Us Against Them


shard_icon.gif stef_icon.gif

Scene Title Us Against Them
Synopsis Shard wasn't missing as long as people thought he might be, and Stef finds him faster than she'd feared.
Date October 17, 2009

Staten Island

The inland of Staten Island changes dependent on the path you choose, but for the most, it can be described as containing desolate, sprawling suburbia ripped apart from the sudden overpopulation of Bomb survivor refugees, and the subsequent evacuation that took place nearly immediately after. Streets and blocks of houses emptied of families and taken over by squatters; the libraries, the schools, the churches all left behind and taken over by whoever is brave enough to claim it.

//The cluster of civilization is namely controlled by a still developing crime population, a neighborhood known as the Rookery. A large portion of the island is taken over by a somewhat wild, unkempt rural landscape known as the Greenbelt, and most of everything, be it structure or vegetation, seems to be in a stay of slow death and decay. Graffiti stains brick walls, glass windows are broken and boarded, and plant life slowly tries to make a feeble reclamation of the land.

This is New York's forgotten borough, and it looks it.

The problem with being faint, it makes it difficult to walk all the way back to the Customs. Luckily it isn't as far as it feels at first, leaving Stef to take rests in alleys and wait for a wif of something that catches her nose and gives her some strength. It would work better if it would last, and not fade away after a few seconds of energy. Some drugs would do one better, but she's not really planning to get hopped up on drugs just cause her ability's on the fritz. Must have a cold. It's not like she'd had the ability for very long. Knox might be able to tell her more about it— maybe it happened to him, too.

When she gets close to the Customs in the chilled morning light, she pages around, grumbling under her breath. "You bastard. Where the fuck did you go? If you're fucking hurt I'm gonna pop you in the god damn face. With a crowbar." She sounds mad, even furious, in honesty she's afraid. What if something happened to him? What if she doesn't have the strength to be the bodyguard she appointed herself to be?


The deep voice comes from behind her, unmistakably the guttural tone of Vincent King. Though it sounds tired, worn. When Stef turns to see him, she will find a bloodied bruised and muddied Shard. Vincent King stands on wobbly knees behind the woman. Crusted blood is caked on the side of his head, on his lips and over his forehead. The man looks like he literally just crawled out of a mud pit.

There isn't an inch of torn cloth on him that isn't covered in earthen sludge. "Stef." He calls out weakly again, taking another step forward.

Maybe she won't have to hit him over the head with a crowbar. Looks like someone else already did. Stef hears his voice and quickly turns, then moves the distance closer to him and balls up her fists, like she wants to hit him. But she doesn't. She barely has the strength to stay upright right now, but with her heart pounding so heavily, and if she could smell fear right now… there would be quite a lot of adrenaline flooding her body. "What the fuck happened? Who do I have to kill?" She threatened to beat him up when he wasn't even there, but now…

"It was that fucker White, wasn't it? That's why you're covered in that shit. I'll kill him." Part of her knows she can't, but she really wants to right now.

Something low emits out of his mouth that sounds remarkably like a chuckle. Vincent manages a smile despite the blood, mud, and grime. Taking a step forward, he examines her for a moment. "Stef. Are you okay?" Letting his hands hang weakly at his side. "You don't look well." Says the man covered in blood and mud.

"It was White. He thinks I'm dead. I need to get inside. Word shouldn't get back to White that I'm alive yet." Vincent murmurs quietly, walking forward slowly beckoning Stef to come with him.

"I'm not the one who never showed up to the Shipment," Stef says, leaving out quite a bit. She's glad that he'd not been there to see her pass out, and she's not about to mention it, either. That's take the force out of her being fine. "Let's get inside, but you're fucking telling me what happened." There's that tone that seems to say she's not going to phrase that as an option. It's going to happen.

"And I am gonna beat his face in for this."

"It wasn't my choice, Stef." Shard says a tad defensively. "I was busy getting pummeled by the very Earth itself." But he can't help but let out another laugh at Stef's promise to beat in White's face. "You can't know how much it hurts that I wasn't there. But it probably doesn't hurt more than the near broken back I have right now." Vincent mutters as they make their way in. Pushing the door to the garage open, he holds it until Stef can get in.

