United In Outrage


colette_icon.gif melissa4_icon.gif perry_icon.gif

Scene Title United in Outrage
Synopsis In desperation and anger, Colette turns to Messiah for help in finding her father, and putting an end to Colonel Heller.
Date January 30, 2011


Let's face it, Sunday nights are never huge nights at Tartarus. Monday morning looms so close, and some people are just exhausted from partying on Friday and Saturday nights. But there's still plenty of people doing the bump and grind out on the dance floor. Inside Melissa's office, however, the club atmosphere is muted, as is the volume of the music.

With there just being one couch and one chair in the office, and with the chair being behind Melissa's desk, she's taken it. She's earned it, after all. She has an open bottle of water at one hand, and a lit cigarette in the other, looking as relaxed as a person can while sitting in their office at work. Work just isn't relaxing.

It was easy enough for her two guests to slip in without being noticed, to just blend into the crowd, even if neither are really goth in appearance. But since Colette doesn't know that Melissa is Messiah, she's pretty much left the running of this meeting up to the other two.

It's hard to say what fashion niche Colette applies to these days, but leather pants and a fire-battered jacket of the same material do go a long way towards blending in with the tragically color-deprived crowd. The olive-drab coloration of a battered courier bag slung over Colette's shoulders is the only splash of color she has, a few shades more dull than the iris of her one, good eye.

She wants to sit, but she can't sit; Nerves are making Colette paces tracks in the floor, booted feet softly reporting against the office's carpeting, arms crossed over her chest and head bowed. One hand rakes back dark locks of hair from her face, and eyes ringed with dark circles gouged puffy by lack of sleep and a poor diet makes her look sick in this light. Sniffling from a cold probably doesn't help that impression.

"I thought you said I was going to get to meet with Messiah?" Colette finally asserts, mismatched eyes flicking around the office before they square accusingly on Melissa again, brows furrowed. "The hell is this?"

No one suspects the butterfly.

It's by virtue of simple unassuming slouch that Perry makes his movement through Tartarus and to the back office surreptitiously. Clad in his big black coat with the faux-fur lining, sans spectacles thanks to Mel's suggestion, the odd young man pushes through the doors and into Melissa's workplace sanctus sanctorum, a hand going up to push back his hood, the smoothing his hair self consciously. His eyes first find Melissa, and he offers her a smile, before cutting around, looking for the third party. The one that was supposed to meet them. The one he is supposed to meet.

And there she is. Looking… small. And drab. And maybe desperate. Which is actually ideal, at least that last.

Perry makes sure the door is closed behind him before unzipping his jacket and draping it over the back of the chair, turning to Colette after smoothing out his… tie? Apparently he's in interview formals for this event, the product of some misguided half logic or equivalence. "Uh- introductions?" he suggests, glancing to Melissa. He can't quite remember what this young woman's name is.

Colette's outburst has Melissa tilting her head slightly, and her eyes remain focused on the woman even as Perry enters the office. "Colette, have I ever lied to you, or misled you?" She motions towards Perry. "This is Perry, the head of Messiah. Perry, this is Colette who, under normal circumstances, is a much more pleasant creature."

Her water is picked up, sipped, as her gaze moves to Perry, and she gives him a warm look, followed by a soft smile when the bottle is lowered. "Before you guys start, I sent a message to my Institute contact. No word back on Tamara or yuor father. Hopefully she's checking and will get back to me ASAP."

Dark brows pinch together as a frown creases the corners of Colette's mouth. She deflects the comment about her attitude and comment of Melissa's Institute source (and their lack of intel) with a dismissive snort; an affect of her age. The teen turns to face Perry with one brow raised. She's silent only long enough for the throbbing pulse of rhythmic beat of Depeche Mode pounding through the walls to take over for words. After a moment more of muffled music, she swings her bag off of her shoulder, setting it down on one of the unoccupied chairs in front of Melissa's desk.

