What Grows in Park Slope


chris_icon.gif faulkner_icon.gif isis2_icon.gif rue_icon.gif

Scene Title What Grows in Park Slope
Synopsis The road to hell is paved with good intentions and plagued with weeds.
Date April 28, 2019

Most of the glass remains fixed in place on the large glass house that once belonged to the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. Now, it belongs to the wilds that have taken root in its place. Where things were once carefully curated and picture-perfect, vines and other overgrowth have declared dominion inside the ruins of the Palm House event space, some having sprawled over from the adjacent Aquatic House. Cracks in pathways spit out greenery, former reflecting pools overrun with mossy beds. Even the nearby Japanese pond is the same, tinged with chlorophyll from algae that has stubbornly grown even throughout winter. The long-abandoned Cherry Esplanade where the sakura grew now only has a few trees where before it sported many, but the trees are large and willow down with the weight of their blossoms.

It's inside the Palm House that the 'event' appears to be taking place, bonfires in trash bins lighting the space while alcohol is passed around to keep the evening interesting. But, unless you know someone who knows someone, it suddenly becomes a bring-your-own kind of event. Huddles of people dressed against the mild spring chill gather, representing a wide swathe of Safe Zone residents all looking to end the weekend on a high note.

Someone makes a joke about how this is already a better party than that one they threw across town earlier in the month. There's some laughter in reply. And hey — it's true: the power can't go out if there's not power to go out in the first place.

Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, Park Slope

April 28, 2019

6:00 pm

Someone's brought one of their own portable Bluetooth speakers, and the device is working overtime pulsing out tunes at the moment. Stationed on a long-abandoned table near the back of seating area of the large event room, the opening beats to Fatboy Slim's Weapon of Choice can be heard almost throughout the entire space. The shadows are already heavy inside the building, thanks to the overgrowth, the firelight from the bin casting a needed glow.

There's maybe a dozen people gathered in the gloom, the only sign of food being an open bag of chips passed between one cluster of people. Despite no one seeming to know each other very well, there's a core set of movers trying to create a sense of camaraderie here.

A darker-skinned woman with healthy curls that frizz out from beneath the beanie she wears is vocally keyed into what's playing, moving along with the base beat and trying to get others to join her in either singing or dancing. "Rosario, you're way too into this," A freckled younger man laughs at her, beer in hand. He remains cemented to the sidelines, such as they are. Rosario is unperturbed, going with her own flow and whoever is willing to let loose with her. She's mindful of the large vines across the floor, careful to keep them from tripping her up. She lets out an embarrassed laugh and steps back, hand waving before her when someone who joins her begins flowing with the beat in a progression of robot-like movements. She can't compete with that!

A gray, thigh-length jacket with a deep hood does little-to-nothing in the case of hiding vibrant and untamed red locks. Isis sits on the middle of a moss-carpeted stone staircase on the fringes of the larger gathering. Despite her division from the overall group, she appears nonetheless engaged and amused. Thin leather gloves form like a second skin to her fingers, the long digits cradling a round silver flask that comes up to her lips - firelight reflected in its surface with no less vivacious a gleam than in her hazel eyes. The freckle-faced woman hurriedly lowers her drink and licks her lips to let out a whoop of support in Rosario's direction.

"Aw, come on, you got this," she hollers out in Rosario's direction in a show of womanly solidarity. Still, not enough solidarity to get off her ass and actually go dance, mind you.

Isaac Faulkner laughs quietly to himself, heel tapping in time to the beat as he watches the dancers from the fringe; here, surrounded by dancing shadows and firelight, he's in his element. He's got a large bottle of… something… in his hand, and seems to be more than willing to share. He hasn't stepped up to dance — yet, at least — but that doesn't seem to be stopping him from enjoying the party.

This isn't normally Rue's scene, except that she's going to make it her scene. This used to be the kind of life she lived - parties and drinking every weekend - before she developed a sense of duty and responsibility. Lancaster has decided to let her hair down (proverbially - it's tucked up in a messy bun on top of her head at the moment) and find her way to this impromptu shindig.

She's not arrived empty-handed, of course. An outsider should never arrive without something to share. Setting a box down next to one glass wall at the edges of the action, she pops the cardboard flaps open and pulls out a bottle of vodka. One flap has a black Sharpie scrawl that reads: FREE TO GOOD HOME.

Liquor and beer now made available to the have-nots and the want-mores, Rue makes her way along the edges of the dance floor. Black combat boots crunch errant foliage beneath their soles. Fraying grey skinny jeans are tucked into the tops of the boots and an oversized red-orange sweater hangs down to mid-thigh. The sleeves are pushed up to avoid draping down over her hands. Her hips sway with the beat as she makes her way toward the overgrown stairwell and, consequently, the pretty redhead sitting there.

Hearing someone call out in her direction as she tries to back out of dancing, Rosario is breathless in her laughter. She draws in breath, chin lifting up in the direction of the redhead trying to encourage her. "Come on, baby, let's see what you've got, then!" Her hands lift in a wave with a rotation of her wrist, arms continuing to climb as she goes back to finding her own groove a little less in the limelight.

