Culvert Rescue

April 07, 2014:

Poor driving in hazardous conditions leads to four people getting trapped within a sinking car. Fortunately: Heroes.

New York City

Somewhere within the city. With culverts. And plenty of nightclubs.


NPCs: None.


Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

It was a dark and stormy night in New York City. The lights of the city are dimmed by the rainclouds and the roads, while not impassible, are difficult to see in the outer areas. Lightposts are staggered in their illumination, leaving dark patches as black as the night's sky.

Cars are fewer and further between on this night, and in this section of the city. Clubs are closing down with 'last call' made, as are bars and general young adult hangouts. It's time to go home, and a car that is over-full with life and merriment has pulled away from the Eclipse Club, designated driver in place and acting as chauffeur.

Through the inky black of the night, the small car drives, the chattering of voices within laughing and reminiscing about those moments that had just passed only hours before.

"Hey, you took a wrong turn back there, dude!" comes in a laugh from the back seat.

"Damn, sorry. You could have told me sooner, man," is rejoined with a hint of a grumpf, but nothing that even remotely approaches ill-humor. "Hold on."

Stopping in the middle of the street, the driver of an unfamiliar car in an unfamiliar neighborhood proceeds to start a 'K' turn in order to go in the opposite direction in order to catch that turn. Reverse lights light only a foot behind the car, at best, as well as the weak low-beams in the front. The accelerator is hit, and perhaps it's hit just a little too hard, for when the car jolts forward, it jumps a curb.

Normally, nothing would be too bad with such a thing. But, in this case? The area is filled with little culverts, ferrying water away from the city at large so as to avoid flooding. As a result of the rains, those little culverts are also filled with rainwater.. and it's a touch deeper than what it would normally be.

The car jumps its curb, then, and rather than stopping, the vehicle finds zero traction under its front tires as it drives over the cement side foundation. (The chainlink fence is long rotted away.) With nothing under to support it, the car begins its roll, and in this case, perhaps its death roll into the water, the young adults within not yet truly realizing their plight.


Tires can just be seen just below the surface of the murky water.


"Great Scott!" exclaims Clark Kent, his glasses reflecting the light of an overhead lamp. It's a wonder that he's forced to still wear them. His powers have been gone for a few weeks now, it's probably time to get on with the idea that the 'real' Superman is truly dead. The younger, fresher 'Superman', or Superboy as Clark would say, seems to have taken his place.

But you can take the man and split the hero, but you never really get rid of that part that caused the impetus for the heroics the whole time. It wasn't muscles or super breath that caused Clark Kent to throw himself in the line of danger so many times since he was a kid. Heck, he'd been doing this sort of thing for a few years before he even donned a cape.

Why was he here anyways? Being Superman made work easy; now Clark Kent is having to flex his full, human-like muscles, just to get his work done for the Daily Planet. He was in this part of town doing an interview on a new expose of a factory in this end of town. A thorn in the side of big business has been his new talent, and frankly he was hoping to keep anything going he could at this point. Times are rough when you can't be everywhere almost at once.

Clark leaps down the side of the embankment and nearly loses his glasses as he splashes down into the water. He searches for the car handle. "Hold on!" Clark exclaims, as he continues to search. "Somebody call the police!" he yells as loud as he can.


Not far away, in another club…

"Wouldja stop givin' me crap 'bout my dad already, Trev?" Talia says with a sloshed expression, some of her good humor ebbing away from the relaxed smirk upon her face as she sits hunched forward around 'one last' fine German brew. "Yah..I -know- he was on the news. Ya know what that makes 'im?" Pause. "-Famous.- An' a big..damn..hero," she says with a rise of her beer. "Which means -I'm- famous. So go cry 'bout it."

The bottle is set down with a *thunk* and is soon followed by a heart-felt belch as if it would somehow help prove her point before she starts to make her way for the doors. Without looking back she holds a hand up over her shoulder, saying a bit louder "Famous!" as her tail blindly slaps itself against the legs of another chair that's a little closer than she's expecting it to be.

The shock of cold rain is ..actually quite refreshing, though it's a moment later that she hears the skidding of tires across slick concrete. Then a splash. "Dude, yer car's illegally parked—!" she calls out with an amused smirk. "Or..somethin.' ..Wait."

Cars aren't supposed to roll when they park.

TJ's expression sobers up, solid yellow eyes widening as a choice curse gets muttered under her breath. The distance is covered in a flash of one drunken -Foomp!-, the blue mutant reappearing in a puff of dark magenta smoke then promptly tripping herself up and falling over backwards. "I'm alright—! I got it. Me. I got me. Hey, there's a -car- down there…" And a guy with glasses. " careful down there! There's a car and stuff!"


