Like A Magic Trick


bill_icon.gif danko_icon.gif doc_icon.gif helena_icon.gif wendy_icon.gif

Also Featuring:

irishman_icon.gif marina_icon.gif

Scene Title Like A Magic Trick
Synopsis Tonight, the part of the wonderful assistant will be played by Helena Dean.
Date October 12, 2009

Abandoned Tram Station

Towering high over the streets of Roosevelt Island, running paralell to the Queensboro Bridge, the rusted iron tower of the Roosevelt Island Tramway lies in a state of disuse and disrepair. Cable cars that once followed the bridge into midtown Manhattan lie spraypainted with graffiti, windows shattered. Surrounded by a chain-link fencing plastered with "NO TRESSPASSING" signs, the fence is falling down in places where residents have kicked down the chain-link to get access to the tram cars as shelter.

With much of the surrounding area beneath the Queensboro Bridge, noise from the traffic of the bridge deck overhead drowns out other, quieter sounds and creates an almost constant sound of mechanical noise in the area, along with the creak and groan of straining metal from the old tram station.

In many places, Roosevelt Island is like a ghost town. Abandoned office spaces, tenement buildings, barren streets devoid of cars where grass grows up between the cracks and fissures in the pavement. But here, beneath the Queensboro Bridge that spans the divide of Manhattan and Queens, it's hard to feel all that alone. The dull roar of cars crossing the bridge overhead never truly fades, and in these late afternoon hours, when the sun is blocked out by the jagged skyline of Manhattan to the west, it almost sounds like nothing ever changed.

The only real difference is the absence of the sound of the Roosevelt Island Tram running its ferry trips back and forth to Manhattan. Now abandoned, the station sits right along main street, surrounded by a half toppled chain link fence, adjacent to a construction site that has sat unfinished for nearly three years now. Old construction equipment — cranes, bulldozers, backhoes — all rest rusted and silent where the foundation of a building was being dug. Perhaps their owners may not even be alive any longer, and these yellow and rust colored edifices are their tombstones.

A new sound, in recent days, has been added to the edge of this industrial cacophony, just above the trill of sea birds perched high on the Queensboro, the sound of a carnival. The melodic chirp of the merry go rounds and Ferris wheels, teacup rides and children's laughter is just close enough to be heard a block away.

It's on this afternoon that the ghost town of Roosevelt Island feels so much more awake and alive than before, so much more vivacious. People walk up and down the streets, families and their children headed to and from the carnival. It's a small wonder that the collision of coincidence and destiny chooes this particular street corner to transpire.

"There she is…" the voice is distant, far removed from the street, high above on the abandoned Tram car sitting on the station. Lowering binoculars from his eyes, the rough and tired voice of a man known only as "Doc" looks over his shoulders to the pair gathered in the tram car behind him. "My six o'clock," he nods towards the window, "are you ready for this, Marina?"

Rising up off of the tram bench, a tall and toned woman with rich, dark skin and coal black hair wound into tight braids smooths out her black track suit, wringing gloved hands open and closed as she nods. Beside her, a young teenage girl looks confused, her blonde hair swept back and away from her face.

"Stacy," Doc states in a level tone of voice to the blonde, "just remember what we practiced. You and I are going down there… and you stop her to talk. I get up behind her and use my ability, and… the rest is simple. Understand?" Doc's brows lift up slowly, and he looks out the window again to one singular person heading up the street.

Helena Dean.

But this afternoon there's more than just one atmospheric manipulator up for grabs.

"There she is…" comes the wet, slapping words from the back of a rust colored van. Lowering binoculars from his eyes, the ragged and tired form of Bill Dean slouches away from the tinted glass to look at the red-headed man standing behind him. "Irish, ol' buddy, I think we got ourselves our target." The Irishman tightens his gloves as he listens to Bill, picking up the M-16 resting on the bench at his side, nodding his head curtly.

"Jus' make sure yer distraction gives us time." The Irishman states in a curt tone of disapproval at this entire operation, moving to the back of the truck. "An' remember, Bill." His pale eyes track back to the binocular wielding man. "If this goes sideways, m'out." With that, the back doors of the van swing open, and the Irishman moves out into the dusty lot across the street from the abandoned Tramway station.

This one street is a literal and figurative crossroads.

