5522/Branches: The Bus

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Branches: The Bus
Date of Scene: 10 March 2021
Location: Battery Park City
Synopsis: A traffic accident sends a city bus into the drink. Cinque, Sara Pezzini, Lydia and Viola rush to save the passengers from drowning.
Cast of Characters: Viola Fiore, Sara Pezzini, Lydia Dietrich, Cinque Evers

Viola Fiore has posed:
It's afternoon in Battery Park. Much of the area are parks and residential areas, but there are always businesses to support the latter. This particular area is right at the end of a row of stores, where the road bends to curve along the shoreline. A sidewalk goes along both sides of the road, and there is a guardrail protecting people or even vehicles from making the five feet plunge down into the ocean below, which is moderately deep at this spot.

A pedestrian footbridge crosses overtop, allowing those on foot to cross the often busy roadway without having to step into traffic. There are also nearby parks, one of them with a soccer pitch where a game from a soccer league for twelve year olds is just starting up.

Viola is walking along the sidewalk on the inside of the curve, nearest to the park and furthest from the ocean. She has a purse over one shoulder, and a shopping bag hanging from one hand. A clothing store from the logo on the bag. The young woman is dressed in a black skirt with some stylish knee-high boots. A dark turtleneck is more than warm enough today that she doesn't need a jacket. It was a pretty nice day out, the sun warming the early spring day in New York.

Sara Pezzini has posed:
It was a lovely day, and after everything that Sara had been through, it was a day worth being out in. She wears her usual fair, business casual as required by the NYPD for their detectives. Light jacket with fitted waist buttoned over a white linen shirt, a pair of dark blue slacks and sensible shoes.

Presently she is near the guardrail over looking the ocean, a to-go cup of coffee in her hand, watching the people coming and going while enjoying her drink. There had been a donut, an apple fritter, but it was devoured in proper NYPD fashion long ago with no traces of evidence left.

Lydia Dietrich has posed:
One of the nice things about owning The Toaster (a 2019 Vespa) is that running around town when it's such a nice day out is such a joy. So Lydia decided to take it out for a spin and just wander the city until she found someplace interesting to go.

It didn't take long after she crossed the Brooklyn bridge before she felt a slight tugging in the center of her. Looking, she finds that the ectoplasm that constantly surrounds her in a bioluminescent haze seems to be attracted to something out there. Wisps reach out for something undefinable, as if seeking something, gently tugging her south.

"Well, this is new," muses Lydia, pulling her scooter off the main freeway back onto the crowded lanes of the city proper and slowly makes her way south, towards the park.

Cinque Evers has posed:
During the afternoon, Cinque believes that Battery Park provides a perfect place to enjoy New York City. One where he can perceive the illumination of each blade of glass by sunlight, the laughter of playing children intertwined with the buzzing of insects, and scurrying of animals. Cinque takes a deep breathe of aroma of his sorroundings allowing the air from the ocean to enriched his nostrils.

He continues to enjoy the different views of the park as he tries to create a relaxing memory to treasure for all time. From the time he spends at the SeaGlass Carousel to time he spends trying to figure out why Giovanni da Verrazzano deserves a statue, all has appreciated and enjoyed to give him a feeling of true relaxation.

Viola Fiore has posed:
Viola continues down the sidewalk, the Italian-American woman glancing up at the pedestrian bridge. She stops walking, pausing a moment and looking at the people crossing. All going one direction. The colors the people crossing it are wearing alternate red, white and blue, in that order, and then repeat, twice.

Lydia's beautiful Vespa makes a turn and heads down the street, trailing behind a city bus as it heads towards an area with businesses up ahead, a soccer field on the left and a pedestrian bridge over the street.

As Viola is noting that oddity, the traffic is zipping on past where Sara is standing. Cars going one way making a slightly different from the sounds of the nearer cars going the other. Two pass one direction, then three the other. Zoom zoom. Zoom-zoom zoom. Then two more, and three the other way, the sound repeating. And then a third time in the same pattern.

The next vehicle is a truck, a semi but pulling a smaller trailer here in the city. The driver is a bit bleary eyed and opens the thermos he just filled with coffee at his last stop. He loses his grip on it and it scalds his lap, the man jumping and the wheel turning, taking him towards the other lane of traffic, and that city bus that is just making the bend near the ocean!

For Cinque, things slow down. He can see what is going to happen. The semi hitting the bus and knocking it towards the guardrail. But before it gets there, there is a woman with a baby stroller on the sidewalk. At best she and the child will be crushed against the guardrail.

