Service and Rights


jaiden_icon.gif ygraine2_icon.gif

Scene Title Service and Rights
Synopsis Information is exchanged and a recruit found for a number of worthy causes. It seems that someone is set to stage his first-ever exhibition.
Date March 13 2011

Jaiden's Basement Apartment - Red Hook

The door to Jaiden's below-ground apartment opens into a 20 x 20 living room. There is a small section of wooden flooring near the door for people to take their shoes off, while the rest of the apartment is furnished with a heavy pile carpet in a rich royal red. The living room features an enormous sofa which could double as a spare bed, and often does, a coffee table, a leather chair and a built-in bench which serves as an entertainment center and offers additional storage. A short hallway extends to the back of the apartment with two doors on the right and a large bookcase against the wall between. The first opening to the left leads to the kitchen - a sleek modern design that provides all amenities for basic cooking and beyond - enough to hold a feast out of. A large 4 burner stovetop, dishwasher, microwave, convection oven and refrigerator as well as a well-used coffee machine live here, giving one the tools needed to prepare simple, filling meals. The door on the right leads to Jaiden's bedroom. This room is painted in warm colors, the small windows allowing just enough light in to make it seem larger than it actually is. It has a queen sized bed with a thick pillow-top mattress; perfect for snuggling. In addition, sitting on the night table is a laptop computer that gives ready access the Internet. The bathroom is across from the kitchen, offering direct access from both the living room and bedroom, furnished with a full size tub and shower, as well as lots and lots of fluffy towels.

Though she has appeared on all the various portions of Jaiden's security system - having opted not to exercise any of the burglarising skills practised in the Dome - Ygraine has not yet laid eyes on or heard the householder by the time that she starts down the stairs towards the basement. Knuckles rap on wood, then she calls out, "I left the cripplewagon parked in the yard. I hope it doesn't lose you too much credibility with any prospective customers…."

Clomping into view, it's clear that she's worked a few changes since last seen by Jaiden. The boots that first come in sight of anyone in the basement room are black leather, cavalry-cut in style, covering her legs up past the knee. Disappearing into them are second-skin riding breeches of a similar hue. An elaborately archaic shirt - broad cuffed and sporting laces rather than buttons - is loose over her arms but gathered at each wrist, and is worn under a dark green waistcoat. Brass buttons glimmer against the embroidery on the latter, their lines arranged to emphasise her curves, while a green silk cravat or scarf is tucked into the shirt's loose neckline, covering her cleavage. Even her plain grey medicinal sling has been replaced with a leather one, though her wounded arm remains just as thoroughly immobilised.

Even without hat or coat, her style is distinctly reminiscent of a highwayman or gentleman pirate, though the modern driving glove worn on her useable hand is a touch out of place…. while the glossy black tone to her wave of unbound hair is comparably recent in style, and the rich, bright blue shade of the lowest portion of it is definitely a touch of this current century.

She still looks somewhat under the weather - and is certainly thinner in the face than she used to be - but rather than trying to disguise that fact she's opted for light make-up that does absolutely nothing to conceal it: a touch of black eyeliner, and a dark burgundy shade for lipstick.

On a sunday, the chances of any of Jaiden's customers leaving due to the presence of a handicapped-capable vehicle - dumpy and slow as it is - is negligible, and those who would leave don't understand the nature of business. Sometimes handling the mundane is what pays the bills. A jack of all trades, but a master of none, Jaiden is, although on a few he's getting close.

The basement, when Ygraine arrives, is quiet, with only the soft melody of National Public Radio, playing a Beethoven symphony from the stereo, filling the room with soft, subtle notes that can't help but bring a bit of serenity to anyone who would care to listen - it's more of an underlying tone than anything, just barely there on the edge of consciousness, soothing and subtle, like the fluttering of a moth's wing.

The owner of said establishment is sitting comfortably in one of the oversized recliners, a cup of tea and a biscuit on a china saucer to his right, a book open on his lap to about midway. A glance would show that it's a book on composition and form of essays using photos - the best way to use what you have to emphasize the story you are trying to tell. A laptop, too, sits open to his right, glowing softly, illuminating his face as he types. At the knock, he looks up and rises, his security informing him of Ygraine's arrival a few minutes prior. One can't fault him for wanting to finish his thought before it's lost on the winds of time, can you?

