Twice Blessed


cardinal3_icon.gif claire2_icon.gif gillian_icon.gif

Scene Title Twice Blessed
Synopsis The Library gets a box of research, Gillian meets Claire and finds out about the possibly reborn PARIAH, and then Cardinal makes an appearance, showing he's alive to one of the last people associated with Endgame to find out.
Date March 2, 2010

New York Public Library

Once upon a time, the New York Public Library was one of the most important libraries in America. The system, of which this branch was the center, was among the foremost lending libraries /and/ research libraries in the world.

The bomb changed that, as it changed so much else.

By virtue of distance, the library building was not demolished entirely, like so many others north of it; however, the walls on its northern side have been badly damaged, and their stability is suspect. The interior is a shambles, tattered books strewn about the chambers and halls, many shelves pulled over. Some have even been pulled apart; piles of char in some corners suggest some of their pieces, as well as some of the books, have been used to fuel fires for people who sought shelter here in the past.

In the two years since the bomb, the library — despite being one of the icons of New York City — has been left to decay. The wind whistles through shattered windows, broken by either the blast-front or subsequent vandals, carrying dust and debris in with it. Rats, cats, and stray dogs often seek shelter within its walls, especially on cold nights. Between the fear of radiation and the lack of funds, recovery of the library is on indefinite hiatus; this place, too, has been forgotten.

People can't drive when it gets snowy. This is why Gillian's grateful the traffic thinned to nearly non-existant when she managed to get one of Brian's better trucks a block from the Library. Four wheel drive is a god send, in the sudden snow storm. Wrapped in a heavy scarf and a big coat, she trudges through the unshoveled show up to the library, using whatever paths have already been made as much as possible, and shifting her feet to make the tracks look old in either case.

Snow makes stealth difficult.

When she gets inside, with the big covered box of paper work, she lets out a loud sigh and comments in the emptiness, "I hate snow. At least it's better than Antarctica."

For now.

Carrying the box along, she moves deeper inside, kicking her boots against the floor to avoid tracking too much slush in. "Anyone home?" she calls out, voice rasped from the chill, and the natural way her voice sounds, almost as if she's often sick, even if she's not.

Regeneration may stop frostbite, but you still feel the bite and the pain of the cold, this holds true for Claire who is bundled up against the harsh weather. Wearing a thick black winter jacket, a hoodie under that and a heavy sweater beneath that as well, the young regenerator is taking no chances. Even as she steps out from the lower levels of the library, her breath plumes thick and white, hands encased in gloves clutch a shot gun, looking ready for whoever has invaded the place.

The gun toting blonde pauses in mid action of raising the weapon, until she notices it's a somewhat familiar face. Glimpsed on a carrier, dying in a helicopter and on the hard icy ground of the southern pole. "I — know you." Blue eyes narrow slightly as she takes in Gillian, eyes dropping to the box in her hands. One hand lets go of the shotgun and it hangs loosely at her side as she offers a sheepish smile.

"One of us obviously."

"Please don't shoot me. I can't raise my hands without dropping the box," Gillian says with a hint of a smile. It makes dimples appear. She follows up a moment later with a soft, "I— sort of know you too." The glimpses on the carrier and Antarctica aside, they never really talked much, or got to know each other, but she still knows who she is. "You're Claire." She leaves off the part about how Magnes talked all about her, and instead skips to, "Elisabeth told me you'd be kinda in charge while she was gone. I was supposed to drop this stuff off like… weeks ago. But— fucking life never slowed down long enough to make it out here. Midtown isn't exactly on the way to anything."

And… Life was shitty. Which she's probably not going into.

"Elisabeth wanted me to look into Staten Island, and Linderman Group's holdings there. As well as Government. Biggest thing I found was the reclaiming of the base and a hospital there. I highlighted everything that's important," she says, pulling the lid off. There's a lot there, but it seems to have been professionally indexed with little tabs and words even. "I've been here a few times, for a while. Off an on."

"She did, huh?" Claire asks a brow arching and looking somewhat amused at the idea. "She's… back somewhat…. Liz that is." The young blonde steps froward, the tip of the shotgun touching the floor, her head tilts to one side somewhat as she glances at the contents of the box.

Reaching out, Claire lets her fingers walks through all the little tabs, a small smile on her lips. "Boy.. Liz recruited a rather resourceful bunch. I'm just the muscle… so to speak." Blues flick up to the other woman, studying her. "I'm sure she'll be glad to get these." Of course, the boss himself, but that's not for her to say.

"Come on.. you can put those in the war room." The nickname she's kind of given the room that Bones sleeps in and where everyone seems to meet up, the map room.

