Black Ice


delia_icon.gif vincent_icon.gif

Scene Title Black Ice
Synopsis Things in Vincent's vision don't happen exactly as foretold… there's a few twists and surprises along the way.
Date November 8, 2010


There's movement in the dark.

For some things it's better to have eyes, but this isn't one of them. Tile and bricking paved into a once-elegant arch is heavy with cobwebs overhead. A warped clock face leers from the wreckage with broken arms. No light at the end of the tunnel. Everything just as he remembers. Somewhere there's the steady drip drip drip of standing water against cold cement and rather than keep pressing forward, Vincent hesitates, his own breath hazing his vision at a pause. Like an animal in the pre-dawn light, suddenly alert. Then he vanishes.

Not a flinch too soon.

Something flits through the space he occupies - a flick of feather and the fang of a needle that breaks itself against the stone.

There are six of them, including their cargo.

Five are suddenly standing very still. The sixth lists drowsily in their ranks, knees and ankles weak, head stooped in a canvas sack.

For the first time in a long time, Lazzaro feels his temper boil over.

He's on them in the time it takes them to confer in silent gestures to form up on the defensive. Around them and among them, calculating until he's coalesced. A flashlight bleaches past boot black eyes and balding skull in a jagged sweep and doubles back to lose itself in inky vapor. That's when the shouting starts. Between flushes of reality to underwater garble and echo it doesn't even sound like they're speaking English. Unfortunately, they are.

A gun stripped off one is a bludgeon to another. He shoots the third twice, muzzle flash amplified, stamping glimpses of chaos in negative across the backs of his eyelids only for as long as he has them. In and out, streamers of sooty smoke furling fluid after a vicious kick to the knee of the second. The first and fourth run, abandoned flashlight filtering dust in their wake. It's the fifth that catches him by surprise, sidearm brought around in an inevitable arc for their captive, hammer haunched back. Ready to fire.

This time he doesn't register the In Between. Only the After: the sizzle and spit of number five's lower half, perfect cross section coated in a veneer of crackling black ice that sublimates rapidly into vapor in the dark. Legs still standing, knees locked - only just starting to tip. A few feet away, Vincent pushes the top half away from himself with a wet thump, the soldier's gloved knuckles still clenched around around his gun in the grip of cadaveric spasm.

Somewhere in this, a warmth has started in his side that hasn't gone away, seeping gradually through the rumpled white of his dress shirt like an oil slick. Five against one. Some things are inevitable.

The third's still conscious too, having fallen ghastly silent out of his painful creeching and clawing at his knee at that last act.

Vincent stares down at him, breathing hard. Three stares back, startled recognition plain on his bloodless face.

Five's disembodied legs finally fall over in the background, still hissing as the former DoEA agent steps forward, tranquilizer gun stripped from Three's hands and then fired warily down into his neck on his way over to their captive to steady a familiar hand firm around her upper arm. The other reaches to clear away the hood.

As the hood is whisked away, the drowsy head of a young woman whose warrant was signed by Vincent himself sinks down. Delia is still quite heavily under the effects of the dart she was pinned with and it takes nearly all of her energy to rolls her head back to look up at him. Her bleary half-lidded eyes focus, cross on one side and then refocus to see him. There's a bare slice of recognition there and a spark of a tiny smile to greet the coal eyed man.

"I— I missed … m-missed.. not on a boat…" she slurrs before sinking to her knees weakly. She's practically drunk, she's so full of whatever sedative they were using. "I'ma be late… Eileen's going to be ssssssooooo mad." Her head flops down until her ear hits her shoulder and that is how she stays.

Curly red hair catches Vincent by surprise — his grip on her slacks and he's slow to take it up again, in no position to stem the loss of her height advantage as she sinks to her knees. Hood slung aside after the fitful breathing of the man he just plugged a couple've bullet holes into a few seconds ago, he manages to keep her from falling over any further with an assist from his knee. Awkward.

"Shhhh," probably sounds more urgent than he means it to, but his foreknowledge of the future has formally expired. He has know way of knowing who (or what) else might be coming. Or is already here. "Shhh," he says again, voice hushed, trying not to sound too urgent even as static sizzles white in the fringes of his perception. "I need you to stand up."

"Where're we going?" Delia manages before reaching to his sleeve with both hands in order to pull herself up. Her grip is a little loose and her significant weight makes it a little harder to maintain anything but a staggering stand. Like a fawn taking its first steps on spindly legs, her knees knock together as she angles her feet out from their pigeon toed position and rolls her head to the other side to look down at one of the downed men.

Fear is a great motivator for sobriety.

It feels impossible to pilot her own body, "I gotta go…" Her whisper carries the most urgent of tones, she's terrified now at all the carnage around her. "You gotta go… where're we going?" She's like a boy scout looking to a troop leader for guidance out of the wilderness. Unfortunately, this wilderness is an urban jungle and even familiar streets seem vicious.

