2008-08-06: DF: Old Faces, Worn Places


DFElena_icon.gif DFJane_icon.gif DFPortia_icon.gif Manuel_icon.gif

Summary: Getting word that Portia wanted to talk to her and that it was an emergency, Elena schedules to meet with her stepsister in ravaged, Times Square. A few extra faces join them.

Dark Future Date: August 6th, 2009

Old Faces, Worn Places

Times Square, New York City

There was a time when Times Square fascinated her to no end. Now it wasn't the case. The site of so much destruction, every time she came here it was as if stepping inside some twisted nightmare. Shadows walked the streets. People whispered while they talked. People were afraid to go outside. And it was -morning-. The covertly souped-up Honda EVO6 slows down when it approaches the ….what USED to be the city proper, the black jacket-clad rider, her features masked by a helmet, moving slowly through trying to figure out where the people she's trying to find is. She didn't have a lot of time. After this, she had someplace else to be.

Parking the Honda, she gets off it, setting her booted feet on the sidewalk. The dark helmet is shucked off her head, long, wavy dark hair spilling down to the small of her back. Elena Gomez looks around the devastated area.

All she saw were ghosts. Flitting around the ever-lingering darkness, taunting from the flickering shadows. They were everywhere.

She hands the helmet on one of the handlebars, and slides her hands in her pockets. Her jacket is zipped up, to ward away the early morning chill. It was almost six in the morning, and the sun might as well not be out. But her Ping ability is out, stretching in its maximum range. Who she's looking for is no one visible, so if she detects a life signal in a vacant spot, she'll know it's her stepsister, who, much to relief, seems to be staying out of trouble.

So far.

Times Square, while holding little particular interest for Portia, is as good a location as any for a meeting. The teenager, however, is not alone. While invisible, she's got someone else keeping her company. Glancing over to Jane, Portia rubs her arm a little, glancing about. "She should be here soon."

What might come as a surprise to the elder Gomez and her scanning is the presence of more than just one life signal. The stray one, though, comes from a totally different direction, indeed seeming to have followed her all the way to Times Square. A slow, methodical pace leads the younger Gomez child into the square, unusually dressed in total black-from his boots to the skull cap on his head, and the long jacket worn over it all, Manuel's look is distinctly different than it was mere months prior.

Behind mirror sunglasses, the Degenerator eyes the motorcycle his sister rode in on, pacing his way closer and closer. A sly smile graces the young man's face, but he says nothing; it's not unusual, by any means, but it's less common than one might think, a total silence from the younger Gomez. He avoids approaching from directly behind Elena, knowing that even the slightest hint of a tail these days ends badly; that said, he doesn't back off. He didn't follow behind the motorcycle riding "Dark Angel" for nothing.

Her hand rests on Portia's shoulder, keeping her also in the sphere of invisibility. What Elena detects, thus, is not one but two life signals. Both have the chemical signature of being female, one of them ten years older than the other. Jane's voice is kept low when she answers Portia, her eyes continuing to scan the Square. They're not far from the former Virgin Record store, waiting.

Her features are grim with worry and determination. Someone is missing, and she intends to find her.

Someone was following her.

And not just anyone. Manny was an Advent Child, like she was - he had a biochemical in his body that was the same as hers, thanks to the injection administered to her mother that helped produce the brood of originally four Gomez siblings. In fact, it was that unique signature that helps her find her younger brother these days. He might be Manuel now, but Elena can't help but call him Manny….more of a man now than a child.

This also means she doesn't pull out a gun and point it at whoever's following her. "This way," is all she says, without looking at her brother. It was as if she had eyes at the back of her head. She doesn't glance over her shoulder or anything. Not yet. And then she finds the spot where the two, invisible people are. This is where she goes….Portia wasn't alone, but she preferred that. She doesn't know who the other person is, as the other person didn't have a signature like Manny. She can tell by Jane's estrogen levels, however, that whoever it was, she was female.

"Sis," she tells the empty space. Despite not being able to see her, she's looking right at them. She lifts her fingers to her lips to signal quiet, and inclines her head for the two invisible ones to follow her. Manny was already following her. She turns around and starts heading off. It doesn't take her long to get to an abandoned building, the words DANGER and CONDEMNED tacked all over. She doesn't break any glass. She goes around it, away from the views of the street, and slams a knife into the windowsill and jimmies a window open. Pushing it up the rest of the way, she gestures for her posse to crawl inside.

Giving a nod as Elena approaches, mostly for Jane's benefit, Portia moves to follow after Elena. She keeps her pace slow enough so there's still the contact between her and Jane and the invisiblity stays up. She'll drop it when they get close. As soon as they're out of view of the street, she lets the invisibility drop, moving to crawl inside carefully.