There's a pop and crackle that comes from one of the two flaming bins and a scruffy, plaid-wearing man standing at it flinches and jumps back. His companions laugh and nudge at him, and he gives a baleful grin in return. He looks over his shoulder, eyeing the new 'homeless' alcohol and points it out to his friends.

Dark lashes lined with sweeping cat-eye of kohl narrow at the shadow flickers around the edge of the designated "dancing area". She needs glasses, but there's a hopeful twinge in the twitch of her smile as she tries determine if the toe-tapping man lingering is one she recognizes. Movement in her periphery as Rue approaches and then Rosario's effort to call her out both result in her diverted attention. "What? Me?" Faulkner would recognize that uncertainty, that surprise, that anyone here would want her to dance.

Well, shit. Isis pushes to her feet as Rue gets to the bottom of the stairs. She grins at the other woman and holds up a little fist. "Come on. Redheads unite." It's becoming something of a tag line, complete with a little raised fist. As she walks down the stairs, it's clear she's a fair deal shorter than Rue, but gives an encouraging bob of her head all the same and heads out, carefully picking over vines. She holds her flask on high, her hips taking on a fun sashay embellished more and more with each step. "Fine," she calls back at Rosario. "But, just remember, you asked for it."

Isaac grins as Rosario gestures, his gaze flickering over to the shadowed stairwell…

…and as he spots the pair of redheads coming forward from the shadows, his grin fades just a bit, a look of surprise overtaking it. One of those two looks like a very familiar redhead. A moment later, his grin comes back, broader than before.

The knuckles of Rue's own fist tap against Isis' with a grin. She lets her make her way out onto the dance floor first, following behind at a languid pace after she sets her bottle of vodka down on the last step, to be reclaimed later.

It becomes clear once she starts moving to the music in earnest that she's a classically trained dancer. Pirouettes and sweeping arm movements are employed, more modern dance than what the kids are doing these days. Ask Rue if she cares. Besides, she looks pretty cool when she does a one-armed cartwheel.

"Whoa, whoa, hey!" Rosario pauses midsway to start clapping at Rue's fluid and athletic performance. "Look at you go, Red Two!" Her cheeks dimple with her broad smile as she takes a step back to admire the skill on display. "Where were you ladies when I needed backup earlier?" She shoots a mischievous, if not pointed look at her freckled friend on the sidelines. He holds up his hands to arrest the thought before she can finish it, drinking from his beer. He's a busy guy, Rosario, leave him alone.

Too bad for him. She's cycling his way now. The song is carrying on in the background, carrying on through the twists and lifts of its peppy tune.

"Hey, look at that!" Rue's box has been properly inspected and is in the process of being appreciated for its sheer variety, and in the case of one particular bottle, quality. There might not be enough of them to entirely fill the venue, but it only takes a inspired voices on top of the music for the place to begin to feel lively. "Chris, come get you some before this all goes," one calls out. Collectively, the youngest gaggle of partygoers turn, interest rising in the prospect of free alcohol up for grabs. At least one of them look like they might not be old enough for it, but they're naturally the first to slink away from the group, arms folded over their chest as they peer at the goods. "Yo, thanks, whoever brought this." they call out to the air.

Now it's a party.

Witness to the shenanigans at play, Chris Ayers lingers near the fire. He's apart from the hooligans that are eyeballing the abandoned beers, because who wants to associate with random nonsense when that's what you came to an off-grid party to do? That's why he escaped his own people after all, leaving them to do whateverthefuck they do in the market. He nurses a bottle of something gross — he's had better brew come out of a rusty bathtub, but there's a hint of amusement given toward the party. At least of the vaguely bored variety of amusement.

Hazel eyes flecked with gold reflect the firelight in Isaac's direction. A skewed smile, boarding on a smirk but more inviting than all that, is cast his way before Isis turns around to Rue and - "Daaaaaamn!" Isis lets out a sharp, impressed whistle. Taking a step back, the hazel-eyed woman extends her arms out to either side, elbows bent gently. As the beat pops, her left hip drops, then the right. She bobs her brows once Rue's way and indulges a quick hip shimmy. Belly dance. It sure as hell isn't as impressive her impromptu red-friend's modern style, but it was either that or what she'd picked up from pole dancing lessons and well… wrong place, wrong time.

The quick, flirty display is short lived as Isis only succeeds in laughing at herself and slipping into a simpler, two-step sashay. She turns a look on Rosario with a shrugged, empty handed motion that is part apology and part amusement. A quick glance over her shoulder and she dares to take note of Isaac again. A raised, pale brow relays what her silence fails to: Dance?

Well, damn. The other redhead's a ballerina or a dance-ninja or something; no way he can he look cool next to that.

But, on the other hand… looks like someone out there thinks he looks cool enough as it is, judging by the looks Jo's giving him. He laughs to himself, coming to his feet and setting his bottle down; hopefully it'll be there when he gets back, but if not, oh well.

He strides forward, stepping out into the firelight and starting to dance.

