Showing Some Cracks


cardinal_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif harmony_icon.gif

Scene Title Showing Some Cracks
Synopsis As Redbird Security prepares the weather the riots, their leader's confident facade is starting to show a few cracks.
Date November 8, 2010

Redbird Security

There's a sharp, professional feel to the main lobby of the building. The carpet is a deep maroon underfoot, the walls an off-white cream that doesn't glare too brightly beneath the recessed lighting in the ceiling. Half a dozen chairs upholstered in a sandy light brown sit against one wall beneath a painting, a print of a Thomas Brill that shows the ruins of Midtown covered in vines and greenery as seen from the rooftop of the Deveaux building. The receptionist's station takes up almost an entire wall on the right side of the lobby, guarding the hallway that leads back into the building's offices. Behind and above the desk, the logo for Redbird Security Solutions hangs on the wall in glossy black.

The central hall continues the same carpet and wall colors to a number of doors. There are four offices, a restroom done in shades of blue and pale sand tones, and a comfortable employee lounge with attached kitchenette. An open doorway in the main lobby reveals a flight of upward stairs, and there's a locked door at he end of the central hall that guards the basement steps.

The sun has only been up for a handful of hours, the morning's traffic moving along the roads and people briskly strolling in crowds along the roads on their way to lunch or breakfast or an appointment. They don't know what's coming. At the best they've heard rumors that they dismiss as easily as people did the false threat of Y2K.

Their little worlds are safe and predictable. The day to come will change all that.

"Get those barricades up," Cardinal barks out at the handful of security personnel piling literal sandbags against the front window of the lobby from the inside, dressed in rumpled jeans and a t-shirt, flight jacket draped over his lanky frame and the butt of a heavy pistol visible where his underarm holster hangs unadjusted. Dark glasses over his eyes, darker rings beneath it, "We've only got so long before the broadcast goes out, damn it."

The nights since Cardinal warned her have been iffy for Harmony. At first, she wasn't sure just how much she should stake in the information of the riots, but then a fateful encounter on the side of the road from a rag tag band of running Evolved solidified the threat within her mind. Originally, she found should couldn't sleep at night, but she had recently took charge of her ability, stepping past the barrier of when and when not to use it, practicing her aim, her stunts and the strength. It was all her intention to gain a better understanding, and possibly a much better grasp on control, as well as discovering a way to defend herself. Since then, she has been to an empty construction site, and even over in the heavy fallout areas of the city.

But time was running out..

She had some decisions to make, and it was all a matter of where and who she might feel safest with. Brian, she barely knew, but he had kids with him so he probably wasn't all that bad. Cardinal? Well, she was able to crash at his place for the night, so that said something for his character. Plus, he probably had people working for him. Safety in numbers. She picks the safest route, treking herself down to his building, dressed in a pair of black leather pants and a black leather jacket. Fingerless gloves of the same material upon her hands. She was starting to like this outfit, and if she made something decent with herself, she would have to think about sporting it more often.

With her backpack slung over her shoulder, she enters the front doors where if she were probably about 5 minutes later, she'd not get through the barricade being built. "Am I too late?" she announces, pausing at the sandbags that are already in place. The blond looks at a few of the guys piling them up, and then over to the barking Cardinal.

"The door's still open, isn't it?" A tired but genuine smile curves to Cardinal's lips as he looks over to the blonde that's just entered the building, one hand clad in driving gloves raking back through his mussed brown hair, "Come on in. We've got plenty of supplies in case things… get even worse than we expect." Always prepare for the worst possible situation. And in this case, the worst possible situation is very, very bad indeed.

He turns slightly to pick up a tall can of Monster from the receptionist's desk, tilting it back to his lips and taking a swallow thereof. Lowering it, he tilts it her way slightly, "I'd ask if you know how to use a gun, just in case, but since you said you can fire particle beams or whatever, I think that'll probably do…"

"Ah. Awesome. With all this curfew and deadlines, I'm starting to feel like I'm back in high school again." Harmony mentions as she steps around the barricade, moving her way over to Cardinal. Her blue eyes do seem to catch his rather ragged and tired expression, noticing all the signs of a lack of sleep, the Monster showing that it's probably intentional. She slips her backpack off of her shoulder, "I brought some supplies of my own too. Everything I need to survive for at least a week.." Which doesn't look like much. It's just a bookbag. The girl obviously not requiring too much out of life.

