abby_icon.gif delgado_icon.gif kaylee2_icon.gif melissa_icon.gif nadia_icon.gif

Scene Title Altercation
Synopsis An altercation outside a Ferry safehouse on a public street in Queens escalates to physical violence.
Date July 24, 2010


Scattered clouds provide little respite from temperatures hovering around the triple digits, and although the sun is low in the sky, the air isn't much cooler than it was when it was at its highest point. Many neighborhoods in Queens are too poor to afford proper air conditioning, including a block of dilapidated rowhouses in Flushing off the curb of a pothole-filled street that hasn't been repaved in over a decade. There's nothing about the third building from the nearest fire hydrant that makes it stand out from the rest, which is probably why the Ferrymen network chose to utilize it as a safehouse.

But just because its brick facade fails to draw the government's attention doesn't make it immune to attention of other kinds. On the stoop, an older woman with threads of silver woven through her thick black hair is speaking in low, feverish tones with a tall, olive-skinned man and two of his tattooed companions and a bulldog with fur so pale it appears more pink than white where its skin shows through its short, velvety pelt.

Behind her, the door to the safehouse has been left open in what was probably an attempt to take advantage of the evening breeze and provides a view of an open kitchen where a small, dark child is watching the exchange from behind the leg of a table with solemn eyes. Those who pass by on the street pay the situation no mind. Everyone on this block has been hustled for protection money before, and the Ferry is no exception.

Though Queens isn't a neighborhood that Melissa is normally found in, meeting up with Abby is a good reason for her to wander out this way. Her car is parked a few blocks down, and she's been walking with Abby. Though she's wounded, slightly, just a scratch, she makes no sign of it and just grins at the blonde next to her. "Oh, I didn't tell you…I had some people suggest your job as a good one for me. You know, with my ability and all. I'm…considering it." She glances over the group on the stoop, but she seems distracted and doesn't quite realize what's going on at first. She's never been harassed for protection money before.

Stepping out of the safehouse, Kaylee Thatcher watches the exchange, wiping her hands on a dishtowel. She had come to help out with a few things. Some fresh paint in one of the upper floors and she stuck around to help with dinner. She even brought Missy along, but the pale puppy is more interested in lazying around on the cool floors then anything outside.

"Everything okay?" The telepath asks after a moment of hesitation. She doesn't look much a threat in her paint splattered tank top and jean shorts. Her long blonde hair pulled up on the back of her head, swinging every time she moves her head.

Returning from a visit with a friend of hers, Nadia is simply walking along the sidewalk, her hands folded behind her back. She's meandering along at a slow, deliberate place, pausing every once in a while to frown at a pile of trash here or there. While most wouldn't stop or do anything, Nadia certainly isn't most people. She pauses as she notices the man and his lackeys talking to a woman, frowning as she regards the situation with her hands still folded. Someone should do something. But what?

"Long Island, it's where I went, to the community college. Going to go back soon, start figuring out what I need to arrange my hours to be so I can start my paramedics course" Abby's laden down with tupperware containers with food, all frozen and ready to slip into the freezer. "I'm surprised though, you don't strike me as the kind to go for being a paramedic Mel"

Being that she helps kill people in Messiah and the such.

They're rounding the corner, seeing the proprieter and the men harassing her, a frowns easily coming to the fore on her face. "Oh lord, what now"

"Everything is fine, Kaylee," the woman reassures the blonde at her back. "Please take Antony upstairs?" she asks with a sharp glance over her shoulder at the child huddled under the table, shirtless and in a pair of jeans still damp from running through the sprinklers in the park across the street less than an hour ago. If he understands what the adults are saying, he gives no indication.

The man with the dog hooks his fingers under its collar and says something in rapid-fire Spanish to his companions, and as Nadia, Abby and Melissa draw closer, they may notice the words Mara Salvatrucha tattooed across one of his biceps. "Maybe you can help us," he says to Kaylee next, in English. "I've been very patient with Soledad here, and your network. With who am I speaking?"

