Broken Clock Ticks


gabriel_icon.gif warren_icon.gif

Scene Title Broken Clock Ticks
Synopsis Warren wants to fix the city, and he runs into the man who might be able to.
Date October 17, 2010

Ruins of Midtown

Most of the work of the day done, Warren heads out at around 7PM to look around Midtown for the Locos base. He knows it's around here somewhere, it has to be. There's a trail of his machines a mile long. He's come prepared to defend himself, because who knows how they'll react, and he's been sneaking through the shadows, wearing a pair of heat sensing goggles. Far preferable to night vision, at least to him.

He's just exited a small building that houses a burnt out generator, and outside of it are dozens of air conditioners, just sitting on the ground with intricate connections between them all. But they don't seem very functional anymore, having rusted over at some point. "Definitely my work, but why would I even do this?" he mutters to himself, slinking back into a shadow against the building.

Upon the ledge of the opposite building, the shape of a bird falls out of the sky and lands neatly. Some common species of hawk, expression forever furious, although in the waning light, only its rough silhouette can be really noticed, if noticed at all. It preens feathers, as if waiting for the one that follows it to catch up, after tiresome rounds of circling back. This patch of city, the hawk has had the honour of scouting out, pursuing more human leads rather than mundane things like little furry creatures in the forests of the city, old and new.

Having found something, maybe it'll catch a break.

Having introduced himself as 'Gray', the first time, the serial killer— former, serial killer, kind of— is very much the same in appearance as last time, save for the fact he's living up to his name. Shoots of silver strands wire through his dark hair, like rapid aging, though the rest of him is happily 30s and relatively uninjured, healthy. He's keeping to shadows too, adopting back his own shape, all shrouded in heavy black coat. He doesn't have heat seeking goggles. But he does have something.

Warren's creeping figure pierces through the shadows, with a light coming off his skin, lava-like in illumination, flickering, dangerously radioactive in visual quality. About to go out at any time, or explode completely. It's an aura, and mercurial silver seems to run through it in the midst of warmer fire tones. This, only through Gabriel's eyes.

One second, Gabriel is standing across the street. The next, he vanishes, reappears behind Warren. "Who's 14?" comes like a growl.

Almost immediately, Warren pushes himself forward, spinning his body around with force that causes him to slide over the small rocks about an inch or so. He remembers the meeting, parts of it weren't entirely crashy, causing the memory to be a bit choppy, but he definitely remembers this person. "Lately, the best guest is that you're 14. I've been trying to find you and their base. I don't remember them anymore, I'm not crazy anymore, my personalities were fused and flushed, I'm missing my insane memories, but I do remember your face. We've met before, you're him."

"I need to talk to you, I need your help, but I have to warn you." He reaches into his open jacket, his black suit appearing very non-threatening, but who knows. "I came prepared for a meeting with you. Our abilities are very similar, and I took measures to defend myself against you, if it comes to that. You don't want to see what I have, I mean that very literally. So let's just talk, alright?" He doesn't remove the goggles, choosing to hide his mirror-like eyes behind them. He has no idea what Gabriel's abilities may be, no point in giving him more of an upper hand by showing how his works at all.

Gabriel has no weapons in his hands, mostly because his hands are pretty adequate on their own. One is partially raised as an absent hover, the other curled in a fist at his side as if perhaps that arm pains him to use. Not so uninjured after all, but it's difficult to see beyond black wool and cotton. Most of the talk about personalities, of memories— these things get blinked at and dismissed, although a certain stability— despite the shifting, trembling aura suggesting otherwise— is obviously there that was not there before.

The meeting was, however, a long time ago. "We can talk," he eventually agrees. There is clearly more he wants to respond to, to ask and say. For now, curiousity wins out.

"The Locos, they were my gang, and now I'm trying to find out where the base is. I know it's here in Midtown. When I find the base, I can work it closer to telling the police." Warren removes his hand from his jacket, though he certainly doesn't lower his guard, keeping a close eye on the serial killer. "The other thing I need you for, is because of your ability. I need you to help me build something that'll save the world, or at least the city."

"I don't— "

There's a tense shake of Gabriel's head, a physical balking at the notion of his ability being addressed so directly by some stranger, both hands curling fingers into palm as he takes a step back. "You have the wrong idea about my ability. I don't build things. I repair things. Make them correct again after they get broken, or made wrong. And what the hell makes you think I'm the kind of guy who gives a damn about saving the city?

"Tried that once, and got shot and killed in return. And why is your gang trying to involve me in the things they do? I'm not 14. I didn't join."

"I don't know, I can't remember my gang, I only know what people tell me. I'm going to stop them, but I don't want to kill them. I need to find the base so I can find the generator and shut it off, then the cops will be able to take them in without all of the bloodshed. If I made defenses, I'll know how to get around them." Warren looks down at the weave of air conditioners briefly, then back up to Gabriel. "You know how things work, you know how they're supposed to work, intuitively. I don't think you understand the full potential of your ability when working with a person like me. I'm well aware that I'm only tempting you to attempt stealing my ability, but in exchange for helping me, I can get you far more than just my one ability. Think of it as a long term investment."

