Sleeping Dogs


cardinal_icon.gif elisabeth2_icon.gif hana_icon.gif

Scene Title Sleeping Dogs
Synopsis Cardinal and Liz meet with Hana in an unusual place to talk about less-than-unusual things: people to kill, takeovers to plan, and a little bit of a technopathic scavenger hunt. The usual everyday business, in their circles.
Date June 4, 2010

Guan Gong Temple

Though it is situated on a busy portion of Broome Street, the Guan Gong Temple is a place of incomparable peace and serenity. It has been well kept through the years, and there are several exquisite works of Chinese art housed within. Stairs on either side of the common room lead up to a lofted dining area that's set for roughly a dozen. Carved woodwork and lovingly tended plant life makes up much of the decor here, as well as in the modest kitchen and living quarters.

The temple's common room is small but brightly lit, warmed by hangings in bright reds, oranges, and yellows as well as the simple physicality of central heating systems. It is also sparsely furnished: a statue of a Chinese dragon near the door, the temple's patron deity at the other end, a small wooden table for votives and an unadorned woven mat across the floor. The room has only one occupant, discounting the black-and-white cat nestled between the dragon's spines; and she is as quiet as the otherwise empty space. Dressed in black jeans and a simple dark-teal cardigan, Hana Gitelman kneels on the mat, facing neither statue but rather one of the room's walls. Hands folded at her knees, eyes closed, she could be praying. She could be meditating. Or she could just be basking in the serenity of the room much as the resident cat is enjoying its patch of morning sunlight.

From the outside, any guess is as good as another.

"You know, I've seen policemen and triad thugs both in here before," Cardinal's voice drifts through the temple's peaceful silence as he walks along in, wearing a fleece-lined flight jacket with the 'Chicago Air' logo emblazoned in faded letters on the back and arm. "Asian mythology's always been a bit've a puzzle to me, though. I suppose I'm not that good at absorbing the innate contradictions that the culture embraces so easily, though. Cultural issues."

An unhurried stroll takes him within, hands tucked into the pockets of his jacket, "Good morning, Apila."

The blonde who walks with him dressed in denim and a heavy navy-blue parka with a fleece headband on her head keeps her voice soft. Something about the place deserves it — there is a peace to be found in here. Elisabeth murmurs quietly, "I didn't honestly realize you'd even frequent a place like this." A faint smile quirks the corners of her mouth. "Not terribly surprised that you'd find all kinds of people in here, though. New York's … kind of like that. We all rub along somehow."

Elisabeth pauses in the doorway of the room, blue eyes studying the technopath quietly. She hasn't laid eyes on Hana since …. she can't remember when. Well before the day the Israeli woman dragged her bloated, bleeding, mostly dead body from the river. Perhaps the confrontation over Maya Hernandez. Liz never even had the chance to say 'thank you' really. "Hello, Hana," she says quietly.

"Good morning, Cranston." The reply is as unhurried as his approach, the Israeli woman lifting dark eyes to consider her companions only when both of them have entered. "Harrison." She smiles at Liz's words, the small and faintly sardonic sort of expression that implies some observation made falls rather short of the mark. "Call it… an homage," Hana replies after a moment's pause. "To… an old friend." The words are calmly detached; her expression is only almost that.

The cat's eyes slit open to peer at the two addtional invaders, though the drowsing feline seems disinclined to take umbrage at their intrusion. That involves energy expenditure. Some transmuted echo manifests in Hana's continued stillness, not even her hands stirring from where they rest in her lap. Apparently her company can sit or stand as they please; she's going to stay seated. "However belatedly, welcome back to corporeal existence," the woman offers to Cardinal.

"You do remember that Xiulan was a Dragon, don't you?" Richard's head tilts to look back over his shoulder to Elisabeth as she pauses there, a faint smile crooking his lips before he turns to look back in the direction of the technopath, his steps pausing at a polite distance. His chin dips in a nod, smile quirking just a touch. "Thanks. Sorry I wasn't exactly… all that polite, last time we met. It's easy to forget how… people work… when you don't have a body. S'easy to forget a lot of things." His attention drifts for a moment, eyes closing and head shaking sharply to dispel some fading haunt, "Anyway. You doing well, I hope?"

"I remember," Liz replies mildly. She smiles faintly and nods to Hana's greeting, leaning against the wall to simply listen for a few minutes.

