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Give Me The Camera


TheAbsurdist

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11:01 PM August 8th

 

Riverside was a nicer part of downtown. That didn't mean much. Not to Wayward. Especially when she had dealt with a mugging with a guy who had been a wee bit too strong for his size, and seemed preternaturally agitated. He was high on something, and after a bit of a shakedown she was able to score back to a panel van in an alley.

 

 

While not the most glamorous, or exotic of locations, it was a fairly smart ploy.  As hiding almost in plain site, in a spot where a normal business' delivery van would be.  It took a few hours, but she managed across it. Nestled back in an alley, and without really much of a line, it was subtle and obvious at the same time. Had she not known to look for it, she might not have noticed it.

 

Yet, here she was.

Edited by TheAbsurdist
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"Super drugs. They're always floating around on the streets..." Wayward runs along, doing some not-quite-necessary parkour as she narrates for the camera. "You gotta nip these things quick to keep 'em off the streets, before they start getting kids hurt."

When she spots the van, she finds a hiding spot nearby, the camera tucking itself behind her while another gets a different angle on the van. "So," she whispers. "Gonna stake this out a bit. See who shows up, and if they have friends. Especially a supplier. Then, I can take this thing out at the root."

The familiar touch of a smooth, metal shaft makes its way into her hands. Her staff, still collapsed, but ready to thump some heads if she has to. Which she probably will.

But for now, she clears her mind, ready to jump into the head of the first person to look like they're going to the van for business.

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The conceit was that you could tell a drug abused by looking at them.  That was statistically not the case.  Like tonight, eventually someone did come up, and he looked nothing like one would expect, a mid to late 30s woman.  Probably a shop owner, give her sharp, stylish after work attire.  Khakis, brown leather boots, leather jacket and boots.  Almost stereotypical, just not in the normal setting.

 

There was anxiety in her approach, in her face, before Wayward dove into her senses, as the woman advanced to the fan, and knocked on the sliding door on the side.  After a few moments, it slide open and a man was sitting there, a little scruffy looking, but still a normal milquetoast individual.  He leaned forward, pressing his forearm onto his leading knee as he looked at the woman/Wayward.  "Can I help you?"  His voice sounded more bored than anything.

 

"Yes..."  Her voice was uncertain, but about what precisely remained to be seen.

Edited by TheAbsurdist
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Wayward heard the woman's voice.  "I-I would like some."  And then she extended her arm out to the guy.

 

In response he raised a brow and shrugged a bit, as he took the hand and presumably pulled something away from her grasp, Wayward felt it slide out, she knew the feel of bills against skin.  He turned and grasped something out of view, and then handed her something.  Wayward could feel a a glass vial in her hand.. the woman's hand.  She nodded and then started to move, fingers clutching tightly at the glass.

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Well. That wasn't especially informative.

Val slips back into her own mind, taking a moment to recover.

The logical course of action is clear. Wait. Stake out the van. Let them go back to base, watch until they restock, get their suppliers. Then, thump some heads, break a crime ring, get some ratings, clean up the streets. Easy day.

And it would just take sacrificing one life.

She can't sense a host's emotions while riding along, but she can get a good idea. She felt the way that woman moves. The way her heart raced when she got her score. Before too long, she's going to kill herself with that stuff.

With a deep breath, she pockets her staff and doubles back around the block, tracking the woman as she leaves, and when she's finally well away from the van, she appears behind the woman.

"It doesn't have to be like this, you know."

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The woman never noticed it, and the guy said nothing as she turned to walk away, just closing the door when she had taken a few more steps.  It was never like on TV, or the movies.  Wayward knew that.  This wasn't a ratings grabber.

 

When she rounded a corner and Wayward was there, she stopped, becoming as still as possible, and staring at her with wide eyes.  And she took a few steps back, readying herself to bolt.  Everyone knew how it went, not as if Wayward would be the one putting her into lockup, but that is what would happen.  She was defensive, and jittery, having her drug, and wanting it.  Possibly.  But she was going to run, as her eyes started to dart away from Wayward, plotting an escape route.

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The reaction is worrying, but not surprising.

The star does not approach. "I want to help you," she says, cliche as it may sound.

She reaches into her pocket, grabbing her staff. "You can run. I can chase you down." With a flick of the wrist, she extends the staff. "I can destroy that stuff. I can catch you. I can turn you in."

"But that won't help," she says, the staff falling to the ground with a clatter. "The choice is yours. I can't take that away from you, and if I try to force it, all it will do is cause pain. So, I'm going to ask you."

"You can leave. I won't get in your way. But if you run, ask yourself this. You're running away, but what are you running to? It won't get better without somewhere to go, and I promise you, that stuff in your hands isn't an escape."

Valerie extends her hand, slowly, carefully still not approaching. "Take my hand. I can take you away. Some place safe, some place where you can get help, where you can have some time to sort this out. The choice is yours."

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The woman stopped, and she looked from Wayward to... elsewhere.   "You... you don't understand.  Just... just leave, leave me alone!"  There was a heartbeat, and it seemed like she might cross over, she might approach the heroine, but she bolted.  Because of shame.  Or need.  It was hard for Wayward to tell.  The girl was clearly more than upset.  She ran off with a sob, her legs pumping away, as her feet carried her away the alley, away from Wayward.

 

Just away.

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Wayward beats down the urge to give chase. She gave her word. She can't force her help on anyone. She can't deny people their freedom.

But she can throw them a life line.

"When you're ready," she calls after her in a loud, firm voice that chases the woman down and resounds clearly in her ears, "Go to Our Lady of Mercy's Women's Shelter. Ask for Clarice. She's a good woman, and a friend. I'll let her know you're coming, no matter how long it takes, and she will help you."

While not the religious type, and spending a lot of time butting heads with religious leaders for what she is, she knows the people at Our Lady of Mercy. She trusts them. And she has faith in them, that when that woman is ready, they can help her.

But for now, all she can do is turn around, though it feels like ripping out her own heart to do it. I've done what I can for now, she reminds herself.

Freedom. The most precious thing in the world. But sometimes, the cost of protecting it is watching people make horrible decisions and not being able to stop them.

Still, there's work to do.

She picks up her staff, dusts it off, takes to the shadows, and makes her way to the van, working her way around to the passenger side. Hopefully it hasn't moved on.

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The woman bolted.  She didn't look back, she didn't acknowledge Wayward's call out.

 

The position was such that it was a dead end in the alleyway. as such the van was still and the occupants were still there.  Of course there was no way for them to have ran away without giving themselves away to her.  And they didn't see her, or at least they didn't seem to display that such was the case.  The van still sitting there, the door closed.  Her approach eliciting no response.

 

Though she did call after the running addict.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Alright. Back on track.

Waward spends some time watching the van from the first hiding spot she can find, but it doesn't yield much. No more customers tonight? Could she be that lucky?

Hopefully, closing time's soon. The dealer is the smaller problem, here; the trick is to get back to the source. And who better to take her than the dealer?

She retracts her staff and tucks it away, scouting the terrain for the most concealed path she can manage before making a bolt for it, sticking to the shadows before climbing atop the van, the smoothest leap she can manage to keep it from rocking. Now, she just needs this box to move back to home base and the trap is set.

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