logan_icon.gif niki_icon.gif jessica_icon.gif

Scene Title Strengthless
Synopsis Logan catches up with Niki and gives her another warning.
Date August 5, 2009

Between Old Lucy's and Niki's Apartment

Nighttime, exterior, slightly dryer midnight New York street. Take two.

You figure, you have a couple of drinks at the upscale martini bar in the same neighbourhood as your new apartment, maybe more than a couple if we want to be honest, and then you get ready for the main event. There's also the dilemma on what to wear, as ever, which happens to be— black. Black enough that it stands out in the shadows, if you're looking for swatches of darkness than make sharper angles in all the hazy nighttime greys, oilskin roads and brickwork drained of its colour.

Logan's been doing some talking to himself lately. Silent, right now, dressed plainly, darkly, the straps of a shoulder rig beneath his jacket digging his pistol beneath his arm. The metal staircase of the fire escape up the side of the stretch of building is a bit like a cage, Logan perched halfway up its first zigzag, waiting, pulling back his sleeve to glance at his watch in sour anticipation.

Just shy off the course he now knows, very well, that Sanders takes on her way home, a track that would have had her throat slit (or a mugger torn in half) if this was Staten Island, he waits for movement, and when he sees it, he's moving too with a sort of frisky energy that he applies to a whole manner of things. Old Lucy's is some block and a half away, and the building she's headed to isn't so far off either.

It's a narrow window of time and space, and one he takes, keeping out of sight for now with all the grace of someone who might just do this for a living.

Niki takes this walk nearly every night. It's the shortest route from Lucy's to her apartment. The locals know not to fuck with her. In fact, it's only taken one punk to get the message to the others. Of course, it took him a while to deliver that message, with a broken leg.. or was it two? Neither here nor there.

Since her last meeting with Linderman's messenger boy, she's gotten no word from Elizabeth on whether or not she has any legal grounds in which to sue Linderman or have him arrested. It's not looking good. If she can't legally obtain justice, she'll have to do it by other means. And by 'she', she of course means Jessica.

Her sneakers carry her down the sidewalk and she suddenly makes a turn down into an alley without a single moments hesitation, proving that this is indeed the same way she goes each night. In fact, the same homeless woman is there by her shopping cart and Niki drops in a few dollars of her tips to a rusty can that the woman keeps nearby then continues on. She passes a group of 'young men' who are leaning against the wall, and they do a few catcalls towards her from across the street, earning a smile. "Dream on, boys." she mutters under her breath, though she still feels a bit of flattery at the attention. She's about halfway home now as she nears the alley exit that leads into one of the more main streets in this neighborhood.

Perhaps later, the catcallers or even the destitute shadows that regularly cling to the corners of this part of town might recall the slender figure of a man turning a corner not so many moments before the shine of golden hair of the woman who works at the bar not far from here, but nothing that anyone thinks to go after. Why would they? She can handle herself.

It's a leaky, dirty vein of a pathway between buildings. Over head is a bare bones metal railing that looks starkly darker against the smoggy grey sky above, and puddles of general moistness than actual rainfall create oily, slick surfaces on the ground.

Logan knows this alleyway quite well, actually. He remains within an inset of the grimy walls, his back pressed against a locked sidedoor, and his heart could well be in his throat. He can hear Niki's footsteps against the slick alley floor, even if he can't see her, and when he does see her— he moves without thinking, too, and by extension, without feeling. Perhaps. His eyes are bright and green, feline in luminescence, his power wrapping Niki's in a chokehold before his body can even connect with her's.

Which it does, in a kinetic motion of bodily slamming her into the wall.

The sensation hits her and she is pushed back against the wall with a good deal of force. She can feel the brick shifting against her back. Niki can also feel that her strength is not there. Not the strength she's used to. She immediately begins to look around to see who exactly it is who has her trapped, though it only takes a few moments to register. Him. She hadn't known of his power, and even now, not even sure of what it is.

"So, this is how you play, is it?" The voice is more husky now as Niki knows that she has no chance in hell of defeating him. At least Jessica has training. Fight training, weapons training, assassin training. Jessica struggles to move against the wall. "Seems far to easy of a win. But if you're going to kill me, just go ahead." Even without her strength, it's possible for her to win, if she can just get to him. Her words are spat, due to the clamp she feels around her throat, so each syllable is a struggle.

This is all very familiar. Ordinary. Logan knows that his only advantage in this is to be a step ahead of the woman, and so far so good. Rather than being the one knocked off guard and made to react rather than act, he's quick to shove the muzzle of a gun up beneath her jaw— cold, metal, distinctive, and bringing a whole new dynamic to a roughing up in an alleyway— over where his arm pins her bodily against the brick in case it's not enough of an encouragement. Same bruising spot with which he'd held his own self hostage.

The parallels are natural to him. He's warm and physically oppressive, the smell of gin and cigarette smoke mingling with the damper scents of the city itself. The brightness of his eyes, the poison green they glow in warning, is about as unflattering.

"Kill you?" he hisses, voice coming harsh, edged with mirthless laughter. "Not much of a fucking message, now, innit?" The pressure against her collar lessens, the gun drawing away, only to whip around, connect grip to her temple in a sharp blow, intending to stun, moving with the momentum in an effort to allow her stagger, encourage it with a shove. While her's is muted, Logan's own adrenaline is racing against itself, making his breaths come shallow.

