Iron Maiden


gillian_icon.gif bebe_icon.gif tuck_icon.gif

Scene Title Iron Maiden
Synopsis It's not every day that the denizens of Staten Island's Rookery get to meet living statuary.
Date April 30, 2009

Staten Island - The Rookery

Staten Island certainly would be considered a colorful place. Many people from many walks of life, with various intricate personalities. They also have their own problems, but right now Gillian might be self-centric enough to think her problems top most of the people who could be walking down the streets at this time. For one, she can't actually see them, not how she's supposed to be seeing. Eyes open as they might be, metallic but recognizable as what are supposed to be eyes; they are not the source of her vision. No more than her ears are what allow her to hear. It's more like her entire body is a kind of resonating chamber that catches details in air pressure and vibrations processing them as sight or sound.

Colors don't register at all. Making this place very washed out to her. She also can't feel the clothes she put on to try and hide the metallic form she's in. The hoodie that's pulled up over silver hair that hangs in thin strings of movable metal. Even with all that she can see that she normally can't— for example she doesn't have to turn around to register what's behind her— she still can't imagine how she's going to find the man who disappeared while she was so busy paying attention to every step. One trip and she would have crushed the man she was carrying. And instead the other one vanished from her "sight"…

Which is why she's out and about, having left a battered Peter in the hands of the Ferrymen, sure he'd be taken care of— she's looking for the one that left.

And she still hates this body she's found herself in. Hasn't needed to sleep or eat or drink or do anything normal. But at the same time every step is hit or miss. Stumbling has been commonplace. And occasionally, like the next few steps, the damaged, unkept Staten Island sidewalks can't handle her particular brand of foot traffic. Concrete on the side walk's already showing cracks, and she's not actually helping.

Supernatural senses tingle. The hair on the back of Bebe's neck, fine as filament, stands on end as an unusual and alien sensation suddenly seeps beneath her skin and slithers its way down her spine. What have the cooks in the Sheung Wan Kitchen put into today's batch of tree lizard soup?! She looks down at the broth currently collected in her plastic spoon somewhat suspiciously before she finds her attention inexplicably drawn upwards just in time to spy the silhouette of a hooded someone (or would that be a something?) passing by the restaurant's open door.

Bebe's body initiates an autopilot protocol and she's on her feet and heading for the door before her brain has even had the opportunity to consider the possibility. Something very strange is afoot in the Rookery… and Mu-Qian's young protégé has apparently nominated herself to head up the investigation.

Every step is a trial, and there's just so much going on around her… Vibrations, air pressure, all the information tries to process inside her brain to tell her which way to go, but with so much information… how can her brain keep track of it all? The more people, the worse it gets, to the point Gillian isn't even noticing the side walk she walks on, and the holes and indents that everyone else takes for granted and avoids. CRUNCH.

Her foot goes down into one such hole, broken concrete breaking even further. The change in balance forces her to stumble forward, leaving broken sidewalk behind her. "Fuck," she curses in a distorted voice that sounds like it's echoing. Considering she has no lungs and isn't breathing, it's a wonder that words can come out at all. If anyone was taking care of these sidewalks, this probably wouldn't be an issue at all. Instead they're already neglected and damaged from other incidents. Metallic fingers raise up to touch her face, as if she's got a headache. Can't even feel the touch. Can't feel anything. But some habits are hard to break.

…unlike the unfortunate concrete Gillian's leaving behind with every awkward step. The chips and dents and debris kicked up in the Iron Woman's wake do make for slightly more rugged terrain than Bebe had anticipated. She's minding the potholes and pitfalls but still stumbling from time to time; when she finally finds her way home tonight, she's bound to discover a stubbed toe or two courtesy of her all-consuming curiosity. Bebe isn't typically the sort to sport an overwhelmingly unhealthy interest in that which might just as easily kill her as anything but there's something undeniably different about what's happening here — she can feel it.