Manuel does indeed follow behind his sister, smirking as Elena addresses him without even turning to see him. Silence from the younger Gomez continues, the only noise from Manuel being the click of boots against the pavement as his eyes look over Times Square. It's difficult for the young man to fathom, even as he witnesses it first hand: not but a mere few months prior, it was the thriving center of what felt like the capital of the World, New York City. Nowa mostly barren group of buildings. /Shame,/ the young man thinks to himself, shaking his head a little bit.

Watching his sister jimmy the window open draws an eyebrow upward on the young man's face, sliding in through the window and silently wondering who taught Elena how to do that. /Jack,/ he figures silently. Looking over at Portia without removing his sunglasses, Manuel has to admit to being curious as to why exactly his step-sister called them. And, upon a bit of inspection, why exactly she looks like she's been in a fight. Verbally, Manuel just speaks, "Portia…"

Becoming visible as Portia goes through the window, Jane stays back to let Manuel go ahead of her. Alert eyes scan the area around them slowly. When it's her turn, she slides the guitar case off her shoulder and puts it through the window first, then the backpack. Both are returned to shoulders once she herself is inside the building. She's leaner than she was, a bit gaunt in the face, with eyes showing haunt from things experienced. Her determination and concern is also visible there. But not a word is spoken, she waits to be addressed before saying anything.

With that, Elena swings herself inside the window, and shuts it. When everyone is there and accounted for, this time the gun is out. "Wait here," she says, her tone businesslike and her eyes narrowed. Her dark eyes slowly bleed to gold, to take advantage of her heightened perception and eyesight in such a state. It was dim inside this building, there was barely any light, and she won't risk turning one on if there was even power here. The Glock's safety is undone, and she walks forward, checking blind spots, dark shadows. She wasn't Eric, she can't look at the black and see what's there. Once she clears the place, she stows the gun back in and walks back over to her group.

This is when she ….well. She doesn't really relax, but she does flash a small smile towards her siblings. "No scrapes, glad you're both keeping your trouble under wraps. Jane, it's been a while." She nods to the other woman. "I don't have a lot of time - I have an op, but Portia said it was an emergency, and I need to talk to Manny about something else entirely. What's up?"

The teen glances over at Elena as she seems a little extra cautious. Portia nods a little, glancing back to Jane before she looks to Elena. "We were just worried about Ali, Jane hadn't seen her in some time and we were wondering if you've heard anything about her or anything.." She glances to Manny, offering him a little smile before she looks back to Elena.

Manuel smirks at his sister uses the nickname he'd all but forsaken-he knew he couldn't get rid of it with Elena, but to everyone else at this point, he was no longer Manny. He couldn't help but make the face at the name. It was brief-momentary at best. Manuel sheds his jacket, dumping it behind him and removing the sunglasses, the fairly well scarred arms of the young man getting pulled out of the sleeves. He looks over at his step-sister, folding his arms across his chest and just waiting to see what, exactly, Portia needed….a question which draws a curious look from Manuel. He understands the importance of the question, but he has nothing to offer and thus stays quiet, just looking from Elena to Portia and Jane.

A security sweep is indeed a good idea, and she performs one of her own without moving from her spot. The lips purse, Jane's head slowly turns in a half circle before her to cover the area with sonar at a frequency none of them can hear, which also isn't intense enough to cause physical consequences.

Her attention returns to the latina once she's satisfied herself, and an appreciative nod is given toward the Glock when Elena puts it away. "Decent weapon. And it's been a while. Too long. We should meet more often. Keep better contact." There's some warmth, the respect of friendship, to her features when speaking. That respect remains when she turns toward the man to offer a simple nod of greeting. "Manuel."

And down to business. "It's as Portia said. Alyssa McAlister is missing, and I'm intending to find her. Looking for assistance on that front."

"She's not. We have her," Elena says simply. "She's safe for now, but she's not well. Hence she hasn't been broadcasting. While you're all here I should circulate some information regardless….I haven't managed to put together a file on this person yet but I'll get down to the basics." She leans against the wall and crosses her arms over her chest. "Her former roommate. I don't know if you knew her." Elena glances at Jane as she says this. "Erin. She infected her with SARS. Ali believed it was geared to take the Saints down with a pandemic, and any other resistance agent that would come in contact with her. One of us managed to bring her to a clinic. She's quarantined at present. I'm afraid no one can see her, for everyone else's protection. She's going to be fine, the clinic is well supplied to treat her. We made sure of it. This Erin used to be a soap opera star, in her twenties. She can produce and generate diseases remotely and by touch."

