ArchivedLogs:Can't Stop the Beat
|Can't Stop the Beat|
“Get the fuck out of here.” (CW: Violence.)
Despite its rough and tumble reputation of old, Clinton has come far from the illegal gambling and shakedowns of Prohibition, and the gang warfare of West Side Story. Clinton has now become the industrial supply center for midtown Manhattan, with hospitals and the light industrial and commercial businesses required to support so many thousands of people. The neighborhood has become quite expensive, but many actors still cram together in small apartments due to its proximity to Broadway.
The westerly edge of Hell's Kitchen is a patchwork quilt of rapid development, attending speculation, and damaged or even condemned properties stuck in legal limbo. This aspiring apartment building belongs to the latter category, and is in better repair than most. It had been under extensive renovations when the first zombie outbreak came, abandoned for several months before work resumed, and then abandoned again during the second major outbreak. Though it has suffered to some extent the entropy that befalls all untended buildings, it remains structurally sound and inhabitable..
Over the last few months, the building's upper levels have become a slowly growing and reasonably well-managed mutant squat. Tonight, the two-level lobby, with its soaring ceiling, wide double staircases, and vintage early 20th century styling, has been donated to, or appropriated for, an underground dance party. An elaborate hand-painted banner strung between the two staircases to hang over the entrance, reads: 'DNAce Party!'
Marinov has come out to the city and is ready to party! Having heard about the event from an online contact, they used the directions provided to make it out. Their outfit is designed to emphasize their natural coloration, a midriff baring maxi top cut in a way that blends well with the edges of their rosettes, and a pair of tight darkly coloured jeans. With ears perked and their tail curled, the young mutant is clearly excited to cut loose on the first day of the coming weekend. Their eyes turn up to the banner and they reread it a couple of times before it elicits a chuckle.
Down on the dance floor, in the liveliest knot of dancers near the reception-desk-turned-DJ-booth, Alice is in her element. She may not be the most skilled dancer on the floor, but she compensates with enthusiasm to the heavy bass of the house music. Her skin-tight silver cropped tank and matching booty shorts glitter with holographic rainbows under the swirling (but notably /not/ flashing) dance floor lights. Her hair has been done up in long, thick twists woven through with EL wire which glows with slow, hypnotically cycling rainbow light.
A tall, willowy young woman has just left the bar with two red Solo cups in hand, wending her way across the floor. She wears a flowing white dress faintly suggestive of ancient Greek himations in its generous drape, lacy white gloves that reach her elbows, and white sandals with straps that lace up her calves. Though she is merely walking, the graceful weave of her path through the dancers itself resembles dance, and she pauses frequently to chat. She has only just made it to Alice, delivering one of the cups into her friend's hands, when she spots Marinov. Raising a newly freed hand to wave, she picks her way back across the floor to greet the felinoid youth. "Great to see you! First time to this event?"
When Marinov's eyes turn back down from the banner, they glance about with momentary uncertainty before starting out towards the dance floor proper. At the motion of Desi's wave, Marinov's attention snaps to her. Their eyes narrow a moment before recognition sets in and they wave enthusiastically in return, starting to weave through the crowd in order to meet her part way. "Hey! Yeah, my first time! I only just heard about it, figured it'd be my kind of scene!"
Alice accepts the cup from Desi with a smile and a signed 'thanks', taking a hasty swig to make her drink a little safer to dance with. When Desi dances away this time she follows, less gracefully. "Hey! My first time, too. This is party is sweet!" She bobs her head to the music, her glowing rainbow twists dancing and swaying in time. "Oh and this one may wanna downplay it but this woulda never gotten off the ground without her promotional wizardry." She elbows Desi in a good natured way. "There's like a chill room in the back if this all gets --"
She's cut off by the bang of the double front doors as someone slams them shut. Three men stand in the entryway, each wearing a black leather vest and disdainful scowls. The chatter in the club suddenly dies down but the music continues unabated. The newcomers skirt the edge of the dance floor and go up to the DJ booth. Their leader yells something at the DJ, though only those very nearby or possessed of unusually excellent hearing can pick out his words over the music, "Turn that noise off and scram, freak."
Desi inclines her head demurely at Alice's praise, but doesn't get the chance to confirm or deny it. When the doors slam she does not, as so many others, jump. She goes very still, the pupils of her bright green eyes dilating. As she watches the three men approach the DJ, she signs quickly, one handed, taking care that the gesture is blocked from the view of the newcomers by her companions' bodies, 'I'm going to talk to them, you don't have to come.' As makes her over to the DJ's desk, she tugs off both of her gloves and stuffs them into her purse, fiddling briefly with her phone without fully taking it out. She gives the DJ a sympathetic glance and a small nod when she joins the rather one-sided conversation. "Excuse me, Gentlemen," she says, her voice at once polite and firm, "if you don't like the party, I think you should leave."
While Marinov's eyes light up with interest at Alice's explanation of Desi's promotion skills and they look like they want to say something. At the bang, their ears swivel towards the doors and their fur starts to stand on end. They nod comprehension towards Desi, but glance to Alice and tilt their head in Desi's direction to indicate that they are following regardless. The felinoid youth stops a short distance away to linger and try and hear what's going on.
