The Dickson Pamphlet


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Scene Title The Dickson Pamphlet
Synopsis At least one resident of the Hub takes exception to Dirk's civic campaign.
Date November 17, 2011

The Hub: Dirk's "Office"

There is a little hole in the wall in the Hub that Dirk calls a room. It's not as fancy or as big as some of the others and even though he could claim something better, he never has. He's one man and there are other people in the Hub that would appreciate the spaces a bit more. His office/room is built out of the shambles of old vehicles that spill out of a room the size of a closet that was once used as a junction monitoring station. It has room enough for a small cot and a makeshift rack that holds three ratty outfits. What spills out into the hallway is what Dirk lovingly calls 'his office'.

That bit is the front seat of a car, a metal door laid on some crates to make a desk, and a filing cabinet where he keeps most of his valuable lists. He has a lot of lists. At the moment, he is hunched over some pieces of paper that is he carefully transcribing, all of them containing a crayon drawn picture of a baby and the same words. Babies, Your Civic Duty.

Word has rippled through The Hub about these pamphlets. Rippled from the people who got them slipped under their door at night to the others who were a bit luckier. Lynette has been on something of a mission to track their author down this morning. Word might have spread about that, too, since she looks… unhappy. Unhappier than usual. She's been sparking, which everyone in the Hub knows means she's barely in control of whatever emotions are running around at the moment.

And it's in this mood that Lynette comes storming (ha ha) up to Dirk's office. To interrupt his work. She slams the pamphlet on the desk and leans over it. It might be worrying.

"What the fuck is this?"

It's not hard to tell when Lynette's on the war path, even when she isn't sparking. Having spotted her friend cutting through the common area and to the corridors, Steve takes up the pursuit. She's not quite breathless when she catches up, but she did jog just a bit in those sensible pumps of hers.

Her ability is currently negated, so rather than reach to put a hand on Lynette's shoulders, Steve leans forward to rest her hands on her own knees and just breathe a moment. "You saw them too, huh?"

Dirk is taken aback, so much so that the old vehicle seat that he's currently occupying rocks backward when he jumps in surprise.

"I… uhm.. it's a pamphlet?" He squeaks. He knows he did something wrong, Lynette isn't really the first person to confront him about it, she's just the most dangerous at the moment. Mostly because sparks are literally flying and not the kind from the old sexy movies. Lynette is classier than those femme fatales and well… Dirk hasn't ever thought of her that way. She's committed and after the virus hit, he's grown a conscience when it comes to that sort of thing.

"I just want people to think about things," the man of mulletude says, his voice still meek but a bit more together. When Steve makes her approach, she's gifted with a look that almost screams help, and yet he continues. "I don't want people to go extinct, that's all."

The answer does not help. The first one, anyway. And really, it looks like some violence might unfold for a moment. But Steve's voice cuts through and Lynette straightens. "Couldn't hardly miss them," she says to the First Lady— to her friend. Her hand lifts off the desk, leaving the pamphlet there.

Her breathing is still shaky as Dirk gives a better explanation. She can understand the motivation. Later, when she's calmer. "Take me off your mailing list. I don't want to think about this. And Ruiz doesn't need to think about it, either. Christ." She's mad, that much is obvious. Although, why she can't laugh it off is anyone's guess.

"'Nette…" Steve's voice is quiet. She straightens up and flickers a look in Dirk's direction and nods. I'm here. "He's not targeting us." The First Lady steps forward so she's shoulder to shoulder with the other electrokinetic now. "We're in cramped spaces and we can't… We can't tune things out the way we used to be able to."

As much as Steve hates to admit it, Dirk is at least half-right. The human race is dying out, and it will continue to do so unless they start having babies. But Steve isn't so sure there will be any of them left to raise those babies. Not that she'd ever voice that concern out loud. She has to be the pillar of hope for these people. It's the burden she's decided to bear.

"I can't," Dirk answers the mailing list request quickly enough. "Everyone needs to think about it and if you don't want to have a baby, that's fine.. but we can't discourage people who do with doomsday talk." He straightens himself up a little and takes the pamphlet that was slapped down and adds it to a small pile.

After nodding in agreement to Steve he turns his attention back to Lynette. "This is the end of the world," he says quietly, "at least it will be if we die off because of no kids. Hell, we don't even know if we can anymore." He doesn't want that to be true, but there hasn't been a squeal of a new voice since the Hub was formed. Denisa, Mala, and the rest of the orphans just aren't enough to continue.

"I can't!" Lynette shouts the words back to him. It's the opposite of an echo, getting louder rather than softer. And it isn't something she's ever really shared with anyone. Maybe not even Ruiz. Although he and Steve are the ones most likely to be able to put it together. "I turn into electricity, Dirk. Have for a long time. Even if I stopped, it wouldn't— " Lynette cuts herself off there. She has spent plenty of time negated, after all. When she would do scavenging runs. And she and Ruiz have been together a long time. Well after it was possible to run to the drug store for some Plan B.

She reached for Steve's hand then, pushing her output to something like static shock rather than anything harmful. "I get it, okay? But I'm already doing what I can for the community, alright? So. Mailing list. Unsubscribe. Lose my address. The whole nine yards."

Steve yelps when Lynette grabs her hand, but doesn't pull away. It's not enough to harm her, just enough to surprise. She laces her fingers with her friend's and squeezes reassuringly. I get it. I hear you.

"It… can be very difficult to be asked to give something you have no capability to, Dirk." Steve's voice is almost like a whisper in the wake of Lynette's. "I… I don't have an easy answer for this one." Which can be difficult for her to admit. Steve is a problem solver. "Perhaps limit where you're posting these. Give those who are bothered a chance to avoid it, without having to avoid the entire common area." Because that's not an option.

