Just A Bunch Of Girls


cardinal_icon.gif claire2_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif mack_icon.gif xiulan_icon.gif

Scene Title Just A Bunch Of Girls
Synopsis Cardinal decides it's time to whip his team into shape, and brings someone in to do just that. The girls are less than pleased.
Date Oct 3, 2009

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.

It's on a weekend evening that Mack discovers that the much-vaunted headquarters of whatever sort of group Cardinal's organizing is not only in the midst of the technically off-limits ruins of Midtown, but is, in fact, the remnants of the New York Public Library. The shattered doors are still strewn with the remnants of police tape, stomped into the dust over the past months, and debris and weather from the street has swept into the once-grand foyer.

Deeper, however, through halls that once were kept silent with the weight of knowledge, the low but recognizable sound of a gasoline generator can be heard, and incandescent lights faintly gleam in some rooms like the lanterns bourne by miners who fear they may never see the light. Heavy doors of reinforced steel have been added at certain intersections, and the softly gleaming eye of cameras watch the intruders entering. One of the larger reading rooms' doors are pushed open as Richard leads the way in, tables strewn with files and a bank of monitors showing numerous areas throughout the library. Several framed prints hang on the walls, and old shelves are still stocked with books.

"It's not much," Cardinal declares, tongue firmly in cheek, "But it's home."

It might not be much and it might not be home, but at the moment it is currently bearing a rather impressive set of murals adorning the walls. Course, one of them is still in the process of being done. The process involving Xiulan sitting on the floor in front of the aforementioned wall and images just sort of drawing themselves out while she watches.
Yes, Xiulan is bored and a bored Xiulan means something is getting painted, whether it wants to, or not. Unfortunately for Cardinal, Xiulan has recently watched a movie about Georgia O'Keefe and the murals on the walls consist of very sexually suggestive floral arrangements. Alright, so they -are- flowers, but they are borderline X-rated flowers, so it can't be /that/ bad.
"I really need to find something more productive to entertain myself with," the artist mutters under her breath. Course, Cardinal's entrance brings her twisting around, one hand bracing on the floor as she flashes an impish grin. Dude. Flowers. Everywhere. Run.

There is one thing that has unquestionably changed since Mack's resignation, and its not that he's gotten classier and has something covering up his tattoo's and wife beater. Okay, it hasn't changed, but it definitely got a hell of a lot worse. The words 'appropriate' and 'polite' no longer have anything to do with his sorry ass. So, as they enter the blown out library its with a little trail of blue-grey smoke from one of his Marlboro reds.

"You know I saw people comin' in and out of here, but I figured they were just scavangers or, you know, homeless fuckers." The smoke is extinguished on some wall or another; amidst the general ruin of the facility its not likely to be noticed. Of course, thats before he gets a load off the flower murals. "Didn't peg you as a floral wall paper type of guy, bro."

From behind Mack, Elisabeth says quietly, "Well… they are homeless fuckers. Sorta." Her tone is facetious at best, and the amused tone is belied by the carefully shuttered blue eyes as she joins the group in the reading room barely moments after they arrive. "Sorry," she adds to Cardinal as she takes up space against a wall. "Am I late?" She's breathless from having jogged through the ruins at a fast clip to get here.

Oh, dear God what happened to the walls. Cardinal's shoes virtually squeak as he stops in his tracks, staring at the faux-O'Keefe vagina-flowers that have spread across the walls of the command center like some sort of femerotic mildew. The man lifts one hand up to his face, drawing the shades away before rubbing his fingers against the bridge of his nose, eyes closing as he tries to stop the shoulder-shaking laughter that's beginning to threaten.

"…Xiu, please tell me that you're planning on changing that back."

"Changing it back….?" Blinking once, Xiulan's lips purse, her expression taking on what appears to be a truly injured expression before winks and waggles her eyebrows. "And here I thought you liked pussy, Richard." Smirking wryly, she tosses a wink to Elizabeth, blatantly gives Mack the up-down-up-down look and twists back around to regard the vagina paintings. "They looked much on television really." Even as she wrinkles her nose at the new art, the colors start to morph and change, the images twisting about to reshape themselves into something more along the lines of Royo. "Yeah, naked chicks and buff man-beasts are definately better."

