2010-07-20: Puddle Fail



With a big splash of:


Date: July 20, 2010


What do you get when you get when you unknowingly negate a puddle of water?!?

"Puddle Fail"

Hudson River Park

The Hudson River Park is a large park located in Manhattan and an ongoing restoration project. The waterfront with it's long line of benches shaded by young trees, over looks the large river which languidly flows past and more of the city.

This is where Mark brought Jo for a day outside. The heat of the day is starting to fade as the son is working it's way towards the horizon. Soon the sky will be streaked with fiery colors that will light of the sparse clouds. It's not the expansive Amazon, but at least it's open air, if of questionable quality.

The explorer is sitting on one of the many benches with — of all things — an ice cream cone, which is melting with all haste in the heat. He's wearing a comfy pair of jeans and a button up, short-sleeved shirt. His dark rimmed glasses set perched on his nose, allowing him to see clearly. He's not blind, but sometimes he likes a little clarity.

Sitting next to him on the same bench Jo licks her ice cream to keep it from melting down her hand. Like Mark, she's wearing blue jeans paired with a red tank and a denim jacket. She raises a single leg to the bench to tie a shoelace but with her ice cream in hand this proves a nearly impossible task. With a small frown, she shakes her head and just lowers her foot, she'll need to just be careful of it later.

A glance is given to the ground which has a daddy long legs spider crawling across it, drawing a kind of morbid smile to Jo's lips with another lick of her ice cream she points to the Daddy Long Legs, "I used to be real nasty to those things as a kid… weird fascination…"

The water that makes up the Hudson River is calm, but something begins to mar its gentle waves, distorting the reflection of the sunset and silhouettes of the cityscape. It's hardly noticeable, a patch of water that doesn't match the rest, easily a trick of the light.

Mere moments later, some distance to the couple's left, a slender stream of water makes its way through the slats of the small fence barring the river from the land, toward the walking path. It, too, could easily be a trick of the light — or just water trickling out from … well; somewhere. It rained recently although most walking paths are dry as bone. Most people wouldn't give it a second thought. But if you're not most people…

"Little Kate torturing spiders? If that isn't a red flag for strange and unusual behavior." Leaning forward on the bench, Mark follows where she is looking, a small amused smile tugging at his lips, flashing white teeth… though as he looks down, something catches his attention. "I use…." The words trail off as he spots the ripples, brows furrowing a bit.

Might be just a fish.

But then moments later when he's still trying to find the ripples, a glint to the left of him pulls his blue eyed gaze and he goes still. After a moment or two of watching, his brows lift slowly. "Hey…." He says softly as recognition hits him. "Hey, I know that puddle of water." He scoots forward on the bench and stands glancing around him. For a moment there isn't a lot of people, which is good cause the next thing would look really weird. He moves towards that shifting blob of liquified blonde, the ice cream tossed into a trash can as he passes.

"Hey!" This time it's directed at the puddle. "Tracy! Stop!"

Unbeknown to him, at that moment, something in Tracy's head clicks off, cutting access to her ability.

"Ha! Spiders weren't the only thing I tortured…" Jo smiles brightly. "I was the youngest and only girl in a family of six kids— with five older brothers all destined for military service, I managed to torture the boys some too, especially when I spurted before them!" This is obviously a point of pride as Jo lifts her chin high in the air.

Jo becomes distracted as Mark does though and she furrows her eyebrows with concern as he moves towards it. She eyes him curiously as the ice cream is tossed away, but opts to keep hers close, still licking it as the pair approach the puddle. And then something changes in her demeanour. The smile fades and the ice cream is lowered, she's mildly on edge.


What starts as a splash-splashing sound — water moving, sloshing as if someone's dumped a bucket of it on the ground — blends, with strange seamlessness, into the sound of a woman's voice, alarmed and shouting, choking, as that sneaking water suddenly jolts from liquid to human body. Tracy, with her back to the fence, facing the path, is very suddenly unexpectedly on the ground — and incredibly out-of-sorts.

The woman is soaking wet, including her clothes, the nice slacks and pale grey shirt and cardigan set that might look just a little out of place for someone who was just swimming in the questionable waters of the Hudson. (But at least she's clothed at all. This time.)

Blue eyes don't immediately find Mark as Tracy coughs, catching breath hindered by water — another cue that something's wrong, in a fish-out-of-water sort of way. She grabs the bars of the fence behind her, pushing herself to her feet with hurried, somewhat panicked movements. When she does look to Mark, she's not surprised, but she certainly is confused and angry; it's Jo who gets the surprised look. Tracy is beyond beyond mildly on edge herself. Before she says a thing, she looks this way and that watchfully. "You better hope no one saw that— what the hell is going on."

The fact that there is suddenly a very wet and unhappy woman on the ground, gets a lift of Mark's brows, so they arch high about the black rims of his glasses. In fact, he's staring. It's not normally so violent an appearance. Luckily, this time she's not naked in a wet white lab coat. "What the hell was that?" is voiced at about the same time she asks whats going on. A bemused look crosses his features, "Aren't you a little more…." He makes a little gesture of his hand, trying to think of how to explain it. "…graceful about all that? I mean, I appreciate you stopping and all, but… a bit of a risk there wasn't it?"

