2007-03-08: Sorry For The Inconvenience


Niki_icon.gif Oliver_icon.gif Claudine_icon.gif Sakura_icon.gif Bryant_icon.gif Max_icon.gif Rose_icon.gif Cass_icon.gif Angie_icon.gif

Date It Happened: March 08, 2007

Summary: What begins as two girls listening to a street performer at the subway station turns into a tense situation for everyone when folks board the train and run into a glitch, as well as unexpected familiar faces, for some of the passengers.

Sorry for the Inconvenience

Subway, New York City

The New York subway is not a familiar place for Niki Sanders. That doesn't stop her from doggedly getting from point A to point B with it while her husband has the car, but she's had a long day of running around the city - and it shows. The blonde makes her way down into the station from the street above, brushing past the throng of people just getting off of their stop. A simple, black winter coat has been thrown on over her white tanktop, but it's left unzipped. She looks vaguely lost as she looks at the schedules.

As is not uncommon in the subway, a street performer sits near the posted schedules. This particular performer is Oliver Twist Pasternack, who is enjoying his day-off from Noodle Heaven in the best way possible: playing sitar and making a little extra money in the process. He's got a duffle bag open in front of him that already contains some bills and change and he sits cross-legged on a pillow with the sitar comfortably situated in his lap. Currently he is between-songs, and when Niki approaches, he glances up at her curiously over his thin wire-framed glasses. With a smirk, he remarks, "You look like you could use a bit of help."

The woman, mildly surprised by the sound of the performer's voice when he addresses her, but offers him a friendly smile. It's tired around the edges, but polite nonetheless. "…Yeah…" Maybe she's early. Or late. But there's a subway car going almost everywhere /all the time/, right? Whatever the case, Niki decides she needs a momentary break, and separates herself from the crowd to lean against the wall by Oliver; a mural surrounds her, but she doesn't notice it. The man himself earns more of a look, mostly because of the sitar. What IS that? "I think I just need to stop for a second."

There's so many things going on. Her first assignment trying to recruit someone with powers. The fact that she's working for the Company now. That Johanssen woman. And that hunky rebel without a cause. Gah. Too many things and she just needs to go out and relax. So, coming down from the streets is the petite young Asian woman with her hands stuffed in the pockets of her navy peacoat as she looks around seeing if there's anyone familiar. Instead, there's a musician and a really tall blonde. It's not Elle, so Claudine calms down and just waits, nodding her head to the pair.

"Mm-hmm, that's always good advice to follow," intones Oliver as he plucks at a few strings idly. "Sometimes people get lost in the rush." He glances up at Niki with a grin. "Let me play you something. Any requests? Sitar music's some of the most relaxing stuff you can find anywhere." Claudine is noticed when he happens to catch her looking their way, and he grins and returns her nod with a friendly one of his own. He's already gearing up his fingers for another song.

Niki gives a quick smile to Claudine; really, it's just an extension of the default friendly smile she's lending the street performer. Blue eyes scan the crowd as it starts to thin out (for the time being; likely not for long!), ever-so-slightly-apprehensive as she folds her arms across her body. "Uhm— I don't really know what sounds good on a … sitar," she admits. "I don't want to be too relaxed," she adds with a hint of a laugh to her words, lifting her brows in good-natured warning to Oliver.

She's bored and it seems the sitar is quite relaxing, so she wanders on over with brows furrowed. "Hi.." Claudine chirps brightly as she idly runs her fingers through her hair, which is becoming more and more of a habit. She hrmms for a few moments, "My parents were big fans of Ravi Shankar..know any of his stuff?" she asks curiously, as she did hear the question about requests.

"Oh, don't worry, I won't relax you to the point of you missing your train, miss," laughs the musician. Claudine's request snags his attention, and his grin grows broader. "Ravi Shankar?" Oliver is positively beaming. "Who doesn't? His music is what inspired me to take up sitar in the first place." He starts to improvise a simple (if sitar music can ever be termed "simple") tune on the instrument. "Anything specific you want me to play? I can't claim to play it /nearly/ as well as Ravi Shankar, but I know most of his work and can give it a shot at least."

Niki flashes a fleetingly bright smile at Oliver, but soon, she's staring past Claudine at the subway cars, quite possibly zoning out of the conversation between the girl and the sitar-player. It's over her head anyway. After a few moments, she pulls a phone out of her coat pocket and glances at the digital display (who needs a watch these days?).

"I really don’t know any. I just remember my parents talking about him, and that he plays the sitar.." Claudine admits ruefully with a soft chuckle escaping from her lips. "But um..whatever you can play is fine I guess?" she says with a shrug of her shoulders. She reaches in and pulls out a scrunchie to tie her hair back, and if Niki's paying attention, she'll see the 'mark' on the back of the girl's neck.

Obligingly, Oliver starts up a tune that was once performed by Ravi Shankar: Raga Mishra Piloo, though it's doubtful anyone present will know the name. He plays quite well, but he's not nearly as masterful as the man who played it first. Being not in-the-know about anything Company-related, he doesn't recognize the mark on Claudine's neck as anything out of the ordinary. He does cast glances between the two women as he places, splitting his attention between the strings and his audience.

The sound of the instrument draws Niki's attention more than anything and she snaps out of her daze; there's not much in-between. It's either staring off at something obscure, or on high alert. Now? It's the latter, especially when she glances at Claudine and finds that her eyes linger. Something about the marks on her neck have her narrowing her eyes ever-so-slightly. Are they familiar? Maybe. Barely. But they leave her feeling unsettled for a reason she can't quite pinpoint. Where has she seen those before? "It's very pretty," she tells the performer, then.

The mark becomes hidden once again as she lets her hair down, now in a ponytail. Claudine nods in agreement, "I think this is one of the ones that my mother and father listened too. What's it called?" she asks curiously, her brows raised before looking backover to Niki, smiling once again.

"Raga Mishra Piloo." Oliver is not a native nor fluent speaker, but he pronounces the Hindi quite beautifully. "Thank you." Niki's unease has him squinting at her curiously, however. He's quite perceptive and is not blind to the body language of others. "It must not be /too/ relaxing," he remarks after a pause, referencing the blonde's unsettled state.

"Oh—sorry," Niki replies distractedly. Following a dismissive shake of her head, she runs a hand through her own hair, left down today and a touch on the unruly side where it waves around the ends. "No offence to your playing," she says with a gesture down to Oliver and his unusual instrument. "You seem very good at what you do. I'm just… distracted."

