Barking Mad


ando_icon.gif candice_icon.gif hiro_icon.gif

Scene Title Barking Mad
Synopsis Ando and Hiro take a side-trip to secure the aid of an old friend, but find out things aren't as Hiro remembers them.
Date November 8, 2011


Traffic is always congested through Chinatown. The noise of big rig trucks, civilian automobiles, and the honk of their horns defines residential life here. With Midtown under heavy construction, much of the traffic in and around Lower Manhattan is routed through Chinatown, resulting in hours of gridlock and flared tempers. Making matters worse in the DHS checkpoints on the east side of Chinatown on the way to the Manhattan Bridge and the Pier 36 relocation center. The neighborhood itself hasn't lost its charm, but the people have come to learn that as New York changes, it doesn't always change for the better.

With a resounding metal clang Hiro Nakamura and his unwitting accomplice Ando Masahashi land on a fire escape behind a yellow-painted, skinny brickfront in Chinatown. Three stories below, shipping trucks unload food to an adjacent Marriot hotel. The noise of voices, vehicles, and city life feels somewhat more sane here. Though Ando feels like something is wrong as he sees the distant flash of police lights, of barricaded checkpoints, of military personnel carriers roaming the streets. He looks at Hiro, brows furrowed and worry crossing his face.

"Why are we here?" Hiro doesn't answer him, instead begins ascending the fire escape to the top floor. Ando makes a noise in the back of his throat, looks down to street level and watches a soldier pulling a driver out of his car at gunpoint. The hairs on the back of his neck raise, his throat tightens, and as he hustles to catch up with Hiro the pit of his stomach twists. The two reach a window on the sixth floor and Hiro doesn't hesitate to force open the window. He looks back to Ando, and beckons the other man to follow before climbing inside—

—and being struck in the head with a tea kettle.

Hiro makes a noise and collapses to the floor, clutching his head and rolling onto his side. Ando, staring into the window with an abject look of shock, looks up at a tall brunette woman brandishing an iron tea kettle as though it were a sword all her own. "Who the fuck are you?" She shouts at Ando, and the young man falls backwards onto his ass on the fire escape, hands raised in a passive I'm unarmed, don't make me tea gesture. The woman looks down to the man she struck on the head when he groans, and then furrows her brows into an expression of bewilderment.

"N— " she isn't sure, "Nakamura?"

"Hello Candice," Hiro groans from the floor, slowly getting up onto his knees and clutching the side of his head with one hand.

"What the hell are you doing climbing in through my window like a burglar!?" Hiro exhales a sharp and pained breath, then pulls his hand away. Not bleeding, that's a start. As he looks back to Candice, he hauls himself up into the metal framed chair in the kitchen he so brazenly pushed himself into. Looking around the apartment, Hiro seems momentarily disoriented. "Is he with you?" Candice points accusingly behind herself at Ando. Ando, to his credit, ducks because he's honestly not sure what's about to happen.

Finally clear-headed, Hiro waves dismissively to the fire escape. "Ando, yes. He's a friend," Hiro looks to the fire escape. "Ando, wait outside."

"But — " Ando's protest is cut off as Candice shuts the window with a slam and looks at Hiro accusingly.

"You've got five minutes before I…" Candice hesitates on call the cops, then looks aside into the kitchen and back to Hiro again. "You've got some nerve coming around here after the shit you pulled with me." Hiro furrows his brows, holds the side of his head, and looks to the clock. Still early. His eyes flick back to Candice.

"I'm sorry y-you're… going to need to be more specific." It wasn't meant to be glib, but sometimes Hiro just comes off that way. Candice looms tall over him, kettle in hand, and then leans away and storms over to her stove, slamming the kettle down atop it. "I'm surprised you're still here, honestly. I figured Bennet would have moved you by now."

Candice looks across the small kitchen to Hiro, one brow raised. "Why would you think that? I haven't seen…. Bennet in months." Hiro's expression shifts subtly, eyes flick back to Candice. "The last time I saw your scrawny ass, was more than a year ago in Chicago when you pulled me out of that training facility before the Institute hit it." For a moment, Hiro's expression is a blank one. He reaches up and touches the side of his head again, pulls his fingers back. No blood. Then, looking back up to Candice his head tilts subtly to the side. "You told me you were going to take me to Daniel Linderman. You dump me with the Ferrymen, and then I never see you again."

"Institute?" Hiro squints. "Ferrymen?"

"Oh for fuck's sake," Candice stomps over to Hiro, looking down at him with her jaw set and one finger pointing into his face. "What the hell is going on Nakamura?" One of Candice's hands waves violently around. Hiro stares up at her, then searches the room, looking to the clock again, and then back.

He'd changed something.

"I'm — sorry, Candice. I am, it — " Hiro stumbles, trying to not explain the convoluted laws of having somehow changed his own past. His expression falters, lips part but no words come out.

"Why," Candice leans in closer, "are you in my apartment?"

Purpose clears Hiro's head, and for a moment he can see Ando pressed up against the glass trying to listen. Looking back, Hiro seems tense, and slowly rises from his seat. From Ando's perspective, the two appear to be having an emotional back and forth. Candice paces around and Hiro circles her, trying to negotiate something. All Ando can hear is the sound of traffic, and — a shout. Ando looks down from the fire escape, and he sees the truck that the soldier had been at earlier, across the street. There were four more soldier now, three people on their knees outside of the vehicle with their hands behind their head.

Leaning closer to the railing, Ando watches. Were they terrorists? But then, Ando notices one of them is a child, maybe twelve years old. There's an argument, and a knot of tension churns in his stomach. The child gets up to run, and Ando's breath hitches in the back of his throat. Then, pops of gunfire, and the child crumples to the street. Ando can do nothing but watch in horror, frozen for a moment. The parents, or whoever the adults were with the child get up to rush to the child, but are shot too. People are screaming, men on radios are shouting. Ando's stomach upturns, he breaks out into a cold sweat.

"Ando," Hiro calls from the now open window. Ando jolts upright, looking at Hiro with wide, terrified eyes. Hiro looks at Ando, looks past him to the scene on the street below. His expression hardens, and he reaches out for his friend. "You, Candice, and I are going to see Bennet. Candice thinks he's here in New York." Nothing to be said about the brutality, nothing to be said about the death. Ando looks past Hiro and sees Candice watching the scene play out in the street with deferential resignation. A child died, oh well. What can you do about it? That's the way the world just is these days.

As Hiro takes his hand, Ando hopes this journey ends soon.

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