Send In The Clown
Chance is fickle by her very nature. Chance will keep you out of trouble or sink you, depending. Chance can put you in exactly the right place at the right time or the wrong place at the wrong time or the right place at the wrong time or… well, you know. The kicker is that there just isn’t any way to tell at any given moment, for any given set of circumstances, what chance is going to do. Unpredictability is the essence of chance.
The particular night in question was not a pleasant one by any measure. The weather had been miserable for the past week and a half – overcast, cold and damp. The latest cold front had parked itself over Manhattan and refused to budge no matter how many times that silly man Storm Fields (no joke) swore that sunshine was right around the corner.
Tonight the residents of New York City were being treated to what Storm liked to call a “wintry mix”, whatever that meant. It wasn’t quite rain, nor snow, nor sleet, but it was hella wet and heavy and had the unnatural ability to penetrate whatever layers one wore to protect oneself from such wetness. It covered everything with a thick layer of dirty translucent slush and when night fell the temperature dropped just enough to freeze the bottom layer solid. It was a wrecker driver’s wet dream.
But we were talking about chance. And it was chance which put Magnus Ford at the bus stop past which drove the Chevy station wagon. It was chance that had him look up at just the right time to see inside the car as it passed by and made the corner. It was chance that made one of the five scruffy-looking individuals inside of that vehicle check the clip and bolt on his rifle at just the right moment to be seen.
“Fun and games,” Magnus said as he broke into a jog in pursuit. Taking care with his footing, he sped up nearly to a full run. Up ahead a streetlight was out. Magnus Ford entered the shadow and the Clown ran out from the other side. He was taller now and his ripped body was evident even in the baggy onesie that comprised his costume. He ducked into a dark doorway, disappeared, and reappeared on the rooftops still running and jumping from roof to roof.
The wagon hadn’t gone very far after it had passed him and so he was able to catch up with it a few blocks and an alley twist later. The five men were now standing around, looking cold and impatient while trying not to look criminal, which was a joke considering that they each carried one of those military-style rifles he’d been hearing so much about the evils of on the cable news.
All except one of them who was busy working the security panel on an unmarked metal fire door in the back of some building that formed part of the alley. He had the panel opened and the wires exposed and was tapping away at a smart phone that had been attached via alligator clips to the circuits. He didn’t look like he was having a good time. ‘Frustrated’ would be the word. At times he would swipe at the screen to clear the melted precipitation away and curse quietly and start over.
The Clown watched them through the falling flake-drops from where he crouched behind a dumpster and did the math. Five simple street hoods carrying matching expensive semiautomatic (he hoped) rifles they probably couldn’t afford using high tech burglary tools they clearly weren’t sophisticated enough to use well. Strange days indeed.
Popcorn would have hit the spot as the Clown watched the criminal's antics. In the past year he had seen all kinds of bad guys including highly trained professionals. These guys were not that. The Clown expected to hear a few “nyuk nyuks” and the occasional “hey, wiseguy.”
He was tempted to let the scene play out to see what these guys were up to, but their plan may be to charge in and kill everybody. No, it was safer to just ask them what they had in mind as they regained consciousness. The Clown worked out some kinks by jumping up and down by rotating his neck.
“Okay,okay,” the Clown mumbled to himself. Then he launched himself from the rooftop, performed a completely unnecessary tuck roll, landed amidst the bad guys and bitch slapped one of the gunmen. The spun in place one and a half times before dropping straight down.
Keep moving, that was the key to the Clown's success, keep moving. He danced around the bad guys, phasing in and out of shadows. Hard to hit a fellow when he's popping in and out of shadows. The thugs tried and failed to draw a bead while the one who swung the butt of his rifle out at the Clown's head missed badly.
The Clown did a small bit of break dancing, just for fun, and just to knock two of the gunmen from their feet. They fell hard, the slush splattered around them and offered no protection from the paved alley floor. They landed hard with painful grunts and writhed a bit in the snow.
