A Fist In The Air


adam_icon.gif cat_icon.gif cardinal_icon.gif claire2_icon.gif doc_icon.gif helena_icon.gif knox_icon.gif kris_icon.gif leonard_icon.gif lola_icon.gif maeve_icon.gif magnes_icon.gif raith_icon.gif shard_icon.gif stef_icon.gif thalia_icon.gif white_icon.gif

Scene Title A Fist In The Air
Synopsis Similar sounding ideals conflict at a meeting of powers on Staten Island.
Date August 27, 2009

Inland Staten Island

The inland of Staten Island changes dependent on the path you choose, but for the most, it can be described as containing desolate, sprawling suburbia ripped apart from the sudden overpopulation of Bomb survivor refugees, and the subsequent evacuation that took place nearly immediately after. Streets and blocks of houses emptied of families and taken over by squatters; the libraries, the schools, the churches all left behind and taken over by whoever is brave enough to claim it.

The cluster of civilization is namely controlled by a still developing crime population, a neighborhood known as the Rookery. A large portion of the island is taken over by a somewhat wild, unkempt rural landscape known as the Greenbelt, and most of everything, be it structure or vegetation, seems to be in a stay of slow death and decay. Graffiti stains brick walls, glass windows are broken and boarded, and plant life slowly tries to make a feeble reclamation of the land.

This is New York's forgotten borough, and it looks it.

The seed of rebellion is one that takes very specific conditions to grow.

An unexpected chill hangs in the air tonight, a cold front having washed through New York City bringing with it the first record low temperature in months. When the sun had set, the temperature drops down to a chilly fifty degrees, and after the brief and heavy rains today, this contrasting temperature has brought two things — thunder and fog.

A certain political and social climate can make even the smallest seed of dissent grow.

It's an auspicious pairing of elements, with high and thin clouds flashing with the distant rumble of rainless thunder and the ground concealed by a clinging ground fog. In the looted corpse of Staten Island, this particular collection of atmospheric effects is even more unsettling when juxtaposed against the decaying concrete block and corrugated metal of the Slice of Heaven Meat Processing Plant. Hanging off of the southwestern coast of Staten Island like a cankerous sore, the dilapidated building has suffered muchsince Staten Island's evacuation.

But rebellion is a dangerous notion to plant, for once it begins to flourish it can sometimes grow out of control.

Outside of the processing plant, derelict cars stripped for parts fill an entire abandoned parking lot, with saltgrass growing up between fissures in the pavement. Rust has taken hold of the metallic roof of the large and boxy building, windows smashed out in Tetris-like patterns of the square-paned rectangular windows.

A rebellion can be something small; something easily squashed.

On the front of the building, over a pair of enromous loading bay doors is the billboard sign featuring a retro 50's style depicting of the "good housewife" with fading, peeling paint showing her holding up a plate of browned and peeling sausage links and sliced ham. One of her eyes has faded away entirely, revealing the rusted metal of the billboard behind it, and the caligraphed writing on the billboard doesn't quite spell out the name of the factory any longer.

Or it can be the fiery wave of destruction that reforges an entire nation in its wake.

But despite the cracked concrete framework and shattered windows, it is the inhabitants of this old building that give it whatever strange resemblance of charm it needs. Gathered around metal barrels burning with open flames, homeless vagrants of Staten Island's displaced residents have gathered like sheep to the shepherd that is Norman White. Some are cooking food on metal sheets over the open barrels, others are eating packaged food out of plastic ocntainers handed out in meals on wheels vans that have begun sprouting up around Staten Island's airport.

The difference between success and failure is a measure as narrow as a knife's edge.

An old man in a brown longcoat and a fedora stands by one of the barrels, speaking liudly to a gathering of some fifty people. "…and what has the government done for any of us? I'll tell/ you what they've done, they dragged me out of my home, away from my wife and daughter in the middle of the night and threw me into a prison where I wasn't allowed to make phone calls, wasn't allowed to see my family — all because I registered and was //honest about my ability!" He holds his hands up into the air, fingerless gloves showing grubby fingertips.

And one small push one way or another, can lead to any number of disasters.

"The government is afraid of my kind, they're afraid of us because we represent something they cannot control. Something they try to categorize, something they want to take away from us!" The crowd is filled with confused, uncertain and weak. Coming out of the meat processing plant, a young and dark-haired girl no older than her early twenties is carrying a heavy backpack, walking around the homeless and handing out granola bars, canned food, plastic-wrapped twinkies — scavenged foods.

Or, just perhaps, it can lead to something better…

"Staten Island — what about your home?" The man in the fedors holds his hands apart, gesturing around him. "Look at what you're seeing here, look at what we have to do. Our brothers and sisters, our own neighbors here are forced to scrounge for food because the government will not come and re-establish order. You've lost your jobs, your liveleyhood, and what do they offer you — lice infested asbestos trailers where riots break out, where children are raped, is that even a better alternative?"

Something brighter…

Now he's starting to preach to the proverbial choir, angry shouts of agreement rise up from the crowd as that young, waifish girl starts handing out the food. Another man behind her — older — in his mid 40s with a crooked pair of glasses held together with tape carries emergency blankets, while two young men behind him bring folded clothing that looks stolen right out of the shelves of a strip mall. "The government doesn't want to help us. Their solution — their solution is sending the military in, dropping bombs on its people. How many of you know someone who was killed in the bombings? How many of you know someone who died and could have been prevented if they stopped trying to imprison it's people and instead turned to us for help?"

…a new future.

There's another waifish, feminine form in the crowd, an oversized hoody hanging off bony shoulders, the neck wide enough to show off pale collarbones that stick like knives under translucent skin. A woolen skirt drapes down from narrow hips, her shins bare to the elements and feet clad in boots, an odd, hand-me-down ensemble of clothing that means that this woman fits right in amongst the crowd of Staten Island drifters. Her hay-straw hair is chopped around the nape of her neck, finger-combed and lank, framing her alien features where two blue-green eyes blink dully out from her pinched features.

She has a can of soup on her hands, minimally warmed from the fire and quickly cooling. A metal spoon, one likely owned by her rather than handed out, is used to dish out the lukewarm food, oversalted chunks of processed vegetable in a source that vaguely resembles tomato. She eats, slowly, licking each trace of soup from the spoon before squishing it back inside the mess within the tin cylinder.

Streaks of powder, fine like talcum, is smeared on her clothing. Not loose, just imbedded, and doesn't come down like ash when she moves. Maeve Buchanan stays away from the light of fire, walking in small, mousy footsteps. And she listens.

"Find Shard. Vincent King, the rapper," was the instructions given to the immortal ex-cheerleader as they approached this rally in the darkness, an attempt to rise , "He'll be around there somewhere. Big black guy, I'm sure you saw the video. Tell him you're with me, and that I'm here somewhere - give him whatever support he needs here tonight. I'll meet up with you at… some point."

The instructions were given, and then Richard Cardinal became one with the shadows and vanished into a night lit with the sullen lights of the disenfranchised. And now a shadow lingers in the rafters, the only patch of darkness not flickering in the light of guttering barrel-fires, a raven's hole in the light watching and listening.

Adam has been curious about this. He truly believe this is Norman's doing, and now he needs more information on the gentleman. He has between two fingers, a get out of jail free card that was meant to be Norman White's business card. He flicks the card a bit in contemplation as he steps through poor people. On his arm is Lola who has accompanied him for whatever reason. Along with that are four goons, one of which is Michael who stays near Adam and Lola. Apparently, he doesn't care too much for the woman's company. "I'd be careful." he says to Lola, "This is the man who caused the earthquakes."

I am Jack's smirking sense of wounded self-righteousness. Leo's a little bundle of angst, fury, and generalized hatred. It'd be nice if he could blame all of this on some other minority. Or the majority. But he can't. The ex-soldier is a face in the crowd around White, clad in faded fatigues, gray hoodie, worn combat boots, and a nearly illegible t-shirt from some forgotten band. "There's a word for it," he offers, syllables clipped off with machined precision, voice pitched to carry over the murmur of the crowd. "Genocide."

The flickering flames of the burning barrel dance over his dark features. The fire reflects off his eyes, waving back and forth, raging, consuming. Eyelid close slowly before opening up again, this time flicking to the speaker. Being jostled on all sides the man watches the elder quietly. The roars of approval and agreement flow over him and through his ears, yet he remains stoic, silent. His dark eyes swing over to the much smaller woman, just as stoic to his side.

