A Bit Philosophical


cardinal_icon.gif ziadie_icon.gif

Scene Title A Bit Philosophical
Synopsis Ziadie stops by to talk to Cardinal. More or less.
Date February 13, 2011

Redbird Security: Cardinal's Office

It's why there's paperwork all over his desk at the moment, and much of it is set aside as he leans forward against his desk, thumbs moving over the face of his phone as he sends out a series of text messages. After the third one, he tosses the phone aside and leans back, reaching over and picking up a cup of coffee from where it's sitting on the desk. He looks down into it mournfully, noticing a lack of steam. Cold. Damn.

There's a brief debate in Ziadie's mind as he walks into the lobby of Redbird. The older man is bundled against the cold, though the hat and gloves come off as he comes inside. There's no actual pretense for his visit to the building today, and with a grim smile, the older man walks slowly over to Cardinal's office, knocking on the wall next to the door frame a few times. "I'd ask if you're busy, but that's the state of things, so." Ziadie doesn't particularly bother to identify himself. His voice should do that for him, in any case.

"If it isn't a boat-load of my employees being blown up by Humanis agents," Cardinal replies a bit sourly as he thumps the cup down and leans back in his chair, both hands sliding up and over his face, "It's some CIA conspiracy that needs to be dealt with or something. At least I'm starting to get all the cats herded into the right pen…" His hands drop, and he offers a tired if genuine smile over, "How're you doing? Felix hasn't driven you crazy yet, I see."

"I've been worse," Ziadie says, moving to take a seat, shrugging off the jacket that is really too much for wearing indoors. There's a definite frown on Ziadie's face, overall, at least for a moment at the words 'blown up'. "No, no, Ivanov is a good kid. Though if someone would convince him that I am not fragile, that would be nice." The older man chuckles.

"Try punching him," Cardinal suggests helpfully. Then he pauses, and grins slowly, "Actually, do you really want to know what'd get his goat?"

Something in Ziadie's posture suggests that he does at least understand why Fel seems to consider him fragile, but he nods. "This I have to hear." There's a grin, almost out of place on the older man's face.

"Stop by the pet store," Cardinal says, leaning forward slowly to rest folded arms on the table's edge, a grin curving broad across his lips, "Get a small aquarium. Some sand. And a few crabs."

Whatever the value in this seems to be lost on Ziadie, but he nods. There's still some degree of temptation to mess with Felix, either way, and the older man purses his lips, chuckles quietly.

"So anyway…" A slow shake of Cardinal's head as he leans back in his chair, gesturing with one hand, "…what can I do for you, Mister Ziadie? All the paperwork and everything taken care of, I hope? It…" He pauses, eying the stacks, "…might be in the stacks here somewhere."

"Nothing in particular, really," Ziadie says. "Thought I'd stop by. Paperwork's done, yes." There's a half a chuckle at the stack of paperwork. "Really, I was just out and about today, didn't feel like sitting around." There's another pause, as the older man considers silently, and then decides simply not to say anything if he can't figure out the phrasing, and he shrugs.

"I'll go through it today, then," Cardinal decides, leaning back in his chair with a soft creak of hinges and springs, hands clasping over his chest, "And if everything is in order, I'll get you set up and on the payroll in no time…"

Ziadie nods, biting his lower lip a moment, then smiling. "Elisabeth asked a favour of me," he says quietly. "Though… I'm guessing she mentioned it to you." Either way, Ziadie isn't about to oblige her without Cardinal's implicit permission.

"A favour?" Cardinal's brows both lift upwards a little bit at that, not seeming familiar with whatever favour's been asked. He gestures a bit with one hand to encourage the other man to continue, "What'd she ask?"

And now Ziadie chuckles a little more, fingers drumming on the table briefly as he considers. He'd been hoping that it would have been mentioned, really. The brief silence is awkward. "She asked me very specifically to make sure those around you aren't screwing with you," he says, voice quiet and serious. His right hand turns upwards in a bit of a half shrug.

