Shattered Glass


griffin_icon.gif melissa_icon.gif nadira_icon.gif perry_icon.gif

Scene Title Shattered Glass
Synopsis Never a Messiah meeting without strife. Priorities are contested as disaster to come clashes with disaster past.
Date December 20th, 2010


Outside there are people partying. Getting drunk. Gettin' down with their bad self. Inside the small office at the back of the building, there are more serious people. It's quieter in here, and vastly more private, especialy once the door was locked. And there's even a nice couch, big enough for the three newcomers to the room. Comfy too.

Melissa sits behind the desk though, not really presiding over the meeting as much as just…not giving up her chair. It's big and comfy and has easy access to the minifridge. And while she waits for others to settle or start speaking, she lights up a cigarette, then puts it in the ashtray to instead grab a bottle of pills and pop a couple, swallowing them down with some nice whiskey. She's the girl o' vices tonight.

The tallest of the group is also likely the most somber of them all. Griffin certainly isn't smiling or grinning like he was at the christmas party. In fact, he looks pale, as well as looking like he hasn't properly slept in two weeks. It's true, he hasn't; while he's been hiding out with Nadira, that doesn't stop how restless he's been. After all, Owain is surrounded by people he doesn't know, and so soon after his mother was killed. He feels like the worst father in the world.

But Griffin couldn't let that trail he has go cold. He has someone helping him out with finding information. It's at the point where he could probably go back to Pollepel and not feel so much like he's doing nothing. But, first things first.

He drops a few cubes of ice into the alcohol, swirling the glass around as he limps over to the couch, settling down and relaxing slightly, and generally looking pale as he slurps that scotch down far more quickly than he probably should. It's soothing, that burn. It indicates that the alcohol will soon introduce its mind-numbing effects to his troubled mind. It never helps, but…it makes it a little bit easier.

Nothing wrong with vices. Well, most of the time. Nadira quietly sips from a beverage of her own, occasionally shooting a concerned glance in Griffin's direction—she's been doing that for just about as long as he's been back. The Egyptian woman shifts a little on the couch, glancing to the others in the room with a distant look. This one's because she's thinking.

The couch does look appealing, but there is no way Pericles Jones can sit still right now. The gawky young man is possessed of a nervous energy that must be expressed one way or another. At the moment, it's through pacing, which he does - incessantly - behind the couch, one hand clenched behind him, the other rubbing at his late evening shadow of stubble.

Well, relatively late evening. Curfew has distorted temporality. Revelry comes early now, but still dark in midwinter.

"I- uh-," Perry begins, which isn't much of a beginning and doesn't go anywhere for a moment. After that moment, however, he picks himself back up. "I don't know who should speak first. So- so much has happened… will happen… I don't know. I think… I thought about- about suggesting a moment of silence. And maybe in time- in time we can do that, b- but right now," Perry turns, facing Melissa, though addressing all of the gathered, "I think we need to do something. We've barely gotten to our feet, and we've been attacked."

Perry glances down to Griffin, looking at him directly. "I have just- uh- just one real question. Of course we'll do something but is- is this going to be a family matter? Is this- is this personal? For you, and for us? Or is this… Colonel Heller- is he our enemy, or is he the enemy?"

"Whoa, hold up. First off, who is Colonel Heller? Is he targetting us or was he just targetting Marjorie? All I know is that she was killed by him. That's the full extent of my knowledge on that count and it doesn't do me a whole lot of good. And if it wasn't just a Marjorie thing, there are people we can ask about this guy. I know…" Melissa hesitates here for a long moment, running her tongue over dry lips. "I know someone in the Institute. Someone on our side. She might have some information. Or maybe my uncle does since he has access to the DHS database. But I gotta have something to go on.

The cigarette is picked up again, drawn on deeply. "And, sorry Griffin, but this shouldn't be our priority anyway. The Humanis First attack should be. Heller may just be targetting Marjorie, or may be targetting us, but we're not exactly good people, and the people who are gonna be at d'Sarthe's are innocent. We gotta think of them first, and ourselves last." When did she get so cold? There was no sympathy or apology anywhere in there.

A dismayed frown forms over Griffin's face as he tuns to peer quietly at Perry, the man listening in complete silence. The quiet continues from him for a long moment, as he reaches up and rubs at his face with a hand. The action ends with him pulling his face downward a little, and dipping his head toward his lap, closing his eyes. His scotch is drained a bit as he simply steels himself to talk about it.

