck draws her attention back, a broad, uninhibited grin offered up to those manning it. Hey, she's a big advocate of greasy fried food. She could be the goddamn poster child for it, honestly. But she's not in the mood right now. It's left to her companion to make his enquiry and order, tugged closer to him without argument. She seems about to speak further, when that sudden squeal from the speakers interrupts, rousing a cringe and a grimace as she flings a Look (tm) in the direction of the offending vehicles.

The sudden and very loud feedback causes Seven's senses to overload for a moment. Hands immediately go to her ears to cover them, trying to drown out the overwhelming noise. She's manages to keep her powers under control for now, a look of serious concentration taking over her features for a moment. The young mortal is probably not the /only/ person reacting negatively to the noise, but it certainly seems to bother her more than most. When it's over, a disgruntled looking Seven very cautiously removes her hands from her ears, taking a cautious and curious look around to see what might have caused the disturbance.

Screee-zzzhk--why God made the radio..

Is that the... Beach Boys? Coming out of every car's speakers simultaneously and flooding the street with smooth, dulcet melodies?

So tune right in, everywhere you go...

Yes, it's absolutely the Beach Boys. The sudden sharp right-turn of the musical interlude from hip-hop and metal to surf music has tossed a sudden wrench in the mood of the street, leaving people blinking in confusion at the auditory whiplash and killing the general hubbub of the street. Some laughter starts to titter up here and there as people assume it's the work of some prankster or another, which clearly is the only possibility here, right?

Spotify Link - That's Why God Made The Radio

He waved His hand, gave us rock'n roll...

The sort of audio equipment that these cars are sporting isn't cheap, so laughter isn't the reaction of most of the cars' owners. Whatever's going on they don't seem capable of stopping or changing, much to their frustration. More than a couple dashboards are getting smacked, and there's one guy sitting in his car just staring at the dashboard with a look of complete confusion upon his face.

The soundtrack of falling in love..."

That's why God made the radio...

"Careful, darlin', or I'm gonna take you for skee ball. And neither of us want you embarrassed like that." Roland meets Gray's raised eyebrow with one of his own, the sort of slow raise that absolutely has to be practiced in a mirror. As she steps alongside him, slips her arm along his waist, Roland turns and rests his chin lightly atop her head for a moment. His own hand goes around her waist, just below the curvature of her hips. Just below, not coincidentally that faint outline of something tucked into the waistband of her pants. Never inhibit a gunslinger's draw. He shoves his twenty back into his pocket.

Off goes Marcus, vanishing into the crowd -- presumably, some speaker out there needs lifting. Roland feels Gray swaying her hips against his side and smiles again, corners of his mouth perking sharply upward. His earlier grouse seems to be diminished by the tattooed, frost-blonde, young woman's good humor. "Can I get a chicken and waffles, please?" The twenty that had descended into his pocket is reproduced, held up between thumb and forefinger. "And could I get my change all in ones? That club is fucking dope." A jerk of his thumb back toward Bottoms Up as he tells the food truck operator, "They got folks in there doing things you would never imagine." Hey. Free advertising never hurt anyone, right? Accepting his change, he passes two ones down to Gray. "Can you get me a coke-flavored one? Not a Pepsi-flavored one. Coke. Or Mountain Dew."

Again, he doesn't seem to have noticed Seven in the crowd, the way she protects her ears with both hands. But he does notice -- who could not -- the sudden blare of the speakers, all in unison. Roland's arm around Gray's waist tightens as he leans around the corner of the food truck, taking in the spectacle. Watches the car owners thumping, or sitting quite still in their shock. This was not a publicity gambit. "...Huh."

His eyes narrow slightly as he spots two homeless-looking men, way overdressed in the heat, moving toward one of the parked cars. Roland reaches down to the small of his back, slips out a rather large pistol, keeps it beneath the flow of his Hawaiian shirt so that it's not glaringly obvious. Takes a step away from Gray, his other hand slipping from around her waist. "Fallon. Something's up." Chicken forgotten, he's moving toward the pair of interlopers. Not on my block.

