Psycho Murderers Are Okay, But I Draw The Line At Rapists


cardinal_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif warren_icon.gif

Scene Title Psycho Murderers Are Okay, But I Draw The Line At Rapists
Synopsis Warren approaches Endgame
Date Sept 17, 2010

Redbird Security Solutions, Cardinal's Office

A few modifications here, a few there… and bam, he has a black umbrella to carry around, one that hides his electric sword, and could possibly do god knows what else if anyone's seen a Batman movie. He's wearing his black suit with the jacket open to reveal his white buttoned up shirt, black tie flowing down it. On his hands are white leather gloves, and under those are unseen black rubber gloves that almost reach his elbows.

Entering Redbird Security, he immediately walks over to the receptionist's station, smiling and placing a hand on to the counter. "Tell Richard Cardinal that Warren Ray is here to see him, and that this is the greatest day of his entire life."

The Afternoon is off to a good start, so far.

The receptionist - a young woman that was painting her nails when Warren walked into the room - looks up at the man who looks for all the world to have walked out of some sort of James Bond movie with a questioning expression over the edge of her glasses. Then he names himself, and the list of 'possibly dangerous individuals' flashes through her mind, with Warren's name quite prominent on that list. She loses a shade of colour or two, and then reaches out carefully to press a manicured fingertip that hasn't been painted yet down on one of the buttons of the phone.

"Mister Cardinal," she calls, keeping the slight quaver out of her voice, "Warren… Ray is here to see you."

There's a pause, and then a sigh that crackles through the speaker, "Send him in."

"Down the hall, sir, third door on your right."

The office is a rather spacious and mostly empty one. There's a nice faux-leather couch against one wall, windows barred and bulletproof and hidden by closed blinds. There's a Mendez painting behind the desk, and that's where Cardinal - in a grey, rumpled suit - is seated, with Elisabeth standing near the desk. He's currently setting his laptop to one side, gloved hands folding together as he looks to the door.

"Thank you ma'am." Warren reaches into his jacket and sits a painted metallic rose, stem and all, on the counter. "I wouldn't squeeze it too hard, grinds the flesh of your palm right off. Every rose has at horn and all that."

He marches through the hall, and Cardinal's door and swiftly swung open, then shut behind him. Warren stretches his arms out in an overtly friendly gesture, as if he's waiting for hugs, that umbrella squeezed tightly in his left hand. "My old friend, Richard Cardinal! And the blonde one." But before they can get a word in, he immediately follows up with, "How do you feel about giant crab tanks? Or reversed engineered technology by people with the last name Steel? And how would you feel if I was in charge and in possession of all of it?" In truth, he has no idea if Cardinal or Elisabeth will know what he's talking about, but he's always been one to bank on a dramatic entrance.

The last thing that he hears from the secretary is her voice on the phone, sounding a little shaky, "…can I get a hazmat box and a pair of tongs in the lobby please…?"

Richard Cardinal starts to say something to the greeting… and then he pauses, his head canting slightly and eyes narrowing as he regards the man that's just walked in. "…Steel? Wait…" He sits up slowly straighter, brow furrowing behind the top edge of his shades, "…where the hell did you lay your hands on Hector's — no. Broome didn't…"

Elisabeth has her hips back against the desk until Warren actually walks all the way in, and then she pushes slowly upright. But he better not even be thinking about putting his hands on her, because that's just not going to happen. She has already had the pleasure of Mortimer Jack's acquaintance. Seriously. Her blue eyes are wary as he comes in, but she remains silent and lets Cardinal handle the potentially volatile man.

"Getting to the point, Harper gave me Hector Steel's toys, I'm supposed to backwards engineer them and make them better, then programmers will come in and make the designs functional. But… Harper got on my bad side, and I've decided, he's a bit of an ass." Warren crosses his arms, leaning against the wall, just smiling as if he holds all the cards. "He brought it on himself, he doesn't trust me to be a full member of the Institute, he won't tell me who my father is, so I've decided to destroy the Institute. I'll give him what he wants, but with a catch, a deadly catch, and I'm letting you in on it."

"I haven't met him myself, but everyone says he is one," Cardinal observes with a shrug of one shoulder, "So that news doesn't bother me…" He tilts his head a little to one side, one brow arching slightly, "…so what's the catch, Warren?"

Elisabeth very carefully doesn't draw attention to herself so far. Warren doesn't know who his father is? She's somewhat confused in all of this.