Mack's gaze drifts over to Cardinal, a little grin forming on his lips. "Subtle, isn't she?" With that, Gabriel takes a casual stroll around the place, folding his arms in front of his chest so he can examine the murals as if they're paintings on display at a gallery. Amazingly, he keeps to himself for the most part. Someone else can speak up to do introductions when they feel like it, he's got other shit to do. Nor does he return or even awknowledge Xiu's appraisal. He's in standby mode.

Taking a look around the place, Elisabeth then blinks at Xiulan. A couple of snippy comments come to mind and she manages to bite them back and merely drawl in a calm tone, "Definitely a plus." when the Asian woman winks. "At least so far as I'm concerned." And then she shakes her head and and rolls her eyes and turns them to the snickering shadow-man, waiting for what he's got on his mind.

On the way home from her night and day with Magnes, she had told herself that she'd slip in without Cardinal noticing and change her cloth. She could do this, he was always rather busy.. or maybe she'd get lucky and he's be busy elsewhere like usual. Slipping through the ruins of the library, she listens, and groans softly. It figures, tonight there would be company. There is a moment of hesitation while Claire decides what to do… Finally…

"Hey.." Claire offers in greeting as she steps into the room like she's been there all along and not wearing the same clothes she left in last night, of course, she's coming in from the front door. Nothing to see here.. She does however, end up stopping, brows lifting at Xiulan's murals and she's suddenly wonders if she should turn around and go out again. There is a sudden feeling that she's intruding.

"She is the exact opposite of subtle," Cardinal points out with a rough chuckle, walking along over to reach a hand out and ruffle through Xiulan's hair as he pauses near where she's seated, fingers running down her scalp and brushing the shell of her ear as he regards the newly-redesigned pictures with an amused expression upon his face. The shades are tucked into his neckline, and he turns with a warm smile for Elisabeth, "Hey, beautiful… hey, Claire."

He brings his hand up from messing the asian artist's hair to gesture to Mack, "Guys, this is Mack, he's an ex-SCOUT member and one of Liz's ex-coworkers, he'll be working with us."

"Don't blame me," Xiulan notes to Liz. "I've been bored out of my mind lately." And apparently, when she is bored, she feels the need to entertain herself. Business, it seems, has been slow in Chinatown. "I mean, you can only make so money before you want to tear your hair and run screaming naked down the street." Not literally mind you, but at this point, she's gotten pretty close. Course, she does smile up at Cardinal as he draws closer, her brows rising and falling in another slow waggle. "I tried subtle, didn't care for it." Claire's entrance is met with a wry smile and polite nod before the tattooist slants another look over toward Mack. "Nice, welcome aboard, Mack." Yeah, so, she's not looking at his face. So what?

When tattoo's cover a sizable portion of your visible flesh, you get used to people looking. Mack steps back from his appraisals of all the artwork when his name is mentioned. At that he turns and faces the group, taking his arms away from his chest and stuffing them into his pockets. "What the fuck, Card, you starting a group of vigilantes or just tricking hot girls into hanging out in your super sekrit lair?" Yeah. Tact isn't his thing. "Oh, before I forget, I may have a lead on your Sandman. Its been slow going, but hey."

There's a faint grin slanted at Cardinal when he looks her way, and Liz waggles her fingers in a wave to Claire too. And then she snickers at Mack. "I'm pretty sure it's the hot girls thing. In fact…." She pauses and looks at the room at large, her grin taking on a wicked edge. And then she bites her tongue on the naughty comment that she's pretty sure he's slept with the majority of the women in this room. Claire would be mortified. "Never mind." Her blue eyes turn on Mack, the exhaustion in her features mitigated by the sudden intense interest she shows in his subject matter.

She gives everyone else a small wave, before giving Mack a suspicious once over, before offering a "Hi," and a smile. Silently making her way over to a chair, Claire drops rather rag doll like into it and draws a booted foot up to rest on the edge. Claire doesn't chuckles, but but she looks like she wants too at Mack's comment about hot girls. "Not the first one to say that I'm sure… There is more of us too," she muses softly, glancing at the other woman.

