Room For Multiple Dooms


cardinal_icon.gif cat_icon.gif

Scene Title Room For Multiple Dooms
Synopsis Cardinal shares, and asks for, information.
Date August 5, 2009

Cellphonia, USA

After the detective returns to her work, Cardinal leans back against the wall of Belvedere; pulling out his phone, he scrolls through the list with his thumb, tapping on the one labeled merely 'Cat'. Then he brings it up to his ear, listening and waiting for an answer.

She's alone when the call comes, engaged in matters of great import. Namely, reading books on geology and seismic activities. Plate tectonics, placements of fault lines, and so on trying to get a handle on what sort of force application is needed to remake the coastline of New York such that the city is flooded and 34th Street becomes beachfront property.

At the sound of the ringtone she assigned to Cardinal in her iPhone, Cat's attention is drawn away from the volume at hand. She taps the button on the right earbud cord to take the call, no need to check the ID, and answers in a curious voice.

"Good afternoon, Mr. Redbird."

"Cat." The man on the other side answers in affable tones, "Recovering well, I hope? And your mother, she's doing alright?" The questions are casual, but they're honestly stated at least, just a sliver of actual concern in the tone of the ex-convict's voice. He tucks the phone in between ear and shoulder, reaching into his jacket to pull out a pack of cigarettes, audible from the other end as he smacks the base against his palm before cellophane rustles free of the cardboard.

"I stay busy," Cat replies, "and Mother is well." Her voice takes on an edge of emotion from the indirect mention of Father, but she doesn't let that spread to take over her focus. "Thank you for asking." She has her hands free, such is an advantage of the iPhone, and continues perusing the scientific tome before her. "Tyler's fog has ended, thankfully. I hope he and his sister enjoy life in Canada."

"Yeah." A pause, "Me too. If anyone deserves it, it's them. I wish we could've saved John, but— " Cardinal breaks off with a rough grunt of breath, "— anyway." A lighter's rasp is heard, and he takes a drag off the cigarette, exhaling a cloud of smoke upwards, "To business. You keep track of the news, right? Noticed any interesting earthquake patterns lately?"

"The news, and then some," Cat replies. "I've not seen patterns, no, but I've lately become very interested in things seismic. Maps I've dug up don't show any faultlines running under 34th Street, or the city for that matter. But there is the one under the nuclear plant, and there were quakes in Jersey lately."

"The news also says pieces of what was the Vanguard may have stolen some old Soviet nukes, and there was a report a few weeks back about a Munin satellite program being restarted."

"The fault lines don't matter," Cardinal says fatalistically, flicking the cigarette in his hand to scatter embers on the wind, "Although the nuclear thing's pretty fuckin' worrying given the— information I have." A pause. "I'll have to shake down the King of Swords, see what he knows about Volken's long-term plans."

"Wireless have access to the third tier registry?"

"My theory," Cat replies, "is around nukes being used to activate fault lines, or make new ones, to remake the coast of New York and turn 34th Street into beach. I'm trying to figure out how much force that would take and where they'd be placed to do it. Precog dreamer says the past is prologue, she thinks Kazimir isn't done with us. I doubt he resurfaces, but… he had a worldwide organization, there might be someone out there ready to take up his torch."

Another page turns. "Vanguard was fond of using Norse call signs. Munin connects to birds in that pantheon, and the dreamer spoke of a large bird whose feathers produced mushroom clouds when they fell. Else's song mentions Munin by name as blocking out the moon."

"We asked Lucrezia about this, and she told us the original Munin had been brought here some years ago. She didn't give details, but I'm not sure she has any."

"About the third tier, I don't know. But I'll find out. Who's the King Of Swords?"

"It's a code name. Obviously. He's the guy that led the Remnant in under Pinehearst; pretty weird guy, but he might know something about what's coming," muses Cardinal, "What makes you think that 34th Street's going to become beach-front property?"

"It's from a line in Else Kjelstrom's song," Cat replies. "You may have heard it, it's gotten a lot of radio airplay for some time now." But, given he asks the question, he may not have, so she commences to sing it for him.

It's listened to in silence, the cigarette's narcotic smoke drawn in, exhaled out a few times before she's finished. "I don't listen to the radio much," Cardinal murmurs, "Well, shit. I'm not sure what the connection is… but I can tell you who's going to crack the earth. That's why I was asking about the tier three files."

"It's easy," Cat replies, "Vanguard used call signs taken from Norse mythology. Volken liked them. Munin was associated with birds. The precog dreamer saw a large black bird whose feathers became mushroom clouds, so it ties together. Else Kjelstrom is a precog too, she sees the city being flooded."

Some thought is applied then, making her silent, before she agrees "A terrakinetic would do the trick either alone or by placing nukes, sure enough. That explains why our technopathic friends tried to find and bring Sparrow Redhouse to me."

"We should compare notes, Mr. Redbird. I think both of us are looking at different parts of the same developing story. I'll be contacting Wireless at first chance to ask about the Registry and tell her why it's important. For that matter, I'll ask T.Monk too."

"The name is Norman White," Cardinal informs her, "I've tracked a series of earthquakes across the country, starting at the psychiatric hospital he escaped from and carrying through to New Jersey… chances are, he's already in the city. I don't yet know his final target, but he's a fuckin' loon. Convinced he's 'chosen by a higher power' or something like that, according to his transcripts."

He hesitates, then adds, "The calculations for the death toll of his next earthquake aren't… good. I'm following up on some leads, but we should put the word out for this guy."

"And we can renew efforts to find Sparrow Redhouse," Cat comments, "to be here as a counteractant. Norman White. Thank you." She pauses. "You're basically saying he's terrakinetic, thinks he's sent by divine order, and nothing matters about all I'm looking into because he'll spark it all and if we nail him the whole thing is blocked? That… can't be. Too easy."

"Oh, no," Cardinal drawls, "I'm sure the other stuff will also kill us all horribly, I just don't think they're… directly related. There's plenty of room for multiple dooms to rain down on our heads, after all."

"Par for the course," Cat exhales. "Research and consider all possibilities. Could be that Mr. White, believing himself divine and having the power to shape Earth, also insane, crosses paths with remnants of Vanguard and their nukes… Is anything said about this guy being the charismatic sort who could inspire other nutjobs?"

"I don't know," admits the thief, "I'm still gathering information, s'why I asked about the tier three registry - those files might have more about the guy. There's other— well, other bits of information that seem to go with the nuclear thing, I'll let you know if I find out anything for certain."

"I'll make contact after consulting the technopaths," Cat replies. "We can compare notes then. See you soon, Mr. Cardinal." The book she was reading is set aside in favor of computer keys, where she begins to look for information on recent earthquakes.

"Talk to you soon," Cardinal replies, depressing the 'end' button and tucking the phone into his jacket. Then he heads to cross the park, murmuring, "I think it's time for Mister Grey to answer a few questions…"

With the call ended, Cat moves to seek and secure information. She pulls the iPhone out of her pocket and pulls up the text messaging screen.

To: Wireless, R.Ajas, T.Monk

From: Cat

Subject: Info search

Source suggests one Norman White connected to recent seismic activities. Norman White is believed by source to be on Tier 3 of the Registry, is believed terrakinetic. Can this be verified? Additionally, anything available on him is desired. Thank you.


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