The Downstairs Neighbor


abby4_icon.gif melissa3_icon.gif

Scene Title The Downstairs Neighbor
Synopsis Abby and Melissa take care of Mel's unfortunate downstairs neighbor.
Date June 26, 2010

Overgrown Cemetery

The vast graveyard stretches for kilometers, with dark damp soil making everything feel cold as you-know-what. Signs of mass graves, loose soil, and the faint smell of rotting flesh are present around the outer edges, ominously surrounding the original relaxed single-grave style in the center. Many of the old graves have been vandalized or exhumed, leaving many empty six foot deep holes scattered around. Some open holes are still curiously empty, while others have been reorganized into piles of bodies, forgotten and unburied, and still more are just as likely to house the living.

The marble sculptures and tombstones of long ago have been reduced to nondescript lumps of rock, but this doesn't stop people from placing new markers for the deceased — yet it seems futile since none of it will stay. The inhabitants will take whatever stone and scrap metal are left here, using them to build makeshift shelters, or simply reorganizing them to whatever chaotic patterns they worship.

The night after the grand opening of Tartarus is much quieter for Melissa. Perhaps no less exciting though, in a morbid kind of way. Since her shoulder is no longer injured, she's decided to finally do something about the skeleton in her basement. The first thing she did was give a call to Abby, asking for her help, and the use of her vehicle for transport. Carrying a body from the house to the cemetery just isn't very covert. The second thing she did was lay out a tarp and start tugging the body onto it. Though it's been in the basement for who knows how long, it still has some weight to it. Not to mention a smell.

With that done, Mel has come back upstairs, washed her hands (despite having worn gloves), and is now sipping on a beer while she waits for Abby. Her headphones are plugged into her phone, and she's listening to music to keep her distracted until the pink-haired one gets there.

It's not long, the blue SUV pulling up with little sound other than wheels on gravel. Dark jeans, dark shirt, sweater, a ballcap to hide the majority of her pink hair. "Hey, sorry, I got caught up at the house" Her shotgun case can be seen in the back, poking up. Likely for personal security. "I asked Robert last night, best place. He said the same thing I had said. There's this Cemetery over here on Staten Island. It's abandoned, never looked after. he said don't bury it willy nilly, find someones grave and actually put the bones into the coffin and then cover it all back up and make sure to keep the grass intact"

Abby's boyfriend does know how to dispose of bodies, just like Peter suggested. "He offered to help. Sweet, morbid but sweet. Told him he'd dealt with enough buried bodies, I could take care of this one" From the drivers side pocket of the door, she's dragging out some gardening gloves. "You good to go?"

"He offered to help? Damn girl. You keep that one," Melissa says with a smile. She's dressed in her usual black, so is dressed for the task at hand. Her hair, however, has been tugged up into a secure knot, and a knit cap tugged down over the rest of it. "And yeah, I'm ready. Let's put the shovels in your SUV then get the body. I've got some gloves for you," she says, leading the way down to the basement.

"What every girl dreams of. A millionaire or damned close, who can dispose of bodies at your whim and takes you to foreign films" There's a glance down to her gloves being not appropriate and they're peeled off, put away back where they came from. "Lets get this dealt with. I still feel bad, won't be a really proper burial but.. better than whatever would end up happening to him or her" Or remaining in a basement. "You are, however, the one that will be cracking open the coffin Mel, I refuse to do that" She is sure lightening will come down and strike her.

"Yeah, I'm not too thrilled with this myself," Melissa admits, slipping on a pair of gloves then looking down at the body that's wrapped in bright blue plastic. "And…Ick. I didn't consider the coffin bit. Got a crowbar or something to use in your truck?"