AYR.jpeg

While it lasts, the blonde seems perfectly comfortable in close, affectionate proximity with the loud-dressed man she's accompanying. Happier still when he hands over a couple dollar bills. She casts a pleased grin up and aisde toward him as she accepts with a deft 'snap' of her fingertips, withdrawing her arm unhurriedly from his waist asshe withdraws. "..you'd have more of an incentive to win than I would, honey." Sighing a self-satisfied 'hmm..' as she regards him, the young woman begins to extricate herself.. but she doesn't get far, what with Ro's arm tightening fractionally around her narrow waist.

"What the shiiiit.." Judging by Gray's expression, she would have preferred the interference to the Beach Boys. Or maybe the option of sticking her finger through her eye, into her brain and swirling it around. That could work, too. It's her friend's reaction, though, that really prompts her to focus on more pertinent details. Like the two figures she can see moving out of the alley a short distance away, following Ro's gaze. His tone brooks no argument and, as he moves forward directly, she falls in step a few paces behind.

A brow raises at the interference coming through the soundwaves. Seven doesn't immediately make anything strange of it, or at least strange enough for her involvement. That is until she sees some movement from the corner of her eye. Curiosity getting the better of her, as it often does, she starts to move toward the nearby alley.

Feel the music in the air...

"Chickin' waffles, comin' up," is the cheerful response from within the truck as Roland makes his order, the twenty swiped from his grasp no matter how filthy it might be. "Chickin' waffles," the dubiously-teenaged server calls to the cook, depositing the money in a box and coming up with a handful of singles that they smack down not-coincidentally just next to the plastic jug that reads 'TIPS GO HERE SCUMBAG'.

The last word has been added in a different hand than the rest.

Find a song to take us there...

The owner of the last car on the block, a skinny little black guy in a tanktop that probably weighs less than the speakers he's examining in the trunk of his car, realizes that there's someone coming up on him just in time to turn around a heartbeat before a dirty mitten-covered hand smacks into his face and shoves him against the side of the vehicle with a shocking amount of force. All bundled up in a hoodie, a scarf concealing their face and one eye, the man holds the car's owner there without seeming effort despite the struggling of the other man.

It's paradise when I lift up my antenna...

The other muffled figure leans down into the trunk of the car, wrapping their arms around one of the speakers and jerking it sharply free of its cables and cords with a violent motion. A radio antennae that - curiously - is protruding from beneath the stained hoodie's hood clacks briefly against the trunk's lid as the speaker is relieved of its previous home.

Receiving your signal like a prayer....

Like a prayer...

Is there anything better than knowing that someone you trust is watching your back? Yes, actually. Chicken and waffles, and a Mountain Dew-flavored frozen lollipop. But it seems like Roland is not going to get what he wants, at least not immediately. As the first homeless man grabs the car owner and jacks him into the vehicle with a resounding crash, the strip club owner is already running. He's... really fast.

In a few heartbeats, he draws to a halt, raising his empty hand -- his pistol is still half-concealed beneath his Hawaiian shirt -- and shouts. "Hey! Fucking let 'em go!" There's no question in Roland's mind, he has back-up. He doesn't even need to glance over his shoulder to know Gray will be right behind him.

Neighborhood Watch, Bottoms Up Style.

For her part, Gray actually keeps pace with her companion relatively well, though she allows a short distance to remain between them; the better to assess the situation, needs be. Though, the scenario before them does seem, at a glance, relatively straightforward. But those're famous last words. Everyone knows that.

Partially flanking Ro, remaining as unobtrusive as such a recognisable and stand-out figure can hope to be, the blonde leaves him to cause a distraction with his yelling at the more obvious assailant. Her own attention? That lands curiously upon the guy with an armful of stolen speaker, drawn by the soft 'tink' of that aerial glancing off the trunk as he hoists his prize free. Whyyy would some homeless crazy have a radio? Hey, she's not the sharpest tool in the shed, but even she has to wonder at that.

Slowing to a halt near the front of the vehicle, she addresses the club owner, in a tone of warning that ought give him a heads up, followed by a frowning direction with her pale eyes should he glance her way. A hand drifts, instinctively, toward the small of her back.. but no weapon materialises, as yet. Let's not get carried away.

