Are You In?


peter_icon.gif raith_icon.gif

Scene Title Are You In?
Synopsis Raith comes hunting Peter Petrelli to ask him that very question.
Date September 12, 2009

Ruins of Eagle Electric

Eagle Electric, once the site of the Vanguard's operational headquarters, now little more than a broken hole in the ground with the skeletal framework of twisted metal girders and crumbling concrete blocks, courtesy of Elias DeLuca and one singularly destructive fuel-air bomb. It's within this skeletal wreck of the landmark facility in the decaying bowels of Long Island City that ghosts of the Vanguard's memory still stir.

Sometimes, in the long shadows at night cast by the distant street lights, the voices of apocalyptic heralds can almost be heard. Somewhere scattered to the winds in the debris of these ruins, so many memories and lives are snuffed out. But one ghost, or perhaps two depending on perspective, linger more physically within the concrete and steel skeleton of this building.

Seated on a pile of broken cinder blocks that once made up an interior wall, Peter Petrelli's darkly clad form is perched ont he edge of a gaping maw into the ground, a lightless hole that descends down into the structure's basement. Gloved hands work something held between them around, a length of something ashen gray and yellow, curved with awkward nodules on one side. In the faint light of the moon coming in through the open roof, the color of bone is distinct, as are the eventually clear shape of teeth coming up from what is obviously a portion of someone's jawbone.

Brows furrowed Peter's blue eyes stare at the length of broken human remains, turning it around between black-leather clad fingers, under the gutted ribcage of three demolished floors above that open up to the waning moon glowing pale overhead.

Finding skeletons in a skeleton. Who would've ever guessed this is what Peter's new pastime would have degenerated into? Maybe soon he can graduate to finding skeletons in closets. But hey, whatever Peter does in his spare time is of no concern to Jensen Raith, provided he stays in his own corner of the sandbox. There are some things, however, that Raith is interested in hearing from Peter himself. And that's why he has come to meet with him in the cold, dark and uncaring shell of Eagle Electric, wrecked and dismembered like a battlefield. It was a battlefield. New York City, all of it, is a battlefield. But it's his battlefield, and Peter is perhaps about to find this fact out.

Raith doesn't announce his presence from a distance, making his way quickly but quietly over. When he's close, he doesn't speak to get Petrelli's attention. There are no words, no throat clearings. No scuffle of boot leather against concrete and steel and shuffled rubble. No tap on the shoulder. Not even the common courtesy of a firearm's action cycling. The only sound that announces Raith's arrival is a very crisp and audible 'crunch' as he bites a hunk off of a carrot and starts chewing it.

What's up, doc?

"His name was Zhang Wu-Long," Peter says to the crunch, offering out the bone in one hand to show over his shoulder, "I'm fairly certain the two of you met at some point on that windy road…" The piece of jawbone is dropped to the floor with a dusty clatter, and slowly Peter rises up off of the cinderblocks, gloved hands moving to tuck into the pockets of his slacks, head turning to look over his shoulder blue eyes peering out silently towards the silhouette of a man in the shadows of the building beyond where Peter stands.

The stare afforded to the shadows is a long one, watching the man approach, carrot in hand. Peter's brows crease together, only making that jagged scar crossing his face seem all the more prominent and deep, head quirking to the side and lips pressing together in a very mild frown. "Did you need something?"

Raith takes his time chewing, allowing several seconds to pass before his finally swallow the carrot mush. "I don't think that's the question we ought to be asking, Petrelli," he replies coolly. Both of them are dead men; they could kick off at that exact instant in time, and leave the world no poorer for it. This is the reason Raith takes his time. This is the reason Peter takes his time. They have nothing but time, and eternity in purgatory is a long time indeed. "I think the real question, the real mystery," Raith begins again, "Is, do you need something?"

One dark brow lifts, head tilting to the side to consider Raith is a languid manner. When Peter's posture straightens, his shoulders wind up slacking some, blue eyes wandering the skeletal remains of the warehouse before settling back on Jensen again. Time is taken, time to consider what's being said, the question of need and want weighed against some unspoken list of just what he could put together on that plate. Furrowing his brows, Peter takes a few steps forward, a slow and meandering pace.

"Privacy," he admits with a teasing smile, "but I'm thinking that might not be on the menu for tonight. Which, brings me back to my question of— " Peter's head nods towards Raith, blue eyes uplifted to stay focused on him. "What do you want, enough to follow me around and wait for it?"

"Hm!" Raith replies with a lopsided grin and takes another bite of his carrot, crunching away as he walks and, ultimately, takes a seat on some of the rubble. Staten Island may be navigable with only a sub-machine gun for a quick burst of power, but the mainland is different. Strapped to his back, out of sight until he moves around enough for Peter to see it, is an honest to God M4 carbine, tricked-out with an optical scope, suppressor and underbarrel grenade launcher. The mainland has cops and soldiers, and a quick burst of power might not be enough for him to get away; something with a little more 'force' is required.

"You come here often?" he asks once he finishes crunching, "Clear your head, try to figure out what the fuck it is that your doing in the world? Hard to find a place that's good for that, much less a graveyard that's good for it. How's that working out for you?"

