cassandra_icon.gif eve2_icon.gif peyton_icon.gif tania_icon.gif

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Scene Title Bang
Synopsis A dissenter from back West arrives in New York City with information for SESA.
Date April 2, 2018

Ferrymen's Bay

Spring has sprung, or so the saying goes. The bare, anemic-looking branches and desolate streets that defined Ferrymen's Bay during the long winter months have transitioned into flourishes of green as new leaves begin to come in and open up, providing shade where there previously was none. Weeds sprout in the gaps in the sidewalk and gather dew on drizzly afternoons like this one, where the people crowding the roads on their way between appointments take up extra room with their umbrellas.

Now that the weather is warmer, vendors that had been confined to the underground of the Red Hook Market or other, smaller indoor venues have taken to the streets and set up their wares in alley mouths and on the edges of roads where concrete meets fresh growth and the swampland that this sopping section of the Safe Zone is known for.

Everything from knockoff designer purses and sunglasses to dried mackerel hanging from string is on display and available for purchase, although it's rare to find a price tag affixed to anything. The salesmen down by the water, much like their counterparts on Staten Island, prefer to haggle.

A bright yellow coat on a child breaks up the monotony of the gray day and ray sidewalks and the gray clothing of so many people on the street. Jonah Whitney holds his own umbrella, a clear white bubble of a thing, happily sans any sharp spikes, while his mother steers him out of the way of other pedestrians; she's not holding an umbrella, because she needs her hands free to herd the six-year-old boy.

"Toys!" he cries when he sees the vendor he's been looking for, one selling the small figurines he prefers to play with — one of his hands clutches one of his ever present dinosaurs.

"You can pick one out," says Peyton, reaching up to wipe the drizzle from her face.

With the rain from this morning long gone and a days worth of melting having occurred, the few snow drifts that still remain after the last blizzard of the season reside in corners, alleys, and places that don't see the sunlight for quite a bit of the day. With the ambient temperature actually tolerable, Cassandra has made it back to the city after a hard day at work. Dressed in a comfortable jacket that matches her hair, the brunette makes her way through the market, pausing at little nondescript junk shops, looking for something. What, exactly, she's looking for, she isn't sure, but she'll know it when she finds it, almost certainly. Pausing in front of a smaller shop, she lifts a small swatch of scottish tartan, feeling it between thumb and forefinger for a second before setting it down and moving on.

She glances over at the streak of yellow armed with an umbrella and giggles softly, turning back to her shopping, her bag over her shoulder, held close.

Tania walks between the stalls and alleys, black umbrella over her head protecting the elegant waves of her hair. Her jacket is also black, but her boots are red and heeled, like her feet didn't notice it was wet out today. But her stride doesn't seem purposefully careful, either, so perhaps she wore them on purpose. She stops, her attention caught by a display of scarves. It puts her close enough to hear Jonah's excited cry and she looks over with a smile, amused. And then up to his mother. "Your mother may deserve something nice," she says warmly in their general direction after watching Peyton dry her face, "for coming all the way here in this weather."

Peyton sees him first. It isn't luck, just a matter of proximity. A young man in his early twenties with a mop of unruly blonde hair dyed turquoise blue shoulders past, jostling both mother and child with only a mumbled apology. Rainwater runs down the back of his sleeveless leather vest and the curves of his muscular arms, which are covered in colorful tattoos. Peyton spies some of the usual culprits: a skull and rose, a sinewy big cat that looks like it might be a panther mid-snarl, and various interwoven tribal designs that connect all the pieces together.

Less common are the words auribus teneo lupum scrawled across the inside of his left bicep, visible not to Peyton but to Tania as he reaches up and drags his fingers through his rain-soaked hair. She doesn't receive a spoken apology, just the sort of appreciative glance she receives half a dozen times a day from strangers who have no shame when it comes to checking out women on the street.

Half a beat later, he's steering his direction up the lane to where Cassandra is standing. He squints, biting down on his lower lip in thought. Both Tania and Peyton will be able to pinpoint the moment he makes his decision before making a beeline toward the diminutive SESA agent.

