Determinate Sentencing


deckard3_icon.gif douglas_icon.gif khalid_icon.gif magnes_icon.gif thalia_icon.gif tamsine_icon.gif yamaguchi_icon.gif

Scene Title Determinate Sentencing
Synopsis Humanis First steps in where the court system fails to ensure that justice is carried out with little care for who gets caught up in the crossfire.
Date August 24, 2009

Queens County Courthouse

"And pbbt, where are my glasses?"

It's a bright day outside, light permeating through the windows and shining off the wooden pieces of wood throughout the room. The freshly waxed oak of the division between the floor and the seats is practically glittering in the unique lighting. In this particular courtroom, the jury sits restlessly waiting for this rather boring ordeal to be over. The defendant's lawyer is standing in the critique of the judge who is currently really trying to find his glasses…

"Oh. Great. Anyway." The large old man huffs, "So this is.. Failure to Register with Homeland Security in a timely fashion. How does the defendant plead?"

Outside the courtroom, the bustling activity of the courthouse continues on without the serene nature of the room. People waiting in line to get an excusal for their jury summons, police officers carrying around papers, people being angry about stuff. All in a day at the Queens County Courthouse.

"Not guilty, your honor." The unkempt public defender displays graciously of his client. The Evolved in question.

Two particular officers of the law are finding their way, albeit a bit slowly around the courthouse. One officer of seemingly arabic descent and one seemingly of redneck descent. They both carry large brief cases as they make their way up the stairs. "Eh-Excuse me." One of the officers murmurs to someone who looks like they might pass as someone who works there. "We're looking for room.. Oh hell. What room are we looking for?" The whiter of the cops asks of the other.

Yamaguchi is a mixture of pink and olive, which in no way qualifies him for white. The detective is in suit and tie, his badge gleaming gold on its leather backing at his breast pocket. The map in his hand is a much-mangled thing, folded several times over to display only a fraction of the overall layout, and stained in one quarter with a splot of coffee. "386," he says, conferring with one of the migrant bailiffs on break outside a courtroom. He tilts his map to display his target. "Judge — Judy?"

"Judeah," corrects the bailiff kindly. "It's an e-a-h. Ju-day-ah."

"Ju-day-yah," says Yamaguchi.




"Ju— jube."

The bailiff sighs. Yamaguchi scratches at his rib, baring the gun buckled into its holster at his hip, and looks pleased with himself.

She's left behind her life as a social worker, but a former case of hers has made it to the courts finally, and she's been called upon as a witness to discuss the child's welfare and best interest. Tamsine stands in the lobby of the courtroom, staring at the directory indicating which cases are where. She's in "court wear," and looking unusually professional; her typical jeans and t-shirs and flip flops set aside in exchange for a dove gray skirt and blazer and a pair of "spectator" heels that add a few inches to her scant height. Fiery red hair contrasts strongly with the subtle color of the suit.

She takes a deep breath. It's been so long since she's done this. She's sure she'll start to cry as soon as she sees the face of her "client," a young teenager whose smile reminds her of her own lost daughter. "I can't do this," she mutters to herself, looking up at the clock. She's going to be late.

Exiting from one of the side doors. Thalia comes into the main room and looks around. Dressed in a pair of dark blue jeans and a red tank top, her fingerless gloved hands are gripping her messenger bag and her boots click on the floor.

She came to the courthouse.. to use the bathroom? It was the nearest place to go!

From the slightly shorter and less white of the two officers, one who sports a dark mustache that is just beginning to fill into its stubble, there is a short distracted grunt before an answer. "The room where Hofacker's trial was supposed to take place. The registration deal." The Arab's arm curves up towards his face, a neatly-faced wristwatch in place just where his sleeve ends, and then a sidelong glance upwards at the bailiff. "Hopefully we aren't too late."

Wearing a simple white t-shirt with a large red M on it, a pair of comfortably fitting blue jeans, and some black sneakers, Magnes is walking around on the floor where the registration trial is taking place, mostly to network with the bailiffs and guards, learn more about the experiences of people who are police and do this stuff on the side, or former cops. He has bags under his eyes, suggesting a great deal of either current or former exhaustion, faded nail puncture wounds on his face as if someone squeezed it hard, and even deeper nail punctures on his right arm, with electrical burns around them.

