How The Cracks Begin To Show


alexander_icon.gif brian_icon.gif elvis_icon.gif helena_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title How The Cracks Begin To Show
Synopsis Members of Phoenix crack in different ways from the pressure.
Date December 8, 2008

New York Public Library

Once upon a time, the New York Public Library was one of the most important libraries in America. The system, of which this branch was the center, was among the foremost lending libraries /and/ research libraries in the world.

The bomb changed that, as it changed so much else.

By virtue of distance, the library building was not demolished entirely, like so many others north of it; however, the walls on its northern side have been badly damaged, and their stability is suspect. The interior is a shambles, tattered books strewn about the chambers and halls, many shelves pulled over. Some have even been pulled apart; piles of char in some corners suggest some of their pieces, as well as some of the books, have been used to fuel fires for people who sought shelter here in the past.

In the two years since the bomb, the library — despite being one of the icons of New York City — has been left to decay. The wind whistles through shattered windows, broken by either the blast-front or subsequent vandals, carrying dust and debris in with it. Rats, cats, and stray dogs often seek shelter within its walls, especially on cold nights. Between the fear of radiation and the lack of funds, recovery of the library is on indefinite hiatus; this place, too, has been forgotten.

Upon arrival at the library, Hel sent Elvis off to get situated, and based on various and sundry reasons, there's a holdup on finding out about the situation concerning Abby. It hasn't pleased Helena much, but little's about her pleasure these days, so instead she puts out feelers inquiring about the whereabouts of her co-leader and lieuts - Teo, Alex, and Conrad, respectively. She opts to wait in one of the common areas for word to filter in.

Al has paid his little call on Munin, and has been subject to torturus interruptus. Which means he's no more happy than Hela is. His face is set in that marble immobility that means he's doing his best to hide his displeasure, as he saunters in. "Boss," he says, inclining his head to her, and looking for a place to sit, with almost feline persnicketiness.

Helena studies Alex a moment, wincing a little at the sight of his eye. "You know," she says, "I'm having a pretty crap day, but you look like someone pissed in your Wheaties. Did Eileen get at you again?"

"No," Al says, in a quiet voice. "I got at her, but not enough time. No real results," He sprawls across an old bench, like a Roman at the dinner table, even propping his head up on a hand.

Helena's brows furrow. "What do you mean, you got at her?" Her tone suggests that she might not like what he's going to say.

The pale eyes are wolfish and empty, as he slants at glance at her sidelong. There's no wriggling or suggestion of guilt. "No one's given me a chance to see what I could do to make her answer some of our questions." He's matter of fact, not petulant. "I honestly don't know what she thinks she gains by keeping silent."

Helena lifts a brow. "What could you do to make her answer questions? Teo seemed to be getting somewhere." Apparently no one's told her about the knifing, yet.

"Until she fucking stabbed him?" Al wonders. "And angel, you can guess, you now what I am capable of. I am not going to get explicit about it." Does she?

Helena half rises from her seat. "Wait, what?!! She stabbed Teo?!" Her face is filled with alarm. "How did she - when did she? What happened? Why didn't anyone tell me? He's alright, isn't he?"

"It took him in the muscle. IT's nasty lookin', but it's a flesh wound," Al notes, showing real suprise. "A certain jailor who shall remain multiple and nameless left her a knife. Admittedly, a dull table knife, but still. Some people in this crew ain't got the sense God gave a beagle. She shanked T but good, when he came to bargain with her." There's still that frightening stillness, extending even to the air around him. Clamping down but good.

Helena rises and begins to pace, only she doesn't commit to a full set of steps in either direction. She looks frantic. "Oh god, is he okay?" She's practically wringing her hands. "Brian…" she trails off, grimacing, and then, "We can't torture her. It makes us as bad as them. He's okay, right?"

"-You- can't torture her," Al says, and his voice is hollow. Honestly, it's half as if someone else is at home behind those blue eyes. "He'll be fine. We can get our girl to take care of him ,but he should be okay. If you mean Teo. Brian I'm temptured to give a bit of a lecture with my fists."

