Another Change In The Air


cardinal_icon.gif eileen_icon.gif francois_icon.gif peter_icon.gif rupe_icon.gif

Scene Title Anther Change In The Air
Synopsis Representatives of Messiah, Endgame and the Ferrymen converge in a place where a similar meeting occurred two years prior to discuss the Institute.
Date August 4, 2010

Deveaux Building

Somehow, it always winds up being here.

Once again, Peter Petrelli stands at the edge of the roof of the Deveaux building. Bathed in the light of the evening sun shining through the jagged and broken western skyline, this place is a play of long and dark shadows against fiery orange light. Overhead, the clear skies are strewn with wisps of thin clouds in shades of pink and orange against a deep blue-purple sky. This place has long become his perch, from which he can view from one side the devastation of midtown and the crater that was once the heart of his home, and the heart of all of his ambitions and hopes.

From the other side of the building the still thriving neighborhoods can be seen through the shattered framework of the adjacent buildings. It is a sharply contrasting view, with the Deveaux building serving as the way-point between the past and the future.

It also serves as a fitting place for the meeting Peter called, a place of significant importance to him, and a place that had seen a similar event play out almost one year ago to the day, when he asked PARIAH to change their ways, only to turn back on his own words…

…has he really changed that much?

With his hands on the edge of the stone rail, Peter stands just to the side of an ornate piece of architecture on the rooftop, a round ring of plaster and stone flanked on either side by a pair of small cherubs — one coincidentally looking ahead towards the ruins, and one facing the rooftop and looking out beyond it to the rest of New York, with a bullet hole chipped in its chest.

The wind whips across the roof, toussling Peter's hair and the suit jacket of the man that has accompanied him all the way to the rooftop. The last time he'd come here, Peter Petrelli was alone, but now Rupert Carmichael stands at his side, slouched with his back against the stone rail on the opposite side of the stone figures, he and Peter mimicing unintentionally the posture of the cherubs. Peter watches the ruins below, a thoughtful and distant expression in his eyes while Rupert watches the skyline of the city behind.

Neither of them are watching the stairs, but they both know guests are on their way.

Twin sets of footsteps finally register — Francois moves quietly and Eileen is by definition light on her feet, and so there isn't a lot of time to pass by from the first signals of their arrival through to now. The summer warmth, tempered though it is by the wind up here, has closed onto the city like a lid, fogging up the sky in fragmented clouds. He wears white, a loose cotton shirt with the sleeves rolled to his elbows, partially tucked into sky blue denim. Black boots navigate the gritty surface of the rooftop venue floor.

His green eyes dart uncertainly passed the figures that Rupert and Peter cut at the ledge, the horror that is a ruined midtown making him hesitant to offer greeting, for all that common French custom dictates he do so, and so he does; "Bonsoir." He is unarmed but not alone, stepping aside for Eileen to step up out into the space.

With the open sky above their heads, the rooftop is Eileen's domain, and although she carries only her wolf's head cane, the blade contained within is not her primary weapon. She's dressed in dark colours, including a lightweight wool coat, lambskin gloves and a charcoal gray dress beneath with black lace accents. The flower in her hair is a solitary poppy pinned to an elegant twist that leaves only a few wispy strands to tease her temples, brow and the pale nape of her neck behind her coat's high collar. It matches the colour of her lips, which are pressed into a neutral expression. Glassy eyes are, as expected, unreadable.

As the sun's light darkens to orange-red, bleeding its last into twilight, the shadows upon the scorched rooftop shift slowly but perceptibly away from the ledge that borders it, growing long with the passage of every moment towards night's true fall. A natural gradient, but there's a motion within that isn't so natural, a wing'd shape that crosses the bright where the sun still touches and perches upon the burnt-out coop's silhouette, a perched shape against the evening.

Only, of course, there is no pigeon to cast the shadow.

Peter and Rupert turn in unison towards the sound of footsteps, neither of them noticing the absence of a pigeon to convey the shadow within which Richard Cardinal dwells. "Glad you could make it," is offered in a hushed tone of ovice, "but Melissa told me that Richard wanted to talk too… he back out at the last minute?" There's a touch of bitterness there at that, and Peter offers an askance look to Rupert with a motion of one hand to Eileen and Francois.

"Rupert, you know Eileen. The man with her is Francois Allegre, I've told you a little about him, I think?" The pair look like they just came from a charity dinner, though that one of Peter's arms is stiffly held close to his side is one small tell that he certainly did not. Not far away, a medical sling has been left in the blown out shell of the greenhouse, looking injured as he is does little for Peter's presence here, and the pocket of his slacks serves as a makeshift cradle for his arm's weight for the time being. He is, notably, tight in his movements and slow to turn.

