Something To Discuss


kendall_icon.gif ling_icon.gif melissa_icon.gif

Scene Title Something To Discuss
Synopsis Kendall, Ling, and Melissa collide for the first time together since the teenager ran away, and are left with just that after Kendall expresses an unexpected interest.
Date August 7, 2010

Little Green House

It wasn't often that Ling found herself outside of the Little Green House, even if today was cooler than it had been lately. To her, a good afternoon was better spent reading in the living room, be it a book or the paper, than standing outside, sweating under an oppressive sun. But bad habits drive people to do things they wouldn't normally prefer to do, and this is no different.

On the back patio, Ling sits, eyes adorned with sunglasses, a wide brimmed hat on her head and an ice tea in one hand, cigarette in the other. The paper sits next her, folded up on a stool as she stares out into the yard, quiet and contemplative. She had been like this several times in the last few days, driven outside to smoke by nervousness of coming events, and by her inability to properly get around due to her injured leg.

Maybe it's because of recent events, but Kendall has been spending less time cooped up in his room and more time out of the house, and as with what happens every time one leaves a house, one must, er…. return. Kendall had gone out for who knows what, and like he always does, he comes around to the back of the house, since the front door is kinda intimidating. His path is halted, though, when he catches sight of Ling. Erp!

Ling is enraptured enough in her smoke - enough so that an observant individual may notice tendrils of smoke emanating from her fingers and hand mingling with that generated from the cigarette - that she only notices Kendall after he has noticed her. Eyes settle on him quickly, like a predator that has just spotted prey, narrowed behind the darkened lenses of her glasses. A sip of tea is had, and then set to the side so that her now free hand can raise up and lower her shades part her eyes, giving Kendall a well enough view once he approaches.

"So, I see you've returned," the Chinese woman intones flatly, staring at Kendall.

Kendall takes a step backwards when she gets all looming and threatening from where she's sitting. "Ahh, I-I was just leaving, don't mind me…" he stammers, and turns around, prepared to run away.

Ling's eyes roll, bringing the cigarette briefly to her lips. "I believe Melissa would be quite upset if you ran off again so readily," she replies, taking Kendall's statement possibly to mean more than met. Another moment passes before she ashes into the tray next to her. "Sit."

Kendall appears vaguely terrified. Really, he just went through all of this with Melissa, and now it's with someone he barely knows and is convinced doesn't like him? Scary! "Ah…" sit? Sit where? The ground? He glances down, decides it's too dirty, and just fidgets in place instead.

Looking next to her, Ling motions at the stool, even reaching over to remove her paper and place it in her lap. A motion is given with her hand to the stool, indicating for him to take his seat. There is a hint of a smile on her face, but largely she remains quiet.
She wants him to sit next to her? …maybe she's not actually that scary. With apprehension, Kendall goes up onto the porch and sits on the stool as indicated, although it's clear that he's certainly tense about something. Gee, wonder what it could be? "A-ah…. nice day, huh? Pity it's so… uh, hot and all."

There's a glance over to Kendall - the height of the stool actually makes him a little taller than the Chinese woman. She takes a long drag of her cigarette, and exhales away from the boy - she imagines second hand smoke cancer is on the list of things Melissa wants to protect Kendall from. She, however, is not going to mince words on the impending discussion. "I trust Melissa has talked to you." It's not a question, but a statement - as in, she better damn have. That, or taken measure to be sure that Kendall wouldn't remember.

"Y-yeah." Kendall replies, shifting on the stool. "Uh, well….." he trails off, not quite knowing what to say. "She said a lot." maybe he was supposed to be yelled at?

"A lot?" Ling inquires, making no attempt to hide her suspicion. "Tell me," she instructs rather coldly, taking a sip of her iced tea. "This is important, Kendall. I would recommend you don't skimp."
"Well, uh…. she yelled at me for leaving, threatened to kick my ass" which is actually pretty common for a Kendall/Melissa conversation, "…and told me about some place named Moab or something and tried to legitimize torture and murder." ok, so Kendall's still slightly hung up on things like that. "Also, why the government sucks."

