Crowd Control


elisabeth2_icon.gif rachel_icon.gif

Scene Title Crowd Control
Synopsis Liz and Rachel assist the Guard with supplies and crowds.
Date Mar 30, 2010


It's snowing. Again. Less than a week before Easter, and there is six feet of snow on the ground already and more falling. The drifts on the sides of the road literally block the view of the buildings from the road, obscuring the entire first floor of most structures at nearly 10 feet tall. And for the squad of National Guard members driving three military-issue Humvees through the streets of Queens, the snow that is falling is a cause for concern. Elisabeth Harrison and Rachel Mills, the FRONTLINE officers assigned to accompany the squad today, are dressed in the black winter gear that differentiates them from the Reserve members and riding in the lead Humvee.

The corner where the trucks pull up has a crowd of people — these deliveries have been coming every other day for the past two weeks, and there are 'regulars' now. But the group has swollen to twice the normal size due to the newest snowfall. Liz murmurs to the squad captain, a gruff Sergeant in his mid-forties, "Channing, are we equipped with enough food and water to handle this group?"

Channing has wary brown eyes on the crowd. "Not sure, Harrison. Maybe. We'll stretch where we can." He stops the vehicle and turns the engine off. "Ortiz, stay in the vehicle," he tells the specialist in the back seat. "And keep your damn eyes open for trouble, boy."

Rachel looks at the crowd and frowns faintly as she notices the jostling and jockeying for position among the crowd, many of those who look like they could use the food the most find themselves at the back of the crowd as those who are healthier surge around them to get to the food first. Survival of the fittest, Darwin would be proud.

FRONTLINE Officer Rachel Mills looks over at Elizabeth while she stands there and says, "Doesn't exactly look like people are being too civilized with this." The former Marine's eyes keeping sharp watch over the crowd should the jostling become something more violent. Rachel steps out of the vehicle, and looks over the crowd before yelling, "Can everyone please form a calm and orderly line?"

Liz is about as thrilled with the jockeying as Rachel is. She nods slightly, and she moves to climb up on the front bumper of the vehicle so she can be seen. Gotta love the enhanced voice — she doesn't even need to shout. And Channing seems familiar with this action as Elisabeth takes it. "~Folks, you all know how this works. Supplies are limited, and the people who are sick or have kids to feed get to be in line first. We have enough to go around, if we all do this in an orderly fashion. And you know we'll be back again in a couple of days. Let's not make this ugly.~"

There are some general grumblings from the regulars, who do know how this works. And there is a belligerent attitude among those who just pushed the regulars to the back and forced their way to the front. One woman shouts, "If you have enough to go around, it don't matter who goes first, does it??"

Rachel runs her hands though her hair while she stands there, and shakes her head a little before she looks to Liz, since she's the one who can use her voice like a megaphone and Rachel is left with her own way to make sure that people hear her. So, she merely lets Liz address the woman who has shouted, the Frontline Officer moving with the men to begin unloading the supplies and waiting for the line to form.

At the woman's shout, a man steps forward to nod his head in agreement. "Yeah. If you have enough then let it be first come first served! You shouldn't be wasting supplies on these people anyway, they look like they're about to die," he shouts at Elizabeth, a murmering sound of assent starting to sweep through the extra people.

You know…. Liz really hates it when the automatic weapons get pulled out. And she hates it even more when there's argument. She looks at the two instigators and says mildly, "Because there is an established way to do things and it works just fine. If you can't nicely and quietly go with the flow, then you can be excluded from this round of supplies." Her blue eyes on the ringleader are cool. "It is our job to make sure that people get the help they need. I don't care that in your opinion someone else shouldn't get something. They are just as entitled as you feel. Now…. everyone get into an orderly line, please."

Liz glances toward Rachel and her contingent. Some of the soldiers are looking wary — she's seen the looks before. Men getting ready to shoot if they have to, but hating the very idea. And the crowd's looking a little unruly at the front end too, though the middle and back ends are doing what they're supposed to.

Rachel doesn't have her hand on her weapon, much prefering currently to just grab hold of a troublemaker and teleport them a couple blocks away. Her eyes looking at the front of the crowd as it begins to approach her, her eyes narrowing while she stands there. Her eyes go over to Elizabeth for a moment, before back to the crowd, she really doesn't like how this is starting to turn out, and firing into civilians. Well, the idea frankly revolts her.

