Nolite Te Bastardes Carborundorum


daphne_icon.gif monica_icon.gif

Scene Title Nolite Te Bastardes Carborundorum
Synopsis Monica says goodbye to a friend and to the Blocks in one fell swoop.
Date October 19, 2011

Eltingville Blocks

It's a gray, dingy sort of morning. There's a threat of rain in the low-hanging clouds that block out the little sun that makes its way through crowded brick housing. Everything is damp and chilly, the moisture left behind on sidewalks, trees, and leaves making everything seem a bit darker. Starker.

Daphne sits on the stoop of her apartment, a large mug of coffee held in one of her gloved hand. A gray knit cap is pulled down under her locks, which hides her bright hair, but her fair face seems to stand out in sharp relief against everything else.

Stepping out of her apartment, Monica seems to have found herself an actual black jacket. It isn't a hoodie, but it'll do. It's warm, and that's important this time of year. She glances over to Daphne's and smiles when she sees the speedster there. It's a little dim, that smile, but warm nonetheless.

"Hey, Flash," she says as she makes her way over. She's favoring her ankle, even with it wrapped up for support. "I've got something for you." Out of a pocket, she pulls a new bag of what promises to be ~artisanal~ coffee grounds. "I'm told it's way better than anything else in here." When she reaches the step, she holds it out toward Daphne, but she doesn't sit. Any other morning, she might, not today, though.

"Sadly, I am not as fast as light, but I'll take the compliment," Daphne says with a smirk. She reaches for the bag. "Oh, my God. Thank you. All I've had for the last week is Cafe Vienna in a tin." She smells the coffee, and beams. "Thank you."

She looks back up at Monica, her eyes narrowing. "So this is goodbye, then? You pulling a Houdini? You're sure you can move fast enough on that ankle?" Monica's anklet is of course now on the other, less swollen ankle. "You might want to give it another day or two." Or maybe she just wants another friend around for another day or two. It could be worry or selfishness. It's hard to say.

"Least I can do. You've been the nicest neighbor I've ever had." Monica can't seem to bring her smile up any brighter, but the thanks is genuine all the same. Her expression falls altogether at the narrowed eyes. "I was thinking more of a see you later," she says, trying to keep her tone light. The worry — or selfishness — gets a gentler look from Monica. "I've done worse on worse," she notes. "I've got people out there who can do something about all this," she says, waving her hand up the street, "I can help more out there than in here." There's a small pause before she cracks a small, crooked smile. "Plus, parkour ninjas are not meant to be caged. Birds gotta fly, all that."

The smile at the first words Monica says fades a little at the caged talk. Daphne makes a face, the metaphor one that stings a little. "Yeah. I get it. I'd go too if I hadn't already been burnt a few times, so to speak. Hopefully you'll have better luck. I've kinda spent a couple of my nine lives in the past year. Don't think I should press my luck." She stands, taking the two steps that bring her to Monica's ground level standing. "Be safe, yeah?" she says, holding out a hand for a hand shake. Monica's earned her respect, as well as her envy.

"I understand. I probably shouldn't press my luck, either." And yet. "Can't seem to help myself, though." Monica looks at Daphne's hand, pausing a moment before she takes it for a shake. "Safe as I can manage," she says, and she pulls Daphne in for a quick hug. "Okay, I better go before their ops really pick up for the day. My floral hoodie is in there, still," she says with a glance back to her house. She's barely left a mark on it, except a little handywork over the past few weeks. "It'll fit you. And it's cute." Her goodbyes might need work. Monica steps away from the house without further ado. Because further ado might have her staying behind.

The hug seems to come as a surprise. Daphne's hands come up quick enough to give Monica a tight squeeze. "Thanks. It's cute," she says. Because either of them really care about clothing. As Monica begins to move away, tough, she calls after, "Nolite te bastardes carborundorum."

Look, she's read a thing or two in her time. Especially when she didn't have the ability to walk.

She waves once, and moves back up the stoop to go back into the house. Apparently she was there just to say goodbye.

At the call, Monica turns back only long enough to give Daphne a salute, and then she's off. On her normal morning run, as she's been establishing since she got here. Trying her best to hold off any alarm until the last moment.

She knows that there is a spot near the perimeter that's less looked at than other spots around Eltingville, an inviting little hideaway that might just be too good to be true. At least, Monica thinks so. But it's tempting enough to sell to the watchers and it's near there, tucked against a brick building away from the street, that she lets herself zone out and follow the medical personel's method to slip her gps tracker off her ankle. And once it pops, she leaves it there and moves back into the neighborhood, slipping between shades and alleys and bits of cover she's been scouting out.