Dirk seems extremely bothered by Lynette's words and his entire countenance shifts from defensive to ashamed. "I'm sorry Lynette, I didn't know," he utters in apology. He gathers up the rest of his pamphlets, even the unfinished ones and places them carefully into the filing cabinet. "I didn't want it to be a problem like that, I just wanted people to realize the bigger picture, the one that isn't we're busy dying to virus and snipers."

It's with careful consideration he offers his next idea. "I'll talk to K-Mart and see if he'll let me keep them there," he says before drawing in a deep sigh and releasing it. "Is that a fair compromise? I mean, they'll still be available to people who want to read them and far enough out of the way that they won't be in faces all the time."

The apology takes the wind out of Lynette's sails. She puts her free hand on her hip and looks down at her feet. "No, of course. How could you have known?" She told exactly no one, so she has to accept her own part in this situation. Belatedly. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have yelled. I know you're just trying to help."

Lynette looks over to Steve, blinking a few times before she shakes her head. "I would appreciate that." And then back to Dirk again. "Fair enough. Just— I mean. Have you thought about this? I mean, even if someone were to have a kid, is this the place to bring a kid? To have one?" Not just the Hub, either. "This is the end of the world." And maybe Lynette is one of those people who sees them as the last. And is kind of okay with it. Which is the opposite of what he wants people to be thinking.

In that way, Steve is the perfect balance between the two of them. She wants people to carry Dirk's optimism, but she shares Lynette's view on their lot in life. What's left of it. "I think that's a fine idea, Dirk. Tell K-Mart if he has any problem with it, I'd consider it a personal favor." And Steve knows how much K-Mart likes it when she owes him a favor.

Her thumb rubs over the back of Lynette's hand slowly as if to ask a little better now? "Nobody needs to know about this. It's nobody's business but yours and T— Mateo's." There's no look of warning flashed to Dirk. Steve knows he's not going to run around telling everybody why his campaign's suddenly shrunk in scale.

"I did think about it, Lynette," the delicate little man says in a quieter tone. "I've thought about it for a long time before making the pamphlets… and I'm not ready to give up on the human race yet. I'm not ready to let Vanguard win this one." He shrugs as his gaze flits between the women. It shows how truly thankful he is for Steve's support in the matter, because he gives her a little smile of gratitude, the thin lipped kind that shows no teeth and is just as grateful as it is sorry.

But right after, Dirk raises both of his hands as though Steve is pointing a gun at him, "I've never gone around talking about things that people tell me. So you don't have to worry about me saying a thing." He stands from his chair and makes his way around the table, holding a hand out as though to 'seal the deal' but then quickly reconsiders. Because of the sparks before. "I won't say anything, it's your business not anyone else's."

"It's your hope to dash, I guess," Lynette says to Dirk, anger giving way to something that is arguably worse. "Vanguard already won. They won the moment the first person died." It's all terribly dramatic and she notices a moment too late. "Sorry," she says again. She's not supposed to say things like that, she's been told. Multiple times.

She glances down to Steve's hand, then back up to her again. "It's fine. I'm fine." Yep. "Did I hurt you?" she asks, belatedly. Since there were sparks. But at the talk about keeping secrets, she looks over at Dirk. "I know you won't," she says, which is a genuine vote of confidence, at least. But she doesn't try to restart that shake.

"I didn't let you go, did I?" Steve's answer to that question is delivered with a smirk. Obviously not. There's no chastising her for having her moment of dramatics. They're all entitled every once in a while, and they aren't in the middle of the crowded common area, or in front of the children.

To Dirk, Steve asks, "Has anyone been wanting to speak with Allen or Edward?" The subject needs a change, and she doesn't care of Lynette knows.

Steve's reply is a quick shake of the head, "No one tried to get to them through me, but that doesn't mean anything. The newcomers don't really give a rats ass about protocol so they just do what they want." Both women know how much Dirk loves protocol… and red tape… "They're going to kill us with how reckless they are." Because getting Edward and Rickham in the same pile of riled up is just dangerous, according to Dirk.

"I'll send anyone that does ask to you first, you have my word on it First Lady."

Lynette leans over at Steve's answer, to press a kiss to her cheek. That's another thing she doesn't seem to care if Dirk witnesses.

"The newcomers," Lynette says, a small but crooked smile coming to her face, "don't know about the protocol. They need the lecture series." They all had to learn at some point. And if she can point Dirk at them, maybe the new people will behave themselves. "And hey, I meant what I said before. I don't like them working with the children. I don't care what Ruiz says." He is a lovely, trusting soul. She is not.

If Dirk didn't know better - and maybe he doesn't - he might think there's some truth to the rumors about the First Lady and their living generator. Steve cants her head to look at Lynette with a fond smile after she receives that kiss, bumping shoulders with her affectionately.

Then, it's back to business. "Good man. I've talked to the woman already, but… I have yet to touch base with the young man." She has enough respect not to refer to him as a boy, no matter how she might view him thus far. "Have a discussion with them. Let them know how things work around here. Tell them they can talk to me." She doesn't like the kind of access they both seem to have to Edward.

With Steve taking charge (haha), Lynette is free to lean against the other woman. Maybe she likes when Steve is all business, who knows.

But when there's a lull, she lifts her head and cuts in. "We should give them extra red tape." Because she's mean. But then she looks between the other two before she notes, "Oh god. I'm supposed to be working." Not threatening Dirk. That's not likely to be part of her job description. "Come on, First Lady," she says as she hooks her arm through Steve's, "walk me."

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