Trust The Midas Touch


abby_icon.gif alexander_icon.gif cat_icon.gif daniel_icon.gif helena_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title Trust The Midas Touch
Synopsis Members of PARIAH travel to the Lower East Side to pick up a present left for them by Peter. Bonus! Teo finds out his brother's in town.
Date October 23, 2008

New York Public Library

Daniel somehow finds the new hideout. He's been gone a few weeks, off on some slightly vague lead that led to him almost flat disappearing. When he reappears, sauntering through a wall with his breath mask on, he is wearing camoflauge of a sort he's not normally seen in - a brown suit coat, a pair of khaki pants, a collared dress shirt, all cheap, perhaps even secondhand, but that's all. How did he find the new hideout? A good question. He takes photocopies out of his satchel, with paperclips on them even. The prison kid is all grown up now, though still extremely quiet. He unclips the breath mask, puts it away.

"Daniel!" Helena comes rushing down one of the stairways and all but tackles the ex-crim with a hug. "I'm glad you're back. There's something I have to go out and do, and I need some people. You want to come?" A blink at his photocopies. "What do you have there? I'm guessing you found one of the outbound contacts and they gave you the new HQ location?"

Whistle while you work. Hi ho hi ho, and all that musical stuff. Abby's not long in following the newcomer, or oldcomer as it may be with a box filled to the brim with groceries, and other such staples. Hair done up messy with a clip, little gold cross dangling as usual around her neck.

Screwing with the building's waterworks made sense for Teo; the generator's bulk and sensitivity were far better suited to Alexander and his specific talents, after all, and as long as he was committed to studying for midterms throughout the daylight hours that the other PARIAH operative spent working here, he didn't want to run the risk of crossing wires while working separately on the same thing. Thus, there's a faint /clang/ from off, below, and to the left; the echo of a Sicilian curse. Teodoro's footsteps are audible a short bit later, noisy with temper, the rattle of a clutered toolbox banging carelessly against his hip as he transfers grime onto his nose with a sleeve.

Daniel hugs Helena back shyly, "It's state police deployment records. I found my way into a group full of community organizers and wound up at the state capitol pretending to be a process server. You know, one of those guys that hands out court paperwork to people? So I had a reason to hang around and find out who was in charge of things." He actually ran a real intel op, not just a sneak-and-peek. "The state cops are not happy about the military using them basically as outside security for the camps, so nobody is sharing information with anybody. Sure, I'm up for it. Rested and ate on the bus on the way back to the lines." Which, naturally, he crossed by going underneath instead of through. He nods slightly to Abby as she approaches, that's how he greets people, just a little nod.

"Good." says Helena warmly. "Because when you see what we have in the basement, you may plotz. We could invade Key West with the ordinance we've got down there." She looks around. "I have to pick up a shipment of something back in the Lower East Side, and then I'll need to dump the transport. Anyone else game to come with?"

Just a little nod back. "Hel, food. I had some leftover money and the cook snuck some stuff into the box for me. Until you talk to youk now who and see if she can you know what" She offers a kiss to helena's cheek before the box is settled on the table. "Need my shotgun again?"

Daniel says, "How big a shipment, do we need to boost a ride?" quietly.

Helena and crew are in one of the library main areas. Helena just announced needing some people for a pickup. "Well, it's the Lower East Side." she says again. "Near our old building. There's a car parked there waiting for us with some stuff in the trunk. Car's stolen, so we can't keep it long, and we have to get there." She smiles at Abby. "With or without." she says.

"Yes," the corner of the room declares. Teo, looking somewhat worse for wear after a day in the library addled his brain and the evening inhaling old plumbing residue and whatever was clinging to those charts. "I'm 'game.'" He's heard that slang tossed around before, but mostly in the context of the naked quad run or something equally idiotic. Hel's rarely prone to idiotic, though. Dangerous, titillating, less idiotic.

Daniel's just in after a long absence, wearing a corporate costume in Earth tones and bearing news, Abby converging in and talking shotguns while bearing an armload of crisp groceries, and Helena in their midst, declaring about a new shipment as well as— "—something in the basement?" That's what he gets for working on garbagey 'academics,' evidently.

"With me of course. No one else gets to touch my shotgun" The southern accented blonde mutters. "Let me go get it and i'll meet up with you at the car. I have it stashed around here somewhere"

"Ah'll come, too," Al volunteers, as he ambles in, somewhat slouched and tired after a shift in the cab, but looking pleased enough with the world. "So, we gotta hot car?"

"Oh, guns, ammo, enough kaboomies to give Teo a woody." Helena tells Daniel a bit airily. "Cameron worked out a deal - " she pauses, her playful air dying. "Has anyone told you?" she asks Daniel. "About Cameron?"