There's a mix of laughter and a shout as one of the stall owners leans out into the crossway shaking his fist. "I said no powers when bartering!!" The man looks exasperated, wringing his brown hair in his hand.

"Sorry duder can't help what I dream!" Is called over the shoulder of Eve Mas. Dressed a deep green sweater dress with black leggings in a long tan trenchcoat, boots laced right and a messenger bag hanging on her shoulder. She's just getting done wrapping her hair up into a loose, messy bun. "Better luck next time Benito!"

Wrapped around her wrist is a long silver chain, on the end is an old pocketwatch. It doesn't work. She's just picked up a gift for a friend.

"Oh, it's me dragging him in general, just him dragging me to this stall in particular," Peyton says with a smile for Tana's comment, just about the time the man jostles her. Her grip on Jonah tightens by instinct, but the umbrella keeps him from getting pulled right up against the springy-green of the coat she wears.

"Excuse me," Jonah says, sweetly, really — in another person's voice, it might sound like he means to chastise the adult who bumped into him, but he seems sincere enough that hopefully the man moving toward Cassandra doesn't take offense.

Peyton glances at Tania, and then back to the man as he veers toward Cassandra, her teeth biting down on her lower lip with some worry.

"She can get a toy, too," Jonah says to Tania. "And we can get one for Brad."

"Yes, I'm sure he wants another plastic dinosaur. It will make his day. You can pick out ours," Peyton tells Jonah, keeping a hand on his coat.

Cassandra has paused in front of another stall, the straps of her messenger bag still slung across her chest and over one shoulder where it would be difficult to snatch and grab without taking the woman along for a ride. She glances up and around, catching the shout as a familiar-looking dark head emerges from a stall with her bounty.

Smirking, Cassandra shakes her head, glances around, and turns to the proprietor of the stall pointing to a small frying pan. "So how much for that The tag says $40, but I'm going to have to spend three days reconditioning this thing to even get it good enough to go over a campfire." She's not noticed her overeager suitor and, if he decides to introduce himself, it may get interesting.

In contrast to Jonah's sincerity, when the guy gives her that look, Tania gives him a middle finger. It's a tired gesture, but easier than telling him off. The tattoo is noted, but she doesn't comment. Instead, she looks back to Jonah. "You've gotten Brad a collection, yes? I bet it's impressive." She starts to reply to Peyton, but sees the worry on her face and turns to look. And sees the young man on his way to the next target. She takes a moment to check her own pockets. Her money is tucked deeper in, but a phone and keys are more easily accessible. "He's got a type, doesn't he?" Namely: women.

The turquoise-haired youth grabs Cassandra by her upper arm. "Hey," he roughs out, some urgency in his voice. If he was planning on mugging her, he'd have a weapon out or take a more threatening tone — there's something almost pleading in the way he turns her around on the spot, forcing her to look at him.

"You're Cass— Cassie Baumann, right?" He runs his tongue over his chapped lips. "You work for th' Agency, yeah? SESA?" His eyes, the same shade as his hair, roam over her shoulder, scanning the nearby crowd for faces he recognizes. Eve's must not be one of them because his gaze passes right over her. "I need— I need some help. I. Uh. Listen. Please. I know this is totally unorthodox but I didn't wanna go t'your place of business. So."

There's often moments where Eve is completely tuned in and also completely oblivious. She is currently oblivious to anything strange going on, she doesn't notice Cassie yet. Or Peyton and her kid or Tania. She's shaking the pocket watch, gears can be heard rattling around in there. "I'm sure he can fix this, he won't be late to any meetings then." She mutters to herself.

Hair wet from the dew, her pale gray eyes are studying the pocket watch as she whistles and sweeps away a loose strand of hair to peer down closer at it, eye and nose to glassy surface of the watch.

She's on a crash collision course with the blue haired dude.

"So many dinosaurs," Peyton says to Tania, eyes widening a little as if to beg for help, but it's all done fondly of the child that's in her grips. She glances to the man again, listening despite herself as Jonah starts examining the toys and asking the vendor a few questions about kinds of dinosaurs, poor soul. The words SESA catch her ear, and she frowns again, then shrugs at Tania. If the young woman is an agent, she's far more equipped to handle it than Peyton is, that shrug says. Eve's whistling and walking draws her attention next, but she doesn't seek to course-correct the seer.

