A Light in the Darkness, Part II


adelaide_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif faith_icon.gif hope_icon.gif

Scene Title A Light in the Darkness, Part II
Synopsis After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, a young Evolved woman stands up before protestors whose disparate views match on one thing: they don't agree with her.
Date August 9, 2009

Suresh Center

"…and with one cut of her shears, as did Delilah's bring down the champion of The Lord, so too have the doors to Sodom been re-opened…"

"…volved freaks! You can lecture all you want, nobody'll ever mistake you for people, you're monsters…"

"…thirty-six was just a beginning! This'll lead to more! Don't single out the Evolved! You're making them targets!"

Needless to say, the crowd is loud, but its opinions are hardly unified. As the ribbon tumbles towards the ground and others begin to enter the building, it only gets louder and more argumentative amongst the varied factions. Fortunately, all the heat seems to be verbal, as everyone's aware of just how much security is present. You can't get your message across if you'd been tasered and clubbed, after all.

Adelaide exhales. She inhale slowly and verbal spars were exchanged. She walked to towards the podium. She looked around. Perhaps they'd let her use it.

Hope is recording as much as she can. She's not certain just what will come across, but she'll do the best she can. The photos will be key, and her sister is one of the best, so she's not at all concerned about that. She just occasionally points something out. She starts to look to see who might be interview-worthy.

Faith does have an eye for the most disturbing images — the one of the HF baby holding the sign ran on the front page last time. She snaps a shot of a green-glowing woman holding up a sign saying "Freaks are people too." Of course, the woman looked like she always considered herself a freak, as she's covered from head to toe in tattoos and piercings. It's actually difficult to see the glow through the ink, but her eyes glow brighter, making her almost demonic-looking. As Faith snaps the photo, the woman gives her the peace sign and grins. "You okay going on the record? Can I get your name?" Faith asks.

The self-described freak nods. "Anna McElroy." Faith turns and looks for her sister, beckoning her. It's hard to get on-the-record folks, and the woman looks like she'll give a good interview.

As there's no longer the single speaker to focus upon, the demonstrators separate further into their divergent groups, though they continue to hawk their personal philosophies as such people do — shouting at each other as much as at the building and anyone else who'll listen. A preacher's clambered up onto a crate they brought for the purpose, preaching about how the Evolved of today are merely the witches of the age, wink wink, nudge nudge, suffer to live and all that — only he's saying it in long-winded quotation form, of course. The skinheads and racists are muttering amongst each other darkly, Carla's commentary about racial equality having definitely not sat well with them. HUMANiS FIRST reads one of their signs, setting the general tone for their knot of people at the very least.

Adelaide works her way towards the podium. She inhales and looks at the crowd. She wondered for a moment what she was doing up here, but she licked her lips. She waits a few moment, wondering if people would notice her… She waited and then began to speak. "I am not anyone special. I am person, but I figured maybe we should open up dialouge between people. Evolved, Non-Evolved… not a 'evolved' or not. But as people. As families, as parents, as friends, relations." she made eye contact with a few people. "So why don't we start there. I am a nobody. I am college student, trying to get my degrees, apply for medical school so I can help people." she inhales. "I would like to know why you all have such grudges against evolved… especially when anyday you could very well wake up and be on the other side of that fence?"

It's the first time Elisabeth Harrison has put her uniform back on in months. It's actually a little bit loose. But considering the situation and the mayor's involvement in all this, it was required that SCOUT operatives especially put in an appearance — not only because they are the face of Evos in the public eye, but also because if ugliness breaks out their abilities are going to be wanted on the scene. So Liz is wearing the black pants and flak vest of the NYPD, her blonde hair caught back in a French braid and pinned out of the way. She's staying to the side of the crowd, in contact with the others of her squad via earpiece, and doing her level best to help the private security personnel as well as the uniformed officers who've been tapped for this job keep order. And it's not been all fun and games….. well, yeah, maybe it has. The guy with the bullhorn near the back found very quickly that his bullhorn was going to be useless. She didn't silence his protests — far from it. But she did mute the bullhorn-enhanced waves so that his voice was no louder than anyone else's. Besides… he was giving her a headache. As she walks through the crowd, she's got watchful blue eyes on everyone and she's tuning in to conversations all over the place just to make sure that the bitching and hollering stays just that. No one thus far has sounded too out of control in her region.

