The Silver Tongue


ash_icon.gif rupe_icon.gif

Scene Title The Silver Tongue
Synopsis Rupert Carmichael comes to smooth over things with Ash and tell him something very important…
Date August 25, 2010

The Rookery

The white noise of falling rain has filled the air all night and now into the dim glow of morning. Gray skies and foggy streets serve as a reminder that summer is coming to a close and autumn is approaching. Down the rain-slicked streets of the Rookery, a long man of meek stature and sharp dress typically looks more like a target than anything else. For all that Rupert Carmichael stands out in his black wool trenchcoat and umbrella, he has managed to slither into the heart of the Rookery unmolested.

Passing by the faded signage out front of the boarded up storefront of what was once Tucker's Pawn Shop, the tactical leader of Messiah circles around the side of the building, dress shoes deftly stepping around puddles where the pavement buckles unevenly. Rain sheathes off of Rupert's umbrella, pattering down to the ground around him, beads of water clinging to the lower hem of his slacks and coat, collar upturned to the back of his neck and red scarf covering his throat from the cool air.

Standing outside of the steel door leading into the pawn shop, Rupert takes a step to close the distance, then knocks on the door three times, steadily, then steps back three paces, gloved fingers winding around the handle of his umbrella in silence. Business brings him out here today, important business.

From inside of the house can be heard solid thunking, heavy noises, though not a scuffle as there is no raised voices, and no sounds of things breaking or tipping over, just that rythmic thunking. Ash is within, a bandoleer of throwing knives around his bare chest, half empty, the knives themselves have been flung into various targets that he's set up, each of them bearing public figures. The leader of humanis first, President Petrelli, and a few other well known evo haters.

When the knock at his door comes Ash's head turns curiously. Very few know where he lives, so the knock is a surprise, but not one that makes him especially suspicious. He pauses in mid throw, and tucks the knife back into the bandoleer. A single quick step takes him to a stand with a p-90 on it, which he scoops up in his left hand. He makes his way over to the front door, and holds the p-90 up behind it, ready to unload into whoever might be on the other side of the door, and only then does he turn th ehandle and pull the door open slowly. When his eyes fall on Rupert they narrow in confusion. "Here for my phone and scarf?" He asks in a flat tone.

"Actually," Rupert explains in a grimace, "I thought I might come in?" Both of the wiry man's brows raise, head tilting up to regard Ash beneath the brim of his fedora. "You asked something last night, and after some consideration I thought that if the answers to it were important enough to you, that I could at least entertain the notion of being open…" There's a faint narrowing of Rupert's eyes as he looks ash up and down. "That is, of course, if you want to hear what it is I have to say."

That much is said just a little wryly, with a faint smile that tugs up the corners of Rupert's beard at his mouth and crinkles the corners of his eyes, making his age just a little bit more apparent. "It's a little wet out here, and it's not a short story."

Ash is actually sweating, and breathing fairly hard, suggesting he's been working himself hard, and for quite awhile as well. His chest swells at a fairly rapid pace, but he doesn't let it show with heavy pants and such, just watches the much smaller man in front of him. He doesn't come back with some childish snap or remark. He stands there for a long few seconds, the P-90 held pretty damn steady on the other side of the door, and his eyes even glance past Rupert, outside, looking for signs of someone waiting.

Then his attention comes back to Rupert, his jaw works a little bit before he nods his head and steps back from the door. He turns and walks back into the living room area, which shows the powerful light assault rifle in his left hand, which is set back on it's stand once he passes by it. He walks to the stands with their plywood body cut outs and th eposted pictures and pulls the throwing knives out of them, then a towel is picked up as the man heads back towards the little kitchen area, a t-shirt snatched up as well. He dries himself off as he goes into the fridge, pulling out a couple containers of fruit juice. He shakes one towardes Rupert to ask if he wants any, then pours himself a glass.

"You know despite my somewhat drenched status, I am a bit parched." Rupert isn't often one to pass up a drink, regardless of the nature. Walking across the makeshift training room's floor, Rupert's gaze flicks from the cut outs, then over to the knives that were taken out of them, then finally back up to Ash.