"Yeah, it's $40. For you, I could do $30, though." The shopkeeper offers, picking up the frying pan to show it's curves and contours and distinct lack of major cracks or rust.

"$30? I'll offer $15 to take it off your….hey!" Cassandra is turned - rather easily, in fact, to face the man, kind of off balance, her right arm the one being held, her left reaching back towards the table to grab something.

She doesn't answer the question about who she is or who she works for, shaking her head. "Let go of me. NOW. Then we'll talk." This is stated cooly and calmly, her blue eyes blazing in the fading light of the market, shifting a little to get ready to get away if necessary.

Tania laughs to Peyton's harrowed look, seeming to take the the fondness for granted. "Can you tell me which is the best dinosaur? I want to get my brother something. He needs a present," she asks, toward Jonah. He obviously knows what he's on about. Peyton gets another nod, because she is right about an agent having more training that the average person. And there are things here to look at and purchase and try on. Which is a good distraction. And cover, because she is keeping the blue-haired man in her line of sight, if not directly. Just in case.

The youth abruptly releases Cassandra with the swiftness of someone who's just put his hand on a hot stove. He recoils, looking contrite, and shows her both his palms to emphasize that he isn't armed. "Sorry," he mutters, "sorry. Please don't shout. I don't wanna cause a scene Cassie— I mean. Ms. Baumann. I don't wanna cause a scene."

Even if it's a little too late. Cassandra's loud rebuke has drawn unwanted attention, and maybe it's all the new eyes on him that causes him not to move out of Eve's way or even notice that she's headed straight toward him. "I came all the way from the Dead Zone, yeah? Back West? You know what that means?" Whether Cassandra knows or not, he doesn't let the question hang in the air for very long. "I got information about what's been going on out 'round Cle Elum, but I need a promise, see. I need protection from the people what stuck it to those Yamagato folks last month. It's worse'n people think. I got names. I got names and GPS coordinates like—"

Inhale, three, four.

Hold, three four.

Exhale. Three. Four.

The flash and crack of a rifle shot buckles the hum of conversation down the street into a very brief silence. It rattles broken windows. It leaves ears ringing.

It punches through the back of a shaggy, turquoise blue dye job and sends splinters of skull and blood and brain and teeth out the front, at a side-swiped angle across Cassandra's everything. The bulk of the mess spatters in a broad swath over a table of housewares — the pan she'd been haggling over jolted back in its vendor's hand with the force of the bullet it's caught.

That's when the screaming starts.

The shot came from on high, for anyone with luck enough to have been looking the right direction at the right moment — muzzle flash bright through the curtains of a dark window on the third floor of a building across the next block. Within the confusion, one shrill voice spills out into the street at the ground floor:

"—en mi cocinaaa!!"

Still unsure of what's going on Eve is muttering to herself and then she's almost at the heel of the blue haired man's when that shot goes off. Her head snaps up in time to see the blood and gore go flying. Eyes grow wide as she blinks and throws the pocket watch in her messenger bag. Cassie?

The seer runs forward but as she passes by she's nabbing a nearby hat and plucking it on her head brim pulled low.

It's a sombrero, a black felt with white embroidery around it.

Pale gray eyes wide and Eve is pulling out not one, but two revolvers. One from her messenger bag and another that was strapped inside her trenchcoat. "Cassie! Get down, get a gun, wipe your face, don't get blood in your eye! Eve is on the case!"

Peering up with her eyes wide to scan for where the shot might have came from the chaos sends a shiver of pleasure up her spine. Anarchy, she can do. Turning her back on Cassandra she charges with a yell, "FORRRTISSS ETTTT LIBERRRRRRRRR!"

Diving behind a nearby stall for cover.

She fucking knew the world wasn't gonna be nice and normal.

Whatever Peyton was going to say, whatever Jonah was going to say, is lost in that crack of gunfire. Luckily (???), Peyton is looking at the SESA agent when the bullet strikes the blue-haired man's head; luckily, Jonah is not, his attention focused on a garishly painted orange and purple triceratops at the moment. It's like slow motion — his mop of brown waves starts to turn in the direction of the sound. his mother instinctively wraps her arms around him, knocking the umbrella loose. It falls to the wet pavement.

