Hazing 101


aidan_icon.gif claire_icon.gif eve_icon.gif grace_icon.gif helena_icon.gif trask2_icon.gif

Scene Title Hazing 101
Synopsis A "sorority hazing" in Central Park goes very wrong and attracts way more attention than the "sisters" really needed.
Date September 1, 2008

Central Park

Central Park has been, and remains, a key attraction in New York City, both for tourists and local residents. Though slightly smaller, approximately 100 acres at its southern end scarred by and still recovering from the explosion, the vast northern regions of the park remain intact.

An array of paths and tracks wind their way through stands of trees and swathes of grass, frequented by joggers, bikers, dog-walkers, and horsemen alike. Flowerbeds, tended gardens, and sheltered conservatories provide a wide array of colorful plants; the sheer size of the park, along with a designated wildlife sanctuary add a wide variety of fauna to the park's visitor list. Several ponds and lakes, as well as the massive Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, break up the expanses of green and growing things. There are roads, for those who prefer to drive through; numerous playgrounds for children dot the landscape.

Many are the people who come to the Park - painters, birdwatchers, musicians, and rock climbers. Others come for the shows; the New York Shakespeare Festival at the Delacorte Theater, the annual outdoor concert of the New York Philharmonic on the Great Lawn, the summer performances of the Metropolitan Opera, and many other smaller performing groups besides. They come to ice-skate on the rink, to ride on the Central Park Carousel, to view the many, many statues scattered about the park.

Some of the southern end of the park remains buried beneath rubble. Some of it still looks worn and torn, struggling to come back from the edge of destruction despite everything the crews of landscapers can do. The Wollman Rink has not been rebuilt; the Central Park Wildlife Center remains very much a work in progress, but is not wholly a loss. Someday, this portion of Central Park just might be restored fully to its prior state.

It's a nice day, out in central park. The sky is clear, but it is neither hot nor cold, more just the right temperature. There is a faint breeze blowing, and it's even coming from the right direction to insure the wind hasn't been blown through the radiation crater. Everything is beautiful and right in the world for a change.

Norton Trask, is out for a walk with a coworker, eating a sandwich and talking to Aidan, who he had offered to buy lunch for, since the other man had been able to fix his computer that morning. While he still wears his uniform, he has the subtle walk of someone who is not actually on duty.

Aidan walks alongside Trask munching on the sandwich in his hands. His own work clothes are decidedly more casual than Trask's uniform. "This is the perfect day to be outside. Don't get too many perfect ones in a year." He comments idly as he tilts his face up to look at he blue sky.

Another pair are out in the park, though not for lunch. Dressed in sweat-damped exercise clothes, Grace and Alistair jog in step — not down a pathway, but across the greenswards, crossing the trails rather than using them. This does mean they have to dodge a Frisbee and an overeager retriever at one point, but no one trips, falls, or gets hurt. Fortunately.

Perched high up in a tree, dressed from head to toe in varying shades of green, is a short brunette woman. She's currently using a small Maglite and what appears to be a pie tin, sending reflections of the light off into the sky in intermittent bursts. As surreptitiously as possible, of course. Anybody who might spot her would likely think she looks rather silly. This suits Claire Bennet just fine. Silly is better than suspicious.

Trask finds himself a nice spot, a bench just under the occupied tree. He doesn't look up, and as such doesn't see the girl in said tree. He takes a seat and another bite of his sandwich, pulling the can of soda out of the bag and opening it he takes a nice long draught and gives a contented sigh.

Aidan settles in near Trask. He sits down on the ground, leaning back against that occupied tree as he munches on his sandwich. "Seems like lots of people had the idea of coming to the park today." He comments to Trask, still apparently in small talk mode. "You could have brought the computer out for some of it's six hours of sunlight."

Grace and Alistair aren't looking up either — they don't have reason to. Just as well for Claire, since they're both familiar with the concept of signaling lights. Slowing to a walk once Grace's watch starts beeping at them, the pair exchange looks but still don't speak. There's no need. As they walk down in the direction of the tree, Grace notes a familiar face; she waves in Aidan's direction.

The pie tin and flashlight are stuffed into a small canvas backpack which is subsequently zipped up and pulled up over Claire's shoulders. Both straps. Wouldn't want to lose the thing, would she? She peers down below and curses to herself. There's someone in her landing path.

