Can't Stop The World


hiro_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif

Scene Title Can't Stop The World
Synopsis Hiro comes looking for answers.
Date February 23, 2009

Dorchester Towers, Elisabeth's Apartment

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

—Edmund Burke

Accomplishing the necessary bending of space to make it into Elisabeth's apartment is pretty much unnecessary. Hiro knows where she lives thanks to things like Yahoo and Google. The fact that he can traverse the blocks without walking between her apartment and where he looked it up is all he needs.

As for how a guy dressed in black makes it up the staircase (he didn't take the elevator because you can't do that in a timestop) with a sword on his back? That's for somebody else to explain to the super. If it's ever discovered.

But that is the character that ends up knocking on Elisabeth's door in a polite and crisp rapping.

The knock on the door, barely moments after she actually gets back into the apartment from being teleported out, surprises Elisabeth. Who'd be *knocking*? Heck, who'd even expect her to BE here, given what she does and the fact that her friends all know she's on the streets most of her waking hours. She opens the door without first checking — you'd think she'd have learned her lesson by now, but then again, the people who want to kill her or whatever will just come through the door without the politeness of knocking — and she looks surprised to see him. A frown crosses her features. "Mr. Nakamura….?" Glancing down the hall behind him, she seems to give a mental shrug and backs up to gesture him inside. "Thanks for knocking," she tells him wryly. "What is it that I can do for you?"

In spite of their past associations, Hiro nods once and smiles. "Yes. May I come in, Officer Harrison?" Like it's a professional thing. Although how could it be? He's a professional….what? Time Traveller? He doesn't have business cards (or does he?). The beckoning gesture is followed and he steps in, having a brief moment of hesitation as he does. He's glancing around at the floor.

Somehow he'll never get used to that. In American homes, how you wear shoes wherever, all over the house. It leaves him feeling like the place is inherently messy, even if that's obviously not the case. Cultural training.

"I didn't know if you'd want to speak to me or not. I got the impression you're not very fond of me." Hiro says, shaking off his brief regard of the floor.

After closing the door behind him, Elisabeth says quietly, "Please, have a seat." In point of fact, she doesn't wear shoes in her house most of the time — the evidence of that is a shoe shelf just to the left of the front door that contains running shoes, two pairs of boots, a pair of ugly black shoes that go to her uniform, and one pair of nice dress shoes. Though she *is* currently wearing a pair of lace-up brown shoes on her feet. "I'm not *un*fond of you, Mr. Nakamura — I don't even know you. Except for the fact that you cut off people's hands when alternate choices are available to you," she says coolly. "But if you want to speak with me, I'm also not — for now — going to make a fool of myself and attempt to run you in for it, either. What's on your mind?"

"Thank you." says Hiro to the offer of a seat. He finds a place and sits, hands on knees in a posture that looks…well…martial. As if that's how he's been trained to sit, perhaps. "I will not argue about that man." comes the plain statement on the matter of cut off hands. It's neutral and final. "What you think of me is not really important, Officer Harrison." he says while watching her. "I do care, but there are larger issues. I came to ask questions and I hoped you would answer." All very even and calm. He does betray a smile at the end. "Perhaps someday you will get to take me to jail after all." Well that's cryptic, isn't it?

Elisabeth merely rolls her eyes. "So ask," she tells him, leaning her hip against the side of her couch and crossing her arms.

Hiro takes a moment to collect his words. His English really is very good, fluent even, but the thoughts he speaks almost always originate in Japanese and thus can take a second to translate. "Are you going with the group when we move on the prison in Moab?"

Elisabeth's body tenses immediately, and she literally slams up a bubble around the room. Yeah, it's paranoid in the extremes, but you know? Working next to Homeland Security every day? Never know. Con would either be laughing his ass off that she's gone all 'holy shit, they're watching me' or he'd be applauding her good sense — she can never quite decide which it woulda been, with his 'give a fuck' attitude. "Christ, Nakamura, warn me that your topics are going to be delicate, willya?" she grouses, not caring whether he even notices what she did. The only real indicator is that the sound of the fridge's hum isn't audible anymore. "Whether I go or not depends on whether Teo wants me to go, I guess. I've been mostly out of the loop due to the nature of the job that I do, so I dont' know what he's got planned. Why?"

The look Hiro gives Elisabeth is half frown half question. "Officer Harrison, *I* am a delicate topic. The fact that I'm even here would alert eyes if they were on you. If there's some measures you need to take, take them." No, he didn't notice the ambient silence. But it is rather subtle so no surprises there.

Elisabeth shakes her head. "Interesting point — in any case, *why* do you want to know what I'm going to do?"

"Because I would discourage you from going if you plan to keep being a police officer." replies Hiro simply, watching Elisabeth still.

Now he has her attention. "It's not as if the possibility that I'd lose far more than my job is news to me, Mr. Nakamura. On the other hand, if it becomes necessary, I believe I can cover my behind."

Hiro takes a deep long breath, eyes dropping to the floor as he gathers thoughts again. Then lets that breath out and asks the woman, "You are willing to risk your job and your life for these people that you do not know? That your law tells you are criminals and terrorists?"

Elisabeth moves to sit now, across from him on the couch facing his chair. "Mr. Nakamura… Laws exist to allow a large number of people to coexist in close quarters in a civilized fashion. It doesn't mean the law is *right* all the time. The first — the most *important* — thing I do as an officer of the law is to protect and serve. The *people*, not the government. My job is to keep as many people possible as safe as possible. Most of the time, it means enforcing the laws of the land, even when I don't agree with them. But sometimes the law just isn't right. And in that case, I have to follow my conscience. The people that I would go to Moab for? They're there because they didn't sign their names or toe the government's dotted line for Evolved… they're not there because they're criminals and terrorists. They just got CAUGHT making the government look bad by saving the damn city while the Feds had their thumbs up their asses."

