Human Is First


armond_icon.gif clint_icon.gif irons_icon.gif keira_icon.gif lockheart_icon.gif mayes_icon.gif walsh_icon.gif

Scene Title Human is First
Synopsis Nothing good will come of this.
Date December 23, 2010

Upper West Side

Wine glasses clink together, and that noise could not be any more harrowing for Keira Aislinn Fionn.

"So we were all standing together there, when out of the blue this guy in a white spandex jumpsuit just comes right out of nowhere, and starts getting into a fistfight with this other— I don't know twenty-something man." Laughing as he relays the story, a cheerful and well-groomed man in his mid thirties is just one of many unfamiliar faces filling the residence of New York City Mayor Sylvia Lockheart's upper west side home tonight. It is a place that, for Keira, she never thought she would ever be.

"Spandex," croons the red-headed detective engaged in the conversation, "seriously, he was wearin' a bloody spandex suit?" Detective Daniel Walsh looks slick in a three-piece tuxedo with a buttoned down vest and slacks, glass of champagne in his hand.

"He had this huge red scarf too, I don't even understand how he didn't trip on it. We thought it was some sort of street performance at first, but these guys— they were honestly trying to kill each other. It was the most laughable thing I've ever seen, right up until it looked like people were going to get hurt." The gentleman relaying the story of the White Knight is Mayoral Assistant Fredrick Clein, and that he hasn't been able to keep his eyes off of Keira's clevage most of the night is perhaps one of his least favorable traits.

"Y'see, this is why we can't jus' allow these folks t'wander 'round like they do. One'f them's gonna get the bright idea to just— fuck about with everything and someone's gonna get hurt." Walsh offers an askance look to his date for the evening, even if in a solely platonic manner. "Keira, darlin', could you go grab me another glass'a champagne? We ain't got much more time b'fore my friends are ready for our little meetin'."

If what she was told on the way over is true, Keira Fionn is going to get to meet the mayor.

She has no idea just how unsettling the context of that meeting will be.

As a military man, penguin suits aren't Clint Baxter's favorite thing in the world. But it's only a large step up from a suit, so he manages. He even makes it look good. He enters the party with a grin, his height making it easy for him to look around and spot any familiar faces. Or rather, people he actually knows. Ahh, there's a Walsh. It's perfectly legit for a DHS agent to be on speaking terms with a police office, right?

He makes his way across the room, pausing to say hi or shake hands with the few people he knows by name, until he reaches the group near Walsh. "Good evening gentlemen, and ladies," he says, nodding to Keira, before giving Walsh a grin. It's expected, a congratulatory grin for scoring a pretty date, and so he does it.

This is just…woah. That's the only thing that Keira can think of to explain this situation that she is in right now. This is mind blowing, a place she never thought she would be. She is at the Mayor's house. Her, a girl who has roots with the GKBs, the Bloods, in Buffalo. Her, the girl who runs drugs and weapons like they're candy. Her, the girl who has killed people in gang wars before. And now, she's wearing finery and schmoozing with people she never thought she'd see, unless it was for a public speech.

She's dressed up to the nines today: her hair has been freshly done, she's wearing her finest ear plugs, there's a diamond twinkling in the septum piercing, as well as the piercings she has in the eyes of her skull tattoos on her chest; and the dress she is wearing. Oh my. It almost encourages the stares that Fredrick is levelling at her. Tight as a glove, it hugs her form all the way down to her knees, where it ends in ruffles above bare legs, decked out in black stilletto heels. And the cut of it only showcases her visible tattoos, especially that elaborate chest piece. Not to mention the glimpses of her back piece from the back of her dress. Her face is made up in bright colors mixed with dark, a throwback to the days of pinup girls.

She hangs at Walsh's elbow, listening long with the conversation. She even manages to laugh a little at the mention of a fellow wearing spandex. She would definitely make fun of that guy if she ever saw him.

Walsh's request prompts her already stiff posture to straighten even more, and she flashes a bright white smile to Walsh. "Of course." She dips her head toward Walsh in a respectful gesture, before she turns, stiffly walking over to where the champagne is. She's nervous. She's never been to something like this. She's never done this before.

