The Price of Charity


lysette_icon.gif mack_icon.gif william_icon.gif

Scene Title The Price of Charity
Synopsis A night of charitable acts at the homeless shelter descends in tragedy
Date December 11, 2008

Fifth Avenue Homeless Shelter

Once used for storage, this medium sized building appears relatively bland with decoration. The walls are painted a pale shade of yellow, countless water-marked stains striping the surface from years past. The floor tiling in worn in far too many places with shades of salmon squares, while once fashionable, have long since faded into the category of decor no-nos. Large metal ventilation units grind noisily upon the ceiling — the heat kicking on and off at random intervals with a loud rumble.

Several tables line the far right wall, each housing several pitchers of water, paper cups, and troughs of buffet style food for the homeless of the city. More tables fill out to the side offering plenty of seating with bronze folding chairs. The remaining space is occupied by various volunteers at stations, dispensing goods to those in need.

Evening falls across the city, the warming lights of the temporary shelter casting a welcome for all from the chill of the approaching winter. The line outside appears to be thinning somewhat, most of the earlier rush having traveled on to other shelters for the night.

Several large boxes have been carefully placed against the back wall of the mid-sized hall, the contents flowing with various warm blankets, canned foods, and other necessities. Lysette reaches to retrieve one of the warm blankets along with a small first aid kit passing it to the next person in line with a warming smile, "I know it is not much, but it should help you through the night. I think I have a few more pillows in one of the other boxes if you have need."

There is no warning. No time for those little hairs on the back of one's neck, the one's there to alert a human being to danger- remnants of a more primal time -and almost no time to respond. That’s because the first assailant isn't there. And then he is. A small, fidgety man, with submachine guns in either hand.

"E-e-everbody down! D-don't open your /fucking/ eyes!"

There isn't much time for anybody to think about complying before two more figures rush in, one a largish man with a shotgun and a woman with no visible weapons. For any that break the rules they look desperate, nervous, and hungry. Society's rejects.

Momentarily distracted by her search for pillows, the young woman appears oblivious to the initial arrival of the first assailant. In fact, it is not until he speaks that Lysette actually dares to pause what she is doing, her gaze slipping over to seek out the source with clear confusion upon her brow, "Please, sir, there is no need to get…" the words fade from her lips as she takes note of the guns and sighs deeply. Yet, despite the order, she does not cower like many of the others around her and takes a slow and steady breath, "…there are innocents here, please…" her voice echoes in a soft plea, her gaze slipping to look upon the others already complying.

"I s-s-said get do-" The words are cut off by a shotgun blast into the ceiling; the sudden roar of the weapon's wrath resonant in the relative silence. The larger man moves jerkily through the crowd, most of whom have settled into some kind of acceptance of the situation. The homeless are used to people acting as if they're powerless. Despite the warning shot, the man sounds anything but overly confident. "He said get on the ground, bitch!"

Of the three the only one acting as if they belong there is the woman. When she speaks, that confident stance is echoed in her tone. "Everybody just get down and nobody gets hurt. No heroes. We just came to get our share and then we'll leave everybody here in peace." Oddly, stuffed into the pocket of her short leather jacket is a silver cylinder, seemingly out of place amidst the chaos.

One of the volunteers has readily accepted his place on the ground, but one hand slips into his pocket, seeming as if he's pressing buttons.

The blast of the shotgun causes the young woman to jump in surprise, swallowing the growing lump in her throat as she looks to the poor homeless and other volunteers already in compliance. She catches a glimpse of her co-volunteer and clears her throat in an effort to redirect the attentions of all three assailants towards her instead. Slowly lifting her hands so they are visible, palm out, Lysette replies in a sincere manner, "Please, just put the guns down and I will see you get everything you need. I have blankets and pillows, even some first aid kits if you want…" Despite the shot and warnings, the youngest Harvard shows no signs of buckling down to their demands as she continues her efforts to try and rationalize with the trio, "…I don't want to see anyone hurt, please…"

"Listen you silly fuck," The woman speaks as she wanders down the hallway, picking her way carefully through the bodies on the floor. "The only person that wants somebody to get hurt, apparently, is you." A .9mm Beretta pistol is pulled from a holster on the girl's side. This she takes a quick aim with and pulls the trigger; the young man with the phone in his pocket receives a bullet to the back of his head. "Now, its usually far more effective to kill somebody innocent when somebody wants to keep things in control. My guess is you're more okay with getting hurt than getting someone hurt. So you either chill out and do what we say…" She pauses to look back down at the young man. "Or I can keep playing with your friends."

