Better Business, Better Lives


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Scene Title Better Business, Better Lives
Synopsis A civil protest occurs in front of the Homeland Security Building in Battery Park City, as people lay out their grievances against the city and it's curfew in the hopes that someone will listen.
Date October 23, 2010

Battery Park City

Battery Park City is a 92-acre planned community at the southwestern tip of lower Manhattan. The land upon which it stands was created on the Hudson River using millions of pounds of dirt and rocks excavated during the construction of the World Trade Center and certain other construction projects, as well as from sand dredged from New York Harbor off Staten Island. The neighborhood, which is the site of the World Financial Center along with numerous housing, commercial and retail buildings, is named for adjacent Battery Park.

Battery Park City is bounded on the east by West Street, which isolates the area from the Financial District of downtown Manhattan. To the west, north and south, the area is surrounded by the tidal estuary of the Hudson River. The development consists of roughly five major sections. Traveling north to south, the first neighborhood, the "North Residential Neighborhood," consists of high-rise residential buildings, a large hotel, Stuyvesant High School and the World Center Mall. Former parkland in the area was in the process of being converted into high-rise buildings before the bomb in 2006, and now much of the unfinished constructions lie in much the same condition as the ghostly footprints of the World Trade Center, surrounded by derelict cranes and construction equipment.

Much of Battery Park City looks to be in better condition that the majority of upper Manhattan, its streets relatively well tended and buildings in fair condition, though even this far south signs of structural damage to some roads and buildings from the shockwave and debris of the bomb in 2006 are still visible. Due to its location and relative security from the damage of the bomb, Battery Park City is one of the most expensive areas in lower Manhattan to live and features the highest growth rate of new construction. It is not unusual to see banners for Linderman Group sponsored rebuilding efforts and Maxwell Corporation signs on half finished skyscrapers.

There is historically nothing more corrosive to the morale of a population than policing its own citizens

"Jesus Jonas, are you piling on enough makeup?" On the streets of Battery Park City, the DHS building in front of the reporter with all the people that are milling outside of it at a respectful distance behind her and in the shot. A camera crew from Channel 4 news has apparently set up. Here to cover the protest that is in action and has been in action for a few hours as they made their way towards the government building.

The wavy haired blonde is scowling at the employee who is touching up makeup, working to ensure that the reporter is looking perfect for the impending broadcast. The cameraman behind the camera adjusting the tripod to ensure that it's at the right height and framing her. "Make sure you get my good side. I don't want another screw up like last time George. You'd think after fifteen years of doing this you'd know how to make a persons face look good"

"Fifteen years of dealing with self important little reporters who forget who they actually need to be seen on the television, I think I know how to find your good side" The tow headed tall camera man looks to the reporter with his serious expression breaking ground and giving way to a grin. "I find your good side every morning Mrs. Collins"

The reporter rolls her eyes much to the delight of the person who's sole job is to make sure that the pert blonde looks good with the application of like toned spackle to her face. "It's a very good side Mr. Collins. Aren't you happy you married it?" "Always. Now get in the shot before I grab someone off the street" He winks, getting back down behind his camera to fiddle more. She just rolls her eyes at him. "I'm the one that gets to do that"

The city has been tense, wound tight and only seeming to wind tighter and no end in sight. The squeeze by officials only working to tighten that, screwing down supports, wrapping issues in metaphorical steel bands in the hope that it alone can contain it. But much like the grinch's heart in a classic christmas tale that even the oldest of living adult know, at some point, it won't be enough to contain something that's growing. At some point, too much will be too much and things will either have to give way, or they explode.

Perhaps that is what will happen on November eighth, this is only October twenty-third but the people who have gathered have only one intent in mind and that is to get the government to force new york officials to lift the curfew that is strangling their livelihood every single night. Men, women, children in varying social classes have joined. They walked the mile away from the DHS building waving their homemade signs and professionally made ones that were passed out to those that wanted them.

The end destinations had been a raised green platform with a microphone front and center, speakers on poles and on the stage to ensure that those in the back will be hearing those who are speaking. The city has been helping as asked, providing metal barricades to help keep people away from the DHS building proper, a light police presence as well as a white sided tent with a smattering of ambulances around it at two spots in the immense gathering to provide emergency medical aid to those who need it. So far the worst has been a few stepped on toes and a broken nose when someone didn't like that someone was standing in his spot.

Just one man in many, Tony is ambling along, wearing another face entirely, and who wouldn't want to look a bit like Chuck Norris. He's got his collar turned up, presumably against the cold. Or maybe just to screw with cameras. So far, at least, he's behaving himself.

