Everyone's Right


griffin_icon.gif marjorie_icon.gif peter_icon.gif

Scene Title Everyone's Right
Synopsis Peter reluctantly welcomes a new member into Messiah.
Date October 28, 2010

Condemned Tenement

For the last week of October, the weather that New York City has been experiencing is best described as bipolar. Down to nearly cold enough to snow over the weekend, the temperature has suddenly risen up to the low 70s despite thickly overcast skies and earlier rain. It's that earlier rain alone that has kept construction crews away from the renovation of a tenement building crumbling in Manhattan's lower east side.

While the remnants of Phoenix and PARIAH graffiti have been scrubbed and whitewashed from the tenement's exterior, the signs of work on the inside have not abated at all. Standing floor lamps are currently powered off, their yellow metal frames colorful against the drab interior of the old fire-damaged structure.

Seated on the stairs of the first floor lobby, a knife in one hand cutting slices from an apple, Peter Petrell is reliving a moment from the past. For as long ads he's been away from this building, it still holds memories for him, still holds ghosts of the past that happily pull and tug at his sentimentality on every trip back. Fresh coats of paint and new drywall cannot cover up the memories he has of this place, or the way they make him feel.

Waiting here on the lobby stairs, Peter's darkly-dressed figure looks like one of the many residents that once squatted here. Tattered, dark jeans with holes in them, worn and old boots, a wrinkled olive-drab military surplus jacket over a faded gray t-shirt. It's downplayed from his usual terrorist chic and it's a sign of change in both his personality and in the way he's managing the people around him.

If Messiah is going to survive, it has to be in spite of his leadership. He's never been a leader, never wanted to be one, and if this all goes well he won't have to be much longer, either.

Griffin met his sister earlier at a tea shop. Better to meet in public, where she's less likely to discover that he has a gunshot wound in his arm, freshly stitched up thanks to Abby. He purchased his sister some tea and a snack (objecting that if she was going to join, she was going to lift her banishment on him spending money on her and Owain), before packing her up and bringing her here, on grounds of her joining that special group that he's a part of. He's not really looking forward to this; after all, he'd really rather this meeting not happen. But, she offered her help, and they needed help. So, here they are.

Griffin hasn't been staying here as much, but after finding that the place seems to have slipped under the radar, he's inhabited the place a bit more. He's got the old apartment looking almost presentable, and as a side effect, his piano has a nice, shiny coat of paint, to match the beautiful tones he can play from the studio piano.

He's dressed in his standard finery, with black slacks, a gray shirt, a black vest, and black tie, complete with a fedora; stylish, as usual, with the sleeves of the shirt rolled up just above his elbow. He lacks his cane, today, thanks to the better weather. It doesn't stop that slight limp he walks with, but at least he can move about without too much pain today. He wears a look on his face that suggests mild displeasure. Or perhaps discomfort.

Marjie has brought a gift with her. A peace offering. Why, what is it? Cupcakes, of course, a casserole tupperware, two rows deep of delicious cupcakes. Nutella, Pumpkin and walnut, vanilla with early grey tea. Her cupcakes are her pride and joy, and this is how she is going to introduce herself. With cupcakes. That's what she does at all her parenting functions, and this shouldn't be much different.

She's wearing her hair in a tight ponybun off to the side, just beneath and behind her left ear. A small kerchif band is tied around her head, acting the same as a headband might with a little more frill. Her dress is long sleeved, white with white thick doiley-style lace on the top layer. She wears flats, and the dress falls just to her knees. She looks around, tupperware in her hands. Her own eyes, bright and green, seem more curious than anything else. "I still don't like it," she says, her bright red lips drawing into a thin line. "You living here, I mean."

The sound of voices and the visible approach from the front doors has Peter looking up from his apple, knife halfway driven into the yellow-green exterior. "Griffin," Peter calls from the stairs, slowly pushing himself up to his feet and sliding that knife the rest of the way through the apple, cutting off another wedge that he eats from the blade, walking down the two steps to the lobby floor with a clunk of his boots. "You must be the person he'd told me about…" Peter offers with a look towards Marjorie, and her appearance seems to me a markedly deceptive book as far as terrorist applicants come. But after having known Abigail Beauchamp for as long as he has, Peter can't be much surprised by deceptive appearances.

