There's Always A Boss


anna_icon.gif bao-wei2_icon.gif keagan_icon.gif magnes_icon.gif yana_icon.gif

Scene Title There's Always a Boss
Synopsis Two kids go skating in a washout pipe, where a sleeping dragon lies. If not for the efforts of a White Knight, they might have become snacks. But they are rescued from the jaws of one beast and right into another.
Date January 2, 2011


The Bronx is the northernmost borough of Greater New York, and even before the explosion, this area was diverse. Though known infamously throughout the world to be a low-income area, it was not without its finer points, as well as home to the Yankee Stadium. It was dense with life, for better or for worse.

For now, it is the the south-west areas of the Bronx that are unrecognisable. Clean up has not gone steadily, and buildings still lie in ruination. It is now hard to tell what this place is even for. During the day, construction teams work to clear more and more roads of South Bronx, although people seem to take liberties by driving over the burnt out rubble if they have the means. There are make-shift trailer camps and soup kitchens for those that don't have a place to go. One feature of South Bronx is the Yankee Stadium, so far untouched. There is irreparable damage done to the building itself, and no game has played there since the tragedy. Graffiti tags the areas available, and people often congregate illegally upon the wrecked grounds. The field itself is overgrown with weeds between fallen debris.

Heading away from Manhattan, the Bronx takes on more function and hope. This borough, once a place of Jewish immigrants, then Latin-Americans and African Americans, is now a diverse mix of all races, any and all New Yorkers taking up residence on the other side of the wreckage. There is even a semblance of a transport system, the electricity back on and functioning, but crime rates are higher than ever.

Rolling down the washout, Keagan is on cloud nine. He's so happy that Anna called again. This called for an adventure. He's not the greatest skater, but hey, this is a straight line. All you have to do is keep your head down. "I can't believe we're doing this," he laughs, calling back to Anna as they pass under the light of one of the overhead grates. "Whose idea was this anyway?" he asks, looking back behind him to see if he can spot his girl without managing to wipe out.

"Yours!" Is Anna's response, seemingly struggling to stay upright… well, as upright as you can be in a place like this. "I called a friend of mine to see if he knew any fun stuff to do down at a place like this, though!" She is quite a bit behind her boyfriend, without being outside of hearing range. "He should be coming soon!" And then she starts trying to catch up to Keagan, but she isn't quite the fastest.

Having actually arrived about ten minutes ago, he's been trying to figure out just where the hell they are, looking down into the grates until he spots them moving by. Raising a hand, said grate pops off and lands next to the opening, then he gets down on his knees and sticks his head in. Wearing a buttoned up white shirt, some neatly fitting blue jeans, and a pair of plain red skates, he didn't quite come prepared to actually go down into the pipes.

He did however bring a backpack, just in case he needs to change. "You two!" calls the upside down head peering at them from behind. "Get up here, now. It's dangerous down there."

Keagan starts to try to slow down so that Anna can keep up. It doesn't take long to find out why he was so far ahead of her. It's because he can't slow down. He hits a small stick, and waves his arms wildly to keep his balance. His own button down shirt is open, a red t-shirt underneath, and a pair of plain old blue jeans. it flaps around like a pair of wings, but flying is the last thing that Keagan is going to be doing. He rolls up one side of the pipe as he hears Magnes' voice.

It's a short trip. The boy lands on his back in the water, relatively unharmed. Ahh the advantages of youth. Wait. Anna was behind him! He looks back down the pipe, bracing for the incoming girlfriend, and doing his best to try to catch so that should she fall, she'll land on him rather than on the concrete.

Whoops, incoming girlfriend. Anna stumbles over the very same stick, and flies ahead to fall down. Straight on top of her boyfriend. As she lands in his arms, she giggles a soft "Sorry." Magnes? He's not quite noticed yet. He might have to come down. The girl proceeds to kiss her boyfriend on the mouth before he can voice a complaint against her apology.

