And The Hell All Around, Part I


bao-wei2_icon.gif bella_icon.gif deckard_icon.gif gin_icon.gif griffin_icon.gif joanna_icon.gif magnes_icon.gif nadira_icon.gif

Scene Title And The Hell All Around, Part I
Synopsis In which there are several knights in shining armor amidst a riotous journey.
Date November 8, 2010

East Flushing, Queens

The state of the city, hours after the midday broadcast, is best described only as chaos. While there was a notable blacking out of the broadcasts in the middle of the day, towards central parts of the city, the majority of those listening to some sort of radio, television, or the awkward voices of ambient sound are faced with the repercussions of such an innocuous act. There is no such thing as a personal note here in downtown Queens; the rioters have simply moved in and literally taken over, with no rhyme nor reason.

The chill November air is permeated with the sporadic glows of fires, orange and smoldering on various points of the horizon, and the columns of black smoke above them reach like many thin, skeletal fingers reaching for the otherwise crisp, pale blue sky. A haze has begun to form, amdist the clouds, and the sunlight that manages to filter through is dusky, giving the sense of time a heavy flow, as if it were running into the evening. Truth be told, many people likely wish it were. The riot in downtown Queens has not only caused fires, but the streets brimming with angry bodies are smashing, throwing, screaming, looting- those who have stayed inside homes find little solace in the scenes playing outside of windows and below rises. The throng that is the thickest, is now slogging its way out of East Flushing, along one of the main roadways heading further east.

The police have their hands full, the fire department stretched thin over the borough, doing its best to contain fires that threaten to engulf various hospitals and locations that have, in the interim of a few hours, become refugee centers for those in sudden flight from the unerring and literally burning violence that has overtaken the daytime. There is a police presence here, where the mob is stronger, but right now they seem to be concentrating on pinning the smaller mobs, waiting for backup that will hopefully filter out to where they are, in the form of either National Guard or an otherwise military presence- which, in fact, will not be coming anytime soon.

The larger one goes almost unchecked, because of this, and East Flushing is rife with men and women rampant and raging in the street, turning over unfortunate cars, breaking ground floor windows, setting bin fires, and causing a sound of human unrest that can set off even the most unwilling participants. All in all, it is too much, too quickly, and the neighborhood is a sudden, unfortunate victim of circumstance, and victim of those thousands of bodies now pulsing angrily through it.

The unfortunate thing about Gin's situation, or rather, one of the many unfortunate things, is that she does not know how to use the internet. She doesn't know how to read. She doesn't own a radio. So her exposure to what was expected on November 8th was minimal and easily ignored. It was only after thing started to go to hell that she decided to get out of Dodge, so to speak. So it is, in a long duster, a wide brimmed hat and a gun hostler, with a bag of quickly packed items and a cute little Shiba Inu puppy in her arms, she's been picking her way vaguely north. Trying to avoid the trouble.

But that's just the thing about Old Man Trouble. He likes to show up uninvited a lot.

Wearing all white, in the guise of the White Knight, Magnes is covered from head to toe, his mask and gloves zipped to his shirt, white cargo pants tucked into his laced up military boots. He's been standing on a roof, staring down at the chaos without the scarf he usually wears. He's been thinking, hard.

What can he do about all of this? Stop people with gravity and let them get trampled? Try to help the police, who'll either shoot, arrest, or turn him away? There's simply no easy answer, all he can do is keep Magnes J. Varlane out of the spotlight, and hope that, after mauling it over long enough, the White Knight can do something to help today.

Only hours ago, Griffin was nicely covered in wounds, unable to walk, with a piercing headache. Thankfully, after Peter gave him a full body Charlie's Horse and got to feel Griff's pain, Griffin is back to normal. No more stitches in his arm and side, no more wounds, period. It's hard to believe that it was only moments ago that he was unable to even stand without the aid of his vectors, let alone walk.

The man wears a frown as he uses his ability to keep the rioting crowds from trampling him and the small woman he keeps close to his side, his glowing eyes glaring through the crowds. He's peering, in particular, at the police. For once, he feels for them. A squeeze is offered to Nadira.

"Egypt was bad before, but never this bad." Nadira remains close to Griffin, her dark-eyed gaze scanning the rioting and fires with a look of jumpy anticipation. "This is pure chaos…" She murmurs, shaking her head. "I don't know how to even begin to stop any of this. I don't even know that it's safe to try."

Dr. Sheridan would wonder why everyone who saw visions of the riots actually stayed in Queens in order to carry out this destructive destiny. She supposes that the exhilaration of total chaos might give a riot participant reason to remain, but they can't believe any of this will end well. The lawkeepers are out in force, and they are badly outnumbered enough to be dangerous.

