Without Good Humor


cardinal_icon.gif daphne_icon.gif melissa_icon.gif mortimer_icon.gif nadira_icon.gif

Scene Title Without Good Humor
Synopsis This day might have gone by with a great deal less pain when Humanis First makes a stance at a mobile registration in Battery Park City.
Date June 29, 2010

Battery Park City - Front lawn of the local Community Center.

It's not uncommon to see this particular sight in various boroughs and various community centers. Mobile registration centers, temporary set ups, one day only now and then, to help facilitate registering for those who were too intimidated by entering the police stations or down to the federal buildings.

Men and women, families even on this summer day are out in force. Some there, lined up and waiting their turn on the sidewalk to go into the set up white party tent that hold a handful of cubicles that will bear government employed individuals who are trained to do this. Prick a finger, determine if it's blue or red and if it's red, to walk them through the paperwork and set up a time for them to demonstrate their ability if they even know what it is.

Otehr people are sprawled across the front lawn, shade provided by tree's of the battery park community lawn. Here and there, children scream and squeal, chasing a frisbee while parents watch on the sunny afternoon. An ice cream cart, man in white pedaling it and ringing the bells that jangle and announce in that universal sound for ice cold treats on this day. School is out, summer in full force.

A group of young women, the sleeveless red and white shirts and boyshort, kneepads and hair all back with gym bags slung over the shoulder indicate that they have been in the muti-purpose room, the local volleyball team practicing for an upcoming tournament. Idyllic, lazy New york tuesday.

It's entirely possible that Melissa didn't know that this registration center was here today. It could just a complete coincidence that finds her strolling along, wearing a pair of black cargo pants and tank top, sporting her new brunette hair which is pulled up into a ponytail. It doesn't even seem as though she has any real purpose or destination in mind, but the way she wanders wherever her eye is caught, her steps slow. At least…until she spots the ice cream cart.

It may not be that hot out today, but ice cream is a comfort food, and what girl will ever refuse ice cream, even on her best day? Certainly not Mel, since she moves over to the cart, exchanging cash for a wonderfully large scoop of chocolate. It's enough to nearly bring a small smile to her lips, as she saunters away, free hand now in her pocket, while she laps at the frozen treat.

Just as though it were a nice normal day for a nice normal girl.

A mobile registration center. The very idea of it curdles Cardinal's stomach, especially given what he knows - or believes he knows - about what's going to happen. He didn't expect to see it here, was in fact out checking out some buildings for his legal business purposes, but he couldn't help but notice the tents set up and the government workers and volunteers from the Department of Evolved Affairs doing their job and testing all comers.

Some hoping for blue, some for red. Some just curious.

He was out checking out real estate, but instead there's a shadow that drifts slowly over the lawn shaped like a bird, although no matching bird can be seen in the skies, and vanishes into the greater shadow cast by the tent.

Transit map in hand, Nadira is trekking across New York like a tourist—going to places that look interesting and getting lost. Tucking the map aside, the woman realizes she's gotten off on the wrong stop, so she'll simply make the best of it. The ice cream cart is noted, but the big white tents catch her attention.

Tilting her head a little, Nadira peers off towards the lines of people. Melissa's in her peripheral vision, not to mention nearby, so she takes a few steps towards the woman, gesturing towards the tents. "Do you happen to know what's going on there?"

Speeding down the street, within the actual speed limit of course, in his red 1969 Cobra Jet Mach 1, Alex has one hand on the wheel, wearing his black suit with the unbuttoned suit jacket, buttoned up white shirt, and black flowing tie. He spots the registry gathering and parks on the opposite side of the street out of curiosity, stepping out and slamming his door shut. He pulls his black leather gloves on, since there's no point in explaining a robot hand or anything nasty like that.

Inside the tent, four cubicles, high enough to provide privacy, the illusion of privacy at least. When cardinal slips into the tent itself, it's almost as if Liz was there. A seeming barrier that keeps the noise outside from filtering in. "I just want to know if she is or not. You don't know what it's like. her older brother is just a terror, every time I turn around he's moving things around with his mind. It's enough to give you the creeps." The toddler in the womans lap who's talking is very much unaware of what is going to happen with regards to her finger as the DoEA employee swabs a finger, making faces at the young girl.

