Riots Don't Just Happen in LA


coren_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif katherine_icon.gif terry_icon.gif trask_icon.gif

Scene Title Riots Don't Just Happen in LA
Synopsis A food riot turns into a real bad day for the NYPD.
Date March 24, 2009

Lower East Side

The Lower East side is one of the oldest neighborhoods in New York City. Starting south of East Hudson Street and west of the East River, it is also bordered by Chinatown and the East Village. Tenemant housing is very prominent here, as well as many religious structures and more than a few excellent kosher delis and bakeries. For those in search of entertainment, the Lower East is home to many bars and live music venues.

With the cessation of the rolling blackouts that plagued the city, a lot of the things that were going wrong in the city have levelled off. People are beginning, as they always do, to settle into some semblance of 'normal' — it has to happen eventually because people adapt. With power finally coming back on throughout the city, there is optimism that maybe in the not-too-distant future there won't BE tanks on street corners anymore and that the population can get back to their everyday concerns. For right now, though, because the situation with the power is only newly resolved, the curfew is still in effect and stores are still having to ship in produce and get it out to customers as quickly as possible.

But therein lies the problem. It started simply enough — a large refrigerated semi was making its way toward a grocery store in the Lower East Side. Large trucks do not do all that well in some of the streets in this area, and this one fares worse than most — an impatient taxi runs a red light, an ambulance nearly hits it and veers off to narrowly avoid the collision, but creates havoc on the corner that causes a five-car pile-up on the truck. And as soon as the truck's rear doors are opened by the driver, all hell breaks loose — it's fresh produce. And it started small! Five or six men standing on that corner watched the accident, and then they told the driver that in exchange for their help, they wanted some of the vegetables in the truck. And the driver, of course, refused…. and more and more people realized what was in the truck as the argument escalated. In this poorest of neighborhoods, with rundown tenements and out-of-work people all over the place, fresh fruits and vegetables might as well be gold.

It is now a complete free-for-all.

"All available units in the vicinity of Houston Street, report on scene. SWAT and riot teams en route. Injuries reported." The calm voice of the dispatcher starts reeling off units to respond, but in addition to those units, any other available plainclothes are also to report to the scene.'

Driving around, Katherine Marks is being relatively safe. It's unusual for her to do so, but her mood lately has been more reflective than she normally would be. Something is eating at her, but she isn't quite sure that she wants to deal with it, or even acknowledge it. Regardless of that, she hears the voice come across the radio.

This could become serious, she realizes and swerves into a right turn heading for that part of town. She may not get involved, but she wants to be on the scene just in case she needs to be. She still has a job to do and this type of scenario will attract all types, include evolved.

Why is it that when you come back on duty after a long absence it is always the first day back at work that /something/ has to happen? Like all that time you were gone was piling up and waiting for you to step back in the door before exploding? Officer Norton Trask is walking his beat, minding his own business when his radio ges off, indentifying the problem only 2 blocks from him, he swears under his breath and heads that way.

When the call goes out, Elisabeth Harrison too is on the streets, heading the opposite direction. But she makes a fast U-turn and heads back toward the mess as quickly as possible, radioing dispatch to let them know that she (like everyone else radioing in) is inbound. She's only a few blocks away herself.

By the time the officer converge on the scene, it's mass hysteria. There is a street brawl going on at least half a block long. Uniformed officers are beginning to set up blockades and being stopped at every turn by people pelting them with rocks and other objects. And in the middle of the mess, the truck's driver has basically taken a beating. He's on the ground somewhere near the side of the truck, no telling if he's alive.

As the crowd grows and the fights escalate, it is without a doubt that things get worse. They always do. One man, a huge black man, jumps on top of the truck and starts shouting orders… and a small group — perhaps three or four other men, hard to say in the crowd — start shunting other people away from the open truck. Those nearest the truck seem to calm when this group appears, and food starts getting thrown toward the outer reaches of the crowd in pretty short order. When the people who haven't caught anything start shoving forward, one of the men — a small Jewish man — hovers in the air over the crowd, shouting through a bullhorn, "We're going to give it out, first come, first served! If you just stop fighting!" But that goes over like a lead balloon… the rumbling EVO basically starts the situation turning ugly.