"You would have liked my brother," seems like an odd thing for Rupert to say, even odder when he adds, "well… actually, you probably would've killed my brother, but you and he shared a certain amount of reverence for the physical form and personal training…" Working his way anxiously around the living space, scanning the furniture for something to use as a seat, even as he finally folds his umbrella closed and turns towards what may have at one time been a storage shelf, hanging the closed umbrella upside-down by the crook at the end.

"My brother is part of what I haven't wanted to talk about," Rupert quietly explains, looking from the shelf over to Ash. "Part of what it seems you need to hear in order to trust me."

Ash pours out both glasses of juice and then puts the juice away before he fishes out liquor. A bottle of tequila puts a healthy measure into one glass, and then a bottle of rum is uncapped for the other. He turns, handing the glass with the Rum to Rupert, then takes th eone with the tequila and takes a long sip of it befor eputting it down. He finishes toweling himself off, then pulls on a shirt, covering his scars.

His head turns to glance back over to Rupe as he speaks. "I haven't had a choice really." And yeah, he's recognized the attempt to break the ice an dput him at ease. He gestures at the rather small kitchen table and the two chairs at it before he pulls one out himself and slides down inot it. He gloances upwards, leaning back in his chair to sip occasionally from his drink, but doesn't respond right away. He sits there, thinking, eyes focused, and gears turning within his head. "

We are fighting people that have kept the Evolved a secret for decades, that I know of, but Adam hinted that there's been other groups throughout the ages that have done the same thing. THat is a far far reacching conspiracy to have kept such a thing hidden for so very long. The secrecy, intricacy, and deviousness needed for such a thing is mind boggling. They're working with the government now. Can you really expect me to take you at face value? You who seem to come out of the blue with so much information that could only come from inside sources." He shakes his head a little bit, and finishes his statemen twith a large swallow of his drink.

"I didn't come out of nowhere," is offered quietly from Rupert. "It might seem that way to you, but… I guess I can start at the beginning." Spotting a folding chair not far from where Ash has taken a seat, Rupert makes a slow progress over towards it. "My brother and I were both Evolved. I learned what my ability was in my late twenties, on accident. I was a persuader, capable of bending anyone's will to my own with a single word. It had the unfortunate side-effect of causing brain damage over time to people repeatedly exposed to my power…"

One eyebrow raised is the perfect reaction for any kind of rum drink, and moving towards a metal folding chair, Rupert carefully sips at the drink as he sits down, reaching inside of his buttoned coat for a pack of cigarettes. Leaning forward ot set the glass over on a counterspace near the chair he's taken, Rupert knocks out a cigarette from the pack and tucks it between his lips, then fishes for the engraved Zippo carried in one of his pockets. The exterior of the pack indicates that they're clove mini-cigars and from the brown paper wrapping and sweet smell already coming from them, the advertising seems truthful.

"Her name was Crista," Rupert explains, because stories like this always involve a woman. "She was engaged to my brother, Jonathan. They were in love, and I envied him, and I wanted her. Eventually, I got her and drove my brother away from me. He focused on his military career and I got to watch as Crista slowly became like a zombie… a mindless drone with a scrap of personality left behind. I admittedly didn't know until after the bomb what I really was, I just knew I was different. I'd used my ability, unknowingly… to make people my slaves."

There's a spark from Rupert's lighter, a breath drawn in, and then a slow exhalation of peppery smoke from Rupert's nostrils as the lighter is snapped shut. "My brother went into the Department of Homeland Security, became one of the facists wanting people like us registered and catalogued. I was… defiant, childish." There's a roll of one of Rupert's shoulders. "I heard about a young man named Cameron setting up stakes in a war against the government. My parents had just passed away in the explosion, I had the money, the connections… the want of freedom. Resentment." Another slow drag is taken off of Rupert's cigarette.

