6457/Who Wants To Jump From A Sign

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Who Wants To Jump From A Sign
Date of Scene: 05 June 2021
Location: Times Square
Synopsis: Jean, Nazo, Rogue and Cliff prevent a woman's media career from launching by
Cast of Characters: Spiral, Cliff Steele, Jean Grey, Rogue, Nazo Sarwani

Spiral has posed:
DID YOU KNOW: That if you buy in an off-peak period, and don't have a very long video package, it is possible to get a surprisingly decent rate on video advertising in Times Square? Certainly, you have to pick and choose when you buy, and you won't be able to get the peak moments. But for less than a thousand dollars, you can put up an enormous video message that says almost anything you want.

THROUGHOUT THE MORNING, throughout lunchtime, there was a big arrow pointing up the side of One Times Square - the famous immense vertical billboard, now a living electronic sign that can show any kind of animated message, something out of a William Gibson dream brought to life.

That sign had an arrow pointing upwards and at its base a simple message:

Something BIG will happen HERE!

There was also a QR code that would send you to a heavily anonymized site where you were asked to vote YES or NO. There was literally no clarification here. Just a marketing stunt, right?

7:51PM: New York has started to become Dark. A woman in a very loose hoodie emerges towards a food stall and orders a gyro while checking something on - two phones at once? Yes, it's true. She receives her order around 7:52 PM and moves to climb atop a telephone junction trunk, sitting crosslegged and getting a few cursory glances when the hoodie hikes up to reveal the third pair of arms.

"Yes... yes, we're looking good... and..."

7:53 PM: The billboard stops advertising watches and instead shows what looks like a vertical strip of a video stream - very high quality but essentially a phone photo. A young Haitian woman in leggings and a T-shirt that says "I <3 N Y" is standing there.

"Hello EVERYBODY!" the woman says to the camera. "Can you HEAR me? This is BEATRICE!"

A few people stop and look up, because the woman gets out a red glowstick and waves it vigorously, leaning over some kind of ledge--

-- and if you look up at the very top of the billboard, you can see a red glowstick, waving bright and clear.

"Just two minutes LEFT and we have a tie vote, just about! What's it going to be? SHOULD I JUMP?"

This starts getting prominent on the Internet, in various channels. On her declasse cyberpunk perch, Spiral rubs her palms together... and eats her gyro. And checks her phone.

Cliff Steele has posed:
Cliff Steele is enjoying being in the real non waking world. Its the little things, like causal reality, and bacon that he can barely smell, and can't eat, and people looking at him weird. He didnt think he would miss that. And a lack of giant pianos or sapient floating coats trying to kill him. Well, he was sure something weird would happen but he just enjoyed walking down New York and nothing weird happening. Yet. Still, he was going to ....really? Two minutes? Literally? He sighed and began to move to find a fire escape. This is just...." he sighs and skips the fire escape punching holes in hte side of the building moving up.

Jean Grey has posed:
While the change of seasons is still a couple weeks away in technicality, Xavier's School is already on summer break. While there's still many students who are year long residents, and still work to be done, it is a MAJOR load off Jean's shoulders. The headmistress is infamous for overworking herself, almost to the point of pathology, so having a bit more free time is really a nice change of pace.

As for Rogue, it's not like she ever really does much work.. but it still seemed like it would be nice to take her along on a daytrip to the city, anyway! The weather's warm, and they've taken advantage. A stroll in Central Park. Some shopping nearby. And now, they've walked down Broadway toward the buzzing center of the city. Even if Jean isn't really technically a city girl, she knows it well enough that normally she would avoid the infamous tourist trap, but the hokey wholesomeness of the place sort of fits her company. There's talk of maybe catching a movie, but no set plans. On the way, they windowshop a bit more, browsing the increasingly kitsch tourist shops. Jean pauses and gestures Rogue over to point out a place selling superhero bobble-heads, tapping on the window where they're displayed. Famous characters like Superman, Wonder Woman, and some of the Avengers are present. The two of them are not!

At the end of this meander, they reach the actual heart of Times Square, where the mild commotion of the unusual advertisement (and impending spectacle) has drawn a crowd. Going to investigate is just a matter of curiousity at first, the way people will go ask what people are in line for when they see people randomly in line. But here, they don't have to ask.