In fact, it's that feeling that compels her to undertake an entirely asinine course of action. She reaches out a hand, some fifteen or twenty feet shy of her target, and tries to assert her supernatural control over whomever it is that's destroying the sidewalk with only their well-worn shoes. Poke. Poke poke.

Even though Staten Island may be something of a hellhole and den of vice and sin, people still need to do errands. There's laundry to do, groceries to get, all those normal things in between running guns and generators and fencing on the black market. This is made a little bit more difficult by the fact that Gilbert Tucker keeps tripping in curious pock-marks in the sidewalk. There's no more public works around here, which means every pothole is going to be there until civilization decides to take back the island.

He's holding a bag of groceries that gets jostled. If the eggs break, that will suck. It's hard to get fresh eggs on the island anymore. Fresh anything is difficult, actually. He finds himself just behind Bebe and examining the marks on the sidewalk too. Curiouser and curiouser.

No longer moving much, Gillian's rubbing a hand over a face that can't feel her hand rubbing her face— until something pokes at her. That she felt, but not in a way that she expected. "What— what the hell," she exclaims in the distorted and echoey voice. The first poke moves one of her arms, the one holding a hand against her face, making her spin a bit, while the second one pushes her legs around. Luckily she doesn't go crashing downwards just yet, but the pokes cause a not-tall girl on the sidewalk to dance around rather awkwardly.

Not only that, but the hoodie falls back a bit, as she is turned to where they can see the profile of her face. Thin metal strands of hair are visible at first, then a silvery nose, mouth and chin. A female's mouth and chin. Made of metal.

ZOMGNOWAI!!1 Bebe sucks in an excited breath at her unexpected success in manipulating a — sacre bleu! — it really is a metal person! The little whore must not fully reckon the strength of her own magnetic personality. This is why the gesture of suddenly drawing both hands up in order to shield her shocked and gaping mouth might have been a poor choice — it subsequently compels Gillian toward her. At speed. Gangway!

While Bebe might have the foresight to step out of the way before being bowled over by the metal monstrosity, anyone unfortunate enough to be behind her…

A man intent on checking to make sure his precious eggs are intact after tripping, too. Tuck's not really looking where he's going, rather, he's looking in the paper bag. He's not aware that there's a metal woman coming towards him (because, you know, despite how weird Staten and the city itself can be, that kinda stuff does not happen every day) so he's in a prime position to be bowled over by the walking statuary.

What about flying metal librarians? Cause that's what's moving toward him. Suddenly, Gillian feels weightless. Not that she felt much of anything before, but this— somehow is very different. Feet leave the ground. None of her actually is touching it, and she gets jerked upwards and toward Bebe and Egg carrying Tuck in such a way that… it looks almost like a the strangest stunts ever seen on television. Done completely wrong. They can even see metal eyelids widen, what must be eyebrows raise, lips part and ready to yell. Even her teeth are metallic, even her tongue.

She's like one of the most detailed metal statues they've ever seen— that happens to move— also flying at them. And yelling in a distorted voice that sounds like someone screaming through a metal door that everyone's ear is against.

What time is it? Where are they again? In the split second it takes for Bebe to register that her hot momma metal plaything - you know, the one that cracks concrete underfoot without so much as batting an eyelash - is about to go careening headlong into some guy that she actually sorta recognizes as being nice, she fails to take into account the time or the place in which they've all three converged and summarily throws both arms out into the air as if to warn poor Gilbert Tucker of his impending date with broken eggs and cranial injury. The results are… surprisingly more effective than one might think.

Shiny, metal Gillian stops short in mid-air, suspended by invisible wires held by stagehands somewhere behind the decayed backdrop of the Rookery.

And Tuck drops his eggs anyway. His arms go stiff from the shock of flying Gillian. His face is only inches from her, given the pawnie is pretty short for a man, at only an inch or so taller than the Iron Maiden. His brows arch behind a pair of plastic framed glasses and he just kind of stares at her. "Uh. Hi there." His fingers twiddle.

