2007-02-29: Tremors

Starring:

Claudine_icon.gif Hector_icon.gif Identity_icon.gif Jack_icon.gif Lachlan_icon.gif Sydney_icon.gif

Summary: Earthquakes in New York City are becoming more and more common by the day.

Date It Happened: February 29th, 2007

Tremors


Brooklyn, outside the Den of Iniquity

It's later at night, around 9 PM or so. It's been a busy day with visiting of relatives that one hasn’t seen in a while, and now, Claudine has just left their little townhouse and is making her way back to one of the subway stations. It's time to head back to campus anyway, and well, she insisted she walk, even though she was warned. It seemed like a nice neighborhood after all, at least during the day, and her own inexperience with dealing with the big city just might cost her. As such, she's walking down the sidewalk, just looking around, taking in all the scenery and she passes by a trio of thugs who were just leaning against one of the walls.

"Ooooh, chiquita… how bout you show me a good time, eh?" one of them, of Hispanic origin. So yeah, she's Filipina, but is always mistaken for a more Latina heritage for some reason. For now, she's just ignoring them, still walking and paying no mind. Of course, that doesn’t make the thugs very happy. Uh oh.

Not an overly familiar face in Brooklyn, Mr. Fitzgerald is here nonetheless, and has been since early this morning. Nearby and at night, if not right at this spot, street vendors are common, and so is crime. So it is that curiosity and perhaps a certain sense of masochism has brought him to sit against a scubby wall next to a sleeping bag and a backpack that isn't his, long legs bent before him and head tipped back away from an abandoned card game. Another man is slumped against him, snoring on with breath bad enough that it's been over an hour and it still rankles Hector's nose occasionally.

At the sound of Hispanic voices, he lifts his head and his brows, looking quickly to seek out the source. A sharp sideways nudge with his elbow proves ineffective. His companion keeps snoring, and truth be told, he's not really that driven to wake him up anyway.

Brooklyn is the last place in New York City that Sydney wants to be on a Friday night. Like Claudine, she's on her way back to the subway after an unsuccessful search for Kellie — her timid little mouse of a houseguest that disappeared several days ago. /Un/like Claudine, she moves with the purpose of someone who wants to get where they're going as swiftly as possible. Her dark eyes are bright and alert, their hawkish gaze fixed squarely on the street ahead of her as she watches for movement in her peripheral vision.

She catches it, too. Her brisk walk slows when she hears one of the thugs leering at the other woman on the opposite side of the street, but she does not stop to watch. Not here — not in this neighborhood.

Walking the dog, walking the dog, walking the dog. Since he's been evicted due to the mess that occurred in his apartment recently, Lachlan has been staying at a dog-friendly hotel somewhere in Brooklyn, and so the diverse borough has been the place for him to walk Padfoot for the past few days. He's still bandaged about the head and face as well as his left hand, and he dresses in ragged black jeans, a gray T-shirt, and an old leather jacket. A lit cigarette hangs from between his lips. He walks behind Claudine — not close enough to hear what the thugs say when they speak to her, but close enough to at least see her as she passes them by. He seems largely disinterested, and Padfoot is too interested in lifting his leg on every tree they get near to care much about anything else.

It's been several days since Jack stopped by the Den to check on things, so he's wandered out to relieve the afternoon bartender and look after his business interests. Now the evening shift is about to begin, and Jack's made his way outside for a breath of cool, comparatively fresh air. He's rolled up the sleeves of his white button-down shirt and thrown a clean black apron over it to protect against the spills and ash-stains so common in a bartender's day-to-day life.

With a weary sigh, he leans back against the bar's concrete-faced exterior wall and twists the filter of a Marlboro between his lips. Then he gestures with the flourishing panache of a stage magician and produces a silver lighter, seemingly by slight of hand. He flicks it and lights his smoke, then nearly chokes when the three would-be Romeos and their target come into view. "Sometimes I miss the country life…" he muses as he steps out onto the sidewalk. "Hey! Boys! Why don't you come on into the bar? Drink special. Next three customers get two free ones, on me."

"Awww….what's wrong? I'm not your type?" one of them asks as they start following her a bit more aggressively, even increasing their pace. It's just that everything about her screams "NEWBIE", as well, she isn’t walking with a sense of purpose, she's sort of taking her time to get to know the place, and she kind of looks lost in a way. At the offer of free drinks though, they become slightly distracted, even pausing to mull it over for a bit.

Meanwhile, Claudine takes a look back and notices the others following now and she starts to walk a bit faster, increasing her pace as well. She's nervous now, as she's heard stories. She hasn’t exactly experienced anything, and she doesn’t want to, but those people are definitely making her nervous. And when she's nervous things tend to happen. With every step, tremors in the earth can be felt by those nearby, particularly Lachlan and Jack as they are almost like mini earthquakes. The dog would definitely notice since well… animals are always the first to know, right? Or something like that…

Reluctant to move much at first, Hector eventually hefts a little more insistently against the warmly-bundled man at his side, levering him over onto the sleeping bag, where he doesn't so much as stir. The sharp clank and rattle of a knocked over glass bottle when Hector pushes himself up to stand may well be the reason. More focused upon the imminent potential for assault than he is the others, he does turn to squint at Jack, only to blink back at Lachlan and his dog before he manages to focus.

One of these days, Sydney is going to learn that Eliana's new boy toy and her mysterious benefactor at the Back Alley are one and the same. It might even be today, for in the darkness, she can sense something vaguely familiar about Jack — familiar enough for her to want to take a closer look. Looking both ways for oncoming traffic before crossing the street, she takes a shortcut between two parked cars and waves to get his attention in something of a haphazard attempt to get his attention. She's so fixated on what's unfolding right in front of her that she fails to notice anything amiss beneath her boot-clad feet. "Hey!" she shouts, in case the waving doesn't work. "Aren't you Eli's beau—?"