Abby gets a frown, then Melissa shrugs. "I don't strike people with a lot of things." But then Abby's frown is noticed and she actually looks at the situation. "I don't know, but c'mon. Anyone who'd harass a lady with graying hair can't be up to any good," she murmurs to Abby before her pace quickens a little and she heads towards the group.

Kaylee doesn't answer the man right away, instead she crouching down, to look under the table at the child. "Hey Antony. Why don't you go in with Missy." The pale gold puppy is probably damp from chasing the boy through the sprinklers as well. "She might like a treat. Some of that chicken left over from dinner? Make her sit first tho."

Only then does she straighten and cross her arms and study the men, a small smile touches her lips. "Depends on what your wanting there?" Her head tilts a little bit, brows lifting slightly. Already she's listening in cautiously, since she doesn't exactly like the look of them. "Soledad is a pretty smart woman, not sure what I could help you with."

Slowly, Nadia creeps forward toward the altercation, a frown on her face as she regards the group of thugs. She holds back as she reaches earshot, watching the group of thugs with an unhappy look on her face. Melissa's statement draws a slow nod from the girl, though she certainly doesn't interject on the conversation, watching in complete silence.

Abby picks up her pace as well, keeping in step with Melissa, a glance to Nadia. Everyone Ferry but this woman. Here's to hoping the woman wasn't someone they didn't want seeing whatever was going to go down here. "Hey Kay, what's happening here?" Need me to call for help?

The man swivels on the steps, leans his hip into the stone banister and sweeps dark eyes over the three new arrivals. A glance at his face tells Melissa that she's seen him once before: at seedy bar on Staten Island across the table from one Sasha Kozlow. He'd called him Angel then, and she's probably lucky that he didn't get a good look at her.

"I have an arrangement with your people that is not being honoured," Angel says. Inside the house, the sound of small footsteps thump up the stairs. Kaylee is an Adult, and Antony is going to do what she says. "This is a problem."

Oh yes, she remembers that face. She hurt that face. It makes her grimace and whisper to Abby. "I've seen that guy with Kozlow. The night before he offed himself. Or supposedly did." Melissa then smiles sweetly at Soledad and Kaylee. We're all best buds here. "Hey guys. What's going on?" she asks before looking over the men in what looks like an innocently curious glance.

"Hey there Abby…" The telepath's eyes go to her companion. "Melissa." She sounds more surprised then anything to see her, but it's not anything important. What is however, "This… guy here was going to fill me in." Kaylee's head tilting to hear what he has to say, even as her mental voice echo's in Abby's head.

Not sure yet. A phone might make them react.

"Okay, what is this supposed arrangement?" Arms unfold so that she can spread them out in front of her. She keeps her tone compliant enough, curious. She knows Abby is council, but she's not about to expose that. "I'm curious. Enlighten me." The hands fold and hang in front of her and she feigns interest.

The woman remains planted in her spot, frowning at the interaction. This isn't too nice at all. Nadia glances about at the others in the area, fidgeting, before turning back to look at 'Angel' and his lackeys. What to do? She certainly doesn't want to suck them up into the ground with such a crowd…they could turn on her. So she stands, staring, a frown upon her features as she listens.

"Might be best, yeah, that he fill us all in" Melissa's little tidbit of information is stowed away, tucked into the back of Abby's mind as she walks around the telepath and the others so she can dump the food into the safe house proper and emerge forth once again. "You have our attention, though I can't fathom that Soledad would reneg on any deal made, would you Soledad?"

Angel pauses to run his tongue over his front teeth. He must assume that Nadia is with Abigail and Melissa, because he apparently has no compunctions discussing business in front of her. "Simple." He reaches up and scratches his nails along the scruff of his beard. "We keep your safehouse safe. Soledad and I — we agreed on a small fee for this service, and for the past five, six months, she does well, pays on time, and no one comes sniffing around this door. This month, she tells me she can't pay, but Mara Salvatrucha… we're generous. We give her two weeks. It's been three."