"That and a tire jack. We shouldn't be interfered with. Most we might have to deal with is a feral dog or two. But I have my shotgun and I'm a crack shot with it" Like Caliban, she likes to hunt and is a pretty good shot with it, or a rifle. "Yeah. This, this was our conversation over Pad Thai last night. which, which Melissa. I like Pad Thai. I really did like it. I think I could get used to his lifestyle. Well, some of it. It's.. always something different with him. I don't know why but.. First a Gala, he showed up at the Opera. I'm surprised you got him up on the stage really, and i"m sorry we took off so early"

Melissa smiles at Abby and shakes her head. "Don't worry about it. I'm just glad you got to spend some time with him. Before and after he got up on stage. I'm also very glad you won his date. I would've felt horrible if someone else had. Or god, if Magnes had. And be right back." She grabs the shovels and hurries upstairs, stashing them in the truck before she returns downstairs. "Okay, let's get this over with," she says, reaching for one end of the tarp.

"I wonder, if he had won him, whether it would have been a night of him harping on Robert about dating me" Abigail follows, grabbing the other end of the tarp. Bones are bones and she murmurs a prayer before grabbing her corner of the tarp, forgiveness, absolution from what they were going to do. Apologies to whomever's soul was attached to the bones for their unwillingness to actually find out what happened to them.

But that done, a count to three and she was working in tandem with Melissa to get the bones up and out of the house.

"Then…all the better that you won him," Melissa says, moving backwards, letting Abby be the one to walk forward. Progress slows when she reaches the stairs, stepping carefully to avoid slipping and dropping their load. "And…thanks. For helping with this. I don't know who else I could've asked."


He had suggested it along with her.

"Mel" She looks over across the tarp at the other woman. 'When did you join Messiah?"

Melissa doesn't look so certain about asking Peter. The relationship between them, whatever kind of relationship it is, is still too new and fragile. The question that follows the suggestion however, has her stilling for half a beat. If she weren't as good at lying, she probably would've dropped the tarp, or given Abby a shocked look. Instead the look is curious, as is her tone when she asks, "What's Messiah?"

"I think you know what it is Mel. You know about it. I know about it" She knows what Cardinal knows and that Mel is spending some more time when Peter's at her place. "The change from uncomfortable to fine with one another. Toss in the strange look the other night between you both" She keeps moving with the tarp and bodies.

"What strange look?" Melissa asks, genuinely curious there. "And we're…We talked. I don't know if everything is fine with us or not." Though she sincerely hopes that it is. "You saw how awkward he was at your place the other night."

She was better than Magnes at least. Magnes blabbed his mouth off. But Cardinal's words still hang in the air around her. The change in demeanor. "yeah, he was awkward. Things have been real rough with him of late. Part of him living there is to help with me, but the other part is to make sure that he sleeps, that he has some food stuffed in him, just.. It's for both of us. I feel bad, he's got his own place and yet I he's staying at mine. He just pays for groceries every second week, beats himself up if he forgets. Makes me wonder what his own fridge at home looked like"

The Messiah question seems to have disappeared

"Yeah…I'm worried about him," Melissa confesses as she starts out the door and towards the SUV. "How often has he gone without sleep, that you know of? Or food? He looks…exhausted."

'Three, four hours at a time, the sleep. I only half succeed in getting him to nap in the rig. Food is a sight better, I'm shoving it down his gullet when I can. Cat's helping me get something that will help make sleeping easier on the both of us, it's a monitor that does skin temperature, wear it like a harness. Can send an alert to a cellphone or such, if temperature hits a certain point. Can use it in the rig too. She thinks that I could wear an insulin pump but filled with sedative and rigged by a technopath to deliver a small dose if I get too hot, calm me down. Cat underestimates my abhorrence of needles though"

Melissa looks pained at Abby's answer and she shakes her head. "I'll help when I can. With him sleeping and eating. Though he did admit the other night that he needs more sleep, so that's a step in the right direction…" There's a pause and she starts trying to work the body into the back of the SUV. Seems she left it open when she came up to put the shovels in. "Is it the insertion of the needle, or the needle period? 'Cause if it's the former, I can help."