The car's placement is marked by the air bubbles that are rapidly escaping the car. One -good- thing on the side of the occupants is that all of the windows were rolled up. (Or is that a bad thing, when met with pressure against the doors?)

And, to simply add a little insult to injury, the four occupants in the car are all 'good citizens' as it were, and all are buckled into their seats, which now has them all pretty much hanging upside down.

Now that they're now beginning to realize the position they're in, panic is beginning to set it, and they're frantically trying to undo those seatbelts. Not an easy thing with water beginning to fill the cab, and it being dark. Particularly dark under the water.


It's late. It really is… and on a Monday? When all really should be tucked in and happily warm under blankets, Kurt is out and about in town, searching for an errant .. Wagner. It's raining, and the last 'check in' was more than a little garbled. More like.. 'aljsfkdsf nfweiewl' across the text. (He'll have to ask her if she had a bamf send the text..)


A sound that can be picked up if one strains, particularly in the rain. The darkness doesn't seem to bother him much; and perhaps the sight of glowing yellow eyes could be discerned? Only if one is looking for them, really.

The sound of the car rolling into the culvert doesn't gain Kurt's initial notice; he's noticed Talia first. (How could he not?! That tail is doing more damage than a labrador retriever's tail!) It's the cry of 'Someone call the police!' that brings his attention around, and in the next second, he appears on water's edge even as Clark makes the dive into the water, tail twitching as he fumbles for his phone.

9-1-1 is always on speed dial, and it's called.

"Please state the nature of your emergency." is intoned.

"Um.. ja.. there is a car.. under the water."

"There is a car under the water," is repeated back, the calmness of the operator almost unnerving Kurt. "Can you tell me where?"

"Where… where.." Yellow eyes search the area for a street sign, and when he finds something that might identify their location, Kurt exhales with no little exhasperation. "Astoria Boulevard."


Clark is sloshing around in the water, desperately trying to pull on the car door handle. Is it locked? Is the pressure just too much on the outside for him to pull open at this point? He's still a strong man by human standards, but you can't do much until the pressure evens.

Clark has no idea if they can hear him, but he yells anyways. "We won't be able to open the door until it fills with water! When the pressure equalizes you'll be able to open the door!" At least, that's what his junior year physics class taught him. But that was in a text book and during a lecture, this is for real. He has a good feeling that due to its depths, his words will probably not even be heard, much less understood.

Clark barely notices TJ join in, the man has tunnel vision. It's an odd feeling for him: heart pounding and racing, eyes bleary, everything is wet and slippery. As his head dips into the water he loses his glasses and for a moment he panics. It's dark here and his wet hair will hang low on his face. Not a time to worry. He tries to get a better look in the window as his thick glasses float up on the surface of the water.


Suddenly: Other Wagner. "Now where t'heck did you come from?" Talia asks Kurt with a dumbstruck expression. As if she hasn't always had a teleporter in her immediate family! Then, "Remember that car I was talkin' about wanting?" Here she slowly points in a meaningful fashion toward the overturned one in the culvert. "..That's not it."

(Alright, seriously now, Teej. You're an X-Man. ..X-Woman. X-Person. Problem is now, you're here, be productive or ..or they'll make you run more laps, or something!)

The broad side of a pointed tail goes to smack Teej across the face. And completely misses. With a forced sigh and shoulders hanging, she takes matters into her own hand, literally, and slaps herself across the face.

Then she's staring wide-eyed at Kurt. "You just called the cops. Are you sure that was the best thing you could have done?" Too late to take it back now. Besides, some guy's already down there in the water trying to help. Cold water's good at helping sober up a person and she's got the benefit of sticky hands and feet in case the current gets to be too strong.

At least she resists the urge to yell 'Cannonball!' on her way into the culvert.

"I can bust out the glass, I can — not..because I just did that other thing… -Keys!- Focus the strike on the glass! We can equalish..equal..balance the pressure! I think!"

Now Clark's lost his glasses and he's got two glowing-eyed blue demons coming in to help. There's never a dull moment in this city!


Maddening. That's what it is.

Absolutely maddening.

The 9-1-1 operator doesn't seem to sound as she's taking anything particularly seriously. Or perhaps she's just not undertanding the severity of the problem. As a result, Kurt sets his phone down by the water's edge with a grumble, "You'll look for the GPS on the phone anyway,", and takes a leap into the water, wading against current to get near Clark, the other good Samaritan- or rather, the other Good Samaritan that is sober.

"I did!" And that is all the elf will say to grace that question, "Now, if you grab while we break the glass—" and Kurt searches for Clark, taking a lung-full of air and dunking his head under, the spade-tip of his tail the only 'tell' as to where he is.

