lydia_icon.gif wiley_icon.gif

Scene Title Restoration
Synopsis Lydia meets with Wiley Schnook, and the two restore hope in one another.
Date July 27, 2010

Brooklyn (r)Evo-lutionaries Building

After the rally yesterday, Lydia finds herself drawn here, to (r)Evo-lutionary HQ, a rather generic place all things considered. While she hadn't exactly come with the hordes here, she'd followed, curious but not quite curious enough to hang in the crowd that late. Apartments on top and offices on bottom.

The main area, complete with a receptionist is just that— an entranceway, a place for visitors to announce their presence. Lydia, however, makes no such announcement, particularly as the receptionist signs for a package from a rather handsome UPS man. The receptionist is shot an all-too-knowing smile as the tall former-Carnie pads past the desk into the foray like she knows where she's going; she doesn't.

The office itself is an organized hub of activity, people making demands of each other, reciting deadlines, talking about loyalty, and all dressed in that business casual attire. Fortunately, in her black chiffon dress, Lydia blends right in— well she would if it weren't for her colourful tattoos and the pair of oversized sunglasses being used as a makeshift headband. No one pays her any mind, however, as she reaches the end of the hall to a door labeled Wiley Schnook. Carefully, gently, she raps on the door.

There's only a handful of offices, with Wiley's and Bruce Maddox's across the hall from one another, the only two with actual names on them. Everyone else works in the open hub toward the front of the hallway, since it's a revolving schedule of volunteers and the like. The leader sits in his office staring out the window, his hand wrapped around a cup of coffee and his mind deep in thought.

The knock breaks him of his reverie, and he clears his throat. "Come on in!" he calls out in his quavery voice, turning his head to watch the door open, certain it's Maddox or one of the secretaries or volunteers to bring him mail or coffee or something to sign.

The door is opened just as gently, just as cautiously before Lydia steps inside. Slowly she closes the door behind her. She stays on the edge of the room before issuing him a kind of three-fingered wave and pressing her own courage forward, moving her further into its centre and space, filling some of the space between them. She's the one to come here, after all. "Mister Schnook…?" She issues him a kind of gentle, almost haphazard smile, an unusual caution in its edging and form as her dark eyes scan the office itself.

"I heard you speak yesterday," the words are even, gentle, and without a hint of attitude, judgment, or chiding. "Your ideas are.. very progressive."

"Come in, come in, I don't bite," Wiley says amiably, standing up when he realizes it's a woman entering his office — he's that sort of guy — and then gesturing toward one of the chairs in front of his desk. The furniture within is modest, cheap office furniture bought at a bargain, the lines are clean and simple but it is hardly a lavish sort of room.

"I'm so glad you came to the meeting, and even glad you came by to see me," he gushes, offering a hand to the tattooed woman and smiling broadly. "Your name is, miss? I'm sorry if that was your first meeting, they're usually much more peaceful and less upsetting than that. I hope you weren't upset at all."

"Thank you," Lydia pads even closer just across from him, that smile remains, all-politeness, and all-grace. Her movements exude much the same. There's a pause as she considers something, letting it rollover in her mind. "Lydia. Lydia Taylor."

The hand is accepted but the shake can hardly be described as firm. It's gentle, really, and something almost knowing fills her eyes as her smile eases even more. The calm that spreads over her entire body is almost like a wave. Her tone edges on warm as she makes that eye contact, "It's a pleasure to meet you, Mister Schnook."

The hand is taken, not quite shook, but just held and squeezed warmly as Wiley looks into the woman's dark gaze and smiles. He gestures toward the seat again, then sits back in his, crossing one leg so the ankle rests upon the knee. Leaning on the desk with his elbows, he drums his fingers on the desk a moment, his energy so dissimilar to hers — he has a frenetic sort of energy, like a rabbit's, never quite still.

"I should let you know, if you are thinking of joining us, part of what that girl said was true," he begins, watery gray eyes dropping down for a moment, his cheeks coloring like a school boy's. "I was imprisoned for a short time, because of my ability. But it's not what defines me. I do not use my ability, since I may have used it to harm people once. It could possibly be used for good, but then it would be me deciding what is good, and that is dangerous. Once someone decides that their mindset is more important than another person's — and that person has the power to make his mindset gospel, well. I'm not about to go there, Miss Taylor. That is not the sort of power I want to wield. I hope people believe me because my ideas are good, not because my power makes people agree."

When Wiley sits, Lydia mirrors the motion, slower, less neurotic. She leans back in the seat, crossing her legs once she's actually seated and she studies him. Carefully. Every colour, every motion, every nuance is duly noted as her own hands fold in her lap. Her own features, however, register very little. Her eyes maintain that warmth, an unspoken glow, steady and unchanged, even with the admission. In fact, something in her draws her to reach out to give his hand an encouraging squeeze.