There is no rush in Seven's movements toward the action going on down the street. Noticing others start to involve themselves and further make a scene, the young woman decides to stay back and observe. For the time being, there's no need to throw herself into the situation. Violence happens all the time on the streets. She takes care of it when push comes to shove, but she's no hero or vigilante to stick her neck out for unknown variables without reason. Or some sort of pay.

Seven doesn't need to pull her hood up, instead figuring the change of appearance might draw attention her way. That's always been her MO, sticking to the shadows when she can. Some of her abilities can't help but put the spotlight on her. While the others are focusing on the men and the car, the psychic is more curious about where they came from. To look at a different angle of the seemingly mundane kerfuffle. She turns down the alley they had emerged from, slending hands slowly sliding into the pouch of her hoodie. Bright green eyes take a quick glance over her shoulder before starting to scan over her surroundings for something, someone of interest.

Cries for help are muffled beneath that filthy mitten, weak punches and kicks against the raggedy figure giving way to fruitless attempts to push their arm away from his face. Most of the street was distracted by the sudden change in music, but as the 'strip club police' rush out towards them and Roland lets out that commanding bark towards the pair, some attention does finally drift their way.

Not that anyone else moves to help, of course. The streets of the Big Easy aren't exactly known for their population of meddling do-gooders.

That's why God made the radio...

The assailant turns their head to regard Roland, only one eye visible past the scarf that's wrapped not only around their mouth and chin but up over one eye and around their scalp like some manner of desert nomad, the bleach-stained hood of his hoodie pulled up over his head to shadow even that one bloodshot eye.

In this weather, that can't be comfortable.

"...now for tonight's traffic, brought to you by," the attacker says in a muffled, raspy voice, interrupted by their partner who is finishing ripping out the last few cords connecting the speakers in place.

"-- Chopper Nine, our eye in the sky-- "

Not missing a beat, the ragged figure that spoke first continues, fixing Roland with that one visible eye, "Are you receiving?"

So tune right in, everywhere you go..."

The alley that Seven investigates is filthy; the dumpster hasn't been emptied in too long and it's overflowing, the stench of piss on the pavement sadly not unusual for many New Orleans alleyways. It continues on to the next block, but there's nobody else lurking within it, at least.

At Gray's word of warning, Roland glances aside at the stereo-thieving man, noting that strange antenna protruding from the back of his hoodie. That is definitely odd. As she observes, why would a homeless man be carrying a radio? And in this day and age, who needs an antenna? He takes a few steps back, suddenly cautious, until he's standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Gray. His weapon remains at his side, but there is a violent twitching in his right arm, as though he is suffering a muscle spasm. Or resisting some force.

As the strange radio interference continues, Roland glances aside, finally noting Seven's approach -- and the alleyway that she moves to investigate. Fine. Whoever that is, she can handle the alley. He and Gray have other concerns.

He locks his sapphire-blue eyes onto the single, bloodshot, one visible beneath the hoodie. "Nah, homie. I ain't receiving shit. Let'm go." Another vibration, down at the base of his arm, and he pauses briefly to struggle against some invisible force. He keeps his eye on the assailant, ignoring the one stripping the speaker from the vehicle. Gray's got that. And there are other people here now. Help is on the way, if things get any weirder.

"Look, Homeless-Cyclops. Dude just wants to jam, and not to your shitty Beach Boys." Yeah, that coincidence is just too much to be borne. "Get outta here and let him play me some Marvin Gaye, huh?"

Maybe Gray's a good samaritan in leopard print hotpants. Maybe she doesn't want the locale surrounding her primary place of employ getting an undeservedly violent reputation, on a night when so many are present. Maybe she's drunk. Regardless, there hasn't been so much as a flicker of hesitation about the blonde since her boss forewent his desire for waffles to investigate. He wouldn't do that for nothing. Right? Okay then.

