The Cold Comfort Of Faith


ash_icon.gif knox_icon.gif

Scene Title The Cold Comfort of Faith
Synopsis Knox gets in touch with Ash after his rescue and makes him an offer…
Date April 12, 2010

St.Joseph's Church

The cold comfort of faith is not much comfort at all any longer.

Pale shafts of gray light filter down at diagonal angles through shattered stained glass windows to play upon snow dusted wooden floorboards within the darkened halls of an abandoned church. This old stone structure sitting squat upon the lip of the Rookery like a blistered sore is a reminder of better times. Between the graffiti sprayed pews and broken glass strewn about the floorboards lies a tattered copy of the Bible, frosted over with a thin layer of ice.

Perched upon the back of one of the pews, feet settled on the seat and with his back to the rubble-blocked front doors, Benjamin Washington — better known as Knox — concentrates on the way that diffuse light that struggles through the thick clouds outside reflects off of the battered golden cross dangling below his hand, turning slowly on its tarnished chain that is wrapped between his gloved fingers.

Knox hasn't come here to pray, or to reconsider his choices in life, hasn't come here to reconnect on memories of his past, but instead come here to look forward to the future. Settled squarely between his feet on the seat of the bench, a single black plastic cell phone vibrates ones, a text message popping up on the glowing screen to let him know that the man he's waiting for has arrived.

Looking up towards the sound of footsteps coming from the back entrance of the church, Knox's brows furrow and he snatches the cross up from where it dangles, hiding it in the palm of a black leather glove.

Ash makes his way through the back of the church, his footsteps rather quiet on his way sneaking in. But, once he gets to the sanctuary he lets his footsteps fall harder so he doesn't surprise a certain individual. He looks down at his cellphone for a few moments before dropping it into the pocket of his wool coat. He stops just inside the door from the back, lifting his head up and his eyes settle on Knox. He offers the man a slow incline of his head, but doesn't move forwards quiet yet. "We have a rather… well connected friend don't we?" He smirks, the man's lips twisting slightly before he starts itno the church at a slow walk.

His footsteps bring him to within a few pews of Knox before he stops, and takes a slow look around, turning on his feet, shoes scuffing on the floor as he does so. "A shame. I was never a churchgoer, but… still a fucking shame to see a beautiful place like this fucked up as it is…" His head turns and his eyes settle upon Knox again. "How yah been… Knox wasn't it? If memory serves from the lock up…"

"I went into Moab on reconnaissance." It's a blunt greeting to Ash's arrival, and Knox is lifting one hand to tuck something inside his jacket, dark eyes downcast as he speaks. "Back in the day, I used'ta roll with PARIAH, made a lot've good friends in that house. One of them wound up getting her skinny white ass stuck up in Moab, so's I took it upon myself to get my own ass arrested so's I could go in an' tell her that everything was gonna' be alright, and that rescue was on the way."

Resting his gloved hands together, fingers laced, Knox dips his head down into a slow nod and breathes in deeply. "Them kids from Phoenix are the ones that did that whole god damned attack. From the jet that flew by and bombed the guard towers to the whole commando-style raid. Just fucking kids, you know?" One dark brow lifts up and Knox leans back where he sits, looking at Knox better.

"They ain't got the fight in them anymore after that, after some shit that went down over the winter that I ain't even got a clue about. But that's okay, you know, every old soldier retires eventually, but the war ain't never gonna' stop." There's a crooked smile on Knox's lips as he assesses Ash. "You ever 'round this city when a cat named Norman White was walkin' round?"

Ash nods his head a little bit, listening to the man speak. He walks a bit closer before he sinks down into the pew in front of the man, turning to stretch his legs out along the bench, not relaxed, but taking on the appearance. "You were PARIAH? I was… trying to … resurrect the group so to speak a little while back. Had some interest in it too before things got too hot when I attacked a Humanis First member to send a message. Had a few folks interested in what I was doing, but none enough to led thier support besides information and such, they wanted to see me do more." THe rest of the story, about why he was in Moab is greeted with a few slow blinks. "I"m not sure I could have done that, taken myself into a fucking place like that for someone else… at least… not back then. Now? Depending on the person I might be able to…"

He shifts on the pew, feet on the floor, and he pushes to his feet before turning around and letting his eyes settle on Knox. "that shit doesn't work… at least, it's not supposed to… specially not from fucking kids…" He sighs some, his eyes focusing on the floor. "But yeah, I know a bit about Phoenix, but only a little." He nods his head, very slowly to the mention of Norman White. "He tried to recruit me actually. But at that time, I wasn't willing to risk myself for other shit and I turned him down. Kept to myself. It was… work I did with Adam Monroe that opened my eyes to the shit I could help with and make a difference."