Vincent King watches quietly over the yelling, his brown hood pulled over his forehead. Hands tucked into the pockets of his sweatshirt he is accompanied by a woman, standing close near him. The pair gaze on the elderly man giving his rant. So far, Shard is here only to watch.

"I thought you were supposed ta be takin' me out to dinner fer throwin' me off that buildin," Lola complains pointly to Adam. Her hair is down, and somewhat brushed - at least more so than usual. "Look, my jeans ain' even got no holes in 'em this time, so ya don' gotta go 'round bitchin' about it." She takes her arm back - never having been one for arm holding or hand holding in the first place, and folds her own arms over her chest, tilting her head to watch. "This is earthquake guy? He's gotten rather borin', hasn't he?"

Stoic in terms that she's not cheering. "This is going to cause a riot, not fix problems," Stef mutters quietly to the man standing next to her. She's got her arms crossed over her arms, a torn jacket that smells of cigarette smoke, and her dark hair pulled back into a ponytail. Smears of dirt across her face aren't nearly enough to hide the fact that she looks very similar to someone whose name she used to go by, up until Cardinal expressed his confusion.

A hand drifts down to her pocket to pull out a pack of cigarettes, which only has a couple sticks left. Knocking one out, she puts it up against her lips and begins rubbing down her pockets to find a lighter. She knows she has one around here somewhere— unless that fucker who bumped into her a few minutes ago stole it.

On Staten Island, Magnes has to worry a lot less about getting weird looks for certain choices of dress. He's wearing all black. A long-sleeved cotton shirt, some leather gloves, a pair of baggy black jeans, black sneakers, and most notably, some sort of black collar around his neck, and a completely black cotton-looking mask. The mask could be for anything, though one might guess he's just someone with some disfiguring mutation. And moving back to his waist, he has a holster on each side, clearly armed with two guns.

The black-clad figure doesn't seem to be doing much, just hanging around, watching as food is distributed, seeing things up close that he's just never quite taken in before. He notices Claire out of the corner of his eye, though who knows what he's looking at with the mask hiding his head, age, race, and who knows what else. Why is Claire here?

Dressed in her black hoodie, dark blue jeans and boots, Claire Bennet approaches the crowd. The hood pulled up over her bright blond hair, she scans the crowd looking for the man she was instructed to find. She slips quietly through the group, glancing up at faces as she passes.

At first she passes right by Shard, as her eyes pass right over him. When it registers, she turns and moves to stand near the larger man, who probably makes the already small woman look tiny.

It's unreasonable, even inconceivable to think that some event of this apparent magnitude would escape Jensen Raith's notice. It didn't, no surprise. But he's not here to show off or to make himself well-known to the crowd (unless, of course, he really needs to; he hopes he won't). He doesn't come brandishing weapons or shouting at the top of his lungs, or even dressed 'to kill.' Raith is dressed to blend in with the crowd, in raggedy old jeans, squeaky tennis shoes that aren't held together with much more than fraying duct tape, and an old, worn-out tweed jacket that seems like it has more half-sewn patches than wool left, made all the more appropriate by the dirt stuck underneath his nails and lightly smeared into his whiskers, looking like that last thing he used to trim them was a broken glass bottle, from the unevenness of the growth. Unlike some of the others, he decides to hang back, having a seat in a shadowed corner, away from the majority of the light. He's not hear to cause trouble, but to learn about what all this noise is.

And above all, to assess the situation and get a better sense of what's out there in the world, of who's out there in the world that he should keep an eye on. Inciting the masses to action is all good and well, so long as that action is intelligently directed. Consider this your Revolution Intelligence Quotient exam, Choir Preacher. Let's see if you break 100. Let's see if you make it to double digits.

Shard recognizes the old man in the fedora that's talking — certainly not Norman White; too short, too old, too thin — his name is Elijah Carpenter, or "Doc" as the people in Moab called him. A seventy-three year old man who's sole claim to fame in the prison was bitching about his sore feet and complaining about how Moab's head physician, Doctor Wright must have worked in a butcher shop in a past life.

Elijah's got the crowd's riled up, some of them climbing up on the derelict cars with hands raised into the air, others cheering the old man in the fedora. It's a gathering that grows by the minute as word of mouth continues to spread, with some two hundred more people arriving over the course of the this speech, more people have been filing in to the parking lot; children, displaced families, curious onlookers and armed thugs from local gangs, all looking to see what's being said. THere's lines of them, some people coming just to see where the crowd is going to, others opportunists planning to pick a few pockets amongst the onlookers.

"All we want, is justice. All we've ever deserved is what we had before the bomb: Freedom. The government isn't going to afford that to us, they're oging to keep finding new and inventive ways to put us down until one day, we're all rounded up into little camps and lined up against a wall and shot."

Now he's spreading the seed of fear. "When I was at their prison out in the desert — out in Utah — they injected me," he presses a finger to the side of his neck, "they injected me with a drug that robbed me of my ability. How long do you think it will be before they can spread that in the air? How long before theys top dropping bombs, and start dropping chemical weapons designed to kill us like an infestation of cockroaches?" Standing in the shadow of one of the bay doors, across the parking lot from where the speech is being delivered, Norman White watches with arms folded. His grubby, teal bathrobe tattered and frayed over a gray jumpsuit and slippers — standard issue Moab Federal Penitentiary clothing. There even a faded designation of his number and name, partially hidden behind his bathrobe.

"The founding fathers of the United States fought against a corruption just like this," the man in the fedora states, "the very foundation of this nation of ours was a fight against persecution — against a battle of races, religions, ideals, and philosophies!" Clapping his hands together, the old man starts walking thorugh the crowd, watching while more food is handed out. Some people are being checked out by one of the young men, who is bandaging cuts on hands, offering out scavenged pill bottles of antibiotics, asprins, whatever the people need to get by. "We can't try and reason with the current administration, we can't try and be reasonable. The time, the window for reason ended when they started rounding up our kind and throwing them in prisons, while letting average citizens suffer. They spent billions of dollars building that prison and countless more hunting us down, while you are forced to live in squalor."

It's a hard thing to argue against, for Cardinal, right now. All things considered, he agrees with nearly every word spoken by the man in the fedora… and if he didn't know how this was destined to end, if he didn't have foreknowledge, he might be standing in a different place right now.

He may yet change his mind. It's been a bad few days. And he doesn't have much sympathy for the unevolved right now.

The shadow lurks, for now, a bird that isn't there watching with sight that has nothing but eyes. Familiar faces are showing up. The show's about to start.

Maeve is silent still, her wandering pace taking her close enough to listen to the old man. Like many, who spent time in Moab Penitentiary, there is a spark of recognition for the fellow faces who wandered, negated, on either side of the wire fencing that separates the boys and the girls. Clutching her soup can, there is an alertness to her that reflects in the faces of many others. Avid, zealous, scared interest, grudging agreement; the growing seed of fear.

Adam listens to the sermon. It should be noted, he stands out. He rarely cares about blending in. In other words, he looks nice. He tilts his head a moment and mentions to either Michael or Lola, "The man has a point." he taps a foot a moment, "Well, Mr. White may not need to be for sale, but it appears he may be useful." he's quiet. "We'll just have to make sure the scooby gang doesn't get all self-righteous." after that, he glances towards Lola, "I wasn't taking you out to dinner for throwing you off the roof, it was for the kiss. Recall?"

He doesn't dare out himself, as who he was. But Leo's angled his way through the crowd to Maeve's side, like a mastiff guarding a stray cat. He's either looming at her or those who would crowd her, even going so far as to put an arm out. He doesn't greet her directly.

Giving a sound grunt to Stef's comment, Shard slowly removes one hand from his sweatshirt pocket. "Y'got those gloves I gave you sweetheart?" He's getting anxious. His hand pauses, outstretched towards Stef, waiting. His eyes however remain ever active, following the good Doc his eyes hesitate on the waif of a woman. Recognition sparks briefly before moving on, and then… there.

"That's him." Shard murmurs ever so softly to Stef. "White." His chin gives a subtle indication through the crowd over to the large gates, where Norman watches from afar. Shard's gaze cools over, hardening as he watches the much larger man. He glances back over to Stef.

Lola is only half-paying attention to Adam as she 'accidently' bumps into a man beside her. "Sorry sugar," she drawls, withdrawing a wallet from his back pocket with ease - the kind of lift only another professional thief might catch. She moves back beside Adam and goes through the wallet while she listens. "He sounds whiney. I mean, what's wrong with living here? Notice he don' ever say what he wants. He just says what's bad. Makes him a whiner in my book. Now if he stood up and said lets take over New York so that we can set up a system of courts that'll make all the touched innocent and all the non-touched guilty - well he'd be nuts, but at least 'ed have a goal. Right now it's just bitch bitch bitch. Man, who carries Discover anymore? That's…lame."

