The Gold Standard


abby6_icon.gif bao-wei3_icon.gif calvin_icon.gif daphne_icon.gif melissa_icon.gif ziadie_icon.gif

Scene Title The Gold Standard
Synopsis Some thuglets try to prove their stuff but end up getting a bit more than bargained for on the Gold Standard Gunshot Sounding Sunday.
Date January 23, 2011


Sunday's. God's day. A day of rest. Somewhere in the city there are kids with sled, riding down hills in central park, skating on the rinks while family members of the adult variety watch with protective eyes to make sure that nothing befalls their offspring.

People come and go all day to their various houses of worship. Birds fly hither and yon to watch over their own broods, seek out food where they can and generally be a nuisance around the city. Taxi cabs though lowered in number still plug the streets and cops have a more prevalent presence on the streets.

But here in the Canal Street Market with it's open shops bearing strange and exotic fruits from foreign lands, Chinese dragons hanging in windows, acupuncture shops and the hardiest of sellers standing outside the shops with their non-perishable goods underneath the awnings and safe from the snow.

Here one has to tread a little carefully if they want to make trouble lest the Triads stick their noses into business and snuff out a threat in the bud before it can blossom to more. People keep to themselves though and if this were any other town and not under martial law there would be elbows, bumping, people passing through nearly elbow to elbow crawling for deals even in the ice cold of winter. Instead you can put your elbows out and maybe you might catch someone.

"Out! Out!" A decrepit Chinese man is shuffling after some teenagers with a broom, threatening to hit them with it. 'You go! Out! No come back! Out!" They just scoff, point at the man, but are quick to beat a path out of the herbal store even as a brown haired, browned eye former EMT with a healing gash across her cheek and a splint on her nose is watching from the steps of a street across the way, a bag of mango's in her hand.

Winter in New York City is definitely not Daphne's favorite time of year. Of course, New York is not her favorite city; last year's experiences had very few that could fall into the good category, and she's not really sure why she's here, except to do a few illicit jobs, run a few shady errands. She's storing up her cash stores; banks and credit cards aren't an option anymore.

She steps out of a shop, tucking the envelope full of money into her coat and peering out at the busy marketplace, dark eyes squinting a little from the change of light. One hand goes into her pocket to pull out the ski cap she'd stolen from an Olympian, USA and parading Moose knit into the nordic design. This gets pulled over her platinum blond dread locks before she pulls out a cell phone and texts something with thumbs that blur just a little.

Amongst the people, Ziadie pauses to take note of the commotion, watching it carefully lest it escalate. But it's Chinatown, and he's here to do some shopping, not here to poke his nose in anyone else's business. At least, so far. The older man's hand tightens around his cane almost reflexively, though, as he leans against a small amount of wall, and a small bag is gripped in his left hand, his left arm held in a sling from recent injuries.

There's something familiar in seeing the same vagrants every day; sometimes there is always one or two new ones, one or two figures or coats that don't quite fit in. While not totally out of place, Doctor Cong's shape is still one that can either be painfully unplaceable, or painfully unknown. People find other doctors all the time; someone like Cong, who was local for decades, is not easily forgotten by the older generation living and working in Chinatown. The younger probably only recall his manner above all else. Still, he can't much risk himself being outright recognized here, while he does us usual rounds of reconnaissance. For his own sake.

His long coat, ragged pants, gloves and boots, stained scarf and hat all mirror him as an undesirable. The scarf is wound around his head, and for another sake- his eyes'- he wears a pair of dark glasses under the brim of his hat. The looking like a homeless arch-nemesis is terribly cliche, but somehow, he probably doesn't care. The discoloration of some of his clothing marks him as much as the aching half-limp, and the hunched tension in broad shoulders.

He waits at one corner, where the street meets a by-way, leant like a creature trying to find something to literally prop him upright. It is across the street from the kids fleeing the store, only a handful of strides away from Abby. The seeming sick that he appears to emanate keeps enough people away, close to none voicing a concern. That was only one man, in any case, who got barked off with a few choice words.

