Making New Friends


alexander_icon.gif django_icon.gif helena_icon.gif satoru_icon.gif

Scene Title Making New Friends
Synopsis Alex and Helena get to know some of their fellow prisoners.
Date March 16, 2009

Moab Federal Penitentiary - Yard

Another day in an endless series. The same routine, the same faces, after a while it can get to you. Once more they're all out in the yard, folks clustered in groups, some taking advantage of the recreational options, and a few, like Helena, off on their own. It's easy to predict where she is: sitting on the bench near the ball court, closest to the fence as she can get.

Alexander is half kneeling in the dust on the other side of the fence, rather like his namesake. He seems comfortable enough, despite the concrete under his knee.

Alexander is half kneeling in the dust on the other side of the fence, rather like his namesake. He seems comfortable enough, despite the concrete under his knee. He's talking to Helena, quietly, not quite cheerful, but not upset. He's lost something of his former lamblike bewilderment, a little more centered and certain, despite the gaps in his memory.

The fence seems popular around these parts, with all these people crowded around it. Django paces slowly down the fenceline, facing out towards the mountains, writing in the dust with the toe of his boot. It's barely legible to anyone who cares to look, but seems to be keeping him entertained. As he does it, he hums, occasionally pausing and going back over a line as he writes. The lyrics to a song, it seems. Quite to his detrement, however, he's paying more attention to his writing than to where he's going, and runs right into Alexander. "Oh, shit, sorry 'bout that," he stammers, quickly spinning to face the other man. "I, uh. Didn't see you there."

The flow of conversation stops, and Helena peers at the newcomer. She doesn't say anything yet - he wasn't talking to her. Instead, she watches Alex's reaction, for the moment restraining herself from comment one way or the other.

Alexander is very obviously inclined to take offense. But Helena's told him that he's already on two out of three strikes when it comes to violence in the yard, so he merely scrambles up and back, glaring at Django. "Might want to be a little more careful," he suggests, quietly. His hands are limp at his sides, rather than curled into fists.

Raising hands, palms out, in a defensive gesture, Django takes a step back and offers a bit of a nervous grin. He's only been here a couple of days, it would just be the damned topper to get beaten in the yard. Especially when he wasn't even provoking, as unlikely as that seems. "Whoa, buddy, calm down. I said I was sorry, a'ight? Lighten up a bit." One hand is lowered, the other is run through his hair and then offered to the ginger iritable ginger man. "Name's Django. No hard feelings?"

"He didn't mean it, Alex." Helena interjects softly from her side. "He wasn't looking where he was going. Not exactly the smartest move out in the yard, though - believe me, there are people here who'll want to beat you up if you blink at them the wrong way." Again, she doesn't introduce herself - he's talking to Alex.

The headtilt Al offers is unpleasantly reminiscent of a pit bull gauging the distance to the fence at the end of its yard. But after a moment, he unbends enough to take the other man's hand. "Alexander. Apology accepted," he says, gravely. "She's right. More people in here than there were, people do get touchy. This is Helena," he adds, gesturing at the blonde on the other side of the wire.

Django smiles in earnest, then, relieved that this didn't escalate into a larger problem. It's a tired, weary smile, though; the smile of a man who really doesn't have much to smile about. His grip is firm, and he only holds the handshake long enough to be polite. "I was told the folks what do fight get pitched into the basement, but I'll stay on my toes. Thanks for the heads up." That empty smile is turned to Helena with a nod. "I'd shake your hand to, but…" A booted toe lashes out and rattles the fence between them.

Dropping to his haunches, he rests elbows on knees and looks back and forth between the two. "So what are we up to on this fine day? You don't mind if I sit in, do you?" Not that he's exactly waiting for an invitation. "New in town, don't know nobody 'round these parts."

Helena performs their established equivalent of a handshake, she reaches her palm out and presses it to the fence. "Oh you know, the usual - eggs benedict after waking up, a bit of pilates, and then a relaxing massage. Same as it ever was. What's their excuse for tossing you in here? I mean, aside from being Evolved."

"Done a few rounds down on yellow, or so I'm told," Al says, lazily, leaning against the fence. "I don't remember. She's tellin' me what I missed. Filling in the last few years of my life that she does know," He gives Helena a grateful smile.