His fingers slip free of the dog's collar, but the animal remains at his knee, its sides heaving and tongue lolling. A jerk of his head has the two men with him shouldering past Soledad and Kaylee and forcing their way into the safehouse before the former can answer Abby's question. "I want to be sure she's telling the truth," Angel says apologetically. "This will only take a few minutes."

Okay, nice and friendly didn't work, but there are other tactics Melissa could take. She moves up the stairs, reaching for Angel's arm, trying to get him to stop. "What, you think that she's really got all this cash and it's just gonna be sittin' out where you can find it? Or are you just looking for an excuse to wreck the place? Because I'm not going to let you do that, and I don't think my friends are either," she says, giving a smile that's little more than a baring of teeth.

She doesn't look to the others, since taking her eyes off of Angel could be bad, but she does speak to Soledad. "Soledad? How much do you owe these nice men? And who the hell is Mara whatever her name was?"

Brows lift slowly as the man answers, before Kaylee looks to Soledad, before she has men muscling past her. Quickly, the telepath turns and moves to get past the two men and block their way. There are kids there, no need to have gang members trashing the place. "No. No you don't." She moves to block their way, hands in front of her. "«Stop. Don't go any further.»" The order is given to each man in turn, with her ability attempting to plant that idea in their head.

"Let's talk about this before you go trashing the place." Kaylee sounds a bit exasperated, as she glances past them to Angel. She'd doesn't want to start any kind of problems, but last thing they needed was an assault on a safehouse.

Nadia is frowning as the situation becomes worse and worse, fidgeting nervously. One girl is trying to grab the gangster's arm, and the gangsters look like they mean business. She glances around quietly, a frown on her face as she shifts her weight from foot to foot. She looks confused, worried for the people in the house, angry at the men who are trying to force their way into the house.

"It's a Gang Melissa. We get a few of their victims in the ambulances and some of their members" Well this is was somthing that would need to be brought up to the council. She can't remember anything being said about Soledad's safehouse having to pay a fee. "Why don't you stop out here, first, and tell us how much Soledad doesn't have. Maybe between us, we got it and you can go about your day, badgering others on the street to pay a protection fee to protect them from yourself?" Abigail moves with Kaylee to interpose herself between the gang men and the house.

"Because I'd really like to deal with this amicably, understood? Without things heating up" WHich to a degree, they already are. Abby's starting to sweat.

On the stoop, it's hard to say which is louder: the crash that comes from inside the safehouse as one of Angel's men roughly shoves Kaylee up against one of the bedroom doors on the first floor or Angel's hand cracking against Melissa's face. One of them does stop, but not because Kaylee asked him to. He puts out a hand wrapped in gauze and within moments, all four women will feel the effects of a negation field settling around them.

"Please don't, Soledad is pleading, not with Angel but with Abigail and Nadia, unable to meet Melissa's eyes. "Let them take what they find. It isn't worth it." She probably should have warned them that Angel had a negator with him before things started to escalate, but it's too late now.

The man with Kaylee up against the door seizes a fistful of her hair in his fingers. Angel isn't making any move to tell him to stop, but Abigail has his attention, fleeting though it may be. "Fifteen hundred," he says.

Which is probably more than any of them are carrying in cash.

The slap has Melissa's head jerking to one side, the skin almost immediately turning pink. But it doesn't make Melissa lose her grip on him. Instead her eyes narrow and she slowly turns her head to look back to Angel. It's good for him that he has a negator with him, or he'd probably be in pain. Lots of pain. "Well aren't you a big man? Gotta bring a negator to deal with a couple of putas?" she asks with a sneer. If his attention is on her, it's not on the kids or Soledad, right?

Again, she doesn't look away from Angel, but it's not just one person she addresses, but any of the other women. "I know I don't have that much cash on me. How about you guys?"

