2010-07-15: Peppered Grounds



Guest Starring:

The NYPD Riot Squad (NPCd by Janet)

Date: July 15, 2010


A Presumably Peaceful Protest Promises Peppered Pork

"Peppered Grounds"

NYPD Station

The street outside the main NYPD station has been barricaded for three blocks to each side. The streets completely filled with people carrying signs, and yelling angrily at anyone entering the building and cheering whenever someone ones out. That is, unless they're wearing a uniform. It's a pitiable day for the boys and girls in blue, the mob outside has proven peaceful for the last few hours but with the way they're being roused there's no telling when the tension will break the damn of peace.

A young redhead in patched up jeans and a crocheted hemp vest layered over a tie dyed t-shirt is shouting through a megaphone. "Hell NO we won't go! Hell NO we gone GO!" She looks to be in her late teens or early twenties, a hippie holdover from days long passed. It's quite possible that she is trying to revive the glory days of the seventies with the protest today. It's not exactly organized.

One group of the sign carrier are shouting about some war. Another group is protesting violence of all kinds, domestic, gang, animal abuse… if you can hit it, they're protesting. Another bunch is protesting the police themselves. There are a few signs with pigs eating donuts drawn on them, another bunch with police drawn on them with the word NO spray painted over. All in all, the protest rally is nothing but a huge mess.

Curious and always looking for a cause, Claire Bennet decided to walk Wizard by this particular police station to listen to what the protesters have to say. She's read about the issues involving the homeless in the newspaper, but it feels like a cause that's far removed from her — and that in itself bothers her. She shouldn't feel that far removed from anything involving people in the city she lives in. It's heartless and cruel not to worry about them just because she has a home. So she's here to make herself feel, make herself more humane, and more human, more compassionate to the human condition, even if she feels she herself is somewhat outside of it.

The hand in the pink cast is the one holding the leash — the arm within the cast is well past healed, but she can't remove the cast without arousing suspicion. Claire's free hand wiggles the cast about to "scratch" the itchy skin inside. A month is going to be a long time.

It was one of those 'show up at this place at this time' sort of events, a real word-of-mouth happening. Alex had happened to get word of it through the church…and showed up at this place at this time. The size and scope of the protest is well beyond what she had heard. To the best of her knowledge, it was to protest the lack of action on the police end regarding some of the regular homeless individuals to frequent the soup kitchen.

Now? Well, Alex is carrying a sign that inexplicably reads WAR IS NOT MY VOICE. That, at least, is true, but it's not why she's here…and she's yet to find any faces that she's gotten to know in the last few weeks volunteering and donating her time and canned foods.

Those who seek to do well and promote goodwill and peace and all that are not the only ones here. A small knot of homeless people have also come by to watch although they're a lot quieter and all are lacking signs save one who scrawled a hastily written 'cops go home' on an old piece of cardboard. Probably looking to get arrested so he can have a free meal and a semi-comfortable bed for the night. One of the homeless, Ace, to be precise, is simply standing off to the side of that group, her eyes held upon the larger, more boisterous protesters who are trying to get whatever point they are wanting to make known. A frown has pulled her lower lip over the upper, her brow creased and eyes squinted, the events that are unfolding before her not amusing, at all.

A few officers come out of the station, pompous and full of themselves in their overstuffed uniforms, definitely not NYPD's finest. They jeer at the protesters, one of them going so far as to flip one of them off. The tension is basically at its peak and what does it take to break it? A young man, perhaps fourteen or fifteen years old and homeless by the look of him, races up to one of the police officers and shoves him.

New Yorkers aren't exactly known for their patience and understanding, especially not New York policemen. They certainly can be when the time calls for it, but this is not exactly one of those times. Therefore, three overstuffed police officers begin shoving back. Not just the boy but anyone around. Amidst a bunch of screaming and booing, the police officers go down in the crowd.

"DO YOUR JOBS!!" Yells the redhead, completely oblivious to the plight of the three officers but not the commotion itself. "GET OUT ON THE STREET AND DO YOUR JOB!!"

Suddenly, a rock is picked up and thrown at one of the windows.


Wizard begins barking as soon as the shoving starts, tugging Claire in the direction of the fray. Apparently the puppy, now about five months old, thinks that it's all fun and games, and wants to be in the midst of it. Claire is lurched a few feet forward and deeper into the crowd before she manages to grab the leash and pull back, making the pup skid to a stop, a Erk sound at the sudden taut leash.

She glances to the building, knowing that inside, the police are watching — surely, they will send more men out to stop what's becoming a riot? Hopefully peacefully?

Ace doesn't like getting involved, especially when the cops are involved already, but she can't allow them to get hurt, it kind of pushing her into action much like the other day when the teen 'thugs' were threatening the priest. Leaving her fellow abode-challenged peeps to their own devices, she starts to approach the unruly jerks who are making life hell for the lawdogs. "ALRIGHT," Ace screams out at the top of her lungs, following it up with an equally loud, "kNOCK IT THE HELL OFF!" She's not expecting results but hey, maybe she'll get lucky and the assholes who are hurting the cops will falter, giving the pummeled police a change to get away.