As the ribbon is officially cut, though, there's a roar of displeasure from a small group of rabidly opposed down to the left of the stage. It appears that a small scuffle — some ten or so people, all told, some pro- some anti- on the subject have gotten into a fistfight. Uniformed officers are wading into it to break it up even as Adelaide starts talking, commanding the attention of at least a few people. Her story is personal, and that's going to make her a target of random things like shoes — which someone does throw toward the stage.

Adelaide inhales. The shoes fly and she stands there knocking them aside. "Look… I want to help you all.. I don't want to see anyone else hurt. You all really need to listen to yourselves talking. Just because someone is an evloved, or black or white.. does that mean you /need/ to be hostile? No. " she exhales. "It means you should respect them… but the Center is there to help everyone get along. Why not take a chance. You might learn to like other people instead of being insular."
As things get properly underway now, crowds splitting up, shifting, Agnes moves in a little closer to the action, seeming curious about this whole thing by now, and hopeful that said curiosity won't do to her what it did to the cat. She takes a final drag of her cigarette before tossing it down to the ground and grinding it out with a platform heel.

Hope moves over to interview Anna, and gets a few lines in before Adelaide. Her attention is rather coldly shifted from Anna to Adelaide as she shifts her voice recorder towards the podium. She leans towards her sister. "That girl is going to get eaten alive by this crowd."

"Center is here to experiment on us!" One pro-evo protester yells, raising her sign then lowering it repeatedly. "They built it so they can study us right under our noses! Just you watch! People will disappear! Evolveds will go in! Not everyone will come out!" The hefty curly red headed protester yells at Adelaide and to the populace in general. "Won't catch me in there! Nobody! That's exactly what you'll become soon enough once they get their hands on you!"

The majority of the protestors move the hell out of the way as the police move in, leaving their fellows to the tender mercies of the beuniformed officers even as they sneer at their opposition. There's some taunts and shouts, at the cops and others, but the physical confrontation seems to be an isolated event. For now, anyway.

"You want to know what we have against the Evolved, young lady?" A man in his late middle ages pushes forward up to the steps through the crowd, grizzled through lack of shaving and with age and experience chiseled into lines upon his face, garbed in a loose flannel shirt and blue jeans, a traditional blue-collar worker's outfit. There's a sign that he's holding, braced upon his shoulder now, that reads in sharpie marked-lines **LET THEM BE CAST OUT*. "This ain't just a matter of color or equality. Don't you read the news? They can kill someone by accident. One of them blasted every man, woman, an' child in Midtown to dust - and half the firefighter's probably got radiation sickness from trying to save lives! You think that's equal? You think that's fair? You think we should understand them? They're not people - they're weapons!"

The anti-evolved groups issue a roar of approval from behind him.

Faith nods. "I know, Can you believe this broad?" she asks, giving her sister a disbelieving look and moves a little closer. She gets a good shot of a boot flying right at Adelaide's face and actually chuckles as she glances at it on the digital display. She turns as the man begins to shout, snapping more shots, getting closer to make sure she gets an unobstructed view of his sign.

Adelaide exhales. "You know what… I'll admit it.. occasionally yes… a power doesn't go as planned. But that's because they is no safe place for practicing or learning. You all realize that sometimes many of the evolved, are unable to control themselves, because… we can't pratice. I am sure many evolveds don't know how to go about learning. A place that's safe where yes… powers can be analized- can be studied… to protect both their users-so they can learn to control them. You ever think that many evolved might be able to help people? Someone with one power or another might find a way to cure cancer? Are you going to turn them down because they're an evolved, they could save your life." she exhaled. "And they are people. I am a person. I have a life… and yes… I am Evolved." she tenses, waiting for slings, arrows, bullets. "Look I don't want my life to be ruled by fear, I don't want to spend it day in and day out… 'pretending' to be what I am not. I'd rather invited people to live- full and interesting lifes than be… locked up for being what they are." she looks at people, mostly the protesters, locking eyes, smiling. "If you are going to vilify me, cruicify me for being myself… then do it…" Her eyes are scan the crowd. She waits a moment, waiting for people to asks questions… "And now I am going to questions. You're welcome to ask.Polite and well thought questions please."

