Description: It's a Mad Gear Reunion! Who knew that smashing up someone elses property can earn you a job and the right to hang with The Chief!
The sound of a baseball colliding with an aluminum bat is a fairly unique one, and one that most Americans recognize immediately.
And judging by the timing of the quiet splash that can be heard on the harborfront shortly after the sound of a ball being struck, someone's hitting them out over the Metro City bay.
Raina Rodfield lowers her hand from shielding her eyes from the sunset to watch as the ball drops down into the water, then reaches down into the bucket at her feet to pull out another.
Normally, a baseball's a fairly valuable thing to be giving a burial at sea, but as she lifts the replacement up and tests its heft, it's obvious that the balls she's smashing are a long shot from that fresh cowhide smell. In fact, the covering's been blasted off the next one, such that it's little more than a rubber core; someone's beaten the shit out of the thing, and now, she's just using the ocean as another Metro landfill.
Quirking her lips, she tosses the ball up in the air, grips the handle of her bat, and hammers another coulda-been-a-home-run out over the bay.
Raina watches again as the ball sails into the air and disappears into the harbour. As she's watching, a nearby streetlight buzzes to life, and she looks up at it contemplatively, her brows lowering.
She stoops for another dead-beat ball.
Raina stares with her mouth agape at the state of the neon sign and portrait above Abigail's Scrap Metal.
=== INSTANT REPLAY ===
Eyes narrowing and tongue poking out to whet her lips, the tanned denim-clad batter tosses up the ball, grips the bat, then winds up with a wicked shot aimed squarely at the caged streetlight's bulb - only to have the ball ricochet off one of the lamp's metal guards before rocketing off toward Abigail's sign.
=== NOW ===
"How did it even /do/ that?!"
It's like some sort of sixth sense. Something just got broken. Something is busted. Something needs fixing. Now something is coming.
The very ground seems to rumble and shake. A familiar quaking that this part of the Bay Area knows only to well. The lights flicker. The trash cans rattle and a groaning creaking sound of rusted metal being warped and bending begins to fill the air until finally the massive entrance to the garage of ABIGAIL'S SCRAP METAL (ABIGAI7'S SCRAP METAL) is lifted upwards by a gargantuan hand.
A billow of steam gushes forth, blasting out from the garage as if the mouth of some dragon opened up over the Bay Area and the monster figure of Abigail slowly looms forth, backlit by the glaring lights of the internal areas of his vast workshop with his shadow cutting across the area and seemingly pressing down with a weight all its own. A welders mask is pulled down over his face. His Mad Gear tee-shirt is a torn shredded wreck, leaving most of his freakish upper body exposed and smeared with oil and numerous tools hang from his vast waist, banging against his legs as he lumbers out.
One might question how he heard anything over the roaring sound of Death Metal that blasts out into the area now that the garage is open but he knows something is up as he prowls further away from the entrance and then sloooooowwwwwly turns to see the flickering lights of his gaudy neon sign.
He just simply stands there and stares..
Raina herself is still gawking at her handiwork as Abigail emerges, then approaches her vicinity, the baseball bat hanging loosely in her hand at her side. She slowly seems to become aware of the hulking masked brute whose shop she's just vandalized, then aware of the weapon that she's still clutching onto, holding it up for a moment to look at it. She quickly puts both hands behind her back to hide the bat, before looking up at the mighty mountain of Mad Gear muscle. When she addresses him, it's with the thick accent of a Metro City native.
"Hey, Chief... you got insurance on that sign, right?"
The brunette cocks her head up at the sign as she shifts from one leg to the other, doing her best to look innocent. It's not a look that suits her.
"Muh...my....my sign...." is Abigail's slow answer before he finally manages to crank out a bellowing, "MY SIGN!!!" He gestures frantically at the ground and the scattered glass and pieces that lay strewn about and he begins to circle them, half hopping from side to side in the process as if performing some strange ceremonial dance.
He stops in the middle of his frantic thundering movement and straightens up to his full height upon finally registering Raina. He blinks a few times and peers at her and then his nostrils flare as if he's practically smelling the guilt hanging around her.
"What did you doooooo?!" he rumbles before taking a few earth thundering steps forward and then he stops to point down t the baseball bat behind her back. His height gives him a unique vantage point. Kinda hard to hide something behind you when the person you're hiding it from can basically look right down at it like he's on the roof of a building.
