He Sent Me


huruma_icon.gif knox_icon.gif

Scene Title He Sent Me
Synopsis A game of hunter and prey carries on in the labyrinthine tunnels beneath Midtown, and Knox comes to deliver a message to Huruma…
Date April 15, 2010

Ruined Tunnel Networks

During the storm of this Spring, many creatures great and small have sought out various modes of hiding away in semi-hibernation until it vanishes into warm weather patterns. Being one of those creatures, Huruma has made an effort to multiply her hideaways during this artificial winter; though she keeps such places regularly wherever she happens to go, she always has a few that seem to be homes to her. A real house- maybe a roomie of some questionable nature- you know how it is. The places that she has nested down below the city, however, are all very bare and ramshackle things- enough so that she may be able to stay at one and sleep comfortably should she be unable to get to another, more preferable location. A bed of sorts, perhaps an old, duct-taped cooler, a kerosene lamp, perhaps an old, leatherbound book. This one is the same, tucked away somewhere along the tunnel networks.

Hidden enough that generally, nobody will simply stumble upon it, masked by the noises of underground generators and the blocked off sections of trackline. When someone finds it, it has to be on purpose; once or twice, Huruma has found that her nests have been disturbed by other creatures searching for a place to sleep amidst not having another. It displeases her, but as long as they are not there for her to find it is as if nothing happened.

The instance now is little different- someone has not only found the place, tucked away inside of an old, shadowy boiler room- but they had followed her there. Being as she is, she knew they were tailing her- and once she graces the divide of tunnel and room, her first motive is to find a place to skulk into. To hide, to wait. To be patient enough to see them follow her further, to where they will no longer find themselves at ease.

Below the streets of New York City is a place Benjamin Washington has been spending more and more time as of late. While the Ferrymen who dwell in the more easily accessible portions of the subterranean tunnel networks know him as Knox, all the resident of this tucked away hideout knows him as is an intruder. All black leather, from zippered motorcycle jacket to pants, Knox seems fit dressed for an Autumn ride on the back of a Harley than an excursion underground, but the scuffs on his clothing seem to indicate that he wears those rugged leathers for more than just riding.

Flashlight clicking off when he sees the glow of hanging electrical lamps within the boiler room entrance, Knox reaches to the front of his jacket and pulls his bright red scarf down from over his mouth, tucking it under his chin like a blood-colored collar. Beyond the threshold of the boiler room's maintenance entrance, Knox pauses and looks back over his shoulder to the lightless corridors, shaved head quirking to the side and dark brows furrowing. He's only still a few moments before turning back around and advancing in past a noisy wall of steam pipes that drip with condensation in the cold tunnel.

Between those rusted pipes, Knox fails to notice the dark-skinned woman crouched in their shadows, fails to differentiate the whites of her eyes from the reflection of light on the beaded water on rusted metal. He's unarmed, at least in traditional terms, and as Knox's heavy boots clomp past where the predatory form of Huruma is tucked away like a leopard in tall grass, he mistakes the tingling feeling of hair rising on the back of his neck for something other than what it is.

Huruma has all the time in the world. She allows him to investigate for as long as it seems to take him to venture back and slink his way past the just-lit kerosene bulb and the mattresses stuffed into the corner nearby it. Nothing, really. Enough.


At first, it sounds just like the rumbling and knocking of the piping. When the iron door slams shut against its frame, it is clear that it was not. The room is small enough to be seen as a singular place, but its length was enough to allow its major denizen to make her way out from behind the steaming metal and effectively lock Knox inside. With her. Her figure against the aged colors of the background cuts an inky blotch of dark brown and black over gunmetal and rust. There is a fresh layer of condensation on her skin and the bristly, short black hair on her head, from her waiting in the humid air here. Truly, this is a place to be in the winter months,

But not now. Not with her there. Huruma has had some minutes to observe him as it is, and so perhaps out of generosity- gives him a moment of staring silence.

Lifting his hands up but not relinquishing his grip on his MagLite, Knox opens his other gloved palm in the universal sign of woah boy and takes a step back, th eheel of his right boot clunking against the edge of the mattress. "Huruma?" Knox is careful to ask, both brows lifted as he very slowly begins to crouch towards the ground, eyes staying alight on her taller frame. He lays the flashlight down, then lifts his freed hand, head bowing slightly and not moving up from his crouched position. Huruma can taste the fear on him, sweaty and thick in the air, she can almost feel the throb of his pulse on her tongue from across the room, hear the pump of his blood in her ears.

"I just wanna' talk, girl." Knox is handling her, perhaps properly so, the way one might handle a tiger that has gotten loose from its cage, slow motions and cautiously submissive posture. "I ain't here to cause no trouble, I just gotta' talk t'you about somethin', s'all…" A bead of sweat dribbles down Knox's brow, rolls down his cheek and drips off of his chin to land with an audible snap against the concrete floor in the silence between his words and hers.

