Walking The Grey Line


alexander_icon.gif ash_icon.gif cardinal_icon.gif griffin_icon.gif huruma3_icon.gif kris_icon.gif

ling_icon.gif lynette2_icon.gif melissa4_icon.gif nadira_icon.gif peter_icon.gif risa_icon.gif west_icon.gif

Scene Title Walking the Grey Line
Synopsis Members of Messiah +1 meet to discuss the issue with Rupert and try to regroup.
Date October 19, 2010

Howland Hook Facility

Secret operations are essential in war; upon them the army relies to make its every move.

— Sun Tzu, the Art of War

Spread out across over a hundred acres of land on Staten Island's northwest coast, the Howland Hook facility is a sprawling complex of warehouses, crumbling office buildings, factories and other industrial parks linked together by broken roads overgrown with saltgrass slipping up between the cracks. The lumbering frames of construction equipment rises up over the complex like the skeletons of long-dead beasts bleaching in the sun, save that these behemoths are anything but dead.

By day, Howland Hook is buzzing with activity, the creak and groan and scrape of machines pull at the land. Construction crews move in and out of the chain-link fenced areas and perform a slow restoration of the grounds. Banners for the Maxwell Development Corporation hang everywhere, their sun-bleached vinyl facades proudly displaying the capitalist advancement of Staten Island's troubled north coast.

Of all of Rupert Carmichael's double-dealing, it would seem that his secret brokering with the Maxwell Corporation was kept out of the government's hands. No raid came crashing down on the Howland Hook facility, no government task force swept through the grounds, no one even came so much as snooping.

In one of the derelict office buildings on the complex grounds, four floors up from the construction now gone silent under the glow of the waxing, gibbous moon a secret covenant is being held. Flickering fluorescent lights are the candels of this generations clandestine meetings. Hooded sweatshirts are the hooded cloaks, handguns the concealed knives, disposable cell phones the folded scrips of paper.

A red scarf the secret handshake.

As much as time has changed secret societies, they have maintained some of the same earmarks of generations past. The fourth floor meeting room Messiah has come to take as their own is a Spartan and simplistic thing, with bare sheetrock walls desaturated by the pale fluorescent lights. Windows are covered by plastic to keep out the cold. A folding table in the middle of the spacious room is surrounded by a handful of metal chairs, some further away from the table than others. Most of the time they're discarded, and it's standing room only by merit of choice rather than lacking for seats.

These days the meeting room is more sparse than before. Gone are the tactical maps, gone is the conference call hub that Rebel would speak in his trinity voice out of. There is just Peter Petrelli, hunched over the table with his fingers laced up in his hair, holding stringy locks of hair back from his bearded face.

Kristian Bender is here as well, arms folded over his chest, leather jacket zipped up and red scarf tucked around his throat tightly. He watches from beside one of the windows, brows furrowed in silent judgement on a youthful face.

Across the room, West Rosen is seated backwards on a folding chair, his arms draped over the back, posture slouched and scarf loosely hanging around his shoulders. He looks like he hasn't gotten much sleep, dark circles around his eyes and lips downturned into a frown.

The pale young Russian girl sitting across the table from Peter looks haunted, her dark eyes wide and vacant looking as she stares down at the scuffed table surface. For all that Risa looks worried, there is also a tension and stiffness in her posture that belies some small amount of defiance. With her scarf wound loose around her neck and then up over her head like a shawl, only the bangs of her dark hair are visible, uncombed and tangled.

In every war, there is a war room. Were Messiah ever to be an army, this would be their rally point. Were this a war, this might well look like a call to arms.

It is.

While some Messiah members enter the room with their red scarves in place, Melissa…doesn't. Instead she has a hoodie on and headphones in her ears, and they are, apparently blaring music. Loud, bassy music that anyone nearby is lucky enough to hear. She glances around, noting the faces already in the room, then giving a longer, harder look to Peter.

Nothing is said by the hooded woman, as she moves away from the door and finds a nice spot of wall to perch again. A definite change from almost every other Messiah meeting she's been to. So too is the fact that she's pulling out a bottle of pills and dry swallowing a few. Mmm. Drugs.

Lynette doesn't actually wear that red scarf usually. It's tucked away in the dresser drawer, only pulled out now and again when something official happens. Like now. She waited until she was at the facility to drape it artfully around her neck and shoulders, for show rather than warmth. She doesn't have a hood, but a dark head scarf covers the blonde hair underneath fairly well.

And she all but sweeps into the room, taking stock of who's there before she comes over to perch herself on one of the edges of the table. In the middle of things, is the message. or willing to be.

Ling had arrived quietly in tow with Melissa, red scarf draped around her neck as she entered the grounds of Howland Hook. Tonight, things for her were going to be all business. Hopefully, no arguments, no squabbles, no petty worries. Business, and planning. Arms crossed, she waits quietly for the meeting proper to begin, a cigarette hanging out of the corner of her mouth, smoke mixing with the wisps that lift up form her own body.

This is actually the first time that Griffin has taken out his red scarf, officially. Normally, he keeps it wadded up in the deepest corner of his 'dresser', which just so happens to be a large duffel bag that goes wherever he rests his head. Currently, it's at Nadira's. The man wears his usual outfit consisting of a business suit, black with grey pinstripes; a crisp white shirt and a red tie are kept beneath a matching vest, all of which is covered by a similarly matching suit jacket. The red scarf is draped over his shoulders, hanging down close to his knees.

A while ago, Griffin had Alexander meet up with him at the enterance to this place, as had been arranged prior to today. He brought Nadira along with, and upon meeting up with the fellow Telekinetic, he promptly lead the way across the grounds, his cane clicking against the pavement.

When he leads the two new recruits into the room, he has one hand on Nadira's lower back, an almost protective gesture, while he allows Alexander to trail behind him. Alex, after all, is decidedly not his significant other. Green eyes trail over each inhabitant of the room, nodding quietly at each person he sees. His gaze finally rests on Peter, a respectful nod offered as he guides Nadira toward the conference table, in the seat closest to Peter. His own silent statement that he supports the man who borrows abilities.

Long time no see, Peter. Alex's behind Griffin, pale face as impassive as carved ivory. He's clad in his familiar uniform of fatigue pants, t-shirt, and worn canvas army parka. Apparently neither amnesty nor grant has done anything to tame even a iota of his feral craziness. It's obvious in the ice-blue eyes - Jesse Knight has brought all his power, but not exactly a full deck. There's no red scarf on him - apparently he's not a Jacobin, or whatever it is they're playing at. Or perhaps the bright red hair is emblem enough.

The Egyptian woman is fairly good at that hard-to-read expression she wears. However hard to read it is, though, there's still the briefest hint of a smile on her lips. As Griffin leads the way in and over to the table, Nadira slides smoothly into a seat. She glances to Griffin for a moment before she lets her eyes come to rest on Peter. He's offered a tiny smile that could be classified as kind.

"Good evening, everyone. I hope we're not late?"