It does kind of suck that Stef agrees with most of what's been said from where she stands beside Shard. Even if she doesn't agree with the method this is being done. There's a deep inhale of air during some of those words. Some of the ideas presented promote fear— and she's benifitting from it. A smile begins to appear on her face, dimples showing up as she looks up and casts a glance to find White. "I gotcha," she says around the dangling cigarette. A lot of people in the crowd, but a girl in a black hoodie passing by and double taking gets a longer look. She notices this as her hand finally finds her lighter.

"Looks like you have an admirier," she quips huskily as she hands over the glove.

Helena is being very, very careful. She's got sunglasses on, but added her gym locker grey hoodie for good measure with the hood up and blonde hair half obscuring her face. She hasn't even mucked with the weather, save for her own personal space, and even then, it's just a touch of warmth. She moves through the crowd, eyes lifted to the stage, quietly and resolutely slipping her way forward. She scans the crowd for familiar faces as well - people she saw on either side of the fence in Moab.

Watching Claire, Shard, and… Gillian? Magnes finds himself torn inbetween the crazy dictator-sounding man talking, and wondering just what the hell is going over there. As more people arrive, he starts to feel an air of uneasiness, as if this were a riot bubble just waiting to pop, and if that's the case…

He walks a bit closer to the trio, who knows when he'll have to grab and fly off with people.

A hand slips form the pocket of her hoodie to tug on Shard's clothing to get his attention, even as she watch the old man preach about the evil government, what he said actually speaks to Claire a bit. Of course, her biological father is just as much a part of that corrupt government. That gives her a twist of guilt, but listening isn't exactly her mission. When Shard looks at her, she motions him to lean down, course if he doesn't she'll go up on tip toes so that she can deliver her message, her eyes drifting over to Stef as well, giving her a nod.

Her voice is just a soft whisper, "Hey." is offered in greeting, before she continues to Shard, "My name is Claire. Richard sent me." She gives him a small smile, "He's somewhere here. Said I was to give you any support you needed tonight." Of course, coming from a small petite, blond girl who looks like she should be hanging out in malls and gossiping about boys…. it probably sounds odd, course Claire doesn't really notice. "He'll meet up later." She murmurs before looking back to the preaching man.

The party's off to a good start so far, by Raith's accounting. He's seen this kind of thing before. Whip the crowd into a frenzy, give them something to focus on and let go of the leashes. Usually, of course, this kind of stuff is only seen in the movies, and it's right before Big Brother shows up and wrecks everything. Apparently, life does imitate art.

One ringleader, so far. That makes things easier if this thing picks up any steam and gets out of hand. And they always do. When they down-trodden shout and cheer, Raith only echoes them as much as is necessary. Making a lot of noise will get him noticed for sure, but not making enough will do exactly the same, and being 'just another homeless guy' is the key here. He'd rather not stir up the nest and have to shoot his way out; that would be A Bad Thing.

Looking out across the sea of people, Doc is unable to see Norman thorugh the crowd. "We have to do what our forefathers did. We have to fight. Even if we die fighting, then we have to make the victory for the government as undesirable as possible. We have to show them that we will not be pushed around, we will not be hereded, categorized, bar-coded and executed like animals. We must raise the flag of rebellion and, "he slams a fist into an open palm, "if need be crush the entire government so that it can be restarted. We cannot abide by the corruption present, and no amount of words no amount of politics are ever going to change that."

The crowd cheers, applause thundering though most of them, while some seem outright terrified by what is being said, some uncertain and others merely here to get the necessary supplies they can. "All we want is to live in peace, and there is no way we will be able to until we bright about a change — and a change by force." Dissenting voices in the crowd finally begin to speak up, the mob demands.

"What can we even do? They have the whole army — they've got bombs, and planes and soldiers? What're we supposed to do against that? I don't want to die!" This is when Norman White makes his move, when he starts to stride across the crowd, and then rise up above them. The ground buckles and warps, moving like a fluid more so than a solid, allowing Norman to very slowly glide his way thorugh the crowd atop an undulating wave of stone, arms folded.

"That's your problem," Norman's voice booms across the parking lot, and that dark haired girl in the crowd dispensing food looks up with him with a fond smile. "You're thinking like the world hasn't changed. You're thinking like them." One large hand rakes back a tangle of blonde hair from his head. "They may have armies — they may have soldiers — but what are we, if not armies in and of ourselves. One man, one dispicable man, turned Midtown Manhattan into a crater, one man did all of that by himself." Norman's brows furrow, hands held up in a there you have it gesture.

"You wonder why they're afraid of us? Why they struck first when they realized just how powerful our kind are? It's because we can overthrow them, we can fight their corruption and their lies and their prisons. Our own brothers and sisters destroyed the prison we were in, they came to our aid, they fought against the system and they crippled it." Norman's head tilts back slowly. "It's time we joined together. It's time we put aside differences of genetics and faith and race and put our hands together and raised them into the air!" He throws a fist into the air, shouting out a loud scream; it's awkward, the crowd doesn't know what to make of it.

"We won't be put into camps!" Suddenly that brunette shouts out those words, throwing her fist into the air, "We won't be afraid!" Her dist comes up again, followed by a few rousing voices joined with hers, a fist pumped up into the air. The old man in the fedora and trenchcoat nods his head, even if his expression is painted with worry and uncertainty.


The bird's shadow spills down the wall in a flicker of motion, from coherence to a line of black that bleeds to the floor before nearly anyone can notice, and stirs between the feet of the gathered, over the rippling and shaking earth to the feet of the old man in the fedora. And then Cardinal slips beneath it, flowing up his back until the shadowmorph's nothing but a soft voice whispering behind his head. "You did a lovely job warming up the crowd. But do you really think this'll end in anything but the death of all these people?"

Sensing approach, Maeve lets her attention dart towards Leonard, though for him, there's no recognition. A new face, a luxury many fugitives probably would have given a hand for, means he has both protection from the government and his former inmates. Her runs the tip of her finger over one cracked and dry bottom lip, contemplatively shy, in some ways, before her gaze snaps back to the attention around the time Norman makes the ground rise up beneath him. There's a clatter and splash of soup as Maeve drops the can she was holding in some gesture of startlement, shying back and still holding onto the metal spoon, dripping with food still.

She dips it into her mouth, cleans it off with a slurp, before she allows her own voice to crack like a whip through the air;

"They stole my daughter!"

As needling as her voice is, she gains the attention of few - those in her area. Another uncertain glance to Leonard, and those around her, as she runs her hand down the side of her sweater, a smear of fresh white powder and traces of soup spread out over the wool. "They took my baby girl from me and locked me away!" Her voice tremors, and she shudders, once, voice quieter as she adds; "Like like they do with. With animals."

Adam hmms a bit and pats Lola's hand gently, "He was just warming up the crowd, Lola." he says. "There you have it." with the revolution speech of Norman, "That's their plan, rise up and fight the government." he tilts his head a moment, "I suppose it's an interesting theory. The scoobs won't be for it and they'll hem and haw." he shakes his head, "He has no chance of success. But I can use this." he pats Lola's hand again, "So…we should probably take a few steps back. These rallies don't happen without some violence."

The gloves are handed over from Stef to Shard. Sticking one glove in his sweatshirt pocket, the other is tugged down on his left hand. "Thanks." He murmurs to Stef before… Turning around rapidly, Vincent's attention swings down to the girl tugtugging at his side. Staring down at her with eyes slightly widened, he manages keeping quiet while she says her piece. Though Shard certainly does have to wonder about how much help the little blonde teenager could actually be. He gives only a nod before bobbing his chin over to Stef. "Stay close."

In honor of MJ, Shard keeps one hand ungloved, and it goes into his pocket. He can't help but grin despite himself. His two guards are shorter, undeniably cute young women. "Be careful." Vincent mutters as he starts his march towards a derelict truck. The fear in him peaks, before his gloved hand is grabbing onto the top of the cab, and King is hauling himself up. His bare hand then comes out, rising over his head.

A loud crackle is let out, as blueish white tongues of electricity whips up from Shard's hand before dissolving back down.