He's not talking to anyone at the moment, just looking around, possibly deciding if it's time to leave now that his business is done there. There's lots of work ahead today…

"Oh. Yeah. Hofacker. Up that flight of stairs there and to the left." The woman says, kindly enough.

"Thank you ma'am, and have a blessed day." Comes the more white of the two officers. His voice certainly has a distinct twang to it. The two cops make their way for the stairs, briefcases in tow.

"Hoffucker? Hoe-fak…Hofacker."

"Hofacker, your honor."

"That's what I said." The judge groans, peering over his neat little hammer at the defendant and his lawyer. "Alright, let's get on with it." A thick gesture of his hand, and the lawyer comes forward, stating his case with over the top gesticulations and mannerisms.


The four polished black shoes clip-clop quickly and neatly in nearly perfect unison up the marble stairs. Getting to the top the pair walk right past Tamsine. They also slip right past Magnes before halting at the door. Leaning over the balder of the two cops murmurs something to his more arabic partner.And then the two are opening their briefcases and then—

The power to the building is shut completely off.

Tamsine locates the right courtroom and heads off toward it, heels clicking on the tiles. It happens to be in the courtroom next to Hofacker's — perhaps unfortunately for her. She glances at Magnes as she passes him, then stops. "The rooftop skater," she says with a smile — just as the lights go out.

"What —" she says with surprise, her hand reaching into her purse to get out her cell phone, turning it on, so the glow can illuminate at least a little of the dark hallway. She's not that frightened at first — after all, it's an old buildings. Power outages happen. Right?

A pointed arm and a brief word sends Yamaguchi ambling down the hallway, his hands in his pockets and a tuneless whistle piping shrilly between his teeth. His gaze skips across the hallway's traffic with sleepy interest, making note of the likely cases in each court based on the congregations outside them, marking uniforms and acknowledging them with an easy nod or flicker of recognition. His path cuts across Tamsine's, a matter more of laziness on the detective's part — shortest path between two points — than deliberate intent.

Which makes the termination of power an unfortunate event between at least one body in motion and an innocent victim.

Yamaguchi jerks to a stop, while voices rise around the hallway, startled exclamations and the more urgent ones of security personnel whose minds immediately jump to professional impacts. "Sorry," he says amiably, and reaches for an arm just in case. "Did I step on you? Oops."

She spots Magnes but before she can wave to him, the lights go out. "Uhh.." she says and stays near the door she just exited from. This is weird. She blinks, trying to get her eyes to adjust. No freaking out.. yet. Thalia sighs. "Just great."

"Yeah, it—" The lights go out before Magnes can finish, and he immediately reaches out to grab Tamsine's arm in the spot he last remembered it. "Ma'am, stay near me. I've sort've had police academy training since we last met."

"Sort've?" says Yamaguchi's quizzical voice out of the dark. "Is that like sort've losing your virginity?"

The least one can say for the power outage is that it's still bright and early in the daytime. All around the exterior of the building, there are high-ceilinged, slightly curvaceous, metal-columned hallways still as obliviously flooded with sunlight as though nothing at all of note had happened further inside. In this hallway, however, deep within the inner sanctum of the courthouse— it really doesn't matter. Lines of sockets that had previously been twinkling with light are now homes to deeper, tinier shadows, and it's hard to make out more than darkly moving outlines a few feet away.

Outside the door to the appropriate courtroom, the Arab "official" is clasping on a gas mask from his now partially-unzipped briefcase, drawing the straps over his head and using his thumbs to adjust the placement of his chin. His companion is rapidly and smoothly doing the same; there are no words between them. Words aren't necessary. If it could be visible behind the mask, though, Khalid might be seen wearing a distinctly crooked smirk of anticipation.

"Would y'look at that?" Comes the voice of twang.

"Somebody flickered off th' laights!" His mask is in place, a canister is taken out of the brief case before the case is tossed to the side. His partner does the same, and in unison the doors are kicked open powerfully. Two canisters fly into the court room before plunking on the ground and rolling in opposite directions. That's when the gas starts to come out.