Rue beams a smile and slowly leans back, gracefully arching her back until her palms touch the floor, building a bridge with her spine. With a kick off the floor, she flips up into a handstand and holds it for three seconds before she tips her weight until her feet land on the floor again, popping up into a standing position with her arms up above her head. Nailed it.

She'll accept applause if it's given, and feel no shame if it's not, before bounding back over to her bottle of vodka and making her way toward one of the barrels of fire. Rue pulls the corked cap free and takes a swig directly from the bottle. The cap stays between two knuckles of her right hand, the neck of the bottle held in her left. Rue upnods to the amused-but-bored looking young man. "They call me Rumor," she offers. "What's your monicker?"

The song shifts, nothing but silence at first until a group of voices chime in.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

Yeah, yeah, yeah, go, go away

Applause is certainly given for Rue's performance, at least by Rosario and her grudging existence of a friend. He's got a reluctant grin on his face as he turns to watch Rue go for her drink, turning back to Rosario only after to notice the woman has her brow lifted knowingly at him. When he starts to stammer, and doesn't have an excuse prepared, she capitalizes on the opportunity, grabbing his arm and dragging him backward. She's grabbing a dance with him at least until his awkward ass freaks out after the thematic turn in the song.

We just wanna party

Party just for you

Isis, or Joanne as she's known by at least one person here, resists the urge to let out of another holler of encouragement as Isaac comes forward. But, with all the effort spent to contain her excitement, there's none left to disguise her amusement - leaving a warm, bright smile on peach-pale lips to greet the courier out on the 'dancefloor'.

Rue's display warrants a muffled clap from Isis's gloved hands, the flask since skirted away into a pocket or other. But then… wait, where is Red Two going? That means… Isis turns back to Isaac with both brows arched up and a silly-nervous smile on. It takes a moment, but with a rhythmic bob of her shoulders she lets her casual two-step draw her his way a bit, finding a proximity that suggests she is in some way that she's dancing with him without encroaching horribly on his personal space.

"That because you get around easily but no one can actually verify any account of what happened?" Chris slides a look at Rue as he responds to her question with a question of his own. He might be grinning. A little bit. It may also be a continuation of that amusedly-bored expression he's been wearing most of the evening. The firelight really makes it hard to say which it is, and his near deadpan tone doesn't help.

He slowly turns his attention to the dancing, like it's really no big deal if he watches or doesn't. There isn't a lot to miss, really, a bunch of drunken semi-adults — how many of them are actually adul… actually it doesn't matter. "Chris," he offers in aside to the acrobat, given as he raises his bottle for another swallow of the less-than-palatable swill.

Isaac matches Jo's grin with one of his own; his is more amused than nervous, but it's also broader than his usual smirks, more genuine. "I'd been hoping to run into you again," he comments quietly as she draws closer. "But I didn't expect to see you here, of all places," he says, laughing.

Rue doesn't miss a beat, eyes narrowing faintly and crinckling at the corners with amusement. "Oh, so you've heard of me. Glad to know my reputation precedes me." If she's bothered by the insinuation, it doesn't show anywhere in her body language.

"Good to meet ya, Chris." Rue takes another pull from her vodka bottle, still rocking her hips gently back and forth to the beat of the music. She holds out the vodka toward him, brows lifted in question as she gives it a little shake from side to side. Mm?

I know you wanna party

Party just for me

Rosario looks over her shoulder toward the speaker, considering the tune for a beat and what comes while she drags her friend with the alabaster skin along with her. With a shake of her head, she opts to live in this brief moment and wait to see if the overall mood changes and she needs to skip to the next shuffled song in her list. Hey, maybe her taste wasn't for everyone. She firms her hands around his, encouraging him to move a little before she lets him go, letting her body roll in a sway to the pleasant beat.

Girl, you got me dancin' (yeah, girl, you got me dancin')

Dance and shake the frame

The group circling the bonfire, armed with fresh beers, have been swapping stories. Recent tales lead into war anecdotes lead now back to the state of the Safe Zone. The jumpy man in plaid looks over his shoulder again, the scruff on his jaw moving as he works it with a thoughtful look before he looks back to the group, tries to take a sip of his beer, enjoy the moment.

Girl, you got me dancin' (yeah, girl, you got me dancin')

Dance and shake the—

Two things happen. The first: silence. Simultaneously: the sound of glass shattering.

One of the girls in the gaggle of college-age students has slipped, her bottle shattering as it hits the ground. "Whoa, Angie, you all right?" her friend coos in worry. People turn.

But the music's stopped, too. Eyebrow raising, Rosario turns to look where she'd left it. It's no longer there.

Dark, sweeping lines of makeup narrow up around hazel eyes in a feigned suspicion directed Isaac's way. "Oh? Had you now?" Despite the coy nature of her banter, her smile takes on a more sincere contour. Two steps forward, one step back. She rocks her head gently side to side so that her hood falls back and her curls spill over her shoulder. "The feeling is mutual and maybe I'm here 'caus-"

The silence seems to magnify the cracking spark of splintering glass. Joanne turns a wide-eyed look around to Angie, but just as quickly lets it deviate back around to Rosario. She watches the girl with equal measures of curiosity and apprehension. Instinctively and without looking at him, she reaches out and rests a hand on Isaac's forearm - a little motion that is as protective just a much as it is a means to steady herself in the here, the now… this is not a time to let paranoia run rampant. Still, her offhand slips into her pocket for the reassurance of something tucked therein.