Remaining still where she's drawn to a halt, keeping her attention levelled upon the figure at the trunk, the Bounty Hunter weighs the 'exchange' between the pair with a dubious expression. Eye in the sky? If she didn't know any better she might suppose that to mean they're being observed. But hey.. who cares. "Put it back, honey." The suggestion is anything but. It puts it back or else it gets the hose, says that tone beneath the superficial calm. She mightn't look much - beyond a heavily inked stripper, that is - but the young woman has an air of quiet confidence about her, particularly when she's stood shoulder to shoulder with Roland. Something does draw her attention, though. Just for a moment. Without shifting her gaze, she tilts her head a little toward the man beside her.

"..Marvin Gaye. Really? That was the first thing that came to mind..?" The aside is hushed, though audible enough to those in their vicinity.

While she's taking a look around the alley, Seven keeps a casual eye on the situation happening behind her. It doesn't take her long to give the area a cursory exploration, her eyes glance here and there but she doesn't find anything of real interest or importance. Making her way back out of the alley, she stands near the mouth of it while she continues to watch the ongoing event as it unfolds. A brow arches as she gets a better look of the situation. The men are looked at a little more closely, the words being exchanged listened to a little more carefully. Slowly she starts to make her way through the small gathered crowd and onlookers, easily slipping between them. Soon enough, she's standing near Roland and Gray. Her head tilts slightly to the side as her bright green eyes drift toward the ragged figure with a hidden eye. "Receiving what?" she questions, stepping a little bit closer.

The 'dude that just wants to jam' is still pinned against the side of his own vehicle by a hand covered in filthy wool that's covering his face, both of his hands up clawing at the man's thick sleeve to try and dislodge him, his movements increasingly panicked - and increasingly weak in their attempts to free himself.

He may not be able to breathe like that.

"Broadcast not received. Roto-rooter, that's the name, and away go troubles down the drain. Signal attunation unacceptable," is the utter nonsense that comes from the unseen mouth of the man restraining the car's owner. The middle part is even sing-songed in a particularly abrupt manner that stops immediately after 'drain'.

He waved His hand, gave us rock n' roll...

The question from Seven, though, brings their head in a turn towards her. "Are you receiving? The signal. The broadcast. The message."

The soundtrack of falling in love...

Heavy speaker cradled to their chest, the other muffled figure turns their attention towards Gray, that extendible aerial sticking up from their scarf past their temple and hood to wobble with every movement. Bloodshot eyes fix on her over their burden, and they reply in an oddly detached manner, "We want the airwaves, baby, if rock is gonna stay alive."

Then they turn away as if nothing were wrong, and start to stomp off in the direction of the alley without so much as a hint of shame.

That's why God made the radio...

This is all kinds of fubar. And Gray's not particularly renowned for either patience or smarts. That guy is gonna suffocate and she doesn't really care much about a speaker over a human life. Shifting her gaze from the figure making off with his blithely uplifted loot, the young woman focuses intently upon the owner of the vehicle, currently being pressed much too securely against it's side. There's a momentary sense of some odd sensation in the air, akin to a fluctuation in atmospheric pressure, the sort that bothers ones ears. And.. then the guy is suddenly behind she and Ro, with the support of the car's hood now to keep him upright. Well, she certainly doesn't turn to offer any Florence Nightingale shit. How the hell did he get there? He literally just.. snapped out of existence, blink and you'd miss it. Actually, even eyes wide open would miss it. What in the ass?

Seeing as the stranger in the hoodie has drawn the attention of the former assailant, that's where Gray's attention lands in turn. Though she still refrains from drawing a weapon, assuming that's what keeps one hand poised at the curve of her slender back.

"Let's get it on? Come on." Roland's response to Gray is absent-minded, a total reflex of banter, as the situation does indeed descend toward FUBAR fast. Seven's intervention, her spoken question, elicit a quick sideways glance from the bar owner, but his attention soon returns to the struggling man and his hoodied assailant. She's wearing a hoodie, this newcomer, but he doesn't see any antenna. Doesn't hear any radio-babble. She seems to be on-side. That's alright, then.

