2010-04-29: Beautiful Day for a Walk in the Park


Theo_icon.jpg Travis_icon.jpg Chloe_icon.jpg Felix_icon.jpg

Summary: The Friends of Humanity have a less than usually successful rally.

Date: April 29, 2010

Beautiful Day for a Walk in the Park

Rating: PG-13

NYC - Central Park

Central Park is a large public park in upper Manhattan, largest areas of green with people reading, having a picnic, or playing Frisbee. Walking paths can be found all around the park. In-between the large area's of grass, the park is shadier with many trees. A large road circles the park where joggers, bicyclists, and inline skaters are commonly found.

Ahh, it's a beautiful day for a rally of hate and bigotry. An irate sounding man with a speakerphone addresses a group of eager listeners. Signs and T-shirts abound, all spewing hate messages toward mutants.
Not too far from here, a young mutant watches. Theo has his hands in his hoody pockets, and sits on a park bench. He has a sign too. It's one of those signs that people not paying attention might think actually supported the rally, until you read it closer.
A picture is on it, a skinhead and a hippy shaking hands. "Putting aside our differences for peace, love, killing mutants, and tolerance."

Sheild was able to fit Travis with a nice long navy black trenchcoat that is perfect for hiding his extra arms, it's even able to restrain them a bit to prevent accidents. Though it does give him the look of a somewhat bulky torso. Travis has a map in one of his hands and is making his way through Central Park and he seems to scream that he's a tourist. Hearing the rally, Travis can't help but walk over to see what it's about. Once he realizes it's an anti-mutant rally though, Travis starts to take a few steps back, not wanting to get involved in this.

Felix really doesn't care about "mutant" or "anti-mutant" so much. It's a matter of some unimportance to him because really, stupid people are stupid and thus likely to forget what they're on about. That makes them easy pickings.
And Felix is never going to let an opportunity like this get past him. He's working through the crowd, joining in the incoherent shouts, and reaching carefully through pants pockets to remove wallets. Simple claw-hook and vanish. So far the rabid frothing has allowed him to go unnoticed, and he has ten lovely wallets. Lovely fat wallets full of overdrawn credit cards, personal identification (fake and real) and because of the overlap between anti-tech and other forms of ignorance, lots of cash. Well. One or two. The rest are full of not so much cash. Ignorance doesn't breed wealth. Unless you're Felix and you're harvesting.

Theo doesn't seem to notice Felix in the mix, and he doesn't pay much heed to Travis until he takes a few steps back. "Mobs are some scary stuff, huh?" he comments, moving the sign away from the bench, in case he wants to sit. "They have the collective IQ of about 50, and the strength of just as many people. Dangerous combination."

Travis jumps slightly as Theo speaks to him and he turns to face…look down..at the much shorter teen. "Oh..this stuff really goes on here? Like anti-mutant rallys?" Travis has heard of them but never really seen one or thought much of it. It's not like he's been a mutant for long. Then Travis notices the sign. "So you're out here as the lone guy promoting peace?"

Theo laughs a little. "Nah, not much point in really promoting peace. I just got this off of a website, and I like to make fun of idiots," he says. His hands in his hoody still, he lifts it briefly to expose the shirt underneath. His newest pro-mutant shirt. It reads very simply: Mutant. Don't you wish you had cool powers like me?
He quickly drops the shirt again, not really wanting the rally to notice. "No way those hicks would ever listen to anyone talk about peace, other than peace by destroying mutants."

At about this point someone about four marks back notices that their wallet has gone missing, and Felix (with catlike reflexes) manages to trip over someone's size 14 clodhopper curbstompers, and his sunglasses are dislodged. The person who he catches himself against looks at him and says, "Hey, wait. Your eyes ain't human!"
Felix says, "Contact lenses."
"Them ain't contact lenses! Is they?"
Lord save me from Buford and his buddies, Felix thinks, and says, "Yes, they are. I'm doin' a movie shoot next week, I'm gonna play the evil mutie who gets stomped by the hero. I have to get used to wearin' 'em."