Helena stops. "No," she says stridently. "I mean we. That's a terrorist tactic, and we're trying to be better than that." She resumes pacing, with a little more length. "I don't know what to do about Brian. It was damn sloppy, but I don't think he'd do it on purpose." After a moment more, she digs into her jeans for her cellphone.

"No, he didn't do it on purpose. And torture may be what we need. They have no scruples. They kill cops, they blow up children. We need the info she has. We don't have time to starve her out of it or wait until she gets bored," Al points out, tone still flat as a Kansas highway, posture still lazily relaxed.

"No." Helena's tone pitches almost nasal, even as she's dialing a number.

Alexander sits up, but props himself lazily against the wall behind. "Well. How long you gonna keep her? And what was the point of the little exercise of grabbing her?" he wonders, tone level.

Helena waves a hand in frantic irritation briefly as she turns and talks into her phone.

Alexander is obediently mute. But also very clearly unconvinced.

Quiet, but still audible, steps announce Brian before he arrives. He looks rather dead. As he did after he actually did die. He is dressed nicely, a black pinstriped dress shirt, a pair of dark blue jeans and a white cap. Though his nice dress betrays his rather depressed look as he approaches the two. A cold, emotionless, "Hey." Is given in greeting.

Helena is talking quietly on the phone, her eyes sliding briefly to Alex as she talks softly. When Brian steps in, she turns to face him, her expression pinched. She points him toward a seat, perhaps somewhat imperiously as she continues talking.
Alexander just nods, mutely, drawing his legs up and slouching forward a bit to wait for Helena to be done.

Slipping into the chair, Brian watches Alexander flatly. His expression remains emotionless as he splays his arms out on the table before him. Leaning back a bit in the chair, he waits quietly. Though his eyes mostly rest on Alex. Daring him to say something.

Helena flicks off the phone, shoves it in her pocket. She seems a lot calmer and looks to Alexander. "You let Teo deal with Eileen." It's not a request. She then looks at Brian. What were you thinking?" she asks tersely. "She shouldn't be handling anything nastier than a spork!"

"It was a dinner knife." Brian mutters, irritation splashing into his voice. "Butter knife, whatever. You've got to try real hard to hurt someone with that." A little shrug. "What was he doing so close to her?" He asks, tipping a brow as if its something to think about. But he gives a shrug, he may not be ready to accept responsibility, yet.

"Prisoners are prone to making worse out of less, jackass," Al says, coming up from his seat to his feet, and stalking forward a few paces. "Listen, asshole. Your negligence nearly got one of us killed. You're the one as shouldn't be near her." All of a sudden there's fury in his face, his hands balled into fists.

"Both of you are done with dealing with her, as far as I'm concerned." Helena interjects. "I trust Teo to know what he's doing, and once he finishes, we'll deal with how we handle letting her go."

Brian watches Alexander coldly for a moment. And when Alexander stalks forward, Brian bounces to his feet immediately. All his rage, all his depression, all his anger, channeled into one moment. Alexander is a prime target to release on. His entire demeanor changing from indifference to rage in a split second. He walks forward at Al, as if challenging him. "Fuck you, fuckface. Where the fuck is Abby? Aren't you supposed to be watching her? But it's me who gets sliced in half by her friends. Or have you not opened up your fucking eye to watch the news for one second, you self involved little prick."

Glancing back to Helena, Brian dials down the rage for just a second to speak to her. "I love Teo, but he's angry.Teo is just as bad as he is, Hel." He gestures to Alexander with a thumb. An angry thumb. "I know I fucked up with the knife. But she likes me, I can get what we want out of her." He insists.

There's a faint rumble of thunder outside, and the sound of rain hitting the roof in a slow descent. "Stop it." Helena hisses at both of them. "No. Teo didn't leave her with a weapon, you did. You're done as far as she's concerned, and so are you, Alex. I've got Conrad on the Abby situation, I'm waiting to hear back. I am trusting Teo with this, and I'm pretty sure I know him better than you, Brian. Both of you, back off!"

"She thinks you're a fool," Al says, contemptuously. "Likes you," He snorts. But Hel gets a nod, and he subsides.

"Grow up, asshole." Brian snarls back. Quite the thing for him to say. He then looks back to Helena. "Hel, it wasn't a weapon. It was a fucking eating utensil." He complains, giving her a stern look. "Oh great, Conrad." He rolls his eyes. It's not that he doesn't have confidence in Conrad. It's just anger can twist anything into the negative.

