I, Chimera: The Plot Thickens


vette_icon.jpg scrivner_icon.jpg

Scene Title I Chimera: The Plot Thickens
Synopsis Vette and Scrivner come face to face with one of the punks from Coney Island, and the answers she gives only raise more questions. Shou was the storyteller for this scene.

Somewhere around Broadway

Lots of people and traffic and lights, like most of New York.

Now and then it's good to just get away, have a lovely dinner and take in a show. For this evening, that's meant going to an upscale bistro, gorging on a decadent dinner and some desserts, then giving Vette the surprise of two tickets to see the Phantom of the Opera playing on Broadway. It's around midnight when the couple stroll out onto the street, him dressed in a dark navy, three-piece suit, his elbow offered to her in escort. With one hand tucked into his pocket and a grin on his face, he muses, "You know, I just have to say…. The Phantom has to be the /angstiest/ bastard that ever graced the stage."

Vette /laughs/, in a simple black dress and heels. "Well—yes, but it was still a good show. Besides, we get to laugh about how you'd handle it differently." She adopts a British accent. "Christina, I have this half scarred up face because unlike this boy of yours, /I/ am not a ginormous /pussy/."

Laughing quietly at that one, Rufus sweeps his arm about the lady and lifts her easily, swinging her about in a circle on the sidewalk as if he were dancing with her. "Quite," he states in ready agreement. "Mine is a face with character. Now come away with me to my underground dungeon, and we will make beautiful music together." He leans in with a smirk, waggling his eyebrows up and down. "Still, the music was enjoyable. The chandelier falling from the ceiling was a nice touch."

Vette laughs as he swings her around, then kisses his forehead. "I thought it was too," she agrees. "All and all it was an excellent evening. You're so sweet about taking me on dates." She kisses his cheek too, grinning at him and his waggling eyebrows.

THUD. A young girl, maybe seventeen, has just smacked right into Vette and Rufus. She's dressed like a punker, and doesn't smell too hot. She has heavy bags under her eyes and is rather pale and blood-shot. "Hey, watch it, loveb-" Her pale face grows whiter when she sees Scrivner's face. After a brief moment, she shoves Rufus and takes off running. While only Vette recognizes the girl, it's easy to spot the one thing that might single her out: she's missing a hand.

He takes her hand and lifts it to his lips for a kiss, but the girl bumping into them both brings those plans to a screeching halt. Looking over his shoulder, eyes narrowing in annoyance, Rufus is about to open his mouth and snap when the punk's reaction forestalls that as well. What? He quickly looks her over as she runs, and upon spotting the hand, he too grows a shade paler. "… oh, bloody Hell." He looks quickly at Vette, "Is that… who I think it might have been? One of the teenagers from Coney Island?"

"Yeah, that /was/ her," Vette says. She's going to try to give chase, using her ichor enhanced speed as she charges. She figures Ru will either do the same or take to the air. She kicks off the annoying heels.

The girl is fast; and despite her ichor-enhanced speed, Yvette will find that she's going to have a hard time catching up with the girl through the crowded streets of New York. Still, she keeps up, and can still see the girl's punker-hair-do over the crowd.

He's right beside her. Rufus has his own knacks to rely upon when it comes to speed, and he's not all that shy about using elbows to nudge his way through the crowds of New York. The chase, she is on. While he /could/ take to the air, he doesn't particularly fancy having a sizeable portion of New York see him do it, not unless it becomes life or death.

Vette keeps charging after the girl, seeing no other choice but to continue running after her, difficult or not. She, too, has no qualms about nudging people the heck out of her way right now. Not with this at stake.

Yvette, being the faster of the two, reaches the girl first, just as the girl turns and sprints into an alley. Rufus comes up fast behind Yvette. Even though the place is dark, they can both see the girl stumble over a few bags of trash, and pull out something large and needle-esque, the inside of which is growing an eerie, putrid green.

"Wait—don't do that," Vette calls, holding out her hand as she tries to grab the girl's wrist. She tries to put something soothing into her tone that might make the girl stop and pause rather than jabbing herself with what she can only surmise is snake girl juice.

