Meanwhile, in Evil Headquarters...


diogenes_icon.gif isis2_icon.gif

Scene Title Meanwhile, in Evil Headquarters…
Synopsis The Despicable Duo have a nefarious meeting at the top of a radioactive pile of destruction on the outskirts of Midtown.
Date September 16, 2009

Ruins of Midtown

Standing in the ruins of Midtown, it's hard to believe New York is still a living city.

There's life enough around the fringes — the stubborn, who refused to rebuild somewhere else; the hopeful, who believe the radiation is gone, or that they somehow won't be affected. Businesses, apartment complexes, taxis and bicycles and subways going to and fro — life goes on. Perhaps more quietly than in other parts of the city, shadowed by the reminder that even a city can die, but it does go on.

Then there is the waste. The empty core for which the living city is only a distant memory. Though a few major thoroughfares wind through the ruins, arteries linking the surviving halves, and the forms of some truly desperate souls can occasionally be glimpsed skulking in the shadows, the loudest noise here is of the wind whistling through the mangled remnants of buildings. Twisted cords of rebar reach out from shattered concrete; piles of masonry and warped metal huddle on the ground, broken and forlorn. Short stretches of road peek out from under rubble and dust only to disappear again shortly afterwards, dotted with the mangled and contorted forms of rusting cars, their windows long since shattered into glittering dust.

There are no bodies — not even pieces, not anymore. Just the bits and pieces of destroyed lives: ragged streamers fluttering from the handlebar which juts out of a pile of debris; a flowerbox turned on its side, coated by brick dust, dry sticks still clinging to the packed dirt inside; a lawn chair, its aluminum frame twisted but still recognizable, leaning against a flight of stairs climbing to nowhere.

At the center of this broken wasteland lies nothing at all. A hollow scooped out of the earth, just over half a mile across, coated in a thick layer of dust and ash. Nothing lives here. Not a bird; not a plant. Nothing stands here. Not one concrete block atop another. There is only a scar in the earth, cauterized by atomic fire. This is Death's ground.

Destruction is best admired from a high vantage point, so that your eyes can take in as much obliterated urban terrain as possible. Exposed and bare skeletons of many buildings barely stand in a crowd of deceased architectural constructions, all surrounding a grave and grim crater, as if dead men gathered to mourn and turned to stone. Rubble and debris littered those streets that were no longer of any use, and some streets could hardly even be called that. Midtown is a mess even up to this day, even if light is slowly seeping into its dark age.

Diogenes is standing on a fairly tall abandoned apartment building, standing on the outskirts of where a single man spawned a nuclear explosion. His apparel is his casual one, not the expensive suit he wears at times arrogantly, but the usual jacket, shirt and tight-fitting denim jeans combo. Both of his hands hide in the pockets of said pants, admiring the grim picture as if it were a painting at a morbid exhibition. Patiently, the young man waited for Isis, whom he had called earlier and set up a meeting in this particular spot, as awkward and odd as it may seem.

There's no longer a door left to this rooftop entrance, paired with the fact that the ascent up the dilapidated stairwell is not an easy one - it's not a surprise that one might hear Isis's arrival before they can see her. Again, surprisingly, she is dressed rather flatteringly. Heels, for whatever reason she's become fond of them, support her small frame in a pair of black-ankles boots. Black skinny jeans, and a fitted long sleeve shirt, grey with a hem stitched in silver.

She steps over the threshold and brushes her hair from before her sharp features, hazel eyes sweeping the rooftop before honing in on Diogenes. "Hey," she offers, soft and simple, before falling into place beside him and looking out over the horizon of chaos.

"I didn't figure you for someone who might be wearing heels."

Only after that off-handed comment does the dark-haired young adult steer his gaze in the direction of the redhead that appears at his side. Hearing those heels click! against the ground already betrayed Isis's unexpectedly developed fondness for footwear of that particular kind. It hardly surprised Diogenes; it merely prompted another mental note. As such, despite her answer, his gaze would soon dive into the destruction looming before the pair.

"My head still feels like it's about to explode", he complains weakly.

"I've… come into a lot of belongings. Things I might normally not wear. I'm… growing fond of them." It's the most she's commented about her recent disappearance, and all she is apt to, it would appear.

