2010-06-13: Bombs And Barricades



Date: June 13th, 2010


With society and its public, there is no longer any other language than that of bombs, barricades, and all that follows.

-Antonin Artaud

"Bombs and Barricades"

Somewhere in NYC…

"Bloody Sunday, it's good to see this place. Never thought I'd say that." Porter lets out a low, rueful chuckle as he unlocks the front door to his loft. He's managed to clean himself up somewhere between the station and his home, but he's still wearing his loaner NYPD sweatsuit. Carefully, he opens the door just wide enough to reach inside and unhook a steel wire from the back of the knob. So thin that it's nearly invisible, the other end of the wire stretches above the door frame, where it's tied securely around the trigger of a shotgun.

When the improvised security system has been disarmed, he pushes the door open and steps inside. The interior is dark and cool, if nothing else. Though the effects of his massive sodium amytal overdose have mostly faded, he's still a bit sensitive to light, which is why he raises a hand to shield his eyes as he turns to face Vasha. "Come in. I just need to get changed and pick something up."

Halfway to his curtained-off sleeping area, he pauses, but doesn't turn around. "And thanks," he says quietly.

She's been silent for the most part, consumed by her own thoughts and speculation of his behaviour. When Porter actually speaks, Vasha looks up from the floor at her feet, blinking to comprehend what he just said. "Oh, of course," she says quietly as she steps over the threshold of the apartment. She offers him a distant smile and then looks over toward the window, which is still blacked out.

"I thank you for taking such good care of my auto on the way over." She admits lowly, her eyes following him as he makes his way toward the sleeping area. Of course she was blindfolded again, not even a protest as she handed him the keys. Given her nature of control, it is a surprising step to allow him the use of her car. Especially given their history with her cars.

A small, dry smile creases Porter's face. He lets out a near-inaudible laugh and steps behind the curtain. For a few seconds, shadows are cast by clothing being tossed about and hastily donned. Then, after an improbably short time, he emerges. Though he hasn't shaved, he's elegantly coiffed and attired in a navy blue suit with grey pin-stripes, a white shirt, dark tie, and freshly polished shoes.

"Not a problem," he replies as he gives his tie a final adjustment. "Sorry that it was necessary. S'a nice little car, though. She's got some go in her."

"It is why I only buy European, Americans and Japanese do not know how to make a proper auto." When Porter steps out from behind the curtain, the woman gives an exasperated sigh and steps behind it. Apparently, Vasha is fairly anal rententive about cleanliness because she picks up the discarded clothing and folds them before setting them in a neat pile on the floor. "I do not know where your soiled laundry is kept, mine is a hamper in a cupboard, perhaps you should invest in something similar."

After the 'advice' is given, she steps back out from behind the curtain and gives him a polite smile. "Shall we go then? Will you be putting the blindfold over my eyes before we leave or will you wait until we reach the outside?"

Porter seems much more at home in his own skin once he's wearing a proper suit. He lets out a soft, appreciative sigh. "That's better," he murmurs. "Much better."

A glance is shot Vasha's way along with a crooked, innocent smile. "We can wait until we get back in the car," he replies agreeably. "C'mon."

Whistling merrily, he leads her back outside, rearms the shotgun trap, and locks the door. When they reach the bottom of the stairs, he leads them around to a featureless alley and up to a second door, this one heavier and made of metal. Still whistling, he produces another key, unlocks this door, and swings it open to reveal a cluttered and dusty pawn shop. One that clearly doesn't see many customers. A young man with sloppy blonde hair and a rumpled t-shirt is sitting behind the cash register and reading a comic book. He doesn't look up.

"Why thank you for the consideration, Captain." Vasha's voice has taken on a warm, somewhat teasing tone, something that he hasn't experienced much of before. Slipping through the doorway behind him, she looks around at all of the merchandise, her playful countenance disappearing at the first notice of dust and grime.

Her eyes move over some of the merchandise, though her hands stay folded behind her back. Inwardly, she's counting her blessings for having the foresight to wear a form fitting catsuit and leather vest, simply because there aren't any stray bits of material to sweep over the dirty wares. "This is… an interesting establishment. Do you own shares?"

"Not so much," Porter snorts. He follows her into the store and then strides past her, moving directly toward the man behind the counter. From his inside pocket, he produces a tightly wrapped roll of bills and sets it down with a hefty thunk.

Wordlessly, the blonde man puts down his comic book, picks up the money, and walks out.

As soon as he's gone, Porter springs nimbly up on the counter and stretches out to reach the light socket. "I have a hiding spot up here," he explains as he gives the entire unit a wiggle, being careful not to burn himself on the bare bulb. "I need to return the contents to my superiors while I still have a job."