Wait a second. Claire knows that face. The betrayal stings. Like a knife to the gut. That's Sergei down there. It clouds her judgment and she reacts, well… rashly. With an angry shout, the former cheerleader drops down and through the branches, heedless of the scratches and bumps she receives on the way, and comes crashing down atop of Trask.

One moment you're just an off duty cop, enjoying a soda and sandwich in the park, the next moment a kamikaze cheerleader is dive bombing you. I'm sure it happens every day. Trask's food goes flying into the air as he is caught completely off guard, being knocked off the bench by the force of Claire's use of Newton's apple theory. "Who?What?Where?" he asks as he tries to scramble out from under the teenage assassin.

Aidan jumps up putting his back to the tree when Claire divebombs Trask. "What the hell?" He asks. There's some kind of comment half signed around his sandwich that probably isn't too wonderfully cheerful.

And coming along the path is a young lady in a pink t-shirt and a pair of jeans, her long blonde hair left to hang loose down her back. Her appearance might perhaps be serendipitous as she rushes right up to the sprawl of Claire and Trask. "Like, ohmigod!" she flaps her hands, eyes going saucer-wide. "I like, totally can't believe you did it! You must -really- want to get into the sorority, honey!" She moves over and tries to grab Claire's arm to disentangle her from Trask, hissing under her breath, "What are you doing? Have you gone nuts?" Then loudly, "Sorry, Mister. Hazing for pledges is just so full of pressure, you know?"

The yell and the dropping form cause the attention of both Grace and Alistair to snap up to the tree, guns practically leaping into their hands. They're only pointed at the fracas for about a grand total of three seconds, the time it takes for the pair to figure out the attacker is a teenage girl. (Not that she isn't potentially dangerous — just less a candidate to get shot.) Alistair circles one way, Grace the other, the woman sliding her gun back into its holster (but not snapping the holding strap into place). "Hey!" she calls, gravelly voice snapping through the air. By the way, Claire — you have an audience. Blue eyes flick to the girl who comes into the scene to drag Claire out. Grace — and, by extension, Alistair — relaxes a bit more, noting only in a vague way that the newest arrival is familiar.

"Let go of me! Let go!!" Claire fights Helena as she pulls her off of the man she knows as Sergei. She actually cries out when the blonde pulls her right elbow back into place through their struggling. Something that didn't happen naturally this close to the nullifier. The scratches on her face remain unhealed, and she's just realizing she's going to have to keep proximity to keep it this way. Otherwise, well… That'll blow cover just a bit. She finally takes a few deep breaths to calm herself, flashing Helena a dark, but somehow grateful, look. "Yeah. I guess I really do. Didn't know I had it in me." She turns back to "Sergei" and shrugs apologetically. "Sorry, Mister. The sisters dared me, you know?" Her eyes narrow just a touch, though. It's a subtle, but dangerous expression. Tonight. You.

Eve Mas then chooses this opportunity to walk in. Her eyes narrow as she sees Helena, Sergei and Claire. What the hell are they doing? She is dressed in a dark blue dress with black leather boots. Her dark hair frames her face and she tilts her head, "What the hell.." she mutters and then shakes her head. Deciding to stay where she is for the moment, she does make sure that her fellow terrorists can see her though.

Trask pushes himself up, dusting off the roast beef and grass that now adorns his uniform, he looks at Claire with a look that is a combination of frustration and a little bit of sadness. He looks about to say something, then his eyes scan to Aidan, and the other by standers. His eyes then move to Helena. "You put her up to this? Attacking a police officer?"

Helena makes a little noise of exasperation, "Oh trust me," she says, "Better this than having to run down a block of SoHo in a bunny outfit." Like she's inferring that's what she had to do. "We should totally get you back to campus, honey." Because seriously, they need to get out of there. She blinks at Trask. "Mister, I'm a /pledge/. You wanna go knocking on the Delta Nu door to complain about a brunette falling out of the sky and into their laps," she gives him a vapid smile, "Hey, that's totally like, up to you. C'mon, Muffy." MUFFY. Claire's so gonna kill her.

