ling_icon.gif melissa4_icon.gif peter_icon.gif

Scene Title Intentions
Synopsis Peter pays a visit to the Little Green House, and Melissa helps him convince Ling that their intentions should become hers.
Date July 12, 2010

Little Green House

That the weather has finally cooled down over the last several days might have been partly responsible for that freak thunderstorm a few days back. Out on the northern end of Staten Island, too far inland to receive the benefit of the sea breeze, the little green house that is residence of Melissa Pierce and had collection of ne'er-do-wells and adopted wards has become something of a sweat-box halfway house.

With the sun tracking towards the factories and abandoned smoke stacks of Port Ivory's western shores, the red-orange and purple tinted haze in the skies means cooler days to come and less turbulent weather on the horizon. It's at this hour of day that the busy house finds itself a target; not of anything untoward, but a target of seemingly inscrutable intentions.

Standing out on the sidewalk, Peter Petrelli looks conflicted as he looks up at the peeling paint and overgrown front yard of that small green house. Brows furrowed and hands tucked into his pockets, Peter takes a long while before making his way off the sidewalk and past the crooked front gate, up the cracked concrete steps and onto the front porch of the house. Without the ability to ghost beneath doors and sneak around unnoticed, the leader of the group Messiah has more mundane ways of showing up unannounced.


With so many people staying in the house - not to mention two dogs - it's rare that there's an hour where it's quiet. Luckily, this is one of those hours. It's also Melissa's night off, so she's at home, and has just finished a delicious meal of take-out Chinese. A meal she offered to share with Ling, even if it isn't real Chinese. But with her belly full, Mel is dressed for comfort. Meaning loose black cotton pants and a black tank-top, her hair a blonde rainbow now, thanks to Ling's help.

The knock has Mel frowning, however. Not too many people show up and knock. Most tend to walk right in. Or sneak in via shadows. It's what she's gotten used to. So she pauses her movie and rises from the couch, moving over to the door. It's opened slightly so she can peek out, then brows lift in surprise as she opens it further. "Peter. Didn't expect to see you here. C'mon in," she says, stepping back so he can.

It's in a chair for what passes as the little green house's living room that Ling sits in, legs crossed as she reads the paper, almost like she's a real business woman again. A bowl with what remains of her meal, split with Melissa, rests in her lap, occasionally returned to whenever she feels the need. For the most part, she's paying little other attention to the world around her, even the knocked doesn't get more than a glance up,

That is, until Melissa makes mention of Peter, and that certainly does a good job of making sure Ling is paying attention. A sigh escapes her lips as the paper is slowly folded, set to rest on the arm of her chair and kept in place by her elbow as she watches, both curious and suspect.

Once more in his paramedics uniform, Peter's arrival seems to come on the tail end of his work shift. Nodding his head silently to Melissa, Peter steps in past her with a clunk of his shoes across the hardwood floor. The once more blonde young woman notices the length of red cloth hanging over his folded right arm, a cell phone clutched in that same hand. It's clear Peter didn't come here on a social call, he's come here for business and business alone.

"Where's Ling?" can be heard fromn the living room, Peter's voice carrying down the hall from the front door. He turns, slowly, to regard Melissa after asking that question. "I talked to Rupert and he wanted me to come by and have some words with her," and that comes with the motion of Peter's arm up, as if to draw attention to the scarf draped over it. "She's here, right?" He sure hopes so, at any rate.

There's a soft sigh when Mel spots that scarf, and she nods. "Yeah, she's here. C'mon. She's in the living room. We just got done eating." The door is closed and she starts leading the way. "You should also know that Faron is staying here too. He mentioned that he didn't have anyplace to go, so…" She trails off and shrugs.

"Ling? You got company. I'd say make yourself presentable, but you're never anything but," she calls out as she approaches the living room, then steps into it. Then she glances back at Peter. "Should I make myself scarce?" she asks, keeping whatever she's thinking out of her expression and voice.

Ling's brow furrows when Melissa calls back to her, the Chinese woman shaking her head. She's not that terribly surprised to be honest - it was only a matter of time before someone stopped by, probably to collect on her debt. This was she hated being in debt to others. The bowl of food in her lap is set aside along with the news paper.

