The most populous of the boroughs, Brooklyn has nothing if not character. With a thriving music and arts scene, and a distinctive New York slant to its stereotypical gritty accents, Brooklyn ranges from the high-cultured to the very much working class. From botanical gardens to beachfronts, Manhattanites might like to think their borough is the only one that matters, but Brooklyn has a lot to offer of its own.
A petite female figure slinks out of a crumbling brick row home. The neglected building's boarded up windows are all marked with bright yellow and pink zoning and construction notices like a lot of the trendy neighborhood's old squatter haunts.
"Hey! Hey you!" A yuppie neighbor shouts from his porch, waving a fist and making to come after her.
Echo turns to glance over her shoulder at the man as she wraps a scarf around her head and face, protecting herself against the balmy 37 degree weather. She wears a gaudy, plush-lined coat with a floral print straight out of an upholstery fabric swatch and a pair of discarded children sized UGG boots. The coat's tails flap after her as she makes to dart out into the two-lane street away from the man.
There's a throaty growl of engine heading down the street, a sleek heavily modified black-and-chrome Harley (vanity plate reading WIRED) veering around the corner to cut the man off in his chase. Probably more by accident than any sense of nobility, Ion is driving -- not particularly at the speed limit, VROOM, nearly chasing Echo down himself as he speeds down the street. Nearly. Not quite though. He whooshes on past only to find himself a parking space by the corner, a fierce grin on his face when he stops his bike.
He's dressed -- well, /like/ a biker, helmet and heavy leather jacket (small Mutant Mongrels MC patch on the sleeve with its skull and crossed-lightning-bolts insignia) and tall shitkicker boots and fingerless gloves. His passenger -- probably harder to find a helmet that'll fit /her/. There's a very /small/ sidecar attached to his bike, its passenger heavily swaddled against cold and /very/ strapped in. "Ey-ey-ey how's /that/ huh baby's first /ride/. Maybe now we crack open baby's first beer?" He's... probably joking. Prooobably. He tugs the helmet off his head, squinting at the chaser/chasee down the street. "Everyone in such a hurry." As if he wasn't just breaking the speed limit two seconds before.
Perched behind Ion, wrapped in a black hooded cape, Isra wears no helmet. She unfolds herself from the bike and takes Eridani--likewise sans helmet--from the sidecar. Even with only their bulbous head visible, the resemblance between large gargoyle and small is unmistakable. Her skin and theirs are the same gray, though the latter with fine, velvety gray hair; her eyes bright green and quite human, theirs the same color but somewhat more uncanny-looking for looking much too large; her ears long and pointed, theirs even more so, dropping at the tips; her horns spiral back majestically, almost a foot long each, and theirs only small, blunt buds. "I think not, but if I feed them first, /I'll/ have a beer with you." Her gaze follows Ion's. "Trouble?" Neither her expression nor her voice register concern, but her tail sways a little faster beneath the hem of her cape.
The billowy hems of Echo's skirts swish around at her ankles as she trot-runs. The Morlock only half-registers the chopper as it passes her, but as the trio swoop into their corner spot she stumbles to an abrupt stop against a parked car's side-view mirror.
The young woman's shimmery, blue headscarf unravels some in the wind as she whips around to look over her shoulder. Something beneath it pulses on either side of her head as she catches her breath.
Thankfully, the neighbor is just about as athletic as Echo ...and hardly as brave. He's a few cars down still with his hands on his knees, catching his breath. He shouts a vague warning about staying away, or keeping out.
Echo turns to look ahead of her and spots Isra and Eridani first. She flutters her lashes and puts her shoulders at ease, as if feeling instantly safer.
"Pff, trouble, I dunno no trouble hermana. Fucking yuppies, fucking kids-these-day." Ion just sounds kind of amused by the whole exchange, leaning against the side of his motorbike and reaching into the inside of his jacket to pull a pack of cigarettes out of an inside pocket. "Man, no show?" He sounds a little disappointed. "Ain't nobody got no /pride/ in they-selfs no more." His voice raises a little -- pitched to carry to Echo and the chasing man both. "That weren't hardly a block, yo. You needa work out more!"