The business owners of New York — in some strange twist of fate, that includes Peyton Whitney, formerly a little party girl, paparazzi princess whose exploits have been sprinkled through the back pages of tabloids and on such sites as and Perez Hilton. She is not the same girl she was over a year ago, when her manifestation made the news, or just weeks after that, her kidnapping at the hands of Humanis First. The tall brunette is dressed for the chilly fall weather and as a representative of her business, Redbird Security, fittingly in a bright red peacoat atop leggings and black suede boots, her hair tucked beneath a knit cream cap.

It's not a far walk from her building to where the people are assembled, and she smiles as some of the other local business owners greet her, lifting one hand as the other curls around a thermos of coffee.

Harmony doesn't much care for hospitals. For one thing, they're expensive and you can get all kinda of sick from being there. But her grievance with such medical facilities dates back to her childhood. It isn't so much of a fear as it is just a major dislike for extended care. That being said, Harmony's fiasco at the club the previous night earned her a trip there, resulting in an overnight stay and her arm patched up from an injury she received. They wanted to keep her for a bit more observation, but Harmony wasn't having any of that. Fortunately for her, Harmony used to date one of the doctors there.. Well, he was only an intern when she was seeing him, but people come up in the world, if given some time. With a little griping and a bit of female persuasion, involving the promise of getting together sometime for drinks, she got herself discharged, much to her relief.

Still dressed in the tight leather pants, Mick Jagger cami and boots from last night, the blond girl makes her way home with the jacket of the doctor-ex. Of course, it figures, on her way through the park, she would run into a protest. And of course, she would run into someone she knows, who hooked her into joining, handing her a sign. She does not wanna be here right now. Any other time, yes, but now is just.. not a good time for her. But here she is…

Marjorie comes across as a woman stuck in the 50s, what with her bright red lipstick, her outfit choices, and all the rest. Last night, she was almost shot to death because of a stupid raid that the government made on a club. And now she's here today, hoping that the candles set properly, hoping that Owain is working on his homework and that Griffin doesn't find out about last night. A mother has many minds, it is said. But what is on her sign, currently, is simple: END THE CURFEW. She's actually holding the sign high, her cheeks flushed, but she marches on.

Honestly she doubts that it will help, but Messiah or not, she wouldn't feel right leaving other citizens to fight such a battle if she wouldn't fight it herself.

A number of college students have taken a break from their studies to come join the fray - ranging from the Usual Suspects who join just about every protest that comes along (and even organize a few of their own), to the group in polo shirts and slacks who just want to be able to ditch one club for another whenever the mood strikes them, with little care for the problems the curfew was intended to fix in the first place.

Evan is hanging out on the fringes of the first group, holding up a poster with a more barbed message - CURFEW SHOULD COME FROM FAMILY, NOT BIG BROTHER - while keeping an eye out for potential violence, from protesters and police alike. He's here to be a malcontent, not a martyr.

T-minus two weeks now, and it's coming to a point where Delilah can come to things like this provided she either brings a chaperon that can take her home, or has a working phone on her. Usually the latter is enough, but sometimes she feels the need to provide an excuse to bring someone along. In this case, it was probably something like Delilah convincing Magnes that if something went wrong, she would need him. Now, that's not entirely true, but if it works to get him to follow her somewhere-

"Do you think anyone's going to pay much attention to this?" The pregnant redhead isn't able to hold any signs, but her autumn jacket is peppered with buttons that echo many of the signs being jostled about. Dee finds herself going at a reasonably slow pace, her attention torn from anyone that may be getting ready to speak, towards the van and camera that accompany the reporter on the periphery. "I wonder if I could videobomb the news…" Because that's important.

Magnes isn't carrying a sign, the last thing he needs is more bad publicity somehow, and he knows his good intentions often lead to bad publicity. But a pregnant Delilah precedes even Abby's warning about going to Roosevelt. He has no choice in the matter! Plump redhead is calling rank. He wears a small chef's hat and a Panucci's shirt, which has a drawn Italian man on the front, winking, in support of Panucci's Pizza. "I think they'll definitely pay attention. Tracy's probably prodding Nathan Petrelli right now."

A flight jacket with Chicago Air and Redbird Security patches on it keeps Richard Cardinal warm in the chill autumn weather as he walks along beside Peyton, hands tucked away into the pockets of that jacket. He's not looking that good, half his face suffering from some kind of sunburn that's starting to peel despite the lotion he's been slathering on it, and his expression isn't entirely cheerful either. Admittedly, that can probably be chalked up to the 'sunburn'.

"It'd be nice if this actually stayed peaceful," he murmurs in rueful tones, "Fingers'n toes crossed, Pey, eh?"

