Imperfect Future Tense


cardinal_icon.gif alia_icon.gif

Scene Title Imperfect Future Tense
Synopsis Current going ons, Paintings, and more at the NY Public Library
Date December 11, 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.

The low, gutteral growl of the gas generators echoes through the underground halls of the library's lower level, providing power for the portion of the famous building that's been subsumed for Richard Cardinal's knees. Lamps on stands or clamped to the edge of book-shelves, cameras set up, wires and cables running along the halls. Space heaters provide warmth, doubly important given the season, although it's far from the arctic hell that had descended the year before.

The main 'op room' is one of the downstairs reading rooms, one table stacked with monitors for the cameras showing their covered areas in flickering black and white and other tables strewn with file boxes and folders. The skateboard leaning in the corner isn't usual, nor are the printed out paintings that Alia's been putting up on the wall since her arrival a little while ago.

"Alright," Cardinal rubs against his face, tossing his shades onto one of the tables, "So what've we got here?"

Alia looks to Cardinal with a smile. "Paintings by Isaac Mendez. Unentitled." SHe steps back from the rather large display. Maybe next time she won't print them at 1:1 scale. She pauses, having tossed the Space Invaders scarf and jacket to the side a while ago, a sensible sweater and jeans making up her outfit, as she looks the images over. She pauses near one in particular. An image of a meteorite entering an atmosphere, from a shuttle viewport, it would seem.

"These aren't all Mendez's work…" A frown purses to Cardinal's lips as he steps up to the wall, "…I don't recognize the style on some of these." He reaches out, fingertips touching the one she's paused beside, "The satellite, I suppose." To the carnival next, he frowns, "Sullivan. At least some've these have happened already…"

Alia frowns a moment, then looks closely at the numbers on the paintings… in particular the last 8. She reorganizes them slightly.

"Impossible to tell how old the Mendez ones are… or if they're even still valid," Cardinal admits as he looks over the numbered eight, his head shaking slowly. He taps the last two as she rearranges them, "Mohinder and Noah? I'm sure she just loved seeing these…" Then he comes to the red painting, and he just stares at it for a moment. "Fuck."

Alia raises an eyebrow. "What?" She looks at the admitedly disturbing scary painting. She frowns. "You recongize?"

Cardinal nods slightly at the question, although he doesn't take his eyes off the painting. "It's one of Hector's designs. I've seen them before… in Argentina. I haven't seen Hector since Apollo, though, no idea where the government carted him off to." A pause as he notices the paper with 'REGISTER written on it. "DOEA maybe. Then again, they did dump some of Hector's shit in Warren's lap, too."

Alia frowns. "Yes. Liz, Frontline, asking me to consult. On the wing." She doesn't elaborate at the moment. She's not terribly fond of the idea of digging into a possibly sentient creation of Warren's. She pauses, and looks at the various skylines. "…Arctic, Grassland, Stormy, Gloomy… What is with big O?

"Big… oh." A gesture to the triptych. or whatever it's called when there's five paintings in one, "You mean that? That's the rooftop of the Deveaux Building… it's where all us little terrorists have our meaningful meetings. Symbolic, I guess. Charles would've liked that." Cardinal considers the painting for a moment. "They're alternate futures. There's the flood — we stopped that one last year, around this time. That second one is Arthur's future, if Pinehearst took over. Mother Earth Project. Hm. One of these must be the future with the virus…"

Alia nods…. she then taps the painting of the swordfight, and says simply one name. "Adam."

Cardinal tears himself away from the list of futures, and nods to that one, "Only blonde samurai I know. That's Nakamura fighting him."

Alia winces in sympathy. "Nakamura. Unlucky place to be." She says simply.

"For which one," Cardinal asks dryly, gaze swept over the other paintings, "That's Tyler, there, on the back of the woman… no idea what that means."

Alia looks at the painting. "… big hand over his head. Wonder why he made coffee stain."

"And the brain, well…" Cardinal stares at it for a quiet moment, before saying more quietly, "S'pose it's mine."

Alia blinks. "Yours?" She sounds utterly confused.

Cardinal nods slightly, turning to look at her with a faint, wry smile. "I die in nineteen-seventy seven— years before I was born— after founding the Institute. Samson Grey takes me down on Staten. Removes my brain. Puts it in a jar. In two-thousand ten… the Institute retrieves it, and Darren— uh— Stevens? I think— brings me back to life."

Alia ahs. "Other you." She says simply. "Still. Ewww." She shrugs. She looks again at the named, and numbered, paintings. She points at the fifth one. "Virus?"

"Could be." Cardinal cocks his head to one side, "Looks like Peter."

Alia shrugs. She doesn't know the man in question, thus the label flies completely over her head. "Looks horrified." She notes. She pauses. "Side-note. Liz mentioned… that Warren was improving… stuff of someone else. Thus… me looking at wing. Possibly going sentient. and rogue." She notes this casually as she has almost everything else.

Oh god. Cardinal brings a hand up to rub over his face, murmuring, "The Institute gave him Hector Steel's designs… he was a mechanical intuitive that worked for the Vanguard. I think mostly because his boyfriend did. He didn't seem to care about them too much personally. But he was… light years beyond Warren. Christ."

Alia nods. She then digs into her backpack and pulls out a dossier on one "WhiteRabbit", a hacker/programmer from almost a decade before. "Found a programmer too."

"So who's the Rabbit?" Cardinal steps over to one of the tables, sprawling down in a chair and offering a hand for the dossier, "And why was she poking around?"

Alia grins, then hands Cardinal a copy of Skyler's application for employment at Redbird. "Either casing us for employment. Or looking for info on you. Going to see what she could have found tonight."

Cardinal exhales a snort as he turns over the page, brows raising slightly. "…right. Casing us for employment my ass. Call me paranoid, but I don't trust anybody these days."

Alia giggles. "You sound like Cat." She says simply. "Don't blame you though. Me neither. Walked her in… at swordpoint when called bluff."

"Oh, God." Cardinal actually winces, "Do I?"

Alia shakes her head. "Only on being worried. Both paranoid. With reason. Is it paranoia if they are out to get you?" She stretches.

A snort of breath, and Cardinal sets the application down. "Probably not. Keep looking into her, and all the… other stuff."

Alia smiles and pats the laptop in the backpack. "Already assembling and looking for good outlet." She ponders. "Maybe dropping some of them off to The Advocate?"

"They're definately on the list," Cardinal agrees, nodding slightly, "Russo seems to have his head on his shoulders."

Alia nods in agreement. "Wikileaks. Rebel's site. our broadcasters. ANy other fun?"

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