With a snort Hiro says simply, "I know why they're there. And I know why I'm going to help. I just didn't know why you would." And she's explaining this to him like he doesn't know why laws exist. Hah! "Your life won't be the same." he says significantly. Like something is going to be Different.

Elisabeth eyes him and smiles slightly, though it's not an amused one. "I'll help because there are teachers and lawyers and *kids* being pulled off the streets and JAILED for nothing more than having powers they don't yet know how to use. I'll help because I'm sick and fucking tired of getting called out on suicide calls because someone erupts with a power and is so goddamned scared of what their life is going to be like or of being disappeared that they'd rather jump off a roof or a bridge." She gets up again and paces the room, feeling the need to get moving. "I'll help because I have friends who've *never* done a thing to anyone in their lives — who in fact dared to step out on a limb to save the city and didn't even get told 'hey thanks, the virus would have wiped out 90 percent of the world' before they got tossed into Moab or other places to be tortured." Elisabeth frowns at the Asian man. "I'll help because it's just the right fucking thing to do. And as much as I like being a cop, Mr. Nakamura, I can't turn my back on the right thing even when it's not the legal thing. Do I look stupid to you? I know what happens if I get caught. I know that even if I *don't* get caught, nothing will be the same. So what particular brand of 'different' are you trying to warn me about?"

"Nothing. I just needed to hear you say it." replies Hiro, watching Liz pace like it's a badminton match. "Sometimes when people say things out loud they realize things they were hiding from themselves. You seemed to think somebody like me belongs in jail. I wanted to know if you were in touch with the situation." Pause. "I think you are."

Elisabeth scowls at him. "I'm having to weigh in the balance the good you can do with the fact that you did something pretty damn stupid. So far, the good you can do outweighs the fact that you nearly killed a guy. Not saying you shouldn't have defended yourself, but personally? I think you went a few steps too far. And I'm not going to change *that* opinion just because you can help."

Hiro's response to that is to put a hand on his mouth and wipe it down his chin. He's getting tired of this argument about the stupid handless man. "If he'd done it to you, you would've shot him. And killed him. For a baseball bat. You are not trained to shoot people in the arm or the leg to wound them, right? If you shoot someone it is to kill them. I am going to explain this to you once, and then I am not going to speak about it again." He stands then, a smooth movement that he was ready to do. "I spared a man's life who was ready to take mine. If you think it's so easy to bend time and space to prevent it, show me." He looks down at Elisabeth's feet and challenges her. "Do it. Stop time. Or if that isn't your ability, use your command of soundwaves to magically stop him without harming him. You judge my abilities and you know nothing about them. The risks they come with. There are times that I can do the things you think I should have done, but you judge me based on things you have no way of understanding."

Tilting her head, Elisabeth actually listens to his explanation, hearing him out. "You're right," she finally says. "I probably would have shot him. Or I might have used the ability I have to shove him backward and he might have cracked his head on the pavement and died. The only difference is that I have a badge and you don't." She runs a hand through her hair, considering. "What can I say? I guess the double standard is alive and well." She smiles faintly. "I won't give you shit for it anymore." Because his rationale …. well, pretty much works for her. "Just…. never mind." She shakes her head. Something about the fact that he used a SWORD just still disturbs the hell out of her. She drops it, though, and looks at him curiously. "Why are you so interested in what I'm going to do and why?"

Eyes on Elisabeth for a moment after that, Hiro watches her to make sure she's done. But she seems to well and truly mean what she said, and that sits well. "If it makes you feel any better, there is another place where I didn't cut his hand off. Where I found a way to do that differently, and we never had this conversation. There's another place where he killed me. You may think they're far away but they're not really." Causality is something he has a front row seat to as few others do. "As for why I'm interested, I guess I just wanted to be sure where you stood. If you knew what you were risking giving up and didn't mind giving it up. That you'd pay that price."

"Oh, I mind … " Liz smiles a little bit, wistfully. "I guess the quote that seems most appropriate here is 'These things we do, that others may live.'" She looks at Hiro. "Some things are just more important than living my own little life. I became a cop because I believed I could help people, and I'll do the things I have to do now because it helps people. Doesn't mean I like doing them, just means they need to be done. And I have a feeling you know far more about that feeling than most people, Mr. Nakamura."

Hiro lets out a breath between his lips of momentary exasperation. "I think I probably do." he agrees. "Thank you for speaking with me, Officer Harrison. I should probably go. Unless there's something you need from me?" An offer made mostly out of polite consideration. He's not sure what she could need that he could provide.

Elisabeth shrugs and then chuckles. "I think asking you to stop the world so I can get off the bus is going a bit too far," she quips mildly. "Guess I'll see you when we move on Moab… if not before?"

"Stopping the world." repeats Hiro distantly. He looks down and says, "The trouble with stopping the world is that when you do it, you realize how lonely you are. That there's really just you. And nobody else can ever make that loneliness meaningful. Make it go away. Even if the world is harsh and cruel, you'll start it up again. Because you'd rather have the company of evil than be alone. And anyway there's always hope." He nods to that. There is always hope. And he heads for the door. "I will see you when we meet. Thank you again Officer Harrison."

February 23rd: Read It. Remember.
February 23rd: Who's Side Are You On?
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License