Touch The Sky


deckard_icon.gif magnes_icon.gif

Scene Title Touch The Sky
Synopsis One minute you're looking for a hole in a fence, the next you're hanging upside down a thousand feet over Staten Island while a pizza delivery boy demands to know where you're hiding Sylar. Just another day in the life of Deckard.
Date December 28, 2008

Staten Island

There's something about the fringes of Staten Island that will always inspire sentiments of unease. After the bomb, much of Staten Island has fallen into glorious disrepair, so much so that places that were already in stages of decay look more like monuments to entropy than once urban settlements in decline. While much of the island was suburban residential areas before the bomb, there were two crowning moments that drove this borough of New York into an early grave. The first was the mass exodus of survivors and panicked people fleeing Manhattan. They came by foot, bicycle and car across the bridges to Staten Island, all manner of desperate and frightened people flooding into a crowded place. While some fled through to New Jersey, others simply couldn't — or wouldn't — go further. This, like in Queens, led to an eventual chaos that would in time eclipse the pandemonium in the eastern edge of New York after the bomb.

Staten Island was in the direct path of the fallout from the explosion, and after thousands fled to the island, the entire populace was forcibly evacuated. Those few that managed to stay, clung to their homes desperately, and those few who did would suffer from radiation sickness and the ever-escalating crime rate. By the time Staten Island got the "all clear" from the government, the damage had already been done.

What was one suburban neighborhoods and parklands is now a monument to decay. Houses lie in various states of disuse and ruin, and like much of New York has seen property values nosedive. Few want to move out to a formerly irradiated zone, and even fewer want to return to a place so rife to violent crime. Now, much of Staten Island lies in various states of decay. Houses abandoned by families that fled the city, were forced into forclosure and were never resold, or simply places where entire families went missing and are now squatted in by any number of transients line the once peaceful streets. Staten Island is a home to crumbling infrastructure, spotty electricity, and people who wish to remain undiscovered by law enforcement. Few police will willingly go into this now infamous island.

There are a lot of a abandoned buildings slumping around Staten Island. A few of them are elementary schools. This particularly elementary school, with its cinderblock walls and chain link fence is a familiar ground for Flint Deckard. For whatever nefarious reason, the lanky lines of his silhouette can be seen here in the wee hours on a fairly regular basis in the wake of his voluntary abduction by Phoenix.

And tonight is one of those nights. Overcoat buttoned black against the cold, he has an unscoped rifle slung over his shoulder while he picks his way through the slush and snow for the chain link fence. There's a section that's been rent apart close to the ground — pried away just enough to allow a man of his narrow conformation to weasel his way through. Unfortunately, it's a little harder to find than usual in the dark when there's too much ice and snow to die in to risk walking around with the x-ray vision on.

Deckard is not alone, but he's not being tailed in the way that people usually follow another. Magnes stays above the rooftops, having spent the entire day trying to search for the man in places he'd seen him in before. Now he's just been trying to find the right time… which appears to be now.

Jumping from the roof and slowly descending to the ground, he lands behind Deckard, then moves to wrap his arms tightly around the man's waist. If successful, the ground suddenly fells as if they're standing upside down on a ceiling, then they'll start falling /up/ suddenly.

The crunch of Deckard's boots grows hesitant while he reaches up to rough a gloved hand over one of the support posts in the fence. One too many. Must have missed the opening. Nose rankled with irritation, he turns his head back, eyes lighting briefly blue. Just long enough to — "Holy—"

What. The. Fuck. Never before were those three words more aptly or intently thought than now. The world turns over his head, followed immediately by his stomach. And someone or something is wrapped around him. For some reason, instinct dictates that he should twist around in a panic and get a death grip on whoever it is, because he's falling into the sky and what the fuck else do you do?

Their fall is a fast one, quickly rising high above the gate. Magnes' grip only gets tighter, though he's not in a position to resist Deckard's grip either. He yells for a while, since they are falling, but once he has himself together, he finally speaks.

"Don't struggle or I'll drop you! If I drop you then you'll fall into the sky and die! I have questions, if you lie I'll let you go and you'll die, if you tell the truth I'll put you safely on the ground. I can tell if you're lying, don't test me!" he speaks in a forced tough-guy tone, but the voice is obvious and familiar, and Deckard can easily look back and see who it is.