"You out here trying to smash up my stuff!?" Abigail reaches up and finally lifts his mask up. He's not wearing his usual Death Metal homage makeup but the oil smears on his face seem to automatically act in its place. "Well?!?"
Apologizing would be the appropriate thing to do about now. Grovelling, probably a close second.
As Raina brings the bat around in front of her, holding it low and staring at it, the look on her face suggests that she might be considering those courses of action. That would mean losing face, though.
And worse, she might miss out on an ass kicking.
The sometime Mad Gear member's brown eyes narrow and her jaw sets as she turned her face defiantly up to look at Abigail. She lets out a snort of derision, holding up the red-handled aluminum bat and pointing it at Abigail challengingly.
"Yeah? So what if I did? Don't tell me you're gonna cry just 'cause somebody nicked your sign!"
She bends down brazenly and pulls another badly-battered baseball out of the bucket, then straightens up and holds the ball up, threatening with her stance to send another hit toward Abigail's sign.
"If you've got a problem with it, maybe I'll see if I can turn your scrap sign into a crap sign!"
The colossus recoils like a junkyard dog that's got the meanest bark and the biggest bite but never actually has to go through with it cause everyone just runs away ..and so it now sits in confusion at what to do with the one thing that seems like it doesn't know it's supposed to.
"Bwahurh?" he rumbles, roughly translating that to 'Don't you know who I am?!'.
It's hard to say if he recognizes Raina for being a Mad Gearite. After all, as Bay Area Chief he could hardly be expected to keep up with every re-spawnable peon that decided to join up ..but at the same time..certain members just stand out and there aren't exactly alot of girls with so much guts and fire affilated with Mad Gear. So maybe he does know.
And probably simply doesn't care either way.
"Are you crazy!?" he finally exclaims, "Do you know how expensive that sign is?! The only thing that swing that bat. Don't you swing that bat. DON'T YOU DARE SWING THAT BAT!"
He points furiously at her, jabbing a massive finger probably as thick around as the bat she's using while he starts stalking closer and closer in an attempt to close the distance before she finally commits to the deed.
Raina raises the tip of the bat to point right at Abigail's sign, mimicking the signal of an American baseball legend indicating where the ball was going as the Mad Gear muscleman bears down on her.
The ball floats up, almost in slow motion, as Raina releases it. Then, with the form and coiled power of a practiced athlete, she brings the bat back.
It's a devastatingly hard fly ball, one aimed with expert precision - just so that it will strike the brickwork just between the letters of the shop's sign. Raina turns back to Abigail, tilting her head up at him and smirking.
"Gotcha," she says as the smirk turns into a grin.
"So, whatcha gonna do abou-"
And then her lips curl down as she spots the ball ricocheting back - right at Abigail's head.
Now Abigail has taken some hits in his time. He's been hit with a nuclear explosion causing punch by Azrael, kicked by a house shearing kick by Akuma, stabbed by Baiken, clawed by a ravenous pack of werewolves, hit by buses, run over by cars (hence the tire prints on his favorite jeans...), and Gigas Breakered by Hugo through the roof of a several storied apartment building. And he got up and walked away and dusted himself off from ...most of them.
Getting hit in the back of the head with a baseball rocketing off of a wall at what seems like the speed of sound still freaking sucks even if you're Abigail.
It slams into the back of his head, immediately shocking him into some sort of dream state of flying Monster Trucks, undersea Monster Trucks and Monster Trucks performing elaborate chreographed movements to the music of that terrifying movie about cats that Roxy forced him to watch.
He then slowly tips over backwards, slamming into a nearby abandoned car and flattening it completely under his vast body like some sort of mattress. The impact rocks and shakes the ground and the Death Metal music screeches to a halt as if it was playing simply at the conscious will of Abigail.
More realistically someone was playing it and sure enough the 'Belle of Mad Gear', Roxy, comes rushing out of the garage in shock, followed by the leather jacket wearing Axl. "Chief!"
Abigail just sort of lays there, stunned. He could also be just over acting and being all dramatic as he's prone to being at times as well but..baseball to the back of the skull.
From Raina's perspective, it's like watching a train wreck in slow motion... and then realising that you were the engineer responsible for it.
Rather than wisely deciding that now might be a good time to make a getaway and pray for amnesia, the blue jean-wearing batter runs over to the car that the Canadian giant has crushed with his fall. She gets close, trying to examine the Goliath to her disastrous David act, though unfortunately, she doesn't know anything about first aid beyond what she's learned on the streets.
