Along For The Ride


claire_icon.gif doyle2_icon.gif elle4_icon.gif jaiden_icon.gif malcolm_icon.gif valentin_icon.gif

Scene Title Along For The Ride
Synopsis The coast provides something by way of answer and solution, but not everyone accepts the latter.
Date January 31, 2011

Queens: Waterfront

The coast of Queens, a mere vein of river water between the largest borough in New York City, and streak of land that is Roosevelt Island, does not welcome anyone with authority. For all that bullets, firetrucks, electrical surges don't seem to penetrate their temporary prison, the light is still coming in okay, even with a subtle haze of particulates already developing in patches from various fires, the western-most collapse of the Queensboro Bridge. The cars that did not get flung into the river remain congested, but that doesn't mean the people in them didn't vacate them themselves, flooding back Queens side in a mass that scatters through the borough.

They are greeted with no boats, but they have a man who will never bike his bike again without a good long period of rehabilitation and the best of medical treatment. This coast— all salt grass, weeds, gravel and murky water greasing up to the edges— does not seem promising. An overturned boat— stripped of its motor, grimy, but potentially sound can be discovered abandoned on the coast and half dug into the soft ground of the shore.

Across the way, dust from the disasters on the island makes a sort of filthy mist. It's hard to tell, where the barrier begins and ends, but they can see that the destruction of the helicopter occurred right above, if a little south of the Suresh Centre.

"That does not look overly promising over there." Claire Bennet comments to her companions, the arm of one of the injured still over her shoulder. Dried blood flakes away from her face, in general the young woman looks like the walking dead, yet there are no open wounds anywhere on her. Even where that largish section of van has sliced through her. The skin that peaks from the tear in her shirt is free of anything but smeared blood.

A glance goes to the boat and she looks at the shopkeeper. "Take over for a moment?" Helping to ease the bloodied customer to lean more heavily on him.

Once free from the invalid she moves to inspect the boat. "Looks like this might be out ride." Not that Claire sounds happy about it. Like at all.

Elle feels— disgusting. She still has burnt blood flaking off of her hands, she's got a few cuts from the glass, and this is all just a whole bunch of bullshit. And to make things worse…it looks like she's trapped here. With the Institute, the people who want to use her as a battery, just across the water no less. She looks…unhappy. Irate. Angry. All rational emotions to be feeling in a time like this.

She's stuck with Jaiden and the poor legless fellow, staying close to the one she saved— or tried to. A frown is on her face as she surveys the scene ahead, quietly nodding toward Claire and moving to help her with the boat. "We need something to paddle with— or maybe we can all use our hands." At least she'll get some of the blood off of her.

Quietly, the radioactive girl digs into the ground, helping to free the boat that she won't be getting on if she can help it.

"You're assuming they aren't likely to just shoot us when we set foot on the island," Eric's rather more pessimistic response comes as he glares across the river at the island, one hand lifting to pull off his hat and wipe sweat from his brow. He's in better shape than he once was, but it's still been quite a walk, and he feels filthy on top of it all.

A sweep of hand-and-hat to the north, and he points out, "Didn't the ambulance guy say that Mount Sinai might still be operating? We wouldn't have to cross the river to get to that…" If it's on this side of the dome at all.

Partially submerged in the water, it doesn't take too much for Jaiden to help flip the boat over with the help of Elle and Claire's shoving. This show of power is more or less demonstration about whether or not they need paddles. Moving to set the footless, unconscious man inside, scorched stumps elevated against the edge of the boat, Jaiden rolls his shoulders, and points to the Suresh Centre. "This man needs medical attention, right now. I'll move faster on water than I will on foot. Or even on wheels."

The offer is implicit. They can go to Mount Sinai, or try to. Or. They can wait here for him to return. But that the man in the boat is breathing at all is a miracle, and the injured person that Claire helped limp along waves a hand, the one not gripping the shopkeep. Go. He'll be okay until then, for all that there's a lot of blood.

Water surges and boils around the boat, pushing it forward with more silence and more primal power than a buzzing motor might have given, and in roostertail splashes, jets for Roosevelt Island. "Can I leave him with you?" the shopkeep is asking Claire, then Doyle and Elle. "It's just— if they aren't looting by now— "

Typical behaviour of NYC.

