Come Down, Shake Down


adam_icon.gif agnes_icon.gif ash_icon.gif devi_icon.gif lola_icon.gif risa_icon.gif shard_icon.gif stef_icon.gif white_icon.gif

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Scene Title Come Down, Shake Down
Synopsis On a fight-night at the Pancratium on Staten Island, a test of faith turns into a test of fear…
Date Agust 15, 2009

The Pancratium

The idea of violence is a simple one.

"Crush, Crush, Crush, Crush!"

Since the dawn of human kind, when our ancestors first discovered the killing path with rock and bone, blood has been spilled in the name of everything…

The sound is deafening, hundreds of feet slamming down on bleacher seating in unison, voices chanting out that primal call for death. The roar of the crowd thunders off of the high ceiling and rafters, vibrates through the walls and extends out into the gloom of a rainy night beyond the corrugated metal walls of Staten Island's bloodiest landmark, the Pancratium.

…from God…

Crush, Crush, Crush, Crush!"

…to justice…

A thick and humid heat rolls up within this warehouse-come-stadium, where crowds of sweaty, shouting spectators look on to a square iron cage lined with makeshift weapons, encircling a sandpit floor spattered with dark stains. There, laid out on the stained sand, a young man holds his head as he writhes around on his back, with a taller and thinner man standing above him, one hand held out with radiating waves of heat spilling out from his palm to his opponent's skull.

…to simple psychotic rage.

"Crush, Crush, Crush, Crush!" The audience wants blood; and blood, as they say, begets blood. The dark-haired man spreads his fingers further, a dull orange glow spreading from his palm as microwave radiation surges out from his hand and begins boiling his opponent's brain inside of his skull. He convulses on the sand, back arching, fingers curling into the dirt as dark blood pools up from his mouth and runs out of his ears. By the time he stops kicking, the smell of cooked meat rises up throguh the bars and into the air, mingling with the acrid sting of sweat.

But in the heart of the Pancratium, Staten Island's bloody sore, the idea of violence changes from a means to an end, to a spectator's sport.

Cheering rises up like a choir of tribal voices, and money begins to quickly exchange hands as bets on the fight are paid off. The cage doors are opened, and burly guards in brown jumpsuits come swaggering in, grabbing the deceased fighter by the wrists as they haul him back and out of the cage, leaving a dark brown stain on the dirt in his wake. His opponent, the fight's victor, is likewise approached by men with guns, one of them placing shackles around his wrists and leading him out of the arena.

It is a place where violence begets violence, money begets violence, and blood begets blood.

"Ladies an't gentlemen of't d'sweating masses!" A thick and heavy Russian accent rolls from the loudspeakers at the ceiling as a hunched and old man with gray hair and dark round-lensed sunglasses shuffles out through the trail of drooled blood into the cage, carrying a microphone. "Velcom' to d'Pancratium!" He raises one hand in the air, and as he does, ghostly images of mutilated figures rise up from the ground, their gaunt and distorted frames gangly and disproportionate, like characterizes of zombies bearing faces of those who have fought and died in the Pancratium arena. The spectator's sport of violence, highlighted by the illusory skills of one Vasya Grigorovitch.

The blood spilled on this sand is not only for entertainment, but also for the money that exchanged hands; for the lining of gold in pockets filled with the blood of participants both willing and unwilling.

"Tonight's sec'unt round of't battle brings a fresh, new face to d'sand pit, and a face w'whom we haff' all come t'love!" The sarcasm running out of Vasya's mouth as he promotes the next fight comes with a cracked smile as the next competitors are brought towards the edges of the cages. One of them, a tall and broad-shoulder black man in a dirty red jumpsuit is in arm and leg shackles, two men behind him holding rifles towards his back as he shuffles in to the sand pit, a butterfly stitch on his right brow. "Introducin'k, from parts unknown," Vasya raises a hand as the illusory corpses shuffle to salute the newcomer, "a man of a single name un't a single edge, Shard!" His fingers splay, pointing to the man who very much resembles a long-missing and famous Rap star.

Blood for blood, money for money, and life for death. These are the rules of the Pancratium and ultimately the shaky foundation upon which lives are taken in the interests of greed, lust and madness.

"Our returning champion for tonight's sec'unt fight, our own bloodletting champion, Crucible!" Entering the arena from the opposite side of the cage, a hunched-shoulderd man with a lanky build comes walking in without armed guard assistance. Like several of the fighters here, this particular lunatic's brand of crazy willingly throws himself into the pit. Sporting a lime green mohawk and a full-body tribal tattoo, he immediately holds out his hand as he comes in, letting sputtering bolts of electricity rise up off of his palms in dancing arcs that crackle and snap.

And when these qualities combine; when greed, bloodlust and insanity clash head to head, only those left standing are all the madmen.

I won't kill again

Vincent does indeed resemble a famous Rap Star. At one point he was the height of rapping super stardome. But now he's become a face that appears mostly on tabloids, declaring that he was captured by aliens. Or moved to Africa. Or was captured by the government secretly and put in some strange prison in a desert. But none have claimed to actually have seen that rapper that went by the name of Shard, for some time.

Until tonight.

