At The End Of The River...


broome_icon.gif df_cardinal2_icon.gif eve3_icon.gif

Scene Title At The End of the River…
Synopsis …there is a waterfall.
Date October 31, 2010

Soft piano music fills the air, piped in through networked communication systems in the matte-white walls of the spacious apartment. A backlit matte painting of a desert viewed behind partly opened blinds gives the impression of being outside, and the UV lamps arranged around the inside of the window frame helps give the impression of emitted sunlight.

Standing in her studio, bare feet dappled with paint, Eve Mas lifts her brush off of the canvas and assesses her latest work. A panorama of an empty city, one that looks to have been long since demolished by a war that had come and gone. Crumbling brick walls with window frames in them suggest that there were once tenement buildings where piles of rubble now lay. Tents are erected along with scrap-heap lean-tos between these building remnants. People are huddled together in the ruins around a campfire, laughing, smiling, cooking food over the open flame.

In the foreground, a young girl with short red hair and bright green eyes stares up at the sky with a smile on her face, one hand lifted to clasp around a piece of jewelry hanging on a chain around her neck, concealed by her fingers. In the sky the sun is black, surrounded by a corona of gleaming fire — an eclipse.

Stepping away from her painting, Eve looks to the poster she has just finished painting on one of those crumbling walls near the young girl in the foreground. A faded likeness of Nathan Petrelli is depicted on its weathered surface, an American silhouette behind him.

The Institute Arcology

Residential Ring C

A soft and melodic chime interrupts the piano music, a non-instusive doorbell followed by the whining sound of the apartment's front door pulled into the wall. Standing there, suit as black as night and a smile on his face, Doctor Simon Broome carries as wooden box under one arm as he tentatively steps into the apartment.

"Eve?" Simon asks warily, one gray brow raised as he looks around the vacant living room for signs of her. "I come bearing gifts," is said more slyly as Simon begins ambling towards the direction of the studio.

Eyes close as she finishes her painting and she takes a deep breath. Putting the brush down, she goes over and turns the music down so that it's playing even softer and she tilts her head as light grey eyes open and she comes to stand in the studio waiting for the man to come to her.

"I know." She says with a hint of a smile. Though what she's just painted isn't something she's really wanting to smile after. "Though, not entirely sure of what the gift is." Still, sometimes the dreams are vague. She pads over to the sink to wash her hands and dry them before coming to meet Broome and smile at him. "Hello Simon." She says and ruffles her waist length raven dark hair. "I wonder what it is?" she muses silently and playfully, she's in a good mood today. Besides her most recent dream.

"I've just finished.. something. If you'd like to see it." The seer is dressed in loose and flowing clothing of a dark blue color, paint smears here and there. She looks healthy, even better than before. Her eyes shine with an inner light.

"Good morning, Eve," is Simon's cordial greeting, offering up the antique wooden box demonstratively. "I'd love to see what you've done, and I also have something rather important to talk to you about afterward." Tucking the shallow and long box under one arm, Simon offers a nod into Eve's studio and invites himself in, walking at a leisurely pace. "This gift was something Desmond happened upon recently, and I thought it might be a good chance of pace from your usual oil paints…"

Moving in to the white-walled studio, Simon does not yet circle around the painting facing away from him, but rather turns to face Eve. Lifting up the box again, he opens the front and lifts the lid to reveal a series of old wooden brushes with horsehair bristles, a block of something black, a small ceramic dish and a mortar and pestel. "It's a Sumi-e ink brush kit. I thought you might like to try it out…"

"Oh my.." Eve says and she blinks down at the gift. "Why.. thank you." she says and holds her hands out to retrieve it. "This is amazing, I.. I really appreciate this." She says with a dip of her forehead and a pleased expression on her face.

Her expression notes nothing of what Broome has to talk to her about that's important. She goes to place the box on the desk she has in the studio and then she's turning to face Broome again, while she does so. Her eyes fall on a painting that features a Japanese man with a samurai sword. "He's giving me a headache." She says, pointing a finger at Hiro. Time traveling makes her feel nauseous.

