Monsters

Participants:

boxer_icon.gif canfield_icon.gif helena_icon.gif knox_icon.gif shard_icon.gif

Scene Title Monsters
Synopsis They come in all shapes and sizes.
Date February 25, 2009

Moab Federal Penitentiary


"What I wanna know, is how that thick-necked Russian got cigarettes."

The sun beats down from overheat, bright against pale azure skies, not a single cloud over the Utah desert. The temperature has been slowly creeping up over the last few weeks. Whatever dustings of snow once fell at night have no place here anymore. Spring hasn't quite come yet, but this barren tract of mountainous land is already beginning to feel warmer.

"I mean, they stuck his ass down in solitary, right?"

A sea of hunter orange floods the dry and dusty earth of the recreation yard. A handful of prisoners rushing back and ofrth, basketball bouncing against concrete. Nearby, two prisoners quietly discuss the finer points of this purgatory they've found themselves sealed away in, under a feigned mockery of some judicial aftermath.

"I think 'bout throwin down with Red, and they stick me in the hole for two days without a meal. I mean, and that son've a bitch gets cigarettes?"

Benjamin Washington is acclimating to his time in the Moab Federal Penitentiary, leaning up against the chain-link fence that devides the men's and women's sides of the yard. Arms folded, head cocked to the side, all he can do is watch the broad-shouldered silhouette of Vinnie across the way, sucking down another cigarette.

"So, you know him?"

Knox inclines his head to Vinnie, but his eyes are settled not on the mountain of a man, but rather tall and drawn-out looking Russian by his side, the one with dark circles around his eyes and a sunken look to his face. Whatever answers could come for Knox, however, are swallowed by the noise of hooting and shouting coming from the yard. As red lights flash and cage doors begin to slide open, the prisoners can see new meat coming down the chain-link corridor from the main facility. New prisoners, fresh off the transport helicopters, fresh on their inhibiting drugs being escorted out onto the yard for day one.

The man in front isn't famous, he isn't anyone out of the ordinary. A tall and lanky black man with uncontrolled looking hair, his eyes eyes wrought with bags, sunken in to their sockets, a horrified and frightened expression on his face. Printed across his orange jumpter, reads 000404 — CANFIELD, STEPHEN

The man behind him however, is more than just an average man…

000405 —KING, VINCENT

A pair of dead eyes gaze out of the shell that is the body. Another hardship stacked on top of the myriad of trials that he has been submerged in. He has been many things in his life, a gangster, a warrior, a star, a healer, and a hero. He has also been a prisoner…

Shuffling his feet one after the other behind Stephen, his eyes survey the fences, the people, the guards. Trying to find out how he's going to survive rather than how he's going to escape. He has done a large piece of time before. There is no escaping, that's just giving hope an asshole to shit on you with. You've got to learn how to survive, how to thrive within the walls…

"What's your name?" The words come from the older man behind him. A man who shouldn't have to be in prison. A man who committed just as much crime as he himself has done. His eyes close for a moment and a shaky breath is drawn as his memories turn back to how he got himself here. A little shake of his head gets himself rid of the thought, at least temporarily. As for his name?

Little kids in remote African and Asian villages, may not know the name of Jesus Christ, but those very same kids know exactly who you mean when you say…

"Shard."

Helena has taken up her usual position near the fence, the better for her to see the other side. Every day she sits in the same spot, searching through the population of the mal prisoners for a scar covered face or a thatch of bright red hair, fingers curled into the chain link. A skinny blonde thing, hair braided into a crown courtesy of a grandmotherly woman named Madison. The food in Moab is nutritious but tasteless, and so she's lost weight, though not alarmingly so - just enough to make her skin stretch a little tighter across her bones, giving her cheekbones sharp relief, making her eyes seem anime huge.

She tries not to show her relief when she sees Knox, recognizing his face despite not being familiar with the name on his prison uniform. She does not have a chance to talk with him though, as her gaze darts toward the new arrivals, lips thinning in disapproval. New arrivals every day, the cells are filling up. What does President Petrelli think he can do, put them all eventually in this place? How long before the experiments? How long before expedient final solutions? Swallowing, Helena breathes in and out slowly. She's getting ahead of herself.

"He is some English mother fucker," comes the inevitable answer anyway, Boxer's tongue dragging heavily after overlong 'e's and 'u's while he sags more of his weight back into sturdy chain link, overlarge hands hanging lax at his sides. "Talks in his sleep, plans to murder everyone. All of that and a bag of Tostitos." As they say. Or, alternatively, as no one says.