The shackles break apart, as Vincent pulls his wrists away from each other violently. Bending at the waist he grabs the chain that keeps his ankles together. Yanking the chain off easily, it is tossed to the side. The man then turns back to the men who had so recently shoved him into the ring. "Don't make me do this, fellas. I ain't a fighter." His finger points at one of the guards. "How much they payin' you dog? I'll triple it, you know who I am? I'm Shard man. You two get me out of here, I'll hook you up with whatever you want. Money, rides, honies." He splays his hands out, going to grab the fence. "Don't make me do this." He pleads.

A look is sent over his shoulder at the man of lightning. Before his gaze wheels back to the fence. "You want to meet Beyonce brother? I can make it happen." Shard insists, fingers gripping the partition.

It starts to bend under his grip…

How did she get here? Lola isn't sure, but somehow or another the seediest parts of the city are a comfort to her. She never liked the ritzy areas - as they are - of New Orleans, so it is only natural that she doesn't like the ones of New York either. Therefore, she nudges her way through the crowd, squirming beneath many bodies much larger than hers. Finally, she reaches the edge to look down at the fight.

Both hands grasp the railing as she stands on her tip toes, looking down. She looks down at Shard, clearly the more interesting of the two, blue eyes sweeping over his form but unable to hear his words above the roar. "Hey," she nudges the man beside her. "I'll take some of that. On this guy." She points. She points right at him.

Among the spectators, Gillian migrates through the crowd, not close enough to easily watch, but close enough she can see some of what's going on between people's bodies. Dressed in dark clothes and tattoos, she looks like someone who might belong in this place, but also like she might be in danger being here. Not too big, rather pretty, there's a couple guys who might get a little too close…

Taking in deep breaths every so often, she migrates around the crowd until she finds people of a specific caliber— or people who don't quite fit in. When gambling is involved, money gets lost. Money that's been borrowed and can't be paid back once it's been lost… those unfortunate souls are the ones she gets closer to.

Cause those are the ones that smell the best. And the ones who will help her discourage people from getting too close when she doesn't want it.

Devi's sitting as near to the arena as the designated seating allows. Darkness and soft tones, pitch ink and fine flesh, wink with the polish of perspiration. Cut off, frayed denim form a pair of shorts, paired with a blue and black, leather bustier and her usual knee-high biker boots. She pinches her cigarette between the tiers of her lips in order to raise both hands in fists, her husky tones roused into an eager shout as she cheers on the two new opponents.

The biker leans back then, plucking up her beer from between her feet and looking to her partner, hanger on, and friend that sits beside her - Agnes. She flashes a grin. "Glad you could come. Which of 'em do you want to put some money on." She dips fidgety, slender fingers into her cleavage and withdraws a small fold of bills.

Adam, Michael and Ash all got here a little early. Adam had wanted to witness this Pancratium. He wasn't excited, he seemed to be a bit resigned about it. But when they get there through the thronging crowds, the three men push their way a bit closer to the ring. As they move, Adam comments, "I hate this. I hate this and I love this." he confesses to Ash and Michael, "It represents everything about why humanity needs to be washed away, so simply there in a bloody ring. And I love it because it's obvious. It's right there, it's there for them to see. They don't care of course, but somewhere, they know they should die." he pauses, "Is that Shard?" Michael immediately turns to Adam, surprised, knowing where Adam's been, "How do you know Shard?" what Michael doesn't know is that Adam takes dance lessons and sometimes a good Shard song helps, but Adam shrugs and looks grim. Then he's nudged a bit with a frown and turns to….Lola. He frowns, "I knew there was something wrong with you."

Ash moves in with Adam, shoulding the way through the crowd for the smaller man, nudging people aside, giving gruff glares at them when they won't simply move. Only a couple times does he have to actually move people out of the way. Eventually they get nice and close and the big man relaxes, his hands tucking into his pockets and his shoulders hunching a little bit as he watches the ring. "These are my people." he says simply to Adam, his voice low as he speaks.

Though she's clearly in a bit over her head, the rush of the crowd, so many people here for one thing and one thing only, along with a desperate desire to fit in, has Agnes starting to get rather into the whole bloody affair, even if she does still wince maybe more than most of the others. She pulls out her cigarettes and plucks out a fresh one, lighting it up quickly now that the action has paused for the moment. Looking over at Devi, she considers the question, glancing back to the ring as she ponders the choice. "Guess I always got a soft spot for the new guy. But, I mean, it's your money. Returning champion, he's probably a safer bet…" She shrugs a shoulder as she flicks a bit of ash onto the ground.

Rolling his tongue over the inside of his cheek, the fighter labeled as Crucible snaps his fingers and points towards his opponent in the cage. "You know, man, pussies die faster'n here than anyone." The comment comes with a violent discharge of electricity from his palm, a thick and muscle aching blast of blue-white lightning that sends Shard off of his feet and against the bars behind him. Before even having called the fight to start it's come to blows, and that's something Vasya has becomes used to in these last several months.

Quickly making his way towards one of the nearest cage exits, the old announcer is escorted away by some of the guards as the doors are slammed shut and locked, rifles aimed anxiously at the competitors.

