Luth And Consequences


cardinal_icon.gif luther_icon.gif monica_icon.gif

Scene Title Luth And Consequences
Synopsis Luther learns a little about what his colleagues are up against and gets an assignment of his own.
Date October 22, 2011

Skinny Brickfront

Tonight, the Endgame safehouse gets a new face. And for once… Monica enters through the front door instead of slipping in a window. And that's because she has Luther behind her.

"This is it," she announces as she lets them in, "make yourself at home." She's carrying a bag with her, because she spent part of the day replenishing her waredrobe, much of which has been… ruined over the past year. Or taken and replaced with an orange jumpsuit. And orange is not the new black.

She heads into the kitchen first, mostly to check if there is coffee available.

The roughly stubbled face of Luther is definitely new to the Endgame safehouse, even if it might not be new for most. Fortunately he's not an entire mess, thanks to the generosity of one son of Monica (from the future). As pretty much always when he enters, he's already checking out the surroundings in a gauge of its security largely in the sense of one who might need to scurry from it rather than to try and subvert it. The man's vocalized response is a quiet rumble, thoughtful to say the least. "Home," he echoes in that pensive consideration. And of course, it helps that they're first headed to the kitchen. Food and warm hearth? Sounds like home.

"You know, Monica, we really need to talk about your tendency to bring home strays…" Strays…

A whisper from the shadows of a doorway before Richard Cardinal pulls himself free of them, darkness gliding back to reveal flesh and fabric and that crooked smile of his. A brow crooks up over the edge of his shades as he greets, "Luther. Good to see you alive and well."

Whispers from the shadows are usually a pretty unsettling thing, but in this case, Monica just turns toward the sound and gestures toward Luther. "This is the same stray." That's her defense. "We've got a room for him, yeah?" A question asked in that way that implies the answer ought to be yes.

And since there's no coffee, she heads over to start making some. Which, luckily, she's got a knack for. "I was telling him and JJ about the missions coming up. Let them know they can come and have something to do, if they want."

One would think that after the whole time he'd spent at Redbird and the unfolding events of the recent political climate, Luther would be used to the presence of other Evolved. Especially, when it's his employer who sticks to the shadows more than even Luther does. Still, the man startles and freezes for a second before he turns towards the whisperer. "Ey, Boss. Been a minute, hasn't it? Sorry I haven't exactly shown up to work." Once his tensed stomach resettles, Luther unshoulders his own pack and sets it down by his leg, bobbing his head in addition to Monica's statement. "Did you know she has a son who isn't even born yet?" Get that. "But man enough to fight in this thing you got planned." His expression sobers. "I'll earn my keep any way you need me to."

"…that was a joke, Monica. A joke? Do you— c'mon, I was referencing— gah, nevermind," Cardinal brings a hand up to vaguely brush off the defensiveness, a low chuckle stirring in his chest, "Don't be ridiculous, he's one of us. Of course he's welcome, even if we're starting to get a little tight. Plenty of room for cots still, though." He lets his hand drop, shoulder coming up in a shrug, "Eh, not your fault. I blew the building up and then got kidnapped by my evil future self's son from the future."

There's a long pause, "And yeah, JJ, we've met."

Monica tilts her head, like maybe she's never heard of what a joke is before. But it's only a moment before a smile comes to her face again. She reaches over to pat him on the arm and everything. There, there.

"Yeah, he could have a roomie or two. There's space in mine, even. No one seems to want to stay my roommate for long, don't know why." It's hard to imagine. She only keeps odd hours and doesn't know how doors work. The pause from Cardinal gets a worried look on her face. "Oh — Liz explained, right? I mean, yeah, of course she did. Wait. He was nice, wasn't he?" There's a look on her face that one might call a Mom look. "Were you nice?"

"Hang on, you blew the building up and then got kidnapped by who?" Poor Luther. Give him a minute and a half for that one. His brow pinches at front and center, working it through a few stages before settling into acceptance of new realities. "He was nice," he adds in his support of JJ. After all, not everyone just lets strangers borrow a shower and a shirt. But not everybody also expects their mom and said stranger to break in via the fire escape.