There is a hiss of pain from the telepath as she is slammed up against the door, but that doesn't frighten her, it's the fact that all the humming in her head cuts out at once. Eyes widen slightly at the realization, "Son of a…" The words cut off as Kaylee's hair is grabbed painfully. She doesn't scream, but can't stop the sound in the back of her throat.

Blue eyes glare at the man that has her by the hair. "Not me…" She says in a strained voice, at Melissa's question. For the moment, she doesn't do anything. Waiting to see what happens.

Kaylee can hear claw scratching upstairs and the frantic growling and high pitched barking of her puppy, trapped in a room with the boy. Please, please… don't let the door open.

"Come back in half an hour, You'll have it" She's got three hundred in her bag right now, banks are plentiful enough. To a degree - to a couple hundred degree's - it's good that they have a negator. Lest when Kaylee gets slammed against the wall of the door and Mel's finding her face taking a beating, Abby might very well have lost it. "I need to go to the bank. But it's yours, if you'll just come back in half an hour" Both hands up, palms facing the men as if trying to placate them. "I swear on the bible, that I'll have it in half an hour. That okay with you?" Please dear god let it be okay.

Okay, this is weird. Nadia feels the effects of the negation field, her eyes widening as she stares at the man with the gauze-wrapped hand, that frown getting bigger and bigger. "S-sorry, can't help you out there…" Slowly, she begins to back away from the area, crossing the street at a quick pace as though she's decided that this isn't something she wants to worry about. An apologetic look is cast toward the house as Nadia puts distance between herself and the negator, grasping for her power as she does so. But she still keeps an eye on the house, and on the goings-on…

As Nadia retreats, the invisible pressure keeping her ability at bay lessens, eventually lifting by the time she reaches the opposite side of the street where the park's sprinklers are still spitting away and a few passersby have finally stopped to watch from a safe distance, murmuring to one another in voices too low for her to decipher.

There's a moment where Angel looks like he might start after her, but Melissa's hand stills him before he can. "Give us what you have with you now," he instructs Abigail and the others. "We'll come back for the rest." In Kaylee's case, it isn't a matter of giving but rather taking. The ganger pressing her into the door reaches around with his free and and searches the back pockets of her jeans for a wallet, keeping her pinned in place with his hips.

There are a number of things Melissa would like to say, that much is clear by the look on her face, but she keeps her lips sealed and pulls her wallet out. A couple of bills are plucked from it, offered out to Angel. It's not much, just under two hundred, but it's something. "Now let her go," she says, inclining her head towards Kaylee.

There is only so much that Kaylee can stand by and take, this is getting to her breaking point. It reminds her too much of the time when she learned she was different. Teeth and fists are clenched tight as he searches her pockets.

Her body trembles, but not with fear, she's ready to claw at his face or even sink teeth in. He may have her hair but he doesn't have her hands, "Get your hands out of my pockets, you sick son of a bitch." She can't put her ability behind it, but she can still hiss the words, like an angry cat. "All you have to do is ask, nicely." There isn't much in her pockets. Making a few dollars for fare and her ID.

Abby's doing a stupid. Robert, Teo, Francois, most of the men in her life will probably tell her that what she's doing, is called doing a stupid. Abby considers it growing a pair and using what Xiulan and Caliban taught her. "Fine, I got three hundred on me, all yours" back goes the flap on her messenger bag, digging out her wallet and tossing it towards Angel, hoping that it might distract from what's coming out of her bag next.

They had settled on a taser for her to carry around - her and Robert, despite how illegal it might be if you're not a cop. She is most decidedly not a cop, but she knows what the majority of the evolved abilities in this room are, and as the taser is quickly lifted towards the negator, the trigger is pulled so that the prongs launch from the weapon towards him. She's been on the receiving end once, she knows what it will do. Knows that if it hits, negators gonna drop and there's some pain coming, with a side of telekinetic hijinks.

If it hits. If not, she's pretty sure her ass is grass.

Nadia can't help but smile ever-so-slightly as she reaches the other side, spinning on her heels. For a moment, she stares toward the commotion, sizing the situation up. She frowns apologetically to the three, before closing her eyes, her brow furrowed; still, she slowly backs away, though at a sluggish pace, like she's distracted.

