cardinal_icon.gif lita_icon.gif f_reed2_icon.gif terry_icon.gif

Scene Title Graffiti
Synopsis Reed takes Mallory's body for a test drive, stumbling upon Lita committing a crime and taunting the police. Cardinal stops by for art appraisal.
Date April 28, 2009

The Bronx

Just north of the wreckage left by the bomb, where the construction tapers away and life as usual starts to pick up again, with bustling streets full of people going about their daily business. The crowds are somewhat lessened by the setting of the sun, as fewer people wish to be out after dark with the increase in crime and unlawful activity since the disaster. It's not nearly so bad as it was two years ago, but nevertheless there are far safer places to be at night.

Case in point, there's a something illegal going on at the front of one of the smaller apartment buildings, where a vandal works with a can of spraypaint. She's dressed in far oversized clothes, and her face is hidden, but it's hard to hide the distinct curves a healthy feminine figure. The aerosol can in her hand hisses away as she adds to the growing design on the brick building, right across doors and windows. A happy little family in silhouette, husband and wife holding their young daughter's hands, all three apparently dressed quite nicely. Their heads, however, are old-style televisions with dials, each with their screen shattered. Beneath them are the words "Capitalism Kills" in bold face. The main image is finished in rough, with only the color and detail to be filled in.

It's up from the direction of those uninhabitable zones that a man walks; a pair of wrap-around shades perched upon the bridge of his nose despite the fall of the sun beneath the horizon, arms swinging easily at his sides as he strolls over the dirty sidewalks towards the more-civilized parts of the city.

The graffiti vandalism causes Cardinal to pause, however, at a healthy distance as he cranes his neck to check out the 'piece with an appraising expression, a smile tugging up at one corner of his lips.

Stepping around the corner, coming from the still healthy parts of the city, Terry walks into the area, adjusting a black windbreaker on his shoulders as he walks. In one hand, he is holding a bouquet of flowers that bounce around as he adjusts his arms to fix the coat. He looks tired, eyes looking strained, but attentive as he moves. With his free hand he starts fishing in his pants pocket for something, and then stops abruptly as he sees the graffiti. His eyes take in the work, and the person performing it, and 'appreciative' looks like the last word that he would choose to describe it, as a small frown makes its way onto his face. He shakes his head, however, and continues walking along the street, only occasionally glancing at the artist and her creation.

The little would-be artist glances frequently about, especially at the approach of footsteps on the pavement, in case someone of authority should show up, necessitating that she cheese it out of there. Cardinal's appraisal of her work strikes her as vaguely amusing, but she ignores him for the time being, while Terry's glowering at her earns only a flip of the bird with her free hand as she turns to continue working. If no one harasses her, she'll just keep at it until she's finished, disapproving looks or no.

It has been an interesting morning. Granted, Reed was a seventeen year old boy when he died, and was sucked into the Internet thanks to his ability. In the key realm of things, he is still just seventeen years old. Yet, after coming to the past, where he would only be 7 years old, he finds himself in an interesting position. He has spent the last several month traveling through the internet, first in the future — then in the past. And nods, he's inside the body of an 18 year old woman. He doesn't have any of her memories, though he has poked around to see if he can access anything. So far, he hasn't been able to tap into those memories, so the boy — the girl is flying blind here. She steps out into the cool, wearing a hoodie and heads out. She walks down the street, in a hurry as she shuffles along with a hood over her head, bundled up. She keeps her head down and rounds the corner, where she is about to step right into Terry who seems to have his attention turns towards something off to the side.

The direction of the artist's bird-flipping brings Cardinal's attention along over towards the man in the windbreaker, his lips pursing in a tight frown. He's seen that guy before. Flashing a badge and everything — well, hopefully he won't decide to hassle the girl working on the wall. He notices the hooded girl as well, but with it up, there's no recognition. So instead he looks back over to Lita, calling easily, "Nice 'piece."

Terry, apparently, is far too focused on Lita to pick up on Reed's approach. The flipping of the bird leads to him chuckling, and then turning to look forward just in time to bump shoulders with the 18 year old girl. The hand in his pocket is pulled out in a hurry, and Terry's car keys come with it, landing on the ground with a loud *clink*. "Oh, crap," Terry half mutters to himself, and puts a hand up as a buffer between himself and the girl, to steady her if needed, or just to keep anything worse from happening. "Sorry about that, miss," he says, and then crouches down to pick up his keys.

