Welcome To The Neighborhood


black_icon.gif colette_icon.gif doyle_icon.gif else_icon.gif kendall_icon.gif rourke_icon.gif robin_icon.gif wendy_icon.gif

Scene Title Welcome To The Neighborhood
Synopsis While the Ferry fix up a building within Summer Meadows, trouble comes to their doorstep.
Date January 27, 2010

Summer Meadows

The low brickwork walls flanking the entrance to this subdivision pronounce it to be 'S MMER ME DOWS', black metal letters pitted by age and each tilted slightly askew by decades of weather and neglect. The rest of the subdivision echoes this theme — pavement cracked, its lines worn and faded nearly into obscurity; small lawns littered with autumn leaves and dying grass, shrubbery poorly pruned or not trimmed back at all, such flowers as there are in most cases long since grown wild. The buildings are a mix of townhouses, duplexes, and quartered apartments, most of them with paint peeling at the edges, a few boarded over and sporting jagged holes where the windows weren't quite protected enough. Feral dogs slink at the back of the streets; their feline counterparts are less commonly seen, usually visible as no more than a streak of motion disappearing into the bushes or someone's cracked-open garage door. This isn't a neighborhood where people are seen lounging on their porches as the sun sinks low in the sky; to stay out as darkness gathers is to risk unwanted attention, and the consequences thereof.

It's miserable work in this weather. But for all that it's cold, it's dry. Clouds haze out what dwindling sunlight is left, and it's been getting darker quicker since December. Which doesn't mean there isn't work to be done. If anything, that means there's more.

"Okay," is Neil's announcement that doesn't come too soon. "Let's wrap it up, people. Good work today."

The door to the duplex hangs wide open, and the Ferrymen that were inside come trickling out, some hauling shining black trash bags, and Neil carrying a gutted looking sofa with the help of his twin brother, back up through the door. There's a thud as the wood frame of the furniture hits the edge of the door, Neil muttering a watch it before the brothers can coordinate it through the narrow gap and out onto the street. Brokedown furniture is a pile on the pavement, where even more Ferrymen are sorting the good from the bad.

A lot of it is bad. The building used to be a haunt for squatters of variable kinds — or so they assume, cleared out not so long ago and left abandoned for the Ferrymen to renovate. Breathing out thick steamy breaths into the icy air, Neil is quick to drop his end of the sofa, rest against its arm, and steer a look up at the abandoned building's front.

Apparently, Eric Doyle's been having a bad few days.

As awkward as he is socially, he usually at least makes some badly-timed jokes or attempts at trying to be social before giving up, but today he's just quietly taken directions to help with the renovations when he showed up to help. He hasn't really been very responsive, and is generally looking a bit dejected, like a large puppy that's been kicked.

It's just that most of the Ferry are aware that he's also a large dangerous puppy, so he hasn't been poked at about that mood very much.

He's hauling a black garbage bag over one shoulder as he walks out, frowning down at the road as he stalks out to carry it to go with the rest of the trash.

"You watch it," is Robin's reply as they bump the doorframe, though there's no heat in it. Brothers. He drops his end of the sofa as well and considers flopping down on it but… it's pretty beat up and there are some stains of it that Robin doesn't want to get any closer to. "I think we're actually getting somewhere here." He looks over the houses that have been remodeled, though they're the minority, he nods a little, "It's looking better."

"M'not entirely sure if'm ever going t'be able t'get the smell've this cleaner out've m'hair…" Face covered by a paper breathing mask, the tangled-haired blonde that steps out of the apartment behind the Milburn brothers carries a cardboard box full of detergents, abrasive cleaners, sponges, brushes and some terrifyingly dirty looking rags. "M'pretty sure tha' stuff un'ner the sink was some sort've— " she waves a rubber gloved hand, "Biological weapon."

From rockstar to cleaning lady, Else Kjelstrom couldn't be much happier to have left the limelight behind for the more simple pleasures that the Ferry has to offer. Being clean for over a month also has something to do with her newly upbeat attitude. Stepping out of the front of the building, she's quick to move off of the brickwork path leading up to it, towards a beat up old pickup truck parked on the front lawn nearby, hefting the box of cleaners onto the folded down tailgate and lifting down her paper mask to hang around her throat.

"Watch out belooow!" Comes a chirping hollar from the second floor as a mattress comes tumbling off the second floor balcony, smashing accordion-style onto the lawn, flipping end over end and then landing flat in the snow. Grinning broadly, the dark-haired teenager leaning over the railing of the second floor balcony offers a toothy grin as her eyes cast side-long to the older man standing next to her. "See? I told you it would be easier." Sure she nearly flattened Robin with it, but their aim was true!