"Leon Heller," Colette asserts, opening up the top flap of her bag and removing a packet of paperwork in a manilla envelope, tossing it to slide across Melissa's desk. "That's everything I've been able to dig up on him," and all of it has come from Cat. "He ordered the execution of a handful of Ferrymen— the execution of a handful of my friends— on November 8th, he kidnapped my father, and from what I've heard from the Ferrymen Council, he killed some of your own." And by your he addresses Perry directly, she still presumes that Melissa is just an intermediary.

"I want my father, and I figure we both want him dead. That seems like a good enough place to start." Colette has absolutely no idea what she's doing here, no idea how to effectively communicate through her anger. Instead, she's letting it guide her through this meeting like a lava flow carrying a piece of glowing hot rock.

"I- uh- have every sympathy for your feelings," Perry says, stepping forward and offering Colette a hand, an automatic courtesy he doesn't even pause to consider the value of, "but- uh- but I hope to offer a great deal more than that. If- if at all possible." There is a graveness to Perry's diction; he is, at least, taking this all very seriously. Not that it would be easy to take it lightly. Heller is no laughing matter.

"Heller has- uh- made himself pretty widely known," is his further remark, a little sardonic, as he moves over to take up the envelope, tugging it open and withdrawing the contents, hand going up once again to fiddle at absent glasses, a gesture he quickly converts into an unnecessary scratch at his ear. "And- uh- lots of people have various- uh- plans regarding him. Rich- uh- Richard Cardinal wants him alive. Would- uh- would rather expose him than make- uh- risk making a martyr of him." He looks up at Colette. "I- uh- am not saying I agree with him but- uh- but it's a worthwhile consideration. Information, whatever- uh- whatever the merit of his plan."

A quick glance at Melissa, another smile, rueful. "And- uh- really, I'm not the head of the group. Nor- uh- nor are we even necessarily called 'Messiah'. But- uh- but we will help you, if there is- uh- if there is help to be given."

The envelope is glanced at by Melissa as well, though she lets Perry take it without a fight. She looks up at Perry and grins, shrugging. "People know it as Messiah. Until a new name is found, it works." The grin fades and she looks back to Colette, nodding. "There are arguments for both a quick kill and just exposing him. I think though that the big goal for you now is getting your father back, right? Do you particularly care how it's done so long as you get him back, safe and sound?"

Green eyes square on Perry when he offers his sympathy to Colette along with his hand, that expression of defiantly lowered brows and downturned lips indicates how little of the sympathy she wants. She doesn't want the handshake either.

Melissa, however, has Colette's more vocal attention. "It matters," she insists gravely. "He murdered a close friend of mine, ordered the murder of dozens more. He's a menace and nobody's gonna bat a fucking eyelash to what he's doing. That— " Colette waves at the paperwork, "explains how he'll take over FRONTLINE if the current lady in charge gets thrown out. Do you fucking want Heller in charge of the entire goddamned organization? Do you think there's even enough walls in New York to line us all up against?"

Her voice raises, one hand slaps as a fist into her palm. "A bullet is final, leaves no fucking room for misunderstanding, no loopholes, no second chances. That son of a bitch doesn't deserve to go to a trial, or face a court martial. He deserves to die in a fucking fire. Whether or not I find my father, than son of a bitch is hanging for what he's done."

Swallowing down the taste of bile at te back of her throat, Colette fixes her stare back on Perry. "I plan on getting my father back from him, and whoever else it is he's kidnapped. But I dunno how the fuck to find them, and I figure Heller's the only one who does. If your people have a way of forcing information from someone, I say we kill two birds with one fucking stone an' be done with him. You can smear his reputation afrer he's dead."

Barely able to restrain her frustration and emotions, Colette simmers in her own anger. She licks at her lips, paces away from Perry, then circles back again, slowly. "And— and Richard Cardinal's full of hot fucking air. He says he can do something, but he ain't never done what he promises. Don't— believe a fucking word he says. He's full of shit and promises."