Daniel says, "Let me have the address, I'll scout the area out." He nods. "I heard." he says quietly. "That's why I came back when I did."

Teo makes a querulous noise, which sounds like it would've been a coherent comment, perhaps even in English, if it had made it further out of his throat. He stands very straight for a moment, blue eyes opening and closing. "Takes a lot of guns, ammo, and kaboomies to give Teo a woody," he informs Helena, just in case she has the wrong idea. Leaning over, he sets the toolbox down on the floor, shucks off his jacket— and one or two layers of grime with it. "Be right out," he says, essaying over to the nearest bathroom for just a moment. A bathroom which should work by now, or he'll simply find something in there to kill himself with.

Helena shakes her head. "We'll all go together." she says to Daniel. "I can't let what's sitting in that car trunk wait too long. And we'll want to bring backpacks. Empty. We'll need them to carry stuff." Then over to Teo. "Clearly you haven't been down to the basement yet." she grins.

"I damn near committed pornography when I saw it," Al says. "'But then, I'm a gun slut, so I ain't no benchmark," But his smile fades at the mention of Cameron, and he's left quiet and subdued.

Daniel nods, and silently takes off his coat, rolling up his sleeves. He moves his air canister and breath mask from his messenger bag into an empty backpack nearby, methodically checking and re-checking the connections. One doesn't want to run out of air when ten feet down in the middle of solid rock.

Over his shoulder, Teodoro flashes both Helena and Alexander a fragment of a smile. With Cameron the most recent mention, the expression isn't as earnest as it could be, but it's there for the legacy of the pyrokinetic. "No," he answers. He takes a few minutes to scrub his head and arms down before re-emerging, face and hands showing fair underneath a little beaded water. It works. He yanks on a coat that he'd stashed over a shelf, and falls into step with whomever's bringing up the rear of the group, pulling firearm out of pocket and tucking it in under the hem.

Cat has arrived.

Daniel carries no firearm, he tends to take them from other people after they're out of bullets shooting through him.
Helena looks around. "We just have to wait for Abby on the round up. Then we'll hit the location. Does anyone need a backpack?" She seems to be quite fussy about the details. "If we can get to it, I think what's in the car trunk will solve all our problems."

"It's 42," says Alex, rather obscurely. "And yes, I do. Didn't bring one I can spare."
Daniel has a backpack, he nods slightly. He doesn't get what Alexander is talking about, and looks puzzledly at him, saying nothing.

Teodoro echoes Alex's answer with a nod. "Mine's full of other shit, if you have a spare," he says. His eyebrows incline slightly the next moment. "We have problems?" His mouth curls humorlessly.

A female shape makes its way in, soon becoming identifiable as Cat. She moves slowly, taking care to not startle anyone inside. Eyes scan the interior ahead of her, when they settle on the others she speaks. "Helena, lady, and gentlemen." Recognition of Abby is noticeably lacking as she sets down the guitar case and backpack which were over opposite shoulders. "I wonder," the five foot eight inch brunette in the panther-hued clothing and two inch heeled boots muses to herself, "if there might be space in here for an archery target."

Helena gestures around the large building. "I'm sure we can rig something up. And we don't have a problem, but what we do have is our means for finance. Peter's left us a little present, and we need to go pick it up."

Daniel perks, interested. "That's cool." he says. He must have got the investigtor's bug while digging around at the capitol.
Daniel also remains quiet as Cat enters, he gives her an odd look, but makes no other reply to her question.

IF Al weren't such a strapping and masculine boy, what he does at Cat's question could be described as a flutter. As it is, it's perilously close. "You an archer?" he wonders, perking up like a cat at the sound of a can opener. "And I reckon we could…."

Hie ho Hie ho again, Abby's back, toting a locked convas case that certainly doesn't hold a guitar or a pennis racket, or even ski's. There's a few more people in the room since she left, and the new people are given deep inclinations of her head in greeting. "I'm good to go. I have the graveyard shift so I don't have to go to work yet"

Money is less embarrassingly boner-inducing, but something Teo clearly appreciates nevertheless. His question had been ironic, mostly; he's well aware they have problems. "We should write him a card," he decides, magnanimously. The cadence of woman's heels elicits a look up, inspires a boyish grin not unlike the one she'd gotten out of Alexander. "There's a lot of space," he says, always one to be agreeable.

Her eyes make another sweep of the interior before returning to pass across the others here assembled, and a chuckle emerges. "I hadn't thought I said that so loud. Acoustics here must be really good." Her gaze settles on Abby for a long moment before a single word is spoken to her. "Cat."

Then she's on to surveying again while answering Alexander. "I got into it years ago at school. A sport was necessary, and I chose archery." Bending down, she opens the guitar case which on this occasion holds no musical instrument. It currently holds instead a bow of not at all cheap design and a quiver of arrows.