In the other three, much the same thing going down though they're teenagers or adults, same stories. They suspect that they are evolved or already know. That one there, manipulates water, this one here comes from a family of evolveds and he's hoping that he has something. That last cubicle is a mousy woman, typical librarian looking who's taking her finger back from it being pricked, staring at the blue that's showed up on the test with unfeigned relief.

Outside the ten, the ice cream cart is brought to a stop, the tall man tapping at the sides that show the pictures of the various summer delights that he's sporting. Some of the children see the man and they tug on their parents arm, turning on their best smiles in the vain hopes that in five minutes, their faces will be covered in sugar, the promise of hyperactivity and a crash and content in their childish hearts. A volleyball is tossed back and forth between the teenagers who laugh, two of them with phones out and tapping away, breaking the text message speed barriers even as a small bus is pulling up. Atop the building itself, a rig being set up and dropped over the side, cans of paint lowered next onto it and soon followed by two others, rolled up drop cloths and paint rollers.

The unfamiliar voice has Melissa looking up at Nadira, then over towards the tents. The sight has her sighing, a bit of tension causing the skin between her eyes to wrinkle a little. "Yeah…yeah, I do. Mobile registration," she murmurs, before looking back to Nadira. Then, as though the whole country and a good chunk of the rest of the world didn't know, she adds, "People registering that they're evolved and what they do."

Luckily she misses the odd shaped shadow that has no real bird to cast it, but then, there's enough to keep her mind occupied without it. She looks back to the tents, watching those gathered around them, feeling sorry for them even as she feels angry at them for going along. "Where is it you come from that you haven't seen something like that before?" she asks absently, despite the bit of curiosity she feels.

"Right." Nadira murmurs, glancing back at the tents. There were a few things she'd learned since being in New York, and the way that they treated those who were Evolved was one of them. "Sorry, I just was a little confused." She laughs, just slightly. "Thought it was a circus or something." Her gaze flickers back to Melissa. "Just not used to seeing something so… public with Evolved. I'm originally from Egypt." She explains, gaze returning to the tent.

The shadow slips through the tent, passing over some of the stores of registration kits, and where it moves, the piles seem to end up… a little bit smaller than they were, absorbed into the darkness by inky fingers. One never knows when they might come in handy. Richard doesn't disturb any of the families or workers, though; they're just doing a job, after all.

Alex walks over near the ice cream truck, reaching into his pocket to grab his black leather wallet. He keeps staring over at the tent, listening to whispers, just very curious about everything that's going on. May as well get ice cream too. He's not bothering to break up any discussions, without the benefit of being a shadow, all he can do is look like any other guy in a suit.

An odd job is just that — an odd job — and Daphne is low on money after the lack of paying customers during the snowstorm. The request to steal a file right fucking now from the city clerk's office was one she might decline on a normal day, but the client was a good one and the need an emergency. So Daphne did the job — it only took twenty minutes from setting down the phone, planning a strategy, getting in and out of the office, all told.

A blur of green, blue, and white streaks along. Daphne doesn't miss the registration tents — she's certainly not going to stop to rubberneck either.

ICe cream doled out, some families come forth. Two people leave the tent, one of them ambling over to the ice cream cart, easing past the two women who are handed their goods in exchange for money, Mortimer as well with polite thank you's and a smile. Ice cream sandwhich dealt out to the newly registered atmokinetic, said the card inside that Cardinal got a glimpse of as those registration kits disappeared.

The woman with the child is tearing up, happy and grateful that her daughter, it seems, is not evolved and they can leave without needing further paperwork besides the signed and witnesses test that the girl doens't carry the SLC gene. These tents will likely be a more prevalent thing in the future when all citizens are required to do this same thing, regardless of whether it turns blue or red.

The girls start boarding the bus, high fives around and a chant starting to rise, calling out that they're number one, the other team sucks, the traditional pre-game psyching up on the way to it. The ice cream cart pushes forward a few more feat, to leave Nadira, Mel and Mortimer out of the path of the children and families who are lined up.

On the side of the building, cans of paint are being cracked open, stirred, the two men getting down to work, heavy duty masks on to spare them the fumes from the gas.

