Two Years Gone


brian_icon.gif colette_icon.gif delilah_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif heather_icon.gif helena_icon.gif isabelle_icon.gif pam_icon.gif teo_icon.gif ygraine_icon.gif

Also featuring…

erim_icon.gif karl_icon.gif melinda_icon.gif trent_icon.gif

Scene Title Two Years Gone
Synopsis An event commemorating the loss of life in the Manhattan Explosion is crashed by PARIAH.
Date November 8, 2008

Cathedral of St. John the Divine

The largest Gothic cathedral in the world, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine remains partially unfinished to this day, despite its construction having begun in 1892 - true to form for buildings of its type. Nonetheless, it is a grand and imposing sight; possessing the characteristic grand arches, pointed spires, and beautiful stained glass windows, including a large and striking Rose window. Where the walls aren't covered with old and meticulously preserved tapestries, they are often ornamented.

Guided tours are offered six days out of the week. Services are open to all. Since the bomb, the main nave is open at all but the latest hours, though the smaller subject-specific chapels close in the evening. The cathedral is also a site for major workshops, speakers, and musical events - most especially the free New Year's Eve concert, which has been held without fail each year since the bomb.

St. John's has long been a center for public outreach and civic service events, but since the bomb, those have become an even greater part of its daily affairs. Services include a men's shelter, a twice-weekly soup kitchen, walk-in counseling, and other programs besides. These are open to everyone - non-Evolved, unregistered Evolved, registered Evolved… the philosophy is that they're all children of God, and that's what matters.

The various memorial ceremonies have come to their respective closes, and it's in a subdued and introspective mood that the numerous attendees filter down into the large hall on the cathedral's lowest level. The room is well-lit, its Gothic-style ornamentation setting an appropriate atmosphere for the day of memorial. One entire wall is fronted by cloth-covered boards, on which people have been pinning up pictures, poems, dried and silk flowers… anything they deem a fitting rememberance of those lost and gone. At either end of the stretch are stands of votive candles, many of them already lit, flames glimmering warmly inside colored glass holders.

The main body of the hall is occupied by row upon row of tables, all of them covered in white cloth, a similarly pristine napkin folded neatly at each seat. Around the seating area are a line of tables with food arranged buffet-style — from the typical cubed cheese and cut vegetables to pastas, meat dishes, and taco fixings, along with everything in between. Plates and utensils can also be found on those tables. There is no alcohol provided, of course, but there is bottled water, sodas, a variety of juices, and even small cartons of milk.

Music plays in the background from well-camouflaged speakers, the sustained and soaring notes of church music, pure harmonies appropriately bittersweet. Overlaying the soft strains is the susurrus generated by the living — the murmur of conversation, the shuffle of foot and scrape of chair on concrete, the clinking of utensils against plates — as people spread out into the hall and form clumps around the tables, before the Wall of Memories, or just wherever is convenient. Two journalists and one cameraman wander through looking for brief interviews and generally documenting the event for later publication.

Pam, conservatively dressed, stands by the Wall of Memories, just a little off to the side. She's going through three photographs, sliding one on top of the other to inspect them, back to front, over and over again, looking indecisive. And sad. Her eyes are a little pink from surreptitious crying during one of the ceremonies and she still snuffles occasionally.

Slightly incongruous amidst the throng of respectably-clad churchgoers, a figure in black leather creaks quietly through the crowd towards the coffee, the flag of the United Kingdom painted across the back of her reinforced biker's jacket. Ygraine's doing her best not to hunch her shoulders or scowl, but is clearly pensively distracted, her lower lip sucked between her teeth to be chewed upon.

Teo's wearing a suit. A black one. Simple, somber, sharp lines hanging off his lean frame to give an air of somber respectability to a young man who ordinarily looks the part of a thug or an appropriately reluctant high school teacher. There's an expression on his face that's almost the absence of one. He had turned inward during the memorial ceremony, as attendees are wont to do; the part of him that remains seems oddly unavailable for response, despite that he's keeping companionable stride in syncopation with a young blonde woman at his shoulder. Helena. As they approach the tables, the sight of food doesn't interest him— but the tables and massing crowds, firelight and society do remind him of where he is. Mourning, not dead. "Bellissimo," he murmurs suddenly, crooking a gentle elbow at the girl's side. A small smile: "I forgot to tell you earlier."

Helena is just another face in the crowd. A too-big leather jacket is worn, with knit cap hastily taken off and shoved in her pocket, she looks around at the mourners, the remembrances on the wall. It's bad and it's good, and she seems content at the moment to stick close to Teo. "Forgot to tell me what?" she asks quietly.

Standing at the entrance of the church is Isabelle, wearing a pair of dark jeans with a red tank top along with her favorite leather jacket. Her black boots make a thud noise as she stops and looks around. A picture of a little boy in her hand, Izzy's eyes don't look red of tears. The woman doesn't usually cry in public. She makes her way towards the table and nods softly at Teo and Helena but not giving them a second glance. She turns her head to look at the Wall of Memories.

Walking through the crowds towards the buffet tables is a certain young man. No way he would let an opportunity of free food go by without capitalizing. And of course the obvious reasons for showing up, sympathy, remembrance all that. But there looks to be some really good food here! Brian has made his way to the buffet line. Making his selection of different foods. He is not going conservative, and is really loading up.

