Limited The Chair

This RP is open, but with limitations.


Active member
”Look, man, Im just saying-“

Nat grunted, the exertion interrupting what was becoming less a discussion than he might have hoped for. Running across rooftops was hardly the best time to carry on a conversation of any kind, even with the spring-loaded heels that propelled him across the hurtling gaps between buildings. He had been the one to initiate the conversation, though, so he could hardly complain.

”It’s not that I don’t want you to go into the field. I made you the armor, didn’t I?” Another pause as he crossed another gap and landed into a roll. ”Armor isn’t enough to protect you completely. I won’t even use my power, but I’ve got to know you can at least handle a regular person before I could consider bringing you in on a mission like this.”

He had been tossing out half-truths like that one a lot more lately, though he wasn’t sure if that meant he was getting closer to finding Cryptid or farther away. It seemed the chase was becoming more desperate at this point, chasing whispered rumors of a man in a horned mask being seen with a group of supposed other shady people with a penchant for costume.

It made sense for the cannibal to be so difficult to find if someone was covering the trail, and from what Nat could gather it seemed as though Cryptid might have found himself allied with possible metahuman traffickers. The reports he had of their collusion were tenuous at best, and the reports of the people involved were shakier even still.

”If these guys are really trafficking metahumans there are probably some in their ranks as well. If it’s dangerous for me then its dangerous for you.” Nat grinned beneath his mask as he slid to a stop near the edge of a seven story building. ”Location is in sight, Den Mother.” Nat pointed toward the garage below with only a soft chuckle that might have been a clearing of his throat.
“Copy that, Cub Scout,” Todd replied, without hesitation. Of all the names for Nat to decide to get creative with, Todd’s callsign was the most annoying – so Todd had started to annoy back. The banter was probably good for their relationship. “Just remember this is a recon mission. If these people are as dangerous as we think, you need information more than anything. Try not to engage.”

From the safety of the Wolf Den, Todd was watching the area of Nat’s location. The kid had made a risky choice, and it was partly his mentor’s fault. Nat had been looking into gunrunners in the area, and incidentally found what he heard as “metahuman traffickers” by the name of Slate Todd, assuming this would help keep the kid away from Obsidian, at least for a while, had encouraged the information. Metahuman arms traffickers would only get the kid curious, right?

Well. Todd didn’t account for Nat’s negligible survival instinct. Metahuman trafficking only grabbed his attention, and he’d insisted on checking them out on his own. In this case, Nat was actually applying a principle Todd had given him – always check your info, no matter how much you trust your source. At least if it backfired, Todd could frame this as a test, lie about why he was lying in the first place.

“And I told you, Sam’s been training with me – you can ask her how it’s going. I couldn’t ask for a better teacher. Besides, I don’t have to get in a fistfight if I’m under the radar. Sparring aside, you haven’t given me the chance to show you what I can really do.”

Of course, Todd didn’t actually want that chance. There was way too much risk. Either Nat would figure him out immediately, or he’d accidentally give the kid insights into countering his fighting style as Cryptid. Sam was a good teacher, and so was Sulphur; but he still relied heavily on his instincts and heightened senses in a real fight, and he was just as likely to tank a hit and heal as he was to dodge with metahuman speed. Neither was something he wanted Nat to see. Let alone any possible slips on the field – hunting or not, his recent incident with Obsidian… yeah.
Nat choked on his own humor, Todd’s immediate rebuttal halting the chuckle in his throat. He had to admit it was fitting, calling a Wolf “Cub” just as it was fitting to call someone stuck in the warehouse “Den Mother.” Both might have been a little demeaning, but at least they were said in good faith. Todd was right, though. Nat hadn’t given him much of a choice, though in this particular instance it was more to do with the comfort of having his mentor in his ear than any doubt he had over his capacity.

”I know, I know, observation only.” Nat snapped back as he dove off of the rooftop, a single cable whirring out from the steel of his suit to slow his fall. He hit the ground silently, and held a hand up to his ear as he continued. “I’m sure Sam has been doing her best,” Nat eyed the garage warily before continuing, searching for signs of movement. ”But even with the best training in the world people can get hurt. People can die.” You could be eaten. He didn’t say the words, though he was sorely tempted to. It had begun weighing on him lately, keeping secrets from the man who had been nothing but supportive of him.

There were deeper issues to consider, though, beyond the possibility of Cryptid devouring Todd in front of his eyes. ”Just ask Sam,” Nat said, echoing his mentor’s own advice. ”I know you’ve dealt with a lot in your life, Todd. Is it so wrong I don’t want to see more added to your grief?” They still hadn’t talked about the weight Nat had seen in Todd’s bearing, the past that he held so close to his chest. Nat suspected that they never would, but he wanted the man to know that he understood. It came with the territory, and with each ally Nat made he knew that same kind of weight would eventually find him.

”I’m not seeing any signs of life inside,” he said quickly to change the subject. ”What are the chances this is a wild goose chase?” He had brought the possible existence of Slate to Todd’s attention a while ago, and his mentor had found little else to support the rumor of the traffickers’ existence. Todd was a much better detective than Nat, so it was entirely possible that Slate was nothing more than just that; a rumor or perhaps a distraction for the Wolf who was doing his best to eliminate crime from the city.
There weren’t many boxes left. Hematite had checked thirty -two boxes since he had arrived at roughly five that evening. Honestly, it wasn’t terrible work, and he could move at his own pace as he shifted through the latest order for Carmen, one of the many connections Obsidian had made in the city since arriving. It was to their benefit to help her eliminate all of the higher-tier crime in the city– or at least bring it under her control. That left large swathes for them to claim as well. Between the two of them, things were falling into place.

The new order was far more extensive than the previous one. Lots more of the rifles previously discussed and the explosives she had requested. All in all, everything had been as expected, and Hematite had merely checked things off his list as he moved on. The list he was working off was simple– it listed, quite literally, Product A, Product B, and so on. There were numbers associated with the letters, and those numbers were memorized by most of Slate as identification numbers for their weaponry.

He hummed as he worked, before checking the time. God, had it really gotten that late? Wait, he was supposed to be working on not using God as a term. Damn. Rhody was trying with him, but if Hemie was being honest, he still couldn’t quite wrap his head around the religion thing. Maybe he was just too angry to accept it. After what had happened with him and his sister, it was hard to have faith in a higher power. Maybe he would eventually get past Rachael’s death, but it wouldn’t be today.

With that thought heavy in his head, he set the clipboard down and made to leave the warehouse for a minute. He hadn’t had a break since he arrived, so he was due to go stand outside in the crisp winter air. It was long past nightfall, so he snatched up his corduroy jacket as he passed it and tugged it on over his violet and green geometric t-shirt. The beads in his long dreads rattled against each other as he stepped outside, taking in a breath of crisp, winter air.​