"I was giving some thought to changing my name to 'Charlie' but my lawyers inform me that I'd be infringing," Cardinal replies in dry tones, taking all of the teasing in good humour. He steps along over towards the table he's commandeered as a desk, sprawling into his chair and stretching out his feet before pointing out, "…and none of you actually introduced yourselves. Bunch've rude fuckers I've got here— that's Xiulan, tattooist extraordinaire, and that's Claire, the cheerleader who can't die."

Those introductions presented, he swivels the chair towards the man at his later words, both brows arching upwards, "You found Maeve? Lay it on us, bro."

Attention flitting back to Mack, Xiulan makes no pretense of the fact that she is checking out his ink. So much so, in fact, that she cants her head faintly and purses her lips. It is only once she's satisfied with what she can readily see that she asks, "Who did your ink?" which is promptly followed with. "Thought about more?" Sandman. Ffftt. Yeah, yeah, she knows business is business, but really, badguys aren't her business and she has a hard feigning interest. She does, however, lapse into silence, twisting around to settle her back against the wall and stretch her legs out in front of her. And yes, for the curious, the images on the walls are still rearranging themselves into a serious of Royo-esque art work. "I am not rude," she insists. "I'm distracted." Thank you very much.

Mack responds to Xiulan first. Whether its because she spoke last or because she's talking about something he enjoys talking about rather than has to, is anyone's guess. "There are four artists, and yes, I've got several more I want when I find the right person to do them." Now, with that out of the way he cordially nods to the cheerleader who can't die. To 'work stuff'. "I haven't found her yet, I said I have a lead on her. I caught a chick casing a bank yesterday when I was ghosting a guy I call Fat Man. My gut told me she'd be more interesting, and I can find Fat Man with my eyes closed, so I called her out. Over drinks she made a few comments… she knows Maeve, and I think she may know how to find her, but she didn't let the cat out of the bag just yet. I told you its been slow going so far."

Elisabeth shoves herself off the wall and paces a little bit. It weirds her out that the walls underneath her are changing colors and such while she touches them. Not like it's a problem, but… it's just a strange notion. She watches Mack thoughtfully. "Be careful nosing around…. the Company is all over the Sandman case like white on rice," she says quietly. "I don't want to see them darkhole you."

"EX-Cheerleader, get it right… Do you see pompoms and a skimpy skirt.. No." Claire points out, giving Cardinal a mild glare from her rather comfortable spot. An arm rests on her knee and she rolls her eyes, but then does manage to say to Mack, "Sorry for being rude, I'm usually not as. Just… distracted.." Her eyes moving to watch Xiulan's artistic antics, brows quirked up. Though the mention of the Company does draw her attention.

"She might be one've the escapees, or one of White's people…" Cardinal tilts the chair back, hands folding loosely over his chest as he considers the matter with a frown pursing his lips, "…be careful on this one. This girl you met, she got a name a'tall?" The protests of the other two women get a bit of an amused look, before he turns to reach over to the file box set before his space, fingertips dancing over the edges of folders to try and find the one on the Sandman. It's a pretty thin file.

"Card wouldn't complain about pompoms and a short skirt," Xiulan points. "If anything, you'd probably score major points. Particularly if you happen to be exceptionally flexible." No shame, has Xiulan. Course, she does notice the glance toward the wall and one of the images taking shape halts in mid-alteration and transforms itself into a remarkably life-like image of Claire in a cheerleader outfit that is very close to be scandalous, but not quite. Really, Card, she's trying to be interested in what is going on. Even so, she asides to Mack off-topic, "Stop by Green Dragon Tattoo and I'll hook you up."

"Keep meaning to get down there, but all the sudden I have all kinds of shit going on." 'Keep'? He just met her. Well, in any case he offers a wink to Elisabeth on his way over towards Cardinal's makeshift desk. "As for the girl, her name is Jo. Its an alias; she pretty much admitted as much. And there is obviously more of it, but she's the type of girl who doesn't like her name getting around. I think we're all familiar with that idea 'round here. Well, except for me, but I'm a crazy bastard." Another look to Liz, "And c'mon now. If a guy with a badge can survive on Staten, he's gotta know what discretion means, right?"

