Roach Motel Stories


adelaide_icon.gif eve_icon.gif grace_icon.gif minea_icon.gif

Scene Title Roach Motel Stories
Synopsis Four volunteers gossip over work.
Date August 1, 2009

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.

Saturday is not one of the Cathedral's major charity days — but the rooms primarily dedicated to charity work are busy with volunteers nonetheless, as they prepare for the soup kitchen to be held tomorrow. Routine work — checking supplies, preparing the boxed meals that will given out, setting up the tables, benches, chairs, utensils; everything best done today so that they can start serving immediately tomorrow morning.

Grace Matheson navigates the chaotic press of volunteers with confident aplomb, for all that she has an unwieldy block of a box in her arms. It helps that some of them see her coming and have the wit to find somewhere else to walk. She takes it over to one of the tables that has just been set up, plunking it down on the surface and opening the top.

Charity. Adelaide's working through the kitchen— she's making sure the hungry have the most flavorful soup she can make. She was willing to help make the world a little better one bowl at a time. She set to work cutting up pieces of meat, and vegetables.

Dressed in a pair of dark jeans and a blue top, Eve's hair is spilled over her face as she is busy doing something to one of the tables. Her light grey eyes flick around the room every once in a while. She doesn't come out to help the Ferrymen like she used to.. it's a rare occasion thanks to a few situations she's been in recently.

Minea's not far behind, bearing a box of her own. Time to collect files is not right now; right now, it's time to help out at the Cathedral. Not so she can get a better understanding of operations of Phoenix and Ferryman but more out of a need to do something. So she settles in right beside Grace, unpacking stuff.

Grace glances over to Minea as the woman comes up beside her, then looks past; a dark-skinned, bright-eyed woman makes her way over to the pair, coming to a halt on the other side of the table. "Sometimes I swear you just walk around the grounds a time or to to make it look like you left," she remarks dryly. "What do you have for us today?"

Her remarks earn the woman a wry smile. "Jasmine. Bit of this, bit of that," Grace answers. "Someone dropped a couple boxes of produce on Meredith's doorstep; figure it'll come in handy tomorrow. Stacey gave it a once-over, said it looks fine, no hidden surprises." Jasmine helps her unpack the box, sorting the produce by type — squash, tomatoes, late fruit, green things.

Grace hasn't failed to look at her surroundings, on the way over here, and a familiar face caught her eye. "Eve! Get over here and help Minea, why don't you?" It's an order, in a facetious sense.

Meanwhile, word trickles back through the crowd, and one older woman taps Adelaide's shoulder, smiling gently. "Would you be a dear and pick up some of the stuff that's just come in?"

Adelaide nods to the older woman. "Right away." She looked down at cut meat and vegetables. She works a moment longer, putting away the meat, and vegetables sealing them each individually for the next shift of volunteers who would actually cook — if not her. She labels each carefully before washing her hands and putting the food away and washing her hands again, and finally makning her way to help with the unpacked stuff. "Hello!" she says cheerfully to the group of women who are unpacking. "I was told to help, what do you have?"

"Why sure Cap'n." Eve grins lightly at Grace and stops what she is doing at the table to walk over to Minea. Hands on her hips. "Hello there, Minea." She says in greeting with a light smile. The singer hums softly as she begins to help the other dark haired woman.

"Hey." She offers to Adel in greeting with a dip of her head and twinkle in her eye. She jerks her thumb over to Grace. "Ask Boss Lady over there." More teasing from the crazy.

"That's sad when you have to check the boxes for something other than charitable things." Minea shakes her head, the shaggy ponytail swinging left and right. Eve is glanced to, taking in the face and name. "Minea Dahl, nice to meet you Eve. And nice to meet you too." The latter offered to Adelaide as she appears. Fruit starts getting piled out of her box, bags of apples and other such staples.

