One Person At A Time


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Scene Title One Person At A Time
Synopsis Ygraine and Colette reunite in the soup kitchen, but it's PARIAH's viral video that spurs conversation.
Date October 25, 2008

Cathedral of St.John the Divine

The largest Gothic cathedral in the world, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine remains partially unfinished to this day, despite its construction having begun in 1892 - true to form for buildings of its type. Nonetheless, it is a grand and imposing sight; possessing the characteristic grand arches, pointed spires, and beautiful stained glass windows, including a large and striking Rose window. Where the walls aren't covered with old and meticulously preserved tapestries, they are often ornamented.

Guided tours are offered six days out of the week. Services are open to all. Since the bomb, the main nave is open at all but the latest hours, though the smaller subject-specific chapels close in the evening. The cathedral is also a site for major workshops, speakers, and musical events - most especially the free New Year's Eve concert, which has been held without fail each year since the bomb.

St. John's has long been a center for public outreach and civic service events, but since the bomb, those have become an even greater part of its daily affairs. Services include a men's shelter, a twice-weekly soup kitchen, walk-in counseling, and other programs besides. These are open to everyone - non-Evolved, unregistered Evolved, registered Evolved… the philosophy is that they're all children of God, and that's what matters.

The hours just before lunch are usually the busiest at the Cathedral of St.John, not because of the influx of parishners coming for services, but rather the number of homeless or otherwise destitute individuals who come for the free hot meals and warm surroundings offered. As late into the fall as it is, more and more people are turning up at the shelter offered by the Church for the wayward, and that means more mouths to feed, and more hands needed with which to do it.

The steady trail of people coming and going from the soup kitchen is only matched by the noise of that many people in a basement cafeteria all conversing. It has the sound and life that a busy diner in the middle of Midtown would have, if Midtown were even there any more. It's amidst this hustle and bustle, amidst the long lines of people waiting to pick up food at the steam tables that one person who had taken advantage of this system when she needed it, does her part to give back to the people around her.

"S-sorry! Sorry!" In only a way Colette can, "Here, let me wipe that up!" Crouches down in front of one of the steam tables, Colette swabs at a patch of chili that spilled onto the floor, not far above the puddle is a red-brown streak down the dark green table cloth, and an overturned bowl and ladel. "I ah, I-I've kind've got butter fingers!" She exclaims to a laughing middle-aged woman who crouches down to try and help with the mess.

"S'no worry darlin'," She picks up the overturned bowl, setting it down on the table, "Had m'self a son who was just as clumbsy as you are — It's just how kids get at your age." She stands up straight, tilting her head to the side as she hands the bowl to Colette, and the young girl tossed her rag into the boel with a crooked smile.

"E-er, yeah, thanks…" Tilting her head to the side with a swish of her bangs, Colette offers the woman a smile as she weaves through the crowd to get around on the serving side of the tables again, "Go sit down and I'll fix you up a bowl!" It's busy as usual down here.

Stalking through the crowd, her ease of movement assisted by the armoured breadth of shoulder her biker's jacket grants to her, Ygraine wends her way towards one end of the serving tables with a canvas bag cradled in her arms. Her pace slows a little, head cocking as she peers towards the source of Colette's minor disturbance - before a broad grin appears in response to recognising the girl who caused it. Completing her transit to the tables, she loiters a little uncertainly while trying to catch the eye of one of the helpers.

Filling up a new bowl with chili, Colette scampers around the table, slipping between two people in line to head over to where the woman she had spilled the food of had gone to sit. Once she sets down the bowl though, she catches Ygraine's profile, eyes going wide as she straightens up, rising onto her toes and waves wildly with one hand, "Ygraine!" The girl makes a skipping approach, ducking to the side of two young men in aprons carrying empty coffee pots away from the coffee counter. "Hey there stranger! Been a while!" Colette comes to a stop with a broad grin, folding her arms across her chest.

Ygraine cracks a broad, happy grin, shifting her grip on the bag to be able to offer one hand to Colette to shake. "Why, good afternoon to you, my dear old thing", she says in her poshest voice, cheerfully playing against what might have been expected by those seeing her dark and leathery attire.

