Following Instructions


gillian4_icon.gif warren_icon.gif

Scene Title Following Instructions
Synopsis Warren and Gillian meet up to work on the project to protect people from a future broadcast.
Date October 14, 2010

New York Public Library

Once upon a time, the New York Public Library was one of the most important libraries in America. The system, of which this branch was the center, was among the foremost lending libraries /and/ research libraries in the world.

The bomb changed that, as it changed so much else.

By virtue of distance, the library building was not demolished entirely, like so many others north of it; however, the walls on its northern side have been badly damaged, and their stability is suspect. The interior is a shambles, tattered books strewn about the chambers and halls, many shelves pulled over. Some have even been pulled apart; piles of char in some corners suggest some of their pieces, as well as some of the books, have been used to fuel fires for people who sought shelter here in the past.

In the two years since the bomb, the library — despite being one of the icons of New York City — has been left to decay. The wind whistles through shattered windows, broken by either the blast-front or subsequent vandals, carrying dust and debris in with it. Rats, cats, and stray dogs often seek shelter within its walls, especially on cold nights. Between the fear of radiation and the lack of funds, recovery of the library is on indefinite hiatus; this place, too, has been forgotten.

Richard Cardinal's security has been shut back on, and quite a few tiny motion sensitive spider robots have been planted around the library, so Warren will know if people manage to sneak in. But he's expecting a visitor, having told her to meet him in the research room, and warned her not to be alarmed if she sees any robots wandering around.

He's cleaned up the rather massive room, boarded up the windows so that the only light that comes in are the replaced lights hanging from the ceiling. There's a great deal of parts and machines spread across around ten tables when she enters the research room, and one particular table has the head from a certain robot lion, except the skull is pulled open to reveal a bunch of wires and circuits.

That happens to be where Warren is, not in a black suit for once, wearing a black tanktop, a pair of blue jeans, and dark brown work boots. Showing some skin! His black goggles hide his eyes, since sparks are flying from whatever tool he's using to poke the robot lion's brain, causing it to twitch occasionally.

Robots are not something Gillian's particularly fond of, even if the name he knows her by happens to be something different. Gwen Chevalier would never be seen in this place. And she wouldn't have called to meet up to help Cardinal. Stepping quietly toward the appointed room, her bright red hair is pulled back out of the way curling around her neck in a natural wave.

"This is the last place I expected to meet up with you when we met the first time," she says outloud once she gets into the room, looking curiously at the robotic creatures that he's building, before settling on him. Her own clothes look like a kind of cute cover-all, obviously chosen cause they make better work clothes, but still maintaining a kind of whimiscal style. Not to mention they're purple. "I'm your help, though I'm not really a builder. I promise I'm a fast learner, though."

Warren raises his goggles up on to his forehead, motioning her over with a wave of his hand, wearing white cotton gloves. Though with a tanktop on, she can see the whole of his mechanical left arm, which begins at the elbow, attached with a series of latches and straps with all the tiny little gears and parts moving under the thin bronzed shell. He sits his tool down, then raises the lion head. "I think this answers your question about giant robots. I didn't build this, but I'm reverse engineering it."

Oh, Gillian recognizes that face, which makes her less and less comfortable looking at it, to be honest. "I'm not a fan of those things, so I won't be helping you with that if that's okay with you," she states simply, leaving her experiences in Argentina under the hat, even if she owes the government nothing at all anymore. Not since they betrayed her. "Since we're working together because of Cardinal, my name's Gillian. Just know that most people, especially the government, should think that I'm dead. And I'd like to keep it that way."

"That's fine with me. And this is a project I'll be working on with Alia, if she's the technopath I believe Cardinal is sending. I'm interested in seeing if it has any technology we can reverse engineer for an advanced jammer. If it's anywhere, it'll be in the head." Warren sits the head down, then starts showing her various random parts on the tables, lots of antenna, gears, wires, and even rolled up blueprints. "You'll be my extra set of hands, anything you don't know how to do, I'll show you. I'm sure all you'll need to learn is how to read blueprints, everything else is pure instruction. And you have a beautiful name."

"Thanks. May not be my real one, but it's certainly the one I'm choosing for myself," Gillian says as she moves closer, leaning down to look the 'creature' in the eyes. She'd been the first person in their group to see it, and at first she'd thought she was seeing things— a big cat in the trees and the jungle, stalking along. "I'm good at instructions, and I put together things in may apartment all by myself. Certainly'll be good to learn something useful, and I think this would be one of them."