There's no creeping shadow this time, no subtle presence whispering in the corners of the room. This time, Richard Cardinal walks into the room openly, dressed in a sharp black suit - a Man in Black right down to the fedora and dark shades that he's wearing, a stark contrast to the others gathered about the meeting room of bare sheetrock and wind-rippled sheets of plastic. His shoes almost gleam with polish. There's no red scarf draped over his shoulders, as of all here, he has the least right to even be here this evening.

His head turns slowly to look across the room at the faces of those gathered, nodding slightly to those familiar before his full attention returns to fall upon the ringleader. Peter Petrelli. The figurehead of Messiah. The real Midtown Man. And many other names and titles beside.

"You know how traffic is getting through the checkpoints these days." Checkpoints which are manned, partly, by Redbird Security. His own company. A smile tugs up at the corner of his lips, his manner casual, hands clasping loosely behind his back as he comes to a halt not far into the meeting room.

Perhaps most surprisingly, he hasn't come alone.

There is no red behind Richard Cardinal, either; instead, it seems to be the shine of dark leather, and the warm caramel brown of a leopard print tunic. Huruma is certainly not as bold as Richard, when he arrives, but by no means is she among the completely welcome. At least, to certain heads among those present. She slinks in behind the man she is apparently escort of, stopping only after she has cleared the door and the short distance to stand beside him.

Huruma appears, for the moment, distant, her eyes settling unfocused on the room before they find a path to Peter during Cardinal's snipe about traffic patterns. She says nothing, which is not anything new by itself; the new thing seems to be the stiffness of her spine, and the tight expression she uses now to regard most of this leftover Messiah.

Ash makes his way up the stairs at a slow pace, whether due to his injuries or some other unseen reason isn't clear. He pushes open the door to the meeting room,s tepping wtihin, and turning his head, eyes scanning about the room. He grunts softly and steps further within, a couple of steps before he moves to the side, finding a patch of wall to lean against. Ash is dressed all in black at the moment, a pair of black cargo pants, and a black t-shirt that's tucked into the pants, and he's openly carrying weapons on him as well, his belt holds two gun holsters, his .45's, and his combat knife sheath. His head turns, eyes moving from person to person as he looks over everyone here, but he remains quiet, just tilting his head towards the folks he knows in greeting.

Peter's reaction to Alexander's presence is a palpable sense of conflicting emotions. Relief grinds up against frustration as the past and the present between the two collide again. He and Alexander have had tension between them since the days of PARIAH, and that he is bringing Helena's closest friend back into the fold of the war again weighs heavily on Peter's conscience.

Emotions are already high and Huruma can feel the disturbed sense of disquiet rumbling through the meeting room. At Melissa's presence West and Kris are bristling, the latter of the two leaning away from the wall and letting his hands come down to his sides, brows furrowed and lips downturned into a scowl as he considers the blonde. Anger wells up behind his eyes, more present to Huruma's ambient empathic radar.

West's frustration seems to be at Huruma's presence, and the way his brows furrow on seeing her turns his countenance from one of quiet disappointment to anger at the drop of a hat. When West starts to move up from his chair, it's only Peter's warning look that makes the flyboy hesitate, tongue pressing against the inside of his cheek before he finally settles down with a bitter, "Good to see you finally show up," and a quirk of his head to the side.

"Cut the shit," Peter grates without nearly enough emphasis behind it. Brown eyes briefly look up to Melissa, narrow in scrutiny, then look down to the desk. "First thing's first," he explains as he pushes up to his feet from where he'd been sitting, "we have new faces to most of you in the crowd tonight." Peter keeps tone and cadence as if nothing was wrong with Messiah, as if the last meeting hadn't happened.

Ash was right about one thing, the whole group might well fall apart if they think he's cracked. For the sake of the new blood, he can't afford that sort of reaction.

"Griffin has brought an old…" Peter's dark brown eyes meet Alexander's far lighter blue, consider him for a moment too long before adding, "war buddy." Only the faintest hint of a smile ghosts across Peter's lips at that. "Alex was with me in the PARIAH days, he was in Moab, he's been with the fight through thick and thin. I'd trust him with my back, and I expect the rest of you to do the same."

Reaching down to the table as he walks, Peter picks up the only things left there — scarves. They're made from the same supple material as the others, jagged and hastily cut with frayed ends. As he walks around the table, Peter offers one out to Alexander while he addresses the dark-haired woman beside Griffin.

"This must be Nadira, she and I haven't had the chance to meet, but Griffin speaks highly of her. Speaks strongly of her character, and I trust his judgment." There's another scarf, draped over Peter's arm, clearly he'll be making the rounds tonight for the new blood.

"We have a lot to discuss tonight, I have a lot of… bad news," Peter's dark eyes drift from Alexander to scan the crowd. "We're all going to stay in one space like civilized people and not try and murder each other too," is directed at West and Kris, "if we can maybe manage that?"

They neither agree, nor disagree.

When Alexander of all people walks in the room, there's a flicker of obvious surprise on Melissa's face. "The hell is he doing here?" she murmurs, though with the music blaring it's louder than she probably intended. Still, she seems pleased to see the telekinetic. Nadira garners less surprise, though the man she's with is studied for a moment. Cardinal's entrance has her arching a brow and glancing to Ling, giving the other woman a curious look.

When no Rupert shows up, the headphones are tugged from Mel's ears, but they're left to dangle down over her chest, in easy reach, the music still playing. She's not taking any chances. The reactions from West and Kris towards her have her giving them very direct looks, arching a brow. She's surprised, confused, but it doesn't show on her face. And when Peter speaks of Nadira, she sighs softly and shakes her head.

But then she looks back to Peter and speaks. "Any particular reason why they're looking at me like I'm the one they want to murder?" she asks in a flat tone, before looking back to the pair.

Staying mostly quiet for this part, Lynette just sits there on the table, looking over these new faces, her head tilting at Peter's demeanor. It's more together than last time, but somehow, she's not reassured. Her gaze inevitably falls on Richard Cardinal with a bit of a crooked smile. She doesn't interrupt the proceedings, but there's this hint of amusement for his presence. Another layer to the mystery.

Ling is rather surprised herself to see both Cardinal, whom she was unaware was going to be coming this evening, and Nadira, whom she had seen both at Melissa's club and at the party held at her house in August. "How nice of you to join us, Richard," she remarks as she regards him with a quirked eyebrow. "Have you decided to help us take a more active role? Or are you here on account of… other matter."

Surprise comes from Griffin as Huruma enters, both in the emotions that the large woman can feel coming from the lanky man, and the expression on his face. He wasn't expecting to see her here. After a moment, despite lingering surprise, the telekinetic offers a slow nod toward the tall woman and the man she accompanied into the room, along with a faint smile. He thankfully didn't see Huruma when she took Claire, otherwise tension would be in place of surprise. Melissa is also offered a brief glance as she speaks, though the man doesn't say much. His gaze speaks of distrust for the woman he's never seen at one of these meetings, but nothing more.

Griffin then turns to listen to Peter. A small smile is cast toward Alexander, despite the tension between he and Peter; Griffin welcomes the presence of one with an ability so similar to his own, and if Peter welcomes him, that's good enough for the musician. When Peter's words address Nadira, Griffin's hand reaches out to gently squeeze the Egyptian woman's hand, smiling faintly to her, with an almost protective look upon his features.

