2007-08-07: DF: Wrong Move

Starring:

DFPortia_icon.gif Felix_icon.gif

Summary: Felix leaves a drop in Central Park. Portia finds something to investigate. Paranoia, invisibility, and pain ensue.

Dark Future Date: August 7th, 2009

Wrong Move


Central Park

Central Park. Once, once it was the jewel of the city, a place for lovers to walk hand in hand, for mothers to stroll with their little ones, for the aged to play chess in the sunshine. For rollerbladers and dog walkers. Now, it's a waste, a tangle like a witch's forest in a fairy tale. Which image is not lost on Felix, who is in his approximation of some random citizen's garb - faded t-shirt, old Army parka, jeans, sneakers. It's an odd hour for anyone to be out, with the full moon dappling the cracked asphalt paths. He moves with a weary slouch, like he's looking for some convenient place to hide and rest. One of these would seem to be a stone bridge that leads over one of the little streams in the park - he slips off the path and seemingly rummages around for a moment. But it's unsatisfactory, and he comes back up the other side, having picked his way across the stream on the stones underneath. Looking for trolls, maybe? Then it's north through the Ramble to the Turtle Pond, where the statue of King Jagiello bares two swords to the night sky. At the base of it, Felix pauses to run his hand over the stone pedestal…..and then, oddly, chalks a little symbol on it, low on one side. A V over a circle.

Invisibility is a good skill to have these days. Really, it allows Portia a great view of everyone doing things that most people don't want you to see. And really, Portia sees something odd. Creeping closer, the teenager gets as close as she dares. She might be invisible, but sounds or /running into her/ kind of give her away. She peers at the bridge, continuing to pick her way over as quietly as possible.

He's wary, watching behind him, with the alertness of someone who's clearly up to clandestine activity. Felix really doesn't think he's being followed, but this is the sort of spook's business that has you looking over your shoulder. But once he's left that mark on the statue, he seems more relaxed, turning for the edge of the park with the head-down shuffle of someone trying to get home before sleep claims him.

Being wary is a good thing. But sometime it's not quite good enough. Getting in close, Portia moves to investigate the mark.. as well as to see what exactly was done. Felix might entirely miss the whole thing unless he's being particularly watchful.

No, he doesn't. Though he's begun to circle back, carefully, as if in fear of being tailed. It's dark, out here - the old lights don't work, and he hasn't relied on anything brighter than moonlight. No flashlight, no lantern. It's red chalk, not easily seen, and not much larger than a dollar coin. Might be recognizable, if she liked movies before the war.

But Portia's a teenager. What teenager doesn't like movies? She peers at the sign, then quickly moves to look under the bridge. It /was/ odd he looked under there.

And t here, on one of the stones on the underside of the bridge support - the little symbol again. A loose stone, clearly, the mortar around it having crumbled.

Iiiiinteresting. Pulling at the stone, Portia's already been bitten by the curiousity bug. She's rather curious what he's hiding and for whom.
It rasps clear. There's a little slip of paper behind it. It reads, simply, "I told you the freight yards. WTF was P thinking? Call me." There's no signature, but a Greek letter. Phi.

Taking a mental note of the message, Portia pushes it all back into place before taking a few steps back. She glances around, quickly, searching to see if Felix is still around.

He's visible in the distance - the pond is part of a great open space in the center of the park, and even two years' neglect isn't enough to have it overgrown. Not moving at any particular speed.

Given that Portia's done investigating that, she needs to go investigate Felix himself. Quickly heading over that way, she's almost caught up when something happens. You see, the one problem about being invisible is that there are certain things that give you away. Such as your cellphone going off. Which it does. "Shit." She murmurs, quickly moving to silence it.

Oh, that's enough. Under that baggy parka was a shoulder rig, and Felix shows off reflexes that'd've done credit to a gunslinger. He's got a gun drawn, a compact little automatic,and is already darting for the cover of the more forested path. He's surprisingly fleet.

SHIT. GUN. Portia's not really had this ever happen before. No one's drawn a gun on her. Phone silenced, the young woman runs for the nearest cover. She's not sure what to do in this situation.

It's a weird confession of guilt. There's no sound but the wind in the trees. No running footsteps. He's vanished, apparently almost as neatly as she has. But he can't have gone far, not unless he's the sort of Evolved who can teleport. Or fly. Right?

SHIT. This is even worse. Portia is invisible, but she doesn't know where Felix is. If he was invisible, she should be able to see him. That's the scarier part. She doesn't know where he is. Trying hard to stay quiet, looking around seriously to try and find him.