The roar of the crowd is intoxicating, a high-holy scream of enjoyment when the lightning propels Shard into the bars and drops him down to his knees with a smoldering black mark on his chest. Crucible cracks a smile, slowly strolling across the sandy floor with lightning dancing in flickering arcs between his hands. "Man," he states with a wry smile, "looks like you gon' die like a pussy…" he practically sings those words in a whimsical tone, blue light dancing in his eyes from the reflection of the bolts.

Watching from the stands in the far back, a slim brunette woman rubs one hand at the side of her head. "I don't like this…" Her eyes wander from the cagefight to the man seated at her side, a scraggly looking thing in a tattered bathrobe with wild dirty-nlonde hair hanging down in front of his face, one foot scuffing the worn-out bottom of a slipper against the bleacher seating. "Norman, are you listening to me?" She flashes an accusing stare over at the enormous man whi turns his eyes through the cage of his bangs to regard her tiny silhouette.

"I hear you just fine. Now be quiet, the adults are talking." His head quirks to the side, bangs parting to reveal one blue eye as he watches the fight. "I want to see how hard he kicks and screams for me."

"Let me out!"

He roars at the men, before he swings his body around.

Next thing he knows he's on his knees, trying hard to keep consciousness. He blinks his eyes a few times, putting his hands on the ground to steady himself. Everything's shaky, spinning. It's hard to hear anything beyond the roar and the crackling in his ears.

"Li—" A sharp cough is let out as he brings one hand to his chest gingerly. His knee sags, but he catches himself with his other arm from falling completely. "Listen." He manages.

"Let's get out of here, I don't want to hurt you, brother. I don't want to do this little brother. We can get out of here. I'm Shard. You know how much I can h-" He wheezes in pain, his crawling stopped short. "I can hook you up."

He pushes hard against the ground, getting himself some shaky footing. He staggers backwards, swinging his arms out to gain balance. Finally he's back on his feet, looking up hopefully to the Crucible.

"I can help you."

Lola glances back at Adam, doing a double-take. "There's nothing wrong with me. I've just sobered up." She doesn't realize anyone's going to die. It's just a fight, and it's something she's never witnessed before. Not in this capacity. "Now I've got good money, do you want a taste or are you going to wimp out?"

She's still wearing what she was earlier: denim shorts and a halter top. She hears voices from below, straining, barely able to understand. Turning from Adam, Lola's black hair dangles over the edge as she leans over to listen a bit closer.

Adam frowns a bit at Lola. He nudges Michael to watch her and then says, "Sorry, I don't bet over people's deaths. Even I'm not that sociopathic." he tilts his head for a moment, "Sobered up indeed." he says after a moment. In his glance over Lola he notices Gillian looking a tad lost. He frowns a moment and looks thoughtful then turns to Ash and murmurs, "You see that woman over there with the tattoos? I know her. Name's…." he thinks, "Gillian. See if she wants to stand by us."

Ash turns his eyes to Adam and his head bows to the order. He moves, shifting through the crowd, a little more subtly than the fist time, but still getting through and not letting people be in his way too much. He stopos near Gillian and clears his throat to get her attention. "Adam wants to know if you'd like to come over and stand with us." His voice held low enough that she can hear, but loud enough to be heard over the roar of the crowd. He stands there, listening to the complaints of a man who's view he's blocking as he waits for her reply.

From the sounds coming from the ring, completely unawares of someone getting sent to find her, the dark haired woman with the tattoos is making her way closer all on her own. Gillian got a good strong wiff from the ones she was migrating close too. There'd been a purpose to her migrations. It's the man suddenly speaking to her out of the blue that makes her look up and say, "There's could be a thousand Adam's in the room." She yells back, not caring too much if she's heard, "And I'm on my way to the front. If you're going my way, then sure, if you're not, then fuck off."

"Life's no fun without a bit of risk," Devi adds in support of Agnes's choice. She leans back in her seat. The man behind her leans forward to meet her, lowering his ear to her lips in order to hear her above the throng of wild viewers. A few words, a gesture to Shard, who Devi honestly knows nothing of - Rap was not her preferred genre, and money is about to exchange hands…

Then the biker notices the strange exchange beginning to pass between the opponents. Her 'lucky horse' didn't want to fight. She curls her slender, calloused fingers back around the money and holds up a single digit to the bookkeeper behind her. A quick glance to Aggie and Devi leans forward, pursing her lips thoughtfully as her dark eyes absorb the scene. She does not seem perturbed at the prospect that her intended bet might be as worthwhile as putting her money in a disposal. No. Instead, she seems intrigued by the man's continued protest.

"Yeah, gotta say that's true," Agnes agrees with a grin, as to the fun of a life without risk. Still, she's maybe a little anxious that she's just thrown away Devi's money. There's probably some wisdom in gambling with what isn't yours to begin with, but a combination of Catholic guilt and a dire need to impress actually makes it that much more stressful than if it were her own money riding on things. She glances over her shoulder out of the corner of her eye, just catching sight of this deal going down, before she returns her attention to the ring, her brow furrowing a bit as she tries to figure out if this is normal. Some sort of pre-show, maybe?

