On The Road Again



With Diana played by:


Scene Title On The Road Again
Synopsis After his encounter with Maeve, Diogenes carries one of Raquelle's daughters - Diana - home. But, as one might expect, it's not that easy. Not in Staten Island.
Date September 3, 2009

Staten Island

There's something about the fringes of Staten Island that will always inspire sentiments of unease. After the bomb, much of Staten Island has fallen into glorious disrepair, so much so that places that were already in stages of decay look more like monuments to entropy than once urban settlements in decline. While much of the island was suburban residential areas before the bomb, there were two crowning moments that drove this borough of New York into an early grave. The first was the mass exodus of survivors and panicked people fleeing Manhattan. They came by foot, bicycle and car across the bridges to Staten Island, all manner of desperate and frightened people flooding into a crowded place. While some fled through to New Jersey, others simply couldn't — or wouldn't — go further. This, like in Queens, led to an eventual chaos that would in time eclipse the pandemonium in the eastern edge of New York after the bomb.

Staten Island was in the direct path of the fallout from the explosion, and after thousands fled to the island, the entire populace was forcibly evacuated. Those few that managed to stay, clung to their homes desperately, and those few who did would suffer from radiation sickness and the ever-escalating crime rate. By the time Staten Island got the "all clear" from the government, the damage had already been done.

What was one suburban neighborhoods and parklands is now a monument to decay. Houses lie in various states of disuse and ruin, and like much of New York has seen property values nosedive. Few want to move out to a formerly irradiated zone, and even fewer want to return to a place so rife to violent crime. Now, much of Staten Island lies in various states of decay. Houses abandoned by families that fled the city, were forced into forclosure and were never resold, or simply places where entire families went missing and are now squatted in by any number of transients line the once peaceful streets. Staten Island is a home to crumbling infrastructure, spotty electricity, and people who wish to remain undiscovered by law enforcement. Few police will willingly go into this now infamous island.

It's nearly seven in the morning. The tip of the sun is already peering out from behind the distant horizon, even if it's most likely not visible from the street due to relatively tall buildings. Another day has graced the world. Where are you? Still in your bed, sound asleep? Running about in your apartment and dressing up simultaneously whilst looking for those car keys you've misplaced? Is your pet desperately clawing at your face or lapping at it, because it's really hungry and cares not whether you're having the best dream you've ever had?

Well, Diogenes is in what is highly likely the most dangerous area of New York City (as if the city itself wasn't dangerous enough), trudging along the sidewalk in the brewing pot of all sorts of criminal life, with a five year old girl up on his back, whom he's giving a piggy back ride for whatever reason. That's right, a young, lissome guy in his early twenties is giving a five year old a piggy back ride. She looks exhausted, and he doesn't look to be in the best of his moods. Still, it's a sight that causes most to stop their raping and pillaging to take a moment and stare at the duo in pure confusion.

In poor little Diana's mind, Diogenes has been dubbed the horsie man. She's had a horrible time lately, from the Ghost taking her away and then her wrist hurting so badly that occasionally she just sobs against Dio's back. But she doesn't speak, perhaps she's lost the ability? She clings like a spider monkey to that back, trembling as memories of the Demon man and her daddy getting shot and just her world being rocked.

The little girl who clings with her messy hair and bathrobe starts to squirm by now though, tummy giving a rumble for the 4th time, but the squirming is more and more obvious. She whimpers and wipes some snot off her nose and then wipes that hand against Dio's back before clinging and whimpering some more.

Wearily and warily, Diogenes is continuously sweeping his heavy and hard-pressing gaze before him in search of any potential threat that he might encounter and that he might have protect himself from (and thus protect Diana as a byproduct of that particular action). But what few people are there on the streets at this early hour, are either too busy with whatever it is they're up to or too busy being astonished by Diogenes so shamelessly and unabashedly carrying Diana as if he weren't in Staten.