The semi hits the bus, which is knocked off course and towards the sidewalk bordering the ocean, and towards that woman and baby.

Sara Pezzini has posed:
It all happened so fast. Sara was just noticing the repeat of the sound when there was suddenly a bus heading toward the guardrail. It wasn't close enough to effect her, but that doesn't change just how fricken scary seeing something like that is. There was no time to act, all she could do was jump, drop coffee and begin to head toward the area in the hopes that there would be something she could do when she get there... and pray, to all the Gods, that bus didn't end up over the guardrail.

Lydia Dietrich has posed:
Lydia follows the bus, the gentle tugging she feels seems to be directed towards it. She's a bit curious about this phenomenon, not having felt anything like it before. Perhaps there's a ghost haunting the bus? She can normally sense when they're around but this seems different somehow.

Lost in thought, she nearly runs into the bus when the semi hits it. She slams on the brakes of her little Vespa, tires skidding on the asphalt as she comes up short before she, too, could be mangled by the accident. Reflexively, her ectoplasmic mists snap into focus, forming segmented skin tight armor around the woman, like that of a glowing green insect.

"Oh no!" gasps Lydia, hopping off her scooter and rushing towards the accident. It's all happening to fast and while she might have abilities above and beyond mortal men, super speed isn't one of them. She's just not going to reach the woman and the baby in time.

Cinque Evers has posed:
As time begins to slow, Cinque's mind begins to perform numerous sets of possible solutions to save the woman and the baby from being crushed against the guardrail. Cinque calculates the survivability rate of mother and baby, the emotional loss of just saving one of them against the lives that he is saving with Jamii Shelter and the possible lives that he will save in his overall mission. He adds the variable of being able to finally see his parent's smiling face and hear their laugh. It is the one memory that he does not have.

A regrettable sigh escapes his lips as he realizes the attempted solution is obvious: he needs to push the mother and baby clearly out of the way of danger, then try to grab on to the section of the guardrail and hopes it will be section that allows him to pull himself up.

Viola Fiore has posed:
Cinque's mind calculates everything lightning fast. When he lunges to push the woman and baby carriage out of the way, they go flying. The woman falls to the ground well clear of the bus tire, and the carriage tips over but at least it's out of the path of the out of control bus.

The bus was going fast enough that when it hits the guard rail it smashes right through it and continues rolling forward. Viola takes a step that way, her eyes wide and for a moment the bus seems to suddenly slow, possibly may even stop in time before it goes over into the ocean.

A piece of the side of the semi truck's cab suddenly flies away from the truck and hits Viola in the chest, sending her flying back across the sidewalk and into the grass. The bus immediately tips forward, having already gone far enough the weight of the front half pulls it over the edge!

It falls into the water and starts to settle. Inside the bus there is still air, but water is starting to pour in from slightly open windows and other places that are not air tight. The bus reaches the bottom and rolls over on its side. The side with all of the doors except the emergency back exit. The surface of the water is about 8 feet above the side of the bus that is at the top.

Cinque? He's faced with jumping for it or getting hit as he knew. He's able to jump and grab hold of the busted guard rail, hanging above the water. It's not a very long fall, he can easily let go and fall into the water. Assuming he can swim.

Sara Pezzini has posed:
There is no more hesitation. The seemingly normal bracelet on Sara's right hand blazes to life, turning into a beautiful golden gauntlet. As tendrils of metal start to wrap themselves around her body in a swift, but quick motion, she is already running.

As the armor forms around her body, shredding her clothing, she leaps over the railing, diving toward the ocean waters below. There was no thought, no hesitation, no debate over her actions, she merely went, prepared to sink and start pulling people to freedom.

Cinque Evers has posed:
Cinque gazes down at the water below and lets go of the guardrail to drop into the water. He realizes that pulling himself up might weaken the guardrail, so he decides to drop down into the water. When he resurfaces fromt the water, he lifts his head to observe the status of the accident to determine the best way to get to back to help. As begins to doggu paddle his way back to shore, making a mental note that he really needs to take some more swimming lessons.

Lydia Dietrich has posed:
Lydia stares at the wreck, stunned by the massive wreckage that follows the accident. She blinks a couple of times, and then shakes herself clearing her head. There are people trapped in the bus at the bottom of the bay! She has to do /something/. She can't just let this happen.

She leaps off the scooter, ripping the helmet off her head and runs to where the bus has sunk. She thinks about it for a second, letting the glowing armor dissipate back into mist, and then jumps in.

