4776/Toadally Legal Business

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Toadally Legal Business
Date of Scene: 18 January 2021
Location: Warehouses
Synopsis: Toad gets Johnny Storm to try out the hot new drug AMPH. Torch just can't say no!
Cast of Characters: Mortimer Toynbee, Johnny Storm

Mortimer Toynbee has posed:
Traffic goes in and out of the warehouse at this late hour. Not entirely unusual, some businesses stay open late, but generally traffic at a warehouse is large trucks and vans, not passenger cars and shady looking people on foot. Only a few lights are on but there's a small line at one of the doors, two large men manning it as they let in folks a few at a time. None stay longer than a couple minutes before they come back out, some still looking fine if shifty, others staggering their way down the street.

The cars are less frequent but more organized, pulling up to a garage bay door which opens just enough to let them in and closes quickly. Less than ten minutes later it'll be rolling back out to some other part of the street with its cargo no doubt stashed inside.

Johnny Storm has posed:
Earlier tonight, Johnny Storm got a phone call from an old friend.

"Wyatt, what is it. What? What?!"

To summarize; Johnny's old roomate Wyatt Wingfoot has become a family man. Three kids, and an even dozen nephews, nieces, and cousins forming the next generation of his community. Some of them are even teenagers now, which Johnny doesn't like to think about much, alone in his bedroom in his 40s and with two divorces to his name. But...

A new drug on the streets. Harmless fun, it's advertised as. Unless you happen to have...

"An allergic reaction." HERBIE says, looking over the blood sample. "Dakota is suffering from an acute reaction to the drug. Unfortunately, Johnny, I need a sample of it to synthesize an antidote. With how the chemical is interacting with her brain, I believe she has days until..."

"What." Johnny cuts the robot off, "Do I need to do."

"...well, I am detecting a faint trace of...gracious is that the X-Gene? Oh it's like Bach..."

Johnny's already out the door.

And a few hours later, in an oversized hat and trenchcoat, John Storm is driving an old car from his ship towards the 'drop off' point. Turns out being part of the idle rich and a b-list celebrity makes tracking down a hip new drug pretty easy. Frowning a bit in his disguise, Torch drives up, waiting to be let in.

Mortimer Toynbee has posed:
AMPH. If LSD and huffing paint had a child it would be this stuff. Coming in nifty little blue liqui-gel caps, with promises of more varieties coming soon. Allergic reactions, overdoses, and psychotic breaks just a few of the wonderful things it does. But it also makes you feel like you've entered a whole new world. Worth the risk for, well obviously many people. As Johnny watches he'll see a bouncer chuck one poor fellow on the street sobbing who clearly didn't have quite enough cash to make it work. Meanwhile another professional thug approaches his car, gesturing for him to roll down his window before he leans down to look inside.

Looking only a generation removed from a neanderthal he sweeps his gaze over Johnny's car and then grunts. "This line is for folks looking to deal. I don't know you. You got enough cash to make it worth letting you in? You got less than a grand you get to wait in line with them," pointing a thick finger at the line of those on the sidewalk, more than a few looking like they were gripping a knife under their clothes or worse, constantly jabbering at one another or too themselves. Good honest hardworking folk to be sure.

Johnny Storm has posed:
Johnny's idea of a disguise is a press on set of sideburns and mustache that makes him look like an escapee from a 70s detective movie, and one of Ben's old dancing suits.

"I'm...Turk." Johnny says, "Turk's cousin. It's a complicated, tragic story I'm sure you're not interested in hearing about, but I'm good for it."

Johnny slaps a few hundreds in the beast-man's palm, tuning out the sounds of human misery otherwise. "I'm looking to franchise, baby, and I don't get out of bed with less then ten large, you get me?"

Johnny is a terrible fake criminal, but his money spends like anyone else's.

Mortimer Toynbee has posed:
Bribe? Why didn't you say so? Despite hands like a gorilla's the money seems to vanish practically the moment its hits the man's palm, a wave of his finger causing the bay door to trundle up, a couple of spotlights pointed forward making it almost impossible to see as Johnny pulls in. Maybe they weren't complete idiots. As Johnny pulls in though he'll find himself in a world of chaos. Towards the back end of the warehouse several tables are set up with basic lab equipment, a dozen people at work churning out and packing away liqui-gels. Other employees move the merchandise around while a handful of guards move about overseeing everything both on the ground and on a catwalk over the room. Boxes and individual vials of AMPH are stashed near the front though, albeit in a locked cage with several very visibly armed guards near it. Only one stood without a weapon, a large chubby looking man with wisps of gray hair coming off the sides of his head, and an old-fashioned pipe in his mouth. He seemed to be handling the money and directing most of the traffic.

