Hey, Darling


bones_icon.gif mack_icon.gifpeyton_icon.gif

Scene Title Hey, Darling
Synopsis Mack and Peyton head out on the town, only to run into a city worker getting ready to hit way too close to home. On the way back to the library to handle business, things suddenly get much worse.
Date December 12th, 2009

Ruins of Midtown

Its not until after the sunset that you can really feel the pulse of the city. What is essentially the bustle of throngs of people, a wild, rampant, out-of-control metal drummer in the daytime calms just enough to feel something coherent in it. It is an entirely intangible sensation that just seems to resonant with a certain type of individual; luckily, Mack is one of those people.

The Red Dragon is the kind of club where the bouncer assesses how large your bank account is, what kind of car you drive, whether or not your wearing your civvies, and how often you get laid- and he does it all by looking at the way you stand and the kind of shoes you wear. Surprisingly, despite his mohawk, when he puts on black suit with white accents in all the right places- from one shoelace on each foot to the band around his fedora -Mack passes muster at this kind of place. Peyton, obviously, can get in on reputation alone.

But no matter who you are, its hard to resist drunk munchies after you LEAVE a club like the Dragon. Or anywhere, really, but especially somewhere thats actually clean. Out on the street, Mack offers a little mocking wave to the long line wrapping around the corner even as he throws his pea coat around his shoulders. From within this coat he retrieves a pack of cigarettes and lights one. Mack points up the road not too far up the road; "Thats the deli I was talking about. Place is the shit. Everything from cheesesteak to veggie burgres, man- and open twenty four hours a day."

"I always wonder how that works. Is it solely so that cops have a place to eat when curfew is past? I mean, the people in there, aren't they supposed to be home after curfew, like the rest of us?" Not that Peyton is complaining. She's been to enough afterhours clubs and bars that she knows such places exist but has never truly understood why.

The former socialite looks like her former self tonight — despite the cold night, she's dressed in one of those short girly dresses that seem to drape and hide everything while at the same time showing everything — especially her long legs in tall heels that brings her almost to Mack's height. She slips into her coat and gives a sweet smile to someone glaring at them — someone they passed in line hours ago, who is still standing near the front shivering her tiny little couture ass off. Of course, Peyton is cold too, hardly being dressed for winter. "As long as it's warm," she adds.

Getting a few stray looks from the crowd in line as he exits the club about ten seconds after Mack and Peyton, Bones did not get in on good looks, charm, money, or anything really that would possibly see a normal patron passed the velvet ropes. No. He got in with a badge! Well the badge failed, the bouncer figuring it was a fake. So he got in with a general city order! No, that didn't get him in either. No, it took him a call from a police lieutenant to finally make the bouncer stand down. Once inside he located the general manage who brought out building plans which Bones insisted on viewing in front of the public eye. Thirty minutes later, being satisfied that his knowledge of the building's structure was complete, he exited, tossing a wave to the bouncer and those who stand desperately waiting. Turning down the walk, he glances down at his watch. Lunch time! How fortunate for him it's near one of his favorite all-night places. He booted feet carry him along in Peyton and Mack's wake. Mostly Peyton's.

"Warm as a hooker's -" Mack pauses in the middle of his sentence and deftly changes directions, "-as a sweatshop full of tiny Chinese children in December." With curfew in effect, getting across the street and down a ways is a piece of cake. Well, as long as no cops come looking at the wrong time. Anyway, there don't seem to be any cops as the pair make the deli. Three slow, deliberate knocks and ten seconds leads to the sound of sliding metal and the door pops open, revealing that inside is yet another crowded venue- but this one is made up almost exclusively of… well, yeah, cops. Uniforms mostly, though off in one corner is a quartet of plain clothes. The newcomers get a suspicious glance from those around the door until Mack is recognized; pleasantries are exchanged in rapid fire fashion. They consist mostly of things like, 'Hey you dirty little fucker', and 'get the fuck outta here!', but otherwise, they go unmolested. "Careful. Don't wanna get arrested for being drunk in public." The severity of Mack's tone is a dead giveaway that he's joking.

