Home Invasion


geneva_icon.gif hailey_icon.gif

Scene Title Home Invasion
Synopsis Hailey and Geneva brace themselves to fend off some very vicious intruders.
Date December 3, 2018

Park Slope - Hailey’s Brownstone


It’s damned cold outside and the snow has Hailey darting from footprint to footprint to get back to the warmth of the inside. Of all of Lance’s complaints, Hailey could only agree with this one, the outhouse, but even that’s only temporary. She’s been saving up for a composting toilet. Besides, it’s winter time and the smell isn’t that bad. It’s definitely better than a bush.

The heavy door is bolted shut against the outside elements and the empath shakes the cold off. Inside, a small menagerie is already laying lazily in the front parlor, fireside. A cuddle puddle of puppies and kittens snooze while nearby, boxes with nesting chickens doze. Everyone is warm, everyone is fed, everyone is content. Christmas is on the way and instead of a regular tree, Hailey has cobbled together a spectacular, pet friendly monstrosity.

No one can claim she’s not festive.

When Hailey opens the door to the apartment, she is greeted by a blaze of cheerful warmth emanating from the blonde girl lounging with her back to one wall, her legs crossed with one kitten gently dozing on her lap. Earbuds in her ears can be followed to a gray, clunky brick of a Sony Discman resting on the floor beside her. The beat thumping from those earbuds is apparently distracting enough that she does not immediately turn her face to look up at Hailey — this only happens well after the door has been bolted shut again.

It hadn’t taken Geneva long to move in and make herself right at home. It’s not like she owns that many possessions, after all. And in comparison to Lance’s place, this place truly feels like home - beyond the cuddle pile of baby animal cuteness, Idiot the cross-eyed Burmese is passed out in the corner, mouth hanging open and snoring like a chainsaw.

And because the ‘Christmas tree’ is, in fact, a giant tree-shaped, cat-themed wonder, it is more than tolerable enough in the eyes of Geneva the Grinch.

“‘Sup, Hails!” is Geneva’s greeting as she takes one of those earbuds out of her ear. Yes. This place is definitely superior to Lance’s abode in every possible way, indoor plumbing notwithstanding.

Dark and cold outside mean that inside is time to wind down and rest. It's been this way since the war ended, work hard during daylight hours and do next to nothing in the evening. Aside from bible study (which she does none of) it closely resembles a pioneer lifestyle.

She smiles at her roommate before reaching into the chicken boxes and taking out the produce of the day. The clucky ladies are bothered only for a moment when her cold hand retrieves the eggs. Today there are four. "Wanna share an omelet?" Even though the animals were fed, the humans weren't yet. "I think there's a few vegetables in the kitchen and we have cheese."

The whining yawn of a puppy averts her attention from Geneva but Hailey is only still until the roly poly little thing nuzzles its way further into the pile.

The other earbud is removed now, and Geneva wraps the cord around the Discman, setting it all into a pile off to one side where it won’t get stepped on. She does this as gently as possible so as to avoid disturbing the kitten sleeping on top of her lap. “An omelette sounds fuckin’ tasty, not gonna lie. I can help cook, too… well, maybe in a few minutes.” She does the tiniest of gestures at the dozing kitten, grinning at it in a look confirming pure adoration.

Geneva tilts her head over in the general direction of the kitchen. “I got us some groceries when you were out, too. There’s turkey bacon, pasta, soup… “ All sorts of hearty, healthy goodies.

The expression of unabashed horror paints itself over Hailey’s features thicker than the makeup of a sad clown. “Turkey bacon?!” Sacrilege. That’s what that is, pure unadulterated sacrilege. But after turning her head to give one of the (now awake) dogs a look, she pastes a smile across her face. “I bet the raccoons will love it!” Because she won’t. She refuses. Bacon comes from a pig.

Speaking of which, come springtime, they need to find one. Or two.

