Conspiracy Theorists


brian_icon.gif maria_icon.gif sydney_icon.gif

Scene Title Conspiracy Theorists
Synopsis People are met, conclusions are leapt to.
Date January 5, 2009

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.

Darkness is coming, but hasn't yet set in over the park. People are exiting, many of them wanting to head home before the sun has fully set in the western sky. But others remain, taking advantage of the open space and outdoor air. Clouds are overhead, and temperatures are in the low 40s. Dogs are walked and played with, children too seize some last moments before parents take them home for evening meals and escaping air which will get colder as the light fades.

But still other people in the city are just getting out of their daily jobs, it being after five p. m. on a Monday.

Sydney has finally gotten used to the weather some. 40s she can handle as it can get close to that in winter at night where she used to live. She still has a coat on while walking through the park. She's been sticking to random housing and moving around a lot the last month. Christmas never is a good time for her, but a time with lots of work. Plenty of fools leaving presents around to be taken in open homes. As night draws she enjoys the cool air and night. "City isn't so bad." Speaking to herself it seems.

Perched on the ground against a tree, Brian's hands are being licked fiercely by the half border collie half queensland mix. The black and white dog looks up eagerly as a young woman walks nearby.

His black hoody is tugged up over his head, hugging his legs to his chest. Brian watches idly as his dog abandons him and instead rushes off to the approaching Sydney. A single bark is let out as he advances.

Among the other people still in the park now is one none of them can see, at least not unless they look in the right direction. Maria is quiet about her arrival, which takes place twenty feet or so above Brian's head. She settles onto a sturdy branch and stands there, letting her eyes wander, to enjoy the view from this vantage point.

Sydney draws up short as the dog comes toward her and barks. She's never done great with dogs. They don't like her it seems or maybe she just has had bad luck. "Easy boy." Looking around for the owner and wondering if there are leash laws or something. If she notices someone flying she doesn't let on. The twilight and dog are good distractions however.

"Toby." Brian calls out, watching the dog prance towards the woman. Though his eyes do stay on the young woman for a prolonged moment he makes no movement to approach her. Though the dog does not come back to him just yet. "Toby!" He calls out with a little more fire in his voice. For now, he remains blissfully unaware of strange flying women. Finally the dog prances back towards the man sitting at the base of the tree.

The woman is no longer flying. Maria remains where she settled, on that tree branch, just relaxing and watching what goes on in the park underneath her.

Sydney is not taking her eyes off the dog. If that dog makes one growl or lunge at her she'll kick him without feeling bad for it. Fortunately the animal goes back to his owner. "Should have him on a leash there." Looking a little more relaxed now. Her skin and hair are still very sunkissed and making it hard to see her as a local. Save for the clothes she looks like she belongs on some tropical beach.

Reaching behind him a long black leather coord is brought out, and fastened to the collar on the animal. "Sorry." Is the only thing the hooded young men offers in response. Though he tries to steal a longer look at the woman than he feels comfortable doing. His gray eyes slowly move to the animal who is now nestling its head into his chest. "Just wanted to give him a little freedom."

The branch shifts under Maria's feet as she moves, settling into a sitting position, an activity which might draw more attention than she did when landing on it from above. Her eyes rest on Brian, Sydney, and the dog in turns, her expression calm.

"I can get freedom. Just had bad luck with dogs." Syd isn't gonna apologize for making the animal get leashed. When the branch moves her eyes do go up to the bare tree and the woman sitting there. "Um… hello?"

"This one's good." Brian says softly, moving one hand through the fur of the dog's head. "He won't give you bad luck." The young man states. Though once the woman looks up, the replicator's eyes go up above his head into the tree. He makes no noise, just gives a strange look up into the tree.

The woman above them is about five feet three inches tall, with olive skin and dark hair. Hispanic heritage? Persian? Both? She's in office clothes; flat shoes, dark pants, and a winter coat which reaches her waist. She's also recognizable as the one whose photo was in the papers recently at the scene of a burning building, handing a child over to a paramedic. When spoken to, Maria trains her eyes on Sydney. "Good evening," she answers. She looks for all the world like what she's doing is perfectly commonplace.

Sydney gently holds a hand out to Toby to let the animal sniff at her. No need to make enemies with dogs. However a woman in a tree is rather distracting. "Just sit in trees often? I don't mind heights myself but seems sort of odd in a way." She's trying to place the face that looks familiar. "Do I know you from somewhere?"

