Are You Sure It Was Peter?


cardinal_icon.gif gillian2_icon.gif

Scene Title Are You Sure It Was Peter?
Synopsis Gillian interrupts Cardinal while he's looking through some maps, to tell him someone's looking for him.
Date Oct 17, 2009

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.

A rustling of dry, fragile paper fills the maps room as Cardinal moves from one section to the next with a certain urgency to his steps; searching in the darkness for something in particular, muttering under his breath in a low drone that echoes off the empty walls of the hall. "Where the fuck is it. There's got to be a fucking map of Liberty Island in here…"

The map room hadn't been Gillian's original destination, but there when she hears a familiar voice cursing down a hall, she turns and hurries that way. It's been a few days since she's been in here. Not out of outright avoidance, but it could easily seem that way. She's rubbing her hands together as she makes it to the door to the maps room and peeks in. "Looking for a map?"

"Liberty Island," calls Cardinal from between two shelves, glaring at the organizational system that he hasn't quite grasped yet. The Dewey Decimal, sure, he's got that. He just has yet to figure out how the damn maps are set up!

"You need a map of Liberty Island?" Gillian asks, looking a little surprised, but moving effortlessly over to a shelf to shuffle through some things. "Like a layout for the statue or the whole island? You could probably get one if you go to an old tourist shop…" she trails off for a minute as she runs a hand down a piece of paper, until she finds the numbers she wants and moves to get past him. "Stand back, you got a Librarian here now— you've already messed half this place up," she reminds him.

"This isn't completely the same as the one in Brooklyn, but I had to learn all this shit, so…" At least it's useful, for a change. It doesn't take very long, no where near as long as he's been looking, and she's holding out a map. "So why do you need this?"

"The entire island." Cardinal drops back a step as the librarian steps in to take over, quite happy to allow her to do so. He's got some bandages wrapped about his crown, a pad of gauze crushed to the back of his head, and the headache he almost certainly has isn't helping his temperment ever.

Once the map's handed over, he takes hold of it and heads to a table, rolling it out there and laying both palms on the table to stare down at it. "White's going to destroy it."

"That'll kill less people than sinking Staten," Gillian says softly, but there's a hesitant sound to her voice as she looks around his arm toward the map. "I could see if there's a topographic.. or wharever they call a map of the bottom of the bay. They probably had to make one at one point for the Ferry lines and safe harbor passage and stuff," she adds, as she pulls away from him to go looking. It may be more difficult to find cause she's not sure if they call it topographic if it's for water

"I actually came to give you a message. I'm not sure if he's already come back to meet with you, though— I don't know why he came here… or even how he got in, really." She shuffles through some maps a little more easily than he did, keeping eyes on them for a time. "Peter was in the Library looking for you a few days ago. That's pretty much the whole message."

"No. It'll kill more of them. Not directly…" Cardinal rubs a hand against his face, eyes closing as he tries to force the splitting headache away by sheer force of will, grimacing, "…but indirectly, it will. It'll also kill— just about any public support for our cause. It'd be a disaster. The Statue…"

Then he freezes, hazel eyes flickering up, widening slightly. "Petrelli?"

There's a quiet nod, as if she's not going to argue that case. The island sinking and taking down the statue would be a pretty big blow. That or it would trigger a movie moment where people reinacted Charlton Heston from Planet of the Apes, but also… not going to help their cause any. Instead she sticks to looking for a topographic map while she nods, "That Peter. Seems like there should be a billion in the world, but he's the only one who keeps coming up."

"How much of him is still Peter?" It's a rough question as Cardinal straightens, his fingers brushing over the surface of the map, the steady pounding in the back of his head something in the background now— ignored in favor of this far more important question.

The shuffling of maps comes to a hault as Gillian hesitates at the question. It'd mostly been nervous work. The map he has has most of the information he wants, a topograph would just be more detailed on levels and elevation. She just needed busy work before she brought up her message, which she realizes when she forgets to do the busy work. "I— I'm not totally sure. Enough for me, though," she says quietly, still looking down at the maps.

Cardinal turns around, slouching back to rest against the table as he stares off into the darkness of the map room, fingers rapping lightly against the edge of wood beside him. "…did he say what he wanted? Or, fuck, how the hell he even found me here?"

"I don't know that, no," Gillian says, shaking her head as she finally returns to her search. There's a few things that get rolled back up and placed where they should have been if they'd not been pulled out and left that way. "He seems to just appear sometimes. He walked right into a Ferryman meeting one time. Just waltzed right in looking for someone. It's kinda what he does."

"Wonderful." Cardinal pinches the bridge of his nose, eyes closing, "I suppose I should start working out a plan for what the fuck I'm going to do if he tries to kill me. I can't kill him, he'd just take my damn body…"

For a moment, Gillian's really glad he said that he can't kill him. Though the reason he can't isn't the same as the one she has. "You should avoid even hurting him. I think the… ability he has will seek a way to heal him if he's hurt, and that would just be bad for you." There's a long pause as she looks down at the maps. "How fast can you go shadow? I don't think he was here to hurt you, but… I don't imagine he can… do much to you if you just… become a shadow. Can he?"