Deckard is yelling too. No telling what. Probably not specific words or thoughts. It's hard to think when you're minding your business one second and plunging to your highly improbable death the next. Heart racking hard against his ribs, he's shaking by the time Magnes stops yelling long enough to make threats, rifle muzzle jutting black over (under?) the sling of the strap stretched over his head.

Effectively cowed, he stops struggling immediately, but fails to relax the iron vice of his fingers twisted into the sweatshirt at Magnes's shoulder. Breathing hard and fast, eyes wide, it takes him a few panicky seconds to pant out a hoarse, "What do you want?" It doesn't occur to him to like. Look over his shoulder. Maybe in a minute or two.

Magnes is satisfied, so far so good, but he's not even remotely slowing the fall, even if he himself is likely just as terrified as Deckard. "First, what's your name? Your full name. Second, I know you know people who work with Sylar, what are their names? And if you know where Sylar is, I want a location. Talk."

Suddenly they're much higher than most of the lower buildings, giving Deckard a nice unique view of the city.

"Aaaahhhah god fucking fuck," says Deckard, among other things. Eyes forced shut against the blur of city lights raking across his line of sight, he tries to twist his head away from the worst of it. To little avail. When his eyes open again, he's still way higher than anyone without a parachute would ever want to be, and still the wrong way up. The wind rips at the cut of his overcoat and pushes the rifle into a lazy sway, eventually even coaxing forth the silver chain around his neck. With anti-gravity's help, St. Rita is soon in a similarly precarious predicament. She thumps against Deckard's brow, chain caught around the angle of his jaw.

"Mike," he breathes finally, still trembling, and still falling. "Mike Burrows. I don't know anything. I don't know anything!"

"You're lying, you were there, you were all talking!" Magnes yells, then soon they're high above the city, so high up that the sounds are only distant echos. The fall begins to slow, but it's still quite fast. "Tell the truth or I'll drop you. Sylar hurt my friend, I can find you again if I find out you're lying. So start telling the truth, tell me who those people are, where are they? Where's Sylar? Talk, /now/!"

There may be the vague feeling that the gradual slowing is akin to when a roller coaster reaches the top, and is getting ready to fall back down.

There's a certain hopelessness to the twist of Deckard's neck and the white roll of his eyes when he tries to look down at the city again. Rita smacks him in the face occasionally, in her helpful way. It's getting hard to breathe up here. All this work and he's going to die via a mile high drop onto the pavement.

"I don't know what you're talking — I don't know where Sylar is. I'm hiding from him. I'm hiding from him, jesus christ." Panic raises his voice another octave, the rifle strap creaks, and he turns just…so. Just enough to catch a glimpse of his captor, profile washed pale with fear.

There's a second's pause. When it passes, his grip on Magnes's shoulder wrenches the younger man around the inch or so necessary to make a positive ID. Deckard's brows hood low. He looks unhappy.

Magnes is angry when Deckard sees him, and as soon as the ID is made they suddenly /drop/, falling down to the ground as he lets Earth's gravity take hold again. Down is suddenly down again, likely not an improvement.

"Fine, I'll believe you! What about the people who work with him, that girl? Who is she, do you know where she is? Think about your answer very carefully, 'cause I'll be watching you when you don't know it!" he warns, actively taking cues from the book of Batman.

Deckard searches quickly over the kid's face, once over in normalvision before his eyes blaze with an unholy light that goes nicely with the ill-suppressed anger carving its way in around his mouth. "…You retarded little son of a bi—" And they're falling again. It's not an improvement.

The rifle narrowly misses both of their heads on its awkward downswing, strap still secure on Deckard's shoulder only because Magnes's own grip blocks its escape. "I saw her busking in central park — jesus christ kid — stop! I'll talk just—" Yeah, he's not noble enough not to start panicking again, even secure in the knowledge that Varlane probably isn't going to drop his ass.

"If you try to shoot me, I'll send you into space." Magnes warns, akin to the kid who warns people about the cornfield. Finally they start to land, but as an added precaution, gravity shifts again and suddenly left is /down/. They drift down to the wall of an abandoned warehouse, and he moves to hold Deckard's wrist instead of his waist. "Let me take your wrist, or you'll fall."

Standing on the wall wont feel all that strange, though it may be surreal. The street will seem more like a wall in the distance, and the building across from them is more like a ceiling.

Deckard is quick to scramble to his feet, unabashedly using his grip on Magnes's shoulder (he's still nowhere near letting go) to hoist himself up. His free hand is all too happy to offer itself as another anchor, long fingers and bleached knuckles binding taut around Varlane's wrist in turn. He doesn't reach for a weapon. He's standing on the side of a fucking building and he has no free hands.

