It's Stupid


cat_icon.gif gillian_icon.gif

Scene Title It's Stupid
Synopsis Two women cross paths. Topics are discussed, one of which is thought stupid by one of the two.
Date November 17, 2008

Kingpin's Bowling Alley

The desk at the front accepts players' money and rents out the flat-bottomed shoes used in bowling alleys anywhere. Plaques from past tournaments held at Kingpin's line the posts on either side of the counter, along with an assortment of pictures and posters.

Thin red carpet covers the floor as far as the broad, shallow stairs leading down into the bowling pit. An assortment of vending and arcade game machines line the back wall; a counter and corresponding line of stools provide places for people to watch the games while they eat. Snacks are not, of course, allowed on the floor.

Below the stairs are the computers controlling the lanes and the games, with groups of chairs clustered about. Beyond them are the hardwood-paneled lanes, just waiting for pins to be set; behind, in the shadow of the counter, are shelves and shelves of bowling balls in all sizes and colors.

It's a slow afternoon, really. Only a few lanes are taken. Most are filled up in the night-time, and few people bowl in the morning or afternoon, even if it's opened. A young man stands behind the counter assigning lanes and giving shoe rentals, while the young woman who's set to relieve him in a while sits at one of the tables arranged near a lane, with a book propped up so she can read. The uniform shows that she works at the alley, and a nametag reads Leanne. Dark brown hair hangs in her face, the make up lighter than before, though still heavy around the eyes.

A familiar person enters the bowling alley. Maybe she's after food, beer, bowling, or all of those. The brunette, her hair in a ponytail, lets her gloved hands drop by her sides as the door closes in her wake. It's a long coat she wears, made from some variety of thick cloth, with pockets near the waist, over a hooded sweatshirt, jeans, and dark boots with a two inch heel. Just as she had when they first met, she's got a guitar case over one shoulder and a backpack across the other.

Cat doesn't immediately approach the counter, she lets her eyes wander for some moments as if deciding which of the offerings here to go for.

With her book in hand, Gillian reads a few more lines after the woman enters the alley. At a convienant time, she glances over to find the clock on the wall, since checking her watch would mean moving her hand away from the book and possibly losing her page by accident. Her eyes just happen to sweep over a woman who she recognizes from two different incidents, both with a certain level of destruction. Blinking, her eyes stay looking at her a little too long, before pulling away to the book.

Her own recognition comes not long after this, when Cat spots the woman looking at her and darting back to her book. She studies the person a short time before opting to go get a cola. It's Pepsi she's after if they have it, Coke if they don't. Once she has the drink in hand, a seat is chosen an occupied, then a copy of today's New York Times is pulled from the backpack. Her gear is placed on the floor by her left foot.

The problem with working in a place? Can't leave. Gillian continues to flip the pages of her book, consentrating on the little knot in the back of her head that tenses up whenever someone with an active ability is around— cutting it off and squishing it down just as she'd recently learned to do. Even if the trinkle of energy from her had only been a trinkle to start when the woman sits down. She ends up rereading the same sentance five times before she glances over to where she sat, and then looks back.

She's not looking at Gillian when she herself is again looked at, Cat's eyes are on the New York Times in front of her. One hand lifts the cola to her mouth, she drinks from it slowly and sets it back down, without breaking attention from the newspaper. One might guess she's leaving herself open to be approached, or not, whichever Gillian chooses. Whichever course the Augmenter opts for, Cat's attention remains held by the printed material.

Reaching into the bag resting against her chair, Gillian pulls out a bookmark and pushes it into place, then drops the book back into her bag and stands up. If the woman's just going to sit there… She walks over, settles down and glances over at the newspaper. "Anymore terrorist attacks this week?" It's said stiffly, not quite as conversational, though this could be coffeeshop conversation in this day and age.

"There have been some," Cat replies, her eyes lifting from the page when she's addressed. Her face is neutral; she doesn't offer an opinion on such events either by facial expression or by her eyes. The first section of the Times is held up for Gillian to take, as she's moved on to the interior. A quiet study follows, she makes note of the name badge. "You work here." Not a question.

"They're really getting out of control," Gillian says with a less neutral tone, obvious dislike in her voice. "Course doesn't sound like the government is that much better, either. Lose-lose situation for the average Joe." Or Jill, as the case may be. She sets her bag down in front of her, then shrugs, "What gave it away?" It's a rhetorical question. "Yeah— recent employement. Not carrying your bow around today?"

She chuckles slightly. "Maybe, maybe not, about the bow," Cat answers. Her eyes glance at the front section of newspaper, Gillian having not taken it. "Someone seems intent on picking a fight," she opines. "Or has decided the fight was already picked and is deciding not to just go quietly to the concentration camps and waterless showers. Can't say as I blame them, really. But tactics like these, they'll backfire. The only result will be making people more paranoid, believe more strongly the Evolved must be contained and exterminated if they're to survive."

"That's my opinion on it," Gillian says, shaking her head a bit, looking over toward the few lanes that have people in them— kiddy lanes, with the bumpers in place to keep the ball from guttering. A little boy holding a red ball in both hands squats down and pushes it down the alley, watching it bounce slowly along the bumpers. "I don't know what options would be best, but I know I want people like them locked up right now."

