The Sky Is Falling -- Again


cardinal2_icon.gif claire2_icon.gif elisabeth2_icon.gif

Scene Title The Sky Is Falling — Again
Synopsis It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fiiiiine.
Date Jan 5, 2009

USS George Washington, fantail observation deck

The roar of descending planes echoes over the observation deck, sweeping away Cardinal's ability to hear as he looks out over the ocean; those shades as always firmly in place upon his face, flight suit slightly rumpled but otherwise in good shape. He just picked it up within the past week, after all, it hasn't had the time to get worn like most of his well-used garments. Scratching at his peeling cheek, he grimaces, muttering under his breath, "Fuckin' lightning gun. Christ."

Instead of letting him know that she's behind him, Elisabeth takes a long moment in the deepening shadows of dusk to study the man at the rail. With the noise above to cover her approach, the first inkling he has of her presence is the dead silence that greets his ears a bare moment before her arms slide around his waist from behind, her chin coming to rest on his shoulder. "Could be worse," she chuckles softly, having caught the disgust in his tone.

There's a moment's tension at the touch of her arms around him, before he relaxes finally; easing back a bit against her embrace, Richard brings a hand up to rest against her arm where it circles his stomach. "True enough," he murmurs, eyes closing, "Could definately be worse. What's the word from Mack?"

A soft kiss against his peeling neck, and Elisabeth remains snugged against his back. "Well, looks like I'm not the only one who gets in trouble when you're not looking. Mack … isn't doing good. I get the impression — though he did not use these words — that he got kidnapped by someone while we've been gone. He said it was an old friend. But it meant basically he was out of commission for a time, and he's not sure of the status of Peyton or the others. Or that's what I gather. He really didn't say much. I called originally to ask him to check in on Abigail." She pauses and murmurs, "We could be going home to a rather large mess. But then again… we've been gone more than a month, babe. I'd be surprised if they had managed to keep it together that long. Mack's going to do what he can to start pulling people back in, though."

"Christ." Richard's head drops down, his eyes closing as he draws in a breath, "I should've known— left someone in charge that would be able to keep things together. But with both've us out here…"

There's a wealth of amusement in the tone Elisabeth replies in as she rests her cheek against the back of his shoulder. "I'm going to start thinking you're a praying man, as often as you invoke that name. Either that or you're gonna get smited for constantly taking it in vain." She sighs, rubbing her cheek lightly against the weave of the flight suit. "Nothing we can do about it from here. He's working on pulling it back together, and checking out the library to make sure it's secure. It's the best we can do for now."

"I already know where I'm headed in a handbasket," Cardinal replies, his tone a bit dry as he turns his head slightly to look back to Elisabeth, "And I'm really not so sure about Mack's ability to pull them together at all, Liz, to be honest. He's not exactly the most reliable sort, or a team player for that matter. He's got his own problems, too…"

Looking back up at him, Elisabeth asks wryly, "And you plan to do what exactly about it from here? Last I checked, you were neither a teleporter nor a duplicator. And you're on an aircraft carrier in the middle of the Indian Ocean, heading for an island and then Antarctica. If your powerset has changed," she tells him dryly, "maybe you should let me know?"

Cardinal grimaces, ducking his head once more. "This was bad timing, this whole business…" One hand lifts, rubbing against his brow, "…we need to pick up more people that can lead, when we get back."

"If we get back, I'll make it the top priority of my agenda," Liz snorts derisively. She goes quiet, and then chuckles. "Bad timing. That's all you have to say about this? Really?"

A faint chuckle shakes Cardinal's shoulders. "It just about sums it up, doesn't it?"

"You are truly a master of understatement, Richard." Elisabeth is chuckling as she ducks around him and comes around to face him. "In the grand scheme of life, babe? I'd have to say 'bad timing' is pretty much the tamest description I can think of."

As she steps before him, Cardinal's arms slide about her waist lightly, and he leans in to rest his brow against her own. "I think it sums up the grand scheme of life, though," he murmurs, "I talked to Kershner, recently. She… claimed that she wants to bring the Petrelli administration now. That she's got blackmail on Mitchell."

Elisabeth goes still, shocked beyond words as she rests with her head against his in the gathering darkness. "You're… shitting me?" She sounds pretty certain he's not. "Uh…. what the fuck? If she's… taking down Petrelli *and* Mitchell, who's she got in mind??"