Chinatown isn't normally a place Melissa visits often, despite her love of Chinese food. But she's got a thought in mind, and it involved coming to one specific store here in Chinatown. So she's bundled up, complete with hat and tan, to head that way, after a meeting in the same general area. It was handy.

She's absently glancing around as she walks, pausing here and there to look at something in a shop window, but it's Daphne that makes her pause, then bust out a grin. "Hey girl!" she calls out, directing her steps towards the speedster.

Asshole teenagers will be asshole teenagers and these ones are not an exception to the rule but a standard. As they go, one hooks a foot out, knocking over a stand of rip of "guchi' purses from where they hang and laugh at the misfortune of the vendor. They jostle others as they go, not even blinking when they spot Ziadie. One goes out of his way to hook a foot around the end of his cane and with a yank as he goes, the cane is toppled back, forcing the man to either pitch forward or stay upright.

Abigail's watching, catching sight of Daphne that she knows, Melissa too as the pain augmentor catches up with speedy but she doesn't make a move for them. Either of them.Just busies herself with walking, bringing her closer to Bao who causes her to double take when she looks up. He looks sick. Like.. evolved flu sick.

Though her name isn't used, Daphne seems to now she's the "girl" being addressed, and her eyes dart to Melissa, but then she notices the teens causing problems. Her dark eyes narrow, and there's the slightest hesitation — it's a public place, and she's not registered. But old men who are injured deserve better treatment, and Daphne suddenly becomes a blur of dark coat, black jeans, red boots, and red-white-and-blue ski cap, several meters covered in a second's time.

One hand rips the baseball cap off one of the kids and flings it into the gutter before she grabs a hold of both Ziadie's cane and his good arm, to help steady him, even as she stills enough be visible as a solid mass of petite speedster.

Ziadie isn't quite as frail as he sometimes looks, and after a moment of leaning on Daphne, he seems to have his footing pretty well again, and this time he's settled into what is nearly an at attention stance, albeit leaning on his cane, rather than be potentially knocked again. He's wincing a bit, though, as being off balance further tweaked his shoulder. "Thanks, there," he says, quietly. Any notice of the speed is simply indicated with a half a smile playing on his face.

The slivers of flesh visible past the glasses, past the scarf, they are all sickly pale, and tinted faint blue over an ashen gray. As if it were missing the various movement of blood under the surface, missing the fleshy hue of someone healthy. Possibly something threatening to become frostbitten. His eyes behind the glasses stir to follow the kids, the old man- the blur of color in his vision; but they are soon drawn away again when he spies Abigail considering him further.

A muffled huff of breath buries itself in the scarf, a too-white cloud of air filtering out from the other side. His gaze is only glossy black because of the glasses, and it isn't clear if he is looking at her or not- though he seems to be.

Daphne isn't the only one noticing the teens, and her eyes narrow. But Daphne, unsurprisingly, gets there first. It's sort of what she does, after all. But while she lets Daphne help Ziadie, she's moving towards the teens. "You know what I hate? Pathetic kids who think that they're real comedians. Worse when they think picking on people is cool," she says, giving them a look full of disdain before turning her back on them to look at Daphne and Ziadie. "You okay?" she asks the man in a softer tone.

"My hat! Uncool!" Uncool, he says, flinging himself around to see who did that, trying to pin down who did it. The chick helping the old man? The old man? THe girl giving them a dirty look? The three little hooligan wanna be's are quick to levy blame and it's on Daphne as they start to make their way back to her with a swagger even as the one is fishing his hat up and scowling at the slush that stains it. "Hey, Hey what's the big deal bitch? "

Bao's forgotten for a moment, Abigail turning to look over her shoulder as many do at the words from the thuglets and holds her breath before eyes dart around, hoping there's no cops nearby, taking a few steps bac and unintentionally closer to Bai. Too close.

