A Plea For Help


cardinal_icon.gif griffin_icon.gif

Scene Title A Plea For Help
Synopsis After the gala, Griffin tries to find a way out of the hole he's found himself dug into.
Date December 24, 2010

New York Public Library

Once upon a time, the New York Public Library was one of the most important libraries in America. The system, of which this branch was the center, was among the foremost lending libraries /and/ research libraries in the world.

The bomb changed that, as it changed so much else.

By virtue of distance, the library building was not demolished entirely, like so many others north of it; however, the walls on its northern side have been badly damaged, and their stability is suspect. The interior is a shambles, tattered books strewn about the chambers and halls, many shelves pulled over. Some have even been pulled apart; piles of char in some corners suggest some of their pieces, as well as some of the books, have been used to fuel fires for people who sought shelter here in the past.

In the two years since the bomb, the library — despite being one of the icons of New York City — has been left to decay. The wind whistles through shattered windows, broken by either the blast-front or subsequent vandals, carrying dust and debris in with it. Rats, cats, and stray dogs often seek shelter within its walls, especially on cold nights. Between the fear of radiation and the lack of funds, recovery of the library is on indefinite hiatus; this place, too, has been forgotten.

What a night it's been thus far. A party, giving his girlfriend a necklace, and then finding that he's being tracked by Federal Agents, and was somehow discovered. Then, that narrow escape of his, which will no doubt be blamed on him in the tabloids. He met with a boy from Moab, Toru…and then, he promptly made his way here, to the New York Public Library.

While on his way, he sent a text to Cardinal from his prepaid phone, requesting a meeting at the library. Now, he's just arrived, using his ability to artfully traverse the ruins, ensuring further that he won't be followed. And as far as he knows, he hasn't been.

Griffin Mihangle, a wanted terrorist, finally steps into the somewhat homey library, pulling off his coat as he begins a vector-assisted stride toward the room he's taken residence in for now. Once within, he quickly begins to pack his things, as well as a few things for Owain. At the very least, he can try to spend Christmas with his son.

Here's hoping that Cardinal hurries up and gets here.

Of course, the little incident at d'Sarthe's ensured that Richard Cardinal had a great deal to do; he spent the rest of his Christmas Eve talking to the police and filling out paperwork. So it takes him a short while before he gets around to answering the text message with a short: 'omw, sty home'.

Nobody ever accused Cardinal of being the most legible texter in the world.

Eventually, though, the shadows in the New York Public Library's main branch move once more, darkness swimming through the derelict building until the man emerges into three dimensions once more. "Griffin?" A call of his voice, "You here?"

By the time the shadows begin to move, Griffin is seated behind the front desk, idly reading a book. His legs are even kicked up on the desk, and he's reading…by the glow of his eyes, which make for nice little miniature flashlight in the building. He intentionally has all of the lights off. Just in case. As Cardinal calls out to him, those glowing eyes lift from the pages of his novel.

Then, he's raising to his feet, frowning. "Richard," he mumbles, "I'm sure you've heard what's happened?" He places an old library card into the book, setting it on the desk before moving out from behind it to approach Cardinal.

"Did you maybe not notice the Redbird Security insignias on the guys milling around d'Sarthe's place? You almost interfered with a sting operation I was pulling to catch Humanis First in the act," Richard says just a bit peevishly; forgive him, he's had a long night dealing with feds and police and every other alphabet agency that decided it had a say in what happened that night. They won, so he's not actually pissed, just mildly irritated.

"Brian made sure you got away, though, right?" He walks along into the room where Griffin's seated, shaking his head, "I made sure to shoo Melissa and her friend out've there before someone asked for their identities."

"We were acting on information that Humanis First was planning to attack the Gala. It was our intent to capture one of them alive, and to stop the bombing from happening." This is said in a cool tone, even as Griffin turns, leaning against the desk as Cardinal approaches him. "I was completely unaware that I had been tracked to the Gala."

He nods quietly. "Yes. Brian did make sure that I got away. It did little to stop the two FRONTLINE suits that were after me, but I somehow managed to get away. Thank you for shooing Mel and Perry out."

Then, he closes his eyes. When they open again, they no longer glow. "I need your help, Richard."

"You should've told me. I employ Jolene Marley," Cardinal observes in rather dry tones, his head shaking ever so slightly, "Sorry about FRONTLINE, there wasn't much I could do about that — I don't have any influence over OS, that's not in Elisabeth's jurisdiction. They're supposed to be the Staten unit… you really pissed someone off to get them on this side of the river."