Alley ooop. blankets in the back of the SUV, she was prepared to tote a body it seems. "Both. Mel, I just don't like needles. I was rarely sick at all growing up or even up till when I lost my ability. I don't like getting stuck and I don't like seeing my own blood. Which is funny really since I'm a medic. Phlebotomy class? I barely passed the parts where I had to let Johan stick me. There but for the grace of anti-anxiety medication" Things loaded, all good, she heads on up to the drivers side, getting out her phone to look up a map on the GPS. Would be shitty to get lost, especially on here, with the military and who knows what else not far away.

"Ahh, gotcha," Melissa says as she moves around to climb in the passenger's side. "The offer to help you try to learn to control your ability still stands, yanno. It's not the same, but maybe it'll help. I really don't know."

"I'm working on it Mel. People can help, the world can help, but if I can't do it on my own.. then folks helping, won't do anything. This is just.. an idea she had for me at work, so I wouldn't be perpetually relying on the negation supply that the Ferry has. Other people are going to come to the network who will need it. RIgh tnow, I take em for three days, then not for one and a half, then back for three. Just when I work"

Buttons pressed, Abigail futzes before turning on the car and listening to the GPS bleat out it's directions. "Still waiting to hear from one person. They.. they'll really be able to help me do what I need to with it and then some."

Melissa's head tilts and her brow furrows a little. "Are they a pyrokinetic or something? Or negator? And yeah, I know you gotta figure it out yourself. I just…don't wanna see you hurt. Or see you upset because you hurt someone else."

"Well, there's an oh my lord, last ditch attempt that I can… go to. Robert suggested him but… that will be a cold day in hell before I even do such a thing. Day I let John Logan touch me again is that." Another story for another day, the pink haired woman falling silent as she picks her way through Staten Island. "I'm sure if you knew, you'd appreciate what it takes me to come to this forsaken island that you've chosen to live on"

"John Logan? And wait, what? What's wrong with Staten Island?" Melissa asks, looking surprised. "You have just totally lost me, hon."

"Another day Mel. When we're not about to traipse through a graveyard and desecrate some poor persons eternal rest?"

Melissa studies Abby's face for a moment then she nods. "Sure thing. Not a problem." She glances around. "Please tell me we're almost there."

"We're there" She murmurs, killing the engine as the creep of tires on road comes to an end. If she'd turned on headlights, there'd be nothing but broken fence, There's movement, something ring tailed and black masked that scurries by in front of the SUV. "We'll need to be quick as possible. People live here and I don't mean zombies. Last I knew, they hole up in some mausoleums and the like" Which might explain why Abigail brought her shotgun.

Out the drivers side, the back door opened, she gets out said shotgun, flicking a flashlight on to check it over and load some buckshot into it. Few more of those go into an honest to god fanny belt, along with her taser. If there's trouble, she sure as hell is going to protect herself, even if it means she has to flame up. "Should be a dolly back there, to load the shovels and the bones. I stopped by tartarus and told them that you needed it to help me move stuff. I'll hose it down and return it after"

"Oh god. Now I'm thinking about zombies," Melissa says with a grimace as she glances towards the back and the body. "Let's not talk about the walking dead while we're doing this, huh? Because I'm not too worried about people living in the mausoleum. Them I can handle." Zombies don't feel pain though, so she's screwed there!

Mel climbs out, looking surprised. "You did? Smart move.That'll make this easier." She moves around back and tugs the dolly out, then the shovels, but seems reluctant to pull her 'downstairs neighbor' out. "Dammit. Now I'm half expecting this guy to sit up and starting moaning about brains," she mutters.

"He's bones Mel." abby mutters, helping with the dolly, gloves back on. "Just, stop thinking about zombies, or the like. We're burning midnight hours and I'm only gonna have so many. Peter's gonna be driving in the morning while I nap between calls in the back." Down goes the dolly and between the two of them, the bones are soon loaded up in a tarpaulin package along with shovels. "Open graves around here so just… be careful okay. He said there might be some coffins exposed to the air in some graves already dug out, so we can look for those and put them in there, save us the digging"

"I wish it were that easy," Mel mutters as she pulls her gloves on, then starts looking around for one of those graves. "Well, let's get moving," she says, moving around so she can start pushing the dolly. It's her body, so it should be her hard work, right?