Mmm. Yeah, well, it's pretty public here in the States. It's just if you're openly evolved you get discriminated against," Melissa mutters in response to Nadira. A bit of ice cream drips down onto her hand, and is quickly licked away before she focuses on it for a few seconds. "It's sad, really," though the way she says it, infuriating could easily be substituted for sad. But still she continues to watch the people filing into and out of the tents.

After doing his best impression of a JRPG character let into a shop with boxes that can be interacted with, Cardinal's shadow blends in with the shadows of the women heading over to get ice cream, using them as a way to get away without being noticed. Not that people look at shadows, but it never hurts to keep paranoid.

This, of course, ends up in him lingering beside Mortimer. Oh, hell. The psycho's out.

"Yeah, it's interesting how this is supposed to be a country of freedom. It could be… far worse, I suppose." Nadira shakes her head as she studies the line of people. "I've seen some pretty horrendous stuff that they've done to Evolved in other countries. You could lose your life just like that."

That blur that passes by causes him to stare with suddenly silver eyes, then when he blinks again, his eyes return to normal. Alex turns back to take the ice cream, butter pecan, and lightly licks while the girls nearby talk. "There's children starving in Africa, you'd think we'd care less if people shoot fire balls." he says as a means of idle chit chat, not speaking in a way that Cardinal would be familiar with from him.

Of course with Peyton's spying, that shouldn't be a huge surprise.

As Daphne moves past the ice cream truck, the rush of wind ruffling the hair, clothing and wrappers of those nearby, she catches sight of the man doling out ice cream — the t-shirt he wears doesn't quite fit like it should, and where it rides up just a touch in the back she can see the silver gleam of duct tape and black wire — a millisecond's glance follows the wiring and notices more under the truck, and then back to the man, Daphne's widening eyes catch sight of the man's hand reaching for a button at his belt.

Oh Shit. The Good Humor Man? This is not.

"BOMB!" cries Daphne, still in fleet-mode (no, her voice doesn't sound like a chipmunk's) flipping a bitch and heading back to plow herself at near-super-sonic speed to the closest to the bomb — Nadira and Melissa, grabbing each of their hands and attempting to round up Alex as well by just running through him, hoping he'll somehow come along for the ride.

A Split second.

Daphne's ability one of those things that has an advantage that others are not afforded. The glimpse of things that others would never have seen or seen too late. Bomb yelled out just before the button is depressed not at his waist, but on the underside of the handlebar of the good humor cart.


The explosion that rips through, coming first from the man, his chest exploding outwards in a furl of red and black, sharp objects peeling away from him at speeds that daphne would be impressed with if not possibly outrun. They skim past and through cardinal, shadow affording him the protection that others don't seem to have. Daphne's body protecting Mortimer by being between him and the imploding man, plowing into him, slowing her down enough, bringing both other women with her and away from the cart.

The cart goes next, ice cream a front for something more insidious and deadly. People worry about others putting poison and razor blades in food, they should have worried about the man and what his cart concealed from view. Shrapnel flies here and there, parents flinging themselves over their children, screams mingling in the air with the explosion. The girls scream and cower in the buss, protected from projectiles while car alarms are set off.

Inside the tent, a gift left by one humanis first member who came in to be tested, goes off, the sounds unheard at first as the white walls are shredded and people in line hit with shrapnel, but soon too, screams come from there as the audiokinetic who was providing acoustic privacy is cut down where they were.

Up on the wall, the drop cloth is dropped over the side, a sign on it's interior unfurling to reveal it's message even as the pair are climbing up ropes to disappear over the roof and out of view.

Humanis First

Glancing back to Nadira, Melissa nods. "Yes, you can. The same can happen here too, depending on who you run into. Not everyone is very accepting of evolveds. Like I said, it's sad." Her gaze slides further over, settling on Mortimer. "America is a land of selfishness. They don't—" Then Daphne is yelling about a bomb, and that news is enough to have Mel forgetting that she recognizes that voice. But before she can so much as drop her ice cream, she's being grabbed. Oh yeah, she remembers this. It was something exploding then too, only it was cold instead of hot. Daphne will no doubt be known as Explosion Girl from now on.

Mel doesn't fight Daphne, she likes living entirely too much. So she lets the other woman drag her away from the explosion, her ice cream plopping to the ground at the first jerk of her arm, her other arm thrown up to protect her head, which turns out to be good for her. Her arm stops bits of metal from embedding in her head, but instead they hit her arm. A much smaller, and more bearable, pain.