Well, that would seem to rather clearly answer Melissa's question. It seems that Colette does care how she gets her father back. She cares rather a lot, from the looks and sounds of it. Perry is not particularly used to this level of emotional outburst, his own shyness and general sedation usually causing him to flee from situations like this. But he is - according to Melissa at least - the man in charge here, and retreat is not an option.

And, after all, he's stated the importance of passion to revolution.

"We- we may need assistance from other parties when and if we take Heller into custody," Perry admits, up front, muddy brown eyes scanning the contents of the envelope, pouring over the report before moving to peruse the attached clippings, "we- uh- we have some- uh- enhanced interrogation capacity," a telltale glance towards Mel at this, "but- uh- but I imagine he's trained to resist that kind of coercion. Once- uh- once we have him, though, I- uh- I imagine cooperation will be easier to come by from our- uh- our sister organizations."

He turns to Melissa, lips shifting to one side. "Last we checked our- uh- our ranks are pretty thin, yes?" Much thanks to Heller himself. "If- uh- if we're to do this, Colette, I'd- uh- I'd want you to be personally involved. It's- uh- it's only right, really. This is your ethical imperative, as much as ours and- uh- quite frankly? We'll need you. You are- uh- a photokinetic, if I've been rightly informed?"

Melissa's brows lift as Colette goes off, her head tilting. "Colette? I understand, trust me. I lost Kendall for a while, remember? But yelling at us is not going to help anything. And maybe Richard is full of hot air. I can't say I trust him completely. But I do know that everytime we kill someone, or someone blows something up, and it's traced back to an evolved source, we just look worse and the government has more ammunition to use to take more and more of our rights away."

Fingers tap against the bottle as she nods slightly to Perry. "Yeah, mostly thanks to Heller and the government. And cooperation is always a good idea. We never would've dealt with Rupert if it weren't for cooperation, and I think he was worse than Heller."

She cocks her head, looking back to Colette. "Interrogation won't be a problem, and you're not the only one who's lost a friend to him, so try to remember that. Also try to remember that we're on the same side here. None of us want Heller in charge of anything, from fucking security guard up. And all of us would like him dead. But do you really want revenge if it just harms the cause, so long as your father is safe? Really? You'd doom all of us just to see one man dead?"

"It's a lost cause," is Colette's retort to Melissa, two gloved fingers jabbing in her direction pointedly. "Words aren't going to solve shit anymore. The riots fucked all that up, fucked it all up permanently. We're screwed, we're fucked, an' no amount of bad press is going to make things worse. What's going to matter is making a fucking difference with the time we have left. Not siting on our fucking hands or hiding when things get hard." An accusation she prefers to direct more to the Ferrymen than present company. Unfairly, though.

Breathing in deeply, trying to calm herself down, Colette flicks a look towards Perry and then down to the floor. One hand lifts up, scrubbing across her mouth tiredly as she takes a few steps away, then circles back to the conversation again. "Whatever you need, I'm all in. But if it looks like you're going to let Heller off the meat-hook, m'fuckin' out. Maybe you're," mismatched eyes flick to Melissa, "willin' t'let this fucker go for some fuckin— greater good bullshit, but I'm not."

Attention drifts back to Perry, breathing in steadily and exhaling a slow sigh. "Those're my terms, Mr. Not-Boss," Colette's brows furrow together, jaw sets briefly in tension. "Anything else, I figure out as I go."

"When we take Heller," Perry says, with a deadly flatness of tone and a sudden lack of stammer, "I don't intend to let him cause any harm ever again. If he leaves our custody at all, it won't be a man that walks out. Whatever makes Heller what he is- we'll excise it. If killing him is the requirement," he dips his head, "then he'll die. But our first step is capturing him. And showing him the hospitality he has show our people."