Pointing one finger at Clint, Walsh offers a squint of fleeting recognition. "Clinton Baxter, yeah? Heard 'bout you from a mutual friend'v ours." Leaving it at that is outing himself enough in public eye, and while Mayor Lockheart was kind enough to invite this gathering, it's still not quite the social club she's planned to bring together for the evening.

While Keira is off getting a new campaigng lass from the sideboard where they're aligned together nearly on a tray, one of the men talking with Walsh leans in and offers a silent look to Keira, then raises a brow. Two fingers point to the dark-haired gentleman, followed by a shake of the Irishman's head.

"Lay off th comments, it may be a lot'f tattoos, but she's a sweet girl an' it ain't like that." What it isn't like Walsh doesn't bother to elaborate on, the warning was delivered cleanly enough.

"Call me Clint," is the first reply Walsh gets before Clint glances at Keira, then back to Walsh. His expression is clearly skeptical about the sweetness of that particular girl. But he just shrugs and glances around, taking in the sight of other faces, putting names to them, whether he knows them enough to speak with them or not. "Very nice party the Mayor's put together tonight. And just two days before Christmas. Just glad things have calmed down enough for me to be able to make it."

Keira pauses for a moment as she fetches champagne for Walsh, taking a few deep breaths— not the easiest thing to do in the skin-tight dress that she wears today. She's never been this nervous in her life, really. The Mayor will be here soon. She is in the Mayor's house, drinking the Mayor's champagne. She can't help but feel a little awesome, but at the same time…holy shit this is a nerve-wracking experience for the street girl.

Then, she plasters that bright smile over her face, turning and carrying two champagne glasses over, offering one to Walsh. "Here you go." She says this with a bit of a nervous tone, glancing among the gathered men. Another few breaths are taken.

Otherwise, she remains silent, apparently happy to sip on that champagne. The bubbles help her keep her mind off of the impending meeting, at least.

Right around the same time that Keira comes back over, Walsh is motioning with a nod to Clint. "Keira, darlin', this is Clint— " a slight pause not to include the rest of his name, "Baxter, he's— ah— a friend of a friend. Clint, this here's Keira Fionn, she's… a friend'f the family, gonna' be a right family circus tonight, whenever the lady herself decides t'grace us with— " Walsh hesitates mid-sentence when the aforementioned lady emerges from a hallway, dressed in a sleek black dress with a white shawl thrown about her shoulders. Sylvia Lockheart is the picture of professionalism as she clutches her purse in one hand, offering it out to a young man at her side that she's in mid conversation with.

A hand gestures out towards Walsh, accounts for Keira, then points at Clint, before the Mayor slides away down another hallway from the hall where the guests are gathered. The young man walks over, still carrying Lockheart's purse, and eases in to the conversation.

"Mister Baxter, sir? Mister Walsh and company? If you'd please come with me, Mayor Lockheart is ready to see you."

At that invitation, Clein offers a lopsided smile. "Don't let her sink her claws in too much, Daniel. I figure she's going to want to jaw at you about the Comissioner's new budget proposal." There's a crack of a smile as he offers a parting nod to Clint, then a faint smile to Keira.

Walsh looks askance to his 'date', then up to Clint. "Shall we?"

Clint nods politely to Keira, before giving his attention to the mayor, then to the man she was with. "Of course. Thank you," he says, nodding to Walsh at those two words, before moving to follow Clein into the parlor of the spider for tonight.

A smile is offered to Clint. "Hello." She says this as well as she can, doing her best to conceal the thug accent. She can sound sweet when she wants to. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Clint."

The blue eyes that run in Keira's family turn up toward Sylvia Lockheart as she makes her appearance, brows raising. She's really quite pretty, for an older lady, especially in that dress. Then, that beautiful, powerful woman is beckonning to Walsh and her, brows raising. A glance is cast to Clein, followed by a glance back to Walsh. Ohhhh my. She's never been this nervous before.

With a small nod, Keira moves to follow Walsh, taking a few sips of that champagne as her heels click her along after the employer who she views as the closest thing she's ever had to a father. She hasn't heard anything back from the man she thinks is her real father yet, so why shouldn't she accept Walsh's apparent caring for her?