Looking from the box as its handed over to Eve and instead up to a painting of Hiro Nakamura, Simon's brows furrow and his lips downturn into a frown. He says nothing, in response to the commentary about the swordsman's appearance, but instead turns his attention over to Eve with a smile. "Let's see your more recent work," Simon dismisses, walking in a slow arc around the easel Eve had been at just a few moments ago. As he rounds the painting, worry immediately creases into Broome's expression as he looks over the image on the canvas.

Silence is Simon's reaction to the new image, one of a young redheaded child staring up at an eclipse in the desolate ruins of a city. Stepping closer to the painting, Simon's brows furrow together, making out the distinctive silhouette of the Chrysler building's remnants in the background, what little of it still stands in the modern age.

"They seem happy," is wondered aloud as Broome turns to look back to Eve. "Perhaps despite themselves, their surroundings," he motions to the people painted in the background, "they look as though they're… adjusted." There's no smile, not from Broome, as he turns to look back to Eve from around her painting.

"Yeah but.. I thought the scene would look different in the future. I just.." Eve looks down, "I hate the feeling that the next generation will be raised in a world like this. Where demons run free to wreck havoc." She doesn't say who the demons are, that's for Broome to make up in his mind.

"The riots are coming closer.. and you succeeded in your quest.. to bring him." she shudders as she says the word him and she goes to stand with Broome, staring at the painting for a few seconds longer. "Richard is not happy at all." She says with a sigh and then she's looking at Broome again. "The things I've been seeing.." she shakes her head, doubt on her expression. Maybe she is doubting what is going on here.

"What is it, you wanted to speak to me about?"

"Richard will understand in time, it's his destiny to." Furrowing his brows together, Simon crosses his arms and looks past the brunette to the door behind Eve, then settles his dark eyes back on her. "I wanted to talk to you about Richard, actually. He'd very much like to meet with you, talk to you, see how you're doing. I've been waiting for him to acclimate to his new environment, but I think I've just been hesitating on reintroducing you both…"

Stepping away from the painting and closer to Eve, Broome tucks his hands into the pockets of his black slacks. "If you're alright with seeing him in his current condition, Richard would love to see you. It's been a very long time since he's had the opportunity to talk to you, and I think it would mean a great deal to him."

The seer looks to Broome with a raised eyebrow. What does he know about destiny? Eve tilts her head and she regards the older man with a searching expression. "Let's meet him then." It's time for the oracle to meet the Black King.

"Maybe I've misjudged him, but I think it a grave mistake to have brought him here." She says with a wrinkle of her nose. "What we are doing Broome.. is against fate. The river only allows you to delay it so much. Bringing Richard to this place.. might tip things in the scales not in our favor."

She advises Broome quietly, he may think he knows all that there is to know but Eve wants to warn him nevertheless. "Just be careful that your hardwork isn't wasted." She says with a soft sigh.

"Don't be so quick to judge, Eve. If it weren't for Richard, none of this here would have been possible. The Institute, your newfound health, the world would have become a much darker place without his intervention…" Walking past Eve, Simon steps out into the living room from the study, turning to the open door to Eve's apartment and the brightly liy white-walled corridor beyond. "You can come in, Richard…"

The call is answered not by words, but by actions. Stepping into Eve's apartment isn't the Richard Cardinal that Eve Mas knows, or even Richard Cardinal at all. Not physically at any rate. While his pinstriped suit attire may seem much like Richard, the face of Tyler Case is most certainly not the man she's grown to know.

"Hey, Eve…" is Richard's unusual greeting as he lifts one hand in a worrisome wave. Simon seems quick to want to explain the situation, turning from the door to Eve with a slow shake of his head.

"Richard's condition was dire, due to events that transpired long ago in our past. We have been able to recussetate him, but at a cost. This transferral to Tyler Case was— it was an accident, entirely. We're working to find a way to get him to his rightful body again, and I assure you it— "

"Simon," Richard says softly with a raise of one hand. "It's alright," dark brows furrow and a frown crosses Cardinal's lips as he looks up with unfamiliar eyes to Eve. "It's… it's been a long time, dreamer."