Then, his gaze turns toward Peter, a frown forming. Bad news is never a happy occasion, and to offset his unease, he keeps his hand over Nadira's, waiting quietly for Peter to continue.

Lest old acquaintance be forgot. Alexander is -so- pleased to see Peter, it's just oozing from his pores. But he takes the scarf graciously enough, binds it around his wrist as if staunching a wound. All without a change of expression. Man, it really is like old times. Though Peter is nowhere near as hot as Helena.

Nadira's gaze turns from Griffin to Peter at the words before her gaze settles on Griffin again. At least she had good recommendations. She lets her eyes scan the room, though most are given only a cursory glance. Melissa, however, gets a lingering look and a slight nod from her head, a brief hint of a smile.

"If I was any more active, Ling," offers Cardinal in rather dry tones, "I wouldn't actually get any chance to sleep."

There isn't any further interruption from him, though, as Peter starts into Messiah business; whatever the reasons for his presence, he doesn't seem particularly inclined to go into it just yet. He brings one hand up to pull the fedora he's wearing off, his other lifting to finger-comb back through his hair to keep it all from getting plastered into the usual mess that a hat causes. He remains standing, casual, beside Huruma.

For the purpose of simply this, Huruma has removed the plaster colored brace that was on her nose all weekend. The only hint that something happened to her face is that to those that observe closely, she has covered most of the bruising with ebony foundation. The last thing she needs is to look like an idiot with a broken nose. Her response to West, Kris, and anyone else that seems to have a problem- is a smug upturn of her lips. They can cut the shit and then eat it for all she seems to care. Melissa's words actually get the smallest of laughs.

"I don' think you …get much sleep regardless, Richard. You feel exhausted." The tall woman beside him tilts her head somewhat, commenting as an aside to her other half before linking both hands behind her back; now it is time to wait for Peter's role to begin.

Ash lets a loud snort escape him at Peter's comment. "Peter, do I need to remind you how the last 'Trust him because I do.' turned out?" He arches a brow in Peter's direction a bit, not very high, only a little bit, but the statement remains said. Ash's own scarf, burned, tattered, holes in it, and darker stains marring the fabric that most woulud recognize as blood, but it's there, twined about hsi forarm from elbow to wrist.

"Oh I don't know Mel. The shit hits the fan and you up and dissapear maybe? I don't think you'd do it which is why you're not getting looks like that from me, but I certainly understand their looks and the reasons for them." He rolls his shoulders in a semblance of a shrug, then looks towards griffin, and then around to Alexander, and finally Cardinal, upon hearin ghis name he's offered a scrutinizing look, but nothing more at the time.

"We found out about your detention by DHS after you went to see your uncle, about how you got released, and the timing on that was really convenient…" Peter's brows lower, dark eyes consider Melissa for a moment before looking away. "Kris has his reservations, he's free to think what he wants. But there was just enough lined up that all of us had an eyebrow raised. If it wasn't for Ling, I probably still would." Stepping away from Alexander, Peter approaches Nadira and holds out one of the scarves for her to take, but seems distracted by everything going on from the proper ceremony that should be serving as needle and thread to a frayed organization.

For all that he fixes a look on Huruma, Peter knows why she was gone, where she'd been and what she's doing. It's only because of that knowledge that keeps him from going off in his own direction of frustrated tangent, and it's evident he's debating it from his posture and the tightness in his jaw.

"These scarves," Peter offers as a distraction, looking back to Alexander, "are all cut from a bolt of the same cloth. Just as members of this group are all a part of the same struggle, cut from the same cloth. That you have it, means you're one of us." These days, that meaning holds less water than before.

"I'm sorry this all seems so rushed, but right now we need the help more than ever…" Moving to the table, Peter comes to stand beside Lynette, looking out over the group again. "Messiah is currently in a divided state, because of the actions of our former tactician, Rupert Carmichael." Folding his arms over his chest, Peter tilts his head down into a slow nod.

"Rupert turned on us," is offered as affimation, not even accusation. In Peter's tone, there's no doubt, not after what he saw at the Carmichael Manor. "He betrayed us to the government and now is trying to get us all killed, or worse. We have reason to believe that Rupert's goal is to send out a broadcast on the 8th of November — the four year anniversary of the Midtown explosion — that will incite a riot large enough to swallow this entire city. His motivations— we don't really know." It's easier to swallow ambiguity than the truth, at imes.

"What we do know is that he has the means to do it, with an ability like ours. I've seen proof that Rupert still has his power, that he lied to us all about losing it. He can change your mind, just by talking to you. We think that he's going to use the Presidential address on November 8th to incite a riot that kills thousands…"

Peter's brows furrow, his head hangs and his shoulders rise and fall in a deep breath and sharply exhaled sigh. "He's taken over half of Messiah with him, and no doubt coerced them into working for him under who knows what pretenses. Our technopath, Rebel, is likewise compromised. We've severed all phone communications entirely, most members of Messiah have been phone-dead for two weeks now. We have to assume that Rebel is working directly for Rupert, and will use technology he can control to try and subvery our own actions…"

Peter's attention sweeps around the room, then settles on Cardinal. "Richard," he motions to the shadowmorph, "is here because he wants to help us stop Rupert. This— above all else— takes predecende now. Messiah can fight for our future when we still have one to fight for. But if this riot happens?" Peter's head shakes slowly, "we're all in more trouble than any one movement can stop."

The nod from Nadira is returned, but Melissa isn't much in a smiling mood, even if she ignores the headache pounding behind her eyes. She looks over to Ash, and there is blankness in her expression for him. She looks at him as one might a mangy dog or the like. She looks back to Peter, arching a brow. "So because I was doing as asked and suffered for it, I'm under suspicion?" she asks, suddenly sounding exhausted.

"I'm going to ignore that. Because honestly? It doesn't matter. Think what you like about me. But you might want to know that I was one of those that Rupert compromised. Three fun filled suggestions or memories or whatever," she says, lightly tapping the side of her head. "Turns out my detention by DHS undid that. Kaylee's confirmed it. And there are no assumptions needed on Rebel and Rupert."

She leans heavily against the wall, not looking at any one person now. "Some of you know about the shuttle and satellites. For those of you who don't, sorry. It's not the issue. While I was up there, Rebel was controlling the shuttle. We'd just gotten to the satellite when the shuttle went dark and Rebel started moving us away from it. Then Rupert's voice came out of the comms. Said something. Gaba-ri? Whatever the hell, that means."

She glances up at Peter. "According to another technopath, one I trust completely, he may have been killed because of whatever Rupert did to him." Her gaze slides around the room, then to Ling, and in that last look, there's something akin to despair, but it's fleeting. Without help, she can't catch Rupert. Without Rupert, she can't clear anyone's names. "I've been working to assemble a team to take out Rupert and get information from him, but I'm assuming that you guys would rather do it your way," she says, tone nonchalant.

