Consequences Over Coffee


jessica_icon.gif mackenzie_icon.gif ygraine_icon.gif

Scene Title Consequences Over Coffee
Synopsis Ygraine and MacKenzie meet at Erica's only to discover that coffee isn't the only thing on the menu.
Date August 18, 2008

Erica's Coffee Shop, Queens

Pushing open the door to Erica's coffee-shop, a tall young woman in lycra steps inside and flashes a grin at the proprietor. Moving to the counter, she orders a hot chocolate, then turns to look over the room. Her cycle helmet tucked under one arm, she peers around, rising up on her toes as she scans over the customers already present.

When her cell phone reports that the hour has just started, MacKenzie enters Erica's. Immediately seeing Ygraine, she greets her with a smile.

Ygraine looks somewhat relieved upon spotting MacKenzie, raising a hand and smiling in welcome, before turning to exchange money for her drink. Nodding her thanks to Erica, she beckons MacKenzie over.

MacKenzie waves back and joins Ygraine at the counter.

Ygraine flashes another smile at Erica. "And whatever she wants for MacKenzie, here", she requests of the proprietress, adding "My turn to buy" to the woman in question.

Coffee for most people might be an after-work relaxer. For Jessica, it's more a wake-up. Working nights means waking up in the afternoon. The blonde opens the door to the coffee-shop, heading up towards the counter not far behind Ygraine. She puts in her order, waiting and idly looking around at the patrons.

MacKenzie says, "But —" and shakes her head. A smile grows on her face as she does so. Momentarily giving her attention to Erica she says, "I'll have the chai tea latte — small." She turns briefly to look at the woman who just entered and looks contemplative for a moment. She then looks back to Ygraine and says, "You're quick."

Ygraine quirks a grin at MacKenzie, shrugging slightly. "Professionally so", she teases. Taking a sip from her mug, she follows Mac's gaze and turns her attention to the new arrival, offering her a polite smile.

While the trio of women are waiting for their orders, the bell above the cafe's door jangles and signals another arrival. Two men — one tall and bald, the other short with a full beard — enter Erica's and, much like Jessica, take stock of their surroundings. They aren't dressed in a way that makes them looks suspicious, but there's something about the way they carry themselves that suggests they aren't as clean as they look. The tall man takes a seat at one of the empty tables near the door while the other begins meandering toward the counter, his hands in his pockets.

The blonde at the counter gets her own coffee. She's had enough exposure to criminal types to be a little wary, and so she starts away from the counter. But she does keep a close eye on the two men, especially the one with his hands in his pockets, as she starts towards a table.

MacKenzie also takes a look at the man with the hands in his pockets, but if she's wary, it isn't especially obvious. She does a head tilt toward a table in a secluded part of the cafe and asks Ygraine, "Same table?"

Ygraine spares the approaching man a glance, but nods cheerfully to her own companion. Turning away from the counter, she heads towards one of the corner tables, carefully watching her drink in the hope of avoiding spills.

As the short man arrives at the counter, he lifts his chin and squints behind the lenses of his sunglasses as if trying to get a better look at the menu. This must not work, because in the end he reaches up and removes the accessory from his face, gingerly folding them at the temple before tucking them into his front jacket pocket. The tall man, meanwhile, takes a keen interest in a copy of the latest TIME magazine which — at least until a few moments ago — was sitting discarded at his table.

Jessica moves over to take a seat at a table. Coincidentally, it's one near the tall man. Or maybe not so coincidentally. She moves to sit down, sipping from her coffee, apparently lost in her own thoughts…at least from an outside view.

MacKenzie takes her own drink to the secluded table, pulls out two chairs, and sits down in the one farthest from the counter. Smiling, she looks up at Ygraine and asks, "Anything exciting happen today?"

Ygraine chuckles, shaking her head. "Took a couple of trips through Midtown… but that's not exactly exciting. Memorable. Quiet. Spooky. But not exactly action-packed…"

The tall man eyes Jessica from behind the pages of the magazine. Unlike his companion, he lacks a pair of sunglasses. Not that he needs them; his eyes, though dark, reveal very little about what he might be thinking as he sizes the blonde up. Eventually, though, his attention shifts from Jessica to MacKenzie and Ygraine. "Hey," he calls out, lowering the magazine, "you're from that tanning salon, right?"

The conversation draws Jessica's attention back over to the other two, looking a bit curious, as she considers them. Tanning salon? Might be worth knowing about in the post-bomb town. Sort of thing she might need every once in a while.

Ygraine doesn't bother to hide her own surprise at the interruption, but seems content for the moment to lean back in her chair, cradle her mug in both hands and sip appreciatively at her drink.

"Capricorn Tanning. Yeah, that's the one." The tall man's eyes light up and he leans back in his seat, arms folded across his broad chest. "My wife and her sister go there every Friday. I pick 'em up, seen you there once or twice. Thought I was going crazy. How's business?"

Hmm. Maybe she was wrong. Jessica relaxes a little, now that it seems to be down to just a conversation. She grabs a magazine from a nearby rack, pulling it out and opening it up. She takes another sip of her coffee, as she reads.

MacKenzie looks relieved, perhaps because the tall man apparently only knows her as someone who happens to work in the tanning salon chain — not as the face of the corporation. Giving the tall man a friendly smile, she says, "Business is good. We expect to be building new locations in the not so distant future."

Ygraine lowers one hand from her mug to her thigh, stretching her leg as she gently massages tension from a complaining muscle, still content to just sip and listen to the words of those nearby.