"Sorry if I don't remember your name, I've had a lot on my mind the last few days," Peter admits apologetically, wiping his knife off on his jeans and folding it closed with a snap, tucking it into his back pocket before offering out his hand just before realizing that Marjorie's hands are occupied with the casserole dish. Peter grimaces, sweeps his hand back and awkwardly scrubs at the back of his neck.

"I'm, ah… my name's Peter." Dark brown eyes flick over to Griffin, one brow raised as if to imply this is really her?

His hands in his pocket, Griffin seems to be holding his left arm a bit strange, though he's definitely trying to downplay that part as much as he can. Perhaps that's part of the reason behind the slightly sour look on his face. It's not quite comfortable, letting his arm rest against his side. Note to self: don't throw yourself in front of a gun again. It really hurts.

A green-eyed glance is cast briefly toward Marjorie, the man raising his brows as he turns his face to peer over the work in progress that is his home. "It's not that bad here, and it's safer for me to rest my head away from you and Owain as often as I can. And in my defense, it is quite difficult these days, to get an apartment when you don't actually have a registration card, and are an escaped convict." This is muttered in a low tone. "This is about as safe as it gets, right now. Perhaps one day, I'll be able to fulfill your expectations."

Then, Griffin's green eyes find Peter's form, the man offering the faintest of smiles to the younger man, accompnied by a small nod. "Peter," he mumbles, nodding toward the man, "this is Marjorie, my younger sister." He puts his right arm almost protectively over the younger woman's shoulders. Another nod is offered, to confirm that yes, this sweetly dressed girl is really his sister.

Marjorie clears her throat a little at Griffin's gesture, sending him a little glance. She's interviewing to be a terrorist here, don't be all touchy-feely now! Apparenlty that's her job. "It's nice to meet you. I brought you a little…support package is what a college friend used to call this." A box of cupcakes is a support package. "I hope that's alright." In stepping foward, she steps away from Griffin's arm. For now. He can be protective later, but now Marjorie needs to be tough! With cupcakes. "Griffin explained to me that you could use some help. I'm not…a secret spy or anything, but the things I do I am good at, and I am certain my heart is in the right place."

It's with a certain reluctance that Peter looks down to the cupcakes, then back up to Marjorie and over to Griffin. Displaying disappointment only briefly, Peter shakes his head and looks back to Marjorie. "I'm… not sure what Griffin told you but— I don't think this is right for you. I appreciate that you care enough to want to meet me, but…" Peter's dark eyes flick back to Griffin in a moment of silence, then back to Marjorie. "I'm really sorry for having wasted your time line this. You— should find another way to help out. I can't…"

Peter's shoulders slack, that hand at the back of his neck scrubs slowly and it's evident from his expression that he seems guilty for having even entertained this idea. "You seem like a sweet young woman, you should try and… and do something with your life. I thought— " Peter isn't sure what he thought, truth be told. "I'm sorry."

Griffin tilts his head to one side. He had mumbled something about cupcakes not being ideal for terrorist first impressions, but Marjorie has always been rather headstrong. He grunts, frowning toward Peter. Part of his expression portrays gratitude. He almost doesn't argue in his sister's favor, quite happy to let her be pushed off to the sidelines. But then, he'd probably never live that down, would he?

The man sighs faintly, peering thoughtfully at his sister. "Marjorie can create, as far as I can tell, kinetic barriers. I have seen her in action. It's rather amazing." When? "If she wishes to help us out, I believe that she could greatly benefit our cause. I personally vouch for my sister."

He wrinkles his nose. "Don't let her sugary sweetness fool you. My sister is scarier than me in some ways." This is meant as a compliment, in his own awkward way.