"So why don't we just grab him and lock him up somewhere until the Eighth passes? If he's not out and about… yes? Unless you're telling me he can pull this off via remote or something." Lynette is one of the newer additions to the group, and perhaps the sting of Rupert's betrayal doesn't hit her as deep, but it comes down to the simplest solution being the best, in her opinion. "But I really think we could all stand to drop the bad blood, at least for this. Common enemy, all that?" With that, she digs a pack of cigarettes out of her pocket, because who doesn't need one at times like these? After all, there's no vodka in sight anywhere.

Ling smirks at Richard, nodding. "I suppose I am not too good at giving people a hard time and not meaning it," she remarks, before turning her attention back to Peter, a glance given over to Melissa. "I will vouch for Melissa however much necessary, however, I would rather save such things until later, if possible. If you wish, Kris, we can speak about it together, after the meeting."

Crossing her arms, Ling looks back over the crowd. "For the moment, I have a request of everyone to see me to schedule… meetings. The Ferrymen have appointed a 'liason' to Messiah named Kaylee. I'm sure some of you know her. She has agreed to look over the lot of us, and at the very least determine who has been tampered with by Rupert, in the aims of seeing… who may or may be compromised, in case we come into direct contact with him again."

A glance down to Lynette, and Lung shakes her head. "Rupert has gone underground, it would seem. No one, as far as I ahve heard, has seen or heard hide nor hair of him since his estate was raided, save for his apparent broadcast into the shuttle Melissa and others were aboard."

Griffin keeps his hand gently over Nadia's as he listens, frowning as he takes in the information that he already knows about. Dark green eyes trail over every face in the room, the man's expression gaining a slightly tense quality. A technopath, a persuader, and lord knows who else. He's fortunate enough that he's new enough, that he didn't feel the sting of betrayal as intensely as Peter or others may have.

Green eyes turn an intense look toward Melissa first, his expression falling even further as she relays her information; then, they turn toward Lynette. The normally silent man frowns. "Lock him up? Even if we could find him, what is to say that he won't talk his way out of it?" He frowns. "If we find him, his tongue needs to be removed, and then he needs to be removed." He sneers faintly at the memory of what he saw at Carmichael's mansion. "He's dangerous."

Last, a slow nod is turned toward Ling, as if to indicate that he will be happy to oblige.

The new telekine is silent, stoic….but there's that glitter of amusement in his gaze. Man, meetings. It never does change. He merely glances down at his wrist and the new scarf there, before looking wryly back up at Peter. "Why not hit him from a distance, if it's his voice or his speech that's the problem?" he wonders. His voice is deceptively slow, and the drawl is thick again. Where-ever he was while he was gone, there was Spanish moss on the trees and gators in the puddles.

Taking the red scarf from Peter, Nadira stares at it, fingers toying with the fabric with her free hand, the other remaining with Griffin. "Do we know anyone with any abilities related to sound? Perhaps if no one can hear him, no one will listen. Or, if we cannot stop that, perhaps someone can keep us protected by making us unable to hear the sound of his voice." She shrugs a little, eyes drifting to the table in thought.

A subtle grimace tightens Cardinal's expression when Melissa speaks of her experiences with DHS, his head shaking slowly from side to side at some private and unvoiced thought. He slants a look back to Huruma, murmuring quietly, "We can rest when we're done."

A quote, ironically enough, from Allen Rickham. Just not the Allen Rickham that stands beside Rupert Carmichael.

He takes a breath, then, and steps forward. "You could shoot him in the head, and it wouldn't stop what's going to happen on the eighth. What's going out over the broadcast - and we don't know how, yet - is a trigger phrase. An unknown number of people, including the majority've Messiah, have been implanted with a trigger that'll turn them into complete berserkers. Just… roaming the streets killing people. Some of them might have more specific orders, but the results aren't… going to be pretty regardless."

"We're working on ways to block the broadcast, we're building some radio jammers at the very least, but I'm open to further ideas. As for Rupert…" He pauses, gaze cutting directly to Peter, "…I'm going to make a request to use the Walker System to find him. If you all want him, though, you've got dibs as far as I'm concerned."

Huruma has nothing important to add to this exchange; in fact, nearly the opposite chimes in thoughtfully from where she stands with Cardinal. "In hindsight I should'ave killed him when Shedda Dinu fell apart…" Probably could have been a good idea. It sounds as if generally, she is not that alarmed by Rupert's status. She watches Cardinal again when he murmurs, and steps forward. Her arms move from behind her to in front, crossing forearms. She seems visibly interested when he says he can try to locate Rupert, at least.

"The guy tha'built th'cannon for the shuttle- maybe he can build a jammer big enough. Tha'thing was- deliberately strange, but- whoever it was knew what they where doing." For all she knows, he is building one for someone already, but it won't kill her to suggest it.

Ash purses his lips as he listens to Peter speak, and when the man is done Ash gives a slight nod of his head and pushes away from the wall. He fingers the red scarf on his forearm for a moment, then gives his head a slow shake and just moves towards the door, steps even as he approaches the door, and unless stopped, will just pull it open and slip back out of the meeting room, nary a disturbance for his having been there.

Walker system has Peter's eyes falling shut. Molly's name being invoked creates a pang of guilt that strums at his heart Lifting up both of his hands, Peter's only reaction to Melissa's insistance of her innocence is a look offered her way. He's already spoken his peace on that and doesn't need to clog up the meeting any more with it. She's here, that's what matters most of all. "Okay, okay… you all have some good ideas, but Ling's right. Rupert's gone underground since the day the Department of Homeland Security raided his house. I spent the last five days putting my ear to the ground trying to find out if he's popped up anywhere, but there's nothing. I haven't even been able to track down any of the members of Messiah that he'd taken with him either; Knox, Rickham, Riggs, Oleander."

Slowly lowering his hands, Peter tucks them into the pockets of his slacks, breathing in a deep breath again and holding it for a few moments. Only when he exhales a more tired sigh do those shoulders slide down slack. "What you see here is most of what's left of Messiah." Turning a look to Cardinal, Peter's brows furrow and his head turns to the side, one hand lifting to scratch at his unshaven jaw. "We all want a slice of Carmichael, but none of us could have known what he'd do to us, what he could do. Honestly, we still don't know what he's capable of to any full extent. We just know the aftermath."

Looking to Ling, Peter offers a slow and steady nod. "People who haven't had contact with Carmichael," comes before Peter gestures to Alexander and Nadira, "won't need to have their minds looked at. But the rest of us, we've either had direct contact with him or been in Messiah long enough to have risked it. We should have our minds all checked," and his eyes square on Ash's departing figure at that.

"That means you too, Ash," sounds a bit like the tone a High School teacher might use when trying to single out a student they think isn't paying attention. "You're either in or you're out, Ash. I need you right now to help with this, I can't have everything falling apart while Rupert is trying to pull us apart."

Peter's brows furrow, lips sag in an unfortunately crooked frown. "United we stand, divided we fall. That's how it is. I made my choice, I'm sticking with this…" Peter turns to look around the meeting room, his attention drifting to the others in the small crowd. "I need to know we're all on the same page."

