Didn't Ask for An Alfred

August 26, 2017:

Emery Papsworth meets Helena after attending Mass. He's only been in America for 48 hours. She didn't ask for an Alfred. Luckily, they are in front of a church when all hell breaks loose. (Rated R for Brief Language and Violence)

Old Gotham - Gotham - Cathedral Square

Old Gotham is the 'hub' of the City it's here that the City Hall District is located, the Gotham City Police department headquarters, Cathedral Square, the Clocktower and the Financial District. A sprawl of low buildings to high this area is heavily populated one can see Wayne Towers in it's dominating skyward spire, the Buford Building, Port Adam's Plaza, the Victorian-era Crystal Palace and Gotham Stock Exchange. The residential areas of Old Gotham are Neville where the mid to upperclass live, expensive lofts in Central Heights, squalid homes around East Park Side and South Hook where many blue-collar workers and a good portion of the GCPD called home until the Apokolips Invasion of 2016. To the far south, across a bridge on a narrow isle (which there are several out there) upon the Atlantic one can even see Blackgate Penitentiary. Where some of the world's most dangerous men and women are held.

Characters

NPCs: Mafia Goons

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\https://youtu.be/Hk_Kt6AvILs See Who I Am (Within Temptation)]


Fade In…

Its Dark, in that way where the moon is mostly veiled by clouds and shines like a dull and dying lightbulb on those below. Old Gotham's natural antique gloom has a certain ghostly beauty at night. The few people who came for the latest Mass held at the Cathedral have gone on their merry way and yet one remains, settled on the steps of the Cathedral.

Clad in a beige henley and a pair of fitted black designer jeans, dark boots on his feet…the man in question looks deep in thought, one knee bent as his foot rests against a step and his other leg just stretches out in front of him. His dark hair is almost shoulder length, artfully tousled…the a three o'clock shadow adding some extra texture to his jawline and he's tossed on a dark green coat. A hand dips into a pocket to slip out a silver cigarette case, a slender white stick removed and placed between his lips before he cups his hand to light the cigarette, case and lighter slipped away before he just leans back, resting his elbows against a slightly higher stair to shift into more of a sprawl. Smoking quietly, and watching the sky.

*

Dark…

In Gotham…

It is where Gotham comes to light and settles to an ease that is far more natural.

Helena had sworn not to come back here, but here she is, within the Cathedral's antique walls, the beads slipping betwen fingertips while a cricifix is hvered just before lips..

"…Always silence…"
"…why…?"

Blue eyes lift to the now empty podium, and backing it is the Crucifixion to portray a shadow over the 'believers'. One who lets the 'Hail Mary's' slide between fingertips and linger upon an 'Our Father' before it is tucked beneath the hems of a blouse just beneath the belt that keeps denim upon hips, the unseen pouch within her pocket holding the familial heirloom of Rosary.

A lift from the pedestal meant for kneeling in fealty, an echo as it is toed into place by booted foot and she steps out of the engraved heavy wooden doors of the Cathedral to the …

… Plume of acrid smoke and a denizen (Emery) upon the stairs.

"It's empty now, if you prefer confession /to/ silence." A pause, a moment to study from piercing blue eyes framed in the shadows of long waves while the cu of bangs seems to add to the pitch of the night.

*

Pursed lips send plume of smoke into the ever dissapating cloud that fades into whisps of smoke before Emery and he lets his head fall back far enough to look up and behind him, dark gaze falling upon the stranger and the cigarette dangles dangerously from between his lips, smouldering. There's a blink and then a slow curve of lips, fingers coming up to pluck the cigarette from between his lips so that curve can shift into a small smile, dimples peeking ever so slightly. He quickly rights his head to look back in front of him and avoid unnecessary neck strain.

"Eh, another day won't kill me…" Comes the distinct Irish lilt, rounding his vowels and adding a natural melodic quality to his voice. He taps some ash off of the lit cigarette and brings it back to his lips to take a quick hit, being polite enough to exhale down and away from the woman.

*

Helena did not want to be back in Gotham. At some point lines blurred and she woke up in a sparse apartment just outside of Old Gotham where the Cathedral Spires stabbed at the rising sun, and her eyes while curtains parted and realization dawned

A monks chant could not have quelled the turmoil that rose in her chest and set her forward… But much later.

Now: The accent of the man, even in his cordial attempt to keep her from offense causes a narrow of her eyes.