"Have you seen the news, Hel?"

"Brian, I suggest you stop assuming you've got the high ground - you don't. I cannot tell you emphatically enough how much you don't. You didn't think, and that might have cost Teo his life." Stern looks apparently aren't going to cower her. "Take some goddamn responsibility for your mistake. And I've known Conrad longer than I've known you, so you can put a stop on that, too." Then tersely, "I haven't seen the news. I've been at the Garden."

Alexander is silent, listening. "You're a fool," he says, finally. "You fucked up, but you don't have the balls to admit it."

"I just said I fucked up with the knife, didn't I? Fuck." Brian exclaims defensively. The look he gives Hel is one of hurt or maybe betrayal. "I already admitted it, you fucking retard. You like getting off when people that aren't you are messing up don't you?" Brian throws his arms up. "I die for you people, I take on fucking killers for you people, and all you have to say to me is I'm a fool. Well fuck that." Brian takes a step back as if leaving. "I won't fight mass fucking murderers when the people on my side don't even fucking want me." He glares.

"No, you didn't." Helena insists angrily. "You excused it because it's an eating utensil and you can't cope with the fact that you're responsible by calling yourself a poor baby because people are angry about what happened. Grow up, Brian." Helena says, stalking forward. "I'm sorry that you've died. But you know what? A lot of people in this have died, and they're not coming back!" Her voice raises, and there's an audible crack of thunder to emphasize the point. "So if you're going to take your ball and go home because we expect you to accept responsibility for your actions, then there's nothing I can do about that. If what we're doing is less important to you then getting hugs and kisses and cuddles, then maybe you should think about what you're doing here. Because God knows I don't do it for that."

Al's gone mute again, since Helena's arguing far more eloquently than he can. He's just white to the lips with anger, nails still biting into his palms.

"I said I fucked up." Brian growls back, glaring at the shorter of the two. "I'm sorry, I fucked up." The words are practically wrenched out of his mouth. His eyes flick to where the sound of thunder went then quickly back to Helena. His mouth opens again as if he has something else to say. No one else to blame it on, anymore.. A moment passes. He closes his mouth. Better to say nothing at all, you can't regret that later. He stares at the girl for a long moment, not moving, not speaking.

Helena nods a little, closing her eyes a moment as she breathes in and out, the harshness of the rain dying, though the trickle doesn't fade completely. Opening her eyes, she takes a breath. "What was on the news?"

His anger begins to fade a little bit. He takes a few breaths. "Abby and I were attacked." Brian says softly. "Two men. Evolved." He takes a step back over to the table. "I fought them. And I shot one. They ran off and the police showed up. They were trying to get Abby. But I shot him.." He clears his throat. "He ripped me up with a knife. I was dying." Again. His eyes lower. "Abby was able to heal me just enough for me to make it to the hospital." He rolls his head back. "They were looking for Eileen. And Deckard."

Footfalls lumber in the hallway, a familiar cadence with the extra, sloppy weight of carelessness. Teo's shadow dashes up on the wall before he emerges, his hair flattened by rain wherever it isn't bristled up by a careless hand. He'd be soaked through, the rest of him, if he wasn't always wearing sixty layers of armor against the winter. An impossible shadow hangs at his throat, barely visible between the folds of his hoodie's collar; an explanation for his voice over the phone, if Helena cares to look for it.

"'Ey." Or anyone else. His voice hangs somewhere between laryngitis and sandpaper. Coming up on the end of Brian's words, he volunteers a wide grin that's only crooked from fatigue. Proud. "I foun' Deckard. Y' a'right?" Pale eyes shift between his comrades.

Helena makes a noise in the back of her throat like a funny kind of sob, and moves to step in at Teo's side, gingerly putting an arm around him. Then, "Some blonde chickie kidnapped Abby. Conrad and Elisabeth are on it, but they've been delayed."

Brian's brows arch for a moment. They made a hell of a fuss about the knife. His eyes set coldly on Helena as she so swiftly departs and clings to Teo. He makes no reaction as of yet, but the anger is flaring back up. He looks over Teo for just a moment.