Isaac's smile widens at what she starts to say… but at the sudden silence and the crack of splintering glass, he tenses. He's tempted to reach out with his ability, see if he can feel anything creeping about in the shadows…

…but maybe not yet. It's probably best not to freak out the neighbors when they're already on edge. Or Jo, for that matter, who he's just now noticed has a very warm hand resting on his forearm. He offers her another brief smile — one that's no less genuine for the tension in it. "That was… odd," he murmurs. It's a poor attempt at humor, and one that can't entirely hide the fact that he's listening intently, eyes scanning the shadows.

The bottle in his hand is tipped back while his eyes lay on the offering. He considers, while finishing off the dregs of semi-flat, barely chilled beer he's been working on. After tossing the emptied glass into the fire barrel, Chris accepts the other with another look at Rue. "To be fair," he begins. He raises the bottle and helps himself to a single swallow. Vodka isn't his thing, and it shows in the slight frown he makes when he lowers the bottle again, but it's better than the beer.

"To be fair — " he's not going to finish that sentence, cut off by the sudden lack of music and almost simultaneous shattering of glass. The vodka is held, casually as you please, to Rue. But Chris' eyes and head have turned to investigate the oddity like so many others. "What the shit."

Rue takes back the vodka bottle without much thought, turning to look over her shoulder at the commotion. Or lack of it, now that the music's suddenly gone. "That's weird," she mutters, standing up a little straighter. She puts the cork back in the bottle and crouches down to set it on the ground at her feet, listening for signs of anything else amiss.

"Yeah," the surprisingly athletic-looking Angie reports from the floor. She's confused, looks down at the ground as she tries to figure out what happened. "I think I just slipped or something…" She swings an arm up, accepting assistance back to her feet.

Rosario has gone over to the table where the speaker had been positioned, finding it on the floor — cracked. Broken now. There's a twitch of frustration that runs through her at that, but she pulls it in. It shouldn't have been able to do that. She slides her phone from her pocket, swiping away the auto-paused music app to summon up the cell's flashlight instead, looking to see if maybe there's something she's missed.

The jumpy man by the fire has turned away from the bonfire entirely, watching the dark and shadows, listening in the silence. His look slides blank as he hears — thinks he hears something.

Off the side of Isaac's foot, one of the fist-thick vines on the ground moves. It's a twitch at first, followed by a slow slither on the ground as it slides a certain direction.

"Yeah… odd…" Joanne's voice is a distracted, unconvinced whisper. She watches Rosario still, the way the young woman illuminates a section around the table. The short redhead squints and finally manages to pry her attention back around to Isaac. She glances briefly to her hand before letting it slip away from his forearm. "Hey do you want to ge-…"

It's the start of an anxious excuse to leave dressed in the guise of a come-on, but it never quiet hits the mark. The hiss of something moving over earth and stone in the shadows at Isaac 'sfeet causes Isis to jump back. "What was that!?" There's a feverish pitch to her alto tones, hazel eyes trending towards a nervous gold as her gaze pitches this way and that at the darkly cast vines below.

Isaac hears the soft slither at his feet, glances down… and his eyes widen. "What the shit?" he murmurs, watching as the huge vine twitches and starts to crawl — not at him, thankfully. When did this turn Biollante's Revenge?

The various sounds of surprise and frightened wonderings, coupled with the strangely shattered glass and sudden silence, has Chris straightening out of his slouchy posture. "Fucking weird," he murmurs in agreement to Rue's opinion. He takes a few steps away from the bonfire, head turning to try and block out the crackle and pop that's coming from it. His back goes to the fire as well, letting its brightness cast light on everything else, while not destroying his own vision.

Isaac's cry is what grabs Rue's attention, her head snapping in his direction to see what it is that he's exclaiming about. Is that vine moving? She follows the length of it with her eyes, trying to see if there's someone in the dark trying to move it like a jump rope on the ground just to freak people out.

"Holy shit, what is that?" The man in plaid is panicking, taking a step back. He stumbles into one of his drinking buddies, and they both nearly hit the ground. More vines are writhing, some so large all they can do is bend only at wide, wide angles before they'd hurt themselves.

There's no one on the other end, at least — not that can be seen. And yet a voice comes from higher up, echoing in the glass-enclosed hall:

"Get out."

The plantlife shifts, a new life in it. There's a yelp as someone else is tripped up by a flailing vine. In the silence left behind by the music, the shift of vine on floor, wall, ceiling is a low song all its own.

The first vine lashes out toward the group of college-aged kids, a scream from the girls while one of the boys barely has time to lift his arms before he's hit. A second barklike vine goes flying in Rue and Chris's direction, waving wildly.

"You're not wanted here; get out!" the voice shrieks.