Shit. That guy is choking out. Roland needs to make a decision, and make it fast. But shooting someone outside of his strip club, in front of a crowd, is not the way to draw business in. He's uncharacteristically torn, but -- well, this is why you keep a trusted partner at your side. The decision is suddenly out of his hands, and the poor man being strangled is safely behind him. "Atta girl." The words are soft, appreciative, directed to the tattooed woman beside him. The crazy-radio-man in front of him, however, is still a threat. "Don't move," Roland tells the man quietly. "Just... chill out, huh? Let's talk about the signal. Tell me all about the signal, baby. I wanna jam out with you."

Listening to the man, Seven's expression turns a little more intense. Although the exact words aren't ones she is familiar with, the tone and delivery grabs at some part of her mind. She might have started staring down the man with further questioning, but suddenly someone is blinked out of existance. The psychic is always vigilant of her surroundings, especially when the strange and unusual occur. Her attention is pulled from one situation to another, glancing at the teleported victim when he reappears. A brow raises, Roland's words heard and she gives a curious glance to the pair. Interesting.

Not seeing the pair as a current threat or part of whatever was going on with the assailants, Seven returns her attention to the man. Her posture straightens slightly, brows narrowing as her expression shifts back to a more serious one. There's a pause as she reconsiders her approach. "Yes," she answers the man, perhaps not truthfully but she does her best. "Signal down. Relay message," she states.

A desperate breath is sucked in loudly as the skinny man's suddenly freed of his capture, slumping heavily against the hood behind him and bringing one hand up to wipe at his face as if to rid it of the dreadful stench of the dirty mitten that was over his nose, mouth and eyes. "Wh-- what the motherfucking-- what--"

Give him a moment, he's just experienced some very unreasonable things.

Making this night a celebration...

All the strength and weight of the muffled figure was being pressed to that man's face, and so when he's suddenly not there anymore they stumble against the car abruptly, nearly slipping off the curb as their palm smacks solidly against the frame of the vehicle. The sudden, rough motion dislodges the scarf partly as they shake their head to clear it, and as they turn their head back towards Roland - and then Seven - briefly they might think that their other eye has literally popped out of its socket and is dangling from the optic nerve like a mad yo-yo bobbing and swaying.

A moment's regard will prove that incorrect. That dangling optic nerve is instead wound around the contacts of a nine-volt battery, and that's what is dangling past their face right now.

Spreading the love and sunshine...

Silence, and then they turn and reach through the open window of the car to the dashboard, mittened hand grabbing the central radio console and violently tearing it free with a shriek of metal and plastic. "Signal down? Radio is a sound salvation. Radio is cleaning up the nation. Additional signal repeaters necessary."

To a whole new generation.

The other apparent bum strides into the shadowed depths of the alley, speaker clutched to their chest.

"Maybe later, pumpkin." Gray's response is automatic, the banter just as reflexive as her companion's. Really rather impressive, under the circumstances. But, following her intervention, there's a simple half-smile, a quirk of her lips, in response to Ro's approval of her quick decision making. Not for her, any attempt at talking down either one of these creatures - because yes, she's established they're not entirely human. But who here is, in fairness?

The victim behind them, though? That she can at least attempt to assist with. Without turning her head, still steadfast in her eye upon the stumbling figure before them, she points vaguely back at the skinny guy. "..you okay?" She doesn't care, particularly. Anyone that's able to curse is good enough, by her book. But it's always nice to be nice.

Oh, dude. Is that guys eyeball hanging out? Even by Gray's questionable standards that is nasty.. oh, wait. It's attached to.. a battery? Alright, what in the hell is going on. Vampires and werewolves, she can deal with. Weirdo faerie creatures that open doorways in the damn apartment? Sure. Just another Tuesday. But now we've got robots?

She should have just stayed on the pole.

The brief response to the brunette nearby rouses a vague frown. It appeared to grasp the concept, at least, of 'signal down'.. "..Think they're trying to fix.. something? Some kinda 'E.T. phone hoooome' crud?" she offers, uncertainly. Venturing an actual look aside to Ro, seeing as no violence appears forthcoming, she adds, quietly, "Might be better to follow 'em, rather than.." There's a pointed downward flit of her eyes to his gun-toting hand, noting the tremble as he wrestles with the impulse. Then it's back up, studying him in profile.

