Affirmative Action


brennan_icon.gif caliban_icon.gif cassius_icon.gif doyle_icon.gif kaylee2_icon.gif leonardo_icon.gif logan_icon.gif

Scene Title Affirmative Action
Synopsis A free vaccine clinic for registered members of New York City's Evolved population is pressed on at all sides by protesters with objections to giving them special treatment.
Date November 18, 2009

Cathedral of St. John the Divine

The largest Gothic cathedral in the world, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine remains partially unfinished to this day, despite its construction having begun in 1892 — true to form for buildings of its type. Nonetheless, it is a grand and imposing sight; possessing the characteristic grand arches, pointed spires, and beautiful stained glass windows, including a large and striking Rose window. Where the walls aren't covered with old and meticulously preserved tapestries, they are often ornamented.

Guided tours are offered six days out of the week. Services are open to all. Since the bomb, the main nave is open at all but the latest hours, though the smaller subject-specific chapels close in the evening. The cathedral is also a site for major workshops, speakers, and musical events — most especially the free New Year's Eve concert, which has been held without fail each year since the bomb.

St. John's has long been a center for public outreach and civic service events, but since the bomb, those have become an even greater part of its daily affairs. Services include a men's shelter, a twice-weekly soup kitchen, walk-in counseling, and other programs besides. These are open to everyone — non-Evolved, unregistered Evolved, registered Evolved… the philosophy is that they're all children of God, and that's what matters.

Although the Cathedral of St. John the Divine has an ornate, bone-dry interior warmed by candlelight that covers over one hundred and twenty thousand square feet, it's outside in the shadow of the church where the vaccine clinic is taking place. There are rumours that its current dean won't have anything to do with the Department of Evolved Affairs and what many radical groups are calling its sinister agenda, but none of these can be substantiated — and not just because the dean isn't present to be questioned by the press.

The story changes depending on who you ask. Some who claim membership to Humanis First and like-minded groups insist that the department was created to fill Congress with the Evolved and, through systematic breeding, eliminate bloodlines without desirable "super genes". Those sympathetic to Helena Dean's Phoenix take a stance so far on the opposite end of the spectrum it's no wonder no one believes the stories about Moab Federal Penitentiary: the department is the Petrelli administration's contemporary equivalent of Hitler's Operation Reinhard, and it's the systematic elimination of specials that awaits America's future.

Whatever the truth, it probably has nothing to do with dean's absence or the fact that Brennan and his wife, Michelle, are working in a tent on the steps of the cathedral's Western entrance on Amsterdam Avenue. A line stretches down the steps, around the corner and snakes its way along the street for half a block and is comprised of individuals from a wide range of races and ethnic groups, though anyone who happens to pass by the spectacle can see that it mostly consists of people who belong to the city's impoverished class. Bundled up in scarves, parkas and all manners of fending off the chill, they clutch their registration cards in gloved hands or carry them in unmarked envelopes hidden in their jacket pockets.

And then there are the protesters. These stand behind neon orange traffic cones on the opposite side of the street, their activities closely monitored by volunteers and a few scant policemen with one K-9 unit between them. So far, they've shown no inclination to do anything except demonstrate peacefully with their signs washed out by the rain, faces made gaunt and ugly by the shadows of a setting sun. Among these volunteers are two members of the Linderman Group standing on the clinic's perimeter. Neither John Logan nor his companion — a tall, lean man who calls himself Caliban and wears a heavy woolen greatcoat in hunter green — are armed this evening. That wasn't part of Mr. Linderman's agreement with the NYPD, something they may both regret if the situation does turn sour before the night is out.

It is November in New York City. It is raining. Absolutely no one is surprised.

"-ause rain makes it all that much more fun. Where the challenge in doing this in balmy weather" Harve works quickly but gently, taking the time to put the evolveds whoa re cycling through at ease before he jabs them with the vaccinations that they've signed up to get. EAch and every one registered and that makes him smile to see it. Folks who are not hiding - well technically - what they do. Proud evolveds.

