Munin's Down A Well


ethan_icon.gif sylar_icon.gif wu-long_icon.gif

Scene Title Munin's Down A Well
Synopsis Vanguard reaps what they've sown. Now it's Phoenix's turn.
Date December 4, 2008

Eagle Electric

It's not like no one's ever dreamed of robbing a bank, right? Or at least, having their hands on this much money. Sylar certainly has. Although there is something rather frivolous about this many slips of green and white paper as Sylar handles more and more of them. As if they're as meaningless as the numbers that a technopath shifted about with barely a thought.

It's late afternoon, and there's still enough light filtering into Eagle Electric for the buzzing fluorescent lights above to not matter an awful lot. Bowls of (strawberry) ice cream, one polished off and one utterly untouched, sit in the midst of small stacks of cash. There's a reasonable amount of work to be done when one steals something that looks a lot like ten million dollars. Seated, Sylar has mostly grown bored, even if shifting countless thousands of dollars isn't really all that unspecial. He points to Wu-Long's bowl of ice cream. "You're not gonna eat that?" he asks. Because it's melting slightly. He reaches for it anyway. "Arigato."

Taro root. There is no taro root. Instead, there is some arcane pink invention of Western mischief pooling viscuously in the bowl beside him. Understandably, understandably, Wu-Long has his attention on the money he's counting with his hands — his week's cut, so to speak — despite the fact that the small machine sitting beside his other hip had already done so and thrice checked three times over.

A cigarette burns slowly in his mouth, largely ignored, except when the sting of acrid smoke interferes to much with the steely line of sight he's directing down to the printed numbers and then he has to take a drag. Expel. Clear the air. The air is not clear. His chest rises and falls steadily, his breathing carefully gauged in the slow bob of the bodhisattva tattooed on his chest, visible underneath the tank top.

And he isn't about to dignify that question with an answer: his face had nearly fallen when he had awoken from eighteen hours of bedrest to discover what had become of his dessert. His face had nearly fallen.

Something about a great success, something about a great victory to make the most professional, and cruel men into little boys. Ethan is currently sitting on a throne. Not the throne in the room that is reserved for Kazimir. A personal throne. A throne Ethan took the time to mold out of stacks of hundred dollar bills. His elbows rest on his 'arm rests' while his hands cradle a bowl of pink ice cream. Sticking the spoon in, he brings up another mouthful as he looks to his two associates.

"Sorry about that purple shit, Wu-Long. But I'm probably allergic to it." Ethan comments, taking another spoonful. He leans back slightly in his self crafted money chair.

Sylar just smirks a little, just to himself, as his spoon digs into his second helping of strawberry ice cream. It has raspberry ripples. And tastes of victory. Unless you're Wu-Long. He reaches out for another stack of hundreds and feeds them through the counter, continuing the process of sorting, shifting, counting. It's satisfying, if not as cool as throwing the notes into the air and letting it rain down on them, which Sylar contains to doing only in his mind. His own tattoo peeks out of the sleeve of his shirt, such a marking almost fitting in with this smoke-hazy environment of counting stolen cash after one of the most brutal bank robberies New York City has seen in a little while. If not for the strawberry sugar-sweet ice cream. "When do we get to do this again?" he asks, musingly.

Before anyone can answer, there's the sound of flapping wings and a throaty bird-screech. Through a high window, a raven suddenly shoots through, weaving around them, above them, in a wide circle.

"No one is allergic to taro root," comes the response, in tones so even that it probably could have flattened the surface of the Hudson had Wu-Long addressed it. He doesn't actually turn to look at the throne himself, having already stared at that spectacle after locating and squashing the pip of amusement that Sylar's vicious little prank had seeded.

Automatically, Wu-Long puts the money down in a neat rectangular pile next to the other neat rectangular piles and snags a .9 out of the holster on his lap, clicks off safety, plucks the cigarette out of his mouth in the same fluid motion that he turns his head toward the window, a sequence of motions that takes all of about point-eight seconds to complete before he freezes, the nozzle angled up and away from his head, on the verge of aiming down his straightening arm. "That one is hers," he says abruptly. He remembers because it's important: he doesn't bother with birds that aren't.

Picking up another stack from his arm-rest of money throne, he tosses it easily over to Sylar and Wu-Long's table for it to be fed through. He looks back to Wu-Long. "You see, I think that's the problem. Root, shouldn't be involved with ice cream. Root implies vegetable. Vegetable and ice cream.." He makes a gagging motion. "But if you like it I'll be sure to get you some carrot and broccoli Ben and Jerry's in a giff." Ethan says, while taking another spoonfull.