Marjorie lifts a hand toward Griffin, urging him to stop. "Please," she says, by way of encouraging him to do just that. She walks over to the piano and sets down the cupcakes, turning once more to face Peter after she's crossed the room back to her origional stance. Her hands are clasped lightly in front of her, her posture grand.

"Peter, if I may be so familiar as to call you by your Christian name. I was 19 when my brother was racked by his ability and suffered a horrid experience because it was kept a secret from the public. 19 when he was removed to a Government holding facility, with no hope of return. I watched my family fall apart, I was given a child to raise alone. I saw the heartbreak of my father and the disbelief of my mother. I delt with the strange new sensation of my own abilities during all of this."

"What happened to Griffin should never have happened, but when it did, the government swept in and kidnapped him, ruining his life and the lives of everyone in our family. I've spent my entire life baking sweets, but simultaniously doing anything and everything I could to protect myself and my son from this fate." Her green eyes are stone and cold with passion.

"I registered my ability only to register him, because I would not have my son grow up a fugitive. That is because I intend for there to be a different world for him to grow up into. A world where he won't suffer alone, in silance. A world where he won't be afraid every day of sirens or of men in dark suites, where he may not be forced to dissapear against his will for the safety of himself and his family. The world I see for my son is one where he can never be black-bagged by our government simply because of who and what he is. If I have to bleed to make this happen, I will bleed. If I have to make others bleed to make this happen, I shall do so with a pure conciece. Uncle Sam has been fighting the Evolved with violence for a very, very long time and there is no reason for that to change unless we make it." She closes her red painted lips, her speech over, and she tilts her head a bit to watch Peter's reaction to waht she has told him.

When Griffin said Marjorie could be scarier than him, it had led to a certain amount of disbelief. But what Marjorie has proven is that whole she doesn't seem any more frightening than any other woman in Peter's life, she is more passionate about things than he'd first expected. Behind the sweet facade, there is some dedication, but dedication alone isn't always enough. Perhaps, also, Peter's own personal agenda in this has something to do with his behavior.

"What we do is dangerous, Griffin's told you that. People have died, people will die before it's all said and done. On our side and on others. I'm not telling you that you have to be willing to kill, but you have to understand that there is the sincere risk that you might die in this war. I'm not worried so much about your own life— if you want to choose to risk yourself and risk your own well-being, that's your choice to make."

Looking to Griffin, Peter's eyes have a judgmental cast to them before they turn back to Marjorie, more pleading than anything else. "Who doesn't have a choice in this is your son. What happens to him if you die while off fighting the government? What happens to him if— like some of us— you get turned into a fugitive? I'll let you join Messiah, but only when I'm certain that child isn't being put at risk."

Griffin does as his sister requests, closing his mouth and allowing for her to speak. He wears a mild frown as his sister weaves her tale, his eyes turning down toward the ground. He nods along with Peter's words, a frown on his features. Green eyes turn toward Marjorie, a frown on his face. He really isn't quite fond of the fact that Marjorie calls his son her son, but what can you do?

"I must agree with Peter," Griffin remarks with a frown, "That if you're only certain that Owain will be fine. Perhaps one day, I will be able to care for him, but until that day comes…" The man sighs faintly. "I'm a fugitive. The main reason I didn't find you in Chicago was because I didn't want to involve you in this life, Marjorie. You have something so good right now…Owain is safe, you're both safely registered— you have nothing that can count against you, save for associating with me." He frowns.

Unfortunately, when Marjorie gets going, it's hard to remind her that the boy she's raised going on 11 years isn't her son. By law, he is. "It's been addressed in my will that if anything should happen to me, he is to go and live with my father in Illinois. A retired, registered unevolved man who has had bad luck with children, I daresay, but it is not so bad as the luck he has when he fishes every weekend. Which, I may add, is his only vice. I have copies assured with several different lawyers and a private investigator who, by the way, is very good." She glances at Griffin - he'll know what she means. "And Owain is aware of my paranoia, enough so taht we have home contingency plans that account for more than earthquakes and tornados."