Claudine looks on over to Niki with her brows raised rather curiously, "Is everything all right?" slightly concerned before looking over back to Oliver. "You play wonderfully..and I think it's very relaxing.."

The smile returns to Oliver's face as he continues to play, bobbing his head gratefully. "Thank you," he chuckles, but he says no more. He's concentrating on the music of his sitar and the interaction between the two women. Now he's gone and gotten /curious/.

"Yeah— yeah, I'm fine," Niki replies to the girl, offering her a reassuring smile. It's sincere, for what it's worth. She's just tired and on edge, that's all. Nothing to see here! "It's just been a long day. Job-hunting," she says with a small roll of her eyes, as if that should explain it - and it should! It's tiring. Leaning heavily against the wall of the platform, she tucks her hands halfway into the small pockets of her jeans and idly watches Oliver play.
Rose has arrived.

"Well, that does seem hard. I hope you find one soon.." Claudine chirps brightly as she looks back over to Oliver playing the sitar once more. "Can you play..other things asides from..ya know, the traditional sitar music?" she asks curiously.

Her black jacket tugged tightly around herself, Sakura makes her way down the stairs quickly, unsure of exactly when the train leaves and not wanting to miss it. A bit out of breath when she reaches the platform of the subway, Sakura takes a minute to take in a few deep breaths, looking around at the various folks waiting on the train.

The mention of job-hunting gets a sympathetic wince from Oliver. "It's really hard these days, economy the way it is. What sort of job are you looking for?" He doesn't stop playing until Claudine asks about other songs, and he grins. "Actually, I can play Enter the Sandman by Metallica and Happy Birthday. Among others. You don't usually get by with just traditional music these days." Sakura is glanced at, but given no more attention than any of the other members of the usual subway throng.

Bryant has been on the subway for a while now, in contrast to some of the others, kicked back and relaxing on a seat as he watches the stops go by. Either he's not sure where he's going, or he's just enjoying the ride. New York, a great place to explore by mass transit.

Claudine ahhs and nods and soon, the sound of the subway can be heard as the ground rumbles. This time, it's not her, and for that she's glad. "Are you guys getting on, cause it's almost here.." she says, motioning towards the edge of the platform. She has to go back to campus afterall…

"Thanks!" The blonde replies to Claudine - the girl's chirpy nature is a bit contagious, it seems. That's definitely not a bad thing, considering how tired Niki seems. "Almost anything," she admits to the sitar-player with a one-sided, somewhat self-deprecating form of smile. As she hears the noise of the next train approaching, she looks at the subway schedule nearby. "Yeah, I think that's me too." She might drop some money down for the performer if she thought she could afford it, but she doesn't - all she can do is offer Oliver yet another smile, brighter than most and step up to the platform beside Claudine.

Sakura blinks at the little tremor the subway causes, hurrying up through the small crowd assembled around the platform to where the train's gonna stop, rocking on her heels as she waits for those getting off to unload so she can slide her way onto the train. She looks over at the others waiting near her, though, clicking her tongue quietly but not saying anything for now.

"Not me; I've still got some playing time here before I head home." Oliver grins as the two women head off, offering a soft, "Good luck with the job thing" to Niki. Then, he goes back to playing. The getting-off, getting-on crowd is usually when he can hook people best.

Soon enough, the train arrives as announcements are made with that annoyingly robotic voice. Claudine smiles warmly as she looks over to Niki as she waits in line to get inside the train. "You know..I think Primatech Research is hiring..they have an office here..you could always apply for something there?" she says with a slight shrug of her shoulders before going in to try and find a seat..

Primatech…? Why are so many things seeming unnervingly familiar about this girl? Niki steps onto the train, following Claudine while giving the back of the girl's head a rather confused eyeing; her high-heeled boots click on the floor inside, but get quite lost in the surrounding noise. "What's that?" she asks Claudine. Where she chooses to sit, Niki doesn't - but she does hold onto a metal pole nearby.

Sakura slides into the train in between the people that are exiting, deciding it's better not to have to wait. Used to not having room, Sakura opts to stand as well, somewhat near Niki and Claudine, if only out of curiousity about the two. Her eyes search the train for a moment, but Sakura doesn't find anything too interesting and turns her attention to Claudine to see the girl's explanation.

Bryant glances up from his seat near the door, watching as a fresh load of New York strangers crowd onto the train, studying them briefly. He considers them in terms of things like hotness, approachability, potential danger, that sort of thing, and finally decides that all things considered, it's better to stay where he is.

"They do lots of sorts of things, but I know they're hiring program assistants and stuff..I mean every corporation needs them, right?" Claudine says with a brightly smile once more. "And they have internships and offer scholarships. That's how I'm going to school..they kind of fund me, paying tuition and all that.." she explains while finding a seat near Niki still.

"Waiiiit!" Yelling after a giant machine with no ability to discern human language, let alone care that she's about to miss the train, is pointless. Still, Rose can't help herself as she comes racing down the steps, her coat undone, scarf dangling dangerously close to her feet, the guitar strapped to her back a hazard should she fall. She's dragging her messenger bag, it having fallen off her shoulder long before. In short, Rose is late. Very late. And just as the doors are about to close, she launches herself through the doors. A small piece of her strap gets caught in them and she yanks it free before they can close the rest of the way. "Je. SUS. I hate these things," she announces to no one in particular, giving the doors a glower as she moves further into the car.

"I have no idea what a program assistant is, but sure, I guess it's worth a shot," Niki replies somewhat apprehensively. Still, she gives the girl an appreciative smile nonetheless. "Where did you say it was…?" The woman is momentarily distracted from Claudine's answer by the arrival of one teenager named… Rose. She remembers. And she's pretty sure Rose will remember her, too - or maybe not, in these mundane clothes. Leaning to the side as she holds onto the pole, in order to get a glimpse around the other people on the train, she makes sure it is, in fact, the same girl. Tentatively, with a faintly sheepish look in place, she calls out softly, unsure if she'll even be heard: "Rose…?"

Sakura loops her hand around one of the metal rings hanging from the roof of the subway, sighing a little bit as she waits for the train to take off. For a moment, Sakura's eyes are closed, the young woman muttering something in a language that's notable NOT English. It's not long, though, and her eyes open back up, flicking from Claudine to Niki to the newly arrived Rose curiously.

