Yoga and Gelato


calvin_icon.gif chess_icon.gif lucille_icon.gif

Scene Title Yoga and Gelato
Synopsis …do not exist in the Bronx in 2018. But Lucille, Chess, and Calvin do. Some of these are not compatible.
Date February 25, 2018

The Ruins of the Bronx

Mid-afternoon in the decaying shell of what was once the Bronx, pigeons poff themselves in pits of grey water standing after an earlier rain that left the air heavy with the stink of old ruin. Pavement is slippery where it's ruptured in the streets; a refrigerator-sized boulder snarled with rebar drips peacefully on top of a taxi cab flattened into two dimensions.

Half-collapsed buildings narrow visibility with their avalanched walls, lending the borough a mountainous air. It's hard to see very far, even where the the streets are at their clearest.

Somewhere nearby, the death rattle of fully automatic gunfire sends a flock of pigeons over a wall in a filthy cascade of feathers. Return fire pops one, two, and three. More automatic fire. One more shot.

…A squealing, screeching crunch with a certain slippery wetness to its end. Then quiet.

Assault rifle swung down at his right side, a ginger brute in a long green coat skates down the ridge of a ruptured pipe raised skywards and advances on the pair of human baboons he's just slaughtered. Really, there's only one left in any shape to loot. The other is a red smear that ends in an overturned low rider.

Chess is just coming out of nearby building when that gunfire punches through air and flesh alike. The hooded woman doesn't carry a gun of her own today; a quiver and a bow are thrown over one shoulder. Luckily she's not wearing green or one might wonder if she's cosplaying the Green Arrow; instead, her coat, hood, and the rest of her attire are as black and gray as the broken street around them.

She looks in the direction of the shots, then darts back to hug the building when she sees Calvin sliding down that pipe. She steps over the broken glass of the storefront window into the building she just came out of — what was once a clothing shop, it seems on account of the fixtures and mannequins, all stripped of anything useful. Glass crunches under her feet as she ducks out of sight; in her hand, a baseball is rolled around between fingers and palm.

There is a rustling in a nearby alley as booted feet echo down the ruined neighborhood street. The Hounds have business everywhere, sources, supply gathering. Today Lucille Ryans was on intel but she didn't expect to find..

"Calvin?" Her clothes as black as night, the asymmetrical blazer that trails slightly behind her. The attached hood that she has down not covering her face as she raises an eyebrow at her niece's best friend. "Is Benji.. where is she?"

Seeing him like that doesn't scare her, she's seen the guy in action. She doesn't have any weapon drawn though there are sure a firearm and knife somewhere on her person. Blue eyes study the older (younger?) man as she walks near him.

At the sound of glass crunching underfoot, Calvin stops dead, ear turned to listen, still save for the rat of his mane in the February breeze. The rest of him is slower to follow, pivoting on the heel of his boot with a scuff — rubber to damp cement.

His rifle stays down at his side, knuckles bound lazy around the stock.

It's clear from the shadows that he doesn't know exactly where Chess went, but there's a wolfish patience to the search of his eyes, picking out the sparkle of glass in the street. At the echo of boots pelting down an alley, he seems to bristle, head tucked down, shoulders ready, rifle choked up. Only —

"Aunt Luci!!"

He swings his hands up, rifle and all (Yayy!) and grins, white white teeth and scruffy beard. "What the hell'er you doing here?"

(What Benji??)

Inside the store, Chess has found a spot with her back to the wall on the side of the broken window closest to where Calvin and Lucille speak. There's a shelf between herself and the window that helps keep her from sight, but the store itself doesn't offer many places to hide — it's a shell of a building, empty fixtures doing little more than threatening tetanus from rusted metal bars and hinges. She weighs her options: The counter itself might give her a place to hide behind, but it's also the most likely spot. Fitting rooms are a dead-end and a good way to die.

A plain door that likely leads to a back room is probably her best bet — if she can make it there. It's a big if — especially now there are two of them. She holds, for now, rolling that baseball nervously in her hand.

There's a grin as Calvin calls her that, she doesn't mind being the 'Aunt' of the kids that have come back from the future. She rather likes her niece's friends. Calvin especially, they had fun killing folk back in the war. 'Aunt Luci' waves her hand, "A little this, a little that. Gathering some sources." Usually she might play coy but Calvin is family.

"Don't think I didn't catch you haven't told me where my niece is." There's a slight narrowing of her eyes. She doesn't like that she and Calvin live out here but it's their lives not hers and so yes when she's in the area she does try to check up on them. That she ran into Calvin today is a happy coincidence. "Is she doing things she shouldn't be?" Lucille hadn't been on the street before Chess ran into the storefront, she remains unaware of the younger woman's presence.

"Ehm," says Calvin, on the subject of Lucille's missing neice — her next question gets a scoffed: "No."

Doing things she shouldn't be? Why would she ever? When has she ever?

Sheridan's incredulity borders upon indignation on Benji's behalf — his eyes are very clear and very friendly in the afternoon sun, deeply secure in a whatever lie he's been caught in point blank.

"Listen, as much as I'd like to play cops and robbers, I think maybe there was a third head on this particular hydra?" He poses it like a question — just throwing it out there for her consideration, in the absence of the movement or sound of any retreat around them. "I think maybe they're hiding nearby listening to us?"

Fuck. Chess chastises herself for having the bad luck to have terrible timing. She wants to wait it out, but Calvin's words make it clear that's prooooobably not a viable option. She has weapons but there are two of them, and at least one of them has a gun. The odds are counted, weighed. Thrown out altogether.

