Conflicting Convergence


aidan_icon.gif bryan_icon.gif colette_icon.gif

Scene Title Conflicting Convergence
Synopsis Three different people from three very different backgrounds discuss the Evolved.
Date September 5, 2008

Central Park

Central Park has been, and remains, a key attraction in New York City, both for tourists and local residents. Though slightly smaller, approximately 100 acres at its southern end scarred by and still recovering from the explosion, the vast northern regions of the park remain intact.

An array of paths and tracks wind their way through stands of trees and swathes of grass, frequented by joggers, bikers, dog-walkers, and horsemen alike. Flowerbeds, tended gardens, and sheltered conservatories provide a wide array of colorful plants; the sheer size of the park, along with a designated wildlife sanctuary add a wide variety of fauna to the park's visitor list. Several ponds and lakes, as well as the massive Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, break up the expanses of green and growing things. There are roads, for those who prefer to drive through; numerous playgrounds for children dot the landscape.

Many are the people who come to the Park - painters, birdwatchers, musicians, and rock climbers. Others come for the shows; the New York Shakespeare Festival at the Delacorte Theater, the annual outdoor concert of the New York Philharmonic on the Great Lawn, the summer performances of the Metropolitan Opera, and many other smaller performing groups besides. They come to ice-skate on the rink, to ride on the Central Park Carousel, to view the many, many statues scattered about the park.

Some of the southern end of the park remains buried beneath rubble. Some of it still looks worn and torn, struggling to come back from the edge of destruction despite everything the crews of landscapers can do. The Wollman Rink has not been rebuilt; the Central Park Wildlife Center remains very much a work in progress, but is not wholly a loss. Someday, this portion of Central Park just might be restored fully to its prior state.

It's late afternoon on a Friday. That's a recipe for Central Park to be hopping, even in these times. Many people are out on the running trails and sitting among the trees and benches. Aidan is one of those sitting people. He's in the grass with his back against a tree. He has a backpack leaning against a nearby bench as he types away at the laptop that is on his lap with quick sure strokes.

There are runners and strollers, and Bryan Buckley happens to be one of the former. Dressed in a pair of loose pants that look comfortable enough for sleep and yoga as well as running and a tight-fitting tanktop and running shoes, the Company agent is chugging away with his iPod buds securely stuffed into her ears. As he nears the bench where Aidan's bag rests, Bryan slows down, leaning against the opposite side to take a breather. And if the sweat that shows through his top is any indication, it is a well deserved one.

There's a certain life that is breathed into Central Park during the end of summer, that sense of the finality of warmer days and the approaching threat of autumn. It's this time of year that brings so many people out and into the open, even in light of dangerous and confusing times. Among the joggers, frisbee players, and people walking their dogs, a single girl is just one of many faces in the literal crowd. She seems, however, loaded for a much longer trip than just a walk in the park. Over both shoulders she carries a fully stuffed backpack, while a tattered army green messenger bag hangs off of one shoulder, bouncing against her hip as she walks. The girl seems tired though, carrying a white paper bag in what would be her only free hand.

She meanders down one of the winding, paved walkways that cuts through the park, circling around the tree Aidan is seated at while a crowd of frisbee-playing teenagers run past after a dog who snatched their entertainment. She cracks a smile, shaking her head while raking back her bangs from over one eye, "Ruuun doggie!" She taunts, grinning mischeviously before shrugging one shoulder and settling her messenger bag down carefully by the tree. Her backpack, however, is shed with far less concern, landing with a heavy thump on the grass and protruding roots. "Not so bad…" She murmurs to herself, settling down cross-legged with her back to the opposite side of the tree from Aidan, unrolling the top of that paper bag she carries, producing a wrapped sandwitch from within.

Aidan looks up from his laptop as Bryan comes near. The man gets a curious look from Aidan before his attention is stolen by the arrival of Colette. He turns his head to watch her and then look after the frisbee stealing dog with a laugh. The sound is harsher than most but seems genuine enough.

Ah, wait. But where frisbees satisfy play, sandwiches satisfy food. The dog is quickly distracted when Colette pulls out her dinner, and the frisbee is dropped in lieu of the former's pursuit. At least the teenagers are appeased. The dog barks as it nears the tree, then sits and waits patiently, it's eyes large and ears erect. It /knows/ the girl is going to part with at least /some/ of that thing.

Observing it all, Bryan can't help but smile at least a little. All the same, there's no sign of the dog's owner. "Watch out, miss," he calls, still breathing a bit heavily. "You don't know what that thing might be carrying."

