Logs:Independence Day 2016

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Independence Day 2016

Dramatis Personae

Alldrich, Aniella, Aurore, Boucher, Cissy, Darius, Deckard, Hoax, Kilo, Maleko, Patricia, Shelby, Susie, Teri, Tilo, Vandal, Violet, Rusty the Dog

2 July, 2016


Independence Day celebrations are interrupted

Location

A Large Clearing


It's Independence Day (almost) and Channel 31 is hosting a party to celebrate the birth of the nation. In a large clearing in the woods south of the town three stages, a sideshow alley and local business stalls have been set-up for people to enjoy. The scent of hot dogs and fairy floss fill the air. Music is blaring out from one stage where a band are playing. Another stage has a dance company doing an interpretive dance version of the Declaration of Independence - it seems to involve lots of middle fingers. The third and smallest stage is where amateurs can strut their stuff and is currently playing host to the comedy stylings of a used car dealer - every joke better than the next!

A large crowd are enjoying the festivities; buying lots of crappy food, helping out local businesses, dancing in a big mosh pit in front of the stage - which will be interesting when the string quartet start. Down a short path is the ocean where pedal boats are available for hire and a short cruise around an inlet. Off to the side of the main stage a huge bonfire has been erected for igniting later on - and there will be fireworks.

Patricia and one of her interchangeable cameramen called Frank is prowling the crowds looking for people to interview. She doesn't really look happy about these kind of fluff pieces but apparently they rate.

Aniella hopped out of the Sedan with Aurore in tow stretching out and dressed for the warm weather of a beach side party. Wearing a open black shirt with a bikini underneath and a pair of shorts to go with it and sandals as she looked to Aurore and gave a half smile. "Yes I know without you even saying it. But c'mon it's a town event we can at least try right?" She said with a playful smile. "Besides I love fireworks don't you?" She asked holding out a hand to help her out of the car so they could make their way towards the party.

One big positive about coming back to Fallcoast: Cissy's had so many different opportunities to mooch food and other things off of people, places and events, practically for free. It's a dream come true. Obviously though, the Skinner feels strongly about the day her great country declared independence, and that is why she is here. Pay no attention to the tray of food that looks imposingly overstuffed. Currently wearing a black Nirvana tank top, dark, shredded jeans and a pair of well-worn boots, complete with her ever-present satchel, the woman is currently happily stuffing her face full of hot dogs ravenously. It's about the furthest thing from refined and dainty eating there ever was. She looks like a pig at a trough. But at least she's enjoying herself! She even throws in a few obligatory "Woo! Fuck yeah, America!"s before returning to her food. See?

Oh, he's still not used to the stares, but what kind of Ranger would Frank Boucher be if he missed the local birthday party for the country he fought for? The disfigured vet moves slowly through the edge of the crowd, trying to keep back and wincing every time he witnesses a child duck behind his mother's legs on seeing him. Around the back of the food tents he goes, towards the stage and the party - and perhaps unwittingly, towards the news crew - hoping to enjoy the festivities from afar. His eyes flick back and forth over the crowd, and for the first time in months, the man's expression softens... there's something about seeing this place - the obscene display of dance and middle fingers, the annoyingly loud rock music, the people showing as much skin as they can get away with - that makes everything worth it.

Aurore is indeed playing up her native heritage - the former model has her hair swept back to expose the shaven sides of her head, while make-up emphasizes high cheek-bones and the shape of her eyes. However, her attire's decidedly modern: tight black jeans artfully ripped in more than a few places, paired with a deep red handkerchief top that wholly exposes her smoothly toned back. Pinned to a matching choker is a circle of red white and blue - but its bold text proclaims, "Happy Filipino-American Friendship Day" rather than anything relating to 1776. "If I promise not to scalp anyone, will that be good enough?", she dryly inquires of Aniella, while putting at least a *little* effort into avoiding overt glowering.

Kilo looks relaxed enough, however she's anything but. She and her new-old boyfriend Hoax have come down to this circus for one reason and one reason only; to find their lost boy Vandal. He's in this town somewhere, there have been sightings, now they just have to find him and bring him home safely. And in her hand she has the perfect bait. Bait that boy will never, ever be able to resist. Because in her hand is a leash and pulling on the end of it is a rather exuberant dog with a 'borrowed' SERVICE ANIMAL vest on. Underneath that lettering, markered in by hand it says 'In Training', which makes it all the more legit because the dog wouldn't know how to walk properly on a leash if his life depended on it. 'Rusty', as he is fondly referred to as, is going bat-shit insane; what with all the sounds and people and the junk food landing on the ground. If the dog doesn't explode of intestinal overload by the end of this, it will be a miracle.

Kilo keeps a careful eye out for Vandal, and especially watches where the dog is watching. Because if anyone is going to spot him first, it will be Rusty.

Violet had dyed her hair with Kool-Aid so it would wash out, in pigtail curly poofs. She had two toned blue hair. She wore a white tank top and a red pleaded skirt. Violet looked like a festive bomb pop this evening. Hanging from the young lady's elbow was her Strawberry shaped purse. She was going down the alley of all the local vendors and such. Work first, then play. She was trying to stay on task. She was wearing red converse sneakers to match because tonight may require a lot of walking. Appeared to be alone at this event, however she had her tablet out taking notes of the businesses.

Aniella laughed softly at Aurore. "Don't worry I got a few tomahawks in the trunk if we need to give it to the invaders." She said with a wink as they made their way towards the part as she put her hands behind her head looking around at the various stages curiously. "Wanna get some food first?" She said watching the yelling Cissy tear past them as she chuckled a little more. Her own hair in twin braids resting against her back as she bumped shoulders with Aurore in a playful manner. "Oh hey look, the news stations here. I bet they'll wanna know all about the sexy model." She teased.

Vandal has made a boo-boo. Trouble is it was a three hundred and twenty five thousand dollar boo-boo, so the kid is laying low. But, there are certain things the kid can't resist, and hot dogs and fairy floss are certainly two of those. So, he's sort of cautiously arrived and is peeking round the place. He's got a hotdog in his hand which he is sort of munching on and he's stood watching the local bands playing. Not really dancing, but sort of bouncing along with the beat just a little. This is...okay! Yeah, he's having a good time. I mean, everything is still pretty weird, but this is the best he's been for a little bit, so it's good. The kid glances over his shoulder every now and then, almost longingly at the smaller stage where the local amateurs are able to do their thing. Normally, that would be right up the kid's street, but for now it's probably best avoided. So, he takes another great big chomp of hotdog and just sort of quietly mooches. Quite unaware that the hunt for him does indeed appear to be ON!

Stuffing her face Cissy might be, that doesn't make her any less observant. Well. Mostly. Kind of. Spotting a familiar face from the corner of her eye, those vivid green eyes turn in the direction that Kilo is wandering in, blinking faintly. She offers a calm wave, disregarding the hotdog half-hanging from her mouth, but -- Kilo looks like a Woman on a Mission. It makes Cissy's head tilt, especially when she sees the dog. But, overriding curiosity is forgotten for the sake of - for once - not prying, instead just tearing off a chunk of meat from her hot dog to toss in Rusty's hungry path as a treat, no doubt contributing to his potentially unfortunate fate. Still, gaze wanders a bit more; she lingers, briefly, on the distinctive figure that Bouchard makes, blinking curiously at the sight of him, before the Skinner takes note of Aniella and Aurore as she walks past them. Catching a glimpse of that choker, she laughs and lifts the remains of her hot dog like a toast. "And a happy Filipino-American Friendship Day to you, too," she offers with more reserved amusement before stuffing her face ever-so-greedily. Food!!

Sexy models are always good television but on day like this, so are guys with artificial limbs who look the military type. Patricia makes a beeline for Boucher. "Excuse me, sir. Would you mind an interview?" Frank catches up and points the camera regardless of Boucher's response. "How are you enjoying this celebration of our country?" Microphone shoved in his face for an answer just as the band on stage go into whining, dueling guitar solos that get the mosh pit excited and some children crying and running away. Even some of the cops on security duty decide to wander away from the screeching...they're not worth protecting.

On the amateur stage the comedian is in full stagnation. "What do you call a tree with a briefcase? A bank manager. No...wait...a branch manager. I thank you."

Aurore winced a little at Cissy... but did muster a wan smile even before Aniella cracked her joke. "Hah. Yeah. Fortunately for the risk of a riot, I'm not much of a warrior. And I really do need to teach you about your local heritage. But me? Seriously? I kinda doubt that wearing bikinis in LA makes me of note to television over here. Still... oooh." She pauses, craning up onto tip-toes, then leaning over a little to try to peer around people. "I think that might be Kilo over there. Crazy chick who decided to come out here from LA, partly because of what I said about it. Adore her....." Then Cissy's enthusing at her, and being blinked at in return. A slightly shaky smile is offered, before she laughs. "Thanks. Doubt most people'll notice."

"Don't worry Chiquita, Rusty will find him." Hoax reassures the little Latina walking beside him, even going so far as to reach and take hold of Kilo's free hand. "Even if we don't today? We'll keep looking." He does keep an alert gaze, but with this many people and this much noise going on it's hard to really pay attention to any one thing.

Violet is lost in a sea of people. She presses on, getting vendor information. After about 15 minutes of this she is able to get a lot of contact information. She sighs and finds herself looking at the food vendors now. The blue, white and red bomb pop girl goes to find a lemonade stand. She eyes the sizes. A gallon of lemonade?? Who would want that?!

Aniella looked towards Kilo when Aurore mentioned it and then smirked a little at Cissy's walk by comment. "See it's not all bad, let’s just think of it as more of a party and less of a completed war goal by some people so they could rule over other people like our ancestors." She said and nodded. "But yea I've been gone almost five years and growing up I didn't even get to go to all of the native events. I'd love to learn more if you feel up to it." She agreed before going on. "Should we go and say hi to her?" She asked about Kilo since Aurore seems to know her letting her take the lead as such.

The drive over was short and Darius had smoked a joint before he left not sure how the local PD was going to be tonight and then he climbs into the car with his shades on and leather jacket giant American flag shirt made out of the flag. He is wearing a pair of black jeans with a shined up black combat boots. His hat is on backwards with the colors of the crew he rolls with and his music is loud and his eyes dark around as he climbs out of the car. He exhales the smoke into the air with a cig light with his gold lighter and the gold watch on his right wrist glinting in the sun. He looks around trying to see if anyone he knows is around.

Boucher meets a few eyes as people look over in his direction, but unfortunately it proves enough of a distraction that he doesn't notice Patricia until she's too close to evade. His expression hardens as soon as he hears the question and notices the camera, and the man turns right, letting the news team see more than the side profile. They may have to blur that for broadcast. "It's... freedom," he replies, shrugging only the shoulder he had when he was born, and lifting his prosthetic arm to point at the stages. "The band is terrible, the comedian is as funny as a crutch, and the dancers... is that even dance?" It's not exactly a glowing review until he adds, "I love it. The Taliban, the Ba'athists, Daesh... they'd kill everyone here for this, so I love it."