"Lay-deehs, and gentuhlmen!" The officer yells out as he enters the room, firearm being drawn as judge, baliff, and hoffucker alike keel over in order to save their eyes and lungs from the chemicals. "I know it is hard for you not to act like ree-tards right now, what with dangerous chemicals going into your eye-balls. But please remain calm! There is a dangerous Evolved terrorist in this room that has to be-"

Bang The gunshot rings throughout the courthouse.

"Nevermind!" Douglas calls out. "I got 'im!" Bringing up a big thumb he displays it to all the coughing and wheezing patrons of the room. "You're safe!"

The bullet explodes through Hofacker's head, his body going limp immediately, the redneck officer's shouts of triumph being lost over the screams of the courtroom. The baliff, while harmed by the gas scrambles for his weapon wildly.

Whatever arm it is that Yamaguchi has caught hold of is jerked down, abruptly and without further apology, down. The floor is cold and hard, but then again, so is gunfire, and certain behaviors are imprinted on sane people. When there is gunfire, get out of the way. Cops do things backwards. When there is gunfire, go find out what the hell is going on.

"What did 'sort've' teach you about things like this?" he asks over his shoulder, adrenaline adding a rasping edge to his normally placid voice. Crouched low, he hastens towards the open door and the sound of screaming, one hand tucking under his coat in search of his weapon.

Tamsine gasps as the gas begins to leak into the hallway. She moves to the windows, out of Magnes' grasp, hoping the darkness will keep her from getting shot, and cracks one open — just as the gun shot jolts her core. "Oh, my God, they shot someone…" Her mind isn't quite working — she is so used to not using her power, being afraid of getting caught, that it's not instinctual for her to do so — even though with just a moment's concentration, she could be in the safety of her living room.

"Holy fuck." Thalia growls as she crouches against the wall and slides down a fraction. She shuts her eyes and opens them again. Then she looks at the masked men and gas canister.. if she can.

With a deep breath, the woman closes her eyes and she can feel the air in the room and outside of the building.

Strong gusts of wind rattle the windows. Thalia's eyes snap open and they are the silvery color they change too when she is using her power.

The air swirls into the place, stronger since she can draw from the area outside. A strong gust of wind blows into the place, swirling and taking the gas with it, the wind spins around it, until there is a tornado of gas in the middle of the room.

Thalia's forehead is shiny with sweat as she concentrates hard, never using her ability in this way. With a soft gasp, she throws the wind and the gas at the window, effectively breaking it and taking the gas outside. While she is at, an extra bit of wind is used to slam into one of the masked men, Douglas.

"Damn, she ran away… alright, gotta do this carefully." He doesn't answer Yamaguchi's question right away, instead he starts to fly back, trying to make his distance away from the gas as he unknowingly backs up in Thalia's direction. When he lands, he crouches down and raises his jeans, then pulls a handgun from a strap on each leg. "Always be prepared." he answers as both guns somehow cock without needing a hand free.

Then there's the tornado, and he looks around until finally looking behind him, spotting Thalia. Alright, that makes sense… sort of. Who knows why she's here, though she is Isabelle's sister. "Alright, let's do this. Everyone find cover or just get down on the ground, I'm an officer." he just hasn't had the graduation yet, but damnit, he's an official officer!

He flies up to the ceiling, figuring there's a chance they'll start shooting when they come out, so he stays there, upside down and couched, waiting for the right moment.

Jonathan Hofacker had been an old man. Old enough, at least, for blood to sloppily drench down the top of a gleaming bald pate with only minimal wisps of cloudy, now-soaking white hair to impede it. It's amazing just how much blood a human head can hold; red streams are running off into thick, puddling tributaries. Slipping hazard!

"Damnit Dee, I wanted to do that," Khalid muffledly grumbles off to one side beneath the gas mask, gesturing to the downed Evolved with an elbow as he cocks his shotgun in both hands.

Like the rest of the building, the window Tamsine had opened and Thalia had subsequently destroyed isn't young. Cracks travel and splinter down heavy glass, shards tinkling in a mini-explosion outwards. As Thalia hurls an attack of wind at his partner, an ear-deafening BLAM BLAM is squeezed out from his trigger at the insulting brunette.

That, of course, just touches off a new intensity of panic.

