Rescue From the Darkness


cardinal_icon.gif peyton_icon.gif wendy_icon.gif

Scene Title Rescue From the Darkness
Synopsis Peyton and Cardinal go after Wendy when Peyton sees Danko is otherwise engaged.
Date October 22, 2009


Peyton makes it to the library while the sun is low in the sky — she asked Cardinal to meet while the sun was still up, as the darkness may be the Shadow's friend, but right now it's certainly not hers. Once she loved the night — never woke before the wee hours of the bright afternoon, never ate dinner before nine in the evening, never slept before dawn.

That was before.

Before being closed in a coffin so that no gleam of light could give her any hope. Before being blindfolded. Before being thrown in a dark shipping container, with only scant glimmers of light peeking through the slats in the vent of the godsend of an air conditioning unit.

Peyton steps into the lobby to find someone who is not afraid of the dark, for she needs his help finding someone — Wendy, who is still out there somewhere, captured by darkness personified.

Here, too, there is darkness; hiding the dealings here from the outside world and comforting Richard Cardinal in its embrace as he sits at a table going over some papers in the dark— maps of Liberty Island, reports printed out about it, scattered over the table where he's seated. As he hears footsteps coming towards the cool hall that he's taken over, he pauses, leaning over to connect two plugs— lamps flickering to life, glowing in the dark.

"Who's there?"

"It's Peyton," calls the slim tall brunette, shaking off some of the rain as she sets an umbrella by the door. She moves toward the table, now that she can see it better. "Thanks for meeting with me. I'm sorry, I know you're so busy, what with White and all." She nods toward the maps he has spread out. "It's about my friend, Wendy. The one that HF has."

"No." Cardinal's gaze lifts from the maps set before him, both brows arching a little, "…you look like hell, Peyton. What the hell happened?" His brow furrows as he sits up, "Hunter? I thought that Phoenix would've picked her up when they went in after Helena…"

She steps closer, coming to sit on the steps, leaning against the wall. "I'm okay. The other night at the Island, I passed out from overusing my power, I guess. So I've been trying not to use it too often, but trying to keep an eye on people at the same time. It's not working really well, to be honest." Like she's going to look away when she is seeing the world from Danko's perspective, riding his motorcycle down the broken streets of Midtown, giving her clues to Wendy's whereabouts? Right.

"They didn't get Wendy. She was already taken away from there. I don't know why. Danko has her somewhere. I think I know where."

A slight wince, and Cardinal pushes himself up to his feet. "…yeah, don't over-due it. You can hurt yourself pretty bad like that," he murmurs, walking around the tables to head over to where she's seated, brow furrowed, "Danko? Shit— " A turn of his head to one side, grimacing at the maps, "— all our people are tied up preparing for Liberty Island…"

"Some doctor said I could have a stroke if I overdo it," Peyton says with a humorless chuckle. "I'd be fucking happy not to have to use it, but between Shard and White and Wendy, I had to." This is a far cry from the purposeless socialite of yesteryear, the one who told Wendy Hunter she'd never use her power.

"Cardinal, if HF has her… don't you see? They're going to use her like a drug dog, but sniffing out people like us. People whose power can't even hurt anyone. They'll be rounded up and killed." Her eyes fill with tears for her friend. "She's hurt. And I know where they are. And he's not even always there, he leaves her sometimes. I think it's just them, because the rest of them got taken down."

She pulls out a map from her pocket and unfolds it. In pink, a section of about three city blocks is highlighted. "I think she's around here. They're like, camping, with a fire, under the overhang of what used to be a building."

"If it's just them, then and if he's not always there…" Cardinal paces for a few steps, then drops down to crouch beside where Peyton's sitting, gaze spilling over the map, "…okay. If there's a fire, then we can find it, especially when the sun starts going down."

Peyton throws her arms around Cardinal unexpectedly. "Thank you." She's been worried about Wendy and heard nothing regarding a second rescue. "What do we need to do?" The fact she's including herself in the plan speaks volumes. She may be a scared silly girl, but she's becoming braver. She has to.