"Do you think she's serious?" she asks her friend. "Better get ready to catch her, in case this isn't just some stupid stunt."

Rogue has posed:
Rogue does so much work around the school that Jean is rewarding her witha nice trip to the city together to buy her stuff. Yep.

In the now, the Belle is wearing a dark green tank top with a black butterfly picture over her buest. She's got a pair of black jeans on that are slim fit and hug her form. Her leather jacket is slung over her left forearm and a black pair of leather boots adorn her feet. Her hair is loose, and wild around her otherwise bare shoulders, and a pair of designer aviators adorn her eyes, covering the green pupils with black reflective lenses.

She paused to look in the window at the bobbleheads. "Sure woulda been nice if someone had told me that /Wonder Woman/ was at the school a couple weeks ago." She teases Jean with a smirk over at her before they meander onward.

At the display, Rogue looks up to raise her sunglasses and peer out from under them. "God I hope not... But, I mean, this city is crazier than a bag a cats in a bag rollin' down a hill." Southerners.

Nazo Sarwani has posed:
"So it's a shawarma." The black-clad woman in the red sash is at the food stall at 7:51PM trying to figure out, it appears, precisely what a gyro is. "I understand. But that was not my question. My question was is it halal?" She pinches the bridge of her nose through her niqab in frustration as her stomach makes an embarrassing growl.

Stepping aside a moment to let the woman buy her gyro, Nazo tries to come up with some way to get the idea across to the swamped vendor who probably wouldn't know halal if it was married to halpeggy. Doggedly she replaces herself in front of the vendor.

"Is it made from the flesh of unclean animals?" she finally asks. "Like pig or dog or anything filthy like that." She's hungry. She'll bend on the slaughtering method requirements or the prayer that needs to be spoken as the animal is killed.

"Oh! You wanted to know if it was KOSHER! Why didn't you just ask?!" The teen behind the stall looks Nazo up and down. "Never seen a Jew dressed like you before. Yeah, we got kosher gyros. That what you want?"

Biting back the correction because, well, food was more important at this particular moment than education, Nazo just nods tersely and, past gritted teeth, replies in the affirmative. "Yes. One..." The stomach growl was louder. "...Two. Two kosher gyros." The smell from the deep fryer to one side attracts her attention. "And a serving of those french fried potato sticks."

Finally, her order completed, food in her hand, she turns away triumphantly from the stall, just in time to catch "should I jump?"

"Allah have mercy!" she mutters to herself. "Just ... let me eat? Please?!"

Sighing she finds as secure a place as she can to put down her food, taking a bite from each gyro to make it less of a target for all but the most desperate and runs toward the place where the glowstick can barely be seen over the sign.

Along the way she disappears into a cloud of ... sand? Dust? The whirlwind of dust bifurcates several times as it turns into ropy strands which weave their way through the crowd to the base of the sign, ready to climb.

Spiral has posed:
Cliff begins ascending the building, ably moved to action by this apparent plight. The building does not offer a lot of resistance to his ascent, although he is leaving holes in the facade. The sign's mounting seems to be really easy to avoid, so ultimately, this is just an insurance job. Still, it's a *tall* sign - he gets close enough to be able to speak directly to Beatrice, if he wishes, but there is still some distance to cover.

Cliff also sees a sort of floating gray hope with a single protruberance, oriented towards Beatrice. There are a couple of others, circulating. Like birds, in their behavior. Territorial birds. They have not, it seemed, sighted him yet. Probably, they didn't count on a Robotman.

On top of the switch box, Spiral weaves her spells... in this case, subtle and electronic ones. "You're doing WONDERFULLY. Shaving your head was the perfect call. I'm glad you had the courage to disagree with me on that one," she continues. "Now you want to try to build a little hype."

On the big screen, Beatrice seems briefly taken aback, or perhaps more accurately, put on the spot.

The glowstick disappears.

"So how are you all going to vote, anyway?" Beatrice addresses the camera. "There's just, what, a hundred seconds left? Go ahead, scan that code. Place your vote. Your hands hold me - no, excuse me, your life -"

Beatrice pauses for two seconds.

