Breadcrumbs, Part II


brian_icon.gif koshka_icon.gif sable_icon.gif


Scene Title Breadcrumbs, Part II
Synopsis An exploration turned raid is cut short when thieves are forced to run for their lives.
Date April 9, 2011

Outside of Eltingville Blocks

Previously, on String Theory...



That would be the sound of a door opening, or being pushed open, and then the surprisingly gentle but metallic sound of footsteps — of something with four feet to make 'em — click out in dull thuds from the foyer, and by the time they're looking, it's too late. Brian has seen it before, but it may be new to others — standing at maybe three to four feet in height, the silver head has a feline quality to it, shaped like a skull, red glowing eyes lit in dark sockets. A needle protrudes out from silver fangs, and a single, glistening droplet of something drops upon the ground inaudibly, not unlike drool in the way there is a certain organic quality to the machine that radiates heat where it stands in the doorway.

Steam ejects from its sides in that same hssssss they heard from before, just as a klaxon siren outside wails its earsplitting alarms.

Angie is the first to make a sound, and it's a scream that's almost as piercing as the blaring noise going on outside — at least that has some depth and bellow to its siren roar, this one just threatens to shatter glass and needle ear drums. At the same time, tendrils of colour lash out across the ground from beneath her feet, violent purple and highlight green staining the floor of a power going wild.

Which is exactly when the robot turns its head towards her in an insectile jerk of movement, weight settling back in preparation to leap.


The action he would like to do immediately is blame Eden for not watching enough. But being an ass will have to come later. Gray eyes flash as the robot pops the door open like a very smart dog. His hand snags out to grasp at Koshka's wrist. "Get the shit. Go to the back, quick!" The silver pistol he had been holding is shoved into Koshka's hand. It won't do much against a robot, but at least it's a comfort.

Brian is shoving his four fingered hand against Koshka's back, a strong encouragement to get moving. Hands coming up to momentarily push in at his ears as he lunges forward, eyes squint almost shut. Diving at Angie, one hand goes to lock around her wrist. Pulling her harshly along with him towards the stairs which happen to be closer than the back. "Come on!" He growls, feet pounding up as he yanks the girl to his side.

Turning toward the door, noise from the foyer causes Koshka to hesitate. Good thing too, for she's not walking head on into the thing that appears in the doorway. Her breath catches for the split second it takes for her brain to register to robot thing and then hands raise to block out the loud noises. It works for the moment, no longer than it takes for Brian to pull one hand down and press a gun into it. Eyes widen with terror, first at the weapon and then up at Brian. "What am—"

The question will have to wait until later, however. Koshka, prompted by the push, stumbles away from the leaping jumping electrokinetic and toward Sable. The pistol in her hand is clutched to tightly, though forgotten, as is the comic book in her other. Regaining her balance, another frightened look goes toward Brian and Angie as she lurches more toward the kitchen area of the house.

Sable is cunning if not sophisticated. Quick thinking is something she can do, and as bodies leap into motion around her, she is able to get a grasp of just where people are going and thus what they mean to do within a very short period of time. The intensely Metal creature's nightmare physiology is nothing Sable's eyes can really track, but it doesn't take special genetics to see it's getting ready to lunge at the screaming Angie.

Shit, she ladled some snake oil about buying Angie time if things got hot, didn't she? And Sable, not one keen to break her word - however lightly given - to a lady, can feel sweat prick her skin as the monster radiates more than malevolence. She spends just one moment, one selfish moment, checking to see that someone has the box full of mementos of the not yet; it's in Eden's arms. Good enough.

Next thing Sable has bounded to the wall, dropping down and bracing herself against the bookshelf. The loose stacks of books shake around like teeth in a drunk brawler's mouth as the shelf topples over towards the bowing beast.

It's simple mathematics. These douchefags seem keen about their spoils. Eden wants to leave. Best way to do that is to make sure the douchefags have their spoils. Arms closed around the box, he's moving for where Koshka is going, mostly because only the stupid bitches in horror movies go up the stairs, and also because— "There's a door, this way, through the laundry!" Up ahead, a wooden sliding door is partially shut on the old fashioned, cramped confines of laundry room, and a flyscreen door rusted at the edges shows the overgrown backyard through the glass, and no fences that Koshka can see.

