Urban Hide And Seek


devon2_icon.gif monica_icon.gif

Scene Title Urban Hide-And-Seek
Synopsis It's "test day" where Monica plays the seeker and Devon meets a new friend from the sky.
Date June 2, 2011

Streets of New York City

The game: Urban Hide-and-Seek
The players: Devon and Monica, who he's never laid eyes on
The mission, if he chooses to accept….

Or something like that. Ultimately, Elisabeth sent a text to Devon. Want to talk to you. Come by @ 4:30. The trick is that he won't be coming alone. His shadow, AKA Monica, was sent ahead to tail him the entire way from the apartment to the safe house. Her job is two-fold: assess how well he's using the evasion techniques that Jaiden is teaching him for walking the streets and losing a tail even if he doesn't know he has one, and assess how alert he is for the possibility of a tail — bonus points if he actually spots her before she lets him. His 'final' exam won't be given that instruction (to let herself be spotted once just to see if he tweaks to being followed), but this being his first shot at it, Elisabeth wants to see how well he'll do.

The 'game' runs the entire route from where Devon's staying to the safehouse in Long Island City.

Having abandoned snack hunting at home when the text message came in, Devon packed up and turned back outside without question or response to the sender.

On foot in the sunny weather, in a t-shirt and jeans and backpack hanging from his shoulders, Devon is very much in appearance a regular teenager. Eyes move over those he passes, casual glances given to regard the random stranger before moving on to the next. Some, with little rhyme or reason, earn a double take, enough to afford him a surreptitious look behind. He sticks to busier roads, though the route is about as indirect as one can get without crossing state lines. Which he might've done, if he weren't on foot.

Monica was quick about getting into place when the text came through, and once she spotted the teen passing below, she started to follow. Of course, for her, rooftops have always been the easiest mode of transportation and a place she's good at not being seen. Which might explain how she has gone so long without getting arrested. She watches him make his way along, making mental notes of his techniques, but she herself is pretty much unnoticeable up there.

Her difficulty staying hidden comes when they pass into a more open space, at least, open enough that she can't jump from building to building and actually has to climb down. It's a little difficult, because her arm is still healing from her recent fire-breathing robot run in, but mostly it's having to follow him on foot that lends the opportunity for him to spot the black clad ninja in his wake.

There's still the usual hustle and bustle of people, but it's getting warmer out… so black-clad Goth types do stand out a bit. Especially given Monica's not your average Goth chick.

If he'd looked up, Devon might've noticed Monica well before he actually does. As it is, the watched and followed feeling eventually sets a deep enough itch between his shoulders that he chances a look over his shoulder. Eyes scan the crowd behind, though nothing seems directly amiss until… Was that a ninja? Considering it is New York, it shouldn't be too unusual and none of the other pedestrians are giving a second glance to the goth-ninja-person also known as Monica. But neither is it so common that it doesn't stand out in the teenager's mind as strange.

Keeping the perplexed expression from his face, acting as though he hadn't see anything, Devon continues along the same path. With one minor change. He shifts his step to draw him further into the fold of pedestrians, to use their flow of cadence past the next series of buildings. When the press of bodies pauses at an intersection, he extricates himself from one to join another, crossing the street to join a different route that will still, eventually, take him to his destination.

The all black is a lot more noticeable down here on the ground, particularly since she's in long sleeves to cover her burn, and no one else around really seems to be sticking to the sleeves this time of year. But the suspicion really sets in as she follows him along the odd path. He can't catch sight of her all the time, but she does pop into sight here and there as he walks along.

It's an effort not to look behind again, especially once suspicion replaces the uneasy wonderment of seeing someone clad so heavily in the midst of late spring. But Devon, using the occasional window chance side-view mirror off a parked car, does get the distinct impression that he is being followed. The next street he comes to is crossed at an angle between two such parked cars. Once on the opposite side, the teenager weaves his way into a group of idling tourists then ducks out again to slip down an access road running roughly the opposite direction he should be headed.

