Circumstantial Evidence


cardinal_icon.gif huruma3_icon.gif

Scene Title Circumstantial Evidence
Synopsis An investigation into one Rupert Carmichael is opened beside a pool.
Date July 16, 2010

Hotel Gansevoort - Rooftop Patio

Sunset off of the Hudson river can be a beautiful thing- provided that you're not facing the skyline that is Midtown- in which case it is a depressing, cloudlit sight. From the Hotel Gansevoort in the Meatpacking district just south of Chelsea, the view is a three-hundred sixty from the rooftop poolsides. After getting a message from Abby when she went to drop off the baby for the night, Huruma took her time in getting back to Richard Cardinal. When she did, it was to give him her location of the hour and expect him to appear. It is here at this particularly swanky hotel that she has put herself; she takes up so many little homes across the city, it is hard to tell if this is one of them, or if this is just one of her various needs when it comes to treating herself. She does have the bunker fort upstate- but verily- nobody knows about that one but her these days.

She told him to meet her on the roof- luckily for him, there is shade provided, and the sunset has colored the sky orange and red, the clouds puffy on the horizon. Darkness is coming, but it's still baking with warmth. Huruma is laid out on one of the lounge chairs by the pool, enjoying the obvious peace and quiet- and solitude, somehow- in a white two-piece and perhaps too familiar aviators. Any moment now, she'll have to field something or other for the Shadow Man's sake, and she is only dreading it because she really wanted to have the last bit of sun to herself.

Oh well.

There is a saying, that one must pay the devil his due. Richard Cardinal isn't Old Scratch himself, but perhaps he made a deal with a devil wearing glasses a year ago, and tonight his due are those last few moments of sunlight stolen away from her to be shared instead.

She can feel him, doubtlessly, long before she can see him. A wistful appreciation of the dying day, a hint of anxiousness at the meeting to come, and deeper a tangling of melancholy and rage held fast beneath the surface. The shadowman's emotional tone is nothing if not complicated, for all that he plays the devil-may-care rogue.

"You've got good taste in hotels," he compliments quietly as he steps from the shadows, pausing beside the lounge chair and gazing out to the ruddy sunset skies, hands tucked into the pockets of his jacket, "Beautiful view."
It is hard to play sly around Huruma, especially with such a Maelstrom on the inside. Thankfully, in moments like these, she ignores attempts. His quiet words are taken at face value- he wants that much to be level with her, shall it be. When Cardinal speaks, Huruma's eyes behind the glasses swivel off to the side just to make sure he isn't watching her while he says it. Though compliments are all well and good, compliments on her taste, in context, is better.

"Isn't it?" Huruma links one ankle over the other, edging herself a few inches up on the lounge chair. "Th'life of a person like me does not'ave t'be in underground tunnels an'abandoned libraries. I expound on that."

"Back before I got into this life, I used to… borrow mansions and penthouses when people weren't home, sometimes," Cardinal admits - his gaze still on the sky and the view, rather than her - one hand coming up to scratch at the curve of his jaw, "I don't usually have time for the leisure these days, but I do miss it sometimes."

A sideways look to her then, a faint smile twitching up at the corner of his lips, "Gotta admit, never figured you for someone who liked this sort've thing."
"I take it where I can get it…" When she lifts her hand, her fingertips find the glasses to perch them up on her smooth forehead. The gaze under them is already trained on Cardinal, the mirrored lenses misleading enough to have given her the illusion of watching the sunset. "Oh…? Any reason?" Huruma didn't have anything growing up. It goes to show what some tenacity can do for a person, whether with good intentions or bad ones.

"You know, besides th'ones where I am an uncultured boogeyman."

"I'll give you the boogeyman," Cardinal exhales a low chuckle of breath at that, amused, one brow arching slightly, "I never thought uncultured… more that you never seemed the sort to care about all these… sophisticated pleasures. I always figured you'd have more simple tastes."

Behind his own shades, dark eyes sweep back to the fading daylight, "Guess you learn something about everyone every day."

"I talked to Claire yesterday."
"I have my moments." Times like these will come and go, it seems. She turns her eyes away when he moves on to mention a mutual friend- of sorts- and in that, Huruma listens to his mood for something to change- as there must be a reason more than topical. "Did you, now? I may talk t'her more, but I spent so much time getting t'know her on Apollo- only t'ave t'start over. I doubt I will bother. Unless there is a Bravo reunion."

As the subject turns to business, there's a sick twist to his stomach — a stirring of guilt, mingled with a boiling anger beneath the surface. Not directed towards her, but to something (or someone) else. "She was quite proud of what she did outside the Pentagon," he observes quietly, "Went on at length about how Autumn ruined our lives by sending us on Apollo… despite the fact that it wasn't Autumn who brought us on Apollo at all. We infiltrated that mission. Was inordinately proud about turning herself into a suicide bomber, actually…"

He brings a hand up to scratch at the stubble under his chin, "Brought me back to some other thoughts I'd had. Just before Peter put on that scarf of his? He refused to have anything to do with the fight anymore. Encouraged me to go to the government, instead, to make a deal and work with them. Bit've a turnaround in personality there, wouldn't you say?"