Brows lift giving her a knowing look. "I think your alright though, wasn't a whole lot of people around." Whatever had a hold on her ability loosens it's hold, especially when Mark realizes he's staring and glances at Jo with a slightly sheepish look.

The sheepish look earns Mark a solid jab in the arm— not light or girly in the least, the ex-marine isn't about to let some staring slide. Her own eyebrows knit tighter as she crosses her arms over her chest and assumes a more defiant stance than her male counterpart. Her legs spread into a very natural stance for her— one in front of the other, her weight evenly distributed between her feet.

Naturally her lips curl into a tight-lipped, too-polite-for-words kind of smile. It's almost sadistic, really. A vague glance is given to Tracy and then one back to Mark before she quips, "I think you're the lucky one, Strauss."

Tracy looks between the both of them with clear suspicion, her mood settling somewhere between angry and edgy; who can blame her, really? "I didn't do that on purpose," she states with enough vigor that she doesn't have to actually come out and call Mark an idiot, "someone just happening to say my name isn't normally grounds for revealing my ability to the whole public." It's a fortunate accident that there aren't many people along this stretch of the waterfront other than Mark and Jo— or there wasn't, at that exact moment. She takes a clear step backwards; though her stance is poised even sopping wet, it's rigid. Jo is especially eyed. "What is this," she questions lowly, accusing.

There is a wince and a drawn out "Oooow," a hand rubbing at the jabbed spot at her arm, "Hey… look. I've met her before… at least this time it's clothing and not a wet lab coat." He grouses a bit, before looking back at Tracy. "So… you didn't do…"

Of course, he follows her gaze to Jo and then it dawns on him. "Oh.. hey, no no.." His hands wave in front of him, taking a step towards the dark haired woman at his side. "She's not in that anymore." his hand moves to rest on Jo's shoulder. "She's with me…" There is more meaning in that, then just a statement of her being on his side of the line.

A hand is held, palm facing Tracy in a calming gesture. "So… just relax. I don't know what just happened to throw you out of your… puddle"

An eyebrow is quirked at Tracy's accusing stare and Jo's eyes narrow as she peers at the wet blonde. With a slow exhale her eyes close, just a little, but the stance relaxes somewhat as Mark's hand is placed on her shoulder, drawing a small upward quirk of her lips, more genuine than not.

"I don't work for them anymore," she states bluntly towards Tracy, her eyes narrowing just a little further. "Besides I didn't even know you were there." She shrugs a little before taking a small step towards Mark. She purses her lips together and glances from Mark to Tracy and back again only to shrug slightly.

Tracy isn't particularly sold on Jo's rehab from her past or Mark's taste in women by the looks of her glance from her to him, brows raised skeptically. That said, she's hardly invested in knowing the truth — she gives a faint roll of her eyes and mild, dismissive shake of her head. "All I know is," she gestures with both hands, spreading palms toward the pair, "I snapped out've it and there're you guys." It would seem the woman's suspicion is not entirely quelled. "But it's been …. strange … recently … so— " So whatever. She starts to back up down the path; whatever happened, she's ready to just get on with her day rather than play catch-up with the Lane man and the ex-Protcol agent.

There is a slightly confused look from the man, brows furrowing a little, something occurs to him, but Mark shakes his head just a little. "Yeah… a lot of people with special abilities are having problems… Especially around me.." He trails off about lost in thought, but he notices her start to back away and takes a step after her. "Whoa… wait." If she attempts to use her ability again, she'll find herself unable to use it. "Speaking of which… I don't know where the little guy is, but… I'm leaving for… a trip." A flicker of a glance goes to Jo, but his focus stays on Tracy.

"Micah… had his ability crap out on him, ah… the day of the eclipse. I haven't heard from him since, but he was upset." Mark doesn't know if the water woman would even care, but he asks anyhow… "If you know how to get a hold of him… or.. I don't know, he contacts you again? Tell him Mark wants him to call."

"Strange…?" Jo inquires as she takes a single step following Tracy (and Mark). Her eyebrows furrow as she glances between Tracy and Mark silently. Biting her bottom lip she considers, "Maybe everyone's going a little strange— " not that they weren't strange in the past. Quirking an eyebrow at the mention of this eclipse incident, Jo just follows after Mark. "Look Strauss, whatever happened, I didn't cause it. You would find a dart in your side. And last I heard, ice cream isn't exactly a dangerous weapon." Speaking of which, she really ought to eat more of it before it melts into a puddle like Tracy. She takes a few licks of the ice cream cone, cleaning up the melty bits into an orderly scoop once again.