And luckily for Daphne, the moment Mel feels that pain, she turns her own ability on, flinging it outward without any thought to control. She's just stretching out as far as she can, grabbing at as much pain as she can, trying to numb it. Not an easy task when you're being dragged along by a speedster, but she begins to try!

A bomb? Wait, a bom-

The shadow's ephemeral substance ignores the concussive force of the blast, ignores the jagged shards of shrapnel and nails that erupt from the ice cream cart and send happy, smiling faces into a bloody spray across the grass that Cardinal will remember in his nightmares.

As the banner drops down the side of the building, the shadow abandons all attempts at hiding - a streak of black across the street, twisting up the side of the building like a reverse waterfall of darkness heading after the men who dropped that banner.

There were children in that crowd. He's not letting them get away if he has anything to say about it.

Ironic that the very conversation about how accepting people are of Evolved is interrupted by a bomb. Several, in fact. Nadira has no real time to react, though thankfully she's pulled away from the worst thanks to a speedster she hadn't even really realized she'd run into before. She's hit with shrapnel, thankfully, though, it hits her up in her shoulder as opposed to anywhere else it could have hit her. Funny, though, she's not quite feeling the pain, so at first she doesn't even realize she's been hit before she looks to try and survey what's happening.

Alex oofs when Daphne slams into him, using his arms to protect his head as he goes rolling. He's fallen off enough motorcycles to know how to handle a high speed crash. He's still hurt though, which likely reminds that he should start wearing his motorcycle padding again. Groaning as he stays crouched on the ground covering his head, one of his eyes, silvery again, is peeking from under his arm, watching and taking notes of the explosions, analyzing. Pain be damned, explosions are happening and people are getting stabbed with shrapnel.


For a moment, Daphne thinks she's gotten them clear of any damage — the sound of the bomb going off and the impact of shrapnel in her back is only a split second apart, but to her it feels so much longer. When the piece of metal slams into her back, Daphne's first thought is don't hit my spine, don't paralyze me. The pain flowers, white-hot pain from hot metal, perhaps part of the truck.

She stumbles over Alex and finally falls to her knees, hands finally letting go of Nadira's and Melissa's as she cries out, reaching to touch the rather large bit of metal that's miraculously an inch away from her spine, wedged in skin and muscle. It doesn't hurt… oh god, it doesn't hurt. The numbness has her eyes widening and she's up on her feet to see if she can walk. She takes a few steps and stumbles once more to the ground, this time in gratitude.

All around the front lawn of the community center, screams, crying, moaning. Disaster has struck, the aftermath of a terrorist attack. All that's left of the instigator is little more than legs and other fleshy parts that most turn their face away from. From out of two vehicles, one of them a plumbing van spill some government officials, hidden in case they were needed, but hadn't forseen this sneak attack from Humanis First. Protestors maybe, a little push and shove maybe use of ability but not the bomb. Already there are wrists up, fingers stuck to ears while guns are brought out and orders barked for ambulances, police and fire trucks to get to the community center yesterday.

Climbing the walls, a shadow unseen by most because of the horror laid out below, Cardinal makes his way atop and see's the two individuals, black re-breathers on their face to obscure any identification, heading for a ladder anchored to one side, presumably making their getaway before law enforcement can make their way over to them.

When Daphne lets her go, Melissa stumbles as well, wincing since she does feel the pain. Every lovely bit of it. But she's felt worse, she's worked through worse. And now her savior has a big piece of metal in her back. "Shit Daphne. Lay down on your stomach and don't move." She's not a doctor or paramedic, but she's got common sense and knows plenty. "I'll get you to a doctor, just…give me a minute."

The shrapnel in her own arms is ignored for now as Melissa straightens and looks around in horror at the sight presented to her. But then she sees a sight she hates to see. The government. Okay, change of plans. She looks over to Nadira even as she's crouching down by Daphne. "C'mon, help me get her up. I need to get her to a doctor and they'll be too busy with everyone else," she says, voice strained from the effort of maintaining her power at this intensity for so long. She's not yet had that much practice with supressing pain. Which could also be why she's getting a lovely nosebleed. But it just matches the red on her arms and back, right?