There is a pause, for the woman to collect her thoughts, and then she continues. "I don't know what her effective range is, but I tend to benchmark mental abilities with my own so my best estimate would be between 10 to 75 feet. You can probably see what she looks like on Google since she used to be on television. Ali seems to want to keep her unharmed. I promised I wouldn't call a hunt out for her for what she tried to do….but if something else happens, we might not have a choice. Feel free to deal with her as you deem necessary if she tries to threaten any of you."

Portia frowns a little at the idea, especially that Ali's sick. But Erin? She's never met Erin, she knows nothing about Erin, and so she can't help too much in that front. "I'll keep an eye out for her and let you know if I see anything." That's all the girl can really offer.

"Hmph…" Manuel's typical reply at this point to just about anything he doesn't like. /Ali's been infected with SARS, huh? Fantastic…/ He shakes his head, looking at Elena for a moment and asking, "Suppose she fits the name…but if she so much as looks at anyone wrong with me around…" Manuel apparently does know who Elena's referring to, if nothing more than by appearance or name. He doesn't seem too familiar with what she can do. He looks at his sister, arms dropping to his sides before his thumbs hook the belt loops of his pants, "Any leads? Somethin' to find her?"

"SARS." There's relief that Ali isn't missing, but also a stoking of quiet rage. Someone tried to not just kill her, but use the Broadcaster as a bio-bomb. "Erin," she repeats with malice. "Sounds like she needs to be reached out to and touched, long distance." Jane's jaw sets and she taps the guitar case over her shoulder. "Remember that time we were watching movies, Elena, and talked about Antonio Banderas in Desperado?"

"Yeah, wh— " Elena glances at the guitar. "……….you're kidding." No. No she's not. She couldn't help the quirk on her mouth. She can't help it. The Saints breathed pop culture references, mostly because of Prime. And since Gene, Eric, and her are dorks themselves, it tended to be present in most of their ops. She nods, and looks at her brother. While she doesn't smile, there's a hint of pride in her eyes. Her younger brother, asking the right questions. Proactive. The similarities between all of the surviving members of their family are more apparent now in troubled times.

"All I know is that she might be government," she says. "Ali mentioned this Erin is acting under duress, that she's being forced to do the things she's doing. She's also being watched. I'd expect at the very least Homeland Security guys tailing her, so I'd be careful." She had Gene wipe Manny's file from CODUS and his police records. She doesn't want him found, and hopefully Manny can keep himself out of the radar. "Is there anything else?" She looks at Portia in particular, her expression softening a little bit. It was almost unfair, growing up in a place like this. "….we haven't stopped, you know," she tells her softly. "I haven't given up on Dezi. Papa and I."

"I know." Portia murmurs, looking back over to Elena. "He promised we'd find her. I'm always keeping my eyes and ears out for any information." She looks quite serious.

Of the Gomezes, Elena was always the more comforting one. She's the one who knows what to say. Manuel, on the other hand, especially these days? He's all business. At least, until he can afford to let his guard down for a moment. He turns and runs a hand over his head, muttering something about Homeland Security under his breath before shaking his head, "So she's not a government agent, or Homeland Security wouldn't be chasing her…" The young man taps his foot, thinking briefly before turning to his sister, "See what I can find out…"

He turns to look at his step-sister, expression momentarily softening. Saddended as she is, Manuel can't help but wonder how Portia remains as optimistic as she can. God knows Manuel himself isn't. The looks is only for a moment, though, before he returns to the almost dead-panned look, arms folding across his chest again.

She too softens, at the mention of Desiree, her own eyes moving to rest on Portia. "Neither have I. I can't. She was with me, not far from here, really, when I had that first scream." Jane reaches to place a hand on the youngest one's shoulder and give it a squeeze.

Several moments pass before she returns to business. "If she's being forced to do what she does, that would explain the agents. There to bag her up if she refuses to play ball. If Ali wants to see a rescue op mounted, maybe I can get my hands on a decent distance carrying tranq rifle. I've got some standard sniper gear to deal with other targets. Ask her to contact me as soon as she's able, please. I've got a package for her." While this is said, she slides the guitar case from her shoulder. Once on the floor she opens it to show how it's set up for carrying and firing the M16 it hides without having to open it up and take something out. She wasn't the least bit kidding. "Anytime you need a hand, call me up. My scream is really devastasting too, these days."

She smiles a little bit, resting her hand on Portia's head gently. Glancing at Jane, Elena nods. "I will, as soon as she's well again to go venturing out. And I will. It's good to see you, Jane." She looks over at Manuel. "Excuse me, girls - but I'd like a word with my brother for a bit." With that, she turns to step towards the other side of the room, beckoning her brother to follow her.

Manuel quirks an eyebrow upwardly, looking over at Elena for a moment. Nodding, the young man follows his sister across the room, unsure of exactly what's on Elena's mind. He stops, briefly, at Portia's side, wrapping his arm around the youngest of his extended family's shoulders, hugging the girl for just a moment before stepping over to Elena. For a moment, the young man is silent, then he looks into the eyes of his elder sister for the first time in some time, switching languages, "Que es, hermana?"

