alia_icon.gif cardinal_icon.gif monica_icon.gif

Scene Title Contingencies
Synopsis Cardinal always has at least one.
Date April 04, 2011

Skinny Brickfront

It's been a long week for Richard Cardinal.

He's in civvies this afternoon, leaning up against a wall with peeling wallpaper and exposed drywall in the safehouse they'd set up for just such emergencies as the recent one. A cigarette - a rare, rare sight for him - dangles between two fingers, jittering faintly as if with a shaking that isn't quite visible, his head resting back against the wall as he waits to see if the people he'd asked to meet him show.

He's not taking anything for granted right now.

"Those things'll kill ya, boss," comes Monica's voice as she comes into view. She lives here, so it isn't hard for her to make the meetings. Flipping herself over the railing for the stairs to land in a bit of a crouch is really just showing off. Or antsiness, since she's been off the grid and hiding out for some months now. It gets dull.

"I'm gonna guess you don't have good news."

Alia walks in, sunglasses, baggy sweatshirt, skateboard, and all. If one only gave a casual glance, she'd pass as someone who refused to grow up, maybe. If you looked closer you could likely pick out the glances about, the worried looks over her shoulder now and then, and most tellingly to those who know her closest, the occasion reach up to brush back her hair and run her hand against her backpack.

The technopath has been working hard, and yet the last few days has her a little nervewracked as well. Things have been better, but then, for Alia, things have been far worse. She spots Cardinal, and frowns, but makes no comment. "Trouble, Richard?" She asks simply.

"I'll be dead a long time before any cancer can take me," Cardinal replies quietly, bringing the cigarette up to his lips and taking a long drag off it - exhaling a coiling plume of smoke upwards, he taps the ash onto the floor when it drops away. His chin drops back down, regarding the pair for a moment before exhaling a sigh. "Liz decided to blow her cover, and ours, for what she was pretty fucking sure was a trap over a… very small chance to rescue Harkness and Demsky."

Dryly, "If you've seen the news, obviously it didn't go well for her. Redbird'll be the next domino. She was too closely tied with it, and there's too much else that the bastards have dug up on us."

"Cheery," Monica says to that first comment, a hand on her hip. But as he explains, the mimic's frown deepens and she looks between him and Alia for a moment before she settles back on Cardinal. "Well… we always knew it was a dangerous game… What do we do now?"

The technopath shrugs. What is done is done. Her own moves did not help any, Alia supposed. "I'm already at-risk." She noted simply. This was true. "Next move is ours, boss. Not resigning the board."

"As if I'd ever resign the board?" Cardinal's lips quirk into a faint smile, "I'm too much've a stubborn bastard. We just went from a possible easy win to one in which most of the board's going to be empty before the endgame, though… there's going to be a lot of blood, now." He brings his free hand up, fingers sliding under his glasses, rubbing against his eyes, "We don't have the leisure of trying to expose Humanis anymore - we aren't going to be in a position to present the evidence convincingly, and fewer people will listen to us. Fortunately, I have a contingency plan."

Doesn't he always?

Monica frowns. She frowns because she doesn't like the blood option and yet, she's really good at it. It's a dichotomy she's frequently unhappy with. "Alright," she eventually says, slowly, before she nods her head. "Are you planning on keeping us in suspense or are ya gonna get out with it?"

Alia frowns as well, mostly for the opposite. THe bloody option has been sounding VERY good recently, but she's not terribly skilled in causing such mayhem. "We can't play the board without knowing the game plan." SHe note simply.

Neither does Cardinal like that option; he's done his damndest to prevent it all this time, after all, and yet he seems finally ready to admit he's failed in that. "Operation Hummingbird," he says quietly, eyes on his cigarette, "We target the big four of Humanis in the city. We build a fake… paper trail of communications between them, smuggle some actual paper correspondence into their place, fake up emails, phone calls. Their private lines aren't going to be as secure as their official ones. Make it look like they were convinced that Humanis was infiltrating the government, supporting the anti-evo drone project. Implicate Heller, mention all the shit he's pulled."

His gaze flickers up from the cigarette, serious as he regards the pair, "Then we assassinate all four of them in one night. No powers. Sniper rifles and explosive charges."

At first Monica looks a little lost as to how she's going to be at all helpful in this plan, but there at the end, understanding dawns. And she's quiet for a moment, her head tilting a bit. "The idea being… we hope they won't know who to blame? Won't they just pick someone to blame? I mean, I can do it, if it's what has to be done. I don't want them where they are a moment longer than we have to let them be there."

Alia nods. The first part is, for the most part, should be child's play for her. Faked emails? Check. Faked phone calls. Check. The actual physical paper? Cardinal knows someone, she's sure. Sniper rifles and explosions? Something she has no idea how to bring about.

"The idea being that we plant the seed that there's a Humanis infiltration in the government," Cardinal says with a tilt of his head to Alia, "I'm sure she can see about 'leaking' the necessary documents after the investigation begins… and we turn them into martyrs for our cause. People who were murdered because they stood against Humanis." He smirks a little, "The irony is appealing, I'll admit."

"Alright. Well. You know I'm in. Who else've we got for the assassinations?" Monica glances over at Alia, then a thought seems to hit her. "Rich, how come we're the only ones here? Where's everyone else? Even the crazy guy with the robots could be helpful. I think." Maybe.