Vasha watches the interaction with great interest, the roll of bills is eyed and appraised before it is tucked away by the blonde man. When he has disappeared, that is when Vasha's attention goes back to her companion. "I see," she says softly as she pulls a silk kerchief from her pocket and offers it up to Porter between two fingers.

"For your hand," she explains, possibly quite needlessly. Her stony features betray no sentiment in the passing of the bit of cloth but it's possible the gesture itself might have a bit more meaning.

The kerchief is accepted with a small, grateful smile and a bob of his head. Porter has to lean low to take it from her, almost down to eye level. He holds eye contact with Vasha for a few seconds as he rubs the cloth between finger and thumb. Then he smiles wider and straightens back up.

Once he has a firm grip, he gives the light fixture a sharp twist, removes it, and lets it dangle by the exposed wiring. Expectantly, his hands remain posed over the open hole, waiting to catch a parcel that never arrives. Looking a bit dumbfounded, he peers up into the opening. "It's… It's gone," he stutteres. Forgotten, the scrap of silk falls from between his slack fingers. "Oh shit. It's gone."

The eye contact is held by the woman for as long as he does, when he finally looks away, that is when Vasha lets out her breath. As the silk cloth floats downward, she reaches out to catch it. "What is gone, Captain?" There's only a glimmer of curiosity in her tone, there is much more on the expression in her face as she leans forward to look up at the hole in the ceiling.

The bright bulb burns spots into her vision and she closes her eyes against them and looks away. She reaches up and places a reassuring hand on his calf, she holds it there for as long as it takes for the red spots to fade. Then she's looking up at his face.

Meanwhile, Porter has fumbled out a handheld sensor unit and dialed up a radiation counter. He sweeps it in a wide square around the hole, but picks up only traces left behind by the missing U-235. The results leave him squeezing his eyes shut and grinding his palm against them frustratedly. "The… The ICBM trigger and the nuclear material from the downed ship. I hid them here. Someone must've gotten to them while I was in jail."

Rather than frantic, he seems disappointed. Heavy-hearted. He sighs heavily as he stuffs the scanner back in his pocket and climbs down from the counter. "This is bad," he whispers. "Supremely and extremely bad."

"Then we have but one recourse," Vasha emits, her voice strong and level. "We must find it and get it back." She reaches up and cups a hand on the side of his cheek as she gives him a twitch of a smile. "We will find it and take it back, Captain. Ja? How many people could have possibly known that you have it, huh? No one but Rivero and myself were on the ship with you."

With Rivero dead, it leaves only herself that knew he had it. Something she hadn't thought of before speaking. "There is always a simple explanation for events such as this. Come, we will work on it together."

Porter smiles tightly, showing his teeth in the process. The same thoughts are running through his head. "Sure," he agrees cheerfully. "A simple explanation. We'll figure it out, of course."

He starts whistling again as he moseys around behind a row of shelves. With a single kick of his fine leather shoe, he breaks loose a false wall panel and reveals a second hiding spot, this one much larger than the first. Stooping down, he starts pulling things out and laying them on the counter. Interesting things.

Two shotguns, three submachine guns of varying sizes, and an assault rifle. No less than four kinds of grenades. Endless bricks of C4, each about the size of a fruitcake. Detonators of every possible shape, size, and description. All this and more is loaded into a matte black duffel bag and zipped up expediently.

"Okay," Porter says. "I'm ready."

All of the weaponry is carefully observed as Porter lays it onto the counter and then into the duffel bag. Vasha's eyebrows shoot up at the bricks of C4 and she purses her lips to give him a look. "You have enough there to blow up an entire building. Do you think you may need more?" She tilts her head a little to the side as he slips the bag over his shoulder. The keys are still held tightly in her palm and she wavers before holding them out to him.

"Please be very careful with my auto. And myself. I do not fancy being sent back to my homeland in pieces." All this is said before she drops the keys into his hands and pulls the blindfold out of her pocket.

"It's enough to blow up the whole block with some to spare," Porter says, smiling once again as he shoulders his burden and nestles it comfortably against his back. Then, briskly, he takes the blindfold and holds it up for her. "Don't worry. I'll take good care of you. Promise."

Three bricks of explosives have been left behind on the counter, each pierced by a metal rod capped with a small metal cup and a red LED. One of them has a digital stopwatch attached to it. The numbers are counting down from 53… 52… 51…

"We should probably go," he says pleasantly.

Vasha grips the blindfold and furrows her brow as she looks between it, the timer, and Porter. It's easy to tell that she's debating wearing it. A few long strides are taken toward the door and she waits for him there, without the blindfold on. "I will put it on when we reach the car. I do not wish to risk tripping and being caught in this place." Or risk him leaving her behind… that is left unsaid.

Once she reaches the door, she pulls it open and leads the way out to the alley. Then she turns and pauses for Porter to lead them to the car.