Especially for Wendy Hunter.

Miracle Day actually had some awful, awful weather in the evening, like a miserable cap on to an otherwise awesome day. It was so bad that as the sky got darker, people were less likely to want to go out, and people had to wonder what it meant. But as the next day dawned - perfect, bright, and with the air pollution index lower that it had been in years, it seemed to make sense. At least to some people.

And that's why Helena, and whomever in Phoenix cared to join her - are out celebrating, having come to the carnival, but once there, some going separate ways. Like Helena, who first started off in search of the perfect funnel cake, and having found it, just wants someplace to eat it in peace. She kept her hood up in the crowd, but here, with no one watching, or whoever might be watching, not caring? She tugs her hood back, letting her blonde braided pigtails flop against her shoulders. Funnel cake! Omnom. Simple pleasures are not to be taken for granted.

Wendy was there with friends, just having a gay old time. Between the beer tent, the rides, the food, the entertainment and spending cash like it was going out of style to get the big giant stuffed panda, Wendy was frankly ready to go home. What with Logan likely there and worried that he might poke about the studio and god forbid, break something or alter her art - though really, highly doubtful - and the itch to get some refrain in her. She hadn't had any yesterday so today, the gnawing was setting in. So was the other addiction. Logan.

Swinging keys to some beat up bronco that she stashed a few blocks away, panda in a choke hold under her arm, the skinny gangly dark haired woman in her cowboy boots and jeans makes her way onward to where she parked. Helena isn't glanced to, stopped to converse with at first till Wendy's in range.

Hold up there, say whaaaa… who are you? Maybe she will be noticed as Wendy slows her steps once near the blonde. "My god, funnel cake. I musta' fucking missed that in there. I mean, how can you not go to a carnival and not have funnel cake right? Did they put whip cream on it, or just fruit or icing sugar?"

The city moves on around the pair, families and residents of the tiny island crossing the street that's closed to vehicle traffic, pedestrians riding bicycles towards the Suresh Center on the far southern end of the island. It seems, outwardly, like any other day in New York City. That, in itself, should be reason enough to run like the sky is falling.

Up on the Queensboro bridge, trucks honk and beep as traffic slows down, creating a distant sound of city noise amidst the laughter and music from the carnival not far away. Out of sight, movement in the periphery of the island suggests what is about to transpire. In a vacant lot behind an abandoned record store, a curly, redheaded Irishman in a black business suit tugs a black balaclava down over his face, crouching out of sight behind a half-demolished brick wall, hugging his assault rifle up to his chest. Following behind him, a younger man in a dark navy blue sweater and black khakis crouches behind him with a handgun, pulling down the same matte black mask. "I lost sight of her in the crowd…" The younger man murmurs, peeking up above the wall, "I think she's talking to someone. Can't tell who it is, her back's to me."

Across the street, a blur of black and white from Marina's track suit and a brief gust of wind disturbs old newspaper trash on the sidewalk, sending it rustling across the concrete as the speedster ducks around the corner of an abandoned Starbucks. Breathing in deep, she grips the taser at her side in one hand, and looks back towards Doc and Stacy. "Damnit," Doc curses, "who the hell is that trying to talk to her?" Doc leans out from around the corner, adjusting his fedora as he squints in Wendy's direction.

Aww, nuts. But at least the encounter's pleasant, and maybe this girl won't recognize her. "Powdered sugar." Helena replies, cheerfully enough. "It was a real chore picking between it and an elephant ear. But that might be on the agenda if I get hungry later." She offers Wendy a brief, sidelong smile, and sets about eating the funnel cake more quickly. She'll need to be getting back with the others; they'll worry.

"Carnivals are for stuffing your face. Getting sick four times over on hot dogs, cotton candy and the like" Wendy offers her hand out to Helena. "Wendy" She doesn't quite recognize Helena. "Pleasure to meet you. Hang out this part of town often or just here for the carnival" She's oblivious to how her own curiosity and need to 'catalogue' mentally and even on paper, the various kinds of evolveds out there.

"Oh my god!" Comes a shrill shout from a few paces behind Helena and Wendy. "You're Helena Dean!" Bounding up towards where the pair stand, the young blonde with pixie-cut hair comes practically stumbling over herself to the small group heading out from the carnival. "Oh my god, oh my god this is so awesome it is you!" Green eyes wide, the teenager practically gives Wendy the cold shoulder as she throws out her hand with a broad, toothy smile.

