Blood and Glass


elaine_icon.gif evan_icon.gif graeme_icon.gif ingrid_icon.gif laina_icon.gif nicole2_icon.gif quinn3_icon.gif

Scene Title Blood and Glass
Synopsis Gunshots ring out, interrupting a quiet afternoon.
Date March 1, 2011

Across from Columbia University

The day is fair enough, for once. There's actually some sun, although for a lot of people, an open air cafe on a cold day doesn't seem like a great idea. However… there are convenient heat lamps placed overhead on the wood of an overhang. The place is consistently a popular lunch location for Columbia students and staff, mostly due to the location as well as their famous paninis. There's a mild crowd today, some driven off by the cold, others driven off by class schedules, but there are at least a few lingerers, huddled closer to the building where there's less cold air blowing in and more air from the heat lamps, leaving the tables closer to the street open. Less desirable, but still not as bad.

Elaine's walking from the campus, bookbag slung over one shoulder. Despite a long day yesterday, she'd managed to get enough sleep (thanks to ending up actually going to bed before midnight) but still found sitting through class unbearable. Especially when it's a language class that you mastered within the first week of classes. Boring! She stops at the crosswalk, catching the little white man indicating it's safe to cross just in time. Jogging over to the cafe, Elaine moves to snag a table, phone in hand as she checks it once she slides into a seat near the outside of the cafe where Quinn should be able to see her when she shows up.

Graeme glances up from his food, of which he is on his third plate at the moment, to see Elaine arriving. The man gives a bit of a nod in greeting, seated at one of the more sheltered tables, by himself with his phone and his tablet for company. However, more than a nod of greeting will wait for if he is acknowledged. In the mean time, he picks up his soda, thoughtful, and perhaps a little bit distant.

The smell of cooking food draws Laina into the little cafe. She had been job hunting on the Columbia campus, seeing if the Art History department was in need of an aide, and now she could definitely do with a bite to eat. Spotting Elaine seated at a table, she strides over, grinning. "I didn't expect to see you here! We meet again, so soon!"

Today Laina's hair is a honey blonde, a few shades darker than her natural hair-color. She's dressed in an olive green coat, with matching purse and boots, and a mahogany colored dress with black tights. Her violet eyes add a bright spark to the mix, more noticeable in contrast to today's earthy hues.

"If I said my heart was beat-ing loud~, if we could escape the crowd some-how~, if I said I want your bod-y now~ would you hold it against me?" The words sound like they should be sung, belted out, but the young woman standing in line at the front counter is mouthing them under her breath and tapping a flat against the cafe's floor in time with music only she can hear. Ingrid's fingers curl around a miniature iPod in periwinkle in her right hand. Headphone cords wind their snaking way around her wrist and loop once around her arm, though she seems not to notice that she's tangled up in it — the buds are still in her ears and it's unlikely she's paying attention to anything other than the menu behind the counter and the thump-thump-thump of Britney Spears' Hold It Against Me.

Ingrid doesn't have time to sit down and wait for someone to come by and take her order. A glance down at her iPod tells her that she's already running five minutes behind schedule and will have to catch a different bus than the one she usually takes to the DoEA offices at 26 Federal Plaza.

Ingrid isn't the only making her way down the street with headphones on her head (though these are more of the large, black, ear covering variety), but Robyn Quinn isn't singing outloud for once in her life. Hands in the pocket of a loose and unzipped black hoodie, she makes her way down the street, towards the cafe where she's supposed to meet Elaine for their lunch date. She had today off from work, thankfully, so she had taken the opportunity to meet the other woman while she was between classes.

She doesn't seem as perky or upbeat as possible, quietly making her way down the sidewalk as her skirt swishes around her ankles. It's not wonderfully warm, but it's a lot better than it had been lately, and that alone is a welcome change of pace. Spying Elaine on ahead, sitting at the table outside of the cafe, Quinn offers a smile and a wave, not recognizing the other woman who has walked up to her. Must be a friend of hers from class.

Evan is tucked away at a two-person table near the corner, the other seat occupied by a battered leather satchel. No mere canvas backpack for him! His attention is mostly on a Commodore-brand netbook and only slightly on the plate of ham-and-whatever in front of him, but he looks up toward the entrance as Laina speaks up. Oh, hey, he knows a couple of those people, at least vaguely.

It isn't difficult to spot Robyn Quinn by any means. And though Nicole Nichols really ought to stop and say hello, it's the young blonde woman at the counter that grabs her attention, and she gravitates toward her. She spots the earbuds in her ears, and so she makes sure to gently rest her hand on her shoulder before she attempts to speak. "Miss Raines. May I buy you lunch?"