"Ah!" she holds up a partially gloves finger and shakes it, "Little more than that, actually. I've kinda discovered a few things. One? I can weld.. So like, if you have anything around here you want welded shut, or otherwise melted open, I can do that." she looks around the place a little. "Two? If your hot water goes out? I've got that covered too. Walking hot water heater here, so you know I don't take cold showers…" Her brow frowns into a wrinkle, "Even though sometimes I really should.." she mutters. "Also? Just the other night? I totally did this EMP thing? Knocked out all the lights on the block I was in. I.. dunno how useful that'd be in this situation but.. yeah.. maybe take out some targeting systems or something? I dunno. Are there targeting systems?" The blonde girl doesn't quite know what to expect out of this.

"Anyway.." she dismisses it, "How are you? I mean.. you look like shit. But handsome shit at least. Maybe from a really pretty dog or something. Pure breed, champion in show.." she grins with her teasing. Hey, at least she's honest, if not a little blunt "You're not sleeping I take it."

"If we have FRONTLINE try to crash into here there would be," Cardinal says rather seriously, hand lifting up to rub against the bridge of his nose, "They shouldn't, though… I don't have much influence, but it should be enough to keep us safe here. They wouldn't gain anything from coming after me, and they know it."

Whoever they might be. If it wasn't for all the evidence to the contrary, he'd sound like a paranoid schitzophrenic.

He pulls the shades off his face when his hand comes away, tossing them to clatter on the desk to let him look back over to her with his own tired eyes, the lack of sleep dark around them. A rogue's smirk twitches to his lips at that, "Oh, so I'm just a dog now, huh? I demand a brushing, then…" He exhales a quiet chuckle, "I've slept. Not much. Hell, I took two plane trips yesterday alone— caught a few hours this morning. You're looking plenty hot, tired as hell, though. What's been keeping you awake?"

"Ssss'yeah.." Harmony sucks air in through her teeth as he mentions FRONTLINE, making a rather amused and confused face, "Yanno, no matter how many times I hear that name? It still reminds me of flea and tick medicine. It's hard to take it seriously on name alone.. But if they do show up, I'll need some pretty heavy emotions to get the juice flowing for one of those. I'll work something out." Oh, the thoughts of what she could do to get to that state. She's working on a system. She gets a look at some of his employees as she moves to join him, "Might require a guy. Cute, maybe kinda tall? Tattoos are a plus too. Good kisser?" she looks at him with that look on her face like she is probably only half kidding. Followed by a grin, "Or maybe an explosion. I'm sorta liking those for some reason.."

The blonde comes to plant her backside on the desk next to him. "No no, I said dog shit.." she corrects him, "From a pretty dog. Which means you're nice sh— Nevermind.. joke's lost." she reaches and slips out of her leather jacket, wearing a small tanktop underneath, dropping her jacket on the chair, and folding her arms across her chest, "As for what's been keeping me awake? Nothing too interesting I'm afraid. Just been working on some… self discovery. Why? What were you expecting me to be tired from?"

A low chuckle tumbles past Cardinal's lips at her words, a single brow lifting slightly as he looks down to her — that grin widening a touch as he accuses her, "Flirt." He slants a look back to the barricade that's being built up against the front window, "Honestly, if anyone attacks us here, they're probably dead, what with the firepower we've got in here. I doubt they will, though. We should be perfectly safe."

Back down to her, he smirks, reaching a hand up to tap the tip of one callused finger to her nose, "No idea. You've got the whole Matrix look going on, though, figured maybe you had turned into a terrorist. Or came here after a club night."

"Hey.." she holds up her hands, "Flirting is in my blood. It's what we Roberts do, and we do very well when we put our mind to it. You could almost consider it just as deadly as my ability." she waggles her eyebrows as she jokes. Her eyes moving back over towards the barricade as he speaks about people breaking in and dying. "Mm.." her mirthful expression slowly melts away, the girl silently gathering her thoughts for a few seconds. "Mostly what has been keeping me up is the thought of if I could take a life or not. If it came down to it." she turns her head to look at him, "I'm not much of a scrapper, and I don't really have a big strong boyfriend that beats up anything that looks at me wrong, anymore, so I'm kinda on my own. I know pretty much one offensive maneuver, and if I do hit someone with it? It's pretty permeant. So.." she lifts her shoulders, "I've been worried if I have what it takes to.. take a life. Not saying I haven't done it before… Well.. not on purpose I haven't. I'm pretty sure you have tho."