The two men stare in disbelief at the pool of blood growing beneath the man's head, but despite this they start moving to grab supplies. The man with the two guns puts one away, and they awkwardly go about trying to grab boxes.

Blue eyes widen in stark shock over the blatant murder of her co-volunteer, her complexion paling drastically. Lysette turns her attentions back to the woman, the other two assailants forgotten for the moment as she replies almost sadly, "You really shouldn't have done that." Even as she speaks, her hands begin to lower slowly.

To any paying careful observation to the hospitality table, the water appears to be siphoning slowly from the pitchers and glasses. As the other woman turns away to regard the young fallen man, Lysette lashes out to send a blasting bolt of water straight for the other woman's hand holding the gun.

The water takes the woman completely unaware. It strikes her hand and sends the gun spinning through the air to land on the ground a few feet away. The man with the shotgun drops the box carried in one arm and rushes towards Lysette, raising the shotgun…

But not to shoot her. No, instead he goes to try and hit her in the face with the buttstock instead. The other man just stares, frozen in place. The woman screams, "Just kill the bitch.”

"Not so fast…" Lysette concentrates on trying to pull the water quicker, but giving the lack of moisture in the room, coupled with the limited supply of readily available water she is at a severe disadvantage. Instead she looks towards some of the innocents cowering near the door and calls out to them, "Run, while you can."

What remains of the pitchers and glasses drains to mere droplets. The droplets swirl and melt together in the center of her palm in the formation of a beautifully concentrated sphere of water. She barely has time to decide on a target as she launches the sphere at the other woman once again, leaving herself wide open for the attack from the man with the shotgun.


The shotgun is hard. It connects with Lysette's face in an entirely not-gentle-enough way even as that sphere of water launches towards the seemingly in charge woman. This connects as well, right in the side of her head, and sends her stumbling down to one knee. Then everything starts to happen. She reaches her hand out jedi-style and her gun flows through the air back towards her grasp even as a disembodied voice near the entrance screams, "Shit, shit, shit, we got company! Grab the shit and let’s get gone!"

At this news, the first to arrive simply disappears. The woman tries to stumble back to her feet, and the large man trains his shotgun in the direction of the entrance.

Evolved she may be, but there is nothing in Lysette's ability nor constitution that is remotely capable of dealing with a hit that lands squarely against her face. The young woman goes reeling back at the hit, the blow managing to split her lip as her head whacks *hard* against the ground. Fully disoriented she rolls to her side in an effort to get back up, yet the dizziness that assails her sends her right back down again. Her head swims as she fights to remain awake. Somewhere amid the fog threatening to overtake her thoughts, she manages to murmur, "I'll … find … you."

A few of the homeless have managed to flee amid all the chaos, but the majority remains transfixed in sheer horror at the ordeal around them. Lysette makes one final effort to try and lift her head again, before rolling back and closing her eyes with a faint mumble of pain.

[The scene cuts to somewhere on the streets a few miles away.]

"You ever had an argument over whether to call it soccer or football?" William asks, tilting his head back and rocking it from one side to side. "I'm American, so of course it's soccer. But everyone on my mom's side takes it as a personal affront. It's like a great war that America will always wage on the rest of the world." William says, turning the corner. He looks over to his Partner. "Ever traveled much, Mack?"

And then there's the call. William's brows dip and the black BMW is suddenly racing, with one smooth motion flicking on the lights. "We're not far." William answers to dispatch, rounding another corner.

"Yeah, makes for a good bar argument with anybody that ain't from America." Mack leans back into the seat, eyes watching attentively to everything going on outside the car. "Not much, no." There's that damn call. Given the details, Mack pulls his service pistol out of its holster and checks his clip. He pulls the slide back to ensure there's already a bullet in the chamber, and then replaces it. Old habits.

[The scene cuts back to the robbery in progress.]

Everything in the shelter /almost/ seems like its going to calm down. The large man seems satisfied that the 'hero girl' is put down and he grabs one more box, aiming his shotgun with one hand towards the exit even as he moves to leave with the last bit of goodies. The woman slowly rises to her feet, obviously trying to shake the cobwebs out. A large bruise is already forming, "Where is that bitch!?"

The sounds of a well built machine coming to a stop outside are faintly audible.