The spots that form in her mind as a result of the blow to the head are a continous pattern of yellow and purple that flow past her eyes before they start to clear up. The coughing is a reflexive response as he releases her from her grip and she staggers away from him at the shove. He's somehow negated her strength, so all she has left are survival skills. Jessica doesn't keep her back at him for very long.

"How very manly of you to point a gun at a girl." she chides him. Honestly, what does she have left besides her revenge? But she won't get it by dying at this man's hand. She walks towards him, though not as confident about her ability to tear him limb from limb as she had been before. She's been careless. "So you're not going to kill me, just bring me another message? Well, why not? You're so good at delivering messages, and you do have the gun." She's looking for an opening, any opening. If she can disarm him..

To his credit, Logan only takes one measured step back as she approaches, at least at first, watching the distance between them rather than the woman herself. He's enjoyed enough reading material on this woman to know, very well, that a gun is a necessity. "Careful, my darling. You just stay right where you are," he says, gun leveled around her torso, gaze darting up over it to meet her's, still tellingly bright, inhumanly so. He takes another dragging step back, and the resolve can be seen in his posture and the set of his jaw. His irises are illuminated just enough that they can only betray light, rather than wavering uncertainty.

"I figured I might bring you a message you can understand," he says, an edge of that waver on his voice, petulant in many ways, rather than the hissing ferocity a moment ago. "So here goes." But there's no physical hesitation in the next moment.

There's a jerk of movement, as if he needed his whole body rather than just one finger to pull the trigger, but either way, he does. There's a crack of a shot, bullet loosened from barrel pointed to her chest, as if maybe Logan does know where a heart is supposed to be located.

Jessica's next move is to take one hand and hold it out in front of her as if she were going to block that bullet that would exit the chamber of the weapon, while her other arm crosses in front of her chest in a secondary defensive posture. She also staggers backwards. There's a long moment before she thinks to access the damage after she realizes she's not dead. Another moment before she realizes she's not even been hit. He's shooting blanks or he's a bad shot.

She falls to her knees, her hair falling down around her face as she glances up at him and in a low breath, her words begin building the final crescendo as she shouts, "You.. son.. of.. a.. BITCH!"

Even without her superstrength, she has some speed and power to her as she charges him, her hand aiming for his throat as she makes a move to take a swing at him before he can use whatever it is his power is on her again.

The gun and the rest of its blanks falls with a heavy, metallic clatter to the slick concrete ground, impulsively freeing his hands as the woman launches herself at him. Run away, had been Caliban's instruction, should she show violence — with or without the ability to steal away her strength, although currently its very much with, eyes still luminous green, bright enough to shine. Logan doesn't run, though, a hand moving to grip her arm, to go with the momentum of her swing in a sharp turn that has them both careening into the nearest wall, shoulders to brick.

"Remember that feeling," he spits out. "Remember it, 'cause the next time you won't."

She knew it was a sloppy move and its success was based on luck. Jessica lets out a scream as she careens into the brick, feeling the crack of her shoulder as it fractures or dislocates or something. She doesn't know. She slumps down against the wall, no longer willing to move at this point.

It doesn't mean the fight has left her. She looks at him with a death glare, blue eyes scowling. "Who the fuck are you?" she asks as she pushes herself away from him, trying to get a little distance as she scoots along the ground.

Perhaps strangely enough, that scream— the huskier variation rather then classic Hollywood; all pain, anger, righteous fury— has Logan flinching back as if burned. He goes with her shove, releasing her arm and moving back enough to almost bounce off the opposite wall, a hand out for it. This is where he might point out the obvious, a sneer— not so strong now, are you?— but he holds his tongue, as if distrustful of it.

In the same moment as his physical retraction, the same thing happens on a chemical level, eyes dimming into the pale, icy circles of diluted green as before, nondescript in the darkness. Strength returns like warmth, leaking back into her body, around the bruises, the cracks. Air is still moving laboured through his chest, carefully and consciously regulated as he stoops to pick up the fallen pistol.

She's asking who he is. It's almost a step up. It's enough to have him answer her honestly; "John Logan. And maybe you should watch your fucking mouth."

Cowering on the ground, huddled with herself against the brick wall as she watches him rise, there's no fear in her eyes, but more of fury of a cornered animal. Waiting. Her hair has fallen in front of her eyes, so the blue peeks through the streaks of blond as she remains where she is.

Keeping her wounded shoulder against the wall, Jessica glares at him. "John Logan. You're going to wish you had killed me." she promises. "No matter how many errand boys he sends after me, he's going to pay for what he's done." she promises.

He opens up his black jacket, a flash of silk lining glimmering oily in the muted light, and there's a click as the safety is switched on before the gun is tucked into his holster, hidden away once more. "I know," Logan says, quiet, emphatic, and gives an empty laugh, as he takes a few steps back, heels scraping against the concrete. "Came to that conclusion myself. We're all gonna pay for what we've done, in the end, so I suppose I'll see you at the finish line, eh?"

There's a pause, wherein he drags his gaze back over to her, studious, sweeping, before he adds, words falling stilted— "It's nothing personal." A few more brisk back pedals, before Logan is turning away from her, with the intent to finish it there, and melt back into the shadows of the city.

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