As he comes to tap her nose, Harmony wrinkles it, "Really? That's where you go? Straight to terrorist?" she chuckles. "What if I'm a stripper? What if I were just coming from work?" she shakes her head, "Actually, I kinda like the outfit. If I ever go super hero, I'll start wearing it."

"I have. It's not easy, and if you're lucky, you'll never have to find out…" Cardinal looks over towards the barricade as well as he speaks, his voice quiet as he makes the admission, "…it's sometimes necessary, but it's never easy. If it ever becomes easy, that's when you stop being human." There's plenty of blood on his hands, he knows, and there'll be more before the day's out.

A look back to her, and he smirks, "Are you a stripper? 'Cause I could totally use some entertainment today. Anyway, just keep behind everyone if there is any crisis. There shouldn't be, though."

Harmony doesn't really like to dwell on things that bring her down too much. She is starting to realize that all emotions are necessary, and it's better to face them sometimes than constantly avoid them. She she is quick to go straight through the ones she doesn't like. "Well, I'll leave the killing to you, if I can help it. And then I'll cater to your humanity later. Least I can do." she shrugs again. She is a little tired, but only slightly so. Her head rolling back till she is looking up at the ceiling. A sigh is given and then she chuckles at him, "Ohhh.. look who is flirting now." she gives him one of those grins of hers, "Actually, I'm not a stripper, but I learned the trade. Gotta keep your man happy if you wanna keep his attention. We'll just say, I'm the one who ended my relationships.. and most times, I left them crying."

"Sounds like a woman after my own heart," Elisabeth comments as she walks in. She's dressed in her black-on-black armor for FRONTLINE, her blonde hair French braided and pinned into place. She's carrying a helmet, her combat boots clumping on the floor and announcing her arrival before she actually comes in. Her blue eyes narrow on Harmony slightly and she looks the woman up and down, then glances at Richard. "I'm not in the mood to share for at least the next two months. Give her a good tip, though."

That earns the blonde a laugh, and Cardinal reaches over for the black-and-green can of Monster that's sitting beside her on the receptionist's desk. "I…" Then the armoured woman emerges from the back hallway, and he slants over an amused look - one brow raising upwards in an almost challenging expression, "Oh really? I don't recall this conversation…" The can is tilted in the direction of the helmet, "Wear that today, woman. Duct tape it on if you have to."

Harmony is feeling a little lazy, and the way she is leaning against the desk right now is pretty comfortable. She doesn't even want to uncross her arms. She she kinda leans back so she can turn her head to look at Elisabeth's approach, getting a good look at her outfit. Black must be the theme of the day. Black and dangerous? Cardinal just mentioned that Harmony looked like she was dressed to be in the Matrix. "Hey, actually, I don't take pleasure in making men cry. It's just not my fault when I'm not happy, and I'm ready to fly free and they aren't." a simple shrug is offered along with her explanation to both Cardinal and Elisabeth. She remains quite lax, and possibly a little stiff from the past few day's tension and activities.

"Share?" she raises her blond brows, "Wow, so its like that is it?" she gives the other woman a scrutinizing glance, "I dunno, Rich.. she looks like more than you could probably handle. In a good way. Adding my talents to the pot?" she shakes her head and sucks air through her teeth, "Ssss.. ironically enough, you'd go into nuclear meltdown."
Richard gets an arch look and a grin. "Then you weren't paying attention," Elisabeth retorts softly, walking over to set the helmet on the desk and kiss his cheek. "If I gotta keep shooting people in the goddamn head, I don't wanna have to wait my turn," she murmurs with a smirk. Then she turns her eyes to Harmony and offers her hand with a grin. "Hi. Liz Harrison. I think I'm gonna like you. Stick around Redbird for a while." At least the rest of today, God help us all.

Her blue eyes flicker toward the front windows, noting the placement of the sandbagging out front, and when she looks back at Cardinal, Elisabeth's more serious. "I will if I can. That one's fried, courtesy of Elle. I'll have to pull a standard from the backup gear, and I'm not sure I'll be able to work through it. I wasn't taking it off just to be ornery before." Well, she was in part. "I gave the apartment key to Jaiden along with some things just in case. If he gets breached, they'll pull back to there and I'll try to get everyone evac'd off the roof. Same goes for whoever holes up here — leave your key with Aric?" She's bound and determined to protect hers.

