A Lack Of Trust


melissa4_icon.gif rebel2_icon.gif

Scene Title A Lack of Trust
Synopsis Melissa tries to see where Rebel stands regarding Rupert, but both leave not quite knowing if trust is deserved.
Date September 27, 2010

Central Park

Far away from the makeshift wooden shelter where the earlier meeting had taken place, in the crisp and cool night air, Central Park's ruinous southern end looks like a visage of some unfortunate future yet to come. Huddled masses squeeze together for warmth around fire pits, making shelters out of the makeshift ruins of park benches, discarded plywood and cardboard.

Amidst this impoverished setting, within the homeless communes of the northern most edge of the ruins of Midtown, Melissa Pierce finds herself drawn away from the others whom had attended Rebel's meeting, walking at the side of the darkly-dressed technopath, his fedora tipped down and hands tucked into the pockets of his slacks as he walks.

It's odd to assume that Rebel has a physical form, however transient and borrowed it may be. But this twenty-something Chinese man represents none of the three factions within Rebel's mind, truly, just a scrap of one that is a part of what was once Behemoth. His inner workings are as complicated as a fancy clock, and just as twisted.

"You had wanted to speak with me in confidence?" Rebel asks as he casts his eyes askance to Melissa, head tilting into subtle nod as he considers the blonde at his side. "That seems unlike you, from what I know. You do not trust me, this much I am aware of."

If Melissa is nervous about this walk or the talk that goes along with it, she hides it well. She just shrugs, lighting up a cigarette before she pauses and looks at him. "Honestly, I haven't had much reason to trust you, Rebel. My first association with you was trying to get me to give a kid over to you. I didn't know you, you outted me as Ferry to that girl, and it just sat wrong with me. I'm sure you can get that."

She inhales on the cigarette, exhaling upwards and letting her eyes follow the blue-gray smoke. "You surprised me tonight though. When I got the text message, I figured it was another Messiah meeting. Location was odd, but you're Rupert's lackey. He wants a meeting, you pass the word." She cocks her head as she looks back to Rebel. "Why didn't you include him in this? Or Peter?" she asks, sounding curious rather than accusatory.

Rebel's brows furrow as he considers Melissa in their walk, his expression a puzzled one, as if to imply no, I do not understand in so much simple terms. But not dwelling on that, Rebel instead moves into different topical venues that Melissa had raised. "I am no one's lackey, I am merely a facilitator of every man's rights to civil disobedience, and to this point, the right of the common man to bear arms and overthrow a tyrranical government. Your country has outlines for such rebellions, I merely provide the tools necessary to level the playing field."

Brows furrowed, Rebel turns down a path headed more southward in the park, closer to the ruins and past a group of three children, no older than twelve, standing around a cinder-block fire pit, their tattered, puffy jackets spilling stuffing out, sweatshirt hoods pulled over their heads to keep in warmth on the cold autumn nights.

"As for our tactician and leader, they both knew of this meeting and agreed to the necessity of it, but have other matters at hand. Rupert has been working on his telecommunications research for the city's radio and television stations, for an operation later next month. Peter is spearheading the elimination of Praeger and Mayes… he has enough responsibilities on his plate. They, both, trust me to complete my end of responsibilities. We are, after all, a team."

Melissa shakes her head. "If that was the case, then why did you say it was your operation, not Messiah's? If you were just taking care of it because they were busy, why deny it was a Messiah thing, that you were here on Messiah business?" she asks, arching a brow. There's a pause, then, "All of this is just between us, by the way, Rebel. I'm loyal to Peter, you should know that." Not Messiah, not Rupert, but Peter.

There's a furthered lack of understanding on Rebel's face as he looks to Melissa, then slowly shakes his head in the way a parent might with a child. Leading Melissa away from the firelight of the shenty town, the dark ruins of Midtown begin to approach as Rebel steps down onto the broken and warped asphalt of Central Park South, fire-warped hulks of derelict cars litter the streets, collapsed rubble from buildings blown apart by atomic fire litter the landscape. In the distance to the south, a brilliant beacon of white light rises high into the sky, the memorial lights of Ground Zero.

