Unfortunately Serendipitous


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Scene Title Unfortunately Serendipitous
Synopsis A convergence of names and faces at a Ferrymen safehouse leads to a bloodbath.
Date April 26, 2010

Staten Island

A single punch is all it takes to send the flimsy wooden door off of its hinges and down onto the vacant ground floor. Dust rises up in clouds from the dirty floorboards, swirling frozen in the chill air. Looming in the doorway, a towering silhouette of a man in a long brown trenchcoat blocks the pale remainder of gray daylight from spreading in. Fedora tipped down, he moves in slowly, boots clomping against the floor, the trail of a red scarf wavering behind him where it's wound around his face.

At the heels of Alan Rickham's metallic form, Benjamin Washington, better known as Knox scans left and right inside of the doorway, then checks down on his cell phone. "This is it," he notes with a look down to the number on the door laid out on the floor as Rickham walks over it. "Should be down in the basement, we best haul his ass outta' here before shit gets real." Lighter but still noisy footsteps bring Knox behind Alan's more determined pace, listening to the floorboards creak beneath his weight.

"Woah there Tin-Man," Knox urges, circling around Rickham and resting a hand against one shoulder, eliciting a cold stare of blank, hematite eyes. "This ol' house ain't big enough for your shiny metal ass. Go on an' wait outside if you aren't going to turn your big lead butt back to normal." Rickham frowns at the notion, looking down to the floor, then back to Knox.

The answer he gives is slowly turning around, creeping with creaking footfalls back to the doorway. Knox watches the iron man's departure, then looks around the empty living room, peering through a doorway into the kitchen before noticing the stink of a latrine coming from the basement. Exhaling a groaned out sigh, Knox looks back over his shoulder to Rickham, then hisses to himself before heading down into the basement one slow and plodding footfall at a time…

Standing watch by the font door, Allen Rickham's observations of the shifting dunes of snow that nearly swallow the house are largely uneventful. His sense of sight and sound are so similar that the howling wind seems almost the same texture as the feeling of it against his metallic skin. It's not until he feels the faint vibrations of a noise not natural to this northern side of Staten Island.

The chopping rotors of a helicopter have Allen jolting alert, coupled by the chirping alarm of his cell phone in his pocket. A curse in the basement is Knox's way of informing Allen he heard the same thing. As Rickham dips back and away from the door and inside of the house, Knox comes thundering up the stairs with his cell phone out. "Fucker isn't here! He's gone! Looks like somebody was there but— "

Coming to a skidding halt at hearing the sound of the helicopter passing overhead, Knox looks to Rickham and curls his lips down into a scowl. "Did we get fuckin' played?" Reaching for his phone, Knox takes a look at the alert on the screen, then presses a button and lifts it to his ear. "Hey, what the fuck's goin' on Rebel? Who the hell is this?" Knox hears the helicopter make another pass, a floodlight on board snapping on and bathing the house in bright illumination.

"No I don't care, get us outta' here, there ain't no Russian in the basement!" Headlights can be seen through boarded up windows as Knox makes that assertion, and turning to look at Rickham, the expression of helplessness on the Messiah operative's face is evident. If there's no fear but his own he's worthless, and right now Allen— isn't afraid?

"I'll handle it." Rickham murmurs stoically, marching forward and pushing Knox aside as he steps through the front door of the house. Looking up at the roof of the porch, Allen spots the four wheel drive SUVs coming up the unplowed road, then looks up to the spotlight shining down from the helicopter. A voice booms from onboard, shouting through a megaphone.

«This is the FBI! Come out and surrender peacefully!»

Allen's head quirks to the side, and with a slow series of footsteps he comes off the porch, sinking into unshoveled snow as he draws attention away from the house. Another warning is shouted, but he keeps moving, a warning shot is laid into the ground, and that much makes Rickham pause, turning to look up at the helicopter. There's silence, and when he turns to make an advance on one of the parked SUVs another loud rifle shot goes off, this one impacting with his back in a shower of sparks and shred of cloth.

Horror sets in on the helicopter pilot when the rifle round is shrugged off like a fly that bumped into him, and as Allen Rickham makes a running satart for the lead SUV, there's spinning wheels sliding on ice as they try and remove themselves from the scene. Skidding on the ice, Allen comes plowing into the side of one of the trucks with his full weight and momentum, smashing the door in and tipping the SUV up at an angle. A flip of Allen's hands under the pitched side gives him leverage, and with a push he rolls the whole thing over on its side with a crash.

Gunfire breaks out, first from the helicopter again in shots around Allen, then from federal agents using cover of the hood of the second and more distant SUV. Bullets ricochet off of Allen's armored body, and with metallic fingers he reaches down and claws at the passenger's side door he dented, rips it out of the frame of the car and throws it at the other SUV.

Whirling like a discus, the door crashes into the windshield of the other SUV, slicing at a rough angle into the vehicle and rocking it back on its shocks. The agents scatter, and in that moment Knox is bolting out of the house, "Now! Fuck now, Rebel now!" The moment that order gets shouted into his cell phone, the helicopter rocks from side to side with a whining cry of its engine. Gunfire explodes in the snow around Knox for three shots, but then the gunner is forcibly ejected from the bucking helicopter.