Listening to Simon speak of Cardinal's condition. She studies the man in front of her that is suppose to be Richard. She's dreamt of this man coming to her, but seeing him in the flesh is something quite different. Though Eve wants to feel relief deep down that she finally is in contact with someone that she knows on a personal level. She can't help but feel cautious.

Her feet drag on the floor as she circles the man, looking him up and down. Squinting at him. "Hello.. shadow walker." The artist says softly. She stops when she's right in front of him. A few paces back. Staring him in the eyes. "Is.. it really you?" Her hand flexes as her legs shake a little. It's been forever since she's seen a familiar face in the flesh.. so to speak.

"Real as it gets," Richard explains with a crooked smile and a voice not his own. "I know this… is probably pretty weird, Eve. Heck, think about how I feel taking a shower." There's a crack of a smile as Richard takes a step closer, offering a nervous look to Simon before turning his attention back to Eve again. "It— it's really good to know you're okay. Simon's been telling me about all your progress but…"

Hesitating a few steps away from Eve, Cardinal looks nervous about approaching her. "You look… you look great, Eve. Really, it's like…" a smile hesitantly creeps up on Cardinal's unfamiliar face. "It's— really good to see you again."

As awkward as the reunion is, Simon seems to be hanging around if only as moral support for Cardinal. With his hands tucked into his pockets, Simon has given a few paces of space between the two.

She stiffens as he steps closer but she doesn't move away. "I.." she stares at Simon and then Cardinal. "Perv, looking at Tyler's parts like that. Get your own body." She says with a weak smile. "Can you shadow morph still?" Her hands ball into fist and she tilts her head. "If this is you.. what about the other Cardinal?" The one she knows. "Will you both exists in this timeline?" To say that Eve doesn't agree with that is an understatement.

She takes a hand and places it on Cardinal's face. "You have explaining to do." She says to Cardinal with a sharp eye, but the expression softens. "Thank you.. I feel better. Not as crazy." But still a little crazy. It's the perks to her ability.

The seer feels as if she's betraying the Cardinal she knows, being so receptive to this one. This mastermind behind the Institute. "Edward did all of this.. he sowed that seed into you." She blinks and thinks for a moment. "I still don't like the bastard, he's killed me in my dreams before you know. Not nice." She shakes her head.

"I have to agree with you on that, Edward's… dangerous." Cardinal is eager to dismiss the awkward sentiments of living in another man's body. "He can't be trusted, either, which is why he's staying right where he is. But… as for me and my younger self, I— don't know how easy that's going to be, babe. He's got it in his head that I'm some sort of tyrant, but you know…" there's a shrug of one of Cardinal's shoulders. "We'll figure it all out. He'll come around, and when he does maybe it won't even be necessary for me to be here anymore. I just… Eve, we have to make sure that there's a future left to live in."

Looking at her, there's a faint smile that creeps up on Cardinal's lips. "What do you want to know? I mean, I'll be as open as I can with you, about… everything. God knows you've probably seen enough of what's coming to know some things about where I've come from." The frightening truth of the matter is, Eve hardly knows a thing about him, all her dreams featuring Cardinal were long before her therapy and medicine kicked in, so they were more… abstract.

"No more murdering futures." she states and nods her head. "Good, I was getting a little frustrated with that." The seer sighs and rubs her temples. "Nonsense, there was always a future to live in. Just not one that we would all like." Eve removes her hand from Cardinal's cheek and goes to sit in one of the armchairs that are around the sitting room. "I've seen more than enough of what's coming and not enough of you."

Gesturing for Cardinal to do the same she studies him. "How did you come to be here? What is your supreme end goal here, Card.. because I'm having a few doubts right now. My visions aren't changing, not with the help of your methods. And the most important question.." which earns Cardinal a glare from the singer. "Why did you hurt our friends?" she says between her teeth. She sits straight though and composes herself. While grateful to the Institute for all that they've done to her. She has resentment for how they've treated her friends.. Gillian.. Teo.. all the others.

