Date: April 4, 2010
Hey Parkman, we borrowed your car.
"Mission From Medusa"
Secret Safehouse of DOOM
The appropriate calls have been placed. With the agent's aversion to using text messages or emails of any kind, the cell conversations have been limited to the address (for Tori) and a 'Get over here' (for Devon).
Cody is, at the moment, loading multiple Ziploc baggies into coolers. To someone far away, it might look as though she's preparing for a barbecue. Perhaps if this was Fried Green Tomatoes she would be, but she's not, and this isn't exactly dinner. At least we hope not.
It's the first errand she's had to run since finding out from Nathan that Cody isn't as powerful as she suggested, but Nathan seemed to think she was a good person anyway and that Tori could help her. She heads to the address, hoping she's dressed appropriately for whatever kind of job this is — last time she was instructed to wear all black, but she couldn't find her black pants and so is in dark jeans and a snug black long sleeve shirt, a black cap on her head to help obscure her face should they need to be secretive. She heads to the basement and pauses halfway down the steps.
"Please tell me we're not smuggling kidneys or something. My mum warned me that people do that in other countries, when I left home," the Brit says, looking skeptically at the coolers.
Some people on the street may notice a quick moving black cloud that seems to go against the wind. But luckily he tends to avoid traveling like that unless absolutely necessary. There are pipes for that sort of things, vents in the ground. To announce his approach, there's a sudden smell of smoke in the air, perhaps like that barbecue she's not preparing for. It billows out of a vent and solidifies down on the ground, becoming a man. One fully dressed despite his once smoke-like form. Dark leather, hair longish and hanging into his face.
"When you said you'd take care of it, I didn't think you'd cut it into steaks," he jokes with a hint of a grin, before his eyes narrow at the woman who'd entered while he was busy getting out of the vent. Or at least it seems like his eyes are narrowing in caution, but it could be nearsightedness.
"Tori, Devon, Devon, Tori.." Cody mutters as she finishes placing the baggies into the coolers. The last bit, is the head. She didn't actually get it hacked into the bits that she wanted to, only because the last blade of her hacksaw broke and she didn't feel like going out for another one. "I prepped him, we have to get him out and disposed of before anyone in the house finds him or finds out."
Looking up at Tori she gives the woman a small shake of the head and kicks one of the heavy coolers in her direction. "Well there's a couple of kidneys in there but there's other bit too. If you need anything… they're a little mangled and useless as far as transplanting goes." Then she hefts one of the coolers onto her shoulder and points over to the last. "That one's yours Devon. We're heading to a meat packing plant that I know of. Some lucky store is going to have a sudden sale on hamburger."
The billowing smoke has Tori's eyes furrowing — she didn't even know there were other people with powers until she meant Nathan, and she hasn't seen many in use. "Is there… do you smell…" But then there's suddenly a man in the basement. She takes a step back, but the back of her leg hits the stair above, and she ends up taking a seat on the steps staring at the two below. Steaks? Kidneys? Bits? Hamburger?
"Oh, my God…" she murmurs, her dark eyes wide and her face growing pale. "Who the bloody hell are you, Mrs. Lovett and Sweeney Todd?" She stands up and puts a shaking hand on the railing. "I… this is not what I signed up for…"
"That's just disgusting, Medusa." No, he doesn't know her nickname, but he saw her use her hair how she did, and it seems a good a title as any. "I think I know a better way to dispose of it that won't resort to cannibalism," Devon says with a shake of his head, before he looks at the packages. It's really too bad he can't turn more than clothes and a few small possessions into smoke with him, but he's got muscles and can do things the old fashioned way.
"How about you forget the meat packing plant, and me and— Tori? We'll handle the disposal."
A pointed stare is aimed in the direction of the student on the stairs. "Get a handle on yourself Miss Duffy, this is a .. necessary precaution to keep other people safe." Then Devon is treated to a nonchalant shrug of the shoulder as she passes by on the way to the elevator. The cooler is placed inside and then she goes back for the other one that the girl hasn't picked up yet.
