Do Something


colette_icon.gif vincent_icon.gif

Scene Title Do Something
Synopsis Some imperatives are more overt than others.
Date September 12, 2010

Gun Hill

The dismal and gray skyline viewed outside of the windows of the fourth floor Bronx apartment paints the warmly colored living room in muted shades of gray light. With the blinds drawn up and all the windows letting in illumination, even the carefully chosen chocolate brown color of the paint Tasha Oliver chose for the walls of her apartment couldn't quite bring in the warmth today. From the kitchen, the sounds of running water and clinking dishware are the only sounds to be heard save for the rain pattering lightly on the window panes.

Under the more yellow artificial light of the kitchenette, the dark circles around Colette Nichols' eyes look more pronounced, the unflattering angle and color of the illumination bringing out every imperfection and crease starting to wear into her otherwise youthful face. Black hair is swept back from her brow, held fast by a red bandanna tied over the top of her head. The sleeves of a long and too-loose gray knit sweatshirt are rolled up to her elbows, arms from there down damp and spotted with soap suds.

Bare feet rest toes-only on the linoleum floor as she stands at the sink, running water over dishes from last night's dinner that she's waited too many hours to do. With the apartment all to herself on a rainy afternoon, choosing to occupy her mind with a menial task is a measure of self control. The less she worries about crazy Japanese men with swords and the improbabilities of time travel, the better she'll likely sleep until that other shoe drops.

The buzzing of a cell phone vibrating across the counter comes at an inopportune time. Shaking soap and water off of her hands, Colette turns off the faucet with one wrist, then paws for the phone, checking the number and letting out a sharp breath as she flips it open, trying to pinch the too-small cell phone between shoulder and jaw.

"Hey, hey I'm here— what's up?" Reaching for a dish towel to try and dry her hands with, Colette starts to turn with that phone precariously balanced. "Okay, when do you need them there by? I can probably stack some on the back of my bike and carry the rest in a duffel or something. You're still out on Staten Island, right? I can probably get a boat out to the Rookery in… I dunno, five hours? Six? I'd have ot call Jensen."

Wringing her hands around the dishcloth, Colette steps out of the kitchenette and rounds the corner into the hall that divides kitchen and living room, trying to manage one too many things at a time.

There's someone standing in the living room, and it isn't Tasha. Skree skree skree. Black suit, black tie, white collar, black eyes, all india ink and ivory in the gloom between doorways.

For all that Vincent could initially be passed over as an upleasant trick of the eye, he isn't just there — he's waiting, crude oil stare angled inscrutably to the site of Colette's emergence. He doesn't look angry. He doesn't look happy to see her, either. He's just there, hands slack at his sides with circles shadowed in around his eyes to match her own. DoEA intelligence in one room and false identification manufactured by his daughter in another.

"Oh Jesus!" Colette shrieks into the phone as she stumbles backwards at the sight of slenderman Vincent. Mis-matched eyes go wide, the dish towel falls to the floor and the phone tumbles from her shoulder to clatter down at her feet. For a few long moments, she looks like a frightened housecat; shoulders hunched up, back braced against the wall and palms flat against the dark paint. It's only when she fails to see the warning signs of a drawn gun, glowering federal agents kicking in doors or anything that would raise alarms does she look towards the dropped phone.

There's a voice squawking on it, it sounds like they're saying Colette's name, repeatedly. Never taking her eyes off of Vincent (for all that is somewhat vestigial effort) Colette crouches down to pick up the phone in one shaking hand. "I gotta call you back, Chuckles," Colette offers into the phone, "gimmie— gimmie thirty." The phone snaps shut, lights dim and Colette's mis-matched stare finally breaks from Vincent as she lets out the breath she's been holding in.

"Jesus Christ don't do that!" Colette shouts as she looks to the closed apartment door over her shoulder, then back to Vincent. Not that she isn't being hypocritical or anything, given that she did this exact thing to Joanna. Turnabout isn't actually fair play in her eyes.

"Wh— what do you want?" is Colette shaky question after the vitriol dies down. Admittedly she shouldn't be surprised when upon rubbing the proverbial lamp that the Genie shows up.

Circumstances being what they are, and Vincent being who he is, he spares his daughter's lesbian lover no more mercy than he would any other Registered Evolved psuedo-terrorist. He takes her in without blinking — and certainly without smiling, like he's here because he has to be and not because he has any actual desire.

Which is probably fairly close to the truth.

Disaffected by shouting as he is by most things, he doesn't reward her with any response beyond an appraising angle of his brows measured by a matter of degrees. Not condescending. Just not interested. Until she's gotten a grip, anyway. "I received your delivery," he says at length, to the point on a delay that is equal parts patience and reluctance to do — this. "Do you still have the containment device?"