Jean can detect something curious from up there, other than the presence of Cliff (currently unspotted), which is that there is none of the mouth-feeling of suicidal ideation. *Stage fright*, yes: despair, anxiety, or any of those modern illnesses... no.

Nazo begins moving, abandoning her food - a sacrifice Spiral would respect, if she was looking. It is easy to disappear in this space; even a woman with, potentially, weird arms is not the strangest thing in Times Square, especially when at least half-shrouded and with someone threatening to jump as a media event. But as Nazo moves, with the winds and currents of the city sliding along with her, she reaches the base of the sign.

Which flickers into colorful-confetti gibberish as static discharge scrambles pixel subcontrollers.

Spiral looks directly upwards.

"Someone's interfering with your audition, Beatrice," Spiral speaks.

On the big view, Beatrice looks, suddenly and enormously, anxious. "But--"

"I know! They won't stop at anything!" Spiral says. (Editorial note: Everything Beatrice says is put out through loudspeakers. The things that Spiral are saying are not, although the strong suggestion of a one-sided conversation is obvious.) "Do you think you can hold out? Ninety-two seconds."

"Vote now!" Beatrice says, a message that might be encouraging in a vacuum. "Hurry!!" she beseeches her audience.

Cliff Steele has posed:
Cliff Steele slowly keeps climbing. He can also be loud. The problem, of course, being that while Cliff is undeniably brave and nice and heroic, Cliff is also, well, to put it bluntly...stupid as a bag of doorknobs. Raising his voice up loud enough so that he can be heard, "Don't do it! It's not worth it! Sure the internet can be depressing but you can't throw your life away because of likes or dislikes!" Real Captain America is Cliff.

Jean Grey has posed:
"It was graduation! She came by after the ceremony. I think you were at Harry's getting drunk by then." In regards to Jean letting Rogue miss the visit of her HERO AND IDOL, Wonder woman, anyway.


As far as NYC's particular home-town brand of crazy goes? She can't find it in her heart to disagree with Rogue on that one, either. "Especially in Times Square. Speaking of, is that... a real robot? I thought for sure it was a street performer, with that sort of retro look." There are, no doubt, at least a decent handful of costumed weirdos in this crowd who are not any kind of Superheroes, but rather the typical performers who frequent the area, offering to pose for expensive selfies with tourists. So it's an easy mistake to make. In fact, she still can't even entirely rule it out- didn't some guy once climb a building dressed as Spider-Man?

At this point, Jean is just doing her best to make it forward through the crowd, to get a little closer to the building, the area beneath the screen. Simultaneously, she's reaching out through that same sea of bystanders with her mind, but much like the last time she was here - only couple weeks back, maybe! - the huge crowds definitely pose a unique sort of obstacle to even her considerable psychic talents. It's just so much to sort through, so much noise in which to locate anything that might stand out from the rest.

Then again, Jean is pretty good.

Or maybe it's just that the young woman is isolated from the crowd. Either way. "Definitely not just your usual jumper," she tells Rogue. "More like an actor with stage fright. Hmm." It definitely strikes her as strange.

Beatrice implores them to vote. And Jean, being the pragmatist that she is? Well, it's a lot easier to deal with a crowd psychically if you want the same thing from all of them. So they all get a nudge to vote no, albeit with the nagging worry that this has already gone viral and the people in the crowd will be vastly outnumbered by weird internet trolls.

Rogue has posed:
"Who even knows anymore." Rogue replies about the Robot to Jean. All while throwing her leather jacket on over her shoulders and grabbing the collar to right the garment over her torso. Her eyes remain up though, up and up the sign.

"I'm goin' up..." She says a moment later and shoots up in to the sky, her hands folding the limbs of her sunglasses to put them in to the inner jacket pocket.

Heading upward, Rogue just flies up in front of the sign, barely looking like more than a housefly in front of a television before it. She's covering the situation, watching for nwo to see if anyone is going to jump or try to... push someone else?

Stay tuned to find out!