A slim woman, a beige trenchcoat cinched tight against the cool air approaches the microphone on it's stand, papers in her hands and a smile on her face. "Thank you for coming tonight! Thank you for standing up for the rights of the businessmen and businesswoman, the citizens of New York to live their lives and to keep their businesses running" The redhead at the microphone peppily reports into the microphone.

"I'm going to turn over the mic to Andre, he's been the one you've heard on the megaphone near the front of this very beautiful protest, thank you all for keeping it civil, and lets keep it civil and show the city that it's not the people of the city that are dangerous, just the terrorists who are hiding in it! Lets give a hand for Andre!"

She turns to the side, a guy in jeans, sweater, leather jacket and a yankee's baseball cap on his head is stepping up, taking her hand and shaking it. "Thank you Dora, thank you very much for that introduction"

Tony claps his gloved hands together, briefly, and then shoves them back into his pockets. He edges his way sideways in the crowd a little, easing through. The man looks a little uncomfortable. It's probably the crowd. Or the cops. Hard to say, either way, he's showing just a few hints of being on edge.

Marjorie moves toward the front, unafraid. She should be more afraid, but her anger over last night is just boiling over, in the only way that it really can. She's used to keeping her temper, so here is how it all comes out. Still, now that there are going to be discussions, she pauses to watch, curious.

"Hard to walk with my toes crossed, but I'll try," Peyton says, bumping shoulders playfully with Cardinal. "And stay peaceful? I'm here. You're here. What are the odds of that happening, I ask you?" Her smile is bright — she is in better spirits, coming out of the doldrums that plagued her after her foray into the past, where she barely said anything unless spoken to, unless it had to do with the business and work.

She takes one of the signs handed to her by one of the organizers, nodding to the man with a smile and hoisting the sign for all to see: Curfew hurts the economy is a simple enough message she can stand behind. Her dark eyes sweep the crowd as she looks for faces she knows.

Things here.. could get bad. This is Harmony's initial thought. Sure, it's a nice event, but if you have protesters, you have opposition, and you even have some extremists. She isn't wearing her anti-extremists underwear right now, so she is doing everything she can to participate without trying to over-do it and be that one loud protester that ends up the target for awful stunts, or an 'example'. No, she'll wave her sign and shout her 'hell no, we won't goes' at the normal level. Mind you, she can barely hold her sign, which is further making her feel awkward right now. She also hangs back to scan the crowd, to see if there is anyone else she might know here.

Evan is with Harmony on that one, not that they've met before. Let there not be an example— or, since that's probably wishful thinking, let it be someone else, preferably far enough away that the rest of the crowd has time to spot it and disperse. So far, the leading candidate seems to be that guy over there with the dark green jacket, elbowing his way toward the front lines so he can aim his shouts directly at those on the other side.

"Is that what they call it now?" Delilah quips, lifting her eyebrows at Magnes. She had to take that opportunity, he set it up so nicely. She takes a look around, before taking a cotton cap from her jacket pocket and tugging it neatly over her head, eyes on the reporter, severely tempted. She looks back to the microphone, and habitually scans faces near her. Dee learned some things from certain people that have taken off in terms of turning into a regular thing.

"Oh hey, look, it's Pey and Dickie."

"I don't think Tracy's that kind of woman, but I wouldn't put it pass the Petrellis trying some under the table Kennedy stuff." Magnes reaches over to take Delilah's hand after straightening his hat, then starts walking over to Peyton and Cardinal. "Peyton!" he calls out, not sure if people might be out to shoot Cardinal in the head or something.

"I have a one violent incident per week limit," Cardinal states firmly, "So it'd better stay peaceful." He doesn't take a sign, figuring that his presence is clearly enough, and also he'd rather not be a target in case there's anyone out here planning to shoot him in the head.

He can never really be sure on that point.

As there's a shout in their direction, he glances over, a brow lifting, "Oh, it's Magnes and Delilah. You want to go over'n talk with them?"

A few different new stations have set up on the non-occupied side of the barricades, picking people to come, be interviewed, then pick another. Who knows what station will air what, they're not actively going through the crowd, preferring to keep the sensitive and expensive equipment away from potential damage.

In the crowd though, there's camera's out, cellphone, people taking video's of the ongoing event. Other tents and tables set up by enterprising individuals who are selling coffee from vendor vehicles, food, a petition booth that is offering up clipboards for individuals to take up, sign their name and pertinent information so that it can be turned into the City officials and hopefully the demand met.

They're setting up a microphone down in the crowd near the front of the stand for individuals to come up - still setting it up, it's not yet ready - even as 'Andre' is waving to someone in the crowd.