Peyton's cheerful mood — after all, she's had a couple of martinis, had a few dances, felt like the old her for a bit — darkens a little when she sees that the strange speakeasy for post-curfew diner grub is full of cops. She's been on the wrong side of a jail cell a couple of times in her life, as well as the back seat of a black and white and not because she was dating the cop it belonged to. "Huh. The food better be good," she mutters under her breath.

With a bit of a hop-skip in to a brief jog, Bones manages to put his steal-toed boot between door and jam, causing it to stay open ajar. Of course the man in charge of opening and closing said door opens it again to see who would be so foolish, but as he looks out and sees who it is, the door is opens to allow Bones inside. Now Bones might not be welcomed as warmly or as fondly. Or even recognized really, but there is apparently a small faction of his supporters near the back of the place sitting at a high table who give up cheers of their own as Bones ducks inside. See? He belongs here! He begins to shuffle his way through the throng towards those he is familiar with.

"Better than sex with a dozen crazed midgets. Calm down. You look guilty. I'd totally arrest you right now." Mack, of course, isn't the least bit uncomfortable amongst the unis. Not that long ago, he was telling them what to do. After food is procured, he leads Peyton off to a recently vacated table. Of course, he has to clean it off himself; it hasn't been empty long. But once thats done, its right as rain. If it happens to be near a table full of Sandhogs, themselves granted certain priviledges for being Crazy As Fuck, its just coincidence.

"Well, you bought me a martini, so you're as guilty as I am," the former socialite tells the former cop. His job of cleaning the table apparently doesn't pass her inspection. She pulls a spray bottle of perfume from her bag and sprays it on a napkin, then wipes up the table once more. Sure, now it smells like jasmine and lemons, but the alcohol content in the perfume actually helps to cut the grease a bit. She glances over at the giant dread-locked man at the table nearby — she raises a brow. She didn't know they made cops that look like that.

Bones is grinning as he approaches the tables where his cohorts seem to be just finishing up their meals, he is greeted once he nears with hi-5's all around and a running chorus of what seems to be his name is said after each slap of palms in a 'Bones! Bones! Bones!' fashion. Either someone knows Bones or they took pity on him after her ordered his food up front, wanting to save him from wading back through the throng as his red plastic basket of looks-like-it-could-crawl-off-the-plate pastrami on rye with pickle and chips is set in front of him at the table. He turns his head to the side, sniffing absently. "Any of you guys smell… jasmine and lemons?" Its easy to smell over grease and more grease.

"Wipe the fuckin' drool off your face, woman." There is something disarming about an accent; and in particular, something that says 'Its okay!' when someone swears profusely in an Irish one. And Mack is letting his come out. Its an odd combination of Irish and Bostonian, anyway, and as incongrous as it is it comes and goes. "I thought you high class broads are supposed to be all sultry and seductive and aloof and shit." Yes. Charming, isn't he? He says nothing on the topic of his guilt in buying her liqour.

"You've been watching too many black and white movies. And I can be sultry and seductive, but this isn't the place for it. I mean… there's mustard on the booth," the girl says, nodding to a smear of yellow on the vinyl booth seat. "Besides, it's not like we 'high class broads' go around seducing just anyone." Implication: Mack wouldn't be on the receiving end. She looks for a menu, or perhaps a server.

The conversation over at Bones' table is loud and rowdy and carries conversation that is on the intellectual level of horny eight graders and most of it spoken in language that would make some sailors blush with shame. The conversation, however, winds down fairly quickly as the other men finish up their meals and start to dole out the cash in to the middle of the table to pay for their meals. One of them asks Bones a question to which he replies, "Yeah, I pulled the short straw and the boss wants me to go over the Library with a fine-toothed comb. Looks like I get to add that place to one of my regular drop-ins. Going to take me a couple days…" he sighs, munching a fry. A chorus of groans show that those about the table apparently empathize with Bones and they clap him on the shoulder as they start to file out.

"I like to keep it classy." To help out, Mack withdraws a thin pamphlet that was almost hidden between the wall and the table. On it is essentially just a list of various breads and sandwhich ingredients- although its an extensive list. "Anyway, though you're so incredibly kind, I wasn't talking about me. But, really, ow." This is said without looking up from his own little pamphlet, and it comes out right as a server shows up to the table. To the server, Mack says, "Just a water for me, thanks."

