Scene Title Icepick
Synopsis Ziadie is asked to leave. He doesn't want to.
Date October 17, 2011

Ziadie's Apartment

The news is all over the relocation of the Evolved, a story on most channels. And someone going on about it in the chatter of the radio that's the background of Nocturne Ziadie's morning routine in his small studio apartment at Le Rivage. One room and a kitchen and bath, one small window, a door with deadbolts and a security chain although the deadbolts at least aren't locked.

The old man sits at the kitchen table, hands wrapped around a cup of coffee. A flask sits on the counter, but it's empty now. It's been empty for weeks, the lie detector almost quit drinking. And he's quit drinking before five, in any case. But before he goes on his morning walk (for which he's already dressed), it's time to sit with a cup of coffee. It's not much, but it's the same every day, and it works to make the world a little less lonely.

Through the window for the briefest of moments there is a flash of movement. Though it could just be kids playing outside, and as nothing else happens in the moments following it is likely nothing worthy of investigation. Likely.

As the steam and aroma flow from his cup over Ziadie's features his moment of blissful peace is rather abruptly disturbed.

The door practically shakes from the pounding knocks that land upon it. Three blows to the fragile door and then a moment of peace.

"Nocturne Ziadie. We are acting as agents of the federal government. Open the door."

"Give an old man a moment, I need to walk over there! One minute!" The yell in response doesn't sound happy. It's the projection of someone who's had years of practise at sounding authoritative when he wants to, but can't quite muster it right now. But he does pick himself up, set his coffee down. One hand goes on his cane. One hand at his waist where his service weapon rests in a holster. But when he gets to the door, he throws the deadbolts shut instead of opening it.

"I wan' to see your badges, one at a time in th' peephole," he says, still with enough volume to go through the door. And the wall. And probably the ceiling, if any of the upstairs neighbours were trying to enjoy their moment of peace.

Through the peephole only one man stands in front of the door, looking rather put out. He wears all black including the black kevlar vest worn over his t-shirt. Blonde and bearded the man listens to the voice behind the door before giving a disgruntled sigh. Reaching back behind him the man pulls out a wallet.

"Nocturne Ziadie. Wheter you are satisfied or not with our identification you are required by federal law to open this door."

Out of the wallet comes a card. It's not bulky enough to be a badge. Sliding in front of the peep hole is a laminated identification card.


It is clear that this is not a badge at all but a military ID card. And of that not the national guard but the army itself.

Another pound sounds on the door, "Nocturne Ziadie, this is your final warning. Open this door."

There's a pause, not even a second. "I wan' to see yer warrant," he says, but the sound of the first deadbolt accompanies it. He's complying, although slowly. There's a lilt to his words as he continues, a betrayal of the island he came from. "Under whose authority is dis, an' why do you have anything t' do wit' me?" The second deadbolt, and his cane's been set aside. His free hand is still on his service weapon as he opens the door, but not the chain.

If they really want in, they could break the chain easily enough, and Ziadie steps back to talk, keeping his weapon at least out of the line of sight. For now. "Lieutenant Temple, don' you have better things to do than harass a retired police officer before he finished his morning coffee?"

"I'm afraid that's impossible sir." Comes the response on the other side of the door. "As I said we are acting as agents of the federal government. Mister Ziadie, I would love if we could have this conversation face to face. I'm not going to lie out here, because you would know. So please, open this door. I have no intention of harming you unless I'm forced to."

"I know what you can do, and I'm not sure I envy you or not. But I do know that if you don't open this door in a few seconds it's going to be opened for you, and whatever plan you have forming in there. I don't think it's going to work."

There's a pause.

"Do you?"

"Let me in there sir, you can pour me a coffee and we can have a little chat."

Another sigh, but Ziadie does reach and open the chain, steps back from the door. "Of course you know. Anyone who want to can know, I'm Registered, and comply with the law regarding my ability," comes the comment. A cardigan is picked up from a bookshelf and put on. It doesn't conceal the weapon, and Nocturne's hand still rests not far enough away from the holster for comfort.

He steps towards the table without taking his eyes off of his 'guest', and then asks, "What is it, dat I would need a plan for, Lieutenant?"

There's a long silence from outside until finally the door creaks open a little bit, and then a little more. Finally the door is pushed all the way open and Lieutenant Temple stands in the doorway alone. A wolfish grin curls up his lips as he takes a step in. "Technically you never did as I asked." Though it's passed by as he eyes the man in the cardigan.

"Would you poor me a coffee?"

Stepping in, his black combat boots thud resoundedly against the floorboards as he takes a look around the place. "You know what I was wondering on the way over here Mr. Ziadie?" It comes out in a more conversational tone. "I was thinking about your ability. I don't know if I could live with it honestly. When I think about how much I lie. Sometimes I lie for a good reason, that my wife doesn't need to know about. I just wonder how different my life would be if either of us knew every time.." He falls silent for a minute as he watches the older man.

"So I was wondrin', does it make you lie more, or less?"

"For a while, aft'r de bomb… I wouldn't have called what I did, "living"," Ziadie answers. There's a row of cabinets above the sink, and Ziadie takes down another coffee cup, pours a coffee, sets it across the table from his own. All while keeping half an eye on the other man.

"When I was a young man, I could lie through my teeth," he says. "My ability made my career on the police force. Set records for case closures. Was wrote off as just good, at judging people. But not no more." There's a chair on the second side of the table, and the table's just big enough to not quite be able to reach across easily, and Ziadie sits back down. One hand goes back to his side, and he cradles his coffee in the other, takes a sip. "Everyone lies, Lieutenant. An' every lie drives an ice pick into my brain. I feel the wrongness of lies, in every cell in my body. Even if I am the one telling them."