"We don't have a lot of time to work with, but I can't do the meat of my work until I have the technopath. So I'll spend half of our time together teaching you things, and the other half actually working on them, until she comes." Warren lifts a soddering iron, then reaches for her hand. "Come over here, I'll show you how to hold it. You have to be very careful, like sewing metal."
ORDER: It is now your pose.

"I only learned how to sew a few years ago," Gillian admits, as she moves closer to take the soddering iron, but instead of looking at where their hands touch, she looks up towards his eyes with raised eyebrows. Or more accurately… "Do you got a set of goggles for me? Cause I didn't have any. I tried to dress appropriately, but I don't have all the accessories." In case this lesson in holding leads to actually soddering, of course.

"Hold on." Warren reaches into his pocket, pulling out a second pair, since he knew the lesson would be coming. He only sits them on the table for now, then places his gloved robotic hand over her's. "Now, just hold it like this, kind of like a pen." He positions her fingers, having a small circuit board full of wires sticking up. "Soddering isn't very difficult, but you have to keep your hand steady."

"Like drawing," Gillian says, comparing it to something she does understand. "I may not be a super machinist woman, but I know how to draw. I always thought I'd learn how to do tattoos before learning how to sodder…" But alas, can't have everything. Her hold is very much like a pen, and someone who is experienced at drawing, at the very least.

"Like drawing. I don't know a lot about actual drawing, but I know all about drawing blueprints and diagrams." Warren reaches around to take her free hand, moving that one to a stray wire as his eyes shift from blue to mirror-like silver. "Now just place the tip of the wire against that tiny ball of metal, like this, then lightly place the iron against the metal, heat it up, and carefully slide the wires into the heated metal. If any hits your face, it's harmless."

As she said, she's good at following instructions. Gillian follows his words as closely as she can, though moves very slow keeping her hands inside his and following the manual instructions as well as the verbal ones. "This isn't too difficult, but I this is the easy part," she says, voice softened a few degrees as she's paying attention to what she's doing… And that little knot in the back of her head. Cardinal didn't want her to augment him too much. "Probably not what you'd expected when you asked me to call you back," she comments softly.

"I probably wasn't expecting what you were expecting me to expect." Warren laughs, then picks up a little black cylender, holding it up for her after releasing the free hand. "I think this is called a circuit battery, my ability usually means I don't have to pay much attention to the names of things. These are a bit tricky to attach, and I have no idea what this circuit board even does since I think it's from a computer, but it's very good practice. You have to sodder it to the board without touching the battery with the iron."

"I know more about computers than I know about this stuff, so maybe I can assist the both of you," Gillian says, trying her best to do what she's instructed, and paying attention to the names and the shape of things. Her ability may not give her any kind of understanding, but she has a good visual memory. "So what were you expecting?"
WATCH> Veronica has connected.

"I'm not sure exactly. You're the kind of person that makes someone think 'I want to know her'. But I wasn't expecting anything near what you're probably thinking I am." Warren starts trying to move her hands very carefully, showing just how delicate placing one of the batteries and holding it still can be. By now he's given her another tool, something like tweezers, to hold the battery in place. "I like to learn about people, know what makes them tick."

What makes them tick. Oh she's heard that before. Gillian hesitates for a time, before taking the tweezers fully in hand and holding them and the battery in place, so she can continue her quiet work. "I'm fairly complex. But I think a lot of things boil down to simplicities in the end. The simpliest things tends to be the most important."

"I notice everything, ever." Warren states as if it's pure fact, releasing her so he can lean on the table and watch her work. "With these eyes, I can see the entire room, the endless possibilities of every part, even the tables, the clocks, the ceiling, all of it. It all fits together somehow, some way. Every machine is just broken off from another machine, the entire universe is broken apart from other parts. I can complete a machine, but in the end, it's still just parts to me." Warren looks over to her, staring for a long while. "Do you smoke?"

"People unfortunately aren't quite the same as machines, or at least I hope they're not," Gillian says, glancing over at him between pauses in her work, before she returns to try and keep her hands steady, and the motions simple. It's slow, but she's not messing up badly. If she tried to go any faster she might, though. "I used to smoke. Occassionally I let a cigarette burn near me just so I can smell it."