Cardinal's eyes slip closed, his voice kept soft even in the bubble of her negative sound barrier. "I don't know. She's got someone in mind… someone she claims that she hasn't even approached yet, but she won't tell me who," he informs her, "She wants me to help her bring him down. She knows about the other Nathan, too— the one from the future. We met him, in Argentina, Ramirez had him locked up. He took off first chance, though."

She doesn't even know how to respond. Seriously. Elisabeth is positively speechless. OtherNathan was in Argentina?? "God, Richard," she whispers softly. "Be careful." She slides her arms up around his neck and shifts her weight slightly to draw him down into a tight embrace. Does she doubt that he'll do it? No. Not really. It's been the goal for some time to take both of those figures out of the political picture. "Not sure her agenda's quite the same as yours in terms of who she wants in control," she whispers even inside the silence field, keeping her lips hidden against his shoulders against even the possibility of lip-reading CIA people.

"I doubt it too," Cardinal admits, his cheek rubbing against her hair to conceal his own lips in her hair, "We'll have to play this… very carefully, but we'll have to try and use this to our advantage. The— false identity that Ray put together for me had me and her serving together in Afghanistan. I can't believe that's a coincidence."

Now Elisabeth is the one who breathes, "Oh Christ. The ID you have is one Ray put together?" She didn't realize that. Pulling back from him, Liz's blue eyes are worried. But she smiles a little. "Well… I didn't quite realize the scope of this game, but hey. Assuming I'm not in the new Moab, you know you can count on me being all-in now."

"It's a big board, lover…" Cardinal draws his head back as she does, looking back to her with a faint and rueful smile, "…we're always on it somewhere. Let's just hope that we can figure out the gambit being played before someone else does."

Her expression softens as he smiles. Elisabeth stands on her toes and kisses him tenderly. "My money's always on you — I don't trust Ray as far as I can spit him, but… at least for now, it's working in our favor."

The kiss is returned, lightly, Richard's forehead resting to hers, noses in contact as he murmurs back to her, "I don't trust him, either, I never would. He's a bastard, and he'll kill us all if it serves his cause. But…" His eyes close, and he draws in a breath, "I believe he's got a plan. And that's a damn sight better than the rest of us, right now."

"Mmm-hmmm," Elisabeth breathes quietly, rubbing her nose lightly to his. From the outside it assuredly looks like they're whispering sweet nothings to one another. "Any ideas what this plan actually is? Jesus, Richard. This is worse than flying blind. This is flying blind in a blizzard ten feet off the ground at Mach 2."

"It's gotten us this far, hasn't it?" Cardinal exhales a sigh, drawing in a breath then, shoulders squaring a little, "Look, while his… methods might have been a little severe at times, everything's been towards creating a better future. The thing at Pinehearst would've won the Evolved cause once and for all if he hadn't been stopped by— well, himself. He set things up and lured White out of position where we could predict the battlefield and take him down. He was a bastard, but he might be our only chance of winning this."

Elisabeth looks up at him and nods. "Well, we gotta believe in someone's agenda because if we don't… it's just going to happen around us anyway. Okay. So, Lamont Cranston, CIA Agent Extraordinaire," she laughs softly. "I'm starting to like the saving the world schtick."

"Exactly. We have to believe in something…" A wry curve of a smile, and Cardinal chuckles at the title, "I've got a feeling things're going to get really interesting if we make it home…"

There's a snort from Elisabeth as she grins. "Yeah… in the Chinese proverb sense of the word, I'm sure."

Cardinal grins at that, admitting, "Probably." The man's arms slip more fully about her, pulling her in as he rests his head to hers, admitting on a quiet sigh, "Missed you."

"Yeah?" Liz's smile softens and her hand slides down from around the back of his neck to stroke his rough cheek. "Never really expected you to say it, you know," she admits in a quiet voice. Surely the sky will not fall if they simply steal this one small moment for themselves.

If the sky would fall on anyone, sometimes it seems like it'd be them. That's just their fate. "I have no idea what you're talking about," Cardinal replies with a low chuckle, ducking his head a bit against her hand as it presses to his cheek, "Nope. No clue. Really haven't any idea…"

To hell with it, the sky can fall if it wants. She'll ignore it just for a moment. Her laughter is quiet. "Well, good… guess it means I don't have to say it back, right?" Liz teases, her fingertips stroking lightly across his face. She tips her head to nuzzle his cheek with her lips as the last of the day's light turns the sky a deep purple tinged to gray at the horizon.

After a short stop to her room to pick up the canister and tuck it in a thigh pocket of her BDU pants, Claire has been seaching for the Shadow man for a good portion of the afternoon. She has been about ready to give up for the day since somehow on a big ass boat, they keep missing each other. Of course, finally when she was deciding to head back to her bunk for the night, she spots the pair.