Exhaling the smoke, he looks down to the glowing ember at the tip. "I started quietly backing Cameron, backing the right side. When Cameron died, I went with Karl and Erim, kept quietly financing PARIAH's war. When PARIAH fell… I tried my own hand at it, a group called Shedda-Dinu." There's a faint, fond smile, and Rupert plucks his cigarette from his lips. "Claire and Huruma were members, back in the day. Government attention got too close, almost found me out… so— I disbanded. Then… then came the day I lost my power."

Ash blinks just once before he rolls his eyes. "I didn't say you come out of no where, your information is coming out of no where, or so it appears to me." He watches as the man takes his seat, and lights up his cigarette, an odd look given to the sight of the thing, and he scoots his chair back a little bit, until he's well away from any smoke coming off of the tobacco stick. Ash is a good lsitener, and he doesn't speak during Rupert's story, but neither does he give away his emotions. He's a terrible actor, but he can hold a solid blank face when he wants to, rather easily.

"Isabelle," Ash comments in a soft tone. "She was Shedda-Dinu. Wanted me to join. I wasn't ready to fight then. I was still out for myself, and I told her no." There is a heavy hint of regret there, and sadness in his eyes at the loss of his friend. He sighs a bit, then silences himself with another long swallow of his drink.

He rises to his feet and walks around the kitchen a bit before he leans back against the counter top and eyes the man sitting in his kitchen. He seems to appreciate the effort the man is making, and he's showing it by listening and not interupting.

"Isabella was… special," Rupert admits in a hushed tone of voice, looking over at Ash before returning his attention to his cigarette, pinched in two fingers and pulled from his lips. Rupert then folds over and grabs his drink, sitting up straight again, drink in one hand, cigarette in the other, just like God intended.

"It actually wasn't too long after she was murdered that I lost my ability… I was the victim of what I've been told was a man named Tyler Case, or— John Doe? Conflicting stories of who he was, save that my ability was stripped away from me by his red lightning and given to a man with them that I didn't recognize…" Rupert looks down to his drink, taking a long sip from the glass.

"Jonathan died during that time, truth be told I'm not even sure how. I only found out after the fact that he was one of the primary agents who arrested and captured people for Moab." Rupert's brows furrow together. "He willingly perpetrated crimes against our kind… my own brother, because of how much he hated me." Furrowing his briws, Rupert offers a slow shake of his head,

"Anyway," is exhaled as sighed sound, "none of that really matters now. What does matter is that I can't risk losing you, Messiah can't risk it. I formed this group as a means to an end, a means to overthrow Petrelli and crush his government and reinstate a rightful order of ascendency. It's not small coincidence that I have the rightful President of the United States working with me," Rupert notes with one brow raised.

"You have to realize, that there's parts of my plan I'm afraid to tell… afraid to explain for fear that someone find them out. But I will promise you this," Rupert offers with both brows raised, "by November of this year? The world will welcome Allen Rickham back into power."

A long slow breath in, then anothe rone out presages Ash pushing away from the counter top as he takes a stride forwards, stopping at the table and lifting up his glass to finish it off with another swallow, then the mpty is put back down and he looks down at the man. "That's the thing, you say that none of that really matters, but, it's a perfect example of what you are doing right now. You abused your power. You didn't know you had a power, but you abused it. You took your brother's love away from him. You corrupted a good man, and turned him into a monster. Power corrupts, it's a proven fact. You have alot of power Rupert. Alot of power, and no one to keep you in check. Peter, as much as I like the guy, is a figure head. He is not our leader, he is not the guy who calls the shots. I realized almost from the start that that was you, perhaps you and someone else, or others even, but as far as we see, you are the boss." His breath pulls in slowly again, then exhales as he lifts his hand up to run his fingers back through his hair.

His head tilts to either side, popping his neck a little bit. "We have to heal him first Rupert. If he continues to go into action like he is he is going to die." And there is very real worry anhd concern there. He is truly worried about the former president. "I've tried with my limited resources and contacts to find a way to heal him, but I've been unnsucessful." He frowns, deeply, his eyes lowering, then lifting back up to the man. "Allen is a good man. But you also have to worry about how this conflict whill change him."

