Helping Hands


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Scene Title Helping Hands
Synopsis The Hands of Mary asked for job volunteers and found a couple willing to do… anything.
Date January 7, 2020

A Collection of Completely Unrelated Events - January 2020

  • A reporter for the Safe Zone Siren, Jennifer Waverly, reports that local charitable organization The Hands of Mary has reported record breaking donations over the 2019 holiday season, which they used to provide the community with meals and housing through December 2019. However, this article raises some questions about where the money is really going, as they have noticed some alarming discrepancies in what is being reported from the charity.
  • Shortly after, a member of The Hands of Mary named Leona Salvatore released copies of the charity's financials to restore the public's faith in their operations. Response to this was overwhelmingly positive, especially in various comments sections around the internet.
  • Closer inspection proves that much of this positivity comes from the same small group of people. All of whom have their own connections to the charity, mostly as people who have been helped by them in the past year or have been volunteering for their events regularly.
  • Waverly makes several public comments that she has a forensic accountant looking at the records that Salvatore provided, because she believes them to be doctored. Salvatore herself responds by inviting Waverly to do what research she feels she needs to. The Hands of Mary state that they regret that their own mistakes have broken faith in their intentions, and promise to be clearer with the public to avoid this in the future.
  • The Safe Zone Siren fires Jennifer Waverly as of January 1, 2020, and publish an apology to the community and the charity after her forensic accountant comes out in favor of the charity and releases several comments about Waverly's unsettling obsession. Waverly appears to have left New York shortly after. The accountant also becomes difficult to find in the wake of the scandal.

The Hands of Mary, Phoenix Heights

January 7, 2020

After resigning his position at RayTech and a stint away in the Land of the Rising Sun, Luther Bellamy had returned with a distinct eagerness to the Hands of Mary charity. A need to feel needed, he would privately admit. A need to belong to a good, honest cause.

With the charity always glad to have volunteers, especially with the holiday season, that found the man splitting time between his personal activities and those offered by the organization. And of late, after the disturbing news that had made it out like the charity was questionably using its funds for less savory, shadowy reasons, Luther felt the need to prove their intentions were… clear.

"It's good to see you again, Isabelle," rumbles Luther lightly, "How's your family, your work?" His hands warm as he embraces the pyrokinetic in a friendly hug.

"Luther! It's so good to see you! Isn't it an absolutely beautiful day?" Isabelle's smile is blazing and bright as she returns the embrace just as friendly and warm as the man gives. "Shahid is settling nicely, Nami is loving.. well everything. We've got a family business in the works. Moonshine, I'll have to bring you samples of WNK." That's followed by a wink of her hazel eyes, she thinks the name is witty.

Hell she should bring them here for all the women of Hands of Mary. Fuck the news, what did they know anyway?

"How are you? You went away for a bit?" Isa's eyebrows pitch upwards and her scar glows a little hotter. "We missed you." The implication is clear, "Some were afraid you would never come back," Who would ever want to leave the Hands of Mary's side?"

Brows lift at the mention of business, particularly Isa’s family’s diving into entrepreneurship. “Yeah? I’d love to try some. Didn’t know you dabbled in distilling, though I guess that shouldn’t be a surprise.” He rolls a shoulder up and back when she starts in on the questions. Luther shakes his head. “Took a trip out east. Far East. Japan.” You know, Isa, your current employer’s country of origin. “But don’t be silly. Missed you all the whole fuckin’ time.” He smiles wryly in the attempt to be reassuring. “And then it was the holidays and I was kind of busy and all, but I did some work. Went out to KCMO. But anyway, I’m back now. Right? Just back got in after the turn of the new year. You know how it is, everybody’s got work to get back to. Especially with what happened with that terrorist attack out on Liberty Island.”

He shakes his head slowly. Terrible circumstances. There was also a bit about a nightmare, but he doesn’t delve into it, at least not too deeply. Not when things were so pleasant.

Outside the Safe Zone Siren Building, Ferrymen's Bay

January 3, 2020

A woman sniffs roughly, cursing under her breath as she stomps her way down an alleyway back to her car in a fit of anger. The office box in her hands, laden with personal belongings and papers, feels even more cumbersome as she reaches for the keys in her pocket, fingers stretching into the fabric while still trying to support the box.