Alexander asks, delicately, as if enquiring about things almost better not spoken of in public, "Ever been bowhunting?"
Daniel half-scoffs behind his hand at Alexander's question, or the pure redneckitude of it.

"What's 'bowhunting?'" Teodoro asks Dan out the side of his mouth, somehow associating the mock-disdain with knowledge. Would be why the English do it, he remembers. Pretentious fucks.

'Abby" the one word reply back. "And archery is good. I had thought to take it up, but, it wasn't as practical as some other things growing up and such. "When are we to be going?"

"Use of a bow and arrow to take down an animal or other target," Cat states to answer Teo's question before turning her attention toward Alexander. He gets a fairly simple reply. "Maybe." She flashes a quiet smile. "Maybe somewhere toward the back, or in a room by itself if there are large enough former offices here to use."

Alexander heaves a happy sigh. "I used to," he says, sounding positively wistful and reminiscent. "Used to get a whitetail or two every year. And wild turkey for Thanksgiving."

Daniel just listens. He mentions quietly to Abby: "Helena's got the details, as soon as we're ready we're going to head out. I'm not much for guns, but I don't really have to be."

Teodoro articulates both surprise and interest with his eyebrows— two dark bars that could probably hold entire conversations by himself, privilege of Mediterranean breeding. Verbally, he is silent for a protracted moment. Then: "I'm such a huge fan of that happening." His eyes cut across the room, as if re-imagining the standing stillness of the derelict library with something set up. "Although 'other target' sounds like an exciting euphemism for something that isn't. Where did you do that?" He looks at Alexander with incredulity that is, at best, half sincere. Confirms what Dan said to Abby, nodding. "She's grabbing some extra backpacks."

"Not so long ago," Cat relates. "There was a dangerous situation made half as dangerous by a well placed arrow." The musician/archer/lawyer seems uninclined to elaborate further on the subject. She instead lets attention settle on Alexander. "Is there a suitable former office here? And the whitetail, are they decent eating? Wild game might be on the tough side."
"A whitetail from where I was from was delicious," Al says, settling down and folding his hands over his belly. "No idea what the hunting's like up here. HAven't been since I came to New York. Might be worth it to head out of the city and try, in season. Don't have a bow of my own, at the moment."

Helena returns from having run to get some extra supplies. "Are we ready to go?" she asks. "All aboard who's coming aboard."

Daniel nods, "Ready." he murmurs, falling in with Helena quietly. Even when he's solid, his feet hardly make any sound.

Teo takes a backpack off the little weather witch, pulls it over his shoulder after checking that all pockets are fastened, cursory. "Yep," he says. The transition back to business suits him fine, though the idea of stabbing things to eat from a range appeals to him the way stabbing things to eat from a range appeals to those of his constituency. He picks up his feet and follows at a loping gait.

"What are we doing, and where are we doing it?" Cat asks. "I've got a car." She tucks away her non-firearms in the guitar case and closes it, then hefts her backpack which isn't quite empty. "Do I need the weapons?" she asks, eyes drifting toward Helena.

Lower East Side

Eventually, people get rounded up, put in an SUV, and the drive is made out to the Lower East Side. Rather than park anywhere near their old building, Helena pulls to the curb some blocks away, leaving them to make the rest of the trek by foot. Eventually, they come upon an early 90's Ford Taurus, and Helena pulls a key from her pocket.

Good. No need to hotwire or break in. Amazing what you learn from criminals, even if you're on the side of the angels. Al is loitering with intent, as the old saying goes, all but polishing his halo….and keeping watch.

Daniel also loiters - one of the few skills from the street he was actually good at - holding up the corner of a building, keeping close watch out in the other direction from Al.

Standing a few yards off, by the back, because everybody else ranges in height from midgetine to average, Teo cranes his head to glance across the rooftops and blank-eyed, gap-toothed buildings as much by habit as because of caution. His gaze drops to the key in her hand, narrows, before he tries to peer in through the darkened translucency of the vehicle's window.

Helena pops the trunk…and stares for a moment, letting out a low whistle. "Guys…" her voice isn't quite a whisper, but it's definitely not a yell. "Guys, I need you to come see this."

Alexander sidles over to Helena. He's even got the hoodlum strut, like he's just some wanna be drugdealer hanging out on a street corner, and peers warily down into the trunk.

Daniel saunters over with the ease of someone used to seeing merchandise in the trunk of a car. Yep, he and Alexander are two of a kind.

Teo walks with more swagger than slink, but a different breed of thug tends to. "If it's a boxing glove on the end of a spring, I'll flick you so hard." He completes the triangle of young men at Helena's back and looks over her shoulder, brow furrowed curiously.

Cat makes her way across the distance from SUV to their destination, eyes calmly scanning what lies ahead and beside, committing each detail seen, heard, or smelled to memory. Not that she couldn't, of course, it's an automatic thing for Cat. When she reaches the car, the trunk is peered into at Helena's request.