The animal does sniff at the woman's hand and gives a few gentle licks. Though Brian is staring up at the weird lady in the weird tree. Though when Sydney says something he can't help but let out a little laugh in apparent agreement. Though he apparently doesn't have anything to add.

Still looking like this is nothing out of the ordinary, Maria speaks to Sydney. "I like the view from above." And the question is answered. "I don't know, Miss, do you?"

Sydney reads the papers, and while her hand is licked causes her to start she chuckles and pet the dog. "I know I've seen your face. I'm really good with faces. Just not sure where I've seen you before. Since I'm not exactly a long time visitor here yet it can't have been from something long ago if it was in the city. You in the news or movies?"

Though he doesn't have much to add to the conversation, the young man adds in another chuckle at the woman's statement from the tree. Though he tries to stifle it as not to be rude. His gaze mostly remains on Sydney, Toby's attention does as well.

"I may have been," Maria answers calmly enough, "but then again I might not have." She stands up again on the branch, making it shift, and seems perhaps about to just walk off of it, enjoying not needing to worry about the distance between herself and the ground. "What if I am, or was?"

Sydney shrugs a bit. "Solve the mystery wouldn't it? Put quiet my mind that will be worrying at this like a dog with a bone til I figure it out." She notes how casual the woman is. "You an acrobat or just not worried you'll fall?"

Finally Brian has had enough. "Wow." He murmurs, going to get to his feet. "What are you, the Cheshire Cat?" The young man asks, swinging his gaze up into the tree. He leads the dog behind him a little bit, standing at Sydney's side now.

She steps off the branch and doesn't fall; in fact she keeps going forward through the air at a walking pace. "Maybe I'm both," Maria directs toward Sydney in reply, and Brian gets a chuckle. "Am I the Cheshire Cat? You tell me. Did you go through a looking glass or fall down a rabbit hole, sir?" Once clear of the tree she starts to descend a bit, lowering to a height of maybe fifteen feet. "Here's a better question: You act like you never saw someone fly before, are you two some of those Evolved hating lunatics?"

Sydney blinks and takes a step back. Mostly just to get a different angle at Maria to see if what she thinks she is seeing is in fact what she is seeing. "Not that I'm aware of. If I did I'll avoid tea parties and food that tells me to eat it." She smiles at finally having an evolved out themselves to talk to them. "Well not by themselves. Why would you ask that?" SOunding offended at the question.

Brian's face screws up a bit as Maria descends to the ground. And his face is sunken into disbelief. He gives a slow and shocked shake of his head. And even though he knows Maria as well as he does Sydney, something about being weirded out with someone else forms some kind of bond. His free hand goes out to gently go around Sydney's wrist to give her a little tug. "Come on." He murmurs softly starting to take a step away. "She's crazy."

"You're trying to figure out who I am, you've got all kinds of questions, and it makes me wonder if you're going to pull out guns or something. I have to suspect, since you didn't take it as something entirely normal, what your motives are." Maria isn't on the ground, though. She's still fifteen feet up and holding her position.

"And what's crazy about this?" she asks Brian with a slightly bitter laugh. "Here I was, minding my own business, and people start interrogating me. Wouldn't that make you wonder what they're up to? Hell, I call that sane."

Sydney tugs her hand free. "No. She can fly. That doesn't make her crazy. Though she seems a bit… eccentric. That's not a crime." She pats her pockets. "No guns on me." She does have a knife tucked away but that isn't mentioned. "That has to be pretty cool to fly like that. Anyway now I know I've seen your picture somewhere now that I can see you better. Anyway I'm Sydney and I don't know his name. His dog is Toby though."

Brian frowns slightly at the hand tugged away, and it ashamedly tucks itself into his pocket. His eyes going downcast for a moment. They slowly go back up to Maria. "If you think that's going to make people pull guns out.." He pauses as Sydney seems to be making nice. He pauses with a little frown. "Eccentric." He repeats. "You like flaunting your ability like that?"

"I can fly," Maria answers, "and I like doing it. It's part of who I am, I won't hide it. I also understand some people are scared of what they see and take knee-jerk reactions. I just refuse to be afraid." She drifts still lower, down to ten feet now, still watching them as a smile forms. "Call me eccentric, give me whatever label you want. If you could fly, you'd do it every chance you could too." Her eyes move to Sydney. "Because it is extremely cool."

