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Scene Title Justification
Synopsis Nathan discovers he isn't the only outcast in their merry band of misfits. April finds not as much of a kindred spirit as she hoped. In the end, they agree it's the end that matters.
Date April 18, 2009

Textile Factory 17

Situated on the banks of the Hudson River in the Red Hook neighborhood, Textile Factory 17 was once a part of a greater industrial complex in New York in the late 1800's. The building itself has that distinctive architectural look of an industrial revolution factory; constructed primarily from aged red brick, Textile Factory 17 however has one defining trait that sets it apart from the other factories in the area, an outer wall that surrounds the factory that closely resembles the bailey of a castle more so than an industrial complex.

The Factory complex is made up of seven distinct buildings, all having been abandoned since the company that owned the mill went bankrupt thirty-six years ago. The factory, warehouse, commons and shipping buildings all sit in derelict condition, having been cut off from the majority of New York's homeless due to the heavy gate that cordons off the facility from the nearby roads.

While it rests clearly in public view and is considered a historic landmark to the Red Hook neighborhood, time and circumstance has not allowed the factory to be refurbished for other purposes.

It's not exactly a home, or even a place to stay. Just a place to go. No doubt Edward trusts this motley collection of prison inmates to negotiate their way inside despite the heavy gate barring entrance into the territory that is Textile Factory 17. No doubt, Nathan has it easier than any of them — even before his power was exchanged. Flight and teleportation are shortcuts. No time travel, though. Superman was lying about flying around the world so fast as to turn back time, although how handy that might have been.

It's colder as the day starts drawing to a close. An hour or so off to actual darkness, the sky is a slate colour, thick with cloud that Nathan knows would have been a bitch to fly in. He's at the chained gates, a black woolen coat, inevitably stolen, wrapped around him, buttoned in place. As if he were waiting to be admitted entrance by some nonexistent person with a key, he rests his back against the creaking metal, rusted in places.

Christ there's a lot to think about. And a lot of procrastination. There's a thunk sound as he rests the back of his head against one of the chilly bars of the gate, and continues to observe the sky. He's not really sure if he misses it.

Company wasn't exactly what April had in mind when she started this little walk. A sojourn through the weed-riddled, gradually decaying grounds of the abandoned textile factory, just one woman and her thoughts. Thoughts which twist and turn but ever spiral around the same center. Solitude, it turns out, doesn't make her mental and spiritual burdens lay any lighter.

Company is everything she intended to avoid, but something about Nathan's posture, the way he leans on the outside of the gates and stares up at the sky, is familiar. It reminds April of herself. So she changes direction to walk over towards the black-iron gates, hands in her pockets, elbows close to her sides. Gray shoes scuff softly against the paving.

"Do you miss it?" It's an uncanny, unwitting echo of Nathan's thoughts — but then, there are only so many ways to interpret that expression.

Getting slow in your old age, Nathan. He jerks a look towards her with a wild sort of wariness, relaxing only a breath later. "Snuck up on me," is his excuse, and he manages not to stare dreamily up at the sky again. Maybe he was studying the weather. Intently. For now, it's April instead that gets studied for a moment, evaluated, and Nathan takes his weight off the gate. It creaks a little when the pressure is alleviated, and he absently wraps a hand around a bar.

Decides, after all, that her question is worth answering. Whether she's worth trusting is another story, but, that's a digression. "I should," Nathan answers, with a hook of a half-smile. "But no. Not really. I was wondering that myself just now." He removes his hand from the gate, buries them both in the pockets of his coat. "I prefer it."

April smiles half-heartedly at the excuse; it doesn't touch her eyes. She regards him, evaluates him, in the same fashion; trust is a commodity they haven't shared. Not with anyone in this motley crew — even if Edward seems to have claimed and held a management position. The woman nods as Nathan continues, walking the rest of the way up to the gate, so that she can stand at the opposite hinge.

Looking at him through the bars is in some symbolic fashion reminiscent of their stay in prison, even if bars were not a property of Moab cells. April shivers, looks away. She could carry on the conversation, but in the end, Nathan's power doesn't really matter to her. She doesn't know him. Doesn't trust him. But, as she looks out on the road leading from the gate, the once-President visible only in the edge of her sight, the words spill out anyway, without conscious intent.

