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alia_icon.gif brennan_icon.gif corbin_icon.gif delilah_icon.gif doyle_icon.gif

joseph_icon.gif kain_icon.gif kaylee2_icon.gif lola2_icon.gif robin_icon.gif

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And NPCs by Chinatown

Scene Title Sponsored By…
Synopsis The Linderman Group is in the market for a new PR stunt. Unfortunately, so are the disgruntled inhabitants of Summer Meadows.
Date December 1, 2009

Roosevelt IslandSummer Meadows

The low brickwork walls flanking the entrance to this subdivision pronounce it to be 'S MMER ME DOWS', black metal letters pitted by age and each tilted slightly askew by decades of weather and neglect. The rest of the subdivision echoes this theme — pavement cracked, its lines worn and faded nearly into obscurity; small lawns littered with autumn leaves and dying grass, shrubbery poorly pruned or not trimmed back at all, such flowers as there are in most cases long since grown wild. The buildings are a mix of townhouses, duplexes, and quartered apartments, most of them with paint peeling at the edges, a few boarded over and sporting jagged holes where the windows weren't quite protected enough. Feral dogs slink at the back of the streets; their feline counterparts are less commonly seen, usually visible as no more than a streak of motion disappearing into the bushes or someone's cracked-open garage door. This isn't a neighborhood where people are seen lounging on their porches as the sun sinks low in the sky; to stay out as darkness gathers is to risk unwanted attention, and the consequences thereof.

It's the busiest part of the day, just before lunch. Of course, Malana had scheduled Mr. Zarek's arrival just so, to her shrewd mind: hopefully coinciding with the end of his morning's first round of generously proportioned martinis (she knows the type) and St. John's Cathedral's shipment of sandwiches (with vegan option) and soup vats (with lactose-free option) to maximize the apparent ground activity at Summer Meadows.

The sun is out and golden. Rather than casting the project in an unrealistic veneer of polish, it shows brick dust, worn streets, unfinished facade paint-jobs, and carefully demarcated piles of broken glass, snapped wood and other dangerous materials to glistening abundancy of detail, sweating with energy, infusing laborers' brows with sanguine color. The crews are hard at work, what with all the nails, the trolleys, the shrilling blorp of megaphones and rap of thrown water bottles landing in open hands.

Malana is pleased. Behind the bulbous lenses of her binoculars, the madding dark of her eyes go thin, crescent-shaped, like those of a smiling lioness when she is pleased. It's an analogy further enhanced by the fact she's in khaki shorts, despite the autumnal chill, and by her tawny Polynesian complexion. Excellent. Her arm tightens around the clipboard cinched against her ribs. Perking her posture further upright, she calls out:

"Movement at four o' clock."

—by which the volunteers by now, Ferry and various and sundry, know they should take to mean: there's a vehicle of uncharacteristically expensive make and model crawling the bend. Hark, their guest arrives.

It's not Brennan's car, that's for sure. That's already parked, put away where things can't hurt the sleek black vehicle. So when the call comes out, Brennan's got a bit of a bewildered look on his scruffy'd face before he clue's in. Arm's out of the sling and carting around water and energy bars for the various volunteers. Marlena's at his side, all 5 foot of her, nudging her father and using sign language to ask questions and pluck the bars and bottles from her dad's supply to pass out. Being 8, and being able to help has done wonders for her ego. Young she may be.

Alia looks up at the announcement, a silent nod all the attention she gives it before turning her eye for detail back on the work at hand. The piles of materials labeled, teams put together to get things done, and now making sure that nothing slips through the cracks. It's a hawk's eye for detail, sharp, quick, and decisive. She uses few words, but many smiles, and many thank yous, even as she makes sure things are progressing smoothly as possible.

Robin knows that their group is having company today, and knows it could be a big financial boon to the project, but has no plans of introducing himself. For one thing, his worn t-shirt and jeans are covered in sawdust and paint splatters, as are his boots. He's wearing sturdy gloves as he clears pieces of glass from a broken window of an empty house, and adds them to bits of brick in a wheelbarrow. A new piece of glass sits near by, ready to be put in place.

There's many people who sign up to help out, and one of those people happens to be an off duty reporter. Corbin can't help but cast a glance around for a certain native of the island as he moves the painbrush up and down against the building's wall. It smells bad, and he's got some white paint smeared on his clothes in various places, but making the the neighborhood nicer will help out a certain resident and buisness owner on the island, who doesn't seem to have offered up her freetime. Alas. He didn't come out here just to see her. There's no better way to write an article about this kind of work than being right dab in the middle of it.

At the mention of movement, he looks back and lets the paintbrush slide down… at a bit of an angle. He never was really good at painting, but there's not supposed to be that much to it, is there? He's wishing he'd grabbed one of those rolly things, now, though.

It is one thing to let Delilah have that driver's license- but to pretend she has one for a forklift- ouch. It is not quite so regrettable, only because they pushed her out of hit a long time ago. She thought she could do it! She had the drive! The nerve! But not the coordination.

So now, the redheaded teenager is stuck carrying things the old fashioned way, to and from one of the houses being emptied of debris and garbage. A box of junk out, a new black bag in- her hands are covered in bulky gloves, and in lieu of a skirt Delilah is wearing some tan overalls and a t-shirt. Nice and dirty too! At least she feels busy and keeps busy. When the little alert for the cars goes up, she pauses to observe the road for a few moments, waiting for the cause to come rolling up.

Dressed in grungy jeans, a tee with some witty saying which isn't seen under a jacket. Of course, it's got a light spattering of white paint, kicked up by the roller she's using. She's been fairly quiet, keeping to herself mostly. She was here with the crews when they got there, working away without a complaint. By now her arms are screaming in protest from all this work, so when the call goes out that someone is approaching, she's thankful for a possible break. Glancing over her shoulder, she doesn't notice that the man next to her is painting across her areas as he looks back… So… accidents happen and Corbin gets to feel the ice cold wet of paint being rolled across his painting hand.