"If Peter Petrelli is anything, he is capricious when left on his own." Huruma cranes her neck back to look at Cardinal again. "And influenced far too easily by a good word and a trustworthy smile." If that doesn't say something about where she thinks he's going with this, nothing does.

"Out with it, Richard, before I change m'mind about not being a savage." Huruma's hand lifts, beckoning with her fingers, as if she possessed the ability to pull his words from him like a clown with kerchiefs.

"You know, you've spent so much time around Monroe, I'd think you'd have picked up a sense for dramatic build-up," Richard lightly scolds, just a flicker of amusement briefly as he looks back to her, his head cocking a little to one side. Silence, a moment, before he states bluntly, "I know about Shedda Dinu, Huruma. And I know what Carmichael's ability is. Is he using it to manipulate Messiah?"

Huruma laughs at first, leaning her chin on the backs of her fingers, as she coils to lean an elbow on her chair's arm. "I think tha'he picks up more from me than I'ave picked up from him." At the succession of Rupert, the dark woman's expression flattens slightly, eyebrows lifting in unison.

"I will b'honest. I don'know. He was so disappointed when Shedda Dinu dissipated- per'aps he has taken up a more pro-active approach t'keeping ranks participating, keeping them unafraid. I was there for the first attempt, for his little Sumerian posse. I was no'so surprised when he came t'find his Inanna a second time. He didn'need t'coax me, either time." Huruma sighs out through her nose, palm running along her cheek, eyes on Cardinal. Even such a mundane shift seems so elaborated when she does it.

"I wouldn't imagine he would have…" A wry note to Cardinal's voice, his head shaking slowly, "…I doubt he'd be willing to test his ability against someone with mental abilities. You, or Gabriel, might be able to just shrug him off… and neither of you strike me as the sort of people who'd easily forgive being forced into anything."

He exhales a sigh, one hand lifting to slide forefinger and thumb beneath the edge of his shades to rub against the bridge of his nose. "I was hoping you knew," he says quietly, apparently taking her at her word, "So long as it's merely a… disagreement of strategy I can stand by, Huruma, but if he's forcing Claire, and Peter, and others into working for him against their own will… and you have to admit. The evidence is there."

"Circumstantial evidence, darling." Huruma corrects. Even if she wanted to verbally agree with him, they are only halfway there via reason. "I have no'seen anyone tha'we both know acting completely out of character- Claire has a lot of anger, it is not hard t'take someone like that an'manipulate them into action. I reserve m'judgement on her, f'now. Peter- as I said, I know him t'be extremely pliable. His manner of empathy-" Hah. "-makes him susceptible."

"I may be …an excellent resource, but I canno'read minds. Outside of m'skill set."

"I suppose that it's a good thing that I've got a telepath in my rolodex, then, isn't it?" A distant smile that never goes past the surface, Cardinal's hand dropping back to his side, thumb curling in through the loop of his belt. "Circumstantial evidence is enough to go forward with an investigation, I'd say, even if it's not enough to condemn. Maybe it's time I had a little discussion with Petrelli, Jr on my own terms for once."
"A telepath is one thing." Huruma's tone is a vaguely warning one. "But one who can look at an entire mental map is another." Perhaps she is trying to give him a better idea, who knows. After a moment, she goes back to lounging in the chair. "Investigate. Do no'charge him with anything. Not until you know, one way or another. Too many of you people jump th'gun, thinking problems t'need immediate fixes. Don'get ahead of yourself."

"Keep in mind, you know how t'reach me." Just in case.

"'You people', hm?" Now there's amusement, as Cardinal looks back over to the empathy as she sprawls back on the chair, a smirk twitching to his lips, "If I was going to jump the gun, I'd have just had a sniper take him out from two miles away, Huruma. I'm not Phoenix. I take care of problems however they need to be taken care of. But I make sure they actually need to be taken care of, first."

He starts to turn, then glances back, "Don't suppose you know anyone who can do anything like that, eh?"
"You seem t'forget I'm in m'own little world. 'You people' infers a general …everyone else." Huruma's lips curl in a smile. "Nobody tha'I can reach from here." Though technically, she does not answer the question. "My rolodex is bigger than yours." She says this in the most musical little voice she can muster without actually carrying a tune, the teasing little lilt meant as more of a metaphorical dick-measuring contest. "I hope you either find what you are looking for, or nothing at all."

A low chuckle tumbles past Cardinal's lips at that. "You think so, mm? Maybe so, maybe so… I think I'll need to consult an expert on this one, though," he muses, turning to walk away, "See you around, Huruma. Give Abigail my best."

"Good luck, Richard." Huruma's smooth voice trails after him.

Long after she visually assumes Cardinal has gone, she uproots the sunglasses from her forehead, slipping them down to hook over the center of her top. A push of hands swivels her long legs over the side of the chair, and as she stands, Huruma is already heading around to the stairs down into the pool. She is as silent as a breeze when walking into the warm water, long ebony back curving down as her arm reaches far below the surface. When that arm pulls back up, the rest of her falls back into the shallows, hand lifting into the air with a sleek, very wet, now very broken- cellphone.

"What rotten luck…"

Because as far as she is concerned, Rebel knows what removing a battery feels like. She would.

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