"Program assistants..that's the politically correct term for secretaries now.." Claudine explains with a soft chuckle under her breath. "And they're in midtown I believe..you could always find them in the yellow pages.." shrugging her shoulders once more before looking over to the new arrival with raised brows. Okay, time to mind her own business now, so the earbuds from her iPod are pulled out from her pockets so she can jam to some music. The music of course is loud enough to be heard, but soft enough that she can still hear the conversations that are close.

Damnable New York City. It's not always safe to take a motorcycle out in March, so this lovely Saturday finds Max Swan waiting on the subway's arrival. Unlike the rest of today's jolly participants, he's one stop down the line, standing just back from the tracks and tapping one foot impatiently. Comeoncomeoncomeon. As it's always filled with various creepies and weirdoes, the train is hardly Max's favorite way to move about. Still, it's fast and cheap. Plus, it's a lovely way to blend in when one thinks that one is being followed. Turning up the collar of his calf-length, dark woolen overcoat, Max resists the urge to glance around and see if two two suits he'd spotted on his tail managed to follow him as far as the platform. These days, he's jumpy enough that he could just be imagining things. Nonetheless, he waits until the last second to slip through the subway's closing door, then makes his way to a handle with nary an eye for other travelers and lets out a long pent-up breath. Nothing. One of these days, those nerves are going to be the death of him. Finally breathing easy now, Max takes a moment to smooth his soft, white linen shirt and the top half of his dark slacks.

It isn't her name being called that stops Rose in her tracks, it's the woman calling to her. One hand on a pole, she's been mid-stride when her attention snaps to Niki, her eyes going wide and her jaw dropping open. "Hooooly shit it's the junkie," she blurts out, blinking several times at the woman before her. "Dude! Hey!" One might not have been expecting her to be so cheerful, but there it is. She winds her way towards Niki, raising a hand for a high-five as if the woman might actually give her one. "How's it going?! Layin' off the smack? You look like you've been laying off the smack. I mean, you're workin' the whole profesh-chic thing instead of the Courtney-Love-hooker thing. It works."

Niki just sort of nods in understanding to Claudine - there's no time to blame her prior /lack/ of understanding on a blonde moment or somesuch, because she's busy gaping at Rose. Gape, gape, stare. "…" High-five? No, the woman just stands there - and after a few seconds, blue eyes dart about the train furtively at the other passengers who might have overheard. Okay, who /probably/ overheard. "I'm not—" There's really no way to deny it and sound like she's not 'on smack' right /now/, and so Niki cuts herself off pretty quickly. "…thanks," she murmurs. "My name is Niki, for the record."

The young Japanese girl blinks a bit at her name, turning and looking around for who's calling for her. Sakura blinks, taking a minute to remember Bryant before grinning and nodding, "Ah, konnichiwa." She smiles a little bit, her attention deviated by Rose's rather…odd greeting toward Niki, to which Sakura just sorta tilts her head to regard the group near by her, a bit confused by the whole interaction.

The subway slows to the next stop. The doors slide open with a swish and onto the subway, Cass distractedly walks in. She's got a book and her headphones on, determined to shut off all the other people and just immerse herself in whatever it is that she's reading. As the doors slide shut with a chime, she distractedly reaches out and grabs one of the steel bars above her head to keep herself from pitching forward when the subway car starts moving again. She doesn't look around to see who else may be on this train with her.

Even with the earbuds on, she cant help but chuckle to herself as she tries to suppress laughter, cause that would just be rude! And she doesnt want to be rude afterall, it's not in her nature. Claudine waits a few moments and looks over towards the door and is about to burst out laughing when she sees Max. HOTNESS.

She starts squirming a little and waves towards him. Yes, that's a distraction from laughing at the poor woman next to her. Focus on the hotness. Yes.

"Did you tell me that before?" Rose cants her head, dropping her hand back down to her side with a shrug when the woman refuses the high-five. "I think you probably told me that before, but there's like this whole week that I can't account for, so some other stuff fallin' by the wayside? So not surprising. But yeah. Niki. Officially committing the name to memory." She even drives a finger into her temple to prove it. Her attention drifts from the woman to a newspaper being held between the hands of another passenger. She stares. For the second time in two minutes, her jaw falls open. "Oh snap, man, I know this guy." The paper is unceremoniously snatched from the stranger, who just so happens to be old and too aghast to get up and demand it back. Rose shoves it at Niki, pointing to the picture of the captured killer known as Sylar. "He totally pulled a sword on me in the park. This explains so much."

The byplay between Rose and Niki is enough to grab Max's attention and raise his eyebrows for certain. Courtney Love-Hooker? Nice right hook, kid. Sock it to her. Of course, Max has no idea who these people are, but he loves a good spat between pretty ladies. Grinning, he glances around and takes in his surroundings for the first time. When he spots Claudine and her happy little wave, he winds his way through the crowd and drops into the narrow space between her and another passenger. "Hello. Imagine seeing you again. And so soon, too."

Bryant stands up, grabbing onto a pole to keep his balance, swinging forward on it until he's closer to Sakura, one of the very few people he's actually exchanged names with. "Konnichiwa to you too," he agrees. "Good seeing you again." He glances over, and peers at the others, following Sakura's focus to check out the odd bit of conversation.

Who knew there could be so much drama on a subway? Deciding that what's going on is way better than listening to Robin Thicke, Claudine peers on over upon hearing about some guy who pulled a sword on the girl. With quips like that though, she can sort of imagine why. Calling people Courtney-Love-Hookers isnt exactly a way to get on people's good side afterall. She hrmms and wrinkles her nose, definitely wondering if it's something the Company should get involved in until the hunky rebel without a cause sits down next to her. And it's cozy too! Huzzah. Claudine is in teen girl heaven at the moment. Or something like that.

She looks back over to Max and beams brightly, giggling rather impishly. "Well um..yeah. What a coincidence.." she says with another girlish giggle of glee as she crosses her legs to get a tad bit more comfortable. "So um.." and she doesnt know what to say. Cat's got her tongue.

Sakura giggles a little bit, holding onto the ring as a smile spreads at the mix of her native language and that of Bryant. The mention of someone pulling a sword on someone perks Sakura's attention, though, and her focus goes to Niki and Rose, head tilted a bit as she finds herself talking quietly in Japanese, hoping to hear what's offered between the two women.