Okay, three down. One of them looked down for the count. The other two? Eh. They might need a little more tough love in a minute, but there were still two other thugs who were hale and hearty. The Clown turned to face the last gunman and the door hacker. "Eenie, meenie, minie, moe" he said quickly pointing from one to the other. Then he kicked the gunman in the gut with one of his purple, over-sized shoes. The wind rushed out of the goon's lungs and he glazed over and slowly sank down to his knees.
The last thug by the door had the wherewithal to have swapped his tool for a nine millimeter. His crouch had become a kneel and he fired once at the Clown's head. The bullet perforated the jester's ruffled collar sending the scent of scorched lace to the vigilante's nose.
The clown looked down at the fresh bullet hole. "You... shot... my ruffle? You shot my damned ruffle? What kind of son of a bitch shoots a man's ruffle? Sons of bitches who like to bleed from the nose, that's who." Without ceremony or any kind of flair, the Clown punched the last gunman in the face.
He made an "ow!" and dropped the tool to grab his ruined nose. While he swayed on his knees, the Clown's foot lashed out to finish him off. Two of the goons were trying, with effort, to get to their feet.
"Hey," the Clown said as he moseyed over to the two men, "you know how in the cartoons when two guys bump their heads it makes that coconuts knocked together sound? I always wondered."
The Clown grabbed each men by the scruff of the neck and introduced their foreheads to each other. The sound of coconuts clacking echoed through the alley and died slowly leaving only the sound of the falling heavy snow. The Clown stood alone.
"Yes," the Clown said with a fist pump. "So satisfying."
So, now what? He should restrain the goons before they wake up. The Clown struck his forehead with the heel of his hand. There was a drawer full of those plastic, zip-lock handcuff things back in his dorm room, but he forgot to fill his pockets with them, again. No problem. A little dumpster diving usually filled the bill, and it did once again. The Clown found a good length of heavy twine, enough to tie up all five bad guys, but not enough to hog tie them. Maybe next time.
Having done that, the Clown patted down the guy who had been working the door and found a phone. The phone's wallpaper was a faked porn of Mother Teresa. "Not funny," the Clown snickered as he made a call.
"911 emergency response. What is the nature of your emergency?"
"Hi, the Clown here again. I just caught five heavily armed thugs trying to break into a place. I have them tied up with a nice pretty bow, and..."
A bow? An actual bow? That would have been so cool! No. Nope. Too cute. The twine would do just fine.
"...and I'm just going to leave this phone here and you do the thing where you trace it and send a couple of squad cars. 'kay?"
The Clown sat the phone down and then walked away whistling. He ducked into a shadow and was gone. The alley was quiet for a moment except for a chorus of low painful moans, and then the Clown returned, popping out of another shadow. The door. He had forgotten all about the door. Silly clown.
He could stake the place out, maybe watch what happens when the police showed up, but what if the cops aren't ready for whatever was on the other side of the door? The Clown sauntered up to the door and knocked (shave and a haircut), and then he stepped back and waited. He was on guard, but he took pains to not look like he was on guard. He had to be cool. Superheroes were cool.
"Hey Krusty, What do you think you're doing?" It came from behind him, near the street.
The Clown turned to find a half naked woman standing there. Great, another hooker. What was with these chicks? Can't a guy just dress up like a clown and hang out in dark alleys without people thinking he's into weird stuff? The Clown thought about that for a moment, and then decided not to think about it any more.
The stark light from the streetlamp was not the best for this situation. The woman was mostly a silhouette, but was that a cape she was wearing? The Clown reassessed the woman. Her manner was that of a tough guy. There was really no sign of 'hey baby, you wanna party'. He decided to get a better look.
The Clown stepped into a shadow and emerged near the woman. "Depends," he said in his best Clint Eastwood growl. "Who's askin'?"
The woman jumped at the Clown's sudden appearance next to her. Whatever else the guy was he was fast, she hadn't even seen him move.
"The name's . . ." There was a pause, Jacquelin hadn't really thought about what she was going to call herself. "Dreamweaver. And you are?"
Great. Now he had to carry that Gary Wright song around in his head. As for his name, he had considered many; Slappy the Avenger, the Bombastic Bippo, Big Shoe Badass, but he stuck with the name that most people called him.
"I'm the Clown," he said, "and speaking of clowns what do you know about those guys over there?" He jerked a thumb in the direction of the battered and unconscious goons.
