Broken Deals
Roleplaying Log: Broken Deals
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Khalid comes upon the telekinetic girl who escaped the human trafficking sting. She gives him some information about what's going on.

Other Characters Referenced:
IC Date: July 09, 2019
IC Location: Brooklyn, NYC
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 25 Jul 2019 18:45
Rating & Warnings: PG
NPC & GM Credits: Barbara Gordon as Anna
Associated Plots

The police sirens wail and the ever-moving lights from the helicopters above flash and illuminate the dark corners of the alleyway between the YMCA and the neighboring building — a series of offices that host any number of businesses. He finds her there, huddled between trashcans, trying to hide from the light.

She's pale — like a ghost — with pale blond hair that seems listless around her young, but ageless features. She could be fifteen, or twenty-five. It is hard to say with how narrow she is and how much she curls into herself. She has her head in her arms, and occasionally she gives a little whimper as she rocks on her bottom in the shadows.

* * *

He cut it close.

As Fate, Khalid hustled, doing what he said he would just as everyone made their hasty exits. Walls were nothing when he plowed through them golden-headfirst, magic tingling as it made physics and concrete barriers illogical. The only bonuses resulting from such were the lack of physical damage to both himself and the building being raided; if he had to think about it, there would have been major head trauma with additional injuries he didn't need.

But where he couldn't actually locate anyone, he decided to try a different trick to help him out.

In the same alley, a soft golden glow drifts near the poor girl, bobbing in midair before disappearing in the blink of an eye. Sneakered feet touch down with a graceless scuff some distance away. It's far the fancyful, dramatic shot of a hero in bad lighting, but he doesn't mind; the darkness gives him a chance to yank the helmet off of his head to stow it away in his backpack again, allowing him to shuffle along and find who he's looking for.

"Psst," he half-whispers toward the dark, checking over his shoulder to make sure his hiding behind a trashcan isn't so obvious. "Hey. Hi. Um."

There's an awkward pause.

"It looks like things are gonna be a little crazy for a while. Stay where you are, okay?"

* * *

The girl tightens in on herself as she senses, perhaps even perceives, the golden glow. Then slowly she lifts her head, squinting to one side and then the other. Her pale eyes widen briefly as if she tries to find where the golden light has gone, but then there's Khalid. She stares up at him for a long moment, her expression obviously blank.

Then, very slowly, she begins to nod. "Hi." The word is quiet, hushed. It sounds very young. Then she looks around, as if looking for somewhere. "Are they gone?"

* * *

Good start, Khalid thinks. As his eyes adjust to the shadows, he blinks, trying not to look surprised at her expression. Her question, however, grants him an opportunity to look away, out toward the end of the alley as far as he possibly can see in his position. Crouching to hide is a lot harder than it looks.

The sounds tell a different story. "The cops are having a field day," he replies with a frown. "I don't think they're gonna clear out of here as fast as everyone else did."

* * *

"No, I mean…" The girl's teeth tighten at her lip briefly. "The ones who were holding those others… in the pool. Are they gone?" Her jaw gives a little tremble as she asks that quiet question.

She looks up toward the skies as a helicopter swoops past, but their light is off, so it's just the sound and flash of their police lights that catch their eye.

Her lip trembles just a bit, and then she starts to unravel. "Are they okay?" The question is quiet, hushed.

* * *

Khalid's brow lifts "Oh. Those guys?" He takes a second to duck, staying still as the helicopter makes its crossing. "They're…I think they were taken care of."

Never mind the fact he sort of stumbled across a whole mission to rescue the metahumans stuck in that situation because he went to the wrong address. If he had to look at the silver lining, he could thank the GPS on his phone for pointing him in that particular direction.

"I sort of got caught in the middle of the chaos," he admits with a weak shrug. Concern tinges his tone, but he adds, "There were some other people in there at the time. I think they are. I know some of them out of the building…"

Lacking a better answer, he lets the girl breathe. He casts his gaze at the ground, rocking on his heels a few times before asking, "How did this all happen?"

* * *

The girl's shoulders sag when Khalid mentions that the men have been taken care of. Her eyes search behind him, and only then does she briefly make eye contact. It is such a lightning fast moment before she's looking away. She chews at her lip so fiercely, she might make the edge bleed.

"I…"

She brushes her wrist across her eyes as she looks away in the opposite direction. "We were trying to get out of New York, and there was some friend of my dad who knew someone. They were arranging us to get out. You know, be-because of me." Her arms tighten around herself, hugging at the ache in her chest.

* * *

"Because of you?" The med student looks up again, assessing the situation the only way he knows how. She appears fine, but the obvious distress and emotional trauma from recent events is wearing on her.

She was trying to escape. There were connections. A plan.

It clicks. "—You're a metahuman?" His voice is quiet, but he tries to keep a casual feel to the conversation they're having. He doesn't want to stress her out. "Because, y'know. Laws are terrible and it feels like didn't really think that through."

