The Human Aspects


elvis_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title The Human Aspects
Synopsis Two angry kids start to fight about torture, HomeSec, and the missing healer, before they learn to all get along~
Date February 25, 2009

The Garden

The kitchen is a goodly size, with plenty of counter space. The walls have been painted a sunny yellow, in an attempt to add warmth and energy. The main appliances are older than the minor ones, which look brand-new. The place is clean, with new vinyl on the floor and a simple wood table with four chairs. The small window over the sink has a decent view of part of the yard.

Most people were scared of the island these days, but not Elvis. It still felt like home, so searching for Teo was hardly a concern. She'd stopped by bootstraps earlier, hidden Roger there and gotten the oil in her triumph changed. It wasnt really that difficult it turns out, because the first place she checks is easily the most familar. The Garden.

Quietly she eases her Speed Triple into its old spot, and slips through the brush round back. Transitioning at some point from helmet to cigarette and a little balaclava thing she used to keep her ears warm. She pops in the backdoor with a key, which'd been left in the same place as it had before. Assuming a tertiary glance doesnt produce Teo standing directly in the kitchen, she calls out. Lifting her cigarette only long enough to call out "Teo you rat bastard, are you here?"

A beat's pause.

"'Rat bastard?'" Teo's voice emanates from upstairs, through a door and down the stairs. After a moment, there's an ungainly thump-a-thud of feet making its way across hard wood floors. He ducks his head below the level of the ceiling and into view. There is an ink stain on his fingers where he broke a pen, writing notes for the bird and bicycle couriers earlier today and an impression of fatigue shadowing his face underneath his eyes, but he looks otherwise clean, healthy, and courteous as an angry kid from Sicily with half his friends kidnapped ought to be. Enough of a state to fight.

Well. Not to fight someone with Elvis using his hands and expect to win, mind you, but there's other kinds of fighting. "Si. I am. How are you, Elvis? I'm glad it looks like you've recovered."

She wasnt a walking skeleton, but she was still clearly thinner than she had been and her skin seemed if barely a tone above parchment but she was alive. "I'm alive."is all she cares to offer, and while Elvis seemed to lack that pout and angry glare she might typically feature she was far from pleased still. "When are we getting my friend out of jail, and when are we going to hurt the feds for fucking us over. Do you have a hit list yet?"Down to business indeed.
She set her helmet on the counter, and slumped into a bar stool in an attempt to hide just how fatigued she already was. "I'm ready to start fighting." She seemed every bit as cool as she had once been angry, her rage now condensed into a slowly simmering hatred for not just law enforcement but government as a whole.

"I think we'll be ready to go next month," Teo answers. He walks — falls, sort of — down the stairs, taking them two by two, rubber soles bouncing across wood. He's clad in a tatty sweater. Maybe two, it's hard to tell: his wrists look thinner than the girth of his arms otherwise ought to have implied. "A lot of help has come out of the woodwork and some intel on where the fuck our people are 's finally come up. We'll have to figure shit out, put everything together, but…

"We can probably do it in a month." Not the most awe-inspiring speech, but it's what he can manage. He winds up automatically undertaking a coffee-making procedure. Water on to boil, at least. While normally Elvis' arrival into a kitchen means beer, she doesn't look like she needs to drink depressants right now. "I'm not sure it's going to be a hit list so much as… one place. One main place. Brian was separated from the other two, but we have a bead on where Hel and Alexander are."

Elvis shakes her head softly "We need a list Teo, your not in this like I am. I grew up in this, trust me we need a list. You cant let somone hit you, without making them pay. We need to make them bleed, or they're going to do this again."She puffs, letting her head sort've hinge foreward to blow smoke down the front of her jacket.

"So quit being such a fucking pussy, and fucking give me a mother fucking list of the god damned mother fuckers who fucking fucked our shit to hell."She almost groans as she lifts her gaze oncemore, giving Teo a careful study. "We need to find their wives and children, and I'm gonna do it messy and slow. They dont deserve anything but what I give them, and if your too much of a pussy to agree then you need to go the fuck home."

This makes Teo stop and stare for awhile, over the length of his shoulder, while his hands manage to steer around setting water to boil, somehow without spilling or breaking anything. He's done this often enough. "You once nearly ripped my head off for the faintest implication that Phoenix might use explosives to kill people because it was too impersonal and indirect. Torturing and ripping apart wives, husbands, or children strikes you as a morally superior idea because…

"Oh," he lapses into a momentary silence, his mouth flattened into an expression halfway between a frown and a grimace. "That's right. It doesn't.

