Didn't Get Blown Up

Cast: date: '20 August 2012'
place: 'Murdoch''s Pawn Shop, Lambeth'
participants: 'David, Jack, Mattie, Teresa'
synopsis: 'A team is sent to determine the status of Teresa Murdoch; she takes their offer of help as a threat. On the bright side, no one even got burned. '
log: "Two men are parked outside of an apartment building when suddenly, into the backseat where no one was a moment before, Mattie Dahl appears, the weight of the car shifting every so subtly with her scant weight. \"She's not there, so my guess is she's at the pawn shop. Onward, Jeeves,\" she tells the driver. She presses the blue triangle on her cell phone and the navigation begins to narrate directions; even for a native, the smaller streets here all sound alike, after all. \n\n\"She's definitely Touched,\" the redhead gives her assessment, no tinge of doubt in her American-accented words. \"Not a single mirror, a fire extinguisher in every room, and only a few pieces of pretty crappy furniture. Easily replaced, you know? The rest of it might be chalked up to bad luck and superstition — if I were in two fires, I'd probably start buying extinguishers at Costco myself, but the mirrors thing, that's the clincher.\" \n\n She glances into what she can see of the rearview mirror to smooth her own shaggy layers, tucking strands behind her ears before looking away again. \"So I think the plan's this. Mitchell, you send your shadow to check for anything we can't look at while talking to this girl and her folks. Darkholme, you and me'll go in and look like we're customers, poke around, divide and conquer. We can try and talk to her or if she looks the nervous sort, I can try on my own. Any thoughts?\"\n\nDriving is one of Jack's favourite things, so it seems obvious that he'd be the one behind the wheel. He looks comfortable there, like it's home. The car is quite immaculate too. Understated, made to look plain, but the Audi certainly packs a punch. While he keeps to the speed limit, the acceleration is notable while moving toward the destination then slowing as they come closer as not to draw attention. Parking is the eternal problem in London. Ranking up there right beneath The Gloom.\n\nA fag is ashed out the slightly cracked window, stealing a final drag before flicking it out onto the passing street. \"Right you are, darlin'.\" There's a very slight pursing of lips, apparently liking this unfamiliar agent's methodical approach so far as he glances back at her in the rear-view. Another look is given sidelong to the other man, weighing them up on this first mission together. \"Just keep her distracted, I guess. Dependin' on the layout. If there's plenty of things what I can slip under it won't be a problem, innit?\" No one wants to be startled by the approach of a shadow on the floor. It could give the wrong impression.\n\nDavid sits in the passenger seat of the car, looking back into the backseat as Mattie returns from her scouting mission. He takes in the information provided, nodding his head slightly. The plan causes him to ponder for a moment before he nods once more. \"Sounds good.\" He looks to Jack before he continues speaking. \"You can watch our backs and come in as reinforcement should things get… interesting.\" He turns back in the seat to face forward as the car moves through the small London streets. He nods in response to Jack's words to keep Teresa distracted. \"That shouldn't be too difficult if we can get her talking about a piece in her shop.\" He glances back to Mattie in the back seat. \"What's our cover story?\" He asks, wanting to make sure they don't have any slip ups when they get in there.\n\n\"It's Mattie,\" the redhead corrects Jack when he calls her darlin' — though she used the last names for the men, 'Dahl' sounds an awful lot like 'doll.' \"And right, surprising her would be problematic.\" \n\nHer green eyes drift to David. \"Customers. Shopping. We'll say your mother collects antique teakettles or something. Be creative. If there's someone else in the shop, we can split up and make sure no one's looking at the shadows. As far as what we tell her… I think in this case she's scared and needs help… something close to the truth will work. At this point, she's ready to hear it, I'd think. Follow your instincts, and be ready to react fast if she starts to smolder. When we get in, look for the fire extinguishers, try to stay near one maybe. I guarantee you there'll be more than one.\" \n\n \"Ready?\" seems rhetorical, because she's already opening the door and moving toward the shop.\n\n\"Right you are, darlin'.\" Jack repeats, one corner of his mouth pulling up in a crooked little smile. Testing her and amused by the reaction, it seems. Now that they've stopped — managing to steal a parking spot vacated just seconds before — he goes back to watching that limited view of her in the mirror as she lays out the plan.\n\n\"Teapots, love. Ain't many people what collected kettles. Plus, there ain't no one what calls 'em teakettles.\" There's a very slight roll of the eyes, but it's more humoured than disgruntled. \"Be careful you two. After I've had a butcher's, I'll come back 'ere an' text you with what I find. Then I can pop in easy if there's trouble.