"Thank you, Malcolm." His eyes pointedly search out Doc, then Norman. "But don't you people remember, we've already been through this! And who won out last time? The militant?" The loudly voiced question is spoken accusingly of White. "Or the man who sought the non-violent answer. Doctor Martin Luther King, won a great victory. This is not a rebellion any of us want to be a part of! We have one trait that separates us from the rest. But we are still the same. Who here can say they have no family members or loved ones that aren't non-evolved? None of us! This is a fight that can only hurt us. Not help us."

The man flips back his hood, revealing himself to be Vincent King to all. "Violence, no, war, is the easy way out. The beasts way out. Do you people not think? Or are you gonna let the man in the bathrobe do that for you?! There are other options that take actual courage, to pursue. If any of you follow this man."

Electricity flows between each finger, his hand dangling at his side. At the ready. "I call you chicken." And thus, White has been pimpslapped with the proverbial pimpgauntlet.

It seems no other thief in the area caught Lola's lift. She takes her hnad back from Adam again. "Why do ya keep touchin' me?" She demands, flipping through the wallet and taking some cash before throwing it aside in the crowd. "Yeah but still. Whoo, fight the government? Then what? Then ya got no government, hows that good for anybody? I ain' got no love for cops but they do serve a purpose. They keep the week competition in jail." She smirks - a smirk that falls as the ground begins to rumble and she scrambles back a bit, and the electricity too. "Hey, I remember that fellah!"

No matter what the woman said about not being afraid, there are scared people in the crowd. Such words, such displays, cause fear as well as awe. Not all, but definitely enough that Stef knows it. She smells it with each breath even as she lights her cigarette and moves up beside the man, casting a glance at Claire.

Unlike the woman who she shares a face with, she doesn't recognize Claire very well right now, especially in the hoodie, but she puffs out some smoke, inhales it, and follows along, cigarette held in mouth with her lips so her arms and hands are free. She even cracks her knuckles. Holes in the jacket reveal tattoos that are unmarred, if faded, the ponytail shows off the one on her neck.

As the gauntlet gets thrown down, she's smiling, reaching up to tap ash off the cigarette and breathe in deeply, testing the air for fear, and specifically who it's coming from. Though she shares a face with one Gillian Childs, one wouldn't quite picture her standing just behind the ex-rapper and escaped convict in the stance of a bodyguard. Of all things!

Man, is it hard to not buy what Norman is selling when the adrenaline rush gets going. These are the sort of speeches Helena wants to make, in a crowd, in front of people, and not hidden in some back room of an apartment with a sheet behind her and a camera in front of her. And yet, at the same time, there's something here, a nudge in her psyche, a clench in her stomach - she knows that this can also go very, very wrong. When Maeve cries out, Helena dredges up a memory, and beyond the woman, spots Leonard. Her intended destination shifts, not toward Maeve, but more toward Leonard, in a roundabout sort of way. Granted, he's probably going to yell at her for moving through this crowd without him when the odds are somewhat high that someone might be lurking amongst the throng who'd be happy to take this opportunity to shank her.

She's three quarters of the way there when Shard makes his appearance. It stops Helena cold, there in the crowd, somewhere between holy shit I can't believe that's Shard and Hell yeah, that's Shard! in her expression. Is this the same man who didn't believe her when she told him who she was and what she did? It's almost an Alanis song. Dontcha think? She moves up next to Leo, somewhat heedless of whether Maeve sees her face and remarks wryly, "Do you believe that's actually Shard? This is like a class reunion, only the school uniform was an orange jumpsuit." Suddenly a few folks over by that very man are catching her eye - a tiny tiny blonde and a somewhat taller brunette.

She's milling around near the back of the crowd, not calling attention to herself. Just observing people in the crowd and Norman White himself. And not being in the way when his wave of stone undulates. Cat's thoughts on how the man got out of prison go unexpressed; on how the reason he's free is the government chose to shred due process and just disappear people. If they'd stuck to the Constitution and plain fucking common sense, this nutjob would be on suppressant and in a mental hospital still. And now this loon wants to sink Staten Island, make beaches on 34th Street. Like that'll do anything more than earn Humanis First a hundred million more followers bent on exterminating anyone they think has an extrahuman ability. The bill of her Yankees cap is pulled down a bit more, the mirrorshades she wears hide her eyes. Eyes which settle on Shard as he makes his challenge to Norman White and crackles with current. And Gil… what? No, that can't be Gillian guarding the rapper.

Magnes is keeping a close pace with Stef, Claire and Shard, but when that blue electricity pops up, something in the back of his mind causes him to jump back. Surely he doesn't have some psycho ex-girlfriend he forgot who does something similar. Only a good fifteen feet away from the three, he still stands there, continuing to watch, a faceless figure that has not yet found a reason to draw his weapons. Looking at the big picture, there's no result other than failure for this man. If he took America, there's a whole number of other countries that'd crush him, the war is so much bigger than that man…

But something is gonna go down, 'between the Electric Rapper and The Robed Avenger, something.

Eyes widen a bit as White starts through the crowd the ground rising beneath him, her head has to tilt back a touch to see the man as he shouts at the crowd. The mention of Midtown make Claire tilt her head down as that familiar shame fills her and she swallows nervously. But the woman's shout about her daughter, pulls her attention from the terrakenetic. The action of turning her head, making her hood slide off, blond curls falling over her shoulders. There is a mild frown on her features.

Then Shard is moving, and the small ex-cheerleader follows after him, she might not look the part but she's determined. Flanking, Shard's other side she really doesn't care if she's visible. Shards display does get a look of awe, since Claire does often get power envy.. all she does is heal dammit. "Whoa.." is murmured softly. As the guy starts talking smack to White, she pushing blond hair out of her face and eyes the crowd watching, a small smile on her lips. She catches sight of familiar face, but doesn't linger too long. She's waiting for something to go wrong, ready.

The wind gets just a tad bit stronger for a second, blowing hard against people's clothes, But not nearly strong enough to knock people over. Leaning against one of the cars is Thalia.

The young women ran from the hospital again, shocking the doctors didn't make the connection that she was the same woman that came before there and split. Nevertheless, thanks to Deckard's healing of her major injuries, and the work of the doctors. The mechanic has a quite a few bruises and some scratches, nothing that time will not heal.

The pain and the experience at the courthouse with Humanis First, seems to have had an effect on how well Thalia can control her ability. The woman is dressed in a pair of dark jeans and a black long sleeve shirt, over that is her favorite black leather jacket with a hood, the hood currently over her head, covering her face somewhat, along with the help of her hair.

Her black combat boots tap against the rim of the car. This is a gold mine for a mechanic like her, all the parts. She'll come back later to salvage, that's if the world hasn't ended. She raises an eyebrow at Norman White. This crazy wants to take on the government. "What about FRONTLINE." She mutters to herself and looks up towards the sky briefly. Her eyes that are now hidden are flickering from their usual baby blue to the sliver that it changes too when she is using her ability. Since her ability seems to be turning on whenever it chooses lately.

She notes the strike of Shard and the show of Norman's ability with a slight widened eyes. "Wow, packing some heat those two." She says, the car she is leaning on happens to be close to Claire. She looks over at the ex-cheerleader but doesn't say anything. She is just looking around the crowd.

Her body shivers every now and then, resulting in a freaky gust of wind being blown.

Everything that happens, everything that's said, Raith observes, notes and remembers for later. Mr. Earthquake gets a red card, Mr. Lightning a gold star, but everyone gets detention. As he sometimes does, Raith longs for the 'good old days,' back when people actually knew how to start a revolution. Back when revolutions actually had meaning. These days, anyone with jailbroken cell phone calls themselves a revolutionary. There's nothing revolutionary about any of this. But he's not here to judge the quality of a revolution. He's here to observe and rate. And try as the Doc might, as Mr. Earthquake might, they don't have 100 Revolution IQ points between them.

But they did make it into the double digits, and that's reason enough to keep an eye on them from now on. As they say, it's all downhill from here.

Norman throws his fist into the air again, "Fight!" He bellows as the pillar of earth he stands on pushes him up higher so the rest of the crowd can see him, "We fight and we win!" His voice echoes across the parking lot, joined by an echoing chorus of fight, fight, fight, fight! "We fight and we die, or we fight and we win. Either we're willing to be crushed under their heels and live as their dogs, or we show this government we won't back down, we won't be afraid, and that together — together — we can do anything! We can fight, and we can win!" Norman's hands both come up into the air, fists pumping up from the crowd around him, a chrorus of fight, fight, fight

Then Vincent King changes the paradigm.