Rupert makes up for all of Peter's sluggishness with spring-heeled enthusiasm, promptly stepping away from Peter and towards Francois with a hand held out. "Bonsoir Monsieur Allegre, c'est un plaisir de vous rencontrer." Eagerly leaping into French with a broad smile on his bearded face, Rupert has all the mannerisms of an excitable child wrapped in a body that looks more like a long-haired vagrant than a well-to-do millionaire financier, for all that his three-piece suit tries to hide.

"It's wonderful to see you both here," Rupert notes with a warm smile, "but…" his head slowly tilts to the side like a confused dog as his brows furrow, "Wasn't Mister Cardinal supposed to be here as well?"

Coming forward, Francois takes Rupert's hand with level reserve — if there are nerves involved, they're masked in stoicism and a chilly brand of politeness. Not insincere, only cautious. "Et toi, monsieur," is honest enough, too, dealing the well-dressed man a firm hand shake before he retracts, both in the release of the grasp as well as him stepping right back to fall in line with Eileen. "I haven't spoken to him since I last told you I had," he notes, with a glance towards Peter in indication, attention twisting back towards Eileen to let her answer that query. His thumbs find belt loops to tuck into, shoulders curled in a little, weariness visible.

"I've not heard anything," Eileen says of Cardinal, "but he's not one to miss an appointment." When she turns her head, the bird at her collar becomes visible. Much too small to be a raven or a crow, but with similar colouring and feathers with a metallic sheen that appears almost bronze in the right light, the grackle turns one bright gold eye on Rupe. I'm watching you.

"I'm here. …I'm here…"

The murmured echo of voice stirs from the shadow where it hides like half of a 'What's Different' visual puzzle, wings which don't exist fluffing a bit before settling once more. Richard Cardinal doesn't seem to want to come out into the open this evening, reluctant for whatever reasons of his own exist. "I'm not surprised to see you here, Peter, or Eileen, or Francois… but I didn't expect Carmichael. …Carmichael…"

"Aha, the prodigal shadow emerges," Rupert notes with a raise of his brows and a crooked smile, "to wit, I'm here because I am without much trumpeting of my own horn the tacticial mind behind Messiah," which elicits a foppish flourish of Rupert's hand in front of himself and a theatrical bow. "I thought it might be best if we all put our heads together and agree on a course of action, because while Peter excels at getting Messiah's feathers ruffled before an engagement… making sure it's not all just hot air is my field."

Slanting a look to the shadow, Rupert takes a step back and folds his hands behind himself, one brow raised and chin lifting as he keeps flicking his attention from one person (or shadow) to another.

"Rupert's a vital part of Messiah, just like Rebel, but I can feed Rebel data at any time, Rupert may have questions he needs you all to answer that I might not think of." Lifting up the only hand he seems to be moving, Peter tugs at his earlobe awkwardly, "Messiah is all in for this, every single hand and arm I can muster to go in and bring this building down on top of the Institute's head and get our people out. This is exactly the kind of target we've needed and exactly the kind of work we should be doing."

"Agreed," Rupert notes with a slow and solemn nod, raking fingers back through his thinning black hair. "Moreover, this is a logical progression of our aggressions against the Institute, and we may have some tactical information that would be of invaluable asset to your… ah… considerations?" Both of Rupert's brows furrow sheepishly on that point.

Offering a glance to Rupert, Peter's head dips into a nod before he looks back to Eileen, then over to Cardinal. "I need to make sure I know who will be with us when this goes down. I've got roughly a dozen people I can commit to this, all Evolved. I don't know what the Ferry is willing to bring to the table, and I don't even know what you do," Peter notes pointedly to Cardinal, "so any announcement of intentions will help."

The Frenchman's attention veers sharply towards the talking shadow, eyes flaring wider for a second to display the full circle of malachite irises, before relaxing comes down again like the way the wind is relentless, up here. Okay. Surprise is tailed smoothly with amusement, a small comma of a twist at the corner of his mouth, before it's Rupert that retakes the floor.

Francois is keenly aware that he is largely an observor here, a kindness granted to him from Eileen, from Peter, and so that's the role he takes now as Rupert speaks. There is probably judgment, there, sizing him up with the revolutionaries of 1940-something — the ones in London were gentlemen, similar lines, similar emphasis, and similar powers of money and knowledge. Fortunately, Francois never saw them up close and didn't get to witness apologetic twists of brow and hesitant elipses.

Uneasy. But uneasiness is a constant. For now, he keeps silent, but his attention is as sharp as his demeanor tells of sleeplessness.

"A representative for Messiah will need to address the council directly," Eileen says, "and it would be best if that representative is someone they already know. Peter is the best candidate, but if Cardinal and Francois are willing to come along and show their support, we stand a better chance of convincing the network to mobilize. You know you have mine. Chesterfield's as well."