Nazo Sarwani has posed:
The moving mass of sand and/or dust hits the base of the sign and without any visible change in speed starts streaking up, at about the speed of a very quickly running human; track star grade. It leaves around her misfiring pixels that clearly show her path as she races up the sign. 92 seconds? The sign is just a bit over 100 metres tall (106.68 to be precise) and the world record for human sprint is approximately 9.58 seconds.

Nazo reaches the top in approximately ten seconds, leaving a scar across the image that sorts itself out as the static charges dissipate, leaving plenty of time to spare. Call it 80 seconds, or just under a minute and a half.

In front of Beatrice the sand coalesces into a... Ninja? No. No sword. No funky sandals. And this is a robe, not pyjama pants.

"I must ask you to reconsider this," Nazo says to Beatrice as she stands at the edge of the precipice in Beatrice's path. "The taking of life is abhorent in His eyes, doubly so when the life is your own."

Her voice is calm. Quiet. Confident.

Well, that's what she's aiming for. The quaver in her voice betrays a small insecurity. ~What if I fail?~

"Please, talk to me. Why do you wish to make such a spectacle of your life and its possible end?"

Spiral has posed:
Cliff had been closest, so it is he who gets the reaction from Beatrice. "Huh!?" Beatrice says, visibly startled. (There is some passing laughter from the crowd. A narrative thread is forming.) Beatrice insists to him, "No, no - this isn't - I'm not like, against the Internet, sir! Thank you for your worry but this is my big breakthrough! I'll be fine!"

Jean is able to move. In a place like this, telepathy can become a question of statistical averages, human mentalities moving like a psychohistoric gas cloud, obeying laws that are not always applicable for an individual, who can be as anomalous and perverse as they please. But in the great, great aggregate...

That dangling thread moves. A mood. Jean can see a lot of phones coming out. The intention - red button, NO, flows outwards. Does everyone manage it? ... Sadly, no; but more do than don't; and some others simply do not vote at all, stymied by their own lock screens.

Rogue rises upwards, swiftly moving herself in position. She can get near enough to see Cliff and Beatrice easily, though perhaps it would be wise to stay somewhat below their eye level - just in case someone jumps. Someone. (Beatrice. It would be Beatrice.)

Nazo rises up the rest of the way, then -- part of the way upwards, the QR code at the base of the screen comes back into relative visibility, and a clock appears, along with...

A running vote tally... but more about that in a moment.

Nazo ascends, ascends - and begins to coagulate - just in time for Beatrice to say, "Oh my God! The Justice League?!" She takes a big step back -- THANKFULLY, while it does put her closer to the other edge of the little open space at the top of the sign, she does not big-step her way into peril. Yet. She raises her arms in surprise, perhaps defense. The little floating disks seem to notice, and turn downwards.

"Who is this gate-crasher? Ugh," Spiral mutters to herself. "The big one was more endearing. Hm. Is this the MENA market, potentially? What a subtle, reserved, MODEST image-- that's going to be hard to move..."

Beatrice raises her hands to Nazo. "I understand your concern," she tells her. "But it's going to be OK. Whatever way this goes, I have been assured I will be fine. My worstcase is going to be -"

Her audio cuts out, relative to the billboard, although between Jean's telepathy and everyone else's proximity, it mostly leaves the crowd murmuring. ("No no no, sweetling; no spoilers just yet," Spiral says, continuing to observe something obscure quite intensely.)

"- rebuilt as a cyborg," Beatrice explains to them. "That's all! And frankly, I think you can understand me, right? A couple of broken legs or something, and instead, I'm going to be famous. Do you understand that? My name, as they say, in lights. Okay??" She smiles then.

As for the vote totals:

9,972 - YES
9,725 - NO

And No is rising much faster than yes. Fast enough that before that clock, which was at 00:60 and is, let's say, now at about 00:35, reaches its end, No will take the victory.

"So don't screw this up for me," Beatrice says at the top. She takes a half step further, her conciliatory expression hardening.

