Menaces To Society


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Scene Title Menaces To Society
Synopsis Despite a tragic shortage of properly shooting anything, hallucinations, or particular adult language, the three are all that. As per normal, evil is the topic of conversation: the government, as implied by the exchange of fake IDs, and Ghost, and Samantha Tanner.
Date August 1, 2009

Staten IslandThe Garden

Situated in a copse several miles away from the nearest stretch of asphalt, the Garden is accessible via an old dirt road that winds snakelike through the woods and dead-ends at the property's perimeter, which is surrounded by stone wall plastered with wicked coils of rusty barbed wire to keep would-be intruders from attempting to scale it. Those with a key can gain entry via the front gate.

The safehouse itself is a three-story brickwork cottage over a century old and covered in moss and ivy. It slants to one side, suggesting that the foundation has been steadily sinking into the wet earth; incidentally, this may be one of the reasons why its prior occupants never returned to the island to reclaim their property when government officials lifted evacuation orders and re-opened the Verrazano-Narrows shortly before its eventual destruction.

Inside, the cottage is decorated in mismatched antique furniture including a couch in the living room and an armchair nestled in the corner closest to the fireplace that go well with the safehouse's hardwood floors and the wood-burning stoves in some of the spare bedrooms. A heavy wooden table designed to seat eight separates the dining area from the rest of the kitchen, which is defined by its aged oak cabinetry and the dried wildflowers hanging above them.

The first day of August isn't that bad. Half of summer over for most of the city's children, school looms on the horizon. Terrorist activities on the rise have people looking over their shoulders wondering if they're next. Staten Island isn't even immune from this. With the major not so good powers coming into play and starting the bid for who will rule the roost, people in staten are looking over their shoulders.

Minea came in with a supply shipment, small one, but a supply shipment none the less. A manila envelope in hand to be delivered and made sure that they're recieved by the appropriate new owners. Her time in 'exile' hasn't done her bad, but neither has it done her good. The addition of the scar at the edge of her temple her badge of honor for this little voyage. She's dropped about five pounds that she could probably afford to loose. Through the door she goes, in search of Mage of the Garden and upon finding her… starts to pull out the goods and discussing them with the older woman. All seems in order and soon enough the brunette is in posession of coffee, not ID's and left to stew and wait in the bottom floor of the safe house.

There are boys in the garden. Well— technically one of them's a man, but for all intents and purposes, Teodoro Laudani fits comfortably into the demarcations of that category. There is one slingshot between the three of them, a plasticky-wooden affair with a horribly stiff wad of rubber spanning between prongs. An assembly of soda cans shows merry aluminium bright along the stone step between bushes, overlooked by the bright light from the porch.

None of them are hitting a damn thing. Coca Cola waves~ its white ribbon at them in a snide parody of surrender. The last shot sends a pebble the size of a Post-It whistling off into the geraniums, leaving the eight year old with the weapon in his hand spinning on tiny sneakers and swearing impressively, and a Sicilian frowning over his head with uncertainty appropriate to an overgrown child.

He looks like he's in decent shape, for a man who Arthur Petrelli ground into three times at what felt like just shy of terminal velocity, just the other week. Not travel-worn, either, despite his absence of the previous days. Head buzzed, jeans clean.

His attention isn't entirely on the children, however. It hadn't escaped him, Agent Dahl's arrival at the Garden. He hadn't made an event of it, however, merely accepting her exchange with Mage as another daub of color and texture in the rich, if occasionally headachey background afforded to him by Ghost's ability. The moment the woman eases into the vine-crawled frame of kitchen window, he's half-turned, peering at her with an expression as inscrutable as a wolf's steadfast speculation.

I see you, seeing me. That's the look Minea gives Teo before she eventually rises from the stool and makes her way out after a suitable pause that can account for the cup of java in her hand that isn't the one she's been drinking from. The former agent takes her time in loping over to the phoenix member and proffering the mug. "Was dropping off ID's, i'm heading back out with the supply run. Teaching them to be menaces to society with sling shots?"

"He can't hit anything either!"

A pitchy snort of commiseration. "I wish. I wanna mah-naces to society!"

"Laaaaaaaame! Laaame."