Kaylee glances back at the wall they were painting, an amused smile touch her lips as she jerks the roller off his hand. "Oops.. gah… Sorry." She gives him an apologetic look, pulling a rag out of her back pocket and offers it to him. "That's what I get for not keeping my eyes on the wall."

The arrival of a pair of black SUVs in this neighborhood is usually a good sign that whoever's come doesn't belong. The two vehicles roll up and come to a step at the streetside opposite of the Summer Meadows tenements, outside of the low brick wall that partitions the grounds off from the road. Front and rear doors on both vehicles open, and a small security entourage emerges from within, most notably among them a gorilla of a man in a black suit that does little to make the bald-headed gentleman look less like an ogre. Round-lensed red sunglasses rest on the bridge of his nose, and he offers a sweep of the grounds before motioning back to the SUVs.

"Oh c'mon it's a god damned handshakin' baby-kissin' affair get ya'lls asses back in the car fer Christ's sake." The most diplomatic voice in the world emerges with a herky-jerk slide and a half-tangle in his seatbelt from the passenger side of the lead car. Midnight blue pinstriped suit and dirty blonde hair is the familiar affect of Kain Zarek, as is his charming southern drawl.

Looking at his security team, he motions only to the gorilla in the suit to follow him. "C'mon Manny, let's go see what the Doozers are up to in Fraggle Rock here." There's a roll of blue eyes as his patent leather italian shoes touch down on the sidewalk, taking him up to the edge of the tenenent grounds.

"You might wanna' lay off the coarse words, mista' Zarek…" Says the aforementioned gorilla, Manny Calavera. "This is a publicity meetin', an' I think there's some reporters here, y'know?" Kain's blue eyes shoot over to Manny, brows furrow and he rolls his shoulders, giving a shake of his head as he moves down the concrete path beyond the stone wall.

"Shut up Manny."

Two small, brown hands flatten onto the house window a foot to Corbin's right, printing two starfish shapes of clearer darkness in the midst of glass long since filmed with dust. There's a child leaning closer, behind it.

Round face, brown eyes, squinting irritably first at the intrusion of the journalist-turned-do-gooder, before a spate of laughter finds him when Kaylee's small roller accident turns Corbin's hand whiter than the whitest white boy ought to be. Craning his head, the child finally spots the tiny girl traveling at Brennan's side. After a moment, tentatively, he gives her a wave.

It doesn't particularly surprise Malana, that the arrival of the mobster king's loyal retainer and his entourage of goons doesn't exactly summon up an eager, smothering crowd or a blinding comet trail of smiles. Fortunately, she's here to supply precisely those.

The smiles, that is, rather than the— smothering, though hey, whatever gets the job done. Quirking one at Robin, first, and a tactical series of thumbs-ups at Delilah and Alia, she begins to march her Timberlands toward the freshly-halted SUVs, her ponytail swinging at the nape of her neck.

There's a pen tied around her neck. It whacks her clipboard with each step, its bright plasticky tak-tak-tak undimmed even in the size of Manny's shadow. "Good morning, Mr. Zarek and friend," she greets, her alto progressing at an almost military clip. "Welcome to the Summer Meadows renovation project. We're very excited that you agreed to come down here today.

"If you'll come this way," she crosses one boot over the other, spins herself around a tidy one-eighty. "I'd like to start introducing you to our volunteers and the work we're doing here.

"Toward the end of last month, a few enterprising sponsors and charity workers came up with the idea that the people of New York City can not merely rely on the government to make our post-Bomb and recession-stricken—" she said 'stricken' aloud, yes "society a safe and hospitable place to live in. We need to take charge, join hands with people all walks of life, and create something positive."

Already, there's a thin riming of dust on Kain's pant leg.

Linderman's representatives from on high, descending. For all that Linderman seems to be a very charitable, the rumblings that Brennan hears has left him wondering. Marlena - not to be confused with the perky piece of butt named Malana that's buttering up Kane - notices the other kid there and wriggles fingers in a hello, along with a waggled offering of an energy bar that promises that it tastes just like chocolate.

Brennan just stands tall where he is, box of water and bars at his own booted feet, brownish grey shirt rolled up at the sleeves, and hands on hips, watching the approaching suits. This is Kain Zarek. This should be interesting. Oh yes it should.

Alia returns the thumbs up as she looks down at her own plastic clipboard, filled with little notes in the form of pictures instead of words. It'd confuse most people, but to Alia it flows natrually. She pauses as she nears Kaylee and Corbin… then breaks into a bit of a giggle. "Next time use red?" She motions to the painted hand, sharing a joke as best she can make on the fly.

Though, as much as she's joking, she's keeping alert to, eyes and ears open.

Robin has a ball cap on backwards, but turns it around to block the afternoon sun as the SUVs roll up. He's far enough back not to catch any of the comments, but waves cheerfully at Malana — it's hard not be cheerful towards her — then watches the odd progression for a minute or two before goes back to replacing the pane of glass, holding it carefully as he caulks around it and using it's reflection to watch the odd group heading towards the volunteers.

Speaking of reporters, there's one undercover! Corbin's eyes are on the car, and those exiting it, so he doesn't even notice the paint roller running over his hand until he feels the squishy liquid. That draws his eyes back quickly as he jerks his hand away, dropping the paint brush and getting more paint splotches on his pants and shoes, and also on the ground. Oops. He laughs at his own missfortune, and the passerby that jokes.