Wrinkling her nose, Colette takes the offered hand with one of hers and lets out a snickering laugh, squeezing gently before taking a half step over and slipping an arm around Ygraine's shoulders in a quick hug. The girl steps back, head tilted to the side and a broad smile on her face. "Heh heh, I've been busy. A lot's been happening lately an' I, you know, always the center of something?" Her nose wrinkles again and the girl laughs to herself, glancing over to the people at the steam tray before looking back. "I got time to take a break, you wanna' sit down?"

Ygraine wraps her free arm around Colette's waist, giving her a warm squeeze in return. When she speaks, her voice has resumed its normal accent - posh and foreign by local standards, to be sure, but much less exaggeratedly so. "Sure. I'd love to. And it's not as if these'll go off in the time we take to talk." She hefts the bag.

The term go off earns a very serious stare from Colette, and she eyes the bags in an anxious way like someone might with anything that may have been misconstrued as a bomb. Then, after taking a moment to think of the source of the comment, the girl wrinkles her nose again and laugh to herself, "Been so much going on lately, I hardly even know where to start talkin'." She shakes her head, sitting down on the long bench seat with her back up against the table, elbows resting on the tabletop, "I think I was still living here last time we talked…"

Ygraine perches on the bench, setting her bag upon the table - the contents apparently at least somewhat loose, given the irregular way in which it settles. Its owner frowns pensively. "I think you mentioned something about… someone looking after you?", she ventures cautiously, not wanting to mis-speak.

There's a bit of a subtle nod, "Well, that might've just been me talking about my guardian angel," Colette cracks a warm, happy smile. "I was living with someone for a while though, a police officer named Judah Demsky. He… sort've took me under his wing, you know? He's a friend of someone really close to me, so I knew I could trust 'em." It seems that being a cop wasn't enough to earn her trust, "He got hurt in the line of work, that whole freaky serial killer thing?" A serious look comes over her face. "He'll be alright, but he's in pretty bad shape, um, he's over at St.Lukes." There's a worried, anxious look that crosses her face as she says this, "I'm staying with a friend of his now, out in Queens — " A pretty rough area of the city for a girl like her to be staying. "Name's Felix, he's an FBI agent. But he's, like, cool and stuff, and not like a jerk or anything." A smile begins creeping up on her lips. "So uh, t-that's me rambling…"

Ygraine does look rather concerned, paying very close attention to Colette as she talks. "I'm glad they're trustworthy. And I'll bear Judah's name in mind. Trustworthy cops are worth knowing about, certainly. But… you're okay? And… Judah'll be okay? If that's the serial killer I'm thinking of, it's a really nasty business…."

"Yeah, yeah it's alright." She waves one hand dismissively, "But, you know how it can be. Felix takes good care of me though, I mean, as much as he can. There's some really cool people who live in my apartment building right now. I was up at La Rivage in.. uh… I forget what part of town that is," Colette's nose wrinkles slightly, "That's where Judah lives, but now it's this loft in Queens and it's kind've a scary neighborhood." She accompanies the comment with awkward laughter, "S-so, what've you been up to? Still bein' Gracey's henchwoman?" Her smile turns a bit teasing, one brow raising over her blinded eye.

Ygraine lifts a brow, cocking her head. "Le Rivage? Really? That's where my place is. I'll definitely have to see if I can find a Demsky there…. If you need somewhere to doss for a while, I can offer my spare room - though I'm not an armed federal agent, and you'd have to put up with myself and my girlfriend. She'd, umm, probably be the major news since we last met. I'm sort of attached now. And not to Grace - really cute little actress called Jennifer."

Listening, Colette lets out a squeak when she hears exactly where Ygraine lives, "W-wait, really!?" Her eyes go wide, "We were practically neighbors!" There's a moment of silence at the other comment, and Colette's face turns just the slightest bit red, a little color rising up on her cheeks as she seems to take a good long while considering what Ygraine says — and specifically says so openly. She smiles, clearing her thought and awkwardly, perhaps shyly doesn't give comment, "A — O-Oh…" Her eyes divert to her lap, hands folded together there, "I um, I just met a girl named Jennifer the other day too — s'quite a coincidence." She cracks an anxious smile, "Over at Columbia University — I was asking 'round about my sister. She — "Colette cuts herself off, biting down on her lower lip with a hesitant smile, and when she speaks again, it's obviously not what she was going to say at first. "She's helpful."

Ygraine cocks her head, shooting Colette a very curious look indeed. "Shortish, curvy, brunette? Drama student? Yeah, Jennifer's adorable. And… ask whatever you had in mind. You don't need to feel shy."

