A Different Path


felix_icon.gif joseph_icon.gif

Scene Title A Different Path
Synopsis Felix chases a lead and discovers a new one entirely.
Date May 11, 2009

Guiding Light Baptist Church

There is no mistaking this building as anything but a church, with its arching glass windows and concrete cross fixed to the edge of the pointed roof. Curving stone steps lead up from the pavement to a set of black double doors, often kept closed during the colder weather, but unlocked during the allocated hours written on a blue sign fix to the brick wall. In white, formal letting, it reads GUIDING LIGHT BAPTIST CHURCH and lists its hours of worship.

Through the doors, you first step into an open, nondescript foyer, with access to an unobtrusive staircase headed upwards, and a second hallway leading off somewhere less public also. Mainly, this room opens straight out to the much more spacious worship hall, with immovable rows and rows of pews. A small church, it only seats an absolute maximum of around one hundred and fifty people at a time. It has a high ceiling and is warmly lit, simple and reverent in design, colours light and earthy. The stage before the pews is wide open, with seats off to the side for other pastors and guest speakers, and there is a podium placed off center. On the other side, there is a small organ with music sheets kept nearby.

Fel, while nominally ROCOR, is the epitome of the Easter-Christmas-my-religious-mother-is-visiting kind of churchgoer. He hasn't attended mass on his own since last fall. And the spare plainness of a Baptist church is a far cry from the literally Byzantine and ornate decor that he's used to. So it's a fairly awkward Fed in the door, in his gray suit, looking around for someone who runs this place. Or helps to, anyhow. At least he's not dressed inappropriately. The morning sun falls in long rays through the stained glass windows.

Potentially Felix could find himself lingering in the space for some time. It remains empty for long enough during the day, or at least, the main hall does, all quiet pews and the occasional passerby coming either to stand around just as awkwardly or pray by the pulpit. Today, however, he's greeted, although not by the pastor who so often frequents.

There's a clamour of feet against the nearby staircase that leads upwards, and then suddenly— well, it seems to be a bear. At first glance. In actual fact, it's a very big black dog stampeding her large-paw'd way down the carpeted edges in quick paced lopes, and a guttural bark that sounds something like warf is grunted to the fed in greeting as she beelines her way on over, long-haired tail wagging. Luckily, the sound of foot steps that comes after is only two at a time, and likely someone Felix is looking for.

"Alicia, where're you— " Joseph is in slacks and a tucked in button down, all the conservative Baptist pastor in appearance.

Dogs. Felix has an abject weakness for them, dating back to his grandfather's immense wolfhounds. The smile he gives the dog is genuine and conspiratorial, and looks completely bizarre on features that severe. «Hey, Pup,» he says in his native tongue, before looking up at Joseph's appearance. He's offering the beast a hand to lick. "Reverend Sumter?" he guesses.

She seems lazily friendly, more so now that Felix isn't shying away, and "Alicia" gladly attempts to devour his hand sans teeth. Meanwhile, her owner looks momentarily guilty as soon as he realises that his dog has cornered a stranger, but readily eases into a smile as he steps down onto the floor from the stairs.

"Yes sir," Joseph says, clicking his fingers in a vain attempt to call off the beast, but she seems more content to— well, not listen completely. "What can I do for you today? 'sides feed you to my dog, Alicia's too friendly for her own good— Alicia, heel." That seems to get the fully grown newfoundland to step back with a few inches.

Still while mouthing his hand. Felix doesn't mind - he doesn't yank it back. He's silent a moment. He may be a good interrogator, but sometimes has a tendency to irritate the civilians right off the bat, and he's clearly searching for the right phrases. "I'm Felix Ivanov. I'm with the FBI, but specifically the joint task force we have with the New York Police to deal with Evolved crimes," he says, slowly. "I'm looking for a man in connection with some murders. He's Evolved, his ability is electrical manipulation, and his name is Niles Wight."

At the magical words— or letters— 'FBI', Joseph's smile doesn't so much vanish as it does fade a little, blinking and letting his spine grow a little straighter. Perhaps not a reaction so uncommon amongst law-abiding citizens when introduced to one arm of the law, and he absently reaches out to grab at Alicia's collar, steer her back from the man. His eyebrows raise up at the name. "Oh— of course, yeah. I know that name— in a manner of speaking, he didn't introduce himself at the time…" he starts, making an effort not to trip over his own words.