Alice's brows knit tight as she watches Desi's hands, but it's hard to say how much of this is disapproval at the message and how much is difficulty in understanding. She blinks at Marinov, and seems just a little alarmed when Desi starts toward the troublemakers, though she, like Marinov, follows close.
The DJ, a mousy young person dressed in black and hung with many-colored glowstick loops, doesn't immediately obey, though they do scoot back away from the men making angry demands. The fleshy antennae sprouting from their many-colored hair just above the temples weave uncertainly in the air, their bulbous ends pulsing with soft yellow light. That light shifts to orange when Desi arrives, flanked by Marinov and Alice, but they say nothing.
The leader of the troublemakers rounds on Desi, and seems slightly taken aback to be addressing a conventionally attractive and perfectly human-looking white girl. "The party itself isn't the problem, I'm afraid. Just some of the guests." His eyes skip over to Marinov and his face contorts with barely suppressed distaste. "We want freaks to know they're not welcome in our neighborhood." At that he flips one of his companions a nod, and the man turns back, drags the DJ bodily from their seat. The other henchman hunches over the laptop the DJ had set up, frowning. Pokes at the keyboard experimentally. The music plays on.
Desi listens patiently and inclines her head in and noncommittal gesture. "I understand your concern, Sir. Perhaps --" But when the henchman grabs the DJ, she changes tack slightly. "Oh!" she exclaims, eyes wide with fear. "Oh no, surely there's no need for violence?" With this she lays an imploring hand tentatively on the leader's, reaching into his mind and answering her own rhetorical question in the resounding negative while strengthening her next suggestion, spoken in a lower--if not quite conspiratorial--tone, "There are an /awful/ lot of mutants here..."
Marinov returns the look of distaste with a baleful glare. One lip twitches up to expose a large canine, but they remain silent, even though the tension in their frame make it evident that they want to pounce. Instead, they cross their arms tightly as if self-restraining, eyes turned back to Desi as she makes her suggestion.
The leader responds quite readily to both Desi's placating tone and her telepathy. "I guess we shouldn't go /too/ crazy," he hedges. "Let's just shut off the music and go?" One of the henchmen finally succeeds in that objective by indiscriminately unplugging all of the cables from the DJ's laptop. The other is having a perhaps surprisingly hard time keeping hold of the DJ, who is actively squirming out of his grasp. He curses and grabs one of the mutant's glowing antennae. The DJ yelps with pain and alarm, the sound ringing out stark in the abrupt silence. The antenna in the man's grasp twists and glows angry red.
"Hey, let 'em go!" Alice doesn't actually give the henchman time to consider this appealing proposition. She winds back an arm and throws a sloppy punch in the general direction of his face. Had the man been a better fighter, or paying more attention, or not busy wrangling the DJ, he probably could have avoided the blow easily. But since he is none of those things and since Alice is quite strong, her fist catches him squarely in the jaw and snaps his head back, hard.
Several whoops and cheers and cries of alarm go up from the dance floor. The other henchman, who had been looking smug over his successful stopping of the beat, poles a wicked-looking knife from his back pocket and flips it open as he swoops to his fellow's defense.
Desi appears far less perturbed by Alice's sudden act of violence than by the previous, more predictable one. Her hand tightens on the leader's for a moment. << Run! You all /need/ to get out of here! >> It's only when she lets go of him back the way that she sees the other henchman pull out his knife. "Alice!" is about all she has time to say.
Marinov's hands flex and their claws extend from their fingertips when the DJ yelps, but Alice moves into action first. At the flash of steel from the knife, though, the tension in their body releases and they spring forward towards the knife wielder. They swipe their claws towards his wrist to disarm him and growl, “Get the fuck out of here.”
The leader's eyes go wide-wide under Desi's sway. He loops around wildly, breath coming in panicked gasps. "Fuck this shit, we gotta /go!/" With that he bolts for the exit, not waiting to see his comrades extricated from their respective fights. The crowd parts easily for him, too startled to chase him except with a few jeers.
The henchman with the knife cries out when Marinov's talons rake him. Blood wells up from deep, parallel slashes on his forearm and while he manages not to drop his weapon, he instinctively claps his other hand over the wounds and cradles that arm to his side. He looks down at the blood seeping out between his fingers, then back up at Marinov in slow, dawning horror before he takes their advice and follows their leader out the door. The man Alice punched is slowest to vacate, busy staggering back and cursing uninventively. When he's finally shaken his head clear, he realizes he's been abandoned by his comrades and beats a hasty retreat, as well.
The DJ, who has been cowering away from their assailants, slowly unfolds from the corner, rubbing their bruised antenna gingerly. "Hey, gracias," they say quietly to the three, a slight quaver in their voice. With the same unsteadiness, though louder, they say, "So uh, /that/ happened!" They're plugging their gear back in with a nervous chuckle, starting the music up quiet and then cranking it up. "How about let's get this party re-started, huh?"