Bilge Rat


bao-wei2_icon.gif hortense_icon.gif

Scene Title Bilge Rat
Synopsis Causing trouble in the marina, Bao-Wei ends up cutting one resident's night short.
Date February 11, 2011

North Cove Marina

North Cove Marina is located on the northern end of Battery Park City on the southern tip of Manhattan. The marina itself services yachts and sailing vessels that ply the waters around Manhattan and Staten Island. Unlike many of the other privately owned Marinas, the North Cove Marina sells docking to any and all paying clientelle, ranging from cigarette boats to sailing ships that make ferrying runs into Staten Island to the south. Rumors about suggest that the marina's ownership is tied to the Linderman Group.

Mega yachts can dock stern to along the north and south walls of North Cove. Closer to the east wall is space for smaller yachts. There are 12 slips which can accommodate yachts of 100 feet and greater and the depth of the marina is 18 feet in most locations and greater near the breakwall.

Directly behind North Cove is the World Financial Center. This stunning marble and glass office complex was designed by Cesar Pelli. It is home to the world headquarters of American Express, Merrill Lynch, Dow Jones and Deloitte & Touche. Next door is the New York Mercantile Exchange. And Goldman Sachs is building their new world headquarters across the street.

On the screen, An actress looking like some mary sue with blonde curls, angelic face and poodle skirt is going cross eye'd while inhaling deeply on a long thin joint on television. Her name is actually Mary-Lane, and she laments that it burns her lungs. Hortense isn't watching this, long since fallen asleep after her weekly - and more frequent - knock on the hull from the authorities to ensure that she is on her boat. Curfew applies to even people in liveaboard boats.

Flannel bottoms, wool socks, fisherman sweater, a Japanese brand beer empty and sitting on the floor, Mary sunshine seems to be singing about going up and down and up and down and down again prompting a smile from a raccoon eye'd college guy before she appears in black and red latex.

The lights off, just the glow from the screen, she's one of maybe two of three that actually live on their boats and her heater works hard in the corner to ensure that she's not too cold in the boat.
Regardless of station when it comes to criminal empires and the like, one always needs to find something to do when it comes to light that sleeping hardly can happen. Or try anyway. Bao-Wei has slept like this before; it is less of the sleep he once knew, but he still is able to find himself drowning out the watery world around him, and sometimes- he swears- he even dreams. It is either a hope or a miracle; though not a soul knows if it counts. He counts it, at least, even if it is only daydreaming while being so out of touch that he shifts only with tides.

A day full of this leads to a restless night. He finds himself waking up west of Manhattan, somewhere in the bottom of the North Cove. There are weeds on his face and a metal soup can stuck awkwardly on one wrist. Picking up garbage is a hazard.

The water leads him on to the marina, to which he seems keen on disturbing just a little, for the sake of sake alone. A couple of the boats get iced over on their undersides, and one tiny craft is already slowly tilting over.

When his hide bumps lightly up against the 'Good Mooring', he takes little consideration before drifting there in the way of water being filtered in. Eventually, Hortense's boat begins tilt a little to face the lights of the marina, its bilge pump having been slowly clogged up with ice, and the water having nowhere to go but where it was sitting.

A gradual tilt isn't so bad. But at some point it's enough to tilt her bottle, the green glass toppling over and hitting the foot of the other couch opposite with a loud clink. Her bilge turns on and off on it's own - the delight of having an automatic means you don't have to wake up and do it yourself.

This meant also that Hortense herself slides off her couch and lands on the aisle of her boat, waking with a startle out of her light sleep, bolting upright. There goes her forehead making contact with the edge of the table's drop leaf with a loud fuck. She's a tall girl, she was already almost curled up on the couch and now she's sitting up, looking around. A chill in the air, a defined tilt, no bilge pump pumping, it takes her a minute or two to figure out what might be an issue. Did it get that cold? It wasn't supposed to get that cold.

A light goes on in the cabin and from within the boat comes thumping, doors opening as she drags out jacket, hat and gloves, shoving feet into warm boots and a battery lantern in anticipation of going topside and towards the back so she can access the trap door that will lead to engine and bilge.


It is almost like watching a show, at this point; Bao-Wei was not expecting anyone to be in any of the boats. Go figure. He drags around towards the rear of the boat, allowing his head, a reptilian shape in the near black, to bob along to the surface and dance there with the other lights on the water. It does him some good that he didn't bother prying those weeds out of his snout- it makes the ice a more matte color.

For the time being, he sits and watches, hackneyed Crocodilian brow peeking up once before dipping down again. If she cares to note it, the marina has suddenly gotten a considerable bit more icy, to the point of chunks passing across the water behind the boats. Like ice cubes bumping around in a glass. Down below again, he decides to watch and see if she can fix this on her own. Testing the ingenuity of apes, maybe. Or just being an asshole. Both work.
It wouldn't be the first time that it's clogged from ice. She did stay on here long as possible last year till she had no choice but to hit up the Corinthian and take shelter. She fumbles with key's, looking towards the dock proper, see if anyone else is out and about and having this issue. Which at least one is but no ones home.

"Great" Great. Temperature drop that wasn't on the news. "God Damn atmokinetics messing around with the weather. Some of us don't have a house. Could go easy, but nooo. Just my luck" Bad luck penny. Tails down. She gets the lock turned, gets both sides of the door up and is lowering the lantern before nearly hanging upside down herself and gives a disgusted sigh at where the pump is located. Engine seems fine. Bilge pump in the back.

"You have got to be kidding me" Hairdryer time. Which one is strapped to the ceiling of the compartment for just such an occasion.