"Blimey, Ygraine…" He lets out a low whistle. "Quite the fashion statement you've got going on there. Reminds me of 17th century cavalry dress, with the boots. I very much like the new look." Jaiden smiles, approaching a bit closer. "Care for a cup of tea?"

"Rather more late eighteenth or early nineteenth", Ygraine corrects with a grin. "The breeches are ankle-length, rather than ending around the knee." But she does offer a pirouette, that cascade of loose hair swirling as she does so.

"I really want to get my arm back", she grumbles. "But I'm trying not to let myself settle permanently into the habit of only wearing things that are as easy as possible to get into. And tea would be welcome, thank you. Or hot chocolate if you have it, come to think of it. I'm in the mood to indulge a little.."

"Hot chocolate it is, then. And something quite horrible for you as well." Jaiden scoots out of his seat and makes his way to the kitchenette, opening a cabinet and retrieving a bar of dark chocolate which is thrown into a small blender to shred. Then the refrigerator - cream and whole milk, as well as a little sugar, are poured into a saucepan to slowly heat, along with the chocolate to start combining together.

"I know you do, Ygraine, but it's going to take a little time, sadly." HE stirs the pot with a small whisk. "It must have taken you an hour to get dressed like that.

"Something horrible?", Ygraine asks apprehensively, but she moves to perch on a stool rather than flee upstairs. "Not quite. I'm able to cheat a bit, thanks to my ability. I can't move things around at will, but… having clothing conform to me rather than flop towards the ground has its uses when you've only got one hand available. But yes, it's an absolute pain. At times literally. One of the most annoying things is not being able to braid my hair. Hence, in part, going for the contrasting dye. If it's going to spend so much time loose, I might as well make a point of it…"

"Horrible for you, rather." Jaiden stirs the hot chocolate slowly, making sure it gets nicely heated through for a moment or two and then grabs an oversized mug from the cabinet. It's filled, a few marshmallows are added, and then it's slid across the bar to where Ygraine can easily grab it, Jaiden leaning across from her. "If you'd indulge me, I could braid you up right proper."

Ygraine chuckles, shaking her head. "I'm all right, but thank you. I'll most want it done when I manage to resume some kind of exercise that doesn't involve sitting carefully upright on a stationary exercise bike. Which… is something I wanted to talk to you about. A range of things, actually. Ah…." She pauses, then counts off items on the fingers of her free hand as she talks. "Training, special training, Liberty, photographs, and publicity. Think that's it for potentially-urgent things." Frowning at her hand, she purses her lips, then opts to leave the driving glove in place. Having removed it, she'd only have to get it back on again.

Jaiden pulls the barstool over and takes a seat, crossing his arms and giving her his full attention. "A full plate, it seems. What's the most important bit and we'll work backwards. Or to the easiest ones, I guess…" He gestures for her to take a seat. "Should I take notes?"

Ygraine chuckles. "The… the simplest thing, since we can do nothing about it immediately, is the training. The two sets would go together… and would involve me experimenting on you - and preferably some dummies - to learn more about throws, and what I can do to thoroughly mess people up with my ability. I'm thinking of a further development of linking someone to their watch or the like - link scary killer goon to his helmet. You know the brain-slip effect? Well, that'd be a jerk up and outwards in every direction except down. Brain-slip and brain-stretch. And the rest of his body would fall up towards the helmet even as it fell to the ground. So… slip, stretch, and faceplant. Things like that. Or extremely rapid flips - jerk someone towards me, negate it, flip them back around as momentum takes them past me. Give them at least three rapid switches of orientation in succession…."

Shooting Jaiden a sheepish grin, she offers a one-shouldered shrug. "See why I want dummies? Erm… the rest tie together, in part. Along with a survivors group and aid network I'm attempting to get properly underway online. Fancy helping out? I'm known to a good few people through my efforts - the pair of us together would be a lot more recognisable. But tied into that is the photography question. I'm thinking of hijacking your efforts, should you feel able to make active use of them, and staging an exhibition. Or getting you to, since you know just a little bit more about it than I do, even after my utterly vital help in getting you to good vantage points. And, especially if you were game for that, I was thinking of press-ganging you into Liberty."

