Just Another Day In The City


maria_icon.gif megan_icon.gif

Scene Title Just Another Day In The City
Synopsis Megan and Maria meet at the coffee stand.
Date January 15, 2009

Outside St. Luke's Hospital

She's on the way to work as the clocks pass eight this morning, for her just another Thursday in the labs. Her path began on the Upper West Side at Dorchester Towers and brought her into Morningside Heights, where Biomere is located close to Columbia University. A pair of street vendors are spotted near the hospital; one's a newsstand and the other has coffee. Both are of use to her right now, so Maria begins to approach the one closest to her. Most people, however, won't see her arriving.

Megan Young is one of those who is stepping out into the frigid temperatures from St. Luke's. She looks like anyone else on the street (if they're smart) — dressed in warm woolen pants, a heavy coat, gloves, a hat, and a scarf tucked into it. She shoves her gloved hands into her pocket for money to pay the coffee vendor, telling him with sympathy, "Man, I'm not sure being out here's going to be worth your time today. You getting enough foot traffic to get by?" The weather is positively arctic, and few people are loitering outside anywhere.

He laughs and tells her in accented English, "I do better than newspaper guy!" The newspaper guy flips him the bird, or one assumes it's the bird in spite of the fact that his hands are encased in huge mittens, mostly good-naturedly during the exchange. It makes the redhead laugh, and she pops the lid off her coffee to take a sip just about the time the younger woman landd nearby and causes the coffee guy to smile - he sees Maria often enough to be used to these appearances.

She does in fact land. Her feet drift toward the pavement at a speed she knows won't jar her ankles and knees when they stop moving, and a beat later she's walking toward the coffee vendor with one gloved hand pulling out change from a pocket. It's no easy feat, but she can manage well enough. Maria's clothing for the day is scarf, coat with hood up, slacks, and flat dress shoes. "Morning, Jim," she offers. "Frosty today, and then some, yeah?"

Megan looks toward the new arrival, a single copper eyebrow arching at the overt use of an Evolved ability in a public venue. She doesn't comment on it, though she'd like to. Not her business, really. She nods to Maria, though. "Morning," she greets as she sips her coffee.

Jim has her usual ready, he'd poured it when he spotted Maria approaching from above the street. It's placed on the counter. One hand takes it, the other gives him the correct change. It's a common ritual between them, one performed at least three times per week. "Thanks, Jim," she offers cheerily, while holding the coffee near her nose so she can inhale the scent and enjoy it. "You're welcome, Maria," he replies with a grin. "How's the view up there today?"

Megan watches the interchange, and a small smile graces her face. It's good to see people just plain accept an Evolved citizen. She doesn't just wander away yet, interested in watching the relatively few people around the area too. Some are looking toward Maria with shock, fear, and revulsion. Others seem merely curious. But like many things in New York, it just doesn't keep their interest all that long either. No fight breaking out, no weapons drawn, nothing interesting… time to move on. Megan looks back toward the two speakers.

"Frosty," she replies with a laugh. "Everything looks cold. But it's still good to see." Jim nods while chuckling, he perhaps wanting to know what it's like firsthand as he moves on to handle the next person in line; a woman of thirty-five who seems less than pleased he was decent to the aviatrix who needs no machine. "I can't believe you give her service," she mutters.

But Maria pays her no attention, her eyes settling instead on the copper-haired nurse. "Morning," she offers.

Shaking her head, making a point of making eye contact with the mutterer and looking her over like she's found something lacking in the woman, Megan makes a point of turning to Maria. "Megan Young. It's nice to meet you."

"Maria Delgado," she replies, and faces the nurse fully. It's her. The one in the papers not so long ago. "Good to meet you too, Megan Young." Her coffee is held in one hand as she inhales the aroma again.

Megan nods to Maria, sipping her hot beverage. "Bloody frigid out here, and likely to get worse before it gets better," she offers. "Can't imagine that it's warmer up there, either."

"That's one of the benefits to flying," Maria offers with a brisk nod. "Straighter paths, less time spent out in it." It being cold, she finds her coffee is safe to drink from sooner than it otherwise would be, and she does just that while taking a few steps toward the newspaper guy's operation. It's close enough to see the headlines, and she eyes them while digging out more change. "Damn," she muses. A question is asked of Megan, while looking back over her shoulder briefly. "What crime do you think he was talking about?"

Megan shakes her head, sipping from her own cup as she too scans the headlines. "I couldn't begin to say for sure…. but I have to wonder if he's Unregistered. It's technically a crime, and it'd be minor enough that he wouldn't be in leg irons yet. But heck… who knows? Maybe he slept with an intern and his wife found out," she quips.

That draws out a short laugh from the self-powered aviatrix. "It wouldn't be the first time a politician failed to keep his zipper up, probably won't be the last. Men," Maria adds with a roll of her eyes. "But the unregistered thing, you really think so?"

Megan shrugs easily. "Honestly I've no idea. But the fact that he's not already in leg irons and the news isn't blabbing about charges or anything yet indicates to me that to whatever and whomever he's confessed his sins, they've deemed it a 'not requiring immediate incarceration' kind of crime. Could be campaign finances, could be bribes, could really be anything," she admits. "He ran on a platform of change and tolerance, though… so if it's eating at his conscience bad enough that he's stepping down just days from swearing in, it's got to be something big. Or someone's blackmailing him." She smirks. "Don't mind me, I'm a cynic."