Cliff Steele has posed:
Cliff Steele says, "GODS NO!" His voice is full of real rage and horror, "Look at me! I'M a cyborg. I cant feel anything. Can't touch anything. Can't taste anything. Can't smell anything. I'm a brain in a box, 70 years of hell. Trust me, you do not want to splatter on the ground and..." then he sees the votes and if his jaw could gape he would. "WHAT. THE. HELL. You fuckers are seriously voting for her to JUMP and its CLOSE? SO. GROSS." He would talk down to the younger generation but instead he gives a double middle finger to the crowd and then starts climbing again."

Jean Grey has posed:
Although Jean is perfectly capable of following Rogue up, up, and away... she does not. Along with the apparent man-robot, there's now a third person joining the party atop the building. Given that nothing about the woman herself seems threatening, that looks like a situation thoroughly in hand. No, what continues to concern her is what she doesn't know about the situation, what she can't see. Because while someone jumping off a building is crowdworthy in New York, the sad truth is that it's the kind of thing that happens sometimes. But it doesn't usually happen with a Times Square electronic billboard and an internet poll.

Then she blinks, and pulls out her own phone. Evidently that second part has given her an idea, one that has nothing to do with her powers. Or really with her at all! Tapping a couple times, she lifts it to snap a picture, while waiting for the outgoing call to connect. "Hey, I'm sending you something, see what you make of it?"

Thus, a picture of the QR code arrives in the possession of one Katherine Pryde, computer genius and general cool gal. And maybe it's too late to help directly, but it can't hurt to start the follow-up investigation off running.

<<"And what... are those?">> Linked to Rogue, Jean can not only maintain communication, but briefly pluck some of what the woman sees up there out for her own perusal, which is the first time she lays eyes on the floating doohickeys, being that they're a bit too distant from her earthbound perch. But even as she asks, she's starting to get a feeling like she might have some idea!

Rogue has posed:
Rogue doesn't entirely fly up to the situation because she's close enough to hear that the Robot is trying to help the girl who is obsessed with likes and dislikes. Oh god, what a world.

The Belle does hav eher own phone out and she's glancing down at it here and there to watch the count as it tallies online. "This is crazy." She mutters to herself just before Jean chimes in inside her head. Rogue just speaks out, knowing Jean can hear her if she speaks outloud or internally.

"Got a couple folks up here tryin' t'help her. Not sure how this is gonna play out. Definitely need t'get the internet t'rethink how it lets people rate everythin' though, huh?" Good luck with that!

"I got her though, even if she decides t'jump, she's not gonna go no where..." The Belle softly adds, keeping her voice low. It's a busy city after all, lots of background noise.

Nazo Sarwani has posed:
Conciliatory. Not conciliatory. Nazo's the one in the way. And she's not moving.

"From this height," she says calmly, "you won't just have a couple of broken legs." Her hooded eyes stare into Beatrice. "I've thrown men off of cliffs shorter than this. One little poof of sand and they're flying. These were soldiers. In armour. Wearing helmets."

She pauses, seeming to shrink a little into herself before saying the next words.

"None. Of them. Lived."

She stands straighter again. "Whoever told you that you would survive this with 'a couple of broken legs' lied. You will come out of this dead. Neck snapped, most likely. Many bones broken and perforating most of your inner organs even if the neck remains intact."

Nazo hazards a step closer, reaching out a hand.

"And your poor brain, sloshed against its internal casing, turned into liquid. Which depending on how you land may crack and release that liquid to the ground around it. It's not a pretty sight. Very..."

She hunts for the right words.

"Very much the opposite of photogenic."

The hand raises higher. "Take my hand, please, Beatrice. I don't want to see another death like that. I have seen--caused--too many."

Spiral has posed:
Beatrice stares at the Robotman for a moment. She had thought -

"You're human? I thought - I had - you - oh my God, seventy years?" she says, eyes widening again. (Several of the flying hoops position themselves, to get either direction of the shot. One follows after Cliff as he moves to descend, having taken great care to get that robo double deuce.)

This leaves Beatrice with only one person, although Nazo's abilities probably make up for some of this lack of numerical superiority. Beatrice stares at her and then reaches up, scratching anxiously behind her ear. The other arm wraps over her abdomen as she glances over, towards the ground. "But, she said... I mean, she said it would hurt, I might pass out, but..."