"Actually," Peter's head follows Raith's movements as he walks, eyes drifting up and down the gun on his back, but he doesn't turn when the man passes by him, looking out past where Raith is towards the direction he's come from, "this place is just the queitest in the neighborhood. Calvary cemetary is right by the harbor, so there's the noise of the ships and the river…"

Growing quiet for a brief moment, Peter's brows tense, head tilted down and then slowly turns his shoulders to regard Raith over them. "I know what I'm doing." Or at least he seems confident he knows what he's doing, the two are not mutually exclusive ideals. "Always fishing for information…" he says with a hesitant smile. "I'm trying to get a step ahead of Daiyu. The last time I ran into him, we were on an even footing, he got sloppy and went after someone without understanding the territory, but someone I didn't expect got in the way, and Daiyu escaped. Something has him spooked, and he's making mistakes."

Furrowing his brows, Peter watches Raith quietly, the way someone might watch an animal they've never seen before, trying ti spot the quirks and oddities in it like some sort've specimen. "He has a healer, either coerced or otherwise, because the parting gift I left across his face in our first encounter wasn't there in the second. I want to know what — outside of Ethan Holden — that he wants. That is what I'm doing."

"Well, isn't that a happy coincidence?" Raith cheerfully asks with a clap of his hands. Almost too cheerfully. "I want to know what Feng Shui wants too! And since he was less than helpful the last time I broke into his pad, I'll try whatever approach I can. Because frankly, he's been a real pain in the ass. He's like this, really, really annoying guy who's just always around every time, I don't need a guy around. You follow me, Petrelli? You don't like Feng Daiyu. I don't like Feng Daiyu. Eileen and Gabriel don't like Feng Daiyu. And Holden? He really doesn't like Feng Daiyu. If you ask me, the solution is simple.

"Let us combine to form Voltron."

One dark brow goes up, and while Peter doesn't comment on the context of the latter statement, there's some form of mirthful amusement in his expression at the proposition. The unlikely birth of a smile across Peter's face seems to surprise even him, head tilting crooked like a dog listening to a curious sound. "You… want me to— " there's a vague gesture with one leather gloved hand into the air as Peter starts to walk after Raith, "work with you and— " his blue eyes flit about the warehouse, then back to Jensen again. "The Vanguard?"

Well, there's a different name for it now.

"Well, sort of," Raith says to begin clarification, "See, Vanguard's dead, and I'm not going to bother with the usual sales pitch, because asking you to join up? Well, I don't know you so well. Going after murderers and rapists might not really be your cup of tea.

"However, Daiyu is allegedly working with the CIA, and if that's the case, all bets are off, because it means the government's really got it in for us. Sad day for us, sure, but consider it a trial run. Say this little experiment they're doing with Daiyu works, and he drops all of us into the bay. What happens the next time there's someone causing trouble they'd rather not bother bringing in for a trial? See where I'm going with this?"

"Problems we can handle first," Peter says clearly, folding his hands behind his back. "Daiyu can be handled, the government will come later. Right now, we should focus on where he's been, what he's been doing, what his interests are aside from kicking in the side of Ethan Holden's head." Meandering footfalls circle in the dust, Peter's even and metered steps carrying him across the floor of the broken warehouse, peering over the edge into the gaping abyss of the basement and the twisted fingers of rusted rebar reaching out of the gloom down there.

"So do we just pretend to work together and it's every man for himself, or is there something potentially concerted— like a meeting— that we might be able to put together to share all of our fleeting scraps of information. I know some things…" there's a pause, like he's searching for something in his head, "Eileen," that was it, "knows something, Gabriel knows something. And I don't think any of us are sharing with one another. Which is, quite likely, why we haven't found him yet."

Squaring his shoulders and straightening his posture, one of Peter's brows lift up higher than the other. "I guess the next obvious question is, who's in charge of this, ah— group?"

"That's a popular question, did you know?" Raith doesn't go further, not immediately. Once again, he crunches down on his carrot, having at last worked it down to the nub he'd cut the greens off of. Perhaps curious, he stuffs it into his pocket, rather than simply tossing it away. As he chews, he reaches into his jacket and, after a moment, brings his hand back out, extending both it and a - card? - to Peter: this is fast becoming Raith's 'gimmick'. A depiction of a woman and a lion. The Strength card.

"If we all split up and do whatever, we won't get anything done," he says plainly, "And as plainly as this seems insane to say, getting anything done against Daiyu is going to take a measure of trust between all of us. At least enough of it that we won't worry about getting sold out by the others. Trust is in short supply, these days, so the question at hand is a simple one." At the very least, Raith isn't wasting Peter's time. "Are you in, or are you out?"

Blue eyes drift down towards the card Raith holds out, his eyes narrow, looking at it and then back up again motionlessly. He's been in this position before, been standing where the offered hand is held out, but somehow that feels like less pressing of a matter than before. Echoes of memories sunk beneath a dark sea; PARIAH, Phoenix, the Company, Pinehearst, every hand held out to him and most held a dagger behind their back. Raith, at least, is cordial enough to stab Peter in the neck, not in the back.

A gloved hand reaches out, plucking the card between two fingers, turning it around to look at the back, then the front with furrowed brows. He doesn't ask what it means, just looks back up to Raith with those pale eyes, as if trying ot divine the meaning out of his impassive expression.

One breath later, and the strings that tie together the future get pulled together.

"I'm in."

"Glad to hear it," Raith says, practically bouncing up from his seat and dusting himself off. "I'll bring you up to speed with everything over the next week, including relevant things I pick out of Eileen and Gabriel. We're all in this together, after all." With a turn and a step, and a sudden 'fwip!', the card is back in Raith's hand, studied for a moment. "This isn't you," he says, as if to clarify some misconception that Peter had, "But you should keep the card anyway, just to remind yourself." Just as smoothly as he took it, Raith places the card, very directly, back into Peter's hand. "Discipline and self-control. All of us have this card. Take care it doesn't wind up reversed."

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