He has no idea what is in that needle, but he's fairly sure he doesn't want her to inject herself with it. Just a hunch. "No!" Rufus calls out. "Wait! Please!" Once he reaches the mouth of the alley he slows his steps a little, thinking it likely better to let Vette come closer.

It's not hard for Yvette to take the girl's hand, and the girl drops the needle when her wrist is grabbed. "LET ME /GO/, BITCH!" She tries to kick out at Yvette's legs, but the scion is much too limber for that.

Vette looks down at the girl and says, quietly, "There's no need for this, young lady. Calm down." She looks back at Rufus, rather helplessly. /He's/ the persuasive talking one, not her.

Trotting forward, Rufus fixes his eyes on that needle, intent on snatching it up from the ground the second he's close enough to do so. "We're not going to hurt you," he states, looking the punk kid over, taking in as many details about her as he can. "We're not your enemy. But when you came at us, transformed as you were, we thought you were monsters."

"You fuc- fucking cut my hand off!" The girl tells Rufus, wrenching away from Yvette and scrambling back, away from the two Scions. "Just… just leave me /alone/."

Vette keeps a firm grip on her wrist, though, not letting her go. She's going to let Rufus continue to do the talking, but she lifts an eyebrow at the girl, as if reminding her that she /did/ rather choose to inject herself with green goo and turn herself into Snakegirl.

"Not yet," Scrivner states, taking a step closer to the girl, mouth pressed into a tight line. He holds up the slim tube of icky injection. "You and your friends decided to stroll down the board walk, appearing as hideous monsters, frightening people, overturning carts. Had I known what you truly were, I wouldn't have been so severe. But you should know that if there are any others out there with this sort of …. chemical, then they are in danger. Where did you get this? What is this?"

"You /cut my hand off! And you KILLED Jacob! We were just having some fun, scaring some people! You /killed my boyfriend/!" The girl is in hysterical tears, now, scrambling back further away into the corner of the alleyway.

"Fun? That was your idea of fun?" Vette asks in a low, quiet voice. "You have no idea what you are doing. We're not the only people that would mistake you, under those circumstances, for something dangerous. And here you are ready to shoot up again. /Where did you get that stuff?/"

For every step she retreats, he takes a step forward, relentless now. "Your boyfriend was trying very hard to /kill me./ And I did not strike until /you/ struck first. Self-defence, girl. Now answer my questions." Rufus' eyes narrow to narrow slits, cold and icy blue. He wills her to speak her thoughts, wills it with all his might. "Where did you get this? What is this?"

"YOU DIDN'T HAVE TO KILL HIM!" The girl says, screaming it out, holding her stumped hand tight to her chest as she cowers back further against the corner of the alleyway. "It's Chimera. I got it from Louie, like everyone else."

"Oh, of course," Vette murmurs. Why didn't she think of that? Her mouth tightens at the girl's screams, and she glances back at Rufus.

"Had I known you were something human instead of a mutant snake fresh from the sewers or some sort of alien, I would not have," Rufus states. "Cold comfort, I'm certain, but let me assure you, girl, that you are in /very real danger/ if you continue to use this." He hasn't yet relented in willing the girl to speak her thoughts, especially when he asks, "What is Chimera? Who is Louie and where can I find him?"

"… just being around you is pretty real danger, seems to me," the girl says, lifting up the stump where her hand used to be. He did cut off her hand and kill her boyfriend, after all. "S'a drug. What are you, a retard? Louie's the dealer down in th'Bronx."

As the information is still flowing, Vette doesn't put any further pressure on the girl. She just stands there, blocking the way and keeping her expression stern and cold, no matter what she might really be feeling.

Rufus can only assume she doesn't know much more than that, but this Louie chap might well be able to point him towards a supplier when he comes calling… And come calling he shall. The man's eyes narrow, and he lets the insult just slide off of him like water off a duck's back, pressing and relentless as he asks, "Where in the Bronx? How do you contact him when you want more?"

"H- he just /knows/, man. I show up an- and he's there. Don't matter where I go in the Bronx, he finds me." The girl is crying now; tears are streaming, and the stub that was once a hand is brought up to wipe tears away with… and she remembers that she has no hand, which only prompts the crying to be worse and louder.