The ground near the front of the building begins to emit a low rumble, like something is /moving/ beneath. Nadia's facial expression grows darker as she concentrates…before her eyes snap open, and she is /glaring/ at the man on the stairs. She attempts to crumble the concrete first…followed by an attempt to raise rather large wall of dirt from the sidewalk, just before it attempts to 'swallow' the man, packing him into the dirt tightly. No killing, certainly…no, she's going for imprisonment.

It all happens very fast. The negator goes down with an audible crackle of live electricity, and the ganger pinning Kaylee to the door untangles his hand from her hair, reaching back behind him. A moment later, his arm is swinging back up again, gun in hand, and while it would be easy for him to shoot the telepath once in the neck and be done with it, she's not the immediate threat.

Abigail is. He squeezes off two shots. The first sprays her with a fine sprinkling of plaster, embedded in the wall a few feet to her left. The second goes even wider, but there's no sound of it splintering through wood or ricocheting off the concrete outside.

Abruptly, Soledad drops to the pavement at Melissa's feet. Dark fluid blossoms out between her shoulder blades a few inches below her neck and stains her blouse red.

Angel has his weapon out, too, and his aim is better than the ganger's inside… though not by very much. A bullet grazes Nadia's arm, pings against the sprinklers behind her and showers the sidewalk in a surge of water that explodes out from a burst pipe, sending the other bystanders scattering for cover.

A barked command has his dog close on his heels as he flies down the steps, tripping over broken concrete and goes spilling onto the sidewalk, but he's up again almost immediately, stumbling away from the scene.

The ganger still standing opts to flee the scene by exiting through the back door rather than fight his way out the front. His companion on the floor with the prongs in his chest isn't going anywhere.

Gunshots. Melissa knows that sound entirely too well, along with the feel of bullets. She ducks down at the sound of the first shot, reaching behind her to pull her gun. But she has a weapon quicker than that, and it's immediately focused on Angel and the man harassing Kaylee, the pain immediate and intense. And familiar to Angel. Then again, since she's firing at him, that's probably familiar too. Guys like that just have to know what it feels like to be shot.

But in all this, she did notice Soledad, and she yells, "Someone come help with Soledad! And someone restrain that fucking negator before he wakes up." A beat, a grimace, then, "Do we gotta call the cops?" Not her first choice, but she's willing, if it helps.

When she sees the gun, Kaylee freezes, pretty sure for the moment she's dead. Hands unclench and press against the wood of the door, but he shoots at Abby. The loud report of the weapon makes her flinch. She's surprised tho, when she's suddenly freed and not the next victim. Already she can feel her ability again, so she isn't about to let this one go.

You want to stop!>" The words hit out from between her teeth, Kaylee is pissed, off. She stares at the fleeing man's back, her hair a mess behind her. Here ability spikes through his skull as she speaks. "«And drop the gun»"

Duck and cover. Taser dropped after another pull of the trigger to make sure the guy stays down as a few more volts surge through the downed negator. her SUV is a couple blocks away, not near here and it's in the vehicle that her gear is and so it's with horror that Abigail stares for a split second at Soledad from her crouch on the ground.

This is not going well, blonde hair whipping over her shoulder as she crawls over to the downed caretaker, setting about to doing what she does for a living for the woman, checking pulses, whipping off her top layer of tank top to use cover the wound.

"Call an ambulance. Call an ambulance now, and someone wipe my fingerprints off the taser now"

Oh. Oh god. That hurts. That REALLY hurts. In fact, that hurts more than anything else she's ever experienced in her life. Stumbling back, Nadia claps a hand to her arm, crouching down to the ground; she doesn't care about the sprinklers drenching her, washing the blood away from the fresh wound. Something in her snaps. Something in her happens. Crying out in pain, Nadia curls in on herself, her body shivering.