One dark brow arches in Cardinal's direction. "An apology is not necessary," she informs him. And the next response, "I'm doing fine," is delivered in an identically detached tone — personal questions not invited. Small talk barely so. The woman uncoils, rising to her feet in a fluid motion; turns away from Cardinal and Liz, busying her hands with the act of lighting a votive candle. Hana pauses with her hands cupped around the glass globe, watching the flame flicker as it takes hold on the wick. "Did you have a request to make," she asks conversationally, "or were you only looking to visit?"

"Six of one," Cardinal admits, one hand raising to rub against the side of his neck as he tilts his head to one side in almost-sheepish fashion, a boyish grin crooking up to the corner, "Half-dozen've the other." That hand drops down to one side as he steps over to one side near the statue of Guan Gong, considering the deified general with a thoughtful expression. "I understand you're not a big fan've the Founders."

A single eyebrow shoots upward at that conversational foray. Elisabeth eyes her companion with a narrowed gaze, uncertain what precisely he's looking for with that gambit. Most of the Founders appear to be dead these days, though she hasn't really had her thumb on that activity since her visit to the one in Maine. Is Cardinal saying Hana was behind all that? Interesting…

Hana doesn't seem to know where he's going either, the woman casting an oblique glance his way. Unspeaking, she turns back towards the candle in her hands, holding it up before her face — snuffing the newborn flame with a quick exhalation, leaving blue-gray smoke to curl upwards from a blackened thread. "I suspect," the technopath replies noncommittally, "that very few can be called fans of that cohort." She waits, then, watching Cardinal from the edge of her vision.

"You'd be surprised, really," Cardinal admits with a subtle shake of his head, "I've run into a lot of… apologists, reformers, from the Company lately. I've got my people on the inside. Personally, my estimation is the whole outfit's thrashing in the jaws of the Institute — but that's neither here nor there."

The man turns a bit to one side to regard her more directly, lips tugging up a bit at one corner, "I've got my eyes on one that broke from them awhile ago, though. Ol' Danny-boy."

Ah. Now she knows what this is about. Elisabeth keeps her expression neutral and simply rests against the wall.

Seen in oblique profile, Hana's lips also curve ever-so-slightly, but not in echo of Cardinal's — there's something more feral to that hint of a grim smile. "There is a saying, about sleeping dogs — or perhaps it's sleeping dragons." Whichever it is is immaterial, really. The words are an explicit warning… but not a rebuff. No, not that at all.

The Israeli turns her back on the duo, facing the table with its fitfully flickering candles; facing the statue of a long-dead general whose following has nothing to do with her history, but represents something else entirely — something personal. The extinguished votive finds its own place on the table with a soft thunk; the words Hana speaks over it are softer still, voiced more by accident than intent. "I'm sorry I can't be what you wanted. Goodbye, uncle."

A moment later, she turns again, striding between Cardinal and Elisabeth — and out of the temple.

"We're in the wrong business to start listening to that sort of advice, Apila." There's a deeply wry twist to Richard's quiet voice as he says that, silent for a moment as he watches her approach the statue and speak those soft words. If he hears them, understands their meaning, he shows no sign of it. Perhaps he's just giving her some privacy.

As she turns to walk from the temple, he turns as well, hands tucking into the pockets of his jacket as he moves as if to follow her — or just to leave as well. "And if you deal with an alpha dog, sleeping or waking, sometimes you can tame its pack."

Elisabeth doesn't say anything as Hana apologizes softly, though there is concern in her blue eyes. She doesn't think Hana meant for anyone to hear it, though, and she respects the other woman's privacy by pretending not to hear. Falling behind the other two, the blonde keeps her hands free but doesn't seem concerned about being jumped. Not here — at least, not by anyone but Hana if the mood strikes somehow. "Are you retiring?" she asks thoughtfully. Given the lack of real communication from Wireless — which isn't all that unusual, really — and Hana's current mood, she has to wonder if the other woman's just had enough.

"You mistake me, Cardinal," the Israeli says as he falls into step behind, abandoning all pretense of assumed names. "I don't refer to Linderman." She isn't surprised at that conclusion. She is surprised by Elisabeth's question, which brings Hana's progress to a halt so she can half-turn to look at the other woman. "Retiring." Hana says it as if it's foreign, obscure, distasteful, a word that never so much as occurred to her — it hasn't.

What would she do if she "retired"?

Fade away and die for lack of purpose, most likely. "No, Harrison, I'm not retiring." And that is the end of that subject. Dark eyes level on Cardinal instead, fierce in their intensity. "Whatever brings them down, Richard Cardinal," Hana says; soft, dark hiss. "Whatever it is. I will do it."

