Party Favors

lea_icon.png nicholas_icon.png ophelia_icon.png oz_icon.png rylie_icon.png terri_icon.png thea_icon.png tobie_icon.png zan_icon.png

Where: The Nevada Desert Somewhere

When: May 01, 2012; Late Night

What: A certain gang decides to take out an annoyance and find more than they bargained for. But the more the merrier?

On a night like tonight, out on an empty stretch of desert highway, darkness is the traveler's lone companion. The stars their only light. Usually.

Tonight, it's a little different. As if the desert were trying to prove that Las Vegas isn't the only scene happening out here, lights in the distance flicker between colors, music lures the curious out into the dust and away from the road. Because out there tonight, a circular structure has been propped up. Not a building, but a simple set of pre-fab walls do their best at keeping the party contained. They're not too great at it, as there are plenty of people outside the walls, drunk and high and dancing away to the beat of the music inside.

There's no such thing as bouncers here. No occupation limit. No care for things like legal drinking age or fire hazard and the like. There's just one missing section of wall to let people in and out. And inside, it's crowded. Endless bodies in a sweaty crush covered in glow paint, lit up by the blacklights that serve as the only real light source aside from the little set up around the DJ platform. Even she hasn't managed to escape whoever it is that's set on making anyone glow, as she sits behind her equipment with splatters of color across black clothes and a glow necklace wrapped around her upper arm. But otherwise, Rylie seems to be one of the very few not partaking in the… hors d'oeuvres.

Arriving with her partner, Terri looks at Watling and sighs when she spies the crowd that's gathered only outside. "You go right, I'll go left? Here's hoping we manage to spy the bastard?" That's said while they're still far enough away from the party to still hear one another. With a nod from her partner, she heads in, hand lightly upon her gun just to make sure no one fools with it. Getting through the crowd on the outside is fun enough, but once they press into the inside of the 'building', then you can certainly forget anything like personal space that even most bars might provide a person. One last look of her partner sees him swallowed up by the darkness and crowd, and she finds herself alone then, skimming faces of those that pop up before her as he presses further into the area.

The thrum and heavy beat of the music is infective, reaching deep until you can't help but enjoy yourself and bounce along with it. And after his first foray into the scene, some couple of weeks ago, Zan didn't exactly have to be convinced to go again. Even so, he may not have wandered far from the DJ's stand, he is living up the rave scene. Splattered with more than enough paint it looks like a bag of Skittles had thrown up on him. And somewhere along the lines he's collected several glow necklaces that hang from his neck or rest around his brow. He hasn't had much taste for the food or drink, preferring to keep to bottled water. That's got to be safe enough, right? Just the same, the mayor's boy dances along with the ebb and flow of the crowd.

Find the target. That woul dusually be the easy part of this assignment, but not tonight. Not in the huge crowd of bodies, most of them half-stoned already. To find one here out of all these kids? It seems impossible, but what thehell, Nicholas put on the stupid black clothes already to fit in, so may as well see it through. His hands wavein the air in an approximation of the rest of the ravers as he makes it way through the crowd, looking for Zan in this flesh mass.

It's a difficult chore. Terri has to wade through people who want to press far too close, not to try for her gun, but in a general party spirit. No one can accuse them of not being inclusive. Most of the faces are too young to be her mark, but there are a few adult faces around. The man standing behind the makeshift bar. A couple smoking against a wall. They're sprinkled here and there. Most looking bored. This is hardly the place many adults would spend their evenings.

Nicholas seems to have an easier time making headway through the crush, but that only helps so much when you're looking for a hay-colored needle in the proverbial haystack. But it isn't too long before a young woman takes up a stride next to him. It's too loud for any real conversation, but she flashes him an alluring smile to make up for it. Her hair's red, too, but far from the natural shade his is. And at the moment, a few strands of hers glow like the rest of the party, but in a much more prepared fashion than everyone else's splatters and globs.

Rylie does her best to keep an eye on where Zan ends up, as difficult a job as that can be in a place like this, but being up above the crowd and partitioned off with aluminum barricades, she probably has it easier than those on the ground.

Spying the few adults in the crowd, Terri will make her way near them, if only close enough to gauge whether or not they might be her suspect. Her steps are slow moving, and she's cursing her luck to have the end with the bar, hoping Watling has a better go of it going around the other side. A smile is given here or there if it helps her get through the kids that press so close. No doubt, she sticks out from the rest of the partiers - not dressed in all black, and beyond the pick up of paint or the like from pressing through the crowd, she hasn't been very decorated with the glow stuff. Yet.

