An Expected Guest


cardinal_icon.gif simon_icon.gif

Scene Title An Expected Guest
Synopsis Cardinal drops by the Lighthouse to speak to Simon. They talk about trust, fathers and sons, and Adam.
Date April 28, 2009

The Lighthouse

From the outside, the Lighthouse looks as if it has had better days. The massive tower rising out of the house has fallen from its former glory. It is no longer a shining beacon, guiding wayward ships in from the lost harbor — though some may argue its purpose now is even more admirable. In its current state, the lighthouse seems to be in disrepair. Though upon closer inspection it all seems to be in the details. The paint has chipped away, leaving a discolored patterns of grays, whites, off-whites, and more grays. The occasional graffitti tag is here or there along the large building. One would notice that the doors, the windows, and the integrity of the building are all quite sound and newly repaired. The lighthouse has just been left with the look of abandonement.

Inside is a completely different story. Upon entering the main door, one will find a completely furnished and cozy arrangement. A spacious living room lined with two large blue sofa's, facing each other, a coffee table between them and several large bean bag chairs have been planted in the room. Shelves have been hung on the wall to display various different pictures of the occupants. A large bookcase is against the wall, holding a large variety of books from Dr.Seuss to the Bible, and even a copy of the Qur'an. The living room is focused on the fireplace a small black fence encloses it, the wood stocked on the bricks in front of it.

Connected to the living room is a kitchen, complete with a large rectangular table capable of seating around four on each long side and two on each end. A sink, a stove, an oven, a microwave and two refrigerators complete the look. Several low and overhead cabinets line the kitchen. At the edge of the kitchen are a pair of doors, one leading to a bedroom and the other, which has a padlock on it, leads to the basement.

At the back of the living room a glass sliding door leads out into the backyard of the Lighthouse, but just before it a staircase leads to the upper levels of the structure.

"JoeJoe, get down from there!" Simon yells out, trying to lure one of the Lighthouse kids down from some way up high piece of furniture. Just because he has impenetrable skin doesn't mean he can play wherever he wants. Simon is in the kitchen making a sandwich, but since he's the closest thing to an adult in the area right now, he's also playing big brother.

With the sandwich completed, Simon slices it in half and puts both pieces on a plate. He heads for the living room couch, which he sets himself down on with a sigh. It's been a long day already, and it's only about half over with. One of the ham and cheese halves is picked up and brought to his mouth, chomped down with teenage hunger. The other half is swiped by a sneaky Bai-Chan. Simon glares with his mouth full of food, but doesn't chase after him.

It's into the Lighthouse that a somewhat disreputable figure walks, though Cardinal must've passed one of the Brians to get in, so he must be an acceptable presence. The chaos of the children brings a smile tugging up at one corner of his lips as he pauses just inside the living room, hearing the shout from Simon. A low chuckle as a half-sandwich bearing child escapes, and he offers casually, "Afternoon, Simon." Indoors, he still wears the shades.

Even though the sandwich was hastily made in the shadow of a room full of children and all their boundless energy, Simon is still putting it down as if it were the best thing on Earth. When Cardinal walks in, it's a bit of surprise, but not too big of one since the man did say he would be stopping by. "Go play in the other room, guys," Simon tells the nearby kids. The plate and partially munched on sandwich is set on the coffee table before Simon stands.

"What's up, Cardinal?" He offers a faint smile and walks around the coffee table so it's not sitting in between them.

"The sky," Cardinal replies rather dryly, stepping along over towards the teenager after watching the kids scuttle out of the room, looking back to Simon then with a brow's arch, "Everything goin' all right here with you'n the kids?"

"Funny," is Simon's equally dry retort. "The kids are cool. Everything is fine. No monsters, if that's what you mean. I have a feeling he's holing up somewhere in the Greenbelt. You've heard the rumors I'm sure," Simon tells the man in front of him while slipping his hands into the pockets of his jeans. "How are things with you and that Adam guy?"