"Funny, I was about to ask you the same thing." Dreamweaver said taking a couple steps back. She still didn't know who's side this guy was on and she really didn't like physical confrontations. "You seem to have had some trouble with them."
"Not too much trouble." The Clown gave Dreamweaver a good long look. Her mask made a statement, but which statement? "Okay, I'm going to come out and ask. Are you one of the good guys, or..." Once again he jerked a thumb in the direction of the goons.
Dreamweaver looked at him in shock. What villain in her right mind would wear a costume like hers? Didn't this clown know anything? Her costume definitely said hero, unlike his which screamed villain. She rolled her eyes at him, "Hero, duh. Now is this the part where we fight?"
"Too kinky for my speed. I'm more of a cuddler. Okay, let's do it this way. Do you have any connection with those guys and the door they were going to great pains to get through. No, wait. Let's do it this way." The Clown cleared his throat. "What's a nice gal like you doing in a joint like this." His Bogart impression was competent, but it still needed work.
"First, what about you? Are you one of the good guys? 'Cause you sure look like a villain to me." His Bogart impression seemed lost on her.
"What? How... dare you. I'm a clown. Clowns bring joy and mirth to the world. How could I possibly be a villain? I'm a good guy. I must be a good guy because I only beat up bad guys. Know what? This isn't working out for me. We should see other people. You run along and do whatever you were doing. I've got a mysterious door to check out."
"Guess you've never heard of the Joker then. Or Pennywise. And as far as me getting back to whatever it was I was doing, that sounds like a good idea." Dreamweaver turned away from The Clown and headed for the door the thugs had been trying to open.
The clown took several long strides before realizing that Dreamweaver was keeping pace with him. "Great, now you're stalking me."
"If I was stalking you, you wouldn't know it. I'm just getting back to what I was doing before running into you."
Dreamweaver was still keeping pace with the Clown. He had a glimmer of how this might play out, but he kept it to himself. He stopped at the door and waited to see what Dreamweaver did.
Keeping the Clown in the corner of her eye Dreamweaver examined the door. It was exactly as she had seen in Lester's dream but she was no closer to finding out what was behind it. The lock was electronic and given the time and the right tools she could probably open it but she had neither. Turning back to the Clown she asked, "What were those goons doing here?"
"Seriously? Oh man, I am never getting rid of you. Damn! Well to answer your question the one guy who wasn't shooting at me with a semi-automatic weapon was trying to open that door..." The Clown reached down and picked up the goon's high tech gizmo. "...with this."
Dreamweaver reached out for the device.
The Clown made like he was going to hand over the device and then pulled it back at the last moment. "Psych! But seriously folks, why should you be the one to play with this toy, and what's your plan once you get the door open?"
Dreamweaver sighed and rolled her eyes. "Maybe because I know how to use it? I'll bet you don't even know what it is."
"You think I don't know how to use this thing?" The Clown took a good long look at the device and then handed it to Dreamweaver. "Okay, I don't know how to use it, but what are you going to do once you have the door open? Huh? What's the plan, Phil?"
"Depends on what's on the other side now doesn't it?" Dreamweaver wasn't going to admit she hadn't thought that far ahead.
After fiddling with the all-to-brief menu options and executing what she believed were the proper commands, the phone display changed to a cycling series of alphanumeric symbols, akin to a slot machine but with a dozen or so slots instead of the classic three. One bcame fixed while the others continued to roll. Then a second, and a third. As more symbols became fixed the process worked exponentially faster until after what was a total of a minute and a half the entire sequence had been locked in place.
The electronic keypad bepped twice and flashed green as the sound of automatic bolts snapping open shocked the quiet that had broken out while the process worked it's will.
Dreamweaver smiled in satisfaction as the door clicked open. This was much more exciting than sitting at a desk all day. The only problem was what was she going to do with the Clown. He was still an unknown and for all she knew he could work for one of Drake's rivals. In that case she was no longer needed.
"After you." Dreamweaver said sweeping her arm toward the now unlocked door. There was no way she was going to let this bozo out of her sight.