"But you know me. Don't even need a cot, so long as there's a corner." He quirks a grateful smile though, for the welcome. "At least I can keep the place warm enough for you. Or, warm up the car on the way north."

"I didn't exactly meet him when I knew who he was, but… I've at least surveilled most of her squad, after all. He seemed like an alright guy," Cardinal replies with an easy shrug of one shoulder, walking along inside and finding a seat — sprawling back into it, he brings one hand up, fingers sliding under the edge of his shades to rub against his eyes. "Long story. So, ah, Elisabeth made some… tactical miscalculations and we had to blow up the building to throw the feds off our scent. I had some plans in mind, but then Joshua — who is my evil future self's son, follow along if you can I know it's ridiculous — decided to try and kill me. One of the other kids, a time traveller named Walter Trafford saved me, but I basically missed six goddamn months."

"Luther, it's really just better if you nod and smile and not try to unravel any of this mess." That's how Monica handles it. Richard does the puzzle work, she punches things. As for the assessment on her future son, Monica nods and seems to think this is normal. That her son that isn't her son be a nice man and polite.

"My kid didn't kidnap anyone. Or try to kill them. Just saying." One of them is a good parent, that's what she's saying. It's her. That is also what she's saying. "But don't worry," she says, to Luther, "We changed that future, so Rich's kids will be better behaved this time around."

She might say not to, but Luther gives it an old college try when Cardinal elaborates on events past. In time, though, he does in fact wind up nodding if not exactly smiling so much as having this 'what the fuuu' expression. "Alright, well, I'm going on record to say I'm not okay with anyone's children, future or otherwise, coming around engaging in kidnapping and attempted murder." Little does he know. "So what's the plan now, since there's still a world needing saving. And," he says, cutting a glance to Monica for a moment, "Miss Peyton?"

"I'm pretty much on the same field as you there, Luther…" Cardinal's head shakes ever so slightly, "The plan… well. Our timetable got a little fucked, thanks to Joshua, and I'm sure you've seen the news recently…" He grimaces, "The noose is tightening. The Ferry and Endgame are hitting two locations soon, the Ark up in Cambridge where they've been locking people away in cocoons like Han fucking Solo, and the Mountain up in Alaska. Our hope is that we can at least stop the Institute, and free as many people as we can for the riots to come."

"And there will be riots."

"You can say that. Ghettos, drugs, robots. Permits to have kids? I mean. There are definitely going to be riots." Monica might even be looking forward to it. She has a history of being in the thick of a riot now and then. Freedom fighter and all.

She turns to Luther, adding, "Peyton made a hasty decision when she was in a bad place. So we're gonna go show her that she can make another one. She'll come back home." Which is here, apparently.

Luther has a different reaction to the idea of riots, his frown one of a man who has spent a life doing his best impression of a social bowl of mashed potatoes. Said potatoes have gotten a little spicy though. "It ain't right. Registration nonsense. Robot guarded concentration camps. Kidnapping and forcing drugs on people. Permits for children like this is like…" he rumbling practically dissolves into growls. It's followed by a slow shake of his head and a tired kind of leaning on the table top in the kitchen, and a sniff after the coffee brewing. "Ok so, when do we go get her?" comes his next question, and that he looks to Cardinal on. "Sooner the better, I take it?"

At the mention of the erstwhile CFO, Cardinal's gaze drops down to his hands for a moment, fingers tapping against one another lightly. "We hope she will," he says quietly, "This was her choice. I didn't… pay enough attention to the signs. And now she's— God, she doesn't even know what happened to her in that future." He draws in a slow breath, and looks up, considering Luther for a long moment. "We are going soon. I… think I have a different job for you, Luther. If you're up for it."

Looking over at Luther, Monica gives him a sympathetic look. "We're going to work on those, too. Institute first. American government second," she says, holding a coffee cup aloft like a sword. But then she puts it down as if she hadn't just declared herself an enemy of the state.

Her expression turns more serious when Cardinal speaks, a frown pulling at her lips. "She gets to make more than one choice." But that isn't the part that's upsetting her. She comes around to that in a moment. "What happens to her in the future? What he gonna do to her?"