Travis nods to Theo's shirt and then he can't help but respond something cheeky, maybe to lighten the mood from the mob not to far. "Well I guess it all depends on what your cool powers are." He says before turning his head at the commotion. "Well I guess someone in there is trying to stir up the pot a bit." Hell no is he planning on getting in the middle of that.

Theo shrugs, "Doesn't matter what they are," he says. "It's just to piss people off." He also turns his head to follow the commotion, and then gets to his feet, watching what is happening. He makes out Felix in the crowd, and remembers him from a few days back. "Oh boy," he says. "This could get ugly." He bends down, tightening his shoelaces quickly.

Travis reaches into his jacket and starts fooling around with something as he watches. "Yeah, but you're the one that's spouting that you have cool powers, and that's a lot of people." Travis is not someone who fights, he's been in one fight in his life and it did not end well. He hasn't even figured out his own powers yet…run away or stay in find out, he's really not sure.

Unfortunately, clever explanation is clever and that catches the attention of a few more in the crowd, as the current speaker has gotten a bit off into the weeds and the distraction of the lost wallet has made other people fidgety.
"BRETHREN AND SISTERN! HEED MY WOARDS! Do NOT let ANYTHIN' DISTRACT YA!" shouts the speaker. Yeah, this is one of the "failed in the neo-evangelical circles because he couldn't be bothered to keep his prophecies straight" types, and now he's taken his style to a more receptive audience. And this distraction endangers his hat-passing.
"THE MENACE IS IN OWAH MIDST, infectin' yur CHILLdren with tha immoral desires ta be a FREAK! A dangerous an' UNHOLY Satan-SPAWNED FREAK!
Meanwhile Felix has managed to sign an autograph for the future movie-goer, "It'll be out in February," and has made his way to the edge of the crowd. With one last wallet from Buford. Time to vanish?
"Hey, where'd MY wallet go?" some woman's voice says with a Jersey accent. Ah crap. That wasn't one of mine, Felix thinks, someone else is working the crowd too.

Theo spots the last wallet get snagged, and he grins widely from his vantage point. "Man, that guy is great after all," he says with a smile. "Why didn't I think of that?" Of course, Theo isn't as dexterous, and probably wouldn't get away with it, but he wishes he could. Not that he's a thief, just that he likes the idea of taking the mob's money away from them.

Travis just listens to the words and stands there, glad that no sounds of violence have broken out yet. Theo's words are barely heard and the wallet comment kind of goes in one ear and out the other. Travis is just thinking if he should get involved but at the same time, remembering that he's supposed to keep a low key image. Guy with six arms isn't something that is common. "I should probably just leave the area." He says to Theo cautiously.

The speaker continues his truly inspired diatribe, now that he has their attention again, pitching his voice lower so they have to listen harder.
"Mah fellow pure humans, these are the signs of tha end times, not tha end times from the Bible, but from the vile book a' scriptures written by tha anti-Christ, the DARK HOLD, an' that book says in tha end times the ENEMY, an' we all know that means SATAN, is gonna warp the CHILLdrun of honest an' pure men and they will become things of VILENESS, desirin' to OPRESS their parents and their brothren an' sistern, and that means YOU, mah dear friends, that means US PURE HUMANS."
Felix makes his way to a hotdog stand, buys a moxie and a hotdog. Keepin' it cool. Eleven wallets is enough. Right?
The alarm goes out from someone else. "MY PURSE! HEY! IT was RAT THAR! Now it's GONE! Mr. Stedfast, you got MUTIE THIEFS in this crowd!"
Because there's no way the two completely normal human thieves who were also working the crowd could have gotten it. Right?

Theo shrugs. "Well, suit your self," he says, "They only want mutant blood," he comments, not knowing that Travis is also a mutant underneath the trenchcoat. "See that guy over there?" he asks, nodding in Felix's direction. He just made them all look stupid, I think they might be starting to catch on."
"Well you know what, I'd rather them all be made to look stupid then going over there and starting anything. You know what, if they have a couple of theives in that crowd, good. Let them do their thing, they deserve it." Travis says as he thinks that if they get their wallets stolen, it's for the better. What goes around comes around right? Karma, that his opinion on their stolen possessions and money.