"Do… do you think we're doing the right thing?"

It's not a question any of their compatriots would ask. Not Rickham, with his iron anger; Doe, scrabbling for his sense of identity; forever-adolescent Reed, psychopathic Niles, the twisted mind that is Doyle and the calculating spider of Edward attempting to direct them all through his web of strings and newspaper. "I mean… not changing things, we have to, but…" Hazel eyes return to Nathan, hoping silently for understanding as speech fails.

Understanding is there, if slightly surprised understanding. Maybe it was too arrogant to think he was the only one who might question things, despite the necessity. The necessity, it's a steel center, solid and unshakeable. There's no going back, which is an ironic thing to think about considering his new ability.

And does that make it all okay? "That's kind of a luxury we can't afford, don't you think?" Nathan asks back, almost gently. Though she only peripherally watches him before that one searching glance, he keeps her in his focus, the dark interruption of bars doing little to dissuade him, symbols or not. "People get put in jail for the incapability to do the right thing." It's not really answering the question.

She looks at Nathan steadily, her expression somber. "Sometimes they get put in jail anyway." Wasn't Phoenix an example of that, in their timeline? At least by the time the media got ahold of it and word trickled down to a lowly young agent; proclaimed martyrs, each and every one. "That's not what I asked." Though there could have been a rebuke in that statement, in either of her replies, it's missing.

April shrugs her hands out of her pockets, takes one small half-step back from the gate, her gaze lifting to the silhouette of Edward's chosen tower. The structure broods darkly to her eyes, and in the evening gloom, in the sense of camaraderie that may exist only in her imagination and so be the more dangerous for it, April can't quite keep her doubts from her expression. But she doesn't speak them now, her silence stiff, the half-born offer withdrawn.

"I know." Lines at his eyes deepen in an expression that's not quite a smile. It never makes it. Nathan's a politician and yet he can be as blind to subtle cues as the next person. Sometimes it works against him and other times it doesn't. Now, he follows her gaze with a slight glance, brings a hand up to brush his knuckles over his jaw.

Offer withdrawn or not, he doesn't consider the conversation ended, or a chance gone to answer the question. "I want to think we are," he finally says, a shimmer of a shrug. "Doing the right thing. I don't exactly have a lot of practice at it."

The first statement elicits little response; she knows he knows. Didn't realize it mattered until Nathan continues speaking, at which point hazel eyes swing back to his face. "I… thought I did," April admits. She can allow that, although doesn't elaborate on how or why. She glances to the ground; lifts her gaze again in order to talk more. "Some, at least. But — maybe not." She regards him searchingly; now that she's looking, thinking, weighing her trust instead of blindly expressing doubts, the balance doesn't level. Her lips stay closed on so many things she could say.

"I guess there's something to 'the ends justify the means'." There's a bitterness in her statement, subtle but sharp.

The bitterness is nice to hear. In the midst of all the talk of fun and games and all the other things they have to do that those they're currently running with take to like children. There's a creak as his shoulder finds purchase again against the iron gate, dropping her gaze and looking out towards the road and paths leading from the factory. "Yeah," Nathan says, more rueful than bitter. "There is. I don't think it's meant to be easy. I'm kind of glad you don't think it is. One of us shouldn't."

"Only one?" April echoes. She looks out past Nathan as well, to the empty roads, the paths forgotten by practically everyone but themselves. Those of their cohort who have to walk, anyway. Silence stretches. Breaks. "Just… as long as it all means something," the woman says softly, not looking back at him. She lingers a moment more; then turns away, beginning her solitary walk back towards the abandoned buildings in which they rattle around like so many solitary peas in a very large tin.

A shrug at her rhetorical inquiry. Excluding himself or skipping over himself. Eliminating himself from the equation entirely. She's not watching him, so she doesn't quite see his own distance and vacancy, and says nothing to stop her. For a while, Nathan watches her go, and should she glance back, which she inevitably probably won't, the gate is clear of people, as if perhaps no conversation had gone on here at all. Just as long as it all means something indeed.

<date>: previous log

Previously in this storyline…
When You Assume

Next in this storyline…
Raison d'Etre

<date>: next log
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