Awkward with caution, Teo folds the long angles of his arm around Helena's bright-haired head. "Yeah. Got your message." He nods his head in confirmation, careful not to knock the top of her skull with his chin. "Then a phonecall from her. Abby. The blonde cagna. Took Abby from the hospital after the church." His eyes swivel to the self-replicator and tighten momentarily. Better not to mention Miles Porter at this moment, he decides. If ever. "Said she'll call again.

"Three AM. Nee'ed Abby f' one heal—ing project. Unusual case. Needs test su'jects first. Told her we could help." It's like trying to tap sentences out in Morse. His pulse accelerates audibly under Hel's ear, aggravation at himself. "Think she hasn't hurt Abby yet. Says she won', if we leave her alone. Let her go after. Even if it du'n work." Is that it? He thinks so. Realizes, self-consciously, that he's getting rainwater on Helena and peels himself loose.

Awkward with caution, Teo folds the long angles of his arm around Helena's bright-haired head. "Yeah. Got your message." He nods his head in confirmation, careful not to knock the top of her skull with his chin. "Then a phonecall from her. Abby. The blonde cagna. Took Abby from the hospital after the church." His eyes swivel to the self-replicator and tighten momentarily. Better not to mention Miles Porter at this moment, he decides. If ever. "Said she'll call again.

"'Fore three AM. Nee'ed Abby f' one heal—ing project. Unusual case. Needs test su'jects first. Told her we could help." It's like trying to tap sentences out in Morse. His pulse accelerates audibly under Hel's ear, aggravation at himself. "Think she hasn't hurt Abby yet. Says she won', if we leave her alone. Let her go after. Even if it du'n work." Is that it? He thinks so. Realizes, self-consciously, that he's getting rainwater on Helena and peels himself loose. </re>

Helena is going to yell to one of the others to bring a change of clothes, and moves to try and help him to a seat. "Let me get this straight," she says. "Crazy blonde kidnaps Abby, tells you she's just uh, borrowing her? And she's going to call back?" It takes a few blinks to process. She ignores Brian's fuming.

Clapping his hand down on the desk, Brian stands. He turns his back to the others and goes to make his quiet exit.

"Yah. 'S nothin' to do with Eileen. 'S a woman. Maybe jus' one. Think she's scared." Teo nods again. Frowns when he sees coddling about to be foisted on him, and the frown deepens still more when Brian begins to take off with his little percussive effect. Confused, he furrows his brow at Helena, then lifts his head. "Brian," he calls out, hoarsely.

It'd taken a touch for Elvis to get settled in, not that she had much stuff but getting both bikes here took a spell. Then of course, there was the scooter to fetch as well. Even if Abby wasnt here to meet him, said scooter would be waiting for her when she did get back. Maybe ten fifteen minutes ago, she slipped the green scoot in line with her own and then set off to warm herself up. She slipped into view with a snap of her lighter, brushing just past Brian with a momentary blink. Hey she knew that guy!"Aye.."she announces lowly, puffing eagerly away at a nice bright white camel. Unfiltered, delightful.

Helena turns her head. "Brian." she echoes, her tone less sharp, but still not quite what anyone would call soft. "You said your fight hit the media." And then there's Elvis, with her smoke, and automatically Helena makes a little wavey motion to draw it away from herself and anyone near her. "Oi, Elvis - you do know this is a library? Full of flammable things called books?" Her smile is faint, and doesn't meet her eyes, but that doesn't seem to be because of Elvis.

Pausing, Brian eyes Elvis for a moment. She looks familiar but.. Probably nothing. He turns slowly to look back at Teo. "What?" He asks, irritation in his voice. Then Helena is talking to him. A little shrug, "Yeah. They're Eileen's friends. Isn't that a big fucking deal?" He sounds more than a bit annoyed. He takes a moment to process. "The guys who were lookin for Eileen were looking for Deckard too, how do you know they weren't the ones who took Abby?"