"I heard," affirms Cardinal, glancing over his shoulder to the door, "Me'n Jake and probably gonna grab Zu and any of the more martially-inclined kids and go hunt his ass down. You can tag along if you want." That said, he looks back to Simon with a serious look, "…and, speaking of. Any idea why Monroe wants you?"

Simon gives a brisk nod of his head. "Oh, I'm definitely tagging along, man. I want that thing finished off, or at least sent far, far away from here." He pulls one hand from a pocket to motion out the window and into the distance. That being done, the hand retreats back. "I have no idea. I was hoping you could tell me that." A pause, before he says, "I'm going to find out, though. Do you think you can tell him I want to talk?"

"I can let him know," Cardinal says with a slight nod, leaning against one of the couches in the living area and half-settling on its arm, one brow arching over the edge of his shades, "And if you're Evolved, that might be one reason — presuming you are, you're here, after all. Are you sure you want to get involved in shit like this, though?"

Simon rolls his eyes a grins. "Everyone always assumes I'm evolved because I'm here. I'm here because Brian is my friend, not because I need to be," the kid explains, pulling hands from his pockets and crossing his arms over his chest. To answer Cardinal's question, Simon has to look away and think for a moment. When he turns back, though, he simply shrugs and says, "I don't think I have a choice." Whatever that means.

"There's always a choice, kid," notes Cardinal, a faint smile touching his lips, "A lot've people say otherwise, but there's always a choice — and there's always a way out, if you want it. If you think you have to do this, though, s'your choice."

Simon nods, knowing Cardinal is right. It just seems easier to convince himself that things are beyond his control, that he's at the whim of fate. "I think, considering the things I've learned recently, that it's something I need to do." Simon nods affirmatively and takes a step closer to Cardinal so he can lower his voice some. "I didn't get many answers from our pow-wow the other day. What exactly is this putting together?"

Cardinal's smile fades, expression turning more serious. "Apparently," he allows, "Mister Monroe is… going after the Company responsible for the capture, detention, interrogation and tracking of Evolved people for some time now. They were described to me as the… less pleasant and secret version of HomeSec. I think he's more focused on the founders than the actual company, however."

Simon has heard the same thing about the company, so what Cardinal tells him doesn't even cause him to blink. "Right, the Company. If that's what they're doing, then they need to be shut down, don't you think?" Simon shrugs, because he really doesn't know. That's the whole point of working with Adam: To figure shit out. "And do you trust this guy? Adam?"

"Oh, hell no." Cardinal gives his head a tight shake, "I don't trust him as far as I can see him, even. Do I believe this is really what he's doing? Yeah, I believe that… but after, and whether or not he has other plans? I don't know." A pause, "Some've the people he's got with him are stone cold killers, kid. Really, really nasty fuckers. You're gonna have to be careful."

Being careful was never really Simon's strong suit, but after the last couple of weeks he's working on being extra, extra careful. No need to get himself or anyone else into trouble. "Really? Like that Jake guy at the table?" He remembers his chiseled mercenary look well, which is something Staten Island can't seem to get enough of. "I can be careful if I need to be." He grins and reaches up to scratch at his scalp for a moment. "Maybe you can point out the real dangerous to me?"

"You can trust Jake," Cardinal states with firm certainty, "He's a friend've mine, and a co-worker for awhile - good guy, if you get in trouble, he'll help you out. He's not the sort t'hurt kids — sorry, but you are — without a really damn good reason." A pause, then, "Adam's dangerous. Two others that I know of — Huruma, dark-skinned girl, like, really dark. She's dangerous. And this other guy, Ethan?" He looks at him seriously, "Do not get on his bad side. Avoid contact if possible. He's… bad. I'm not entirely comfortable about him being on board."

Simon does his best to file away those names, having a feeling that it will be good to know a little bit more about the people he will be "working" with soon enough. "Ok, then. I'll steer clear of Ethan, hang by you and Jake." Simon blinks and swallows, looks away. "I just hope I'm not making some stupid mistake."

