elisabeth_icon.gif james_icon.gif maria_icon.gif

Scene Title Firestarter?
Synopsis The scene of a possible Evo eruption of power, so paramedics, onlookers, and SCOUT all required on-scene.
Date January 1, 2008

Out on the streets of New York

It's late enough to be dark, what sun there is this time of year having sunk behind the horizon some time ago, and clouds covering most of the starts and moon that could have offered some light over this neighborhood. As is, that won't seem to be that much of a problem, though. The dirty red and yellow shine of hot flames devouring whatever they find within a since long condemned apartmentbuilding has drawn the attention of law-enforcement, fire-fighters and medical personel, as well as a curious crowd outside the taped off area. There are whispers, even conversations in a normal tone, suggesting that there could be Evolved people involved in this fire, and the newly arrived press-staff are snapping pictures and taking stories and names. If anyone's still in there is anyone's guess, though, as the firefighters find themselves at the stage where entering would be certain suicide and all they can do is attempt to contain the fire to this one building.

With a somewhat worried frown, an uniformed James stands leaned against the back of his ambulance, watching the blaze and scurrying people making shadowy shapes against the faint lights of the fire itself and more sharply drawn around the lights of rescuevehicles. So far, he hasn't had anything to do here, and he's not complaining, just… well. He finds himself wishing to help, but with no injured comming forth or back yet, and his partner off to get a headsup from the firebrigade captain, there's really not a lot for him to do right now. So, arms crossed over his chest, he watches and practices one of the hardest things known to mankind - waiting.

The black police car with red and blue lights pulls up outside the tape, and the blond woman inside climbs out of the vehicle carrying a heavy black NYPD winter coat. She throws it over her shoulders, flashing her badge to the uniform at that tape, and ducks under the barrier to head toward the fire captain. She's wearing plainclothes — a black pair of heavy slacks, a black blouse, and boots — primarily because it's what she prefers over her uniform blacks, but the jacket clearly marks her as belonging on the scene. She pulls her hair out of the collar, and makes her way through the maze of emergency and fire vehicles. As she walks, the crowd at the tape gets more vocal about their dissatisfaction about the blaze.

"Chief?" Liz calls to the fire chief on the scene. "Liz Harrison, SCOUT," she introduces herself quietly. "We got a call that you thought it could be Evo related. Got a minute to tell me what's what?"

Not all of the people observing this location are on the ground. One such person is close to a nearby building, in shadows. But that doesn't mean she's hidden. No, light from the flames occasionally strikes her position and reveals her presence. A woman of five feet three inches, wearing a winter coat with jeans and boots. She isn't hiding, no action is taken to avoid being seen, but she's also not calling attention to herself. Not actively, anyway. The fact she's standing on air in itself might bring a pair of eyes or three her way.

"Thanks, chief." a young man offers, heading on back towards the ambulances that wait on the sidelines. "Evenin', ms. Harrison." a man in what they usually call 'his best years', with a face blackened of soot where it isn't covered by a moustache and beard, replies, pushing back his helmet a little to look up at the flames. "And we're considering it could be, on account of this being a somewhat of a crashpad for certain people. Homeless, paperless, hopeless.. they crash here, I'm told." He motions towards a group of people in various states of shock and disarray, currently under the watchful eye of one of New York's finest, as they watch what could be considered their only home turning into ashes and dust. "According to their statements, two of them are missing, one being a young man having been acting strangely, lately. So, rather safe than sorry, eh? Damn shame, either way… this place could've lasted them another good year or two."

James, where he stands, blinks as something in the corner of his eye catches his attention, turning his head to look a little upwards. Could have just been a spark from the fire, of course, but he thought he saw something, up there. Patiently, he lets his gaze sweep through the dark, searching for what he might have seen.

Nodding to the chief, Elisabeth shoves her hands into the pockets of the coat. Her eyes skim over the fire thoughtfully. Not much she can do there, but she says, "I'll talk to 'em. Let me know if you spot anything else." She turns to head toward the group of people who've been squatting there, her path taking her past James's ambulance. She pauses briefly to cast a grin in his direction, but it's his search for something else that catches her attention. She alters her trajectory to walk toward him. "What is it?" she asks quietly.

She is, in fact, where he's looking. Standing on air in all her diminutive, olive-hued glory, her features illuminated by a flare of flames inside the building they've come to. Maria watches the fire personnel and the paramedic, and the apparent detective when she joins James. Her head tilts, as if she just saw a familiar face, but can't be sure at the distance between herself and them.

Chief Thorne nods to Elisabeth, and then turns his head to bellow out a couple of orders regarding hoses, where to aim them and what he's going to do with them if young people don't comply at once. Well, the fire might be unstobbable where it's at, right now, but it doesn't sound like he's willing to let it have any more of this block, at least not tonight.

James blinks, as he spots the young woman standing mid-air, or at least so it seems, and he doesn't take his eye from her even as a known voice greets him. "Hey, Liz… tell me, am I going insane, or is there a girl standing there?" He's keeping his voice low, and not really moving much, not out to draw attention to a possible hallucination, or if she's really there, a girl a good bit above a muttering crowd half a reason away to go grab their pitchforks and torches.