Crash goes the heavy bookshelf atop the robot's head just as its paws— "paws"— leave the ground. Not only is it Metal, it is also Heavy Metal, and the ground seems to shake beneath their feet when it lands hard on its side. Licks of flame dance along the wooden bookshelf where it's caught in amongst the steel and iron spine of the cat-like machine's back, capturing it for the moment as feet work to get back beneath it in impassive, economical but strangely organic motions.

And Angie— Angie is happy to follow whatever leadership is available, running in the wake of being pulled away from the thing that was so close to attacking her, leaving behind floorboards stained colours that communicate her fear.

Quickly ascending the stairs, Brian holds Angie's wrist tightly as he bounds easily up. Forcing her to keep stride with him or practically be dragged. One look over his shoulder has him catching the book shelf and Sable in his peripherals. "Get out Sabes!" Brian cries as he makes his way into the second story hallway. His momentum carries him up rapidly, one shoulder going to thud into the wall as he continues to scramble forward. A door is kicked open as Brian practically flings Angie in the room. Sliding in after her, the door is rapidly closed.

"Open the window." He commands sternly, eyes sweeping the room. His hand crackles loudly with a blue electric pop. His left arm beginning to surge with electricity. His arm calms down after a moment as Winters pushes himself in. Flipping things around in a haste. The room quite obviously belongs to a man, the decor and wardrobe tells this much. A rifle taken apart on a chest. One foot kicks at the trunk, testing the weight of it. It doesn't budge and hurts his foot. Ow. Brian flings his way through the closet, over the bad. Grabbing at something anything. He doesn't even realize what he has as he shoves the small baggie of marijuana into his pocket.

"Sable!" Koshka finds her voice enough to call out to the yellow-eyed woman. Those flames are nasty looking, and if anyone gets hurt because of this fool idea of exploring… Brian, she hopes, is safe upstairs with that Angie girl. She kicks out the screen and throws the comic book outside, hopefully to be picked up later, and nearly throws the pistol as well. But instead of going outside, too, she turns back for the living room.

Her now freed hand snags the skillet containing scraps of food from the night before, and then Koshka reappears in the doorway joining kitchen to sitting room. Hands trembling, the skillet is flung not at the cat robot thing, but behind it. Hopefully the sound will buy some time for Sable to get away from flaming feline scariness. If not? Well, she's got a gun, and as soon as the cookware goes airborne the firearm is lifted and inexpertly raised at the cat.

When the wood begins to burn, Sable knows just precisely how hot things have gotten. As Angie and Brian disappear upstairs, and the creature recovers from the all-too temporary delay, Sable sees her best route of escape through the laundry, at Eden's suggestion. To her discredit, she's almost ready to bolt when she recalls that Koshka did not, in fact, make a break for it after popping into the laundry room. That she went- to the kitchen?

And then she returns. Pistol and frying pan are paired in no martial tradition that Sable knows of. Koshka's reappearance is cause for more delay in Sable's mind than expedition - what the hell does that girl think she's doing? The skillet hurtles and Sable is maybe on board for running after the distraction, but then Koshka is aiming at this thing.

Briefly, Sable thinks about being missed back home. She thinks about whether this would be justification for running. Is that the demand of her greatest good?

But yellow on your belly is shameful no matter how prettily you name the shade. It's stupid, of course, to start this kind of argument in this kind of situation. Who gets to play hero? But it's not that Sable wants to sacrifice herself, is that she'd rather no one get sacrificed.

So Sable says, out of love: "Stupid bitch, don't fight it, run!"

Eden's gone. Out of there. Goodbye.

And the robot remains, dragging itself out from beneath the bookshelf where it hasn't collapsed already. Thrown pan does nothing to distract the creature — it has other aims and harmless noise does not bring about the response one might expect in wild animals, because for all that this thing moves like it might be some sort of cross between feline and insect, it does not share the same instincts. And so then, small arms fire plinks bullets off its metal flank, sending up sparks but nothing else.

It's fast, instead, and leaps. Superheated metal skull rams hard into Koshka even as she's turning to leave, sending her sprawling upon the kitchen floor with a tingling burn at her hip only just beginning to register as pain beneath the fabric of her clothes that have browned almost instantly. It's rearing up in the same motion, with a mind to plunge that needle deep into any part available.

