Flotsam and Jetsam


chess_icon.gif cooper4_icon.gif lance_icon.gif

Scene Title Flotsam and Jetsam
Synopsis A poor unfortunate soul (i.e. Lance) washes up on Staten Island and other unfortunate soul argue about what to do about it.
Date March 30, 2018

Staten Island

Three minutes.

Three minutes of swimming against the tide, of the agonizing pull of a dislocated elbow with every reach of his arm, muscles burning and aching from the bruising of the teleportation accident, pain the only thing keeping Lance awake as he desperately reached for shore.

Three minutes until he was collapsed on wet sand littered with garbage, with fragments of boats destroyed during the war that eventually drifted to the shore, with abandoned fishing nets and - here and there - the bones of the dead.

Flotsam and jetsam, the same as the teenager that’s laying cheek buried in the wet sand, arm twisted at a slightly-unnatural angle, hoodie and jeans soaked through completely, panting for breath and hovering at the edge of unconsciousness.

Just another forgotten thing washed up on the shores of Staten Island.

It is fate that has a certain black van, painted with some colorful fantasy scenes, parked near the beach. That is only cause the lone occupant of the van likes those views… not to mention the sound of the water lapping on the shore. Not to mention, the neatest things wash up on those sands.

This lone man, sitting in the open sliding door of that van enjoying that view, might have seen the teen crawl out of the water. There is an internal debate if he should even bother…. but… finally he sighs. Leaning into the van, he grabs a messenger bag and his rifle. Of course, he also takes the time to lock it up… Can’t take chances around here.

After a few moments of negotiating that damn sand — it’s in his boots now! — he crouches next to the teen, the pop of joints probably giving him away. He doesn’t say anything right away, just scratches at the thick scruff along his jaw. Someone clearly wanted him dead… Maybe he should just leave him.

Oh hell… what was he thinking?

Picking up a stick from the sand, the older man reaches it over to poke at the body. “Hey. Hey, Kid. Ya still alive?”

The beach isn’t really a shortcut to where the paid boatmen will ferry Chess back to the mainland, but it’s also a lot more open, which makes it more difficult for someone to jump out of a shadowy alley. So she walks along, also in boots, glancing around herself now and then in a way that’s not paranoid but simply careful. One hand holds a baseball that she rolls around between palm and fingers; the other holds onto the strap of the courier bag that hangs across her chest and at her side.

It’s not Lance but the sound of the van door closing that brings her gaze in that direction, and she slows, watching as the van’s owner approaches something — no, someone — on the sand.

Her feet begin to move again, slowly, keeping her distance, but her dark eyes dart from man to the drowned rat and back. Determining motives at a glance is not her ability, unfortunately.

“He okay?” she finally calls out.

At the second poke of the stick, Lance’s voice rises in a pained and slightly-delirious mumble from the sand, “…top poking me, Hailey…” One hand tries to lift to wave off the stick, only it’s the arm where the elbow has been dislocated. This sends a wave of pain up his arm, and he lets out a muffled cry at himself, rolling over in the sand onto his back.

Half of him is now covered in wet sand, seaweed, and bits of wood. There’s a small crab trapped in the folds of his hoodie trying to escape.

“…ow,” he near-whimpers, “Fuck. That hurts.”

“Yeah… I’d say that’s yes.” The older man comments matter of factly, taking in the kid’s condition. He tsks softly and moves to flick the crab away with the stick, when a voice called from nearby. His head comes up sharply, brows almost disappearing into the beanie on his head, and locates Chess down the beach a little. A hand moves to rest on his rifle…. At least until he determines that she doesn’t seem a threat.

Little does this guy know… Still pale eyes narrow with distrust, shoulders lift in a shrug, hand finally drops away from the rifle slung over his shoulder. “He’s alive… a’right is a whole ‘nother thing.” Giving her another once over, he finally turns his attention back to the waterlogged teen. “Who tha hell you piss off?” The name Hailey of course was not missed. Something he files that away for the moment. Could be nothing…

The crab is finally flicked off and the stick dropped, as the older guy comments blandly, “You look like shit… and that arm needs taken care of.” Speaking of which, he moves to carefully take the arm. “Lemme see what we got… “ The man is strangely gentle about that. “You’re also lucky it was me that found you and not those traffickers that we got tons of out here.”