Lightning dances between Crucible's fingers like a cat's cradle, and as Shard plays for the sympathy or help card, Crucible crouches down and leans in close, making certain Shard can feel the electric tingle of thousands of volts ever so precariously close to already sore flesh. "I don't care if you're the President," he notes with a sadistic measure of glee, sparks begining to arc off of his shoulders as Crusible brings his face up close to Shard's, clearly trying to intimidation tactic.

"I ain't the one that needs savin', bro," his hands pull apart, lighting dancing in wild bands between his fingertips as the crowd's cheering turns into a bloodthirsty cry, "you's the one who's gonna' need savin'."

Far from the stadium, in the back bleacher seats, Norman White turns his focus over to the woman at his side. "I want to see if he'll kill, Risa." Blonde hair frames his face as he looks back to the fight, watching the electrokinetic draw closer. But then, someone blonde catches Norman's attention; short hair, snappy dresser, followed around by an entourage. "That's the guy…" he adds, motioning down several long rows of bleacher seats, past throngs of shouting and screaming spectators towards the profile of Adam Monroe. "I hear he's got a gang or somethin'…"

"Do you want to talk to him?" Risa turns her eyes up to Norman, one brow raised, but his response is a shake of his head, arms folding across his chest as his head tips down to look at the ground far below the bleachers.

"No… no. One thing at a time," Norman explains with a modicum of clarity, "I told you, v'got a plan." Says the man wearing the bathrobe and slippers.

"You're gonna kill me." Shard states plainly, his face pulling back from the electricity dancing in front of him. He looks around, at the crowd. At those watching. Even though it rubs against every thug bone of his youth, he realizes what he has to do. He has to run.

"I can't let you kill me brother. But I'm not going to fight you." Shard's hand flies up.

A shove is delivered against Crucible's chest which sends him flying across the arena, towards the bars at the other ends. Tumbling end over end. Shard watches, making sure he didn't push the man too hard. He'll be okay. But he can't wait, he's turning back and sprinting for the bars. He'll have to climb and find a way out of here.

Lola rolls her eyes at Adam, sticking her tush out as she leans over the bars to watch. "They aren't going to kill each other. They're just going to toussle. And even if they are, who are we to judge other peoples' career choices?" She asks, tapping her foot as she watches the fight. Oh well. Maybe on the next one she can find some money to play.

And then Shard's scaling the walls. "Whoah! Hey man, look!" She pokes Adam, pointing once more at Shard to point out what he's doing. Climbing.

Adam frowns at Lola for a moment and says, "Where is it you think we are?" he questions, "The fight is to the death. Two men enter, one man leaves and all that." when Lola points his attention towards the climbing man, Adam says, "Looks like someone doesn't care to fight to the death." he says.

Ash looks over to Gillian and his broad shoulders give a slow shrug, not apparently put off by the woman's attitude. He makes his way back towards Adam and stops near the man. "She uhh… respectfully declines." he mutters to the man before finally turning his attention back towards the the fight and settling in, his hands tucked into his pockets.

Respectfully declining? Well that's curious, because Gillian follows right behind him as he was going the same direction she had been, even moving in next to him as he informs the 'boss' that she'd respectfully declined. She's not so much interested in the people she's shoving in next to. The man on the opposite side of Ash gets shoved aside a bit, to make some room, as she leans down and looks. A deep inhale, and she's smiling, eyes shining as she watches the man scale.

It's fascinating, how good someone trying to get away can smell, someone who does not want to kill, but is thrown into a situation where they can choose between living or dying. From the shine in her eyes, and the teeth showing, she's enjoying the sight, for the reasons why it's not even a fight anymore, really.

Devi is pulling to her feet as Shard's body hauls ass towards the wall of the cage. "You have interesting taste in men!" Devi calls in teasing to the young Raven member at her side in reference to the choice of her fleeing fighter. She wraps her fingers around the divider and leans forward, glued to the scene. "Why isn't he fighting?" The idea that someone in the face of danger would run rather than fight, would flee rather than battle for survival - it confused her to the point of irritation.

Agnes's eyes widen a bit as Shard shoves the other guy right across the arena, and then … runs. She leans forward in her seat now, cigarette forgotten between her lips as she rests her elbows on her knees, trying to figure out what's going on. "Maybe he's just, I dunno, planning his next move?" she suggests weakly, shrugging a shoulder. "Christ, he could totally take him too." Finally, she can't take any more and pushes to her feet as well, plucking her cigarette from her mouth to hold at her side. "I mean, I think he could take him, right? What … happens if neither of them wins?" she can't help but wonder, her mind still on the bet that was made.

Tangled up in the bars with one twisted arm and bruises that will not compliment his tattoos, Crucible struggles and twists against the iron his right arm has found itself wrapped in, letting out a howling groan of pain. Watching Shard begin to climb the cage, the security guards of the arena aim their rifles up at him, keeping an eye on his movements. Like most prisons, the roof of the Pancratium cage is an equally barred structure, with one padlocked trap door used during special matches for dropping in additional weapons to the racks that hang from some of the walls.