The Clown bowed slightly and tipped his tiny top hat, but not too far because it was attached to his head with a thin elastic band. He released the hat and it snapped back in place. He opened the door a crack and carefully peeked inside.
It was dark, completely unlit, with no windows for even the moonlight to sneak inside. The Clown's nostrils became acutely aware of a light antiseptic odor not unlike that of a hospital emergency room. As his eyes began to adjust he started to notice shapes - a table, maybe, and something hanging on the wall either leaning against it or on a rack of some sort. Somewhere inside there was machinery in motion, this betrayed by the metallic throbbing hum beating like a dull metal heart somewhere deeper inside the structure.
"Well?" Dreamweaver said impatiently trying to look around the Clown in the doorway.
"I need a better vantage point and I see a corner of the room that would offer that along with cover from prying eyes. I'm going in, and I would ask you to stay here, but we both know how that conversation would end."
The Clown turned to Dreamweaver and unfastened her cape. "Okay, I'm going to do a trick. I want you to close your eyes and keep them closed until I say otherwise."
"What do you think you're doing?" Dreamweaver protested as the Clown removed her cape.
He spun the cape in the air like an ethnic stereotype spinning pizza dough. The cape fell upon them, but instead of draping over their bodies it kept twirling until it lay flat on the ground. The Clown and Dreamweaver were no longer in the world of man.
In the land of shadows and despair, the Clown led Dreamweaver by the hand. Their exit from this dread place was not far, but they had to maneuver past the shades of the not quite damned whose eyes stared without seeing.They emerged beside a metal storage cabinet. There was enough room for both of them, but just barely.
"Did you keep your eyes closed?"
Dreamweaver didn't answer at once. She was still trying to make sense of what had happened and what she'd seen. Her hand clenched tight on the Clown's arm.
"I'll take that as a no." The Clown took another look at the room and tried to connect the dots with what little he had seen from the door.
Now that he was fully inside and his eyes didn't have to deal with competing light situations the forms he'd seen earlier became much clearer to the Clown. There was a table, a wooden one, with several metal lockboxes on them. His adjusted eyes were just short of good enough to read the labels stuck to the sides of the boxes but they looked familiar. Theer were nine of them total, stacked in threes.
There was also a set of metal shelves, empty except for a modern-style hard shell suitcase placed just so on the bottom shelf. A picture hung on one wall. It was framed, rectangular, and very tall. The abstract lines gave it the look of a rack, maybe - art appreciation wasn't a class he'd had to take yet.
A door set in the back corner away from the alley door revealed the only method for getting further into the building. It was heavy and metal. The handle had a keyhole as did the bolt lock above it.
Throughout his inspection the throbbing hum was ever-present. It was palpable, a living thing, and it never wavered nor faltered. Its repetitive vibration was of a piece with the cold and the dark. It was a pounded omnious warning in their ears and chests.
"I'll get a closer look," the Clown said as he stepped back into the shadows and reappeared closer to the boxes on the table. He gave them a quick read. Much of it was indechiperable code, but US CUSTOMS was printed nice and loud on the label.
Dreamweaver felt the Clown disappear from her side and saw his shadow reappear in the middle of the room. Her curiosity was getting the better of her but until her eyes adjusted to the low lighting there wasn't much she could do.
US Customs. The Clown filed that away and then took a look around. Maybe the artwork would prove interesting. It was certainly an odd place to hang it. It did nothing for the room. It was six feet tall and maybe a yard wide and mostly black and white with some red. It looked almost something like that fancy writing stuff the Japanese did.
He crouched down to inspect the suitcase on the lower shelf, and inspecting it meant just staring at it. He was loathe to touch it. It might contain a bomb, or a deadly virus, or a midget with a machine gun. The Clown's skill set could deal with none of those scenarios except maybe the midget. He thought of Dreamweaver and that old pop song got stuck in his head again, but maybe she had the skills for this. He stepped behind the shelving unit and reappeared next to Dreamweaver.
"I found something neat," the Clown said. "Wanna see it?"
"Yeah, I need to know before I call the feds in." Dreamweaver answered.
The Clown still was not sure if they could simply stroll around the place. It was best to play it safe. "OKay, we're making another hop, but you keep your eyes closed this time, 'kay?"