Chess’ brows draw together in a matching scowl of distrust. Lance’s youth and whimper draws her closer and she studies both men carefully, still keeping her distance. They’re within throwing range though — which for her is all that matters.

“Yeah, that’s not creepy at all to say,” she mutters wryly when he mentions the human traffickers. “Gosh, I’m sure glad I’m not a serial killer or kidney thief. I think I’ll put that on my business cards: ‘Totes not a human trafficker, serial killer, or kidney thief.’ Not suspicious at all.”
For now, she’ll watch, to make sure that the older man doesn’t suddenly pull Lance into his creepy van. “Who did that to you?” she asks Lance, jutting her chin in his direction.

Okay, Lance, let's take stock of the situation. You're probably too exhausted to get up or walk, every time you move your arm there's a spike of pain - but you can move it, so it's probably not broken. The good news is, that means you're not in shock. The bad news is, you're still injured and exhausted, and there's a part of you trying really hard to pass out.

The mention of the traffickers sends a new spike of adrenaline through the teenager, and he tries to sit up sharply. Which of course results in him flopping back down to the sand like a dead fish, panting a bit more. "Fuck. Fuck, is this— Staten?"

Hesitation as he looks to the older man when his arm's taken, hissing in through his teeth at the feel of it. He doesn't answer the question of who did this to him - maybe because he doesn't know the people asking.

There is amusement in the older man’s eyes and he shakes his head, “Where you think you were? Oz?” A brows arches at the kid, only to have it lower again when his brow furrows. “Pretty sure you dislocated that elbow, Dorothy.” His voice holds some concern, mainly cause he knows they really need get him to actual medical care.

“Let’s start out with who you are…” The arm is carefully lowered and rested across the kids chest. “Names Guy… “ He offers a bit of a goofy lop-sided smile. “Figured you better know who I am since, I gotta get you to somewhere other than here.” That makes sense, right? “Cause… It’s pretty fuckin’ cold… the more you lay here — colder you’re gonna get.”

He looks back up at Chess and points at her with a gloved finger. “Are gonna do somethin’ other than stand there like a judgemental…” he pauses realizing he best not complete that sentence. Instead he decides on… “Look, girlie… You gonna either just stand and stare…or try somethin’ or can I ask ya to help me get the kid up to the van?”

“I am helping. You just don’t know it,” says Chess flatly. She’s playing guard. “And if this is some sort of con between the two of you, I really advise against it because I will smoke your asses.”

Her eyes dart to the van, widening a little, then back to the older man’s face with an ‘are you fucking kidding me?’ sort of look. “I’m not helping you put a kid in your creepy ass van, asshole,” she says. “I don’t think there’s a working hospital or, you know, urgent care, for you to drive him to.”

She does reach into the bag at her side, pulling out a hoodie, but then she glances at Lance with uncertainty. “You do need to get out of wet clothes, at least your shirt, but not sure how to do that without hurting you more.” She tips her head in the direction of where the various sketchy boat taxis pick up their customers — none of which are a sure thing. “I’ll pay for you to get back to the civilization, if you want.”

“I’ll be— “ A turn of his head, coughing painfully a few times, and then Lance insists, “I’ll be fine.” Nobody believes that. Lease of all the teenager. He takes a moment to catch his breath, and then levers his good hand under him before slowly trying to sit up, keeping his other arm still against his chest. He’s trembling the whole way, shaking from the cold and exhaustion. “Used to live on Staten, at the Light.. Light…” Then his eyes widen, and he’s looking wildly across the beach.

“Where’s— where’s Joe, and— Brynn and— where are they?” He stares out at the water in horror, suddenly much more awake - at least briefly - at the idea that his friends all drowned in the river.

“What?!” Guy gasps giving the young woman a wide-eyes look. He is feeling truly insulted for his van, he actually places a hand on his chest as if that comment truly hurt his sensibilities. “I will have you know, The Magic Mobile ain’t creepy.” Yeah, that doesn’t help. “It’s a war hero…” Not that anyone knows that. “…and it’s at least warmer than the damn beach and can get us from point A to point B… without havin’ to worry about people puttin’ a bullet in our backs.”

