A Caricature Of Vigilantism


alexander_icon.gif hagan_icon.gif isabelle_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title A Caricature Of Vigilantism
Date December 16, 2008

Greenwich Village

In a time that seems long ago, Greenwich Village was known for its bohemian vibe and culture, the supposed origin of the Beat movement, filled with apartment buildings, corner stores, pathways and even trees. There was a mix of upper class and lower, commercialism meeting a rich culture, and practically speaking, it was largely residential.

Now, it's a pale imitation of what it used to be. There is a sense of territory and foreboding, as if the streets aren't entirely safe to walk. It isn't taken care of, trash from past times and present littering the streets, cars that had been caught in the explosion lie like broken shells on the streets nearest the ground zero. Similarly, the buildings that took the brunt of the explosion are left in varying degrees of disarray. Some are entirely unusable, some have missing walls and partial roofs, and all of the abandoned complexes have been looted, home to squatters and poorer refugees.

As one walks through the Village, the damage becomes less and less obvious. There are stores and bars in service, and apartment buildings legitimately owned and run by landlords. People walk the streets a little freer, but like many places in this scarred city… anything can happen. Some of the damage done to buildings aren't all caused by the explosion from the past - bullet holes and bomb debris can be seen in some surfaces, and there is the distinct impression that Greenwich Village runs itself… whether people like it that way or not.

Hagan has gotten very, very drunk. Drunker than usual. And that's saying a lot. He can hold a lot of his liquor and usually stops before it gets too bad. Perhaps that's why the waitress at Lucy's who's getting to know him didn't realize that the Irishman needed to be cut off.

When he almost fell while standing, he was ushered gently out by a bouncer. Hey, he's a good customer and the occasional overindulgance doesn't suddenly make familiar bouncers harsh. But still, they need to do their jobs, so he's dropped out in the street. It takes effort for him to stand. The streets are empty and he does the foolish thing of opening a wallet full of cash to check for cab fare. "Bloody…" He fumbles for a cigarette, but ends up dropping the lighter.

"—'nd then he left off about raping Abby and started talking about mia Madre." Teo grimaces as he says this, beating ash off the line of his cigarette with a glove-covered pinkie. When a stray lance of icy wind comes by, severing smoke and bleeding into his healing neck, he hunkers his shoulder up. "Stupid shit like that. I don't get him. He had a pretty fucking rough week just now and didn't enjoy it in the slightest, but it was like the vecchio wanted to start a fight. Maybe jail does that to you." Excuses.

Teo will always try to provide one, for those whose misdemeanours are not his own. Doing so for Deckard, tried it before with Alexander. It's the latter he's stomping across the slushy pavement with now.

The two Phoenix operatives had left the bar some time ago, joined the straggling traffic of other pedestrians who decided that the best place to hide from the misery of winter weather was inside a bottle, conveniently forgetting the way in and out is all in gray slime and oily water. The bottle helped with the forgetting, probably. Unfortunately for most of those involved, it's precisely this demographic that the other predators in the water know to target, however frozen that water is. In the stark shadow of an alleyway under an epileptic street lamp, two other men overlook the oncoming ex-Baptist and Sicilian, senses honing in on the clatter of a falling lighter, a slur of accented curses.

Alexander is the very model of an ex-Baptist off the wagon. So far off the wagon he's sitting in the wheelruts. Al is, despite the cold, flushed with drink, and grinning rather snidely to Teo's commentary. With his nearly ruined eye, it gives him the look of a junkyard dog confronted with a particularly juicy bone. "Damn fool," he says, irritably, craning his head to attend to Teo's rant. "Everyone knows that you cain't get away with insultin' a man's mother. Not and expect to live to tell 'bout it. Mebbe he thought he could presume on your vaunted good nature." For some reason, when drunk, Al starts talking like half his dialogue is written by a cut-rate imitator of Twain's/

Hagan feels around on the wet, cold earth for his lighter. He picks up a rock, some garbage and a half-eaten frozen cheeseburger before he finds his lighter. But it's drenched and won't light. "Aw FUCKER." And then he hauls back and chucks the thing in no particular direction. Unfortunately, Teo and Al are walking through the space where he's hucked the Bic.

If Teo weren't already ruddy from cold and whisky, he probably would have blushed at that. Ignobly, his eyes drop to the sidewalk, before squinting up abashedly at Alexander, sidelong, looking demoralized the way a young man ought to when it's been obliquely flung in his face that he lost a bunch of Man Points.