The grackle rustles its feathers and blinks its eye, focus momentarily shifting between Rupert and the source of Cardinal's voice. It makes an almost reptilian sound at the back of its throat in greeting. "Until then, the most I can promise is a field hospital to treat your wounded."

There's no interruptions from the shadow of Richard Cardinal, even as he watches the man beside Peter carefully; appraisingly and thoughtfully taking him in, as they'd never met before beyond what reputation might allow. At the pointed statement from Peter, a quiet chuckle rustles through the shadows.

"I'm willing to speak with the Council," is the offer he makes to Eileen, "Given that so many've those taken were— from within the network, they should be able to see that this is a clear threat to everyone the Ferrymen are protecting."

That said, Cardinal returns to respond to Peter, "I can easily gather a dozen or more people for the strike, not all Evolved, but that's what Jensen's guns are for. I have blueprints of the building prior to its acquisition, details of its security systems and personell, and notes on what's currently located where within the facility. I also have intel as to the people currently working inside and who're being held."

There's a look from Rupert to Peter when he's pointedly not invited to come along and meet the council, brows raised in a puppy dog's expression of can I go Peter, can I? Can I? Dismissed with only a shake of Peter's head, the taciturn paramedic shifts his attention to Cardinal. "Alright," he breathes out, lifting up a hand to rub at the back of his neck. "If we're all in agreement that this place needs to go down, then I need us all to be in agreement that nothing makes it out of that building aside from the captives. We turn that place to glass, I don't care what research they were doing, I want it all slag. I'm not going to have a second Pinehearst."

Clearing his throat, Rupert makes one small motion with his hand and grimaces. "Might I also warn, and… make an offer?" Both of Rupert's brows lift slowly as he looks around the group. "This, ah, attack is going to be extremely visible. There's going to be eyes on what we do here probably… the world over. I know that the T-Word is a bit sensitive around most of you, so…"

The dithering tactician wobbles one hand in the air in a see-saw motion, "Messiah can publicly take credit for the entire affair. We can pull the heat off of whoever is brought there and make it looks like it was independantly our own matter. There's no need for anyone to even suspect that other groups were involved. We can be," there's a grin, "your martyrs in a sense."

Then, tapping a finger to his lips Rupert turns to Peter and wags a pointing index finger at him. "That— would have been a fantastic name."

Cue Peter sighing and rolling his eyes.

Peter rolls his eyes, and Francois sweeps a look up and down Rupert, a tick of a glance wavering towards Eileen. "It would be a good argument for your council," he says, after hesitation crosses by, speaking directly to the slip of a leader-girl beside him even if he doesn't turn towards her, inclusive of the group, flesh and shadow. "At least one on reserve, if they protest for their priorities and their secrecy. As for myself, I do not know if I have very much to say, etre franc avec vous, other than 'please'.

"But that is a kind offer, your men are making," he adds, now towards Rupert and Peter, his words carrying some edged query in them in a flicking glance to the younger of the men.

Not only is it kind, it's also very generous. Eileen is silent in its wake, saying nothing. Her fingers curl and tighten around the cane's grip, and she rubs her thumb over the wolf's upper lip in somber contemplation. Francois can hear the sound of her breathing, slow and measured, and the creak of soft leather when she adjusts her hold on the old Vanguard heirloom. It feels heavier in her hand than it did previously.

When she does speak, her voice has taken on a cautious quality that it did not possess before, low and steady. "They may be able to identify some of us through the registry," she says finally, "in which case you'll be able to do nothing, but the Ferry appreciates your concern."

"No, Eileen…" The shadow moves; it spreads its 'wings' and becomes a silhouette of rippling, dancing flames that spreads across the wyrd-touched rooftop here at the peak of the Deveaux building, leaping from shadow to shadow as it spreads, ephemeral, two-dimensional and heatless, "…they won't. They'd need camera shots and surveillance to record us. There won't be any cameras left."

"There'd need to be survivors amongst the Institute's personnel to identify us. There won't be any left alive. In this, my people are in agreement with Messiah. There will be nothing left when we're done. There won't be enough left of the work of butchers like Dmitri Gregor and Bao-Wei Cong for them to be remembered as Mengele was. …nothing left…"

Peter's brows furrow at Eileen's choice of words, the Ferry appreciates your concerns. There's a look down to the top of the roof, as though Peter were trying to recall something he had intended to say, mouth parting to find words that slip through his fingers like so much wet sand. There's a huff of a sigh and a shake of his head, and Peter looks back up to Cardinal, and then Eileen. "Then the next step is convincing the council that they can't let something as terrible as this continue. But even if I can't convince them, a fall-back location and medical assistance is more than I could've asked for."

Offering a faint smile, Rupert dips his head down into a nod and folds his hands behind his back again. "I'm heartened to see that all of us can… with proper motivation… cooperate towards a common goal." There's a crook of Rupert's smile up just a touch higher as his eyes flick from Cardinal's shadowed figure to Francois and Eileen. "It almost gives me hope for the future, that we won't be tearing ourselves apart instead of our enemies."