With the kid sitting up, Guy turns his attention there, but not without another glare at woman. A hand presses at the kid’s back til he knows the kid is steady, before he opens the bag. It’s purpose becomes obvious, when he pulls out a first aid kit.

“Where is that…” He murmurs under his breath, searching towards the bottom of the bag. Finally, he pulls out a long length of fabric. “Ah ha!” He offers the kid a grin “Let’s at least get it supported, eh? Before lookin’ for anyone.” Moving to do so, he says quietly for Lance’s ears only. “Look.. I ain’t gonna hurt you. Hailey’d sick that damn monkey on me…” It is a gamble, since it could be any Hailey.

“What side?” Chess’ eyes narrow at Cooper, though she does move close enough to hand Lance the sweatshirt, a frayed and stained NYU sweatshirt that at least smells clean. He can at least use it as a towel if he can’t pull it over his head at the moment.

She moves back away quickly, like she’s afraid either man might grab her. The first-aid kit makes her frown thoughtfully, and she moves closer again. ‘Brynn’ draws her eyes to Lance’s face, the name clearly resonating somehow.

“I’m not trying to be a bitch. I just don’t want to witness someone getting kidnapped, you know? There’s a lot of assholes around here and you have to be careful,” she says, in a defensive tone, not at all apologetic.

Chances are, Chess is right that Lance should get into less wet clothing; the hoodie hanging on him heavy and soaked still, even worse now that it's half-coated in sand and beach detritus. At least he didn't land in one of the snowy patches further up from the waterline?

He's ignoring that now though as he looks frantically along the beachline, muttering, "No, no, no… where are they, God, please…" It's the murmured comment from the older man invoking his sister's name that snaps him out of it, and he looks back at him in surprise and hope, stammering, "Y-you know my sister? I— my friends were with me, they— we were trapped, Eimi tried— tried to teleport us all out but she did it blind— "

Well, that explains how he got there, at least. Although there's no sign of other teenagers on the beach… if they all ended up in the river together, things look bleak.

“It’s own side,” Guy fires back, since technically, he worked both sides. Or at least Guy did. The first aid kit is stuffed back in the bag with a grumble about people not respecting his van. Chess’ comment gets a laugh, “Yeah.. well takes an asshole to know one.” Real mature… “And I don’t do that shit… I’m a supply runner… smuggler… what have you, but kidnappin’ is too much work.” He wrinkles his nose at the thought, in general.

The panic in the kid, draws Guy’s attention, a hand moving to grip the kid’s good shoulder. “Calm, kiddo. Panicking don’t find them faster.” Rising to his feet, he watches the woman warily. “Yeah, I know your sister,” he directs at Lance. The idea that kids were trapped, worries him. Reaching down, he nudges the kid to get up, with the older man helping him.

Already the SESA agent, under that grungy outer layer, is trying to figure out how much he can do without losing his cover. “More importantly, who has or had your friends?”

The vague answer to the question about what side of the war he fought on makes Chess narrow her eyes back at Guy, then she rolls her eyes when he calls her an asshole. “Whatever, Wizard.”

When Lance mentions the teleporter — the same she met in connection to the Brynn she knows of — she looks back his way. “That teleporter… I don’t think she’s great at her power yet, right? Maybe you got launched out farther than the rest. Teleportation’s fucking weird. I knew one who could only go to the locations of the people he knows — but he didn’t know where that would be, so you might end up in a worst spot than where you started. Relax. You might be in the worst position of all of them, and they may be the ones worrying about you.”

After the quick, casual mention of a teleporter, Chess glances down and away, her expression suddenly darker, suddenly sad rather than sullen and suspicious. But it slips away when Guy moves to help Lance up; Chess does too, moving to Lance’s other side and avoiding touching his injured arm, which means she’s just there to catch him if he falls or loses his balance.

“If you trust him, I’ll let you go with him, but if not… you shouldn’t be alone,” she murmurs quietly, words too low for Guy’s ears.

It’s a good thing that they’re both there, because without the support it’s unlikely that Lance could possibly get to his feet right now; every muscle’s screaming from the swim and from the trauma of the teleportation accident, he’s exhausted, and he’s chilled to the bone.