Calvin Rosen's overdressed for a Sunday in Chinatown, bearing more than a passing resemblance to someone walking down the street from a funeral in the 1890s in his melodramatic black peacoat coat and three piece suit. Fingerless grey gloves, shiny shoes. No hat. Just a briefcase and a custom knit scarf, vibrant orange a striking strip through charcoal grey beneath the deliberately chaotic crest of his gingery dreads.

Goateed chin tucked down against the cold, he paces on at a fair clip, free hand delved deep into his pocket as he goes. There's a jangle of keys in there before the drift of like, aggressive conversation catches his ear and he pauses right across the street from the hunch of Bao-Wei to turn and look. As people do.

"You're welcome," says Daphne with a pixyish smirk up at Ziadie, patting his arm. There's not enough time to make more niceties as the boys round on them, and she narrows her eyes.

"Cool it, or it'll be more than your hat that gets thrown in the snow, losers," she tosses at the teens, perhaps a bit immature in holding up her fingers in an L-shape against her forehead to punctuate the insult.

The maturity of the speedster is only highlighted by the fact that those fingers are in bright yellow gloves are clearly meant for someone around the tween age, with Happy Bunny embroidered on them. "Now scram before this nice shop owner calls the police for the stuff you shoplifted from his store." There's a chance one of the three is guilty, which Daphne is banking on.

Ziadie manages half a chuckle, at this point. "I think so," he says to Melissa. He's not, not in anything remotely close to the term, but damned if he's actually going to say that. It's his standard answer, these days.

Aside from that, though, he just keeps his mouth shut, a silver flask coming out of one pocket and then tipped back to his lips, gaze and attention not on the ruckus right nearby with the teenagers, but on Bao-Wei's frame across the street, from there to Abigail, from Abigail to Calvin. And then he repeats himself, cane leaning against his leg so he can reach up to rub his temples. "I'm okay."

The gingery dreads, even from afar, even in the dim, are hard to forget. Cong is looking across the street when Abby comes just the few inches too close. The cold is there first- winter might be all around Abigail, but the bristling cold that suddenly prickles up her spine is probably unexpected. He doesn't do it on purpose, no. It is just there. And he seems to take note of her getting too close, because it only brushes against her like a passing old cat before he takes a couple of paces back along the corner wall.

The last thing he wants to do today is accidentally anyone.

Melissa looks at the one who spoke, arching a brow. "Really? You're gonna pick on someone with a cane then get pissy when you're called on it? Grow up." Of course she doesn't tell Daphne to grow up. She looks more inclined to agree with the speedster. But since the punks are trying to start a scene, she turns back to them, sadly missing Calvin's appearance across the street.

"Ohh hello kitty wants to call us losers" College age, pants that hang below the butt and held up by who knows how. One of them is guilty of shoplifting. Likely the one who's bristling at the admonishment from Daphne "What does this look like, the nineties? Loser? Your hats the fucking loser" The middle one of them makes the movement back at her, thumb and forefinger in an L shape before the other two of the trio are producing objects that make people start to scatter. Guns. Delightful.

"Say hello, kitty" The one waggles his weapon around in Daphne and Ziadie's direction while the other points his towards Melissa. "Shut your mouth cunt" followed by the bang of the gun going off.

It misses, tweaker is not a good shot and in that, he was aiming down with not enough guts to actually hit a person. Thuglets at their finest. It makes Abby gasp and that prickle of cold is felt and then not when her own internal heating ramps up in response to the surprise, hands going up to cover her ears. She was intending to throw a snowball at them but the production of guns brings this into a whole other park. The broom wielding china-man? Gone, his door is closed and he's shuffling away fast as he can.

Oh. …Dear.

Calvin could keep walking. He really could. Especially once he sees that Melissa is Melissa, his spine gone ramrod straight beneath the tailored cut of his coat. Temptation to leave them all hanging is nearly tangible in the conflicted narrow of his eyes and a rankle of his nose, the liberal application of his eyeliner making him easy to read from afar. As things are, he already stands out as one of very few that hasn't set to running and is just standing there, vivid mane and underbit jaw.