"Shh," Peyton says in a reprimanding way as she eavesdrops on the conversation at the next table. "Did you hear that?" But then the server shows up. "Why are we here if you just want a water?" she adds, an eyeroll at Mack for demanding they stop in a place full of cops only to get a water. "Um. Coffee and a bagel," she tells the server. Once the server leaves, Peyton leans forward to whisper, "That guy said something about the library. I donno if it's our library or one of the smaller ones, though." This is meant just for Mack's ears, of course, though her voice level dropping significantly might alert attention.

As his fellows depart, Bones finally steps over one of the stools and seats himself, arms on the table and face over his basket of grease as he eats heartily, practically inhaling his food and barely allowing time to chew before he swallows. The pitcher of water in the middle of the table is poured in to one of the somewhat clean glasses on the table and drank quite fast. He continues eating in silence…

Mack goes quiet when Peyton stops whispering. Luckily nobody seems to pay too much attention to the pair, which gives him a few moments to think on what she says. Finally he leans back in his booth and throws one arm up on the back of the vinyl booth, creating an expression of openness. "Hey, bro," Mack calls out in Bones' direction. "Hey, I wasn't tryin' to eavesdrop or nothin', but whats this shit about the library? Somebody finally doin' something with that old fuckin' shack out in Midtown, or what?"

Peyton's eyes widen a little. The server drops off the bagel and the coffee a moment later, so Peyton busies herself pouring in cream and about four yellow packets, stirring as she glances over at the tall man her friend calls over to. "The one with the lions?" she asks curiously, sounding like any other dim club girl who would only know the library because it's a city landmark, not because there is useful information to be had within its hallowed halls.

Hey, bro'? Bones lifts his head from his food and takes a minute to finish chewing and swallows. Hell, he even takes a paper napkin and wipes it down his face before looking over his shoulder at the man addressing him. Odd question but its a cop hangout. You don't get in a place like this without being in the trust. "No. No one's doing anything with it. It's been put on the schedule though for inspection. Check out the structure soundness, look for gas leaks, make sure that it is officially off the electrical grid, kick out squatters and trespassers." he explains, giving a shrug of those shoulders of his.

Mack pulls the fedora off his head and runs a hand through his hair- when the mohawk is under a hat there's no reason to spike it, you see, so its still pliable -before setting it back in place. "Thats a shame. Place used to be beautiful, man. Anyway, my ladder worked the rescue for that quadrant after the bomb." There. He identified himself as a firefighter and gave a reason for his interest. "Thats a shitty pull. They dragged us out before we'd even finished with half the tunnels down there. When you startin' that project? They sending some uni's with you in case you find somebody?"

Peyton's eyes meet Mack's when she hears Bones talking about inspections and gas checks. They have weapons down there. But she lets the man talk, get the information he needs and then they can make a plan… how to handle this since Cardinal is in BFE. Should they tell their babysitter? Mack and she will have to discuss it later. She downs a half a cup of coffee, then spreads some cream cheese on her bagel, beginning to eat it. It is possible for her not to talk, apparently.

Bones reaches to pluck at the hem of his t-shirt and pulls it up just enough to bring his deputy's badge in to sight along with the barrel of his pistol. "I'm with the Local 147, UrbEx. I get to shove myself in to places that no sane people want to go, and I usually find those not-so-sane people. While I'm on the clock, I'm as good as a black and blue." he explains, shrugging once more and picks up a few fries, shoving them into his mouth before he continues. "Soon as I'm done with my lunch here I'm headed over there. Since it qualifies as a landmark, I have to give it the full treatment. And remap the whole place, poke my head in to every nook and cranny. Couple days worth of work. I'll probably end up sleeping in the place…" he mutters and rolls his eyes.