"Mm," Ling responds quietly, giving a short shake of her head. "Then it sounds like she told you what matters." The business woman's fingers raise into a steeple in front of her, staring ahead. "Then I trust you realise you have nothing to fear from us, correct?" Eyes loom over to Kendall, still narrowed. "However, if you ever so something again, I will break my promise to Melissa."
"W-what promise?" Kendall asks nervously. "It's not one of those 'if I tell you I have to kill you' sort of things, is it?" well not quite, because Kendall already knows, pretty much.

"I have promised Melissa that I would do nothing to corrupt, scare, or harm you," Ling states succinctly. "It seems the former in unavoidable. But if you ever jeopardise// our efforts like that again… while I will never harm you, Kendall, there will be consequences. So, consider carefully before you pull another stunt like that." She doesn't mean to scare Kendall, simply to make sure he knows where he stands.

You're not trying to scare him? Too late. He was already pretty scared as soon as he saw her, and now she's kinda threatening him! Kendall gulps. "I… I didn't mean to….. I got in and stayed quiet, you didn't even know I was there, I…" well it's true, he did sneak in literally right below their noses.

Ling Chao is a woman of clear Chinese descent. She stands at just under six feet. Noted for her immaculate, seemingly flawless skin, deep black eyes, and black hair that comes down to her shoulders. Of athletic build and pale complexion, she takes the utmost pride in her appearance.

Typically, Ling dresses in fairly formal looking attire, often consisting of long dresses, almost exclusively black in colour. Even her "casual" wear consists of long, sleek black pants as well as a matching button up shirt. Makeup helps aid in her lawless appearance, and she rarely wears any jewelry, only occasionally donning a silver necklace and a pair of silver earrings

Ling sighs, rolling her eyes as she puts out the remains o her cigarette - though the smoke around her lingers. "I know," Ling replies, and a bit of a smirk crosses on her face. "That much I will admit was impressive. But I am not trying to make you feel uneasy. Merely impress upon how careful you must tread." Sometimes, it is just too hard to get "kids" to understand, and perhaps Kendall was lucky he had Melissa as a protector. "It's a shame you are not older, more in tune with your surroundings, Kendall. Your ability would be useful, both to people in and out o our… particular situation."

"What, you mean…. terrorism?" Kendall seems to shrink a little. "I don't want to kill anyone." on the other hand, it was kinda fun to be invisible.

Ling chuckles. "In life," she simplifies, shaking her head. "I have nothing to say on you and the efforts of… 'terrorism'." The Chinese woman sits up a bit in her chair, a flourish of her hand out in front of her. "I believe in using you ability to augment your natural talents, Kendall. One such as mine has been quite useful in my line of work." She won't directly tell him to do what he wants, even if it's breaking the law, but it's implicit enough.

A moment later, her whole head turns to face Kendall, sunglasses pulled off her face. "But before you call what we do terrorism, consider that what we fight against has ensured that I will never get to do what I love. That someone working for them helped spread the most notorious drug in years through the city." Well, that was more her, but… "That they put me in a box, where I would likely still be if not for Melissa and her friends."

"A… box?" Kendall blinks at Ling. "What, did they ship you to Timbucktoo or something?" a very very weak attempt at a joke. "And…. so what, you're actually heroes, and they're actually the bad guys?"

"A box, so I could be studied, if what I've heard is correct." Ling furrows her brow, looking forward again. "Absolutely." Her response come with confidence and conviction. "Make no mistake, Kendall. I am not what most people would consider a good person. But what I've seen tells me that I am far better than what we fight."

Kendall mulls things over for a bit. "But in the end, you still kill people. You can't do what you do without that?" he asks her with a sigh. "I mean, killing is…. extreme."

"I don't disagree with you," Ling notes, taking a sip of her iced tea. "I have only ever directly killed one man, and I assure you, he deserved it." Her hat is adjusted, sunglasses replaced. "But sometimes, you must do what you have to. It is a lesson well learn early in life."

It's just like mom type figures to walk in on and spoil interesting conversations. And look! Here comes one now! Melissa pokes her head out the back door, frowning a little as she looks between Kendall and Ling. "Hey guys," she says, before stepping outside and letting the door close behind her. "What's goin' on?"

