2011-02-24: Give Peace A Chance


Addison_icon.jpg Connor_icon.jpg Heather_icon.jpg Hilde_icon.jpg Hosea_icon.jpg Rashmi_icon.jpg SophieD_icon.jpg Travis_icon.jpg

Police Chief William Raikov, Assistant District Attorney Izumi Haruno

Summary: A Peace Rally is held in protest of the recent injustices in Mutant Town.

Log Title: Give Peace a Chance

Rating: G

NYC - Mutant Town

Mutant Town, also known as District X, has become a haven for mutants. This section of town doesn't care what you look like, accepting all mutants no matter what their appearance. Most of the businesses in this section of town are mutant run ranging from small convenience stores to clothing shops to restaurants to night clubs. The buildings here aren't the high rise buildings you might find in mid-town but most are about 5-6 stories high. Mutant Town might not be the most luxurious section of town, in fact it's fairly run down, but this section of where mutants are safe and welcomed regardless of race, religion and culture.


While there hasn't been *much* time between the planning and the event, the word has gone out; There's to be another peace march in Mutant Town, though different from the others. Magneto will not be providing air support on this round, for one, and for another it's to be headed by the young girl whose face has been on TV more than once, following the Mutant Town war not very many months ago. Out in the middle of Thompson Square Park, at least for the moment, Rashmi stands, her spheres orbiting lazily, far above her head; a beacon, alerting all and sundry where the demonstration is to begin.

Hildegarde approaches the fringes of a growing crowd and pushes a few yards in, frowning as she looks around. She would really rather not be here, but a few of the students had insisted on being present for the rally. Taking Magneto's advice the woman decided to be present just in case anything unforseen happens. She frowns up at the sky, watching Rashmi's sphere's floating against the grey and darkening sky. "Well maybe we'll be lucky and that storm will hold off until tomorrow." It's not supposed to hit until morning anyway. At least, that's what the weatherman said.

Standing next to Rashmi is the six armed mutant Travis. It wasn't an easy decision but he's decided to let the fact that he's an obvious mutant show. He has two sets arms crossed over his chest. He occasionally looks up at the orbs and then looks across the park. "Well Rashmi, let's hope that this goes well." He says giving her a reassuring smile.

He's been isolating himself for far too long. With news of a rally, Addison has come out of the mansion to see what this is about. He flew here, on wings of fire. Landing in the park, his clothes shift suddenly from the costume he was wearing to an outfit that was picked out for him by an old friend. A black shirt with a silver-threaded phoenix throughout it and a pair of black pants. He offers a mental touch to Rashmi to let her know that he's here. After all, she was one of his brightest students.

The blind girl, Sophie, has arrived as well; and she's coe clinging to Hildegarde's arm with her left hand, while her right holds her cane, sweeping the ground in front of her. She comes tight-lipped, and a concerned furrough on her brow as they approach the spot marked by Rashmi's spheres. "What do you think is going to happen?" she murmurs to her impromptu guide. "I will try to stick close by you if anything should go wrong, of course, though I pray there will be no… violence."

Rashmi glances over to Travis, her smile a touch shaken. "Let's hope," she repeats, nodding in agreement. Her face softens slightly at the touch of Addison's mind on hers, and turning to face the man she waves, her smile becoming a grin at the sight of Hildegard. "…But even if it doesn't? We don't have anything to worry about." Drawing in a deep breath, she lets it out in a heavy sigh. "All right… let's get this started." Clearing her throat, she lifts a megaphone to her lips — a last-minute purchase, after a couple hours' fretting over whether or not she'd be attention-getting enough on her own. *"Hello? Everyone, if I could have your attention for a moment?"*

Hildegarde glances down at Sophie and nods, then realizes that the girl cannot see the gesture. "Yes stay by me. Mutant Town is not the safest of places." She glances over her shoulder to the pile of flowers and cards that mark where Carmencita was shot last week. "Do not waste your time praying for a peaceful march…Just prepare for the worst and hope for the best." Hilde is actually wearing her Panzer costume right now, though it is concealed under a long white coat. She glances up at Rashmi as the girl begins to speak.

Travis looks at Hilde as she speaks and shakes his head. "No, we're not going to let this turn to violence. If we do, it goes against everything we're doing this for." He reaches a hand out and squeezes Rashmi's shoulder lightly. "But thank you for coming, and you too." He says to Sophie.