"Okay, that's a pretty good point there. Bloody lot better'n 'avin t'try an' lift it up and carry it downstairs, yeah? I'm not a big fan've bed-bugs crawlin' up all over me like some kind've 'orror movie." Standing beside Colette Nichols is the Ferrymen operator for the Brick House, Andy Rourke. "'Ey, good on you. Think we can toss that 'ol tele down into the snowbank too? This's a fuck've a time easier." They probably should not ever be allowed to work together again.

Been too long since she came here. A guy living here dealt with drugs, reliable to have a stash and not gouge the person or screw them over on quality. last she had refrain was the party and that toady licky girl. Pasithea. Wendy's bundled against the cold in a warm jacket, bright scarf, crocheted and lined hat that covers ears and lets black hair flow over scarf and shoulders. Lined boots with a good three inch solid heel, large purse, she's picking her way in from where the taxi dropped her off. "come on Travis, still be here" She mutters under her breath, hands shoved into her pockets.

Kendall is annoyed. His parents have, ever since the bomb blew up half of New York, been taking him to the parts of the city where reconstruction is taking place and dumping him there to help out. Something about 'broadening his horizons by gaining an appreciation for manual labor' and 'being able to put your mark on the aesthetics of the city' and all that crap. Seriously, bad parents much?! Kendall sulks and whines, but there's not stopping them, so here he is, wandering onto the scene with his hands in his pockets. "I'm here to help." he mutters with the intent that no one would hear him.

"There's still too much goddamn work to be done," Neil mutters, exasperation in his voice as he straightens his back again, rolling his shoulders. "Stuff I dunno if we have the means for. Repairs under the ground, remodeling— stuff we can do in the tunnels but out in the open, I have no— "

He steps aside at the sight of a flying mattress out his periphery, casting a slightly dour look up at the grinning young woman. Robin inherited the cheer in this family, but speaking of that, Neil's dark eyes travel on over towards where Doyle is setting down the trash bag and he gives the other man a chin up of— encouragement? Who knows. The storm cloud over the large man's head is palpable enough. "Remember, guys, talk to Ellen if you find any sharps," Neil thinks to announce to the Ferrymen beginning to wrap up for the day. "Someone found a needle the other day and I don't want that shit going in the trash." Kendall's approach isn't so much ignored as much as it's left to other people to deal with as Neil's phone goes off, the twin extracting it from his pocket as he turns his back on the crowd.

Aside from Wendy's taxi, there's another car coming to a halt some distance away, a few buildings down. The slam of car doors is almost rhythmic, and while the woman is scouting out what the hell is happening to the gutted building, she'll be able to pick up on another flameflicker of Evolved ability from the lanky man climbing out of the passengers seat of the beat up Volvo.

The warning call comes just in time for Eric, who was just about to step out there past Robin, as well— stumbling back a bit, he turns his head up as if to shout something, but at their grinning and laughter he just rolls his eyes, almost (but not quite) smiling as he lumbers over to toss the garbage bag with the rest. "Kids," he mutters lowly, letting the trash bag drop with a crunch against the pavement next to the others to be hauled.

At the chin up, he manages a wan smile, turning to walk back over towards the duplex when he notices Kendall, brow furrowing. Wasn't that the kid that interrupted him the day before?

Robin takes a few steps away from the falling furniture, arms pin-wheeling once as the snow threatens to trip him up. He looks up at the two and shakes his head, a half grin on his face as he says, "Nice idea but your aim needs work." He sees Kendall, and catches a word or two of what he said. "Hey there. Are you new here?" He definitely got the cheer of the family.

"Yeah." Kendall squints at Robin, although he's taking a step back as stuff starts falling. Or… thrown. "I mean, I guess so. I don't normally hang around…" he eyes the gutted building. "Dilapidated buildings." he finishes.

Tugging off her rubber gloves and slapping them down ont he tailgate, Else goes about fully removing that paper mask from where it dangles around her neck, tossing it into the cardboard box before bringing her hands up to the back of her neck and shaking out her messy hair. Dark brown eyes catch sight of Kendall, one brow raising in query to how many young kinds are running around here. The blonde's cheek bulges out from the press of her tongue to the inside, then smooths back out as she sets towards walking up behind Robin, hands tucked into the front pockets of her tattered olive-drab army jacket she's been wearing to the cleanup efforts.