Crucible groans, spitting up blood as he pushes himself to his feet, then lets out a strangled growl as he wrenches that broken arm trapped between the bars. Looking up at Shard, he holds up one hand, fingers spreading as lighting builds in a ball over his palm and then rockets out in a thick beam of angered use of his ability. But when the lighting strikes Shard's back — it does nothing. Clothing burns, his red jumpsuit beels and blackens and crisps, but this time there's no damage to shard, the electricity courses thorugh him and grounds out through the bars harmlessly.

"Well…" Norman murmurs, "would you look at that." Shifting the way his arms are folded, he looks down to watch the hooting, shouting, bellowing masses. "Are you sick of it yet?" He asks the woman at his side, eventually looking at her expectantly with those cold blue eyes. "This place? These people? All this sickness?"

Reaching down for a pill bottle at her side, Risa rolls open the top with her thumb, taking three tiny round pills out in her palm, bringing that hand up to her mouth and dryly swallowing them down. "You'd be tired… of all of this," she says distractedly, her hand waving around at the cages, "if you had to medicate just to walk around. But that's him," she points towards Adam, "I've seen his face in the visions before. He's the one who brought the blue glow out to the island… he's got the files," but then, even as Risa's talking, Norman spots someone walking beside Adam.

"Ash." The blonde is immediately up to stand straight, and Risa's expression goes blank as she seems dumbfounded by his sudden movements. Watching Norman push a man out of his way and off of the bleahcers, she abruptly jumps to her feet as well.

"Shit, shit, Norman what is it!?" The young Russian-accented girl hops down from the seat she was perched on, coming down several steps to follow Norman's plodding strides. "Norman, wait!"

Like a man on a mission, Norman clears a path towards where Adam and Ash have gathered, palming by one mand and then another, pressing his hand against one particularly arigated young man's face and shoving him to the ground as he gets within a few rows of the soldier. "Ash." Norman's voice is a deep, booming one, and his height of near seven feet keeps him head and shoulders above the crowd. But the man Ash is looking on isn't someone out for blood, much like the man climbing the arena cage, he's something wholly unexpected in this place.

Norman White served time in the Moab Federal Penitentiary with Ash, familiar faces from the prison yard reunited. The willowy Russian hopping from behind to bench behind Norman, not quite as familiar, but she wouldn've been on the other side of the prison in the women's wing.

You paged Ash with 'From Ash's happy fun-time Moab prison times, he'd have a very faint recognition of Norman White. He was a lot more humble, quiet, and leep-to-himself back then. He seems a lot more outgoing now, though that bathrobe he's wearing is very reminiscent of the one he was wearing while he was in moab… The two never spoke, but he seems to know Ash's name.'


An enraged cry. "Norman!" His voice is full of fury. But it's not directed towards the man who is trying to electrify him to death. It's towards the large man he has spotted towering through the crowd. Gripping the bars tightly, his head whips back as the electricy hits him. And does nothing.

Whipping his head back at the Crucible, Shard gives a stern look. Less pleading this time, more fathering. It's not a question this time, it's a firm command. "Stop. It's over." Smoke floats off of his clothing, as his eyes lock back onto Norman. "Norman! Get me out of here! This isn't a game!" His eyes land on one guard, then shift to another guard. Hanging halfway on the bars, one hand hangs at his side as if getting ready. The other hand shakes viciously at the bars.

"Norman! Norman White!" Vincent screams. "Get me out!"

There is a swirl of black hair as Lola hears the commotion behind her. She must look like she's with Adam's posse, because lo and behold, that's where she stands. "Hey, mesye," She says, apparently speaking directly to Norman White. "They do sleepovers here? Or is that your superhero outfit? It kinda works, ya know, if ya leave the robe open it can ripple like a cape…"

She leans back against the railing, her hips tilted slightly to the left, giving her thin body a curved slope. But it only lasts a moment, her hair is fanning out in a black veil as her head spins to look at Shard, the shouting Gladiator. Turning back to Norman, she perks a brow.

"He's maaad at you."

Things are getting interesting in Adam's VIP area, or so it shall become known. When Ash comes back, Adam just shrugs and nods. He doesn't know Gillian that well to press the issue and then…then Gillian pushes Lola out of the way and Adam says, "Uh…hi Gillian." then pauses as he notices commotion not coming from the cage and Norman comes running up the stairs, "Norman?" there isn't worry in his voice, but there is concern as he reaches for his gun, but he turns to Ash as if for explanation, how does he know Norman and why is Norman charging to them. Momentarily, he even pulls Lola and Gillian back a bit, because he knows what Norman can do and if this isn't a friendly visit, this is going to get ugly fast. Then Shard starts calling out Norman's name, "Everyone knows this guy."

"Oh, you," Gillian says, eyes pulled away from the 'fight', if it could even be called that by this point. She had no money on it, she was just enjoying the smell. She won one bet tonight, and that was enough. "Whoa— hell," she says as suddenly there's people moving in close, and she's being pulled back. That's not something she likes at all, and she pulls her arm away rather forcefully as she looks up at the tall man moving in near the guy she followed.

Everyone knows this guy?

"I don't fucking know this guy," she says, starting to pull away some more to get some room to move, breathing deeply as she searches for something that would help keep her mood up.

"What the fuck!?" comes Devi's husky shout. She flicks her hand in a disgruntled wave as Crucible takes a cheap shot at Shard's unprotected back. The biker finds herself rooting for the morally-sound 'coward', it would appear. He was unpredictable, after all.