Viola Fiore has posed:
When people get to where they can see down inside the bus, the people inside are just recovering. Thrown to the side by the impact of the truck, then forward as the bus smashed through the guardrail. And then finally tumbled about as the bus sank unevenly and finally rolled over on its side.

Some are trying to close the windows that were only cracked at the top but are letting water pour in. Others are helping the driver out of his seat where he was buckled in. Two men are at the back of the bus, throwing their shoulders at the emergency exit door in back, but it doesn't seem to open for them.

Viola is lying flat in the grass. She slowly sits up, pushing the piece of the truck off of her. She murmurs something that if anyone was near enough to hear sounds like it might have been, "Thank god for pewter." She pulls something out of her purse, thumb popping the lid on a small vial and surreptitiously drinking the contents, keeping it hidden in her hand.

She hops back up and runs over to the area of broken guard rail. Three people in the water already. Viola's eyes widen a bit as one looks like she's wearing armor, and another has some odd glow around her. "Screw it," she says and then jumps in the water feet first, arms circling to keep herself upright until she splashes in.

Sara Pezzini has posed:
Sara hits the water hard, in a perfect dive, and uses that momentum underwater to push her herself toward the bus. Coming up for air, the armor now covering her important parts, the rest exposed to the world, she swims like a fish toward the bus.

"I got the back door!" She screams, not to anyone specifically, but out of habit. In the police you announce your intent to your team, and whether anyone is there or not, she follows that procedure all the same. She didn't have time to see the others, or the results of their actions, she was already in motion and acting.

Once to location the bus went down, she takes a good, deep breath and dives down, letting the weight of the armor pull her down toward the back door. Pressure or not, her strength is enough to get that thing open when she gets to it.

Lydia Dietrich has posed:
Lydia lands awkwardly in the water. She's no diver and only after the shock of the chilly water she realizes that she probably could have used her wings to gracefully glide down. Oh well. It takes her a moment to catch her breath, as she considers what to do.

The woman in the strange armor calls out that she's going to get the back door of the bus. This means that she's going to let all the water *into* the bus if she does that, so she should probably do something about that.

She reaches up with her hand and creates a hollow ten foot sphere with her ectoplasm. Taking a deep breath she dives down, pulling the sphere with her. In order to move through the water at a quicker pace, flippers form around her arms and she uses them to push herself through the water.

When she reaches the bus, she sees Sara already going at it with the door and she just *glomps* the air filled sphere around Sara and the bus. This should keep the water from leaking into the bus once the door is opened.

Cinque Evers has posed:
Cinque's pauses from his own swimming to come up with a strategy to still help. Cinque realizes he is not a strong enough swimmer to make repeated trips down to the bus and back again. As he sees people diving into the water to help, he decides to help the people that are on the surface. To aid him in his rescue efforts, Cinque pulls off his pants and ties the ends together, then he swing his pants over his head into water to trap the air in his pants for a makeshift life preserver.

He wraps the life preserver around his neck and begins to help the people in water to reach the shore. Slowly moving between the people to get them to shore safely.

Viola Fiore has posed:
There are a few scared cries from inside as the metal door starts to bend, the seal broken and water starting to rush in. But then suddenly the water stops even as the door seems to scream, the metal torn open and bent back on its stuck hinges.

"Oh thank god!" a woman inside says. The two men who were trying to open the door turning to help her forward, bringing her to the exit and ready to pass her through to Sara and Lydia.

Upon the surface, the nearest spot someone can walk out of the water is a good forty foot swim along the seawall to where a grassy stretch is just above the water level. Though someone up on the street throws down a rope, splashing it into the water near Cinque.

Viola swims over to where the bus is, improving her eyesight and ducking her head underwater to see more clearly. With the two women at the back of the bus, she doesn't do anything for now, just stays there where, like Cinque, she can assist people as they come out.

Sara Pezzini has posed:
Sara offers her hands to help each person from the bus she can into the bubble, grateful for that bubble suddenly appearing. The water would have entered no matter what they did, and she couldn't lift the entire bus... she was stronger than normal humans, but not that strong. There was no other choice, no time to debate, but that bubble had made a decision for her that she hadn't wanted to make... who would be taken out and to the surface and who might die.

"One at a time, don't push," she says with authority, a hint of a New York accent to her.

Lydia Dietrich has posed:
This is going to be tricky, trying to let people out of her bubble without popping it. Lydia lets her flippers dissipate into the water as she uses all of her concentration to let people through the wall of her ectoplasmic bubble but not water. She's never done anything like this before and it's taking all she's got to maintain this.