Sydney says, "I'm for one glad she is less then secret about it," Sydney tells Brian. "Been wanting to actually meet an 'Evolved' and talk to them some." For so many reasons. Looking up at Maria then, "Well you're lucky then. I dive. With a tank and all that stuff but it must be a little like flying maybe. I love being in the water like that and think I saw someone swimming way too deep and long without gear to be 'normal'. What's your name?"

"You talk a lot… Brian mutters under his breath, lowering his head a little. Though, his face twitches just a bit as Sydney shows such blatant interest in the woman since she's evolved. "It's not that cool." He mutters yet again under his breath, looking the other way.

Her eyes look over Brian for a moment, then go back to Sydney and study her for a moment. Maria decides to test something, which is evident in the first words she speaks. "Me llama Maria," she offers, and continues from there in English. "I think you probably get it, Sydney. You have to have had people look at you funny, treat you a certain way because of your skin tone. And you can't stop being Hispanic, you can't hide it. You just hope people eventually get over it, and endure until they do, right?"

Sydney glances at Brian. "It is when you want answers and are tired of idiots on the then that don't know the trough from a hole in the ground. You can't just talk about it because of," her hand motions to the south and the blast area. Her head nods at Maria. Yep she understood without a problem apparently. "Less of a problem in some areas then others but yes. I know what discrimination is like. I just had to go to the wrong part of a rich town and get the feeling like all they think I'm good enough for is cleaning someone else's home. I just ignore it and tell the to go take a jump off a bridge most times."

Brian looks slightly uncomfortable at the sudden bonding fest at the talkative strange flying lady and the beautiful apparently hispanic girl. A slight frown tugs at his lips as he glances down to Toby. His hand goes out to the animals mouth to let him lick a little bit.

Brian is looked at quietly, and his dog too, as she lowers to five feet, then settles easily onto the ground. Maria chuckles a bit. She stands like someone with a military or law enforcement background, letting her eyes wander from there for a moment. "Sorry, sir," she offers. "Not meaning to make you antsy here." But if it does, she won't say, that's his problem. When attention is given to Sydney again, she just smiles as if thinking about how much fun she could have with someone telling her to jump off a bridge.

Sydney can tell she is making the guy uncomfortable but that is more his situation then her own. She can't fix anyone's feelings but her own. She's watching Maria's feet as she lands; the body language gets noted. "Please tell me you're not military? Because the Army already using people like that just scares the hell out of me." Though it explain a lot about those suits that chased her from time to time.

The man eyes the woman for a moment. "So I'm assuming you're registered right? If you weren't you wouldn't be so dumb to float around like that." The young man pipes up, taking a step forward towards Maria. "So you support the Linderman Act?"

Her eyes roll at Sydney's question, and her reply suggests disbelief. "Oh, please," Maria starts. "Don't tell me you're one of those conspiracy nuts? Super soldiers and all that?" She snorts. "You've been watching too many sci-fi movies. Yes, I was in the Navy, yes I'm with an inactive reserve unit, and no, we aren't incubating hordes of flying troops."

Then she addresses Brian with a bit less derision. "I understand why Linderman did what he did, putting ourselves out there and letting people get over it is the best thing we can do, but it should be a personal choice. I registered, you're right, if I chose to hide, well… I'd hide."

"I just like being me."

Sydney frowns some at the turn the conversation has taken. She is content to shut her mouth some to listen for a tiny moment. "Not all conspiracy ideas are totally wrong." She mutters under her breath. She's heard and seen enough to know she is right. She can't pin what it is about but there is some group out there that wants Evolved people. She just isn't sure why or to do what. She's shook them for a while but it won't last forever.

"He did what he did, cause what he did could never get him classified as Tier 2 or Tier 3 or Tier seven or whatever." Brian hisses softly. "You too. You have an ability that wouldn't harm anyone. You support a system that hurts other people because their ability could be used to hurt other people. It won't affect you.." He gives a bit of an angry shrug. "You're basically turning your back on your own people. You're worst than the 'anti-evolved'." He brings his hand out of his pocket and gives an accusing point to Maria.

Her eyes close, and her head shakes a few times. "My God," Maria breathes out as it sinks into her brain and the mind wraps around it. "You're not anti-evolved bigots. You two…" She does that eyerolling thing again, and expresses the thought. "You're both conspiracy theory nuts. Maybe you are, or aren't, like me. I don't know. It doesn't really matter. The real enemy here is paranoia. I'm all about showing no fear. You people… grow up, get lives, and stop watching so much science fiction."