"Shhh, don't look, Jonah," she gasps against the little boy's dark hair, one hand holding his head against his shoulder to keep him from looking. She darts between the scarf vendor's and the toy vendor's stalls, crouching low, not wanting to be a target like those those running along the sidewalks might be.

"Wait wait wait, just give me a second." Cassandra tries to calm the man down, tries to get him to take a breath as he rattles out information that he has to share. And then things seem to slow down, almost to a halt, as there's a muzzle flash and a crack from a window a block away and then the poor woman is covered in the spray from a well-placed sniper shot.

Her training takes hold almost immediately, her right hand going into her bag to draw her service pistol as she moves /towards/ where the shot came from, pressing against a wall, crouching down in cover with her pistol at the ready. "You!" She points to the guy with the now dented frying pan with her free hand. "DO NOT TOUCH THAT BULLET!"

She curses herself for being off duty - phone service here in the Market is spotty at best, and thanks to the shot, /everyone/ is trying to make a call out or in. There's no vest on, but at least she's armed. Cassie is running on pure adrenaline - she'll deal with the horror of watching a guy get his brains blown out right in front of her later. She'll have to, because right now there's an active shooter in a very, very crowded marketplace. She wipes an arm of her jacket - now ruined thanks to the blood - across her face to keep the blood out of her eyes, realizes what it is she's wiping off, and promptly vomits on the wall next to her, shuddering as she dumps what's left of her lunch. "Fuck…."

While she was idly watching a moment ago, the shot has Tania turning to watch more actively. The gore, the mess, it gets a tilt of her head. She doesn't try to phone out. Or scream. She glances back to make sure the boy didn't see it, but when Eve moves to cover and Cassandra moves toward the source of the shot, Tania takes it upon herself to stride over toward the body. There's a glance across the street, but then she crouches down to check over his pockets. She has gloves on, at least. And she was close enough to hear the gist of that conversation. Enough to be interested, anyway. And since their agent on site is preoccupied, she's just going to see if he has any of that information on him.

You know. To help.

The dark nose of a rifle can just be seen through parted curtains, cocked upright as if leaned against the frame — but there is no double tap, no cover fire, no second shot at all.

The first one did the job, plain as the brain stuff sliding sticky around the non-stick pan when the vendor drops it. A single flattened bullet jangles around in the mess. Evidence preserved. For now.

"He's in my kitchen!" a woman is shrieking in English, now, as she flings herself away down the street. People everywhere, many of them pinned to walls and inside of stalls, waiting for the other shoe to drop. "He's in my kitchen!"

A lone figure in a dark jacket swings out onto the street through the tenement front door. Hands in his pockets, hood pulled up, he stutters into the same panicky half-jog as a pack of locals crossing the street, eyes flashed fishbelly grey skywards after the direction the shot came from. Just another guy.

The corpse’s pockets tell their own story that SESA will have to piece together later, or maybe Tania will try on her own: A switchblade with a battered handle, rumpled package of cigarettes and lighter running on its last fumes, a sealed nicotine patch, plastic baggie of what looks and smells like it might be marijuana, and paper for rolling. His ID card predates the Chesterfield Act and has an expiry date of 05/09/13.

His name used to be Deacon Malone, but that seems not to matter now. Neither does the fact that his birthdate puts him at only twenty-two years old.

When Tania checks his vest for inside pockets, her hand brushes the holster of a weapon tucked under his arm, and although she doesn’t know guns as well as her brother might, she recognizes a military-issue pistol when she sees one.

Deacon doesn’t look like military.

Cassandra’s fear of someone other than Tania disturbing the evidence turns out to be unfounded; nearby vendors have taken cover wherever they can, under tables or behind squat concrete barriers. Others have ducked inside doorways where other passersby are huddled, phones in hand or hands in hands, clutching at one another as everyone waits for the second shot that never comes.

Inevitably, someone’s call to the authorities will get patched through. There are only minutes left until the military police rolls onto the scene and takes control of it.