"Yeah." A wan almost-smile's forced to Cardinal's lips, his head shaking ever so slightly, "Okay. Get going. And wear your fucking helmet, woman."

He pushes off away from the desk, then, turning with the can of Monster in his hand, "…anyway, I should go make sure the live feed to Gun Hill is working properly, and… sixteen thousand other things. Harmony, there's food in the breakroom, and… there's stuff downstairs, but don't go down there alone."

Extending one hand, adorned in a black fingerless leather glove, Harmony shakes Elisabeth's in greeting, wearing her smile along the way, "Harmony Roberts. Second time rescue of the boy's scout over here." she jerks a thumb towards Cardinal. "He gave me the couch to crash on when I was close to missing curfew one night, and kindly warned me about the shit that's about to go down, offering me a bit of sanctuary. He's a pretty stand up guy. I'm also here as an extra little bit of firepower if it comes down to it. Nice to meet you. I imagine you're pretty good people if Richard keeps company with you. He's a saint." Again, she is halfway kidding, reaching out her elbow to nudge Cardinal in the side a little, hoping to make him either blush or groan. She isn't picky, either will do.

As Cardinal moves off, speaking about life feed, Harmony's brows rage, "Uhh.. some kinda signal?" she makes an uncertain face. "Yeah.. I'll be sure to refrain from pushing out any radiation that might disrupt. I'm not even kidding.. I'm hell on wireless signals. But cool, I'll probably park it in the breakroom for a while. Maybe get a little sleep.."
"Ffft. Hell… I'm shocked he didn't share the bed," Elisabeth says with a grin. "Don't take anything I say about now seriously — not being sure you've thwarted getting shot in the head is fucking with me something ugly," she adds as she shakes Harmony's hand. "He's definitely no saint — he'll tell you himself, he's a bad, bad man." She grimaces a bit. "Don't turn on the radio or television or anything until after about 12:30. When the streets start to fill up, it'll be safe then." Or one can hope. sigh

Elisabeth moves back to pick up the helmet and says quietly in a more serious tone, "For God's sake, be careful out there. All of you." She offers him a simple smile, her gaze taking in his face with a pensive expression that she can't quite hide, and then nods to them both. "See you sometime tomorrow."

There's neither blush nor groan from Cardinal, whose mood appears to have taking a nose-dive off a cliff and descended rather rapidly towards an arrangement of jagged rocks soaked by oil-spill tainted waves. Whether it's something that one of them said, or something else entirely, is hard to say.

"Not wireless. Shielded cables - nothing wireless here. Hell, we don't even get cell in half the building. It keeps the technopaths from snooping about our files," he says as he walks towards the hallway, his head shaking slowly from side to side as he goes, "You're the one who needs to be careful, Liz. Watch yourself."

"Good to know." Harmony tosses a thumbs up towards Cardinal, even though he is walking away. "Oh, and lay off the Monster? That stuff will kill you. There are other things that can be done to keep you awake. I'll share the secrets when you're a little less busy. Take care.. And thanks again!" she calls out to him, letting him go on his way. Pushing off of the desk, she smiles to Elisabeth, "And yeah, you be careful too. I'm not exactly sure what is gonna happen but.. Yeah.. just don't get killed?" picking up her backpack, she pulls the pair of drumsticks sticking out of the side into her hand. "It's not nice." she grins at the woman and waves.

"Yeah, well…. nice ain't exactly on my agenda lately," Elisabeth replies quietly. Staying alive is, but… who knows if that'll come to pass. The only thing she's certain of is that she won't die at Lola's hand and Cardinal's order today. That doesn't mean it won't happen — just not that way. She watches him walk away, her head tilted just a little. And then she shakes it off, looking at Harmony. "If you're gonna be here today, just…. help out if you can, okay?" She takes one last look around the lobby, lifts her chin, and walks out into the streets carrying the helmet in her hands.

"Cocaine isn't an option," Cardinal calls back in rather dry tones as he stops in the hall to look into one of the computer rooms, taking note of the thick yellow cables trailing from the wall in that room and down the hallway towards an open doorway - and down a set of stairs. He leans one hand against the wall beside the door, looking at the wall where it's plugged in… looking down the hall… and back again.

He barely knows how to work his phone let alone deal with live streaming video.