These big events tend to draw a lot of people. And Brian has been on the look out for a couple special individuals. So he has brought along two duplicates for today's event. All three young men are dressed rather nicely, collared shirts, slacks, and one is even wearing a tie. One Brian is standing near to Pam, as she starts to cry. Usually he would ask the redundant 'are you alright' but.. No one should be 'alright' today. So this Brian simply observes. The third Brian weaves his way through the crowds as if looking for someone.. He has yet to see Helena or Teo.

The memorial ceremony was lovely, and Elisabeth was glad she brought a lot of tissues in her small black purse. As she walks with the crowd through the cathedral to the lower level, she pauses at the Wall of Memories for a moment, looking over it silently. Her eyes are a little red but she's calm as she turns toward the tables and the massive group of people winding their way through them. She spotted Teo earlier, being conveniently seated behind him upstairs, and she pauses just outside of his conversation range at the table to pick up a glass of punch before going near so as not to interrupt his conversation. She nods, though when she catches his eye.

Ygraine's hands only shake a little as she pours herself a cup of coffee, whitening it with only a touch of milk before moving a few paces away from the table to clear space for others to follow her. Holding her cup high, she sips carefully from it, frowning pensively as she runs her gaze over the shifting sea of faces.

Teo's eyes smile a little brighter than his mouth does. "You look pretty tonight," he repeats, simply, this time in English. There's sincerity in his words despite her misfit jacket and the recalcitrant halo her hair makes around her heart-shaped face. Or, arguably, exactly because of those things. A hand is near her head in a moment, a jarred fraction too awkward to be brotherly, a touch too playful to imply more intimacy than there is between them; he'll smooth down her hair if she'll let him. The doorway exhales one drove of mourners past, and he sees Elisabeth after their quiet, lamb-footed dissipation.

A beat's hesitation. "If you'll excuse me a moment, I should say hi to an ex-cop," he tells Hel, canting his head. She might remember: the music teacher whose brow had knotted so fiercely when Colette burst into the Nite Owl, days ago. Subtler even than that murmur, a flick of his eyes toward a passing Brian. The Phoenix operatives separate.

Delilah is only one of the other presences along the Wall, standing or wandering quietly nearby and keeping her eyes centered on reading some of the notes, gazing over the pictures, and admiring some of the other things that seem to have made it up onto the wall. She has on a knee-length black dress, with a short jacket wrapped over her upper torso. As she finds a spot on the wall actually unoccupied by tacked and pinned bits and pieces, the teenager lifts a hand to search the inside of her coat. Dee produces a folded sheet of notebook paper, promptly finding a rogue pin to attach it to the board.

Pam goes through the lineup again; a dark-haired girl is in all three pictures. One is a shot of the girl in casual pajama-type clothes and a messy ponytail, pitching popcorn at the photographer, motion blurring her hands. The next is Pam and the girl together, drinks in hand, one dressed as an angel (Pam) and the dark-haired girl as a devil. And the last is the dark-haired girl hugging a macho-looking guy. One, two, three. One, two, three. Popcorn, costumes, guy. Another vague snuffle and she happens to glance over at the Brian near her; she offers a faint, somewhat embarrassed smile.

Helena doesn't recognize Isabelle, and seems caught up in what's going on around her. She gives Teo a small nod, and seems content to meander on her own. The buffet looks like it has possibilities, and as she makes her way over, she stops mid-step, espying a certain someone. Or someones. She starts making her way to one of the Brians with eyes narrowed in intent.

She doesn't wear the somber black pantsuit to school, that's for sure, although Elisabeth seems right at home in such an outfit. Certainly there's enough all-black out there today, though, for it not to draw much attention. When Teo excuses himself, Liz smiles briefly. "I didn't mean to interrupt," she tells the young man. "I think you're about the only familiar face I spotted at this thing — not hugely surprising, given the sheer number of people," she tells him. So many people lost something. "I just wanted to say hello," she says as her eyes come back to his.

As Teo parts from Helena, Brian takes that opportunity to step in alongside Helena. "You shouldn't run from people who just want to talk. Some might consider that rude." The young man says, directing a sideglance down at the woman. She was on her way to see one Brian, but another intercepted.

The Brian over at the wall offers Pam a very sympathetic smile, if he could take away her pain with a smile, that would be it. His eyes wander off of her and to Delilah. Recognition is immediate, though the man is going to make no attempt to tease or approach her today. Not today. He stands quietly in between the two women, looking at the.. Memories.

The third Brian, or is he the first? The one with the food starts to graze. His eyebrows perk a little bit at nothing in particular, most likely something one of the other Brian's experienced.

Isabelle just watches the wall for a moment and then goes to pin the photo of the little boy on the wall before she steps back and goes back to the table of food.

Pam's gaze drops from Brian, back to her own decision. Finally, she takes the popcorn picture and steps forward to pin it to the wall, offering Isabelle a sympathetic look as she passes near. The picture of the little boy is given a curious look, the dark-haired girl going up nearby.

Teo, on the other hand, does recognize the pyrokinetic. The Stillwater Securities head's friend, he remembers. And Abby's would-be employer. He offers an inclination of his head and a quirk of his mouth by way of salutation; he pauses briefly to study the photograph she pins to the wall, though he's too far to do much more than remember where it is. Two more strides and the crowd segues in, blocking Isabelle from view and Elisabeth emerges, just as golden as the weather witch he'd just parted from. "You didn't," he assures her, offering a handshake. "I don't think anybody came here to be alone with who they arrived with." He nods a little. So many people lost something. This crowd, just a fraction. "If you don't mind me asking," but how couldn't he? "Did you?"

