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Dramatis Personae

Flicker, Matt

2017-01-02


"I usually dress better when I evangelize." (part of amptp)

Location

<NYC> Bronx


The northernmost of New York's five boroughs, the Bronx... well. You might get shanked. Especially here, just north of Soundview and in the shadow of the expressway. The neighborhood is a mix of low-income housing (much of it abandoned and dilapidated), warehouses, and a startling number of self-storage facilities. This particular building has definitely seen better days, though it at least looks occupied: broken windows have been boarded up against the cold, and some of the unbroken ones even have curtains in them. The front door, however, is barely holding on, sagging crooked in its frame. There's a young Latinx sitting on the front stoop smoking a hand-rolled cigarette, watching all comers with a careful but relaxed eye.

Down the block, kind of unassuming as he wanders over with hands tucked in the pockets of his black leather jacket, Flicker is casting a pensive eye on the buildings. Slowing as he approaches the one with the broken door, to offer a quick smile to the stoop's occupant. "{Good afternoon,}" comes in easy Spanish. "Howsit?"

Beside Flicker, Matt looks less immediately aware of his surroundings, though not quite zoning out, exactly. His X-jacket is unzipped over a red t-shirt featuring Calvin and Hobbes riding on the Millennium Falcon and newish, well-fitted blue jeans. He smiles, too, as they draw to a stop in front of the broken door, and waves at the young person sitting before it.

Taking a long puff on their cigarette, the person sitting on the stoop studies the newcomers. "Yo. Just chilling." Their eyes linger on the Xavier's logo on the two men's jackets. "You lost? Or looking for something?"

"Maybe," Flicker admits directly enough. "Well, not lost. One of our friends is a paramedic -- he was here earlier after --" His eye tracks to the broken door. "-- a little bit of chaos. The person with him is stable, they'll be fine. We just wanted to make sure everyone here was, too."

The young person takes one last drag off of their cigarette, huffing a smoky laugh as Flicker looks to the door. "We're fine." The dog-end in their hand combusts in a bright burst of flame that consumes their entire hand and singes their cuff, though they don't seem very put out by this as they turn to head back inside. "Don't need no help." When they drag open the door, though, there's a scrawny black child waiting there.

The child looks very much as though they just /happened/ to stop there for a moment and have not been eavesdropping at all. Their eyes are very wide, and before they can speak (though they look very much ready to), the house rumbles audibly and a cry of pain comes from somewhere in its depth.

"Shit," the pyrokinetic says. They glance at Flicker and Matt, then back into the unlit hallway beyond the child. "Don't see how you /can/ help anyway," they mutter, but give a small toss of their head as they head inside. "Stay here!" they tell the child in the entryway as they lead the visitors into what was probably once the library of the house. It has built-in shelves that have been stripped bare of books, and is now furnished entirely with blankets, pillows, and cushions scavenged from couches. There's a woman curled in a nest of blankets, her dark brown skin slightly ashen and damp with sweat. What little glass remaining in the windows of the room rattle violently, and several smaller cusions are spinning slowly in mid-air.

Matt follows the young person inside, stretching out his senses to feel for the source of the telekinetic disturbance. He frowns when he steps into the room. Tilts his head, even closes his eyes momentarily in concentration. Then shakes his head. "Can we help? We can do some first aid, and we can hook you up with medical assistance, official or otherwise." he asks, kneeling down near the woman. Glances around the room again. Quietly, to the pyrokinetic, "Do you know who's doing this?"

"Alright," Flicker replies, "it's just lately things have been --" He cuts off when the house rumbles. Past a very faint tense of shoulders, he doesn't seem /surprised/ overly by this. Maybe a bit more on alert. He follows the others through the house, pausing in the doorway to the erstwhile library to take stock of the room. Matt's question gets a puzzled look, though. Eyes darting from the floating pillows to the woman on the blankets. Brows lifting? Pointedly? "If you all need medical help, we know safe people. Who'll help without -- any strings. Or questions."

The woman rallies herself and looks at Matt and Flicker in turn, her teeth still gritted and her body shaking. "Who these fuckers, Zip?" the question is levelled, slightly accusatory, at the pyrokinetic who had led them inside. "/I'm/ fine, but you crackers the worst dressed missionaries I ever--gah!" She curls in on herself again, as a palpable telekinetic shockwave ripples out from her, overturning pillows and shaking loose a few chunks of broken glass from one windowframe, though it's not strong enough to knock a person over.