"M— My name's Stacy Allen, I totally watch all your videos and— and I love what you're doing! Oh my God nobody is going to believe this!" Like a teenager confronted with a pop idol, today's youth-oriented evolved activists have their own fanclubs. Unfortunately for Helena Dean, Stacy Allen has another agenda in mind.

"Fuck me sideways," comes a hissed exhalation from the vacant lot. "It's like a fucking free for all over there." The young man with the Irishman blurts out those words, and finally the red-headed terrorist takes a knee and looks up towards Wendy with narrowed eyes. Only then does he catch a glimpse of the pigtailed blonde's profile. "Sweet jackhammer jesus," the Irishman blurts out with eyes wide, "go— go fuckin' find Bill. Now."

Helena has been around the block; for a split second she eyes that hand, because God knows how many sinister abilities activate by touch. There's a miniscule sigh; has she really become that paranoid? She clasps fingers briefly with Wendy. "I'm He-ahh-ehh… oh." Started to say Helena, began to switch to Evelyn, and then there's SuperFan. Releasing Wendy's hand, she throws the other girl a faintly rueful, apologetic look, and turns to the seemingly starry-eyed girl. "Hi," she says softly, "Um, it's nice to meet you Stacy, but umm, you know, I don't want too many people to realize I'm around, you know? Could you…?" Helena makes a vague sort of lowering-calm-down-bring-it-down-a-notch gesture, eyes darting around faintly.

Helena Dean. Like, the blonde terrorist? The leader of Phoenix, advocates against registration and… oh, well, that explains why she feels like someones sparked up a thunderstorm for the duration that she's touching the non perky, oh-god-just-give-me-the-insulin-now blonde. And it's why Wendy jerks her hand back at the same time. "Right. Atmokinetic." The urge to ask for a demonstration of ability died on her lips when Stacy started geeking out like some little tween over Edward Cullen. She steps back once or twice to give the two blondes room while going for her cellphone, strangling the panda even more with her other arm.

"What? Oh!" Stacy grimaces awkwardly, sidling up a bit closer to Helena. "Trust me I know how to keep a secret. You're secret's safe with me and— " her green eyes dart towards Wendy, head quirked to the sie and brows raised before looking back to Helena, "your super-secret team-mate!" She's like a female version of Magnes, only far more hyper. "Hey uh, can— could I get you to sign my Phoenix patch?" The blonde's brows quirk up with a playful smile as she reaches down into the messenger bag at her side, pulling out a piece of black cloth with a bright orange stencil of a fiery bird on it, followed by a silver-paint marker. "Please!" She practically begs, offering out the fabric as a man in a brown suit goes walking past, bumping into Wendy on his way behind the two.

With his distinctive fedora removed and trenchcoat off, Elijah Carpenter looks like any other old businessman on the street, save for what the contact between he and Wendy affords. A horrifying jolt of relevatory information is loaded into her mind about his own particular genetic predisposition, and when Doc turns around to get a better look at the back of Helena's head and Wendy over her shoulder, his eyes focus beyond them, to the taser-wielding speedster in the crowd just a few paces away. As he starts to nod his head, absolutely everything goes straight to hell in a handbasket.

A rumbling sound, distant back during the commotion of the conversations is revealed to be more than just traffic on the Queensboro as the chain-link fencing around the abandoned Tramway plows down, sending a crowd of people running from a rogue bulldozer on the warpath. The vehicle slams into the corner of a building, tearing out masonry and sending stone collapsing down to the street, crowds of people running in every direction as Bill Dean stays ducked at the helm of the mighty piece of construction equipment. If the Irishman needed a distraction, that was it.

"Um," Helena blinks in surprise. Autographs? That's new. "…sure." Whatever gets the message out, right? She starts to pick up the pen, apply it to the patch, when suddenly there's a rumble and a roar…a rumbleroar! She starts to turn in alarm toward the sound, but Doc's right in her blind spot; she doesn't see him.