“Bunch of cowards, fuck,” she mutters. “Who the fuck fires people on New Year’s?” She fights off the sting of hot tears pinching at her injured pride. They’d waited until Friday to tell her to pack up her desk and pick up her final check, though the two days extra work hadn’t made up for the pink slip notice. “Assholes.

“Miss Waverly?” A deep voice like rumbling distant thunder travels out from behind her.

Jennifer Waverly startles in surprise, but she keeps ahold of the box in her hands as she abruptly spins around with a gasp. “Wh- who are you?” Eyes travel up, then down to the stranger’s hand. “Wait, please, d-don’t! What do you wan— urgh!”

Before she can finish her question, Luther slams the fat end of a baseball bat hard into woman’s stomach, just under the box she’d lifted in a cringing anticipation and attempted shield. The strike doubles her over, winding the woman and dropping both her and the office box spilling down to the ground. She tries to cry out, but her breathing is pained by bruised and broken ribs, terror stealing what little air she had.

But adrenaline gets her to move, to scramble to her feet, to run for the safety of her car only a few more feet in front of her.

A second blow smashes against her leg with a meaty crunch followed by her true howl of pain.

A third blow silences the cry.

Luther moves closer, using the bat to nudge the unconscious woman. Then he bends, reaching into her pocket to pick out the car keys.

Present Day

"I heard about it, bunch of raging lunatics running about. How am I suppose to raise a child with those sorts of things going on?" Mercy me! Isabelle frowns as she places a hand in her back pocket.

"Let's go grab some coffee yea?" Dazzling smile sent Luther's way as she tucks her arm through his. "Escort a lady would you?"

Great Kills Park, Staten Island

January 3, 2020

Jennifer comes to and all she can see is black. The space she's in, feels small somehow. Not much room to move her arms and legs. The surface beneath her hard and she can feel some various debris underneath her. The faint smell of smoke and burning wood lifts to her nose. She hadn't been placed here with any sort of care.

Footsteps can be heard nearby. A ringing persists in her ears and she raises a hand as a light comes alive in the room, no just outside of it. A hole in the darkness made clear by the source of illumination.

The light is orange and it comes from a hand that seems to be bathed in flames, a woman's face with hazel eyes that seem to reflect the fire and a glaring scar from her ear to past her jaw peers out from the shadows down at the woman on the floor. "You've seemed to have bumped your head."

"Wha-what the fuck is this!?" Jennifer shouts and tries to scramble backwards.

"What sort of vendetta do you have against the Hands of Mary?" Isabelle Khan's eyes narrow and she bends down to peer more closely at the frightened woman. "What the hell are you talking about I'm just following the facts-"

Isa holds up her hand and shakes her head slowly, "They're doing good work. This world is tainted and broken, someone has to bring it to the light." The flames around her hand brighten and roar as if in answer.

"If good work is stealing funds meant to be actually helping the public-" Jennifer stops and looks up at Isabelle with wide eyes, "You don't care about that. Do you?"

A light shrug from the pyrokinetic. "I don't,"


"Y-you psycho bitch, let me out of here god damn it!" Isabelle cruel's smile chills Jennifer's bones and the woman starts screaming, flailing around trying to find a way out that doesn't involve going towards Isa. Her hand falls on something and she quickly snatches it up to hold before her like a weapon.

Her scream of terror reverberates in the chamber she's housed in.

A chamber.

The burnt remains of a human skull can be seen in the firelight, Jennifer's fingers in the eye sockets. The skull drops to the floor and rolls towards Isabelle who ignores it. "You crazy fucking bitch! Burn in hell!"


Isabelle gives her a look as if to say really? Before her eyes burn brighter and the flames around her hand snuff out, smoke rising up towards her head. As if she's blowing a kiss, Isabelle aims her mouth in the woman's direction.

Flames spit towards Jennifer's face whose scream is cut off by the crackling orange flames that enter her mouth. The flames continue to spread over her body illuminating the old incendiary chamber of the park from the inside. As Jennifer's body flails and collapses in a heap her hand falls turning black with burns near the discarded skull. She gurgles blood and Isabelle tilts her head with a slow, cold smile.