Ethan's reaction would be similar to Wu-Long's were it not for the fact that Wu-Long is present. Since he is, Ethan realizes that the older man will take care of it. So Ethan simply looks, continuing to suck down pink victory. "Bran." He says steadily. His brows screw up for a moment as he looks to Wu-Long and Sylar. "You two seen the princess lately?"

"No," Sylar says, putting down his bowl as he watches the bird. "Not lately." His eyes flick toward's Wu-Long's gun, visibly tense as if it were aimed between his eyes and not at the wheeling bird above, but he knows, rationally, that the man wouldn't gun down Munin's favourite bird.

Bran, as if somehow sensing it was recognised, dips down to land on the table - and all its stacks of cash. A good pile of it slides under talons, Bran flapping his wings to steady himself and sending loose bills flying off the edge. Once balanced, he rests there a moment, turning his head to comb through a wing with his beak. Sylar hesitates, then, without letting the other two know, he mentally nudges Bran. A hello. Immediately, the bird hops on over, and lands on Sylar's extended arm. Perhaps this show would be less surreal of Wu-Long and Ethan knew he had replicated Munin's power (or was capable of doing so).

May it just remain surreal, as Sylar offers up no explanation.

The raven gives one long squark, and snaps its beak. "What?" Sylar says, and Bran only snaps his beak again. "Accidentally what? The whole— " That doesn't even make sense. Maybe Bran is missing a word or two. But them, it's just a flood of images, and Sylar tenses, seeing without really seeing.

Bran doesn't do words, Wu-Long knows. He's met enough animal telepaths to know that animals tend to operate within a somewhat more limited sphere of comprehension, and the smaller their heads are, generally, the smaller that sphere is. His brow furrows. He had failed to answer Ethan's question, mostly because his prior relationship with the girl spoke for itself. He's never been as close to the small woman as the other two are, never met her with as much frequency.

Between the dinner parties, the… the whatever it is Sylar and Munin do additionally while they skulk through Midtown in Felix's shadow. He's never had that. He had another puppy to care for. "What is Bran talking about?" he finally asks. The gun clicks back on safety, and he loosens his lean frame onto a slouch in order to lean his elbow on his knee. "Try a noun." He watches the raven out from under a brow knit from a dozen different brands of confusion.

Ethan's bowl is slowly set down beside the throne of money, and he steadily stands up. Looking squarely at Sylar. He's jumping to a lot more conclusions than Wu-Long is. Sylar could definitely hear Ethan's movements but whether or not he could see what was coming is up in the air. Even though he's more than proficient at it, getting physical is not a thing the Wolf actually does. Once, with Amato, but even that was defending himself. Defending himself in an overly agressive way, but still. So it might come as a surprise when Ethan practically flies through the distance between himself and Sylar.

"Did you kill 'er?" The question is asked evenly. His left ankle sweeps out at the back of of Sylar's knee Though in those small moments it took to reach Sylar, Ethan had produced two things. The butt of the gun is aimed for a quick strike just below Sylar's neck, aiming to bring the man down quickly. Take him to his knees. His gun is level with Sylar's forehead, the knife in his other hand held near Sylar's side. The Wolf's eyes go to Wu-Long for a moment. A glance that would mean more to the asian than the serial killer who has so quickly become the enemy. He stares levelly at Sylar for a moment. The safety is off.. It is only because the two have worked so well together that he does not yet pull the trigger. "Did you kill 'er?" He repeats, coldly.

Fortunately for Ethan, Sylar is also pre-occupied with visions and so doesn't comprehend the warning sounds when they come to be— although these quickly cut off as soon as Ethan makes his move. Without a sound, Bran quickly takes to the air, flapping powerful black wings up towards the window once more, where he lands on the sill, ruffled and no longer talking to the violent crazy humans.

Needless to say, Ethan's attack is executed quickly, and Sylar's eyes only refocus when he finds himself staring down the barrel of a gun, a breath of surprise and pain expelling from his lungs and carrying the faint tinges of unwilling, vocal complaint, and his body freezes up. And then his eyes flash dangerously, but for whatever reason, he doesn't move - even his fingers, so commonly used to command things with only a thought, hang loose at his sides as his gaze goes up towards Ethan, flicking once to Wu-Long, then back to the Wolf.