When she makes her approach, Claire suddenly wishes she had missed finding him. Seriously, who wants to watch that. However, Claire just moves to stand a distance off, arms folded, hip leaning against the railing, watching and waiting for them to realize she's there. If she's lucky they notice, if not…. well, guess Claire gets front row seats. Fingers of one hand tap lightly along the other arms, she expression neutral really as she waits.

"That's up to you, I guess," Cardinal murmurs back to her, drawing back a step, hands lightly resting on her hips as a smile crooks across his features, "Although you might want to wait until all've this is done…"

Then he turns his head just a bit, calling over his shoulder dryly, "Hey Claire."

There's a soft snort as Elisabeth replies in an affectionate murmur, "If you don't know by now that I love you, you're just plain stupid and I'm not going to follow you to the end of the world." She, too, turns her head and drops the silence field that keeps the sound from the jets landing above to a whisper. "Hey Claire. What's up?" It doesn't seem to faze her a bit that they got caught necking.

She motions around them, while looking at Liz, "Need the 'Cone of Silence', I think. Please." The young blonde looks rather serious as she moves closer to the pair. "I just got done talking to Kazimir and Rene." Claire's voice drops to much more hushed tones, bubble or not. "They wanted to send me home to my grandmother.. course that isn't here or there… I know what we're facing." Her head turns a little as she gives them both a weighted look. "And it's not pretty."

"That's completely out've the question," Cardinal states flatly, turning away from Elisabeth, his hand sliding down off her hip and to his side as he looks to Claire sharply, "You've got to be with us on this mission, it's necessary." A pause, then, and he lifts a brow, "Shoot. What's waiting for us down there?"

It's a given that as soon as Claire is within reasonable speaking distance Elisabeth will cut off sound from outside. It's just easier to speak to start with. And then she draws in a breath and lets it out in a slow exhale that somehow gives the impression of 'not surprise'. She trails her hands down Richard's arms briefly as he steps away but makes no move to stop him. "He could try to make you go, but his reasons are personal and not professional. I'm pretty sure we can roadblock any attempt he makes — Kershner doesn't seem to be one to let emotional issues get in the way of the job," she says calmly. "Fill us in," she invites Claire, leaning her hips and elbows back against the rail as the ocean breeze flutters strands of her blonde ponytail around.

Hands are held up to hold off Cardinal with that smug little smirk she gets, "No worries, boss. I said wanted.. I talked Kazimir into submission." Her chin tips up a bit as she admits it too. "He did flip hardcore when I mentioned Sylar trying to get at me again… not the smartest move on my part.. he started to really insist I go home, but I was trying to get Kazimir to not take him." Note, she's not calling him Peter.

Elisabeth tenses suddenly, her blue eyes sharpening on Claire. "Sylar did what??" Christ. And then there's the bigger bomb drop. Another goddamn ARTHUR??? BOHICA. "Well, fuck," she says succinctly. "Can someone find us a little Vaseline or something?" Elisabeth reaches up and rubs her forehead absently, her mind ticking over possibilities. "What's this guy's range? Everyone's got a weakness — we just need to find his."

"We're going to have to deal with Gabriel one of these days…" Cardinal's jaw sets tightly, lips drawing thin at the mention of what the serial killer tried to do; arms folding over his chest, he tilts his head, continuing to listen.

A lingering pause, "…well. Shit. You have any more details on what he does, or should I go interrogate Volken?"

"Yeah.. I got more." Claire offers blandly, "His blanket range is huge.. according to Kazimir." A gust of wind blows blonde hair across her face, which she promptly brushes back, though her head stay resting on the top of her head for the moment. "He can pick and choose who to negate off their ability and use it himself.. Kazimir doesn't know if he can use more then one ability at a time.. But knowing our luck he can use many." She lets go of her hair and holds up a finger, "But.. Only when they are in his field.. but it's fucking huge. He's also apparently too powerful for Rene."

"Alright…" Cardinal brings one hand up, gloved fingers pinching the bridge of his nose, voice sounding exasperated "…alright. We can handle this sonuvabitch. Whatever abilities he might be juggling, he's still fucking human, and even living gods can die." His eyes lift, flat and hard, "I've proven that before. We just need to find the right tools."