There's a brief curl of Gabriel's lip just as the air suddenly smells distinctly ozone, like a lightning storm's scent brought down to earth level, electric and sharp in the air for all that nothing appears to change. That lifted hand then spreads, and a superbly white light glimmers over his palm, just in time for—

A lightning bolt, is what it might be described as, an arc of electricity that scissors in the blink of an eye through the air. It leaps from his fingertips, jaggedly cuts a spiral, and hits with the speed of light against the construction of air conditioners, sparks flying and the smell of hot metal suddenly pungent in the air, like a forge. It's over in the time it takes to blink, a blackened mark where the lightning had hit, a fire smoldering within metal shell.

"Do you know how many things I've been promised," he says, voice low, "in return of service? The amount of delivery is disproportionate to the amount of times I've agreed. Maybe I should take your ability." Gabriel splits a grin across at him. "Does it make you crazy? I've seen powers like that. Makes me miss it, a little, you know?"

"Actually, yes, it does. At least I think it does. I've always been unclear if it was my ability that made me crazy, or just me. But I have to take medication to keep myself from hallucinating and becoming delusional from using my ability." Warren does step back in defense when he strikes the air conditioners, removing his goggles to slip them into his jacket. Now he does show his eyes, no irises or pupils visible, all of it, including the whites, are like looking into a solid mirror with no indication of where they're currently turned at the moment.

"In truth, if you did attempt to take my ability, and my device to stop you fails, I'd have to kill us both with my fail-safe plan in order to keep you from taking something very dangerous to yourself and others." Who knows if he's bluffing, but he says this all very confidently, as simple facts of the universe. "You have the compulsion, don't you? When a broken clock ticks, or an old car makes a funny noise?"

A shifting rivet of electricity leaps between his fingers, plays along the back of his hand, before that ability is tamed completely as Gabriel shakes that hand out. The other one, when his sleeve shifts the right way, has a bandage of white looped around it to cover his palm — but there's no burn marks, now, on the other that just delivered that bolt of electricity. Gabriel sneaks a lingering glance to Warren's shining eyes, that same mercurial silver that slithers through his aura, not unlike the grey that's smattered through Gabriel's own dark mane.

"Yes," he says, simply.

"That's why I know you can help me, it's that compulsion, I think only people like us could understand. That's why no one realizes how exploitable the compulsion is. If they knew, they'd have caught you a long time ago, but it's impossible for them to know." Warren reaches into his jacket again, but doesn't pull anything out, he just obviously keeps holding something unseen. "It can be exploited both for good and for bad. I know you're not capable of building, but if something is build in just the right way, half-working, with just the right parts, you know what to do, you know what needs to be completed. You can help me, us, together, we can save the city. I've seen your ability from a different perspective, if I say I'll give you what you want, I mean it. In addition, your true ability, your intuition, can probably be honed in ways you never thought of, I can show you that too."

It's obvious that Warren has captured an iota of Gabriel's interest in the stare the man is getting from the serial killer, although tension steels up Gabriel's jaw, the set of his shoulders. He kicks off into a circular moving pace as Warren speaks, the soles of his boots gritting against the ground, but otherwise quiet and vaguely predatorial. He stops some several feet in front of the glorified mechanic, letting the wall come directly behind Warren. There is a glance for whatever is being gripped within coat, but ultimately ignored.

Again, that ozone scent, of something charging, but there is no attack. Gabriel simply lifts his hand, lets electricity dance over his palm, light his face with strange illumination. "If you fuck with me," he explains, very clearly, "I will end you. There won't be a smear left on the ground by the time we're through. Wanting your ability won't even get in the way of destroying every piece of you, if you even think you can try to lie to me.

"Do we have an understanding?"

"We do, Gabriel Gray. Come to the abandoned New York Public Library tomorrow. Don't mind my assistant, she's nice. Don't mind the robots either." Warren releases what's in his pocket, but instead of offering his right hand, he offers the left, both gloved in white leather. With the proximity, he can likely hear the subtle gears, thousands of them, all functioning perfectly as if they made up the arm itself. "I'm the one person you won't have to worry about betrayal with, I'm just trying to fix the city."

"Yeah, well. We can talk about that part too." Gabriel's gaze hones in on that offered hand, a sleepy blink of his eyes as his head cants in response to the sound of mechanics where he did not expect to find it. In the same motion of Gabriel turning his back on Warren, the hawk across the street lifts off its perch and drops into a swoop, powerful wings lifting it up towards the cool, darkening sky to retreat somewhere with more trees and promise than the scar of Midtown.

By the time the bird's disappeared from sight, Gabriel is moving with a steady and swift pace, hands tucking into pockets.

"Make Miracle Day, Every Day. That'll be my mark on the city." Warren leaves Gabriel with that, indirectly taking credit for the park incident. With that, he turns around, then starts walking in the opposite direction. One phase of his plan down, now he can focus a little more.

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