Circling The Powderkeg


anne_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title Circling The Powderkeg
Synopsis Anne and Teo go looking for bombs. Bonding time on the front lines against the apocalypse.
Date January 12, 2008

Old Dispensary

On the outside, this sprawling multi-level complex has not seen use in many years, its walls covered in greenery and stone exterior and glass windows showing evidence of disrepair. Surrounded by a chain link fence, a drive leads from the street to a large dock, and around the back one can expect to find more sprawling greenery that eventually leads to a concrete drop off into the Atlantic Ocean.

Passing through the chainlink fence and into the dispensary will reveal that the aged and crumbling outside is a facade. The loading dock is kept clear for the most part of everything save vehicles and supplies, though a section has been quartered off and transformed into an open workshop. The dispensary itself has been transformed into something akin to a makeshift dormitory, complete with common areas, a sizable kitchen and eating area, with various rooms converted into bedrooms for the residence. One room has even been set up as a makeshift clinic, amply stocked with supplies.

The back lawn and garden of the dispensary is surprisingly well tended, green and lush during the right months. Vegetables have been planted in accordance to season closer to the building, though someone has indulgently planted a plots of flowers - notably sunflowers - here and there. Further out, the ground drops a little and makes it to a concrete edge from which opens out into deeper water of the Atlantic.

One could definitely say that it's been a long day for Anne, and an even longer weekend. Moving things from the library to the dispensary throughout the weekend taxed her teleporting muscles more than a little, and followed by the nice little excursion with the digital camera and photographing the behind off all nine bridges, looking for things she didn't quite understand, as well as the sites surrounding said bridges. Finally, she arrived back at the dispensary and fell down in a little heap on the floor. Teo wasn't around yet, she'd checked, but she sent him a message on that secure network, asking him if he had some time. She needed help, you see.

While waiting for a reply, or possibly him just coming on by, she remained on the pile of blankets with an arm draped over her face and.. well. That's pretty much all she was doing, really. Not moving. This is a tiiiired flutist, you guys. Tired.

The door squeaks. Which would be easily dismissed as an issue with unlubricated joints and seafront air, but neither crooked metal nor the displacement of atmosphere would follow that up with a gentle query: "Signora? Are you all right?" His shape fills the doorway, should she look up to find it: a good height, broad-shouldered, aquiline features tightened with concern. He just got in, evidently: still layered up in jacket and multiple sweaters despite the heat seeping in from the radiators arrayed through the dispensary's rooms.

Groan. Anne opens an eye and peers up at Teo, raising her hand a little bit to offer him a wave of her hand. "Oh, hiii Teo. Yeah, I'm alright. Just crazy tired, is all." She rubs her eye a bit before slowly and carefully pulling herself up to a sitting position, peering up at his face. "I spent all weekend moving shit here, and then most of the day and night taking about five thousand," Exxaggeration! "photos of various bridges. Unfortunately, I can't separate a bomb from a toothbrush, though there were some things with like, watches on them taped to places." She points a thumb to the digital camera on the bed of blankets. "'s in there. Also, things I thought might fit a mortar." She had the transportation half of this mission down pat, but as she'd told Cat… practical knowledge about bombs? Ha!

Exaggeration nothing. "That's a lot of photographs of bridges," Teo says, stepping forward and into the room out of acceptance of a tacit invitation, his own hand lifting, a flare of five fingers in answering wave. His manners hold consistently as she speaks; he scoots in, peels his shoes off without using his hands, and drops into a crouch to bring their faces level over the small hillock of blankets that she has built around her, her chocolate-colored face and shoulders in a vortex of cotton.

"Watches are a good sign," he agrees, nodding, even as he cranes his head over at the camera, pushes it at her by two fingers closed around three corners. "I mean, if there's ever a good sign of a bomb that could cut off all main arteries to Manhattan. Timers. Mortars— that's pretty interesting." He can't believe he just invoked the term 'interesting.' "Odd. Mounted on the ground, pointed toward the bridges, or?"