Whether Cassandra wants to investigate, or pursue the vaguely-suspicious looking shadow in the dark jacket and hood, either she or the others will have to move fast.

Crouched behind the vendor’s stall, her head peeked out to survey the area in the chaos that has ensued after the shooting. Eve is raising both revolvers, pointed up towards the ceiling when she hears that woman. “And he's a food thief! Why I outta..” hopping to her feet she dances out into the crossway on tiptoes, using groups of screaming people as cover. She even screams along with them.

“AHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Oh honey,” the crazy woman stops her scream to look at a nearby sobbing woman in a light blue top, “I love that Top.” A wink and then, “AHHHHHHHHHHHH!”
Eyes wild she's looking in the direction of the woman’s yell when she sees the figure with the hood walking out of that building. “HEY BUDDY!” Eve shoves a fleeing couple out of the way with an elbow and charges forward. “PUT THE BANANA DOWN! I REPEAT BANANA DOWN!”

She's gonna lose him, what to do.. what to do… a lightbulb flicks on in the woman’s head and she grins her impish grin, never mind the toddler screaming for its mother not too far away from her. The seer runs and dives forward, guns outstretched in front of her as she fires two shots from her revolver. For Eve, time slows down like the Matrix and she's not sure if there's a time manipulator about or if she's just high. “Whoa..”

By now, Jonah’s crying, clinging to Peyton who peers from behind the stall to see nothing but the teeming crowd rushing by in their efforts to get away. She takes a deep breath and stands, lifting the boy and stepping out from between the stalls to join the rush; she keeps Jonah’s head against her chest, one hand on top of his waves, so if any bullets come from behind, they’ll hit her and not him.

At the sound of new shots being fired, Peyton casts one fearful glance over her shoulder, before bending her own head and moving in a zig-zagging pattern through the crowd, soft pardon mes when she jostles other pedestrians in her flight.

Covered in gore from poor Mr. Malone, Cassandra is ready to send a few rounds downrange herself, but when Eve tumbles and fires, the brunette moves to the fallen man, scrambling to kneel next to him, her weapon at the ready, aiming for where the shot came from, the barrel of the rifle still sticking out of the window where it was dropped. “C’mon, c’mon…look back. Check to see if anyone noticed..come on, be stupid.” She’s grumbling this to herself, watching the street for anything that looks odd or out of the ordinary, only taking a moment to glance down to check the body and giving Tania a look and a shake of the head in the negative if she was caught rifling through the pockets of a dead man, or attempting to pocket anything. Yes, she checks for a pulse. Of course she doesn’t find one.

Rummaging around in her bag, Cassie pulls out her badge and loops it around her neck, so she’s not automatically shot by responding officers, shudders starting to course through her form as the adrenaline starts to bleed away and the realization that this man knew her name. Knew she was with SESA. Knew to come to her with information and now? He’s dead on the ground. A shuddering sob is choked back. She’s not going to lose it /now/.

The pockets are interesting, or rather, what's in them is. Tania pockets the marijuana and papers first with a lift of her eyebrows. The ID is looked at, but put back where she found it after noting the information there. The gun, however, that gets her attention. Examination will have to come later, though, because she knows enough to tuck it away into a coat pocket swiftly.

She stands a moment later, looking over what's left of him. More shots are fired and a SESA agent coming back over are more than enough to get Tania moving to disappear into the crowd. And to leave before the MPs roll in to take over. She'd rather not talk to the authorities as a general rule of life, a mix of upbringing and experience. Her brother, though, he might be getting a visit before the usual family dinner.

A cower ripples through the crowd as Eve’s revolver rings out, fresh panic driving people down to the ground, in through open doors and under tables like so many rats. The bullets hiss overhead, aimed high, and the man in black makes a mistake as he rises from a reflexive duck.

He looks back.

Brows furrowed in absolute bafflement, he turns to look dead at Eve through the scatter of civilians fleeing between them, deep set eyes cold and pale as the drip of rainwater off his hood. Just for a second. He’s short and slight, shadows pulled in harsh under skullish features, colorless grey stubble fuzzed in fine around his jaw.