Mingling amongst the crowd, Heather was one of the many who came to pay her respects in honor of the memorial. Probably not as nicely dressed as others, she is at least wearing something decent. Jeans, nice polo shirt, and a sleeveless sweater vest to top it all off. Pinned to the collar of her vest is a small pendant with hanging charms. One representing fire, the other ice. Her own little tribute to her parents. Probably means nothing to anyone else. As she passes one of the tables, she pauses. Was that….she turns to look….score! Pepper-jack cheese cubes! Taking a few, she continues to mingle.

Isabelle nods at Teo and then smiles softly at Pam, "How are you feeling today?" Izzy is in a friendly mood! Yay, she looks again at the picture of the little boy and shakes her head softly.

Still sipping intermittently at her coffee, and frowning as she worries at something in her thoughts, Ygraine drifts through the crowd towards the wall of offered memories, eyes flickering to and fro over the length of the randomly-forming collage of words and images.

Elisabeth nods slightly to Teo, taking his hand with her free one. "My mother was in Midtown, at her law firm," she says quietly. Two years later, it's still a raw blow. "By sheer stupid luck, my father was late going in — he forgot his briefcase." Funny how such an insignificant mistake can be life-altering…. and life-saving. It makes her eyes glisten with those tears again, but she pushes that aside. There is nothing to be done about it now except remember the good times. "Did you?"

Pam tucks a lock of hair behind her ear and opens up her purse to tuck the other two pictures inside. "Not great, considering," she murmurs to Isabelle. "But maybe better than I expected to be a year ago." Her gaze flicks toward the picture of the little boy and she hesitates before raising a hand to point at the picture she just pinned up. "My friend Stacy. Stace."

"I was just trying to stop you. It didn't work." That much is obvious, Brian says in response to Helena. "I'm actually having a talk with one of yours right now." Brian says wih a light smile. "Eve." He keeps his voice rather quiet so as not to be overheard. "She's driving off.. right now." Rather odd way to speak. But to someone who understands his ability, it would make perfect sense.

Food in tow, Brian takes his plate and wanders over to Heather. "Are you following me?" He asks of her as he starts eating cheese cubes and sausages alike. He gives a smirk to Heather as he looks up at her.

Over by the wall, Brian's eyes flash to Ygraine. A little wave is granted her with a small smile accompanied with it. This Brian remains quiet, as he listens to the interactions going on around him.

Delilah didn't lose anyone in this particular incident- but due to somewhat similar losses, she is not without sympathy for the mourning of everyone else. As she takes a step back again, Delilah peers solemnly past the bottom edge of her bangs, up towards the wall again to take in the entire board. Despite the reason for it, it's pretty damn awesome. With a small sigh, the girl turns on her heel to wander over towards where a line begins to get at the tables of food. She is mostly staring down at ankles and knees as she passes others, largely because of that 'what if I know someone here' feeling.

"I know someone who can do what you do." Helena says quietly. Her tone is admittedly a touch terse. "But he doesn't understand what's happening to him. I think he's met you before, or someone like you, and doesn't know it. And I think he needs help."


Pop. Pop.

It sounds like fireworks — like those little white noisemakers children throw down on the concrete to produce sharp bangs. Except the sounds don't come from the ground. They originate somewhere above the heads of the crowd, in the empty space cradled by the hall's vaulted ceiling.


It's meant to get attention, and that's exactly what happens. The murmurs of the attendees change in flavor from slightly melancholy conversation to shared puzzlement — and then silence begins to spread out over the hall. It starts at the main entrance, gradually stretching deeper in as people realize the sounds are no part of the memorial itself. As those on that side of the hall step aside, clearing a path for the newest arrivals.

Dressed in matching floor-length black trenchcoats, it's clear the trio ascribe to the Neo school of rebel fashion; the two flankers, a young woman with short platinum-blond hair and a Spanish-looking male of about the same age, even have appropriately mirrored sunglasses. Despite her eyes being hidden, the grin that shows off all of the woman's teeth says everything about her purpose here. Mischief. Trouble. And she's enjoying every minute of it.

The man in the lead has no sunglasses, but does wear a broad-brimmed black fedora on his head. He stops at the first table, looking across it at one of the Cathedral staff, and offers the older woman a surprisingly friendly smile. Gloved hands place a clear Ziploc bag with several bundles of green bills in a clear spot on the table. "Let it not be said that we don't support good deeds," he says, the timbre of his voice gentle but the words pitched quite clearly for the entire room.

The Phoenix operatives would recognize all three immediately. Karl, Melinda, and Erim. PARIAH incarnate.

"I could ask you the same question." Heather retorts towards Brian, just after she swallows the last of the cheese cubes she had. "Seems like we just keep bumping into each other." She's about to reach for more cheese when the fireworks sound. Or at least they sounded like fireworks. "Did you hea…." Her sweet voice trails off upon hearing the words voice and seeing a trio of trenchcoats.

Teo wonders what kind of dumbass goes to a memorial service without bringing tissues. Makes a man feel somewhat heartless, though the little ache that's taken up residence in the left part of his chest argues otherwise. "Fare le condogli'anze.. I'm sorry for your loss." He's been to enough funerals and seen enough mourning — one in particular — to recognize a woman who'd rather not dwell, though, so he leaves it carefully at that. Nods in answer, glancing across the Wall as if reminded. "Friends from school," with some difficulty. "A few of them who encouraged me to leave town that summer to go sailing. I don't think it would be exaggerating to say I owe them my life."