The scream has Chris' attention first, trying to pick out the frightened girl and the cause. A second later he's moving without thinking about it. Disembodied voices? Yeah, screw that. "Get your finger out've your ass," is what he says to the shrieking demands. Because he's not running away. Nope, he's turning to shove Rue out of the way of that other vine.

"I need to stop trying to have a night life." This quiet, groaned observation is the lesson Isis is taking from the creepy, vine-slithery event that is taking place under foot. Coffee dates, good. Evening dates, bad.

There's a gutted gasp, Isis's gloved hand belatedly taken to her lips as her molten-gold gaze takes in the sight of thick, heaving vines lash out at the younger troupe. She grimaces and turns her gaze briefly on Isaac. It's a searching look that hardens into a icy resolve. She turns and tears across the green house towards the teens…

"Stop! Just wait!" Joanne is hollering back at the disembodied voice. "No one has to get hurt!" She skitters to a stop and helps the thumped boy unsteadily to his feet. "Come on! Get out of here!" She starts shoving the kids one after another towards the exit, looking back over her shoulder towards the darkness and the impending vines.

Rue is quick on her feet. Dashing forward, she flings one arm out to push Chris out of the way, colliding with his own shoving arm. She bounces off of him and staggers back, but still prepared to take the brunt of the blow if it will help keep someone else from getting injured. "Maybe ask politely instead of attacking first!" she shouts upward toward the sound of the voice.

Blue eyes stare through scattered red tendrils of curls, catching Chris' own gaze. "Let's keep 'em busy, shall we?" Rue flashes him a grin, fingers curling in toward her palms as though to make fists. Either to attack something or to start running.

This actually is Biollante's Revenge. Holy shit. Isaac freezes for a moment in mute horror… and Jo takes off. Jesus. He used to do this shit, and she's the one rushing into action at the sign of danger; he's gotten rusty. Or maybe soft. "Alright," he says quietly…

…and his shadow twists, melts, pooling at his feet as he runs towards Jo. "Pool's closed!" he calls out. "Everyone out!" As he gets away from the firelight, there's more darkness to draw on; he gathers it around himself, the air around him darkening faintly as he makes the darkness just a little bit real. Just enough that he can feel if any huge vine tentacles try to grab him, or anyone around him. Just enough that he can fight back if any of those vines do try anything. "Move in an orderly fashion, but move."

The two very distinct reactions to the plants coming to life receive only one response in return — continued thrashing. There's a frustrated scream of effort from the voice, which definitely outs it as coming from the overgrown greenhouse to the left of the entryway. It echoes, and the plants groan with effort as growth exits that area, seeking to add themselves into the fray.

A particularly thick vine, some overgrown, once-buried root, lashes violently in Isaac's direction, a scattering of smaller roots swatting Isis's way like a flail. At the suggestion to leave, the group of youngest head out quickly. With them is Rosario's pale friend, who turns back to look for her. "Rose, come on!" he yells for her. She's warily hanging back, eyes darting from one place to the next — she's looking to make sure everyone gets out, too.

"We're sorry — we didn't mean to bother you!" Rosario adds her voice into the fray. Maybe it'll even be heard. She thinks she's good to go, that everyone who intends on leaving is gone, but then she notices the man in plaid standing stock still in alarm, flinching as he sees flora flying through the air how it shouldn't be. "Come on, come on," she encourages him, grabbing him by his elbow and trying to usher him on.

It's Chris and Rue who are least appreciated by the living vines. A thick branch flies off the ground low, and from behind, meaning to sweep them off their feet.

"Well pitter-patter," Chris returns to Rue's suggestion. He doesn't look at her, necessary, except for a short glance her way after the initial attempt at knocking her away from the vine. He's trying to see what's making all those horrible shrieks and demanding anything. "You know what I think," he begins, already starting… well, forward from where he's stopped. "I think someone's looking for a beating."

It's a steady walk, in no hurry to get to where he thinks the voice is coming from. But it's purposeful, ground covering. Because someone's going to get a beating. And it starts with Chris, who's swept off his feet by a fucking dirty trick vine, attacking from behind like that. He lands on his back with a grunt, takes a second to pick himself up again.

"Go-go-go." Isis' gloved hand gives a shove here and there as needed, deterring rubbernecking from the intoxicated youths and ushering them on. She even gives the pale boy a forceful shove despite attempting to turn back and search for Rosario herself. Pale lips part but instead of shouted instruction, they let out a quick yelp as a whipish roots rear up and swat at her. She raises an arm to protect her face, jacket and gloves take the brunt of the sharp cracks.

Squinting out from under her raised arm, golden eyes catch the glow of a barrel fire nearby. A little sneer tugs a quivering curl on her upper lip before the redhead seeks to dodge out from under the thrashing assault and make for the barrel. As she seeks to close in on fire, she hollers to the source of the ominous voice. "STOP! Stop it now or I burn it down!" She lifts a boot towards the barrel and looks about, waving frantically at Rosario and Plaid Man. Go-go-go.

"Let's get at 'er." Rue fires back to Chris. When the vine goes low, she leaps forward into a somersault to avoid being knocked down. The momentum carries her up to her knees again, and a shove of her hand on the ground brings her back to a standing position. "Right."

