|Scene Title||I, Chimera: Recruiting Help|
|Synopsis||Vette and Scrivner have contacted bandmate Dee to give her an update on the Chimera drug. During their talk, they're interrupted by a randomly passing Cherub looking for easy prey. Scrivner was the Storyteller for this scene.|
The door from the alley opens into a small room or short hallway in this brownstone. At the far end is an antiquated lift that looks like a birdcage, complete with manual levers for operation. Dispite its age, the mechanism appears to be well cared for.
At the bottom, the lift opens into some sort of antechamber from one corner of the room. Before the open cage door is a plain, unornamented wall of what appears to be granite with a thick wooden door set inside it. Engraved above the door archway is "Special Immigration Office: East"
Access is only granted with the proper key. Once opened, the granite door swings inward as a computerized neutral voice intones, "Provisional Access Granted. Containment and Research are currently under lock down. Efforts to penetrate secure doors will be discouraged." Through the doorway, there's a large console in the middle of the chamber with a three dimensional display of the New York City atop it. The holographic display is a fairly complete representation of New York City and it's environs. Mostly there is a very simplistic representation of structures, although the map does have a few colored markers. Numbers and figures at times scroll past, apparently having meaning to someone. Computer workstations hug the walls, along with filing cabinets and desks. Several cots and assorted supplies are pushed into out of the way corners as well, with the idea of long stays. The room is some sort of think-tank, apparently. The only other unlocked door leads to a small kitchen and dining area, which are well-stocked.
It's been awhile since Rufus Scrivner's seen Dee, but not for any particular reason. He's just been busy with mortal things, because his job as a lawyer devours his soul. She's likely been busy with things too. Vette as well, for that matter. But late one night, Dee will have received a voicemail from Rufus, wherein he quietly said, with his English accent painting every word: "Miss Floros. At your earliest convenience, I would very much like to speak with you regarding a matter of some importance to me. Please come find me in our… ahh… lair. Bloody Hell, we really need to find some sort of proper name for this thing. …. ahem. Give me a call, if you please, as to when I may expect you."
So at the arranged hour and day, Rufus Scrivner sits upon one of the chairs in front of a desk, wearing a business suit and sipping a cup of tea.
"We could just call it our 'spot'," Vette says, sitting /on/ one of the desks and /not/ dressed in a suit and not sipping tea. She's in jeans, and a tank top, and a jean jacket. The tank top says NYU on it. "I think it's a bit less interesting than lair, if someone intercepts the message."
Dee, too, has been busy with a few things. Projects here and there that have needed her attention. Many of them involve activities that Rufus might not approve of, of course, but sometimes necessary. Depending on who you ask. She figures that since he knows what kinds of things she does, he remains more or less willfully ignorant so he doesn't have to get involved.
His message does interest her, of course. They're still a Band after all, even with things pulling them in different directions. She replied with what time she'd be there, and is exactly on time. She steps in, and as always spends a moment just taking in all the wonderful toys and enjoying that they're now Torchwood's toys. Mmmm… Toys. "We could just go with 'Hub', of course." she says, weighing in on the subject.
Indeed. Rufus has taken a policy of just not asking too many questions when it comes to Dee's work. "The hub…. Heh," he quietly chuckles. "That is vague enough to reveal little should it be overheard, and more to my liking than 'our lair.'" He sets down his cup when the lady arrives, and then he pulls himself up to his feet and walks over to stand beside where Vette sits perched on a desk. "Good evening, Miss Floros. You're looking well."
Vette nods in agreement. "Hub's cooler. How are you, Dee?" She smiles, though it's kind of a wan smile in a slightly paler face than usual, the way that her comment just now had been equally wan.
Dee smiles to the pair. "And a good evening to you both." she replies. "We could always just call it the 'club'. You know, 'We'll speak later, at the club', or 'When we were at the club the other night…'. Isn't that where the back-room deals are usually done, in business? At 'the club'?" She doesn't seem all that serious though, and nods "Hub's cooler'. I'm pretty good, thanks. How about you guys?" She spends a moment looking them over, then asks "Have I missed anything?"
Rufus has never been all that cheerful or boisterous to begin with, so as he stands next to Vette and slips a hand into the pocket of his suit jacket, he's looking typically reserved and calm. The only betrayal of worry is when he glances at the redhead at his side, watching her with a tighter mouth. "Actually, yes, there have been… incidents. Mistakes were made. We would very much appreciate your help in righting those wrongs."
"Someone's giving kids injections full of green goo that's turning them into monsters and unleashing them. So what do Scions do when a Monster attacks?" She shakes her head. "We have some information for you to go on and thought maybe you'd have the ability to make more out of it than we do."