Cocking his head at the gesture, Django mirrors it, putting his hand to Helena's on the fence. And then he snorts and shakes his head at the question. "Oh boy. You want the whole list or just the top ten? I got a record as long as your arm, been in trouble with the authorities since I was in high school. It finally caught up with me, I guess."

Alexander's explanation earns another quizzical cock of his head, as well as a raised eyebrow. "Don't remember? Last few years? Shit, remind me not to get thrown in the fuckin' basement. If that's the cost of it, I'll never fight again." He blows out a long breath, bites his lip. "Who the hell did you piss off, huh?"

"I doubt you'll be subject to the same kind of torture." Helena says quietly, "Unless you were part of any pro-Evolved groups acting against the government. Then you get to have regular meetings with the resident telepath so he can try to get information out of you, and things like what happened to Alexander are usually the result when they dig too deep. Alex fought back, the amnesia's the result." She figured this out from the fact that there aren't anymore familiar faces showing up.

"Uncle Sam, apparently," Al says, settling down to crouch comfortably on his heels. "Last thing I remember is an IED in Iraq. I wake up here, six years are gone, we're in another sandbox entirely." He sounds oddly sanguine about it.

"S'pose that's a relief," Django says uncertainly, looking none too comfortable with the prospect. "I done a lot of shit, but I ain't a damn terrorist. They were sure hopin' I was, though. Yeesh. Gave me the fuckin' McCarthy Special when I came in, asking me all kinda questions I didn't know jack about." A hand run through his hair again, apparently a nervous gesture.

"So, uh. Note to self: telepaths are bad. I'll try to keep my head down and not make no trouble. 'Preciate the warning. And what about you, pretty lady?" he counters, that thin smile returning for a moment. "What are you in for? Dressed to kill without a license?"

Helena, it should be noted, is sporting a series of slim bandages along one temple, and the opposite lower jaw has a fading bruise. "If it were that simple." she shrugs lightly. "Let me ask you something - did they mention any groups specifically during your interrogation? PARIAH, Phoenix?"

"They assume that being Evolved is guilt enough," Al murmurs, slouching down. Hey, if he gets his sexy orange jumpsuit all dusty, who cares?

At mention of the names of the pro-Evolved groups, Django leaps to his feet and takes a few hurried steps away from the pair by the fence. "Hey, hey, whoa! I don't wanna know nothin' what might get me in trouble! You know anything about it, you keep it to yourself, lady. Lancelot here might be willin' to take a fall, but I ain't sacrificin' myself for a bunch'a jerks I never met. I just wanna do my time and get outta here." If I ever get out of here, crosses his mind, but he decides not to voice that particular thought.

"Like a damn concentration camp," he mutters, stuffing his hands in his pockets as he turns to survey the yard. "All thrown in here for gettin' an unlucky draw on the genetic lottery. When the fuck did America turn into a fuckin' fascist dictatorship, huh?" A booted foot kicks at the dirt in disgust, and he scowls at nothing in particular.

"First off, if you think they're ever going to let you out of here voluntarily, no matter how well you behave? You've got another thing coming." Helena points out with serene patience. "And secondly? If you want to bitch about being in a concentration camp and complaining about the way the government is going, you might not want to condemn certain people in the same breath as a 'bunch a'jerks' for actually doing something about it. Though I'd agree that PARIAH's response on how to deal with it was completely wrong." She cocks her head. "What can you do? Your ability, I mean."

Alexander corrects, tone rather dry, "What could you do? Since you sure as hell can't in here."

Tangling both hands in his hair, Django makes a somewhat strangled, frustrated noise before turning to face the pair again. He opens his mouth, hesitates, then crouches down by them once more and lowers his voice. "I didn't really mean it like that. I gotta respect what they're doin' out there for us. Only reason I wasn't one of 'em was 'cause I didn't wanna end up in here. Look how that turned out. But at the same time I'm bitter for being stuck in here and accused of associatin' with 'em just 'cause I'm a little different. Know what I mean?"

With a weighted sigh, he rocks back on his heels and drops to sit in the dirt next to Alexander, hands behind him to prop himself up. "I bre- wait a minute." Brow furrowing, he gives Helena a long, contemplative look, chewing his lower lip. "You sure ask a lotta questions but you don't seem real keen on answering any. Been dodgin' most of mine. You got somethin' to hide, sweetheart?"