Cardinal's words about berserkers have Melissa wincing slightly and leaning her head back against the wall. "Nadira's had contact with Carmichael. At my barbeque," she says, voice flat. She glances at Cardinal. "What's the Walker system, and how will it help us find Rupert?" There's a pause, then her gaze darkens and she curses. The thought that prompted such a reaction isn't voiced, instead she shakes her head and sighs. "His ability can literally break a person's mind. I've seen it. I just didn't realize the implication at the time." Mostly because she was stupid and believed him that he'd lost his ability.

"Which of us isn't?" Dangerous, she means. "Look, maybe the rest of you aren't worried about PR, but we need a scape goat. Messiah hasn't ever really had good press, but it's gone beyond that now. We can't just get rid of him. We need someone we can trot out for the public to throw its rotten tomatoes at. And I'd like it not to be anyone in this room." The way Lynette's gaze cuts over to Peter, she maybe worried over one in particular.

And herself, of course.

The blonde gives a nod to Cardinal, taking that in for a moment. "Alright, so Rebel's out. What about other techopaths? To help cut this off at the pass, so to speak." But her gaze slides back over to Peter though, a frown coming to her face as she takes a moment to light her cigarette. "I guess this puts off the whole… Institute matter, doesn't it?"

Ash turns his head and his eyes fall on Peter when he says that, those eyes narrowing slowly. "You still won't trust us. I asked you why we should trust Alexander and you ignored the question. So if those are my choices…" He shrugs his shoulders and reaches down, beginning to untie his red scarf, tattered and stained from his battles in Messiah.

"As much as I hate it, I'd say Rupert is far, far more of a threat at the moment than the Institute." Ling gives a glance over to Cardinal for a moment, as if assuming her might know better. She looks at Ash, glares even, but instead leaves this matter for Peter to address - she doesn't know Alexander at all. "There is a technopath in the Ferry. I had thought it may be possible to have him or her fake a message form Rebel, see who working for Rupert we can draw out. Perhaps they know where Rupert is, in the event this… Walker system is unavailable for our use."

Giving a bit of a shrug Ling sighs. "As for dealing with Rupert himself, the easiest solution is a negator, or someone who can mimic negation. Failing that, I have come up with other ways to foil his ability, should it rely simply on sound."

Griffin's face is almost stony by now, the man frowning and nodding slowly along with Peter. "I will happily have my mind checked. I've only met Rupert once, but…lord knows, with him." He frowns. If he finds out that he's had Rupert messing with his mind, as well, it will become rather personal, and he may have to race the others to rip the bastard's tongue out. The man frowns quietly.

He then turns to peer quietly at Ash, rubbing at the bridge of his nose— a sure sign that he's stressed and not the happiest telekinetic in the room. "Ash. If there is one person in this room who I feel I can trust, aside from the obvious," He glances toward Ash, Ling, Cardinal, Peter, and Lynette, "It would be Alexander." A glance is cast back toward he man. "He's from the old groups, the ones before us, and if anyone has something to fight, it's him." He frowns. "This is no time for divisions, whether preexisting, or beginning to form. We all know that we want to stop November 8th from happening. That should be the most important thing on all of our minds."

Then, the man takes a breath, glancing around. "I believe that all of us, even those who are new, should be tested. Who knows what that man can do to a person's mind. We could all be walking timebombs, without even realizing it." He frowns.

"I did not even interact with Carmichael, there are plenty of people who could attest to that." Nadira states, her fingers curling tightly around the red scarf. Her gaze moves from Melissa back to Griffin. Regardless of the protests of unity and no divisions, the Egyptian woman does not look happy. "I do not want anyone in my head, violating my mind, no matter the circumstances. If anyone here thinks I am likely to be a time bomb, feel free to speak your mind. I came here to help, not to have my mind violated and my privacy intruded upon for some chicken wings."

"I've got the same guy working on it," Cardinal affirms with a slight nod to Huruma's words, proving the old adage of great minds thinking alike - or maybe that's just diseased ones. It depends on one's point of view. The subject of the Walker System is left unanswered for the time being. "There're other technopaths that we can bring in on this, but there's only so much they can do. I'm calling in all the favors I can to try and black out communications for the city before the broadcast is carried out…"

As Ash steps forward and dissent stirs in the ranks, however, he drops silent. One hand comes up to rub against the nape of his neck, waiting to let Messiah work this out amongst themselves.

Brown eyes linger on Ash for a few more moments, but Peter lets him go. There's no explanation for the dismissal in his posture or in his expression, there's too many reasons why he's choosing to focus on the mission at hand rather than whatever Ash's problem is, but everything is bigger than one singular person's qualms now, and he isn't going to play the diplomat more.

But when Griffin speaks up, it's exactly what Peter was counting on, other members of Messiah stepping up to try and pull the ranks together. It's obvious to some people now that Peter is trying to let slack the reins of control, to weave away from what Rupert intended his role in the group to be and move towards serious consideration of what Lynette and Pericles had suggested in the last meeting.

"Wireless in the Ferrymen is the only other technopath I know," Peter finally adds, "She won't talk to me, but I know she'll want to help out against what's happening. Someone with ties to the Ferrymen will need to talk to her, or someone who's had past dealings with her before."

Peter moves a step away from Lynette, offering the raise of one brow to her as he comes to stand behind the table. "It doesn't matter if we tie up Rupert like a thankgiving turkey and feet him to Humanis First, we're going to be the bad guy. Clearing the names of the people Rupert chose to sell up the river, clearing any of Messiah's involvement is never going to happen in the public eye. We're always going to be the anti-government terrorists that blew up buildings and murdered government workers. But I'm fine with that."

Flattening his hands down on the table, Peter offers a slow shake of his head. "They want to make us out to be the villains, then we'll play the role as long as we need to. Messiah wasn't ever— isn't about changing public opinion, it's about doing what's necessary no matter the cost. Right now, that's stopping Rupert from killing thousands of innocent people in the name of our kind, stopping Rupert from doing what none of us want."

Kris finally maneuvers towards one end of the table now, having kept his distance for some time. Offering a look up to Ash, his brows furrow and lips sag into a frown before he turns to look back at Peter. "So what, we let these broadcasts jam up and we're good? Then we twist Carmichael's head off'a his neck?" One of the teleporter's brows lift slowly, considering Peter in silent contemplation after the question is raised.

"I'm trusting Cardinal and his people to be able to handle that," Peter explains with a nod and a motion towards the shadowmorph. "He's been aware of what Rupert's been up to for a while now, and he has the resources and people in play to be able to help stop this. If there's anyone we have that could be helpful to that, though, let me know Richard."

"I can take West," is suddenly spoken in a small, Russian-accented voice as Risa speaks up. The notion has West looking over the the sound of his name called, one brow lifted. "I mean, to… to scout the city. I can perform postcognitive readings on former Messiah safehouses, maybe the old electronics repair shop in Brooklyn that was destroyed. We… we might be able to get something. I know it's a risk, but I just— I don't know what else to do."