"Hey, uhh, don't worry. I can fix this," she assures Roxy and Axl with a raised hand before running over to a nearby orange barrel and delivering a vicious series of kicks to it until it crumples over, revealing a turkey dinner on a platter.
How did it get there? Why is it fresh? How did Raina know where to find it?
It's one of Metro's many mysteries.
Picking it up, she beats feet over to the fallen Chief, holding the meal out over his head to try and rouse him with the offering.
"Hey, Chief, look what I, uhh, found..."
"Hey! Where were you at during our last Thanksgiving Day Oil Drum give away!" exclaims Axl, clearly impressed with her mastery of Metro City's street meats.
Roxy, in the meantime, has already made her way over to Abigail and she crouches next to him while shaking her head in mild exasperation, compounded when she spots the nearby baseball. She reaches down and picks it up curiously and then looks over to Raina as she approaches with the ready to go turkey dinner. Finally she looks bafk down to Abigail and drops the baseball onto his forhead, "Come on you big gorilla. You're just over-acting. Get up, Chief! She's got a peace offering for you!"
Roxy then smirks at Raina, "Hopefully he'll just eat it and won't try and stuff you into the back of his truck, upside down. OF course if he does that enough times you get used to it." Looks like even the Belle of Mad Gear isn't safe from Abigail's occasional rampages but it's not like Roxy can't take a punch or give one.
"Wha---?" Abigail rumbles, nostrils flaring at the smell of the dinner. His eyes then fly open and he sits up slowly, the baseball rolling off his forhead with a soft *plunk* as it hits the ground. He just blinks a few times and then reaches down to pick up the whole turkey..and then begins noisely consuming it. Looks like the offering was accepted.
"Upside down... in the back of his truck?"
Raina appears appropriately apprehensive of the notion proposed by the more fashionable Mad Gear member, her dark eyebrows furrowing in uncertainty. The bat rests across her shoulders as she leans over to watch whether her peace offering slash emergency medical assistance will be accepted. An awkward smile appears on her face and she scratches at the back of her head above her ponytail as Abigail rouses and tucks into the turkey dinner.
"So, uhh... that was really unlucky, huh? How that ball just happened to come out of nowhere..."
Of course, she's still holding the weapon responsible for the 'freak accident.'
"The sign looks kinda cool how it is now, though, doesn't it?"
As she tries to put her spin on it, the sign in question buzzes, before fizzling out completely. Hopefully that's not permanent.
"Raina, right? It's okay hun." says Roxy cheerfully and brightly. She also seems aware of who Raina is. A fellow Mad Gear after all! "He's just being all overly dramatic. You should see how often he smashes his office equipment up just because he gets to many work orders in one day. I guess it sucks being good at what you do, right? Nice bat by the way."
That is, after all, her own weapon of choice.
"WAITASEC!" bellows Abigail, mouth still half full with turkey. "Don't be nice to her! Lookathat!" He points at the now dark sign.
"But boss, you already have a replacement on order because you cracked it the other da--" begins Axl, only to be silenced by the turkey platter slamming into his face hard enough to send him backwards and into a pile of tires, hurled by the furious Abigal.
"Sh..shuttup! That's not the point!" He reddens in mild embaressement before finally shaking his head a few times, jowls wobbling like some drunken pit bull.
"..Okay FINE..yeah. I was going to bust it up anyway. There's a new sign that'll be shipped here by tomorrow. But you -still- broke something that belonged to me!" He points at Raina now, leaning forward, "So you're gonna WORK IT OFF."
"Yeah," Raina replies to Roxy at the other member's recognition, relaxing a little at the reassurances. She repays the compliment, too: "Nice hat."
She freezes, though, almost trying to hide behind Roxy, when Axl suddenly gets a face full of plate, the giant's wrath rekindled. Raina looks incredulous as Abigail turns on her, jaw dropping.
"But you - you didn't lose nothin', you crazy Canuck!"
The Metro native's face becomes a scowl.
"And if you're gonna replace it anyway, I might as well smash up all the rest of it, too!"
Her expression is still irritated as her boil lowers to a simmer, and she turns her eyes aside toward the shop.
"So, uh... what kinda work are we talkin' about?"