Harmony pauses, watching Cardinal do the 'I-dunno-what-the-fuck-I-am-doing' dance. It is a rather interesting thing to watch, and she settles back to watch him squirm for a few seconds until she snickers to herself, "Do you need help? You look a little lost." she grins, stuffing her drumsticks in the back of her tight pants and meandering after him to assist. "You know, you strike me as the type who stresses out far too much. Do you even know how to relax?" she accuses him, brows raised. "What are you doing, anyway?"

"To quote a dead acquaintance of mine, we can rest when we're done…" Cardinal brings a hand up to rub against the nape of his neck, "There's too much going on to relax. In about two hours all hell's breaking loose, and I wasn't able to stop it. And that's not the worst thing happening today…" A glance to her, a faint smile twitching to his lips, "…nothing, really. The techie guys set everything up. I can barely get my Droid to work."

Harmony's favorite sense is the sense of touch. She love to touch and be touched, and because of this, she tends to be a little more liberal with the physical interactions. She is observant of his tension with the rubbing of his neck, and Harmony moves in for the opportunity. "Ohhh.. alright." she shakes her head, blond hair swinging side to side, "Tell me about your day. Relax for like.. five minutes, and spill your guts." and she puts her hands on him. Harmony flexes her fingers and reaches to start to massage them into Cardinal's neck and shoulders. She's a tall girl, but she's still a bit smaller, though she is rather good with her hands. Being a drummer and a musician, she has excellent dexterity, able to sense out where his tension is and carefully rub it away. "C'mon, you'll feel better."

As that hand slides past his fingers against the nape of his neck, Cardinal tenses up a little more for a moment — and then relaxes just a bit, his hand falling back to his side. "You wouldn't believe the shit that's stressing me out, Harmony," he says quietly, "You'll think I'm completely insane. And you don't want to know about it either… the world's way more fucked than you know. You'll be happier ignorant."

Harmony clears her throat for a second. His tension doesn't deter her from what she is doing. She even pulls at his jacket, "Jacket." she more pointedly rather than a request. It's supposed to come off. And she is ushering him towards somewhere where he can have a seat, she can have a seat and she can make him relax while her hands do their work. Massages are serious biznus, she she actually takes her gloves off for this one. "Okay, Rich? I just spent the other night.. alone.. in a place with heavy fallout, and I suffered no ill effects. I can melt things if I get mad enough, or burn a hole through someone's chest. I knocked out a block worth of electricity by will alone.. I think I'd believe just about anything you told me." she states matter-o-factly. Harmony's hands are warm. Not normally so either. She is quickly becoming a heating pad, her skin growing warmer to soothe his muscles while she kneeds.

Once it becomes clear that she's not taking no for an answer, Cardinal exhales a rough snort of breath. "I'm taking no responsibility for your nightmares," he warns her with a glance back over his shoulder, moving to step away from her and push open one of the office doors.

It's a rather simple office, with very little in the way of decoration. A couch of black faux-leather against one wall, a large oak desk with a tall chair behind it and a few in front. There's a painting of a city street up on the wall above the desk, and a paperweight that looks oddly like a robotic claw that's been snapped off at the base is sitting on a pile of folders. He's shrugging off the jacket as he walks in, tossing it over to drape over the edge of the desk. "…or any risk've getting killed because of what you know, either."

She expected him to maybe rant on about a rough day at the office. She even expected the office to have a bit of weirdness to it. She didn't think it was as deep as he is making it out to be. The blonde girl follows him, still curious, but not quite as gung ho about it as she was initially. "Nightmares I have covered.. I've got my own. And if they get too bad, I'll just find someone to hold me at night for a few days. That'll solve that. Getting killed? That's a new one on me.." she finds her way over to the couch, taking a seat and relaxing back to get comfortable. "So.. what's the big terrible?"

The jacket drapes over the desk's edge, sliding just a little now and then with an inevitable destiny to meet the floor. Cardinal's slow steps carry him along over to the couch, dropping himself down to sit on the edge of it beside her, his head shaking slowly. "Hell, where do I even start? The number of lies we've all been told? What's really happening tonight? The president, the vice-president… the Institute?" He exhales a rough snort of breath, "We tried to change the future. We failed, this time."