Purple gloves on hands - no latex, who knows who might be allergic - swipe an area on the young man's upper arm in the safety of his jacket before there's a pinch of skin and the skinny needle sinks in. Plunger depressed, pulled out and a cotton swab swiped again. Those who are bleeders, a small round dot of a bandaid is put on. "All done, easy peasy" An amiable smile for the young man as he checks off something on a yellow folding card, signs his name and date then passes it over. "Take care Derek, glad you showed up"

He glances over to Michelle as she works hurridly too, swell of stomach beneath a fisherman's sweater as she repeats the same motions that her husband did a few moments earlier. The immediate air in the tent is warm in comparison to the air outside the tent and that's solely the pregnant doctor's fault as she's using her own registered ability to make it comfortable for the people who are being made uncomfortable by the injections. He grins before looking to the elderly woman who sidles up next. "Hello there- " A glance to the registration card handed over. "Martha. Don't you look not a day over 40" 68 says her card. "Pull up a chair, lets get you in and out huh?"

Swathed in a heavy winter coat and with the edge of a baseball cap along with a scarf shadowing his rounded features, Eric Doyle is walking along the side of the road coming up along on the church, gaze flickering here and there to take in the situation in those muffled features. "Okay," he says quietly, tightly to his companion, "Let's just head up to the tent… if anyone challenges us, just, just convince them we're volunteers here to help out, alright?"

Volunteers. That implies volunteering. Which implies a certain willingness. Logan is nothing of the sort, but here he stands, anyway, clutching an umbrella that rests at a casual lean against one shoulder, it's dome of sedate, chic black swaying a little with each fidget of his hand and letting silvery rain run off its curves, collecting at each metal point. It protects the velvet of his jacket, narrow waisted, closed with buttons with an assymetric arrangement to the collar that is frivolously fashionable perhaps in a different country. The jeans, at least, have some bearing of being appropriate, as are his flat-soled boots, zippers at the ankles.

He sighs, and twists a look towards the Evolved lining up for their shots and— whatever. Then back to the protestors with obvious confusion. From message boards through to overt acts of terrorism, Logan just does not understand activism. Especially when the weather is shitty.

"This is very boring," he informs Caliban, not for the first time, when he wanders close enough to do so. Doyle's heavy set silhouette coming into periphery gets a glance from the negator, then back to his LG superior. "What was Zarek's excuse, again? I should write it down."

Leonardo sits parked in the driver's seat of a fairly expensive looking black car. Nothing special, especially out in the rain. He's in a black suit, looking very official, but he doesn't get out, sitting next to one Cassius Potts. "You could be making a huge sacrifice, but understand that it's for a good cause. You'll get an advance and I'll rent out one of those 'cathouses' you love so much. So get going." he says in a fairly light-hearted mood, seemingly relaxing, but he's certainly doing a mental scan of the area for any guns. It's nice to know if there might be a riot that'll involve stray bullets.

"Yeah yeah, I got this, stop convincing me. If I lose my ability or whatever, just get your science dudes to fix it." Cassius says pretty nonchalantly, then steps out of the car with his umbrella and half-tucked black suit on, heading for the tent. "Hey! Cassius Potts! I'm on the list!" he calls over, waving.

Balanced on the edge of the curb like a tight rope walker as she travels with her portly companion, Kaylee is bundled up in a winter coat a bit larger then her, a dark blue beanie pulled low on her head. She eyes the situation on her own. She's already on alert mentally, but she's also feeling a bit nervous. "I can try. I gotta take them one at a time.." Her eyes rest on the Doctor and his wife, recognizing them right away from the memorial.

Kaylee glances at the protesters thoughtfully and she reaches out to stop Doyle with a hand on his arm. "What if…. " She leans closer, a small smile tugging at her lips, she can already feel the temptation.. She eyes one individual in the protesters crowd, that would be so easy. It would only take a thought. Realizing what she's thinking, she shakes her head suddenly and takes her hand off his arm, "Nevermind…" and continues towards the tent, putting on her brightest smile.

"Zarek is on assignment in Miami Beach," Caliban answers dryly. His ruff of graying blond hair is anything but. In the damp, he resembles a drowned tomcat more than he does a man, wiry build tense beneath the fabric of his coat and sodden business suit, poised to strike at the least twitch as he scrutinizes the crowd with vigilant blue eyes, pupils dilated so only thin rings of his iris are visible. "Snapping up failing resorts for Mr. Linderman before someone else has the opportunity to buy them out. That's assuming he hasn't already blown his allowance on hookers and Peruvian Marching Powder."

He has a cell phone in the seat of his hand, though he isn't speaking into it. He's been listening to the same message in his voicemail box over and over again for the last fifteen minutes without giving Logan any indication of who it might be from, which would be suspicious if he wasn't this clandestine in everything else he does.