Leaning a little to the side, Claire's hand drops to bulging thigh pocket. "I think I've got at least one tool. He'd have to talk to Huruma about more, since her son runs the MLF." She tugs open the velcro of the pocket and extracts a canister. Her blonde brows lift as she offers it to the shadow man. "Compliments of Rasoul. Haitian in a can." There is disgust in her tone, "Negation gas, based off of the stuff the Company uses. Nasty.. very nasty.. but might do the trick. It's a risk… but…" The ex-cheerleader gives him a matter of fact look.

As the canister's handed over, Cardinal takes it in hand; turning it over slowly in his hand, he whistles softly under his breath as she tells him what it is. "Negation gas," he murmurs, his tone half-way between curious and disgusted, "Well, that goes a long way towards levelling the field of battle… could do the trick, definately…"

Tapping a nail against the cylinder as she says softly, "I think the government wanted this formula. I remember wanting to destroy the factory for this… I can't remember exactly why. " She frowns a bit looking at the can, "I can't remember where I got this one… It was in one of my pocket when I got on board. I mentioned it to Kazimir.. but he seemed more concerned about the fact Sylar tried to saw my head open. Which by the way… your my babysitter when we're out there." Her tone is bland and not exactly happy about it, even if she understands.

Sighing softly, Claire motions at it, " Anyhow, I want you to hold on to that, mostly cause who the hell is going to fuck with you." She gives him a wink. "Plus I think it'll be safer with you, boss."

"You'll be safer than Kazimir than with me," Cardinal observes rather dryly, "Stick close to him… we'll need you both in the same place when the time comes." The cylinder's tucked over in his hand, and then he tucks it into his jacket, admitting ruefully, "I'm guessing the government got the formula anyway?"

As she listens, Elisabeth is thoughtful. The information that there's a gas form of the negation stuff? That doesn't shock her too terribly much. The Company couldn't have been the only people attempting to create that kind of thing — hell, every government in the world is probably attempting it as we stand here. But her brow is furrowed as she thinks about it. "Can, for example, Gillian augment the Haitian negator to enhance his range so as to… negate our bigbad and let mundane teams with guns go in and take him out? I mean… many of us are combat trained well enough to go in without our powers." She glances at the two of them and grins a bit. "When you have powers, every problem can start to look like something you need to use your powers to handle, but…. it's not the case."

"I have no idea if I ever learned that. I'm lucky I remembered what that is." Claire admits, her expression falling some, the memory loss bothering her some. "But.. I'm going to guess, since we all know how they can be…..Yes. I wouldn't be surprised if they gave them the formula from the Company." The blonde has not faith in her government obviously.

"Rene is not going with us." That's her answer to Liz's question, "Kazimir will not risk it.. that's what they were talking about when I showed up… thought I think he's being an idiot taking Sylar." Her tone at the mention of Sylar has venom to it. "But I'm hoping.. that gas.. especially if we can get more. Could do the job." Her gaze goes to Cardinal, hands resting on the rail again, "That thing riding along with my uncle, might actually talk to you about it.. somehow I don't think they can look past that it's me." Eyes drop the to deck and her lips purse.

"It never hurts to have a failsafe." Cardinal steps away from Liz, then, his hand raising up to touch Claire's shoulder as he comes up beside her. "Of course not," he says, more gently, tilting his head to watch her face, "They love you."

Watching the two of them together, Elisabeth smiles slightly and says nothing as she pushes off the rail.

"I know, Richard, but it gets old." Claire states blandly, not looking at him, hand shoving blonde hair out of her face again and holding it to the back of her neck. . "I just went through over a month of hell, seriously.. I will have a crap ton more appreciation for anyone that has to go into a warzone. Not to mention, I'm afraid to know what I don't remember." The regenerator grimaces and finally glances up at her friend. "What more am I going to have to do to stop them from looking at me like a helpless kid? Even Magnes said I made him shoot me to prove I don't need to be protected."

"Well, except from Sylar," Claire murmurs after a moment of thought.

"I wish I could tell you," Cardinal admits with a shrug of one shoulder, his hand falling down as he looks back over the rail to the waters of the ocean, silent for a few moments before he admits, "I'm glad you're all right, though."

Elisabeth's tone is very dry. "The people who knew you before you were a grown-up have a hard time with that transition. As for Magnes?" She shrugs a little. "I would expect that he'd respect what you've gone through. If he doesn't? Then he's not worth keeping, kiddo." She glances at Cardinal. "Being held and tortured changes a person… but it can also make you stronger," she says as she meets Claire's eyes. "You, my dear? You're a survivor. The people who can't see it just aren't looking. Hang in there, okay?"