Odd how circumstances change things. The open expanse that once hosted sunbathers and soccer games is now a perfect field of fire for someone hidden in the trees. Good thing he can't see her. But if she follows along the path he took, into the once manicured forest….there's little to betray him. No glint of metal, not from a blued gun. Just, once…..the heliograph flicker of an eyeglass lens in a stray coin of moonlight. There. He's got the parka off, held strangely wrapped around the hand that once held the gun. He's tucked himself behind the largest trunk in a little copse of trees just off the path, and is clearly lying in wait for his imagined pursuer.

Shitshitshit. Portia's cursing her luck. What'd Manny say to do? Duck? Well, that's what she's trying to do. Getting out of the giant field where she has no cover, she heads towards the path. She figures, out of everything, running would be bad. She would be heard. She doesn't know where he is, so she's just as much in range here as she would be anywhere else. If she can find him again, she can make an escape, but until she gets her sights on him, everywhere makes her a target. She heads along, quietly continuing, her gaze shifting around to try and take things in. The sky, the bushes.. he can't have gone /that/ far.

There it is again - the flash of moonlight on a glass lens. He should've worn contacts, clearly. It's tricky, with the wind sending clouds racing over the moon, and making the light cast dim and brighten again….as well as the rustle of the trees.

Damn. It's hard to find him. There's a shimmer, which causes Portia to quickly move along the path. If it's a flash, it could be a gun. But the sound might give her away. It would be a risk, but she's taking it. It might give her an idea where he is.

Apparently he's satisfied that there is no pursuit. He comes skulking back to the path, gun in hand, but the parka's still back on. There's the glint of the eyeglasses, as he looks hastily up and down the dark tunnel under the trees, head cocked like a dog's as he listens.

Footsteps. Running footsteps. Portia makes a dash for it, but now she's got a clear image of Felix and she can get out. She's curious, yeah, but he's got a gun. She's not sure she can handle a gun wielder, even if she /is/ invisible.

Oh, hell. He's not firing blind. Not until he has a clear idea of what or who the target is. But there are visions of HS goons dancing in his head, and he goes pounding along the path until he can find another break in the trees to duck into. This time, he doesn't freeze and wait, but continues on, trying to be as stealthy as he can. Got to get away.

Fuck. He's running. Where's he running to. This is not working. Portia has to distract him. Stopping in her tracks, she grabs a rock and hurls it.. not directly at him, though it might hit. It's mostly to make him think she's really close, distract him, and let her get away.

Bad call. Because it makes him stop, tensed, gun held in two hands. And then he advances, more slowly, towards the direction the rock apparently came from. He doesn't call, or announce himself, or make threats. If this a prankster, they're in for a very bad evening.

Oh. SHIT. Portia's mentally swearing a lot. Silently, she slowly takes a few steps back. Got to be quiet. He's got a gun. Just a few steps back.. she keeps moving, not glancing away. As long as she keeps him in her line of sight, she knows exactly where she can get away..

"Come out where I can see you," He's not shouting, but somehow it carries. "I know you're there," Since Homeland Security hasn't appeared, Felix apparently feels the ball is back in his court.

"No." Portia makes a judgement, figuring he'd be more likely to shoot if she stays silent, and she's /not/ about to become visible! She moves, ducking down low as she backs away, moving for the bushes.

GAME: Felix has rolled PERCEPTION+SEARCH and got a result of GREAT.

There's the bitter metallic click of him racking the slide to make sure he has a round chambered. "I'll shoot," Neither anger nor fear in his voice, just an oddly clinical calm, as he pursues, still trying to rely on sound. Sight is so untrustworthy, even under a full moon.

"You won't." Portia says. It's a risk, but she's not going to let him get her. She doesn't know that he won't haul her off somewhere. It's not two years ago. Two years ago, she wouldn't have worried about having a gun drawn on her. She moves, trying to get lower to the ground, slowly, slowly moving, trying to get out of range.

"Try me," Somehow the smile is audible. And unpleasant. He's begun to zigzag a little, like a hound casting for a scent. Keep her talking. "Listen, I don't mean you any harm, but you were following me. You're not ….not with the government. What did you want?"

He could shoot her as she's running away. But it's a lot more complicated if she's not running in the direction he thinks she is. Portia isn't about to give anything away. "None of your business!" She shouts. This time, she's making a break for it. But instead of running /away/, she runs towards him, to run right /past/ him and keep going. Hopefully since he can't see her it'll take him too long to realize which direction she's running in.

Really, it would work -beautifully-. He actually doesn't dare fire, lest the sound of gunshots bring what's left of the NYPD down on them. He can't see her. It's just that as she attempts to run past him, he sidesteps hastily. Right in her way, so she hits him full tilt. The gun goes skittering along the asphalt.

GAME: Portia has rolled STAMINA and got a result of MEDIOCRE.
GAME: Felix has rolled STAMINA and got a result of GOOD.
GAME: Portia has rolled WILLPOWER+PENALTY and got a result of POOR.