Beatrice looks back to Nazo. "How - uh - how do we...? How did, how did YOU get up here, I had to go through this... door..." And then she flinches because -

Down at street level, Spiral cackles, unearthly and cruel, for a moment, before stuffing knuckles into her mouth to stifle it. Why did she laugh?

One of the floating hoops regards Nazo and Beatrice. (Nazo can tell there is no door around here - there is a very questionable ladder, the kind of ladder the government makes you wear a special harness to climb, that leads down to some less nose-bleed-y heights. They could break a window and go in the building, perhaps...)

But perhaps there are other routes...

Our merry mutants have not given up! Rogue positions herself, and she can see Beatrice look at her, then do a double take, and then ask Nazo, "Is she with you," while pointing towards Rogue. A moment later she reaches for Nazo's hand, as if the true nature of being up this high has JUST now sunk in fully for her.

Which makes Spiral look upwards. And peer.

"What! Curses, and so forth!" Spiral declaims, adjusting controls on a phone. The camera that is feeding into the big screen whirls - and is now pointing directly at Rogue!

Jean, on her end, is able to transmit the computer info towards Kitty - and she, or some other X-Personage, will be able to determine that this was a web poll purchased with an anonymous third-hand-removed cryptocurrency transaction connected to some kind of fashion retail or spa operation - several layers named things like ShopBody and so forth. Ablative layers of corporate armor. Peelable, but meant to buy time.

The good news for Jean is that the show is still focused up at the top of the sign. And there is someone here who sticks out -- although Spiral seems to be taking the opportunity to dismount from her temporary perch, shoving over an onlooker with casual disregard as she goes.

Cliff Steele has posed:
Cliff Steele is a bit non plussed at something to punch. So he tries to punch the....er....he has no idea. So he is just bluntly forthright, a thing he can do. Since he has very little subtleness, "Yup. I am human. Just mostly machine. And trust me, you dont want this. My name is Cliff. Nice to meet you. Why dont you let the nice floating ladies take you safely down and decline to give 9790 assholes the satisfaction of making a mistake you will regret for the rest of your life. And that's even assuming she wasn't LYING and trust me, people who make people like me lie a LOT. Like they breathe.

Jean Grey has posed:
The computer stuff is so not her department, so Jean accepts whatever answers from the X-Men Geek Squad at face value, including the difficulty (or at least, onerousness) of peeling all those onion layers. Food metaphors work well with her! That said, her primary task remains ongoing, as it has been since she joined the crowd.

The psychic dragnet is no simple task, but Jean's is not a simple woman. In her mind's eye, a psychic topology spreads around her, dotted with thousands of points of light, each a person's thoughts. And while the correspondence between this vision of the crowd and the physical world is... loose at best, in it's own logic, it is revealing. An indivual's thoughts are discrete, limited, but the idea of a collective unconscious is not merely psychobabble. When many think the same thing, at the same time, there is a resonance to it. Patterns, shapes, currents. Among these, Jean navigates with extraordinary adroitness, until she arrives at an anomaly.

It is not the first thing she finds. Thoughts are unpredictable, and there are oddities in the crowd utterly unrelated to the evening's misadventure. But among them, it stands out. Whorls of emotion or more abstract disquiet, surprise or incomprehension, ill-formed memories where the mind has already started to adapt to that which it cannot accept, the self-defense of false memory and trauma.

Jean is walking, as she searches these thoughts, closing on this disquiet. It might also be a tip-off that as she gets nearer, there is a sudden and more directly comprehensible emotional outcry as some dude gets shoved over. Jean has found her quarry.

"Looks like the show's over," she calls out, approaching from behind, but very much addressing the figure of the retreating lady in the perhaps suspiciously-lumpy hoodie. "Better to just write it off, hmm. Call it a failed pilot." She's bold, but there's some unspoken caution evidenced by the fact shes' not immediately trying to apprehend her suspect.

Rogue has posed:
Rogue doesn't seem to mind having that thing point at her, her attention is more-so on the form of Beatrice. She floats closer to her and the two that have been offering her convincing words to help talk her down.

"Hey, ya'll." The southern girl floating in the air speaks up and out. "How about we ditch this place and go catch a movie or somethin'? Yeah? " She gives a quick glance around before looking back and smiling softly.