\"\n\nSettling in to the front seat, he forages out a cap and sets it so the peak comes down over his eyes. Giving the appearance of being asleep to the outside world should they peer through the tinted windows. Jack's shadow shimmies and shakes, as though annoyed at being trapped beneath him on the seat and having some difficulty escaping the man's weight on the way to the door where it seeks to hide in Mattie's.\n\nDavid nods his head as he runs through the details about the story, making sure to commit it to memory. \"Right.\" He says as he glances to Jack at he corrects Mattie. \"Teapots. Got it.\" He says with a soft chuckle before he follows Mattie out of the car and looks back to Jack. \"Be safe.\" He says before he closes the car door and moves to walk next to Mattie as they head towards the pawn shop, his hands slipping into his jacket pockets.\n\nThe shop front is a simple one, clean front in a dark blue that proclaims \"Murdoch's\" A shop it seems for second hand antiques, jewelry and other fine items. Most of them pawned. No dingy dark store here but with a glance in the window, there seems to be plenty of stock for a certain shadow to hide under, around or meander. A wooden sign hangs off the doorknob on the open door that relays it's 'Open' status, and the hours of operation. \n\nThere are no customers inside though, everyone here lucking out in that aspect of this assignment. Less potential collateral damage should things go awry. Old furniture with its carved legs, weathered fabric populate the area, set out just so. This is likely only half of the shop's actual inventory but it's better not to overcrowd stuff. Oil lamps of questionable age, silver tea sets with that sooty patina, paintings that may or may not be origionals and if they are, likely aren't from someone famous dot the walls. \n\nAnd to the right side, center of the wall is the register and a tall blonde who's hair is pulled back, a nice enough shirt and skirt, working away at some ledgers. The individual in question it would seem.\n\nApparently the correction irritates Mattie as a scowl furrows her brows. She enters the store, as if to scope out the goods, but in reality she's looking for other exits, patrons, parents, and the fire extinguishers. \"This looks promising,\" she says, glancing up at David with a smile that doesn't go with the matter-of-fact briefing style the two men have been privy to. \n\nSlowly, she begins to move along one wall, reaching now and then to touch something as if out of curiosity, before moving to one of the tea sets. \"This one's nice,\" she says, glancing over at David, and then to the blonde at the counter. \"Do you know how old this one is, Miss?\"\n\nMan asleep in the car is still and silent. Just another busy Londoner taking five minutes out of his day.\n\nJack's Peter Pan-esque shadow however detatches from Mattie's as she enters and quickly finds some items to flit between. Moving behind a table, then hopping to a display case before sidling beneath a painting on the wall. A hand pokes out just slightly, as though grasping the edge of the painting — and no, that is not 'Deformed Rabbit' — before the 'head' peeks. Ensuring the distraction is a go before continuing on toward the back of the shop.\n\nDavid steps into the pawn shop and his eyes moves over the shop, looking for just about the same things that Mattie is looking for. Exits, patrons and any other surprises that might pop out at them. He glances back to Mattie and returns the smile before he nods. \"I think so. We should be able to find something here for my mum.\" He says before he follows her over towards the tea set since there is no other patrons in the building. His attention turns to Teresa as Mattie addresses her. Time to make sure she doesn't notice the moving shadow and burn the place down.\n\nBy the front desk is one, tucked away almost out of sight. A quick look - purposeful - shows two others scattered through the moderately sized storefront. There's no parents, no other patrons, just Mattie, David and Jacks shadow. And Teresa of course who looks up and offers the standard smile that most people who work in stores offer to potential customers. The ledger is flipped closed, pen placed to the side and she's skirting around the desk an approaching the 'couple' in question. \"That one is….\" She has to think about it, coming to stand adjacent to but not terribly close to them, reaching out to catch the tag that hangs by thin ribbon for the item number and it's price to jog her memory. \"The late 20's I believe. A five piece, sterling silver, coffee pot, a tea pot, creamer, sugar and a tray\" Each piece gestured to as she points them out. \"My name is Teresa\" American if her accent has anything to do with it, not that they are unused to hearing such. \"Welcome to Murdoch's.\" She is oblivious it seems, to the shadow.\n\nThe Shadow meanwhile, has a better vantage point where he is. A door with the word \"staff\" engraved into it's front clearly indicates where there might be other employee's lurking, or the rest of the inventory.