Conscientious Objector


cat_icon.gif monica_icon.gif veronica3_icon.gif

Scene Title Conscientious Objector
Synopsis The meeting arranged by Cat between Veronica and Monica doesn't go well, to put it lightly.
Date July 23, 2010

Greenwich Village A Park

The Greenwich Village park may have seen better days, but summer means it is still a place where children giggle, splashing nearby in a water fountain, squealing when the spray of the water suddenly increases in pressure and height, then drops back down to foot-level. The park is a popular place, as it's free and cool entertainment, offering a respite from the heat for the children as the parents find some coolness of their own, thanks to lush green lawns and a soft breeze once in a while. The sun is hiding behind clouds, but the air is all the balmier for the humidity.

Far enough from the fountain that the screaming and squealing and giggling of the children is charming rather than ear-splitting, Veronica Sawyer sits and waits for the two women she has arranged to meet her here. She isn't dressed for the role of Company agent today, but rather looks like any other 20-something enjoying a day off in the park in her bermuda shorts, sleeveless blouse, and a pair of sandals. Nothing too intimidating. Nothing too obvious. Behind her sunglasses, she keeps an eye out for Cat, the bench chosen for its vantage point.

DHS isn't… the sort of meetings Monica usually goes to. It's a little over her head and as such, she's been nervous. And when Monica is nervous, there tends to be a lot of activity. Beating up punching bags… roof top hopping… karate forms and, her personal favorite, parkour through the city. It's a flurry of activity that's enough to give someone batty. But, when they actually set out for the meeting, that twitchiness only shows a little, in a brisker walk, sharp gestures, jittery hands like someone who's had too much coffee.

Arriving with Monica, Cat appears unconcerned, but then again a poker face is almost always her display to the world. Wide brimmed hat on head, athletic shoes on feet, shorts and t-shirt of light colors and airy in their fit, she's got her guitar case over one shoulder and a backpack over the other.

Introductions are made in pleasant fashion. "Monica, this is Veronica Sawyer. Veronica, Monica Dawson."

"Cat," Agent Sawyer says, with a nod, then turns to offer her hand to Monica. "Ms. Dawson. Thank you for meeting with me. I want to ensure you that we do not believe you're a suspect at all, but given that there weren't that many witnesses at your apartment complex the other day, I wanted to talk to you and see what you can tell me. Of course, your affiliations sparked some interest as well. Take a seat?" she asks, gesturing to the bench.

"Were you at the apartment complex the night of the incident? If so, can you tell me what you saw? Even if you think it's obvious or that I already know it — sometimes different perspectives can help us piece things together," the brunette agent explains.

Monica looks down at that hand, a moment's pause before she reaches out to take it. "That's reassuring to hear. Even at my hungriest, brick and mortal hasn't been tempting," she says with a slight crooked smile.

With an ahem, she moves to sit down, her fingers lacing together. "Well… it's pretty simple, really. I was sitting in my apartment, and the train started shaking the building. Happens a lot. Only… this time it wasn't the train. And the shaking got so bad that the building started to split. I could see pipes and everything. And there was this light outside. And I know this sounds nuts, but it looked like the Washington Monument. And then… I went out into the hallway, to try to see if I could get out, but the light flashed and when it faded… a chunk of the building was just gone.

She doesn't have anything to add, having heard the story before, thus Cat remains silent and observant as Monica speaks and she settles onto an empty segment of bench.

Veronica nods, not taking notes, as it is in line with the other eyewitness accounts. "Okay. Did you know, can you tell me, either Shelley Winbrook or a guy named Stephen Rubio, do you? If you do, can you tell me what you know about them? It's important." She does scroll on her cell phone to find some notes, giving off the respective apartment numbers for the two names as an afterthought, then glances up at Monica to gauge her expression and await her answer.

"I…" Monica looks genuinely lost at the names given, and she shakes her head. "I've never heard of them. But I'd only just moved into the building a bit ago. And I'm out a lot with work and school and everything. I hadn't really met the other people in the building."

"It's okay. If you don't know, you don't know," Veronica says with a smile. "Can you tell me," she says thoughtfully, unsure of how to word the next bit, "if you're Evolved? I know you're not Registered, but if you are Evolved, I'd like to know what it is you can do, so I can cross your name off the list. Obviously you can tell me you're not Evolved, but if you do that," she sighs, and casts an apologetic look to both women, "I'll probably need proof to back it up. Blood test, et cetera. Whether or not it actually gets filed depends on the power, if it turns out you do have one. If you don't, then you're just one step up on the new law, paperwork handled well ahead of deadline."