One of Isra's ears rotates toward Echo. "I'm sure it's only a minor dispute. Nothing worth working up a sweat." She cradles Eridani in the crook of one elbow and casually loosens their swaddling with her free hand. The infant opens their mouth wide and tries to sink their canines into her wrist, but the teeth snag on the purple cohesive bandages there. Shifting her grip and rolling back the sleeve of her seafoam green tunic, Isra lets Eridani bite down on the inside of her elbow. They settle down at once, freeing spindly arms and wings to wrap around her arm as they feed. She walks toward the winded young woman. "Are you quite all right?"
"I'm alrigh'," Echo answers in a breathy, hick-accent. She steps forward, bringing up two mittened hands to paw at her scarf. "Woulda scared the shit outta him if he caught up," she twitches up a little smile as whatever is under the scarf pulses again, "Thanks for checkin', though. Yer too kind." Truth be told, she still hasn't entirely caught her breath. She continues to do so as her large eyes take in the trio, twinkling in amusement at both the baby and Ion's commentary. She struggles to produce a cigarette with her covered hands ...which might also explain some why she's so easily out of breath. It's not too hard to tell she's some tier of homeless.
"/No pride/," Ion insists, "anything worth doing, it's worth doing fucking right." His tongue clicks against his teeth. /Disapproving/. He taps a cigarette out of its box, slipping it between his lips and tucking the pack back into his jacket to exchange it for a lighter. "Yeah, you look fuckin' terrifying. Me I'm quaking. Why he even chasing you huh."
"Not everyone takes crime as a matter of personal achievement." Isra's voice is placid and her face beatific. Eridani emits a series of pleased clicks that, muffled my their mother's arm, sound rather like gurgles. "And, unfortunately , not everyone needs a reason to chase after freaks, however poorly they execute their pursuit."
"/Aw./ Don't be scared'a me, pretty lil boy," Echo tilts her head to smile past Isra to Ion, breathing out a giggle as she brings her cigarette to her lips. Her covered fins flap, letting loose a few long spirals of red hair to hang over her face as she pats around herself for a lighter, "It's a shame, really." She half-nods, half shakes her head at the mutant woman's words, accepting absolutely no responsibility for the little chase scene. "There really is startin' to be a downright unsavory element to this neighborhood, in general, if you ask me," she plucks the unlit cigarette from her lips in the direction from whence she fled.
"Eh what freaks? Ain't nobody chasin' on /us/, hermana." Ion's eyes shift past Echo towards the house she had been running from. Then back to Eridani and Isra. "And maybe some people, huh, they just they don't do nothing with, what's it. With a /grace/. Maybe they feel this /personal achievement/ yeah if they be doing some the /beautiful/ crimes I done." He flicks his lighter, dipping his head to light the cigarette then tuck the lighter back in his pocket. "Who you callin' unsavory, yo. /We/ fuckin' /respectable/." He waves the cigarette between himself and the Big and Little gargoyles.
"I meant the young lady." Isra quirks a fangy smile. Eridani's makes an audible snuffle, their bulging green eyes rolling to track the glowing brand of Ion's cigarette. They stretching out one black taloned hand to swipe at the twisting bands of smoke in the air, but never stop feeding. "I don't know about respectable, but Eri, at the very least, finds me savory. I imagine there's a /learning curve/ to beautiful crimes; even you had to start somewhere."
"And /I/ meant the fu-" Echo flicks her eyes to the baby and innocently back up, stopping mid-obscenity, "Human-yuppie-scum." She holds up her cigarette, pouting over to Ion and batting her lashes, "Respectable gentleman that you are, would you deny a girl a light? I promise I was just visitin' a friend, was all. With grace, even."
"Your baby's awful cute. And you're awful brave to be out here, in the open. I mean that with all due respect, a'course, Sister," Echo nods to the mother, "M'name's Echo."