But then there was Toad. Toad an actual bona fide success. Not like he'd let something like that go to his head. That's why there had to be a literal throne, a recliner that looked like it was bought at a thrift store elevated up on some milk crates and other debris, the mutant drug kingpin sitting in his seat with a brass crown that looks like it was welded together quickly, a fur coat draped over his shoulders and a couple of women who looked barely aware where they were draped over him.

"Where's the pizza?! C'mon move it you lugs! HAHA! Keep it moving, keep it moving!" he cries out, most of the workers largely ignoring him, he seemed blitzed out of his own mind though the empty bottles of liquor near him seem to show he's not using his own stuff at least.

Another large man approaches Johnny's car. "How many boxes pal? And don't go playing cute looking for bargains, I got a line," he growls out.

Johnny Storm has posed:
Johnny Storm looks at the boxes.

The easiest way to do this, he thinks, is to just shell out the money and come back once he's sure Dakota's safe. That's the smart way to do it, though there's a chance this stuff, wherever it's coming from, isn't pure enough for an antedote. But that's a guess...Johnny can just about keep up with the engineering side of being in the Fantastic Four, but biology? Super biology? He should've called an X-Man, he thinks, this was all sloppy, stupid, a girl's life is on the line!

Wait, Johnny thinks, feeling the epi-pen in his pocket, I can just do both. "How much a box? Ha ha ha is what a poor would say! I'll take three, to start. I hear..."

And he says this just loud enough to ensure Toad can hear, "Frog Man down the block's doing a better product. I wanna keep my...options open." Ha. Nobody likes Frog Man.

Mortimer Toynbee has posed:
"Frog Man?! Who the hell is talking about FROG MAN! That goddamn ripoff, I already gotta put up with people calling ME that sometimes and now he's stealing my best idea?!" Poor Johnny's car. An empty bottle goes smashing along the roof of it at first as the guards step back. Next there's a very heavy 'WHUMPH' and the front of the car creaks forward as Toad lands on the hood, no doubt denting the hood. He easily crouches down in his standard pose, legs spread in a deep squat that seems to trouble him not at all as he peers in the windshield with bloodshot eyes. A few folks briefly stop working to stare, but the bald-headed foreman lets out a holler that seems surprisingly loud even for a large man and things quickly pick back up again.

Toad glares in at Johnny the whole time, recognition not setting in. Maybe were he a bit more sober. "You gonna deal with Frog Man you think? Maybe I'll fuggin deal with you right here and now, whatyou think about that mate? Huh?" Toad challenges. The loogie he lets loose on Johnny's hood that follows isn't the mutated slime that can hold a man to a wall, but it's disgusting all the same as he looks back challengingly at Johnny after.

Johnny Storm has posed:
Wow, that worked way too well.

Johnny sort of looks at the terrible Toad as he ruins a perfectly serviceable car, just sort of putting his hands in his pockets and waiting for the connection to be made. Any time now...and then Toad basically spits up on Johnny's hood.

"Oh come ON dude! How do you mange to be more gross every time we come in contact?!" Johnny says, visibly shocked! "Look just...just hold still, okay? I need to stick you with this thing and then I can beat up everybody in this room." Johnny holds up the epi-pen. "It's some weird future tech Reed cobbled together when he was half asleep, it won't even pinch."

Mortimer Toynbee has posed:
"More gross every time we..." Toad slurs a bit but his wide eyes narrow in on Johnny now. Suddenly they sprout wide as he recognizes Johnny. "It's him! It's him!" he screeches, vaulting backwards off Johnny's car and nearly to the other end of the warehouse in a single hop. Despite his buzzed state he lands cleanly on both feet and now more people are actually paying attention to the would be druglord.

"Who?" finally someone asks as Toad points at the vehicle.

"TORCH! Get him! 10 grand to whoever kills him!" he lets out. THAT finally prompts a proper reaction as a dozen guys pull guns, a mix of handguns, rifles, SMGS, and one even with an automatic shotgun. That car was likely to have more than a dent soon.

Johnny Storm has posed:
"Come on man! Seriously! Someone's allergic to whatever the hell you're putting in this stuff, I just need a sample and I'm on my...."