The older man's light eyes cut lax across the dusty yard, tracing Vinnie and his improbable smokes without real malice or dislike despite his word choice, and Boxer shrugs a shoulder. His eyes roll in their hollow set around the same time, indicating further indifference, not only to the quandary of Vinnie's identity, but to the hooting and hollering o his more excitable orange brethren. "Cannot be that bad if they let him out here. He was the next cell over, in the hole."

There is a beat or two of silence from Robert while he squints over at the line of fish wriggling their way into the sunlight for everyone to see, then: "He had smokes then, too. That man," the new line of thought is accompanied by a subtle tip of his head after Shard, "looks familiar to me. Like I have seen him somewhere before." Does Boxer listen to rap music? It is apparently a strong possibility.

"English?" Knox kicks up a brow, smirking, "Man that guy ain't no Prince Charmin' now is he?" But when Boxer's erstwhile conversational companion looks up to see what the commotion is across the yard, his eyes grow wide, mouth opening when he sees the man shuffling out with Stephen Canfield. "Oh holy shit," he sputters, leaning off of the fence, one hand rubbing across his mouth, "They arrested Shard!" Knox's exclamation draws several raised eyebrows from the men playing basketball, one of whom spots, spotting the same man walking out with a thug's grace through the opening chainlink gate.

A murmur of voices begins to build to abject confusion as an unbelievable celebrity is dumped into the darkest hole in the United States. "Holy shit, this — how the fuck is this getting kept quiet? This — " Dark eyes move back to Boxer, and it's clear Knox doesn't have a clue as to the answer to his question. "Shit man, when in Rome, Im'a get myself some autograph for when I get my ass out of here." Nodding towards the new arrivals, Knox moves away from the fence, smoothing his hands over the top of his head.

"I belong here…" The dour expression of the tired, strung-out looking man walking beside Shard coveys none of the familiarity that Knox has. "I — I killed somebody," comes the murmured explanation, half out of wanting to vilify himself for what he did, half for wanting to come clean to someone. "Killed… my neighbor," he doesn't say it was an accident, one hand moving up to scratch at the injection mark under his chin, fresh and sore.

The only people who truly belong here are the ones who are genuinely out to harm their fellow man. That's Helena's opinion anyway, not that she voices it. Shard is stared at, but without recognition - it's simply the reaction of many of the inmates that prompts her to look. A few of the women on her side of the fence even behoove themselves to approach the chain links, the prettier ones (and some of the not so pretty ones) calling out their appreciation and unlikely accomplished invitations that range from the merely crude to the downright obscene. But Helena just stares.

Just reached out and…

His eyes close once again, as he realizes just how much worse this time in prison is going to be. Not only is this place unorthodox, and most likely illegally run, now he has a much tougher toturer to face. The last time he was locked up he was running drugs, getting into scraps. But now, he has his own guilt to torment him.

His eyes flick over to the man next to him, the man who is forcing him to relive what he did to gain himself such a new and unwelcome spotlight. The rapping superstar stares at the man for a long moment, studying him. There are many versions of Shard known to the public. The hoodrat, black stereotype, holding diamonds in one hand and a pistol in the other, or the poseur who claimed to find God to get out of the shitstorm he brought on himself. Who knows what could be true…

His hands as a pair rest on Canfield's shoulder. They haven't fully arrived, so maybe it will get him beat, picked out. But a man going through that type of madness this early on in the game. Fuck if he didn't kill himself by nights end. "We all have, brother." Killed their neighbors. Either in cold blood, in anger, or in sheer apathy. Mankind has neglected their neighbors, and the Moab prison facility is that neglect's bastard child.

"No Prince Charming," Boxer confirms, brows lifted. His gs are all firmly attached, bolted down into place with excessive care, lest he lose one by accident. "Not unless you like your fairy tails with post-traumatic stress." He's still watching Shard as he speaks, glancing back to Knox only when he comes up with the relevant name. Shard. Ah. The Shard. Firmer recognition encourages a smile. It is almost like a celebrity cruise, now! Only, they're in prison, so. A cruise that is not going anywhere fast, with terrible food and worse company.

Observant enough to take note of the particular type of crowd Shard's appearance is inspiring to attention (there are not many middle-aged white Russians involved) Boxer hangs back at the fence, not far from Helena despite the fact that she has had little to say thus far. "He is very famous. I have two of his CDs. Also a cassette. I do not remember where it is. Somewhere in my back seat, I think."