"Hey now…HEY NOW…HEY!" The tension is the air cracks like a rope stretched too tight, and then the crowd starts in on something that had been building at least since Alex had been there. Buffetted around the the surging mass of the crowd, Alex can't do much except put her arms up and out and hope that she's not trampled to death should she go down. Sure, there's probably a quick fix for this, but with her powers being on the fritz…it might not be enough. She'd only noticed they were coming back the other day.

A few of the protesters do listen to Ace. She's got a bit of a reputation among the homeless for being a little bit violent, especially after her beating of one of the thugs near the mission, but it's only a few. One of the cops manages to crawl to the side, a bleeding and bloody mess. He's aided by a couple of people, who either feel badly for him or just don't want to get into trouble.

"LAZY PIGS!!" Comes the yell from a man in the crowd, just before a flaming bottle whistles through the air to smash against the brick wall. A splash of flames catches a few of the protesters closest and one of them goes up like a firecracker on the Fourth of July.

No longer oblivious to the violence, the redhead jumps from her perch and hurries into the fray to catch one of the flaming protesters. "STOP DROP AND ROLL!! STOP DROP AND ROLL!!"

"Damn it," Claire says, hurrying to tie Wizard to a signpost before hurrying into the fray, running to launch herself at the protestor that is lighting up like a candle — did they spray kerosene on their clothes or what? — in hopes that her body will smother out the frame. She uses her bare hands to beat at the flames that crop up, and once that fire is dampened, she'll help put out any other flaming picketers. Her eyes dart around to find the other cops who are being pummeled, planning on pulling them to safety if she can. Part of her knows that the likelihood of getting out of this without anyone noticing her "specialness" is very, very low.

"Oh that's fucking not cool," Ace chides the fire-throwing jerk who gets a fist thrown at his face for his having done that, happening to be close enough to do so without having to span much in the way of distance. She's pissed beyond any measure of the word, the red already having filtered its way into her field of vision but the fact that he'd stoop so low has her livid regardless of how it was the wall he seemed to have in mind for his target. Want to be an asshat? You're going to have Ace in your face, about to beat you the hell down.

This was not the plan. The plan was to show up, be a noticeable presence, stay peaceful when (not if) the police showed up— heck, one older man employed at a union office was talking casually about getting arrested for a day, like it was his four o'clock golf appointment. So who screwed up and let Angry Boy join up? Did someone plant him, or did he just grab the idiot ball on his own?

Well, there's nothing for it now but to do damage control. Tossing aside his sign, Randall wades into the crowd as well, looking around for people succumbing to panic and doing his best to haul them back out toward the perimeter. At least his ability to see emotional auras seems to be returning: the ones with the orange glow around their heads seem to be the most terrified…

The tinkle of shattering glass on the side of the building and the sudden whoosh of an alcohol fire definitely gets Alexandra's attention. When the firebombs start getting thrown around, you know shit's getting real. Cops getting beaten down, people getting burned up - time to attempt to defuse the situation. A little rumble should do it to stop this big rumble, right? "Hey, come on, watch it!" Alex gripes, elbowing into a few people around her that are buffeting her about. She closes her eyes tightly and tries to cause a small tremor around, just to get people wobbly and maybe crouching down some to stop the brawling.

Plastic shields that read NYPD across them in large block letters protect the dutiful members of the riot squad who have been sent to break up this particular foray. The helmeted and heavily shielded (and armed) police officers of the squad inch forward in formation, awaiting the order on their radios to execute their defence and resume the peace.

The order comes through the radios and the first line of defense steps forward, batons or pepper spray in hand. Several officers go for some of the young people with their batons, attempting to restrain them in doing so— in hopes of making a few arrests— namely the individuals who threw the rock, threw the bomb and beat down the cops.

Those with pepper spray are going for the currently armed assailants, those that could indeed inflict the worst damage. And slowly, methodically the officers move forward.

Woe be to everyone near the riot squad today. With the first wiff of the spray people begin rushing away from the officers, blinded and uncaring about what's in the way. Sometimes it's trees, sometimes it's mailboxes, in one instance a dog, and for a few very unlucky souls… people.

Wind carries the gas to a good portion of the crowd and it's dispersed around the immediate area of the station, allowing the downed officers to be retrieved. They're badly beaten, one of them beyond unconsciousness.

"OH GOD MY EYES!!!" is yelled to the sqaurk of a powered on megaphone. The feedback loop causes a loud squeal to echo off the buildings but the possessor of the ghastly thing is too concerned with the health of her pretty eyeballs. "I'M SORRY FOR MASTURBATING!! GOD MAKE IT GO AWAY!!"