"Yeah. I think I did, but I my memory isn't so clear from that day, either. It's fine," Niki answers with a frown, then quirks a brow at Rose. After blinking solidly at the girl a couple of times, her expression becomes more staid and less deer-in-the-headlights. She jerks forward a bit when the train stops to let more passengers on, but keeps her grip tight and stays put while she listens to Rose. If she notices that Claudine is trying not to laugh, she does well to ignore it after her initial peek around. As a matter of fact, everything seems to fall away, including another familiar face - the of Cass - as she leans down to look at the newspaper photo. "…what?" It's her turn to swipe the paper. It crumples in her hands as she squints at the article. "He's supposed to be dead."

Though he seethes inwardly, Max puts on an easy, friendly smile and nudges his shoulder against Claudine's. Gotta stay on the girl's good side if he ever plans to fill in the blanks spots in his memory. As he doesn't know anything about Sylar, his penchant for cutting off heads, or his mysterious-and-unrevealed brain studying activity, Rose and Niki's conversation holds little interest for him. After all, they seem more or less civil now. He shifts his gaze back to Claudine and meets her eyes. "Thanks again for showing me that crepe place. I'm sure I'll be going back soon."

Angie is already on the train, back to Rose and Niki. She's got her trademark cigarette in her mouth, but its not lit. And she looks surly enough that someone giving her a sour look about it will probably get a kick in the balls. Feet kicked up, she stares out the glass at the underground world passing by.

"No dice, man. He is most definitely alive." Rose nudges the paper, but she doesn't make any move to take the newspaper back. "Alive and creepy. Who the hell carries a sword around like that? OH MAN, I bet he was one of those freaks that runs around in costume, pretending to be superheroes and shit, and he thinks the people he killed were evil or something." She takes a deep breath, as if she hadn't taken one the entire time she was speaking. "I'm totally surprised that you even remembered the first letter of my name, by the way. Your eyes had this whole glazed over, I've-smoked-too-much-crack thing happening. I put 911 on speed-dial that night. Just in case I found you like… half off the sofa, all unresponsive." She peers at the paper, standing up on her tip-toes to try and see over the edge to the other woman's face. "So. Kudos. I was totally sober that night and couldn't remember yours." She reaches out to jab Niki with a playful little tap of her fist, but her attention is already wandering, falling on Cass. Whoops. Clearing her throat, she ducks her head and slinks around to the side of Niki, as if that would put her out of view.

Bryant sort of resorts back to his default expression, a mildly-bland, somewhat baffled one that he adopts whenever he ends up on the outskirts of The Weird New York. He listens in, trying to get enough pieces to even start making the picture.

He's so dreamy. As he looks at her, she giggles once more and her cheeks flush a bright tinge of red. Yeah, this one has agent written all over her, no? "Well..I go there a bunch..particularly on weekends..for some reason they arent as full..it'd odd, you'd think that they would be.." Claudine beams brightly before looking over and listens to Rose once more, wrinkling her nose. The whole part about smoking crack is ignored, but thatpart about Sylar being alive..well that's rather interesting. Maybe she should ask about it..but later..back to the hunkyness. Yup..Angie isnt even recognized at the moment. Sadness..

As the train moves off toward its next destination, Cass keeps a hold on her steel bar. Many faces on this subway, ironically. And if she would just look up, she would probably have a lot to talk about. But, she's absorbed in another literary world, oblivious to Rose trying to hide from her as well as Niki sitting next to her. She doesn't even see Claudine the walking earthquake sitting there. She's just /that/ observant.

Furrows begin to work their way into the blonde's forehead, paired with a distinctly anxious expression the longer she looks at the picture. Ultimately, Niki shoves the newspaper, quite crumpled by this point, in Rose's direction and looks away from it. That's all she has to say about Sylar, thanks. "Your dad… I've ran into him a few times since then. He talks about you," she says on a softer note. Watching Rose slink around as if hiding from someone, she can't help but glance in the opposite direction - and spots Cass. Another person she wasn't expecting to see, and upon doing so, Niki doesn't know what to say. Thankfully, she has a few moments, since Cass is clueless - so, for now, she just throws a questioning look at Benjamin's daughter.

For the most part, the inhabitants of the subway car are unknown to Max. He has little reason to be distracted until the young lady over yonder starts up her yowling again. "I'd love it if you wanted to join me again sometime," is his reply to Claudine. However, his eyes are back on Rose and Niki. Wild, this pair. Though he hides it well, Max reluctantly shifts his attention back to his conversation partner and pours on every ounce of charm he can muster. "We could pick up our last conversation right where we left off," he purrs.

"That's my future boss," Rose says in a stage-whisper to Niki, ducking again. "I think she kinda hates me. On some level. Except I'm not really sure, because then she hired me, right, and you don't usually— wait, you've seen my dad?" Standing up straighter again, fixing Niki with a dubious look with one hand resting on her hip, Rose makes a scoffing sound. "Right. Okay. And you're /not/ a hooker, but you talk to my dad. You have got to be kidding me. What's up with him? He goes from girl scout nineteen years ago to… you?" At that, she gives the woman a long, slow look. "I really hope you're not bangin' him. Think my brain would explode. I like my view of the world and people bein' shallow, and that would ruin it. And thank god I didn't grow up with him. He'd probably be telling you embarrassing stories about me as a kid." Because she never, ever does that to him.

Claudine was about to answer, but when some emo-looking guy who could care less if his friends were slaughtered before with "I AM NAPALM" on his shirt just passes by. Her eyes widen a little at that and just oyes. New York is wierd. So, she turns back to hotness, also known as Max, her cheeks flushed a bright tinge of red, "Um..yeah! Sure! I think you have my number..just..um..let me know.." she says, stuttering a bit before she lets out a happy litle giggle in the end.
You paged Rose with 'I shall. XD I wonder… why… it should stop!'

The subway jerks a bit and Cass has her hand off of her handhold to turn a page. The suddenness of the motion startles her and she goes careening to the side, desperately trying to grab onto something before she goes tumbling to the ground. Dropping her book, she snatches onto one of the poles sticking out of the middle of the car before she completely falls over. When she catches herself, she looks over and sees herself just about face to face with Niki. "Niki!" the store owner gasps. "Hi!" She blinks, a little owlishly. "You're back in New York City, then?"