"See, the reason they gave me Hector Steel's robots is because their men can't figure it out, they don't understand any of it. They estimated that it could take me more than a year to figure it all out, that's how lost they are." Warren just snickers a little to himself, and shakes his head dismissively. "I looked over the lot of it, and my estimate is a few months. I should be able to reverse engineer and make blueprints for most of the new designs by the beginning of next year. My plan is to make it just simple enough for them to understand how to build them, but so complex that they absolutely cannot deviate from the design parameters and keep them functional. Oh, yes, they'll be able to add their programming, but they'll have no idea that I'll have built the bodies to be capable of functioning without programming."

He extends the handle of the umbrella to point at Cardinal. "Once they have the machines built, there's not a thing that can stop me from taking them over… or stop you, if I give you a means to do so. The ultimate trump card in your little political fight, which would be their trump card, being yours."

"I'm guessing that you're not just going to hand me the override," Cardinal observes, one eyebrow lifting over the edge of his shades, "So there's something that you want from me. Your father's identity, I presume, at the very least?"

At that, Elisabeth slants a glance toward Cardinal. But firmly keeps her tongue behind her teeth!

"Yes, my father's identity, and I'd like to be in your loop. I'm not one for blind strategic planning, I like to observe the people I'm working with, know what they're planning. I'm not about to let my fate rest in the hands of anyone prone to keeping me in the dark. I think it's only fair, considering I'm only doing this to spite someone who's pissed me off for rejecting me in the first place." Warren digs into his pocket, then pulls out what looks like the foot to one of those small raptors, and tosses it over to the desk. "And there's your proof that I'm telling the truth." It looks very warn, scuffed with grass with a few dried blood stains on it. It's clear that one had at someone, and those stains are old.

"What exactly do you mean by our loop, Warren?" Cardinal reaches out, his gloved fingers curling about the metal foot of the raptor, bringing it up to regard it - silent for a few long moments, regarding the blood stained upon it. Remembering, perhaps, nights of terror stalked by the same robots, remembering the click-click-click of their feet on the floors of Iago's lair. "You know that I don't trust you further than I can see you. And you have a history of running off with your own… plans and ways of carrying out goals that generally get a bit overboard."

Only now does Elisabeth speak up. "Bringing you completely into our confidence is out of the question," she states flatly. "And we're not about to be held hostage to blackmail — 'oh, you'll tell me everything or I won't do this, that, or the other for you'. You're already proving you don't trust anyone by deciding to turn on the Institute just because they won't tell you things. I mean…. c'mon, Warren." Elisabeth shakes her head slightly. "Generally you're barely under your own control, so … what? We fall to our knees and say 'oh yes, yes yes, please bring us all this cool gadgetry, and we'll tell you everything we know!' and then what? You decide for some arbitrary reason that we're either lying or that you just don't want to play ball anymore, and our own advantage is out the window." Her tone is cool, though she tries to keep it away from being dismissive. "You're asking an awful lot of trust with what looks to me to be an admittedly useful but not terribly risky to you trade here."

"You should relax. I'm not asking to be on your high council or whatever you people have, I just want to know what you'll be doing with what I give you. But…" Warren grins a little, tapping the umbrella over his shoulder as he contemplates. "I could overlook that form of payment, in favor of the acquisition of two possessions of mine that the police still have. Two golden fifty calibur Desert Eagles. In truth, I don't know or care all that much about what you're doing, I just don't enjoy that I've been in the dark for so long."

He pulls the handle of his umbrella, revealing an electrified sword that dances with blue electricity, similar to Elle's. He's only looking at it at the moment. "It's true though, I don't trust anyone. Elle was spying on me, so I had to break up with her and leave her to Mortimer. I have no friends, I'd hardly call my followers, friends. I have no security, I can't trust the Institute not to get rid of me as soon as they get what they want and decide I'm too much of a risk. I need contengencies, I need to play on the side of people who aren't afraid of me. It's self-preservation, you don't fear me so you're less likely to kill me."

"I'll tell you what," Cardinal says, leaning forward with both arms folded on the desk's surface, "I'll tell you about your father, and when we do move on the Institute, I'll give you the chance to get involved. I may even give you some other opportunities on occasion. If you can prove that you're not an uncontrollable maniac, maybe we can talk about more as time goes by."