"I didn't kill her," Sylar says, with calm restraint. "I replicated her ability and no, I don't know how." His head tilts to the side. "But she's in trouble."

The weight on Wu-Long's brow steepens, and his expression darkens underneath the steepness of its shadow. The .9 swivels away and he straightens on the seat of his pants before uncrossing his legs, with such careful specificity in every motion that he manages to disturb none of the arrangement around him except for the holster on his lap. Which slides off his pant leg and onto the floor as he rises to his feet in a fluid uncoiling motion. More to reassure Ethan than because he needs to, he cocks his head on its axis and switches from gazing on the bird to studying Sylar where he stands at gunpoint, recalling the cadence of his voice with the posture of his tall frame, the expression that has the angles of his face now.

Wu-Long is about as good at telling liars as he is at telling lies. Pain helps. You can hide a lot of things under enough pain, but it's harder to do so from someone so intimately acquainted with causing it. "Sir," he says, finally. "He isn't lying. He's smarter than that." Black-on-black eyes search Sylar's out. "What happened?

Ethan eyes Sylar for a long moment. A quick glance to Wu-Long. "How?" Ethan asks plainly, idly wondering if telekinesis travels faster than a bullet. "You don't think this is the type of thing you would want to tell me about Sylar?" He asks pointedly, tilting his head. "We find ourselves in a very awkward position right now, and Wu-Long believes you. But I'm inclined to very much doubt it. I've seen your handiwork. Why would you cut so many 'eads open if you could just.. Copy it?" Ethan asks quietly, Wu-Long doesn't need to hear. Sylar most definitely will. As much as he would love to just believe Sylar and take away his gun… He won't just yet. Wu-Long's confidence however causes the man to flip away his knife and hide it back on his person.

One threat down, and Sylar glances down towards the knife when Ethan withdraws it. The gun, however, guarantees that Sylar has the same demeanor of a cornered wild animal despite his stillness. "I didn't tell you because I don't— understand it," he says, seemingly hating the fact he has to admit this - that there is something in this world he doesn't understand, and it's a deep part of who he is. His shoulders rise and fall with those shallow breaths. "I tried to copy Jenny Childs' power the same way and it didn't work. But what's important is the Dodge Spirit that has Eileen in its trunk." Important because maybe it will mean he won't get a bullet rattling around in his skull.

"Plates?" Wu-Long prompts, without apparently expending much effort toward further indulging the theatrics here. Either out of some entirely uncharacteristic exercise in trust, or concatenations in logic he's yet to explain and doesn't want to, or perhaps Munin merits some different considerations, tactical or otherwise. Yes, that was one too many 'or's. "Where and when did this happen?"

A long moment passes as the Wolf stares down at his prey. The gun remains there for a moment before it finally withdraws. Holstering the weapon, the man's hands quickly clap around Sylar's shoulders going to haul him to his feet. A light little dust off of Sylar's coat and then a pat to the man's back. "I'm sure you will figure it out, Sylar. If anyone could, it would be you." The man encourages, reaching down to pick up Sylar's bowl of ice cream. The thing is passed to Sylar, a suggestion to relax, eat up.

If Sylar had been paying attention, he would have noticed that Ethan's heart rate didn't even change. Gently pulling on Sylar's shoulder, he gestures to the money throne. "Tell me everything. Every detail, Sylar." He makes no obvious reaction to the fact that Munin is in a trunk of a Dodge Spirit. "Is she alive? And who the fuck drives those pieces of shit anymore?"

Sylar's shoulders twitch just a little bit when Ethan goes to haul him up, not quite a flinch (at least, not a flinch away), despite the gun being withdrawn - but the threat has passed, and now he has ice cream and is being pushed towards the money throne. As for Ethan's heart rate, it goes noticed - his own, however, settles to a normal pace. A last glance is given towards the window, where Bran has resumed his cleaning of his feathers, ignoring the fuss he's just caused. Sylar sits down atop the stacks of hundred dollar bills, and answers Wu-Long first: he easily rattles off the license plate number he saw, absently picking up his own spoon. "It was Phoenix," he says. A glance to Ethan. "I saw Fido with an eye injury. Perhaps Bran's work. It was nighttime, it must have happened last night. Perhaps even the night before." Birds aren't very reliable. "She was alive when they took her." The spoon scrapes against the bowl. Because who doesn't like ice cream? Besides Wu-Long.