A scowl plows Teo's brows down almost into his eyes. He squints sidelong under the harsh circle of halogen illumination, jabs at the children with severity of temper that doesn't make them do anything except spin on their small shoes, though there's the one on the left who punctuates his remarks by inhaling a booger that had started out of his nose. "Stop bothering me," Teodoro states emphatically. "I'm a grown up. You can have my turn. Five dollars says you can't hit shit in five tries between the three of you." Oh, that'll keep them occupied— the wrestling match, which gets to go only once. Teo backs away before his eardrums implode under the pressure of objections.

Winds up parked on the asphalt beside the agent, accepting the cup of caffeine with grace befitting a fellow guest. He glances down, checking for the presence of cream. Drinks irrespective. "Whatcha doin' afterward?" he asks, glancing sidelong, brows in a lopsided tangle. He raises the mug slightly, either in a toast or to illustrate the wry joke. "Early night?"

"Seven dollars!" there's a boy yelping, struck by sudden inspiration. "Since we don't get the same number of shots. At least we gotta raise the bet to sev—"

"Daryl's right! Wait, don't take the shot, we gott—"

Made deaf to his cohorts' penny-pinching ways by the intensity of righteous sportsmanship and honorable challenge, the boy currently drawing back the slingshot lets it fly. The pebble flashes briefly under light, before arcing primly off above glittering cans, vanishing into the standing treeline.

There's a noise that sends a flock of sparrows screaming for the air. Someone yelping in pain.

"OUCH! Oh my FUCK what the fuck is going on-" Instead of keeping on the actual path, out of that shade of trees comes Delilah, one hand clutching at the front side of her head. "Who shot it?! Someone's getting a cold can of whoopass for dinner-" If she suddenly caught on fire there in the yard as she races past the stand of aluminum cans- nobody would really notice. And as it stands, the kids should be more worried about getting a black eye or something instead from the normally well-mannered young lady that often visits.

She hasn't bothered at all to notice who is sitting there watching these Little Menaces- there are more immediate things- like chasing them to all directions.

"Staying at the Hangar. Foxhole before that. Might go back there, it's quiet. I promised to make a few more ID's before my supplies run out good" Minea watches the kids with the sling shots and a shake of her head. "Totally lame" Imitating the children in inflection. "Might so see about a drink or two before taking up Darla's hospitality" Minea glances towards the Garden's main building. "Ferry's been good to me. Be a shame when I head to France.." And in comes.. toady.

Figures. "How's the bread today Delilah Trafford? Spiked?"

There's a twitch of unrealized movement down Teo's leg as he stands in contemplation of suddenly: chaos. He almost, doesn't quite give into the urge to break out of configuration and flee into the woodwork with the [other] children.

"How long 'til that?" he inquires out from under a nervous twitch of forehead, distractedly watching as Chuckie roars off around the corner of the building, his stubby penguin arms wheeling madly, Daryl lurching around behind one of the porch pilings in an effort to hide his width behind its inferior one. "Might have another job for you."

Like a rock dropped into an anthill, everything scatters. Now, if she had caught a straggler- there might be a case of shaken child, at least. But seeing as children are like lightning, they bolt out of reach before Dee can get at one- and so her steam peters out rather quickly. Her hand lifts off of her head to reveal a bleeding scrape by her hairline, and the redhead examines her fingers a moment before trying to ascertain the damage done with them again.

Only, wait, distraction. Delilah whirls around to face the other voices, both familiar. It takes even longer for her to remember why Minea is talking about bread because 1) it is hard to remember that day, and 2) the Real Teo is standing over there too- and he gets a bewildered stare. "Oh. Not spiked, no." The joke is lost on her.