Porter's smile never wavers. Once they're comfortably seated, he takes his time tying the blindfold around Vasha's eyes, even double-checking to make sure they are fully covered.

13… 12… 11…

Rather than unlock the gate, Porter puts the car in reverse and slams on the gas, snapping the chain and sending the corrugated metal paneling flying into the street. A deafening explosion fills the air as the vehicle fishtails away. It's the sound of a pawn shop and an illegal loft apartment's joint existence coming to an abrupt and complete end, along with any evidence within.

"My auto!! What have you done?" Vasha white knuckles with one hand gripping the side of the door and the other the console. She turns her blindfolded head as though trying to see but Porter did too good a job in masking her vision. With the way the vehicle swerves, she's too busy hanging on for dear life to pry it off her face. "Captain…"

"Relax," Porter snips as he weaves the vehicle in and out of traffic. "I only scratched your 'auto.'"

He cuts a quick right turn, then a left, then another right a few blocks further down. At every possible opportunity, he jams on the accelerator to put more distance between them and the crater that used to be his safehouse. A final turn puts them in sight of a police barricade made up of sawhorses, patrol cars, and spike strips.

A lone, unmarked SUV is parked ahead of the line, just a few meters closer to Vasha's vehicle. The driver is invisible behind heavily tinted glass. The engine revs once, twice, and then the SUV is careening toward Porter and Vasha in their much smaller sports car.

"Uh oh," Porter mutters. "This isn't good." Keeping his head on a swivel, he yanks the handbrake and brings the car to a stop. Then, smoothly, he shifts into reverse and turns around with his free arm across the back of Vasha's seat. "I think it's okay if you take the blindfold off now," he says mildly as he slams on the gas, backing away from the barricade and the SUV at speeds that can only be described as unsafe.

Using one hand, Vasha rips the blindfold from her head, only to see the police barricade, the SUV and with a turn of her head, the crumpled rear of her car. "Captain," she begins very calmly, "I do believe that you owe me repairs. Shall I utilize your credit card number once again, because I believe that might be the fastest way to receive reimbursement for my damages."

She doesn't say much about the rest. It could be assumed that she doesn't care, except for the fact that her heeled feet are pressed hard into the floor. She's bracing, that much is obvious. Turning her head to look at Porter, there's a measure of panic behind them. "Would you answer me if I asked what this is about?" Her voice is cool, calm, unmatched to the width of her eyes.

Porter is splitting his time between looking behind the car, where other vehicles are rapidly approaching from the wrong direction, and in front of it, where the SUV has advanced until it's nearly bumper-to-bumper with Vasha's damaged front end.

Then, to make matters worse, the SUV nudges them purposefully. It's a clear message that says, "I'm bigger than you are. Stop the car before this gets ugly."

"I don't know what it's about," he insists. "Somebody tipped them off, maybe. Can we talk about this later? In case you forgot, there's a shitload of guns in the backseat. Try not to kill anybody."

His words are brisk. Clipped. A few very uncomfortable heartbeats pass.

Smoothly, he draws his Beretta from a shoulder rig inside his jacket. Rather than aim for tires, engine component, or a windshield that's most likely armored, he fires at the pavement directly in front of the SUV, bouncing bullets off the ground and up through the bottom of the vehicle's cab. The shots are poorly placed, designed to alarm rather than injure. Hopefully.

Guns and guns and more guns…

After unzipping the bag, Vasha picks through the selection carefully, finally picking out the assault rifle and a few clips of ammo. She sits back down in her seat and loads it, pulling back the bolt with a sigh and smile of satisfaction. It's painfully obvious that the woman feels much more in control when she has a weapon in hand. "I will attempt to fulfill your request to the best of my ability but I will make no guarantees."

The automatic window is lowered and she leans out of the car just far enough to take quick aim. Unlike Porter, she isn't kind enough to try to keep the others alive, she is much more valuable. A volley of bullets are let loose from the rifle. Bam bam bam, in rapid succession as she aims first for the grill of the vehicle and then for the front right tire.

Between Vasha's bullets piercing the engine compartment and Porter's bouncing up through the floorboards, the SUV is encouraged to veer off and come to a stop in the middle of a smoking cloud.

Porter lets out a sigh of relief, yanks up on the handbrake, and spins their car around until it's facing the proper direction again. For a moment he drives with his knees, at the same time reaching into the duffel bag to dig out a fresh magazine for his pistol. When he has reloaded, he drops his gun in his lap and grips the wheel firmly in both hands.

"White stars and red stripes," he mutters, weaving crisply through traffic, even driving up on sidewalks when necessary. "First I get bagged, tagged, and dumped naked on the street. Then my safehouse is compromised. Now this shit." There's an audible grinding noise as he grits his teeth unpleasantly. "Someone's setting me up," he concludes.

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