The Spinning Needle


minea_icon.gif ghost2_icon.gif

Scene Title The Spinning Needle
Synopsis In which it appears that Minea would rather be noble than concede to prophesy, and the ghost politely deigns to believe that, as long as they're talking about helping Phoenix against the inconceivable siege of enemies it faces.
Date June 13, 2009


Though it's less than two miles square, Chinatown is home to some quarter of a million residents. Cramped, ancient tenements are the norm, though the forty-four story Confucious Plaza standing at the corner of Bowery and Division does boast luxurious accommodations by comparison. Mulberry Street, Canal Street, and East Broadway are home to streetside green grocers and fishmongers, and Canal Street also boasts an impressive array of Chinese jewelry shops.

Helps to have a badge to be out after curfew. Just after curfew. Files under her arm, she's stopped at store that actually stays open a little after due to the fact that the owners live above their little Chinese corner store. She wanted something and knew they'd be open. It just required her to be taking the round about way home. Those same files now on the seat beside her, neatly wrapped up with a big elastic, various tags on them. One of them has her own name on it. There's no one around, it's desolate.

She could run the red light. But she doesn't. Minea waits for it to turn in her black Malibu, engine idling. The brunette shifts uncomfortably in her seat, like there's something uncomfortable she's sitting on or leaning against. She also seems like she's starting to burn the candle at both ends. When this is alllll over, She's taking two weeks in France for real. She'll find a real Roberto. She was going to get laid. God she needed to get laid.

Clunk. The door handle pops in the long fingers of a rough-skinned hand and the metal swerves wide, an instant before there's the full weight of an adult man settling into the seat beside her, an intimately recognizable click of metal composite rotating its hammer back, finger on trigger, the grated delicacy of the sound curiously at odds with the brevity that it takes to register. It goes very quick.

The reflection that implodes the blank of her rearview mirror is not a familiar one. Though Sonny hadn't had time to do much but minutely adjust the working material already there, even minor differences go to great effect on something as crucially representative as a human face. Dark hair and a narrower nose, his cheekbones less rigidly defined and lips less sanguine, and an artificial penbrush having sketched the laughter lines of age in around the corners of his pale eyes. He doesn't look a thing like Teo.

"Breathe easy, Agent Dahl. I'm with Phoenix; I'm just from the future."

There's the click of her safety off, a weapon at her waist now pointing at the man in the seat beside her. Even as the light goes from it's cherry red to electric grass green. She didn't get this far without being too stupid. Figured, she'd forget to lock the passenger side, too used to the stupid government SUV's. It's a mexican standoff, in a car in chinatown. "Everyones from the fucking future these days Mr. Burning Bird. Mind giving me a name to go with that and a reason to believe you? Maybe then I might breath easy" He's sitting on her fucking files.

There are comfortable for his butt, but Ghost doesn't do anything as impudent as squirm his butt on them. "Teo," he answers. "I had an accident with someone who didn't like me hijacking my younger incarnation's face."

There's a momentary pause, probably not in response to either the change in lights or the muzzle of her firearm; one of mechanized, film reel recollection. "You're Minea Dahl. Your sister-in-law is Evolved— Registered, and she and her husband don't know you actually work for a paper company." Irony lights his voice with a reasonable facsimile of humor. "You are former International Security Agency.

"Still were when Christian got run over, and Kazimir Volken almost ended life as we know it with the Shanti virus. Your parting gift to them was a folder on the Phoenix roster circa 2009. Did you know you're about to become an aunt?"

"What do I call you?" Anyone could know about her sister in law but only three people, four maybe, knew what their codename for him was. It's obvious to the viewers that the man across from her will know it. "Intelligence Security Agency, Division in the Army Military Intelligence" Correcting him. No one ever got it right. There's a reason they use acronyms. She was going to become an aunt. Fuck. No wonder they were getting married. He'd knocked his girlfriend up. Her own gun doesn't veer off, still strained towards 'Teo'. "Looking not shabby there future Teo. So why the fuck are you in my car, in two thousand and nine and not whatever year you came from. Saving the world? Coming to kill me because I'm a big bad company agent? Newsflash, I'm either in jail in the future, or i'm executed. So i've been told. Take the gun off me, i'll take mine off you"

There's a hitch to Ghost's eyebrow and then a crease of distaste; not unlike the stilted, stiffened politeness that Teodoro once responded to his erstwhile moniker with. Oh, Christ on a fucking kebab. "Caravaggio," he answers, and his tone is the same as well, unhesitating but unwilling. He used to approach viral apocalypses and Federal agents the same way. Teo always had a way of doing things he'd have to regret later. Again, and again, and again. This is a smaller, more facetious version of that.