Peter's brows furrow, offering a look to Cardinal and then West. "You two do it, but I want you both seeing Kaylee between visions to check for suggestions you might have picked up from viewing the past." Eye contact is met between Peter and the volunteers — of which West seems to have been shanghai'd — before turning his focus back to the group again.

"Look, Nadira…" Now he's addressing her concerns. "Kaylee is as trustworthy as they come. From what I hear, checking to see if your mind's been tampered with is just a surface scan, she can't actually read your thoughts. It's like… getting your skin looked at to see fi you have any moles at risk for a melanoma," is the nurse-answer for today's lesson in telepathy. "Better safe than sorry, I'd… I didn't know you were around him at all. Anyone who was at that cookout might be at risk then."

"Wireless will talk to me," Melissa says softly. "She's the one who saved our asses up on the shuttle. I've already made plans to contact her to help find Rupert. Eileen as well. And Gabriel. And problem with Rupert's suggestions or whatever. Not only do you not always remember, since I only remember being alone with him twice, but any telepath that messes with the suggestions gets them. Which means that at least one member of DHS has been mindfucked, with me as a proxy. So we may need Rupert alive so we can undo what he's done." And so she can fulfill her part of the deal with Parkman.

She glances up, glances around. "Unless you want a pretty powerful telepath with power in DHS running around causing some serious damage to the city's population."

"Well, we are anti-government terrorists," Lynette says with a crooked, but humorless smile. "I suppose what I'm concerned over is what happens when they decide they need someone to get filleted over this. And they will, you know. They have a list to choose from, apparently." She lifts an eyebrow up at Peter, though, "I'm not suggesting a change in the mission statement. I know what we are and what we do and why. I just think… with Rupert gone and this being our show now… We have a chance to change tactics."

Ash turns and settles his eyes on Griffin, and they sit there for a long few moments, studying him. "Thank you for that, but it still doesn't negate Peter's inability to justify his decisions to the rest of the group. We got nearly the same line from him in regards to Rupert. Trust him because I do. We've been through a lot together, he's my ally from way back. And look where that led us. I've said it repeatedly. I may be a soldier, but I'm not a blind one. And with recent events? I"ll be damned if I'm going to take his word for it that Alexander is a good guy and trustworthy." He shrugs his shoulders, and finishes untying his red scarf, then, with a soft sigh he turns towards Peter, and walks up to him with it in his hands, red fabric spread across his open palms like a linen wash of blood.

"When you're ready and have figured out what the hell you're doing… let me know. But as long as you're going to act like this? You either need to be a leader, in which case you owe your people explanations for everything that's happened, or you need to find someone else who can lead. You remember our talk downstairs." He shrugs his broad shoulders a bit, and turns, though he does pause. "Any one of you can call on me for help if you need it." Is tossed out there before the man makes his way to the door, pulls it open and slips out, a rather torn look on his features as he does so.

"I think a change in tactics is wise," Ling remarks, simply watching as Ash makes his way to leave, shaking her head at the man. "I wish I knew what he was so absorbed in. It is hard to gauge one's potential when they are so…" Ling closes her eyes, looking over at Nadira. "It is entirely possible that Rupert had no contact with you at all. Probable, even, but there is no way to be sure. Kaylee will not be investigating memories or thoughts. Simply… examining for incongruities. I have been through it myself, as has Melissa. It is not invasive, I assure, or I would not have agreed to such a thing."

Sighing, Ling takes a moment to collect her thoughts before she continues. "Anything I can do to aid you," she says, looking to Kris, then to Risa and West, "or you two, please let me know. For now, I believe our focus should be locating Rupert, through whatever various means we can. Relying one is, however perfect it may be," Ling remarks, looking over at Cardinal, "is foolhardy. As for what to do with Rupert… A taste of his own medicine - a little mind probe of our own, to figure out any thing we're missing, may be in order, should Kaylee prove willing. Negation, or negation drugs, may be necessary in such an even." She glances over to Melissa, then to Peter. "As Melissa said earlier, she has been… working on this problem independently for the last several days. These are some of the small bits, however obvious we have come up with."

"Additionally, Richard… while I do not even begin to expect you to spill all your secrets, telling us some of these favours you have called in would be helpful, if it helps us from forming redundant plans… or inadvertently working against someone else with a similar goal in mind."

Griffin blinks, turning to peer at Nadira. He reaches tentatively for her hand. "Nadira— Rupert's particular ability is that of persuasion. You could have interacted with him and not even remembered the interaction, if he told you not to remember it. An ability which I'm sure he uses rather frequently." Green eyes cast over the inhabitants of the room, Peter in particular. Then, he looks back to Nadira, squeezing her hand if she'll allow it. He briefly leans over, whispering something into her ear.

Then, he's straightening, adjusting his tie with a tight frown on his face. He turns to peer at Peter as he speaks, nodding slowly to his words. "Anything that I can do to help, let me know. I will take up a more…permanent residence here, if necessary, so I can be reached a bit easier." He's been staying at Peter's old place as he helps in the construction, but that doesn't mean he feels safe there.

Green eyes turn toward Ash, narrowing ever-so-slightly as the man leans against the table. He watches quietly as Ash offers his resignation, frowning for a moment as the man walks out. A hand reaches up to pinch the bridge of Griffin's rather large nose.

Then, he's clearing his throat. "Right now, trust is a very difficult thing— for everyone in this room, I'm certain. Any one of us could be a pawn of Rupert, and not even realize it. Any or all of us could easily turn on each other, and all it could take would be a single word from Rupert Carmichael on a well-placed speaker." He sighs faintly. "This is why we are having this telepath look us over. So we know."

He takes a deep breath, turning to make eye contact with each person in the room. "We need, more than anything, to stay together as a group. To trust each other. Because if we are torn apart by inner turmoil now, at such an important moment in time, then it will be simple for those we are up against to tear us apart." He frowns. "Our foes have the benefit of mindless obedience to Rupert Carmichael. They are united in that. We lack that blind faith, and it is a thorn in our sides."

He glances around once more. "We all must work together in this, or we will fall." Then, the man sits back, steepling his fingers.

"It is not blind faith, they have, it is a lack of free will, if he is doing what everyone says he is doing," Nadira points out, taking in a deep breath. "Fine. If it is so important for me to do this in order to garner trust, I will agree to such a thing. I will not forget this, however." She looks like she has a lot more to say, but it's held back, frustration and pain remaining just below the surface. She lightly squeezes Griffin's hand.

"I'm not going to pretend I have any right to tell you what to do from here on out," Cardinal says with a slow shake of his head, "So I'm not going to. I'm not wearing a scarf, after all. I…" As Ash slips off, he's silent a moment until he's gone, looking back to the others and noting dryly, "…he's a time bomb waiting to be dropped into the city, though, I hope you realize."

"If you're going to talk to Wireless," he offers to Melissa, "Ask her to coordinate with D.Crypt, she's helping set up the jammers. I've also…" At Ling's request, he nods slightly, "Asked certain… government contacts of mine to look into possible ways to block the signal."