"I don't have any money on me," she suddenly calls out, head turning to help her voice carry through the open window. "Nothing valuable. So carry the fuck on and leave me alone, yeah?" Her free hand reaches down to pull a blade from her boot, curling her fingers around the cold handle as she waits for a reply. "I don't give a shit that you killed anyone. Who the fuck am I gonna tell out here?" In case that's their worry. It probably isn't, but she's covering her bases.

With a shake of her head Lucille looks to the side, "Ah just tell her I'm looking for her." When does Calvin give straight up answers? "Those guys you kill do something or-" then she's whirling around at her words her eyes already glowing that amber gold as she pushes out with her ability to feel out around her. Just near the edge of her range she senses a pulse. One just as Calvin said.

Looking over to Calvin, "See what you did, scaring people in the neighborhood." She nods over at Chess, "He's harmless now." That's a lie. "I don't think you're on his list." Luce can't have Calvin flaying pretty women in the Bronx.

Calvin nods. He'll pass the word on, his next exhale betraying relief after lifted pressure. Lucille u scary. Chess interrupts before he can answer for the corpse twitching feebly on the pavement behind him.

"I don't want your shitty money," his voice pitches out in snotty agreement, old Aussie influence still slanting long at his vowels. He leans after it like he might spit, brow hooded, rifle slung up onto his shoulder under Lucille's scrutiny. "Plenty of nasty bitches hiding under rocks 'round here worth killing."

And louder, again — more secretarial:

"What brings you to the Bronx today?"

"Yeah, sounds it," comes Chess' exasperated voice at Lucille's words about how harmless Calvin is. "The fuck are you, the census poller? What's anyone doing in the fucking Bronx? Just a little shopping, maybe some yoga later, thought I might pick up some gelato. You tried the new place on the corner yet?"

Maybe it's not smart to sass someone who's angling to possibly kill you. Sometimes Chess can't seem to stop herself.

As soon as the last words are out of her mouth, though, she bolts for that door on the other side of the shop — then tosses that baseball over her shoulder and at the wall just under the window — a tiny grenade. The small explosion doesn't do too much damage — knocking a hole in the brick and making a bang that's more diversion than anything, aimed at brick and not flesh as it is.

Luce makes note of Calvin’s sigh and expression and quirks her eyebrow and her golden eyes flash. She shoves down a snort at his comments and runs a hand through her short auburn hair, wet strands clinging to her fingers. Chess’ equally sarcastic tone gets a smile, everyone is so snarky nowadays and with good reason. “I..”

But then she hears a boom and sees a shadow run across behind the storefront mirror. “That went well.” Her eyes blink but she keeps her radar going, she can’t feel Chess anymore but she eyes the store still, she wouldn’t be surprised if the stranger came back with friends.

Calvin's eyes narrow to chilly slits at the sound of sass piping back at him over broken glass, khol smudged dark around his stare. Lucille knows the look — a low key rankle bucked up stiff under his shoulders as he straightens himself up. Rude.

"She's a chatty one isn't she?"

A flash of heat and light rolls out through the open window, scattering glass all the further. Calvin jolts like a cat who's just taken a pellet to the ass, eyes wide, teeth grit agains the concussive whumph of air at his gut and in his ears. Lucille has him beat in the department of majesty in the face of danger by a country mile.

But he can feel Chess. Specifically, he can feel a back door trying to fling itself open somewhere around the shop's rear, and throws a hand up to slam it shut again. Hopefully on Chess's dumb nose.

"Jesus christ —"

When that door slams back on her, it knocks her forehead and temple, making her reel back, a hand moving to her head and trying to shake the imaginary stars and birds spinning around it free.

Telekinetic, she guesses, and that's bad news, for that back room is full of broken and dismantled fixtures, racks, shelves, brackets, hangers, along with totes full of magnetic sensors and all of the various crap that gets stored in clothing stores.

Even better for Calvin, a lot of it is metal.

She pulls the bow off her shoulder and swiftly nocks an arrow into place, dark eyes watering against the pain in the rising knot on her forehead and narrowing as she watches the door to the main part of the store, waiting for the two from the street to come flush out their quarry.

“What.. what did you do?” She can’t see what has happened in the store but she hears the slam of a door and sees Calvin with his hand up. She folds her arms and tilts her head. What is her not nephew doing? Luce licks her lips, gloved hands in a pocket. “I just.. What are you gonna do wash her mouth out with soap?” Lucille actually doesn’t put it past Calvin. She keeps her radar going still, eyes burning gold and she waves a hand out, “We..” she looks over her shoulder at her NotNephew again. “I don’t want a fight, he,” she juts her thumb in Calvin’s direction. “He.. well you’d need to meet his parents to understand him.” She pats Calvin on the shoulder comfortably.

"She was escaping!" Obviously. Calvin points his rifle one-handed at the shop — more of a she started it than any real attempt to take aim. "She could be Humanis First — you don't fucking knooow."

Back to indignation, ears ringing, here he is having this argument in the middle of the street in broad daylight while bits of smoldering wallpaper drift and curl into embers on the pavement around them. And he's being patted on the shoulder, a distinctly feline lack of appreciation for that small kindness winched up at the back of his jaw.

"We can't all've sprung forth from Zues's fucking forehead. YOU IN THERE," he calls, "yoga bitch. You a human?"

The fuck do I look like, a unicorn? is thought, but goes unsaid — despite the probable concussion, she's suddenly realized that yelling back and forth is probably not the best plan for actually making an escape. Instead, she turns, raising her booted foot to launch a kick at the metal push-bar on the back door, sending the door wide open so that it hopefully gives her enough space to slip out, even if he sends it slamming back on her.

In the alley, she breaks into a sprint before slipping down another tiny byway — one with lots of corners and doorways to hide in — and lick her wounds.

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