"Well. If you're alright. I have some things. I need everyone who's even the tiniest bit loyal to me to come meet with me."

"I'm not going anywhere," Stef insists, staying close to him even if she has to force herself to look well. It's not very good act, but it could be plain worry, or the sick she'd been complaining about lately. Never so bad that she'd passed out. That she can blame on him being gone. "Doesn't sound like things went too well without you, but I'm here even if no one else is." With them inside finally, she looks back over him.

"Is your back really nearly broken? There's healers. We should find you a healer."

"I don't know I've never had a broken back before." Shard retorts quickly, as they make their way in. Vincent King goes to slump against the heeavy door. Slowly sliding against it the man goes into a sitting position leaning against the wall fully. The back of his head slaps gently against the wall as a heavy exhale is let out.

"White's going to pay. He tried to kill me. Thinks I'm dead." Raising up one hand, a small pillar of earth raises from the ground, stretching up to touch against his palm before sliding back into its original place. His hand drops to his side. "I got him." He says softly. "And I've had a realization. I've been saying there is no fight, and White's been saying there has to be a war. Turns out we're both right. There isn't going to be a civil war. But there is going to be a war."

"Us against them."

Staying close to him, Stef watches as he manipulates the earth. Explains how he got himself out of there before he suffocated and why White would think he's dead, but it doesn't explain a lot of things. She looks very tempted to reach forward and try and touch him, and in fact one of her hands does reach out as if she may do it anyway. It doesn't quite happen.

"Us against them," she repeats, voice soft, as if she's not quite sure how he means. Or perhaps that she doesn't want to understand what he means. Or doesn't want to misunderstand. "How did this happen?

"White tried to kill me. I've been saying this whole time we have to give to the people, do this Martin Luther King style. But Martin Luther never had Malcolm X poudning on his door with a gun in hand." Instinctively his hand jerks away from Stef's motion. He needs this. It's the only edge they have now. His hands clasp together as he brings up his knees. "If he ever did, I really hope Doctor King would have kicked his ass." A sigh escapes his lips.

"Because that's exactly what I'm going to do. White wants a war, I'll give him a fucking war." The f word, rarely if ever used by Vincent. "But he isn't going to like it. We're going to take him apart, piece by piece. You can't mass a war without an army. We're taking away his soldiers. Think you can handle Knox? Because we're bringing them in. All his lieutenants. His top dogs, we're singling them out and taking them."

The more he says, the more that a smile starts to grow. Stef might have been hesitant to jump to conclusions, in case she jumped to the wrong one, but things are pretty clear. This is exactly the kind of war she wants. "About fucking time," she says, even as she lets her hand drop and back away a bit. There's a few downers to this situation, and it shows briefly before she turns around and paces away a few steps. Time to fuck up some people, she can handle that— though she could have handled it better a month ago. She'll just have to force it. Somehow.

"I can handle him," she says, before turning back. "Even if I'm getting violence to make up for it, I'm kinda pissed that there won't be anymore of the sex." She actually is kinda fist shaking at that. Damn White, denying her sex. Still, that smile makes itself seen again, mischevious and shameless, "Guess it'll just be one of those things to look forward to. Victory sex. After the violence."

Shard lets out a little chuckle, hanging his head a bit. In his eyes it was a mistake. Never should have happened. But…

"Stef. If we make it through all of this, and beat White. I will have sex with you until it falls off." He lets out a little laugh, going to press his hands against his knees to stand. "I need Canfield. Devi. Robin. All of them. And you. But right now, I have to have a meeting with an old friend of mine." He looks down at Stef, giving a quiet sigh. "I am sorry, Stef. I wish I could…" Touch her? Kiss her? A pause. "I'll see you later today."

"I wouldn't want that. I like it right where it is," Stef says, even glancing down at it. Covered in clothes and dirt as it may be, she certainly had seen it. Definitely wasn't a mistake for her, from the sounds of things. "All right. Go do what you have to and I'll be here. Just be careful. You'll lose the whole 'edge' if White finds out you're alive too fast, right?"

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