I Swear To Tell The Truth


melissa_icon.gif perry_icon.gif

Scene Title I Swear To Tell The Truth
Synopsis Minor truths come out, and business finally discussed.
Date January 20, 2011

Tartarus: Melissa's Office

Though Colette showed up early, just after she left employees started to arrive, so Melissa didn't get a chance to make any phone calls for a while. It's after what's normally her dinner break when she manages to get a call off to Perry, asking him to swing by her office for an important chat. Oh, and to bring some food. She's starving and doesn't feel like club food.

When he arrives, she's back in her office, wearing black leather pants, a black net shirt, and a cross between a bikini top and bra. Her hair is pulled back so it's out of her face while she sits at the computer, hunched over and glaring at the screen, muttering at it. She really likes those Mandarin curses, doesn't she?"

Perry has a thing for Thai. So this is what he brings, some yellow curry, white rice, crab rangoon (golden crisp inside the white confines of the container) and the obligatory Pad Thai. He's doing his best to appear more presentable when he sees Mel. Dress shirts, nice pants, a little formal but at least not silly t-shirts. He moves at the margins of Tartarus, around to the office, slipping inside, a little relieved to be away from that seething mass.

"I- uh- is that for my benefit?" Perry asks, smiling a little lopsidedly, gesturing at Melissa's ensemble after setting the bags of takeout on her desk. "Or is- uh- that just part of club uniform?"

When Melissa looks up, she has the expression of a woman drowning who has just spotted her lifeline. The laptop is closed, her chair abandoned, and she moves around the desk, kissing him before she starts poking around in the bags. "You…are my hero. No way was I gonna settle for chicken fingers when I skipped breakfast and forgot lunch."

The bags are taken to the couch and she sits down cross-legged, motioning for him to join her. "And I don't really have a uniform. I just gotta dress…you know, gothy. Though if I hoped that you'd stop by and dressed nice for you, there's nothing wrong with that, right?" she asks, flashing him a grin before she digs into the food.

Perry takes Mel by the waist when she kisses him, letting her go when she moves to sit, following soon after, settling in the spot next to her. "I- uh- I try," he replies, smiling. He picks out a crab rangoon and nibbles on the corner. "Nothing- uh- nothing at all," he agrees, "but- uh- you called and- uh- it sounded like… something." Something you can't really explain over the phone.

"Yeah, unfortunately it is," Melissa says, grimacing faintly, but it doesn't last long. There is food. And boyfriend. Life is good. "I had a visit earlier, from Colette. Don't know if you've met her. She's Ferry. We used to be friends but it sounds like she doesn't consider us friends anymore. Anyway, she wanted to get a hold of Messiah, and apparently she was pointed to me as a contact, though it didn't seem as though she knew I was Messiah."

Perry's brows lift very slightly, and he sets his rangoon down, lacing his fingers together. Business, eh? "And what did you- uh- tell her?" he asks, head turning as he looks at Melissa partly sidelong. "What did- uh- did she want from contact with us? Or- uh- what she thinks we are? What- uh- what does she think we are? It's- uh- it's not Carmichael's group any- uh- anymore. It's not Petrelli's either, even."

Melissa glances at him. "I'm sure that she, and most everyone, still think we're the same group we were under Rupe or Peter. And I told her I'd pass on the request, but that I wouldn't just tell her who Messiah was. Wasn't smart." She shrugs and takes a few more bites. "Apparently on the eighth a friend of hers and her father were taken by the Institute. The father apparently by Heller. She wants them back and Heller killed."

Another bite or two then she leans back, not quite as hungry now, so she can focus on more talking. "I'm torn, to be honest. I wanna help her, at least with getting her friend and father back. But killing Heller…" She shrugs slowly. "Richard had a point with exposing him before killing him. We need to focus on helping our cause, and lots of evolved murders won't do that."

Perry's head dips down, and he brings his hands up to tap against his forehead. "What- uh- what background does this- uh- former friend have? What- uh- what can she do. Both- uh- both her gift," he assumes she is Evolved, "and her- uh- skills."

"She deals with light. Which apparently lets her go invisible because she just appeared then disappeared." Melissa stabs into the pad thai with a dark look. "I'm really tired of people doing that, incidentally. Always here too. Which I guess is better than random appearances at home. One of these days though someone's gonna do that and I'm just gonna blast 'em. And I won't apologize either."

She shakes her head. "Anyway, I don't know much about her mundane skills. She went in with us at the hospital, when we dealt with Gregor. Seemed to keep her cool once we stopped freefalling."

"I- I suppose that might be- uh- unsettling," Perry says, wincing a little at Melissa's threat to future surprises. Despite the fact that he is the violent one now, he's a little squeamish about being so vocal. But Melissa is forward in so many ways he is not. "That- uh- that could prove a remarkable- uh- remarkable asset, though. I- uh- I should at least speak with her. How- uh- how can I set up a meeting?"