Well, he's entitled to his delusions that we won't kill him…. Liz wouldn't kill him because she's afraid of him, she'd do it just because he's damn well dangerous to other people and bugshit insane! But whatever. Elisabeth simply lifts her chin, both acknowledging and backing up Richard's offer.

"I wouldn't say I'm uncontrollable. Harper still has a head, I haven't skinned and salted anyone in ages, and Elle's done a fairly good job of keeping me sane. Or at least, she was, but now she's Mortimer's. Who needs an anchor of sanity anyway?" Warren sheathes his sword back into the umbrella, then leans back against the wall. "I'll take your offer. You can start telling me about my father now. Oh, and your secretary could really use something for her nerves, very jumpy girl."

"As I said, I'll give you a… chance," Cardinal nods ever so slightly, and then he leans back, taking a deep breath and exhaling it in a sigh, "Your father's named Edward Ray. He's a former physicist from MIT, born with the ability of Probability Analysis. Put in simple terms, he's the best long-term planner in the history of the world. He's not infalliable, though, and when one of his plans went wrong he was knocked into a coma last year."

Went wrong? Heh… that's an understatement. "His ability was pretty damn amazing," Elisabeth simply comments.

"Probability Analysis… if what Liette told me is correct, then that makes perfect sense." Warren loses his crazy smiles, instead getting a more somber, thoughtful look, staring at the floor with his arms returning to their crossed position. "There's generalized abilities, and then more focused subsets. My father's ability is probably a branch of Intuitive Aptitude, just like mine. But if he's in a coma… that means he's in one of those coffins?"

"No," Cardinal shakes his head slightly, "He suffered… well, brain damage, from what I understand. They're using telepaths and drugs and everything they can to get him to tell them things, but they can only get so much out of him." He pauses, "I was working for your father. I guess I still am, to an extent."

"What was he trying to do? And are you planning to save him?" Warren's completely dropped his dramatics, brows furrowed with interest, eyes silvered over with an intense mechanical focus suddenly. "Do you have a picture?"

"What is he trying to do, you mean…" Cardinal's chin dips in a bit of a nod, his expression serious, "…he's trying to make sure that this doesn't turn into a war. That when all the shit with the government and the factions is over, there's still some people fucking /alive/ afterwards." He pauses, "Liz, do we have a picture in the archive somewhere?"

"I'm pretty sure we do, yeah." Elisabeth pushes off the desk and says, "I'll go get it." She glances between them and then steps out the door. "Be back in a couple."

"So this is my family business…" Warren briefly closes his eyes, and when he opens them, they're the normal blue color again, looking up to meet Cardinal's stare. "Alright then, I'll do it. I've spent all of the life I can actually remember, the stuff that isn't fake, trying to find my purpose. I tried to find it in religions, in destroying dimensions, and even in some sort of peaceful normal life of engineering. But if this is what my father does, if this is what he wants, then I'll work towards his goals and make them my own."

"You do have a purpose," Cardinal says with a tight shake of his head, "The fact that you were born says that much. Edward didn't do anything… random. Anything by accident. If you were born, then he probably wants you to build him something."

"It would have been nice to have not been left alone to inevitably have my entire life scooped out of my head until I grew a tumor." When Elisabeth returns to the room, he holds his hand up to take the picture as he returns to her perch on the desk. "This man… I've met him before. He's the one who gave me the plans to the paper company, with the lists of Evolved abilities. He helped me blow up that building."

"Did he?" A snort of faint amusement, Cardinal's head shaking a little, "I'm not surprised. That was the Company… you've heard of them, the ones in the news?"

"I know of the Company, I knew of some of their members too. I think a lot of them jumped ship to the Institute. But oh boy, do I know the Company. They're the ones responsible for most of what's happened to me, to what's happened to my brain. Most of the people involved with manipulating me are dead, but…" Warren raises a hand to carefully rub his forehead. "Linderman's still alive. Linderman's the one who gave the order to dump my memories. But even I'm not crazy enough to march up there and kill him. I know how the underworld works, if I killed Linderman, the city would go to hell and it'd hurt me more than help me."

"We've got that covered," Cardinal says in serious tones, "We'll take care of Linderman, we just have to finish building a structure to take over once he's gone… otherwise you're right, there'll be total chaos in the streets."