Kilo waves at Cissy when she spots her throwing food Rusty's way, and fortunately for Kilo she -does- see her do it because she's ready for the inevitable lunge that happens when the mutt finally catches on to the smooth move. She waves her over to chat if Cissy would like and then she also sees Aurore. "Hoax, do you remember Aurore? From out in LA? You must -- she was my model friend? I ended up heading this way after... well, you know." She doesn't finish that thought but waves Aurore over too when she spots her as well. And her friend too. But she never stops scanning for Vandal. For just a second she thinks she sees him. Over by the one band. "Hoax! Is that him?" It -could- have been...

"Probably just see the red white and blue," Cissy observes solemnly to Aurore. "Reading isn't most people's forte." Says the Skinner. Which means she ought to know. But now with cheeseburger in hand the time for solemnity is over. "My advice is to just enjoy the free food." And, these wise words delivered, Cissy is offering a wink and a wave before parting ways with the pair to make her way over towards Kilo, tearing off chunks of burger as she goes. "Cute dog," she offers first to Kilo. She looks around her, brows furrowing faintly before she looks back at the Latina, unable to help her curiosity any longer. "What's up? You look like you're on the prowl."

That is when Darius spots his homegirl and running through the crowd quickly this way and that stopping right next to her. "What’s up home slice?" He then hugs her tightly and then he turns to look at Cissy for a moment. "Hey there. I'm Darius." He then exhales the smoke facing away from both girls with a content smile. "What a crowded fucking place and to think I thought I could not burn here. Dumb Darius." He laughs with a wink at Kilo and then he points towards his car. "I got fireworks and presents in there for an after party if you wish." His eyes scan the crowd out of habit searching for someone else he might know.

Aurore offers Cissy a slightly dazed smile - evidently not having expected that sort of sentiment to be expressed by a total stranger - before managing to refocus upon Aniella. "You sure? She's not the most *respectable* of people... but she's an amazing artist. Owns a tattoo shop here. All the work I've had done - what there is of it - I had her do. I don't know any of the people with her, that I can see, so we might get brushed off by them. But Kilo's lovely."

Tilo's been over near the vendors, and enjoying the food more than the atmosphere. He's dressed like one would expect a librarian to be on a day off: a blue polo shirt, khaki shorts, and brown loafers that are already getting stained by the grass. At present he's enjoying a bland, condiment-less hotdog, whilst the kitten resting on his shoulder nibbles on something small and brown. He stops eating for a brief moment to catch the tail end of that joke, and when it comes out he's just left staring in confusion before going back to that hotdog.

Vandal is like a phantom in the night! Okay, he's actually not. But, he is like a teenage boy in a crowd of teenage boys. So, pretty elusive. He bounces around when the band really, really gets going, really rather ambitious when you're nomming down on most of a hotdog, but he manages. Kid can put 'em away!! In fact, so adept is he at eating hot dogs while dancing that before too long he is once again hot-dog-less. This prompts a slight grumble, which causes him to wriggle out from amongst the crowd surrounding the main stage and start to make his way back in the direction of where the food is! He pauses for a moment, glancing between the various choices as though this is a life or death decision. Eventually, he settles on ice cream and heads that way. The fourth of July is not complete without Vandal eating and eating and eating until he feels sick.

Violet is at the wrong holiday celebration for vegan treats. However, she was able to score a tall lemonade in a horn, lots of ice and lemons floating in it. However, her attention is pulled to someone with a kitten. The tiny party planner loves kittens! She tries not to stare but she takes a few step closer in the crowd to Tilo. She scans the booths, cotton candy.. maybe? No, fried dough was better!

Aniella shrugs picking them up a pair of drinks as she offered one to Aurore. "It's completely up to you, I just didn't want you to hold back cause you're here with me." She offering a reassuring glance. "But actually I also kinda wanted to bring you here cause I'm curious what kinda greasy gross carnival style food my model friend loves. Cause in my experience everyone has some weakness for something at a fair. So what is it, funnel cakes, corn dogs, deep-friend candy bars?" She asked playfully trying to coax it out of Aurore as they walked.

Patricia has to smile at Boucher's review and commentary before nodding in agreement. "You're quite right, sir. For all its faults, and there are many, this country is a lot better place to live in than others. Thank you, sir. Do enjoy your evening. And thank you for your sacrifice." Patricia pulls the microphone out of his face and gestures for Frank to prowl the food stalls; she thinks she saw someone with patriotic hair and clothes so he should find her and she'll be there in a sec. Turning back to Boucher she says, "Maybe we could do a longer spot on you about veterans returning home and the issues they face. Interested?" Frank is heading for Violet as the comedian continues. "Did you hear about the new movie 'Constipation'? No, that's because it hasn't come out yet. I have a million of them." A tomato is thrown at him from the audience.

Kilo gives Cissy a hug. "He is cute. He's our friend Vandal's and..." As she's about to explain, up comes Darius, smelling like a weed factory, if there were such a thing as weed factories. "Vato..." She grins and gives him a hug too. "I was just telling Cissy..." Now she chooses her words carefully as Darius probably know more about this. "This is Rusty, Vandal's dog, and Vandal is missing." She looks at Darius pointedly. "We are desperately trying to find him and were hoping he'd show here today." She nods over to Hoax for support. "He's about yay tall, real skinny kid, real pale, real dark hair, tattoos... cute as all get out." She tries to describe him. "But if he sees Rusty, I think he might come up. He's worried we're mad at him. But we're not." She shakes her head. "Anyway.. you have a good weekend, Cissy?"

Boucher cracks a slight grin at Patricia's comment about the country's faults, which fades instantly at the bit about his sacrifice. He's almost about to respond when he catches himself and just lets it go, looking up at the stage again. The vet doesn't respond at first to her suggestion about a longer interview, almost like he didn't hear it, but she's talking into his good (or rather existent) ear. After a pause that borders on the uncomfortable, he replies, "I was planning about getting a beer and a brat, but... I could do that. My duty for my brothers, after all." Turning his head over towards the reporter, he adds, "Somewhere a bit further from the stage, I hope? I'm about ready to grab a tomato myself, and my right arm is still pretty good."

"Yeah been looking for himself got a present for him and it's over in the car. I missed his brother wanted to pay it off big time you know. "Darius exhales the cig slowly into the air for a moment. "Care to unpack it for me and you know. Move it from my car to yours you got his dog sure you'll run into him first you know." He then looks at the others for a moment with a smile. "Mind if I borrow good ole Kilo for like 6 minutes to move something from my SVU to her car?" He watches them all for a moment and then he offers a flask to the group. "Good old JD always hit the spot for me?"

Aurore chuckles, shaking her head as she grins at Aniella. "With this ass? Yeah, I have way too many weaknesses. Actually love a really good burger more than most sweet stuff, though. But... you hang onto that drink for the moment. I'm going to see if Kilo's bodyguards kill me. Feel free to tag along and I can introduce you, if you want. Or I'll be back shortly, if you don't want to get too close to that crowd." That said, she heads for Kilo, her untrained canine companion, the weed factory (and Hoax and Cissy) - the striking native intending to walk right up to the petite tattooist, enfold her in a hug, and hoist her clean off her feet as she squeezes affectionately.

Aniella does follow along looking between everyone curiously but allowing Aurore her chance to say hi and commence with introductions before she speaks up. Taking a sip of her drink and holding onto Aurore’s for her still as she watched the failing comedian on display for a few moments with an almost empathetic gaze before going back to looking at Aurore and Kilo.

Violet sips on her lemonade on her 3 foot straw. She can hear someone on a loud speaker telling terrible jokes, she is able to spy tomato throwing. She avoids that area. Not on her nice clothes! She looked like she stepped off a Miss USA pageant with her patriotic colors. Slice of American pie, who cared if she was part Hispanic? She smiles and covers her mouth with her hand to avoid anyone seeing her gapped front tooth. She looks down the alleys trying to decide where to go next, she stashes her tablet back in her strawberry shaped purse.

Hug accepted, hug delivered. After it's done, she peers at the dog, offering him a friendly smile and the little wiggle of her fingers. As best she can while holding a cheeseburger. She's got a death grip on that thing. "Vandal?" she begins, apparently intent to ask further -- but when Darius makes himself known, she blinks at the man. "Howdy. Cissy Skinner." Her nostrils flare. Her lips purse. "Nice smell. Real pungent." A teasing smile dances across her lips before she turns her attention back to Kilo, listening to her explanation and description. Brows furrow faintly. "I'll keep an eye out for him. If I find him I'll drag him over to you guys." Maybe literally. Though that might not help his worries. Hm. "Don't happen to have a picture or anything?" Those green eyes sweep the area once more; her gaze lingers a bit at the food areas, possibly because her inner cheapskate compels her to. "Pretty damn good," she offers Kilo with a faint smile. "Except office space here is too expensive. I think I might just end up breaking into some condemned building and calling it an office." She sounds like she's only half-kidding. She gives a little nod to Darius -- but when Aurore strides through with Aniella in tow, she blinks, tilts her head -- and offers a bit of a grin. "Friend of yours?" she asks Kilo, before finally making formal introductions. "Hey. Cissy Skinner."

Shelby wanders into the crowd. According to the U.S. Flag Code, article 176, paragraph d, or something like it, the flag should never be used as wearing apparel. However, Shelby is well-shielded by 1st Amendment jurisprudence. There's an eagle on her tank top, staring proudly into the distance. In the background there's a faded flag, and fighter jets blazing a trail of red, white and blue through the sky. Her bra straps are red, so they match. Her shorts have the stars and stripes on them, and while they're short shorts, there's a lot of Shelby to cover up, and that's a lot of flag real estate clinging snugly to her more than ample curves. Her purse is also flag-themed. Her flip-flops are just white, but her toenails and fingernails are blue, with glitter, to represent the stars. She is wearing mirrored sunglasses, and her hair is pulled into braided pigtails. And she's also very, very twitchy.

Patricia takes out a business card and hands it over to Boucher. "Go eat, drink and be merry and I'll catch up with you later, okay? I have to go prowl the crowd" she smiles, "But we /will/ talk." A glance over at where Frank is aiming his camera before she shakes Boucher's good hand. "A pleasure to meet you." With that she is heading for Violet and Tilo. "Hey, you two" she greets since they are vaguely in the same area. "Out on a date? Love the cat. Enjoying yourselves? Mind an interview?"

Kilo gets swept up off her feet by her dearest, oldest friend in Fallcoast. "Aur! How is?" She squeaks and accidentally drops the leash. And off goes Rusty. "OH SHIT! Cissy! Can you grab Rusty?" Kilo is still embraced and won't even be fast enough.

"What's brown and rhymes with snoop?" asks the 'comedian'. "Dr. Dre. I'm one with the kids!" claims the man in his mid-fifties and a checkered suit. Violet blinks as she is approached by a reporter and a cameraman. She smiles neatly and not wide to mind the gap. "Happy Independence Day." She greets with a polite wave. She glances to Tilo with the kitten, someone she was sort of spying on. "Me? Him?" She points and rocks on her converse sneakers. "Oh no. I'm not with him. I haven't even met." She sips her lemonade when she gets slightly awkward in pause to let Tilo answer as well. She blinks her big brown eyes adorably. She lays on the charm.