Nicole must have the day off today. She's dressed in jeans with a dark green tee shirt under a light grey pullover. Tissue thin fabric isn't nearly warm enough for the weather, but she's never cold. Quite the opposite, in fact. She also smells of Gucci perfume, but noticeably not the acrid scent of her usual menthol cigarettes. And maybe also faintly of… scotch?

Shortly after Quinn's arrival, another guy looks around nervously as he joins the line to place an order. He's short, fair-haired, wearing a red plaid shirt over a black-and-white T-shirt ("Islam Lame Lie, Israel Real"). Elaine would know him - he's in her language class, and has been struggling since day one - but he's ditched homework for the time being, hands stuffed in his pockets as he wrestles with the urge to fidget with them.

Elaine seems surprised as she notes Laina. There's a half-a-second where she doesn't remember where she knows Laina before she realizes who she is. Well, Laina looked different the day before and it was an incredibly long day. "Oh, hi…" She offers, looking at the woman. "Yeah, I wasn't expecting to see you so soon either. Were you on campus for something?" She gestures towards Columbia vaguely as she glances at the menu for a second. Oh, and then there's Evan in the corner whom she spies. She offers him a weak smile. There's another person she knows most recently from another hell of a night, although that one involved guns and police and less drama and D&D. Thankfully, there's Quinn to save the day (and Elaine's thoughts) from total annihilation. She offers the Irishwoman a wave. She almost doesn't notice her classmate as he saunters in to order, though she idly questions asking him if he needed some help. Not like she had any trouble doing the homework ever.

Graeme glances up, again, and as Quinn arrives, he gives a little more emphatic of a wave. Just one of the people he'd been meaning to speak to, though he's been a bit distracted from that part of his work, lately. With a glance down, he picks up the last bit of his sandwich, pulls the strap of the case for the tablet so that it drops over his shoulder, and pulls out a thumb drive from his jacket, walking over to where Elaine and Quinn are, with a bit of a smile.

"Elaine," he greets, a bit of a smile on his face. "Miz Quinn." His voice drops half a pitch, and he offers over the thumb drive. "Would you give this to Ygraine for me? It's some of the work I'd promised her."

Laina nods to Elaine. "Yeah, the ever continuing job hunt. Well, hopefully not ever. I was seeing if anyone in the Art History department is hiring." She turns her smile to the other woman. "Nice to see you again, Quinn." As the stranger approaches the table, Laina greets him with a polite nod. She waits to see if he's going to stay before introducing herself.

Oh, hey. Someone is trying to talk to her. The first thing Ingrid does is startle when she feels the hand on her shoulder. Her own whips up, very nearly sending her iPod sailing, and tugs the headphones from her ears at the same time she's turning, expecting to find Jolene standing behind her, all bright eyes and mouth-splitting ivory smile.

It isn't. Ingrid lets out an abrupt scream of fright, squealing rabbit shrill, and jerks away — one foot snags the other, she goes stumbling backwards into the gentleman at the front of the line and collides with just enough force for him to lose his grip on the cup of coffee the barista had been passing him across the counter.

Thump goes Ingrid's bookbag onto the floor. Hot coffee splashes across the linoleum.

She must realize she's still screaming because she claps both her hands over her mouth to stifle the sound. "OhmyGodI'msosorry," is mumbled between her fingers, headphones still dangling. She squeaks out something else, but it's too soft and strangled for Nicole to make out what.

Apparently this lunch date has become a group outing? Quinn isn't quite sure what's going on anymore, though now she recognizes Laina. With Blonde hair? Huh. "Elaine!" Quinn exclaims with half enthusiasm as she walks towards a seat. And then there's another guy, and Graeme, who gets Quinn to visibly flinch when he addresses her, looking a bit off to the side. "Aah… if I take that t' Ygraine it's not going t' get there for a while. You're probably better off running it there yourself, when you get the chance. Sorry." There's a bit of a sad look in her eyes, before she moves to sit down in her seat. "How're you, though? And Remi?"

And then there's a scream from inside and Quinn's eyes widen, again surprised and caught off guard, tensing a bit as her head snaps in that direction.

Nicole's brows jump up to her freshly dyed hairline (no more blue streaks for her) when Ingrid shrieks. She also takes a step back and just stares for a moment until she gets over the shock (no puns, please) of it. "Goodness, sweetie. Are you okay?" She drops to a crouch to retrieve the poor girl's bookbag, making sure its contents haven't been spilled out. "I didn't mean to scare you."