Him coming to her complicates things, and Vette isn't sure how to get around that complication just yet. Her face freezes into an even more expressionless mask—she's feeling a bit sick from it all.

That /is/ a complication indeed. Rufus glances over at Vette for a second or two, then back at the girl. His jaw tightens, and some of the frost in his gaze relents. Tears. Nnnnnnngh. He lets a few seconds pass in quiet, and after awhile, he says, "This is Louie's fault then. /He/ is responsible for the danger you are in. He set you up for some unknown purpose. He is using you for an experiment, it sounds like, and he does not care at all that there are people who will try to kill you. He has committed a crime against you, girl."

"Just leave me alone." The girl glares bale-knives at the scions. "You killed my boyfriend, you took my hand. Isn't that ENOUGH?"

"She has some personal responsibility in this too," Vette says, stepping back a bit. "Whether or not she wishes to admit it, she does." She folds her arms and waits to see if Rufus has anything more to say to her.

"She has been punished enough for it," Rufus says in answer to Vette, glancing aside at her. Then he looks back at the girl, and after a moment, he nods. "I won't ask anything more of you, but I will warn you. If you value your life, stay away from this." He holds up the chemical again. "And stay away from Louie." Then he steps back, to let the girl run past him if she wants.

She darts the second Scrivner moves out of her way, pushing off the floor and heading for the mouth of the alley. She doesn't make it, though. Not before a bullet finds its way through her head. Right through it. Blood splatters backwards, and she flips back, slumping on the pavement, eyes staring up at the scions, open and cold.

"Son of a—" Vette rarely curses, but this seems to warrant it. She sort of freezes for a second, not sure what to do, how to find the shooter, what the next step is, feeling a sudden overload as the situation changes in just that much of a blink of the eye. One minute she's trying to give the kid words that might force her to take a look at her life rather than perpetually blaming the people she ended up on a collision course with because of, and the next minute, the child is dead. Anger rises up in her, deep and hot, but it doesn't tell her how to react.

Rufus' eyes whip up and around, taking in the scene in less time than it takes for his heart to beat. He steps to one side, close to Vette, and without warning he slips his arm around her waist. "Hold tight," he states, before he darts forward a single step and launches himself up into the air. The wind whips through his short hair and his suit jacket as he goes flying, soaring up and over the street towards the opposite rooftop. This is now a life and death situation; he'll risk being spotted. And as he flies, his skin takes on a metallic sheen, the ichor in his blood welling up to give him a coating like pewter.

It takes a glance around, but in the end, all they can spot on the roof is the murder weapon. It's not even that sophisticated a weapon. Just a glock, 9mm, with the chamber empty, which probably means the murderer was comfortable enough with his aim to only think they'd need one bullet. The bullet casing, however, is gone.

Vette scowls down at the murder weapon. "It had to have been someone he could fly or move as fast as we did. There wasn't that much time between her getting shot and us getting up here."

Landing lightly on the rooftop, Rufus sets down the lady and reaches up to his shoulder, pulling around the long, nylon case he carries with him /everywhere./ Even to the damned theatre. He's looking around as he jerks it open, withdrawing his sword. "I gathered we were dealing with something like us when the girl said he just knew when to meet her," he quietly states. He doesn't touch the murder weapon, but he steps over it as he strides forward to have a look around the rooftop, searching for a doorway and also for any sign of someone else in flight.

"Well, that too," Vette allows, letting Rufus do his thing. She keeps watch for signs of more people trying to shoot them, which for her is a feat of total willpower and not natural talent in the least. She's getting a bit edgier lately. She says, "I knew she'd been punished enough. I was justtrying tomake her look at her life, I guess. So long as she was blaming us—well, it doesn't even matter now. This guy Louie, and whoever's behind him? I think I want to smush his head."

"You and me both, my dear," Rufus murmurs. He makes an investigation of the rooftop. He studies the skies and looks all about, finds no doorway and no visible means of getting down that'd make life easy. Nothing. Whoever shot the girl is gone. Exhaling roughly, he resheathes his sword, and his skin fades back to normal. "Come now, let's go home. The police are bound to show up very soon. Someone will have heard the shot, and someone will soon find that girl's body." He holds out his hand for the lady to take.