"I only have an e-mail address," Tracy replies to Mark after a few moments, distracted even as she says it by sussing out the legitimacy of Jo's statements. The ice cream might just help to prove the woman's innocence. "I haven't spoken to Micah since the last time I saw you." Spoken neutrally, but there's a faintly tense pursing of the woman's lips afterward.

"Wait." Tracy's turn to keep this odd happenstance meeting going. Her brows knit together in suspicious concern of new kind, this time, and her hand gestures turn into that of hold please! "You said … around the eclipse? That's when mine just … disappeared. But it came back." A fact she seems relieved about, except— "At least … I thought it did." Thoughtfully, she turns a hand toward herself, tries to use her ability; nothing happens, prompting the ice queen without ice to shake her head, jaw tight. "… I don't understand, what could do this."

"Yeah, his fizzled out at the Eclipse and he started going on about accidentally killing another of his type." It's Mark's turn to spread his hands out, palms up, in a helpless gesture. "I haven't heard since. However, when I met with a Terrakinetic… her ability went out at the eclipse, as well." Then his brows furrow a little bit, "Of course, she only told me about that when it went out again when we were talking about… something she had been doing with it." He doesn't throw out there that Alexandra had been arrested, not all that important.

"I… ah… but yes… during the eclipse… both of them." Then it occurs to him, evident with a furrow of his brows. "So… whoa." He sounds a touch impressed, brows lifting. "Mother nature strikes again." He settles a hand at the small of Jo's back, even as he turns thoughtful. "Doesn't explain yours and the other woman's abilities cutting out after the fact tho…"

"Unless maybe it had some lasting effect? What if it made people's abilities wonky— what happened before you tried to use it, Strauss?" Jo quirks another eyebrow. "Abilities going out during eclipse." She actually grins at Mark as the hand finds the small of her back, her eyes closing for a brief moment before she refocuses on Tracy, the smile fading.

"Or… " Jo bites her bottom lip as her body tenses considerably. Her face reddens a little, but the thought isn't uttered instead it's left silent.

A few things about Mark's reply bewilder Tracy enough for her to narrow her eyes — Micah's killing someone, "terrakinetic", Mother Nature — but it's Jo she answers, sharp-eyed at the woman all the while. "The first time?" A disaster in the making, that's what was happening the first time, but the details are completely left out. "I'd been trying to use it." She looks down at her hand and curls her fingers in. "'N', it just stopped. The same way it did now." Pause. "Sooo I guess you're not crazy anymore…"

"Or what? Government put something in the water?" Mark actually seems to consider that for a moment, brows furrowed. His head slowly shakes slowly, "That sounds a bit too conspiracy theory for even me… next thing you know Mel Gibson will be running by screaming about them being after him." His gaze drops to Jo, looking somewhat bemused at the idea.

His hand presses against her back in a comforting manner, and a smile to show he's joking. It falls away tho as a though continues to tick at the back of his head. He looks at Tracy again. "Tr —" He stops and looks at Jo. "Try using your ability? Just.. I dunno what you can do."

"I was sick, not crazy— all thanks to that lover of yours, Erin McCarty— thank you very much. Still battin' for the other team, Strauss?" The SEAL makes a point of knowing details about her targets' lives, even if they're inaccurate ones. I especially liked the changing skin colour— it was a nice touch, and my aim certainly had never been better," Jo says too flatly before licking her ice cream again. Her body maintains that stiffness thanks to Tracy's comments and her own defences, those little things she never talks about. Nose wrinkling, she pushes forward that sly, nearly sadistic tight-lipped smile she was so well known for in the AP ranks.

But the hand on her back remains, pushing her to want to be nice. And as the contact increases the smile eases some, less tight. Her eyes watch Tracy carefully as glances from Mark to Tracy and back again before shaking her head, "I'm not a conspiracy theorist. And I don't think the government cares that much. Not now."

Tracy tips her head to the side and gives Jo an unamused look. "Mm. Funny," she deadpans. "The first time it happened I was in the Pacific, not the Hudson," she says to Mark, impatient (no thanks to Jo). No tainted conspiracy theory water all the way over there, surely. Pensively, through her impatience, the advisor looks down at her hands again and shakes her head. "I told you. I can't," she says, a stress in her voice; the thought of being without her ability again— it's not a good one. "But I'm not sure what you hope to do about it. It's … my problem. So," she flashes a subdued smile, directed at Mark for the short span of time it exists. "I … should get going. The old-fashioned way," she says and starts to turn.

It doesn't take much for Mark to realize there is a potential cat fight in the making, course that's after the explorer's brain has to tip toe around the mine field that is the thought of Tracy and another woman. Seriously, he's not letting that thought crossing his mind. Starting to fail… then Tracy is leaving again… a distraction. "Ah… yeah…" A little disappointed when she says she can't.

Shaken out of those dangerous thoughts, Mark slides his arm around Jo's waist, ready to start turning away himself and pull her with him, putting distance between them. "We should be as well…" but he sounds distracted more then anything. His thought seems impossible. "Flight and all." He adds after a moment and lifts a hand in farewell, at least.

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