With Minimal Violence


corbin2_icon.gif eileen_icon.gif joseph_icon.gif luke_icon.gif ryans2_icon.gif

And NPCs provided by Raith.

Scene Title With Minimal Violence
Synopsis The Ferry and the Company both go to see what the damage is at Summer Meadows, while Luke is only out for himself.
Date April 2, 2010

Summer Meadows

The low brickwork walls flanking the entrance to this subdivision pronounce it to be 'S MMER ME DOWS', black metal letters pitted by age and each tilted slightly askew by decades of weather and neglect. The rest of the subdivision echoes this theme — pavement cracked, its lines worn and faded nearly into obscurity; small lawns littered with autumn leaves and dying grass, shrubbery poorly pruned or not trimmed back at all, such flowers as there are in most cases long since grown wild.

The buildings in Summer Meadows are a mix of townhouses, duplexes, and quartered apartments, most of them with paint peeling at the edges, a few boarded over and sporting jagged holes where the windows weren't quite protected enough. This isn't a neighborhood where people are seen lounging on their porches as the sun sinks low in the sky; to stay out as darkness gathers is to risk unwanted attention, and the consequences thereof.

A modest sized portion of Summer Meadows' most urban region surrounding the brickwork apartment buildings near its entrance are in the best condition, with recent renovations of repainted siding, repaired roofs and sealant used on the cracks in the pavement. However there's still signs of that urban grit, from the yellow tint of its streetlights to the way that Summer Meadows' worst problems seem to have only been pushed back to its shadowed edges, not cleaned away entirely.

It's been nearly thirty hours since the Den left Summer Meadows in a hurry, not really knowing what they were fleeing but regardless, they didn't look back. Here, out on the bleak wintery street, it unfurls for anyone to watch in a series of single-file queues, of parked vans, and of a young woman and her companion going from wall to wall, in defiance of the activities going on, stapling and pasting up A4 sized posters that read:




No more oppression! No more police in our streets!

Reclaim Roosevelt!

(Coffee & Tea provided Dress warmly)

One sheet of paper, torn loose off a brick wall from the nagging winter wind, wraps itself around Joseph's ankle, causing the pastor to glance downwards, stoop to pick it up and smooth out the crinkles in the paper to read the blockish print. He's bundled into a winter jacket, seemingly alone and unbothered by the presence of what he can identify as the NYPD and what he can only kind of identify as private military contractors still moving through the thin streets of Summer Meadows. He's flashed his Evo-registration card twice already, once upon arriving on the island, another when he was simply stopped and questioned.

Hesitates, before moving towards a power pole, and smoothing the sign back into place, gloved fingers picking out the loose ends of tape to secure it down.

Dotting the streets, where regular traffic has all but dried up, small tents and desks have been set up, DoEA volunteers huddling in scarfs and woolly hats talking to what residents don't seem shy about stepping forward. There are notices, urging for registration, for vaccination, tests for the H5N10, and some wear paper masks over their mouths and noses. Relatively harmless looking in comparison to policemen, to private military.

Luke is really irritated. He found a figurative hole to crawl into for what was left of the night and a good portion of the morning, but of course it was spent freezing his balls off until he decided to heat the ground a little. He's still there, and fortunately no one has come poking their nose in just yet. He's two seconds away from storming out and bashing some faces in out of pure frustration.

A lone figure stands watching the commotion at the tents, brows furrowed. His brown canvas duster hangs loose around his tall frame. Maroon and cream scarf wound around his neck. Senior Agent Benjamin Ryans isn't dressed in his normal gangster looking duds. No fedora tops his head today, he hadn't exactly expected to be working. A knit dark gray henley, a pair of dark blue jeans and a pair of hiking boots is what he wears under the warmer jacket.

A passing officer stops to ask him for his idea and a badge is flashed, sending the police officer on his way. The badge is hung around his neck on a silvery chain, before he starts moving toward the chaos. Ryans dips a hand into his coat and removes a photograph of Luke Campbell.

When he heard of the sweeps finally, it seemed the perfect time to see if anyone had seen the young man, since Agent Sawyer had mentioned this spot to the old man.

