Friends And Enemies


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Scene Title Friends and Enemies
Synopsis Having just narrowly avoided death, Norman White tries to ascertain exactly what just happened and who's fault it is.
Date October 6, 2009


"What the hell was that!?"

A demanding roar shudders the windows of an old brick canning factory. Dirty panes of glass let in the muted glow of streetlights from outside, and within the darkened halls of the cannery, a towering man soaked from rain uses his tremendous strength to throw a child-like tantrum. Machinery that has sat abandoned for years is pushed aside from a shove, the clattering crash of metal striking concrete comes as loud as Norman White's furious voice. "I told you to keep an eye out! I told you!"

Cowering away from Norman, the wiry form of Christian Bender presses his back up against the wall, dark eyes wide as he finds himself bearing the brunt of Norman's fit of rage. Further away, the tall and dark form of Marina waits with arms crossed over her chest, a look of guilt spread across her face as she stares down at her feet. "You made me look like an idiot on national television!" Thundering footsteps draw Norman up towards Kris, grabbing him by the collar and lifting him up off of his feet. "Did you actually write my speech like I asked you to!? Or did you just crib it from something else!?"

"I— I— " Brown eyes are as wide as windows, staring down at Norman's expression. Shaking from head to toe, Kris's answer comes in the form of a sudden fireworks display of crackling reddish-pink light and an audible popping as he vanishes from within White's grasp and appears behind Marina. Breathing in deeply, he staggers back as Marina moves to the side. "Norman!" Kris' hands come up, shaking, "N— Norman I'm not a fucking speech writer I did the best I could okay!?"

A scowl settles in on Norman's face, upper lip lifting like a snarling animal as he starts to stalk around a conveyor belt with plodding footfalls, he only stops to feverishly scratch at the back of his neck, still itching from the powder grenade Richard Cardinal used. White's hesitation earns a moment for Marina to finally step in and try and defuse the situation. "Don't blame Kris, we both tried to stop Shard. Someone else stepped in, some blonde girl with a shotgun. You're lucky Kris and I're still alive f'you to be shoutin' at."

The rumbling rattle of a sliding metal door opening preceeds the chiming in of another voice as well. "She's right, Norman…" Doc's wavering tone takes charge of the senseibility in the room as he guides young Risa in ahead of him, folding his umbrella closed after she slips out from under it. "We had all eyes on us, Norman, we just don't have enough hands on deck to be able to cover everything." Shaking the umbrella off, Doc leaves it by the door as he slides it closed, quieting the sound of torrential rain outside.

"Who was it?" White growls out the question, scratching at the side of his face, dark red streaks on his skin where flesh is tender from the constant irritation and scratching. Risa just shakes her head, eyes downcast to the floor as she makes her way inside, coming up to Norman but stopping short when she sees the glittering metal and glass fibers embedded in his skin and clothing.

"We didn't stick around long enough to…" The young girl's eyes close, head head tilting down in a defeated gesture. "I'm sor— "

"You don't need to apologize." Doc insists, walking up behind her as he looks over her shoulder to Norman. "I was just protecting her like you told me to. The second gunshots started happening, I got her out of there as fast as I could." Stren and tired eyes level up to Norman's impressive height, watching the behemoth of a man gradually calm down. "We should have had everyone there Norman."

A low grunt comes from Norman as he shoulders past Doc, running his fingers through his hair, nails itching at his scalp as he does. "I saw a man turn to shadow on the Ferris wheel…" Norman's voice rumbles in low tone as he makes the accusation, "I need to find out who he is." Looking over his shoulder, that demand is lobbed to Risa. She nods, understanding, but this time White wants to make it clear. "You and Doc will go back to Coney Island in a few days, find out whatever you can about what happened." Snorting loudly, there's a growl of frustrating as Norman's hands itch at the sides of his face, "Aargh I'll kill him when I find him!"

"What about Phoenix?" Marina finally asks, one brow quirked up in curiosity. Norman hesitates, looking to Doc, then over to Marina. "We still haven't figured out if it's Dean's people who're the ones targeting us. She was there that night on Staten Island when people started shooting into the crowd, and I'm not sure if she was there tonight— but I saw people wearing Phoenix symbols on their jackets. Maybe that blonde british guy— the one who planted the bombs— maybe he wasn't Humanis First at all?"

Both Doc and Norman immediately catch on to where that line of thought is going. "You think Phoenix set up explosives to take out Norman and blamed it on Humanis First?" The old man's incredulous tone couldn't be much more incredulous. "They aren't PARIAH, Marina. They don't do things like that, they're a non-violent— "

"Non-violent my ass." Kris finally speaks up again, standing by one of the windows with a sour look on his face. "Dude, they came in guns fucking blazing when they attacked Moab. You see how many security guards they whacked? Hell, they took out that whole goddamned team of Evolved guards that showed up and I don't think they lost a single goddamned person. We're talking about fucking kids my age, and they put the hurt-down on fucking Evo-Swat guys."

That much shuts Doc up, tension running through his shoulders as he considers Kris' words. Marina nods her head, taking a few paces across the warehouse floor towards Norman. "Kris is right. You know they don't trust us, Helena grandstanded at our own rally to get out her message. Who's to say she didn't have some of her own people set up that bomb and try and kill you when it failed? We don't know if we can trust them." Marina's coal-black eyes narrow as she comes to stand right next to the far taller Norman, eyes narrowing to a squint as she looks up at him. "We need to start figuring out who's on our side and who's our enemy."

"Kris." Norman looks away from Marina. "Send a message to that technopath that helped us out tonight. See if he knows anything." Norman's eyes settle down on Doc, then over to Risa. "Alright, figure out what you can at Coney Island, but Kris and Marina are right. We don't know if we can trust Phoenix to help us until we figure out how Helena Dean thinks. I want you and Marina to to a swap in a few days, we'll figure out what the fuck is going on, and if Shard's working with her or not."

Texting away on his phone, Kris looks up to Risa silently as he does. His eyes and that of the young Russian girl's meet for a moment, but both quickly look away from one another. But in returning his attention to his phone, there's a frustrated sigh that slips out. "Fuck," that much catches everyone's attention. "This Monk guy says that's as far as he goes. He says: Information demands freedom, and everyone deserves the opportunity to have their words spoken, even if I do not agree with them. Good luck, brothers. I will be watching." Kris' brows furrow. "Man what the fuck is with that guy?"

A groan rumbles out of White as he itches behind his ear, unshouldering his ruined jacket to fall heavily to the floor with a wet slap. "We're going back to Staten Island…" Norman murmurs, "I don't want to have to make an example of this whole goddamned city…" when he reaches one of the tall windows, Norman stares out at the rainy streets and the glow of streetlights. "But if they keep pushing me…" his voice becomes a deep, throaty growl again, "so help me they'll be calling this place New Atlantis."

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