Within the car, it is a mass panic. Two have managed to get their seatbelts off and there is a rather rousing argument (screams, mostly) as to whether or not their physics teacher lied to them about pressure values. One guy is more than a little beat up from the roll, and doesn't have a whole lot of leverage in order to kick the window, but he's certainly going to give it his best try while the other is trying desperately to free the other two.


Underwater, Kurt will see Clark with his fingers dug down in between the glass and the side of the car. His feet are down on the muddy bottom, digging in as he desperately yanks at the car door, trying to free it.

Clark, as it were, hasn't felt this strong in days. But it's still no use. He puts his foot up on the passenger door and yanks harder, trying to pull the metal away from the locks.

From under the water comes a terrible scream of metal pulling, muffled by the pressure of water. Did that guy just pull the door open? Holy crap!

He doesn't take long to wait however, as his breath is completely spent. The door is ajar, but he has to go up for air.

By the time Clark gets above the water, he's gasping for breath and looking somewhat amazed.


Now in the water with the other two, Talia's still got her head above the surface as she tries to reach for her own keys in order to test her theory. With her pockets completely soaked through they aren't giving up the goods very easily. What she does happen to find, however, are a pair of black plastic glasses rapidly floating away with the building current. She pushes herself away from the car in one fairly desperate lunge, her tail snapping out like an uncoiling whip as it snags the frames right as she splashes beneath the surface.

There's one victory, at least!

There, in that one passing moment of time, she witnesses the formerly spectacled guy ripping one of the doors open. Before the interior of the car had completely flooded. For an instant all she can do is stare. Then she remembers that there's people that still need to get pulled out from within.

As for the caught glasses, Clark will find those poised just up over the surface of the water with a soaked tail wrapped around them. If he can see clearly enough to notice them. Still under the surface, Talia's putting those suction pads on her palms to use as she boldly grasps at the arms of those inside then tries to haul them over to Kurt, who can then bamf them somewhere high and dry.


Screams and banging on the window cease as the metal creaks and the door is shorn off its hinges. Water rushes into the cab, causing the car to rock slightly, but now, all the pressure is equalized. Such as it is.

There is an in.

Kurt's underwater vision isn't too bad in the murky, dark water. He can still catch glimmers of light, which allows him something a little better than normal vision. Breathing underwater, however, is beyond him, and he has to surface to take a deep breath.

Back under he goes, and yellow eyes widen at the rending of the metal of the door. Kurt crosses himself briefly, and things can 'easily' be explained away with all those tales of superhuman strength in times of need and stress. How many stories about normal people lifting cars to get them off children? Who has explanations and who needs them now?

File that for later.

Now, Talia is passing him people, and the moment he gets a hold of a victim, time is of the essence, and he's out of the water with a *BAMF!* with a passenger to the side of the culvert.

Sirens sound in the distance


"The people!" Clark yells as he sloshes, and then he's back down again, getting in under and pulling another person free before high tailing it to the surface. The blue guy has already got one, and the lady seems to be getting another. Clark can see just fine, but finding the glasses with the tail, it's just not something he can observe. Worse, the sirens are coming. Without his glasses?

Well now Clark knows how Batman feels. He's got to get out of here. As he makes sure the second victim is safe, he says forget the glasses and he begins high tailing it out of there, heading up the side embankment without so much as a thanks, and up and over the crest and away from view.

The glasses still sit within the grasp of Talia's tail.


By the time Talia next surfaces, Clark's no longer there. He's not trapped under with the car, she would have seen that. But..his glasses… And these people..! And…

Sirens. Finally! It felt like forever before she could make out the sound, and for a change she's genuinely happy to hear them! One by one those people get pulled from the overturned wreckage, a bit worse for wear. But, everyone's alive and accounted for.

And now Talia's got Clark Kent's thick black glasses perched on the bridge of her nose. "Elementary, my dear Watson."


One. Two. Three.. and finally four dripping young adults are sitting and lying on the edge of the culvert. They're wet, cold, and a little worse for wear, but they're alive. By the time the police get there, they'll need ambulances for hypothermia.

Kurt's done with his bamfing, and he has to resist the urge not to shake like a dog to get the water out of his fuzz. At least he leans his head waaay over and knocks it with the palm of his hand to try to dislodge water.

Clark's departure gains a belated 'Danke!' from Kurt, but who knows if the man actually can hear him? Soon enough, it'll be their turn to depart, and looking at his daughter, Kurt.. blinks.

"Elementary— no. Come on."

Dipping a hand to gather his phone, Kurt offers his apologies to those victims that they simply can't stay before his tail wraps about TJ's ankle… and…


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