As he sees the other teacher and student, Addison walks his way over towards them. He may not know either one that well, but he at least knows who they are. It makes him feel a little less out of place amongst the people assembled. "Don't worry. You'll be safe." He says towards Sophie. "Between myself and Ms. VonReginleif, nothing will happen to you." He says with assuredness.

Sophie nods slowly at Hilde's words, and taps about herself quickly, just to keep aware of what's in her space. "I will," she replies. "I spent all afternoon out in the sun, just to feel good and ready." The soft glow from her chest, shining through her dress, might well be something Hilde hasn't seen before on her either. "Though all I'd be able to do is heal the wounded." She tilts her head to face Travis, or at least his general direction, and flashes a slight, nervous smile. "Of course, Senor Travis. It is worrisome, but… too important a thing to ignore. I must be here."

Rashmi lowers the megaphone from her mouth, shaking her head. "No healing should be needed," she says to Sophie, as interested folk start to trickle toward the little group. "The only way it'll get violent is if everything goes as wrong as it could get… and even then, we have insurance." Clearing her throat, she waves to the people coming in, smiling brightly. *"Yes, come on over, thank you! It's really easy to hear me with this thing, but kind of a little loud, so if you could all come closer?"*

Hildegarde pats Sophie on the shoulder reassuringly, though waht seems like a light pat to Hilde may feel like being pummeled by a brick to Sophie. "Yes, things should be alright." Though the woman doubts this very much. She glances over at Addison and offers him a wave, not saying anything just now since Rashmi is trying to speak.

"You're not the only healer here Sophie, but there aren't going to be any wounded here tonight. Also it's just Travis. No Senor stuff, I'm not that old.." Travis says with a bit of a chuckle. He doesn't really say much more as it's Rashmi's place to speak at the moment and she's the one with the plan.

Knowing that there would be teachers and other classmates, Heather's decided to come to this rally. She appears and stumbles slightly, blinking a few times rapidly, and then plays on her tape recorder quietly, so that she doesn't get too loud so as to be rude. "I was on a spaceship, and there were some aliens and another human, and we were fighting some other aliens. There was a lizard man and a cat girl there." As she often does, she reports this information back to the one who transported her. Whether or not he wants to know. She turns around to look at the others gathered here, "Oh, things have already started, I think."

Stepping out after Heather is Connor, who replies to it with a bit of a smile, "I think you're talking about a group called the Starjammers, Heather… I don't remember much else, but I've heard the name and seen the people a couple times." Unlike most of the others, the young man is not dressed down in his civvies, but is wearing the usual long coat for the weather over a black armored bodysuit that those who were in Africa remember him wearing, "Are we late? Heather wanted to make cookies, but when she listed okra in the ingredients, I thought it best to decline."

"Hi!" Rashmi says, smiling brightly as more folk gather, nodding to Connor and chuckling. "That's fine, we're probably not going to have much time to eat… So! I'm pretty sure everyone knows what's prompting this whole thing, right?" Glancing about at the growing crowd, she nods in answer to the noises of assent. "Well, before we get started… I sort of wanted to remind everybody of a few things… First off, I'd like a brief moment of silence for Carmen… if you were still alive, we might not have realized just *how* bad things had gotten."

Hildegarde bows her head for the moment of silence. She says nothing, but is a little wairy of a few of the people on the fringes of the park.

A few police cruisers pass by the park slowly. After a few minutes about half a dozen police officers and a few people who look as though they may be in the military show up around the outer edges of the park. They were told to keep their distance, but to watch the area nonetheless. The officers present are not the usual Mutant Town officers. After Detective Baxter's death the precinct was shut down for investigation. Officers from other areas of the city and some National Guard were pulled in to fill the void.

"Hey Connor." Travis says to him as he walks up and there's a friendly nod to Heather. As Rashmi calls for a moment of silence, Travis folds his hands and bows his head for a moment out of respect. When he looks up he notices the officers and takes a deep breath. So it seems it starts, he just hopes for the best.

Sophie oomphs softly as Hilde claps her on the shoulder. She rolls her shoulder to get the bones back in order, and ahems softly. "Yes, well, best to be prepared at any rate," she replies to Travis. "And… I will try to remember to drop the Senor; it is just something I am used to." She smiles pleasantly, and opens her mouth to say something when Rashmi calls for the moment of silence. The blind healer clamps her mouth shut, and bows her head on cue as she joins the silence for the girl she never met.

