Latin Lesson


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Scene Title Latin Lesson
Synopsis Amato teaches Sylar some Latin without making him write anything on the wall of the Homeland Security office building. Ethan shows up at the drop of a hat for an impromptu palm-reading session. Seriously.
Date October 25, 2008

Upper West Side

The Upper West Side is primarily a residential and shopping area, and not much about that has changed since the bomb. Despite bordering the region of Midtown that was torn asunder by the blast, the Upper West Side managed to survive the fires that raged out of control in the days following the destruction. It was one of the first areas hit with the massive relief effort. While the areas that did burn have yet to be recovered, that region of the upper west side has been cordoned off by large concrete barricades and Homeland Security roadblocks, preventing most through-traffic into ground zero and the affected area. Beyond that border zone, much of the charm of this upper-class neighborhood has not been lost.

The Upper West Side has the reputation of being home to New York City's liberal cultural and artistic workers, in contrast to the Upper East Side, which is perceived to be traditionally home to more affluent conservative commercial and business types. The neighborhood is decidedly upscale with the median household above the Manhattan average before the bomb, and much of that status-quo maintained by the money pumped into the neighborhood from the reconstruction effort. As one of the first neighborhoods to have electricity and water restored, this area saw a massive temporary influx of transients and refugees from the destroyed areas of the city, most of which moved on as more and more of New York was brought back to life.

Famous sites of the upper west side still remain active today, with Broadway Avenue cutting through the center of the borough. But the reminder of what happened to this city is decidedly visible on the south end of Broadway, where the high concrete barricades rise up one story from the ground, and the jagged, broken skyline of Midtown refuses to remain hidden.

The doormen of hotels are always less accommodating when it comes to questions anyway, and the maid service keeps things spic and span, so long as you lock up your more personal items. But it's not as if Amato has much to his name anyway. If it weren't so conspicuous, he'd consider staying in a hotel on the Upper West Side for the duration of their stay in the city. Alas, it cannot be so.

Not having gotten word from Ethan with any further instructions regarding Phase Two, Amato is taking the afternoon easy. He's dressed in one of his many dark suits, but with a temperature in the 60s, he is able to go without his wool coat. Gloveless, he dines at an outdoor table of a bistro, sipping tea and eating a crêpe of some species. Beside his plate is a gold-leafed, leather-bound book which he idly reads as he sits in the afternoon sun.

It seems that wasting Sylar's time has become a theme. People sending him in directions that prove useless or empty. This will be the second time this week, never mind a previous trip to Staten Island. He steps out onto the street, dressed in casual-conservative clothes with a slightly classier touch of a suit jacket over his shirt, blending easier with the higher-class citizens of this corner of the city. Leaving behind a different apartment building, it seems, if anyone should look his way, he wears an expression of open annoyance. Someone didn't die today, is the problem.

But he happens to look across the street. And his enhanced memory happens to trigger upon seeing someone's face. No real decision of 'what next' has to occur - Sylar is already walking across the street towards Amato, taking a break in the traffic to do so as he almost completely forgets why he'd come to this end of town in the first place. His eyes are hidden behind a pair of sunglasses to combat the bright day, but these he takes off as he places a hand on the opposite chair of Amato's table, pulling it out, though not sitting down yet. "Afternoon," he greets, casually.

Amato had been expecting someone, because /not/ suspecting someone like Ethan to show up at the drop of a hat would only make for quite a nasty heart condition, but /that/ is not Ethan's voice. Amato looks up, then slowly sets down his cup of tea. "Afternoon," he greets in his own voice, but there is an insecurity in it. What exactly does this man, whom Amato recognizes as one of his previous neighbors Munin decided to introduce herself to. "Is there anything I can help you with?"

"Yes," Sylar says, and invites himself to sit down, pocketing his sunglasses as he does so. One last glance about the street, then his gaze settles more finally on Amato, a hint of a smile on his face. "I was wondering something…" And that's when he repeats the prayer uttered by the other man back in the hotel, pronunciation almost perfect, just without the finesse of Amato's accent and expertise. But it's recited, either way, as if he'd had the chance to memorise it. "What does it mean?" he says, once it's done, almost innocently. "I haven't got the chance to look it up yet. Always wanted to learn Latin."

The question is odd enough to raise Amato's eyebrows, but it is easily answered. The trouble is, such a question like that only pricks up more in Amato's own mind. But rather than answer himself, at least initially, Amato turns a few pages in the book at the side of his plate. Once he has found the passage he was looking for, he turns the volume and slides it across the table to Gabriel.

The book is easily recognizable as a copy of the King James bible, with it's ordered, columned text in black ink. It is open to Pslam 70, which isn't very long at all. With a slight smile, Amato starts to recite it from memory, presumably while the other man reads it for himself.

