A Lack Of Subtlety


cardinal_icon.gif kameron_icon.gif

Scene Title A Lack of Subtlety
Synopsis Kameron's restlessness and desire to help spurs her to continue the search for some sign of Cally. She doesn't find her, but she does find Cardinal.
Date February 28, 2009

Staten Island - Inland

A lot of things weren't VERY needed at the Lighthouse - stuff that could have waited, really, but Kameron had other reasons for wanting to come out. Poor Brian wasn't having much luck with finding Abby or Cally that she'd heard, and he seemed awfully stressed out the other evening. So, why not try and take some of that burden away - besides, Kameron was never the type to just sit patiently and wait for people to do things for her. She was too independent and stubborn to not take initiative - and she was getting more worried by the day.

So, today finds the Blind Girl a ways off from the Lighthouse, Prince at her side and leading her on in a subdued manner. Perhaps he's picking up on her preoccupied mood - of course, preoccupation is a bad thing to be in a place like Staten Island. Nonetheless, she's been remarkably unharassed so far - probably because of the guard dog with her. Or maybe people were unwilling to take advantage of someone who was 'blind'. Maybe her luck will continue to hold up, who knows! She's a positive thinker, and she's positively thinking that just maybe, she'll have some luck finding Cally's whereabouts. Money talks after all, right?

One of the few 'stores' still active on Staten Island provides supplies for those with the money - the front windows boarded up in a patchwork of two-by-fours, heavy rebar imbedded in the sidewalk in front of the building angled out and sharpened to foil any cars that might get the clever idea of ramming their way in. There's a thug out front in a folding chair, staring out bored into the city. The food, potable water, and other supplies within are ridiculously overpriced, and probably stolen, but it's not as if the residents of Staten Island can exactly pick and choose. The ultimate in free enterprise.

A duffle bag full of goods slung over one shoulder, Cardinal emerges from the depths of the store and out to the street; sunglasses firmly in place, his features tired and jaw set in a definately pissed-off fashion. The girl and her dog aren't noticed, but the dog might recognize his scent, certainly, even if the 'blind girl' misses him.

Someone is an unhappy bunny. Kameron, unfortunately, can't really distinguish one person from the other, until she hears their voice - and if it's been a while since she heard them, that still won't help much. Unless she's talked to them long enough to get a real ear for their voice pattern anyway. Prince, on the other hand, does recognize the other man, mainly by scent. The collie pauses briefly, partially because he's not sure he even -wants- to lead Kameron up the steps to that store. The other half is to permit the dog to give a short bark of greeting, which gets Kameron to 'look' down towards the animal. "What is it Prince? We're not even there yet." Slacking already? Bad dog.

It's the bark that draws Cardinal's attention, tensing briefly at the unfamiliar soundand then he does a double-take, twisting 'round on his heel, "Kameron? What the fuck are you doing in this shit hole? How did youhow did you even get here?"

Voice! "Oh! Good boy!" Kameron changes her initial poor assessment of the guide dog's pause, turning towards the voice. "Wait.. I know you. You're… um.. Richard, right?" She thinks that's his name. A slight twitch of her eyebrow follows the crassly phrased question, "Um. It's not that bad really.. I mean it's right on the water, kinda like home." Only NOT. Florida is nothing like Staten Island, but.. "I came to get some supplies." She adds, pointing in the direction that the store is. Nevermind the thug. "For the Lighthouse."She adds, perhaps suspecting that her initial response wasn't really good enough. "And I got here the same way everyone else who came to the island did." Silly! "I didn't know you lived on Staten Island." She doesn't seem to quite get why Cardinal's so surprised, either. Of course, she hasn't even begun to ask about Cally, but that will come soon enough.

The bag's shrugged more fully over the other man's shoulder, and Cardinal twists on his heel to head for her with a slow step, his head shaking from side to side in disbeliefkeeping his head down a bit, the bright of day seeming to bother him more than a bit. "The Lighthousewait, wait, that orphanage thing here'n in the middle of hell? You" He stops beside her, brow furrowing, "you have no idea what Staten's like, do you?"

Hearing the footsteps, Kameron turns her head expectantly, waiting for Cardinal to join her, a pleasant enough smile on her face. It's always nice to her a familiar voice. "That's right. It seems a bit appropriate don't you think? A bastion of hope, sanctuary for those who've lost everything - in a place that everyone else seems to have given up on. It's symbolic." Maybe Cardinal should invest in getting some shades like Kameron - granted if she opened her eyes she'd be having the same problems as he did, but she tried not to do that. More than the issue of light bothering her, really.

"Well," she tilts her head a little. "I've heard stories, and I've listened to news reports.. but my folks always said that the media only ever reports on the bad news, aspects of life to make people depressed and afraid. I'm sure that there are two sides to everything,and what I've been hearing is just exaggeration." Kameron smiles hesitantly. "I mean… sure there are probably dark sides to the island, but it can't be bad everywhere here.." So, no, she doesn't have any idea of what it's like. Or at least, doesn't fully believe it.