While not offically a resident of Roosevelt Island, certain paper work makes Corbin the would-be owner of a bookstore located on main street. There's a vague recognition of the man rubbing a piece of paper against the poll as he approaches, looking at those who have gathered, and those who did the gathering. It may not look as badly as he feared, but he too had been stopped once or twice, to show id, his real one, not the one that names him as a HomeSec agent with a silly name like Harvey. If they make him submit to tests, he's willing to do that too.

He knows what color the Evolved or Not strip would turn, and it's not the color they're interested in.

Glancing at his watch, he's checking the time, because he doesn't want to leave the store unattended long. Especially not considering who's down in the basement. His one solace is he'd been the would-be owner of the store for months and didn't even know it had a basement. At this point, he hasn't spotted Ryans watching the commotion.

Joseph has no urge to get tested for the virus. None at all. What if he is sick? He'll take dying in the basement of the Brick House on the shores of Queens before being whisked away by one of them vans and he knows he's being paranoid. Has been paranoid. But if he had of been more paranoid the last two times, then hell, maybe things would be different for him. Maybe he'd even still have a church. Pat-patting the protest sign once he's sure it's up there, he leans a shoulder against the damp wood and takes another scouting look around before deciding whether he wants to see if there's more of the same a block on over, or head back before someone escorts him on over to one of the tents the next time he has to pull his card.

So far, they seem more interested in what's in the buildings than those loitering around on the streets. For now, Joseph lingers, especially when the sound of an engine kicks up. Flashing the logo of a lesser PMC, a van suddenly jerks out of where it was parked up against an icy curb and goes cruising some short distance down the street to whine to a halt out front a tenement building, police abruptly moving to help clear its path. The pastor cranes his neck to see what's going on, brows furrowed.

Luke decided enough was enough, and comes out of hiding. Of course, that doesn't mean he won't avoid everyone who looks professional. The LAST thing he wants is for some stuffy government official hounding his steps. Besides, he's already registered, even if he doesn't have an ID or anything! He lurks in an alley, watching stuff going on from there. Huh… maybe he should have a little fun. Maybe melt some tires?

The police almost seem to be there just to control traffic. The real work of getting people outside, to the tens and onto trucks in being handled by private contractors. Handled roughly at that: There's been at least one incident of someone not wanting to leave, earlier on, and that was swiftly dealt with by means of two tasers and a zip-tie. No one else has been too eager to issue a challenge after that.

The jeep that caught Joseph's attention hasn't served as much more than moving four contractors to the tenement house, which they promptly enter, visibly armed as if they were about to deliver a high-risk warrant.

Luke, hiding or not, doesn't manage to escape the notice of two contractors as they pass by the mouth of the alley, one of them chancing to look and and stop his partner just for the occasion. "Hey, check this guy out," he says, features largely concealed behind a balaclava meant to fend off to cold weather, "What's the matter son, lose your kitty? Ha!" "Hey, cut the kid some slack, huh?" his buddy replies, shoving him further in the direction they were walking before turning his attention to Luke. "Sorry, he's the asshole on duty today." The apology lasts exactly until the end of that sentence. "But seriously, we're onto you," he adds with a pointed finger, before gesturing to his eyes and then back to Luke: I'm watching you. "Don't fuck with us, got it?" He clearly assumes that Luke's 'got it,' because immediately after that, he's back to walking down the street. Apparently, they couldn't be bothered to ask him for his ID. This is a good thing.


Seafaring birds are regular visitors to Roosevelt Island regardless of what's going on with its human inhabitants. A small, gray-brown petrel with a long, forked tail and black feet alights on the tenement building's roof, hooks its toes under the concrete lip to secure its perch and makes a show of folding its wings as it takes a break from the bounding and erratic flight pattern that makes it easy to identify at a distance. No more abrupt changes in direction or speed, wingtips skimming over the surface of the water that spans between Roosevelt Island and Manhattan; at least for now, it is content — much like the pastor — to watch while using its bill to pick at and adjust its feathers.