"No shit he's famous," Knox blurts out, "Man I used to listen to his rhymes when I was rolling with — " His jaw sets, and Knox looks back at Boxer, "Back a long fucking time ago," or at least it feels that way. Watching as the final cage door opens, releasing Shard and Canfield out onto the yard, Knox quickly moves through the crowd of inmates, shoving some aside, pushing past others. After his display of violence and sputtering rage on his first day in Moab, few prisoners have the desire to scrap with him. Like Alexander and Vinnie, Knox has made a reputation for himself on the prison-yard as a violent thug.

Moving to the head of the pack, Knox throws out his arms, strolling over to Shard as though he knew him in another life, before letting his arms fall down to his side, a more serious look crossing his face as he approaches the man, "Yo," he offers with a nod, "Sup man, welcome to the shit house." One rough hand is offered out to Shard first, "Names Knox, how the fuck'd you get mixed up in this shit man?"

While there may be some comfort given to Stephen from Shard's kind gesture, the tall man merely affords the pair a dishonest smile that in no way reaches his eyes, sidestepping Knox and avoiding eye contact, awkwardly shuffling out onto the yard like a transfer student's first day at an inner-city school. He doesn't belong here, but at the same time… he does.

Helena was about to turn away - celebrities of any kind have no interest for her whatsoever, as everyone wears the orange jumper here. But her ears catch wind of a name that she's heard before, and her brain makes the connection between it and a voice that she's heard previously over airwaves and telephone wires. There's a world of difference between hearing it over a cellphone and hearing it live and in her very own presence. Cameron used to address him on occasion as "bro". She grips the chain links with both hands now, and tighter.

"Knox!" she calls out across the yard, somehow managing to summon a smile which might be construed as come-hither if she weren't the Swiss Miss Maiden's poor, orange clad, wretched relation. "Come talk to me." Her tone suggests request, but if he hears her, should he look her way, those huge eyes of hers are direct…not hard, but unflinching.

And Shard will have to follow him— Camfield. The Captain of the proverbial football team protecting the Cambodian exchanged student who pronounces 'fork' fuck. But that will come later. His eyes roll over to Knox as the man approaches. Funny, the last time he was enjoying free room and board courtesy of the United States government, all he wanted was power, friends, fame. And he had to scrap for every inch. And now, at the end of his career, he doesn't want anything any of these people could ever have to offer. But they're flinging themselves at him. It almost makes him smile.

Almost.

"What's good." Vincent drawls in response to Knox's enthusiastic greeting. The hand is glanced at and only after a moment of hesitation does Shard go to take it. To lock it and pop it, of course with a snap involved somewhere in there. Not only is he just used to it, it's kinda fun. "Easy little brother," Shard says with a little smirk. "We got plenty of time to hash that out alright? So you the one that's gonna give me the rundown of this business? I—" He's cut off by a sudden feminine voice cutting through the chatter of the field. His eyes widen at the woman standing close yet so far. He gives a look to Knox which asks at least five questions without actually vocalizing them.

"He said you are not forgotten," Boxer says — not to Helena exactly, but to the empty space in front of him. A reminder that there are many ears with many motives in the midst of all these coincidental friends. Where are his coincidental friends? He should have spent more time making human ones after he got out of prison last time, maybe.

Past that, he's quiet, chain link whining faintly at his back while he folds his arms across his chest and keeps a mild eye on most everything from afar.

That feeling, like someone walking over his grave from Helena calling his name makes Knox's shoulders roll up. He turns his head, dark eyes peering at the blonde through the chain-link fence. She's once voice in a crowd of many hooting and shouting at the male inmates; there's something about being in a cage that makes everyone act like animals.

The broad-shoulders man stares her down, brows lowering, angry in some fashion. Looking back to Shard, Knox shakes his head in that slow, mom's callin' me I can't play now gesture. "Man, all you gotta know 'bout this place, is that it's full of monsters." His voice has a sharp cut to it, "And the Russian guy by the fence, he's your number one fan." That comes with a bit of a smirk, "I'll be back, bro." With a roll of his shoulders, Knox moves past Shard, lips pursing to one side as he casually makes his way over to the fence, coming to slouch back against it with his arms folded right back where he was beside Boxer, playing it off like Shard brushed him off.

"What you want, girl?" Knox's grumbled reply comes as he quietly watches Shard, then looks over to the doddering motions of Stephen Canfield. There's a moment of something emotional as he sees the man shuffle a few steps away, rubbing one hand over his mouth, looking like a shell shocked victim of a car accident. His eyes downcast, head slowly shaking.