And in spite of their jobs, which they continue to do, there is a small group of cops on the north side of the street who stpo working, one man with an expression of disgust. "Fuckin' Evos," is all he says, and he shuts up as more cop cars and officers arrive on the scene.

Katherine parks a good distance away from the scene, not wanting her vehicle to get caught up in this crazy shit storm that's brewing. She leaves her jacket in the car as she ensures that she's loaded for bear with both her issued weapon and her tranq gun. She begins to hoof it down the sidewalk and turns the corner. She actually stops when she sees the scene. How quickly this has escalated has taken her off guard for just a moment.

For now, the Company agent is inclined to see just where this is heading. She slips out her PDA and begins to snaps some photos, most notably those demonstrating some sort of ability.

Another cop responds to the first. "We oughta just start shooting now and let them lay where they fall." Of course, it's not only evolved in the crowd that is beginning to riot now, but there are several who are not hiding their gift whatsoever.

Trask is coming around the corner onto the scene, he scans the crowd and picks out Mr. Bull Horn. Many of the people in the crowd are moving the rocks now to aim at the flying man. The crowd seems to even begin throwing a tomatoe and a head of lettuce produce going from goal to weapon.

It is rapidly becoming an even bigger mess with the addition of Evos using powers in the crowd. More and more people are joining, and cops on the east side of the mess are being buffeted by rocks, vegetables, and even shoes! Missiles are starting to fly within the crowd too, as the non-Evos start throwing things at the Evos. In truth, they probably can't even tell what the man with the bullhorn is shouting at them or it might calm some. Or not. There's the muffled sound of gunshots from the crowd, and the flying man drops to land on top of the semi, out of sight. And that seems to be the signal for the crowd to lose it. There is screaming, shoving, trampling, fighting. It looks like a World Cup match out there.

And this is the scene that Elisabeth pulls up into. She looks shocked at the sheer number of people. It's swelling into triple digits, from what she can see. "Dispatch," she says into her radio, "We're going to need the National Guard contingent along with the riot teams. I've got…. perhaps 100 to 150 people out here, and there's a semi and God knows how many cars in there. I can't even see the street." She ducks something — she doesn't even know what — and shouts, "SHIT!" And then tells Dispatch, "HURRY!"

Kat continues to snap a few photos. This is seriously beginning to go from ugly to butt ugly real soon. She doesn't notice anything that would cause her additional concern, but she's on the other side of the riot from pretty much everyone else. She picks up the phone and calls in, reporting what's going on here and wondering if there's any action to be taken. No agents available at the moment, though she does try Sawyer and Castillo, but no luck there. She tries Collins and as he picks up, she relays as much info as she can, and he notes he's in the area and on his way.

The cops that are huddled around not doing a whole lot, are still talking shit amongst their group. "We wouldn't have this problem if /they/ hadn't shown up. Should have rounded them up and sent them out of the country when we had the chance." "No, shit. I am still hoping they do at some point. Some guy runs for President on that platform, he's got my vote easy."

Kat circles around the chaos, trying to see what sort of law enforcement has made it to the scene yet. She's very aware of her surrounding, and ready to draw her weapon if need be.

Flying man fallss with the sound of a shot and a splattering of blood sprays across the crowd. Noone can see where he was hit, or who the shooter was, and most people don't care. A few poeple duck for cover, but most think it was the police that opened fire and try to defend themselves by throwing more food at the police. From somewhere in the crowd someone else must have evolved powers as a hot dog cart lifts into the air by itself and hurls toward the police barracade. Two police officers brace for impact as they can't get out of the way but just short of them being hit the cart comes to a stop and falls to the ground like being stopped. A third officer has joined the two, Officer Trask helps his two compatriots up.