Having decided to cut through the park after a nice relaxing spree of window shopping Chloe practically stops dead in her tracks at the sight of the rally. Joy! Dressed in a black pants & t-shirt combo she scowls and lets her hair loose, before trying to skirt around the edge of the crowd. Doing her utmost best not to walk inhumanly fast.

Felix prepares to make his escape … or at least to dump the wallets off at one of his safe spots. The unused shipping container he has converted into a den, where he took Mikhail after they slaughtered pigeons. Mmmm pigeons. Wait. Pay attention, Felix.
"THAR ONE IS," thunders the speaker. "Officers of the F-O-H, grab that thar MUTIE!" … and a hefty black girl wearing an over-sized coat is grabbed by two hulking brutes, gentlemen who may not actually be pure-strain human, but certainly look like they might be pure-strain neanderthals.
"WAIT! I AINT A MUTIE!" the girl screams, sobs, fighting ineffectively as she's dragged up. The two thieves take the opportunity to escape. One of the FoH enforcers slaps her across the face, hissing, "Shut it, scum."

Theo spots Chloe at the edge of the crowd. Hey, what're the odds? He pulls his phone quickly from his pocket, and sends her a text. -Look 2 ur right. Hi-.
He speaks to Travis as he does, "That's for sure," he says. "Hope he gets all of their wallets."
He watches as the girl is taken by her own. "And that's the problem with mobs," he says, "You never know when they'll turn to eat one of their own." He doesn't make any motion to stop it, after all, she's out for his blood, why should he care?
Feeling her phone buzz Chloe pauses, glaring at the fiasco unfolding, as she hunts for it. She comes very close to literally face-palming when she reads the text, before glancing to the right and carefully typing a reply. -This isn't a great spot to hang out you know.. We totally should clear out or… I guess help the poor girl somehow.-

Carefully positioned AWAY from the crowd, four of New York's Finest have been watching for trouble, two stationed where they can see the speaker and two where they can see the back of the temporary stage. They've been observing, but not interfering too much, because they really don't want to deal with the stupidity that is a Friends of Humanity "enforcer" unless they can arrest it and send it to jail forever. These particular officers were chosen because they have no particular position on mutant rights, and so are not going to take sides, but when the girl is dragged up, one of the up-front officers radios, "FOH Rally, code 10-34 possible lynching, Level 2, Level 2, code 10-34 riot, tactical squad assist requested," and from the back, one of the officers approaches the rally organizer.
"Sir, you had better get your people under control NOW," the officer says.
Felix isn't paying attention to that. He looks around, nobody watching HIM, so he vanishes, drops the wallets in his shipping container den, then reappears exactly where he was, perhaps a quarter second later. "OK, this is going to be fun," he says to himself.

Theo shakes his head and smiles as he reads Chloe's text. -Maybe, but poor girl? She's 1 of them. She would just help them hunt us down after we help her, if they didn't just think she was with us.- Theo watches the scene for another couple of moments, his jaw set. It does make him rather uncomfortable. It's too familiar. "Yeah," he says, "We totally should clear out." He doesn't notice Felix disappear and reappear.

Even from a distance it's possible to tell that Chloe is giving Theo the kind of look which implies words shall be had later. -Chivalry is dead then huh?- Her attempts to move around the crowd shift slightly, instead now she lines herself up to best charge clean through towards the girl and the enforcers. The fingers on her protestic hand tightening into a fist a few times as if to get the feel for it.