A slight pause. "So… not much, eh?"

The thought of having gravity, and with it, his spatial orientation flip multiple times in a handful of seconds causes Jaiden to blanch, grin, and shake his head. "Shouldn't be too much of a problem, love. I've got a few friends I know who run an insurance testing place - we could probably get a hold of a few of their retired crash test dummies. I don't know how good the sensors will be, but if I can get any of them working, we should have a fair idea of the amount of force you can put out."

The second part, though, gives Jaiden a bit more pause, looking down as he ponders that. "The first two parts….most definitely. A survivor's group would hopefully give those traumatized by the dome - present company included - a support network. And if we can show 'em that evolved and normal people were affected in the same ways, we should be able to get a few people back from Humanis First's way of thinking. The photographs? An exhibition?" Jaiden sounds a little meek. "I've…ahem….never done a showing of my work before. It's a lot of fairly brutal stuff, but there are some scenes of beauty there, too - even in the dome shots." He gestures to the laptop, the screen saver merrily painting light across the screen as it waits for him to come back. "I'm actually working on an article now, about the dome. I'm trying to get it into Newsweek, Time….one of the magazines here in the states. Excerpts into the New York Times, London Times….give them an idea of what happened. Make us human, not just a footnote that we're 'survivors.'"

Ygraine nods thoughtfully, though she looks distinctly pleased. "We could combine the two. The three. Make the exhibition in support of the group a story in its own right, to increase the interest in your primary article if it's not been picked up - or given suitable prominence - by then", she muses, before cracking a swift grin. "See if we can make it an 'issue of interest', at least for a few days. How… how would you feel about media appearances?"

"Well, there's nothing really wrong with a little more publicity as far as things go, but me, not being registered just yet….I'm working on it…" Jaiden gestures to a stack of papers sitting in a corner with a pen perched at an angle about halfway through. "Bloody hell, Ygraine…I'm used to being the one taking the pictures, not the one in front of the camera." He shifts a little bit in his seat, looking distinctly wary, olive eyes flicking up to hers after a moment. "You really think I'd do good?"

She chuckles, ducking her head. "Given the morons who appear on some of the shows here? You'd struggle to do badly. And I think that you could 'do good' in the sense of helping people. But… I was thinking more of, perhaps, seeing if I could talk Robyn into having you as a five-minute guest on her radio show some time, if she could squeeze it into the format - or at the very least mention the exhibition while reviewing local events…. Actually. That's a point. We could potentially mix and match. Unless the exhibition is one of those one-night-only affairs, we could have a night when there's music there. Give the music journalists and other media another reason to notice it…."

"Well, that's the problem. I can speak in complete sentences, and don't give a flying fig about who Paris Spears or whatever that tart's name is now." Jaiden gives a chuckle, scribbling a few notes, taking a sip of his tea which was grabbed a bit ago, now starting to cool a little, the cup going back on it's saucer with a clink. "I've got volumes….just from the dome, I filled up fifteen 5gb memory cards of pictures. I took pictures _all the time_. If it wasn't for my banged-together recharging station, I would have been out of batteries after the first day, but lucky me, I lasted the whole time."

"I'd have helped out", Ygraine says with a wry smile. "I thought that what you were doing was important. So you wouldn't have been without power for it. But… I think that we might manage to get you some rather wide-spread publicity, if we can manage things well. And if you're sure you're up to it. But yes… getting the Registration handled first would be rather helpful. Get that fully out of the way, if we can."

"Well, being a photographer, one learns to improvise and make due with what is at hand. I didn't ask because, honestly, I hadn't thought to ask until you mentioned it." Jaiden grins sheepishly, his smile faltering a bit. 'Let me get registered and then, yes, I'm in. I'll help out."