A quiet chuckle tumbles past Richard's lips at the question, or perhaps at the bemused response from the technopath. "She understands as well as we do, Liz," he says quietly, looking back to Hana with a serious gaze that puts the lie to the faint smile. "We can rest when we're done."

The smile widens, but it's a more predatory one before it fades, gaze sweeping past her to the doorway. "Monroe showed that just killing them doesn't work. It's the same mistake they made with the Italian Mafia, back in the day. Break them down like that, something else just fills the hole you left — something worse. Broome's people are going to do shit that makes the Company look tame." His voice is quiet, serious. "Daniel's group has the same problem. I could slip into his bedroom and blow his head off, but then we'd get something worse washing in from outside into the hole we made. No, before we send Danny-boy on his final trip, we need to be ready to take the reins he dropped, so we can use them to help fight the rest of the bastards. I've almost got all my pieces in place."

A hand emerges from his pocket, flipping open his cell phone and scrolling through the images, before offering it to her to take a look, "…as you can see."


Well, all right then! Elisabeth can't help the flash of a grin toward Hana. And then she takes in a quiet breath, shoving her own hands into her jeans pockets. When the phone comes out, she looks curious. She hasn't been privy to this information before and peers over Hana's shoulder. And her blue eyes go very wide. "Holy shit," she breathes softly.

Cardinal's observation is almost as bemusing to the technopath as Liz's query, which says a lot about Hana. The phone offers an alternative subject that is more to her taste, for all that her eyes glance towards it but briefly; surely too briefly to even see the image. But then, Wireless isn't using her eyes to take in the information. "Prophetic?" she asks, though the query is rhetorical. "What 'pieces' are you waiting on?" That one isn't.

"Yeah. The artist's part of Daniel's stable…" A faint chuckle mingles with Cardinal's words as he snaps it shut, making it vanish into a pocket, "…well, he was. The minute he painted that he was looking for a way out. I've got a plan to keep Danny distracted and splintering his own alliances, and if it goes right, he'll be ripping down his own empire without realizing it. While he's doing that, we can finish our takeover without him realizing it — and then seal it by putting the bastard in the ground."

A glance to Hana, "But to bring this all together, we need to get our hands on his lawyer — and his will. Otherwise, his assets'll probably all go to Angela, or the Company, and that'll be a fucking disaster."

And now Liz has the understanding of what he wanted to see Hana for. Because many such things are kept on computer nowadays, scanned in from the files that have to be hand-signed, and the hard copies sometimes even destroyed (though rarely — lawyers are almost the last bastion of written paper trails outside the military nowadays). Damn, he aims high. Sometimes Elisabeth feels like the retarded second cousin when she's following The Plan. There's a reason that she doesn't handle the long-term planning.

Hana regards Cardinal steadily for a long moment, weighing his words. Finally, the technopath nods, motion slow and deliberate. "I can, probably, find the lawyer. Whether the will exists in digital form…" She raises one hand, palm up, fingers tilted slightly upwards. "We shall have to find out."

"I suspect he's too savvy for that, but the lawyer's a start," Cardinal admits, his head tilting in a nod, a faint smile touching his lips, "Thank you. And speaking of…" A glance across to Elisabeth, then back, a brow raising, "…is there anything we can help you with?"

Wireless has been somewhat conspicuously silent of late, but then again… communications have been notoriously unreliable due to the storm too. Idly, Elisabeth wonders how much that might cut into Hana's abilities, if at all. But she doesn't pry into the question. She waits for the answer to that query before volunteering anything further to the conversation. She owes Hana more than she can possibly repay.

Hana raises a brow at Cardinal's question, then shakes her head briefly. "I don't believe so." With nothing further to say on her part, the technopath nods once to Cardinal, and once to Liz. "Watch your backs," she recommends, before resuming her motion down the street.

"Hana," Elisabeth puts a hand out to halt the technopath for just a brief moment. "You saved my life that day." Blue eyes search the dark ones of the other woman. There is no way Liz would have survived much longer. "Thank you." She's not gushing or overly emotional, but the sincerity in the soft words is clear.

At that statement, Cardinal glances back to Elisabeth — perhaps he didn't know it was Hana there that day, perhaps he'd forgotten in all the chaos surrounding that event. A flicker of gratitude as he looks back to her, adding quietly, "Thank you."

Hana pauses, looking between the other two. "Just don't get where I have to do it again," she tells the other woman, a poor facsimilie of 'you're welcome'. It has, however, somewhat of that meaning — in the implication that she would do it again.

Liz smirks faintly. "From your lips to God's ears, lady. See you around." She doesn't hold Hana up further.

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