The towering figure looming down through the bleacher in a freakin' bathrobe catches even the strange biker's attention. She nudges Aggie and points to where the stranger has joined… "Oh look! If it isn't our shady business partner," she coos playfully.

Agnes can't help but gasp a little as the lightning ball is fired at Shard, and she cringes, beginning to look away before … nothing happens, and she finds herself watching with slight bemusement. It's only when Devi nudges her that she tears her gaze away from the 'fight', brow furrowing as she looks across the way. Their partner in shady business, it is indeed. "Huh. Wonder what he's doing here," she replies, though without a whole lot of curiosity on that front. She would guess he's probably here to watch the match as well. What's more curious is what the heck is going on over there with the bathrobe guy and all.

Focused on Ash through Shard's screaming, Norman shoves another onlooker out of the way with one thick arm, sending him toppling off of the bleacher seating only a small drop to the ground below with how close to the cage they are. Looking past Adam, past Gillian and Lola his blue eyes are transfixed on Adam's bodyguard. "Ash… been a long time."

"Norman for fuck's sake Вы внимание получки asshole!" Slipping for a moment into Russian, Risa finally catches up and plants a hand on Norman's back, wrapping her fingers in his tattered bathrobe with a tug. The tall man turns, looking down at her with lowered brows, her hand jerking back and away quickly, but then pointing up to the cage. "Shard," she murmurs, and that causes Norman's focus to shift up towards the cage, and to Vincent King clinging to the bars.

One single huff of a sigh, like that from a child asked to take out the trash, comes from Norman as he squints in the direction of the cage. Immediately there is a strong tremor that shakes the Pancratium, a rumbling shimmy of an earthquake that causes pieces of corrugated metal to fall from the ceiling as loose bolts come undone. The ground rumbles and trembles, sending some spectators toppling as the bleacher seats shimmy and shake.

Norman raises two hands towards the cage, palms flat together, then slowly pulls them apart as a fissure in the ground begins to split open, prying the cage in half like it was made out of twigs. The earth rends open, breaking sewer pipes and rupturing water lines that begin to spray up into the air. The electrokinetic with one arm in the bars becomes doused by water from the ruptured mane, and the horrible scream that comes from him as he grounds out to the bars echoes shrill over the frightened cries of everyone trying to keep their footing.

Norman rolls his eyes and looks over to Risa, one dark brow raised. "Now he can get out." Focus shifts back towards Ash, and Norman takes a step right past Adam towards the younger man. "Ash, we should go." We. "Come on," a hand is offered out by the stringy-haired man int he bathrobe, a hand offered with a strange smile, even as Crucible continues to spasm and convule as water washes over him, his bones glowing through his skin as electricity arcs towards the bars.

Risa covers her mouth with one hand, looking away from the grisly scene while Norman attempts to coerce Ash to follow him to god knows where a man who walks around in a bathrobe and slippers goes.

Hanging onto the bars for dear life, Shard lowers his head. "No.." He whispers, his eyes flinging over to the side as Norman tears the Pancratium apart. He loses grip on the bars for a moment, dangling from it. "No!" He yells out as the Crucible starts to die. Suffering.

"Norman!" He screams again, dropping from the bars onto the ground. Given a way out, he's also given a way to release all the fear, all the anger building up inside him. Shard's eyes flash to the ceiling.

A little glow of blue dances on one finger, as he sprints away from the water mane. Raising his hand up, he lets out a final cry. "Norman!"

Lightning springs out of his hand towards the ceiling. Swinging his arm around, the rapid bolts dance around the ceiling before explosions and sparks spring from the air. Sparks rain down towards the crowd, as the lights are completely destroyed. And the arena is plunged into darkness.

Lola wrinkles her nose, not seeming to mind so much as Gillian as she's pulled back. Of course, Adam makes a wonderful shield from the sudden spray of water that god only knows where it came from. Lola is not above ducking behind him. Of course, everyone's libel to get a little wet. But she makes sure, at least, that Adam is wetter than her. And when she looks back to see the electrokinetic writhing in pain? She flinches, breathing in sharply through her teeth. "That's gotta sting."

She turns her attention back to the man in the robe, standing on her tip toes to murmur in Adam's ear. "He's kinda an ass," She murmers, lowly. "Think he's got anythin' worth pinching in them skanky robes a his?" The words are no sooner out of her mouth as sparks and lights start exploding, and then…darkness. Adam can feel Lola clinging to his arm from behind. "Well, shit. Can't pinch anybody in the dark."

Adam doesn't hold onto Gillian, he was only getting the girls out of the way of Norman. Then he hears Norman talking to Ash and looks back to Ash with a frown, like…what the fuck and all that. "Norman.." he begins and then all Hell breaks loose and he frowns before not a few moments later, the arena goes black and he's clung to by Lola, "I knew you were a pick pocket." he says to her as she complains of the inability to pinch. His hand goes out to Michael and they start making their way to the exit. With any luck before the stomping starts, but…you know, that probably starts immediately. He calls out, "Ash!"