Kendall leaps to his feet when the door opens, and he stares at Melissa for a second. "Ah…. hi." he shifts his feet, looking from her to Ling. Uh oh, now he's outnumbered! "Uh, I…. guess so." he adds to Ling, shoving his hands in his pockets.

"Hello, Melissa," Ling replies simply. She doesn't turn to look, instead raising a hand and motioning for her to join them. "I was simply talking to Kendall." Which, to Melissa, might be a rather ominous statement. "There is some tea in the refrigerator, if you would like to join us."

Leaping to feet? That has Melissa frowning a little more. "I'm fine. And you guys never talk. You…argue." But she does head over to join them rather than heading back inside. She sits down, stretching her legs out, and studies Kendall's face. "You okay?"

"Uh, well, she hasn't killed me yet?" Kendall replies timidly. "She was just telling me how she was locked in a box and stuff." oh, so they're talking about that. "Among other things."

Ling can't hide a bit of a glare at Kendall, an unhappy look on her face before she sits up, looking over at Melissa. "I was merely making sure you had taken the appropriate measures after the… incident," Ling replies with just a hint of a condescending tone to her voice. "As well as informing him why it was important he never attempt something lie that again."

Eyes narrow and Melissa glances at Ling, not looking very happy with the other woman. "So rather than asking me, someone who can handle it, you bring up a topic like this with a kid?" she asks flatly. "He just came home, I'd rather he not get scared off again, Ling. Once was enough to give me gray hairs." Uh oh, she really has gone into mom mode. She sighs and lets her head fall back, eyes closing, a hand moving through her hair in a nervous gesture. "I spoke with him already. I said all I felt should be said." And though it remains unsaid, it's clear she doesn't think Ling should've broached this topic with Kendall.

There's a long pause, then eyes open so she can look back at Kendall. "You're not gonna run again, are you? I meant everything I said before. No one," there's a quick glance to Ling, "from my group will hurt you. Because if any of them did, I would make them most seriously regret it."

Kendall flinches away from the glare from Ling, but it's Melissa's last words that make him the most uneasy. "You'd…. you're okay with using your power like that? Against friends?"

Ling's gaze moves back ahead. Her glass is set aside, hands laid in her lap."I did not seek to harm the boy, Melissa. If anything, I assured him the opposite. It is not hard to see the apprehension on his face when her approaches me." She lets out a long sigh, straightening her hat. "I felt it was best to address what I could directly. I did not tell him anything it sounded you had not - I made sure of that first." Why she's explaining herself, she doesn't know. "And I merely answered a question of his."

"Kendall, if they'd hurt you, then they aren't friends," Melissa says, shaking her head. "My friends know that you're mine, hon. We may not be blood, but we're family. And there is nothing I wouldn't do to keep you safe. And the people who care about me know that. So no, I wouldn't use my power like that against friends."

She glances to Ling, silent for a moment, then she nods. "Okay…okay, sorry. I just…touchy subject. Because I know I fucked up," she admits with a sigh. "And it's not just you he's scared of anymore," she says, sounding sad and looking back at Kendall. "Go ahead then. Ask your questions. Can't promise we'll answer, but we can see."

Kendall looks from one to the other, and his unease seems to grow, not diminish. "Any question I have?" he asks, his voice quiet. "Even if it's to ask who else living here is part of your group?" he nods towards the house. "It was kinda suspicious that you got a whole bunch of roommates at once." Kendall does have his sharp moments.

"I am not here because I am a member of any group," Ling is quick to correct, shifting in her seat so that her injured leg is more comfortable. "I am here because Melissa, with others, were kind enough to help me out of my box." Not something Ling likes admitting 0 it implies reliance and weakness, but it is said both Kendall and Melissa's benefit. "My membership in any… group is a secondary factor."

That prompts a faint smile. "Not everyone, Kendall. Besides, I invited the people who live here to live here without worrying about group politics." Melissa glances at Ling, at the cast, then she casts out with her ability to remove any pain she's feeling. "Faron, for example, had no place else to go, so I offered him this place. Same for Tony."

She looks back to Kendall. "But I can't out anyone else in the group, hon. Not right now. But any other questions, I'll try to answer."