"Ex-Librarian. I won't be making up a big Jiliabase for the place, but at least I can photocopy, search archives and abuse the public record excessively," Gillian says with hoarse laugh, as she puts the lid back down on the papers, that protected them from the dampness and threat of snow in the air. At least she never fell down and spilled it everywhere— that would have sucked.

"I knew Liz was back, I just never had a chance to come around. I actually have a message for her, but I think that it's probably already been passed on. And the guy who left the message is a big fucker that hopefully has been shot in his annoying face already."

Not the least bit hostile! Shotguns are a good percaution to her.

With her box, she makes her way to the map room. A room she's been to a few times in the past. She helped search for a Statue of Liberty schematic with the guy who put this whole thing together. And not the dead one from the future.

A nod goes to the table once they step in, "Can just put them there." There is a laptop, given to her by Rebel, is set up on the table, seems Claire had been spending some time in the room. A bed at the back of the room is ignored as she makes her way over to the computer, sliding the shotgun to sit on the table next to it. "Need to have it passed on? Or you want me to just let her know your looking for her?"

The blonde settles back into her chair, the metal thing protesting some with creaks and squeaking. "I've been trying to get an old flame of mine to contact me again. I have my own little project that dels with getting in contact with some of my old PARIAH buddies." There is a touch of distaste at the use of buddies in relation to PARIAH. "Rebel is using some of them as an army… I need to talk to them again."

Turning slightly she rests her feet on the table and sighs. "That and seeing if Rebel's got any clues out there, I figure he gave me this thing for a reason," She grouses slightly. "Nothing since I've had it."

"Elisabeth is… holed up with her and Abigail's parents at the moment…" At the moment…

The hollow, echoing voice of the living shadow fades in and out as if reception were poor at the moment. "…they located Kozlow, but I'm afraid that he got away. He's working with Daiyu as well, according to the inestimable Agent Sawyer…" Veronica..

The tattered fabric of Cardinal's substance spills from the darkness of the surrounding library, crawling up the legs of the table and spreading in fluttering, tendriling black over its top, spilling over the papers and the laptop.

"I don't know much about it, but I could take a look at the laptop if you want. Might be something hidden on it. I'm not an expert but…" Gillian knows more about computers than the average bear, at least. She says that as she drops the box down for later going over. It's a very good thing that Gillian had put down the box by the time the hollow voice speaks. Even the shock doesn't unravel the knot in the back of her head, thanks to an augmented persuasion. It's still firmly in place, days later. "Jesus fucking— Cardinal? What the— fuck. Does nobody really die anymore?" she can't help but say, even if, a moment later, she looks around as if to find a physical presense, which she doesn't find, just a creeping shadow.

"Where are you?" she finally asks outloud, apparently not having been told the state the man happens to be in. Peyton likely figured she already knew, and forgot to tell her. It's not like Cardinal lamenting came up much after the first week…

"Uh, the message I got actually came from that guy. Kozlow— Sasha, whatever. He interupted a dinner party I was having with Abby and Eileen. Really annoying. But— least he didn't try to kill any of us. He did want me to tell Teo and Liz that the fires of… Irving were still burning. That school that PARIAH got blamed for blowing up, I guess? Abby said she would deliever it for me, so she probably was told already."

"No.. we've looked, Bones and I have gone over this thing like crazy." Blue eyes move over to watch the shadow detach itself and make itself known. The regenerator doesn't show the same reaction as Gillian, clearly use to Cardinal's appearance now, her face carefully schooled to neutral to avoid showing what she truly feels. Noticing that Gillian hasn't noticed yet, her head tilts a bit. "He's… ah… right in front of you." A jerk of her head at shadow covering the table.

"Anything you want pulled out and opened for you, boss?" That last directed at Cardinal's tattered form, it's become a somewhat secondary function of hers, though she doesn't move to get up right away.

"Sorry I didn't warn you, Gillian." Claire gives the other woman an apologetic smile. "Kind of let him do the revealing."

"I wouldn't be so… quick to assume that I didn't, Gillian…" Die… The rent shadow of Richard Cardinal stirs in constant, subtle motion over the tabletop, working constantly to keep himself together, "It really depends on your… point of view… and no, thank you. Rebel is still out of contact?" Contact…

"So… you're in shadow form," Gillian says, trying to understand all of this as she watches him. "Is it like what happened in Argentina? I know it took a while to get back together, is this just… more extreme?" He'd exploded then too, but for different reasons than a nuke. She can't help but reach forward to touch the table top where his shad ow dances over. "It's just— earlier this week my sister showed up alive. With a big fat memory hole and no real explaination of how she survived, considering they found and identified her remains…"

And she had a psychometric vision of her sister's murder from Gabriel, or Sylar's point of view. It's become on of those things she wants to believe so badly she just tries to remind herself that anything is possible. Especially now. "They found and identified my remains too…" So it could happen!