"I didn't actually find any." Anne clarifies, picking up the camera with one hand before she starts flicking through the images to find the ones she was looking for. "But Cat said the vanguard folks might be using them to blow things up later, so she wanted me to see if I could find anything like it." Pause. "..possible fireplaces, I mean. Did I mention I suck at this? Here!" She turns the polaroid around for him to look at. It's a fairly close up shot of something plastic, black, taped to a bridge foundation and with a small digital watch connected to it. BOMB! The image screams, if you know what to look for. Possibly, it's bad to prod your nose around too close to that thing. "This one's on the George Washington bridge. I found similar stuff on another, but. Well. I thought that maybe if this was bad, I should drag you there to look at the other bridges too." With other eyes than hers.

The eyes other than hers are pinned to the tiny LCD display, shifting to and fro in saccadic millimeters, as if the column of his line of sight is bouncing off the edges of the image. Which, in a sense, it is. It would have been nice if digital cameras came with ten-foot tall projector functions, but for lack of that, he strains his eyes, his expression growing grim and utterly humorless with concentration, a young man's way of focusing.

The tip of his forefinger finds the tiny silver buttons by her hand, blipping the viewfinder up to maximum zoom. "You really don't suck at this," he states, after a moment. If looks could EMP, the camera would be dead. He maps the balance of the bridge's weight against the position of charges, and breathes out, incredulous, almost a laugh. "That is jackpot right fucking there. Fuck. Fuck."

"I'm inclined to agree." Anne agrees with a small nod. "Thing is, if I found this on two bridges, I'll bet you my shirt you could find them on the others. And, you know, quite possibly more on the ones I prodded my nose around. Problem is, what do we do about it? I mean… er. Cut the blue wire?" Seems like a risky plan, and you can hear it in her voice too. There are a lot of ways the movies say you can fail there, and they're not even working with the real shit. "Want to go have a look?" Appereantly the offer includes 'right frickin' now', though there's always room for a 'no' as well. "Though if I'm porting anywhere else soon, I deserve hot chocolate after. Let me tell you."

It's an attempt at humor, quite possibly failed, but it's there none the less.

It takes the Sicilian more time than normal to respond because his mind is elsewhere. Thinking. Hard. In a gesture that might be an unwitting habit, his hand goes to his nose as he does, thumbing the faint kink of an arch abused since childhood. "We could probably get some of the bridges clear for maintenance, but it would take time. Or that would look pretty fucking suspicious, all of them going offline at the same time. Be like asking Volken to send a teleporter around to set off manual triggers.

"I'm pretty sure we have people who can disarm these. Conrad, Hana, me, some of our— outsources. We all know a little about demolitions. But we'd— just in case.

"I think it'd be good to make provisions, you know. Play it safe." If that's remotely possible. He looks up and smiles with his eyes when she cracks her joke, though concern characterizes his face othewise. "You look really tired," he hedges, though he doesn't turn her down outright. He'd have to be more of a moron than he is to turn her down outright. At this resolution, the timers depicted in the cameras tell them one thing: time is limited.

Anne digs around among the blankets to find her jacket and pulls it on, before holding out her hand to Teo. "We can't fricking well have the things explode on us while I'm taking a nap, now can we? I really don't want to wake up dead, okay?" From a virus, as opposed to a bomb exploding over at a bridge, but it's all pretty much the same thing in the end. "Have you teleported before? It can kind of tickle your stomach a bit the first couple of times, I'm told." She hardly remembers her first times, anymore. Been doing this kind of thing for too long for that. "And don't forget your shoes." Cause that would be cold. Very cold.

She has a moment in her mind where she thinks about just how she got to be hopping /towards/ bombs instead of /away/ from them, which really sounds like the more sane alternative, but she pushes it away from her mind for now. It's a later worry, really. The bombs might explode today, but she has work to do, no? And a little baby out there in the world to defend.

Not that Teodoro would know about that, though he might have guessed. She'd mentioned a family, before. Running, somewhere out there, shepherded by the Ferrymen and inevitably hunted by the law. They all have something to fight for, and it'll put a grin on Teo's face before it breaks his heart. "Shoes," he says, by way of confirmation. Straightening, standing, he goes to stuff his feet back into his footwear in a few expedient shuffles of movement.

"I like waking up," he agrees, wryly, stepping back toward the blankets— though leery not to trod on them. "I've teleported a few times before. My brother— kind of does that. Teleporting with him is less like a tickle in the stomach than like getting your whole fucking body turned inside out and squeezed out through your own navel, though." Which didn't frighten or exceptionally bother him, either, despite the mock leery look he adopts briefly. Gallows humor.