"What the fuck, Elvis? If you want cutting families up to send a message to HomeSec that they can actually understand, then you're going to have to put Phoenix's signature on it, which is going to tell them — among other things — that we're out of our fucking minds, and terrorists. That's the dumbest fucking idea I've heard for awhile. Do you need some pot? I know a guy." Remarkably, Teo looks annoyed. Sounds it, too, a harsh, susurrating undertone to his voice like a fire in a room behind a wall, difficult to tell whether a backdraft awaits or whether the conflagration might merely consume itself.

Crack goes her hand on the table, as she slams a pair of brass knuckles on the counter. "Shut the fuck up you fucking pussy fucker. You dont have any fucking clue what the fuck your doing, you think they understand any message but violence? It aint moral, it ain't superior its fucking fair. Someone fucks with you, you fuck with them ten times harder. You got to play nice, and cuddle up to those fucking fucks and look where we are now Teo."

She leans in a little, those eyes suddenly reclaiming just a touch of their former intensity. "Your a fucking waste of a man Teo, you fucking left me to die, got the best friend still living in jail and Conrad is fucking dead. Who close to you got hurt Teo, these fucks took my mother and my father and my friends from me. You can walk away you god damned fucking jackass, this isnt a struggle its a fucking war for some of us. If your afraid of spilling blood, why dont I just fucking end you right the fuck here and now?"

"I care about spilling the blood of the right people. There's all fucking kinds of violence. Egging their windows would have as much effect. If I find you a list, they'll move their fucking families and God knows what the fuck they'll do to my best friend. I didn't leave you to fucking die, I don't want you to fucking die, so stop being a fucking idiot.

"You look like you're about to die," Teo adds, neither unrelated nor entirely sequitur. His brow finds a bold knit of annoyance. He turns, his hip sliding against the edge of the counter. Gripping the tiles, he pushes himself up between his shoulders, seats himself with heels dangling like a kid perched on the dock. "Also, he adds, distinctly irritable, "I didn't cuddle up to fucking Homeland Security. Not that that fucking matters." He glances at the cheery light of the coffeemaker. And back at the woman again.

For a moment her blood boils, you can almost hear the adrenaline surge oncemore before she just goes dim again. Her shoulders slumping, as her jaw falls open in a gasping breath of two. "Fuck"is all she cares to retort, and for the moment at least she seems satisfied with Teo's argument. "I lost like thirty pounds, the Doctor Cat found told me my kidneys went into shut down because I was starving to death."She frowns, working over her cigarette as if it was going to make it all better. "I had to fight some dude this morning, I can usually bounce back and I'm ok but right now."She peers up at Teo around her short cropped bangs, almost ashamed. "I think, I really need Abby for this."

The edge of Teo's thumb drags his forehead and he sighs. Mostly at himself, though to be absolutely fair and somewhat less egocentric than his self-loathing generally allows him to be, the situation is probably worse than he is. "Abby isn't around right now. Some asshole sociopath with a busload of dangerous — probably Evolved… henchmen has her. A lot of people are working on getting her back.

"'M sorry you're not feeling well." And that he got mad just now, but that seems like a slightly retarded thing to apologize for, so he manages to restrain himself somehow. The corners of his mouth turn down. He rubs the heel of his hand down his jaw, is rewarded by a rasp of bristly facial hair against the roughness of his skin, thoughtfully.

"There's another guy who might be able to help you. SCOUT captain's little brother. But he doesn't mind fucking around behind the Linderman Act's back, among other things. He was the one who kept me alive after I got shot the other month."

Elvis narrows her gaze immediately, Abby is being held against her will."She's my sister Teo, I promised her I'd be there for her. Who is this guy, and where is she being held?"she's all soft tones now, now that she's afraid Teo wont actually volunteer the information. "Abby comes first, she's more important than I am."

"I don't know yet. She was moved." Teo glances up at the girl, his gaze flattening, sharpening, and dulling again. Elvis is right. "She comes before a lot of things, Elvis. Even Deckard thinks so. I told him about Abby, so he went to look for her — at the Happy Dagger. You've probably heard of it.

"Whorehouse in the Rookery?" And known, at least locally, for having Evolved muscle and a way with very, very effectively reciprocating violent attacks — with a lot of interest. "Somebody cut out his eye. Left him to fucking die, I heard. I haven't talked to him yet. It's…" he squeezes a hard blink of eyes out of his face, trying to get his retinas to feel like they aren't made of parchment. "You could talk to him. I'd appreciate that.

"He's holed up with the Ferry, safehouse on the corner of Connaught."

Splendid, just splendid. Abby was gone, and there didn't seem to be much she could do about it at the moment. If she was in better shape, well she'd likely just saunter in there and start killing folks. She is far from a kamikaze however, so for now she tries to think with her ears not with her fists. "I need to see him then, we're both pretty fucked it seems."