"Hello everyone. Andre Sanders. Organizer of this protest. I'd like to re-iterate what the lovely Dora has said and thank you for keeping this peaceful. Since January twenty ninth, this city has seen a curfew. It started in response to the events that happened, perpetrated by terrorists. We saw businesses need to shut down at half past six and the streets come to an empty standstill. Ten days later, it was lifted back to 9, and I'm sure we can all remember those days. Anyone else remember loosing their chunky monkey when their freezer had no power? I do and boy, it was not pretty. Neither was the city"

Andre is sure to keep his gaze moving, trying to make eye contact or general eye contact with as much of the people as possible, the speakers along the side carrying his voice down down down the couple blocks that have been filled up with people. "The curfew was pushed back to half past eleven for the longest time. For our safety of course, was the claim. More attacks followed, day or night, didn't matter, it still happened. Curfew went back down to nine, then back to eleven thirty. We had the storm that ravaged our city, more terrorist attacks both here and other important points of our country. August, they dropped it down to nine once again" Andre shakes his head.

"Since when?" Peyton says with a snort at Cardinal before turning to look where her name is being hollered. "Sure. I hope Delilah doesn't pop out on the street or something. That'd be another kind of excitement I'd rather not have to witness. Birthing is not high on my lists of things to witness first hand."

She begins to move that way, though she glances toward the speaker with the microphone, listening to his words. Redbird isn't the sort of business that relies on night hours, though they could benefit from others having more live events at night, of course. She's here to support the community visibly — the other business members might remember Pey and Cardinal's presence, come to them when they have security needs, after all.

Tony looks like he's listening. Honestly, he's listening. He's one of the herd. The fact that he's looking for avenues of escape is entirely coincidental. That, and looking around for people who look different. Who look out of place. In all, he's got the air of one whose thumbs are pricking, but hasn't quite managed to place who, why and where. He glances around, and spotting the camera crew, edges a little through the crowd away from them.

Marjorie remains in the front, her bright green eyes turned upward. It doesn't occur to her that a camera might catch a shot of her, but that doesn't really matter - she won't go out of her way to seek attention if she can help it, so it shouldn't be a problem. In a pause in Andre's speech, she turns to glance around, but sees no one familiar. Instead, her eyes sweep back, and she thinks Andre looked at her in his sweep. She lifts her sigh a little higher in response.

"They are like …nega-Kennedys." Delilah comments as she takes his hand and follows along when he moves towards Peyton and Cardinal. "I bet the key to defeating him is to become a Sailor Senshi." Secretly, Peyton, she does hope not to pop out on the street either. Her aim today is thankfully not stressful, and having Magnes around with her seems to only help that. While others may think him quite stressful on his own- well. She can, but doesn't.

"Hey Peyton!" Is her slight echo of him, one hand still adjusting her slight wintery cap. "How's it going?"

Harmony doesn't seem like she sees anyone she knows, which doesn't really surprise her much. It's sorta okay, her head still kinda hurts from last night, so that just adds to her desire to wanna be in a warm tub, surrounded by hot, steamy water, relaxing. Duty before pleasure though, right? She's here, and she is protesting. Her friend of course has better ideas as she sees the news crews. See, Harmony's friend is one of those people that has to join every activist right and be the girl that shouts 'woo' the loudest. Grabbing Harmony's good arm, she starts to pull the blond girl over towards the reporters.

"Jesus, Jessica. No.. Come on, can't we just.. goddamit.." she mutters, wanting to take her sign and wear Jessica out with it right about now.

The camera crew don't look to snag the folks who edge away, and so Tony is safe in that regard and there doesn't seem to be any overt troublemakers. If this had been a pro-evolved rally, or even an atni-evolved rally, there might have been some trouble for him to stir up, or participate in.

But the people here are here for a purpose that doesn't differentiate between genetic differences. Everyone owns a business, everyone likes to go to the movies, go out to a late dinner, take in a show or make that late night run for Wendy's at 1 in the morning. 24 hour diners across the city that cater to the people who work the jobs late at night, providing refuge from the cold and the streets for the cost of a cup of coffee at minimum at four in the morning.

The reporter for channel four pointing to Delilah since she's nearest, aiming the camera towards her. Magnes just happens to be beside her. "Miss, Miss, can you come over here?" The assistant with a clipboard calls over the din to get the Englishwoman's attention. But Harmony and her friend are getting in the woman's face, more so the friend than Harmony and the reporter looks delighted at the prospect of the interview happening. "What's your name?" She inquires of the two, smiling wide with teeth that are not born that white naturally.