"I'm right here," she replies, though not terribly loudly. Hands move in front of her, clasped and fingers steepled as her elbows rest on the arms rests. Her gaze centers directly on the entrance to the living room, and stoic, somewhat bored expression on her face as she waits.

"It's your house…" is Peter's quiet answer to Melissa as he steps into the doorway of the living room. That Peter's carrying a scarf in this weather is a bit suspect, no matter how thin and soft the material seems. Stepping in through the doorway and into the living room, Peter's progress is slow and thoughtful, dark eyes sweeping around the living room after pausing on Ling for a moment.

It's clear Peter's keeping an eye out for people who shouldn't be here, people who might be in rooms just adjacent to the living room, eager ears ready to hear something they shouldn't. On finding nothing of the sort, Peter finally turns his attention back to Ling, approaching where she sits in the chair, brown eyes settled squarely on hers for a moment before Peter nods his head shallowly.

"I want to help you," Peter admits quietly. "Help you get back at the people who put you in that box, help you get back at this Doctor Cong. Fact of the matter is, Ling, that you and I have a lot of the same enemies. You and I also, I guess it seems, have a lot in common. We've both been used before by people with agendas, put into dangerous situations and then abandoned."

Shifting his weight to one foot, Peter's brows crease together and his jaw sets squarely. "The people I work with want to extend the olive branch to you, want to work together with you. You're free to go running back off to Manhattan, if that's what you want… but if you think you're going to get close to Cong on your own, or get close to him and survive… you've got another thing coming. I'm offering you a chance to have help, in return for helping us with the same enemies."

Melissa shrugs and flops back down on the couch. "No one else is here but us, Jerry and Mr. Muggles," she assures him, stretching her legs out and falling silent, listening.

"You presume to know a lot about me," Ling intones sharply, eyes narrowed as she looks at him over her fingers. She sits up straight, hands folding into her lap. "And yet, I know so little about you or the people you work for," she continues, a beat of a moment passing before she makes a motion of her hand and continues.

"I still have much scepticism about you and your idea of help," the Chinese woman states very matter of factly. "However, I am not against negotiating some sort of deal with you, or whomever it is you work for. I am fairly certain Doctor Cong knows just what it is I need to know, even if he doesn't know it. I need this information." Her eyes narrow, and her tone takes a bit of a dark turn. "My life depends on it. If that means having to go through this… Institute, so be it. And if I need your help to do so, then something will have to be arranged."

Her gave drifts over to Melissa for a moment, and then back to Peter. "I am also in both of your all's dept, as much as it pains me to admit it."

"I don't work for anyone," Peter corrects, "I work with people," he nods his head to Melissa to demonstrate, "and they work for me. I'm sure you read the papers, before what happened to you. There's people out there, like-minded people with special powers, people who're sick of being treated like second class citizens… people who're tired of laying down like dogs to die when the government says roll over." Holding out the arm with the scarf on it, Peter's brows furrow and his lips downturn into a scowl.

"We're called Messiah," which is a somewhat presumptious title if ever there were one. "We fight this nation's government and the lackeys it has that are designed to imprison us, torment us and experiment on us. The Institute is a black-ops branch of the government, people who want nothing more than to see all of us wind up like we found you; imprisoned."

Looking to Melissa for a moment, Peter's brows furrow and his eyes track back to Ling. "The government that was responsible for genetically engineering the H5n10 virus, the government that build a secret prison to keep us all locked up, the government that just tried to turn you into an experiment. This is our enemy, and… hopefully… your enemy now, too. If you're not too afraid to fight for your own survival."

"Actually, if you join us, work with us, you don't owe me a damn thing, hon," Melissa says, shaking her head. "We help each other. It's just what we do. And giving you a safe place to stay is the least I could do. With all the shit out there, all the stuff going wrong, we need each other. And it's not even a you scratch my back I'll scratch yours thing. It's more, you got my back, I've got yours. Mutual safety."

She's not doing a lot of looking at Peter as she talks, but remains focused on Ling. "The government has a lot of black ops shit out there, stuff designed specifically for us. Not just Moab, not just the flu. The Institute is all about experimenting on us so they can control us. Or hell, it could be worse than even controlling. They've got ways of tracking us. And if they had their way, we'd all be registered and locked up in some sort of concentration camp. And not just people like us, but any evolved. Including children who have done nothing more than be born with the wrong gene."