The apologies are met with an embarassed smile. "You and me both, I think…" he says, taking the offered cloth and tends to his hand first, wiping the paint off. "I was distracted by the man of the hour and his big shiny car. Think he's compensating for something or just showing it off?" For someone who just got painted, he's smiling nicely enough. If nothing else, Corbin's always been one of the nice guys. Even when he signed up for the Company. But the more talking the more he has to pay attention.

He smiles a bit as he grins. "I think the city needs more projects like this these days." Finally, articles he can bring to Hokuto. There's been so many depressing things going on these days. Well, as long as things keep going smoothly, at least.

To the astonishment of nobody at all, Eric Doyle takes frequent breaks from helping out to rest; he's not in the greatest shape in the world, after all. Perhaps more surprising is the fact that he's working at all given his sullen mood of late, and he hasn't really been talking to anyone further than work requires. He's shown a surprisingly satisfactory skill at repair, however, and the afternoon's been spent putting up shutters on windows and repairing fire escapes for the most part.

He's on one of those frequent breaks at the moment, sitting on a porch beside a rail that he's just finished putting into place, his head lifting as the SUVs roll up and the suits get out. A slight frown purses his lips, and he lifts a hand up to tug the brim of his hat down a little more to shadow his features. Not that anyone's likely to notice or recognize him, but after you've spent time in Moab and Level Five, paranoia starts to creep up on you.

Someone else can get the garbage. This is going to be awesome. Delilah practically drops the box of garbage off at the curb piled with the same, picking up her feet and skittering up after the trail of Kain Zarek and his pet gorilla, the latter being closer to her. If he does look her way, she is bound to lift her hand up and smile at him- looking quite …squirrely, if there is even a good word for it. Bounce, bounce, wave, smile- yeah. This is going to be her break. Time spent well.

Southern drawl? Kaylee is drawn to the sound which is oh so familiar from having been around Lola enough. "Dear lord.. it's like they breed them like that. if he acts like her too.. I'm gonna have to wonder about Linderman's idea of PR." She murmurs softly, only loud enough for Corbin and Alia to hear, as she leans down to drop the roller into the tray, ignoring the splatter of paint on her boot. Snatching up another rag laying next to the tray, Kaylee straightens again, wiping her own hands off.

The reporter gets a wicked grin, "Something like that beast?" Kaylee asks, turning her eyes to the entourage and their cars. "Compensating.. clearly." She tries to keep her tone droll even if she is grinning, drawing out the 'clearly'. Then gaze drifts back to the 'special' guests as they are led, eyes narrow a bit as she considers them, her mouth tugged to the side by an amused smirk.

Eyeing this assistant with a side-long stare, Kain arches a dark brow as he walks. Aside from his suit, he looks out of place for the life of a businessman come mobster. The long tresses of dirty blonde hair, stubbly beard peppered with gray and square jaw make him look more like some sort've rugged model than a spokesman for Daniel Linderman. "Yeah, Ah' heard all'a bout this here little thing. Now y'know, Mistag' Linderman's got himself a lot of pies t'put his fingers in…"

There's a moment of pause, as Kain catches Delilah out of the corner of his eyes. The stare comes, blue-eyed and intent down at her. Then, looking up and around he has to wonder what it is she wants, if she has something to say, something to ask for. The chipper wave and smile he gets in return seems to catch Kain off guard, and if anyone but Manny and Delilah saw him flash that smile back, sheepishly they might get the wrong idea that Kain Zarek has a heart in there somewhere.

"So… what— Right. Uh, Danny's got his own ideas 'bout things, see? So we're wonderin' exactly why this might be a good investment fer the Group t'make. Looks like a lot'a you've got some good work goin' on here. But he ain't gonna jus' turn a blind eye on this here city, ol' man loves it." There's a shrug, as if Kain couldn't figure out why.

"What's ya'll planning t'do here, totally? This ain't just a coat'a paint job, from th' looks'a it." Kain's pale eyes drift around the grounds as he walks, hesitating on Corbin for a moment, as if he recognizes him from somewhere. As Kain walks, he attracts the attention of another young man in the crowd, dark hair and cleanly dressed, tape recorder quietly tucked behind his back.

West Rosen smells a story.

It is a fine thing to see a young person such as the incendiary redhead over there buying into the spirit of things! As long as one neglects to remember the forklift incident.

Malana beams, nodding her agreement with the rugged model's assessment of the situation. "We're doing everything from the superficial paint jobs— you can't underestimate presentation, sir— to the wire works and plumbing, and considering eventually assisting with the repairs or reinstallation basic camera security at the intersections," she flattens her hand out and points it with knife-like accuracy here, adroitly there, as a drill sergeant delivers nonverbal commands, "assuming the NYSTA permits or encourages it. We are also here to ultimately foster a sense of community spirit, state pride, and wellbeing to both the inhabitants and the volunteers.

"Now don't get me wrong, Mr. Zarek," she is clear, her diction sharp enough to slice bread from the distance to her face, "the Summer Meadows has its wish list. However," she clicks backwards. Garbed as she is in khaki, writing implements at ready, she looks more like a safari explorer sidling backward toward the alligator pit she's describing for the rolling camera than a Habitat For Humanity hobbyist in the process of ambushing Robin, "we believe it's essential that you see what we're about before making commitments. This is Robin. He's as good with glass as with pavement and has been doing a great deal of work for our repairs.

"That is Miss Delilah," she fires off a salute with her clipboard. "The paragon of diligence in our streamling—" garbage removal, "and supply retention," recycle binning, "processes. And of course, this is Dr. Brennan and his little girl Marlena, in charge of refreshments today. Apple juice?

"There's also Diet Coke, sir. In cherry too," she adds for Manny, smiling winsomely, as she glances significantly in Alia's direction. There's a trio of workers over there who look attractively battle-scarred by their work. What are they doing al the way over there?