\n\nWhen the blonde speaks, Mattie smiles immediately, as if at the other Yank's accent. \"Another American!\" the redhead says, reaching up to push her hair out of her eyes. \"Where are you from?\" \n\nJust in case she has the wrong blond American pawnshop girl in Lambeth. It's possible. Of course, it's possible that Teresa could lie, too. \n\nShe looks around the store now and then, letting her eyes linger on some curio or another to make it look like it's not as purposeful as it is — she's keeping track of the shadow and watching for others, though for now they're alone.\n\nLa la la. Moving around behind Teresa makes it easier to flit and scurry, allowing Jack's shadow to pick up the pace. The first stop then is the desk where the register is located for a quick lookieloo. The benefit of being two dimensional and able to see in the dark is that draws don't really need to be opened so long as there's some kind of gap. Some dalliance here while he attempts to check for anything intriguing.\n\nOnce that avenue has been explored, the figure continues on toward the shop-back proper for more investigating.\n\nDavid takes a look at the tea set again as Teresa moves over to explain about the tea set, offering a chuckle at Mattie's enthusiasm about Teresa being an American. He lets the two woman discuss it as he goes back to examining the tea set as if he were genuinely interested in the piece. He also takes the opportunity to take another glance around the room to make note of where Jack's shadow is at to keep Teresa's attention away from that area.\n\n\"East coast\" Teresa offers up, not quite meeting the womans eyes, seeming to focus in on Mattie's lips. \"Yourself?\" Polite small talk and it's only fair if asked, to inquire of the same. People pass by outside, but none seem inclined to enter into the shop or take more than passing interest in the wares that the window has to offer. \n\nAt the register, there's money, locked away in the drawer, a few checks, slips for credit cards. A few ledgers that bear records of whats come in, what's been sold, what's on hold until the owner comes back to pay for the item he's pawned. Nothing so fascinating and awe inspiring here.\n\n \"California. Guess we're not quite neighbors, huh?\" says Mattie with a smile. She tips her head to look at the other woman for a long moment, her brows knitting together; she takes a deep breath, which is probably David's clue she's about to go to the trickier part of the mission. Broaching the truth. Lies are easy, really, in comparison. \n\n Her hands come out of her pockets where the other woman can see them, and she elbows David to do the same. She clasps her hands in front of herself, twisting them a little in almost a pleading motion. \n\n \"Please don't be frightened,\" she says softly. \"I want to ask you something, and it might sound weird, but don't be scared. We're here to help you. Not hurt you. We're like you.\" \n\n There's a pause. \n\n \"Special.\"\n\nElongating from one corner, Jack stretches out as though cast by a low hanging sun and then shrinks again beneath the door to the back of the shop. Once out of sight, there's less need for stealth and he makes quicker progress through the rear giving a brief inspection while looking about for people who may be loitering or anything that screams out of the ordinary.\n\nIt's mostly a cursory inspection, not expecting to find much in this public location if they'd already cleaned out the apartment; still, he conducts the room to room regardless while keeping an ear out for the sounds of people on fire.\n\nDavid glances up from the tea set at the nudge from Mattie. He stands up straight and faces the other woman, keeping his hands clasped in front of him where Teresa is able to easily see them. He doesn't make any additional motions to not scare the woman and get an impromptu fire show. He remains silent, letting the more senior field agent do the talking.\n\nDave and Mattie can see it, the slight shift in tension in Teresa's body, tilt of her head up and ever so slightly at an angle. A frown that almost appears before it's s quickly replace with a dumb smile. \"I'm sorry, you're who? I have no clue what you mean by special\" She offers up, reaching over to adjust the tea set, turning the coffee put a fraction to the right. Still not meeting eye to eye. \"Are you here to actually purchase something?\" It's to David that she looks now, eyebrows raised. \"Because if not, I have inventory that I should be doing and you're welcome to keep looking around\"\n\nbehind the staff door there's more stuff. Tagged items, untagged items, things waiting to go out front or marked as sold and waiting for it's owner to come whisk it away. There's a few more fire extinguishers back here, again all small, but not so discreet. There's also no screaming people on fire or people not on fire back here. Double doors lead to the alley where larger items can be brought it, a small break room with the regular kitchen accoutrements, and other doors that lead to a bathroom and staircase respectively. The latter likely to the flat above the store that is registered as belonging to the Murdochs and where her parents live.