She'd love to actually retort to that comment about firefighters and radiation — because it's true — with a verbal slapdown. To point out to all of these people, pro- and anti- alike, that she and the other officers out there who also HAPPEN to be Evolved put their own lives on the line every day too. But it's not Elisabeth's job tonight to be the voice of Evo cops and firefighters everywhere. It's her job to make sure that nothing more than scuffles on the ground actually happen. Making her way through the crowd, she hauls one teen rabblerousing a bunch of his own age group up by the scruff and murmurs in his ear briefly, "If you can't behave, you'll be leaving now. Keep it civil." It's a simple enough warning, and one that the kid heeds when he whirls around to come face to face with an authority figure who can make good on it. He hands over the firecrackers he had in his hands, and she walks away with several long strands of them and a box of cherry bombs too. Making her way back out of the crowd, Liz hands them off to a uniformed officer with a roll of the eyes. Then she returns to her job.

From the crowd, one woman clearly in the pro-Evolved camp calls above the clamor. "I have a question! I have one!" She doesn't wait for the anti-Evo side to try to smear her. "How many times a day have you walked through your school's halls afraid for your life? My son is fourteen, and he's Evolved. And just like we were told to, we registered him. He's a good kid, and what he can do is simple and hasn't got any kind of explosions or stupid shit like that! But he's terrified of what it means to be able to do math better than everyone else. So I want to know from you — what do you SAY to people like that," she points to the guy talking about the firemen, "when they claim that you — because you're just a nameless, faceless 'you' to him — are just out to hurt people? Do you hide your ability? How are you going to help other kids in your position in this place without it becoming a target for the crazies?"

Since things seem to be happening a little closer to the podium, Agnes weaves slowly through the crowds in that direction, not seeming in any real hurry to get up there, but … it's a place to go, anyway. As the crowd grows denser and perhaps rowdier, Aggie is bumped by accident, but enough to nearly send her tumbling to the ground - such is the risk of the high footwear she chooses. She stumbles, managing to catch herself, though perhaps jostles a few others in the process. "Sorry," she mutters, "Sorry, sorry." The contrition doesn't quite match the punkish look she sports, but — while you can take the girl out of the small town, you can't take the small town out of the girl…

Hope will do almost anything for a story. Probably one of the few exceptions is die. She scoots closer to her sister as she watches the commotion. "I'm wondering if we'd be safer inside now." She doesn't want to miss this story as it could get her and Faith a Page One. But damn. This is one of those moments she wishes she was a television reporter. She starts to dictate stuff into her voice recorder, pausing only when someone else speaks.

"I think those nice boys in the pointed white hoods back there brought a cross, if you're gonna volunteer for that, little lady," the rugged man who's stepped up to answer Adelaide replies with a derisive guffaw, sweeping an arm back towards the crowd. There's no literal hooded Klansmen visible in the crowd, but that doesn't mean there aren't some of those well-known racists lingering about throughout the demonstrators. As the other woman shouts out from the crowd, he turns back to scowl at her, especially as she mentions her child's status as Evolved. After she's done, he tries to shout over her as he turns back to the podium, "Screw that. You want a question? You wanna be more than a faceless 'you' like that lady said? Why don't you tell us all who you are, miss, and what your 'ability' happens to be. And then tell me why any of that bullshit you just said'll make up for the risk of having my family incinerated for that one in however-many of you that goes bad. And what I should tell my sister's tombstone to make her forgive the Midtown Bomber!"

"It's getting ugly, but the pics will be better out here — who cares about champagne and tiny quiches? Besides, Branton has the inside photog gig today," Faith says to her sister. Her nemesis, Drew Branton, one of the staff photographers who takes the fancy and posh assignments and lets Faith have the dirtier ones. Fine with her — dirty means more interesting photos. "Get that guy's name if you can, that's a good quote. And what's this chick's story, who is she and why did she elect herself ambassador? I don't think she's with the Center, do you?"

"Hey jackass!" Red head protester turns on the man who's blathering like the idiot he is. "She doesn't have to tell you at all what she does. So shut up!" She moves forward, getting in his face. "Just because she's admitting she's evolved, doesn't mean she needs to tattoo it on her forehead! Oh, I bet you'd like that wouldn't you, everyone to tattoo their ability on their forehead!" Down comes her cardboard sign, whacking the man on the head. "Asshole. And you!" She points to Adelaide. "You're in on it! You're probably in on their scam! How much are they paying you to promote their little extermination camp in there huh!"