He'd have said more, but that peculiar popping gets his attention, with a furrow of annoyance in his brow. He steps aside as he turns, allowing Elisabeth a view of what he's trying to look at. He sees them. The three, down to the Wachowski warehouse raid of their costumes and the characteristic mischief on Melinda's face. His fingers twitch, curl; resisting the urge to reach under his jacket, and damning coincidence for making what he'd originally hoped was an supernaturally horrible moment of paranoia into something practical. Coming to a church armed. "I wonder who they are," he mumbles, stepping back. Hiding himself.

Ygraine sighs heavily, taking a much longer sip of her coffee, before raising her head and craning up onto tip-toes to peer around, frowning deeply as she hastily scans the peripheries of the crowd and looks up to the organ loft. That done, she starts to drift as unobtrusively as she can off towards the side of the gathering, moving towards the shadows of the great columns rather than towards any obvious exit.

Helena watches the entry with the fiercest of scowls, and if the Brian she's with doesn't protest overmuch, she'll draw him away and deeper into the crowd. She too, doesn't want to be seen. It may be too much to hope that this won't end in violence. Surely - surely they wouldn't, not at a memorial…

"What I can do?" Brian asks quietly, looking a little incredulous. "I would be willing to help." The young man offers. "But there is something I want." Brian's words are cut off by the pop pop pops. And his eyes flash up to the new arrivals. "Friends of yours?" He asks softly, arching brows as he looks up to the strange trio. He allows Helena to draw him away, he doesn't need to be close, he has two other pairs of eyes on them, after all.

With Heather, Brian is about to respond before his silence is also commissioned by the new arrival. He doesn't stop eating, though.

The sound of gunfire is entirely too familiar to Elisabeth, and she instinctively looks toward the sound while engaging in a bit of a ducking move. What the…. You've GOT to be kidding! Son of a …. She puts a hand on Teo's arm as he starts to move, letting him move behind her. And she looks at the incredible number of people who are now targets of …. God only knows what. "Oh f*ck," she whispers softly.

"The little boy is Stanly, a little boy that lived at the group home I was raised in, he was right near the center of the blas-" when the pop noises are made, Izzy's facial expression darkens and she tilts her head at the trio that entered. Friend or Foe?

Pam looks up hurriedly at the popping; then the crowd parts to reveal the black jacketed people and she frowns a little. "Shit. D'you think they're violent? Was that money?" she murmurs to Isabelle, worrying at her lower lip with her teeth.

"Not anymore." says Helena softly. Once they're deep enough in the crowd to satisfy her, she murmurs, "What is it you want?"

Delilah has enough time to get her fingers around a cut sandwich before the sounds start, and by the time the source(?) actually makes itself known, she seems to be thoughtfully biting into it. The girl is confused, and curious at the same time. Dee bumps past another person in order to get a better look.

To say Karl is here for sake of mischief would be a tremendous mistake. His purpose is eminently serious, and he takes a single step away from the table, turning to look into the crowd. What he seeks is easily found — the camcorder supported on the camera man's shoulder, visible over the heads of most memorial-goers… and aimed directly at the three terrorists, filming everything. A slow, pleased smile curves Karl's lips, and he points directly at said unfortunate, a movement of his arm directing him to come out here.

There's a moment of 'who, me?' on the part of the cameraman, before he slinks out of the crowd, wary but maybe-possibly-it's too good to be true eager at the same time. An exclusive with terrorists! And he might even survive it in one piece.

Glancing sideways towards Brian, Heather raises an eyebrow. "Well, this is certainly interesting." she comments, resting herself against the table to watch. For now, she doesn't seem to think there's any danger. "What do you suppose they want?"

"What?" Brian asks, semi-flabbergasted at Helena's question. "Are you sure this is the right time?" Whatever, if she wants to know now.. "I want in." The young man says simply. "Eve told me she was in charge of recruiting me. All's I want is that that process be hurried up. If you know what I can do, you know how much I could help." Brian explains to her.

Over by the wall, Brian's hand jumps out and lands on Delilah's shoulder. Though she may hate him from the time before, no reason he can't try to help. "Careful." He urges seriously, no hint of malice or teasing on his features this time.

Over with Heather, Brian smirks through the food. "You have bad luck. Every time I see you something bad happens." A shake of his head. With her question, Brian shrugs. "I like his hat." He says, gesturing with his head to Karl.

Teo hides behind Elisabeth. Chivalry ain't dead, it just knows she used to be a cop and he is, to all appearances, a hapless high-school teacher who occasionally goes sailing. Afforded the cover of the woman's back— and her attention turned away, he does reach into his coat, finally, though not to yank out the Para-Ordnance .45 but to find his cellphone.

A thumb-click puts the thing on silence; he types quickly, expediently, and practically blind: LCD screen turned down lest the underlighting betray the motion, eyes flicking between phone and publicity stunt, his expression blank, belying the deep-seated aggravation of having such a sacred moment summarily shat on by Karl's need for publicity. On some level, he hates to be party to it and spread the word. On the other hand, Phoenix needs to know. In the space it takes to draw a breath, the phone's back in his pocket. He whispers at the back of Elisabeth's head: "Are you going to get closer?" His eyes are wide. The expression isn't actually a ruse.