"We got ourselves a new sink cleaner, eh?" Else asks with a thinly cut smile, shifting her weight to one foot as she kicks her opposite heel out and digs it into the snow underfoot, idly hacking at the crusted snow with the heel of her boot as she gives Kendall a look over. "S'good t'have you aboard, we— " Else's words are cut abrupt by the sight of Wendy Hunter stalking out of the cab, a look of awkward recognition crossing Else's face as she considers the brunette. Some people you meet in places that have good memories, some people you meet looking to score painkillers and Refrain. Else's throat tightens, and she looks away from Wendy, brows furrowed.

"We ah, we gots some stuff you can help us with." The blonde gives a look up towards where Andy was on the balcony, but both he and Colette seem to have disappeared back inside the house, probably to find another heavy thing to pitch down into the snowbank from the second floor.

The later she's here for and her focus on it, is such that when Else looks at her, Wendy's not really paying attention. She's looking the mysterious Travis. She thinks that she heard Kendall, swears she heard him but one glance and she hasn't quite spotted him in the folks that are here.

So the brunette reaches out to tag the shoulder of the nearest person, mentally calculating how many pulls and in what direction she's got going as she opens her mouth. 'hey, I'm looking for a guy named Travis, he lives in one of the buildings up front here, used to live up here, but I see there's been some remodeling, know where I can find him?" She offers her kindest smile to the person, hoping that she'll get a positive answer.

"Cleaning sinks?" Kendall asks in dismay. "What's the point of cleaning sinks when the building looks like that?" he gestures, shaking his head.

Neil cups his hand over his phone, looking down at Wendy and momentarily disarmed by the kind smile aimed up at him. "Uh, Travis? It doesn't ring a bell. Most of the people that— lived around here have moved on," he explains, with a shrug. "But ask around, maybe you'll get lucky. Excuse me." With that unhelpfulness out of the way, Neil is clearing the group properly, cellphone pressed to his ear as he deals a glance towards Kendall as if trying to recognise him. Doesn't. Goes back to talking to the babysitter.

There's a loud snicker from across the road, now, the sound of approach. Four, maybe five men, none of them under the age of thirty, and the oldest of the little group has grey grizzled through harsh stubble on his narrow jaw. Dark brown eyes scout out the milling Ferrymen with a rat's assessment, and the youngest, a stockier figure, takes the lead with him.

"Hey," the oldest calls out, now, a hand up to rub his jaw, voice amicable and almost bright with curiousity. "You guys live around here?"

Aw, great, now Wendy's here. Doyle raises one hand up, fingers rubbing against the side of his neck as he calls over in somewhat subdued tones, "We've cleaned up the neighborhood already, Wendy, I doubt you'll find whoever you're looking for…" He shoots her a bit of a warning look. He's not sure how the others would react to knowing what he was doing the previous day!

Then the other group approaches, and he turns to look over with a frown, brow furrowing under the edge of his baseball cap. "Who's asking?"

"Aw, dilapidated buildings are where all the cool kids hang out these days." Robin says to Kendall, sounding serious but probably teasing. Maybe. It's hard to tell with him some days. "Clean sinks are very important in the scheme of things, and besides the house isn't going to look like that for too much longer." His words trail off as the newcomers arrive though and he turns their way, not saying anything as Doyle has asked the relevant question.

Reaching out a hand to ruffle Kendall's hair, Else cracks a toothy grin and steps forward, slinging an arm around the kid's shoulder. "Well, Oliver," why is she calling him Oliver? "You see, there comes a time in a man's life when they've jus' got t'clean a sink." Nodding her head emphatically at the sentiment. "Why, just imagine…" Else waves one of her hands out in front of she and Kendall, as if trying to show him some great vista, "you can regail all th' ladies in yer life with stories of how y'volunteered t'help th' unfortunate." Her brows go up, eyes angle down at Kendall, and she can't help but grin teasingly. "I hear that drops their knickers right fast. A boy your age has got t'start thinkin' about knicker-droppin' enterprises every now an' then."

About twenty feet away, a television comes crashing down into the nearby snowbank with all of the hurled grace of a bowling ball. Miraculously, it does not shatter on impact, but instead just sinks two feet down into the snow and disappears from sight, leaving only the power cord sticking up out of the hole. From the balcony, both Andy and Colette are leaning over the metal railing, peering down into the hole the television set made. "Bugga'," Andy remarks, reaching into the back pocket of his jeans and pulling out a five dollar bill, slapping it into Colette's waiting palm.

"I told you so." Whatever Colette told him, it was worth five bucks.

