Shotguns, Rifles, and a Pink AK-47


cardinal_icon.gif claire2_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif peyton_icon.gif sparrow_icon.gif zuleyka_icon.gif

Scene Title Shotguns, Rifles, and a Pink AK-47
Synopsis Weapons practice and name discussion beneath the New York Public Library.
Date November 12, 2009

New York Public Library

Once upon a time, the New York Public Library was one of the most important libraries in America. The system, of which this branch was the center, was among the foremost lending libraries /and/ research libraries in the world.

The bomb changed that, as it changed so much else.

By virtue of distance, the library building was not demolished entirely, like so many others north of it; however, the walls on its northern side have been badly damaged, and their stability is suspect. The interior is a shambles, tattered books strewn about the chambers and halls, many shelves pulled over. Some have even been pulled apart; piles of char in some corners suggest some of their pieces, as well as some of the books, have been used to fuel fires for people who sought shelter here in the past.

In the two years since the bomb, the library — despite being one of the icons of New York City — has been left to decay. The wind whistles through shattered windows, broken by either the blast-front or subsequent vandals, carrying dust and debris in with it. Rats, cats, and stray dogs often seek shelter within its walls, especially on cold nights. Between the fear of radiation and the lack of funds, recovery of the library is on indefinite hiatus; this place, too, has been forgotten.

The chill of autumn has begun to creep through the broken walls and shattered windows of the library, and over the past few weeks, more of the supplies and things of immediate importance have been moved into the lower levels; untouched by the nuclear blast and insulated by the earth of the park above, miles of shelves and many halls and rooms rest over a much larger area than the aboveground of the library.

It's down there that some of those who call this place home - or at least assist those who do - have been invited to gather. One of the larger rooms sits at the bottom of the stairs from the first floor, tables dragged out covered in assault rifles, shotguns and kevlar vests laid out neatly upon them. Some of the halls leading off have been set up as makeshift firing ranges, with paper targets plastered to the walls at the ends. Another table has maps of the library, and of liberty island, spread out over them for any to look over. All in all, it's looking more like a bunker or war room than part of a library these days.

"The place is a bit of a mess upstairs, as you saw," Cardinal admits as he heads down the stairs, escorting Sparrow with him, "The lower levels are mostly intact, thank god, although there's less open space and room to set up down here."

Arriving with Cardinal, Sparrow is looking around as she comes down the stairs with the man. Having taken in the upstairs and it's state, she seems to be paying more attention to things as they head down the stairs. "I can see, but I think I can help." She might be heard to say to him as she takes in the lack of damage down here, a hand to trail down the side of a wall, feeling perhaps for things hidden beyond the nekkid eye.

Standing at one of the tables, Elisabeth is wearing a pair of jeans and a fleece sweatshirt, her blonde hair pulled up in a short, bouncy ponytail as she inspects the weaponry laid out. She has one of the assault rifles in her hands and is in the process of loading it. She glances up as they come in the room and nods slightly. "I think we're about ready for whoever's going to come for practice. We don't have a lot of ammo, but I think there's enough for this."

Footfalls can be heard coming from above, and then down the steps, before a woman's boots, trim legs in jeans, a gray swing coat, and finally Peyton's head comes into view as she descends. As usual, she looks like she hasn't gotten enough sleep, but given last night's activities, that might not come as a surprise. She glances at the rifle in Elisabeth's hands and looks unhappy at the thought of learning to use one. "Am I too early?" she says softly. "If there's not enough for everyone, I can leave…" she offers. Such a sacrificing soul.

Standing not far from Elisabeth, Claire stands watching the woman carefully. Dressed in worn jeans and a thick flannel shirt on, her own blond hair, pulled back into a loose ponytail. A hand slips out of her pockets to brush a loose strand out of her face. When Cardinal arrives, he's pretty much ignored to look at Sparrow, someone she hasn't met in person yet. "Hey." She offers to all the arriving.