From the shadow of the Queensboro Bridge just south, their side that isn't collapsed, someone else is moving towards the group, maybe attracted by the sight of a relatively organised group of people. A lanky man, whose height doesn't detract from his mousy demeanor, light brown scruff on his jaw, and the kind of winter-layered clothing that the homeless tend to do well in. He's some distance, and he walks with a sort of dazed sway, feet slipping in the slick, soft ground.

Elle frowns quietly at Jaiden, then looks back to Roosevelt Island. More specifically, the Suresh Center, knowing full well that the island is Institute territory. Then, she offers a shake of her head, turning to frown at Jaiden. "I— I can't go." She reaches into her purse, pulling out a card and a pen, and quickly scrawling her cell phone number on it, before shoving it into Jaiden's pocket (rather abruptly, as well). "Call me…keep me updated. If you can't reach the hospital, then try the Suresh Center. They might…might be able to help." It's a long shot, but worth it.

A glance is cast toward Doyle. "And be careful." She offers this to Jaiden, while still peering at the man. "I know that the Suresh Center has medical equipment. That's his best bet right now— he's dying." She gestures to the legless man, her brow creasing in concern. "I don't want him to die…"

This is muttered as she turns, peering over at the tall, lanky fellow. Her brows raise, and she steps a little closer to the man, raising a hand in a wave. We're safe, is pretty much the message she's trying to get across. However, the way he's walking…Elle glances about briefly, before she moves to meet the man half-way. "Sir? Are you okay?"

As at least one other person seems to share Eric's reticience to cross the river, his heavy shoulders sag in relief and he tries to hide the sigh that he breathes out. The newsboy's tugged back onto his head, and he rubs his hands together a bit. "Has anyone— has anyone ever been to Sinai before? I'm not, not originally from New York…"

As the other man wanders in that dazed fashion over, he tenses up a bit, looking in his direction, tonguing his upper teeth worriedly. "He looks kind've shell shocked…"

This is not a bad descriptor for what the man is, twisting a little to get a good look at the sky, where it's smudged in some places, clear in others, and a weird sort of reverse snowglobe effect that is hard to tell unless you know to look for it. "It's stopped snowing!" he remarks, voice a ragged kind of English accent, as he resolutely trudges on. And moves to go right by them, even letting his feet dipping into the icy edges of water to do so despite the idea that if he had his wits about him, he probably would not.

Malcolm Pitt only has so many new shoes he can apprehend. He seems out of it, in his own way, but otherwise uninjured. "Lovely day for a walk, innit," he tells Elle, a blue-eyed glance around the group. "Oh." He casts a puzzled sort of once over to the bloodied gentleman leaning on Claire, but isn't stopping otherwise. Trudge trudge.

"Not to let the mad men take over the asylum," the injured party says, with a glance towards Malcolm's wandering progress. "But Sinai's north. Worth moving that way, don't you think?"

The only thing that really moves on Claire for the moment, is her eyes and those are following Malcolm with a rather perplex look. He's so calm. She glances to the others to see if they see this, brows lifting just a little in amusement.

The injured man, reminds her there are more important things. "Okay… yeah. He's right." Claire shakes herself out of the oddness of the moment. "Need to get this one to a hospital." He leans into the guy a bit more and settles his arm a bit better around her shoulder, before turning in that direction.

Claire is going that way, since she's got an injured man draped on her. She leaves it up to everyone else to follow. Not like it'll be hard to catch up.

Okay, this dude is pretty well out of it. Elle, still lacking any means of cold control, frowns, and moves to gently take Malcolm's arm with one of those warm hands. "Sir— where are you going? You're getting your feet wet." She frowns, and points up toward the sky. "There's a big…dome thing over us. We're stuck in here. I was only inches away from the edge when…when it happened." A glance is offered toward the boat.

Still, she walks along with Malcolm. "Sir, are you okay? You look like you could use a rest. Why don't you come sit for a minute? We're trying to find some medical facilities." Damn, this guy is really really tall. And lanky. Elle has a slight desire to feed him a very fattening meal right about now.