"Fuck. Thanks" Wendy offers to Neil with the intention to at least ask around a bit and not give up right away. Doyle's voice catches her attention and she blinks a few times. "Jason, uh, hey. yeah, that's what this guy said. I guess I'll have to ask some friends of ours and see where he's moved off too… then…" She's got that look on her face as she turns away from Doyle to the new group, frowning at the one who's speaking out. "I think they're all volunteers for the most part" She takes a few steps over towards the speaker, using the boots and snow to generate some unstability so that when she takes her next step she's… stumbling and tripping just far enough away for Mr. Speaker to either keep her from falling or not. Tactic #267 in the hunter guide of how to figure out if someone's evo.

Kendall swats at Else's hand when she ruffles his hair, and at her words he appears somewhat panicked. "Wh-what, no way! I'm not gonna… I mean…" cue flailing about, although he doesn't /literally/ do the kermit flail. "I, uh… oh hi Wendy!" what's this? He's running away from Else towards someone he normally runs away from as well?

"People who lived here," says one of them to Eric, a beer bottle in his hand with the label picked at, half-torn from the green glass. The man who spoke first steers a look at his companion, a hand up with a finger to his lips in a mockery of a shush. The younger snorts, once, and only lifts the bottle in his hands to drain off the dregs of beer swilling around the bottom. As the slick snow gives beneath Wendy's feet, it's the older man who snaps his attention from leashing his companions and rather quickly, he extends out his red-knuckled hands to grip onto her arms to right her. Gentlemanly as you please, and his teeth are yellow with nicotine when he gives her a wry smile.

There's an echo in the backdrop— the crash of the television and then Neil's sudden snarl, "Don't do that! Jesus Christ! You wanna go clean up more mess than we already have?" Quieter, directed to his phone; "Hello? Hello?" A muttered curse and the snap of a phone closing.

"Brenton Black." That would be a proper response to Doyle's question, spoken calmly from the man who addressed them in the first place once he takes his hands off the power detector. "I used to run some operations out," and he points, extending a long finger towards the building under Ferry focus for the day, "that very building. I'd like it back."

Yeah, there's no good that can come of this. The sudden crash of the television down into the snowback causes Eric to briefly stiffen, his head rolling back to look up towards the window with a wry expression, before slowly returning his gaze to the man that's pointing at the building. "Oh? You can produce a deed, then?" Oh, so cheerful his voice, suddenly, as he smiles brightly, "I'm sure if you can, we'll happily hand it over— all bright, and shiny, and good as new!"

A slight lean forward, brows lifting, "You… can produce a deed, right?"

Robin leans against the arm of the couch he and Neil carried out earlier, his arms crossed casually across his chest as Eric questions the not-so-friendly others. The sarcasm causes a small smirk, or it could be caused by Neil's phone troubles. Both most likely.

Grinning from ear to ear, Else waggles her brows at Kendall's back, "Call me!" She teases, cracking up and leaning forward with snorted laughter, running long fingers thorugh her hair as she turns back around to Robin. "Sorry 'bout that Robbie, e' just looked so precious." Shaking her head and tucking her hands back into the front pockets of her jacket, and only now notices the rabble gathered around where Doyle, Wendy and Neil are. Breathing in a sharp breath through her nose, Else takes a crooked step backwards through the snow, moving towards the back of the truck, teeth toying at her lower lip.

Dark eyes give Robin a wary stare, and when she flickers her attention back to that irritated looking group, her attention is rather suddenly going to Kendall. Averting her focus from there to the balcony for a moment, she sees neither Colette nor Andy watching what's going on, the pair likely back inside the second floor again. Swallowing tensely, Else gives Black and his gang a wide berth, moving around to try and catch Kendall's field of view, giving a jerked nod of her head over and away from what's going on, trying to coax the young kid over.

The thankful smile given back to Black as he steadies her is completely false. 100% false and likely visible to the man in front of her. How many times had she cursed and swore about this particular brand of Evolved? "thanks, fucking snow you know. I'll just be on my way, thanks for keeping me from landing in the snow" She's carefully extricating herself, the desire to look for the dealer that used to live here has plummeted to other depths and replaced quickly with fear. Fear from the tone used, the demands and because the fucker's she's had a bad run with folks who are like Black.

"Kendall, Kid, i'd get over there with blondie" Wendy see's else motioning for Kendall. "Now kid" The look she shoots him is one filled with Plea's to obey.

Kendall blinks at Wendy, then at the men who just joined them. "Ah… right then." yeah, he'd rather not get stabbed, thanks. Wait… that guy's a drug dealer, isn't he?! Kendall stares at him in fascination, similar to if a lion was suddenly roaming the streets.

