Moving In


cardinal_icon.gif claire2_icon.gif zuleyka_icon.gif

Scene Title Moving In
Synopsis Claire accepts an invitation to join a group of squatters in Midtown. They discuss prophecies and the future. NOT A CULT HONEST.
Date August 19, 2009

New York Public Library

Once upon a time, the New York Public Library was one of the most important libraries in America. The system, of which this branch was the center, was among the foremost lending libraries /and/ research libraries in the world.

The bomb changed that, as it changed so much else.

By virtue of distance, the library building was not demolished entirely, like so many others north of it; however, the walls on its northern side have been badly damaged, and their stability is suspect. The interior is a shambles, tattered books strewn about the chambers and halls, many shelves pulled over. Some have even been pulled apart; piles of char in some corners suggest some of their pieces, as well as some of the books, have been used to fuel fires for people who sought shelter here in the past.

In the two years since the bomb, the library — despite being one of the icons of New York City — has been left to decay. The wind whistles through shattered windows, broken by either the blast-front or subsequent vandals, carrying dust and debris in with it. Rats, cats, and stray dogs often seek shelter within its walls, especially on cold nights. Between the fear of radiation and the lack of funds, recovery of the library is on indefinite hiatus; this place, too, has been forgotten.

Once she's through the doors, the faint sound of a generator's rumble leads her deeper into the library; eventually she finds herself in a large room strewn with tables laden with boxes and files, a television/VCR set up on one, some chairs scattered about and an old sofa pushed against a wall. Some paintings hang on one of the walls, where some ruined shelving's obviously been removed.

Once the bag goes down and there's that call, Cardinal's head pops out from a side door, "What the he— oh. Claire. Shit. I haven't gotten that closed-circuit camera system set up yet, I need to talk to Bonder about that…" He steps out, a tangle of cabling slung over one shoulder, offering easily, "Not exactly a four-star hotel."

"Hey, sorry for sneaking in," Claire offers in greeting with a smile. "I hope it is okay. I figured the safehouse would be better without me staying there anyhow. Especially with Magnes and all." Her eyes travel to the cables on his shoulder. "I've lived in worse, even if it isn't fancy. It's livable." She gives the duffel bag a light nudge with her foot. "Even brought my stuff. After I told Cat about Manges being Company, she didn't talk me out of it." She gives him a lop sided smile.

"Your romantic life's your own business," Cardinal notes with a shake of his head, shrugging the cables free and dropping them onto the table with a clatter, "But I'd really rather not see Magnes anywhere near here, t'be honest, he's about as good at keeping secrets as a sieve is at keeping water in." A wry look over, "Liz told me she'd offered. There's plenty've storerooms, we've got some mattresses, you might need to pick up some shit to keep it homey, but… it's safe."
WATCH> Bebe has disconnected.

The blond's hands come up in a warding gesture, waving in front of her "Oh no no. I'm not that stupid, blond or not." Claire gives him a knowing look, "He's not coming anywhere near here. As soon as I found out who he worked for, I started meeting him at his place only. He understands and respects that." Leaving the bag where it rests, she moves to get a better look at the paintings, rubbing at her arm a bit, though it's already healing.

They're an unusual gathering of paintings, in a rather unusual style— and ominous imagery. Not the originals, but prints of the Brill Collection all, prophecies of things that've mostly come to pass in rather metaphorical ways. Mostly.

"He doesn't work for them anymore anyway," drops Cardinal casually, sprawling out into a rolling chair and folding both arms behind his head, "Not after today."

"Yeah, I know. But like Detective Harrison said. They may still be monitoring him." Claire sounds a touch distracted looking at the paintings. One catches her eyes and her moves down to look at it. "Kazimir Volken?" she glances back and arches a brow, before going back to it. "Anyhow, she contacted me to come help. That's why I didn't show up earlier. I had to make sure he was okay. I've seen how nasty those mind wipes can be. My dad use to have it done to us.. my mother especially. She ended up in the hospital after one too many."

"'Arisen'," Cardinal says quietly, his gaze falling on the dark painting that she asked about, "It's either him… or another taking up his mantle. I'm worried that I know who it is, and I— hope I'm wrong. It's the one that hasn't come true yet, as far as I know." He glances to Spiral, noting more wryly, "Although who the fuck knows what that one means." He looks back to Claire, then, blinking, "You and your mother? Shit."

"I'm not for sure about myself. But, I think so. But yeah, mom and my brother Lyle. Dad kept saying it was for our own protection" Claire's voice is soft, yet with a hard edge. She bites her lip and turns to look at Cardinal. "I… know who has it. Kazmir's ability. About a year ago I came face to face with him… Kazimir I mean." Her head turns back to the print. "He killed the guys I was with.. They.. broke apart into dust when I tried to help." Her hands flex a bit at the memory, before she folds her arms across her chest as if cold. "That power is nasty business." she murmurs softly.