Helena doesn't acknowledge Boxer's statement, save for the briefest flick of her eyes in his direction and then back up to the face of the tall black man who's confronting her. Softly, almost in a hush, "Sorry to take you away from your new buddy…but I have to know. Are you Cam's Knox?" He could only be. He has to be. How many Evolved Knoxes could possibly exist - in this space-time continuum, anyway? Helena's always looking for hope. It's her greatest asset and most tragic flaw.

Celebrity life on the inside isn't much different from celebrity life on the outside. At least, this very second it's not. The superstar already has a small crowd of younger and a few older men. Not many middle aged white men are involved. But he's already got at least a dozen requests and thirty questions on why he's here. Not to mention the females claiming to be his next wife. Two hands come up to gently wave off his small gathering of admirers, with promises that they'll all have plenty of time to get to know each other.

"Brother man." The deep voice emits as a solid hand lands on the shoulder of Stephen Canfield. "Come with me." It seems King has already adopted someone into his fold, whether he liked it or not. And putting the guiding reigns on Canfield, though he may choose to be silent and react as little as he please, he's coming on this merry adventure. A merry adventure with a course set straight for Boxer.

Boxer does not return Helena's look, but keeps his eyes lifted to the yard. Dreary detachment makes him look somewhat dumber than he actually is just in time for Knox to point him out to Shard, sunken face slack. Hard to tell what he's looking for. The stirrings of another fight, maybe. Any kind of entertainment more developed than the breeze rustling at his jumpsuit.

There is some promise in the return of Knox at Helena's beck and call. The big Russian turns his head enough to glance at him, eavesdropping without care for subtlety until he picks up on the fact that Shard is headed his way as well. …Oh boy. Another metallic creak, and he's up off the fence, balanced on his own two feet. Not too worried, but. Safety first.

"Don't know no Camerons, sorry doll, you got the wrong man." Knox looks over to Boxer, watching him carefully for a moment, before settling his eyes on Shard again. "I ain't talkin' about nothin' that happened on the outside, right or wrong. But you," he turns his head to look at Boxer, but it's clear he's addressing Helena, "You seem like the kind' girl who's got a cat at home, just waitin' for momma' to come back. Best not be dealin' with big angry dogs like me."

Canfiled's reaction to Shard's hand on his shoulder is too slow, almost detatched. The man looks up, brows raised, eyes wide in perhasp this hope this is someone come to step on his head and put what little life he has left out of his misery. But when he finally processes Shard's words, Stephen manages a faint smile, head lowering as a shuddering breath comes over him.

Watching Shard and Canfield circling the yard and coming back this way, Knox can't help but let his focus settle on the man with the chessboard and his little group, McIntyre. His eyes narrow slightly, noticing him watching the goings on at the fence again, and Knox's head tilts back towards Boxer, "What's the story with the chess guy? Why's he got eyes on us all the time?"

"I'm not sure." Helena's voice is kept low and hushed, not meant to pass beyond the two of them. "He claimed to have a plan," And a plan could only mean a plan to get out, "But I don't know. He hasn't exhibited any reason for me to trust him. He could be on the level, or he could be a plant." Louder, "Sorry. I guess I just like my men like I like my coffee." She grins and starts to step away, intent to drift in Shard and Boxer's direction as she lets her hand follow the ridges and lines of the fence links. She doesn't move too fast, in the event that Knox has more to inquire about. Her eyes have suddenly gone electric, and she fights down her smile successfully. Oh, Cat!

"What's your name my man?"

The words come from Shard as he leads his pet Stephen over to Boxer. White people usually like it when you address them like you would your 'homies' it's like they're being let in on a special club. But King isn't here to pass out any membership cards. One solid hand stretches out towards the Russian. "Vincent. King. Shard. Whatever you like, homie, this is my man—" Glance. "Cans." How did this guy get by being named Stephen Canfield? Seriously. His eyes drift to the blonde on the other side of the fence.

This isn't like any prison he's been to.

"I don't know. Maybe he thinks you are good-looking in orange." Big angry dog Knox may be, but Boxer can't manage to look phased past some mild puzzlement when he realizes that he is looking at him while he talks about little girls and cats. Wut? Also, Shard is still on his way over, which is distracting (and weird) enough to have him looking just ever so slightly suspicious until the hand is offered. Then his face lights up a little. Friendly. Shard called him homie!