Rue may normally be a live and let live type, but whoever is attacking them isn't living by the same principles. And she's not about to let Chris march off alone. She reaches down and grabs his arm to help haul him up off the floor. Then her eyes snap to Isis and Rue shakes her head frantically to the other redhead. That doesn't look like an empty threat.

Isaac feels the vine coming at him — when he's got his ability extended like this, he can feel everything around him within the reach of his darkness. He grins savagely… and the darkness in the air between him and the vine congeals, solidifies, forming a wall of solid night. Here, in this place's sepulchral gloom, the darkness is thick, strong, and Isaac can render it hard as stone. "We're leaving already," Isaac calls. "So if you could lay off the flailing, that'd be greatly appreciated!" he calls sardonically.

At Jo's shout, though, his eyes widen. Oh shit. He lets his wall of night dissipate and slides back, gliding on the darkness beneath his feet back towards the firelight; the darkness is thinner here. Less solid, more… gelatinous. Still enough to manage a barrier if need be, but not as strong; hopefully enough to cover Jo if the plants come after her. "Love the sentiment, Jo, but… maybe we should focus on getting out of here for the moment," he observes, raising an eyebrow at her. Dark haze still ripples in the air around him — he wants to be ready in case Biollante gets pissy.

Rosario makes it as far as the door, the rest of the crowd already rushed outside, and some even further away still. Hell, they're probably headed for solid ground as far away from plants as possible after the scare they've received. Curls sway as she turns back abruptly, hand on the broken, ever-open door while she considers the scene — hesitates on just abandoning everyone who's left. Then she sees the black wall that Isaac summons into existence, and her eyes widen. Instead of worrying, she's slipped into merely observing in awe.

Screeching plant lady has a bit less to screech about as bodies leave the building, one after the other. Still — there's too many who seem intent on staying in her domain. The vines seem to have a tougher time with less targets to thrash, ones better suited for the tasks its manipulator wants them to perform not always in the most convenient position. Still, it's just a matter of time to move things in the proper place and —

Then Isis's threat rings out. Tiny tendrils of growth that had begun to grow up rapidly around Chris's foot release the intensity of their hold. Vines that had given chase to Isaac halt in their tracks. A thick, weedlike growth near Isis that had been lumbering closer … stops.

"You wouldn't dare," The voice calls out, closer now. In the dark, in the greenhouse beyond, a thin silhouette can be seen. Their frame is merely thin and indistinguishable at a distance, but the voice is distinctly feminine. It's clear, even though there's a waver of timor in it. For all the manipulation of plants that has gone on, the woman is clearly bracing something against her shoulder as well, in case someone dared closer.

A shotgun, if one had to guess.

The hand up is accepted with hardly a thought about it. Chris turns from Rue with only a nod of thanks, likely lost in the flickering light of the fire, the strange orange glow makes things appear differently than they really are. The same holds true as he starts striding forward again. This time, with enough awareness to the ground that he's unlikely to get tripped again. He's sure.

"Audrey-Two," he yells out, almost sing-song in quality. It's tarnished by the flatness of his tone. He's not amused. "Seymour isn't here." He motions Rue toward Isis, as a sort of go that way and stop the crazy from starting anymore fires. He keeps going toward the voice.

"Calm your tits." Chris puts himself in front of the plant-person while he approaches, looking nowhere near impressed with the show. "You keep flailing about like that and someone's gonna get really pissed."

"There's still people here," Isis hisses back, at Isaac, her voice cracking around the edges. Scared. Her gaze risks a brief glance Rosario's way. It's clear she isn't standing her, boot braced to the mock fire pit for the fun of it. Her body hums with the beckoning of flight over fight - run-run-run. But, the image of Rosario steadies her body, if not the racing of her heart and the pounding of adrenaline in her ears.

This is what she did the last eight years - protect children, lay her life on the line to see them safely on. It's the kids fleeing and Rosario there, gawking in the doorway, that gives her the courage to press her boot harder and teeter the flickering, crackling barrel to a precarious angle.

Her gaze slides over Isaac, then Chris and Red Two, before settling on the thin silhouette and the shadow of the shotgun barely discerned. She gulps visibly. "I don't want to do it, sister," she replies quietly. Sister - it's not a tease, but someone else's words pulled up from a recent memory. Evos - brothers and sisters. It was almost corny at the time, but now… "No one has to get hurt," she echoes again. She watches Chris's back nervously, half expecting to see a shotgun hole appear in his center of mass. She shivers, the barrel rocking uncertainly.

"No one needs to get hurt," Rue echoes. "People just wanted to get away from life for a while and have some fun. I feel like you can empathize," she says toward the plant manipulator. Slowly, she insinuates herself between Isis at the fire barrel and the woman with the shotgun. Not that it could do too much damage at this range. "No one here meant to disturb you. No one here's trying to hurt the wildlife."