Fel does try, hard, not to grin at that. "We both have something in common, in that appearing in our official capacities tends to make people examine their consciences," he notes, dryly. "I'm not here to accuse you or your parishioners of anything, I'm not the Witchfinder General. Is there somewhere you'd rather talk?" he asks, arching his brows.

There's a hook of a wry half-smile at Felix's words, Joseph nodding once and glancing over his shoulder. The main space is empty and reverently quiet, but all the same— "Alright, well— certainly. If you'd like to come this way, agent." A final tug on the collar of his dog has her following too, tail low and swaying from side to side as Joseph leads the way through the church, away from the main place of worship towards even plainer pastures. A tucked away kitchen more suitable for preparation than lingering, but there is, inevitably, a round table and a couple of chairs.

Joseph leaves the door open, and Alicia's claws click on the kitchen tile. "Take a seat, although I'm not sure how much help I can be. Happy to tell you everythin' about the meetin', though. He wasn't exactly coming to me for counseling. Would you like coffee or somethin'?"

"No, thanks. Just water would be wonderful," says Felix, with a sigh. Grateful to be off his feet, even at this hour. "And that is exactly what I came to find out," He doesn't slouch, though, remaining alertly upright, watching Joseph's movements with that kestrel's curiosity.

Joseph moves around the kitchen with the neatness and precision of a housewife, picking out a glass form the cupboards and a bottle of water from the fridge. Meanwhile, the dog has opted to become a very lumpy, drooling rug in the middle of the floor, impossibly large head on her paws. "Well. Round about a week ago, a gen'leman— the man I believe you're askin' about— came in to try and— make a point, I guess." The glass is set down on the table, and Joseph sits opposite the fed. "He wasn't aimin' to hurt me, but he wasn't happy about…"

And this is where he trails off, looking vaguely uncertain for a moment. "This might sound weird— well, probably not, considerin', but you should know I have the gift to give people prophetic visions. 'parently, I did so to someone who, as a result, hurt him. So he…" Joseph head tilts in a rueful sort of gesture, gaze down and off Felix's hawk-stare. "…wasn't so happy about that."

"That's a hell of a gift," Felix breathes, expression softening a litle. And he bites back the question that always, always has to follow. Read my palm, gaze into the crystal, tell me what my future will be. Literally bites it back, to the point that he sinks teeth into his lower lip for a moment. "So, he came for revenge? Or a second opinion?"

There's a flicker of a smile at Felix's first assessment and a shy nod of agreement. Not something he has to be modest about, after all - it's Godgiven. Joseph links his fingers together casually on the table and shrugs his shoulders. "I'm not entirely sure, exactly. Neither. He wanted to— caution me. Make me second guess how freely I offer out what I can do, show me there's consequences and have me admit what happened to him was my fault. If he wanted to hurt me, I'm sure he would have." His tone and expression remains somewhat neutral, as if trying to mask as to whether this advice had shaken him at all, but some nervousness gives him away, like the tightness in his hands.

Felix taps fingertips on the tabletop, gaze going distant for a moment. "How freely do you offer advice of that kind?" he settles on, looking back to Joseph. "And I'm glad to hear he didn't harm you. Have you seen any sign of him since? Both present or in oneof your visions?" Clearly, the gears are ticking over for him. Wondering if Joseph can be made useful to the cops, instead.

Gears may be ticking but Joseph doesn't seem to be hearing them, at least not yet. "Not since that meeting," he says, with a shake of his head. "And he hasn't come up for anyone else. The lady that saw him— or symbols pertaining to him, I guess— hasn't requested anythin' more from me, so that's the last I've heard. I can't give visions to myself, otherwise that'd be pretty handy." His hand comes up to scratch at the corner of his eyebrow, and then gesture. "Generally? I give 'em to those who— understand what they are and desire to see somethin' of what God has planned, or at least the roadsigns along the same road. Lately I've been more cautious, I'm sure you understand."

"If I asked for you to use your gift concerning Wight, or a man named Tyler Case, would you?" Felix asks, finally. There's that terrible curiosity, behind the urbane veneer. Felix is the sort of fool who would walk into Hell willingly if he thought it would answer his questions, or bring a suspect into his hands.

There's a pause, and vague apology writes itself on Joseph's features, after a little but of eyebrow furrowing over this second name. "If there's a way to direct the visions I give, or rather— God gives through me— I haven't figured it out yet," he says, that apology manifesting in tone also. "If it's somethin' personal to you, or if it's a path God intends you to walk, then it's a likely shot. Just not a guarantee. Future hardly is."

