Peek-a-boo! I See You!


laura_icon.gif samantha_icon.gif

Scene Title Peek-a-boo! I See You!
Synopsis The Assassin meets The Thief. No one gets anything done.
Date March 21, 2009

Upper West Side

The Upper West Side is primarily a residential and shopping area, and not much about that has changed since the bomb. Despite bordering the region of Midtown that was torn asunder by the blast, the Upper West Side managed to survive the fires that raged out of control in the days following the destruction. It was one of the first areas hit with the massive relief effort. While the areas that did burn have yet to be recovered, that region of the upper west side has been cordoned off by large concrete barricades and Homeland Security roadblocks, preventing most through-traffic into ground zero and the affected area. Beyond that border zone, much of the charm of this upper-class neighborhood has not been lost.

The Upper West Side has the reputation of being home to New York City's liberal cultural and artistic workers, in contrast to the Upper East Side, which is perceived to be traditionally home to more affluent conservative commercial and business types. The neighborhood is decidedly upscale with the median household above the Manhattan average before the bomb, and much of that status-quo maintained by the money pumped into the neighborhood from the reconstruction effort. As one of the first neighborhoods to have electricity and water restored, this area saw a massive temporary influx of transients and refugees from the destroyed areas of the city, most of which moved on as more and more of New York was brought back to life.

Famous sites of the upper west side still remain active today, with Broadway Avenue cutting through the center of the borough. But the reminder of what happened to this city is decidedly visible on the south end of Broadway, where the high concrete barricades rise up one story from the ground, and the jagged, broken skyline of Midtown refuses to remain hidden.

Well after sunset, Upper West Side is now very quiet — quieter than it ever was in the old days, before the series of events that led to the establishment of curfews. Not that Laura has ever paid any attention to curfew. It just means she has to be a hair more serious about dodging people in uniforms.

The thief isn't kitted out in full style tonight; this little adventure is just another part of her reconnaissance, not the actual job. Dressed in a charcoal sweater against the nighttime chill, faded not-quite-black jeans blending into the shadows and the hood of her sweater pulled up to hide white-blonde hair, Laura paces idly along one side of a rooftop, the building important only in that it's across the street from her target. She holds something in one hand, the size and shape of a handheld electronic device — perhaps a cellphone, or an iPod; the wire trailing from it eventually vanishes into the shadows of her hood, suggesting the latter.

Cops and security personnel don't generally come up to the rooftop on a lark, so Laura's attention is mostly focused on the building across the street; the apartments which are still illuminated, the ones that aren't. The binoculars, however, remain tucked away for the moment.

When Sam goes out on a job, she likes to have her bike handy. License plate obscured 'accidently', but handy as she might need to flee. She isn't the type to feel the need to hang out around a crime scene. That is for the proud and the egotistical, neither of which would describe her. While she knows that she's good at what she does, she also knows that even the most tiny sliver of overconfidence could bring her down.

Her earlier confrontation with the officer at the school still eggs at her. She brought way too much attention to herself, but there wasn't much she could do about that. She'll stay away from the scene for the time being, though it wasn't as if there was anything there she found interesting. Let the parents handle the out of control kids, Sam will handle the out of control adults.

Her target tonight is a middle aged man who walked into this apartment building. She has staked him out for a few days and notices his routine is a smoke break before bed, out on the ledge of the window that leads to the fire escape. Sam has positioned herself one floor up on the escape just above where he will stand and smoke. He appears to be a common thief with the knack for knowing every password needed to gain access to any facility he wants. Not entirely dangerous, but.. who's to judge what could be dangerous. He taking what doesn't belong to him, so she's more than happy to rectify the situation. She's wearing a black sweatshirt tonight to fight off the chill, plus her plan would not go well wearing a heavy leather jacket. So, she waits.