Elisabeth rubs her forehead, strain showing in her expression a bit. The bantering should be relaxing, but it's just vaguely annoying her at this point — an emotion she conceals behind neutral cop face as much as possible. "Yeah, I know, Mack," she tells the ex-cop quietly. She's almost lost two partners in the past month, and they did lose his. She just doesn't want to lose anymore people right this minute, she's not sure her sanity can take it. She forces a smile toward both men and says, "I got nothing new to add to the case files at this moment. I let Denton know we got one of the fuckers, so he's scratching that guy off the list. I do know we've got a slim lead on Danko…. through a lover. Whether that will pan out is anyone's guess, but I'm monitoring the situation."

Claire rolls her eyes again and gives Xiulan a chuckle. "Yeah.. I'm flexable.. but he and I have sorta, kinda, already had that conversation. We both agree.. we don't see each other like that… at all." Her eyes move from the woman to the mural and grimaces, cheeks coloring slightly. "Thank god, Magnes isn't here, I think you'd give him a coronary." She turns thoughtful for a moment, "Maybe I should try to get a tattoo." The little regenerator seems to be giving it serious thought, she moves to sit next to Xiulan. "Would it even work on me?" She muses a bit to the woman. "My body expels bullets and small stuff, it would probably push the ink out too." She looks up at the picture of herself again. "Make the skirt and sleeves maroon… That would be getting close to the one from Odessa."

As the conversation continues, Cardinal does his damndest to ignore the discussion about the possibility of him sleeping with Claire, thank you very much. "It's a start," he admits to Liz, "I ran into a girl named Colette, too— you know her? She's friends with the Remnant and Sumter, apparently is going to beg them to get all vengeful on her behalf." A nod over to Mack, then, "Alright. Keep me informed, if you learn anything, and…"

A smile's flashed, knife-sharp, to Elisabeth and Mack, "…got a job for one, both, or either of you if you have the time. To the point, frankly some of the people around here aren't exactly professionally trained in self-defense and unit tactics. Whereas you two are…"

"…." Xiulan is speechless for a moment, both dark brows arching up to her hairline. It is only belatedly that she blinks owlishly and intones "/Magnes/?" Wait. "Magnes, Magnes? Magnes the pizza boy, Magnes?" Slanting a glance at Cardinal her brows manage to crawl a tad higher before she looks back at Claire and says, yet again, "Magnes? Seriously?" It is only belatedly that she shakes herself out of the shock and notes. "I don't use ink, I change the color of your own flesh. So, unless your body rejects itself, I could make you the tattooed lady." Pause. "I did the tat on Magnes' belly actually."

Mack looks over at Xiulan and blinks but forces himself to focus on the matter at hand. Well, he tries to, but he can't help himself. "The needle is what makes you deserve it. And I can't imagine it not working on anybody that isn't allergic if it works on me." Okay, seriously, the man who is supposedly professionally trained in self-defense and unit tactics focuses on business again. The list of names Cardinal rattles off means nothing to him, but he can recognize when someone is proposing he put himself in harms way.

"What you need, boss man?"

Elisabeth ignores the whole sleeping-with-Claire conversation too — cuz it just seems WEIRD to have it, considering. "She did the ones on my back, too," Elisabeth comments absently. "Beautiful job…. at least so far as I know." She grins a bit. "Even altered one of them when I needed it. No fuss, no muss." The angel on her shoulder went from thoughtful to broken far more easily than the woman who wears her did. Elisabeth slants a glance at Cardinal and Mack. "I know Colette. She's Judah Demsky's kid. Can't say I'm glad to hear she's in the middle of this clusterfuck," she sighs softly. And then she grins slightly. "I'm gonna let Mack head up that job — I'll assist, though." She looks at the ex-cop. "He wants us to teach 'em how to get loose if someone grabs them, cuz they're all a buncha goddamn GIRLS." Her tone is half amused.

