madeline_icon.gif munin_icon.gif

Scene Title Unsafe
Synopsis A violent mugging in Long Island City ends before it can even begin.
Date October 27, 2008

Long Island CityQueens

Long Island City, a run-down neighborhood on the western edge of Queens, just across the water from Manhattan. From here, the skyline that was changed forever by the bomb is a constant reminder of what once was. A window into the past as well as a scathing reminder of the present. The waterfront is a largely industrial area, riddled with freight train stops, warehouses and shipping companies; the vast majority of which have ceased operations or gone entirely out of business in the wake of the the bomb. While this neighborhood was spared from the disastrous nuclear fallout, it was crippled by the equally disastrous economic fallout. Businesses closed left and right, leaving blocks of abandoned facilities all across the neighborhood. As the property values took a steep nose dive, so too did crime in the area rise. Now, rife with gangs and refugees, the once bustling region looks more like a ghost town.

Evening in Long Island City. Full of crime and criminals, most people won't willingly travel around here at night. Of course, Madeline's not most people. And she's coming back from work. Just that work for her means working at night. She's got a large duffle bag slung at her side, full of the products of work. She's heading towards Cliffside. So are the two people who are following her.

High above Madeline, camouflaged against the dark purple sky overhead, is an even darker shape that wheels through the air in a low, lazy circle, using the sunset's faint glow to aid its survey of the streets below. Most birds don't fly at night, but this raven isn't an ordinary bird — he's the eyes and ears of the pale-skinned girl who sits on a graffiti-tagged bench at the nearest bus stop. Like Madeline, Munin might seem a little out of place this late in the evening, dressed as she is in a pair of long black leggings, ballet flats and an oversized cashmere sweater that's just a little too big for her diminutive frame. To the casual passerby, she appears otherwise unremarkable — just another wayward young woman with a tangle of messy hair, dark circles under her eyes and a little too much dirt beneath her fingernails.

Madeline keeps approaching the apartment building. Meanwhile, the two people behind her begin to quicken their pace. One pulls out a pistol from the waistband of his pants. Looks like there's about to be a mugging.

It's a split-second decision, one made by Munin's gut instincts rather than any semblance of logic or even common sense. As Munin lurches to her feet to shout a warning at Madeline, the raven banks sharply to the left and enters a dive much steeper than is probably safe, its claws outstretched, aimed for the soft flesh of the gunman's inside wrist.


The gunman gets his wrist clawed at, and drops the gun with a loud shout. Both of the two muggers look rather stunned…cause WTF?! Birds don't generally go attacking people. Madeline turns, eyes wide. She looks at the two men, then looks at the fallen gun…and then looks pissed off. She makes a slight gesture…first at one, and then at the other, as both freeze in place.

Birds don't generally go attacking people, no, but neither do muggers stop in the middle of an attack — still as statues. The raven lands on top of the gun and spreads its wings like a shield, crouched low, using its body to cover the weapon as a precaution until Munin catches up. Sure enough, the sound of the woman's flats slapping against the cement underfoot can clearly be heard as she breathlessly approaches the scene. "Are you all right?"

Madeline was about to take some action…but now Munin's there, and she really doesn't want witnesses. She leaves the two would-be muggers frozen, and turns to look at the girl. "I'm okay. What's…going on here?" Is she responsible for the bird? Madeline looks at her, in some slight confusion.

"I was hoping you knew," Munin murmurs as she drops to her knees and gives the raven a gentle push, coaxing him off the gun so she can pick it up in her small hands and turn the safety back on. She doesn't like using firearms, but the company she keeps requires that she know the very basics about how they work. Her eyes dart from Madeline to the muggers and then back again, narrowing almost imperceptibly. "How come they aren't—?"

Madeline continues to play innocent on it. "I'm not sure. Is that your bird? Is it like a trained bird or something?" She immediately deflects the questioning back to Munin.

Just like that, Munin shifts from offense to defense, giving the raven such a pointed look that it explodes into the air with two powerful beats of its monstrous wings. "No," she says, a coldness in her voice that wasn't there before. "You should go."

Madeline looks back, surprised. "I was going. I live there." She nods to the apartment building. "You should too, probably…these guys aren't safe. I'm Madeline." She offers a name.

"Eileen." Munin doesn't need to be told to take her own advice. Beginning to feel a little shaky now that the adrenaline is starting to wear off and the danger has seemingly passed, she rises shakily to her feet and tucks the gun into the waistband of her leggings, using her sweater to conceal it from public view. She couldn't have picked a better outfit to wear today.

Madeline looks surprised as Munin picks up the gun. She looks like such a little thing to be carrying one. "It's dangerous out here this late. Do you have somewhere safe to go? I…if you need to call someone, or get out of the cold…" she offers awkwardly.

You couldn't pay Munin to set foot in Cliffside Apartments again. Not after what happened the last time she was there. "Thank you," she murmurs, a faint smile curling at the corners of her mouth, "but if I thought I couldn't take care of myself out here, I wouldn'tve come. You should call the police."

Madeline looks over, a bit uncertainly. "I don't know about that. The police poking around here might raise too many questions." She'd like to get rid of these two idiots. But Munin has the gun now, and she's also right here. "What are you doing out here?"

Munin glances over her shoulder, back towards the now vacant bench. "What's it look like?" she asks, though there isn't even the slightest hint of malice in her voice. "Waiting for the bus." That isn't exactly true, but unless Madeline can read minds Munin thinks this lie is small enough to be safe. "Of course," she softly adds, almost as an afterthought, "if it's all the same to you, I think I'd rather walk." Or run. Without any word, she turns on her heel and takes off the way she came — this time with the raven in hot pursuit. She doesn't want to stick around to see a potentially bad situation get even worse.

Madeline isn't going to pursue the issue further. She waits for Munin to be out of earshot, and then looks to the two muggers. "And now…we're going to have a little talk about you trying to rob me." She starts to lead them off towards an alley.

No good will come hence.

October 27th: The Hand that Rocks the Cradle

Previously in this storyline…

Next in this storyline…

October 27th: Being Different
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