"Heee. Well, I guess I'm just more gentle than him, then." Anne bumps Teo's hip with her own after standing up on her feet, and then properly takes his hand. And, unless Teo is suddenly making excuses or violent arguments about 'nono I'm not ready aaaah!', she'll start the process. With just one passanger, it's not really /that/ much of an effort, though Teo will feel it gathering up for about two seconds before they go. His skin prickles first, then tightens as if someone made his skin a size too small. Hand locked tightly to Anne's, before the reported tickle appears in his midsection. Then they're gone. There's nothing, nothing, and they reappear without incident an inch above the ground, under the bridge where Anne snapped a picture of that bomb. She lands with practised ease. "Ladies and gentlemen, we've landed."

Hudson River — The George Washington Bridge

The inch of flight wasn't expected. Teo lands gracelessly, barely getting his knees bent in time to catch his weight without jarring a disc or something else that will wind him up staggering like an old man for the rest of the day until he gets his mitts on Abigail. There's a mumbled curse, nothing English; an apologetic look up the next moment, rueful grin. Right. Noble and infinitely dignified terrorist cell co-leader, right here.

He reaches up to flatten a palm against an iron beam angled up overhead, steps forward, craning his neck, eyes narrowed in simultaneous thought and perception. Belatedly, then, he remembers to release her hand. "I see it," he says, after a moment: the small watch face staring glumly out into the gray of winter. "Keep a weather eye?"

Weather eye? Anne peers up at the sky for a moment before mentally whacking herself over the head. Oh. Right. DOH! "Yeah, sure." She replies to him, simply enough, before pulling up the zipper to her jacket as high as it will go. Brr. Cold. She rubs her elbows lightly and goes about with the oh so glamorous job of keeping an eye out for things that shouldn't be there. And not so secretly wishing for warm things and a couch to snuggle down in. Quite possibly lots and lots of sleep, too. That'd be right awesome. However, it was likely not in the stars for a while yet. They had nine bridges to visit, if they were going to do this thorough like, and not doing it properly might well result in all kind of bad things. She just hoped he'd get a good time for this out of that thing.

In the meantime, Teo is doing his best rendition of a monkey. Or such as it is to all appearances. A vertical jump off the ground puts his hands on the edge of the beam, and a haphazard kick, shoe wedged between rusted bolts, and he scrambles up high enough to make the threat of head injury a somewhat more realistic possibility than it had been before. He ducks his head slightly, angling his line of sight through the stark and gridded shadows of the metal construction. Moves slower, then. Cautious.

No doubt, the Vanguard is professional enough to avoid having anything too sensitive up here, but the nearness of the apocalypse makes a man wary. "Should've brought you coffee," he says, after a moment. "I'm sorry, that was thoughtless of me. If you want to go grab some, feel free.

"You'll know if I fucked up if there's nothing here but water and red confetti when you come back. Fuckety-fuck-fuck." Doubtkess, that final syllable wasn't about Anne or coffee. He found something. Should she follow his gaze, she'll be able to make out a disruption of texture in the darkness of light omitted by the bridge itself; a black plastic bag of some sort disguising— something.

While some may judge it dumb, it's not exactly Anne's style to run out on people who might be getting themselves in trouble, especially not after she had someone do something like it to her. Even if it's just to get a cup of coffee. "Naw." She replies instead. "Abby would bite my head off if you got your leg torn off by possible Vanguard folk passing by, plus. You'd look a mess confetti style. This way you can at least holler if it goes beeping or something like that." You know, like in the movies. OH SHIT we have three seconds left. Only, she didn't quite believe it was as easy as cutting the blue or the red wire. It was the green!

Just kidding.

"Should I be worried about all these cursings, or are we just confirming that likely bombs on all bridges is fricking bad?"

That is the most singularly enormous payload Teo has seen in… well, all right: maybe a year. It's been awhile since he did demolitions work, and he'd been involved in some reasonably large (physically, large) projects before, which is probably why he isn't whizzing in his shorts from simple proximity to that much raw destructive power. He can't tell what type of explosives are involved from through the bags, but it's obviously nothing liquid or overly volatile. Obviously.

"Naw," he says absently, crouched like some spectacularly gymnastic gargoyle between iron rebar the size of trees. "I don't think Abby can heal decapitation." He's either missing the point or being funny. Both? Depends on whether or not she laughs.