All of Walsh's usual jovial cheer is lost when the call to go see Lockheart is made. This is serious, possibly the most serious thing he's done in the years leading up to this moment, the most serious thing he's done since he and Bill Dean crashed the MET with an armor-plated Hum-Vee outfitted with an ice-cream truck chassis.

Not his proudest moment, but certainly the most innovative.

Leading Keira out of the dining hall where the remainder of Sylvia's guests mingle, the appearance of a short and curly-haired gentleman with dark sunken eyes in a black tux seems abrupt as he emerges from a bathroom, fastiduously drying off his hands. "Detective," he greets Walsh, dark brows raised. The appearance of Police Comissioner Irons has Walsh's back stiffening, throat tensing and brows furrowing.

"Comissioner," Walsh notes with a tightness in his voice, right up until Comissioner Irons rests a hand on Walsh's shoulder and smiles palinly. He nods, silently, towards an open door at the end of the hall that Clint is making his way down towards and departs ahead of Walsh to that destination.

By the time Walsh and Keira enter the room, they're among the last, and Walsh has the presence of mind enough to close the door behind himself once he steps in. The sitting room is an elegant one, with dark mahogony paneling up half of the wall and a rich mocha colored paint up the rest. The furniture is all leather, caramel colored and trimmed with dark wood and brass fixtures. Seated in one high-backed leather chair Comissioner Irons is just setling in, crossing one leg over the other, retrieving a cigar from his jacket.

Settled on the corner of a desk nearby, a burly looking man with a round face and short grat hair holds a snifter of Brandy in one hand, tired eyes sunken behind dark circles watches the room carefully. That he is the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security is a fact most people who watch the news are aware of. Gregory Armond tips back his glass, sips from it, and settles it back down on the desk.

Standing by the fireplace, Mayor Sylvia Lockheart looks up and over to Detective Walsh as he comes in behind Clint, a hesitant smile crossing her lips. "Clinton," the mayor can get away with calling him, "Daniel…" and her blue eyes track to Keira and narrow judgmentally, "and company," she insists. "Welcome."

Hard to miss, lastly, is a woman seated daintily on the edge of a chair, knees together and ankles apart with her feet strapped into professional black pumps over shiny sheer stockings. Her dress, cocktail in length and fit, is an assaulting tone of pink that manages to flatter the warmer tones in her skin as well as the silver of her hair, but certainly a contrast to the black and greyness of the garb of many within the room, boat neckline revealing only a sliver of shoulder. A white fur coat is hung up somewhere for when she must brave the outdoors later this evening.

In her hands is a smartphone, one she is having some issue navigating with her long nails, but not so distracted to not look up at the arrival of other guests. She seems aloofly curious, steely blue eyes scanning faces both familiar and not, before she's getting to her feet, substantial heels not actually doing much for her modest height.

Georgia Mayes, an analyst and innovator of the Department of Evolved Affairs, allows for a smile, before slipping the phone back into her white clutch purse. "Look at these young things, wouldn't you, Sylvia?" It's adorable.

The mayor does get away with it, as Clint just smiles and inclines his head to Sylvia. "Thank you for having me," he says, before shifting his gaze over to Mayes, nodding to her as well, though he clearly doesn't like being considered adorable. It's insulting, really. Big bad Humans First people are not adorable.

He breaks away from Walsh and Keira, finding himself a chair to sit in, looking as relaxed as he can possibly be, all things considered. But after years in the military, maybe he really is as calm as he appears to be. After all, no one is going to be shooting him here. Probably.

As they enter the room, Keira's posture is stiff, at best. She at least has good, straight posture, walking in here like this. Right now, she's really wishing she had gotten that tattoo concealing kit and covered up her tattoos. She adjusts her dress a little, glancing to Walsh as she fidgets with the champagne flute she holds in front of herself.

The blue eyes she inherited from her family sweep over the crowd, taking in all of the faces that she sees, matching some with names. She might be a gangster, but she keeps a good eye on the news. The news is important. And it is right now that she is glad that she watches it. At least she knows who some of these people are, if only barely.