Black's mouth twists in a half-smile, but the men beside and behind him seem less amused by Doyle's challenge. "Not on me," he says, voice coming thin between his teeth, and his brown eyes rest on Wendy in squinting interest, taking some kind of satisfaction from her reaction, darting a look to Kendall to see his response before he's turning back to Doyle. "We don't want to cause trouble or anything— "

And there's a split leer from one of his crowd, a chuckle, Black glancing over his shoulder before he continues. "What we want to know is who the fuck do you think you are?" His voice is gravelled, taking on some harshness. "You want to do some charity? I know a nice island that's got plenty of room."

"What's going on?" That would be Neil, moving on up, agitated already from phone troubles, thrown television sets, and stinking couches. He steers his way up towards the group, brow furrowed. "Can we help you?"

"Yeah," says one of them, before, quite matter of factly, he's swinging his arm with all the strength his burly torso contains. Black only stands stock still, though tension can be seen beneath his leather jacket as he watches one of his group bring around his glass bottle in a straight trajectory towards Neil's temple. Glass shatters, and the larger but not particularly brawly man staggers to the side, knee burying in snow.

"Neil!" A startled shout from Eric as the bottle goes crashing over the other man's head, the puppeteer's arm stretched out as if in warning towards the staggered Ferryman… and then his face screws up in anger, fingers twitching sharply as if curling about something, the man holding the bottle's broken remnants finding that his arm, suddenly, can't move.

It's with a soundless shriek of unseen cables that he brings his hand up to match Doyle's motion, until the puppeteer holds the edge against his throat— a fine line of blood beginning to seep over the glass— even though Eric's own hand is merely held near his own unthreatened neck.

"I'm trying to be nice," he nearly growls out, huffing, "I'm… trying… to turn over a new leaf. But if you and your little friends don't turn around, get the fuck out of here and never come back, I'll make an exception. Just. For. You."

"Fuck." Robin moves to his brother's side, checking for glass before unwinding the scarf from his own neck to press against the injury. He's not much of a fighter, but his blood is definitely up at this point. Someone messed with his family, even if it's sometimes annoying family. "Neil, you alright? Come on let me see your eyes, can you focus?"

There's a reason no one saw Colette and Andy leave the balcony, and not because they're busy finding a kitchen sink to hurl off the top floor. The astute and obvious would notice the footprints tracking in the snow that have no body to accompany them, just invisible-man style toe-heel soft-stepping towards where Kendall is situated. Else practically walks right into whoever it is that's moving, only to notice the footprints and hop a step back. "Jason!" She calls out to Eric, and begins making a run for the front of the truck where she'd left her cell phone — somebody has to be the responsible one and call the cops after all.

Colette is not the responsible one.

Kendall disappears with all of the fanfare of a turned page in a book. One moment he is there, the next moment he is gone, like he was an unwanted extra in a movie that was edited out in post production. To Kendall, the world just goes dark. All light simply ceases to be. The sounds are all still there, but he can't see anything, it's like all of the sudden he just went completely blind. But that shock is not truly given much time to settle in before he's yanked back by the collar. Now there's two invisible people dragging backwards through the snow towards the pickup truck. "Stay down and don't get in the way!" Colette's voice hisses at Kendall's ear as he's dragged bodily behidn the truck and out of sight, pulled down and practically tackled to the snow.

Light finally comes back to Kendall as patches of blackness peel away like evaporating water, revealing a patchwork of colors starting from the low end of the light spectrum at red, and working its way up to the blues and purples. There's that black haired girl from the bookstore, hunched down over Kendall with a gloved hand at the center of his chest, and she's looking up at the second floor balcony.

Mostly because she can see Andy in the door just beyond, holding a ceramic vase in one hand, just waiting for an excuse to practice his aim.

The only really sane one out of this trio is in the front seat of the truck, legs hanging out, fishing thorugh the center console, trying to find where she left her cell phone so she can call for help. Not that police can make it out to Roosevelt Island in a timely manner, but it's the effort that matters.

"Loud mouth is an EMPATH! Be careful. Rest are mundane" Wendy blabs the secret even as she's gripping her purse real good and swinging it around to bring it around not on the guy wielding the bottle. No,s he knows "Jason" has a hand on that. Evolutionarily speaking. She's going for the Empath. She's met too many and knows that the variations within can be pretty god damned Nasty. She doesn't want to be dealing with another Bill Dean, not after being told that Danko is still alive and waling around. Artists purses are heavy things, it's a big purse to boot and there's pda's and cell phones, notebooks, pencil case, pad, you name it in there. Heading for Mr. Blacks head repeatedly. Besides, Kendall's safe and that's what counts.