Dee's eyebrow raises some. "Mistakes were made? You know, I love that expression. Sure, it means something awful's happened, but it's just such a great phrase." She seems to be in a pretty good mood, really. Until Vette comments on what's going on. "Ugh. Sure. Anything I can do to help, of course." she replies.
Rufus very drily smirks at Dee, faintly amused by her appreciation. He turns away from the ladies briefly to reach across the desk, taking up a hyperdermic needle full of a glowing, green goo. "It began at Coney Island," he explains. "We were accosted on the boardwalk by four individuals. Two looked like snakes, two looked like ravens. Both had humanoid features, however, and were as tall as Vette and me. They were sentient, but they were hostile. I confronted them. They attacked, and we retaliated. I killed one outright, then sliced off the hand of another. Vette pinned the handless one into the earth, and the two raven mutants flew away. It was then, after a short time, that they melted back into their human faces. They were teenage punks."
Vette takes up the narrative where Rufus leaves it off, saying, "Last night we happened to spot one in human formthe girl with the missing hand. We chased her down, and she dove for that very syringe. We stopped her, and Rufus got some information out of her. The drug is called 'Chimera,' and it's being handed out by a man named Louie, in the Bronx." Her jaw tightens and she adds, "He's probably clarivoyant or telepathic…he just 'knew' where to meet the kidsand probably able to travel as fast as one of us, or fly. When we let the girl go on her own way, heor someone working with himshot her in the head. Nothing was left but the murder weapon when we got up there, and there was only about a 30 second delay. Even the casing was gone."
Dee frowns. "Snakes… How long ago was this?" she asks then. "There was a murder not that long ago, and a few of us looking into it determined the attacker was something snake-like." She purses her lips as she has a look at the syringe. "Hm. There is a Band of Scions out there, working for the Titans. It might be their doing. Let me see what I can learn about this stuff, with the equipment here."
"The Coney Island incident was nine days ago," Rufus answers, stepping forward to offer up the vial of goo to Dee if she wants to look at it. He, personally, cannot make anything of it. "I don't know if these punks are at all related to the murder that you mentioned, but I won't discount the possibility. During her interrogation, the girl acted as if we should know what Chimera is. Either she was full of self-importance, or there may be some underground information that she assumed we would have. Either way, we did indeed think this was right up your alley, given your talents for sneaking into unsavoury places both in reality and on the Internet."
"Do you mean the stripper murders, Dee, or different murders?" Vette asks. No need to assume that everybody's dealing with the same set of murders here. "I still can't figure out what's behind the time-stop vision thing."
Dee replies "It was a model. Might be connected, though." She says then "Did I mention I've studied a little chemistry, too?" She heads over to the more medical side of the hub, trusting them to follow. "I'm sure this is way outside anything I've learned, but at least I can have a look and then hand it off to Simone. Then, I'll find what I can online about it."
Following behind the lady, Rufus meanders over to the med lab in the hub and rests the vial down on one of the desks in easy reach. "There was a case that Vette and I personally experienced involving a stripper. That was… ahhh… eleven days ago. We were walking down the street when we were both assaulted by a vision of an … ahh… exotic dancer being covered in sheets of blood. There was a disembodied voice speaking a verse from the Bible. Later that night she was brutally murdered. When we came upon the scene, I found several golden feathers there that I took with me. Judging by the splatter pattern of her body, something inside of her came out very violently and cut her apart into five pieces as it did."
"I think Kaylee mentioned it was the second one of its type," Vette adds, thoughtfully. "But I could be mistaken about that. My memory of the night is a little blurry." Probably because she was trying very hard not to vomit up everything she'd ever eaten.
Dee looks towards Rufus as he describes the scene. "Ew. No, this woman's eyes and tongue were carefully removed, so we figured it was for a ritual of some sort. Doesn't mean they aren't related, of course. Hm. There had to have been an angel there then, right? Because of the feathers?" Meanwhile, she set about getting a sample of the goo onto a slide.
The man looks around for a moment, walking across the hub to pull out a plastic bag from one of the desk drawers. Inside are three golden, shiny feathers. "I would say they are angelic in nature, oh yes," Rufus says, holding them out for Dee to take a look at, if she'd like. "Now that I've seen these angelic beings for myself. Quite a vicious brood… Not at all like the stories of them, but then again… The Angel who struck down all of the firstborns in Egypt could scarcely be considered a likeable chap. The God of the Old Testament is a vengeful and jealous being, sometimes seemingly /petty/ in his interactions with the Jews."