The picture is shown to various people in the line, Agent Ryans' tone polite rumble. "Have you seen this young man?" He receives a few negatives, before the arrival of a van catches his attention. Turning, he watches it pull up to park, blue eyes narrowing some. So far he hasn't seen the target lurking in the alley… yet.

While, the Company agent has been rough in the past, the way people handle these people… it doesn't sit quite right with him. The sound of voices near by taunting someone, catches Ryans attention, but he catches sight of Corbin, before his eyes finish their trek to the alley way.

Lucky Luke.

The picture is tucked away, as the senior agent turns to make his way towards a fellow agent.

Letting his arm drop away, Corbin's eyes follow the jeep, with well armed contractor types, storming a building. Or that's how it looks. Those pale blue eyes narrow. The gesture is far more serious than he might have taken the situation a month ago. The people he works for did much the same thing, especially back when so few others knew that they might need to. But that was before he had a sick woman hiding in the basement. Would they storm in and take her away in one of those jeeps? He's afraid of finding out. Or worse, going back from checking the blockades and other things and finding out that she's been caught and dragged off, all while he wasn't there.

Or she could die of the disease. So many things to worry about. And his old optimism happened to bleed to death in front of him.

The trailing of his vision leads him to someone that he probably should have expected. The not-so-old old man. A few steps help close the distance more quickly. "What a day to come out here, huh?" Even if he's been living on the island more or less the last week or so.

As the armed men disappear into the building, that's where Joseph's focus lies — that is, until banter sounds out across the street and he steers his attention towards where two of the contractors linger out front the mouth of an alleyway. The pastor doesn't move from his spot for as long as it takes for them to bully whoever it was they've cornered, but once they do start to move on, he hesitantly pushes his weight off the pole, tuck his hands into his jacket, and start on over at a cautious meander, watching the retreat of the contractors.

"Hey," he calls out, quietly, concern laden in his voice as well as curiousity. Nervously quiet so as not to attract attention back to whoever was being harrassed, and himself for that matter. "You— okay in there?"

Luke just ostentatiously rolls his eyes at the motion. "Why does everyone have to copy that damn movie to death? There's only one Robert DeNiro!" he sneers. Posers. Yeah, so maybe it's not a good idea to antagonize people like that, but eh. Too late now. But then there's someone else there, and Luke looks Joseph from head to toe, visibly unimpressed. "Those shitfaces didn't scare me."

If Joseph chances to glance back towards Luke's tormentors, he might see one of them considering a return visit, only to be dissuaded by his partner with a fist in the biceps, before that same hand goes up to an ear piece. In an instant, both of them are off running towards the parked jeep and ultimately inside the building the other team had entered earlier. Looks like someone isn't so keen on leaving.

In the distance, down the street, a large, black truck appears, followed closely by an identical vehicle, both of them lazily rolling towards the roadblocks. Safety first, with this weather, after all. Maybe this is a sign that they're getting ready to leave?

"Mmm, I was hoping for it to be the perfect day to come out here." Ryans shows the photo of Luke to Corbin, his eyes going to the unfolding scene. "When I heard of the sweeps I had hoped, he might be flushed out." The sound of running feet, his head turns to follow the pair curiously.

"Though, this is a bigger production then I thought it would be." It's admitted softly, before glancing back at Corbin. "Not sure how I feel about it all." There is a soft sigh, his breath a plume of white, the old man, actually frowns. "It was all much easier when they were hidden away and our job was to keep it that way."

"Ah, yeah— I'm not sure. It's possible he was, but…" Corbin knows who the other man is talking about. He'd gotten the in-person memo from Veronica too. The young man wasn't among those he'd pushed into the van, he's pretty sure on that. "Could have been he got caught off the island and wasn't able to get back on with the road blocks…

"You're right though. Things were so much easier back then. I actually liked my job then, felt like I was doing something good, protecting everyone from them whether they knew it or not. The public panic and fear makes that impossible, and causes new problems all together…" Everything they worked so hard for went crashing down when a guy who would be President stood up and spoke into a camera to change the world. No story spinning short of going 'dude is nuts!' would fix that.