The sound gets through in the form of mumbles and vibrating water, but otherwise all that he gets is noise. He can tell she is down there somewhere, inside the boat- not being able to see anything makes this harder to wait for. So, he drifts slowly back towards the pump, body nudging up against the boat and one limb reaching out to put itself against the pump. Summoning ice is out of the question, yes, but insofar as freezing it through and pulling out what it is able to grab is different. He gets a good lump of it back out, and water is able to at least trickle out.

It's not so much this that might get her attention- it is the fact that there is something bumping against her boat, down there on the outside.
Which would explain the sudden silence.

Ice? Maybe. Could be something big enough and the movement of her means movement of her boat. But there's other things that might cause such a sound. Like bodies. A body in the water. Bloated and engorged, little bits eaten by the natural aquatic life that lives beneath the surface. Bao's treated at least, to a nice view of barnacles that will in a couple months, likely require the boat to be hauled out of the water, scraped off and fixed. The perils of living on the sea you know. It's like needing to repaint your trim.

She takes the small ladder up, blow dryer off and unplugged - she's not stupid enough to possibly electrocute herself and the pump slowly starts up since it's got some trickle going. She knows which side that came from and soon enough, over the side of the boat extends a hand, and a lantern that casts light on the water, soon followed by brown hair mostly under a toque followed by brown pristine brows and… two grey eye's hoping against hope that she doesn't see a body.

No bodies. None that she can see right away. The lights on the water dance and flicker, and her lantern breaks between them like an intrusive white spot. It looks like nothing is there until something is. Gray and brown, like a shark, but far less slender than one. It bobs around in the deeper part of the water, casting an odd shadow before it lift up and breaches the surface. For a moment it could be a body.

But, of course, it isn't.

Bao-Wei puts his head up snout-first, jagged teeth gleaming and throat brushed heavy with muddy whiskers. The water around the head that comes up frosts over quite readily, surrounding a swan-like tiiilt of his head to one side, baring that single eye, whose pupil shrinks to a pinprick in the lantern light. Well, that answers that question.

Hortense's scream fills the air at the sight that rises from the water towards her. Grey eye's widen, her arm swings and her Lantern goes crashing against whatever that is that's risen from the depths of the New York Waters.

And she's scrambling backwards, then leaping from boat to the dock, uncaring that she's left the engine compartment wide open and is dressed on so inappropriately or that frankly, she can get nailed for a curfew violation.

No, Hortense is skidding and falling across the dock, ice and slush making slippered feet slippery, bruising knee's in the process and then - curse that bad luck - she slips and slides right over the edge.

Head makes contact with the wooden planks that compose the elevated walkway, bringing blissful but deadly darkness with it as she splashes into the water.

The lantern smacks him between the eyes and cracks apart, causing his already rankled snout to open in a grimace, yellow eye boggling for a moment when the bulb flashes and cracks in his face. Ffff. He squints up only to see her sliding- he pauses to watch this- and coming to a stop only because she crashes and falls off the dock and into the marina water. Go figure that he was testing the genius of apes, because all of a sudden it is his turn. Karma, right?

There is a second where he actually considers just leaving, but then certain displeased faces flicker across his mind's eye and a disgruntled clack of jaw precedes his lowering himself and subsequent diving, feet fanning to push him down. The good thing about docks is that the ground under the water is often soft, of filtered dirt and sand. And garbage. And weeds.

Cong coils himself and dives again, at an alarming speed; the water around him freezes into something plate-like, enveloping him in a spade of ice. When he hits the ground below, the spade digs down deep, scraping the bottom like an absurd shovel. It curves up as it threatens to intersect with the sinking woman-

-and moments later, she and a pile of mud, clay, weeds, and garbage- a terribly grimy situation, really- are being pushed up out of the water, and dumped unceremoniously onto the walkway.

Up she goes, out of the water, the terrain she is unceremoniously dumped on transformed from concrete to the dredged bottom, saved by the very creature that caused her to need to be saved in the first place. The commotion has caused a light to go on in another boat a few slips down from where she is and after a half minute there's a head poking out. Hortense's neighbour coming out to see what the scream was about. Far up near the entrance to the marina, there's flashlights, the promise of security coming.

But under the pool of light from the streetlamp that illuminated the area more easily for police and security, is the massage therapist from the Good Mooring berth, wet, unconscious, likely a little seawater in her lungs.

What a terrible way to be saved. Yuck. But, she is saved- and as far as Bao-Wei is concerned, it is time to hightail it. The spade cracks and folds in on itself, snapping into something more serpentine. It drags its front off of the docks, leaving scores in the surface from latching, jostling feet. The splash back into the water can be heard as easily as her scream was, but by the time anyone gets down there, there will be nothing visible near the docks.

That isn't to say he is gone- just- waiting- peering out from around one of the other boats, its hull crusting over with a thicker layer of ice than it had before. No use saving her if nobody is there to prevent water in her lungs, and hypothermia. He's a doctor. It is a natural and medical concern.

Her slip mate is on his way, ducked back inside for a cellphone and a blanket. No doctor, but smart enough to know that somethings not right and a wet boater in this weather isn't good. The phone pinned to his ear, he's already dialing 9-1-1, calling for help as he more carefully navigates the dock, Security barreling fast as can be, they too on their radio at the sight of the downed, wet woman and smear of watery red trickling from somewhere in her hairline.

Within a few minutes, between the two of them, there's less water in lungs, blankets around her and an ambulance on the way. Any guilt he has can be assauged, his unintentional victim will make it through with nary a scratch or mark in the end.

Just a wild tale about icy creatures coming out of the water that will be attributed to her concussion or her temporary stay in Bao's icy depths.

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