Only the comment concerning her companion's ailment is enough to pry her gaze from the morbid beauty of the despaired ruins. The softest wrinkle of concern forms between her brows as she grants her gaze a quick sweep of the man beside her. "What's wrong?" The question is hurried, as much as her search for any outward signs of something amiss and curable. A hand even lifts, beginning to reach out, but halts before its intentions can be made clear.

"Just don't get carried away." A wayward glance reaches Isis. "People don't change. Those that try - for whatever reason - annoy me. It's an uphill battle."

That fleeting glance catches sight of the hand that is reluctant to venture towards him. He lets out an amused snort and tips his head to the side; movement pours more fuel into the fire that is his headache, though, and as such he wrinkles his nose and generally puts up a grimace of pain for a moment or a couple. "Don't worry, I fair much better than Kaylee, who - you won't believe this - is well on her way to being dead unless she stops trusting Adam. And the Evolved who could undo that curse is, well, dead. Quite the predicament she's put herself into." A predicament that causes Diogenes to smirk.

"Me, on the other hand? I just abused my ability to Hell and back. I want to perfect it, or at least come close to that. So… I came into this shelter for the homeless on Staten Island and…" Again, he carefully tips his head to the side, the sentence trailing off.

The hand falls away as Diogenes begins to speak on the redhead's most recent changes. Her reply: a shrug.

"Does Adam know?" She lofts a brow and suckles at her lower lip, pinching it for a brief moment beneath her teeth. "Why doesn't she just walk away?" With a grunt she turns her attention back to the rubble stretched out like a macabre kingdom before them.

"Homeless…" The word is barely audible as hazel eyes seek out Dio in their peripheral vision. Her fingers drum an uncertain, restless beat against her thigh before she simply walks away, slipping off to one of the corners of the roof and pulling herself up onto the ledge, crouching until she is perched like a gargoyle on the precipice of the building.

It takes Diogenes a while before he can answer. Headaches weren't just a burden you had to carry around; they also impeded one's thought. "He doesn't. And it's best that he doesn't. It would be for the best if I were the one to bring him the news." Pause. "Why doesn't Kaylee walk away? I have an answer pertaining to all psychological questions that start with 'Why'. It sounds like this: 'Because he - or she - is an idiot."

With that revelation out of the way, Diogenes steadily yet slowly haunts Isis, following after her. Instead of perching on top of her and pretending to be Batman, even if that was oddly tempting, he remains to stand behind her. Yes, behind her. It so happens that Diogenes is afraid of heights. "Instead of having you guess what I've done to them, I'll come out and tell you that I've killed every single one of them", he confesses of his crimes with a heavy, burdensome tone, followed by an equally heavy sigh.

The urge to settle, to lean back and find that rare comfort and warmth in the man behind her begins to pull her feet form beneath her - until it is not only quelled, but strangled and buried six feet under by the words pouring from him lips. In a swift motion she's back upon her feet, towering over Diogenes with the advantage of the ledge beneath her. "Killed. Every one of them. Dead." Each word is cut short, spoken only to give the man a chance to correct his words.

"You're an ass," she states just as simply, before reaching out and giving him one quick prod in the chest. "Homeless - so, they're not worth anything right? Was that you're thinking? Ever think that any of those people were someone's sister, brother, father, or mother?" She scowls and crosses her arms over her chest, leaning back - rather precariously mind you - to look at Tom down the bridge of her nose.

"Their siblings probably have already forgot that they exist, and father? Mother?" As if that thought was some ridiculous thought that shouldn't even be considered, Diogenes snorts in a mocking manner. "You're kidding, right? Even if a parent has somehow tumbled down the spiral staircase of society into that position - alone, I might add - they've lost the child when it was really young. Too young to remember they had a failure of a parent, and they're probably leading a successful life. In school right now, most likely, acing Maths - unlike me."

Another sigh, and Diogenes soon continues: "Forget about me. What has gotten into you? Where to had you disappeared?"

Isis scowls, but apparently looses the will to argue. She unfolds her arms and steps down, taking a seat on the ledge with the destruction looming at her back. "I don't know how much I believe that," she comment quietly, cupping in her hands and resting her chin within, looking up from beneath the shadow of her dark lashes.

She ignores the other questions though, falling silent for a long time before finally sitting up with a straight, purposeful posture. "I think we should find a way to help Kaylee," she suddenly blurts out.