"Guy's gonna catch his death," Doyle mutters under his breath, glancing over towards the injured man and offering a tight, quick nod. "Yeah. Yeah, let's get moving… if anyone sees a gas station on the way, we can stop and grab a city map, right? Unless anyone has one've those… you know, map thingies in their phone?"

The man was in prison for the dawn of the Information Age, give him a break.

Malcolm claps a hand over Elle's, readily soaking up the warmth offered whether she means to or not, but he doesn't stop walking along the water's edge. "I was waiting for the snow to pass, then it did. There's a shelter, down the river's edge." He's not 100%, obviously, a sort of rambly slur edging his syllables, though no liquor can be detected on his breath or spilled into his clothing — there's the smell of cigarettes, however, strong enough to possibly overpower. "Because fuck Midtown, right?"

Fuck it!

Wearily, injured party starts to move with the crowd, whether they want to or not. The scattered few that had tagged along with the migration to the coast begin to amble north themselves, some looking up directions, others remaining where they are in the hopes of a ride over the island. The signal is shit in here, someone jabbing their screen with a thumb in annoyance as their phone crawls in its data retrieval. There's a mutter from the back, and someone points. Up ahead.

There's a boat. A bigger boat, certainly, than the abandoned thing they found overturned. Motorised and stocky, it's idling near where a pier juts out, and they can see the exaggerated limp of someone injured being helped onboard, more refugees of the dome's destruction who had come from inland.

Claire's more then happy to help the injured man along, moving with the group, even as she eyes the clearly crazy man. Maybe a piece of the bridge fell on his head or something, rattling it. "He okay?" The question is blurted to Elle, even if the answer is fairly clear.

When the boat is pointed out, Claire squints suspiciously in that direction, not at all certain about that. A glance goes to the others to see what they think of it.

Well. It looks like Elle is along for the ride with Malcolm, as he clasps his hand over hers. Just as a method of enticement for him to stick with them, she kicks up the heat just a little bit more, her other hand going over Malcolm's. See? She's really warm— you really want to follow her and keep warm, right? She also attempts to steer Malcolm out of the water, and back toward the rest of the group.

"Here, come with us, mister. We'll find the shelter, and I'll keep your hands warm while we're walking, okay?" She glances over to Claire, offering a slight shrug. He seems okay, save for being really out of it. "Why don't we get out of the water? It's way too cold to be walking in it, and you're going to get yourself sick. That's the last thing we need, right?"

Elle turns her contact-green gaze toward the boat, her brows raising slightly. A glance is cast back toward the others, then back to the boat, the petite radioactive woman casting a frown on what could be salvation. Maybe they'll know more.

"Maybe we can send 'em over on that boat," Eric suggests as he catches sight of the larger boat, one hand raising up to wave as if to say 'hold the boat' even from the distance they're at. Them he says, as he still clearly prefers to keep away from Roosevelt if he can. Habits die hard, and the place still has a big mental DO NOT TOUCH sign on it for him.

Malcolm glances at Elle, then stops, glances down at his feet. He snorts, once, then kind of crabs sideways out of the water, dripping icy run off from pant legs, a numb-footed stumble. "Cheers," is muttered, a hand wandering to pat down the front of his coat as if to locate an item— likely cigarettes— before giving up, and squinting on ahead. The boat, or rather, those on and around it, spy them too, and they can see a man of reasonably slight stature jump off the edge and onto the pier, moving to greet them at an efficient clip.

His hair is dark, but greying, something reasonably efficient about the way he carries himself despite urban, casual clothes. Pale eyes wander to the most injured of the group — the tiny brunette, blood-drenched woman supporting the man of equal seeming injury. "Do you need help?" he barks across the distance, his voice heavy with accent but not unclear.

And then his stare settles on Doyle, and doesn't wander away, expression unreadable.

Elle watches Malcolm thoughtfully, still holding his hand, still radiating heat for him to mooch off of. She's nice and warm, see. "Are you okay? What happened? You're not hurt, are you?" She raises her brows, squeezing the man's hand slightly. For a fairly crazy guy, the Briton is actually fairly tolerable in his oddness. She's happy to stick with him. He doesn't have wounds that need to be cauterized.