"Well, that's all any of us can do really, try to change the future. Whatever that may be." Harmony obviously doesn't catch his meaning, or the significance of time travel. She makes room for him on the couch. Sitting slightly to the side. Harmony is a pro at sitting in tight pants, like she is now. Sometimes they require you to sit in a position that, while sexy, is necessary on account of how the pants grip and push at your legs. So in order to avoid bruises, or popping them open, you have.. sexy sit. But she at least has a lap in all of this, which she pats, offering to house Cardinal's head for storytime. "You can start at the beginning, if you want. Or wherever you feel comfortable."

At the pat against her lap, Cardinal slants her an amused look… and then he exhales a sigh of breath, shifting to lay back, booted feet kicking up to rest hanging over the leg of the couch with one braced on the other, his head dropping down to fall against her leather-clad thigh. He folds both arms over his chest, eyes closing as he says quietly, "I meant literally. The beginning… hah. Did you hear about the Pinehearst scandal awhile back? That unlicensed nuclear reactor under the corporate building that was collapsed. The guy in charge of it was Arthur Petrelli - the president's father."

Quietly, "He was about an inch from quite literally taking over the world. He had a formula that could induce Evolved abilities in people. He was going to build an army… and trust me, he wasn't the sort've guy you wanted in charge of the world. We stopped him. Well… my people along with Phoenix and some freelancers. The precognitives and time travellers warned us what was going to happen, and that let us stop it."

Wry, "I told you all this shit sounds scary."

She wasn't kidding about getting him to relax. As he gives her a look when she offers her lap, she returns it with one of her own, sorta 'you-heard-me' in a light manner. His head coming to rest upon her lap, she takes her slender fingers and uses them to start sliding through his hair. Hair usually felt nice to play in, if it's clean. Cardinal didn't seem like a particularly dirty individual, so it was probably okay. "Literally?" she arches a brow, and then proceeds to listen to him. Some of it being things she actually had heard, though there are missing parts of it that get filled in for her. He can tell which parts actually get to her, because there is a pause in the motion of her fingers, halting partway through his hair.

"Precognatives and time travelers.." she comments, shaking her head, "Okay.. so it sounds a little crazy. To a normal person. It's just.. sorta new to me I guess. I mean.. what nick name would I be given? A radiator?" she chuckles, "I'm sorry.. go ahead."

There was a shower this morning, at least, so Cardinal's hair is clean. No herbal sweet-smelling shampoos for him, no there's no accompanying scent. "Yeah," he admits in rue-touched tones, "The world's a lot stranger than you think… and more complicated. I've got a whole gallery of precognitive paintings. I know people that came from different timelines… it's all sci-fi novel shit. But it's true. It's all true."

"The President isn't even the President. It's all… fucking madness. Today… today, a dead man who tried to start a revolution is going to cause riots. Riots and chaos all over the city. Martial Law's going to be declared… the safehouses where the unregistered Evolved are hiding are going ot be raided by the national guard. Roosevelt Island's going to turn into a concentration camp for our kind."

Harmony is a bit different in that aspect. One can be assured that she smells sweet somewhere. Whether it be her shampoo or her body lotion. For all of her wild-girl aspects, she still has some traits of a girly-girl. She listens rather carefully while she is stroking and feathering her fingers through his hair, pushing it out of it's original shape, but still not quite mussing it. "Sci-fi.." she chuckles, "The stuff of legends." she comments, remembering that fantasy on TV has become reality. Sometimes she takes that for granted, being Evolved herself.

As she continues to listen, Harmony's petting starts to slow. Some of the things he says.. it does strike a bit of a nerve in her. Especially when he talks of Martial Law and concentration camps. "Are.. you serious?" she asks, looking quite concerned at this point. "Then.. I guess I'm right in learning to utilize my ability for defense." a pause as she thinks, "Richard? Do you think.. perhaps.. you could show me.. help me to do what I have to do? I have a feeling that maybe.. I'll be faced with the choice of someone else, or me.."

"I thought you said that you weren't a terrorist, Harmony." A rue-touched smile tugs up at the corner of Cardinal's lips as he opens his eyes, looking up to her from her lap with tired eyes, "I could. You could join me, join all the others who're… trying to change the future. I'm starting to think you should look to someone else for that, though, babe."

He shifts slightly, raising his head— rolling up to sit straighter, twisting to let his legs fall down off the front of the couch, slouching forward to rest folded arms on his knees. "We failed, Harm," he says quietly, "We stopped Arthur… we stopped the nuke, the flood that would've drowned new york… but we didn't stop this. We couldn't. And we're all going to suffer because of it."