Sometimes Alldrich likes to imagine his steps shake the ground as he walks. He looks like they should. He's a giant, a mountain of scarred flesh and bulging muscles, some the size of small children, and they have their own little tiny muscles. He wears a simple white tank top, blue jeans and a belt and he goes barefoot. He doesn't need to shove his way through the crowd, people move for him. He doesn't need to try and find people by jumping or yelling, he can simply scan over the sea of heads. It's easy to spot the duel colors of violets head. The aging boxing champion moves through the crowd in her direction. Still some distance away.

Within the crowd is Teri, a scrawny girl with a messenger bag under one arm and a smartphone in hand as she wanders aimlessly. She looks to be unaccompanied, but she is looking curiously about the crowd, occasionally stopping to watch some display of humanity or another. A child screaming bloody murder over something here, a drunk man laughing boisterously with friends there, or a couple stealing a private, cozy moment together. She idles nearby to watch each of these scenes with a serious, reserved expression, and then she moves on, drifting through the crowd once more. There are frequent glances down to her smartphone to type one-handed into the device, before she's looking up and about again, drifting with the movements of the crowd.

"Crap," says Aurore in eloquent response, as she finds that she's traded *her* holding Kilo for the latter losing hold of the leash. "Oops," she says, before carefully setting Kilo back down, offering her a sheepishly guilty grin - though her hands stay (lightly) on Kilo's shoulders, as if scared the little gangster might disappear at any moment. "Oh good. Someone's got him. I, ahhh, yeah. Hi. Sorry. I kinda half thought that you'd got Teeth with you, so I just... trusted him to stick around. Should've paid attention." The ex-model's voice is a rich, warm alto that mixes the local accent with more exotic tones. "Aurore. Aurore Abernathy", she offers to Cissy. "Kilo started poking me with sharp things five or six years back, when I was out in LA."

Boucher tucks the card away and gives Patricia a firm handshake, then turns his eyes towards the stalls of food, taking a few steps in that direction. There's a flash of... something in the corner of the vet's eye, and old instincts kick into gear. Frank pivots on his feet and drops to a knee, prosthetic arm extended behind him to help him keep his balance. The dog slips by his side, certain that he's achieved freedom... and then four fingers hook into his collar and bring the dog to a bit of a yelping halt. The vet hugs the dog and whispers something to him, then stands back up with the leash in hand. He's not sure whose dog it is, but they'll probably come to claim him.

Darius turns toward the new Aurore with a smirk watching Kilo for a moment and then he exhales the smoke into the air again slowly. "If we are not careful this will be everyone we know in LA in one city. Weird fucking world." He looks towards the SVU for a moment with a smile. "We good now and dog is grabbed and I need to do this get it off my mind before I forget. Going to get mad blazed and drunk and party like a rockstar you know me." He watches her for a moment pointing towards his SVU limo with a smirk. "I'll be over there getting it ready and drive over when you get a moment." He then exhales the smoke again making his way through the crowd slowly to his car.

"A man walks into a doctor's office with a piece of lettuce hanging out of his butt. The doc looks at it and says, 'Seems we have a problem.' The man replies, 'Yeah, and that's just the tip of the iceberg'." The comedian taps his microphone. "This thing on? Not even a titter?"

And off the dog bolts. Cissy's eyes widen. Further introductions will have to wait. "Ah shit. On it!" And here, she -- very carefully -- shoves that plate of food off into the hands of the nearest person she can find in poor Aniella, offering a "Sorry" and then a "Don't eat all of it!" just as she bolts after the animal, but with all that food she had to cart off (and has eaten (shut up)) Rusty's got an insurmountable lead on her. "Fucking -- dog -- you're way fatter than me, stop being so fast--!" she complains helplessly, about to lunge -- and then there comes Boucher. Cissy practically skids to a halt when she sees the war vet oh-so-casually accomplish what she was bound to fail, just barely halting herself from toppling over. She gasps a bit for breath, holding onto her knees with one hand and lifting a finger with the other as if to indicate 'one second.' She really shouldn't have had all those hotdogs and cheeseburgers. She looks up -- and because she's naturally curious and also a Skinner, she can't help but stare a moment. But at least it's not the horrified kind. "... thanks," she manages after a moment. "I was sure that mutt was gonna get away." She offers a lopsided smile, jerking her thumb behind her. "Owner's thataway. ... kinda. Person keeping him safe. Whatever." A pause. "It's complicated." At least she's honest.

After finishing off his food Tilo moves around to get a good view of the comedian. He and the kitten tilt their head in unison when the next joke comes on, confusion apparent in Tilo's face. However, when the punchline comes he throws his head back in laughter, and clutches at his side. The small, graymalking thing doesn't appear as pleased, and begins batting at the side of his head rapidly.

Kilo's eyes go big as she watches the dog run in slow-fast motion away from their group and almost as if by magic into the loving arms of that amazing Vet. "Wow. Did you guys see that. I'm SO DAMN LUCKY." She shakes her head. "Vandal would never have forgiven me if I had lost Rusty. Oh god. That would have been..." She doesn't even want to think about how bad that would have been. She puts up a finger to have everyone wait for her for a moment and then heads over to Cissy and the man with Rusty. "Sir, you just saved me -- you are like, a total hero, in like so many ways today." She smiles at him gratefully. "And Cissy! I didn't know you could run that fast!" She grins at her friend. "Sir, can i get you a drink or hot dog or something?" There isn't like a good bottle of whiskey anywhere around... Oh. Except in their Escalade! "And adult beverage maybe?" Because they totally don't frown on drinking at these things. No.

Violet of course can spy Alldrich out of the crowd. He is built like a tree ent. She bounces on her tippy toes and waves her hand over her head. "Ali!" She tries to flag him down. Cute little two toned, can't help to be excited to see him. She bounds off weaving between the crowd. She's a pretty fast runner for having short legs. She leaps at him. "ALI!" She hugs to him, jumping into his arms and sticks to him like Velcro. "You made it." It is very clear to others that Violet is much shorter and younger than Alldrich. Not that she notices. She doesn't even notice the grey hair. She looks down. "Where are your shoes, love? Lemonade?" She offers the giant flute she obtained of summer deliciousness.

Aniella in all of the commotion ended up a drink and plate holder balancing it all thanks to her ample dexterity but looking a little exasperated all the same as she wobbled a moment to get everything under control as it was added to her burden and gained a somewhat sheepish expression doing her best to stand there and not look completely awkward balancing a plate along with two drinks in her arms.

Vandal has just acquired an ice cream, in the most obnoxious bright blue colour imaginable, which he is nomming away at happily when he becomes aware of something going on just across the way. He looks over his shoulder and hey! That dog looks just like Rusty! He smiles for just a moment and then he realises the dog is wearing a 'service dog' vest, just like the one he stole for Rusty, so he could get in all the cool places. Then he realises that somebody has scrawled 'in training' on the vest in magic marker, because no way in hell is anyone gonna believe that is a service dog. Then it clicks that the dog is definitely Rusty. What can I say, not the sharpest tool in the box, is Vandal, and it's been a tough week. But, if Rusty is here, it dawns on him, so are likely a selection of people who think they are owed a lot of money, or a lot of deeply illegal drugs. The kid goes pale, he casts a longing look at his beloved mutt, and he runs like fuck in the opposite direction. Because he loves that dog! But not enough to be put in a meat grinder and sold as quarter ponders.

There are a few laughs at the comedian's bad joke. Teri is one of them, an immediate snort of laughter before she's shaking her head, serious disposition forgotten in a momentary amused grin. She glances through the crowd toward the stage, but between her height and the distance, she can't even see the man. Soon, her expression returns to neutrality and then she spots a new target for her people-watching: Shelby, in all her star spangled glory. The much smaller blonde raises a brow at her first glimpse of the woman picking her way through the crowd, and then Teri is swept up in the woman's wake, following quietly after her, messenger bag and smartphone in hand. And after a moment of following Shelby, Teri lifts the smartphone up, takes a long moment to aim it at the other woman, and then there is a bright flash of light as a picture is taken.

"So not together? Sorry about that" Patricia apologises to Violet and Tilo before zeroing in on the bouncy one. "And what is your name, Miss? It looks like you're quite ready for the night." A gesture towards her colorful clothing and hair. "What does America mean to you?" As she waits for the answer, the reporter scans the crowds to look for her next victims...Shelby can't be missed and Teri looks lost.

The comedian looks surprised at Tilo's outburst of laughter...and then pleased. "Finally, someone with a sense of humor. And he has a pussy on his head...what a lucky guy. So back to the jokes. A cannibal walked by and passed his brother." A pause. "Think about it."

Boucher looks down at Cissy, waiting for her to say something and seeming... at least not offended by the staring. The curious kind is better than the horrified kind, after all. "You're welcome," he replies simply, listening to her explanation, and then looking over at Kilo as she arrives. Holding out the leash with an arm strong enough that Rusty can't even move it, he frowns and replies, "I'm not a hero, I'm just in the right place." Even then, his facial scars and replaced arm suggest that heroism has been a pattern for a while. "A hot dog would be nice, though. Or a bratwurst. Something unhealthy."

And indeed, Aurore loses a Kilo just as soon as she acquires her (thus, sadly, distracting her from the wonders of the comedian's humour). The native chuckles faintly, shaking her head... before turning back to Aniella to offer her an apologetic look. "That" - she jerks a thumb over her shoulder - "was Kilo. And sadly, that's about all I tend to see of her these days. Almost always something grabbing her attention. Here. Let me help you with those. Sorry."

Shelby halts and laughs. She does, really. "'Cause it's a freakin' iceberg lettuce, right?!" she elbows the nearest stranger in the side and looks around, because she wants to make sure everyone is getting this too, which includes a look in Teri's direction, "That's freakin' clever, I like that guy." she points a finger at the stage, and snorts at the cannibal joke as well, "Hah!" Then she resumes her walk through the crowd, pinching and rubbing briskly at her sniffly nose. Spotting Kilo, eventually, she strolls on over, festooned in the stars and stripes, tugging at her bald eagle top as if she's suddenly hot, and salutes. "Hey!" before turning to look around, head tilting as she steals quick glances through the crowd, peering in every direction from behind her sunglasses. Sniff.

Aniella smile slightly and lets Aurore ease her burden of things she was holding. "Oh it's alright, she's not my old friend I just didn't want you to pass up a chance to say hello. But I don't know where the woman that shove this plate in my hands went." She said with a little shrug of her shoulder assuming she'd return to reclaim it as she went on. "She looks interesting though, were you two ever?" She asked curiously obviously implying something.

"I'm full of secrets," Cissy manages to joke as she finally catches her breath, running a hand through her hair. She can't help but give a passing glance back at her food like Orpheus looking back at that ill-fated moment. But -- she still sees it there, off in the distance, in Aniella's arms. Heaving a sigh of open relief, she looks back to Boucher, and smiles. "If I had some of my family's 'shine I'd hook you up. Thanks for the assist," she offers again, arms crossing over her stomach. It's about then she notices motion out of the corner of her eye, vivid green gaze turning to see some young kid bolting off into the crowds and disappearing in completely the opposite direction of the dog and Kilo. A second passes. "Uh," she begins eloquently, "I think I saw your friend." Yep. Too bad he looks long gone now. But it's the thought that counts!