Alia smiles and moves along, never holding still other than for a moment or two. If anything, she's likely giving words of encouragement or minor correction to what's going on… The lady in jeans and a jacket and a backpack smiles towards Malana and Kain as she works her way that direction.

When Kain is directed to look towards Brennan and Marlena, there's a raise of his hand, forefinger and middle finger crooked in a way to give a small salute from his temple towards the Linderman rep. "How do you do sir" A diet coke is picked up and tossed towards manny with an underhand swing, aimed to be easily caught by the bodyguard. Marlena's beaming, hands and fingers moving in the fine dance of ESL. Apple juice it seems, is indeed an option and she smiles sunnily up at Kain.

"Good to meet you." Robin smiles weakly as he's ambushed and introduced. He starts to offer a hand, but changes that motion to a wave, then brushes the dirt off of his fingers onto his jeans. Wouldn't want to get that suit dirty. Well, any dirtier than it already is from wandering around in the debris.

"'Clearly.' I like you, young lady," Corbin says with a grin, finishing with wiping down his painted hand and holding the cloth out to the blonde woman again. "Good sense of humor is hard to find sometimes… Sorry for messing up your towel there. It's got as much paint on it as I have on myself." He looks down at his clothes, which are just as he said, covered in paint. Better than bees, at least. He bends down to finally pick up his dropped paintbrush. "The rolly thing seems to work better. I'll remember that next time I get a day off and can come out here." He looks back at the showing around, the rich guy brought in.

When his eyes make a brief contact with Kain's, he smiles faintly, and yes he does recognize him. But Kain's made the papers, so many people recognize him, but… Anyway. Between painting himself and walls, he hasn't really taken note of anything suspicious. Even the Level 5 and Moab escapee wandering around.

No limp, no crutches, and no magical healing power even. The body can repair itself. So there's no particular interruption on Joseph's stride as he moves down the street, his sneakers paint spattered thanks to a dropped bucket an hour or so ago, cracked and dry by now and sporting a rustic shade of green flaking off with every step. Apparently food is soon or now, he's only received scattered reports of such rumours, not quite as clear as the arrival of the Linderman Group suit. That's no one Joseph goes directly to, dark eyes wandering towards where Robin is being introduced before scouting out who else he's missed between arriving here and running off to consult the roof repairs of a building a block away.

"Suits. There goes the neighborhood…" A faint chuckle shakes Doyle's shoulders a little without humor, at some internal thought no doubt, and then he's levering himself up to his feet with a grunt, hands swept back to brush off his backside. The rumpled cellophane that had wrapped his sandwich is tucked into a pocket of his overalls, and he lurches into movement to stroll along over towards the house that's being painted.

"Hey," he offers in affable - if subdued - tones, a weak smile offered in Kaylee's direction, "How're you all doing over here? Need any help?"

Watching the special people with a touch of amusement, Kaylee almost doesn't hear the compliment, but when the rag comes into her view she glances down at it, "Thanks," She offers Corbin brightly with a grin at the compliment, taking the rag back from him. "Oh.. and I totally agree. This town needs a lot more things like this. Brings hope." Both rags are tossed down next to the paint tray, before her hands dip into her pockets to warm them against the chill in the air, she listens to the introductions for a long silent moment.

Catching sight of Joseph through the crowd, Kaylee waves her hand to catch his attention and then she motions at him to join them. She dips down, a hand coming out of her pocket so that she can picks up her roller and hold it out his direction and give his a lop-sided smirk, brows lifting a bit as if in a silent question.

Doyle's arrival pulls the telepath's attention though and she gives her buddy a grin. "Heeeey you. Just in time. Plenty of paint brushes, tons of paint and lots of wall. Though watch out.. I seem to be dangerous with the roller, to make sure there is plenty of room." She waves the roller a bit like brandishing a weapon, a grin getting sent to Corbin.

"Well hey now, howdy Doc." Comes Kain's greeting to Brennan with a wide pearly-white smile. Despite his suit he seems to have the air of a casual southerner on a stroll. Looking over to Delilah as he's finally properly introduced there's a polite and uncharacteristically gentlemanly nod of his head to her, then a focus up on Robin with a smile. People with titles have more money, are more important, and are more influential, it's the thoughts Kain delivers in unintentional broadcast to Kaylee. He's dividing his attention up by measure of stature and influence.

"Looks like ya'll are doing a fine job'a fixin' this place up. Ah' heard you've got the Maxwell Development Company doin' a lot of the construction work here, s'at right?" It's a rhetorical question of course, and Kain offers a suspicious look back to Doctor Brennan, trying to discern his angle for helping, because everyone has to have one.

Manny, however, is bothered with far more important matters. Grabbing that soda, he's quick to pop the tab with a pssht-click, one fine brow raised as he takes a sip then offers a thankful smile to the doctor's little girl. At the pop-click, Kain offers Manny a sidelong stare, a look down to the soda, a look back up, and all Manny can do is shrug helplessly and continue glugging down the drink.

"Mister Zarek?" The voice comes from behind Kain, where one of the young men who had been helping suddenly emerges from behind Manny's considerable silhouette like a meerkat from its hole. "Mister Zarek," that brunette sidles up past the seemingly disinterested Manny, and distracted by his own beverage fails to notice the clicked on recorder.

"Ah, hey kid, what'cha— " Kain's introduction and anxious stare to Malana is cut off by the nosy youth stepping right in like he's known Kain for years.

"Rose Westen," what a preposterous pen name, really, "from the New Voice newspaper. I was wondering if you'd like to comment on accusations that the Linderman Group had some involvement in the collapse of the Chinese mafia? Is it true that the Linderman Group might be involved in Refrain trafficking?"

Blank stares.

All around.

Lola's smiling while she watches this.