To Connor, Heather plays, "Their loss. Those cookies would have been /delicious/. Maybe another time." When the moment of silence is declared, though, she mutes her machine and folds her hands together, waiting for the vocal cues of others to notify her that noisiness has become the norm again.

Connor lowers his head for a long moment with the others, then whispers something to himself as he takes a small cross out of a pocket and kisses it. Putting it back away, he looks at the others, and then out around the park, "Rashmi… you want to explain the rules of conduct, while I get set up some place to get a better view of what's happening?" And reaching into his pocket, once more, he takes out some of the Xmen short-range comms used in the Danger Room and on missions. Passing one to Rashmi, to Travis, and to Heather and Hilde, he slips up the mask of his suit, and takes off the coat, "And if anyone's got the police band, it would be handy."

A few moments' silence later, Rashmi nods. "Thank you… And for those of you who haven't been following the last couple weeks, Carmen died because a couple policemen shot her to death. She was a mutant, and defending herself from a bunch of gangbangers… And the police shot her dead. Officers Blackstone and Santmire are on suspension now, pending investigation… But they weren't the only ones. Detective Baxter was a good man, who was tired of seeing the kind of injustices that would happen in the Precinct, people… I'm just sorry he couldn't be here to see this. Even while he named Captain McIntyre and Lieutenant Fraizure as supporting the officers' abuse of authority… He told me, please… *please* remember that these officers are the *exception,* not the rule." Clearing her throat, Rashmi pauses to let this sink in. "And I believe he was right, everyone. I'm not here to protest the *police.* Just those among them who abuse their authority."

Hildegarde takes the communicator from Connor and looks it over to make sure that she knows how to use it. She slips it into a pocket in her coat. She places her hand on Sophie's shoulder so that the girl knows she is there. The woman glances wearily around at the police officers.

The officers around the park are facing outward, keeping their backs to the protestors. It is a protective stance, almost as though they are guarding the rally from harm. Anyone who is able to patch into the police com will hear a little chatter. "Rally in Thompson Square. No known dangerous mutants spotted."

Sophie tilts her blindfolded visage up towards Hilde. "Just let me hold on to your arm," she murmurs. "That's the best way to look after a blind person. Don't worry, I won't let go." She tilts her head away again, and faces up towards Rashmi, where she is speaking. "How do you want us to protest?" she asks, raising her voice just enough to be heard (hopefully). "I… I'm sorry, I've never been to a rally or a protest… and I don't watch TV."

Looking at the communicator, Travis slips it in his pocket. Heather's cookie comment gets a bit of a smile before his face grows serious again as he hears Rashmi talk. "We're here to show our sympathy that New York City lost a good officer, we're here to show our support to Carmen's friends and family. We want to make people aware of the injustice that happened here." He says to show his support.

As Connor vanishes, a few more individuals step into the park, looking around and talking with others to get the gist of what's happening. Oddly, most of these are not mutants. Most look like older people, fathers and mothers of some of the younger children born with the X-gene. Some children slightly younger than the Xavier students present walking with them. One trio walks up to Rashmi and smiles to her, the father of the family speaking in a heavily Russian accent, "Hello Miss… we were told to come by friend. This is Dimitri… he was born special, like yourself. He is art student, does us very proud. Is allright if we walk with him?"

Hosea has been wandering the rally a little since he arrived with Sophie and Hilde, getting a feeling for the layout of the rally, but returns to the group. "Dere are many people heah," he says. "I did not think dat dere would be so many, but dey are still coming from a long way down da road." The ex-soldier in him is coming out since the Mutant Town event in December. He's determined not to have a repeat of the event. His normally cheerful demeanor isn't missing, but there is a certain soberness to his tone. He arrives just in time to spot Connor vanishing. The African has never been one for identity masking. He wears his usual clothes, a heavy coat zipped up over blue jeans.