This woman is too fucking observant for their own good, Roland notes. He looks aside at Seven warily as she straightens and addresses the robot-man. Whatever she's doing here, she's sharp. And that means she almost certainly didn't miss the Amazing Teleporting Assault Victim. Ah, well. Problems for another day. He lets her make her play -- she seems to speak these dude's language better than he does.

But he's drifting forward, light on his feet, as the hoodied-and-bundled figure smashes forward into the car. He catches the sight of that dangling battery full-on. An eye, it seems, at first. Well, he's seen that before.

But the battery, when he recognizes it, gets a soft "What the fuck?" He seems to hear Gray's advice, seems to understand it, but the pistol at his side is bucking wildly now, struggling to rise up and level itself at the thing yanking out the car's stereo system. "Gun, Goddamnit, not now!" He manages to keep the firearm pointed downward -- but is he really having an argument with his forty-five?

"Alright," he says after a beat, giving up on stopping their mechanical foe. "I think you're right," he says over his shoulder to Gray. "I think we ought to follow it. See where it goes." A glance aside to Seven, locking eyes with her briefly, and then back to survey the small crowd. "Hey, everyone! First round's on me at Bottoms Up! I'll text the bartender and let'm know. Get the fuck outta here -- show's over!"

The situation that had started out mundanely enough has certainly taken some interesting turns. Seven is fully intrigued now, a fire lowly flickering in her gaze. She watches as Roland lurches forward to help the man, mild concern in her eyes as she notices the severe injury. Then another second passes before she realizes the true nature of the 'eye'. The faintest of frowns touches her lips, though she doesn't let herself become uncomposed otherwise.

"Signal down. You're in need of... repair." She chooses her words carefully, attempting to keep up her ruse as best as she can. Seven isn't /completely/ untruthful, just maybe her 'signal' belonged to something else entirely. "Let's return to repair ourselves," she suggests to the robotic man. There's a glance over her shoulder, back to the alleyway where she'd caught another one going from the corner of her eye. While she returns her attention to the man, she first gives a glance to Roland, then to Gray. How familiar she may be with the situation, it's clear that this isn't /her/ thing. Returning her attention to the potential cyborg, she waits to see if he'll lead them elsewhere.

"Are you receiving?"

The loud offering of free drinks seems to have gotten some of the street's attention, because now there are people making a bee-line for the front door of Bottom's Up -- or maybe they're just hoping to get away from the non-stop blaring of Mike Love-era Beach Boys music. If anyone noticed the flicker-blink of the car's owner, they haven't spoken up.

You don't point out things that unusual in New Orleans. It's impolite.

Speaking of that man, he holds out a hand a bit to Gray, coughing a few times, "I'm-- I'm a'ight, but that-- look, motherfucker, what the hell is your problem?!" He's yelling at the muffled figure, who isn't paying him one whit of attention.

No, they're focused on Seven now.

They move quickly. No, quickly isn't the right word for it, they move with a shuddering jerk-spasm that doesn't seem to quite reach all the places in between where they started and where they're going, like a movie ghost skipping frames. The broken radio in their hand thrust out violently at Seven like a knife, and she just barely manages to step back out of its reach.

The battery sways wildly from its face, and now the motion of its hood can be noticed to be pulling against an aerial hidden beneath it as well.

"Are you receiving?"

"Does that count for me, too? Cause I want all the rum." murmurs the blonde. And there's no suggestion that she's joking, now. Laying her free hand momentarily at Ro's back, she offers a fleeting rub of her palm between his shoulderblades by way of reassurance and encouragement, despite the brunt of her attention having returned to Homeless Cyclops. Well, he really is now. And hey, where'd his buddy go? That alley continues on to the next block, right? Do they have transport waiting on the other side?

Anyhoo. Truth be told, cyborgs aren't exactly Gray's area of expertise, either. Though, she does offer the man beside her a thoughtful look as she withdraws the comforting touch of her hand. "..your eyes don't do that, right..?" Hey, he might be adorable, but 9V batteries in the eyesocket? Not necessarily something that gets a girl's motor running.