Wendy turns towards Doc as he steps away from her, stiffening as her body gets that strange sensation that it did like Isis. Body swapper? Body swapper who's… She glances towards whomever it is that Doc's give his little assent to, even as she hears someone on the other side of her call pick up. "Hi, I'm outside the cardinal on Roosevelt Island. The terrorist, Helena Dean, she's here. I don't know how long she'll be here though so you might want to send someone quick" The street names rattled off. "I think… a body swapper is about to try and.. do something to her" Loud enough for Doc to hear her, not enough for Helena to since the artist had stepped away. Her attention flits though to the sound, the screams even as there's a bulldozer — the fuck? — bearing down. "Holy fuck!" Now she can be heard easily by everyone. "There's a god damned bulldozer plowing over everyone!"

There's a big ass panda being whacked into Doc as well, while she's on the phone. Take that you stupid body jumper! Body snatcher! Something!

Amidst the chaos, Wendy's panicked screams into her phone elicit the look of frustration from Doc that comes with wide eyes and a gaping mouth. Though the latter of which is thanks to the construction equipment driving aimlessly across the street and through the corner of a building. As Bill Dean comes hopping off the Bulldozer, letting it drive full-bore across the road without a driver in control, he brushes his slacks off and comes to stand up straight, eyes wide as he finally spots Helena and Wendy standing on the same street corner. The shock, right there in his eyes, isn't one of happy surprise. It's one of out and out fear.

Stacy moves, psuhing Helena back with the full weight of her small frame just a few steps, enough to bump her into Doc and out of the way of the bulldozer. Fear is in the teenager's eyes, and also in that same way regret. It's that moment, when Doc's arm comes wrapping around Helena's neck and shoulders, pulling her close to himself as he brings that hand up to press to the side of her face. "Just hold still," he rasps out into her ear, "I'm not going to hurt you."

Struggling, Doc reaches out to rest his hand on Stacy's head, in the exact same moment the rapid-fire popping of automatic weapons fills the air. Windows shatter across the street, brick powder erupts from where .556 rounds punch into stone. People scream and duck for cover in alleyways, drop to the ground and cover their heads, it's suddenly a warzone.

Right before Doc, Helena and Wendy's eyes, there's a flash of red from Stacy's chest, then another from her arm. The green-eyed teenager wobbles to the side, the Phoenix patch slipping out from her fingers as her eyes go wide and a choked sound croaks in the back of her throat as legs go limp and she collapses down on her side upon the sidewalk, blood pooling out from her as she shakes and trembles, clutching her chest with fumbling fingers.

Doc is stunned in silence, his grip slacks just a little on Helena, and he yanks her out of the way of continued gunfire as situated behind that low brick wall, the Irishman and his counterpart open fire on Helena Dean, attempting to cut the head off of Phoenix without Bill's consultation.

A blur of black and white moves like a lightning bolt, and Marina rushes to a croush at Stacy's side, staring down at the blood pouring out of the poor girl. As bullets whip out across the street, Bill is quick to snatch up the radio at his waist, shouting blindly into the black box. "You fucking idiots! Stop shooting! Stop fuckin' shooting at my daughter! Get your asses over here now!" He throws the radio aside, reaching into the back of his pants for his pistol, bringing it up and firing off a few warning shots in Wendy's direction. "Down on th' ground Hunter!"

As if Helena is just going to do nothing while Doc puts his hands on her. She starts thrashng like a wildcat, hands seeking out joints to try and twist to force him to unhand her, the way Hana taught her. But then there are shots being fired, and she's grabbing at Doc while she attempts to throw herself down to avoid the bullet fire, and trying to bring Doc with her. To help? For cover? Hard to say. "Get down!" hollers Helena, sparing a split second glance at Wendy. No doubt what Helena is thinking, she did this. Doesn't matter if she gets shot too, Humanis First are crazy.

Oh my god it's like some really… really bad action/sci-fi film and Wendy's giving the play by play into the phone as the gangly brunette stays rooted in spot. Brown eyes go this way, that way, watching the transfer of.. holy crap. "OH MY GOD! They just put her in another body. Oh my god! Helena dean just got switched into some other blonde chicks bo— DON'T YOU SHOOT AT ME!" The latter to Bill obviously as the panda's now tossed in his direction as Wendy bolts away from the mass disaster that's starting up. From Wendy's perspective, it's easy to assume that's exactly what went down, with her perceptions of Doc's ability and what she saw. However, the problem there lies in perception. Unfortunately for everyone here, that was the plan, and more unfortunately, it failed.