But why? It comes in the slow, deliberate Sicilian accent that comes from her with every step down before the Cathedral, Helena takes.

"Will,"
"It,"
"…Not?"
"I do not believe in the fact that God's eyes remain on me for as long as I wish."

A lift of finger upon an empty hand while the one that slipped away a Rosary sweeps back behind that of hips and to a holster. *Tsk.* *Tsk.*

Tick-Tock.

"Penance comes inside, the vestibule…" but inside?? A priest affiliated with opposition, with the very grit and lineage of her familial endings… Hears confession on deaf ears.

*

There is something that makes Emery pause, a soft chuckle causing smoke to curls from his nostrils like a dragon of some sort and he glances now to the side as the woman's feet comes closer, and then her legs and he flicks the cigarette down, grinding it with the heel of his boot. "I willnae." He repeats softly. "God's eyes remain on me at all times so I know he's fully aware of me mistakes and me sins." He shrugs a shoulder as he bends the leg that was extended to bring his knees level so that he can lean forward and rest his elbows there, clapsing his hands and watching the woman's hand move with a tilt of his head.

Then there's that word, seven letters and two syllables. His mind drifts to dark rooms with heavy pants. Sweat rolling down a man's forehead. Eyes closed. Gutteral Screams. Scrape of metal against flesh. Sound of whips. Smoke wafting off burnt flesh…

His hands grip each other a bit more tightly as he exhales slowly and he tilts his head to the side. "Sometimes 50 hail marys dun quite cut it. Ye going to join me or just loom beautifully? I do nae mind. It's like the moon chose to grace me with her presence and scold me like Sister Agnes used to." He nods towards the step he's sitting on.

*

"Mea Culpa." Stated from Helena's lips, a darker stain than that of her lightly olive toned complexion, but the rise in a single corner is a thing that is fleeting and 'nary noticable unless every detail can be taken into consideration.

"…So they say." But even in his words, the final gesture, she is looking out along the vacated street as if a devil would rear it's ugly head from the pits, splitting the cracks in the olde structure to a wider fissure.

Penance?

//Within a prison, the only one who believed in her, the only one who she believed in sat cuffed while she made a stand to keep the very thread of family together.
Prisons in Italy are not kind, even if /affiliated/. //

What the man spoke is a true litany but not f a Saintly chapter in the Good Book. Sometimes modern-day risks have to be taken and when her feet meet the same steps his rest upon, boots scrape and she claims her own seat along side him.

"So the Nun's stick did not exceed your reach, either?" A small reminiscent smile as she looks towards him, leaning forward to prop elbows upon bent knees where 'stone-washed' denim parts in a thread bare lining.

*

Patient and keeping his body language as nonthreatening as possible, Emery unclasps his hands, his thumb and pointer finger rubbing together as if shifting through rosary beads. An unconscious tic, kickstarted by the nature of the conversation. A grin is flashed at the question asked, his dimples appearing in full force before he winks and runs his fingers through his hair. "I worked one sister up to such a tizzy, the poor woman chucked a hymn book at me head." He admits.

The Irishman turns slightly to study the woman beside him, dark eyes studying features and such with a lazy appraisal that lacks judgement and he nods slowly. "So…I was 2 months short of an official ceremony to be a priest, so I cannae forgive ye of anyting, but I'm a pretty good listener." He offers. "If ye want to talk about anyting?"

*

The mention of the Hymns Taking Flight, has Helena smiling, a slight gesture that is not there and gone - capturable, even if she dips her head low in a bow of acknowledgement in circumstance, even her shoulders roll forward to relax in a repose that imprints the fine lines of muscuature along the pale fabric.

A shake of her head falls a veil of black hair over her profile, but for a moment she watches him while memories prevail and for once lighten the woman's stature upon the steps of a place meant to do so upon entry.

"Sister Carmela so loved the pointer that magically extended when she wanted to lay a stinging blow." A push of palms upon calves, drawing her back to straighten her posture, subliminally reminding her to be alert with the one who spoke as if from The 'Cauldron' of Gotham.

But then again, she is not in a land of 'friends'.

"I am the one that came from inside." A pause and his turn is held fast in the unwavering cool gaze that remains unwavering in her study. "My words already fall silent," A pause. "Et tu?" His own offering given back, but that smile even seems to remain but the /heart/ in it fades ever-so-slightly.

"Helena." A breath exhaled and her name is offered, a single hand releasing the paled threads to hover before him.