At least it's being flung in his face with an accent that he's always found stupefyingly charming, for all its artificiality; the maraschino cherry of American dialects. "Well," he hedges. "I didn't… want to hurt— I mean, he had such a rough week. It was just words. He didn't presume on my anyth— ow." Punched with a bit of plastic, Teo stops. His first reaction is make a fist; his second to uncurl it and squint.

He doesn't see Hagan immediately. Mostly because two goons just burst out of the alleyway, and one of them is pointing a small silver pistol at himself and Alexander in the immediate foreground. "Nothing to see, gentleman!" he drawls. "Carry on." Behind him, his companion is making a relatively agile (not drunken) grab at Hagan's frame, moving to haul the Irishman into the alleyway, the grip of one hand like steel, the other carrying steel actual. A knife. There's a one word command: Wallet.

"What inna holy howling Hell?" demands Alexander. "That's some buullllshit," He raises his hand, for all the world like Vader confronted by Solo at Cloud City, yanking with his power at that pistol. "Now, you feelin' lucky tonight?" he wonders, with false good cheer, and a barracuda grin. Someone is in for a psychic bitchslapping - Al is drunk and belligerent and armed to the teeth.

"Wallet? But I already have a wallet. See? It has money and everything." Hagan drunkenly holds up his beated up leather number. The glint of the knife is eyed. "I'm a memmbrgh of the ladtae of the monthclubeven." He slurrs. Then the knife's at his throat and the iron grip's on his arm. "Watch it. You might poke someone."

Walking past the alley is Isabelle, just out and about because when you have your own bar why even go to another? Dressed in a tight red tank and a pair of black jeans and black boots. Her hair is up in a high ponytail and she notices the commotion going on, recognizing everyone but Alex, she says, "You might want to leave that guy alone, or things might get /hot/ in here." A smirk crosses her lips as she enters the alley and makes her way quickly over to them.

The muggers' lives are getting more difficult, which is sad for them: few take to this career track for funsies, after all. The one with the gun suddenly doesn't have his gun anymore, and the one with the knife is failing to impress what he fels are extremely basic instructions upon this European jackass. Hagan's captor proceeds to run the smaller man sideways into a wall. His next orders have more words in them, are louder, smell slightly of rancid meat: "Give me your fucking wallet." He sort of pauses after speaking because of Isabelle. Glares at her.

The mugger still out on the street is peeved about the loss of his weapon and all the interference that perfect strangers are suddenly running. He closes his pistol hand into an empty fist, glaring at Isabelle and Alexander for a moment before he braces his feet wide, twists and rams his fist into the pavement.

"Mind your own Goddamn business." The shockwave ripples outward in concentric circles through asphalt and slush. Difficult footing becomes momentarily impossible; Teo slams sideways into a wall before he can get his gun is off safety. A shout of surprise goes off near Hagan's face.

Al goes down at that, shaken off his feet as if caught by a temblor. He does not, however, relinquish his grip on the mugger's gun. He's up again within heartbeats, and lashing out with his power. The shock has already set off car alarms down the block. It's the knifewielder he's reaching for now, and not just the man's weapon, but his whole body, as if to hurl him into the nearest wall.

The jolt of his body against wall sobers Hagan up somewhat. He blinks. "Well. If you'd look you'd see I'm holding it up here. And I'm not exactly in a position to argue the taking of it. Though I'd prefer it if you'd leave me my business cards as they are the last ones I have," Funny. He's acting calmer than he usually does in less extreme situations. He seems only vaguely aware of what's going on around him past his immediate vicinity.

The force of the 'shout' because men don't scream, knocks Izzy into the nearest wall. As she pushes herself back up, all she sees is red and her hands instantly ignite with fire. "I tried to ask you to leave nicely." Isa says and then flexes her hand. Flames flow from her arms into one of her palms making a medium sized fireball. With a dark grin, Isabelle launches it fast at the knife wielding man. It whizzes toward him, a light trail of flames following it.

Regrettably, the mugger to whom Hagan was about to cooperatively hand over his wallet to suddenly isn't around to take off him. He goes flying into a wall, hits it with a dense, concussive noise of flesh and bone hitting stone, seconds before the searing spurt of flame swamps his clothes. Fortunate for him that he's wearing enough to spare his skin major burns, but the heat and pain and the smoulderingof his clothes are difficult to ignore, even with the wind knocked out of him.

Flung from his hand, his knife bounces and clinks off mortar and brick, and rattles to a halt next to Hagan's foot.

