A Canary Under The Bus


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Scene Title A Canary Under The Bus
Synopsis Peyton and Wendy are firmly in the hand of Humanis First and in an attmept to downplay Wendy's ability and her own, Peyton throws her friend under the bus and Wendy just rolls herself further. By doing so though, both have extended their shelf life to the terrorist group and get more trips in coffins.
Date August 13, 2009

Calvary Cemetery

A massive, sprawling collection of gravestones, all as unique from each other as the names and dates printed upon their faces. There is a chaotic feel to this place, overcrowded with those that have passed away; a jungle of crosses, statues, tombs, domes and headstones as simple as jutting teeth. Winding pathways lead several different tours through the plain, and there is a kind of anxious peace to this place, and its visitors are few and scattered. There is an awe-inspiring view of the wrecked skyline of Manhattan, reminding those that don't need to be reminded of how fast life can be snatched away.

hlp kdnappd by taxi drivr. going over brklyn brdge.


trppd in taxi. just crssd whitman + dover intersection in brklyn.

pulling up to big bldng. warehouse. can't see signs. hlp!

One click after another, that's how the car ride was spent. Text messages pattering out from Peyton Whitney's cell phone to anyone who would listen. A constant bombardment of street addresses, intersections, all the way up to when the musty smelling yellow-cab taxi rolled in to the confines of a dark warehouse in Brooklyn just off the Brooklyn bridge.

Here they aren't alone, dozens of men with guns, zipties and black bags over heads. Peyton couldn't see where they took Wendy, couldn't tell how long they kept her in that metal storage crate inside of the warehouse. Eventually, she's shipped around, brought out of the rust-smelling box and into the plush interior of a vehicle, arms and legs bound and laid out in a small, padded box.

Claustrophobia, stale air, heat, fear; all these things mingle irregularly into Peyton and Wendy's minds as they are kept seperate, searched and manhandled like cattle at the warehouse and put in those padded boxes into the back of another vehicle that drives for fifteen minutes across town. Separated from her phone, from all of her personal possessions, Peyton is left to wonder, fear and fret about Wendy's well being.

Eventually the car comes to a stop, driver and passenger discussing what to do with the bodies when they're done with them. Panic comes in throbbing waves of pounding heartbeats exacerbated by irregular breathing in a confined space. She can feel the box moving again, carried somewhere and set down, until eventually the lid is opened and she's brought out with a bag still over her head hours — days? — later.

It's hard to tell how much time has passed, at least until that bag is finally yanked off of her head, and Peyton is forced to reconcile her location. The box she's been inhabiting for a few hours, padded and soft with claustrophobic air is a coffin, one open and stacked next to another which contains Wendy's unmoving form. Two black bags lay in a pile on the floor, and the concrete floor is a part of the equally dark and stone interior of what resembles a mausoleum.

But there's more than just dust and the dead in this place, there's splash lighting, a tripod, and a video camera. Spray-painted on one wall of the mausoleum is a red lettering logo that reads Humanis First! behind where Peyton has been seated, hands zip-tied behind herself and a cloth gag in her mouth, matching the one Wendy has.

Six men, all masked with balaclava face gear stand with automatic weapons. Four lingering in the back of the cramped, stuffy mausoleum, two up front; one to operate the camera, the other approaching Wendy, running a gloved finger over her cheek before turning to look over at Peyton.

"If I take out your gag," he states politely, "are you going'ta scream? Cause if you're just going to scream," he lightly presses the muzzle of a pistol beneath her chin, "I'll give ya somethin' t'scream about." His blue eyes peer through the eyeholes of his mask. "So, nod or shake'yer head, are you goin'ta scream?"

Who wouldn't?

Her chin raises, trying to get an inch of air between her skin and that cold metal. Her face is a raccoon's mask of runny mascara and eyeliner as she stares imploringly into the blue eyes of the man speaking to her. Is she going to scream… The question seems inordinately difficult for some reason, but it finally makes sense to her terrified mind. Her head moves to the left and then to the right, then left again. No. She's not going to scream. She looks over to Wendy, eyes tearing up again. This is her fault. She should have accepted that FBI agent's offer to get them home. She wonders about those messages in a bottle, the texts sent out into the world — is anyone looking for her. She shakes her head again.

Random nonsensical sentences had been coming from Wendy through it all. Not out of fear but out of the response of her mind to the individuals who were all gathered in Old Lucy's. She was usually so good at keeping the tally, of taking off before it got too much. She had some, //minimal awareness of what was going on. They were moving and Peyton was scared, about something. But the babbling had died down and alertness was starting to come back to the living evo-dar, as Bella had once coined her.

She also realized that there was a gun under Peytons chin and her own brown eyes went from glazed and unfocused to wide eyed and filled with terror as mind slowly catches up with the situation. "feyhun?" Muffled thickly through the gag.