"Somebody really knew what they were doing." His attention shifts away from the camoflaged explosives and back to the small white clockface. He takes his time examining it, the space and objects surrounding, down to the texture of paint and rust smoothing the way up, wary of stepping on some pressure-sensitive God-knows-what and delivering himself into Hell's hands in an unnecessarily cooperative fashion. According to the Good Book, it's nothing to look forward to.

"You wouldn't be worried about bombs on all bridges fricking bad?" he inquires. A half-beat. He doesn't glance down, but bemusement changes his face and tone: "Normally I sound much more serious when I'm taking something seriously. You're an odd one, signora."

"Oh, I'm worried alright." Anne says, though she actually doesn't sound it. Not that much. "But I'm trying to think of it as being on stage. You don't /show/ people you're afraid, if you can help it." Something like that. Or, she's braver than she thinks. Maybe she doesn't realize how dead they might get! "And if she can't heal it, there's the more reason for kicking my ass." Might not be the only one doing it, is all. "And you know, feel free to ignore me if I talk too much or something. I was just thinking… you know. Maybe it's good to be a little nervous, cause. Then you jump faster. Or something." She studies his upside down monkeying for a couple of moments longer. "I'm not sure you qualify as normal either." There's a bit of humor in her voice, then. Mirth. "Mr. Upsidedown monkey man." She wonders what he'd look like if one sprayed his hair when it hung down like that. Then he'd get an interesting hairdo later.

It was too hard to see the clock otherwise, so Teo is being completely reasonable in being upside-down and very close to catastrophically dangerous electronic devices. It is indeed remarkably difficult to tell whether she's afraid or not. Courage, ignorance— both work just as well, as long as Teo isn't about to blow up everything by accident. The probability of this happening increases proportionally the longer he allows gravity to pull his blood down into his head and mess up his brains, so he should probably be quick about this.

Trying to. "Sometimes, jumping faster is important," he admits. "You could probably jump far enough. And it's no problem." The talking, he means. Though… Blue eyes finally shift past the clock, focusing through the tips of his dangling hair to meet the woman's gaze. "Weather eye!" he reminds, waving an arm around in a gesture that might, unaccompanied, have been mistaken for a request she perform a Mentos and Coke experiment timed to Vivaldi's 'L'estate.' He adds, of course: "Please!"

"Yes boss." Anne even does a little curtsy, just to distract herself, before turning her back to Teo. "Watch the weather. Not the monkey man poking at dangerous shit." How could she forgeeet. Silly talking or not, though, she's serious about what she's doing. A little low on confidence, mayhap, but definitely doing her best. And, well. Someone said that's all you can do. While waiting for Teo to get done with his work, she starts whistling a melody. It's soft, and since she plays the flute it sounds a heck of a lot better than what most people can do. It's near the same thing as when you play, after all. So far, the weather is alright, and there aren't any other folks coming there to poke their nose into someone elses trouble. Unless they're invisible or something, of course. Can't quite assume they aren't.

No, you can't. An awkward time to live in. Teo's breath sheets translucent in the air. He flinches back from the urge to ask her not to call him that— boss, knowing that the term was facetiously applied at best; likelier than not, the specific details of his relationship with the faction haven't yet been disclosed to her. In all honesty, he appreciates her silly talking. It's the game-face that he associates with people that have more general experience than he does. Time for irony, for light words. Gallows humor comes easier to him than it used to, but he still tends to manifest rather humorless reactions when he's facing the hangman.

There isn't enough for him to see here. Red wire, or blue. Green. It's frustrating. Where he did his explosives work, keeping your intent loudly and clearly marked was a sign of professionalism. Obviously, these people are different, and he isn't nearly stupid enough to touch. "Cazzo," he mutters, hoisting himself upright, moving away, still cautious despite his temper. His footfall rings against the metal. "Fuck everything. I mean, not literally. That's a beautiful song, signora."

"Gratzie, signore." Anne replies smoothly, glancing back at him when she hears the cling of boot against metal. Seems like they're done with this here bridge. Good. She turns around properly and walks over to where he's standing, holding out a hand to him. "And yeah, I didn't think you meant it literal like." There's a slight pause, there. "You apologize a lot." It's not really critique, more of a statement of fact really. Something she noticed, is all. "Now, if you really want, I could whistle you something from Bach, next."