"I don't, ah, I don't know," Cardinal says with a sigh of breath, his hand falling down to land against the table to curl his fingers to the wooden edge, "And he might. I don't know how much he knows I know. Or how much he's been influenced…"

"Maybe you shouldn't meet him alone, then," Gillian says after a moment, pulling out another map and reading the annotation before shoving it back in. Part of her knows she could find this faster if she went back to the system, but… busy work. "He's notoriously good at either ignoring that I'm there, or running off, but he didn't hurt me." There's hesitation, as if she's about to add something more there, but bites it back. "I guess I'm curious how much you could know that would make him want to hurt you. And what that actually is. Has to be something pretty bad if you think he wants to murder you."

"That depends on how much of him is still Peter." Cardinal's gaze flickers over, steady on her face as he points out, "What's inside him set up the nuclear bomb that I'm trying to stop. I'm not so sure that he'll be all that thrilled about that."

"Did anyone ever stop to think that maybe what's inside him got influenced by Peter?" Gillian asks softly, pushing back one of the maps as she turns around to look at him. "I know everyone keeps talking about how it's taken him over and how he's not Peter and— that it's Kazimir and we're all fucking screwed and going to die… well if we were all fucking screwed then… why the hell would any of us be here? Why wouldn't he have just gone and set off that nuke as soon as he got control? Why wouldn't he— do more of these terrible things that everyone keeps being afraid he'll do?"

Her voice is raspy, but firm. The further she gets, the steadier her voice becomes. "I don't know what all he's done since he got that ability, but I know one thing. When Eve and I got Else out of there, I got shot. And he healed me. Kazimir wouldn't have done that. And he wouldn't have pulled back from Else before permenantly damaging her either. So— yeah, I kinda think that Peter's still in there."

"I didn't say that it has, I just said if it has," Cardinal replies in irritable tones, rubbing his hand against the side of his neck as he grimaces over in her direction, "And I tend to plan for… the worst-case scenario because, nine times out've fucking ten, that's what we get. And just because he's not Kazimir yet doesn't mean he won't be, either."

"I've been planning for the worst case scenerio half the month and I'm still as strong as before," Gillian says, voice quieting as she turns away. That hesitation comes back, as if she's considering something. She walks over to the sorting system, looks through a few things, then moves back toward the maps. "Then you shouldn't meet him alone, if you're worried. I'm not actually sure how you'll find him. I'd go with you…" she adds on. But then she pulls out a map and walks back over, "But I doubt you'd really want me there. All I could do is yell at him, or make you go shadow faster. Or he wouldn't meet with you at all if I was there. He likes to either ignore me or walk off."

"Gabriel's supposed to be keeping track of him." Cardinal turns, glancing down at the map before reaching over to carefully roll the one he was looking at up, a sigh spilling from his lips, "I don't have time to go looking for him anyway, not with White about to— pull this insanity."

"You know when he's planning to do this?" Gillian asks, looking back at the maps. "The island isn't that big. Would he need to be on it to do it, or can he do it from… Jersey? Or Staten Island? Or whatever. Or hell, maybe he's on Ellis Island. That's pretty close." It seems she's not too upset with the conversation change back to this. Especially if he doesn't have time to find him on his own. "Phoenix is— planning something soon. So I can't help out with this unless it happens after. Though I guess they'd understand if you need my help right then too. Not like Phoenix doesn't have a couple people…"

"You're recovering Helena Dean's original body, and hopefully Wendy Hunter, from Humanis with the help of your mole," Cardinal replies without missing a beat, "It's up to you. Both objectives have to be dealt with. I need to get in and talk to Doc, he might be willing to help me stop this insanity…"

"Pretty much," Gillian says with a nod, even laughing a bit. "You certainly know a lot. I'm not sure which one I'd help better with. Part of me's a little tired of risking my life to save Helena's." There's a pause, as she backs up a bit and shrugs. "Maybe part of me would rather save the Lady Liberty than the Lady of Phoenix."

"…and you wonder why people might want to kill me for what I know?" A wry comment, Cardinal's head shaking a little, "It's up to you, like I said. I'm going to need to start getting people together; they have Shard anyway. As far as I'm concerned, that's mission failure on his part. Time to clean up."

"They have Shard?" Gillian asks, before her hands tighten a bit. There's a couple soft curse-like sounds under her breath, before she says, "Maybe everything is just fucking up. Wish I knew exactly what Edward saw now." She moves away toward the doorway again. "You know how to find me if you come up with a plan that needs me, right? Even if it's getting Shard to man up and kill White."

"I can't rely on him anymore," Cardinal says quietly, fingers sweeping over the paper to smooth the map out as he looks down at it, "I can't worry about what Edward saw, either. I know how to get in touch with you, yeah. Watch yourself, Gilli."

"Guess you can only rely on your own plans, and the people who make themselves easily available to you," Gillian says, flashing a dimpled smile at the guy who can see it better no matter the level of light. "Take care of yourself, too. Lady Liberty might need you." It's almost said as a joke, but since it's true, it comes off in a different light, before she wanders off down toward the entrance of the Library. Apparently one of the few times she doesn't intend to try to stay the night.

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