Sometimes closer, sometimes further away. Zan doesn't really fight the crowd but moves with it. This time he happens closer to the stand, to yell with futility at Rylie. Something about wanting a drink. Or maybe needing more paint. The latter could be true as he drags a hand from his temple to the back of his neck, smearing a rainbow of pink, yellow, and blue. Whichever it is, it's into the press of people he goes. A beeline is impossible, however one might try, so he wends his way around others, peers and partiers alike, pausing once or twice to greet a familiar face while on his way to the makeshift bar.

Stopped by the young redhead, Nicholas smiles and leans in to speak to her, his lips close to her ear. "Crazy place, eh? Looking for a friend of mine. He's messed up bad and called me to come get him. You seen him here?" Nic pulls out his iPhone and shows her a picture of Zan, though sans rave wear and paint, so likely not much help.

The man behind the bar is good with his flair. Bottles toss smoothly around as he pours drinks, like a side show to the event itself. A couple girls way too young to be here giggle and clap every time he catches something, even though he's not passing them drinks. It isn't like they can't get them from any given person at this thing, but maybe he's decided they've had enough. But they stay, possibly because he's plenty handsome. Also at the bar is a more sullen looking girl; dark hair and a bruise well and truly formed around her left eye, her fingers fiddle jerkily with her hair. It's possible she's on something, considering how she's staring off at the nearest wall.

When Nicholas leans over, the girl tilts her head to hear better, and her gaze flicks to the screen when he shows the picture. "Oh, you mean the pretty boy!" Ophelia replies, something like affection in that tone. A playful nickname. She nods and reaches to take a hold of Nicholas' hand to start leading him through the crowd. Only she hasn't seen Zan moving toward the bar, so she's heading to where he's been most of the night, which is near the DJ station.

The man at the bar is given a glance, and Terri heads that direction to see if he might recognize her suspect's picture on her phone. "Friend needed a ride, but don't see him at his car.. " The words are shouted or something to the bartender, a glance givne to the young girls before she looks back to see if the guy is recognized. If not, she'll continue on around, likely to head DJ Booth-wards. Eventually.

Progression is paused again as the tide of bodies swell, sweeping Zan up with another lively round of dancing. He jumps once, cheering along with a group of others likely about his age. Still too young to drink, though they may all have had a glass or four at some point. Hand up in the air, he bounces along to the rhythm, hopping on the balls of his feet.

Nicholas lets Ophelia lead him towards the DJ booth by the hand, his eyes scanning the crowd as they move through the mass of bodies but paying little attention to the redhead leading the way. He tries to keep his face smiling, while all he wants to do ir run everyone out of here to find Zan easier. "So, this way?"

The bartender turns toward the shout, being good at hearing over loud music — occupational hazard. He isn't familiar, only almost fitting the suspect's description in a very general age-and-weight-range way. "Can't help too much, luv," he says, the british touch to his accent cutting through the noise as well, "Could ask the DJ to make a shout." He shrugs, though. It isn't that sort of establishment, being unofficial and floating as it is.

The giggling girls are all too happy to hop up and start dancing, too, hands grabbing for Zan's arms since they've decided he's with them suddenly. The sullen girl, though, she seems to be the most disinterested in the goings on. She seems to be sifting sand through her fingers at first glance, but upon closer inspection, it's too fine for sand. Too white. A woman in her late twenties comes up behind the girl to dust her hands in the powder. Some new style drug, perhaps?

As they walk along, Nicholas can start to feel something wrong. A weakness forming in his limbs. His attention slowly getting harder to hang onto. But Ophelia just trudges on toward the booth, only stopping when they've circled around to the side of the platform. "He's been hanging out near the DJ most of the night," she says, pushing up on her tiptoes to be heard better, "He'll be by again, I'm like… eighty percent sure!" And when she slips flat footed again, she wobbles on her feet, too, hands reaching to grip onto the barricade around the booth. Whatever it is he's feeling, it seems like she's feeling it, too.

Or else she's just high, which is all too likely.

"Thanks." Terri calls out to the bartender as she turns away from it, her gaze stopping briefly on the sullen girl with the 'sand'. Not anything she's seen before, not that she works Vice very often, mind you. Still, it's studied for a moment, mental note to talk to her friend there to see if they know anything about it before she starts to head towards the DJ Booth, getting stopped by a group who's pushing towards the bar. Side stepping, she ends up closer to the wall.

The girls are weathered for most of the song, their giggling and clinging humored until Zan remembers his original reason for leaving the DJ stand. Drinks! He disengages himself from the throng, laughing and calling out apologies and vague, easily dismissed promises that he'll join them again another time. He weaves back into the press before he can be accosted again in such a manner, pulling himself free enough to finally approach the bar. A wad of cash is freed once there, and two waters is requested by the mayor's son.