Isaac glances to Jo… and his lips curl up into a genuine smile once more. "You're really something, you know that?" he murmurs, for Jo's ears alone… then he raises his voice. "They're right. Why don't we do what civilized people do when they have disagreements, and talk this out?" Then, after a moment, he adds, with at least an attempt at contrition, "We're sorry if the noise bothered you. It wasn't our intention." He lets his arms dangle loosely at his sides, trying to be ready in case of… whatever. He's pretty sure he doesn't have much chance of getting a barrier up faster than a shotgun blast would hit, but at the very least he should be able to get himself, Jo, and Red Two out of here afterwards, if things go pear shaped.

Nobody needs to get hurt, sure. But nobody needed to stay and argue about leaving either.

When Chris approaches the woman, she lifts the shotgun a little higher and roughly racks it. It shakes her whole slender form. Even in the dim lighting which grows darker by the minute, he can see the wariness in her sunk eyes and the inflexibility of her nature. She lets out a spiteful laugh at the reference made in her direction, inclines her head to enunciate almost overly clearly at him: "I said get out."

The rest of his associates seem a little more reasonable to deal with, so gun still trained on Chris, she does her best to speak around him. They're all emitting various reassurances and placations for calm. Okay, all right then. Dark wisps of hair are visible around a pale, stern face as the woman steps closer to the light. "Right — this was an accident that won't happen again. I've heard that before. And yet more of you keep coming back." There's a bite to that, but the vines remain still. Her gaze shoots in Rue's direction in particular, latching onto the bit about hurting the wildlife.

"You hadn't yet," she concedes, but merely shakes her head, shotgun still held at the ready. "But you won't have the chance anyway. Find someplace else to party. Final warning." And with that, she shoots a look back at Chris, who seemed the most likely to try something warranting the use of her trigger finger.

"Everyone and their dead uncle heard what you fucking said." Chris keeps his attention on the woman, showing no concern for anyone behind him. They'll get out, or they won't. Either way, he's still between them and the triffid. "Quit throwing your bitch fit and give'em a chance to leave." She did strike first, after all. No warning, just suddenly vines for days. Thank god it wasn't tomatoes.

"You even know how to use that thing?" He means the gun, and he's keeping her talking to give the last of the party-goers a chance to get the fuck out already. Why are you still standing around gawking, she's got a gun. Hello. Chris stops his approach once he's guessing he's about an arm's length from the crazy. "Here's what I think. If you keep playing like Invasion of the Body Snatchers, people're going to start saying this place is haunted. If this place is haunted then more people will come because idiots like to be scared. More people coming means you gotta start whipping your tentacles out again, and believe me. Nobody fucking wants that."

Good thing Isis isn't the swooning type, or Isaac's compliment might have turned her boot-braced threat into a fiery reality. A coarse chuckle rasps around in her tense throat and she considers Isaac in her periphery. "Remind me. When the adrenaline wears off." She barely manages, gritting her teeth now.

"You're right. You're right," The woman going by Joanne calls back amicably. "We're going. We can't promise others won't come. I mean… maybe… consider putting up some signs?" There's a curious lilt to her voice and she starts to ease off the barrel. She's not really keen on the idea of holding it up while the others leave, but in this stand off it does seem to be something of 'gun v. fire'… Then again, Chris is making a pretty good meat shield. And now he's going on about Body Snatchers so…

To Isaac, the shorter redhead gives a little nod and slooowly lowers the barrel as careful and quiet as can be. She begins to carefully pick her way backwards towards Rosario and the exit.

"Chris, c'mon." Rue shoots a warning look to Isis before starting to make her way forward toward the man who's with her on Team Asskickin'. But if they kick her ass, what then? The cycle of violence continues. Rue's not getting paid for this violence.

"We're sorry we disturbed you, ma'am. It wasn't our intent. Let us just gather up our things so there's less litter around here, okay? And we're gonna leave. I'll even come stand up there with you as a show of good faith, if ya like." Slowly, Rue raises her hands in the air. "I'm not SLC-Expressive. I'm just a girl who doesn't want anyone to get hurt tonight. We'll take our shit and we'll leave. Does that sound amenable?"

Isaac's eyes glitter in the firelight… he lets out a low chuckle. "Yeah. We'll leave. But… he's right, you know," he observes, his eyes never leaving the shadowed woman. "This isn't gonna work, long term. People see this big open space, they come here, make themselves comfortable… and sooner or later they run into you, because they don't know you're here. You chase them off — probably clear outta Park Slope, because everyone who knows you're here moves to fucking Nebraska or something because they're scared of trees now." He rolls his eyes. "And then more show up, and do the same damn thing all over again."

"If you keep going like this… you'll just have to keep chasing people off, and sooner or later the odds are good you'll cross the line and either someone's gonna drop dead of a heart attack and the government'll get involved, or a pyrokinetic's gonna get in here and roast the place when you try your 'Biollante's Revenge' schtick."

He shrugs, letting out a sigh. "I mean. We'll leave, sure. But aren't you getting tired of this song and dance?" he asks. "Just saying. Having neighbors you know might save you some trouble in the long run. At least they'll know to stay off your lawn, and can spread the word." He keeps near the fire barrel to hear her response — just in case she proves to be completely crazy instead of merely curmudgeonly — but he's ready to make for the exit, at high speed if necessary.