"That's probably because the Old Testament wasn't written until long after the Babylonian captivity; it was written in part to help maintain the Jews as a people instead of watching them become culturally absorbed. It accounts for lots of historical oddities, such as the fact that no other culture recorded King Soloman, not even the Phonecians who he traded with." Vette has started blurting out random bits of trivia like this lately—she seems to have a near voracious appetite for reading since starting college. "That said, we all know very well that most gods are fully capable of a range of human emotions, pettiness included."
Dee mmms as she looks at the feathers. "I don't think any of us know what they really are, though. I mean, what god they really represent. I suppose they could represent the Judeo-Christian god, but maybe they're just using him to be more accepted by the masses? I know they're trying to kill off the newly-visited Scions, before they are able to defend themselves well enough."
Rufus gives Dee a few more moments to study the feathers, then he carefully puts them back into the desk drawer, closing them safely away. "I heard a theory that the Judeo-Christian god is nothing more than a Titan," he says. "One who has his horde of angels at his command, trying to eliminate the competition, which would neatly explain why the angels are targetting the newly-awakened." He falls quiet for a moment or two, looking off into space for a moment or two. "Hm."
"I think he's just as capable of being a maurauding asshole of a former Scion that has gotten too big for his god-britches," Vette says with a snort. "It's not like we haven't fought some dirty scions before to boot. Whatever they are, they're disgusting."
Dee hms. "Don't know. Personally, I'm hoping he's just staying out of it, like he's stayed out of everything for ages."
"I hate to say that you'll be hoping in vain," Rufus grimly says. "He's already decided to get involved, it would seem." He straightens and then pulls off the case holding his sword and his suit jacket, draping the latter across the back of a chair. As he smoothes down his tie and his waistcoat, he then asks, "Well, what else have you been up to of late, Miss Floros?"
Vette settles down to listen to Dee's answer to Rufus' question,though she's almost amused by it, considering that Rufus probably just really doesn't want to know the bulk of what Dee is usually up to.
"Mostly, I've just been studying." Dee replies. Hey, for her, breaking into places is study. "You know. My trade. Security." She's pretty sure Rufus doesn't want more specifics. "I know you don't like what I do, but they can be necessary skills in the grand scheme of things."
She's right. He probably doesn't want more details. Rufus holds up his hands somewhat defensively, allowing a smirk to touch his lips. "For the sake of the greater good, Miss Floros, I shall say nothing. Just know that if you do run into some trouble and I can help, you have only to ask."
"What you do /is/ useful," Vette agrees. She's got absolutely no arguments there. She also figures it's just in her blood and trying to make her go against /that/ is as futile as it is wrong.
Dee smiles to Rufus. "Thank you." Of course, the sort of trouble she's likely to run into in the near future wouldn't be helped at all by a good lawyer. More by a good mortician. "Anyway, let me see what I can come up with about Chimera, and then we'll go from there? I have some errands I need to run soon, but I hope to be back and forth some, to help."
"Of course," Rufus says. He dusts off his hands, and he's about to open his mouth and say something more when the computer monitors start going insane.
A flash of red on the holographic display shows something odd going on. Right outside the hub's front door. It's a small speck, to be sure, but it's /so close./
"Uh, I don't like the look of that," Vette says, drawing her gun. Really, one of these days she's going to have to tinker with that thing to turn it into more than a gun, but for now?
Dee looks over as well, and frowns. "That's not good, no." She moves to see what security cameras can show them."
In silence, Rufus quietly draws his sword free of the sheath, muttering to himself a few unpleasant profanities.
The security cameras show chaos on the streets. Mortals gather around in a wide circle in Harlem, staring in wide-eyed wonder at a single globe of light that has to be about two yards in diameter. Tendrils float away from it, making it resemble a spectral jellyfish at times. Brilliant and pretty in its own way, but deadly. It passes over a single place, back and forth, looking as if it's searching for something.
"Talk about a fish out of water," Vette murmurs softly. "We'd better get out there before one of those mortals gets hurt." She's never actually seen an angel, so she's not drawing the connection between the glowey sky fish and one of those things, but she can tell it isn't good news.
Dee says "We'd best get out there from somewhere other than the front door. That might be what it's looking for."
"Do we /have/ a means of entry other than the front door?" Rufus inquires, arching his eyebrows in some surprise. "I've only ever known about the lift."
"Lead the way," Vette says. "I never noticed one, but—" She gives a sheepish grin. When does she notice /anything/? So that doesn't mean anything at all.
Dee chuckles. "Of course there is. No one wants to be trapped." She taps some keys, and another door opens. "It's a little convoluted, and stinky because we'll have to go through the sewer, but it gets us out."