"Meat packing was the best I could come up with, I don't know any pig farms in the area and we need to be able to have him untraceable by DNA. Digestion would ease that a bit. Besides, you live in New York… do you really think that any of your restaurant food doesn't have a bit of people in it? No matter what people try to tell you around here, the Mafia does exist." With that, she's walking back toward the elevator while lugging the other cooler.
"Bloody hell, I think I just turned into a vegetarian," Tori mutters, still staring at the two below. "You can't … you can't… I'm not helping with this… I'll help get rid of it if it's related to what Nathan's involved with but I'm not going to let you mix it with other meat so people get turned into accidental cannibals or something. That's just sick." She takes another step back, despite her words that she will help. "And I know you can't get me deported with a snap of your fingers, so you can ask me nicely to help, you know," she adds, another step up the stairs.
"She's a bitch, isn't she," Devon point-blank says, looking at Cody with those narrowed eyes. "We can shove it in an incinerator. I know a few, I used it to dispose of my things when I went on the run. I can control the smoke output so it doesn't attract any attention." And it won't smell quite as bad either, but they'll have to live with the fact he already permanently smells like cigarettes.
"We'll take care of your dead body and protect your people, but we're not the mob." Even if he looks like he could belong to one, from the way he dresses and doesn't shave close.
Not knowing whether Devon is talking about her or Tori, Cody simply shrugs and places the cooler beside the other one in the elevator. "Tori, this has everything to do with what Nathan is involved in," she starts explaining slowly. "There was a woman that lived in my apartment who is now living with Nathan. This man was following her around. I took care of him." She certainly did.
Pursing her lips, she narrows her eyes slightly as she considers the possibility and then gives Devon a nod. "If you don't need me, then, I'm going to get some lye and start scrubbing this area clean. Give me a call when you're done." Then she turns to Tori again and takes a deep breath, "Please."
Tori arches a brow at Devon, not sure if he means her or Cody either. Presented with a body in beer coolers, she thinks she's actually being pretty level headed, but maybe Americans have a different perspective on such things. "If it means not having that go in the meat supply for however many bloody people, I suppose I can help, but … I'm not … I'm not cut out for this sort of thing, Medusa. I can pick locks — that's the only reason I was a criminal back in Cork."
"She's having us do the delivery, so we'll just take it where I say— though I hope you have a car," Devon says, picking up his cooler. It's not his preferred mode of travel, but this isn't what he likes to do with his time, either. Even if it sticks it to the people who killed his brother, when he was trying to take down the Protocol from the inside. "And I'll give you a call." Sooner or later.
"So you're a thief, huh? Pick locks? I mostly enter without actually picking any locks." Crime by ability. That's his style. Not that it should be a surprise, considering how he poured out of the vents. Probably the only reason AP hasn't caught him yet is they haven't found where he sleeps.
"Think about it this way Duffy… You're picking up a brand new life skill. You never know when disposal will come in handy, you can even write it on a resume." It's strange and quite odd that the agent can keep up such a good natured attitude in the face of such adversity. Waving the two of them into the elevator, she closes the grate and then pushes the button to the main floor. "Parkman's car is parked in the warehouse on the main floor. Don't let any of the cooler juice spill on the upholstery, Devon, do you know how to drive?"
The young British student scowls at Cody but moves the rest of the way down the stairs and then into the elevator. Her nose wrinkles at the term 'cooler juice.' She glances at Devon, her face still a touch pale. "If I could do what you do, I suppose I wouldn't need to pick locks. And I haven't picked locks in a while, mate," she says quietly. She doesn't advertise what she can really do, and she's certainly not going to let Cody know. She's already disposing of bodies and kidnapping people — what would the woman have her doing if she knew Tori's power?
Probably something even worse…
"Yeah, I can drive. I don't always run around in smoke form," Devon says, putting down the cooler long enough to take the keys, and pull out a pair of sunglasses to place over his eyes. He won't reveal the fact they're prescription sunglasses— no he most certainly won't.
They look cool, though.
"Let's go, princess," he adds, as he picks up the cooler, apparently having a nickname for the cute girl with the cute accent, as he makes his way out with the packages of chopped up body.