It might be overconfidence that caused Samantha to not notice the observer across the street — or just a hair too much focus on the business at hand. The way her figure interrupts the regular angles of the fire escape, turning a predictable pattern into an amorphous blob of shadow, isn't missed by the thief across the street. Not once she's looking in the proper direction.

Interest piqued, Laura tucks her handheld gadget away in a pocket, produces the collapsible multi-function binoculars she's using tonight from another one, and tugs her hood down a little more to make sure there's no stray hair showing. Sometimes her hair is a marked disadvantage. The imp settles down against the wall edging her rooftop, as low as she can get and still have a good view, and observes.

Does she have competition?

Granted, Samantha tends to take every precaution and in the days leading up to this particular evening, that building across the street got incredible amounts of attention. She even traversed up there on a couple of occasions, as she considered actually just taking a weapon up there and aiming in this direction. However, she brought no weapon, as her plan tonight was to push the man from the escape and let the blacktop break his fall below.

She suddenly gets a chill. Her black skull cap, used to cover her long blonde hair which is pushed up under the fleece garment keeps her head warm and hidden, along with her black jeans and sneaker boots. As her attention is drawn to the rooftop across the street, she could almost swore she saw a flicker. Perhaps something reflecting a streetlight or something. As she sits indian style on the grating, she reaches to her side and unzips the pouch attached to her belt. She extracts her own pair of binoculars and lifts them to her eyes and aims them for the rooftop across the street.

It's clear to Laura when the hairs on the back of Sam's neck start lifting of their own accord — not because she can see them, but because the shift in the suspicious-looking stranger's posture indicates a change of focus. Attention moving from whatever her business is to the building across the street.

Now, most people, when realizing they might become known to the suspicious-looking stranger they are covertly observing… they take the wiser course. Duck out of sight and pray they weren't actually seen. Hope the suspicious-looking stranger looks away.

Laura… isn't exactly most people.

Unable to stifle a grin, the imp brings her free hand up above the wall and wiggles her fingers at the pair of binoculars across the street.


Well, at least he's friendly.

Of course, then there's some suspicion that sets in. Surely no one was watching her as she did her recon in the past few days. She's certain of that. So, definitely not a rent-a-cop and there were no squad or unmarked police cars below. Binocular to binocular draws a wave from the assassin who lifts her hand and gives the princess wave, moving her cupped hand from side to side.

Well, now this is a pickle. The target has not yet left his nest, so Sam hasn't been foiled and she could come back another day, but the figure across the street has definitely got her intrigued. What are they up to? Why are they there in the first place? She places her binoculars into it's pouch and zips, then begins to pull herself up the fire escape until she reaches the rooftop. She stands and faces the building and looks up at the roof without any telescopic aid.

The thief giggles at Sam's return-wave, then lowers her own binoculars and watches the stranger across the street climb the fire-escape until they're both on rooftops. This is a pretty pickle: they're neither of them getting actual work done now. Laura rests her elbows on the low wall, propping her chin on the backs of folded hands, gazing across the street in return.

Motion catches Laura's gaze; the movement of someone below Samantha stepping out onto their balcony. Even from across the street, the change in her posture that comes with the thief's shifting attention is evident. She weighs this for a couple of breaths, then decides being made by one person is plenty; it's one thing when they're another suspicious-looking sneaky fellow, but she has to come back, and having a resident on the lookout is less than ideal.

Laura ducks away from the rooftop edge and vanishes from sight, presumably having retreated into her building.

The change in posture across the street, earns a tilted head glance, then she hears the rattling of the fire escape below. Curse. That is her target. She peers down and knows that she could probably take him out, but the conditions are no longer ideal with the peeping-tom across the st —

She glances up and the figure is gone. Sam reaches up and pulls her cap off her head, letting her blond locks fall down into place over her black cotton covered shoulders. She's committed no crime, so she doesn't necessarily have anything to hide. She takes one more glance across the street before she makes her way down to her bike. The target is safe, at least for now.

The following evening? Not so lucky.

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