ArchivedLogs:Loitering with Intent
|Loitering with Intent|
"My hands are up!"
<NYC> Lower East Side
Historically characterized by crime and immigrant families crammed into cramped tenement buildings, the Lower East Side is often identified with its working-class roots. Today, it plays host to many of New York's mutant poor, although even here they are still often forced into hiding.
It's a cool afternoon, unseasonably so for June, and the clouds threaten rain more and more harshly as the sun sinks. The NYPD patrol van rolls down the streets and slows to a stop at the corner, squarely in front of a fire hydrant. The two officers step out, one squat solid Latino and one tall, square-jawed white man. The former opens the back door and a humanoid robot unfolds itself out onto the sidewalk, followed by another. The Sentinels' chrome and white ceramic armor gleam even under the dull overcast, their movements fluid though mechanical, their joint actuators surprisingly quiet. The two cops and two bots approach the small knot of young people at a slow, leisurely pace.
A group of loitering youths is located in front of a nearby thrift store - the shop itself is open, but the group has not entered and is simply hanging outside the windows. One looks to be human while the other two are obvious, physical mutants and the young woman with horns appears to be speaking. "So, yeah, I was telling Marinov that this is the place that said they might have a, uh ... you know, opportunity opening up soon and that I'm at the top of their, uh, list." Despite the chill, Paige is wearing a black t-shirt along with a pair of black jeans as she rubs at one of her arms. "It'd be pretty great, you know? Within walking distance of the Commons. And Heather is going here all the time." A smile twitches at her lips. "She thinks I should be able to get her discounts."
Due to the weather being nice (for someone with fur), Marinov happily accompanied Paige to see the place that she had applied to work. The teen wears an olive coloured skort and a loose fitted white top and they are currently standing with a hand on their hip as they consider the place. "I think that'd be a pretty good place to work, actually. I like repurposing old clothes sometimes, it can be a fun sorta project." They draw their phone from their bag to check for any new messages, "Could save you both a bit of money, then, if you work there. Win wi-?" They stop suddenly, glance up and sniff lightly at the air a couple of times.
The cops come up to the group, thumbs hooked on their belts and stone-faced. The Sentinels follow close by, silent and watchful and smelling like a cross between New Car and a makerspace. "So, what're you people up to?" asks the white cop, eying Paige speculatively, like one might an unusual insect. "You know it doesn't look good, young people loitering out in front of businesses."
The human looking youth, whom might in fact be human, peers through the window as the horned woman explains they may have an opportunity opening up soon. "That's pretty sweet Paige, looks like a nice place, well from what I can see through the window anyway. They ought to hire you already." Nic's dressed fairly warmly with a navy blue windbreaker and black jeans." He grins towards Paige "Well Heather's probably right you'll likely get dis...count?" The teen turns towards the officers approaching "Oh hello there officer, just checking out the shop, sounds like they may be hiring."
A very determined Anette rounds a nearby corner, though she doesn't draw attention to herself, even attempting to keep her wings tucked as tightly against her body as she can. She had picked up Paige's voice from a few blocks away and was already considering saying hello when she also picked up the distinct mechanical noise of Sentinel movement. Fearing the worst, Anette decides to pay her friend a 'visit' after all. When she catches sight of the police backed by Sentinels, her face visibly pales and she pauses, taking a small step back as she genuinely considers the idea of leaving. She closes her eyes, takes a deep breath, and steps forward towards the group. Again, she tries not to draw attention to herself, instead attempting to blend in as a random passerby. Just a heavily pregnant, giant-winged passerby.
A teenage girl slowly approaches the knot of people (and bots). Tall, heavyset, and apparently human, she is dressed casually very casually, with grass stains on her white t-shirt and holes in the knees of her jeans. Her dirty-blonde hair is pulled back in a ponytail. She was drawn to the two obvious mutants, nervous but determined to introduce herself, when the police car pulled up. Her brown eyes widen in her freckled farmgirl face and she stops about fifteen feet away, faux-casually pulling out her cell phone.