"I can always hit a gun store to pick up some extra clips, if we need them," Cardinal admits as he steps out into the room, turning to look up as Peyton comes down—- a bit of a smirk curving his lips as he states, "Peyton, get your cute ass down here, woman. The guns aren't going to fucking bite you…"

A tilt of his head to Sparrow, and he offers, "If you haven't met already, this is Sparrow Redhouse. She's an earthmover who's offered to help against White, and possibly with expanding the tunnels down here."

Sparrow turns to glance to Elisabeth, nodding her head to the woman, though remaining quiet as she and Cardinal speak about the guns that are laid out on the tables. "Hello again." She does finally say though her attention switches to the woman coming down the stairs, studying Peyton before she chuckles. When introduced, she smiles, "A pleasure to meet you.. " That is said to Peyton, before she ads, "And you again." That to Elisabeth.
There's a faint smile toward Peyton when she offers to NOT shoot and Liz lets Cardinal deal with it. She nods to Sparrow. "Hello, Sparrow. Peyton. I've got four sets of headgear, and since Claire already knows how to shoot the shotguns, we're going to start with those tonight — they're usually the easier of the weapons anyway." She glances at Cardinal. "How many people are we expecting total, Richard?"

"I trip over my own feet. If there's a way to get hurt shooting that thing, I'll find it," Peyton says with a chuckle. She smiles at Elisabeth and Claire, whom she's met before, then nods to Sparrow. "Hi, nice to meet you. I'm Peyton," she says, offering a hand to the other woman. "Earth mover, huh? That's pretty cool. Can you counteract him, if he decides to bury us?" She moves to the table to look at the gear laid out, though she doesn't touch anything just yet.

"Hello Sparrow.. Nice to meet you." A smirk tugs at the corner of Claire's mouth at the mention of her ability to use a shotgun. "I can use handguns too.. I just like playing with the shotguns." She reaches over to pick up her shot gun, a warning look given to others. That's right, Claire has laid claim to one, woe to any that touch it. She rests it in the crook of her arm waiting.

"No more than two or three more… I hope Mack shows," Cardinal actually sounds rather— worried about the man, looking back to the stairs with a frown, fingertips drumming briefly against his hip, "Somethin' weird is going on with the guy, showed up half-naked the other night in the middle of Midtown, didn't remember how he got there. And he's a regenerator. He can't get drunk."

Shaking Peyton's hand, Sparrow smiles and nods, "A pleasure." But as she tucks her hands into her pockets, she shrugs, "I'm not sure if I can or not. I know how good I am, but I don't know anything about his own abilties. It might come down to just who's stronger than the other." She's being honest. She glancecs to the guns, only to be drawn back by Cardinal's comment, a brow raised upwards as he describes this man, and the way he showed up somewhere's. "Nude? Not drunk?"

……where in god's name did she find a pink AK-47? What kind of fabulously gay battalion were the Soviets fielding that'd be armed with one of those? No matter where it came from, there comes Zu, bumping down the stairs with her flamingly pink rifle bumping at her hip like some sort of Sandinista Paris Hilton. She's even got the stupid little dog, though CinderEdmund is some unholy cross of chihuahua and dachshund, apparently.

Elisabeth's head jerks back around, her hands cradling the assault rifle as casually as Claire might hold Baby. "What?" Her blue eyes hold a trace of alarm. "What do you mean he couldn't remember how he got there? He doesn't get drunk. Ever." They had that conversation not that long ago. "He metabolizes alcohol too quickly." Elisabeth frowns heavily, now worried about the ex-cop. She glances up at Zu comes down the stairs, worry not easing when it's not Mack. "Hey, Zu," she comments mildly. "Let's get you two up first," she gestures to Peyton and Sparrow.

"I'm pretty sure he would've gotten frostbite if he was capable, he was starting to turn blue," Cardinal says with a grimace, shifting to lean against one of the tables of weapons, arms folding over his chest, "If he was a full regenerator, I'd suspect someone had killed him and dumped the body somewhere, but I don't think he's capable of postmortem healing…"

Glancing up from her shot gun to Cardinal, A blond brow lifts. "That… is odd." She goes through her own memory, "I've never had anything like that happen to me, so I can't think of anything that could cause that." A hand is lifted a Zu when she enters. "Hey Zu… You stand out like a decoy." She teases the young woman. "I thought drawing fire is my job." Her tone slightly amused.