At that, Cardinal exhales an amused little snort of breath. "Did she, now…?" He shakes his head slowly, admitting, "She's always trying to look after me. Personally, I rather think I can take care of myself."

"Yes well," Ziadie says, a bit of a smile on his face. "That's between you and her." The former cop's eyebrows raise slightly, but he doesn't say anything.

"Oh, I know." Cardinal shrugs one shoulder, not seeming to mind terribly much, "I appreciate it, I really do, I just… don't think it's always entirely necessary. Feel free, though, if you like."

There's a grin from Ziadie at this. "In any case… I suppose the test of necessity will be time," he says, pursing his lips a bit, but smiles. "It can't hurt. And it truly isn't like I've got other things I've been doing with my time."

There's a few moments of silence, Cardinal's smile fading for a more serious expression as he regards the other man. "I want to tell you more, Ziadie," he admits, "But your… inability to lie makes it somewhat difficult."

The older man nods. "No no," Ziadie says. "It's okay." He pauses. "It… it is probably better that I know as little, on some things, as possible." There's a slight weariness, mainly age, slipping into his voice. "There are uses to my ability, yes, but. I do understand."

"It's ironic, really," Cardinal admits, fingers rubbing against the side of his face and temple in a slow rub, "All this subterfuge and lying… all so that, sooner rather than later, we can reveal the truth."

Once more, Ziadie nods. "Sooner than later, yeah," Ziadie says, leaning back a little bit. "Once upon a time," he says, not quite paying attention to the present, "once, I could lie. Convincingly, too. I wish I could remember when it went from being able to lie through my teeth to not being able to answer 'how are you doing' with a white lie." He shakes his head. "Pardon me." There's a hint of self-consciousness, that Ziadie hadn't meant to ramble. That the older man tends to interpret his own tendency to ramble as a sign of age that he tries so hard to hide.

"It isn't that you're weaker," says Cardinal, his head shaking ever so slightly, "It's the opposite, honestly, if you're thinking that. It's that you're stronger, Mister Ziadie. As time passes, as we learn how our abilities work… they change. Grow stronger, grow more potent. So, unfortunately— " A wry note to his voice, "— do their associated weaknesses."

There's a small hint of relief in Ziadie's posture. "Yeah. It is just … it can be rather annoying," he says, "being affected by my own ability." There's a half a chuckle, there, and the older man relaxes a slight bit.

"I once spent a few months without a body…" Cardinal closes his eyes, admitting quietly, "Trust me, I know what you mean. There's always a price, to what we can do. I know a lot've us who… would rather not have their abilities at all."

"Yeah. I've wished that more than once," Ziadie says, shrugging once more. "More than once."

"The funny thing is," admits Cardinal, lifting his gloved hand to regard it, "I lost my power once… and it was like cutting off my own hand. It's as much a part of me as any limb I've got." A smile's quirked to his lips, "Yours, too."

"Truth, truth," Ziadie responds. "I'd not … I wouldn't know what to do, without it, really. How to interact with people, anything. All of my adult life, really."

"We take what we're given," Cardinal says simply, hands spreading, "And do with it what we can. Anyway, we're getting a bit— philosophical, aren't we?"

The older man chuckles. "Something like that, yes," Ziadie says, straightening out a bit. "And I suppose that by rights, I ought to let you get back to work." He glances at the other man's desk. "If there's anything I can do, let me know, yes?"

"I will." Cardinal flashes a smile as he straightens, "I'll get your paperwork all sorted out, as well, and get things set up for you."

It takes a bit for Ziadie to get to his feet. The older man may be capable of moving fast, or at least somewhat fast, occasionally, but he certainly doesn't do so when he doesn't need to. "Thanks." Ziadie ducks Cardinal a nod, and a smile, and with that, he's turning around, leaving the other man to business.

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