2012-09-18: Don T Shoot The Messenger


Connor_icon.jpg Donna_icon.jpg

Summary: Connor hunts up Donna to tell her of Fiona's injury.

Date: September 18, 2012

Log Title: Don't Shoot the Messenger

Rating: PG-13

NYC - Hell's Kitchen

The rough neighborhood in Midtown West New York known as Hell's Kitchen almost has a darker tone to it. Once you step into this neighborhood the city takes on a different feel, the buildings are shorter but everything feels darker. There is real grit to this part of town where many of the New York City criminals see to make their home.

It's relatively late at night when a familiar bike pulls up to the little jewish deli that sits on the corner just inside Hell's Kitchen and stays open all night, the old lady at the counter listening to spanish football on a radio so old and beaten up it could be considered an artifact in it's own right. As Connor takes off his helmet, a small bandage covering a cut on his cheek that got through his armored mask, he sighs once, and moves with the kind of care that someone who is injured and doesn't want to show it has. Once inside, he moves to the counter, takes his ticket, and then orders up a reuben and two dill pickles… waiting…

"You look like you've been through the mill," a voice murmurs from behind Connor's left shoulder. Slipping around the taller mutant, a familiar pale, black-haired woman approaches the counter. "Tea, please," she asks of the old woman. "Cream and sugar." Turning back to face Connor, she folds her arms across her chest, her visible slim black eyebrow arching faintly. "So, lad… Something amiss, then?"

The young man's twitch reflex goes to make a strange gesture with his hand, like a child's two-finger pistol… and for a moment the air grows a bit heavy around him. But then it's let go, and Connor exhales deeply as he gives the woman a nod and says, "Your… I really do not know what to call her… your… student? She was in Salem Center when the attack happened. She was hurt. I came to let you know she is, and how you can reach her. I wasn't sure how bad the damage was, so I made sure she went to the best medical care on the planet."

The moment Fiona's identity is mentioned, Donna's look of faintly bored amusement vanishes. When it's revealed what happened to Fiona, her pale face hardens, eye flat and still. "…I see," she says, each syllable a lead weight tumbling from her lips. "Seriously hurt, I assume? Or is she bruised a touch, perhaps some cracked ribs…" Her eye flickers over Connor's side, eyebrow twitching upward. "…And simply puling like a schoogirl with a barked shin?"

Connor shakes his head once, and then pauses as his sandwich is delivered, with the tea next to it. Picking up his sandwich, he moves off towards a table, and then settles in, chewing on a pickle before he replies, "It looked like a shotgun wound. There was a lot of flood, so it was hard to tell if she was just grazed, or lucky. I'm not very experienced with that kind of injury." As he eats, he sits forwards a bit more than usual, avoiding putting pressure on the cut in his back. When his hand comes up, there's a redness on the back that speaks to someone that got a little too close to a fire, but was not fully burned.

And now the voice at Connor's shoulder is all steel and anger, kept under a tight leash, as the light seems to bleed away from his general vicinity, ever so slightly. "What was she doing that got her *shot,* lad. And where is she now?" There's the quiet sound of an indrawn breath, the dimness fades, and Donna slides into the booth across from the boy, both hands wrapped tightly around her drink. The only obvious sign of her fury, now, a wavering… thickness… to her outline, as though the little sorceress had been inked by a ham-handed artist. "…If it helps, lad, I'm not in the habit of shooting the messenger. And you *have* done my student a good turn, so you've a bit of gratitude on your side of the balance."

Fishing into his pocket, Connor brings up a guest pass to the Xavier Academy in upstate New York. He exhales a bit under the pressure that comes around him, and he says, "There was an attack by the Friends of Humanity's splinter group Church of Humanity on the city of Salem Center. She tried to help by getting into a flatbed truck they'd had weapons on to get it and them away from where innocents could be hurt. But she didn't take into account that these people consider anyone who's not a friend is an enemy." He closes his eyes after a moment and then says, "She's at the Academy… it was the closest place within range to my abilities to get her to. I didn't want to leave her as another triage for the hospitals." Another pause from him, "Anyways… this will get you past the gates and to see her."