"We all have pasts, Mister Schnook," the words come out a little edgier than she intends, her own past drifting into memory before she finally glances away from him, losing that eye contact. Silently, her gaze rolls over the lines of the furniture in its simplicity, the floor, the walls, and then, finally back to Schnook, seeking out eye contact again. "Lydia. Call me Lydia." Her eyebrows furrow slightly in concern, the smile fades into something more neutral, and then, quietly she states, "For what it's worth… I believe you, Mister Schnook." Her cheeks flush slightly while her chin drops just a stitch.

The man grins broader, cheeks coloring all the more, the tips of his ears red. Boyish and awkward, it's hard to picture him the leader of a large cult, growing day by day; his tremulous voice and rabbitish energy hardly those of a powerful leader that inspires confidence. "Thank you, Lydia. I am so happy you do. It means the world to me," he says, beaming at her with those gray eyes.

"Now, we have meetings on a rotating schedule. The next meeting is Friday. I'd love to see you there, but you can always just stop by here. We have lots of fun, pick-up volleyball and basketball games, picnics, discussion groups. You are a member of the family, if you choose to be, Lydia. Do you have a place to stay? We have apartments here — some people rent, others do work around the building to earn their keep. If you need a roof over your head, well, you know what they say — mi casa es su casa." The New Jersey accent makes the words laughable, but he pats her hand as he says them, earnestly leaning forward.

The sacred word. What she's been searching for since the day she'd lost it. Family. Lydia's cheeks flush a little brighter as that smile edges her lips, drawing them upwards rather naturally with no purpose or design of her own. Her eyes study him carefully, even as her hand is patted, she can't keep the grin from broadening.

She shakes her head slightly at the question, but she's still grinning. "I have an apartment; I've been in New York for awhile now." The smile does fade, however, as she pushes her own emotions aside, evening out her tone to its well-paced neutrality, "What I don't have… is a family. We were… dispersed in the events following…" her gaze turns downward as she considers her word choice, once decided she regains that eye contact, "…everything."

"I know how that is," Wiley says, shaking his head in sympathy. "I was back in California, so it wasn't so hard, but family is important. More than anything. I'm very blessed to have so many people who I can call family. Bruce is like the brother I never had. And Edith is like granny, and Pam is another big sister and then there's crazy uncle Henry…" He grins as he names various people of the Fellowship. "And Lydia, our newest sister, we are so overjoyed to have you."

Suddenly he's jumping up out of his seat, grabbing a couple of papers from a tray on a file cabinet. "Here," he says, pushing the papers, one goldenrod and one blue in color, toward her. "This one is our calendar of events for July and August." He shows that it's double-sided, events typed in on the boxes for the days. "And this one has our office hours and phone numbers and who is who of the staff and the various leaders of the small group discussions. That way if you have any questions or any ideas, you can contact the right person!" He bubbles with excitement.

It's not the family she's been looking for, but it's here. Now. Hers for the taking. The calendar is accepted, examined, and considered with a small smile diminutive smile. Long fingers drum on the arms of her chair. She's not one to become enthusiastic so quickly, but she's not as guarded as normal either. Again she reaches over and gives Wiley's hand a squeeze.

"Thank you." Her smile broadens. "You're a good man, Mister Schnook. I can tell." Her cheeks redden again. "But you have your cut out for you here. In a time when distrust is so common, I'm amazed by how any you've inspired to trust others." There's a pause before her smile grows a little more, "Or… I suppose, we(?) have our work cut out for us?"

"That we do, Miss Lydia," Wiley says, nodding solemnly, before his lips twitch into a smile. "That we do. It's like they say in the Twelve Step programs… one day at a time. But instead, it's one heart at a time, for us. We can't get everyone — I'm not so naive that I would believe that, but maybe Reagan's 'trickle economics' can work here. Every person we touch, every member of our family will begin to spread our message to others. One person at a time. Eventually, we can have an economy of love, rather than an economy of hate." He frowns a bit, rocking back in his seat. "Pardon the money metaphor, I'm not so good at the rhetoric. That probably made no sense. Maddox is much better at words than I am. But you get my meaning."

Suddenly, Edith the secretary pokes her head into the office. "Wiley, the city clerk's on the line regarding the paperwork. Line 3. Hello, miss." She grins at Lydia, then disappears into the hallway again.

"I better take that, Maddox isn't here to help me out. He usually handles such matters. Thank you again, Lydia, for stopping by. You brightened my whole morning," Wiley says, standing again to shake her hand once more.

"No, thank you Mister Schnook," it's Lydia's turn to stand as she gives his hand one last squeeze— it's an odd shake, not business-y in he least, but there it is. Moments later she releases it before taking a small step towards the door. Her cheeks flush slightly again, "I may have brightened your morning, but you've restored something I was starting to lose hope in…" the same three fingers wave to him before she steps to the door, leaving the leader alone.

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