Absit Omen


eileen_icon.gif ethan_icon.gif gabriel_icon.gif peter_icon.gif raith_icon.gif

Scene Title Absit Omen
Synopsis Or: may there be no ill omen. A Latin phrase to express the wish that something seemingly ill-boding does not turn out to be an omen for future events, and calls on divine protection against evil, which is exactly what the Vanguard remnant needs.
Date October 7, 2009

Old Dispensary

On the outside, this sprawling multi-level complex has not seen use in many years, its walls covered in greenery and stone exterior and glass windows showing evidence of disrepair. Surrounded by a chain link fence, a drive leads from the street to a large dock, and around the back one can expect to find more sprawling greenery that eventually leads to a concrete drop off into the Atlantic Ocean.

Passing through the chainlink fence and into the dispensary will reveal that the aged and crumbling outside is a facade. The loading dock is kept clear for the most part of everything save vehicles and supplies, though a section has been quartered off and transformed into an open workshop. The dispensary itself has been transformed into something akin to a makeshift dormitory, complete with common areas, a sizable kitchen and eating area, with various rooms converted into bedrooms for the residence. One room has even been set up as a makeshift clinic, amply stocked with supplies.

The back lawn and garden of the dispensary is surprisingly well tended, green and lush during the right months. Vegetables have been planted in accordance to season closer to the building, though someone has indulgently planted a plots of flowers - notably sunflowers - here and there. Further out, the ground drops a little and makes it to a concrete edge from which opens out into deeper water of the Atlantic.

Dust would have fallen in a cascade, upon the wrenching open of the front door - but it's been tested before now, and Gabriel has already suffered through the billow cloud of fine dusty neglect before he'd invited them all on this late afternoon expedition. The hinges creak but they aren't stuck. Unlike many abandoned buildings within Staten Island, this one has only seen some months of loneliness, unlike the two years that has slowly broken down the last safehouse in which they discovered on the river.

"Ladies first," is said with a tone that could imply any of the other members of Remnant, Gabriel stepping aside.

It's not the eerie shadow of darkness within that might be expected of the sprawling property. Arching windows let in plenty of sunlight and illuminate the dusty floorboards, curtainless and unboarded. There's marks in the debris on the floor that indicates some things have been dragged and shoved aside, cleared of whatever clutter had been left here from the previous occupants to whatever squatters had made temporary resting places of the dispensary.

Gabriel's arms come to fold as he adds, "There was a security system all over the place. I spent some time taking it down, but I didn't throw everything away. But Phoenix seems to have taken most of everything that made this place theirs."

Ethan is intent on being the first one to enter once the ladies first invitation is given. Stomping into the building, he casts a wary glance around. Not the kind of wary where one suspects a ninja or a monster to jump out from any shadow, but the kind of wary where one is not exactly sure when one got his last tetanus shot. A tuneless hum is given in response when Ethan's black boots grace the Dispensary.

"And the birds moved away because why? They thought it was compromised or they wanted somethin' a little more feng-shui?" Whether the mispronunciation is purposeful or not, isn't certain. The Wolf tucks both thumbs into his belt loops as he takes a few steps in, slowly turning to look back at his three companions still entering through the door. Ladies first…

"Pricks last." Ethan says for Gabriel's benefit.

Perhaps surprisingly, it isn't Eileen who takes up Gabriel's offer first, or even second, but Raith, approaching the opened door with very intentional and exaggerated swish of his hips. And once he's inside, he likes what he sees. And then, he takes another look at it. "On the plus side, it'll be an ideal location to film our low-budget remake of House on Haunted Hill," he suggests, "Seriously. I'm just waiting for metal shutters to drop down and trap us inside with malevolent specters bent on keeping us from collecting our checks." Obviously, Raith is ready to give this location the thumbs down, which is exactly why he suddenly turns to face the group as a whole and asks, like a giddy child, "When can we move in?"

Bundled in a heavy woolen peacoat and leather gloved to protect alabaster skin from the October chill, Eileen's sylph shape hangs back on the fringe of Raith's shadow with slim arms wrapped around a comparably rounded torso. A gray pashmina woven from cashmere yarn covers her dark hair, leaving only a few strands to tease at her temples and brow and catch the light filtering into the Dispensary through the ground floor's expansive windows.