Deckard is — taking a lunch break. A long ass, late, lunchless lunch break in the middle of a particularly shitty shift wherein he got on a bus and got off in Queens after seeing the green of a park go by the window he'd fallen asleep against. Thirty minutes and a probable pink slip later, there are gun shots cracking muffled from the courthouse and police and visitors scrambling like ants around the front steps that he finds himself taking two at a time. Jesus Christ this city.

In through the doors, shouldering past a uniformed officer who doesn't look twice at the ash grey of his suit or the blue shirt beneath. He's clean cut, five o'clock shadowed and in a decent suit. Maybe he's supposed to be here. And maybe he's supposed to have a gun too. If not, too bad because he has one anyway, rapidly turning the space outside the courtroom into a place you can't really stay still in without having a gun accidentally bristling your way.

"It was my turn, muuhhhfuckah!" Douglas cries back at Khalid.

That is right before he is taken up by a peculiarly strong gust of wind. His feet swing wildly as he is suddenly not on the ground but flying into the wall. His right side thuds heavily against the wall, but not a sound leaves the man besides the cracking and popping of the stress on his bones. His off leg swings over and connects with the wall, propelling him backwards.

In a feat of acrobatics, Douglas sails back towards the ground, crunching against it his body rolls smoothly, and his fleet fly over his head to lead him landing neatly on his two feet with a dense thud.

Turning slowly to face the open doorway, in the midst of the floating gas a high pitched chuckle is let out, while Douglas leans over and reaches up to listen to something over his radio. Turning back, Douglas uses to fingers to point at his eyes, then points straight up, then straight to the right.

Turning, he starts sprinting straight for the doorway.

Det. Yamaguchi spares a glance up for Magnes and his trowser power — the detective's eyes roll up, and it isn't to follow the young man's progress. "Of all the—," he says, exasperation biting through the words — and squints into the backlash of wind coming out of the door. His own gun has made its way into his hand, serviceable and standard issue; he sneaks a peek around the entryway before straightening to wave several fleeing figures into the hallway.

"Just trade me this once, he says," he says conversationally into the cold, as he bats another crouched and shrieking body out of the door. "It'll just take half an hour, he says. Pick me up some porn on the way back, he says. Anything wearing rabbit ears and a lifejacket will do, he—" Blam blam is not in his repertoire.

With a curse, the detective jerks his head swiftly into the doorway to check what is happening within, weapon tilted to take advantage of any opportunity. Shotgun. That's just not fair.

Tamsine stares for a moment as the wind picks up outside and then ducks as it rattles the windows, swirling the gases in the hallway and bringing them outside where they can no longer harm them. Her burning eyes skim the people in the hallway, wondering who it was. As the man lifts his gun to aim at Thalia, realizing at the same moment that she's the one who manipulated the wind in an odd, unplanned bit of teamwork. She cries out, but the bullet will already be on its way at that point.

She brushes some glass out of her hair and begins to focus — where does she want to be? Anywhere but here. That won't help — she needs to think of a place, picture a place. Home. That's it. She begins to think of home.

Well.. ow. Thalia winces and bites her lip hard, drawing blood as she bites back the scream. This is her second run in with these type of guys.. first at Central Park, she got some shrapnel for her trouble now a bullet to the shoulder.
Her eyes water and automatically Thalia lashes out with her ability, slamming more wind into Khalid. And.. it's not an gentle breeze to say the least.

She looks down at the wound and shuts her eyes. Not good, not good at all. She leans against the wall, trailing blood as she walks, stopping to glare at Douglas. Wind swirls around her and makes a few object move as she directs more air towards him. "Fuck you." Spitting out blood from her cut lip. (re)

Douglas, Khalid, Magnes doesn't say a word to either of them from his spot on the ceiling, but he's sure thinking. I'm up here, murderous bastards! Then he just waits until he can spot the men, and begins to unload both weapons on any part of their arm or leg outlines he can make out. He's not going for a kill, he's just trying his best to get leg and arm shots, especially the arms with the weapons. He's never had to focus more on his training than this moment. //Don't know what's going on, have to disable these guys and get light…

-Whumph-, goes a gust of solid air into Khalid. There a curse as he is shunted heavily backwards in a bid to regain his balance, the shotgun knocked bodily out of his grasp. Instead of trying to recover the firearm from where it has clattered down by his feet, his hands go right to his belt to drag out a pistol instead, cocked in the same fluid motion.