Meanwhile, any scrutiny or resistance that Doyle and Kaylee might have met at the bottom of the steps is waived by Cassius' approach. The volunteers making sure that no one cuts to the front of the line rush to meet him, one gently taking the man by the arm before he can get too far, leaving puppeteer and telepath with a clear shot at Brennan's table. "I'm sorry, sir," the volunteer says. "Mr. Potts? You'll have to wait in line with everyone else. We've got people here who've been camping out for the last three hours—"

Great, Line jumper. Brennan's about to speak up until the volunteers are taking care of Cassius and he can flicker his brown eye'd gaze towards Kaylee and Doyle before back to the older woman and drawing up the necessary fluid into the two syringes. Wait a moment. There's a second glance up to Kaylee and surprise, followed by a nod before the Doctor grins to the older woman and starts talking about cats of all things, in response to the woman's conversation.

Michelle takes a moment to rub at her lower back when she stands, a grin for her crawling paced line moves up as someone leaves. She penguin waddles to the cooler to restock her small supply of vaccines at her folding table and a fresh box of alcohol swabs. The warm temperate remains the same. "There you go Martha, you're all done" yellow card handed over. "You take good care of the Persian, you hear. Beautiful cat" Next in line.

Oh, good, Eric thinks, a ready-made distraction! Thank God for arrogant rich people who think they get special treatment. Wait, that… that doesn't work. Well, anyway, it's useful right now. As the attention they get is slanted over towards Cassius, he picks up his pace along to move to the side of the tent, offering cheerfully and confidently, "Hey, guys. The Department sent us to carry some of the supplies down the block, there's so many people they're opening another tent around the side."

It's a completely preposterous claim with nothing to back it up - although it is a huge line - but that's why he brought a telepath.

"Well fuck him," is muttered, miserably, at the news that Kain gets to go on a vacation and it's raining in New York. Curling his toes in his boots, Logan takes a breath with the intention of sighing it out again, shoulders squaring as if readying himself for another go at having patience, turning back towards the protestors watchfully, chin tilted up. Come on, someone cause trouble. Anyone?

That is, until something more interesting is happening over yonder. He looks towards the minor hitch of activity, for want of some form of entertainment, before his voice cuts across the space when he speaks before he thinks with a near jovial greeting of, "Cassius! What do you think you're doing?" That doesn't bear much relation to the whole line-cutting thing, which Logan hasn't truly noticed.

Cassius is standing in line with his umbrella now, since apparently he can't cut in front of everyone, even though he's wearing a suit and everything! When Logan calls, he's offered a casual wave and a grin. "I'm making sure bacon doesn't give me the flu! Your chicks have better healthcare than me!"

Meanwhile, Leonardo is taking note of everything going on, shaking his head and groaning when Cassius tries to cut, and glances over to try and place the voice with a face when Logan calls out to his 'bodyguard'.

Glancing at Cassius briefly, she comes to stand near the others. "Doctor….. Mrs. Brennan. Hello again." Kaylee quips lightly as they approach, her tone light. Her eyes scan over the people there, brushing on each looking to see who people look to.. Settling for Dr. Harve Brennan, Kaylee's ability touches his mind cautiously as her ability colors her words to the Doctor himself. "Yeah, not sure if you heard." She sounds rather happy about it, "«We offered to help out down the line. We were sent to pick up supplies.»" Her head nodding to the coolers, her ability pressing in the point that there is a second tent and they needed supplies. The telepath's eyes flick over to the doctor's wife and adds. "If anything it'll get us all out of her sooner and let Mrs. Brennan here get some rest."

Squinting his eyes against the drizzle, Caliban finally snaps his phone shut, uses his sleeve to wipe the water droplets from its plastic casing, and slips it back into his jacket pocket. Nearby, a protester with a bullhorn has drawn the attention of the K-9 unit, the German Shepherd's ears laid back against its skull as though this might somehow dampen the shrill crackle and pop of electronic feedback.

"This is reverse discrimination!" the protester is shouting, his voice amplified by the device's microphone and loudspeaker. It echoes in the cathedral's stone archway, taking advantage of the architecture's natural acoustics. "Those are our tax dollars at work! Why isn't everyone benefiting from these special programs?"