There's shades there, but even with them, Cardinal seems to be having a bit of trouble. The man's free hand lifts to rub against the side of his neck for a moment as he listens to her with a frankly disbeliefing expression. His hand drops then to offer the dog an ear-ruffle, noting in rough and ungentle tones, "They aren't exaggerations, Kameron. There's a pretty decent chance that if you keep wanderin' around alone like that you'll end up a corpse in the bay or an enslaved whore chained to someone's bed in a brothel. You need to get your cute ass back to your bastion of hope."

"But I'm not alone," Kameron protests. Maybe someone's following her at a distance? "Prince is with me." … perhaps not. It's almost laughable that she thinks the tiny Colliedog could protect her from the sort of deviants that inhabit the island. "Besides.." She trails off a bit, uneasily reminded of the envelope of money tucked on the inside of her coat. At least she's smart enough to keep the money hidden - one of the tips she remembered from shopping on her own before coming to the Island. Before meeting the people she knows now.

"I.. can't go back. Not yet," she frowns. "I-I mean, more than that I need to get some things.. really, that can wait. I'm looking for someone, a friend, who's gone missing." Frustrated, she spills the beans in the hopes that perhaps Cardinal knew or heard something. "You've been here a while, right? Maybe…Maybe you've heard something about her." And just in case he's resistant, she puts a hand against the left side of her coat, "I can pay you," neglecting to lower her voice and all. "I'm just.. really worried. Her name is Cally, and she …. she…." …. …. …. Kameron's expression mirrors something close to a doggone it I did it again easily readable even with shades hiding half her face. "Nnggh. I forgot to ask him what she looked like." Her hand lifts from coat to palm her face. Stupid, Stupid Kammy. How could she hope to find someone if she didn't even know what they looked like?

At the audible offer of money, Cardinal winces—one hand lifting to wave downwards, as if she could see it, voice briefly a hiss, "Shh. Not so loud." That hand falls back to his side, then, thumb curling through a belt-loop as he frowns at her, "A lot've people go missing on Staten. Your friend's probably dead, or a slave, by now. I can keep an ear and an eye out, but I'm a little busy lately myself."

She misses the handwave, but she can guess what the gesture was from the brief wiff of air. Suitably chastised, Kameron winces briefly, "Sorry," Her face struggles away from dismay at the possibility of Cally being dead. Kameron doesn't want to believe it. "A slave? To who?" Pff, as if she were going to go walking up to this person and ask them politely if they could let her friend go. Nodding slowly at the offer to keep an eye/ear out for the girl, Kameron relaxes a bit again. "Is there anything I can do to help? I mean, it's only fair, if you're goin to keep an eye out for Cally, I should do something to help you too." Granted she was going to at least give him the money she took with her, as thanks for the offer and everything, but..

"Your utter lack of subtlety does not encourage me to answer that question," Cardinal replies in a drawl of voice, before taking a slow breath, "…and I'll happily take your money, God knows I can use it. What can you tell me 'bout the girl, though, since you don't know what she -looks- like or anything."

Kameron shifts her weight sheepishly at Cardinal's response. Eheheh. "Well.." Let's see. "She's short tempered, she's about ..maybe my height, maybe more?" About 5'9 or taller in that case. "She used to hang around the park and Lower East district - apparently she's a runaway, skittish around the subject of cops.." Um. A lot of this probably isn't helping. Kameron raise a hand to run it through her hair, frustrated. SUre her policy is to not ask personal questions, but she couldn't even ask people what they frickin' look like? "Um.." What else.. "Oh! Well - I may not know what she looks like, but there are other people who do, that she's met. Brian's one, and there's a man I met down in Chelsea, by the name of Alec. He's a construction worker. You could maybe ask one of them for a description..?" And maybe tell her so she knows what the girl looks like. Oh sure, there was that incident when Cally wound up outing herself, but that didn't help either. Saying, 'She made things very hot and red' didn't help either. Especially when Kammy was supposedly 'blind'. She's about to unzip her coat slightly to reach inside for the packet, when a thought occurs to her. "Um… have you heard of an fighting type of place around here..? Like a wrestling ring, or- or an arena?"

Cardinal's lips twitch ever so faintly, almost a smile, at something said - before the last words banish it, and he gives her a hard look through the shades. "The Pancratium," he replies, flatly, "You think she might be there? Why?"

"Pancratium? Do you know where it is?" She can't seriously be thinking about going there. As for the question, she reaches up absently, tugging on the coat zipper to pull it down, with the slightest crinkle of paper from where the envelope is pressed. "I overheard a conversation," she explains, "A lot of people are saying that the people going missing are probably getting pulled off the street and taken there, to fight. Since Cally was last headed here, according to that hot dog vendor," such an upstanding source of information, really. "And since she does have a bit of a temper, what with-," she trails off for a second, a thought occurring to her. Cally had kicked Smedley in the knee that time. But Kameron hadn't thought it possible that he might take revenge. Hrm. What -was- his name..? "I mean, she might have made the wrong person angry, or maybe she just.. heard about the place and thought to go there. If she's there because she wants to be, that's fine, I guess, but if she's being held there against her will, then someone should do something, right?"