Not that they are particularly dangerous to her. Bella has her DoEA badge on her disreputable person, something that could well save her life should she need refuge in a controlled area (though it might end it should a rancorous Evolved discover her affiliation). This sense of potential sanctuary, the return of a time-stranded friend and the vague promise her own vision grants her helped tip the scales, brought her out to work. Plus she's got a suit of body armor on under her jacket and blouse. Now, she hadn't intended to go through Queens on her way back home, but thinking she could so easily sidestep the predicted probable is exactly the sort of thing that lets time put you in your place in a quite literal sense.

In short, this was such a bad idea.

In her silver sports car, Bella is a prime target for a rioter in the mood for some grand theft auto. She makes it easy, too, puttering along the streets at fraction of the vehicle's true speed, like maybe if she drives slowly it'll be the same a tiptoeing. She's not even quite sure where she's driving. She doesn't know what or where is safe right now. But she knows she can't stay in Queens.

This are getting much too hot.


Joanna's dressed in Rich people dressed down, pulling along the road opposite Bella in her own black lexus, window down and yelling, having managed to circle about. Somewhere along the way Tasha had jumped out thinking she'd seen Colette and then the cops had refused to let her stay put. No, she had to keep moving and she was pissed at that. Between the government types who had showed up to see if she knew anything about the whereabouts of Vincent and if he'd contacted her, to the panicked call from Colette asking that Tasha and Joanna come, this was far more stressful than her most high profile case ever.

She's crawling too, slow as she dares, keeping an eye on the crowd, calling out through the open window, her phone having given up the ghost at some point. "TASHA" She yells out through the window. God. They should have told Colette no.

Nobody in the throng winding about in the street likely knows Bella Sheridan personally, but at some point she gets just too close. The police weren't exactly in a place to stop her, being occupied with trying to contain the rioters breaking off from the main body; it is this discrepancy that finds her in a terribly dangerous situation when just a couple of these wild sets of fists and feet find the hood of her silverfish sports car. Like moths to a flame, the mob literally begins to engulf the few cars still left moving on the street.

Arms pounding on metal, bodies suddenly swarming against glass, voices rumbling even through the windows- Bella's car, ever conspicuous, is targeted first, which may give Joanna the five seconds she needs to roll up the window. As for Bella, well- those doors had best be locked, because at least one person on either side is trying to open them, to either get to her, or to simply sow discord by blatantly invasive moves.

For someone as self oriented as Gin, the mob going for the cars isn't a frightening or tragic situation, but rather, a moment of opportunity. To use the distraction to try to navigate along her own way, trying to get herself clear.

Magnes has no idea it's Bella in that car, but he knows it's someone who needs help. If he can help one person today, at least whatever fate that comes from his vision will be worth it. He's not going to kill Teo, despite everything he's done. Killing Minea, knocking up Delilah, he's still not going to shoot the man.

But it's best to atone ahead of time, just in case.

He leaps down from the building, falling like a white bullet until he gradually slows down, boots landing lightly on the roof of Bella's car, right above her head. "Hey!" he calls out in his modulated voice, trying to grab their attention, then thrusts both hands forward as he tries to increase the gravity of the people in the front, then send them backward in an attempt to at least temporarily keep the people from getting to Bella.

It's times like these, he really wishes he learned the chemical formula for tear gas. Smoke bombs could make the crowd more violent, and staying on top of the car could get him shot. "Hey, you in the car, unlock your passenger door if you want to make it out of this in one piece!" the modulated voice calls down to her, like three or four people talking at once. He always found it unsettling when Rebel had such a strange voice, so figured it could work for his alter ego.

Griffin seems to be doing a fairly good job of keeping the crowds out. Nadira is held close to him, the man scowling at the crowds. He's got his own fair share of anger building, Gin certainly isn't the only one. As someone nearly makes it past a vector, Griff lets out a low noise of anger, shoving the man back. They didn't stop it; it's just as insane as always.

It doesn't go unnoticed that Bella's car is being attacked. Griffin frowns, glancing toward it; suddenly, his vectors snake out, attempting to shove people from the vehicle, while still keeping the last pair of vectors around him and his charge, who he holds protectively close. "This is insane…" He frowns. "We didn't stop it…" He frowns at the riots. What more can he do than try to save the woman in the vehicle?

Griff guides the way over to the vehicle, still pushing people away from the car with those telekinetic arms of his. A glance is cast up toward white-clad figure, one brow arching, even as Griffin is working to help as well.