"Yeah, I know what you guys do. Thats a big place. But hey, if the city wants to send one person to do a team's job, it ain't like everybody else in here hasn't done the same." Mack gets up from his booth, nodding his head to Peyton. "C'mon. I should probly get you home before Big Daddy gets worried." He pulls a twenty from his wallet and drops it onto the table. When he looks back towards Bones he literally tips his fucking hat. "Good luck, bro. Stay safe. We still cover city workers, even in Midtown, and I really don't feel like pulling a 48 hour rescue op out in that shit."

The leggy brunette slides out of the booth, giving a nod to the tall dreadlocked man, but not saying a word. She raises a brow at Mack. "Big Daddy? Come on now." She picks up her coffee cup to swallow down the rest of the bittersweet fluid, and sets it back down with a clatter. They better get out of here and come up with a plan for the Library before the other man gets there first.

"Yeah. Have a good one, mack. Miss." Bones nods to them both in turn before he turns back to finishing his meal, probably about three to five minutes behind the pair in heading out of the establishment.

"Hey, I think it suits Card. I can't just walk around calling him 'Card' all the time, thats boring." With a final tip of his head to Bones, Mack and Peyton depart. Once outside in the chill night air, Mack reaches back to check the cleverly concealed holster in his coat. "Well, god damn. All that work, and now a civil servant's gonna come fuck it all up." This is an appropriate time to light a cigarette, apparently, because thats just what Mack does. They have a few minutes of head start to get in front of Bones, but then again, they are going to the exact same place, and as they make their way the streets around them are in noticably worse repair.

"Shit, what do we do? Should we call Tamara? That's who we're supposed to ask for help from but what's she going to do at this time of night?" Peyton asks, glancing over her shoulder as she walks hastily. Her long legs eat up the sidewalk easily enough, but if the 6'7" inspector cop decides to hustle, they are no match for his legs. "Is it illegal to live in it like you all are doing, when it's basically vacant and such? The weapons… we need to hide the weapons… but where?" Yes, she is effectively freaking out, her mind ping ponging from one topic to another.

Bones finishes up his meal, dusting his hands free of the crumbs and reaches back in to his wallet. He takes his time walking to the counter with all the checks and money that had been left with him and finally walks out the door into the night chill. "Going to be a long four-day workweek." he mutters. He begins walking down the block towards the library and ducks in to the parking garage where he'd parked his bobber. Unlashing the large saddlebags along with the duffel that was hanging off the back. The saddlebags get tossed over one shoulder and the duffel slung across his back. Once he gets back on to the sidewalk, he gives what seems to be a trademark skip-hop that takes him up to an easy jog as he sets off for his destination. He's just not the type that likes to walk. Not much scenery to take in anyway.

"Calm down, Peyton. Squatting is illegal, but almost everyone's gone anyway. I still have my apartment, so I'll just stay there for a while. The only thing we really gotta worry about is the cache. So we'll just go make sure the place is locked up nice and tight, and even IF he hits our section first, he'll be stuck. Yeah, all the security gear and the doors will let 'em know somethings going on, but it will buy us a little time. Everything is gonna be fi-"


The sound of gunfire is unmistakable, the retort off the .38 snub nosed revolver echoing against the ruins of Midtown. They're not far from the library at all, now, but that doesn't really matter to Mack at the moment. Mostly because a street person just stepped out of an abandoned building and immediately opened fire- he never really had a chance.

The former cop hits his knees, one hand coming up to his chest in surprise as much as anything. Holes now exist in the front and back of his nicest suit, and the sidewalk behind him is splashed with blood spray. He draws in a ragged breath, tries to scream 'RUN!' though it comes out a mangled imitation of the English language. He doubles over, only managing to keep from falling over completely by jamming his left hand against the ground. A fucking bum? Like, really? A fucking BUM?!

Even as Mack goes down, several more people exit the surrounding ruins. These aren't bums- you might think they're bikers or ex-cons or some other 'unsavory' sort, but they're definitely not bums. Most seem armed, in some fashion. The bum that originally shot him and one of the others both cautiously approach Mack; though, for now, they don't seem to pay much mind to Peyton other than one or two of them having a gun aimed kinda/sorta in her direction.

