Into The Wild


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Scene Title Into The Wild
Synopsis Lacking memory as to what just happened, Joseph calls on Deckard for company (little joke) while figuring out what to do. That neither man can completely trust the memories in their own heads leads, unsurprisingly, to a lack of answers.
Date June 12, 2010

Somewhere in Brooklyn

It was maybe this time yesterday when white male later thirties John Doe had woken up from his Medical Mystery coma, kind of like the stories seen at midday with everyone slightly less attractive across the relevant cast. One night of obligatory observation later, it was observed that there was nothing immediately wrong with Joseph Sumter. For all that he could potentially list a few things, none of which being particularly medically relevant, this wouldn't stop him from desiring to leave.

Upon the slick curb of the street immediately out front New York Methodist Hospital, he's not sure where to go.

Not exactly, anyway. Presumably wearing the clothes he'd been found in, Joseph paces just enough to turn back towards the man he'd walked out of the hospital with, arms folded and feeling cold despite the damp, tepid summer afternoon. "Thanks for coming," he says, having neglected to state that before, in the room and the hallways and the checkout desk. Among a great many other details that the nurses and attending hadn't already shared.

Not many.

"That's what she said," says Deckard.

He is playing Tetris on his phone. It is one of the nicer ones he's had, probably because he didn't have to pay for or steal it. A nun in the waiting room showed him how to charge the game program subscription to the phone's account.

It's only a matter of time until he figures out he can buy things other than gas with his gas card.

Dun-da-da-dun-dada-dun-dadadun and the lights reflected dull off the hard edges of his hard-hewn face while he trails in Joseph's wake, no more likely to walk a straight line than he would be at his prior average blood alcohol level. He's in a t-shirt and jeans, elbows out like broken bird wings, hands too big to work the phone all that well. "Want me to steal a car?"

Joseph shoves his hands into the pockets of his jacket, a meandery quality to his walking. "You haven't already?" sounds almost disappointed, but possibly— potentially— self-aware enough to be deliberately so. No, he does not want Deckard to steal a car. He just might totally ride in one that was already so. His head tips back enough to regard the low cloud in the sky, judging the likelihood of rain — it isn't falling yet, but bruises up above indicates it's probably gonna.

Not that tonight wasn't already going to be some degree of miserable. His head still hurts and the world still swims, just a little, in front of his eyes. "I need a place to hide out for a coupla nights. Somewhere not Ferry." A hand's traveled up to loose a thin silver chain from around his neck, and whatever was hanging from it is absently clenched, warmed with the brush of his thumb in an absent fidget.

There's a glance from Flint's long profile, down to where the tiny screen is lighting it up in subtle neon colours, a roll of black eyes ensuing before the regard the damp pavement in front of them.

"The ones shaped like 's's always fuck me over," muttered appropriate to nothing, Deckard gives Joseph a look over and around his phone that may qualify as tolerant for the implication that he's always cruising on stolen rims. That it phases him at all feels unusual — it's a look that shouldn't be there over shoulders that shouldn't be as straight as they are. Especially given that the implication is more like.


"Staten or Midtown. Staten's probably safer," the phone is fumbled with until the screen goes semi-dark, "I haven't had time to see how deeply affected my places in Midtown have been since the weather turned. I have a feeling one or two of them've collapsed." He's just tucking the phone away as he says so, slate eyes taking a blue flame until he tips sunglasses down off his scruffy head to shield them. "At least if they're only two story residentials they won't hurt as much if they cave in on us."

Super, says the mildly sardonic half-smile that's directed down at pavement still, as Joseph hasn't looked up since he dropped his gaze. "Sure. I'll follow you. I don't have any money," he adds, half-reminder — it might have already been said or assumed, and he's not sure about the current fare for crossing the Narrows these days. He does have a few coins, though, charitably offered when he'd lamented to his nurse about having no cellphone to speak of.

These he curls his fingers around, where they reside in his pocket, looking up with a kind of hound dog's abruptness, turning to walk backwards as he scans the street, but whatever he's looking for isn't immediately seen or within logical distance, and so turns back to the normal pace and direction. "On me," is belated addition.

"I don't have a gun," murmurs Deckard in turn, phone pocketed with a push of his left hand down into his jeans while he tips his head after Joseph's pacing. Also, the fish of the younger man's hand after pocket change and maybe a pay phone. Or a coke machine. "We'll probably have to find one or the other unless you want to swim."