Kendall makes a sound reminiscient of a squeak when the world goes dark, a yelp when he's grabbed by the collar and dragged, and he flinches away from Colette once he's able to see again. At this rate, he'll be neurotic by the end of the day. "WHAT THE HELL!" he shrieks, but, uh… not /too/ loudly/. It's more him going into falsetto range as he freaks out.

Black's eyes widen when the purse goes swingng for his head, clocking him without the particular nastiness of a glass bottle, granted, but enough to smart. Unfortunately, it doesn't dazzle him as much as Neil — viper quick, Black's fist is snapping around to crack across Wendy's nose, one of his guys coming in to grab a fist full of her coat and throwing her down onto the snow with an uncreative, "Stupid bitch!" snarled down at her.

But Black is grabbing onto his friend, hauling him back a step with one hand out. "Fuckin'— okay, fat man," he bleats, though the words aren't strung together with particular insult as he shares a glance towards the first attacker, whose mouth gapes silent like a fish finding no air, blood tricking into his collar. Black doesn't know the puppeteer's name, even if Jason was being shouted around just now. There's a kid disappearing too, and it's for him that he quickly darts a wary look around, a wrong but cautious assmption. "Just— no!" he growls out, abruptly, when he sees movement out the corner of his eye.

Apparently, Black doesn't have control over his pack completely, when a pocket knife shines in the low light, held threatening as another comes bearing down on Doyle, teeth showing in a snarl.

"…ow," is Neil's assessment to Robin, sitting in the snow and blinking doe brown eyes in a dazed kind of way, wavering his focus onto his twin's face. He barely feels the snow he's matter of factly sitting in, soaking in through his jeans, a hand up to wipe at his face where blood has leaked down through where Robin is holding the scarf.

Ironically, it's the warning from Black that draws Eric's attention towards the new assailant, who otherwise the puppeteer might have entirely overlooked. The first man's left hanging from strings that he can't see, the bottle's edge still threateningly pressed to his throat as he turns his attention to the other thug. Without much time to reach, he clenches his hand into a fist and slams it in against his stomach—

— reaching out with his ability to force the knife-bearing gangster to do the same, muscles forced to jerk in that sudden, sharp motion towards himself.

"I said, get out!"

"Ow. Good word for it," Robin glances around at the activity just to make sure it's not too close before turning his attention back to his brother. "You make have a concussion, so don't take a nap, ok? Ok." Rob hasn't really seen Doyle's powers in action before, and whistles quietly, "Man I'm glad he's on our side."

"Shutupshutupshutup," Colette quickly blurts out, covering Kendall's mouth with one hand and bringing a shushing finger to her lips, green eyes intently focused down on the boy. "You can pee yourself later or whatever, just stay down." When her hand moves away, Kendall watches the girl begin to fade away. It's not like invisibility is in the movies, like the Predator or something, it's so much more artistic. She vanishes from sight as if she was being painted out of the scene, swatches of her being covered up by daubs of nothingness, until someone has painted the background of the world over her. It is a surrealist impression of invisibility, and only her footprints in the snow give any indication of where she's going.

"Doyle look out!" Comes Colette's warning cry as her hand becomes visible, just a dismembered arm floating in the air with gloved fingers outspread, holding a whirling disc of white-gold light in her palms. Tiny firefly motes of colorless light radiate outwards like stars in a galaxy, before the disc pulses and sends a //flash in a four inch wide beam towards the knife wielding man's eyes even as Doyle's doubling him over with a self inflicted stop hitting yourself moment.

The flashbeam from Colette's outstretched hand doesn't do what she'd hoped, the overcast skies and lack of enough ambient light only dazzles the man instead of blinding him like it should have. But the distraction is enough, especially for the sudden appearance of a ceramic vase that smashes about a foot too wide of Black on the ground. Andy still needs to work on his aim.

"Get yo' asses outta' here y'bloody wankers!" Hefting up an old VCR in his other arm, Andy offers a curt scowl down to the men on the ground. "Step off b'fore I //bean y'with this ol' thing!" It might sound more threatening were it not for his accent, perhaps back home Andy is a terrifying man, but outside of Jolly old England, he just sounds like something of a fop at times.

Inside the front of the truck, Else has flipped open the cell phone. "Yes— no we're at Summer Meadows, we're right in view of the main entrance. No I— I don't know who they are, gang members or— or— I don't know— I don't know— just send someone out here, please! One of them's got a knife!" Else hasn't looked up to see how things are going, but she can hear Eric screaming and everything is just going sideways so very fast.