At length, he resigns himself to groping beneath the lapel of his coat for the chilly grip of his .40, gunmetal grey licking electric orange to pink under neon lights. "Homeland Security!" he cries, voice angled to carry clear on the wind, briefcase still in hand, "run for your lives!"

Hello Fucking Kitty? Daphne's eyes go wide at the barb. Oh no you dint! When the guns come out, her dark eyes are on the one closest to her. A blur of bright yellow snatches the gun, pointing it up and away so that if the kid's hand closes in on the trigger while she's wrangling it, it won't shoot her, Ziadie, or anyone else. Hopefully, anyway — she's not trained in that sort of thing, but youtube does wonders.

For her, once the gun aimed at Melissa goes off, the rest is slow motion, but still not slow enough for her to get Melissa, herself, Ziadie and the shop keeper all to safety. She suddenly holds the gun wrangled from the kid when Homeland is shouting to … run away?

Running is always her first instinct, but this time, Daphne turns to stare at the dreadlocked man with a WTF sort of expression.

Well, whatever. It's not like she's going to disagree. "You heard the man," she says brightly.

She looks down with distaste at the gun in her hands, then zooms toward Calvin, the safety turned on en route before the gun is pressed into his hands, and she zigzags her way out of the market.

Homesec. That makes Ziadie's jaw drop a bit, and his cane is dropped on the ground in the slight commotion that follows, with half of his attention now going to the thug that fired the gun and the other half of his attention going to Daphne. Or at least, to where Daphne was. There's a half a step taken in no particular direction at all, before Ziadie seems to decide that maybe, just maybe it's best to stand still. His hand does hover near his jacket, though.

There is something not so strange going on, on that side of the street, where Bao-Wei and Abby can effectively watch things play out like a theatre stage; guns and yelling, stupid thugs being thugs. Something strange is happening on their side of the narrow road, however.

He moves back, but perhaps not enough- it is almost like his stepping into a hot spot, whereas Abby had moments ago bumped into a cold one. His own reaction to this is the same on his end; the cold pulsates suddenly, and to her, there is only one other person that it could possibly be coming from. Not only that, there is an obvious haze that breezes out from under his scarf, his sleeves, his coat- cold, like a freezer door opened to a warmed summer room.

Unfortunately, once he realizes what happens, Bao-Wei is stepping further back still, his boots scuffing on snow as he pivots to escape down the entrance of the alley he was skulking near.

When the gun goes off Melissa is ducking down. More, she's grabbing towards Ziadie, trying to drag him down and out of the line of fire. "Not fucking again," she mutters. Calvin's words have her glancing over, then doing a double-take. "Calvin?" is says with no small measure of surprise. But his advice is good, and she looks at Ziadie. "Might wanna go. Now. I'll make sure you don't get shot," she assures him before she straightens, putting herself between the man and the thugs.

"If you guys don't wanna end up in jail for a very, very long time, I'd suggest dropping the guns." She's not expecting them to listen though, and with Daphne gone, she's preparing to use her ability to make them. If she has to. Which she really doesn't want to do. Really.

Two words can do so much. Homeland Security is one variation of such, one that prompts people to scatter like little cockroaches. A handful of individuals on the street do so one of them Abby after Calvin yells it. This is not the place to be and while she recognizes the dreadlocked ginger, the pool of cold that seeps and curls around her own little pool of heat gain and fights for equal notice. Which is why when Bao's making for the alley, she is too, fleeing off in his wake, hunkering her chin down into the neck of her jacket and scarf a cold front precipitated by a heatwave.

The first thuglet is surprise when one moment he has a gun, ready to shoot it off like his friend but at the ground and the next it seems that it's been wrenched from his hand and is…in the hands of - oh shit - Homesec officer. Bad news for you bub and the expression is on his face reads very much that and is identical to the other two as loser guy - backwards L, someone needs to go back to school - slowly. Drops. His. Hand to his side. Thuglet two who shot his load off holds his hands up in the air, dropping the gun which clatters to the ground harmlessly, no need to use abilities at all. Old Man Ziadie it seems, has a bevy of angels at his side to help him.

