Come, Civil Night

Cast: date: '8th September, 2012'
place: 'Hyde Park Tunnels'
participants: 'Mattie, Jack'
synopsis: 'Jack chances upon Mattie while searching the tunnels for signs of David.'
log: "\n\nAbove ground, it's cold, wet and blustery; below ground, it's cold and wet, but at least there's no rain pouring down nor any chilly wind to further chase people indoors. \n\nIt's something else entirely that's chased Mattie down into these tunnels beneath Hyde Park. There's no investigation assignment with her name on it sending her down to look for signs of David, nor did she tell anyone that that's what she planned to do. It's worry for the lost agent has brought her down alone to the dark tunnels. \n\nA gloved hand holds a flashlight that moves around constantly, finding corners and crannies to shine on. She doesn't neglect the ceiling, in case there's something like the corpse back at the office. Her other hand curls around a blade, ready to swipe at anything that might jump out of the shadows. \n\nMattie isn't the only thing stalking the tunnels. The other lost soul is fortunately not an Other, but unfortunately not David. The sign of someone else here — the torchlight, visible from around corners — makes Jack wary, stopping silently to listen for tell tale yammering of workers or other people here on actual legitimate business.\n\nHearing no such thing, he stalks closer, peering around a corner behind her to check an identity. Being able to see in the dark makes it easier to be stealthy. Sometimes the dark just feels more like home, without that nagging uncomfortable sensation. Where no one else can see him, but he sees them. Not that different from the streets above, when used as a metaphor.\n\nIt's not his intention to simply stalk her and upon recognition there's an odd look. Not so much surprise, but perhaps a confirmation of something. \"Alright.\" he offers, neutral and reserved in tone. None of the usual Jack cheer. It's enough to indicate that he's not a hostile creature from the Gloom about to rip her apart though.\n\nThe sudden voice with no warning footfalls or other sounds makes her jump, and the torch's light finds his face with a sharp cut toward the source of the noise. \n\nMattie closes her eyes for a moment and takes a deep breath. Even the bravest soldier is scared of the dark if they have any sense, and especially when they're alone with no back up. \n\nMake that *were* alone. \n\n\"Mitchell,\" she manages, voice a little shaky, but not angry. In fact there might be the smallest hint of relief in her tone.\n\n\"Yup.\" The confirmation comes with a reach into a pocket and the sparking of a lighter once more reflects oddly in his unnatural eyes as he regards her. \"Mostly just rats down here. You should be alright. There's been no sign of anything from the other side in the past week, anyhow.\" Since there's no scheduled patrols, and clean up finished the next day, there's an implication here that he's got some knowledge of what's been down here in the past week.\n\nWhile he's not got weapons in hand, there's two holsters strapped to his thighs where guns are in easy reach. It looks like he's wearing a scotch-guarded set of overalls, tucked into big, muddy boots. On top of this, against the cold, a thick, padded out black jacket. Mostly waterproof, to avoid having to do laundry every day while tromping around in the wet. \"The markers have been kept up to the site f'now.\" he adds, quietly with a puff of smoke. \"Added some to the other body site. Just for reference.\" Both shoulders lift in a shrug, \"Anyhow. I'll fuck off then, won't keep you.\" Despite the relief, he perhaps assumes she doesn't want him around. Or maybe it's because of the relief, and he's feeling spiteful.\n\nThe flashlight is lowered so that she's not shining the light in his face anymore. Mattie is much less water proof in her thin trench which doesn't look too wet despite the rain storm above. Most likely that means she was ghosting her way through the streets and the park above before slipping down into the manhole, and only then went to her corporeal self. \n\n\"Thanks,\" she says for the quick briefing. Studying the toes of her Doc Martens, she adds, \"I talked to the new coroner type guy we got while he was looking at the thing you guys killed. Creepy looking fuck.\" It's not clear if she means the coroner or the creature. \"It sounds like… whatever took him wasn't *that* thing. Maybe two Others working together? Or just… a pocket. I mean… there's not always rhyme or reason.\"\n\n\"Could be that he was just in a state from that thing, thinkin' he was chasin after his missus or whatever an' ran into an openin' he shouldn't have.\" Jack replies, evenly. All business, no charm, false or otherwise. \"Don' think any of us were in our right minds. 'cept that twat Gideon. He didn't seem all that bothered. Just stood about watching.\" Another implication, that the man perhaps could have done something but chose not to. It's not like the cockney really needs another excuse to dislike the man though.\n\nA semi-gloved finger taps at the side of the fag repeatedly, the only indication of some kind of restlessness. He had started to turn, as though about to follow though with his previous remark and leave her to it, but the gratitude and continued discourse has him staying in place, for now.\n\n\"But yeah. Don't reackon it were that thing. After we found it, it didn't leave our sight until we'd beat seven shades of shit out'f it.\" He sniffs slightly, as though developing a cold. \"The doc learn anythin' useful?\"\n\nShe nods at the first, brows knitting as she stares at the ground between them. \"One of those things,\" she murmurs. \"And you know, people say 'If only I'd been there…' but I can't say that.\" She gestures at herself. \"The only reason you can see me at all is because I was afraid there might be more of those down here. I'm no good when it comes to that sort of thing, and if I'd been with you… Well. You might have been missing two of us.