The guy in the white suit is someone Nadira finds a little on the creepy side, but he's at least trying to help, or so it looks. Someone's nice shiny car is going to get smashed either way, the Egyptian woman is sure. She peers towards Griffin. "Perhaps there was nothing we could have done. We prevented it from being worse, I am sure of that. Some things… some things I do not feel can be changed. Now we have to stand strong through this storm and find our way to the other side of it." Her gaze shifts about, keeping a careful eye on things just in case they get worse where they're standing at. It looks like the car was going to get more than enough assistance one way or the other.

This was never not going to happen this way, was it? As the mob flows up around her, an amorphous entity formed of many frenzied human bodies, Bella feels… yeah, that's definitely panic.

This may be a good time to mention that Bella has a gun in the passenger side seat.

Yes, it's true. Gun control supporter Isabella Sheridan came to work armed today. It's a revolver, the only actual honest to God firearm she's had any sort of experience with, though that was only her putting rounds into her apartment floor. It gets a quick glance, and Bella's hand extends in its direction… but doesn't quite get there. Instead she diverts to the stick shift, wrestling with it as she pumps between clutch and accelerator, trying to gather speed and pull free of the clawing mass that is piling up around her. As advertised, the interior of this car is actually well insulated from sound. No chance she can hear anyone over the thud of fists against her windows, and the stunningly incongruous sounds of an Annie Lennox CD.

Bella has never really gotten a handle on the acceleration of this goddamn car. There is a screech of tires on asphalt for the moment before the clutch engages. Then the speedometer's needle goes from too-slow to too-fast in much-too-little time. The silver car bucks forward, doing God knows how much damage to the poor bastards directly in front of her, plowing ahead with all the force of a lots-of-horsepower engine.

Bella's not really clear on all of the hard numbers.

When the bodies clear from her windshield, rolling up and off of her car's chassis, Bella has about 0.5-1 second(s) to contemplate the sleek shape of the Lexus that rests directly in her path, a shallow curve made by the slight tilt of her steering wheel.

The next instant is full of screeching metal and shattering glass, and the whoomph of Bella's airbag billowing up against her, cushioning her as she jolts forward, the two mangled vehicles skidding up onto the curb.

Joanna's too busy stabbing the button that is responsible for putting her window up, to notice the people who move out of Bella's way, the individual in white who's using his ability, more concentrated on the whole people about to surge her vehicle and include her vehicle in the damage that will ensue. She looks up at the last second, glass sliding home as Bella's sporty vehicle hits her own, the force causing her own airbags to deploy and snap her head back into her seat. Pain lances through her neck and shoulders and she's a little shocked. Surprised, no. Shocked, yes. Car accident, in a riot. WHat on earth will the insurance company charge her for this is rates.

The crowd now rocking the car makes a series of shocked and angry noises when the man in white alights down on the vehicle roof. MAgnes' efforts, paired with those of Grffin's telekinetic vectors, push the mob at least a precious foot. There is only a few seconds before inside the car, Bella begins her tentative gauge of the situation, and pumps down on the gas pedal while all of these people are inched away from it. A nominal bubble of opportunity that turns right into disaster.

There are ominous bumps both alongside and under the tires when she screeches forward on the pavement, yelps and sporadic screams unheard through the proofed walls and windows of the coupe. The incident itself is straight out of a horror film, save for the part where all of these people were already dead at some point or another. It takes far less than a headshot to incapacitate these ones. And even less of an effort for her car to slam nosefirst into the Lexus with Joanna inside.

The nipping air on the street has been warmed by the activity of both the cars and the crowd; the fires lick at the sky not too far in the distance on either end of the horizon. At this point, the police are at a loss; they only have so much room in trucks, only so many handcuffs to detain those who have strayed to close to them. They need help that isn't going to be coming from the military, and very likely, from the few hidden gems amidst the people. If it is one thing they are good at, the Evolved are skilled disruptions. The reactions to the various invisible forces are of shock and panic.

Who is it? is the rumbling consensus from stamping feet and open mouths.

There won't be too much time for anyone to debate it, unfortunately. Though the smoke has blotted out most of the sky, a great many of the rioters react when a conspicuously hatchback-shaped shadow appears in the air, arching up from its broken state on the curb and vaulting into the air. The cause? The fire hydrant on the corner, which it had been run facefirst into, has exploded from a spurting leak to a resounding rush of water- no, not water. The geyser is made of ice, moving as fluid as the water it climbs.

The rocking cars, the invisible forces, it's all behind her, so to speak. However, the flying car situation, the ice? Gin has to take a few steps back from the ice geyser, holding little Nono a little tighter to her. Caught between a rock and a hard place, the woman from another time is forced to start looking for another way out.