There's uncooked scrambled eggs all over his shoes, but he's far more interested in the hanging marionette of metal than he is in the eggs that were precious a moment before.

"Hi?" the distorted voice comes out in an awkward fashion, the hint of a squeak in the way it's said. Gillian's not used to being flung around, nor is she used to ending up… suspended mid-flight hovering near people and not touching the ground. The strings that hold her up are unseen, and un-"felt", but she knows there's something there. And there's a woman nearby who happens to have her hands up in gestures that remind her a little too much of the guy she's sleeping with waving people around. Only as far as she knows, he's not currently a girl.

Unless he didn't lose shapeshifting.

The hoodie has fallen back entirely. All metal is definitely a good way to describe this woman. Everything from her hair to her teeth, to the dimples on her cheek. All iron. Some smooth, some unpolished looking, but all… iron. "I'm not— on the ground at all, am I?" Cause this is all pretty new to her. Her voice would be a lot shakier if she could actually feel anything resembling pain right now. Or if she had to actually breathe.

You can put your arms down now, Bebe. Oh, right, hey. And she does, slowly, taking Gillian along for the ride as gently as she's able until two metal feet can once again greet the concrete they'd been previously pounding. Literally. The scuff of Bebe's feet as she attempts to inch quietly into the periphery sounds somehow magnified in the startled temporary silence that has blanketed this little corner of the Rookery.

"You… are not aware of this fact?" Tuck pushes a foot underneath Gillian's suspended feet. In fact, he barely misses getting a toe squished when Bebe drops her arms. He steps back to give he and the metal girl more space between them. His movement is impaired a little by the fact that he's slipping in egg. "Aw. My quiche." A frown. Then. Wait! That didn't sound very manly. He clears his throat. "Hey. Are you all right there, uh, Miss Colossus?" He looks at her over the top of his plastic-framed glasses, and beyond her, he spots Bebe.

"Hey there, missy." He hasn't yet stitched together that she might be the source of Gillian's flying act.

The hands go down, and Gillian feels the ground get closer, until she's standing on it again. There we go. Those metallic eyes turn toward the woman gesturing and stay there, though 'Miss Colossus' is very much aware of the man speaking to her as well. Though who knows if she'll be able to recognize him once this goes away— god she hopes it goes away. "I— it's kind of hard to tell when you can't feel anything— this is fucking ridiculous," she rumbles, lips moving though she somehow doubts she'd have to say anything. Just like she doesn't technically need to blink, but she still does. "At least I'm on the ground again— I think," she adds, though her body seems to be wobbly. Almost as if her legs are not used to it. It's the numbness. She's still relearning how to walk. And stand too.

"You were holding me, weren't you?" she addresses, carved face pointed at the woman who had been gesturing. And whose gestures she just noticed she moved with.

Busted? It's hard to tell. Bebe nearly flinches at the swing of conversation from general albeit awkward niceties taking place between people who are not her to uncomfortable questions pitched in her direction. Those big brown eyes bounce between the shiny, silver face sported by Gillian and Tuck's adorably still pink and fleshy visage. "Who… me? I didn't touch you," she protests from behind the curled knuckles of one hand, two fingers now pinching her lower lip, a signal of distress.

"Mmmm. Let me guess. Power just manifested? Messy, messy. Bad place for it to happen, too. Are you a mainlander? I… aw." Tuck looks down at the eggs and eyes them with an odd bit of sadness. Oh…oh well! He pushes the glasses up on his nose, then makes a bit of a sound by pulling air between his lips and pocketing it in his cheek for a moment. He glances at Bebe, then to Gillian and back again. "Nnno, I believe you didn't touch her. But that doesn't mean you weren't holding her."