A grunt as she throws herself at him, and Cardinal pats her shoulder awkwardly; shifting to push himself up, he glances across the hall, "Check on Danko… make sure he's not still there. If he is, I'll need to call in some reinforcements, or at least wake Claire up."

Peyton takes a deep breath to prepare herself to use her power, which will undoubtedly sharpen the headache that never seems to leave. Her pupils stretch, her irises shrink; her brows furrow as she tries to make sense of what she sees.

"He's not there… not where she is. I think… he's ducking for cover; there are three guys… well, one's dead, the other two are shooting at him." It's a disturbing, frightening vision, yet her voice lilts up with hope.

"Oh, good…" Cardinal's lips curve in a faint smile, stepping back over to grab his pistol's holster and shrug it on, "…then let's get moving. Maybe we can get to her before he's done with his little playmates…"

Letting the vision slide back to her own surroundings, Peyton reaches into her pocket for a bottle of Advil. She tosses a couple into her mouth and stands. "Okay." There's a bravado in her voice that she doesn't feel. But if you don't got it, fake it, right?

Cardinal pauses, then tilts his head to a cabinet, "Grab a pistol from in there, in case you need it. Just don't point it at anyone you don't plan to kill."

Peyton frowns. She's never held a gun before, but really, if Danko comes around, does she wish to be empty handed? She chews her lower lip for a moment, before moving to the cabinet and picking out what looks like the most uncomplicated gun. "Is it loaded?" she asks, not really wanting to start pulling it apart to find out.

"Yeah. Safety's on the side, leave it there for now, pull the little switch back towards you to turn it off. Until you do that, you can't shoot anybody," Cardinal tells her, quick instructions to a simple weapon, "Then aim, shoot. Don't bother shooting anybody more than ten feet or so away, you'll miss." That said, he heads for the door. The sooner the better.

She glances at the gun, making note of the safety, and nods, putting it in her raincoat's pocket and following behind him, a small shadow to the Shadow. "I'll try to glance in on Danko now and then, quick shots, but if you want anything else or if I haven't updated, just ask."

"Just keep quiet, and we'll check out the area— were they on a rooftop, or more around ground level?" Out the doors of the library, down the steps Cardinal walks, sliding the shades onto his face.

"They're outside, like camping under an overhang. Well, it was probably inside once, but it's not really anything now," Peyton says, frowning at the sunglasses. "Sorry — at least it's almost dark," she says hopefully. Now they will both have headaches. Hopefully Danko has worse. Wendy certainly has worse.

It's alright. Cardinal's used to his by now. So it's off down the street they go on foot, keeping to the shadows of the buildings en route to the area on the map that Peyton'd identified. The gun tucked away, but loose in the holster in case he needs it, taking it slow to ensure Peyton can keep up.

It's not a far walk — a few blocks away and then they're in the area that Peyton's pinpointed. The sun has set, and while there would normally be a lingering glow to the west, the dark rainclouds obscure even that much light. "Around here… I think a right," Peyton whispers, pointing down a street they are approaching, and then a left… and I think that should be it." She sticks close to Cardinal, a little bit behind him, but close to his side.

The gun's pulled out, now, and Cardinal nods; lifting one hand to silence her, he starts to make his way down the side of the street, keeping close to the crumbled walls of the destroyed buildings, under cover as the rain patters down over the streets.

Peyton slips a hand for a second around his elbow so she can check in on Wendy and then Danko — Wendy's there, Danko's not, all is well. She returns her focus to her own physical surroundings, letting go of Cardinal's arm to follow him, trying to be as shadowy and sneaky as he is, though he's had quite a bit more experience.

Tied to the rebar, no moving, a soggy cushion of fallen drywall amoung other things on the floor and water making a small pool thanks to all the rain that keeps falling in, seeping in, trickling through places on the walls where there's no protection. No black bag left over her head to barr her sight, Wendy's head hangs to the side at an akward angle, watching out towards the rest of the world from her anchor. Rain. So much rain. She's given up hoping that of it will slant just the right way so she can whet her lips.

Exhaustion, dehydration, starvation and withdrawal make for a miserable wendy, visually, physically. Cramps gnaw at her, as does the lack of food, weight sloughed off her already gangly frame. Pain is a very real and constant companion for her in many ways and forms. She's unaware and oblivous to Cardinal and Peyton not far from her, or the situation that her captor has found himself in not too far away.