Bryant blinks, and bends down to pick up Cass's book, helpfully, since by some odd chance of fate, it's landed right at his feet. He peers at the title, then at the back cover, and then goes over towards Cass. "Um, hey. Sorry to interrupt, but you lost this," he says, helpfully. "Looks like a good one, too."
Being the shadow of divine beauty that he is, Max tosses his hair back from his face and winks at Claudine. This situation is a disaster waiting to happen. When the "I AM NAPALM" shirt passes by his eyes he raises his shadowed head, then shakes it briefly. Strange. Then he imagines the splatter he'd make when he hit the ground after Claudine's father threw him off the cliff. Still, gotta get the info. "Trust me, I'll call you," he replies.

Sakura blinks as she's passed by the same guy that walks by Claudine, tilting her head at him before shaking her head. She looks over at Bryant for a second, starting to say something…then realizing she doesn't know how to say it in English, muttering in Japanese, "<Talking about a guy carrying around a sword, killing folks, then someone like that walks by?>" She shakes her head, looking around a bit to get her bearings again after the jerk of the train.

Niki's brain would also explode, so it's fortunate that her answer to Rose says otherwise - but not before her eyes widen at the girl. "No, I'm— we're friends," she blurts out. "Sort of. We just keep bumping into each other. It's… actually, it's kind of weird," she admits. /Honestly/. When Cass spots her, Rose's avoidance of her future boss isn't enough to stop Niki from saying hello to the woman. "Hi!" Niki breaks into a bright smile for the bookstore owner. "…Yeah. A bit earlier than I thought. How are you?"

The lights in the subway car start to flicker, on and off with no discernable pattern. There's an electrical buzz overhead, along with an unsettling grinding sound, increasingly high-pitched and grating, coming from … somewhere - it reverberates through the whole car until, all of a sudden, it comes to a rough stop. It seems the jerk of the train was a precursor to the real thing, because this one so forceful that the passengers get jostled around like sardines in a can. The halt is complete and dead.

Claudine beams brightly at being called and she lets out another girlish giggleof glee. "Okay!" she says, looking up to the ceiling while mouthing 'thank you God!' She was about to say more when she's suddenly jerked as the train starts to stop causing her to lean against Max and grab his arm, "Shit!" she cries out, her eyes open wide. She then whispers something softly to him, with a bit of concern on her features.

Max looks genuinely startled as the lights flicker and the train grinds to a halt. For him, surprise is a rare enough occurrence in and of itself. Leaning toward Claudine, he whispers something back to her, then peers around the subway car. Sure, like one of the passengers is going to be the cause of this bizarre mid-travel stop. Le sigh. Apparently getting stinking drunk is going to have to wait for a bit.

Angie isn't jostled around. But that might be because she was in her seat, not hitting on anyone and not spying on anyone. At the buzz, her cell phone goes off and she answers it, flipping it open and putting it to her ear. "Hey." Pause. Glance over her shoulder at Max. "Yeah, I'm looking at him now." Pause. "He looks different with his clothes on."

"Yeah, I think pseudo-father gets that a lot," Rose replies in response to it being 'weird' to run into him that way. Who wants to run into their accountant? She seems slightly mortified as Niki and Cass greet each other, but she doesn't attempt to hide again. Instead, she swings around the pole again to greet Cass with a grin. She's about to say something, too, when the train jerks to a stop. Her hand is fortuitously on the pole, and she clutches it for balance. "Oh, hell," she hisses, standing up a bit straighter. "What the hell was THAT about?"

The sudden jerk of the train to a complete stop is enough to loose Sakura's grip on the ring, the girl falling backward all of a sudden. She manages to turn to her stomach and catch herself before she hits the ground, but it isn't by much, and she's more or less staring at…well, what would be the ground of the subway, but at the moment is little more than darkness. The girl squeaks a bit but doesn't say anything, almost afraid to get back to her feet.

"Benjamin's a nice guy. You shouldn't—" Niki pitches forward when the train wrenches to a halt, but her grip on the metal keeps her upright. (She's good on the pole, okay.) Blue eyes rove apprehensively around, and at the ceiling, as if that would tell her anything. It doesn't, and the train is just as still as it was when it halted.

The flickering lights stop flickering. Unfortunately, in the toss-up between 'dark' and 'light', dark wins out. It's not /pitch/ black, but… well, suffice to say people will have to get up close and personal to see each others' faces, because they are, after all, in a tunnel. A very… empty, closed in tunnel.

Bryant yelps, managing to hold onto the book and the pole, keeping his balance as the train comes to abrupt, unannounced, unscheduled stop. He tucks the book under one arm, while waiting for Cass to claim it, and rummages in a pocket, finally coming up with one of those emergency flashlights on a keychain, which he clicks on to provide light. "Lucky I had this," he says, sweeping it around to survey the situation. "Anyone hurt?"

Okay, if there's something the girl does not like, it's the dark, so she clings on tightly to Max's arm, cause well, he's there, and she's actually really scared. Claudine nods after hearing the whisper and just mutters to herself, "Be calm.." over and over again like a mantra, because right now would be a really bad time to make an earthquake because she's scared. She closes her eyes and chews on her bottom lip, freezing cause well..she's never liked the dark. Never, ever..

"Thanks!" Cass smiles brightly at Bryant when he moves to hand over her lost book. "It is really good." That being said, she turns back to Niki to talk to her and to greet her future employee. Unfortunately, the car jolts and stops roughly, throwing Cass even more than before. She's reaching out for her book and isn't holding onto anything. She gets flung. Possibly right into Rose. Once she's gathered herself again, she picks herself up and looks around. "Ow. Sorry if I grabbed anyone inappropriately."
Ever have that feeling that someone's got their eye on you? For a moment, Max does. He gives the inside of the compartment one last, sweeping scan. No one he recognizes, no apparent dangers. Damnable nerves acting up again, probably. He gives a quick headshake and focuses his thoughts on the problem at hand. Of course he could just /make/ an exit, hop down on the track, and walk to the next station, but that'd hardly be inconspicuous. Taking a cue from the industrius young man with the flashlight, he peers down at Claudine's face. "You ok, kid? Injured?"

"I'm going to have to call you back," Angie says, flipping her cell closed then and slipping it back into her pocket. From another pocket, she tugs out a small maglite which she turns on. She doesn't seem to be looking or caring about any injured folks. No. She's looking to the exits. For now she's just watching.