Smiling fondly, Rupert offers a look to Cardinal's shadow in belated appreciation for his enthusiasm. "Rebel will cover the electronic end as well, sometimes… accidents happen, but we're going to try and play this as safe as possible."

"When," Peter interjects sharply, looking up to Eileen, "when can you get the council together? I'm ready to meet them tomorrow if you have the time, I'm taking the next couple of weeks off from work to facilitate this operation. But we need to move soon. Because if there is a leak in the Ferry," Peter offers a spurious look to Rupert who seems more eager to work with the Ferry now than before, then back to Eileen, "then thhey'll tip them off to our operation if we don't move quick enough."

It's an incorrect assessment, to say that Francois runs with the Ferry completely — the idea of a leak is new, but Francois doesn't immediately comment on it. Doesn't even look at Eileen, really, except a cautious study out his periphery, and the way his spine kind of seals up into rigidity isn't a visual difference. No one here will care to notice tension, and who isn't tense, anyway. He's silent to allow the girl to respond, brow crinkling a little. No comment, either, of the future of faction relations.

"You make it sound as though we're the only ones with postcognitives and psychometers," Eileen says to Cardinal. "We live in a world where dead men do tell tales, Richard. Rubble, too." Peter's question is met with another beat of silence, much shorter than the first, but when she breaks it her tone is also more pointed. "I can call for a meeting as early as Saturday. Neutral ground. Many of them are as hesitant to trust you as you are to trust us."

"A point. I think they're going to have more to worry about than that once everything's through, though, Eileen, especially with an obvious target claiming responsibility…" A silhouette, now, a man standing where there is no man standing, Cardinal falls silent for a moment before observing in that shadow's murmur, "…I think that the Council might be more comfortable without a known Persuader standing in front of them, mind you. But I'm not with the Ferry, so I could be wrong there."

"Oh you must mean me," Rupert notes a bit flightily, looking over to Cardinal after an awkward moment of silence. "I understand their hesitance," he admits with a hand motioning to his collar, "but I'm no more Evolved than your average man these days. My ability was swapped away to someone else in a crowd by a man that Peter has come to educate me was named John Doe, and a little bug-eyed man with glasses that he says you have some sort of connection to?" There's a feigned smile, polite in its form before Rupert dismisses the notion with a wave of his hand.

"I'm not offended," in case Eileen cared, which Rupert would like to think she does. "I'm fine with Peter being the face of the organization, after all that's one of the things he does best these days." Offering a look to Cardinal, Rupert arches one brow and folds his hands behind his back, then steps out of the conversation.

"Saturday works," Peter finally says over Rupert's awkward stumbling, "how about here?" There's a gesture around the rooftop, "this place has seen important decisions since the Company held meetings here, and I think it's fitting that we break our own ground on this same footing."

Francois deals a glance around the rooftop, seeing nothing special, and then tilts a kind of sheepish smile when he thinks on the date. "I will be working," he admits, after a lengthy pause, but he'd probably take the day off, somehow, if he thought his presence was the difference between Teodoro(s) coming out of this thing alive, and not. Or maybe he'll have to save up some brownie points for whatever day it will be when a raid is unleashed upon the Institute.

Either way, he shrugs his apology beneath the light cotton of his shirt. "But I do not have to repeat my position to you three. You will let me know what is said."

Eileen tucks her chin into a nod. If has any complaint or desire to argue with Cardinal's assessment of the situation, it is not reflected in the shape of her mouth or the subtle curve of her brows. Whether or not she cares if Rupert is offended is similarly a mystery. "Here will do."

"Oh, did he now…?" There's a twist to Cardinal's voice, as if he were holding back a laugh at some private joke that only he percieved, "Well. My sympathies… Mister Carmichael. You know how appearances work, though, I'm sure."

The shadow begins to fade into the ambient shadows as the conversation seems to be drifting towards an end, "Saturday, then. I'll be here… be here…"

Rupert offers the shadow an askance look, brows furrowed and tongue pressed to the inside of his cheek before turning to look up to Peter with one brow expectantly raised. Peter doesn't seem to get whatever it is Rupert is trying to wordlessly convey, or at least isn't sure about it, but when he strides over to Francois it's clear that clap your hand on Francois' shoulder wasn't one of the things he may have meant.

Giving a squeeze to Francois' shoulder, Peter dips hs head into a nod of affirmation, then looks around the rooftop. "We'll rescue everyone, and the Institute will have something to look back on and remember when they think about capturing another one of us," is stated with firm affront to what has been happening at the hospital, and he only knows the tiniest fraction of the truth.

"They won't ever forget this."

And neither will the world.

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