1964-02-08 - Tunnel Vision
Summary: Of course, when you say nothing ever happens on the subway, it happens.
Related: N/A
Theme Song: None
cain tommy hope 

Cain has arrived.


There were times when travel by foot just wasn't the method of choice, even for speedsters. Granted, those times were few and far between; riding the subway was a) not (legally) free, b) slower than their average foot speed, c) full of other people. Still, once you put an idea in Tommy Shepherd's mind, getting it out of there is a war often not worth fighting.

'You've never ridden on a subway? You've never /eaten/ a Subway?' These were the shocked developments that led to this one; the destination wasn't even important, a train picked entirely at random for the most… authentic experience. Which is to say full of people, but not too full that it was hard to people-watch some of the strange characters that tend to ride the rails; the punk kid who's definitely lifting that banker's wallet while he's likely daydreaming about how many foreclosures will be processed today, the old woman who's been riding the train for the last two hours, generally unnoticed by others — also not because she's going anywhere, but to stay out of the cold for a meager fee, and various other sorts.

The speedster (in platinum) himself is standing with his arm looped around one of the posts in the car, eyes darting around every once in a while but mostly focused on the redhead nearby. He's wearing the typical leather jacket and jeans; another rebel without a cause. "See? Perfectly safe, Hope. You had nothing to worry ab—"

Cue the sudden stop of a subway train, the darkness that follows, and a high-pitched, frightened scream. Amusingly, the latter came from the aforementioned banker.


Cain gets a wide berth in the subway. He's wearing an oversized coat with a hood, pulled up over his head to obscure his features. Not that many men in this city even approach the size of the unstoppable Juggernaut.

There's some debris at his feet - an apple core, a few crumpled cans of beer, what appears to be the partial carcass of a rotisserie chicken - just left behind when he was done with them. He's glad the people keep their difference. It's better if he's left alone. It's certainly safer for them.

Then comes the darkness and the scream. And no one can see him smile. Finally. Something interesting.


Point of fact, Hope has never ridden in a subway. She walks everywhere and studiously avoids buses and subways, which means very slow progress around New York even at great speed. An apparently random train is not the worst place in the city to be, until it ceases to operate and the alligator people show up. Her iron grip on a steel rail is padded by gloves, defying germs or bacteria contamination. The redhead wears her knit hat low enough she might qualify as 'strange character.' At least the worn, dull greyish-green headgear keeps her from sticking out too much. Her oversized coat makes her equally forgettable. She's already assessed all the graffiti and the band of advertisements hawking cigarettes, the World's Fair, and tickets to sports games. Every time the doors swish open, she watches with guarded calculation. Being stuck in a sardine can is not her idea of fun.

Fun made all the worse when the groan of the brakes on the rails shears through the dull conversation and droning noise like a flat eraser. Her eyes narrow and she instinctively turns Tommy ward. "Did you plan this?" A low hiss might travel, accusation brimming behind the tight tone. "You would. Don't try to fool me, seriously." Her fingers flex and she tries to reach up and tap the bar of fluorescent lighting. Maybe it's broken. Maybe the train is broken.

Maybe the big man is a troll, and planned to devour them all. He looks hungry. "'It was perfectly safe. Never say never."


"Ffft. If I had planned this, /you/ woulda seen me sneak off to pull… uhh… wires, or whatever these things run on. Can't say I ever really studied it." Tommy retorts, unsure whether to be flattered or insulted. "Besides. I would, but woulda been flashier."

Well, /that/ much is likely, to say the least. There's a moment of waiting. Two, even. Then Tommy's eyes turn towards where the windows. Trying to look out. Determine /where/ they are. Of course, the middle of a subway tunnel? Not that effective at providing answers in that vein.

There's a generally collective sigh of relief among passengers as the battery backup lights kick in, combined with some grumbling by those who were trying to get where they were going in a hurry — and one thief trying to take advantage of the darkness. After another moment? The intercom buzzes to life.

"Ladies and gentleman, this is your conductor. There?s a problem at West 4th Street and we?re being held. I?m sorry for the inconvenience."

Cue continued grumbling. And the sticking out of one speedster's tongue towards another. "See? I was nowhere /near/ 4th Street." Cue the eyes darting around again; this time? They're coming to settle on Cain. A man of /that/ size isn't seen every day. Could it be the Absorbing Man? Looks a bit bigger than Tommy remembers. … but if he absorbed enough, wouldn't he grow like some kinda mutant chia pet?