"Stuff for tomorrow," Grace replies to Adelaide. She smirks at Eve, then looks sidelong at Minea. "It is," she agrees. "But it doesn't hurt to be careful. If someone like Humanis First made the drop point as one of ours…" The woman shakes her head. "There's no telling what it might be. So we check."

Jasmine continues sorting things as they're taken out of the boxes — things that will be cooked, things that can be set out on platters. "Street's picked up some new favorite stories lately," she comments, not as nonchalant as she tries to sound.

Adelaide smiles. She takes a moment to look into the box. "You're right. Humanis First… might do something like that or someone who in general doesn't like people. But why would anyone want to hurt a soup kitchen, all we're doing is making sure people get food."

"Because the world is full of psychos and bastards. Crazies who do things in the name for some ridiculous cause." Eve spits and speaks with bitterness. She unpacks some more supplies and grits her teeth. Humanis First.. pisses her off.

"A lot of people do things out of fear," Minea agrees, passing over some things to Adelaide. "One can hope that they'll be schooled and brought to justice for their actions soon enough. Do you both volunteer here often?" Minea knows Grace does because the ruined-voice woman has tugged Minea along — willingly — on her excursions here.

"Are these the 'roach motel' stories?" Grace asks, tone gravelly and dry. She leaves the other side of the conversation to the three pursuing it, since they seem to have it well in hand. "I take it you haven't picked up the other side of the coin yet."

Jasmine pauses, resting her hands on the edge of the table. "I have, actually, but I wanted to know what…" She doesn't quite glance at Adelaide. "What you think about it."

Adelaide thinks. "Not a lot. But on occasion." she says to the the woman quickly taking a few items out of the box, and begining to seperate them. "Pasta, vegetables… we could do cold pasta salad. "Think about what?"

The songstress is quite for a bit as she continues to unpack things and set them up. Her eyebrows raised but she doesn't say anything else. Eve is thinking about something.

Eve's not answering, Adelaide does and Minea nods. But it's the conversation between Grace and Jasmine that garners her attention now. "I think they might have food plans already," offered in an aside to Adelaide before she queries the Ferrywoman. "Roach motel?"

Grace looks over at the other three, and nods. "Hm, yes. We get a lot of gossip, and most of it's just that. When one gets pervasive, though, there's usually something behind it. The suspicious pessimists have it in their head that the government, maybe with Humanis First, is going to start outright exterminating Evolved on the sly — above and beyond the 'John went missing forever' stories you find now and again. Lure them in, name the worst and they're doomsaying about it.

"Flip side," Grace continues, gesturing with one hand, "are the rumors that things are going to turn around. Move towards a brighter future, without the fear and suspicion and violence that're all over now. That there's plans for making this happen and we'll see it start up soon."

Blue eyes flick to Jasmine. "If someone leaked rumors of round-up plans to the street, we probably wouldn't be getting the 'integration' ones. People don't put silver linings on bad rumors, they spin good ones in pessimistic ways."

Adelaide listens. "A bright future? How? I'd love that actually. To learn and have children grow up beside each other without fear. But I guess people will always be a little nervous around what they don't know or don't have."

The seer listens to Grace and the others and shakes her head. "The only way a brighter future could be accomplished through this is if everyone stopped being so damn stupid all the time. The Evolved pose a certain threat but so do Non-Evolved."

Eve doesn't seem to think a brighter future is coming, but that's because of what she's seen as of late.

"But there's always the rumors of rounding Evolved individuals up gestapo style. For as long as i've heard about Evolveds, there are those who feverantly believe in the government will be doing this. Sure, in some foreign countries they are and with hope the UN can stick their respective noses into it and maybe help to work through solutions." Minea pulls out a bunch of oranges, plopping them onto the table.

"And an intergrated society is an ideal and hopeful idea. Do I see it happening within the next few years? Maybe. It took a long time for America in itself to get rid of the segregation of black and whites. It's going to take some time to get people to do the same. Just need perseverence and highlighting the positive milestones and events of evolved individuals. It doesn't help that Midtown exploded courtesy of one man. That the veil was lifted because of that single act. But it can happen, I'm sure it will happen. It is the dream of many a person alive and dead."

