You've Got Us


caleb_icon.gif else_icon.gif kendall_icon.gif rourke_icon.gif

Scene Title You've Got Us
Synopsis Kendall brings a friend to the Ferry, but the Ferry's in transit.
Date April 25, 2010

Long Island City

To say it's miserable out would be a gentle way to put it.

Near twenty degrees below zero by Fahrenheit measure and most of New York City is buried by so many feet of snow that it looks like something out of a disaster film. Perched on the coast of the East River, the squat red-brick building that once belonged to the New York Agricultural Terra Cotta Company now looks something like a one-floor igloo from the way ten feet of snow climbs up its brick walls and the masoned over windows shut out all light to those approaching from the outside.

Coming down the street through Long Island City's desolate and untended roads Kendall Cunningham isn't on his way to this secretive institution out of coincidence, but its the only somewhat older young man at his back that has the illusionist braving arctic cold to come to a place that the city itself seems to have forgotten.

Parked three houses down from the Brick House, a familiar brown pickup truck idles noisily, steam venting out of its tail pipe and cardboard boxes stacked up in the flatbed. The same truck Kendall once tried to hotwire when violence struck Summer Meadows over on Roosevelt Island. Not coincidentally, it's still owned by the same gentleman.

Standing up in the back of the truck after arranging some boxes, Andy Rourke looks something like an Eskimo with his fur trimmed hood pulled around his face, jacket puffed out and ltwo layers of gloves padding his hands.

"Kid!" Andy hollers from the back of the truck, clomping over to the edge when he sees Kendall's approach. "The fuck're you doin' out here?" There's never usually vehicles on the street outside of the Brick House, for security purposes.

Kendall is freezing his, well… you get the picture. "Got someone who says the government is after him." Kendall replies, teeth chattering, and gestures to Caleb. "He doesn't have anywhere else to go." thank goodness someone is available! "If he stayed outside in this weather he'd freeze to death." which Kendall feels he's about to do. "I didn't know where else to take him since the house Melissa bought isn't exactly a safehouse. And there's a dead person in the basement." isn't that lovely.

Caleb has followed Kendall here but know isn't too sure about this, as the thought to turn and walk away enters his head, he shivvers again, and decides this is alot better than sleeping in the snow, "Err, hey there", he's tryin to sound confident.

Deadpan. Andy's dark eyes stare down at the two, head slowly cranine to one side as his brows rise up and the sorriest look of exasperation crosses his face. "Oh fer' fuck's sake," Andy grouses, clomping over to the tailgate of the truck then dropping down onto the street with a crunch of cracked ice under his feet. Brows furrowed together Andy offers a briefly scrutinizing look to Caleb, then up and down both sides of the street before flicking a stare back to Kendall.

"Well, this ain't the best time really. Just got orders tha' we're closin' down shop 'ere until the weather eases up a bit, yeah?" There's a lift of one of Andy's brows as he glances back to the safehouse and then over to Caleb. "Alright, tell me what's fuckin' up w'you, who's after ya' and what'd y'do?"

Kendall takes a step back as Andy looks all fierce and intimidating, and darts a quick look at Caleb. "W-well…." he stammers, trailing off uncertainly, then his gaze drops to the ground and he'll let Caleb answer.

Caleb gulps at the look from Andy, but isn't gonna let it look like he's intimidated, "My name is Scott, and that's all I'm sayin, you letting me in or not", there may be a slight tremble in his voice.

Pressing his tongue to the inside of his cheek, Andy furrows his brows and tilts his head back. "A'right there Scotty," the heavily dressed man offers with a nod of his head. "You want us t'do a favor for ya, put our asses at risk t'do somethin' you can't do— which if I'm figurin' right is protect you from the government— then the least you can bloody well do is give me a straight up answer, or I can turn you 'right back 'round to the snowbanks and— "

"Andy!" A woman's voice cuts sharp across the empty street, and from around the side of the truck a blonde woman bundled up in a puffy white jacket comes carefully hustling through snow and ice towards where Andy is busy brow-beating Kendall and Caleb. "Are you givin' poor Ken here trouble?" Cheeks flushed red from the cold, stringy blonde hair hanging from beneath her black watchman cap and dark brown eyes flicking back and forth between the kids, Else Kjelstrom seems something like a mother hen comes to cluck angrily at a man acting much like a big old cock; such as he is.