Cody gets a final glare before they're on their way, and Tori grabs one of the coolers. As the elevator ascends, she focuses on not freaking out and accidentally using her power so that she gets a post-cognitive vision of what went into it. She stares hard at the doors of the elevator before they open up, willing herself to calm down and not panic — that's when she gets the unbidden visions.
"Fuck," she finally announces, stepping out of the lift. "You don't have gloves, do you?" she says to Devon, once the thought pops into her head that she might lose control and do just that — self fulfilling prophecies are no fun.
"Starting to regret meeting that bitch," Devon mutters once said bitch is out of earshot. Yes, that's who he was calling a bitch, and he'll keep doing it as long as he has to. He wouldn't have been used as a delivery boy if he hadn't met her! Even the cute accent girl isn't quite worth the annoyance of lugging two coolers full of man-wich around.
"Yeah, in my left pocket," he says, twisting a bit toward her, so she can reach in and grab one. She's only got one to put down, he has two. "You okay? Look like you're about to be sick." And he hopes not cause his gloves are for hands, not barf bags.
She reaches into his pocket and finds the gloves, setting down the cooler and slipping them onto her hands. "Thank you," she says. "I'm regretting meeting her too, though it's not like it was to be avoided. She found me," Tori says unhappily. "I'll be all right. I think. The gloves will help."
She follows his lead since she has no idea where she's going. "I'd say nice to meet you but these circumstances don't make it very pleasant," she adds wryly.
A speculative eyebrow raises as she mentions the gloves helping. Devon doesn't ask for details on this, as he carries his coolers toward the car that's parked right where they were told. Setting the stack of coolers down, he goes into the driver's seat to find the truck lock, and stick the keys in. "We got room in the trunk? Probably will only fit two of them, but— less that'll have to go in the back seat." With them.
As he waits for an answer, he moves around back to the trunk to look himself. Sure enough, room for two. Not so much for the third.
"I'll put the other in the backseat," Tori says, not very happy about that thought at all. "Just a cooler, just a cooler. Pretend it's beer," she mutters to herself as she lugs it to the backseat. Damn it. Doesn't fit on the ground so it has to sit on the seat. She straps the seat belt around it — she doesn't want that thing moving around back there! The door shuts with a thud and she slips into the front passenger seat.
A few moments later, the trunk slams down, and the driver's seat has a warm body fall into it. The city has already heated up in the last week thanks to the appearance of Spring, but when the doors close it seems warmer, for some reason. "Mind if I smoke?" Devon asks, as he presses the car lighter in to begin the heat up cycle already, and turns the keys in the car. He forgets to buckle up. Though they don't want to get pulled over with the head in one of the coolers…
"What was the deal with needing the gloves?" he asks, once he begins to get the car rolling.
"Is that a joke?" she asks, regarding the smoking, but then he's pushing the lighter in, so apparently it isn't. She stares ahead when he asks about the gloves — which are still on her hands, neatly folded in her lap. She glances down at them, as if they hold the answers to the question, before turning to look at him.
"You won't tell … Medusa?" Her lips quirk into a smile, liking the nickname for the woman who keeps dropping nightmares in her lap. Sure, she reunited Tori with Nathan, but only to keep Tori willing to do things like this, no doubt.
Half a joke. But half not. The smell of cigarettes are already all around him whether he's lit one or not, but— The fact she asked if it was a joke seems to have made him grin a little. "I got little loyalty to the her. I'm just helping her cause my brother would have wanted it," Devon says with a shrug, turning down the alleys of the warehouse district of Brooklyn and toward a section further south. One of the things that he knows, is where the smoke comes from. Incinerators produce a lot of it.
"But I won't mention anything you tell me," he adds, as he pulls out a package of cigarettes and taps one out, to stick in the corner of his mouth. The ligher pops out a moment later.
The 'would have' isn't lost on her, and she makes a slight moue of her mouth in sympathy, glancing away again. "I'm sorry," she says quietly, watching the pavement get eaten up by the car for a moment or two as she considers telling a stranger what her power is. But, she knows his — isn't turnabout fair play? She chooses the truth but not the whole truth.