Joseph's eyebrows come together in a wry kind of frown at the young man, looking him up and down as if in an attempt to recognise him, but no dice. "Alright, tough guy," he says, voice patient, and it probably won't be the first time someone's looked him up and down and been unimpressed with him. He's not really attempting to be particularly impressive. Accent is set apart from New York, pure Tennessee standing out from the harsher cut words spoken in this corner of America. "I was just seein' if they was givin' you any trouble. I'm not about to."

At the sound of the new vehicles, some stop what they're doing to observe what that's about — a mounted police officer trots on ahead of the truck to clear the street of wandering volunteers and residents alike, steering them off and up onto the pathways. Joseph only glances away from his concerned focus on Luke, and checks his watch. Still early in the day for them to be packing up already, surely.

Luke also notices them packing up, and heaves a sigh. "Bastards are finally leaving, huh? Good, I'm hungry. Not that I'm worried or anything." Suuuure, Luke, that's why you're hiding out in an alley. He shoves his freezing hands in his pockets and slouches against the wall, waiting for them to finish packing it up. For the most part, he just ignores Joseph, viewing him as nonthreatening as well as unimpressive.

It rapidly becomes apparent that Luke is going to be waiting for a while. When the trucks do finally arrive and make it through the barricade, they stop not begin loading equipment and people, but to begin unloading people and equipment. More contractors hop down to the snow and immediately begin to form teams and fan out, each group singling out a different building. They want to get home just as badly as any one else, and more hands will make that happen faster.

There's finally some action from the first building that contractors had earlier entered on Joseph's watch. One individual being forcibly dragged out by one of the private soldiers. Not doing much to resist, but they clearly weren't allowed much time to get their things together, having only an overstuffed duffel bag and looking like they should be inside resting, and not out in the cold. That still leaves a small group of contractors unaccounted for, and that shouldn't help settle anybody's nerves.

Trouble, says a disembodied voice in Joseph's head, and it's one that he'll recognize. On the ledge, the petrel gives a flick of its tail, shifts its weight from one foot to the other and angles its head to track the movement on the ground with one winking black eye. Its ears aren't good enough to have picked up the exchange between teen and pastor, and the Englishwoman occupying the bird's body is incapable of reading lips — something she may want to remedy if she ever finds the time.

Is he one of ours? Eileen asks of Luke.

"Amen.." Ryans murmurs as he watches someone drug from a house. "Not to mention the ones that were not a danger… they would be able to live their lives." There is a press of lips, his body shifting to watch the arrival of more. "I do not like this." He murmurs to the younger agent.

"This is a situation that could go volatile." Ryans eyes drift to the residents gathered around, watching for signs of something, and maybe if he's lucky his target. "And seeing the treatment, I can honestly say I don't blame them."

Hacking coughs from the sickly individual being gripped with awkward arms by the private contractors, and he isn't putting up much of a fight. His face, however, is the picture of misery — whether from the situation or his illness is up for debate. He shuffles along with token resistance, barely able to speak for all that breathing seems to be labourous for him. One leg drags a little, another symptom on public display that has bystanders backing up, regardless as to whether or not they're Evolved. One volunteer, holding a fan of Suresh Centre pamphlets, puts her free hand up to her mask to settle it.

At the sound of the voice in his head, Joseph's attention weaves off towards the show — Luke is ignoring him anyway and content to huddle in the alleyway, so Joseph hasn't a problem with taking his eye off the teen as he sets a hand against the corner of the alleyway as he watches. "I dunno," is muttered at that second question, although— unless Eileen can somehow pick up his voice or unless Joseph's is also an avian telepath, it's very likely she intends that question for the pastor to ask himself.

"Hey," he says, after a moment, ducking into the alleyway now. "Looks like things 'round here're gonna get worse before they get better. You want to trust your luck or come with me while they ain't watchin' out for ya?"

There's a shriek, suddenly, from the goings on currently being spectated. A woman who could be young enough to be the man's daughter, or just a very young girlfriend, tears on out of the tenement. "Let him go! Let him go! He's just sick, don't take him away!" she demands, her fingers like talons as she reaches for the sickly gent before he can be sequestered in the truck.