"Kids!" Magnes says in exasperation, carefully floating up, then down into the hole, lifting his legs up and crossing them so that he doesn't actually have to touch anything down there. "Anna, Anna's friend, it's very dangerous skating down here. And when you come over here, I better see some helmets. Let's go."

Anna's friend smiles back up at Anna with a silly looking lovestruck grin, kissing her in return and holding the kiss even as Magnes floats down toward them. Once he releases lips, he answers, "You're totally forgiven," he tells her. "But we have a problem." He looks around at the sloped walls of the washout. "How do we get back up?" He looks back over at Magnes. "Oh sweet! You didn't tell me your friend can fly!"

The dark-haired teen places his hands on either side of Anna's waist, not attempting to get up himself. "I'll try to support you and you see if — yeah, put your foot over here next to me, just don't step on me." His tone is light, not taking Magnes' tone very seriously. This is all just a good fun time to him.

Like any cantankerous person ought to, Bao-Wei has always been against having people trespassing on his personal property. While he may not have property of his own anymore, the area that he might be calling his home at the moment seems to double well enough. There is always going to be someone or something wandering around nearby, though it is not rare that events like this one occur; children looking for a place to get into mischief, whether or not adults know about it. The washout pipe is large, as the city pipes always are, and the water that usually runs through it has slimmed to a trickle in the wake of winter temperatures. What water there is, has become a thin vein of ice on the bottom of the pipe, and easily traceable frost on the walls. The flat area where it is usually draining down further into the ground is a thin sheet of ice at the end of the pipe, leading down into the dark of the pipes below it.

Unbeknownst to the children playing above, there is something down there listening to their giggling and the scraping of the skates on concrete and stone. Bao-Wei never has a real reason to blow smoke and chase children off, but as it stands, there is only one way out in the direction he needs to go. The path he needs to take has led him to this adjoining pit below the end of the washout, it is only his damnable luck that there are children scampering around.

So, he has had no choice but to simply sit and wait, to see if the voices and sounds fade away elsewhere. Of course, as that luck would have it, they stay there. There is only one thing left to do, and that is to see about scaring them off. The cold in the tunnel is as cold should be, if just a bit colder; a draft seems to set in at some point, an almost ghastly chill, really. As if a phantasm were simply messing around. This is the same point where Cong shifts himself around to latch onto the drainage pit wall, and with great trepidation, slide his way upwards, ice under him and claws digging into it , and the cracks in the stone. He comes to a pause just below the dark, so that he can hear the voices past the rim above, but keep himself hidden, provided nobody comes running over to look down there to investigate possible other routes of exit.

The one visible eye that he possesses trains itself up on the rectangular opening, the golden disc watchful.

"It was his idea!" Anna immediately puts the blame on her boyfriend. She slowly tries to get up, using Keagan's support. When she's back up, she looks at Magnes, and decided to introduce the two to one another. "Magnes, this boy here is the best guy ever. His name is Keagan." Then the other one, "Keagan, this is Magnes. He's a good guy. Likes comics, too." She grins.

Magnes rubs his arms a few times, not wearing his jacket at the moment, which he'll certainly have to do when they get out of the tunnel. "It's nice to meet you, but you really shouldn't come down into these things. It's very dangerous, all sorts of dangerous hobos and diseased rats could be living down here. And do you know what kind of things are living in this water? If you cut yourself you could end up needing a shot. I'll get you two up, I just need you to come stand under the grate over here."

Keagan gives a fake innocent smile in return to Magnes. "Hi," he says, not denying Anna's accusation. Once he's convinced that she's up, he tries to get up himself, his skates slipping on the frosted edges as he tries to right himself. "Comics? Sweet. I think the whole thing turning Wolverine into a vampire is so stupid," he comments, mind already going to a new conversation topic. He's not quite standing yet, but he doesn't reach out for help from Anna, lest he cause her to fall again. "Man, that water is cold." His back? Very wet.