After Teri has taken her picture of Shelby from behind, she halts and focuses on typing into her smartphone, smiling slightly to herself as she does so. After a few moments, she's shaking her head and grinning widely before lowering the phone and then looking about the crowd once more. After a moment, she rolls her shoulders into a shrug, takes a moment to adjust her messenger bag's strap, and then she is setting off in the direction of Shelby once more. She soon finds the other woman and is then approaching, smartphone in hand, but attention focused on the much larger woman. Seeing Shelby is greeting someone else, Teri merely comes to a halt a few steps to one side, staring openly at the woman, brows drawn down into a hint of a frown.

Kilo gives the man a smirk. "I got you covered on the bratwurst. I also hear the deep-fried twinkies are amazingly unhealthy." She waggles her brow at him and beams then scurries off, returning not long after with a plate full of, not only the bratwurst but other terribly unhealthy things. A feast! "Will you come meet my friends? I'd like to introduce you. I'm Kilo, by the way. Did you meet Cissy? This is Cissy." Kilo sees Shelby then and waves enthusiastically. "Shelby! Oh we have to talk cars! Hoax is about to disown me if I don't find a ride." She laughs then returns her attention to the Vet to see if he's coming. She waves to Aurore to let her know they're coming and scans for Darius in the distance. Then Cissy is mentioning... "You saw Vandal? Holy shit! He's gone? But he was here?" She looks crest fallen.

"A man goes to the doctor for a check-up. The doc says, 'You need to stop masturbating' The man replies, 'Why?'. The doc says, 'Because I'm trying to examine you'. Boom!" grins the comedian...people are laughing at him...with him...they're laughing at something at least.

"She went after the dog," Aurore says, offering Aniella another sheepish look as she jerks her head in that direction. "Sorry. And, ahh, me and Kilo? I've offered to introduce her to nice girls, in the past, but she's firmly set on only ever playing with girl bits when she's poking holes in them for work. But she was one of the first people to ever accept me. I'll never forget that." Her voice trails off a little as her mind processes the most recent of the comedian's half-heard jokes, earning him a quiet belated snort and an amused glance towards the stage.

Tilo's attention is pulled away from the comedian for a brief moment, and his gaze shifts to the interviewer. He gives the briefest of shrugs, and simply looks over to the woman he was supposedly with. A quick, "No, ma'am," comes out as he catches the last joke, and goes back to guffawing. The cat, however, isn't as pleased, and takes a weak little bite at his ear.

Boucher is perhaps a bit surprised with how quickly Kilo can produce a plate full of food. He takes it with his prosthetic hand, shifting the fingertips into the correct grip so that he can eat, while looking rather pointedly at the air next to her. One might almost think that he'd seen a ghost, if his expression were startled instead of grim. With his head turned, he didn't hear the offered names at all, given that there's no ear over there. However, he does notice when Kilo moves, and follows along, grabbing the brat from his plate and biting it in half. May as well humor the youngins for a while.

Alldrich grabs the small much younger woman and lifts her up. He gives her a kiss and then lets her down. "Hey, yeah I generally go barefoot." He looks around and purses his lips. "Busier than I thought'd it be yeah?" He says to her. "Having fun maybe?"

Darius leans against his car with a joint fished from inside in his hand and sipping on his flask watching it all and the smoke drifting up towards the sky. His fingers on the joint between his fingers and the smoke is heavy and his eyes drifting lazily around taking it all in. His hat removed for the moment to show off his short cropped hair for a moment and then he unlocks the trunk with a push of the button on the keys but still waiting for the girl.

Helpfully, Cissy jabs a thumb against her chest as if to indicate that yes, in fact, she is Cissy. "Howdy," she offers with a calm little smile, before looking in the direction of the crowds with a pensive expression. "Saw a kind of scrawny kid running away like he was on fire," Cissy describes helpfully. "That sound like him?" She jerks her thumb towards the thick sea of crowds she lost track of him in. "Went that way." Her brows soften a little. "Sorry. Just caught a glimpse." That kid is good at running the fuck away. Her green eyes track towards Shelby after a moment, lifting a free hand in a brief tilt of a wave of greeting. But, feeling a bit bad at leaving Aniella with her food, she'll start making her way back over with Kilo... and kind of snorting at the comedian's joke. Kind of. Sort of.

Deckard arrived on his dirt bike in typical engine revving fashion, popping wheelies as he circled around people trying to avoid him. Why not get a few kicks? Eventually he found a parking stall for it...or rather, it found one for itself as he stepped away from his bike and let it skid somewhere into the trees. He'd pick it back up later. For the time being, it was far more pertinent to get into the party. That's what Deckard heard anyway, and he's always down for a party! "AWLRIGHT! Guess who's in tha house bitches!?" Deckard hollered at the top of his lungs, howling like a wolf directly after.

ACK! The camera man followed her! Violet smiles and turns. "I'm Violet June." She pauses. "What America means to mean is not getting bullied by an Orange Oompa Lumpa from New York City to build a wall on the Mexican-American border!" Another pause. "And the Freedom to Party!" She says on a more lighter and less political note. She holds up the peace sign. She giggles when Alldrich gives her a kiss. "Yeah super busy tonight!" She interlaces her fingers with his.

Shelby stops by Kilo and goes, "Kiiiiilo!" and flashes her a broad, slightly manic grin, "Yeah! Yeah! We'll get you a car, I got - I got leads. All-American freakin' Detroit steel!" she yells out the last part, and one could almost swear that a patriot tear escapes the eye of the bald eagle on her tank top. Or Shelby is sweaty. That's the alternative. "Yeah, yeah, yeah, we'll freakin' get you that. Hey!" she salutes Cissy as well, then turns about, hands on her hips, shouldering her purse as she shifts her weight back and forth. Her eyes stop on Teri with her phone, and she raises an eyebrow, looking the woman over warily for a second before her smile twitches back on and she strikes a pose. One hand on the curve of her hip, one hand over her heart, trying to look both solemn and seductive at once, which is easier said than done.

Aniella listens to Aurore's brief story. "That’s great, I'm glad to hear you had someone out there while you were discovering yourself. But you'll have to tell me about L.A. It seems while I was off in Italy at Uni you were running around California being sexy and modeling bikini's huh? What made you decide to stop and come home?"

"I guess /this/ is your boyfriend" Patricia notes with the arrival of Alldrich. "I'll leave you two to it" she adds as she looks up...and up...at the new arrival. The reporter glances around and points out Teri to cameraman Frank. "Her." Patricia slinks through the crowd with surprising speed before she is standing in front of the scrawny girl and offering her a professional smile. "Hey, enjoying yourself? What does America mean to you?"

"I asked the Terminator why he didn't upgrade to Windows 10. He said, 'I love Vista, Baby'. That joke is for the older folk" the comedian grins before ducking a thrown cabbage. "Thanks for that, soon I'll have enough for a salad."

Teri has turned her gaze briefly back to her phone, typing something swiftly into it with one hand, though she glances frequently up to Shelby, obviously waiting patiently for the woman's attention to divert. Then, the woman turns and strikes that pose and Teri's expression goes from slight frown to amused grin immediately. She slips the phone into a pocket and then lifts her hand in a slightly awkward, if friendly wave to the larger woman, "Hey, I just wanted to say I love your outfit. That's one of the best eagle motifs I've ever seen on a shirt! Can I ask where you got it?" Then she takes a half-step forward, nearer the other woman and perhaps infringing on just the edge of her personal space. But it's probably just because even with her voice apparently raised, Teri is quiet enough that it's a bit of a challenge to hear her over the general noise of the party and crowd.

Finally, Kilo is back! "Aur, thank you for waiting so patiently. I'm so glad you're here! This fine gentleman saved Rusty. And you know Cissy?" She thinks she saw them talking? "But I don't know your friend, and sorry to interrupt your conversation. I'm Kilo, so nice to meet you." She grins and would give her a hug but doesn't want to spill the food. Kilo is laughing at Shelby and nodding enthusiastically and waves her over so she doesn't have to shout. To everyone close she tries to translate. "I lost my car. So Shelby is going to build me a new one. Hopefully like a 69 Camaro. Cool huh?" It sounds cool to her anyway. "Oh, I need to just speak to Darius for a moment about something for Vandal. Excuse me just a moment." Kilo wanders off to speak to Darius for a couple minutes. They transfer something out of his car and into hers and then she heads back to the group with a flask in her hand offering it to anyone who is interested.

Darius then heads back with Kilo now that the deed is done and the joint still in his right hand with a smirk with his own flask in his left hand. "So thank you for that and how you been Kilo? It's been too long." He moves slowly back towards the group with her now that the job is done with a lazy smile on his face. "So happy 4th and stuff."

He looks down at Violet. "I have a errand to run real quick. I'll catch you later yeah?" He asks leaning down for another kiss before Alldrich makes his way out of the festivities.

Aniella looks towards Kilo as she introduces herself. "Oh it's nice to meet you as well, I'm Aniella." She said offered with a soft smile and a curious glance over Kilo with those currently green eyes of hers. "Aurore's had plenty of good things to say, by all accounts I might have to put you up for sainthood." She said as a tease towards Kilo afterwards and took a sip of her drink. "Though she did give me the unfortunate news that you are in fact straight, my condolences." Her voice obviously joking before looking to Aurore. "But yea you two met in LA?"

"Nice outfit, by the way," Cissy declares to Shelby. She even gives her a Big Thumbs Up. "Patriotic as fuck." Despite her unprecedentedly flat affect, she still manages a bright, amused grin as she walks along back to Aniella and Aurore. "Sorry," she offers to Aniella with a little smile, offering to take that plate (tray (mountain)) of food back and free up her tragically burdened arms. "Emergency." She looks between Aurore and Aniella at that question, rubbing the back of her head. "We were semi-introduced," she says after a moment, before offering her hand to both to shake if they'd like. "Nice meeting you, too, Aniella." But wait wait wait-- "You make cars??" Cissy suddenly asks of Shelby, vibrant green eyes wide with interest.

Teri was distracted with Shelby, but then she's suddenly being accosted by the media. "What does America mean to me?" she repeats, in a surprised, bewildered tone of voice. She hesitates for several long moments, staring blankly at the camera and reporter duo suddenly in her face. Then, her expression sets into a slight frown, and she answers in a slow, thoughtful tone of voice. "It means... Hope for the future, more than anything else. A future where every man, woman and child can reach their full potential free of the shackles of thoughtless tradition or." A pause, a hesitation, frown deepening a moment before her expression relaxes again, "And freedom from well-meaning but ultimately lacking political bluster. We're not there yet, but we move a little closer every year. Hopefully we'll win our race against the doomsday clock." Then her mouth closes and her expression sets into that small frown and she looks expectantly toward Patricia, as if waiting for another question from the woman.