Isabelle takes a deep breath and the flames stop spewing forth, her hands grab the door to slam them shut. Watching the woman burn from the window.

"You first."

Present Day

Obliging Isa's request, Luther holds out the crook of his arm to the pyrokinetic with a light laugh. It might look ridiculous - she's married, after all - but it's just a friendly escort to the folding table set up with the coffee station. Cups filled, he puts a bit of cream and sugar into his cup in a moment's indulgence.

"By the way, thanks for the help the other day with the moving," he adds as he taste sips at the cup of coffee. "A whole lot of people are going to appreciate the effort. Selfish added bonus, feels good to help out, don't it?" Luther nods slowly, affirmation made as he tilts his chin up in greeting to a passing volunteer.

“Are you coming to the next meeting?” he asks Isabelle, hope and warmth emanating like the steam off the surface of his coffee.

Great Kills Park, Staten Island

Luther lifts his eyes to the partly cloudy skies. The puffs of white are joined by wisps of grey-brown smoke interrupting the view as he taps off the ash of a cigarette held between his fingers. Grey eyes trace the smoke back to the decommissioned Bay Terrace incinerator in the near distance activated once more in personal service, and he straightens from his lean against the car door of Jennifer Waverly’s beat up sedan.

One hand reaches down to grasp the handle of a shovel. The other grips the cigarette butt tighter as the bit of paper and plastic filter starts to smoke, then ignites as he walks slowly toward the chamber. Luther’s path takes him closer to the fire manipulator, gaze focused on the back of the brunette’s head as she stands there watching through the window of the chamber.

The screams of Jennifer Waverly have stopped long before he reaches the pyrokinetic’s side.

From where he stands, he only sees the glow of the red hot ash smoldering in the chamber. Luther rubs his fingers against his hand, the ashes of his cigarette butt knocked off onto the handle of his shovel. “You got a way to get back?” he asks the woman next to him, though his gaze doesn’t leave the small window. “I got an extra ticket for the MPs check station.”

Miss Waverly won’t be using it, after all.

Present Day

"Luther!" Ezra smiles broadly as she sweeps into the room, her steps bringing her over to greet the man with a kiss to the cheek and her hands grasping his. "It's so good to see you," she says when she leans back from him. Her attention turns to Isa, too, and her smile extends to her as well. "Isabelle, good to see you, too. Is the coffee okay? I made it today." There's a tired sort of shake to her voice, to her hands, but that's not entirely abnormal. Eager to please, she tends to run herself into the ground around the Hands of Mary organization.

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Behind her, Miriam and Leona enter as well, as if the trio of them may have been in a meeting of their own moments before. The pair are locked in a tense, but whispered conversation as Ezra gets her greetings out. But by the time they reach Luther and Isa, they've managed to bring up smiles of their own, if not as enthused as Ezra's.

"Hey guys," Miriam says, moving to get herself a coffee as well. "Everything… settled?" She looks between them, her gaze more curious than concerned.

Ezra is the one who looks confused, her gaze traveling between those gathered before she lands on Luther again. "They're running you ragged, too?" There's worry, because she knows exactly who is at which event around this building. And who isn't.

Leona puts a hand on Ezra's shoulder, a reassuring squeeze. "An external matter, my dear," she says, smiling at Ezra's visible relief. "Would you mind getting me a coffee? You're the only one who knows how I like it," she adds, sending Ezra to the table with a gentle nod in that direction. "Next time, if either of you need help, Miriam is always willing. Aren't you? Miriam."

"Always, Leona," Miriam says, her hands clasping behind her back.

"This coffee tastes like the elixir of the gods honestly," Isabelle's cheery grin radiates as she takes a sip and when Ezra is sent on her way, the pyrokinetic leans forward and looks Miriam up and down.

"I would gladly accept your help Miriam, the next time…" Another sip of coffee before she looks up, smiling wide. "Never hesitate to ask for my assistance." It's clear and bubbly and completely unnerving for anyone who might know the woman's problems with her deeply rooted anger.