Running for her life, Portia doesn't notice Felix step in her way until it's too late. Not to mention the consequences of it. Her arm is twisted a little awkardly as she slams into Felix. The pain, too, is enough to distract her enough to lose the invisibility. And it's gonna take her a second to recover.

What the- ? He's a hair faster on his feet, though, even as she nearly knocks him down - he's already reaching out to grapple, assuming that was a deliberate attack, trying to bring her down.

GAME: Felix has rolled DEXTERITY+BRAWL and got a result of GREAT.
GAME: Portia has rolled DEXTERITY+BRAWL and got a result of HORRIBLE.

He's faster than she is. And Portia's a little freaked out. She's grabbed, struggles, but ultimately cannot break free, and in fact, wriggles into a position that's easier to be grabbed. "Let go of me!" Not to mention there's the fact that her wrist hurts a bit.

Nice to know the old hand to hand training has done some good. Even if he's more than a little disappointed that what he caught was a teenage kid. SHe's pinned, neatly, though, and he peers down at her, over the rims of his glasses. "Who the fuck are you?" he demands, shaking her a little. "Why were you following me?" Wonderful, Portia, you have been snagged by a paranoid nutjob.

Struggling against the grip, Portia's really jumpy now. "I'm just a kid. Leave me the fuck alone! I just wanted to know what you were doing." Struggling isn't helping the twisted wrist much.

Portia is treated to something that very few people have to witness in their lives. Which is someone else visibly deciding whether or not to kill them. But it's there, visible in the bluish-gray eyes behind the wire-rimmed glasses - how easy it might be to do this silently. How soon the body would turn up. All weighed in the balance over a few heartbeats, before something like human warmth seeps back into his gaze, and he blinks down at her. "Lady, what're you, retarded? You dense or something? In the middle of the fucking night? You think I am gonna believe that? Try again." He knocks her head ungently against the asphalt.

GAME: Portia has rolled STAMINA and got a result of GOOD.

The young woman's head smacks against the asphalt, but she's able to take the beating. Maybe her head is a little bruised and bloodied, but she's not out, and she's still kicking. Portia struggles harder. "Jesus! Leave me alone! I'm just trying to stay on top of what's going on in this city. And I prefer to go out at night. What, do you get your kicks beating up /little girls/ now?" Sure, she doesn't like to pull the age card, but in this case she wants to get away.

"Little girls have big ears. Little girls shouldn't be out at night, alone," But ultimately, if he's not prepared to kill her, and tonight he's not, there's nothing he can do. HE can't arrest her. He can't take her in. He can't hand her off to the Alliance. She doesn't know his name, gods willing, and she might not recognize him in daylight. But he can scare the hell out of her. One hand pats around him, flailing, until it encounters the pistol……and he has has it against her temple, a cold metal kiss. "Who do you work for?" he asks, and his voice has taken on that odd, remote calm.

It's hard to duck from a pistol held against her head. "I /don't/ work for /anyone/." She says, gaze flickering back at him. "Let me go and I'll forget you were here."

"What's your name?" he says, simply. The gun doesn't waver.

"Portia Maddox." She replies, not making a move. She doesn't risk it. Not with a gun to her head.

"And where do you live, Portia Maddox?" he persists.

Fuck. How does she want to answer that. Portia doesn't move. "Why does it matter where I lay my head at night? Let me /go/."

There's the miniscule click of him bringing back the hammer. "Wrong answer. Where do you live?" he demands, voice still patient, face quite blank.

Swallowing hard, Portia shuts her eyes. "With my step-father."

Another ungentle knock against the asphalt. "I didn't ask you with whom. I asked you where. I don't like the answers I'm being given. I'm quite prepared to start hurting you until I hear answers I like. Do you understand?"

GAME: Portia has rolled STAMINA and got a result of MEDIOCRE.

That one really hurt. There's definitely blood and dirt on the side of her face, and it actually takes Portia a moment before her head's clear enough to answer. "Y-Yeah." She murmurs, proceeding to recite off the address to the building where Ramon's penthouse is located.

"Listen to me, Portia Maddox. I'm a superstitious man. I believe in luck. I'm willing to believe that you are just a very unfortunate and overly curious teenage girl. I hope that's so. But if my luck turns funny - if I have any suspicion that you've mentioned this to anyone? You won't live long enough to regret it." It's all delivered in that perfectly conversational tone. But once he's done, he heaves himself up off and away from her, and holsters the gun in just a twitch of his coat. And then turns his back on her, as if she didn't exist.

It's a few moments before Portia even makes a move to push herself up. She instead lies there, waiting, letting him leave before she even makes a move. Resisting the urge to touch the side of her face to see how bad it looked from the asphalt, she manages to focus enough to turn invisible. Once on her feet, the young woman stumbles off into the darkness, her shield of invisibility up, just in case.

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