He leans his hip against the table, then, arms folding over his chest, "Humanis ate bullets, unfortunately, hopefully that 'Nick' guy will have some useful information. And obviously you do."

"You were a criminal once…but now, you're legit. Perhaps not legal, considering that you're consorting with a terrorist, among other things, but you've got Government contracts." Green eyes turn over to Cardinal, running a hand through his hair, before shifting back to the ground. "I need help. I want— no, I need to be able to raise my son without worrying about when the feds or the men in FRONTLINE suits are going to come and get me. I need a way to amend my ways…with Marjorie gone, I'm all Owain has. My dad…he's too old to care for a ten year old. And my mom…she disowned me and my family."

The telekinetic breaths a heavy sigh, rubbing at his forehead. "I've dug myself into a hole, and I have no clue how to get out. Or if I even can get out on my own." He finally flicks his green eyes back up to Richard's face. "Please help me…"

"I saved the world. It buys you a lot of favors, if not a lot of goodwill…" A quiet statement from Cardinal, honest for what it's worth, not bragging at all. He brings one hand up to rub against the nape of his neck, his head falling forward and his eyes closing. "I don't know if I can, Griffin. Messiah's bought itself a lot of enemies — the shit you people did, and that Rupert did in your name, well…"

He grimaces, "That maniac Heller has your scent, and he's not going to stop until he has you all dead on the ground."

The lanky man's face twists into a frown as the bad news is delivered, and he dips his head toward the ground, nodding slowly. "I…I don't know what to do. They killed my sister in cold blood— let my son hear it all. I'm all he has…and I don't know what to do any more." He raises a hand, frustratedly tugging at a handful of hair.

"Do you know anyone who can help me? I— I'll do anything. Anything to make sure that my son doesn't have to face losing me as well." He grimaces. "I'm the world's worst father. It should be me who is dead, not my sister…my son has lost everything because of me. He's lost two mothers— and both of their deaths were my fault…" He rubs his hand over his hair, mussing it up a bit.

"I have to make this right…"

"I'm not a miracle worker, Griffin," Cardinal says quietly, shaking his head a little, "I don't— I can't think of any way to make you legal, to keep your son safe, that doesn't involve you //dying/ somehow. Either faked and getting you a new identity… and with Heller on your trail, that'll be a hard sell… or actually killing you. I'm gonna assume you're not depressed enough to prefer that option."

He regards the other man for a moment, and says quietly, "You may need to choose between getting your revenge and never getting to see your son again— finding someone to take him— or hiding out with him until you're caught. It's a messy situation, Griffin, and given that you personally did so much…"

Griffin frowns, slumping forward slightly and lifting his hands to rub at his face. For a long moment, he remains completely silent, his hands covering his eyes as he breathes slowly. Then, he raises his head, frowning to Cardinal. "Tell me what you know about Heller. I…I know what I have to do." He frowns. "My son— he's safe with the Ferrymen."

He raises a hand, pinching his nose. "I…I don't really know what I'm doing, but maybe…" He trails off, staring down at the ground as he lapses into silence, a haunted look on his features.

"As safe as they are," Cardinal mutters under his breath, his fingers pushing back through his hair as he exhales a sigh of breath, "Look, there's… another guy I know that's looking into Heller. You and him might be able to work together on exposing the crazy sonuvabitch. Just walking in and trying to kill him isn't gonna get you anywhere— he's the head of FRONTLINE-OS, on Staten, and he's got Messiah in his sights. If you can figure out a way to get Heller off your tail, maybe I can arrange something."

"Know anything about faking your own death?" Griffin tilts his head to the side, turning to peer thoughtfully at Cardinal for a long moment. "Tell me his name, and give me a way to contact him. I need any line I can get. And if I can fake my own death, somehow…I've done it before, more than once…then he might get off of my tail. Leaving me free to watch him." He rubs at his chin thoughtfully.

"The name's Brad Russo." Yes, it's that Brad Russo. Cardinal tilts his head towards the table, "I'll write down his address for you. Be careful going to see him, though, and don't mention me at all — he doesn't know me. Just tell him the Red King sent you, and tell him what I told you about him being the head of Staten's FRONTLINE. And that there's more to that team than meets the eye." A faint smile, "Heller, first. Then we'll see about getting you a new life, Griffin."

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