Rosario sinks with relief as at least some of them break rank to start heading her way. Yes, please, come on, let's get out of here safely, say her hands and her eyes as she waves them all over. She can't help but feel a little guilty — this had alll been her idea, thinking this place was entirely abandoned. At the risk of making things worse, though, this is a fact she most assuredly keeps to herself.

When Chris steps for the woman bearing the shotgun, she slides a step back, and the plant matter around her flares to life again. The webby, thin roots that had tried grabbing hold of his feet before do so again, making a nice snug sandal that really only allows for comfortable movement backward. From out behind her vines rumble over the stone and create a wave around her, lifting up in the beginnings of some mesh of a wall.

Her jaw is set. She really doesn't want to kill anyone out here tonight. That would certainly make life difficult, just as all these fine younger people were trying to impart on her most of her behavior would.

She doesn't care. She points her shotgun well off to the left, fires what amounts to a warning shot at the wall, buckshot flying and tinkling against glass as it rolls around. She racks her second round without so much as looking down and points it back in the group's general direction. "That sounds like my fucking problem, 'en, doesn't it?"

It's probably a rhetorical question.

"Someone collect your fucking chihuahua and get out of here before I do something that'll piss Sue off."

The shotgun blast doesn't actually send Chris running. He flinches at the sound, looks a little pissed about the residual ringing that's left over. He brings his hands up just a little, likely the first — and only — sign of maybe he isn't actually going to fight. "Let's take about eighty percent off there, Phantom Fungus." It wouldn't be fair after all. He left his guns back …elsewhere. Shh. He moves when Rue's hand tugs at his shoulder, easing himself backward slowly. Since people finally getting a fucking clue, it's time he followed suit.

On the one hand Rosario's relief encourages Isis onward; on the other the hissing scratch of vines and foliage tempt her back. Still, she ends up standing in front of Rosario. She pats the girl's shoulder, only now realizing that her glove and some flesh beneath have been split by the flail-like attack of roots before. She grimaces and then tries to silently usher the teen over the threshold.

Cradling her wounded hand in the other, she looks back to make sure that Isaac, and then the others too, are following along. She gives the courier a shivering, but nonetheless warm, smile before her hazel-golden gaze angles over his head and to the dark figure on the opposite side. There's a quick flicker of curiosity that manages to peek out amidst the sheen of nervous adrenaline before Isis turns away and slips over the boundary that marks the difference between Poison Ivy's domain and the safety outside.

The Wolfhound flinches at the blast. "No one wants to upset you," Rue repeats. "Put up signs. Explain that this place is occupied. No one wants to tread on someone else's ground." Her hand rests on Chris' shoulder, gently guiding him to face toward her. She tips her head back toward the exit. "Grab my box of goodies, will you? We don't want to leave broken glass for anyone to pick up, right?"

Rue wraps her hand around Chris' forearm tightly. "I'll meet you outside, 'kay?"

Isaac sighs. He'd tried. Well, whatever. "Chihuahua," he murmurs, glancing at Chris with some small amusement. He heads over to where his bottle of Lemon Death sits, undisturbed — a small blessing, perhaps, but a blessing nevertheless — then turns and heads for the exit, joining Rosario and Jo at the threshold. He returns Jo's grin with one of his own — like hers, his grin is nowhere near as bright as it had been earlier, but also like hers, it's genuine. "Well, this was nice. Also a bit terrifying, but I can say without reservation that the company was good," he says.

"And speaking of good!" he grins, raising the bottle. "A friend of mine was kind enough to donate a bottle of her very finest for tonight; seems it'd be a shame to let it go to waste. Anyone care for a swig for nerves?" he asks, offering the bottle of Lemon Death.

Shotgun is only lowered after Chris is tugged away, after the group head for the exit. One hand is lifted to brush wisps of dark brown hair from her face, looking over what more mess there was to be mindful of now. The woman turns to observe the two flaming bins, wondering how long they'll go before it'll be safe to sleep. Her brow furrows just a tick at that, and then checks her doorway again, grip still tight around the stock and barrel of the gun.

Thankfully, no one unexpected comes to darken its frame again.

Once outside and on the way to safety, Rosario is letting out a slow, exhaustive sigh. She swears at the end of it, soft and in Spanish. She goes at looking from one, to the other, to the rest, trying to make sense of it all as they head for the street, for the small knitting of persons that are still mutually wondering what the fuck to themselves at the corner. "I am so sorry about that. It was just supposed to be…" Well, much more relaxing than what it had turned into!

"I'm Rosario. I'm the one who suggested we all get together out here in the first place. Gonna cross 'seemingly uninhabited places in Park Slope' off my list of sites for get-togethers from here on…" She lets out a laugh at her own expense, but it turns into a sigh before the end of it. "But thanks for turning out, for what it was worth."

With a small, rueful grin that only lifts one side of her face, she admits, "I guess it's harder to put on a good party than I thought. I'll have to stop talking so much shit about those Yamagato parties."

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