"I.. am not sure what to make about Magnes." Claire says softly.. "He's… I don't know. Not what I expected." He freaked her out a bit when he cries, but she's not going to admit that. "But right now, that whole thing…" A hand is waved in a dismissive gesture, ".. will have to wait. This Wagner thing… and saving Peter is more important by far."

"I'll you too get back to what you were doing before I so rudely interrupted." Claire glances at them both and smirks. "And.. thanks… Both of you. Just sorry I don't remember more." Eyes shift to Cardinal as she straightens from the railing, leaning over to give him a friendly bump of her shoulder, "I remember I stay with you and help you, but you'll have to refresh my memory of what we do and maybe tell me what I've done.. when this whole cluster fuck is done with."

"Deal." Cardinal's hand lifts again, and he returns the bump of a shoulder with a friendly punch against hers, "When we're done here, I'll let you know everything. Magnes…"

He grimaces a touch, one hand raising to slide against the nape of his neck. "He's got potential, but he's holding on to too many— childish illusions to realize it, still. He still thinks of the world like a— comic book, or a movie or something. He's a good kid, but he's got a lot of growing up to do." Wry, "I never approved of your relationship, never hid that either, so I may be a little biased."

Elisabeth merely chuckles softly and adds, "Yeah, he regularly gave you shit about your taste in men. Magnes is a good kid. I like him, actually. Just… not for this life. He tried to be both a Company agent and a cop, and both places literally had to get rid of him because he's just….. hell, I don't know. Too… innocent? Too… black-and-white about the good and evil thing? Something." She shrugs. "Get to know him again and make whatever decisions you gotta make based on what you learn now. It's all you can do." She's not dismissing the worry, just being pragmatic. "And there's the Claire I know and love — if you don't like watching us snog, don't look!" She winks with a grin.

"Hey.. I've seen worse things then a little smooching," Claire admits with a shrugs before moving off, with a save of her hand, "Don't keep me in the dark, Boss.. let me know what you find out." Then she simply leaves, her face falling into that guarded neutrality it's hand since she got on board, eyes always watching as if expecting some one to jump out, even if she's someplace safe.

"I won't." Cardinal flashes a smile to Claire, then turns to step along past her, "Unlike some assholes… I don't leave my people floundering around in the dark any more than I need to."

Elisabeth watches the younger blonde walk away, noting the way she moves, the way she looks about. And when Claire's out of the range of her bubble, she says quietly and with some authority to Cardinal, "She's going to break." Blue eyes turn to the man. "She's going to break, and it's going to go badly when it happens." Because Liz has lived it; the memories and nightmares that haunt her still live behind her eyes. "Whoever is closest to her at any given moment needs to be aware of it. She may be okay all the way through this assault because she has focus. She knows exactly what she's doing here. But the possibility exists that it's going to be too much." She bites her lip a little, her worry clear. "I hope we can get her home before it happens."

Cardinal's hands tuck into his pockets as he steps along back to stand beside Elisabeth, his head tilting a little to look back over his shoulder after the teenager's departure. "I know," he says quietly, "She's a survivor… but she's still going to break, soon, she's damming it up too much. If she can stay the course, we can get her back to her parents and— well, they can probably help her more than we can."

Sympathy and pain mingle on Elisabeth's face as she looks up at the man who is her lover. "Everyone deals with it differently. This trip, for me, has actually been…. somewhat cathartic." As off the wall as that may sound. She turns to look out over the water. "Nudge her to eat if you catch her in the mess hall," she tells him. And then she smiles faintly. "You have a knack for dealing with damaged women, lover. Just… be there for her. She's going to need that relationship with you." It's the only relationship that Liz knows Claire remembers.

At that, Cardinal snorts a bit. "Me? Dealing with damaged women? You're dangerously deranged, lover," he observes dryly, one brow lifting as he nudges her shoulder with his own, "I'm not exactly the most empathetic guy ever."

She nudges him back with a soft laugh. "You have a way of cutting through the bullshit and being comforting without being overbearing with your sympathy," Elisabeth says quietly. "You have a deeper sense of empathy than you give yourself credit for — you may not always have the right words to give someone, but people wouldn't turn to you if they didn't sense it in you." She grins. "Not that you want to hear that or anything. It's all girly and woowoo and shit."


Cardinal scratches at his cheek again, grimacing as he moves to step away, "Enough of this girly woo-woo shit. Let's go hit the cafeteria and get some dinner before it's all gone. Then I'm gonna need to get some sleep for tomorrow, I we've got a briefing in the morning."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License