A bowl of chilli.. or whatever that stuff is, plops down next to Ygraine. The hand who did the plopping belongs to Brian. Smiling down at her, he gives a bit a nod to her. Then he takes a seat next to Ygraine, greeting Colette with a smile. Picking up the old spoon out of the bowl he begins to eat. Only after his first spoonful does he ask of Ygraine. "Can I sit here?"

"N-no that's fine!" Colette stammers to Ygraine, and smiles, laughing awkwardly, "Oh ah, short? Yeah she um — I guess she was a little short." Her face turns more red and the girl smooths out the front of her t-shirt, "She ah — She made a copy — photocopy!" Her exclamation seems to very nervously try to draw attention away from Jennifer's secret, while at the same time doing the exact opposite because of just how socially awkward Colette is. "P-Photocopy of um, that picture of Nicole. S-she's going to ask Professor Gilbert about her, I guess he's been teaching at Columbia for a while…" One hand reaches up to nervously scratch at the back of her head, it seems the suggestive line of conversation has hit a point of anxiety for the young girl.

When she spots Brian coming to sit down at the table — no small surprise given how crowded it is here at the soup kitchen on a Saturday — the girl springs up to her feet, waving her hands in front of herself with a nervous laugh. "I-I should get back to work — you know b-because I have work t-to do and it's allll worky!" She's rambling now, and when she backs up it's right into a twenty-something man carrying a laptop over to Colette. The girl lets out a squeak and whirls around, mis-matched eyes wide as she stares up at the person she bumped into.

"Man you're a spaz." He says with a crooked smile, hefting up the laptop, "C'mere, I found what I wanted to show you." Colette glances over to Ygraine for a moment, then back to the apron-wearing man. She nods, quietly, and he moves over to where she was sitting, opening to laptop to reveal a web-browser open, and a video paused. He double-clicks inside of the black frame, fullscreening it. It's a little grainy, so blown up, but the image can still be made out clear enough. "I saw this on YouTube, it's wild. I wanted you to watch it."

Colette nods, leaning over the young man's shoulder, peering at the laptop screen with a quick look to Ygraine, and a crooked smile. The laptop itself, a Macbook, looks remarkably familiar to Ygraine. It's almost the exact same kind as Jennifer's. "You didn't get a virus or somethin' on my brand fucking new laptop, did you Trent?" Colette narrows her eyes, and Trent scoffs, waving one hand dismissively.

"Shut up and watch, Squeaky." Colette's eyes widen and her cheeks puff out in defiance as her arms are thrown down at her side, then one fist ineffectucually thumps on Trent's shoulder from behind, as if to imply that is not a good nickname, you big fat jerk!.

Ygraine watches and listens to Colette's performance with gentle amusement and some degree of bewilderment, smiling softly at the flustered young woman. Then she finds herself starting in surprise, giving Brian a decidedly surprised look… before Colette again regains her attention through her interaction with Trent. "Uhhh, no", she says rather distractedly to Brian, eyeing the laptop with considerable curiosity.

Brian raises an eyebrow at the girl. Then lowers his head as he starts to shovel food in his mouth. Though he watches Colette and this new guy a little oddly. "Friend of yours?" Brian asks with his mouth full to Ygraine. "Oh, and I went to that place." He says, bringing up his free hand to slap her shoulder with it gently out of excitement. "I think I did pretty good. We'll probably be working together soon." He gives a smile before taking another spoonful. Then looks back up to the weird girl with the weird eyes and the weird computer.

Ygraine shoots Brian a briefly confused look, then grins and nods. "Ah! Right. Glad to hear that they took you on. Good luck - the first week on the job can be Hellish, as you discover just how lethal New York drivers really are when given cyclists to aim for…."

Colette seems oblivious to Ygraine and Brian's conversation as Trent accosts her with the laptop and the video. For a while all that shows up on the laptop's screen is a black. Slowly, though, white lettering fades into view.

"On October 6th, 2008, a group of anti-Evolved terrorists entered the Brooklyn Public Library with intent to kill any Evolved they found present."

Colette looks from the screen over to Trent, head head tilted to the side, brows raised. He hisses a little, poking at her cheek with one finger to turn her head back towards te screen, as if to silently imply watch, don't ask. When she looks back, the girl leans in just a bit closer, scrutinizing the video more closely.