\n\n\"Mattie,\" Mattie says, pointing to herself. \"And special, like you. Like, I can do things that shouldn't be possible. Like, I've seen things that shouldn't be possible, that shouldn't exist in this world.\" Her voice is soft, not quite a whisper, but gentle. \n\nShe looks at the other woman and it's a sad, knowing look. \"And I see something in the mirror that's not what everyone else sees. And I think you do, too.\" She swallows, and lifts one shoulder. \"I can show you, but I don't want to scare you. What I can do, I mean. But if it will help you believe. You're not crazy and we're not here to hurt you. There's others like us. Like you. And we want to help you.\" The words are still soft, but fast, as if she knows that she needs to make some sense and some headway before the blonde bursts into flame.\n\nDavid continues to keep his position next to the tea set, hands clenched in front of him. He offers an understanding nod of his head as Mattie mentions the things she's seen… that they've all seen. He keeps silent, not wanting to halt any progress that Mattie may be making with the other woman, but keeps his attention on the woman, a warm smile on his lips.\n\nThat is an anticlimax. I am Jack's Unending Disappointment. Moving back to the door then, there's a little peekypoke of shadow head back out to the main room, taking a look and judging distance. Straight shot from the car, just outside. A shadow arm lifts up to rub at a similarly insubstantial chin.\n\nThankfully, darkness is not all that noticable inside a tinted car but the scouting form still hops and sidles back to the window onto the street and takes a look before slipping out under the door and up into the car.\n\nAll nrml. Says the text. Will b out bk w/fire extngshr.\n\nIt's a quick meeting of eyes, Teresa looking at Mattie, then at David. It's very brief but all she needs to know that indeed they're not crazy. Enough to make her flinch and start to turn, walk back towards the desk. \n\nThey're Gloomy. Like her. But unlike her, they're also something else and she's run into that before. Back in the states a few years ago and if the stiff set of her shoulders is anything to judge by, she's not a happy woman. \"What if I don't want help? what if I want you both to leave and forget that you've seen me, leave me be and you go on your way and we pretend that none of this happened. How much will it take for you to do that? How much money will it take to make you disappear off my doorstep and never return?\"\n\nMattie doesn't pursue, letting the other woman put distance between them. \"I'm going to be honest with you, because the person who helped me was honest with me,\" the other American says, tipping her hand to look at the text on the cell, but not taking the time to reply. \"You don't have to come with us or anything. If you want to think it over and call us if you want help, we'll come happily then. If you never want help, here's what's likely going to happen. You'll have another accident because you haven't learned your power yet. And I'm pretty sure that's the last thing you want. What's more, there's bad things out there — not like you, not like me, not like David here — that can hurt you, and we can teach you how to fight against them. How to protect others from having to go through the things we did. It helps, you know? You can't get back what you lost, but it makes you feel a little more in control.\" \n\nGreen eyes watch the blonde carefully. \"If you don't want our help, it's okay, but it won't get better, and it could get worse. And you'll be watched from afar.\"\n\nWaiting until there's no one near the car that can peer in through the darkened windows, Jack puts up a sun shade over the front window. Not that it's at all necessary in this weather, but some people do like the privacy screen. Particularly this fellow. Because. Bamph. The seatbelt whips back into shape as it fails to hold onto the rapidly dispersing bundle of shadows.\n\nReappearing behin the door to the back area, the mechanic takes quiet steps to grab a fire extinguisher in one hand while drawing a pistol with the opposite. Ready to fire and de-fire all at a once. Now he waits.\n\nDavid continues to stand his ground even as Teresa puts distance between the two of them. He bites his lower lip slightly as he thinks back to the time when he was first approached by the Watch and can understand where the woman is coming from, but he also knows the benefits that he's had since joining the group. He keeps his thoughts to himself while Mattie continues to try to get through to the other woman.