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Scene Title Muster
Synopsis "Shit is so going to happen. Who do we call?" "Everybody."
Date November 28, 2008

Brooklyn Public Library — Computer Access Room

Technically, it's only the afternoon but it already feels like evening, winter having sank the sun down on the horizon with a leaden weight and Teo's morning having started with a slightly hungover rousing from his food coma to find that Brian had gone splat. That would have been hard to explain to Christian, so he hadn't explained at all, left a message on the phone and bolted through the island to find the Evolved multiplier asleep in the library, all parts visibly intact and the promise of nightmares showing strain on his otherwise motionless face. Teo had gone back to bed thinking, Fuckin' A.

Now he is in the Brooklyn public library. Mallory still hasn't returned their copy of Antologia Personal, probably because she's been busy getting blown up at school. Teo managed to read a different novel — One Hundred Years Of Solitude, one possible option for Deckard's leisure reading — for all of fifteen minutes before he wound up dropping himself in front of a computer console, at the end of the row, the nearest civilian seven seats away, and IMing the Internet herself. Or so it tends to feel like. Hello.

Wireless? This is Teo.

It's not an incorrect description, certainly. The response is, as messages from Wireless often are, all but immediate to physiological perceptions, the slow relay of information from cell to cell and ultimately to brain. Hello, Teo, she replies, the greeting characteristically reserved. Having met Hana in person, Teo can probably imagine the way she'd say the words, though here they are but a collection of black dots on a computer screen, sequences of ones and zeros.

Having met Hana in person, Teo would be happy to relate that the sequences of ones and zeroes is only as minimalistic and stark in its own way as the woman's in-person demeanour. Well, he'd be happy to relate that if he were goofy enough to do so, anyway. That would be readily recognizable as a waste of time, in a present where they don't have too much to spare. It takes him longer to type than it takes her to think. Of course.

I don't know if someone else updated you. PARIAH denies lighting up Washington Irving high. He types a little like the way he speaks by default; his English at times a little too fluent and enunciated to be right, meticulously subscribing to punctuation and capitalizations that many can't be fucked to do properly. Maybe separately and maybe not, we have new intel on Sylar's circle of friends that says they're planning something big.

'The Flood' was the analogy used. Given their special interest in the Evolved, I guess, potentially genocide. Teo stops to stare at that word on his screen and briefly consider hotfooting it back to Palermo by himself right fuckin' now. After a moment, he presses the next key. And then another. Picks up the pace, to normal again. I was wondering who you would share this with, if you were us.

To she who might be called the Internet, or at least the ultimate search engine, some revelations are not surprises. PARIAH didn't do it, Wireless agrees. At least not by what I've heard, and I believe it. It does not serve their purpose. There's a brief pause, perhaps for thought, in the face of Teo's final electronic remarks. Genocide is probable. Likely with a religious subtext. People will take any excuse to destroy the other that they can find, but religion is a favored one. Either way, however, the reason behind it is less important than the fact that the drive exists.

A racial war will embroil more than 'us' and 'them' — and we would need every ally we could find. If you can share the information safely, do it. If you have to compromise yourself, it can wait until we have no other options left. A momentary pause; a beat of virtual silence in an inaudible conversation. I would reach past the authorities and organizations to the individuals, if I could. Organizations may listen, but they are bureaucracy. They're likely to let it die in committee, or act in the wrong way. People are more likely to act.

In light of the second floor caving and the blood-rimmed shoe he'd been afraid to look inside, Teo rather gets the sense he's losing track of the line between safety and compromise. It keeps moving around. It's a little annoying. The possibility of being thrown in jail had been a primary concern, once, and now it ranks somewhere around 'probably significant' in the face of statistics that dwarf Washington Irving high, this horrifically perverted permutation of religious passion, the likelihood of his friends dying. At some point between the beginning of last month and the end of this one, they became friends. And the twins. His fucking brother.

Teo stares at the screen for awhile, imagination transposing Mallory's wide and terrified eyes onto the monitor. He coughs, and his nearest neighbour considers moving to another boothe lest they catch cold.

Would you get the info-dump to Christian after I okay this with Helena, then? He's the only one on that side of the fence that I know. I could do it, too, but I'm not sure if I should. I think Helena can get through to Claire and Peter; maybe both of them. Assuming the Company, Federal agencies, and PARIAH qualify as allies. A beat. Then, with almost audible wryness, It feels like a considerable assumption.

The Company, Wireless replies, the emotionless text somehow managing to convey the cold and bottomless depths of her grudge against that organization, is never an ally.

The silence seems to stretch only in comparison to the technopath's normal flow of electronic conversation. In absolute terms, it isn't very long. I can send it to Christian, yes. The briefest of discernible pauses. …To Homeland Security also, if you want. They're almost the Company, but not quite. She can live with dumping it to Parkman's email. Barely. Anywhere else you care; I can do it anonymously or attach an identifier, to any, all, or none. Digital information = so much putty in Wireless' virtual hands.