They want to leave, it looks like, though without a real exit there isn't much left for anyone to do. The artificial jaw of his face makes a very human gesture, when he grinds it together and furrows a look at the wall under his limbs and chest. He may be a cranky old man, but kids are kids, and they scar so much more easily. Magnes will likely see it first, having such a high point of view-

-a hand, coming up over the edge of the drain. A hand shape, anyway. A moment of looking at it, it is more like a set of greasy black and blue talons the size of forearms. When it latches onto the flat of the corner above, it is with a loud scrape of dense ice on stone. A second one claws its way up after it, hoisting up the rest of him in the process; at least, a head and shoulders worth of him. The craggy head and highly arched horns, the landscape of ridges on his shoulders and back, the bristle of splintery mane. His color is slightly …off. The brackish winter runoff turning his surface layers into a disturbing array of dark colors.

It doesn't say a word, instead making no effort to silence the sheer noise that comes with scraping himself out of the drain like paste from a tube. A very interesting and very huge paste, to say the least, which is now leering down the tunnel with the golden eye in its left eye socket, plumes of cold coming from superficial facial features and a jag-toothed jaw. That draft gets just a bit worse, considering.

As that noise comes, Anna slowly turns to face in its general direction. And what she sees does not make her happy. In fact, she seems absolutely terrified. "What is that?!" She squeals out, her voice high with fear. As she squeals, she instinctively takes a step back. That isn't the best of ideas when in skates and slippery territory, and she stumbles and falls over again. Whoops.

"Christ, it's that thing from the 8th…" Magnes says when he takes note of the yellow eye, and the cold. He looks back at the two, then to Bao, considering the situation. "You two, get under the grate I opened, but stay behind me." he says in a low tone as he continues to float about a foot above the water, hands at his sides. "Excuse me!" he calls out to the mass of ice, trying to stay calm. "Do you need any help? I apologize if we're disturbing you, I came down here to bring them back up." Best to reason with it than to treat it like a monster, don't judge a book!

Keagan tries to catch Anna, but given the fact that he has no better position than her only means that he comes collapsing back down as well, this time face first into the water. So collllld! The water begins to freeze to his shirt and his face, and he turns around to see what Anna saw. He doesn't waste any time, but his arm plunges into the concrete, and the other arm wraps around Anna's waist to pull them both up. With his hand merged into the wall, he has a much better ability to stay upright now. He holds his girl behind him, starting to retreat. His hand slides through the concrete as he does, not leaving any trace of his presence in the wall. "Anna, stay behind me," he says, echoing the sentiment from Magnes, putting her as the last possible target. It's a slow retreat, still, since there are two teens in rollerskates still trying to amble along the washout.

The creature grinds its teeth at Magnes, all but snorting out the next cloud of fog. The rest of him wrenches out of the drain now, two squat hind legs settling him there at the end of the washout tunnel. As monsters are ought to be, there is nothing human about him save for having arms and legs, though the air about him and the disgruntled expression contorted on his face presumes masculine. His jaw opens up now, a breath seething out.

"I am not the one that needs help." The grumble of his voice is male too, and though the tone is very displeased, it doesn't sound threatening. Yet. "This is the only direction I can go to get where I need to be." The explanation is plain- almost absurdly so.

Oh Fuck is Anna's first thought as there's now two monsters here. One of which is her boyfriend. Still, she doesn't mention that, instead following instructions with wide eyes and a heart beating at overdrive. Her breathing becomes more rapid as she starts to edge on hyperventilating, without getting quite there. Classical fear symptoms, really.
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"Alright, don't worry, I just need to get them out, then you can go on your way. Can you give me a moment?" Magnes asks of Bao, not waiting for an answer as he turns around to face the two, then points up at the opening above them. Anna is the first that gets pulled with a gesture of the same hand, gravity shifting her until she's about a foot in front of him. "Keep your arms together." is all he says before pointing up again, and she's carefully raised up through the hole and out of the washout. "Just one more and we'll be out of your hair, Sir."