The file on Heller is offered to Melissa for her careful appraisal. When she takes it, his fingers move to brush hers. A small, soothing touch, paired with a soft look. Don't worry, it says, we can handle this. A more impressive sentiment by far than 'we can't afford to turn away the least of help'.

"This is useful," Perry says, hand moving to indicate the file he has just passed off, "but we need more- uh- more up to date information. We need to know where- uh- where he'll be and when. He's military so he should have a- uh- a routine. From there we can plan accordingly, but without that we- uh- we don't even know where to start. I'm afraid my own resources are- uh- rather limited. We can't assault Fort Miller that would- would be suicide. But every Achilles has a heel, every Polyphemus his eye."

The new rant just has Melissa looking steadily at Colette until she's passed the file. Her gaze flicks up to Perry and she gives him a faint nod before she looks through the information. "We figure out his routine then we can figure out how to take him. Do we know if he's evolved, and if so, what his ability is? I still have a negation dart left over from when we went to take out Rupert. If not, it'll be easier. We have telekinetics, even if our teleporter was killed. And we have plenty of mundane muscle."

"Dunno, I can see if I can pry a favor out of somebody with Registry access though, see what we can dig up. If he's non-evolved it'll show up, 'cause the guy's gotta be Registered in his position. If he's Evolved, it'll come up too, unless he's Tier-3, and then it'll just be like— classified n'shit. I know somebody I can talk to about it, see what she can find…"

Reaching up to scrub at the back of her neck, Colette furrows her brows thoughtfully. "I've tried snooping around Miller Field a few times. I can get in and out of most places without being noticed, but I ain't never gone up over the fence. I know somebody who can help, though. Maybe." Dark brows furrow and Colette's teeth draw over her bottom lip. "I know a few people, I just— I've gotta ask around. I have a couple of friends that can do recon, but I ain't gonna' let them know who its for. You all ain't the most popular people t'be hangin' around with. But it ain't like they gotta know who they're dealin' with."

Colette shakes her head, slowly. "Names just give people somethin' t'hate."

"Let's pray it's- uh- unclassified, then…" Perry remarks, making a face at the prospect of tackling a Tier-3 member of FRONTLINE. No thanks. Revolutionary zeal can only take you so far. "Save that dart, Melissa. I'd rather- uh- rather not have a chance to find out just what he can do. Better to keep him- uh- well suppressed, potentially to the end of his- uh- rather short life." For all his equivocation, it sounds like Perry's of the 'kill Heller' camp.

"If- uh- if any of your friends- if any of them feel as forcefully as you I- uh- I would be happy to speak with them personally," Perry continues, remaining standing as long as Colette does, remaining near Mel's desk with a hand on its edge, "but- uh- otherwise yes, discretion is wise. I'd- uh- I'd like to know just who might be available to assist us, so we can plan according to the abilities we have on hand. But- uh- only those who are already willing to help, of course. I am- uh- comfortable with things being need to know for those who are not- uh- direct members or associates."

"People will eventually figure out that the group isn't at all what it was when Rupert was in control, since he was busy mindfucking just about everyone he could into doing what he wanted," Melissa adds with a faint grimace. "But yeah, let us know who. If they're Ferry, unless they're new, I should know them. Still friends with a few, even."

"If I get anyone to agree to help, I'll drop names then. I ain't gonna' get anyone's hopes up without being able to back it up." Chewing on her bottom lip gently, Colette reaches down to pick up her courier bag, adjusting it over her shoulder. "The drop spot post-card thing works well, but it ain't fast. How're we gonna' get in touch with a little more regularity? I don't keep a phone on me these days, I can't take that sorta' risk. Not when anyone could be listenin'."

Rolling the shoulder that carries her bag, Colette winds the fingers of one hand around the strap. "If you all have somewhere a little more discreet than this t'hook up, I can make regular drops of whatever it is I find out, or I can send people, or— fuck, I dunno how you run your shit. I just know that wherever it is, nobody's gonna see me comin' and goin'. I ain't gone this long as a courier for the Ferry by being obvious."