Detective Shelby received the call shortly before shit hit the fan. Now shit's hitting his car. "What the fuck?" Was that a boot or a brick? He puts on the brakes and shifts gears, backing his rust-bucket sedan upon onto the sidewalk, some ways behind the police barricade and hopefully blocked by the other cars that are slowly piling up. He grabs a vest from his backseat, which he apparently keeps close at hand, and puts it on before stepping out of his car. He has a radio attached at the shoulder and his gun already out of its holster. "Why can't people just stay off the street?"

Elisabeth is not wearing her kevlar, being not in the uniform blacks at the moment, so she hustles to the back of her car and yanks that out first. She's sliding it it over her head when the first shots are fired. Christ…. Slamming the car trunk shut, Liz yanks her straps into place and hustles toward the uniforms handling the barricades. "Need the top of your car!" she calls, and without waiting, she literally climbs up their trunk to get on top of the cop car so she can get a better look. Oh God… There's no way she's going to get anywhere by wading in there, but then… this is why the send HER to riots.

"~This is the NYPD,~" booms out her light contralto. It is audible and perfectly clear above the roar of the crowd without any apparent effort on her part. "~SWAT teams are inbound and you are hereby ordered to disperse or face the legal consequences of rioting in the streets!~" She layers her orders with all the subsonic carrier waves she can lace through her voice. Calm, everyone needs to be calm! "~Everyone on the outer edges, file toward the officers at the barricades and they will get you out of the crowd.~"

By now, there are uniforms and black-and-white cars on all sides of the disturbance, and the boys in blue are erecting barricades to both keep people out (taking a lot of flak as they do it) or to separate those who are trying to get OUT of the fracas from the mess. But they're not being terribly effective. And it goes to hell in a handbasket once more when a woman is shoved into a uniformed officer during a mass-shove, screams, and accidently throws him to the ground with a telekinetic power. Two officer with the fallen man jump on the woman and start beating her.

And the news crews are starting to show up and film from the tops of their vans.

As squad cars and cops pour into the area, a lone, civilian looking man comes jogging towards the barricade. However, while everyone else is pushing against the barricades, or rushing towards the center of the riot, Terry is working his way around the outside. He engages in a couple quick, quiet conversations with the boys in blue there, occasionally showing one of them what can only be a badge of some sort, before he finally gets the answer he's looking for. One of the cops gives him an irritated glance, and then points along the outskirts of the riot in Katherine's direction. Terry nods, and then starts working his way there, pushing through crowds as necessary, but steadily making his way through.

Trask turns and blinks as police officers begin beating on the woman, he hands go up protectively, and she yells out. He moves toward them trying to pull them off of her. As he does people near by in the crowd begin to surge forward. And someone in the crowd seems to take unkindly to Liz's evolved self as another shot rings out, striking her dead center in the chest.

Katherine spots him as he makes his way over. She gives him the rundown on exactly what has been going down. Once finished, she notes. "Just going to monitor to start and take a few photos, that we can follow up on later. However, this crowd is not going to get better any time soon. We may have to assist. Just be ready.

Of course, it wouldn't be Kat if she had on any sort of protective gear at all, so she stands there in her black t-shirt and slacks considerably close to harm's way. "Do whatever you think you need to do." she adds.

The gunshots are becoming more and more of a regular occurance as those who are unevolved are becoming more and more nervous about the evolved running around showing off their powers, as they attempt to defend themselves.

The voice over the loudspeaker snags Kat's attention as famliar as she looks up just in time to see her get hit. "Dammit, Harrison! Wear a bullsye next time, why dontcha?" she mutters to herself.

The shot fires, and a spark appears in the air between the shooter and Elisabeth. The bullet never reaches its target, ricocheting off of something, and flying off into the air. Terry nods his head as Kat tells him what is going on, and he smirks at the spark. "Understood," he says, a knowing tone in his voice.