"Ain't never heard of him," Knox admits of Adam, watching Ash's shifting position before settling his eyes back down on the pew between his feet. "When I got out've— whatever happened at Moab," his eyes go distant at the memory of the temporal distortion, brows furrowed and head shaking, "I ah…" there's a tight swallow, "I got picked up by Rebel. He helped me elude government fuckers who were lookin' for me, hooked me up with the tin-man and made us do a loop lookin' for some other people 'round the country. One've 'em happened to be this broad named Sparrow Redhouse. Ain't never found her, but I hear she's kicking in the city these days."

Leaning back in his seat, Knox slants a crooked look up at Ash. "When I got back to the city, I hooked up with Phoenix again, and got sent in to infiltrate Norman's gang, see what they were about. I met a few people there, one've 'em you've met before— that sparkly kid, Kris?" There's a crack of a smile. "I also met this other guy, he was at all of Norman's rallies, but not really a part of his cult thing. He took me aside one day, gave me a talk, and told me that one of the original three leaders of PARIAH were still alive…"

That said, Knox shifts forward and climbs down off of the pew, pacing out into the aisle between them and turning back around, gloved hands tucking into the pockets of his leather jacket, mouth tipped down beneath the trim of his brick red scarf. "How I ended up here, where I am now, doing what I do. We want you to work with us, with MESSIAH, but right now things ain't good. There's a lot of government heat, and the big boss ain't sticking his neck out to meet new recruits, not until some of it blows over. But… he wanted me to give you this."

Reaching inside of his jacket, Knox removes a folded piece of red cloth from inside, unwinding it and holding it out towards Ash, draped over one hand. The tattered lengths of a bright red scarf look old, but warm and cottony. "It's sort've like a badge, or maybe a gang color. All of us in Messiah wear it, and if you take it from me, it means you're in and you wanna' find out what we're about."

Ash shrugs his shoulders to the mention of not knowing Adam, his eyes on Knox as the man speaks. "Adam helped found the Company. They betrayed him, and I helped him get his petty revenge. Offed … 3 of the founders before I parted ways with his group. He's an immortal, heals like a mother fucker. Watched him walk through a fucking inferno without any problems. Came out naked, but came out without a mark on him."

"Yeah, I know. I was in the max security area. Killed a couple of guards in an escape attempt and got thrown in there. Fell asleep, next thing I knew I was waking up in the middle of a fucking farm field." He blinks a bit at the mention of Sparrow a little smile crossing his lips. "Iv'e seen her, twice. Once during the fightout between the police and the Triad. Was in the middle of it going after this sick fuck torturer. Then again a little later at the Nite Owl."

The talk of where he met Kris, and how he learned of the PARIAH leaders survival earns a limitedly arched eyebrow, but no real look of surprise from him. "People tend to have a knack for surviving shit in this city that they shouldn't." He watches Knox, not with the wariness that he'd watch someone he thinks is going to attack him, or even /might/ attack him. "Want me to work with you guys…" he comments softly, his voice trailing off as he thinks that over. "I'm a soldier Knox, or at least, that's what I've become. I'm not a leader, and I need a cause.

Ash tilts his head to look down upon the scarf, eyes watching it for a long few moments. "Just tell me simply. If I take this, I'll be helping our kind right? And I'll get the chance to kill some of these fucks that hunt us like we're animals?" He lifts his head up, thought deep in his eyes when his gaze settles on Knox again, waiting for the man's answer, though the desire to belong to something bigger, to help make things better burns in the depths of his eyes.

At times Knox's intelligence belies his seemingly thuggish appearance, and while conversation of Adam Monroe seems to wash off of him like a stone, a great wealth of that information is tucked away for later consultation with Rebel. The more important thing in this conversation, is assuaging Ash's concerns — that's what the boss said, anyway, and what the boss says goes.

"Damn straight, Ash. There's a war coming, us versus them, and there ain't enough people on our side to balance the scales out. We're the people who'll be there, ready on day 1 to fight on the front lines. They're already tryin' to do things quietly, I mean— look at this virus, look at the way they're putting together "shelters" on this fuckin' island and out on Roosevelt. This ain't the time to fight yet, but it's the time to muster up an army and get ready. Both sides are drawin' their lines, Ash, and one day there's gonna' be tanks in the streets and blood in the gutters."

The scarf is handed out again, the long and ratty ends drifting lazily from side to side in the freezing breeze that cuts through the church. "Question is, you gonna' be on the front lines, or you gonna be on the side lines?"

Ash crosses his arms over his broad chest, the man's eyes latched onto the dark skinned individual in front of him. The fingersw of his left hand tap on his right forarm as he listens and thinks, his eyes locked rather acutely upon the man. When he offers forwards the scarf again Ash looks down at it, then nods hsi head. He reache sout for the thing, and pulls it to him. It's lifted up, and looked at before he folds it up carefully and tucks it into his pants pocket.