"I'd like to be, under the sea, in octopus's garden in the shade. He'd let us in, know where we've been, in his Octopuses garden in the shade" It's croaking, horrible, but she's doing it to keep her mind off everything. She's been singing a lot of Beatles songs when Danko's not present.

It's just around the corner that Cardinal stops, the gun held up as he listens… pauses… and then his voice lifts in a quiet, dry comment over the patter of the rain over dry concrete, "If you keep up that horrible singing, Hunter, I am totally not going to rescue you."

Peyton's eyes fill with tears as she hears Wendy's voice; horrible as it is, it's the most beautiful sound she's heard in a long while. "Wendy, it's us. Anyone else around besides Danko? He's not here, but is there anyone else who we need to be aware of?" Peyton says softly, no louder than Cardinal's. She looks up at the man beside her, waiting for the go ahead to go untie her friend.

"I'd ask my frien-" Cardinal's voice is heard and Wendy's voice falters, little afraid that it's some other HF assholes come to do, something. She refrains for a moment, a split second from screaming and yelling thinking that it's some joke. Mind playing some trick. But then Peyton's asking questions and the greasy brunette just chokes out a "no one else". Still as she can, shaking from the cold and the wet. Don't be a joke, don't be a joke, don't be a hallucination from withdrawal.

At the choked confession of no other guardians, Cardinal ducks around the corner and into the encampment; moving beneath the overhang, gun kept low and head down as he heads over towards where the woman's bound up against the wall. "Alright," he murmurs tersely, crouching beside her, "Peyton, get her untied— we need to move before Danko gets himself out've that gunfight."

The younger woman hurries around the corner, biting her lip as she sees the state that Wendy's in. "It's okay. We're here. We're here." Tears stream down her face as she works at untying Wendy, before swearing and pulling out a Swiss Army knife from her pocket. Working on Staten Island has taught her to be prepared. She cuts through the ties, then grips Wendy by the wrists, noting her injuries, and helps lug her to her feet. "Put an arm on me, I know you're weak. Let's hurry. Danko's in some sort of gunfight somewhere, but I don't think it's far from here." Indeed, in the distance there is a crack of a gunshot — if it's Danko or some other miscreant, it's hard to say.

The other woman's hands on her only slam it home, that and the gunshot, that she's got a way out. People found her, they've come to save her. One side of her face is purple and blue from Danko's rifle stock, the other puffy, red, little lines that indicate how bad off her ear is. Wait, what ear.

She clings to the other woman though, willing herself upwards, forward. The gunshot was close and panic, terror and fear make her nod and do her best to move barefoot with the help through the mushy floor. "Hurry"

"Just relax," Cardinal says in tight, quiet tones, "Keep calm, and we'll get you out've here in no time… don't try and panic or start running, we'll just walk quickly…" A look back to Wendy to note her state, and he grimaces, pushing himself up, "Pey, hold her up while we go, I don't know if she'll be able to walk."

"Where do you want to bring her — Wendy, do you want to go to the cops or the hospital or just … quiet and safe…" she whispers, nodding to Cardinal and letting Wendy lean as much as she needs to — luckily Wendy weighs next to nothing when she's not half starved and dehydrated, so it's not too hard to support the taller woman. "Come on. We're going to get you safe." She leds Cardinal lead them, so that he can protect them if need be.
"Not here. Somewhere not here. Right now" She can do this, she can move out of this hell hole, the possibility of impending Danko is a great motivator in all things escape. There's no looking back by the greasy and lilkely foul smelling brunette, just head down, commanding legs to move step by step away from the crappy hideyhole Danko has sunk them into. "Safe. Safe then"

Peyton nods to Cardinal. Wendy, overwhelmed by the emotion of being saved, succumbs to the exhaustion; Peyton has to all but drag the woman along with her until they get to safety, ironically enough in the form of a cab. Once at the hospital, Cardinal can slip off, having done his good deed for the day. Peyton's night will be a long one, calling the people who are worried about Wendy while the woman receives some much needed medical attention.

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