Aidan looks between the people quickly, trying to follow who is talking at each point. "Jumping on police? For a sorority? Are they totally crazy?" He asks, keeping his back up against that tree. He looks up into the branches again, as if to make sure there's no more women up there to jump out.

Grace folds her arms across her chest and settles into the role of onlooker. "Well. That was a little more excitement than I expected to find today," the woman remarks, to no one in particular. Narrowed eyes focus on Claire, considering her yell. "You all right?" She sounded rather like she got hurt, at any rate.

Since the trouble seems to be over, Alistair holsters his weapon, snapping the restraint into place.

"Yeah," Claire responds flatly. "Absolutely crazy." She bristles visibly when Helena calls her, of all things, Muffy. "Sorry," she mutters, this time to everyone. Especially the people with guns drawn. "Yeah. M'fine. Nothing a little time won't heal." Very little time. She grabs Helena's arm and turns away from the crowd, poised to hurry away. "Come on, Karma," as in, it's going to come back to bite you in the ass, "let's go."

"So like, sorry, Mister!" Helena gives Trask a sunny smile, seeming oblivious to the whole guns out thing (she's not though, believe it) and seems happy to let Claire tug her along, heading away from the scene the faux brunette has caused. She'll save the query of 'are you high on crack' for when they're firmly out of earshot.

Then Eve's eyes widen and settle on what Sergei is wearing. It's not Halloween. She opens her mouth and shuts it. She begins to walk forward and then she stops as she hears 'Muffy'. She then intercepts the two girls as they are walking away, she just sort of slides into place with them, "What the hell was that about?" she hisses and turns her head briefly to give "Sergei" a hard look. And her hair blows a little in the wind. She gets ready to say something else and she shakes her head. This is /so/ confusing.

Trask watches the girls go and he gives Aidan a little smile, "They always said there were wackos in Central Park but that takes the cake." There is not a trace of the normal Russian touch to his voice that the girls would be familiar with. "I think we need to warn the rest of the force, before one of these pledges gets herself shot."

Aidan nods his head. "Well, that's one benefit to being the resident computer geek. No girls throwing themselves at you." Aidan pauses. "Wait. Maybe that isn't a benefit." He jokes looking off after them in some bit of confusion. "Girls." He mutters.

"That might be a good idea," Grace agrees to Trask, raspy voice even drier than normal. She watches the pair — now trio — of girls walking away. That one seems rather old for a sorority — but whatever. It's not her business. Blue eyes flick back to the two men, then past them to Alistair. Grace pulls a cellphone — looks like a fairly inexpensive model — out of a pocket and holds it up for Alistair to see, then waves him off. He lifts a hand in acknowledgment and jogs off through the park, nowhere near the direction the girls are traveling in.

"I have to jog," Claire informs the other two girls. "I need to get away from the crowd quickly. Keep up if you want." Already away from Trask's dampening field, the cuts on her face are beginning to close up. The still slightly-awkward angle of her right elbow is straightening out. She takes two steps into the jog she's about to break into and then stops, looking down at Helena's feet. "…Are those my boots?" With a disgusted sigh, a guttural sound from the back of her throat, she takes off down the path at a run.

"We need to go see Cam. As soon as possible." Helena informs Claire. "We have to tell him there's a mole." With that, she jogs along with Claire, fully intent on keeping up. Off-handedly she adds, "They look better on me anyway." And with that, she too jogs off, adding over her shoulder to Eve, "Keep up, if you're gonna."

"Good idea" Eve says to Claire and Helena and she follows after her, keeping pace. She has /got/ to talk to Cameron about this. Does he know? Of course he does? right? "This is bad, /really/ bad" she says and her dress flies behind her as she jogs.

Trask heads in the opposite direction, frowning to himself. He looks back to see if Aidan is keeping up.

Aidan blinks as Trask takes off. He hasn't even noticed Grace in trying to at least get the gist of what was being said between Trask and the girls. His sandwich is brought back up to his mouth as he hurries after Trask.

Watching the various parties depart, Grace shakes her head slowly. She tucks her phone back into a pocket and jogs off as well, in another totally different direction. Seems like everyone has different places to be now.

August 31st: Symbols

Previously in this storyline…

Next in this storyline…

September 1st: Scars
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