She says nothing for the time being, preferring instead to focus on the ambient sounds of the abandoned hospital: aged floorboards creaking in sullen protest beneath booted feet, the wind whispering sibilantly through the upstairs passageways, and the distant flutter of pigeon wings trembling in the attic's eaves.

"It's a small wonder that you're as good at what you do, Jensen." The click-clack of hard soled dress shoes clunk across the dusty floor as a narrow silhouette comes to stand in the doorway. "What with how much television you must have watched to make those references." A crooked smile spreads across Peter Petrelli's face as he takes uneasy steps inside of the dispensary's foyer, gloved hands folded behind his back. Blue eyes survey the ceiling and drift across the spaces where furniture once was, ghosts of memories from times more familiar than now haunting every corner of this place. The could have been's and should have been's that still echo in the walls.

"Phoenix abandoned this place because of the aerial attack on the Rookery and outlying drug dens…" Nothing goes said for the destruction of two Ferrymen safehouses, nothing need be said. "With the government's focus on potentially reclaiming this island, Phoenix did what any group of twenty-somethings would. They ran." A black shoulder rolls into a shrug, and Peter stops by one of the windows, reaching out with one leather-clad hand to brush a line of dust off the sill with two fingers, brows tensed as he recalls the last time he stood by that window, and who was by his side then and who is by his side now. The contrast is stark.

Rubbing his forefingers and thumb together to free them of dust, Peter's attention moves to Eileen, one black brow raised as he assesses her silent movement inside. "Not that it really matters at the moment…" Tucking both hands into the front pockets of his black pea coat, Peter moves across the foyer's hall giving Gabriel a fleeting look of consideration before pausing mid-stride. "Do you really think it's a good idea to put ourselves somewhere stable? I don't like the idea of settling down in one place for more than a few days at a time." Of course he wouldn't — neither did Kazimir.

Once inside — pricks last~ — Gabriel settles his back on against the wall beside the door, leaving it open for more light to penetrate the inside of the expansive room, arms still folded as he watches more them look around the space rather than the space itself. Obviously, he's seen it. At the quiet exchange of words, questions asked and answered, Gabriel turns his attention to the one of the group that hasn't spoken yet, watching her slender form move through the space and assess it.

If he can read what she thinks, well. It doesn't show as he casts a look back towards Peter. "You'd be surprised. We had a couple of stable places, back when we were Vanguard. For all the problems we had, a place to come back to wasn't one of them."

Gabriel takes his weight off the wall, moving along the parameter of the space. "There's no electricity, but there's cold running water. The locks all need to be changed. Things need replacing. But the building is sound and as far as I can tell, no one comes by here. It could be ours whenever we wanted."

"You realize you're the only twenty-something old in this fuckin' group, roight?" Ethan mumbles as his gaze rests on Peter. He flings a look at Eileen, screwing up his brows for a moment. Nah, she's nineteen tops. Right? Then the Wolf slowly glances over to Raith with a grin. "Y'talkin' bout that ride at Disney Land?" Haunted Mansion. Ethan isn't a whiz at a lot of movie references, but apparently the hardened killer has taken a go on the spinning tea cups.

Glancing to Gabriel, Ethan gives a nod. "We could set up a cople generata's." He shrugs lightly, scanning the place. Finally the Wolf returns to look at Peter. "We could get a tour bus and ride around fightin' people. Or better yet a little van, we could go solve crimes and mysteries."

"Nah, we couldn't do that," Raith interjects, pacing a short distance as he takes a look around, "We'd need a dog first. And one of us would have to wear an ascot. Generators might work, except that fuel might be a problem. Only other option would be to try and patch it into the grid proper, but that'd take a lot of wire and an electrician." And suddenly, Raith snaps his fingers together.

"I've got it. We'll bag us an electrokinetic, lock them in a Faraday cage, and then clamp some jumper cables onto them. We probably won't even notice them complaining while we're running the shopvac. And let's face it." With a sweeping gesture of his arms, Raith indicates: fucking everything. "We'll be running that shopvac for a while."