Knox dives into the snow as the government chopper loses control, its electronic navigation equipment like an open door through which Rebel pours himself, causing the pilot's controls to cease response and the vehicle to tilt, whirl, and ultimately crash directly into the Ferrymen safe house that Sasha Kozlow had been held in just a few hours ago. Pulling himself up out of the snow, watching a ball of fire erupt from inside of the house, Knox ducks his head down as the shattered blade of a helicopter propeller whizzes past his head, bounces end over end through the snow and then slams into Rickham, knocking him off of his feet and into a snowbank.

Out from the downed SUV, a single federal agent crawls through a broken sunroof, blood running from his forehead, matting down gray hair. He draws his gun from inside of his jacket, crouches in the snow, stumbles and tries to get up and move again, rounding the SUV right when Knox is coming down onto the street. Knox skids to a stop just as agent Matthew Parkman raises his gun, gripped tightly in both hands. "Hands up now!" Parkman screams, right before he's struck by the sight of the familiar man standing in front of him.

"B— Ben?" Disbelief washes across Parkman's face, and Knox slowly raises his hands, turning to look at Rickham trying to get out of the snow without changing back. Knox's dark-eyed stare levels on Matt, then the other federal agents closing in from the second SUV, guns drawn.

"Officer Parkman…" Knox says with an unusual tightness to his voice, elicited by the presence of armed and angry men standing in front of him. The reunion of several years isn't what either of them would have imagined, but the truths behind their familiarity aren't on the menu for revelation. Instead is Matthew Parkman's succinct and terse mental command.

Get down on the ground, hands behind your head.

Compliance is easy for a telepath to force, and no sooner that those mental commands get issued is Knox taking a knee, then another, then slowly laying down on the snowy street on his stomach, hands folded behind his head. No sooner than that is a human bullet moving several hundred miles an hour swooping out of the sky, slamming into Parkman and lifting the Homeland Security Operations Director off of his feet, sending him sailing through the air before colliding down into the ten foot deep snow.

Gunfire rips out through the night air, and one crack shot clips the wingless bird as West Rosen spirals out of control, crashing down onto the ground clutching his leg. Three federal agents move in on Knox, guns trained down at him while the others move in for West. When one of the Homeland Security agents takes a knee on Knox's back and tries to restrain him, the fear ebbing off him is fuel to Knox's fire. With Parkman down and the mental subjugation ended, Knox whips around and grabs the agent by the throat.


A lifeless ragdoll now hangs in Knox's hand, and as the superhuman-strength surges through him from the other agents at seeing one of their own crushed to death with a single hand, Knox only becomes more powerful. Throwing the body of one of their own, Knox bludgeons the nearest agent to the ground with the snapping shatter of bones and tearing of muscle. The third agent that had been on him opens fire at point-blank range, slamming Knox in the chest and toppling him off of his feet as the round flattens against the protective vest worn beneath his winter jacket.

Just when the situation couldn't get any more chaotic, the SUV on its side is lifted up and off of the ground, and the tattered and furious titan of Allen Rickham releases a baleful scream before throwing the vehicle some twenty feet, colliding with the agents by West, smashing them against the street and dragging them bloodily over the pavement and ice as it bounces end over end.

Gunfire from the one agent left standing bounces off of Rickham, and distracted, he fails to see Knox getting back up in time to stop the obscenely strong man from leveling a punch at his chest. Ribs shatter, muscle tears and organs rupture as Knox's hand explodes out the agent's back in a bloody mess. One paw-like hand presses against the dead agent's face, sliding him off of his arm.

"Motherfucker," Knox growls, reaching up to clutch at his chest. "Tin-man," he wheezes, "grab Peter Pan and let's get— get the hell outta' here." Fire consumes the safe house, crackling flames lapping up towards the clouded sky, and Allen does as he is both told and presumes is the best course of action. Leaning over to pick up West and throw him over one shoulder, Allen looks back to the carnage, unable to find agent Parkman buried in the snow.

"When we get back to the boss…" Knox practically splutters the words out, taking a few backpedaling steps away from the agents, blood dripping off of one gore-soaked hand. "He's got some 'splainin t'do." Turning around and breaking into a sprint, Knox runs as fast as his aching legs can carry him down the street, looking over his shoulder for the approach of another helicopter that — thanks to Rebel's blocking of communications — isn't coming.

Plodding down the street after Knox, Rickham barely notices West's weight against his shoulder. Instead, his unoccupied hand is pulling out his phone from his jacket, looking down at the cracked but still illuminated screen. He can barely make out Rebel's warning on there, hematite eyes not able to read the alert. "Knox," Allen calls ahead to the lighter, faster man, "where are we doing?"

Knox doesn't answer, he just runs. Maybe if he runs fast enough, he can make sure that the piece of his past laying dazed in a snowbank stays one step further behind him. Because that was one chance encounter that he almost didn't walk away from.

Next time, one of them won't, for certain.

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