"Why, what is that place? And what happens if I don't keep them closed?" Dreamweaver reminded the Clown of a little kid the way she asked questions.
"Nothing happens. It's just real damned creepy."
A moment later, Dreamweaver and the Clown stood before the suitcase - American Tourister, no lock.
"Wow, that was so cool. What is that place? Some dark dimension? Hey, is that where all the clowns are before they pile out of one of those tiny cars?" Dreamweaver thought about it. She'd always imagined a clown car being like a TARDIS but maybe this was the real explanation.
The Clown's eyes grew wide. Maybe that was how the clown car thing really worked. Holy crap, what if every clown in the world was just like him?
"Trade secret," he said.
"Yep, I knew it. Pennywise for sure." Dreamweaver muttered.
Dreamweaver made a note of where everything was positioned in order to put it back exactly once they were done then pulled out the suitcase in order to get a better look. It was heavy and must have been packed full. She hefted it onto the table and pushed the latches to the side allowing the bolts to spring free.
After a pause she lifted the lid. Two pair of eyes widened at the contents. Hundreds... banded stacks of them. They were standing in the presence of what had to be millions of dollars.
The Clown did some quick math in his head and figured this suitcase could pay tuition for a century or two. The money had to be dirty. Respectable money never traveled this way. It would serve the bad guys right if it just kind of disappeared all of a sudden. No. Nope. Don't even think it. That was a slippery slope he wanted to stay away from. He was a good clown. Goooood clown.
"Hey, have my pupils been replaced with dollar signs? Cuz this is the spot in the cartoon where Daffy Duck blinks, there's that cha-ching sound and then his pupils have been replaced by dollar signs."
"Yes, they have." Dreamweaver said with a straight face. She closed the suitcase and put it back where they'd found it. While the money was suspicious and would raise questions with the authorities, it wasn't illegal and she needed something on Drake. Hopefully the boxes on the table would prove more useful.
The Clown was losing interest in shelves, boxes, and suitcases (although the suitcase was still really, really cool), and turned his attention to the metallic throbbing sound. He wandered in the direction of the sound being careful not to stray too far from Dreamweaver. She seemed like a goody two-shoes, but he still did not know her well enough to leave her alone with that much money.
The rhythmic droning hum was coming from somewhere beyond the heavy metal doorway, possibly just beyond. It was powerful and deeply embedded with omnious vibration.
The US CUSTOMS label leapt out immediately at Dreamweaver letting her know that they were custody boxes, used for making sure valuables or other high risk imports didn't get molested or tampered with prior to going through the customs entry process. That they were here in this building meant that the chain of custody on whatever was inside had clearly been broken. They screamed "illegal avoidance of taxes" or "smuggling" depending on which ear you listened with more strongly.
Bingo! Whoever owned this building was going to have a lot of explaining to do whether it was Drake or not. But even if it wasn't Drake whoever it was would probably know something they could use to put the creep away. She turned to the Clown and debated with herself on whether to warn him to get clear of the place before she called it in. He did seem to be on the good guys side and hadn't even tried to take the money when he'd had the chance.
"Hey Penny, I'm calling this in to the FBI. You may want to get out of here before they show up."
"Yeah, I'll probably pop out of here. I'm the mysterious type. By the way, I called the cops on those thugs outside. They should be here any time now depending on how many donut shops they pass on the way here."
He was at the heavy metal door now. He opened it a crack - or would have, and looked cool doing it, if it hadn't been locked.
The Clown was about to ponder his options, and Dreamweaver hers, when the sound of a beep from the electronic keypad on the outside door beeped.
"Hey, can you take us somewhere we can watch without being seen?" Who knew, maybe the Clown could move them into that other dimension of his and they could watch from there. She had to admit it was a bit creepy and her imagination could come up with a number of gruesome scenarios, most of which involved zombies, but at the moment it was their best option.
"Hey, you don't see me telling you how to... weave dreams or whatever the hell it is you do. No, the place between places is no place to hang out. It's not a bad idea, but... just... no. We'll have to make do." The Clown took Dreamweaver by the arm. They stepped into the nearest corner and emerged adjacent to the metal storage cabinet where they first entered the room. It was the best he could do on short notice, and it would have to do. If not, well, he'd figure something out.