A placating hand is extended to the man. "Terribly sorry. I startled her. It's my fault. Order another coffee. It's on me." Nicole flashes a quick smile before dragging herself to her feet and offering a hand out to Ingrid to help her up.

The guy in the plaid shirt takes another look around, recognizing a voice. And a name. Elaine. Or, in his mind, That Bitch Making Me Look Stupid. He's not stupid, he's heard about these so-called Evolved on the TV news… she's probably a telepath and she's reading the stuff right out of the professor's head. Maybe she's sleeping with him, too, to keep him distracted; who knows.

Any number of things might have prevented what's about to happen. Elaine could have acted on that impulse to offer him some help. Or he might have failed to track her down here. Or Ingrid's scream could have not inadvertently startled him. Or— well, he could have actually busted his ass and studied, instead of casting about for an excuse. But there's no such luck today. Well, at least he didn't bother to walk right up next to her first—

—because he abruptly pulls a handgun out of his pants pocket, firing wildly in the redhead's general direction.

Yeah, so much for a quick casual lunch between classes. Elaine looks to Laina, nodding a little bit. "Jobs are hard to find, I'll tell you that. There are a few openings, I think, at Columbia… so you can always ask around. And there are students always in need of tutors, if you're good at one particular thing." She offers a smile to Quinn as she settles down, but her gaze shifts to Graeme at his mention of Ygraine. She, too, flinches. "Yeah, probably best to take it to her yourself." She pauses. "And if she says anything about me… she's probably lying."

Elaine shifts in her chair, leaning out of her chair a bit to shove her bookbag under her chair a bit more. Stupid textbooks. Really, she didn't see why she had to take them to class with her anyways, when she didn't need them. She'd opened them only a few times and that was right when class started. Unfortunately for her, the professor wouldn't let her test out of the class once she'd learned it, which meant she had to keep going, time after time. Which, of course, was where plaid-shirt-guy comes in. She did the homework in class as soon as it was assigned, usually turning it in before it was due, mostly to pass the time. Then there was the fact that she always looked bored in class and yet somehow aced the midterm.

However, despite the fact that she was annoyingly good in that class, Elaine would never have guessed the kind of person who sat in the same row with her on a regular basis would carry a handgun. But then, she wasn't paying too much attention in that class anyways, so she likely wouldn't have noticed in the first place. When the bullets are fired, in her direction, she doesn't really get the opportunity to react. The first one misses his intended target, while the second buries itself in her side.

Graeme nods, frowning slightly. "The hell," is said underneath his breath, and as he's ducking, he finishes saying what he had been going to say to Quinn and Elaine. "Alright then," he muses, ducked down, with a glance towards the two he was speaking with.

The next thing has him too stunned to even react, for a moment, before he's pushed his own things to one side, and is carefully trying to remove Elaine from her chair. "C'mon there," he says. Bullets are long beyond his range of what he knows first aid for, and all he can do is carefully try and get the girl out of the line of fire, and call 911.

Laina nods again to Elaine, thinking tutoring could be a good idea, but refrains from responding as things at the table get awkward. She doesn't know what happened between Quinn, Elaine, and someone named Ygraine, but pressing the matter doesn't seem like a good idea, for herself or for the man with the USB drive. As a piercing scream echos from inside the cafe, Laina takes a few steps to the side, so she has a better view to see if anyone inside needs her help.

It is for this reason that Laina sees the gun come out and point through the glass doors toward the table where her new friends are sitting. She barely has time to yelp and hit the ground before the gunshots go off. In the initial split second she has to react, she doesn't think of anyone but herself.

Ingrid looks between Nicole and Nicole's hand, instinctively flinching at the older woman's use of the word sweetie, but accepts the offer regardless of how she feels, which can't be very good. She's trembling all over, and maybe the shaking would stop after she's helped to her feet but she doesn't get that far. There's gunfire — it's probably safer on the floor than it is standing up, which is probably why her immediate reaction is to pull Nicole down with her and clutch at her coat, arms going around her shoulders, fingers digging into hair and wool.

The man in front of them has decided this is a good idea, too, and drops to the ground, shielding himself with the leather briefcase that had been tucked under his arm.

Quinn angles a sympathetic look Elaine's way at the comment about Ygraine lying, though it hardens after a moment, and she lets out a sigh. She's been trying her hardest not to think about it, but that really isn't helping too terrible much.

But that's all forgotten quickly as gunshots suddenly ring out. In their direction no less, and Quinn has no idea why. Is this some random Humanis First guy? No, couldn't be that, could it? Either way, she's scrambling and trying to duck down out of the line of fire - which doesn't go as planed, stepping awkwardly as she moves, which sends her to the ground, pulling the table down with her as she tries to grip it and catch herself. What looks like someone trying to shield themselves is really just a bumbled stumble that ends in the glasstop shattering as it hits the ground. And though she reaches out for Elaine, it looks like Graeme has that covered. "Elaine!" she shouts out - and then she notices the red at her side. And all she feels is horror. This can't happen. Not now. Not now.