"Or both," Maria speculates. "I don't buy all this conspiracy theory junk about an assassination attempt, though. It was a gas main. I mean, really, if someone tried to kill him that couldn't be covered up. It's never been covered up before. Reagan, the attempts on Ford…"

Megan nods thoughtfully. "Yeah, I think that's strains credibility. There were all kinds of cops and people around at that meet — there's no way it was an assassination attempt. It would have leaked," she agrees, sipping her coffee. "But you know, conspiracy theorists are always going to come up with ways to twist stuff like that. I mean, look at the mysteries surrounding the deaths of George Reeves, Marilyn Monroe, who the Black Dahlia was, the magic bullet theories of Kennedy's assassination that have been proven scientifically … people love a mystery and a good conspiracy theory. And it's hard to let them go, I guess."

"I hear that," Maria offers heartily. "It's a shame if he is unregistered, that he'd feel it so bad he had to turn away from the Oval Office. But I doubt that too; if he never registered before, why have an attack of conscience about it now? Which leads to blackmail, maybe. If somebody found out…" Then she shakes her head and laughs. "Listen to me. I'm starting to sound like one of those conspiracy nuts here."

Megan chuckles. "See? It's easy to fall into the speculation trap." She shrugs easily. "Hopefully it will sort itself out in the next couple of days. I begs the question whether they'll swear in the vice president… being as he's not being charged with anything, I'd think it'd work that way, but…"

"I'm no lawyer," Maria answers, "but the 25th amendment doesn't really need a law degree to understand. The Presidency is open at noon on the 20th, so the VP elect takes two oaths. Seems fairly simple, really. Unless Rickham changes his mind. I mean, resignations can be retracted before they become effective, he's not President yet, so technically there's nothing to resign from."

Megan looks thoughtful. "Now there's an interesting take. Though I think if he does that, he's a lame duck from the start."

"That's true," she affirms. "Who wants a President who can't make a decision and stick to it anyway? There'd always be speculation about his self-professed crime, and the slim chance he could get the Linderman Act repealed would be lost, along with everything else. He's politicially dead, now," Maria muses.

Megan nods slowly. "Yeah…. which pretty much sucks for Evolved who go about their lives like everyone else." She shakes her head and says, "Let's just hope that the VP is worth having."

"We'll be okay," Maria replies calmly. "There's always been fear, and there always will be, of what's different. We just have to be ourselves and not let it drag us down. Some people, though. You know, I ran into that Agent Parkman a while back. He carded me, which I expected, I always have it on me, then he looked at me like I had two heads or was an an idiot, maybe both, for flying. For being who I am."

She scowls briefly. "I really thought he'd understand, I mean, he was one of the people who outed us in the first place, now he's recommending keeping it under wraps because people might try to kill me? It was disappointing. I thought he'd be all about being in the open and letting people get used to us, get past the fear, but he's not."

Megan mmmms quietly. "In all honesty? It takes people like you to make it happen… people willing to take the risk. But it's a big risk. It's an even bigger risk than being openly gay in this country. Look how long it's taken that minority group to try to mainstream, and *they* don't have superpowered abilities that could, so far as Joe Q. Public is concerned, be a danger to friends and family either on purpose or by accident. You don't think the next burglar to break into a house and get caught is facing the idea of taking death sentence when the homeowner decides it's not worth taking the chance that the burglar's Evolved or not? Let's be realistic here. *Your* power may be perfectly benign, but not all of them are."

"Not all people are benign, powers or not," Maria replies quietly. "A power is a tool. Some are dangerous by their very nature, it's true. But people without them still sometimes flip out. Or they're just plain evil. Maybe it's just different for me, not being caucasian, it makes me less inclined to hide who I am, because I was still a target sometimes even before I could fly."

Megan smiles slightly. "I didn't say you were right or wrong. Merely that the mindset is understandable. Especially for those who've always BEEN part of the mainstream, I think. For you, who've faced prejudice, this may be merely one more thing that gets you the same treatment you're used to facing down. For a white male like Agent Parkman? It's a whole new way of seeing the world," she observes.

"That I get," she agrees. "I just thought he'd be past that, after standing up with Senator Petrelli and declaring himself openly." Maria lifts her cup again.

Megan mmms softly. "It's highly probable that he didn't know what he was getting into when he stood up and declared himself," she notes easily. "And after a couple of years of standing up and being treated poorly, perhaps he's changed his mind about it being a good thing."

"That makes sense," she admits somberly. "It's still a shame. Here I thought he was this real standup guy, a bold leader, but really, Agent Parkman's just another guy, puts his pants on one leg at a time like everybody else."

Megan laughs softly at the statement. "Well, honey…. people are people, no matter where you go," she says philosophically. "At least he's TRYING to help. It's more than you can say for most of the population, right?" She sips her coffee.

At that, Maria simply nods. "Well, not everybody wears pants all the time, of course. I do sometimes like skirts, but…" The thought is left unexpressed, the expression she shows indicates believe Megan knows where she was going with it.

Megan just shakes her head with a chuckle. "I like your style, Maria Delgado." She shrugs easily and glances around. "You work around here?"

"I do," she nods. "Over by Columbia, in biotech. You?"

Megan jerks her chin toward the hospital. "ER," she replies. "Third shift. Always a mess."

"Ooooh," she replies with a wince. "I knew some of the nurses in the Navy. The stories they'd tell sometimes…" Maria shudders a little.

Megan nods sagely. "Yeah. I won't gross you out," she promises.

"Thanks for that," Maria offers blithely.

Megan chuckles. "Tell you what, though… I get off work this time every day. Maybe I'll meet you for coffee again?" She's looking weary, and the cold is starting to sink in even with layers.

"I'm sure you will, Megan," Maria answers with a spreading smile. "Go home. Get some sleep. I need to be getting to work myself." Then she lifts her coffee cup as a farewell gesture and rises slowly into the air. Once she reaches forty feet or so, she aims herself toward Biomere and travels at about thirty miles per hour.

January 15th: Literary
January 15th: Under The Rug
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