"Of course it's okay," Rashmi says to the family, bobbing her head. As more and more people join the gathering, she frowns to herself, taking a few steps back and raising the megaphone to her lips. *"Okay… well, there's a lot more people here than I thought there would be, so… I called you all here to remember this. The police are nobody's enemy! They exist to keep people *safe,* to try and stop *anyone* from getting hurt! It doesn't matter who you are, *what* you are, the duty of a police officer is to *protect and serve!* Officers Blackstone and Santmire, Captain McIntyre and Lt. Fraizure, *they broke the public trust!* And I'm sure every officer out there is hoping *very hard* that we not forget that! Those men hurt their own as badly as they did us, because now you all have to wonder; do I call for help and hope that I won't pay for it? Will I end up like Lil, arrested under false charges and kept captive somewhere nobody knows about?! That is *terrifying* to think, isn't it?!"*

There is a bit of chatter over the police comlink. It would appear that something is going on. Most of it appears to be in code, but it sounds as though someone is approaching. After a few minutes a black car pulls up to the side of the park. A man dressed in a police dress uniform steps out and walks around the car, opening the door for a woman to step out. The two have been on the news a lot over the past few days. The woman is Izumi Haruno, the ADA in charge of prosecuting the officers charged. The man is Police Chief William Raikov.

The crowd parts slightly around the two as they approach the area where Rashmi is standing. They stop a few feet from Rashmi and Izumi speaks. "Miss Franklin, The police of this city would like to join in with your peace rally. We hope that you will allow us to join you." The Chief nods, but does not speak.

Hildegarde nods to Hosea. "Yes, there is quite a turnout, though it has been all over the news for a week." She narrows her eyes as the car appears, seeming confused when she sees who steps out. Once she hears the woman speak she smiles, glad to see that she apparently has no need to worry about the officers nearby.

Travis listens to every word that Rashmi says and nods his agreement. He looks at Dmitri and his parents and smiles. "Welcome and yes, you can stay here with him. This isn't a mutant only event, it's open to anyone who supports what Rashmi is saying." He says offering a hand to the father. "Thank you for coming." Then the police woman shows up and Travis can't help but break out into a big grin.

Sophie shifts her feet, and keeps hanging on to Hilde's arm. She tilts her head towards Hosea as he approaches, and nods quickly to his words. "Yes, a lot of people. I can hear them all, it's quite a racket." She tilts her head sideways again, to face up towards Hilde. "I still don't know what we're supposed to do," she murmurs. "I don't think the Senora organizing the rally heard me, but then I'm sure she's busy. What usually happens at these sorts of things, in America?"

Heather blinks a few times rapidly as the police chief arrives, and looks between them and Rashmi, before she focuses again on Sophie, playing on her tape recorder, "I think it's a march, so we'll be walking around and probably trying to make our concerns visible. I'm not really a protestor type, myself, usually. I tend to stay home, but I wanted to stretch my legs. The police chief and a woman just showed up to join in, which is a good sign."

On a roof across the way, Connor rests in his suit, using a pair of binoculars to scan the other rooftops, shifting from position to position, checking for anyone who might decide to make this peaceful scene into something more. As he moves along, he looks down and over the crowd, checking for any kind of odd movement down within the civilians and the police. Another shift and he's in position overlooking where Rashmi and the ADA and police chief are… and immediately he pans to buildings and alleys, watching for anyone.

A few more of the people present yell some things at the ADA and the Chief. "Why aren't they arrested!" "Where's our justice!" "Why did it take you until NOW to come out here, huh!" To which there are some defenders, "Hey… they're here… let them speak their peace."

Rashmi's mouth falls open, as the Chief and the ADA ask to join, and it's a moment before she can find her voice. "…Of *course* you're welcome, Chief, Ma'am… In fact? I'm honored to have you all." And the smile that breaks out on her face is like the sun shining at high noon. Which is, roughly, when the cries of upset begin to rise. Looking from the Chief, to Travis, to Hilde, she takes a deep breath. "Sir? If you don't mind, d'you think we could give them a chance to speak their piece? They came all the way out here, and there's something obviously important to them… why should we make them shut up?"

Hosea watches, standing on the other side of Sophie. She's probably pretty safe, considering the two people she stands between. "Hmm. Some of dese heah," he observes, "Dey say dey want justice, but dey really want vengence." He bobs a finger in the direction of the people who are more aggressive toward the ADA and Chief. "Dey are a dangerous group to have here."