The other groceries though, that sets Hailey’s mind a ponderin’. “Man, I haven’t had spaghetti from a box in forever. I can’t even remember what it’s like… or how long to cook it.” She drops to the floor next to Gene and reaches over to wake the sleepy kitten with a tease and ruffle of fur. Babies are easily annoyed and it brings their caretaker no small amount of pleasure to do it. Kind of like siblings, but easier.

The dog that had woken before raises its head up, suddenly alert. Head pointed to the window on the opposite side of the room, he stares at the black window. He breathes in a deep snort before all of that air is released in a low growl. His hackles slowly raise.

It's not long before a couple more of the dogs become agitated as well.

Gene pulls an amused face in response to Hailey’s over-the-top reaction. “Hey girl, there’s nothing wrong with turkey bacon. Besides, it’s what uh…. was on offer at the time.” Her way of saying it was probably located in a more convenient position to be bagged than the normal bacon was.

The kitten awakens with a cantankerous little snort at Hailey’s teasing, which leads Geneva to take the opportunity to affectionately ruffle the top of its head. Perhaps now that it’s awake, she’ll be able to get up and—

The agitation of Hailey’s dogs cannot help but also pull Geneva’s attention to the window that they are focused on. The tension that has formed in the air is thick, and contagious. With painstaking care, she gently lowers the wayward kitten onto the floor beside her and very slowly unfurls her legs so she can stand up.

“Expecting someone?” she mouths at the girl beside her, not taking her eyes off that window, though she cannot see much through it.

Hailey grabs a tight hold on Gene's arm, keeping her down on the floor with her. She's tense, almost as tense as the dogs are. By now, the cats are beginning to climb their 'tree' for cover and the chickens are plumping themselves agitatedly.

"No…" she whispers, keeping well below the window line. "It's not an animal, but the reindeer ran."

The first dog, an older lab-mix, raises himself up and begins barking in earnest now, leaping toward the window. Thankfully, Hailey had the foresight months ago to weld bars over them.

Gene immediately gets the message when Hailey grabs onto her arm, careful to maintain as low a profile as the other. Both of her bare palms begin to accumulate a menacing glow of heat— kept out of sight at her sides, so this won’t be seen through the window, but nonetheless she is ready to lash out the moment it is needed.

When the dogs begin leaping towards the glass, Gene starts internally but remains otherwise motionless, watching to see what will happen. Every one of her nerves is on the alert. She casts a glance over to Idiot in the corner: the Burmese at least is still snoring like a moron, completely aware. And also appears to be drooling. Bless him.

Thought it’s difficult to see through the black of night behind the windows, the lab follows something across the large front window toward the entry. He’s not alone in his scramble to get to the foyer. While the puppies scramble for the safety of the two human housemates, the motley collection of older canines frantically jump at the heavy barrier between inside and out.

From their vantage point, the two women can see the doorknob being tested with a turn to either side and then go still once again. Whoever is on the other side, doesn’t go much further than that.

Hailey’s wide eyes are wild with fear and the grip she has on Geneva’s arm only gets tighter before it finally loosens. Then she takes a deep, shaky breath and lets it out in a long shudder. “Sorry, there’s just so many of them…” she begins, “I got overwhelmed.” Something that used to happen frequently when she was a young teen but doesn’t so much anymore.

The younger of the two women attempts to comfort the puppies jumbling in for safety as best she can, though she does not take her eyes off first the window, and then the doorknob as she witnesses it being jostled from side to side. There is a wince as she feels Hailey’s grip on her arm grow tighter, but otherwise her full attention is on the actions of the would-be intruder.

Finally, after an age, it seems to be over. “Nah, don’t be sorry. Not like it’s you that should be sorry.” Geneva draws herself up at last, legs aching slightly from what had seemed like an eternity of tension. The luminous red-hot glow, however, does not leave her readied palms.

“Shall I go out and teach ‘em a lesson to leave you and yours alone?”