"Would you like to see the next stop, or have we decided on heading somewhere else with this here expedition?" Way she sees it, he'll likely want to watch all twelve bridges, just to see if something looks different on them or something. He's the expert though, not her, so. He gets to make the calls, whether she knows he's boss or not.

The hangman is leering at him. Teo suppresses the urge to make two middle fingers at him and burst into chagrined curses, occupying himself with getting down so the teleporter can grab him. "Yeah. I do apologize a lot," he agrees, reddening faintly around the ears, the apples of his cheeks. Absurdly, he laughs a little at that, a smile flaring, a breath out, more than an actual guffaw of anything audible. He nods his head. "It isn't very Italian of me, I guess." No guessing strictly required. He's out of practice with charismatically interrupting his way into conversations, too.

"I'm more of a Vivaldi man, whenever I'm not listening to dumb rock or… no music. I welcome further education with open arms. You sound qualified," he says, his complexion smoothing even. Pitching a glance back up at the clock face, the hidden payload, a scowl creases his brow. His hand laces through her own, no less firm than his clasp had been before despite whatever mischief he might have uncovered, or how he might feel about it. "Next stop sounds like a good idea, thank you."

Anne smiles and takes his arm as a proper lady would, if they'd been going to the opera or something like it. "In that case, signore, I think you and I need to go watch a proper opera sometime. Or, perhaps, go see one of my favourite orchestras…" She start whistling a slow, soft piece of classical music. It's not Vivaldi, but it's something a little bit like his style, none the less. Then, Teo will feel the slight tightening of his skin a moment before the view from under this bridge disappears, and they land under the next one. There's a trickle of sweat on Anne's brow, she's still very tired after all, but she seems to be managing alright aside from that little detail. The whistling continues as they land, and she points up to where she spotted the badguy earlier. Black and watch. For the fail.

Hudson River — Another Fricking Bridge

This bridge is harder to climb. It probably would have helped if he'd brought a ladder, and it would doubtless be easier if Teo would ask her to park them a few feet higher, but… a glance at her, not too conspicuous, is all he needs to know that he isn't going to be doing that. It's noontime for his bio-clock, so he's fresh as a daisy. Energy enough to crane his head, scuffle on his feet, and leap.

Hauling himself over the structural slat is no time-consuming feat. He's in good shape, because barfights, running from cops, and tooling around in the derelict library's basement cultivates muscle mass, even despite winter's adverse effects on his appetite. His feet tap out the same walking rhythm as they had before, and then climbing, his balance agile as the primate she named him after. Rinse and repeat. This bridge is shaped different; it takes him a moment to locate its foundational weaknesses, and the distance he covers on-foot requires a louder call out: "What's your favorite opera? Does your favorite orchestra still play here?"

"Not here." Anne says, turning her back on his work to resume her weather watching. "It's actually in a completely different town, but you know. 's not like that's going to be a major issue." She could get them there easy enough, it would just take a little longer than trip just inside the city. "You could pretty yourself up at home, and we'd be back by midnight." In some ways, it's a serious offer. In others, it's not. Where it finally ends up probably depends a lot on what he answers. This is true with many things, these days.

She tells him the name of the opera, something french, and sighs with pleasure at the memory. "It's good stuff, I tell you. Of course, depending on who does the actual singing. I Mean.. some people can destroy whatever they touch. That said, I like a good punk concert now and then." As long as you bring earplugs. She'd prefer to keep her hearing intact if it's at all possible. She needs it for many things.

It's not hard to tell when Teo finds something. His tone tightens like despair developed a big ugly butt and sat it on his neck. Despite that, there's no more swears or hysterics; he continues to hold their conversation from a little less distance than yelling. "'Pretty myself up at home,'" he replies, not quite absently. He's squatting, a small shape in her peripheral if she's turning every so now and then. In the further distance, Manhattan clicks and belches smoke into the thin gray light of winter's day. Cars going overhead, pedestrians hastened by bitter cold and threat of ice to avoid the edges of things. Furtive as they are, the Phoenix operatives go unseen. "It's been a long time since someone took me anywhere. I would be so honored.

"February?" He's either deadly serious or not at all: that particular date hinges entirely on whether or not they're still alive. Or, should they be so fortunate, whether or not they're in a state to do more than die of viral infection, flee from it, or kill those who will have done as much to theirs. "If anybody good is performing."

January 12th: Let Me Show You Around
January 12th: What A Way To Start The Night
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