There's a move towards the redhead, now, and a whispered, "Big guy. Might be the one who hurt Lorna." …people that big, it's true, don't come around that often.


Cain notices a few looks coming his way. He's used to it, of course, he doesn't exactly blend. He draws back his hood for a moment, revealing his bald head. But he's not absorbing man either, his skin a bit darker and the crimson glow at the back of his eyes a little eerie in its own right. Hope, tied to the Brotherhood as she is, might recognize Cain Marko, Mystique's bodyguard and personal enforcer.

The giant monster of a man just glares at the rest of the car, as if daring them to pick a fight.


West 4th Street, and no station around. The dull glow of the lights makes Hope retract her hand from the plastic casing over the light, stuffing it back in her coat of many pockets. She probably has everything up to the kitchen sink in there. Her fingers flex and curl into a fist, the only outward sign of her emotional state. Aside from giving a bit of a shrug to the speedster, she looks back at the punk and the thief nearly caught red-handed, the stoner looking into his pockets for a joint.

"Nah, he's cool." A shrug follows and she doesn't really meet a glare with a glare. There comes a slow nod. She's one of the reasons Raven is always cooking, because someone so slight (relatively) can put away a shocking amount of food without being worse for wear. It comes with being starved for eight centuries, give or take, she likes food. "So this is where we haul open the door and start walking, right? Because if you think I'm staying down here, you're out of your mind. We can walk atop the train even. Doesn't matter."


Cue that moment where the City of New York was spared from a costly fight between superpowered individuals; they should write Hope a check. A giant one. Convince Ed McMahon to come down and present it with a random news crew.

Or don't. Either way, one of the people closer to the doors between the cars overhears the redhead, and tries it — the door pulls open easily enough. Too easily, even. Might be lax upkeep, faulty mechanisms… or just super strength.

'Hey, she's right, the door's open!'
'Is it even safe?'
'Who cares, Giovanni only does hair until /two-thirty/ and if I don't make it there…'

Then cue the intercom, right on time to interrupt the decision making process of the crowd. "Ladies and gentlemen, this is your conductor. We lost power on the train and they?re working to find out what happened and restore it. Thank you for your continued patience, and please remain seated until the train resumes motion."

There's a glance towards the door. Then a grin to Hope. "Ain't never been good at doing what I'm told. Why start now?" Tommy offers, kicking off with a foot to spin once around the pole and work his way towards the opened door.


Cain figures the door's his best bet as well. He never was known for his patience adn it isn't as if he has anything to fear in the tunnels, from train or rat or human or anywhere in between.

He comes up short, arriving just as Tommy does, holding back for just a moment, "Go ahead, squirt, you go first. If ya get squished by somethin', I'll be sure to comfort yer girlfriend," he winks.


Can't be helped, a firestarter like Hope leading the way out of the car. She nods with approval as someone drags open the door, saving her the effort for doing so. Pulling her collar closer to the back of her neck, she gives another good shrug. "What are they going to complain about, us walking with the rats up to street level? You're always supposed to get fresh air." The smothered snicker is about as much encouragement as Tommy is going to get springing outside, and she waits on him to wriggle through or part the Red Sea of shadows and mosey his way out like the hippest cat this side of Harlem.

The wink she throws to Cain gets her a few weird looks, mostly shrugged off. There are probably people hissing about the dumb Irish girl even if she sounds as unIrish as one gets. "He makes a pretty good pancake. I'll go first unless there are scaly lizard people! Then you're on your own." To whom that's addressed, it's not clear, but she prepares to hop out.


'Lizard people, Marla! Did you hear her, there's /lizard people/ out there!'
'Must be more of them muties!'
'If he doesn't get squished, wanna comfort me instead?'

Act before thinking, it's Tommy's mantra and motto; this time? It includes before speaking, as he hops out of the car - whether it's he or Hope who does so first, is tough to say. Either way? He knows enough to avoid the third rail. … and all the rails in general, really. Upon landing in the tunnel, he looks back and flashes a grin towards Cain. "Good luck with that, chum. Somethin' squishes me, we're /all/ in trouble." With the possible exception of Hope herself. Darn her and being faster! That said, he's making his way forward. "Either of you got a light? 'sdark as shit up ahead."

'It's the /lizard people!/ They stole the lights!'
'Take your medicine, George.'

Inside the train car, one woman gets up from her seat and walks in the opposite direction. About a minute or two later, the intercom comes to life once more and a dull, droning voice follows.