The Mrs. Doctor Brennan gives a wave, normal and then dismissive. "I'm fine. But thanks for your concern" The small tray is picked up, cooler closed and she heads back to her table. Brennan transfer's attention to Kaylee, brows raised slightly expectantly. "I hadn't heard actually, they said there'd just be this one tent" He glances to the registration card of the next person in line, not letting the momentum be lost. "Hello Roland. Take a seat, lemme get your things ready hmmm?" He takes the registration card, looking it over. "That's good that you volunteered Kaylee, these sorts of things need the help. Where's your badges?"

He looks up at her while reaching into a box for the sealed syringe he needs, awaiting the production of ID.

Ah hell. He knows her, on top of it all. As the good doctor appears to just ignore the telepathic suggestion, or so Doyle assumes, he pauses— but he's not a bad actor at all, shoulders shaking with a wry chuckle as he admits, "Given all the protests, I don't think they were expecting a turnout this big, you know? Uh, badges?" He blinks once, "They didn't give us any— maybe they forgot, hell if I know. Can we just get on with this before we get even more people held up? We're running behind getting things set up already…"

In contrast to his sullen skulking around just prior, Logan is light and dazzle when encountering a regular of his strip club, smile bright in response to Cassius' words. "I know how to take care of mine, certainly. You make sure you get what you need, mate, as I can think of a few've the girls who'd miss you missing them." Easy banter, batting not an eye to Doyle and Kaylee, although—

Oh, he's here for a reason, and that reason echoes through a megaphone as the protestors kick up the noise a notch. Logan's wander towards Cassius is halted some as he looks over, regarding the cry out, and then towards the police to see if they're, you know. Doing anything interesting. "Reverse discrimination," he repeats, under his breath, clear disdain evident in quiet tone and an eyebrow raise.

Kaylee's brows lift a bit at the mention of badge, looking a bit confused. She looks at one of the volunteers, seeing the badge, she slides into his mind looks for a name. She lightly smacks Doyle in the arm. "Dammit Jason." She sighs heavily, and gives him an unhappy look. "I know there was something Mrs. Davidson forgot to give us, but no.. there was this huge rush to get more people out here." The name that passes Kaylee's lips, with irritation, would be recognized to any one as the woman that took care of peoples badges. She gives Dr. Brennan an apologetic look. "Damn.. I'm sorry. Lisa forgot to give them too us." She motions of in the vague direction of where things would go if there was a real tent. "Didn't even think about it, I just wanted to get down here and get things rolling."

The shouts form the crowd, she allows these to pull her attention, this allows her to search the crowd for potential patsies.

"Even if all my bones were broken, I'd have someone wheel me in for your chicks!" Cassius enthusiastically yells back, until the megaphone is suddenly speaking over him.

"Reverse discrimination…" Leonardo repeats just as Logan does, opening and closing his hands. "Alright, let's show just how outraged you people are." Then, a folding chair in the crowd goes flying at the line of Evolved, as if one of the protesters threw it, then a few cameras get jerked out of people's hands and go flying at the crowd as well. Things are just flying, one by one, but always from behind the front, so no one can be quite /sure/ where the things are flying from, if they're on the Evolved side of things, it just appears as if they're getting thrown. After a while, it stops, and he simply waits to see if human nature takes its course.

The crowd on the opposite side of the street is growing restless. Until the bullhorn came out, groups with conflicting viewpoints were tolerating one another like lions and tigers separated by iron bars in a cage at the zoo, but now it's as though whatever invisible barrier kept them from going at each other with curled lips and flashing teeth has inexplicably vanished. "It's called affirmative action, asshole!" someone snarls at the man with the bullhorn. "If you can afford to stand out here sowing hatred, you can afford to see your own doctor!"

A moment later, the bullhorn is crashing to the ground with a clap of amplified thunder that sends hands flying to ears and the dog to the end of its leash where it strains furiously against its handler's grip and barks in a frantic language without vocabulary that only animal telepaths can understand. The two men who had been arguing are on the pavement and clutching fistfuls of each other's clothes as people move out of the way to accommodate the scuffle, forming an oblong ring of wild-eyed spectators waiting in vain for one of their number to intervene.

It's called the bystander effect — the diffusion of responsibility — and a young woman named Kitty Genovese would tell you all about it if she was still alive. Caliban, however, is in no position to stand idle while a situation escalates mere meters from where he's standing. "Logan!" he snaps, a glance shot over his shoulder at his companion's back before he plunges headlong into the crowd, intent on peeling the men apart while the German Shepherd's handler is still trying to wrest control of the leash back from his dog.

