Our Right To Resist

Participants:

helena_icon.gif mallory_icon.gif samir_icon.gif

Scene Title Our Right To Resist
Synopsis Helena looks into a possible new recruit for PARIAH: Samir.
Date October 26, 2008

Brooklyn Public Library


Helena doesn't have a lot of time on her hands these days. She's been assigning different random PARIAH members to check out the Brooklyn library for the possible return of the mysterious 'ethnic' boy, with very little result. A few possibilities were mentioned, and Samir is on the list, though only by description. At the moment she's hanging out in one of the chairs near the computerized card catalog, scanning a Meg Cabot novel without actually turning the pages.

Samir has not returned to the library since the day of the shootout, but today a delivery has brought the courier back to the area — and sheer morbid curiosity, perhaps, compels him to drop by the library while he is nearby. He enters with a messenger bag slung over his back and a bike helmet swinging by its strap from one hand. He's a rather unassuming, wiry scrap of a teenager, in an oversized hand-me-down green windbreaker and dark jeans. He is clearly not actually looking for anything in particular — he doesn't head for any particular section, nor for the rather popular bank of computers with internet access, but just sort of meanders through, dark eyes sweeping the room with idle curiosity.

There's a blonde in her late teens, early twenties draped in one of the chairs, reading chick lit. Or at least she would be, if her eyes weren't scanning the room quite so much. She's in jeans and a plain green blouse, but over that is a somewhat too-large men's jacket, and when her eyes pass over Samir, suddenly she sits a little straighter, her eyes suddenly darting to her book.

Samir's interest today is more in the library's patrons than in the books the library offers. His gaze hitches to a brief pause on Helena as she straightens, and he drops his eyes quickly to the ground. His helmet bumps arrhythmicly against his leg as he scoots over to a nearby rack of newspapers, picking one up to feign interest in it as he continues examining the other people present, though his eyes travel back to Helena at intervals.

Helena rises to her feet, abandoning the book casually on a desk nearby. With a turn of her head she meets Samir's gaze, gives him a grin, and heads off into the rows of shelved books. Isn't this the part in the movie where the girl turns out to be a vampire?

Samir hesitates a moment — he likes his blood staying firmly inside him! — but puts his newspaper back on the rack and shoulders his pack more firmly before he heads off after the girl. He peeks down the row she entered, dark eyes faintly narrowed, more in curiosity than anything else.

And there she is, standing in front of the shelves, calmly paging through a photojournal. The title is in big bold letters which he can see even from the far end of the aisle: Our Right To Resist. She appears not to notice him of course, but the air seems almost expectant around her.

Samir's eyebrows raise at the title of the journal, the curiosity in his expression growing — as such, he is not particularly /good/ at feigning nonchalance as he saunters down the aisle towards her, but he tries feigning it anyway. His bike helmet bumps against his thighs again as he stops, a short way away from her. "Interesting reading?"

"It's a photojournal." Helena remarks, turning her head to look at him full on. "More pictures than writing, but then I am a blonde." She takes in his outfit, the equipment he's wearing. "Are you a courier? I used to be one, I worked for a place over in Chelsea."

"Yes." Samir's words carry the heavy accent and slight hesitation of someone whose native language is not English. "I work for a place in Chelsea. The Alley Cats." His fingers tighten around the strap of his helmet, and he squints at the journal, clearly trying to get a better look at its content.

It's exactly what she said it was. It's mostly pictures with captions, photos taken during the 60's and 70's of the anti-Vietnam efforts, compared against current photos of current civil disobedience demonstrations. "Alley Cat Couriers, that's right." Helena pauses in the middle of a page flip. "Did you have a delivery to the library, then? You look like you're on duty."

"No. Down the — nearby. Next block over. I just wanted to —" Samir frowns slightly, gaze flickering around the library, and his head shakes abruptly. "Just was stopping in," he says then, though it's clearly not what he was originally going to say. "I like books." His lips twitch, faintly wry, his tone lightly teasing. "With words. I am not blonde."

"I noticed." she says, her own lips curving to offer a similiarly wry grin. "The library seems to have recovered well, hasn't it? I thought it would be closed longer. After you know…what happened."

Samir's expression darkens, head tipping in a slight nod. "After — yes. I suppose this city has just gotten used to — a level of chaos." He grimaces, and his teeth catch at his lower lip. "Or perhaps just nobody cares as much about violence that is happening to — the /unimportant/ sections of the population." There is a faint sneer in his tone as he stresses that word.

"History's filled with minorities being marginalized." Helena notes. "Of course with identification, it makes people easy to pick out. That's how those men were able to figure out who they wanted to go after, right? I'm glad I wasn't there." An innocuous comment which could be taken any number of ways.

