Filling In The Ranks


aric_icon.gif cardinal_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif

Scene Title Filling In The Ranks
Synopsis Telepaths and tarot cards, oh my! Cardinal meets Aric.
Date July 29, 2010

Blue Moon

The Blue Moon has had a slow night tonight, without a single guest in the store. The soft smell of jasmine, roses, and cinnamon fill the air this evening. Aric decided to send Philpa home early. As he sits at one of the tables alone, the tarot cards spread out before him. It is a five point spread with all but the center card flipped over. THe cards exposed are The Magician, The Ace of Cups, The Ace of Swords, and the Tower. He has his eyes closed as he is breathing deeply with the soft jazz music playing in the background. Aric is dressed in a simple t-shirt, khaki shorts and is currently barefoot.

Two days in DC have done wonders for Liz's mood, apparently. And having a private plane at her disposal for runs back to New York if and when she should need it — and not having all hell break loose as a reason to use it — well, that's pretty darn nice too. With her blonde hair caught back in a loose clip and wearing a short denim skirt, a white tanktop covered by a loose emerald sleeveless blouse, and a pair of sleek brown high-heeled knee boots, she looks…. perhaps not entirely carefree but certainly far more relaxed than she's probably been in months. Very girly. She's smiling easier, her blue eyes are less shuttered, and as she opens the door to the Blue Moon, she's actually chuckling at Cardinal. "I promise I won't freak out if this guy reads your tarot and it comes out as bad as the last time, okay?"

"I don't see how it could possibly come out any worse than the last time, Liz," is what Cardinal points out, his head shaking slowly from side to side as he steps along in beside her, giving her a wry sidelong look past the edge of his shades and then sweeping his attention across the store, sniffing a bit at the potporri and incense in the air. "Hm. Interesting place."

As he keeps his eyes closed, when Elisabeth and Cardinal get closer he opens his eyes and turns to look over at Elisabeth. He places a hand on the center card that has not been revealed and flips it over. The card is: The Lovers. Aric cocks an eyebrow looking over at Cardinal and then back at Liz, "How odd. You left that day and this was the card not revealed to you. You walk in this evening and this is the card revealed again." He gives Cardinal a more intended look of curiousity.

She's slightly ahead of Cardinal only because … well, he's a bad bad man, but he's got manners. The nuns drilled them into him. "They have the single best mocha latte I have ever had in my life. Real fudge. I'm telling you." Elisabeth comes to a stop near the table where Aric sits, noting the cards spread out in front of him, but it's his words that make her face drain of color. "… What?" she asks softly.

"As a card-carrying Catholic," Cardinal points out as he walks along up beside Elisabeth towards the counter, hands tucking into his pockets and his head shaking slowly from side to side, "I don't believe in any of this nonsense, of course… officially." A twitch of his lips then forms a crooked sort of smile as he looks down at the cards, "…unofficially, I've seen way too damn much in my time to doubt anything, these days."

"You must be the lover. Your Cardinal." He has been inside her mind and gotten glimpses of various things as he runs a hand through his long locks, Aric stands up and says, "Never doubt the cards. You may not believe in them but they believe in you. Catholic or not." Aric cocks his head to the side considering him as he says, "Elisabeth has told you of me. So…" He looks unsure of what to do or say, "Now what?"

He caught her off guard, quite clearly, and Liz steps back a bit. Not quite into Cardinal, but almost. And then to one side. "Richard Cardinal, Aric Gibbs." And yes, she did tell him that Aric is a telepath, and she actually frowns at the aforementioned telepath. "It's not polite to go digging in my head for names of lovers," she admonishes, though without too much heat.

"I wouldn't go digging in my head, Mister Gibbs…" Richard's lips twitch in the faintest of smiles, one brow raising just over the edge of his shades, "…I have trouble sleeping at night because of what's in there already. I wouldn't wish what I know on my worst enemy." A hand reaches down - gloved, notably - and he touches the table near the cards, murmuring, "Hokuto dealt out my last hand. That didn't end up so well. She didn't want to continue half-way through."

"It does not work like that for me Liz. When I ready someone for the first time their mind opens like a flood gate. The longer I am in their the more I can control it. I did not stay long because I did not want to be…well rude." He looks at the man and smiles, "I do not go in usually without permission. I will go in only against someones will if I have too. You know she is quite the happiest when she is in your company. She worries about you. Yet your actions sometimes going off and doing things unsafely piss her off." Aric looks at Liz and says, "So we have met…now what do I do? I do not want to have to register. I do not want to be known. You mentioned I could help avoid the 8th."