Keagan releases Anna as Magnes starts to lift her. He's rather unnerved still, but since he doesn't have the means to take her out himself, he'll have to trust her friend. He pulls his hand back out of the wall, looking just as normal as it ever did. "It's gonna be okay, Anna," he tells her, though he isn't completely confident that it's true. He gives her a brief peck before he lets her go, trying to calm her a little before looking back at the dragon's golden eye. It's amazing how you can be covered in ice, and not feel cold when you have enough adrenaline pumping through your veins. His stare at the monster is rather wide. "Yeah, we'll be right out of here, sir," he echoes Magnes.

It's been a while since anyone had called him sir. Granted, he looks nothing like the usual sirs. Bao-Wei snorts loudly, and it echoes in both his chest and the cold pipe. He leans forward after a moment, forelimbs skipping fingers over the ground, and the mountainscape of his back likely to scrape right apart on the ceiling of the pipe when he gets there. Whether or not they intend on getting out of there, he has somewhere he wants to be.

"You shouldn't play around, down here." This rumbling sounds like more of a threat, if vague, as his figure literally fills up the one end of the tunnel. Only one way out for the three of them now, and they had best take it.

"Yes, I know, Sir. Come on, Keagan." Magnes says with a brief glance back at Bao's ever-changing form, then turns to face Keagan and motions his hand a few times until he, too, is being raised up and out through the grate with Anna. Finally it's just him and Bao-Wei down there, and he turns around to face the man completely, very carefully raising up to join the other two. "Well, I'll be going now… I'll give those two a talking to."

"The best ideas often come when the first bodes ill. You had best do that." The monster drifts just under Magnes as he lifts out of the hole in the ground, passing underneath the hole in the sidewalk like a great crocodile, rumbling and scraping in displeasure as he moves. The visible parts of him are spiny and rocky, bumping high against the ceiling of the tunnel, lower back followed by the swashing and tilting of a tail out behind him. The sound, and the rush of cold air from the open grate, is very purposeful in serving a non-verbal warning.

There is always an underground boss! Haven't they ever played a JRPG?

Keagan's eyes remain on the dragon until he comes back up onto the street level. Wow. He just met a dragon. As he spots Anna, he wraps his arms around her. "I'm sorry," he says, holding her tightly. Ice still clings to his clothing, but he doesn't pay it much heed yet. "I'm so sorry," he whispers again. The look on his eyes seems to beg forgiveness for putting her in such a dangerous situation. He feels very responsible. Of course, how could he have possibly known there was a dragon in the sewer? I mean…it's a dragon. He didn't even think they were real. "You're safe now, everything's okay." As the dragon sweeps beneath their feet through the runoff, Keagan continues to hold Anna as if she would be swept away should he let go.

"I just hope you both learned a lesson from all of this. Don't enter unauthorized areas, and you should always wear a helmet, unless you have gravity powers." Magnes hunches down and changes out of his skates after removing his backpack, then switches them for a pair of black sneakers and pulls a black fleece jacket around his shirt, zipping it up. "I'm taking you both back to your guardians. Keagan, where do you live?"

Keagan helps Anna back to her feet, still holding her as if she was the last good thing in the world. "I live with my aunt in the Upper West Side of town," he tells Magnes. "I can find my way there. I want to make sure that Anna gets home all right, first." He shivers slightly, the cold of the ice on his clothing starting to catch up with him now that the emergency has past.

Speaking of said aunt. Here she comes now… Just what is Yana doing in the Bronx? It really isn't like her to hang around in this area. She would be a bit out of place. But some of the best diseases come from the Bronx. Or other low income areas. But it is her business as to why she is here, and she isn't going to answer to anyone about it. The point is, she sees Keagan here on his own as well, and the state of his clothing brings her even more of an alarm. She is helped out of her vehicle, which is parked on the side of the street, rising to her stilettos and wearing her semi-casual black dress. "Keagan Puika!" There is anger in her voice. By the sound of that anger, Keagan might have been better off with the dragon. "I leave you to be responsible for an evening and this is where you go?" The woman strides over towards him with vexation in her step. "And look at the state of your clothing! What have you been doing? No— I don't even want to know! We will be having a discussion just as soon as I get you home. Ohhhhh you just wait until I get you home…"

"Doctor Blite?" Magnes asks with a raised eyebrow, then looks down at Keagan. She's the aunt? Well… that actually makes sense, given what she said about having a nephew, and where they both apparently live. "These two, specifically this one." He thumbs down at Keagan. "Had the bright idea to skate in the drainage pipes. Anna called me, and I came to tell them to come out of there, but there was a dangerous Evolved man down there, so I had to get them out before something happened. I think they learned their lesson, I hope." Looking down at Keagan with a very expectant stare.