Oh, it's straight into Rose, indeed. She's thrown back into the pole again by the collision with Cass, and the shorter girl lets out a groan, the breath knocked out of her. "Yeah, well. That was your one and only freebie," she says to her soon-to-be employer, regarding the inappropriate grab. Not that she sounds particularly frustrated. "Ohhhh god." There's something very unsettling about all of this, for Rose. It's dark. Very dark. And she does not like this at all, really. She digs into her messenger bag, procuring a set of keys with a tiny flashlight on it. Which she promptly shines straight into the faces of Niki and Cass. "This is lame."

Sakura starts to get back up to her feet once there's at least a little bit, thankfully (for Sakura at least) managing not to have to grab anyone, inappropriately or otherwise. She looks around at the rather dark train car now, gulping a little bit and whispering, "Why'd it…stop…?"

Niki squints as the light from Bryant's flashlight sweeps quickly past her face, then Rose's. She's fine, so she says nothing, but she does make sure Cass and Rose are okay. "What the hell is going on? Do these trains just… malfunction?" You said it, little Japanese girl who she doesn't know. Niki makes her way to a window, looking out, for all the good it does.

"I..I'm okay..not hurt," Claudine says, though she's really not as the dark is just one of those things that really freaks her out. Never liked it, cant deal with it, but now she has to deal with it. "I'm calm.." repeating it a couple more times before sighing in relief as a flashlight is turned on. Okay..some light she can deal with, so that's much better. She turns and looks around once more, this time letting go of his arm, cause well, she realized she was clutching on a little bit too tightly. "So um..we just wait until the power comes back on and we can head home, right?" She knew she should've just walked home today. Bah.

Bryant comments helpfully, "I hear it happens all the time." He pauses. "And then, in the dark, the mole men come from the secret buried catacombs under the city, and eat the passengers, so when the train rolls into the station, it's empty except for mysterious bloodstains. But then the mole men are satiated for a while… and the Mayor's office totally knows about it, but allows it to happen as the price paid for traveling through the domain of the mole men."

"Right," Max agrees absently. Already, he's debating the wisdom of tearing a hole in the side of the train and sprinting his way to civilzation. Bad, he finally concludes. Very bad. Instead he stands and gives Claudine a half-hearted pat on the shoulder. "You stay here," he murmurs. "I'm going to see if there's a way out of this damn compartment before we get gobbled by mole men." Grinning wrly, Max begins to study the interior of the car in detail. Which exit will be most inconspicuous to force open, hmm?

"Hey, I have an idea," Angie states flatly as Max starts surveying the compartment, "Why don't we just stay in the nice safe subway car until they fix whatever the hell went out. There's no such thing as fucking mole men or monsters that go bump in the night, idiot." She eyes him from behind her maglite for a few seconds with a disdainful look before shifting to Niki and then Rose, recognition there. "Ms. Sanders… and you're Benji's daughter, right?" Maybe she does care.

Niki stares in the general direction of Bryant. She blinks and pretends she did not hear him. Not helpful! Little does she know, she's thinking along the same lines as someone else in the train: Max. With parallel thoughts, she winds up following him without realizing it; in the dark, she bumps into his side gently while approaching one of the exit doors. Just as she's beginning to apologize, she finds herself whipping her head around to stare through the darkness at Angie. "What…" She blanches, not that anyone can truly see the colour leaving her already fair face. "What are you doing here?"

"Do I look like the kind of person who knows why it stopped?" Rose quips, her tone lacking for any sense of apology as she shrugs helplessly. "I got nothin'. Maybe it's" Benji's daughter. She turns around slowly, fixing Angie with an unimpressed stare. "yeah. What, you another one of his 'friends'?" The once-over she gives Angie is much more appraising than the one she gave Niki. She looks similarly doubtful of this new acquaintance. "Man, what is WITH this guy? He give off some kind of freaky smell that I'm immune to since I'm his kid or somethin'?" She is, however, beginning to fidget more with her hands, and her light is frequently shone into dark spaces in the car. Someone doesn't like the darkness of the subway car!

Sakura smoothes out her skirt a little bit, clearly not confident about the subway being shut down. She shivers a little bit, looking around the train at the various folks with different plans on how to deal with the idle train—not that she can really see much, just hear some movement away f rom her and some voices coming from the same area they had before.

Bryant shrugs lazily. "It's like, in all the media. This nurse wrote a book on 'em, and there was that show starring Ron Perlman, and Law and Order: SVU had an episode! Dude, I'm telling you, the mole people gotta be real. I'll bet they're already on their way to eat us all." He swings his light around, helpfully. "So, we might as well make ourselves comfy. This could last like, minutes, or hours, depending on how many trains are ahead of us, how on the ball the repair people are, and all that. No use panicking while we wait to be turned into smorgasborg."

Claudine rolls her eyes and just stays where she is, repeating over and over to herself to calm down. She doesn't want to give a reason to be brought back in afterall, so she's just taking deep, cleansing breaths as she waits and behaves, like a good girl should.

Max doesn't even spare Angie a glance. "Mind your manners, wench," is his disinterested reply. "If you want to stay, by all means, stay. Some of us feel better if we're doing something, futile as it may be." Then Niki collides with him and he reaches out instinctively to steady her. "Whoa.. Careful there. You could trip and break a—" He cuts his sentence short as Niki squares off with Angie. Great, another confrontation. Deep down in his tiny Grinch heart, Max is starting to feel sorry for the leggy blonde. Finally, in a vague attempt to do something productive, he snaps at Bryant. "Hey. Boy. Shut up!"

Cass holds a hand in front of her eyes when Rose starts flashing the light in her eyes. "Ow. I'm sorry. Please don't sue me for harassment," she replies with a bit of a grin to Rose. "I…don't think that's really helpful. I've been stuck on the subway a few times and none of them have involved mole men," she replies to Bryant, though she gives him a bit of a friendly smile for the story. As for Angie, Niki and Rose, she looks between the three of them. "Um, what?" Crowded subway car, darkness, not going anywhere…it would be bad if fighting broke out.

"I was going home for dinner with my mom," is Angie's response to Niki, skewing an eyebrow. "You know, using mass transit. Doing my part to help the planet and whatnot? Are you okay?" A shift in her gaze to Rose: "No, he showed me a picture. He and I are friends." Yes. A middle-aged accountant and a goth college student are friends. She eyes Max after his comment, eyes glinting in the dark, but says nothing to him in response to the insult. "Do what you want, buddy. It's your funeral."