"Rather be stuck here than the mainland right now," Gillian admits in that same rumble as she puts her hands on her knees, which are still clothed. There's a sudden tearing sound and she pulls her hands back away before she rips her clothes off by accident. This— sucks so very much. "Yesterday— I don't know how to change back." Not the whole truth, really, cause she manifested months and months ago, but this power only showed up after getting zapped by red lightning. It's complicated. Like her whole life the last half year or so. "I could be wrong, but you were…" the voice trails off as she moves metallic hands up and down. If it weren't for living with a telekinetic, she might not have thought anything of it. But he likes to wave his arms around when he does the 'moving things without touching things' thing.

No, no, no. This is no good. Bebe starts to make a pointing gesture but then thinks better of it and refrains, jamming her thin fingers into the front pockets of her jeans before noting with a subtle tilt of her head, "Maybe me, you and Metallica all ought to talk about this somewhere… else." Somewhere that isn't an open street corner in the middle of the worst part of Staten Island with the after-hours crowd preparing to flood in from the mainland imminently in search of their sordid vice of choice…

Somewhere like Tuck's pawn shop, perhaps? The little hooker gives the pawnie a pointed look.

Aw, jeez. Tuck is a sucker for anyone under the age of twenty-four who seems to be in trouble. All he can think is 'if it were my kid, I'd want them to help.' So, with a pinch to the bridge of his nose, he motions off in the direction of his shop.

"Just…" he eyes Gillian. "…don't…touch anything when we get inside, okay?" Then he bends down to pick up and salvage what he can of his groceries. The broken eggs are left on the sidewalk. Civic pride what?

"I'll try not to," Gillian speaks again, glancing down at her hands. She'd been concerned about even touching people since she got into this mess. She doesn't even want to guess how much she weighs. Half a ton is a strong possibility. "Sorry about the quiche," she finally says in apology, shrugging her shoulders as she starts to stumble as if she might follow them. They're the ones who seem to know what they're doing. "And your eggs too," she adds, catching 'sight' of the broken egg bits on the sidewalk. Even then, she still hesitates. "I can't really stay for long, though— I'm looking for someone…"

"You're looking for trouble, you mean." Bebe's uncanny ability to state the absolute truth — even in contexts pertaining to the individual for whom Gillian is searching — without rightly realizing it strikes again. It's hard to travel covertly with a metal woman in their midst, though Bebe might actually be helping things along by somehow keeping the woman's heavy footfalls from ever registering on the ground, compelling her to hover an inch or so over the otherwise still decayed concrete until they've reached the bars of Tucker's erstwhile establishment of purveying all things pawned. The sooner they're all out of the public eye, the better.

"Well, metal miss. If you're looking for someone on Staten, you've run across the right guy. I try to keep an ear on everything that goes down 'round these parts." And yes, Tuck is purposefully using a bit of cowboy slang. He digs into his pocket and pulls up the keys. Several locks are unlocked and as soon as he enters the neon-lit establishment, he moves to disarm the alarm. There. The lights flick on.

There's a handwave to Gillian's concern over his eggs. "S'fine." Not really, but he's not about to make a fuss over it.

Tucker's Pawn Shop

"It's not that kind of… nevermind," Gillian's distorted voice trails off, shaking her head a little as she tries to walk carefully, avoiding actually looking at the two folks. Once the manipulator exerts control over her, though, that's when she makes another sound of surprise. It'd be a gasp if she breathed. Now it's just kind of a curse. It does make things easier, especially on her… but… If they're trying to be covert, she barely remembers to reach up and pull the hoodie back up over metallic hair.

It's when they get to the store that she starts to whistle through teeth— in her mind. But there would be the hint of a dimpled smile as she "looks" around. "Nice place— or I think it's nice. It's fucking difficult to tell— but it seems to be the kind of place I'd like…"

The uneasy awkwardness continues even after they've all found their way behind closed doors — complete with metal bars that one of them could just as easily bend or break with her brain — and Bebe struggles to stay calm even as the fact that she's been 'outted' clouds her thoughts. "Your voice…," she starts to say, presumably pitched to the Iron Maiden, but she can't find the words to finish it. Gillian's probably well-aware how unusual she is right now. No need to draw further attention to it. Instead, she looks sidelong at Tuck and says nothing, allowing her expression to speak for her. Please don't rat me out.