Brows furrowing at Elisabeth's worry about Mack, Peyton glances up at Elisabeth. "He was all disoriented, couldn't remember anything, said something bad must have happened to him," she answers, since she met the man too. Her own worry, painted on her face via dark circles under the eyes. She reaches for a head set and puts it on, uncertainly, waiting for the rest of this 'gun stuff' to be explained to her.

The man isn't known to her, and so Sparrow is relegated to just listening as the others talk of this guy. When she's gestured forwards to try her hand with the guns, she shrugs, "If there are those who need the practice, someone else can go first. I've used rifles before, just not snippers."

Zuleyka looks around, offers a coquettish little wave. She seems cheerful, as she sets down Ed and lets him frisk around, sniffing at the others. "Hey," she says. "And well, I should repaint it. I can't bring myself to."

Elisabeth doesn't like the information Cardinal's offering, but there's little she can do about it right now. She's considering the idea that Mack was left for dead somewhere, though, and managed to heal. Again. She shakes her head. "We'll see what else he remembers when he shows up." She gestures Peyton over, setting the assault rifle down and handing the younger woman a shotgun. "Anyone not shooting needs to be behind us by a good fifteen feet. I can keep the reports from causing you any hearing loss, but I also don't want anyone to startle her." She moves with Peyton up to the firing line that's set up, and she says, "Shotguns - even tactical ones like this - are point and shoot. You don't have to be terribly accurate, you just have to make sure it's pointing in the right general direction." She gives Peyton additional brief instruction on the parts and pieces of the shotgun, and then helps her get her stance set up for this. "For you, the wider the better. It'll have a bit of a kick. Never never never stick your face near the stock, Peyton." She shows her how to hold it, shows her how to aim it at the center mass of the paper, shows her how to reload, and tells her, "Five shots. Go to it."

Cardinal shakes his head just a little; clearly worried himself about the man in question, but there's nothing to do with it just yet. At the comment from Zuleyka, he flashes over a crooked grin to the girl, "I'm rather fond've the pink, actually. Nobody'll ever expect it to be a real weapon, after all."

This is something most would never expect of Peyton Whitney: to be in a library (that alone's a shocker) holding a rifle and getting instructions from a police officer on how to shoot it. She listens, moving her body the way Elisabeth demonstrates, then nervously brings the shotgun up to aim at the targets that have been set up. She takes a deep breath, aims, and pulls the trigger. The kick has her gasp in surprise, though she manages not to fall back — she does take one big step backward as it rocks her slim frame and rattles her a bit.

"It totally does look like it should be an accessory for Insurgent Barbie, doesn't it?" says Zu, with pardonable pride. She wanders over to watch the other women shoot with a curious eye, expression pleasant.

Elisabeth has a hand placed exactly behind Peyton, knowing where the other girl's going to step back. A kind of bracing movement. And the blonde chuckles. The sound of the shotgun is entirely muted while everything else is still audible. "Nice one. Let's see if you can hit the PAPER now that you've got a feel for the kick," she laughs.

Ah, the pleasures of having an audiokinetic for weapons practice. You don't need to go deaf. Cardinal looks over the motley little group, admitting, "So I've been thinking that we really do need a name for our little… social club over here."

Claire is continues to lean against the wall a distance from them, cradling her baby. Zu's comment gets a soft chuckle. "It does, doesn't it. Only thing missing is some rhinestones." Then she turns her attention to watching Peyton shoot.