Bryant sniffs at Max. "Rude much? Actually, lemme rephrase. Total asshole, much? Look, I dunno much about these things, but aren't there like, emergency phones at the end of the car, or was that something I saw in Die Hard With A Vengeance or something? Maybe we could call for help that way. Or go check on the driver, if you need something to keep busy with?"
Niki flattens a hand against the subway train door, though she does nothing to open it; she glances out into the tunnel once, but her attention is mostly on Angie. The woman's presence is making her more than a little on edge, despite the mundane reason offered for being here. "I'm fine," she answers through gritted teeth. She slants her gaze between Angie and Max, then to Bryant. Does there /have/ to be violence?

Yep, the train is still dark. And unmoving. However, the intercom crackles to life. "This is the conductor speaking. I'm sorry ladies and gentlemen, we're experiencing some ytugfhuvuygsdrftgyhjkchkkhhhh—" The message is disrupted by extreme static. "Thank you for your patience."

Claudine chews on her bottom lip some more and reaches into one of her pockets pulling out a ball of marble, something help keep her calm and not have her powers go out of whack. Since it's dark anyway, she just lets it warp in her hand, treating it more like clay so she can have an outlet for how freaked out she is. At the static filled message, she quirks a brow and just shakes her head. "You know..instead how about we all just calm down and wait. Obviously they know we're stuck down here..so we can just wait it out.."

Sakura looks up and blinks a little bit, "Great…" She just looks around side to side, biting into her bottom lip a little bit. She reaches around the car for the ring she was holding on to, this time clutching it with both hands as if the train might jerk back to life and send her flying again.

Rose is not particularly enjoying the notion of mole men. In fact, she's distinctly bothered by it, and she whirls around suddenly, shining the light at the floor all around her feet. "Gross. Gross. Please don't let there be rats," she mutters beneath her breath. Standing there the way she is, desperately trying not to pay attention to the shadows, the voice over the intercom startles Rose. "Jesus CHRIST," she grumbles, detaching her hands from the pole she grabbed onto when the conductor first began speaking. "They should seriously not do that."

Damnable New Yorkers, with their snippy attitude and their intrusive natures. Sniffing distastefully, Max steps up next to Niki once again. "To hell with this," he mutters and lays one hand on the door as well. Being crammed into a too-small space with a great deal of people, some of which are a noticeable distance from their last shower, is making Max ansty. He shoots an encouraging smile toward the blonde at his side. "I don't know about you, but I think I'd like to leave. Shall we?" He jerks his head toward the door to indicate that they should work together to shove it open.

Angie certainly doesn't look like she's spoiling for a fight. Hell, she doesn't even look that tense given the situation. "Good. Can you do me a favor and keep Rose company? … which is sort of what you were already doing." There's an undertone to that request. It says, 'I'm not here for what you think I am, so chill.' The words out of her lips, she listens to the message from the Conductor before turning off her flashlight. "Buddy, you have fun with the Rodents of Unusual Size out there… oh and dodging other incoming trains, once the power is back on."

Oh snap, there are other trains out there, and so mustering up all her willpower, Claudine heads towards the direction as she blindly grabs at things on the way to where she can hear Max and Angie snapping at each other. "I want to get out too, darkness wigs me out and enclosed spaces do even more.." and then she whispers something in the end. So what if there are trains coming through on the other side. She can make her own tunnels, right?

Bryant considers all the options, and then finally settles for sitting back down, kicking his feet up onto the seat opposite him and stretching out. "Okay, no mole men. If you're lucky, you won't hit the third rail and fry, or fall down a manhole or something. Really, unless there's actual danger, like a fire or rabid alligators, it's stupid to leave the train. We have light, and company, and I've got some M&Ms… who wants chocolate?"

Niki regards Max, biting one side of her lower lip for a few seconds in consideration; and by the apprehensive look etched into the blonde's features, she really has to think about it. Yeah, the train will likely be fixed in due time and they can get on their way, but what if Angie is lying? What if she's here for her? The Company woman's reassurances seem to have an effect - or maybe it's just the thought of leaping out there the rails. Conflicted, she stands somewhere between Max and Rose, quiet.

Cass looks in the direction of where Max is trying to shove his way out of the subway car. "Um, yeah. That seems like a very bad idea. I'm sure we'll be moving again really soon. And then you're going to get run over." She's unaware of the dynamics between Niki and Angie, but she's not about to move anywhere. "Why don't we all just calm down, not try and commit railway suicide and wait for the lights to come back on?"

As quickly and thoroughly as Max is coming to despise the brash, maglite-toting young woman, he's forced to pause and consider her words for a moment. If the trains start running without warning, things could get a little messy… He glares at Angie. "You might be right, you might not, but for the love of Christ, will you stop being such a bitch?" Claudine's whispering is enough to catch his attention, though. He's seen what the girl can do. Other than wanting the hell off a train filled with loud people, Max doesn't have much of a motive to leave, though. "Damn. What do you think?" he asks the blonde.

Sakura blushes a little bit, chewing her lip nervously before looking over at Cass. She can't help but state the obvious, although she's not exactly known to sugarcoat things, if simply by ignorance o doing so, "Because…we don't know how long it'll be?" Her voice is obviously nervous, and the accent makes it a bit harder to understand her, but Sakura clearly has no issue holding still, even clinging to the ring she holds on to.

Rose is not too arrogant to deny that she's starting to get freaked out. Were she her usual self, she would surely be refusing the suggestion of company, insisting on being totally self-sufficient. No, right about now, she's thinking Angie is a saint. Even if she can't quite recall how Angie would know her name. Johnny is totally off her list of people to call next time she wants weed. Unless she thinks she needs another week-long bender that she won't be ablet o remember after all. "YES," she says to Bryant, all but bounding over to him at the offer of chocolate. "Candy. Now." She holds out a hand impatiently.

"Sorry honey, you don't get to tell me what to do. So, kiss my ass," Angie quips back at Max, even flipping her flashlight back on so he can see the middle finger she's giving him. The light is flipped off again and she stomps down to the door to the next compartment, peering through the glass.

"Yeah," Niki says quietly under her breath, concurring with Cass. She shakes her head to Max helplessly, just another anxious passenger. Finally, she steps fully away from Max and stands near Rose - which means following her to Bryant. She's not in line for candy, however.