"Oh god, fuck, fuck, fuck, shit. Someone's after me, what the hell! You need to send help like right now. This is not a prank call" The cellphone glued to her ear, Wendy takes off in the direction of where she parked her bronco. Not staying put, not listening to guys with guns. Nope. No siree.

Certainly not getting into any taxi's either.

So close to the promise to escape. And so far. People are running, now, feet scrambling and scuffling for purchase in their haste to get the hell away from shots fired and the warm brush of blood spatter off a defenseless target.

Where it might be easier to blend now than it was ten minutes ago as a result, Danko doesn't. He materializes out of the crowd ahead of Wendy's progress like a black shape pushing up towards the surface through murky water, all pale skull and hollow eyes and faith that black will always be the new black. Where others flee, he stands solid for all that he's some — several inchess shorter than her, pale eyes locked in cement grey on the incoming Evo. Now pandaless.

Potentially more worrisome than the creeper vibe he's giving off is the gun he stiffs fluidly up to bear upon her head. It's matte black, intimidating in the way guns tend to be. Particularly when he breathes out and pulls the trigger. The phone is obliterated in a glittery bustle of mechanical parts. Possibly with bits of finger and ear mixed in where they got in the way.

"Marina! Marina!" Doc's screaming is rasped and wheezing as he hits the ground hard when Helena drags him down, bullets whipping past them before the gunfire — save for the wild shot by Danko — ceases. The bulldozer, left to its own devices, comes smashign through the front of that record store, sending glass and masonry spilling into the street as it rampages through the interior of the building. The Irishman and his partner are up and moving, both crossing the street, laying down a suppressive gunfire that keeps the crowd away, bullets aimed to keep people ducking for cover.

"Git th' goddamned Hunter girl!" The Irishman shouts out, motioning for his partner to head in. But neither of them are prepared for the sudden burst of speed from the black woman in the track suit, as she rushes thorugh their line of fire, drifting between bullets that seem to hang motionless in the air. She comes to a skidding stop, dark sneakers leaving a black streak on the concrete of the sidewalk as she crouches at Doc's side.

Bill catches sight of the speedster, the pop-pop-pop of his 9 millimeter firing off two shots just over her shoulder, the other one punching into her bicep, sending her collapsing to the ground. "Ss— son of a bitch!" Doc hisses, crawling up and pressing a hand to Helena's forehead as he struggles with her, taking a punch to the mouth and an elbow to the stomach in her thrashing. "Just stay still!"

Without any other options, and with Stacy laying dead on the sidewalk, Doc's other hand reaches out and grabs Marina's head by the brow. Helena continues to thrash in his grip, and Marina's eyes go wide in horrified realization a moment before a photograph snap of white light bursts beneath each of Doc's hands, like an old-timey camera going off, complete with a puff of smoke and scorch marks on Helena's hair and Marina's brow.

The world dizzies for Helena, pain in her shoulder suddenly present as she rolls onto her back, limbs feeling numb and tingle as she hears gunfire continuing. "Sweet Jesus any time now Norman…" Doc murmurs as he grabs Helena by the collar, trying to help her up to her feet.

And that's the moment when a bullet rips through the old man's abdomen and sends him stumbling away from Helena, clutching the bleeding wound. Doc chokes wetly, limping on one side as the sound of squealing tires come into the fore over the gunfire. Throwing himself to the ground, Doc barely manages to avoid a van that comes peeling down the street, smoke billowing out from its back tires as it sideswipes one of the fleeing pedestrians.

The back doors swing open, facing towards where Wendy is, and four men in black masks come rushing out, one of them with a black cloth sack, the other with a pair of zip ties, and the last two brandishing tasers. They circle up around behind Wendy, moving in to grab her, while the organizer of this snatch and grab quickly makes his way towards the young blonde and the bleeding speedster, ejecting the clip from his gun as he marches over. "Of all the places t'run inta' you." Bill Dean has no idea what's just happened.