She smiles then, sitting up and leaning forward. "Please, Ling. We could use someone with your ability. And, to be honest, it'd be nice to have another chick on the team. It's sort of a boy's club, and the testosterone poisoning can get a little much without some women to balance it out."

"Messiah?" Ling repeats with a snort, a somewhat mocking laugh. "I've seen the name. Pretentious, to say the least. They call you terrorists from what I've read." She reaches over and holds up the paper she had been reading, revealing it to not actually be that day's paper, but one from early in when she was in her brief coma. "Frankly, what you say is preposterous. What this government does to its people is normally of little issue to me, reprehensible or not. At all times, I have half a mind to just return home to China."

She relaxes a bit in her chair, eyes straight on Peter. "However, I am not a fool. If what you say is true, and this government succeeds things such as this, I'm sure China will be next in line. But, I will be frank with you, Peter. I am not a fighter. I have become a lot of things in this last year, but I am not a fighter."

He posture shifts a bit, her expression becoming more contemplative, another motion of her hand following. "My enemy is Bao-Wei Cong and whoever is backing him now that his precious Flying Dragons have scattered to the winds. If I must help you in order to get what I need, I will do what I can. But let me be clear - even if I do agree to work with you, I am in this for my own means. For the moment."

And then Ling scoffs, shaking her head. "Triads, to drugs, to terrorists. I never should have left China."

"Call us whatever you want, but the fact is anyone who injustly tries to crush our kind is our enemy. But we deal with our home soil first, and if you think — after what happened to you in Chinatown — that you'd ever make it onto a plane to leave this country, you're mistaken. We're all in this together, every last one of us. Not all of the people who joined Messiah are fighters, but we're willing to fight when it comes down to it."

Shaking his arm, Peter lets the scarf on it fall down to his wrist, then rolls his hand so that he can take hold of the scarf and phone together. "This scarf is cut from a single piece of cloth, and every member of Messiah has one. It shows how we're all a part of a greater tapestry, a part of something bigger than ourselves. It's the blood we spill, ours and our enemies, and it's our badge of honor."

Glancing to Melissa for a moment, Peter nods his head in agreement to her, then turns back to Ling. "The Phone is our weapon, it contacts a technopath named Rebel. This phone can't be traced, can't be tracked. and routes directly through Rebel himself. All you need to do is speak the name of the person you want to call into it, and Rebel will connect you to them. As long as you have this phone with you, Rebel will keep an eye on you from up there," Peter motions to the sky with a point of his free hand's index finger, "and if you wind up in trouble… help will be on the way."

Melissa gives Ling a sympathetic smile. "I hear ya. Except substitute Georgia for China," she says in a wry voice. "And yeah, you don't gotta be a fighter to be useful. Brains are more important than brawn anyway. And I'm pretty damn sure you've got enough brains to be pretty damn useful."

"And he's right. We all have the scarves. I have one. It's why I've started wearing color. So the red doesn't look so out of place." See? There's a reason for the red skirts! "But regardless, you're still welcome here. In my house here, I mean. You've got a lot of spine, but I like you. And then there's the whole female/male thing again. Even the damn dogs are all guys." She shakes her head and sighs.

Ling's eyes settle on the scarf for a moment, looking appraisingly, before moving over to Melissa and finally back up to Peter. "I have done much work over the past many years to keep my ability to myself. Working as I did, I have a reputation to maintain. Are you saying that's a wash, now?" Her eyebrow cocks as she asks the question, looking genuinely curious. After a moment, she reaches out and takes the scarf, feeling the material between her fingers.

"I am willing to help you on the condition I get what I need, and my part in any of this stays as unknown as possible." Her brow furrows, the scarf placed into her lap. "I will 'fight', as you put it, to keep it so that I am the only one in control of what I do. If that means helping you with this Institute, so be it."

"Anonymity is ours, none of us are public except a few who're already too fargone in the government's eyes. Your reputation, though, is probably gone. If the Institute wants you they'll do anything to get you; ruin you financially, fake criminal records, use your family and friends to get to you if they're in the States. You can try and stay off the grid as much as you like, but… for your own safety, I wouldn't return to your normal life any time soon."