Detective Shelby jobs towards the barricade. Debacle, anyone? Gong show, perhaps? None of these terms seem sufficient in describing exactly what's happening. Heck, it's hard to see what's happening, sight of the street obstructed as it is. On the other hand, Officer Harrison nearly getting shot is easy to see, and he cannot help but repeat the sentiment of the Company agent he does not know is presence: May as well wear a bullseye. He crouches down as he makes his way over to the cruiser Elisabeth stands on, having no desire to test his vest. "You ought to try standing behind something before doing things like that. People don't take kindly to evolved police in the best of situations." He draws the slide back on his sidearm, chambering the first bullet. Gun cocked, he's ready to fire if need be, but certainly has no desire to. "Where the hell is SWAT?"

The sounds of shots fired make Elisabeth far more nervous than she may let on — she's not invulnerable after all!! She squats lower on the roof of the cop car, using its rack of lights as a better kind of cover, but she really needs to see over the mess. "~MOVE TO THE OUTER EDGES IN AN ORDERLY FASHION!~" she literally bellows — and between the fact that she's shouting and the fact that she's amplifying it to be heard, it sounds like the announcer's voice over a loudspeaker at a football game. She's still working on the 'calm the crowd' angle, but she also starts working with some different frequencies — the ones that induce mild nausea. Nothing bad enough to incapacitate because it's an area effect — the cops will feel it too. (Not the ones behind her, just the ones out in the front 120 degrees — the crowd). She looks down at Coren with a sheepish grin. "Yeah, I know, I'm starting to believe my own press, right? Christ, this is a MESS, Shelby! There's nothing I can do here except keep talking."

The crowd seems to not be responding at all to her words. The SWAT team rolls up behind Coren and Elisabeth's position and they start to unload their gear, including rubber bullets. The two cops hammering on the young telekinetic get pulled off and start arguing with him that she attacked the fallen cop, who is getting to his feet. Someone throws a brick in the direction of Trask and his 'buddies', and a surge of humanity threatens to overrun the three cops. Two men, who either didn't see the small woman throw the cop a good ten feet or don't CARE that she did it, throw themselves at the cops to start attacking them with fists and feet. Trask is stuck in the middle of that.

And three more gunshots ring out near Kat and Terry, two of them hitting VERY close to the agents. And the man who'd been chattering his rhetoric nearby them comments, "Shame whoever shot at that bitch missed." The two black-uniformed officers are making no effort to help anyone in the crowd at this point. They're clearly partners.

Trask takes a hit in the face. He turns to try to help push the two men back, as he does the woman starts crawling away. More men start joining he mass of people swarming over the cops and the thin blue light begins to buckle.

There's no longer any sort of pretense as the group of anti-evo cops start opening shooting at those coming their way. Some fall, some do not. Powers work against bullets for some, and some abilities are just useless under the direct assault. There's enough of a crowd that the gunshots just mingle in with the others.

At least until a television helicopter moves into the area. Welcome to prime time.

Kat starts at the stray bullet. She pulls her weapon, but doesn't fire it just yet. She moves into a more defensive posture, though she doesn't bother hiding behind anything, until she walks over and places her hand on top of a mail box, and it shapeshifts into the form of a shelter. It will protect her and anyone behind it, but it doesn't quite cover her from behind. The words from the officers, are just barely heard from the agent as she considers the possibility.. never mind.. she ducks as she sees a motorcycle fly overhead and the two cops have to scatter to note get squashed. This, of course, only pisses them off.