Organization post-Rebel is not an easy thing, the mundane task of communication made that much harder by the tight grip kept on legitimate lines. Perry purses his lips as he considers this problem, one that was not so pressing when it was just the four to five remaining members of the group, all just trying to stay low and hidden.

"I- uh- I'll be blunt," Perry decides, "I- uh- I hold to a principle of solidarity and- uh- trust both- uh- both explicit and implicit. My- uh- my own home may in fact be the most- uh- most effective location to meet now that Midtown has been- uh- compromised," with robots no less… "I'll give you the address understanding that I- uh- hope to gain your own trust in turn, if in time."

"Yeah, his place probably works best. I've just got here, the Suresh Center and my place, and since the latter two are on Roosevelt they're just a pain in the ass," Melissa says, nodding her agreement. "But you are always welcome to come here if you need to."

Sweeping her tongue over her teeth, Colette dips her head down into a slow, bobbed nod. "A'right. Like I said, I'm in this all the way. I ain't gonna turn back on you when its convenient for me. I'm fuckin' fed up with everything going on, an' if I have t'come t'you people t'get this shit done, then so fuckin' be it. We'll make it work, an' I'll start swingin' whatever I find by your place. If you leave a window unlocked up a fire escape or something, I'll make sure t'use that instead of the front door. Y'know, if your place's got one'f those."

Looking up to Melissa, Colette offers a tip of her head forward in a nod, brows furrowed. "I'll take a week or somethin', see what I can dig up on the Colonel and see if I can find anybody who's like-minded enough and trustworthy enough t'help out. After that, I'll get back in touch with you. If you need t'get in touch with me an' it's an emergency. use the board like Melissa did before. I take the stickers off each time I check the post-card. If I see the right number on it, I'll come here. I check it every night after curfew."

Perry turns and palms a stack of post-its, along with a pen, giving Mel a thankful look but not outright asking for permission first. He figures he can skip that formality. He writes his address down with a slowness and care that's a little odd for the medium of communication, but when he pulls it loose and presents it to Colette, it's certainly legible, written in clear block letters. An apartment on the fourth floor of a building in Morningside Heights.

"I- I think we have more in common than maybe you realize," Perry suggests, "or maybe- uh- maybe you do realize and that's why you're here. I- uh- I agree unequivocally that violence is necessary," emphatic on this point, "and while I don't- uh- don't think any less of those who abstain," present company in particular, "I share your outrage," he dips his head, "if not- uh- not your personal reasons. But I- uh- respect your passion immensely. If we- uh- if we can't help you then what- uh- what has become of our world?"

A slight lift of brows at the idea of a cloaked caller, but no sign otherwise of discomfort. "I'll- uh- I'll leave the kitchenette window unlocked."

Melissa doesn't seem to mind the theft of office supplies. She does, briefly, seem to mind Colette's you people, though it's hidden well. However, for now, she falls silent, just nodding to Colette and letting the other two talk.

Turning away from Melissa and Perry, Colette begins to peel away like paint being stripped from an old wall. Color is missing beneath where she seems to flake apart, and when the contrast between black and white diminishes, all that is left behind is a rapidly growing swath of nothing where she was standing just a moment ago. There's a brief, faint distortion in the air before she disappears entirely, leaving only scuff marks on the office carpet to mark her path towards the door.

"I'll be in touch," Colette's voice promises, disembodied by the door. The knob twists, rattles and clicks, and when the door opens to the club, the lilting guitar guitar riff of the Cure's Lullaby and the strum of a bass beat loudly slips through the opening, along with the glow of colored lights in the dark, and black-clothed people moving in slow rhythm to the sedate song.

The door is left open, letting the music come through and fill the office as Colette disappears into the sparsely populated club, to disappear into the city afterward. What she takes away from the meeting is selective, but affirming.

They share her outrage.

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