In the Days to Come


cardinal_icon.gif hana_icon.gif

Scene Title In the Days to Come
Synopsis Cardinal and Hana meet to touch base on recent events and, most importantly, discuss how to deal with impending futures.
Date June 12, 2010

Staten Island Boat Graveyard

Exactly where land gives way to water at this point of the island's edge is uncertain - first because of the saltgrass growing everywhere, both on dry earth and in the shallows, giving the illusion of solidarity; second for the structures visible in the distance, drawing the eye away from the deceptive ground, suggesting its reach extends beyond its grasp. Even if the structures are still recognizable as ships, and nothing that ever belonged on land.

There are a multitude of them, abandoned hulls of salt-stained wood and rust-pitted steel, dying slow and ungraceful deaths as wind and water claim their dues. Some still appear to rest upright, braced upon the debris of older, lost relics below; others list to one side, canted at an odd angle like someone who just struggled to the surface in search of a desperate breath. There are no hands to pull these hulks from the water, no ropes to save them from drowning; each has been surrendered to the sea, left to the ravages of unmerciful time.

At low tide, some of the closer ships can be reached - not without getting soaked, but such is the price of daring. Never mind that the rotting metal and splintered wood are the stuff of nightmares for any germophobe, definite hazards to the unwary. The more distant ships are distant indeed, beyond the reach of all but the most bold - and are all but submerged besides.

The sun's finally setting over the city, a smoldering crimson glow that bleeds out through the clouds that drift through the heavens. A pair of boots come to a halt at the end of a short pier that juts out into the naval graveyard, Cardinal's gaze dropping behind the sunglasses he's wearing to watch an upside-down speedboat slowly drift past on a tide — stopping as it bumps into another rusted hulk that's gone beyond easy identification.

"Damn," he murmurs, perhaps ironically, "It's good to be home."

Hana has a tendency to take high perches — they make for good vantage points. The bulky shape her silhouette separates from would sink if it weren't firmly beached on the earth near the pier; she steps out to the rusting rail, but does nothing so unwise as lean her weight against its length. "Appreciating something specific," the Israeli's voice drifts down, "or the perspective in general?" She's garbed darkly today, leather jacket out for nearly the first time this year — biking weather was late in coming.

"Forgotten things…" A turn as Cardinal looks up to the woman perched upon that vessel, the edge of a smile tugging up at his lips although never becoming complete, "…we might toss them aside, but that doesn't mean they aren't still here. I've been too damn philosophical lately, though, so take that for what it's worth."

The woman ducks under the rail and drops to the ground, shoes squelching faintly with her landing in the wet sand. "It seems to be my doom," Hana remarks dryly as she closes the distance between them, "to shuck one philosopher only to find another budding out behind him." Coming to a halt, she shakes her hair back behind her shoulders, combining the motion with an unconscious, instinctive survey of the terrain behind Richard. Dark eyes angle sidewise towards him. "Please, do keep it to a minimum," Hana concludes — possible humor, but possibly not. Probably not, all told.

It may not be humor, but that almost-smile spreads into a full grin at the statement anyway, Cardinal amused even if it's unintended. "I'll try my best," he admits, raising a hand that's holding a pack of cigarettes, musing, "You know, I'm not addicted to these anymore? Weird shit happens when you get a new body… anyway." It's tucked back into a pocket, "I'm guessing that was your message I got the other day?"

She has no comment regarding the cigarettes, which probably does not come as a surprise to her companion. However, one brow arches as Cardinal continues. "My message?" Hana echoes — which itself suggests she didn't send it. But before he can respond, that brow comes back down. "One word, kadima?" she asks, seeking clarification. "At the time of the blackout?"

"I assumed it was yours," Richard admits, his brow furrowing ever so slightly, "I checked — it's a Hebrew word, so I thought of you — was it Rebel?" He turns fully back towards her, head cocking to one side.

Hana closes her eyes. "It was mine," she allows, dipping her head slightly. "As best I know. It was — inadvertant." Where Cardinal turns to face her, the woman angles herself slightly away; a transposition of sorts. Some might apologize for the inconvenience or imposition of that cryptic message; Hana refrains from such. "Rebel is… was… more apt to draw from Sanskrit or Buddhist figures. Now…" Her shoulders shrug. "Who can say?"

"A consequence've the… blackout?" A subtle furrow of Cardinal's brow, and then he nods ever so slightly, "A lot of people yelled something out when it happened, so… I can see that." He pauses, "What'd you see? Or is it personal? I'm not going to press, there."