Luke flinches at the screaming, then returns his attention to Joseph. "Go with you where?" he asks, suddenly suspicious. "You're not one of them, are you?" he jerks his head at the people herding sickies. "B'sides, I'm already registered. I just don't want to be hassled." hey, it's true! He's just got a nice, shiny 'Tier 3' on his nonexistent registration card.

The young woman is fortunate in that the contractor taking her father away is very understanding and takes the time to explain the situation to her so that it can be resolved with minimal violence. Especially since two of his cohorts have come tearing out of the tenements after her and are in full 'tackle football' mode from the look of it. She is, however, unfortunate that when he does explain it to her, all she can hear is the crackle of electricity. Rather than explaining the situation with words, the contractor simply opts to draw a caution yellow stun gun and discharge the electrodes into her chest, resolving the situation with minimal violence. Minimal, but perhaps still excessive and unnecessary violence. The police who are in the area make no move to perform any arrests. This is, apparently, outside of their current jurisdiction.

The clap of the petrel's wings is muted by the taser's much louder pop. Joseph may catch its shadow clipping across the front of the tenement as it launches itself off the ledge and takes flight, unwilling to linger any longer now that the situation on the ground has finally erupted.

Be careful, is Eileen's final warning, softly spoken in comparison to the terse tone she's grown accustomed to taking with him, but isn't often that they see one another. Rarer still for them to find themselves in a situation where they're not in direction opposition.

"There is a lot you don't know about me." Ryans comments, in that toneless way of his, "And I heard about that… the vaccines." He steps closer to the younger agent, eyes going to the DoEA guys present. "There is a lot going on with that group that worries me. I got resistance at one of the scenes. Told at first I could not be there, before they back down."

Hands curl into fists at the treatment of the girl, Ryans' jaw sets firmly, and without any words to the younger agent, he's moving towards what is going on. Jurisdiction be damned.

His badge out in plain sight, around his neck, as he approaches the contractors. If any of them stop him, the badge is shoved at them, with a dangerous look in blue eyes daring them, until he can crouch by the young woman and check on her, before glancing at the men. "That was highly unnecessary." The words are edged with steel, even if they are calm.

This is all getting a little too… close to home.

"Ah hell," Corbin mildly curses as things start to go from slightly disturbing to … Corbin knows the Company had a habit of pissing people off on the side of caution and then apologize about it later on. There was even a motto about it, something about better to go 'our bad' than be a crispy corpse. Or that was the version he has in his head. But that'd been outside of the eyes of the public, outside of the possibility of a riot. And outside of two big guys barrelling out in football tackle-mode.

With his conversation partner taking off, the ex-reporter/Agent isn't far behind, moving forward as if interested, but not getting anywhere near as close, or flipping out a badge. He looks around in fact, anticipating things getting much worse.

"I ain't one of them, though I suppose that'd be pretty cunnin'," Joseph says, missing the show of the woman getting tasered as he stuffs his hands back into his pockets. His black eyed gaze flickers towards the shadow of the bird taking flight, before focusing on Luke. "I'm Registered too, they probably won't gimme a third glance and maybe they won't care if I got someone with me. I'm heading off the island, I dunno about you." A look up and down follows a quick and deliberate perusal of the alleyway. It's freezingly cold. It's not the kind of place someone hangs when they got no choice.

Which is why he adds, "But hey, you got a card, no need to worry." His smile is bright and friendly. "I guess I'll be seeing you." And with that, Joseph shuffles on out of the alleyway, a glance back towards where Ryans is hounding on the PMC men.

The downed woman is still in some shock and pain, almost forgetting entirely about the man being shoved into the back of the truck. Her eyes roll to blearily look up at Ryans' face, before her gaze swings around to the uneasy circle of people that's gathered. The fall of hooves on the ground heralds the nearing of one of the mounted police officers, looking to disperse the crowd early.