"I'm not going to tell you where the Pancratium is," Cardinal dismisses entirely out of hand without even thinking about it, though as she continues to talk he watches her in silence for a handful of moments. Then a sigh, his head shaking slowly, "I'll keep an eye out for her, s'all I can promise. You, however, have got to get yourself the hell out of here and back home, you're walking bait on this island."

He's not? "But..!" He didn't even -consider- it. Probably if she had more money, someone might be swayed to point her in the direction, but she doesn't think Cardinal would. Still, she has to ask, even though she suspects she knows the answer, "Why not?" Now she opens her eyes behind her shades, grimacing briefly at a combination of filtered sunlight and her own vision that merged into a mix of shades, shapes, colors and the like. Hate.

She considers for a moment - if she could remember the name of that Texan cowboy, then maybe she could just ask him if he kidnapped Cally. Maybe she's not in the arena like the others seemed to think. That would be wonderful! … well not wonderful. "… All right." She sighs after a moment. "I really do appreciate this, Richard. I mean, you didn't even have to say this much." She shifts, tugging the envelope out of her jacket to offer it to him, keeping the paper folded against the inside of her arm, so it looked more like she was offering a very awkard handshake.

A hand is stretched out to clasp the envelope, sliding it along her arm and then coming back to tuck it, unexplored, into a pocket of his jacket. "Why not? Because you'll just get yourself hurt," he replies with a sharp snort of breath, his head shaking, "It's not a place for someone like you. So. If people think she's at the Pancratium, she must be Evolved. What can she do, d'you know? Maybe I can identify her by that."

Once the envelope is taken, she lowers her hand back to her pocket. There's just over a thousand dollars in the envelope - so it's probably a very good thing that she didn't get jumped on the way to the store. Maybe God was making up for taking away her sight, by giving her a guardian angel. Or a lot of luck. "They only take Evolved people there?" Er..Oops? Yes. Well. Um. Kameron shakes her head, "No, I don't know." This much is true. She has no clue what power Cally actually had - only that things got really really hot. She raises a hand to scritch her head, "Brian might., but I haven't a clue."

"Pity." The envelope'll be checked out later. Cardinal's hand drops back to his side, and he regards her for a moment before offering, "I've got a message for you to take back to Brian, too, when you see him next. I presume you see him fairly regularly, since you're at th'Lighthouse and everything…?"

"I'm sure she'll remember me if you ask her, if that helps." Zipping up her coat, she tucks her free hand into her pocket, reaching down to pat Prince on the head briefly. Good boy. "A message?" Kameron lifts her head in Cardinal's direction, curious, "Yeah, I see him pretty regularly." … "Well, I speak to him regularly anyway." She smiles weakly, "What's the message?"

The other man pauses for a long moment of silence. No… I don't know how much I can trust her. Or him, for that matter. He shakes his head suddenly, dismissing, "Actuallynevermind, it's fine. Look, if your friend's at the Pancratiumwell, I'll see if I can find out. Just don't risk your own neck on this, Kameron."

The long pause is a bit odd - maybe he was debating how to phrase it? ".. All right," Kameron gives, puzzled. "I'll be careful - you be careful too, Richard." She turns, about to go when she is abruptly reminded, and lets out a surprised, "Oh! I almost forgot!" Into the other pocket she reaches, with the hand holding the leash, where she takes out a thin slip of paper. No money this time. But she turns towards him, without consciously checking to see his last location, "My number, in case you find out anything." she smiles, hopeful, "It's for my cell phone."

A hand lifts to take the slip, and Cardinal glances at it once before tucking it away. "Alright," he affirms, "If I hear or see anything, I'll let you know-" He pauses for a moment, "-if she can survive th'games, though, she should come out've this all right. If that's where she is, of course."

"You're right. I'm sure she's fine," Kameron smiles. If Cally -was- at the 'games'. The girl nods as the slip of paper is taken, "Thank you again, Richard." she taps a finger to her forehead, with a warm smile, "I owe you one. Take care of yourself okay?" She takes a step backwards with a click of her tongue to get her guide dog's attention, and both turn to head off, back to the Lighthouse. Kameron, for her part, feels a bit better now that she has more people helping with the search. Someone is bound to find or hear something, right?

Cardinal rubs one hand against his temple and the side of his face as she turns to walk off—his head shaking slowly, he turns away, shifting the duffle on his shoulder. He's got some stalking to get back to, and now he's got another body and face to look for in the middle of all this.

When did -he- get the job of white knight? It's downright unnatural.

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