Two Seconds

Participants:

cally_icon.gif jack_icon.gif logan_icon.gif

Scene Title Two Seconds
Synopsis How long you last depends on the arena.
Date February 19, 2009

The Happy Dagger — Basement Rooms

It's a bedroom, for all intents and purposes. There's even a window, although it's high up on the wall, and barred with grill and glass. Should someone peek, they'll only see dirty alley way and the flat, nondescript backdrop of a separate building beyond that. The room itself is bleak, if comfortable. The walls are cement and unpainted, the floor cheaply carpeted and the bed adequately dressed, a single thing pushed into the corner of the room. An empty book case gapes from the opposite wall, and a heavy oak trunk, something of an antique and actual worth, rests next to it, previously empty but now filled with at least most of the room occupant's belongings.

Two doors after that, one that stays locked and leads to out, wherever out is, and the other torn off its hinges to reveal a very basic, slightly rundown bathroom. But it works, hot water running at will, a working toilet, partially cracked mirror moderately clean, and towels and bare necessities provided.

It's designed for existing. But not much more than that.


It's been a few days now. A few days, since Cally was healed of her injuries, shunted off into an opposite basement room just like Abby's. The food isn't bad, the company could be better, but worse of all, the cabin fever must be insane. The girls that bring Cally the necessities in life - food, a few changes of old but functional clothing as she needs, a few words of comfort in the cases of precious few - are clueless as to her purpose, and no one— including Cally herself— has bothered to fill anyone in as to her fate.

A watched pot never boils. But she's being neglected.

It's late at night when footsteps sound out beyond her door, murmurs heard as they often are. Two females, this time, one sounding straight from Brooklyn, the other vaguely European. "…what's her name, anyway?" "You mean Abby?" "No, the new blonde." "I dunno. What's she here for?" "You tell me."

They draw closer and closer to her door, uncaring of what goes heard, what doesn't. "What're girls here usually for, right? No one's even looking for her, not like Abby." "Yeah. I'm just curious as to when he's gonna break the bitch in." Muffled giggles, a hand on the handle of her door. "Just a sec, gonna pass this off."

The light of the hallway spikes in as one of the whores unlocks the door and goes to step inside, holding a greasy paper bag. Dinner time.

Cally doesn't mind having a roof over her head. She may not get affected by cold physically, but habbit and all. Cally also doesn't mind having regular meals. And if they aren't the greatest meals in the world, well, Cally's ok with that.

What Cally is not ok with? Is being locked up. Over a year of freedom, with noone telling her what to do, noone to answer two? These past few days have seemed like months. She's tried to be good. She's tried. But at the best of times, Cally is unpredictable. Right now? She's a ticking time bomb of horomonal frustration.

She didn't have a plan. Didn't think about doing anything. But at those voices, hearing that conversation… Cally knows the routine well enough to know exactly where to stand. The lights had gone out seconds before the door was opened, the runaway standing flat against the wall, right on the other side of the door. And as soon as it opens…

The first girl gets a kick to the gut, and a flying elbow to the face. "Break me, will you? Bitch, am I? Time how breakable and bitch-like I can me!"

She's already flying at the other girl, reaching out to grab her hair and slam her against the wall. Cally fights dirty, and she fights fast. She wants OUT!

There's a scream as she's attacked, the first girl dressed in plain clothes and staggering away under the assault, food dropped and spilling greasy rice all over the floor. The elbow to the face drew a sickening crunch, and dark red streaks run down the woman's face almost instantly. She's already running down the hallway, heading for upstairs by the time Cally rounds on the other woman, who shrieks and tries to fend her off. She hasn't Cally's fighter spirit, or any kind of power it seems, and staggers when she's slammed against the wall - managing barely to catch herself on her arm. "Don't be stupid!" she gasps out, trying to grab Cally's arms, trying to still her. "They'll— kill you— don't be— "

Cally's frustration and anger really isn't for the whores themselves. It's for the whole god-damned situation. Still, the woman's fear only earns her a look of derisive scorn from the blonde teenager. "You wouldn't last two seconds on the street." She pushes the whore away, and looks around the hall quickly. Seeing what she might be able to use as a weapon. Because while she can do stupid things, Cally is far from stupid, and she knows how to fight smart. She's had to learn the hard way.

The hallway itself is bare, several doors lining it that all seem locked, undoubtably one of them is Abigail's. On one side, there is a rolling, lockable iron gate fixed in place, which seems to lead out in an alleyway, but it's fastened with chains, that much is obvious. Cold air floods through it, the cement just before it damp with rain and snow. On the other side? The stairwell the first whore disappeared upwards, music and light drifting down it.