A series of images flash by quickly. One is an exterior shot of the Brooklyn Public Library on a rainy day, puddles of standing water outside of the building and a slate gray sky overhead. Then photographs of headlines of the event taken by snapping pictures of newspapers stacked up on a linolium-tiled floor. Then, the black screen and white lettering returns.

"What the hell is this, a movie trailer?" Colette asks ignorantly, tilting her head to the side, and Trent froens, palming the top of her head and turning her foxus back to the screen silently. Colette reaches up and swats wildly at the hand, then anxiously smooths out the top of her hair, as if somehow he had made her messy haircut messier.

"Eh, I'll be fine." Brian says without much concern. Something about having a power gives you confidence, even when its not appropriate. But he's not too worried.. yet. Looking up at the laptop that plays the video, Brian frowns lightly. "That's that terrorist thing." The young man murmurs between spoonfulls. Then he sets his spoon down in the bowl.

Ygraine cocks her head, peering quizzically at the computer - before a glance up lets her spot a free senior helper. Rising to her feet, she snatches her bag off the table. "Back in a bit. Best hand these over while I can", she says, slipping off into the crowd….

Colette catches the middle finger when Trent doesn't, snickering quietly before glancing back to the computer. Once more the screen goes black, except for the scrolling white letters: FORTIS ET LIBER.

The video ends, prompted by a large play button appearing in the middle of the screen, and Trent merely looks down to Colette with one brow raised. "Wild stuff, right? I've been reading up on them on the internet… I've been showing it to everyone I know." Nodding slowly, Colette looks up at Trent, then over to Brian, then down to the screen with an undecided and anxious expression.

"I — I don't know, I… I mean, I was a few blocks away when they did that whole confetti bomb thing…" Her words are somewhat muffled by the hand up at her mouth, teeth plucking at her thumbnail. "I… um — "

"Come on, you've gotta admit the whole registration thing is a huge crock of shit, right? I mean, the video's totally right, it's like the Nazis in our back yard!" Mis-matched eyes from Colette peer up at Trent, then look back to her laptop with marked concern. "Some friends of mine want to protest outside the television studio doing the debate coverage next week. We wanna show our support for Allen Rickham."

The name draws a puzzled look from Colette, and she tilts her head to the side, "Who's that?" She asks with a hesitant tone of voice. Trent sighs disapprovingly, tapping himself on the forehead dramaticly.

"Don't you watch the news?" He asks with one brow raised, and he leans forward, minimizing the video and bringing up Google, pulling up a search on the name Allen Rickham, and ends the search on a wikipedia article for a California Senator. "He's a pro-Evolved senator from California, he's running for President?" Trent stares at Colette, who only smiles and nods, giving him all the more reason to sigh desperately. "Come on, he's totally against the Linderman act and the whole nazi-party shit it represents. He's got a debate with Petrelli and Mitchell on thursday next week. You should come with us, we're gonna have signs and be shouting, and all sorts of other stuff, right?"

"Uh…" Colette purses her lips and tilts her head to the side, "W-well, I… I'd have to check with Felix, I mean, you know — That sounds like it's… dangerous?"

Brian watches Trent intently, his eyes shifting to Colette for a second and then back to Trent. "So what do they do man? To protect everyone else? Don't you watch the news? Two evolved went apeshit and killed like ten people or something and injured a whole shitload more. Unregistered right? People getting powers is like a huge load of people just being handed guns. Not everyone uses them wisely. So people gotta get permits and shit for their guns. You can't get permits for your powers. So Trent. You seem to be the reigning expert on this topic, what do you think should be done?" Brian asks, giving the man a steady look.

Colette shies away as Brian speaks up in a somewhat politically heated manner, shrinking back to slip around behind Trent and close her laptop. Trent's focus is entirely on Brian, however. He seems just like the type to love an argument, even if he may not be the best educated or best-armed person for the conversation. "Guns and people are totally different things. You can take a gun away from someone, you can't take a power away. So what happens if they're born with a power they can't control? They get registered, and then what? Thrown away for life in jail?" His arms fold defianely across his chest, head tilted to the side. "It's not the act of Registration that's the problem, it's the way it's handled. Having your picture, name and address printed on the internet for anyone to find? You don't get that kind've treatment for owning a gun. Only sex offenders get treated like that."

Sliding her laptop across the table, Colette sits down on the bench seat, listening to Trent with wide eyes, then glancing down to the otherwise unfamiliar man he's having an argument with. She looks over to the people tending the steam trays and crocks, then back to the conversation, hardly knowing what to make of all the points.