At first, Monica takes that demand with ease and a smile… but as that apologetic look hits and the details are explained, the mimic nearly jumps to her feet. "You can't just… force a blood test on people," she protests, clearly meaning this in a more… moral fashion than a lawful one. A look is cast toward Cat, but it's becoming difficult to read. Not to mention, it doesn't last long before her gaze falls back to Veronica.

Her features shift, confusion showing that the question would even be asked, and that Veronica would claim Monica isn't registered. Cat had been of the understanding such things were done by DHS for the whole of Phoenix after Operation Apollo. She herself hadn't registered, but had been registered. Sarisa's people certainly knew who they all were and what they'd been up to.

"Sarisa Kershner saw to all that," Cat covers, neither confirming nor denying anything about Monica's legal status. She turns to face Monica, projecting a calm demeanor and hoping it catches on, that Miss Dawson hasn't already given it away by her reaction.

"Ms. Dawson," Veronica begins, then softer, "Monica. If you don't tell me honestly, then you might become a suspect. Obviously you're Evolved or you wouldn't be worried. And unfortunately, the government can just 'force you to take a blood test.' They'll be doing that to everyone soon enough. I know you can live pretty easily off the grid, but at some point it will catch up with you. So if you're not, well, there's nothing to worry about. I have a kit in my car." She waves her hand toward the street flanking the park. "If you have a power, please tell me what it is, and if it's not something that could possibly have done what happened, I can simply tell my superiors you aren't a suspect. I don't plan on writing down what you can do, but for my own peace of mind, I need to know before I walk away from you that I'm not letting the perpetrator of the crime go free, do you see?"

Veronica frowns, rubbing her eyes. She almost wishes this hadn't been dropped in her lap. "I'm Evolved, myself, if it helps. I'm not trying to put you away. I won't write down what you can do, just that I was convinced you were not to be considered a suspect."

Looking between the two, Monica looks… unhappy. "And I'm supposed to believe that? You'll just keep it in your head and never explain to your superiors why you were convinced? Please, I'm not naive, Agent Sawyer. I can't believe I walked into this." There's a passing glance around the park as the woman runs a hand over her face. "You may think what you're enforcing here is fair, forcing everyone to get this test just so you all can know who is who, but it isn't. And you can consider me your first conscientious objector." And there, she turns on her heels, pointing herself toward the nearest building to run toward at a full gallop.

Rubbing her eyes as Monica bolts, Cat speaks with a quiet voice. "She's supposed to be Registered already, Veronica. Kershner told us that would happen. I shouldn't be surprised she lied, but I am. Her ability isn't the sort which would cause what happened at Hamilton Heights. I expected you knew that. Monica's thing is being able to perform physical acts she witnesses."

"I'm not forcing 'people to take this test,'" Veronica protests, standing as the younger woman takes off running. Well, shit. To say that didn't go well would be a textbook example of litotes. She watches Monica run, making no effort to chase, shoot, or otherwise detain the paranoid woman, then turns to Cat with a shake of her head.

"What Kershner promised you and Phoenix, I'm not privy to, and she wasn't in Apollo, so I didn't expect her to have been clean-slated," Veronica says with some irritation, "I'll take your word on her ability, at any rate. Hopefully that will be enough to keep anyone else from coming after her. I'll just say her eyewitness account was in line with the rest, and chalk this up to a waste of time. If you talk to her again, ask her if she knows of a Darryl Lincoln. He is the person I'm trying to help, and… well, that's not on today's itinerary, I guess."

"Whether or not I talk to her," Cat replies in a subdued voice, "depends on whether or not she ever lets me within ten feet of her after I led her to a DHS agent. Monica's going to have some serious trust issues." Breathing out a sigh, she adds "I can only hope to overcome them."

Some moments are spent in silence, it's broken by offering "Thanks for coming out, V. Keep your head up, don't let the bastards grind you down."

"It's a little too late for that, I'm afraid," Veronica says with another angry shake of her head. Angry at herself, angry at the system, angry that she's the bad guy when, in this case, there was at least one innocent man she is trying to help. "Thanks for making contact. Tell her it was a scare tactic, and that I'm apparently losing my touch. Maybe it was Freudian. Maybe I wanted her to run off."

With that, Veronica lifts her hand in a wave and begins to stride toward her car, nothing gained in this venture, but perhaps something lost.

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