The second whore still present has shrunk back, but not run away, watching Cally with wide eyes. "I might not last out on the street," she agrees, breathily. "But you're not going to last in here, darling."

The sound of footsteps from upstairs starts to beat a warning percussion, people approaching. She may have no weapon, but she has her own two hands… and a new best friend. In the way she isn't, but at least, the pale young thing remaining down here with Cally is of no threat.

"I don't plan to stick around long enough to find out," Cally says, grunting. Her eyes lock on to the gate. And she walks towards it. Towards the chain-locked gate.

Long ago, the blonde runaway learned the triggers for her power. She learned to control those emotions, at least to some degree. To express them, without letting them out completely. But she's already angry and frustrated. All she has to do is let that bubble to the surface, and…

Cally grabs up the chain locking the gate in both hands, even as the footsteps start to sound in the distance. And she just thinks about the past few days. Locked in a dark hole, with nothing to do. And how they would have turned her into a whimpering, cowering whore, like the ones she just beat on…

And the shot zooms in on the chains, heating up, red hot under her touch. It zooms in more, to the molecular level, where the very particles of the metal themselves begin to vibrate, moving faster and faster…

The chain quickly melts under Cally's touch, her hands only slightly redened under the molten heat as she lets the metal fall away, and quickly moves to roll open the gate.

Shadows loom down the hallway as Cally frantically works her magic on the chains, although the tangle of the chains makes this less simple than it should be. As she pulls at the rolling gate once the links are broken and dripping molten, they catch here and there, snaking through the grill clunkily, rattling and screeching as she tries to force the rusty passageway open. Just a few more inches…

"Miss Kennedy," comes Logan's now familiar voice as he and one other man come storming down the stairs. The pale whore in the hallway quickly moves to find refuge in Cally's vacated room for now, as if expecting a firefight. "There's nowhere to run, love. Even out there." There's something in his hand, a gun, too long to be a pistol, too short to be a proper shotgun. It's pointed for the ground, for now.

Jack is a scant step behind his employer on the stairs with a bottle of water dangling from one hand and his Webley revolver from the other. His short, dark hair is mussed and his brows are pinched together irritably. There are faint wrinkles in his t-shirt and denims as well, all indications of a recent or pending nap.

Unlike Logan, he does raise his weapon. Lazily. He should be asleep, and one thing he doesn't get paid to do is cater to the basement trollops. "It's loud," the pirate-turned-bodyguard complains of the young woman. "Can I shoot it?"

Cally freezes for a moment, like a kid with her hand in the cookie jar. She turns her head slowly, grimacing in a brief expression frustration. Her eyes go to the gun, then Logan himself. It's only then that she realizes he's used part of her actual name. Damn it. I just hope he didn't learn the first one…

"Who's running?" she asks, utterly casual, her expression sliding away to clear ice-coolness. Putting one hand on her hip, shrugging her shoulder, she points towards the gate she was attempting to open. "I was letting in the air. Your girl there was looking faint," she says, waving her hand towards her room, where one of the whores is now hiding. "Figured the least I could do is give her some fresh air." She even gives Logan a Bright Smile(tm).

But all the while, her eyes hold his, and they don't smile. She knows she's not fooling him. And she doesn't care.

At least, she holds his gaze until the beefcake speaks. She glances to him lazily, cocking her head to the side, and looks back to Logan. "It's smelly," she says. "Can you bathe it?"

"Mouth on 'er," Logan comments in his lilting Cockney, with a glance to Jack. Now, in the dimness of the hallway, his eyes begin to grow greener - but none of the physical happiness symptoms Abby described plague Cally. The biochemicals shift, change as directed, and a few seconds later, Cally will feel a subtle calm - the urge of fight-or-flight is stolen away from her, the instinct to surge adrenaline through her system suppressed… along with her ability.

Suddenly, the wind blowing through the bars starts to feel cold.

"You're shaping up to be a dead woman, my dear," Logan says, now tilting his gun up to point at her too, double-barrels like twin dark eyes. "And more trouble than you're worth. Are our accommodations not to your liking?"

Jack spares the girl a single, dismissive glance. Nothing more. It positively drips with body languange.

You are property. A thing, not a person. You may speak, but you won't be heard.

Click. In the enclosed area, the sound of Jack drawing back his revolver's hammer is oppressively loud. "Do we really need her?" he asks quietly. "We have whores who want to work here."

Cally shivers, for the first time… in awhile, because of the cold. She blinks. She doesn't feel anger, or the urge to run. She hasn't forgotten the moment's leading up to this… but they don't seem as urgent.

She glances briefly to Jack, but doesn't respond to him. Which really proves that Logan's mojo is working.

Cally looks back to Logan, tilting her head to the side. "I prefer the ones I pick for myself, actually."