"If I'd seen you run out, you wouldn't have had to ask", Ygraine insists gently. "But… yeah. How's the registration process going? Or should I ask about something else instead?"

Subject adequately changed, Jaiden slips off of his stool and grabs his pile of paperwork, depositing it on the bar. "It's going as well as can be expected, honestly. I'm through the first batch of paperwork trying to make sure all of my I's are dotted and T's are crossed. I want whoever looks at this to just pass it aside as done without too much digging on their part. I want to be rated low. I don't want to be on the radar at all, if possible, but with my military service, FRONTLINE might want me to make an appearance." The way Jaiden says that, it's like he's resigned to the fact that it might happen and very much wishes it wouldn't.

Ygraine looks startled, pauses, then cocks her head. "I know that a certain Director Harrison regards you as 'one of her own'", she says carefully. "I would have thought that she could… swing things somewhat, to suit you. Find a reason to exclude or include you as you wanted."

"Aye, Lizzie and I, we're good friends. That alone will probably disqualify me if they find that link out, or if she pulls a few strings on her end." Jaiden sits again, leafing through the pages until he gets to the page he stopped on - one in the middle. "Would you like to be considered for military service? A simple checkbox is all they have. Yes, and I can help Lizzie out a lot. No and I can still help her out, but in different ways." Jaiden shrugs and grabs his pen, checking 'no' on the sheet, finding it surprisingly easy when faced with such a decision. "If I'd have my druthers, I'd rather not register at all, but….times require it."

"I'd have thought that to sign up for FRONTLINE you'd need to be a citizen. The US isn't exactly renowned for trusting foreigners with its security", Ygraine observes, tone pensive. "So Registering on its own should leave you free from those requirements - though you might well be pressured to seek citizenship. 'Sign up, then sign on or we reconsider your visa' might well be a line they could take if they think you're too useful to leave unaffiliated."

"Which is what the little twist of fear in my belly keeps telling me might happen." Jaiden lets out a soft sigh, flipping the pages closed - apparently that was the last bit before he needed to turn everything in.

Ygraine shoots him a distinctly sympathetic look, then nods slowly. "I'd suggest downplaying what you can do… heck, I still do. But there's not so much you can do in that line after the Dome. A lot of people know a fair amount about your abilities by seeing them in action. And… well. At least Elisabeth should be able to help out with FRONTLINE."

Jaiden sighs and nods, his paperwork stowing itself where it needs to go, the messenger bag hanging from the hook near the door. "I guess I'll just see what the morning brings. Looking back, if I had known using my powers in the dome would have influenced this, I still would have done the exact same things. I'm too good of a bloke to let people suffer."

Ygraine laughs softly, shaking her head. "I'm glad. I'd think of you rather differently if the possibility of making your own life easier would have had you do things differently in there. But… are you going to take it all off and try Registering tomorrow?"

"Once I get up the nerve to, I am. (Waiting on Wizards!)" Jaiden's fingers drum on the counter and he leans over to grab a black camera bag from the floor. Fishing around inside, he pulls out his camera and a flash, hastily assembling them and popping off the lens cap. 'Hold still. This is for posterity's sake. The start of a new era…or something. A memory." He lifts the camera and takes a picture of Ygraine, full body, the flash brightening the apartment for a scant moment.

Though she's surprised, Ygraine's competitive career has given her enough experience of being snapped unexpectedly that she manages to avoid the 'deer in headlights' look, and instead favours the camera with a wryly amused smile and slight cant of the head.

"Good thing I dressed up", she observes dryly, before allowing herself a long drink of hot chocolate. "Mmmm. So… Liberty. How do you feel about being bullied into helping out? Pending Registration going well, of course."

For a moment Jaiden considers making a snarky comment regarding Ygraine, photography, and lack of dress, but considers otherwise since the woman he'd be making the comment to could easily decide that Gravity, for him, is the roof of the building. Not very fun.

Camera is put away into it's bag and Jaiden nods. "Of course. You can count on me for help in Liberty. I don't know how well I'll do as a spokesperson, considering who you have now, but, yes…I will join up if you'll have me."