Huruma remains still for the most part, her gaze only half-following the conversation, allowing her ears and other senses to pick up the exchanges and shifting emotions. Though her presence only came alongside Cardinal, her concerns remain universal. Most of them, anyway. Some of them she simply has no worry for. For many of these people- groups- this problem is literally being encroached on by all angles, as evident by the shadowmorph's words.

"Regardless of if anyone finds Rupert, if th'block or attempts to block prove unsuccessful, we shall still'ave t'deal with th'date itself. When soldiers are not prepared, it makes th'baby Jesus cry." Somehow, Huruma says this is a straight face, just before she tilts a look to Cardinal, and she offers him a short smile at the same time. Huruma passes a cursory look over the room again. "I will be outside."

And with this news, Huruma departs, slinking her way out the door to do just as she says.

Looking down to the scarf, Peter's brows furrow. Rolling his shoulders as a wave of bristling frustration crosses over the emotional current Huruma is basking in, Peter returns to the topics at hand, firstly addressing Melissa and Ling's points. "We don't know if Rupert can undo what he did. It's worth trying to figure out, but we also can't force him to reliably use his ability. There is no reason to keep him alive, because if he survives and is captured by the government you know he'll go straight to the Institute, and I refuse to arm them with an ability like his, especially if they found a way to control it without his consent."

Peter's brows furrow and his head shakes. "Can you imagine the kind of damage a group like that would do, if they could augment him with amplification drugs and have his voice broadcast wherever and whenever they wanted? No, he dies, and the problem dies with him. I won't risk losing him to the government." Lifting up a hand to rub at his head, Peter eventually sweeps his bangs back from his hair, looking down to the table's scarred surface.

"As for the media wanting to blame someone, we can't… there's no way to control that. The Evolved, Messiah, everything is going to come down to being villified. A long time ago, Pariah was formed with the intention of being the outcast, being its namesake. Messiah's going to be that, no matter who is leading it, no matter who is a part of it." Reaching up to scratch at his chin again, Peter looks back to the door Ash left out of, exhaling a sigh and shaking his head slowly, before looking over to Cardinal.

"There's only one way to deal with Ash if he keeps acting like that." While Peter's tone is gentle, the conversational topic is not. "If we don't stop the broadcast from turning this city inside-out, we're going to have worse problems than Ash running loose in the streets though. With all of the public functions Rupert's gone to, there's no telling who he could've infected…"

Cardinal is studied, then nodded to by Melissa. "D.Crypt. Got it." Peter is studied longer. "I don't think the government has much of a chance of finding Rupert. Unless he wanted to be found." She looks to Ling, then around the room, one by one. "I've made a deal with Parkman of DHS. I give him Rupert, and people get cleared. Except it was never specified that Rupert be alive. If someone can think of a good reason not to give them a corpse to clear our people, let me hear it, otherwise…once he's dead, I need the body." Gruesome topic, and it shows on her face, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

"And one point to not killing him immediately? He could be made to give us the information on who he's fucked with, in case we miss someone. Or in case it's someone not in Messiah, but someone dangerous. Politicians, for example." And back to Peter now. "The president would be one hell of a problem, and one hell of a target," she says softly.

"Actually from what you've all been saying this whole meeting, it doesn't sound like the problem will die with him at all," Lynette says with a dry tone and a crooked smile. She's frustratingly flippant about it, when it comes down to it. "But, I can agree that his power doesn't need to be used any more, and that the likelihood of getting him to fix anything is low." She pauses, but only to partake of that cigarette between her fingers.

Melissa gets a lifted eyebrow, and Lynette studies her for a moment before she says, "What are the chances of him being honest about that? I suppose we could throw a telepath at him, but who knows what that could result in."

"I am still skeptical myself of how much… name clearing will occur, much less of those of us who have been in Institute hands before," Ling replies, looking down at Lynette. "There has never been intention of keeping Rupert alive for long. Simply finding a way to silence him long enough for a telepath to dig for what might be necessary, and then dispose oh him in a manner fitting."

The more specific details of things escape Nadira. Really, she knows little enough about Rupert to offer advice. Instead, she takes in a slow breath, distilling statements and suggestions with a careful ear and as clear a brain as could be permitted in the circumstances.

"We can't trust him to use his power for us, no," Cardinal points out, brows raising a little into view over the edge of his shades, "But we could trust you to do it, Peter. As for Rupert, we're in one hundred percent agreement there. The slimy little fucker needs to get his tongue ripped out've his head, and preferably his whole body incinerated so there's no possibility at all of bringing him back from the dead. If you think you can get something useful out of him, you'll need a negator. Or some negation pills, at least - your ex-roomie might be able to help there, Peter."

He has a little bit of experience with resurrection himself.

"As far as name clearing is going… Peter's right. You people went around blowing up shit all but that's not what the public thinks, and you'll always be bad guys for that," he says with a grunt of breath, "Worst case scenario, you end up in the Institute in a coma tube, or blackmailed into working for them, like poor Doc. There's a best case scenario, but you need me for that, and I'm not doing shit about it until after the eighth."

"Anything is possible. I must say that I agree with Richard. Incineration would be best." Griffin's hand squeezes Nadira's, the man quietly leaning back as he takes a breath. "Name clearing isn't a likely event. Messiah is a terrorist organization, according to press. Unless we recieve a presidential pardon," A brief glance is cast toward Peter, before turning across the room, "we're unlikely to have cleared names. I knew that coming in."

The lanky man raises a hand, rubbing at the bridge of his nose for a moment as he leans forward, resting his elbows against the table. His fingers rise to rub at his eyes, before he drops his hand back town to the surface of the table. His eyes raise to Cardinal. "What is this 'Walker System' you spoke of? Anything that can assist us in finding Rupert Carmichael would be ideal." He frowns.

"Supplies of the negation drug came to her through the Ferrymen, and their supply is finite. I don't know if they even have anymore to give out, with how long she'd been on the drugs. Until the public brand of the drug becomes available, I don't think that's going to be an option. As far as negation goes, one negator I knew from Pariah has been missing for a long time… and the other who— worked with my family isn't trustworthy anymore."

Looking over to Melissa, Peter exhales a sigh and looks like he's tired to reiterating the same tired old routine, but Cardinal's similar path seems to have Peter feeling the need to repeat himself. "You can't trust the Department of Homeland Security, you can't trust the government. They're controlled by the President and he turned on us a long time ago." There's an askance look from Peter to Cardinal at that, then Melissa. "Whatever they told you? It's a lie. They said that everyone from Operation Apollo would get pardons, get to live normal lives. But instead they hired an assassin to kill Gabriel. They let Emile Danko live when they could've put a bullet in his head, and turned him loose like some kind of attack dog on us."

Peter's head shakes slowly, lifting up one hand to scrub over his chin slowly. "The Walker system is a child," Peter admits to Griffin, eliciting a look of surprise from Risa. "She's like us, except her power is to find other people. She's also the adopted daughter of the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. A backstabbing, lying, traitor to our kindin the President's pocket."

Matthew Parkman and Peter Petrelli have something of a chequered past, it would seem.