The other problem she has is air. As in she doesn't have any of her own. She should have made a diving helmet for herself before going down, but her mind just wasn't focused on her own needs at the times.

She swims towards her bubble and pokes her head through the membrane, gasping for air. "I can take, maybe five... six people in this and I can drag a couple others with me to the surface if they can hold their breath," She tells Sara. "But we've got to hurry. This is taking all my concentration and I don't know how long I can keep this up.

Sara Pezzini has posed:
Looking toward the voice, a head poking through, Sara nods once. "Can you seal the bus while taking the first group?" Is all she can think to ask, stopping the next person from coming through into the bubble as they reach the five. She doesn't want to make the choice, but she knows it will come to that.

"Who here can swim? If you can swim, get ready, if not come to the back and I will do my best to take you with me. If you are injured, get in the bubble now."

Cinque Evers has posed:
As Cinque tries to navigate his group of survivors back to place where they can get out of the water, he lets out a quite, "Thank you" that someone has thrown down a rope. "All right, if you think you can pull yourself all the way up, then start the climb." Cinque informs the group. "If not, I can carry one of you to the top with me and come back down to get the others.

Cinque grabs hold of the rope to steady it, "If you think you can make it to the top, you can climb up first. I will be right behind you if you get stuck." Cinque wipes his hands on his face, so he can get a better grip. "If you can't make it, just keep treading to I get back."

Viola Fiore has posed:
The people are anxious to get out, but Sara and Lydia are able to get them to move in an orderly way. "I can't swim," an elderly woman says as she's helped to the back of the bus. Most of the people indicate they can swim. Just the elderly woman, and a rather rotund man with a long beard. "I can't swim man. Man, I can't swim at all. We gotta get out of here man! We gotta get out!"

Viola sees Cinque is doing well with the people he has. She dives down, drifting easily to the bus, pulling on the metal lightly to make the trip easier. She sticks her head into the odd air bubble. "I can help swim people up to the surface," she offers.

She'll reach out her hands to take two people if they reach back, and look to Lydia to see if she can take them through without messing up her bubble. If she gets a nod, she swims them up to the surface.

Sara Pezzini has posed:
Sara ensures that those who cannot swim are in the bubble, as well as those who may be too injured to swim. The count, always about numbers. Five in the bubble, leaves ten or so. This other can take a couple, leaving eight.

"Alright, when she takes this bubble away the water is going to come in, there is no stopping it. Be ready, take a deep breath and swim for the surface. I will stay to guide those who need it, do not panic, focus, stay calm. We'll all get through this."

Viola Fiore has posed:
With the direction of Sara and Lydia, the people get those who can't swim into the bubble. One of the men in the bus tells the man who can't swim, "Don't be a baby, they got air for you and everything. Just relax and you'll float, I promise."

Viola takes two of the people and pulls them gently outside into the water and then she's kicking her legs to cover for the fact she's using her mutant power to push off the bus' metal to push them to the surface.

Once there she helps get them to where they can climb out of the water, then moves back to help.

As the bubble leaves, the water starts to flood into the bus. IT's tough for those inside to get out the door with that rush of water inwards. Eventually though the bus fills. There's still a thin lair of air at the top, so they are able to get a lungful before going out the door and swimming for the surface. Soon everyone has made it out of the bus and is up on the surface, heading for shore.

Sara Pezzini has posed:
Sucking in a deep breath before the bubble leaves, Sara stays at the door to pull people out and push them toward the surface, each one almost yanked and shoved as the need for quickness has increased. How long can she hold her breath? Who knows, but she's not leaving until the last person it out of that bus and on their way to the surface.

Cinque Evers has posed:
As one of the survivors climbs to the top of the rope, Cinque is just behind them, his shoulders drapped by another survivor. Upon reaching the top, he sets his survivor down for the emergency crew to look them over. He takes a deep breathe to regain some stamina, he helps the EMT crew lower another rope into water before jumping back down to help more survivors.
Upon hitting the water, he reinflates his makeshift life preserver, and begins helping survivors up the rope and offering to carry those that are too injured or tired to make the effort.

Lydia Dietrich has posed:
Lydia takes her passengers to the surface, opening up the bubble once they reach air to look more like a raft. She breaks the surface herself, sputtering, and widens the raft a bit to climb up onto it herself. Now that she's just making a flat surface for people to stand on, she can widen it so it fits more people. She kneels on the edge of the raft, taking the hands of swimming people and pulling them up atop of it. Once she's got as many as she can handle she floats the disk across the bay until she reaches the grassy outcropping that people can get off onto it.