Keagan looks a little blue now. Something about having a vest of ice around his chest does that to a person. He shivers again, frozen, as it were, holding on to his girlfriend. His eyes glance back to Magnes. Looks like he isn't going to have the option to take her home first. He really isn't physically in a good condition to do so, anyway. Hypothermia can't be far away. "Please, take care of her. It wasn't her fault, it was my idea," he agrees. "I didn't know there were dragons in the sewers." Wait, did he just say sewer? Did he just say dragon? At least he isn't trying to defend himself. Then again, he's a bit too shell-shocked himself to be able to properly fear his aunt's or Magnes' tone, and the dark brown eyes slowly shift toward his aunt. He lets go of Anna, giving her one last look before slowly walking toward Yana. "It's really cold," he answers her in an unusually mousy voice. As much as he doesn't want to leave, that warm car is looking really good right now. Without another word, he ambles toward the car, whether Yana stops to talk to Magnes further or not.

First things first, the source of her ire gets delt with. Magnes takes a back seat to Yana's explosions of parental responsibility. "You are 14 years old, and here I find you gallivanting in a part of town such as this?! In the sewers no less? Unbelievable! You'd better pray to God that your grandfather does not catch wind of this. You had better pray that I don't tell him! The very idea of it all that you would be so thoughtless! Is it that girl? Is that what this is about? She is influencing you to do things, isn't she?" The one thing she doesn't do is raise to hit him. Yana can make him feel far worse than any beating that could be delivered. By the time she gets him home, she'll be quite calm, which is more frightening than her flying off the handle. She glares at Keagan as he trudges past her, and then tosses Anna a look as well.

Finally, she comes to Magnes. "I suppose I have you to thank for pulling him out of such a foolish act?" The anger has subsided as she addresses him, or at least it is still focused on Keagan and Anna alone. "It is a good thing that you happened along, I'm sure this could have been a disaster, knowing who is involved." She means Anna of course, since she doesn't really know the girl, and she has preconceived notions that this girl is bad news for her family. "Thank you, Magnes. I owe you my gratitude. However, if you will excuse me, I need to be dealing with my nephew."

Magnes motions for Anna to start walking, since he can catch up, and he wants to address her alone. "I've been teaching Anna to skate, so I was a bit surprised to find out that they were in the sewers. They said it was his idea, I'm willing to bet they got it from TV or a video game, people are always skating in the sewers in those." He shakes his head, not opposed to the idea in fiction, but… "He'll be fine, he's been through a lot today. Seeing an evolved who looks like a giant ice monster will scare anyone, so I don't think he'll be doing this again. But if he really needs something to do in the day, I could teach him and Anna to skate somewhere safe. And since I'd be there, they'd have supervision."

It really isn't that Yana is trying her best to dismiss Magnes, she is simply distracted with her reason for being here, and just what to do with Keagan, "An Evolved that— Why that is preposterous.. Perhaps it was just a trick of light, or something brought on by the cold. Hopefully, you're not coming down with anything." Or hopefully he is. But later for that, really. Things to do.. "Yes, yes. Something productive, once he is no longer punished. We'll arrange something at a later date." she sees Keagan has made it to the car, "Have a good evening, Magnes." the woman dismisses and heads back to her vehicle.

"We'll talk about that Evolved later. But you have a good evening too, Doctor Blite." Magnes offers a friendly smile, then he's immediately off after Anna. If only Yana knew the sorts of things that Magnes has seen… but he'll have to tell her those things at a later date. "Anna, hold on!"

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