It's a difficult decision, the one Peter is presented with regarding Marjorie. Four years ago he would never have imagined this scenario, couldn't have come up with a good answer for it even if presented with it in hypotheticals. Too much a bleeding heart, then, and that weakness hasn't entirely been shed yet.

"That's good enough for me," Peter perhaps unexpectedly offers with a slow tip of his head down into a nod, turning to whip his apple core towards a large pile of construction debris filling the west side of the lobby. "If you're sure this is what you want, and Owain has somewhere safe he can be… that's good enough for me. But it's not just going to be physical safety you're putting at risk… I guess it's better for him to grow up knowing his mother risked her life to fight for what she believed in, rather than took a different way out. An easier way."

Reaching inside of his old jacket, Peter tugs out a folded piece of old red cloth, threadbare in places and cut raggedly with a knife on both ends. It's a scarf, made of an unexpectedly soft material, as red as the one Griffin sometimes wears. In fact, it looks like it's exactly the same material.

"This is kind've like a badge of being in Messiah. It's a scarf, cut from the same piece of cloth all of ours are. We wear it as a show of solidarity, that we are together in the blood we spill, together in the fight we fight, together in the war we wage." Letting one end unspool and fall down to dangle from his hand, Peter offers it out to Marjorie.

"It's yours. Griffin can fill you in with the rest of what we're doing, who to talk to and who not to. If you really can do what he says you can… then you're going to be needed. You might save a few lives in the process too." Peter offers a wan smile, brows creasing together as he does. "God knows we could use that."

Griffin frowns quietly, taking a step back to lean against one of the construction structures that he's quite certain is stable. The man falls quiet this time, crossing his arms and allowing his sister to speak for herself. He's certainly unhappy about this, not quite caring to officially bring his sister into the terrorist organization.

However, Peter's words calm his spirit slightly, the man relaxing a bit from his tensed positioning. He quickly readjusts his arm, flinching slightly. Hopefully his sister didn't notice that.

Marjorie reaches forward, taking the scarf as though it were some delicate thing, she lets it slip through her fingers a moment, one hand and then the other, as she gets a feel for it. She glances back to Griffin a moment, but…well, that secret can be shared later. "I hope I can meet your expectations," she says to Peter, bobbing her head gently in his direction. Once more her green eyes go to the red scarf, colors flashing together like a Christmas carol as the scarf passes between her left hand's fingers, and then the right.

"It isn't my expecttations you'll need to worry about," Peter dismisses with a wave of his unburdened hand thorugh the air, "it's the lives of every other member of our organization. I'd like for you to get to know the people that you'll be fighting alongside. Griffin can show you around, introduce you to people. I'd especially like you to meet Alexander, Lynette and Perry… they're good people and they have an important hand to play in the future of this movement."

Resting his hands on his hips, Petyer's thumbs hook through the belt loops of his jeans for a moment before his fingers slack and hands fall down to his sides. "But before any of that…" one of Peter's brows slowly raises, "exactly what can you do with that ability of yours? Forcefields is a pretty broad area, I've seen it come in a lot of different shapes and forms. How much practice do you have with it?"

Griffin tilts his head toward Marjorie as Peter speaks, nodding slowly. He doesn't know Perry so well, but he certainly knows the other two. The man peers quietly at Peter for a moment, then glances toward his sister. He slips one hand into his pocket, while the other rests on his hip, generally held away from his body. "I have seen her in action with it. It is capable of stopping bullets, both ways." He glances toward his sister. Yeah, he was there when you did that.

Marjorie looks back at Griffin, a little startled. They never even talked about her ability. The hell? Well, it's of no consequence now. "I'm a paranoid single mother raising a 10 year old boy and I can make force fields. You won't believe the amount of practice I've had." She smiles a small smile, fond little memories of keeping young Owain from faceplanting on the asphault, or from keeping him getting hit in the head when a friend threw a rogue ball. Good times. "And it's…just a wall, or a bubble, as I want it to be. I can move it, I can reshape it, I can use it to smack people around with it if I need." Yes, she smacks people with walls.