A wild-eyed glance is jerked over his shoulder at the icy ground, still uncomfortably far down, and he has to close his eyes again to keep his guts from executing another cold turn. They're glowing again when he snaps them open, and a shiver that initiates in his spine manages to rattle its way down the length of his arm into Magnes's shoulder.

"We can sit down if you want, it's safe." Magnes assures, Deckard will even notice that his chain is hanging down in the building's direction now. "So, are you gonna tell me everything you know, now that we're down? I wanna find out where Sylar is so I can tell the government and my friend can be safe."

"Fuck you," says Deckard, still pale, still rattled. He isn't sitting down. A BUILDING. THEY ARE ON THE SIDE OF ONE. An automatic glance downward does indeed confirm that Rita has found temporary safety within the confines of his collar, but he doesn't dwell on the good news. Magnes, building, it's cold. Etc. There's a lot of bad news to deal with, first.

"You think you're just going to knock on the FBI's door with leads on Sylar and they'll fix everything?"

"Who else is gonna do it? If I could just grab him for a few minutes… but I don't wanna kill someone. I'll just let the government punish him properly." Magnes explains, rather cold himself, since he didn't bother wearing much more than his red Robin hoody again, with the yellow R on the chest. He's not wearing his glasses, he has clear contacts in for some reason. "Batman wouldn't kill someone, Spider-Man wouldn't either. I just want information, can't you give me that much? That girl you punched, the one with the bike helmet, he tried to kill her."

"He would kill you before you got off the ground." In that, if nothing else, Deckard seems confident. Even at this elevation. Breath fogging at a marginally more respectable rate of exhaust, he leans more of his weight forward onto Magnes. His knees are feeling kind of weak. So is his heart, for that matter. Shit.

"I haven't been following Sylar around. I'm not an idiot." Unlike some people here, is the unspoken implication. "I don't know anything about him. Just that he's not to be fucked with. When did he try to kill Abigail?"

"You know Abby?" Magnes briefly asks, then slowly begins to skate up the building, (hopefully) slow enough not to freak Deckard out as he guides him. "Things are gonna change one more time when we get on top of the roof, so be prepared. And he tried to kill her on Christmas Eve, he tried to take her skull off. I gotta find out where he is so I can get him arrested."

Pretty much everything is freaking Deckard out at this point. When the kid moves to skate upward, he claws his grip more forcefully into wrist and shoulder. Not. Letting. Go. Not walking either. Not doing fucking anything. Not until he pretty much has to in order to avoid being dragged. Then it's a few shaky, staggering steps at a time. There's no shaking the idea that he's trying to walk casually up the side of a building, here.

He doesn't answer the first question, and he can't help but laugh at the idea of someone waltzing out and arresting Sylar. It's a weak, unhappy, slightly unhinged sound, and it culminates in a whiskey-scented coughing fit.

Still making the long skate up the wall, since Deckard is so slow, Magnes looks back (or down) at Deckard. "There's nothing funny about that, he tried to /kill/ her, I have to stop him. The more information I get, the closer I'll be. I don't even know what he looks like, I need you to help me, you know things, you know /people/, I don't know anything about this kind of life."

Yeah, well. It takes him a little while to realize that they're headed for horizontal territory. Once that connection is made, he speeds up a little, rickety gait tracking unevenly after Magnes's skates. Thank god nobody is watching this. Other than…well. God. Fortunately the list of embarrassing shit Deckard's done is long enough he might miss this one anyway.

"There is…just. I don't know." Maybe you have to nearly die in horrible ways on a regular basis to see the humor in it. "He has a prominent nose. Heavy eyebrows. Short hair. Not that it matters, because if you have anything resembling a brain in your head you'll stay the fuck away from him. 'This kind of life.' How is it that you people always find me?"

"I'm a pizza boy, I know most of the city like the back of my hand, I just had to patrol the areas I saw you in until I saw you again, then I followed you." Magnes explains quite simply, then the world suddenly shifts as they walk on to the roof, and finally, all is how it should be! "Like I said, I just want enough information to be able to help the cops. I'm not afraid to tell them if it's for Abby, she has a gift from God, we have to protect her."