White stops on his pillar of rock, turning his focus down to the man as he is revealed, electricity jumping between his hands. There's an immediate look of disapproval, but for once White manages to keep it together. Nearby, Doc sidles thorugh the crowd, quickly finding the thin young woman who is handing out food. "Risa," he grabs her by the forearm, "come on, I think it's time we get out of the way before we have a front row seat for Clash of the Titans." Risa looks up, dark eyes wide as she focuses on Doc's face beneath the fedora, then up to Norman as her eyes follow the movement of his rock pillar thorugh the crowd towards Shard.

"This is how you want to handle it, Vince?" White looks around at the mob, then down to Shard. "We're having a rally here, Vince. You may not buy into our idea of freedom, but you know— you want to bloody this? You want to start a fight where children are? You want to fight where people are getting food, and clothing?" Both of the Nordic looking man's brows raise. "We came here to talk, and you— what— " he looks around, "came her to start shit?"

Steps form on the front of the rock pillar like a suddenly emerging escalator, and Norman begins to walk down the sculpted stone, one look going towards Claire, another towards Stef. "Vincent. The civil rights revolution wasn't like this— you can't even draw a line between the two. You were in Moab just like me." His brows furrow, "Do you actually think talking is going to solve anything? This isn't the sixties, Shard."

"We want to take back Staten Island! We take it back from the criminals, from the scum, from the government sympathizers and we turn it into a new land. We turn this island into our home into our bastion and we show the government what we can do! We make this a place for hope, not for fear!" Norman's eyes grow wide. "We find those cowards in Humanis First, and we hang them up by their necks, we make them the examples! We show anyone, everyone! We show them that we will fight!" White's eyes settle squarely on Shard, "It isn't too late to team up, Vince. We could change the whole damn world together, me'n you."

Fight, Fight, Fight, Fight!

Then, from the inside of the crowd another voice rises up, a voice familiar to several people gathered in the crowd; "Strong and Free!" A dark fist rises into the air, brows lowered and face contorted into a scowl. "Strong and Free!" It's Knox. It seems you can take the man out of PARIAH, but you cannot take PARIAH out of the man after all. He weaves thorugh the crowd, throwing his fist into the air again. "Strong and Free!" He won't say the latin useage of it — that was sullied by the Vanguard, but the ideal, the memory of PARIAH is still so stong in Knox.

White's mouth spread in a yellowed smile as he hears Knox's voice. His arms spread out, gaze sweeping over the crowd towards Knox. "There you are. I was wondering where you ran off to, Ben." He's on White's side. Knox makes his way over towards where White stands, one brow raised as he watches the pillar of concrete, pavement and natural soil begin to gradually and slowly crumble now that White isn't focusing on it.

His dark eyes sweep over to Shard, then down to the electricity, then back up again. "Shard," Knox's brows furrow slightly, "Man, ease up bro. Norm's got a good idea, I ain't gonna' be all talky like he was, but dude— look around you." Knox motions to the wide-eyed and scared masses of Staten Island that are being clothed and fed. "Ain't this what you wanted to do anyway? How else're we gonna' get things workin' again? How else're we gonna' clean this place up. White wants to kick the Triad outta' here, kick the Government an' all their registry bullshit outta' here. How can you even think words're gonna' make a difference? We gotta' rebuild man, Petrelli's an infection. We gotta' take him and his whole corrupt shit-hole down."

There's a lot of posturing going on, and despite Maeve's contributing cry, she is silent as the rumble of fight, fight, fight echoes through the space, hands going up to her ears as if cupping out the sound as she fixes her eyes ahead on the two men. Her thin lips curl back. A walk on part in a war, to coin a phrase, isn't so good for personal endeavors, and she shoves her spoon back into the pockets of her woolen skirt.

She starts to walk away, a brisk step, although it almost takes her into direct contact with Helena, shoulder colliding with the young woman's. Maeve's frame is a little frailer, so it's her that's spun, hand going out. There's an immediate haze of dust in the air, glittery white, that stings the atmokinetic's nostrils, but doesn't do much more than that.

"I know you from someplace," Maeve says, after a moment of staring at the woman's partially concealed features. The older of the two smoothes her own hair back, streaks of powder falling, clinging to hay-straw strands, before she starts to resume her shuffle away, leaving the half-finished can of soup on the ground.

Adam smirks a little at Lola, "What, you only like touching when there's thievery involved?" but then as his advice about the violence starts to come to fruition, so many faces in the crowd start popping out at him. "Oh, this gets curiouser and curiouser." he pauses and says to Lola without looking at her, "Hey…perhaps you should get going. This is going to get dangerous, perhaps. And not in the fun way." he pauses a moment, "Oh so wrong." he listens to Shard's counter cries and White's exasperation and frowns. The pieces aren't moving quite right. Hopefully this can work itself out.

"That is most definitely Shard," Leo affirms, quietly "And I saw that woman at Moab, too. It is old home week," His tone is flat, and he reflexively takes up that bodyguard position with Helena, flanking her. He's packing heat, of course, but that's the least of his armaments. And then there's Knox, and the dark haired telekine's lip curls in a sneer. "Jesus. He never does give up."

Knox. Shard's lips turn down in disappointment, in shock, and if a frown could belay betrayal, his would. "Little brother." He mostly whispers to himself, watching Knox quietly. For a long moment Vincent watches, drawing inward for a moment. White has the upper ground, quite literally.

"I didn't come here to fight, Norman. I came to share your use of free speech. Those rights you're so fond of. You're the one who can't show his face in public without killing fifty people." Shard looks down at Stef and Claire. "You two might want to clear out…" It's a quiet suggestion. He knows Norman's tendencies.

"Any of you know anyone at the fight club? Died in the earthquake? It was him." One single finger points out at Norman. "How can you preach about getting rid of the scum? You kill without thought, without abandon. You want a purge? Do I need to bring up more historical figures?" His cold gaze locks onto Norman White. "Because right now you're reminding me of a certain angry little white man."

"Don't be the ones that down the road are despised by their grandchildren. They will be ashamed of you. Instead, go the other way. You don't have to follow me, I don't want an army. I just know there is a way to heal this place without killing. I'm not saying it's going to be easy! In fact it's going to be much harder than swinging your abilities around. It's going to take conviction, willpower, and faith. But if you want blood, please…"

The hand engulfed in electricity gestures out to Norman. "By all means, follow the escaped mental patient."

Lola gives Adam a little salute. "You can just bring some really expensive take out to my place and drop it off at the door. Or get a lot of really cheap take out. Either way." She turns and wanders off, but she is listening. At least the guy everyone keeps oohing and aahing over makes sense. The other guy just sounds like a loony. And he's in a bath robe. "Crazy yanks listenin' to drunk old homeless 'nam Vets….man's in a bathrobe, fer goodess sake….yer Jesus wore a robe an now every John inna robe's gotta be sane…"

There's a sudden click of Stef's tongue and she drops the cigarette down and stomps it out at the sight of another black man, one that she knew a lot better than she knew the one she stands beside. Teeth grit together, lips peel back a bit. He'd helped train her in Midtown. It's because of him that she'd gotten any kind of grasp on creating clones which could use specific abilities— him and Rickham helped her learn to quickly swap abilities.

"I ain't going anywhere," she says to the man next to her, before she faces Knox specifically. "These people out here are fucking scared, Knox. I know you smell it too. They'll listen to anyone, do anything. You think this food, these clothes won't come with a price? Scared and hungry and I know you fucking smell it too. You don't think that this isn't another form of fucking slavery? Of being used? All this shit'll come with a price."

The tension in the air, the ambient fear, has brought out a side of her that seems… rather fearless.

When the wind blows, it startles Helena into noticing. Unexpected gusts of wind effect weather patterns, disturbances in weather patterns are things she innately senses, especially when they're unnatural. She starts to look around the crowd. Another atmokinetic…? Being jostled by Maeve startles her, but she is soon distracted by the altercation beginning to pump up people's blood once more. Helena turns a frantic, and then resolved. she nods to Leo slowly, and then turns, darting and pushing her way through the crowd until she is in the very first row. She expects Leo to follow her, and he knows what he needs to do. Once she gets close enough, she pulls back her hood and calls out very loudly - even if it's only those on stage who try to hear her, "NO."


At least this time, the thunderclap is high in the sky. It's meant to startle, not defean, though if there are any cars that aren't gutted nearby, their alarms might go up. The point is to get people's attention.