Magnes goes flying from the force of the impact between the two cars, twisting around in the air to extend a hand, pulling at seemingly nothing. His entire body jerks to a mid-air stop, and Bella's car jerks slightly in response. "Damnit." He goes flying back down, since now there's two cars he has to keep people away from. He can't hold off this many people, and even if it may make them more violent, he can only see one last resort.

"Alright, damned if this doesn't work." He flies into the air again, this time away from the cars and toward the other side of the street. "Hey, Many as One, look up here!" he calls down to the people to get their attention on him, then reaches into one of his white pouches for a vial, tossing a smoke bomb at the ground. It'll only provide any real cover in the open air for a few minutes, but if it keeps them from mauling the people in the cars a while longer…

And then there's a goddamned car in the air. God knows how many people that'll hurt if it lands. He leaves the two people in the car, and the riotors with the smoke bomb, to fend for themselves for now. He goes darting after the car, trying to grab the fender and pull it up. But cars are damned hard, and if he strains on this, he'll be vulnerable for the entire day, and possibly more people will die. He's being dragged down by the thing like an anchor.

This was a completely useless endeavour, he can't do this alone.

"What do we do now?" Griffin frowns, taking a step back and hugging Nadira close to himself as the car takes off. All of the resulting chaos, the people dying and the ice geyser, the car crash— Griff can only watch with a large frown on his face. This is awful. Bluish-white eyes dart about beneath their shades, wide. What on earth…why couldn't they stop this?

Griffin has no choice. Suddenly, he and Nadira are both airborn, flung over the heads of the crowd by invisible arms, toward that flying car. At the last moment, Nadira is left in the crowd, and Griff is standing directly beneath the trajectory of the car. People are shoved back in a wide circle around the man and where the car is destined to land; then, all six of Griffin's vectors flit out. He can't lift the vehicle, but he can certainly slow it down and keep it from killing anyone, himself included.

But as he is pushing up on the car, Magnes is pulling. This…might be easier than he initially thought, with this crazy-looking kid's help. Griffin levels that glowing gaze on Magnes as the two combine teamwork rather unexpectedly.

"People are idiots." Nadira mutters under her breath, her gaze on the rioters. Certainly some have been caused by Rupert's message, but some of them were just jumping on the bandwagon, causing trouble simply because they could and it was fun and for some cause they just decided five minutes ago to believe in. Her gaze flickers over when she notices the car, and then off she and Griffin go.

When he deposits her in the crowd, she peers about at the smoke, finding it's a bit harder to see now. Well, damn. Still, there's the ice flow from the hydrant, something Nadira is very surprised about. She pushes her way through the crowd towards it, which is easier than expected since most seem to want to get away from that area.

"What the hell is that?" Nadira questions, peering towards the ice-flow.

Bella is ensconced in billowing white, a world of muted sounds and strange sensations of mixed softness and support. For a moment of obverse shock, Bella lingers in this place. It's just her and muffled noise and it's quite comforting for the few seconds she can deny existence outside of that state and space.

But nothing good ever lasts, does it? As the bag slowly deflates, Dr. Sheridan is thrust back into a world where there is blood on her tires, smoke spiraling into the air, and a sudden jerk from Bella-has-no-idea what source. She doesn't even bother trying to restart her vehicle. She has had enough of this crap, driving around like a big shiny target. The psychiatrist unbuckles her seatbelt, its heavy duty webbing responsible for much of her current health and wellbeing, and fumbles for the gun in the passenger seat. She finds the cold metal, grips, and then presses out of her totaled vehicle, into the street…

Where a car is floating in mid-air and a geyser of ice has plumed up towards the sky. And that chill, pervasive, prickling her skin. It doesn't occur to Bella to consciously find this familiar, to chart these data points. She is on foot in the midst of a riot.

Oh, and she also just hit someone else's car. Bella very seriously considers just leaving the scene - no one could blame her, if only because no one here knows who she is. But whether it be something actually like decency, or a simple trained medical urge, the doctor makes her adrenally buzzy, unsteady way to the side of Joanna's vehicle, checking to see how its driver is faring.

"Are you all right?" is a really irritating thing to hear from the woman who just plowed into your car, but at least she's concerned, right?

"I"m fine" She calls out, her door being opened from the inside, pushing out even as the airbag deflates. She'll feel it later, the hurt in her neck. Joanna exits her car, even as Bella's made her way to the woman, men are prevent a car from descending down on the gathered mob and someone else is throwing a smoke bomb into the the mix while ice is spewing out of a fire hydrant.