Satoru had been sitting against the fence several feet away from the trio talking, not really seeming to pay much attention. Far enough to escape notice, it seems, but close enough to overhear parts of the conversation. When Django is asked what his power is, though, Toru looks over curiously - were he a dog, his ears would be perked - but looks a bit disappointed when the Russian refuses to answer.

He pushes himself up to his feet, at that point, brushing himself off and slipping his hands into his pockets. Strolling over to the three talkers, he runs a hand through his hair, lets that hand dangle at his side, and says, in a somewhat lazy tone, "His real name is Alonso Quijano." Shrugs, passes his hand through his hair again, and then turns to lean his back against the fence. "And his power is turning windmills into giants. I can see why a guy'd be coy about that."

Helena rolls her eyes. "You really want to know what I'm in here for?" she then says to Django. I mean, if you're sure." Her smile is rueful rather than coy. "Because you really might not want to know. Or you might not believe me, which is okay, really. My ability is weather control - atmokinesis is the scientific term, not that I can actually do anything constantly under suppressive drugs." A sigh. "I'm in here because I was affiliated with one of those groups you seem so uncertain about."

Alexander eyes Satoru from under his brows, and cracks a grin at that. "Quixote, hm?" he says, gently.

"Well if it isn't William Fucking Wallace come to join our little party," Django says brightly, with more than a touch of sarcasm in his voice, looking up at Satoru. "Nice timing, I was getting kinda hungry, and some paper cranes would make the yard look just spectacular. You really are a hero." He just happens to run right over Helena's answer to his question, not hearing a word of it. This was probably not an accident.

A sideways glance is cast at Alexander, and the Russky furrows his brows again. "Eh? Am I missing something?" Not being particularly well-read, the literary reference goes right over his head. It doesn't seem to bother him much, though. Shaking it off, he turns his attention back to Satoru. "I was sad when you didn't sit with me at lunch, Willie. I thought we were friends. You're not breaking up with me, are you?"

The wisecracking at his own expense just makes Satoru grip the fence a bit tightly with his dangling hand, holding himself back from doing something he'd regret. Don't wanna get sent downstairs, after all. So ultimately he just shakes his head and turns around to face Helena's side of the fence, lifting both hands now to grip the wire loosely. "Don't mind this guy, babe," he assures her, shaking his head to emphasize his point.

"Alonso here, he.. I mean, I don't wanna sound prejudiced or nothin' but he's got this thing for me and won't get the idea out of his head that I'm into it, y'know?" He shrugs, looks over to Django, and shakes his head again. "Pretty damn pathetic, y'ask me. I mean, I already told the guy once but he just keeps hangin' on. How you holdin' up over there?" An eyebrow is lifted curiously. "You're Shard's friend, right?"

Helena lets out a sigh. "You shouldn't complain about me being evasive and then not bother with the answers, either." Great. "No one's going to get into your brain for anything, you know. You're not being told anything they don't already know." She smiles faintly at Satoru. "And I had such hopes. Oh well, my heart will go on."

"So which is you is the one that drops the soap?" That's really the question foremost in Al's mind? Apparently so. His expression is perfectly deadpan, as he arches abrow at Helena. Like he's asking her to take a bet. And then he looks over at Django for a long moment, and advises Satoru, "You could totally do worse in here, man."

The only response from Django to Satoru's disparaging remarks about him is a snort and a shake of his head, traces of a grin curling his lips at the corners. Said grin matures at Helena's comment in return. "Plenty of me to go around, sweetheart, don't be shy. I only like the chink here 'cause he looks like a girlfriend I had once." Those chocolate eyes turn to the asian boy, amd he bats his lashes in a deliberately exaggerated gesture. "Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside."

He turns a little and extends his legs, lying back with his hands folded behind his bandaged head, parallel to the fence and head towards Alexander. "What about you, ginger?" he asks of the quiet man. "You ever "accidentally" slip in the shower?" The quotes around accidentally are plainly audible in the way he emphasizes the word.

Satoru just kind of grins at Helena's remark, responding with a sympathetic shrug. "There are plenty of other fish, right?" But then Alexander's comment makes him stiffen again, and he slowly turns to look at the redhead—-

—-when Django joins in. And not very long after Deej finishes asking Alex his question, Toru dives onto the older man and punches him across the face. "You fucking stupid Russian!" He almost screams, and hands go to grip around the stupid Russian's stupid Russian throat.

