Hemingway Was A Badass


brian_icon.gif owen_icon.gif

(Various bad guys emitted by Brian)

Scene Title Hemingway Was A Badass
Synopsis Brian and Owen are out doing some Phoenix cross-training when they happen upon a bit of nastiness they quickly decide to have as little to do with as possible.
Date December 7th, 2008

Bop. Tss. Bop-bop, tss. Bop te-tuh ka ka tss… Bop-bop-tss-bop-bop….tss-tss-tsss bop-tss….
It's late. Very late. Or early, depending on perspective. Whatever it is, it's dark out. The night isn't all that silent, a few dogs out barking, the sound of sirens in the far distance. But in the rough area, there doesn't seem to be much going on. New York City is a dangerous place. Most people don't come out at this time anymore. New York's night streets were always a dangerous place, but they have become even more so in post bomb New York. It's not just gangsters and shanksters that roam about in the wee hours of the morning. Evolved hooligans control the night now.
And in this one particular alleyway are a few Evolved hooligans. Three young men are close to one of the walls surveying it. Two of the men are identical, though their dress is distinctly different. One is dressed in a brown jacket, the other wearing a track jacket. One wearing a beanie, the other a baseball cap. In the back of both of their jeans, guns are tucked away. One a .40 and the other a Desert Eagle .50.
"I can't make it as pretty as you." One of the Brian's says in a nigh whiny voice. A can of spray paint held in his hand, giving it another furious shake. Looking over his shoulder to Owen. "Show me again."

Quite involuntarily, Owen finds himself moving along in time to one of the Bri-guys' beatboxing. In lieu of any real armament he carries a backpack full of spray cans and well-worn cardboard stencils, one of which he has just placed his fingers upon to help press it to the wall. "Here," he offers, looking over at the one with the spray paint. "Just cover all the holes, it's that easy. The trick is to line it up with the one underneath. Try it again. And try not to get my fingers." He doesn't seem concerned about his fingers, his tone sounding more instructional than warning. He clarifies. "Even with the stencil, it's good to know how to control where the paint goes. Keep it away from the edges."

"I'm probably gonna get your fingers, dude." Brian remarks, shaking up the can a little more. Bringing it forward he starts to spray at the holes. "Do I need the other color? I'm kinda pissed we're not PARIAH. Their crap was much easier to spray. I'm not a fuckin Rembrandt like you. Or whoever that guy is. Hemingway. Whatever." Shaking the can again, he starts spraying again, trying his best to avoid Owen's fingers but he might get them anyway. Like he said, he's no Hemingway.

"Probably," Owen agrees, seeming unruffled. "Don't worry about it. You're just supposed to try, that's all. It's practice." To help matters, he does refrain from bouncing along to the other Brian's beatboxing and stands still. Reasoning that one doesn't wear clothes one is particularly fond of when out tagging, Owen stands to lose very little in a freak spray paint incident, should Brian's lack of expertise result in one.
He does, however, give the speaking 'clone' an odd look at first at the mention of PARIAH—until the clarification helps it make a bit more sense. "This stuff is easy too. It just takes practice. And I bet Rembrandt would shit himself to death trying to do this. He was an ar-teest. This stuff? Not art. Just ask my instructors. Hemingway'd probably be better at it. I hear he was a badass."

"Shot himself in the head with a shotgun right? Or was that the other guy? Who was the guy who cut his ear off? Van Gogh?" Brian asks as he changes out cans to make the red rather than the yellow. "I have no idea what names I'm saying, I'm pulling them out of my ass." He says with a little chuckle, completing another line on the stencil. "Now I right the most cliche term in terrorist history." Rise up.

"Hemingway shot himself," Owen assures, "Van Gogh cut off his ear. Rembrandt just got really old." He motions for Brian to wait once the other man has changed colors, sliding out another rumpled cardboard stencil, which he lines up to the existing part of the image with a practiced eye, noting the faint edges of yellow barely visible before he flattens it to the wall. "Okay, now," he interjects, before continuing the discussion. "Got a stencil for that, too. It's gotta look the same every time. We can do a more original one later." For marking things, Owen and the rest of the tagging contingent favor the standard Phoenix image for the sake of expedience.

"Kay okay." Bringing the last can up, he finishes the mark with the words that is under every Phoenix logo around New York City. Rise up. "We couldn't think of anything more original, honestly." Brian murmurs. "Rise up could be talking to a loaf of bread or something. A yeast infection.. A horny guy." His shoulders shrug as he finishes the spray.
Just then there little artistry discussion is interrupted. By a sharp yell not too far off into the tunnels of alleyways away from the two. Brian freezes at the shout, looking over that way. "What was that?"

"Aw, man," Owen protests mildly, his brow creased as he looks over at the non-beatboxing, paint-wielding Brian. "It's timeless! It's…defiant! It's all.." He raises a fist, clenched tightly, trembling with fabricated conviction, "..'Rise Up!'!" His enthusiasm evaporates as he looks past his knuckles at Brian, quirking a brow, smirking, and conceding the point as he wipes red paint off his palms and fingertips. He pauses, in the middle of putting away one stencil in favor of another, when he hears the shout. "Um. Should I go check it out?" he asks, pointing uncertainly toward the disturbance. He's had it made clear to him that being super-zippy obliges him to be Recon Guy a lot of the time. He's taken to it rather well.