Adelaide smiles She nods to the woman. "Good question. I am college student, I want to become a doctor… I want to help people." she took another deep breath. "Yeah. being a target for crazies is a problem. But you know what, I'd say.. keep living. If your kid can do math better than anyone else, have him teach others. If he knows theoy behind the math. Have him help his friends… and yes occasionally I do get afraid… " she turns to look at the crowd. She swallows. To person who talk about their sister she nods. "Sure… I guess I should tell you all who I am. Adelaide Naimarc…" she waits letter her name wring of over the loud speakers. "I lost my entire immediate family in the midtown bombing, all of them. And my ability? Its hard to describe… and I honestly just know I get… clips, like peices of movies .. " she smiles. She exhales. "I'll repeat this again… I am a normal person. A college student, no one special, not affliated with anyone or anything. But I am sick and tired of just sitting around. Of being quite, I'll pull a Rosa Parks and not move from my metaphorical bus seat. Nothing.. I walked up here to talk because I felt someone needed to remember the parents, the families.. those who can't speak or who are protecting others too young to talk. I am a random person who decided to stand up and speak. I don't want to be just a person on the sidelines. I'll be… well I'll be the next Martin Luther King is if I have to, in way." she's just Black/African American-infopedia. "And you know what… I will speak out.. I don't agree with the law, registration…." she licks her lips. "Any other questions?" she smiles. She seems to be enjoying this.

Oh Jesus Christ…. Elisabeth wades into the fray on that one. "All right, people! We're keeping our hands and our signs to ourselves!" For a relatively small little blonde, she's definitely got some volume on her. Not so much that she's making people deaf, but she's asserting Authority. She sidles through and steps in between the man who just got hit and the redhead. "Lady, you do not want to take this further. Keep it verbal only, or you're outta here!" She looks over her shoulder at the anti-Evo guy and says, "Step back. If you want to press charges, I'll cuff her, but if not — just step back."

"I don't think so. All the important stuff is going on inside. Though I'm surprised the cops haven't pulled her from the stage." Hope gets the girl's name, guessing on the spelling as she scribbles it on a pad. Maybe she'll try and catch her after this all gets sorted out. "Don't knock tiny quiches, I'm starving."

"What the hell, lady— " The older man takes a step back after the whack over his head with the cardboard, bringing his own up to defend himself, and then there's a cop between them. He relaxes a bit, rolling his eyes, "— crazy bitch. Naw, just get her the fuck away from me. You know what, though?" A finger's thrust through the air like a spear at the speaker, "Why don't you check if she's registered, huh? And if she's not, arrest her! Isn't that against the law? So we protect our families, our children from these freaks by knowing who they are?"

"Go get the quiches. Pocket a few, if you can, and I'll catch you on the flip side," Faith says with a toothy grin. "I'll try not to get beaned by a sign or a shoe, promise." She then looks at the man telling the cop to check if Adelaide is registered. "Oh, shit. That's why you don't just go grab random microphones and start preaching, right?" She waves to Hope and heads closer to catch everything on film.

Agnes gets herself righted again, rubbing absently at her ankle. Thankfully it's not twisted or sprained, just a little sore. Figuring it's perhaps best not to stay near those she just shoved, she ducks under a flailing arm and begins to cut diagonally across the crowd. It's slow going, and she takes a few elbows and almost gets tripped again. She finds herself beginning to wonder just why she ventured in here again.

Elisabeth's placement of herself between the red head and the anti-evo guy is good because redheads not about to claw over the police officer to get to the man, but she does give him the dirtiest look once could ever give. Followed quickly by a gob of spit. "get a life jerk off! Go find some puppies to kick and kittens to drown instead of worrying whether some kid is registered who doesn't have a dangerous ability!"

Oh, how she would love to make a rude comment to this guy… something along the lines of 'aren't you glad one of us *freaks* just stepped in and kept Atilla the Hun from beating your butt into the ground?' But Elisabeth doesn't. That, too, is not her job. She shakes her head and manhandles the redhead backward. "The two of you can hurl insults all you want, from 20 feet apart. The next physical assault you make, ma'am, and it'll earn you a night in lock-up whether he presses charges or not." She's firm, and she is making a point of separating the two and using her body to keep the redhead off the guy, herding her back into the crowd. So long as he keeps moving AWAY, life will remain good. "It's the great thing about a free country — he has just as much right to spout off his bullshit at the top of his lungs as you do to spout off yours at the top of your lungs. So… get over there and keep it NOT PHYSICAL."