Why does he feel like so much bait now?

Though the submissive and passive posturing is doing worlds for his presence, Huruma's attention seems to be drawn largely to his words and his mannerisms. The ones that are not being clouded by his fear of her, or the sound of blood rushing in a panic to his brain by pressure of adrenaline. She cannot see a weapon on him, but that is not to say he is totally powerless- if he had the balls enough to come after her in this sort of way, and into this kind of place- then perhaps there was a reason he thought that he could handle it.

Huruma's nostrils flare once in an exhale, dilated pupils watching Knox with a faint gleam of firelight at the corners. A pinprick of orange in depths of black against moon white. What lines of her face age and stress have given her find more definition when sought upon by humidity- the sharp angles of her eyebrows and cheekbones are razor's edge shadows on her face. Even the atmosphere knows that she is livid. Glaring offers nothing insofar as insight to what she is thinking, however, and these passing seconds are punctuated by a second, more threatening exhale through her nostrils.

"So talk." The dark woman's voice is slow to speak, yet curt in its tone.

"Word on the street's that you used to run with Adam Monroe." That's a very dark street that Knox has been getting word off of. "I ain't here to talk about him, but I am here to talk about a guy that ran in the same crowd. Ashley Williams, I dunno if you know him. Big on guns and big on fighting, soldier-boy. Said he helped Monroe knock off some Company founders a while back?" There's a quirk of one of Knox's brows as he moves to stand up straight, hands lowering as he considers Huruma more thoughtfully in the pause between breaths. "I work for an old friend of yours, Huruma. He tells me that you used to do good work for him, you come highly recommended…"

Resting his hands on his hips, Knox's dark brows furrow, head canting to the side. "Me, Erim, Claire, Ash, and a few other people you ain't met before smell the blood on the wind. I hear tell you were down in Madagascar fightin' against a dictator, well…" Knox rolls his tongue against the inside of his cheek. "I know this ain't your home soil, but the big boss wants your help fightin' a dictator here."

"I have many old friends." Huruma remarks firstly, somewhat bitterly so, her forearms slowly crossing at a point over her stomach. Spidery fingers find the crooks of either arm, and her lips purse in mild distaste. "Your street'as bad information when it comes t'Adam, however." Which is to say- there has never been a 'used to'. She still runs with him. Not that he has been doing much visible running.

"I fought against Rasoul b'cause I was given little other choice." The woman's lip curls upward, teeth meeting in a muffled click. "It only turned out t'be more of m'fight than I knew it t'be." Her manner and posture suggests that she is finding him increasingly bothersome; his information is this awful, and he comes looking for her? Huruma has gouged out better men's eyes for being in such a state.

"Who sent you, boy?"

"Ain't much choice in this either, girl. That noise your hear up above in the streets ain't just the wind, it's the beatin' of war drums that's been comin' almost four years now. When boots hit the street which side you gonna' be on? Because eventually there ain't gonna' be anywhere else left in the world to run, an'…" Knox furrows his brows, "You seem more like a fighter t'me." Sniffing the air, Knox takes a step forward, not threateningly, but assertively, less so the passive force now and more trying to put himself on something of an equal footing with Huruma, despite not being near as tall. "As for who sent me…"

When Knox opens his mouth to say the name, one of the steam pipes hisses noisily, enough to carry over much of the sound of the name he delivers, but not enough to keep it from Huruma's keen ears. With that revelation, Knox tilts his chin up and arches a brow when he looks to gauge Huruma's reaction.

"All I need to know is if you're interested." Knox notes, "You ain't, and you ain't gotta' see me no more. You are? Well… we got words to have."

Like some humanoid Cheshire Cat, Huruma's expression seems to bloom from the dark on her face. A smile cracking wide beneath her lips, ivory against plum brown. She laughs, loud and languorously so.

"Oh, oh, ooohhhh… Is tha'right?" One arachnid hand flutters up to crawl thoughtfully at the downward curve of her jawbone, one boot lifting to sway the woman suddenly closer to Knox. Perhaps a mote too quick of a movement, no matter how seemingly innocent it is- it is still a mild threat from her to subconsciously get him to realize that no- he is not her equal. At least, certainly not here.

"I did do good f'him, didn't I? I suppose that if he remains interested in me- there mus'be a more crystal reason than simply war f'th'sake of war. He always'ad a plan."