Exhaling a tired sigh, Peter nods slowly and takes a step closer to Marjorie, laying a hand on her shoulder. "I'll work on figuring out how best to utilize what you have," he explains as a soft, warm glow of goldenrod light burns beneath his hand for a moment, followed by a pins and needles tingling sensation where his hand rests on her shoulder. It fades after just a brief moment, the light and the sensation, and Peter lets his hand fall away from Marjorie's shoulder.

"That's what I do," Peter explains in a quiet tone of voice, "what other people do. Now, what you do. It's the best way I can learn what you're capable of, know your limitations better without putting you at risk." Brown eyes angle over to Griffin, then back to Marjorie. "This is your last chance, ro get out of this before you get in over your head…"

Griffin watches quietly as Peter does this, his brows raising. He certainly didn't know that. The man tilts his head to one side, thoughtfully regarding Peter, now that he knows what the man can do. Fascinating. He wonders if Peter will take his ability, too. In fact, he's quite intrigued to find out if he will; it would be interesting, certainly, and perhaps a way for the man to learn more about his own abilities. "I'll also note that she is one of the few who is able to stop my telekinesis." This is said in a soft tone. How does he know that? As Peter offers her the last chance, Griffin's eyes turn toward the woman, waiting for her answer.

Marjorie watches Peter's hand calmly, a little nervously as he touches her. But it's over soon enough, and she's left rubbing the spot he touched through the dress. Green eyes lift back to him, curious and intrigued and calm. "I hope I make for an interesting study," she says, her smile and dimples slightly bemused. But that fades into a look of seriousness again. She glances back at her brother, then to Peter once more. Her chest rises quickly and falls slowly in a deep breath and a soft sigh as she gives it the required consideration. "I think I'm better off in over my head than out of the fray all together."

"You say that now," Peter admits in an undertone, brows furrowed together worriedly before he looks up to Griffin. "Once I get the hang of your sister's ability, I'm going to need to talk to you and Alexander both. I have an idea, and in order to follow it through I'm going to need both of your abilities. I'm just— I can't keep more than one outside of regeneration right now. I'm afraid that since i still have Rupert's programming in my head, if I lose the regeneration and go back to sleeping three hours a night, I…"

Peter shakes his head slowly, closing his eyes. "Anyway," is murmured after the fact, "ah, get your brother to show you around Howland Hook sometime. It's our base of operations, pretty far out on Staten Island's northwest coast. No cops or soldiers up that way and the construction crews there know to look the other way. Meeting everyone else'll be a good start."

Griffin nods slowly toward Peter, a faint smirk on his face. Two different forms of telekinesis sound interesting. And potentially frightening. "Sounds like a plan, then."Then, he turns to peer quietly at his sister, smiling faintly. "Tomorrow, while Owain's at school, I'll take you to the base. See if we can find some folks for you to meet." A glance is turned back to Peter.

"That sounds fine," Marjorie agrees, turning to face Peter again with that little smile. Polite and warm but very aware is her contenence. "I do so enjoy meeting new people. I'm sure it'll be no trouble at all," she promises. Her fingers continue to stroke the red scarf, as though it were a graceful thing. She looks straight up into Peter's eyes, a look of seriousness crossing her features. "Thank you, for letting me help."

"Don't thank me," Peter insists as he looks down to the casserole dish that Marjorie's still carrying, then steps around her and starts walking for the lobby door, the old wooden floor creaking under each footstep. "When it comes down to it, when I actually ask you to do something to help us, then I'll thank you. This, standing up for yourself and for what you believe in?"

Peter pauses halfway to the door, turning around with an arch of one brow. "That is everyone's right. Whether or not you survive to see the benefits the fight brings? That's something else all together." Brown eyes avert to the floor, and Peter turns his back on the siblings, headed for the door, pushing the left side of the double doors open.

"I'll see you both around," he offers in passing, stepping out without so much as a proper goodbye. Saying goodbye is for people who have died.

For the time being, they'll need none of that.

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