"It's a beautiful summer night. We're in the heart'a the world... we can come up with more fun stuff t'do than this snoozefest. Lets go find somethin' bettah t'do with our time, yeah?"

<"How you doin' down there"?"> Rogue asks Jean through that mental link she can feel is still connected.

Nazo Sarwani has posed:
Nazo takes the hand and gently pulls Beatrice in to hold on around her waist for added security.

"Is who with me?"

Well, there goes that image of calm, in control, all-knowing wisdom she was going for. She cranes her neck, looking where Beatrice was pointing and, seeing Rogue flinches in surprise which, given Beatrice's newfound sense of mortality and just how high the pair really are likely does not help in the panic reduction side of things.

"Nnnnnnnnoooooooo?" she says, eyeing Rogue with some suspicion. "Is that the one who told you that you could survive this fall?"

And yes, there is significant anger building up as an undercurrent beneath that question. Anger that just as quickly fades as Rogue's talking illustrates quite convincingly that she wasn't the one.

Keeping her eyes on Rogue, still somewhat suspicious, she adds, "Don't fear for me, Beatrice. I can go down with ease. I just ... I'm sorry. I can't carry you. You'd slip through me and plummet."

She takes her eyes off Rogue to look at Beatrice. "Let's just sit here together. I'll hold you. We'll talk. They will send someone to rescue you and then you'll be able to go down. Until then, sitting here with me, you'll be perfectly safe and can enjoy the view."

Nazo's stomach growls, then, at the most inopportune time. She closes her eyes and slumps in embarrassment. "Apologies. I'm very hungry. It will probably be doing that a lot as we wait."

Thoughts of gyros chilling and likely being stolen cross her mind. Thoughts she resolutely sets aside.

"Excuse me, madame?" she asks Rogue. "Are you able to help this one down? Or shall we wait for the authorities?"

Spiral has posed:
"Ninety-seven hundred and...?" Beatrice says, shell-shocked. She stares after Cliff. His words have a certain resonance once he is revealed to be, not a charmingly retrograde robotic hero, but a man - an old, long-suffering man, who has... been...

Beatrice gazes at Rogue. She says, "I, I - I mean, I don't... I didn't bring anything with me, since, I mean," she looks towards Nazo then, "She isn't, no, she's - someone different, I mean, you'd recognize this lady. Oh my God," Beatrice continues. She may be about to hyperventilate.

She moves to sit down when Nazo raises the topic. She stares, for a moment, downwards -- and then turns her head to stare at the side of the building. (She will be quite cooperative if offered a 'ride' down.)

Meanwhile, the billboard switches, first and for a moment to another of those glitched-out polychromic confetti displays, then, after several efforts, an advertisement for some damn Lex-Luthor themed piece of conspicuous consumerism.

Spiral doesn't look at it, kicking over an abandoned sandwich out of, presumably, an as-yet-unfulfilled quota of wickedness. She does turn her head, though, near the entrance to the subway that sits near to the Times Square cacophony, for she has heard Jean. She has kept the hood of the sweatshirt up but the profile of her face can be seen. "How assertive of you," Spiral says. "This wasn't a pilot at all, little red lipstick. This was market research and market research alone."

She looks past Jean, then, for a moment, back towards the sign. "It's a shame. She could have been so much more. Oh well." Two hands grip the railing as Spiral turns, pivoting on one heel to face Jean and smile like a shark. "They can't all be winners, can they?"

Cliff Steele has posed:
Cliff Steele nods, "Yeah, a whole lot of assholes. That's right, sit down, away from the nice little drop to perilous death. If nice floating southern lady or...lady who apparently cant catch you dont I could grab you but I'm sort of a clutz so we dont want to count on that." He keeps an eye on teh situation and just sort of....looks around awkwardly unsure what to do now that mission is mostly accomplished. Being awkward is something Cliff is good at.

Jean Grey has posed:
There's definitely a moment when Jean is thinking about doing more. A brief sensation of -something- in the air, a palpable sort of static, a crackling aura that surrounds her. Not electric, precisely, but not unrelated, as molecules get pulled about, tostled, and even torn. There's an emotional resonance to it, too, a kind of fiery anger, clawing toward the surface. And in that moment, if she were still paying attention in the way she was, Jean would realize she had become the anomaly in the crowd, the threatening, unwelcome, dangerous thing.