"Do you?" Cat asks, again neutrally. "You don't worry the locking up will be indiscriminate, and when they run out of Evolved, they'll move on to some other group rather than surrender the very expanded police power?" Her eyes lower to the printed pages again. "If people don't come to understand this isn't about Evolved versus Non-Evolved, they'll give away all their constitutional rights and maybe never get then back. Consider for a moment, Leanne… they won't even have to pick out a new group to target. They'll just accuse anyone they want to disappear of being Evolved and vanish them."

"I'm just stating an opinion, Arwen," "Leanne" says, glancing over with narrowed eyes. "Based on those actions they report about every day now. If I had it my way, we'd get rid of this whole stupid military-like government and stop making people register their abilities in a public way— that's just causing people to hunt them down now. Register the ones who actually do something wrong, maybe, like sex offenders, or actual criminals, but the ones who are just going to school and have a conscience that maybe the should report the fact that they're a walking sprinkler? They shouldn't have to register at all."

"So you understand the basic issue under it all," Cat opines quietly, still without looking up, "that this is a question of what's appropriate police and government behavior. The targets are Evolved people, not the subject. It's all full of thorns, really. You're right, the Linderman Act should be scrapped. Anyone who commits a crime could be dealt with under previously existing law. Anyone who demonstrated inability to control an ability in such a way as to be dangerous could be institutionalized until such control is learned. But this just leaves another question: How would you have the Evolved, in danger of being locked away just for existing, react to their situation? Should they just let themselves be herded, like the victims of Nazi Holocaust, or the Salem Witch Trials? Sure, it could be said they're not being put in camps wholesale right now, but history shows us they will be, just like the Holocaust started with Kristallnacht and making Jews wear a yellow Star of David."

"Learning control should be a higher priority than locking them up and throwing away the key. Support groups or training courses, I don't know, but most the problems I see are caused by people who just can't control what it is that they do," Gillian says softly, looking away as she does. There's tension around her eyes for an instant. "And then of course the psychopaths like PARIAH need to have something done. Especially recently. They stopped being such jerkfaces for a while, and now all of a sudden they're worse than anything we'd ever heard of. It's stupid."

"Yes," Cat agrees. "As much as I disagree with their methods, all they'll achieve is making the hatred grow, cause the population to support whatever actions are taken, the problem is that the government picked a fight by passing the Linderman Act. Make that Act vanish, and Pariah will vanish. The Linderman Act is unconstitutional. Amendment Fourteen says all citizens are to have equal protection of the laws. The answer to everything is upholding that amendment." Her eyes lift from the paper to settle on Gillian's face. "It's the government's fault, period. I'd say the same if we'd started to persecute anyone who claimed to be Muslim after 9/11, or extremely religious paler people after Jim Jones and the mass suicides in Guyana, in this fashion."

"But you're friends with that Agent guy, aren't you? Ass… guy with the scar?" Gillian raises her hand and makes the gesture for a scar across her face. "First time I saw you, looked like you were attacking him, but maybe you thought he was just brainwashed or something. Couldn't hear what you were saying, but you were definitely talking the next time I saw you, with the bow."

Cat is silent for a long moment, her face still neutral. "It's unfortunate that common sense and logic doesn't always rule hearts and minds when they should. I won't abandon those qualities, the best course is sticking to them more closely and working for others to reach that understanding. But, as you saw if I'm the person you say I am, I'm not completely opposed to violence. If I'm personally in danger, I'll fight with whatever tool I have. If you happened to see me with a bow, and if on that occasion I shot someone, would you not call it justified based on his behavior? Anyone present was in danger from that person, I think you'd agree." It's a theme here, perhaps, that Cat has neither confirmed nor denied being Evolved. Or even being the person who encountered 'Leanne' twice before. Being in public could have something to do with it, also.

There's no one really close enough to hear, but who knows in this day and age. Whole place could be bugged for all she knows. The bowling a few lanes away makes enough noise that any overhearing would be pretty difficult, not to mention the music playing at the snack bar and over the speakers. But still. "It was the right thing to do at the time, yeah. Won't argue that." The guy behind the counter starts passes across a pair of shoes to a young couple and then turns around and makes a 'point at watch' gesture and she sighs, reaching for her bag and standing. "Time to get to the daily grind. Would you like a lane or did you just stop in to enjoy a coke?"

Also notable, perhaps, in all of this is Cat not asking or leading 'Leanne' to comment on whether or not she herself is Evolved. The whole thing, one could easily conclude, was like conversing with a lawyer. Or a politician. Maybe both. "I might bowl," she replies, "but for now I think I'll go grab some food and continue reading the paper. I was exploring the city, it looked like a good place to come in and rest." A slight smile is flashed. "Don't let work drag you down, Leanne," she offers. "I hope they pay you decently."

"They pay for crap, but it's better than actually— paying with crap, I guess. Or nothing at all." Gillian says, glancing back at her for a moment, before saying, "I'll be working the counter if you opt for a lane, but enjoy your food and coke for now." Moving away, she arranges her uniform top again and steps up to exchange words with the young man and then take her position. Leanne's on duty now.

She's around for a while; eating, drinking, and reading. Maybe she even bowls a game or two. Eventually, though, Cat departs. In her wake, left where hopefully Gillian and only Gillian can find it is a twenty-dollar bill. Where it came from, who left it, is anyone's guess.

November 17th: Allegedly

November 17th: A Promise is a Promise
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