She felt like a fucking chump, evidenced by the tightening of her jaw"I have some wheels I can give you, A guy Bootstrap built a bike for couldn't pay so he mysteriously fell down some stairs and suffered multiple facial fractures and might be losing his jaw. He was gonna torch the bike, sorta old customary biker shit but if you want it she's yours. Its not really anything special, pretty realistic."

It's crap. Sitting here. Waiting. Teo sympathizes, sort of. At least he gets to write mail that people pretend to be interested in reading; that's almost like being active. Almost. In the meantime, the others are having showdowns with Agent Carmichael, collating hard data, getting their eyeballs cut out for the sake of love or loyalty, and rehabilitating serial killers for tactical use. He doesn't know what to say, so he winds up scraping his hand and making a grunt of something that passes for agreement.

Until she mentions the bike, anyway. That has him straightening, brow furrowing, curious, interested, instantly distracted. "Yeah?" he asks, after a moment. "That would be fucking awesome. Something to get around Staten Island, and I could see if the Ferrymen mind having the wheels on their boat. D… wh— uhh. Thank you," he says, going a visible shade of red.

Elvis nods softly "its cool, and its not my work. Its Bootstrap's thing, so dont expect it to be flawless. Its a 46 knuckle head, it only seats one and its not really going to be comfortable but it has saddle bags and its pretty fucking impossible to really destroy. It just got the powdercoat so it looks extra lush, but I dont think the internals have been fucked with yet and it sounds a little weak so you should save up for a motor rebuild kit and a transmission rebuild kit and I'll show you how to put them together."She smiled weakly, not at all bothered by Teo's eagerness. "Its best we keep busy anyway, right?"She felt better, if only to be thinking of something other than Conrad for a moment. "You ever ridden a bike with a jockey shift before?"

"Yeah. I think so." Keep busy. There must be things to do; he never seems to sleep enough anymore. At the latter question, however, the Sicilian shakes his bristly head. "No. Hope it isn't rocket science. I think my learning curve for anything new these days is— pretty fucked. Though I'll try. With the motor stuff.

"If you're around I'm sure I can hope I won't fuck it up too bad." Teo's eyes shift from Elvis to the door, briefly, when a shadow flits past the glass window, but it's only a bird chasing something with its bill open and wings flared to brake. "Bootstrap," he repeats, after a moment. "I'm not sure we've talked abuot him before." Which is to say they haven't talked much at all, before, but he doesn't embellish that point. Leaning back, his neck vertebrates pop slightly. "Who is he?"

How much did Teo know about Elvis's father, well a whole lot as of five minutes from now. "Well when my dad was the man at arms for the outlaws, him and bootstrap were best friends. In like seventy something, dad was caught alone outside this meat packing joint he worked at the time. Well some angels jumped him, like eight or nine and he wasnt the sort to run so he fought. He shot a few, stabbed a few more but they got him with a lead pipe and that damn near killed pops. So they dragged him over to the assembly line, hoisted him up and tried to stick a meat hook straight into his brain. They missed, and instead just tore out his eye and half his skull."she lifts a hand to gesture to the area from her orbit, nearly to her ear.

"Well dad fell down, woke back up and beat the last few dudes to death with his bare hands. Well Bootstrap was a prospect at the time, like a junior member and a prospect is like the club slave. So when my pops didnt show up at the club house, they made bootstrap go look for him. Bootstrap found pops, just as some more angels were coming and he stabbed two or three to death and then ran a third through a big industrial meat slicer. So he and pops were really tight, they killed cops, ran drugs, guns, and so on together for years. Shit when I was born, dad didnt own a car so he borrowed Bootstrap's truck to pick me up at the hospital cuz my mom's pimp had beat her into a premature birth and she didnt survive the whole thing."Yeah, not a single hint of shame that she's the product of a whore and a thug.

"Well anyway when dad got locked up for killin all those cops, the club sorta fell apart and everyone scattered. Bootstrap ended up here with a shop, so he's sort've like my uncle or something. I mean you cant ever leave the outlaws, and so technically we're club mates. Anyway he's a real oldskool sort've tuner, I dont think he's ever owned a bike made newer than like a sixty something. I looked him up when I knew I was coming to New York, now I work at his shop. Normally his thing is choppers and bobbers and shit, what with these OCC jerkoffs and shit and I normally do restorations but I've got a pretty good rep and so does he so I've been building like super Xs and old nortons in his shop with no problems."

That's a long story and lyrically told, or so Teo thinks. He hasn't had an accent since he was sixteen years old, so the cadence of Elvis' story moves him like the sight of a waltz might move a man with two left feet. There's the beginning of a kneejerk reaction to that revelation— that her parents were a whore and a thug, but it goes no further than a slight lift of his eyebrows, a crooked smile. There's prestige in there. And even if there wasn't, who's he to talk?