"I … can get information off of fingerprints. It's why I'm a good lockpick — well, combination locks, anyway. I can pick a regular lock, though." She had to learn. "I … didn't want to see anything involved in what's in those containers. I usually don't get that detailed of, um, information, but if I freak out a little, it happens. And I was starting to freak out."
"Information off of fingerprints. That's a new one," Devon says, picking out the lighter to hold up to the end of his cigarette, the heated red coils burning the paper and tabacco, and allowing him to inhale and exhale a soft smoke, which trails off into little shapes toward the passanger side of the car. It stays far enough away from her not to fly into her face, but it forms into a shape, one of a hand, before flying back toward him, and out the window he cracks open.
It helps with some of the smoke smell, at least.
"It's fine, about my brother. We weren't that close anymore. Ever since he freaked out about what I could do. Probably what drove him to join those Protocol bastards— until he found out what they planned to do with us was even worse." And what would Cody use her for, if she knew? He doesn't want to know. "This'll be out secret. No need to tell Medusa."
"That's pretty handy," Tori says, smiling at the smoke hand. She doesn't seem to mind the cigarettes — she's hung out with enough thugs that smoked, for sure, though she doesn't. "Your brother was part of Protocol?" She winces, then changes the subject — her power is a touchy one, but it's probably safer than talking about dead siblings.
"Still sorry to hear about it. And I don't really know what you'd call it — you're only the … second person I know with a power. I thought I was the only one until I meant Brayden." She rubs her own fingers with her thumb, still clad in glove. "I don't know. I can … tell you what page someone last looked at in a book. Or the last number dialed into a telephone. Stuff like that. And if I freak out or if I focus really hard, I can see … like a vision of what happened." She glances at the cooler in the back seat and makes a face. "Which is why I was freaking out. But … if there are no fingerprints, I can't do any of it."
"Yeah, up until he realized they were vetting us to become human weapons," Devon says with a puff of smoke coming out from between his lips, and sliding through the cracked window as he drives. "He didn't lead them to me, even though he was part of their retrieval team, so I guess he might have always been on board to find out why they'd want us. Never know now, though."
Or at least he doesn't think he'll ever know. Since he was dead. "So you just snippets of information? I can see the use, but you wouldn't be much of a weapon." Him on the other hand, could deceptively be a weapon. People shouldn't breathe smoke. Not long.
"I don't think I could be a weapon, no. I fight like a girl. And a sissy," Tori says, with a shake of her head. She watches him smoke out of the corner of her narrowed eyes, before she tilts her head to look at him more directly. There are worse views in the world, to be sure.
"So are you immune to the bad side effects that comes from smoking, since you can be smoke? It's not a diatribe on the ill effects of smoking, mind you. I'm just curious," she says with a touch of a smirk.
"Based on how Medusa fights, girl means very little these days," Devon says with a grin, and another puff of smoke that streams away again. "Though sissy means something." Fights like a sissy girl. It's almost funny. Sure, he can brawl, and looks like it, but he's more the guy who sits in the corner of the bar looking mean than the guy who punches people in the face.
"That's a very good question. I never really thought to ask. I still get a nicotine buzz, and my ability has enough strange side effects all on it's own." Like inability to switch back and forth too much. Staying in one form for an extended time is preferred.
"You're too pretty to be a thief," he adds, as her turns down an alley.
Tori turns to look out the window again, a little flush of color on her cheeks from the compliment. "That's debatable," she tosses back, though she smiles a little. "But I think maybe my appearance helps keep the suspicion off me. People don't usually suspect me of doing anything that doesn't fit their impression of me — posh school girl sort. The few times anyone ever figured out I had taken something, I was never on the short list of suspects."
She glances back at him. "I'm trying to be better, here. Sort of a fresh start, you know? But this stuff… this is out of my league. I have no idea why she thought I was capable of helping with this stuff. Except that I have two hands and can carry a cooler."
She tucks a strand of hair behind her ear. "What do you do when you're not smoking and lugging around … um… contraband?"