The door swung open trapping the two of them in the corner behind the door and next to the metal cabinet. They couldn't see anything but neither could they be seen. When the door swung shut they were presented with a tall man, his back to them as he faced into the room from the spot in front of the door. He wore a long black trenchcoat and a wide-brimmed waterproof fedora-style hat that left little of him visible in the dark room. He carried a black hard-sided case in one hand - smaller than a suitcase but larger than a briefcase.
The man stood silently for a few moments, unmoving and patient. Then he stepped to the table and laid his case down upon it. He turned, hefted the suitcase, and placed it on the table before opening it. The stacks of cash drew no reaction from him at all. They could see his face now and it was middle-aged and hard-lined, handsome yet stern. He closed the suitcase, made sure it was securely shut, and then picked up his black case once more.
Dreamweaver watched the newcomer debating whether she should make him take a nap or not, her curiosity about who he was and why he was there warring with her desire to just get the hell out of there without being seen. Her curiosity won out and she settled back to watch the fedora clad man. Maybe he was another vigilante here to take down Drake. If so he might have more information then she did and she might learn something. It didn't matter to her who took down Drake as long as he was taken out of circulation.
GM: If at any point your PC would do something to interrupt his activities, please do so and I'll revise as needed. If not...
The newcomer hadn't seen them or was doing a great job of acting like he hadn't, for after he had his black case in hand once more he turned to the metal door leading further inside. His hand withdrew a key from his pocket and he used it to work the bolt lock and then the lock in the door handle which allowed the door to be smoothly pushed open on well-greased quiet hinges.
The pulsing sound doubled in intensity while the door was open, which wasn't long. He stepped through and the door closed behind him... almost. As the door swung closed, the Clown popped out from behind it, grabbed the doorknob and stopped it from shutting all the way. He waited a moment for the newcomer to gain a little distance and then he opened the door a crack and peeked inside.
Dreamweaver wasn't going to let the Clown follow the guy without her so she moved as quick as the darkness would allow to join him at the door.
The space beyond was illuminated only slightly better than the store room but it was enough to see several workbenches and what looked like a small but active science lab. There were beakers and vials and bunson burners, some filled with liquids in varying shades and hues. There was a muscular microscope assembly on one bench and several other pieces of equipment which Dreamweaver thought might look at home in a forensics lab.
The sound that assaulted them in waves was coming from a large-ish machine in the far reaches of the room. It was a hulking metal structure about the size of a small car stood up on its bumper. There were two small arms extending out from the front which moved rhythmically back and forth in time with the throbbing backbeat. It almost looked hydraulic in nature.
The man had moved to a bench near the great machine. He removed from his small black case a clear plastic medical bag from whence he gingerly used a pair of tongs to remove a floppy thumb-shaped mass about eight inches in length. It was rich with blood and other fluids and the man studied it for a few moments under a table lamp before turning with it towards the machine.
Some controls were activated and the machine shut down. Both the Clown and Dreamweaver tensed at the sudden silence that ensued after the irrepressible pulsating hum groaned down to a whisper and then finally died. The man turned a u-shaped handle which opened a sliding panel in the side of the machine and then tugged it and withdrew a thick cylinder attached to the handle. Into the cylinder went the bloody mass and then back into the machine slid the cylinder.
The man reactivated the machine and the sound washed over them once more. He placed the tongs down on the bench next to his case and exited their line of sight somewhere off to the left.
Ok, this is getting weird. Thought Dreamweaver and she wondered if they had stumbled upon some alien's lair. All thought of the police's imminent arrival was lost as she tried to get a better view of where the man had gone, but couldn't. The door simply didn't offer an angle.
"Okay, I have no idea what that ugly slug thing was," the Clown said as he competed with Dreamweaver for the best vantage point, "but that guy seems to know, so what say we go ask him?" He stole into the room holding his head low and taking advantage of the available cover. His over-sized shoes made nary a sound.
The room was very large and the machine was quite some distance from his starting point. But the Clown was able to sneak around the benches and equipment to the point where he could see where the man had gone.