"A terrorist is someone who has the intent of causing terror in others. I just want to defend myself and survive. Not end up in a concentration camp, you know?" she looks down at him, serious for a second, but brandishing a slight smile in the end. "Hm.. help try to change the future.." she thinks about that for several second, "I guess.. yeah I could help do that I suppose. I could give it a shot. But.." she pauses, listening to him speak of failure, and letting him sit up to get comfortable.

"Maybe.. I dunno.. there are just some things that can't be changed. That they're so significant to the timeline that they're set in stone unlike some other things. I've never been through time myself but.. I've seen movies." she purses her lips a little, reaching over to put a comforting hand upon the back of his shoulder. "I'm sure you did what you could, though.."

"The future has inertia," Cardinal admits in quiet tones, "If you don't… move mountains to change it, it won't change very easily. That was my mistake. I tried a light touch, because if I tried to push things too much…" He brings one hand up, covering hers in a brief squeeze as he looks back to her, managing a weary smile, "…there's only so far I'm willing to go. I won't bathe in blood to change the future."

A grimace, then, his head falling, "Sorry. I'm not exactly being— encouraging here. I'm usually the heart'n soul of this operation. It's just not a very good day for me."
"See?" Harmony gives a soft smile as he squeezes her hand, "You're not such a bad, bad man after all.." she says and raises her hand up, laying a comforting touch upon the side of his face, her thumb gently rubbing across his jawline. "You've rescued me twice, and you've tried to save the world by changing the past.." Harmony's voice gets both soothing and possibly a bit flattering, "I'm still not quite sure what your ability is, but you sorta sound like Superman to me." she reaches to pluck the collar of his shirt, "Is this your Clark Kent get up? The glasses and the weary expression?" Harmony tilts her head to one side, "Even Superman has bad days.."

"I'm not Superman." The edge of a chuckle tumbles past Cardinal's lips, just shy of forced, and he closes his eyes at the touch to his jawline - stubble rasping beneath her thumb. "I'm just… someone who found out too much and wasn't willing to let it be." He exhales a little snort of breath, then, straightening, "Flatterer. And I'm sure he does… I'm not sure if he ever had any days this bad, though."

"From flirt, to flatterer? I'm moving up the ladder, aren't I?" a wry grin graces her lips. "Yanno, maaaybe you should have claimed to be Superman. You might just have gotten that lap dance you were totally wanting but only hinting at earlier, and me trying to take off your shirt as well as your jacket." she sighs dramatically, "Oh well.. Dash my fantasies and a tiny crush." she raises her shoulders in a shrug, the expression pasted on her face showing her humor. "I guess you'll just have to settle for pity. It's second best, but it still gets you my attention."

"That's cold. Turning down a man on the worst day of his life? And I've had some pretty bad days, let me tell you…" Richard smirks just a little bit, "Guess that was too much to hope for. Y'know, normally? I wouldn't stand for pity." A glance to the picture hanging above the desk, and he admits, "I'll take pity today. Just pretend I didn't if anyone asks, eh?"

Harmony's head drops backward behind the center of her shoulders and her eyes roll, "Gawd.. Richard.." she turns her eyes back to him and reaches with both hands to grip the front of his shirt, making an exaggerated gesture like she is throttling and shaking him. "Do you have no sense of humor? I was teasing you. You're not very good at the flirting game, are you? You're really starting to lose your reputation as a bad, bad man." One of her hands comes up to touch her own chest, "I've dated bad boys. From outright grungy, to ex-con, to current con. You? Well you seem a little bit on the light sight to me.." she settles, sitting sideways so that she is facing him, her arm resting on the back of the couch, propping her head up on her fist. "Where is the bad? You've got the look, is there more than just the portrait?"

"I really am good at it," Cardinal replies with an open laugh, now, sprawling back onto the couch and twisting to partially face her, "It's just an off day, honestly. I'm not this open with my own people most've the time. I'm just working myself up to what I have to do today."

He brings one hand up to scratch under his chin, offering, "I'll tell you what. Any other day, I'll flirt the goddamn pants off you, Harm. I'm an ex-con myself, actually. Before all this, I was a professional burglar."