"For that, I fear that us scary furriners should probably keep as low a public profile as possible while trying to get the Americans to make use of their vaunted Constitution." Ygraine pauses to sweeten her taste buds, at least, with a little more chocolate. "But simple processes like putting up posters or being willing to speak up for what a marvellous thing it is that the Constitution has the Supreme Court review built into it, and how you can't wait for the Americans to make use of it… those could be helpful. I might also recruit you to chase up some musicians, potentially, since I seem to be having a hard time getting hold of them."

"I know some blokes who may work out in the musical front, and postering I can do right proper. It was how I got into a small rebel group for a story I wrote - helped them distribute propaganda and leaflets." Jaiden clears his palate with his tea, setting his cup in the deep sink. "here's hoping the court hasn't been packed by those who agree with the registration and cause the law to do backflips to make it legal."

"That's part of the reason for Supreme Court justices being appointed in the manner they are", Ygraine explains. "A new President doesn't get to sweep the existing ones out of office. He has to deal with people who were quite possibly appointed by his personal enemies, or by those whose policies he had to attack in order to win his election and get into the Oval Office. Not that Petrelli won the election…."

Shaking her head, Ygraine purses her lips, then shrugs carefully. "Of course, in theory, they're apolitical and concerned solely with the law and the public good, but…. Though their track record over history is far from perfect, the members of the Supreme Court have rarely shown much evidence of being easy to cowe. And my hope is that the mere fact that they have to formally go through all the arguments, air their laundry, justify removing rights - will make people more and more aware of losing rights. Of having a right to have the government answer to them. Of being the people who, in the Constitution, are the masters, not the servants."
Roleplay> Marcie says, "Anyone interested in a scene?"

Hearing Ygraine speak causes Jaiden to smile, remembering why he wanted to become a citizen of the united states in the first place. A political solution to a horrible, horrible problem. "And I don't suppose any congressmen would be interested in helping us out? Or have we not gotten to that point yet?"

"Don't need 'em", Ygraine says with a grin. "The citizens of the United States have the right to appeal direct to the Supreme Court should their rights be infringed by the legislative or executive bodies of the state. Petrelli could have every member of House and Senate backing him, and they couldn't - legally - do anything to stand in the way of the Supreme Court hearing the case, because it is superior to them in this regard. It has the explicit right to judge whether or not the laws they create are legal under the over-riding terms of the Constitution. In theory, it's an equally-important partner and portion of the whole system - though Presidents have naturally tended to like to downplay its power just as much as the States have been weakened."

"Wow…" is all Jaiden can say. "When do we get started?"

A giggle, and Ygraine offers another of those lop-sided shrugs. "Already did. Last October, the site went live - but… I knew the Riots were coming. Ever seen the film Twelve Monkies? I didn't want to put up publicity, then find Liberty being blamed for the Riots coming right afterwards. So… I held off on the initial phase a bit. The second phase was meant to have happened well before now, but… responses from some people haven't been what I'd hoped for. Hence mentioning using you as a musician-wrangler…."

Shifting position to more fully face Jaiden, Ygraien cradles her still-warm mug in her free hand. "Adelaide wrote, sang and recorded the Liberty song that we released online last year. I've been wanting to get a collaborative album together, if I possibly can, to support and raise awareness for the cause. Create some music that might get heard, generate a story with the album itself. Make use of what few ties and connections we have open to us, and try to do what we can to get people to realise that they have power over the people who are driving them all to darkness."

"I'll do my best - it's all I can promise at this point. If the showing goes well, if the article gets enough press, we may be able to get a few people just on the strength of that alone. I'm doing my best to remain neutral in my writing, but after seeing what Humanis First did in there…it's hard to remain objective."

The way Ygraine speaks about this, he can almost see the passion for what she says sparking from teh ends of her blue-black hair, rising from her skin like a current of electricity. "I can't wait to get started. This could change _Everything_….bring things back to the way they were before, or, at least, closer."

"That's the hope", Ygraine agrees quietly. "But… right now - neither of us has any right to do anything very much. There's no Constitutional protection for our rights. Which is why it took me so long to push to get this going. I was hoping that if I told enough Americans about the ideas I had…."