Zip darts a confused sideways glance at Matt. "Who? It's her, duh." They crouch down beside her and hold a water bottle out for her. "Say they're friends with that medic from this morning." More quietly, in Spanish. "{It's getting worse, Cassie. Maybe they /can/ help, somehow?}"

Whatever Cassie's intended reply had been, it's drowned out by another shockwave, this one strong enough to knock everyone in the room back a step. Zip falls backward into a pile of cushions, fire bursting from their hands and catching the bedding around them.

"We're not here to evangelize," Matt assures Cassie, "just help, if we can, but--" He frowns more deeply when the first shockwave washes over them. He glances aside at Flicker and gives a quick shake of his head. At Zip's reply to him, his eyebrows lift up, fractionally, though he does not argue. Does not really have time to. The second shockwave tips him over, though he rolls back up into a crouch easily enough, stretching out his powers to dampen Zip's abilities even while he grabs a blanket to smother the flames that already caught.

"Sss--" The breath that catches from Flicker is quiet. He braces through the first shockwave, looking more surprised at Matt's headshake than the actual force. The second one sends him into a flutter -- rocking back a half-step, blipping near-instantly back into place. Then forward by the bedside. Hands (well, one hand and one claw) out of his pockets, now, a blanket in his hands nearly as soon as the flames have caught. Batting down the flames. "I usually dress better when I evangelize." Half-apologetic. A small sheepish smile on his face. "We just -- have some experience. With losing control of abilities."

With what looks like a supreme effort, Cassie has reined her telekinesis back in again, and the pillows drop back down as though the strings from which they hung had been cut. "Zip? {Shit man, you alright?}" She sits up straighter, wincing. "Fuck. Ain't nothing to be done about this 'cept get through it." Looking around in a sudden panic, she tries to get up. "Where's Kia? She was with me before. Kia!"

Zip looks more frightened than hurt, though that fright is enough to destabilize their very tenuous control of their abilities, sensible to Matt as a roiling pressure. It is not difficult to quell, however, and no further fires result. As their breathing evens out, so does the uneven flaring of their power. "{I told her to wait out in the hall, she's /fine/.}" When they look back at Flicker--he wasn't there a second ago!--they recoil at the sight of the claw, though only briefly. "Damn son, you are /fast/. But you can chill I got it under control now."

Moving back to give Zip some space, Matt cranes his neck out toward the hall to see if the child has remained there. As the pyrokinetic calms, he eases up on his dampening. "You got it," he agrees, "and I can probably help you manage it a bit better, too. That's what I /do./" His eyes flick to Cassie, and he bites his lower lip. "/Usually./ I think it may be a good idea for you to see Joshua again--the paramedic who talked to you earlier today."

Kia is indeed still out in the hall, if only /technically/. She has crept right up to the door and is peering in, dark brown eye huge and unblinking. "Are you doctors?" she asks quietly. "Why's Cassie sick?"

"Alright." Another quick-hop takes Flicker back away from the pair and the pile of slightly singed bedding. "It's just, sometimes getting through it can be really rough, right? And if you want any support --" His whole shoulder shrugs. "Our friend Joshua is especially good. Especially if anyone needs medical care and -- can't /go/ to a hospital." He moves over toward the door, offering a small headshake to the girl. "Not doctors. Just friends."

"What you /do?/" Cassie is arching a skeptical brow at Matt. "Look, we don't need your help," she reiterates. "This kinda thing sorts itself out." She exchanges a glance with Zip. "We'll be fine."

Zip chews on their bottom lip, looking down at the singed blankets in their lap, then up at Matt dubiously. "I think he um. Can do stuff with powers. Other people's powers." Small pause. "Right?"

"Yes." Matt rises as well. "But there's something unusual with your mutation," this is to Cassie. "I can't sense it. Which might mean you also have an ability that /keeps/ me from sensing it, but whatever the case, there's not a lot I can do directly for you." His voice softens. "I hope it does sort itself out safely. Just -- you don't have to go it alone."

Cassie has grown abruptly more tense. "Ain't none of your business if my powers are unusual," she says coldly. The broken glass in the window frames rattle again, and a few lighter articles of bedding begin lifting into the air. "Oh fuck." She sounds more tired than anything else. "Look, thanks for your concern. We'll contact your Joshua if we need, but right now I want you to get outta our house."

Flicker reaches into the inside of his pocket, pulling out a slip of paper to write a name and phone number down. He offers it to Cassie before flitting back toward the door. "Stay safe, alright? I know things have been rough lately. Just about everywhere." There's still a decent amount of concern in his expression, even while he's leaving.

Zip gets up and walks the two X-Men to the door, herding Kia with them and pushing her aside into the kitchen as they go. The front door hadn't shut all the way to begin with, hanging as it is half off its hinges, and they push it open. "{Thank you. Take care, alright?}" They look as though they want to say something more, but ultimately does not.