Son of a god damned… Something crunched when he punched her, then jerked to the side and thrown down, Wendy's not gonna do much purse smacking as her hands fly up to her nose and she opts to curl up with a howl. This round, belong to Mr. Black in her books and there's yet another black mark in her own personal inventory against empaths.

Fucking Empaths.

Kendall flails some more as his mouth is suddenly covered by a hand, and then she's disappearing, and he scoots away from where he saw her last. Aw, man, it sucks that what he draws isn't real, 'cause he'd draw himself home right now! Waitaminute. He's right next to a car, and he's seen someone hotwire one in a movie once. How hard can it be? Of course, it'd help if the doors weren't locked first. He tries the handle.

The attacker doubles over as his fist buries into his own stomach — and with it, his knife. There's no scream, just an expulsion of air like it's been driven from his lungs, face going shock white, falling back when he's simultaneously near blinded by the ray of light. His body staggers when Black runs towards him, his face ugly with fury as he grabs his companion and tries to haul on out of there, driven both by this escalation of violence, the sudden use of Evolved ability, and splintered shards of ceramic just a foot from where he'd been standing.

Like scattered rats, the group are running for their Volvo— all except one, who trembles within Doyle's puppet strings, broken bottle still at his throat. The whites around his eyes are all visible, and he swallows tightly against where the glass cuts in, darting a glance towards where his friends are abandoning him.

Then, there's a crack through the air.

A gunshot, dealt over the top of their car, even as doors are slamming open and shut. Ultimately, the bullet cracks concrete of the building being fought over, but on its way, it takes a smatter of blood with it, scouring a neat track against the side of Doyle's neck. A growl of an engine rumbles through the street, the screech of tires.

That flash of white-hot pain across the side of Doyle's neck severs all the strings at once, cut as if he were showing off marionettes and suddenly dropped their strings - but instead of falling, they continued to move as they will. The so-called fat man stumbles back, hand sweeping up to clasp against his neck as red oozes between his fingers, staggering down to one knee as his usual ruddy complexion blanches pale, "Ah-ahh— "

Robin ducks instinctively at the sound of gunfire and pulls Neil towards the non-crushed couch for some cover. "I hate being in a gunfight without a gun." His jeans are sodden from the snow, his hands are wet with his brother's blood, but all the adrenaline keeps those distractions away. He's more worried about how they're going to get out of here at this point, though the scattering of Black's group raising his hopes that this is all coming to an end soon.

When the driver's side door to the truck opens, Kendall is on the recieving end of Else Kjelstrom's confused expression from where she lays over one of the seats, on the phone with emergency response. She waves a hand frantically for Kendall to climb up inside, and pulls her legs into the truck finally, slamming the door shut. "Cops'r on their way," She says in a sharp explanation to Kendall, ark eyes flicking to the kid before turning her attention back to the phone. "Y— Yes ma'am, I'm still here! One've them 'as a gun, he shot— he— I dunno, I dunno I heard gunshots, oh god!"

Doyle's been shot, there's blood, and Colette is left watching the men piling into the car, with the one just released from Doyle's puppet-strings scrambling to catch up. She's in a panic, hurrying with crunching footfalls over to the large man's side, "E— Eric, Eric oh god." He can't see her, just hears her panic. It's strange, the closer her voice gets, the more color starts to bleach out of everything, turning Doyle's world into an oddly film-noir experience. There's sitll certain aspects of Colette's ability that go haywire when her emotions do, and color manipulation is one of them. "Eric— Eric! Oh shit— Oh— Oh shit oh shit!"

Colette is freaking out, and Andy is coming running out of the front of the building now, jacket unbuttoned and handgun held out. He's not shooting it, but god damn does he wish he didn't even have to pull the thing out. "Fuck me e's bleedin' bad. Get 'im in the bloody back a'the truck, can't take Eric to a 'ospital. Ruskin lives right o'er in Brooklyn I think, she'll get 'im sewn up." Looking over to Robin and Neil, Andy swallows awkwardly and just starts backing up to the truck. There's no real sense in telling them where to go or what to do, someone has to tell the police what happened, it just sure as hell isn't Andy.

"Else!" Andy shouts out, "Get that kid outta' the truck!"

Kendall stares at Else when he comes across her, and joins her in the truck. At least, until someone's screaming about him getting out of the truck. Almost as if the seat had some hot coals on them, he leaps out of the car. "S-sorry!" he yelps, eyeshifting at Andy.