"Mack!" Peyton screams, then follows to her knees in case more shots are coming; her eyes flicker between Mack and the various thugs holding guns. She doesn't have her own pistol on her, not that she'd chance reaching for it right now. "Please, please don't shoot us," she pleads, eyes filling with tears. Dammit, they didn't go over what to do about armed men yet, not really. All of the training was for hand to hand combat. "I have cash in the purse, take the purse and go…" She doesn't carry credit most of the times she's out — so much easier to just pay in cash. There's nothing but cash and makeup in her purse. It's expendable. Her life is the only she has.

At the sound of the shots being fired, Bones instinctively ducks his head and then jams himself up against the corner of the building he was just about to turn to bring him on to 42nd Street. Quickly he reaches over in to his duffel and grabs the police band radio within, flicking it on. "C5104, vicinity of 5th and 42nd! Shots fired! Shots fired! Requesting rollout of all available services!" he calls in to the radio and then reaches for his keys on his belt, reaching in to his bag to fiddle with trying to open some kind of cable lock as he tries to glance around the corner to catch a glimpse of what is taking place.

Among the retinue of criminals is a young woman, probably in her late twenties. Her skin is naturally tanned, she has dark hair, and most of her body is largely hidden from view by a long black coat. Once she's satisfied that the scene is stabilized she steps forward, walking up in front of Mack. She casts a glance Peyton's way and laughs derisively. "Shut up. We don't have any problems with you." The way she says it just doesn't make it sound true, though. There's some kind of anger hidden in there. "You stay quiet and keep your head down and you walk away unharmed." She turns back to Mack, then, pulling a short, thin piece of metal from her coat. With a flick of her wrist towards the ground, the thing folds out like a telescoping magnet or mirror. She uses the end of it to lift Mack's head, despite his crouched position. You know, from the bullet holes.

"Hey, darling."

Mack's face is mostly just a mask of pain, though the little holes in the front of his chest are already beginning to knit. The big ones in the back aren't faring quite so well, as more and more of his suit gets ruined by blood.

"You… you're-" Mack coughs, more blood running out over his lip, "-you're de-" He never finishes the sentence, because that metal weapon crashes against his skull with a sickening crunch.

"Pack 'em up and take 'em home. Grab the girl's cash and kick her loose. Hurry up, you lazy bastards!"

There's too many, and they have weapons. Peyton ducks her head, looking sidelong at Mack, trying to decide what to do, looking for guidance, for some clue as to what the hell she should do. Her hands on the ground, fingers curl around a large chunk of broken concrete, about the width of a dinner plate but about four inches thick. A weapon, just in case… not much of one, but it's better than nothing. "Leave him alone," she tells the woman. "Please, just leave us alone!"

Once that cable lock is unlocked, Bones pulls a metal box out and takes out several clips of ammunition, taking the bulk of them and throwing them in to the snow behind a parked car across the sidewalk from where he is crouched. Taking his gun out from his waistband, he cocks the slide back. He remembers to attach the radio to his belt. Since Peyton and Mack are on the ground, when he rolls out on to the sidewalk in a crouch, he aims high and fires off five rounds as fast as he is able into the crowd gathered about the pair and then attempts to roll behind the car without getting shot. Chuckling nervously for a moment, he shouts out, "NYPD! Drop your weapons and we all go home happy tonight!" Yeah. Him and what army?

The woman in charge looks over as Peyton speaks again, shaking her head. Her lackeys grab the now-unconcious Mack and begin to pick him up even as Bones goes John McClain. One of those catches a round in his shoulder and goes down. Its almost a sick joke that as a result, Mack flops back down on the pavement, getting one more good lump in for the evening's festivities.

The woman moves as soon as bullets start flying, reaching down to grab Peyton by the shoulders and haul her up. For being a fairly petite girl, she's surprisingly strong. Once Peyton is more or less on her feet, she just holds her in place for a few seconds until the bullets stop. When they do, she gives a hard shove, effectively pushing Peyton away from danger.

Several of the thugs open fire at this point, the night opening up in a symphony of shotgun shells and various sized weaponry. Its kind of like fireworks. They cover their fallen friend and Mack alike. There's no talking; just bullets as the entire group begins to recede into the darkness.

