eileen_icon.gif magnes_icon.gif

Scene Title Arrangements
Synopsis Magnes comes to Eileen with what he feels is valuable information and presents to her a request.
Date June 16, 2010

Central Park

Instead of actually sending Eileen a note with an address or anything, he left coordinates. And those coordinates lead to a remote spot in Central Park with a large patch of dirt. He stands there with a long-sleeved red shirt with a small black Spider-Man symbol on it, blue jeans, and black sneakers. He's holding an electronic Green Lantern… lantern, and a metallic briefcase with a lock requiring a key. He told her he had something extremely important to talk to her about.

Using latitude and longitude as a clandestine form of communication is perhaps not the best way for Magnes to endear Eileen to him when the most advanced piece of technology she has in her possession in a battered old cell phone to be used in emergencies only. Fortunately, one of the first things she learned after falling in with the Vanguard was how to read a map, and although it took more effort than the Englishwoman probably would have liked, it did not take her very long to pinpoint the location and make a mental note of it before setting out across the water much earlier this morning.

Residual traces of rainwater plaster the material of the dress she wears to her body's slender shape, its pale fabric clinging to even paler skin and conforming to the curves of her hips and thighs without robbing her of her modesty. A cardigan buttoned halfway up her chest with long sleeves protects bare arms from the cool afternoon breeze blown in ahead of a thunderstorm still materializing somewhere above Queens, while a black umbrella held over her head prevents her from getting any damper than she already is.

"Magnes," is how she says hello.

Magnes is out in the rain, but he's not getting as wet as most people. The flight over mostly involved deflecting water with a field of gravity around him, much like he's doing at the moment. "Glad you came. But we'll need a little more privacy than this. So, come a little closer, and try not to be surprised." he warns, and usually when he wants, he's about to do something crazy with gravity.

Eileen doesn't look like she's in any shape to be doing anything even remotely crazy whether it involves gravity or not. Her arm not responsible for the umbrella is drawn across her chest and clutches fingers like claws at her side, and when she speaks her voice is a little harder than what Magnes is accustomed to. "No."

Droplets bounce off the umbrella's surface and catch the light, forming a white halo that glitters in the gloom of the early afternoon. Nearby, a buff-coloured buzzard with a hooked beak and great gold eyes alights on the gnarled branch of a dead oak tree, wood flaking off between its talons. "My sentry will have to do."

"Huh?" Magnes looks around, still a tad confused about Eileen's ability, but just shrugs and nods anyway. "Alright, we need to talk, and I need you to keep an open mind. I'll start with the deepest part, and that's my being in Messiah."

Magnes' confession is met with silence at first, or at least as silent as Eileen is capable of being; if he listens carefully, he might be able to detect the haggard sound of her breathing beneath the pattering rain and wind creating a quiet roar in his ears. She breaks it with a curt, "Yes." I'm listening.

"I joined the Ferry for two reasons. The first was to find Liette and bring her somewhere safe, and the other really was to help, so there was no doubt about that. But now…" Magnes shakes his head, staring down at the ground. "Now I know Messiah's insane, even one of their leaders thinks so, a man named Rupert Carmichael. He asked for my help in taking them down, and I want to introduce you two. We have a plan. I don't care if Peter's leading them, they're going too far."

When Magnes' eyes drop to the ground, Eileen's remain focused on his face in spite of the moisture gathered between her lashes, making it difficult for her to see without blinking the water away, which she does not — and it isn't because she's worried about ruining her make-up because she isn't wearing any. If the name Rupert Carmichael is familiar to her, it doesn't show. "What makes you think you can trust him?"

"He caught me, he knew I was going to betray Messiah, and he showed genuine concern and took forming a plan to stop them very seriously. He's just like me, he joined them thinking they were one thing, and they were another. He risked himself to tell me. Just… I think I have reason to believe him, and I think you two meeting would be a good start to taking them down." Magnes looks up at her again, still in that little bubble of gravity that seems to deflect the rain. "I want you to believe me, I only had the best intentions when I tried to listen to Rebel and take Liette. But you know me, and if you know anything about what they're doing, you know it's not me…"

It's not that Eileen doesn't believe him. The expression on her wan face, although gentle, is also sincere. Magnes has faith in what he's saying. Whether or not she agrees with his assessment is another matter entirely, and one she does not touch. Bicycles splash down a cement path at their backs, wind around trees and cross a stone bridge with a swollen creek running beneath it that ends at a pond perfect for skipping stones, which is what she might be doing with him if the weather didn't currently resemble her memories of misty downtown London.

"I would like to meet with him," she says, then. "Very much. But understand: I don't know what it is you think we do, or what the Nichols girl might have told you, but any fight you might have with Messiah isn't a fight that the Ferry's equipped to involve itself in. Whether or not we agree with the way Peter's going about it, we share too many of the same goals to make enemies of his people."