The roof. As soon as his boots find purchase against the icy gravel, Deckard staggers, releases Magnes's wrist, jerks the kid's shoulder to try to send him off balance, and swings his free fist around at the side of his face. "She doesn't have a fucking gift. She's evolved. Don't encourage her."

Magnes goes tumbling to the ground when the fist rocks his face, cheek quickly going red in the cold as he groans down on his ass. "I don't care! He tried to kill her, someone tried to /kill/ one of my friends, /kill/! Don't you understand how wrong that is? I have powers, I can do something about it, I can't just sit here doing nothing!"

"You're a flying squirrel trying to take on a Tyrannosaurus Rex. The morality of the situation doesn't matter. You're not in a position to change anything, and neither am I." Revenge deemed satisfactory for the shot term, Deckard spits and wobbles away a few weak paces while he fumbles his phone out of his coat, rifle still slung across his back after all this time.

"I can't fly, it's different! And I didn't say I was gonna go and fight him face to face, but I'm not gonna hide, or run away, not when he's trying to kill my friends! I always run away, /always/, but I wont this time, not when it really counts!"

Magnes stands to stand with a determined look on his face, slowly walking, since it's a bit hard to skate on the roof where the snow is much softer than on the ground. "You think I'm gonna die, or fail, or whatever, but I know you know these people, you know people I can talk to, I was there, in the church. Just give me a location, a number, anything, and I wont bother you again."

An ankle-twisting stumble is enough to kill the bioluminescent glow about Deckard's eyes. He spends the rest of his frigid, limping way to the only door on the roof in stony silence, numb fingers hard-pressed to flick the phone open while he tries the handle. It's locked.

Thump. That's the sound of his forehead against the aforementioned door.

He just stands there like that for a minute or two. Thinking, maybe. Or using the time to hate everything and everyone he can think of.

"Give me your phone number."

Magnes smiles suddenly, then winces at the now-bruised cheek. He reaches into his pocket, pulling out a blank piece of receipt and a pen, writing his cell number down and holding it out for Deckard. "Um, you need me to put you on the street?"

"Yep." Given that the alternative is apparently to stay up here and freeze to death in the absence of a cell signal, there is no better answer than that. The phone is tucked back into his coat, followed unenthusiastically by Magnes's receipt once Flint's turned back from the door. Unfortunately, the way he's watching him falls somewhere way short of inviting.

"I wasn't gonna kill you, ya know." Magnes decides to add as he walks to the edge of the building. "Come on, let's go."

"Not on purpose," Deckard doesn't exactly agree, head down to keep track of gravel and snow while he crunches his gimpy way over it.

Magnes holds his hand out for Deckard's, just shaking his head. "I don't control all of my powers, but some of them are easier than others. Changing which way is down is like… turning a light on and off."

Deckard doesn't take the offered hand immediately. Rather, he shuffles a small glass bottle out of his opposite pocket and takes his time downing the contents. Only once he's done that and tossed the empty bottle off the side of the building does he feel aptly prepaired to jump off of it. Or whatever it is they're going to do. Rita is tucked back under the collar of his shirt and he leans to wrap the dead wood of his hand around Magnes's. "You really need to look into a better way of doing this than hugs and hand holding."

"I'll let you know when I do, I gotta see that Suresh guy anyway." Then, when Magnes has his hand, he crouches down and gets ready. "One, two, three, jump!" And so he does, jumping from the roof and waiting for Deckard to do the same. When he does, the fall is slow, as if they were sinking in water.

One, two, three. Four. Five, six, seven. Deckard leans out over the edge, nose wrinkled. Then he leans back again. He looks at Magnes. Wind-ruffled, pale, and numb, he looks out over Staten Island. And he jumps.

Why not.

They land quite softly on the ground, then he releases Deckard's hand. "See? That wasn't so bad. And remember, I'm just trying to do good for the world, so I hope you make good use of my number!" Then, just as soon as he jumped down, he jumps back up on to another building, then a second jump to the roof. "I'll see you later!" he yells back.

Sure, not so bad. Just a slow-motion leap off a building, that's all. Deckard looks ill by the time they hit solid ground, eyes hollow in his head when they swing back around to focus on Magnes. He shakes his hand out as if trying to free himself of cooties, meanwhile. No goodbye, on his part.

After a few minutes spent standing where he is, he sets about the process of checking his phone again. Maybe some nice person will come get him and he won't have to steal a car or walk to get home again.



December 28th: Sing a Song of Six Pence
December 28th: Old Comrades Reunite
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