Later, when footage of the incident is being played on the evening news, people will identify the hurled chair as the catalyst that sparked it. Cameras crack against cement, spraying the men and women standing in line with splinters of broken glass, plastic and miscellaneous. A teenage girl struck in the head by the flying chair lies draped over the curb, motionless, her face half-submerged in a puddle of rainwater turning red.

There's an apologetic look to Doyle and Kaylee. "Sorry guys, I need to see badges and there's paperwork. If one of you wants to head on back and get Lisa to come over, she can fix it-" Swipe, pinch, stab, swipe, scribble, yellow card. Send the person on their way. "But these are government medicines and my hide is on the line if I just pass it over without anything. Don't want Mr Praeger descending from on high to look at me from under those white brows and hand me my ass in a tailored suit platter and start talking about forming a caucus to get me fired"

The next person shuffles in, a teenager and Brennan offers her a grin and takes her card to glance at it and confirm it's the same person. Oooh, nice ability. But there's a gasp from Michelle and a scream which distracts the doctor. "Harvey!" She's coming around the table, fast as she can waddle, bringing the good weather with her - the rain remains - towards the downed girl. "Michelle! No, stay at the tables. Shit. Kaylee, call 911 tell them to get cops down here and ambulances, you" A gesture to Doyle. "Jason I think, come with me" and he's zipping around the table towards the downed teenager and springing into action.

"Oh, great, we'll have to had along back ov…" Then? Then there's chairs flying around, people screaming and dogs barking. Well, isn't that convenient! Doyle's head snaps around to stare out at the burgeoning riot in surprise, half pulling back a step, and then he's beckoned by the doctor, who leaves his wife with the tables. Hm. Well, two birds, one stone…

"Of course, of course," he allows, moving to step after him, one hand reaching out as if to follow… fingers curling as those unseen threads of power wrap about Brennan, waiting for him to hit the steps before cramping all the muscles in one leg in a sharp contraction.

Never mind, Logan wants it to be boring again so he can gossip with the rich guy. Be careful what you wish for. Caliban's voice cracking sharp across the space has him automatically moving like a dog brought to heel, as much as irritation has him cursing the older man under his breath. The umbrella is folded inwards although not tossed aside - he wasn't allowed guns, not even golden ones, and his usual knife is put somewhere safe back home under orders of either his superiors or the police or both, he doesn't remember. But he can have a metal boned rain-diverting implement to whack people with, surely.

"Bollocks," is cursed as Logan heads into the crowd in Caliban's demanding wake— just as things start to get stupid. He pauses, watching the arc of the chair, impassive when it strikes someone down but searching for the source all the same. Wouldn't you know it, even if it was an Evolved ability behind its trajectory—

There are a lot of fucking people. Whatever. The closed umbrella lances out to jab its point into the ribs of one of the brawlers. Dull though it might be, there's strength enough there to bruise. A moment later, it's clattering innocently to the pavement, Logan's boot coming to clamp down on it securely as he moves to help shove and push the man aside, utterly heedless to rain ruining his jacket, which had been such a source of annoyance earlier that day.

"Yeah yeah, just be'ave yourself," is hissed at the same time adrenaline within the man's system is shut off, Logan's eyes a bright green. Now if only he could do that for more than one person at a time…

Leonardo shakes his head when the girl goes down. Most likely Evolved, but, it's for the greater good, just like what he does next. First, window wipers are turned on, since people are much harder to see now that they're actually moving and fighting, then someone will find that in all the chaos, the change in their pocket mysteriously vanished. It all melds together into a constantly changing blade, staying low to the ground and in his general line of sight as it stabs into anyone who even remotely seems to be using an Evolved ability or was seen standing in line. Not fatal stabs, but leg wounds, occasionally grazing their side, moving very quickly like a humming bird. A few people might see a silvery/copper blur, but soon it liquifies and falls to the ground, melting into a little puddle and flattening against the ground.

Meanwhile, Cassius is running, far away from the brawl. "Fuck this, I didn't sign up for a riot! Why the fuck did he start a riot?!" He's very familiar with his employer's ability, and his temper as far as humans go… 2 and 2 together! "Fucking agendas! I just wanted classy hookers!"

A bit wide eyed, Kaylee watches the crowds go wild with a bit more violence then she expected, almost missing anything said to her. It's the mention of 911 that does drag her attention back to Brennan and she realizes he's talking to her. Making the move to get her phone out of her pocket, her eyes scan over who is left at the tent.