Outside, thunder growls like an omen in the sky at a sudden, startling change of weather.

"Now what's your plan?!" is, meanwhile, the shriek from Angie by the time she's struggled open the quaint, sliding window and jarred it to remain so. Spitting rain is already starting to slice inside, and a wind is kicking up. She can see Eden making a run for trees. Downstairs is noise — Brian can hear muffled commands from Sable, the ground shaking thud thud of the robot's movement, and of course, the echoing sound of a gun being emptied.


Brian hisses the word up at the rain. Eyes locked in a tight glare at the water coming down from the sky. "God damnit. Jump out and run. It's not that far. It might hurt a little bit. Tuck and roll, do you know what that means? Just.. Jump." Brian growls. He can't go outside anymore. He'll be useless. Winters takes a few steps away from the window, avoiding the water. Instead he dances back to the doorway. Turning, "I'll meet up with you in a minute." Is called out over his shoulder.

Winters heads back down the stairs rapidly, hands splayed out to his sides as he does. Electricity jumping from one finger to the next. Rapidly stomping down the stairs, he grabs the railing and leaps the last few stairs, heading rapidly for the kitchen.

The rounds in that pistol are fired off in rapid succession, the first generating a chain reaction heightened by adrenalin so that a click or two of dry firing follows before it dawns on Koshka that she's out of bullets. She turns to run, powered by fear and Sable's loving words, and after a couple of steps finds herself sprawling. And burning.

Hands and feet work in cooperation to get Koshka moving again. Stumbling and clawing along the floor in haste to move, a glance over her her shoulder is spared for the robot. Dread and foreboding are too nice a word for the feeling that surges through at sight of that needle, almost enough to stop her in her tracks. Somehow appendages continue to move and she crabs through the kitchen and toward the laundry. And toward escape.

The gleaming needle portends nothing good, and Sable has too little faith in the ability of a just-sent-sprawling-and-singed teenager to effectively dodge the assault of a creature this fast. Something like this was designed to do precisely what it's in the midst of attempting - margins for error in such cases are dreadfully thin.

So she goes for the skillet, and when Sable seizes hold of it she tries a much more direct means of getting the robot's attention. She skids into view of the kitchen door and, holding the pan handle in both hands, does a double-armed shot putter's hurl, sending the iron weight spinning through the air aimed generally in the direction of the automaton's battering ram of a skull.

A moment after the throw her weight has already shifted as she gets ready to bolt through the front door.

Needle prick finds the meat of Koshka's calf in a fiery stab of pain— and then an iron skillet bounces off its head.

Before the clear fluid can all the way empty into the girl's system, the head jerks aside just enough of a fraction of an inch for Koshka to get away. The industrial edged tip of the metal needle lays open a gash that bleeds freely, but the drug itself drools to stain denim and spatter on the ground as the plunger continues to depress and only kicks in to stop at a midpoint. Backing up, the robot turns heavy and sinuous to assess Sable — but it's the sound— or feel?— of electricity popping off fingetips that seems to attract it the most, and a metal tail lashes back and forth in agitation.

Many targets. Koshka and Sable trying for their exit, and the sound of Brian's approach. But it ultimately goes for the closet one, moving in heavy strides to block the exit.

Outside, there's a squeal, and a thump as someone jumps from a window and lands in soft dirty and grass.

Brian's brows knit close together as he sprints through the living room. "Koshka!" Brian calls out, in somewhat of a panic. He nears the kitchen, turning the corner heavily on one foot. Eyes quickly taking in the situation without leaving much room for plotting a course of action. Brian's jacket is pulled off his shoulders hastily as his boots thud against the kitchen ground.

"Stay back!" With a vicious snarl and a feral yell, Brian crosses the distance in the kitchen, throwing his jacket at the 'head' of the robot. A moment later Brian is leaping through the air to attempt and land on top of the feline creature. Arms going to fling around it to secure himself. And as soon as he does, Brian's entire body starts to illuminate electricity, pushing his ability towards the maximum of what he knows how to do. Pushing electric current into the robot relentlessly.

"Ow!" is about the only intelligible thing Koshka yells. It's followed by something in Russian, likely a word to make even her father blush by the venom in its syllables. This follows that needle biting into the muscle of her leg then breaking free. Sucking in a lungful of air, her scramble to generate space between herself and the bad kitty slides her into the laundry room.