She looks sidelong at Cardinal again, a decided lack of humor in the technopath's expression. "No," she agrees, "you won't." Hana studies the dying colors of the western sky, her lips pressed tightly together; she lets silence hang so long it seems there might be nothing else forthcoming… but there is. "I saw," she says quietly, "nothing I haven't faced before." And nothing good, by those words.

A simple nod, Cardinal's own gaze sliding back towards the skies. "Whatever the fuck happens," he says quietly, "It isn't good. A lot of people… a lot of people will want to talk about what they saw, though, and they'll be talking about it on the 'net. The timeline's already been tossed in a blender and set on frappe by all this foreknowledge, but we're still going to need to gather as many of these— points of reference as we can to put together a general idea of what caused it. And what we can do to stop it." A grunt, "Most of my organization's prophecies are outdated, but we're gathering as many as we can. One of our precogs got snatched recently, unfortunately."

Hana glances to Cardinal again, nodding once. "Yes. They will — and they have." There's a buried edge of exasperation in the words, but she doesn't linger on it. "Blogs, among other things, have been running thick with them. Though I suspect a nontrivial proportion are people who only wish they saw something."

Her eyes close, head tilting in a listening manner. "There are several systems up crawling for related posts. Only one or two are actually good at it, but I can tie in a feed that dumps those findings to any computer you choose."

"Can you send them to D.Crypt's system?" Cardinal's head turns a bit to look back to her, his expression serious, "It's going to be a lot of data to sift though for the wheat amongst the chaff, but we might turn up something useful. I'm… if I'm right, at least one of those crawlers is probably feeding right back to the Institute, so be careful there."

Hana smiles grimly. "I would expect theirs to work better," she observes. "I won't interfere in any way, so it may pass unnoticed. There are several measures we can take, regardless," the technopath concludes, nodding again. Hope for the best — but prepare for that worst case. At this rate, it's probably what'll happen.

Cardinal nods tightly, "Exactly. They've… they have Edward Ray. You're familiar with his ability?" A brow lifts slightly, "If they get all the data from this… flash, or vision, or whatever it is…"

"Familiar," Hana echoes, "no. But I do recall him." She doesn't sound like she approves of him, either. But in any case, that is a moot and largely irrelevant point. "If they get the data no matter what," the Israeli points out, "and they will, I am certain it spells no good for anyone else."

"There is a way we can work against that," considers Cardinal, his lips pursing in a slight frown, "You pointed out that some people'll… make up stories. If we can identify which programs the Institute's using and their criteria, we can — poison the well, so to speak, with garbage."

Hana raises a brow. "We don't need to know what they're using at all," she counters. "Get your people to make false posts on blogs, forums, and in article comments. Any script that's looking will happen across those."

Cardinal manages a faint smile. "Good idea. Anything with dates and times and places is going to be best, since that'll have them chasing specifics…" A shake of his head, getting more serious, "…one more thing. You still involved with the Ferry?"

"Where anyone reports knowing the date at all," Hana observes, "it's strikingly consistent: November 8th, 2010. You may want to stick with that." She tilts her head as he continues, regarding him askance. "Have I given cause for doubt?" she counters, returning question for question.

"I don't have many dealings with them, I don't like to assume," Richard admits with a shrug of one shoulder, gesturing vaguely with his hand through the air of the graveyard of ships. "You might want to… quietly warn them that, if they haven't upped security already, they should. I think Rebel's planning something big. And violent. And the Ferry's likely to suffer for it, they're the easiest target."

The Israeli woman inclines her head. "I will," Hana replies. "Do you have any further specifics?"

"Not yet," Cardinal shakes his head slightly, "Messiah's… pretty tight-knit about what they're doing, these days."

Unsurprised, Hana nods. "Let me know if anything else leaks, then. Do we have other business?"

"Not unless you have anything," Cardinal says— a brow lifting, an open query and offer.

In response, Hana smiles thinly. "I do not," she answers. "But I will keep an eye out for anything relevant to you."

A nod from Cardinal, "Alright. Good luck, and keep safe, Apila."

A slight crease draws itself across her brow at Richard's words, barely visible in the gathering gloom; otherwise, Hana simply nods. "Good night," she offers, before setting her feet to the sand and walking around the length of the grounded relic.

As she turns to walk away, Cardinal does as well, stepping over to the end of the pier and looking out over the wreckage of old dreams — dreams of the sea, but dreams nonetheless. "God knows we'll all need it," he murmurs under his breath, "in the days to come."

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