Felix shifts to Puma. He vanishes, only whiskers and the faintest gleam of his eyes visible from just the right angle, as he runs, leaping onto the stage, or rather, his whiskers and eyes move as if he had done so. He walks up behind Mr. Hiram Jeremiah Stedfast. While all this was going on, that worthy gentleman triumphantly addressed the crowd, "WE HAVE IN OUR POWER… One of the ENEMY," and he sneers at the girl, "a LIE-ing FIL-thy THIEV-ing MUUU-TANT, masquerading as colored gurl, figurin' that we would be FOOLED, that we would be swayed by PO-litical CORRECTNESS into not SEEIN' her for thu AGENT OF SATAN which she so surely IS, my friends."
As the ghostly traces of the puma come up behind him he nods to the guards, "STRIP OFF THAT COAT!"
One of the guards uses a hunting knife to do just that. It's the kind of knife that his hero Crocodile Dundee used, of course.
The girl is sobbing. And as soon as the knife touches the coat, Felix reaches a paw out, lets the claw into the real world, and hooks the pants and belt of Hiram Stedfast, and vanishes them. Hiram is left standing in front of the crowd in his suit jacket, his shoes, and oh god the man goes COMMANDO.

Theo watches as Chloe starts to set up to respond, and he moves to intercept her. When he gets close, he reaches out to take Chloe's arm just as Felix reveals himself. "The cops can handle this," he says, "We need to GO. Like, NOW." He gives a tug. "We're just a couple of highschool students, they wouldn't listen to us anyway. This isn't the Danger Room, this is the real thing. And you know I suck in the Danger Room, anyway."

"Who said I was going to talk?" Chloe asks, saccharine sweet. "I figured I'd just break someones noise and let them try chase me until they pass out with exhaustion. The simple plans always work best…. And yeah you /do/ suck at them but that's a topic for later, when we're not next to a riot in the…." She actually /stops/ when the pants vanish. "Well. That was something I didn't want to see, quick take a picture and like use your power to text it to everyone in the crowds phonebooks!"

Theo grins. "You know I can only hear the machines, but I bet we can get it on the internet. But then lets go, okay," he insists. He seems still rather uncomfortable with the escalation of the situation. He pulls up his phone, and snaps a quick picture.

There is some consternation in the crowd. Screaming, hooting, laughter, and confusion. The girl's half-sliced-off coat is suddenly ignored as the guards are doing their best to keep their own composure … surely this is an attack by an evil mutant, right? But … then a riot truck is seen approaching, lights flashing but no siren. Felix drops the pants under the podium, a perfect frame for a "wardrobe malfunction" … and then moves down to stand almost invisibly by the girl, because these goobers might still try to hurt her, and while she might be a mutie-hater she hasn't hurt anyone he knows. And besides. Saving her embarrasses the FOH.

"Or so you say," Chloe murmurs, words probably lost beneath the noise of the crowd. "We better hit a net cafe quickly then. We get the story about him forcefully exposing himself at a girl on stage out first and it'll be what everyone believes." Seeing the police have turned up she chews her lip, then nods. "The cops can probably handle things from here and honestly? I feel kind sick now that I've seen…. that."

Theo grins, and starts to leave. "Yeah, I'm deleting this from my phone as soon as we get it on some blogs," he says. He puts his phone in his pocket, but yes, as Chloe suggested, he starts sending the image to all of the phones in the crowd that can receive it. "Beautiful day for a walk in the park, isn't it?"

The narrator's omnisciently mellow voice breaks in here, like at the end of an episode of _Wonder_Years_ …
The police (with riot squad) are fairly quick to pull order from the chaos. At the end of the day, one Rabinda Junell Smith has filed civil and criminal complaints against Hiram Stedfast, two FoH "enforcers" and the organizers of the rally, and several dozen people are unable to produce identification when arrested. Felix takes the IDs and credit cards to a person who buys that sort of thing, and leaves the wallets themselves, without money and without salable items, but with pictures etc. intact, in a bag on the door of a police station. Of course there are no fingerprints, and given the operations of the NYPD in this particular kind of thing, the victims may or may not get their stuff back but Magic 8-Ball says "Not Likely" … all in all, a profitable day.
Hiram Stedfast does attain a sort of world-wide-web-fame as a symbol of the anti-mutant movement. Probably not the way he wanted to.

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