"Well, damn."

The lieutenant bobs his head at Ziadie's story, placing his hands on his waist for a moment as he listens. "That's a hell of a story, Mister Ziadie. Honestly I thought you weren't going to talk to me that much. There's no sense in trying to avoid the truth here. We're taking you away, but this isn't the relocations like everyone else is getting." He pauses getting a thoughtful look.

"What about lies by omission do you feel that? Like not getting the whole truth? Does that register?"

He walks up to the nearest chair leaning against it. "Because I would say you're going to be employed and given a comfortable lifestyle to facilitate work done by the government. Which honestly, as I say it, doesn't sound that bad." He gives a light grin to the older man, taking a step into the kitchenette for a moment. He turns back and gracefully picks up the cup of coffee poured for him. But does not yet drink it.

"What I wouldn't be saying of course is that I don't think you would like it. You'd of course be used to track down others like yourself, those who weren't so.. honest." He flashes a smile over to Ziadie.

"But here comes time for that plan I was talking about Mister Ziadie. The one that probably isn't going to work. Because it's about time to leave.." He glances over to the door still opened.

"I'm not going anywhere," the old man says, resigned and quiet, and shakes his head. He's in between the guest, and the door. "But I'll answer your questions. We can keep talking."

"It feels different. But sometimes. I'll get my coat, I won't leave without that." He shrugs, and walks towards the bed area. It's awkward walking backward, but he does so, still unwilling to not face the other man. There's a jacket there, a black leather jacket covered in the medals that he earned during his time as a police officer. He picks it up, turns it to put it on.

There's a flourish of motion as the jacket's put on. And when his hands come through the sleeves, the Smith & Wesson from the holster is now pointed at the army lieutenant. Steadily, no less, and aimed if one can guess for a headshot, given that the other is wearing a vest. And this time when he speaks, there now is that voice of confidence and years of practise. The sergeant, retired though he might be. "I'm not going anywhere. You go back to de federal government dat holds your leash, Lieutenant. And you tell them I'm retired."

A nod is dipped from the man's firm testament that he will be staying. "Fair enough." As he steps towards his coat, Temple loops around him keeping a healthy amount of space there. "Feels different huh." It seems the lieutenant is about to aks something when the MOVE happens. The gun coming through the sleeve and Temple emits a bright smile at the older man.

"There it is. The plan."

He lets out a light chuckle going to set the coffee back on the table, raising his hands up in surrender. "Now how does this one work? You just hole up in here until they come and pull you out?" His hands up he stands there still seeming to be comfortable. "Shoot me or don't shoot me, they're still going to come in with the heavy stuff, and they will get out. Or…" He tilts his head to the side. "Or are you asking to die? Don't want to lead anyone to suffering so you're willing to take a bullet yourself? Either way the plan isn't perfect on either end."

"Why am I worth that much? It is… an awful lot of effort to make me come with you. How much backup do you have, anyway?" Ziadie asks. The gun remains pointed at Temple for a long moment, and shakes his head. "Are they willing to kill me?" His hands are steady on the gun but his finger isn't wrapped around the trigger. "I'm not going."

There's a deep breath, and in a fluid motion Ziadie turns the gun around. Tucks it under his chin, and looks at the other man. "Are you willing to have my death, on your hands?" Another breath in, this one just a hair less steady. But there's resolve in the action. "Maybe," he says, "you missed the part where I said a lie feels like an ice pick, in my brain. The part where my ability hurts me to use. The part where I cannot turn it off."

"Mister Ziadie." It comes out in a conciliatory tone. "Even if you tried to shoot me, it's not going to work." He gives a light sigh at his line of questioning. "Enough. I got a small outfit. Enough to pull you safely in. We could have already." He goes quiet. "You've lived a long life old timer. I'm sure you've done things you don't like. Seen a lot of pains. Consider this whole act my respect for my elders."

He gives a light nod as the gun goes under his chin. "There you go Mister Ziadie. The plans getting better." His hands start to lower from their raised surrender position. "Now you need to think Mister Ziadie. Are you committed to that? Cause you know what they're going to do, they're going to force you to do a lot of things. Things that you don't want to do. And you'll thank them for that. Are you ready for that?"

"Because I'm going to reach for a tranq gun now. And I'll tell you what Mister Ziadie. I'm a whole lot faster than you. A whole lot. So decision making. It needs to happen now."

The lieutenants hands fall to his side. "Anything you want to say before we go to the next phase of this plan? Anything you want to leave for this world?"

By the time that Temple says 'tranq gun', the former cop's finger is wrapped around the trigger. "I'm sorry," he says aloud. There's another deep breath in, and then out, this one steadier. "You tell them for me Lieutenant, that I will never work for them, you hear? You tell them that I did not live through what I have lived through, just to be an inentured servant and a second-class citisen because of my ability, instead of because of the colour of my skin."

One more deep breath in, and Ziadie doesn't even look away from Temple. "I will see my wife. I will be free." A sharp crack follows, the decision that Ziadie had made even before he'd opened the door in the first place, and the old man's body slumps to the ground in what probably feels like slow motion.

The chance to go through with it is taken.

Lowering his chin, Temple become infinitely more somber as Ziade begins to rattle off his demans. The blonde nods sedatedly as the old man continues, his hand never moving towards his sidearm. The crack happens, and several heavily armed men are flooding into the room, rifles trained past the Lieutenant to the old man slumping to the ground.

Taking a few steps forward Temple lets out a light sigh. "Well, damn." He looks up at the men who have suddenly joined him in the room. Then back to Ziadie.

"Rest well, Mister Ziadie."

Lieutenant Temple turns and walks out of the room, leaving the body to be dealt with by his men.

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