Chuckling, she leans forward. "You can just tell me everything. Simon has been a great help and explained much but I'm sure there are things not even he could let me know. Since you are supposed to be the head boss here, huh?" she tilts her head at her.. friend?

Cardinal's expression falters as he listens to Eve, eventually exhaling a sigh and turning to look at Simon. In seeing that expression, Doctor Broome offers a reluctant nod and turns for the door. "I'll come back in a little while, once you two have had some time to… catch up." As Broome turns to leave, Cardinal offers a faint smile to the old doctor before turning to focus on Eve.

"It's not a simple story," Richard offers with hesitation, listening to the sound of the door to Eve's room sliding closed on Broome's departure. "Our future… it's not what we hoped it would turn into. We all worked hard, fought, but in the end there's always someone willing to try and stop us. We lost, Eve, the future was going to hell in a hand-basket, chaos was going to be the order of the day and there was nothing I could do to stop it. Spies in my own midst, enemies at the gates… it was by sheer chance that I was able to make it back to this time."

Cardinal's voice lowers as he moves to find one of the stools in Eve's studio, easing himself down to sit in a manner that would say he was far older and far more tired than he looks. "When I found myself back here, I worked to try and change the future. Put it on a good course, but without trying to directly change major events. Murdering futures— it doesn't work. Edward was right about one thing… history has momentum, and there's nothing, no mountain high enough to stop it forever."

Looking down to his hands, Richard curls his fingers open and closed. "The Shanti virus was stopped, but we got the H5N10 in its place. Normal White was stopped, but Messiah came along. No matter how hard we try to stop something— time finds a way. So I've learned…"

Looking up from his hands, Richard's brows furrow. "I've learned to adapt. Things would've turned out better, but I had an accident back in 1977, ran afoul of Gabriel Gray's father. He killed me. I wound up being little more than a preserved brain in a jar for decades, until Simon was able to find me and… well…" Richard lifts his hands and offers a lopsided smile.

"Now I'm here, to make sure that we survive what's coming. No more fighting the future— you can't. So that's why you're here… why I'm protecting you from what's out there. It's just… I've been gone a long time, orders get muddled. Gillian got herself hurt, and I cann't forgive myself for that. Now that she's dead…" Richard's eyes close and he slouches forward, lifting his hands up to his forehead.

"I have a lot to answer for, now that I'm back…"

"Well, you've had an adventure." Eve blinks and she settles more into her seat. The seer sighs and looks at Cardinal. "I.. don't mention her again. I know I brought her name up. But don't say it again." She says and looks out towards the window. Tears falling down from her eyes. "When this is over, you won't be here. Because I'll have killed you. Just letting you know what to expect when this is all over." She says it deadpan, it's a fact, that's all. Her best friend, she doesn't say anything else to Cardinal about it.

"You.. Cardinal. You made the mistake that most of the people have made. You fucked with the river, you don't fuck with the river." Eve says and shakes her head but she looks to Cardinal in sympathy. "You aren't even sure of what you're doing is absolutely right. You better be careful, you mess up again and I might not have to be the one to end you."

Sighing, Eve stands and walks to the window. "What do you think would have happened if you had never caused all this?" she asks softly with a wave of her hand to the cell, indicating this place.. the Institute. "And.. about the child." She says with a stern look towards Cardinal. He knows what child she's speaking of.

"Eve there's a long line of people that want my head, you'll have to elbow to the front if you think my death would make anything better, or bring anyone back." Closing his eyes and exhaling a tired sigh, Cardinal lowers his hands from his head and wipes his palms across his knees. "Eve, if I didn't do all this things would've been a thousand times worse. Every single thing I've endeavored to change has been for the better, been not about changing the flow of the river, but knowing where it's headed and being prepared to survive the drop off the falls at the end."

Rising up to his feet, though, there's a narrowing of Cardinal's eyes at Eve. Something has his attention, but it's only now that he realizes that he's not entirely sure what the hell she's talking about. Now standing, he moves a few steps closer, head tilting to the side. "What child?" He hasn't, after all, gone to see the painting that is turned away from him yet. "Walter?"