"Oh hell to the no," Hailey says in a tone that means business. "I don't care what kind of stuff you did on the outside before, we're living in a different place now and we're going to do better." The expression on her face is firm and no nonsense. "No hothands, we're okay, the dogs were just a little riled up."

The dogs don't need verbal cues, for the most part. All but the lab-cross trot back into the livingroom to lay back down in front of the fire, the yellow dog stubbornly refuses to leave his post by the door. Hailey is fine leaving him there, added protection from the unknown. "There's a lot of homeless people out there and it's winter. Whoever that was, they were probably just looking for a safe place to bunk out for the night."

There is a clear sense of disappointment that settles onto Geneva’s face when she observes Hailey’s stance on this. It is a strong indicator of her respect for the other girl that she had grown up with, that doesn’t just charge outside and start blasting things anyway. Slowly, her hands lower back again as the glow fades out of both of them, and then they disappear into her pants pockets.

“Ahh, okay. You’re no fun.” Though Hailey is also probably correct in her assessment of the situation. “You never know, it could’ve been an axe murderer. Or maybe someone here to rob us, I mean, they probably saw lights through the window and decided to try the door anyway.”

“It’s not about fun or no fun,” Hailey says blandly as she kneels on the floor and stretches a hand out to the puppies and kittens creeping out of their hiding spots. “We have babies here that need us, and you don’t know what those people do to trusting cats and dogs.”

There’s a food shortage are the words that go unsaid.

After a head count, the empath busies herself with the food again. Preparing the pan over the fire, chunking the vegetables instead of thinly slicing them, cooking the vegetables ahead of time instead of trusting them to soften inside the omelette. It’s almost like she’s well practiced at this.

While she’s busy clanging around the pan and cooking downstairs, there’s a clink from upstairs.

“Yeah. I know. All the more reason to take care of any fuckheads before they can hurt anybody.” There is a harsh edge in Geneva’s voice now that was not there previously; when she glances down at the pets, there is a protectiveness in her gaze that was not so evident before. She is talking about fun, sure, but it is quite clear now that fun is only a byproduct of her intended purpose: eviscerating anyone who messes with her loved ones. For the briefest of moments, this aura of protectiveness visually extends to Hailey, too, as she watches the empath begin preparing the food. And then—

“Hang on a sec, Hails.” Nerves still on edge, it doesn’t take much for Gene to pinpoint a sound that may still be out of place. “D’you have some critters upstairs, too?”

It’s a moment before Hailey answers, a moment where she’s concentrating and trying to feel out where all of the critters in the house are. Then she shakes her head, no. She’s paused the cooking, as much as she possibly can. The vegetables are still being moved around the pan to keep them from burning, but the gesture is slow and she’s watching the ceiling rather than the pan.

Above them, dust falls from between the slats that make up the ceiling. While there are rooms up there, most of them haven’t been gutted and rebuilt yet, the building is still very much a work in progress. The two women can see, by the pattern of grit in air, that whomever is up there is walking away from their position below.

So, no animals upstairs. That leaves only the possibility that the upstairs intruder is human. As Geneva watches a small shower of dust shake free from the ceiling slats, she narrows her eyes, tensing her hands again. “Mm, probably just wind, then,” she says aloud, in a tone that carries. At the same, time, though, she signs to Hailey in the quick, sharp movements that characterize Lighthouse Cant: Gonna check it out, stay here.

As quietly as she is able, she slinks in the direction of the disturbance, towards the stairs and then up them. The erstwhile drifter may not have been living in this complex for long, but she had already familiarized herself with its basic layout details: which steps creak, etc. If said intruder is still lingering on the premises, they may soon come to regret it.

Up the stairs is a dark place, the wiring hasn't yet been fixed to the generator and the few sconces and candles that have made their way up haven't been lit. While Geneva has memorized the peculiarities of the old brownstone, the dog that follows her hasn't yet, neither has the 'guest' at the far end of the long hallway. From behind Geneva, the mutt lets out a low rumble from his throat.