Logan snorts a little at the answer back, less caustic than her general replies, and he glances at Jack. The break in eye-to-contact does nothing for the voodoo that he do, it seems. He takes a few steps towards her, slow but not cautious, even if he does maintain some distance, gun still pointed somewhere around her abdomen.

"We don't need her," he agrees, now back to watching the young woman. "But I can think of a use for her. You think yourself to be a fighter, do you?" It's not really a question, the rhetoric clipped with dismissal. "You have choices, which is more than I can say for many. You can die here, tonight, or we can go for a little ride."

Calmly regarding the one-sided conversation, Cally is silent for a moment. She glances to Logan, then Jack, then back again, before finally answering his question. Calmly, evenly. "I'm partial to not dying," she finally answers. "Where are we going?"

"Somewhere with even more options," Logan says, now lifting up his gun from her, and casting a smile her way. "Isn't that very good? We have a fighting ring for young, spirited Evolved just like you. Perhaps, if you last a few rounds, you'll even get paid." He steps aside, and gestures for Jack to grab her, eyes still sharply green. "Now are you going to be good while Jack escorts you out and into the truck, or must we break your kneecaps?" This seems to be a serious question.

Quiet aquiescence. That's what Jack has been waiting for. He pops the cap off of the water bottle with his thumb and takes a long, refreshing swig. Liquid carelessly allowed to leak from the corners of his mouth is wiped at absently with the back of his hand. The last droplets are skimmed away with the tip of his tongue as he passes his revolver over to Logan for safekeeping. With the bottle still held loosely in one hand, he steps forward and draws a fistful of plastic zip ties from the back of his belt.

"Kneecaps don't heal right," he confides. "After they get shattered, they're never the same again. Hands behind your back."

"I'm partial to my kneecaps, too," is all Cally says in response to Logan. She doesn't even complain when Jack approaches her.

All this calmness is really going to piss her off, when Logan's eyes stop being green.

"Hold her still." Rocketing the revolver, Logan wanders over towards the young woman as her hands are bound, coming to loom over her, merely inches away. His hand drifts up, to clasp around her throat, and now… what Abby was talking about, eyes just as green as before. It builds, slowly, replacing that calm with bliss, chemical and superficial but as overpowering as any drug. Giddiness rises in her like laughter, the world becomes a soft place, dizzying.

When he's done, he lets the back of his hand stroke down her cheek, before withdrawing entirely. Her body will have to take its own time in recovering from these effects, as Logan does nothing to help it, looking over her head at Jack. His voice is serene as he gives his right hand man his orders. "Take her to the warehouse. Lock her in. Warn Muldoon's men about her little trick, and shoot 'er in the head if she gives you trouble."

With practiced efficiency and very little gentleness, Jack draws Cally's arms together and secures them with ties at her elbows and wrists. "Hear that? I'll be riding along with you," he informs her conversationally. A third tie is looped through Cally's bindings to serve as an improvised leash. This lead is wrapped around Jack's hand and tugged sharply by way of demonstration. "You'll find me to be much less tolerant than our benefactor. If you fart and I don't like the way it smells, I'll tear your arms out of their sockets before I shoot you. Now move."

With his package secured, Jack retrieves his weapon from Logan and nods. "Consider it done. I'll be back shortly."

Trouble? "That rhymes with… bubble." Cally giggles, letting her head fall back. Her body drapes against Jack's side, her eyes glazed and half-lidded as she gives him a dreamy smile. "You talk too much." She giggles again, letting out a brief snort, which just makes her giggle harder. Her giggling is cut briefly short by the painful tugging, but even as she opens her mouth to complain, she hears his words. "Fart… that's like… Bubble. Bubble means Trouble."

Looking around Jack at Logan, she offers him an equally dreamy, unfocused smile. Once her latest giggle-fit is over, she says, "Bye bye, Green Eyes. Thanks for the letting me stay. Come and visit, ok?"

"Oh, I'm sure I will. Good luck in the ring," Logan tells her, with seeming sincerity, then tilts his head in dismissal of Jack, rolling his eyes a little in what he's sure is shared annoyance. Get her out of here. And soon, he's alone in the hallway, the shuffling sounds of Jack manhandling Cally up the stairwell, through the darker passageways and out to where the vehicle is parked. Logan takes out a cellphone, likely to call ahead, but for a moment, he pauses, and heads towards the ruined rolling grate, still half-opened. The metal has stopped dripping, but it glows a harsh, deep red from the previous heat.

If she does last more than two seconds… he'll have to think carefully as to where to put his money.


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February 19th: Not Going To Kentucky
Previously in this storyline…
The Search for Cally

Next in this storyline…
Russian in the Rusted Cage

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February 19th: Russian in the Rusted Cage
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