"Ah… ha," Rufus says, turning to look at that door. "Well, how convenient." He sweeps up his sword and rests the flat of the blade against his shoulder. "Lead the way then, Miss Floros." As he walks towards that door, his skin takes on a shiny, metallic sheen, as if he had suddenly dipped himself in pewter. They're going into combat. He'll have to be ready.
Vette just keeps her gun out and ready, creeping after Dee. She says, "That would explain why we blocked it out of our conscious memory," she says, with a hint of an amused smirk. "This must be the part where someone says 'God, I love my work.'"
For herself, Dee raises herself off the ground a bit. Sewer. Ick. Sure, they won't have to wade through anything, but still. Sewer. She laughs then, nodding to Vette. "C'mon." she leads the way out.
Following close at the lady's heels, trotting along the concrete ground because he's not /that/ prissy about his clothes - water and yuck can be dry cleaned out. "Let me go up first," he says quietly, when they reach the end of the line, where a ladder leads up to a manhole cover in the street. He slips his sword between his teeth, climbs up, and he easily pushes the heavy disc out of the way and gets up into the open air.
Beyond, the globe of light, the Cherub, is about forty yards away. It doesn't appear to have killed any of the mortals yet. They're beneath its notice. It is, however, touching its tendrils along the brick facades of buildings near to the entrance of the hub.
Vette takes a position, very quietly, and pauses to take aim at the creature before doing anything else. Aim, she's found, is always a smart idea when it comes to her and her guns.
Dee studies the thing carefully as she reaches into her satchel for one of the throwing knives made by Vette. She seems fine with taking her cues from the other two.
The little globe is apparently aware of the Scions as soon as they surface. It swivels about, tendrils flailing. Prepare for Hell about to break loose. Wheeeee!
Seeing as the globe's already spotted them, there's no point to hiding. Dee immediately goes upwards, her winged boots taking her into the sky where she'll be more maneuverable. The knife in her hand is used as soon as she has a clear shot at the angel.
Vette has disconnected.
There'll be no chance for subtleties here. Rufus is not exactly sure /what/ in the Hell that thing is, but he is quite aware of how he does not like it. The Englishman darts forward, roaring at the top of his lungs as Dee hurtles her throwing knife into the creature's brilliant light. He too leaps up into the air, soaring at the creature as he swings his sword hard in a diagonal slash across its body.
The thrown knife strikes true, which serves to cause the being of light to flicker brighter. Streaks of jagged red lightning crackle across its body, evidence of its FURY that someone has just smacked it. Rufus' strike cuts through it as well, and as it whips forward, crackling with even more red lightning, it strikes out hard and fast in retaliation….
The poor little redheaded lady hasn't even got a chance to fire off a shot as one of those tendrils wraps around her throat, lifts her and /throws/ her through the window of a building. It must have done something else to her, because normally a Scion of her fortitude might be able to shrug that off and come back snarling. But Vette doesn't.
Poor Vette. Dee frowns, having hoped to hold its attention. She flies closer as the draws another knife. Sure, they aren't likely to do any real damage to it, but hopefully she'll be annoying enough that it will aim at her rather than Rufus.
"Yvette!" Rufus roars, watching the woman get /thrown/ across the street. She's been hurt, and for a second, the man's heart leaps up into his throat to choke him. Vette! When he turns on the cherub, he snarls hatefully and comes soaring back for another strike at it, hardly caring now what happens to him or how much it hurts. This thing is going to go down. And hard.
There really isn't much that Dee can do, other than keep at the thing and hopefully distract it enough for Rufus to stay in close and attack with his blade. Fortunately, she's at least good at the hitting. Even if she isn't so good at the damage.
Oh, now it's getting annoyed. Really annoyed. But it's not stupid either. Right now, it apparently figures it should take down the "lesser" Scions, combatatively-speaking. Wipe out as many of the enemy as possible before dying! So it thinks Dee is going to be as easy to take out as the unfortunate Vette. It whips past Rufus, shimmering out of the way of his strike, only to lash out at Dee with a sudden, brilliant beam of laser light, intending to fry her pretty face into a charred, crispy mess.
The Angel is not the only one who is getting freaking annoyed here. Though annoyed would be an understatement of the year. Seeing that the creature is now targetting the lady instead of going after /him/ like anything with a shred of honour should do, Rufus screams out in wordless fury and charges again, blade held high and at the ready, prepared to tear into this glowing SOB of light with the stabbing and the slashing. He's not looking so calm and reserved now. He's looking pretty much like a Norse berserker.