Ash has stayed very close to Adam's side through all of this, after all, gotta protect the man that signs your check right? He looks around himself as he hears someone calling for him, then he spots that face and his eyes flare wide open. He shakes his head to the man telling him to come with him. "Why the fuck would I go with you?" He takes a single step back away from the man, though he continues to tell him to lets go. He spins as the lights go out, and he can't see. Adam is gone, everything his gone. Ash grits his teeth and is about to shout for Adam when he hears the man's voice. He can't see in this pitch black, so it's towards that voice that he goes, only to trip and go down hard on the floor. He pushes to his hands and knees, swearing up a blue streak before looking around him again.

"Fuck," Gillian says as the rumbling, and other things going on. She shifts on her feet, catches herself, and then breaths in as the lights go out. The fear that had been in the area before would be nothing compared to how it feels now. Someone tries to trample her in the dark, and she doesn't move, shoving them back as soon as they touch her. In the darkness, she can't make out the exit, so she just breaths in and stands there, ready to push anyone who runs into her out of the way. No one's going to knock her down when the fear in the room fills her body. Better than drugs, fear is.

Devi's grip tightens on the rail till her knuckles are white, shuffling her boots a shoulder's width apart in an aim to steady herself under the wild tremors that steal over the whole building. She cringes and turns away from the spray of liquid, squinting in an aim to observe the scene that accompany the gut-wrenching scream billowing out from the center of the warehouse. Death - it had long been a most morbid curiosity of hers.

Darkness, not so much. In the inky blackness that suddenly descends on the crowd, Agne's would feel a strong grip fumbling before taking a protective, firm hand upon her smaller forearm.

"Maybe it's time to call it a night," the familiar alto tones tease. "Fighting people is one thing, fighting a building coming down on your dome?" Devi scoffs and turns, but navigating the darkness is much easier said then done. The first wrong brush of an anxious, dark-blind passerby across her chest lands her free hand as a fist to the back of some poor strangers head. "Fucker," she mumbles and pulls out her lighter, flicking the thing on to get at least a small scope of the immediate area around her.

Agnes lets out a little sound of protest as the building shakes, reflexively grabbing quickly for the rail as her body reacts even before she's had a time to process what is happening. At the sound of that horrible scream, she flinches, hunching up her shoulders as if she's trying to block out the sound - though of course they don't come that near her ears. When she opens her eyes again, the place is dark, and the few blinks she tries do nothing to clear up this problem. Although it goes unseen, she nods emphatically in agreement with Devi's sentiment about getting the heck outta dodge, and she starts trying to follow her out, using the rail as a guide while she can, shuffling along in her tall shoes. After a moment of digging it out, another flame joins Devi's, case by Agnes's own lighter. It doesn't add much, but any light is a blessing in the pitch black.

When all of the strung up lights blow at once, the crackling sputter of electricity in staccato rhythm is the only lighting left, along with the screams of people trying to vacate the arena and the cries of the guards trying to get to safety. "Ash!" Norman calls out over the roar of the crowd, much of his voice getting lost in the screaming and terror that swells through the building like a plague of fear, a fear that sinks into Gillian's bones, wraps around her, enlivens her.

"I'll come looking for you again!" Norman bellows over the crowd, "We're two of a kind," he shouts, "we're destined for something!" The irregular blue sparks of Shard's electricity is drawing closer and closer, fear now dominant in someone very close by to where Gillian stands, Norman's Russian consort Risa.

"Norman get us out of here!" She shouts as one arm wraps around the tall man's thick forearm. "Norman Нам нужно пойти! Пойдите теперь!" The sounds of people clawing and trampling over one another echoes across the Pancratium's metal walls. Another aftershock shudders the building, splitting open a fissure in the roof as metal pulls away from metal, letting rain fall down in on a portion of the arena. "Normaaan!"

Growling, Norman White grabs Risa by the shoulder and looks towards Adam's dimly lit face, then down to Ash. "I'll find you again, brother. You're one of us. We can change the world, and we can bring everything down, Ash." There's a loud, thundering rumble as a column of earth rises up and splits the bleachers beneath Norman and Risa, like a tidal wave of soil, concrete and pavement studded with broken cinderblocks and random metal protrusions. The earth and stone wraps around them, rising up like fingers before closing in a fist-shaped ball of rocky nodules pulled from the nearby terrain, before sucking Norman and Risa down into the ground together, as if it were the surface of water, not solid rock and stone.

The Pancratium, now lit only by the electricity crackling and sparking arms is so close to where Gillian stands, and she can both taste the fear and feel the anger ebbing off of him. With Norman gone, the aftershocks of his own choices continue to rumble through the building, both physical and emotional.

Licks of blueish white light flash through the darkness at random intervals.


Shard becomes another set of shoulders in the crowd. Weaving his way through. A little bit of darkness is illuminated every time Shard spreads his fingers. No. Norman is gone. He got away.

Another beam of electricity shoots up, revealing his immediate area. Despair fills him, he failed. Norman got away and killed. He didn't want that kid to die. He failed.

"Ladies." Shard's deep voice rings out as he finds himself near two women trying to find their ways out. "Stay close, we'll get out of here." Vincent says to Devi and Agnes.