"You have a kind of gritty smoker's voice, but the good kind, like a 1950s actress." Warren looks over at her with his reflective eyes, as if to attempt confirming her suspicions. "No, humans aren't anything like machines. I can't see how a person works by simply looking at them. They say my ability is a specialized version of Sylar's, I can only imagine what it's like to understand everything, not just machines."

Sylar's. Gillian has to stop working for the moment, holding things apart so she doesn't accidently sodder the battery itself and take in a slow breath. That knot in the back of her head wants to unravel, but she doesn't let it. Not yet. "I don't have this voice cause of smoking— I had many cases of strep throat when I was a teenager, til they finally removed my tonsils. My voice never really recovered." She hesitates a moment before finally getting back to work. But the mention of Sylar is what caused the break. Doesn't take his ability to figure that out.

Warren notices, but isn't one to push during work hours, taking this time to grab a large sheet of paper, rolling it out to reveal a map of the entire city, dozens of points marked, then a large circle around the point that seems to indicate some sort of radius. "You learn quickly, I like that. This stuff usually goes over people's heads easily."

"Well, I have a visual mind. I don't think I could do more than what you showed me yet," Gillian says, keeping her hands steady and finishing up the last bit of what she knows. Her ability to do it is limited to what she was shown, but in the end… "It's a lot like cooking, or drawing something, or even sorting books in the library. Once you're shown, you're an idiot if you can't take it from there."

"Move this stuff to another table, please? I'm going to move the antennas to this table." Warren begins walking from table to table, grabbing everything from dish antennas to TV antennas. "Tell me more about yourself. I didn't expect you to be an artist, you seem more like you'd be in theater, or a singer. I think it's the voice."

"I dabble in art," Gillian says as she moves things to the other table, as he instructed. "I used to be a librarian, actually. Worked at a front desk, put books on shelves, gave people weird looks when they brought books back five months late," she smiles a bit at the nostalgia, but… "But I haven't done that for almost two years. I've had a few jobs here and there, small things, but nothing full time yet. But I never was in theater, and I'm not much of a singer. Right now my main goal is to never end up as someone's experiment project again."

"You could always work for me. You are a fast learner, I could teach you a lot, more than you could learn in any school. I could turn this place into my work shop, give it higher security. I'd never let anyone get near you, I could give you ways to defend yourself." Warren's carrying antennas back over to the table as she removes things from it, trying to get it set up the way he wants it. "It's funny, that you're a librarian. I'm a bookworm, this place is like heaven to me. A library for a workshop… And working with a librarian. Why not give a kid a candy store and a robot best friend."

"I'll learn from you, especially until we figure out how to stop the riots in November," Gillian says with a smile, apparently liking the idea of learning a new trade. One that's useful, and reminds her a little too much of… certain things. "And even after we finish, you still owe me a generator— and maybe a new motorcycle." The guy who was supposed to replace her old one never did.

"I can build a new motorcycle in a day." Warren states in a playfully arrogant tone, lining the antennas up from large dish, to small TV antenna stick. "I'll build anything you want when we finish." He slips behind her, then slips another sodder-like device into her hand, moving back into position to show her how to use it. "I call it an electrical stimulator, I invented it based on similar ideas. Allows you to check electrical charges without overloading the electrical device."

"I have a weird question," Gillian asks as she shifts a bit so she's pressing up against him more than is necessary to show her how to use this instrument. "Can you feel with your mechanical hand?" That's probably a very personal question, but— sometimes one has to ask very personal questions. Especially when stimulators are being mentioned.

"I can't, I probably could come up with something that could make me feel with it, but it's a personal preference not to. It's more like a tool to me, I don't have any particular attachment to it. It's getting replaced with something more advanced soon." Warren starts to poke at the little circuit with the tool, just like taps, which causes a little buzz through the wire. "This is pretty close." he notes, though doesn't specify if it means their project, or anything else. "There's a friend of mine, I want you to meet her some time. I think your abilities would work well together, to help the city behind the scenes."

"That's kinda sad, but now I know I won't ask for one if someone lops off my hand sometime in the future," Gillian admits, though such an admission may be taken as odd. Feeling is far too important, and while hands can be tools— she thinks she would miss that part of what they also are. "If I have to use my ability for anything, I want to use it to help people— so if you got ideas, I'm more than willing. It'd be kinda nice to do little miracles again, even if I don't get any credit for doing it. I'd rather have a reason to love my ability again."

Which is something she hasn't really had much of. The simpliest things are usually the most important things. Though she does try to do exactly as he showed, and will continue to for as long as they need to work tonight.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License