She's use to that kind off reaction when she mentions Magnes. Claire gives a soft, patient sigh. "Yes. That Magnes. I am seeing that Magnes. And really? You did that one?" She looks impressed, "Not a bad job…. maybe I will try it, see if my body tries to go back to what it was." There is a pause and Claire frowns. "If I can think of something." The girls comments, makes Claire glance back at Elisabeth with an amused look.

"Judah's kid? But— oh, he must have adopted her," Cardinal's lips purse in a thoughtful line, "….huh. Shit, I really do have to update her file, especially if I'm going to be… anyway." Whatever tangle of thought that niblet of information just created in his brain is brushed aside with a wave brush of his hand as if shoving away a fly, "…what she said. There's a war coming, whatever we do, and I want to make sure everyone here will be able to survive it. If we need to drag people into some hell-hole to kill some crazy fuckers who need killing, I want to make sure they can do that."

"Well, I'll be happy to poke you with pins if it makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside," Xiulan provides easily to Mack. Hey, it wouldn't be the kinkiest thing she's ever done. Course, she does wrinkle her nose, snorting lightly in response to Liz and Cardinal's insistence about self-defense. "I know Kung Fu, I can defend myself, thank you." She's Triad for god sake. "Teach me how to shoot my AK and I'll be a happy, happy girl." Yes, she has an AK-47. No, she doesn't know how to use it. Really though, how hard can it be. The conversation does, however, bring something to mind and she looks pointedly at Cardinal. "You need to take that crap for Liu, too. Eventually he's going to want to know what the deal and I'd -really- rather not have to piss him off." He's freaky enough to deal with when he's being pleasant, you know. Course, her attention returns just as promptly to Claire. "Pick anything you like. I can always change it if you change your mind. Or remove it entirely." Pausing a beat, she can't help adding incredulously. "Dude, you aren't like…. /sleeping/ with Magnes, right?" Seeing, after all, is not necessarily sleeping with.

"Teach, huh." Mack's enthusiasm is somewhat subdued at the news, but he shrugs. "Nobody's ever asked me to teach em anything that didn't involve a shot glass or a fire ladder, but I guess I can give it a shot." His hand and foot move in unison so he can touch something on his ankle. "But it does make sense in a twisted sort of way. If they fuck up and shoot me it ain't the end of the world. And as for you," Mack looks over at Xiu, "One, I do in fact want my ink done the real way. Two, if I think its sexy, thats nobody's business but mine. And three, the first thing you need to do to learn how to use that AK is get rid of that antiquated piece of shit and get a real gun." Really, Mack… insisting on getting a tattoo with a needle and then insulting something based on its being old. His hypocracy is awe inspiring.

Long distance to Xiulan: Cardinal nodnods. I figured you will mostly be chillaxing tomorrow.
A single brow shoots up, and Liz says with a smirk at Cardinal, "Jailbait, babe." As she paces, she shoves her hands into the back pockets of her jeans only pausing briefly near Cardinal's chair to put a hand on his shoulder before resuming her movements through the room. She laughs outright at Mack's contradictory nature. "I'd forgotten why I like working with you," she admits. It's his take-no-shit attitude. Always been the kind of thing she works well with. She's having trouble being still, though, jittery as she moves around. "All right… I need to get out of here. Got a lead on a case I'm working and I need to stop by the hospital. I'll be back at the apartment in a couple hours, I think. Mack, let me know when you want to have the first session — I'll let you use me as a practice dummy." Her blue eyes stray to the man in the chair as she hovers near the door. "You need me for anything else here?"

"Define… sleeping with." Claire murmurs, her cheeks warming with a blush. "If you mean.. sleeping with as in sleeping in the same bed.. yeah.. we did that last night." She clears her throat and ducks her head down, "If you mean.. sleeping with as in sex… No… not yet anyhow." God, why is she having to talk about this? If she wasn't the immortal ex-cheerleader, she'd die from embarrassment. Subject change someone! "I've got a shotgun.. Love that thing, but then again I've always used them. Cardinal got me my newest one." She waves at the retreating Liz. "See ya."