In the darkness and the chaos, Lola manages to glance to Ash, nowhere near close enough to speak to him as she clings to Adam, groping against bodies in teh dark as she just follows him, not sure where she's going as long as it's out of here. "I think he likes your boyfriend, might want to keep an eye on him" She calls in her thick bayou accent to Adam. Depsite her venemous tongue, she clings, hoping to be completely out of this sea of bodies soon enough.

Ash lays there… dumbfounded as Norman vanishes. He's not moving at this point, just sitting there, looking up at where Norman was, the man flat on his rear end where he rolled over and looked up to the man that was standing over him. He blinks, slowly, his eyes confused as he does so. He begins to push himself up from his feet, not paying attention to anything nor anyone around him. He dusts himself off, the man's eyes flickering around before he shakes his head, obviously upset and sslightly off put by what just happened. NOt the carnage, that doesn't seem to have phased the man in the slightest. Nope, it's the man showing up, talking about joining him and being brothers, then dissapearing and promising to come back. He doesn't move, not afraid like everyone else seems to be. He just stands there, where Adam and them left him.

Adam continues making his way towards an exit. Between he and Michael, they're able to make some progress, but they lack superhuman strength to push through the throngs of body and worse, Lola grips to his arm. He says offhandedly to her, "You know, you owe me." and then calls out again, "Ash, this way." trying to give a point for Ash to follow.

With electric lights to see by, Gillian decides this place may not be the safest place to be soon enough. The woman that smelled so good is gone, but that doesn't mean there are not many still there. The strength flows through her as she works her way along, unhindered by people shoving against her in a stampede to get out. Going the same way herself, just in a different manner.

Splitting roofs, though, aftershocks, earthquakes… all of this seems very dangerous. Perhaps a little less for her than the people around. She looks positively elated. With the light and despair, and some of the fear, she migrates closer to Shard and his lady friends. "Better be careful to avoid the ceiling falling on us," Right now there's water. The women smell less good than the man, but that's fine. She likes men better anyway.

Fingers anchored on Aggie's wrist give a hurried tug that might be enough to leave bruises later in their wake, Devi's body shifting to the forefront as the unwilling, sparking cage fighter makes a more personal appearance before them, Devi's dark gaze locks onto the silhouette lit by the erratic, azure sparks. "It's our Lucky Horse come to save the day." Ever fond of petnames, it seems this Evolved stranger has already earned one of his own from The Raven's leader. She loosens her protective grip ever so slightly on Agne's flesh, inviting her to Devi's side. "I think there's a fire exit to the left," she offers more seriously and sets to follow the larger man.

Agnes will worry about a bruised wrist later; right now, she's grateful for Devi's protective nature, even if the tug makes her stumble a bit before she can pick up the pace to catch up. She peers around the woman as Shard speaks up. "Yeah, I'm liking this plan," she agrees with the whole 'getting out of here' idea. Catching Gillian's warning about the roof, Aggie cranes her neck to peer up at it warily, but is quick to abort this idea when she comes close to stumbling again. She tries to put those worries from her mind and just focus on getting to that fire exit.

Ash looks over towards Adam as she hears his voice calling out to him> He turns and moves over towards it, moving almost like a zombie, the man's face wracked with confusion. His feet scuff on the floor as he walks, but he picks his way towards Adam, slowly beginning to speed up, his feet moving faster as he gets closer, until he's finally near by Adam, though he remains silent.

As Adam and Lola come out the front double-doors that lead onto the street near the Pancratium, Michael is not far behind when Ash begins to catch up. Panicked spectators are spilling out onto the broken pavement, scrambling away from the building as the roof gives a loud, grinding shriek as themetal slouches and flexes down inwards towards the arena.

A rear door bursts open with a kick as Devi and Agnes spill out along with Shard, Gillian and three screaming women who claw their way into the rainy back parking lot, one dropping to the ground in a coughing fit from the dust and debris in the air, the other two staggering away from the building as a portion of the roof collapses down in on the structure.

The history of violence is a simple one, written in blood across the pages of history.

The Pancratium creaks and groans, and the flickering neon-lit sign out front sparks and sputters before falling at an angle, crashing partway down to cover one side of the doors with a shower of shattered glass. While the structure remains standing, a goodly portion of the building has fallen down in on itself from Norman White's localized earthquake.

But all of that blood is spilled for a reason; be it right or wrong, or even just for the sake of spilling it.

Smoke rises up from a hole in the roof in thin, wisping columns that trail up to the clouded skies, and the jaundiced yellow glow of street lights surrounding the arena's metal walls flicker and sputter from the irregularities of the power grid this far out. But the lights aren't the only things sparking. With every raindrop, tiny sputtering zaps of electricity dance across Vincent King's body, sputtering and crackling in the night.

Whether justified now, or justified in the annals of time, violence is a history of conflict resolution unparalelled in human history. We are a violent people, in violent times. And as they saying goes…

Silhouetted against the glow of the streetlights, the dilapidated form of the Pancratium's nearly collapsed form still hemmorhages with those fleeing from under its darkened roof. The long and storied history of fights there, and one of the last vestiges of John Logan and James Muldoon's legacy on Staten Island meets with a bitter end, like all good things.

Violence only begets more violence.

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