Blearily, Teo closes and opens his eyes as if trying to squeedgee a film off them. "Where you going? Think they'-a mentioned that. Or Abby woul've. Abby was onna phone too. Nothing about our…" he trails off after a moment, finally parsing Elvis' entrance with a certain aspect of surprise. "Abby sai' there was a woman." He drops a faint cough into his fist. Scowls peevishly at it. "Few weeks ago. Caugh' her healing a homeless lady. Was in the n—ews. Bones crushed to dust. Scared her. Thi…" his expression suddenly voids. The lights are on, but no one's home.

"Oh right, I'll have to stop smoking when I'm working with gasoline and stuff."she winks, but the request is honored. She rather neatly nips the cherry off the cigarette with her teeth, turning to spit it aside before tucking it behind an ear. "Whats the word, Teo, Brian."she takes a moment to give both men a little nod, before focusing her attention on Helena. "I aint interruptin nothin am I?"With raised brow for effect.

Helena looks worriedly at Teo, before looking at Brian. "She doesn't match any of the information we have on Kazimir's people. She does however, match a profile that belongs to someone connected to the Company, but not one hundred percent. How much media did your fight get? Did they get a picture? Your name?" Helena's juggling a lot of crises, and keeping all those flaming swords in the air is difficult. To Elvis, "You can smoke on the roof, just don't leave your butts up there."
Al returns from his little break - rage venting and smoking, by the aura of spiced smoke that comes with him, and the blood on his knuckles. But he seems far more serene, even as wanders back in, tucking his pack away in a pocket. His face has lost that strained immobility, and he seems calm, if far from cheerful.

An annoyed glance is flicked once Alexander returns. He says nothing to Elvis as of now. Looking back to Helena. "Me and my twin. 'Andrew'. They got both our names. I'm all over the fucking news." Brian grumbles. "I'm a 'hero'." He declares, though there is no pride in it. He can't be proud. Abby went missing anyway, it was all in fucking vain.

"'S her," Teo confirms, abruptly, coming out of his fugue state of trying-to-remember with an almost audible switch-click of internal mechanisms. "From the Company. I remember her voice. It was her. Oh." Despite that Phoenix's other co-leader hadn't been directing that query to him, he answers it anyway. "She has my name now. Jus' 'Teo.' Knows I'm part 'f something.

"Alexander," Punctuating that with an exclamation mark was probably a stupid idea. He throws a rain-damp arm over his face to avoid hurling saliva vapor all over everybody, before recovering a grin. Which falters only slightly when Brian's voice scrapes up from the pit of despair. "You're a hero," he says with gravelly insistence, despite having only the blatantly underinformed media sources to found his statement on. "Better healing than interrogation. We'll get her back."

Its a tense moment it would seem, too much sober discussion and not enough social lubricant. "I dont reckon the cause of these things, is worth fretting over. Least not now anyway, it just fucks your head and I might reckon that there will be plenty of time to assign whos at fault and who isnt after this thing is over. We just gotta be cool."says Elvis. "Do we know where this bitch is sittin, I could just go up there and kick the shit out've her. Thats sort've my deal, yaknow? Make it more a bother to steal Abby, than to keep her. Otherwise, they're just gonna pull this shit again if we ever get her back to begin with."

Outwardly, momentarily Elvis was plenty happy to play it cool and bottle the rage she felt up. There would be a time to be pissed off, she would need all that anger when she found who was responsible. "also, anyone want a beer? I snagged a six pack on my way back."

Helena pauses a moment. "I…I haven't heard from Peter yet, and he's usually pretty prompt. I don't know what's going on inside the Company right now." She looks to Brian. "If you want an ID change," she says gently, "The Ferrymen have the resources for that. I don't know how it would affect your multiples, though." Elvis earns a faint smile. "We're waiting on the callback. And El, be careful when you in and out, okay? We'll keep you posted on the weekly passwords, but this place needs to stay secret." Then bleakly, "I'll have a beer, please."

"I'll…pass, " says Al, clearly changing his mind in mid-thought, and hunching his shoulders a little. "But thank you," he adds, belatedly remembering his manners. "Good to know it ain't our little pack of nemeses. Sounds like that woman I saw when we tried the Company raid. Big blonde pinup. "Damn," he says to Brian, as he plucks a Camel from the pack in his pocket. No smoking, just fooling with, apparently.