"Because it is my operation," Rebel reiterates, one brow lifted. "that recruitment happened outside of Messiah's ranks means that it was not strictly a Messiah operation, it was something that all people could easily see the value of participating in. Just because I am a part of Messiah, does not mean that my actions must always fall within the box that defines that group."

Rebel furrows his brows, dipping his head into a nod again. "I… hope that makes things even somewhat clearer for you. I do not know what it is you were thinking I had meant, but it was no more than the straight truth."

"Often a truth can hide several omissions," Melissa says, shrugging. "I just wanted to make sure I knew what was going on. And hoping you'd give me reason to revise my initial opinion of you. It's hard to learn to trust someone you never see. Someone who just exists as text messages. At least it is for me, but then, I expect everyone to screw me over in some form or another."

Thumbs hook in the front pockets of her pants and she looks off towards the memorial lights as well. "I half expected you to say that you were doing it alone because you didn't trust Peter or Rupert or someone, or because they disapproved. There's enough argument at the meetings about methods. Ash alone accounts for most of it," she says, shaking her head. She's fishing, and knows her bait isn't that good.

There Rebel comes to a stop, turning to look at Melissa with brows furrowed, his expression difficult to see in the dark, light from the fires in the distance barely illuminating one side of his face. "Why would I not trust Rupert or Peter, Melissa?" Now it's Rebel's turn to be accusing, as he slowly slides his hands out of the pockets of his slacks, arms crossin over the front of his chest. "They have only ever acted in the best interests of Messiah, int he best interests of the Evolved race."

One of Rebel's brows lift slowly. "I have never once argued the methods of this organization, does your distrust for me run so deeply that you would suspect me of traitorous intent?" Rebel isn't quite reading into Melissa's words the way she may have wanted.

Melissa isn't as certain as Rebel, but this is a very delicate game she's playing now. She shakes her head. "I never said you had argued the methods of the organization, Rebel. But others have. Like I mentioned Ash, specifically, who can't get through a meeting without bitching." She sighs softly. "And I don't know you, Rebel, so I can't trust or distrust you more than anyone else in Messiah that I don't know personally."

"As it should be," Rebel notes in a quiet tone of voice, turning to look out at the ruins, and then back to Melissa. "Trust needn't be had, nor am I so conceited enough to believe that you need to trust me in order to continue utilizing my services that coordinate Messiah's operations." Rebel's hands once more slide into the pockets of his slacks, and his chin motions towards the ruins.

"Curfew has ended, getting back to Staten Island tonight will be impossible to you. However," Rebel lifts one dark brow, "if you head south through the ruins and exit near the 15th street gap you can find your way into greenwich village. Catherine Chesterfield's residence above the Rock Cellar is not far. She would be willing to put you up for the night."

There almost seems like there's a suggestion in that offer of kindness. "They will not let you through the roadblock to get back onto Staten Island at this hour, consider the recommendation." With that, Rebel takes a step away from Melissa, heading in the opposite direction he'd recommended to her, which would take him back into the park.

"Yeah, I know where Cat lives," Melissa says, nodding, though there are other places she could stay. "And no, trust isn't necessarily needed. But I'll still go into space to take out those satellites. Let me know once you have a definite timeline." She watches him for a moment, then nods slightly and continues on her way, to go wherever it is she intends to go.

Rebel's back turns on Melissa, head ducked down and firelight reflected in the lenses of his glasses, looking askance to the direction that Melissa is walking in, then closes his eyes and lets a smile creep up on his lips. In the dark of night, surrounded by the sorrow of the tent city and the shantytown, Rebel and Melissa Pierce part ways.

Neither of them truly sure of where the other stands. In time, they'll find out.

By then it may be too late.

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