“I— maybe?” A quick look of frantic hope to Chess, tears welling up in the teenager’s eyes in fear of the worst despite the suggestion. ”S-she’s not— she’s not really good at it, especially w-when she can’t see…” He swallows hard a few times, “And I don’t— I don’t know, we were out scavenging and the— the door closed and there was something in there, and there were all these bodies— “

He trails off, head swaying a bit forward as the world goes dim for a moment. He pulls his head back up, “I don’t…”

Then he goes limp as a bag of potatoes, and twice as heavy, as his body just gives up and he passes out between the pair.

“Whoa!” Suddenly, Guy is holding on to this kid so that he doesn’t flop back to the sand. Ducking his head, the boy’s good arm is thrown across his shoulders. Now he is really worried. “Shit.. Kid…” He jostles the kid a bit, with no results.

His gaze cuts over to Chess who he considers for a long moment. “Look. I get it, first impression sucks, it’s a bad place and my van could look weird to some, even though it’s awesome,” Yes, he really thinks it is. “But, like, can we both get the sticks out of our asses and get the kid up to my van? At least, he can lay down and not pull my back out.”

Honestly, Guy isn’t going to wait around for her to decide anything. Shifting his grip on Lance, the older man, turns away and starts moving back up towards the van. God.. he is gonna feel this later.

“Jesus,” sighs Chess when Lance suddenly swoons in Guy’s arms, and she does her part to keep him upright, awkwardly pushing him by hip and shoulder back toward the older man rather than down into the sand.

“Yeah, well, I’m not leaving him here unconscious with you,” is her retort to Guy; it’s hard for her to help carry Lance’s weight, because she doesn’t want to further harm the boy’s injured arm, but she moves closer to him, then over at Guy.

“Grab him under the knees, it’ll be quicker. On three. One, two, three…” With one hand on the back of Lance’s hoodie, she tosses her baseball into the sand so she can use that hand to lift Lance from his knees in a chair-carry position.
“I don’t care what you do… “ Guy growls out, at least she is helping. He following Chess’ lead and changing positions again. Once the kid is up, the older man half leads the way up, gritting his teeth against the weight. “How long you been living out here? I mean it’s got tp have been awhile with that ‘tude on such a tiny frame.” His tone isn’t insulting, even if what he says might be.

Once they manage to get up to the van, he has to let go of Lance’s leg so that he can fish out the keys. The back of the van is unlocked and the door opened to reveal the ugliest interior anyone has probably ever seen. Mustard yellow and browns… shag carpet over almost every surface.

“This part is trickier,” Guy comments blandly, nodding his head at the sleeping bag covered mattress that runs from one side of the van to the other, which sets on a box frame that is raised up off the floor of the van. “Gently…” He moves to hoist the kid into the back.


Lance’s revolver falls out at some point during the manhandling, landing in the sand. An armed teenager, apparently.

The gun is eyed when it falls out, and Chess glances at Guy, but continues to help Lance to the van. “I don’t live here. Or at least I don’t primarily live here. And I’m not tiny. Jesus.” Most girls would probably take it as a compliment. She doesn’t seem to.

“God, the inside is uglier than the outside. Is that possible?” Chess asks, doing what she can to help but it is tricky, and she sighs, looking up at Guy, her eyes narrowing as she studies him for a moment, before sighing again.

“If you slam that door closed on me, this entire van will be destroyed in half a second, I kid you not,” she warns, before she hops up inside the interior so she can help get Lance situated on the mattress, because it simply isn’t going to work with both of them lower than the mattress.

“I honestly, would have prefered purple… or something else, but can’t always be picky.” Guy rolls his eyes heavenward to ask the almighty for patience at the distrust. Not that he blames her really. He waits while she climbs in, holding the unconscious kid. “My old van got blown up on a run back in the war… and we were on the run from the government mooks. Found this baby in an old abandoned impound lot.” No cover story there, it was one of the few things true about this persona.

Once the kid is up in the van, he crouches down and picks up the gun. Lips press together with disapproval. He looks at the unconscious kid, who was probably no older than his own daughter. Part of him feels like he should hold on to it, but instead, he moves to lift Lances hoodie to find the holster. The revolver is pressed back in place and the safety strap snapped into place. “Sad shape of the world right there,” Guy murmurs half under his breath, as he tugs the hoodie back down. “Leave it.” He points at the girl accusingly, before disappearing around the side of the van.