He gives a little shrug. "I'm not a wanted criminal. If anything, that's what we're supposed to be to people, right? We're the heroes of this city." The words are said coldly as if he doesn't believe them. He glances over to Alexander for a moment. Then he slides his gaze to Elvis, rolling his eyes a bit. Slowly he turns his shoulders again, as if to leave.
To (Teo, Helena), Ethan pages: Think you guys might be up for a phone call soon?

Teo's mouth draws thin as a wire for a protracted moment. "Abby wants t' heal. I wan' know where she is, 'n case something happens. F' now, tha's it. Do no harm. Wireless can find the phone. GPS. Please beer," he adds after a quaver-beat's hesitation, uncertain whether the offer is still open after his reply. His head turns toward Brian's second escape effort, and he drags drying water off his scalp with one hand. "Y' have to hide now. You're wanted by criminals." Which might be worse, given the relative competence at the Vanguard compared to those obliged by career track to catch them.

Thankfully, Elvis was prepared for this eventuality. She slips out a moment, before returning with a six pack of orange blossum which she's eager to hand around. "I been behavin, I hate cops more'n anyone. I sure as hell dont want'em here."she offers plainly. "So, is there anything I can do to help right now?"Besides bring beer, and Abby's scooter that is. "Does anyone need wheels or something?"

Helena looks at Brian's back, her jaw setting. "I am so sorry if my capacity to manage Abby's kidnapping, Teo being assaulted, HomeSec, the Company, Evolved imprisonment and experimentation, and Kazimir's little end-of-the-world scenario isn't to your satisfaction, Brian. I'm doing my best." She looks back to Elvis. "I don't think so quite yet. But I promise you, there's plans on the horizon. Talk to Alex and Teo, they might have something." Then, "You might want to consider a face change, Brian. No one can make you, but if the Vanguard know who you are, that's bad."

Alexander's gaze limpets on Elvis. "Define wheels," he says, tone suddenly gone wheedling. Like he's about to turn on that good ol' boy attempt at charm. "Man, you just an angel of mercy, aren't you?" he adds, half teasing.

"All they can do is kill me." Brian says coldly, his hands are tucked into his jacket pockets. Lowering his head he goes to make his exit, lowering his eyes. He walks out of the library, intent on leaving this time.

It is becoming increasingly obvious to Teo that he missed something, between his blonde growing out and losing braincells to this or that. "'M fine," he points out to Helena out of the side of his mouth. His eyes follow Brian with an inkling of an elder brother's anxiety.

Alexander notes, cheerfully, "Uh, wrong. They can capture and torture the information out of you. Since they don't have the scruples we do." We in the collective sense. Al's conscience was apparently fatally shot somewhere around Basra. But he doesn't miss it. Much.

Helena looks a little strained. Brian's resentment is making her even more angry, but she tries to keep herself calm. "Keep your head down tonight please, Brian? If you're well known, someone could look for trouble." And he's got a look in his eye that suggests going out and doing something stupid, at least to her.

Momentarily anyway, she gives Alexander her attention. "Fuck mercy"yes that sums up her feelings on the subject. "I'm a mechanic, I can fix things. If you need a car, or preferably a bike I can figure something out with a couple bucks. Aint always pretty, but my stuff never breaks if you follow my rules."and there were indeed, Rules for her charity works. Teo however, is where she's secretely directing her attention. She wanted her shot at fighting for a proper cause, not just showing up for a cause or housesitting for a cause. If anyone was likely to give her the fight she was spoiling for, she put her money on Teo.

Right, then. Phonecall to kidnapper by three AM, visit to kidnappee in the ensuing hour, locate Brian's inebriated corpus some point preferably before dawn. Absently, Teo puts a hand into the neck of his hoodie, ginger with the disparity of the temperature between rain-chilled fingers and new marks. He manages to crack open his beer with his other hand and his teeth, before his attention shifts from the doorway Brian just emptied out from.

Back to Elvis, sparing Helena and Alexander only the briefest, fleeting impressions of alarm in passing. What the fuck. What the fuck? "I have a friend who's promised to help me, or I'd take you up in a heartbeat. Besides, if I showed up on somebody else's handiwork, he'd want to meet you. And he makes girls puke. You look better without." Beatifically, he turns up the corners of his mouth.