"Our present is filled with minorities being marginalized," Samir says, head tilting down to scowl down at the floor. He hesitates a moment before admitting, "I was there. I do not understand how people could let themselves — well. If I had such an identification card I would destroy it as soon as possible."

"'If you had one'…" Helena studies him demurely. "Would suggest that according to the law, you would need one." Then she blinks. "You were? Then, "You were the one pulling people through the floor, weren't you." Her voice is lowered when she says this.

Samir flinches, startled, and takes a step back as his eyes narrow — his reaction likely answer enough. "You said you were not there."

"I wasn't." she says. "A friend of mine was. He saw a young man - he said you might be Hispanic, but definitely not white - pulling people through the floor." She calmly leafs through the book again. "So did you never have a card to begin with, or did you burn it? It's quite the rage these days."

Samir's voice lowers, his expression still acutely suspicious as he examines Helena. "I am not Hispanic. And I never had. Do you?"

"No, you're not." she agrees, and grins. "Took off before Daddy Dearest could register on my behalf." She closes the book, looking to return it to its place on the shelf. "Your actions caught the attention of some people, is all." Then in seeming non squitor, "How's your Latin?"

"Nearly nonexistent. And my family does not yet know. I do not think they would make me register if they did, though. We are — used to — such persecution. They are not the kind of people who approve of it." Samir relaxes, but only slightly, at Helena's words. "What sort of people?"

Helena doesn't directly answer the question. "Do you know what 'Fortis et Liber' means?" He may not, but the grafitti is everywhere and it's been mentioned in association with PARIAH.

Samir thinks about this a moment before answering, "Yes." And then, with a faint blush at his too-literal answer, amends: "There are many derived words in English that would suggest — strong and free."

Helena turns to face him, her grin widening into a full on smile. "Good aim, don't you think? Are you familiar with who's been using that phrase? It points you somewhere, I hope."

"Very good aim. At home in Palestine there were many who fought for similar goals. A rather different subsection of the population, though." Samir's expression is a touch less suspicion and a lot more interest, now. "Different fights to fight, but the ideals, I think, are similar. Nobody should have to live in —" He hesitates, brow knitting as he fumbles for the correct word, settling on "bondage" with a rather questioning tone, as if he is not quite sure of his word choice.

Helena considers him a moment. Then she digs into the pocket of her jacket and pulls out a pen. Reaching out casually, she takes his hand, pushing it open, palm upward. Popping the top of the pen, ten digits are written on his palm. "If the idea of Strong and Free appeals to you," she says, "You may want to give this number a call. It's a voicemail." She closes his fingers, starts to move past him.

Mallory has arrived.

Samir looks down at the numbers on his hand, and then back up at Helena. "Wait," he says, in some confusion as she starts to move past. "If it is a voicemail what do I say?"

Helena looks up at him, pausing midstride. She and Samir in one of the book rows. "How they can find you." she says. "It's a risk, but then, so is giving you that."

Mallory makes her way into the library, hood pulled up and backpack slung over her shoulder. She makes a beeline through the aisle toward the computers, pausing only to get a Coke out of a vending machine.

"Does this have an expiration date?" Samir wonders next, another wry smile tugging at his lips as he starts to head out of the row of books towards the rest of the library.

Helena resumes walking herself, slightly ahead of Samir. "A few days." she says. "So don't take too long to think about it. But I'm sure if you decide not to, no one will bother you about it."

Mallory fiddles with the tab of her can but doesn't pull it; she happens by Helena and Samir, giving them an impassive glance. She nods to Helena and raises her free hand to give Samir a little wave. "Hey, Sammy."

"Okay. I'll —" Samir pauses, not completing his thought. He looks up at hearing his name, eyes widening in brief startlement as he sees Mallory. "Oh! Hello. Mallory. What are you — how are you doing?"

Helena blinks, and then smiles. "Hello, Mallory." she greets. Even if she didn't recall the girl's name before, Samir has thoughtfully supplied it. "Good to see you." She continues walking, content her work is done, unless she's otherwise stopped.
Mallory blinks twice at Helena, shrugs, and then looks to Samir. "I'm fine. Peachy, even." Her voice is as flat as ever. "You?" She glances at his hand, then at Helena.

The hand that Helena wrote the phone number on is curled into a loose fist and held at his side, the writing not visible with Samir's fingers shut around it. "Peachy." Samir tests this word out, looking rather puzzled at it. "I am doing well. Working. Or I should be." He does not try and stop Helena, although he does flick a glance after her as she moves away, offering a bland enough — "See you later" in farewell.


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October 25th: Casual Solace
Previously in this storyline…

Next in this storyline…

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October 26th: Not Quite Clandestine
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