"Hi, Dee, Mag," Peyton says, moving closer to speak to the two rather than shout across the few feet separating them, but then the news reporter is calling the very pregnant redhead and what they probably think is the father-to-be over, and Peyton looks amused. "Is it too dark out for me to put sunglasses on too — oh, fuck, look who I'm talking to," Peyton says in an aside to Cardinal, smirking just a touch. Of course, she's out here to be visible, so covering her face defeats that purpose. She steps back to stay away from the camera however, and bumps into Tony as he tries to flee.

"As long as I don't have to wear a tophat. And I don't think you're up for any transformation sequences until you've had the baby." Magnes' eyes widen and he quickly covers his face, both with his hand and Delilah's he still has in his other. But then they're going to Harmony, and he breathes a sigh of relief. "The last thing I want is to end up on TV at a protest. I came for Delilah and Mister Panucci. He can't do much walking."

What is it with the loud ones, anyway? With a look of distinct resignation, Evan heads toward the camera crew, trying to get ahead himself now - only to be blocked by an older man holding his arms out. "Yeah, they push the curfew back to eleven-thirty, and what happens?" He's ranting to everyone close enough to hear him; Evan just happens to be within range. "Some kids come by at ten, break my window and steal a bunch of spray paint. What, I gotta pay time-and-a-half for a night watchman, just so these other guys can liquor up till dawn?"

Cardinal matches Peyton's step as they move through the crowds, keeping beside her; as she's the famous one, he could easily be mistaken as a bodyguard or something of the like. "Delilah," he greets casually, "Magnes. How's it going?" The camera crew get a glance as they approach - and then turn away from the pair. Unlike Peyton, he doesn't seem to mind the camera, but neither is he actively trying to get on the news.

Tony keeps the quiet shift away from the cameras going on. And that slightly concerned look keeps going on.

Great, she got the attention of the camera crew, and Harmony got dragged along. Now that she is actually on film, she plans on composing herself and preventing her friend from making a fool of herself, by doing all the talking herself. Harmony is used to being on camera, so it doesn't bother her to take the lead. She shifts the sign around in her arm for a more comfortable position and with a short sigh of frustration with it, she smiles to the camera. It's a bit forced, and perhaps just a little faked, but yeah. "I'm Harmony Roberts, and this is my eager friend Jessica Branch." she replies to the reporter, keeping it simple.

Delilah can hear herself being hailed, though Magnes' hiding behind all available hands allows her enough reason to pretend she didn't hear or see anything, and keep moving with Magnes. She lets him use her arm for a shield for those few seconds, eyes turning over to Peyton and Cardinal when Magnes breathes again.

"I think you guys should have uniforms consisting of dark, shiny sungl- Wow, what happened to your face?" Dee even lifts her free hand to poke at her own cheek, and gesture to Cardinal's face.

"The curfew has been implemented, day after day and the reasoning being that it's to protect us, to make it safer for them to find the terrorists who are wreaking havoc on our city. But all it's done is make it worse. Never in history has such a measure been taken and for so long. Since the destruction of the Veranzo-Narrows bridge, our businesses have seen decline.

Andrea flickers his glance onto Marjorie indeed and then to the next person beside her and beside them and beside the next, working the crowd even as a microphone is slid into the holder of the stand and two people settle in to start a line up.

"The news has reported that the population of New York has decreased, people leaving because they are afraid for their lives. It's not true. People are leaving because of the hardship that the city is imposing on the businesses in New York. People are leaving here because they cannot afford to keep their businesses open, afford to pay their employee's, feed their families and pay their rent. If they can't pay their employee's, their employee's can't feed their families, can't pay their rent. Businesses shut down. The storm of oh ten shut down even more businesses when they were damaged in the process and when the snows receded and the floods gave way, they couldn't afford to rebuild and re-open"

Andre shakes his head. "A vicious cycle. So they close, they close and they move. It's predicted that we'll have no Black Friday this year for the business's of the city of New York. New Jersey will. Outside the city limits of our great city which has seen it's fair share and more of tragedy since 2006, they'll hit that point in the fiscal year where their accounts will go from red to black. Here in New York, from the well meaning but oppressive curfew that they have laid on us, we will see only red. We will see more business's close, windows boarded up and more moving vans as we are forced to walk away and leave if we want to survive.

"The city's continuing curfew is killing us. I invite you, the people, to line up, say your piece to the city officials" There's now a camera crew being set up in front of the microphone, a couple feet in front of it. "Let them know how this is effecting you, effecting our economy and the irreparable harm that they are doing to the lifeblood that sustains them"

"As long as I can wear my Jackie O's," Peyton says with a smirk at Delilah, then winces a little as Andre asks for people to discuss how it's affecting them. She glances at Cardinal. "Do we want to give a company line on that? You want to do it or should I or should both of us?" she says quietly. It's a strange new world, for her, to worry about the public image of a business venture rather than her reputation as a party girl.