When he starts going in the completely wrong direction, Monica gets the idea that she's been made, and there's just a moment taken to chuckle a bit. But she's on the move soon enough, choosing to climb up and follow from above again as she speeds it up to catch up. And soon enough, she flips her way off a low roof, landing in front of him in a crouch before she straightens up and puts her hands up in a placating gesture.

"I'm a friend, I swear," she notes, taking a step back in an attempt to be less threatening.

Another turn takes Devon from one access road and onto another, still wary and assuming he's being followed. A main road at the end sits temptingly close, though the way is abruptly blocked by that ninja from above. A subtle tension runs through his posture, but the most outward sign of surprise is the slight twitch that could lead to some form of defensive action, a punch or a push in hopefully surprise tactics. His hands grasp the shoulder straps of his pack instead, watching guardedly as Monica stands and explains herself. "Really," the teenager counters, quietly, brows raising in doubt. "My friends don't usually fall out of the sky."

Monica can't help a laugh at that, her head shaking for a moment, "They do, you just haven't met them all yet. I believe I'm supposed to drop firefly into the conversation." Smoothly done. "It's good to see you've been paying attention in class. You just need to remember to look up more. Don't feel bad. Nobody ever looks up, even the ones with more formal training."

There's no real change in demeanor, though one could say that Devon appears a little more at ease. His hands loosen slightly though don't release the grip on the straps and there isn't quite a sense that he'll run or fight. "Lesson learned, watch out for people falling from the sky." He grins, offers one shoulder's lift as a shrug. "So which friend from above are you?"

"Exactly. A lesson learned from many a horror movie, too. Here in the city, there's a lot of stuff above you and believe me, it's a lot easier to maneuver up there. Less crowds. I'm Monica," she adds the latter with a crooked smile and a hand stretched out for a shake. "Resident ninja. And you're Devon."

"I thought the lesson in the horror movie was don't go upstairs," the teenager returns. He extends his own hand to complete the handshake, head dropping a nod. "I am, Devon Clendaniel, padawan learner. Or something. Nice to meet you, Monica."

"That's another good one. And don't be last in line. And don't wear high heels." Which is apparently something Monica's adopted, since her shoes are quite sensible. Her shake is firm and short, but her smile is friendly enough. "Nice to meet you, too. New blood is always nice to have around. I hope Jaiden's being nice."

"Be faster than at least one of your friends?" Retracting his hand, Devon's fingers curl once more around the shoulder strap. "Just answered a calling, though I know a few would have preferred if I'd hung up. And yeah, Jaiden's being nice, shares his toys, doesn't fight at snack time. He's a good teacher, too."

"Yeah, just make sure it's not me you're faster than," Monica says nodding her head back the way they should be going to get to the safehouse. "That's when you know you picked up the right phone," she says with a crooked smile, "People never want you to stop when you're doing what they want you to be doing." As she walks along, she glances over his way, "Good, then he won't need a time out."

A grin cracks across the teen's face as he falls in a half step behind Monica. His hands fall from the straps to sink into his pockets instead. "Yeah, some of them are just protective. The others… aren't playing for our team. Not that it'd change my choice any." That one shoulder rolls through another shrug. "Naw, no time out. Everyone I've met so far has been alright."

"Yeah, I guess we're pretty alright." Monica glances up along a ladder that leads up to a fire escape, then she looks back to Devon. "Bonus quiz! Race you to Liz." She doesn't really say go, but she hops herself up to the fire escape, opting to parkour herself up to the roof instead of climbing like a normal person.

"Wait, what?" Devon is left staring after Monica for a long moment, giving her a significant head start. Not that it's really needed. He hesitates a beat longer then clambers up the fire escape in her wake, just a normal person's run rattling the steel ladder. The race is on once he's reached the top. Though inexperience plays against him and Monica's superior knowledge and abilities lead her to victory in reaching the safehouse first. Still, it's all in good fun, and even a little learning mixed in.

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