That rumbling sound returns again. But this time, it's bigger. Louder. And it is growing. It comes slowly at first, the rumbling becoming small vibrations. Then, however, it spikes, and the ground is shaking. The sidewalk and street surrounding the girl crack and break, and the buildings nearest to the center of this disturbance…well, they're starting to crack. Windows shatter, showering the street with glass. It's an earthquake, folks, probably a 5 magnitude on the richter scale. Right here in New York City, no less! Will wonders never cease?

Even more incredible than the quake itself is the fact that its effects do not extend more than two hundred yards. Many streets over, men and women are opening their windows and doors, filtering out onto the curb in search of what's causing the sound, and although they can undoubtedly feel the vibrations through the pavement, everything else around them remains perfectly still.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of the street that the safehouse stands on. Glass rains down from the second floor windows, and a loose piece of tile from the roof comes spinning down, smashes through the windshield of a car parked nearby and sets its alarm blaring.

Someone can call the police. Someone can call an ambulance. But there probably isn't any need. The response center's lines are already ringing off the hook.

Angel disappears around the corner, clutching his shoulder. Either he injured it when he tripped on his way down the stairs, or Melissa managed to hit him. She doesn't know which, and at this exact moment in time, it doesn't particularly matter. A massive crack is spreading through the sidewalk only a few feet in front of her.

Inside, Kaylee's command rewards her with the sound of a gun clattering against linoleum in the kitchen, but her telepathic prowess is not so great that she can convince a man to stay indoors when he fears that the roof is about to come down on his head. Fortunately for the both of them, it doesn't. Like Angel, he's gone.

Less than fifteen seconds after is started, the rumbling subsides, the crack in the street ceases to spread, and the last shards of glass tinkle against the sidewalk.

Suddenly, squealing car alarms excluded, the world around them is very quiet.

When the shaking starts Melissa's first instinct is to drop down and cover Soledad, to prevent glass from falling on the already injured woman. And when the quake stops, she's sitting up with a frown and holstering her pistol. "What the fuck?" she asks, before nodding at Abby. "Right. Fingerprints." She looks around then moves to the taser, picking it up, then holding it with her shirt to wipe the prints off as best she can, before letting it just drop.

Looking back to Abby, Mel frowns in concern. "What can I do to help? Besides the obvious?" And the obvious, of course, is reversing her ability, to make it so that Soledad isn't suffering from her injury.

When the ground starts to shake, Kaylee becomes less concerned about the guy running and more concerned about the world shaking around them. Her hands go to the edges of the door frame as she looks at the others with confusion. "What the hell was that?"

She pushes away from the door once the shaking stops. Glancing up at the sound of the puppy, Kaylee's brows furrow. "We have to get the people housed here out before the police and ambulances come around." She glances at the other, before the looks down at Soledad, seeing that they have her taken care, of the telepath moves to head ups.

There's a terrakinetic somewhere? Only explanation as to why the world is moving. Abigail hovers over Soledad's head when Melissa covers the womans torso till the earthquake stops. "Then get them out Kaylee, my keys are in my bag, if you want to lead them up and drive em out. Parked a few blocks south of here. Soledad" She focuses her attention on the downed woman, a glance out the door at Nadia with a puzzled look before she's working on the woman again. "Stuff to cover the wound, and we do our best to keep her alive. Lord I shouldn't have done that, I'm sorry Soledad, lord i'm sorry"

When it's over, Nadia looks up, blinking owlishly at the destruction she just caused with a furrowed brow. For a long while, all she can do is sit there, still crouched and soaking wet from the sprinklers. Her arm still hurts, yeah…but more concerning is the fact that there are cracks in the street, glass is all over the sidewalks, and buildings have large stress fractures from the unexpected earthquake. "…Holy shit…" Did I do this? Really?! Abigail's glance out the door at Nadia prompts the girl to frown, raising to her feet. Maybe she should just walk to the hospital…yeah, that would probably be a good idea. She turns, picking her way across the distruction, doing her best to /get the hell away/. Last thing she needs is cops and news reporters…

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