\" \n\nShe takes a step away, as if to let him disengage easier as well, and shines her light down the tunnel to her left. It's easier for her to stand without fear of bumping her head in the six-foot-tall arched tunnel. \n\n\"He was just starting, and all excited about it like a kid in a candy store. Sort of creeped me out, but he was nice enough. Asked if I wanted to be his assistant and help him hold the ribcage or something like that. I might tell Murdoch she's got a job waiting for us. She can play Dr. Frankenstein's assistant. And no need for a bunsen burner. Think of all the energy we'll save.\"\n\nThe murmering has Jack's mouth pressing into a line, biting back some remark. Thankfully she's shining the light elsewhere so he can hold his peice unbeknownst. He settles for a small grunt that could be agreement. It's very noncommital. The evidence that he's got something on his mind shows in the way his shadow's leash is let out a bit, crawling about behind him as though pretending to be something awful about to drag him into the darkness. Jack's pretty much immune to the antics these days, and surely the shadowy sentience's main goal is to freak other people out. Another reason to avoid the general public.\n\nHe doesn't wander off quite yet. Perhaps in two minds about it, but while she keeps talking, he keeps listening. Taking a step of his own, he leans against the tunnel wall while he sucks in another lungful. \"Guess it's easier to be excited once they're not moving around.\" he opines, little of the humour making it to his voice. \"I ain't met him yet. Hopefully we'll be able to keep him in good business. With theirs.\"\n\nThere's the ghost of a smile in response to her jest, \"If he's a real doc, then maybe he could finish up her trainin', innit? Havin' a role, an' bein' able to learn might persuade her.\"\n\nPeering down the tunnel, she nods in agreement. \"I'll maybe suggest it to her. And talk to Sunshine about if we can use her as a medic sort. A little bit of cash is always more persuading than I can be on my own charming manners, I know.\" The self-deprecating remark is punctuated by the slightest of smiles. At least she doesn't think she's being cute when she's being a bitch. \n\nMattie heaves a sigh. \"You been all over this place tonight? If you say there's nothing to be found, I trust you.\"\n\n\"Maybe once she's sorted out her shit. Unless we're in need of wounds bein' cauterized. In which case I'm sure she'll do a fuckin' right peachy job.\" Jack has no comment for her remark, although he watches that smile flicker to life for a second or two. It's used as motivation to put his complaints aside for now, burying them as he buries the butt end of the cigarette beneath his boot. \n\n\"Not sure this wage is all that convinvin' either. I ain't been able to quit my day job yet. Figure our job ain't about makin' money. Not that I'd want to close up shop anyhow.\" Shop likely meaning the garage. There's a certain sense about the way he says it, as though he'd never ever close it. Something concrete to hold onto. Sentimental value. \"What we need are some dragons, with hordes of treasure. Like in books an' whatnot. Or leprechauns.\" Obviously, Jack isn't a big reader but he's heard people talking about them. This is clearly some effort toward a joke. Some effort.\n\n\"Not so much yet tonight. Only been down 'ere, 'bout half hour, I reackon.\" A single shoulder lifts in a shrug, not been giving time too much heedance. \"Weren't nothin' yesterday though. Or the night before.\" Or the night before that, and so forth.\n\n\"Me neither, but it might give her purpose. And I don't think she'll burn you unless you piss her off. You might need to go elsewhere for your stitches though,\" Mattie says with a slight smirk, turning back to face him but situating herself so she can see down both the tunnels at the t-intersection they stand at. \n\n\"If there's no sign of a nest and no sign of them since last week, it was either just a pocket he fell in or whatever was down here has abandoned ship knowing we're looking around,\" she says, eyes down that tunnel. There's an odd mix of both anger and relief in one. Nothing to hit, nothing to kill, nothing to be afraid of. \n\nSuddenly comes the clicking sound of tiny claws on brick, and Mattie's light swings around to catch a rat scurrying by. \"If anyone would have told me ten years ago that I would be relieved to see a rat, I would have told them they were crazy,\" she mutters, before turning to head back down the tunnel she'd come from — apparently aborting the search mission.\n\n\"Think I'll stick with someone who can pass nursing school for my stitches for now.\" Jack counters, straightening and stretching arms and shoulders once he's no longer supported by the wall.\n\n\"Yeah.\" That's all she gets in response to the assessment. It's likely something that he'd considered for a while, but hadn't wanted to actually admit to. Sometimes it's difficult dealing with responsibility as a team leader.\n\nHis shadow makes a lame effort to chase the rat in the torch light, but it's not very convincing at all. A very faint, very wry smile follows to her closing comment, \"Hey now. There were times when I looked at rats an' thought, fuck. I wonder if that'd be good eatin'.\" It could be a joke. Or a true story. Hard to tell. Especially as he's pulling his hood back up - more to keep the drips from the ceiling from going down the back of his neck than to hide his face. For a chance.\n\nHe hasn't quite convinced himself to accept the facts yet, and doesn't move to follow her toward the exit, remaining in place to watch her move off for a moment. \"So long, Red.\" he states quietly, turning in the opposite direction to head deeper in. Doesn't take that long for the black-clad figure to disappear into the darkness.\n\n\"You're staying?\" The question is asked with surprise, and Mattie waves with her knife-wielding hand as he moves down the tunnel. \"Be careful,\" is said softly, not wanting to alert anything too deep in to their presence with a yell, so it's likely he doesn't hear her. \n\nShe heads back to the ladder that will lead her up and into the rainy night above ground. She disappears at the top so she can slip through the manhole cover and make her way home unseen."
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