"Boy those are a lot of guns." Johnny says, as the whole room aims at him. He holds up his hands. Not enough money to bribe EVERYBODY. What to do, what to do. "Funny how drug guys always have all these guns, like, what are you going to do holy crap it's the Punisher!"

Johnny then lights on fire, leaping into the sky. He can't go too hot in here, for fear of damaging the samples, but he can hurl fireballs at the more clustered groups of goons, while sending focused beams of heat at the heavier ordinance. It'll take a bit, but Johnny can straight up melt the weapons; he's trying to herd the lesser criminals out into the street where, Johnny doesn't know, Daredevil or someone can take care of them. Maybe Moon Knight.

Mortimer Toynbee has posed:
Guns might deter the police, might even slow some heroes. Toad already knew they weren't going to do squat to the Human Torch though as he snarls and starts bouncing around the room, seemingly at random almost.

"Boo hoo, someone is dying from drugs they bought on the street! Tell me a story I ain't heard before you cunting matchstick!" Toad watching as more of his goons and clients both start funneling out of the warehouse.

His foreman was still there though, the two of them catching one another's eye and giving each other a nod. The leaping wasn't entirely random as Toad jumps down in front of the mutant codenamed Blowhard. In his hands, under his arms and wrapped in his tongue a half dozen fire extinguishers. He spins around and chucks them with surprising precision one after another at Johnny at Speed. Predictable enough. What Johnny might not be expecting is the gale force wind tunnel that comes with them as Blowhard lets loose through his funny looking pipe, the force of it enough to make the warehouse struts groan and giving the extinguishers some extra velocity...along with having a good chance of throwing Johnny back into the wall with.

Johnny Storm has posed:
It's true: deep down, Johnny knows there's no real issue with him and a warehouse full of thugs. The real problem is not killing anyone or destroying the sources. Toad's mutant powers are impressive, but he doesn't have any hostages Johnny's going to lose sleep over. In other words, Toad's in a lot of trouble.

Unless he has friends. Johnny's eyes widen as the blast of gale force winds smash him into a wall, causing a gasp of air that's ripped from his lungs. The worst part is the concentration of oxygen in the blast of wind; Blow Hard and Toad can both see flickers of flame Johnny is desperately trying to control ripple through the cyclone!

He can't even quip! "aaaah." Johnny wheezes, and forces his hand below his waist. It explodes into fire, Johnny trying to use a concentrated flame to rocket himself out of Blow Hard's grip!

Mortimer Toynbee has posed:
It's hard to say if the fire extinguishers actually do anything or not as they slam into the wall around Johnny and rupture, letting off a cloud of chemicals that is quickly flattened to the wall by the winds, and potentially to Johnny himself like a blanket of foam. It certainly wasn't helping though, was darn chilly to boot. Toad lets out a cackle and begins bouncing around the room again like a rubberball with a mind of its own. "What's wrong Torchyboy? You like him? Needed a pal to keep things in line, found him in the damn SEWERS if you can believe it. But hey Johnny! Don't you worry! You want samples? You can have it!"

Toad's bouncing has stopped near the production line. He could see Blowhard starting to wind down as he goes red in the face and so moves quickly as he chucks a large container of unnaturally blue liquid into the wind tunnel which begins spiraling at the trapped hero, ready to shatter and douse him in hallucinogenics. Maybe he couldn't beat Johnny...but maybe he could get him higher than a damn kite.

Johnny Storm has posed:
The fire extinguishers might have been enough to slow Johnny down if not for all of the wind, and the extra oxygen in that wind. Fortunately, the wind dies down...a weakness, Johnny thinks, he can only blow as long as he can hold his breath. Johnny Storm's fought super-humans for nearly thirty years, now, and showing your belly is a mistake.

Unfortunately, Toad's quicker. Johnny reacts, smashing the box with a fireball. The glass melts, the goo burns, and Johnny gets a face full of Toad's drug in gaseous form. He holds his throat, choking while he flames off for a second, vulnerable. What he sees...

...what he sees...

...Johnny holds his hand out at the evil mutants, his eyes wide. They crackle with cosmic energy, then. "Annihulus." He wheezes, and the room starts to grow hot very, very quickly. "Annihulus!"

Johnny holds his hands out; they explode into fire, sending a wave of orange-hot flame at the pair of mutants, fire flickering out of his mouth like he was some kind of amazingly dressed dragon.