There's silence from the tiny punk for a while after Cardinal calls out to her, the girl simply putting the current can of paint back in her shoulder bag and pulling out another of a different color. Then, just when it seems that she's not going to respond at all, she speaks up. It's a little muffled through the respirator over her mouth, but she talks loud enough to make herself heard. "It ain't supposed to be nice, dick. It's supposed to be offensive and thought-provoking."

She goes silent again for a moment as she shakes the can, uncaps it, and goes back to work, adding highlights of yellow around the black letters and stencil-shapes of the people that give it something of a caution sign feel. "People start likin' it, then I'm doin' it wrong."

Reed oofs as her shoulder his bumped by the man, and her hood falls back to expose her head and face. She takes a step back, almost immediately uttering an apology. She hears his keys drop and she also bends down to help pick them up, nearly crashing heads with him. She's going to have to start getting used to being in a body again. Before she was cruising the internet with very few boundaries, here — there are boundaries. She's going to have to get used to them. She sees he has the keys, as her gaze turns to the girl decorating the wall and can hear her talking. She stands up and looks over at the creation. Something tugs at her mind, as if she's seen that girl before. But as has been the case, she cannot delve into that memory and tug it out.

Really, she knows very little about who she is supposed to be other than where she lives and the fact that she has a brother, whom she barely spoke a word to and slipped out before he said more than a couple of things to. She turns back to Terry and smiles faintly. "Might want to watch where you're going instead of watching girls." she snips, as she starts to move around him.

"That explains it," Cardinal replies rather casually to the irritated punk-girl without even missing a beat, "I'm generally considered t'be pretty offensive myself." That said, he glances at the watch wrapped around one wrist, lips pursing in a grimace before he starts back down the roadside once more, adding in a call back over his shoulder, "Cop over there didn't seem to care for it, so you must be doin' something right."

Terry smirks at Reed's response, and then casually tucks his keys back into his pocket. "Maybe," he says, and then stands up again. He chuckles, and shakes his head, clearly not expecting even that cheerful of a reaction to his oversight. He turns and starts walking down the street again, this time paying much closer attention to where he's going, until the word 'cop' is said. He stops walking, this time, and glances over at the wall again. His eyes move down the street to Cardinal, and looks thoughtful for a second. He glances from Cardinal, to Lita, and then back to Cardinal again before resuming his walk.

Lita persists in focusing most of her attention on her graffiti, only halfway listening to Cardinal. That is, up until he mentions the cop, at which point her head snaps around, searching the street in both directions for signs of police. Instead of uniformed law enforcement, though, all she finds is Terry looking at her and the mysterious man in the sunglasses. "No wonder he didn't say shit, if he's a cop," she replies to Cardinal, though apparently looking at Terry. It's hard to tell with her face covered. "The cops around here are all pussies, don't fuckin' do nothin'."

With a shrug, she turns back to her graffiti, apparently unconcerned about the presence of someone who may or may not be affiliated with the police. Her gaze wanders back in his direction, though, and she raises a hand in a wave to the other girl, accompanied by a call of, "Yo, Patsy."

Having no clue that Terry is a cop, Reed moves around him and continues on. "Jerk.." she mutters under her breath. She hears Lita calling for someone named "Patsy", but Reed is a "Mallory", though she does look up at the other girl.

She points to herself as if asking "Me?" She stops and glances up at the female. "That's not my name." There's that tugging again at her brain as she looks up at the girl. There is something familiar.. Reed is almost tempted to ask if the girl knows her, but instead walks up to where she is. "Are you talking to me?" She tucks her hands into the pockets of her jacket and looks up at the artwork. "And.. what are you doing?"

Bumping into people on the street, being late to get to the hospital, and now he has to choose whether or not to let himself be baited by hoodlums. Terry is having a bad day. As he finally gets to the car, that is apparently enough to help make his decision for him. He unlocks the door with a remote on his keys, tosses the flowers in, slams the door, and then relocks it. The car's *beep* as it locks is almost exactly in time with the door closing.
As he steps around the car, he only half looks up and down the street for traffic, and then starts walking across the street. He's walking with purpose, now, and anything half alert and tired about him has faded away.