A bewildered stare is Colette's immediate reaction, followed by a tight swallow as she tries to compose herself, one hand laid out over her chest to feel the rapid pounding of her heart. Mis-matched eyes angle up to Vincent, and Colette's head slowly drops into a bobbing nod. "Somewhere, yeah… it's somewhere out on Staten Island, both've 'em. I don't know exactly where, but I could find out…"

Crouching down to pick up the fallen dishcloth, Colette balls it up in one hand as she rises, making a jerking motion with her head towards the kitchen before taking a few steps back inside and turning around, walking towards the small table pushed up against the wall by the kitchen windows, three chairs around it. "Why do you want to know?"

Question asked, she whips the dishcloth towards the sink, then turns as she pulls out one of the kitchen chairs, sinking down to sit on it. "There's coffee…" she off-handedly notes, indicating with a motion of her nose to the coffee pot out of politeness alone.

"Because it's my job to know," is a dick answer.

Vincent is ultimately predictable in sticking maybe-a-little-too-informally to his own self-defined stereotype. There's a tired laziness to the delivery of his non-answers; he's procrastinated this conversation long enough to have had plenty of time to think about the questions she might ask in the face of other questions.

Again there's a pause. He spends this one sizing her up like an army recruiter sizing up a twelve year old with a fake mustache and faker ID, bristly jaw tipped down beneath cleaner-shaved skull, dark eyes rolled up hard beneath the hood of his brow.

"The pale woman in your video — the one who you discover — is an escaped convict by the name of Mauve Buchanan. She is a Registered Evolved. She generates a paralytic powder capable of rendering animal life completely immobile; Tier 3. She killed her own children and has attempted to kill others."

For all that Colette bristles at Vincent's initial response, the later information has some color draining from the girl's cheeks. Dark brows furrow, lips part and you're lying almost makes it past her lips, instead it turns out something more like, "You're l— " which is more abortive. Cutting off that assertion, Colette lifts a hand and rubs it against her forehead, looking askance to the coffee maker, then back to Vincent's inky silhouette.

"She said her name was Maeve," is Colette's hushed agreement, a hand covering her mouth as she stares down at the floor. "God I— don't even know where she is anymore. She was on Staten Island but— I— I think we moved her. Joseph or— someone will know where she is, I— I'll make a call and…"

Trailing off, Colette furrows her brows and looks down to the floor, running one hand through dark hair. "I'll make sure something gets done about her," sounds a little bit like taking matters into their own hands, "and the reason I asked about the— coffin— things, is because if I'm getting them moved so you can see them that's one thing, if I have to move them so you can take them that's another. Or if you want to just know they're in safe keeping…"

"You will make sure something gets done," Vincent agrees, blandly confident in this assertion, "or I will organize a manhunt. My personal recommendation is for you to turn her over to a government agency equipped to manage the nature of her ability before she kills again. If she hasn't already."

There's a tar pit quality to his speech when it comes in blocks, usually tailed close by quiet, like he isn't quite sure how to address someone who is simultaneously an 18 year old girl and a source of information within a terrorist(?) cell.

And dating his daughter.

He's back to looking at her again though, wearily and warily, demeanor every bit as black as his suit and his stare. He doesn't have to say he doesn't like this because it's ironed and stamped into every fiber of his shady bald being.

"For now they're fine to stay in safe storage. I wouldn't advertise any further than you already have that you have them."

"Nobody knows we have them but people in our network and you," it's a simplification of the truth but truth enough from Colette. "I— I'll make sure something gets done," Colette murmurs as she gets up from the chair awkwardly, rolling her phone around in her hand and eyeing the unlit screen before looking back up to Vincent. She's having difficulty forming words, proper words, though it's not entirely the ambush of the situation at fault, but poor sleeping habits.

Tucking her phone into a pocket in her track pants, Colette let the long sleeves of her sweatshirt fall down over her hands as she paces barefoot around the kitchen. "So… So you watched all the videos?" There's a tremor of tension in her voice as she finally decides on a direction and makes a beeline for the coffee pot. "The um, the videos of people's visions and stuff— I— was that any help?"

Opening the cabinet above the coffee pot, Colette takes out one of the mugs, then sets it down on the counter before looking back at Vincent with one brow raised expectantly, partially for last call on the coffee, partially because she's afraid of what his answer might be about the tapes.

'People in our network,' sounds just the right amount of uncomfortably vague to coax forth a skeptical look from a man whose otherwise been loathe to show emotion past a low and slow simmer of annoyance. He watches her get up without making any kind of move himself, rooted in place like a snappily dressed hologram with an attitude problem.

"On second thought you should have them separated. Leave one and move the other in with someone you trust more than a generic plural."

Questions re: the second reel are acknowledged flatly with a look that's a little more removed than the one before it. Which is probably relevant, somehow, for all that the overall effect isn't reassuring. "I don't know," is an honest answer, at least. Quiet, too.

He shakes his head at the persistent offer of coffee. No.

