Mexican Standoff


nora2_icon.gif trask2_icon.gif

Scene Title Mexican Standoff
Synopsis Nora is spying on E-Ville and runs into someone looking for work.
Date June 22, 2011

Staten Island

The dilapidated neighborhood is about as close as Nora is willing to get to Eltingville; it's close enough to listen in on the radio communications of those within the neighborhood, and enough to drop some miscommunication of her own, yet it's far enough away from any dangers…

Or at least the ones that transmit radio signals.

The dangers of Staten come in many shapes and sizes, from smugglers to drug dealers to schizophrenic homeless people to feral animals. To protect herself from such, she's found a perch on the roof of an abandoned house. A gun sits next to her, along with a bottle of water. The sky above is cloudy, but the day is balmy without being overbearingly hot, at least. The teen is dressed for Staten, in jeans and a gray shirt, a black baseball cap that hides her long dark hair, a pair of sunglasses despite the gloom. She could pass for a small boy — sometimes, but not always safer than a young girl.

Her head tilts as she concentrates on the radio signal she is sending out, vague and somewhat suspicious, words that mean nothing, though anyone eavesdropping would think it was a code.

Which is the point… to make the government think that the Ferry is close by, in Staten, and not miles away.

Trask is out for a walk, to see this Eltingville he has heard of, and to face some ghosts of his own. He spent several months caged as an animal not too far from here. He picks the shadow of a house to lean up against the wall of and think.

When the constant buzz suddenly disappears, Nora grabs the gun, pulling her feet beneath her to crouch on the roof. She peers up, pushing sunglasses off her face to look for a hint of yellow gas, and then looks around to find the cause of the radio silence she's suddenly enveloped in. The beat of her own heart has never sounded so loud in her ears.

Finally, moving closer to the edge of the porch roof, her gaze falls on Trask, just below her.

The choices aren't many — wait and see if he leaves seems like the best option, since he hasn't noticed her. She begins to move back — silently, carefully. She's a graceful thing, normally, but grace doesn't account for rotted and neglected roofing. One foot goes through rotted wood and her hands scrabble at the shingles to keep herself up — the water bottle goes rolling off the roof and Converse-clad foot can be seen, if Trask looks up, through the hole in the overhang of the porch.

"Fuck," Nora hisses to herself above.

Trask doesn't notice at first the person above him, until a soft crack and then a water bottle falls from the roof right at his feet. He kneels to pick it up, looking it over and the looking up, to see the one foot sticking out above. "Um hello? " His eyes scan the area for anyone else around.

The sockless ankle is scratched, blood welling up from the rough wood's raking over the flesh. It inches back up through the hole, but there's no answer to Trask's call except for a hissed wince when the foot has to finagle its way through the ragged hole above, bumping against the splintered wood and cutting more flesh.

Above there's the sound of more creaking as Nora crawls toward the edge of the roof, gun in hand. Staying on the roof is no longer a good idea, but she isn't sure who her company is.

To the side of the house now, she drops her legs down, then lowers herself as far as she can so that there's only a few feet of a jump on soft overgrown grass. Still, Nora can't help but wince, and she doesn't keep her feet, falling to her knees. The gun is raised toward the front of the house warily as she begins to get back up.

Trask see's whoever it is pull their foot up and then listens as they inch across the roof. He begins moving quietly, the opposite way around, circling the house. His own pistol is pulled out of his waist band and held at the ready as he eases around the back side to get a look at the person sliding off.

The teen gets to her feet gingerly, wincing as she tests the injured ankle. Definitely sprained, but pain is temporary. Death is permanent. She begins to move, her usual stealth hampered by the limp. Her eyes sweep the street in front of her and the side yard, looking for a place to hide. She can sense the radio waves around her once more, which makes her curious. Finally her gaze sweeps toward the back, remembering Hana's words about checking her "eight" — a little belatedly.

Her dark-eyed gaze falls on Trask, and his gun; her own is now pointed in his direction, but her free hand lifts as if to say 'wait.'

"You a cop?" she tosses his way, brows knitting fiercely.

Mexican standoff's don't just happen in Mexico, as he gun comes up so does his. He takes her in a moment, "And if I was would that make me a good guy, or a bad guy?" He shakes his head. "Listen kid…no one plans to hurt you, but I think you should put the gun down before you hurt yourself." His voice comes out with a touch of a latin american accent, and his stance is that of someone trained for these situations, he is tense but does not appear overly stressed.

"Depends if you're planning on taking me somewhere I don't wanna go or not. Cops' ideas of 'not hurting' someone and my ideas aren't always the same," the teen retorts. "And I could say the same about putting your gun away and not hurting yourself," she adds, jerking her chin toward his gun.