"It'll be winter soon." This from Eileen, her voice a whisper but still perfectly distinct thanks to the room's gracious acoustics. She slips one gloved hand into the pocket of her peacoat and curls leather-clad fingers around something nestled deep in the silk lining. "Unless we want to rely on the Ferry for shelter, we need a place of our own. If we keep living like we have been, we risk freezing death. Starving. The river house won't stand up to a blizzard, and our resources are already spread so thin that we can only afford to pay out of pocket for a few more months."

When she removes her hand from her pocket, she's clutching a thick sliver of charcoal in the seat of her palm. "Our best chance of survival is to invest in a single piece of property and nurse it. Even Kazimir knew that. Why do you think he bought Eagle Electric?"

"I heard Eagle Electric went over pretty well too." Peter's tone of voice is a jab towards Gabriel, because how else could those two possibly interact? "It's a nice, comfortable crater." There's just a look given to Ethan at that, though it's one of confusion, an expression that clearly says what're you talking about, but then quickly snaps into a dejected and even more perplexed look as his head downcasts and shoulders hunch forward.

"Phoenix used to run generators out here, but they had a girl who could replicate anything she touched. They'd get one drum of fuel, then have her replicate the whole damned thing a few times. It worked out pretty well, and kept the shipments they needed to get from the Ferrymen around the city to an absolute minumum." He moves away from the window, giving it one last look like it might have said something to him, then shakes his head and closes the distance between himself and Eileen, though not all of it. Never all of it, really.

"I'm just anxious, I guess…" Blue eyes drift to the large windows again. "Moving in to a place that the rats have already evacuated, it rubs me the wrong way." His eyes settle on Eileen, uncertainly, followed by a shake of his head again. "You're probably right…"

"Eagle Electric wasn't shelter." Gabriel's voice echoes crisp through the gutted space, his gaze focusing on Peter. "And you don't have to come here, if it rubs you the wrong way. You already know what I think." Diiismissed. The heels of his boots scrape against the dust and dirt ridden floor as he angles a look back towards Ethan and Raith, his shoulders lifting in a shrug and hands coming to hook thumbs into the pockets of his jeans.

"We might not need an electrician. Give me a few days to study what we're dealing with and perhaps I can work it out on my own. They ran this place out of generators but whatever came before that could be salvaged. The basement is cleared out, so are most of the rooms."

A beat, before Gabriel glances back towards the other two, addressing all of them when he adds; "I want the attic."

"We could keep ourselves to a strict diet. Use of generators is for necessary use or limited special occasions. Or we could be like the rural Indo-fuckin'-nesians and make a water doo-hicky fuckin' thing out there." Ethan waves a hand vaguely at one of the walls. Ethan brings one hand up to his chin, rotating slowly, sizing up the place. It seems that now he is actually looking at it. "It's a little more space than we need, really. Too much if you ask me. Which you should be, even if you aint." The Wolf explains as he takes a few leading steps away from the group. "Too much space for the…" He turns quickly to do a finger count of how many of them there are. "Five of us. We should board a good portion of it off, place security measures, use only wot we need. Raith and I can do security if we really do move in." He murmurs, more to himself now. Finally he glances over at Gabriel and his statement. He just gives a little shake of his head.

"Fuck, you're a little creeper."

"Sure, fine, take the attic. Whatever." At least Raith isn't attached to that part of the building. "We could do security, no problem. Trip to Home Depot should get us on the way, at least. Get some passive infrared in bulk, or do it the old-fashioned way with cans and some string. And hey, all this space isn't necessarily a bad thing. Lots of places to hide, lots of windows to climb out of if we can't get to a door.

"We can make this work, alright. Sure, we're going to want to check it out a little more before we consider moving in, but all in all…."

"They evacuated London during the War, too," Eileen tells Peter gently. "Operation Pied Piper. Over a million people poured out of the city on the trains. Children. Mothers. Pregnant women. The Bank of England moved to Overton, two thousand tons of gold were shipped to Canada for safekeeping, and the nation's cultural treasures all relocated to North Wales."