"I am Boxer. Robert. Also, Vlad." He is definitely Russian, calloused grip firm at Shard's hand while he attempts to stagger his name out into a similarly impressive line of syllables, only to fall — somewhat short. Vincent is a better name than Robert, maybe. But he isn't a rap artist. Just a large, dopily grinning guy with a bad haircut in a bright orange prison issue suit. "It is a pleasure to meet you. And Cans." The idea strikes him that he should maybe also know who this second person is, so his smile is extended Stephenwards. Hello.

It really isn't. Half of the people behind the bars of Moab look like family men, not thugs and killers. Some elderly and clearly confused inmates sitting with their heads in their hands on bleacher seating by the basketball court, kids like Helena, and then there's just shell shocked victims like Canfield.

"Stephen." he clarifies, flexing his hands open and closed to stare down at his palms, a meager smile coming over his lips at the lack of any response of his ability. He looks up to Boxer, managing a hesitant smile, then over to Knox before lowering his head again. "My — My name's — " He looks down at the branding on the chest of his orange jumpsuit, snorting out a rough laugh before rubbing at the back of his neck. "Don't matter what my name is…"

Knox has already had enough of Canfield's attitude, and the man at the chessboard watching him. Rolling his tongue over the inside of his cheek, he steps off of the fence, starting to wander in the same direction Helena did, moving parallel to her, making sure she can hear him as he talks. "So what'd you do to get in here, girl?" Dark eyes flick through the chain link fence, it's an honest enough question.

"Followed in a dead man's footsteps." Helena replies to Knox as she approaches the area the other three man stand in, from her side at least. "Saved about five hundred million people from very messy, very ugly deaths." She stops as she comes closer, but still looks to Knox as she speaks. "I rose up, and I brought lightning down." Only then does she look at the three men. "Your name, it matters." she says to Stephen. "And the minute you let them devalue you and put more meaning on that lot number, you're broken, and they have you. You become less than human. There's only a handful of people in this world who've deserved that, and I can tell you right now, you're not one of them."

Did he just make up three names because he had three names? Casting Boxer a dubious look, King gives him a slow nod. "Right, right, right." Glancing back to Stephen he finally gives the man a little smirk. "You start talkin' like that I be callin you Eyore, arright? Sharp up my man." A strong pat is delivered to Cans shoulder. But then, his eyes are forcefully taken to the blonde on the other side of the fence. "Who's our personal Joan of Arc?" Shard asks of Boxer. Though his eyes are roaming to the various different faces that are glued to his form. Not even in prison can a man get privacy. He wouldn't be surprised if the paparazzi were jumping the fences to get a shot of him in his shiny orange gear.

"Stephen," Boxer echoes with harder inflection, hand still splayed out in the awkward purgatory between yes we are shaking hands and okay you don't want to shake my hand here it goes casually back to my side again. When Helena interjects on the subject of names and their significance, he knits his brow a little and looks at her sideways, but — no comment. Shard is here. He will be polite. Sort of.

"Helena Dean. She is crazy. 'What is real,' and 'what do they want from me.' Friends with some ginger boy with attitude problems. I don't know." A vague 'cuckoo' gesture at the side of his head completes the picture, and he glances back over his shoulder to remeasure the distance to the fence so that he can rest himself back against it. "It is nice that they let us all out to play at the same time, though. I am not complaining."

Knox follows Helena along the femce, turning to curl his fingers between some of the links before leaning in, "Don't know nothin' about that, but I'll put my ear to the ground about your chess playin' friend, see what rumbles." Knox's eyes narrow, "I ain't planin' on bein' in here for long, girl, so when things start swingin' you best fall in line." He smirks, one hand rubbing over his chin before looking up at the guard tower, "Cause me? I got put in here for tearin' a HomeSec agent in half with my bare hands. I ain't never felt someone so scared in my life." Smiling crookedly, Knox's eyes settle back to Helena, "We gon' be just fine."

Stephen just shakes his head as he hears Helena's word, looking through the cage of fencing. He doesn't say anything back, but that hollow look in his eyes makes it clear that he wants no part of her pardons to his guilt. When he looks away, head hanging, "He just… went away," the shaken man murmurs, staring down at his hands. "Just — just went away forever, just like that." When he looks up to Shard again, the pain in Stephen Canfield's eyes is like the look in the eyes of a war veteran, eyes that have seen something terrible, "They said I'm a monster…" His expression becomes pleading, jaw tense.

"…I — I believe 'em."


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February 25th: The Human Aspects
Previously in this storyline…
Shell Shock

Next in this storyline…
Two Fists

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February 25th: Jesus Walks
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