"You shu'cher fuckin' mouth until you're talked to," the gun is brandished in Wendy's direction, then angled back towards Peyton as the gunman recognizes the no headshake. "That's a good girl," he says in a gruff tone of voice, reaching up to pull the gag down out of Peyton's mouth. Then, holding his hand back and out to one of the men standing behind him, her masked captor takes a sheet of paper and offers it out to Peyton, "I'm goin' to untie your hands so you can read this paper. If you do anything stupid, m'gonna' shoot'cher little girlfriend in the gut." His eyes flick from the camera to Peyton and back again. "She'll die, nice an' slow and hurtin' an it'll all be your fault for fuckin' about."

Motioning to another one of the men, that masked figure withdraws a knife and moves behind Peyton, hands carefully pulling her wrists apart as he begins to cut at the plastic ties on her wrists. "You're goin'ta read this in front of the camera," Irish, this guy has an irish accent, it's out of place and unfamiliar. "Then after you're done readin', you're gonna' answer some questions or'm gonna' shoot'cher little girlfriend. Do you understand t'rules o'this game darlin'?"

When the gag is removed, Peyton licks her lips, dried out from the contact with the rough fabric. She bites her lip when she realizes what is going on. She may not be the most learned person, but she's seen these videos. Hostage situations. They make the people read these horrible and untrue statements and then kill them anyway, right? She gives a tentative nod of her head, flinching when he talks of killing Wendy.

Her hands are in balled fists when they cut the zip strips, and she brings them up to her lap, one hand rubbing the wrist of the other. She reaches with a shaking hand for the paper. "Y-yes," she whispers, her throat hoarse.

Oh god. They've been kidnapped. She didn't see the bright red Humanis First sign. So Wendy's mind doesn't make that association. Just that there's men, there's a video camera, people's faces are covered and they're making Peyton hold a newspaper up. Wendy is not a overly brave woman. Sure, she has nooo problem babbling about an evolved person who's probably three times her weight and looking grumpy. But they have guns. Gun kill. Wendy's self professed goldfish eyes frantically moved back and forth, take in everyone she can see, and take in Peyton. Her own mascara starting to run and her nose as well as it's becoming abundantly clear that they are fucked. God. Please let mom and dad pay my ransom.

"Yer a right angel, love." The paper is handed out to Peyton, and the masked man moves off screen, motioning for Peyton to begin reading as the red recording light turns on at the front of the mounted camera. Silence falls over the closed crypt, and in that moment of quiet, an idling vehicle outside can be heard, along with the distant sounds of other conversation— people— just a stone's hrow away. Maybe more of these armed lunatics, maybe not, but there's someone out there. With the newspaper held up in front of the camera, there's a sheet on the back of handwritten words, and from the motion the man behind the camera gives, he wnats Peyton to begin reading them.

It's either this, or watch Wendy take a bullet to the stomach. This is the sort of thing that changes a person forever.

Peyton's eyes flicker to Wendy, then to the door, before looking back at that red blinking light. She swallows, and her hands shake, the paper fluttering from the movement. Her voice is rough and tremulous: "I am an abomination against humanity. I am a genetic aberration. I am someone's unwanted child." That gets a sob from the adopted child.

She takes a breath and speaks louder — maybe those people, the ones outside, will hear her — if they're more HF members, well, they'll just like what they hear. If they're not — maybe they'll investigate. "I am a monster, like ones in old storybooks, brought to life. You call us Evolved, and we want you to, as if we were better than humans. But we aren't, we're degenerates, we're no longer human, and yet we fight for your living space. we fight for your jobs. For your rights."

The tears make it hard to read, and she shakes her head, trying to see the words more clearly. "We try and un- un-" she pauses, frowning at her stammering, "usurp everything that's yours. We do not deserve this world. We were not here first. It is time for the humans of America to rise up together and join together. No boundaries of race, or religion, or political outlook. Humanity is facing a great, and terrible crisis. My kind."

She looks over at Wendy, her brows knit as she tries not to sob. Anyone watching will know she was forced to do this. That she does not believe in it. That is her only consolation. "Stand up and take arms, and cleanse our genetic waste from the world. Before we turn one of you, into one of us." She frowns at the last. That's not even possible. They're Evo, not vampires. She looks up at the man waiting for the next set of directions.

Oh god.


Peyton starts talking and it's becoming clear to Wendy, as her mind comes more into itself thanks to only Peyton beside her on her evolved compass, that this is not a kidnapping for money this is.. something more. Wendy's crying though muffled by the gag can be heard by those in the room. Her thin shoulders curled forward and inward racked with her sobs.

Moving out in front of the camera, the masked Irishman steps in front of where Peyton is being recorded and adds, "You all know the truth o'this world a'ours. Now go'n do somethin' about it. Don't let the gene-freaks take our world from us." He reaches to his waist, pulling out a pistol and aims it directly at Peyton. "We a'human, an' human," he steps forward and presses the gun to her forehead, "is," the hammer clicks back, "first."


That's the sound of the camera being turned off, not the hammer clicking down. No, that comes a slow few moments later as he eases it back. "That should look good for the press," the Irishman notes as he waves the pistol around slowly. "Not plannin' on killin' you just yet, darlin'." The barrel of the gun brushes under Peyton's chin and then up along her cheek. "No, no… now comes th' question an' answer portion of our program.