"Make haste, O Lord, to deliver me; make haste to help me, O Lord. Let them be ashamed and confounded that seek after my soul: let them be turned backward, and put to confusion, that desire my hurt. Let them be turned back for a reward of their shame that say, Aha, aha. Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: and let such as love thy salvation say continually, Let God be magnified. But I am poor and needy: make haste unto me, O God: thou art my help and my deliverer; O Lord, make no tarrying."

An elderly man is walking on the sidewalk, slowly trotting along. His hands are held up high near his chest as he walks, to keep balance and stroll along. He wears a mid-length trench coat and an old fisherman's hat. The man's face wrinkles up as he smiles at the people at the street cafe as he moseys along. But right at that moment a strong breeze blows by and the bucket hat flies up off the grey hair and soars to the ground rather quickly. A drop of a hat….

Ethan is walking directly towards Amato and his new friend. He is dressed in a suit, a rather nice, pinstriped suit. A blue tie adorns his chest. A pair of sunglasses hide his eyes, and a cigarette is between two fingers of his right hand. How did he find Amato? Who knows. "Hello there, sweet cheeks." The man says in greeting to Amato once he arrives at the table he looks at Sylar and offers his free hand in a rather quick greeting. Rather give his cover quickly than have Amato ruin it later. "Jonathan Wells. You must know my friend here." He jerks his thumb over to Amato.

Sylar does indeed read the passage, only glancing up once as Amato begins to recite it as well. The only readable expression is a flicker that indicates he's impressed by the man's obvious knowledge, a low chuckle rumbling up once the psalm is finished. He slides the book back across the table. "It sounds desperate," he comments, own hands coming to link together on the table. He opens his mouth, a question, and then— they're interrupted. Sylar can't help an undisguised look of irritation as the stranger approaches. Only a moment's hesitation ticks by, before Sylar offers his hand, the one with his watch at his wrist, in return with a friendly smile, clasping Ethan's in a small, brisk shake. "Gabriel," he introduces himself. "Gabriel Wilkens. And yes," a glance Amato's way, "we're neighbors."

"V'havta l'rayacha chamocha," is Amato's answer to Ethan's question, but he doesn't seem perturbed at all by the intrusion of sorts, or by the nickname. He's gotten worse from the man, after all. He doesn't point out the fact that they are no longer neighbors - that needn't be said. "Mister Wilkens and I were just discussing his uncanny ability to hear the most amazing things." Amato smiles to Ethan as if he were a housewife or socialite making a comment to draw a newcomer into the conversation while hinting at something deeper at the same time. Amato has no reason to doubt this claim - he knows he was whispering, and for Gabriel to be able to reproduce what he had heard with that much accuracy, something is definitely amiss.

Ethan may ruin some things. But he also knows how to do some good. A very subtle twitch of the eye occurs at Amato's words. "Really? You've got good ears mm? Me? Not so much. I've got kinda good sight though, and what my sight is telling me-" He pauses, jerking a thumb over his shoulder. "Mind if I sit gentlemen?" He waits for a nod of approval or some type of 'yes' before seating himself at his table. "Is that you have very unique bone structure." 'Jonathan' says quite seriously. Does Ethan know what he's talking about? No, not really. But he usually has a plan. "I've been looking into this new age stuff.. really something for me to do when I'm bored in the office, you know. But there's this new movement that says you can tell a lot about person by their bone structure. Like.. for example." Ethan points to Sylar, "I know this is strange, but would you indulge me? Could I see your hand?" Ethan asks, his eyes setting on the man.

Sylar kind of watches Ethan with a look of distant confusion - but seems willing enough to listen, even if he does sneak a glance towards Amato, to see if the other man is following along too. There's a little more discomfort in the man's posture - it had been in his intent to zero in on Amato, but now it's Sylar who's under some sort of microscope, and a confusing one at that. There's a pause after "Jonathan" makes his request, a guarded moment of silence, before Sylar unlinks his hand, holding it up - but not offering it out just yet. "I've never been one for the whole New Age pseudo-spiritual thing, Mister… Wells, was it?" he says, and glances towards Amato, expectant. "I never did catch your name."

"Cassius," Amato answers with a smile and a nod for Gabriel. It's a name befitting of his odd accent, at least. "Armand Cassius." Of the Father variety, for this alias, but he leaves that out. "And to tell you the truth, Mister Wilkens, neither am I. Mister Wells makes an interesting argument, however. It is, at the very least, entertaining." He picks up his teacup to have a sip of the hot liquid, falling silent once more. His other hand moves to quietly close the book on the table, letting the golden words HOLY BIBLE shine out against the black leather cover.