"It's okay," is sparse reassurance while he attempts to take on the weight of her — hoarse and automatic, training too deeply ingrained to acknowledge exactly how not okay things are even once Vincent's forced himself to follow her eyes and see what she sees. That he's done.

A slow, shivery breath is meant to steel him more than her, mind reeling, the right flank of his jacket clinging warm to his side. He's still solid enough to support her, but probably not for long. "I'll take you," would probably sound less reassuring still if she was aware enough to calculate for the fact that he won't last long walking and has no car. "Where are the others?"

"The boats… What.. what time is it?" She hisses, her voice still fairly thick due to the fact that her tongue just doesn't feel the right size to fit into her mouth. In order to curb the feeling, she curls it inward and chews on the side of it, like some kid from the short bus.

There's nothing that she wants to do for these men, not even a moment of silence. Somehow she doubts she would have gotten one from them and she doesn't look too terribly upset as she slogs her heavy feet through the still puddles of water. "The boats were at Red Hook… but the visions…" With one gulping breath, she stops herself and looks down with a grimace on her face. That's when she brushes her hand past the sticky wet cloth at his side.

"Is.. oh god…" her hand is brought into view and she glances at Vincent with a rather panic stricken expression. "I think I'm bleeding."

"Approximately ten," says Vincent, who doesn't bother looking at his watch where his focus is better applied to watching where they are going.

The worst of the sizzle of black ice and vapor has ceased at his back. The steady trickle and dabble of an unseen leak resumes its place as the ruling ambiance once more, light around the echo of shoes not really made with this sort of ordeal in mind.

"It's okay. It's me." His left hand curls around the one she has lifted, guiding it gently out've the picture. Everything's fine, clearly. "Delia — I need you to tell me where the boats were going."

"I — " Her voice cuts out as her hand is moved out of the way and the distraction of that most dangerous question is posed. Chewing on her lip, Delia knits her eyebrows together in a frown before she takes a hiccup of a breath and shrugs her shoulders in a jerking motion. "I can't… Ferry.. they're evacuating."

It's as much of an admission as she's willing to make and her eyes drift down to the wet patch at Vincent's. One audible swallow later, "You… I.. I can stop it." She's not talking about the boats or the visions but the wound. "I have… My boyfriend.. has a place. We can go there and wait. They might come for us."

Mistrust is hard to mistake when you've been doing the things he does for as long as he has been doing them. Vincent stops to regard her in silence for a moment, disappointment, exasperation and frustration too blunted to read as anything more volatile than dull resignation. Okay.

He is what he is, distinct countenance already blanched a shade or two lighter than it should be in the dank and dark for all that he doesn't seem to be feeling any obvious pain.

"Where is his place?"

Chewing on the side of her lip, Delia glances at their surroundings and shakes her head at the unfamiliar. "Red Hook… it's a garage… he fixes cars." The frown still prevalent on her face, she squeezes her eyes shut and shakes her head. Gripping his hand a little tighter, she walks Vincent around in a circle before finally chosing a path to follow. It's probably the wrong one.

"I can try to get in touch with … uhm… I…" Her blue eyes widen slightly and she shakes her head in confusion. "I don't have any phone numbers. Maybe Jaiden has a car that he's been working on… or we can take his car. Mister Lazzaro… I read the article, you did something really incredible." That's as much of a thank you as she can manage at the moment, maybe later when there aren't any more darts around waiting to pin either of them she'll be able to say more.

"We're a long way from Brooklyn."

Their surroundings are desolate: perhaps a promise of things to come. Shop entrances collapsed and in various states of decay. Cracked cement. Struts rusting and broken like dragon ribs across a ceiling sunk lower than it used to be. He doesn't have a phone.

He has about four more steps in him after the circle before his patience runs out and he digs in and pulls her back towards him, exhaustion creeping through his bones nearly as quickly as red blood cells are navigating the fibers in his shirt. "I'll take you," he says again — less of an offer, this time. More pointed, with a blackly cynical look for mention of his "incredible" doings. Otherwise unacknowledged. "We'll be safer. Please try not to panic."

Her worried frown eases just a little to a countenance of confusion and the redhead gives him a quick nod. "Okay." Two syllables to verbalize her acceptance to the offer and a promise of no distress. She doesn't know where in the city they are, if they're even in the city anymore.

The dead zone probably frightens her more than anything he could do to her right now, save turning on her. After everything he's been through and how much he's bled for her sake, she doesn't seem too worried about the mights and maybes of the situation. Rather, she braces herself for what he's about to do. "I'll try."

"Alright." Alright as in this is only the second time he has deliberately attempted to move all or part of another person without slicing them in half. Suddenly a shade nervous now that she's agreed so freely, he's procrastinatory about the process of looping an arm around her back. Maximizing contact, muscle sloped solid under his jacket.

"It will end," muffled down into his own shoulder, he tags on a less outspoken, "eventually," and squeezes his eyes shut. Two. One.

Sight flushes black, sound plunges hollow in Delia's ears and the pair of them rolls over into a curtain of pitchy vapor.

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