"Else, don't— " Andy's retort earns a furrow of Else's dark brows and her mitten-covered hands on her hips, and somehow that withering look from the bundled up musician makes Andy shrink back and rub a gloved hand over the back of his neck. "Fine whatever, you 'andle it." Andy grouses, shaking his head and turning to walk along beside the truck and past it.

Huffing out a sigh visible as a breath of steam, Else looks back to Caleb and Kendall, rolling her eyes a bit exasperatedly. "Don' mind him much he's got his what's-it's in a knot today. You boys shouldn't be out here all wanderin' round. It doesn't matter what you did," she offers to 'Scott', having heard some of the conversation on her approach. "We'll take you in, give you a place t'stay and some where t'rest yer head. You too," she insists at Kendall, "but not here. We'll take y'with us, we're bringin' supplies somewhere's, so…" there's a faint smile on Else's lips. "Don't let Andy scare you, he's just pissy."

Kendall nearly faints in relief when Else takes over. If Kendall is asked later, he'll swear up and down that Andy was going to eat them next or something. "Oh…. I've got somewhere to stay now, Melissa's kinda taken me in now and the place she got has heat finally. It's not really good for hiding people away or anything, but I'm not hiding from anyone." at least, no one's looking for him. "Scott here's the one who needs somewhere to stay."

Caleb takes a step back when Andy starts having a go at him, but then the nice blond lady shows up and sends the mean man away, he smiles at Else as she offers to take him in without questions, "Thanks, and he diddn't scare me, i was fine", he is not a ggod liar.

Fixing Kendall with a look, Else furrows her brows and crosses her arms over her chest, even as she lets Caleb keep that moment of feigned bravery. "So, yer' gonna' leave your friend 'ere in the company of nothin' but strangers in a house he ain't never been in, an' at a very stressful point in his life, that 'bout right Ken?" Else arches one brow, a corner of her mouth quirking into a smile as she purses her lips. "Oh wait, sorry, I must'a mis'eard you, you said you'd love t'make sure your friend here isn't lonely and 'fraid, I got'cha." Smirkingly turning around, Else starts walking past the tailgate of the truck, then stops and turns on her heels, offering a dark-eyed look over to Kendall and Caleb.

"Name's Else, if— " she hesitates for just a moment, "if I forgot t'tell you that already, can't well remember." Scratching at the side of her cheek ineffectually with a mitten, Else jerks a nod over to the truck's cab and then turns around to start walking again. When she reaches the passenger's side of the beat up old truck's cab, Else pulls the door open, then folds the seat forward. "Come on, the two've you can fit in in'na back, ain't much room but there's them tiny ol' bench seats. You can ride with me an' Andy, we're headed out t'Staten Island."

Kendall blinks at Else. "I just met him today myself. I'm a stranger too, I mean, he'd probably know me as well as anyone else in the Brick House after about ten minutes' talk." pause. "Staten Island?" he shrugs and climbs in, looking over at Caleb. "Well can you let Melissa know where I am then? All she knows is that I went to the library."

If Caleb wasn't in a strange city with people he didn't know he'd probably have smirked at what Else says to Kendall, "I only met Kendall a while ago, he's the first person in the city to speak to me, let alone offer help, so he's done a lot for me already", when Else says to get in the van he considers running again, but then thinks that where they're going probably has heat, so reconsiders and climes in.

"Ain't nobody heard from Melissa since she stormed out've a meetin' a while back. If you got a number for her though," Else fishes around in the pocket of her jacket, then comes out with a banana yellow cellphone which also happens to have a tiny little plastic banana bauble hanging from a chain at the bottom of it, "you can call 'er on this." The phone's offers out to Kendall, and Else slants a look over at Caleb curiously.

"Not many people in this city that'd make this kinda' offer for a stranger," Else notes with a tilt of her head to the side, considering Caleb for a moment before looking back at Kendall. She's quiet for a moment, while Caleb climbs up inside and once he's situated on one of the sideways facing seats in the back, she folds the passenger seat back and closes the two in. "Andy!" Else calls out, turning to face where the more gruff man has headed in front of the truck, "Come on we're goin'!" Not that they're going anywhere without the driver, but Else wanted to put that point home.