Then, she stiffens as Lockheart greets them, lifting a hand to brush a strand of hair from her face, offering a nervous smile and a respectful nod toward the Mayor in greeting. She really has no clue what to do in a situation like this.

There's a half smile offered from Sylvia to Mayes, even if a touch cattish on the edges. The Georgia has aged more gracefully than Lockheart is evident in the disparity of their ages and their appearance, but it is a subtle rivalry tinged with jealousy and little more. "I'm glad you could all make it, we're sitting on the verge of a very important time for all of us, and gathering together like this and showing a sign of solidarity… strength, where once we were forced to operate in the shadows is, I feel, tantamount to the future success of our endeavors."

As Lockheart speaks, Armond continues to take swigs out of his Brandy glass, looking Walsh's guest up and down with a scrutinizing eye, but remainign silent, if not somewhat judgmentally so. "This is the first time since the founding of Humanis First that we have been able to all be in the same room, all been able to openly speak of who and what we are. This is a celebration not of any one holiday, but a milestone for our cause and a victory for humanity."

Stepping away from the fireplace, Lockheart folds her hands behind her back as she walks. "November 8th was a victory for us… it was taking back our country, taking back that date from the event that took so many beloved people from our lives." Lockheart briefly glances to Walsh on that notion, then continues walking across the room.

"We've lost many good men and women on the journey to this place, but their sacrifices have paved the way to ensure the solidarity of humanity against its greatest threat yet, a threat that we are undoubtedly a shield to this country against. History will remember us as Patriots, like the founding fathers of this great nation, Patriots who had to wash their hands in blood."

Lockheart's pace takes her to the sideboard, where she begins pouring herself a glass of white wine, eyes lidded partway as she speaks. "Those of us in this room are the backbone, the responsibility of protecting this country from itself falls on us. It is one we cannot afford to shirk in the face of difficulty."

Blue eyes alight back up to the room, and Lockheart lifts her glass and gestures for the few who do not yet have drinks to come and help themselves. "We all here in this room are human, and proud of it. Now, the country— the world— is starting to realize just how important that is, and how wide the divide between us and them truly is."

Mayes is among those to collect herself some booze, slinking on over on her precarious heels, choosing the same pale stuff that Lockheart partakes in with a prim tip over of long green bottle. How she responds and reacts to the words being crafted by the city's mayor is with passive attention, and a distinct lack of disapproval for theatrics even if she does raise one silver eyebrow at the notion of washing one's hands in blood.

She is a woman who prides herself on manicures, anyway. Hence, DoEA. She doesn't speak just yet, merely presses a smile at those who come get their wine on as she does, even as she raises her glass to Lockheart's toast.

Like Mayes, Clint doesn't speak right off. He nods a bit as Sylvia speaks, the absent sort of nodding that men tend to do when they want women to think they're listening. He is, honest, but he's also looking around, studying the faces of his comrads. Armond, in particular, gets a look, one that shifts slightly to amusement as he nods, one DHS agent slash Humanis First member to another.

Blue eyes trail around the room further as Lockheart begins to speak, quietly memorizing the faces in the room. Many recognizable, public figures who hold a great deal of importance. Georgia Mayes. Sylvia Lockheart. A large portion of the NYPD. She's listening, definitely.

This much is made obvious by the way her eyes snap to Lockheart's face as she states that this is a Humanis First meeting. So Richard Cardinal was correct, and Walsh is a member of Humanis First. And so are all of these people. Keira's lashes flutter a few times, her red-painted lips parting in an expression of mild surprise.

She glances to Walsh, brows raising. Then, she's looking back to Lockheart, listening to her words much more carefully now, even as she sips at the champagne flute's contents.

"Tomorrow, Daniel's cell will be putting on a spectacle at d'Sarthe's… one you've all been warned not to attend. Now I've heard he's had some mis-steps, some… last minute addendums, but from what I hear he's found a young man capable and willing to play the role of the suicide bomber." Mayor Lockheart's commentary about that causes Walsh to elicit a throaty laugh.