'That bitch' remains where she fell, currently wrapped up in trying to remain conscious. Gritting her teeth tightly, Lysette pushes through the closing fog of darkness to fight back the pain. Almost as if on automatic pilot at this point, she slowly hoists herself up upon her arms to raise her body into a lounging position. Already an ugly bruise is forming upon her delicate skin at the site of impact, the blood still trickling from her split lip.

A few of the homeless nearby begin to whisper as they watch Lysette rise slowly. Despite her disorientation, there is still an element of grace in her motions as she forces herself to continue her endeavors until she finally manages to stand. Her stance is feeble at best, looking very much like a stiff wind could topple her, yet the Harvard sense of heroism sadly seems to be born in the blood. "You killed … an /innocent/ man," Lysette replies firmly, her gaze again wavering to settle as best as it can upon the other woman, "…let the others go… please."

Cars get out of the way, and even if they don't William maneuvers around them. He is more than capable at driving at these speeds, and when Evolved Crimes are involved, 'these speeds' are necessary.

The black car screeches in front of the shelter, the lights on the ceiling of the car still protruding from within the windshield. William takes out the keys and undoes his seatbelt. Looking over to Mack he gives a little nod, raising his fist up he gives a little bump to the other man's chest. "Don't die." In truth, it is very unlikely for Mack to die. But still, no one's invincible. The car door opens…

"Move a lot." Mack responds, his belt already off by the time the car is fully stopped. The passenger door pops open and Mack slips out. Gun leading before him he moves up towards the entrance. As he makes the doorway, so does the man with the shotgun. Mack responds quickly, double-tapping and leaving one bullet in the man's upper stomach and another in his upper chest. He falls, dropping both his shotgun and the box, and Mack goes to breach the doorway. Call it instinct to take the point; either way it doesn't exactly end well. Mr. Invisible uses the opportunity to hit him with… well it’s invisible, so it’s hard to say. But Mack stumbles off to the side, seemingly inexplicable to anyone that see's it happen.

The woman turns when Lysette stands. "He died because of /you/!" The woman is screaming towards the end of the sentence and she raises her retrieved weapon to aim it at Lys even as she stalks closer to the woman.

"I am not the one who pulled the trigger," Lysette replies calmly as she maintains her focus upon the other woman as best as she can. Continuing to bide her time and ensuring the focus of the woman's ire remains upon her rather than the other innocents in the room, "I will only ask you one more time, let the others go."

Even as the last of the words part her lips, the youngest Harvard takes a slow step towards the other woman - her movement faltering a little in betrayal of the disorientation that still threatens to knock her back off her feet. Lysette tries to maintain her stance, yet the sound of the commotion near the door distracts her from the woman for a brief moment as she calls out, perhaps a tad too late, "The third one phases in and out of vision…." Unfortunately, it appears Lysette is merely stating the obvious as she watches the latest 'hero' stumble off to the side.

"Freeze!" William calls out, his voice bellowing and deep. Much unlike his normal voice, but every good Police officer needs a good 'freeze' voice. "Police! Come out with your hands up, and Registration Cards out. We will give you FIVE seconds to comply! If you do not, we will have no choice but to use phy—" William pauses as Mack is hurt. Then… that voice. Is that?

No time. William is already in the air, his pistol drawn and pointed at where he would expect an attacker to be in order to hit Mack. A wild kick is aimed as William very quickly closes the distance between them in one single leap. "Are you alright?"

William's foot connects, amazingly, and a young man suddenly becomes visible as he stumbles back into the wall. Mack is already getting up; his face is adorned with a bruise to match both Lysette's and leader-girl's. "Little bastard," He mutters before nodding to William. His own Beretta comes up again, scanning it across the room. He looks over at the invisible guy then back over at the woman. "I got this guy." Being that there are only two living attackers that they're aware of, it would seem he's stating maybe its better if the guy with a clearer head handles the other girl with a gun.

Said girl aims her gun, closes one eye, aims, and pulls the trigger… but her head still isn't clear either, Lysette's earlier ball of water causing her to sway at the last second and sending the bullet just off Lysette's shoulder. It may even brush her skin, but no more. The woman seems surprised that she missed and goes to re-aim…

The recent movement coupled with the growing disorientation clearly has Lysette at a disadvantage as her legs start to give way beneath her. Almost as if on cue, the arrival of the cavalry appears to elicit a reactionary response from the female 'hero' — her body collapsing like a rag doll at the precise moment that the shot rings out a hair's breath from impact to embed in the wall behind her instead. Reaching for one of the first aid kits nearby, the younger Harvard woman launches the kit with the last of her energy … full throttle in the direction of the other woman — her aim a little wide. Finally the darkness she has managed to stay off for the past several minutes unleashes its assault on her consciousness full force as her eyes roll back to a close.