In the next compartment are a bunch of poor people trapped in a subway car, exactly like this one, only… slightly less confrontational. The lights flicker on for a split second, but it's a tease. Nothing happens.

Bryant grins at Rose. He rummages around in a pocket and pulls out a fresh bag of M&Ms. He tears it open, and pours a generous allotment into Rose's outstretched hand. "Here you go. It's good to have respectable priorities. Look, take it from me, this sort of thing will work out just fine."

"It's ok," Max smiles and gentle shoos Niki away. That poor lady seems to have enough trouble. Sighing helplessly, he slumps against the door, resigned to an indeterminate amount of time trapped with some very cooky strangers. There's not much else to do but join Rose, Niki, and Bryant. "Hey. Uh. Sorry I yelled at you, kid." It's true. Believe it or not, apologies don't come easy to Max. Still, it's best to play nice when confined in a strange, creepy situation. "Can I have some candy too?"

Pout. And here she was thinking that maybe there was salvation and that they'd getout. Oh well..she goes back to Plan A, waiting and heads back over to where the others. No candy though for her, so Claudine just stays quiet, mulling things over.

"Thanks." Rose tosses about half of the candy she was given into her mouth, thankful for the distraction, albeit short-lived. "It's not so much the not gettin' out that bugs me. It's the 'I don't know any of you and you are totally tiny enough to hide underneath that seat and leap out at me with the knife no one knew you had because it's PITCH FUCKING BLACK in here' thing." Chew-chew-chew. She finishes off the rest of the candy, mumbling a little bit. "So, uh, don't do anything that looks like you might be pullin' a knife." Because her brain is about two steps from grabbing the gun from her bag, and she's anxious enough to shoot first, think about consequences a year later.

Niki, setting her jaw into a tense pose, casts frequent glances to Angie. The woman hasn't been bad to her, she really hasn't, but she remembers the first time she met her. The nervous blonde can't get out of here fast enough. Any longer and she's going to start reconsidering forcing that door open.

It's really a game of who will snap first, isn't it? As it turns out, Bryant is right. It does work out just fine. It doesn't even take an hour! The lights snap back on and, slowly but surely, the train rattles and starts to move along the track once again, as if nothing happened. "Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, sorry for the inconvenience," the static-filled intercom informs the passengers once again. Just in time?

Bryant shrugs, amiable enough in the situation, and dispenses candy for Max as well. "I'm Bryant," he tells Rose. "I'm a jerk who sometimes tells stupid stories, but other'n that, I'm mostly harmless."

Sakura finally lets go of the ring, realizing the train might not be moving for a while. She shivers a little bit, moving to take a seat at the foot of one of the rows and just talking herself out of panicking. When the lights come back on, Sakura's a bit huddled up in her seat, blushing and looking around again, "Never again…" She'd trusted the trains back home…she's walking everywhere in New York from now on.

Angie is back in her seat by the time the lights turn back on. Kicking her feet up as if nothing happened, she puts her flashlight away and digs out her cellphone again, flipping it open and punching in a number. Pause. "Hey, it's me." Pause. "Yeah, the power went out for a little while." Pause. "Like a rat in a cage. /Total/ asshat, by the way. Anyway. Catch you at the range later? Bye." And off the cellphone goes.

"Tell me about it," Max says glumly in reponse to Rose's comment about me trapped with strangers. Because that's So. Much. Fun. He lifts his not candy-holding hand to wave lazily, then pops several M&M's into his mouth. When the train rumbles back into motion, he lets out an agreeable rumble. "Excellent. Next stop, I'm off to find a cab."

"I think we all are.." Claudine says in agreement as she twiddles her thumbs and waits eagerly for the next stop, so she can be above ground once more. So much better.

Once the lights turn back on, Cass looks around and sighs. She's unsure as to what just happened. She looks between Niki and then Rose and then the other characters that just played on this crazy stopped train play and sighs. She's definitely getting off at the next stop.

Niki lets out a quiet breath of relief as the train rumbles to life again, closing her eyes for a moment in some sort of silent thanks to who-knows-what. But it's almost worse now that the train is moving, because now she has to wait to get off at her stop-or any stop. She sinks into the nearest empty seat, sitting on the edge, and silently agreeing with Max.

Again finding herself probably asking what a lot of people want to know: "How long…*until* the next stop?" She stays kind of balled up, not exactly comfortable on the train at the moment, but she'd like to know how long it is 'till she can get off…

"Rose," the girl replies to Bryant, though she doesn't go as far as to smile. She does, however, shine the light on his face momentarily— which is unnecessary, in the end, because the lights come back on. "GOD. Finally." It really hasn't been all that long, but to someone with a fear of dark corners, it was long enough. "And I'm not harmless." She flashes him a smirk. "Thanks for the candy," she adds, just before turning her back to him and sauntering back to Cass. Her demeanor is instantly changed from moments before, when the train was much darker. "So. See you Monday?"

Bryant continues to remain relatively calm about the whole thing. "See? It all worked out. No one was hurt, all's cool, and now you guys all have a genuine New York Experience, if you didn't before." He smiles at Rose in return.

Angie pushes to her feet as the train rolls to its next stop and as the doors open? She heads out and out of the subway. Not exactly her idea of a fun time, but hey, she got to give someone the middle finger, so it wasn't all bad.

Niki promptly stands up when the train rolls to a stop. She flashes a transient smile to Rose and Cass. "Bye. It was nice to see you again," she says to both of them, and then she is /gone/, walking briskly in those heels of hers. Once she's on the platform, she heads in the opposite direction from Angie, even if it's not where she ought to be going to get out of the subway station.

At the next stop, Sakura gets up to her feet and makes her way off the train, making a bit of a bee-line for the staircase back ABOVE ground…it's more comfortable up there anyway.

Once the train reaches the next stop, Claudine just heads on out of there. Yeah..she really didnt like it, so it's time to be off..
As fast as everyone else, Max bolts to the freedom of the street and the open air. Holy crap. Never. Taking. Subway. Again.

Rose, for one, stays on the subway. For two reasons: A) she's not even at her stop yet; B) everyone is bailing at this stop, and they're just going to run into each other again at the next intersection. No thank you. She winds her way away from the doors now, finally, and finds a seat at the back of the car to ignore everyone for what's left of her trip.

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