"Better not be a body" Abby's out with the rest of them, looking with trepidation at the car trunk and cat and others gathered there. "I think i'll scream if it's a body"

"Would I play you like that?" murmurs Helena. Inside the trunk are car parts. Normal, average cart parts. Except for the part where they're made of solid gold. She grins. "Doesn't my boyfriend give me the best presents?"

Al makes an odd, froglike gulping noise. And stretches out a tentative fingertip to touch it. "Holy fucking shit," he whispers. And despite the profanity, it's really almost more of a prayer. "Is that for real?" He darts a look at Helena - there's already sweat beading on his upper lip. Good thing everyone here trusts each other with their lives. Because this is the sort of thing people get murdered over.

"Ladies present! Language" Comes tersely from Abigail who still hasn't set a foot near the car. "It's obviously not a body… What is it Hel?" The shotgun is help tight in her hand, ready to use it if necessary.

Daniel doesn't quite know how much it's worth, "Oh, that does look cool." he says, clearly underestimating.

Her head tilts as the metal is sighted, and Cat calls up something she saw in a recent morning paper. The value one ounce of gold has. "Nice, Stormy," she opines. "Now we just need to see if he can squeeze carbon into diamonds." Her assessment of how much weight the gold is gets interrupted briefly by Abby's remark and a quiet laugh. "If we came across shit that was both holy and fucking it'd be even more valuable than this."

"It's real." Hel says softly. "Genuine gold. Peter told me to sell it a bit at a time so it doesn't arouse suspiscion. Let's start dividing it up, putting it into backpacks, and heading home. Let's leave the car - it's hot." There's roughly 60 to 70 pounds of gold, but divided up between everyone it should be bearable.

Daniel takes quite a pile of it. "I can stash it somewhere nobody will steal it." he says. Assuming nobody can swim through concrete.

"Angel, you know what I can do. I can get it all, easy," Al notes, eyeing Hel slyly. "Just so long as y'all come along, make sure I am not absconding with all the loot."

Teo's shoulder thumps noisily into somebody's back as he steps forward, eyes round. He whistles, low. "Santa madre," he says. "Cio incredibile—" —he goes on in a Sicilian mutter of mercenary delight, his eyebrows trooping higher and higher up his forehead until they'dve disappeared into his hairline if his mop had been a few inches longer. "Slow to avoid raising suspicion — or crash the fucking market." A brief glance is swivelled at Abby in case his use of an expletive offends. Between Alexander and Daniel, there seems to be a practical plan. Which is great. "I just want to stand near it," he confesses, wryly.

Seems at this moment, Abby isn't paying attention to holy expenatives as she's peering into the trunk at Helena's utterings. "I have never… seen that but in pictures…."

"We'll need some metalworking equipment," Cat states," her eyes still on the haul as she begins to reach inside and pick up some of it for carrying away from the car, only to find herself nearly taking a header into the trunk and supply of precious metal when Teo shoulderthumps her. It takes a moment to recover, after which she glances back at the not so graceful Italian. "Easy now. Anyway… we need a way to melt all this down and turn it into saleable objects. Spoons, forks, knives, coin replicas. Even sold slowly, car parts made of gold are attention draws."

Helena shakes her head. "You can't teek it all the way back to the library. Everybody divvy up, and we'll carry it back together."

Daniel puts the backpack on his pack gingerly, almost delicately, which is pretty impressive given the weight. "All right. I'll see you there." he mutters.

"I could," But Al doesn't argue the point. Splitting it up'll keep everyone honest.

"I know you could," Helena says, "But that doesn't mean you should." And once gold is given out, they're on their way back again.

As instructed, Teo divvies up. Gives Cat an apologetic stoop of his head first. "Mi dispiace. Overexcited." Opening his own backpack, he accepts whatever hunks of gold are handed his way and lays them into the canvas satchel, balancing odd pieces against one another so that they won't dig extra gaps in between his ribs or something like that. "Smelting equipment shouldn't be too hard to find, contacts we've got," he says, pulling the bag on across his shoulders. There's a single clink before he centers his balance and takes a moment to wipe the ludicrous smile off his face. Good day.

Alexander notes, as a completely casual aside to Teo the unfortunate, "You know your brother's in town, right, hoss?"

That apparently works as well. Teodoro's face changes. "No," he answers, short. He coughs once, as if either his mouth had gone dry or he's choking down another, less apolitical monosyllable. He rubs his right eye with a fist and follows the leader.

Alexander puts a hand on the other man's shoulder. "Well, apparently so," he says, blithely.

October 23rd: You Can Tell Me Anything

Previously in this storyline…

Next in this storyline…

October 23rd: Cages and Cobbler
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