"I'm good. Give Felix a big wet kiss for me," Cardinal calls over to the woman stepping to the door, flashing a grin her way, "Give me a call when you get home, so I know everything's alright, an' all…" To the subject at hand, he exhales a snort of breath at both girls, "It's not your skill in fucking killing someone that I'm worried about. It's working together that I'm worried about. If we get another Pinehearst situation on our hands, or if god forbid we find the Munin weapon and need to go in after it, I want a working unit."

"Hey, I can do traditional," Xiulan offers with a shrug. "My way is just faster." She doesn't mind either way. Heck, most of the tattoos she does for the triad are done traditionally. "As for the Ak, it was a gift, so. I'm good with whatever, really." Glancing up as Liz makes her way toward the exit, Xiu raises a hand in farewell. "Take care Liz." And, of course, she looks back at Claire and quirks a wry smile. "I meant sex, yeah. Wow. Um. You're sweet, so I'll just shut about that now." Course, she does look back at Cardinal and twitch a brow. "You don't exactly me into combat, Richard, remember?" Xiulan Song, human bank machine.

Mack grins and takes a step back from the general flow of the conversation, even going so far as to stick one ass chick on whatever chair or couch or table is handy and for the most part just watching the proceedings. "Should be… interesting, if nothing else. You got gear, Card?"
You paged Xiulan with 'Untrue. You are making me nostalgic for RPin' with you more!'

Sends a silent prayer to the almighty as the subject seems done and Claire is able to relax again. "And yes.. I know about his faults.. People…" She sends a pointed look Cardinal's way, "..remind me often…. and what's this about combat." She sounds rather more enthusiastic about it. "I'm up for anything. I mean.. I'm not exactly a stranger… but seriously, last action I saw was in the TV station and that was just making some TV exec piss himself by putting a gun to his head" Ah memories.

"…and you bitched about it," Cardinal points out, literally pointing towards Xiulan as she speaks up and flashing a crook'd smile, "So stop complaining. And for the record, I'm working on Liu's job, he can just keep his chinese panties on for a little while longer. I want everyone here able to work together in case of a crisis." It's firmly stated, and he returns a look to Mack, lips twitching in a faint smile, "I've got a few shotguns and small-arms an SMG or two, and a handful of vests. That's about it, I've got to look into stocking up."

"He's very sweet, just very innocent and misguided." Falling silent a beat, Xiu finally shakes her head, braces one hand flat against the floor and pushes to her feet. Expression shuttered, she tucks her fingers in the front pocket of her jeans and slants a glance at Cardinal. "I've got to go. Let me know when you need me for training or what not." Bah, she's in a pissy mood now and is so going to get drunk. Such being the case, she offers a chin up all the way around by way of farewell and heads for the exit. "Take care, folks."

Mack can't do anything to contain a sigh. "Moody. Great." With that, he pulls a small notepad from his back pocket and starts scribbling notes it in like a madman. "I'll see what I can scrounge up. Probly nothing good. I can look into some things, but everybody I know that sells the shit illegally still knows I'm a cop, so you're probly better rolling with other holmies as far as that goes. But thats fine. We can work on live fire shit later, when we're ready to take the baby gloves off. I'll try and write up some kind of schedule for it over the next few days when I'm not looking for mass murderers."

"Er. I WAS a cop."

Waving after Xiulan, Claire calls out, "Take care, I'll let you know if I think of something." Twisting in chair to look at Cardinal and Mack she offers them a half smile, draping an arm on the back of the chair. "If you need help approaching these people you know…." She offers us her services easily enough.

"Sounds like a plan. Write up a schedule, we'll post it up where everyone can see it…" A firm nod of agreement to the words of the ex-cop, and then Cardinal's gaze cuts back over to the abrupt departure of the asian woman, lips twitching into a brief, frustrated grimace as he straightens in the chair. "…alright. I'll come by the shop tomorrow or something, Xiu."

"See there, buddy, that's the problem when you have too many women around. I'm just sayin'." Mack holds his hands up to forestall any angry responses before slipping off the table and walking over to one wall. Its at this time that he tears a page out of his notebook, licks the back, and smacks it up against the wall where, small miracle, it sticks. "There. We'll refine it as we go." He turns around and its as if a thought just occured to him when he looks at Claire. "I'm not really thinking I want the chick who's nervous talking about who she may or may not be shagging buying my guns for me."