"We're not PARIAH." Helena hisses under her breath. She gestures vaguely in the direction of Terrorist!Harry, Terrorist!Ron, and Terrorist!Hermione. "We're something else. They're PARIAH, and they're dangerous. We may need to get out of here. We may need to help people get out, if they're going to do something rash."

"They would not want to be violent" Isabelle growls and moves to stand in front of Pam, if anything happens. She will protect the younger woman.

Pam reaches toward Isabelle's arm, hissing, "Hey, stay back!" Her eyes stay on the PARIAH crashers, wide and anxious.

Ygraine slows her drift towards cover, finding a spot that offers a relatively clear view of what's going on, but leaves her within easy sprinting distance of the comforting solidity of one of those great pillars.

This does not bode well… are these guys looking to make a major statement? Elisabeth is keeping her eyes on the very clear threat posed by the people in the trenchcoats, and when Teo rustles around behind her, she slants him a glance. Luckily he's hidden in the crush of people. When she spots what he's got, she turns back around facing forward and whispers to him very very softly, hidden in the consternation of the crowd, "When you get the operator on 911, give her a Code <Nineteen> E."

Yes, you. Karl lets his hands fall as the cameraman picks his way through the wary, anxious throng, tucking them comfortably behind his back. Melinda and Erim take up defensive positions, watching the crowd. If anyone tries anything stupid

The cameraman takes up a position acceptable to both him and Karl, sets up his device, and nods to the terrorist leader to indicate he's ready. Karl levels his gaze on the little red light. "Mister Rickham's election to the office of President was a tremendous step in the right direction — though I'm well aware he won't consider my endorsement a blessing," PARIAH's leader concludes with a grim smile. "But under his leadership, I hope we need no longer have any… differences of opinion with the federal government. Understand that has never been my desire."

Karl's eyes shift their focus beyond the camera, towards the irritating voice at the back of the room. Of all things, that smile grows slightly, but he returns his attention to the camera in short order.

"But we have not forgotten the wrongs that endure. We have not forgotten that the Linderman Act still stands, nor the people Homeland Security has 'disappeared' under the cover of that and the PATRIOT Act. And we will not stand by idly, allowing this to continue."

"Say the word, and I can have six more helpers pop up." Brian says softly to Helena. "They would be naked though.." Only downside. A bunch of would-be-hero nudists. "I have two of me in the crowd." He informs Helena, "I got one on a bike who is on his way." Brian says to his new found blonde friend. "Are they.." He looks at her for a moment, "Like us? What can they do?" He asks of Helena, he puts his shoulder in front of Helena as if to protect her should these three do anything.

Over with Heather, Brian shakes his head. "I have a bad feeling about this." His plate is finally laid down at the table, got to be ready.

By Delilah, his gesture of caution ignored, Brian frowns deeply. Stepping up closer to the woman the man steps to her side. Should she be accosted for her loud mouthiness, he will be there to get the backlash as well. "They're probably not very receptive to that kind of comment." He urges to Delilah, trying to get her to quit this heroicesque act.

Ygraine decides that half a cup of coffee really isn't going to be much use in this sort of situation. Downing the rest, she moves a little closer to her chosen pillar, setting aside the saucer and its cup upon a pew. She darts a worried glance in the direction of the unexpected British voice, but fails to locate the loudmouth amidst the crowd.

"…Look, I don't care okay? I told you I'm not talking to you." Pushing her way between a few attendants with a mild frown, a young and dark-haired girl snorts out terse words over her shoulder as she makes her way into the main cathedral chamber from the hall leading to the basement stairs. Behind her, a taller and older young man walks with a more brisk pace, reaching out to grab her by the shoulder, turning her around where she stands.

"Colette," He squeezes down with that hand, "Look, you don't understand. It's not safe for you to keep poking your nose in her business, if she wants to help she'll help, but you can't force her to." The young girl stares up at her older persuer, mis-matched eyes peering up half-blindedly to him, and one small hand reaches up to swat his aside.

"You can do screw yourself, Trent. I think we already covered that last time." A bit of a coarse tongue for a house of God. Trent recoils a bit from the light slap to his hand, but he spots what Colette has failed to; namely the black-clad entourage that has garnered the attention of everyone else who wasn't occupied downstairs with volunteer efforts. A banquet like tonight's doesn't come without considerable effort.

Pushing her way past a few onlookers, Colette's boots carry her with a hastened pace across the church floor, and when she passes by the pillar Ygraine is near, the striking contrast of the Colette that Ygraine knows, and the remarkably upper class attire Colette is wearing today seems jarring. Colette, due to her blind side, fails to spot the Briton in her peripheral vision. She turns, though, upon noticing something else in her field of vision, the very vocal, and very distinctive forms of PARIAH's operatives. While the significance of their appearance is lost on her, the way the crowd seems to be fixated on them isn't. "…The heck?" She murmurs, tilting her head to the side with a swish of her bangs, falling down to cover her blinded eye.

Teo has doubt in his heart of hearts that this whole 'calling the NYPD' thing is a good idea. As far as he can tell, Karl hasn't started collecting heads yet. Still, the phone does come out of hiding in his pocket, still gripped in what Teo can only hope is a suitably panicky fashion. He whispers at Elisabeth, and Elisabeth whispers back at him, her back still to his front. "You don't think it'll make the situation explode?"

"Honestly, I have no idea — but I can tell you this much: with this many people here, if they're here to make a big boom, it's going to make a big impact. You got a better plan?"