"To be honest, neither am I. One of the guys I work with told me about this. I was skeptical but he made me try it and.." He pauses as Sylar gets Amato's fake name. He nods, confirming his own fake name. "Well, I tried it, and he was dead on. Just by looking at my fucking hands. My fucking hands!" Ethan exclaims with astonishment, holding up his own hands to Sylar as if to prove it. "It's crazy weird how accurate is." He insists, motioning to Sylar's hands once again.

"I can't imagine it being very accurate if your hands are clean," Sylar states, a little flatly, as if unimpressed. But rather than make this go on much longer, he offers out his hand to Ethan - indeed a very clean hand, at that - and leans his other elbow on the table. "You certainly don't look like the type to get taken in by palm reading, Mr. Wells," he adds in a more pleasant tone of voice, a smile playing out onto his mouth. "It must have been pretty good."

Ethan nods with a smile as he grips Sylar's hand gently with one hand and draws another finger on it. "See, look here Armand." The Wolf motions with his head to Amato as if to join in. "Press here. You see?" Ethan looks up to Sylar as if he found a treasure. "This here means you are meticulous, and very organized. While this here means you are very generous, and warm." Ethan explains to the man as if it were fact.

"Well I try to be," Sylar says with a casual, brighter smile, one that doesn't entirely meet his eyes. Because there, frustration is evident - he's just not catching a break, is he, with his 'speak before you kill' policy he's attempting. When "Armand" is gestured to join in for this little show-and-tell, Sylar gives a glance his way. "Isn't there a line that implies how long you have to live?" he adds, ponderously.

That's a question for "Jonathan" to answer. "Armand" is too busy leaning over as politely as possible once he has returned his cup to it's saucer. He lifts a hand to probe with one finger at Sylar's palm thankful of the downward angle of his eyes. At the rush of visions - flashes from Gabriel's own perspective - the blonde's eyes close and his jaw tightens.

"Fuck, I don't know man." Ethan says pointedly. "I read an article on the internet. Shit. I'm not Miss fucking Cleo." Ethan says retracting his hands from Sylar's. The deed is done. Though the Wolf will continue to speak to Sylar in order to distract him from Amato's intimate moment. "So Gabriel, what do you do? And how do you manage to be so generous? That was fucking, dead on, wasn't it? Creepy, huh?" Ethan says with a little smile.

When his hand is released, Sylar draws it back rather quickly, unable to help a slight glance to his palm, although who knows what he'd expect to see, there. "I restore watches, clocks— time pieces," he answers, in a slightly distracted tone of voice. "It pays the— the bills," and now his head is turning towards Amato, that 'uncanny ability to hear the most amazing things' kicking in when he can hear something not quite right with the man, a change in heart rate or breathing, despite Ethan's distractions. He doesn't ask Amato if he's okay, he just hawk-watches.

The tiniest beads of sweat have formed on Amato's brow, and they would be much larger if the man weren't actively trying to keep himself calm after witnessing…that. He is silent for now, but he is a good deal paler than he already was. In an attempt to mask his tension, Amato drinks his tea and picks up his utensils again. Even if it is a dish meant to be eaten with one's hands, Amato would rather use a knife and fork.

Ethan and Amato may not get along. They may even hate each other. But Ethan knows Amato. And can easily pick up on his changes in behavior. He twitches a little bit. "Oh my.." He murmurs, "I'm buzzing." Reaching into his pocket, the Wolf pulls out his cell phone and looks at the screen. "Mm. Text message. It's Tabby. We should go to that thing, Armand." Ethan urges him as he stands and motions to the man. He then looks over to Sylar. "Sorry about this," he slips his cellphone away. "It really was nice to meet you." He offers his hand out again to the man as he tries to nudge Amato and hasten their retreat.

"That thing," Sylar repeats, somewhat flatly, gaze shifting to Ethan. It's not that he knows when he's being lied to - he just knows that Ethan's phone did no such thing. Which basically, along with Amato's racing heart beat, puts a different layer onto this encounter. Still, he stands up, adjusting his jacket, and clasping Ethan's offered hand in both of his. "Likewise," he says, with a slightly cold smile, then towards Amato, he offers a hand as well, mimicking Ethan's departing gesture. "Thanks for the translation. Until we run into each other again?"

Amato looks to Ethan with his mouth still full of crepe, but he swallows it quickly enough. "She wouldn't be pestering if you hadn't been late," he points out as he extracts a few bills from a wallet and tucks them under his cup's saucer before getting to his feet.

"It was no problem, Mister Wilkens," Amato says with a smile. With the slightest bit of hesitation and a skip in his heartbeat, Amato takes Gabriel's hand again. If the thin man with the spindly fingers can, he'll make the handshake as short as possible, and there is considerably strain as he forces to keep his eyes open when his skin meets that of the other man.

Sylar's a scary man. No. Seriously. Super scary. Envious too. Think of this guy.

October 25th: Through a Mirror Darkly

Previously in this storyline…

Next in this storyline…

October 25th: Ghosts
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