Putting the phone to her ear, she hurries over to the doctors and volunteer's left there around the tent. "Why are you standing here? There are people hurt?! <Help them?!>" Doesn't take much to put nervousness into her voice.. This whole situation is making her a nervous wreak, if she could drink she would so concider it later. Her ability slips into the mind of those that seem to hesitate, pushing them to go help those being injured, especially as that blade goes flying through the crowd slicing at people.

As Logan is dealing his strategically-aimed blow at one of the men's ribs, Caliban is pulling his brawling partner off him from behind. Silver flashes in the light like the iridescent scales of a darting sardine, followed by a sharp expulsion of air hissed through clenched teeth, but to his credit the publicist — if that's really what he is to Linderman — does not drop the protester caught in his grip. Instead, he hooks one arm around his throat and applies steady pressure to the man's carotid artery, hauling him into a chokehold that plunges him into swift unconsciousness by cutting off circulation to his brain.

Leonardo is not the only one who brought a knife to the party. When the man hits the ground, Caliban rises to his full height and closes his hand around his left side, blood oozing through the dark material of his clothes and between his fingers. The ring of protesters that had encircled the scuffle is slow to dissipate due to its volume and limited amount of space they have in which to move when crushed against each other, though the process is sped up by the scream of sirens growing steadily louder.

On the cathedral's side of the street, something similar is happening. Women gather up their children, squeezing them to their breasts. Husbands and wives seize at each other in panic. Total strangers yank people they've never met to safety as Leonardo's blade zips artfully through the air, whizzing past ears and within centimeters of noses.

No help comes for the rag doll shape of the teenage girl on the pavement because help is already too late. Those who notice her don't even have the courtesy to step over her body in the rush to escape what is becoming the scene of a full-out riot.

"I think," Caliban observes, his voice raw and hoarse with the effort of simply breathing, "we ought to go."

Muscles sieze, cramp up, tighten and send the doctor plummeting down steps thanks to Doyle's intervention instead of help. He see's what's coming, cement steps rushing up to him and so Brennan turns into the fall, protecting his head and letting the weight go to his shoulder and hip as he tumbles down the steps. Thanks to doyle, he can't even scream at people to move away from the probably, likely very dead teenager as he comes to a painful rest at the bottom of the steps curling up to weather the crowd and the violence occuring. But he has enough sense through the browd to see his wife rushing off. "Michelle!"

Kaylee's command has effects too on Michelle in the tent. The command from her overrides what her husband told her to do and common sense. The pregnant woman runs forward again, trying to make her way towards some of the bleeding people, calling out for someone to bring her any gauze and the medical bags behind the tables. Makes her way towards those sharp blades that are slicing and dicing people with no compunction as to whether they are evolved or not.

She leans down, trying to pluck up a child who's crying for their mother, cooing to her to come with her when the ever changing blade strikes at her before it turns to liquid and it's minus one physician as Michelle's falling back, kid coming with her and she turns inwards, curling as much of her as she can around the kid to protect her from the stampeder's even as feet connect with herself.

If you want to make an omelette, as the saying goes… well, there'll be a few broken eggs scattered around the church today, as things proceed from protests and vaccinations into rioting, death and anarchy. It's at the height of things now, unless it spreads, and that's just the opening that Eric Doyle needs. The cooler where the drugs were being kept is right there, of course, and someone might spot him picking it up…

…but far be it for the Puppet Master to ever do his own heavy lifting.

Two of those still in the tent - they could be volunteers, they could be doctors, he's not entirely sure nor does he care - are glanced towards, his hand jerking up sharply as he takes control. Weaving his influence through mind and muscle, shutting their mouths and moving his hand in a finger-walking gesture to lead them towards the cooler, guiding them to lift it and start to hustle out of the tent.

A faint, self-satisfied smile curves to his lips as if the horrors of the riot weren't even happening, and he moves to head after them, nodding for Kaylee to follow before the tide of chaos ebbs.

England knows rioting, but you certainly don't have to be English to feel uneasy about being in a site of panic. The sirens put Logan on irrational edge, too - it's a rarity, when he hasn't done anything wrong. The man he'd shoved away has melted back into the crowd, strangely docile but for who knows how long as Logan's eyes revert back to pale ice chips of diluted green. Forgetting about the umbrella now getting broken up and rolled away beneath a crush of feet, he turns back to Caliban and—

Drops his gaze to the flood of red into clothing, his slender shoulders going slack with dejection. "Oh, Robert," he sighs out, as if observing a friend puking with too much to drink as opposed to a knife wound, but quick to move in accordance with the older man's wishes. Because yes. They ought to go. Logan reaches out to grab Caliban by the sleeve, tugging him closer to grip onto said limb with both hands and pulling him along where it seems likeliest to escape the crush of people.