"No, dumbass, the faerie sitting on your shoulder," Lita replies to the girl, voice positively dripping with sarcasm. "You took off before I could get your name, yesterday, so Patsy it is until you tell me otherwise." The little punk lifts the goggles from her eyes, briefly, as if this will clear up any confusion, then settles them back in place on the bridge of her nose.

Terry is given a sidelong glance as he starts making his way towards them, hidden by the dark lenses, and she casually puts away the can of spraypaint, leaving her hand in the bag. "Where'd you go, anyway? Mysterio said something about you havin' an issue with that chick with the notebook. You missed a pretty good free lunch. Dude wasn't so bad once he stopped talking if fucking riddles."

Reed has no clue what she's talking about. Not one clue. She studies the girl for a moment. So — she'll have to make stuff up as she goes. At least she knows that Lita is not her best friend or anything. She'd have known her name. "Yeah well, don't be fucking calling me Patsy. Name's Tay — Name's Mallory." She shrugs nonchalantly. "Don't believe everything that goofball tells you. The only problem I have with 'notebook girl' was that she was a bitch. Though — I think she stole my Shuffle." Whoa. No idea where that came from. But, somehow she knows it to be true. "I get my hands on that bitch and I'm gonna make her give it back.."

As Terry approaches Lita, the air wavers between the two of them. It looks vaguely like heatwaves, and lasts for a split second, before fading again. His hand reaches into his back pocket, and produces his wallet. He steps up to where the air wavered, and then says, "sorry to interrupt," sounding like he isn't, and talking more towards Reed than Lita, and then turns to Lita, "but my name is Detective Collins, NYPD. I /would/ have just been calling public works to get this cleaned up in the morning," he says, gesturing towards the painting, "but I guess you caught me at the wrong time."

An indelicate snort comes from behind the respirator Lita's wearing, and she shakes her head. "'Make her give it back.' That's a hell of a threat right there. If I were her, I'd be shakin' in my pretty little Birkenstocks about now." Her head turns a little towards the cop as he approaches, then she turns to face him fully as he presents his badge and addresses her, hips cocked and chin held high.

"Oh ho, so now the big bad cop decides to do something after he gets called out in public by a little girl. Real brave, man. I tell you what, you asshats are something else." She takes a couple of slow steps away from Terry, until her back is against the wall of the building she was vandalizing, on a portion of wall where the paint is already dry. It's not so much of a defensive gesture, since she just leans casually against the brick, one hand still resting in her bag, with the other behind the small of her back. "So what's it gonna be now, hmm? You gonna whine at me until I give up? Sorry, sweetheart, but the puppydog eyes don't work on Yours Truly."

Great. Cop. Fucking outstanding. Reed was about to say something smartass back to Lita when Terry approaches. She just rolls her eyes and keeps her mouth shut. She doesn't really need this shit right now. She's still trying to cope being inside a girl's body. Granted, it was pretty cool at first — being the nerdy type and never really seen a live naked girl before, but, shit, he has no idea how to actually /be/ a girl. She's a tad preoccupied with this as Lita banters with the cop, basically making more of a nuisance of herself than she probably ought to. Whatever. Reed hasn't done anything, so she is going to keep it that way.

At Lita's speech, Terry just smirks. "Yeah. I waited 'til you opened your mouth. You're not worth my time, otherwise." He holds out his free hand, other one still holding onto the wallet, and starting to work it slowly back into his pocket. "So here's your choice, give me the spray can and walk away, or I'll take you down town and write you you up for vandalism." He trails off, and looks towards the painting again, before saying, "that, or you can run. I won't chase you, you'll just get to show me how brave you really are."

"Yeah, way to do your civic duty there, chief," Lita comments dryly. Even though her eyes are hidden, you can almost hear her roll them. Thus far she is clearly not impressed with his meager display of authority. "Bet'chu couldn't chase me if you wanted to, fatass. Pigs are all fat and lazy as shit. Man, if you wanna take my shit, you gotta fuckin' work for it. C'mon, Sergeant Bacon, bring it. Unless you're afraid of a girl. Hey, Mal, you still got that phone on you? I wanna get video of this dickwad to laugh at later."