Viola Fiore has posed:
With the help of those who jumped into the water to save the people in the bus, everyone eventually makes it back onto land. The first responders are there, police and firemen and EMTs taking care of people. There are bruises and a few cuts, and three people with sprains or broken bones who end up going to the hospital to get checked out.

Eventually Viola is back on the sidewalk, with a thick blanket provided by an EMT around her shoulders. She looks over at the others who were in the water helping. "Thank you. You guys are... superheroes," she says, the word both recognizing that's what they seem to be, also saying they deserve that moniker. Well that's mostly directed at Sara and Lydia given both have obvious superhero qualities showing. Though her look to Cinque doesn't exclude him, either.

Sara Pezzini has posed:
Sara is the last to emerge from the water, ensuring that no one else remained on the bus, and as her head breaks the water she sucks in a gasping breath. For a moment she is light headed, almost too long down there, but it passes quickly. Swimming over she rides the make-shift plasmic raft to the grass, shaking out her hair, but not shivering though given the state of her clothing and armor, she should be.

It had worked. They had each done there part and once on solid ground she starts to look around. This is the part she hated. To Viola she shakes her head, waving off an offered blanket, "No. Just a person who can help, nothing more."

Lydia Dietrich has posed:
Lydia looks uncomfortable at being labeled a superhero, the floating disk dissipating back into the ever-present mists surrounding her. She nods at Sara echoing her sentiment. "I'm just an English teacher," she tells them. She shivers at the cool air on her cold body, and sits heavily down on the ground, the adrenaline finally draining from her.

Cinque Evers has posed:
Cinque Evers puts his pants back on and begins to wring out his hoodie, so he can put his hoodie on his head. Cinque looks around the area, then back to Viola, and replies with probably too much of denial, "Um, superhero? No, I fell into the water trying to get out of the way of the bus." Cinque laughs, "I think that make me a clutz who ended up helping some people."

Viola Fiore has posed:
Viola doesn't argue against any of the denials. But her eyes suggest she still stands with her earlier statement.

A fireman comes by with a handful of towels. "The place up the road donated them," he says. Viola takes one, giving him a smile and using it to dry her hair a bit more. She glances over to the pedestrian bridge. Remembering the unlikely color pattern that included everyone on the bridge. Very much like what she saw while jogging earlier today.

She turns back and says, "Well, I'm going to go get home and into something dry. Thank you again for helping us," she says. Not that she was on the bus, but 'us' seems to mean, normal people. Not heroes.

Lydia Dietrich has posed:
Lydia gratefully takes a couple of towels. It's going to take an entire one to dry the thick mass of her hair. The other one she uses to get most of the water out of her clothes. Still shivering, she gets up to her feet and makes her way to her little Toaster. "Me too. Fortunately I live right across the bridge so I don't have far to go. Hopefully I won't get hypothermia on the way there." She looks around at the scene and shakes her head. "I want to leave before the media comes. It'll be a circus." With that she hops onto her Vespa, and putters off.

Sara Pezzini has posed:
Sara accepts a towel, first to dry her hair, then to wrap around her body. Her clothing was hosed, there was no salvation for it and there never was. She could have taken a blanket, but that would have had her walking the streets of New York in a blanket, the towel at least has some style.

She takes a moment to collect herself,to collect her thoughts. The morse code bugs has been interesting enough to remember, but that sound, had the traffic really repeated the exact same pattern? It was possible, but what it could mean or be was lost on her.

"I'm also heading... away, home, yes," is offered. If she can get to her car, spare clothing waits, it's the getting there. "I hope the driver of the truck is alright."

That was it. Nothing more said about who she was or why she was wearing scanty, self forming metal armor. Just save and leave, that was Witchblade.

Cinque Evers has posed:
Cinque Evers puts his hoodie over his head, "The same." Cinque reaches into his pocket to pull out his wallet, and lets out a frustrated groan that he lost some of his cards from his wallet when turning his pants into a life preserver, coincidentally one of them was his bus pass. Cinque tries to hide his emotions to others replies about being superheroes as he holds out some wet laminated business cards for them to take if decided too, "I work at Jamii Homeless Shelter, if you ever run into someone needing help, or want to volunteer." Cinque never one to miss the opportunity to mention the sheleter as he puts his damp hoodie on his head, "Just ask for Cinque.

Sara Pezzini has posed:
Sara would take a wet card before leaving, she is one to help and she will.