Going to one knee, William grabs the downed man by the collar and hauls him backwards. His Beretta is tucked away temporarily while handcuffs are produced. The man's hand is quickly cuffed to the BMW car handle. Once the man is locked up, William goes back to the door, his gun coming back out - going to cover Mack's back. Scanning the place quickly, "Hands up!" he yells.

The sounds of screeching car tires comes from outside. Down the street, a van is taking off in a hurry. Inside, the woman turns around at the sound of William's voice. "Ah, shit…" She says. Her firearm is dropped to the floor and her hands are just going up when the guy with the Uzi reappears, right behind Mack. One gun is aimed straight for his back, the other searching to find William. Even as he goes to aim, he squeezes the trigger, unloading several rounds in Mack's direction. The man's distracted though, so only the first few bullets actually hit Mack, tearing through his torso and exiting his chest. Some hero he is tonight. Mack hits the deck in a hurry, lifeless, even as the phaser tries to hit William. The woman takes this opportunity to try and make a break for it; only problem is, she doesn't know where any other exits are. Both seem to be content to let the unconscious Lysette lay undisturbed now that the cops are here.

As the cops arrive a few of the innocent homeless hostages take the opportunity to retreat away from the spray of gunfire, taking refuge underneath some of the tables or behind the boxes. Another of those same 'innocents' uses the opportunity to slip by the unconscious Lysette and relieve her of her watch, while no one else is looking before taking up refuge again with the rest.

"Mack! Down!" William cries, as his wide eyes go to the man coming out with the Uzi. His arm reaches out, but the shots are already fired. The the spray comes at his own person. No time to jump, watching that arm move just inches William… bends backwards. The man goes out of his sight, eyes going from the man to the ceiling as William does his best impression of the Matrix - though his gun is out at the same time, aimed at the man. Three shots are let off. Only when the gunfire is over does William straighten, looking for the female suspect.

Only one of those shots finds its target; but it only takes one bullet in the right area to put a man down. And the fidgety man goes down in a heap. Mack is still on the floor unmoving. The female suspect is, it would seem, gone. Two are dead; the other is subdued. It would seem, at least for now, that the moment of trauma has come and gone.

The aftermath of the recent shoot-out leaves most of those former-hostages more than a little rattled. Some carefully rise while others continue to cower in curled up balls. Despite the trauma around them and the sacrifices made to keep them safe, a handful decide to capitalize on the aftermath to loot blankets, pillows, and remnants of food in a hoarding fashion. Perhaps it is merely self-preservation or humanity's capacity for greed; however, none of the homeless or remaining volunteers make any further effort to approach the fallen bodies of their own heroes - the cop, the caller, or the woman.

"I need paramedics, and backup at location. Suspect at large. Officer…" William murmurs into the radio on his shoulder. He looks down. Mack, "Officer down." The man frowns at the scene. A boot prods at Mack's side gently. "Are you alright?" The Captain asks. Sliding the Beretta away, the man looks around, raising his hands up. "Everyone it is okay. The threat has been eliminated. Everyone remain calm, and please raise your hand if you need medical attention."

Perhaps what happens next isn't exactly the most comforting thing for anybody in the area. But a long, low groan escapes Mack's mouth first, seeming to originate deep down in his throat. Then his eyes slide slowly open and he rolls over on to his side, one shaking hand rising to the left side of his chest -the exit wounds -and then he speaks. Or yells. Maybe it’s a scream. It’s sort of an agonized and yet very angry. "That son of a -bitch-…" Gasp, gasp, "He shot me in the /back/!" Some blood still leaks from the wounds, but the flow has decreased. His shirt is ruined from the pool he had been lying in, though. "Where is he…" he goes to push himself up but his arm only has the strength to get him into a semi-lying down position. He looks over to William, "You alright? Everybody okay?"