Blinking, Brian gives a slow nod. "I'll be there in a second." Replacing the spray paint cans in Owen's bag, the pair of Brian's get a head start and start running, albeit a stealthy run through the alleyways and towards the noise. Owen will most definitely get there before them, but they might as well, get going so he doesn't have to wait for them all that long.

"Cool," Owen replies, watching the pair take to running. He shoulders his bag and, after giving them a few seconds head start, becomes a blur. He quickly canvassing the area in search of the disturbance.

A dark alley, two cars, you know the scene. The classic drug deal going down in the alleyway. Though this one seems to be a little strange. Half of the participating victims are dressed as one would imagine drug dealers would dress. Sweatshirts, jeans, hats. Though the other half are professionally dressed. Suits, and ties. Four of the men are standing near a white car, three, the more professional looking near a more sinister looking black sedan. One of the men in suits seems to be in an argument with one of the more hoodlum looking types.
Owen's speedy arrival would go unnoticed by the gathered men. They look far too tense to notice the arrival of a kid in the alleys. The two who are apparently the leaders are in a heated exchange while the others seem to be gearing up for a fight. Guns are drawn…

Owen is quick to decide that this -can't- be good. He's not sure whether it warrants any involvement on his part, but that's why he defers to those with seniority. In this case, the two Brians, whom he strives to intercept before they can reach the assemblage, so that he can kick it back down to normal speed long enough to stop them.
"It's something heavy," he says, as he shows up between the two duplicates. "Lots of people." He proceeds to describe the scene in fairly accurate detail. Right now he knows the faces well enough to pick them out of a lineup. "They're going to shoot it out. Do we stop them?"

Whew. That speed thing is handy. Brian has barely even got closer by the time Owen is already back. "How many?" He asks, two different, yet same, hands go to draw their weapons from their pants. Safeties are clicked off. He has no idea what he would do with them, but in the movies when people here there are guns nearby they take their own out, right?
"Think we could really stop them?" Maybe if he had more guns, he could make some more duplicates and overwhelm them. But.. not many people are scared by a bunch of naked unarmed guys. Weirded out, yes. Intimidated, not so much. "I need to get closer." One of the pair says as they move towards where the noises came from.

When the issue changes from 'should they' to 'could they', Owen pales a bit. "Um. Well, I might be able to…But I really don't know what was going on. I saw the guns and came right back here." He stopped being curious once he realized one of his crew (well, two of them) were inbound toward a spot slated to be saturated with bullets. "Okay.." he finally agrees. "Just be careful, alright?" He bounces in place for a moment, impatiently, and lets the Brians move ahead. "This might not have anything to do with us. Um..I can try to grab their guns.." he offers, lacking sufficient faith in the plan to undertake it without someone else's input.

Brian brings up one finger to his lips. The international 'shut the fuck up' signal. The two Brian's creep along the alleyways until they are at the mouth of the dragon. Pressing his backs to the wall, Brian quietly pokes his head around the corner at the scene. Motioning for Owen to move on over and join them. "We have no idea what's going on man. What is taking their guns away going to do anyway.. Even if you manage not getting shot." Brian whispers.

"Fuck you." The lead man in the suit says. "We had a deal. You are trying to fuck me on my own deal. I can bury you Mendes. You shouldn't fuck with the law."
"You going to take me down, homes? Fuck you punto, I will expose you to the motherfucking NYPD, how you feel about that? Crooked fucking cop. Now you take the amount, I say, or you fuck off!" Retorts the man opposite of him. The men behind him growing a little more antsy. Guns are being gripped tightly, nerves are flaring.

Since the signal's been given, Owen is left to slump quietly in relief that someone else thought it would be a bad idea to get in the middle of the ugliness taking place just now. Being fast doesn't make him any stronger, and these guys are pretty big, and pretty attached to their guns. He's never tried anything like that before, and now doesn't seem to be the time.
He goes slackjawed as the exchange takes place, consulting whichever of the two Brians can see him most easily with an uncomprehending stare. 'These are cops!' he mouths soundlessly, as if that will curb a measure of his disbelief. It does not. He obligingly stays hunkered down, out of sight and safe from the temptation to try anything heroic (i.e. stupid).

Pressing hard against the wall, Brian's face contorts in an expression of confusion and in a general not knowing what to do. Phoenix needs a fucking manual. A fucking manual that tells them what to do in the strangest situations. His guns are gripped tightly by each body, though they remain motionless other than that.
Peering at Owen, Brian gives a shrug. Going to whisper again over the roar of the men's yelling. "This isn't our business man.. This is.. Crazy deep fucking shit." Brian rambles a bit, really not knowing how to react to the cards dealt to him right now.

