Scene Title Scavengers
Synopsis …are just as antisocial as predators. Gabriel enjoys some left overs.
Date November 9, 2009

A Coast of Roosevelt Island

He detoured back to Roosevelt Island, a shadow that skimmed the water and swam in lazy undulations. By the time the agent is being brought back into solidity from a phased form that was never his power, dusk has fallen enough to sharply cool the air. Brackish water pushes at the rocky coastline of Roosevelt, brings with it all kinds of unpleasant smells, but none so pungent as the scent of gore and human waste as organs, slippery and meaty colours, spill onto broken rock. Gabriel finds himself pressing the back of his hand up to his nose, before he remembers his own arsenal, and spirits away his sense of smell and taste.

The agent doesn't have legs, hips, or half his abdomen, guts shining from the clean splice as if he were a cracked open barrel. Gabriel isn't sure what, exactly, became of the lower half of the corpse when it was phased back into solidity, submerged as it was in the asphalt, but he's sure he'll find out.

Despite the autumn cool made chillier under the shady cover of the bridge they are huddled beneath, Gabriel quickly becomes warm beneath a suit and bullet proof vest, and he's stripped down to a white undershirt by the time he's finished the messy work. Blood stolen from the corpse before it could completely cool, made solid and sharp into something of a cleaver and brought down in precise hacks against the forehead of Special Agent Jackson until skull split beneath torn skin. There has to be a better way to do this. Perhaps the brain beneath the cap of yellow-white bone would enlighten him.

As ever, it's done quick enough. Several feet away, Gabriel crouches by the foreshore and washes his hands clean of bright blood, the clotted cutting tool pitched into the cold river as far as his arm would carry it, and he hasn't yet formulated a plan for the halved corpse behind him. He's not really thinking about that right now.

The itch is sated, but only just. It's different, when it's like this. Eating scraps from the table, picking clean the bone of a day old carcass. Stale. Second hand. Wet hands press the heels of palms against his temples, and squeeze hard. That girl. It should have been her. Every instinct screams it, because he'd known, he could see it. What made her powerful and what made her weak in equal measures and he's not uncertain he couldn't do better. Not that Gabriel can't recognise that it would have been lacking in decorum to make a meal out of the little girl he'd helped save, but please—

Tell that to his instincts.

He doesn't quite hear it as much as feel it, the tiny presence. Hands lowering, Gabriel realises he's remained in this gargoyle crouch for the past several minutes, and already the sky has bruised itself into something more navy. Brow tense, he looks over his shoulder, and watches the mottled seabird hop up onto the deflated chest of the dead agent, casting a beady look his way.

One day, he'll stop wondering if every bird is her. In an instinct that's as dusty as it is rusted, Gabriel tries to reach out to the small creature, tries to listen in, understand. Three disappointing seconds later, the seabird begins to groom its feathers. It gets bored quicker than Gabriel does, and hops once before taking flight, with nary a word to the deaf and dumb.

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