2007-02-29: Aftershocks

Starring:

Claudine_icon.gif Orion_icon.gif

Summary: A late jog in the park, a hunting expedition, and a bit of self-discovery.

Date It Happened: February 29th, 2007

Tremors II: Aftershocks

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Central Park, New York City, New York

It's early evening and Claudine is stressed from the rigors of the day, such as that exam she totally wasn't prepared for, those boys that were well..really cute, and the whole worrying about not fitting in has really gotten to her. So, she's out and about in central park, wearing a pair of grey sweat pants and a matching grey Columbia University hoodie as she jogs on the sidewalk to just get it all out of her system. Right now, she's sort of in her workout zone, just grooving to a bit of music on her iPod, bobbing her head up and down to keep the pace and energy high. She's blissfully unaware of the dangers that can happen at night, but oh well, she'll figure it out soon enough…

There are a great many things that can happen to a person in this city, day or night, morning or evening. Aging building veneers break away, bricks or tools can fall off of construction scaffolds, homicidal maniacs can jump you in the park. This city is fraught with dangers. Some people might even argue that the danger is what attracts so many people to the city. It's not the amazing sights, the incredible foods, or even the marvelous tourist attractions; it's the danger, intrigue, and mystique of New York City that attracts people.

Orion Granger would tend to agree with that assessment. The dangers of the big city, of New York City, are certainly one of the things that drew him here nearly a decade ago… Unfortunate, he muses, that it is the dangers of the city that keep him here… Among them.

The tall Companyman strikes a very corporate appearance as he jogs through Central Park. He's wearing some generic gray sweatpants, reasonably expensive, but unfashionable sneakers, and a ratty old New York University hoodie of his own. Granger doesn't distract himself with music or other frivolous entertainments; he is out here for the joy of the run, not to continue the effects of corporate multi-tasking.

So far he's remained a good fifty yards behind Claudine, watching her from afar.

Remembering what her relatives have told her, and what she's seen on the news, Claudine pulls out one of the ear buds so she can remain aware of her surroundings. She can definitely take care of herself, that's for sure (even if she doesn't really realize it), but she looks around, taking an occasional glance. Hrmm..that guy has been following her for a good bit, but surely he's just out to work off some stress too, right? She shrugs her shoulders and continues to jog, making her way through the paths until she reaches a fork in the road, so to speak.

Now what should she do? Go towards the path more traveled, which is probably safer, or perhaps go the path less traveled, to see if the guy continues to follow her. Well, the latter is what she does, raising her brows as she looks back once more before taking the path to the left, which brings her to a bit more isolated area in the park. Less people are around, but it's rather well lit, and it's heading towards the direction of her dorm, so it's the clear winner…

For a few moments, it seems as if Orion is going to follow Claudine. He pauses at the fork in the path and looks up one path and then the other. The tall man jogs in place, apparently trying to get his bearings before he starts jogging down the path that Claudine didn't take. How… fortunate?

Granger keeps jogging up the other fork of the path until he's out of Claudine's line of sight. He promptly jogs up into the woods, moving quickly and quietly through them to follow her from somewhere out of sight. At least until the next junction of paths. He's pretty sure he can get ahead of her and jog up on her again once they get there.

Well, the guy didn't follow her that's good, cause she was starting to get a little nervous. One often hears stories after all. So, since he didn't, Claudine slows down her pace and starts to relax, doing more a 'cool down' jog as the path continues to make it's way towards Columbia's campus. There's lots of turns, but eventually it meets up with the other path, or at least, another fork in that path. She sighs and takes a deep breath, just seeming like your average college co-ed. As far as she knows, she is one..

Granger keeps jogging along, keeping just a little ahead of Claudine now that she's slowed. His eyes keep on the look out for threats while he moves through the thin, New York woodland. Orion pauses once he breaks the tree-line, brushing twigs and leaves from his clothing before he moves down onto the path proper.

He has a relatively simple task, after all, but it still must be carried out with precision timing.

Hrmm. Twigs snapping, leaves rustling. That's sort of suspicious? Kind of on edge, Claudine pauses as her eyes widen, looking towards the direction of the sounds and she swallows ever so slowly. Yeah, she's scared, as it startled her. She's in a new city, heck, a new country,and she doesn't really know anyone. and there aren't many people around, even if the area is well lit.