Alexander is all but licking his chops, like a beagle set loose in the milkbone wonderland. "We need to talk, then. I need some wheels that ain't yellow and belonging partly to someone else," he says, wistfully. "I don't know about a bike, but……"

If the amount of anxiety currently coiled around Helena were an actual energy signature, it could concievably send the entire room vibrating. "He's going to do something stupid." she says, looking after Brian. There's a sidelong glance at Elvis. Mustn't meltdown in front of the new recruit. "And it'll end up rippling back to us, and he won't see how it's his responsibility at all." Now Helena finally understands why some suburban housewives opt for valium, when they're not stabbing people with garden shears. "We might have money to equip a few people with bikes if it's a reasonable investment for the group at large."

"For a big group, this is New York its better to just do scooters. For maybe a grand, I'll find maybe 2-3 scooters of the same make and aproximate year so parts are easier. Community scoots. For cars and trucks and whatever else, I can work on those too without a problem. I'm a damn fine welder to boot, and I know how to work concrete so I can build most anything we need if I have a little time and some manpower."she glances back as Brian departs, she'd volunteer to go but if he hauled off and took a swing at her? However to explain, she was playing by the 'code' and that by biker logic it was totally legit. So she just stays tight. "Its cool Teo, if its the same dude who built that XR he's neat. Aint too many dudes who can work on an old mikky carb."

'Neat,' Teo can agree with. He nods his head in confirmation, before deciding he's going to stop abusing that particular gesture So much; making him light-headed. "Okay." Acquiescence comes easy, as long as there isn't some kind of biker etiquette thing he has to worry about. The other time he screwed up with biker etiquette he got most of his front peeled off on tarmac. As follow-up, his design preferences are simple. "Then: I want the fastest one. And I wan' to help you." He drops hand from neck and takes a pull of beer, squints at Helena for a moment, concerned about her while she's busy doing same for everyone else. "He's a good boy. Smart. He'll learn." He says it like it's a promise.

Alexander's lip curls. Apparently his opinion of Brian's cognitive capacity is not high. But he says nothing.

Helena looks sidelong at Teo. "Hope so." she says simply. "People keep cracking on me or exiting stage right." A faint, not-quite-as-funny-as-she-makes-it-out-to-be smile. "Anyway. So. Phonecall from crazy blonde. I'll try pinging Company Pete again, too."

Elvis sips at her own beer as she reclines a spell, diverting her attention to Alexander. "Just the same, I reckon I'd be obliged to help you with a car if you went out and found something. You pay for parts, and I'll provide labor for nothin."Teo was won over at least,but just the same everyone seemed a little off kilter tonight. "why dont we go see him, rather than call him?"

"If he wanted us around, he'd still be here," Teo answers, with something audibly like regret. "I shoul' fuck off. Change clothes. I'll ask Wireless to transcribe—" he clears his throat, a brief, sharp sound, "the phonecall. Still here, ragazza." Peeling two fingers away from around the girth of his beer can, he drops a light peck on the tips and lifts his hand, without spilling fizzy yellow fluid everywhere, to tap the curve of her cheek. "Elvis. Al." Saluting with his can, he begins to navigate off into the bowels of the building with a recognizable sway of fatigue to his step.

"Darlin', you have a deal," Al says to Elvis, expansively. He returns to his former bench….and his former Roman sprawl, like slaves should be bringing him a dinner of lark's tongues any minute now. "Where you off to?" he wonders of Teo, lazily.
"Shah." says Helena softly. "He's taking the call. I'm…gonna go sit on the roof for a while." She really is overwhelmed, so she's going to her safe place. Aww.

"Want some company?"Elvis is quick to offer, though she wouldnt dare insist. She didnt know Helena well enough to know what she needed when she was, well like however she was now. Nevermind she was somewhat planning on the same destination so she could get her smoke on.

Unwilling to experiment with raising his voice just yet, Teo points the way: the stairs to his so-dubbed workshop are over there. Glances over his shoulder once, at least half a grin visible against the temporary pallor of his profile. He's gone in a moment.

And for some reason, Al pulls himself up again, to amble after Teo. Perhaps not after him directly, but towards his own little squat in the garret.

December 8th: Cognitive Dissonance
December 9th: And The Stones Cry Out
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