"Are you insane? They have a hit list of people they plan to start assassinating, they've brainwashed a bunch of young people into extremism, I'm pretty sure they're using PARIAH's ideals, and just… this is not going to end well. Rebel supported White." Magnes crosses his arms, not looking very happy at all. "If your goal is to watch the city implode until you have nothing left, then you can be as inactive as you want. But you might want to read everything in this briefcase before you make any final decisions, and then decide." He holds it out, then reaches into his pocket and offers the key as well. "This is a rough manuscript of the last meeting from what I could remember off the top of my head, and what Rupert said, as well as the solid plans we've laid out so far. If you just sit on the sidelines… the entire city is going to regret it."

"What are you asking me to do, Magnes?" asks Eileen, shifting her umbrella to take both briefcase and key. The former she tucks under her arm, the latter into her cardigan. "The Ferry's not an army. We've got a small handful of operatives with enough combat experience to hold their own in a firefight while the rest of our personnel is focused on supplying physical aid to those who need it. Shelter, food, supplies."

She curls her fingers around the briefcase's handle, and it's the fact her knuckles have gone bone white that may clue Magnes into the fact that the mild tone of her voice and the docile expression on her face are not an accurate representation of her emotional state or what's going on behind her eyes, which are suddenly very sharp. "Don't turn this into a conflict between what few resistance fighters this city's got. If you do, we'll either wipe each other out and those who need us won't have anyone left to turn to, or the government will catch wind of the situation and strike at us both while our focus is on the other."

"No, you're right, Eileen. There's nothing you can do, this is too dangerous. I'll have to look somewhere other than the Ferry if I'm going to stop Messiah." Magnes sighs, holding his forehead as he looks down for a second. "This sucks, I wanted to minimize the violence, on both sides, but I'm running out of options. The screwed up part is, Adam Monroe was right, all those months ago…"

"There are ways to minimize violence without resorting to it," Eileen reminds Magnes, her voice audible above a slow peal of distant thunder thanks to their proximity. In the tree, the buzzard stretches its wings, blotting out what little sunlight has managed to breach the runny clouds overhead. When it lets out a shrill scream of what might be warning, or perhaps complaint, the Englishwoman lifts her chin and looks past her companion to the Bethesda Fountain rising up out of the fog in the distance. The rainwater has the same effect on the statue's wings as it does her umbrella, shrouding the angel in a vaporous glow.

"Tell Carmichael I'll speak with him," she says. "I want to discuss how Messiah and the Ferry can co-exist. There are boundaries that need to be established. Rules."

"Messiah and the Ferry cannot co-exist, we're going to suffer because of them. He himself thinks Messiah needs to be destroyed. But I'll set up a meeting. You won't hear anymore from me about it. I'm going to do what I have to do to protect the public from terrorists." Magnes starts to get hit with a few drops of rain, not pushing against it as hard as before. "Cardinal. Is he really back? I thought it was a shapeshifter, but I figured you might know for sure."

"Raith seems to think so." Which isn't to say that Eileen doesn't. "I haven't spoken with him myself." Like Magnes' stalwart belief in Rupert, his assertion that there's no way for her, or anyone, to make a tentative arrangement with Messiah work goes unaddressed. Either she's more optimistic about the situation than he is, or—

"Kazimir," she says, "would wait. He was patient, my dziadzio. You can't fight an enemy that you don't understand, Magnes, and one of the only ways to understand someone is to watch them. It's why he and no one else was able to see the value in a lost little girl who claimed she could talk to birds."

"Cardinal came into my apartment the other day and proceeded to insult me, but he never left his shadow form. I still think it's a shapeshifter." Magnes starts pushing against the rain again whens he mentions Kazimir, as if the name itself causes him to suddenly keep his ability sharp. "I understand the importance of patience, but they're going to start killing people, they think it's the only way they can change anything, kill all these people… What kind of arrangement could possibly change that?"

"One that's carefully thought out and not rushed into. People are going to die whether you intervene or not." With a thrust of its wings, the buzzard launches off its perch and into the air, using its momentum to cleave through the rain, catch the breeze in its feathers and ride a draft toward drier climes. Eileen will be doing the same very shortly, if by foot. "We have some control over who and how. That's all."

She turns to go, showing Magnes her back, the slender column of her neck and the glistening brown-black hair plastered to it. "The sooner you introduce me to your new friend, the better."

"I don't like this, but you were raised by Kazimir, and I trust you. Please don't make that trust misplaced." Magnes, like her bird, leaves her with the briefcase and crouches down slightly to push himself into the air, flying through the rain as he continues to push against the water with his field. "Damnit." he mutters to himself, shaking his head.

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