If he'd thought it would come to this, Django would not have kept pushing. Honestly, he didn't think the boy would take it quite so personally. It was just good fun, right? With his eyes on Alexander, awaiting an answer to his question, he doesn't have much time to react to the sudden assault. The punch lands squarely on his cheek, rattling him enough that he's still open when the boy's hands close around his throat. Hardly even has a chance to cry out his surprise.

Clawing at Satoru's hands, trying to pry them away, he tries to choke out an apology, but it's hard to do when you can't breathe. A few intelligible words get through, among them: "…sorry… …didn't mean… …please let go…" But he makes no attempt to retaliate, no striking back.

A moment passes, during which time Toru apparently calms down a bit. His rather pissed expression fades into one a bit more surprised at himself than anything, and after a beat, he releases Django's neck and pushes himself away from the (stupid) Russian, almost frantically. "I didn't do nothin'!" He insists, a few feet away now and leaning back on his hands. Looking over to see if he caught the attention of the guards yet. "Shit, shit, shit.." is hissed as well, and he looks over to Django, checking to make sure the guy's still alive.

Alexander has gotten far enough away that the guards don't immediately go for him. Not…immediately. He gets a stern looking over, but they seem to believe his protestations of innocence, at least this once. And having a mindwipe….well that sort of resets the clock, in a sense.

Helena lets herself sag with relief against the fence, giving Alexander a whew, that was close expression. "Are you two done?" she calls out, a bit tetchily. "Because believe me when I say you do not want to end up on Red Level."

As soon as Satoru is off of him, Django clambers up to a sitting position, hands going protectively to his throat as he takes a few deep, gulping breaths. A cursory glance around the yard reveals that no guards are rushing in to beat them senseless and drag them away to the oubliette, and he allows himself a sigh. "Shit, son," is aimed at the younger inmate, brows knitted in consternation. "Didn't think you'd take it that fuckin' hard. Just a little harmless fun."

Slowly, carefully, he climbs to his feet, dusting himself off, and paces over to lean against the fence just outside of arm's reach from the asian boy. "Figure, y'know… we're stuck in this damn shithole, might as well take the edge off it, right? Little humor?" He pauses briefly, hunting for a word. "Brevity? I don't need no enemies, least of all ones I have to live with, so I'll lighten up on you if you want." The raising of an imploring eyebrow is accompanied by the extension of a fist, obviously awaiting a manly knuckle-tap. "Truce?"

Once it's clear that the guards aren't going to be rushing over, Satoru pushes himself back up to his feet, brushing himself off with a surly expression. "Red Level, whatever level, either way I'm still in goddamn prison, right?" He shakes his head, turning to spit off to the side somewhere it won't hit anyone, and runs both hands through his hair with a frustrated noise. "God."

He looks over at Django as his nemesis explains himself, but barely seems interested in the reasoning. "What the fuck ever, dude," is his eventual decision. "I ain't no fucking chink, so how about you leave me the hell alone?" Fist is looked at, just to make sure Django knows he didn't miss it, but the offer of terrorist fist bumping is denied. "And you don't live with me, we're just in the same damn building for now."

"Prison's not just prison." Helena murmurs intensely. "Look. Up here, you get to be outside, you get to be around others, you get to leave your cell - god, you get to write, and you get to read. The deeper you go, the more you lose. And Red Level is little more than holes in the ground, you understand? You do not want to move downstairs, understand?"

Django scowls at his obtunded compatriot for a long moment, fist still hanging in the air, then finally shrugs and laces fingers behind his head. "Have it your way," he says, nonchalant, and licks his teeth. He watches the boy for another silent moment through half-lidded eyes before turning to Helena and Alexander. "Sorry about that, didn't mean to cause a fuss. We all cool?"

Without waiting for an answer, he pushes himself off of the fence and stuffs hands in his pockets. "Gettin' late, they'll be callin' us in soon. Think I'm gonna go on ahead, catch you cats and kittens later." And he strolls towards the building, offering Satoru a cheerful "See you at lunch," as he passes by.

March 16th: A Cat In A Mig-21

Previously in this storyline…
Sons of Scotland

Next in this storyline…
I Know Why the Jailbird Sings

March 16th: Hit
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