Her eyes narrow; sunglasses were lost in the grass when she jumped. "Was it you standing in my light, so to speak, or is there someone else around?"

Trask raises an eyebrow, "Standing in your light?" He cocks his head then nods slowly, "You were using a power up there and I interupted you. You know these days it is very dangerous to admit having one. Especially in areas like this." He then slowly raises his gun, and slides it back into his waistband. "i'm not planning on taking you anywhere you don't want to go."

Nora tips her head to admit the point. "Yes, though if you weren't a negator, you wouldn't know what I was talking about, would you? So, in knowing, you admit to having one too. Touche, and impasse, all at once," she says coolly. She lowers her gun when he puts his away.

Keeping an eye on him, she begins to back up, toward the street, eyes wary and alert. "I appreciate it, and I'd take you at your word and all, except that most people lie. So don't be offended if I don't trust you." Each time her right foot sets down, her eyes narrow but she doesn't allow herself to otherwise react to the pain. "And you move like a cop," she adds.

Trask nods, "As a negator I have little to fear, I am the one evolved everyone wants around. If they could they would mass produce me and have me cover the world. Registered Tier 0, not much to fear admitting it. I move like a cop because I was a cop, for a rather long time. Now I guess you would call me a freelancer."

Nora reaches the edge of the house, where side yard meets front. "I wouldn't say you have nothing to fear. They can force you to do their bidding. Pump you full of amp so you can cover more of an area, brainwash you, mindrape you, have someone control your power for you against your own kind. But you're right. They'll always want you around," she says coolly.

A quick glance over her shoulder ensures they are still alone, or seem to be, which is about as good as she can guess. There's still no signal close enough to worry about robots or police carrying walkies, at any rate. "What do you freelance for right now?"

Trask leans against the side of the house, not closing on you, "Now see that is a good question. And one that it would be very dangerous to answer. If I said bounty hunter for the government, you make take offense to that. If I said freedom fighter for the ferrymen, you might take offense to that. So anywhere I step I get caught in a mine field. Much simpler to say nothing at all. But that saying nothing is how things got this way isn't it?" He straigtens up now, looking a little more serious. His eyes watch the gun and he prepares to move at the slightest twitch of her finger. "How about I just say Fortis at Libre? That is the best way to sum me up I think."

Her eyes narrow at the words "bounty hunter" and a brow rises at "Ferrymen." Finally her lips quirk into a humorless smile. "Strong and free sums me up, and I'd like to stay that way," she murmurs, continuing her slow backwards walk. She nods to the corner of the street.

"Walk that way please. If you feel better negating me, go ahead. You can watch me as you walk, if you want, but know my gun's already out, and I can shoot before you draw yours. Don't underestimate me. I'd run now if I could, but I can't, and this is about the best I can come up with that doesn't require me hurting you, because I don't really want to, but I will if I have to," Nora says, as she moves to a street light to rest her weight on. "Deal?"

Trask shakes his head, "Can't negate you. Very limited and no actual control." He sticks his hands in his pocket and relaxes a little when she doesn't shoot him immediately. "So I gave you some info on me, perhaps it's your turn? Who are you, and what were you up to when I so rudely interupted?"

She tenses when his hands go in his pocket, and she shakes her head. "You're lucky I'm not a cop, buddy," she says, nodding to the street. "Just a kid on a roof, minding my own business. Sorry to put a damper in your day and all. Most people in this area, they don't trust strangers, though, so if you were looking for a new BFF, I'm sorry to disappoint you."

She nods again toward the corner. "Walk, and now that your hands are in your pockets, you better be extra careful not to make me twitchy. Ferry or government bounty hunter, my gun doesn't fuckin' care if you make me nervous."

Trask shakes his head, "Your not a cop, your not trained as a cop, you don't act like a cop, cops don't hide on rooftops spying on the gulaag. A cop also wouldn't offer to let me go. I knew a lot of kids like you once. Most of them are dead now. Some of them…well I am not sure where they are. I'm not looking for a BfF, I am looking for Charon though. If you have any contact with them tell them Sergei is in town, and wants to know if they have any work for him. They can find me at my grave, anyone who knows me enough for me to trust them, will be able to find out where that is." He smiles and gives her a small salute, taking his hand out of his pocket very carefully, making sure she can see it is empty, then turns his back on her and begins walking the direction she indicated.

Her jaw twitches and she gives a shake of her head along with a humorless huff of a laugh before playing dumb. "Dono anyone named Charon, but if I meet one, I'll let her know you're looking for her," Nora says, eyes steady on his back.

"Dasvidaniya, Sergei," she calls, a little louder to let her voice carry across the growing distance between them.

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