The question wasn't hissed harshly enough to be rhetorical, but Teo pretends it is in lieu of answering. Her logic isn't bad, and it's supported more yet when some English redhead sasses up from his peripheral; Karl's choice of words thick with tenebrous intimiations. One final mutter, and then Teo's ducked down, patching through to the NYPD operator, muttering the code Elisabeth had offered him a second before he kills the connection. Possible hostage situation: Evolved. St. John's Cathedral.

"I do too." Heather answers, nodding her head in total agreement with Brian. "I wonder if I have signal in here." Her phone's been acting up lately, and sure enough as she slides it out of her pocket, it indicates no signal. Well, scratch that idea. "No such luck. Guess we're on our own." Not that she's doing anything yet. Just following the old Boy Scout motto of Be Prepared.

"It may not be necessary." Helena says softly. "All we may have to do is be patient if they're just going to make a statement and leave." Some of the voices calling out in protest make her wince. It's just going to aggravate things.

If she had a better plan, Elisabeth would have used it… but she doesn't. The best she can hope for is that Karl and his roving band of people are just here to make a speech… and not blow up the entire cathedral in some "statement" against the wrongs Evolved have been dealt. She whispers softly to Teo, "If all hell breaks loose, get as many people as you can herded out of here… if we even get the chance, okay?" Oh… and she can also hope that the cops, the organization she walked away from because they were dealing like idiots with the Evolved threat among other reasons, doesn't come screaming in here and making things worse. Which now, in hindsight…. could actually be the case. And she'll kick herself for it if it goes down like that. Sometimes being a cop, even an ex-one, is more instinct than conscious choice. Please God, let them be smart about their response.

Isabelle looks at Pam and shakes her head softly and then returns her attention back to the trio of trench coat people. Is this the group PARIAH? Izzy has covertly trying to find a way to get in contact with them, mainly she is a creature of violence and she likes the PARIAH message. Isabelle doesn't say a word as she continues to watch.

Pam grimaces, a hint of Texan drawl in her tone as she murmurs, "Shut uuuppp," under her breath at the statements called out from the crowd. Her hands have squeezed into nervous fists. Say your peace and go away, she mentally wills the trio. Sadly, she has not evolved mind powers.

Brian at her side gets a glower and a hissing whisper. "I'll say what I damned well please, you, so shut your gob." Delilah crosses her arms and turns that same glower across the crowd at the PARIAH members. This time, she does bump her way closer, brows knit and lips pulled into a frown. "This is not the place for your politics. This is a house of God and a time of mourning, not your soapbox, fellow. So please pay your respects or get out." And that's all she has to say about that.

The cops are on their way — with a vengeance. But mobilization for such a response takes precious time. They are neither Hiro nor Peter, to fold time and space at need. And while the posse seems — is — entirely unaware of the impending complication, time is all they need.

Karl lifts his hands, tugging the black glove from each. "I have a message for Everett Hicks." The head of Homeland Security. "Power concedes nothing without a demand; it never has and it never will. So said Frederick Douglass, and his words are no less true today. Well, we demand equality, Mr. Hicks. We demand the same liberty as everyone else. The right to live our lives without fear of Homeland Security. And in pursuit of that liberty… the gloves are coming off." One glove — the left hand — is thrown to the concrete with a resounding slap.

"Fortis et liber, Mr. Hicks," Karl hisses, his voice low but intense, eyes narrowing sharply. "Never forget it."

Delilah's words, being no more than words spoken from the safety of the crowd, are allowed to roll off the posse's self-important dignity without response. Karl lifts two fingers to the brim of the fedora, the hint of teeth in his smile turning the nominally respectful tip of his hat to the camera into pure mockery. In a swirl of black coat, PARIAH's leader turns and strolls back out the way he came, Melinda and Erim falling into place behind him.

Statement made, the terrorists thus depart.

Upon spotting Colette, Ygraine moves into action, striding swiftly over to bring herself into the young woman's view, then rest a hand on her shoulder, darting a warning glance to Trent. "Careful", she murmurs, sotto voce, before turning most of her attention back to Karl's closing statement.

She can't agree more with the message that is being given, in spite of disagreeing completely with the methods by which it is given. When the leader throws down his gauntlet, Elisabeth tenses slightly, hoping against hope that no one is planning on challeging the group still further. It's looking very much like things might actually resolve without too much trouble. When they depart, Liz wilts a little in relief. Enclosed space+lots of people+terrorists=Bad Day <tm>. She looks toward Teo, her jaw firming up, and murmurs softly, "Well, now…. that's one reporter who's going to have the scoop to end all scoops tonight, isn't it?"

Helena starts looking around for Teo almost automatically after PARIAH departs. She pauses momentarily in her visual sweep to consider Brian. "If you can show me that you're a little less of the crazy street preacher, then it's probable. But right now I want to pull me and mine out of here." She resumes searching - and a couple of faces flash for recognition - Elisabeth in brief, there's Colette, oh god. Once she's managed to zero in on Teo, she starts heading toward him, heedless of whether her Brian will follow or not.

