Invisibility Times Two


claude_icon.gif hagan_icon.gif

Scene Title Invisibility Times Two
Synopsis Slightly drunk Hagan meets slightly drunk Claude. Hagan does a disappearing trick, Claude goes for the nose.
Date January 1, 2009

Upper East Side

Before the bomb, the Upper East Side offered some of the most expensive real estate in the United States, which the upper-range of residences reaching upwards of 70 million dollars. In the wake of the bomb, the economic collapse of New York drove property values down through the ground. This was only compounded by the southwestern portion of the neighborhood being in direct proximity to the blast aream causing rampant fires that destroyed dozens of blocks of residential and business areas.

The Upper East Side has the privilege of being on the border of ground zero, with a barricade of one story tall concrete blocks forming a barricade around the ruins of Midtown. Entrances into these regions are protected by Homeland Security checkpoints reinforced by national guard. It is this jagged blight visible on the horizon of the neighborhood that has been a grevious scar on an otherwise well to do region of New York.

Despite itself, perhaps, the Upper East Side has done as good for itself as can be imagined in the wake of the disaster. Much of the western portion of the neighborhood has dropped so significantly in property values that it has become residential shelters for refugees capable of affording a living. The northern-most regions of the neighborhood though are beginning to thrive again in the wake of economic stimulus thrown into the area following modest reconstruction efforts. Private and public donations to rebuild the region has resulted in a recovery to some of its former grace, but the damage done by the waves of riots and arson following the bomb may never truly be recovered from.

Hagan is actually not all that drunk. Sure, he's had a half dozen or so pints, but the shiny new healed liver plus a natural tolerance means that it's not enough to do more than make him weave a little bit. He's got his hands dug deep in the pockets of his ski jacket and the hood up around his face. Despite the cold he's clearly feeling, he doesn't seem to be in a hurry to get home. There's something about a street in celebration. People hoot and holler. Carloads of people honk at him as they drive by. Strangers scream 'Happy New Year!' or clap his shoulder as they pass. There's something very…human about it all, and the Irishman's in a surprisingly pensive mood.

Surprisingly pensive isn't something people want to be right now. Most everyone would rather be welcoming the new year than to linger on the old one. That is, people who have something to look forward to. In the bustle of strangers walks a man usually unseen. The man known as Claude Rains walks in plain sight, beer bottle in hand and a scarf that had previously covered up the lower half of his face already sagged over his stolen yet warm coat. The last year has been a troublesome one. The best thing that's happened to him was getting out of a barren cell over at the Company, but he seems to have… lost something. Purpose? This seems all too clear in the way he nearly has one of the carloads of people drive into him, and he raises both arms with a sneer and a stumble out of the way. "Oi! You ever hear of a steering wheel?!" Definitely not a good night.

Hagan pulls out a cigarette and lights it, but he doesn't smoke in his usual way. One cigarette used to be only a link in a chain of them. Now, he enjoys the smoke more. "I'm sure they've heard of a steering wheel. They just haven't heard of not having sixteen pints before they get behind it," says the Irishman quite dully as he shuffles down the street. The light snow has icing sugared the sidewalk, but fortunately there aren't too many slippery sections.

Claude's head tilts when the car passes, but his yell elicits a response from another direction. Hagan receives a lookover, and a derisive snort. "Oh, yeah. Let's all drive ourselves into a lamp post at the start of the year. That's the way to go." The sarcasm is strong with this one. Now, which way was he going? Pondering this oh-so-important question as he stands swaying slightly back and forth, he takes a swig of his bottle.

Hagan spreads his arms wide. "Why do you think I'm not behind the wheel? Who fucking drives in New York anyway? Wankers," He takes a pull from the cigarette, then looks Claude over. "Of course, there are dangers inherent in walking as well. When you're drinking like that."

"Oh, boo-bloody-hoo." Claude mumbles against the bottle, and lets out a sharp breath. "Pardon, have you seen any of your business?" He looks around him for a second, checking the floor and under one of his arms, before shooting a glance up at Hagan again. "Doesn't seem to be here, does it?"

"That wasn't a criticism, just an observation. I mean, who am I to do that?" Hagan sets one hand in his pocket. He breathes out a mouthful of smoke. "If I had it on me I'd be swigging away at it too. It is bloody New Years, after all." He starts to walk on again when there's a loud shout from behind him.

"Oi!" Three rough looking types. "Where do you think you're going?"
Those are Irish accents. Just…different kind of accents. Then Hagan's looking a little lighter on his feet. "Oh, fucking orangemen." he mumbles. "What you want you feckers. Have some bloody decency."

But the men are too in their cups, and a loud Republican is ripe for the beating.

Claude's skepticism and alcohol-boosted animosity ebs away for curiosity. His brow creases as he watches Hagan and his 'friends', bottle once again raised to his mouth. Time to take off and leave these people to sort out whatever it is they've gotten themselves into, right? Without warning or - seemingly - cause, Claude simply disappears from view, bottle and all.

Hagan is really not in the mood for a row, especially with three drunk and angry Orangemen no doubt feeling ire towards Catholics in general for this offense or that. So hagan takes a few steps and -he- disappears too, though with an effect different to Claude's. It's more like a strange shimmer and a darkening of the area. His footprints can still be seen in the snow, but it's enough to throw the drunkards off.

"Where'd the fecker go?" One says to the other. They look around, then by their collective intelligence, decide that Hagan's super fast and had to have gone that-a-way.