"Depends on when Phoenix wants to go public with the information. They pulled me up to confirm that Pinehearst has been demolished and apologize for demolishing the place but they're confidant that the truth will come out on it's own, and that people will step forward to speak about the atrocities. Possibly her mother" Minea's words say that, but her tone has her implying that she thinks that's a crock of shit. "I gotta start gathering the files from hiding spots. Could be a bit. What's this job? Because so far, I've just been making ID's for the refugee's." her tone changes to one of disappointment. "I didn't even get to shoot anything and join in the chaos that I heard Pinehearst was" The coffee cup lip drifts towards her own on automatic pilot so she can have another sip and eye the hypno-delly that's arrived. "Looks like your back to your normal face too. Good doctor does good work"

And another sip of her coffee. "Nope. Bread was never spiked" She agree's. There's a glance to Teo. "Met her in the market. She fucked me over with her hallucinageic excretement. Saw purple spiders everywhere" Nearly shot into a crowd. She looks back to Delilah. "Better get a bandaid for your head Trafford."

Abruptly, the java is chucked back, so quick it might have been a shot of something stronger. Probably burns a little going down, if not from alcohol content. The mug is seated on top of the painted wood of the railing, and Teo tramples down in a clacky mess of strides to study Delilah up closer, his squint moving across the wounded roof of her brow.

"E un caos, si?" he mutters, a frown creasing his brow. He glances over his shoulder to look for the babies, perhaps out of some half-formed notion he will assemble all four of them in a line to produce adequately dignified apology, but he doesn't see them. Is left to turn back, scowling, nodding his head back at the house with only rue mumbled on his own behalf. First Aid box is in there, somewhere. Of course: Elvis used to reside here.

"Does seem like Phoenix got counsel to the contrary of proactive warfare," Teo replies, swinging one long leg high, to take the step back up the porch two by — well, just the two. "'S too bad. Make your trip back to France smoother though, probably?" His mouth goes crooked. "Job's hunting. Samantha Tanner. You might have heard of her. Sorry you keep having to clean up after sociopaths, but frankly— it's what you do best.

"I'd need you to be in contact for awhile." Nonchalant as anything. He snags his mug off the rail again, opens his mouth as if to add his two cents regarding purple spiders or their like, but thinks the better of it. Shuts his pie hole again.

"Yeah, I know…" Delilah replies almost half-heartedly to Minea, eyeballing the older woman for a moment from under the fringe of her hair. Her eyes then go to Teo as he gets closer, and she seems almost wary at first. Unsure, mostly.

She waits at least a step behind before following up onto the porch. Brown eyes watch Teo as he goes right back to whatever other things he had been talking about, turning rather dejectedly- a sighing look- to her feet as Dee nudges her way into the house. If anything, she'll at least find a washcloth to clean her head off while listening in on the conversation just a window away. Teo has his face back, but so far Dee has no idea if that's him, or not.

"It's what I do second best. what I do best is forging all sorts of things" Minea replies, sticking to where she is, nursing her unspiked coffee - not that Teo's was spiked… that he knows of. "Samantha Tanner. Not too familiar. But I can.. maybe tap some sources for you, if they haven't been alerted to my new state" Which means, sure, of course. "I'll see what I can dig up. What's she been doing?" Dee is eyeballed back. Hairy look for Hairy look before she speaks up. "I'm defected. Don't worry, I won't tranq you."

Or else this little mutant will flip out like a ninja, right! Or not: it's difficult to tell, with Teo carrying on like— he's Teo, of some easy, haplessly youthful, pathologically incautious incarnation, favoring hoodies and ratty-edged jeans, playing with children, sucking back coffee like self-discipline couldn't hack it by itself.

Though he did mention Tanner like it wasn't a thing. Odd, until you remember the ghost's propensity for lying. Indifferent to this, and tolerant of Delilah's unconcealed suspicion, he bumbles into the kitchen with her, starts to dig out the white, cross-marked case of medical supplies where it's stowed opposite the cellophane. "Lately, she's turned into an Evolved serial killer. I don't know what your sources can dig up: she's fallen off the fucking map lately. Even Humanis First!'s finest are looking at her, thinking she was a mole or some shit" irony of irony's, this discussion. "and haven't found a thing, far as I can tell."

Teo has the case's lid flipped back, is shuffling through for a brief moment before he realizes Delilah would probably know what she needs as well as he does, if not better. He winds up fastening his hand shut around a small handheld mirror, of all things. Lifting it up, to play the part of furniture. "

It looks like Teo, talks like Teo, drinks like Teo, acts like Teo; but suspicion is the tagline as of late. Acts like, key phrase. Delilah looks in a couple drawers before he joins her in the kitchen and digs the kit up almost at once. She smiles a moment, waiting for him to stop rooting about in the case; the mirror, though, gets a bit of a bigger smile while Dee pulls out a disinfectant wipe and a clear bandaid, using both in turn with careful fingers and at least half of her attention diverting past the mirror at the young Sicilian's face.