Claire's mouth is already healing a swollen lip from a flailing arm, but the pepper spray is another thing altogether. Her eyes streaming tears, she drags the one cop to the line of the approaching riot squad, then darts back in to find the next, despite the yell of one of the police men to 'Get outta here, kid!' — At least it's clear she's helping, not trying to hurt anyone, but trying to help get people out of the way of the stampeding feet.

*coff*….*coffcoff*…."Aw damnit!" Well, things were going fiiiiine until la policia decide that crowd control was needed; the pepper spray that hangs in the air like a hooker's panties hang around her knees gets to Ace in no time flat, the burn-sting fire settling into her lungs and her eyes as soon as it drifts over to her part of the near-riot. It doesn't stop her from trying to give the protestors a whooping if they need one, fists and feet flailing wildly. "MOSH PIT!"

Any attempt to cause some earth shaking is stymied by the lack of concentration caused by, you guessed it, clouds of tear gas wafting through the air. Having been taking deep breaths, Alex is soon hacking and wheezing from the stuff. She's reduced to stumbling around, mostly blind, since she doesn't possess any abilities in that regard. Somehow though, in some cruel twist of Heroes-fate, she manages to stumble through the crowds until the thumps against something clear and solid with large block letters advancing on the crowd.

As soon as the first cries go up, Randall ducks down - he avoids the worst of it, but anyone still stuck in the middle of the crowd will have to fend for themselves now. Keeping his eyes down, the best he can do is go by sound instead - and the loudest sound he can think to go after is that bullhorn that just went off. "C'mon, this way," he says, reaching out in what seems to be the right general direction. "You'll live, don't worry—"

As Alex thumps against on of the shields, the officer in question pulls out his cuffs and pushes her to the ground rather forcefully. At once, behind his plastic mask (the shield has since been dropped in order to make his arrest) at once he falls into his rhythm, "You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in— "

The rest of the riot squad have become more aggressive. The second wave has more than just tear gas and batons, they're armed with tasers. These ones go for the most violent in the crowd, subduing them any way necessary.

Another one of the riot squad goes for the leader with the megaphone, this one chooses to utilize a taser on the ringleader who is continuing to scream and disturb the peace— with the intent to arrest Blossom.

By this time, the crowd is clearing at a rate dangerous to the safety of the public. More people are trampled on the streets of New York while trying to get away than at an Egnlish soccer game. Each on that falls is scooped up by an officer until all that's left immediately around the station are a bunch of groaning citizens with their hands zip tied behind their backs.

Unheard over all of the noise, the megaphone clatters to the ground as the curly redhead falls and seizes to the jolting electricity coursing through her body. By the time the officer feels he's delivered a fair jolt, there's a string of foaming drool creeping out of the corner of her mouth and down her cheek. The poor woman lays there helpless as she's forcibly turned over onto her stomach and her hands zip tied behind her back.

Time to get out of dodge. Claire's clothes are charred and bloody here and there, as are parts of her skin, though beneath the dark sooty patches the skin is perfectly healed. Knocked down from a large homeless man scrambling for safety, she winces, getting back up and shaking her hand until her wrist (the left one this time) snaps back into place. She turns to look for Wizard, the poor dog wound all around the signpost, whining and barking. She runs to the post, wiping her teary eyes before falling on her knees to unwind the leash. The poor dog's nose and eyes are running as well.

The rush of people trying to leave all at once turns the mosh pit into something more akin to an extreme ride like those found at theme parks. The only thing missing is Ace throwing her hands up while shouting 'WHEEE!' at the top of her lungs. No, there's no whee'ing or squeals of excitement from her, the street urchin instead shouting, "Ow, asshole, watch where you're going," and "Hey, bitch! Shaddup and get out of my way…COMIN' THROUGH," that along with more-colorful and more-creative insults and instructions made with at the same time she tries to avoid the police. Even though she really was trying to help the boys-and-gals-in-blue they probably won't buy it and she's so not in the mood to sleep in a cell.

"Oh great, just great," Alex mumbles out as best she can with her face smushed against the pavement. Like the others, her nose is running and her eyes are teary and watery. On her belly on the ground, her whole body rocks each time she manages a hacking cough to get that stuff from her lungs. It doesn't take much for the officer to yank her up to her feet and drag her off to the station steps where a growing number of restrained protesters are piling up. "In cuffs…again," she sighs, before coughing a few more times and attempting to wipe her eyes on the shoulders of her shirt.

Well, he tried, at least. Randall isn't loud enough to get tased for his trouble, he just gets pushed down and restrained on general principle. He winces on the initial impact - that feels like the side of a street sign jamming into his ribs - and does his best to spit the dirt out of his mouth. Before long, he's hauled up to his feet again and herded out with the rest of the crowd.

Dozens of people get arrested— the jail will be full tonight. Nearly every other member of the squad makes an arrest. Officers' voices can be heard echoing people's rights to them, ensuring that people are aware of them, and protocol is followed as exactly as possible. Each of the arrested protesters is processed and paperwork will be filed.

Yet the damage is done. The word is out: police need to do a better job protecting the people of New York City.

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