Raikov looks a little uncomfortable at the jeers from the crowd, but he continues to stand tall. Izumi nods to Rashmi and leans in slightly. "Would you mind if I said a few words, Miss Franklin?" She takes the Megaphone from Rashmi and stands next to her. "Hello? If I could have your attention for just a moment…I just wanted to voice to the people of this city that you have every right to be angry with us. And you have every right to be disappointed with us. Know that the rest of the NYPD shares that disappointment with you."

Izumi pauses for a moment. "The events that led to this rally were tragic and unnecessary. It is a shame that such a pillar of the community had to lose her life to bring to light the injustice that was done to you by those you trusted to protect you. I want you to know that we are doing everything in our power to locate Miss Vanderbulin and to bring justice to those responsible. I know that it appears that we are dragging our feet, but we simply need to be thorough with this delicate situation." She hands the megaphone back to Rashmi with a "Thank You."

A glance at Chief Raikov will show that the man looks very tired. He may be dressed up, but he looks as though he hasn't shaved or slept in a few days.

Travis takes a deep breath at the woman's words and then looks to Rashmi, putting an arm around her. "You did it." He whispers to her. "Right now it doesn't matter what anyone else says, your voice was heard." He says as he thinks what Izumi says will bring a lot of hope and the beginning of some closure. "Thank you so much." He says to Izumi. "It means a lot that you came down to support this."

Sophie shrugs her shoulders. "Of course there are," she murmurs to Hosea. "Rage is a difficult emotion not to feel, for some people. And they come to gatherings like this to feed on the rage of others, as well." The blind girl shakes her head slowly. "I don't know who just showed up, but he sounds like he is from the police. I think the people organizing this crowd will have to work hard to keep things in order."

Heather crosses her arms and nods at Hosea, "People feel more comfortable expressing discontent in a group setting if that's the general sentiment. It's hard to separate out. My mother always said that groups are easier to manipulate than individuals because of it. It's good that Rashmi is leading the rally. She's levelheaded."

As Connor continues to watch from afar, shifting his position once more to closer by, the son of the two close by Rashmi walks towards the police chief, and looks up to the tired-looking man as he says with only slightly accented English, "My parents came to this place because it is safe, and it is a better chance for all of us. It is a very brave thing for you to come down and join us, because we know there is a line between where the uniform begins, and the people end. Now today, we are here together, because there are things that are important to us all. Not justice… justice does not matter. The law is what matters, and if the law cannot protect all of us, no matter how unfairly for all of us, then it can protect none of us, even those in uniform."

Hosea nods, "I do not understand America. Da people here are so afraid of mutants. It is silly. Where I grew up, dere was no fear of mutants. Da blessings God has given dem is seen as a good thing, not as bad. Why would people look at such blessings as bad?" As the son speaks, Hosea suddenly stops talking, and he starts to move a few steps from the group toward the speaker. The comment seems a red flag for him, and he won't be caught off guard. The African gets on the balls of his feet, and ensures himself a clear sight to the boy. He's ready to teleport at the slightest hostile movement from the boy. Age is irrelevant to Hosea. He's more than aware that the young are as capable of terrible deeds as the old. He doesn't hide his readiness in any stealthful means from the rest of the Xavier crowd. He doesn't care if he looks like he's on edge. He is on edge.

Rashmi nods, murmuring a fervent "Thank you" to the ADA, and raises the megaphone to her lips. "Everyone, listen to Assistant DA Haruno! I know how you feel, you're angry and scared! But justice takes *time!* Justice takes *work!* And if they're going to be able to do their jobs right, they need *help* and *support,* as much as you all can give! We depend on the police to protect us from people who don't *care* about lives, or property, or your rights! But *they* depend on *us* to be honest and cooperative! You can't *have* justice if you expect everything, and give nothing! So before we go, I'd just like to say one thing to the Chief." Lowering the megaphone, she glances all around her at the crowd, and extends her hand. "Sir? Thank you. Thank you, and all your men. I'm sorry this problem has happened… But I trust you and your department. Tell your officers that, and I hope it helps."

Chief Raikov looks confused by what Rashmi says to him. The man shakes his head and clears his throat as he shakes the girl's hand. "No. You should not be apologizing to me because I failed to see corruption within my own ranks. I should be apologizing to you. I…We are sorry that this happened. We hope that by marching with you we can begin to rebuild some of the trust that was destroyed by a few men in our ranks." He pauses and whispers something to Izumi. She nods and he continues. "We have discovered evidence that five of the men in Precinct M were tied to the organization that attacked Mutant Town during the shootings a few months back. They are being held now, but it should not be difficult to convict them."

