Not Dead Yet


brian2_icon.gif cardinal_icon.gif

Scene Title Not Dead Yet
Synopsis Cardinal stops by the bakery and discovers a ghost. Or, well, a Brian, at least! Plans are affirmed.
Date July 6, 2009

Piece of Cake Bakery

The front room of the bakery is a long and narrow one. A great glass window covers the wall facing the street, so that anyone outside can see in. The door is glass as well; on bright days the shop is filled to the brim with sunshine. Drop lamps abovehead help at night, casting a warmer and softer light. Classic black and white tiling collects smudges more often than not on the floor and walls. In the back is a hallway which leads further to the kitchen, a small bathroom for customers to use, and a set of creaky stairs that go up to the second floor. The entire building is warm, and the air is redolent with the scents of pastry both savory and sweet, cookies, muffins, chocolate and fruit, bread and more.

A long, waist-high counter is on the left after stepping inside. The top is flat so purchases can be set down, and baked goods of all sorts are on display inside. Down at the far end is the cash register: leaving means walking past all the tempting wares all over again. Though it isn't particularly fancy, a coffee machine next to the register has a sign that reads "Donations": the cups and plain coffee are free, but change dropped inside goes to local charities. Three small bistro tables sit along the right wall; it's a tight fit, but three (or four if they're close friends) people can sit at each to enjoy a bite before going on their way. A bell above the door jangles merrily whenever it's opened.

Jangle-jangle. The bells upon the door ring as Cardinal pushes it open, his expression somewhat dark; he bears with him the demeanor of one who's carrying bad news with him. As it happens, it's the news that Brian is dead, and a request to recover some of his things if he was keeping any of them here.

Won't he be surprised?

"Dickie." Brian says in a monotone. No emotion enters into his voice, his gray eyes sit dully upon Cardinal as he enters. The man's eyes are rimmed red, it appears as if he's been crying a lot. Not because he's actually been troubled by the deaths, but because he's supposed to be troubled by them. And so it's a sourpuss depressed Brian that Cardinal walks in to tell the grave news to.

"Can I help you?"

"…Brian." Cardinal stops, dead, just within the store. He stares at the other man as if he'd just seen a ghost, his own eyes widening slightly under the shade of the fedora he's taken to wearing lately. Slowly, he walks towards the counter, "…you're alive."

"I know that." Brian says quietly after explaining to Cardinal that he did not need a reminder. "So, you heard." He states quietly. "He didn't quite get all of me. As you can see." Brian explains quietly, looking up to give a grim look at the other man. "What can I do for you, Dickie?"

"I hear everything. Especially when it has to do with the sonuvabitch I'm going to kill… just another sin to his tally," Cardinal says as he walks over to the counter slowly, hands - two, this time, both of them gloved - resting down upon it, a steady look given to the other man, "But the man who's never wrong was very, very certain that Arthur'd reached through your link and murdered every damn clone connected to you, Brian." Paranoia, when the man in question's a shapeshifter, is never overdone. He looks back at him grimly for a few moments, "So how, exactly, am I talking to you right now?"

"This isn't exactly the place we should be having this conversation." Brian says flatly, those dead looking eyes wandering over his shoulder to quickly check Hadley hasn't come down. "I get killed three times and you want to drill me with questions." Brian growls back, "What kind of friend are you, Richard?" A question that Brian somewhat hopes Richard will actually answer. That would help him a great deal. "He took my connection." He reports, "And killed all present. But I wasn't at the Lighthouse. A girl named Gillian found me.. And she got in contact with a woman who can.. Give back, things that are taken away." He explains softly.

"One who's been on the run from that bastard for too long to trust easily." The man is regarded with a sharp eye for a few moments… and then Richard gives his head a tight shake, brushing the suspicion away. At least for the most part. "Alright. I'll check on your story, I'll assume it's true for now. If you were him, you probably would've fuckin' killed me by now." His voice drops slightly, more quietly, "You still in? This needs t'be done in the next few days, if we have a hope of succeeding in bringing Arthur down."

"You can ask Gillian. Do you know her? Gillian Childs." Brian reports softly, now that he's not so much being scrutinized he melts a little bit. Leaning heavily on the counter, his head sags downwards as Cardinal asks. "I'll do my best." He drolls softly. "How many do we have, besides you and me?"

"Depends on who comes when I call. I've got a pretty solid plan," Cardinal admits, leaning more fully on the counter as well, arms folded to its edge as his voice remains at a low level, "No more than two or three, though, I'm keeping this small. Key's going to be evading notice; we don't want to make a big production out've it."

"How many of me do you want me to bring?" Brian asks flatly, keeping his eyes trained on a speck on the counter. His fingers idly go to scratch at the tiny little speck as his head sags forward fully, threatening to fall off his poor neck. "Do you have equipment for me? What's the plan?"

"I'm picking up the hardware later this afternoon," Cardinal affirms with a tight nod to the other man, "I've got enough for a half-dozen people coming in, which should be enough." A pause, "If this shapeshifter I'm gonna be talking to follows through— we grab one've the guys on their lunch break, I've been keeping track of where they go. Send him in to secure the prisoner and get him most've the way out, then we go in to extract them. Quick, clean, li'l mess at the end of things don't go well, but it should get the job done."

"You have a shapeshifter." Brian answers dryly. "I should meet him. Get the whole team acquainted what not so we don't.." A dismissive hand is waved as the substitute for the words he can't find. "Whatever. Just tell me when to fucking move." He spits, going to stand up off of the counter, though for a moment he looks like he might burst into tears right there. He contains himself, clamping his teeth shut for a moment and bringing a hand to his lips. "Anyway.. anything else?"

"I have a lot of people." A tight shake of Cardinal's head, "I'll get you all together, probably tomorrow…" A slight lean back, regarding the other man for a moment before asking more quietly, "Cat told me that someone got the kids out… they all make it? I was worried 'bout Zu and Simon, I know Rocket got out…"

"Gillian." Brian mutters softly. "She's my sister, as it happens. We didn't know, until very recently." The young man reports taking a step back. "They're all okay. Thank God." Brian exhales quickly in a flurry, once again restraining himself from weeping. "Listen, Richard. How is.. this Case guy, how is getting him out going to stop Arthur?" Brian asks desperately.

"Good." Cardinal's shoulders relax just a bit, and he pushes off from the counter to straighten fully, one hand sliding to rub at the side of his neck as he grimaces, "Bastard. I… honestly, I don't know." He looks at Brian, his head shaking slightly, "I'm not the man with the plan. I've consulted— some precognitives, though, and the plan'll work. We just need to keep it moving. And I promise you." A hard note in his voice, "Arthur Petrelli will die."

"Good." Brian repeats coldly, watching Cardinal closely for a minute. "I'll be waiting for your signal to move." With that he turns towards the back, but hesitates. "You want a cookie?"

"I'd love a cookie." Cardinal glances towards the back, managing a tired smile, "How's Mrs. Hadley doin'? Everything alright with her? I was… actually coming by to let her know what happened, fortunately I don't have'ta."

"Haven't talked to her much. Kinda been avoiding her. I just don't want to be a burden with my present condition." He passes off, going to fetch Cardinal a cookie. Assuming Hadley would give it to him for free anyway, he goes to pass it over to the other man. "I'll tell her you stopped by.. When I talk to her, that is."

"Thanks." The cookie's taken, and Cardinal tilts his head a bit, "Wouldn't mind meeting your sister sometime, but there probably won't be much time before all hell breaks loose… but, y'know." Rueful, "Maybe if we're all still alive after the storm."

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