Isabelle feels purpose in this place. "You know, I should introduce you guys to my family," Maybe it was time for the rest of the Khans to hear the message of Mary.

Upon hearing his name again, Luther turns towards the voice. A broad smile beams from him, and it feels all too natural to lean into the kiss, to switch the hand that holds his paper coffee cup so that he can take Ezra's into his own. "The coffee's fantastic," rumbles the man as he takes another sip of it to prove he is actually partaking.

He does notice the exhaustion in Ezra, focused on the unsteadiness of the woman's timbre. The hand that holds hers gives a warm squeeze. He blinks as he looks down at Ezra's eyes, seeking the puffy under arcs with a look of concern. It's a shortlived hunt as Miriam and Leona swing by.

"Yeah, it's taken care of," Luther replies with a solid nod. Ezra's query turns his focus back to her and he smiles again, noting, "I'm glad I could help out here. You know me, being surrounded by very capable ladies, gotta earn my keep." He chuckles at his own observation. Leona's request has Luther starting to volunteer, but he pauses and releases Ezra's hand so she could go fulfill the favor. Not without a quick brush of his hand on Ezra's shoulder and a steady smile to show he's not bothered that she's sent away. Then he turns back to Miriam and Leona, he peers from one face to the other. "Sure thing. Again, if you need anything at all."

Isabelle's addition that she could bring her family around brings a broader smile around on Luther's face. "You sure you want them to leave that white walled palace they call an apartment and get their hands a little dirty?" he teases the pyrokinetic. "There's some real fancy living spaces they got over there in Yamagato Park. Compared to the rest of the Safe Zone." That sparks an idea, though, and he glances back over to Leona and Miriam, a brow lifting.

"Is there a plan to try and reach out to Yamagato?"

"We have attempted to establish a relationship with them," Leona says, letting out a soft sigh, "Unfortunately, they feel that they are already doing all they can for the Safe Zone, so our support will have to continue to come from the grassroots. But that's not bad thing. It's just such a shame. There's always more we can do, especially if we're in a position of privilege. I wish Yamagato and their peers understood that. It can't all be for profit."

Miriam reaches over to put a hand on Leona's arm, stopping her speech with the gesture. "Mother Mary will find another way. She always does. We believe in her and she looks after us."

"Of course, Miriam, of course."

Ezra comes back over, passing Leona a cup of coffee and retaking Luther's hand. "Did I hear you say you wanted to bring your family around, Isabelle? I would love to meet them! Maybe they could come to the next meeting with you, meet everyone?"

At the mention of Mother Mary, Isabelle visibly relaxes even more if it were possible. God her hair was good. Everything about her, she understood Isa. The pyrokinetic grins at Luther and shrugs, "They are not so used to it, real neighborhoods, the rough and not so rough. That's where this little tribe thrives." It was still strange even in the bliss she felt surrounded by all these phenomenal women that she lived and worked for a mega corp, she would have never been able to call it. Isa also wouldn't have been able to call traveling through timelines or meeting this new family once she finally landed.

They felt like home.

"I'm drag em along but I'll have to warn you. Shahid will insist you try our family moonshine," Isa waggles her eyebrows.

An uneasy noise starts to leave Luther at the small confession that Yamagato has been resistant to the offerings of the Hands of Mary. But he too, keeps faith in their cause, their work. So he nods slowly in agreement, rumbling an echo in low mantra.

"Mother Mary will find a way."

He blinks again as Ezra's hand slips into his and he looks over to her, smile returning with the woman's enthused invitation to meet Isabelle's family. He turns to the pyrokinetic, taking another sip of the paper cup coffee and finding satisfaction enough to grin.

A short squeeze of Ezra's palm in his later, he looks up as the meeting calls to gather. Luther tilts his head to gesture the others, leading the way to the circled chairs. "Really," he states with an uplift of his own angled brows as he looks over to Isa, "can't wait to try out all the flavors. I'm sure they'll be great. Put some on special reserve, yeah?" He chuckles quietly, fully encouraging to Isabelle's venture.

"I'll be more'n happy to help."

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