"Like my cell phone…" Pey's cell phone is Barbie pink and bedazzled with rhinestones, and yes, goddamnit, she likes it that way. She grits her teeth this time as she aims more carefully. She looks at her aim, and then glances up at the bullet hole from the last, a few feet above the target, due to the kick, so she drops her aim a bit. Shockingly, the trust fund baby can learn. She shoots again, managing to keep her stance, though bucking back a little. "That hurts my hands," she says with a little wince, then glances at Card. "A name? Like Phoenix and Ferry?" Which brings a scowl due to last night's activities.

"The Ladies Anarchist Sewing Circle and Terrorist Society," Zu rattles off, as Ed comes bumbling over to Cardinal. All the better to try and untie his bootlaces.

Chuckling quietly, Elisabeth helps Peyton get stable again and steps behind her once more. "Once you're used to the kick and the movement, I'm going to remove the sound baffles for you," she tells Peyton. "The noise is something that always throws newbies, causes them to flinch when they shoot. I want you to get used to the feel of it first." She lets Peyton go to it and admits absently to Cardinal, "In my head you've been the Wild Cards for a long time now. I always think of you as wild cards in any engagement. You're less easy to predict than some of the other groups." She grins slightly. " Teo used to call Phoenix a sewing circle." She finds it amusing that Zu would use that phrase.

A laugh at Zu's suggestion, Cardinal's head shaking a little. "The Wild Cards, eh? Maybe, maybe…" A hint of amusement still, that dies to greater seriousness as he looks over the weapons stacked on the tables, "I was just thinking of Gillian's precognitive dream, back during the whole Pinehearst situation, relating everything to chess as I took over for the endgame. Which is what I was thinking; Endgame."

"Wild Cards makes us sound like a misfit gang." Claire doesn't make it sound like a bad thing, it's amusing really to be one of the ones outside… "Endgame though is what we're working towards.." She glances at Cardinal," isn't it? Both of those are good."

"There's a fucking freaky play with that name. My parents took me to see it once, when trying to get me culture. Apparently boybands and such didn't count," the once-socialite says with a chuckle. She takes another shot, this time hitting the edge of the paper. She gives a little jump at that, looking pleased with herself, despite her earlier reluctance. "I hit it!"

Zuleyka shakes her head. "Endgame. No. That's too final. Wild Cards….not bad, but it sounds like a cut-rate Marvel superteam."

Elisabeth merely shrugs and grins. "I can't really remember why I thought it appropriate. I just know that it occured to me several months ago, and I remember thinking that it was appropriate." She doesn't remember watching that old sci-fi series Space: Above and Beyond. "good for you!" she cheers for Peyton. Stepping back, she gestures for Claire and Sparrow to step up. "Get ready, you're up next. We'll get you guys on the semi-auto fire. Don't ever put the weapon on automatic unless you're planning on essentially wasting bullets *or* you're faced with basically a full crowd of people to fire into. There's no point. your barrel will just ramble all over the damn place. Three-shot bursts are the most economical way to manage firing the assault rifles. We'll work on that when Peyton manages to hit the paper."

"There's a nuclear weapon out there that we still need to deal with, I don't see much more final than that… and I am fond of the chess reference, honestly," A tilt of Cardinal's chin towards Zu at the latter option, "That's my problem with that, yeah. Not exactly serious enough for my liking."

"I don't know how to play chess," Peyton says, taking a break for a moment, and glancing back at Cardinal. "Maybe there's some strategy term or something that might work? But … I mean, if we fix the shit in this world, we do want it to be final, and not have to keep fixing it, right?" she says, with a shrug. "I barely know the basics, so I'm not much help. In chess that is." She returns her eyes to the target, and aims again.

"I'm fucking awful at chess," Zu confesses, as Ed comes scampering back to her for cuddles. She obliges by stooping and picking the dog up.

Elisabeth's attention is entirely on Peyton and her progress. She doesn't expect miracles. Each time Peyton pauses, Liz corrects stance or the way she holds the firearm, gives her pointers. It's going to be short and dirty, but hey… it's what we have. Ultimately, she will fade into the background and let the women shoot — giving advice and correcting stances and grips here and there for as long as Cardinal wants the session to run or as long as the practice ammo holds out.

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