The young Sicilian's face is worn as correct to the character that is supposed to inhabit it as the hoodie is, artless when distracted by listening and tactical thought, the knit of his mouth and bend of his brow all double-damnedly serious, as a B-movie hero prepares for his important, soft-focus close-up shot, and the swell of orchestral music in the background.

Which breaks, when he notices he's being looked at. Glances sidelong at Delilah, then away, then back again with a figment of sheepish self-consciousness, a miniaturized double-take. What. There's nothing wrong with his face— except that there's everything wrong with his face when he looks at himself, lately, he just can't quite explain to himeslf— why. "What color did you pick?" he asks. He means: of band-aids.

As Dee slips it on, she chases Teo's looking away with her eyes, somehow determined to otherwise make him say he's back by staring. "Clear. I'm not walking around with Scooby on my head, Teo." Maybe an elbow, but not her face. And finally, Lilah decides that all of his little nuances have added up correctly into some semblance of who got taken away in secret a couple of months ago.

Before he knows it, that staring turns into the redhead practically jumping him, her arms wrapping warmly around his neckline. Dee is quite contented in trying to squeeze him until his eyes bulge like in some weird Italian dub of Roger Rabbit.

"And Mage can come, cause I seriously don't want to see you reach into his pants next" It's not sarcasim, but probably a close cousin. Get a room. The coffee cup down, Minea looks down a hall and has a throughly satisfied look. Mage is there. Fantastic. "Don't forget to come up for air Cravaggio" And with that, the oldest female in this room turns to head down the hall, joining the oldest female in the house to discuss the acceptance and quality of the other ID's.

Aaagh, aaaagh, breathing, breath— annnd Minea is sassing him off. The interface between Teo and Ghost is flawed enough that he finds himself quelling the automated trigger reaction to windmill like a ninja and the other one to windmill like a bathtubbed retriever puppy in equal and confused capacity.

The end result is somewhere between the two. His arms shoot out at his sides, a demonstration of Christ thrashing agonized on the cross. Christ takes a mumbling moment to settle, his arms folding gingerly around the girl— gingerly as ever.

Even at thirty-six, if not moreso at thirty-six, Ghost had been awkwardly aware that his hands had a habit of conferring pain. Such issues have only multiplied since that progression— reversion?— in time, of course, what with his being Teodoro Laudani and all. There's a highly intelligent grunt of acknowledgment. He waves at Minea's back, but Minea's already trooping out to talk to the other woman.

Highly intelligent, and so very eloquent in both form and the spoken word. That's Teo, innit? Delilah is latched on for a few more spans of breath, having said nothing after first pouncing on him from barely a couple feet aaway. Soon, though, she does pipe up, eyes now roaming the room and finding that Minea has sidled away.

"I missed you." And just to reinforce that, as if he might not hear from three inches away, there's another squeeze around his neck, and a soft peck of lips along Teo's cheek before Delilah leans her head and shoulders away to make absolutely sure he didn't suddenly turn back into a man wearing Ghost's face.

Shouldn't she mean a monster wearing Teo's face? Or Ghost wearing another man's face, or, or, or.

Life was simpler before Phoenix, that's for fucking sure. "You too," he gruffs. He doesn't just mean now, either, but it'd be too hard to explain all that. For now at least, being mistaken for the nappy-headed baby terrorist who'd once squatted all over the floor and cupboards instead of sitting on a chair like a proper fucking human being— is somehow less painful than the alternatives.

It won't last, but that's okay. He's five dollars richer this evening, an evil man lays dead in Canada, Minea's vaguely enlisted in the dogfight against his errant Frankenstein project, and Delilah's looking at him with delight of recognition in her eyes. He pats her on the shoulder, squeezes at what seems like an appropriate application of pressure. "Sorry about the boys," he says, "but you know how it is. We're the ones who fall out of our prams."

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