The blocks are beginning to come to life, little by little. If Monica expected FRONTLINE suited guards and robots to come charging at her the second she slipped her anklet, she'll be let down in the best way possible. No doubt the data of that anklet is getting stored but a few minutes of stillness — even in a strange location — isn't enough to get the robots moving. If it were a person behind the data analysis, watching the Eltingville equivalent of a Marauder's Map, alarms might be raised. Klaxons might be sounded. But for now, there's just the ordinary noises of the ghetto coming to life.

It is the absolute best let down Monica has ever experienced. But, regardless of the lack of quick response, she is putting as much careful distance between it and her as she can. In as little time. She knows where she's going, where the transport vehicles are housed when not in use. She picks her way there under windows of (hopefully) still sleeping people, moving from residential toward military. It isn't the most logically safe route out, but she's already been toe-to-toe with the robots once, she's in no hurry to try it again.

Suddenly rounding the corner is one of the uniformed guards. He's still buttoning his coat, apparently leaving his own apartment and on the way to work. His blue eyed gaze alights on Monica, tipping his head. Appraisingly. A moment later he smiles.

"Morning. You lost?" he asks, since there isn't too much call for one of the "civilians" to be in this corner of the blocks. "Not too many people wander this way on purpose." It's said a bit wryly. Out comes a box of cigarettes, one tapped out, before it's brought to his mouth. Next comes a lighter, the flick of his thumb bringing the fire to life as he lights the cigarette, his eyes watching her.

Seeing the guard come into view, Monica stops short and pivots her empty ankle behind her. When he looks at her, she smiles, too, and lets out a soft laugh that she hope doesn't sound too nervous. "I am. I was out for a run, but I haven't learned my way around yet. I'm new." Some of that is true.

She glances to the cigarettes, then back up at him. "You must have upset your boss to get stuck with these hours," she comments, tone lighthearted. Her smile tips a little crooked, "Can I bum one of those off you?" The cigarettes, she means.

The guard raises a brow. "Better than the shift before, I guess," he says, but he taps out a cigarette, waiting for her to take one, the lighter at the ready. "Where you trying to get back to? I can point you on your way. Not that hard to figure out where you are, once you know the lay of the land."

His name on his uniform identifies him as L. Jakovic. "How long you been here?" he asks. He seems friendly enough — at least for small talk — though it's a distant sort of friendly. He's not falling too hard for a pretty face. He also is old enough to be her father.

"Good point," Monica says, and she steps closer to take one of those cigarettes. "It's back on, um, Holly," she says. "It's only been a week or so," she adds before she puts the cigarette in her mouth and leans in. For him to light it, of course. She does note that a pretty face isn't cutting it, but then, that never has worked great for Monica. So, instead, she waits for an opening to present itself, when he might be more off guard than on. Or at least not looking right at her.

He flicks the wheel of the lighter and holds it, one hand cupping to keep the slight breeze from blowing it out. That done, he slips both lighter and cigarette pack back into his pocket. "Holly," he repeats, and looks out past her, as if he could see each of the streets laid out between where they stand and the far wall on the other side of the blocks. "You're going to want to go down this way a block or so, then turn left…" he begins, giving fairly detailed directions. "Stay safe. I know you probably think in a guarded city like this, you'd be safe, but there are people in here that are dangerous," he says once he's done. He takes a puff of his cigarette and begins to walk once again, heading in the direction of one of the main checkpoints.

With the cigarette lit, Monica holds it between two fingers, rather than smoke it. Maybe she's being polite, since he is giving her directions and everything. She nods to them, listenting with her brow furrowed. She looks back to him when he finishes, and she smiles again, gently. "Thank you. I hadn't thought about that. I'll keep an eye out." There's a moment, her fingers twitch, ready to move. But then he turns to walk away, off to work and not dragging her off anywhere. So she relaxes and snuffs out the cigarette before tucking it into her pocket. She she moves, taking a more roundabout path, but mostly in the same direction as she was before. Toward the motor pool.

This street is a little busier — the guards coming and going to get their vehicles from the parking lot that serves as the motorpool. It's close to one of the gates, restricted to military or law enforcement vehicles as opposed to the general visitation gate. The parking lot was once a pay-for lot, equipped with a booth and an electronic arm barring entrance and exit on each side. Now it's a guard who sits in the booth, checking off badges and vehicle numbers — much like his counterpart at the gate itself, just around the corner.

