Just A Man


cardinal_icon.gif huruma_icon.gif

Scene Title Just A Man
Synopsis Lesson #452: You do not follow Huruma, Huruma follows you.
Date March 16, 2009

Calvary Cemetery

When most people finish a workday, they head home, relax- possibly go out, and in the end, sleep and wake up when the next cycle begins. Huruma is discounted very quickly from that circle; one day she might go in one direction, another day as a new one. It is never easy to tell where she is going to end up after her shift at Old Lucy's comes to a close.

As the night drags on, and the city lights flicker towards one another in specks of code, the dark woman finds herself wandering in silence through Calvary Cemetary. The long shadow of a stony angel in the night glow ripples over her as she moves from one space to the next, boots stepping with the smallest of noises over dried, pre-spring grass poking tips from between stones and markers. Eventually, she aims her way towards where the tombs get more and more condensed, winding around them like a wraith on an endless path.

No doubt, she knows that she's being followed. A lingering hint of wariness and anxiety trailing after her through the city, through the lonely graveyard, like a stalking phantom, although determination keeps it from weaving too far from the trail. It remains close to her, as close as her own shadow, until the woman's feet make their way through the labyrinth of tombs that make up this modern necropolis.

The presence slides up into the shadows cast by an angel's mournful wings upon a marble wall, and a voice stirs hollow and echoing from the shadows, bouncing from one to another as if it were a call from far away. "I suppose this," observes the voice, "Is about as private as it gets… do you have a moment, Huruma?"

Dropping one foot onto a step below, onto a path which leads down into a mausoleum's mouth, Huruma turns her head enough to leave her profile illuminated by the light, while the rest threatens to sink into blackness. Only the sheen of silver touches reflect like sparks on those parts of her figure.

"Privacy here, is subjective." Her voice echoes back towards the shadows, eyes following not unlike a sight on the scope of a rifle. "I'ave many moments, but would you really want any o'them?" Softly spoken, yet somehow hollow, haunting. Fitting.

A low chuckle swirls in the shadows, the echoing rasp of light dragging over the edge of darkness. "Not for myself; but my employer seems to think that he would," replies the shadow-walker, the angel's wings spreading across the marble in a slow flex, the shadow'd head of the figure lifting as if to look to her, "Fedor; or Ingrid, or whatever he's calling himself this week. Or she. I never know what to call a shapeshifter. Pronouns cause so much trouble. The pilot, you recall?"

"You call a shapeshifter by their personality." Huruma offers, helpfully, keeping her voice at a low volume. "He is a he, tha'pilot. Or, I am imprinted from m'first meeting." Her pale eyes swivel to follow the subtle shifting of Cardinal's shadow, keeping a fix on his aura with her own.

"So. Wha'does he want?" The woman turns her head away sharply, voice curt, and words almost a purr. She moves forward and down the steps into the mausoleum, the clicks of her boots dull on the concrete. The sounds of metal clinking can be heard alongside, and if Cardinal wishes to speak, he must follow.

The angel's shadow twists — and then abruptly snaps once more to its old state, as the presence of Cardinal sweeps itself down over the darkened earth, sliding smoothly into her own shadow cast by the moon and the lights of the city beyond the graveyard. The voice follows her, quiet, almost ambient in its echoing tones. More relaxed, now, although still wary.

"He wanted to extend an offer, actually," replies the shadows, "Of employment. Not exclusively, hell, I'm mostly freelance myself. But — he feels rather strongly that the other organizations in the city don't have the… stomach for what needs to be done to ensure the continued freedom and safety of our kind." A faint, derisive snort of breath, "Anyone can see what Petrelli's fascist bullshit is leading to. There's already a secret prison out there, people disappearing. Hell, for all I know, Logan and Muldoon's operation is just a test case to see how well we do as slaves. It'd explain why the government's dragging its feet regarding Staten."

For Huruma, it is much like having a dog tagging along on her heels. She can feel him there, moving, following, speaking down below. She moves onward, wandering towards a corner of the tomb that seems to be more worn than the others.

Her features twist up into a distasteful expression soon, and her eyes in the dullest of light here still seem to be aglow. They travel south to where she can feel the man hiding in the darkness, finding him unnaturally quickly. "Fascism… secret prisons… kidnapping… slaves… corrupt government… you act as if this is new to th'human race." Huruma's voice teeters on the brink of tumbling into a laugh, deep-throated and bemused.