Mortimer Toynbee has posed:
"Oh...nuts," Toad undersells as Johnny goes from 'fighting-thugs' form to 'fighting-galactic threats' form. As large as the warehouse is he can feel the temperature start to rise like it's becoming an oven. Despite being living flame Human Torch tended to keep a low body count cause he controlled himself. And Toad might have just removed the inhibitors. Blowhard runs out of steam and staggers with a gasp as the fire comes pulsing at him. Stronger than most normal humans as well, he grabs hold of the locked cage of product ready to sell and tosses it at the flame, the cage exploding causing some to incinerate while other gets launched around the room as he dives down to roll under Johnny's car. Toad meanwhile simply relies on pure speed, but it's still a barely made thing that leaves him patting the back of his pants out as they're left smoking.

"We need a new bloody plan! He's off his damn rocker! He'll cook the whole damn block!" Toad cries, trying to think. No allergic reaction out of Johnny and there was no antidote. Why would he ever need an antidote? It was in some ways almost heroic, the two underdogs trying to find a way to take down the blazing threat that might burn them to cinders, having to use their wits and wiles. And Toad could think of only one option.

"OD THAT FOOKIN CUNT!" is his heroic battlecry as he begins zipping around the room, picking up fallen product and hurling it at Johnny, letting his own heat to make the liquid capsules pop and sizzle into puffs of blueish gas around him. A second breath from Blowhard and he lets loose a cyclone this time around Johnny, trying to concentrate the growing density of hallucinogenic around him and force it into his lungs.

Johnny Storm has posed:
Johnny sees the horrors of the Negative Zone, insectoid hordes that feed on the warmth and potential of the positive universe. About as close to elemental evil as he's experienced outside of Doomstat, and his time among them as a slave-gladiator. The worm priests sitching his body together over and over, using his own spark of Cosmic Power to reignite him, over and over...

The ground melts into molten rock as Johnny's body flickers white hot, the atmosphere around him randomly flickering with light and heat as it literally starts to catch fire. You have in fact hit a nerve.

And then Toad and Blow Hard fill Johnny's immediate area with unavoidable hallucinogens. Johnny stumbles back, covering his arms defensively as he experiences every awful thing that's happened to him in his long, strange life. And then it gets quiet.

Because you can burn through intoxicants.

The gas cloud rises into the air, and crackles as a controlled flame combusts it throughout the warehouse, an entirely sober but still furious Johnny Storm hovering like some kind of elemental fury.

Mortimer Toynbee has posed:
As the portions of the warehouse nearest Human Torch are combusting of their own accord or glowing and growing soft Toad finds he can barely even look at him and that's WITH dropping his tinted goggles into place, his eyes always sensitive, watering now and incessantly dry. He's backed up as far as he can, sweat pouring off him and Blowhard done much the same. Toad's knees are shaking, he fucked up, he done fucked up. "Blowhard we..." is as far as he gets before he hears a door open and then slam shut, his last cohort taking off into the night. Toad gulps, his oversized Adam's apple bobbing heavily in his throat as he puts his hands up flat.

"Hey, hey there Johnny-boy, good to, good to see you back with us right? Listen you uh, you want that sample? I got all kinds of samples. Whatever you want right? All yours. Pay for the car too. Better car. Two cars!" He backs up another step, his shoulders bumping the far wall of the warehouse and he recoils, even this far away it's burning hot. "C'mon man, don't cook me now. No one likes French cuisine in this town," he pleads.

Johnny Storm has posed:
The Human Torch looks down on Toad and Blow Hard.

Johnny douses, and lands in front of them. He makes a 'gimmie' gesture at Toad, grabs his arm, and sticks him with the pen. No one's dead, a quick glance confirms, so he's gonna count that as a win. "Alright, I got what I want." Just like that, as if Toad hadn't tried to kill him twice today.

Johnny looks up then. "Wait, one second." Johnny snaps his fingers, and the remaining boxes start to smolder and smoke, as if their temperature had suddenly risen to drug-spoiling levels. "Okay, now we're even. I figure the angry dad lecture Magneto's gonna give you for this embarrassment's punishment enough."

"I mean, after you pay for my car. I'll send bucket-head the bill!" Johnny laughs, then, because his friend's kid is going to be okay, and kicks into the air, flying off. He has, of course, called the cops, but come on: if Toad's good at one thing, it's running away.