"Up to? Loitering? No - we were just -- " Paige cuts herself off as she regards the uniformed officers before her, eyes widening and ears pressing in a downwards direction. A glance is given to Nic as the teenager responds and she nods and offers a weak smile to the police officers. The smile quickly fades, however, when she takes in the way the white officer is looking at her, and her face flushes beneath her fur. "Yeah, we were just talking. N-nothing to worry about. We'll be, uh, on our way? We're not -- we don't mean -- I'm sorry for the trouble ... ?" The young woman's apology completes with an obvious inflection as she seems to suddenly notice the Sentinels. Shifting uncomfortably on her hooves, she doesn't seem (or smell) to be outright afraid of the robotic humanoids, but she takes a step back and the uncertainty she has over their presence is evident enough through her body language. "We'll just be going on our way?" the horned mutant repeats, this time in a squeakier voice.
"Yeah, you best move on. We wouldn't want any of these good folks out here on the street to be getting the wrong idea." The white cop jerks his chin generally in the direction of Husk. His partner stiffens when Paige apologizes. "You better watch how you talk, too," he says sternly. "You're gonna make someone sick."
He has barely finished speaking when the Sentinels step out from behind their organic handlers. "Citizen, you have been detained. Stand down immediately."
"Yes, officers, talking about the summer job market," says Marinov in an attempted polite tone, more than a little thwarted by their ears folding back and fur rising on end. Their eyes shift from the men to their pet robots when the Sentinels speak and Marinov's lip twitches up, baring fangs in frustration. "Who are they talking to? I thought we were told to move on? I'm fine to move on!"
"Hey now, we haven't done anything wrong." Nic frowns heavily as they're told to move on, and grumbles under his breath "I guess it's illegal to look for a job now... at least if you have horns it is." His eyes widen when the robot announces they're being detained, they then flick towards Marinov as they speak up "Yeah, we're good, moving on... what's this about detaining?"
The white cop looks hard at Nic. "Don't get smart with me, son. We'll take care of letting you know what's legal and not." Though now he gives a long, slow side-eye to one Sentinel, then the other. "Whoa, hey now, what's this?" he asks his partner in a harse stage whisper.
"They detecting something...mutant-y?" the Latino cop asks right back.
"Stand down immediately." The Sentinels both level their right arms at the three youths before the cops, panels on the armor of their forearms opening to fold out gleaming metallic tubes. And then both swivel their upper torsos to face Anette. "Federal fugitive sighted. Moving to apprehend." They don't actually move to apprehend, though they do fire, one dart each at Anette as she approaches.
Anette beats her wings, not quite flying but giving herself extra thrust as she runs across the sidewalk, just narrowly missing the darts, her arms crossed protectively across her stomach. "RUN!" she yells to the group, taking a few extra beats of her wings and flying up towards the roof of the shop. Which, in her condition, though still possible, takes a bit extra effort than before.
Husk flushes with anger when the officer implies that she might be bothered by Paige's presence and then gasps when the Sentinels turn on Anette. She squares her shoulders and steps a few feet closer. Opening her camera app, she begins to record the encounter, not bothering to hide what she's doing.
The Sentinels appear to have completely forgotten the teens who prompted the police to approach to begin with, their dart arms swivelling up to follow Anette as she lifts off. The centers of their palms start to glow, and, as they slowly lift off, the light of the larger repulsors in the soles of their feet can be seen, too. Their second volley is not as well aimed due to the unsteadiness of taking off, but they quickly gain both altitude and speed as they pursue Anette.
The cops are gawping. The white one has drawn his sidearm but doesn't seem to know where to point it. "Everyone down on the ground!" he roars. "What are those tin cans doing?!"
Only the Latino cop even notices Husk filming, but he has other things on his mind, too. "She's gotta be on a terrorism list or something, they have higher orders to go after those."
Paige's face reddens more darkly and her ears continue to press down as the officer comments on her pattern of speech, but she remains silent. When the Sentinels move towards her, the young woman's brows pinch in fear and distress. She raises her hands up to the level of her chest, palms out, as she takes another step backwards, bringing her back against the window of the thrift shop. Her breathing is rapid and shallow. The goat girl spares a glance towards Nic and Marinov when the two of them react to the Sentinel's instructions. "They --" Her words are immediately stifled and ears flick up in alarm when the robotic humanoids raise their weapons towards herself and the others and she leans heavily against the glass.
She manages to let out a sigh of relief as the Sentinels turn away from them, but when she discovers what they are aiming towards, she lets out a breath of disbelieving exasperation. "-Anette-?! What are you doing here?!" And then the winged mutant is on the roofing telling her to run and the cops are screaming for them to get on the ground. It works out well enough as her knees decide to buckle of their own accord and she slumps to her butt on the sidewalk, covering her head with her arms.