It doesn't take much to bring Nicole down once she registers the sound of gunshots. She's quick to wrap her arms around the much younger girl protectively, positioning herself so she provides a barrier between Ingrid and the gunman. "Shhh," she whispers, long fingers curling in blonde hair. "Ingrid. If I ask you to run, can you get behind that counter? Or are you too scared? It's okay if you are. I just need to know." Though she keeps her voice calm, and level, she's trembling with her own fear, and nervous energy.

Nervous energy that makes Ingrid's hair stand on end where Nicole's finger tips brush over it when she looks over her shoulder toward the shooting.

Spotting a wave, Evan returns the gesture— but the place is crowded already, and Elaine is already in the middle of a conversation with someone else, so he leaves her to it. He's looking at the netbook screen again when the shots ring out; the first causes him to instinctively jump out of his seat, sending it skittering backward across the concrete, while the second sends him jumping down below the level of the tables. He's not close enough to the shooter or the target to do anything useful; all he can do is reach for his phone and call 911. One of many, most likely, but every little bit of information potentially helps.

As soon as Elaine goes down, the gunman's arm flops down to his side, sending a third bullet into the floor— nearly hitting himself in the foot. Cursing under his breath, he belatedly flips the safety back on and turns to make a run for it. He's probably flushed his college career down the toilet, but in his mind, he'd done that already. Surely he can get away fast enough to avoid getting convicted of attempted murder and sent to federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison for the next decade or so. Wasn't it worth it to see that bitch pay, even for just a second?

Elaine's dragged down with Graeme's help, suddenly clutching at her arm as she feels something wet at her side. Was there something on the table that spilled? She's not panicking. Or at least, she wasn't until she hears Quinn shouting her name. She blinks at Graeme, trying to look around for where the gunman was. "What's…" She mumbles.

His phone is left open, dialing not finished, and Graeme's slipped one arm underneath Elaine's shoulders, murmuring quietly, no words or anything like that at the moment. "It's going to be alright," he says. "C'mon, no panicking on me now." That not quite southern accent is soft, and he's not bothering for his voice to carry above the overall panic around him. He looks at Quinn, worry written on his face.

Laying on the ground, Laina can't take her eyes off the gunman. She glances briefly to the side as a huge crash is heard, but can't make out more details than a broken table and what seems to her to be a lot of blood, before returning her eyes to the gun. She flinches as it goes off a third time.

As the gunman runs out the cafe door and toward the street, Laina doesn't think, she just reacts. She can't let him get away. From the ground, she springs forward, aiming for the gunman's legs. She feels herself connect, but isn't sure if it's with enough force to knock him down. And then comes the pain, as shards of glass from the broken everything sink into her palms and knees as she braces her fall.

When Ingrid seems to be catatonic, Nicole decides the best thing to do for her is to get her out. "C'mon. Up. We're gonna get you outta here." She drags the other girl to her feet, and as tightly as she's being clung to, Nicole is clinging just as tightly back. "There we go. Let's go." The two women flee toward the rear of the restaurant, and out the back exit.


Horror gives way to something that Robyn Quinn has experienced few times in her life, much less in as blinding a manner as she feels right now. With all the events of the past few days, for someone to just waltz into a place such as this, and shot her now singular girlfriend, that's only one thing she can feel.


"You bastard!" she shrieks out, not even acknowledging the look Graeme gives her as she trembles, jolting up to her feet with a bit of a stumble. "What the fuck did she ever do t' you!" And at about the same time as Laina lunges, a teary eyed Quinn throws her hand out, finger tips glowing brightly as she does-

And immediately the area is filled with what looks like an uncountable number of flash bulbs going off all in rapid succession, with the gunman in the middle of it all. And it doesn't stop, either, Quinn seething as she watches ahead through the bursting lights.

Still crouched behind his table until the last half-second, Evan gets up again once it's clear that the guy isn't trying to shoot anyone any more. "Go for his—" he starts to yell at Laina, but her instincts turn out to be doing just fine on their own anyway.

Plaid Shirt stumbles, reels to one side - crumples down to one knee as Laina goes for a takedown, a nearby chair leg doing something unpleasant to his ankle - then, caught at the heart of Quinn's light show, he goes full-on deer-in-headlights, the gun falling harmlessly to the ground as he lands on a bed of little glass shards. He's not going anywhere any time soon, not until the boys in blue cuff him and drag his sorry ass into a paddywagon.