Even if the two argued about it, the unsettling fact that Diogenes has already killed a handful of people that were hardly guilty of anything would put a stop to their bickering. It already happened. Nothing short of a miracle in the form of an Evolved could bring them back. Diogenes was a killer, but it wasn't the first time. He's killed before. And once a killer, always a killer. People do not change.

"I'm not helping her. I'm kidnapping her." That is all that the eccentric man says before he sits down right next to Isis, on the ledge, ignoring his fears of being tossed over the ledge by the redhead for all the words he has spoken today.

Hazel eyes follow Diogenes closely as he takes a seat beside the redhead. Her fingers give a little twitch where they settle in her lap - perhaps indeed fighting the urge to push the 'killer' over the ledge.

"Kidnap her?" Isis scoffs, shaking her head and looking away over the plane of the small rooftop. "You're all for adding insult to injury in people's life, now? What's gotten into you?" she returns the earlier question back unto the man with a little wrinkle in her nose. She sighs and shakes her head. "What do you plan to accomplish by kidnapping her. And… she's gotten you before with her mind-voodoo… I don't see how you plan to succeed."

Ignoring Isis's short and containted outburst, Diogenes addresses other concerns. And he does so quite curtly: "Simple, I ask her."

"I am going to ask her to cooperate. If she doesn't, I'll paralyse her and hope that inability to breathe will render her incapable of focusing her ability. Then I am going to call Adam and invite him over for a chat. I need to find out who he is and what is his game. Somehow, I don't think he's the sort to discuss his dastardly world domination ideas at a tea party with a complete stranger. Fear— Fear for someone you hold dear, in this case… Fear can make you talk."

Diogenes rises from his seat, walking around to stand in front of Isis, facing her. "I walk across a wasteland of corpses, those visible and those hidden from my eyes. There are a lot of things I don't know. A lot of things that go on behind our backs. Things you don't see on the evening news or in the morning newspaper. I didn't arrive here for the sightseeing. I arrived here to be someone. A hero? A villain? Misnomers best left in comic books."

Diogenes bites down on his lower lip, glaring at Isis. It seems that whatever it is he wants to speak of next… He is reluctant to speak it. And yet, he ultimately does. "I killed a bunch of homeless people. Yes, I'll burn in Hell twice an eternity, oy vey iz mir. But couple of weeks ago, I saved a five year old from the clutches of the Sandman. I salvaged a family. A real family, a family I've seen, not an imaginary, theoretical family a homeless person might have."

Diogenes shift, or perhaps his words, pull those hazel eyes - now a dark, limitless emerald, back up to the man's visage. She stares, quite blatantly, for a long while - turning over her own, unspoken thoughts. Until finally:

"I don't think you're a bad person, underneath it all." The words are soft, as if their offering was a matter of caution. She rises as he had, standing too near to be considerate of personal space now.

"If you really want to know what Adam is up to," back to topics of planning, function, structure - safe topics, "I think you should alter your strategy. You assume that someone like Adam has the ability to care. Has it crossed your mind that he simply allows Kaylee to think such? She's powerful. No doubt, she is a great asset. But, I don't think he cares beyond that." She shrugs and looks at the small section of ground between their feet.

A subtle smile slowly forces its way unto Diogenes's lips. "Then that will be proof for Kaylee that he only cares for her as an asset; an object or a tool. And that will be, in theory, a good enough reason for her to stop trusting him, therefore… escaping her doom." Diogenes would have once again tilted his head to the side, but it turns out to be too much of a bother with his headache. "See, I'm not a bad person, underneath it all."

"You want to go for a walk? Maybe visit a cafe. I really want you to tell me what you've been up to while you were away. I care for you. I really do. Perhaps too much for my own good. But… I'm willing to risk." Warily, like a curious cat approaching an unidentified object or critter, Diogenes steps closer to Isis and inclines his head in her direction in an inviting fashion.

That smile - If a man like Dio can smile, than so can she. Isis's peachy lips draw up in a subtle expression, brightened only by the cliché invitation out to a café. It was always amusing for the duo to act like normal people - for a pair that meets at the top of a radioactive pile of destruction, to then meander on to a pleasant coffee shop. While her chuckle goes unvoiced, it lights her eyes from within. A heavy sigh banishes the last pressures of earlier before she offers a nod and cups her hand around Tom's forearm. Stepping into place at his side, she turns them around and heads back for the stairwell.

"So, are you saying you don't like the heels? They don't make my ass look good?" she comments with a taunting grin as they dip through the doorway.

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