"You didn't say anything about the guys who went apeshit and killed a buncha people." Brian points out quietly. Then standing up he stares levelly at the man. " So, what if I'm an Evolved? And I'm pissed that you're an asshole so I decide to wipe you out. Because it's just so easy. What if I jump over this table right now and beat the shit out of you? Do you still want me to have my rights?" Brian asks, he doesn't look angry, or heated or anything, just talking.

Colette starts to back away when Brian speaks up as he does, "T-Trent come on, this guys's a nutjob…" She murmurs nervously, but Trent just isn't listening. He's bristling now, tilting his head to the side and walking around the table to come up on where Brian is sitting, "Treeeent!" A few people in the caffeteria are watching now, and he stares down at the man in front of him.

"What makes you any different than a mugger in central park with a knife? Anyone can be a dipshit and hurt someone, it doesn't take special powers to do that. But then you have to wonder, is the guy you're gonna pick on an Evolved too? Maybe he disintegrate people with a touch? Maybe turn them inside out with a thought? Maybe you shouldn't be picking fights?" He snorts, "Or maybe neither of us are Evolved and we're both scared shitless of people stronger than us?" He shifts his weight to one foot, and Colette is watching with a wide-eyed stare now. "Just because two fuck-heads make a bad decision, it doesn't make it right to screw over the people who are good, honest, and hard working people who don't mean to hurt anyone."

A little smirk tugs up on Brian's lips as Trent comes up close and really hammers it home. Raising his eyebrows the young man gives a bit of a nod in concession. "Well I guess you're right, T-Trent." He murmurs, flashing a smile over to Colette. "I can't argue with that. You got me." Raising his hands in defeat the young man steps over the bench and walks backwards a bit turning around, he starts to walk off.

Meanwhile, coming up behind Trent and the table comes another man.. Brian. With a bowl of chilli in his hands he takes a seat casually and smiles up at the man. "Hey Trent." He then begins to eat.

Arching one brow, Trent eyes the other man, then does a double take as he looks from one Brian to the other. His expression is momentarially dubious until he notices they're wearing different outfits. He laughs, crookedly, then sighs and watches the guy he was arguing points with slip away. He looks down to the other, "Your brother's a piece a work, man."

With things cooled down, Colette exhales a slow breath of relief as she slouches back down onto her bench, tilting her head to the side and watching the two conversing. It's only when a shout is given from over by the steam tables that the girl rises to her feet and jabs Trent in the side, "Hey! They need us back up there, lunch rush!" She doesn't notice the twin, what with him seated on her blind side as she hustles off to the food lines.

"None of my brothers live here, Trent. And don't you find it odd that I know your name?" Brian asks as he begins to eat. He watches Trent's eyes for any sign of recognition. He continues to eat as he watches the man. "I completely agree with you Trent. Thank you for your support." Then his eyes move over to Colette. "Sorry, I didn't get your name. I'm Brian." He says offering his hand to her.

Trent gapes at Brian, head tilting to the side. It hadn't dawned on him in the least, the significance of it. He smirks, nervously and admits, "W-well, I guess only one of us was bluffing then." He says with a crooked and anxious expression, edging away from the table and ducking his head into a nod. Now it's his turn to be sheepish, "Hey, ah, fight the good fight and all that." Colette, perhaps to Brian's benefit, doesn't hear the tail end of the conversation, already rushing to get back to work on the line. God knows what she'd have to say about a man who can create clones, but odds are it would ramble on for hours on end. Trent demures a bit less like Colette, tilting his head to the side with a wave, "I — I gotta get back to work…" He watches Brian for a moment, "Will you be at the Demonstration?"

Shrugging at him, Brian smiles lightly at Trent as he waves goodbye to the man, and also to Colette. "Probably. I have a knack of being in a few places at once." The young man says with a smirk as he finishes his meal.

Trent's eyes wander the strange man's seated form, then nods, "I… I imagine you would, wouldn't you?" He hesitates, looking back to Colette in the serving line, glaring daggers at him, then looks back to Brian. "See you there," he intones, slipping back through the line to serve meals to the homeless and needy alongside that rather strange girl.

But he did what he wanted to, turn opinions around, even if it's just one person at a time.

October 25th: Girl Talk
October 25th: Through a Mirror Darkly
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