Fait Accompli


amato_icon.gif raith_icon.gif

Scene Title Fait Accompli
Synopsis Raith tracks Amato down on Staten Island to discuss established fact; Volken may be gone, but the threat lives on.
Date May 19, 2009

The Garden

The living room takes up half of the front of the house on the ground floor. It is beginning to look civilized. The windows are new, the walls have been freshly painted off-white and the floor's bamboo. The place has two mismatched couches and a few armchairs, all well-loved, along with floor pillows in a variety of colors.

Gardening has been a pastime of monks for centuries, and with the combination of community service and this near-cloister of a place, Amato Salucci has been feeling rather monk-like as of late. Outside the Ferrymen's Staten Island safehouse, the Italian has taken it upon himself to tidy up the yard a bit. Dressed in jeans and a button up shirt, the sleeves rolled to his elbows, Amato works among a row of leafy green plants. They don't look much like anything at the moment, lacking both blossoms and fruit, but the one-handed man still works among them weeding and watering with care.

He's fighting daylight to finish, but Amato's pace wouldn't reflect the fact. The sun inches toward the horizon behind his wiry back, throwing the plant bed in shadow.

Gardening may be a pastime of monks from the earliest monastic days, but it is a pastime of monks. Not soldiers or terrorists. Amato, unfortunately, may be both of those, depending on who answers, and at least one other person in the world knows this. Jensen Raith, with timing as inopportune as it is dangerous, chooses this moment, when Amato is distracted, to approach him. Coming from behind, silently but casually, he wouldn't seem immediately dangerous if Amato were to see him. But then, Amato knows all too well the difference between what seems and what is.

"Is this really the best time to be doing that? The Meat Man will be out soon, don't you know?" Not the most friendly of greetings. Or the most sensical.

Few voices have the ability to jar Amato out of a calm state, and at one point, he wouldn't have marked Raith's among them. But absence does much more than make youthful hearts grow fonder, it would seem. Already kneeling, Amato tenses his back and nearly falls as he turns to face the man the voice belongs to. "Mia bontà!

Few voices have the ability to jar Amato out of a calm state, and at one point, he wouldn't have marked Raith's among them. But absence does much more than make youthful hearts grow fonder, it would seem. Already kneeling, Amato tenses his back and nearly falls as he turns to face the man the voice belongs to.

"Mia bontà!" Amato grunts as he stares with wild-eyed surprise up at Raith. "Where did you come from?" The question is terse, and because he's confident it won't get a clear answer, Amato asks another immediately. "Why are you here?"

"I came," Raith beings, "From the Great Beyond, for that is where I, the Great Beyonder come from." At the very least, Raith's behavior matches closely to what Amato doubtlessly remembers it to be. "And I am here, because the produce is much better. And also, it's where you are. Mostly the second one, although the produce alone was worth the trip. Let's talk, fratello. We've got a looot of catching up to do, you and I. Best to start right away. Put 'er there."

Very deliberately, Raith extends his right hand to shake, but immediately and just as deliberately moves it upward and out of the way. "Oh, that's right, I forgot. Oopsily doo."

As careful as he is to keep as much a distance as he can from Raith, Amato stands equally careful not to step on the young vegetation. His face soon grows cold and hard-lined, mimicking a face Raith is sure to remember better than the one he first found. "What do you want?" The words are almost spat before Amato clenches his teeth. He really is trying to be polite, but social calls from old friends such as Raith aren't really something he pines for. Not really at all. "The old days are just that - old. I do not see what 'catching up' is required."

"Well, the fact of the matter is that I need your help." Raith's arm drops back to his side, hanging limp for a moment before he stuffs his hand into his pants pocket. "You see, I'm getting the band back together. Now, as the God of Rock, only the most awesomely righteous of band mates will do, and while I have a bassist, that's not enough. See, I'm not much into two-man shows, and I could really use a drummer. Holden's impossible to find, but I seem to remember you were pretty good at making things happen. How about it?

"Oh, you're probably going to want to know a little more than just that. Hard to make a decision without information, after all. Mind if we duck inside. Staten Island or not, we're liable to attract attention standing around like this. And attention, I believe, is something you're trying very hard to avoid right now. It'd be better if we were inside, don't you think?"


It would not be better at all if they were inside, but neither does Amato want to have anything at all to do with getting 'the band' back together. "Besides," Amato adds after a moment, his stony mask cracking with a sigh, "if you want a man like Holden, you don't want me. All of the sword-hands have likely died as they ought by now."

"Well, here's the thing, Tomato. See, Volken's dead, and you're not. Furthermore, the fact that you are where you are leads me to believe that maybe, just maybe, when the blood line was drawn in the sand, you weren't standing on the same side he was. And that's good news, because it means that regardless of however long you stood next to him, when it came down to it, you figured out that what he wanted you to do, was not what you felt was the right thing to do." For a moment, Raith pauses, either to catch his breath, or to give Amato a moment to think about what he just said. "Am I, in the ballpark, as it were? Pretty close to the truth? How about it, Lycopersicum? Bringing the world to a complete, utter end not exactly your cup of tea?"

Amato grits his teeth, his head still slightly bowed. "Get to the point, Raith," he growls softly, increasingly uncomfortable. "Kazimir may have been a false prophet, but as his mouthpieces, we are all equally guilty of that sin and more. Our penance is to repair the world, not ravage it again with your so-called musical troupe."

"Repair it?" Raith asks, reiterating what Amato said. It's no secret, evidenced by his expression, that he had most definitely considered this fact. "Just what the hell do you think I'm suggesting we do? Waltz into schools and see how much lead we can throw out before the cops show up? Firebomb orphanages? Steal change from the Santa at the shopping mall next Christmas? The fuck, Amato? Are you that wrapped up in what you did that you aren't thinking about what you need to do?

"This isn't about people like you. This isn't about people who see things that others can't. Or about people who get labeled dangerous because they might possibly explode someday and take a million others out with them. This is about the normal guy who knows that people are afraid of the exploding man, who uses that fact to lure young girls into his car. This is about the bodies that guy dumps up in the Catskills, where they never get found. This isn't about a benign tumor in society's plain view. This is about the cancer in its veins, the slow rot it can't see because it's too busy blaming all of its problems on something that isn't a problem. Capice?"

Turning away, Amato lifts his left hand to rake through his untidy hair and closing his eyes. "So what do you want from me?" he finally says after a moment of tense silence. "Confirmation of diagnosis? Tell you that yes, the world is a horrible place, or that it is not our place to judge?" Amato takes another moment to steady himself before he turns halfway back to the other man.

"I don't like it anymore than you do, but it is not our place to judge the deeds of man."

"This isn't judging the deeds of man," Raith says, very, very bluntly. Fait accompli. "This is punishing the misdeeds of a few men. The ones that don't get caught. The ones that seek out society's weaknesses and prey on them for their own gain. I'm not talking about you. Or Ethan Holden, or Eileen Ruskin or even about Gabriel Grey. I'm talking about Kazimir Volken and the people just like him."

Raith draws closer to Amato, threatening and casual, as if this was a matter of life and death and no more significant than the weather. "Why'd you sign up, hm?" he asks, "Wanted to do the Lord's work? Make the world a safer place? Protect aaaall the lambs who couldn't protect themselves? That seems like something you'd do, if you ask me. I think that's all you want, really. To protect other people, whatever the cost to you. See, I don't think that, what you don't like? Is not, not being in a position to pass judgment on others. I think that what you don't like, what really gets you steaming mad, is looking out from your hidey-hole at everything that's wrong with the world-

"And feeling like you can't do anything about it."

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