Nicholas's brow furrows as the weakness hits him. He shakes his head and tries to clear the fuzz from his mind. Noticing the girl also looking a little weak, he reaches for her weaist and wraps an arm around her, holding her up. "Hey, you alright? I'm..whew. Must be something in the air here. Hang out with me until he comes back?" With a deep sigh, Nicholas leans to the side of the DJ platform, to hold himself up against the dizziness that seems to be growing in his head.

With a wink to the girl manning the powder, her older companion walks off to head after Terri. And when the detective finds herself near a wall thanks to the press of the crowd, a hand reaches out of the crowd to take hold of Terri's. The powder is nearly unnoticeable, and Terri only saw her for a moment, but the woman with dusted hands follows her hand out of the crowd to greet Terri with a rather pretty smile. "You look like you need some help having a good time," Lea says with a laugh. And while it is perfectly natural for alarm bells to be going off in Terri's head, it's worse just now with this woman looking at her. That fight or flight instinct trips in her almost violently. Zero to sixty.

The sullen girl idly toying with the drugs in a pile in front of her looks over at Zan as he approaches, and that sad look about her deepens. His waters are handed over, money taken, and the girl seems torn. But as much as she blatantly stares at him, she doesn't say a word.

Ophelia's smile is a little dopey when she looks over at Nicholas, but she nods, "I think I'll be alright. Places like this, probably picked up something." She doesn't mean a cold. Although, that wouldn't be too surprising, either. "If you don't mind, I think I need to lean against this… whatever this is. Just until my friends find me." From above, though, Rylie notices the pair encroaching in her space and there's a dim hey from above. It's hard to hear, though, and as the dizzy, weak feeling starts to feel more like passing out, it's hard to care, really.

"What?" Terri asks as someone grabs her hand, already pulling it back though too late. "I'm fine, ma'am. Don't need no help, but thanks." The laugh draws the alarm bells, and soon she's hitting that fight or flight instinct and she takes a step back, "Leave me alone." Her gaze sweeps all those near where she stands between bar and DJ Booth, hoping to spy her partner, her hand moving to where her gun is locked in her holster and covered by the blazer she wears at the moment. Ready to fight is she, should need be.

There's regard given to the sullen girl, noticed when Zan turns away from the bar with waters in hand. He pauses, hesitating in returning to the moving mass of bodies and returning to the DJ stand when his eyes pass over the girl. He nearly approaches, concern briefly putting a crease to his brow until he surmises the reasoning behind her state. Probably better to avoid that one. One bottle is pressed firmly into a hip pocket, smeared again with paint, while the other is opened and partially drained into the young man's waiting mouth. As he twists the lid onto the bottle, he begins making his way back toward the DJ stand, ducking and weaving as needed.

With the pulsing black lights, swinging neon necklaces and glow sticks, it is already enough to make one a little dizzy, bur the weight bears down on Nichollas and he feels his legs start to buckle under him, now only able to nod at the girl at his side. his eyes begin closing slwoly and he fights to keep them open, a sudden last ditch of his body to stand anf repel the sensations overcoming him. "Wha..? What?"

Lea's grip tightens at first, and her smile turns more predatory for the moment, just long enough to leave a very unfriendly impression before she lets go and slips back into the crowd. But Terri's rising adrenaline as the fight reaction kicks in only serves to have the drug enter her system all the faster. It isn't long before she starts to feel like she's had too much to drunk, her mind sluggish and her limbs swiftly matching. And with no sign of her partner near by.

When Zan looks her way, the sullen girl ducks her head again, looking back toward the powder in front of her. There's a shake of her head, but she doesn't manage to talk herself into approaching, either. But as he gets closer to the DJ booth, he can spot a familiar male figure hopping over the barricade behind Rylie's seat, the metal man better known as Oz. Maybe he just wants to make a song request?

Ophelia sinks toward the ground as well, and she reaches over to weakly grip onto Nicholas' arm. She has to blink a few times, and even then, can't seem to focus on him exactly. "Wrong place, wrong time," she says before blackout sets over the both of them. Nicholas is only barely aware when a pair of arms start to pick him up, but by the time he's carried out of the party, he's not even aware enough to notice being shoved into the back of an SUV.

One can be certain Terri's going to be making a mental picture of Lea for later, the unfriendliness of her smile to make the cop a little more reactive. Of course, it only serves to hurry the drugs effect in her system, and by the time the other woman leaves her there, she's leaning against the wall, frowning as she looks around, soon to take out her phone and attempt to text Watling.