"Gold stars," Melissa says in a flat voice. "She said that if Messiah'll meet with her, to put one start on a postcard on a memorial wall by the park. If they won't, two stars. One star means she'll come by here to get the meeting set up. And I wouldn't be too excited though. She may help us get her friend out, but I don't see her joining Messiah. She's Ferry. Even if it sounds like she's not happy about them right now."

"That actually reminds me. A while back I reconnected with a friend who happens to be Institute now. Not by choice. She was talking about trying to help out, warn people when they're gonna do raids or whatever. She mentioned a woman named Susan Ball basically recruiting her. Susan was Ferry. Council, I think. And apparently she sold out the Ferry and got one of the top dogs taken along with some of the operators."

"I- uh- I won't invite bad relations but- uh- but if a personable shift in- uh- membership seems reasonable based on- uh- ideals…" Perry says, entertaining very seriously the notion of recruitment. A photokinetic? That would be intensely useful. And the were on less than a skeleton crew, in the wake of Marjorie's death and Lynette's Ferry involvement. "Who- uh- who is this friend on the inside? Should I- uh- speak to her as well? The more information and- uh- involvement the better."

"Oh I'm not saying that someone going from Ferry to Messiah is bad. I'm just saying I doubt she will," Melissa explains, shaking her head. "And not right now, no. It's better if she has as little contact with Messiah as possible, so she doesn't get caught. I can get to her because we both work at the Suresh Center."

Perry nods. "Very well. But- uh- but we may need to call upon her if- uh- if we make moves against the Institute," he frowns, "we can't sit idle for too much longer. These are the changing days. We- uh- we need to make our bid or we- uh- we will be left behind," he looks up at Melissa, "one gold star Let her know I'll meet with her. You- uh- you don't have to say that you are a member yourself, though. We- uh- we can keep that bit of information for now. The less- uh- the less danger to your public persona, the better."

"Well she knows how to keep a secret, and some of the Ferry knows anyway. I just…not everyone takes it the same way," Melissa says, shrugging and scooting down on the couch a little, leaning a bit against him as she eats. "You're right though, we do need to do something. I'm thinking…maybe I can sneak some documents out of the Center, since they're working out of there, at least partially. Because I think that exposing them would work better than blowing them up. If we expose them, public opinion sees them as monsters and supports us instead of them. But people are tired of explosions and killing."

"That- uh- that is your vector," Perry says, shifting as well to be a better recliner, letting her lie back against his chest. "There- uh- there are some actions that need to be met with- uh- with force. But I agree it- uh- it needs to be both ways and- uh- public acts of destruction will- uh- only drive people into their arms. Our force must be- uh- surgical. Clean and- uh-" he pauses, "I had- uh- had an idea. We- uh- we need cashflow, and we- uh- have the gifts necessary. Griffin alone- uh- and with Nadira? We could rob a bank, an armored truck. Uh- and we can- uh- we can turn it to our advantage," he lifts a brow, "there are terrorists on- uh- both sides of the fence."

"You're right. It does need to be both. But we need to choose our targets wisely. Weigh the risk with the reward. And I don't just mean the physical injury risk, but the risk to public opinion," Melissa murmurs, grabbing a crab rangoon to nibble on it. "How could we turn robbing a bank or armored car to our advantage though? And have you seen or heard from them since d'Sarthe? Because I haven't. And Nadira works for me. But you are right again, we do need money. Especially since I've got some ideas for the public face, but they cost money. Lots of money."

"It's- uh- it's fairly simple," Perry says, parting his hands, "we- uh- we make a spectacle of the scene afterwards. We- uh- we frame Humanis First. It will- uh- will take some doing perhaps, but- uh- but spray paint a stencil on the side of the truck? Make sure- uh- make sure the drivers don't report the use of Evolved gifts? It will- uh- distract the powers that be with fighting them rather than looking for us." Of course, only, "if it works."

"Griffin had to lie low," Perry adds, "we- uh- we should put out a call through the Ferry. They- uh- they have a wider contact network. Where he is I- uh- I think she'll be too."

"It could work…unless whoever investigates has a postcog," Melissa points out. "And Perry? When it comes to Ferry contacts, you shouldn't have just let Griffin deal with it. I was Ferry. A safehouse operator. I know those people. From the top dogs down to the coyotes. More, I know how the Ferry works. He just knows some of the people."

One more bite then she sets the food aside and just relaxes against him, eyes closing. No work for a few minutes, just focus on him. "Can ask Colette, and if she doesn't know, I'll send a message to one of my Ferry contacts, see if they've seen him. Couldn't hurt to talk to Richard either."

"I- uh- I didn't!" Perry says, "I- uh- I met with Eileen Ruskin my- uh- myself some time ago. Lynette supplied- uh- supplied the link. She's still in- uh- in with the Ferry, actively. Griffin was acting- uh- independently." He frowns. "I make sure to take on as much- uh- personally as possible."

His arm slip around her, contact soothing his temporary wounded pride. "But- uh- yes you- uh- should send word out. I- uh- I suppose it wouldn't hurt to talk to Richard. I- uh- and I not entirely sure about him but- uh- but beggars can't be choosers."