For all the Vincent's answer about the visions wasn't helpful, his tone of voice was. That subtle tell of emotion in the change of tone — or at the very least a show of resignation — seems to reinforce in Colette that he's more than some suited automaton full of spinning flywheels and gears. "I haven't told Tasha about what I did, or… any of what led up to this," Colette offers as she puts her back to Vincent again, taking down the mug and setting it on the counter as she closes the cupboard. "I don't think she'd be happy, but— I know the network can't do anything to stop what's going to happen…"

Trailing off with her own hints of resignation in her voice, Colette pulls the coffee pot out and pours herself a cup, the strongly brewed coffee quickly fills the kitchen with a smell that overpowers the aromatic scene of dish soap. "I'll… get one of the cases moved, I think I know someone I can trust it with, and he'd probably like to get his hands on one close up."

The pot is returned, empty, to the coffee maker with a clunk and Colette continues the soothing ritual of making herself a cup by shuffling over to the refrigerator, huching over into it in search of something to lighten it up. "There might be some more information," she admits in a quiet tone of voice, straightening up from the refrigerator with a carton of half & half in one hand, looking askance over her shoulder to Vincent.

"There's someone I sent a copy of that tapes to, someone who's been trying to piece together everything that's been happening, goes by the name Richard Cardinal. He— runs a security firm out of Battery Park City. He's got some kind of map in his basement, strings and pictures and photographs?" One of Colette's brows kicks up. "I think he's… I dunno, he's doing something, figuring something out. I could get in there without much of a problem and photograph it for you, if— if you think it'd help."

One bare foot kicks the refrigerator door closed and Colette turns back to her cup of coffee as she unfolds the spout on the front of the carton. "If there's anything else…" she leaves the invitation there open.

"I'm not qualified to theorize on the likelihood of predicted events coming to pass." Back up to pace, Vincent tries not to draw in a deep breath of hot coffee and does anyway. Now he will have to get some.

But not from her.

His brows are set on the matter. "Like the bird?" Casually, intentionally ignorant in the presence of Richard (a silent 'Fucking' here attributed in the middle with no sense of irony) Cardinal's name, he examines her half & half and tries (fails) not to breathe more coffee warmth in. "I may have seen one of his ads. Any additional information you have may be helpful. Particularly if you believe he's made progress."

Then the refrigerator is closed and Vincent's lost composure long enough to be caught scrubbing a hand across his face, bare ring finger mashed with the rest from cheek to nose and back again. "I believe that's everything."

For all that she feels like she's doing the right thing, Colette can't help but also feel like she's doing something wrong. Back-door dealings like this are leaving her stomach churning in the way a full cup of coffee on an otherwise empty stomach is only bound to exascerbate. With a soft slosh the carton is set down and mis-matched eyes alight to Vincent. "If you believe what he says, he's in the business of changing the future. He says he's stopped things like this from happening before, but— you know— that's kind've hard to prove."

Dark brows crease together and Colette's eyes avert from Vincent as she turns back to focus on her coffee, lifting up the id to the sugar bowl, spoon clinking around inside the head of a ceramic monkey greedily containing the sugar. "When I get a better look at those strings I'll send you copies of the stuff, but… I won't involve Joanna again, I feel bad enough for doing it when I did." Sliding her tongue over her lips, Colette puts the top of the monkey's head back on.

"So," Colette begins to say as she starts to turn to look back at Vincent, "how should I get in touch with you…"

"I'd appreciate it if you didn't." Involve Joanna, presumably. Who is her own woman and probably also one who has better things to do than deliver secret messages to the government from ~freedom fighters~. His even stronger desire for her to leave Tasha out of it hardly needs voicing; he hasn't so much as mentioned her name in the context of how is she since he's been here.

A business card is fished out of his pocket, meanwhile, all Vincent Lazzaro and DoEA in crisp black and white. "Call my cell phone," he says, "tell me my daughter thinks she lost hers. I'll show up here." Card with relevant numbers flipped carelessly up onto the kitchen counter while she sorts out her decapitated monkey, Vincent plummets into a pitchy furl of vapor without flourish or hesitation. A restrained stretch of stiff shoulders, a roll of the right and he's gone, leaving Colette to her coffee.

A thin wisp of black coils around the end of the business card between Colette's fingers before fading away. Shaking the business card, as if afraid it might have some more of him on it, Colette looks down at the number and the name again, then up to where Vincent had been standing. When her eyes fall shut and her shoulders slack, it's from the sudden strain of trying to be stronger than she really is breaking apart in Vincent's absence.

Slouching back against the kitchen counter, the young woman lifts a hand and rubs it against her forehead, then reaches down to slide the business card into her pocket and retrieve her cell phone all in the same motion. Sliding her tongue over her lips, Colette's stare stays transfixed on her feet even as a speed dial number is rung.

Several rings later, all Colette gets is voicemail. "Jensen," is the man to be calling for something like this, "it's Colette. We— have a problem…" a hand comes up to rub across Colette's eyes as she breathes a sigh into the phone.

"…it's about Maeve."

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