Boucher stands on the edge of the circle of people, enjoying his food, peoplewatching, and not reacting to much unless he's addressed. Suddenly, the man looks up and over his shoulder, eyes fixing on... something. His unfinished plate of food gets set down, and without so much as a goodbye to the people whose dog he saved (or even giving them his name), the vet breaks into a brisk jog, disappearing into the evening. Something's wrong, and even post grenade he hasn't unlearned his instinct to run /towards/ suspicious things.

Before Deckard could really make any contact with anybody, he pulled a bottle out of his backpack. Good old Everclear. Oh boy, it was gonna be a good night! He stared at it almost longingly, but something strange was reflected in the bottle. Deckard couldn't quite make it out, and when he whipped around to see what it was, it wasn't there. Was it just his imagination? Could have been, and he could just go back to partying. But then again he wouldn't be very good at his job if he just left it alone. Shaking his head he let out a sigh, and moved to check it out, bottle in hand but unopened.

"And... that was Kilo. Again," Aurore says to Aniella, flashing a wry smile at her, before nodding a greeting to Cissy - whose hand she is quite happy to shake, accompanying the gesture with a smile. "Since she arrived in Fallcoast, I've *mostly* managed to actually have a conversation with Kilo when she was hungover, or otherwise too tired to dash off," she explains quietly to Aniella while Kilo is hurrying off and Shelby has snared Cissy's attention. Boucher's swift departure mere moments later merits an arched brow... and the Vigil-keeper takes a couple of steps back of her own, to get a better view of the crowd, and to allow her less conventional senses to drift to the forefront of her mind, just in case she can sense anything amiss.

"Wow...good answer" Patricia smiles to Teri. She wasn't expecting that at all. "Sounds like we could be seeing you running for office at the city elections later in the year. You have a great night, Miss." She can't help but notice Boucher on the run and it makes her curious...at least until she spots Kilo and her posse. Looks like the gang is in the house and no doubt up to mischief. Maybe this night won't be all fluff after all. Patricia and Frank head for Kilo.

"What's the best thing about Switzerland? Not sure but their flag is a huge plus" the comedian grins, hoping that the people present actually know what the Swiss flag looks like. Not a certain thing with this audience.

The rock band has been replaced by a string quartet and the mosh pit is certainly a lot calmer now.

Violet eyebrows furrow as Alldrich excuses himself. She is concerned but agrees. "Okay sweetie. I'll catch you later?" She smiles at the kiss and kisses back. "Bonfire and fireworks later." She advises as he skulks off. She sips her lemonade. Well.. Carnival games are in order. She saunters in the crowd to find something to do to bide her time.

Shelby interrupts her sexy patriotism to pinch the bridge of her nose and wiggle her nostrils, then gives her top a tug as she looks at Teri, looking at a loss. "Uh. Shit. I got it online, but fuck it, I don't freakin' remember..." then the interviewer pops up out of nowhere, cutting the conversation short for now. She whirls about, looking back to Kilo and Cissy, "Thanks! Yeah!" she lets out a big laugh, "Don't freakin' make 'em, but I put 'em together, you know? Car's already made, just needs a little love." she fidgets with a braid, looks around, taps her nose, lifts her glasses, and winks to Kilo, "Be right back!" before hurrying off into the crowd in search of someplace quieter.

Kilo snickers at Aniella and then at Aurore. "Oh you two. If it weren't for Free, and then for Hoax... You'd have me! How can I resist you two heartbreakers." Her eyes are glittering with humour as she teases them right back, except is it teasing? "Yeah, we met in LA - we had a lot of fun out there and I was always lucky to be able to work on Aur. She's a super star after all." Kilo nods then watches curiously as the Vet goes running of and.. was the Deckard too? "Wow, I hope everything is OK..."

"Well....."Darius watches them all for a moment and then the joint is brought back up to his mouth slowly with a little cough the smoke filling the area around him. "So anyone else want a puff on this...."The words come out slow and his eyes are glazed with another loud cough and he offers to Kilo. "I mean it's good stuff you know...."He washes these words down with a flask slowly and then he offers that as well. "Refilled with JD. I mean getting high and drunk is what America is about right."

And then, the reporter was gone. And so was the woman in the American Flag outfit. Teri blinks once or twice, looking about herself and the sea of unfamiliar faces. Then she snorts quietly at the joke about the Swiss flag, glancing again toward the stage, before she pulls her smartphone out of her pocket. She spends a minute typing into it, then nods slightly and turns to move with a purpose, angling toward the edge of the crowd and an escape.

Aniella seems bothered by something and looks up towards the sky as a large black bird seems to fly by before returning to a smile as she looked to Aurore and Kilo. "Excuse me a moment you two I'm gonna get another drink and check on something I'm sure it's nothing but worse case I'll meet ya at the car Aurore." She offered a smile and walked off.

As the vet runs off, and then Shelby, Cissy tilts her head. She notices Deckard in the distance, largely as 'the man who got pretty beat up by Mercy,' and purses her lips. "... Probably just need to get some air," she offers Kilo by way of reassurance, even as the cogs in her own head start a-turning. "Maybe I oughta see if she'd supe up my Jeep sometime," Cissy ultimately says in lieu of anything she might be thinking, green eyes falling curiously on the approaching reporters. Her gaze finally tears away from the reporter's advance to peer at Darius. She laughs, faintly. "Sounds about right. And all that other shit." Curious eyes tracking back to Aniella as she, too, departs. Now a brow lifts a bit.

Aurore snorts at Kilo, expression openly fond. "Well, if you ever come to your senses," she responds teasingly, putting a real purr into her voice... before doing her best to focus upon Kilo and not show any response to Darius's declaration. The growing number of departures prompt her to frown slightly, turning to scan the area more thoroughly, in search of impending trouble. Though the rapidly-approaching reporter and cameraman aren't exactly what she'd expected (or feared) to see.

Patricia is heading for the gangsters when she spots Aurore along the way...and her curious scarf. Obviously a native so this could be fun. "Hello, Ms" she smiles, "You look like you're not enjoying yourself. I take it you find the idea of Independence Day not something to celebrate. Care to offer your opinion?"

"What do rappers use on their laundry. Bleee-otch" announces the comedian to a disinterested audience. He's losing them!

"Mother fucker..." Darius drops the joint and stomps on it and then he places his foot over it for a moment as the reporter starts to circle. He then pulls the hat with the color of his gang down low over his face blocking most of his face for a moment and then he stops into the shadows for one brief moment the joint and himself can be seen on it if it was aimed at him. But now he is out of sight of the camera and growing up in LA one learns to do shit like that.

Violet found a booth of baseball to knock over tin cans for a giant stuffed animal. She had her eye set on one of the giant stuffies. She paid $5 for 5 balls. She throws not terribly well. She takes a ball and chucks it. It dings off the milk can stand and she lines up the next one. She tries not to have the booth carnie get her too riled up, while he razzes her aim.

So totally not in his element out in the woods, Maleko shows up anyway after hearing about the crazy Independence Day Bonfires going on. Talk about a party. The big surfer comes strolling down the main way looking around like he may have never attended something like this in his life. Stalls and comedians and everything else going on, it is almost too much. But then there is the one saving grace; beer. There is always beer at parties and like a living homing missile designed just to seek out and destroy large quantities of beer, he heads right to one of the beer vendors and orders two; one for each hand.

As the reporter advances on Aurore in lieu of anyone else, Cissy very carefully decides to just subtly duck her head until she's out of line of the camera. She even slowly slides to a scooch to the side, giving the Native girl an encouraging thumbs up and mouthing a decisive 'go get 'em!' before returning to her food. All that delicious food. It's probably a good thing she's out of camera range, because her less-than-impeccable eating habits return not seconds later, and she's just mowing through her cheeseburger like it was going out of style, green eyes surveying newcomers and partygoers alike -- just on the off-chance that maybe possibly Vandal ran the fuck back to the bonfire. ... unlikely.

Aurore blinks in surprise, caught sufficiently off-guard that she doesn't opt for a safe platitude, and instead answers rather more honestly than might be wise. "Independence for whom?", she counters dryly, before offering Patricia a rather bitterly sad little smile. "We're in a State that, within living memory, denied that even the federal government could grant "its" natives any rights... while the federal government and Maine alike both ignore treaties at will. 'All men are created equal'? Perhaps. But the US of A has a terrible record, even now, of actually *respecting* that bold claim. If it lived up to its ideals, or even just tried to keep its promises, then the few of us survivors who belong to nations that were here long before 1776 would find celebrations like this a lot less bitter-sweet. But hey, we can get cheap food while listening to free performance art, and - outside Maine, at least - we're sometimes even allowed to open up casinos. What more could we ever want? But don't mind me. I'm just a bitter relic of a savage culture, who's got no idea how good she's got it. Or that's what some of your viewers are already shouting at the TV, eh?"

And then there's a Susie arriving at the festivities, in jeans and a tight top and a hoodie wrapped around her waist, grinning ear to ear at all the party people about. She looks around.. so many people, how to find who she's looking for? She takes out her cellphone and taps out a quick text to Cissy, asking where she's at so she can make her way through the crowd.

"We're not live" Patricia notes to Aurore. "You can have whatever opinion you want, Ms, that's the good thing about living here." She draws out another business card and hands it to the native woman. "Why don't you...or your group...give me a call and we'll set up an interview. Might be an interesting feature. No one will watch it but it should be made. Thank you." Now where is that gangbanger?

"What did Jay-Z call his girlfriend before they were married? Feyonce. I thank you" smirks the comedian. If there wasn't so much noise from elsewhere you would hear crickets.

Violet goes to take another shot and well bad joke. She baffaws and misses her shot. "Shoot!" She snaps her foot, eyeing the giant stuffed ice cream cone hanging next to the other animals. She sips her lemonade and lines up another shot. She bounces, maybe that will help.

"They fix it in editing," Cissy notes sardonically at the end of Aurore's answer, biting off another chunk of cheeseburger. "It'll probably be something like 'We can get cheap food while listening to free performance art, and then it'll cut off." She's about to say more, but that text interrupts her train of thought. She blinks, and looks down, before taking a photo of the camera crew and her surroundings and sending it off to Susie as a guide post. "You think they'll even air it if you did it?" she asks Patricia curiously, but the woman seems to be looking for her next prey and, happy to not be it, Cissy just chows down on her food anew -- though not before offering, "I thought it was a good speech, for what it's worth," to Aurore.

Kilo, who had walked over to throw some stuff in the trash -Almost- missed her shot at being on the TV! "Oh my god! Oh my god! Are you filming? Is this going to be on TV? Can I be on? I want to be on! Please? Please!" She run up and -begs- Patricia, even if she has to throw people out of the way to get to her. "The camera loves me. Seriously! I did this last year. I was awesome!" Kilo smirks and nods, totally and utterly sure of herself.

Susie bounces cheerfully as she receives that pic from Cissy, and looks about, quickly spotting the news crew and making a beeline through the crowd until she spots Cissy, rushing up to hug the other woman tight from behind and giving her cheek a big smooch. "Babe! Sorry I'm late. Bastard I was tailing decided he needed to take an hour long break at a coffee shop for no reason. Ooh! Cheeseburgers! Where?" She looks about at the news crew and all that, still clinging cheerfully to Cissy. "Ooh. What's going on?"