Peyton scrambles for the cover of a building — there isn't anything she can do without a gun. Unfortunately for her, though she runs fast with those long gazelle legs, the midtown asphalt is cracked and damaged and her foot finds a pothole that has been neglected for longer than the neighborhood has been abandoned. There is a crack and she cries out, going down into a sprawl. Not quite out of the way, she crawls the rest of the way to hide behind yet another dumpster, tears streaming down her face as she peers around it, to see what will become of Mack.

Not about to let a fellow public servant get kidnapped without more than a few shots fired, Bones grits his teeth and closes his eyes, hearing those bullets and shots ricocheting around him. He shouts behind his teeth in pain as he forces bone plates in to place under his skin all along his upper torso, his skin underneath his shirt reddening almost immediately in what will surely be one solid bruise covering his entire front. Gasping when the plates settle, he throws himself up to his feet and perhaps what is a suicidal move, grabs up a few of the clips laying on the ground and steps around the car, firing at the group retreating with Mack. He jogs up along the sidewalk until he is able to duck behind the dumpster with Peyton.

In the violent exchange of gunfire that follows, another one of the thugs hauling the still unconcious Mack off takes a round in the leg, and two others get moderate injuries from bullets grazing them. A few of their return fire actually hits this odd shield he's constructed- out of his bones -but the number is incredibly small. These are not trained marksman.

"What the flying fuck!" This is just one example of the strange exclamations, followed by a chorus of others. But then the group disappears into an alley; only moments after that, they're gone. Experts of the layout of Midtown, this location was picked out specifically. At least Bones hit four of them; two of them direct hits that will turn out to be serious injuries, or possibly fatal ones.

Then, the night falls back to silence. The eerie silence that is only found in Midtown, where there is no bustle of the city. There are very few lights. The ground looks more like Germany or England in World War 2 than New York, or even Iraq. The city has no pulse, here. The city is dead, here. And Mack is gone, except for a few splatters of his blood on the sidewalk and a mess of unpoliced brass from his kidnappers.

The young woman looks up in surprise at the familiar man, surprised that he was the one shooting at her — or Mack's rather — assailants when Bones slides in beside her behind the dumpster. A look back and it's too late — they've run away. "Oh, my God," she says, feeling in her coat for her cell phone with shaking hands. She gives up after trying to push buttons a few times. Her head leans back against the building, tears streaming down her face from fear and pain. "They k-kidnapped him," she whispers. And Mack's unconscious — until he wakes up, she won't be able to see from his perspective; she will be able to look through the woman's eyes, though she doesn't do that just now with the tall cop beside her. Her registration card is rather vague and she'd like to keep it that way.

Bones begins to sink down on to the ground in the alleyway, adrenaline continuing to keep him going even as blood begins to color his shirt crimson. He looks down at himself and sighs, wincing as his body calms just enough to realize he is in pain and hurt. He reaches to his belt as he lays down on the ground and tosses his badge over to Peyton as he relaxes, the bone plates slipping back in to him. "Show that to the cops and EMTs when they arrive. I am verbally giving you my medical proxy. I am refusing hospital treatment and will only accept help in the form of the EMTs stabilizing me and stitching me up right where I lay. I refuse to be moved from this spot…" he gets out before laying his head back on the asphalt. He reaches up to his chest and grips his shirt, tearing it off of himself and stuff the rags against the bullet wounds as hard as he can. "You tell them that I don't have a single bullet in me. I just need stitches…"

"Oh shit, not you too," Peyton says, belatedly noticing the bleeding. She winces as she kneels beside him to put pressure on his chest while they wait for the help to arrive. "Don't close your eyes, keep talking to me… I don't know why that's supposed to help but it's what they always say in the movies and on TV so listen to me and keep looking at me… you can tell them yourself when they get here," she asks, glancing down at his badge. "Boni… Bonifacio," she manages. His name is even weirder than hers. "Your name means Good Face or something like that — your parents knew you were going to be this handsome when you grew up?" she asks, rambling a little in shock and in order to keep talking. Luckily, sirens scream in the distance. "They're almost here. Hold on, Mr. Goodface."

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