Eventually, though, Diogenes stops. He stops with a heavy sigh that denotes his immense exhaustion. Having felt Diana's wriggling and having overheard her stomach rumbling, he is finally given a reason to stop, pause, take five and have a break. Like clockwork machinery, he rigidly crouches down, holding the girl with his hand to keep her on her feet whilst he would turn about. Should she let him, he would make use of his ability to once again temporarily negate the effects of the poison, which was still in her system, and which he had no means of getting rid of but for a few moments. "What is it?", he asks, although with that tone, he might as well have asked 'What the fuck do you want?'

Diana doesn't talk, she eyes Diogenes with wide eyes and then squeezes them shut, sniffling and tears running down her cheeks. She opens them after a few moments and while she can talk, she doesn't. Not yet, she just moves a hand towards her crotch and whimpers once more. Her hurt wrist's hand though doesn't move that much.

Diogenes stretches his visage as far as it goes, and that obscure expression is accompanied by a grunt and another sigh. Leaving her to stand on her two feet now that she can - in theory - the young saviour looks around in hopes of detecting anything that might have a respectable enough restroom that won't be littered with diseases; he doesn't even think of trying to find a restroom in the near vicinity that wouldn't be full of broken mirrors, demolished sinks, doorless stalls and riddled with used up hypodermic needles. He does, however, momentarily ponder whether the girl should just do it in an alley, but that thought is quickly brushed aside as a vengeful thought - a knee-jerk reaction to sadistic childish whims.

"Alright. Great. Look… We're not that far from your father's home, and to be honest, I can't see how— " He twists his jaw to the side, parting his lips. "Nevermind. I don't want you losing it on my back. Being Kleenex is bad enough." Another sigh rolls out from behind his thinned lips, and he's once again looking around. His arms spring up before they languidly fall to his side - a gesture of helpless ignorance. "I don't know! Seriously. Isis would know, Kaylee, would know; they're women. They have that inexplicably mysterious mother gene. I have the 'completely oblivious dad' gene." Yes, that must fly way over Diana's head, but he needed to rant. Oh, how he needed to r—

"Fuckin' idiot, there's a burger joint just 'round the corner", a passerby tells him. The sort that would mug you of your wallet and your underpants. Yet he points down the street. "Turn left and you'll see it. Fuckin' jerk." Great. Even lowlife scum are calling Diogenes a jerk. "Well, you've heard the man", says Tom to Diana. "Off we go. Come on."

Diana toddles along after Dio, sniffling and rubbing her eyes as she continues on her way, occasionally doing the pee pee dance. She doesn't really understand half this strange man says but if he's going to take her back to her daddy…

It matters not because she does the pee pee dance again and whimpers and starts to speed up and will need direction because she doesn't know where she's going, bathrobe dragging a bit on the ground.

Not that Skeletor actually cares that Diana is finding it increasingly hard to hold it in, or that the oversized bathrobe is dragging along the dirty concrete sidewalk. However, he cares enough to lightly plant a gentle hand on her shoulder to guide her towards the burger joint he's been pointed to by the nice throat-slashing, back-stabbing gentleman.

And, if all goes well, they would arrive to the generic, cheap Burger King knock-off, where - again, if all goes well - Diogenes would guide Diana to where one can find the restrooms. There, however, he would lower himself to one knee before Diana, clearing her spine of the poison's influence to reset the timer of her being unable to move once more. "Diana… Or BJ, whatever", he would speak up slowly, perhaps too slowly, making it seem as if he's talking to someone mentally challenged, "Do you know how to pee-pee alone?"

Princess D looks towards Dio at the sound of her name, Diana. That's who she is…yes. That's her name. She can remembers that now. Oh yes, she needs to Pee Pee and she cocks her head to the side at the question and gives a tiny nod before holding out her hand. She can't go in the bathroom by herself! hat's insane!