Takes a moment, but then the side slides open so that he can pull the rifle and bag off, and set it inside. Chess is eyed warily, before he climbs in, hunched over to avoid cracking his head on the shaggy roof. The back was left open for her. “He’s gonna be hurtin’ bad when he wakes up… Poor kid. I know someone who might be able to help get his elbow in place again, till we can get him back to the mainland.” Well… might… Deckard can at least see how bad the damage is.

Chess narrows her eyes thoughtfully when Guy speaks about the war, her expression softening a little bit. “I fought in the war. Against the mooks.” Just in case he wasn’t clear on that. At least there’s some common ground of some sort between them.

Other than the shag carpeting.

But then he has to go and speak again. “I don’t want his gun,” Chess says, as if the idea is ludicrous. Still, that Guy gave it back to Lance suggests that he doesn’t seem to want to arm the kid.

She winces as she looks at the awkward hang of Lance’s arm. “I mean, if this was the war, I’d just shove it back in place and hope for the best, but I guess there might be better options. Otherwise I can just get him back to Brooklyn. We have actual doctors and shit there, you know?” The last is accompanied by a small smirk. The distrust is dissipating, if a bit slowly.

There is a long moment where Guy considers what she is, weighing the options in his head, finally he gives a heavy sigh. He moves to sit in the swivel chair — looks like it could be out of an RV — and sits back. “Quit talking sense, woman!” It’s said as a joke of course… Even though she is right.

“So… I know you said you’d pay to get him over,” Guy reminds her, arching a brow, “but how you gonna move him around once you do get over there?” Stretching out his legs in front of him, he tilts his head to look around the divider enough to look at the conked out kid. Not moving from that position, he looks over at Chess. “You gonna carry him?” Cause, right now this man is NOT leaving his van alone long enough for a sketchy boat trip.

Lance, for his part, does not seem like he’s going to be waking up anytime soon; he’s out like a light, and even the certainty that moving his arm is probably painful didn’t wake him up. Eighteen years of drenched, limp teenager here.

The question is one she’s not prepared for, and Chess is quiet for a moment, staring down at Lance with a scowl of concentration. She heaves a sigh and suddenly reaches for the door to swing it closed, because it is cold outside, even for someone who isn’t soaking wet.

“I could call someone for help,” she says, but it’s not very confident sounding. The fact she’s on Staten even part of the time probably means there’s reasons she might not want to call for help when she’s in the Safe Zone.

“Shit, he’s really out. That’s not good.” Chess reaches to touch Lance’s face with the back of her hand, as if that is going to tell her anything. She begins to tuck the sleeping bag around him. “You have a friend that’s a medic or something?” she glances at Guy, resignation in her expression. She won’t admit he’s right.

There is a smirk on Guy’s face as he finally wins this little show down. “Medic… No. But, since I ain’t been here all that long, he might know a guy at least.” Feet are pulled in and the older man reaches out to pull the sliding door shut. “I’d like.. call, but service is shit out here.” If push comes to shove and he has to make a run off the island he can leave the van there with Flint.

It is awkward, but Guy manages to crawl into the driver’s seat and settles in.

He repositions the mirror where he can see Chess in it and the kid, not like he can see out the back anyhow. “I know it ain’t much of an option, but it might the best one I got at the moment.” That said, Guy starts up the van, which rumbles to life, with a cough.

As he puts it into gear, he glances back at the occupants, “If he does wake up, there are painkillers in the bag and water in the cooler. It ain’t super cold, but it’ll do the job.”

“Like I said, I’d just wrench it into place and hope for the best, which I did a few times back in the war,” says Chess, sounding for all the world like a grizzled old war vet, despite the fact she’s probably not yet 25. “So probably a better option than that, at least.” It isn’t saying a lot, but it’s saying he’s right — without saying he’s right.

She continues to tuck the sleeping bag around the young man and covers him as well with the NYU sweatshirt that she’s not sure about pulling onto him with his injured arm.

“Sorry for coming off a bit defensive. I kind of had a run-in with some traffickers not long ago, so I wasn’t looking for an encore, yeah? Anyway, you seem all right, despite having a creeper van.” She lifts a brow to the mirror, her lips curving up in one corner of her mouth.

“War hero or not.”

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