"The wife'll be happy to hear that," the tall man says. "It'd be nice to have something a little closer to home." Back at the counter, the short man finishes paying for his coffee with cash and dumps his change into the tip jar. He doesn't wait for his order to be filled, however. Instead, he turns around and reaches into his jacket while Erica is distracted. A moment later, the sunlight streaming in through the cafe's windows illuminates a flash of gunmetal; he's pointing a pistol at MacKenzie's back.

Oh, hell. So much for being wrong. Learn to listen to your instincts, Jessica. Not that she knows Mackenzie from anyone else out there. It's more that she's annoyed with her evening being disturbed. She takes her mug in hand, and with one sharp motion whips it at the head of the gunman.

MacKenzie, oblivious to what's going on around her, turns to face Ygraine again and quietly says, "I'm sorry about that, but it comes with the territory of working in PR. Call me melodramatic, but sometimes I feel like I have a gun to my back."

Ygraine's eyes have gone very, very wide, while her pale skin has further blanched. After all, she's sitting opposite Mac - so the gun's very much pointed in her direction, too. As a result, she doesn't manage to find her voice quite yet….

Luckily for MacKenzie — and Ygraine! — Jessica's aim is true and the mug connects with the short man's forehead before he gets the opportunity to pull the trigger. The porcelain, being softer than his skull, explodes and scatters across the floor in a dozen different pieces, crunching under his feet as he staggers back and clutches his face. Blood streams down his nose through his fingers, but this doesn't stop him from trying to get off a shot anyway. As the pistol discharges like a firecracker with no target in sight, there's no telling where the bullet will end up.

MacKenzie turns to look at her left shoulder and shrieks, either because she sees the blood coming from it or her pain receptors have finally taken note of what has occurred. Using her right hand, she grabs the wounded body part.

"Geddown!", yelps a horrified Ygraine, who pretty much falls off her chair sideways. From there, she blinks dazedly up at MacKenzie, before dumping her mug on the ground and scrambling forward to try to pull MacKenzie behind some sort of cover before any more shots arrive. Should anyone be paying attention to such minor details at a time like this, the mug appears oddly disinclined to spill its contents….

Jessica isn't planning on sticking around. That leads to police, and that would be a bad thing. Instead, she stands up, and reaches out for the tall man, who she's figuring is Accomplice #2. Assuming she gets the grip, she's going to fling him through the air at Accomplice #1. Regardless of whether she connects or not, she bolts for the door.

The gunman collapses against the counter, and though his mouth is moving to form the same curse word over and over, no sound comes out. The tall man remains perfectly still, rigid as a statue; he isn't sure who's been hit until MacKenzie moves and Ygraine hits the floor. In one smooth motion, he rises from his seat… and is hoisted off the ground. Whatever plans he had to finish the women off will have to be put on hold, because he's going to have a very difficult time finding his weapon while he's crushing his partner beneath his weight. Neither of the men rise from the heap by the counter, one big tangle of limbs, but it isn't clear whether this is due to the fact that they're both unconscious — or due to the fact that one of them might be dead.

In regards to being helped down MacKenzie has something exceeding willingness. Once she's down, she reaches for Ygraine's hand and peers out from behind some table legs to try to determine if either of the two men are still conscious.

"Areyouhit?", babbles Ygraine redundantly as she peers wide-eyed at MacKenzie's bleeding shoulder, attempting to work out how horribly bad it might be without going so far as to poke at the wound. "Oh, my God… uhhh. What?" She peers, blinking confusedly at the heap of erstwhile attackers by the counter.

One of the men (though it's impossible to know which at this point), begins to move, his low groan filling the room as he tries to free himself from the other.

MacKenzie nods. "Yes," is all she has to say for the moment, but she listens intently for other sounds to come from the pile.

Ygraine takes a deep breath, gulps, then disengages herself from MacKenzie and dashes over to try to find that gun and kick it away from the miscreants to whom it apparently belongs. Any attempt by the thugs to stop her is likely to result in her putting her weight into a full-strength kick to the midriff….

Getting thrown across the room is one thing. Getting kicked while you're down, while similar, is another story — and a sure way to stay there. The gun spins across the floor, eventually coming to rest somewhere amidst the sea of broken porcelain, and the injured man — seeing that his weapon is too far away to reach — lapses back into a blissful state of unawareness. He's not going anywhere soon, and neither is his friend.

Assuming that the violence has ended, MacKenzie sighs. Still clutching her shoulder, she looks up to smile through her pain at Ygraine.

"Um", says the woman in question, before looking around for Erica. "An ambulance, please? Oh, and the police", she requests of the world in general, before rather dazedly starting back towards MacKenzie…

Erica is already on the phone, the receiver pressed so tightly to her ear that her whole arm trembles with the effort. It won't be long before there are sirens wailing in the distance and paramedics are piling through the doors to attend to both MacKenzie and the two unconscious men. They might have to wait another few minutes for the police, but in the grand scheme of things a few minutes is only a brief snapshot of time; it will take half an hour to drive MacKenzie to the nearest hospital, and double that before there's a doctor available to see her. All things considered, she's lucky to be alive — so lucky, in fact, that Police Commissioner Karen Lau requests she stay the night so she can be monitored and the gunmen can be interviewed. Hopefully, answers will present themselves before morning…

Injuries were determined using the game's +roll command. For more information, please see: +help Chance.

August 14th: Chai, Cake, And Chocolate

Previously in this storyline…
The Civella Recording

Later in this storyline…
The Curious Case of Larry Santos and Paul Lezama

August 21st: Once Upon a Midnight Confusing
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