"I've got the car 'round this way. How bad?"

Clenching her teeth against the sharp pressure between her eyes, Kaylee turns to Doyle as the people run past her. She doesn't even noticing where those people go, her focus is on the vaccines they want for the Staten kids. Watching the two puppets lift the goods, she gives a little nod to her partner. She throws a quick glance at the chaos before quickly following, time to get out of there. Once they get someplace safe she can work her own magic on their helpers.

Leonardo was trying to make some sort of point, but then they start to trample the girl. Sure, he's the one who initiated the girl getting hit in the first place, but they're stepping on her. "Some people simply cannot help but turn into animals…" He places his hands on the steering wheel, still parked and looking around at people. He wanted to do something, he wants to take the entire situation out on someone, but… he's not going to. "This is all for the best." he says under his breath, then starts backing up, honking his horn for anyone behind him, intending to get out of there and escape the temptation to do something.

"Don't know," Caliban tells Logan with a glance down at his bloodsoaked hand. It certainly looks bad, but injuries of this nature can sometimes appear worse than they really are. "I've someone who owes— hnnk. Someone who owes me a favour at Old Lucy's. The bar in Greenwich? You know it." That last part isn't a question.

The sirens are visible now as flashing lights, filling the street outside the cathedral in a bath of blue and red. When the first police cruisers come into view, fleeing protestors throw themselves across their hoods in a scramble to get away. Uniformed officers in riot gear emerge from the haze next, pushing people back with plexiglass shields, batons raised threateningly above their heads as a helicopter cuts in through the gap between two buildings and trains a camera on the scene below.

Something crashes into the windshield of Leonard's car, splintering glass and leaving a softball-sized dent where it bounces off the vehicle. Copious amounts of white smoke fill the air, spewed from an unmarked metal canister made from sheet steel with emission holes in the top and bottom, inadvertently providing Doyle and Kaylee with still more cover for their escape.

Let your fingers do the walking! Doyle's hand tilts and rocks as he guides his vaccine-carrying puppets down the steps, trying to keep them to the edge of the chaos as things continue to degenerate worse and worse with every passing moment. He's erring on the side of caution, keeping things slow so as not to risk the cooler being dropped or damaged, and the terrified look in his unwilling servants' eyes blends in well with the fear in the rest of the street.

"Go, go," he hisses to Kaylee, moving after them, though not too closely. Just enough to keep in visual contact and range. Hopefully they can make it out of there…

There's silence from Logan as he continues to drag Caliban away. Away from people, from cops, from tear gas. Finally, he spits, "Yes. Yes I do," once they're clear of the crushing crowd. His car, expensive and European and silver, has yet to be in the direct line of fire, save for one scrambler whose arm connects with a side mirror and flips it closed. A door is wrenched open, Caliban all but shoved inside and left to close the door after himself as Logan heads into the driver's seat, eyes on the chaos he's escaping as he slips into the vehicle.

The engine goes on with a purr, and he takes the time to lower the window and fix the mirror, quickly checking himself in it— rained on, check, blood on his collar, check, but working it!— before applying his hands to steering wheel and gear stick. "And I've someone who'll be so thrilled to see me."

"I'm going.. I'm going." Kaylee hisses back and she moves with him, her hand flicking each time a person tries to block their flight and don't move fast enough out of the way, sending them scurrying another way in their panic. With each silent mentally driven command the pain between her eyes gets worse. "Need to get out of this.. I don't have much more in me…" Her voice sounds strained and worn, a hand reaching to curl into his shirt to keep upright.

As people continue fleeing the scene in every direction like rats plunging off a sinking barge, the helicopter completes slow, vulture circles above the riot, a spotlight beaming down on the chaos so the camera has better illumination to record by. It casts Michelle's battered shape in a radiant glow, protectively curled around the keening child even though she herself has become still has death in the wake of the stampede. For hours after the streets have been cleared, the smoke diluted by rain, and the injured separated from crowd and processed by the emergency triage unit on standby, it's an image that will be shown over and over and over again, emblazoned across hundreds of thousands of television screens throughout New York City, millions more across the state, the country and eventually—

The world.

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