"You're sweet, punkin. But this isn't the type of place most people call 'nice.'" Not that it's horrendous. But bulletproof glass isn't exactly 'homey.' Tuck moves to the back cage area and unlocks it too.

"Sooo. Bebe. We're in private now." He folds his arms across his chest and rests them there. Yep. He's a dad. This is his Dad Face. Not disapproving, but expecting an explanation. He flicks his attention to Gillian and asks, "And who were you looking for. You'd be surprised who I know around here."

"I'm not exactly nice either," Gillian murmurs, looking a little fidgety as attention is directed at her, especially at the questions. "It's not— I just— don't worry about it. I'll find him on my own," she says, not seeming to be looking at them but definitely giving off a reluctant feeling in her unnaturally sounding voice. And no, she actually has no idea how she sounds— she'd been afraid when she talked for the first time. Gabriel isn't exactly the type of person she likes asking people about. So many people would rather shoot him, or lock him up, and if she explained why she was looking for him, 'cause he's hurt and maybe powerless, why wouldn't they take advantage of it?

Bebe miraculously manages to infer a critique on both Gillian's current outward appearance and her employed surveillance technique when she imparts a slightly sarcastic, "Not lookin' like that, you won't." It isn't meant to be harsh so much as a statement of fact. "You wander down the wrong alley around here and you'll end up in a cage underneath the Pancr—" Oh, right. That reminds her.

"Logan doesn't know," she says to Tuck in a somewhat non sequitur manner.

"Suit yourself," says Tuck to Gillian with a shrug. "What should I call you so I can stop making up smartassed names in my head?" He leans against a counter and raps his fingers in an idle drumbeat.

He tilts his head at Bebe and the words about Logan. "Oh? And what is it exactly that Logan doesn't know about?" He has a few guesses.

"I know what it's like being here," Gillian says in that same quiet rumble. "I've lived here for most of the year already…" Though the name Logan doesn't actually ring a bell. It probably would if she paid more attention to some stuff, but she's managed to keep under the radar more or less. Wrong alley? Unless the people trying to drag her down to a cage happened to have someone like the girl near her, she can't help but think they'd have a hard time of it. She may hate this body quite a bit, but… "Gillian," she does offer as a name, with a mild tick of an eyebrow.

The desire to remain subtly sarcastic in lieu of sheltering underneath a more comfortable mantle of good-natured curiosity is pervasive but resisted and Bebe doesn't bother to contest the Iron Maiden's assertion of time spent living on the Island. She very obviously hasn't been made of metal her entire life and so the odds are pretty strong that she's miraculously managed to remain unassaulted because she's otherwise kept a low profile. Instead, Bebe echoes the young woman's name and quietly pretends that there's only one course of conversation to be had at the moment, "Gillian… have you seen yourself? You really can't go back out there looking or sounding like you do. Can you, like, turn it off?" Insert the pantomimed flicking of an invisible switch here.

Tuck doesn't miss that Bebe has disregarded his question. He wrinkles his nose in a disgruntled parental fashion, but doesn't comment. "Well, listen, ladies… as much as it might be in my best interest to look out for you," he inclines his head towards Bebe, "…this is a little out of my field of expertise. But if you'd like a few fridge magnets to spruce up your forehead, I'd be happy to oblige." He didn't say that to be nasty, really! He wants Gillian to crack a metal smile.