"Shh." This is offered abruptly to the slumped figure at the hood of the car, though the blonde does at last turn her gaze his way to deliver the 'suggestion'. Things are under control.. kinda. Hollerin' about it isn't going to help.

And then that thing is on the move, stuttering across toward the nameless stranger in the hoodie, thrusting that radio out in a jab toward her. "..shit." Struggling to make sense of things - and who can honestly blame her - the blonde hesitates for a splitsecond. Time enough for the other woman to keep herself out of harm's way. Then she simply blurts out the most succinct summary of her thoughts that she can muster. "..Five Nights at Freddy's." Hi! For those of us who spend our days working, there might perhaps have been a snippet mentioned in some article or another to clarify this idea. Animatronics who see humans as broken and try to 'fix' them by stuffing them into mechanics. Well.. it's close enough. The hoodie-wearing brunette is pretending to be similar to this thing.. could be he's trying to 'fix' her with the radio.

Or maybe someone should just open fire and to hell with figuring it out. Rum really does sound good.

As is so often the case, the best-laid plans of mice and men go far astray. All Roland wanted when he walked out of his strip club was some chicken and waffles, and now -- now he's faced with a horde of punters descending on his bar for free drinks, and he hasn't even bothered to text the bartenders and let them know. Once everyone is inside, two-thirds will stay whether the drinks are free or not. So, in that sense, the evening is going remarkably well for the club owner. But in another sense, things are slipping sideways very, very, quickly.

When Seven tries her ploy a second time, Roland takes a step sideways, preparing to give the robotic man some room to escape if that's what it wants to do. Maybe it'll lead them to a repair man. Some sort of Revenant electronic shop, perhaps.

He ignores the victim, now that the man has been rescued. That shit's someone else's problem -- Roland just didn't want anyone choking out in front of his joint. But suddenly, the thing is flashing forward to attack Seven with a smashed-in radio. Alright, this is just getting out of control. He hears Gray's quip, as if in slow motion, Five Nights at Freddy's. But there's no light for him to turn on, no way for him to stop the jump-scare. Oh. Wait. Yeah, there is.

Graceful as a dancer, Roland pivots with the lunging creature. His spastic gun-arm is smooth and calm now as it rises, his other hand coming across secure the pistol-grip as he settles into an isosceles stance. He tracks the cyborg's movements with an easy fluidity, his Hawaiian shirt fluttering backward. Yes, it's a slo-mo moment. Half the movie's budget went to this.

CRACK

The report of the pistol is really, really, fucking loud. Even loud enough to be heard over the Beach Boys. And the cyborg's other eye, the one not dangling by a wire, is smashed inward by the heavy round. The bullet travels through the cranium, expanding and mushrooming as it goes, ripping out the back of the cyborg's head. And the homeless, cyclopean, radio-stealing, robot is falling like a puppet with its wires cut. Seven has partially disconnected.

Seven's vigilance and constant situational awareness pays off once more in her strange life as the robotic man lunges for her. The hoodie helps to hide her figure but when she moves her athleticism is given away by her fluid motion. The attack triggers something in her, though. Something deep down that was supposed to have been buried, erased. Her gaze goes distant for a few moments, remembering a similar situation that she had been put through. Sure, she doesn't have any mechanical parts, but it touches upon her memories of being unwillingly experimented on nonetheless.

Before she can get overwhelmed in the memory, a shot rings out right next to her. The sudden loud noise pulls her back to the present, her wide-eyed gaze refocusing on the now dead cyborg before her. She blinks a few times, glancing over to Roland who put the man out of his potential misery. Not lingering on him long, though, she lets her eyes drift back to the corpse, settling on him. Brows narrow, a look of determination forming across her deceptively soft features. She can't let this happen again. Not to herself, not to others. She's no hero, but she doesn't want others to be wronged like she has. There's a glance to the strip club the others were apparently affiliated with. Bottoms Up. Memorized. Then she turns, heading off in a different direction as she decides she needs to collect her thoughts and figure out how to help out these victims without endangering herself.