As is angling the weapon away, though he stays his eyes on her. He doesn't doubt he can move an action potential through the circuitry of his brain faster than she can move her forefinger, but there's the wry sense that he won't have to, permeating. "Didn't like seeing what they did to you. Didn't do anything to stop it," he admits, at length, "but you always understood that." Business.

"I always did. Life is not daisy's and sunshine. It's a pile of shit shoveled day after day with an occasional flower growing out of it. Hye, it's Business" His gun turns away and she.. puts hers away. Perhaps a show of trust? The light has gone back to red, but Minea doesn't care and a foot presses down on the gas, guiding the black vehicle off to some parking spot on the side. "So, future Teo. What are you doing in my car? Apologizing?" Brown eyes look over in the wash of streetlight that permeates through the windshield. "Or you come to impart on me something I can use? Or just looking for a place to stay?"

For all that they are careening past a red light, she is a good driver. Teo manages somehow not to claw at the inside of the doors or frown at the spectacle of the buildings whistling past like an old man. He isn't one, even if he looks more disconcertingly like it than he had even in 2019. Having a healer as one of his most intimate friends had done worlds to keep the ugliness of age away. Not that he's too badly off as it is, unless you see his back. "In the future, I apologize less often.

"I need the floor plans of all the NYPD precincthouses you can get your hands on. I think I made a mistake and people are going to fucking die because of it."

Instinct tells him he can slouch for show, but the man looking back at him from the rearview is too old for that kind of fucking around, more austere in a way that the ragtag former hooligan never had been. Black jacket, shirt and slacks. "Probably a detail your other source or sources left out. What did you hear?"

"Sure. If you tell me why I should hand them over to a man who's wanted in connection with, oh, I dunno, killing a cop outright?" She might be able to wrangle it. She's not had any strange messages warning her away from Teo. Body language says one thing, but his eyes, they say something else. She's not stupid. She knows he's not. "Don't lie to me Cravaggio. I'm putting my life on the line for your beloved phoenix pretty soon. How you act right now, how you behave, decides whether I go out on that limb or whether I stuff everything away." She looks back towards the road. "Where's present time Teo/"

Saddest thing: Teo hasn't exactly been privvy to the exciting news regarding Minea's… uh, whatever Minea's talking about, either. It's one of the costs of forcibly excommunicating oneself from one's old terrorist cell. Lose the old benefits, technological resources, interpersonal connections… face.

Boyfriend, too, in not unrelated news. "The two I hit in Queens were operatives who do work for Humanis First!. I was trying to stop something— terrorist action against SCOUT. The deal with the NJSP was something different. They were assholes," he clarifies, and the verbiage suits him, curse and all, despite the face. His brow lowers slightly, a crag of shadow darkening the pale of his eyes. "I like SCOUT.

"Sorry— you're putting your life on the what for what?"

"I'm getting them information. Company. Goodman left an insurance policy, dropped it right in my lap after I came out of a mind wipe" Came out of it? Yanked out of it? Healed out of it? What's the proper terminology. "They're providing what they can about Primatech, i'll provide what I can get my hands on about the Company. Just making sure first that the good agents, the few I trust, are safe out of reach of Johnny law" It's the truth. In fact, teos ass is sitting on those files right now, even as Minea's left hand flicks the turn signal and cruises down the street, trying to avoid curfew blocks and the like.

Baby blues close and open once, twice. Ghost tilts slightly on the seat of his pants, props the heel of his hand against the padding and eases his rump up an inch, reaches down to yank the layered paper up in his grasp.