By the wry twist of his lips, Fel isn't pleased with that answer. "Well, since God has thrown me into his path already, perhaps I'll do?" His tone is tentative, rather than really hopeful.

There's a pause, almost a tense one, Joseph finally untangling his hands to brace them against the edge of the table, as if about to stand, but he never does. He studies the wooden surface thoughtfully before pointing out, "I'm happy to assist men like yourself as much as I am to do God's work. I just don't want a murderer turnin' up here again— who might not take kindly to me not heedin' what he had to say the first time. If you think it'll be alright, then…"

"If you do, yes," Felix says, with an attempt at serenity. "Wright won't find out from -me- what you say here today, that I can promise you."

"Found out from someone else the last time," Joseph says, mildly. "Loose lips sink ships, I guess is that sayin'." His mouth forms a line, before he's offering out both hands - apparently no reservations about such shows of touchyfeely-ness, he is Baptist after all. A tight smile, a slight shrug. "I hear it's best if you close your eyes."

Hey, he's not demanding that Felix handle rattlesnakes. That's all Fel asks. He looks more than a little embarassed, but the Fed does close his eyes, and extend his hands.

Joseph's hands reach out and grip onto Felix's, as if the two were about to pray together, but there's no words of God that Felix can hear. That's mostly because all that slips away: from Joseph's quiet prayer, through to the hum of the refrigerator, to the soft panting of the dog a few feet away. All that goes into a numb sort of silence, around the time his eyelids slide closed.

The city street that flickers into life in the stead of blackness is desolate, which is not so different from certain areas of New York City in the first place. Not a person, not a soul, no cars on the road which Felix seems to be standing in the middle of, and the sky up above is in instinct grey.

There's a screech of metal, and as Felix, or at least this dream-form of Felix that the fed is forced to ride along with, turns to see what it is, it comes in the form of a street lamp suddenly twisting in a horrifying Wonderland feat of physics. The twisted metal bends down like a wilting flower, and seems to give way to indicate a building some way away from it. Parking lot and grassland stretches out towards a building that seems part-factory building, part-castle, surrounding by fencing and iron gates.

In something like a flash of lightning, a man appears by the gates, of small stature and seeming harmlessness. His round glasses flash in the strange light and he grips the iron bars as if peering out of a prison, but he doesn't seem trapped, exactly. He's familiar, too, a man whose presence was known to Felix during a meeting some months ago. Edward Ray gives him a thin smile.

There's the sounds of footsteps, and a man comes to stand beside where Felix is position. Another familiar face. Richard Myron doesn't seem exactly himself when he says, "The future's what they make it," with a wan smile. There's a crack of preternatural lighting, and white turns to black and black to white in a shocking contrast of colour, surreal and jarring, and it happens in a moment wherein it's hard to miss the fact that streaks of bright red course Detective Myron's face.

Which is gone when Felix next blinks, and Joseph's patient, earnest expression awaits him, hands still tight around his.

Felix's lips are parted, and he's not breathing, caught for a moment in the spell. And then he blinks, once, and peers at Joseph. "Odd," he says, quietly. "Odd. I saw men I know. A fellow cop…." He trails off, trying to make sense of it.

At the first sign of life from Felix, Joseph eases his hands away and patiently folds his arms on the table, listening. "'Odd' is probably a good word for it. Rare that anyone makes sense of these things in the first few moments," he reassures. "You didn't happen to see one of them— one of the men you were after?"

"One I was seeking, yes. And one's a colleague," Fel's face has tightened, as if he were fighting offa headache. He pulls his glasses off, polishes them with his tie, wincing. "Not Wight, though. I suppose that's reassuring." By his tone, it isn't really.

"For me, maybe," Joseph says with a sheepish chuckle, but his eyes remain eternally sympathetic. "Sorry I couldn't be of more help, agent. If you give me a number, I could contact you if this gen'leman makes the mistake of comin' back here for whatever reason."

"You've been very kind," Felix pushes himself up from the table, hastily. "And let me know if I can be of any help to -you-."

Joseph is moving as Felix does, with the intent to walk him out the door and into the main of the church. Alicia stays put, gives Felix one last rolling eyed glance, before she settling down once more. The pastor nods to the offer and otherwise, he leaves it at, "I try. Take care, Agent Ivanov."

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