Trent's frozen in place, eyes wide as he looks towards the figures in black across the way. He turns, scanning for Colette in the crowd, then hisses out a haggard breath and reaches inside of his suit-coat, retrieving a cell phone. He turns towards the trio, drawing in a hissing breath before circling past a few of the bystanders, angling around until he can get a clear view of the three, a soft shuttering sound signals three times as seperate pictures are snapped. He circles back around, leaning his back to the pillar and presses a speed-dial button on his phone, head tilting to the side. "Pick up… pick up…" He looks out from behind the pillar, jaw clenched and breathing through his teeth. "Pick u — Scott." Trent looks back to the three as someone comes over the line, "It's Trent. We've got a situation down here at the church, I've got PARIAH people down here, I think they just made demands. They're getting filmed by a camera crew. Yeah, and your new inductees are here too." His eyes flit over to Helena, then away, "What? Hell no, I'm not getting any closer to them than I am. I snapped some photos, I'll upload them to your phone, see what the techno-spook can do. I think they're leaving anyway…"

Teeth tugging at her lower lip, Colette unknowingly settles a hand on the bicep of one of the Brians in the crowd, gently nudging her way past him without noticing it's a familiar — if not somewhat unwelcome — face in the crowd. She starts to make her way past him, and finally spotting Delilah in the crowd and recognizing her only partly familiar voice, she seems even more intent on getting over to her as bits and pieces of what's actually unfolding start to come together in her head. But it's the gentle hand on her shoulder that causes Colette to turn around, wide eyes focused on Ygraine with her head tilted to the side. She ducks, then, as if in some sort've danger, looking back to the cameraman and the three departing terrorists. It's a fleeting stare though, and her mis-matched eyes are quickly back on Ygraine. "//What the heck's going on!?" She asks in a strained whisper.

What aggravates Teo, obscurely, is that he could've heard that speech coming from Helena Dean. They're only words, of course. He's aware of that. The gloves come off, but they've yet to see who PARIAH's swinging at; he appreciates the warning, the unmistakable declaration of war, and even — up to an extent — the righteousness with which it was told off. Blue eyes swing back toward Elisabeth, slowed by distractions easily passed off as a disorienting wash of adrenaline. "No shit," he answers, glancing out the doorway out which the trenchcoats had walked.

He knows Hel will be looking for him. It's for that reason more than any other that he chooses not to move, planting his shoulder against one great stone pillar despite that the crowd beginning to mill around him. "Remind you of the old days?" He tries on a smile for her. It fits crooked; makes him look as young as he is.

Heather's hands were at the ready, down at her side and palms facing forward. But, alas seems none of the trio wants a free ride to the NYPD holding cells. It actually just looked more like a protest statement being made and as the trio depart, she returns her hands to her pocket. "Well, that was certainly interesting. All talk. No action." she comments offhandedly, swinging her green-eyed gaze around to find the BrianClone(tm).

Isabelle just watches as the trio leaves and she nods her head, "He is right. They can't keep pushing us and think that we won't strike back." She bites her lip and then looks to Pam, "I'll see you around," she says as she makes her way towards where the trio stood, she accidently bumps into Colette. "Sorry about that"

Pam stares at the glove, blinking; Isabelle addresses her and she looks up, lips pursing with an unspoken question. 'We'? She looks toward the door, not quite relaxing yet. Terrorists. Terrorists are scary.

Ygraine darts a glance at Isabelle as she bumps into the young girl to whom she's currently holding, but quickly refocuses upon Colette. "A political statement. By PARIAH, apparently. Though they also handed over cash to the church," she says. "At least one idiot trying to tell them off… but it looks like things are resolving quietly, thank God."

Nodding to Helena, Brian eases up a little bit stepping back to her side in a less protective stance. His brows are arched, he bends down a bit to whisper into Helena's ear. "I'm hardly crazy. If you want my help with your friend. You can find me.. Or one of me at Alley Cat Couriers, or the Nite Owl. I just started there." The young man says as he allows Helena to leave. This Brian starts to make his own departure.

As a hand is laid on his arm, Brian glances down. "Colette." He murmurs to her in greeting. Though his attention is torn between the young girl and Heather. "I suspect the action will come later, Heather." The BrianClone says in response. His eyes flick back over to Colette and Ygraine. "Ygraine." He says in greeting to his maybe-friend.

The third Brian simply frowns at Delilah. "You call me the wackjob, or whatever you said." He says to the woman, before taking his leave of the girl and walking towards the exit.

Elisabeth smiles a little grimly back at Teo. "Oh….. not quite. In the old days, I'da had to figure out how to talk them into leaving without killing someone." She shakes her head a little and sends a lingering look toward the door, pulling out her cell phone to call in the 'all clear' at the cathedral — no point in the cops swarming the place now. And then she looks at Teo once more and murmurs, "You realize what he just said amounts to a declaration of all-out war, right? It's on now. The authorities won't let it slide… and the more they crack down, the worse it'll get." She shakes her head on a sigh.

Delilah gives one more scoff as PARIAH leaves, though they won't hear that grunting puff of air, nor the "Good riddance." following sharply after. She just snorts at Brian, secondly, and moves back towards the tables as the buzzing crowd in the downstairs seems to jostle in something she assumes is impatience. "So did any of you actually call the po-po?" Louder that time, so everyone hears.

Helena nods in a seemingly absent fashion to Brian - though one can bet she heard every word he said. She does make her way to Teo, stepping into his personal space with her nose almost to his chest, like she's his distressed girlfriend or something. "We should get out of here." she says very softly.