Donna takes the card between two fingers, giving it a general once-over, front and back. "I'll assume it's best I don't… wander. There'll be someone to talk to about repaying this kindness, I imagine?" She falls silent, brooding over the news handed to her, the fingernails of her free hand tapping against the countertop… and leaving soundless, odorless arcs of electric thread with each impact.

Connor pauses oce more to get a few bites of his food, and then takes a drink from a glass of water, before he replies, "There's extensive security… I can guarantee at least that she's safe, and comfortable. But yes, it's not a good idea to wander too much. But someone will probably be available to help." Another bite of the reuben and several moments of silent chewing before he adds, "Until this is over, you're not going to see me around here, by myself or with others. The media has painted me as a terrorist. Which is amusing given who I associate with. Ironic really. Anyways… I don't want harm to come to anyone I know. I am going to be calling people to protect my family, and then I'm going to find a place to lay low." He motions with his hand out towards the bike, "If you want, we can go there now to see her."

"Hmn," is Donna's answer, the tea stared at for a few moments… as much to allow Connor to finish his food as to make up her mind. "…Very well, then. I'll need my kit, though. So. First we go to the New Haven Apartments, then to your perfectly secure hospital. After that… we'll see what can be done." Peering at Conner over the rim of her mug, the pale woman takes in a deep sniff of the fragrant tea. "…And again, thank you. Whether or not you *would* have, there were many choices you *could* have made, and did not. This speaks well of you, lad."

"Not a problem." Connor replies, nodding again as he picks up the pickle and finishes off the second half before eating the first half of the sandwich. Leaving one pickle and one sandwich half left. Another sip of water, and he then has to take up some napkins to clean the water spots off the table, and shift some things around before settling back in, "You're welcome. You helped me… that's generally how it's supposed to work. We support each other, and look out for each other, but most of all… we give a damn. My father, for all the distance between us at times, was always very much about his children learning what it meant to do the right thing."

"You paid me, lad," Donna counters, the cool amusement creeping back into her voice. "Whether or not I gave a damn, I do the job I'm tasked to do to the best of my ability. It's all I know to do." The tea is finished off in short order, palms coming down to rest on the table. "…So. Shall we? Oh, and you'll likely wish to stay outside. The building's only virtues are a willingness to accept cash, and refusal to ask questions." Her gaze drops, briefly, to the freshly-wiped table, and back up. "Best to avoid offending your sensibilities if at all possible, mh?"

The other half of the sandwich and the pickle are finished off in rapid order, and he ends up cleaning the inside of the small basket he was using before he returns it and the water. Walking back outside, he then just shakes his head, "I will take your word for it… I've seen enough of the bad side of humanity. But at least the leader of the little demonstration gets to enjoy a free trip to Genosha." To which he pauses, "Which used to be run by people like him, but now is a haven for mutants. Hopefully the irony won't escape him."

"Oh, likely it will," Donna says with a quiet sigh, rising from the table and following the boy outside. "One can't trust a blithering gobshite to think deeper than his last bottle of beer. What's most unfortunate? That he's already on his way there. I would have so loved to stomp the little bastard's guts in until he shit crooked…"

"Has anyone ever told you that you have a rather… earthy… sense of justice? Not that it's bad. I'm just not used to people being that detailed." Connor replies as he gets on the bike and pulls on the helmet, passing the spare to the woman, before asking, "You don't mind riding behind me?"

Donna accepts the spare helmet without comment, raising an eyebrow. "Lad… I was born Irish, and trained by a militant, hardass German. Believe me, there is *nothing* that relaxes my temper like a good, old-fashioned dose of overwhelming brutality." Slipping the helmet on, she takes a moment to arrange her hair, specifically to cover her scarlet eye, then hops onto the back of the motorcycle, balancing herself on the seat with perfect assurance. "I didn't mind the last time, did I? Let's be off. The sooner we get to Fiona, the sooner she can dread having to wake up."