Dragging herself upright in the relative safety of the cramped room, Koshka pushes herself through the remnants of the screen door and onto the grass outside. Staying on hands and knees, because keeping a very low profile seems a very fine idea at the moment, she crawls away from the house, to make a wide circle and hopefully find the path that took them to the house.

Shooting at the creature is one thing. Bearhugging it? This sumbitch is on his own. Sable lingers long enough to see arcs of ionized particles leap from Brian's body and course down into the superheated metal he's clasped to himself. She'd rather avoid sticking around to smell what that superheated metal may do to him. She is already angled for the door, and she can feel the weight of the CD in her pocket. The dark haired girl bolts for the exit, to the woods beyond. She wishes Brian every success in life. However much longer that might last.

Brian is awarded with searing hot metal beneath his hands, his body, turning fabric to black and brown, curling it, and pinkening the skin beneath with crinkled burns instantly. All the while, electricity pumps into the machine, licking bright white and blue over the silvery steely edges. It can't howl, lacking the voice to do so, but it does start to twitch and jerk beneath the electrical surge, the smell of burning plastic as powerful as searing flesh. It does not break, but it does buck as if it throw Brian off it, if he happens to be of any consequence.

Flung off the robot with a powerful wrench of momentum, Brian is then doused in steaming yellow vapour that streams in floods from the ribcage-like sides of the robot, oily and clingy and instantly dampening his power by the time it touches his skin and tickles in his lungs, at the corners of his eyes and mouth. Through the haze, he can see the robot continue to buck and jerk, its head wheeling around and smashing into the wooden stools that line the breakfast stand, the crack and splinter of wood filling the room.

That klaxon call has since begun to fade, as if whatever was carrying it was moving away.

Outside, Sable and Koshka are greeted with Angie, her face tear-streaked, but she isn't actually crying. She breaks into a run when she sees Sable doing the same, but she lets out a breathless, "it's going away," as they go. Her wild eyes indicate where she's looking, just in time to see an even bigger robot amongst the treeline — it stands at ten feet, but that's because it has a long neck, llama-like, its skull even vaguely equine, and it seems to be the thing making those sounds.

It's ambling away, however, disappearing into the trees, in a direction that seems arbitrary until one might notice the way the sudden storm that starts to bring thicker sheets of rain down upon the territory is also thicker in the sky. The clouds seem to come to a spiral vaguely south, crackling lightning in the sky with rumbles of thunder. It's where the robot heads, as if mesmerised.



Well that would've been a good thing to figure out before jumping on the robot. As his flesh is seared and burnt, Brian pushes even more electricity into the robot until he is bucked off. Back thumping harshly into the sink, his head drops against the floor. A brutal scream is let out from the pain of heat. Writhing to his back so that the sensitive skin is not touching the ground. That move will probably go in the mistake column of Brian's life.

Brian takes a deep breath, eyes widening, the amount of pain running rampant through his body. The vapors begin to take hold immediately, the back of Brian's sleeve coming up to cover his eyes. A hiss leaving his lips as he flops around on the kitchen floor. One elbow is pushed to the ground, pressing himself to his knees. Only the context of the situation drives him to get to his feet. One shoulder goes to thunk into the wall as he looks blearily out the window. "Run away .. little…" Whatever insult he was going to say is lost in a stream of spittle. Teeth bared and brows knit.

Seeing Sable and Angie alive and well, Koshka lets out a shuddering breath and drops her head to the ground. Just for a moment, eyes squeezing shut, a quick thanks to whoever above is looking down on them today. Dragging her hands up under her shoulders, she pushes herself upright again, movements shaking in aftershock of the excitement of the evening. The motion also draws a pained flinch as denim drags against the needle in her leg and the burns at her hip.

As an afterthought, she stoops once again the grab the comic so hastily thrown out, then straightens. It isn't a proper run that sends Koshka toward the woods. She hobbles, hurried but hindered by her own lack of wisdom. Next time, kid, run! Her eyes track after Sable and Angie, then a look over her shoulder goes to see if Brian is following.

