ivy_icon.gif val_icon.gif vi_icon.gif

Scene Title 以眼還眼
Synopsis "An eye for an eye."
Date April 29, 2018

Ruins of Queens

"How much fucking longer are they going to make us wait!?"

With a swift kick, a can clatters off of a dirty concrete floor, shoots through the air, and strikes an adjacent wall. It rattles noisily, then wobbles to a stop beside a broken folding table covered with a thick coat of gray dust interspersed with clean spots in the shape of smudged palm prints. The strangled and frustrated snarl of impatience that comes next echoes through the mostly empty 189th Street subway station.

"Ivy, you… you've gotta calm down." A pink-haired woman urges as she materializes beside the can, draped in a loosely cabled gray sweater that hangs past her knees and swallows her hands in its wide sleeves. "Please."

The source of the pink-haired woman's concern is the brunette stalking like a caged tiger across the subway station concourse, fingers wound in her hair and dark circles under her eyes. "They haven't called us, Val!" Ivy shoots back, pointing at her pink-haired doppelganger. "Nobody's— nobody's given us orders I— I can't just sit here! We should— we've gotta go out there! We've gotta find them and we've gotta kill them!" Her voice cracks at the end there, eyes wide and wild.

Val nervously tenses, one sweater-shrouded hand coming up to cover her mouth as she looks down and away from her sister. "We dont even know where to look without— "

"Don't even say her name!" Ivy screams, hands balled into fists at her side. "She's dead, she's dead, dead, dead, dead, dead!" Val covers her ears with her hands and rolls her shoulders at Ivy's shouting, backing away into the corner beside a rubble-covered bench, brows furrowed anxiously and eyes averted to her feet.

From the darkness, a hand slips out and firmly claps down on Ivy's shoulder. Another doppelganger, one who looks even more closely alike than Val. The heavy fur coat she wears is shaggy and matted, like it's been worn in weather it shouldn't have been. "You need… to be quiet." Ivy looks over at the hand, teeth gnashed together and then gradually relents and unwinds her tension, jerking her shoulder out of the grasp.

"Where've you been?' Ivy snaps at the newcomer, looking her up and down.

"Vi!" Val breathlessly exclaims as she finally looks up and spots her sister behind Ivy. The pink-haired woman flickers away and reappears beside and somewhat behind Vi, still covering her mouth with one sleeve-laden hand, though seeming more reassured — if not still pensive.

Vi glances back at Val, then looks at Ivy. "Command is gone. No survivors: Shāi-mìng, Xíong, Yù— all dead. Security: all dead." Vi adjusts the collar of her coat and walks toward Ivy, squaring her with a stern look before winding up and coming a hair's breadth away from slapping her across the face. Ivy doesn't flinch, but then Val narrows her eyes and Ivy lets out a howl of pain and recoils from the near-touch, clutching the side of her face before she crumples to her knees, tears welling up in her eyes.

"Where were you when they were attacked?" Vi asks of her nearly incapacitated sister. Val says nothing, does nothing, merely stands passively behind Vi and keeps that sleeved hand covering her mouth, half of her face hidden by a ragged fringe of bubblegum pink hair. Ivy, from the ground, looks up at her sister and pulls her hand away from her face, where there is a bright red blister of broken capillaries and spreading bruise as if she had been struck hard and hours ago.

Ivy doesn't answer, just looks up at her sister with wide and fearful eyes. Vi steps closer, flats scuffing on the concrete. She holds a hand out over Vi, fingers spread. "Where were you?"

"Vi no." Val whispers into her sleeve, but her sister either doesn't hear her or doesn't care to acknowledge Val's protest. Instead, Vi tilts her head to the side and raises one brow as her lip curls up into a sneer. Suddenly, Ivy lets out a howling wail of a scream and writhes around on the floor. A warbling, hissing sound comes from Vi's outstretched palm and Ivy clenches her eyes shut and howls like a wounded animal.

"Where were you!?" Vi screams, her voice ringing off of the concrete walls of the nearly pitch-black subway. The electric lamps scattered around provide only a minute amount of amber-colored light, casting Vi half in shadow. Ivy, now covered in broken capillaries and blotched blue-purple bruises raises a trembling hand for her sister to stop, gasping out strangled words that are almost a response.

Reluctantly, Vi lowers her hand and the screaming stops, as does the hissing sound coming from her palm. She waits, one eye twitching as she considers her sister's prone and motionless form on the floor. Ivy slowly pushes herself up with one arm, one eye wrenched shut and blood dribbling in a thin line from one nostril.

"Running errands." Ivy says with a sneer, and Vi doesn't seem to appreciate the sarcastic answer. Her hand flies up again, but this time is met by the sleeve-covered grip of Val, who looks pleadingly at her sister.

"We went after Alix," Val blurts out, tears welling up in her eyes. "She got into an argument with Ivy about Yingsu and— and we didn't notice she just took off." Vi looks over at Val, lowering her arm because that answer satisfied her, not because her sister was trying to stop her from torturing one out of either of them.

Vi's sneer turns into a snarl, and she looks down at Ivy with a baleful expression. "I didn't order you to attack one of our sisters!" Vi takes a hop-step forward and kicks Ivy in the stomach, sending her sprawling onto her back. Then, Vi steps down on her side and elicits a sharp whine of pain as her heel grinds into an unseen injury caused by Vi's ability. "You nearly got yourself and Val killed! You revealed us to a shibai!"

Then, pressing that heel down harder, Val snarls, "You weren't there when Command needed you." Ivy suddenly reaches up, grabbing Vi by the leg and hurling her off balance with a tremendous burst of strength. Vi lands with a yelp on the ground, one shoe flying off. Vi is quick to stand, looking up at Val as the pink-haired woman shrinks back and away from the fighting.

"Don't you dare touch me!" Ivy screams at Vi, who is already crawling onto one scuffed knee and lifting her hand defensively at her sister. The air around her palm begins to hiss and whine again, and both women pause as they consider one-another. Val, frozen in fear, covers her face with both sleeve-shrouded hands.

Something buzzes noisily in the dark.

Watch out boy she'll chew you up!
(Oh here she comes)
She's a maneater!

Val jumps at the sound, and both Ivy and Vi look in the direction of the ringtone. The two quarreling sisters both visibly relax, and Vi swiftly storms over to where a purse sits on a dark green subway bench, snatching up phone up from inside. The top of the phone reads no signal and the incoming call listed as from 以眼還眼. Her expression is puzzled. She looks back at Ivy uncertainly.

Watch out boy she'll—

"Hello?" Vi's eyes wander the room, from sister to sister as she listens to whoever is calling on the other end. Her eyes widen for a moment, in surprise. "Juéshì," is breathlessly exhaled. "How— how are you— " she flinches. "Yes, of— of course." Both Val and Ivy are frozen in place from the moment Vi addresses the caller by that title, though they do look at one-another with noticeable apprehension.

"Of course, Juéshì." Vi answers, cradling the phone with both hands. "Alix is— " she swallows loudly, nodding repeatedly as if the person on the other end of the line could see her. "Of course," her voice is tiny now, fingers curling against the phone and one hand moving away to wind a lock of dark hair around one finger. "A-absolutely, Juéshì. We— we can— "

VI's brows furrow, she swallows noisily, and slowly she lowers the now silent phone away from her ear. Ivy and Val are still frozen in place, watching with nervous anticipation. As Vi steadies herself, she looks back and forth between her sisters and wets her lips once in anticipation.

"We have an assignment."

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