You know… there are reasons Elisabeth intensely dislikes telepathy as a power. If looks could kill, he'd be bleeding copiously. "Rule #1: Anything you read from anyone in our group that is personal and of no probitive value to the situation at hand is to be considered sacrosanct," she orders. "The entire group of us might need a shrink, but manners are required." Liz starts making a mental list of rules for Gibbs.

"You need to learn some finesse," Cardinal says quietly, his hand lifting from the table and reaching over… sliding it up and over Elisabeth's shoulder, fingers squeezing there in mild restraint as she reacts to the other man's words, "You can — whatever you think, your limitations are entirely in your own mind, and nothing else." His hand slips down, then, and he turns to look around the store, saying quietly, "We all want to. Fortunately, we're in a position to do something about that."

Aric frowns at Liz, "Love will conquer all." He shakes his head and says, "However fine. If anything comes through and it is not needed for the scene at hand. Fine…it will stay with me." He looks back at Cardinal and shrugs, "Sorry? I am not someone who has lead the life you have it seems by your demeanor. No one is in the store but me. So I can tell you that this whole thing is new for me." He brings his knees to his chest and hugs them, "So…I am willing to help. You teach me I am game to learn this…finesse. Or what not."

Taking a quick breath at the touch of the hand on her shoulder to calm her rather vehement reaction, Elisabeth rubs her forehead. "Sorry," she says more softly to the telepath. Snarling like that was a bit strong — maybe she's not doing as much better as she felt. Bringing her chin up, dropping her hand again, she looks at Aric. "Tell you what… I'm going to park my behind in this chair to let the two of you talk over what it is that we do and why." She grins a little. "Though from the sounds of it, perhaps you pulled a great deal more than I realized from my head about what I've done recently and under what circumstances. I'm just here for moral support," she admits mildly to Aric. "So you weren't meeting a stranger face to face." She didn't want Aric to panic.

"I'm not a telepath, certainly, but I do know one that might be willing to help you with that." A look back to the shop's owner, and Cardinal quirks the faintest of smiles, turning fully back, "…just habit. So what do you know about the eighth of September, Mister Gibbs?"

When Cardinal mentions ANOTHER telepath his eyebrows both go up in surprise. He needs to work on that poker face. He does not ask yet it is clear by his expression he is curious. Aric runs a hand through his hair tucking it behind his ears and says, "Very little. I will be honest. What I could get in my reading of you Liz is basic feelings. I needed to know that you were not gonna harm me. I saw alot of your face Cardinal. I saw a door that was locked up tighter then Fort Knox with a name on it. Endgame. I saw the date November 8th on a calender and got a real feeling of dread from Liz. That is all I know."

"November Eighth…." Cardinal trails off for a moment, his head shaking ever so slightly, "…you heard about the flash-forwards, right? There was an… event, I suppose you could say. Caused a few million people to see glimpses of the future. All of the same day. November Eight." He frowns, looking seriously at the other man, "It's pretty bad. Riots. Fires. There's… a lot of death."
Aric nods and says, "Yes." He looks over at Liz and then back at Cardinal, "Some will die. I want to try and help so that does not happen. I did not get a vision. I am not sure if that is because of my ability and I was able to resist it. I do not know yet I have heard of it."

Cardinal shrugs one shoulder, offering the helpless suggestion, "You might've just been outside the radius of effect, or… something like that. Hell, maybe you were asleep and mistook it for a dream. I don't really know how exactly what they did to J— to the person who caused it, to make it happen. I can guess." He nods, once, "It's not the first time there's been a future that wasn't… desirable, though, Mister Gibbs. Are you familiar with quantum mechanics - string theory - all that alternate timeline shit?"

Aric blinks when the man becomes rather technical, "I have a basic of understanding of the theory behind it. While I attended NYU I had to take a class in physics. Yet it is…theory isn…" He laughs and says, "The more I hear of Evolves and their abilities I just become amazed. Your telling me we have something that could cause these alternate timelines?"