Aurore again looks a little surprised, slightly warily accepting the card, before nodding to Patricia. "Thank you," she says a little bashfully... then quirks a smile at Cissy. "Child of activists, from either side of the border." She nods in a Northerly direction. "I've got a well-balanced personality. Chips on both shoulders. But, ahh, yeah. I should probably go and cool off a little before I get my teeth knocked out for daring to diss 'Murrica where the wrong patriot can hear me." She does, however, slow her departure so that she can smile and shake her head at the bouncily eager Kilo...

Darius laughs softly as Kilo leaps in front of the camera keeping that hat down low over his face and then he drifts slowly into the crowd still close by but making sure he is not in sight of the hyperactive reporter. He then watches her and sipping his drink slowly and exhaling the cig slowly with a lighting it with a gold plated lighter.

"Kilo's got a winning personality," Cissy offers up off-handedly by way of selling her. Just like, totally chill and everything. "She'll be a media darling and get you all the ratings you could ever ask foowagh?!" This is the sound of Cissy getting ambush hugs from Susie, the strangled sound of surprise soon becoming a laugh as she turns around to pick her up right off her feet in a much more thorough hug-and-smooch. "All over. The food's super cheap, too. And extra greasy!" She says this like it's the best thing in the world. "I think they're doing interviews, or something." She jerks a thumb towards Kilo. "That's Kilo, by the way. From Forbidden Arts. She's awesome."

"They may never broadcast it but it will exist" Patricia smiles to Cissy before the Skinner is joined by an affectionate woman. She may have even stopped to ask them some questions but suddenly Kilo is charging forward. "Umm...yes...of course, Ms" Frank lines her up. "So what brings you here tonight? And if a certain person makes the presidency, this could be your last Independence Day. How do you feel about the country that you call home?" An announcement over the tannoy system declares, "Ladies and gentlemen, the bonfire will be lit in fifteen minutes. And then a spectacular fireworks display!"

"What's E.T. short for? Because he has little legs." The 'jokes' roll on.

Susie giggles as she's picked up easily by Cissy, giving the other woman a thorough kiss, and then licking her lips. "Mmr. I can taste the grease.", she says, winking. "You must be in heaven." Then she glances at Kilo as Cissy points her out and Patricia starts with the interviewing, and she grins, waving at her cheerfully, still cuddled up to Cissy.

Violet lines up another last shot with her baseball. She does a shimmy and ruffles her skirt for good luck. She tosses the baseball and in runs into the tin cans but doesn't knock all of them down. "Better luck next time sweetheart." Violet sulks as the carnie shoos her off. She looks at the time and decides to head toward the bonfire. She hangs her head, she really wanted a giant stuffy.

Well there we go crazy TV lady picking out random folks this is one Gang Banger that can make the news with that he starts towards his car making is way through it slowly. No rush this time lighting a fresh cig in the crowd and into his SVU he climbs with a frown. He starts up the engine so much to think about later and so little time to get that kiddo out of trouble.

Alldrich returns with a giant turkey leg. Like massive. Baseball bat sized. Where he got it, who knows. He's holding it by the leg bone and eating it as he wanders back over. Something to do indeed. He looks for Violet again, and makes a beeline for her. "Hey love. I'm back." He says not bothering to sneak up on her. He's grinning at his turkey leg, in heaven.

Kilo grins over at Darius, then back over Patricia's way. "I swear! No swearing! And I won't even throw no gang signs. Honest!" It's a little hard to believe. Kilo is all banged out in a black cholo Dickies, a white tank top that shows her solid ink from neck to belly and full sleeves as well as parts of her face. And then she doesn't have to beg anymore because she is ON and the nice lady is asking her questions! "Well first I want to say 'Hi' to all my homeboys and homegirls... SOUTHSIDE!" She she yells but remembers not to throw her sign. Then she suddenly looks shocked. "Whaddaya mean my last independence day. Is the fucker gonna have me deported? Mexico? How do I feel about Mexico?" Kilo starts getting very confused by the questions. She isn't the sharpest too in the shed, that's for sure. "Well, anyway, we came out tonight because our homeboy Vandal is missing; Vandal, come home! Rusty here misses you. We all miss you and love you vato pequeno! Nobody's mad, man. It's all good. We got it worked out. Just come home, aright?" She then looks up at Patricia to see if that was good. That was good right? Then she yells "SOUTHSIDE!" One more time for good measure.

Violet smiles when Alldrich comes back. "Oh.. that was your order of business huh?" She teases him, her eyes go big at the size of the turkey leg. "They BBQ you a pterodactyl?!" She inquires of him and his large turkey leg. "Sure it's not an Osrich?" She smiles because he looks happy. She takes his BBQ free hand and squeezes.

"You're damn right I am," Cissy declares roundly, dropping Susie again but keeping an arm looped around her waist. She watches the interview with a grin that grows ever-wider at Kilo's answers. Cissy probably has a weird idea of what makes for good media. "AND he's gonna build a wall," she asides to Kilo, shaking her head gravely. But, when she segues into Vandal, Cissy has to lean in to offer some sage advice to the camera. "If you see him, watch out -- he runs really fast." Nodding once about this, she leans back, giving a thumbs up and a 'You're doing great!!' expression to the gangster/tattoo artist. Cissy returns to Susie soon after, and looks around, picking up her gigantic plate of food and offering it up to her partner with a smile.

"Very important business..." Alldrich says around a mouthful of Turkey/Ostrich/Dinosaur. He holds her hand fine, but he still feels a tad uncomfortable being seen with her. "A lot of people..." He says though it's starting to think out now. Then a woman is yelling into the camera and he tilts his head at the noise being generated by Kilo. "A lot of weird people." The giant grunts and wraps a arm protectively around Violet. "You having a good time?" He asks, kicking a pebble with a barefoot.

You can tell Cissy loves Susie, because she's willing to share her food with her. Susie grins, and picks up something profoundly unhealthy from the plate, nomming eagerly as she listens and watches the goings on, looking entirely amused at Kilo.

Violet giggles at Alldrich. "Okay Fred Flintstone." One would be unsure if she was making fun of him eating dinosaur or being bare feet. She doesn't notice if anyone is staring at them. Alldrich has her full attention. "Better now that you're back. I tried to win a stuffy but I have a bad throwing arm." She flexes, little cupcake tries so hard to be tough. She looks over to other people being interviewed and smirks. "Ready for bonfire and fireworks?"

Patricia just holds the microphone and lets Kilo flow. It would be impossible to do anything else. "Wait...you've lost someone? A child? And, yes, miss, I suspect you will be deported." Probably the whole Skinner clan too. "So you're a member of the Southside Kings? Are you here for business or pleasure?"

"Why did the snowman have a smile on his face? Because he heard the snowblower was on the way." There has been a drop in quality of the comedian...even before he started. But there is a man approaching the stage and making for the microphone. Maybe it's time for someone new?

"You want one eh?" Alldrich scans the booths and spots the ball throwing game. "Alright, follow." He says and marches over. He looks for a place to put down his meat leg and then just holds it out for Violet to hold. Paying the attendant, he picks up a ball, that might as well be a pebble in his hands and looks at the milk bottles. They look to be filled with resin or something to make them solid. He backs up a couple steps. Pulls his arm back adopting the classic baseball pitchers throw and releases the ball.

CRAAAAACK! The center bottle explodes into a powder as a ball hits it with the same force as a Titan Vii rocket. The ball continues through the milkbottle as the pyramid's bottles scatter in every direction and exits the stand through the plywood back wall, leaving a sizable hole. Alldrich holds his hand out for the leg and turns his eyes on the attendant. "You owe her a fluffy thing." He grumbles at the frightened young man.

Kilo laughs, guessing she's still being tapes. Or the woman is totally putting one over on her and they aren't taping at all. Where is that little red light anyway... "Southside Kings, and always for pleasure. Always." She gives Patricia a huge toothy grin at that. Kings doing business? Nahhhhh. That wouldn't happen! Big social club! Yeah! That's it! "That toupee-wearing Aryan bastard tries to deport me and there will be hell to pay, mark my words." She grins as Cissy gives her all sorts of encouragement though, offering her a fist bump. Girl Power!

Violet blinks as Alldrich gets that determined look on his face. She almost protests but opens her mouth and shuts it following after him. She grimaces as he hands her the meat leg and tries not to nibble on it. She hefts it like a dirty diaper, with disgust. At the sound of the CRACK it sounds like the first firework. Her eyes go wide, he verily vaporized the tin cans and the back wall. She hands back the leg and wipes her hands, mouth hung open in shock. She likes fluffy things! She looks, scanning the hanging animals, not sure which one to get now! She points at a random stuff animal still in shock.

With a big ol' grin, Cissy returns that fist bump, even makes a little 'boom' of an explosion sound afterwards. Girl Power!! She's laughing soon after at Kilo's continued interview, looking to the cameraman to spy if the thing really -is- running. Because she's not a trusting person. "I sure hope they don't edit any of this," she declares from the side lines, casting an amused smile Susie's way and a little squeeze before adding, "Aw, you took my favorite one!" as she spies what her wife is eating. She's about to add more -- when that loud crashing sound gets her attention. She looks Alldrich and Violet's way; her brows lift as she sees the sight of milkbottle devastation. "... guess he really wanted a stuffed animal."

He doesn't flex or act like what he did was a big deal. No bragging. He just takes his leg back, bites into it and watches which fluffy she chooses. He turns away looking at the other games and potential prizes "Anything else you want Princess Violet?" He teases. He looks back to the Girl teasing the reporter and frowns shaking his head slightly. "That's why nobody takes the media seriously anymore. They just let any goof talk."

Violet , the adorable gap tooth smiles at him and even gets gooey in the eyes when he calls her princess. She picks out a giant husky or Saint Bernard looking animal with the whiskey barrel under it's neck. She hugs it. "I love it. Thank you." She smiles at him. "Well least I didn't pitch my business over the air. I hate to sound like a swindler." She stays close hefting her prize. It's almost bigger than her! "Nothing else, just you."

Susie winks at Cissy. "I know, that's why I took it!", she says, then echoes the thumbs up to Kilo. And then there's that spectacular throw, and she whoas. "Damn. Now I want a stuffed toy.", she says, making puppy dog eyes at Cissy.

The stall person mumbles something about Alldrich and replacing the object destroyed but he hands over the prize nonetheless. Along with a "Enjoy the rest of your night." Which also sounds like "Go away and never darken my towels again."

Patricia smirks at Kilo's vow. "I hope you never have to put that into practice" she smiles before there is a commotion at the comedian stage. A new man stands there, looking over the crowd. And there is the sound like firecrackers...but they go with screams. Gunfire? The man on the stage grins and holds up a detonator with a helpful big red button. "Death to America!!"


Meanwhile


So what makes this quartet curious that they have to run off from their friends? Suspicious people. Very suspicious. Boucher is a vet from the middle east and he knows when people are acting strange. Especially that group of overall clad workmen carrying boxes towards the bonfire. Deckard saw them reflected in his bottle. Those boxes emerging from the boot of a car rather than a van and he could even pick up the swell of a hidden weapon under one of those overalls. Shelby sees one of the workmen bump into a child, knocking it down without a care and more of a snicker. He spits in the face of the complaining woman before carrying on. Aniella's raven is what alerts her. It sees something it doesn't like about where those boxes are being placed. The base of the bonfire.