"I'm all for his tongue being removed and he being negated while he's questioned or probed or whatever the hell you wanna call it," Melissa says with a shrug, voice still soft. "Was planning on asking Eileen about negation pills too." There's a pause, then she frowns and looks at Cardinal. "There's only one person I know who's brought someone back from the dead, and he's in Ferry custody, last I checked. Not Institute custody." Though no one's spoken to her about Darren in ages, and she absently rubs her left wrist, where she once held a green handprint.

"And fine, whatever, no name clearing. I couldn't get everyone anyway." Nor did she even try to get everyone cleared. "Either way, I want a piece of him before he's killed." Pause. "And I know a negator. He works at the Suresh Center with me. Ferryman." Yep, she's really out of the loop. "But if this kid is in such a bad position, then why hasn't anyone tried to get her away from this traitor? Why isn't she with the Ferry or something?"

"Look, I know we're terrorist, and I'll reign as much hell down as you want. But this manifesto business? Rupert and his plans, whatever they be? I don't want that. You're all obviously set on killing him, and that's fine, whatever. But without him in a leadership role, we now have a chance to be different. Different tactics, different end goals. Smarter. As much as I'd like to be able to pin everything on him and walk away clean as a whistle, I know it isn't an ideal world out there," Lynette says as she twirls that cigarette between her fingers. But she looks over at Cardinal, because something in what he said has gone and pissed her off. But. She doesn't fight or argue, she just stands up from the table to pace a little. Possibly in an attempt to keep her smoke out of other people's personal space. Maybe.

The rancor in Peter's voice brings one of Cardinal's brows upwards. "…so I'm guessing that you'd rather I talk to Parkman about it, then?" The question's rather dryly said, his gloved hand rubbing against the nape of his neck, "And Rupert's manifesto — Christ, I think I know what he's doing, and it's fucking insane. I agree with Lynette, there, though. You can take this opportunity to… actually do some good, if you're willing to take the shit for it."

A frown forms on Griffin's face as Peter explains what the Walker actually is, leaning back from the table. If it were his son in that position, and it could very well be his son one day, he would not appreciate it. But his reservations should not be a part of this, so he falls silent, dropping that subject. Instead, his eyes travel over each inhabitant of the room, the man breathing quietly.

A small smile is cast toward Lynette, halfhearted though it is. "…I must agree with Miss Lynette." He turns his eyes over each face, leaning back in his seat and rubbing at the back of his neck.

There's a lot of unanswered questions being lobbed around, a lot of people concerned only about their own curiosities or their own agendas more so than what he meeting itself was arranged for. The disonnance has Peter struggling to try and keep up with all of the disparate conversational threads.

"You want to trust Parkman," Peter motions to Richard, "be my guest, but I want nothing to do with him. The less anyone has to do with Matt Parkman, the better." Which in a way transitions well into Melissa's question, even if it's veering even further off topic from what the meeting was supposed to be about.

"I don't know, why don't you ask the Ferrymen, and if you can't, than I can't help you. Maybe she likes being where she is, the last time I saw her she was staying with my mother on Manhattan and she seemed pretty happy. But if you want to kidnap a girl from her home, be my guest. I'm sure you'd win brownie points with Bennet if you did."

That Peter is tense and his frustration is getting the best of him is readily evident, even to people without Huruma's capacity for empathy. "We're not going to follow whatever psychotic ideals Rupert had. We're not— we're not that group anymore. The world may want to villify us, fine. But like Richard said… it's time we did some actual good."

“Careful around Parkman," Melissa warns Cardinal. "While he seems like a decent guy for a government drone, he's the one who got my Rupert mindfucks. At least Gaba-ri or whatever isn't a word you're likely to say to him though."

She slowly looks back to Peter, and the look she gives him isn't friendly. "That's not what I said and you know it. You made it sound like she was being held someplace horrible like Liette was.. Not staying in a huge house with Mama Petrelli. There's a big damn difference. One is a rescue, the other is kidnapping, and I don't do kidnapping."

She shakes her head as the anger fades. It's hard to hold onto anything but irritation right now. "Regardless, I need to talk to you." Later. Without everyone around. While it goes unsaid, it's clear enough.

Lynette doesn't really seem to relax even when she's agreed with. Her hand does absent-mindedly rub at the crooked of her elbow, though. It is possible her mind is elsewhere. But, with a blink, she looks back to the group with an easier expression. "So we have Rupert and the eighth topping the agenda. So what can those of us here in the room, who are neither the Walker System nor technopath… do about it?"

"Rupert's manifesto has been something that has been worrying ever since those… bits of it were broadcast on the evening news." Ling shakes her head, exhaling as she looks back at Lynette. "What the rest of us do, is put our feet and ears to the ground, and get search for him as best as we can without spooking him. To be honest, I will be quite surprised if he has been stupid enough to remain in town following the raids. I believe looking for any of his associates would be wiser. Compromised as they may be, a probe or a trick to lure Rupert out into the open once we have them may be possible. I have my doubts, but it's better than trying nothing." Ling makes no comment on a change in direction. She remembers why she joined Messiah, and any talk of a change in direction without specifics leaves her leaving a bit uneasy.

Nadira's hand quietly squeezes the red scarf on the table in front of her. Her eyes flicker to Lynette, frowning just slightly. "I suppose we just have to be ready to do what we can. If there were more solid information, perhaps we could do something, but I don't see a way to do much of anything without more specific information."

"Right…" Cardinal speaks the word as a heavy sigh of breath as Peter turns more than a little peevish, and he brings the fedora in his hand up to rest upon his head once more, "…well, I think that's about it for me, then. If you've got any more questions for me— ? Otherwise, I'm going to get going and let you all get to figuring out who you're going to be now."

"Being rather new, I'm not quite sure what I can do about it. I can keep an eye out for him, but I doubt that I will be of much use. I do not have much in the way of resources in this city, but I will certainly keep an eye out." Griffin frowns, rubbing at his face. "But know that, when we do find him, I will more than happily pry his jaws open and rip his tongue out to prevent him from working his magic on us." Something says he means that quite literally, judging by the dark look that crosses his features.

"I think we're all done here," Peter offers with a breathily exhaled sigh and a slow sweep of his hand over his forehead to brush his hair from his face. "We focus on looking out for Rupert's people— members of Messiah who weren't here for this meeting. There's a man I remember Rupert talking about months ago, I don't think he knew I was listening to his conversation. Someone named Montague Bonaventure. I haven't looked him up yet, but he was one of Rupert's financiers or colleagues or… something."

Peter furrows his brows, shaking his head slowly before stepping out from behind the table again. "Right now we focus on seeing what we can find out about him, maybe approach him and see what we can learn. I don't know what kinds of connections he has, but it might be useful if we can turn him towards our cause, or at the very least pump him for information."

Breathing in deeply, then exhaling a weary sigh, Peter considers Melissa's request with begrudging reluctance. A silent nod is his only agreement to talk to her, before he looks up to Nadira, then around the room. "Focus on going to see Kaylee first, Richard should be able to set up meetings."

Looking far more tired than he did when the meeting began, Peter waves a hand slowly through the air. "Dismissed."

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