"I don't know who he is yet. I'm working with Richard Cardinal on finding information, and any further information would be extremely helpful." He frowns up at Perry. "It— I think it was done to draw me out. She messaged me, stating that he was at the door, looking for me. That she was scared. Then, when I got there…" His voice catches, and he dips his head down once more. "She was still warm. They hadn't taken anything but a tea cup. I— I took Owain, he's staying with the Ferrymen." A frown.

"I think that this Colonel Heller is out for all of us."

Green eyes sweep toward Melissa, a slightly dark expression forming over his features. "Melissa? I'm still going to be helping out with the Humanis First attack." His voice is shaky. "But you'll have to pardon my concern for my personal situation." His voice takes on a sharp tone. "My sister was brutally murdered after she prepared tea. My son, my ten year old son, heard all of it. Heard them yelling at her, heard the gunshots, sat and waited for her to come and get him. He begged me to make her okay. I had to take him away, so he wouldn't see her like that— with half of her face blown in."

He narrows his eyes at Melissa. "So while I'm more than happy to assist in our continued efforts, and to help those who will need the help, I'm prone to being a little distracted while my son hasn't spoken for nearly two weeks, and while I grieve for the loss of my baby sister." His tone is cold, edged with suppressed anger.

"Easy," Nadira murmurs, glancing between Melissa and Griffin. It's vague on who she's trying to calm. "The fact of the matter is, Colonel Heller was looking for Griffin, who is one of us. Which means we have ties to him, just as Marjorie did. This Heller doesn't seem to mind who he kills to find what he's looking for, so no matter how you look at it, we could all be in a potential line of fire. I think all that needs to be said here is that we need to keep an eye open for him, just in case. The Humanis First issue is pressing, but it doesn't mean we deal with them in sequential order. Life is rarely that simple." The Egyptian purses her lips, a hand resting gently on Griffin's arm. She sighs. "So.. do we have details at all that can help us?"

Perry lifts his unclenched hand, palm pointing outwards, fingers spread. Hold on. The tradition of Messiah meetings becoming grudge matches was something shed with the group's name. Which they still need one of. But that… that is the smallest of fish to fry. In truth, it's these four and some scarce others, an association too small to demand a title. It's them. That's sufficient.

"Answering a direct attack, honoring our fallen, is extremely important," Perry states, unequivocally - and thus with some touch of persuasiveness, however unintended, "Melissa… we are not good people, but good changes its definition like- like a snake shedding skin. The genealogy of morals is- is patchy at best. Good people? Maybe not. But ethical people we must be. And that- that precludes not doing that civilized thing and treating Marjorie's loss with great- great seriousness."

Perry sets his hand on the back of the couch, as if steadying it rather than himself. "We can do both. Heller is military, which makes him a long term target. We will keep him in our sights and when- when we strike, it won't just be him who feels it. It will be his whole cadre as well, his masters and minions. We should be patient, and we should utilize all our resources. Griffin, I'd like your help in paying a visit to the Ferrymen. I was promised a meeting with their Special Activities division. I am going to take them up on it.

"As for the Christmas Eve attack Lynette warned us about… honestly, I don't know anything. Melissa, since that's your foremost concern, would you be willing to head up the information gathering? That way you can contribute without having to get your hands dirty," respecting her decision to forgo violence, "Also, this friend in the Institute… is there any chance you could arrange for her to meet me as well?"

Perry adjusts his glasses before turning to Nadira. "You and Griffin are our strongest arms right now. I can shoot a weapon, but I still don't know what my gift even is. I need you both ready to react with surgical precision when we know how to move against Humanis First."

Melissa shakes her head slowly. "First off, I'm not saying Marjorie's death isn't shitty. I'm just saying that if this attack goes through, there'll be a lot of kids asking to make mommy alright. Not just one. But hey, you guys wanna be selfish and split our focus just days before the attack, go for it. Should I point out that her dying means that I'm the only one of us now that's willing to work in the public eye? To do the work that's hard mentally rather than physically?"

She glances to Perry. "Oh, and I'll go ahead and point out that you just insulted me, Perry. Thanks." Someone's put on their Drama Queen crown today. "But then again, I could do without another migraine, so whatever. I'll just stay home and let you guys do all the hard work. I could use a night off. I'm sure that the three of you will do fantastic against a mob of Humanis First."

Another shake of her head. "It's risky enough for her to meet with me, and we were friends long before she got in the Institute. I won't risk her safety, or the information and help she can give, so you can chat with her. If you come up with a good reason to meet with her, then I'll reconsider."

"Honestly, not sure how useful I'll be in information gathering. Most of my contacts are Ferry who are unavailable at the moment. Institute girl doesn't have any hooks to Humanis First. And I doubt that I could get anything out of Calvin about his friend to get more information from her. But I'll try."