Portia glances over at Elena and Manuel, smiling at one and hugging the other, respectively, before she lets them go have their conversation. Looking back to Jane, she smiles a little again. "See, I knew Elena would be able to find out where Ali's been."

"(Someone I know is interested in hiring you. Payment isn't an issue)," Elena says, looking at Manuel's eyes. While she wasn't really approving of Manny's line of work these days, killing for money, his hit list also provided him with a ton of contacts and information. If you killed for people, these people will tell you things, grievances. The occupation might be dirty, but it was also one of the best ways to find out who's mad at who in New York. Part of her who still clung to her faith feared for her brother's soul. But look at the state of New York now. Did he really have a choice? When his father's a shadowy, corporate figurehead and his sister's a terrorist?

"(It's someone I know, and someone I trust with my life. He has a grudge. I don't know if he knows who he wants….but I figured the two of you can talk about it. I'll vouch for him.)"

The look on Manuel's face all but tells anyone looking that the young man had forgotten Elena knew what he did. He knew that she was aware that Manuel, like much of his family and friends, was involved in some…shady activities. He'd forgotten that Elena knew the entirety of what he did. Nodding briefly, the young man folds his arms back across his chest, "(Who?)"

She turns away as Elena and Manuel cross the room to talk privately, and focuses attention on Portia. Nothing of their conversation is heard. "I didn't doubt it. The question was of her being busy and not wanting to distract. Hopefully she and I will be in better contact now. And Ali's safe. With them caring for her, I'm sure they'll notice how underfed she's been and see about that too. Had to practically drag her out to eat last time I saw her." Jane's head shakes a bit.

"(Eric. Dead man walking)," Elena answers. Eric had been presumed dead for two years. Now he's back, and with a grudge that could incinerate a few small planets. "(He said he wants a meeting, I promised him I'd see what I can do.)"

An odd reaction passes over Manuel, especially given the nature of the conversation. The young man actually laughs, shaking his head briefly and running a hand over his head again, "(Dead man wants someone to follow his footsteps, huh?)" He nods briefly, thinking before looking back to Elena, "(Set it up. We'll see what needs to be done.)"

Portia glances back over to Jane, offering a smile. "Ali works herself too hard sometimes, I think. She's in a good place, though. They'll take good care of her." She insists, glancing over to the others momentarily. "I'm thinking I might just try and gather some information and stuff.. maybe I can find out something about this Erin.."

There's a nod of agreement between the two as Portia speaks, which quickly shifts to concern. It's almost an 'oh, crap!' sort of expression. Because she knows the youngest of the persons here has a tendency to shadow people. And getting close to someone who can conjure SARS at will? But she also knows trying to keep her out of it all entirely would likely backfire terribly. "Research is all good," Jane suggests, "finding photos and background data, but please, please, don't go anywhere near her. If you see the woman, head in the opposite direction. Please."

She allows herself to smile, Elena dropping her hand on Manuel's shoulder and giving him a warm squeeze. "Gracias," she tells him softly. With that over, she removes her hand - but slowly. She starts heading back to where the girls are standing, nodding to the both of them. "Alright, I better get going. Stay safe, all of you." She looks at Manuel and Portia. "As always if you need to get ahold of me, you both know how to reach Papa." He's not hard to find, being the CEO of Lancaster Electronics mark II. "He'll get in touch with me."

There's a moment that Manuel just nods. A thought occurs to him as he steps back over to grab the coat and sunglasses on the floor, looking back at Elena, "You know how to get hold of me?" For the most part, Manuel has his phone, but he knows it can be traced; he's often, at best, cautious using it.

"Don't forget to duck, Elena, Manuel," she advises. "Hope to see you again soon." And hoping Portia heeds her words, Jane closes the guntar case at her feet then reopens the window they entered by. Her gear goes out first, then she follows, and strides away across the ruins of Times Square in the morning sun.

She looks at Manny and she smiles. "We're connected right down to the bone, Manuel," Elena says softly, reaching out to give her brother a hug. "I can find you driving around. You don't need to give me anything, it's safer that way." She waves bye to Jane, who's going, and then looks at her brother. "Take care of yourself. And take care of Portia. I'll keep in touch."

Manuel laughs a little bit at Jane's advice, shaking his head briefly. Elena's reply draws a smile from the young man, nodding briefly, "Si, hermana." The hug is returned, Manuel hooking under his sister's arms. It's the one gesture he's kept up even to this date for his sister—no matter how bad things are, no matter how distant the two may have become, the young man is still just as protective of his sister as ever.

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