Preoccupied with something under the hood of the truck, Andy slams the hood down and squares a look at Kendall and Caleb thorugh the windshield. While Else pulls herself up inside and closes the passenger side door, Andy's making his way to the driver's side, letting all the freezing air back in when he opens the door and pulls himself up into the truck.

Looking at the pair in the rear-view mirror, Andy shakes his head quietly and shifts the truck into drive, noisily rumbling away from the curb while Else tries to ease some of the awkwardness of the two boys in the back.

"You didn't tell me your name," Else offers with a bit of a sheepish mile over her shoulder to Caleb. She'd heard him introduce himself as Scott, but this is more of an attempt at easing his tensions than true introductions. "We're in for a bit've a drive, so talkin' might help pass the time, y'know?"

Kendall kinda shrinks in his seat at Andy's look in the rear-view mirror, then shrugs. "I suppose it would pass the time." he agrees, then looks over at Caleb. "You're not in danger here." he tells him. "These people won't ever sell you out to the government, so you can tell the truth." Kendall's just guessing that Caleb might be lying about who he is, so he's tossing that out there. He doesn't actually know for sure, but he's good at analyzing things.

Caleb looks down so he can't see Andy in the mirror and nods at Kendall to show that he believes him, buts still not gonna be completely honest, "My name is Scott, erm, Scott Matthews, I'm not sure what else you want me to say, but if you ask me something, I'll do my best to answer".

"Well…" Else starts talking before Andy can clip out a demand, "what's got a kid like you here with people like us, an' not safe at home with your parents?" There's a furrow of Else's brows at that as she shifts around in her seat, trying to sit a little more sideways to accommodate conversation, while still staying strapped in to her seat-belt.

As she talks, the industrial neighborhoods of Long Island City roll past, shrouded in snow impossibly high. Were it not for the fact that this beat-up old truck has four-wheel drive, they'd never have gotten across the snow drift burying a good portion of the street.

Kendall also looks at Caleb. He never mentioned anything like that to him.

Caleb shrugs, "I told my brother what i was and he told me to run, because it was a matter of time before i was found out, that was three months ago", it may sound stupid but he basically trusts everything his brother tells him completely.

"Sounds like your brother's a paranoid feller," Else notes, though this coming from a woman who works in an organization founded on paranoia is a bit unusual. "Well, I ain't the one who could turn back the hands'a time t'fix that problem for you, Scott. But I want you t'know that if you don' want t'get registered… we'll help you out. Kendall here's a good fella for directin' you to us, but…" There's a look Else spares Andy, silence coming during it, before she looks back to Caleb.

"Some things you should know 'fore we get where we're goin'? The place we're takin' you to's like a home, an' you're go'n to be a guest in it, so all we ask is that you follow the rules and nobody'll have a problem. You ain't the only person who'll be stayin' there, and everyone who does pitches in to help. Maybe you'll have t'keep the fireplace goin', or help shovel. Tell me you can control snow or make heat and you might just become everybody's best friend." Else notes with a wrinkle of her nose and a smile.

Kendall shrugs at the look. "Well like I said before, the place Melissa bought isn't exactly the safest place, especially if someone's after him. And we don't even have any furniture, I'm sleeping on a bunch of pillows on the floor. Wherever you're going from here has to be better than that."

Caleb understands having to live with rules with a group of people, he did it when he was a kid, he should pick it up again quickly enough, "I don't do any of that stuff, i make electricity, sometimes", he sighs and looks at his hands, "What are the rules?"

"'Lectricity?" Else says in her inscrutably eastern European accent, one brow lifting as she looks from 'Scott' to Andy and back again. "Tha's pretty fuckin' awesome, I ain't never seen an electricity kid before, sounds pretty awesome." Toothily smiling, Else shifts around uncomfortably in her seat, bracing herself when the truck goes over a mound of snow and bumps around roughly. Clearing her throat, she looks back to Kendall and Caleb, then just offers a simpler and less goofy smile.

"Rules're easy," Else states for both of the teens, "When we take you where we're goin', no cell phones, no electronics that transmit nothin'. It's cause they can be traced. We take batteries and the lil' cards out've the phones. When you're stayin' at the Garden, if someone asks you t'help out, help out. Ain't never nothin' you can't do, and it makes livin' there a lot easier, 'specially with how many people we got livin' there right now. Lastly, don't go wanderin' off. S'not like I have t'really tell you that with the weather, but there's also some wild dogs out where we're headed, so it's for your safety."