*

"I swear to the almighty nuns have some type of spiritual bag of holding that allows them to summon instruments for paddling or smacking out of the nether at the most opportune of times." Emery drawls with a small smile, a twinkle of amusement in his dark eyes as he lets his mind drift to simpler times. Then he's dipping his head in a bit of a nod. "Fall silent hm?" There's some sympathy that flickers across his face. "Sometimes, we tink our words are fallin' silent but they are being heard, we've just not done enough penance to be worthy of Gabriel's message. Or…we just haven't learned to hear him yet."

Then it turns back to himself. "Its peaceful here, knowing you're not alone in your sins, seeing others who dare to enter because their hearts are also heavy. They say misery loves company. Not miserable, but its comforting to know faith and tradition still exists I suppose." Its a lighthearted answer, shadowing a truth that would be too complicated to explain.

The hand is taken gently if allowed as he shifts slightly in his position to brush his lips against the back of it before releasing it. "A pleasure to meet you Miss Helena. They call me Emery."

*

Penance…

That single word, a play upon tongue and lips that constricts pupils in eyes, and brings memories to the forefront that are narcotic-worthy - but not induced. A word Helena spoke but when he spoke as he did, it struck a chord deeper, one no Organ could tune to in the Hymnal books at the wooden backs of pews.. Even is mis-placed fingers…

A rapid blink that begins as a flutter draws her out of the memories of the other girls in the Catholic School in Sicily, private, pleated skirts of plaid embroidery still while Helena is chased around her desk, dodging the swift lash of the Nun's stick, cutting through the air like a willow's branch, but even the air stung!
…Damn those nun's and their /ways/… !

"Maybe we listen to the wrong things, we are not yet ready, yet.." But what snapped Helena from reverie is his touch that has her assessing it like it almost burned, narrowing her gaze only slightly, his name ringing no bells, blowing no whistles…

"You show me someone free of sin and I will show you…"

But in the greeting, the meeting, the near /kinship/ for a single moment upon the steps of the Cathedral exchanged in words that only ones of Faith would know, the shadows of the streets left a vehicle parked along a curb unnoticed, seemingy unoccupied until it shifted from Park to a Neutral that slowly rolled it in silence along the curb towards the front of the Church and the two upon the steps…

Helena is watching as a knuckle comes to Emery's lips…

He can feel the rigidity of her palm… Unsure…

The lamp-post light reflects off the windshield of the silently geared vehicle, a glimpse of light and a flicker enough before the empty windows are each bearing cold steel that swiftly heats in the barking of bullets that riddle pock marks up the steps towards their feet!

A widening of eyes, then a leer towards Emery, but despite it her fingers grip his hand and she is moving to use their mutual body weight as a catapult to swing them free if he does not react! "That all?" A beat as her arms fly up to block the bits of debris kicked up. "Emery?" There went trust!

*

"There's some merit to that ears and cannot hear bit." Emery agrees softly and he's just then pulling back from that kiss to her knuckles, lips warm and gentle and barely there, eyes raised to meet her own as he is ever the gentleman (sometimes).

Then that moment is gone in an instant when he hears the bullets against the concrete, each one ringing and echoing for him through the night like heavy raindrops against the window pane of memories. Then time catches up with his brain and his hand is still caught in Helena's grip and the body weight/catapult shift has him rolling almost protectively over Helena, green coat flaring a bit and he stays low. There is NO cover.

"WHAT the ever loving f*ck!?" Comes the eloquent response and he's quickly moving, trying to tug/drag/pull Helena along with him as he starts to run for the cover of a pillar.

Its familiar practice, hand moving to the holster hidden at the small of his back under the coat.

*

'Always…'… An answer cut off with the rise of eyes when his sought to meet Helena's…

… A hyper-stretch to limbs as bullets riddle and leave the stairs of the Cathedral in craters that kick up a mortar-like effect before the forms of two now slung in a pull that defies a gravity beholden to the plane they reside upon. Non-Heaveanly and thick in a layer of filth that should not allow such motions they fall into easily.

…Eyes met…

Parted…

helena sought to part, but /Emery/ defies her words and catapult away, to draw her in and blanket her in green she pushes free from in a stand that //peels cuffs back from the white 'blouse' that covers scar-laden arms…

But he is PULLING her and from the guards upon her wrists a bolt fires towards the car…
… deflects off the grill of the economy Fiat, and spiderwebs the windshield…

Akin to the view of teeth that flash clenched behind Helena's stained lips. "No!"