Super fast my nigh-frostbitten foot. Claude would almost be sad about having missed a fight, if… if someone hadn't just repeated his very own trick. Unsteadily at first, then resolutely, he steps forward toward where Hagan was and searches the area for fresh footsteps without owners. That are not his own. This has never happened before. He's had his power copied, sure, but… he could still see them. This just isn't right, and he is not liking it.

But he doesn't need to be visible. Having worked— hell, having defected from where he did, Claude has a bit of an edge when it comes to finding those who do not want to be found. Once you know you're looking for something it's easier to find it, and a second pair of footsteps joins Hagan's. They come within a few yards of the Hagan, when finally a voice sounds. A very angry, through-gritted-teeth, you-had-better-answer-this voice. "What is this."
There's a shuffling of those feet in the snow and a bit of backpedaling to get away from the other disembodied voice. And then, while still cloaked by his ability, he asks, very hesitantly, "Who's there?" Funny. Normally people ask -him- that.

"Who do you THINK, you idiot?" Claude sneers, shoulders rolling back as his eyes search for something. Anything. "How many angry Lanks do you meet in a day?" Then, without warning, his free hand opens and is swiped through the space he's guessing Hagan's head is in.

Hagan is not used to anyone being able to -hit- him when he's invisible, so the punch connects. "What the -fuck- man!" He stumbles back even further. A few drops of red drop from his position on to the new fallen snow. And then his footprints are starting to retreat, off towards a dark alley.

Claude stands puzzled for a moment, the bottle he was holding popping into sight and falling to the ground. Clank! His eyes scan the snow for movement, until… he catches sight of the shimmering. Intrigued, he can't do anything but follow. "What are you doing?" His voice is far from apologetic, though at least the anger seems to have subsided somewhat.
"Getting the fuck away from you!" And then Hagan's footsteps can be heard beating a hasty, and quick retreat into the alley, which suddenly grows darker. Too dark. The streetlights should be invading the space more. In fact, it won't be long until Claude can't see a thing.

Claude spits out a curse under his breath, following Hagan for a dozen or so steps before… he simply stops. Maybe… maybe he has had too much to drink. "Fine! Run, you half-arsed…" Mumblegrumble. He trails off, then turns and wanders back the other way. Time to stop harassing people, sober up a bit and find a place to sleep.

Before he can, there's the quick sound of feet and a sudden shove into Claude's side. "I can feel you now, fucker." The intention is to knock the other man down, then retreat back into the shadows where his power can be used to find the invisible man.

Okay, forget sobering up. This means war. Claude, sufficiently inattentive, suddenly finds himself knocked onto the cold ground. "Oh, you have got to be shitting me." He pushes himself back up, though perhaps not as fast as usual, and pops visible again. "You might wanna think twice about fighting me, pal." His eyes search the area, listening closely for a hint as to where the other man is. Contempt is clearly written on his face.

"I didn't want to fight you! You started it." There's a note of fear in the man's voice, and perhaps apprehension. Hagan really -doesn't-, but he was attacked by a man he can't see. He wouldn't feel safe walking home. He's still in the dark alleyway, which is fairly narrow. The echo of his voice off the walls and through the snow make him a little harder to place, but not impossible.

"Why can't I see you?" Claude straightens to walk into the alleyway, remaining alert and ready to fight off another unexpected shove. Not being able to see someone is slightly more unsettling than he'd guessed, and he's trying not to look completely too threatening. "Do you copy, or…?" He stops, teeth once again gritting, "Why can't I see you?"

"Because I'm Evolved, genius." No attack from Hagan is forthcoming, though he stays in the safety of the alleyway. He can actually 'see' better in complete darkness than with his own eyes in the bright of day. He can feel everything around him. Including grumpy men who can turn invisible. "Why the fuck did you hit me?" His tone is almost indignant.

"Because I'm pissed!" Whether he means angry or drunk… well. It could go both ways at this point. Claude grunts in no particular direction. "I go invisible. That's what I do. The only people who've followed me there, I could still see."

"That's because it's shadows. Or pushing the light away," Hagan lets out a fairly large sigh, then moves forward. There's the sound of a lighter and suddenly the shadows part and the alleyway goes back to a more natural illumination. Then, with a ripple, Hagan's standing only a few feet from Claude with a lit cigarette in his mouth and blood caked and partially frozen beneath his nose.

"Ah." is Claude's sparse reply to Hagan's explanation. He watches the alleyway return to its usual state with narrowed eyes. Hm. "… You're just like the rest then." And then, he smiles. This mostly because of the blood on Hagan's face. Whoops. "My mistake, then. Sorry mate." Insincerity, thy name is Claude.

"Just like the rest?" Hagan exhales a lungful of smoke and squints at Claude. He doesn't seem bothered by the caked blood, if he notices it at all. That whole area of his face aches, but the cold is doing a good job of numbing it as well. If this was another day and another time, the Irishman would be tossing a slew of insults at Claude and probably swinging fists for no good reason. But Abby's heal-job has temporarily calmed him and made him less willing to fight. Plus he's at the sleepy stage of drunk. And it's New Years.

Ah, New Years and alcohol brings everyone closer! … Or maybe not, since Claude's already turning and walking away again, idly scratching his face. "Don't worry your pretty head over it. Go find some cotton for that nose." And with that, his image dissipates once more.

"What the fuck, man!" calls Hagan as Claude disappears on him. And then he's once again padding off towards home. He mutters, "Coward," under his breath. And people call -him- that!

January 1st: Still a Lump of Coal
January 1st: Kismet
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