Joanna grabs Bella's arm, pointing to the vehicle in the air, the ice that follows on downward trajectory as within seconds the whole street is about errupt in chaos. "We need to go, get out of here"

The efforts between Magnes Varlane and Griffin Mihangle pay off; though the car is small, at that trajectory it was destined to smash into the crowd, now choking and sputtering and running in every which way because of the smoke. A great many people do watch as the two Evolved lower the car carefully, Griffin's vectors successful at keeping anyone at bay from its landing site. This doesn't mean, however, that everyone is grateful. The smoke and the audacity of their powers only seem to set off a series of new jeers and smashing glass of a nearby storefront. The cars that had been targeted moments ago are of smaller concern, now, compared to the man in white and the man with the glowing eyes.

Nadira is right. There's something wrong with that ice flow now blowing out of that hydrant- obviously unnatural, but there is nobody around that looks like they may be causing it. Nothing around, but as Nadira gets closer, the air is frigid, and the breeze turns even colder, more like the past, almost unending winter than early November. The ice arcs up, up- and down, hard, slamming like a fist into the pavement of the street. While many people that were in the way have dodged aside, there are at least two men caught in the torrent of sharp and heavy ice. Blood practically squirts out from under the landing, like a shoe onto bugs; it and the pulp of two corpses disappear as the water keeps coming, adding to the iceberg forming on the side of the road.

Nadira is close enough to see it when it appears- the one thing that should tell her what exactly, is going on. Amidst the bloody stains in the ice, and the pockmarked, jagged formations, a pitted hole swims hazily into the side of the now boulder, ice sprouting as water hits the top. Just like an hourglass. That fist sized pit, facing Nadira, rather than a mob in half panic, literally blinks awake, and the Egyptian woman is suddenly staring into a golden eye the size of a half-dollar coin.

The more the ice pours out of there… the more panicked Gin gets. She's always hated Evolved, and this is why. (She is, conveniently, missing the fact that there are two of them stopping a car from hitting a bunch of people.) And the ice berg looking thing just makes her turn tail and run. With her dog. Heroics are for other people. Survival is for her.

Magnes finally just drops the car once Griffin has stopped it from hitting anyone, trying to catch his breath. Alright, help came, he didn't have to push to his limit. But then… what the hell. On top of the riot, now there's some sort of ice… thing. "I don't know who you are," this is aimed at Griffin, the faceless white mask turned in his direction. "But if you have a plan, now's a good time to say it."

Once certain the car is on the ground and is unlikely to hurt anyone unless they try to use it to practice their headbutting techniques, Griffin takes a deep sigh; he manages to keep the crowd away for a moment longer, panting a little bit. Then, bright white eyes turn toward Magnes, examining him for a long moment. Nodding quietly, Griffin raises into the air above the crowd's heads and out of their reach, his eyes scanning the crowd.

"Griffin Mihangle." This is offered to Magnes. "If you think I have a plan, you're really funny. But, let's see about keeping people away from that ice…thing, shall we?" Those people include his girlfriend, who he is already making a beeline for, quickly landing next to her and staring daggers at the ice-beast. The look on his face states, 'Don't hurt me and I won't hurt you,' though he certainly doesn't expect that to work.

Trying to drive during a riot is dangerous. So is walking. Helicopters, bicycles, hang gliders and canoes: all dangerous.

Somewhere in there is the logic behind steel-shoed hooves charging cloppity clack over freshly cracked concrete and cold asphalt. The bay gelding that blasts through icy steam is appropriately massive, nostrils dished black with ill-suppressed panic and ears pinned flat behind a plastic riot screen gone foggy with the sudden drop in air temperature — as much a blind as it is protection. Deckard's seated deep in the saddle, canvasy black riot gear zipped rigid all the way up to the scruff at his neck, sunglasses fitted firm across the bridge of his nose to keep out grit.

The 'official' helmet's strapped in behind him. Presumably saved for someone else. Also he has a shotgun. And has apparently not noticed that there is a giant iceberg monster forming on the curb, because he tries to steer right through it until his mount spooks wide aside and nearly crashes through at least one already crashed vehicle.

The last time Nadira saw an ice creature, she was feeding ducks and ended up diving in the water. A crazed Warren throwing Locos overboard to appease a 'god'. So the Egyptian woman is guessing that he is sentient and she's hoping he's not there to kill anyone. She peers towards it, holding her ground. Well, really, she's seeking a source of water that's not his mound of ice just in case she needs it.

"You were in the bay, before." She says, simply.