The girls are positioned to one side of the reporter, everyone getting into place, encouragements to smile made my madam clipboard, and then "we're rolling" the little red light on the camera turns on and with it, the potential to bring ones words to thousands if not millions of people.

"I'm standing here with Jessica Branch and Harmony Roberts, two of the protesters from the Better Business, Better lives protest that is happening outside the Department of Homeland Security building" The blonde reporter turns to the two women with her. "What does this protest mean to you, how is the curfew affecting you and your day to day life?"

At the mention of the sunburn, Cardinal's lips twist into a grimace. "Some evo went all white-light on me at a club last night," he admits reluctantly, "At just the worst possible time, too…" He brings a hand up, scratching at his peeling cheek, then at Peyton's question he looks over towards the reporters. "Hm. Well, it is pretty stupid. City That Never Sleeps with a curfew? City's desperately in need of money to fix itself up and we're losing tons of money in tax revenue from all the nightlife that's been shut down… you want to do the camera thing, Pey? I'm…" A pause, "…not exactly looking my best today."

Jessica was the one who dragged Harmony over there, yet she seems to be overshadowed by her blonde friend. Harmony is worried the girl might say something that sounds like drunk ravings, which would tack humiliation over her name. As Jessica opens her mouth to take a breath to speak, Harmony quickly chirps up over her.

"Negatively." she replies to the question, "I love the night life, and I do most of my activity at night. I DJ, KJ, small gigs and things.. Not usually things you get much business with during the day. Having to be home and making everything close early kinda puts a damper on living it up to the wee hours, yanno? I have a problem sleeping anyway, so just sitting there not being able to go out and do what I wanna do? Yeah, I feel like I'm in middle school all over again. I'm not a child.. I don't need to be told when to 'go to my room'. So yeah, this protest is about expressing those feelings. Get it out, vent.. And hope that someone will listen."

"Right," Peyton says with a smirk at Cardinal's comment, reaching up to gently pat-pat his peeling sunburnt cheek. "Plus, people will assume you were off gallivanting in the Riviera or something with all the money that our company is not losing to the curfew, right?" she says playfully, reaching up to smooth her dark hair and then handing him her thermos of coffee.

"Okay. I'll go be the poster child of security solutions. I mean, who better, right, then someone known for being kidnapped and arrested?" she quips with a sparkle of dark eyes. Self-deprecating sense of humor being back is a good sign she's not going to wallow in self pity forever. She moves toward the microphone and pedestal.

"I'm alright, well, sort of. Elaine's moving out, not the happiest news I ever had, but everything else is fine, I'm telepath compulsion free, and I have a new bass." Magnes looks to Delilah, then to her stomach. "You know, I've never delivered a baby in all my years as a pizza boy, and I don't think all the buns I've baked in an oven are going to help me if you decide to pop out here…"

It takes a few moments for Delilah to properly parse the meaning of what Cardinal says about how he got burned, but when it does dawn on her, the teenager opens her mouth an an 'oh' and perches her hand on her stomach. "It's not the same for me, but I burn easy too- I know something good for on it,it works really nicely for me when I get burnt." She starts out a little hesitant in sharing, but soon enough Delilah looks presumably self-assured.

She has another job to do, in listening to the speakers, next. It's why she came, rather than to give Cardinal skin advice. Her answer for Magnes, despite all of his screwy news, is simple. "I am not going to explode in a mess of chunky red birth-salsa, no matter how great your puns are."

"You keep that up and I'm appointing you head of marketing," Cardinal faux-threatens in Peyton's direction as she moves to step away towards the reporters, bringing the thermos up to his lips to take a swallow from it. To Magnes and Delilah, then, he raises a brow, "Hell, I'll try anything. I get burned way too fuckin' easily sometimes, and let me tell you, it sucks. If you know a better lotion'n the shit I use…"

He wrinkles his nose a little at Magnes, "Sorry to hear it. About Elaine'n all. Remind me to smack them for the whole… telepath thing, too. Stupidest damn stunt they've ever pulled. Well. Guess these are the same people who came up with Fidel's exploding cigar…"

Meanwhile, further away from the cameras, Evan hangs back long enough to answer the shop owner. "No, you don't gotta hire a night watchman," even briefly imitating the man's accent and cadence, "just put some bars up in the window if you're in a bad neighborhood." There are a lot more bad neighborhoods than there were a few years ago. He points over toward Andre, now— "Listen to what he's saying, how're you gonna make any money if your customers all go away?" A few others nearby are chiming in as well - on both sides - no clear consensus emerging yet.