With his briefcase displaced on the ground and another gun in that hand before he can register exactly what's happened, Calvin stands dimly for a moment while he takes stock. Daphne's blazed off, a nigh unrecognizable Abigail and Bao-Wei are making their exit. For all immediate purposes, only the thugs, Melissa and Mr. Ziadie remain, leaving Calvin to size them up with impatience sinking his brows gradually into a hooded knit.

The fact that the thugs remain is, of course, a problem. So.

Having perhaps missed the course on gun safety and/or professionalism in the Academy, Calvin switches the safety off of Thug #1's unfamiliar firearm and points it plainly down at the ground near the dirty lot's feet. And pulls the trigger. "Don't," he says, and pulls the trigger again, ricochet singing off into negative space, "just," blam "stand," blam, between every word, now, "there - you — cunts. Follow directions!"

Down, right. Ziadie lets himself be pulled in whatever direction Melissa pulls him, and then he just nods a few times. As he straightens, a badge comes out, flipped open so that it's very, very plain to see, and the sling his arm is in has been unlatched at a point where he was able to reach with his hand. Pay for it later, as always. "You lot might want to get the fuck out of here," he says to the thugs. He looks over to Calvin. "Y' know, y' can stop that already."

Cong doesn't know that Abby has to stifle her choice of routes and follow his; probably just as well, because he tugs his scarf free up across his head, causing the dingy hat to tumble, the glasses to slip off into the snow. She might get a look at his face, provided she is looking ahead; the only two in the alley, it should only be her horror to see a man under all of that, skin the color of cold and rot, half of his skull already misshapen into something slick, dark, and crooked- malformed from a sheer layer of ice that wrinkles his features into a blur.

He doesn't need to know she is there- all he needs is to get away. And knowing these streets like the back of his hand, it proves no issue for him to splinter away and into the cold.

"Dammit! Seriously, stop that," Melissa snaps towards Calvin, giving him a dark look. But then Ziadie is grabbing a badge instead of leaving, which makes her roll her eyes. But since the guns are down, she shrugs and moves back a few paces before turning and starting to walk off, her hands going into her pockets. It's cold, after all. And though she's scowling as she walks off, she's silent, leaving Ziadie and Calvin both in peace.

From on high, some pimply faced Asian kid has his iphone out and is recording this all. The latest and greatest technology means that in three minutes, depending on the wifi connection, this video is going to be on youtube. Of wanna be thugs pulling weapons, of Daphne moving from one spot to the other far too fast for the human eye and coming to Ziadie's aide. Of Calvin bellowing out his affiliations and orders, shooting off his own gun and making the trio of trouble makers dance like marionette's on a string before they're not looking the gift horse in the mouth and bolting past Melissa who's choosing to walk away, leaving Ziadie and Calvin on a street filled with people inside stores and staring.

Somewhere there's a Guchi purse with a hole in it from ricochet. But Calvins display has the intended effect and thuglets have abandoned weapons and run for the hills along with anyone else that upon hearing Homeland Security, chose to hightail it.

It's just another Sunday, wintery Sunday in New York. Gunshots- the gold standard.

There. Situation resolved, problem solved, Calvin draws in a deep breath and bends after his briefcase. The gun that isn't his goes in as lipstick to purse with a click and a clack. The one that is goes back under his jacket, lapel adjusted and temper quashed with a last fidget at his scarf.

"You're welcome!" called back to (ingrateful!!) citizens previously involved, he sets off normal as can be. Off to become internet famous.

Ziadie shakes his head, and bends down to pick up his cane. Idly, he walks and picks up the second gun that had been dropped, clicking the safety on and taking the magazine out before putting it away, somewhere inside his coat. "Thanks," Ziadie calls after the man who is now walking away. He should probably be grateful, after all.

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