Diogenes arches a brow as contradicting answers are given in the form of gestures. Nod as in yes, she can go alone, but the offer of a hand suggests otherwise?.. Well, yes, a five year old in the public bathroom does sound a little weird, doesn't it? Not for Diogenes, who is nigh completely unaware of such simple things, even if he was five once.

"Alright, then. Uh. It'd be inappropriate to bring you to the men's room… So… Lady's room it is. Yes." Perhaps he lied when he told Maeve he was as asexual as a plant. He was by no means a lecherous bastard, but there was enough testosterone in him to be a pervert at times, that's for sure. Taking Diana's hand, he ventures into the women's restroom, which happens to be empty. And relatively clean.

Diogenes prepares quite the regal throne for Diana, placing toilet papers on the seat. At least he knows to do that.
Diana nods and watches carefully as she holds Dio's hand and once the toilet paper is there though she rather regally points towards the wall and makes a 'turn around' gesture with a finger and glares a bit at Diogenes.

And he is kind and gentlemanly enough to do that. In fact, he faces the wall, leaning forth close enough to hit his forehead not-so-gently against the tile wall. The job of a babysitter was not easy, he was tired, and he was thinking just how to show up at Raquelle's doorstep. It is entirely possible that he has already called the police. The man seemed insane enough to do anything, though perhaps it was just first impressions. The man sighs, patiently waiting for Diana.

Once she'd be done, he'd apparently lead her out, and once they'd be out, he'd ask: "Want a milkshake? And a greasy burger?" No more slowness; that remark would sound like an inquiry meant for a friend.

Diana is all emptied out and looks a tad more relaxed and she fidgets with the rope of her bathrobe (technically her Father's but whatever). She hmms softly and points towards a picture of french fries and then towards a picture of a milkshake and then towards a picture of chicken fingers. Basically…a kids meal thingie as she nods firmly.

Then she's wiping more snot away with the back of a sleeve.

Once they're past the nearly non-existent queue, and once Diogenes pays for all the goodies he's ordered for Diana and himself (contrary to her generous meal, he's just having a double cheeseburger and a tall Coke), he would lead the child towards one of many empty tables. The man ignored all the weird looks he's received from the workers and those that were inside for a quick meal; he was, after all, a suspiciously dark and grim man with an overly young girl in ridiculous clothing, and obviously worn out. Was he a kidnapper? Should the police be called? In the end, no 911 is dialed, for Staten is desensitised to such abysmal crimes. Yes, kidnapping five year olds is actually an insignificant crime compared to what goes on on this island.

In the meantime, outside, two shady figures pace and back forth anxiously, exchanging glances and lowly spoken words from time to time; one of them is hugging his side, and he sure doesn't have a sore side. The other one just occasionally snorts, twitches his nose, and tugs on the back of his pants to adjust them. The two are up to nothing outside, but once they're indoors, in the joint one of them ends up pointing a damned shotgun in the face of the woman behind the cash register, while the other one is rabidly throwing his aim all over the place, and apparently has no idea how a robbery should go. A couple of screams and then there's naught but silence.

"Gimme the fucking money!" How low has Staten rolled down if robbers do not even bother with masks? "Gimme everything you have!" How low has Staten rolled that they're not even checking if anyone who visits has anything of value. Diogenes doesn't seem to be bothered, however. Quite calmly, he wraps his lips around the straw and slurps his Coke. Shortly thereafter, he takes a bite of his delicious cheeseburger.

Dio goes up a few notches in Diana's little brain as she actually gets what she asks for! She tucks her messy hair behind her ears and smudges some more dirty like stuff on her cheeks as she wipes them and tries to become more presentable. Afterall, she is Raq's daughter. She pats her hair again before patting down her robe and wincing at her wrist.

She's teary eyed again as she's led to the table, but she climbs up in her chair, sitting on her knees and then squeezing her eyes shut to say a quiet prayer to 'Jeez's Daddy' for her food. But she still doesn't /say/ anything, it's all in her head.