It is not the most tactful move to make and rather underlines the fact that he isn't wearing a seatbelt, but he straps himself in now, a click of metal on metal that somehow fits easily into the dexterous weave and poke of his long fingers that still haven't released the gun— though it is on safe, and isn't pointed anywhere out of malicious intent. Perplexity permeates the quiet for a few long seconds. Then, without really examining the tiny print in the shifting darkness, he asks, "Why?"

"Because…" Why? "Because absolute power corrupts. Power corrupts. Because no one should be that powerful. Because…" She looks in the rear view mirror, letting her eye lock on his again. "Because I saw Simon Allistair face. There's better way to do this, to help those with abilities than tranquing them and mind wiping them. There's some people who deserve to be black holed, or there's people who need help with their abilities that they can't get on their own. But I don't want to see another 18 year old kid looking at me like a cornered fucking rabbit. Company will either fall, or they'll adapt with the release of the information. It's just a matter of figuring out how to do it, without the good people going down."

Eventually, Ghost grunts. It isn't the most expressive sound he's ever generated, but there's mangled agreement and discontentment in it, both. "A benevolent dictatorship's the closest fucking thing I've ever seen to world peace, and even that wasn't very fucking close. Between the political assassinations and the bodybags Pinehearst's laboratories turned out. I don't know what would work better, but it's cute, that you're trying. Of all people."

What happened to 'business?' He doesn't ask. After all, she had only described the shit-shoveling in conjunction with the occasional flowers, and honestly, if anyone would understand the effect that an Allistair twin's wide eyes up close and horrified might have on one's ability to bury one's head in the sand and pretend, it would be the erstwhile temp teacher who'd gotten blown up with the rest of them at Washington Irving.

"Whatever, Caravaggio. You're not the one that ended up on her kitchen floor laying in her piss for a day before someone found you or had Adam Monroe gun you down for existing" She pulls over for real this time, shifting the car into park and looking at him. "So, blueprints. You'll tell me, when you come to pick them up Laudani, or you'll not get them, and a bullet in your heard first" Sometimes, Business becomes personal. And unlike future Teo, Minea's not in the business of corner 18 year olds while they almost cry for mommy and watch their sisters fall.

That fucking name again. His eyebrow twitches faintly, and he leans over to frisbee the manila folder out of his hand, onto her lap. The sheaf of paper within remains, for most part, undisturbed. "I'll tell you now," Ghost answers, simply. "There's a bomb. I thought I stopped it, but I picked up chatter the other day that makes it sound like a different Humanis cell has taken over the project.

"Hey." There's something impossibly benign about the glance he angles over his shoulder at her, even as he unlocks the door, shoves it open with a knee and a foot. "'Cute' is nice words; 'bullet in your head' isn't. Don't get your skivvies in a knot. 'M one of the good guys, remember?" Business is always personal for Teodoro Laudani. He offloads one foot onto the pavement, starts to sling himself out. Pauses.

It isn't disbelief, exactly, when he asks: "How many good agents are there?" His palm shifts on the metal frame of the door, palm flat against the striated reliefs and rubber.

A bomb. Humanis first. "There's at least three. Maybe more. I'm already making them sets of ID's and getting ready. I'll try and get the blueprints. You have my number, you know my car" She tucks the folder away from him. "Magnes Varlane is one. Veronica Sawyer and Lawrence Cook. Len Denton is a fourth. There may be more. I plan to run to the ferryman with them. I've been already moving my money since Agent bradley told me that the company was gonna fall in August. I can survive out in Europe. So can the others if they're smart." She jerks her head towards him, a 'go on' motion with her head. "Keep me updated."

That passes for truth. Fact enough. Or any inconsistencies and risk to Minea's personal health don't bug the ghost's shit enough that he's in the mood to make a fuss at this particular juncture. There are New York police to try and save, after all. "In bocca al lupo, bella. Stare lontana da i gli agos, si? Be careful.

"Stay good, and Wireless might even deign to help you with this one." He winks. Steps back out of the radius of the door that claps shot after him, a shove of his hand. The shift of air pressure stirs her curls and he shifts back across the sidewalk, hands abruptly empty in the rancid yellow puddle of lamp light that trickles down from above.

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