It's Yamaguchi who receives a straight -BANG- right at the hand holding his gun, no doubt to prevent him from shooting it. Thanks! Much appreciated. As if notified by an invisible tattletale, too, his eyes abruptly flicker up, head tilted back to give a glance at the ceiling where a creeping Magnes is lurking. "If I were you? I'd get down."


Home. Tamsine imagines her living room, its shabby chic decor, the hard wood floors, Pandora curled up on the sofa, the wall of photos with two-dozen smiling Lilianas of different ages. Her portal opens — no one else can see it, but it's like a window into her home, her living room right in front of her in the midst of the hallway. She glances around— most of the crouched people are too far to gather without also gathering unwanted attention to herself. She reaches behind her and grabs the hand of one young attorney whose sucking on his asthma inhaler, and moves forward. The lawyer gives a startled gasp, and asks, "What are you doing!" That might get a few eyes cast in their direction.

To anyone paying them any attention, they are simply there for a moment, moving suddenly, and then gone.

Wow. There are a lot of — guns going off in here. Chill eyes tracing muzzle blasts and the hiss and slap of bullets between courtroom visitors still jostling past him in droves, Deckard finds the grip he has on the gun in his hand going a little slack after Yamaguchi's hand blossoms into bone-sharded spray and Thalia leaves a sizable smear across the wall she's faltering along.

After a second of thought that seems more like thirty, he lets the revolver sling down through his fingers by the arc of the trigger guard and reholsters it, rough hands raised enough to indicate their emptiness as he shoves past a guy in a backwards baseball cap and darts long-legged after Thalia's retreat.

Feet pounding hard against the ground, something like a harsh cackle of laughter emits from the gas mask as a few chairs are swept up in the wind and fly at Douglas. As the chairs fly forward, he twists his body and leans back in an odd movement of fast paced contortion. His free hand comes out, slapping against the could ground, before springing him up and over the flying obstacles. A backhandspring which sends him sailing gracefully out of the door into the lobby.

His feet crash against the ground again, though his body continues sailing backwards, his back slides onto the marble floor, propelling him into the main lobby, his face and firearm pointed straight up towards the ceiling. His gun however points at Magnes' main body mass. Not like his oponent, his bullets having scattered through the marble flooring and… other places.

His gun pointed straight up the masked cop smiles behind the gas mask. "Do you believe you can fly? Do you believe you can touch the sky?" His gun remains steadily aimed on the upside down boy.

If Det. Yamaguchi has not fired his gun yet, the reason is obvious enough in the huddle of bodies still packed against the back of the courtroom. His mouth moves in another regretful word — "Civilians," — which has the ring of a four letter word not rated for general consumption in the heartland. He is in the act of pulling up the gun and retreating to a less exposed position when … well.

It is not Detective Yamaguchi's day.

Even through the wild wisps of gas and wind, the badge at Yamaguchi's breast gleams a sullen, shoot-me-now gold against the dark blue of his suit: the mature cop's version of a woman's 'fuck-me-now' stilettos, with the addition of an extra preposition — 'fuck-me-over-now' has a ring to it. Khalid's shot is added insult to injury; Magnes's spray of bullets gets there first, a wild ricochet against the hard floor sending the detective staggering to one side, blood blossoming on his right thigh. A split second later, he is down behind one of the spectator benches, learning new swear words in the startled, painless white zone that comes before shock. Blood streaks the floor and his shirt. His tie is awash. Court days /suck/.

The young mechanic is barely making it, her eyes dropping. She's becoming dizzy.. this really sucks. Her head thuds on the wall as she does the zombie shuffle.

Her nose is bleeding now, oh yeah she used her ability a little too much. Thalia's eyes see Deckard.. but then they don't. Losing focus.

After a while Magnes finally notices Thalia out of the corner of his eye. Isabelle's sister, dying, and these guys… "That's a fucking 'nough!" He fires after slamming to the ground, shaking it quite a bit. Attention otherwise occupied, he releases the now heavily-weighted guns to allow them to fly in the mens' direction while he flies in the direction of Thalia.