"Well, not entirely willin', but he'll do inna' pinch." There's a flash of a smile across the Irishman's face, though his nervousness is evident in his he eyes Keira, trying to suss out her emotional state.

"Speedbumps or no, we're moving into a very critical time. Martial Law has given liberties for us to finally rout out the elements of the terrorists that have infected our city for too long, those who would live in our sewers, in our abandoned buildings and in the scar on the heart of this city in its shadows. We can finally say that we're making progress."

Lockheart turns blue eyes to Mayes, tipping her head and lifting her glass of champagne in tribute. "Georgia has managed to secure the identities of members of a 'council' for one of these organizations, several of which have already been brought to justice. The threat they represented to this city has been slashed, but we must remain vigilant in the face of their tenacity. We must not get overly confident in our successes…"

On that note, Lockheart's attention turns to Clint. "We can't forget out brother who was lost on Staten Island, and that Clint had boldly stepped up to fill his shoes. Wallace Cartwright was a hero, and in time he will be properly remembered. But Clint has taken his mantle and his cell will be working closely to ensure that our loss on Staten Island won't be repeated again. We're fortunate to have you on our side, Clint, fortunate to have a patriot like you ready to fight our battles where many of us cannot openly."

Mayes raises a shoulder in a show of modesty for the actions of her Department, bringing up her wine to sip and slanting a glance to Clint over the rim as she does so, lines at her eyes gaining shadow in a smile. "We'll be seeing some very exciting innovations in the area of, shall we say, witch hunting," she says in her crisply Oxford accent, chuckle more in her voice than actually coming to be. Like she's joking. "And in the wake of Martial Law, we have some of the very best military minds and hands at our disposal.

"And as for being overly confident, it's Christmas, and it's been such a long fucking year, has it not?" The lighten up, Sylvia~ is implicit in the twinkle of Mayes' eye and bland smile. "We're allowed a little bit of that. But," and she allows her voice to flatten into a soberer tone, "here's to patriots." And she tips a nod to Clint, and a wink while she's at it.

Clint's expression hardens at the mention of Cartwright and he nods once, the movement sharp. "I'm more than happy to help. Humans have lost too many loved ones to those freaks to just sit back and let them do as they want, when they want." He nods to Mayes then, though since he's drinkless, he has no glass to lift in toast. "And I'm certain that you'll be very impressed," he tells her with a faint smile.

It is in silence that Keira watches and listens, idly toying with the stem of the champagne flute, which she occasionally raises to her red-stained lips to sip at. So, she's…part of Humanis First, now? That is an extremely fascinating development. Certainly not one that she doesn't mind. She's always had a bit of a problem with the Evolved. It's not quite fair to normal people.

She still doesn't speak, however, fidgeting. She feels out of her element, here in the Mayor's house. Sure, she's dressed up just as nicely as most of them, despite her tattoos. But most of these people didn't come from the street like she did.

All the same, it is exceedingly pleasant to know that figures of power are of the same mind as you.

"Now, if someone could just get Emile to come to these functions," Lockheart admits with a knife-like smile, "we'd have a full house." As the mayor carries her champagne glass by the stem, she approaches the middle of the room with an austere grace and poisepracticed in the shadow of her husband in the years prior to his death. "Good things are coming, brothers and sisters," and by merit of eye contact, Sylvia looks to include Keira in that expression of solidarity.

"I'll keep this short, since we shouldn't dawdle for too much longer and leave my guests waiting for the party to begin, but…" Lockheart looks over to Armond, who sullenly averts his eyes and stares down into his glass of Brandy, then over to Comissioner Irons who's severe countenance and cold smile is given over the rim of a snifter of Whiskey. "We've lost as much as we've gained in the last four years… but America perseveres, and the human spirit cannot be broken by the crisis we are facing."

"A toast," Lockheart suggests, lifting her glass up to the air with a weathered smile on her face, crowd feet clawing at the corners of her eyes. "To humanity, and our success at the struggle to ensure its purity and safety."

Walsh raises his glass, looking to Keira with an approving nod. "To Humanity," he adds, tipping the glass subtly forward.

And then, in unison, several of the attendants recite the unifying slogan of this movement.

"Human, is first."

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