Phone? Phone. She pats herself down to see if she even remembered to bring a phone. She didn't recall seeing one in the bedroom. She feels the bulking in her pocket and tugs out a phone. "Yeah, I don't think I have video on this one —" she looks from the cop to Lita and back again, as they volley comments back and forth. She scrolls through the menu, not even touching the button now as she mentally links into the device and makes it do exactly what she wants. "Oh wait. Camera. Let me check this." The application pops up and she points the camera from one to the next. She may not have her Shuffle, but she has this phone.

Terry sighs, and shakes his head. "I don't have time for this." He reaches into the pocket of his coat, and takes out his cell phone. He flips it open, holds it towards Lita, presses a button, then holds it towards the wall, and presses it again. As he turns away from Lita and Reed, the phone is taking a picture of the wall. He hits hang up, then holds down a button, calling the police station. When the phone connects, he says, "Hey, Matt, it's Collins. Can you send a unit to," he gives the current address, and then continues. "I need someone to pick up a perp for vandalism, and don't have my car." As he's talking, the air shimmers to Lita's left, then her right, then behind her, putting her in a box. Each action is deliberate, however, giving her plenty of opportunity to slip away. "Alright, thanks," he says, and then flips the phone closed.

When Terry goes for his phone, turning his attention away from Lita, her brows (the only visible portion of her face) draw down in annoyance. "Hey, jackass, I'm talkin' to you." The punk takes a step forward, gloved hand coming out from behind her back, empty, to reach for his phone as he snaps a photo of her. When it impacts the invisible wall between them, she recoils as if stung, and her eyebrows dart up in surprise. Oh. Balls.

"What the sh- Oh no you are not." The telltale shimmer of another barrier appears to one side of her, drawing her attention for a moment, and then she turns the other way to break for the door only a few feet down the wall. "Let's cheese it, he's Evolved!" she shouts, reaching for Mallory's wrist to drag her along for the second time in two days.

That hand finally emerges from her messenger bag clutching a polaroid photo, which she slaps against the surface of the door. Despite being an electronic security door, it swings open under her touch, and visible through it is not the interior of the apartment building, but another street in a different part of town. A street that she intends to beat feet down.

Second time? Ah. Sure. Well, first time for Reed anyway. She has no clue what is going on, as she is videoing the exchange between the two and when Terry puts up that 'wall' or whatever it was she shakes her head. Maybe she was better on in the internet. This is not entirely working out the way she intended. A hand goes around her wrist and she gets drug through this 'door' with Lita. She blinks as she is suddenly somewhere else. "What the fuck was that?" She jerks her hand away from the other girl's grip. "Why do you keep trying to get me involved in shit?" she snaps.

The door that the girls emerge from, now shut securely behind them, turns out to be the large, old wooden door of an Irish pub, complete with sign that reads 'Cead Mile Failte'. With the passage closed, Lita comes to a stop, relaxing visibly, and takes a moment to drop her hood and strip off the goggles and mask from her face. "Eh, reflex," she says with a shrug, unapologetic. "I'm used to having to drag my mates' asses out of the fire. You just happened to be there. It's not like he's coming after us or anything, so chill."

The mask and goggles are stuffed into her bag, along with the photo, and she sets off walking down the street with her hands in her pockets, unconcerned as to what Mallory does at this point. "Name's Lita, by the way," she calls back over her shoulder. "Call me sometime. We'll do lunch."

Reed just watches as Lita shrugs her off and walks away. Of course, Reed has no clue where she is at the moment, so she turns uttering a curse under her breath and walks off in the opposite direction. Not a bad little test drive in this new body, but there are still some things to be addressed. Oh — she might want to let the others know she's not in the Internet anymore.. that could cause a problem.

As Lita runs away, dragging Reed/Mallory behind her, Terry simply stands and watches. As the door swings shut behind the pair, he walks slowly up to it, and places a hand on the door, almost where the picture landed. He examines it for a few seconds, and then tries the handle. It is, surprisingly, unlocked. However, when he opens it, the street that he saw before is gone, replaced by a dingy hallway of a run down apartment building. He peers down the hallway for a few long moments, and then lets out a quiet "huh." He closes the door slowly behind himself, and then starts walking towards his car again. He reopens his phone while he walks, and considers it. Finally, he dials a different number, and brings the phone up to his ear. "Hello," he says when the line connects. "It's Collins. I just found something you might want to know about."

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