"So do I." Cardinal leans forward with a slow shake of his head, one arm resting on his knee as he says quietly, "Kazimir's ability… was a lot older than he was. It's an— old evil. I don't know if it's… sentient itself, or just influences its host… but it needs to be destroyed." A rough snort of breath, derisive, "Gabriel's convinced that he can teach Peter to control it."

Claire nods turning her back on the painting, then she freezes, her voice sounds cold as she asks "He's…. getting help from Sylar? " She cringes at the though of that psycho and her uncle in kahoots. "Don't know how he can stand to be around that man." She gives a soft resigned sigh. When she speaks again there is confidence in the girl's voice as she declares "Peter can do it. He'll control it." Loyal as always even if he has put her at an football fields distance. But then it wouldn't be Peter if he didn't. "But.. I agree it needs to be destroyed. Watching people scream in terror as thier bodies wither and turn to so much dust… " She shakes her head, but doesn't continue, the disgust on her face says enough.

"Mhm." The sound that Cardinal makes seems to be less— confident in the other man's ability to do that. "I hope so, Claire," he says, head shaking, "I hope so. Mister Brill would seem to disagree with you, but the future's never set in stone…" Wry, now, as he turns to look over the stacks of files, "…otherwise I wouldn't need all of this shit, after all."

"I know the ability doesn't work on me. I heal what damage it does. It's how I knew for sure he had it. I touched him. My skin blackens and all that. It hurts, but it always…. heals…. " Claire follows Cardinal's gaze to the stacks of files. "What is all that?" she asks.

"Mostly empty boxes," admits Cardinal with a low chuckle, his head shaking a little, "Some of them are other files I've been gathering, information and records that I'm putting together… we have to change the future before it's too late. To do that, I need information."

Giving him a confused look, Claire moves to drop into an empty chair, pushing the hoodie off her head and combing fingers through her hair. "I thought the future was already changed? I thought that's what the attack on Pinehearst was about?"

Cardinal nods a bit, leaning back once more and gesturing vaguely with one hand, "Sure— Arthur won't rule the world anymore, but that doesn't mean the future is safe now." That hand falls, and he looks back at her seriously, "There were a number of… major threats… that Arthur dealt with, in the course of ruling the world. Threats that don't have a counter."

Claire oohs softly, "Didn't know that there was. I don't think I knew that." Thoughtfully, she looks down at her lap as she sifts through her thoughts. "So, my biological father… or at least the future one is a threat? Or…..?" Her head turns a bit so that she can look at Richard out of the corner of her eye.

"That's… a matter of opinion." Cardinal gives his head a tight shake, fingertips drumming to the arm of the chair he's relaxing back in, "The future one— he came back with Ray, to fix the problems he saw. I'm finishing up Ray's work, so— theoretically— we're on the same side right now."

There's the metallic yap of a frustrated chihuahua, who has seen the rat nearly the same size as himself decline battle and vanish into the wainscoting. Cinder Edmund is not satisfied with this victory, and growls, which makes him sound like a toy truck's motor. Following that is the sound of footsteps, as Zu comes stalking in, bag over her shoulder, looking weary and overheated.

"I just… " Claire starts, but the sound of foot steps draw her attention to the entrance of another girl. She gives Zu a smile when she sees her. "Hey." she glances back to Cardinal with an amused look. "How many girls you got staying here?" Is that a tease in her words?

"Three," replies Cardinal without missing a beat, raising his hand in a vague wave, "— hey, Zu. Zuleyka, this is Claire, she's your new housemate for awhile." Wryly, he notes, "Remind me to ask Sal for some extra cash so I can get some furniture up in here."

Zuleyka shrugs, lazily, as Ed frisks around her ankles. "I'm good with a sleeping bag and an air mattress," she says, but she offers Claire a smile of welcome.

Brows lift in surprise, "Three?" Claire gives a little chuckle, "Don't worry about making the place better. I'm fine with it. I'm way past the point of caring. I just need a roof." She slumps a bit in her chair. "Anyhow… I'm just feeling a little bad for deceiving my dad, since I haven't seen him for awhile. Even if he is from a future that never will be. What are you planning to ask him?"

"You, Zu… and Niki should be settling in somewhere," Cardinal gives his head a shake, "Hell, I'd like some better furnishings myself, honestly, the generator's only so powerful." He leans back a little, scratching at his chin as he considers Claire for a moment before admitting, "I'm hoping to— work some things out. Ray's original plan won't work, as-is, because of some shit that happened. The plan needs to be reworked."

Zuleyka settles down on a campchair, settling into the pose of a roman magistrate, one foot forward, one back. Only instead of the fasces, she holds a compact mirror in the shape of abat, with which she is inspecting her almost nonexistent makeup. "I think I'm going to take one of the offices. It's about the right size for abedroom, seems weatherproof," she returns, serenely.

Nodding slowly, Claire still looks uncertain, "So you need his co-operation." she sighs and nods. "And… if he won't?" Sitting up again she crosses her legs and rests an elbow on her knee, leaning forward she rests her chin on her hand. A glance to Zu she grins, "I'll take whatever, really."