Elaine's trying not to panic, but there's blood. That can't all be hers, right? Graeme does a good job of keeping her calm, but Quinn's reaction has Elaine reaching a hand in the direction of the other woman. "Quinn… s'okay…" She swats her hand in Quinn's general direction to try and get her to come closer, her other hand clutching the wound.

Laina stays on the ground, half on top of the gunman, breathing hard, blinded by Quinn's lights. She can't see more than spots in front of her eyes, and bright flashes. She's too in shock to move away.

The light flashes persist until Quinn barely hears Elaine's voice, the bursts stopping abruptly, though Quinn's whole hand glows with radiant light now. But this guy seems down for the count, and no amount of staring wide eyed and angry at him is going to change it. She would, though, it hadn't been Elaine's voice rocking her back into a more normal state of mind. So, rather than stepping forward and kicking the fallen man like she desired to, she twirls and falls to her knees, moving up beside Elaine. Her arm moves to support her where Graeme isn't, and she stares down at the redhead with an uneasy smile. "It's fuckin' not. Not when someone just did that. Stay quiet, Elaine. Still. I'm not going t' let this get worse, not after everything else."

Evan stays in place, rubbing his eyes until the lights fade, and then for another few seconds while the afterimage fades. Finally, he picks his way through the broken glass and scattered furniture. "Are you guys all right?" he asks, offering Laina a hand up as he gives Elaine and company a quick once-over.

"I'm okay," Elaine mumbles, finding herself a little surrounded at the moment. "B-But there's lots of blood… is someone coming to help?" She reaches for Quinn's hand, eyes scanning around worriedly. So much for saying quiet. At least she's not trying to move much.

Laina blinks a lot, but she still can't make out the face that goes along with the hand helping her up. The moment she focuses on it, it is replaced by a dark splotch in her vision. She accepts the help anyway, cringing as Evan's hand presses on the glass shards embedded in her own. "Thanks," she says quietly, feeling off balance after the yelling and the gunfire and the bright lights. Was it just a minute ago that she was making small-talk with Elaine on a pleasant winter afternoon? "Is he out? Are the police coming?" Is it over?

"Shhhh," Quinn coaxes again, looking over to Graeme or Evan or someone ."Jesus, has someone called 911? An' give me one a' those thick napkins, someone needs t' put some pressure on this…" Quinn's no expert on first aid, but she has some knowledge. And years of watching TV and movies, which may not actually help that much, help her feel like she's doing something to help. But mostly, she takes Elaine's hand and looks down at her. "You're going t' be okay, I promise."

Evan bites his lip as some of the glass nicks his hand as well, though it's minor compared to what the others have gone through. "Yeah, they're on their way. You mean these?" He grabs the first one he sees and carries it over, gingerly laying it against Elaine's skin. "She's right," he adds, "just try to get some rest. You've been through plenty already, believe me." There's a genuine note of empathy in his tone of voice, as he thinks back to the previous year. Oh, he knows plenty more about gunfire than he wishes he did.

Elaine's hand moves a little to try and press down the napkin against her wound. "Can't really rest it's a little uncomfortable, Quinn. Though you and Graeme are a little comfy.." She suddenly tries to sit up a bit, peering around. "God… so much blood…"

Laina's blinking has started to have some effect, and the blotches in front of her vision are thinning and fading, leaving her with a clearer view of the scene in front of her. Elaine is right, there's a lot of blood. Laina gingerly rights a toppled chair and sits in it. She glances at the gunman, making sure he's still where they left him. All she can do is wait for the police, and the ambulance. Not sure if she's telling the truth or not, Laina murmurs, "We're all gonna be fine."

"Shhh. Don't look, Elaine. Just… don't think about it." Quinn is more panicky than her voice would leader her to be, the tears at her the corners of her eyes and the shaking her her voice the biggest indicators. She's trying to keep it together at least until an ambulance arrives. There's really little she can do besides try first aid and keep Elaine comfortable until then, now that the gunman is down.

"We're all gonna be fine," Elaine murmurs, echoing Laina's words as she squeezes Quinn's hand. Roaring up to the cafe comes the sound of sirens, police and ambulance both, with the former moving to apprehend the stunned gunman, and the paramedics moving to make their way into the area to see to Elaine as well as anyone else who might have been injured in the incident. It's not but a few minutes before the authorities have things taken care of. People have been talked to and injured sent off for care, the only thing remaining of what had happened being blood and shards of glass spilled across the ground across the street from Columbia.

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