"Always." Knox notes with a firm nod of his head. "The boss found me when I was infiltrating Norman White back in the summer, took me aside and showed me what he was all about…" Knox rolls his tongur against the inside of his cheek. "We've got a healthy stable of people workin' for us now, and the boss has a plan he's been guarding closely that he says is going to end this war, definitively." Unzipping the front of his jacket, Knox reaches inside and pulls out a tattered length of red cloth, curling his gloved fingers into it. "Boss calls the group Messiah, and that's what we call it too. We each get one of these…"

Holding out the bundle of cloth, Knox tugs at his own scarf with his other hand. "Cut from a single piece of cloth by the boss, to remind us we're all connected." It reminds Huruma of the red armbands that the MLF wore; bloody red cloth. "You don't have to wear it, but most of us do, somewhere. This piece he cut for you," Knox's fingers loosen a little, letting the length of cottony fabric unfurl from his fingers. "Red seems like your color."

"Cut for me, or f'th'next recruit t'say yes t'you?" Huruma's head stills, smile having faded like molten metal into the rest of its pot. Her question makes the difference, though as her eyes take to examining the red cloth, there is a certain measure of both wistfulness and familiarity there behind her gaze.

"He didn't think you were gonna' decline." Knox admits with a shrug of his shoulders and a creak of his leather jacket, another bead of sweat from the heat in the boiler room rolling down his brow. "From where I stand it sounds like he knows you pretty well." Turning his palm up and leaving the cloth to drape over his glove, Knox watches Huruma carefully in her consideration. "You know he's always got a plan, an' that means he planned on you sayin' yes… but it's still your call, girl. He's all about the choice."

As another burst of steam escapes one of the pipes, the trails of the scarf blow in that hot breeze, ratty and tattered ends twining together before unwinding, and all the while Knox's dark eyes not moving far from Huruma's, save for a slow wandering from side to side ot search them. Now, it seems, his heart has more confidence in it than anything, and something that Huruma has felt in short demand lately; hope.

Huruma takes her time with many a thing, and this is no exception- taking her chance now to examine him in return, down to that candleflame of purity down below. Does he know that she can see it there? Or is he trying to play his steeliness? Hm. She puffs a lungful of air out in a slight laugh, a dose of actual warmth buried ass-deep in it.

Her palm goes out, fingers uncurling and arching there in the air, silently beckoning.

When the blood red cloth is handed over, Knox rests his gloved hand on top of Huruma's, brows furrowed n a semblance of a handshake with the fabric between his hand and hers. When Knox lets go, he wastes not a single breath for ceremony or circumstance beyond what has already been delivered. "Next week there's a shipment of vaccine for the 510 virus bound for Staten Island by armored car, coming over Jersey to the reclaimed zone on the south-eastern side of the island." Not even the warmth of Knox's hand off of hers and already her old friend is delivering orders thorugh this proxy.

"Ash, Claire, and the Tin-Man are set to take it out and boss wants you for crowd control." Reaching into his jacket, Knox pulls from a zippered pocket a sparkling crimson red cell phone, clearly chosen intentionally for its color, handed out towards Huruma. "This little boy's hooked directly to one of our men, fella named Rebel. Nobody can track the calls on this phone, nobody can do shit to it. You dial out to the number marked Rebel in the contacts list and then say my name, or Claire's name or Ash's name and you get a direct line to us."

"Once the weather clears, boss is gonna have a meeting with all'a us." Knox notes with an arch of one brow slowly on his forehead. "Then we're gonna' start puttin' things in motion. But we can't do any'a that is one of us gets sick from that virus. Y'dig?"

"I'ave been fine so far, I doubt that I must begin t'worry now. Don'worry about me. I can take care of m'self, surely you'ave realized." Huruma's first comment comes long after his explanation, as she has been examining the cherry plastic of the cellphone slim in her hand. If she recognizes 'Rebel' by ear, she does not show it- though it is written on her face that she dislikes being so freely known. "I will be called wit'th'time, I assume?"

Nodding his head, Knox cracks a smile. "That's the plan," he notes with a more confident smile than before. "There was one other thing that boss wanted to tell you, but it's about me." Offering his hand again, this time it is as something other than a gesture of induction, but rather as a motion of greeting. "The name's Benjamin Washington, but everybody calls me Knox." Nodding his head to that the hand extends, "Boss told me about what you do, an' said we're gonna' get along like peanut butter an' jelly…" Those were not the boss' words.

"'Cause people's fear…" Knox notes with a toothy, white smile, "just makes me stronger."
Red objects are shuffled from one hand to the other, and then respectively to the pocket of her thick woolen coat. Her eyes remain on him during his cute little simile, only to narrow in anticipation as he explains why. Huruma's reaction is far more subtle and far more contained than some others might have been at this news. But, inside, she is definitely excited at this. Her hand has yet to extend, and so she does put it out- gracefully meeting the offered one with a downward drift of her fingers into his. They curl like serpents around his hand.

"I've only met one other- something quite like it, I expect." Huruma's lips purse thoughtfully, eyelids shading her irises. "He punched apart a tank." Like it was something that happens to her every day.

Punched apart a tank?

They're going to make beautiful carnage together.

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