"They're no more entitled to it then you are to boss us around you filthy evo-scum," comes a third voice, this one hard to identify, though by the sounds of it, he seems to be coming from near the middle of the line. Most of the people seem to balk at that comment, though what is louder can are the murmers of assent.

Yep…. and it just went to Hell in a fucking handbasket. Elisabeth sighs. "Sergeant Channing, have your men get back in the vehicles." Good thing nothing's actually been unloaded yet. She jerks her chin toward Rachel, her eyes flicking toward the ringleaders. "We filthy evo-scum are out here to protect YOUR rights to get the food and supplies we're carrying. We're also here to protect the soldiers who BRING the supplies that you so desperately need. If you're going to get unruly, the trucks are going to simply pull out today and not come back. Is that what you want?" She looks at the crowd, most of whom are good people just trying to get by. "You have to police yourselves. Are you going to let this very vocal, very pushy minority take the things you need from you? If not, I suggest you encourage them to shut the hell up and get in line like the rest of you do. You know us. You know we always come out here with as much as we can carry, and we do our best to make sure everyone gets what they need. The loudmouths are going to ruin it. Make your choice."

The grumblings begin to quiet down as the threat to take the food away is put in the air, and people begin to line up like they are supposed to. Rachel lets out a faint sigh as they do, glad that things didn't not go any further than words. Taking a breath, she looks back to Liz, since she's clearly taken charge of the situation, and awaits orders to begin unloading the supplies from the trucks.

When people start moving, Elisabeth's expression — subtly strained and tense from Rachel's viewpoint — eases a little. She waits until she sees a good line form and then nods to Rachel and Channing, silently giving them the okay to get the supplies unloaded. Meanwhile, Liz looks at the group. "Those of you new to this group — we're here on a regular basis, but we need a good head count for how many of you will continue to be here. So that we can make sure the trucks are loaded. Is there anyone in this group today for whom a different stop would have been closer but they were out of supplies?" Because there are convoys like this all over town. A good 20 or so raise their hands, and Elisabeth says, "Okay. I need you folks to come see me after you get your supplies. I'll make a list of which stops need more stuff and Sergeant Channing will make sure the lists get passed on so that more supplies are brought to those stops as well."

It tends to work out this way — that Liz gets to be the mouthpiece because she doesn't have to shout to be heard. Channing and his men start the unloading, handing parcels to Rachel. Elisabeth meanwhile remains watching the crowd carefully from her perch on the hood of the Humvee.

Rachel takes the package that is handed to her, and begins to pass them out to people that come through the line. Some of them give her stares that are much less than welcoming, while others are grateful for the bit of help that they can get. The former Marine smiles at them all and is nothing but polite to them, making sure that each person gets what they came for.

As the line moves, one of the men who'd been catcalling and giving the soldiers crap gets to the front of the line, and he sneers at Rachel. "Don't know how you work with Evo scum like that," he says loudly enough to be heard. "How can any of you," he looks at the other soldiers in the squad, "let someone like HER give orders? I was in the Army, and Evo shitheads wouldn't dare try that shit in the regular army." He clearly hasn't been army since 2006 if he thinks so, but…

Rachel looks at Liz, looks at the man, looks at the soldiers around her. "Boys, I'll be right back," she tells the Sargeant and his squad, as her hands go out to grab the man who is sneering at her and the others, and in a flash of white light is gone. She reappears with him in tow a couple of blocks down the road, and she pushes him down as she says, "I'm sorry, Sir, but you need to go to the back of the line. Perhaps you're attitude will calm down by then." She offers him a smile, and with nothing more, there is another flash of white light and she is back by the soldier's. "Sorry about that," she says, as she hands out the next package with a smile. A couple of people recoil from her display, but the fact that she just took someone out of the line so casually, has seemed to quell most of the grumblings about being served by Evos.

When Rachel gets back, Liz glances over and grins slightly. She definitely likes Rachel's attitude. The soldiers in question are forced to hide snickers — considering the two women are FRONTLINE, it's not as if EVO isn't patently obvious. And the squads that deploy with the Evo backups tend to be a little heavy on the pro-Evo side where possible just to keep things from getting dicey on the streets. "Nice," the audiokinetic comments in a murmur that carries only to her partner. And the day's work continues.

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