Shifting his shoulders around and looking down to Ling as she takes the scarf, Peter breathes out a sigh of relief. "If you want a new identity, we can get you something. It'll work for day to day things, but nothing more intensive than that without putting Rebel at significant risk. You can stay here, too, as long as Melissa will let you…"

At that Peter offers the blonde an askance look, then turns his attention back to Ling. "Otherwise, we have a base of operations at the Howland Hook facility just a few blocks west from here. Melissa can show you around. For now, don't talk about Messiah in the presence of other people outside the group. As far as I know, only Melissa and a kid named Faron here are 'in' on things. If you don't see the scarf and the phone, or know about them in advance, don't risk it."

Melissa smiles and she nods. "I do my best to keep it low-key when it comes to my evolved status too, so I'm right there with ya, hon." She glances to Peter when he mentions her name, eyes lingering there for a long moment. Finally she nods and looks back to Ling. "As long as you want. I'm going to see if I can't find someone to fix up the attic and basement so there's a lil' more room for everyone. And like I said before, anything you need or want, I'll be happy to help you get it."

At the mention of her reputation likely being ruined, Ling's gaze narrows, and she looks distinctly displeased. "Well then. I suppose there's little other reason, isn't there?" Her reputation to others had always been the utmost important thing to her. Without that… "If you believe they aim to ruin me financially, perhaps it would be best to get what finances I have left from Linderman, hmm?" Her eyes look over to Melissa. "She has the information, if necessary. " Finally, Ling reaches out and takes the phone, settling it on top of her scarf. "There's little other choice in the matter, it seems."

Looking over to Melissa, Ling nods. "Alright. I'll remain here, at least a little bit long. You've been an admirable, if odd hostess so far." For once, it doesn't pain Ling to say something like that. The fact that she might be softening towards the other woman, however, does sit oddly in her stomach

"Melissa can handle the transfer of your finances," Peter says with a slow nod of his head, turning to offer a look to the blonde. "Rebel will set you up with a numbered overseas bank account to route Ling's money through, he just needs to be fed the info. From there we'll be able to remotely pull access to what she has out from that account without the Institute being aware of what's going on." Brows furrowing thoughtfully, Peter turns to look back to Ling, one brow slowly rising.

"Linderman?" It only just dawned on Peter what that connection means and just how important it is. There's a slow sink of Peter's head into a nod, a crook of his lips into a smile and two fingers pointing towards Ling. "We might have to talk again… not any time soon, but eventually." Glancing back to Melissa, Peter lifts one brow slowly.

"There anything else you need while I'm here? I have to go check up on Ash and finish patching him up, he got screwed up pretty bad at the mission on Thursday…"

"Yeah, I'll get your cash for you so it's safe," Melissa says, nodding to Ling. Then she grins. "Odd huh? Can't say I mind that. Just means I'm unique. And just wait until I get you addicted to movies and get that liquor you told me about. Then you'll really think I'm an admirable hostess!"

Peter's question has her glancing back to him, studying him for a minute before she shrugs. "We should talk, but if Ash is hurt, it can wait until you're done fixing him up. Speaking of, should I start stocking up on first aid and medical supplies? Just in case? You can't heal all of Messiah."

Ling wrinkles her nose, gaze moving off to the side. "I handled some business last year on behalf of the Linderman Group." If her reputation no longer mattered, if she was truly in the position Peter seemed to indicate, there was no particular need to jump around the issue quite as much. "With the Flying Dragons. It's how I know Doctor Cong." Gaze centers back on Peter momentarily, and she shrugs, leaning back into her chair. "Take from that what you will."

Looking back to Melissa, she scoffs again. "Do not get your hopes up too much," she cautions, before looking back to Peter.

For a moment Peter offers Ling a stoic stare, eyes distant and brows furrowed like his focus was somewhere else. With words on the tip of his tongue, Peter grows silent, nodding twice before turning towards Melissa. "You heard the woman," he offers to her with a crooked smile as he steps past, dipping his head down into a nod and letting his lips creep up further. "Don't get your hopes up."

It's practically becoming Messiah's motto.

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