Eventually holstering his pistol at his hip, the Irishman looks from Peyton to Wendy and back again. "Darlin," his words seem more directed at the un-gagged woman, "why don'cha start by tellin' me what your ability is, an' what her ability is."

Those tear-filled dark eyes close when that gun comes to her forehead. Her lips move, no sound coming out — someone who could read lips might recognize the Hail Mary. Apparently Peyton's a lapsed Catholic. Her shoulders jump when she hears that click — but when there is no gunshot, her eyes open once more, watching the man step back. She swallows hard as the gun returns to her chin, and her eyes flicker to Wendy, then back to his face. The man who called the cab — he knew what Wendy could do, he must have overhead it. No use lying. Her own — she might be able to lie, but what? She can't think fast enough. She swallows hard once more.

"She can tell if people have powers," she says quietly. "Not always. Sometimes she's wrong." Try to make it seem less dangerous, something not to fear. "And I - mine's new. I don't really even know yet. I get weird visions and sort of black out. Almost like a seizure, you know, but without the shaking. I don't know how to use it yet, but I can't hurt anyone with it! Neither can she!"

Wendy nods her head up and down to Peyton's words, the woman has it right. "eff riff, eff hue" Garbled through the gag from the older woman.

The Irishman stops dead in his tracks, looking from Peyton to Wendy, and immediately motions for one of his men to take out her gag. The two masked men kneel down at Wendy's side near the coffins, and one keeps a handgun trained on her while the other removes her cloth gag. "Tell me, love, is what this little bird 'ere said true? Can you detect other things like you?" The tone of his voice is one of disbelief. If Bill or Danko found out about this, think of what they could do with her ability.

"If you were lyin'," the Irishman notes over his shoulder to Peyton, "m'puttin' a bullet in your head, love." His blue eyes move back, settling on Wendy again as his brows rise expectantly. "So, darlin'," his head quirks to the side, "what is it you do?"

"She's not" It's hiccuped out as the gag leaves her mouth free, a trail of snot running down her face. "It's what I do. I c..c..can tell if.. if there's o..others near me. W..W…what they do sometimes. Is… it's what I do" Hiccups interrupt her talking, stuttering as well and her voice is high and loud as her volume control seems to have gone out the window.

The fascination the men have with Wendy's power makes Peyton feel nauseous — she said the wrong thing. She should have lied. Her face crumples as she watches the man untie Wendy's gag. "I'm sorry," she mouths to Wendy, and reaches up to cover her face, trying to staunch the tears that seem have no end. When Wendy gives them further details, Peyton's head comes up — she was trying to make the power seem less powerful, less interesting. Dammit. She wonders if one of the men is the man she saw in the bar — the guy with the marine, the guy who put them in that god forsaken cab. She thinks about him, pictures him, focuses on him, and wonders what it is he's seeing — trying to see from his perspective.

"Bag 'er up." The Irishman states flatly, motioning to Wendy. "Tie 'er back up and put 'er in the hearse." Rising up to stand straight, the Irishman produces a cell phone from inside of his jacket, flipping it open as he dials a number and holds it up to one side of his masked head. There's a few long pauses, followed by, "Sorry t'contact you directly, but we need to arrange for a pickup. I've got you a bloody canary for th' mine," the Irishman's blue eyes drift over to Wendy, a smile creeping up on his lips.

"No, you 'eard me. Boss needs this'n." His eyes divert to Peyton, "I think we're goin'ta keep this little firecracker too, she's very… pliable." There's no comfort kept in the way he talks about her in that regard, and the Irishman nods abruptly once, even as his men start to gag Wendy again, pulling a bag over her head, picking her up by the legs and shoulders to carry over to one of the coffins.

"Darlin'," he states to Peyton, coming over to run one gloved hand through her hair, smoothing bangs away from her face. "You jus' 'elped out the cause better tan' anything did in the last six months. Yer' a godsend for one'a them freaks, darlin'. An' now we're goin'ta take your girlfrien' there an' turn her like a bloodhound. Ain't that wonderful?"

As Peyton tries to focus on more unfamiliar targets, on Bill Dean and his soldier friend who was in the bad with him, Peyton's mind clouded by fear and anxiety refuses to stay focused on those two, instead training her sight on Wendy, getting a disorienting view of the same situation just moments before the cloth bag comes over Wendy's head and she's shut into darkness, picked up and hauled towards one of the coffins.

"I think you two jus' earned yerselves a few more days'a life."

And cue the panic. Wendy starts kicking and screaming - in as much as one can scream in the state that both girls are in - when the bag is pulled over her head. "hooooooooo! Heyhon! Heyhon!" Dear god in heaven. They were going to use her to track down others like her. it's a horrifying thought that only fuels the panic and adrenaline charging through her system.

Peyton's words from earlier in the night — that Wendy was going to get herself beat up or worse, or other people beat up or worse, echoes in the socialite's mind as she jerks away from that gloved hand. She's not right very often, and this is one time she'd rather not be.

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