There are perhaps better analogies she could have used, but her goal is not to be accurate — it's to find something that resonates with the young man and the entity inside of him. If she's going to invoke anything, let it be the history that one of them lived. "I haven't had a place to put my roots since I was fifteen," she says. Then, for Ethan's benefit, "That was five years ago. If we're going to stay here in New York, I want to have a home again."

As she speaks, she's moving around Peter on her way toward the stately white fireplace that fills the wall furthest from the door, charcoal in hand. Dust swirls around her feet when she comes to a stop in front of it and reaches up, beginning to etch something across the fireplace's mantle in elegant black scrawl. "I want this to be ours."

Something of a weak look is given to Eileen, eyes averted to the floor as she speaks. Peter's shoulders slack some, a quiet sigh slipping out. As much as he wants to question her rationalizations for wanting this place, the last few days have been a trying experience between he and the young girl, and he can't find it in himself right now to take that little glimmer of hope away from her. In that much, he's more Peter than Kazimir — or perhaps they're both sentimental idiots in their own right.

"Is it just five?" Peter breaks that silence, looking to Raith with those cold, blue eyes, a dark brow raised in question. "I saw Salucci and Bennati at the Garden," the names come easily to a man who was never introduced to them, "there's more than five cards in a Tarot deck," is added at the end with a mithful shrug of his shoulders. "If we're going to settle down, dig our heels in," and given Gabriel's reaction he simply can't slide away from this now, not when they get to be roommates! "I think it might be best if we have as many hands on deck as we think we might be abel to trust…" there's a pause, brows furrowed and eyes cast down to the floor, "as much as we trust each other, anyway."

Ethan just gets a twist of a smile at that comment, the same one he got when Gabriel had made a demand almost a year ago - Jennifer Child's life. And then there are names being spoken— Salucci and Bennati. Gabriel's gaze snap-switches back to Peter, and then to Eileen. There's no verbal response from Gabriel, but something like disapproval at the idea is a subtle, hackle-raised demeanor communicated in posture and stony silence. A flick of a glance to Raith, to gauge his reaction, before his attention is steered back to Peter once more.

His lip curls a little in a sneer. "Maybe it would make you feel better if you ran background checks on all of us with Phoenix instead of just Raith." Snide snide, and the point goes no where when it's delivered., Gabriel resuming his pacing around the room. Inevitably, his attention is silently drawn back to the token female, watching her when he's not watching others.

"If Salucci steps foot in this buildin'," Ethan says cooly, as he slowly rounds and addresses the rest of the group. "I'll burn it down on top of all of you." Eileen gets a little bob of his head that says 'except you' and Gabriel gets a kinda-half bob that says 'probably-maybe except you, too'. "If Amato can stand livin' life wi'out 'is fuckin' beard, I won't make a fuss 'bout Lucrezia." Holden murmurs, taking a few steps to the right. His mouth opens slightly baring his teeth. "If y'absolutely need more girls 'round so y'ave 'air to braid we can get that… Teo boy." The Wolf casts a glance at Eileen. "We trust 'im, roight?"

"And then there's…" The other kinda-Vanguard member that they've been avoiding talking about. But he won't be the one to bring that up. Even though he already kinda-has. "No need for matches, Ethan," Raith says as reassuringly as he can, "Salucci and I have an understanding already, so there's no need to show all of us that you have anger issues. Again. As for there being more than five cards in the deck, what, you think we're the only ones that get cards? Just don't worry about it. We will have exactly as many people living here as we need there to be, no more, no less. Rest assured, you won't have to worry about anybody you don't know sneaking in and stealing your My Little Pony collection."

"If Salucci and Bennati want to provide us with assistance, then I welcome whatever contributions they can to make to our operation, but they're better off with the Ferry. Salucci still hasn't come to terms with his perceived sins, and Bennati lacks any real commitment to anything except her good looks and maybe her blood relations." Eileen's words may be unkind, but her tone isn't. She sounds tired, her voice hoarse and crackling around the edges with faint traces of emotion that are impossible to identify at such a soft volume. "I don't mind putting it to vote. My recommendation goes to Laudani."