Of course, chances are she isn't noticed watching this. In a group of people, another person is hardly noticable, especially when she has a hooded sweatshirt - oversized to hide her body, with the hood up, to hide her hair. She watches from an alleyway, among the shadows, a stray dog snoozing at her feet for no apparent reason. It's not her dog. It's just a dog, and they happen to be sharing the space. Her arms crossed, her grin wide and mischevious, she almost waves to Manny, as though he might see her.

The reporter's question makes Lola grin all the wider. This is just too fun.

Alia hits the brakes, then clicks her tounge at the sudden VERY rude stoppage of work caused by the sudden awkward question tossed out by the reporter, loud enough to cause several people to lose track of what they were doing… This wasn't a place to drag up the past, but to build the future. She stalks towards the reporter purposefully.

"Hey now, this, this square of land here, has nothing to do with what went on somewhere else. This has nothing to do withe Chinese mafia or Refrain. Mr. Zarek is here, to look over the community project and give his feedback to Mr. Linderman and hopefully, get the community some much needed funding to brighten up the lives of people who were affected by events in two thousand and six" Brennan takes a few steps forward, abandoning his water and diet cola's, Marlena trailing behind. "With all due respect, maybe those questions need to be asked at a private time and meeting, instead of time that has been set aside for her and maybe ask some questions relating to the project at hand Mr. Westen?"

Brennan looks over at Kain, fairly neutral look in his eyes. "I'm sure if you asked nicely, Mr. Zarek might be inclined to do so, but I'm sure those of us here, working here and those of us who are helping financially support this endevaor would appreciate the positive publicity that it should be getting"

There's an abortive motion moving like a hummingbird through Malana's hand. There was a request in it, directed long-distance at Alia and the two painters. If they could have brought a bucket over, that would have been great. Handed one off to Kain, maybe have the man make an inaugural brush swipe at the duplex nearest, that would have been great. So great. What isn't great: one nosey West Rosen abruptly popping up like a gopher for which she has no rubber hammer.

She's supposed to wield the clipboard in this opera.

"Excuse me, Mr. Rosen," the Polynesian woman says, her wiry frame gone taut as a bowstring with annoyance. Her hand falls out of its come-on-rally-the-paintbrushes gesture of inscrutable nature, plants a fist on her hip instead. She flips a fierce sheaf of paper in his direction. "That is not appropriate. Funds and publicity from the Linderman group would be invaluable to this neighborhood, and it is unethical and demeaning for journalism to have you to interrupt. In fact!" Desperation has her spinning the steering wheel, fighting to balance her train of thought and the progress of this 'conference' against the odds.

"In fact, Mr. Zarek— and Mr. Linderman— was about to throw his weight behind our green energy endeavor. The contribution of solar panels to older buildings in danger of freezing over the winter, many of which have child residents. Also for nature," she adds. If she were writing the words out by hand, her pen would have torn through the paper. She lances Zarek with a sharp sidelong glance, which twitches faintly in its sockets as an unwonted carbonated fizzle and slurp breathes out of Manny's soda can.

From above Kaylee's head, there's a sound like a paper boat tearing in two, fibers puckering, a whipping whisper of rope and a sudden shadow: a weight descending.

Instead of moving towards the confrontation going on; Robin backs up a bit, letting the others hash it out. He finds a bottle of water from one of the coolers and drains half of it in on go, then leans against a hopefully not freshly painted railing, watching Malana's display. Out of the corner of his eye, he sees something start to fall but isn't close enough to do much other than yell and run that direction.

Upon spying Kaylee, Joseph smiles and waves back before raising an eyebrow at the offer of, well. More work. But company. Moving on closer, he takes the paint roller, tossing it up to catch in the other hand. "The fun never ends. How're you fairin'?" he asks, tossing a glance over one denim-and-plaid clad shoulder towards where Kain is being cornered by a good old fashioned reporter, eyebrows knitting together at rumours of mafia, mouth crooking up doubtfully at the sensationalism of it all— before pausing and listening a little closer. Drug trafficking—

— brings a couple of louder thoughts clawing gentle at the edges of Kaylee's awareness, general distrust and sharp suspicion that apparently Triad mafia ties did not. Still, the pastor is here as but a humble carpenter, and the clamour of disapproval in Mr. Westen's direction has him turning his back to the conversation, uncomfortable tension easing down the fidgeting grip on the paint roller.

The sound of something tearing, a shadow dropping— if you've worked on enough construction sites, such omens are recognisable that it's a good idea to step back. Joseph does with a sharp start, but manages to reach out a hand to grab Kaylee's arm as he does, or try to.

"This city seems to be fresh out of hope sometimes," Corbin comments, not seeming to be pessimistic about it, even if the words come off as such. He looks back to the wall and goes to fill his brush up with paint so he can get back to it, only to look over at the new arrival, who seems to know his painting friend. "Yeah, more than enough room. She already got me once, so just watch your hands. And your hat." Something about the man tugs on his memory, and he keeps looking a little longer than a normal person might.

Right up until the loud question gains many people's attention, and his own as well. Oh boy. He turns back to the small group and mutters under his breath about the situation. He thinks he even recognizes the kid reporter! Why does what good someone does always seem to be overshadowed by the bad? But he doesn't get much time to comment on it. There's a sound, a shadow, and suddenly all his Agent training kicks in and he grabs the blond and pulls her away, dropping his brush. He's totally going to get painted by her roller brush again, most likely. Possibly even in the face.

But it's the thought that counts, right? Even if it makes him look silly afterwards.

"You're dangerous no matter what you've got in your hand, blondie," Eric drawls out as he steps along over to stop near the wall that's being painted, lifting one hand to reach over for one of the spare rollers as the weak smile widens into more of a genuine one at Kaylee's enthusiastic greeting of the puppeteer, adding jokingly, "Besides, it's not like I'm not used to getting a little paint on me."