"Then I suppose I'll need to deal with FRONTLINE, one way or another," admits Cardinal with a slight wrinkling of his nose, "Don't worry, I don't have any intention of going down in history as a Presidential assassin, if that's what you're worried about…" He slants an amused look over to Zuleyka at her posture, "A'ight. Hey, you still hop over to Staten sometimes?"

Zuleyka lowers her mirror, blinks at Cardinal over it. "Now and then. When I feel like slumming," she says, as one dimple winks into existence, following the appearance of a rather fey half-smile.

"That's good to know at least." Claire says, sounding a touch relieved, "I mean.. for the most part he's still related to me.. But so was so was the big bad power stealer." Her head drops down a bit. "What is it about the Petrellis? " She shakes her head a bit, "Does this mean I'm next?" She smiles a bit. "Next one to be all corrupt and all?" It's a legitimate question.

The mention of Staten, Claire looks between them both. "Now that's a place I don't go to often anymore."

"Hopefully it's nurture," Cardinal allows dryly, "Not nature."

That said, he looks back to Zuleyka with an amused smile, "Need you to hook up with the Ravens— Devi's biker gang. She'n her people are working on some things for me up there, gonna need someone to work as a go-between occasionally. I figured you know the turf better than most."

Zuleyka blinks at Claire, lowers her mirror entirely, and then stuffs it back into the messenger bag that is usually Ed's chariot. "Are you a Petrelli? Isn't this rather low-class for you, if so?" She puffs up a little at Cardinal's flattery, if it is such. "I know it pretty well," she says, modestly.

"Yeah well, if I ever start acting like one, Ricard. You have my permission to slap me." Claire states matter of factly, to the man before turning her attention to Zuleyka. The blond can't help but chuckle, sitting back in her chair again, "Yes, buy blood I'm a Petrelli, by name and I hope… attitude a Bennet." She glances around and grins, "And this isn't low-class. I've been practically homeless for a bit now. Kinda living on the generosity of others.. or the guest of my grandfather for few months there."

"It's not low class at all, it's…" Cardinal scratches under his chin, then grins smugly at the pair, "…post-apocalyptic chic, is what it is. We just need to toss in a bit of furniture, get some security up, and it'll be good as home."

"You must be Nathan's," Zu says, without an iota of doubt. "Right?" She nods. "I've been essentially homeless since the bomb, myself."

Claire grins at Cardinal, "It's all the rage that apocalyptic-chic. With hope I won't have to be a bother for too long." A sideways glance to Zu and Claire nods, slowly. "He's my biological dad. It didn't know I was even alive til I was about sixteen or so. I was adopted." she shrugs as if it's not big deal. "I met Nathan once or twice, but I'm one of those things that he saw a a polictal risk."

Cardinal lifts one shoulder in a shrug, fingers rubbing at the side of his neck as he admits, "No reason to rush out, stay as long's you need. I should get some people 'round here soon for a meeting, introduce everyone and get people moving if they've something to work on…"

"Babies born on the wrong side of the blanket generally are," Zu says, though her expression is apologetic. She nods at Cardinal. "I feel like I should ask that it be a potluck."

"Thanks, Richard." Claire says giving him a smile. "I think I'll feel a bit better here then the safehouse." She brings a foot up to rest is at the edge of her chair, wrapping an around around her leg. She glances at Zu and nods slowly. "Right, exactly."

"I can see that," Cardinal grins at the idea, his hands sweeping up as if to post up a banner, "New York Public Library Potluck - bring something for everyone to eat, fun, games, discussion on who we might have to kill in order to save the world from horrible nuclear annihilation."

"I'll totally bring my Mexican cocoa cookies," Just what the world needs, Zuleyka Conlon, terrorist Betty Crocker.

Claire chuckles, and shakes her head. "I wouldn't know what to bring, truthfully." Sliding to her feet, Claire sighs. "I've had a long day, especially taking care of a mind wiped boyfriend." She stretches, arms over her head. "Direct me to the rooms and the mattresses and I'll go get settled in."

"I still can't believe you're dating that putz," Cardinal mutters under his breath— not sharply, but ruefully— even as he rolls forward and to his feet, the chair bouncing with a creak of its springs as he straightens, "Alright. Zu, let's show our new guest to the lovely housing we have prepared…"

As he steps around the table, he glances back to the pair, observing with a hint of almost wistful amusement, "Keep picking people up like this, and I'm gonna start thinking I'm not alone in all've this bullshit."

Zuleyka's expression is soft, with none of that teenage superciliousness. "You're not. You know that, right?" she asks, as Ed leaps into her lap, turns around three times, as if to go to sleep.

A low chuckle, and Cardinal pushes open the slightly-crooked doors that lead out of the 'operations center' that he's set up in the library. "'Course I do, squirt," he says in quiet, if warm tones, "Only reason I think we might have a chance."

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