"So where do we go from here? I have Mortimer and Alex listening, but my head isn't a demogracy, our rules are a lot more complex than that." Warren places the tip of the umbrella on the floor, listening his weight over on it. "Though, speaking of my head, I have one last request. It's nothing vital, but I feel I could learn a few things from a woman named Niki or Jessica Sanders. They have an issue similar to mine, and we're all curious about how they manage it."

"Jessica would punch your head off after five minutes of conversation," Cardinal replies in rather dry tones, "She's the protector personality, and she really doesn't have any tolerance for shit. I could ask her to meet with you, but I can't guarantee you'd survive the conversation."

Now Elisabeth laughs softly. "Manage what? The coexistence?" She tilts her head, her blue eyes still watchful of Warren. "Jessica's merely a sociopath, not …. well, quite as challenged on the sanity scale as you are," she comments, attempting to be…. polite. "She exists to keep Niki safe from the things that have happened. I'm not sure I've ever even seen a gatekeeper personality on you, Warren. But she manages the coexistance in similar fashion to the way you're handling it right now. Not a democracy, but a …. benevolent dictatorship. Niki is the primary personality and always the main concern of Jessica."

"You let me worry about my survival. I wouldn't be alive this long if I didn't have some social skills." Warren snickers a little at that, shaking his head. "I wouldn't have survived this long if I didn't know when to turn the crazy off. But that does sound strange, a protector personality. Mortimer's always whining about wanting to be normal, Alex always about being rich and having his freedom, and me, well, I just have eccentric hobbies. I like to consider myself the dominant personality, I did come first, but protect eachother? That's just strange. We try to do whatever's in our own best interests."

"Your case actually doesn't make any psychiatric sense in the slightest," Cardinal admits, one hand rubbing against the side of his face, "I suppose that matches everything else about you, though. I'm no doctor, though, so who the fuck knows."

Heh… and a good shrink is so hard to find, Elisabeth thinks bitterly. "Perhaps it's why you keep on making such a mess of things. If you have three people pulling in all different directions, not a damn thing ever gets done," she observes in a neutral tone. "In any case… Richard, I need to make a phone call. Stop in when you're through here, okay?"

"My therapist thinks I'm interesting. And hey, I am on medication, for the hallucinations. I don't see them anymore." Warren grabs the knob and starts to turn it, looking back at Cardinal one last time. "Well, I think we're done here. You have my number. Anything you need before I leave?"

"I think I'm good," Cardinal says with a slight shake of his head, holding up the raptor's foot, "Thanks for the new paperweight."

Elisabeth watches the mostly insane murderer-rapist go, and instead of leaving to make that phone call, she turns to look at Richard after the door closes — reinforcing a silence field around the two of them. "Really, Richard? We're really gonna work with him??"

"Did you see me promise him anything serious?" Cardinal tosses the raptor's foot to tumble over the surface, hand lifting to rub his fingers against his forehead, "I'd rather at least know where he is, and what he's doing, if we're not going to kill him. Elle told me she was going to, maybe she'll still get around to it. I promised her cake."

"I cannot believe that you're seriously considering this. He's a fucking rapist, Richard. Let's just leave out the psycho insane murderer part, cuz well, I'm pretty sure we already have a few of those and I've lost the moral high ground on bitching about it because at least one of them is a friend of mine. But he's a rapist. Why are we not just turning him in or killing him? No one'll even come looking!"

You know, he used to tell her she'd have to decide which side of the line to stand on. The cop in Elisabeth should be cringing at this line of questioning. And she's not even flinching.

"We don't have anyone to turn him in to," Cardinal replies flatly, his hand dropping down to the table, "And he might still be— fuck, I don't know. I don't like working with the bastard any more than you do, but…" He fixes her with a steady gaze, "…we work with Gabriel too, Liz."

"As I said — I've lost the moral high ground on arguing about working with psycho serial killers and shit," Elisabeth retorts. She shakes her head and moves to stand in front of him, placing a kiss on his jaw. "We gotta have some standards, for God's sake," she murmurs in disgust.

Cardinal's head tips to nuzzle back against her jaw, and then he leans back, looking at her for a moment and saying quietly, "All the more reason to get Edward out. Then we can let him deal with his damn kid. I told Kaylee, she wants nothing to do with him."

"Well, at least someone's got an iota of sense," Elisabeth murmurs drily. "Gotta go make this call. Love you." She drops one more kiss on him and slips away, her fingers lingering on his arm until the last possible second as she leaves.

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