The reporter looks to Harmony, directing her microphone for Jessica to speak now. The upside is that at least, this isn't live and no matter how much of an ass she'll make of herself, it won't be instant and likely, the city won't see it.

But what's going on at the microphone and camera up by the stage will be seen. There's some understandably angry people who have spoken their mind, one a little more verbally abusive than the others, cursing out the officials who implemented the curfew and the loss of his nightclub, unable to justify staying open the hours that are available to him. He gives Logan a run for his money in the colorful department when it comes to suits but Logan clearly wins, if he was present on sheer panache since his would be of a substantially better quality.

It's Peyton's turn soon enough to step up to the microphone, her words played across the speakers and her form immortalized once more on camera. And on little cellphone camera's as a ripple goes through about it being that Whitney girl. You know. That Whitney girl.

The guy Evan is talking to just grumbles about how that's not the point, and eases off to go stand in line to make his point clear.

"Yeah! I totally agree! Well said, Harm!" Jessica cries out, tossing an arm around the girl, causing Harmony to wince as a shock of pain shoots through her. Her lips tighten in a display of frustration and a bit of embarrassment for the girl. Harmony just knows Jessica is going to try to turn this into a Girl Gone Wild video. It's decided, if she goes for her shirt, Harmony is gonna smack her with the sign. "I say down with the curfew! We're adults, we can take care of ourselves! You're encroaching on our right to paaaatay! No more curfew! No more curfew!" Jessica starts chanting and holds up her protest sign. She turns to the crowd and then she does it. "Wooooo! Yeah!" she cries out.

Harmony simply smiles as best she can, "Told ya. Eager. What would I do without a friend with so much passion?" she chuckles.

Seeing a few cell phones coming out, Peyton blushes just a little bit — this is different than anything she was on the news for her in her earlier years — this is important, and actually newsworthy, and something she has some semblance of control over. She swallows, a little nervously. Butterflies flutter in her stomach and she realizes she has stage fright. It's different than just laughing and waving at paparazzi at a night club or posing in a designer gown on the arm of a B-rated musician or actor.

"Hello," she says into the microphone, having to lean just a touch since she's actually taller than the man who went before her. "My name is Peyton Whitney. I am the CFO of Redbird Security Solutions." There's a slight murmur of those who know her from her socialite days who haven't heard the news she's become a business woman. "While I'm sure the curfew is designed to keep the citizens safe, and we applaud the efforts of the government to do that," she manages not to drip sarcasm onto the microphone's foam covering, "we the citizens — the majority of us — don't want that protection. The things that go bump in the night can certainly do their business at 1 a.m., 2 a.m., 3 a.m., after our doors are shut. Nine o'clock is too early for this city's businesses to do their business and make a living, especially those who cater to an evening crowd."

She brushes her bangs out of her eyes, and makes eye contact with some of the audience. "The bomb didn't destroy our city. The storm didn't destroy our city. But this just might — too many people are packing up and heading out of the city to do business in places that allow them to. Why are those places not afraid to give the citizens the rights they deserve? Why is New York suddenly acting against its very nature and hiding from the dark? If we're going to survive, we can't be afraid of the night-time, and arbitrary time limits on our business won't keep anyone safe. If we must have a curfew, then make it a reasonable one. I mean, come on. Even television still shows kiddie shows at 9 p.m."

With that, she steps away, cheeks flushing a little as someone shouts out "How's Paris Hilton?"

"Thanks girls" The reporter says, and just like that, Harmony and her party going friend are released back into the wild with the rest of the protesters as the clipboard assistant is once again, back to trying to get Delilah's attention so that she'll come over and give her own two cents to the whole affair and possibly a clip on the news.

"I'll bring it by sometime, you can see if it helps. We gingers and shadow people need to stick together against the forces of burnination." Delilah is very serious about this. She stops, however, to listen generously to Peyton at the microphone. It all goes very well until she gets a heckler, and Dee's face screws up a little in protest. If she knew where the person was, she might give him a piece of her mind. Unfortunately, Peyton has to field that on her own or not at all. Regardless, she offers a smile from amidst the watchers.

With Harmony and Jessica being released back into the field, the reporter and assistant are free to tail for Delilah again- and this time, she can't help but pay attention; if they are intent enough to do it twice, she probably won't get away with pretending ignorance again. "Imma be on the news~." Straightening her jacket a little, Delilah offers the assistant a short, diffusing wave of her hand. They can meet her halfway or she will just go to them. No hurry, on her end.