"That was a stupid thing to say, Mendes. A very stupid thing to say."
The sound of bullets rushing out of silenced guns. A few shouts are emitted as men fall to their knees. One of the thugs has a bullet land in the middle of his forehead, he immediately slumps to the ground. One takes one to the chest, the third to the shoulder. He falls back behind the white car, though he is obviously still alive. Crawling desperately out of range of the assailants, revolver gripped tightly.
The two men in suits stand on either side of the lead, guns drawn with silencers equipped. They are pointed at 'Mendes' who does not move a muscle. Paralyzed with fear he stands completely still.

"Do we even really want to know what's going on?" Owen asks, watching the buildup to disaster until the first of the shots are fired, at which point he looks away with a wince, tightening his shoulders with every thwip, every silenced bullet. If the situation called for resolve he could muster it, but this isn't their fight and he feels unfortunate for having witnessed it. Clearly he feels Brian is unfortunate too, offering a sympathetic look. After all, he's got the seniority to make the calls and thus, in Owen's mind, the responsibility. "I dunno, man. I say we're ghost, y'know?" he whispers. "If there's a way we can make this better, I don't know what it is. If anybody gets away, these guys will just take them down later." He tangents ahead a bit with that assumption, plotting out a hypothetical next five minutes that don't involve them hauling ass and leaving this to be someone else's problem. "It doesn't seem worth it."

"If they are cops.." He says softly. "Listen. If we turn these guys in, and pin it on Phoenix. That's just the type of shit we're looking to do, right? We're supposed to be the heroes of the city or whatever." Brian whispers in response. Gun held limply at his side. He doesn't imagine he will have any use for it. He's not about to get in a shoot out with trained professionals. Multiple man or not, he's still just a twenty two year old kid. He knows how to flick the safety off, and shoot. But, guaranteeing the bullet will hit the right spot. That's a different story.

Thwip Thwip
Mendes now has a head full of lead. Lead can be so very heavy, which is the reason why he falls down so quickly. Three bullet wounds on various places on his poor little cabesa. "Start clean up. Put the money with the cocaine."
But just then, the final thug makes his attempt at bravado. Rising up out from behind his car, he stumbles back into the alley mouth, closer to the Brians and Owen. Now if he were to look around he would be able to see them. Raising his revolver he lets the shots ring out at the crooked cops, but he doesn't have much time to enjoy this heroism. More silenced gunshots, and now the three Phoenix members are joined by a corpse.

In stunned silence, Owen watches the body topple backward and land distressingly close to himself and the Brians. When he's finally able to look away, he focuses on the Brian on his right and points toward the corpse. "That'd be Phoenix if we tried," he says shakily. "Let's just…I can remember their faces. We can use this. Just…let's go, okay?"

Brian's jaw also drops as he instinctively backs away from the body. His brain stops working so awesomely. As he stares at the man with several bullets in his back. "We.." Brian whispers harshly, wide eyed and frightened. One of his copies backing up into Owen. "We need to get their—.." Whatever he was going to say is abandoned as the two Brians backup more quickly, but silently.

The reason for their haste being the approach of one of the suited men towards the body. His shoes tap against the ground as he makes his way nearer. And then he's there, looking down at the body. A soft sigh.. And then he's looking both ways. And his eyes just happen to fall onto three Phoenix members.. "Over here!"

This time the thwip has nothing to do with silenced bullets. Rather, it is preceded by a soft scraping sound, like a split second of wood dragged across asphalt, and then by the spinning, toppling motion of the man at the mouth of the t-intersection. Owen's across the way from him, making shooing motions toward Brian with the hand not presently gripping a plank of wood. 'Go!' he mouths, wary of making a sound.

Brian's eyes, all four of them go wide. At Owen's sudden movement. And soon the crooked cop is on the ground. But even sooner are there bullets flying from the other two at the speedster. Waiting for one moment, Brian watches earnestly as Owen is still over there! He knows the other man can escape much more easily than himself, but he just needs to make sure he will!

Yeah, the moment there are guns pointed at him, Owen is -ghost-. But during that brief instance his face, framed by the hood of his color-spattered blue sweatshirt, wears a stream of unspoken and horrorstruck expletives in the width of his eyes and the slackness in his jaw. "Gogogogogogogogogogogogogo~" a rapid-fire imperative hums past the Brians as Owen cuts back across to their side of the alley. Across from this, at the far end of where the cops have their guns pointed, a cardboard box topples over, spilling packing peanuts across the broken asphalt that eddy with displaced air, lending further credence to the likelihood that Owen actually went that way instead.

The Brian's are sprinting, one gun brought out behind him. A shot is about to be squeezed off until, a look back over the shoulder shows the suited men chasing after a phantom of a speedster. Brian instead tucks his weapons away, turns a corner and continues to pump his legs rapidly. "Owen!" He whispers harshly, practically a hiss. "Where are you?!"

The response dopplers toward intelligibility as Owen changes from a red blur into a coherent shape. "Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere," he replies, backpedalling in between the Brians. He's only just now caught up with them, and turns around to fall into step with the pair. "Let's get as far away as we can." And by 'we' he means them, since he could've probably been in New Jersey by now. "Y'know, Hemingway probably would've kicked all their asses…"

December 7th: Insight and Wisdom
December 8th: It Started so Simply
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