\n\n\"So I'll be watched. Is this how they did it with you, whoever they are. Come with a harmless looking woman and then a guy like him\" She gestures to David, the man easily outweighing her and then some. \"And just watched? Or like before, a knock on the door and an ultimatum late at night? Because right now, it's just a threat. Passive as it is, it's a threat\" Teresa checks to make sure that the cash register is closed, locked up and not at a risk for being broken into before she's heading for the back at a fairly quick pace. \"And I don't take that kindly to threats\" A palm to the door, she's pushing it open and leaning in. Jack can see what she's going for, a cricket bat that's propped nearby, knee bent, other leg lifted a little for leverage, reaching over for it then freezing at the sight of the man. With the gun. And the fire extinguisher and eyes widen.\n\n\"Everything's case by case,\" Mattie says, and when Teresa moves toward the back, she tries to text but it's going to be too slow. \"And I'm sorry if that's what happened. They threatened you? That's not how it usually is. We're not a mandatory thing. It's optional, except that we really would like to make sure you don't lose control, that you learn how to use your ability only when you want to, only when your life is in danger, Teresa. That said, we'll go. Here's a card.\" \n\nShe puts a card on the counter, then begins to move toward the front door — unaware that the woman is now face to face with Jack in the back of the shop.\n\nJack's good at playing it cool. Cricket bat or no. He takes a step back as the door opens, getting ready to do something. Not initially sure what. Then there's Teresa, looking up at him and freezing in place.\n\nEnsuring that the gun isn't pointed in her direction while doing so, he lifts up that hand with his index finger and after flashing her a wide smile, makes the Universal 'Shhh' Expression while giving a 'significant' nod past the door toward the other two. \"Don't let them know you saw me.\" he whispers, quiet as a mouse. Then he gives her a wink before… Bamph. There's nothing left but whisps of blackness that quickly evaporate to nothing.\n\nBack in the car, Jack whistles innocently.\n\nDavid's smile slowly seems to fade into a frown as Teresa motions towards him. He doesn't move from his spot anyway, just continuing to watch her as she moves towards the door. His attention then turns to Mattie as she sets the card down before he unclinches his hands and turns to move with her out of the shop, unaware about Jack's little exploit.\n\nWhere jack was, is now a hurtling cricket bat, bound make a little bit of noise, but whether it's enough to make Mattie and David stop and turn around, it's unknown. The back door is slamming shut a split second after and she's backing away from it then turning towards the table, a little more white girl than she was before. Fuck this day. Fuck this day to the gloom and back.\n\nWhen Teresa comes back and the clatter of the bat can be heard, Mattie whispers, \"Out,\" rather than risking angering or scaring their mark into flames. The door is opened and she moves to the car, getting in and making sure the door's thud can be heard. \n\n A brow is raised as she looks at Jack questioningly, but then she nods to the window. \"Let's watch for a bit. Make sure she doesn't blow the place down. Maybe she'll come out and talk to us, now that she sees we're not there to grab her,\" she says, the gentle tone used with Teresa gone now as she stares out the window at the pawn shop. \"At least she has our contact information now.\"\n\nThere's no mention of the fire extinguisher that's now hanging out behind the driver's seat in the footwell. Jack just acts as though it was there all along. He's got the window down and a cigarette between fingers from where his arm drapes through the opening. \"I take it she weren't all that keen on your proposals then, is it?\" he asks, lifting a brow in query.\n\nSitting forward just a touch to look toward the front door as though expecting a sudden fireball.\n\nDavid pauses for a moment at the sound of the cricket bat, but nods once at Mattie's words before he follows her out of the shop and move towards the car. He climbs into the passenger seat and closes the door. Once he's in the car, he exhales softly before he turns his attention back to the shop, waiting to see if it continues to stand as it is or explode in a barrage of glass, fire and flaming antiques. \"At least we didn't get blown up. So that has to be a tally mark in the win column.\" He says before he glances towards Jack, not noticing the fire extinguisher at the moment since it's really not in his line of sight. \"She thought we were there to threaten her.\" He explains before he returns his attention to the shop.\n\nAlas Jack, there's no fireballs, but when he looks at the front door, when they all look to the door, Teresa Murdoch is standing there, locking the door that's between her and their car, flipping the sign to closed. Somewhat of a challenging stare, taking in that there is indeed three of them in the car.\n\nAnd then she's walking away, back to the desk, out of sight. There's no fireballs, no flames, explosions or the like. But there is a contact card being picked up and fingers run along the edge as she regards the numbers written across it's face. Mattie was right. They at least managed to give her their contact information.\n"

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