The miss from his jolt to bring her to safety with accursed words has her nearly writhing like a wild pup in his grip, wanting to run…
The bullet trail nearly skimming toes of her boots! "Who are…?"

A question for later as another vehicle fish-tails the corner, the Maserati leaving a cloud of smoke in its wake while rubber meets concrete and more gunfire *barks* along the terrain before and between!

Helena saw his gesture despite the confetti fall of pillars fletching around them, her own arched grip seeking to rise and wrench him free as she speaks.

"You?"

Although the question is nearly a thing that could be reciprocal.

*

There's a quiet prayer in latin being uttered as Emery moves, his 6'0 frame that was previously stretched in a somewhat indulgent sprawl, moves with a speed and grace that hints to formal training. His hands and his eyes pick up on the various little things. The guards and the bolt goes flying, he registers the sounds and the noises but he's got tunnel vision on getting into cover, behind the pillar.

That arm is dropped like it is burning at the same time as it is being wrenched free and he holds up a hand, back pressed to the pillar and his other drawing the custom onyx and silver engraved glock from its holster, checking the safety is off and as he peeks around the pillar and then quickly ducks back behind cover as more bullets go flying. "Emery Papsworth at your service." He quirks an eyebrow slightly, peeking again and then aiming for the tire of one of the vehicles, firing twice in quick succession and then he's pulling back. "Professional Butler and Certified Personal Assistant."

A pause as he tries to figure out how he's been in America for less than 48 hours and already has people shooting at him.

*

I did not ask for an Alfred!!

Whether or not she /knows/ those exact words, they are what reflects in a widened gaze that mirrors the professional motions 'Emery Papsworth' omits, his own draw of glock aligned with plum huen armored gauntlets… But as he remains pinned by the pillar and its cover… The quick-draw of Glock…

Every.
Heart.

Beat…

Counts!

His pivot low for the tires f the vehicles has her hammering heels of palms into the pillar to thrust her back-and-away, into the open!

Her own brow gave an arch that ascended forehead towards the widows peak of darkness, a descent down her back and over shoulders.

Butler. Assistant???

'Aim for the…" Helena states and he is already on it as her form propels backwards, a Jujitsu somersault that landed her in a crouch to fire another succession of return fire!

No vehicle is restrained against, as both seem to spark and ignite as they scrape and grind along eachothers; passenger side doors, occupants withdrawn to only cause a strobing effect of enemy-fire between!

But the skid of flattened tires!

…The sparks!!

A bolt is drawn 'tween teeth and lit by a spark of a lighter /Helena/ did not offer to 'Emery Papsworth', loaded, and aimed for a trail of ignition as she lifts from her roll away from him into the open!

Helena is about to light up the Lambs before the Cathedral!

*

"Stay beh-" The warning Emery was about to give his new friend falls short as he watches her flip backwards. Well, side-eyes the move and then he's watching her open fire as well. Right, he was betting on Troubled Former Catholic School Girl and now he has Troubled Catholic Italian Ninja. There's bullets flying, so he is not going to complain.

He's lowered to a crouch, watching Helena work, head tilting and some hair falling into his face as he picks up on what she's planning and his eyes widen. "Oh mother mary and all the saints…" Is murmured. Maybe less /Troubled/ and more /Mad as a Hatter/. Maybe this is common place in Gotham but this is a very public location and he scans the area, swearing softly and holding up a hand. "Wait!" He takes off running into Helena's line of fire, running after the vehicles that are scraping and grinding together, legs pumping and arms moving, gun still in his grip. He stands out in the open, aiming his gun to shoot out the back windows of each car. Again, quick succession.

Glass shatters and it does draw attention. Then he takes off running in the opposite direction, hoping and praying that the drivers will exit and make chase.

*

If this is to end in fire, then we should all burn together…!

Sabatino, clashes with Costranello… A scrape of side-walls and the vehicles nearly ricochet!

One watching, another set upon a hit, and then Emery Papsworth comes into play, an unexpected gambit laid upon a gambling table of rivalry that is beyind grand-lineage in Gotham.

But a gambit he is…

As a bolt laden in fire seeks to blast the conflict to xtHell before the Cathedral, Emery is flailing life and limb into the fire, bearing Helena's teeth in a predator's flash, a narrow of those blue eyes that //cut/ his way and along his path!