If only it were. Through the graved yard they creep, in the light of the moon capable of seeing where there are open plots, a glance in showing some bones of those who have come before, a few coffins but they're broken, open and sometimes the smell indicating they were freshly opened and desecrated. They will both need showers after this, even if only for mental comfort.

There's an odd person, keeping to the periphery and there's one now, braving the dark, creeping forward. "Two pretty ladies, in a graveyard, carting around something." He tsks his tongue, vauge shape in the dark, but white skinned at least. "You need some help there? I got some buddies not far away, we can take care of whatever you're doing for you"

Melissa scans the ground as they walk, but since Abby isn't burdened by the dolly, she's letting the other woman make the choice of coffins. When the man speaks up, she pauses, glancing over towards him. "Nope, we're good, thanks. Bye," she says, in a relatively civil tone, before she resumes her forward progress. Hoping it'll be that easy to get rid of him.

'Awww, come on, two girls, bad things can happen in graveyards at nig-" The guy is cut off by the flashlight turning on, attached to her shotgun near the back, Abigail lifting her shotgun. "I'd say, that we are fine and that you had better get your arse moving if you don't want it full of lead, are you clear? Because if that don't discourage you sir I will burn you to a crisp and will have no remorse doing so"

Melissa stops, remaining near Abby. She may be able to go all flamey, but Mel is still the protective sort. She gives a faint smirk to the man. "I'd listen to her. Because if she doesn't getcha for bothering us, I will. And I've got less of a conscience than her." Which is probably true, given Abby's religiousness. Maybe.

Threats of burning, guts full of lead. In these days, neither is an empty one and the man backs off, easy targets not so easy. "Okay, okay, we'll be watching you" He throws back, backing away from them. Which means that this grave they're standing by?

"Put him in this one Mel" A glance down shows a partially uncovered coffin and dirt nearby. "Will have to do, I'm not going in any further" Shallow it may be, it will have to do.

"Good enough for me," Melissa says, making sure the dolly isn't going to fall over, then she grabs one of the shovels. "Keep an eye out for them while I start digging? I don't want us to get taken by surprise," she says, before starting to work at uncovering the rest of the coffin so it can be opened.

"Sounds good" Abigail murmurs. "Shoulda asked Robert to help us" But it just seemed wrong. Getting your boyfriend to help you dispose of a friends unwanted basement dweller. "Get er done Mel, and lets get out of here" Abigail stands at the side of the grave, shotgun up and moving to here, there, places where she spots movement while Mel gets working on the coffin and grave.

With the coffin partially uncovered it doesn't take Melissa long to get the rest of the dirt out of the way. Then the shovel is put back, and the crowbar grabbed instead. She takes a deep breath to steel herself for a chore she really doesn't want, then crouches down to start cracking the thing open. This takes almost as long as the digging, but finally Mel gets it partially open, and she works on getting the lid up.

Not long after, it's a kick with Abby's foot unceremoniously, that topples the tarp down to Mel to shove into the coffin. Forget getting the bones out and saving the Tarp, the sound of others down in the cemetery with them, curious as to what they're dumping, means they ease close, but not too close. Abby can only hope that they haven't touched her SUV at all.

Melissa glances back to glance at the people creeping towards, then shifts part of her attention back to the bundle, shoving it into the coffin. Another part of her mind, a larger part, starts radiating pain to everyone in thirty feet. It's not horrible pain, but enough to make them notice. Everyone except Abby, of course, who Mel keeps clear of her ability.

When the body is in as good as it's going to get, Mel shoves the coffin closed and starts replacing the dirt that was there when they arrived, doing her best to hurry while still making it look…like it did when they arrived. When it's done, she glances to Abby. "Let's go." Before she gets a nosebleed. She grabs the dolly and shovel, and starts heading back to the SUV, eager for the shower that will follow not too long after.

But at least it's done.

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