Connor takes the short trip down towards where Donna's place of residence is, and parks outside to wait… the engine of the compact Ducati humming on the street as he looks up at the building, and then down and around the alleys and other locations. While his eye is looking for danger, he's also looking for a good enough place to open a portal…

It's not long before Donna emerges from the front step of the ruinously shabby apartment building, military-surplus gear bag slung over one shoulder. Slipping back into place on the back of the bike, she settles herself until she finds the proper balance of roughly one hundred pounds of person, plus fifty or so more of not-terribly-loose gear. "In your own time, lad," she says, once all is as ready as it'll get.

From there, it's to the back of the apartment building, instead of going to the open road. Extending his left hand, a small ball of bright blue green energy appears. He seems to focus on it for several moments, and then flicks it out like tossing a paper ball at a garbage can. Instead of falling to the ground, it seems to sink into the air… causing a ripple in reality that coalesces back into a swirling vortex of power, one that seems to draw a sense of everything into it, including magic. There is power behind that portal, great power. Connor says, "Fair warning… you're going to see things you didn't expect while going through this portal."

Donna draws back slightly, as the portal swirls into being, eye widening. Once it settles into stability, she leans forward again, lips pursed, gaze searching and slightly unfocused. "…Mutants," she says with a sigh and a shake of the head. "One of these days, I'm going to find whoever it is that decides who gets what, and give them a sound thump about the head for things like this…" Raking a lock of hair away from her cheek, she blows out a harsh breath. "Very well, then… let's get this over with."

"This is going to be a bit more amusing than you'd think." And killing the engine on the bike, he walks it through the portal… taking a deep breath as Lieutenant Connor Blake of the the Neo National Socialist Party, wearing the swastika and talking to students at Herr Xavier's Military School of the Uplifted about proper combat techniques filters through his mind, and for several moments there is no gravity, there is no REALITY. There is nothing but colors and starscape. Then suddenly the pair plunk down in a metallic hallway outside of a medical ward, the area feeling sterile and silent… the warm hum of the lights the only backdrop to the sudden change.

Whatever Donna sees in transit, whatever she remembers, it manages to throw her completely off-balance. Enough, at least, to have her staggering toward the wall, allowing it to hold her up while she reorients herself to the reality of reality. "Good God," she breathes, shaking her head slowly, slumping against the wall. "…I think we'll be taking the bus back, if it's all the same to you, lad. ….If busses even come out here." Now she raises her head, brow furrowing deeply as she looks up one side of the hallway, then the other. "…Your secure hospital is a Stark bunker?"

Connor guides the bike off towards the lift, and shakes his head, "No… Stark only wishes he had this kind of gear. Well… he probably does, but we'd like to think he doesn't. The infirmary is there, and the lift will take you only to the first floor, and back here. I'll go handle setting up a guest room for the night if you want. Meantime, I have to go get in trouble for opening a portal in here. They don't like it." He pauses though, and adds, "Bus is fine… but we have taxis too. Whatever's best… I know it's not for everyone. I try not to do it unless I have to."

"No shit," Donna breathes. "But all the same, thanks for the ride. And before we leave, I'd like to talk to whoever's in charge around here about repayment. This is… A good deal more than I'd expected. I'd like to make sure the balance is even, before I'm through here, mh?"

"That would be Emma Frost." Connor replies as the lift opens and he slides the small bike inside. Turning to face you, he then gives a short wave, "I'm sure she'll be in contact with you soon enough. She's a telepath, but unlike a lot of them she doesn't just root into your head. At least… that's what she says. But if half the rumors are true, we wouldn't know if she did."

"…I see," Donna replies, nodding once and hefting the bag over her shoulder. "Well. You've a good deal of being yelled at to do, and I'll not keep you. I'll be here, whenever anyone feels the need to get in touch." Pulling off the spare helmet and handing it over, she touches a finger to her brow. "Cheers, lad." And with that, she strolls on into Medical.

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