A Need for Speed


cardinal_icon.gif daphne_icon.gif

Scene Title A Need for Speed
Synopsis Cardinal has a plan and needs a certain speed demon to help make it work.
Date October 29, 2010

The Esplanade

It took a little while to get a message to a fellow thief, and Cardinal had to grease the palms of a few contacts that he hasn't actually been in touch with for awhile, but he managed to do it. A meeting was set up in the Esplanade just as the sun is beginning to go down. The Hudson catches fire in the reddish light of the skies, darkening minute by minute.

A chill breeze stirs through the park, rustling through Richard Cardinal's hair as he leans gloved hands against the rail at the edge of the river, his shades shadowing his eyes as he looks out over the evening sky with a troubled expression.
[OOC] Cardinal says, "Ooooh."

Any meeting with someone she only knows tangentially means that Daphne is on her guard. Not that she isn't almost always the second of any party of two to arrive. It's in her nature. Just like she makes sure that she sits with an unobstructed path to the nearest exit when she's indoors, she likes to scope out the area and make sure all is well, that there are no traps nor third parties to surprise her.

As the second hand ticks past a notch of their appointed time, a blur can be seen streaking Cardinal's way — red and cream and blue and black, the colors blurring until suddenly they coalesce into a solid form standing in front of the bespectacled man, a rush of wind ruffling him more than that gentle breeze.

"You called?" the petite speedster says, canting her head with a curious look on her impish features.

As the secondary breeze kicked up by the sudden arrival of the speedster buffets gently against him, Cardinal's head turns to one side — and a rogue's smile crooks up at one corner of his mouth in a faint curve. "Daphne. Thanks for coming…"

He pushes off the rail, straightening and turning towards her, one hand brushing through the air vaguely, "I know you don't know me that well, but— well, I'll get right to business. How much do you know about what's happening on the eighth?"

Her brows rise beneath that shock of white-blond hair and she shrugs. "Just what's been reported as what was in the visions. Murder, mayhem, chaos, that sort of thing. I didn't see much of anything to worry over myself, but I know others did." It's said with a feigned non-chalance, but there is a tension in Daphne's face that belies her casual demeanor. "I'd hope the government would learn from what was seen and ease up, but… it doesn't seem that way, does it." The last is not a question, and Daphne shifts in her stance, as if to take off running again just at the thought of the government.

"It's not just government pressure that's going to cause it…" Cardinal turns to look out over the river once more, his lips pursing in a tight line as he falls silent for a moment. "…there's a— guy that's been putting mental triggers in people's heads. Triggers that'll set this city on fire, and worse. The activating phrase is going out over a broadcast on that day."

Daphne turns too, looking over the river, the red light from the sunset reflecting back and making her pale skin and paler hair seem to glow with an orange light. "Triggers? Like… in spy movies or hypnotism shows? Like, 'I'll snap my fingers and you'll cluck like a chicken' kinda things?" she says, tilting her head and peering up at him through dark lashes. "What kinds of things is he going to make people do?"

"Kill." The word is flat, quiet. "Kill, and kill some more. And he's had access to some of the deadliest Evolved that I can think of. There might be other triggers… other things that he's going to have people do to make it worse. We don't know exactly what he's set up, which only makes it worse." Richard looks back to her, "We've got someone building jammers to block the broadcast, but we need them to be put in place across the city."

Those brows rise again, and she glances up at him. "I'm not, like, an electrician, if you're asking me to put these around and make sure they work. If it's just a matter of speeding them around town and setting them places, I probably can manage," she says, reaching up to push a wayward dreadlock back behind one ear. "Is it a matter of speed? How many of these things are we talking?"

"I'm told that setting them up's supposed to be easy as hell," admits Cardinal, "It's just that most of them have to be on radio towers and radio stations tend to look at you oddly when you ask to use their roof." His tone is a bit wry, "I'm not sure how many he's built, but they need to be in place by the eighth. Otherwise… well."

Radio towers gets a raised brow and her lips screw over to one side thoughtfully. Heights — she isn't afraid of them per se, but they definitely have begun to figure as the prominent hallmark of some of her worst moments, from Hiro on the side of a building to being flung out of a window at the hospital to a high tower in a nightmare that was all too real to sobbing on the Institute roof thinking she ruined everything by her quick decisions.

"All right," Daphne says after a pause that was merely a few seconds but felt like a lifetime, thanks to her inner clock that runs so much faster than most.

"Thanks." Cardinal gestures with one gloved hand, offering her a strained but honest smile, "You know where the old library is… in midtown? Go there. Don't mind all the robots and shit, just tell the people there that I sent you to distribute the jammers. I, uh— did you ever meet Gillian? I know she was at the medical site after we got her out of the Staten building…"

Robots? Daphne tilts her head. "Yeah, the one with the lions in front, right?" She shakes her head regarding Gillian. "I — she was the one who was … I know who she is. I don't think she knows who I am." The images of that night are unwelcome ones — Gillian bleeding as they got to her too late and yet just in time, followed by gorier images of Noriko and Gregor. She swallows and her feet blur as she moves unconsciously, almost a Snoopy dance of fidgeting. "When?"

"Whenever. I mean, I wouldn't show up in the middle of the night," admits Cardinal in dry tones, "But… whenever you get a chance during the day. Security might be a little twitchy, but, Gillian and Warren should be there, and maybe some've the others too. And… thanks, Daphne."

"Just tell 'em to expect me. Not that I think there's a robot that could catch me — unless maybe they've been designed to spray that horrible gas at visitors." There's a thought. Daphne shudders at the mere idea. "All right. I'll start on it ASAP." She gives a little mock salute and a flash of a grin. "Do you know what the trigger word is, by the way? Or how to know if you have been triggered?"

"Christ. I don't think that Harper's crazy enough to give him access to neg-gas…" Cardinal grimaces at the very idea, his head shaking slowly from side to side, "And— " He pauses, "Have you ever met a guy named Rupert Carmichael?"

Daphne's dark eyes widen as the name Rupert is mentioned. She remembers deliberately interrupting a conversation between Melissa and an uninvited guest at Mel's barbecue, interrupting their conversation and catching Melissa telling him off. "Rupert. Kinda skinny, scruffy, something to do with Messiah?" she says, looking more nervous and skittish. "I didn't talk to him much. I kinda tried to save someone from having to talk to him who didn't seem like they wanted to — shit."

"Shit." Cardinal's gloved fingers lift up to pinch the bridge of his n ose, his eyes closing, "So, yeah. On the eighth, I kind've suggest staying the fuck away from any radios or television. There's no way of telling if he's been in your head or not, you wouldn't remember it either way. Telepath can't get it out without being infected themselves, either."

"Easy enough," Daphne says, feigned nonchalance back, though her eyes still hold that worried expression. "Or maybe I'll take off for warmer weather somewhere. Not really up to winter this year, you know?" She adjusts the red and white courier bag she wears across her chest, glancing out across the water and back. "That it? Get these jammer things, stick 'em around town, and run for the hills? I think I can do that. You need anything else?"

"Peace of mind." Cardinal glances out over the water, then, arms folding down on the rail's edge as he leans back forward, "Don't think you can find that for me anywhere, though. Thanks, Daphne."

"If I do, I'll let you know. But I've been all around the world a few times over and haven't seen it yet." She smiles and waves, and suddenly the place she stood is empty, Cardinal's hair and clothing fluttering in the wind and wake; her blurred form is already yards away, growing ever and ever more distant and then disappearing completely in the red sunlight.

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