As they reach the boat, Elle turns her eyes toward the man who steps off and moves to greet them, her brows raising. As he nears, she squints slightly, tipping her head toward him. She doesn't say anything just yet, but she watches the graying man like a hawk, brows raised.

Of course, with Elle, silences don't last long. "We have a few injured here, they need medical attention. Is there space for them?" She's on the same lines as Doyle. Them, not her. She's not going anywhere near that place. She'll stick with the vaguely familiar fat guy for now.

As if the steady gaze causes the hairs on the back of Doyle's neck to stand up, the puppet master's shoulders hitch up a little. He turns to glance back over his shoulder, his brow furrowing a little at the man that's staring at him, offering a hesitant smile that soon melts away into a bit of a challenging frown.

"What? Do I have something on my face?"

That inspires from amusement from the approaching man, his smile cutting abrupt across his face, sharp and not entirely disengenuous either. "Forgive me, you looked just like someone else. It has been— " A kind of hand gesture that it meant to sum up the events of the afternoon. "Long day. Please, yes, there is space." He gestures towards the boat, like a host giving welcome. "We are headed along the coast to try and find others. The hospitals, there are none anymore. On this side."

"Mount Sinai?" is a weary question from the group.

"Apparently not. Come." He glances over Elle, but there is nothing like the eyeing he gave Doyle — just a split second's worth of attention that a stranger doesn't necessarily need. "Unless you would hedge your bets here. It is the difference between fire and brimstone, I think."

Malcolm has, at least, stopped walking, as opposed to accept invitation, squinting across the river at the hazy Roosevelt Island. He doesn't answer Elle, regarding his hurts, save for a brisk and distracted shake of his head.

The boat captain is considered for a moment, news of the hospital is not good, but at least there is some hope. Guiding the injured man towards the Captain, Claire offers him a bit of a smile. It probably looks a bit disturbing in her states. "I've got one here that will need medical. So I'll go with you." Especially since she is playing crutch for this person.

Then the tiny regenerator turns enough to look at the others in her group to see who will go for the ride.

Elle glances from the stranger, up to the man whose hand she's still holding, who is equally stranger-like. "Sir? Would you like to go to Roosevelt? I'm going to stay here on this side of the water." She doesn't feel much like being right under the enemy's nose. Then, she turns to peer toward Claire and Doyle, before glancing back. "I think I'll take my chances here rather than over there."

Nothing against you, stranger type, she just doesn't really like that island.

"I've got one of those faces," Doyle replies with a tight, fake smile, one hand lifting to adjust the set of those entirely fake glasses on his face. The boatman's regarded with a wary eye even so as the others move towards the boat. As Elle says she's going to take her chance on this side, he glances her way, then nods quickly. "Yeah. Me too. Maybe they'll figure out how to breach the wall, or… maybe it'll just go down. Whoever's put it up has to sleep sometime, right? Right?" Heh…"

The boat captain nods once, quickly, not about to argue with them, before he sets two fingers in his mouth and whistles. Two men immediately respond to the call, not like soldiers — more like dogs, really. But rather than savage anyone, they move to help the injured inside, one of them backing up from Claire when they realise she isn't injured. There's a somewhat disgusted once over dealt her way at this realisation, that there isn't a scratch on her despite her torn clothing, and both men bypass she and the injured man she tends to, to go and assist others.

Neutrally satisfied, the captain looks to Malcolm, a hand making that gesture of silent offer, and when he gets no reply, he addresses the group: "If you change your minds… and if this situation does not go away in the evening, we will be back tomorrow morning under the Queensboro. Perhaps in later days as well. But perhaps it will not come to that."

He wriggles his fingers in a wave, turns, and locks his hands behind his back as he steps back to his boat, pausing only for the injured to get on before him. Soon enough, the boat is breaking from the pier.

Which is then that Malcolm breaks his grip on Elle's hand in a sudden change of mind and heart, launching himself after the boat, his rangy sort of clumsiness doing him some favours in catching up as he thumps his way up the peer in an effort to make it on time. It's Valentin that seals his grip on Malcolm's wrist to help yank him aboard, a bark of laughter faintly heard by those remaining on the coast.

Soon, the engine's noise dies away, and there isn't even the fall of snow or the blow of wind to keep them company.

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