The efforts of Nadira and Perry do quite a deal to calm Griffin down, the man turning green eyes to each of them in turn as they speak, and as his posture relaxes against the sofa. He even takes another pull from his scotch, draining the glass. This promptly floats out of his hands, drifting back over toward the bottle of Glenlevit. "I will be happy to help in any way that I can, Perry. Thank you for your understanding." A hand reaches out to squeeze Nadira's, before he rubs at his face.

Melissa's words prompt silence from the man for just a moment…before suddenly, the glass that was about to be refilled with ice quite literally shatters, litering shards of glass and ice to the ground. White eyes turn toward Melissa, the man casting a disapproving frown at the younger woman. "I don't know what stick has crawled up your ass, Melissa, but I seriously recommend that you consider removing it in short order. You are acting like a sullen teenager."

His eyes fade back to green, a precautionary measure on his part to ensure that he doesn't lash out on accident. The last thing he wants to do is accidentally slap someone when he wants to slap them. That's an unfortunate side effect of telekinesis. "We are not dividing our attention. I am not insisting that we go in gung ho, completely blind, and try to take Colonel Heller down."

He pauses, frowning at Melissa. "I am mourning the loss of my sister, Melissa. I saw her, every bit of the bloody mess that she became. I still see it, every time I close my eyes. It doesn't go away, nothing works. It's burned into my retinas." He rubs at his face again. "It will take time to gather this information. As it stands, I can not do anything myself until Richard Cardinal gets back to me with whatever information he can gather."

A frown. "So please, Melissa, get the stick out of your ass and stop being such a bitch today. We're all doing the best we can." Apparently done with the topic, he turns toward Nadira and Perry.

"On another note, I would like to make a few attempts at allying our group with the Ferrymen, as well as Richard Cardinal's group." He runs a hand through his hair. "I have the ability to reach the Ferrymen, and when I have an opportunity, I will be speaking to their council members. As for Richard Cardinal, I believe that he is an asset that we can't afford to not ally ourselves with."

The Egyptian in the room almost drops her jaw at Melissa's reaction. Nadira studies her boss, both shocked as well as concerned. And with Griffin firing back, she shuts her eyes for a deep breath. "I sincerely doubt Perry intended to insult you, Melissa. I believe he meant the fact that you are, indeed, the one working in the public eye, which is why Griffin and I have to be the arms." She gets up off the couch, moving towards the broken glass as she carefully picks up pieces with her fingertips. It doesn't stop her from speaking, however.

She levels her gaze at Melissa. "You're tired and cranky, don't protest because you know that's a lot of this. You've got a lot of responsibility on your shoulders and I respect that. You did a brave thing, taking in a little girl the way you did. If you don't mind, though, I would like to borrow your little ward for a few days… I plan on doing some last minute decorating and I don't have anyone to admire all the shiny decorations. You understand, of course." It's her way of telling Mel that she's babysitting without making it sound that way.

She continues to pick up shards of glass, setting the larger ones in her palm first so she can put the smaller ones on the larger pieces and not risk cutting herself as much. "People are going to die on Christmas Eve unless we all work together. I, for one, would like your help, Melissa."

Nadira looks back to Griffin. "You know, you and Melissa have a lot more in common then you think. The baby she took in… her mother was shot. She's too young to really understand what happened, but she lost her mother, same as Owain. You both have big responsibilities, and it's hard, and you're both under a lot of stress. But you've both got these kids to worry about. Would you act like this in front of them? Would you both want this to be the example you set?"

You can be certain, ability or no, nothing Perry could have said would have been half as good as what Nadira just rolled out. A stammered speech about solidarity was probably forthcoming. There might have been reference to the words of Neitzsche. You know, the usual dry parchment scribble of ten dollar words.

As it is, Perry knows enough not to gild the lily. He sticks to the simplest of amendments. Dipping in a low bow, respectful if a little weird, he addresses Melissa with and, "I'm- I'm sorry if I insulted you. I d- didn't mean to, I promise. Truly, I promise. I just- I just respect your bloodless imperative. Is all. It was… only out of respect, I swear." Okay, maybe not that simple. But he sets the bar pretty low for himself.

The bespectacled young man must have faith in the soothing effect of Nadira's words, at least for now, as he turns back, if tentatively, to business. "I- I don't know this Richard Cardinal. I need to- to get the measure of the man. Come to understand his… underpinnings. But as for the Ferry, I- uh- I already met with Eileen Ruskin. We have the Ferry's goodwill, in- uh- insofar as they can afford it, considering our group's history. As I said, I'm promised a meeting with their Special Activities division. Griffin, please, feel free to work on our relations with the group. But don't make any promises or take any deals without- uh- without checking with us first. We need to keep cohesion. We're few enough that there is no- no excuse not to stay well informed."