Once settled down by the tree, Colette unwraps her sandwitch and sets it aside. Soon after, she's opening her messenger bag and removing a relatively new looking laptop — newer than her clothing, that much is certain. Opening it, the girl hums something to herself, a stacatto beat that causes her head to bob up and down as she boots the portable PC up. Headphones are next to come, plugged into the laptop before she reaches for that sandwitch, a broad and pleased smile crossing her face. She seems content enough, though as the computer boots up, she seems to shift around a bit, trying to get herself comfortable amidst the protruding roots beneath the shade cast by the tree from the afternoon sun, something that — judging from her complexion — she doesn't often see much of.

Contentedly taking a bite out of her sandwitch, Colette's focus is stolen from the laptop when the dog approaches, her eyes widening as she leans away from the retriever-shepherd mix. "Woah uh, hey there? My sammich, buddy." She purses her lips, "Puppy-dog eyes have no effect on — " As if on cue the dog gives a soft whine, " — most people, but I'm a total sucker." She breaks off a corner of the sandwitch, holding it out on her flat palm as she looks over her shoulder to the verbal taunting, "Can't be worse than what half of the city is carrying, right? At least I'm pretty sure this dog isn't gonna breathe fire or something!"

Aidan turns to give Colette a look. Though really, he's looking at her laptop more than he's looking at her. "Nice computer." He comments. His own is a bit older, outwardly at least. The dog gets a look as well and a blink. "I hope it doesn't have fleas. So far, I've managed to avoid having those myself." There's a joking tone to his voice, although the whole tone of his voice is off, the expression not quite right.

Who would imagine that it would be a scruffy, possibly flea-bitten dog to break down the barriers between people in New York City? But it is Central Park, and perhaps that same atmosphere that makes the late summer air a bit headier has something to do with it as well.

Bryan tightens the laces on one of his sneakers before he looks to the tree again, his expression mirthful but still strangely tight. "Good point. Though I wonder how long it will take before it shows up in animals. I mean, how many diseases start in monkeys? Or if cows get it…could we get infected?" Bryan shakes his head and stands up straighter, stretching his arms above his head. "Almost makes a guy want to give up meat."

Grimacing, Colette eyes the redhead on the opposite side of the tree. As the two are able to see one another, she notices the hearing aid wrapped around one ear, and he notices her blinded right eye. "Uh, yeah… I guess it is." She eyes the laptop furtively, a nervous grin on her face. "I don't know much about computers, 'cept how to use 'em." With that she gives an awkward smile, looking back to the dog as it licks at her hand after snatching up the sandwitch. "Hey hey, I'm not a snack too!" She recoils her hand, wrinkling her nose, "The rest is mine, shoo!" She waves one hand dismissively, then shifts to the side and leans backwards, looking upside-down at Bryan.

"Really? I dunno, too much of a carnivore myself." Colette bares her teeth in a faux-menacing manner, then takes a bite of the remaining half of her sandwitch. "I'd be pissed if pets started turning out to be freaks too — I mean, they're causing enough problems with people, right? Imagine a bird that could crap fire or something?" She grins playfully, "That'd just be too much."

Aidan shakes his head with a laugh. "Good luck getting the dog to go away while you still have food." He states before he looks back down to the computer. "I know too much about computers." Really, it gets a point where there is too much. "Pets? They don't have the brains we have."

Another laugh from Bryan, and this one comes out like a sigh. "You /did/ feed him. No shaking him now." He squints the sort of squint one does when they've been told the first part of a joke at a party. "Fire, huh? Breathing and…well. Why fire? I'm sure with as diverse a race that we are, even the freaks among us are diverse too. Why? You know someone who does fire?"

"Hey, c-c'mon!" Colette shoves the panting dog back as it tries to lean in and steal a bite of her sandwitch, "Mmnh, it's mine!" To avoid being robbed of ehr lunch, the girl shoves the quarter sandwich remaining in her mouth entirely, cheeks puffing out from the endeavor. She bobs her head from side to side tauntingly, then wigles her empty fingers at the dog.

"Mnh mnth fmhr mnfrhs…" Her attempt to answer Bryan with her mouth full fails, and she struggles to hastily choke down her meal before trying an answer again. "I don't know any of those freaks, and I don't want to either. I value my life too much to be around people like that. Besides, they're all too busy bombing buildings or blowing stuff up to talk to someone." It's clear her opinion of the Evolved was a jaded one, likely influenced by the media. "If I knew someone who could breathe fire, I'd call the cops on them faster than they could light a match and get them dragged off to whatever hole in the ground people like that go to."