"They are always there," Grace agrees with Minea. "Which is another reason to give them a little less weight." Her lips quirk to one side as Minea continues, reflecting on Eve's remarks. "If people weren't stupid all the time, we'd live in a very different place. Black and white has nothing on integrating Evolved and non-Evolved, really — it's like integrating a pack of dogs and a herd of goats. Even if the dogs are as polite as can be and eat nothing but grass, the goats still see their teeth and are reminded that bad things could happen." Grace is obviously not an optimist.

Adelaide thinks. "In a way, you're right. But also you can integrate dogs — the Great Pyranese — with herds of sheep, and they'll protect them as a 'pack'. So it's not to say that we can't all get along. It'll just take a long time for people to realize this."

Eve nods her head slowly, the images of what she's seen with the whole of the city underwater.. and Else.. and Peter. But she shakes those images away. She's in the real world right now, not dreaming. The dark haired woman rubs her arms as she start unpacking another box.

"The first thing that will have to stop are these radical groups then, like Humanis First, they aren't doing any more good then PARIAH did." Even Eve doesn't particularly think that PARIAH was a bad thing, since she was apart of them for so long.

Minea says, "What needs to happen is that yes, Humanis First needs to be dealt with and there needs to be more people unafraid of demonstrating the beneficial use of their abilities. Positive exposure. Which is hard to do when you have the more militant members of Humanis opting to blow up anything that even looks funny to them."

"Sure," Grace nods to Adelaide. "But you're assuming the dogs are bred and trained to herd sheep. I'm talking about a pack of city mongrels, suddenly faced with a bunch of unfamiliar creatures." She nods also to Eve and Minea, who have largely hit the nail — or at least one of them — on the head. Box empty, she folds the flaps in and looks at Jasmine. "That's all I've got for now. Alistair will be by later with some stuff he's arranged for."

Adelaide thinks. "Stoping a radical group would be wonderful. But how? You don't know who they are and as long as they are gathered lawfully — at least in a meeting or something you can't arrest them unless you've got proof, and then it's tricky. Because anything 'radical' would be done by a few members… if they're well organized. They'd never let the whole get caught, they'd just lose the 'tail'. Like a skink." She nods at Minea's comments. "Exactly. I… Evolved people need to know they won't be hunted for being themselves. They need a safe place to explore what gifts they have — can't do that if people are hunting you down. You're more or less afraid I am sure… one person — the wrong person sees you — you might not wake up.."

"For all we know, there's a mole in the group now, trying to take them down from within." That's at least Eve's hope for the fate of Humanis First.

Well, there's a mole somewhere. Whether there's one in Humanis? Only time will tell. "I bet there's secret Evo's in Humanis to boot. Watch, the Evolved tests will be available to public and they'll start testing cell members." Minea shakes her head. "As for safe places…" Minea's been around, she's hearing things. "That might happen sooner than other think. I've heard that there's something happening, that will be directed, positively, towards the Evolved population. But, watch that get subjected to the gestapo/experimentation rumors. Some kind of Shelter for Evo's last I heard."

"That's the one," Grace agrees. She's prevented from saying anything else, however, as the cellphone in her pocket chimes. "Excuse me," the woman says politely, stepping back and then heading out of the busy room to take the call.

"What's supposed to be happening?" Eve tilts her head but she doesn't make eye contact with Minea. She doesn't let on that she knows exactly what is going to be happening soon.

"Just rumors of a possible shelter. That's it. I haven't heard much else. Other than the mass Evolved extermination rumor as well," Minea answers back as she passes over some bread to the seeress. She notices the lack of eye contact as well. "Something wrong?"

"Nah, just a lot on my mind. A lot going on." Eve shrugs and takes the bread. "All these rumors are going to be the death of some more people," she points out.

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