A low level pain suddenly is felt by everyone in the room but Melissa when Griffin goes off on her. But, as he turns the subject to the Ferry, it fades. In fact, she seems to. Not literally, of course. Pain manipulators can't literally fade, but she seems lessened. So it's tired eyes that get turned onto Nadira. "Yeah, except for the fact that I can use my ability without anyone looking at me and knowing that it's me. My eyes don't change color. It's not as flashy as water, however effective it may be," she points out wearily, putting out her cigarette and reaching in one of her drawers for a bottle of her private stash of tequila. A few swallows are gulped down before it's replaced.

"You wanna take Junie for a couple of days, go for it. Don't know why I took her anyway," she says, rubbing her hands over her face. "Fucked up with Kendall, and he was sixteen when I got him. Gonna fuck her up more if I keep her." If. That word somehow stands out.

Perry gets an odd look at the bow. People just don't bow in America. Not anymore. "Pain doesn't have to be bloody," is said, though it doesn't sound as certain as she normally is.

"The Ferry already was working with us," she adds, a wince in her voice, even if she doesn't show it. "Remember, Eileen was there when we went after what we thought was Rupert? The negation dart came from the Ferry's technomancer." And that sounds almost bitter. "Keep an eye out for Susan Ball though. She's working with the Institute. Though no one on the…no one's gotten me an update since I asked for one."

Okay, maybe just one more drink.

The man winces through the pain of Melissa's ability, hissing under his breath for a moment until it has run its course. Well then. A frown is cast toward Nadira, but the man quietly nods, closing his eyes as he raises to his feet, gathering up another glass. Tensions are high, so he avoids use of his ability, instead making his drink in complete silence, his eyes hooded over green eyes.

"Richard Cardinal seems to be a good man. Trustworthy. He's been helping me out, and I think that he and his organization could be beneficial to us. But yes— I will not make any rash decision without consulting you three, and indeed allowing you all to get a good feel for him. My trust is not yours." Finished with making his drink, Griffin turns, glancing down toward the shards of glass.

And suddenly, the glass is oh-so-gently scooped from Nadira's hands and from the floor itself by a pair of invisible hands. This all is dumped rather unceremoniously in the trash can.

There's a small sigh, Nadira's eyes shutting. She tried. "My ability is not flashy," she murmurs. "And I did not realize Junie was a pet, as you seem to be treating her like one. You cannot just give back a child." She's definitely frowning, glancing at the floor to make sure she's got all the glass. She falls back into silence.

The pain has Perry tipping forward, brow furrowed into deep lines, hand gripping the back of the coach, hard. He's never felt Melissa's ability before. It… hurts. Of course. When it passes, he looks up at Melissa. Is she done? She sounds done.

But Nadira's words are sharp enough that Perry fears there may be more where that came from. "Enough," he says, but it's not a shout - it's a breathy exhale. A tired sound. "We can't- can't keep on like this. At each other's throats. This… this can't matter. What are we that we can afford to- to throw barbs like this when the real villains, the- the orphaners and the last men who hold the power are still out there. Save this. Save your anger for real enemies. All of it. We- we have to be an us."

The level of personal investment Perry, long lonely, has in this unconditional unity is maybe not strictly categorical. But there's no need to equivocate on that point. "We need simple jobs right now. Work, to keep us moving ahead. Whatever we can share, we should. Griffin, please, if you could arrange for me to meet Richard, I'd appreciate it. Nadira, when we are ready to strike at Humanis First, I want it to be as… as theatrical as possible. And your gift is perfect for that. You'll unleash an elemental fury on them. They want to hate us? Fine. But they'll fear us too. Melissa… however you wish to obey your imperative, obey it. Even if you didn't wish to use your ability, we need you. You have experience and connections and resources that we absolutely require. And even if you did not, you are valuable as a fellow traveler.

"There is too much work to do for us to tire ourselves out on each other," Perry says, straightening, "we need to be stronger for our association, not weaker. We are capable of it. We… we must be."

Well, Melissa was calm. Looking defeated and exhausted, but calm. Nadira's comment about Junie as a pet has anger flaring on her face for a moment before it's stomped down. That or she just can't hold onto it right now. "That's not what I said, or what I meant." And likely, Nadira won't be babysitting again too soon.

She starts to say something more, then shakes her head and glances down to her drawer with her little hideyhole of booze. "I think you guys should go. We're done here tonight. I don't think anything else is gonna get accomplished."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License