"Everybody causes alternate timelines," Cardinal replies with a grin, his head shaking a little, "Just decide to go left, instead of right, or straight. What we do have— what we have are people who can get a glimpse of the most likely timeline that we're following at any given time. Sometimes they dream it— it's weird, but a lot of them are painters, and they paint their visions of the future." The grin fades, replaced with a serious expression, "This isn't the first future we've seen that needed to be cut off. There was another, where a company called Pinehearst managed to perfect a formula to create Evolved abilities in normal people, and used it to take over the world. Another where… a nuclear bomb placed by a terrorist group managed to melt the core ice in Antarctica, raising the water levels of the planet significantly. You could take a boat from the top of one skyscraper to another."

Aric cocks an eyebrow and hmmms softly, "So your saying the 8th is a future we are currently heading towards due to the things going on in the world like the knowledge of Evolved and the Registration Act."

Cardinal snaps his fingers, and points at him, "Exactly. Now, the city-wide flash was basically like tossing the future in a blender and hitting frappe… or it should be, only some of the people out there would love for something like that to happen."

Aric nods slowly and asks slowly with a slight tilt of his head, "And this is where I come in to help you and your group avoid from innocent people getting killed like…" He motions to Liz who has been sitting silently listening to the two chat. Aric turns back looking at Cardinal, "What could I do?"

There's a quiet ringing of Elisabeth's phone, and she checks the number. "Business?" A question from Richard as he looks over to her, and she nods, moving to slip out to the street to answer it.

"There's a great deal you can do. Telepathy's an extremely useful ability for someone in a business where information is more important than anything else. I won't sugar-coat it for you, Mister Gibbs…" Cardinal looks back over grimly, "…it's neither a pleasant nor safe business. A lot of what we do is illegal, and some of the… solutions required… well." A pause, "So far we haven't had to kill any innocents to save more, and I hope to God that I never have to make that choice. I won't say I don't have blood on my hands, but it's all been well-deserved."

Aric nods and says, "I am not much of a fighter." He sighs looking down at his spread as he runs a finger over the card for the Tower. "I spent 3 years in China learning how to value life and mediate with the monks." He looks up at Cardinal and says, "I will not kill unless it is the last resort. Yet I do not believe that we should be forced to register. I have lived 30 years without it. I can live another 30 without it."

Cardinal shakes his head ever so slightly. "I don't turn people into soldiers who don't want to. I mean, it's not like I expect my secretary to start carrying around an AK-47. We're not Messiah," he replies, looking at him seriously, "Your ability could prove invaluable for questioning people for what they know without having to resort to… torture, or anything barbaric. I prefer not to kill or hurt anyone if I don't have to."

Aric nods and says, "That is how I would like it. Yet Liz explained that I might need to learn how to use a gun. That will be something I will go into slowly yet…my ability is yours if you need it. I am willing to help."

"It can't hurt," Cardinal points out, his tone wry, "You never know when… the unexpected might happen, but if you're more comfortable in a support role, that's fine too. And like I said, I might be able to find another telepath willing to teach you how to - refine your ability a bit."

As he looks over at the tarot deck he taps the top card. He turns it over and it is the Empress. Aric looks at the card intently and says, "I am in fully." He takes a deep breath, "I do not want a future of death and the only way I can do that is help in every way I can. When we have avoided the future we can re—-we can discuss my role again then. Until then I am willing to help 100 percent."

"Good." A quick, tight smile from Cardinal, "There's more you should know - more out there than just the registration Nazis - but not here. We'll set up a meeting at our company's little headquarters sometime soon, you can meet some people and learn more than you ever wanted to know about just how fucked up the world is."

Aric sighs, "I know the world is fucked up." He takes the tarot cards, "I just have been avoiding the fact by staying in my own world." He sighs and runs a hand through his hair and looks at the man. Aric's pale eyes looking rather sad, "The issue is…the world has gotten smaller and it is knocking at my door."

"You know how the old saying goes, Mr. Gibbs…" Cardinal turns with a shake of his head, heading back for the door, "…they came for the communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew…" He glances back over his shoulder, chin raising up in a bit of a nod, "We'll be in touch. And we'll see about making sure the future that gets here is one we can live with."

Aric watches Cardinal leave and brings a hand to his crystal and says, "Blessed Be." He stands and gathers up the cards turning away from the door. He looks down at the Empress card and says, "Blessed Be."

"Amen," Cardinal replies, not as retort but as reinforcement of those words, and the door closes behind him.

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