.. A path that brings smoke in the application of brakes and the vehicles resounding bumbers off one-another to follow the crazed man in his path to bid them follow!
.. A pied piper of 'Families' even as blood trails from the back-seats as well as passenger to laden a trail of pursuit.

"…no… "
"…NO!…" Helena will not leave this fight so easily, even as the blouse of half-buttoned white is in place of a plum-on-black cape her hands grip stoney blockades in pursuit of smoking tread and the man that cloaked her and left her able, to do so…

*

This is what he gets for scouting out potential locations for a new place. Go to America, his brain told him. It will have less weird supertitious covens, his brain told him. Yes, weird shit happens there but its the land of opportunity and dreams, his brain told him. Its not as dirty as the last time you visited, his brain told him. They have some excellent schools, his brain told him.

There has always been something wrong with his brain.

The Irishman in the green coat is booking it, a sustainable sprint, legs pumping, arms pumping, and his grip on that gun does not let up. At all. His footfalls seem to echo his heart beat and Emery skids to a stop before the mouth of an alley. He rests a hand lightly on a wall, leaning for a moment before redirecting his journey into one of the many dark alleys that exist in this damn city. He just walks backwards slowly, gripping his gun and pulling an Irish dagger out from under that coat. It flashes silver in the darkness and he holds it out of sight against his lower back as he prays softly.

"Sancte Michael Archangel…defende nos in proelio…contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto praesidium…"

He's pretty sure the Italian Chick has this. He's not sure he could handle getting arrested after just getting into the states. His daughter's nanny gets off in 2 hours.

*

//…."…et Ecclesiae nocere…" …in heavenly beatitude… //

The pursuit is one that has Helena running to a halt, one that is astride the height of multi-plexes, that sleeve rolled upward off of forearm to expose the armor of plum hue beneath bearing a metallic sheen.
…" …conspectu Altissimi …. " ….pray… God of Peace…"..

"He is not my enemy.
…not the wo—-" A panted breath cut off in the sudden peel of fabric from appendage with the tear of teeth against a lamb white fabrication, throttling her along rooftops in a line unseen that whips between scaffoldings and ledges while lungs and quadriceps scream in a puse that throttles blood through them with every rpid motion and force of will.

A chase that leads her to an alley where the man coated in Green turns to about face a ruckous SLAM! of dua vehicles, a herald of automatic fire and a 'pediddle' facing him.

A sniff, as the driver curls upper lip, coated in blood to bare teeth lined between in the same visceral hue.

Locked.

Loaded.

Chambered….

Gears shifted and smoke rises for the posi-traction that shifts the ass-end of his vehicle to charge! No windshield to speak of, that aim comes two-fold….

Fingers hook the lip of the rooftop, watching as a single head light forms a spot-light upon Emery 'Paps'/worth/, and the weapon flashesto take aim as well and ensure the deed is 'done'.

What deed?

A motion from the rooftop and the final bolt is drawn, clutched between teeth, the huff of breath fettering noir strands of hair from her face scrunched in frustration as she scrapes and breaks nails along the rooftop to gather pellets, coat the grve in a putty and pluck fingertips and nails laden in a mixture of 'sulfur and brimstone' into the mix.
Tipped.
Loaded..
Fired!

"SHOOT IT!" A herald from a choir unbidden as Helena leaps from the roof edge in a suicidal swan-dive from the roof, but from opposing wrist a grappel line executes a higher landing and she seeks to grab Emery and take him into ascendancy with her once his final-fire is laid!

… But they have seconds to make it work…

*

There's no fear on the face of the friendly Butler, but he does have to duck and side step a few stray bullets, a couple creating two new holes through the tails of his lovely green coat.

"Imperet illi Deus, supplices deprecamur…" Emery's grip on that knife/dagger/blade tightens and he dips a shoulder as if preparing to charge."Tuque, Princeps militiae Caelestis, satanam…aliosque spiritus malignos…"

A glance up, quick analysis of the situation. Time slows down for him again as he blinks. And in that milisecond of getting it, he steps into a smooth pivot bringing that glock up to fire the bullet."Qui ad perditionem animarum pervagantur in mundo…"

The soft whiiiistle of a bullet flying through the air, grey and streaking like a tiny comet before slamming into the bolt released by the Helena above."Divina virtute in infernum derude.." BAM! That pivot positions right where he needs to be to get snatched up like a tall damsel in distress.

"Amen…"

Translation of Emery's Prayer: Saint Michael Archangel, defend us in battle,be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil; may God rebuke him, we humbly pray;and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

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