"My hands are up!" says Marinov, raising their hands up upon being pointed at by the sentinels, fingers curled forward in a relaxed position so that no claw is exposed. Their ears swivel when the sentinels suddenly change targets, and their eyes widen, tail now at maximum poof. "She's obviously pregnant, you can't shoot that shit at- these things are obviously malfunctioning!" They keep their hands up still, eyes on the white cop's sidearm. A grimace appears on their face at Paige falling down and they start lowering slowly onto their knees, not wanting to abandon her here.
"Hey hey, easy" Nicodemus says raising his hands to show his palms to the robots to be as clearly non threatening as possible. When they swivel and fire on Annette he cries out in shock "What the shit man!? You guys just take a shot at a pregnant lady?" Nic watches as Annette takes off into the sky to avoid the darts then spots the officer drawing his gun clearly confused and on edge he follows suit with Marinov slowly lowering to his knees next to the other two, he watches the sentinels take off after Annette with a grimace "Do you have /any/ control over those things?"
Just as the Sentinels begin to rise, Anette jump off the roof, coasting towards the ground and letting gravity handle most of the work. "That's not running," she yells to the mutants who are kneeling on the ground as she swoops above them. After that warning, beats her wings again, gaining height. Her flying is erratic, hoping to confuse her pursuers and continue to draw them towards her and away from the others. "You have nothing better than to go after pregnant women and kids now?" she calls to the police, during a swoop that brings her relatively close to them.
Muttering "Jesus H. Christ!", Husk tracks the Sentinels flight with her camera, and then swings it back toward the ground to capture the human cops confusion. As Paige falls to the ground, Husk takes a hesitant half-step forward, then changes her mind, backing off and lowering herself to the ground. Lying belly-down on the pavement, she twists to one side so she can film Anette's wild flight.
The white cop's gun swings abruptly toward Paige when she collapses, then to Marinov, then to Nic. He's clearly just aiming at anything that moves. "Shut up and stay down!"
"Hamlin, call for backup!" The Latino cop has also drawn his gun, though he aims it up at Anette. "You, with the wings! Get down here, you're under arrest!"
The white cop nods jerkily and frees one hand to operate the radio at his shoulder.
The Sentinels have just risen up to Anette's level when she leaps down. One of them veers away sharply to flank her, while the other hovers down and backward to stay in front of her, both firing darts yet again. As she begins her swoop, however, the flesh-and-bone cops fire real bullets at her, the shots ringing sudden and stark even in the chaos.
The goat-like mutant, for her part, remains sitting on the ground with her hands covering her head as her friends lower themselves as well. She doesn't have a chance to notice the white police officer aim his gun at her, but her ears do twitch and she glances up as he shouts in time to see him reach towards his radio. The gunshots, however, grab her attention with intensity and she watches as the two cops fire their guns towards her winged, pregnant friend. "What ... " Paige reaches behind her, placing her palms against the wall of the thrift store, and gently raises herself as if to stand. It only takes a split second before she appears to realize that this course of action would not be well-advised. "Why the -fuck- is this happening?" she hisses, not directing her words towards anyone - though it is likely Nic and Marinov can hear them easily. "What the fuck is going on? Why is this happening?" Her face has contorted into one of distress and is dark crimson; given this and the panicky tone of her voice, it might be gathered that she is on the verge of breaking down into tears.
Anette does her best to dodge the shots coming at her but her agility is not quite up to par given she is permanently carrying a second human being. The white cop gets a lucky shot, the bullet nicking the flesh of her wing. Not enough to disable her but she drops a couple feet before she regains her bearings. And it hurts like hell. One Sentinel gets a much luckier shot, the very tip of a dart finding its way into her shoulder. "Shit," she grows, reaching over to rip the dart out and flying as fast as she can away the police, turning down the first alley she can, searching for any sort of escape.
The Sentinels drift off after Anette in their eerily quiet vertical flight, arms still raised, their soothing electronic voices calling after her, "Stand down, you are under arrest. Do not..."
The two organic cops are sweating, breathing fast. They back away from the youths, leaving them on the ground and making a break for their car. The lights flash, the sirens blare, and they're peeling off after their robotic charges and their winged quarry.