"Well, are they all… dangerous? Like, does everyone kill people and stuff? Or is it just a few, like the X-men?" after all, the X-Men have a group of people who are the 'fighters' and a group of people who are 'support' who still get combat training but are kept out of the fire. Perhaps Kendall is trying to come up with a good geek analogy.

Ling furrows a brow at Kendall, as he has just ventured into a topic she is unfamiliar with. "As I told you earlier, Kendall. I do not make a habit of killing people, and I'm confident there are several who live regular lives, find other ways to contribute." The answer is so frank because it's largely made up on the spot - Ling doesn't begin to know much about the other members of Messiah, and instead seeks to placate Kendall.

There's a faint wince, then Melissa shakes her head. "No, we're not all killers," she says softly. "There are some who gather information. Some who plan tactics. Some who shield the rest of us. There's a lot of different jobs needing to be filled, and not all of them involve…violence. It's just like any other…well, okay, not really any other groups quite like this one. Think of it as a…hmm. An army, I guess. You have the generals who lead from the side lines, or the communications people. The trainers. There has to be a variety, you know?"

"So… basically, you could use people with my power then?" Kendall asks, cutting right to the chase and giving Melissa a bitter smile. "You've both mentioned how awesome I was, in varying degrees."

Even beneath her sunglasses, it's not hard to catch the widening of Ling's eyes. She remains silent, simply sitting up and directing her gaze towards Melissa - this certainly wasn't how she had expected this conversation to go, nor her intention. The grin she wanted to show, however, would show how pleased she is with the outcome.

Ling may want to grin, but Melissa wants to frown. And, well, she does. "I…are you asking to join the group, Kendall? Even after seeing what you did in that shop?" she asks slowly, pulling out her phone and starting to tap on it.

"Well I'm already involved, right? I mean, I know about it, and even knowing that much puts me at risk." Kendall points out. "If anyone ever comes after you, they might decide that I'm a good way to do that, and it's better that I know more and can handle things myself than to deliberately keep me in the dark." Kendall is speaking so logically.

The expressed interest in what they do is one thing. But seeing Melissa's frown, and thinking more on it, Ling lets out a sigh. "I believe I will leave this to you, Melissa." A look over to Kendall, , sunglasses lowered again. "But I believe you had certain goals, and Kendall is… young. Perhaps too much so." It's not her call, but it is her input.

That has Melissa going quiet, staring at her phone for a long moment, before it's lowered and she looks over to Kendall. "I'll…think about it. I'm not the one in charge, so I gotta talk to the one who is, see what they think. Sometimes knowing more is more dangerous than knowing less. First instinct though, I don't like it. I'm supposed to protect you, not put you in more danger."

"I'm already in danger for existing." Kendall points out, then frowns at Ling. "I'm not a kid!" technically, he is, but that's beside the point.

"I think an interest in what we do, an understanding, is important, Kendall." Ling begins awkwardly shifting in her seat, slowly rising back upright. "But I'm not so sure active involvement is a wise idea." Her paper and glass are scooped up, the Chinese woman turning to the door inside. "It is something to discuss."

"Ling's right," Melissa murmurs thoughtfully, nodding. "But like I said, I'll think about it, and talk to the people in charge. For right now though…Don't mention this to anyone but me and Ling, okay?"
Kendall rolls his eyes. "Of course I won't. That'd be like telling Batman's identity to the Joker." and yes, Kendall is referencing comics, but Mels, being a movie nut, will more than likely think of Dark Knight.

Ling furrows her brow again - the exact reference eludes her, but the point is obvious enough. "Good, Kendall. You are starting to understand, I believe." Arms across her midsection, turning back to the door. "I will leave you two to discuss anything you wish, unless I am needed."

"I need to head in, deal with some stuff myself, but…Kendall? I want you to be careful here on Staten. Very careful, okay? Consider, for right now, this house to be the only safe place on the island," Melissa says, giving Kendall a Very Serious look.

"Don't worry, I won't leave my room." Kendall replies, eying Melissa. She should know all too well how truthful THAT statement is.

"One of these days I'm going to teach you the joys of getting out and being around people," Melissa says, shaking her head and moving to the back door, and inside.

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