Squeaking at the sudden bump, Colette looks up to the much taller woman, "S-s'olright." The young girl meekly says, ducking her head with a hesitant smile before looking back to Ygraine. Colette slips closer to the Brit, "T-the terrorists?" The tone of her voice and the frightened expression on Colette's face paints a clear picture of what she expects from them, and it certain'y isn't charitable donations. "O-okay, um, w-what um…" She turns, anxiously, looking over her shoulder, only to spot Helena working her way through the crowd. "Holy crap they're everywh — " Brian gets her attention, joined with an anxious smile that is feigned out of politeness, "O-oh, um, h-hey there… you." She's completely forgotten his name. Looking back to Ygraine again with that same worried expression, Colette quietly asks, "C-can we get out've here? I don't like this…"

Ygraine glances up to flash a momentary smile at the iteration of Brian next to herself and Colette, but doesn't appear to recognise anyone else in the crowd. As a result, she remains focused chiefly upon the young woman. "Sure. There's a back way out, through downstairs, right? Delivery door for the kitchens, or something? We can go that way. Should be a lot quieter than the main doors. And I can give you a ride home, if you don't mind hopping onto a bike in your finery…"

Teo had recognized it for what it was, yeah. A declaration of war, all-out. So he stares at the older woman for a moment, as if pushing her question through a few filters in that slow, staticky way a body does while shock's wearing away and the brain's recovering the ability to think about things that aren't right in his face. He says: "Merda. I hope not." The next moment, there's a girl lodged in his shirt and his arm's up, wrapping tightly around Hel's shoulders, pulling her close enough that his heartbeat drubs a merry salutation against her cheek. "I should take her home," he says to Elisabeth, reaching over to give her hand a squeeze. "I'll pray for your mother, and see you on Monday. Give me a call if something happens."

Liz is hanging back, she says; long enough to see everyone out. He hears Delilah's question, but he slips the answer into Hel's ear instead, a murmur as they steer for the doorway. "The PD should be coming soon. Elisabeth passed me a hostage code." In other words, booking it wouldn't be a bad idea, indeed.

"Yeah that — that's fine." Colette's eyes are focused past Ygraine now, settled on Trent over by one of the pillars. For a moment, there's a torn and uncertain look in her eyes, which settles down to something more anxious and uncertain. Briefly, hesitation flashes across her face, but whatever she had taken the time to consider is left unsaid. Instead, her focus shifts back to Ygraine with a furrowed brow, "Yeah…" Then, less distractedly, "Yeah, we can go out that way. I need to get my laptop and bag down there. Um," She cracks a smile, "We're actually neighbors again, so… sure." Then, after giving a moment of consideration she looks back up to the older woman. "U-um, I… I don't actually, you know, uh, know how to… ride a bike? Is… uh, that going to, er…" Her teeth tug at her lower lip self consciously, "Going to be a problem?"

Nodding slightly to Colette, Brian sighs softly. "Listen." He says turning his head to speak to Heather. "I'm going to get out of here. I think I still have your card. We should hang out some time when there is not a lot of trouble going on." The young man says before stepping away from her and leaving. Another Brian joins him and soon all three are on their way out.

Ygraine offers Brian another smile before he departs, then gestures slightly towards Trent. "Shall we take him along, too? At least as far as the exit." She starts to usher Colette gently towards the stairs to the basement. "As for riding… just hold onto me. I carry a spare helmet, and unless you try to throw me off or strangle me, we should be fine…"

Pam flicks some hair out of her eyes and glances around before murmuring, "Sorry, Stace." Numb, she moves over to the closest chair and sits down, waiting in case there are any questions to answer.

Shooting a sidelong glance over to Trent, Colette snorts out a grunt of dissent, "No." It's an emphatic and unelaborated answer, "He may as well be one of the terrorists too," she adds, scowling slightly as she turns to look back to Ygraine, her lips downturning into a frown. "I um, I'll try not to knock you over or anything. Just… just take is slow okay?" Her expression shifts from displeasure to uneasiness rather quickly, "M'kind've a klutz." There's a sidestep, and Colette looks over to where Helena had retreated to, then back to Ygraine, "Let's go."

Ygraine chuckles softly, pat-patting Colette's shoulder. "You'll be fine. Honestly. Come on…." And with that, she slips into the stairwell down….

And with that they abandon the cathedral, and Trent, to the sirens and flashing lights that will inevitably come.

On the evening news, November 9th:

"Last night, at a memorial function held in St. John's Cathedral, three individuals identified as members of PARIAH delivered what seems to amount to a declaration of war against Homeland Security."

Clips of video fill the next few seconds of broadcast: a shaky view of a man in a floor-length black trenchcoat and equally black fedora setting a Ziploc bag of bills on a table; more steady footage of his face, his statements.

'I have a message for Everett Hicks. Power concedes nothing without a demand; it never has and it never will. So said Frederick Douglass, and his words are no less true today. Well, we demand equality, Mr. Hicks. We demand the same liberty as everyone else. The right to live our lives without fear of Homeland Security. And in pursuit of that liberty… the gloves are coming off.'

The camera pans down to follow the flight of a left-handed glove towards the floor, mic catching perfectly its thwap against the concrete. It swings back up to fix on the terrorist leader's face again.

'Fortis et liber, Mr. Hicks. Never forget it.' He concludes with a mocking salute.

The broadcast returns to the news anchor.

"Homeland Security officials, including the head of Homeland Security, Mr. Everett Hicks, declined to comment in response to this direct challenge. Between the reappearance of PARIAH and the recent anti-Evolved demonstrations around the country, however, it's safe to say everyone should tread carefully in days to come and take extra security precautions."

November 8th: The Murderer or the Madman

This scene is the beginning of a storyline.

Next in this storyline…
The Howell Family

November 8th: Considerations
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