At the sound of the gun shots around them, Terry drops lower to the ground. His hand goes nowhere near his weapon, however, instead putting both hands on the ground for the moment, and then looking up to check on Kat. He sees her with her gun out, and says "hey! Put that away. Don't give them a reason to keep shooting over here." As she uses her power and shapes cover for the two of them he peers out around it, and frowns. His eyes move to Elisabeth and he shakes his head. "Sorry, miss," he says quietly to himself. "You're on your own for now…"

The helicopter has drawn the attention of several in the crowd, some cheering that the mayhem is being caught on film, a couple officers put away their weapons now that someone's recording evidence on film, and the cops surrounding the crowd get a little more nervous. Terry, on the other hand, mutters a couple obscenities under his breath, and looks over at Kat. "Alright, time to make a call," he says to her. "You're done doing research here. We either step in and try to quiet this down, or you get out of here and see what you can get back to the Office."

Behind Coren and Elisabeth, the SWAT team is swearing a blue streak about having to be out here when it's patently obvious there are Evos at work. "Goddamnit, this is SCOUT's job!" one man shouts to the team leader. "I'm not going out there where someone's going to light my ass on fire!"

The head of the SWAT team gets in his face and says, "You get your ass out there, or your resignation's on my desk at the end of the day, Ramirez!"

It makes the first man pause, but he shakes his head. "Forget it, chief. I'm out. I can't do this anymore, I got kids."

There's fully enough noise out there that Elisabeth can use all of that to ramp up the subsonic 'calm' attempts. She doesn't have to keep talking, but it's requiring all of her focus at this point. The ability is far less than a forcible one — it requires both time and people. The cops are outnumbered currently about 5 to 1 — there's probably in the neighborhood of 150 people out there in that riot, and only around 25 cops.

At which point, people watching from the windows above start pelting the SWAT team and Liz and Coren's position with a variety of items from shoes to radios to dishes to whatever they have up their apartment. There's even dog feces, which lands in a 'splat!' far too near Coren for comfort as Liz climbs down. She continues with the subsonic waves, but she looks at Coren and says, "I think we're in WAY over our heads. It's gonna have to be SWAT on this one."

Trask's position has been overrun by people trying to flee at this point. No one's even fighting them anymore, and the cops who are nearby are trying to wade in and get Trask and the two cops who beat on the woman off the ground. They haul Greene and Jackson to their feet, and Trask is pulled up a moment later. Henderson, a huge black man with Sergeant's stripes, barks at the three, "What the fuck??" He saw them go at the poor woman, who is also rescued from the ground by three other uniforms, though she's bleeding badly.

"Well, I don't remember doing this with the FBI," Detective Shelby mutters to himself. He calls up to Elisabeth, as he's leaning against the tire of the cruiser she's on top of, "I don't think it's working." He takes a few breaths before standing and coming around the police cruiser to try and get a look at what's going on. The appearance of the helicopter does little for him. This is the last thing that needs to get on the news. "We're so screwed." Then he hears the splat, and his eyes flicker only briefly. "They're tossing dog shite at us." Then a crash. Dishes. "What a bloody waste." He flicks the safety on his gun and holsters it. The last thing he wants is to lose his gun in a tussle. That would just be bad.

Detective Shelby nods his head, finally, "You're right. This is SWAT's job, not ours. We have to handle the barricade, and help people out. SWAT can slug them all, provided they don't start rowing on each other." He couldn't help but overhear some of the complaints, despite the noise level.

Trask has gone down under a growing mob of people as the other two cops are being pulled out of the crowd noone can see Trask except the men on top of him. Meanwhile the Car that Liz was standing on suddenly lifts in the air being hurled at another part of the police barricade, it stops in mid air, and begins movin jerkily, first left, then right, then left again, as if two invisible hands were playing tug of way with it. One of the crowd near the mob puts out her hands as a police officer tries to get through the crowd with a baton, bright lights appear from her hands like like little fire works with no heat just a little popping sound. The police officer draws his side arm and shots the teen age girl without hesitation.

Katherine nods, looking over her shoulder at Terry, and her eyes go up to take in the helicopter. She looks back at Terry, ducking her head as another bullet ricochets off her improvised cover, punching a hole through the thin metal. "Alright," she says, shouting a little to be heard above the helicopter, and the police, and the massive crowd of people. "Let's fall back," she says after.