If Helena has any viability or face recognition at all, now is when she's cashing her check. Publically declared leader of Phoenix, former Moab prisoner - possibly the youngest of all the prisoners kept in that Federal Hellhole. Unless she's barred, she'll head for the spot where people are focusing on as an impromptu staging point to move up next to Shard. If she's barred, she'll still speak.

"The only thing that pursuing a violent agenda toward law enforcement and Humanis First will accomplish is creating martyrs! Kill a cop, and you've murdered someone who vowed to protect and serve! Everyone will turn against us! Kill a member of Humanis First, and they will not only attract further members to their cause, but anyone they're holding as hostages - Evolved like you and me will suffer the consequences! And their attacks will increase! We need to show ourselves as being part of a greater community, not showing ourselves as the source of its destruction! Defending yourself is one thing, but the minute you start going offensive we will all lose any headway we hope to have! Hanging people in the trees does not make you soldiers fighting for a cause! It makes you butchers! We have to RISE UP from what's been destroyed, not bring forth greater damage!"

She doesn't participate in the conversations between Mr. White, Mr. King, and Mr. Washington. Cat continues to avoid calling attention to herself as she scans faces and compares them against memories to see how many she can place as having been at Moab, occasionally turning eyes to the arguing speakers to track them. Knox's words draw a touch of disappointment to mind. She'll have to speak with him sometime, show the man what she has on Norman Earthmover and the earthquakes which have followed him across the country. He's a bit to the hothead side, but she hasn't yet found him to be unreasonable. He just needs to be clued in. As an afterthought regarding Fort Knox, she recalls he was supposed to find her and share info on Refrain.

Her eyes seek out and lock on Helena when the thunderclap is heard. That's a familiar thing, her thoughts confirmed by the voice which follows. It causes her face to display a ghost of a smile.

There's Helena, with Claire and Gillian, Electric Rapper (Static?), and, well, they need support. Magnes doesn't say a word, he simply goes to stand about five feet away from Helena, facing White as his fists flinch. His only display of power and support are the sudden cracks in the ground around him, one long (But not very wide) crack noticably going to the edge of White's platform, then stops.

It's the motherfuckin' X-Men!

As White looks in Claire's direction her chin lifts slightly in defiance, her blond hair shifting in the breeze that brushes past her. As he she shifts her feet apart a bit as if waiting for all hell to break loose. When the familiar voice and phase drifts across the crowd, Claire searches for the face. "Knox." She murmurs softly to herself. It's been awhile since she's seen him.

Claire's jaw clenches a bit as he moves closer, she actually feels a bit torn. Has she changed that much since the years in PARIAH, when White's ideas doesn't seem as appealing. There was a time it did. "How long did we try to fix things, Knox? Doing things our way in PARIAH?" Her words are firm and with a slight tone of disgust. "And what happened?" She brows lift a bit as she gives him a matter of fact look, jaw clenched. "We didn't do a damn thing to change anything and we got destroyed in the end…. Scattered and locked up. Maybe the tactics need to change. Maybe we need to do something different. This.. Us and Them attitude I'm hearing from him? Some of what he says… It's scares me."

Shard's advice to get out is answered with a small shake of her head. "I'll be fine." She says quietly, still eyeing Knox with slight disapproval. "Trust me. I'm not helpless." Of course the clap of thunder makes her jump and she glances Helena's way. She gives a small nod at her friends words.

Attention for Thalia, received. But that might not be such a good thing. Her eyes snap up towards the sky and she throws her hands at her sides, momentarily scared. The wind swirls around her and the people in her immediate area, but she grips her hands tight so that she can try to control her ability before it gets out of hand.

The wind is calmed for a moment at least as Thalia does her best to hold herself in check. Her eyes water but she shakes her head. She stands up from the car and walks into the crowd deeper, coming on just before the crowd breaks, where the three men and Helena stand. She stands more out than the others. First row seat, she has.

Her body is wrecked with pain, and she grabs her stomach. But still she looks up towards the speakers. Her eyes flickering more towards sliver as time goes on.

Thal looks towards Claire and she tilts her head. Her body is breaking out into a sweat now. She grits her teeth. The wind blows softly against her, soothing. But the wind is not soothing for everyone else. The hard gusts throwing up papers and trash around the area.

Anyone who bothers to look in Raith's direction will see an empty space bearing no physical evidence that anyone was ever during this laser light(ning) show. Helena Dean showed up, and between her and everyone else, thunder and lightning and earthquakes, Raith decided that the most appropriate response was, simply, 'fuck this noise. Ladies and gentlemen, the King of Swords has left the building.'

Without any announcement, fanfare or anyone particular noticing with their attention focused on the gods before them, Raith slipped away from the scene like a silent shadow, filing away faces and names for later use. Take care and beware, boys and girls: Jensen Raith is adding you to the Naughty List.

There she is.

White glances over towards the direction of Doc, nodding his head sharply as three other young men who were waiting in the crowd start making their way through, one of them shimmering away in a chameleon ripple of invisibility as he does. Norman turns away from Helena, looking over to Shard again. "You know, you got a lott'a balls callin' me out on things, Shard. You don't know me, don't know what I did to wind up in there — I didn't deserve none'a what the world's given me. All I wanna do is make abetter place."

The Doc, guarding Risa with a hand inside his coat, fingers wound around an old revolver glances down to his feet at the voice of the shadow. "You wanna stop preachin' to the choir, and see if you can get some of the kids away from Norman before he pops a blood vessel?" The tone of voice Doc uses is a reluctant one, glancing over to Risa before looking back to the source of the voice. "If you're so worried, try stopping then from ripping each other's heads off. I've — " he glances up to Helena, " — got something to do." Still grabbing at Risa's arm tightly, Doc leans in and strains out words through his teeth to her. "Get inside and find Dereck, and keep your head down." Wide-eyed and anxious, Risa nods her head sharply, pill-bottle rattling in her hand as she slides away from Doc and through the crowd towards the meat processing plant.

Doc keeps moving towards where Helena's gotten herself, but Doc keeps his distance, uses the crowd as a shield and stays several rows of people back from her — he just needs an opportunity. Nodding to one of the people who moved through the crowd when White nodded, Doc is met by a young brunette girl as he nears the pair. "Alright, just stay still, okay? It'll only tingle for a moment…"

Behind Doc and the girl, a young man is following them close behind, his tight-fitting Kinks t-shirt marred with a few rips and tears, skinny jeans clinging to his birdlike frame and the fauxhawk — really — it looks silly. But what Kris lacks in fashion sense, he more than makes up for in competence as the twenty-something punk follows close on Doc and the girl's heels.

In the crowd, Knox turns and looks towards Claire, features softening in a very I'm so sorry sort've way as he snubs her, looking over to Gillian with furrowed brows. "Sorry it ain't gonna work out, Shard…" he looks back to Claire, brow tensing, "We all got our own problems." Turning to look over his shoulder at Helena, Knox's attention on Helena is longer put, but there's something in his eyes that shows strange when he watches her speak — not fascination, but concern. He turns his focus back to White, just in time to see the blonde man lay a hand on his shoulder and motion towards Shard.

"Talk all you want, Vince. Talk all you want, the crowd's listening— " one finger points out towards Shard, though, "but don't just talk, Vince. Do you have an alternative to rolling over and letting the government round us all up again? You gonna' talk when the men in black ski masks come to tie you up and inject you in the neck again? Or is killing them okay because they're the bad guys?"

White turns to look over at Helena. "Isn't that right? I have you to thank for busting us out of Moab, right? You and some crazy Russian MiG pilot?" White's brows rise up slowly, head tilting to the side, "Was killing all of those Homeland Security agents different from killing corrupt cops? Did it not matter that they had families, had children, because they were inconveniencing you?" He starts to turn and walk towards where Helena's speaking, palms up in the air, as it if made a difference.

"Is it right that you blew up an entire facility? I don't know, maybe I should ask Doctor Wright, the prison physician how— Oh that's right he's dead because your crazy blonde friend stabbed him in the neck with a piece of glass." Wiggling his fingers as if it's magic, Norman snorts out a scoff thorugh his nose. "Don't take your rusty moral high-horse with me, don't think that just because you say one thing and do another it makes it okay. You did what you had to do. How is that any different?" He looks around, one hand motioning to the crowd as he focuses back on Helena.

"How is it different that you get to kill security officers at a prison because you disagree with them locking you up, but when I want to it's baaaaad," he takes a sarcastic tone there. "You can't have it both ways, either you're a bleeding heart or you're a freedom fighter." White's brows lower, "So, pretty princess of Phoenix— I never did catch your name." One brow kicks up higher than the others, "Why am I the bad guy?"

