2007-08-03: DF: Stirring Up the Dirt


DFStefanie_icon.gif William_icon.gif DFGeorge_icon.gif Erica_icon.gif Elijah_icon.gif

Summary: This little piggy ran away, this little piggy stayed airborne, this little piggy hid guns, this little piggy played dumb, and this little piggy went "Have you seen this man?" at all the different homes.

Dark Future Date: August 3, 2009

Stirring Up the Dirt

Outside an apartment building in the Bronx

It's late afternoon on a Saturday, the sun dipping to the west. A lone figure walks amongst the dirt and filth of the littered yet empty street. She wears a pale-colored hemp sundress and covers herself and her head with a cloak made of a darker colored hemp material. Stefanie sings to herself, or anyone within earshot. "Have you seen the little Piggies crawling in the dirt? And for all the little piggies life is getting worse, always having dirt to play around in."

William makes his way along the empty street, keeping his open, ever watchful. His last trip for the day of shuttling people on the underground railroad is finished, but he's not relaxed much. William is dressed in dark colors, with combat boots on his feet. He's not openly carrying any weapons, but his clothes are loosely fitting enough for some to be hidden on this former farm boy.

A clearly labeled but otherwise nondescript Homeland Security van is stopped outside an apartment block. A few guys in matching uniforms are going door to door, knocking and holding brief conversations, then moving on. Two of them remain at the van, one in the driver's seat and one checking equipment in the back; with them is George, who's leaning against the side of the van and perusing a clipboard.

There's a solitary figure in the area, but not at street level. Somewhere overhead a female figure hovers, her eyes trained downward as she makes a tour of the city. Black clothing and the ski mask are a thing of the past, however, she's doing this in broad daylight. It's not a duty day for Erica; she came here to fly over the city and remember how it looked when she lived here. To reflect on far better days. Distance is kep for the moment.

A flicker of dark curtains from an apartment a few down from where the agents are making their inspections is the only indication of Elijah's presence. Deserted, the apartment had made for a decent stop house in his constant movements, but with agents closing, the green eyed rebel is considering his best course of action.

Stefanie makes her way down the street and sees the van. She ducks quickly into a darkened alley, while still keeping an eye on the van. She's got nothing to worry about. She's just some poor flower girl. Hardly any records exist on her, except when they'd brought her in for questioning at the onset of the war.. She decides to attempt walking by. She's not dangerous, or at least that's the air she's attempting to put on. She continues to sing, though, since it would be such a shame to not finish such a lovely song.. "Have you seen the bigger piggies in their starched white shirts? You will find the bigger piggies stirring up the dirt. Always have clean shirts to play around in."

William mutters a string of curses under his breath in what sounds like an Asian language as he spots the Homeland Security van. He ducks into the doorway of a building, standing in the shadow it causes as he watches the group, looking around to find each member of the team, counting silently.

Having people act paranoid in the presence of the agents is nothing unexpected; a lot of people are doing it, in the same way that a lot of people in peacetime make a point of looking more law-abiding when they spot a cop car. So George takes it all in stride— but his attention is drawn to Stefanie's a cappella performance, and he heads over that way. "Excuse me, miss, do you have a minute?" The clipboard is tucked under one arm; a pencil sketch of someone with short hair and a mustache is briefly visible.

With the agents too close to comfort and what appears to be their supervisor distracted by Stefanie, Elijah makes a quiet exit from the apartment. With nothing to do but assume an air of nonchalance, the door closes with a loud click behind him, a brief frown coming to his brow as his presence is betrayed by the most innocuous of things.

Looking down as she hovers, spotting activity on the street in the form of George and his associates going about their work, Erica decides to have a better look. She doesn't get any closer; binoculars are pulled from her hip and used to magnify the people. The street is slowly scanned, even the shadows and doorways. But she doesn't spot William.

Stefanie blinks and looks up at the man who adresses her, more dismayed at having her song interupted. "I's possible, aye? Wha can I do fer ya, Captain?" In falling into a poor flower girl act, she assumes a Cockney accent… and not a good one. So she's not Eliza Doolittle.. at least she can try to make him think she's nuttered enough to believe she is. Thankfully Stefanie doesn't need much work to appear crazy.

William stays in the shadow as he listens to what is going down between Stefanie and George, though his gaze keeps flittering around, keeping track of all the agents, just in case. His gaze fixes on Elijah's location when the door is heard before moving on.

"We're looking for someone with an unusual facility with animals," George explains, not batting an eye at the My Fair Lady reference. The clipboard is held up, picture facing outward. "Got a problem that they might be able to help us with. Unfortunately, we've only got a description and general whereabouts— is this anyone you recognize?"