Hey, hold on Joanna, it was Bella looking after you, not the other way around. Bella blinks as her arm is taken, finding the gesture incongruous with the image of her own selfless goodness, one that involved taking hold of Joanna and telling her they had to get out of there. But fine, okay, they can be co-saviors, or something. There looks to be plenty of saving that needs to be done all 'round, right about now.

The car descends, the crowd redirects their fury, and things look about as good for a getaway as two well to do women in the midst of a popular revolt can hope for, escape-wise. Bella grips her pistol, lifting it into view in the hopes it will dissuade any members of the crowd who haven't been distracted by the two obvious SLC-Expressives and the growing iceberg.

Wait, did Bella just think 'iceberg'? Did she just-?

A double take is necessary at this moment, a back and forth 'huh' as the mass of frozen liquid finds its appropriate space within Bella's perception. It can't possibly be… Bella is still in the skepticism stage, the one that precedes acceptance, when she is forced to consider the horse that just cantered into view. There is just no possible way she can spare the attention to find its rider familiar, not while she's still trying to believe that the iceberg is, itself, familiar. This is all way too much.

Maybe it's for the best Joanna is taking the reins. Bella has stopped in her tracks from the shock.

Evolveds are just everywhere. Bella's brandishing a pistol, holding it up to ward off people and Joanna's not about to let them both of them get clipp-clopped over by a man on a horse who clearly isn't with Law Enforcement or the growing pile of ice nor the duo of evo. She turns, hand still gripped Bella's arm and yanks her along, two well dressed woman, fleeing for the less populated portion of the mob (if there's such a thing) determined to get out of there. Maybe they can exchange insurance information and laugh about this while she worries about Tasha and where her daughter went to. "Move it Woman" She barks out to Bella, using her best Lawyer voice then louder to those around her. "MOVE YOUR GOD DAMNED ASSES NOW OR I WILL RUN YOU OVER WITH MY FENDI'S!!"

The ice seems as amorphous as water, at first, seeping up with the spray of the hydrant, jagged cracks forming along the front, under that single golden eye. A mouth, opening tall, the mound straightening into the air. By now, it would be a shock if people missed it rising above ten feet, jaw on the ground, teeth of crooked ice. The horse spooks, the crowd roils away in a new, fresh panic, and water continues streaming over the road, if it has not been suctioned up by the construct. It's no level boss. Yet. At least there hasn't been any casualties aside from the poor guys who got caught under it.

What ice is there already begins to mold itself, pulled inward and pushed outward, pinched and pressed, all by invisible hands. Two long, tined horns come first, pulling out of the ice, followed by a vaguely humanoid head, lower jaw jutting out, mouth a tusked gash in its flat-nosed face. The rest forms faster than the initial boulder; Bao-Wei is able to step forward, pendulous, clawed arms, spiny hide and all. It doesn't answer Nadira, firstly staring her and Griffin down with its one eye, the other socket a dark punch in the ice. Stains of color wash through the ice of his arms, and before anyone has time to realize, the mouth is opening again-

-this time, it is quite like an owl, though thankfully instead of an entire pellet of human pulp, what Cong chokes up is simply a shriveled, blackened forearm, sending it tumbling across the concrete. Either this is a good time to run, or a good time to find out what the thing is doing here. Choose wisely.

Gin's already made her choice. Ice monsters and mobs, they just aren't her thing. Or, well. Ice monsters aren't anyway. And last time she was in a mob, well, it was after Midtown and being tossed into the future. So she gives herself a free pass there. And this time, she's got this… damn dog to look after. Whatever odd sense of responsibility she feels there, or if she's using it as an excuse to save her own skin, the former gunslinger doesn't even give the others a look back as she carries herself and her dog from the scene. If she can manage it.

Magnes personally can't think of a way to push people back without pissing them off, but the monster itself seems to be doing a damned good job of scaring them away on its own. He floats up so he's standing about twenty feet from Bao-Wei, making little mental notes about flash freezing, semi-solids, melting rates, and god knows what else to try and assess either some weakness or limitation. "What do you want?" the modulated voice asks, arms crossed while he tries to get its full attention. "Please don't hurt these people, they're being controlled, they don't deserve to die. Do you understand what I'm saying?" he calmly asks, keeping it all calm and professional.

Griffin Mihangle really isn't quite fond of this whole ice monster thing that's happening right now. He's suddenly wrapping an arm around Nadira's waist. "I don't think this is a good idea." The cold coming off this thing is bad enough to make his scarred knee ache, he doesn't want to imagine what else it can do. Assuming she lets him, Griffin pulls Nadira close, attempting to slowly draw her away from the beast.