Izumi turns to the boy that approached her and nods in agreement, introducing herself to the boy and shaking his hand if he will let her. She seems unafraid of the boy.

Hilde seems slightly alarmed by Hosea's sudden movement. She reaches out for the boy but he slips past her. She stays put, however, not wanting to leave Sophie alone.

After Rashmi's speech Travis starts to clap, he hopes it catches on, if not, well he's the only one. "It means a lot that you all came down here to show support. I have a lot of respect for you and your men." He says to the DA before turning back to Dmitri with a smile. He offers a hand out to him and nods. "Thank you again and you're brave for coming down here with us. We just have to keep having faith in those who swore to protect New York City and it's streets since officers like Detective Baxter are the real heroes."

Sophie tilts her head towards Heather, and blushes softly. "My appologies Senorita Heather, I only just realized you said something to me; there are so many voices here, and I cannot always tell who is talking to who." She coughs softly, and flicks her cane in a quick sweep around her feet. "I do not know Senora Rashmi," she adds. "But she sounds levelheaded, yes. And she is a strong woman; I can hear it in her voice." She unclasps her hand from Hilde's arm, and pauses. "Please… watch me," she murmurs, to everyone around her. "I might need you to find me again, I won't be able to find you in this crowd. I'll hold up my cane if I get nervous." And with that, she steps forwards, moving closer towards the main hubbub. "Please," she calls out, raising her voice. "Please, Senor… Raikov? What will happen to the men when they are… convicted?"

A single acknowledgement in the form of, "Of course. I am the one that sounds like I'm played from a tape." When Travis starts clapping, Heather does the same. It makes the sound of several people clapping due to the speed, encouraging others in the crowd to believe that clapping is a good idea. She takes a few steps forward quickly to give a message to Hosea, quietly, "Keep alert, but do not look so nervous. It will only make others be on edge. And that's how rallies become riots. Careful careful careful!"

The young man accepts the handshake from Travis, and then offers a few claps of his own before going back to stand with his family. The mother hugs him close and kisses him on the head, while the father pats him on the back several times, saying something in Russian before nodding several times and adding his applause with the others. Something is murmurs by the mother as well, and she begins to clap. Several others around them join in, adding to the cacophony of joy. From the rooftops, Connor says into the commlink he passed to Rashmi and Hilde, "Looks good from up. Looks -very- good."

Rashmi shakes the Chief's hand firmly, lifting her head to address the whole crowd once more. "Okay! Now that *everyone's* here," she calls, "Before we all freeze to death out here, let's get to marching, okay! We're headed to the Precinct, but look around you! Mutant, normal, police, civilian! You're all here! And we all want the *same thing!* So let's show the *whole city* that!" Lowering the megaphone, she leans in to Sophie. "If they're convicted, they'll go to jail. Probably for a long time. …And they *really* probably won't have any friends if they do."

The Chief smirks at Rashmi. "Oh I'm sure they'll have friends in Rikers…Just not the kind of friends they want to have." ADA Haruno answers Sophie, "That depends on a few things. I cannot give you all of the details because things are still under investigation, but we are seeking life without paroll or the death penalty.

As the boy returns to his parents, Hosea seems to relax a little. Still, he is wary. He is too focused to clap alongside the others, but he allows his gaze to be peeled off of of the unknown teen to Sophie and her questions to the Chief.

Sophie tilts her head downwards, and sighs softly. "I am sorry that they have brought such a thing upon themselves," she murmurs. "It is a shame when people waste their potential, si?" The blind mutant tilts her head, listening over her shoulder, and then faces back towards Rashmi and the others close to her. "I have… stepped away from my guide, and I'm not sure where they are. May I walk with one of you?"

Heather glances towards Hosea and then shrugs, placing her tape recorder at her belt and finishing with her contribution towards applause. She may start well, but can't keep it up for long. As Rashmi urges the walk on, she keeps to a shuffling pace to keep from getting too ahead of herself.

Picking up his coat from the location he left it in, Connor draws down his headcovering mask and settles everything so that when he buckles the faded green thing back in place he looks fairly normal. Catching up with the rest of the group, he reaches over and takes Heather's hand from behind, smiling once at her while he joins the crowd.