Magnes tilts his head a bit in surprise as Peyton starts talking, then looks from Delilah to Cardinal. "I didn't know Peyton was suddenly into public relations. Tracy never let me talk on camera." For good reason, of course. "And it's alright, with me and Elaine, I mean. We're not breaking up, I'm just being a baby about having to live alone again."

"Thanks, I'd appreciate it…" Cardinal's head lifts to regard the podium as Peyton steps up to it, a proud smile curving to his lips as she speaks. He'd clap, but he's holding a thermos of hot coffee. "Not bad, not bad," he murmurs, "We'll make a politician of you yet, Pey…"

A wry look back to Magnes, and he points out, "You're Tracy's assistant. Peyton helps run my company… and, no offense, but you don't do public speaking very well. What's Tracy been up to, anyway? The usual political shit?"

Tony moves quietly through the crowd, eyes less on the speakers, or on the news crew, than on those looking at them, looking for the other people not at ease with the overall mood of the march. The spies. The agents provocateur. The anarchists. And the other criminals.

"She's far, far from New York. Paris doesn't even wake up until 10 on most nights," Peyton calls back over her shoulder as she near Cardinal, Magnes and Delilah.

"Politician? That's a truly terrifying thought, Card," she says, but she smiles beneath his praise. She reaches for her thermos and takes a sip. "I might need something stronger than this. You know. Like vodka," she says wryly.

Harmony smiles to the reporter and lets them go on their way. Whew.. dodged that bullet for the most part. After which, Jessica turns to Harmony and gives her a hug. "We don't hang out enough. You should call me more!" she claims.

"Ow! Jessica.. not in this thing for my health yanno. Cast? Injury? Hugging like that is not helping." Harmony scowls at her friend, adjusting the arm to make it a bit more comfortable.

Jessica looks at her curious, "Sha.. Sorry. What happened anyway?" Jessica blinks.

"Just one of those random nights of not-so-awesome. Epic fail, to be honest. Involves a club, a bust, gunfire and people's feet." She neglects to mention the glowing and so forth that occurred. "This actually sucks, you know? I can't play my drums, can't operate my turntables properly. I'll just have to stick with KJing for a few weeks. Anyway, I haven't been home yet so.. I think I'm gonna bail. I kinda wanna relax."

There's applause, even Andre up on the stage who's been conferring with others who are starting to assemble on the stage claps his palms together in support of the words that Peyton just said, surprise on his own face that the socialite does have brains in that pretty little head of hers.

But her fifteen seconds is up in front of the camera - just a figure of speech - and it's someone elses turn up in front of the camera to give their testimonial or plea.

SCORE! They got the pregnant chick. Maybe she'll go into labor while on camera too, that would be a real good catch for them. Pregnant woman at protest gives birth to eight pound four ounce baby named freedom; or some other equally strange name. "What's your name miss" The assistant asks when Delilah makes it to the waist high barricade and when it's given, the camera's start again and they make sure to include the swell of her stomach beside the reporter. "One of the protesters here is the woman beside me, who's come out to show her support. Why is this event important to you?" The microphone tilted toward Delilah.

Tony is out of luck. If there's criminals here, they're not here to cause trouble, there's no sign of a ruckus or riot on the horizon. It doesn't seem there will be that kind of trouble here today.

"Hello! My name's Delilah." She acknowledges the camera and microphone first, then smiling to her side at the reporter just over the border that is the metal fence. Her hands perch in front of her on the rail, the fabric of her skirt fluttering at her ankles. "Why shouldn't it be important to me?"

"It should be on everyone's mind. Imagine the city as one of those ghost towns out west. Now realize that is where it is starting to head." Something creepy to think about! "We have to make sure we have a city left before we go making laws for it. Our next generation is relying on us to make their lives better, and among many things enforcing a harmful curfew does nothing to help that. Taking it away is just one step to better business, and well- better lives."

This is going to be going for at least another hour, maybe one and a half. Enough time taken in consideration to tearing everything down and people getting to their homes in respect of the very thing that they are here to fight against in a peaceful manner. In a civil manner. More people will step up to the plate, in front of the camera's to state their peace, make their plea's and beg for the lifting of the curfew so that they can thrive again, in a city that the last year, has been inhospitable.

A man who's corner store is in very real danger of being closed, of being unable to fix the roof in the building because of the lack of good business.

A movie theatre who's had to open earlier and let go of almost half it's staff just to keep running. The list goes on and on, adding their voice to the over a thousand or more who have shown up.

The message clear enough. Lift the curfew please, you're killing us evolved and unevolved alike.

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