It's good that Hana can live with that. Teo would be somewhat more intimidated by a world that succeeded in killing her, and he's fairly shaken up already. He notices the pause because it's difficult not to, but just as easily registers the difference between consideration and hesitation. He would be doing the latter, she the former. HomeSec sounds like a valid option. I don't know of or about anyone else. Helena might. She will tell you if she does. Hopefully knowing better than to press the Company point. If Hana wouldn't even ask for their aid in the face of genocide…

Then that's better done without her, if it is done at all. Teo sits back in his chair, hard enough for the edges of its backboard to bite into his shoulder-blades. We have a few names. Ethan — who speaks with a Cockney English accent; Amato — who was responsible for the murder in the bowling alley; Elias, a teleporter. Would you let us know if you pick up any communications cross-referencing those names or descriptions?

Not a telepath, Wireless has no idea what's going on behind Teo's keyboard. Only the statements that come across the Internet. They're… barely valid, but I know one agent. He may listen to me again. Again? She doesn't elaborate on either point, but accepts the slight change in conversational subject as Teo moves on to descriptions. I can do so. I'll see if I can find any records, also… but if that's all you have, I don't expect to.

Teo decides to spare them both the indignity of typing, with the caps lock on, something to the effect that he's going to urinate in his own trousers right now. It wouldn't have been true anyway. He's slightly dehydrated and unwilling to spare the change to buy himself something out of the drink dispenser. That would have been the other thing, I guess. Something this fucking enormous, going under HomeSec's radar for so long? Some part of me hopes it hasn't. The other part takes comfort in knowing they are so far from infallible.

After all, genocidal lunatics aren't the only quarry for Federal agencies around here. Though he fosters a spark of curiosity about this unidentified HomeSec agent who has somehow managed to establish himself with Wireless, seemingly not at the cost of blackmail or bribery, he thinks better than to ask for details.

I'm thinking I should probably drop out of school and quit my job, he adds, at length. It had been nice, knowing he was guaranteed a solid 4.0 this semester for getting blown up, as students with roommates who committed suicide, but it had been just that. 'Nice.' So, as if that is somehow relevant; as if he hadn't just wanted to tell somebody, and ask the only one who might know: have you heard from Mallory?

There's only so much anyone can see, Wireless remarks. And they've been occupied with the very visible. Which is to say, PARIAH and other overt terrorist activities. Not the ones skulking in the shadows, especially when they're pretending to be anyone else.

Regarding school and job… well, Hana really has no opinion. It's Teo's life. She wouldn't know what to do with school and a job, anyway. So the technopath lets that remark slide entirely by. I haven't. She's around, meaning alive, but hasn't contacted me. It takes a heartbeat for Wireless to make the obvious next conclusion. Do you want me to try and reach her?

That much had been obvious: that Hana wouldn't know what to do with these things if she had them. It comforts Teo in a cold way, that not having them would be survivable. Maybe moreso for her than for him, but it's a facetious kind of luxury to acknowledge the striations of gray between dead or not. He stoops over the keyboard and answers in a cadence of keys. Please. I would appreciate that. Last I heard, she and her brother were alive and that was all. Not to be greedy. Belatedly, he realizes that that was indicative that 'alive' wasn't good enough; falls into radio silence.

Alive is, as news goes, something but often not sufficient. There's no way for the data stream to effectively communicate Hana's nod, distant and unseen. What Teo gets is a spoken agreement. I'll see if she's listening. He may be silent; she isn't, entirely. Is there anything else?



Well, this is going to be awkward. Humor is the miracle of humanity; the only thing Teo's ever seen that effectively retrieves one from the edge with any sort of regularity. Well, he had been wondering. What's your perspective on fucking somebody in the club? A beat's pause. Inter-office relationships? He's grinning. Communicates it, somehow. Perhaps a zero cut in half, a one bent around an arc.

Awkward is probably the proper word. It might have been more entertaining for Teo if he asked Hana this in person. Or perhaps not. This way, he can imagine the expression that crosses her face. The tone of voice in which her reply is delivered. When it starts to cloud your judgment, you have a problem. Until then… She couldn't particularly care less, or so the hanging sentence implies. They're not wise, Wireless allows, continuing on a new line. But an organization like Phoenix depends on emotional attachments as well as principles. Loyalty. Trust. Relationships are inevitable.

'Fucking' isn't the same as 'relationships.' Teo decides not to assert this electronically, though he appreciates, is faintly amused by, and takes it — uncomfortably — to heart, that the question was taken as seriously as every other thing the cyberpath does. That makes sense, he ends up typing, for lack of other inspiration. He hits enter. Finds himself trying to remember how it had been in PARIAH, when he first started; trust and loyalty based on principle without attachment, the discomfort of eying Karl down the hallway and knowing he was alive more by convenience than anybody's grace. Thank you, Wireless. I think that's it. Buona sera.

Any additional notes fall to the bottom.

November 28th: Pity Party Pie

Previously in this storyline…

Next in this storyline…

November 28th: Happy Here
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