Rashmi nods to Sophie, gesturing Heather over as well. Without question, she takes the blind girl's hand, smiling and nodding to the Chief and ADA. "Well… let's be off, then!" Gesturing with her free hand towards the precinct, the redhead begins the walk, fairly glowing with pride at a totally successful, totally *peaceful* rally — And with major personages in attendance, no less! "Heather?" she calls to the timeshifted girl, over the crowd… frowning faintly at herself when she realized the girl's speed might make it even harder to pick out voices amidst a general hubbub. Nudging the person in front of her, she asks that a nudge be passed along—to that boy in the longcoat who just took the hand of the speedster.

The Nigerian keeps his attention on Sophie, and to prevent her from being lost in the crowd, he moves to where she is. "Sophie," he calls out to her in his distinctive African voice. "We are going to start walking," he explains. "We would not want you to get lost from us, yes?" he notes. He holds an arm out for the blind girl to be able to grasp before joining the movement forward with the crowd.

Sophie clasps her hand with Rashmi's, and hustles her feet to keep up. "Thank you," she breathes, facing towards the rally leader. "Just… don't walk too close to any lamp posts, si?" She smiles softly, just as Hosea comes up close once more. She looks to her other side, and ohs! "Hosea!" She holds out her other hand, letting her cane dangle from her wrist.

Heather indeed has trouble hearing her voice called amidst the rest of the sickly green spouted by the crowd, but Connor's grab for her hand certainly gets her attention. She turns towards him and smiles, playing, "Oh, welcome back, Connor! How was your very serious patrolling? Everything's looking great from the ground."

Connor starts moving forwards until the pair of Rashmi and Sophie together, replying to Rashmi, "Someone had to be that 'just in case'. And you know how I get… I hate it when something ruins a perfectly good plan. I've got my MP3 player in my pocket if you need something better for your ears." Sighing once, he takes a knit cap from his pocket and pulls it on to cover his ears against the deeper cold.

Rashmi beams at Hosea as he moves up to take Sophie's other hand, her face bright. "It worked… It really, really worked, and *way* better than I could have ever hoped." Drawing in a deep breath, she turns her eyes in front of her, toward their destination. "I'm Rashmi, by the way. Whose hand am I holding then, miss? I don't think I've seen you before."

"Rashmi," Hosea says. "Da rally is going well, I did not know dat da people of da city were going to come. It is a good thing." He suddenly remembers his manners. "Dis is Sophie, she is new to Xavier's," he tells the Hindi girl. "She is all da way from Spain. A vedy long way, like myself, yes?"

Sophie smiles, as she walks along blindly; but aided by not one but two people. "It is as Senor Hosea says, Senora Rashmi," she replies. "I am Sophie; Sophie Decosta." She pauses, and tilts her head to one side. "Senor Xorn told me about you last night, Senora Rashmi; he tells me that you are one of the school's best graduates. I think I understand why he says such things… you set a fine example to live up to, right now."

"Ohh," says Heather to Connor's offer, knowing that he has songs on there that she finds more interesting and tolerable, if only because they're tweaked up to speed, "I think I will borrow that." To Rashmi, once Connor leads her there, Heather says, "You did good things with your words there. Everything turned out well for you here."

Connor digs the MP3 player up, and passes it over to Heather, "I think I've got some Beatles on there… perfect for this kind of occasion." Waving his hand back and forth as the pair walk, and staying close by Rashmi, he gives a bit of a shrug, and then an amused chuckle, "Kinda wished we could have done the 'arrest me' idea, but this is much better. So… what next? We gonna cure an illness? World peace… c'mon… spill."

"And it's good to meet you too, Sophie," Rashmi replies, the smile evident in her voice. As she opens her mouth to answer the accusation that she's the best graduate Xavier's ever had, Heather makes her observation, causing the Hindi girl to chuckle. "It didn't turn out well just for me, Sophie… it turned out well for *everyone.* And that's the important part, y'know? Everyone has hopes and fears, but most people just… sort of think it's just them. That's why when rallies like this work, they work *wonderfully.* Because then everyone knows they want the same thing, and all hope for the sa—" Connor's question of 'what next?' trips her up, causing her to dissolve into a snort of laughter. "*Hardly.* Next? Next we get some sleep, do what we normally do, and pray that the police get hold of Lil as quickly as possible. They've got the hard job, now."

~ Fin ~

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