A glance is cast up to Magnes. Well, if the thing answers, maybe they won't have to worry. But then again, it's a high possibility that the beast will be effected by the same insanity as everyone else.

The horse spooks. The horse is spooked.

It splits the air with precisely the kind of shrill whinny no one ever wants to hear, least of all the rangy asshole turning his gloved fist over in the reins to choke off a rear before it can happen at the end of an already perilous crow hop. Velvety nose misted fine with blood when Deckard drags it nearly back into the beast's broad chest, he spins it around with a merciless dig of his heel to flank, simultaneously struggling to stay upright and be the center of attention with an ice monster towering up off the street.

He is, presumably, at least successful enough to keep from being unsaddled. He is not successful at keeping anyone from being trampled to death if they happen to get in the way of his manhandling efforts. Win some. Smoosh some.

It isn't until he's grit his teeth and snapped his sunglasses off to let the neon lash of his glare fade dim that the reason for all the fuss becomes apparent. In the form of a giant. Ice monster. Dragon. Cyclops.

Now Deckard spooks, long face blanched white against the charcoal of his gear and voice dropped an uncharacteristic octave to bellow: "BELLA." He saw her bones here somewhere, for all that he can't look away from Bao-Wei just yet. Meanwhile, his tone conveys a less literally spoken we should leave now and also what the fuck, what the fuck.

So much for trying to talk to it. Nadira glances over as Magnes tries to talk to the beast, then she looks back at the ice itself. Maybe, if they're lucky, this will just make the rioters run away and no one will have to reenact an issue of X-Men or something. As Griffin voices his concern and begins to draw her away, she offers a nod, coming along. She's not sure she can do anything with the water when it's in the form of ice. She's never really tried anything like that, to be honest.

Bella's weight shifts to one leg as Joanna yanks at her, nearly causing the woman to stumble as the ice formation becomes unmistakably familiar. Her current paralysis is now not one of shock, but of indecision. Bao-Wei is out in the open, before God and everyone, which is not what Bella ever advised nor what she considers halfway safe, and for whatever deranged reason this concerns her. Because, really, the person who needs to be worried here is the nigh-indestructible ice monster.

Joanna does snap Bella out of it, though, half by the direct address, half by the booming, court-silencing command she gives. Dang. The doctor regains her feet and teeters after her fellow licensed professional, once menacing gun held vestigially out to one side.

This is about when Bella's ears catch onto Flint's voice, and she stops again, further impeding Joanna. Seriously, just leave her. Save yourself. It's what Bella would do.

Bella's first call is not nearly loud enough. A measly "Flint?" not even worthy of italics, much less capitals letters or boldface. It's more to herself, a question posed to the total impossibility of his being here. Ahead of schedule, no less. Though Bella's not so clear on the time frame anymore. She wasn't armed and armored in her vision, yet here she is.

"Flint?!" is a much better effort, though Bella's voice is keening, wavering high, nothing as badass as Joanna is capable of. And it likely isn't enough to make herself heard. She knows this, so she goes for a third try. "FLINT!" Thatta girl.

As Bao-Wei regains his bearings, he becomes steadily aware of the young woman who seems to recognize him, the tall man with her, the oddball costumed hero trying to get his attention- and the scruffy, pale-faced man on a horse. All he is missing is a lance and- wait a damnable minute. It's serendipitous in several ways, that he coalesces where Bella is, so much so that just maybe there was some intent behind it.

"Get out of here." When the creature speaks, it sends those stopping to look at it in the crowd off again, and already they are filing in a jostling wave down the street, away from him, and the bone-numbing cold. Bao-Wei's mouth opens, emitting a sound like an open bellows, rumbling against the buildings and vibrating through flesh. Spined shoulders shake, brittle mane of residual ice splintering off in a glittery burst of movement and expanding air. "GET. OUT."

He lowers his head, and charges forward; talons the size of a man's arm dig into the street, puncturing divets and turning the sheet of ice created by the hydrant into a manufactured slide. People run, panicked, screaming, slipping on the ice, tumbling, trampling over one another in a bid to flee. Several gunshots go off, barking into the air like flashing hyenas and pinging into both debris and fleshy bodies.

If you want to be stuck in the mob, you go ahead, Joanna's not going to stop her but keeps moving forward, pushing people away from her, intent on doing like Gin did, get some place safe. Other people have the same idea too and then even more are rearing in horror at the thing that is Bao-Wei.

And Joanna becomes the victim that she saw in her vision as pain sinks into her abdomen and she instinctively looks down, two holes where two rounds have sunk into her and red is starting to seep on the edges. Someone physical ricochets off her and she in turn does the same, going down with her hands covering her middle with a scream, and curling up into a ball to make herself as small a target for trampling as possible.