That's exactly what Dee was hoping for. She grins as she draws its fire, and while the shot is an excellent one she moves gracefully out of its way. It's what she does, and she does it while sticking her tongue out at it. "Better try harder!" Meanwhile, her last knife is out and thrown at the thing in the hopes of keeping its attention.
Oh, it'll try harder all right. The cherub of light sweeps around, taking that smack with the knife, but it glides right past it, leaving only a faint crackling of bluish-purple lightning in its wake. The light is not dimmed at all. A spot brightens on its surface, and then it spews forth another laser beam of burninating hurty.
No, the angel is having no luck hitting the agile thief. "That's the best you can do? Wow. That's really sad. If you can't even hit me, how do you expect to kill the real fighters?" She has no knives left, but she does still have the steel ballbearings she keeps around. They won't do any damage to it, but the point is to keep it focused on her.
Dee isn't even really trying hard to hit the angel with the little balls. Instead, it will hopefully keep it busy enough for her to sweep downwards and grab up one of her thrown knives.
There's some part of Rufus that does NOT enjoy the thought of Dee being the chosen target of the Cherub, and the fact that she has yet to be touched is all that keeps the man from going completely bugfuck crazy in rage. "You son of a bitch!" he roars. He sweeps through the air himself, drawing back his arm and swinging his sword about in a heavy, brutal strike, aiming to cleave the cherub in half.
At long last, Rufus' blade sinks in through it, and it cannot fully evade, though it manages to get away enough to avoid being sliced up like so much jellyfish sushi. The cherub does not actually screech in pain, nor does it bellow in rage, but the brilliant golden-white light flares brighter, and red lightning is crackling more and more across the surface of its body. Still insistant on trying to take down the woman, the Scion it perceives as weaker, it whips out another laser beam for her, cutting a wide swathe across the sky.
Whoah! That was a little closer than she's like. Dee had to turn a bit to grab her knife, and it nearly cost her. Enough so that she's a little lost for a good verbal barb for the moment. Instead, she turns to wing her regained knife at the thing.
That /was/ too close. Rufus bellows in warning and in fury as that laser beam comes oh so close to torching Dee. She looks far too small and squishy to take much damage, and that drives him freaking crazy. As he yells a whole slew of profanities that'd rival any sailor's, he comes soaring up at the creature with his blade brandished, aiming to stab it right in its metaphorical face.
Angel Thing is having none of Rufus' noise. It slides neatly off and higher up into the air, meaning his blade only crackles against its body of light, hitting but at the wrong angle to do any true damage. Another burst of brilliant laser light goes pounding after Dee.
Oh, yeah. By the way, Dee's knife got it. Thunk. Right between its metaphorical eyes. Which really annoys it too. Grrrr. Burn burn burn.
Dee definitely is too small and squishy. Getting hit would be a bad thing. Fortunately, getting hit isn't easy as this angel has learned to its growing frustration. Again short on decent weapons, she breezes quickly towards the next closest of the ones she's already thrown. This time, she's a little more mindful of the attack coming at her. It's evaded easily. "You silly little angel, you. Are you sure you're trying to hit me?"
Rufus Scrivner has had just about enough of this mother-effing cherub on his mother-effing street. His anxiety for Vette is a gnawing, black little monster inside of his chest, lending desperation to his attacks as he follows after the creature of light, swinging and slashing.
This time, the Cherub cannot dodge, cannot do anything to get out of the way in time to avoid Rufus Scrivner's mad, nearly suicidal attack. The Scion is all over it, snarling and slashing, cutting it apart into ribbons as the Englishman all but passes /through/ it.
So it does what any angelic being does when it's been destroyed.
The creature suddenly flares with light and it EXPLODES.
Dee does know what happens when these things die. It just isn't healthy for anyone nearby. She's watching as Rufus attacks again, and sees that he's got its number. "Rufus!" she shouts at him. If he's that close when it blows up? He's toasty. "Get out of there!" At least he has body armor. She doesn't, so she doesn't risk getting closer and likely getting deaded.
The light is searing, bright and painful. The noise is deafening, crashing like thunder throughout the street. When it fades, Rufus Scrivner lies prone on the ground, completely unconscious. Only his gleaming body armour protected him from death, but he is not in good shape at all. The silvery pewter coating has faded by now, and his suit is little more than a charred, ragged mess on his smouldering body.
Once the dust has cleared, Dee hurries over to check on Rufus. Ouch. Looks painful. He's alive, though. Then, she hurries to make sure that Vette's more or less alright. That she'll live, at least. Her phone's taken out quickly, and Simone paged. She's the doctor, after all.
Scrivner was the Storyteller for this scene.