Wu-Long is morbidly silent.

Bringing a finger to his lip, Ethan gives a little 'hmm'. Looking to Wu-Long, he gives a nod. "Run that plate." Then his attention back to Sylar. "Could you tell what part of town it is, tell me any hints on where in New York it would be." He scratches his chin. He's not furious now.. That will come later. When he finds Fido, when he finds whoever took Munin. For now, he is simply forming the plan. He looks back to Wu-Long. "The trailer park. Cliffside apartments. I'm wanting all of ours hanging around low-income housing looking for that Dodge Spirit." Then back to Sylar. "Can you control the birds as good as she did?" Ethan asks, continuing to scratch his chin.

The bowl is set down and Sylar shuts his eyes. So much trivia to sort through in his head, it takes a while. The flashes and images of barely perceivable street setting through Bran's eyes are placed like mental blue prints over locations in New York. He sees no street signs to give him obvious, so please be patient. Information processing. "Chelsea," he finally says. "They found her in Chelsea. I don't know where they went after that."

Now, he looks up at Ethan, head canted to the side in a gesture of consideration. "No, I can't," he admits. "But I've found people with them before. I can look for that car."

Ethan's eyes slowly move over to Wu-Long's actions. And it's just then that everything clicks together. His shoes tap quickly on the ground as he goes after Wu-Long. Then Ethan is a blur, a hand flying at Wu-Long's hand to snatch the cellphone from him. His other hand diving into his pocket. The phones are taken to then dropped on the ground in front of the third killer. His eyes glide up to Sylar. "If you 'ave one, drop it there as well. Then melt them. Quickly." He commands. He usually adds on a please. Apparently this is urgent for some reason. "No cell phones here, ever again. If they are they're in the faraday bags. That includes the apartments. It may be a pain in the ass but we 'ave to work a lot quieter now. We've been stung once through our fucking phones, I will not be stung again." He declares, glaring harshly down at the cellphones.

He takes a step back so Sylar can work his magic. "Get us new phones, Wu-Long. Get that license plate and have men searching low income areas for that car, please. Sylar, I would appreciate it if you could 'ave the birds scanning the same places. Also, Wu-Long if it wouldn't be too much trouble, it would be wonderful if you could manage a sneak peek at some traffic light cameras in the Chelsea area."

Sylar's been in this group long enough not to hesitate when it matters. A small cellphone is retrieved from his pocket, tossed towards the small pile on the ground, and he leans forward, hands hovering over them, partially cupped. One second, two, and then with a wet sort of sound, all three phones sort of collapse inwards in an almost supernatural moment of liquidation before it becomes nothing but one metallic puddle of liquid on the ground, mostly silver.

In the next moment, he's standing up, only barely managing not to create a small avalanche of paper-money. Sylar only nods once to Ethan in reply, and moving to walk. Presumably to go where there are birds. A hand goes out, and a bag, apparently full of his little paycheck from the bank heist, is summoned up from the ground for him to tug it out of the air and sling it over his shoulder.

"Sir." That's the only confirmation that comes from Wu-Long. The traffic surveillance nerd herd isn't going to know what hit it.

Once they are both gone, Ethan stands still for a long moment. He looks at the puddle that used to be cell phones coldly. Until now they have been a group preying on the public. They have been unknown. He would have to expect that after all the destruction he has caused someone would notice. Someone would react. Someone would dig. And someone found them. Stepping quietly over to the throne of money, Ethan tilts his head back. Fido was homeless. He will have to do some bullying amongst the homeless community. Could that someone, could these people really think that an organization doing what Vanguard is capable of would not react to their money stealing, much less one of their members being taken?

Unfortunately for these perpetrators, they took one of the only employees that actually means something to Ethan. The others have their training, they wouldn't speak. He doubts Munin will give any information.. But… A fist flies as he bellows in rage, sending the throne of money into an explosion of hundred dollar bills. He will have to clean that up.. That will be annoying.

His anger is unlike it has been so far in his work with the Vanguard. But his heart isn't all that heavy.. These people may have made the biggest mistake of their lives. They gave an opponent to a man whose convictions were faltering… Ethan wanders over to the table where he sits atop it, his eyes down on the ground. If he would have continued down that road.. Who knows, maybe he would have quit. Just left. But now, everything is different. Everything is changed.

His eyes shoot up. Now he has an enemy.

December 4th: A Point Made
December 5th: Undercurrents
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