Once she's silent again, Maria's feet leave the ground. She ascends at about forty miles per hour, and is soon gone from sight.

"Tier?" Looking at Brian not sure what he is talking about. Clearly a little less informed then she thought. "I just met this guy, Maria." She isn't so glad to be lumped into groups with strangers by strangers. "WAIT!" She tries to call out when the woman takes off. "Damn it! See what you did?" Blaming Brian for it some. "I needed answers."

Brian glares at the woman who flies away then looks back to Sydney his glare slowly fading away. "You think that bitch can give you your answers?" The young man shakes his head violently. "Paranoia." He repeats angrily. "I'm not paranoid." He says softly, eyeing the woman. "What answers do you need, Sydney?"

Sydney squares up at Brian some. "Yeah I do! Because only she can tell her story and that give me at least something. Now I'm left with nothing." She shakes her head then, "Not sure I want to hear your angry views. You start shouting at a stranger when I was trying to talk to her. Your dog didn't like me so much at first. Sure you may know something, what with the tier stuff, but for all I know you're just another scared and angry New Yorker."

"Since she can fly that makes her something." Brian snorts, eyeing the woman for a moment. "What do you mean you're left with nothing?" He looks in the direction where Maria flew off. "Look, Sydney. Evolved people have a tough time. And people like that.." He gives a little shrug. "It's selfish, alright. Trust me."

"What and you're not?" Waving a hand at him as she starts to raise her voice. "Always the same with you people. So easy to try and play down my ethnicity when I need to. I just pretend like my crap don't stink and don't give a second thought for anyone else! You call her selfish when you're the same. I was trying to talk to her but you have to start insulting her and calling her a traitor and stuff. She's a military woman. Even -I- know you don't call a military person a traitor unless you wanna fight or are an enemy." Sydney is really wishing she had her bike right now to just get on and leave.

Perhaps it's the attraction he has to her, or the way she's upset with him that causes the young man to look around and make sure there are none watching. "Listen, Sydney. I have reasons for my beliefs alright?" One hand goes to pull back one sleeve of his hoody. "Sit, Toby." The young man murmurs, dropping the leash for a moment. The dog immediately makes his way over to Sydney. "Look." He holds up his arm for a moment and then waves it through the air. As he waves it, just for a moment it looks like another arm comes out of the first one. And for a moment Brian has two arms where only one should be. Though it only lasts for a second and soon the arms are melded together and he just has the one. Thus the previously three armed man pulls his sleeve back down.

Sydney pets the dog. Just cuz a happy dog is less likely to bite. Toby doesn't seem the best trained of beasts. The show makes her frown some. "Great. So you had to tell her off why? You both made choices. Sometimes that choice is taken from you and you just deal with crappy cars." Happened enough in her life. "Clearly she is living happier then you are. She can enjoy her life while you are angry and hiding. Why don't you go register then?"

"Cause I know stuff, Sydney." Brian retorts, a little frown at her reaction of his presentation. "Toby." He calls out the dog reluctantly coming back to him. "There are three tiers, tier zero through tier two, except if the government thinks you're too dangerous. That's it, you're never seen again. Nineteen eighty four type shit, you'll never hear about that though, huh?" He asks, tilting his head. "And that lady will just say it's a conspiracy theory and I watch too much movies. I have to hide, because, I have to, Sydney. I'm probably more dangerous than a flyer.. even though all they need to do is pick you up and drop you.." His voice sounds a bit pained at the end. And should she look closely she might be able to notice his eyes welling up.

Sydney doesn't get the 1984 reference. However what he says deepens her frown as it fits some of the stuff she's heard. "Well then don't be so vocal on that act. Makes you stick out sorta." She knows all about blending in and how to fit in when she needs to. "Anyone creative I'm sure can think of any way to make someone dangerous. A guy that can breathe water can put mines on a boat. A flyer can't be seen on radar and just drop a small bomb. Anything can be a dangers. But people like you can't hide forever. Not possible now and stuff is gonna change." She just doesn't want to end up dead for it.

"I do lay low." Brian retorts though he certainly did not just now. Regret suddenly washes over him swiftly. He narrows his brows for a moment. "Maybe not. That's why we have to fight, and show the world that Evolved people are just the same as anyone else, yet different." A little shrug is given.