"Ladies and gentlemen, this is your conductor. The New York Transsssit Authority would like to remind you that there have been no ssssightingssss of lizard people in the ssssubway tunnelssss. We thank you for your continued patiensssse."

Somebody's probably getting fired.


Cain snorts, "Son, ain't no such thing as trouble for me. Irritation, though? I get plenty o' that. But little bugs get squished," he says. He allows Hope and Tommy to go out of the train first, smirking as the conductor takes the time to troll the other passengers.

"I dunno about lizard people, but you know there's plenty o' mutants around this place," he says. "Boogedy boo, ya buncha pissants."


Laughter rolls from Hope's throat as she springs down, avoiding landing on the rails. It's particularly easy for her but she minces a few steps to bunny hop over another, and grumbles over the dirty chipped rock laid down. "I'm going to pretend someone has been down here to clean things in the last fifty years and pretend that my shoes are not covered in filth. The lizard people probably have really awesome baths, they must. Lizard people and stuff." A mad scramble to the wall gets her out of the way of anything coming silently and speedily in the dark, especially as she grabs for the paint-smeared, crumbling ledge of a maintenance walkway. It's something to watch her get up there.

She runs up the side and leaps up in a weird kip, rolling off her shoulder to spring upright. Either the girl's part of the Romanian gymnastic team — unlikely, too well fed for that — or she's got a weird trick or two. Parkour simply isn't known in this era. "Okay, let's see. Up here is absolutely no better and… I should have…" Fumbling and patting produces a box of matches, a lighter, and a bright yellow highlighter. The latter gets put back. "I've got something. Let's see, these are supposed to be good for a few." The crack of plastic and metal brings up a bright yellow flame. "Boo!"


And belatedly she snorts. "Scary mutants. Yep, that's who did this."


"Hope you're good at pretendin' then." is offered towards the redhead in an amused tone. Tommy? He grew up in dilapidated conditions. Granted, they weren't quite /this/ bad, but… "While you're at it, maybe pretend we're in Maui, or somethin'. I could go for a hot day on the beach right about now."

There's a brief look from one to the other as the conversation turns to mutants. Brows arching in amusement. "I dunno, big guy. You seen what some of," There's a barely notable pause in otherwise quick speech as 'us' is replaced by "them mutants can do? I heard there's one out there who can grow as tall as freakin' Godzilla."

There's a certain familiarity about that which distracts him for a moment, before the flame — and jumpscare — jolts him back to reality. "Whoa! When'd you get up there?" Pause. "…you really do pack everything, don'tcha?" With light available, it makes continuing forward that much more inviting an option.


Cain lands outside the train with a thud that rattles the tunnel itself, his overgrown mass making even that short drop something of an impact. He rolls his head on his massive shoulders, "I seen plenty of what mutants are capable of. They're right to be afraid. It's only just begun," says the Fist of the Brotherhood.

He starts to march forward, urging the pair on ahead of him unless they plan to get stepped on. He curls his hand into a fist, barely resisting the urge to give the train a farewell swat on the way down.


The wobble of the lighter flame gives a poor source to illuminate a tunnel with, but there have to be emergency signs somewhere and maybe a hint of an exit to go. A dark, low chuckle follows when the train announcer growls something about sitting down and keeping arms and legs inside the compartment. Whatever mayhem happens back there, she's not really inclined to respond to, marching instead up the tunnel as far as she can without tripping or getting far ahead of the others. "Rule one of walking, don't walk on the same level as everyone else. And yeah, I do. Habit. Never know when someone's going to want to smoke," or burn, "or socialize. Or get caught in the death tunnel with the lizard people on the tin can, waiting for the space sharks to show up and eat us all as a snack."

Serious? Not so much, though that's only if someone listens to the top level. Space sharks aside, there's a dark note underneath her words that could speak to a particular truth."


Cain's landing gets a surprised look backwards — not every day that someone rumbles the ground just by jumping off a train. Usually more likely to be the other way around. "Been maxin' out on those protein shakes, huh?" There's an amused sound to that. "…and you're probably right about it just bein' the beginnin'. Those 'Friends of Humanity'," Cue eye-rolling, heard as much as seen. "ain't doin' humanity no favors by tryin' to start a war."

Hope's warning? It doesn't take long for Tommy to interpret the subtext. Get out of the tunnel before the train comes back to life — a smart idea, though mostly for if it were to catch him unawares. There's a nod, and he's going to clamber up onto the aforementioned walkway as well. Hope can lead, given that she has the light source! "You know, I think I've seen that flick; didn't end up too well for the snacks."

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