"DON'T TALK BACK TO ME!" explodes Abigail with all the fury of a volcano that will never erupt but wants you to think it will. It doesn't help he's still got a turkey leg half stuck in his mouth.
"You still broke something that wasn't yours! There's consequences t'be had. We're upstanding citizens around here! I got a liscense and everything. And fans! I'm a World Warrior now!"
"Oh boy." muses Roxy, but she knows better then to say more then that. She gives Raina a 'You're on your own' expression at that.
"As to work..." muses Abigail, "You probably...you probably can't tell nothin' about a car engine just by the sound of its rumble. You don't know your Vroom from your Vrooooom-Vroom." He rubs his jaw in thought and then finally finishes vaccuming up the last of the turkey meat from the leg bone into his large jaw.
"Hrmph..say..this aint half bad. You'll be in charge of runnin' food for us! Grabbin' the eats when I need some! And helpin' keep the office organized. Like an unpaid intern! Cause I aint payin' ya! In exchange, I won't pound you into the pavement for my sign and maybe you'll get some cred for workin' with the Bay Area Chief..."
"Running... for food?"
It's true that Raina knows the city's lower-class eateries like the back of her hand - whether it's the nearest Spangles or playing Smacker Barrel for turkey. But...
"You mean you want me to be a glorified waitress, minus the glorified part?!"
She kicks at the ground, her boot scuffing against the parking lot pavement in her angst. She starts to pace, then turns toward Abigail, raising her bat and pointing the round tip up at the Canadian's face.
"And on top of that, how many hours?! I got my own job to do, you know!"
Sure, it's freelance work with an entirely flexible schedule, but that's beside the point. Liberty is at stake here - although it's not the biggest motivator for the nihilistic Rodfield girl.
"You know what? I'd rather get my ass beat than be an unpaid pizza lady! So, do your worst!"
The Bay Area Chief looks absolutely flabbergasted. Nobody actually ever -wants- him to hit them. For any reason. Even pride. But this little slip of a Mad Gear girl is standing up to him. He looks at a loss for words.
Roxy just shrugs, as if expecting this and Axl gets up, dizzied, but alright. "I think she got you there boss." he calls out.
"Listen, I'm trying to keep you in one piece you pain in the ass!" snarls Abigail, "And don't call me a Canuck! Don't think I didn't notice that.."
Abigail is mean. He's rough. He's boorish and brutish and maybe even a bully sometimes..
But he's not cruel and petty beyond necessity.
"Fine, fine. I'm getting a new sign tomorrow anyway. You wanna ruin a good chance to get in good with me then fine. Don't let me catch you playin' ball within a city block of my place again!" He stands at this point, brushing himself off as he looms to his full height, "Aint my fault she can't see a good thing when it's offered to 'er!" he snaps at Roxy before turning and stalking away back towards the garage.
"Tth. Nice job." says Roxy as Abigail moves off, "It's good to stand up to the big gorilla. Still what he was offering wasn't as bad as it sounded. Gotta read between the lines a bit better, Raina." she winks and starts to turn.
Raina is left dumbfounded as Abigail and his friends start to walk away, her shoulders sagging a little as the rush of adrenaline at the prospect of a fight (admittedly, a rather hopeless one) starts to diminish. She wasn't expecting that to /work./ Roxy's words linger in her mind as well.
If Abigail or his Mad Gear pals turn around, they'll see Raina slouching with the bat across her shoulders, a smile on her face.
"So... is that pizza girl position still open?"
It's a gamble on the Gear goliath's patience and sense of humour, but the look on the girl's face suggests she doesn't care whether the coin toss comes up heads or tails.
Abigail fumes. Abigail smoulders. Abigail sees red.
"We're NOT closed you know!" he exclaims, exasperated at the prospect that during business hours someone might see that. He has enough bad press to deal with.
But it seems the coin toss came down on the right side as he doesn't come pounding over towards her to crush her into the dirt. Instead he waves a huge hand dismissively and turns to keep stalking off into the garage.
It's a wave that Roxy and Axl interpret as, "Let's wreck some things!" as kicks a tire up and flings it over at the sign, sending a shower of sparks flying everywhere and glass raining down.
"And -you're- gonna help clean up the mess, sweetie." says Roxy, winking at Raina, "I guess you got the job..meaning the clearence to hang out around here for abit. Let's hope you last!"
Log created on 21:00:56 04/23/2020 by Abigail, and last modified on 22:24:17 04/24/2020.