"You got somethin' in your eye there, ninita?" Ion's cigarette now waves towards Echo, his brows hiking up with a large dose of wtf as she bats her lashes at him. Not taking his lighter back out. Just /staring/. /Wut/. It only grows with her subsequent comments; he barks out an incredulous /laugh/, looking down at himself and over at Isra. "You fuckin' shittin' me, huh? Brave, what this, fucking Sesame Street crap? Lookit us, yo." He thwaps the back of a gloved hand against Isra's upper arm. "Standin' on the fucking sidewalk we the /height/ of daring. We look," he says this through a puff of smoke, a bit of laughter, "like we got /problems/ taking care our selfs?"
"Not a common sentiment upon seeing a child like this, but thank you." Isra does not exactly burst with pride, but she scratches the back of the infant's fuzzy head with one long beetle-green talon. "They'll be less cute when they're strong enough take take their supper by force when we're too slow feeding them." She does not exactly burst with worry at this, either. Then, to Ion, "Even in my fanged, clawed, terrifying magnificence, I once feared to walk the streets uncovered. Before I learned how to fight. Before I learned I /had/ to fight. But now?" She looks down at the child in her arms. "No, I would not call this courage. This is life."
Echo arches a brow and stares back at Ion, though appears unhurt by his disinterest. "Alright, not buyin' what I'm sellin', I get it." Holding her cigarette in one covered hand, she unsheathes the other by gripping the mitten with her teeth. Webbed fingers, a bit chapped from the cold, seek out her own lighter. Once she's got her fingers free, it all happens much faster.
Uneducated as she is, she is somewhat awestruck by the well-spoken gargoyle. She let's out a scoff-grunt to that effect. "That it is," Echo agrees, taking a drag and struggling to pull back on her glove. Her eyes roam to the child. Not even the slightest maternal spark flickers in her eyes. Life.
"That's because your kid they freaky as fuck. They never gonna be /cute/, Demona, they gonna be badass as hell." Ion says this with a bright grin that only brightens when Echo's mitten comes off and he catches sight of the webbed fingers. "Oh-/ho/." This is kind of delighted. But a moment later frowning. "Wait so what this fucking /brave/-ass shit? What /is/ you peddling?" He takes another long drag from his smoke, head tipping back to exhale a grey plume up to the sky.
"Cuteness is relative." Isra has evidently discovered a good scritching spot behind Eridani's ear, for they start making a noise very much like a mechanical purr. "Courage, as well. Some people must keep low for their own safety. Some people needn't, and others simply /can't./" Eridani's eyes start drifting shut, though they do not unfasten their teeth from Isra's flesh. "We've got enough fight for them all."
Echo waves her cigarette, "I'm a fortune teller. But don't you worry your pretty lil head about none'a that. My cigarettes already been lit, sir." She pulls at her scarf to tighten it, "I ain't brave. Nor can I fight, even /relatively/. So, I respect you. /I'm from real down low./ And I s'spect that's where I ought to be returnin' to b'fore the neighborhood watch gets involved, again." She smirks, tapping and watching as some ash falls down by her feet.
Ion's brows just hike up again; he turns to Isra to mouth, '-- my pretty lil head,' with a look caught between /glee/ and incredulity. His arm slings around Isra's back -- her shoulders totally too /high/ for convenient slinging! -- and his head jerks down the block. "S'pose we best be let you get back off, then, huh? Don't want no pasty-ass wheezy flatscans chasing you down." His thumb flicks at the filter of his cigarette, and he leans in to butt his head gently against Eridani's bundled-up form. "And us, yo, we got us places to be, huh. First ride, first beer, first break-in, let's fucking /roll/."
"Down low is no worse place to be than the aeries I prefer." Isra shrugs, her wings visible for a moment as they fan out involuntarily from beneath the cape. Eridani, eyes nearly shut now and well on their way to sleep, only wiggles in response to Ion's head-bonk. "Do you take care, then," this to Echo, with no hint of facetiousness, before she scoops the index and middle phalanges of one wing around Ion and walk with him back to the bike.
Echo grunts again in response. It's a positive grunt, if there is any distinction to be made. Bundling herself up, the small Morlock woman slips away between two parked cars before cutting through a back alley.