The tremblor straightens to find the configuration of people a lot like how it was before he punched the ground, which doesn't surprise him much. Evolved don't tend to warrant much shock value around other Evolved. Aside of puns regarding his own power stunts, of course. Scowling, he shoves violently past Isabelle to bolt down the alleyway, coincidentally snagging Hagan's wallet in passing, leaping over the corpus of his own fallen comrade.

"Hagan!" Teo has a pretty good memory for faces. It's a terrorist thing. He's hanging off the corner of the wall with one hand, Para-Ordnance in the other, staring at the Irishman. "Shit. Are you okay, uomo?"

Oh, no. No, you don't. Al's teeth are bared in something that definitely isn't a grin….and he goes pelting after the fleeing man, reaching out to try and trip him up. Hagan's a buddy, and theft isn't going to be tolerated. At least he's not trying to shoot the thief. That'd be so uncouth. The redhead apparently welcomes the opportunity to get ultraviolent on -someone-.

"Hey…HEY! He got my booze paper exchangers. I mean, my money. My wallet!" Hagan hops up and down, but the hop is kind of off kilter given he's got enough booze in his stomach to drown a horse. He ends up looking like a raver moshing. Fortunately, he has good sense to stop it rather quickly. A beat and he sniffs. "Why are people on fire? Why are people on fire Italian Teo?!" He grabs hold of Teo's jacket as he says this.

Isabelle looks down at the man that she threw a fireball at, letting Alex handle the one that ran away. Her eyes grow focused and she inhales and exhales. As she exhales the few flames that are on the bad grow in strength and burn brighter as they spread over the man, she tilts her head and looks towards Hagan as she makes the flames stronger and stronger, the man should /really/ be feeling the fire right about now, "Hagan dear, do you want him burnt or lightly crispy?" she asks venom in her voice as she growls at the man on the ground. Her eyes alight with inner flame.

Jesus fucking Christ. Italian Teo is realizing that Irish Hagan is right. People are on fire. People are on fire. And Alexander looks like he's going to fucking kill somebody with not-fire. This is exactly the kind of shit that isn't supposed t— "She's setting them on fire!" In the older man's grip, Teo jostles back and forth once or twice before he manages to snare some semblence of his balance back on staggering feet. "Make her stop setting him on fire! Tell her to stop!" A hand closes oun Hagan's jaw, and Teo twists the man's face around to look at Isabelle. Then past Isabelle. "Alexander!"

Is chasing the tremblor. Who falls when tripped, and knows better to mistake the obstruction for an invisible bit of mime garbage or something like that. He goes down, rolls, bumps, lands in a crouch with his hands skinned and a snarl on his face. Twisting, he rams his knuckles into the wall on his left. Cracks race up the stone and bite into the fire stairs above Alexander, dropping a dozen pounds of snow on top of him while garbage cans begin to totter into a haphazard tumble between them.

That's the cue for Al to contribute his little widow's mite of raw destruction. Namely, what Al does when you threaten him and he's not entirely sure of the direction of the threat is his little Apprentice's shockwave - a sphere of raw force that radiates out from him; he even hovers up a little as he does it, feet leaving the ground. It's not as effective as a concentrated blow, and it's weakened as it finally reaches Hagan's assailant. Mostly, Al's sent that snow exploding out and away like a grenade….as well as having broken a number of windows, and flattened the trashcans in the alley. He's still slipped and fallen, however, lying momentarily stunned in the epicenter of a little circle of damage. Ground Zero for redneck telekinesis.

Hagan 's face obediantly turns as Teo moves his head. "What?! What. Isabelle is it? Please. No more fires. No…no more. Please. I'm not in the mood for flambe' of thug." He waves his arms at the pyro. "It's just a fucking wallet everybody CALM THE FUCK —-" and then snow is all over him. He spits, wipes his mouth. "Now I'm cold."

Isabelle growls as snow hits her body and her arms, steam wafts off her body as the snow melts and then Izzy nods to Hagan and bows her head as she concentrates. Soon all the flames on the man's body are gone and only smoke rises from his body. "Sorry Hagan, I just got angry and, ya know." She says with a light shrug as she walks closer to Teo and Hagan, her arms are now normal. No more flames tonight. She tilts her head at Teo and nods, "Nice seeing you again, even though these aren't the best circumstances." She says softly and then looks back to Al. "Is he going to be alright?"

"I'm sorry!" Teo exclaims at the Irishman, as if he were somehow responsible for the fact that he got snowed. In truth of fact, Isabelle and Hagan had blocked the snow from hitting him, leaving all but the pinnacle of Teo's head free of feathery frozen water. "You too, signora." The next moment, the Sicilian pops out from behind his impromptu meatshields, scampering toward the redhead in question with his .45 — still on safety — swinging aloft. "Al!