"I've noticed what they've been doing since I got back to this fucking city. They hunt us down like dogs, they take us captive, they treat us like animals, experimenting on us… torturing us…" He shakes his head, his jaw clenched. "I'm already on the front line Knox. The problem is, a soldier needs allies. Can't fight alone." He pats his pocket where he put the scarf. "And now I have those allies." His voice is very deadly serious when he says it. "When you need me Knox, you know how to find me. And if I need you, do I have the ability to call upon you guys as well?" he arches an eyebrow at the man, his lips pressed into a thin line. "I'm aching to deal some damage back, but I can hold until the time is right if need be."

There's a slow nod from Knox, a smile when that scarf is taken and a look of approval spread across his face. "You keep that phone of yours close. Rebel keeps tabs on you wherever you go, sometimes he might have some advice for you, sometimes he might have orders down from the boss. If shit goes down you can try and call for help, but I can't guarantee any of us will be able to make it out to you in time, depending on where you are and how much hot shit you got yourself in. But unless you go and get your ass killed, we'll do our best to watch out for our own. Just— try not to do anything high profile yet, we ain't got the resources to bear the brunt of the government's fist just yet. Not with the weather like this."

Glancing over his shoulder to the back door, Knox considers something silently, then takes a look back to Ash. "But now, you get your first assignment." With those words, there's a beep from Ash's cell phone and a vibration in the pocket it's kept in. Cracking a smile, Knox nods his head and walks back over to the pew he'd been sitting at earlier, leaning over to take his own phone up and tuck it into his jacket pocket.

"Rebel's gonna' have you work with a couple of us, knock over a mobile vaccination clinic. We need to be inoculated against the H5N10 virus, because without our powers…" there's a shake of Knox's head. "Details are on your mobile."

Ash is a good listener, and he proves it now by staying silent as Knox speaks, all the way up until the man looks towards the door, then back to him. "I wouldn't be calling retroactively Knox. If I get into a situation I can't handle I'm not going to ask others to come endanger thier fucking hides for me. But, if I need help and I ask for it before the operation or whatever, it will be nice to know that I'll have people that will consider helping me."

Ash's neck cranes, hsi head tilting downwards to peer at his pocket. "Rebel?" He asks curiously of Knox as his hand fishes his cell phone out of his pocket to take a look at the screen. A laugh, not loud, but full of amusement is heard from him. "Well… I'll be damned. Wanna know what's fucking funny? I was already planning on going after some vaccine. Our people are suffering and the government uses it as a fucking leverl to try to get us to register? Fuck them." He looks at the cellphone, checking the text message. "Rebel heard me didn't he? Investigating and asking around about the vaccine and shit…?" He huhs softly, the man's head shaking as he tucks the cellphone back into his pocket.

Knox cracks a smile and nods his head. "He's our big brother," the wiry man notes with a toothy smile, "never know when that phone mic is going to be on or when he's staring out of the camera lens. But that's how he keeps us all safe from the government and the Company. You're the right man for the job, Ash. I'm on my way to go talk to a lady about a thing, but that might end up blowing back your way so keep an eye out for a new recruit who might be workin' with you on this errand." There's a kick of Knox's brows up into the air and a flash of a smile.

"You'n Claire are probably going to lead the raid on the supplies with the tin man, I figure. But I'm going to see if I can't get you one more to help handle crowd control if I can. You need anything else before I take off, big man?"

"I never had any siblings… sounds like a might nice thing to have a big brother. And God knows he kept me out of hot fucking water with those fuckers in white when you guys saved my ass. I was taking a bunch with me, but those fuckers would have gotten me,a nd I'd be sitting in some fucking lab somewhere being disected or worse." He grimaces, his head shaking, though he stills it when the man continues the conversation.

"Well, I'll keep my eyes out then. I've got a few people I need to get back into contact with. A man named Cardinal who I spoke to awhile back, was interested in what I was doing, and a guy named… Sylar? I think that was his name. He came to me as well. Having contacts and resources, and friends is always a good thing." His hands stuff into the pockets of his thick wool coat. "Claire huh? Little super hero girl huh? She seemed solid enough." Then he pauses and tilts his head curiously to the side. "Tin man? Who's the tin man?" He shakes his head to the question of whether he needs anything, just an answer to that question it seems.

"Stay clear of Sylar, guy's bad news. Runs with a crew called the Remnant, all ex-military ex-terrorist types, and not the blow up cop car type terrorists but the destroy humanity types. I dunno if they're reformed or a splinter cell or what, but they're dangerous. They ain't been against us yet, but the last thing I wanna' do is fuck about with them if I don't have to. Far as the tin man goes… you ain't gonna believe me if I tell you anyway, so I'll just let him handle introductions himself."

Cracking a smile, Knox shifts his weight to one foot and lifts a hand, curling fingers into a fist that he keeps up for a moment before beginning to walk backwards towards the rear doors of the church.

"Fortis Est Veritas," Knox states firmly, the mantra of Messiah on his way out the back door, leaving Ash amidst the cold comfort of the crumbling church.

"Truth is strength."

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