It's like she blacks out for a second, the world going negative photo chromatic, and then…nothing. Helena has a gun directly trained on her, and if so much as a wisp of air flutters, she knows she'll take a bullet to the head. The blonde lies absolutely still, the funnel cake nearby as she things desperately to try and find a way to let people know what's happened. She doesn't have a panic button. Leo and Cook are going to kill her, she thinks, in a moment of odd randomness, her breath coming fast as she lifts her eyes up to the men training guns on her.

Marina's world also goes black and white, and with the bleeding, red all over, she gasps as if coming out of a dream. "Did I fall asleep?" she asks stumblingly, and then turns…and stares at Helena. Scrambling back with a scream unadulterated horror, she seems heedless to men with guns, and as she gets to her feet, she moves faster and faster without seeming to realize it when— zip! She's gone.

Oh god. Wendy stops on a dime and a scream as her phone is obliterated along with the a few inches of a few fingers on her left hand and a portion of her ear gives way to technology and steel. Sheer disbelief settling in as she looks from danko to her bleeding fingers starting to shake. No. Bad dream, just a really really bad dream that gets progressively worse as a van screeches up and people pile out. Run. Instinctive. Run and scream which she tries to do still as the Humanis individual descend with their bags and their tasers. Don't go quietly. Scream, make a scene, get attention so that someone see's and someone remembers. Fuck the pain that sears the side of her head and makes listening out of that side of her head really hard. Or the stunted hand that bats at those who make a grab for her.

"I'm not going! HELP! HELP ME!"

With Wendy's conversation on the skids and four freshly arrived operatives all excited and hop-to-it about pulling a big bag over her head, Danko gives the lot of them a distracted once over before he moves to angle past. He has to step over people as he goes — the ones who opted to shelter in place rather than flee for their lives, though one tips a little saggily after the brush of his boot. Dead, or about to be.

Not his concern.

Helena Dean, on the other hand, is an immediate point of interest, and he circles 'round behind her like a displaced and starving leopard nosing light after a lion's fresh kill. For all that Bill isn't in the best shape, he isn't much better. The hollows blacked in around his eyes are indicative of sleeplessness that reaches far beyond simple insomnia, and whatever easy pride he used to carry himself with is worn and polished down to its slinking, predatory essentials. He hasn't put his gun away either.

The bag is yanked over Wendy's head, zip-tie pulled and a taser applied to her back. It only costs one of the four men his two front teeth, ad a gandly elbow smashes into his face and sends him sprawling to the ground. The other men struggle and drag the long-limbed girl around, another zzzap of the taser eliciting a yelp from her as she's forcibly dragged into the back of the van. During this, the Irishman has circled around towards where Helena lays on the ground at gunpoint, rifle raised and eyes narrowed. "Well ain't this gon' to make headlines. Helena fucking Dean, shot dead at a Carnival." The rifle is raised, and before the Irishman can pull the trigger, a hand lays on the barrel and Bill pushes it down.

"Not fuckin' yet you dipshit." Tired eyes flick up towards Danko, then reach inside of his jacket pocket and switches his handgun for a stun gun, the kind with the projecting cords and little tiny spines. Helena's familiar with those kind, from her stint in Moab, and the snap-crackle-pop of them being fired into her abdomen causes her to fall to one side, kicking and convulsing and flopping around like a dying fish fresh out of water. Keeping that button depressed for too long, a sour smile crosses BIll's face before finally the buzzing of the taser stops, and the howl of sirens can be heard on the Queensboro bridge overhead.

"Pack 'er up…" Bill notes to the Irishman, "she so much as fuckin' twitches, shock her again." The expended one-use taser is dropped to the ground, and Bill looks up towards the distant sound of a helicopter over in the direction of Manhattan. "Hurry it up…" a wary look is afforded to Danko, as if something unsaid is shared between the two men, followed by the taller man turning towards the van and opening the driver's side door.

Out of sight on the opposite side of the van, Doc struggles to his feet, arm cradled to his chest like a broken wing as he hobbles towards the carnival, blood trickling from the wound he nurses with each hobbling step. Where the hell are you Norman!? Fear races in Doc's mind as he finds shelter behind a storage truck designed to hold supplies for the carnival, slouching down with a thump of his back up against the cold metal.

When the Irishman raised his gun, Helena stared right at him. It seems like courage, but her voice betrays her as she says a single word, choked and even through all of this, edged in disbelief, "Dad?"

It's the last word out of her mouth as she's tazed and knocked unconscious.



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