"You crazy little shitheel, what the fuck." Surprise turns the question into a statement, even as he skids to a halt near Alexander's head. He looks up in time to see the other Evolved lumber up to his feet, breathing heavily, stumbling sidweays to snag Hagan's wallet from the ground, before he starts stumbling to get away.

Al's wheezing and snuffling like an overweight pug, but determination has not left him. He offers Teo no explanation, but scrambles up with more haste than grace, only wiping his hand across his mouth where he cut it when falling….still after the mugger with that idiot persistence. This time, he's trying to lift that mugger bodily away from both ground and wall, and then slams him into the latter. No mercy, apparently.

"Oh bloody hell! Not that I don't appreciate the rampant acts of heroism and flesh-searing. But it's only money and it's only a shite wallet! You all are crazy and your mothers are too. If you catch the fucker, call me. I'm cold!" he announces again. His fright-wig hair is ruffled and he gives each of them a look. Well, the ones that aren't running after muggers. Once on the street, he catches the nearest cab. It'll take him a minute to realize, right, fuck. HE HAS NO MONEY.

Isabelle shakes her head after Hagan, "See ya later!" she calls and then stretches. It may seem weird to the others that she isn't cold from the snow. Or not, seeing as they now know she can throw fireballs at their heads. "Seems like my work here is done." She says and then nods to Teo and Alex.

The only reason Teo manages to catch the pyromancer's gesture of salutation is because he glanced back thinking that all that Irish noise might be indicative of police. It turns out Hagan's just leaving. Isabelle, possibly also. By the time he turns his head back around, Alexander is up and off like a terrier. Not the advisable course of action, as far as Teo's concerned. Which is unfortunate, because Al tends to be one of said concerns. "Figlio di un cane." His shoes squeak off into a sprint, following.

The goon meets the wall with a noise softer and slightly squishier than the one he'd elicited punching it. Fortunately for him, he's braced this time. Manages not to get all the air knocked out of his lungs, though maintaining his grip on the wallet is too difficult with that much force wracking through his bones and muscle.

The wallet slithers out of his bloody hand, a few green leaves of dollar bills fluttering like poetry in the frigid air. He falls. Sloughs to the ground with a wheezed curse. Plants his fist in the ground again, once, and sends a dumpster sliding toward his pursuers with a weaker shudder of concrete, a groan of reluctant weight.

Alex's blood is up, and that's never a good thing. It's no longer so much anger as the exaltation of sheer power, and he sends that dumpster skittering and banging away with a lazy flick of his hand. Al smacks him again into the wall, and gathers up the wallet and bills - they all flutter towards him like strange paper birds, to be stowed away. There's still the howling of car alarms all down the street. "Time to go," Al says to Teo, offering him a bloody-lipped grin like this has all been the most tremendous fun. Isabelle gets a little salute in farewell, but she seems well capable of taking care of herself.

Isabelle blinks then shakes her head, "This guy is persistent ain't he?" she asks out loud and then strides forward, her knife Artemis out and ready to be thrown if necessary. "You are clearly outnumbered. Cut you losses and leave, or you can be the next thing that I barbeque. Got it?" And her hand glows brightly with flames before she douses them again. Ok just a little bit more flame tonight. When Alex takes the wallet and smashes the guy into the wall she puts her knife away and nods her head. "Good work team." She says jokingly as she begins to walk away. Mission accomplished.

Predictably, Teo glares. Not tremendous fun. Insane. If it weren't for the groaning and twitching that the beleauguered lump of tremblor was making, he would think he was dead. Instead, grave injury is probably likely, the whole neighbourhood is retching noise, seismic, Alexander looks terrible, and Isabelle probably left the other guy same. Of course, the next moment, his glare collapses into hapless amusement; his automated reaction to violence whenever he forgets to paste on horror, or reproval peels off.

"You lunatic douchebag," he says, raising a gloved hand to slap the back of his friend's head. "Fine. Let's go. Ciao, bella," he calls back over his shoulder, casting the pyrokinetic a rough salute of one hand even as he picks up his feet.

"Yeh, lesh go," Al agrees, in an enthusiastic slur, as he drapes an arm over Teo's shoulder. "Alla way home. I wanna lie down," He's moved into the garrulous phrase of mild inebriation. The tremblor gets a little kick in passing, as Al moves off with his cock of the walk swagger firmly in place. Someone cue 'Singing in the Rain', please.

December 16th: Escape Route
December 16th: Mostly Harmless
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