"I have some issues with Eileen, but they're personal. She's a good operative, regardless of whether she's Ferry or not," Melissa says thoughtfully. "And yeah, I know Lynette's Ferry. But don't take on too much personally. Remember how Rupe did that? He parceled out little things and kept all the secrets himself. You may be the leader now, but delegation isn't a bad thing," she says, though she kisses his cheek lightly.

"And you're right, it was a mix of people. I guess I'm just feeling a little useless since anything I do will take a lot of time before it shows any results."

"I- uh- I won't keep secrets, I promise," Perry says, smiling at the kiss, though in moments… "I- uh- that- uh- that reminds me," does it now? "The- uh- the night of the eighth? I- uh- I had a vision and- uh- and I saw someone in it. I- uh- I met her in person- uh- on that night and- uh- I'd been- uh- I have been corresponding. I didn't- uh- didn't know her name until- uh- until very recently," his brows furrow, "your- uh- your friend, Elaine? I- uh- she was the person I saw in the vision. Who I- uh- who I've exchanged letters with. I uh- I though that you- uh- you ought to know."

Melissa looks surprised. "Really? Why didn't you guys say something the other night? I mean, it's not a bad thing, though it's surprising that you saw her. I thought that all the visions were bad. I think Kendall saw himself getting punched, and I saw myself having a gun pulled on me. By the woman who ended up shooting me on the eighth." She's quiet for a long moment. "That's actually what led to me getting Junie," she murmurs.

"We- uh- well- uh-" Perry wrinkles his nose, "in the vision she- uh- she saw it too and- uh- and so she knew- uh-" he stops - this needs to be better explained, "I was- in the vision I was- uh- ready to blow up a highway. The B- uh- Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. So she- uh- she knew what I do what- uh- what I'm willing to do. And so- uh- we figured it was safer to- uh- keep it secret. For me and for her and for- uh- all of us. When- uh- when I saw her again was- uh- introduced I- uh- I didn't want to bring it out in the open. Not- uh- not there and then. But you- you should know. No- uh- no secrets."

His face is studied for a moment before Melissa smiles and kisses him lightly. "Thank you. I know we live in a world where there have to be secrets from the outside world, but…between us, I think it could only be a bad thing. And I don't want to do anything to sabotage this relationship. So I'll always be honest with you, no matter what."

Perry catches her in a second kiss, in reply. "We- uh- we are refuges for each other," he says, dipping his head, "with- uh- with few others we can share everything with, few others we- uh- we aren't just a little alone with, we- we need this. I'm- I'm endlessly glad we have it," he smiles, just a little, "makes- uh- makes a little sense. Griffin and Nadira are- uh- are an item as well. Closeness seems- uh- seems to be a result of our- uh- shared secrets."

"Not always," Melissa disagrees. "I couldn't talk to most of Messiah how I do with you. I could with Ling, and mostly with Edgar, but everyone else?" She shakes her head. "Just didn't feel comfortable. Especially in the beginning, when I needed someone to talk to about how I felt about killing for the first time. So instead of talking, I got drunk, got beaten, and got miserable. This? This is so much better."

"Then- uh- then this will be part of our- uh- our other way," Perry says, "we need to- uh- to be tight knit. To not have the- uh- distance and- uh- discord. I mean- that was the trouble, right? The secrets weren't- uh- weren't shared. They were kept and held and- uh- limited. Hoarded. No more of that. Not any more," a pause, "though- uh- easy to say now that there are so few of us."

"Yeah. There's…what, five of us? Six of us? But it's good that we're figuring out what was wrong before and fixing it," Melissa says, nodding. "The lack of secrets is good. If we can't trust the other members, then we're going to fail. Period. That or die, and I don't relish the thought of either happening. And I think it was foolish to claim everything we did. It didn't help our cause any, it just made us a target, and not just for DHS, but the public too."

"I have- have no idea what Carmichael was trying to achieve," Perry says, shaking his head, "he- uh- he did so much damage. But- uh- but this is what we have to work with. This- uh- this is our moment, and these are our people. We have to- uh- we have to do something. For- uh- for all the ill we did, we did strike blows against- uh- against the people who released H5N10 and- uh- and Humanis First. That- uh- that had to be done."

"Did we?" Melissa asks, sounding thoughtful. "I don't know that we affected anyone who released the 510. I mean, it's going around again, about the same time as last year. This might well be the same people. Hell, I hope it's the same virus because I got vaccinated last time around, and I really don't wanna get it. I'd go nuts without my ability. Humanis First though…yeah, we did hit them. At least part of them. Which is a plus."

"I- uh- I suppose it's so hard to tell," Perry says, grimly, "we need to- uh- to strike decisive blows. But-" he gives a sigh, "for now we need to- to get back up to strength. For now we- uh- we need to fortify-" he tilts his head, "which- uh- which reminds me… our food is getting cold."

Melissa grins. "Yeah, it is. But it was nice just cuddling and talking." But she does reach for the food, bringing it back up on the couch so they can continue eating. "We'll get there, baby. We'll make a difference."

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