* * *

The girl's eyes start to well, and the tears are so crystal clear they highlight the freckles on her cheek that are ghostly against her pale skin. She nods when he identifies her. "Telepath and telekinetic," she just manages to choke. "We were just trying to get out, but… bu-but he changed the deal. He said that my parents didn't have enough money, and so he needed favors. He needed me."

Her head drops down to her arms again, and her shoulders shake with soft sobs.

* * *

The moment Khalid hears her say that, he feels his body go cold. Then his expression shifts to one of disgust.

"That's awful," he almost hisses under his breath. "That guy needs a swift kick in the…pants." Self-censoring aside, he feels bad when the girl begins to cry. He crouch-walks closer to her side, unsure whether or not he should try patting her on the arm as a means of comfort. "…It's not your fault he decided to change things," he whispers, running a hand along the side of his face in thought. "There's something weird about that. Something fishy. Why did he need you?"

* * *

It takes the girl several minutes before she's recovered, dragging her wrist across her eyes with a sniff. She looks even younger now, and perhaps that's the worst of it. She might not be even older than fourteen in the end. Tears streak down her cheeks and dribble off her chin. She sniffs hard back on that despair. "He said that he needed me to help protect him." She shakes her head. "I came to this apartment building in Gotham, and… there were so many there. Metahumans, people like me, and… they had just got out of New York, and were being moved elsewhere, but so many of them were being forced into… they were making them… do things. If they had the right powers, the right abilities."

Her eyes flicker up to Khalid. "Tonight, they were doing it again… moving more people. That's when you guys came in, and he told me I needed to protect him. To stop you." She starts to talk quicker, worried. "I didn't want to, but… I had to. My parents." Her hand brushes across her brow. "He would kill them if I didn't stop you… I broke that guy's arm. I've… never… done that before. And the girl with wings… I tried to hurt her." Her breath is quickening, panic filling her chest as she begins to realize all the pain she inflicted tonight.

* * *

Threats against family and forcing a teenage girl to be extra muscle because of her abilities makes it sound like a movie plot Khalid is interacting with. The reality of it weighs down even more now that he has seen this kind of activity up close and personal.

Although his brow furrows, his expression switches from disappointment in humanity to concern. "You didn't mean to," he replies a little too hastily. Hearing someone break an arm on whim isn't something he hears every day, but the circumstances are different. That and being told directly 'to stop you' is still surprising even if he's heard everything up to this point. Shaking that off, he cuts to being professional while simultaneously caring for her well-being, offering a hand in case she needs to hold onto something. "Take a few deep breaths and go slow. It's not your fault."

He stays silent for a time so that she can recollect herself. "…Is there a way to contact your parents? Or anyone close to you?"

* * *

The girl drags her hand across her eyes again, trying to pull it together so she does't start to blubber. That would be embarrassing. She takes a breath, smearing her knuckle up under her nose and then she nods. "I meant to," she says quietly. "It wasn't like it was an accident." But she gets what he's saying, she understands. So, she looks reproachfully up at him, though that disappointment is directed at herself.

Then he asks the more important questions, though she has a rather sorrowful response, "No. Last I saw them, they were in Gotham. I have an Aunt in Metropolis. I hoped that, that was where they were going. Metropolis is safe, they say." Which suggests that Gotham and New York are not.

* * *

Her answer lets Khalid wrinkle his nose, unsure whether he should say anything else in regards to her intentions. So he focuses on the replies she has for his other questions.

With her parents presently missing, the med student can't help but look down for a moment, curing his fingers back up so that he isn't still awkwardly holding it out. "I feel like Metropolis would be the better of the two," he agrees, saying this with a 'sad but true' tone toward the suggestion. "Think you can call your aunt, at least? Maybe just to make sure."

* * *

The girl is mute for a long heartbeat, staring off into the middle distance. Then she takes a breath and nods slowly. "Yeah. I… I think I remember her number." She smiles wearily up at Khalid, and then she looks around again. The sirens continue to blare in the distance. "Do… do you have a phone I can use?" She looks up at him, eyes red-rimmed and tired.

* * *

"—Oh. Yeah," Khalid nods, digging into a pocket to pull out his phone. He holds it out for her to take. "Go ahead. I'll be over here."

Meaning he will give her a little room to make the call. He also looks up, checking to see if any police vehicles may be passing through the area. This motion only serves to remind him that they're still hiding among the trash cans.

"Maybe we should also see if the scene's clearing up," he adds with a frown. "I don't think I can stay crouched like this forever."

* * *

The girl blinks up at Khalid, and then a sheepish smile blossoms on her youthful face. "Oh. Yeah." She looks nervously up at the skies above as it seems no more helicopters are flying overhead.

Then she ducks down into the phone and starts to dial her aunt in Metropolis. When she looks back up at him, she's putting the phone to her ear. "I think you're probably okay," she offers him quietly before she turns into the phone call.

Enough time has passed that Khalid and the girl — her name is Anna — are able to get out into the streets without running into any cops. They disappear out into the night.

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