It’s a face Peyton’s seen staring back at her out of a mirror.

But there’s no recognition in Danko’s eyes when he glances to her and her boy, is that a sombrero? judgment shared in an off balance beat before he jukes away to keep moving.


A few stragglers are breaking for another tenement across the street. He cuts in alongside them — moving at their pace, rather than bolting off down the street at full speed. Too many innocent people around to pop a clean shot off, and he knows it.

The look back and that face makes Eve’s eyes widen. She only knows him from stories of people she knows. He's a war criminal, the worst type. And she has a shiver run up and down her spine. Uttering the PARIAH slogan earlier feels too right now. This is what she was trained for. A crazy seer with a gun, guns.

There's a pause and then Eve is dashing after the man. There's murder in her eyes and if Claire or Monica were here they would tell people to watch out because that look is one that they would know well. “Redrum Redrum Redrum Redrum.” She mutters to herself over and over again, leaping over a fallen man with a cry. The wind blowing the hair underneath her sombrero.

“Run boiiiiiii!” There's another crack of gunfire into the air as she shoots another round out of her revolver and Eve weaves in and out of peolple, eyes alight.

She feels like she's back in those days of running with Cameron and Jesse. Wrecking havoc and men like Danko were Public Enemy Numbers Uno.

Peyton’s mouth drops, gaping wide, Munsch-like, in what might be a gasp but no air comes to fill her lungs. She stumbles a little, not looking where she’s going, and turns around again; the tears suddenly sliding down her cheeks mingle with the rainwater. She realizes she’s mouthing the words, “No, no, no,” after a few steps and bites down on her lower lip to stop herself, her hands busy holding her son.

She lets herself be carried away with the movement of the crowd, unable to think or see — her vision flickers between her own perspective, blurred by tears, to Danko’s and back for a few moments, before Jonah’s voice pulls her back to him and she gives up on keeping track of where Emil Danko has gotten himself swallowed up by a crowd going another direction.

Cassandra, in her kneeling position near the body of the late Mr. Deacon Malone,reaches down to check the corpse for a weapon, a wallet, or something to help piece together who he was and how he came to be here. Her weapon is drawn, muzzle pointing to the sky, finger /off/ the trigger when Eve’s frantic chase after someone gets her attention, head swiveling. She’s about to shout for the dark-haired woman to stand down when she catches sight of a face that she had only seen in history books, training manuals and grainy photographs taken through telephoto lenses. A man that was thought dead in the war. A man responsible for the deaths of countless people - evolved and non - in the pursuit of his own sick goals. Emile Danko.

“H…holy shit.” Cassandra murmurs, pulling out her phone, fumbling with it with blood-slick fingers to turn on the audio recorder, trying to rattle off what she remembers. “Marketplace. Young man came to New York to bring me information on Cle Elum in the dead zone. Knew my face and name. Killed by sniper fire from Emile Danko or someone who looked a hell of a lot like him. Rifle left in kitchen on second floor above marketplace.” She finally looks down to the body at her feet, laid out unceremoniously, letting out another shuddering sob. And that’s pretty much it for Cassie. She sinks to sit with her back to the stall behind her, face still slick with the boy’s blood, arms crossed over her knees, handgun held there as she slumps, exhausted.

“We’ll figure it out, buddy.” she whispers quietly. “We’ll figure it out. Your death won’t be for nothing.”

In through a curtain of beads swinging in the doorway into shadow, the shooter is swallowed up by the building like this was all just some kind of shared nightmare.

Inside, there are few windows and no electricity — a narrow hallway leads straight through to a curling set of railed stairs, with small rooms branching off either side. Locals who seized the chance for cover in here cower in what wan light finds its way in from the storm outside, paired off into small makeshift apartments with their heads down. One or two have cell phones, currently struggling to get calls out through the network.

Mattresses curl against walls that don’t have room for them — someone’s piled blankets and pillows up on a bathroom floor. A lamp without a bulb swings slow from the hallway ceiling, stirred by the movement of more civilians up on the second and third floors.

It reeks of mold, the air cloying and stale — too warm. Too many people in here. Plenty of distractions. Plenty of blind corners.

There’s no sign of Danko.

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