Adelaide watches. Her eyes pass over the crowd. "No more questions, or comments or attacks?" she asks softly. "Does anyone else have questions for me. I am fielding them, or comments. I actually invite you all who are protesting against Evolved to ask those burning questions…"

Deciding to take her sister up on her suggestion, Hope takes a final look around. Seems like the 'speaker' has said her piece. It should make for an interesting article but for now, she's starving so she slips around and into the building. Hopefully, she'll remember to bring something out for her sister.

"Do you know it's not? The girl doesn't even know what she can do…" The protestor looks at the girl behind the podium for a moment, then snorts, "Maybe you're happy that your family died and left you all their money, little girl, but that just tells me that you're a cold-blooded monster. I hope someone takes care of you before you destroy any more families, Naimarc." A turn, dismissive of her and Elisabeth, and he heads back to his part of the crowd to a chorus of shouts from all sides, of support or derision.

"Hell no! No Evos! Hell no! No Evos!"

Adelaide exhales. "Hardly… I love my family. They're gone… how can you say that. " she was trying trying tohold back tears, and these were real. "I won't taunt you with name calling, and you're right I am a little gir in a sense. But I miss my family as much as anyone…" she inhaled and doesn't step down. She brushed her tears away. "Anyone else? Any other evolved?"

Agnes stops once she's managed to get herself over to the fringes of the crowd without any further injury to herself or others. Turning back towards the group and the podium, she wrinkles her nose slightly to find that the argument has now progressed to the point of calling people monsters. She heaves a sigh and starts fishing around in a pocket for her cigarettes.

"I think you need to get down off that stage little girl and stop preaching. You're just running off at the mouth now. Playing the sympathy card!" Random person from the crowd yet again yells. "Leave her alone! She's a kid" A woman near Agnes yells out with her hands cupped to be heard. "She's a freak of nature! At least we know that all the freaks will be here! Easier for Humanis First to blow them to hell where they belong!" A teenager from the center speaks up "I lost my parents too in midtown! I understand!" The red headed woman has fallen silent just glaring at Elisabeth. A tall man from far off to the side pipes up "All of you need to just shut your traps and let it be! This place is open. Suck it up! Don't like it, don't visit. Soon enough they'll get an evo who will blow em all up sky high anyways"

Liz meets the redhead's gaze head-on and merely says quietly, "Go on about your business, ma'am." And then she moves on to the next mini-crisis in the making. Twining her way through the crowds, Elisabeth breaks up a couple more scuffles and works her way toward the front. When she reaches the stage, she steps onto it and gestures Adelaide to the side. Her tone is gentle. "Whatever you thought you were doing? Not so sure this was the best way to go about it, especially giving out your name. You're causing a bigger riot than needs to be here tonight, and you're making yourself a target. It's time for you to step down now." She can sympathize with the kid's need to stand up for herself and rebel, but … now it's time to get her off the stage before something bad happens.

Adelaide winces but steps down and begins to look for the nearest on duty cop.. "Mind escorting me to the nearst police station so I can go get registered. I'd rather not go alone. Now that I've said who I am.. most people will forget, but the few crazzies might try to turn me into a item or pin cushion." she asks Elizabeth politely, conversationally. "Its ok.. I did it because I felt like… not to be a rebel, but to make them stop and think. " she smiles. "I know what I did was stupid… I haven't done anything like that in my life ever. I felt like if I was going to live… I am going to do being…a change and peacemaker. " she smiles.

The man who was talking vanishes back into the crowd, as their chanting and shouting continues. "Round 'em all up here, yeah," one of the skinheads shouts, thrusting a fist in the air, "That way we'll know where they are!" The preacher continues to preach from his pulpit, his followers listening avidly as he drones on loudly about Sodom and Gomorrah, making allusions to New York City in the process.

Agnes winces as the woman yells out right near her, looking over to give her a look. "Ow," she states wryly, though there's no real ire there. As talk turns to bombing the Center, she gives it a wary look, as if she half expects it to go up at any moment while they all stand here — whether because of anti-Evolved protesters or an Evolved simply losing control. Neither way really sits any better with her.

With a quick nod, Elisabeth radios in and tells her squad that she's escorting ms. Naimarc off the premises and she'll be forthwith escorting her to the Registration Center. She directs Adelaide off the stage toward the back of the structure, to get them both out of here with a minimum of waylaying.

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