"It's not," he replies, a rough twist of voice at that humor, "You can see it coming. So can I. I've read my history. I'm not going to let it happen again. Not to me." A few moments of silence, the unseen but felt presence regarding her eyelessly from the shadows, "Neither will Fedor. He asked me to mention that he'd spent time in the Congo; that he'd killed machete-men, and dated a woman with short sleeves. He knows where this is going too."

"I've lived my history." Huruma's words are just above a long hiss, drawling off as he picks up about Fedor. The tall woman's eyes slip away from Cardinal's supposed shape and across the rims of stone around her; her shoulders turn completely away, thoughtfulness written in the low light. When her face flickers back into profile to peer around at the disembodied voice, Huruma keeps her eyes closed and lips parted, the corners upturned by centimeters.

"An'what d'you plan t'do abou'it? Mmm?"

There's silence, then, from the disembodied voice; wary of her, still, and afraid, though not of her. Of what he's talking about, though he lets none of it show in his voice. Afraid, and angry. "He's the one with the plans," Cardinal finally replies, tightly, "And the resources. You'll have to talk to him. Phoenix is… idealistic, they've got the right cause, but when it comes down to it, they're too afraid of getting their hands dirty to do what needs doing." A pause, "If we have to lie, and cheat, and kill to get these fuckers out've power and rip their secret plans out into the open and toss them in the public's face covered in innocent blood so they can't ignore it, then we fucking will. And if we do it right, they'll never even know who did it."

All of these answers are the same to her. Or maybe they only sound that way. The vengefulness makes her spine tickle.

"I know people like you." Her lips finally curl into a smile, pulling back to reveal sharp teeth to the dark. Personally, she has no real brotherhood with the Evolved- they are simply another group of humans among many others, and though she shares the quality- there has been little to tie her thusfar. One day, maybe. Doing something period is better than doing nothing, no matter what you do it for. Boredom is a killer.

"Oh?" A curious flicker, there, the shadow pausing in that momentary rant — the vehemence of it surprising even him. Perhaps he's been spending too much time around these terrorists and freedom fighters. Time to think about that later, though. "And who might that be?"

There is no answer for Cardinal there. Huruma slips her eyes upwards to examine the statuary on the inside of the ceiling. Just when it appears as if she may open her mouth to tell him- "Victorian sculpture was… dull."

A hollow little chuckle stirs in response. "Will you, at least," he offers, "Talk to him? I'm merely the messenger. A shadow. I'm nobody."

"Mmmmm." That is possibly a confirmation. Possibly. "My dear- you are a somebody." Huruma rolls her voice, lingering for a moment before taking a few slow, sauntering steps towards where she can feel him. "An'a shadow you are not. Certainly not all o'th'time…"

A dark sort of amusement stirs through that presence, which resides at the moment in the shadows cast across the barred doorway to one of the mausoleums as if an unseen sentinel. "Aren't I?" A twist in the darkness, uncoiling across the wall into a humanoid silhouette, head cocking to one side, "Then what am I, then?"

"Ohoho… just a man." Huruma's arm lifts towards him, elbow bent and the nails of her hands creating the seemless shapes of claws hovering in the musty air. "An'like any man, you feel like one." Yet, she does not reach out to grab at his shape, physical touch unattempted.

As that hand reaches out towards him, there's a stir of bemusement in the living shadow, curiousity prickling in the dark… and a sharper edge to that wary hint that ever lingers in him about her. "You knew where I was," he accuses, theorizes, "I saw you watching me. How?"

The hand in the air stays stock still, and the woman in the dark behind it stares ahead at the shadow with that pair of moonlit eyes. 5… 4… 3… 2… 1-

-like a rubber belt snapping headlong at his mind, a flash of terror and panic digs a fresh, terribly raw rivet through Cardinal's brain. A streak of mental anguish is quick to accentuate it- salt poured into a new wound.

The shadow makes a sound. It's difficult to explain what the sound is, because he doesn't 'speak' in the traditional sense; the vibration of depleted photons, or something similar, emulating voice. Cardinal's never truly been afraid when he'd shed the flesh, and aside from the sting of the light he's never felt serious pain.

Therefore, Huruma may be privledged to be the first person ever to hear a shadow scream.

Of course, it also scatters like a cockroach from the light, darting away in a ripple of darkness through the night.

March 16th: Be Alive
March 16th: Wandering Rocks
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