Content to soak up the afternoon sun on the sidewalk — which still feels retardedly welcome cast warm across the side of his long face and bare arms and soaked into the dark of his shirt — he drifts in Joseph's wake. No hurry to be anywhere is one of the boons of being vaguely homeless. "You going to tell me what happened?"

Helpfully, Joseph is not desperate to get to whatever hovel they find themselves at either. There's a half-baked plan as to how they can get to Staten Island with neither gun nor money forming — it doesn't even involve swimming. For now, though— for now, moving down the rain spattered pavement in a somewhat meandering search for a payphone is good enough of a plan that Joseph only nods. It might also help that he's been kind off vaguely homeless lately too. Who wants to call rundown safehouses and abandoned railway stations home?

Occasionally interrupted with brief retreats into hotels when friends need him to have a couch suddenly. "Uh. No." The sideways glance is accompanied with a thin smile. "I couldn't tell you without guessing, though I got a few ideas. Last I remember before wakin' up, it was—

"Hell." This curse comes off the back of a brief, uncertain pause, an anxious shrug. "Last week. Maybe Wednesday?"

Having recently been subjected to targeted stretches of deliberate memory loss that would impress most Alzheimer's patients, Flint can't find it in himself to twitch overmuch at the idea of so much missing time. He hangs back a ways in Joseph's wake — less submissively clingy now that he's had a few days to sort himself out alone and above ground, both hands in his pockets while he twists around to squint aimlessly back at the hospital.

"It's Saturday," clarified offhand just in case, he rolls the less sore of his shoulders and tips his scruffy head down after his own shadow instead. It's longer than he expected. Kind of like how Joseph looks more anxious than he expected against his own lazy detachment. "What are your guesses?"

"That what happened to me's the same thing that happened to a coupla other Ferry types lately, and whoever else. This girl called Lynette got taken not far from her safehouse. Before her was Kaylee, but she got given back without a memory in her head 'bout what happened." Saturday. Some nurse with kind crinkles in her face probably told him, at some stage, what day it was — so at least there isn't another show of worry, no further wrinkles at his eyes or twitchy restlessness.

Copper and silver coins click together in his palm, all the same. "It's this thing called the Institute. Or what they're callin' it, I dunno. Maybe nothing. Maybe I fell down some stairs."

And surivived without bruising or fractures. He could also joke about substance abuse, but it would be a terrible joke. Joseph can pride himself on being calm about it, less the uncertain wreck the first time fucked up things started happening and Flint was around to help out.

It takes Deckard a second to realize that what he is hearing now is technically intelligence, of a sort. Like. The kind he was theoretically brainwashed and put out into the world of vigilantism to collect. If his memories are to be believed. Which. At this point.

They probably shouldn't be.

Distracted by the sudden extra layer of ethically confusing complexity this conversation has taken on, he finds himself staring a little too hard after Joseph's ongoing dialogue about falling down stairs and the silence that stretches after where he should say something. Subtle. "…Why catch and release?"

Good question, and one that will have to remain rhetorical in terms of any solid theories. When Joseph does speak, it's unsure, thoughtful, and more than a little helpless at the workings of these things so much bigger than himself. (As a God-fearing man, he should be used to it by now.) "Either there's nothin' to gain by keepin' me and they got whatever it is— it was they wanted, or— I guess somethin' to gain by releasing me."

His chin tucks in a little as they walk. "Or both. I'm just— gonna stay away from the network fer a while." He doesn't, admittedly, sound super reluctant to do so. Maybe until he starts missing his dogs — it doesn't feel like four days to him. "But I can probably call in a favour for a boatride to Staten Island. Might just take a little while."

"I don't think they attached a bomb to your heart."

If anyone would know, it's Deckard, though his kindness in reassuring Joseph of as much may be slightly outweighed by the concrete pause that follows while he hesitates and doublechecks with an unsubtle up and down sweep at a distance to be sure.

"I don't see anything else in there either." Interest depleted the way dogs lose tend to interest in people once the food or squeak-squeak they were holding has been passed on, Deckard stops his staring and wanders off a few paces further along the curb instead. "I don't have anywhere to be."