Alia leans back against a wall. "Consider it done. Need to pick up package from you though. Send to Alley Cats?" SHe says it with pure simpleness. And she's hoping she's not being asked to work on the assassination side. If she is, it's going to be less exploisons and shooting, and more ugly up close stabbings. Not that those can't be fun. She's had a want to put a blade through Mayes for a while now. It's not gotten any smaller after the recent news.

"Warren's going to have… his own problems," Cardinal says with a slow shake of his head, "After we deal with Humanis, our next priority is Steel and Verse." He hesitates, then, looking to Monica for a moment before saying, "Because you two aren't as high profile as I am. So if something happens… I can trust the two of you to carry out this plan without me. You're both clever and resourceful."

Monica lets out a sort of nervous laugh there, just a little one. "Yeah, but just so long as you remember I'm no good at the chess thing. Last time I played, I flipped over the board and everything. Pieces everywhere." It's only half a joke. "But yeah, if something happens… we can get it done. Just… make sure nothing happens, okay?" She drops her hand from her hip, not doing too good a job at masking that worry there.

There is a raised eyebrow… followed by a laugh from the technopath. Alia? Low Profile? She's currently an escapee at best. Still… Cardinal had gotten her out of a scrape or two, returning the favor, it's what she can do. "Consider it done. Even if I have to resort to stabs instead of shots and booms." She nods her head.

"It isn't chess," Cardinal says with a slow shake of his head, "It's a mission with an objective. I trust you two to carry that out." He takes another drag off his cigarette, exhaling a plume of smoke, "Get whoever you think would work. Your cousin'd be ideal, if you can find her. Jessica's a damn good shot."

"Well, yeah. But if Jessica comes, then I can't borrow her favorite rifle," Monica says, and that is a joke. "I'll find some people. If Liz sacrificed for the Ferry, maybe they'll spare a demolitionist or two to help out. We got a timetable for this mission?"

Alia remains quiet. She knows her part, and what she needs to do.

"As soon as we can get the paper trail laid," affirms Cardinal with a slow shake of his head, "See if Wireless is back online. She'd be ideal to help with both ends of this operation."

"Alia, I'll leave all that stuff up to you. And I'll figure out who's in the mood for an assassination." Monica looks back over to Cardinal, "Don't be too mad at Liz, Rich. Sometimes we all got to follow our conscience." She should know, that's pretty much her whole life.

Alia sighs. "Will do what I can to pin her. Going to need physical assistance, yes." She rubs her forehead, considering that Miller Airbase is now on high alert after the explosions they did have there… She built a checklist in her head. This was not going to be fun. It was going to be, in fact, quite messy. But no reason to tell Cardnial that now. He has enough to worry about.

"Richard? Stay safe. Running this play, risky enough. Running it against you… really don't want to." Alia's voice is tinged with its own form of worry.

"You know what the road to hell is paved with, Monica…" Cardinal's jaw sets a bit, "…the Ferry's way is just going to lead us all into the grave. Liz made her decision. That was her perogative." Another drag on the cigarette, then he flickers a look to Alia, forcing a smile, "I always stay safe."

"The road to hell's paved with a lot've things. But sometimes ya just can't live with yourself if ya don't go with those good intentions for a while. I'm not saying she didn't throw us out to the dogs or anything, but we've all been walking the line for a while now." Monica nods to Alia's comment. "Ya better. You got the look on ya of someone looking to do something stupid. Just make sure you can get away after."

Alia looks at Richard Cardinal calmly, sizing him up. "You do that." She tilts her head. "The play will be made. One way, or another." She sighs, wondering what she's damning herself with that dedication.

"I was just hoping that we could walk the line long enough to get to the other side, y'know?" Cardinal shakes his head a little, pushing away from the wall, "Alia, I need another favor - need you to whip up a Humanis video claiming responsibility for taking out Redbird for, I don't know, protecting the Survivor exhibition last week or something."

"Yeah, me too." Monica steps back some as he pushes off the wall, and lifts an eyebrow as he explains his request. "Full on smear campaign, huh? Well, that should be fun."

Alia simply nods. That shouldn't be too hard. Hell, she'll use a synthed up version of Mayes voice. Believeable enough. "Yeah."

"Anything to confuse the dogs," Cardinal quirks a slight smile, "Carmichael's ideas weren't all bad. Shedda Dinu's tactics can still work, used in the proper context."

"You let us know if there's anything else we can do. See if we can't turn this thing around some." Monica reaches over to put a hand on his arm there, just a quick, friendly squeeze. "Where are you gonna be laying low?"

A hand slides to cover Monica's in a brief squeeze, and Cardinal offers her a slight, crooked smile. "Oh, here'n there. I have… quite a few holes to hide in, still. We've got a long fight still ahead of us, so let's win it, eh?"

"Aye aye, Cap't," Monica says with a little salute his direction. "But you've really got to work on your rousing give 'em hell speeches."

"I leave those for Liz," Cardinal replies in consciously ironic tones, heading for the door, "I'm a lot of things. Charismatic isn't one of 'em."

"I wouldn't say that, necessarily," Monica replies with a smirk before she glances over at Alia, flashes her a bit of a smile and hops over the banister again to start back up stairs.

Alia pushes off from the wall, digging into her pocket. She hands Cardinal a small pay as you go phone. "Don't be a stranger." She notes, as she slips out the door as quietly as she came.

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