Then there's a ripping sound from above, the rasp of rope - a familiar sound to him, who's used to working with marionettes and stages - and a shadow rising. Could just be a bucket! Could be half the wall. People are grabbing for Kaylee, he notices, but as usual he doesn't trust other people enough to act correctly. The puppeteer's other hand lifts, and he thrusts them both to either side, his power snapping outwards like strands and airplanes tangling and clattering against one another to override the muscle impulses of all three of the people near the wall in an attempt to send them diving for cover. Or at least away.

There's no skull-splitting metal beams or imploding roofs, this time. No, there's no accident here except the one that Corbin and Joseph's quick feet and hands barely avert for little Kaylee's sake.

It's but a sheet of tarpaulin.

Stolen, little doubt, from the construction effort bee-hived below. It bounces and unscrolls, ripples, torquing with kinesis that is barely weighted down by a jagged-ended shaft of wood tied at each corner. Across its surface, aerosol paint shows in boldly vivid letters as tall as a— roughly adolescent human being. Yellow, crimson, and orange words in high contrast against the electric blue plastic. KEEP OUT is the densest, block-lettered by an amateurish tagger's hand. Below that, there's a loopy scrawl, slightly squashed above an inadequate bottom margin, obviously an addition spraypainted on in afterthought:


It can be no accident, that the makeshift banner covers up a good portion of the building's unpainted facade. On the roof above, there's an edge of a silhouette or three, rat-quick and retreating, a sibilant whisper of snide thought in Kaylee's mind's ear.

Malana's gone white underneath her natural ethnic tan. "Move back! Walk, quickly!" she shouts. "Be careful! Do not run, do not run!" Her head snaps around to catch Brennan's eye. What would have been gratitude for telling West off in fine time is aborted in favor of a desperate search for his medic supplies. "Be careful!"

Dropping the gloves, the young technopath-turned-volunteer-herder dashes towards what had happened. Alia's sharp eyes look first over those near the falling object to make sure nobody is hurt. Then she turns her attention to what had fell. There's no hiding the fact that she's both pissed and a touch scared. "Who hoisted this…" She pauses her sharp words, as she sees the fleeing sillouetes. "Ladder." She has no intention of leaving a dangerously deployed banner, one that speaks ill of another during something meant to be postive, up in the air.

"Aren't you worried about where your money is coming from? Zarek works for one of New York's most influential mobsters! This is blood money!" West cries out as he brandishes his tape recorder. "What you're getting here is money taken from the poor, from the desperate and from bribes and theft!"

Still staring blankly at West, Kain can only stammer out a dumbfounded response. "Ah'm not— " Wide blue eyes from the Cajun stare blankly at West, "Ah'— this— " A helpless look is afforded to Manny, who much like King Kong quickly grrabs West by the collars of his jacket and lifts him up a foot and brings him back several steps. Kain's covering his face with one hand as he shakes his head.

The moment Manny starts manhandling West, the rest of the security detail comes striding over, all thick-necked and dark suited, one of them grabs West by the arm, another by his collar, and Manny's pushing him away with a bestial grunt all while carefully balancing his soda in one hand.

"Sorry 'bout that, folks, you know how the press gets." There's a look that Kain offers to his security team, a wave of one hand to dismiss them from dismantling West. It's reluctant, but the lurch-squad relents and leaves West to dust himself off and offer a cocky smile to them.

"I take it that's a no on the interview?" West chirps out to Kain, and all of the bodyguards jerk back around as if ready to pull him apart like an old Ikea desk, and in all the commotion neither Kain nor his security team seem to hear the sound of something breaking.

When Kain turns to Alia, blue eyes wide and confused, he tries to regain his composure and offers an awkward smile. Fuck no he would not like to help, comes the ringing thoughts in his mind. However publicity and smoothing this fucking mess over takes priority over working with the common folk. "Now see, this little lady here's got—" Just as Kain was reaching for Alia, things just get insane.

He misses the fact that the ambushing journalist has just taken to the skies like a bullet fired from a gun, disappearing to a rooftop and then away again, fluttering like Peter Pan off to go fight a different pirate. The security team stares up with narrowed eyes at the rabble-rouser.

But then, lo and behold, things just keep getting worse. Staring up at the banner with the same level of horror someone might at an accidental revelation of embarrassing naked photos, Kain can't help but gawk up at the sign. Manny and the security team are wide-eyed at it, and with his hand still held out for those gloves, as if he were frozen in this horrible moment Kain murmurs something oft heard from his lips.

"Son of a bitch."

Oh god, Lola is rolling.

Thank god there's loud noises and confusion, so no one can hear her laughing. Because she's holding her belly and doubled over, the dog simply staring up at her as she has tears rolling down ehr cheeks. No one got hurt - that she can see - but Kain's face, Manny's throwing of people around, oh god. The implication that Kain cares helps too.

"Dumbass!" She roars, falling back against the brick of the alley, easily ignored and overlooked (which is the point) as she heckles away.

Medical supplies would be the backpack on his back. At the sound of something unfurling and the quick movements from others, Brennan's dragging his daughter close and quick since she's unaware save to peer at Westen as he's being dragged away. "Is anyone hurt? Forget the hilarious play on words that's hanging from the banner. Linderbanned, cute, har har. It brings a grimace to the Doctor's lips as he turns to a volunteer that he knows can talk to his daughter and passes her off on him to see if there's anything worse than scrape or cuts that he needs to tend to, bottled water in hand.

Alia being no doctor, she leaves that to those more skilled at first aid then herself. She takes one side of a tall ladder someone had brought over, putting it up near the offending banner, before readying to climb up it herself. She makes sure nobody is near the bottom of banner as she makes a motion to clear the area with one hand before climbing up. She reaches into a pocket and pulls out a suitable pocket knife when she gets to the top, to cut the banner down before a worse situation gets completely out of hand. Still, this whole day had left a rather sour taste in her mouth. Blood money. she shivered a little and tried not to think on it further.