"Peter is my check," Rupert explains between sips from his drink, "as much as people underestimate him, he has a good head on his shoulders and has kept me from turning Messiah into… something it shouldn't be? He's the one who has kept civilian casualties down, the one who has kept the group together. We're two very different, but equally necessary, parts of the same whole. The heart and the mind, one can't function without the other. I'm just lucky I found him."

Lowering the glass from his lips, Rupert replaces it with that cigarette. "Allen will need to be healed, he will… and there'll be time for that, time for recouperation. But I think — and Allen agrees with me — that the more powerful message to give would be forcing the American people to see what they've turned him into, what the corrupt Petrelli administration has done to the hero of our era."

There's a faint smile Rupert offers, then a look down to his lap. "Right now, Allen is taking a back seat from active assignments, to… keep himself prime for what's coming. I'll tell you… I'll tell you what most people don't know." There's a lift of Rupert's brows slowly. "We're going to reveal Allen to the world, Rebel's a part of it, we have this… set up." There's a slow wave of one of Rupert's hands. "It'll be clearer the closer we get, but— we're going to make the world see the truth, and end this war once and for all. This is a revolution we're fighting, and we're backed by a very just cause. We just… need to play it careful."

Smiling faintly, Rupert exhales twin jets of smoke from his nostrils. "I'd like it if you were still fighting alongside of us when that happened."

Ash arches a brow, rather slowly at the mention of Peter being the man's check. "I don't under estimate Peter. There is a great deal more to that man than is at first apparent. But that doesn't mean you're not the one calling the shots and he's not a figure head." Ash's face stays rather blank, his eyes closing up a bit as he thinks over everything that has been said. "I know we are nothing but tools to you. And I am pretty sure you care not a whit for our individual lives. You're trying to conduct a war. But /I/ do care for the lives of Messiah. My own means little. I will never be able to have a normal life, not after the things I've done. When peace comes people like myself will be useless…." He opens his eyes, a few blinks coming from him.

"We need to play it careful? Attacking very public figures while broadcasting our responsibility for it is not really playing it careful Rupert." Ash blinks a bit, then reaches up underneath his shirt, unlatching the bandoleer and pulling it down from beneath his shirt. He tosses it over onto the table. "I have no wish to not be part of Messiah." He turns then, his eyes resting once again on Rupert and he sighs. "You control the most powerful force in this entire world. Between us we could invade and destroy any facility on this planet, kill any one man on this planet. You wield an incredible power Rupert. See to it that you don't mis handle it."

Squinting as he listens to Ash, Rupert slowly offers a nod of his head, then looks up to the soldier with a firm nod. "Great power, great responsibility. I think that was a line in a comic-book I read," he admits with a crooked smile. "The dark secret of Rupert Carmichael is revealed, I'm a terrible comic book nerd… sci-fi television… anything like that. I love a good story." There's a crack of a smile as Rupert finishes his cigarette, dropping the butt down onto the concrete floor and snuffing it out with his heel.

Slowly rising to stand, Rupert motions to Ash with the glass he holds. "You're a principaled man, Ashley, and I respect that. I just need you to trust that while my plans may look insane, I know exactly what I'm doing, and that in the end…" Rupert tips his head forward and furrows his brows, "in the end everyone will understand, and the world will be a safer place for it."

Finishing his drink, Rupert sets the glass down on the counter near Ash, then looks up to the soldier with a furrow of his brows. "There is one more thing, however…"

Ash nods his head, rather slowly. "Peter Parker's uncle. But the comic books often have it right, and often those that seem like good guys, are anything but, and the least likely to be allies, are indeed just that." Ash walks out ijnto the living room area, and to one of the shelves that is laden with weapons. He fishes around on it, pulling out a few small objects, and tucking them away in various places. He turns back around, a small pistol in hand, which is racked and slide into a spot at the small of his back. He walks back into the kitchen then, and his eyes flicker to Rupert. "I really hate being called Ashley." he states, his eyes wary. Though at tht emention of one more thing though Ash tilts his head to the side, body slightly tense as he waits to see just what that something is. "Yes?" An eyebrow slides upwards and he crosses his arms over his chest.