Terry nods in response, and looks up over the barrier. He sees the car jerking around in the air and frowns. "Dammit," he says quietly, and then shakes his head. "Can't stop everything," he adds, thinking aloud, and then looks up at Katherine again. "Alright, I'll cover, let's get out of here," he says to her, and then stands. A couple sparks appear in front of him as a few gunman who were watching the cover take shots, and the bullets are knocked away. Katherine, head still ducked, makes a hasty retreat, not stopping running until she's on the far side of the barrier. Terry is quick to follow.

The car flies over Elisabeth's head suddenly with a whoosh of air after she'd barely gotten her feet on the ground. "Holy shit!" she exclaims, ducking instinctively. The vehicle remains in the air like a giant ball centered on a tug-of-war rope, and apparently one side wins — it goes crashing off down the street beyond the area where all the cop cars are parked. Though it damages several cars parked on the street, there are no injuries when it lands. Liz grabs Coren's arm and hastens him toward the barricades so that the two can at least try to help some of the people trying to get out of the way.

The sergeant dealing with the two cops near Trask looks ready to bang some heads together and he sends them back to their patrol car. He looks at Norton and demands, "You in one piece, boy?" He's a man Trask knows in passing, always fair — though no fan of Evolved, he's scrupulous in his dealings with people due to the racism of his own background. One can bet that the sergeant's going to be ripping a couple of people a new ass today. The woman who was beaten by the officers and then trampled is being turned over to paramedics.

In the middle of the crowd, the sound of the gunshot and the blossom of blood on the young girl's chest draws attention. Maybe because her ability was attentino-getting or maybe just because of a trick of crow dynamics, a circular area opens putting both her and the officer who shot her into stark relief for the news cameras doing their damndest to get everything on tape.

Trask rises from under the crowd throwing the last couple of people off, 6 months ago he would be a lot worse fr wear but he is a lot better shape now, and knows how to take a beating. He moves to the woman, only 20 feet away from him, and immediately begins to try to stop the bleeding. He doesn't even give the cop with the still smoking gun a second look.

Detective Shelby can't help but be dragged along, mostly because he was beginning to head in that direction already, before he was distracted by the flying car. Unlike Trask, he does give the cop with the smoking gun a second look, and that is the look of scorn. He is thoroughly unimpressed by the lack of non-lethal force being used. Two people are lead through the barricade, followed closely by another, this one a young man in his mid-teens. Coren, trying only to get everyone out alive is unconcerned as to whether or not anyone he is letting through is evolved or not. Maybe he cared once, but not anymore, not since he's evolved. Unfortunately, others are not as enlightened as him. One man goes in hot pursuit of the kid wielding a switchblade. Coren grabs the man with the knife by the shoulder and wrist, slams him forcefully against the barricade and cuffs him right there, before swinging him around and tossing him off to a uniform, who locks him in the back of one of the police cruisers.

"This is insane," he hollers to Officer Harrison. "What is it going to take to get these idiots to settle down, SWAT bearing down on them?"

"Jesus, God," Elisabeth breathes. The chaos is astounding. Continuing to use the ambient sounds to put subsonic carrier waves into it, it seems not to be working and Liz is at a loss with this one. Hell, even if it were working, she's not sure she'd be able to tell. There's no common goal, here… no evacuation or common target to work with, so her abilities in this instance just are not enough.

Forced into close quarters with people trying to flee, Elisabeth does her level best just to get people out of the crowd, through the barricade. The fewer people, the better. When Coren takes off after the knife-wielder, Liz backs him up without pulling her gun — again, losing her gun to the crowd = Bad Plan <tm>.

SWAT finally begins to move in from their side of things — batons and shields, tasers and guns shooting rubber bullets to the ready. Tear gas canisters are launched into the crowd as a means to make them scatter to the barricades. They storm through the barricades in a line 4 wide with shields up, dispersing and subduing as necessary. It will still take an hour or more for the situation to be considered "handled."

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