It's not the first time Nadira's seen blood, nor the first time she's been injured or in a dangerous situation. So the first thing she knows is how to keep her cool. Since she's not even sure she's injured, that's even easier to do. "Hey, be careful, you're hurt yourself." She moves, quickly heading over to make sure that she can help support Daphne as well. "Just tell me where we're going."

The logical thing to do would be to follow them back to their cell, to get information and find out who's at the root of this problem. It's what Cardinal would normally do, what he'd do if he was thinking straight and logically right now.

He's not. Right now? Now he's just out for blood.

As the pair of masked humanis operatives jog along towards the ladder, the shadow erupts in a crashing wave from the surface of the rooftop and into the form of Richard Cardinal, tendrils of shadow tracing out the shape of his pistol as it takes form in his hand even as darkness becomes flesh and bone. The silenced weapon's sound is muffled as it cracks out through the air, his expression flat and cold as stone as he opens fire on the pair.

Alex slowly pushes himself up, and his left arm twitches slightly, making sparking sounds. Maybe he impacted harder than he thought. But there's the woman who saved his life, bleeding, and he owes her a bit of gratitude. "I'll help." he offers, reaching down with his right hand to try and pull an arm over his shoulders, while the bottom half of his left arm is still jerky and making spark sounds.

"I'm … I'm okay, I couldn't feel anything and I thought…" her eyes meet Melissa's, and she realizes she knows Melissa, and she knows Nadira. "You know what I thought," she finally says to Melissa, closing her eyes as she's pulled to her feet. "I can walk, I can run us to wherever, but no hospitals, please, I can't… I can't go to a hospital." She tests her feet, finding that lack of pain doesn't mean lack of sensation. She can feel the ground and the pressure of that metal in her back, the warm blood that trickles down.

"I need to get out of here… who's running with me, because I'm not staying," she manages, a little more resolve and less tremor in her voice, now that sirens and helicopters make their presence known.

One of the terrorists takes it in the forehead, turning as the sound of someone where there had been no one before, is there. Down he crumples and his partner goes down too, bullet to the back of his head, no more than a whisper heard on the roof. There will be no other bombs set by this pair, and down on the ground, the lone surviving member of the group has made off with his ice cream sandwhich, off to report to his cell and unseen by others.

"You're not feeling any pain because I'm making sure you're not feeling any pain," Melissa murmurs quietly to Daphne, though it's entirely possible that Nadira or Mortimer might be able to overhear. "And I wasn't going to go to a hospital. A doctor, one we can trust. You should know him." Because Francois did visit the Den a time or two when it was the sickhouse. "I've got a car nearby, I'll drive. You don't need to be running with metal sticking out of your back like that. Not if you want to keep running." And with those dire words, she nods to Nadira and starts wandering off towards wherever she left her car.

Maybe she heard, maybe she didn't, but either way Nadira shows no reaction to Melissa's comment about pain. She looks back towards Daphne, studying her quietly as she insists she can walk on her own at least. She'll stay until she's shoo'd, moving towards the car with Melissa. "It'll be fine," she assures her Daphne, as if her words made any difference.

"Murdering fucking pieces of shit…" The last word is accented by Cardinal's foot as he kicks the black-masked figure over, glaring down at him, "…sometimes I wonder why I don't just let this world burn, if it'd clean out you Humanis bastards…" His fingers grip into a trembling fist at his side, the gun lowering for a moment as he stares down at them in wordless outrage - at them, and at himself for not taking the smart tact in following them back to their cell.

He drops down to a crouch, patting down the two with gloved hands for wallets, for ID - finding nothing, he melts away into shadow, slithering along down the ladder instead.

As Mortimer offers to help but drops away, since the two women claim to have her, she gives the man a curious tilt of her head. She recognizes him, but not from the physical realm. She once saw a pair of twins in a dream, both younger than he is now, and she was younger than she is now, in the dream-turn-nightmare. "Well, thanks for that, you're better'n morphine. And sure, just… you know, let's hurry and get out of this place before it's crawling with cops," Daphne says quietly, letting Melissa point them in the direction of her car.

After a moment, she laughs a little weakly. "We have to quit meeting like this…" she tells Melissa. "You know, I was thinking of going dark, too…"

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