Then another voice comes through, and snaps her out of it a bit. <<"It was Spiral,">> she answers her teamate. <<"But I'm - it's fine. She's going, gone.">>

Thus the thought is entertained only briefly, if it is even HER thought to begin with. Reason reasserts itself in a momentary distraction, and logic is restored. It wouldn't just be stupid, as Spiral is a great deal more to worry about than the lady she ran into on her last visit to Time Square, but it would be reckless, careless, unecessary. Dangerous. She's supposed to be better than that, setting examples for the youth and all of that.

She turns, and starts walking back toward where she'd originally split from Rogue's company, turning her eyes upward to the billboard, that has already moved back to it's regularly scheduled programming. <<"Get her down, and let's go home.">>

Rogue has posed:
Rogue gives a small smile to Naso and then a grin toward the Robot man. Her green eyes end up on Bea though and she just nods once to her. "I'm Mighty Woman. Got an instagram and everything, but lets not worry about none'a that right now, huh?" She says while slipping her dark green gloves on to her hands.

Rogue is soon to offer her hands to Beatrice. "Just gimme your hands and step on to my boots." She offers, leaning her feet out to make them easy to step on to. She doesn't budge a bit, a damn near immovable object to most living beings. "Don't fret a bit, I'm tougher than a whole rodeo of bulls."

A nod will be given to Naso and Cliff then, letting them know she's got it and a gracious smile is given as well.

Soon there after 'Mighty Woman' and Beatrice will be glding back down toward the ground with the onlookers all taking pictures and video of it down below. "The city that never sleeps, am I right?" She says to Bea on the way down.

Rogue keeps her eyes on the girl up to the point where they're about five feet from the deck, and that's when she looks down to see Jean. They end up landing right beside Jean and then Rogue steps back and smiles at Bea. "Home sweet home." She tells the girl before smiling over at her friend. "Odd night, just like I said it'd be."

Nazo Sarwani has posed:
Thankful for Rogue's rescue of the girl, Nazo returns to silicate cloud and zips down the display, scarring its imagery again as her passing static screws up electronics for several seconds until the right charges happen in the right order again finally. Forking and merging as she zips to her precious gyros, she filters through the crowd unhindered like a lightning bolt zipping through the air.

Only to arrive at a scene of devastation. (Well SHE'S devastated!)

Her gyros. Her fries. Spilled on the ground, with gulls already having tug-of-war over the pieces.

And that was the final straw. A profanity--one of the worst conceivable--escapes her lips. Loudly.

Thankfully it was in Pashto, so there was at most, perhaps, three people who could hear the decidedly unladylike words. Depending on how many cabbies were nearby.

Slumping, defeated, she wends her way back to the gyro stand, waiting patiently in line, stomach now kicking up a full-on monotone symphony, to order another pair.

At least this time she'll know to ask for kosher.

Spiral has posed:
Beatrice gives Cliff a great, mute look of gratitude. When Rogue offers, she seems initially hesitant. But Nazo does not seem worried. So Beatrice steps forwards, saying as she does, "It's a little like ballroom, isn't it," on her way down.



"It's further than I thought it was," Beatrice says to Rogue.

By the time Jean has begun speaking to Rogue, Spiral has already turned and swiftly descended the staircase, into the subway. She does not emerge from it, instead stepping behind a MetroCard machine and simply disappearing from New York City entirely.

Tonight a life was saved, however strangely. The city resumes its life, the momentary disruption having left few deep scars, other than a strange tangle of internet articles and - well, they will find out in the morning. Beatrice soon enough wends her way home, with thanks.

Later that night:

"A second chance? Why, of course not -- didn't you read the license agreement? There are no second chances. You stepped away - or rather, you did NOT - and so our deal is void! Your deposit will be returned, less handling fees -- mark it well. And please, enjoy your ordinary life. It is, after all... so terribly *fragile.*"

The line goes dead, and Beatrice Saint-Louis does not know if she feels relief or regret.