Cardinal lifts one shoulder in a slight shrug, admitting, "Only you can say, one way're another, kid. Me'n Jake, we'll keep an eye out for you, though, for what it's worth." A faint smile, then, before he glances across the living room, asking, "You know Rocket, by th'by?"

"I'll do the same for you guys," Simon says with a smile. If the others Adam are rounding up are as dangerous as Cardinal says they are, he might need someone to watch his back to. When the topic of conversation switches gear, Simon appears somewhat relieved. "Yeah, of course. Rocket is good people. Why?"

"Him'n his father are kind've…" Cardinal touches his fingers together, then sweeps them apart indicatively, "…but his father's an old friend of mine - don't tell him that, he'll never talk t'me again - and he's worried about him. Seems to think Rocket's gotten involved with something dangerous."

"Yeah, Rocket told me a little about his dad. Something about how he used to wash out his crack pip with beer," Simon says with a shrug. He doesn't necessarily believe all of it, but he wouldn't be surprised if Rocket's dad was some kind of druggie. I mean, he named the kid Rocket. "You can tell Tuck that, as far as I know, he's staying out of trouble." Yep, he even knows the daddy's name.

"Good, good…" Cardinal's chin bobs in a slight nod, admitting, "I'm not surprised. Tuck… well, from what I gathered, he used to be pretty bad. Hasn't touched a drop in years, but…" He shrugs, one hand lifting upwards in a 'what can you do' gesture, "Some shit's unforgivable, I guess."

Simon offers up a shrug to match Cardinal's. "I'd be pretty pissed off, too, if my dad smoked crack growing up." Pretty pissed off indeed. "Speaking of Tuck, I need to head to the shop sometime. He sold me this pretty cool knife and some pepper spray, but they're both gone now. I need replacements. You know, for the muggings and monsters." It's almost as if he's telling himself his plans, rather than Cardinal. Saying things aloud have always helped Simon to actually get them done, for whatever reason.

Cardinal nods a bit, not seeming too emotionally invested in the whole father-son spat, aside from checking up on the younger member of it. Hey, it's not his kid. He considers Simon for a moment - or three - and then asks with a lift of his chin, "You know how to use a gun?"

Simon shakes his head and says, "Nope, I've never used one before. Apparently people around here don't think kids my age should handle a gun. They need to go visit the South sometime." Simon smirks and looks up at Cardinal, one eye arching curiously. "Why? You want to show me sometime?"

"You're going to have to," Cardinal says with a tight shake of his head, "If you're going to be runnin' with Adam and his bunch. I'm not the best teacher." He pauses, "Either talk to Zuleyka, or Jake. They can teach you."

Simon shrugs and starts to sport a cocky grin. "You don't have to be the best teacher. Just show me how to work the gun, let me get a feel for it, and I guarantee I'll be a better shot than anyone on Adam's crew." As if that wasn't a big enough hint as to what he might be able to do.

Cardinal quirks a brow upwards at that, and then he exhales a low chuckle. "Confident, aren't you? Alright. Brian'd kill me if I pulled a gun in here, so, either look me up or catch Zu. She's a damn good shot herself."

"Yeah, he just might," Simon tells Cardinal with that grin still on his face. "And I'll do that. If you could tell Adam to look out for me at Shooter's, that would be great. Just don't send him here, alright? Don't even mention the Lighthouse."

"I'm not gonna risk the Lighthouse," Cardinal says firmly, shaking his head, "He comes near the place I'll put a bullet in his head. And that's as a warning. Anyway…" He pushes up from the couch, "I should get moving. Talk to Zu, I'll let Adam know where to meet you."

"Good," Simon says with a nod. "I'll see you around, man. Be safe." The teen waits for Cardinal to head out, and once that happens he goes back to finish off his sandwich, then find those damned kids to see what they're up to.

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