"They don't listen to me, old man…" A voice in the shadows, nothing more, "…and White's going to pop a lot more than a blood vessel. I'm not worried about them old man…" Once Risa slips off, Cardinal adds in a quiet hiss just for Doc as the shadows spills up the side of his coat as if something'd come between the light and the man, "…I'm worried about the twenty-five thousand people that White's destined to kill if he goes through with this. There'll be a time to fight, to raise that fist to the air, but this isn't it. You know that. I can tell. You can see where this is going."

Adam hmms at the confrontation and says dryly to Michael, "Well, there are the scoobs." He frowns as the philosophical debate gets going. "This, is why I can't stand them. Self-righteous, hypocritical and playing at an adult's game with children's tactics. Like a can of graffiti ever brought anything down." but their place in the back does give them some advantage. All eyes forward, but the crowd appears uneasy, tense from the show of powers and odd weather patterns, tense from uncertainty of their leader and Adam whistles a low tune. "Alright gentlemen, here's our time to shine." and they huddle up, they literally huddle up and at one point, Adam looks up towards the stage. He shakes his head a moment and then back in the huddle where he and all but one goon move into an alley.

Meanwhile, ladies and gentlemen, meet Teddy, a recent replacement for Terry who had an unfortunate accident of being torn in half at Pinehearst. This is Teddy's first moment as front and center of the goon squad and what he does is run into the nearest group of people with guns he can find, at least ones who seemed even initially sympathetic to Norman's cause and yells, "They're going to assassinate him." he sounds crazy, like a psycho, "This is a raid, man, a raid." as the ripples of confusion and uncertainty start to plant themselves in the crowd comes the gun fire. It's coming from the back somewhere, and there are flashes, but they're hidden by buildings. A really really superobservant person with super sense might even see the top of a head and a hand with a gun pop out and shoot randomly at the arena of superpowers. This, ladies and gentlemen, is what happens when Adam Monroe gets bored.

A thin line of a smile draws up at Stef and Claire. It feels good to be backed up. The thunderclap gets a little wince, Shard's eyes zipping over to Helena as she joins him on his little truck. Then his gaze flicks over to Magnes when he joins up with his little crew. He casts a bewildered look at Helena as she says her piece he simply watches before casting his gaze back to White.

Clenching his fist at his side, Shard mutters through his teeth. "This was a mistake. You need to get out of here." It's directed towards Helena. And then a firmer, "Now."Shard glares at the approaching white before taking himself forward, hopping off the truck he lands roughly, throwing his electric hand out in front of him to stabilize his landing.

"That's great, Norman. Go after the teenage girl." Shard yells out, making sure the crowd hears of this dispicable behavior. Taking a step forward, the rapper stands steadfast in front of the man. Willing to go nose to nose with the giant. "This isn't about her, White. You're missing the point! The point is you're willing to wi—"Shard's head flings to the side as a gunshot rings out. Stepping back rapidly, he casts an accusing look at White as if this was his doing. "Go!" King yells out at his 'crew'. Turning to rush back to them, he waves his arms for them to rapidly retreat. "Let's go!!"

Wow, wow, wow. All hell breaks loose in a handbasket. Or a really big basket. "Son of a— " Stef says, cutting off her curse as she looks back at Phoenix, the leader who— actually she could be blamed for half of what happened at Moab, but that's not the point and while she might agree with some of the shit being thrown around… She never imagined she'd have to wear a fucking mask.

All thoughts of her identity are removed by the sounds of gunshots. She ducks down immediately, looking up towards the sound, cursing under her breath angerly. Super strength does jack shit against guns! But guns make people afraid. Very afraid. The rising fear makes the adrenaline pump and she punches the ground that Norman had been shaking, breaking off a huge chunk of rock, and then she flings it up in the direction of the poppy heads. A throw with quite a lot of strength behind it.

Yeah, she could be throwing a few more, but bullets could fuck her up too, so she does take the advice. After the toss is in the air, she's already running, not even looking— or expecting— it to hit anyone.

"The Moab Federal Penitentiary was a violation of our civil rights, not just some petty inconvenience, even for those amongst the population who were genuine criminals, and we both know there were some in there." Helena turns her head only briefly to Leo - eyes flicking in the direction White glanced. She doesn't know if Alex's TK shield is around her, she just has faith that it's there.

"And if you think that I don't regret the loss of life there, you are sorely mistaken. Freedom came at the cost of lives, and I did not condone - and I still don't condone what that woman did because it was utterly unnecessary. You aren't the only one who wants to make the world a better place, Norman."

"You know who I am." Helena's voice raises. "And when we have the choice to be better, the luxury of proving ourselves to be better than the monsters that we're painted as by the government and Humanis First," her voice rises, "You want to play directly into their hands! You want to make us monsters, Norman, and we need to prove to this city, this country, this world, that we are not above our fellow members of the human race!"

Teenage girl? She's in her twenties! Just…very recently in her twenties.

And then shots are fired, and Helena ducks, quickly enveloped in the protective arms of Leonard, begins spiriting her away with the efficiency of a Secret Service Agent.

There's more speaking, and silent approval of the way Helena handles herself. Memories of that day at Moab play out briefly in her head. The sight of Jessica as she emerged behind Helena not long before she was transported to West Prairieland, CO/KS/NE. But then there are shots being fired and people moving, a large piece of rock being broken off by Gillian… Gillian? and hurled toward the source of bullets. Cat ducks, looking to spot Helena moving with Leonard's shielding, and moves to intersect their course when they reach the back.

Magnes finally speaks, holding his arms out for those around him. Helena's getting spirited away, so his offer seems to extend to Claire, Shard, and 'Gillian'. "Take my hand or grab my arm, I'll get you out of here." he says with one of those distorted voices like someone with their identity hidden on television. "Trust me." he says in a familiar tone, even if the voice is different. He'll have to question how Gillian, and every other woman he knows, seems to have super strength lately…

Snubbed. Claire's fists curl closed as anger flares through her. Of course, she doesn't act on it, she only glares at Knox for a time. A part of her wants to grab him and shake sense into him, mostly cause what White is spouting was worse sounding to her then a lot they did in PARIAH. When the terrakenetic starts to move towards Helena, Claire's stomach clenches in fear and she quickly moves to follow Shard.

About then the shouting and gun fire starts. "What the hell?" She murmurs, instinct making her duck a bit at the gun fire, not that she really needs to worry. When Shard starts to wave her to run, Clarie shakes her head. "You go, I'll follow." She moves to grab Shard's arm and push him to go ahead of her, which puts her between him and gunfire for a moment, "If I get shot, I'll heal."

She pauses to look back at Helena and for a split second she seems torn between her need to do as she was asked and to protect her friend. Of course, Helena is covered by Pheonix, so she follows after Shard and Stef. Only to have this strange person address her.. What? Her brows lower in confusion, why does he seem familiar. A glance to the fleeing figures of Shard and Stef, but then she shakes her head and grabs at the guy's arm to pull him with her. "No time. Come on. Try to stay in front of me." She urges him so that they can catch up with the other two.

The sudden sounds and the stress of this place isn't helping Thalia.. not at all.. what the hell did she come here for again? The mechanic looks behind her where the gunshots can be heard. The young woman hastily walks towards where Stef and Claire are. To Stef, a light grin. Her eyes flickering as she speaks. "Seems like a real party huh?" she says with a look towards Shard and the others. Then Stef throws her rock, oh that went far. Huh.

Thalia looks after Stef as she begins to run and she looks back and forth. The wind blows hard against people as they panic, the violent winds making the crowd more fearful most likely.

Magnes is given a look, she doesn't know who he is of course. But her eyes tilt up towards the sky. "Oh no.." It's getting worse. That's when the winds grow even stronger, howling. Adding to the other loud noises in the area. "Go." Thalia says to the people around her. The pain of keeping control makes her sink to her knees. Her head down as she takes a deep breath. Her eyes not only flickering more and more silver but also now fluttering, open and shut.. open and shut.

"So feeling bad makes it okay?" Norman offers to Helena, trying to keep her attention, "So because those guards were enforcing something that violated your rights it made it right? The Linderman Act violates all our rights. Why don't we just go and blow up every police station to makea point?" Norman scowls, it seems he doesn't quite agree with that angle either. "You're a hyp— " Norman's words are cut off when gunfire pops out in the crowd, and screams begin rising. People scatter, dropping armfulls of clothing while others scramble to pick them up. White's eyes grow wide as he turns to look for Doc, but can't find him in the crowd.