Sable's ears thrum with the sound of her own fluttering heart, adrenaline fluxing through her and making her vision seem far, far to crisp, colors too bright. Still, she can use some brightness as the storm knits shadows overhead. Water runs down Sable's face and she feels forced to wipe her eyes to be sure she's seeing what she's seeing. The long necked strider seems disinterested in them, and strange noises continue to echo from within the house. Her retreat, so justified in the moment, feels sour when she looks back to consider Brian's fate. The yellow eyed girl grits her teeth, and runs fingers through her hair to sweep it out of her eyes after the rain beats it dark spines over her brow.

"Kosh- 'n' whasyername- Angie," Sable says, having to lift her voice to be heard over the clamor of the downpour in the trees, "y'all get th' fuck on back, quick as y' can. I'ma look f'r that fool boy," she means Eden, in this case, "jus'- book it, arright?" a brief pause, "Kosh- y'all- y'all stop over at my place, number twelve on Holly street. Jus'- you let th' lady 'f th' house know I'ma-" a quirk of her lips, "jus' make sure she's got coffee on f'r when I get back."

Angie has an arm pinned around Koshka's waist when the other girl seems obviously hurt, managing to avoid touching where the burn makes it's presence obvious at the way her clothes are damaged — support high on her waist, nearing her ribcage. "Okay," Angie breathes out, whipping a look around to reorient herself, but she's moving to drag Koshka into the thick of the forest, offering support as well as direction, looking a little stunned at having managed not to break anything after leaping from a window. How badass.

"Number twelve Holly Street, number twelve Holly Street," is a breathy mantra in Koshka's ear.

Rain slashes silver off a shed not so far away, and it's where, eventually, Sable finds Eden, huddled up against the metal wall in hiding, but also peering into the window where rows and rows of plants are kept — and they probably both have enough life experience to identify them as an indoor marijuana crop. The teen holds the box almost absently, the lid closed against the shower coming down.


The robot continues to buck and lash in jerky movements, still writhing from onslaught of electricity. Its massive shoulders slam into the gas oven and preventing Brian from blowing up the house by getting in the way and wrecking the place should he for some reason have the desire.

Brian eyes the oven, and then the bucking robot. Taking a few steps backward, he limps his way towards the exit, slipping past the malfunctioning beast and slipping out the door. Water immediately slides onto his skin, causing him to shriek through his teeth, arms clamping in against his sides. "Ff-uck." Taking a few steps forward out of the house, his eyes scanning the field for Koshka and the rest.

Pushing away from the house, Brian stumbles through the rain. Brian is a little bit slower than he should be when being chased by robots, but he is still making his way towards them. "Kosh!" He cries out loudly. "Where's that box? We got to get back!" He cries out, hand going tentatively to his side before dropping.

First "Wait, Sable!" as Angie begins helping Koshka away, then "No, Brian…" Though half turned, her feet drag to keep from pulled to far along. Brian's yell just reaches her and she pulls a little away from the other girl. "Brian! Sable's going after it!" Turning her attention back to Angie, she gives a small nod then looks toward the woods. Safe but oddly foreboding. "Let's… get back to Sable's house." Or somewhere that isn't here. She half limp stumbles toward the other girl again with teeth grinding together, a hand go out to nudge Angie into motion again.

Sable jogs up to the young man, her shoulders hunched under her jacket as she hustles through the rain. She first notices only that he's distracted, and takes this opportunity to try and relieve Eden of his burden, covering herself with a helpful: "Lemme grab that for y-" and while Sable typically does abbreviate the second person pronoun, she does genuinely cut herself of prematurely as she spies just what has Eden peering.

"Sweet Mother of God-" Sable says, with something approaching awe. But no, not time for gaping. "Bud," she says, addressing Eden by a necessary nickname, "last thing we need's t' get pinched next t' all this green. Come on, le's roll," she flashes a toothy grin, encouraging, "y'all really hard up f'r shit, I c'n be kind."

The box is released easily, and Eden casts her a crooked grin, but his nerves too rattled to actually afford her banter in return. More keen to roll, as it were, pushing away from the shed and scurrying off into the trees with the herd, following the path Angie and Koshka make into the woods and sending a glance back for Brian and the sounds the robot continues to make inside the house. By the time they've reached the hole in the fence, the storm has subsided.

By the time a lone figure arrives at the house, ransacked and ruined, it's nightfall.

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