"If I could, do you think I would've been walking around like this in the first place, lady?" Gillian responds, looking a little sarcastic as she tugs on the hood gently. Just enough to keep it up. Someone back at the Ferrymen had helped her get dressed when she insisted on going outside, much as it looks like she'll do now. "I was doing just fine until something — or someone — started whipping me around like a puppet. I think I can manage a couple blocks— Though I think you're right— it'd probably be best to go back where I started and just stay there until this… thing goes away." Cause god, it better go away. She's pretty sure she can make it back, hopefully finding better sidewalks to walk on this time. Isn't her fault she stumbled upon a bad stretch. "And no, I don't want any magnets," she adds, grumbling voice even more grumbly.

To be fair, Bebe wasn't exactly inducing whiplash with her preternatural prodding but… she wasn't really being all that gentle, either, if only out of necessity to maintain, uh, sidewalk safety. Yeah. It was a precautionary measure. The little hooker dons something of a scowl but let's the expression melt away quickly.

"That sounds like a much better idea," says Bebe, eyeing Tuck ever so slightly from the side just to see if he agrees. "Go home. Stay somewhere safe." For everyone.

"And watch out for power lines and thunderstorms." Oh, if Tuck knew the truth of poor Gillian's situation, he wouldn't tease her so. "I'd stay out of sight there, miss. As much as you might get cabin fever, there's lots of folks around here who'd love to take advantage of your situation." A beat, "As you know if you've been living here for a year." Good thing he's not the type to take advantage…right? He glances sidelong at Bebe. "What did you want to come in here for, anyway?"

"Glad you're not them, then," Gillian rumbles softly as she already starts to move toward the door. A few steps. Somehow she seems to have them a little better this time. Still heavy steps, 'cause she weights half a ton, but she's no longer stumbling quite as much. Either she's getting the hang of it, or it's the lack of potholes that are a help. "…I hadn't even thought of that. I've been hit by lightning enough for one lifetime already…" If only she were joking. "I hope I'll be able to recognize you when this… thing goes away." They were at least nice about it.

"I figured that having a conversation with a woman made out of metal might draw a little less attention if we weren't hanging out on the street." It's startlingly easy to take for granted the fact that Bebe's only really been bound to a single shore, so to speak, for a little less than a year. Prior to that, it was a non-stop pirate cruise for nearly five years. She's still trying to wrap her brain around how seemingly common place her fellow freaks of nature have become in New York City. Then again, one might actually have to know that about Bebe in order to take her perspective to be anything other than an enhanced brand of paranoia.

Something in what Gillian echoes at them hooks her curiosity and she asks, "What do you mean… recognize us?"

Tuck is starting to get edgy. This is a kind of trouble that doesn't make him any money. Therefore, it's a kind of trouble he doesn't want. He's a self-serving man in a lot of ways, though for the most part he hides it well. "Be careful, Gillian." He sounds like he means it. Though he does look interested in the answer to Bebe's question.

The only way to really tell she's hesitating is because Gillian stops moving in the direction of the door. "I don't exactly… see. Or hear, either. I'm not sure how to— it's like I feel everything around me. I'm not even facing you, but I know you just moved your hand. But I don't see. Not really. I can tell you're a woman, and that he's a man, and that this is some kind of… store. I can tell what some of the things on the shelves are, but only from the shape." There's a moment where she shakes her head. "I'm not even sure I can read— which really fucking sucks." Especially for a Librarian. "Feels like I'm in a Twilight Zone episode."

And then her hand starts to move to the door, and then pulls back. "One of you mind opening the door for me? I break shit too easily like this." Also annoying.

Bebe's likely much more apt to play bellhop than Tuck, although given that it's his store, he might be a little more inclined to exercise something akin to chivalry… if only for the sake of saving his merchandise. But, that's not to say that Gilbert Tucker isn't chivalrous even would there's not property damage on the line. Natch. Bebe nearly bounds for the door and leans against it, holding it open bodily and then sucking in her stomach as if that might help Metallica make it through the open portal any easier. "Go home," she says again, trying to sound something between reassuring and assertive. "Stay safe."

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