Aniella was indeed curious and urges her familiar to land near the boxes to see if it could see or smell what was inside them as she watched the men walking to the parking lot where they were grabbing the boxes even as she hopped into her tinted sedan a moment and came out a few moments later looking a little bulkier and wearing a shirt instead over something most likely. Curious green eyes watching them work as she waited to see if her Raven could find out anything of their contents.

Deckard's eyes narrow, his gaze following one of the overall clad workmen. When he noticed the weapon, he didn't think much of it at first. People carry guns and knives all the time. The bulk of his friends always had some sort of weapon on...or in some cases, /inside/ them, but his instincts told him something was up. Pulling Gnaw into his body, Deckard sifted through the knowledge of the ages to help him discern the real intentions of the men carrying the boxes. Looking upon them with new eyes and observing their movements, their body language and how they were interacting with the world around them...Deckard got a bad feeling. All he wanted to do was party!? Why were there a bunch of assholes strolling around, doing weird things? Of course he couldn't let random normies get mowed down if they pulled some columbine shit. Deckard moved directly towards one of the men with a hurried pace, popping the lid on his bottle as he went. "Hey there! Oh man, this is gonna get real crazy, ain't it? Wanna share a drink!?" Time to see what was what.

Shelby was looking for a quiet place away from the cameras, digging a hand inside her purse, the other rubbing a little frantically at her nose. There, look, a nice corner behind a porta-potty. Shelby gets out a small vial and starts to tap a small white line across the back of her hand, when she notices the workman behaving badly. "What a freakin' asshole!" she comments, and snorts up the line of blow, then pinches and rubs at her nose, sniffing a few times. "Man, Jesus, there's freakin' kids in here, what a freakin' asshole." she shakes her head in disapproval, fingers wiping off a few last traces of candy, which she then rubs inside her mouth. Then, after scrutinizing the strange men with mildly paranoid eyes, she hikes her shorts and decides to stroll on over.

Who even carries unmarked boxes towards a bonfire? Hajis, that's who. At least, that's Frank Boucher's perspective on it. He's thinking bomb, and is also thinking that there might be a moment of time before he needs to act. A moment of time for recon, and stuff. His jog slows to a walk, and he circles the fire wide, keeping his eye on the group of men and the one who walked up and offered another a drink. Hopefully this will give him the info that he needs, and hopefully he's well enough hidden in the darkness and they're distracted. It's mostly just hoping.

The man looks at Deckard as if he just offered him some vomit. "I do not drink" he answers flatly. There are six workmen in the group. "Excuse me" adds the man before he starts carrying his box towards the bonfire, another of them stopping to watch Deckard for a moment. As for Shelby, the man who knocked down the kid sneers at her from under his baseball cap. He has a look on his face like he wants to yell at Shelby about how much of an obvious whore she is.

The bonfire is not lit yet but that seems to be about to change as an announcement comes over the tannoy system. "Ladies and gentlemen, the bonfire will be lit in fifteen minutes. And then a spectacular fireworks display!"

Aniella kept looking through her ravens eyes for now as she willed it to simply try to break one open at the side to see what was within, easiest way to do it after all and it just looked a curious or perhaps hungry animal pecking away as she leaned against her car in the parking lot.

Boucher walks around the car and stands next to the open trunk, folding his flesh and bone arm over the metal one. He looks inside first, and then looks up at the workman approaching him, letting him get a good view of the scars when he gets close. "Hey, man," Frank calls, "What's in the boxes, and why are you knocking over kids with them? Kind of a dick move, don't you think?"

Aniella stops looking through her familiars eyes as her own go rather wide taking off looking for any police that were part of the event, if she managed to find one she'd plead. "Hey! Look you see those boxes those people are putting under the fire. I saw one break open there’s freaking dynamite or something in there way too much to be just a fireworks display. You gotta stop it from going off." She said anxiously, after all there wasn't a monster here for Aniella to slay she needed the authorities to know hoping the policeman/woman would believe her.

Deckard just kept up his good mood, ignoring the fact that the guy rejected his offer. Deckard, being who he was, took a nice long swig of the Everclear, deciding to get real close and bro-like with the men. If he could touch one of them, he could possibly change the guy's demeanour, get him to crack. If he could turn him into a thrall for a few moments, it was likely he'd either be able to get some answers out of the guy, or his buddies would take notice that one of their guys was no longer in the loop. Regardless, if it worked, he'd be able to gather more information, and information was key. Before he could really accomplish the act, some authoritative voice called out and went straight for the kill. Well, so much for subtlety. Deckard had to go for it regardless, as he doubted they would simply tell the guy what they were carrying. It wasn't until some other random woman mentioned they were carrying dynamite that Deckard gasped inwardly. The fuck!? Was it true?! These people were terrorist. Think of how many ghosts they'd make out of the innocents!? Oh man, that's a work load Deckard did /not/ need to add to his list. "Woah woah dude, no need to deny in good spirits! Here man, at least take a sip. No harm done right?" He went in to try and slap one of the men on the shoulder to make contact...but the guy turned and twisted away really peculiarly.

In fairness to the man, Shelby's mother might agree with him, what with the blonde's bra straps on display and everything. But he's not her mother, so Shelby frowns from behind her sunglasses, and holds up a hand, extending her middle finger, capped with a patriotically glittering blue nail. "Fuck you, too!" she mouths out, but not too loud, because of the kids. Seeing Boucher, she raises an eyebrow, stares at the guy with the metal arm for a moment, then joins in with her two cents, "Yeah, total freakin' dick move!" she nudges the glasses up on top of her head to get a better look around. "None of your business" one of the workmen sneers as he approaches the car to slam the trunk closed. Boucher's scars don't seem to impress him. "Why don't you fuck off and mind your own business like you should have done for hundreds of years."

The policeman looks bored and tired when Aniella starts talking to him. "Uh-huh" he says in reply. "Have you been drinking, miss? You sure they weren't fireworks? If you did see anything at all." He yawns before a long sigh. "Okay, show me but you better not be wasting my time."

The man that Deckard tried to touch twists out of the way and instinctively his hand moves inside his overalls...at least until he remembers where he is. He walks away, back towards the car rather than the bonfire. In fact, they all seem to be walking away from the bonfire. One of them is even heading for the comedian and his microphone.

The capped guy glares at Shelby's words...and middle finger. He starts walking towards her. Slowly. A promise of violence in her eyes. His fists clenching.

Aniella then motions with some frustration for the police officer to follow her towards where her Raven pecked a hole in one of the boxes attempting to make it through the crowd so that the officer can see. "See you can see it right there, you have to stop the ceremony." She said lowering her voice a little so the workmen didn't hear. For all she knew though they could possibly be unaware what they were transporting.

Boucher moves a bit closer, then raises his good hand to try to grab the man's head and slam it into the trunk. Unfortunately, he telegraphed his attack, and the smug prick saw it coming, causing his hand to go high. "Oh, this is my business now," the Ranger replies, pushing away from the car to try to recover from the missed attack. It's fightin' time.

Shelby looks around, glances after the guys walking away towards their cars, then stares back at the guy walking in her direction. Shelby's not particularly sharp at the moment, what with her mind racing in every direction. Something might be happening, but her focus quickly narrows onto the guy approaching. "Jesus, what kind of a freakin' dickole are you?" so much for the kids. The big blonde looks slightly puzzled by having the man come after her, but she's at least learned to recognize that look. So, she steps out of her flip-flops to plant bare feet on solid ground, and starts to remove her earrings, as one does.

Son of a...none of those reactions were good. They were going to do something freaky, and they were going to do it fast. Time to get serious. Deckard couldn't don his real strength in public, especially with that news lady strolling around. He had to be careful. Leaving the tough guy to try and confront one of them, Deckard sauntered over to the treeline and dove into some bushes. With the bottle in his hand, if anybody even were to find him, they'd just think he was drunk beyond all belief. Luckily for him though, his perceptions were opened. The carnival was his ground, his sky, his water. Everything was his to chill like the cruel winter winds...including the contents of the boxes each man held. Deckard focused the frigid sub-arctic temperatures into the contents of each box simultaneously, preventing them from being able to ignite. The men would simply feel the boxes get a little colder...but the dynamite? Useless. All of it.

The man grins at Boucher's attempt to hit him. Returning the favor with a solid punch to the torso. "Stupid bastard" he spits on the vet.

Cap man swings his fist at Shelby but looks can be deceiving. What he thought was just a lazy American ready to be leveled turns out to be an artful pugilist...ess. He misses completely and looks rather surprised at having done so.

Over at the bonfire one of the men spots Aniella and the policeman. And they've found what was in the box. The man pulls out a submachinegun and opens fire. Bullets hitting the cop and knocking him down on the now frozen dynamite.

The 'leader' has reached the stage and smiles over the crowd as the sounds of gunfire starts the screaming and stampeding. He holds up a detonator with a helpful big red button. "Death to America!!" The button is pushed and...nothing. He tries again...still nothing. Then he is running for it. Aniella ducks taking cover behind the bonfire after the gunshots ring out, dragging the police officer with her as she looked down at them trying to assess what state they were in as far as their injuries were concerned as she threw her bag down in case she needed the contents inside. Obviously by this point everyone was fairly aware something was going down, not much need for a warning now.

Boucher suddenly has a sword in his hand. Where did he hide a fucking sword that curved? It's no matter, especially to the man who ends up with a nice slice across his torso from the shining steel. "Die for your god, Haji," he snaps back, bringing the sword around to block. Go ahead, punch it, you know you want to.

Holy shit!? Were they friggin crazy!? They were ready to die for whatever bizarre cause they came to the festival with, and they were planning on taking out so many people with them. /Screw that noise/, there were already too many ghosts to resolve in the world. As much as Deckard wanted to simply assail them, whipping out the superpowers would definitely catch too much attention. Had to be subtle about it. If he could freeze the dynamite, he could freeze their guns. Sure, it would look a little weird if they suddenly let go of their guns, screaming in pain at the instant frostbite the hyper-chilled metal would give them, but that was better than turning them into popsicles. Or people getting gunned down.

Shelby's on her toes. Shelby's positively bouncy. Perhaps in Mohammed Ali's memory, or perhaps because she's hopped up on fine Peruvian exports. Once she's got her earrings out and shoved into her bag, she barely has time to duck away from the swing, "That all you got, you freakin' loser!?" she yells. And then, dimly, somewhere, she hears gunfire and hears someone yell 'Death to America'.

This is the moment Shelby's been training for! Except without the training part. "Goddamn terr'ists! Happy 4th of July, you freakin' asswipe!" she pulls her fists up and swings! Unfortunately, red blood and cocaine don't quite make up for the aforementioned lack of training, so she just stumbles through after her fist as it doesn't connect. She's got the butterfly part down (see also: the tattoo on her ankle) but not so much stinging like a bee.