"Eh. You don't owe me any favors, actually." Harmony moves, taking the opportunity of his position to use him as a pillow. She lays her back into the front of him, and sorta makes herself at home, "My mission is accomplished so far. I got you to relax and take a breather.. I'd say I've done a good service. Wouldn't you?" she turns her head to look back at him over her shoulder while she grins, "I dunno.. I think I've developed an attraction to danger, in various forms. I blame my first boyfriend, actually. HE was a dangerous individual. He sorta ruined me for every one else. Buuut.." her eyes roll back and forth, "Maybe I'll give you.. one more chance. You're tired, stressed, and not really yourself. I'll overlook the lameness, and I'll cater to your neediness right now. Which means, we're back to the pity. Your plight plucks at me nursing nature… Poor Richard." she says in a pouty tone, patting his leg.

"Oh, shut up." Cardinal shifts slightly to accomodate her sprawl against him, one arm curling about her, hand resting over her midriff as he looks down to her with a smirk twisting to his lips, "One moment of weakness and I'm never gonna live it down, am I?" He relaxes beneath her, oddly at ease despite the fact that she's all but a stranger. "Thanks. Anyway. You want danger… you've come to the right place. The stories I could tell you…"

"Hey, a real bad ass doesn't take offdays. Those are reserved for Superman." she teases him. She takes in a slow, deep breath through her nose, releasing it in a comfortable sigh, "But you make a rather nice pillow." she settles her hand down upon the hand he has settled upon her midsection. "A story telling pillow." a smug and amused smirk stays on her face while she squirms and gets herself quite comfortable. For a moment, she doesn't worry about the impending times of terror that are vastly approaching. She just hangs out, being herself, "Maybe I'll find some other uses for you as we go along."

"Maybe so." Cardinal chuckles quietly, "I guess I do have some amazing stories, too… done some amazing things, too. Remind me to tell you about the time that I survive a nuclear bomb sometime." A breath's drawn in, and then exhaled, eyes closing as he just savours the moment of relaxation, his hand shifting to loosely tangle his fingers with hers in a momentary squeeze.

Hearing that he survived a nuclear bomb actually settles pleasantly upon her more than almost anything else he said. It makes her smiles, the notion that he could survive radiation is an idea that hits home. Heck, anyone who could survive it is a winner in Harmony's book. "Mm, that's one thing I would love to hear about. Relaxation comes easy with her, the tension leaving her shoulders with her leaning against him, the difficulty she had in letting herself go and keep from being neurotic just melts away, the presence of his fingers sliding between her brings her to close her hand and lightly lock them. "And I'll have to tell you about my little dark demons."

"Sounds like a date." Cardinal leans down, then, pressing his lips against her brow in a warm graze of contact, "Alright. It's almost time for all hell to break loose… you ready to go watch the end of the world as we know it?"

Harmony gives slow sigh when his lips glance across her brow, "Ready as I'll ever be. I suppose it'd be too much to ask for you to hold me hand. You'll probably be pretty busy. But.. I'll watch your back. If it came down to it? I think I could do the right then if you were in danger. Can't say that about too many people, so.." she pats his leg, "There you have it."

The edge of a grin tugs up a little at the corner of Cardinal's mouth, and then he taps the tip of her nose with one finger. "I'll watch your back, too," he chuckles quietly, "It's a nice view, after all. Now get your cute ass up off my couch so I can make sure everything's all set up."

"What is it with guys and my ass as of late? First Luke, now you? Is it made of gold or something, and I don't know?" While she moves, letting herself rise up from him to a standing position. She takes a moment to twist her self around to look at her own backside, investigating the phenomenon. She grins back at him, sliding a finger across her tight leather pants in the back, and giving her butt a small crack of her hand, "It is hot, isn't it." she wrinkles her nose with a grin and then laughs. "Come on. I'll make sure you don't electrocute yourself."

At the crack of her hand against her pants, Cardinal grins broadly. "The rest've you ain't bad either," he points out, rolling easily to his feet and stretching slowly, both hands bracing to the small of his back and a few vertebrae cracking with the motion, "Yeah, yeah. What's with all you women and your technology fetishes, anyway? Swear to god…"

Harmony lifts her shoulders, "I'm actually don't have much of a big fetish for tech, I'm just not a tech dummy. You? Well.. I saw the look you were giving the wall." she grins in a teasing manner, "You could use all the help you can get. Now.. if you wanna talk about fetishes? Well that's a different story all together. And you'll have to earn that information.." moving to the door, pausing there to look back while he catches up, "Or win it."

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