An inch closer, and Doyle might be dead right now; as it is, it's not too serious, although he could bleed to death if it's not tended to fairly soon. Shock is setting in as he kneels there, confused about exactly what happened, hand clasped to the side of his neck as he wavers upon his knees on the pavement. Then the world starts turning black and white, his mind swimming as he tries to focus on Colette.

I knew the dame was trouble from the minute she stepped into the soup truck, he thinks, incongrously stirring up memories of old movies, I should've cut her off then and there, but she was tenacious, like an octopus with a few too many hands. Now I'm kneeling by the side of the road, blood running hot on my fingers and I don't even know why. My name's Eric. I'm a puppeteer.

//…oh, god, I've been shot. In the neck. I can't feel it, oh, god. I'm— I don't— // "…I don't want to die," he manages to whisper past the pain that rasps up his throat when the muscles shift against the wound, his eyes widening to saucers as he tries to focus on Colette.

And that's about when he passes out.

Andy rushes past Kendall, then stops, reaches out and grabs him by the collar of his jacket. "Go with them," he waves a hand towards the twins, "they'll get you 'ome, you got me!" There's a feverishly impatient look in Andy's eyes, and he doesn't wait long before shoving Kendall back and climbing up into the driver's seat of the truck, finally noticing Else was on the phone. "'Oo the 'ell did you call? Did you call the cops?" There's a click of his tongue, "Bloody //fuck Else why'd you call the— " He snatches her phone, flips it around, pulls off the bac plate and fumbles with the sim card, taking it out and then yanking the battery before throwing the phone pieces down on the floor of the truck.

"We can't bloody well bring Eric to a fuckin' 'ospital or explain him away now can we? Jesus christ." Else is silent, reproachful, and perhaps just a bit too shaken up by all of this to do more than stammer apologetically at Andy, right up until she notices that Doyle's laying on his back in the snow, and Colette, parts of her that are visible, are trying to peel him up from the snow with all of her 98 pounds of strength. "A— Andy— he's— " Andy looks up into the rear view mirror, slams his palm against the steering wheel. "Blody fuck!" He exclaims, practically kicking the door of the truck open as he gets out, running back across the crunching snow towards where Doyle's laying and where Colette is screaming for help.

With a groan, Neil grips onto his brother's arm. His hand his own hand pressing the scarf to his head, now, wincing at the sound of gunfire and readily ducking for cover. He sees Andy struggling with Doyle, breathing in shallowly before staggering over, helping push Colette aside, running more so on adrenaline than anything else now. "On three," he stammers to Andy, and the other Ferrymen operator gives a nod as each man takes one of Doyle's arms, "One…" Colette's backing up, hand over her mouth, and then begins running for the back of the truck, climbing up inside and waiting to help everyone pull Doyle up in. "Two…" She kicks the box of cleaners to the back, unzips the front of her black hoodie, and slings it off of her shoulders, stripped down to a bright red t-short over a black long-sleeved. "Three!"

Andy and Neil struggle to lift Doyle up by the arms, hooking his around the backs of their necks with groans of effort. "Oh bloody Christ this boy's goin' on a fuckin' diet or so fuckin' 'elp me— " Feet slipping in the snow, Neil and Andy drag Doyle over to the back of the truck, and with Colette's help hefts the massive man down into the bed with a creak of the shocks. Once they've gotten him in, Colette uses that shed sweatshirt o press to the side of Doyle's neck down on the wound to try and keep the bleeding from getting out of control. "Neil, get that kid and y'brother outta' here. We're goin' t'Ruskin' place in Brooklyn, she's the closest Doc we got." Neil gives a nod, looking over to Robin, then with trembling hands starts making his way back over.

The car Black's men had retreated into screeches out the way it came, rounding around with one door hanging open like a broken wing. The end of a broken bottle tinks against the ground, dropped in favour of the man holding his hand to his own bleeding throat and running at a stagger after the car without even a glance back for the group of Ferry folk. Up ahead, the Volvo slows, just enough for him to catch up and get hauled into the back seat.

At the same time, Andy's pickup truck's engine roars to life, and peeling out in the snow, he backs up and rumbles over the small snowbank and out onto the street, driving off in the opposite direction of the other car to try and get Doyle to medical attention before he bleeds out like a stuck pig.

Neil finds his way to Robin's side, hand on his brother's shoulder, then looks down to Kendall, panting wheezing breaths as he does. There's really only one thing on Neil's mind right now.

Wouldn't want to be here when the cops show up.

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