Vette takes it, looking down before stepping into the circle of his arms for flight. She's silent for a moment and says, "None of it ever made me mad before, Ru'. Not the titanspawn or any of it. I could get into a brawl with magic bear things on Ellis Island on Monday and be happily back in class on Tuesday. This one…this one's different."

He bends his knees and sweeps his arms around her waist and beneath her knees, scooping her up and cradling her against his chest. "This one has exploited …. mortals… who were troubled to begin with," Rufus grimly says, looking off across the rooftop, calculating the quickest way to get to the parking garage where he left his car. Once he's got his path set in mind, he takes off running and easily leaps across the distance to another rooftop, using flight and leaps to make his way back down to the ground like some insane Parkour runner.

Vette is used to traveling Air Scrivner by now, and settles in for the ride. "Yeah," she says quietly. "Maybe we should talk to Dee. Bring her in. She might have the street smarts to find this guy. That's—sort of her world, isn't it?"

"I agree," Rufus says, once he's reached the ground in another dark alley. New York is just full of them. He bends slightly, about to set the lady down upon her feet, but then he remembers she's bare foot. So he continues to carry her as he walks, not at all troubled by her weight. "You and Simone should analyse the chemical in the vial. Or perhaps you, Dee and Simone."

"Definately more Simone's speed. I'm a physicist, not a biochemist, though I could do it in a pinch I suppose, after a little bit of light reading." Yes, unlocking the keys to her fundamental intelligence has turned biochemistry textbooks into 'light reading'.

"There is likely more than enough sample for you both to work on the problem at your own paces," Rufus muses, walking briskly, taking a turn around a corner and keeping a wary eye open for problems of any sort. "Dee may be able to find some information about the chemical on the Internet. The girl called it Chimera. It may be enough for her to get something. Hrm. I should swing by the lair to store this chemical. It's more secure than my flat. If our perpetrator has some touch of clairvoyance, he may try to take care of us before we can take care of him."

"I think that's a good idea. We're surely on his radar." Vette murmurs. "He's seen us. He had to have. Or someone working for him has. Chimera. The ancient legendary beast with no fixed form. Fitting for something that apparently changes people in the short term at the cellular level."

"I thought the chimera was a three-headed creature… The head of a goat, a lion and a serpent," Rufus murmurs, scowling. "He has to be manufacturing it somewhere. And if he's been passing these things out like sweets, someone else is bound to have noticed transfigured … things running about. We should also consider asking Dee to check into any reports to animal control or the police, if she can reach their databases."

"Yeah," Vette agrees. "Though that begs the question of how widely he's distributing it. I guess widely enough that the kids expect us to know what it is with some sort of 'duh' reaction."

Finally he reaches the parking garage, and Rufus trots inside and up several flights of stairs, coming out onto the fourth level and along the rows upon rows of cars. "Widely enough that Dee may have a hope in Hell of finding something," he mutters in agreement. Soon he finds his own Escort, and he sets down the lady on her feet before digging into his trouser pocket for the keys. He unlocks and opens her door for her, holding it and watching her from over the top. "Do you have anywhere to be tomorrow evening?"

She steps into the car and looks up at him. "No," she says. "It's midterm week and I had one today. Next one is two days from now. So I've got time to devote to this all day and all night too." She buckles up, looking back up at him in turn, studying his face.

Scrivvie's looking rather grim, and he nods to the lady before he closes her door for her. Walking briskly around the car, he pauses for a moment to glance into the backseat and, feeling rather paranoid, he sinks briefly into a crouch and checks the underbody. Nothing unusual. So he opens up his door and gets inside, slipping his key into the ignition and starting the engine. "I've only a few appointments myself," he says, as he glances over his shoulder and into his mirrors, pulling out of the space. "Once I've finished, shall I meet you down in the lair?"

"I'll be there," she promises, laying a hand on his arm. "I'll be there." She squeezes briefly and lets her hand fall back into her lap, feeling a bit grim and broody herself as she watches him start the car and start driving.

Shou was the Storyteller for this scene.

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