Hey, that guy just tazered the lady! Luke scowls at that, holding his hand palm out just slightly from where it was hanging down. He's got no one impeding his view of the guy at the moment, even from so far away, so he tries giving the bastard a little hotfoot. Oh, nothing that would even give him a scar, just make it feel like he's stepping on a hot sidewalk barefoot. "I'm out of here too." he replies, then shrugs and follows after Joseph. Why not, huh? He might know a way around the blockade.

With a shrug, the contractor responsible for the tasing simply says, "Looked necessary to me, agent man." That was his plan, at least. But with Luke's assault coming in, the last bit comes out more as, 'agent ma-AN!' complete with a little hop. Any laughs that might have been had at his expense, however, never come, because he roughly grabs the man he was earlier escorting and all but throws him in the back of the truck. "That's it, no more fucking around," the private soldier says angrily, turning back around to gesture to the incapacitated young woman, "Her too, she wants to go with him so bad. Get him outta here!"

That's the cue for another contractor to step in, grabbing Ryans by his coat and yanking him up to his feet before shoving him away from the truck. "Git! Ain't your party, G-man."

"You alright?" The Company agent is asking the young woman, they might have their own policies, but she was only a girl concerned for her father's well being, much like his own would be. It's understandable really.

Of course, there is no time to get an answer from the downed girl, before he is being yanked to his feet and shoved back. He stumbled back a few steps before regaining his footing, bringing him along side Corbin. It definitely doesn't sit well with the agent and the only one that will know the signs in that calm exterior is the agent who has been around the old man to see it.

The tense of muscles along his body, the tight clench of jaws and fists, a brief flash of a look in that neutral expression that says he's probably about to do something really bad to that hired soldier.

Luckily for the hired taser and possibly the G-Man— and everyone else, Corbin still has some sense to not provoke things when they don't have to. His own personal Company rule. It usually involves standing back and waiting til things are less likely to end in— well— violence. Especially of the kind where no one wins. A hand goes up to the taller and older Agents arm, and starts to pull on him, as his voice tones into a whisper, "They don't work for us, we're not the ones filling their pockets, so they're not going to answer to us. We can't do anything about this right now."

And they're already lucky it hasn't turned into a riot.

They're maybe even lucky that it was only a taser and not something worse: Every contractor on the scene is armed at least with a pistol. Some are carrying automatic weapons. Par for the course when dealing with a private military company. Fortunately, they don't seem terribly interested in starting a fight with somebody wearing a badge. Right now.

The older man that was thrown into the truck is no longer alone, at least, as his daughter is hefted off the ground and tossed in after him, electrodes and wires still attached to her. Lovely. The contractor that did the tasing stays behind to make sure no one leaves the truck, popping a new cartridge into his taser, while his co-workers go back inside to finish sweeping the building. As Corbin observed, no riot, although this is likely less because of luck and more because of fear: These men are not police officers, and they might actually shoot someone if they tried to riot.

The hand on his shoulder, Corbin can feel the muscles under the clothing loosen and relax, followed by a calming sigh. "You're right." The senior agent says gruffly, hands move to straighten his duster, eyes narrowed at the men shoving the girl into the van. It takes a lot for Ryans to turn sharply, putting his back to those men, and walking away. "Come on. I don't think I'm going to find Campbell today. With all this…" A hand waves around at everything, "…crap. He would be smart to be long gone."

"This whole thing is… there is no words to describe it." From the old dog of an Agent, that says a lot. There is a moments pause as Ryans turns thoughtful. "I could use a stiff drink and I need to call Sawyer." A glance goes to Corbin, "Would be interesting to hear her take on this."

"Go get your stiff drink. I have to take care of a few things," Corbin says, letting go of the taller man's arm. "I'll keep an eye out for Campbell, but you're probably right about him being long gone. I would be if I were him." Guys walking around with guns, without the discipline not to use them? That's something anyone should be afraid of. "You know where to find me if you need anything, and what number to reach."

With that, he begins to weave away from the scene, up mainstreet to where his car is parked, so he can drive back to the bookstore. And where he left his little secret he's protecting from people like these hired guys with tasers and guns.

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