He's flying as fast as he can, scooping her up as she suddenly feels an invisibly firm push against her wound. "You're not dying too, damnit!" he exclaims right before a bullet goes through his ribs, piercing a lung as the bullet exits the other end, narrowly missing Thalia. "C-crap…"

Khalid doesn't have Douglas's springysproingy prowess. Nooo, he gets bloodwork done the old-fashioned upright way, which sits just fine with him. "We gotta get flying soon," he observes without budging a muscle as the other man goes all squirrelly-gymnastic in the corner of an eye. Glances are slanted towards the corners of the room, and his grip around his pistol tightens. "Relax, you're all safer now," he informs those assembled as casually as though commenting on the weather, casting an eye around through the holes of his mask.

"Sleep safe and sound, everyone, knowing Humanis First is watching your backs."

The corpse of Hofacker is still behind him. The ex-mercenary quite purposely stretches out an arm to lift his shotgun off the ground again, but this time, not to shoot. Nothing at all like it. The butt end is jammed straight downwards behind him, down into a mess of inwardly collapsed bone and blood-drenched brain matter; it's is matted in the stuff when he wrenches it back out with a grunt. Whatever Jonny's face had looked like before, -face- probably isn't the right word to describe it now. Not anymore.

Then there is a flash, an abrupt movement and swing of his arm; a grenade is tossed into the middle of the courtroom, billowing out a fresh haze of tear gas from its core. Time to leave.

Pulling his legs back, Douglas rocks his body forward and upward. Springing from the ground to his feet, he lowers his head as two bullets whiz by him. But he doesn't overly flinch, he just walks slowly towards the gas spreading from Khalid. Pausing at the door, he gazes back at Magnes and Thalia both.

"I'll see you later, my pretty, pretty, princesses." It's a quiet, yet eccentric promise.

Turning his back to the pair, his gun goes back and a single bullet is let out. The bullet which glides through Magnes' side. Holstering his weapon, Douglas makes his way over to Khalid. And by the time the dust settles, they both are long gone.

Already breathing hard from the exertion of having to shove through various retards in his way while simultaneously trying to keep wild track of all the dubiously innocent people having holes punched in them, Deckard is barely out of arm's reach of Thalia when the blur that is Magnes sweeps in between here and there. Jaw locked and brow hooded into a hard line, he jerks aside in the nick of time to avoid being plowed through by the pair of them.

"Jesus Christ, you fucking idiot — put her down." One hand lifted as if it'd do a goddamn thing to block any bullets eager to lick through his brain, Deckard hunches against the shot that ticks neatly through Magnes's side, narrow face jolted sharp after Humanis First's retreat.

"She's dying! I have to hold her bleeding in!" Unfortunately, Magnes can't hold his in, he has a punctured lung, and that getting filled with blood too quickly would be bad. He puts her down as instructed though, since Deckard is older, and whatever his opinion of the man, he still respects his elders.

While one hand is on Thalia's stomach keeping more blood from leaking from her arm, his other hand is on his stomach, blood dripping to the ground quite quickly. "If you can save her, then do it! I'm not leaving her, I don't care wha—" He starts to cough up a bit of blood. "Happens to me."

"Noble of you." Of course, with a punctured lung and bloodloss of his own to worry about, Deckard's teeth-grit insincerity is the least of Magnes's worries. Suit coat shrugged off and slung over onto a relatively clean spot on the floor behind him, the already lean healer sets to rolling up his sleeves with the sort of messy urgency generally granted the fast fading.

Once he's on his knees, the process is fairly straight forward. Wrap one hand around the exposed skin at her neck, push the other carefully over Magnes's to aid with pressure and to hasten the healing process there. Were Thalia conscious enough to feel it, the murky warmth that accompanies his efforts would be concentrated there before creeping elsewhere to tend to everyday wear and tear. But the guts are the important thing, and slowly but surely, the raggedy hole in her side sets to sealing itself. Jellied organs solidify; new skin regenerates through rips and tears to seal off the worst of the bleeding, and a sheen of sweat is already touching damp at Deckard's shirt collar.

"She needs a hospital. There are lead pellets in her liver, among other places they shouldn't be. Here." The bony clasp of his hand moves away from the bloody squish of Thalia's midsection to take hold on Magnes's wrist instead, and he draws in a long breath, stealing himself. One down. "Where'd the asshole cop go?"

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