An exceptional success on a Breaking Point kept Seven from having any worse issues that might have arisen.

The report of the pistol in Roland's hand (oh so hungry for violence, the eagerness trembling under his grip) echoes across the street, a street which is abruptly very, very empty. The street partiers are gone, the popsicle box has been hauled inside, and even the Cluck Truck's windows are down, ruining the strip club owner's hope of getting some chicken and waffles.

Not for any supernatural reason, but because the people of this city have gotten very good at getting the fuck out of dodge when bullets start flying.

Even the music of the Beach Boys has abruptly cut off, leaving an echoing silence as if that bullet had pulled the plug on the speakers when it tore through the head of the apparent 'robot' that was trying to interface a radio with Seven's internal organs without getting things like 'surgery' involved. The figure falls as if in slow motion, hitting the ground in a heap, laying still as scarlet pools around it, the shot's spray having spread a line of brain and skull fragments over the sidewalk. Whatever they are, they were human enough to still have those, it seems.

Down the alley, the other figure appears to have just disappeared. There was no waiting car, or truck. They were in the alley, and then they weren't.

That silence reigns in the streets for exactly seven seconds before - all at once - the cars all start blaring the exact same music that they were before the interference began.

"Jeeesus..." Gray breathes the declaration as the gunshot rings out, watching the stricken creature fall, limp and useless, to the asphalt. "..fucking Christ, that was hot." No, apparently cold-blooded, up-close, in-your-damn-face murder doesn't particularly unsettle the blonde. To be brutally honest, the fallen 'robot' isn't paid much mind at all. Not when there's an epic movie moment happening right in front of her eyes. Now she gets it. Marvin Gaye. Hell. Yes.

Is it a deliberate Harley Quinn impersonation? Perhaps. Or maybe it's really just in Gray's nature. Either way, she closes the distance between herself and the Hawaiian shirt wearing club owner, flinging her bare arms around his neck in an impulsive gesture of approval, and presses a kiss of vibrant red lipstick to his cheek, standing on tiptoe in order to reach. Mwah. "..you wanted a Coke flavored popsicle, right..?" The innocent enquiry is bizarrely out of place amidst this carnage. But hey. He's surely earned it.

Settling back down onto her heels, the tattooed blonde lowers her eyes to consider the crumpled heap with the radio. That thing's scrap metal now, presumably? But might be worth.. scooping up. Just a thought. "What about the other one?" Still with her arms looped around Roland's neck - all very Sin City noir, you know, hotpants notwithstanding - she glances in the direction of the alley. Sometimes, though, it's best to leave well enough alone.

Especially given that this thing was, at least at some point, human.

The ignition of the car that they're near suddenly revs to life, because the poor bastard that got assaulted and then teleported has just shimmied his skinny ass in through the open window, turned the keys, and is getting the fuck out of dodge.

Look, sometimes, you just have to stick the Hero Landing. Roland watches the figure collapse to the ground, looks at the splatter-pattern that his bullet's exit wound has left, and -- well, all in all, he doesn't feel too bad about things. Particularly not when a tattooed teleportation goddess appears against his chest, arms already flying around his neck. He lets the kiss land on his cheek, pistol held carefully out to the side. "Let's get it on..." he half-murmurs, half-sings in her ear, lipstick clinging to his gingery stubble.

Guns are amazing for this shit. Everyone loves a good point-blank execution, don't they? His free hand slips down to grasp at Gray's ass, holding her against him as he half-stands, half-poses there amidst the carnage. "Coke," he agrees, his drawl richer than usual with enjoyment. "And if he hasn't got it, Mountain Dew, please." God bless the South.

As Gray brings him back to the present dilemma, he follows her glance into the alleyway. It's not that surprising to find the second robot completely gone, somehow. Why would it exit through some mundane means? "I have a feeling," he murmurs into her ear, "That we'll see it again. Hey, gorgeous? I really don't want you to get off me, but... You wanna help me take a look at what the fuck I just shot?"