There was a nook off to one side where another bench was set up. A cylinder similar to the one in the machine that had accepted the bio mass was set up in a framework with tubes and lattices ending in a containment unit of some kind. Inside of the container was an orange-yellow fluidic substance.
The man's trenchcoat was off and one sleeve of his dress shirt was rolled up. In his other hand was a syringe of the amber juice and as the Clown watched he injected it into himself.
Dreamweaver was rocking from foot to foot in impatience, curiosity burning through every fiber of her body. She wanted, had, to know what was going on just out of her site but knew she couldn't move as silently as the Clown and for now would have to hold back. Even if it did feel like it was going to kill her to do so. She could keep track of the Clown. Apparently he was not trying to hide from her. Then she lost site of his bald, white head.
"Eww," the Clown said. Now he was just behind Dreamweaver.
It was all Dreamweaver to could do not to scream when the Clown spoke up from behind her. "Don't do that." She said, her heart pounding hard enough she was sure he would be able to hear it.
"Okay, I think the machine squishes whatever that mystery meat was, and turns it into a piss colored liquid. Then... get this... then the guy fills a syringe with it and shoots up. I repeat, eww."
"Eww." Dreamweaver agreed. She thought for a moment. "How long ago did you call the police?"
Before the Clown could answer, both vigilantes were caught up short by the sound of a case being closed close by. Inside the other room, the man had returned to the closest workbench and was gathering his case. His coat was back on along with his hat and he looked like he was about to leave.
Dreamweaver's options were limited by her inability to see the man but she had to do something. Hoping what she was about to do worked she stepped out from behind the door and concentrated on preventing the man from seeing them. People's daydreams weren't quite as easy to control as their regular dreams and she didn't really have any practice at it but it was all she could come up with in the situation. Unless she wanted to put him to sleep but doing that would take longer and give the guy a chance to spot them.
"What...?" The Clown almost reached out and pulled Dreamweaver back behind the door, but he could tell she was trying to do a thing. It made sense that she knew how to do a thing. So far she had shown no sign of being able to do a thing, but it still made sense. No sense dressing up like that unless she knew how to do a thing. The Clown waited, but he was on his guard. If mister icky syringe guy did so much as raise an eyebrow he was ready to go all Clown-fu on his ass.
As the two of them held their breath, the man stepped through the doorway and closed it behind him. He locked the bolt again with a key and turned to face into the store room, and paused.
He stood there, quiet and still, as if listening for something. His brow furrowed and his eyes shifted about as his body stayed tense. It was if he knew somethign wasn't quite right but couldn't place his finger on it, or maybe he was wondering is he left the faucet running.
One heartbeat. Two. Three.
He stepped forward, resuming his activity without any sign that he had seen them. He stepped up to the suitcase full of cash, made sure it was closed securely, and lifted it off the table before he made for the door to the outside.
Dreamweaver gave a sigh of relief, she hadn't been sure that was going to work but it looked like they were in the clear, or would be soon. She cocked an eyebrow at the Clown, silently asking him if he had any ideas.
The Clown pulled Dreamweaver close and whispered in her ear. "We should follow him. Can you keep up? If you can't we can't we should arrange a meeting place."
Dreamweaver shook her head and put her finger to her lips. She hadn't thought of including sound in her illusion and didn't want to take a chance the man would hear them. As soon as he was outside she whispered, "Where do you want to meet?"
"Little Havana Restaurant on Cornelia Street." The Clown stepped back into a shadow and traveled from shadow to shadow until he was outside in the alley. The strange man had vanished and the thugs were gone, too. Disturbances in the snow remained behind including paths back out to the street.
Dreamweaver was about to nod but the Clown was gone before she could. She sure wished she had a cool power like that, it would make getting around the city so much easier but she didn't and would have to trust the Clown to make good on his promise to meet with her. Waiting a few more seconds to make sure she was alone she went to the outside door and opened it a crack to make sure the alley was empty before she did her best to slip away without being seen.
GM: The end, of this page anyway. The reunion at the restaurant seems like a logical next scene assuming you're both going to make it. Why don't one of you start it off as it will be mainly a joint post between you.