Her eyes snap open though as she hears more naughty words and she sees the robbers and she just slooowly reaches out for a french fry. Then nibbles like a little terrified squirrel. After a moment she looks back to Dio. Who she has decided is her prince to be when she's old enough. He's not screaming, so she's not going to scream. She's going to grab a chicken finger next to nibble on. She points at the robbers questioningly with a piece of half eaten chicken finger.

The younger one, the one with the nine millimeter Beretta handgun, the one who cannot decide who should be the target of his intimidation, was clearly having doubts about this. One can easily tell such from tiny sweat beads that run down his forehead, his temples and flushed cheeks. He's the sort to pull the trigger at the mere twitch of his potential victims. He's the sort to shoot you first, then apologise to your corpse later. He's not completely scatterbrained, however. All it takes is a meaningful glare from his colleague to remind him what he thinks he's supposed to do. "Everybody on the ground!", he yells, tensing his muscles. And, accidentally… Click! goes the trigger. Zoom! goes the bullet, hitting an empty table and nudging it to the side a little bit.

It's up to the other one to set things right. "The next one will crack a skull open unless you give me every fucking penny you have!" Authoritative. Strong. Emanating a demanding aura. He is the yang, his partner in crime is the ying. The guns the two wielded were actually representative of what the two were like - a worm with a 9mm, the leader with a powerful boomstick. And it is this leader that provides a bag for the money to be put into, and he utters a few deceptively assuaging "Yeah, yeah, yeah" as all the cash would actually be raining into said sack.

The junior? He's still quite anxious and nervous, and he really feels like he ought to be doing something more. After all, he's holding a tool with which one ends lives, and that's no small thing. His partner is grabbing all the cash, yet he does nothing. He must look… unimportant. And out of place. His reluctant steps in random directions only show that he has absolutely no idea what he ought to do, yet he wants to. And so, he scans the room. Who's looking for a fight? Huh? Who wants some? Who wants to exchange their cheeseburger for a leadburger?

The answer is, of course, Diogenes, who isn't obeying the order to lie on the ground. He'd even look to Diana and subtly shake his head to make sure she ignores the command, as well. Perhaps if he actually wasn't tired, if he didn't have to put up with a five year old and play babysitter, he'd be scared and wondering how to get out. No. He was tired, he was hungry, and he was annoyed. The robbers can go fuck off. "They're actors. You know, like the movies you watch? They're making one right here."

Diana tilts her head to the side and then to the other side before nibbling on another fry. She watches the drama and trembles as she sees the guns, flashing back and when she finishes the fry swallows and reaches across the table with a french fry to offer it with wide eyes. She's paying Dio you see. They may be actors, but she's still scared.

"Yeah, a fucking movie." Expletives were flowing rather freely from the junior's mouth. "Just— Just people actually bleed to their fucking death 'ere." Agitated beyond belief, the would-be comedian strides up over to Diogenes, placing the end of the barrel coarsely against the back of the young man's head, making sure to nudge Thomas forward a little bit. An unnecessary distraction, one the robber with the shotgun would keenly fixed, if he wasn't too busy gathering up all the cash. "I told everybody to get on the fucking ground! Who the fuck are you, Queen Elizabeth?", the younger robber prompts, again nudging Diogenes forward.

But then he notices Diana. A sweet, innocent girl with cutely oversized clothing on her. This is how bullies act - if their targets do not show attention, then what else is there for them to do but to switch to a new target? Shuffling to the other end of the table, the neurotic points his gun quite shamelessly at a child. "Do you want her brains spl— squi— all over the fucking table? Huh?!"

Diogenes pauses his meal, slowly setting the cheese burger down. He looks up at the robber, who seems to be quite happy that he's caught Dio's attention, and then he looks over to Diana to gauge her reaction. Amusingly enough, the robber's also gauging reactions. Of both of them. No, he didn't want to shoot Diana. He wanted recognition. Look at me, I have a gun, I'm powerful. I can pull the trigger, I'm God.