As such, she unconsciously starts shuffling the earth under her feat, creating a weave with her as the epicenter. Tremors can be felt for up to fifty feet from where she is as she just looks around for a few moments, scanning the area once more. Hopefully it's just a squirrel.

Orion tilts his head. Something seems wrong all of a sudden. The Companyman slinks back into the shadows on the tree-side of the lights. He can't put a finger to it, exactly, but there's a sub-sonic, bass rumble that he would swear wasn't there just a few seconds before… And it's been much too sustained to be a truck of some kind.

As long as she remains tense and continues her watch, the tremors continue in the radius as she looks around around her. Once she's convinced herself that it was nothing though, do the tremors stop. With a deep calming and relaxing breath, Claudine continues to make her way through the path once more, murmuring a few things under her breath. Mainly things like, "Calm down, it was just a squirrel, a really fat one…"

In another universe, an alternate one that is, Orion Granger might break out of the shadows to complain about being called a morbidly obese squirrel. Fortunately this Orion Granger is rather more professional than that. Well, fortunately for him and the Company.

Once Claudine gets under way again, Orion starts slinking along through the shadows in pursuit of her. His hand reaches slowly into his hoodie's pocket to slowly withdraw his silenced Company-issue pistol.

If she were Spider-Man, maybe her Spidey senses would activate and she'd start freaking out now, but alas, her power is only to manipulate earth, rocks, minerals and such things like that, so she's unaware of what might happen. as such, Claudine continues to jog at a slow and steady pace, finally starting to relax now as well..it seemed like she survived this jog through Central Park unscathed.

Ha! Take that roomie!!!!

Orion closes the distance between himself and Claudine for a moment or two before dropping to one knee. He draws his pistol and aims with both hands at the ground just ahead of her. The tall man is still hidden in the shadows as he fires once. Claudine might hear the strange sound of a silenced pistol firing from medium range at the same time as a bullet sends up a small tower of smoke and dust after it ricochets off of the paved pathway and lodges itself in something far off on the other side of the path.

HOLY CRAP! What in the world is going on?!?! A tower of smoke just suddenly appears in front of her and her eyes widen, pupils dilating as the adrenaline starts pumping heavily throughout her system. High on the 'fight or flight' response, she doesn't move as something else is happening. The ground it's starting to rumble and the tremors are definitely stronger than before. From above, it would be seen as ripples in the ground, but from Orion's vantage point, it's waves of earth starting to move away from her in a circle.

The waves are small at first, and they slowly get bigger with each passing moment, though Claudine, herself, remains blissfully unaware of what she's doing to the ground around her. She chews on her bottom lip and turns around, just trying to find the source as she covers her face, not wanting to inhale any of the smoke. Is this a terrorist attack? here? Now? Why did she have to run today.

Only in the loosest definition of the word is it a terrorist strike. Granger maintains his silence and shadowy presence, watching the earth rumble and ripple outward from Claudine's person for a short while. When he's satisfied that she is much too frightened and startled to move, he alters his aim slightly and fires again at the ground just behind her.

There's another strange, silenced pistol sound that fades into the sound of a bullet striking pavement and ricocheting off into the woods. Another small puff of smoke and dust rises from the ground while the park returns to the silence; a silence broken only by the soft, sub-sonic bass of Claudine's power rippling through the ground.

Not another one! Bullets flying from seemingly no where. Is there a sniper? And why would she be a target? All these things run through her mind, and she starts to hesitate. She's..too scared to move. Things are just too crazy and loud bass gets stronger and stronger.

Her eyes start to change color as she loses herself, almost falling into a trance like state as the earth in front of her just shoots up to form a protective wall. It's six feet in height and almost half a foot in thickness. It's a mixture of mud, shards of broken concrete, and whatever minerals are available in the gravel.

"That settles that," remarks Orion under his breath. He slides his pistol back into his hoodie's pocket and plucks up both of the shell casings. With that, he starts creeping back into the tree line to make his escape. He has a report to file on the incident, after all.

It's then that things start to calm down that Claudine finally regains her senses. Her eyes widen once more as she looks at the six foot wall of earth in front of her. "Woah.." she says, in an almost Keanu Reeves like fashion. She felt weird, and flashbacks to her first time manifesting.

Waittaminute..she did this didn't she. Uh oh?

It's then that she peeks from the wall, looking around to see if anyone was there, and once she's satisfied no one else (aside from the sniper of course) saw the incident, she runs off as fast as she can. Why were people always talking about rumbling trucks? Now it makes sense. She was the truck..

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