Monica checks out the gate and the booths, but it isn't where she's aiming. She strolls through until she gets eyes on transports sitting idle. She hunts for a tucked away spot to observe, to see which one of the vehicles is being prepped, if any. Any guards in the area are noted, especially those who seem to belong to the motorpool, and she waits for a lane to open for her to slip through toward the parking lot. The cigarette finds its way to her fingers and she ends up twirling it between them. A calming movement.

The only way in or out of the parking lot seems to be those metal beams the guard operates, but the trucks and cars are simply surrounded by an old, rusty, chain-link fence atop a smaller foundation of concrete blocks, the entire fence only about 10 feet high. It's easily scaleable, and toward the back end, there's a spot that's out of the booth guard's gaze — even if he were to turn around and watch the vehicles in the lot. But his eyes are forward, watching a monitor, most likely. There are CCTV cameras that can be picked out on buildings and street lamps, most of them angled at the booth or the gate around the corner.

Doing her best not to look straight at any cameras, Monica notes positions and angles and looks back to the fence. And once she has her spot picked out, she walks casually in that direction. As casually as she can manage when her instincts are pushing on her. But no, she keeps herself steady and finds that blind spot. Once there, she tucks the cigarette away, takes in a breath and starts up fence. She does her best to touch it as little as possible, trying not to alert anyone with too much metallic shaking as she makes her way up. And when she's over, she jumps, lands in a crouch and skitters away behind the nearest truck to make sure no one is coming her way.

Once again, it's a long and tense moment followed by — nothing. The only sound within comes from one vehicle, a transport van, that's been so recently driven that it's knocking and pinging, as the metals and oils within cool down from the drive. After a moment or two, a couple of uniformed men enter, but it's the small row of motorcycles they go, each moving to a bike and chatting while they put on helmets and gloves, before they climb on the motorcycles to head out to their respective stations.

Finally, after several minutes, two men walk in by the kiosk, giving the booth guard a greeting, and head toward the still-warm transport van. "I hate the fucking Bronx," the taller, younger man says to his partner. "It's going to take an hour and a half just to get there."

"They pay you the same either way," says the gruffer, more stoic older man. "Besides, you just play your headphones while I drive anyway. What the fuck do you have to whien about?"

Waiting is not Monica's best thing, it comes with twitches and ticks, but she stays put and keeps watch. A tense watch, since every time they seem to miss her, she's more nervous that they will. Her eyes flick from van to men to motorcycles, tapping her fingers quietly against her leg. The Bronx, though, that gets her attention. She watches the pair move, glances around for others, then dashes from truck to truck to get over to the van as fast as she can. She tries to stay low, but she also doesn't want to miss her opportunity. She stops as close to the van as she can get, waiting for a clear moment to make her move to it.

"True. And the longer it takes to get there, the longer it is without having one of them in the back," says the younger officer as he moves to the van, waiting for the other to unlock it with the remote.

"Call up the address on the Tom Tom and be useful, will ya?" says the other, as he opens the door to the driver side and starts up the van. He lets it run a couple of minutes to warm it back up while he finishes drinking the coffee he carries in a styrofoam cup.

The conversation has Monica rolling her eyes, but that injustice shall have to go unanswered. Because they're getting themselves into a decent position. While they look up addresses and drink coffee, she runs low from her cover to the back of the van, sliding under in a smooth movement that will hopefully pass as a small animal running by if someone were to catch it in the mirrors. Once under there, she works her legs up into the underside of the van, wedging herself in as good as she can. She does similar with her arms, too, once she's settled, working herself into position. One of them will be back here after all.

"Got it," says the younger of the two, reaching out to slam his door and put on his seat belt.

The older man turns at the sound of something sliding along concrete, but when he looks, there's nothing there. He climbs into the driver's seat, adjusts the mirror and puts the styrofoam cup in the cup holder before slamming the door and starting the engine. A moment later, they're at the kiosk with the guard their checking their credentials and writing down the information in the log book.

"Stay safe. Looks like it might rain," he says amiably. And as if he were an atmokinetic, raindrops start hitting the windshield. It'll be a muddy ride below for Monica, who can't feel that rain just yet.

A moment later, they go through the same protocol at the gate before they're waved through and head northward, unaware of their stowaway.

Several minutes later, back in Eltingville, a cat-like robot appears near where the anklet was abandoned by Monica. A klaxon begins to sound. But Monica is far too far away to feel the repercussions of her escape.

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