Raising an eyebrow, Elisabeth turns to look where James is looking. The sight of someone hovering makes her tilt her head, and then she considers the situation. "The fire chief says several of the occupants who are missing may be Evolved. She could be one of them," because Liz, like Maria, doesn't have good enough vision to tell from here that it's Maria. There could be other people who fly. "Could be just a bystander looking for a better view too… hang on." She puts a hand on James's shoulder to keep him standing where he is, out of her direct line of sight on the hovering girl, and then she pitches her voice to carry only on that one vector, softly but enhancing it so it carries easily to the airborne woman. It should sound to Maria like Elisabeth is merely standing in front of her. "I'd be much obliged if you see anything useful if you could drop down and let me know. We're looking for a couple of missing squatters — they could be caught in the building and you're in a good position to see if that's the case." The person's response (running, staying) will determine, to Liz's mind, whether there's a problem. In the meantime, she looks at James. "Have you checked over the tenants?"

Just about this time, roof of the building begins to actively cave into the inferno below, causing a number of firefighters and their hose on the north side of the building to have to scramble backward to get out of the way of timbers and falling embers when part of the north wall also collapses. Three cops, keeping the crowd back on that side, also hastily start shoving the crowd further back just in case. There's a good bit of shouting going on, and a news reporter is snapping photographs looking for a Pulitzer.

The woman reacts to the voice that suddenly was heard as if up close, when there's no one up close, and she looks around for the source. Her head tilts, the one talking to that paramedic doesn't have a megaphone, nor does anyone facing her that she can see. "Weird," she mutters. "Hey, I've heard that voice before…" Moments later, though, Maria is training her eyes on the fire and the building to see if she can spot whatever might be of interest to police and rescuers, as asked. When the building starts to collapse, she becomes more urgent about the task.

James blinks, and nods, staying where he is as Liz' hand comes to rest on his shoulder, and she speaks… as if the person up there's supposed to hear. Interesting. Then, his mind turning back to the more work-related field, he nods once. "Yeah, we checked them over, no one's really hurt, just shocked and upset, as could be expected. Seems they got up out 'cause one of the girls couldn't sleep and noticed the smoke, and then they woke up the neighbours across the street to call for the fire department." Well, shock combined with the chill in the air could explain the blankets over some shoulders, over there. Not that they seem all that needed, as the collapsing building sends out a gush of hot air over all of the area, as falling debris pushes the air out of the way in all directions. James finds himself pushing back, up against the ambulance for a second, staring at the blaze above and, now, on the street as well. "I sure -hope- no one's still in there…" A quick glance back upwards, to what might turn out to be Liz' eye in the sky, "Any luck?"

Elisabeth nods slightly to James, glancing upward to the woman in the air. "I'm sorry, I forgot… I'm the detective near the ambulance. Elisabeth Harrison." She's still getting used to USING her abilities this way, and she seems just a hint uncomfortable with it, but at the same time the use of them is easy and familiar. When the building begins its collapse, she finds herself pushed up against the ambulance herself, instinctively covering her head as the hot air rushes over the area. Looking back over it, she hisses, "Shit!"

"All right," Liz says quickly. "Give me a minute. Not so far. You're welcome to check them out again if you'd like." She turns on a heel and heads for the huddled group of survivors and starts asking questions as gently as she can. The list is nearly endless, but she tries to make it as painless as possible: How many people lived in the building? Can you give me names and a description of the two people who are missing? Does someone in the building have a grudge against someone else? There've been comments already that it's Evo-related — do they have anyone in mind, or is it just speculation?

She studies the building for a long moment, then moves closer to get a better look, perhaps something caught her eye. Maria moves in, getting just close enough to see without getting touched by fire in that area, looking through a window about two floors below the collapsed portion. She turns then and points at the woman near the ambulance with the weirdly projecting voice, and makes an 'over here' gesture. Then, judging danger from flames in that spot is not so bad, she moves closer still, right up to that window. She sticks her head into the building and speaks with someone in there. A child of six, Hispanic and female. "Come to me," she urges. "Where are your parents?"

James nods in response to Liz, grabbing a bag from inside the driver's seat of the ambulance before he follows her on over towards the group of people, intending to make sure that no one is starting to show signs of smoke inhalation, or other sneaky sorts of damages. Liz will get answers ranging from 'about 10' to '15, depending on the weather' and 'What do you mean 'lived'?! We didn't live there, we just didn't die!'.. Takes all kinds, eh? But she'll have more luck regarding the question of those missing: Andrew West, or 'W' to his friends, had been acting strange all christmas, complaining about the cold incessantly, keeping everyone awake and Clarice Espinoza, who hadn't even shown up to pick up her daughter to go to the shelter… There's a momentary pause, and then Reetha, one of the women being questioned looks about, her expression suddenly worried, "Oh my God, where's Nina?"