Aidan blinks over to Colette, scooting around the tree a bit so that he can see her better. "I doubt that every single one of them is a bomber or a terrorist." He states. "Because you know, all the rest of us are exactly the same. So they must be all the same." Is that an attempt at sarcasm? Probably.

"As a fellow citizen, I appreciate that." Bryan's honest, but that amusement hasn't left his tone or posture. "But he's right," he adds, nodding to Aidan. "I mean, saying they're all dangerous is like saying…well, saying /anything/ about any group of people. Anyway, the fire ones, yeah. Lock'em up. Because they aren't /safe./ The others? Like… well, if someone could control Jell-O or something." Bryan shrugs, laughing again.

"I dunno, I never see anything on the news 'bout 'em doing anything good…" Colette's fervor dies down in the face of a rebuttal to her words, and her inability to articulate a point against the Evolved beyond sound bytes from the nightly news. "Besides, I mean, the government wouldn't be locking 'em up if they weren't a danger, right? They're a menace, it'll be a good day when a cure for them is made, and they can be normal again." She hesitates for a moment though, her thoughts shifting to something Bryan had said to her.

"Controlling Jell-O…" She purses her lips, and then that expression contorts into a wry smile. "That would be delightful — but still — they're a menace." Her brow furrows and she shakes her head, "Every last one of them… What if it's infectious, and nobody knows how? I mean, what if it's hereditary?" She shifts where she's seated, turning her back to the open field to face Bryan more thouroughly, with Aidan at her left side. "Imagine a freak and a normal person having a kid, and they could infect their baby without knowing? Then that kid is born, and has to be locked up because he's got some kind've like, horrible power or something. That's why they should be segregated." She frowns, "Lock 'em up or keep them in their own section of the city or something."

"Because locking them up wouldn't piss them off enough to use all those dangerous powers or anything. Oh no." Aidan states, shifting again. Maybe he just can't sit still. Or maybe he's trying to see both of them better. After all, his gaze keeps moving between their faces as they talk. "Well, genetics do tend to be heriditary. High school biology there."

As Colette continues to speak, the amusement leaks from Bryan's face. He's left a great deal colder, though there is a bit left of his smile - a twinge on one side of his mouth. He rolls his shoulders and looks down the path ahead of him.

"It might be interesting," Bryan muses, his eyebrows lifting, "to line up what you're saying against some of that terrorist propaganda. Seems pretty similar. The other side is evil. Get rid of them all. Huh." He smiles again, fast and flashy, and - where those /fangs?/ Noo. Too quick to be sure, surely. And before he can be stopped, Bryan's off running again, blending into the park's playful population once more.

Colette's eyes avert when Aidan makes the high-school biology comment, her brow tensing for a moment as she grows momentarially nervous. Aidan's words bring to Colette a somewhat rueful expression, and her eyes shift to the side, "Well… I mean…" She didn't have an answer for that, at all. This was probably the first time she had ever even thought about the Evolved using her own words, not something regurgitated from the media. But it's what Bryan says that leaves her with a rueful expression, her shoulders rolled forward and hands settled in her lap. One eye closes, and she leans away as the stray dog comes walking around, licking her cheek as she sits in thought. "…They're…" She's hesitant to speak up, "T-They're all… the bad guys, right?" She looks up to the only person left, to Aidan, a pleading expression on her face, as if hoping for him to affirm her misled beliefs.

Aidan gives Bryan a surprised look. Yeah, he caught a glimse of those fangs, even if it wasn't a long enough look to be sure what he was seeing. That's what happens when you're reading the guy's lips. He turns to Colette though when she speaks. After a moment he shakes his head and says softly, "If they are, it's because our hatred and fear has made them that way." He closes his laptop and stands putting it into his backpack. The young man saunters off along the running path, hopefully not to get run over.

As Aidan gets up, Colette is left without words to say. She sits, a thoughtful and confused expression on her face as she stares down at her laptop, a blinking corsor on a field of white, some sort of submission form. She looks back over to the dog that was now seated at her side, and sighs heavily. "They made themselves the bad guys… when they took her away." An angry look crosses the young girl's face, and she looks down at her keyboard, beginning to type…

…and she would have a lot to type about, today.

So, I was sitting down in the park...

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