A taxi pulls up to the curb in front of the Den of Iniquity. A dark haired, dark clad woman exits after paying, and gives the door a slam. Identity turns, and heads for the entrance to the bar. She doesn't look around, though there is a bit of a pause with the tremor action of the ground. WTF. The cabbie doesn't seem to be taking that very well either, and he hits the gas to get the hell out of dodge.

Dogs definitely notice things like that, and a second before the earth tremor really reaches him, Padfoot is dashing to his master's side and nervously dancing about. Thanks to his latent abilities, Lachlan knows what's happening with the ground as well, and he pauses a moment to lay a reassuring hand on his dog's back. "The bloody hell— ?" Offers of free drinks get his attention, however, and after the trembling seems to subside a bit, he hollers, "Oi! Mebbe I'll step on in there then." Maybe it's genuine. Maybe he's just trying to rankle the thugs. Who knows?

Jack reaches a hand out to touch the wall and steady himself against the ground tremors. "Whoa…," In light of this new, interesting, ground-tremblin' phenomenon, the would-be attackers are momentarily forgotten. Then Sydney catches Jack's attention and he pauses long enough to make brief but meaningful eye contact with her. "One sec." He turns to face this new, cheeky, dog-bearing fellow. "Private party," he rumbles. "And no dogs allowed."

The tremors continue as Claudine continues to walk away. She's blissfully unaware that all these people are feeling things, as she's the epicenter and of course, she doesn’t feel anything. She looks back to see the three thugs going inside the bar to get their drink on, and she sighs, relaxing once more. Once she's calmed down, the tremors suddenly stop….

Identity scowls, and slides a hand into her pocket. She flips it open, and hits a few buttons, but by then the tremors have stopped. She glances around briefly. The phone is snapped shut. Id stands there for a moment, considering. Her eyes narrow briefly, and she reaches to pull open the door to the bar, and head inside.

Hector doesn't feel much until he's trailed along the wall closer to the middle of things. That the quake halts when the troublemakers vanish into the bar does not escape his attention. He proceeds to look muddled and annoyed. Nothing in this city makes sense. Furthermore he's missed out on free booze.

As has Lachlan. Woe. He frowns at Jack. "Tha's a righ' bloody shame," he sighs, but he's got his own private party back in the hotel anyway. He'll be fine. It's Hector who becomes his next person of focus. Padfoot has picked up the scent of the "homeless" man and emits a soft, nervous bark. This draws the Scot's attention to the sociologist, who is then fixed with a glare. "Oh fer fuck's sake," he growls in a low voice, though it's easily loud enough to be heard by the man. "D'ye no' have a /hole/ ta live in? Ye gotta keep followin' me?" Because that is /obviously/ what Hector is doing.

Just when Sydney was beginning to notice the vibrations through her boots, they peter away back into nothingness, leaving her standing there with a somewhat bewildered expression on her face. This is New York, not San Francisco. "Did anybody else feel that?" she asks, though the question isn't directed at any one person in particular.

This is quickly becoming a bit strange, even for Jack. He shoots another glance in Sydney's direction. "Hey. I have to go tie up some loose ends inside. Can we meet back at your place a bit later? I think we should talk." He takes a draw from his near-forgotten cigarette, then taps a long cylinder of ash from its tip.

It's then that Claudine has walked off, blissfully unaware of what the heck happened back there. At least those thugs aren’t following her anymore… so that's good, right?

"I didn't just feel an earthquake in the middle of Brooklyn, if that's what you mean." Coarse from the cold, or from sitting in a cramped position for hours, Hector's voice strikes out from near the bar's wall with a rasp and a glare aimed /firmly/ in Lachlan's direction. "I've better things to do that follow your sorry self around the city."

"Yeah," is Sydney's muttered response to Jack, "but bring her with you. I haven't been able to get ahold of Hiro since yesterday morning. Something's probably happened." It's then that her eyes dart across to Hector's shabby figure, and her lips purse into a round oh of surprise. Him, /again/?

"Righ'." Lachlan does not sound or look convinced. Hector is like the homeless man that wouldn't go away. After taking one last pull from his cigarette, the Scotsman drops the smoke on the sidewalk and crushes it with his boot. "Yeah, I felt summat. Bit o' a shake." He doesn't seem like he's too perturbed by it, but that could just be hidden beneath his irritation at Hector's presence.

Hector is very much like the homeless man that wouldn't go away. "New York has never been a reasonable city, but this month it has been /particularly/ preposterous." Still gruff and growly, he speaks half to them and half to himself, not unlike the more genuinely insane sort that he typically hangs out with.

Sydney can't help but agree with Hector's February assessment. You don't even have to be tuned into the news or watching the front page of the papers to have noticed the strange vibe in the air. She peers down at the dog by Lachlan's side and frowns a little, though this isn't directed at the animal so much as it is the overall state of things.

Even Lachlan can agree with that, however grudgingly he might go about it. He grunts in an ambiguous sort of way, then rolls his shoulders and clucks his tongue to Padfoot, who is staring right back at Sydney with stubby tail a-wag. "Ye take care o' yerselves," he utters to the two as he sets off for the hotel. It's questionable how much he actually /means/ it, but hey. It's something.

A foggy sigh lent the pair (and the dog), Hector looks grimly between them before he turns to stalk back to his friend from earlier. "Be careful," is his sort of muffled agreement. In contrast, there is a hint in his tone that he means it more than he would like to.

Sydney, too, decides that it's time to be on her way. Pulling her jacket just a little tighter around her shoulders, she sets off down the street after uttering a mumbled, "You too," under her breath.

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