Magnes quickly flies back away from the thing. It's cold, so clearly getting closer, at the rate he's noted that thing refreezing itself, would mean instant death. But then the woman gets shot, and he flies right into her direction, diving low so he can carefully scoop her up when she hits the ground. He has her cradled in his arms, flying high above the rioting so he can avoid getting shot himself. She looks so damned familiar, he's met her before… "Don't worry, ma'am, I'll get you to safety, you'll be alright."

Flint's steed shrieks, screams, rolls its eyes white, foam frothing pink through bit iron and plumes of icy breath hanging thick in the air between them. All the while he's being driven into another hard spin around to the right, ghastly glare searing on and off again until a familiar skeleton finally projects itself from the violence in the direction he last heard Bella's voice.

Half a slippery, twisting leap over a tangle of two bodies on the ground later, the pair of them are plunging for her at a pace dictated by mutual terror. The Thing Made of Ice is coming.

That he manages to stop the animal once it's started has a little to do with imprinted experience and a lot to do with the fact that he is not thinking about what he's doing, but he kicks the adjacent stirrup loose, snaps the helmet around into his lap and leans to wrench a hand around whatever arm is most convenient to haul her up behind him with chaos all around. He may also be yelling instructions at her, but if he is they are not coherent enough to be worth specifying. Get up here and hold on. So that they can get back to running.

And sweeping Nadira into his arms, Griffin suddenly raises up into the air, using his vectors to scale the building while he only appears to be hovering along. In reality, he's walking along the rooftops much like a spider with invisible legs. Griff hesitates for a long moment. Then, frowning, Griffin pulls back. "I don't think I can fight that thing." He says this with a dry tone, and hugs Nadira tight, still hovering over the buildings. "I'd rather live to fight another day."

That said, Griffin takes off over the buildings with Nadira held in his arms like a princess, heading away from that frightening ice monster. A small nod is offered toward Magnes, then the man and his woman are out of sight.

The convenient arm is Bella's gun arm, and as Flint swings down to grapple it, she lets the revolved tumble from her fingers. Thank God she didn't have to use it. Stupid, anyways, to think a gun with six bullets means much against a mob. Bella clings to the horse's flank as she leaps up, shoulder popping uncomfortably as it receives its biggest and hopefully last real yank of the evening. There is a quick scramble, during which Bella grabs the back of Flint's collar for use as a handhold, and then she has her arms securely fastened around Flint, face planted squarely between his shoulder blades.

"Theatre. Now," Bella says, tilting her chin up so there's some chance Flint can actually hear her. Her eyes cut over to the side, where her infernal associate (ninth ring) is driving people forward like a Disney film crew herding lemmings. She really shouldn't be worried about him.

But is and ought are rarely one and the same.

"CONG!" Bella shouts, doing Flint's ears no favor, "GO TO GROUND! THEY'LL BE OUT IN FORCE! DON'T BE STUPID!"

Bao-Wei does not skitter and slide over the ice; it feeds his limbs, attaches him solidly to the ground below his feet and arms. The mock charge did exactly what it was meant to do, despite several people getting run down, at least one person shot- and though Bella's voice echoes in the hollows of his form, Cong has already trotted into a slower pace, the swinging arms doing their best to keep his top-heavy shape balanced. For the stragglers, his mouth opens and lets out that long, baleful rumble. The police will have a task at hand, when they are suddenly finding themselves swept aside by a tide of people, going like roaches from the sun.

When his head and shoulders swivel around to face the woman yelping and crowing at him- Bella- yes, it's her alright- the cyclopean eye widens and narrows, the pupil contracting into a pinprick. It is obvious he has registered what she has said, but with a casting look over his shoulder- to the eastern horizon- Cong has made up his mind, jaw popping open in a new rumble..

"I have something more important to attend to, Isabella."

Deckard punctuates (and perhaps muffles) the second syllable of Bella's STUPID! with a reacharound mash of the riot helmet across his shoulder and over her head. Safety third, at least. Fourth. In the top ten, somewhere.

Then they're off. To find a theater to fuck around in. There's bound to be one around here somewhere. Even if he might have lied slightly about the way his vision ended. Purely for her benefit, mind.

Hesitation tenses after a delayed cough for the choke of her grip at his collar, air crystalized cold in a sprawling plume when he turns the horse once again. His bewilderment at the ice monster knowing her name is secondary despite its ruling effect on his expression when he finally picks a direction and nudges their ride into a fast-fast-fast kind of walk down a sidestreet. West! West sounds good.

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