"So, so very true…" Rupert agrees while eyeing the gun, head tilting to the side and offers a faint smile. "Ash it is then, you are the boss in here…" Especially when holding a loaded gun! Smiling, Rupert brushes condensation from the glass off on his hip and angles his head to the side, smiling at Ash. "Well, all I wanted to really tell you is… Listen to the sound of my voice." That last bit of Rupert's sentence comes with a rasping quality of speech.

Ash arches a slight brow as Rupert makes that statement. "Wasn't trying to intimidate you Rupert. I don't really bother with that. If I wanted you dead, you'd be dead. I would be as well for killing you, but you would be dead. I wouldn't bother trying to intimidate someone." he shakes his head, only to look back up at the man with an arched brow. "What the fu…"

"You feel relaxed, safe, and comfortable in your home. The sound of my voice is just a whisper to you…" There is a noticable change in Rupert's inflection as he speaks, hypnotic in quality, like the sibilant hiss of a serpent, "My voice is a whisper in the back of your mind, and though you hear me, you do not hear me. You are relaxed, and at ease." The effect is immediate, a haunting psychic trance generated by the mere sound of Rupert's voice.

"I am going to give you a command word. When you next hear this word spoken by me, spoken by my voice, you will see everyone around you as an enemy. You will be back in Moab. You will need to fight for your freedom, fight and kill, until there is no one left to threaten you." Rupert leans in closer to Ash, his eyes halfway lidding as he leans in to whisper in Ash's ear. "When you hear the command phrase, you will follow those orders. The command phrase… is Every Prophet In His House."

Leaning away from Ash, Rupert lifts one hand up and presses his forefingers and thumb together. "On the count of three, you will wake up and have no recollection of this conversation. One…" Rupert's brows furrow, "Two…" then his chin tilts up, "three."

"…Thank you." It's the natural moment of progression between the excised portion of Ash's memory and what he last recalls Rupert saying. The only thing hanging there was a breathy pause, like so many others Rupert has taken. "Thank you for putting so much effort into being Messiah, Ash. Honestly, I… realize I don't say it enough. I appreciate all the work you've done. I guess… that's all."

He starts off at the comment about listen to the sound of his voice, only for it to die away as the man continues to speak, Ash going still and silent, until that snap of fingers and the thank you. "…ck are you thanking me for?" His mind linking the previous statement and continuing it into the new reality where Rupert didn't just pull a Grima Wormtongue on him. His eyes blink a few times at Rupert's words, probably a bit overboard on the sappy thing, and he just wrinkles his nose. "Yeah, okay…" He rolls his shoulders a touch. "Still don't like you, and don't really trust you either." He mutters it, not trying to disguise the statement though.

"That," Rupert notes with a point of two finger at Ash, "I'm more used to." There's a crack of a smile and a sly grin, "I'm used to not being liked. But at least, I think, we can learn to work together and trust each other enough to see this plan through to the end." Resting his hands on his hips, Rupert tilts his head to the side, then takes a step sideways and snatches his umbrella up off of the shelf, shaking water off onto the concrete floor.

"I have a meeting to go to in order to keep Maxwell Construction turning a blind eye on us," the tactician notes with an arch of one brow, "But I promise you," Ash is gestured to by Rupert's umbrella as he's backing towards the door, "Messiah's better for having you in its ranks."

Just as much of an abrupt and stuttering departure as his arrival, Rupert Carmichael leaves Ashley Williams with his own thoughts, obfuscated as they are. But the far-reaching affects of this meeting, when compared to the macrocosm of people Rupert sees on a daily basis at public speaking functions and as a professor at Columbia University, there are few who are outside of his reach and influence.

"We have a lot of work to do still, I'll see you soon," comes with the soft click of the door being drawn shut, and Rupert's silhouette disappearing behind it, out into the falling rain.

There is some certainty in his words.

The Devil's hands are busy.

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