Diana's eyes get almost over bigger as the guns come CLOSER and one is against Dio's head and she quickly stands up in her chair, little face screwing up and she trembles even harder and makes a soft growling noise as her face gets redder and redder and she has her milkshake held by both little hands and the little growl (it really is a cute little sound) gets louder and louder and she's crying but she's growling and glaring. Scared? Check. Mad? Check.

Perhaps it was best for the nervous robber to point his gun at Diogenes from behind. Had he remained to stand behind the weary Evolved, had he kept his gun on the back of his head, then he would hold the upper hand. Now, however, Diogenes's gaze travels up the man's spine which he visualises, tearing ceaselessly and destructively at all the strings that help the gunman in controlling his body. A gasp for air, a shiver that becomes a numb sensation which preludes the sensation of nothingness, and the man falls to the ground noisily, his gun clattering to the ground.

It would be silly to assume the older one doesn't notice this. In fact, he's been watching the scene unravel with the sack of money in his hand. Watching like a predator. No, his eyes were not on Diana. They were not on Diogenes, either. They were on his 'friend'. He was in trouble. Should he help? Theoretically, he should. However, he quite unexpectedly (or expectedly, as far as Staten's population is concerned) pushes himself away from the counter and runs off, ultimately leaving the burger joint in a rush.

The victim of Tom's ability is completely motionless. Only his chest weakly rises and falls rapidly, his diaphragm inactive, and each breath he draws is shorter. Things do not bode well for him. Is he going to die? Certainly, looks like it; Diogenes returns to eating his cheeseburger. With a gesture, he would inquire whether Diana was going to finish her meal, as if nothing has happened.

And when Diogenes finishes his meal, when the thug is all but lost his consciousness, Dio casually leans aside, picks up the gun (the safety of which he flicks on), stores it as a trophy, and finally reverses the damage he's done. Fast forward a few moments, and the criminal is running at full speed out of the diner.

Diana continues to stand up, except for when she hugs her milk-shake to her chest, leans over, and snatches up a chicken finger to watch as the bad man just….freezes up and falls over. She lobs a chicken finger at the body and glares before waiting for Dio to finish eating, occasionally nibbling on a chicken finger or picking up a french fry but when the bad man wakes up the trembling starts again and she hugs her milk-shake to her chest with an arm and picks up the little thing that holds her french fries, climbing off her chair and looking to Dio to see if it is time to go yet. She is so over this shi-she doesn't know what that means, so she is so ready to go home.

Diogenes reclines in his seat, picking up a tissue to clean his greasy fingers. He's apparently a neat freak, for he diligently and perhaps even obsessively makes sure that his digits are neither disgustingly slippery or sticky. A true model citizen, he would even make sure to clean the table after himself, trashing all the contents of the trays and returning the latter. A subtle polite smile you'd see in a vintage advertisement from the fifties and a nod to the shocked and confused employees of the 24/7 burger shop, and he walks over to Diana.

Of course, he needs to clear the effects of the poison for the near future once more, but once that is well out of the way, he crouches down in front of her. "Look, when I bring you home, I want you to tell your dad that a nice guy helped you, okay? Don't tell him nothing else, tell him you slept, and woke up at the door of your dad's home, okay? I know that's lying to your dad, and I am only a stranger, but it's very important that you do, alright? Your dad is really… He had a very bad night. He doesn't need to know you were in danger." He'd pause, as if to make sure at least most of that sunk in Diana's head.

And then? And then he'd leisurely stroll out of the place with her on his back, of course.

Diana hugs her milkshake and her fries are shoved into a pocket, her bad arm hanging by her arm limply, moving it hurts. She just sniffles and nods slowly with those big blue eyes, head tilting to the side as she processes the words and tries to translate. She finally just nods again and swallows. Home? Time to go home? She's ready to go…and so she's quiet and occasionally sips from her milkshake where it is half squished against Dio's back, for the entire ride home.

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