Wait, what?

"You forget friend." She says with a wink. "I'll know where you are before anyone else ever will. Not that killing you will bring her back, I could get Hiro to help bring Gillian back. But it's the principle, there are consequences. PARIAH used violence as their method to get things done. Cameron was murdered by Kazimir in turn. They may seem unrelated but in the end, the consequences do catch up to you."

She places a hand on the wall as she looks out the window. "You have to discover the pockets in the side by the river, where it goes and the waters run more still." Her eyes close and she sighs lightly. "We have beef, but saving the world comes first. Like always." The artist turns her head and then faces Cardinal as he questions her.

She gives him a incredulous look and shakes her head. "Of course Walter. But you might want to take a look at this other one." She leads the way to her studio, to the painting of the ruins and the happy people, the eclipse and the red headed girl.

Of course Walter.

The sentiment has Cardinal bristling as he slowly rises up to stand, turning to offer a look att he easel that is turned away from him. Dark eyes flick back to Eve all the same, and he quickly moves to step around the painting, finding his focus on the depiction of a wasteland with seemingly cheerful survivors clinging to normalcy amidst decimated ruins. Brows furrowed, Richard crosses his arms over his chest and looks at the girl in the picture's foreground. While there isn't clear recognition on his face, there is something that looks mildly haunted by the painting.

"I don't know…" is Cardinal's explanation with a slow shake of his head. "She could be anyone, I don't recognize her though. Where she is," Cardinal's eyes fall shut, his head shakes slowly and he turns to look up and over to Eve. "You don't know how hard it is, Eve. To want to change the future, but know that if you do all you'll be doing is damning everyone to an inevitable end."

Lifting one hand up to cover his mouth, Cardinal steps around the canvas and walks back towards Eve. "Eve, I don't want us to be enemies. I care about you, and you know that. You're… really the only old friend I have. Simon's— he's more like a business partner. But you, Eve, seeing you like this gives me hope that we can use a fine, detail brush to paint in a few small changes to the future. We won't be able to stop all of the big changes… but maybe— just maybe— we can paint ourselves a little happiness somewhere in between."

A hand quickly swats Cardinal on the back of the head. Quicker than Eve use to be. It would seem that Eve has been doing more than just painting and teaching children in here. The firing range is used quite often by the seer. "I know that better than anyone. Better than you." Dark hair is shoved behind her shoulder as she turns to look at Cardinal.

Considering what Cardinal has to say, she walks closer and gives him. Probably what he's been searching for from this whole meeting. A hug. "Card.. we always make our own happiness. And sometimes we can push the big bad things from ever happening." She murmurs into his shoulder as she hugs her old friend.

"If you really want me to trust this.. you have to trust me more. In terms of with things to do. I'm more than a dreamer that paints what she sees, you know that." Her hands stay on Cardinal's arms as she steps back a bit. "Don't leave an old friend out of your plans." Though she knows what he's going to do next, it's always nice to be included. To feel like you're apart of something. "So what's next?"

Eve's embrace causes Cardinal to tense up, back straight and jaw set. It's only for a moment, however, until his tension bleeds away and arms slowly come to wrap around Eve's waist, drawing her into a tight embrace. Exhaling a sigh into her shoulder, Cardinal breathes out a muffled laugh and shakes his head. "Been a long time since I had a hug, babe." Lips twist crooked at that comment, and slowly Cardinal straightens up from the embrace, lifting his hands up to rest on Eve's shoulders.

"First thing we need to do is hunker down and survive what's coming. The other me is going to try and stop the riots, but I already know how that's going to turn out. We need to hunker down and weather the storm, then poke our heads up when the smoke has cleared and assess the situation. Before we can do anything, though, I need to make sure I have a clean house."

Cardinal's brows furrow, a smile ghosts briefly across his lips. "I've been gone a long time, and I need to make sure that everything is operating the way I want it to here. So we make sure our own house is clean, before we go to clean up others'." Moving his hand from Eve's cheek, Cardinal rests his palm there and offers a more canny smile.

"Then, we prepare for war."

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