Appearances do give people an advantage, which Devon seems to agree with, nodding with a slight smile as he finally pulls to a stop in the alley. Must be where the incinerator he knows, is. The factory doesn't look occupied, or in service. In fact it has a big 'CONDEMNED' sign on it. But just cause it's condemned, doesn't mean it won't have a functional incinerator, if the person knows where to look.
Homeless people probably use it to stay warm in the winter.
"Fresh starts are good. Every time I've tried a fresh start, something ends up happening, though. I guess for you, Medusa happened." And for him, his brother got shot in the face by a woman… Glancing toward the back seat, and said strapped in cooler. "This is pretty new to me. Usually I'm on the move. According to the public record, I died in a fire three and a half years ago." And probably nearly did, but— neither here nor there. "I just watch people a lot. Travel. Lately I've been trying to gather information about the people that the guy in the coolers works for. I was following him when he was killed."
Tori listens, and when he stops the car, unbuckles her seatbelt. She makes a bit of a grimace and glances over her shoulder at the cooler as well. "Can we not call it a him? Or a guy? Please?" she says, though she offers a tight-lipped smile to show she's not angry — just trying not to toss her proverbial cookies. "I'm sorry about your past though. Is it … hard? Not to exist, on paper? Or freeing?" she asks, as she opens the door and slips out, then opens the door to the backseat, unbuckling the cooler and sliding it off the seat to the ground.
"Little of both," Devon says with a shrug, looking back at the guy. Well, at least she never had to see the look of surprise on his face as the woman's hair went around his neck. Right before he was killed by her. But yeah, no longer a guy. Just a cooler. "You'd be surprised how many jobs there are for undocumented people. Lots of people on the run from something— or just not supposed to be here. I guess kind of like you, if you're worried about being deported."
He must be waiting to finish his cigarette, or he's in no hurry to barbaquee the contents of the coolers, cause the talking continues, "Where were you possibly going to be deported to?"
"I'm legal," Tori says a touch defensively, though she gives a shrug, taking off her cap for a moment and smoothing her bobbed hair beneath it before putting the cap back on.
"Back to England. I'm here on a student visa, and I'm going to try to make it a work visa, eventually, if I can find a job once I graduate. But if they found out what I did back in England and Ireland, well, I'm sure it'd be revoked and I'd be back across the pond in no time, wouldn't I? Anyway, your pal Medusa made it sound like she could arrange it so I wouldn't have to worry, that it'd all be swept under the rug, but apparently she doesn't actually have the clout to do that, does she?"
"She might still have connections, so if you're just worried about the government finding out what you did back in England, you probably have a legitimate worry," Devon crushes his cigarette end into the car's ashtray — sorry Mr. Parkman — and then moves to pop the trunk. "Why don't you stay out here while I take care of this. I can probably carry the coolers in in two trips." It would spare her having to see what he inevitably expects to be in one of them.
"Are you sure? I mean… then what, all I am is an extra body for the carpool lane?" Not that they took the carpool lane to get here. The term body also gets a little wince from Tori, as she hadn't meant the inadvertent pun. "I mean, I haven't really pulled my own weight, if I'm supposed to be cashing in favors." She frowns again, glancing down at her cooler, one third of the man's contents apparently. "Not that that's my weight unless he was, uh, 150 or so kilograms," she adds with a wry grin. Sadly, metric probably ruined her joke.
"Thought you didn't want to call it a he?" Devon asks, though it's not the polite British question, and more the, I'm grinning at you while looking over my sunglasses question. "Just wait in the car. I don't even want to do this, and I certainly wouldn't want to force you to, just case the woman who's holding your past over your head happens to be a bitch."
He's starting to get out of the car, but even as he gets out, he ducks his head down to look back in, sunglasses coming off. "Oh, by the way— she's got an ability." She hadn't told him to keep it secret, the hair thing.
Touche. Tori opens the car door again and sits inside, and when he ducks back in to let her know about Cody's ability, her eyebrows raise. "Thanks," she says, for letting her know, and then she nods toward the building, as she pulls off his gloves. "And… thanks." The second thanks is more heartfelt, and she drops her eyes. Once he turns to head in the building, she turns to peek out the window. He really is kind of hot. Where there's smoke, there's fire.