There is short nod from Claire. "Nothing. I can't understand why he gave me this thing if he's not going to use it." Brows furrow slightly, her gaze moving to the laptop in question. "I suck at this waiting game stuff." A smile is angled at the shadow on the table. "And nothing from West, yet. With the outbreak and this freaky weather he's pretty damn busy."

Sinking lower she gives a soft sigh, "I would think Rebel isn't going to stay quiet too much longer." Claire reaches up to shove hair out of her face, glancing at Gillian, brows lifting slightly.

"No. Then, I simply… lost control. I wasn't…" Dismembered… The echo twists in a dark whisper as Cardinal replies to Gillian, the shredded remnants of darkness flowing themselves up her fingers as she touches the table's surface for a moment, then trailing away in wavering tendrils, "…make sure it's really her. Have a telepath confirm, because there's enough shapeshifters and face-changers out there…" Out there…

"Afraid I don't really know any telepaths anymore. Only one I knew and trusted died," Gillian says with a quiet glance down, as the knot in the back of her head reminds her that she does know of at least one. Or someone who knows of one. "None that I can go to, at least." It's hard to trust people these days, and she certainly tried to not trust what she'd seen with her sister either. "Do think augmenting you might help get you back together? My ability's not really… working right now, but maybe when I get it working again I could try and… You never know."

There's a pause, before her eyes settle on Claire. "Is Knox with those PARIAH guys? He's really the only one I knew at all. He helped me train." For Pinehearst.

"Yes.. Knox is." Claire confirms softly, watching the shadow pulling himself together constantly. "Him and West were some of the original people at a meeting I ended up in a month or so back. Some of…. " Brows drop as she looks at the shadow again. "White's people?" She doesn't remember those days so she has to rely on Cardinal.

"They were there as well.. they are using the mantra and dressing similar, though they insist they are not PARIAH yet." A lop sided smile, pulls at her mouth. "But the fact they are starting to mimic it is already worrisome."

"I don't know… probably not. It might only make the problem worse…" Worse… The darkness stirs slowly, "…the Ferrymen have a telepath in their custody, Kaylee, she's fairly reliable. You may be able to consult her…" The shadow pauses, and Cardinal admits, "…White's people, yes. I'm unsurprised." Unsurprised…

Kaylee. Well, at least now she knows where Peter got telepathy from. That surge of anger shows in the grit of her teeth, her ability pulling against the knot, and this time it even loosens a bit, some energy starting to seep out into the area. Gillian shakes her head a bit, and the knot immediately closes again, even without her really forcing it to. Whatever kept her ability controlled is still there. Even a week later. "No, unless she does something suspicious, I think I'd rather just trust it then go to…" Her. Heavy exhale.

When she speaks again, her voice doesn't have the anger, but the tension is still there. "I could go with you to talk to them if I'm not held up at the Lighthouse. I'd like to see Knox again."

"I… don't know." Claire's eyes narrow slightly at Gillian watching the play of emotions on the woman's features. "I'll have to see.. I already have Bones nipping at my heels to not leave him behind when I go to see these people."

Her head tilts slightly, eyes dropping to the table and Cardinal, "I don't think their dangerous…." Eyes move up to Gillian again. "Yet. I'm going to try and kind of… not exactly befriend them, but hopefully get their confidence again." Uncertainty shadows her features, as she lets her boots slide off the table and she sits up, resting arms on the table. "Hope you decide to go, boss. If only to listen." Grinning a bit she adds, "Be that little voice in my ear if you want something discussed."

The tattered shadows of Cardinal are silent for a long moment, before he observes dryly, "You do realize, Gillian, that now I'm just going to send a telepath to do it anyway. I would have thought that by now you'd have learned not to turn away necessary help just because of your personal feelings…" Feelings…

"Maybe cause it's a personal matter? And if she is my sister she doesn't know about the things I'm involved in," Gillian's voice breaks with emotion again. It is personal. Very much so. It's not like anyone even knew her sister except her— and the people who kidnapped and killed her. "She doesn't know about the Ferry, or this or anything like that. I don't want to put her through a freaking mind-scan when I certainly wouldn't want to be put through it myself." The one time she allowed it, it was to learn how to stop it…

"I'm not even giving her access to sensetive things, I'm not taking her places that aren't publically known. She's at the Lighthouse." In all it's Linderman funded glory. "Brian's watching her all the time. But if you're going to treat me like that, then fine. I'll take her to a fucking telepath." It's Argentina all over again, and it's pissing her off. "And you don't have to take me with you, Claire. I'm sure if you make contact I can meet up with Knox on my own."