Lola, in the meantime, will loiter a bit longer, sometimes fading away, sometimes not, but eventually she will simply cease to be there. All in all, however, if anyone glances at her, they'll see nothing but an unrecognizable, unshapped body in a hoodie next to a dog. How very unmemorable.

"Hey Joseph. Hey.. you know I like this stuff." Kaylee comments lightly, with a grin. "So I'm doing great. Trying to keep people motivated." Then the pastors thoughts and Kain's are pretty much begging her attention. Blue eyes hood slightly and her head tilts just a little as she focuses on Kain. Oh really? She looks highly amused, her head giving a slow side to side motion. "Oh yes… definitely compensating for the lack of…" She starts to murmur to the men near her, when she catches a sound. Then…. what the hell? She looks up…. Why do they always look up? Just move.

Then she is moving as she pulled to safety, stumbling a bit as she yanked out of the way… in several ways.. It's enough to make the telepath have to take a moment, holding onto Corbin, to collect her thoughts. Catching something on her mental radar, she pushes away from Corbin, making sure not to be rough about it, eyes scan the roof, glaring trying to catch one of the bastards, but by then they are well away. "Freakin' kids." She'll be keeping an ear out for sure.

Robin stops dead in his tracks as Kaylee and company go unexpectedly flying out of the way, relief clear in his expression as no one gets hurt badly. When Alia starts to cut the tarp, Rob stands close enough to catch it as it falls, easing it to the ground with the offending painted words facing down, even though it's too late for anyone to have missed what it says.

Corbin had been moving away from whatever might be crashing, with the girl in arm, and he's not the only one. But there's something grabbing onto his body, moving him in ways he's not moving himself. Bells of Company Agent training go off in his head, including the years he'd been working in the field, even if not as well as some agents. Why does he always go to these things unarmed? Dahl, if she were alive still, would probably scold him.

This whole situation is enough that he misses what actually came crashing down towards them. "You okay?" he asks, before glancing over at the other man surprisingly with him. Only once the question is asked, and he starts letting go of Kaylee, does he look up to see what happened. "Kids? Well, kids will be kids, I guess, but…"

The hell—

Joseph is graceless by the time puppetry wires bind him, body moving on its own in a desperate fling from the falling danger. Upon release, he falls like any good Disney princess might, a sharp hiss from something has nothing to do with grazes in his palms, minimal at best. Clamping down on curse words that rise with surprising instinct, for a pastor, Joseph gets back to his feet with even less grace, roller lost somewhere and forgotten.

"Well, that was incredibly dangerous," is muttered as he wipes gravel debris off his hands, and either the concern that he was moved by some unseen force is forgotten, or dismissed as something he only imagined for all that it doesn't outwardly bother him now. Joseph sends a glance to Corbin and Kaylee, with a— "Yeah, I'm fine."

Oh. Doyle… probably shouldn't have done that. After the sheet of tarpaulin snaps to its full extension, slapping a few times against the wall, he steps back from it with a tight frown— looking down at his hands as if they'd betrayed him, then turning, that frown deepening into a scowl.

"Sorry," he mutters to the trio near the wall, as if what had happened was somehow his fault, his heavy-lidded gaze searching for signs of whoever it was that was yelling about Linderman earlier. Rosey Palms or something?

The organizer and PR spokeswoman known as Malana was pretty fucking startled at the sudden bit of exposition that was unscrolled down the building and nearly brained poor Kaylee in the head. Really. The fact that the officially non-Evolved news-reporter with completely inane and inappropriate questions about charity funding and its legality just— flew away— in obvious defiance to the Linderman Act, and— her face goes red underneath its caramel complexion, her knuckles whitening around her clipboard and lips in a line.

He's lucky he flew away. "Lunch!" she hollers, flagging her arms. "Lunch break! Anybody with cuts and scrapes, please move to the yellow table so Doctor Brennan can see you! We don't want any gangrene or infections! Please register your complaints with Miss Alia!

"Are you all right?" She pops a fish-eye of dire scrutiny at Kain, who looks somewhat wilted from his earlier archetype of rugged Marlboro-meets-Italian, then Manny. "We believe it's some of the local kids," she admits, finally, in a lower voice. "People keep to themselves around here, and the truancy and unemployment rates are high. The 12-18 demographic around here has done some vandalism, but they've never been dangerous before."

Still hiding his face behind one hand, Kain rubs his forefingers across his brow and looks over at Manny with a baleful stare. The bald-headed bodyguard slurps loudly on his soda, and having been together for as many years as those two have, Kain knows that somehow Manny thinks Kain might deserve this public humiliation. Maybe for shooting Lola in the stomach, maybe for some other minor transgression, it's hard to say. But right now, Kain just knows that he can feel every eye at the development burning a hole into the back of his head.

Maybe that's why he starts laughing.

It's not a tense laugh, or an awkward one (entirely), it's a full-on hysterical can't believe this shit laugh that sends Kain doubling over with one hand wiping at the side of his face. Letting out an exasperated breath and a "Whooo doggy," Kain wipes at tears in his eyes and looks up at the sign, shaking his head slowly.

A blue-eyed look is offered over to Malana and Kain just shakes his head slowly. "Boy this sure does remind me of home…" Running one hand through his blonde hair, Kain offers an askance look to Malana and then out to the building again. "Why don' Ah' go on an' help everyone take that thing down. Wouldn't be much of a PR man if'n Ah' let that freak flag fly now would Ah?" Kain's brows raise as he flashes a smile, resting a hand on Malana's shoulder.