Claire's eyes narrow a bit at Mack, her expression turning serious, her tone flat, "Just cause I'm nervous talking about the fact I haven't had sex yet, isn't going to effect my work on this end of things." Climbing to her feet, she makes her way over to the men, who are both much taller then her… and well, there is the fact she doesn't look the intimidating part. But her chin lifts in definance as she eyes Mack, and she siound rather irritated as she continues, "I've been doing all this longer then I've been dealing with my personal issue. So I am pretty sure I can't buy the guys for you. Wouldn't be the first time I have."

"If you've got a problem with the gender ratio around here," Cardinal notes with a faint snort of breath, turning back to reach over for the file folder before him and flipping it open, "Then go recruit some guys, because God knows I can use more people I can rely on around here. I've got a feeling I'm going to need as many people as I can get, soon…"

Mack tries, he really really does, but… When Claire goes, he holds it in. But then Cardinal has to go and push all the wrong buttons, and Gabriel is laughing his ass off for a few seconds before he can wrangle his emotions back together. "Easy, turbo." Is all the response Claire gets for now, except a nice pat on the head unless she does anything to stop it- its just a little gesture, wouldn't take much to prevent it from happening. "I'm not doubting you. Or anybody else. I got no problems working with women; trust me, I'm the kind of shallow bastard that prefers it. But when too many of them starting going all moon eyed over the same guy, things can go sideways in a hurry…"

The laughing doesn't go over well with the ex-cheerleader and less so the pat on the head… Believe it or not, she might be small but…. Her hand shoots out to try and grab his hand and give it a sharp nasty twist in the direction it isn't suppose to twist, which would prove she's not exactly weak right off the bat. The girl does stay in the shape. At the sametime it and her other hand, which plants right in the middle of his chest roughly. There is hard shove, before letting go of the hand. "I'm not some little kid," she hisses roughly. "I have been doing this shit.. since PARIAH was actually blowing shit up."

Mack doesn't even try to stop her. Maybe he could, maybe he couldn't, who knows? The result is that his wrist twists in a very painful fashion and he's pushed back up against the wall, where he stays for a moment. He goes so far as to cross his arms and lift his right foot, resting the bottom of that shoe on the wall. "You are a little kid, trying to prove your a badass because someone made a joke you didn't like. Which is the same reason I wouldn't even think about putting my life in your hands or want you handling my purchases. At least not yet." He pushes off the wall and pulls a cigarette from his pocket, letting the thing roll along his knuckles. And he winks. "But I will, before we're done. Now, remember dear, we talk with our mouths-" He mimes, for added effect, "-not with our hands." Serious, and then a joke.

There is a moment, Claire looks like she's going to snap something at Mack, but instead her jaw clenches, hands curl into fists. Then she lets out a breath and relaxes some. "Know what…." Claire says with a slow spread of open hands facing away from her, "I'm going to bed." She glares at Mack and then glances at Cardinal, but doesn't say anything, just turns her back and heads for her room in the library, fuming.

"Well, assuming they don't kill you," Cardinal observes in a voice about as dry as sand, "I think you're perfect for getting them into proper shape, Mack. Fortunately for me, you're not that hard to kill." That said, he snaps the file-folder in his hand shut, leaning forward to slide it into the box and starting to go through it again, muttering under his breath, "Rickham, Rickham… where'd I put you, you old metal bastard…?"
Mack laughs at Cardinal's response to the whole thing. "Other than the obvious fact that nobody in their right mind would let teenage girls hang out with somebody that looks like me, yeah. But, being serious, if I'm gonna do this I'm gonna do it the only way I know, which is how they taught me." He sticks the smoke in his mouth, but respectfully doesn't light it. "Discipline, shit talking, and some more discipline. We had people that'd put years into it shake out and quit. Some of yours might, too…"

"No," Cardinal says quietly as he pulls the file out, regarding the name upon it seriously, "They won't. Because they know there's no other choice but to go on. Any hope of us having a future depends on it."

"We'll see." Is Mack's only response to that. "I'm goin' out for a smoke."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License