At the sight of Monica holding up her coffee cup like a sword - or is it a certain torch of a certain statue - Luther curls up a corner of his mouth. "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time," he quotes at first, though he adds, "said one rather problematic figure of our history. And actually that quote… y'know what, I'll come up with something better that that one." In a moment. However when it comes to the subject of their immediate plans and a job? Luther angles his head, brows lifting expectantly. "Yeah sure. I mean, yes. Like I said, I'll earn my keep."

The question is answered only with a shake of Cardinal's head, and an inability to meet Monica's gaze. Whatever it is? It doesn't seem like it was very good.

He dips his chin in a slight nod to Luther, leaning back slowly in his chair again. "We're moving on the eighth." That date. Always the eighth. Everything seems to happen on that day, it seems, as if destiny itself kept moving in loops. One hand motions slightly to Luther, "They're going to be holding the memorial that day, in Midtown. We're going to need someone on sight in case— well. If things get really bad, you'd be an ideal choice to have on site." If there's another nuclear blast he means.

"Richard…" Monica looks like she might press for an answer, just for a moment, but in the end she turns back to the coffee. It needs looking after. And when he notes the planned date, Monica tenses up. That date has never gone particularly well for her. "Oh, we're just giving in to fate now, aren't we?" Other years they couldn't avoid it. This year is different.

"Oh right. I forgot about the memorial. That is definitely going sideways." Not because she's developed precognition, but because it's that day and it's that place. Tenses are high enough as it is.

Oh, that date. That place. That event. If Monica's body is tense, Luther is steel beam rigid and his eyes hard as stone but glazed with a still fresh memory. As if he could forget. The first to loosen is his jaw, then the rest of his body in an unexpected shiver of release, where he radiates off his emotion. Those eyes glint with a hint of wetness, water from stone, as the man turns to look away from them at a distant point in the small kitchen. Perhaps the refrigerator. "If you already know what's supposed to happen," Luther manages after a long pause, "where's a guy like me supposed to fit in to it all? And, what's supposed to happen?"

"We don't… we don't know what's going to happen, if anything," Cardinal gives his head a sharp shake, "We know there'll be thousands of people gathering in midtown, we know that fucking Petrelli is going to be there… I don't know for sure what's going to happen." He fixes the man with a steady gaze, "You're smart, Luther. Smarter than you let on. Nobody who wasn't would read books like you do. You know the area better than anybody else. And… more than anyone else, you know exactly what's at stake of things go sideways. I know that if the shit does hit the fan, if the worst happens… you'll act."

Monica looks over at Luther at his question, her eyebrows raised like maybe he just asked a silly question. Her gaze flicks over to Cardinal and she listens to the speech. She has to look away, though, because a smile comes to her face that might ruin the whole effect. So she's over here, fixing coffee. It's a delicate process that needs a lot of attention.

The twitch of his cheek muscle betrays Luther's inner turmoil further, but as Cardinal goes on he turns back to peer straight at the shadow-glassed man. It's a long stare, albeit unaccusing. Evaluating, perhaps. Then, "I hope you made enough coffee for the rest of the class, Moni." Oh she thought she could just be over there. And, still eyeing Cardinal, Luther finally heaves out a long sigh and nods. "Won't let you down, Boss. But, you guys better at least bring yourselves and Miss Peyton back in one piece."

At the agreement, Cardinal's shoulders sag a bit in relief. He wasn't, it seems, sure the other man would take on the assignment. "Thank you," he says simply, a faint smile offered, "And I can't promise anything, but… we're going to try to bring everyone home. In one piece, if at all possible." Wry, "I don't have a lot of luck with cold places though if we're being honest."

"Don't worry, Luther. We're professionals. We murder futures for a living." Nothing to worry about, obviously. Monica looks over her shoulder at his comment to her, though. "Of course I did, who do you think we're talking to?" She's hospitable. And she even has a mug ready to have over to Cardinal.

"You just love making those speeches, don't you?" she asks in a playful aside. The other coffee mugs follow in short order.

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