The rustling noises go still.

The dark lab-cross slinks past the young woman at the top of the steps and his nails click against the hardwood as he gains traction. Geneva can barely make out a shadow rushing across from one room to the next before the door slams. The dog, not willing to allow its prey to flee so easily begins throwing its weight against the barrier, jarring the rotting piece of wood and splintering it with every lunge. Behind it, she can hear high pitched screaming.

As Geneva creeps through the blackened chamber, relying on the dim red glow of her hand to light her path through the dark, she is keenly aware— more than she would like, really— of the one dog that had followed her upstairs, growling and clipping against the boards. She never had like dogs as much as she liked other animals. Dumb, noisy beasts. Still, she continues onwards at a slowed pace, intently observing and listening for what details she can—

Until there is a sudden rush of a disturbance and the slam of a door, and the dog is throwing himself against the obstacle.


Wha-bam. This is the sound of Geneva brutally kicking open the door, splintering open the sorry thing the rest of the way. No point in trying to be subtle anymore, since the dog at her side clearly has no intention to be. The sound of screaming rings in her ears as she hastily steps over the wreckage of the barrier, the glow of her hand flaring more brightly now so that she can see what lies before her. Every inch of her body is tensed, and she is more than ready to begin a pursuit if need be.

The dog is gone inside the moment the obstacle is removed.

A young girl, about the age of nine or ten, and an even younger boy huddle together, frantically screaming, in the corner of the room. Trying to keep their faces covered from the attacking dog. He is tearing away the feeble rags they wear, grabbing at limbs as he can to drag them apart. He can smell their fear and it’s too tantalizing a scent not to go back into his feral instincts. He’s on the hunt.

“Jackson! Heel!”

Hailey’s voice brings the dog into the moment and reminds him of himself. He stops. Immediately. And lets go of the little boy in order to prance back to the empath’s side. She was, presumably, summoned by the screaming. “Geneva, check to see if they’re hurt,” she’s barking orders just like the old days, during the war, and clearing the way out as she trusts the other woman to tend to their ‘guests’. “Jackson, downstairs.”

When Geneva steps over that threshold on the heels of Hailey’s hound, she is fully expecting nothing but the worst. Her hands are threateningly raised before her, in a posture that is one-quarter defensive, three-quarters aggressive.

And then— Christ. It’s just a pair of kids. The drifter quickly lowers her hands the moment she sees this, fully aware of how terrifying the sight of her and the attacking dog as illuminated only by a red, sinister-looking glow from the shadows must appear. “Whoa, back the fuck up,” she flares up at the animal beside her, trying to physically force him apart from the children. Fortunately for her, Hailey calls out to him at nearly the same time, and the dog appears to listen.

Gently, she kneels besides the two huddling figures in the corner once the room is clear, trying to reach out to them in a comforting manner even though she is predicting that they will shrink from her in fear. “Hey… Hey, listen. It’s okay. Are you kids hurt?” As she attempts to soothe them, she visually scans them up and down for signs that the dog had done them any serious damage, apart from the sorry-looking clothing that had been torn up from the attack.

After Hailey's finished clearing the way, she ruches over to the children and crouches down to inspect the damage. "You're okay, it was just a scare," she says calmly as she turns arms and legs over. There will be bruising but the dog didn't puncture skin, thankfully. "My name is Hailey and this is Geneva, we live here in this house."

It's cold upstairs and by the time the children have calmed down, Geneva's job has turned from making sure the kids are alright to making sure the kids don't freeze.

"Jackson doesn't like it when people sneak up on his family," she explains to the two little urchins. "He has lots of babies downstairs to protect, do you want to come and see?" Immediately, both children answer in opposite ways. The little girl shakes her head no while the little boy nods his head yes. This earns a grin from Hailey, "He won't be mean, I promise. If you come downstairs with us, everything will be just fine."

Still, the little girl is hesitant.

"We have food?"

..is all that needs to be said.

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