"If I ever get this meeting." Claire says with a soft huff, not exactly looking at Gillian, the other part of the conversation is none of her business. "If I don't take you, I'll make sure Knox knows your asking after him… I can give him a number to contact you?" She glances at the woman out of the corner of her eye looking for confirmation.

A glance goes to the shadow, but the regenerator doesn't say much more, beyond. "I'll let you know, Gillian what is up, either way."

A hollow, wavering sigh hisses from the shadows spilt across the table at the response from the augmentor. "Gillian… I'm not worried about sensitive things. I'm not worried about the bloody Ferry, or this…" Endgame…

There's a silent moment as Cardinal pulls himself together, threads of blackness pulling into a more coherent whole, and when he speaks again it's clearer and less broken, "…I'm worried about you. Because if someone is fucking with your emotions by trying to make you think your sister is back from the dead, I am going to be very displeased."

In some ways it's a good thing she didn't try to walk out. Gillian's still looking at the only other person in the room with a face, nodding in response to the assurances, when Cardinal's words creep up from the shadows. Anger and tension have a very similar visible emotion, which it changes to. She bites down hard on her lower lip, and leans against the table, hands heavy on the shadows as she lowers her head. There's tears, whether they both can see them or not. It wouldn't be the first time someone's toyed with her emotions…

"I don't want to find out it's not really her," she says, voice changing, drawn out by something else. "Just like I wouldn't want to find out if you're not really you. I helped cause the ice-quake on Antractica. I got shot and I lost control and…" She raises a hand up, wipes at her eyes. "And if she's not dead, if … if Gabriel didn't really kill her… maybe I don't have to keep blaming myself for that either. I lost so much lately— I just want to have something back…"

As she leans against the table, Cardinal's tattered substance curls itself up her arm, over her shoulder in a drape of rent darkness; not that she can feel him, of course, and if she's not looking she won't even see the gesture, although the whispering voice of the wounded shadowmorph is closer now.

"I know." I know. "Wouldn't you rather… know for certain, though? If we can prove it's her, you won't have to keep questioning it. Won't have to suspect her…" Suspect her…

"Yeah. I guess. I just don't want to actually meet her," Gillian says after a moment, even if they may not understand what she means by that. Hating the faceless telepath who's found her way into Peter's life just as he kicked her out is much easier without actually having a face. Or meeting her. Or going to her for help.

"Sorry," she apologizes, rubbing cold hands over her suddenly very warm face. "I had to get a new phone recently. I can give you the number so you can let me know how the PARIAH stuff goes. And maybe let Knox know how to contact me, if he wants to." The shadow may not be easy to notice, but she notices it enough, reaching to touch the form against her shoulder with her hand. And we need to get you a body again."

The regenerator stays quiet in her little spot in her chair, out of the way. Eyes on the table, not on the woman, just listening and content to do so. At least till Claire is somewhat addressed. "Yup.. there is a white board Liz put in down in the bowels of this place. Toss it there I'll add it into my phone later."

"If you and Knox got along, it wouldn't be a bad idea if you both showed up… old friendships rekindled…" The shadow spills away again, slowly, Cardinal's torn substance leaking back over the wood, "…and I don't even know where to begin, Gillian." Gillian.

"Well, it's an ability. We should probably start there. Your shadow expanded when I augmented you. Maybe if we do it in the dark you'll… fill the holes." And the worst case scenerio, it'll do nada… Gillian only has one thing she bets he should definitely avoid. "Try to stay away from anyone who negates. If you can't hold yourself together you might fall out in…" Pieces. And that's not what she wants him back for! She'd rather have lingering shadow than dead Cardinal.

"I'll go take care of the numbers…" There's a pause, then she asks, glancing around as if imagining a face there. "Take care of yourself— You too, Claire."

Claire lifts a hand in farewell, giving Gillian a small smile. "Take care of yourself as well." There is a bit of a pause, glancing down at Cardinal, before adding, "I'll be in touch." She can count on that.

"I'm fully aware of what would happen if I… tried to turn back right now. Perhaps an umbrakinetic, although I don't know of any…" Of any… The torn shadows spill back over the table, "…worry about other things right now. I'm a low priority." Priority…

"Don't be silly. You're not a low priority," Gillian says, shaking her head in disagreement before she begins to walk out, still trudging some water behind her as she goes. That's what happens when it snows in March and she parks a block away for security purposes!

None of us would be here if it wasn't for you. Twice."

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