"Annnd mio Padre worked at a bank," he says, eventually, shaking his head. "Wish my blood had as many stories worth telling as yours. I'm glad you still have someone from your club here with you. I've felt better since my aunt came from Sicily to Manhattan." Sort of. Yes, it gave him pause when she turned out to be an associate of Kazimir Volken's, but then again, it failed entirely to surprise him that she turned on the tyrant. Or that she did it for him. "It's better to have it than not.

"I'd be honored to ride that bike. How much..?"

Elvis shrugs some at the question "Free, I mean Teo we were going to burn it. Bikes are like children, and bikers dont have much sympathy for orphans you follow? Typically, when you fail to pay for services rendered you get your face taken apart, your wife raped, your dog shot and your bike burned. THis is the standard fee, for fucking with an outlaw motorcycle mechanic. Well the fucker didn't have no dog, and while he ain't married its not like I can rape some bitch even if he was so I beat the fucker into the hospital and Bootstrap was gonna burn the bike. Its of no value to us, so it ain't like you owe us nothin' ya'll hear me?"Her brows moved upwards too, she was smiling.

"Like I said though, its rough inside. All we did was powdercoat it, so it looks real pretty and fresh but it really totally isnt. I reckon it needs about ten grand worth of work if you payed me for the labor. The parts are cheap, but not many dudes know how to work on old knuckleheads these days. Thats why I'm not gonna fix it. I aint no fuckin charity, but I will help you. Follow me there chief?"

"Si," Teo answers, obedient as a duckling conditioned to respond to a fragment of bread. Bike. Bread. He isn't so much a fan of kids, but the other two work. "I follow. I understand completely. Well," a shrug seesaws through the breadth of his shoulders. "Most of the slang, all of the grammar, and the basic concepts. I can't say you remind me of the mafioso.

"It'll be good to learn how to do something." Ten grand worth of something, apparently. He's duly impressed. "Grazie. Thanks. Charity or no." The coffee-maker's light switches colors, snapping his head toward it. He drops off the lip of the counter in a monkey-limbed wriggle, palming his left pant leg even, before he straightens, starts to flip through cupboards in hapless search of mugs. Elvis knows where to find them. "Coffee?"

"On the left, and yes." coffe would be good, Elvis needed the caffine. "We're outlaw bikers, not Mafia. Both criminal, but they're in it for the business and we're in it because we dont believe that we're free."She sniffles some, unzipping her jacket finally. "Its why like, if you found an anti-evolved biker gang they wouldnt survive long. None of us believe that the rule of law should be automatic, and so all this registration bullshit is inherently wrong and controlling."

At that, Teo grunts low. "I don't know about controlling," he answers, "but it's fucking dangerous for everybody on that list. This day and age. When the opening note to revealing the existence of the Evolved was Midtown going up in nuclear flames. Way to fucking paint Evolved as contributing citizens worth protecting." It's a nowhere, nonsense complaint, really; pointless in light of the fact that the Linderman Act is years done, Sylar's still out there — as is the real culprit behind the destruction of Manhattan's belt.

Still, it's easy enough to grumble as he locates mugs and locates the button for coffee. The solution scatters a few drops out into the ceramic before accumulating depth, volume. He hands Elvis her serving before he snags his own, dragging the condiments tray out of hiding from around the microwave, creamer in plastic cups, sugar in its pot.

Elvis mmms, sipping pleasantly at her coffee. "Its like gun registration, once they know where they all are theres nothing you can do to stop them from taking them. Your looking at this like a civil rights issue, but thats not whats going on. This is a fear of weapon proliferation, they're just conviently ignoring the human aspect of the issue."

"Someday, it's not going to fucking matter," Teo replies, in a tone that might either be objection of thought. He sits his own cup on the counter, plus sugar, no cream, and leans his elbows on the cold plateau of tile. His brow finds a momentary furrow. "I hope, anyway. It'll just be like 'male' or 'female' on your ID card, no inherent meaning or value — just something you are or aren't. I don't know.

"It's probably the refuse and byproduct of human aspects. Fear. The Act would never've been passed if people weren't fucking terrified. Somebody up in the echelons did some intelligent maneuvering." That might be either letting on too much of what he's heard of suspected or he just sounds like an irritable and slightly over-idealistic kid who is blithely and stupidly ignoring the fact that he was almost killed by Evolved himself a number of times, but he doesn't care too much.

There's enough ambient stress to go around. "You want to talk to the SCOUT Captain's brother?" he asks again, remembering abruptly, glancing at her. "Consider it, at least? If we have to bust down a prison designed to contain the country's most dangerous Evolved or the Company's Level 5… or whatever the fuck, I'd like to have you in good shape."

Elvis nods softly, sipping quietly. "Yeah, I suppose I probably should. Just, let me finish my coffee before we get into that shit. I'm really unthrilled about yet another doctor right now."

February 25th: GPS Locator Training
February 25th: Monsters
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