Up in the burning building, the small girl stumbles towards the window and coughs, making no effort to stop crying, and instead just reaches her sooty arms out to Maria, in the universal signlanguage of children. The roar of flames might not have reached this far, yet, but that's just a matter of moments, rather than minutes, hot air whirling around even hotter embers and spreading the blaze, even starting to shatter bricks in places.

The crowd, still held back and being pushed back further by the officers handling the tape, have noticed that someone appears to be up there now, though, and there's a mixed choir of cheers, jeers and booing, as every participant of the could-be, would-be mob seems to have differing opinions about someone flying in to save the day, or child, as it might be.

Although Elisabeth doesn't initially see the flying woman's gesture because she's trying to get as much information as she can. The firefighters have their eye on the flying woman as soon as she moves into the area, though. As a matter of fact, Chief Thorne yells through a bullhorn to a hose team, "HEY! Hose 3, get your asses in gear! Fourth floor, northwest corner!!" He saw the woman up there, and he'd been about to holler through his bullhorn to tell her to get away when she gestured frantically. He pulls the bullhorn from his mouth and calls to another team, "Grimes! Get a team over there! We got a survivor!" He's all motion and shouting in the smoke.

For her part, Elisabeth takes their statements and keeping a half an eye on the fire, but when the bellow goes out over the bullhorn, she turns to look a the building in alarm. "Oh, God," she says softly. Her eyes go unerringly upward to where the flying woman is. She looks at Reetha, her voice stern. "Do *not* move from this spot!" She moves several steps away from the small group, putting James between herself and them so they can't quite see what she's doing, waving to get Chief Thorne's attention even as she talks to the flying woman.

Enhancing both her voice *and* her ears, is really complicated for Liz; she doesn't have as much practice at the hearing part. But she focuses all her attention on that, and she says to Maria, "Tell me what you've got going on. I can hear you if you speak normally. Try not to shout more than you have to." The roar of the fire is horrifically loud to her, though she works on muting out that sound and focusing only on Maria's voice and the sort-of sound-wave conduit she's trying to create. It's something like being inside a parabolic chamber.

The chief, for his part, only moves because Liz's movement was so urgent. "What is it?" Liz murmurs softly to him, explaining that she can act as a relay for him to the woman up there because of her abilities — she can both hear, though it sometimes goes in and out, and talk to the woman up there without the bullhorn. James is still close enough to catch the conversation, if he chooses to pay attention.

What she has going on doesn't need saying, because as soon as the girl reaches out for her, Maria wraps arms around her back and pushes away from the window. "I've got you," she assures, as she moves for the ground at a decent clip. Fire crews may or may not be headed her way at the same time; she doesn't pay them any attention. There's an ambulance and an EMT on the ground, this is where she's headed so the girl can be looked over.

The girl is placed on the ground gently, and without a word she starts to rise again, but her intention is cut off. Flames leap from that window, and it becomes clear anyone else in there is lost. "Damn," she murmurs. Detective Harrison is looked around for.

Whether Reetha and her friends agree with Elisabeth, it seems they're going to huddle up for now, no one moving except for finding friends shoulders, hands lifted to cover mouths as they watch the young woman descending like so much fiery angel with the child in her arms. Fire-fighters mill about, water being redirected towards the window where the flames now break out, but it seems the building as a whole now is irrevokably lost.

James looks up from his gentle examination and administration of water, to see that Elisabet goes over to talk to the chief, and he can hear her offering up herself to mediate between the young woman and the fire-chief, and he does make a note to have one of those proper, Serious Conversations with Liz. Just.. not right now. Instead, he'll pick up his bag, give the young man he was helping a brief pat on the shoulder, and then head on over to check on the just landing, slightly singed child, with the upjoining assistance of Tommy, his partner to judge from the same uniform and all. "Good job." he does note to the young woman, if she'll hear him or not, though. There's some power being put to good use, if you ask him.

There are scattered cheers for Maria as she rises again, since she obviously saved a child, and even those boo'ing take a break from their dislike, however brief.

Oh thank God. Elisabeth grabs James's arm and points toward the ambulance. "You gotta go," she says urgently. She looks at the group and says, "We've got the child. The officer will take your names." Not like we'll actually get hold of these people again. But she does keep the name and description of the guy who had been complaining so much. That she has to follow up on. Then she walks with James toward the ambulance and the rescuer and child, stopping near Maria. Recognition crosses her face and she smiles faintly. "Nice job, lieutenant," she murmurs quietly. Liz will stay out of James's way to let him treat the child, though she will ask the girl a few gentle questions once she seems calmer — whether she knows where her mother was going, those kinds of things. The girl will need someplace to go. She'll make those arrangements while James treats the child.

Her bit is done here. The child is safe, but the first rule of heroism is in play. Sometimes people just die. Anyone still in that building… It is what it is. Maria just nods once at Elisabeth, and remarks "That voice thing. Interesting. See you." She doesn't stick around to be interviewed by police or press, they know her name and she'll run across the detective at the Nite Owl soon enough.

She steps back, rises to about fifty feet, and taps the speed button. It's a course for home at thirty miles per hour without need of roads.

January 1st: Trust the Illusion
January 1st: Drowning Sorrows
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License