When Shard goes to move, so is White, something they can agree on is getting away from gunfire. But across the way, Norman spots the flash of gunfire as Risa is making her way towards the factory, and while the shots aren't going towards her, it's unacceptable to Norman. One moment he's standing in the middle of the burning barrels and the crowd, the next he's swallowed up by the earth, little more than a lump that rumbles beneath the soil before a maw of rock and stone opens up beside Risa, pushing Norman up through the fissure in the earth. He reaches out, grabbing her by the arm as the crowd begins to panic, running in seperate directions.

When the gunfire starts, Doc hisses under his breath and pushes the girl he was with away, looking back over his shoulder to the punk with the fauxhawk. His head shakes, eyes wide — cancel it — the expression shows. They split up, the punk in the fauxhawk dipping into the crowd, three steps, then a flash of light as he teleports out of sight, leaving a pinched ripple of distorted air as an after-image.

The girl that was with Doc shifts and shimmers, her body becoming Chameleon like as she slinks away behind Doc and then into the crowd. "So, invisible man," Doc's brows rise as he crouches behind one of the burning barrels, "//you don't happen to have an escape route out of here do you? Because you and I— we might need to talk."

The rock thrown by Stef shatters on the Slice of Heaven Meat Processing Plant as it is blown wide by the strong winds, debris from it showering down on ruined cars as the crowd of just over two hundred scatters like rats from a sinking ship.

"I do," Cardinal replies in rather unsympathetic tones, even as he spreads across the back of Doc's jacket like the shadow he is, "Your friends seem a bit concerned with their own necks, though, and my escape route wouldn't work well for you. You're in the middle of what's about to be a riot, though. I suggest calmly walking away. You'd be surprised how often that works in those situations."

Michael's the one who spots the incoming rock, "Adam." he says, calmly, having started to achieve Adam's careless attitude, "There's a big rock coming our way…wait…no….wait…yes…wait, no. DUCK!" and then it flies into a wall and debris goes everywhere, even as Teddy starts scrambling back to the main group, through fleeing rats and falling rocks, just barely managing to escape death. Adam smiles inwardly, he does want to see the world burn. But when this gets replayed, he saved the lives of whoever was going to fight. Whether he was saving the X-Men or Norman will depend on who he tells, but he explains, "Gentlemen, when people speak of this day, they will only remember the falling rocks." and with that, he and his crew disappear out of the factory and into the night.

Dark eyes lock onto the man covered from head to toe. Offering a way out. A way out is appreciated though a man hiding his entire identity and offering help randomly… Ennhh. Once he places himself in Shard's way, Vincent reaches out, one hand sizing Magnes' wrist, pulling back his sleeve rapidly. His bare hand slings forward to grapple at the younger man's now bare wrist. And as soon as that happens, he's pushing the younger man away, his eyes widening as if a sudden revelation was made clear to him. "Thanks for the help!" He yells over his shoulder as he rushes away from Magnes.

"Come on sweetheart." Running after Stef, one arm swings around her waist, going to lift her up against him. Turning back around to the girl following him, Shard's other arm swings around Claire's waist. Two steps are taken and then…


The three are suddenly in the air, flying away from the scene. Vincent flings his head over his shoulder, looking down at the masses milling below them. "Just make sure you don't touch my skin." The rapper murmurs quietly to his female compatriots.

The 'this isn't over White' is implied, but not spoken.

Oh shit, Magnes. Oh hey, now they're flying! Stef blinks a few times at the sudden change in things, and then is suddenly smiling wildly as she's wisked off into the air by a black man showing all those white guys that black men can fly too! It should be the other way around, anyway. "I totally knew I was right about your ability. Fuck me, man, this is awesome. I always loved flying," she says with a sudden burst of enthusiasm. Even if some of the fear is drifting away, she built up more than enough to have a happy for a little while.

Helena is being moved through the crowd by Leonard protectively. They are having an easier time navigating the wind, but not by much, even between Helena's own ability and any telekinetic buffer Leo might offer. "It's not me!" she hisses to him as they move. "I can't make it stop! Someone else is doing it!" The way the weather is being stirred, like a cauldron gone overbowl, gives her a panicked feeling, which she tries desperately to control. She absolutely cannot make this worse. Perhaps surprisingly, she doesn't - but she's not able to make much headway with the wind, either. Still, she and Leo make good pace, and so long as they remain unhindered, should be out of the danger zone promptly.

Staring down at his arm in utter confusion, and quickly pulling his sleeve back down when DMShard flies off, it suddenly just occurs to Magnes what happened. Two months of flight training, and someone copies his ability, and… the word damnit is not verbally uttered. Claire, Gillian, all of them, they appear to be safe, but… is that Thalia? And Helana not being able to control something…

No time for that, Thalia looks as if she's about to explode, so he swoops in, trying to shield his eyes as he approaches the wild gusts of wind, the ground cracking under his steps while trying to hold himself in place. "Let's go! Grab my hand!" he calls out to her in his distorted voice.

"Oh god…" Is all Claire manages as she's swept up, hands gripping onto Shard.'s clothing. Though when he mentions not touching skin, the ex-cheerleader almost lets go. She might be a regenerator and might be able to give it to him, but doesn't mean she wants to test it out. Not to mention the other woman wouldn't be so lucky. A glance is thrown over his shoulder at the crowd dwindles into the distance, before she glances at Stef and her declaration of loving to fly, she grins. "There is something kinda fun." Claire states in agreement, having done her share of being flown around. A glance go to Shard and a lop sided grin, "Thanks for the lift." There is a brief pause, before she adds. "Nice to meet you, by the way."

The young woman watches as people leave, she's alone now. Her head hanging, she's content with just sitting here.. until she gets her ability in check. Then Magnes is there and he's yelling at her to leave.

"No!" she says shaking her head. She throws her hand out, the wind gathering and pushing at Magnes. "Leave me." She says and shaker her head again. "Come here later. You'll find me!" she promises and then her eyes turn full silver. Unless she's knocked out or something..

"Keep your head down— keep your head down!" It's all Norman can repeat, over and over again as he wraps his arms around Risa, a shell of earth and stone rising up and growing around them, smoothing over into a dome of rock that is swallowed back into the earth, leaving a depression of broken concrete in its wake. That bubble of rock rises up further away, leaving thin ribs of concrete and granite around where the gunfire had originally sounded off. White brings up a hand to Risa's cheek, checking her for injury, then looks in the direction of where Doc is making his way thorugh the crowd.

"I'm sorry," Risa hisses out, hair in her face, "I'm sorry— I— I didn't get anything from them. There were too many people I— " she swallows, breathing hastened and heart pounding in her chest from the gunfire. "I didn't pick up anything." White nods, brushing her hair back from her face as he lets one large finger of rock slide away as Doc makes his way over, with the shadow of Richard Cardinal still hiding around the dark spots of his jacket.

"No luck," Doc states with his head ducked down, watching anxiously as large, flat shields of stone rise up from the ground like enormous fingers to serve as cover. "We couldn't get to her in time, but you were right, she did show up. Moths to the flame, and all that…" He's openly conversing, knowing Cardinal is eavesdropping.

"Kris and Jackie headed back to the factory. We— should get the hell out of here, Norman. It's not safe."

Nodding his head slowly, Norman concurs with Doc, moving to stand as the stone moves around and away from him, keeping Risa held close. Her hands, however, are on Norman's working at the knuckles of one of his fingers, eyes anxiously upturned to him as she looks for signs of pain as her fingers move over his. It's there, tightness in his eyes, tension in his jaw — it's killing him.

"Get— get everyone out of here. We'll go to the place Rick found." White's eyes focus to follow where Helena is retreating with her telekinetic bodyguard, then up to the sound of a woman sceaming in Magnes Varlane's arms. White's brows furrow, then uplift to Shard's small form getting further and further away.

"I think we're going to have a problem with him." White adds, moving his arm away from Risa finally, forcibly withdrawing his hand from hers defensively. "Let's— let's get everyone out of here. This didn't quite go as planned," White notes in a grumbling tone of voice, unsure of where the fleeing gunmen ran, everyone is scattering so fast, the winds are driving them away like flies from a carcass. On the periphery of this meeting, though, Benjamin Washington — Knox — stands quietly, observing White before making his way into the abandoned meat processing plant.

This is exactly what Monk said would happen.

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