Hhkay. There's a double-taking kind of glance sent Deckard's way, an aborted attempt at 'thanks' for the check over before Joseph lets the topic of what Deckard can and cannot see rest where it is, silence descending down between them only to be filled with the beep of car horns in the distance, the urban jungle's equivalent of wolf howls. "Me neither," he adds, after a second. "And I mean like— hell. Who knows. The network has people that sees through other people's eyes. Telepaths and precogs and people that can find anyone anywhere, and who're we, compared to them? Besides— "

His head tips to the side in a kind of shrug. "I could do with a vacation, and if I can do that and avoid endangerin' anyone, then, super. I don't picture you doin' it differently." Going off on your own, that is, although Joseph technically isn't. Alone. Right now.

"I think 'meat shield' is the scientific term," drawled off with less resentment than the words themselves imply of their faction membership status, Flint takes his phone out of his pocket when it trills, glances at the screen, rankles his nose and pushes it firmly back out of sight again without answering.

For whatever reason he can't find it in himself to point out that Joseph is technically a) not alone and b) theoretically (potentially) endangering him with invisible timebombs in places Flint didn't check as thoroughly, including but not limited to the scrotal region and everything around it. His standing there may become slightly more pointed in a straightening of his spine or a shift of his weight, but that's all unconscious shit anyway and only psychics and psychotherapists have cause to care.

Joseph is busy not noticing Flint's tense posture, too busy curiously tracking the event of the cellphone before he minds his own business in a glance away and down, curbing weird and generalised suspicion and curiousity. He didn't— quite mean to put a dividing line between Flint and himself and the Ferry. Only one between the Ferry and the super organisations that keep messing with them, with ominous Capital Letter names and sincere lack of apology. But maybe that works too.

LITTLE does he know, it works better for one of them more so than the other, but as established, no one here is a psychic. Still. Anyway. This comment motivates Joseph, after some drawn out space of time, to shyly add, "Sorry for dragging you out. Or in to it, is more— I should try find a payphone." And a change of topic! "They do still keep those around, right?"

"I probably still owe you." Either from something that he doesn't remember or from something he does and hasn't paid back satisfactorily however many months later. Disinclined to guess, elaborate or otherwise dig himself into a hole beyond that initial vagueness, Flint tips a brow up at the length of the cracked sidewalk stretching forever and ever all the way to the next intersection a couple hundred feet down the way and fails to see anything even remotely phone-shaped.

"…They probably have them back in the hospital." Probably. He looks Joseph over (again) and then twists his torso back in the direction of the hospital as if to see, even if it's well beyond his range to do so. "If not, you could always flirt your way into using one of the nurse's landlines."

Motivation to backtrack towards the hospital now that the urge to leave it has driven them a meandering sort of pace a block away— nil. Joseph shakes his head, nods ahead of him, and some determination picks up in his walk. "Bound to run into one between here and Red Hook. This whole walking thing— it works for me." Besides, it's not a bad day to be in New York — it's markedly warmer than the last Joseph remembers, less water in the streets and the city-wide accidents, disasters and deaths that had occurred just a couple of days ago have all been tidied away while Joseph was sleeping it off.

"…read any good books lately?"

Gauze and tape crinkle under Flint's shirt when he turns back to fore again and he reaches distractedly to smoothe it down under worn fabric, blandly absent for the time it takes him to do this and that with the pads of his fingers to keep his insides inside. The realization that Joseph is moving off for real strikes him late, but he falls into step at pace — not hurrying to catch up when the air is still enough for the physical distance between them to be a conversational one.

"I'm thinking of taking up Taoism."

A lingering glance sidelong of study, before a small smile hooks at the corner of Joseph's mouth and he goes back to watching his feet eat up the distance between here and Brooklyn docks. "You know you don't gotta make it a clean sweep with the Ten Commandments before repenting?" is asked, just as neutrally stated, eyebrows going like <:/ but without particular vehemence behind the expression.

Out of all the sins he is aware of Deckard achieving, finding East Asian serenity through heathen philosophy is low on the ladder of immediate problems. Same goes for him, actually.

"Well I can't stop at nine. That's just lazy." Not much of an anything-ist at current as it turns out, Deckard pushes his hands down into his pockets as he walks. He has no spare change to jangle and so jangles none. Just the phone he isn't letting Joseph get close to. And a condom.

Two condoms.

"I won't tell God if you won't. Frankly I don't think he'll notice."

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