She lowers her hand, careful not to smudge the words that now span the fireplace's mantle as she breathes warm breath across it and blows off excess charcoal.


A teasing smile creeps up from Peter, but somehow he resists playing in to the joke that rattles around in his head. Blue eyes wander over to Raith, then Gabriel, then Ethan and finally Eileen again. Folding his hands behind his back, Peter walks a slow pace behind the young woman, coming up to one side of her as he looks over her shoulder to the writing on the mantle piece. One black brow raises, and his voice is quieter now as he reiterates the meaning.

"May there be no ill omen…" Those dark brows furrow, creasing the scar between them at an awkward angle before he turns to look over his shoulder towards Ethan, then Raith, then back again. He's not entirely sure which of them is in charge, and it shows from his hesitation to comment on the Laudani situation. "If you think Teodoro can be trusted," his head dips into a nod, "I can at least vouch for the fact that when push comes to shove, he will put a bullet in any one of us if it's for the greater good." Perhaps he's a little bitter about how everything in Moab went down, just a little.

"I find that a redeeming quality in anyone…" Peter adds, eyes leveling on Ethan flatly. Maybe it's not Peter who's the bitter one. Or, maybe it's both.

"Why did you hire him?"

Gabriel's voice is sharp, directed to Raith. No hand gestures, no truely visibly spark of temper, even if his gaze his hard and his shoulders have tensed into a rigid horizon. Irritation is expressed through a hiss of breath, taking on, in and out again. He lets the question lie rhetorical. "My vote goes to Teo. We don't need a priest and a spy."

He starts to move for the staircase, adding over his shoulder, "You all should look around. See if I missed anything important. I didn't, but an additional sweep for electronics wouldn't be a bad idea regardless." Peter gets a scowl, before Gabriel is letting the shadows of the stairwell flood over him.

"I want to find Delphine. Bring 'er 'ere." Ethan says, more to himself then the rest of the group. And then he's raising his gaze. "And whot about Wu-Long's boy?" He takes a step after Gabriel, throwing the question up at him before swinging it back around at Eileen. Then he slowly brings up a grin. Bringing up his hand he sticks out his fingers, five, plus three. "How many cards are in your retarded card deck, eight? Good. That's fuckin' perfect." And with that the Wolf is turning to scout out the place himself.

"If you want us to check for things you missed, don't immediately announce that you didn't miss anything. It makes you look like the world's second biggest tool." What would make him the biggest tool, Raith doesn't elaborate on. "You kids play nice, or we're not getting ice cream." His admonishment made, Raith branches off from the group as well, concerning himself with the stairs that lead down rather than up. "Meet back here in ten minutes, if you go exploring."

Eileen slips the charcoal back into her coat pocket and turns to watch the shadows engulf Gabriel's lean frame as he disappears into the stairwell's yawning maw. She presses her lips into a thin line that resembles a frown but isn't quite. Concern shapes her eyes and the arch of both her dark brows, stark against the porcelain pallor of her skin. For a moment, she looks as though she's about to follow, but Ethan's voice draws her back into the room and she shifts her focus from Gabriel's retreating figure to her fellow Briton instead.

"Bai-Chan is with his mother," she says, saving whatever explanation might have followed when he too begins to move off into the privacy afforded by the Dispensary's other rooms. To Peter: "You've been here before. Which room has the best view of the ocean?"

Blue eyes follow Gabriel's retreat up the stairs with a lopsided smile, and Peter remains quiet as he begins to make his way across the foyer towards the ground floor kitchen, hesitating in mid-stride when Eileen asks that question. There's a reluctant look towards the direction he was headed in, then turns to look back at the young woman with a measured smile. "That… would be the bedroom beyond the kitchen," he nods his head in the direction he was headed in.

"By all means," Peter's voice is quiet as he gestures with a gloved hand for Eileen to move ahead of him towards the room, "I think I'll take one of the rooms upstairs, in that case." His eyes wander to watch Raith's progression towards the basement stairs, then track back to Eileen. "Be mindful of the window closest to the door, it doesn't stay open properly."

It's better this way, a fresh start rather than retracing the same steps he made in the past.

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