"Awww, man… what happened to all the water?" one of the vagabonds grumbles a little as he tries to pour himself a glass from an empty pitcher. In fact, all the water appears to be gone from everywhere in the room. A faint murmur escapes the lips of the fallen woman as Lysette struggles to try and will herself awake. While her eyes don't really show any signs of complying for the moment, her lips do part enough to mumble softly, "Where's the aspirin … when you need… it?"

No water. His eyes dart around the room before returning to Mack. "You rushed in here too fast." William says with a light frown. "You should have waited for me. If you weren't Evolved…" He doesn't finish that. Chances are if either one of them wasn't Evolved they would be dead. "I'm fine." William says, going to one knee to give a very gentle pound on his chest. "The woman got away. All the other threats are terminated. Help is on the way. Rest up."

Standing, William walks carefully along the shelter, looking at everyone carefully. And then his eyes shoot wide. He is almost immediately at Lysette's side, his hands going to her shoulders. "Lysette…" His eyes examine her quickly looking for any sign of injury. "«Are you alright? What are you doing here?!»" He slips into French almost unconsciously.

"Yeah, yeah… and we'd probably both be dead." There. Mack has no problem saying it. But by the time the words get out, William is gone. From his position on the floor he can't see him tending to his sister, so he assumes he's already slipped into crowd control, which is what Mack should be doing. Strangely, though, his body isn't cooperating very much. He finally manages to force himself into a sitting position as the blood stops leaking out of him. He looks almost disturbing; a large purple bruise on the side of his face, and he's fairly well drenched in his own blood. Then he awkwardly forces his feet beneath him without being able to use either arm much, and stands on unsteady legs. He still doesn't see William and his sister; so he yells at the homeless people instead. "Hey! Everybody… take what you're… supposed to get." Despite the fact that he's been laying down, he seems out of breath. "There's been enough…" Then he see's the young man who's life was stolen. "Shit…" He says beneath his breath, stumbling his way over to the man. Deck the halls in the blood of heroes…

"Charity…work," Lysette manages to reply, in English, as her eyes open slightly, "You don't have… aspirin?" Even as she speaks, the bruise upon her cheek is already coloring in the shape of a shotgun butt — shirt splattered with speckles of blood from her split lip. She struggles to get up, reaching for her brother for the additional support, "Next time, I bring more water… I think," her lips curl into a slight yet pained smile.

William shakes his head. His left arm slides under Lysette's legs, his right under her back as he refuses to let her stand on her own. Pushing himself up, he goes to lift and carry Lysette out of the shelter. "«You should be more careful.»" William reprimands, not that she had any control over this.. Sirens start to sound in the distance. "«No, I don't have aspirin. What happened here?»"

Mack is already appearing steady on his feet. Any who have the misinformed idea that he's feeling a-ok, however, are clearly wrong. He stands bent awkwardly with one hand pressed to his chest. His other leans heavily against a nearby table as he attempts to direct those unfortunate souls who walked into the shelter tonight.

"I… I don't really know. I stopped a robbery… I think," the details of the past event seem a little hazy upon the youngest Harvard's thoughts for the time being, her head still swimming a little. "I've never been hit before, though I think I can rule out pugilism as a career field," Lysette echoes with another faint smile, wincing at the tenderness. Her left hand lifts weakly to touch her cheek. She completely dismisses the cautionary reprimand from her brother, instead navigating the focus of the conversation back away from herself slowly, "Wasn't there someone else? Is he alright? She didn't shoot him did she? I tried to keep her from shooting anyone else…"

William frowns deeply as he carries his sister out of the shelter. "«You could have been killed!»" The older Harvard insists looking back over his shoulder. "«You go—» You got it Mack?" But then the sirens grow louder, ambulances, black and whites. It's all just downhill now. Take the death toll, take care of the wounded, take a story to the news about another Evolved attack. Two times now, SCOUT has somewhat foiled Evolved Criminals plots… even if it was a little too late for at least one.

Going to the BMW, William opens the passenger door and slides Lysette gingerly into it. "«I'm taking you home.»" Straightening, he motions for the newly arrived boys in blue to take care of the man cuffed to his car. It would be a shame to drag him all over the city. A soft sigh escapes William…

Finally the sounds of the sirens fade into the distance, the remaining officers, Mack included, left behind to tend to the press and clean up of the scene at the shelter. Lysette curls up in the passenger side of her brother's car and closes her eyes, sighing softly, as the siblings maintain silence the rest of the way home.

SCOUT: 2 Bad Guys: 100

December 11th: Revelations
December 11th: Rules of Engagement
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