The girl is already forgotten by the time he reaches the DJ stand, replaced with a beat skipping spike of adrenaline. Whatever measure of heroics might dwell within Zan, he's already decided that any time Oz is around it's bad news. The partially emptied bottle of water is sent flying at the man's head, followed by the boy jumping, hoisting himself up onto the partition to intervene. Sure, it may be harmless, but past experience jabbers all too loudly that he'd rather thumb his nose at whatever Oz and his buddies are about.

The detective is the next one to get picked up and carted off. She's scooped up in a way that would almost be romantic if not for that whole… drugged and kidnapped thing. She loses her own cognizance sometime after a pair of strong arms pick her up and when she's tossed into the back on an SUV, too. She may notice there's another body she's slumped over back there, but it's her last thought before she's out like a light.

Zan's bottle smacks against the back of Oz's head, and the man turns to look in time to see Zan joining him over the partition. And he smiles, which is never a good thing. "Well, well, well, if it isn't our little hero." It comes with a chuckle that's interrupted with a shout from the platform above. It's unlikely anyone in front of the booth would hear it, but their position behind the equipment gives them a pocket of — well, not quiet, but less loud. "Sounds like you're too late."

Terri manages to get out a partial text to her partner before the drugs hit hard, and she's slumping, soon to be scooped up in someone's arms. The moment she is, the phone she held in her hand, is dropped to the ground, and she finds herself slumped over the form in the back of the SUV. It's lights out then.

"We really gotta stop meeting like this," Zan replies, not quite yelling as he was on the floor yet still speaking loudly. The unopened bottle is pulled out of his pocket and held like he might use it as a weapon. For all the good it might do. He glances up at the shout, head craning slightly in effort to see what the noise above is. "Like I was too late to stop you from bludgeoning that other guy?" The question is posed as his attention turns back to Oz.

"Just like that, pretty much," Oz says, and he looks up, too. And when the pair of them get their attention upward, Thea steps into view, dragging Rylie with her. The blonde is looking loopy already, probably because the gangster is holding a cloth over her mouth for more reasons than to keep her quiet. She manages to look at Zan, shaking her head as if trying to communicate something to him, but she passes out right there in Thea's hold.

And while the mayor's son's gaze is still upward, Oz connects a punch to his jaw. Thankfully not with a metal hand, but it still hurts.

Unfortunately for Rylie, there's little understanding. Zan's not a mind reader. But the appearance of Thea has him grasping for reaction instead of momentary inaction. There's no indecision, but he can't very well take on Oz and Thea together. His question begins, snark forming and the impulse to look back at the man not yet turned into action when the fist slams into his jaw. It sends him reeling, feet tripping over a rocking world though he catches himself on some piece of equipment. The plastic bottle is lost somewhere in those scant few seconds, and it's another one or two before he's pushing off and returning punch with one of his own.

His punch lands, too, splitting open Oz's lip and forcing him to shake it off. But the other man is used to fisticuffs, and his next comes to Zan's gut. He seems to be opting for hard over fast, since there's no follow up, but there is a lot of pain. Zan can see how Thea's tossed Rylie over her shoulder as the woman makes her way down the small stairs.

"Stop messing around," she barks to Oz, but she doesn't linger to see if he takes her advice. Instead, she hauls the DJ off toward the exit. Sadly, people leaving in this fashion is barely noticed by the party goers. Maybe they would benefit from a bouncer or two after all.

A grunt is forced out, and Zan drops to his knees this time. One arm wraps around his middle, pressing into muscles and flesh not wholly used to the abuse. He sucks in a breath, trying to force his lungs to work properly again and raise his formerly protective arm to grab hold of Ox's shirt and pull himself upright again. His next punch that follows isn't near so graceful, weakened by his need for air and half his effort spent in trying to pull himself to his feet.

This time, his punch is mostly dodged, and Oz's hand grips onto the scruff of Zan's shirt as he gets back to his feet. And it seems like he did listen to his comrade, because Zan is the next to get a cloth pressed to his mouth and nose, his gulps for breath coming with a stick sweet smell and a quickly degrading awareness. As much as Oz would rather knock him out in a more traditional way, orders are orders.

The younger man's hands grope and claw at the cloth that's pressed to his face, though efforts are useless. Already dazed by two hits, forced by the reflexive need to breathe after having his wind so forcefully removed, Zan gets a good couple of deep inhales of whatever is infused on the cloth. Awareness is quick to fade, head swimming while blackness creeps in.

Oz tossed Zan over his shoulder, and he's the last added to the pile of captives in the back of the SUV. He and Thea man the front seat, while a second car trails them with the other members present. Whatever the plan was going into this, La Vida Mala is going to have a few more guests than they thought.

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