Rolling her tongue over the inside of her cheek, Else furrows her brows, lets her eyes alight to the ceiling and tries to figure out if there's anything she's forgetting. "Oh!" Of course there was. "An' if you need t'leave, ask someone in charge an' they'll drive you out. Then s'just a matter've not tellin' anybody where you've been or how t'get there. 'Cause a lot of people are relying on us t'keep them safe, you know? You're welcome to stay as long as you like though. An'… uh…" Else's brows furrow. "I'm not exactly sure who's in charge around there these days, but we'll figure that out, yeah?"

"There are?" Kendall asks, blinking. "Wild dogs? What, are they attacking people or something?" Why else warn them about it? "I'd better let Melissa know that." because the house they're staying in is in Staten too.

Caleb looks down again at Else's reaction to his ability, she must be insane if she thinks it's awesome, but when she begins explaining the rules, he unzips his bag and pulls out four pay-as-you-go cellphones and holds them out, "Then you might want these", he's a little freaked by the wild dogs but doesn't say anything.

"Yeah, bunch'a big dogs, dunno where they're at, but the cold's makin' 'em desperate. They attacked a kid at the Lighthouse, poor girl wandered off on 'er own. It— " Else shakes her head slowly, lifting a gloved hand to sweep a stringy lock of blone hair behind one ear. Her eyes slant towards the phones, and Else's brows furrow. "Sheesh what're you a phone salesman?" She jokes with a crooked smile.

"Keep 'em fer now, we'll shut 'em off once we get out t'Jersey. It's probably goin' to take us an hour to get out to the Garden with the roads the way they are."

Recalling Kendall's topic of the dogs, Else's smile fades some. "Lissa' might know, it happened a while back, word got put out through the network too, but— you all should be careful. No tellin' where on the island they are or how many of 'em there is. But when y'think about th' fact tha' a couple'a polar bears are out there somewhere, s'all kind've freaky, ain't it?"
Polar bears?" Kendall squeaks. Seems like the news that there are giant, deadly predators roaming NYC revoked Kendall's puberty temporarily.

Caleb drops the phones back into his bag, "No, i just heard that pay-as-you-go phone are harder to trace, you just gott dump them after a while", "Wait, polar bears?!", unlike Kendall's, Caleb's puberty holds strong.

Grimacing, Else shakes her head and rests one hand at her forehead. "You kids don' listen to the news much, do you?" There's a crack of a smile and a nod of the blonde's head as she offers a look over to Caleb. "You heard right, s'not that they're hard to track but that it's hard to know to look for 'em, but we don't take any chances. S'good that you're keepin' an eye on important stuff like that."

Breathing out a thoughtful sigh, Else leans against her seat a bit more, glancing through the windshield when she feels the truck take a somewhat slippery turn, then back to the kids behind her. "So, you two ain't got any family you can go to? There might be a sight better place than the Garden I can send you both to, but I'll need t'talk to someone 'bout it. There ain't no reason a kid your age should be sleepin' on pillow on a fuckin' floor in the middle of the arctic circle's revenge," Else opines with a bit of an edge to her voice, "s'just irresponsible."

"Well the only reason I am right now is because we need to clean up and fix the house before we move in furniture. We're not ready for guests yet." Kendall points out. "And…" he looks down at his hands on his lap. "When I got sick with that Evo flu, my parents kicked me out because I was Evolved. My family doesn't want me."

Caleb does actually smiles slightly at the compliment for the phones, then shakes his head to the family question, "My parents are all for the registry, other than them i don't have anyone else, I'm adopted", Kendall's response gets a awkward sympathetic pat of the shoulder.

"If it ain't ready fer guests it ain't ready t'live in. You both're more'n welcome to stay with us as long as you need." Then, with a lopsided quirk of a smile, Else tilts her head to the side and glances at Andy's profile, then back towards Caleb and Kendall. "Once you two get settled in at the Garden, then we can talk about gettin' you two to the Lighthouse. It's better equipped an' there's a bunch more people your age too. If you wanna stay with Melissa, Ken, then that's your call an' hers, but the offer's there."

Lifting one brow, Else cracks a smile and motions to the yellow phone she'd given Kendall. "Give 'er a call on the bananaphone so she don't worry none." Yes, she calls it the bananaphone.

That's probably the least weird thing she says the whole ride out.

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