Sydney can't help but laugh. "Wow. You really are an idiot. Evolved are just like non-evolved. Only not? That's like saying a dingy is like a cruise ship only not. Take it from someone that's been on the wrong side. No matter the group people will always separate and pick on those that are 'outside'. Don't mater if it is race, or gender, or hair color, or evolved. Welcome to being the new outcasts. Gonna suck for you in the next decade or so."

Brian's face screws up at her accusation though she doesn't answer it just yet. "It makes sense." He defends, frowning slightly. Then it's his turn to grin a little. "Hair color? Or evolved? Kind of extreme differences don't you think? And I think you're wrong. People are good, they just need a little help. A nudge in the right direction."

Sydney shakes her head. "No. I don't. Anything different can get you killed or picked on. People aren't good. People are selfish greedy frightened idiots that just take and take and take and don't care." Shaking her head she zips up her coat and turns. "Grow eyes in the back of your head if you can or learn to watch your back better."

"I can watch my own back fine." Brian says, completely confident. In fact he may be the best in the world at that. Literally. He watches her for a moment. Before calling out. "Sydney."

Sydney pauses just a bit at hearing her name shouted. Glancing around first she turns to look back at him. Waiting to see what he wants.

"Go to coffee with me or something. Let me try to show you there's good in people." Brian says a tad weakly, nervousness beginning to grip at him. Though he does his best to look emotionless as he looks at her. "It's the world you live in, you should give them another chance."

Sydney did not expect to hear an attempt at a pick up. "How can you do that and who is 'them' exactly? The people that are going to make you disappear if they see you. Some secret company or agency?"

"No.. Those people are shit obviously." Brian says, giving a shrug. "I mean people. People in general. You say they're idiots who just take and take and take. Let me show you there's good in people."

Sydney shakes her head. "One act won't change what I've seen in the world already, Brian. I'm still pissed at you for chasing Maria away and making it so I'm gonna have to try and track her down without drawing attention." Not gonna be easy. "Coffee won't make me think the world is a happy place. It will just keep me up at night."

A little grin flips up on his lips. "I'm sorry." He says with a shrug. "Well at least let me do something to make you not hate me so much. I like making friends not… not friends." He gives a shrug. "I'll find her for you if it's that important to you. I'm really good at finding people." Brian offers.
Sydney looks at Brian and just stand there considering his request and her options. Letting time stretch out for a bit.

Brian gives a little sigh, shrugging. "Alright, I'm sorry, Sydney." He brings his hands up, palms up as if surrendering. He goes to retrieve the leash of the dog.

Sydney motions to the nearest coffee place. "I'll give you twenty minutes." She looks at her dive watch and starts to turn the outside to set it to mark the time. "Then I'm gone and likely won't see you again." She starts to walk over there.

"Right now? I have to take Toby home.." He pauses, giving a frown at the woman. "Don't you have a cell phone or something? We can do it later?" He asks a little pleadingly.

Sydney hits a button at her wrist and shakes her head. "Have a safe life if you can manage. Toby seems okay, for a dog." She turns and just starts to head off. She should know better then to even think of talking to someone. Never works out.

"Wait."Brian calls out, again, giving a little sigh. "I'll bring Toby with us." He walks after the woman a little quickly, Toby happily trotting along at his side. "You want coffee, or you hungry or something?"

Sydney isn't changing direction. She's headed south out of the park to the really bad part of the city now. "Nope. Not thirsty. Not hungry. Against my own judgment I was gonna say yes. Now I just want to find the fastest way south and not stop until I am no more then ten degrees of the equator."

"Fine." Brian says giving a bit of a shrug. Pulling the dog in. "I hope your views on things change Sydney." He remains stationary and watches the woman continue to leave.

Sydney pauses, "Why do you care? You clearly got your own issues. For all you know I'm just an opinionated tourist. What does it matter to you what I think on anything?"

"Yeah.. I do. But I know there's good in the world. There's good in people. And.. Every person matters." He gives a little shrug, starting to turn his own back on her. "Like the story with the star fish, y'know?" Brian says casually.

Sydney does know that story. She shakes her head some and just lets it go then. They're going separate ways. "Good luck," is all she calls over her shoulder. Then soon she'll be turning down a street and out of sight.

January 5th: Eensy Weensy Alcoholic
January 5th: Rent Asunder
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