The cop is alive but he has been shot twice; Aniella will have work to do. He still goes for his gun though even as the man who shot him is turning his attentions onto the crowd. Firing randomly until he is himself shot by a hail of bullets. At least the other cops are responding.

The man attacking Boucher stares for a moment - where did that sword come from! With all the shooting, the appearance of cops and the lack of a big 'kaboom', the bleeding man turns on his heels and runs for it. All the workmen do. Some of them being tackled by the crowd but some of them disappearing into the flow of the people. One of them is the man who laughed at Shelby's attempt to hit him. Though he would love to teach this uppity woman a lesson, there will be another day. He turns to run.

The man on the stage doesn't get to far before Alldrich grapples him. Things are not going well for the bad guys.

Aniella sighs at least she always carried her surgery kit in her car being a hunter. She had it open cutting off the police man’s shirt if she had to as she got to work ducking behind the bonfire to avoid gunfire as she started to clean the wounds and check if the bullet penetrated the first thing was to make sure he was stable of course. "Geez this is what I get for going to a fourth of July. I hope Aurore made it out."

Boucher isn't going to let the man who attacked him get away just yet. The ranger gives chase, sword still in hand, and slashes at his back, missing completely this time. He doesn't slow down, which leads to the comical sight of the workmen being chased into the night by an ugly man with a sword. What kind of circus show is this, anyway?

As her attacker turns and runs, Shelby pivots about, which involves all sorts of physics, mass and momentum and what have you. But she digs her bare feet in the earth and aims herself in the right direction, "Come back here, you goddamned pussy!" she yells, and charges. The tackle is, of course, the most American of combat maneuvers! There's no stadium lights and no cheering crowd and no pigskin getting tossed around, but Shelby's as full of gumption as a team of underdogs in a Hollywood sports' movie, and she barrels at the terrorist's back, launching herself at the last moment to grab onto his clothes and wrap thick tattooed arms about him.

Deckard is content to watch the action unfold from the bushes, taking occasional sips from his bottle of Everclear. It was comical at this point, watching the terrorist run for the lives they were previously so eager to throw away. If any of them got past the myriad of overeager citizens though, a few lightning strikes would do. Nothing like escaped well-done terrorists to mow down on in the forest later.

Thankfully Aniella knows what she is doing and the cop will live...and might even be proclaimed a hero for stopping the explosion if the Huntress wants to keep in the shadows.

Boucher charges after the bleeding man. The half-machine vet swinging a sword causing more consternation among onlookers. They disappear into the woods but then suddenly the man is struck by lightning and Boucher is looking down on a pile of ash.

The impact of a flying Shelby is measured on the Richter scale. The man crumbles under the furious onslaught and his face slams hard into a rock. A groan and he is out...just as the cops arrive. Shelby can expect some endorsement deals in the future!

Another couple of cracks of lightning from a clear night sky and all the workmen have been captured or simply 'disappeared' (ie turned into ash). The police are getting the crowds away in an orderly fashion and the danger seems to be over. For now.

Aniella looked relieved after she stabilized the two gun shots and motioned over some of the other police. "Call an ambulance! I manage to stabilize his wounds but we still need to get him stitched up at a hospital!" She shouted and helped them moved him out of the chaos towards the parking lot happy to leave the gunfight to the rest of the cops. She was sworn to defeat the demons of hell not terrorists with automatic weapons.

Boucher's T-1000 moment is over when his target suddenly turns into ash, leaving him dazed and blinking for a moment. The vet releases his sword, allowing it to disappear, and takes inventory of the series of events... he can't go back the way he came, because he knows the cops are going to have questions that he doesn't have answers for. The half-mechanical vet makes his way around through the forest, then into the chaos of the parking area, and hopefully finds his way to his car without anyone realizing that he was crazyswordvet.

Deckard, confident that the terrorists were ashed or captured by the police, released his grasp on the world, and stood up. Dusting the bushes off of himself, he walked casually over to the nearest pile of ash and gathered them up. They'd make fine tattoo ink mixture later, and he'd be sure to gift them to Kilo and Hoax when the time came. At least something fun came out of the night...but the night was still young after all, and he still had a nearly full bottle of Everclear to toast off.

Shelby lands on the terrorist with a grunt, rolling him over under herself, fists at the ready to keep punching him in the face if needed. Sadly, it doesn't appear to be needed. So Shelby's left there, straddling the poor unconscious guy, clenched hands up and nothing to do with them. Only now does she look around to see what else is happening around the bonfire, and just stares in confusion as people run around and lightning strikes out of nowhere. Dusting herself off, the blonde stands up, blinking. But it looks like the good guys won. Probably. "USA! USA!"


Meanwhile


Alldrich hears the staccato sound of gunfire and he pushes Violet. "Run." Off she goes and Alldrich turns to the bomber and cracks his knuckles, rolling his neck. He looks around trying to get a bead on everyone with guns.

The button is pushed and...nothing. The man on the stage tries again...still nothing. Then he is running for it.

"Well, I'd get you a stuffed toy, if you didn't eat my fried twinkie like a--" But whatever playfully biting remark Cissy had stored up for her wife gets all sabotaged when she hears that cracking sound. Firecrackers? No, screaming follows soon after -- and there is the man with the detonator. "Shit," she mutters, giving a single glance to Susie before she starts marching off towards the running man -- and then full on -RUNNING- after him to pursue him as he tries to flee.

Susie blinks as Cissy tears away from here, there's the shooting the screaming, the aborted attempt at an explosion, and she frowns. "HEY ASSHOLE! I JUST GOT HERE AND YOU'RE HARSHING MY FUCKING MELLOW!", she shouts at the dude, taking off after Cissy at a quick and nimble clip. Delicate shrinking flower she ain't.

Nobody want's a bearhug from Alldrich. As the man runs past Alldrich steps forward, opens his arms and crushes the man in them lifting him off the ground. Alldrich's teeth itch, he would love nothing more than to tear into this man...but...you know public. So he holds them there...awkwardly, the man's arms trapped at his sides. He leans in and whispers to the man.

"I will eat your face, suck on your eyeballs, and dine on your testicles if you even think about struggling." Alldrich growls into the man’s ear. Alldrich's culinary requests seem to have the desired affect and the man stops struggling. "I will die for my belief. You won't even live for yours" he sneers as Patricia and Frank approach for the scoop! The police and other concerned citizens are dealing with the rest of a group of workmen who seem to be behind all this. Though some of them seem to have just disappeared into the flow of fleeing folk.

"Damn, nice job, guy," Cissy begins as she finally makes her way onto the scene. She peers at the man. "Yeah, well. You also fucked up, so," Cissy begins, considers her next words, and just ends it by giving the trapped man the middle finger. "We should probably find someone with cuffs, or something." She blinks once she actually gets a full look at Alldrich, recognition in her eyes for the heavyweight boxer -- but she fortunately does not gush for now. There's more important things to do. "I'm gonna... get the cops. Or some handcuffs off the cops. Is that illegal?" And she's gone before anyone can even answer the question.

Susie arrives behind Cissy just in time for her to run off again. "... goddammit.", she mutters, and glares at the trapped guy. "Eat his face if he moves.", she tells Alldrich, then gives the wannabe terrorist a sickly sweet smile. "He looks like he'll do it, too, fucko." A quick middle finger to the guy, and she runs off after Cissy. At least she's getting her cardio in tonight.

"Yes, yes...It's easy to die. But I won't kill you, you'll just wish you were." He says marching the man towards the police, occasionally giving a squeeze to cut off the air of the man. "Get back! You don't know if the explosion is delayed or not" Alldrich yells to the approaching reporters. "I believe in the sanctity of life my friend, protecting others with your life is true sacrifice. Taking life and freedom is the sign of a diseased soul." He looks to Cissy and shakes his head again. "No don't take..." but she's already off. He stops a good distance away, just in case the bomb does go off in his arms. Which...would hurt, but...you know, Rahu Blood Talons don't give a fuck.

Lightning cracks downwards from the clear skies. They look like ground impacts but it doesn't seem anyone is hurt. All of the 'workmen' are under arrest thanks to the police and concerned citizens; Shelby has even managed to tackle one into submission.

There is no explosion from the man in Alldrich's arms and the police happily take him off the werewolf's hands. He'll be another who will get endorsement deals for a while.

The crowds are ushered away from the bonfire and the celebration by the police and things seem to be in control. For now.

Fortunately, Cissy did not, in fact, steal a cop's cuffs. She did steal a cop though, escorting him to Alldrich while gesturing emphatically towards the man. She might be using a bunch of expletives to describe the man, too. It's the Skinner way.

Once the cop makes it there and starts handling things, Cissy is all too happy to drag herself and Susie far, far away from the police because again, Skinner, they can probably find something they want to question her for. Sighing, the woman looks out over the bonfire with a pout. "So much for the stuffed toy. Think I can just swipe one during the commotion?" she asks Susie; and this time she's probably intending to do just that as she marches off. Because. Again. Skinner.

Susie just follows along, happy enough to let Cissy take the lead with the cops, though she does throw in a few expletives of her own to help. She's helpful! Then she slips an arm around the other woman's waist as she's ushered off, and grins. "Babe, I'd be disappointed if you *didn't* swipe me one.", she assures her, and winks. Hey, Skinner-by-marriage.

"Well...that was anti-climactic." He says sounding disappointed. While he couldn't wolf out, he coulda crushed some people, broken bones, faces. He sighs and lets the cops do their business. He hopes the cameras didn't catch him, he's not a champion anymore and the last thing he needs to see is "Former champion saves...." to remind him of his failed career. Alldrich starts moving off.

Tilo's been enjoying the show, but as things went south he slowly started to back away. The kitten formerly on his shoulder, has climbed down his body, and hidden herself away in the pocket when death to America suddenly becomes a thing. When Alldrich saves the day, however, he holds up his cup in cheer, and begins to make his own egress as the party begins to wind down.


Media Report

Channel 31's Fallcoast Independence Day celebrations were rudely interrupted by freedom hating terrorists but thanks to the bravery of everyday citizens bloodshed was avoided. Patricia Collins has the story.

On Saturday night a currently unidentified terrorist group attempted to blow up the bonfire celebrations and kill or maim hundreds of Fallcoastians enjoying the celebration of our country's birth. But thanks to the alertness of partygoers, this heinous act was prevented and the surviving members of the group have been taken into custody by the Fallcoast Police Department - where they will soon be handed over to the FBI. At least two of the terrorists died during gunfights with police at the scene. One police officer, Dominic Monroe, was wounded in the exchange but thanks to Aniella Costa, who also alerted the police to the threat, was stabilised until an ambulance could arrive. Other heroes of the night included ex-boxer Alldrich who restrained the terrorist leader as he tried to make his escape and Shelby Boucher who flying tackled a murderous killer to the ground without any thought to her own personal safety.

The terrorist leader has been identified as Waleed Mohammad, a foreign national, and his prior movements are currently being investigated. Identification of the other terrorists is continuing. The heroics of our citizens show that our way of life will not be destroyed and that if we stay strong, alert then we will overcome. Walls and barriers will not keep these murderers out but our courage and dedication to liberty will.