She shrugs ruefully. "The neutrality point is an important one. In theory, Liberty should appeal to any law-abiding proponents of the Registration system as well - because until the Supreme Court has made its ruling and has given it backing, it'll always be in a kind of limbo, able to be over-turned at any time. Because there is no question that the Registration system removes rights, and it is over attempts to remove rights that the Court has absolute jurisdiction."

"We've got to get the ball rolling." Jaiden nods in agreement, tapping the counter. "Start a movement - a groundswell of people supporting that. Not just us, but the whole Liberty ideal. If we could get people to look past the fact that this was created to 'protect' them from the evil evolved, and instead became a monolithic registration system to keep everyone's rights suppressed….we'd be golden." He leans back slightly in his chair, looking Ygraine over. "you're an impressive woman, Ygraine. Thanks for bringing me in on this."

She ducks her head, blushing a little. "Officially, I'm just a 'technical advisor'. I… can't afford for this to be painted as a 'conspiracy by foreign Evolved to undermine the efforts of the administration to protect hard-working Americans and their families', or crap like that. So I'm having to dodge the limelight if I can. But it seems that I've drawn the attention of at least one group of people who might be interested in helping - though I've not yet managed to get any kind of a response from the Deveaux Group, myself."

"Deveaux Group? Remi's group?" Jaiden laughs at the small world connection between the two. "She loves things like this - I'm sure she'll be able to help Liberty out, if anything because I support it."

Ygraine looks frankly confused. "Remi Davignon's affiliated to them? The… Deveaux Group are named for Simone Deveaux, who died in the Bomb. They're a… rather secretive philanthropic organisation. They… sent someone to me. Or tried to, while I was in the Dome. Did it in a manner that made it clear to me, if not to him, that they knew a lot more about how Liberty really worked than I'd made public - and that they could find my home address. It's not exactly a secret, but it's not publicly listed. But the man they sent to me… he's a good complement to my own skills. I've studied how communications and systems go wrong - how conflict becomes a way of life, picks up its own momentum, warps perceptions and alters choices. I know a lot about how networks of information go wrong. Which is part of the reason I'm so keen to avoid various things that might seem 'obvious'. But they guy they sent me - he's studied how to consciously use the media, in a sociological context. He's researched opinion-formation in groups."

"I may be confusing a point here, sorry….French names always give me a little trouble." Jaiden grins sheepishly. "And here I thought there was an inadvertent connection between the pair. Live and learn, I suppose." Jaiden shrugs and slides off his barstool to start something for dinner. "Will you be staying for a bit, Ygraine? I'd be a most ungracious host if I did not offer you dinner after being invited to your group, after all."

Ygraine cracks a swift grin. "It's okay. There've been… a startling number of connections. And that one could actually have made some sense. I… approached Remi about help with Liberty, and she was… less enthused than I'd hoped. Still very generous - she pledged a small four-figure sum to the trust fund, to cover legal costs should anyone ever manage to bring a case to the Supreme Court. But she seems to hope to remain… distinctly apolitical. A behind-the-scenes tie to a rich and mysterious group, however - that seemed quite credible. And would have provided a direct reason for her to want to avoid to be seen to be political in her own right."

"As for dinner? Sure, though I'd feel a bit guilty about making you cook given that you've also agreed to resume being a guinea pig for my ability whenever I'm up to it."

Jaiden waves a hand, brushing off the comment with a smile, retrieving a heavy pan from the cabinet along with a pair of chicken breasts and a head of cauliflower. The boy eats healthy - mostly. "I was going to cook anyway, Ygraine, and helping you get better with what you do helps me get better with what I do and learn my limits as well as yours." The chicken is seasoned, the cauliflower is put on to steam.

Ygraine chuckles once more. "I should probably help you to practice a few things with your own ability. And make sure to give you some more practice of a mundane kind. But for now, I should probably shut up and let you get on with cooking, eh?"

"If you want. I enjoy the conversation and being with you, Ygraine." A bit of salt goes over the cauliflower, some flour and butter going into a saucepan. He begins to cook, the pair talking until late into the evening.

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