"Don't you worry none little lady," Kain adds in confidence, tone lower, "this here's all a nice show of teeth and handshakes. Mister Linderman's already lined his'self up to give you the donations you asked for." There's a crease at the corners of Kain's eyes, looking back up anxiously to the banner. "He ain't gonna' let no good deed go unpunished."

That may not be how Kain meant to word that.
You paged Brennan with 'are you suffering quite badly with 3pr? would you prefer this round to go according to +po?'

Alia finishes cutting down the offending scrap of sign, then slides back down the ladder. She looks embarrassed herself. She had taken some time off work to help organize today, to keep this running smoothly, and the repayment for the attempted 'good deed', might, indeed, look like a punishment. How does that saying go, no pain, no gain?

"Yeah.. I'm fine." Kaylee sighs heavily, looking up again. She glances at Joseph, she reaches out to grip his arm briefly as she offers a…. "Thanks guys…" A look moving between Corbin and Joseph. And yes… Doyle gets a glance as well. She recognized his ability, not the first time he's used it on her. Then she 's suddenly grinning as she tries to blow off the awkwardness of the moment, "You all are gonna give me an eg…." Of course, as she steps away from Corbin one foot doesn't exactly want to take weight. Stumbling a bit, with a barely contained hiss, Kaylee has to throw arms out to her side to catch her balance. Oh just great.

"Oooh no.. Kid may be kids… but this…is " She says softly as she presses a hand to the side of the house to regain her balance as she looks at the banner. "I don't think it's the last time." Her ability casting about for those thoughts again, lips pressing together.

Then she hears someone laughing and she glances Kain's way, brows lifting some. Eyes narrowing at him again.. Something about him… it's just not setting well with with her.

Of all the smiles that Corbin might have made in the past, he's now looking rather interestedly at Doyle in his disguise. He'd looked vaguely familiar before, but now things are clicking into place for someone who has to have a memory for these kinds of things. Even if he doesn't have a phone, he does have a cellphone. He's so preoccupied with being pulled around and seeing a guy who rings big head bells that he missed the flying reporter. Lucky bastard. But so many others saw it that he'll likely hear about it later.

"I'm glad you're all right, but I just remembered something I need to be doing," he says, starting to move away. Which means he's out of range when her hands flail out.

D: …

"Okay," Malana says, putting on a brave face. Which so happens to look precisely like her normal face, in case one was wondering, varying shades of grim sincerity and barely-caged manic energy. "We'll be conducting a minor investigation into what just happened, but I think we're going to try not to involve the cops: people around here have suffered enough. But thank you. Thank you so much: the people of Summer Meadows will owe you their lives. New York City will be proud of this association."

Her clipboard, ever acrobatic, flips up in her hand and nudges his hand further from the collar of her shirt, and where it meets skin. She purses her lips. "I may be a madame, but I am not a whore."

She does, after all, know his type. With that, the woman begins to clomp off, hastening to clear half a table in case the completion of the tarpaulin's retrieval leaves Kain and his security detail with enough appetite to partake in a meal with a few people who are beginning to smell increasingly of antibacterial and paint fumes, thanks to the ministrations of Doctor Brennan and each other. Doyle gets his pick of sandwiches in a box carried by a familiar face; one of McRae's, with a wink of gratitude on Corbin, Kaylee and the good Pastor's behalf. A line forms for Alia— mostly of scowling witnesses.

The first team that moves into the bannered apartment complex, bolt cutters and gloves in hand, are met with the hollow sound of closing doors.

Wait, did he just fly off, or did Eric imagine that part? He's not sure; he was a little distracted. It could've been a bird. He watches the sky for a moment with a scowl, and then he notices that stumble from Kaylee, his expression turning more concerned as he steps over, offering his arm, "C'mere, blondie. Let's go get you some help for that leg, okay?"

Kaylee pushes away from the wall, offering the reporter a grin. "Hey.. can't just rescue a girl and run." She's already working her way into the mans mind, even as she holds a hand out to him. "I don't even know your name? Mine is Kaylee. «That was a heck of an accident, tripping like that.»" Nope.. He didn't feel the tug of ropes… He simply tripped. Nothing wrong here. Once she's done, her mind slips silently from his, her smile bright. "Glad you didn't get hurt as well."

"Tripped?" Corbin repeats after a moment, and then nods, looking down and suddenly laughing. "Yeah, trying to rescue a girl and I end up with paint on my face and tripping over my own feet." It seems to sink in rather quickly and he doesn't question it. Why was he thinking of reaching for his cellphone again? He must have had a phone call to make… "My name's Corbin. It's nice to meet you, Kaylee. Chances are we'll meet again if you continue helping out here." Mostly because he intends to, when he has free time. Which may not be often.

Alia quickly jots down notes from those who were 'witnesses', sighing as she does so, but keeping a smile. Twas going to be a long day for the lady. With luck maybe she could get ot the bottom of this quickly and at least make it obvious that while they wanted to help, they didn't want to be seriously hurt either. She frowned and considered the whole set of events from earlier… and decided to stay quiet and just listen.

"Nice to meet you Corbin." Kaylee offers with an appropriately shy smile. "And yes.. I'll be working out here.. even if I have to do it on crutches." Which thankfully she won't have too. "Um.. anyhow.. " She reaches to loop an arm through Doyle's, leaning a bit to get some weight off her foot. "I'm gonna let my buddy, Jason, help me home.. See you around then? Don't forget your paint roller next time, hmm?" She then nudges the puppet master, after a finger wiggle of farewell to the company man. "Come on.. Let's get me home, Jason."

"Be safe, and if that leg bothers you long, go to a doctor," Corbin adds on, before he finishes turning around and tries to remember who he needed to call. There's a shake of his head and he just moves towards one of the places that people can clean up, to get the paint off his face. It must not have been important!

Lucky Level Fiver.

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