Elijah's departure from the apartments does not go unnoticed by the agents making their rounds, the blond haired man moving quickly, without running, from the doorway. One of the agents says, loudly, "Sir, could you hold on there a moment?" Whether heard or not, the agent is ignored, the man cutting a dark figure in his clothes and a slightly bulging backpack thrown over a shoulder as he walks in the opposite direction.

Stefanie looks at the photo.. of a male. The only person Stefanie knows with that kind of ability is Daphne, and she's not male… unless she grew a moustache recently. She shakes her head. "No sir. I haven't seen 'im, but I don' know these parts too well. Jus' passin through, I am." She shrugs and attempts to continue on her way. "G'luck to ya, though."

William turns his eyes back to Elijah as the man speaks. He stays in the shadow of the doorway. One hand reaches to a gun hostered at the small of his back, while the other reaches into his pocket for a small object that he keeps nestled in the palm of his hand. The handgun is raised and pointed at the agent, but he holds it steady there, waiting.

George inclines his head to Stefanie, offering a generic business card (no name, just a sub-department and phone number). "All right. Well, if you happen to spot— Oh hell." After handing off the card (or setting it down on the nearest flat surface if she declines it), he turns and heads in the direction of the raised voice. Raised voice always means some sort of trouble.

As both agents pull away from the door and the person they were questioning, Elijah's pace quickens gaze straight ahead. Shouts for him to stop continue to go ignored and finally they break into a run after him, the blond haired man dropping all pretense of an inability to hear as his quick walk turns into a sprint.

From above the street, she scans the area with her binoculars again, this time spotting William in that doorway. He looks familiar to her, and so Erica decides to keep watch on this one. The others are paid less attention to now.

Stefanie takes the card and tucks it away to show to Daphne or Nima or someone with more authority in the Alliance then she. She slinks off in the direction heading directly to the Zoo. Since the van doesn't seem to be gathering humans, she does nothing to hinder their movement. Sometimes letting business go is the best kind of action. She finds a dark alley and heads down it.

William keeps the gun out, but he doesn't shoot. Instead he pulls the tab on the small box in his hand and chucks it as hard as he can at a tangent to where Elijah is running. It's not a grenade. No, it was likely meant to be part of some small child's baby doll. The moment it hits the ground the sounds of a baby crying start. Distraction before weapons when there are this many of them.

The agents give chase to Elijah, of course. Anyone who's running is probably up to something important, right? George, meanwhile, diverts to see what the crying is about; he's further back, and the issue is on his mind anyway after putting Lachlan's daughter in a bad mood the day before. It takes him a while to narrow in on the sound, only to pick up the device and toss it aside with a roll of his eyes.

The long days have taken their toll on the runner, Elijah unable to maintain the dead sprint he'd dropped into once the agents started giving chase. Having no wish to get into a fight in his current condition, he glances back over a shoulder while running to get a bead on the pair of them and, one after the other, they both stop in mid-stride, frozen in motion as the rebel turns down the nearest street.

When Elijah stops the men, William lets out a slow breath and drops the gun down to his side. He's not ready to put it away yet, but it also doesn't look like he's going to need it any second. He leans against the door, moving farther into the shadow of the doorway with a grin as George takes the time to find the toy part.

George looks up, narrowing his eyes as the agents suddenly become mimes faced with an invisible brick wall. He knows what that means, too. He heads over and confers with them for a minute… then shakes his head. "File it and let it go, guys, we're still only half done with the first haystack." Enjoy your ill-gotten freedom while you can, TK boy.

Really more of a jog now than a sprint, Elijah continues on as best he can, putting as much distance between the agents and himself as he can before gassing completely. After a couple of blocks, his chest heaving with each breath, he slows to a walk and disappears into safer reaches of the city.

William waits for the men to be occupied again before he slips silently out of the doorway. He's good, not making any sound as he stays close to the wall, moving for the nearest cross street. The gun is slipped with his hand into a pocket, not quite so noticable. He looks up to Erica in the sky with a cold, almost seething look for someone he once counted as a friend.

She doesn't seem to mind that he's spotted her, if she's even aware of it. But when he moves away from the area, so does she. Erica tracks him with the binoculars and follows his path, intending to set down somewhere between the former SEAL and wherever he's going. Her speed is just enough to keep pace, and her distance above enough to avoid being shot if he chooses to do that. She can't discount the possibility.

William breaks into a light jog when he gets around the corner. It's not a full out run, just a better pace to get him away from the Homeland Security people. Erica is noticed and he pulls the gun out of his pocket, aiming it up at her. She might not be close enough now, but if she comes closer, he's prepared to defend himself.

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